Posted by psgels on 28 May 2014 with categories: Seasonal Previews

Some trends for the upcoming summer season: the series aimed at girls seem to be getting big again after a long drought. The problem is that like the series aimed at boys, a lot of them are looking to be really bad. Beyond that, there are lots of series that have concepts that have been done to death by now. I’m nearly inclined to dub this season “The Summer of Dead Horses”.

On the good news though, there are quite a number of series that are looking to have some serious potential. And not in the way of the Autumn of 2013 in which everything seemed great, only to feature many, many disappointments, but actually in the way that there will be a lot worth watching here, series that take themselves seriously, or are trying out something different. Well, many. Many for the standards of the past few years.

As usual, lots of assumptions follow. I do not read manga so I have no idea about any original source material and stuff. My impressions are purely based on the stuff that I can say something about, like the staff, premise and promotional material. These ain’t full reviews, yo.

Series that I Don’t Look Forward To

Momo Kyun Sword

Why I don’t like it:`Yeah, this one is going to be terrible. It’s in the genre where cute girls with lots of boob fight with big powers, while at the same time raping the original story of Momotaro (the kid who was born from a peach). I mean, just look at the art here the creators weren’t trying to be subtle about the characters’ cleavage in any way were they?

Pripara

Why I don’t like it: It’s yet another one of those shows there to promote idols. Seriously, that too has turned into a complete dead horse. I wouldn’t mind so much if we just got one of these shows once in a while or something, like what it used to be in the past, but nowadays they’re everywhere! Idols are not so special that they deserve this many series people! The only saving grace here is that it’s from the director of Milky Holmes, but this isn’t a genre he can parody so well because it would make the idols look bad. Blegh.

Himegoto

Why I don’t like it: This is a stupid cross-dressing show with a ridiculous premise. The worst thing is that it’s the same bloody premise that every single bad cross-dressing series uses for its shenanigans: for some contrived reason a dude needs to enter a female only high school and therefore he needs to dress up like a girl. Blah boring! Skip this one!

Jinsei

Why I don’t like it: Well first of all it’s a light novel adaptation with an overly cute girl on the front page. That’s one of the clearest early signs that this will be bad. And yeah, it’s a dull school series. The premise however does hold a tiny shred of potential: it’s about the writer of a life advice column of the school newspaper that follows a few of the life advice requests he needs to write about. If they can deal with those requests intelligently, then this might make a chance. But then I direct your attention back to the covers of the light novels, which all feature overly cute girls in suggestive poses and yeah… this one’s gonna suck.

Survival Game Club

Why I don’t like it: Blah blah, another club full of girls at school that does something. Again something we’ve seen waaaay too many times by now. This time it’s about survival games, and is that me or does that really sound eerily similar to that Gainax show about the gun club that came out last Autumn?

Persona 4 The Golden

Why I don’t like it: Ooh, I still remember what a disaster the original Persona 4 anime was, and now they’re planning to make more! It was completely incomprehensible for people who didn’t play the game. It spent huge amounts of time on things that didn’t matter, and flew through the important bits. It was littered with bad humour. It was the first point at which I realized that Seiji Kishi had completely lost it with his new style, and he’s back. However he really turned into a Shinbo-wannabe right now by assuming the task of chief director while another director is the real one. And I know that having a chief director and a director is more common and all, but none are trying to rip off Shinbo as blatantly as he is. I have a pity with the fans of the Atlus that they keep getting stuck with this guy. I mean in the span of a couple of years he managed to turn me off completely to their games.

Nobunaga Concerto

Why I don’t like it: Normally I’m a bit more lenient on historical manga that look kindof serious. But for god’s sake come on! A high school boy who travels back in time and who must become Oda Nobunaga? Is that the best you can think of? Let’s try to rape his character even more by turning him into a high school boy for god’s sake. Japan has many more interesting time periods. You don’t have to stick with this guy. Here is the weird thing: when Sengoku Basara did it, the warring states era was hardly ever used as a setting. After that though, every single historical series suddenly was about that bloody period, to the point where there was hardly anything else. I mean come on Japan: move on!

Francesca

Why I don’t like it: You just know that this one will be bad: it’s basically one big advertisement for Hokkaido (like, the island), personified in a cute girl. As a zombie. Or at least, something that’s supposed to be a zombie. WHATEVER IS ON THAT PROMO IMAGE IS NOT A ZOMBIE.

Akame ga Kill

Why I don’t like it: This one doesn’t seem like anything special: it’s just another show in which a boy and a girl use magical powers to fight some evil empire. The weapons look stupid, the character designs bland. The sole salvation here is that there isn’t a school to be found, but that’s nowhere near enough to make up for the blandness of the rest.

Hanayamata

Why I don’t like it: Here’s a case of talented people being wasted on the wrong project. I mean, these people aren’t bad at all. They worked on some really good stuff: Madhouse, Reiko Yoshida and Atsuko Ishizuka (the latter in particular: she’s one of the few female directors who actually made it into the big leagues and consistently gets assigned to projects). However, what’s the show about? High School Girls dancing. Now Yosakoi is something that we haven’t seen before and all, but there is no hint whatsoever that there will be any depth here. Tip for future promo artists: don’t feature an all-cute girl cast on your image who look way too much like each other and nothing else. That’s just bland and boring!

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei!

Why I don’t like it: For god’s sake stop milking out the Fate franchise! It’s done, it’s over! Enough already and think of something new here. this is just getting ridiculous!

Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance

Why I don’t like it: Yeah, this one will be really bad, all of the warning signs are there. A promo full of only cute girls, they all use magic, they are all of nobility, and there is exactly one guy who gets to be special and ends up inbetween them for contrived reasons. Next!

Shounen Hollywood

Why I don’t like it: Aaagh! More idols! Such creativity! This one does come from the director of Sukitte Ii na Yo, however can we for god’s sake tone it down on the sheer number of these things?

