Posted by AidanAK47 on 15 December 2018 with categories: Seasonal Previews

Time is like a cat. When you want it to move fast it stops dead. When you want it to stop it moves fast. Occasionally it jumps around and every now and again it tries to kill you in your sleep. I don’t quite know where I was going with the metaphor but if we can take anything out of it, it’s that there are only so many analogies to time one can make for these previews. Let’s just say that the second and third Fate Heaven’s Feel movies are not out yet and really that’s all that matters.

I certainly professed certain doom for last season but I will admit to it not being quite as bleak as I would have thought. That said it was still a weak season where even the strongest shows didn’t have much of an impression. Luck would have it that the winter season is going to change that because we got some real contenders here. We got two manga adaptations held in high regard along with a golden oldie, a sequel to Mob and some originals with potential.

Rules are the same as previous previews, I seek out any source material I can to find out what we may be in for and there is a poll below for you lot to vote which shows you wish to be covered.

Which series should we cover for the 2019 Winter Season?
132 votes · 3332 answers

Once again thanks to Mario, Lenlo, Helghast and Wooper for helping out.

The sequels/Shorts I don’t care about

3D Kanojo 2
Ame-iro Cocoa 5 (short)
BanG Dream! 2
Date a Live III
Fukigen na Mononokean Tsuzuki
Mini Toji (short)
Piano no Mori 2
Shigeki no Bahamut: Manaria Friends (short)

Series I don’t care about

Bermuda Triangle: Colorful Pastrale

Studio: Seven Arcs
Director: Junji Nishimura
Script/Series composer: Michiko Yokote
Source: Original
The glittering spotlights. The sparkling, fluffy, cute outfits. The charming voices while dancing with bright smiles. Under the dazzling lights on the big city stage, these would be the mermaid idols who swim and dance freely underwater. But far from this big city, the girls once lived in the peaceful village of Parrel. These girls, who would not even imagine such a glittering future for themselves, are instead just raising a fuss over the snack cakes they are eating. This is the story of the cheerful daily life of mermaids who strive their hardest everyday.

It’s a spinoff of the Cardfight! Vanguard franchise. It’s also about a mermaid idol group. My interest levels could not be any lower for this. Just introduce a high school and I would be done. Honestly the best I can see here is some cute mermaids being cute and stuff. But even that just sounds like a dull forgettable experience.

Circlet Princess

Studio: Silver Link
Director: Hideki Tachibana
Script/Series composer: Nachi Kio
Source: Video Game
The game follows a fictional near-future e-sport that utilizes a “mixed reality system” developed from augmented reality technology. The story centers on a fledgling team of high school girls from Saint Union Academy who pursue the sport of Circlet Bout.

A browser game adaption huh? These are rarer than your regular old Gacha game adaptations, considering the last one I remember is Kantai Collection. Still it seems the appeal here is the same. The fanservice was high in that trailer and it’s basically just hot girls fighting each other. I would say this doesn’t look to have anything worthwhile. I see the series composer is the original creator of Aokana. Guess it sucks that VN company basically went defunct. Move along, nothing to see here.

Dimension High School

Studio: Polygon Pictures
Director: Abe Yuuichi
Script/Series composer: Abe Yuuichi
Source: Original
The high school boys are transported to an anime world while they are in cram school. Since then, they start school life in the anime world they are transported to.

Man there is nothing about this one. No source. Director/Script writer has done no anime before this and the most we know about the story is those two sentences above. I had to jump on to the official site to actually get what looked to be some sort of trailer. From the looks of things this is a hybrid CGI anime which mixes in live action. However the CGI is pretty bad as it looks like they are going with a motion capture animation making the anime look like VR chat. Looks to be pure comedy and from what I seen of the trailer, besides its gimmick, nothing really interesting stands out. Pass on it most likely.

Domestic na Kanojo

Studio: diomedea
Director: Shouta Ibata
Script/Series composer: Tatsuya Takahashi
Source: Manga
High schooler Natsuo is hopelessly in love with his cheerful and popular teacher, Hina. However, one day at a mixer, he meets a moody girl by the name of Rui and ends up sleeping with her. Soon after, his father announces that he’s getting remarried to a woman with two daughters of her own. And who shows up in tow, other than both Hina and Rui?! Natsuo’s outrageous new life starts now!

Ugh, I remember this one. Long ago I was reading this manga and remember being frustrated by it as it’s another one of those romance manga that just dances in circles. He’s in love with her but she’s not into him but her sister loves him so he goes with her but then the other girl suddenly gets into him but he’s no longer into her until the sister stops being into him and round and round we go, when it stops, we will never know. It’s a frustrating ride which eventually shakes off all those who get interested in it. I say save yourself the trouble and avoid it.

Mario: Domestic is one rare manga that I’ve managed to check out recently, mostly due to my housemate recommending it. The premise certainly allures you in that it’s another soul-scattering, risque tale of love and physical attraction, in the same line with Scum’s Wish. What it turned out though, is something more of Kouji Seo’s frustrating romance where characters keep making stupid decisions, throw all that love to fire and let us suffer. I have The Town Where You Live trauma all over again!! The anime adaptation is from a studio that was responsible for Problem Children, Beatless and, surprise surprise… Fuuka, with a first-time director so that doesn’t provide much confidence. The visuals look decent but nothing special, so I won’t hold my breath that it could become something worthwhile.


