So, I’m just going to continue to write articles whenever I have inspiration. One thing I always loved doing is compile these previews for the upcoming season, and that still hasn’t changed. There are a few changes now though, because I don’t feel like going into detail about all of the crappy shows that come out every single time, so my entries for them are very much simplified in order to save time. Also, my standards have become much harsher. Series that I was previously willing to give a chance right now are most likely shows that I’m not interested in anymore, due to a huge amount of red flags showing.
For example, in the past I probably would have praised this season for at the very least not containing anything that is absolutely utter crap, but the problem with that is that it glosses over the fact that there is so much mediocrity coming out. The only silver lining I can offer is this: there are hardly any pointless sequels. At the very least there are a lot of attempts at new series, and the sequels that are there, are there for a reason. And in the end, there are a few series with a very good pedigree that I’m looking forward to.
Series that I Don’t Look Forward To
Why I don’t like it: Sengoku Musou is yet another piece set in the sengoku era, just like the countless other shows that preceded it. It really looks like a generic clone of the other series: everyone has weird outfits, the focus is on fighting. Nothing here looks like they put any effort in it.
Soul Eater Not
Why I don’t like it: I watched about half of Soul Eater. When I saw this promo material, I really had to do a double-take. I mean dear god, how much can you moefy something? The original soul eater had its own style, but this looks just like a generic cloned show about cute girls. The trailer’s even worse. Everything looks generic.
Why I don’t like it: Boring show about this guy who has no skills and joins a tennis club. The same thing we’ve seen many times before, just with tennis. The only mitigating factor is that it’s got a really good direction for the action: Masahiko Murata, but he won’t be able to save this premise.
Why I don’t like it: Yet another high school sports series, this time with volleyball. And really, the premise looks to be incredibly generic again without much creativity. At this point a sports series really needs to come with something really impressive in order to be able to beat the standard that was set in the genre a few years ago. The director of Cuticle Detective Inaba is not one to do it.
Brynhildr in the Darkness
Why I don’t like it: Okay while it’s good that Arms is finally stepping away from doing these crappy fanservice shows, this one looks like a boring “boy meets supernatural girl with loads of mysteries”-story, without much more. The trailer has good music, but put the focus too much on bad action and a pointless swimsuit.
Mekaku City Actors
Why I don’t like it: Oh hey. Did you know that Shaft really likes NEET? Well, if you didn’t: here is another one! Obviously my Shaft-bias is working against this series, though granted it does look slightly better than their usual series. The show has promise if the right people were behind it, not Shaft.
La Corda D’Oro Blue Sky
Why I don’t like it: The first la Corda D’Oro was already incredibly contrived and so it really did not need a second season. For those who don’t know: it’s about this talentless girl who receives a magical violin that makes her able to play beautifully and make her compete with the top music students at her school. The same creators as the first season also seem to be behind this one.
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou
Why I don’t like it: Brains Base doing romance again, but it doesn’t really look promising in any way. A generic premise without much to say about the different characters other than that they look boring, Apparently it’s from the people who adapted Blood Lad, so if you liked that one you might give it a chance.
Futsuu no Joshikousei ga Locodol
Why I don’t like it: The director of KissXsis doing a 4koma adaptation about two idol high school girls. Do I need to say more? Moving on.
Blade & Soul
Why I don’t like it: Gonzo doing another MMORPG adaptation. You know, if this was the old Gonzo then I would have been slightly interested, but this? This looks like your generic battle anime with silly powers and no substance. However, what is the director of Steins;Gate doing there? Maybe this could- no, wait. The trailer contained some really bad action so never mind.
Inu Neko Hour
Why I don’t like it: All 47 Japanese prefecutres…. as dogs. Okay, I thought that this would be a random catgirl show when I first saw the title. At least it’s creative. It’s in no way going to be a good series, but at least it’s creative.
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
Why I don’t like it: This series has this one line in its premise when I looked it up on ANN: “the young woman who feels far more for her brother than sibling love”. Yeah. It’s one of those shows. Beyond that, it’s a high school show about magic users, so yet again another really bland and boring premise.
