Posted by AidanAK47 on 24 December 2017 with categories: Seasonal Previews

We reach years’ end and looking over it we got a pretty good year of anime. Quite a lot that I actually need to catch up on and this winter season might give me a chance to do so. I don’t mean to say this upcoming season is bad, but rather it’s just looking to be a season full of shows that don’t appeal to me personally. There is a large portion of slice of life feel-good anime here which isn’t really to my tastes. Even without that, we just came off what I consider to be a pretty great season of anime so anything after that is going to be a step down no matter what you do.

Anyway let’s lay down the ground rules. Naturally I checked out all the source material I could so I can give you all an idea of what we are in for. Vote for as many shows you like in the poll below and the writers will use that as a guide for what shows to cover.

Which series should we cover for the 2018 Winter Season?
1635 votes · 0 answers
vote

Let the games begin.

The sequels/Shorts I don’t care about

25-sai no Joshikousei (short)

Ashita wa Doyoubi

Basilisk: Ouka Ninpou Chou

Dagashi Kashi 2nd Season

gdgd men’s party (short)

Gin no Guardian 2nd Season

Gintama. Gin no Tamashii-hen

Hataraku Onii-san!

Kaijuu Girls 2nd Season

Mameneko

Overlord 2nd Season

Pochitto Hatsumei: Pikachin-Kit

Saiki Kusuo no Ψ Nan

Takunomi. (short)

Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line

Zoku Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru

Series I don’t care about

Dame x Prince Anime Caravan


Studio: Studio Flad
Director: Makoto Hoshino
Script/Series composer: Naruaki Kobayashi
Source: Video Game
The story of the game follows Ani, a princess from the minor nation of Inako. Ani is sent to the signing ceremony that will bring peace to the rival nations of Mildonia, a mighty military country, and Selenfaren, a powerful theocracy. Ani is supposed to help steer the signing ceremony along, but she runs into trouble when she encounters a handful of obstinate princes.

It’s an otome game adaption, therefore it’s terrible. Now I wouldn’t be judging a book on the cover here normally but frankly I have yet to see a good otome adaption. Maybe it’s a fault with the source material or something but these anime adaptions just end up pretty bad. This most certainly looks to be falling into the same pitfalls as its predecessors. Director of Uta no Prince-sama and Series composer did Nanoha Vivid. Sorry but I really don’t see this changing my opinion on Otome adaptations.

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku


Studio: Silver Link.
Director: Shin Oonuna
Script/Series composer: N/A
Source: Light Novel
29-year-old programmer Suzuki Ichirou finds himself transported into a fantasy RPG. Within the game, he’s a 15-year-old named Satou. At first he thinks he’s dreaming, but his experiences seem very real. Due to a powerful ability he possesses with limited use, he ends up wiping out an army of lizard men and becomes a high leveled adventurer. Satou decides to hide his level, and plans to live peacefully and meet new people. However, developments in the game’s story, such as the return of a demon king, may cause a nuisance to Satou’s plans.

And the Isekai quota for the season is filled. Yep, this is an Isekai anime alright. Everything you would expect from one. Protagonist is transported to another world, this time no real explanation as he falls asleep at the job and bam! Isekai-ed. WIthin minutes in the world he becomes a overpowered god. Enter harem and from there it’s the escapist fantasy adventures of everyone bowing before the protagonist’s glory. I read a bit far in this one but I certainly got bored fast. The big problem with this Isekai besides the usual stuff is that it lacks any sort of direction. It’s never really made clear what the protagonist’s objective is in this world, and as the story goes along it becomes clear that there wasn’t much thought put into what the protagonist should even do in the fantasy world. Also fair warning, if the slavery aspect of Magus Bride rubbed you the wrong way then this will most definitely condemn this series. For out of the harem of girls the protagonist acquires, five of them are his literal slaves. The story goes out to say he has no intent of sleeping with them but this aspect is rather sleazy nonetheless. We got the director of Baka no test, Prisma Illya, A sister’s all you need, Watamote and Ef. Certainly a divisive portfolio. Unless you happen to like Isekai no matter what I wouldn’t recommend this, and even then I am sure your Isekai fix is satisfied with Overlord 2.


IDOLiSH 7


Studio: Troyca
Director: Makoto Bessho
Script/Series composer: Ayumi Sekine
Source: Multi-Media
A group of aspiring idols gather at Takanashi Productions and are entrusted with the company’s future. The seven men who have just met represent a variety of totally different personalities. However, they each have their own charm and possess unknown potential as idols. Forming a group, they take their first step together as “IDOLiSH7.” Their brilliantly shining dancing forms onstage eventually begin captivating the hearts of the people.

Seven men who look identical besides hair colour and a variety of totally different personalities totally not robbed from the male idol show template will take their brilliantly shining dancing forms onstage to eventually begin captivating the wallets of the fangirls. Director did Shangri-la and the series composer did the Fate Grand Order OVA. So yep, throw another idol anime on to the forgotten pile and move on.