Studio: Studio Gokumi
Director: Kaori
Script/Series composer: Takashi Aoshima
Source: Original
Naral Island, a continent with swords and magic in which humans and monsters coexist. The terrible Demon King lives there. In ancient times, the first-generation hero defeated the Demon King. Over the many successive generations since then, the Demon King has been resurrected, and the hero who opposes him has likewise reappeared. Girls attend a school for adventurers in order to defeat the Demon King when he appears again. Though a bit absent-minded, Yusha has the body of a hero. The holy elf Seyla’s trouble never ends because she is too serious. The cheerful warrior Fai loves to eat. Mei is a quiet otaku magician. As the four girls aim to be in the hero party, they live relaxed fantasy lives and show no sign of defeating the Demon King no matter how much time passes.

The animation hits an absolute bare minimum in the trailer and it definitely looks to be a cute girls doing cute things show through and through. Even if it wasn’t, the old JRPG Demon King and Hero setting has just been done to death, but honestly that’s just dressing to this show. The series composer has nothing good under his belt and the studio has made nothing of note either unless you liked Yuuki Yunna. Pretty sure this isn’t worth your time even if you like these kinds of shows.

Flying Babies

Studio: Fukushima Gainax
Director: N/A
Script/Series composer: N/A
Source: Original
Anime centering on a group of young girls and their struggle as they aim to become Hula Girls.

Mario: This one is a total mystery. The project was announced back in 2016, had like 2 key visuals with different art styles and that’s pretty much it. You might remember this branch of Studio Gainax (now they call themselves not Fukushima Gainax, but Gaina) as the studio behind Piano no Mori – which had one of the blandest production value of that season. For now I suspect that this’d be more fitting as short, and the lack of promotion for it is a bad omen. Unless you really like the subject of Hula Girls (for which there was a movie back in 2006, successful and all), this sounds like an easy skip.

Girly Air Force

Studio: Satelight
Director: Katsumi Ono
Script/Series composer: Shingo Nagai
Source: Light Novel
Mysterious flying creatures known as Zai suddenly appear, and in order to fight the creatures, mankind creates fighter aircraft called “Daughters,” as well as the automatic fighting mechanism “Anima,” which are shaped like human girls. The story centers on a young man named Kei Narutani, who yearns to fly in the sky, and an Anima considered to be humanity’s trump card, a girl name Guripen.

So let’s see, an air force where the planes are human girls called Daughters that fight off monsters huh? Boy what a unique and incredibly marketable prospect. It’s strange that it has never been done before, with like ships or something. Like you could have had this game where you have ship daughters fighting off weird monsters and you would have to collect them. Like you would have a collection of these girls. I wonder what you would call such a thing. Alright let’s stop beating around the bush and admit that the inspiration for this one couldn’t be more obvious. Well putting that aside the director has pretty much only directed Symphogear sequels, the composer only wrote a few episodes of SukaSuka and the name of the series just sounds terrible. Willing to bet it’s bad.

Grimms Notes

Studio: Brain’s Base
Director: Seiki Sugawara
Script/Series composer: Hiroshi Yamaguchi
Source: Video Game
The game takes place in a world created by a beings known as “Story Tellers.” At birth, all inhabitants of this world are bestowed with a “book of fate” where all their lives are written in advance. However, rogue Story Tellers known as Chaos Tellers are writing bad events into people’s books without them knowing. It is up to the holders of blank books of fate to seek out the Chaos Tellers and restore the world.

Hmm, well I suppose the premise might hold some potential and the name could suggest a kind of Fables narrative which may have something to work with. Though based on a video game? I wonder what the game is li…oh. It’s a mobile Gacha game. I mean I might as well stop there, for there has never been a good anime based on a Gacha game. (Yes, I am even including my beloved Fate GO in that regard. And even those upcoming animes for it are likely going to suck too despite the stories being good in the game itself.) The trailer doesn’t do it any favors either, with the animation quality just being pretty bare. It’s a safe assumption to say this likely won’t be worth a damn.

Kakegurui ××

Studio: MAPPA
Director: Kiyoshi Matsuda/ Yuuichirou Hayashi
Script/Series composer: Yasuko Kobayashi
Source: Manga
Second season of Kakegurui.

Mario: Well, there’s not much to say except if you already watched the first season, expect this season to have the same amount of crazy, lust-fueled gambling. The first season was popular but not necessary delivered on all its promises. The characters are a bunch we all love to hate, and sometimes the show takes the excitement out of the games the moment those gamblers start to cheat. Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure this second season will be another hit. It might be trashy but it’s a kind of trashy most of us want to devote ourselves to.

Kemono Friends 2

Studio: Tomason
Director: Ryuichi Kimura
Script/Series composer: Takuya Masumoto
Source: Video Game
Second season of Kemono Friends.

Mario: The original Kemono Friends became a massive internet hit, so it was just a matter of time until they announced the second season. Well, here you go. The second season is on the way but there’s some major changes regarding this sequel. First, the director of its first season, Tatsuki – the man who is responsible for much of the show’s style and charm – left the project to work on something else (which you can see just below). Second, for something that caught the anime fandom on fire, this sequel has been very quiet on the promotional side. We’ve learned next to nothing about the plot (not that it matters anyway), and there’s only a teaser which again, is only there to tease you. The animation based on that teaser looks surprisingly smooth, but I don’t think it can hold that level when the series airs. My gut feeling says that this sequel won’t replicate the success of the first, both in terms of quality and commercial success, but if you are there for “Friends” then this sequel has got you covered.

Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka

Studio: Lidenfilms
Director: Hideyo Yamamoto
Script/Series composer: Norimitsu Kaihou
Source: Manga
When the Earth is threatened by the sudden appearance of undead creatures, a group of young women blessed with powers from a mysterious source rose to defeat them. Now, after three years of apparent peace, the same malevolent creatures have resurfaced. Five magical girls are once again conscripted to war as the Magical Girl Special-Ops force, to defend mankind from an unholy nemesis.

Here comes the Madoka clone, seven years too late. (Oh my god Madoka aired seven years ago! Christ, I am getting old.) Having read the manga let me say that this is like Mahou Shoujo Site, edgy grimdark magical girls. Now I hear there are those who enjoyed Mahou Shoujo site for being absolutely shameless trash, but I’m sorry to say this series is that but not in a fun way. You go all gore and rape and torture with all that jazz trying to subvert the old fluffy cuteness of magical girl anime but the sad fact is that this story takes itself too damn seriously. The events are absurdly tryhard which the narrative pushes to get emotional resonance from, but it just comes across as someone who doesn’t quite understand what the appeal of contrasting magical girls with dark themes even is. It’s about polluting innocence and giving the themes of love and friendship a good realistic kick in the teeth. If you don’t have that then it’s just a bunch of girls in weird outfits killing stuff. I say give this one a pass as the story here is just unsalvageable.

Meiji Tokyo Renka

Studio: TMS Entertainment
Director: Akitarou Daichi
Script/Series composer: N/A
Source: Video Game
Mei Ayazuki is just your ordinary, everyday high-school girl. That is until one night, when the moon is full and red, she’s transported through time to the Meiji Period by Charlie, a self-proclaimed magician. She ends up in a strange, Meiji-era ‘Tokyo’ where the existence of ghosts is accepted. Led by Charlie, she finally arrives at the Rokumeikan. There, waiting for her to arrive, are the historical figures. Whilst interacting with these men, she discovers she is a Tamayori – someone who can see ghosts – a skill that is highly valued in the Meiji Period.

It’s an otome game adaption, therefore it is terrible… look I will stop saying that the moment it proves untrue. The trailer showcases a bunch of hunky boys, Mr. Director has directed nothing worth a damn recently and a movie was previously made about this series in 2015 which sits on MAL with a collective rating of 6/10. I truly wouldn’t hold out hope for this.

Pastel Memories

Studio: Project No.9
Director: Yasuyuki Shinozaki
Script/Series composer: Tsuyoshi Tamai
Source: Video Game
The story takes place in a future Akihabara where otaku culture has declined. Players play as a shopkeeper of an otaku shop. Together with the heroines who are in fact otaku girls, the shopkeeper start helping people claim their lost otaku memories back.

Can we please stop classifying mobile phone Gacha game adaptations as video game adaptations? I am not kidding when I say that every time I look one of these up and find that it’s developed for Android I get disappointed immediately. Doesn’t help that the synopses generally sound better than the shows themselves end up being. Anyway, the animation in the trailer was poor along with the girls with chest biomass than can snap spines. Director has done nothing before this, series composer did three shows before this, two of which were fanservice shows and one which was another gacha game anime that was terrible. It’s crap, move on.

Ueno-san wa Bukiyou

Studio: Lesprit
Director: Tomohiro Yamanashi
Script/Series composer: Tomohiro Yamanashi
Source: Manga
The story centers on Ueno, a genius inventor who is in the third grade at her junior high school. She also serves as the head of the school’s science club and secretly falls in love with one of its members, second grade student Tanaka. Using her eccentric inventions, Ueno tries to confess her love to him indirectly. But her attempt always ends in failure.

There really isn’t much to this one. It’s a gag comedy where a girl constantly tries to beat around the bush and confess her love without putting herself out there. Considerably dumb when you take into account that just confessing directly would not only be easier but actually have the highest success rate. But well then we wouldn’t have a show now then would we. So being a rom com you can expect the romance to go absolutely nowhere and just the plot to be near non existent. It’s just supposed to be funny that this girl makes a device that filters urine into drinkable water and tries to get her crush to drink her urine for…reasons I guess. Maybe to train him in her kink. Comedy is the be all end all for this show and I just didn’t find the manga funny. Especially when it’s just the same joke over and over.

Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita!

Studio: Doga Kobo
Director: Daisuke Hiramaki
Script/Series composer: Yuka Yamada
Source: 4-koma Manga
One day, fifth grader Hinata Hoshino brings her friend Hana Shirosaki to her house, and Hinata’s sister Miyako, a college student, falls in love with with Hana at first sight. Miyako manages to get along with Hana somehow, but her clumsy behavior and shyness, makes Hana wary. Even so, Hana gradually opens up to Miyako, who wants to become closer to her.

Switch the gender of the main character and watch this go creepy fast. Well it’s creepy regardless, I mean it’s about a college student falling in love with a fifth grader. There are even more lolis in the trailer, making me think that whatever gags this show has are going to really have to excel to move past the premise. Based on the trailer showcasing all the girls I have a feeling this is catered towards a certain demographic that I am most definitely not a part of. I am pretty sure that you should give this a pass to save you wasting your life on it.


