Movies and OVAs to watch out for:
Here is an upcoming list of the movies and OVAs coming out that I deem noteworthy (I basically left out the kiddie movies, or the ones based on franchises that I don’t care about). And really: there are some big names coming up! Lots of great stuff is about to arrive here.
Impressions: This is a single OVA that will come out, as the promotional material of a new light novel series. It’s set in this post apocalyptic world, and the main character is a detective, so I’m smelling a good mystery series here. The problem is obviously that they’re never going to fit all that into just one episode, so let’s hope that this will just be a successful pilot.
Mirai Nikki Redial
Impressions: Mirai Nikki will be getting a new OVA. The interesting thing seems to be that it’s going to be completely anime original, penned by the manga artist. It’s meant to take place after the events of the series, and probably will be some sort of epilogue. But considering how the series ended, I see potential here.
Yozakura Quartet – Tsuki no Naku
Impressions: Hell yeah! Yozakura will not only be getting new OVAs, but sometime in the future there will also be a TV-series, with Ryo-Chimo behind the direction. Prepare for some awesome animation and fantastic direction, combined with lots of fun and interesting characters!
The Garden of Words
Impressions: The Garden of Words is Makoto Shinkai, and based on its trailer, it definitely oozes his style, while at the same time showing how he’s trying to branch out as a director. With Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo this was more towards Ghibli, but this one seems totally different. The one thing that caught my attention was that the acting was much stronger and less subtle than his early works. Let’s see what effect that has on his style.
Impressions: The premise for this movie sounds AWESOME: it’s a science fiction premise about a girl whose boyfriend dies. A robot named HAL then takes his place for her in order to ease her grief. It’s made by Wit Studio (the guys who are currently also doing Shingeki no Kyojin), and both the director and scriptwriter are rather new. However, remember that one episode of Fractale, that looked absolutely amazing and was nothing like the rest of that series? Yes, the guy behind that will direct this movie. He also worked on some stunning episodes of Kaiba and Yojou-han among others.
Ghost in the Shell Arise
Impressions: Ghost in the Shell Arise is the third installment of Ghost in the Shell with completely different staff members. And the creators are really going to have to fill some of the biggest shoes imaginable: those of Mamoru Oshii and Kenji Kamiyama, pretty much the best two directors walking around in Production IG. Tow Ubukata writing it will help a lot, because this guy has a very good sense of creativity when it comes to science fiction. The chief director is a character-designer, which will probably make for some really good visuals, and the director for the first OVA will be the director of Gilgamesh and Shikabane Hime, which means a really solid atmosphere. The ingredients are definitely there to make something awesome!
Kara no Kyoukai – Mirai Fukuin
Impressions: Since Kara no Kyoukai was such a big success, I’m not surprised that the creators are trying to animate more of it. Normally I would call this milking out a cow, but the previous OVA that was made completely sold me due to how daring it was. It did not try to copy the movies, but instead had its own direction, based on a concept that many thought would make an incredibly boring animation, and I hope that this new OVA will also again go into its own direction.
Impressions: Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film. Seriously, how old is this guy already? And he’s still making movies? I really admire his dedication, even though he’s not as fast as he used to be. Again, he does the direction here, the script, and it’s based on an original story written by himself. At this point, Hayao really can do anything he wants, really; he can even hire Hideaki Anno to voice the main character (yeah).
Impressions: I love these types of movies: the ones that consist out of multiple shorter films, all made by different creators with their own styles. Katsuhiro Otomo (yeah, the Akira guy) is overseeing everything, and this time the stories are based on some of his works, but he grabbed himself a wide variety of different talents with widely different styles.
Well, we’ve got ourselves a first: for the first time in more than a decade, the summer season is actually bigger in terms of quantity than its preluding spring season. I actually have more series to look forward to than what I did with the past spring season. The big downside to this season: too many sequels. Now, whether there are series that have the potential to top Aku no Hana and Shingeki no Kyojin… the potential is there, but to be honest I don’t see it as likely.
Impressions: This is the male version of Sister Princess!
High School DXD
Impressions: Yeah, blahblah boobs, blahblah. The first season was already just about boobs and bad humour, I see no improvement whatsoever here.
Trailer Impressions: This trailer can be summarized as follows: “Boob boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs”. This show is about boobs, if I hadn’t made this clear yet.