Killing Bites


Studio: LIDENFILMS
Director: Yasuto Nishikata
Script/Series composer: Aoi Akashiro
Source: Manga
People have been created that are human-animal hybrids, and powerful businesses bet on the outcome of their duels. College student Nomoto Yuuya’s casual acquaintances ask him to drive them around to pick up girls one day, which he soon finds out means by force. The girl they kidnap is an animal-human hybrid named Hitomi, who slaughters all of them except Yuuya. Hitomi is a honey badger, which has been called the most fearless of all animals. Now Hitomi is assigned to stay with Yuuya, for his protection!

A story that starts mediocre and goes downhill from there. I mainly read on just to see the little animal factoids that they use to explain away the characters’ superpowers. The male lead is pretty pathetic and overall the story is pretty generic battle manga. Director is new and the series composer did Fuuka and Classroom of the Elite. I say give this series a pass, it’s likely not worth your time.

Märchen Mädchen


Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Director: Hisashi Saitou/ Shigeru Ueda
Script/Series composer: N/A
Source: Light Novel
Hazuki Kagimura is a normal girl who is usually alone. With her relationship with her new family not going so well, she retreats every day to the world of stories and books. One day, after school, one of the library’s bookshelves sends her to another world with a magic school, where she meets Shizuka Tsuchimikado. She finds out that girls (called “mädchen”) who attend the school are selected by old fairy tales and folk stories to wield their magic and are taught how to wield it in the school. The school has girls who are chosen by such stories as Kaguya-hime no Monogatari, Issun-boushi, Der Freischütz, Shuten-douji, The Little Matchstick Girl, The Gigantic Turnip, Arthurian legends, and The Ramayana. Hazuki herself is chosen by the Cinderella story.

No translation of this one so I am in the dark. Though I can say the original creator of the series wrote Mayoi Neko Overrun and Girls Listen to Your Father, and did series composition for Queen’s Blade. Boy that is not a good resume and…oh…he died last year…that rather puts me in a bad position. I don’t want to speak ill of the dead but considering this author’s previous works I find myself skeptical of this story’s quality. I mean I suppose Girls Listen to Your Father was written fairly decently…creepy lolicon fanservice aside. Though Mayoi Neko Overrun’s anime was a pretty big trainwreck. Despite the death of the author it appears someone took over writing the series while still crediting the man as the author which is a rather nice sentiment. The directors of this one have nothing really worthwhile in their resume. I would honestly like to say this would be worthwhile considering the tragic circumstances and I will certainly be giving it a chance but to be blunt I doubt this will be worthwhile.

Nanatsu no Bitoku (short)


Studio: Bridge
Director: Shinji Ishihira
Script/Series composer: N/A
Source: Mixed-Media
The “Seven Mortal Sins,” demons from hell, have pressed forward and have started to spread their plague. Heaven is in chaos, and the angels of the “Seven Heavenly Virtues” are sent to Earth to search for a candidate to become the “true messiah.”

Well it’s a spinoff to Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai. Not to be confused with the shounen series Nanatsu no Taizai which is also getting a new season here. Nope, this was a series that took the seven deadly sins and turned them into fetish fap fuel. And now it looks like they are planning to do the same with the counterparts to the seven deadly sins. I have no shame in writing this off completely. If you want porn that’s not quite porn but nearly there then this is the show for you.

Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san


Studio: Studio Gokumi
Director: Kenji Setou
Script/Series composer: Tatsuya Takahashi
Source: 4-koma Manga
The gourmet comedy follows the daily life of Koizumi, a high school girl who looks like a cool beauty at first glance, but actually has an unexpected side of her that loves ramen.

Girl is obsessed with ramen and others follow her as she goes to eat ramen. That’s the plot, that’s all you get here. It’s not really funny and the whole premise just seems to hinge on finding these girls cute as they make friends over ramen. But it’s just cute girls doing cute things with a different context and there’s not enough here for me to find interesting.

Ryuuou no Oshigoto!


Studio: Project No.9
Director: Shinsuke Yanagi
Script/Series composer: Fumihiko Shimo
Source: Light Novel
The story is about a teenage boy who happens to be a shogi master. One day, a nine-year-old girl turns up at his house, announcing that she will take him as her disciple. From there, all kinds of wacky hijinks ensue.

One danger to this one upon looking it up: I noticed it had the “Lolicon” tag and I am hoping that’s only there due to the young character being present and not…other reasons. I would much prefer not to have a Tenshi No 3P so soon please. No translation so once again blind here but it seems to be a comedy surrounding Shoji and from the way the jokes sound, not a very funny one. Director did Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta (I swear to god these LN titles…) and…Tenshi no 3P. Oh god please don’t be another lolicon show. Series composer did Air, Clannad, Golden Time and Kokoro Connect. Series composer aside, I’ve got a bad feeling about this one so I think I am going to write it off.