Studio: GoHands
Director: N/A
Script/Series composer: N/A
Source: Original
The anime centers on Yukiya, who is “probably” 14 years old. He spends his time DJ-ing alone. Due to his father’s influence, he’s listened to house music since he was young, and he uploads videos online. He wants to convey something to someone. He wants to be recognized, and become important. But getting hurt is scary. One day, while trying to get more views, he does something that can’t be undone. And he sees a live broadcast from “that world.” Yukiya believes he can’t do anything alone, but that he could accomplish something if he were doing it together with someone else.

Mario: Ahh GoHands, it’s great to have you back. As disastrous as Hand Shakers was, this is a studio that stays true to its style. If you regard KyoAni or Shaft as being consistent to their final products, you could say the same thing about GoHands, albeit on the opposite spectrum of production quality. Looking at the trailer, my good guess is that it’ll turn out pretty much the same as Hand Shakers: the same blue-heavy filtered visual style, the same cheesy soundtrack (and they will push it even more this time since the main guy is a DJ), the same horrendous CG effects and the same lame dialogue. All I can say is this is likely to be trash, but I’m likely check it out. It’s at least different from your typical anime fare anyway.

Series I am middling on

5-Toubun no Hanayome

Studio: Tezuka Production
Director: Satoshi Kuwabara
Script/Series composer: Keiichirou Oochi
Source: Manga
One day, a poor high school second-year named Futaro Uesugi comes across a private tutoring gig with good pay. But his pupils are his classmates!! And they’re quintuplets!! A-and they’re all gorgeous girls, but they’re also troublemakers who hate to study and are on the verge of flunking out! And his first task is simply gaining the sisters’ trust?! Every day is a party! The curtain is rising on the Nakano quintuplets’ quirky romantic comedy with five times the cute!!

As far as harems go, I at least can say this has some effort behind it. Ones like We Never Study tend to set up a cast and spend their time spinning in circles, giving each girl their episode until the anime ends or the heat death of the universe happens. This story at least makes it that the protagonist isn’t a blank slate, instead having a personality that allows him to bounce well with the cast. The story has a bit more focus as well, though this is still a show where the main appeal is in the waifu wars. Each girl shows off their traits to capture the fanbase and people debate who is best girl. Truly a pointless endeavor. (After all best girl here is undoubtedly Miku.)


Studio: MAPPA
Director: Kazuhiro Furuhashi
Script/Series composer: Yasuko Kobayashi
Source: Manga
A samurai lord has bartered away his newborn son’s organs to forty-eight demons in exchange for dominance on the battlefield. Yet, the abandoned infant survives thanks to a medicine man who equips him with primitive prosthetics—lethal ones with which the wronged son will use to hunt down the multitude of demons to reclaim his body one piece at a time, before confronting his father. On his journeys the young hero encounters an orphan who claims to be the greatest thief in Japan.

Mappa seem to have become an anime studio which goes for old anime instead of the new hotness which I admit is rather refreshing. There are only so many idol, Isekai and Gacha anime I can handle. In this case we have an adaption of a real old manga by the grandfather of manga himself, Osamu Tezuka. So the big issue here would be adapting the story for a modern audience ‘cause despite what purists may say, these golden oldies don’t really translate well into HD without some tweaks. The trailer certainly shows promise with some excellent fight scene animation. The story does sound rather interesting and I hope it’s not hindered by old cliches. We just have to wait and see on this one.

Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue.

Studio: Zero-G
Director: Kaoru Suzuki
Script/Series composer: Deko Akao
Source: Web Manga
Novelist Subaru Mikazuki, who is shy and not good with other people, and Haru, the cat that has been living a severe stray life. This is a story of them suddenly living together and describes the happiness of living together from both point of views.

I wouldn’t say I’m a person who would use this word often in this context, but this story is cute. Really that’s just the best way to describe it. It’s just about a socially awkward guy bringing a stray cat back home and the two slowly warming up to one another. The stories are told from two perspectives, once from the perspective of the owner and again through the perspective of the cat, often with both interpreting each other’s actions differently. I don’t know what it is, perhaps even my own affinity for cats, but even someone as souless as myself finds this story exceedly endearing. Provided it’s adapted well, it should make for exceptional fluff to warm the soul.

Egao no Daika

Studio: Tatsunoko Production
Director: Toshimasa Suzuki
Script/Series composer: Shinichi Inotsume
Source: Original
On a planet far from Earth, there is a kingdom full of smiling faces. Princess Yuuki is 12 years old, and about to enter a sensitive age in a person’s life. Everyday, she cries, laughs, and sometimes, her heart throbs with excitement. All the while, she lives merrily in the royal palace. Stella is 17 years old and a capable, reserved soldier. However, she is always smiling … for smiling is essential to living. This is a story of two girls born on distant planets.

From the director of Rinne no Lagrange, Heroic Age and Fafner – pretty sure we got a mecha anime on our hands. Well, the promotional material is also a good indicator of that. My impression of the trailer is that it looks rather basic. It looks to me like a pretty run of the mill story that isn’t pushing any envelopes.


