Posted on 17 March 2016 with categories: Seasonal Previews

I swear these anime seasons go by so fast. Hard to believe I have been doing this for about a year and half now; even harder to believe that I am the one still doing it. In old days of Psgels if you told me that I would be the guy one day writing the posts I would claim you were mad. Yet here I am, the one and pretty much only writer of the site. Can’t say I signed up for that but well you can’t fight fate so I am here for better or worse. Who knows, maybe one day I will stop making spelling mistakes in these posts. (That will be the day)

I must admit that the quality of the past winter season was marvelous. There were quite a number of really great enjoyable titles. KonaSuba, Buranko Buranki, Dagashi Kashi, Ajin ERASED, Rakugo and even the more flawed shows like Schwarzesmarken being quite watchable. A very strong season in my opinion. So much so that I dared not mention it for fear of jinxing it. This upcoming season might not be quite as strong but we do have some contenders which has me hopeful that this season won’t be a disappointment.

The rules remain the same as the last previews. The sequels and prequels are listed below. If you liked the previous series then by all means continue. My picks for blogging this season are Re:zero and whatever takes my fancy during the quick first impressions. Sakamoto is looking to be a safe bet for my second choice but I am reluctant to blog a straight out comedy due to it being a highly subjective affair and lacking much to talk about. A Strawpoll is below to decide the third series I will cover. If I happen to pick the series listed first as my personal second blogging choice then the second highest voted series will be the winner. You have more than one vote so go nuts.

http://strawpoll.me/7103287

And with that let us begin.

 

The sequels/prequels I don’t care about

Battle Spirits: Double Drive

Beyblade Burst

Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou 2

Duel Masters VSRF

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal – Death Busters-hen

Future Card Buddyfight DDD

Kaitou Joker 3

Kyoukai no Rinne 2

Magi: Sinbad no Bouken

PriPara 3rd Season

Terra Formars: Revenge

Series I don’t look forward to

12-sai.: Chiccha na Mune no Tokimeki


 

The story begins with Hanabi, a sixth-grade girl who is neither an adult nor a child. She deals with issues such as accidentally witnessing her homeroom teacher kissing, and worrying about experiencing physiological changes before her friends. This is the depiction of a 12-year-old girl’s innocent worries and first love.

We got nothing. No staff, no translated source material. Only thing I can say is that the studio has animated a lot of Pokemon and kids shows. They did some mature stuff in the old days but now it seems they tend to shoot for the younger demographic. To me this looks like what you see is what you get.

 

Aikatsu Stars!


 

 

Aikatsu Stars! features the protagonist Yume Nijino. Yume aims to become a top idol, and she enrolls in the Yotsusei Gakuen. This academy has a special group called the S4, who are the top four active idols in the school. Yume and the other first-year students aim to become a part of the S4.

Bah! Look at all the colour. It’s like someone decided to binge on skittles while drinking only to vomit up on paper. Truly nothing on this one, not even an animation studio. There’s a school for idols to teach them how to market themselves out like plastic barbie dolls so they can earn enough money to drown their shame in barrels of cocaine when they are older. Sadly that isn’t what this show is actually about.

 

Big Order


 

 

10 years ago a child wished for the destruction of the world. Now a Group of people has the ability which grants their wishes depending on their power. They are called “Order User”.
Before these great people who has the power of “Order”, One person excels most, with the ability to rule and conquer the world and turned people into puppet when it is on his Jurisdiction, that power belongs to Hoshimiya Eiji, who is also responsible with the destructive phenomena happened exactly 10 years ago.

From the author of Mirai Nikki(Future dairy) comes Mirai Nikki…again. Now to me there is pretty much only one reason for the anime of Mirai Nikki to exist and that was to show off one of the greatest examples of a yandere to grace the anime medium. Other than that it was a plot hole filled mess that pretty much could only qualify for a guilty pleasure. Big Order is very much a retread of Mirai Nikki. We have a poor man’s Yuno in the female protagonist and the story is essentially a battle royal between supernatural power users. The protagonist is better than what we had before however the issues with plot holes and wasted potential setups remains. Without Yuno, I say this series isn’t really worth the time. There are interesting ideas present in the story but the author can’t really use them to their fullest potential.

 

Bungou Stray Dogs


 

 

Nakajima Atsushi was kicked out of his orphanage, and now he has no place to go and no food. While he is standing by a river, on the brink of starvation, he rescues a man whimsically attempting suicide. That man is Dazai Osamu, and he and his partner Kunikida are members of a very special detective agency. They have supernatural powers, and deal with cases that are too dangerous for the police or the military. They’re tracking down a tiger that has appeared in the area recently, around the time Atsushi came to the area. The tiger seems to have a connection to Atsushi, and by the time the case is solved, it is clear that Atsushi’s future will involve much more of Dazai and the rest of the detectives!

This story is lacking the hook to get me interested. The premise is pretty overdone and the characters are simply are bunch of rather bland eccentrics. It reminds of of blood blockade battlefront in how it deals with a organization of super powered individuals stopping supernatural crimes. Only difference is that this time the characters are named after famous Japanese novelists and their powers after famous works of literature. It’s rather cosmetic though and holds not much significance. It’s possible that with the right direction this could turn into something more worthwhile but judging solely from this I say it’s rather mediocre.

 

Endride


 

 

The story is set on Endra, an unknown world beneath the surface of Earth itself. It is another world, where the giant Adamas shines above and seven-colored bands drift across the skies.
One day, Shun Asanaga — an ordinary yet positive and bright 15-year-old middle school boy who lived in the “Land Above” — lands in this place. He had discovered a mysterious crystal at his scientific businessman father’s company, and the moment he touched the crystal, he was transported to Endra.
He meets Prince Emirio, who strongly despises the current King Deruzain and had just turned 16 at Endra’s castle. He became of age to ascend to the throne, and he wields a weapon to seek his vengeance at last, but the difference in strength proves to be insurmountable. Captured and imprisoned by Deruzain, Emirio is heartbroken. But then, the walls of the prison suddenly become distorted, and Shun appears within them.
Two youths live in Endra — one to return his former world, and one to exact revenge. The future that is within the grasp of two youths raised in different worlds…

Brains base normally gives me hope for a show but in this case I am not seeing much potential. The Story isn’t interesting from the description and the art-style looks generic. The staff doesn’t inspire much hope either as neither the director or Series composer has worked on anything all that worthwhile. I am fairly willing to bet this won’t be worth anyone’s time.

 

Gakusen Toshi Asterisk 2


 

 

Second season of Gakusen Toshi Asterisk.

So why is it that in a season with two shows that were highly similar, the lesser of the two gets a sequel? Japan, sometimes I just don’t get you.

Gekidol


 

 

A multimedia project that will combine stage theater, anime, and idols.

No source material, no staff information, PV that explains nothing about the show. I got nothing. The only thing I can tell you is that the studios only notable work is Mysterious Girlfriend X. Everything else they made is either anime that’s softcore porn or some genuine porn. Based on that; not much hope for this one.

Hundred


 

 

The story begins with the Hundred, the only weapon that can counter the mysterious Savage life form attacking Earth. To become a Slayer (master of military arts) who wields this Hundred, the main character Hayato Kisaragi successfully enrolls in the marine academy city ship Little Garden. However …
“I wanted to meet you, Hayato!!”
“W–who are you…?”
Hayato feels a strange yet familiar sense of incongruity towards Emil Crossford, his roommate who somehow knows him from somewhere. On top of that, as soon as he enters the school, he is challenged to a duel by the “Queen” (the school’s most powerful Slayer) Claire Harvey!

Boy goes to magic high school, boy meets girl, girl challenges boy to duel, later sees a girl naked…you know where this is going. It’s been done. It was done last season and the season before that. It is the same story with palette swapped heroines. It has been done so many times that I wonder why it still sells. Just give this one a pass, it’s a no effort light novel.

Hai Furi


 

 

“In the sea we live, the sea we protect, and by the sea we go.”
Japan, 100 years after plate subductions caused many other countries to be submerged. To save the remaining countries, the coastal cities that had been built up were launched into the seas, and the seaborne routes between them expanded. With this expansion, a need for personnel that could safeguard the seas arose. Women began to seek employment in this new industry, and soon, the “Blue Mermaids,” those who keep the sea safe, began to be a source of admiration for many. The childhood friends Akeno Misaki and Moeka China sought to become Blue Mermaids themselves, and together with others who shared their dream, they enrolled in Yokosuka’s Marine High School.

In reading this synopsis I went from a number of reactions. First I was expecting a school slice of life but found the synopsis talking about sea warriors. So it’s like a Kantai collection ripoff, but hey maybe it could put more creativity into the idea. Just when some hope that this might be something worthwhile the last words hit. “they enrolled in Yokosuka’s Marine High School.” Truly these words can kill interest faster than a lecture on the fundamentals of geology. So the studio has pretty much nothing worthwhile and this is the director’s second anime. The series composer seems experienced but this looks like a “just in it for the paycheck” job. I would be surprised if this was something notable.

Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?


 

 

The story centers on Hideki Nishimura, a young man who confessed to a person he thought was a girl online, only for that person to turn out to be a boy. He keeps this “black history” secret and swears to never to trust a “girl” online again. However, one day a girl online confesses to him, and it turns out she’s actually a beautiful girl named Ako Tamaki. Ako cannot tell the difference between the online world and reality, and she is a loner who has trouble communicating. Hideki and his friends from his guild decide to work together to “correct” her.

This is pretty much every teenage MMO players wet dream. Those people you play online with are all beautiful girls and one of them is totally into you! Wish fulfillment to the max and I find the mentality of the story to be rather outdated. Girls wanting to play MMOs?! Ridiculous. Here on the internet men are men, Women are men and children are FBI agents. These days anyone with a phone can access the internet. Finding a real girl isn’t as hard as you think. Now finding a hardcore gamer who happens to be a gorgeous girl, single, nearby and ready to be molded into your perfect girlfriend? Yeah, that would take some effort. And a miracle. My particular gripe with this is that the setup has to do with this girl not being able to distinguish between games and reality. I despise this as it’s a common utterly nonsensical argument people opposed to video games throw out. It’s just stupid, if a person cannot tell between what happens on screen and what happens in reality then they are either idiotic or have much more serious mental problems. So what is this show about. Well a guy finds himself in a school club which is made up of eccentric girls he met online. Remember Haganai? Basically that. At most mildly watchable but more likely a dull forgettable show.

Pan de Peace!


 

 

The 4koma centers around Minami, an airheaded girl who is starting high school and who loves eating bread for breakfast. Baked goods bring happiness everyday to her and her classmates — the reliable Yuu, the pastry-baking Fuyumi, and the independent Noa.

It’s a four Koma comedy manga about cute girls eating bread and frankly, my dear. I don’t give a damn. And lets be honest; neither do you.

Kidou Senshi Gundam RE: 0096


 

 

U.C. 0096. Three years after Char’s rebellion, Banagher Links, a boy who lives on the manufacturing colony Industrial 7, meets a mysterious girl named Audrey Burne. She claims to seek to prevent a potential war by interfering with the transfer of “Laplace’s Box” from the Vist Foundation to a Neo Zeon remnant group known as the “Sleeves”.
However, when a Federation squad also sent to prevent the transfer clashes with the Sleeves, the colony is plunged into battle.
As Banager races through the flames in search of Audrey, one other fateful encounter awaits him—the Unicorn Gundam, a pale white mobile suit that’s the key to Laplace’s Box.
What is Laplace’s Box? What are the secrets that it holds? For the first time in 100 years, light will shine on the darkest secrets of the Universal Century…

With the OVA covering the story of Gundam Unicorn extensively I don’t really see the point of having an anime to expand upon it. To me this seems like the OVA is going to be chopped up into a series with some small extra scenes. I have no interest in watching that.

Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukoku no Fatalité


 

 

The anime is set in a continent ruled by sword and magic called Kunaaan, where a power balance between the Holy Kingdom of Amoria, the Kingdom of Ishilfen, and the Vanrodis Kingdom keeps a peace so unstable that any tragedy that befalls any one kingdom will mean war for the entire continent. Another power, the evil dragon Daganzord, also resides on the continent, and no one is powerful enough to stop him from spreading destruction and charred land in his wake. Two individuals, Bairo and Kismitete, undertook a ritual alongside a party of wizards to seal Daganzord, but were foiled. This event was known thereafter as the Balbagoa Tragedy. Bairo and Kismitete’s son Hiiro is saved by Giiru, and Hiiro swears to avenge his parents’ deaths and trains himself with the sword. When Hiiro turns 16, he sets out on a journey to slay the dragon, and Giruu accompanies him, having no choice. Along the way, they meet many types of people, and gain companions on their journey.

Based on a card battle game I don’t hold much hope in this one. The premise is overdone and out of the card game based animes recently; they tended to end up mediocre. The series composer does have potential though; being the same man behind Birdy Decode and quite a number of Eureka Seven episodes. It’s just that I look at this and it’s all too familiar for my tastes. Even done well it’s a derivative of what has been done many times before.

Shounen Maid


 

 

The manga revolves around Chihiro Komiya, an energetic elementary school student who was living with his mom. Chihiro is very good at doing housework and chores, and his mother’s motto is “No work, no food.” After his mother suddenly dies, a man named Madoka Taketori who claims to be his uncle shows up, and asks Chihiro to come live with him. Chihiro initially refuses, but when seeing the horribly dirty state of Madoka’s rich home, he decides to start cleaning it. Then Madoka makes another offer to Chihiro: that he comes to live with him, but in exchange Chihiro will do the housework. Chihiro accepts this deal, but suddenly finds himself in a maid uniform.

I am guessing this was supposed to be a comedy. So a boy loses his parents and is taken in by his relative who is creepy and volatiles personal space. Because of the boys sensibilities to pay back what he’s given; he agrees to act as a cleaner for the house. His relative this dresses him up in a maid outfit and forces him to clean in that because it’s “cute”… Um…this is a comedy right? Not some kind of disturbing horror show? I am pretty sure this is worthy of calling child services on. I read what I can stomach of the manga so the anime gets a nope from me.

Super Lovers


 

 

A high school boy named Haru and his mother are living overseas. His mother orders him to take care of and “civilize” his adoptive brother Ren, a wild young boy who dislikes talking with other people. While their relationship is adversarial at first, they grow closer as they begin to understand one another.

I knew going into this manga that it’s clearly not for me but for the preview I must give everything a chance. I admit that the story is more tastefully done than I expected and I think there are those who could find this interesting. The idea of a person taking care of a feral boy is at least somewhat interesting. The issue I take with the manga is likely its main drawing point; the romance. I have no issues with homosexual relationships but regardless of gender, a romance between a grown adult and underage child is very creepy. I will just leave this off by saying it’s not for me.

 

Kamiwaza Wanda


 

 

The story is set in a world where every event has been turned into programs, and mysterious monsters known as “Promin” maintain the world. However, many Promin who have turned into bugs known as “Bugmin” are responsible for many of the world’s real-life bugs. Left alone, they may eventually turn into a big problem. The boy Yūto encounters the space dog Wanda, and the pair use a camera-like device and key items to capture Bugmin. Promin themselves are able to do things like “accelerate objects,” “spew fire,” or “create objects,” through an ability known as “Kamiwaza” (miracle), and are able to fend off Bugmin with it. At first, the Bugmin only cause small, bothersome things, but it will soon elevate into a global scale threat. Can one boy and one dog save the world?

It’s a kids show about some kid using Digimon to save the world. The studio has some fairly decent stuff though this looks like a typical kids show. Personally I am more interested in how this studio will handle an adaption of ReLife. The series composer has done a lot of screenplays though his series composer shows are not too noticeable besides Blue Gender. Well who knows, could be fun.

Sansha Sanyou


 

 

The comedy manga follows the everyday life of three very different high school students. Futaba Odagiri is incredibly energetic but is also a glutton. Teru Hayama looks like an angel but she is really a demonic class president. Youko Nishikawa is the daughter of family that used to be a member of the upper class, but after her father’s company went bankrupt, they became poor.

Cute girls + cute things = bored Aidan. Well looks like a typical cute girls do cute things show and the studio has done quite a few of them. It’s also the studio that did the Grisaia Adaptions. So let’s just move along.

Sword Gai


 

 

The story revolves around Gai, who was born beside a woman who met her death in a forest. He was adopted by the swordsmith Amon. A few years later, Gai becomes Amon’s apprentice, and during the forging of a sword, he loses his right arm. To help him, Amon crushes the demon sword Shiryuu (lit. Death Dragon) to form it into Gai’s replacement right arm. Gai then is able to fuse with the weapon on his arm, and fights against his enemies.

Pretty certain this is a short 5 to 15 minute show based on whose animating it. Other than that no other information on this. There’s nothing to say here. We just have to see how it turns out.

Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge


 

 

Tanaka who is a high school student simply is a slacker and does not want to do anything at all. He loves to sleep during classes and prefers not moving to save energy. One day he meets his classmate, Ota who is exactly the opposite. Ota is energetic and leader in class. He becomes friends with Tanaka and tries to make him start moving. Based on a popular comic from Nozomi Uda.

It’s a comedy about a guy that’s really lazy. That’s pretty much the only joke and it’s not funny.

Unhappy♪


 

 

The story centers around class 1-7 of Tennogofune Academy, where all the students with “bad karma” or misfortune seem to have been gathered. Hibari, a student in this class, meets the unlucky Hanako and the perennially unhealthy Botan on her first day of school, and together they try to find a way to turn their school life into a happy one.

These people look very happy to me. What deplorable false advertising. Can’t someone provide a title the niche audience that desires emo girls doing emo things? Directors hit or miss, its silver link so it’s bound to be decently animated.

 

Series I am middling on

 

Bakuon!!


 

 

The story revolves around high school girls who discover the appeal of motorcycles. Sakura Hane is a high school student who looks a little bit like an airhead. On the way to her all-female high school one day, she is worn-out climbing a hilly road with a bicycle, but she sees a girl named Onsa Amano who is riding a motorcycle. Sakura immediately becomes interested in motorcycles, and she and Onsa join the motorcycle club at the school. Then, Sakura sets out to get her license.

Cute girls love motorcycles sums it up nicely. A cute girl gets interested in motorcycles, joins a school club about motorcycles (A school approving a club that would have serious health and safety issues?) That has three other quirky motorcycle enthusiasts which includes a girl who never removes her helmet or speaks. It’s not original by a longshot but for what it is; it’s done better than most. Ultimately inoffensive and mindless entertainment.

Boku no Hero Academia


 

 

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested extraordinary superpowers called “Quirks” at age four? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Becoming a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? U.A. High’s Hero Program of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?
Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all gives him a chance to change his destiny…

It really was only a matter of time before this got an anime as it is the very kind of Shounen that becomes exceedingly popular. The manga isn’t bad by any means and under the direction of Bones this is likely going to end up a very good Shounen series. Though I feel it’s very run of the mill and predictable as far as these stories go. Upon first reading it I thought would would be a story of a normal person in a superhero world becoming the equivalent of that universe’s Batman. Sadly it’s more of a tale about him inheriting the role of this world’s Superman. Once the superhero school is introduced I began to get bored very quickly as the plot ticked all the boxes you would expect if you are familiar with the genre. Again if you haven’t seen a lot of these stories or just like them in general then it will be a fun ride. It’s Naruto with Superheroes instead of ninjas. As far as anime goes this is a fairly safe bet to be some fans hit of the season.

flying witch


 

 

Aomori, Japan.
In a land blessed by nature’s bountiful beauty, bizarre things begin to take place. Makoto Kowata, 15 years old, is a professional witch. She left Yokohama with Chito, her black cat, to live in the house of her relatives in Aomori. This is where she begins to train as a witch.
Even though Makoto’s powers are still limited to just flying through the sky, she and her second cousins Kei and Chinatsu surely make the most out of each and every day.

There’s not much to say about this one. It’s mainly a slice of life about a girl who’s a witch. Some comedy and fairly easygoing. Somewhat reminiscent of Kiki’s Delivery service. A readable title which will become a decent anime if done right.

Gyakuten Saiban


 

 

CAPCOM announced at a stage event at Tokyo Game Show on Thursday that its Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban) courtroom battle game franchise is getting a TV anime adaptation that will premiere in Japan in April 2016.

Looks like hell has frozen over because there is a Phoenix wright anime adaption in front of me. My reaction to this is curiosity, but not excitement. The old rule of video game adaptations being below average has been proven time and time again but this game’s status as a game/visual novel puts that into question. Thing is this game is made by Capcom and they are well known for absolutely terrible writing. I have played the first two games if the series so I know what I am in for and let me tell you this. The story of these games is very silly. There are good aspect in the murder mystery style of the cases but this series is very lighthearted when it comes to the plot. People may die but it’s hard to take that seriously when you have a cast of overly eccentric people around. What will make or break this adaption is the highlight of the games themselves, the courtroom debates. This series needs to capture that over the top epic feeling with Phoenix’s “objection!!” as well as the desk slams and reactions. We need to blow everything out of proportion and if they can manage that then this anime will be something pretty good. Otherwise I see a weak video game adaption coming.

 

JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Diamond wa Kudakenai


 

 

Part 4 focuses on Josuke Higashikata, the illegitimate son of Joseph Joestar, with Jotaro Kujo and Joseph Joestar along in a supporting role.

Stardust Crusaders has diminished my love for this series a bit so I am not quite as excited to see a sequel. It wasn’t bad but it got fairly repetitive and the rule of cool can only carry you so far. This time people are calling out that this is the pinnacle of the series though I doubt that as people said the same about Stardust. The fact of the matter is that; how does one top what has come before? Jojo has always managed to top itself by getting more and more ridiculous but I feel that once we are past Freddy Kruger babies and Gorilla with a boat stand that we have reached a zenith. The good thing about Jojo is that with every part comes a new cast and villain so perhaps they can make it work if we have more interesting main characters to work with. ( Though Jotaro is still here and Jotaro got boring fast)

 

Kiznaiver


 

 

The fictional Japanese city named Sugomori City is built on reclaimed land. But as the years go by, the city’s population is decreasing. One day, Sonosaki tells her classmate Katsuhira: “You have been selected to be a Kiznaiver.” The Kizuna System, which allows Katsuhira to share his wounds, connects him to the classmates whose lives and personalities completely differ from his. The Kizuna System is an incomplete system for the implementation of world peace that connects people through wounds. All those who are connected to this system are called Kiznaivers. When one Kiznaiver is wounded, the system divides and transmits the wound among the other Kiznaivers.

It’s Studio triggers new original anime. Quite frankly I could leave it at that. Do you even need any more information? They have already proven they can make some great shows with a hamstring budget. Given a half decent budget after some adaptations I expect nothing less than a damn good watch. Nothing particularly deep but entertaining without doubt. However there is a problem with this one. For one the synopsis is a bit complicated for a Tigger style anime and the other is that Mari Okada is the series composer. This doesn’t look to be Triggers usual fair and while Okada did good with Gundam; I still have misgivings about her. Not to mention this isn’t the only anime she’s composing this season. The director is a first timer so we just have to wait and see with this one.

 

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri


 

 

As the world is in the middle of an industrial revolution, a monster appears that cannot be defeated unless its heart, which is protected by a layer of iron, is pierced. By infecting humans with its bite, the monster can create aggressive and undead creatures known as Kabane. On the island Hinomoto, located in the far east, people have built stations to shelter themselves from these creatures. People access the station, as well as transport wares between them, with the help of a locomotive running on steam, called Hayajiro. Ikoma, a boy who lives in the Aragane station and helps to build Hayajiro, creates his own weapon called Tsuranukizutsu in order to defeat the creatures. One day, as he waits for an opportunity to use his weapon, he meets a girl named Mumei, who is excused from the mandatory Kabane inspection. During the night, Ikuma meets Mumei again as he sees Hayajiro going out of control. The staff on the locomotive has turned into the creatures. The station, now under attack by Kabane, is the opportunity Ikoma has been looking for.

From the studio that brought us Attack on Titan comes an original anime that sound a lot like it. This is a mixed situation. We have the series composer who brought us Code Geass and Planetes; But has also given us Valvrave. We have the director of Death note, Kurozuka, attack on Titan and High school of the dead; but he has also given us Guilty crown. Sawano is here ready to give us an epic soundtrack that will likely be reminiscent of his Attack on Titan work. With all these players here we could get something special but the anime does feel to me like wit studio is trying to make lightning strike the same place twice.