Invaders of the Rokujyouma!?

Why I don’t like it: Yup, many warning signs that this is going to be terrible. All the male characters are absent from the main promo art on the website, character designs who all look the same aside from hair, eyes and boob sizes, a bland premise for a show. Not to mention Shin Oonuma and Silver Link being at it again. This is one to skip.

Argevollen

Why I don’t like it: Aaah yes, finally! Xebec is going back to making mecha series, the thing that they did that they were actually good at, until they radically shifted their focus towards producing crappy fanservice shows. Tatsuo Sato will write it, and this is a guy who also wrote Mouretsu Pirates, Basquash, Madesico, Shingu, and adapted Azumanga Daioh, and the director will be… what?! Atsushi Ootsuka? The director of To Love-Ru, Kanokon and Ladies Versus Butlers? Some of the worst shows Xebec has ever made!?! Seriously, you really couldn’t get anyone better? And yeah, the trailer confirmed that this is just going to be a dumb action series with a generic plot.

Magimoji Rurumo

Why I don’t like it: I do have to hand it to Rurumo: it’s got its own premise. It’s not completely original, but at the very least it has a premise that doesn’t attempt to rip off as many other generic series as possible. However, that does not mean that I look forward to a series with a tagline called “Pervert and Apprentice”. I find sex jokes bad really easily, so this show is going to have to try really really hard not to be annoying. So yeah, that’s not going to happen.

Love Stage

Why I don’t like it:Kenichi Kasai, the director who gave us the brilliant rendition that were the first season of Nodame Cantabile and Honey and Clover! After years of silence he’s finally back with another series: shounen ai! Fans of shounen ai: rejoice! Non-fans of shounen-ai: keep waiting. He may be brilliant, but he isn’t able to make people buy a genre they previously weren’t into.

Dramatical Murder

Why I don’t like it:Oh my god, BL with an actual plot! The problem with boys’ love series is that they’re just too often entirely dedicated to fanservice, to the point where the fanservice gets completely in the way of any potential that might have been there. Show me a great series that has a gay couple in it and I won’t complain at all. The reason I’m not looking forward to this is the one who’s going to adapt this: Machida Touko. Her adaptations comprise Amnesia, Allison to Lillia, Ookami Kakushi… basically lots of series that completely botched any potential that their original source material had.

Rail Wars

Why I don’t like it:Here’s an interesting one. The premise is creative, I like that, and I really want to like this series, but everything else is throwing up red flags: the guy who adapted Kanokon will adapt this, it’s based off of a bunch of light novels, the stereotypical character descriptions, and how the poses that the characters are all making are all trying a little too hard. Don’t get me wrong, these don’t immediately mean that we’re dealing with a bad series here. But there are an awful lot of hints that do point into that direction.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Why I don’t like it: I don’t really have anything to whine about here. It seems like a standard romance, just not a special one. It will work decently if the creators take care in developing all of the characters, they don’t make the romance too stupid or convoluted, the usual stuff. It won’t stand out in any way though, which is why I’m not looking forward to it.

Free – Eternal Summer

Why I don’t like it: Well, this obviously had it coming, the actually well produced slice of life series with lots of gay undertones. What sets Free apart from the shows like Utapri is that it actually bothers to put some effort into its characterizations, and making the characters come alive rather than portraying them as a bunch of cardboard boxes. They’re stil stereotypes, but hey at least it’s something: it’s progress. I’m obviously not going to watch it, but I do have a question to the fans of the series: does it really warrant a second season, or is this just milking it?

Ao Haru Ride

Why I don’t like it: Don’t get me wrong: Ao Haru Ride looks like a very solid romance. I can just say with certainty that the premise just isn’t interesting enough that I’m going to continue watching it. I mean, it’s got the director of Yahari blahblah, a solid scriptwriter, a premise that’s neither good nor bad or overused. It’s just another high school romance that doesn’t try to pretend it’s anything else. And I just don’t want to watch those shows any more.

Bakumatsu Rock

Why I don’t like it: Oooh, the cheese. Plus this show gets points for being historical and not featuring Oda Freaking Nobunaga. This sounds like a series that’s so bad that makes it worth watching at least an episode, featuring some bizarre love child between AKB0048 and Utapri. It will be glorious. Gloriously bad, but glorious. (For those uninitiated, this is a show about a bunch of bishies who try to save the Bakumatsu era with hard rock!)

Psycho Pass Recap

Why I don’t like it: This entry is just here to prevent confusion, which will very likely to be there considering how bad rumours can spread over the internet. Psycho Pass Season 2 will air for the upcoming fall season. I am psyched about that one. This summer season meanwhile will re-air the first season as an 11-episoded series with 50-minute episodes, and a few re-cuts here and there that probably will not amount to much. However, they’re really trying to make this one big, and they’re really profiling this series as targeted towards adults. This is good, Noitamina is slowly but steadily returning to what actually made it good. This is actually pretty important here, because this isn’t trivial. Out of all the possible series to focus on, the producers chose Psycho Pass. Not Guilty Crown, not Fractale. Psycho Pass. They really want to keep the original spirit of the timeslot going.