Studio: Yaoyorozu
Director: Tatsuki
Script/Series composer: Tatsuki
Source: Original
The story follows girls who fight with weird entities nicknamed “mushi” (bugs) and survive in a world of red fog.

Mario: If you asked yourself why Kemono Friends switched to another studio for its sequel, well, the reason is right here: the director of the original Kemono Friends, Tatsuki, devoted himself to this project instead. Kemurikusa is every inch a passion project from Tatsuki. It was based on his 2012 award-winning short (which you can watch here), and he himself handles most of the production stages. Expect it to have the same clunky CG visual style of Kemono Friends, too, although I must confess that this style is growing on me. It might look unpolished but it sure is charming. With the three main characters whose names are Rin, Ritsu and Rina, I don’t expect the writing to be phenomenal but I do have some mild expectation for this indie project. One thing that can work against this anime’s benefit, however, is that it will be aired exclusively by Amazon Prime, so unless you’re living on the edge of Amazon jungle, this anime might easily slip under your radar.

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai

Studio: Gemba
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
Script/Series composer: Michiko Yokote
Source: Original
The story will take place in a barren frontier where people trade goods with each other in order to help each other survive. The Kotobuki Squadron are bodyguards for hire, led by a strict but beautiful squadron leader, an unreliable commanding officer, and a true artisan of a crew chief. Alongside pilots who don’t lack for personality, they take to the air in dogfights, letting the engine noise of their Hayabusa fighters ring out in the skies.

Don’t you just hate it when a show has 2D art for its covers when the show itself is full on CGI? I had hoped that the anime industry would take notes from Land of the Lustrous on how to do CGI right, but sadly this falls on the more janky side of things. Likely because it’s from the studio that made Berserk 2017 which has quite the reputation for its animation. I happen to know the director from his work with Blood C, Another, Dokuru and the infamous trainwreck Mayoiga. I can’t say I have been all too impressed with his offerings considering his tendency for hyper violence and overacting. I am interested in the idea of girls having plane dogfights in the sky (Huh, the second show about girls flying planes. Why do similar premises tend to come out in the same seasons?) but the animation and staff have me concerned as to the show’s actual quality. Likely need to check the first episode of this one before judgement.


Studio: Shirogumi
Director: Goro Taniguchi
Script/Series composer: Makoto Fukami
Source: Original
“This is a prediction. An extreme crisis will befall the five of you someday. At that time, you five will protect everyone.” Daisuke Dōjima is a second-year high school student who, as a child, was kidnapped. Daisuke, along with his friends Gai, Lū, Marimari, and Keisaku, get wrapped up in the mysterious phenomenon known as the “Shibuya Drift.” The central area of Shibuya rises up and is transported at least 300 years in the “future.” What awaits them is a vast wasteland and forest dotted with ruins. There, they will work with the future people “revisions” to operate giant mechanical monsters. Daisuke meets a girl named Milo, who has the same name as the person who kidnapped Daisuke. Milo informs Daisuke that he’s the only one who can operate the “doll weapon String Puppet” and protect Shibuya. Daisuke and his friends must take back the present by fighting the future in a town of isolation, against an unknown enemy.

Not too keen on CGI, but I would like to have a new mecha anime and this has a good premise. But that director though, you know him. Golden boy creator of Code Geass and Planetes but I haven’t seen him reach that level again afterwards. His more recent works have been Active Raid and ID-0, both of which were nothing much to look at. On top of that we’ve got the series composer of Berserk…2016. Well okay he also did Psycho Pass and School Live. Trailer shows a whole load of nothing so we’re half and half on things here. The premise does look promising but that staff is very mixed. Topped off with shaky CGI I don’t know what we might get here.

Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan

Studio: N/A
Director: N/A
Script/Series composer: N/A
Source: 4-koma Manga
Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan is a fun and dark a 4-koma manga about the real (?) life of the author, a single woman in Tokyo who drifts through relationships and works at various hostess clubs and the like. Lots of commentary on “birds of prey” (moukin), girls who use their cuteness and affect stupidity in order to try to score men (against whom the author is constantly fighting).

Mario: Another mystery considering there isn’t any trailer or even a studio name attached to it. The series, however, will be in omnibus format where 12 different directors handle each episode with different styles. Hence in this case I’d say that the PV won’t matter much in terms of showing the show’s artstyle. The fact that this is an adaptation of a 4-koma manga means that it might be a short TV series instead of full-length one. I read the first chapter of its source and I found myself liking it. It doesn’t have much of a plot but it has a raunchy, NSFW, mature sense of humor that I feel the anime medium usually lacks, and sometimes it’s refreshing to see the female lead spending half of her time naked, yet it never feels sexually suggestive. Doesn’t matter if it will be a short or normal TV show, I sure will check it out.

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari

Studio: Kinema Citrus
Director: Takao Abo
Script/Series composer: Keigo Koyanagi
Source: Light Novel
Naofumi Iwatani, an uncharismatic Otaku who spends his days on games and manga, suddenly finds himself summoned to a parallel universe! He discovers he is one of four heroes equipped with legendary weapons and tasked with saving the world from its prophesied destruction. As the Shield Hero, the weakest of the heroes, all is not as it seems. Naofumi is soon alone, penniless, and betrayed. With no one to turn to, and nowhere to run, he is left with only his shield. Now, Naofumi must rise to become the legendary Shield Hero and save the world!