Sanrio Danshi


Studio: Studio Pierrot
Director: Masashi Kudo
Script/Series composer: Takashi Aoshima
Source: Original
The project’s premise follows Kouta Hasegawa, a high school boy that loves the yellow Pom Pom Purin dog. By mere coincidence, he ends up attending the same school as Yuu Mizuno, a boy who likes the bunny My Melody. Yuu tells Kouta that there’s nothing to be ashamed of for liking Sanrio’s cute characters. Together, Kouta, Yuu, Shunsuke Yoshino, Ryou Nishimiya, and Seiichiro Minamoto learn to accept their love of the characters instead of feeling embarrassed.

Gah! Pierrot! Okay, I have gained somewhat of an apprehension of this studio due to them constantly messing up a number of series which by all accounts should have been good. So far I theorized that they are attempting to find their new Naruto now that the series has ended, and are attempting to turn anything into one. This however doesn’t appear to be a shounen series. In fact it almost looks like a cute girls series with the cute girls turned into boys. No real idea on what to expect with that, only that whatever it is likely isn’t aimed at my demographic.

Slow Start


Studio: A-1 Pictures
Director: Hiroyuki Hashimoto
Script/Series composer: Mio Inoue
Source: 4-koma Manga
Hana Ichinose is a normal 16-year-old high school student. However, there is something different about her: She enrolled in high school one year late! Her classmates are unaware of this, and Hana will have to work hard to catch up with everyone else.

So it’s cute girls doing cute things but one of them is a year older than she’s supposed to be. That is certainly an unremarkable premise and the PV just makes it look like every cute girls show you can think of. Wouldn’t be much of a problem usually but this season has a massive amount of slice of life and cute girls animes, all of which are at least significantly more interesting than this one. Director did Classroom of the Elite, Magical Girl Raising Project and Is the order a Rabbit. Series composer is a newbie. This will get highly overshadowed by its competitors but that’s truly expected.

Toji no Miko


Studio: Studio Gokumi
Director: Koudai Kakimoto
Script/Series composer: Tatsuya Takahashi
Source: Original
Since ancient times, shrine maidens who wield swords have been exorcising “aratama,” strange existences that threaten the human world. These young women who wear school uniforms and a sword are called “Toji,” and they serve as an official unit within the police force as a “special religious service police squad.” The government authorizes the Toji to wear swords and serve as government officials, and the government has set up five schools throughout the country for the girls to attend. The girls live ordinary school lives, while occasionally performing their duties, wielding their swords and using various powers to fight and protect the people.

That trailer showed less sword swinging and more cute girls being cute and I’ve got to say that going through this season, that’s becoming alarmingly common. So many slice of life shows – this isn’t going to be my season. Director of this one is doing his first work and series composer is working on Beatless this season. Personally looking at their resume I can’t say this project is looking good. Besides the series composer doing two shows and this being an original production, it also appears to be confirmed for two cours. Personally this feels too risk-free to be remarkable; it’s playing it too safe considering the obvious pandering. I don’t think this will end up being anything worthwhile.

Series I am middling on

Beatless


Studio: diomedea
Director: Seiji Mizushima
Script/Series composer: Tatsuya Takahashi
Source: Light Novel
With the introduction of an ultra-advanced AI that surpasses human intelligence, beings that mankind is yet to fully comprehend made from materials far too advanced for human technology begin coming into being. Lacia, an hIE equipped with a black coffin-shaped device, is one of these. In boy-meets-girl fashion, 17-year-old Arato Endo has a fateful encounter with the artificial Lacia. For what purpose were these artificial beings created? Amid questions regarding the coexistence of these artificial beings and humans, a 17-year-old boy makes a decision…

As a gasmasked villain of Mad Max would state, mediocre. The story starts out with a Chobits premise of some poor guy happening upon a super rare robot girl and taking her home. Then it slowly moves into a battle-centric story with the protag’s robot taking on other special robots in some big deathmatch. The problem with this story is that you have seen it before in some form or another. We got the director of UN-GO and Concrete Revolutio as well as a number of fairly notable titles. Series composer worked on Idolmaster Cinderella girls, Rewrite and…Eromanga-sensei. Well, Eromanga’s faults were more due to the source than the adaption so I will give benefit of the doubt. This story is nothing terrible, nor anything of note. Utterly forgettable.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen


Studio: Madhouse
Director: Morio Asaka
Script/Series composer: Nanase Ohkawa
Source: Manga
Fourteen-year-old Sakura starts junior high school along her friends, including Syaoran, who had just returned to Tomoeda. After having a dream with a mysterious cloaked figure, all of Sakura’s cards turn blank and are rendered powerless, thus she starts her quest to find out what is wrong. In doing so, Sakura and her allies discover and capture new transparent cards using a new key.