Series I Am Looking Forward To

Kuroshitsuji – Book of Circus

Summary: “In Victorian-era London, on the night of Ciel Phantomhive’s tenth birthday a fire destroyed his manor and killed both of his parents. In a moment of death Ceil strikes a deal with a demon, his soul in exchange for revenge. This demon becomes his butler and calls himself by name of Sebastian Michaelis, to protect and serve Ciel until the deal has been completed. One month after the fire Ciel returns from being missing, with his new butler Sebastian. Ceil is now the head of the Phantomhive corporation, handling all business affairs as well as the work as the Queen of England’s guard dog and looking for his parents murders.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Noriyuki Abe
Series composition: Hiroyuki Yoshino

Impressions: OH GOD NO! The new season of Kuroshitsuji has a completely new staff behind it. Noriyuki Abe is actually a very skilled director: before directing Bleach he gave us Great Teacher Onizuka, and that was no fluke even with a very strong source material. Kuroshitsuji is exactly the kind of series that can get something great out of him again. The first two seasons were adapted by Mari Okada, and this actually fitted her very well as a series with the craziness that went on. For season three though… we have to deal with Uber-troll Hiroyuki Yoshino. If you don’t know him, be glad. This is the guy who wrote the original story for Seikon no Qwaser, Guilty Crown, Code Geass, Mai Otome. This guy writes grandiose stories which are often so grandiose and convoluted that they collapse in on themselves. His adaptations are hardly ever complete, even when well written. You’re almost guaranteed to get a completely botched up ending here, even though the endings are what I loved about the first two seasons of Kuroshitsuji. And to make things even worse, Ichiro Okouchi, the original creator of Code Geass and the writer of Valvrave is joining in for the scripts!

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Tokyo ESP

Summary: “The science fantasy story begins with Rinka, an extremely poor high school girl who lives with just her father in modern Tokyo. One day, she is going home from school when she chases a “flying penguin” to the top of New Tokyo Tower — only to have “fish swimming in the air” suddenly appear before her. One of the fish goes through Rinka and gives her extraordinary powers beyond those of normal humans, particularly the ability to slip through solid objects.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ?
Director: ?
Series composition: ?

Impressions: Because no staff has been announced whatsoever, I’m going to go and give this one the benefit of the doubt. Why? The bits of creativity in the premise and the promo artwork. Because of that it might have potential, but the whole premise is one that really can go both ways: from great to terrible. It needs to be more than “girls fight each other with supernatural powers”. We’ve seen that so many times before. Give us some depth here.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Sailor Moon Crystal

Summary: “Usagi Tsukino was a normal second-year middle school girl whose own life changes one day when she encounters a black cat. The cat’s name is Luna who can talk and bears a crescent moon on her forehead. Luna tells Usagi that she is the chosen guardian of justice with the power to transform into Sailor Moon. Usagi now has a new responsibility which is a mission to find the Illusionary Silver Crystal as well as the other chosen guardians to protect the Moon Princess. During her mission, she must deal with various enemies sent by Queen Beryl who is also after the Illusionary Silver Crystal.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Toei
Director: Munehisa Sakai
Series composition: Yoji Kobayashi

Impressions: First of all I should exclaim that I’m not a Sailor Moon fan. My relationship with it was a weird one, because it was one of the series that I watched on Dutch television before I actually discovered the internet. However, it had just the bad luck to air at a really inconvenient time in the morning, right before Card Captor Sakura. I LOVED Card Captor Sakura, and in comparison Sailor Moon seemed just a cheap knock-off (I only learned later that it in fact was quite a bit older) with some annoying characters and a romance purposefully dragged itself out for ages. Not to mention that the network ended up cancelling giving Card Captor Sakura an even more impossible timeslot in favour of Sailor Moon. So that’s not the reason I’m looking forward to this. The reason I’m looking forward to this is that it’s the first ambitious shoujo series we’ve had in many years now. We seriously needed something to revitalize the genre, and Toei really seems to have allocated a big budget to make it happen. For that, I want this series to succeed. Not for Sailor Moon, but for the shoujo genre as a whole. It used to be one of my favorite genres, but it got completely pushed aside by the shounen genres to the point that the only shoujo shows we nowadays get are school series.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

ALDNOAH.ZERO

Summary: “In 1972, a hypergate was discovered on the surface of the moon. However, war breaks between humans on Earth and those who immigrated to Mars.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Ei Aoki
Series composition: Katsuhiko Takayama
Original writer: Gen Urobuchi
Music: Hiroyuki Sawano

Impressions: Yup, we’ve got a solid one here. The winner of the most creative website, and overall it’s got a really solid casting behind it with an original story by Gen Urobuchi, directed by Ei Aoki who is very consistent as a director (you may remember him from one of the Kara no Kyoukai movies and Fate Zero), the music from the guy who wrote the score for Shingeki no Kyojin and Kill la Kill (and Kalafina for the opening yay!). Yes, this is ambitious. The key deciding factor for this one will be the series composition: Gen isn’t gonna write it this time, someone else is. So who will it be? Katsuhiko Takayama, the guy who in the past adapted ef, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Ga-Rei Zero, Hantsuki, only to afterwards completely lose it with Boku no Pico, Asobi ni Iku Yo, Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate, Majikoi, Sasami@Ganbaranai and Dusk Maiden of Amnesia. So, the matter for this series will entirely depend on one thing: does this guy still have it? Can he still write serious stories, or has his mind been diluted too much by writing senseless crap? I mean, if that’s well, then the rest of the creators can make something out of it. He is the one who will make or break this show.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Glasslip

Summary: “I won’t forget the summer we met. The place was a little town tucked in between the ocean and the mountains. There, they met a transfer student. The sun is so dazzling, and the fireworks are so fleeting. A story that starts in summer that six high school students experience.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: PA Works
Director: Junji Nishimura
Series composition: Rika Sato, Junji Nishimura

Impressions: There was a time at which I worshipped Junji Nishimura, the guy behind Simoun, one of my favourite series in like, ever. Then came Kyou Kara Maou… and Nurarihyon no Mago… and Dog Days… and I really started to doubt this guy… however this time, I’ll bite. This guy is brilliant at original stories, which is exactly what this series is: he’s both writing and directing it so he should have an amount of control that should allow his talents to surface again after so many years (dear god, I feel old now that I realize that True Tears was already six years ago!)