 

Kuma Miko


 

 

The story follows Machi, a middle school student who serves as a shrine maiden at a Shinto shrine enshrining a bear in the recesses of a certain mountain in Japan’s northern Touhoku region. Machi’s guardian is a talking bear named Natsu, and one day Machi says to Natsu, “I want to go to a school in the city.” The worrywart Natsu then gives Machi — who is ignorant in the ways of the world — a set of trials that she must pass in order to be able to survive in the city.

A little girl wants to go to school in the city while her talking bear guardian says she can’t because she’s a country bumpkin. The series basically involves comedy as the bear tests her on being ready for the city. The girl is old fashioned seeing as she finds chopping wood for a boiler is better than making use of electricity. I like how the bear is the one who’s tech savvy and is often making use of Ipads and the internet. Its amusing but I do feel its rather typical for this kind of comedy. For example, yet again we have a character who is in love with another character whose oblivious to their affections. Is their some sort of rule that requires that all simple comedies have this? It’s an alright read which could be a fun watch.

 

Kuromukuro


 

 

An original anime by studio P.A. Works in celebration of the studio’s 15th anniversary. It will debut in 2016.

I was rather happy to see PA works go for a Mecha anime as I feel they need to change up the formula. They are a bit too fond of the school slice of life and need to take steps away from it. Then I watched the PV for this and found that no Mecha were present and there was plenty of Highschool slice of life. They don’t look to be moving too far away from their speciality. The series composer has Another and a couple of episodes of Morbitio under his belt and the director has been involved with a number of big names; though not always as a director. He’s directed Blue exorcist, Seven deadly sins, Darker than Black OVAs and Wolf’s rain. But he’s done storyboarding for the likes of Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and a one or two episodes of Evangelion and soul eater. He’s even done Key animation for the Ghost in the shell movie and Ninja Scroll. He’s got an admittedly impressive CV though I still don’t hold much hope for this one. It depends on which side of this show is more prevalent, the school slice of life or the Mecha.

 

Mayoiga


 

 

30 young men and women who came together on a shady bus tour. The tour’s destination: an illusive, possibly nonexistent village called Nanakimura. In Nanakimura, one can lead a utopian existence, free of the world’s obstacles … or so it was rumored, like an urban legend.
“In despair over the real world … wanting to escape the tedious daily life … wanting to restart your life from scratch …”
The bus headed deep into the mountains, carrying 30 people each harboring their own expectations and wounds in their hearts…
And so, the place these 30 arrived at, was an uninhabited village with the lingering faint scents of life, even though it was falling apart.
What is the truth of Nanakimura facing the 30? You can’t miss even one episode

This one is curious. It happens to be the another show Mari Okada is writing for this season.(Let other writers get some work Okada for crying out…) The premise is fascinating; looking to be an otherworldly exploration on life and the afterlife. Though it’s too soon as all I really have to go on is a vague description. Personally I would like it to be a horror anime as we have very little great examples of it but for all we know it’s a slice of life about people starting over in the country. However the studio has made a lot of terrible anime; their  redeeming titles being Bokurano and Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Comedy wo Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru. The director has Shirobako and Xxxholic as his previous work though he also worked on Blood C and Another. Which makes me wonder if we are going to get so ultra violence in this particular title. This looks to be a wait and see kind of title.

 

Sousei no Onmyouji


 

 

Rokuro dreams of becoming anything but an exorcist! Then mysterious Benio turns up. The pair are dubbed the “Twin Star Exorcists” and learn they are fated to marry…
Can Rokuro escape both fates?
When Rokuro’s best friend Ryogo goes missing, Rokuro is forced to ask Benio for help to enter Magano, the realm of the evil Kegare, to rescue him

There are likely those who scoff as this show. Truly I pity it, in another season this would be a welcome addition but it had to air in the season with Boku no Hero. From the mangaka behind Binbougami ga we have a fairly standard Shounen. But, while this may be a controversial opinion, I consider this story to be better than Boku no hero’s. Will it be the best anime of the season, no it won’t. But it still has the potential to be a really good shounen anime. It starts off predictable and has no real surprises but really pulls through with its humor and the relationship between the two leads. One thing I really love is that they fight as a team, with none of this “I sit back while you wail on the bad guy” nonsense.(But there is a bit too much of a focus on the guy more than the girl in later chapters. And I dislike the harem building up but the anime shouldn’t reach that point.) Both the mains make use of combination attacks and seem even in regards to power. The trailer even looks great with showing this off. But there is a big problem, a very big problem. That problems name is Studio Pierrot, and I certainly groaned the moment I heard that they were in charge of this adaption. Pierrots animation is fairly sub-par but to top things off their most recent adaption, Tokyo Ghoul, was horrendously botched. Twin star exorcists manga already has the perfect pacing and structure to fit into a twelve episode series without alteration. Even giving it a fairly decent ending if they stick true to the source. My expectations are set to low but I still hope that they can somehow pull through on this. The story deserves that much. However they have already messed up by announcing an anime original character and that Synopsis doesn’t sound like the manga I read.

 

Macross Δ


 

 

Macross Δ (Macross Delta) is set eight years after the events of Macross F.

The next installment of singing divas and giant Mechas comes and I can’t say it’s looking to present something much different than previous entries. Not that this is a bad thing seeing as Macross Frontier was at least a decent watch with one or two catchy tunes. The entire squad behind this anime is a mixed bag. We have the animation studio Satelight, whom has titles of varied quality. The director too has worked on both really bad shows and pretty good ones. (Bad:Shugo Chara!, Good:Ikoku Meiro no Croisée) The series composer has a pretty bad lineup of anime he’s worked on but has worked partially on anime such as Steins gate, Bantorra and Terra E. Music wise we have three composers, two of whom worked on Rinne no Lagrange which was a fairly mediocre anime but it certainly had a great soundtrack. The PV doesn’t really look all that interesting but still while I doubt it will be a great anime; at least it has the potential to be good.

Series I do look forward to

 

Joker Game


 

 

In 1937, before World War II begins in earnest. Lieutenant Colonel Yuuki of the Imperial Japanese Army forms the “D Agency,” an army intelligence outfit under his command and tutelage. Army General Staff attaches Lieutenant Sakuma to observe the unit’s performance. D Agency casts a wide net to find agents beyond Japanese military personnel, and Yuuki establishes D Agency’s tenets, which go against IJA doctrine: “Don’t kill, don’t get killed, don’t get captured.” With this, Yuuki trains a team of operatives who conduct missions against domestic and foreign powers.

No translation of the original novel so I wasn’t able to check out the source. Still the trailer has me intrigued as it does seem like a mature spy thriller. My only major gripe is that the cast his heavily male dominated and they have very bland and similar designs. However considering that it’s set around the 1940s I am willing to let that go. Though the director isn’t promising as he worked as a director on the likes of Robotics notes and Segoko Basara. Series composer holds more potential as while he hasn’t done a lot, he does have Usagi Drop, Sliver Spoon and most importantly Erased in his resume. We also have Kenji Kawai on the soundtrack and I really like his previous work. This is one I am quite interested in and to be frank, anything that’s about mature adults and has a complete absence of a school setting is alright by me.

 

Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu


 

 

In the story, Subaru Natsuki is an ordinary high school student who is lost in an alternate world, where he is rescued by a beautiful, silver-haired girl. He stays near her to return the favor, but the destiny she is burdened with is more than Subaru can imagine. Enemies attack one by one, and both of them are killed. He then finds out he has the power to rewind death, back to the time he first came to this world. But only he remembers what has happened since.

This one is a bit of a surprise. The synopsis makes it sound like the most generic setup and it is certainly true that this is showing nothing new. But there’s more to this title than you would think. An ordinary guy gets thrown into another world and naturally he thinks that a bunch of old clichés are about to happen. And they don’t. He meets a strange girl who pretty much ignores him. And the only power he has is that when he dies, he goes back to the start of the day again. I am a bit of a sucker for this Groundhog day scenario so this appeals to me. There’s just something about some ordinary person becoming strong through a time loop that I find engaging. Though in this case it’s more him making use of knowledge from his time loops to reach the best outcome. The characters are admittedly weak besides our main who has more to him than the “Average highschool student” template. Our protagonist doesn’t shake off his death’s easy as they do have an effect on him as the story goes on. As well as he loses the time he spent getting closer to people and has to start from scratch again. The director is a newbie and the series composer’s work is a mixed bag though considering his recent work I think he can do a good job. I actually think this could be one of the more interesting titles this season.

 

Sakamoto desu ga?


 

 

First year high school student Sakamoto isn’t just cool, he’s the coolest! Almost immediately after starting school, he began attracting everyone’s attention. The girls love him, and most of the boys resent him. There’s even a boy in the class who works as a model, but who is constantly upstaged by Sakamoto! No matter what tricks the other boys try to play on him, Sakamoto always manages to foil them with ease and grace. Though Sakamoto may seem cool and aloof, he helps others when asked, such as in the case of the boy in his class who was being constantly bullied. No matter what difficulties Sakamoto encounters, he moves through his high school life with confidence and class!

Despite appearances this is a straight up comedy and a fine one at that. The main plot is that students with problems get involved with what is essentially the perfect superhuman, Sakamoto, and learn something about themselves through him. Sakamoto is a ridiculously over the top character who is a delight to watch. No matter what he does; he does it with style. From feeding birds in trees to fighting a Japanese hornet bee with a compass. I genuinely laughed while reading this and really think that if done well this will make a great anime comedy.

 

Ushio to Tora 2


 

 

The second season of Ushio to Tora.

I am at least hoping Ushio to Tora can provide a finale that a Shounen series deserves rather than the usual endings where the finale is abrupt and unsatisfying or just a “life goes on as usual” still I am on board for another run of over the top Shounen action. I pray the continued adventures of Japanese Calvin and Hobbes doesn’t lose steam. Most of all though, I am looking forward to seeing what Hakumen no mono can really do.

Posted on 20 December 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Seasonal Previews

I am well aware I am quite late on this preview. Call it laziness or general procrastination but I wasn’t in much of a mood to blog this past while. I just have been lacking energy lately. Likely due to to the stent still inside my body and the nearing of the Christmas holidays. But enough of that. This isn’t what you are here for.

This season looks difficult to gauge before the series get rolling but I got three favorite’s that could make the season. Other than those we have some series that could be potentially enjoyable and the usual old pandering lineup of terrible anime. I have checked out all the source material I could and had a look at staffs previous works but I must admit that I had difficulty writing these this time as I don’t have strong opinions on a lot of these series. As usual, strawpoll is below. I have picked Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi and Schwarzesmarken to cover. Boku because it will give me a lot to talk about and Schwarzesmarken because I am a fan of the Muv Luv series. Be it good or bad, I want to write about it. The third choice for me to blog is yours. This time however you have multiple votes, feel free to make use of them.

http://strawpoll.me/6314112

First the sequels. As usual, if you liked the previous season then by all means continue. The last thing I would like to address is that I know the images are different for this preview compared to the last one but believe me when I say doing it this way saves me two to three hours of tedious work. And no, that is not an exaggeration.

The sequels/prequels I don’t care about

Assassination Classroom 2nd Season
Mahou Tsukai Precure (Mage Precure)
Osomatsu-san 2
Snow White with the Red Hair 2 (Akagami no Shirayukihime 2)
Fairy Tail Zero

Series I don’t look forward to

Active Raid -Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai-Hakkei- (Active Raid -Mobile Assault Division, Unit 8-)


 

An original anime set in a part of Tokyo that has descended into a quagmire, the story follows Unit 8 of the 5th Special Public Security Section’s 3rd Mobile Assault Division — popularly called “The Eighth” — who don powered armor “Willware” exoskeletons to counter the rise in crime.

An original anime so no sources to get an idea of what we are in for. The Chief Director has some standouts under his belt with Planetes, Infinite Ryvius and Code Geass. The music composer worked some of the same titles. From the same studio that brought us such greats as…Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha, Ore, Twintail ni Narimasu and a Date a live movie. That’s not a good sign. Twintail may have been a guilty pleasure for a few episodes and Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha seems like it was alright but this really doesn’t hold much hope with a premise that’s been done too much. There’s already a sequel planned so they got high hopes but I don’t see this being anything worthwhile.

 

Ao No Kanata Four Rhythm


 

 

The story is set on an archipelago of four islands far south of Japan or even the South Seas. It is all but a different world from modern Japan. From the discovery of anti-gravitons came the dream invention of anti-graviton shoes that let people fly the skies. They introduce people to a new realm by enabling flight with just one’s own body strength, without feathers or engines. This led to the rise of the sport of “Flying Circus”. The protagonist who once hoped for a future in this sport suffered a setback due to an overwhelming defeat, and withdrew from the sport for this and some other reason. However, he met the transfer student Asuka Kurashina, and in teaching her to fly the skies, the old passion returned. He takes part in the Flying Circus again.

So it’s a school slice of life anime with the only difference being that there are devices that allow people to fly. Other than that it really does look like something we have gotten many times before. Visual novels tend to have a slow start and it is possible seeing as the Promo is mainly scenes taken from the first episode that there wasn’t anything exciting to work with. But as with many slice of life Visual novels I don’t find myself invested because what it’s building up to just sounds so mundane.Admittedly one cannot really say what this will be like till it airs and the staff seem competent enough. Though current Gonzo’s quality of anime is quite shaky. The main reason I don’t look forward to this is that even if it’s done well I feel it will only end up another fairly forgettable anime in a genre that the medium is overcrowded with.

 

Divine Gate


 

 

When the Divine Gate opened, the living world, the heavens, and the underworld became connected, ushering an era of chaos where desires and conflict intersect. To restore order, the World Council is formed. As peace is restored, the Divine Gate becomes an urban legend. In that world, boys and girls deemed fit by the World Council are gathered. They are ones who aim to reach the gate for their personal objectives. Those who reach the gate can remake the world. What lies beyond the gate? When they reach the door, will the world change? Will it be the past that changes, or will it be the future?

Video game adaptations are something in anime or in any medium that has rarely turn out well. Hardly surprising as the games stories were never constructed to stand on their own. Unlike Manga and light novels, a video game adaption demands that you removed one of the primary factors of the original source and replace it with something that’s equally as engaging. However what if the game itself was a blank slate? Divine Gate is a match three Andriod app game that looks to be similar to Kantai collection in terms of story presentation. Meaning there is none. Of course this is mainly conjecture as Japan has not seen fit to grace the european Android app store with the game. It may have the Director behind Yu Yu Hakusho and GTO but I can’t see this being all that good.

 

Durararax2 Ketsu


 

 

The third part of Durarara!!x2.

Here comes my primary reason why I am glad Baccano never got a second season. If there’s a primary example of too much of a good thing then Durarara is it. Three seasons is more than any show gets and yet it feels with all its time Durarara hasn’t made any use of it. Instead these past two seasons it felt like more characters were getting added to an already huge cast and yet nothing was really done with them. Stuff has happened yes but more or less all of it has felt inconsequential. It’s fun but you can’t help but feel that this could be something more and that isn’t helped by the show alluding to future events presenting just that. But at the end of every arc everything is tied up without much repercussions or meaning and we are left with a teaser that next time it will be better. That trick won’t work anymore Durarara, so at least present some finality to this last season. For it would be a shame for this series the gain three seasons and yet end as inconclusive as the first.

 

Koukaku no Pandora


 

 

In an age when large-scale natural disasters frequently happen all over the world, when cyborgs and autonomous robots are beginning to appear on the market in technologically advanced nations, and major world powers compete for technology and resources, the divide between rich and poor grows and the future for the poor looks bleak. In this transitional stage, everyone wanders around in a self-indulgent daze and the way out isn’t clear… This is the story of how two cybernetically enhanced girls meet.

That Synopsis sure makes this sound like a cyberpunk adventure but I recommend to temper your expectations. For you see there are no ghosts in the shell here, what we have here looks more to be this seasons Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid. Why? Well the female robot main character powers up by…um…let’s phrase it as “Poking around downstairs” with another female robot. Seriously that’s literally what she does and there’s also a girl in a bunny suit for reasons.

 

Hai To Gensou No Grimgar (Grimgar of Ash and Fantasy)


 

 

Living, isn’t easy.

When Haruhito awakens, he’s in the dark.

He doesn’t know where he is, why is he here, and where he came from.

Around him there are several men and women who have the same circumstances.

Together, they advance forward away from the darkness, and a world they’ve never seen before called “Grimgar” spreads out before them.

Memories, money, special powers — This is the reality we who have none of those things have obtained.

Sometimes an anime can have an annoying character. Maybe even two annoying characters. But this may be the first were the large majority of the cast is downright annoying. The comedy of this series has the style of “Shout till it’s funny”. And we have the traditional boy runs in on girls changing/naked trope, marvellous. The story itself is basically a bunch of misfits coming together as a RPG party. They are the ones left behind after someone else took all the strong people so the weakest links have to come together and get stronger. There are twists and turns but the big problem remains, the characters are either annoying or boring.

Haru Chika Haruta to Chika Wa Seishun Suru


 

 

Anime adaptation of the Haruchika Series novels by Sei Hatsuno which revolve around two high school students named Haruta and Chika, who are members of a wind instrument club that is on the verge of being shut down. The two are childhood friends, and they spend their days practicing hard while also trying to recruit new members. When a certain incident happens within their school, they work together to solve it.

It’s PA Works doing a school slice of life show so it’s business as usual then. Only difference here is that Okada isn’t writing this one. It’s based on a series of novels but the premise sounds like something we have gonna for quite a while. In fact I believe PA Works already did this premise and it was called Tari Tari. Ah but this is for the wind Instrument club instead of the Choir club, yep completely different. For me Slice of Life kills my interest nearly as fast as the words “Average Highschool Student” in a synopsis does.

Kono Subarashi Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo (Gifting the Wonderful World with Blessings!)


 

 

The popular “alternate world home comedy” centers around Kazuma Satō, a hikikomori (shut-in) die-hard fan of games, anime, and manga. A traffic accident brings his disappointingly brief life to an end … or it should have, but he wakes up and sees a beautiful girl who introduces herself as a goddess. “Hey, I have some good news — would you like to go to an alternate world? You may only bring one thing you like with you.” He responds, “…So, I’ll bring you.” With that, he is transported to another world and his great adventure subjugating the demon king begins … but first the hard work of finding food, clothing, and shelter begins. Kazuma wants to live in peace, but the goddess raises one problem after another, and then the demon king’s army has its eyes set on him.

The joke is an average guy gets thrown into an RPG world and teams up with a party of misfits. A petty goddess who dragged him there, a chuunibyou who can only use explosion magic and a Masochistic female knight are the one note jokes we consider characters. Comedy is the main focus here and as I said many times before, that isn’t something I generally enjoy in anime. As a story it’s alright I suppose. It’s possible some people might find it funny but I for one find the jokes to be too predictable. Well there are some pretty good jokes involving a General of the demon king’s army but that’s about it. It might work as something light to watch but this isn’t going to be one you are going to remember or hold highly.

Luck And Logic


 

 

In L.C. 922, people faced a sudden crisis.
In Tetra Heaven, the land of legend, a hundred years of war had come to a close. The gods who lost the war searched for a new place to live, and found it in Septpia, the human world, which they proceeded to attack. The Logicalists attached to ALCA, a special police agency whose duty it was to protect cities from assaults by foreigners (angels), were compelled to act in defense of cities, whether they wished to or not. And depending on their ability, Logicalists could initiate trance with goddesses from the other world, and stand a fighting chance on the battlefield. A civilian named Yoshichika Tsurugi, who lacked “Logic” and lived happily with his family, was caught up in an attack, and took shelter along with many people. He meets a beautiful goddess named Athena. In her hands, she had the “Logic” that Yoshichika lacked. Now both Yoshichika and Athena head to their destiny.

Promoting an anime and a trading card game, we have Luck and Logic, a title that just makes me feel nothing. Not excited nor disappointed, just apathetic. But just why is that? I suppose for one the promo had fairly grandiose music to go along with some truly dull visuals. Two because the synopsis has the pretty standard “Boy meets girl” begining than many anime do. Third and most important of all, I just don’t see any potential in this. The animation studio is 50/50 with their portfolio featuring anime of pretty good status(Saikano, Natsuyuki Rendezvous) and pretty bad.(GJ-bu, 11eyes) The director has Last exile and full metal panic under his belt but even if this show had a top of the line staff, I doubt it would be anything other than a fairly bland anime. The main point of this series is to promote the card game so it’s going to be aiming for the target audience hard, and you can already see that from the female character designs in the promo. I would like to be proven otherwise but I highly doubt I will be.

Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara (I’ve Had Enough of Being a Magical Girl)


 

 

Yuzuka Hanami is a young girl who has few friends but who can do anything. One day, Yuzuka gets accosted by a strange creature named Miton who is digging through a trash dump. Miton tells Yuzuka, “you have the makings of a magical girl” and seems extremely suspicious. When Yuzuka is suddenly transformed into a magical girl, she’s wearing a bathing suit.

It’s been done. Magical girl parodies are nothing new but what truly is a problem with them is that they rarely deconstruct or truly mock the genre. More often than not it’s just a matter of placing a character in the situation and reminding the audience that they are not suited for it. So it’s the same old jokes, the magical outfit is embarrassing and the mascot is suspicious. Admittedly the first four small chapters aren’t a great gauge of what this show has to offer but I highly doubt there are any surprises.

Myriad Colors Phantom World


 

 

The story takes place in the near future, in a world born of human imagination. What humans would call ghosts or monsters appear, and they come to be called “phantoms.” The main character, Haruhiko Ichijo, is a first year at Hosea Academy along with his upperclassman Mai Kawakami, who fights phantoms with the ability “Spirit of Five Elements,” Izumi Reina, who has the ability “Phantom Eater,” and Koito Minase, who fights phantoms in solitude. They experience the ups and downs of high school life before a certain incident leads them to the truth of this world.

There was a time when I longed for KyoAni to move away from the packaged Moe fluff they are fond of making. Well now it seems that they have begun to do so. They have moved away from slice of life Moe fluff and gone into highly stereotypical Chunni anime. (AKA average supernatural harem battle fantasy plot) Well that’s like taking your hand off a hot stove and sticking it in a furnace. It’s hard to really blame them as it’s profitable but when I think of all those talented animators on making girls move as cutely as possible then my heart weeps. So that’s the deal, it will look pretty but what you are getting is the usual pandering fair. However that’s mainly based on assumption as I can’t get a hold of the Light novel. Regardless I think it would get the same treatment of adaption as Chuunibyou did.(Namely using the light novel as a guideline but going mainly anime original.)

Norn9: Norn + Nonet


 

 

The story takes place a little in the future. Guided by one particular song, young elementary school student Suzuhara Sorata, from the Heisei Era, is warped through a time skip to an unfamiliar place that looks much like the towns from the Meiji or Taishou period from his textbooks. In this world, he meets three young ladies and nine young men and joins them on a journey aboard the mysterious Norn ship, a giant globe that floats in midair. Otomate made the announcement at the “Norn9 with Ark & for Spica” event at Tokyo’s Nakano Sun Plaza on 2nd March 2014.

I wonder if that title has actual meaning or if the creators decided to throw some letter magnets at a fridge and pick the title out of whatever resembled a word. The original source Visual novel is a Otome game.(A visual novel mainly aimed at targeting a female audience) I would like to throw this in the same bin I would put Amnesia and Dramatical murder. But Naturally it’s best to give things a fair chance. So I went and read the first 6 chapters of the manga adaptions and then chucked it in that bin without any hesitation. The protagonist is a bland girl whose blandness is so great that she herself forgets her own name. In the 6 chapters I read mainly featured her and some guy who sees something to desire in that bland gelatinous mass that calls itself a girl. There is some underlying tone that some dark game is afoot but it’s not really clear whats at stake or even what the setting is. They say it;s a spaceship but it’s interior doesn’t resemble one in the slightest.The characters also happen to have powers and our little protag is ever so ashamed of being able to shoot fire out of her hands. Boo hoo, the rest of us have to make due with flamethrowers. It may be perhaps my hatred of Shoujo stopping me from enjoying this but I did find myself skimming the pages before long.