Why I don’t like it: Boring fighting show with a ridiculously complicated reasoning in order to try and explain why the fate of humanity rests on a bunch of teenagers. It fails. Great background art though.
Akuma no Riddle
Why I don’t like it: Another ridiculously stupid premise: there is a school, where one of the students is targetted by 12 assassins who all disguise themselves as random students. Lots of early warning signs, like loads of snarky characters and character-designs that look exactly the same aside from just some hair swapped around. Unfortunately it looks like just another battle show without much creativity.
Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii
Why I don’t like it: I think the best way to describe this one, is if you see it as the director of Fushigi Yuugi doing a similar series. The premise of a princess being sent off to a young king who somehow did a really good job at conquering at least has that same feeling. The premise does seem rather juvenile, though and I don’t have much hope for it.
Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara
Why I don’t like it: The director of Space Brothers doing a crappy harem show. Well, so much for him then.
Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky
Why I don’t like it: The one thing that this series has going for it is that the people adapting it have more than a decade of experience. An RPG adaptation isn’t necessarily bad, if enough things work well. However, the central focus of this series seems to be fighting with alchemy. Boring! Been there, done that!
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?
Why I don’t like it: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu is working on this project, and he is a great writer who uses lots of emotion in his storytelling. If only the story he’s going to tell this time was a bit more than “a girl works at a cafe and cute girls drop by”. I mean have some variety at the very least: advertise with a diverse cast. Why does everyone have to be a cute girl on the promotional material? In this way everyone just looks like each other!
No Game, No Life
Why I don’t like it: OH MY GOD, THE EYE CANDY! Anyways, this one probably is the most interesting show in the list that I’m not interested in, it looks good, it’s got a very good director and adapter. I would have given it potential, if it wasn’t for a few red lights that I saw here. First of all, there’s the overabundance of cute girls. They try to hide it, but when you look at the trailer you see lots of shots just being cute girls demonstrating flashy powers. Been there, done that. The premise of this show is that all violence has been outlawed. That’s definitely not something that you can gather from the trailer. The whole premise of this show depends on the games that nations need to play in order to compete with each other. If you can make these games creative and inspired, then that would make a good series, but you don’t do that by focusing way too much on these flashy powers. That’s boring!
One Week Friends
Why I don’t like it: This show. It’s a cross between 50 First Dates and Kimi ni Todoke! It’s probably going to be the best school series on this list, but it lacks a bit of ambition if I have to be really honest here. You can make this work really well, but only if you really put in the effort, which I don’t think these creators will be able to.
Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to
Why I don’t like it: Yet another ridiculously complicated excuse to have two characters frisk up each other and just show some touching some boobs. I mean I’m not denying that some mangaka indeed draw inspiration from their girl/boyfriends for their sex scenes and all, but that doesn’t mean that you have to make an entire series about it. Here’s an idea: how about we make a series that’s about a guy and a girl, who are in a healthy relationship and are living together after about a year of dating? Outrageous right? You can show all the sex you want!
Kamigami no Asobi ~Ludere deorum~
Why I don’t like it: Ahem. Let me quote the premise for this series, because this is too priceless not to share: “Kusanagi Yui is ordered by Zeus, a god and the headmaster of a school he created, to teach the meaning of love to young and handsome gods. The reason he has for doing this is to cancel the negative effects of the weakening bond between the world of the divine and the world of the humans.” – This has got to be the most ridiculously far-fetched premise I have ever seen for a bishie series, and with stuff like Uta Prince already existing that has to say something!
Series I Am Looking Forward To
Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun
Summary: ” In the late Edo period, Japan had experienced an unprecedented crisis by Kurofune (Black Ships), the ships from foreign countries. But a giant robot called Onigami, which has existed since ancient time, dispelled the Kurofune ships and the exclusion of foreigners was accomplished. The story begins in Japan where Meiji restoration in 1868 didn’t happen.”