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Barakamon

Summary: “The slice-of-life comedy manga centers around the ikemen (handsome) 23-year-old calligrapher Seishu Handa, who moves to the remote Gotou Islands off the western coast of Kyushu. Seishuu grew up in the city, and the manga chronicles his interactions with the people of the island, who drive tractors on public roads and don’t enter through his front door when they visit. On top of that, Seishuu’s house becomes a hangout for the island’s children.” – (Taken from AN)
Produced by: Kinema Citrus
Director: Masaki Tachibana
Series composition: Pierre Sugiura
Music: Kenji Kawai

Impressions: After many years of absence, Kenji Kawai is doing the soundtrack for another series! Awesome! And it’s quite an interesting slice of life series which really seems to be aiming to bring something new to the table. We know that it’s in able hands, with the director of Tokyo Magnitude,

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Tokyo Ghoul

Summary: “The suspense horror/dark fantasy story is set in Tokyo, which is haunted by mysterious “ghouls” who are devouring humans. People are gripped by the fear of these ghouls whose identities are masked in mystery. An ordinary college student named Kaneki encounters Rize, a girl who is an avid reader like him, at the café he frequents. Little does he realize that his fate will change overnight.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Pierrot
Director: Shuhei Morita
Series composition: Chūji Mikasano

Impressions: Now this is an example of how you grab my attention. Promo art that stands out and immediately tells you that something is going to happen here. The premise may not say much, but we know that we’ve got ourselves a horror story, plus it’s made by people who are outside of the conventional anime business. The Shuhei Morita directed Freedom, which was actually a pretty good science fiction series, and he has done many other short indie films, rather than big titles. They also got an actual playwright in in order to adapt this series, rather than picking from the usual scriptwriters, and I’m really curious what difference he can bring to the table.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Zankyou no Tokyo

Summary: “On a summer day. A massive terrorist bombing suddenly struck Tokyo. The culprits behind the act that woke up this complacent nation from its slumber, were just two boys. Now, the culprits known as “Sphinx” begin a grandiose game that encompasses all of Japan.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: MAPPA
Director: Shinichiro Watanabe
Music: Yoko Kann

Impressions: Now this series screams Noitamina, this series understood it. It’s not even that the characters are teenagers that can distract from that. Here we have a series with a skilled and famous director, lots of production behind it, looking ambitious from all sides and dealing with actual current issues that are grounded in the real world, rather than just the fantasy that most anime series are stuck at. The trailer looks and sounds excellent, and with Shinichiro Watanabe being really busy this season, this series is something to look out for!

First-Glance Potential: 95%

Space Dandy 2

Summary: ” Space Dandy is a space hunter, someone who is paid to search for new, undiscovered alien species. It’s an industry where the prize goes to the person who finds aliens the fastest. Dandy searches unknown planets for strange beings with his companions, QT the worn-out robot and Meow from Betelgeuse. Meanwhile, they’re being chased by minions of the Gogol Empire, for reasons that are still a mystery.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Bones
Chief Director: Shinichiro Watanabe
Director: Shingo Natsume

Impressions: Two Shinichiro Watanabe series in one season. Holy balls this is going to be awesome. And with Space Dandy, we already know what kind of a series it is: every single episode is different. Shinichiro Watanabe can handle two series at the time because of how much freedom he can give out with this series: every episode is basically in the hands of a group of talented people, and they’re instructed to be as creative as possible. The first season already showed that that was a great combination, as long as you don’t expect the next Cowboy Bebop. However, I do wonder what the creators have in store for closure. The second season needs that, something to really leave behind a fantastic taste.

First-Glance Potential: 100%

58 Responses

  1. Flawfinder says:

    As a guy who didn’t like Free, I can say that no, it did not need this. It’ll probably be Chuunibyou 2 all over again. Oh well, it makes the fujoshi happy, so I can’t complain too much that they’re getting their swimming boys. But at least give Rei more importance.

    Anyways, I think this season looks pretty decent in terms of potential. Kind of want to see Rail Wars just for the premise and Witchcraft Works has left me more open to JC Staff magical girlfriend stuff, though I doubt this one will be nearly as fun. I’ll see when these shows actually come out.

    You forgot SAO II though. Just saying. :P

    • psgels psgels says:

      Oh wait, I thought that I missed something.

      Ah well, it’s not like it’s an important series or something. :P

      • Flawfinder says:

        Bwahahaha!

        @rubix22 My excitement at seeing my “favorite” anime studio animate one of the most try-hard manga I’ve ever seen knows no peak either.

  2. rubix22 says:

    For a little clarification, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun isn’t a romance. Sure there’s “shoujo” involved, but it’s not what you think.

    Also, there’s an anime for Akame ga Kill? What? When did this happen? By White Fox? Oh god, my PTSD is kicking in.

  3. Vawn1337 says:

    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is actually a hilarious manga. Its not big in the romance department as it appears to be. Im really looking forward to it.
    Akame ga Kiru should at least be good. Its going to be A LOT darker than you’re expecting from the promotional pictures of the series. Nothing really stands out in terms of plot or characters, but the action is done really well.

    • Litho says:

      Yeah. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki is pretty damn funny in manga format. I suspect psgels will miss out on that one.

  4. ninjarealist ninjarealist says:

    You should check out the Francesca PV only because it’s literally the worst anime PV I’ve ever seen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za7xzhz8Vdg

    This one could be so bad it’s actually funny.

  5. Houlgrave says:

    I’ll be the first up to bat to defend Akame ga Kill here: the manga is very solid and a lot of fun. Whether or not that kinetic quality will translate to the anime or not is another story entirely, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. :)

    • Chad says:

      I agree entirely, I’m not too much of a fan of these “first impressions”. They’re entirely unfounded and the author didn’t seem to do any research on them.