This is one of those animes I started watching four score and several years ago and never got around to finishing. A sequel to the Cardcaptor manga and yes, a sequel to the manga, not the anime. Which means there are significant differences between this and the anime made quite a while ago, like there being only 19 clow cards instead of 52 and one of the original filler characters being removed completely. Not to mention a sequel movie to the anime series has now been deemed non-canon. I don’t really know how this one will turn out, as truth be told I don’t have enough experience with the original series to have a solid opinion. I mainly remember it as being standard magical girl fare except with that girl that loves to dress up Sakura in costumes. I believe I didn’t quite get far enough into it for the plot to really start, much like other magical girl shows. So for Cardcaptor fans this series is for you while I need to go back and finish the first season sometime in this century. (Hope it doesn’t go all weird like other Clamp works do.)

Citrus


Studio: Passione
Director: Takeo Takahashi
Script/Series composer: Naoki Hayashi
Source: Manga
Fashionable Yuzu imagined the first day at her new school she transferred to after her mother’s remarriage a bit differently; she didn’t know it’d be an ultra-strict and conservative girls’ school. So instead of a sweet high-school romance, she butts heads with the stern student council president Mei—who turns out to be her new step sister. And she has to learn that hate and attraction are often not that far apart.

So lesbians. Thankfully a story done more tastefully than the last yuri anime we got, which was Netsuzou Trap. Reading the story I can say this is done pretty decently and if you’re into romances then this could be up your alley. My main problem with it is that aside from the yuri angle, this is pretty much your standard shoujo romance. Will they? Won’t they? Oh now she’s gunning for her but she isn’t up for it. Oh now she’s decided to be friends but the other girl suddenly wants it now. Oh here comes the third wheel to add in unnecessary conflict and drag out the inevitable conclusion. I enjoyed the beginning but there comes a point when I just feel like the story should just stop beating around the bush and just get to the point. Hoping they don’t amp up the fanservice but considering the director worked on Yosuga no Sora and Aki Sora that’s a distinct possibility. Series composer is an absolute newbie. If you happened to like Koi to Uso or are in the mood for much more mild Scum’s Wish then this is the show for you.

DARLING in the FRANXX


Studio: Trigger/ A-1 Pictures
Director: Atsushi Nishigori
Script/Series composer: Atsushi Nishigori
Source: Original
The story is set in the distant future. The land is ruined, and humanity establishes the mobile fort city Plantation. Pilots produced inside Plantation live in Mistilteinn, also know as the “birdcage.” Children live there knowing nothing of the outside world or the freedom of the sky. Their lives consist of battling to carry out missions. Their enemies are mysterious giant lifeforms known as Kyōryū, and the children pilot robots called Franxx to face off against them. For the children, riding the Franxx proves their existence.
A boy named Hiro is called Code:016, and he was once known as a prodigy. However, he has fallen behind, and his existence seems unnecessary. Not piloting a Franxx is the same as ceasing to exist. One day, a mysterious girl known as “Zero Two” appears before him. Two horns grow out of her head.

Normally a Trigger work would automatically go in my good books even though the likes of Kiznaiver and that light novel adaption were fairly weak works. But this happens to be the most generic looking thing I have seen out of Trigger and there’s a reason for that. Namely that this is a collaborative project between Trigger and A-1 Pictures. A friend of mine once said jokingly that A-1 are making all anime look the same and despite the heavy exaggeration there is a small bit of truth to that. Their character designs in particular do look interchangeable all across their works. The setup for this one just feels so uninspired. We have a highschool, we have teenagers, they polit mechs, boy meets girl… Trigger do have a tendency to take the old and make it feel new again but when watching the promo I can’t really sense their hand in this. It lacks the energy and fun that their works are known for. Director appears to have worked on a lot of Gainax projects so that’s reassuring, but his only previous work as a director is doing the Idolmaster anime. Scriptwriter worked on Plastic Memories and nothing else of worth. I would like to be proven wrong on this one but I feel this will be a rather unremarkable entry in the season.

Devilman Crybaby


Studio: Science SARU
Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Script/Series composer: Ichiro Okouchi
Source: Manga
The protagonist Akira Fudou learns from his best friend, Ryou Asuka, that an ancient race of demons has returned to take back the world from humans. Ryou tells Akira that the only way to defeat the demons is to incorporate their supernatural powers, and suggests that he unite with a demon himself. Akira succeeds in transforming into Devilman, who possesses both the powers of a demon and the soul of a human. The battle of Devilman and Akira Fudou begins.