– (Taken from ANN)
ACGT, JC Staff
Director: Takashi Watanabe
Script: Dai Sato
Impressions: This one looks like crap, and it probably will be. However I do want to put your attention to the two main people in charge, who are two of the biggest trolls walking around in the anime business. Takashi Watanabe, I know he is intelligent. Otherwise he could not have directed something as Boogiepop Phantom and Starship Operators. Most of the time though, he just acts like a complete idiot. Dai Sato goes the same: this guy is a really talented writer with a drive to create unique works of art, however has been known to sell out if he’s assigned on a project just to make money. It also doesn’t really help that the art for this one is horrible.
First-Glance Potential: 20%
Hitsugi no Chaika
Summary: ” Toru Acura is a 20-year-old retired soldier meandering through life now that the war has ended. He encounters Chaika Trabant, a 14-year-old sorceress carrying a coffin, and follows her in hopes of finding meaning to his life again. The two travel with Toru’s adopted sister, Akari, the employed member of the group and thus Toru’s source of income.”
– (Taken from ANN)
Director: Sochi Masui
Script: Touko Machida
Impressions: Yes, there is hope! This series can be seen as the spiritual successor to Scrapped Princess: it’s based on a novel by Scrapped Princess’ author and the director is also going to return. Now while I wasn’t the biggest fan of Scrapped Princess, I did appreciate what it was trying to do. It just could have been done better, so here’s to a second chance. The premise of focusing on a war veteran after a war has ended? That’s actually pretty nice. Simple, but you can do stuff with that. I do have to put a question mark to the promo art though: that puts the emphasis on fighting with magical powers. Don’t do that! Focus on the psychological aspect!
First-Glance Potential: 50%
Nanana’s Buried Treasure
Summary: ” original novel centers around the treasure of Nanana, a ghost who was once a beautiful but NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) girl. A boy named Jugo was disowned by his father and forced to transfer to a high school on the “Special Student Zone,” an artificial island. With only 40,000 yen (about US$400) a month to live on, Jugo chooses a low-rent apartment that happens to be haunted by Nanana. Jugo and members of the school’s adventure club join a “treasure hunt royale” on the island for the Nanana Collection, a treasure that possesses a mysterious power.”
– (Taken from ANN)
Director: Kanta Kamei
Script: Hideyuki Kurata
Impressions: Well, it IS a Noitamina about teenagers, and granted this does look very sketchy, there are other parts of the story that seem like they have ambition in them. For that I’m interested. Kanta Kamei is a solid director after what he has shown with Silver Spoon and Bunny Drop, and my inner mystery-fan might find this one interesting.
First-Glance Potential: 50%
Summary: “Hope, desire, greed. Girls with each of these feelings in their hearts are being swallowed into the vortex of a dangerous game…”
– (Taken from ANN)
Director: Takuya Sato
Script: Mari Okada
Impressions: Mari Okada again, this time accompanied by the director of Steins;Gate and JC Staff. This can work. The trailer looks quite impressive: it knows its atmosphere, and this seems to become quite a psychological series that ties these six girls together. I see potential here to become a very interesting series, and Mari Okada can actually go all-out psycho here. Note: a good story takes balance: you can’t just go psycho all the time and think you can get away with it.
First-Glance Potential: 80%
Knights of Sidonia
Summary: ” It’s been a thousand years since the Gauna, a strange alien race with no known method of communication, destroyed the solar system. A portion of humanity managed to escape using enormous “seed ships” like the Sidonia, which have allowed them to maintain the population while drifting through space. Nagate Tanikaze is a young man who has been raised deep in the bowels of the ship. When he goes into training to pilot the huge robotic weapons known as Gardes, Nagate is entrusted with piloting the legendary unit known as Tsugumori. Nagate and his fellow pilots put their lives on the line against the Gauna, in the ultimate battle for the survival of humanity.”