  6. Edge says:

    I am actually offended that you wrote of akame ga kill like that lol. I’m aware that his is purely based on first impressions on the synopsis so you dont have much to work with, but i do hope you do give series like that a chance since akame ga kill is way more dark and amazing than you seem to think it is at first glance

    • umibozu says:

      Akame ga kill Starts off. . Okay. but as time goes on The Authors bad writting habits start to show. It pretty much shows that the Author is Trying to hard at being Gen Urobuchi without understanding what makes character deaths important, and why Gen does them right (AgK does them wrong.) As it goes on the bad writing starts to show so much that I just had to drop the series as a whole. so yeah Psgels was right on that one.

  7. AidanAK47 says:

    “For god’s sake stop milking out the Fate franchise! It’s done, it’s over! Enough already and think of something new here. this is just getting ridiculous!”

    …I…I actually argee with this sentence completely. Shocking though it may be.

    Don’t listen to Edge. Akame no kill wants to remain shounen so bad that the only way it can is by making the villains cartoonishly evil. So killing is morally right and none of that actual complex dilemmas of a job that involves killing people. I is also dark in the same way that mortal kombat is dark. Childish wannabe dark.

    • Shadell says:

      I kind of get the feeling you read 2-3 chapters of the manga, then dropped it before any of the sympathetic villains got introduced or the main characters started getting killed off en mass. The series does have a weak start and does frequently resort to cartoonish degrees of evil in its villains at times. At the same time, there are many in a certain recurring villain group that manage to become as sympathetic as the protagonists while remaining firmly in the antagonist camp,fighting, killing and being killed by the protagonists.

      The ‘darkness’ of the series being referenced is, I believe, the tendency to gleefully and arbitrarily murder main characters which does wonders for raising the suspense because the usual shounen sense that all the characters you like pretty much have long term plot immunity and are almost certainly going to survive if not win every fight… is completely gone by the time the second or third well developed protagonist dies.

    • JaK says:

      akame no kill is bad bad shounen that tries to hide the hollowness of its story with extremely badly placed gore :)

    • Jalapeno Bagel says:

      Akame is well-done, solid shounen and that’s all it wants to be. The real villains are detestable at a basic level and the “rivals” are well-rounded, but also on a clearly different path from the protagonists. It has fun with itself, at the very least.

  8. b00bage says:

    Tokyo Ghoul and Tokyo ESP I’m sold.

  9. Raven says:

    Tokyo Ghoul loos like my must see next season, love a good horror series.

  10. random person says:

    Tokyo ESP gets an anime? How the hell did I miss that
    With right adaptation it can turn out pretty well

  11. Progress says:

    Glad to see the return of Psycho Pass, and Zankyou no Terror in noitaminA. Though I wouldn’t be so quick to assume noitaminA is returning to what made it so good, since we are getting another LN adaptation in Winter 2015.

    I’m apprehensive about Kuroshitsuji and Aldnoah; I did like the first 2 seasons of Kuroshitsuji and the Urobuchi+Sawano combo for Aldnoah, but given A-1 Pictures recent record I’m not too optimistic.

  12. Shell says:

    Finally a season with series that seem interesting! For the past 2 seasons I’ve practically been tearing my hair out because of all the mediocrity. Ao Haru Ride is a really solid shoujo manga, so there is something to look forward to. Zankou no Tokyo and Tokyo Ghoul both look really good, crossing my fingers for those two.

  13. guest says:

    I just wanne say – and prevent disappointment – that imo Tokyo Ghoul isnt really worth looking forward. its not horror – sure, it starts that way but after three/four? chapters, its more like some bizarre form of slice of life???
    However, thats only the impression I got after reading some of the chapters. I dont know if the story changes once again, but I think that after the plot crossed a certain line, its not possible anymore to stick to the horror genre.
    Like I said – please correct me if Im wrong, but Id describe it as a childish series, trying to look mature – but only in the beginnung.

    • SerRompalot says:

      I’m up to the current latest translated chapter, and I can tell you that the slice of life is there so that the main character can fight to return to some measure of normalcy.

  14. Fer says:

    psgels, I think you’re being way too narrow-minded and prejudiced about the staff of Kuroshitsuji – Book of Circus.

    Let me explain in detail.

    One reason is that Yoshino already wrote several episodes of the first season of Kuroshitsuji (6,7,10,15,19,20). Did you all hate those episodes or something?

    He’s already familiar with the property and not an entirely new person. That said, Yoshino didn’t work on the second season at all.

    Another reason is that you’re generalizing too damn much. Yoshino has also written Sora no Woto, Macross Frontier and other shows that didn’t have those problems you mentioned. He also wrote My-Hime too, not just My-Otome.

    And finally, I think your knee-jerk overreaction to the presence of Ichiro Okouchi as merely an episodic script writer is even less justified than the above. He will just write a few episodes, not the

    But how’s that a problem? Did the episode Okouchi wrote for Space Dandy (5) offend you? Or how about the episodes he wrote for Eureka 7 (6,20,26)? As far as full series go, he also adapted Azumanga Daioh, Planetes and Shigofumi, so don’t act like he didn’t write anything you ever enjoyed.

    Expecting that Kuroshitsuji will suddenly turn into Guilty Crown or Valvrave has no basis in reality. Only in bias and ignorance. If anything, I think the fact Kuroshitsuji is more comedic, even if it also has drama involved, will be a good thing.

  15. m says:

    I intend to take a look at ALDNOAH.ZERO, Glasslip, and Zanyou no Terror. I’ll continue watching Space Dandy, since the creators haven’t convinced me not to yet.

    Gen’s involvement in a work doesn’t really pull as much weight with me after 2013, but apparently it’s still enough to lead me into another mecha series.