Nurse Witch Komugichan R


 

 

Komugi Yoshida is a somewhat clumsy second-year middle-school student whose strong point is her spiritedness. She performs as an idol like Kokona Saionji (her classmate and close friend) and Tsukasa Kisaragi (an idol who dresses in male clothing). However, unlike Kokona whose popularity is skyrocketing and Tsukasa with her charisma in male attire, Komugi’s only gigs are low-end ones like those at the local shopping district. Still, Komugi has her “dream” as she lives her dual lives as a idol and a middle school girl. One day, a mysterious injured creature named Usa-P appears before Komugi. Komugi gives Usa-P medical treatment, and Usa-P, in consideration of Komugi’s kindness, asks if she wants to be a Legendary Girl who can use magical powers.Having become a reluctant Legendary Girl, Komugi battles strange masked figures who suddenly appear! As a newly deemed Magical Nurse, she fights still more waves of masked figures. Meanwhile, a Magical Maid, a Magical Sister, and more also appear to make it a three-way battle!? Can Komugi handle the three roles of middle school girl, idol, and Magical Nurse? And, what lies ahead in these battles and her “dream” …!?

I would love for this to be one of those grimdark anime hidden under a cutesy exterior mainly because of my fascination with the destruction of optimistic happy go lucky individuals and general dislike of Mahou Shoujo tropes in general. But this looks to be legitimate standard Mahou Shoujo which I feel died out for a reason. I may find Sailor Moon to be a guilty pleasure in its camp glory but otherwise I find Mahou Shoujo to be too formulaic for my liking. In this regard the show looks far more silly than usual with Maids and Bunny girls.

Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation


 

 

The Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation series will have a completely original story, and the story will take place on Earth in the near future.

A video game adaption. Those words alone give reason for caution. The thing however that really bugs me about this is that from my knowledge the game is a fantasy MMO. Yet for some reason the anime has stuck in a school setting. They just can’t get away from that school setting can they? You could have made it a straight up sci-fi anime, you could have gone the .Hack//Sign route and focused on MMO relations like .Hack//sign, you could have even gone the route of SAO and had people trapped in an MMO. But nope, let’s go with the more done to death and boring setup possible. The animation studio hasn’t done anything that catches my attention and the director has mainly harem anime for experience. This also happens to be the second anime he is directing this season with him directing the above Nurse Witch Komugichan R as well. This looks to be nothing special.

Reikenzan Hoshikuzu-tachi no Utage


 

 

Since its founding in the year 4233 of the Nine Provinces calendar, the spirit sword clan has been producing first-class martial arts talent. Two thousand years later, the clan, which adheres to the principles of peace and spiritual development, seeks to find new disciples by holding a grand tournament. One of these candidates is 12-year-old Wang Lu.

Studio Deen, I don’t hate you. You never quite had the animation chops but you always tended to pick the unconventional choices. I don’t even hate you for the Fate/Stay Night adaptation. But looming at the director this doesn’t bode well. However quite honestly that’s all I got. This anime has nothing on it, only thing I can really gather is that it’s based on a novel and well that’s about it. No Promo, no noteable staff, nothing. Main reason for it’s position here is just that it doesn’t interest me and it sounds like pretty standard shounen. This looks to be one that will need to be judged on its first episodes.

 

Shoujotachi Wa Kouya O Mezasu


 

 

In the story, Buntarou is a student who wants to be something, but doesn’t know what. One day his female classmate Sayuki announces she is working on a bishoujo game. Sayuki scouted him because he wrote a good script for drama club, but Buntarou doesn’t know anything about bishoujo games.

Promotional videos truly are worthless to judge just what a series is about. So in looking into this title I find out it’s a pretty new Visual novel released two months ago. What I also found out was that the team behind this is also behind another rather noteworthy visual novel, Cross+Channel. Personally I didn’t like Cross+Channel all that much as my interest in it’s story was more to do with the supernatural phenomena which the plot tried its darndest to stay away from to focus on more obtuse comedy and slice of life hijinks. So here we have a title that’s likely going to ditch that entirely and focus on hijinks. Oh joy. What will make or break this series is just how in depth it will go into the process of making “Gal Games” The director has Steins Gate and pretty much the rest of his resume is bad anime. The animation studio does not fare better as it has nothing of worthy notice. Just some truly terrible anime such as Gunslinger Stratos. This doesn’t look promising.

Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle


 

 

The story of the light novel series revolves around Lux, a former prince of an empire named Arcadia that was overthrown via a rebellion five years earlier. Lux accidentally trespasses in a female dormitory’s bathing area, sees the kingdom’s new princess Lisesharte naked, and incurs her wrath. Lisesharte then challenges Lux to a Drag-Ride duel. Drag-Rides are ancient armored mechanical weapons that have been excavated from ruins all around the world. Lux used to be called the strongest Drag-Knight, but now he’s known as the “undefeated weakest” Drag-Knight because he will absolutely not attack in battle. After his duel with Lisesharte, Lux ends up attending the female-only academy that trains royals to be Drag-Knights.

It’s trash…if only you could let me just leave it with that. Very well, let me elaborate. It’s Danmachi mixed with Chivalry of a failed knight and sprinkled with some Infinite Stratos. With the lack of ambition that all three possess. There’s not a single thing here you haven’t seen before and it’s easy to tell right from the start seeing as it begins with the protagonist accidentally falling into a woman’s bath. It’s the obligatory harem action story that required every season for some reason. If you want something mindless it might fill void but otherwise this isn’t recommended.

 

Series I am middling on

 

Dagashi Kashi (Cheap Sweets Candy)


 

 

Shikada Kokonotsu’s father owns a rural sweets shop, and his plan is for Kokonotsu to take it over one day. However, Kokonotsu wants to be a manga author instead! One day in summer, the cute but weird girl Shidare Hotaru, from the famous sweets company, comes to pay a visit. Apparently, Kokonotsu’s father is famous and she wants him to join her family’s company. However, he will only agree if she can convince Kokonotsu to take over the family business!

This has less to do with manga and more a show that focuses on jokes around Japanese sweets. Seeing as I know next to nothing about Japanese confectionery I find it fascinating on that front. The lead female is heavily eccentric, often being as overall theatrical as possible, even if all she’s doing is eating a pocky. The male lead often just plays straight man with his father and this girls eccentricity. The plot mainly involves the girl getting excited about some Japanese sweet and trying to explain its greatness to the main. Naturally hijinks ensue. I might not get Japanese comedy but I found it enjoyable to read. My only issue is that like most comedies, it doesn’t like like it will go anywhere further than this. It even has “that side character who’s in love with the MC but whose affection is constantly never noticed” thing that resides in most of these kinds of comedies.

Dimension W


 

 

In the year 2071, the world’s energy problems seem solved by a network of cross-dimensional electric-field inductors- “coils” -that extract energy from a seemingly infinite source. That source is the W dimension, a fourth plane that exists beyond the X, Y, and Z dimensions. In this world, unofficial “illegal” coils harness powers that the police can’t hope to counter. Dealing with these coils is the job of coil-hating repo man Kyoma, whose run-in with the unique coil android Mira leads the two to form a reluctant partnership.

This is one of those titles that I am not really sure what to make of it. What I read of the manga certainly wasn’t bad but it didn’t quite catch my interest. I think it’s just a matter of it not being to my tastes but I believe this could being interesting to others. The setting is good and I see no high schools in sight. The promotional material might suggest there would be more focus on car chases but that really isn’t the case. Our main character is a fairly amoral repo man who uses steel needles as weapons and our female lead is a very humanlike android. It’s difficult to make a comparison but I suppose it’s like a much more serious Outlaw star? I find that if this is done well it would be a good anime to watch and there is potential for it to delve deeper into a more complex story

Prince Of Stride Alternative


 

 

The series revolves around a closed-down “Stride” club at Hounan Academy. First-year high school students Takeru Fujiwara and Nana Sakurai attempt to restart the club, but they must recruit six members for the team. They ask Riku Yagami to join, but he turns them down by saying that Stride is the one thing he doesn’t want to do. However, Takeru and Nana drag Riku into the clubroom to try to convince him.

Change “Prince of Stride” to “Muv Luv” and I would be so much more invested. First things first, the sport you are doing is not called “Stride”, it’s called Freerunning. This is another Otome Game adaptation but with madhouse behind it I say it’s not going to be a bargain bin Otome series. The promo shows off some pretty good animation and seems to say that the focus will be on the running itself and not on romantic pretty boys chatting up some girl which is just some self insert plank. There are no manga or other translated adaptations for to get a better idea on the story. We have the director of Sakurasou and No Game no Life behind this one so I think it should be a decent watch. I will give it the benefit of the doubt for Madhouse and the FreeRunning aspect.

Bubuki Buranki


 

 

When Azuma Ikki returns to Japan after 10 years, he gets assaulted by a group of armed men and becomes their prisoner. Kogane Asabuki, a childhood friend, saves him with a weapon on her right hand known as Bubuki; a weapon with its own mind. Azuma Ikki, who is a Bubuki user himself, learns about the existence of Bubuki and goes on a journey alongside the companions he has found, in an attempt to find and revive Oumai, a Buranki (titan) who sleeps underground.

Hoo boy, that 3D CGI uncanny valley. Japan can make great 3D animation but as long as they keep down the frame limit on TV anime this kind of animation will never look quite right.Still Sidonia has proven that even with shaky animation you can present a pretty entertaining story and before you ask, no, this is not by the same people who did Sidonia. Actually these people did Black Rock Shooter which isn’t very promising. One thing I can say is that the music in the trailer was quite good. The music composer has some questionable choices in his portfolio(Namely the large number of Queens blade OVAs.) but his work with Gundam Orphans makes me think that this guy could become a major talent.As for the story it at least looks somewhat interesting, the trailer has some good action and the synopsis sounds like it has good story potential.

 

Series I do look forward to

 

Ajin


 

 

For high schooler Kei—and for at least forty-six others—immortality comes as the nastiest surprise ever. Sadly for Kei, such a feat doesn’t make him a superhero. In the eyes of both the general public and governments, he’s a rare specimen who needs to be hunted down and handed over to scientists to be experimented on for life—a demi-human who must die a thousand deaths for the benefit of humanity.

The easiest comparison here would be Tokyo Ghoul but while Ajin does have some similarities, it has a different tone. For one Ajin are rarer and are essentially treated as not human. There is definite racism subtext as Ajin are heavily discriminated against and sold out to the authorities to become live lab rats. Personally I would consider this better than Tokyo Ghoul as it handles the matter of alienation that it had in the beginning but abandoned for Shounen battles. There is also the nature that Ajin are powerful but not unbeatable.  It’s certainly matches Tokyo Ghoul in gore level, maybe even surpasses it. Despite the promo image, this is a CGI anime by the same Makers of Knights of Sidonia. So getting used to that will be the first thing when watching this. Still like Sidonia I believe the story will help us get over that matter. The main character is hard to get a good read on, he seems to be cold, apathetic and calculating but it difficult to narrow him down.

Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi (The Town Where Only I am Missing)


 

 

Satoru Fujinuma is a young manga artist struggling to make a name for himself following his debut. But, that was not the only thing in his life that Satoru was feeling frustrated about…he was also living with a strange condition only he was able to experience.
╼ REVIVAL

A strange phenomenon where one is transferred back to the moment right before something life-threatening occurs. This continues to happen until the cause of the threat is erased. It is as if somebody is forcing Satoru to stop it from happening. Then one day, everything is changed!What truths are revealed when Satoru comes face to face with his own past?

How will they affect his future?

This starts off rather episodic with points were a mangaka repeats a period of a few seconds and has to find out what’s wrong. It’s a bit like spot the difference, except that you stop someone from getting killed and are doomed to repeat the same moment over and over again till you do. However this quickly is put aside for a ongoing plot involving time travel and a serial killer. The idea is fairly unique by anime season standards and should prove to be an interesting watch. This is likely to be a standout of the season.

Gate second season


 

 

The second season of the Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri anime which will cover the Fire Dragon Arc.

There’s still a dragon to kill and I am on board. The first season of Gate was an enjoyable show which boasted the superiority of firearms against magic and fantasy. I still want to see more middle ages folk get utterly flabbergasted at modern technology and just where this all is leading. I would like to see characters improve as there were weaknesses with characterisation in the previous season. I also hope this avoids the usual problem with second seasons, which is to focus on building up a conflict that would be later shown in a potentially non existent third season.

Muv-Luv Schwarzesmarken


 

 

The events in Schwarzesmarken take place in 1983, the East German Army 666th TSF Squadron “Schwarzesmarken” (Black Marks) are a special-forces unit tasked with assaulting BETA forces through unconventional tactics; specifically, they target Lux and Magnus Lux to deny the BETA the advantage of ranged firepower. Their orders are given the topmost priority, such that it is common practice for the 666th to ignore allied distress calls that will result in deviation from their original mission, even if only for a short moment.
The 666th Squadron mostly operates MiG-21s, with their squadron commander Irisdena Bernhard piloting an MiG-21PF.

About two months ago a kickstarter campaign was put up to bring a famous visual novel trilogy to the west. It ended up raising $1,255,444, over 5 times its initial goal and is currently the only visual novel Kickstarter to raise so much. Even your truly gave $320, the most I ever gave to a kickstarter. That trilogy was Muv Luv. Yet despite its fairly high profile status it has never gotten an anime adaption, instead having spin-off works animated. Those being the fairly lacklustre Muv Luv total eclipse and now this. Let me relieve some people by letting you know that this show won’t have beach arcs and bundles of fanservice. In fact from what I read of the first novel this seems more in tone with Total Eclipses first two episodes. What we have here is a grimdark Mecha anime set in Germany which has adopted a Orwellian inspired totalitarian society and is at war with Alien beings known as BETA which have overrun most of the world. As a concept, it has barrels of potential but I am not overly hopeful. Put simply, from what I read in the Light novel this will be a hard story for even the most prolific studios to adapt so it being in the hands of the studio that adapted Yamada and the seven witch’s really is a bad sign. They certainly don’t have the budget to animate BETA battles. Another issue is that this story makes no effort to clue the reader in about the setting. To those who know nothing about Muv Luv, this will likely have you clueless to just what is going on. To top it off the main character is really unlikable, he’s almost constantly pissed off and has a angst ridden past. In terms of presentation the biggest hurdle is that they don’t overblow the angst, because there is a lot of it. Even the LN does not necessarily avoid blowing the drama out of proportion and I feel like it’s trying too hard to be dark. However if they somehow manage to pull it off then this will be one of the most unique shows of the season. For one there isn’t a single Japanese person in the cast. All of them are from east or west Germany.(Germany is split between east and west and both sides hate each other with a vengeance.) The promo video looks very promising but while I know it’s necessary, it would have been nice if the TSFs were not CGI animated.

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu


 

 

The first story revolves around a mature prisoner who was released on good behavior during Japan’s Showa Genroku era (1960s to early 1970s). He is called Yotarou by others, a term that means an “anti-hero” or a “dim-witted man.” When he returns to society, he starts a new life in rakugo (comic storytelling). Touched by Yakumo’s role as the “grim reaper,” he asks the master to take him in as an apprentice.

Now we are talking Deen. This is what I like about you. You do the unconventional choices. No school setting, cast made up of primarily adults and not a dash of Moe anywhere. My research into this one primarily is is based on the OVA released earlier this year. It wasn’t subbed and sadly my Japanese isn’t up to par to understand exactly what the characters were saying but it did give me a good idea on just what this is about. What we are looking at here is a mainly character driven drama that revolves around rakugo. Personally I find it fascinating as this is the first time I have heard of it and on that alone I think this show might be worth checking out. The director did mainly recent studio Deen shows with Sankarea and Rozen Maiden(2013) in his resume. My main concern with this one is that Studio Deens other show this season might take up more of the animation budget leaving this with less to work with. Hopefully that isn’t the case.

Posted on 19 September 2015 with categories: Seasonal Previews

How the time flies. It wasn’t too long ago I was writing the preview for the last season and yet it’s nearly over. However while Summer was a season of surprising quality, fall looks to be weaker. There still could be some hidden gems here as my usual methods of checking source material came up short but I don’t see Fall being a season to remember. That said, even a bad season can have one good or even great anime.

As usual Straw poll is below to vote on what you want me to cover. Three animes are covered, two my choice, one yours. Voting ends by the time second episodes start airing. One of my Choices is One Punch man and the other undecided. Should my second choice anime be top voted of the Strawpoll, I will cover the second highest show on the poll.

http://strawpoll.me/5522575

First is the sequels, as usual if you liked the previous season then by all means continue. Otherwise I will save time and not cover them.

The sequels I don’t care about

Aikatsu! 4
Diabolik Lovers More,Blood
Haikyuu!! 2
Soukyuu no Fafner: Exodus 2
Yuru Yuri San☆Hai!
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka??
World Trigger: Isekai Kara no Toubousha
Noragami Aragoto
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R 2

Series I don’t look forward to

Brave Beats

The story follows Hibiki Kazaguruma, a sixth grader who meets an amusing little robot named Bureikin while coming home from school one day. Bureikin, a dancer from an alternate-dimension dance world, challenged the dance king for the throne and lost. He has been deprived of Dance Stones (the stones of dance power) and sent to the human world. To restore his power, bureikin must collect all the Dance Stones scattered around Earth.
Meanwhile, the Dance Stones cause chaos on the human world. To retrieve the Dance Stones, Bureikin fuses with Hibiki and transforms into a Dance Hero.

It would be a huge surprise if this turned out to be remotely good. At most a harmless kids show, at worst a bad kids show. Still either way it’s likely going to be better than Teen Titans Go. Sigh…it’s sad when you see something you loved turned into a complete joke.

Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou

The stage is set in “another Japan” as a banquet of diverse superhumans unfolds… In an imaginary “age of gods” about 20 years after the war, Japan has grown and developed by leaps and bounds. What if all the superhumans ever written about in fictional stories existed at the same time? Superhumans who came into existence through different circumstances, and who are special in different ways — Titans from outer space, lifeforms from a mystical world, phantoms and goblins from ancient times, cyborgs created by scientists, relics that rose out of the ruins of ancient civilizations, and the list goes on. One segment of these superhumans makes no secret of their existence and has gained popularity in society. Others cloak their identities and fight in secrecy. There are enemies of superhumans as well, organizations that operate in the shadows. The Japanese government has taken many measures to secure peace and order. One is the establishment of an organization under the Ministry of Health and Welfare — the Overpopulation Research Laboratory, a.k.a. the Superhuman Bureau. Their mission is to identify and approach superhumans, then oversee and safeguard them. One member of the Superhuman Bureau, Jiro Hitoyoshi, is protagonist of this series.

I actually thought for a moment when watching the trailer that this might be trying to portray a chuunibyou disillusion as the premise and is about chuinbyou characters like KyoAni’s chuuni show. However it doesn’t look to be the case. Bones seemed to have picked up a bit from Blood blockade battlefront but this show I don’t hold much hope for. Mainly because it’s penned by Shou Aikawa. A man who’s currently writing one of the worst titles of the current season, Chaos Dragon and whose output is either great to outright terrible. Currently his writing has not been very good lately though perhaps I am just still angry over him ruining Red Dragon. The artstyle is odd to say the least and the animation is bones usual vibrant movement but I can easily see this being another Bones flop.

Garo: Guren no Tsuki

Producer Masao Maruyama announced at animation studio MAPPA’s Otakon panel that the second Garo: Honoo no Kokuin television anime series is slated for this October. Unlike the first Garo anime, this series will be a jidaigeki (period drama) set in the Heian period. It will have a female protagonist.

Studio Mappa is a pretty interesting studio. While Bahamut and Zaku no terror were far from perfect, they still were rather unique series. This too looks interesting but it has a big problem. Shou Aikawa. Yes, Aikawa is doing series composition for two series and that’s bad news in my book. Of course it depends on how much control he has but there’s also the issue of the director mainly being experienced in Shounen shows. A female protagonist is a good thing in my book but a show like this needs a mature feel. With these two at the helm I doubt it will be able to provide that. The series has four other script writers, all of which don’t have much experience with this kind of show.

Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan

The story follows Hakone, a hot spring spirit who descended to a spa resort on Earth. However, with her long slumber, she looks like a little girl on the outside. (The “Yousei” in the title is a wordplay on the Japanese words for fairy and a young child.) The high school boy Touya stumbles across her at a hot spring and ends up joining Hakone in retrieving her original powers.

Studio doesn’t have any heavy hitters, this is the director’s second anime and there’s really no potential in the story. It’s really about the hijinks of a hot spring spirit who can vomit hot spring water. Other than That I expect a good bit of fanservice.

Dance with Devils

The story revolves around Rikka Tachibana, a female second-year high school student who attends Shiko Academy in Shiko Town. She enjoyed her school life while living with her mother Maria, but one day, that balance fell into ruin. The anime is a story of Rikka being loved and being attracted to demons.

I would like to give Brains base the benefit of the doubt and assume there’s more to this that meets the eye. However from looking at it, despite it being an original series it looks to be exactly what it looks like. An age old bargain bin reverse harem. The staff haven’t worked on anything notable and I am highly skeptical this will bring anything other than a bunch of pretty boy devils fawning over a girl with no distinct desirable features.

Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai

The school action fantasy is set in a world where people with magic powers are close to being wiped out. Just as the balance of power and military might had once shifted from swords to sorcery, it shifts once again to guns. Takeru Kusanagi goes to “AntiMagic Academy,” a training facility for Inquisitors of Herectics who crack down on the dwindling threat posed by magic users. However, Takeru cannot use guns at all and can only fight with a sword. As a result, he is relegated to the 35th Test Platoon, the motley “small fry platoon” for poor students. One day, Ouka Outori, the ultra-elite pistol master who already has her qualifications for witch-hunts, joins the platoon.

I am tempted to add a category for generic light novel anime so I don’t have to repeat myself ad nauseum. Main is in a group where he’s the only guy and all the girls in the team are romantically interested in him or are going to be. Main also happens to be a secret badass as usual. There’s accidental boob groping, walking in on a girl in a state of undress, poor humor and one dimensional villains.

Kamisama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama

Cocotama are tiny gods born from the thoughts and feelings of objects that people use with great care. The fact that Cocotama wear part of the egg they hatch out of as underwear is proof that they are still apprentices. The Cocotama use a mysterious magic, and they train hard to be of use to humans and to become full gods. They live inside human houses and stealthily move around to help humans find things they have lost, although they make many mistakes.

Gah, it’s so sweet it makes me want to puke. Truth be told there’s nothing really offensive about this one. It’s a fluffy kids show made by a company who does kids shows. It’s simply just not for me. Even as a kid I wouldn’t watch this.

Hidan no Aria AA

A young girl idolizes the world-renowned S-ranked butei Kanzaki H. Aria and plans to follow in her footsteps. However, her test grades her out as only an E-rank! All is not lost, however, as Aria agrees to give her some pointers. Can Aria help this newcomer become a first-rate butei?

In the bargain bin of Light novel adaptions Hidan no Aria would be the one at the bottom with the 90% off price tag. The first season was terrible with storytelling that would make even the worst writer shake his head. Coming across as a poor knockoff of Shana with no interesting characters and a story involving the descendants of famous characters that is just downright ridiculous. Aria lost all semblance of suspension of disbelief when the main heroine was confirmed to be the descendant of Sherlock Holmes. God, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle must be rolling in his grave. I remember a arc involved the characters facing off against Count Dracula for crying out loud. And if I remember, I heard something about how later down in the novels a man survives four bullets to the heart. This is just terrible tripe that might only qualify as so bad it’s good. Yet here I am, a man who would kill for a another season to Spice and wolf or Kino’s Journey, staring at a sequel to what may be one of the worst anime to grace the medium. Life can be cruel and unfair.

Lance N’ Masques

The battle action novel series revolves around Youtarou Hanafusa, a young man who is part of the last remaining order of knights in the 21st century, “Knights of the World.” As he fights as the mysterious Knight Lancer, he must hide his identity behind a mask.

The author of this piece of work wrote scripts for animes such as Campione, Gj-bu, Aki-Sora and a harem involving girls who are transformed soda cans called Akikan….I highly doubt I need to continue.

K Return of Kings

In modern Japan, where history has strangely overlapped with reality. There, seven “Kings” with great superpowers existed. Along with their clansman to whom they shared their own power with, the kings each formed clans. Order bound by blue, red flames that cause chaos, irregularities that shine in white, and reforms branched off into green. The Kings, each with their own abilities, now… With “jungle” once again jumping back into action, the fates of the various Kings are brought together.

The disappointments continue. K was a poor attempt to cash in on a anime which targeted every demographic it could and yet focus on none. The story was a mess, the characters were dull and fanservice laughable. It always just made me laugh seeing two male characters fight yet get their faces within kissing distance. Thats not just me assuming, the way those scenes where shot it’s obvious just who they were pandering to. When you are targeting both the shounen crowd and Fujoshi’s in one scene, I think its time to rethink the plan. People felt it had good animation but in my opinion it felt like average animation put into Photoshop, layered with Photoshop filters and blue hues. I knew a sequel was coming and just as I thought back then, it doesn’t deserve one. Gohands haven’t been doing the best either as their last anime Copelion was a truly legendary train wreck to behold. Frankly for the cool city filled with wacky badass characters senario, we already have another season of Durarara coming. I don’t think we need the poor second cousin who’s desperate for attention.