Ro Kyu Bu SS
Impressions: I found Ro Kyu Bu to be really bad and misguided, therefore I’m not at all glad that it’s gotten a second season. I watched for long enough to see what point it tried to make: pushing little girls into this competitive game in order to keep their status quo, even though they just want to randomly goof off. The thing is, that it wasn’t handled well at all. Why did the elemantary schoolers have to dress up as maids. Why was there so much fanservice. And who was crazy enough to think of this set-up in the first place? This could have had potential, but the creators just turned it into otaku-bait, which makes it all the more weird because we’re talking about kids who are not even teenagers here.
Impressions: I really dislike how the premise introduces the characters in this series. It just labels them as stereotypes right from the start. It’s as if they’re not going to even bother with any kind of characterization or something. But then again, it’s a 4koma so I’m not sure how much we can expect from this. It does have the team of Mitsudomoe behind it, so let’s hope that they can add some humour to this. They have it, although Yuruyuri showed that they don’t always show this.
Trailer Impressions: Really, really generic.
Futari wa Milky Holmes
Impressions: No! No! No! No! Here is the thing with Milky Holmes: the first two seasons were awesome. Why? It was a parody. The creators realized what a hopeless premise they had and just tore it apart with a ton of random nonsense and craziness. It was glorious. However, afterwards, for some bizarre reason, the Alternative OVAs appeared, in which they actually played the concept straight. It was bad. Really bad. Very generic mahou shoujo fare. The first two series also completely removed the male main character, and these two ovas also showed why: this guy is completely generic and pointless! This is a classic example of a corporate milking taking over a good franchise.
Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya
Impressions: This really feels like a blatant cash-in on the Fate/Stay Night fandom.Just stuff the girls there into mahou shoujo outfits and you have a series. I really have no faith in the creators here, because it’s typical Silver Link with really bad humour, and many of their staple people involved.
Trailer Impressions: So yeah… they go to school… and I’m still not impressed.
Senki Zesshou Symphogear G
Impressions: How on earth did this thing get a second season? I have no clue what Satelight saw in the disaster that was the first Symphogear, but ah well. A big plus is that this series actually has a competent director. They switched in the director of Hataraki man and Yugioh 5D’s here. Let’s hope that it will be at least… bearable with this…
Monogatari Second Season
Impressions: The monogatari series has its moments. Unfortunately, I have gotten tired of it. I do not want to watch these moment if it means having to force myself sitting through hours of talking about nothing, or Shaft just repeating themselves yet again. Wake me up when they try to do something new again…
Trailer Impressions: The trailer is small and all, and there was no actual animation, but it did reinforce my opinion: with all the lines I could have sworn that I heard them before. This trailer said nothing about what would be new or different.
Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku
Impressions: Oh goodies, another series about a club of high schoolers doing nothing. I can see that they really flexed their creative muscles for this one. Go Zappa is a bad writer to start with, so it’s going to depend on Nomad and Hikaru Sato and the original source material to make up for that. I mean, it’s definitely possible and all. But by these guys?
The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc
Impressions: I was hoping that in the meantime, the staff has changed or something, in order to give people with a better sense of pacing a shot at this series, But unfortunately not. This series definitely holds potential, but these guys just managed to suck all energy from it. All sense of good characterization was just lost with shallow romance and some really annoying main characters, and I don’t think that that can be fixed, even if the story gets better.
Servant x Service
Impressions: The thing with this series is that from the outside, it looks very interesting. But that’s mostly due to Terumi Nishii, the character designer, being really good. The characters here look realistic and down to earth and overall very pleasant to watch (this is the guy who designed the characters for Penguin Drum, by the way). Because when I looked a bit closer, it looked like a series that totally was not my type: random jokes about people doing nothing. Both the director, original writer or series composition guy give me a lot of faith that this will be interesting to watch either, unfortunately.
Trailer Impressions: A bit of a taste of the humour that we’re going to get, and I found it to be so boring and dull!
Impressions: These girls are fifteen! Holy crap! Seriously though, when was the last time I watched a 4Koma that I actually liked? This seems to go back to Geijutsuka Art Design Class or something. The creators can still make something out of it if they use the clash in cultures right though, so it’s not entirely hopeless here.
Trailer Impressions: Why does the English girl have to be blond?
Gen’ei o Kakeru Taiyou
Impressions: Michiko Itou and Keizou Kusakawa have done quite a few series, but the last time they did something together was with Ro Kyu Bu, a series about a bunch of girls in a basketball team with a lot of fanservice. Genei looks the same only with better production values and fairies. And I mean, I see potential behind this series if the “mysterious matters” that these girls solve are actually interesting. But I don’t think that these people can do that and will focus more on shallow stories with fanservice instead.
Trailer Impressions: Shallow, but at least it will look very pretty.