We have our Isekai of the season and surprisingly enough it’s one of the better ones. This particular brand is actually a bit of a subgenre of Isekai which you could call revenge Isekai. Normal Isekai generally are about shoving a kid into another world and showering him with bullshit powers, while revenge Isekai generally has them betrayed, go build up their power and slowly lead up to the moment where the protagonist takes revenge on the person that wronged them. In this regard, Rising of the Shield Hero is likely the best of the bunch but despite having read all the source myself, I hesitate on calling it great. See for me this story was a bit of a sadistic experience, for the main antagonist of the story is called bitch and hoo boy, is that name appropriate. Never have I encountered a character so absolutely hateable that every line of their dialogue makes me want to shove their face into a wood chipper. She is by no means a well-written character but boy did she fill me with righteous fury and relish every single moment she got some just desserts. As such whenever she was put on the sidelines or the story focused on something else, I found that it was a pacing breaker as the characters themselves were not that interesting and the story moved into more wish fulfilment territory that is standard for Isekai. The story also has a lot of the character just leveling himself up and gaining skills so it can feel a bit like watching a Let’s Play of an RPG. With Kinema Circus on this I feel like the series will get a good adaptation, even if the director isn’t all too impressive with his only credit being Norn9. Despite any misgivings I have with the material and writing, it should be a pretty watchable show likely to beat plenty of the isekai we’ve gotten recently.

Series I do look forward to

Boogiepop wa Warawanai

Studio: Madhouse
Director: Shingo Natsume
Script/Series composer: Tomohiro Suzuki
Source: Light Novel
There is an urban legend that children tell one another about a shinigami that can release people from the pain they may be suffering. This “Angel of Death” has a name: Boogiepop. And the legends are true. Boogiepop is real. When a rash of disappearances involving female students breaks out at Shinyo Academy, the police and faculty assume they just have a bunch of runaways on their hands. But Nagi Kirima knows better. Something mysterious and foul is afoot. Is it Boogiepop, or something more sinister…?

I had certainly heard of Boogiepop Phantom before and once back in my early years of watching anime gave the first episode a show only to dismiss it with a “What the hell was that.” Being older and hopefully wiser I hope to give this series a fairer due, and to prepare I decided to buy and read the first Boogiepop light novel. As a fun fact Boogiepop is actually credited for creating the very term “Light Novel,” and I was surprised to see how straightforward the novel is compared to the anime I watched long ago. My general impression of the novel was that it was interesting, and seeing the trailer it’s confirmed that the anime will be a remake (not a sequel) which is starting with the first book. My general impression was that it reminded me a lot of Kara no Kyoukai in its bleak tone and general story. Mainly in that it’s mostly about a supernatural being killing people around a town (or in this case, school) and a supernatural hunter being called in to defeat it. The big difference here however is in how the story is told, as Boogiepop does not tell the story from the perspective of the heroes but rather from the perspective of the innocent bystanders that get involved. Each chapter has a different protagonist who encounters Boogiepop or whatever he’s investigating in some form or another. At the end of each chapter you switch to a new protagonist and see events from a different perspective. As you run through the chapters you slowly piece together exactly what happened. It’s an interesting means of telling the story, though it does start slow with the first chapter mainly just being Boogiepop and some fellow having chats on the roof. However there will be some difficulty in the nuance of the writing as dialogue alone doesn’t quite convey the characters’ thought processes, which could result in some lines and reasoning sounding rather nonsensical. It’s going to take a damn good director to make this show flourish and lucky we be, that’s exactly what we got. Shingo Natsume may be best known as the man who made One Punch Man as beautifully animated as it was thanks to his many connections in the anime industry. Looking at the promotional trailer this show isn’t gonna be holding back on its fight scenes. It’s only a matter of how Shingo handles the more introspective aspects of the series. Out of everything this season I would pin this as being the show to win the season.

Cannon Busters (Netflix March 1st release)

Studio: Satelights
Director: LeSean Thomas
Script/Series composer: N/A
Source: Comic
With a maintenance robot and a deadly fugitive tagging along, friendship droid S.A.M searches for its best friend, the heir to a kingdom under siege.

Mario: Talking about cross-cultural anime, Netflix again brings us an original anime with Western sensibilities. The creator of this comic-adaptation is LeSean Thomas, who was involved in many Western anime-influenced animated series like The Boondocks, Legend of Korra and Black Dynamite. The pilot was crowdfunded and it received enthusiastic responses from those who have seen it. Looking at the PV, I find a lot of things to like; there are attractive character designs and a cool-looking world, but I don’t have any concrete idea about its plot yet. This anime will be released as an OVA on March 1st so this preview is more like a longshot impression but I find it to be one of the most promising Netflix original titles to date.

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen

Studio: A-1 Pictures
Director: Shinichi Omata
Script/Series composer: Yasuhiro Nakanishi
Source: Manga
Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane are the members of the incredibly prestigious Shuichi’in Academy’s student council, asserting their positions as geniuses among geniuses. All the time they spend together has caused the two of them to develop feelings for each other, but their pride will not allow them to be the one to confess and become the submissive one in the relationship! Love is war, and their battle to make the other confess begins now!