Owari no Seraph 2

A direct continuation from the first season. The story takes place in a world where an unknown virus has killed the entire human population except for children under 13. Those children were then enslaved by vampires. The manga centers on Yuichiro Hyakuya, a human who dreams of becoming strong enough to kill all vampires.

I haven’t taken the care to continue watching the first season beyond two episodes but from what I heard it reached a level of terrible that’s downright laughable. Nothing worth your time.

Owarimonogatari

A display from the Shosen Book Tower book store in Tokyo has revealed that NisiOisin’s three-volume Owarimonogatari novel will be adapted into a television anime. The display also reveals the anime’s October premiere date.

If you seen a Monogatari series anime then you likely know what you are in for. Heavy amounts of dialogue, fanservice galore and highly stylised Shinbou limited animation madness. I have never really been a fan of the series as I see it more of a harem being hidden under mountains of pointless dialogue and utterly nonsense visual metaphors. I find the series exhausting more than anything as attempting to follow the spitfire conversations for more than two episodes is mentally draining. This looks to be the final season of the series and with that I say so long and thanks for all the headaches.

Rakudai Kishi no Eiyuutan

The “school sword action” story revolves around Magic Knights, modern magic-users who fight with weapons converted from their souls. Ikki Kurogane goes to a school for these Magic Knights, but he is the “Failed Knight” or “Worst One” who is failing because he has no magical skills. However, one day, he is challenged to a duel by Stella, a foreign princess and the “Number One” student. In this duel, “the loser must be obedient for life.”

The best comparisons for this would be Sword art Online or Mahouka. So like Mahouka we have a magic user who’s known for being the weakest when he’s actually the strongest Gary Sue fantasmo. And like SAO it has the odd choice of deciding the main heroine in the first arc and then subsequently adding more girls to the harem afterwards, even though it’s pointless. The protagonist has some odd saying of boasting about how he will beat people with his weakness which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It might be translation issue or simply a poor attempt at being cool. Other than that it’s the usual fare for Light novel plots.

Gakusen Toshi Asterisk

In the previous century, humanity was attacked by an unprecedented disaster… The impact “Invertia.” The whole world was destroyed. However, humans acquired a new potential…”The Genestella.”

Originality is something that is near impossible to achieve. Even if you do come up with an uncommon idea, chances are you with be making use of a good amount of tropes on the TvTropes archive. But there are ways to make tired stories feel fresh and it is evident when you didn’t really try. As an example of not trying here we have Gakusen Toshi Asterisk, a by the numbers light novel story. This has been seen a dozen times and you know what’s the ultimate proof of this? See Rakudai Kishi no Eiyuutan up above? Both that and Asterisk start off exactly the the same, no joke. The first episodes of these shows will be near identical with its setup. Though regardless of which is first to do this idea, which is neither of them,I pick out this as the lazier of the two. Within its first chapter it sets up a Shounen hierarchy with an elite group known as page ones (they are definitely running out of names for these groups) and barrels of exposition which is essentially the same as other stories but with different terminology for the same things. If you want this kind of story you will likely be watching the above series. This one isn’t really worth your time.

Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou

The school comedy story is set in a junior high school and centers on the original manga’s characters such as Eren and Mikasa as they battle with Titans. The spin-off incorporates gags while using Shingeki no Kyojin’s story and notable scenes as its basis.

Nobody asked for this. Did anyone ask for this? I certainly didn’t ask for this, I didn’t see anyone else ask for this. Who was it that watched Attack on Titan and said “You know what would make this show better? If we set it at a high school!” Well let it never be said that I don’t give things a chance because I read the first two chapters of the manga. And it is awful. It’s just so cringe inducingly awful. The setup is basically that Titans are now bullying upperclassmen and taking things from the show and attempted to get a laugh by making the reasons stupid. For example, Eren still wants to kill all the Titans but not because one ate his mother. Instead a Titan stole his lunch when he was a kid and ate his cheeseburger. Yes people, that the golden comedy we are in for. Even if you were a fan of the show I highly doubt you would want to see this. The only value it has is taking familiar characters and seeing how they do in a school setting and doubt even fans are interested in that.

Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha Burst

The second season of Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha.

Sigh…I hate it when I am right. Somewhere deep down in my gut I knew this would get a second season. It’s just the kind of show that just gets lapped up. I can dismiss this as garbage, not recommended.

Hokuto no Ken: Ichigo Aji

The spinoff centers on a fun version of the Holy Emperor Souther as he tries to find ways to become friends with Kenshirou, demonstrates his party techniques, and sometimes plays with the Gosha Sei.

I have yet to check out Fist of the north star but I don’t think this would serve as a good introduction. It’s certainly a very…fruity show. Well for a show like this, it all comes down to the comedy factor.

Star Mu

The story starts when Yuuta Hoshiya enters Ayana Academy, a school focusing on show business activities, specifically music. The academy has a group of the three students with the highest grades in the musical department, and they are known as the Kao Kai (Cherry Blossom Flower Association). This organization stands at the top of the pecking order within the academy.

It’s the first work by a new anime studio with a team who don’t have anything under their belt. That line is becoming the new mantra for this season. Well the director did do Tsubasa but that’s really it. I don’t really expect much as this really looks to be a title made to earn some starting money.

Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid

Part of the Valkyrie Drive project which will include a console game, a smart phone game and an anime. The “beautiful girl sexy battle action” anime is set on five artificial islands.

It’s hard to make a good anime, potentially harder to make a good game. Attempting to make both at the same time and a phone game is just a recipe for disaster. Anime Game adaptions don’t have the best record either. But all hope was lost on the words “beautiful girl sexy battle action” the trailer had girls getting strong weapons and power through the magic of yuri. From the looks of things they need to get intimate with a girl to turn them into a weapon to use for combat. The target audience is clear and it’s a lost cause.

Osomatsu-san

The series follows the characters from the Osomatsu-kun manga after they’ve become adults.

I checked out the Osomatsu-Kun manga and found it to be a gag manga about six identail sixuplets. The humor was on the level of a Garfield or Archie comic so unless this anime is taking on a more mature tone this will be some squeaky clean comedy show. Comedy in anime is already a miss for me so this holds no interest.

 

Series I am middling on

 

Comet Lucifer

The story takes place on the planet Gift, where precious crystals called Giftjium are buried in the earth. A young man named Sōgo lives in Garden Indigo, a prosperous mining town. Sougo’s hobby is to collect rare crystals. One day, he gets wrapped up in a riot caused by his classmates Kaon, Roman, and Otto, and he loses his way until he finds a lake deep under the ground’s mining ruins. There, he meets a mysterious girl with blue hair and red eyes that gaze straight ahead. The story follows the adventure of what happens after this meeting.

Anime like this are the most troublesome for me. No source material, staff have only partially worked on some big name series and a trailer that explains absolutely nothing about what the shows about. That said it was a interesting and admittedly nice looking trailer. The animation studio is 8bit however, and I still haven’t forgiven them for those botched adaptations of Grisaia. Their output doesn’t inspire much confidence with such knockout titles as Infinite Stratos, Absolute Duo and Walkure Romanze. The best things on their portfolio is Aquarion Evo and Tokyo Ravens which were admittedly decent. No anime fan wishes for bad anime and I would like to hold hope that they can bring something great to the table. After all it does have a good artstyle and could be fun.

Komori-san wa Kotowarenai!

The manga revolves around middle school student Shuri Komori, who is too kind and is unable to say no when someone asks her for a favor. However, she has gained various amazing abilities as a result.

The main impression I got of this from reading the manga is that it’s a poor man’s Lucky Star. It’s a 4 koma manga whose main gimmick is that the lead character cannot refuse anyone’s request. Because of this she’s become really strong from carrying things, really smart from helping people with their homework, etc. That’s really all there is to it. I didn’t find the comedy funny but there nothing really horrible about it. It’s harmless mild entertainment.

Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans

300 years after a great conflict between Earth and Mars known as the “Calamity War,” a woman named Cordelia sets out on a journey to Earth to speak for the independence of the Martian city of Chryse, which is under the control of the Earth government. Escorting her is the private security company CGS members Mikazuki Augus and Orga Itsuka. When a group named Gjallarhorn attacks CGS and Cordelia, Orga sees this as a chance to rebel against CGS and launch a coup. Mikazuki and Orga are thrust into a new conflict. To fend off Gjallarhorn, Mikazuki rides an old mobile suit from the Calamity War, powered by a nuclear reactor, the Gundam Barbatos.

This is a complete oddity in my eyes. My impression of the Gundam series as a whole is something that was never really my thing. The series advertises itself as a mecha combat show when it’s more a political thriller with some Mecha combat and the age old “War is bad” preaching. Still what makes this entry of the series so strange is who’s writing it. The writer of the series happens to be Mari Okada, a writer well known for Anohana and series often focused on teenage adolescent slice of life shows. She does happen to have other more varied series under her belt but is mainly known for shows surrounding teenage angst. I for one do not think Okada is a bad writer, as a matter of fact she can be a very good one provided that you can keep her under control. But this is the first time she’s been anywhere near a Mecha series and while Gundam has its share of love problems and angst she may have difficulty incorporating love troubles as the cast is predominantly male…well unless homosexuality is involved. Okada could turn it up to unbearable levels of ridiculous melodrama. However this is a show that’s different from her usual fair and If she is planning to use this to expand her writing skills into other genre that’s something I can respect. But another concern is that the director has only experience with slice of life romance so this could really end up being a unGundamlike Gundam show.

Heavy Object

The science-fiction war action story revolves around Objects — powerful, massive weapons that change the course of warfare — and Elite Object pilots. An odd Elite girl named Milinda meets Quenser, a student who aims to become a Object mechanic, with the soldier-in-training Heivia on a snowy battlefield.

On the surface Heavy Object sounds like a show with high potential. A series detailing the adventures of a group who find ways to exploit weaknesses to beat what are essentially Metal Gears. But then you take a look at the adaptor JC Staff and the original writer Kazuma Kamachi for that excitement to drain away. Kazuma is most well known for his Certain Magical Index series which may in fact be one of the titles to birth the Light novel formula used in every single unimaginative LN adaption to date. It is also the series which beat the Light novel formula to death and the author has been pushed to make two other protagonists to cover the fact that he has been remaking the same story arc again and again. Having read the first volume of the Light novel, I can say Heavy Object suffers from the same problems as his other works. Lame humor, characters defined by a gimmick and an endless conga line of girls falling in love with the protagonist. What could save this is the Metal Gear battles(Or..sigh…Heavy Objects) as it is interesting in how normal people find ways to take down giant robots.

Ore ga Ojou-sama Gakkou ni “Shomin Sample” Toshite Gets-Sareta Ken

In a hidden school surrounded by mountains, young ladies of good families are taught everything a high class lady needs to know. They are also completely cut off from the outside world, keeping them sheltered and innocent. However, a problem has come up recently—more and more graduates are failing to cope with the modern world after graduation. To deal with this problem, they’ve decided to kidnap a male commoner student, and enroll him as a student. They hope that this will be a gentle way to introduce the girls to the outside world. Kagurazaka Kimito is chosen for this dubious honor, mostly because he seems utterly average. However, the school leaders also seem to have concluded he’s a homosexual with a muscle fetish. When Kimito hears that the alternative may be castration (to protect the girls’ purity), he eagerly plays along with this misconception. Now he’ll just have to survive the attention of many high class young ladies that are completely out of touch with the world!

I have read the manga for this one before the anime announcement and overall found it to be decent. The focus of the show is more on comedy than harem hijinks and that comedy is actually pretty funny at times. The main bulk of the story has to do with a commoner club which is set up to introduce normal things to high class girls ignorant of the world. Naturally hilarity ensues as they misunderstand or take too well to foreign concepts. There is fanservice but it actual is a fairly enjoyable story with characters which are different from the usual stereotypes. With the right execution it could be a very watchable anime.

Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiruu

The novel series revolves around Shoutarou Tatewaki and Sakurako Kujyou. Shoutarou is a normal high school student with a serious demeanor who likes to show off his girlfriend Sakurako. Sakurako is an extraordinarily beautiful woman in her mid-20s from a rich family who loves “beautiful bones.” The two live in the city of Asahikawa in Hokkaido, and they get involved in various incidents regarding bones.

This has a promising hook but a few things have me concerned. It’s seems that romance may overshadow the “incidents regarding bones” seeing how much of the synopsis focuses on it. That isn’t inherently bad but requires your two main characters to have good onscreen chemistry. Spice and wolf has proven that a good character dynamic can carry the show even when the topic of said show is generally dull. In this regard the main male lead doesn’t inspire confidence having the general “average male high school student” design. The main female lead so far only has a gimmick of loving bones which looks to be something that will grow tiresome quickly. Other than that I predict the typical Sherlock and Watson relationship in regards to solving cases. But there are some pluses however, as it is a light novel adaption and from the looks of things has a notable absence of a harem.

Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen

When I came to, I realized I was standing in the middle of a vast, snowy plain I knew nothing of. I didn’t know how I got there. And to add to that, I couldn’t remember anything, not even my name. I stood there, dumbfounded at my absurd situation. But then, as if to spite me further, a gigantic monster suddenly appeared, an insect-like creature that began to bear down on me. I tried desperately to run, but it cornered me into a hopeless situation. It was then that the girl appeared. Her name was Kuon. It was this beautiful girl, who bore an animal’s ears and tail, who saved my life.

I have watched the first episode of the first Utawarerumono anime and played the game/Visual novel which was a strategy game in the same lines of Fire Emblem. The game itself was decent with mediocre gameplay and a good enough story. It did have difficulties juggling what were slice of life hijinks and strategy gameplay. My biggest issue with the game was the deeply weak villains whose motivations barely went beyond being evil because they have high status. The director of this new anime has a large resume with some highs(legend of the galactic heroes, Katanagatari) and a lot of lows(School days,Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!) But my overall worry is this. This anime is based on a game that comes out at the exact same time as it’s airing. It’s clear that the anime is for the sole purpose of pushing game sales so how much effort is put into may be questionable. Making a good anime and a good game is hard enough one at a time but making both could make the two lesser. The game itself reminds me of Fire Emblem Awakening which I loved so it interests me but the anime I feel has a lot of hurdles to overcome. Tears to Tiara was anime of a game made by the same company and was done pretty well. But even so it was a decent anime at best. At most I see this being an average watchable anime that won’t really impress.

Young Black Jack

Young Black Jack is a prequel to Osamu Tezuka’s classic manga series about a brilliant maverick doctor who practices without a license.

Biggest concern here is that the one who penned the manga happens to be the same Mangaka behind Wolf Guy:Ookami no Monshou, which was…well a mess of rape and gore. But he also seems to be behind Akumetsu, a seinen manga which seems to have a positive reception from what I see. So I highly doubt this will be tamer than Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack manga, rather chances are the dark themes and gritty storytelling are going to get amped up. Which isn’t a bad thing in itself but dark storytelling requires a good writer or it ends up simply juvenile. I don’t have any experience with the original Black Jack manga though I have heard of the character but this could act as a decent introduction to the series. The animation studio seems very traditional having a majority of their works be Osamu Tezuka manga adaptions. I hope their animation is not also suck in traditional ways as there isn’t really a need anymore for speed lines and drawn out scenery shots. Or the heavily overdramatic overacted nature of old school anime. The amount of info on the series is limited so really it could go any way on this, still the concept of the manga intrigues me and I am always up for some dark themed stories.

 

Series I do look forward to

One Punch Man

The manga revolves around the titular super hero who has trained so hard that his hair has fallen out, and who can overcome any enemy with one punch. However, because he is so strong, he has become bored and frustrated with winning all his battles so easily.

In Shounen anime the common theme is the drive to be the very best. The best fighter, best cook, best monster collector, etc. But what would happen if you actually became the best? If you really were the strongest guy around who could beat anybody with one punch? Well enter Saitama, the hero of this story who shows us just how exciting being the best is. Namely being bored out of his skull because he hasn’t had a challenging fight or anything that requires him to go all out. One Punch man can be comparable to the manga Ratman or the anime Tiger and Bunny. It involves hired superheroes and the disasters which face the city. Disasters which Saitama usually solves instantly without anyone really knowing about it. This story isn’t a deconstruction of the Shounen genre but it is a highly entertaining and a funny action story. Madhouse does have its work cut out for them though. The manga is based on a webcomic with poor art, but the manga’s art is top class having been drawn by Yusuke Murata, best known for Eyeshield 21. The art of the manga is so good that there are pages of intricately drawn scenes which when put together in gif format can form some pretty impressive animation.(Look here to see: http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/03/06/chapter-of-one-punch-man-manga-turned-into-incredible-animated-gif) Madhouse is a trustworthy adaptor so I can easily see this being the highlight of the season.

Subete ga F ni Naru

The story of the original Subete ga F ni Naru novel revolves around Souhei Saikawa, a member of the Saikawa Research Lab. He goes on a vacation held by the lab, and Moe Nishinosono, the daughter of his mentor, joins the group on their vacation despite not being a part of the lab. There, the two end up finding a corpse. The two work together to solve the mysteries of what becomes a serial murder case.

This and Sakurako make difficult shows to talk about as neither have source material that’s translated. The anime is based on a novel published in 1996. So I briefly checked out the first episode live action drama series made about the novels. What we have here looks to be a quite traditional murder mystery which I do quite adore. Nothing really makes you think more than a well written whodunit story. Though the beginning of the episode was very surreal hinting at the possibility of a supernatural element. I admittedly skimmed the episode mainly because I didn’t want to spoil myself on the show and secondly because the acting was pretty terrible. Most notable thing about the animation staff is that the director of Elfin Lied and Denpa Teki na Kanojo is directing this. Other than that genuine murder mystery is always welcome in my book, as long as it’s not the type of no thought required mystery Ranpo Kitan is showing. Truly good mystery stories require a clever writer that can make use of misdirection and setup. From my light viewing of the drama it looks as though this series will be presenting the viewer with the ingredients to solve the mystery themselves. The question is whether the characters can be interesting while presenting the mystery itself. A common problem with classic murder mystery is that the presentation of the mystery is first and foremost, thus the characters are limited in characterisation as their characters must remain enigmatic enough to be suspected. In this regard they can come across as plot devices for exposition about the mystery rather than genuine characters. I wonder if this story can dodge that particular problem but even if it can’t, this genre is one that is far too lacking in anime media.

Posted on 13 June 2015 with categories: Seasonal Previews

At first glance summer season looks to be a weak one. I thought the same as I glanced over it. However appearances can be deceiving and there are a number of titles here with potential. I put a little more effort into this preview than the last. I have checked out the source material of everything I could so I can at least give an impression of what the show might turn out to be.

First off, an apology. I am aware that I failed to cover the straw poll result winner for last season. A number of things happened. My laptop broke for one, the winner Digimon adventure tri decided not to air and become a movie instead and the runner up Arslan Senkai was already halfway through a cour before I found this out. And to be perfectly honest, procrastination was a big factor. It also doesn’t help that Arslan didn’t turn out to be quite as interesting as I hoped and I was putting off catching up with it.  I will try this one more time but this time I won’t make any guarantees. I will try to cover three anime this season. Two my own choice and one yours. Straw poll is below.

http://strawpoll.me/4615825

My two choices which I will cover is Chaos Dragon and Gate. Also a note that I noticed that my source for this preview can be a bit flimsy about figuring out what’s a full length show and what’s a five minute anime so some titles may turn out to be not full fledged shows.

I think I will add a category here for sequels I am not interested in. For these it’s really a matter of myself not knowing enough about the show. In pretty much all these cases my opinion is the same. If you liked the previous season then by all means continue. I don’t think there are many who would be interested in jumping into a later season anyway.

 

Non Non Biyori Repeat

THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls 2nd Season

Gatchaman Crowds insight

Junjou Romantica 3

 

And so on with the preview.

Series that I Don’t Look Forward To

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

The story of the original manga revolves around Shirayuki, a beautiful girl working as a medicine woman who has red hair, which is very rare in her country. When she is proposed and chased after by the prince of her country, she runs away, only to meet Zen, the prince of a neighboring country. Finding respect for the young man, she decides to serve at his side as his court doctor.

One thing I always found odd is that some of the most chauvinistic depictions of men are often from works aimed at girls or more bizarrely, written by them. I can say with certainty that with the number of times men invade the personal space of this girl would not earn adoration in life but rather gain a pair of handcuffs and a restraining order. But this has to be the most superficial reason for these guys to like a girl yet. From what I have seen these guys basically like this girl because she has red hair. In fact it may be her key defining characteristic. A prince decides to marry her because she has red hair. Another rapey guy decides to kidnap her because she has red hair. Other than red hair and some tossed in herb knowledge, the girl is basically a plank. There not a chance of that red hair being natural either as I don’t see a single freckle on this girl. Much like the harem is a desire of those who have no idea what it truly entails, this is the desire of girls who have no idea just how bad a relationship would be with these kinds of guys.  I didn’t give it much of my time but I certainly saw no reason to continue reading.

Makura no Danshi

The anime promises a “new and novel ‘sleeping side-by-side’ experience entirely in the first-person perspective” to “heal tired hearts.” It revolved around 12 “makura no danshi” (pillow boys), all full of distinctly individual personalities and each catering to viewers who like a certain “type.” The boys all live in the same town underneath a starry sky. Each of the “makura no danshi” will star his own weekly episode as they “sleep beside you and whisper.”

Wow…now that’s a…unique concept. Disturbing as hell but well points for originality…I guess…maybe. I believe there is a female version of this called Sleeping with Hinako. Granting you the experience of someone who broke into someone’s home and stood over them as they slept, watching…likely breathing heavily. Yes, no matter how much you attempt to dress it up as romantic I don’t think the concept will stop being creepy as all hell. Whatever demographic this anime is targeted for is a demographic that I believe shouldn’t exist.

Aoharu x Kikanjuu

The manga follows high school student Hotaru Tachibana, a girl disguised as a boy. Through strange circumstances she finds herself drawn into the world of survival games by a host, Masamune Matsuoka. The two form a team with ero-manga artist Tohru Yukimura and aim to be the be the best in Japan.

This started off somewhat interesting at first. The story of two working men getting into survival games was at least different. But as it turns out that wasn’t the true beginning to the story and these guys were not the main character. The main character as it turns out is a crossdressing school girl and with her introduction everything goes downhill from there. Insert “hilarious” misunderstandings as she tries to hide her gender but gets mistaken for a perverted guy.The two male leads have no idea that the main is a girl but even so the host guy is still doing things that would weird out a guy. This seems to be heading in the direction of a love triangle. The story tries its best to make survival games as dramatic as possible as most sports anime do. I can’t really comment on how accurate it is but it is rather predictable with over dramatic framing over events that would naturally be mundane. I say pass on this.

Dragon Ball Chou

The first new Dragon Ball TV series story since Dragonball GT. The story is set a few years after the defeat of Majin Buu, when the Earth has become peaceful once again.

Akira Toryami should quit while he’s ahead. I liked Battle of Gods as a loving nod to the series and I do look forward to the return of Frieza in the new movie. But this series has used up all its ideas. The characters have powered up to a level akin to gods so creating a threat higher that Majin Buu is nigh impossible. What’s more I feel Akira’s creativity has waned. The new transformations for Goku, Frieza and Vegeta are just palette swaps. I mean for Frieza it was far more disappointing, considering that Cooler already showed a Transformation form beyond his that looked awesome. I don’t care if the movies aren’t canon, that form was ten times better that Frieza’s purple gold form that looks like it was made by adjusting hue in Photoshop. Unless we turn up the power levels and make battles of Gurren Lagann finale scale this will likely end up another Dragonball GT.

Himouto! Umaru-chan

An anime adaptation of Himouto! Umaru-chan manga. The sibling gag comedy manga centers around Umaru, Taihei’s little sister who boasts beautiful looks as well as prowess in both school and sports. However, “Himouto” (beautiful little sister) has a certain secret.