Impressions: I remember the first Kingdom. It had the potential as a good warfare series, but all I could see was the really bad animation and the incredible overacting. Together, this just did no look right and any good story would have been way too annoying to follow with that. I have heard that it got better as it went along though, and at least a staff change seems to indicate that the second season will only get better.
Trailer Impressions: No CG, which surprised me. I mean, the animation still looks really cheap, but it’s not as bad anymore.
Impressions: As much of a fan I am of David Production, this definitely is the worst promotional art they’ve ever done. Having said that though… they’re really going to animate a series about the console wars? I have no idea what I’m supposed to imagine by that to be honest, especially with David Production. They also put on two rookies on the helm: both the director and the series composition guy have never done a full series before. This can really go anywhere.
Trailer Impressions: Aagh, that was really generic! Also hire someone who can actually sing!
Impressions: I can only say “smörgåsbord” when I look at the different staff members here. We have the porn production company of Hoods, adapting a story from the director of Code Geass (and Planetes and Infinite Ryvius), with music from the composer of Heartcatch Precure, Jigoku Shoujo and Shiki, among many others, there is the director of Sora no Otoshimono and the character designer of Kobato and Needless. Usually I can say something about the direction of a series based on cast-members, but here this has me just baffled. The only thing I can say at this point is that the promo art looks really generic.
Trailer Impressions: Generic music and transformation sequences. The story had better be really good to make up for that…
Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!
Impressions: Watashi blahblah (seriously, I’m not going to even try and remember how to spell these names unless they prove themselves) will be another one of those high school adaptations, but at this point we hardly know anything about it. Who will adapt it? Who will direct it? That still has to be announced. Does it hold potential? That entirely depends on whether its jokes will work or not. It won’t have anything else besides that.
Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist
Impressions: You know what the thing is about this series? It is probably going to be really good if the creators manage to avoid it boiling down to just shounen ai. Seriously, I like the creativity it has, it’s got the potential for lots of intrigue. But all I can see is a manga creator who also did the manga for Utaprince, Chiaki Kon who is still stuck in Junjo Romantica and Michiko Yokote who is doing way too many series this season. Prove me wrong here!
Kimi no Iru Machi
Impressions: I found the OVA for Kimi no Iru Machi to be terrible. It was a really generic romance with zero personality, so when I realized that there was a TV-series coming out for it, i really was not looking forward to it. Then I found out that it would be produced by Gonzo. Then I found out that it was going to be directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi, and adapted by Reiko Yoshida. That duo has got a ton of experience, and they can actually really make a risk-taking studio like Gonzo shine again. The big question is whether they will also be able to do that with a source material that is as bad as Kimi no Iru Machi. I mean, of all the stories they could have picked. Why this one?!
Trailer Impressions: This does not look good…
Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East Second SEason
Impressions: If there is any series that I regret a bit in dropping the past year, it’s probably this one. I didn’t know that it would have a second season, and the only reason I dropped it was because I didn’t think it would get good enough after four episodes to further spend my time on. So yeah, it’s a series with a pretty good story and set of characters.
Genshinken Second Season
Impressions: The only thing I ever watched about Genshinken is the first half of its first episode (before starting this blog, actually, so that was loooong ago), but I did not like it. I didn’t really associate with the “otaku”-culture, and still don’t. But hey, it’s like eight years later, the staff has completely changed aside from Michiko Yokote and I like just about everyone involved in this production. So yeah, it’s definitely got potential.
Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3
Impressions: First of all, this show has awesome promo art. I like the use of colours and there definitely is emotion in it, as opposed to the really clean art you always see for these promotional images. The director is an entirely new guy, so let’s see what Gainax can do here to make up for Medaka Box which turned out to be rather generic. I mean, this has the potential to be really dull, but the way it’s presented hints at a very good chemistry between the characters.
Impressions: Mappa, as much as I like Teekyu’s randomness: your next serious project had better be something really awesome here.
Impressions: Very nice promo material as well, and I’m looking forward to this comedy from PA Works, provided that they handled the comedy right. Shoutarou Suga and Masayuki Yoshihara perhaps aren’t the best for that, but I don’t know the source material for that to say for sure.
Trailer Impressions: This one said absolutely nothing.
Impressions: I love what a brilliant troll move this is. I have been begging Kyoani for doing something different beyond cute girls. So here Kyoani comes with a show about a bunch of guys who look like swtimming catalog models. Regardless of whether it will actually be fun, I approve of this move. The guy from Hataraku Maou-Sama is also doing the series composition here…
Trailer Impressions: What can I say really?