The personal pet darling of r/manga and 4chan’s manga section, an anime adaption of Kaguya Wants to Be Confessed to (or its more snappy title, Kaguya: Love is War) was an inevitability. A short synopsis of this manga’s appeal would be that it’s a romantic comedy where the two leads try to get the other to admit their feelings in mind games reminiscent of Death Note. The cast is pretty lovable in their interactions and the author knows when to get serious and when to just have fun with the concept. Thus the deciding factor which would show whether this series becomes a hit or a miss is how well the manga’s comedy is adapted. Grand Blue showed that no matter how well a comedy can work in manga form, adaptation decay can degrade it to the point that the anime is an inferior copy. Kaguya runs the risk of falling into the same trap as a lot of its comedy is reliant on its format with some of the best jokes delivered by manga narration. So this director will need to flex some muscles to get this story working on screen, and it’s a pity that director isn’t Tetsurou Araki as this would be right up his alley with his over the top reactions and dramatic impact in Death Note and Attack on Titan. Instead we have the director of Rakugo and Sankarea, so it’s up in the air just how well this will be handled.

Mob Psycho 100 II

Studio: Bones
Director: Yuzuru Tachikawa
Script/Series composer: Hiroshi Seko
Source: Manga
Second season of Mob Psycho 100

Lenlo: And so the prodigal son returns, fresh from its year and a half spiritual journey, ready to once more show us the light. I’ll cut right to the chase, if you liked the first season, you’re going to love the second. It only gets crazier and Bones is clearly committed to adhering to ONE’s original style. If you’re looking for a gag shounen with themes of youth and tied in commentary on growing up, you could do a lot worse than Mob Psycho 100 2. Also, they clearly missed an opportunity to call it Mob Psycho 101, but that’s just me.

Yakusoku no Neverland

Studio: CloverWorks
Director: Mamoru Kanbe
Script/Series composer: Toshiya Ono
Source: Manga
Emma, Norman and Ray are the brightest kids at the Grace Field House orphanage. And under the care of the woman they refer to as “Mom,” all the kids have enjoyed a comfortable life. Good food, clean clothes and the perfect environment to learn – what more could an orphan ask for? One day, though, Emma and Norman uncover the dark truth of the outside world they are forbidden from seeing.

This one is likely a contender for a hit of the season as it has been gathering steam in the manga world to the point that an anime adaption was a given. The story itself is certainly a breath of fresh air with it being a sort of Great Escape story with the children planning their way out and dodging a seemly omnipresent mother figure. I can certainly say the series remains a tense and engaging experience in its first arc. But it is beyond that where my problems with the series begin, as I find that the characterization is rather lacking, which begins to cripple interest as the story starts to focus more on the characters themselves and what little they have to offer. Though to be fair the anime may not even get that far in its first cour, and I am willing to bet this will get plenty hooked week to week. It’s a safe bet that this will end up one of the top series of the season.

Some Anime Movie Previews

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection

Studio: Sunrise
Director: Gorou Taniguchi
Script/Series composer: Ichiro Okouchi
Source: Original

As part of Code Geass’ alternate film trilogy, this is final third part as its takes two years after Lelouch’s “Zero Requiem” plan.

HelghastKillzone: It’s crazy to think that it has been over ten years since Code Geass originally aired and took the anime world by storm with its wild rollercoaster ride of a mecha story. Since then, its various spin-offs like Akito the Exiled have fallen far short of the bar set by its predecessor but that doesn’t mean Sunrise isn’t done with this franchise. Instead of creating a entirely new third season that would most likely ruin, what many consider to be, an amazing ending to its second season, the studio cleverly repackaged Code Geass into a movies series that cuts and adds significant parts to the show such as [REDACTED] actually surviving to become its own thing. The mechs look to be a mixture of 2D/3D and returning back to fighting in a traditional animated style instead of the dizzying rotating camera of Akito the Exiled. With its original creator back at the helm, I don’t expect anything less than a thrilling alternate conclusion to a staple anime of this generation.

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System

Studio: Production I.G
Director: Naoyoshi Shiotani
Script/Series composer: Ryo Yoshigami (Case.1), Makoto Fukami (Case.2, Case.3)
Source: Original

A trilogy of films that act as both sequels and prequel to the entire Psycho-Pass series, these films follows three separate stories that mostly focuses on the supporting cast of the Public Safety Bureau and its main character of Shinya Kogami.

HelghastKillzone: Psycho-Pass is what I wished the industry would pump out on a regular with its in-depth themes, cyberpunk aesthetics and mature characters wrapped up in a compelling crime drama. Although, Gen Urobuchi is not penning the script this time around, the two script writers have already contributed immensely to the series and I’m confident that it won’t end up like what that hack Jun Kumagai did to the series.While it is disappointing to see Akane Tsunemori not appearing to play a main role in any of the three films, I’m rather excited to see different characters tackle cases without her presence. After all, we did followed her over the course of two seasons and a movie and I feel that her character development is pretty complete from her naive beginnings to the steadfast and bold investigator that she is at the end the last movie. In particular, I’m curious to see how Mika Shimotsuki, who was a complete insufferable bitch in the second season and had little impact in the movie, would carries herself in an investigation far away from the safety net of the Sibyl System.