    Some of the promotional material for Glasslip has me concerned about the mix of visual styles they’ll be using, and the visuals are all I’m willing to expect from a P.A. Works production until I’ve seen it. A plus here for me is that Mari Okada isn’t the writer. Another reservation is that there may be some nano.RIPE mixed into the episodes for dramatic effect.

    I have little confidence in Zanyou no Terror, but it could be interesting. Eden of the East washed its justification of ignoble deeds for promoting an authorial social agenda through kiddie romance and an entire cast of antagonists doing even worse deeds, so you could at least be distracted from it. Unless they reveal a larger cast, Zanyou no Terror seems destined to rely on the character development of Risa Mishima to distance itself.

    The Akame ga Kill manga, which I’ve read most of the extant chapter of, reminds me mostly of D.Gray-Man, without the same level of moral ambiguity. I think it’s pretty bad and wouldn’t spend my time watching an anime of it.

    I want to compare Tokyo Ghoul to something you’ve watched, but I don’t think I can without it being a spoiler so I’m not going to. I would say that it’s more of a psychological work. I found the manga a little interesting for a while.

    I’m still not confident that I know what Space Dandy is. It has been a silly, episodic wander through pop scifi, and sometimes it’s been a little experimental with its art style, but it’s also left itself a lot of crumbs that could be used to tie its multiverse together into some greater point. It could also have been completely frivolous, and everyone just watched Watanabe’s Sealab.

  16. sonicsenryaku says:

    Tokyo ESP has some pretty good source material; the series is cool, it’s funny (without relying on an ounce of cliche sexual anime jokes), and its a pretty well-executed, fresh take on people with supernatural powers. The humor is self-aware but not in that cheesy fashion. The story has its layers and the MC is very very Competent; she’s probably the best thing about this series and the characters in general are all a joy to watch. Tokyo ESP is one of those series that while not necessarily bringing anything new to the table (besides being a fresh take on the supernatural powers genre), its execution is noteworthy. I just really hope the staff behind the series dont mess it up and give it the adaptation it deserves: slick animation, sharp writing to match the comedic and serious elements, and staying true to the refreshing characters that make the series great. Give it a try when it it airs, I think you’ll dig it as something to watch regularly even if you dont plan on blogging it.

  17. hal says:

    Nothing I really, really look forward to here. Except for Sailor Moon maybe. But depends how it’s going to turn out. Sailor Moon was the first series I fangirled about back in Elementary school when it first aired. And the series that made me an anime fan to begin with.
    Ao Haru Ride is an enjoyable shoujo, though nothing special, maybe I’ll take a look, when I’m bored. I’ll probably take a peek at aldnoah, glasslip and zankyou no tokyo. I didn’t like the first Kuroshitsuji Season and the 2nd wasn’t really for me either, even though I’m following the manga relatively regularly. I guess it’s exactle because of that. I just don’t like Kuroshitsuji enough to watch the same thing I read before. (I think season 3 will follow them manga again, as far as I know?)
    About Free 2nd season? I don’t know if it’s justified, I would think not. I’ve watched the first season until about episode 8? Then I got bored by it and dropped it.

    Haah, I just want a good high fantasy story again. Hitsugi no Chaika this season is really refreshing. Even though it’s not the best thing ever that happened to the genre. But at least it’s better than those contemporary fantasy series with a school setting. Why do japanese people like them so much?
    Just give me some Spice&Wolf, FMA or Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu style series again, thanks.

  18. nodbgp says:

    Barakamon is the jewel of this season as far as I care.

  19. Mazz says:

    You know it’s gonna be a bad season when the show you are most hype about is space dandy S2…

    Seriously though, none of these shows jump out to me as much watches. I’ll probably check out quite a few, at least 10 of them, but I don’t see myself sticking around for more than a few episodes with these. I’ll still watch Dandy S2, because I still have a sliver of hope left in it, I’ll watch the terror anime because I still believe in watanabe. I’ll probably catch up with both Tokyo series, and probably aka game no kill. sailor Moon, the new urobochi show (I’m more excited sawano is doing the music honestly), and probably a few more shows for shits and giggles. But right now none of them have my hype like jojos and ping pond did this season, or dandy and silver spoon did last season, or kill la kill before that. Hopefully something keeps my attention.

  20. Ebod says:

    Oh my god finally the Circus arc for Kuroshitsuji!

    Psgels, please don’t write it off before you get a chance to watch it! The circus arc is one of the best arcs in the entire manga, and actually the reason I went from “psssh this series is just pretty fanservice” to “shit the plot is actually damn good.”

    It’s twisted and dark and gory and, as a fan of your blog for years, trust me, it’ll be right up your alley.

  21. starry says:

    Free! S2 is just being made because it prints money for Kyoani. I believe it has had the best sales for the company since the K-On movie.

    Dramatical Murder is pretty bad, people like to think its good just because its a cut above all the other shitty BL.

    Sailor Moon will be nice, after being delayed a whole year already. Hopefully it’ll follow the manga a lot closer then the filler filled and character bastardization of the first anime.

  22. Rayzakk says:

    I love it when people tell it like it is. If you don’t like something say it. I’ve seen to many people make excuses for animes that are really bad and try to prove they’re really good. Keep telling it like it is.

  23. Perry Tanko says:

    Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance
    Hey, that actually might not be that bad.

  24. Jeevas says:

    I have very little interest with mecha/space sci-fi genre but I’m giving Aldnoah a chance just because Shimura Takako (Wandering Son, Aoi Hana) is the character designer.

  25. rawr says:

    LOL~ Trust me… you’ll rarely see actual romance in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. In fact, the author rarely gives romance scenes. And if it does look like we’ll get a scene, it’ll turn into a comedic/gag scene most of the time. Not really complaining, they are usually funny. She’s a good author and I especially love her other series Oresama Teacher (where she also trolls with the romance SIGH MY FANGIRL HEART). I don’t think I dislike any of the characters in either manga (though I read them a long time ago) so that’s pretty good. The female main characters are awesome.