Well we have the first of our Netflix funded anime. (Or has Cannon Busters aired yet?) Not sure how much this will have to do with the original Devilman but my gut feeling is this is a start from scratch. Not to say the old series had a grand epic of a story, as I only recall it being about Devilman ripping apart demons. Didn’t think I would have much to say on this until I watched the trailer and I recognised that animation and art style right away. And there he was in the staff page, Masaaki Yuasa. Tatami Galaxy, Ping Pong, Kaiba, Kemonozume, Mind Game, Kick-Heart…his style is unmistakable. Unfortunately it’s not to my taste but I am sure fans of his work will be quite pumped for seeing his animation. But before you get too excited I have some bad news. The writer of this series is Ichiro Okouchi. Creator of Code Geass and a large amount of modern anime trainwrecks. Guilty Crown, Kabaneri, Valvrave… To be fair his latest work Princess Principal didn’t end up a trainwreck like I felt it would, but it was still far from perfect. With some moderation this guy could make a fun mindless action show but only if he can stop himself from getting too stupid. This series is going to be a tightrope act with Ichiro’s dodgy writing and Yuasa’s unique animation style. I for one am hoping that the first Netflix funded series doesn’t end up a trainwreck.

Fate/Extra Last Encore


Studio: Shaft
Director: Akiyuki Shinbou/ Yukihiro Miyamoto
Script/Series composer: Kinoko Nasu
Source: Video Game
Waking up in a strange virtual world with no recollection of the past, Hakuno finds himself forced to fight for survival in a war he does not understand for a prize beyond value; the opportunity to have one’s wish granted. With only an enigmatic “Servant” by his side, Hakuno Kishinami will have to face both friends and foes in battles to the death in order to not only gain possession of a mysterious object known as the “Holy Grail,” but also to find the answer to the most important question of all: “Who am I?”

This may come as a shock to those of you who happen to know of my particular obsession with this series. I have been addicted to the Fate Grand Order mobile app and every Fate related series has always managed to make it into the “Series I am looking forward to” category. Alas I am not looking forward to this entry as I have played the game and found it just alright at best. My enjoyment of it though did not come from the story but instead from being able to learn about servants and a rather unique gameplay system. The story of Fate/extra, what little of it there is, is not good. Really it’s just a repetitive routine of running around a dungeon for a week and fighting a servant at the end of it. Rinse and repeat till final boss. Story doesn’t defy expectations in the slightest. Characters are not much to speak of and unless you’re a big fan of Red Saber, aka Nero, there’s not much to be gotten out of this. Shaft might find a way of making it interesting however, as I have heard tale of two separate broadcasts which may be evidence to show they are doing both a male and female avatar version of the series. We got Shinbo in the director’s seat so that means head tilts and his odd directing style is a given, through he shares it with Yukihiro who directed Madoka Magica so maybe he can stop Shinbo’s style from going out of control. And of all people we have the writer of Fate/Stay night himself in the series compositor position and I wonder what the hell you are doing here Nasu?! Run off and finish the Tsukihime remake or write a new IP for god’s sake! Well Nasu’s more recent work hasn’t been too impressive but maybe he can turn it into something more worthwhile than the original story. If you are a Fate fan or a Shinbo fan this might be for you but otherwise it likely won’t be too impressive. Still it’s a Fate anime, which means yours truly will cover it, as is tradition.

Gakuen Babysitters


Studio: Brain’s Base
Director: N/A
Script/Series composer: Yuuko Kakihara
Source: Manga
After their parents are killed in a plane crash, Ryuuichi and his younger brother Kotarou are taken in by the chairman, who they never met before, of an elite academy. Ryuuichi becomes the school daycare’s new babysitter.

Definitely reminds me of that show we had a few seasons back about the father cooking for his daughter. Very much the same appeal here, lighthearted and about a kid taking care of his much younger brother. Nothing spectacular but could be lost under the number of slice of life feel good shows we got this season. I was worried that the series might try to put the caretakers up as some kind of male fanservice but that isn’t the case. I say if you like slice of life then give it a try to see if it’s for you.

Grancrest Senki


Studio: A-1 Pictures
Director: Shinichi Omata
Script/Series composer: Ryou Mizuno
Source: Light Novel
The story takes place on a continent ruled by chaos. The chaos breeds disaster, but the Lords of the continent have the power of “Crest” (a Mark of the Saint) that can calm the chaos and protect the people. However, one day the rulers throw away their creed of protecting the people, and instead start to fight each other with their powers to gain dominion over each other. The novels center on Silka, an isolated mage who scorns the Lords for abandoning their creed, and a wandering knight named Theo, who is on a journey to train to one day liberate his hometown, which is under tyrannical rule. Silka and Theo make an everlasting oath to each other as master and servant, and work together to reform this continent dominated by wars and chaos.

I originally wrote this off as another Isekai anime but it actually turned out to be a straight fantasy, and oddly enough it’s not that bad either. Actually the story is pretty enjoyable, as it mainly centers on the two leads taking over a country and reforming it. It’s not groundbreaking but I found myself enjoying the story despite it not being too original. Director did Sankarea and Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu so he’s in my good books. Series composer is new to this. It’s not going to be the hit of the season but it could be fun to watch if you have the time.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens


Studio: Satelight
Director: Kenji Yasuda
Script/Series composer: Shogo Yasukawa
Source: Light Novel
At first glance, the city of Fukuoka seems like a peaceful one, but under the surface, crime is running rampant. The city’s Hakata ward is home to the professionals of the underworld: professional killers, detectives, informants, professional revenge seekers, those skilled in torture, and more. And according to urban legend, a “killer of professional killers” has shown up in the city.