Youjo Senki Movie

Studio: Nut
Director: Yutaka Uemura
Script/Series composer: Kenta Ihara
Source: Light Novel
In 1926, Tanya and her battalion return home from defeating remnants of the Republic’s army. However, when they arrive they receive word of a massive mobilization near the border with the Russy Federation, so the Empire’s army must prepare. At the same time, a multinational army under the leadership of the Allied Kingdom moves into the Russy Federation. The enemy of an enemy is a friend, but among the Allied Kingdom army is Mary Sioux, a girl who has sworn to exact justice against the Empire for the death of her father.

HelghastKillzone: One of my top shows from 2017, our favorite ̶G̶e̶r̶m̶a̶n̶ Empire sociopathic killing machine is back in a movie sequel by fighting in an anime rendition of World War Two’s African theatre with a magical girl twist. While I would prefer an regular anime season of weekly episodes, this was probably the best way forward for a young fledgling anime studio like NUT to remain financially solvent while producing high quality works that they are creatively invested into. As Mary Sioux enters into the fray with the blessing of Being X behind her, Tanya is about to match her match as their motives of revenge and self-interest come smashing into one another with all screaming, violence and psychotic scheming that it entails.

Fate/stay night Heaven’s Feel II. Lost Butterfly

Studio: Ufotable
Director: Tomonori Sudou
Script/Series composer: Akira Hiyama
Source: Visual Novel
The second film in a trilogy adaptation of the 3rd route of the popular visual novel: Fate/stay night.

The second part of three which I look very much forward to seeing…next year. Generally this is why I don’t preview movies as regardless to my thoughts on them, we won’t actually see them until they land on blu-ray. Still I am excited that Heaven’s Feel moves one step closer to completion and the day we have a full Ufotable adaption of all three routes becomes more of a reality. Indeed no mention of a Fate Route adaption has been made but honestly with Type Moons tendency to milk this franchise to death, I feel it will come eventually. I was very satisfied with the first Heaven’s Feel movie, I even have a review of it on this site. I felt it did everything it needed to set up the next two without it feeling rushed or slow. This movie however is going to be the one that Ufotable is going to have to improvise with the source material. Part of the reason why Heaven’s Feel is not my favorite Fate route(UBW still reigns for me in regards to the original VN) is that it has a good beginning and a fantastic finish but a very weak middle. Without spoilers I will say that there is a point in the middle of the story where the Holy Grail War takes a bit of a backseat and instead there is just this slow building up of stakes and foreboding for the eventual finale. In the VN it was a pacing killer and I felt like for a while nothing was truly happening. I am hoping that Ufotable remedies this by expanding on what was going on outside of Shirou’s perspective and that it could potentially fix the pacing problems of Heaven’s Feel as a whole. Without a doubt it will look beautiful and if it keeps up the quality of the first movie then I will have little to complain about. This is without a doubt my most anticipated anime movie for upcoming releases, but sadly I won’t see it unless they extend screenings over to Ireland. Chances for that however are about as bleak as this flim’s tone.

6 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike says:

    I’m excited for Mob Psycho 100. enjoyed the first season of Kakegurui so I’m definitely going check out the second season.

    Boogiepop wa Warawanai and Yakusoku no Neverland look very interesting. It would be nice if you covered one of them.

    It should be a good season.

  2. Avatar Amagi says:

    Relatively few series I am sure I will like, but I usually get surprised a few times per season so there are probably more.
    I know Neverland and Dororo should be good but I am always sceptical with shounen and direct adaptions of ages old series. I love Tezuka though, but Dororo always sounded like one of his weaker manga (probably because it sounds like a typical shounen). It’s Tezuka though it might contain some serious developments people don’t expect. Maybe.

    I will surely like Boogiepop (especially after haven seen the reactions for the first episodes) and Mob 100 II. The rest seems meh so far. Never cared about romance series so Kaguya will most likely bore me after a while, I will never not hate selfinsert isekai either and Shield guy is just a variant of that and Revisions feels like another sci-fi that fails completely due to shitty teen drama, some 02 and CGI I don’t like to look at.
    The Netflix series is a wild card that might work for me and the Cat series could be cute so there is that.

  3. Avatar Jimmytimmy says:

    Nice breakdown of the season. Along with the three big anime (mob, Neverland and shield hero) there are some shows that could turn out to be very good. Wish we got more Youjo Senki. Just a movie is not enough.

  4. Avatar donhumberto says:

    Thanks for the preview. As always is a really nice read. My two most anticipated shows are by far Boogiepop (the original is one of the darkest, in all senses, series I’ve ever watched and I love it to bits) and Dororo (which, judging by the pv looks all kinds of awesome). I didn’t know about Cannon Busters but it looks pretty dope too.
    And talking about Netflix originals, Have you guys checked out Hero Mask yet? It’s pretty damn awesome and despite needing a sequel badly it’s my clear choice for anime of the year. Just think of Monster meets Psycho Pass and you’ll get an approximate idea of what to expect. An absolute must for those craving a gripping, mature mystery thriller with a touch of sci-fi (and some of the most jaw-dropping action scenes I’ve seen in a loong time).

  5. Avatar ACG.RE says:

    Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai:Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen

    Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita!

    Fate/stay night Heaven’s Feel II. Lost Butterfly

    The above three animations should be reviewed

  6. Avatar Tayo Jones says:

    Once I finish watching S1 of mob, I am moving straight to S2. Another anime I will bed watching is dororo. That title has potential.

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