What we have here is essentially a one note joke turned into a series. Umaru is the perfect superhuman at school but at home she’s a neet who acts like a Otaku spoiled brat to her brother. The big problem with this is that Umaru is a horrible person to her brother for the sake of comedy. She constantly does inexcusable things to him to push her own selfish agenda. Putting that aside it’s pretty by the books as far as this kind of comedy goes. It even has a romance that involves one person being oblivious yet accidentally raising the others affection through misunderstandings. As an experiment I jumped 90 chapters ahead in the manga to see if anything significant happened. The result was that there was some new characters but everything else was exactly the same. Seeing as that is the case I don’t see this show as anything but a waste of time.

Jitsu wa Watashi wa

The romantic comedy centers around Asahi Kuromine, who has a crush on a cute girl named Yōko Shiragami. Shiragami just happens to be a vampire. Asahi cannot keep a secret, but he is determined to keep Shiragami’s secret anyways.

This is some pretty typical harem. At first it starts with one chosen girl but then girls get added into the harem later. There’s a childhood friend and then they chuck in an alien and so forth. This is a rather pointless venture as the main has already chosen so why bother to add in more girls? They have no chance so its only giving people false hope. Well not that any of the girls will be chosen in the end. This is another one of those cases where once the cast has been assembled then the story will move into the purgatory that Nisekoi, To-Love Ru and eventually all harems reside. The place of school trips, festivals and holidays where the spotlight is swapped around each girl while never moving an inch away from the status quo.

Joukamachi no Dandelion

In the story, the everyday lives of the nine super-powered siblings of the royal family are monitored by more than 200 surveillance cameras and broadcast nationwide. The people of the nation who are watching the broadcast will have the ability to elect the next monarch. The story focuses on Akane, the third-oldest sister who can manipulate gravity. She is shy and desperately does not want to be caught on camera.

Based on manga raws I skimmed though this seems like a fairly underwhelming title. I was originally expecting a light novel-eqe supernatural battle story but it’s actually a four koma comedy manga instead. I was looking at this in Japanese and yet I could get the basic idea of what’s being said. Honestly its not an upgrade from supernatural generic battle story. Instead we have a standard comedy. Admittedly seeing as I do not know Japanese this judgement could be mistaken. But I highly doubt this anime will be noteworthy.

Kangoku Gakuen Prison School

Hachimitsu Private Academy was a revered and elite all-girls’ boarding school on the outskirts of Tokyo…once upon a time. But with the new school year comes a revision to school policy: Boys are to be admitted into the student body for the first time ever. But on his first day at Hachimitsu, Kiyoshi Fujino discovers that he’s one of only five boys enrolled at the school. Their numbers overwhelmed by the thousand girls in the student body, is it heaven or hell that awaits these five (un)fortunates?!.

I checked out prison schools manga a long time back and stopped mainly because it was not my thing. I always found that comedy in anime and manga tend to miss more for me than hit. I can see how some would like this. Its a raunchy comedy with sex jokes and fan service by the barrelfuls. My main problem with it was that all the characters were really unlikeable. All sex crazed and highly obnoxious. Whereas the female characters tend to go to the dominatrix side of things. There might be a few good jokes here but I find the story too aggravating to enjoy them.

Kuusen Madoushi Kouhosei no Kyoukan

The story is set in a world where humanity, driven off the land by the threat of magical armored insects, now live in aerial floating cities. Thus wizards — aerial combat mages who fight the insects with magical powers — came into being.
Kanata Age (Eiji) is a young man who lives on the floating wizard academy city of “Misutogan.” He was once celebrated as the “Black Master Swordsman,” the elite ace of the S128 special team. However, he is now despised as the “traitor of the special team.” One day, he is assigned as the instructor of E601, a team that has suffered 10 consecutive defeats. E601 has three girls — Misora Whitale, Lecty Eisenach, and Rico Flamel — with one or two peculiar quirks.

Charlie’s angels, the anime. Actually no, that would have more value. One, Take your average light novel plot. Two, Make the main character a teacher instead of a student. Three, ????. Four, Profit. This is pretty worthless. The three girls have one note personalities. The setting has been done to death. And we have a accidental fall followed by a boob grope. There’s no hope for this one.

 

Rokka no Yuusha

When the Majin awoke from the depths of darkness, the deity of fate chose six heroes and bequeathed them with the power to save the world. Adoretto, a boy who proclaims himself the strongest on Earth, was selected among the Rokka no Yuusha (Heroes of the Six Flowers), and he goes to the rendezvous point — but seven have gathered there. The heroes suspect that someone among the seven is the enemy, and the initial suspicion falls on Adoretto.

This title does have a premise with potential. Six heroes are chosen to save the world but seven show up at the gathering. Everyone is at each others throats trying to figure out who’s the imposter. However the writer doesn’t seem talented enough to pull it off. So what we have is a fairly mediocre story with some excellent artwork in the novel. The characters aren’t anything too notable and I fear that two will become aggravating in this anime as one constantly says “I’m the strongest!” and the other adds meow/nyah to his sentences. The characters personalities are quite one note but tend to change when the plot decides they need to act suspiciously. I read the first novel and a large amount of the plot revolves around them being caught in a trap. And examining the details to try and figure out who set them up. What follows is a series of misunderstandings as each of the cast gets into fights over who is the seventh for well over 200 pages. They try to put some logic into the mystery but the rules of this world are so vague that any speculation is meaningless. I thought I had a pretty good idea of who it was but then was proven wrong when one character practically pulls something out of their ass which reveals the culprit to be someone with little to no foreshadowing. With that I thought the story would move on to some new kind of arc but then a new hero of the six flowers shows up and it looks like this farce is ready to start again. This may prove to be more entertaining animated but overall my experience with it was apathetic. I predict this being decent at best, boring at worst.

 

Sore ga Seiyuu!

The original four-panel manga centers on Futaba Ichinose, Ichigo Moesaki, and Rin Kohana, three rookie voice actresses. The manga features small but humorous observations of the voice actor industry. Hajimemashite launched the manga at the winter Comiket event in 2011, and the duo have released new issues at Comiket events since then.

Cute girls being all cute and stuff…plus some insight into the voice acting industry…maybe…if there’s time. Here’s the thing, Shirobako already did it. And did it well. You are not going to top that. Certainly not by adding more moe girls.

 

Suzakinishi: The Animation

Voice actresses Aya Suzaki and Asuka Nishi announced at an event in Tokyo on Sunday that their SuzakiNishi radio program will get a television anime adaptation starting in July.

Absolutely nothing has been revealed on this. All I know is that it has something to do with a radio show.

 

Venus Project – Climax -

Venus Project tells the story of idols living in Japan in the near future. In this world, data devices and video technology have been progressing to new heights, and people are abuzz about a new form of entertainment — Formula Venus. In Formula Venus or “F-V,” the chosen top idols battle in live performances with their willpower, skills, and all their experience gained.

Its become the norm to have at least one idol anime each season, hasn’t it? Well I am at least glad that it’s not that other fad that looks like it’s died down. (My little season can’t have no incest anime! Let’s hope it stays without it. It’s hard enough getting people into anime without that ugly genre popping up.) Not really sure what to say here. Studio doesn’t have any notable works and this is about as basic an idol plot as it gets.

 

Working!!!

The third season of Working.

I haven’t watched Working myself but I have watched an anime adaption of another of this artists works called Servant X Service. And from what I hear that was essentially Working in a Office instead of restaurant. So with that I can have a pretty good grasp on what to expect. Decent comedy with a go nowhere romantic subplot. This is the third season of Working so chances are that if you plan on watching this then you have checked out the other two. For the rest of us I think we will pass.

 

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei Herz!

This will adapt the second half of the 2wei manga.

I bet some thought I would put this in one of the bottom two categories but at least this proves I am not biased towards my favourite franchise…well mostly…somewhat…alright definitely biased. For some reason the Prisma Illya manga is spilt up into three parts. The first, which season one covers, Zwei, which the second season covered half and the third season which will cover the second half, and Drei. Prisma Illya Drei is better than it has any right to be. Great epic battles, all annoying characters replaced with far more interesting ones, a great antagonist to go up against and nods to fate all around. Its really the time this series breaks out of Fates shadow and becomes its own thing. But that’s if there is a fourth season of this show. This third season will be terrible. Zwei in general just feels like padding and only really stands out with its finale. Even with the appearance of the under appreciated and awesome Bazett cannot save the story. My advice is to just watch the final two episodes or so. Trust me, nothing worthwhile will be missed.

 

Durarara!!x2 Ten

The second part of Durarara’s second season.

After the first cour of this second season has aired and provided no real push or change whatsoever, my excitement for this series has run out. The nostalgia factor is gone and while I will still watch it, I don’t think I will enjoy it unless the story gains some level of consequence. Or at least stops pretending that there will be consequence later down the line. I say stop introducing characters and just work with what you got before the cast goes into triple digits.

To love-ru Darkness 2nd

A second season of To LOVE-Ru Darkness announced at Jump Festa 2015.

Somewhere in my hard drive sits the first season of To love-Ru Darkness. I mostly figured I might get to it someday. I also happened to read the manga up to date. Am I a fan of To Love-Ru? God no! Hate a large majority of the characters, the story is nonexistent and is really just a series of really stupid contrived setups for ecchi. Honestly I don’t think anyone reads this for the plot. Its a fair point to say that the main reason this keeps getting anime adaptions and the manga keeps selling for pretty much one reason. Yabuki Kentarus art. Say what you will about him, the man can draw a damn fine female figure. And while I would prefer that he use his skills for good instead of evil, someone’s got to fill this quota and it might as well be someone who puts in some kind of effort. I might watch it for Momo. Might.

 

Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX

After the frontier incident, everyone who knew the circumstances believed the Noise were gone and the pain they caused was at an end. But a new conflict approached unseen. In the Yokohama Harbor Oosan-bashi Pier, a new pattern is detected that is similar to the Noise. A combat group wielding mysterious technology stands in the way of Hibiki and the others. When she hears of this enemy of unprecedented strength, Tsubasa hurries back home from England. But the Symphogear users see no opening to counterattack and are forced into a difficult fight. In this situation of extreme disparity, the battle for the song that will end the world begins.

Ah Symphogear. The show I point to and say “that’s how Madoka revolutionised the industry. By birthing terrible knockoffs” So I think we can all agree that Madoka reviving the dead genre of mahou shoujo has for the most part been a mistake. And while some can’t say Symphogear wasn’t inspired by Madoka I point to all those moments it tried to be grimdark but never had the actual guts to go through with it. And it was obviously made to capitalize on Madokas popularity. Previous Seasons of this show presented sub par story with clashing “please buy our records” jpop songs sung during battle. Both ended on a flat note, leaving only the knowledge that you just wasted hours on this show and you won’t be getting them back. The third looks to be no different.

Classroom☆Crisis

A romantic comedy set in a near-futuristic world about the troubles and tribulations of high schoolers on salary. With aims to one day reach out into the stars, humanity has colonized all the planets of the solar system. This story of young high school hopefuls is set in Fourth Tokyo in a Japanese Martian prefecture. Iris Shirasaki is a third year student/aspiring test pilot. Mizuki Sera is her peer/mechanic and Mizuki’s brother Kaito is their homeroom teacher and the young director of the program developing their talents.

Truth be told there isn’t a lot to say about this one. It’s an orignal work so no source materiel, studio has very little work, trailers show absolutely nothing and for most working on this it’s their first real project. Looking at it I am being reminded of a visual novel called “If my heart had wings” and I don’t consider that a good thing. This is guesswork but this looks to be a slice of life club anime. I bet it won’t present anything mind-blowing.

Series I am middling on

Charlotte

The story centers around the special abilities that occur among a small percentage of boys and girls in puberty. Yuu Otosaka uses his power without others knowing, and lives a fairly normal, average school life. Before him suddenly appears a girl, Nao Tomori. Due to his meeting with her, the fate of special power-users will be exposed.

I originally thought I wouldn’t have much to say about PA works new anime for this season. That is until I watched the preview and the first thing to show up was the name “Jun Maeda” You know Jun Maeda, even if you think you don’t. Fairly prominent in the visual novel industry who’s previous works include the likes of Air, Clannad, Little busters and Angel Beats. So already we have a pretty good idea of what we are in for if he’s writing the story. Likely a show with a first half focused on random comedy skits and slice of life with mild supernatural elements which is followed by a tragic second half that will try to make you cry by any means necessary. And topped off with a truly insulting deus ex machina to make things right as rain. You may have noticed with that last sentence that I am not too fond of Jun’s writing. While he can have moments where his writing can touch the heart its often full of several contrivances to ensure that things are made as sad and tragic as possible, regardless of whether it makes sense or not. Air is pretty much an example of this as to this day I can’t make sense of what actually happened at the end of that show. (But at least it avoided to cheap make everything right deus ex machina.)I wouldn’t mind this if he also didn’t want to avoid the actual consequences of tragedy as well. Happy endings are all well and good but if the render the events lead up to it as pointless then that just isn’t right. Never have I been burned harder that the ending of little busters, which presented a heartfelt and true message. Only to spit on it and render the message, which the entirely of the visual novel was working to convey, completely null and void. In this regard I have become immune to the attempts Jun makes to tug my heartstrings because in the end it won’t amount to anything but a fake out. However while his writing is something I have problems with, his music on the other hand is magnificent. He looks to be making the OST for Charlotte so that’s at least a huge incentive to watch. I may have to break my rule of never checking out a Key work again.

Gangsta

In the city of Ergastulum, a shady ville filled with made men and petty thieves, whores on the make and cops on the take, there are some deeds too dirty for even its jaded inhabitants to touch. Enter the “Handymen,” Nic and Worick, who take care of the jobs no one else will handle. Until the day when a cop they know on the force requests their help in taking down a new gang muscling in on the territory of a top Mafia family. It seems like business (and mayhem) as usual, but the Handymen are about to find that this job is a lot more than they bargained for.

What we have here is a Black lagoon/Jormungand kind of story. Our main characters include a prostitute, a gigolo and a deaf man. Gritty and dark is the name of the game. From the first few chapters of the manga it looks fairly solid. No real problems and while it is very similar to Black Lagoon that’s fine as anime could use another Black Lagoon. The big problem here is the animation studio. Manglobe hasn’t been very good with adaptations and their output lately has been pretty terrible. Samurai Flamenco pretty much destroyed any good graces I had for the company. This is a pretty good work to choose for adaption but if you can’t bring out its potential then it will all be for naught.

Aquarion Logos

A new anime in the Aquarion series.

My experience with Aquarion mainly has to do with Aquarion Evol. Overall it wasn’t bad or particularly great. I think there was overly sexualized robot combining and a love triangle. Also something about a guy being the reincarnation of a dog from the first season or something. This season looks to be more of the same. The director’s resume basically consists of Aquarion Evol and nothing else notable. The writer even less so, as this looks to be there first work that wasn’t an adaption. I say this will be a mediocre mecha anime. Maybe enjoyable to watch but not something you will remember.

Gakkou Gurashi!

The story revolves around four girls who decide to stay over at school: the energetic Yuki Takeya, the shovel-loving Rumi, the center of the group Rurii, who brings everyone together, and Megu, the spacey school adviser. However, through mysterious circumstances, the girls find themselves the final survivors in a zombie attack, and continue to live at the school.

When making a preview of that Haruhi Nagato spinoff, I made a joke about how if you are going to make a genre swap then at least make it amusing and sited K-ON zombie apocalypse edition as an example. Well someone in Japan must have listened cause welcome to K-ON zombie apocalypse edition. Oddly enough it kinda works. I don’t think this will be the new Madoka but at least its a kick to the teeth that the “cute girls doing cute things” genre has been needing for quite a while. Like for example, I like that the peppy energetic one is like that because she has essentially gone insane and now lives in her own dream world instead of facing reality. And it makes sense that the characters interactions would be so over the top and forced because they are trying to brush off their grim situation by being positive. When thinking about it the contrast between the two genres actually works in its favour to make the dark side more effective. It may end up being just a gimmick but from what I read so far I like.

Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace

An anime inspired by late author Edogawa Ranpo’s works.

Rampo is a famous mystery writer in Japan who was a fan of the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle. As this anime has the character Kogoro Akechi present I am guess this will be mainly inspired by Rampo’s series of mystery novels about Kogoro rather than his horror works. Kogoro Akechi is very much the equivalent of Japanese Sherlock Holmes. So I suspect this will be an episodic series of “Who done it” mysteries. I have read some of the works of Rampo and find that if adapted well this should be an interesting series. My main issue would be how they plan to modernise it and why have we included high school students?

Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai

The novel’s story is set 16 years after the “Law for Public Order and Morals in Healthy Child-Raising” banned coarse language in the country. Tanukichi Okuma enrolls in the country’s leading elite public morals school and is soon invited into the Anti-Societal Organization (SOX) by its founder, Ayame Kajou. As a member blackmailed into joining by Ayame, Tanukichi ends up taking part in obscene acts of terrorism against the talented student council president Anna (for whom Tanukichi has a crush).

This is a strange one. So much so that I have no idea what to think of it. What we have here is a kind of “good guy master thief” scenario. The main character gets forced to become an accomplice to a girl who is a terrorist. Well her acts of terror are mainly saying dirty words, tossing around porn pictures and informing people about the birds and the bees. In this world nobody can say anything sex related due to special collars and insane measures are taken to keep knowledge of sex a secret. So our female protagonist is the Robin hood committing crimes for the greater good. Of course we have a school setting where the student council acts as the governing force, with the student council president playing the role of “determined police officer” antagonist. Comedy seems to be the main goal and there’s plenty of reference humour. I see danger signs of a harem as well. Along with the female council president and the terrorist we also have a girl who seems obsessed with discovering what sex actually is and a painter girl who looks to want to make the main her “pet”. I could only check out two chapters of the manga adaption and that didn’t give a impression of whether this could be bad or good. It really depends on whether the novelty can carry the show. However being a light novel adaption it’s best to reserve judgement till after the first arc as it is a general thread for many Light novels to go downhill after that point. In truth I say this will be amusing at first but then become terrible.

Overlord

The story takes place in the year 2138 when virtual reality gaming is booming. Yggdrasil, a popular online game is quietly shut down one day. However, the protagonist Momonga decides to not log out. Momonga is then transformed into the image of a skeleton as “the most powerful wizard.” The world continues to change, with non-player characters (NPCs) beginning to feel emotion. Having no parents, friends, or place in society, this ordinary young man Momonga then strives to take over the new world the game has become.

As I said before in my Damachi impression, I am not fond of power fantasy that basically hands the main character god mode from the start. Well here’s another series that starts by giving the main too much power. He he has a legion of followers, every useful rare item and likely the highest level possible. But to be fair unlike Damachi at least this seems to be making more of an effort in the story department. There are bad aspects such as it being still pretty obvious wish fulfilment and the fact that there are two girls(With more likely incoming) aiming for the main despite him being an undead Skeleton. Girls, I think before falling for him it might be wise to figure out if he’s even capable of intimacy. Out of the opening 6 chapters I read this looks like it will appeal to some people but I feel that unless it brings something unexpected it will just be an alright anime.

Monster musume

Three years ago, the world learned that harpies, centaurs, catgirls, and all manners of fabulous creatures are not merely fiction; they are flesh and blood – not to mention scale, feather, horn, and fang. Thanks to the “Cultural Exchange Between Species Act,” these once-mythical creatures have assimilated into society, or at least, they’re trying.
When a hapless human teenager named Kurusu Kimihito is inducted as a “volunteer” into the government exchange program, his world is turned upside down. A snake-like lamia named Miia comes to live with him, and it is Kurusu’s job to take care of her and make sure she integrates into his everyday life.

In a genre so utterly devoid of new ideas that its basically decided to repeat the same show over and over again, Monster musume may be the closest thing to creativity this genre could get. Well of course if you can see jumping into a new fetish as inventive of course. The characters are pretty much standard stereotypes of the genre but this series does have a rather interesting take on dealing with their various needs and quirks as monster girls. Such as the Lamia being cold blooded and therefore sensitive to drops in temperature. Or the harpy liking to collecting shiny objects and having a terrible memory. These aspects are actually surprisingly interesting. Though sadly you will also have to deal with harem hijinks which are now a little more disturbing when you consider that these girls are not technically human. Truthfully this vears a little too close to beastilty. I don’t think the manga is terrible and it does stand above other lazy efforts but if this becomes a hit then…the trend copycats may go into some truly disturbing territory.

Ushio to Tora

Ushio’s family maintains a Shinto temple in Japan, where ~500 years ago, his samurai ancestor battled that same tiger to a standstill, and eventually trapped him against a rock using a blessed spear called the “Beast Spear”, which in addition to its intrinsic formidability as a weapon, can also endow its wielder with the martial ability of the ancestor who originally wielded it. Ushio accidentally unsealed the cave Tora was trapped in.
Initially, Ushio refuses to remove the spear pinning Tora down (as Tora made the strategic blunder of mentioning that the first thing he would do upon being freed would be to devour Ushio), but Tora’s unsealed presence summons various monsters who wish to fight him, and by extension Ushio. Ushio is forced to free Tora, who would like to eat Ushio, but dares not since Ushio keeps the spear close by. The series focuses on their relationship, interspersed with battles against mythological foes, and with Tora’s attempts to grapple with modern life.

This is an adaption of a manga made in the 90s. The story of the manga is nothing truly standout. Actually the first chapter mirrors the start of Tenchi Muyo’s first episode right down to a t. There’s a spunky tomboy love interest who constantly complains and fights with the main character but in truth likes him. The first chapters are a series of episodic encounters with various demons around school and etc. I would say there isn’t anything you haven’t seen before except for one thing. The boy is accompanied by a demon named Tora and he’s what really makes this series. The two have a rather friendly/antagonistic rivalry that makes the highlights of the series. Its good to see Tora’s reaction to the modern world and his bickering with the main. But I feel that once his facade of being enemies drops this series won’t be anything too memorable.

God Eater

The Far East, 2071.
The domain of the mad gods.
In the early 2050s, unknown life forms called “Oracle cells” begin their uncontrolled consumption of all life on Earth.
Their ravenous appetite and remarkable adaptability earn them first dread, then awe, and finally the name “aragami”.
In the face of an enemy completely immune to conventional weapons, urban civilization collapses, and each day humanity is driven further and further toward extinction.
One single ray of hope remains for humanity.
Following the development of “God Arcs”—living weapons which incorporate Oracle cells—their wielders are organized into an elite force.
In a world ravaged by mad gods, these “God Eaters” fight a desperate war…

This is on the borderline between middling and not interested. The good news is that this is Ufotable so if this is getting the Fate treatment then it will be eye candy galore. There’s plenty of action and it is nice to see Ufotable make a move away from type moon works. But the bad news is this. I haven’t played the God Eater game but video game adaptations do not have a good record with anime.I have checked out the manga adaption of God Eater and if this is the story we are getting then we are in trouble. Highly generic, with cliche characters and plot. This does not deserve the Ufotable treatment. Ufotable, if you want to break away from being the type moon animator company then you better make wiser choices for adaption material. For example, Sharon no kuni. I would even settle for G-senjou no maou. Make that happen.

 

 

Series that I Do Look Forward To

Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaerirslan Senki

The military fantasy series begins when a gate appears in Tokyo’s Ginza district sometime in the 21st century. From the gate pours out monsters, knights from middle-age Europe, and other fantasy-like beings, and they kill many of the citizens of Tokyo. This event is known as the Ginza Incident.
The government sends a small group of soldiers from the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (a replacement for Japan’s military) to the alternate world beyond the gate. Led by otaku soldier Youji, they find that the villages in the world are being attacked by a dragon. An elf girl who is a survivor from the dragon’s rampage joins the group in their travels across the dangerous new world.

A while back I watched an anime called Outbreak Company which mildly dealt with a modern society handling the sudden appearance of a medieval world. I remember thinking to myself “If only they focused on this aspect instead of relegating it to the background.” Well here’s the anime that fixes that. Often in fiction mankind is one with the inferior firepower while the enemy is more technological advanced. Here its the opposite. This medieval world attacks the modern world and are completely decimated. With these people slowly realizing that they just picked a fight with an enemy whose power is practically godly in their eyes. Its amusing as I don’t think many works acknowledge that mankind has become quite proficient in killing. Often while watching Harry Potter I kept thinking that these wizards were deeply underestimating humanity. You got a spell that can kill a person? Well we can nuke you all to hell from half the world away. Even put a bullet between your eyes before you think of a syllable. There are some issues such as the commander being an otaku and the presence of a Goth loli and elf plus some danger signs of a harem. But there aren’t many anime like this so this such be interesting.