No translation of the source from my knowledge but I get the feeling this is like Durarara from how it looks. The PV seems to reaffirm that with a degree of zany fun to its presentation and a fairly big cast of characters. So far it looks decent and could prove to be interesting, provided it can provide the same entertainment as Durarara while avoiding the pitfalls that series ran into. We got the director of Boogiepop Phantom, Aquarion Evol and Ikoku Meiro no Croisee so it should be decently directed. Series composer is hit and miss here with Terra Formars, Planetarian, Shokugeki no Souma, and Chivalry of a Failed Knight. It’s up in the air how this one could go but it’s worth checking out to see.

Hakumei to Mikochi


Studio: Lerche
Director: Masaomi Ando
Script/Series composer: Reiko Yoshida
Source: Manga
Nine centimeters (3.5 inches) tall, the tiny girls Hakumei and Mikochi live in the forest. Living in a tiny house in a tree, riding insects and birds, and making umbrellas out of leaves, these tiny girls live a tiny life. Follow their tiny but lovely lives as they live their day to day in a fantastic world of tiny people and gods.

I am certain the first thing people will connect this series with will be Made in Abyss, and while this show does do its own share of world building, it is not nearly as dark. This is more slice of life fantasy with these girls just dealing with normal problems in a world much like the Arrietty Ghibli Film. We got the director of Scums Wish and School Live so this is in pretty capable hands. Series composer is also working on Violet Evergarden this season so hopefully she has effort to spare for this. I personally don’t find this story all that interesting but I think there are those into this genre who will find it rather charming.

Hakyuu Hoshin Engi


Studio: C-Station
Director: Masahiro Aizawa
Script/Series composer: Natsuko Takahashi
Source: Manga
Thousands of years ago, it was a time of witchcraft and dark magic. An evil sorceress has bewitched the emperor of the mighty dynasty and he has become a mindless puppet. The country is in shambles and evil spirits lurk everywhere. The human world is on the verge of utter destruction. A bold mission is planned by the Confederation of the Immortal Masters. They send a young master wizard to hung down the villains and evil warlocks in the devastated lands.

A reboot of a series from the nineties? It seems we are hitting a common trend of digging up old shows for anime adaptations. Not that I am complaining, just wish it could be shows I had more of a fondness for. This is a pretty traditional shounen which takes inspiration from chinese legends and as such it’s all the old school shounen tropes you can expect. Once upon a time I would find this endearing but after having a number of shows in recent days like this I am afraid this will be a bit too dated to truly stand out. The main character also falls on the side of being quite annoying and the plot is a little too episodic to be interesting. This is both the directors and scriptwriters first time being fully in charge. It’s fine if you are looking for something to scratch an old school shounen inch but even then there are better options.

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san


Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
Director: Hiroaki Akagi
Script/Series composer: Michiko Yokote
Source: Manga
“If you blush, you lose.”
Living by this principle, the middle schooler Nishikata gets constantly made fun of by his seat neighbor Takagi-san. With his pride shattered to pieces, he vows to turn the tables and get back at her some day. And so, he attempts to tease her day after day, only to find himself victim to Takagi-san’s ridicule again sooner than later. Will he be able to make Takagi-san blush from embarrassment even once in the end?

Well it’s a decent time waster. It suffers from the usual problem these romantic gag shows suffer from, mainly a complete lack of progression to the romance. This is no exception and I feel like there were other, better contenders to fill this spot rather than this one. I still can’t believe “Kaguya wants to be confessed to” still doesn’t have an anime in the works. Even “Sheriff Evans’ Lies” makes for better comedy. First time director and series composer has a lot of experience, so there are positives and negatives. If you are looking for something light and bit of fun then this should sort your fix.

Koi wa Ameagari no You ni


Studio: Wit Studio
Director: Ayumu Watanabe
Script/Series composer: N/A
Source: Manga
Akira Tachibana is a soft-spoken high school student who used to be a part of the track and field club but, due to an injury, she is no longer able to run as fast as she once could. Working part-time at a family restaurant as a recourse, she finds herself inexplicably falling love with her manager, a divorced 45-year-old man with a young son.

Thankfully the creepy context of a relationship between a young girl and a man old enough to be her father is handled rather tactfully, and the end result is more or less a sweet romance story. Very much like My Love Story but a little more serious. Don’t expect this to deal with heavy issues as it’s more or less light hearted. Still, unlike most romantic comedies the story does go somewhere with its premise, and it could prove to be an enjoyable watch for romance fans provided you get past the age gap. We have the director of Space Brothers and Mysterious Girlfriend X at the helm so I say the manga will be adapted pretty well. Simple and sweet about sums this one up.