    & The author *definitely* likes to give the spotlight to side characters and develop them… if you like that too. Give it a chance! :)

  26. kero says:

    i kinda wish you’d explained what the premise of ao haru ride, since you said you didn’t care for the premise, and i’m like ‘but what is it?’

    • Nicole says:

      Hopefully I don’t butcher this (or spoil anything)… It’s basically about a girl (Futuba Yoshioka) and a guy (Kou Mabuchi) who reunite in high school after Kou left their middle school in the middle of the year due to his mother’s health. After his mother passes, he moves back to where Futuba lives and unexpectedly begins attending her high school. In middle school, Kou and Futuba had started falling for each other, but Kou was forced to move before they could pursue anything. When they finally come across each other again, Kou is no longer the same person that he once was. The story follows their romance (or lack thereof), and the difficulties they have to overcome in the on and off pursuit of each other.

      I love the manga so, so much! Hopefully the anime will stay pure and properly reflect it.

  27. Meh, first off you could save the trouble of the first half of this article as a list of ‘Anime I Choose to Not give a Chance to’. Basing opinions on shows through PVs, key visuals, and trailers are a bit weak imo. I tend to wait and see how the show is by watching the first episode at least giving it a shot. Also, the shows that you are predictably expected and somewhat mainstream.

    As for me, I will be watching Sabage Desu and Hanayamata. I might take a look into Akame ga Kill, Rail Wars and that Idol Duet show with the long title. Space Dandy II I’ll be watching on Toonami along with AoT of course. Variety is the spice of life, I say and keep it coming.

  28. tutututu says:

    Watching:
    Sailor Moon Crystal
    Space Dandy
    Psycho Pass
    Ao Haru Ride
    Barakamon
    Glasslip – the PV for this one has no glass, but many chickens.
    Zankyou no Terror
    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
    Aldnoah.Zero

    Tokyo ESP (?)
    Nobunaga Concerto (?)
    Akame ga Kill (?)

    Surprising amount of potential for summer, like last year.

  29. Maskie says:

    Tokyo ESP manga is made by same person who did Ga-Rei manga. I don’t think that ever got adapted to anime, though prequel Ga-Rei zero was anime..

    Anyway, I’d say that its a lot more similar to Ga-Rei than “Girls fight girls” series.

  30. JohnB says:

    Shouldn’t it be Zankyou no Terror instead of Zankyou no Tokyo?
    I dont know, but the first time I’ve heard about it the title had Terror instead of Tokyo.

    Anyways Im totally looking forward to Zankyou no Terror/Tokyo and Tokyo Ghoul! and Im curious to how ALDNOAH.ZERO will turn out…

  31. carnival says:

    Just to support what a couple of people have said earlier, but you sohuld definitely give Akame ga Kill and Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun a chance!

    Akame ga Kill starts off as your typical plan shounen but gets really dark and complex! I was honestly shocked and not expecting it at all when I began reading. I think you should at least give it a few episodes to get it’s groove going.

    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is like 99% comedy and 1% romance. It’s absolutely hilarious, though I will admit that I’ve never really enjoyed 4-komas that were converted into animes, so I’m not sure I’ll be checking it out personally. On another note, I’m surprised that Ore-sama Teacher (by the same mangaka) doesn’t have an anime considering it’s much funnier, longer, and plot-driven.

  32. Prodigy says:

    While I can see why you might not give most of the ones listed a chance, I don’t see how Nobunaga Concerto went into that list. A high school student that goes back in time and meets a young Nobunaga who’s bored of his life and so decides to switch places with said student. A bit different from what I thought from your summary, it’s hardly ‘raping’ the character Nobunaga considering he literally isn’t the person.

    Most manga and anime of this setting or dealing with this character are shallow but this seems to take a “what if” approach from a more mature perspective and has potential, not to mention it seemed like it won some awards. I hardly see any reason to write it off and I think it has potential unlike the others on the same list.

  33. elior1 says:

    from what i know since this version of sailor moon going to follow the manga close this is going to be dark and little violent like the manga was

  34. Sam says:

    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is more of a comedy/ gag rather than a romance. The manga is just all comedic… one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. You should give it a shot.

    I’m for sure going to watch Barakamon. It’s so great that the anime has a good director because I just love the manga.

  35. Nicole says:

    I’m so excited for Ao Haru Ride! I hadn’t realized it was being made into an anime until I read this post. It is one of the only manga I have followed from the first chapter’s release (after reading Strobe Edge by Sakisaka Io).

    This season’s offerings are definitely intriguing. It’ll be interesting to see what actually turns out. Can’t wait ^-^

  36. retard says:

    nice post but seriously what is up with there being a nobunaga anime every season. this is getting stupid.

  37. Alt says:

    Its kind of funny. You put Tokyo ESP on the list. Then a couple entrys down you talk about how excited you are that the guy who worked on Ga-Rei Zero is working on a new show.

    Thats not the funny part.

    The thing that I think is funny is that the Tokyo ESP manga is not finished. Segawa Hajime finished Ga-Rei a few years ago.
    Why didn’t they just make Ga-Rei?

    Its kinda silly.

    I also agree that its silly that there is a nobunaga anime every season.

  38. kazid33 says:

    Very well.

    Watched the last episode of no game no life the best 13 episode series of the year and meaby the best series of the year.

    I seems that the next season turn to be weak and the best series will be airing in october.

  39. Animeat says:

    I will defintely watch aldnoah, tokyo esp and space dandy :D and ofcourse the ultimate SAO II :D

    I will try the akame and magi. I hope they are good.

  40. Adena says:

    Free! is a nice slice of life and considering how they ended the first season, it definitely needs a S2. I wouldn’t say it deserves it, though. It does it’s job, but in average form. That OP/ED is definitely for the girls and nothing more. I’m still watching it because I like it, but because it’s the greatest thing ever.