 

Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Sen’eki

The story takes place in the sparkling era year 3015, where the great nations Donatia and Kōran divide the world in a cold war as they fight for supremacy. In the middle of this standoff is island country Nil Kamui, which has lost its independence.

I was ready to write off this title as standard generic light novel trash before I looked into it. Its understandable as one the surface it does give that impression. But then I remembered that there was coming an adaption of a certain thing called red dragon which was renamed to Chaos Dragon. It is true that this is a light novel adaption. However, that novel was in turn an adaption of a tabletop role playing game session between Iduki Kougyoku (Mimizuku to Yoru no Ou), Simadoriru (member of the Stripe Pattern doujin circle), Ryohgo Narita (Baccano, Durarara!!), Gen Urobochi (Madoka, Fate/Zero) and Kinoko Nasu (Fate/Stay Night, Kara no Kyoukai). Those last three names shot my interest in this anime through the roof. We are talking about some highly prolific writers getting together and doing essentially a improv night. As far as anime adaptations go this may be the first of its kind. True that just because these people are involved does not mean it’s guaranteed to be great or even good. But in any case it will be interesting. Sliver Link are a decent choice as an adaptor as lately they have been doing a good job.(The faults of Prisma Illya was the faults of the source material. Adaption wise it was done well.) The last time two of these writers got together we got Fate/Zero. So will this be another case of perfect combination or a matter of too many cooks in the kitchen?

 

Posted on 22 March 2015 with categories: Seasonal Previews

A new year means new anime and I can say that this year looks to have a better lineup than the last. There are quite a few hopefuls this season. I can see a number of these turning out to be surprise hits. That is of course if they are handled properly. Of course there is the usual trash that gets made every season but at least I can look at the season and be glad that there isn’t a incest focused anime. Maybe that annoying fad has finally died out.

As I said before, I am not psgels. So the anime preview this time will go a little differently. I don’t really see the value of checking the staff unless there’s someone remarkably notable. My impressions here are mainly based on Promo impressions, my view of the source material and either the authors or studios previous work. Also some animes have impressions from myself and co-writer K-Off.

One final thing to add. This season I will blog three anime. Two will be if my choosing. I leave the third in your hands. The link below leads to a poll which contains each anime in this season. (Fate is excluded because I will blog that no matter what. And unfortunately I had to remove a few sequels/not a chances and such as the poll has a limit of 30 choices but I got most of them in there) Whatever wins I will blog no matter what. So of course I trust that you won’t make me blog something like NiseKoi….yeah that would be far too cruel……have mercy….please.(Don’t use bots either. This is just a bit of fun guys) You will also notice options for a kaleidoscope if you would prefer I give an small opinion on everything. The polling closes on the air date of the first anime of this season. That’s about twenty days from now.

http://strawpoll.me/3924048

Let’s get started.

 

Series that I Don’t Look Forward To

Ameiro Cocoa

Due to various circumstances, college freshman Aoi Tokura begins part-timing at the café “Rainy Color” run by Shion Koga and owned by Kouji Amami. Attending the café are the cool and handsome Keiichi Iwase and the confident Ryouta Sakurai. Aoi’s life gets a lot more hectic, but fun.

A guy who works in a restaurant that “cool” and “handsome” guys go to? I think I see where this is going.

Baby Steps 2

Season 2 of Baby Steps.

A sports anime I have not seen the first season of and likely nowhere near an end goal. Marvelous.

Battle Spirits: Burning Soul

Buy our toys.

Diamond no Ace: Second Season

The second season of Diamond no Ace.

The same as baby steps 2. But with less interest.

Duel Masters VSR

The 11th Duel Masters series.

The first (or shall we say second if you count the zero series) is not going to be beat at this point. The 11th try is not the charm.

Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka?

The story takes place in the town of labyrinths, Orario, also called “Dungeon.” Bell Cranel is a newbie adventurer that admires “Having a fateful meeting with a person of the opposite gender.” One day during an adventure, he is attacked by a Minotaur. Close to destruction, he is saved by a top-class female adventurer, Eyes Warenstein. He falls in love with her at first sight, and begins actions to become an adventurer that is on her level. He later encounters Hestia, a god called a “Lolita god” due to her stature who falls in love with him.

I read the manga and found it to be like the growing popular genre of Reincarnation/other world novels. Unfortunately it is an example of the problems of that genre as a whole. Namely overpowering a protagonist by handing him a power that makes him untouchable. In this case it’s extra silly because this power is given to him because he got a crush on a girl. Imagine watching Dragon Ball where instead of Goku gaining strength throughout the series, he gets super saiyan right from the start. This is just poor wish fulfilment writing. Which will likely be very popular.

Etotama

The manga’s story revolves around Nya-tan, the cat of Chinese astrology who wants to become a member of the Chinese zodiac. Nya-tan is simple and suffers from memory loss, and she tries various foolish ways to become a member. She meets Takeru Tendo, a high school student who lives alone in Akihabara, and becomes a freeloader at his house. Little by little, she gets closer to her goal

Cat girls, dog girls, bunny girls…if you got a animal girl fetish it’s likely here. With what looks to be the same story every harem has. Girls gather around and fall for a faceless plank who made no effort at all. But this time it’s animal girls. Which likely has been done before but will still sell anyway. Enjoy your fruitless fantasy there buyers.

Grisaia no Rakuen

The Grisaia no Rakuen visual novel continues the Grisaia no Meikyuu visual novel’s main route and concludes the trilogy. It also includes a prologue following the five heroines as they arrive at Mihama Academy.

8-bit have you not done enough damage? You butchered the first season and even topped it off by adding the base equal of hentai with fan service specials. Can we not just had this over to someone who actually cares about the source material? Listen people. If you somehow enjoyed the first season then go and buy the games. A kickstarter to bring Grisaia’s first three games to the west was recently funded. (Yours truly was a backer) You will get something ten times better than anything these poor adaptations can give you. You even get better porn than these could give you. Don’t want porn? Well these are also going on Steam with sex scenes removed. Just don’t do the disservice of experiencing them with this anime.

Kaitou Joker 2

Second season of Kaitou Joker.

Didn’t watch the first season. No interest in the second.

 

Koukaku Kidoutai Arise: Alternative Architecture

A TV anime version of Ghost in the Shell: Arise. The first eight episodes are an edited version of the four movies while the last two are new content.

When the arise OVAS are good why is it that I am not looking forward to this? Simple. Because this is the OVAS chopped up into an anime series. I am not interested because I already seen it. There are a few new episodes getting into this but I don’t think it justifies the series.

 

Kyoukai no Rinne

As a child Sakura Mamiya mysteriously disappeared in the woods behind her grandma’s home. She returned whole and healthy, but since then she has had the power to see ghosts. Now a teenager, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! At school, the desk next to Sakura’s has been empty since the start of the school year. Then one day her always-absent classmate Rinne Rokudo shows up, and he’s far more than what he seems!

From the creator of ranma 1/2, Inuyasha, and Urusei Yatsura. You know what those series had in common? A ton of episodes that went absolutely nowhere. Sure she was also behind something like mermaid forest but this story sounds to me like Inuyasha 1.5. In this day and age I think her storytelling style would be dated and uninspired.

 

Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu

This spin-off of the Haruhi Suzumiya series takes place in the world of the “Disappearance” arc of the original novels, focusing on the high school life (and romance!) of a tentative and bashful Yuki Nagato quite unlike the one you’ve come to know and love through the usual exploits of the SOS Brigade… but no less charming! As the shy head of the Literature Club, Nagato has had a hard time recruiting members. Her close friend Ryoko Asakura supports her in this. Drafting Kyon, she eventually meets up with Haruhi Suzumiya, Tsuruya, Mikuru Asahina and Itsuki Koizumi, and has to put up with their hijinks while trying to romance Kyon. Asakura seems ambivalent about the latter prospect.

So it’s Haruhi without aliens, time travelers or espers. So Haruhi with anything remotely original removed. What’s the point of this exactly? It’s like taking Attack on titan and putting it in a school setting…wait that exists. Well like Soul Eater without soul eating…oh right, Soul Eater Not. I don’t get the fascination of placing the characters in much blander setting. If we are going to switch genres then why not have fun with it? K-on: zombie apocalypse or Csi To love-ru. I even saw a Web comic that takes the characters of gurren lagann and puts them in a buddy cop story. That turned out to be far more entertaining than this has any chance of being. I get that the draw of this is emotional Yuki but that is only special because it’s rare for the character to have emotion. A kuudere without kuu is just another character entirely.

 

Nisekoi 2

Season 2 of Nisekoi

Somewhere around the time To Love-Ru finally gave up pretending to not be softcore porn and start putting out, a gap was made in the cocktease category of manga. That gap was then filled by Nisekoi, a soulless harem which spends it’s time teasing story development only to pull right back into the status quo and harem hijinks. All to promote the japanese dream of having five constant teases in love with you whom you cannot touch or enter any meaningful relationship with. I have actually read Nisekoi completely up to date. Why?…good question. Don’t really know myself. There’s really nothing here than more Nisekoi.  More plot less, go nowhere Nisekoi.

 

Punchline

The series follows Yuuta Iritatsu, whose spirit has been separated from his body.

K-Off’s Opinion: So from a quick glance, it seems like Yutaka Uemura is in charge of this show, so it’s definitely one reason to be hopeful about it–he’s worked as a unit director on a Gurran Lagann movie, but the kind of premise found in Punchline is stupid and honestly should be retired (it’s about a boy who will destroy the world if he sees underwear). Yutaka Uemura worked on seriously enduring shows with a long-lasting fanbase like Gurran Lagann and Blood+, but he’s not alone with MAPPA (who he’s now with) when it comes to consistently creating shows that will be as contemporary and irrelevant in a year or a few months as possible. With the exception being Kids on the Slope (which was co-produced with Tezuka Productions) in 2012, MAPPA has since churned out shows with a lot of initial potential, like Terror in Resonance, Shingeki no Bahamut, and Garo, which ultimately ended up being “meh” shows that I haven’t even gotten the need to go back for and watch seriously. Oh, and I won’t even talk about Teekyu here. So, although I don’t have a very positive outlook for anything MAPPA puts out anymore, I can guarantee that Punchline will be an entertaining watch for some of you–Bahamut and Zankyou had great production values and were initially really entertaining, although Punchline will definitely be far worse than some of the excellent over-the-top comedies that have been released over the years. This isn’t going to be your Level E or One Punch Man, Uemura.

 

PriPara 2

In season two of PriPara the story continues with Laala and her friends Mirei and Sophy, who are part of the “SoLaMi♡SMILE” PriPara idol unit, which is rising in popularity. In the PriPara amusement park, a new zone called “Dream Theater” has opened, and it’s said that when a fateful five-man team filled with charm that performs there, a new event called the “PriPara Dream Parade” will be held. However, it is not known which five people make up this team, and the PriPara idols scramble give the greatest performance in the new zone.

This would make one great horror anime with all these mutants with huge dead soulless eyes. Like walking into the doll section of a shop and seeing them stare at you. Really unnerving. Well it isn’t a horror anime but a sequel to a magical girl show. So I couldn’t care less.

 

Re-Kan!

An anime adaptation of the manga Re-Kan! has been announced. The manga centers around Hibiki Amami, a girl who can see ghosts and other supernatural phenomena in her surroundings. The stories follow her daily life with both her friends and the otherworldly.

The second series in this season about a girl who sees ghosts. However without the notable creator and a worse studio. Even if that wasn’t so this sounds like a run of the mill slice of life comedy.

Shokugeki no Souma

The anime adaptation of the Shokugeki no Souma manga that centers on Souma, who works with his dad at his family’s restaurant. His dad is a culinary master, and he often hosts cooking battles with his father. His father then enrolls him in an elite culinary school that is very difficult to enter, and the graduation rate is only about 10 percent.

I gave the manga of this a shot just recently. The story pretty much is made up of anything you seen in a shounen jump manga. A protagonist who is aiming for a goal with an unspecified road.(King of the pirates, Hokage, etc) Has a hidden talent and works hard. Challenging an elite group to a series of one on one battles. But I feel it has a hidden agenda. Actually scratch that. It’s not hidden but out in the open. For example, the first chapter has tentacle groping fanservice. The sad thing is that isn’t a joke. Girls who eat the protagonists food usually tend to become overly sexually excited and fanservice images are used to describe the foods flavor. Like “it’s as if I am being groped by angels.” That my friends, is a direct quote. Gentlemen, this manga is most certainly not about food.

 

Show By Rock!!

Metropolis of music, MIDICITY. A kitty girl wearing gothic lolita clothing named Cyan is scouted by Maple Arisugawa, the president of a music agency. From there, she meets Chuchu (a pun off of the sound that rabbits make) the honor student rabbit girl, a net geek dog girl named Retoree (from “Retriever”), and an alien sheep (?) girl named Moa. Together, they form the band named “Plasmagica,” and aim for the top of the world.However, the path there is long and tough, and keeping in high spirits is important. By battling against other strange bands, Plasmagica slowly grows toward a top-grade band. In the end, they’ll be a band that becomes the driving force of MIDICITY’s music industry… Maybe? Gonna be a music millionaire!

Etotama with music apparently. The synopsis with various animal puns is enough to make me retch.

 

Triage X

 

Mochizuki General Hospital boasts some of the most well-trained (and well-endowed) nurses in town. But though these ladies spend much of their day battling disease, their after-hours are spent fighting a very different sort of sickness… Under the leadership of the hospital chairman, a handful of staff members and local teenagers form a group of mercenary assassins, targeting the “cancers” of society and excising those individuals before their wickedness spreads.

It’s always a bad sign when your main heroines ass is more prominent in the promo image than her face. But it does get the message across well. I don’t even have to watch this show to guess what it’s about.

 

Urawa no Usagi-chan

An original anime to advertise Urawa City in Saitama, Japan. The project features eight anthropomorphic girls representing the stations in the prefecture, which have “Urawa” with their names.

An original anime to advertise Urawa City in Saitama, Japan by making the train stations into cute girls…well it might be slightly educational at least.

 

Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Revolutions

The third season of Uta no☆Prince-sama.

This is essentially a harem anime for females. So it’s just as worthless.

 

Series I am middling on

Denpa Kyoushi

An anime adaptation of the manga which centers around Junichirou, a young man obssesed with manga, anime and games. He was a young genius who published papers in the journals Nature and Science when he was only 17. However, after graduating college, he became a NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) absorbed in his anime blog. Unable to watch Kagami throw away his life, his sister Suzune gets him to work at the Ichou Academy she attends. The head of the school’s board, Koyomi Hiiragi, assigns Kagami to his new life as a teacher.

It’s a poor man’s Great Teacher Onizuka with a Otaku nerd instead of a gangster. That one sentence pretty much encapsulates this series as a whole. Now there nothing wrong with being a poor man’s GTO. Many manga have tried to be that and failed. Denpa Kyoushi does at least succeed in being a little entertaining. However I feel something is lost when instead of an uneducated gangster teaching life lessons through his personal experiences in life, we have some prodigy genius too into otaku culture to use his talents for anything meaningful doing the same thing. Still with the right execution this can be a watchable show.

Digimon Adventure tri

The Digimon Adventure 15th Anniversary Event announced that the characters of the first Digimon Adventure anime are returning next spring. The video shown at the end of the event described the main character Taichi as being 17 years old in high school with his Digimon partner Agumon. The sequel series will tell a “new story” “for all the ‘DigiDestined’ in the world.” “Now, [once] again, the adventure evolves.”

Digimon Adventure. That brings me back. I really liked this show as a kid and well quite a number agree that it’s a good show. Even the likes of Chiaki Konaka was a fan. They even let him write my favorite season of the show, Digimon tamers. Not sure what they were thinking letting the guy behind serial experiments lain, Texhnolyze and ghost hound of all things write a kids show but hey good for them. The big question here is whether this new show with its new cast can capture the magic of the show. Well I am willing to give it a chance for nostalgia sake.

K-Off’ Opinion: Growing up I was a little too old and therefore missed out on the whole Digimon/Pokemon hype of the early 2000’s, and only got into Digimon Adventures through playing Pokemon sometime before college. Strangely enough, as I grew older I began to strongly dislike Pokemon and appreciated Digimon Adventure’s comparatively deeper storyline, and this show will hopefully capitalize on why that was so.  If Digimon Tri does for the outdated Digimon series that Pokemon Origins did for Pokemon, I’ll be perfectly content.

 

Eikoku Ikke, Nihon o Taberu

Based on the book which follows Booth, his wife Lissen, and two kids Ansger (6) and Emil (4), on their 100-day trip to Japan as they try a wide variety of Japanese foods. Booth was inspired to make the trip by Shizuo Tsuji’s book, Japanese Cooking, A Simple Art.

I am willing to give this a chance for being different

Gintama°

A new TV anime of Gintama was announced at Jump Festa 2015.

How many seasons of this can there be at this point? Well it’s more Gintama for those who want it.

Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation

A.D. 2115—the island nation once called Japan is now known as the “17th Far East Imperial City Management District.”
The citizens were promised a life of peace in exchange for some of the comfort they were used to having. People believed their lives would never change and tomorrow will be the same as today. No one suspected the impending doom which their society was about to face.
“Degradation”—a rare disease which led to the total disintegration of the human body to a mere pile of sand was slowly but surely spreading throughout the world.
Tohru Kazasumi, an ordinary student becomes embroiled in a multi universal battle between his world and the parallel world of “Frontier S (Stratos).” This meant that Tohru must fight himself from an alternate world.
Their futures collide as their paths cross. Will both worlds ever find peace?

Video game adaptations are usually tricky business. Off the top of my head the best one I can think of is Gungrave. Story wise this does not look promising though Gen Urobuchi is credited for the story. Though I would hold my hope till I see how much he’s involved. But it may be able to deliver on the action front if it can keep the animation it has in the an promo up for a full cour.

Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic

The second season of Kiniro Mosaic.

I seem to remember a few people talking about the first season saying it was good. Maybe the second will show me why.

Hibike! Euphonium

The anime begins when Kumiko Oumae, a girl who was in the brass band club in junior high school, visits her high school’s brass band club as a first year. Kumiko’s classmates Hazuki and Sapphire decide to join the club, but Kumiko sees her old classmate Reina there and hesitates. She remembers an incident she had with Reina at a brass band club contest in junior high school…

So this is an anime where a group of girls join a club about music and if the promo is any indication, hijinks ensue. KyoAni…didn’t you make this anime already? I have long lamented KyoAni’s lack of ambition. So much like their other work this is likely forgettable fluff. But very pretty animated forgettable fluff.

High School DxD BorN

 

The third season of High School DxD.

My credibility as a blogger has likely plummeted with this. But hear me out. We all know that every season has to have that show. You know the one. The fanservice harem supernatural battle show that is a near carbon copy of the ones that came before. They are a necessary evil in this world. But the one thing that bugs me about these shows is how each one acts like it’s presenting something new and different. But then you have show like High school DxD which just said that it wanted to present a story with some action and nudity. And I find a certain charm in its honesty. This show isn’t trying to be anything more than what it is. Instead of censoring the fanservice they just show it. Instead of trying to present some been there done that story with complete seriousness it just doesn’t take itself very seriously. If we have to have this kind of garbage every season I at least would prefer it to be as enjoyable and honest as this. The first two seasons where a guilty pleasure of mine. The third is likely going to follow.

Houkago no Pleiades

So it’s a magical girl series from Gainax with a pink haired lead with a short blue haired friend, a blond girl with curls and…a long black haired girl…wait a second. Is this a Madoka wannabe? It’s only an inkling as the trailer shows no darkness but I find it odd for Gainax to come in with a magical girl show when the only other magical girl show they did was Petite Princess Yucie. Other than that this has some good animation and looks decent enough. But I am on to you Gainax. I wait for the traditional Gainax ending too.

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid

The manga takes place four years after the JS incident in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, and stars Vivio Takamichi, a fourth-year elementary student at St. Hilde Academy of Magic. Vivio has learned to conjure her adult form and has received her own Device — named Sacred Heart — from Nanoha, and has promised Nanoha to never use either for mischief. Then a mysterious magical fighter appears and targets Vivio.

Seven Arc’s is notable absent for this entry for the Nanoha series. Possibly to prepare for dog days season four. Though I hope not. With the success of Madoka, Mahou Shoujo was given a revival which to be perfectly honest has been rather disastrous. The Madoka wannabes have been all equally awful so I for one would like to see another take on the other notable magical girl series. And with the director of the best season of Nanoha (Nanoha As) at the helm here this could be a return to form for the series. I for one would look forward to girls learning about the power of friendship by blasting each other to bits with weapons of mass destruction.

Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku

The story of the original light novels and manga revolves around high school girl Eruna Ichinomiya, who enters the Mikagura Academy dreaming of a boarding school life filled with beauty. However, Eruna finds out that in the culture clubs, there is a rule that battles that are fought with special powers decide a club representative’s treatment. Through various circumstances, Eruna becomes a representative of a club, and is thrown into the fray.

Why is it always a school? Why is it always a club? Do the japanese truly value their school life so much? Cause I remember school and I truly wish I didn’t. My life got a whole lot better once I left school and I never looked back. Now when I have to listen to someone prattle on and on I can at least say I am getting paid for it. Still even with the most stereotypical of settings a show can work if the plots good enough.

Narudoma

The “unorthodox hard surreal gag” comedy centers around the narcissistic (narushi na) Hagito and the masochistic (domazo na) Kei. Together they are “Narudoma.”
Hagito is a handsome yet pitiful man with a loli complex. Anytime, anywhere, a mirror is his constant companion. Surrounding him are a host of highly idiosyncratic characters: the diehard masochist Kei, the unnaturally strong yet girlish Totono, the exceedingly stylish working stiff Saitou, and the extraordinarily negative Roku. Even the one normal guy has his own issues

Comedy has never been a strong point for me in anime. This does have good points of having a wacky setup of characters but if this is the kind of comedy where one person does something stupid and then another points it out, then this will not be very amusing.

Ore Monogatari!!

Takeo Gouda is a giant guy with a giant heart. Too bad the girls don’t want him! (They want his good-looking best friend, Sunakawa.) Used to being on the sidelines, Takeo simply stands tall and accepts his fate. But one day when he saves a girl named Yamato from a harasser on the train, his (love!) life suddenly takes an incredible turn!

Points for having a protagonist who isn’t an average high school student. I read the first three chapters and can say I found it an rather heartwarming story. Its by no means a masterpiece but I can see myself putting time into it despite my utter despise for the Shoujo genre. The one thing that worries me is that the chapter I stopped at essentially capped off the story. I don’t see how it could continue after that and still be entertaining.

Owari no Seraph

The story takes place in a world where an unknown virus has killed the entire human population except for children. Those children were then enslaved by vampires. The manga centers on Yuichiro Hyakuya, a human who dreams of becoming strong enough to kill all vampires.

The warning signals are abundant. I see a school setting with potential haremettes in the mix. Not to mention with the protagonists declaration to kill all vampires I cannot help but be reminded of Attack on Titan. It also does not help that the animation studio making this are the ones who made Attack on Titan. This could be the first of the Titan wannabes. While I find vampires to be downgrade, the animation in the promo is impressive and I wish that this will at least break out on its own merits. However I am highly skeptical that it will do so.

Plastic Memories

This story takes place in a future not too far away when androids that look exactly like humans begin to spread across the world. The android production company SA Corp. produced Giftia, a new kind of android that has the most amount of emotion and human-like qualities out of any other model ever seen. However, due to problems in technology, the androids have a service life, and once they pass that, they… Well, it gets pretty bad. For this reason, SA Corp. creates a terminal service in order to retrieve Giftia that have gone past their service life. A new employee at the terminal service named Tsukasa Mizugaki forms a team with the Giftia Isla to retrieve the other androids, but…

This show has a premise with a large amount of potential but several warning signs. The first being that the cover image is of a cute girl. The promo does not inspire hope either. This is my wishful thinking that this may turn out to be more than it appears.

Yamada-kun to Nananin no Majo

Ryu Yamada is a second year student at Suzaku High. Ryu is always late for school, naps in class and gets abysmal grades. His life is a dead bore. The beautiful Urara Shiraishi, on the other hand, is Suzaku High’s brightest student. One day, without explanation, their bodies are swapped! Ryu ends up in Urara’s body, and Urara in Ryu’s.

I have read up to date with the manga and found it passable. The nature of the witch powers is somewhat interesting and the comedy can hit the occasional funny joke. I have dropped it and picked up the story a couple of times mainly due to dwindling interest. Its from the same author who did Yanki-kun to Megane-chan which is another manga I was mildly interested in but dropped and never looked back. So the main problem is whether the anime can keep people’s attention for a full season. In truth even if it succeeds I see this as an anime that you will enjoy but won’t leave an impact on you.