Miira no Kaikata


Studio: 8-bit
Director: N/A
Script/Series composer: Hitomi Mieno
Source: Manga
When high school student Sora Kashiwagi finds himself staring down a mysterious oversized package sent to him by his self-proclaimed “adventurer” father, the last thing he expects is for it to be opened from the inside… by a little mummy so small it can fit in the palm of his hand!

This is a series that depends on you finding the little mummy character adorable. It more or less all focuses on that. You want to see a tiny mummy that acts like a toddler? Well here you are. Nothing particularly bad about it but I just find it rather unremarkable.

Mitsuboshi Colors


Studio: Silver Link.
Director: Tomoyuki Kawamura
Script/Series composer: Shogo Yasukawa
Source: Manga
The “Colors” are three cute little girls who hang out together and say they’re protecting the peace of their city. They have lots of fun together, doing stuff like playing games, solving puzzles, and going to the zoo. This series follows their largely happy daily life.

Exactly what it says on the tin, cute girls running around being all cute and funny and stuff. It’s alright, does what it needs to and I am sure some might get a kick out of it if you happen to like these kinds of shows. There’s more effort and creativity put into it than your usual cute girls show, that’s for sure.

Pop Team Epic


Studio: Kamikaze Douga
Director: Jun Aoki/ Aoi Umeki
Script/Series composer: Jun Aoki
Source: Manga
The surreal four-panel manga centers around two 14-year-old girls, the short Popuko and the tall Pipimi. The story summary on the anime’s website quotes William Shakespeare’s Tweflth Night play, “There is no darkness but ignorance.”

This is madness. There is no real story to this one…nor logic…nor much sense. Random humor is the draw here and it’s very hit or miss. Such examples include one of the girls throwing open a window suddenly on a stormy night to tell the thunder to shut up because it’s only a supporting character. I don’t know how an anime adaption will be handled considering the manga’s panels don’t have any real connection between each other. Execution is going to be everything for this show because if they get the humor even slightly off the entire show will fall flat. Even if they do get the humor on point this show is very much mindless entertainment.

Uchuu yorimo Toui Basho


Studio: Madhouse
Director: Atsuko Ishizuka
Script/Series composer: Jukki Hanada
Source: Original
The anime’s story centers on high school girls going to the South Pole, “a place further than the universe.” They struggle and grow together as they cope with extreme conditions.

A very odd choice for studio Madhouse, but from what I hear they don’t really have the staff they used to. Points for an original premise but I fear it’s just going to end up slice of life or cute girls doing cute things, a genre which we have far too much of this season. I predict this to be one of the better thought-out ones though. Director of No Game No Life and Sakurasou. Series composer worked on Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai, Hibike Euphonium, Kyoukai no Kanata, Level E, both seasons of Love Live, Nichijou, No Game No Life, Steins;Gate, and that’s just naming a few so he’s got quite a good bit of experience and a fairly good resume. My biggest fault with this series is that it’s another slice of life in a season full of it but I figure this is going to be one of the ones people are going to keep an eye on. I say check this one out.

Yuru Camp△


Studio: C-Station
Director: Yoshiaki Kyougoku
Script/Series composer: Jin Tanaka
Source: Manga
Rin likes to go camping by herself along the lakes that provide a scenic view of Mt. Fuji. Nadeshiko loves to take cycling trips by herself to places where she can see Mt. Fuji. After they meet, Rin and Nadeshiko take camping trips, eat cup ramen together, and enjoy the scenery.

“Cute girls go camping” about sums this one up. Mildly entertaining but rather empty content wise besides some camping tips. Better than the cute girls ramen show up there but more or less around the same level of Colors with an older cast.

Series I do look forward to

Junji Itou Collection


Studio: Studio DEEN
Director: Shinobu Tagashira
Script/Series composer: Kaoru Sawada
Source: Manga
Stories from both the 11-volume Ito Junji Kessaku-shuu series and the Fragments of Horror book will be adapted.

This marks the second time a Junji Ito work has been adapted into an anime and for those who don’t know who that is, he’s considered a legendary horror mangaka. Still, his work has not really transferred well to screen, be it live action or animated. This is mainly because the power of Ito’s work lies in his fantastic artwork and I am curious as to just how Studio Deen will bring that to life. Deen has worked with unconventional art styles before and they could very well bring out a hit with this anime. Junti Ito stories have always been more about the execution and creativity rather than the story so I truly am curious as to how this turns out. Sadly though it looks like Deen is not bringing their A game for this as the director has one series he directed and that was Diabolik Lovers. And this is the series composer’s first work. I am afraid this won’t turn out well but the PV for this series does look rather promising.