    DMMD is the first VN I’ve ever played, and I have to say it’s really not bad. It has some really good plot, it’s just that being a BL once the romance picks up nothing else really matters once they fuck. For a supposed romance, it comes out of nowhere, though. There was nothing but plot before the dude started feeling gay, so once the sex came up it really shocked me because I’d forgotten the game was BL up until that point. That said, I doubt the romance will be a big part of the Anime so it could turn out pretty good if they do the character progression well.
    After seeing who is working on it my expectations are nonexistent, so I hope it at least is watchable.

  41. meow says:

    Just took a look at Space Dandy season 2. Fun. Actually managed to make me laugh. Really curious to know if the same cast voiced all the characters in this episode. XD Cos if they did, seriously, BRAVO!

    SAO Season 2. FINALLY Sinon shows up. Salivating for episode 2. VERY, INCREDIBLY CURIOUS if xxxxxx’s new avatar gets it’s own seiyuu. Seriously doubt it but…hm…there’s no way I can mistake xxxxxx’s standard voice for a xxxx’s. No way.

    Rail Wars. Fun. Really sweet visuals but…a lot of suspension of disbelief required. >.>; You really got to turn off half your brain for this one. But kids should love it. Reminds me of Servant x Service, which actually fell closer towards the realm of plausible to me, robot teddy bear and all. Still some cool trivia about the Japan Rail system, which is probably real.

    • meow says:

      Space Dandy 2 Episode 4 – OMG did they just do a Glee episode? And they threw in ET AND Brundlefly for good measure. Those are just the references I could recognize. Anybody spot anything else?

      Barakamon – Really awesome level of funny. Love the rotary dial episode.

      Akame ga Kill – The premise kinda reminds me of Wanted. I wonder if it might have a similar plot twist later.

      SAO 2 – I’m trying to figure out if anyone could possibly mistake Kirito’s voice for a girl’s. I just can’t do it but maybe it’s too familiar to me. Hmm…

  42. Lem says:

    I pretty like Nobunaga Concerto. I’m addicted to it – as well as Love Stage.

  43. Machi says:

    I just have to point out Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is not actually a standard romance by any stretch. There is romance but it hardly takes center stage rather it is how romance is interpreted into shoujo manga that the series actually centers on. It would be more correct to say that it is a series concerned with insight on the creative process of a making a shoujo manga, with a lot of jabs to it that it never takes itself very seriously.

    My concern is the manga format is very light and casual that I wonder how a TV series could adapt it.

  44. Gan_HOPE326 says:

    And re-reading this with hindsight at the end of the season… Aldnoah.Zero has disappointed many. Zankyou no Terror, idem. And I have to actually admit that the best anime of the season (bar Barakamon which I didn’t see) was most likely… Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun.
    Yep, the sleeper 4-koma meta-comedy with romantic tones. WAT A TWIST!

  45. Ryan says:

    Please try reviewing, kuroko no basket, I would really like to read your opinion about this series which a lot of anime watchers find it hard to get in to since not a lot of them like or play basketball( or sports ), if you are also that type, then all the more better to hear a review from you since your perspective will be a great standpoint for all. Thanks ! :D

  46. Jimmy says:

    So many shows. I will never find the time to watch them all. It seems in 2014 there is a lot more BL. And a lot more Moe than before, than again that’s probably been said a thousand times before. Although it fell apart in the end Death Note was an interesting little title.

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  • CapRooney
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 06:33 PM)
    Also the wasted potential of Ginoza’s character, from a detached investigator who saw the Enforcers merely as tools for administering justice, to someone whose screen time was less than Akane’s Kogami hallucinations, when his downfall to Enforcer rank could have been a lot more interesting, and maybe become a character like Masaoka.
  • CapRooney
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 06:26 PM)
    I even went and rewatched her arc in the first season to see if there were some hints that could conduct her to turn out like this, and no, seems like this Mika was just created straight out of thin air.
  • CapRooney
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 06:24 PM)
    Oh man, did Ubukata even watch Psycho Pass 1? Because there’s no other explanation on how Mika’s character came out to be. Looks like they needed a haughty character to “oppose” Akane and decided that she was the right one for the job.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 03:02 PM)
    @Bam, but the dubstep is still out of place.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 12:52 PM)
    I haven’t read the manga so I judge it on its own, and it’s been good. The animation is good when it needs to be and the quality disparity is interwoven pretty seamlessly. The Yakuza office fight scene was particularly intriguing.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 12:48 PM)
    So far there hasn’t been any persistently annoying characters and aside from the whole alien parasite thing you don’t need great suspension of disbelief, as characters and events follow the story’s own internal logic pretty closely.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 12:45 PM)
    Caught up with Parasyte, and can say so far so good. Minor plot issues and sound engineering problems in general aside it has kept a good proper pace. Characters get their point across and conflicts are resolved without dragging on forever. Shinichi’s developments generally improved his character, plus people say that this fit and confident version is closer to the manga anyways.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 08:02 AM)
    Problems lie in pandering , the whole thing coming up largely paper thin and weak script and screenplay dragging it down to a poor pace and flat dialogue that render the film although only just over 90 minutes feel like 140 minutes. But this is by far the worst thing he’s ever worked on as far as I see it. There is some moments of comic relief but its not exactly all that amusing.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 08:02 AM)
    Well that’s me just finished Expelled from paradise. I will give credit where credit is due, though I do not care for the 3D CGI art and animation style when used in some anime in this film the full CG was much better done than usual even if it still looks noticeable, ugly to me.
    The action scenes when they happen are at least decently watchable enough, it’s a serviceable setup.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 08:02 AM)
    I believe there is a three hour star driver compilation film and wasn’t there going to be a follow up film?

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