K-Off’ Opinion: Now around this time last year, I picked up reading the manga for Yamada-Kun to Nananin no Majo, and found it a pretty below average shonen comedy. I ultimately ended up dropping it pretty quickly because it was just too formulaic, not to mention it also turned terribly stale after 2-3 arcs into the story. So, I predict this show being somewhat watchable for the first few episodes and drying up pretty soon afterwards.

 

Series that I Do Look Forward To

Arslan Senki

The mangas story: In the prosperous kingdom of Pars lies the Royal Capital of Ecbatana, a city of splendor and wonder, ruled by the undefeated and fearsome King Andragoras. Arslan is the young and curious prince of Pars who, despite his best efforts, doesn’t seem to have what it takes to be a proper king like his father.
At the age of 14, Arslan goes to his first battle and loses everything as the blood-soaked mist of war gives way to scorching flames, bringing him to face the demise of his once glorious kingdom. However, it is Arslan’s destiny to be a ruler, and despite the trials that face him, he must now embark on a journey to reclaim his fallen kingdom.

Well it’s high fantasy manga by the author of fullmetal alchemist based on a series of novels called The Heroic Legend of Arslan. Do I really need to say more? I read the first two chapters of the manga and find it very promising. My only issue is that the manga and novels are both still ongoing so this likely will not have a satisfactory ending in one cour.

 

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works 2nd Season

The 2nd season of ufotable’s adaptation of the Unlimited Blade Works route of Fate/stay night. Set to air in April 2015.

Well now. For what possible reason could I be looking forward to this show? The high production values? The story? The fact that I have been a long time type moon fan and the first season was the very reason I started blogging here in the first place? Yes I think it should be rather obvious. This season will be the climax filled end the holy grail war. So naturally I am blogging it and naturally I am foaming at the mouth in anticipation.(That promotional image is also truly artistically beautiful)

 

Kekkai Sensen

A breach between Earth and the netherworlds has opened up over the city of New York, trapping New Yorkers and creatures from other dimensions in an impenetrable bubble. They’ve lived together for years, in a world of crazy crime sci-fi sensibilities. Now someone is threatening to sever the bubble, and a group of stylish superhumans is working to keep it from happening.

Bones has been in a slump ever since “Heroman” and I do want them to come back with something. Kekkai earns points for having what looks to be no teenagers in the cast and the promo has style. True the super powered team facing a monster threat is hardly original but maybe with some Bones character building this could work.

K-Off’ Opinion: The idea behind this story seems pretty similar to that of every anime in its genre, save for the slightly more interesting premise of mixed fantasy which takes place in New York City–which is my home city. I don’t know anything about this manga as I hadn’t heard about it until now, but it’s supposedly written by the author of Trigun so I can at least hope for some semblance of originality. I know Bones is perfectly capable of producing quality anime, so I’ll have to withhold judgment for later, although honestly the only reason I’m even looking forward to this anime is because it takes place in NYC.

Lupin III (2015)

The story of the new series will take place in Italy and San Marino.

I never watched the original Lupin the third. I have seen the Mine Fujiko anime and while Okada had her usual over dramatic breakdowns in it, I found myself intrigued to see the original show. Its also referenced everywhere within anime and manga so being an anime veteran I feel it is my sworn duty to watch it. Then I see it has well over two hundred episodes and the same reason as to why I have not watched one piece to this day comes up yet again. That episode count is daunting and I have never seen a show that had that many episodes that retained it’s quality throughout. So I am hoping this 2015 version can give me the cliff notes as to what the big deal is.

 

Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki

Season 2 of Sidonia no Kishi.

The first season of Sidonia had the element of surprise. I expected nothing of it and was given so much more. The second season does not have that luxury so can it deliver again? There were sidestepped pitfalls in the first season that the second could very well fall into and become something inferior. There are plenty of ways this can go wrong. Yet I hope that is not the case. The first season left threads that could lead to exciting developments this season. I hope that they can tie up these threads with care. I also hope the CG animation has improved to prevent those uncanny valley moments.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku

Second season of Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru.

The first season of Yahari took a cynical approach to a tired concept. It was a refreshing show. However there are few shows that managed to retain quality with a second season. Even fewer that managed to surpass their previous seasons. What I hope for here is more of the main characters cynicism and observations. What I dread is a growing harem of girls and romantic antics that eclipses the plot.

Posted on 7 September 2014 with categories: Seasonal Previews

Okay, let me first eplain a bit what happened: most people probably noticed that I’ve been posting less and less often. The reason for that is that my personal life has changed completely compared to how it was in the early years of this blog. I both have a job, and a lot of real life friends, so I can’t just dedicate all of my time to the site like I used to. I hit my limit when I returned back from my holiday to America: I sat down to watch the latest episodes of Ping Pong, and that’s when I realized that I had no energy to actually watch anything, let alone write about it. As soon as I realized that, I cut off everything with the site. I didn’t watch any anime, I didn’t post, I didn’t read any comments. I was completely burnt out and purposefully decided to step away and do nothing for a few months, in order to regain my mojo. I needed time away. It wasn’t that the anime had gone bad: with Mushishi we had the single best series in the past years, so this was no matter of quality. Just me, burning out.

Now over the past months, I realized that I still enjoy anime, but I’m not going to write episodic reviews anymore. These were really toxic for me. They ate up all my attention to the point that I couldn’t do anything else anymore. Instead though, I do still enjoy writing previews (hence this post) and full series reviews. As for the site, we’re planning to introduce some big changes, in order to keep the site sustained and alive.

Now as for this season: it’s awesome yo! There’s a lot of big names involved, some very good sequels, new stuff from people I thought were already long gone. And also surprisingly few series that are just utter crap or nothing but fanservice. It’s a big season for the fantasy crowd. Lots of shows about fantasy kingdoms and royalties, shows that created their own universes.

Series that I Don’t Look Forward To

Ore, Twin Tail ni Narimasu

Why I don’t like it: I think that we’ve found another candidate for the most pathetic villain motivation ever. This series is solely meant for people with a fetish for people who dress their hair in twin tails. So yeah, this is basically porn.

Hi sCoool! SeHa Girl

Why I don’t like it: Only in Japan, can they get away with such a silly title. I mean, I know that most Japanese people aren’t very good at English and all, but at least they must realize that this looks stupid, right? But yeah, this is coming from the guy who gave us gdgd Fairies, a totally absurd and low-budget comedy series, so that could be the reason for it. Apart from that… what can I say about it? It looks terrible! Next!

Orenchi no Furo Jijou

Why I don’t like it: Dear god! That face is going to haunt me in my dreams! Did you have to draw him in that position, with that particular expression? I mean I am not of innuendo at all to even I am getting the creeps here. Also who the hell comes up with these ridiculous premises?

Le Fruit de la Grisaia

Why I don’t like it: Yup, this one’s bad. It’s got the warning-signs: a group of five overly cute girls, lack of male characters, a hentai game adaptation. Moving on!

Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai

Why I don’t like it: Hoods (you know, the guys who gave us Seikon no Qwaser) bringing us a hentai game adaptation. Yeah, you can see where this is going. This one’s bad, nothing to see here. In the trailer, the creators just gave up and showed us shots of the game instead of the animation.

Ushinawareta Mirai o Motomete

Why I don’t like it: Generic hentai game adaptation romance. Not offensively bad or anything, just incredibly boring.

Bonjour Koiaji Pâtisserie

Why I don’t like it: Generic reverse harem by Silver Link, moving on.

Girl Friend BETA

Why I don’t like it: This is another one of those terrible gimmicky series that they need to stop making: it’s based on a dating sim where the male lead can pick between more than one hundred girls. While I admire how there are more than the usual five this time, how on earth were you going to put all of them into one series without making them all cardboard boxes? This is for hardcore voice actor fans only, and even that’s stretching it.

Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru

Why I don’t like it: They’re apparently starting a new timeslot called “animeism”, but if the first show of that slot is a very generic school comedy with magic directed by Seiji Kishi, then yeah, you’re pretty much screwed right from the start.

Wolf Girl & Black Prince

Why I don’t like it: Another shoujo romance, though this one’s a bit creepy, about a girl who is forced to be treated like a dog or be exposed as a liar. Is this really what gets popular these days? Fantasies of being abused and treated like an animal?

Inou Battle Within Everyday Life

Why I don’t like it: Well, so much for Studio Trigger then. Their follow up of Kill La Kill, a school battle series, is another school battle series. Only this one looks ten times more generic. I mean, the premise is really just this: a bunch of high school kids awaken with super powers and nothing happens. Aside from a bit of romance. What can they really do with that. Any shred of potential left is dispelled with the trailer, which looks uber-generic.

Trinity 7

Why I don’t like it:This story advertises itself as a “romantic comedy but sometime serious magical school story”, so yeah, we basically know what time it is when the promo art only features ONE GUY. This one seems for the Index and Railgun crowd, but I’m not in the mood for any more magical school series, unless they promise to be really good or anything.

Terra Formars

Why I don’t like it: When I first saw this one, it made me mildly optimistic: it had science fiction, the director of Steins;Gate and Shigurui was on board, the premise suggested themes of intergalactic colonization, the cast didn’t consist out of teenagers. However, the more I looked into it, the worse it started to look. Apparently this show is about humanity that sends a bunch of cockroaches to Mars, only to find out that 500 years later they mutated into these weird human-like killing machines, and it’s up to the main characters to kill ‘em all. Now not only is this ridiculous, it brings up many red flags: when you look at the trailer, all of these mutated cockroaches look more silly than threatening, and they all have the same designs. That’s really bad monster design and it takes away all tension: those copy-paste armies never have been good for that, not to mention that they’re not sentient. This is the anime equivalent of Bug Squasher or something.

Madan no Ou to Vanadis

Why I don’t like it: Tatsuo Sato is actually doing both the direction and series composition for this series, but alas it’s the premise that’s really not good here. The fact that this is a light novel adaptation should already say enough, but this show has the premise of a generic guy getting to be the slave of a magical girl in sexy outfit. You can see that Tatsuo Sato did his best to at least try and make something out of this (the art for example of the anime looks so much better than the light novel art), but what can you do with the plot here? I mean the magical girls will fight each other with over the top flashy powers and the main characters will kick ass and hint at a romance that will never be there. You can’t do anything with this.

Amagi Brilliant Park

Why I don’t like it: There are some big names behind this one: Kyoto Animation is returning with the team behind Full Metal Panic to adapt another one of the author’s stories. I’m suspecting that this will be the next Fumoffu. Only problem is that I didn’t really like Fumoffu: I gave it about one episode and it failed to make me laugh even once, and ultimately I preferred Gonzo’s version of Full Metal Panic over theirs, but in the end I never really was a big fan of FMP. It also doesn’t help that the premise for this one is riddled with silly teenaged romcom cliches, so I really doubt that this one will end up topping Full Metal Panic.

Denkigai no Honya-san

Why I don’t like it: This one’s weird. At first this seems like just another slice of life shows about nothing, but it’s being supervised by the team behind Milky Holmes (the good ones, at least), who are completely crazy, especially when together. The trailer was weird, had unnecessary fanservice, but in the end there was enough visual comedy for me to want to give it one episode. That’s the thing though: I see no reason whatsoever for why this show could even be remotely entertaining past episode one when they ran through their best jokes about working in a book store.

Donten ni Warau

Why I don’t like it: Well, so it took about a year before the Shingeki no Kyojin-wannabes start appearing (do not tell me that that promo art did not remind you of that). Besides that, this anime confuses me. The creators seem to try and do whatever they can to hide that this is a bishie-series, it seems. Nothing seems connected to each other: if you were to look at the character-designs, premise and promo art, you would not suspect that they were all about the same series. I mean, this is Dogakobo. Can they really pull off another Natsuyuki Rendezvous without a skilled director accompanying them?

Fate Stay Night

Why I don’t like it: Stop milking out the Fate franchise, for Christ’s sake. Ufotable, you’re better than this. You’ve amassed enough talent over the years, now do something original with it. This one is especially grating because Studio Deen already made a movie about this. I mean I’m all for remakes and all, but this is just getting too caught up in the past. Do you want to know when the last time was that Ufotable made a series that wasn’t of the Fate franchise? 2007, with Manabi Straight. And there seems to be even more Fate set for 2015.

World Trigger

Why I don’t like it: I must say, I really dig the promo art for this one. Plus, it’s got a soundtrack by Kenji Kawai. No doubt will this one be a feast for the senses! The story is the problem here: it’s a shounen jump adaptation of a battle manga: aliens invade, and a bunch of kids fight back with alien technology. Been there, done that! I get why this is made though. Naruto is about to end and this sounds like a good time for the companies to start to search for a replacement.

Nanatsu no Taizai

Why I don’t like it: A-1 coming with an adventure series, seems like it’s going to be classic fantasy. The “Seven deadly sins” part of the title is very misleading, because apparently they’re just the nicknames of a bunch of really strong warriors. There are a few problems here: the way in which the story is rather generic, and how it’s set up there is only one way for the story to end: with overthrowing that evil government. Problem is that we’re dealing with a manga adaptation that to my knowledge hasn’t finished yet. So yeah, good luck fitting in that story…

Shirobako

Why I don’t like it: Basically a circlejerk series: PA Works doing a show about making an anime, obviously featuring a bunch of cute girls. My guess is that this one will be on the opposite side of Bakuman: whereas Bakuman tried to add too much drama, this one will add too little. Why do I want to watch this? Perhaps it might be nice to watch how an anime gets made and all, but there are enough behind the scenes videos and these are a lot more authentic. The characters here look just boring.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

Why I don’t like it: I’m spotting an annoying trend here. Ever since Ano Hana the Noitamina producers seem to think that we want teenaged dramas. No, I’m a fan of Ano Hana because it was such an emotionally heart-wrenching story, not because it was about teenagers. But here is the real thing with this series: yeah sure it’s very polished. A-1 Pictures has made sure to make everything look pretty, the acting is good and not stereotypical. And yet, I see no reason to watch this series. There’s nothing that stands out: it’s just a bunch of teenagers talking with a bit of standard romance. Why would I want to watch that?

Sora no Method

Why I don’t like it: The writer of Kanon and Sola is behind this one. You can see that this one is better than most visual novel adaptations, because there is AN ACTIAL MALE ON THE PROMO ART. He’s in the background, but at least it’s something. Here’s the thing: I liked Sola. It actually had a very nice plot there. I’m not feeling this yet though. The character-designs for example: while they look nice at first sight, the creators basically used the same faces, only to swap hair- and eye color (and in one case the facial expression to the typical deadpan). It all looks… a bit too manufactured. This one could get a benefit of the doubt though… it’s also gonna depend on how annoying the female characters are…

Series I Am Looking Forward To

Gugure! Kokkuri-san

Summary: “A little girl named Kohina ends up summoning by a Kokkuri-san, a lower-ranking ghost in Japanese folklore. The Kokkuri-san she calls ends up being a white-haired handsome, young man. Although he had intended to merely haunt her at first, he becomes worried about her terrible eating habit of cup ramen for every meal, so he decides to haunt her in order to protect her.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: TMS Entertainment
Director: Yoshimasa Hiraike

Impressions: This one… it intrigues me somehow. It actually looks like a solid comedy that can keep fun for several episodes. It’s basically going to take jabs at the Japanese folklore, but I have to say that I like the idea of a spirit watching over a young girl because she only eats instant ramen. That’s a bit more than what you usually see with these premises. If there’s enough for an entire season though, that remains to be seen.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Sanzoku Musume no Ronja

Summary: “Ronja is the only daughter of Mattis, a bandit leader who lives in a castle in the middle of a large forest. When Ronja grows old enough, she ventures into the forest to interact the strange and magical creatures that live there. She learns to live in the forest through her own strength, with the occasional rescue from her parents. Ronja’s life begins to change, however, when she happens upon a boy her own age named Birk.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Polygon Pictures (and Ghibli)
Director: Goro Miyazaki
Series composition: Hiroyuki Kawasaki

Impressions: Here’s a weird example of how history came full circle. Before founding Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata worked on a few of the World Masterpiece Theatre series from Nippon Animation. Now that Nippon Animation has buggered off creating new series after their long-time producer passed away, there was a long silence of nobody adapting classic children’s literature. The one to break that silence? Studio Ghibli, now in trouble themselves now that Miyazaki has retired. It’s a really weird construction because they work together with Polygon Pictures, who do everything in CG and it’s especially jarring when you compare it to Knights of Sidonia, which worked much better when fully CG’d. Hiroyuki Kawasaki is an excellent adapter though, and they can get some great stuff out of this story if they do it well.

First-Glance Potential: 65%

Gundam Reconguista in G

Summary: “Some time has passed since the end of the Universal Century, a history marked by space colonization and space warfare. Humanity’s prosperity, which ushered in a new era known as Regild Century (R.C.), was believed to endure alongside the global peace. It is the year R.C.1014. The Capital Tower is an orbital elevator that rose above the Earth’s surface and linked Earth and space. As the conduit of the Photon Battery energy source to the surface, it is regarded as sacred. Beruri Zenamu is in the middle of training for the Capital Guard (established to protect the Capital Tower), when the tower is attacked by G-Serufu — a highly maneuverable mobile suit with technology that is not from any known country.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Sunrise
Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Impressions: Wow. Here is something I totally did not expect: Tomino directing another television series. I mean, coming November he’ll turn 73. No matter how you look at it: this is going to be his final series. He could have been retired at this point, and he’s got nothing to lose for his final magnum opus in the Gundam Franchise. It of course depends on how much Sunrise is willing to let him get away with, but one theme of all of his post-depression works is that they’re all very colourful and creative. Even in Turn-A Gundam where Sunrise restricted this, you can see lots of subtle jabs against them in the storytelling. The whole premise embraces the campy nature of what Gundam has devolved into over the years. The trailer is very good: it shows his directional style very well, in which he just keeps throwing stuff at the viewer and keeps pushing the scenario forward, instead of dragging on and on.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo

Summary: “Due to humanity obtaining the data technology that has evolved to a great amount- called “Mana”- the human race is able to subjugate all wars, starvation, pollution, and other problems on Earth by using its power, which is similar to magic. Earth has obtained the utopia of complete peace and no wants. First princess of the Misurugi Empire, Angelize. As with everyone else, she also had no wants or worries. She was celebrated by the people of the empire, and was supposed to wear the crown. However, she realizes the shocking truth that she is a Norma. “Norma”: An irregular existence that cannot use Mana, and are treated as heretics and as “things” rather than people. Having everything stolen from her, she isolates herself on a remote island. What was waiting for her there was a fateful meeting with a group of Norma girls who know nothing but battle. The girls spend their days riding humanoid robot weapons called “Barameiru” hunting giant dragons that have come from another dimension to invade. Having her name taken from her, what will soldier Ange see at the end of the fight? What can she believe in? What will she obtain? The story of a single girl’s fortitude starts now.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Sunrise
Director: Yoshiharu Ashino
Series composition: Tatsuto Higuchi

Impressions: Not only does this actually sound really interesting, it’s being directed by the guy who directed Mahou Shoujotai. My favourite anime ever and the single series that got me into blogging in the first place. The trailer was great to watch, and the music was fantastic! I like how they take the usual story of a princess, that anime is obsessed with, and basically take all that away. The only problem here is the character-designs: they suck and are pretty generic.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Akatsuki no Yona

Summary: ” King Il of Kouka, a land said in legends to have been founded by four dragons, has only one remaining heir, a daughter named Yona. She lives a happy life in the palace with her cousin Soo-won, who she loves in spite of her father’s opposition to them marrying. Her life is turned upside down when Soo-won murders her father and steals the throne. Yona, with her childhood friend and bodyguard Hak, must retreat to gather allies and reclaim her place as ruler of the kingdom.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Pierrot
Director: Kazuhiro Yoneda
Music: Kunihiko Ryo

Impressions: Finally a show about a strong female character who isn’t trying to shove her boobs into your face. Like, the way it’s supposed to be. Kunihiko Ryo as a composer makes sober, but very authentic music so that also fits really well. The director of this one is a new guy so I can’t say much, but I think that he can do a very fine job. The trailer for this one is awesome by the way. It foregoes the flashy graphics and instead shows the things I’m actually looking for. There is change: the lead characters changes multiple times through the trailer ALONE. Plus, I love how it used facial expressions. That really hit me. Here’s the potential sleeper hit of the season.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu

Summary: “Shinichi Izumi is a normal high school boy whose right hand has become infected with an alien parasite that names itself “Migi” (“right”). Migi is the first parasite to develop a symbiotic relationship with its host, as he and Shinichi slowly develop a grudging friendship. Migi isn’t the only Parasite on earth, however, and as cases of Parasites killing humans begin to emerge, humans seek to kill off Parasites. Shinichi and Migi find themselves caught in between these two sides of the struggle over planet earth.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Madhouse
Director: Kenichi Shimizu
Series composition: Shoji Yonemura

Impressions: Based on the manga Parasite, which is supposed to be an awesome manga, so I’m very curious what this one’s gonna turn into. Madhouse is a very solid choice for adapting it. It’s got a newbie director with lots of experience, and Shoji Yonemura adapted Guin Saga, co-wrote Fantastic Children, wrote Figure 17 and is overall a very solid writer. The premise looks solid, the promo art looks very intriguing and immediately caught my eye. Bring it on!

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis

Summary: ” Mistarcia is a magical world where humans, gods, and demons mingle together. In the past, the black-and-silver winged Bahamut has threatened to destroy the land, but humans, gods, and demons overcame their differences to fight together and seal its power. The key to that seal was split in two, one half given to the gods and the other to demons, so that they would never be united and Bahamut never released. Now, two thousand years later, the world is in an era of peace – until the day a human woman steals the gods’ half of the key.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Mappa
Director: Keiichi Satou
Series composition: Keiichi Hasegawa
Series composition: Yoshihiro Ike

Impressions: This one immediately looks awesome to watch. It created its own universe and lore, it looks utterly gorgeous so far, it has the director of Karas, Asura and Tiger & Bunny, Yoshihiro Ike for the soundtrack and Mappa behind the animation completing this dream team. These guys can make something very enjoyable together.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Garo: Honoo no Kokuin

Summary: “Mendosa, the chief adviser of the king of Valiante, begins a campaign to hunt down “witches,” resulting in the deaths of many magical knights and their sorcerer assistants. Anna, a sorceress married to the knight Herman Lewis, gives birth to a son before her execution. Herman takes their child, Leon, and flees, raising him to be the heir of the legendary Golden Armor. By the time Leon grows up, Valiante is completely in the control of Mendosa, who drives out Prince Alfonso and his mother. Alphonso decides to seek out the man who inherited the Golden Armor to reclaim the throne and save his people.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Mappa
Director: Yuuichiro Hayashi
Series composition: Yasuko Kobayashi
Original creator: Keita Amemiya

Impressions: Yeah, I pretty much fangasmd when I saw who the original creator behind this series is: the guy who created Mahou Shoujotai, my favourite anime ever. I mean, I can’t believe this: one season with a series from the director AND the original creator from my single favourite series. what the hell?! This one has lots of nostalgia value for me, but even then the setting is creative, the visuals look gorgeous, courtesy of Mappa and with a writer like Yasuko Kobayashi (she also wrote Casshern Sins, adapted Shingeki no Kyojin and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure) we really are good. The director is someone completely new, so I really wonder what he can do with this gem.

First-Glance Potential: 95%

Psycho Pass 2

Summary: ” The series takes place in the near future, when it is possible to instantaneously measure and quantify a person’s state of mind and personality. This information is recorded and processed, and the term “Psycho-Pass” in the anime’s title refers to a standard used to measure an individual’s being. The story centers around the “enforcement officer” Shinya Kogami, who is tasked with managing crime in such a world.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Production IG
Director: Naoyoshi Shiotani
Series composition: Tow Ubukata
Story concept: Gen Urobuchi

Impressions: A big change between the first and second season of Psycho Pass is that Gen Urobuchi is taking a step back. He’s now just there for the “Story concept”, which probably just means that he came up with the whole concept. Thankfully the guy taking over is also a very good and creative writer: Tow Ubukata came up with Le Chevalier d’Eon, he wrote Fafner, he wrote Heroic Age. This guy really is a science fiction writer through and through. His only issue seems to be pacing, but that doesn’t really seem to be much of a problem here with Psycho Pass and what they already built up.