– (Taken from ANN)
Director: Kobun Shizuno
Script: Sadayuki Murai
Impressions: Sadayuki Murai is one of the best people at adapting stories currently in the business. He brilliantly adapted Mouryou no Hako, the final two seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou and Boogiepop Phantom for their anime format. This time it’s a manga written by the creator of Blame, which seems to be quite a famous manga, although I’ve never read it. It’s in full CG so the faces look a bit awkward, but the trailer has me intrigued and it looks very good. Just one thing: please let that girl do more than just hold the main character’s hand and get dragged along. If you do that then I’ll drop this show really quickly.
First-Glance Potential: 80%
Summary: “One night right before summer vacation, Daichi Manatsu, a second-year in high school, sees a weird round rainbow floating in the sky above Seed Island (Shuushi/Tane Island) and ventures there alone. He has seen this rainbow before. With the memories of his father’s mysterious death and an encounter of a mysterious boy and girl, Daiji arrives on the island while the alarm of a building labeled “Earth Engine” is going off. Someone asks him if he’s a captain, just as robotic intruders from Uranus called “Kiltgang” arrive. The battle around the shining stars is about to begin.”
– (Taken from ANN)
Director: Takuya Igarashi
Script: Yoji Enokido
Impressions: Do you know what this is? This is the creators of Star Driver making another series! Basically, what this means is the following: this will be a mecha-series made by people who haven’t been into the genre, and therefore aren’t the most familiar with most of its conventions, as seen with the Galactic Pretty Boy. What has me most interested here is that there are some people involved who can deliver some really great series. Bones is very solid as an animation studio, Takuya Igarashi directed Ashita no Nadja, and Ouran High School Host Club (series that really stood out in their presentation), while Yoji Enokido wrote Revolutionary Girl Utena, Redline and parts of FLCL, and Rahxephon. Yes, there is talent here! One side-note though: the visuals are boring and standard. The robot and characters look generic.
First-Glance Potential: 85%
Summary: “Tsukimoto Makoto (nicknamed Smile) is a quiet high-schooler who’s been friend with the loud and energetic Hoshino Yukata (nicknamed Peko). They’re both in the table tennis club and are very good at it, though Smile’s personnality enables him from winning against Peko. The club teacher however notices Smile’s talent and tries to make him gain some sportive tenacity.”
– (Taken from ANN)
Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Script: Taiyo Matsumoto
Impressions: I said before: at this point sports series have to bring something very impressive to the table. These are the people to do it. The guy who wrote Tekkon Kinkreet and Masaaki Yuasa. Two people who have an amazing eye of bringing people to life. That’s what a series like this needs. The premise is generic here, so they’re going to have to do something very special here to make it work. But if anyone can, they will. The trailer already showed signs of potential.
First-Glance Potential: 90%
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
Impressions: I remember how incredibly fun the first season of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was. And the great thing is that every arc is significantly different, with different characters to do things with. This is the series you need to be at if you want over the top action, because it will deliver, and much, much more. It’s one of those series in which both the source material rocked, and the animation really managed to bring the characters alive. This will be chockful of adrenaline!
First-Glance Potential: 95%
Summary: “They are neither plants nor animals. They differ from other forms of life such as the micro-organisms and the fungi. Instead they resemble the primeval body of life and are generally known as “Mushi”. Their existence and appearance are unknown to many and only a limited number of humans are aware of them. Ginko is a “Mushi-shi” who travels around to investigate and find out more about the “Mushi”. In the process, he also lends a helping hand to people who face problems with supernatural occurances which may be related to the “Mushi”.”
– (Taken from ANN)
Director: Hiroshi Nagahama
Script: Hiroshi Nagahama
Impressions: Well, what can really be said here? One of the best anime ever made, getting a second season in order to animate the rest of the manga chapters that the first season never got to, all by the same creators and the same director. Hiroshi Nagahama is a brilliant director who screws every possible convention in order to get the best out of his work, no matter what. There of course is the danger of expecting too much, so I’m not going to expect this to blow my mind. And I’ll try to get to the 1-Hour special as soon as possible.
First-Glance Potential: 100%