Impressions: Hell yeah, another director of Aoi Bungaku is returning. It’s the guy who adapted Kokoro, and who later did half of Supernatural. This will be his next series, together with the guys at Brains Base. And he got himself quite an interesting premise. It’s the kind of premise that can be great with the right execution, and terrible with the wrong one. The big problem will be the series composition. This will probably be a long manga, and Takeshi Konuta has already screwed up once with that kind of problem with Library Wars.
Trailer Impressions: Sounds catchy, provided they don’t put the action above everything else.
Danganronpa The Animation
Impressions: I like the concept, I like the promo art. This feels like Btooom that requires more thought and careful planning. This is the kind of action series that I’m looking out for, that don’t just revolve arond random action. The only problem is that Seiji Kishi is a bit of a double-edged sword: as a director he can be really good or really bad, depending on his mood.
Trailer Impressions: Good music, stylish, strange character-designs. This can work out pretty well.
Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou
Impressions: Well, it’s taken a while, but for me, this is the first sign of Gonzo’s recovery ever since they went nearly bankrupt back in 2009 and got majorly reduced in size. With that, I mean that this is their first series since that point that doesn’t hope to cash in on previous successes (Last Exile), or just completely terrible (Leviathan). They are starting to train new directors to fill the old gap as well: this is Yukio Takahashi’s first full directing job, and this is a guy who has proven himself well as an episode director on series as Red Garden, Shangri-La and a unit director of Yukikaze and the second Macross Frontier Movie. Of course the humour can be completely terrible, but at least the premise here holds potential and it looks like they’re actually trying to be a bit creative again.
Trailer Impressions: Perhaps it has some acting issues, but it’s the only trailer this season that actually made me laugh. That’s a good sign.
Tamayura – More Aggressive
Impressions: Tamayura is a strong contender for the award for the strangest title of the season. I have seen the Tamayura OVA and Hitotose. What on earth do the creators mean by “more agressive”? This is a slice of life series, not an action title…. Either way though: it’s Sato Junichi, who is just terrific at creating slice of life. The characters area already really charming. Now it’s a matter of building further upon that like what he did with Aria.
Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi
Impressions: I LOVE the premise behind the world of this series. Talk about potential here. Tomoko Konparu as the main writer and adapter will definitely be able to bring justice to it, like what she did with Ashita no Nadja, Uta Koi, Les Miserables, Nodame Cantabile and Nana. Yuuji Kumazawa’s only directing job may have been Oda Nobuna no Yabou, but I give him the benefit of the doubt for now. It’s not like he could have made anything good with a premise like that anyway.
Trailer Impressions: Good music, it looks very nice. The backgrounds are also very creative.
Impressions: Yes, Kenji Nakamura is back! The guy behind Mononoke, Ayakashi, Tsuritama and Kuchuu Buranko will next do a remake of a classic series. The fun thing about those kinds of series is that they always are really creative, and with Kenji Nakamura added to that, it’s bound to be lots of fun. Toshiya Ono who helped write Tsuratama will also be back.
Impressions: It’s finally time for Silver Spoon, the next series from Full Metal Alchemists’s Hiromu Arakawa. And it also couldn’t be any more different in subject matter. Adapting it is a very good team at A-1 Pictures helmed by Tomohiko Ito (the guy behind Occult Academy) and Taku Kishimoto, who previously adapted Usagi Drop. Tehse guys know how to deal with characterization. Yeah!
Trailer Impressions: Ska? Awesome!
Rozen Maiden New Series
Impressions: The reason why Rozen Maiden is the series I’m looking forward to the most isn’t simply because I’m a big Rozen Maiden fan, even though that really helps: the concept is awesome, and especially the first season was just perfect. In particular there went a lot of thought into the characters. But no. The reason why this stands above the others is due to Tomomi Mochizuki doing the series composition (along with the script and the sound direction (!)). As a writer to adapt your stories, this guy is pretty much the best guy you can get, bar none. He’s a king of realism, and his sense of characterization is fantastic. But it’s not just that: his adaptations are awesome. It’s not like he aims to be perfectly faithful, but rather he knows what works best for each story, and he takes risks. Oh dear god, he takes risks. Touka Gettan airing backwards? That’s his influence. The awesome conclusions for Kimagure Orange Road and Fancy Lala? He wrote and adapted that. Add that to the character-designer of Steins;Gate and the music from Utena and Asatte no Houkou. Yeah. I’m looking forward to this.
Trailer Impressions: Both new and old material together.