Kokkoku


Studio: Geno Studio
Director: Yoshimitsu Ohashi
Script/Series composer: Noboru Kimura
Source: Manga
Juri Yukawa lives with her NEET father and brother, her retired grandfather, her sister (a single mother) and her young nephew. One day, her nephew and brother are kidnapped for ransom. Having only 30 minutes to meet the demands of the kidnappers, Juri, who realizes there is not enough time to prepare the money, decides to head for their rescue by herself with knife in hand when her grandfather uses a mysterious stone passed on in the Yukawa family to stop time. In a world where everyone and everything are inert, Juri and her father and grandfather run to rescue the two. But at the kidnappers’ hideout, they soon realize they are not the only ones who can move about in this still world…

This is one ridiculously bizarre and original premise. I walked into this story completely blind and constantly found my expectations completely thrown off. The story starts off rather mundane but as it goes along it just gets more and more insane. Truth be told I have a hard time deciding whether it’s a good manga or not as I often just find myself so thrown off by how the story continues. An anime might change my perception of it but I won’t really know until I see it for myself. I do say this is one to keep an eye on however as in our days of Idol and Isekai anime, this is undoubtably a rare and creative story. Both the director and series composer don’t have much to their name but hopefully they can take this story and make it a highlight of the winter season.

Violet Evergarden


Studio: Kyoto Animation
Director: Taichi Ishidate
Script/Series composer: Reiko Yoshida
Source: Light Novel
Long ago the “Auto Memories Doll” was born. Professor Orland, an influential figure in the printing industry, invented a new type of printing machine for his wife Molly, so that she could write novels after she had lost her eyesight. The machine was given the appearance of a petite lovely doll.

So it’s KyoAni’s new work and I look forward to seeing the painstaking efforts of animators go into making girls looks a moe as possible. Alright I will admit this isn’t quite their usual output though it’s not that far off the mark. I generally find that KyoAni anime these days falls under two categories. Either it’s cute girls doing comedy or an emulation of Key works, and this most definitely falls into the latter category. It’s up for debate on how much KyoAni will take from the novel, as from what I read it was mainly a series of stories about this robot girl coming to a house and helping people with their emotional traumas or hardships while playing the role of a writing machine. It certainly is aiming to be a tearjerker and sadly the novel failed to get me to feel much but I do think it might get some of you sobbing. We have the director of Kyoukai no Kanata who also has worked on pretty much almost every KyoAni animation you can think of as something other than director. Series composer has got a hefty portfolio though her most recent works are A Silent Voice, Bakuman and Aokana. I am fairly certain this will end up being one people will be talking about this season and likely will end up a hit just by KyoAni’s animation alone. Sadly, it’s not quite to my tastes but I will check it out regardless.

11 Responses

  1. Avatar elior1 says:

    @aisank47 is this mean you will try the new cardcaptor sakura or not since it in the series you middling on?

  2. Avatar SuperWooper says:

    I’ll use the comments to plug Saiki Kusuo season 2. The original was one of my favorite anime comedies of 2016, though not every episode was a laugh riot. Hopefully the sequel can match the first season and buck the trend of gag comedies that quickly drive themselves off cliffs.

  3. Avatar MrPB says:

    The original basilisk was a no holds barred murder fest. The sequel hopefully builds on it. It might be the surprise anime of the year.

  4. Avatar Heir Apparent says:

    The Extra/Last Encore anime is likely not an adaptation of OG Extra. The dudes on Beast’s Lair seem to think that it’s Extella Zero(the Extra route that would lead into Extella) or some other new story.

    Regardless, I at the very least hope this paves the way for an Extra CCC adaptation since it’s supposed to be among Nasu’s best work.

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      God I hope not. I recently finished Extella and it was god awful. Though I actually think that the majority of Extella wasn’t Nasu’s handwork. Based on the level of worship for Nero in it, I say Hikaru Sakurai wrote most of it. Though the third route had some of Nasu’s hand.

      • Avatar Heir Apparent says:

        Fairly certain only the last and/or Altera’s wrote had Nasu’s writing but I could be wrong.

        It supposedly being a whole new story written by Nasu is what gives me hope for it, regardless of how bad what it maybe followed up by.

  5. Avatar donhumberto says:

    Pretty excited about this season. Actually my 3 most anticipated series are the same as yours: Kokkoku (which is not only my most anticipated Winter title, but my most anticipated 2018 title, period), Violet Evergarden and Junji Itou collection. I would add the 2 netflix titles (Devilman Crybaby and B: the beginning, both of which look really awesome but might fly under people’s radar due to the whole Netflix/weird schedule thing. I mean, B, the beginning is not airing until March, so no wonder not many people are even considering it a Winter title)
    Other than that, I also have high mildly high expectations for Basilisk (the original title remains one of the best Battle Royale anime series ever, hope this one is just as good) and the noitamina show, which looks classy as hell

  6. Avatar Jedman says:

    Great more Anime that i’m not going to get round to watching.

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