First-Glance Potential: 100%

Mushishi Zoku-chou Season 2

Summary: “Mushi; the life-blood of nature. They exist everywhere in various forms: micro-organisms, fungi, bodies of water. Sometimes, they’re even mistaken to be plants, animals, or spirits. But regardless of their appearance, they exist, nonetheless, living the only way they know how. At times, their actions can cause strange or unexplainable phenomena. Enter Ginko, the Mushishi (mushi master), as he continues encountering, studying, and dealing with the mysterious mushi along his journey into the unknown.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Artland
Director: Hiroshi Nagahama

Impressions: Well, what’s there left to say? The single best anime of the past number of years continuing on to its second season. I haven’t finished the first season yet, but I sure as hell am planning to do that, because this series is better than any other series of its kind. It was a long wait, but the perfect way of storytelling carried through into the second season and there is no sign whatsoever of it stopping. All stories so far are beautifully told and with this we get 12 or 13 more stories to finish things off, based on the manga. You really cannot expect better than this.

First-Glance Potential: 100%
Posted on 28 May 2014 with categories: Seasonal Previews

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

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

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

Series that I Don’t Look Forward To

Momo Kyun Sword

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

Pripara

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

Himegoto

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

Jinsei

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

Survival Game Club

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

Persona 4 The Golden

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

Nobunaga Concerto

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

Francesca

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

Akame ga Kill

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

Hanayamata

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

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei!

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

Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance

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

Shounen Hollywood

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

Invaders of the Rokujyouma!?

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

Argevollen

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

Magimoji Rurumo

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

Love Stage

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

Dramatical Murder

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

Rail Wars

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

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

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

Free – Eternal Summer

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

Ao Haru Ride

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

Bakumatsu Rock

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

Psycho Pass Recap

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

Series I Am Looking Forward To

Kuroshitsuji – Book of Circus

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

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

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Tokyo ESP

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

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

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Sailor Moon Crystal

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

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

First-Glance Potential: 70%

ALDNOAH.ZERO

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

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

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Glasslip

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

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

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Barakamon

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

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

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Tokyo Ghoul

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

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

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Zankyou no Tokyo

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

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

First-Glance Potential: 95%

Space Dandy 2

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

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

First-Glance Potential: 100%
Posted on 25 February 2014 with categories: Seasonal Previews

So, I’m just going to continue to write articles whenever I have inspiration. One thing I always loved doing is compile these previews for the upcoming season, and that still hasn’t changed. There are a few changes now though, because I don’t feel like going into detail about all of the crappy shows that come out every single time, so my entries for them are very much simplified in order to save time. Also, my standards have become much harsher. Series that I was previously willing to give a chance right now are most likely shows that I’m not interested in anymore, due to a huge amount of red flags showing.

For example, in the past I probably would have praised this season for at the very least not containing anything that is absolutely utter crap, but the problem with that is that it glosses over the fact that there is so much mediocrity coming out. The only silver lining I can offer is this: there are hardly any pointless sequels. At the very least there are a lot of attempts at new series, and the sequels that are there, are there for a reason. And in the end, there are a few series with a very good pedigree that I’m looking forward to.

Series that I Don’t Look Forward To

Sengoku Musou

Why I don’t like it: Sengoku Musou is yet another piece set in the sengoku era, just like the countless other shows that preceded it. It really looks like a generic clone of the other series: everyone has weird outfits, the focus is on fighting. Nothing here looks like they put any effort in it.

Soul Eater Not

Why I don’t like it: I watched about half of Soul Eater. When I saw this promo material, I really had to do a double-take. I mean dear god, how much can you moefy something? The original soul eater had its own style, but this looks just like a generic cloned show about cute girls. The trailer’s even worse. Everything looks generic.

Baby Steps

Why I don’t like it: Boring show about this guy who has no skills and joins a tennis club. The same thing we’ve seen many times before, just with tennis. The only mitigating factor is that it’s got a really good direction for the action: Masahiko Murata, but he won’t be able to save this premise.

Haikyu!!

Why I don’t like it: Yet another high school sports series, this time with volleyball. And really, the premise looks to be incredibly generic again without much creativity. At this point a sports series really needs to come with something really impressive in order to be able to beat the standard that was set in the genre a few years ago. The director of Cuticle Detective Inaba is not one to do it.

Brynhildr in the Darkness

Why I don’t like it: Okay while it’s good that Arms is finally stepping away from doing these crappy fanservice shows, this one looks like a boring “boy meets supernatural girl with loads of mysteries”-story, without much more. The trailer has good music, but put the focus too much on bad action and a pointless swimsuit.

Mekaku City Actors

Why I don’t like it: Oh hey. Did you know that Shaft really likes NEET? Well, if you didn’t: here is another one! Obviously my Shaft-bias is working against this series, though granted it does look slightly better than their usual series. The show has promise if the right people were behind it, not Shaft.

La Corda D’Oro Blue Sky

Why I don’t like it: The first la Corda D’Oro was already incredibly contrived and so it really did not need a second season. For those who don’t know: it’s about this talentless girl who receives a magical violin that makes her able to play beautifully and make her compete with the top music students at her school. The same creators as the first season also seem to be behind this one.

Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou

Why I don’t like it: Brains Base doing romance again, but it doesn’t really look promising in any way. A generic premise without much to say about the different characters other than that they look boring, Apparently it’s from the people who adapted Blood Lad, so if you liked that one you might give it a chance.

Futsuu no Joshikousei ga Locodol

Why I don’t like it: The director of KissXsis doing a 4koma adaptation about two idol high school girls. Do I need to say more? Moving on.

Blade & Soul

Why I don’t like it: Gonzo doing another MMORPG adaptation. You know, if this was the old Gonzo then I would have been slightly interested, but this? This looks like your generic battle anime with silly powers and no substance. However, what is the director of Steins;Gate doing there? Maybe this could- no, wait. The trailer contained some really bad action so never mind.

Inu Neko Hour

Why I don’t like it: All 47 Japanese prefecutres…. as dogs. Okay, I thought that this would be a random catgirl show when I first saw the title. At least it’s creative. It’s in no way going to be a good series, but at least it’s creative.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

Why I don’t like it: This series has this one line in its premise when I looked it up on ANN: “the young woman who feels far more for her brother than sibling love”. Yeah. It’s one of those shows. Beyond that, it’s a high school show about magic users, so yet again another really bland and boring premise.

Black Bullet

Why I don’t like it: Boring fighting show with a ridiculously complicated reasoning in order to try and explain why the fate of humanity rests on a bunch of teenagers. It fails. Great background art though.

Akuma no Riddle

Why I don’t like it: Another ridiculously stupid premise: there is a school, where one of the students is targetted by 12 assassins who all disguise themselves as random students. Lots of early warning signs, like loads of snarky characters and character-designs that look exactly the same aside from just some hair swapped around. Unfortunately it looks like just another battle show without much creativity.

Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii

Why I don’t like it: I think the best way to describe this one, is if you see it as the director of Fushigi Yuugi doing a similar series. The premise of a princess being sent off to a young king who somehow did a really good job at conquering at least has that same feeling. The premise does seem rather juvenile, though and I don’t have much hope for it.

Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara

Why I don’t like it: The director of Space Brothers doing a crappy harem show. Well, so much for him then.

Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky

Why I don’t like it: The one thing that this series has going for it is that the people adapting it have more than a decade of experience. An RPG adaptation isn’t necessarily bad, if enough things work well. However, the central focus of this series seems to be fighting with alchemy. Boring! Been there, done that!

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?

Why I don’t like it: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu is working on this project, and he is a great writer who uses lots of emotion in his storytelling. If only the story he’s going to tell this time was a bit more than “a girl works at a cafe and cute girls drop by”. I mean have some variety at the very least: advertise with a diverse cast. Why does everyone have to be a cute girl on the promotional material? In this way everyone just looks like each other!

No Game, No Life

Why I don’t like it: OH MY GOD, THE EYE CANDY! Anyways, this one probably is the most interesting show in the list that I’m not interested in, it looks good, it’s got a very good director and adapter. I would have given it potential, if it wasn’t for a few red lights that I saw here. First of all, there’s the overabundance of cute girls. They try to hide it, but when you look at the trailer you see lots of shots just being cute girls demonstrating flashy powers. Been there, done that. The premise of this show is that all violence has been outlawed. That’s definitely not something that you can gather from the trailer. The whole premise of this show depends on the games that nations need to play in order to compete with each other. If you can make these games creative and inspired, then that would make a good series, but you don’t do that by focusing way too much on these flashy powers. That’s boring!

One Week Friends

Why I don’t like it: This show. It’s a cross between 50 First Dates and Kimi ni Todoke! It’s probably going to be the best school series on this list, but it lacks a bit of ambition if I have to be really honest here. You can make this work really well, but only if you really put in the effort, which I don’t think these creators will be able to.

Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to

Why I don’t like it: Yet another ridiculously complicated excuse to have two characters frisk up each other and just show some touching some boobs. I mean I’m not denying that some mangaka indeed draw inspiration from their girl/boyfriends for their sex scenes and all, but that doesn’t mean that you have to make an entire series about it. Here’s an idea: how about we make a series that’s about a guy and a girl, who are in a healthy relationship and are living together after about a year of dating? Outrageous right? You can show all the sex you want!

Kamigami no Asobi ~Ludere deorum~

Why I don’t like it: Ahem. Let me quote the premise for this series, because this is too priceless not to share: “Kusanagi Yui is ordered by Zeus, a god and the headmaster of a school he created, to teach the meaning of love to young and handsome gods. The reason he has for doing this is to cancel the negative effects of the weakening bond between the world of the divine and the world of the humans.” – This has got to be the most ridiculously far-fetched premise I have ever seen for a bishie series, and with stuff like Uta Prince already existing that has to say something!

Series I Am Looking Forward To

Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun

Summary: ” In the late Edo period, Japan had experienced an unprecedented crisis by Kurofune (Black Ships), the ships from foreign countries. But a giant robot called Onigami, which has existed since ancient time, dispelled the Kurofune ships and the exclusion of foreigners was accomplished. The story begins in Japan where Meiji restoration in 1868 didn’t happen.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ACGT, JC Staff
Director: Takashi Watanabe
Script: Dai Sato

Impressions: This one looks like crap, and it probably will be. However I do want to put your attention to the two main people in charge, who are two of the biggest trolls walking around in the anime business. Takashi Watanabe, I know he is intelligent. Otherwise he could not have directed something as Boogiepop Phantom and Starship Operators. Most of the time though, he just acts like a complete idiot. Dai Sato goes the same: this guy is a really talented writer with a drive to create unique works of art, however has been known to sell out if he’s assigned on a project just to make money. It also doesn’t really help that the art for this one is horrible.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Hitsugi no Chaika

Summary: ” Toru Acura is a 20-year-old retired soldier meandering through life now that the war has ended. He encounters Chaika Trabant, a 14-year-old sorceress carrying a coffin, and follows her in hopes of finding meaning to his life again. The two travel with Toru’s adopted sister, Akari, the employed member of the group and thus Toru’s source of income.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Bones
Director: Sochi Masui
Script: Touko Machida

Impressions: Yes, there is hope! This series can be seen as the spiritual successor to Scrapped Princess: it’s based on a novel by Scrapped Princess’ author and the director is also going to return. Now while I wasn’t the biggest fan of Scrapped Princess, I did appreciate what it was trying to do. It just could have been done better, so here’s to a second chance. The premise of focusing on a war veteran after a war has ended? That’s actually pretty nice. Simple, but you can do stuff with that. I do have to put a question mark to the promo art though: that puts the emphasis on fighting with magical powers. Don’t do that! Focus on the psychological aspect!

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Nanana’s Buried Treasure

Summary: ” original novel centers around the treasure of Nanana, a ghost who was once a beautiful but NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) girl. A boy named Jugo was disowned by his father and forced to transfer to a high school on the “Special Student Zone,” an artificial island. With only 40,000 yen (about US$400) a month to live on, Jugo chooses a low-rent apartment that happens to be haunted by Nanana. Jugo and members of the school’s adventure club join a “treasure hunt royale” on the island for the Nanana Collection, a treasure that possesses a mysterious power.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Kanta Kamei
Script: Hideyuki Kurata

Impressions: Well, it IS a Noitamina about teenagers, and granted this does look very sketchy, there are other parts of the story that seem like they have ambition in them. For that I’m interested. Kanta Kamei is a solid director after what he has shown with Silver Spoon and Bunny Drop, and my inner mystery-fan might find this one interesting.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Selector WIXOSS

Summary: “Hope, desire, greed. Girls with each of these feelings in their hearts are being swallowed into the vortex of a dangerous game…” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: JC Staff
Director: Takuya Sato
Script: Mari Okada

Impressions: Mari Okada again, this time accompanied by the director of Steins;Gate and JC Staff. This can work. The trailer looks quite impressive: it knows its atmosphere, and this seems to become quite a psychological series that ties these six girls together. I see potential here to become a very interesting series, and Mari Okada can actually go all-out psycho here. Note: a good story takes balance: you can’t just go psycho all the time and think you can get away with it.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Knights of Sidonia

Summary: ” It’s been a thousand years since the Gauna, a strange alien race with no known method of communication, destroyed the solar system. A portion of humanity managed to escape using enormous “seed ships” like the Sidonia, which have allowed them to maintain the population while drifting through space. Nagate Tanikaze is a young man who has been raised deep in the bowels of the ship. When he goes into training to pilot the huge robotic weapons known as Gardes, Nagate is entrusted with piloting the legendary unit known as Tsugumori. Nagate and his fellow pilots put their lives on the line against the Gauna, in the ultimate battle for the survival of humanity.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: POLYGON PICTURES
Director: Kobun Shizuno
Script: Sadayuki Murai

Impressions: Sadayuki Murai is one of the best people at adapting stories currently in the business. He brilliantly adapted Mouryou no Hako, the final two seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou and Boogiepop Phantom for their anime format. This time it’s a manga written by the creator of Blame, which seems to be quite a famous manga, although I’ve never read it. It’s in full CG so the faces look a bit awkward, but the trailer has me intrigued and it looks very good. Just one thing: please let that girl do more than just hold the main character’s hand and get dragged along. If you do that then I’ll drop this show really quickly.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Captain Earth

Summary: “One night right before summer vacation, Daichi Manatsu, a second-year in high school, sees a weird round rainbow floating in the sky above Seed Island (Shuushi/Tane Island) and ventures there alone. He has seen this rainbow before. With the memories of his father’s mysterious death and an encounter of a mysterious boy and girl, Daiji arrives on the island while the alarm of a building labeled “Earth Engine” is going off. Someone asks him if he’s a captain, just as robotic intruders from Uranus called “Kiltgang” arrive. The battle around the shining stars is about to begin.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Bones
Director: Takuya Igarashi
Script: Yoji Enokido

Impressions: Do you know what this is? This is the creators of Star Driver making another series! Basically, what this means is the following: this will be a mecha-series made by people who haven’t been into the genre, and therefore aren’t the most familiar with most of its conventions, as seen with the Galactic Pretty Boy. What has me most interested here is that there are some people involved who can deliver some really great series. Bones is very solid as an animation studio, Takuya Igarashi directed Ashita no Nadja, and Ouran High School Host Club (series that really stood out in their presentation), while Yoji Enokido wrote Revolutionary Girl Utena, Redline and parts of FLCL, and Rahxephon. Yes, there is talent here! One side-note though: the visuals are boring and standard. The robot and characters look generic.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Ping Pong

Summary: “Tsukimoto Makoto (nicknamed Smile) is a quiet high-schooler who’s been friend with the loud and energetic Hoshino Yukata (nicknamed Peko). They’re both in the table tennis club and are very good at it, though Smile’s personnality enables him from winning against Peko. The club teacher however notices Smile’s talent and tries to make him gain some sportive tenacity.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Tatsunoko Production
Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Script: Taiyo Matsumoto

Impressions: I said before: at this point sports series have to bring something very impressive to the table. These are the people to do it. The guy who wrote Tekkon Kinkreet and Masaaki Yuasa. Two people who have an amazing eye of bringing people to life. That’s what a series like this needs. The premise is generic here, so they’re going to have to do something very special here to make it work. But if anyone can, they will. The trailer already showed signs of potential.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

Summary: “” – (Taken from )
Produced by:
Director: Kenichi Suzuki, Naokatsu Tsuda
Script: Yasuko Kobayashi

Impressions: I remember how incredibly fun the first season of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was. And the great thing is that every arc is significantly different, with different characters to do things with. This is the series you need to be at if you want over the top action, because it will deliver, and much, much more. It’s one of those series in which both the source material rocked, and the animation really managed to bring the characters alive. This will be chockful of adrenaline!

First-Glance Potential: 95%

Mushishi: Zoku-Shou

Summary: “They are neither plants nor animals. They differ from other forms of life such as the micro-organisms and the fungi. Instead they resemble the primeval body of life and are generally known as “Mushi”. Their existence and appearance are unknown to many and only a limited number of humans are aware of them. Ginko is a “Mushi-shi” who travels around to investigate and find out more about the “Mushi”. In the process, he also lends a helping hand to people who face problems with supernatural occurances which may be related to the “Mushi”.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Artland
Director: Hiroshi Nagahama
Script: Hiroshi Nagahama

Impressions: Well, what can really be said here? One of the best anime ever made, getting a second season in order to animate the rest of the manga chapters that the first season never got to, all by the same creators and the same director. Hiroshi Nagahama is a brilliant director who screws every possible convention in order to get the best out of his work, no matter what. There of course is the danger of expecting too much, so I’m not going to expect this to blow my mind. And I’ll try to get to the 1-Hour special as soon as possible.

First-Glance Potential: 100%
Posted on 25 November 2013 with categories: Seasonal Previews

This season. It feels like a spring or autumn season is coming. Perhaps not a big one, but I’m surprised by the amount of solid titles that are coming out. There are quite a number of series I’m looking out for, plus also a few that already have the potential to become the best of the year unless the competition really ramps it up. We’re in for an interesting season, that’s the least. Unfortunately, there also are a lot of really bland series coming up. It’s a season of extremes.

Wake Up Girls

Impressions: Here is one to probably steer away from: Yutaka Yamamoto, a guy who basically is just one big troll, is going to direct a movie. It’s about seven high school girls. Who become idols in order to save a production company. Yes, he actually came up with this. It’s not an adaptation. Out of all the possible plots that he could have picked, he picked one of the most generic ones. Heck, with Fractale he actually tried to show that he had some ambition.

Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

Impressions: This is going to be Gonzo’s new project, and it’s helmed by the director of Afro Samurai and the X-Men. What this basically means is that Bayonetta will be a movie about eye candy: throwing as much visual stuff at the screen and hope that the audience won’t be bored enough to realize that the storyline is pretty rubbish. It’s also got the screenplay from the guy who wrote the X-Men anime, which only reaffirms this.

Hunter X Hunter: Last Mission

Impressions: Here is the interesting thing about this movie: it’s going to be adapted by the guy who also adapted the 1999 version. Including the OVA, the part of the franchise that managed to receive the best and most heartful adaptation so far. That is very promising, because even though this guy isn’t perfect (he also was behind the much more lackluster Greed Island Arc that just felt lazily adapted), he knows how to do it, and how to bring the best out of the characters. Here’s to hoping that he can do it again. The director will be completely different though, so who knows where that’ll end up?

Amazing Twins

Impressions: Sato Junichi and Mari Okada. A combination between these two prolific creators was bound to happen someday, and it comes in the form of this quirky-looking OVA about some girls with superpowers. It looks out of the league for both of them, as this seems to be a pure action series, but that does provide opportunities. Both of them are ridiculously talented when they get something right, now the thing will be whether they can make this happen for this set of short OVAs as well.

Majocco Shimai no Yoyo to Nene

Impressions: Here is another one to look out for. Not just because of Ufo Table, but also because they put their best director on it: Takayuki Hirao. This guy screams alternative and he has guts to go where nobody else dares to go. He directed the fifth and best of the Kara no Kyoukai Movies, and was the only one who was deranged enough to try and animate a story by Junji Ito. His storytelling skills are sometimes a bit wonky and for that he will need good source material. But it looks like a nice and ambitious family movie.

Mouretsu Pirates

Impressions: Mouretsu Pirates was a bit of a weird series that got progressively better with every single arc thanks to some very good build-up. Tatsuo Sato is a great director and he will be both writing and directing this movie, which means that he has a lot of control about its content, and that’s very promising for a movie.

Buddha 2

Impressions: Buddha 1 was amazing. A brilliant adaptation of Osamu Tezuka‘s classic. So of course I’m looking forward to the continuation! The director is going to be different for this one, though: Toshiaki Komura, someone with less experience than the first one and who is mostly known for directing Precure series and awful fighting stuff like Kinnukuman and Ring ni Kakero. I hope that he has a good team to back him up, because a story like this deserves people who handle it with care.

Tiger & Bunny The Rising

Impressions: So yeah, a lot of people probably noticed that I’m not posting movie reviews anymore. I really want to pick up movies again, however I need to find a way to actually sit down and watch long stuff again. I’m currently battling my own laziness and concentration for it, because I still need to watch the first movie before checking this one out. And the second movie too has the brilliant director of Yoshitomo Yonetani behind it, who is a master of chaos.

Kaguya Hime Monogatari

Impressions: This is one of my top movies to watch out for this winter. It’s probably going to be Isao Takahata‘s last full movie ever. And for those who don’t know him: he’s the one who co-founded Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki. Out of all of the directors I have ever witnessed in anime, he is by far the most realistic one. Nobody has ever been able to top his feeling of characters since the late sixties when he got his first directing jobs. It causes his movies to be very slow, but I’d still like to see his talents one more time.

Mushishi

Impressions: Talk has been going on for quite a while now that there would be more Mushishi, and with this it has finally be announced: a one-hour special on January 4th. Reuniting all of the past staff that gave us one of the most memorable series out there. However, I am disappointed a bit: I had secretly hoped an entire new television series: there seems to be enough manga material left for that. However, I guess that you can’t have everything. A one-hour special is awesome enough.

Upcoming TV-Series:

Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okaishiin Da Ga.

Summary: ” In the romance comedy, a girl named Mitsuki Kanzaki lives with her step-brother Yuya after her mother remarries. One day, Mitsuki is possessed by the self-proclaimed spirit of a young girl, Hiyori Kotobuki. Hiyori (in Mitsuki’s body) must fall in love with Yuya to move towards the “Gates of Heaven.”” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ?
Original creator: Mari Matsuzawa

Impressions: This has to be one of the most ridiculously stupid, insulting and contrived premises to try and make incest acceptable.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Oneechan ga Kita

Summary: “The story revolves around Tomoya Mizuhara, a 13-year-old boy who suddenly gains a big sister when his father remarries. 17-year-old Ichika is a little strange, and her affection for Tomoya is rather overwhelming, if not scary. On top of things, Ichika’s friend Ruri is the ultimate sadist. Then there is Ichika’s big-breasted quarter-Japanese friend Marina.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: C2C
Director: Yoshihide Yuuzumi
Original creator: Rikou Anzai

Impressions: This will have 3-minute episodes, and it seems strangely like older-sister incest. Next.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Maken-Ki Two

Summary: “Takeru Ohyama, a young normal yet perverted minded guy, got accepted and now goes to a school that, unknown to him, was where combat and magic is used. On the first day, he meets again after three years: Haruko Amaya, his childhood friend, Inaho Kushiya, a girl who says she’s his fiance, and Kodama Himegami, a blonde who wants to kill him. Finding out that there are many girls there that just don’t like him, he is told that everyone there uses a special magic ability while using an item or weapon called a Maken. Later, he finds that no Maken is acceptable for him and doesn’t know what to do, since in this school the students get into duels that showcase their magic and combat power, of which he seemingly has none.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Xebec
Director: Hiraku Kaneko
Series Composition: Yosuke Kuroda
Original creator: Hiromitsu Takeda

Impressions: Oh god, the director of Seikon no Qwaser and Xebec have found each other. Prepare for porn!

First-Glance Potential: 0%

No-Rin

Summary: “The story centers on the students at the Tamo Agricultural High School (Tamo Nourin Koukou, shortened to No-Rin). Kousaku Hata is a student there and is something of an idol otaku. The newest transfer student happens to be the super-popular idol Yuka Kusakabe who Kousaku adores. The school also has a childhood friend with a local dialect, a bishounen with glasses, a cute animal mascot, a girl with large breasts, a female teacher prone to flight of fancy, and more.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Silver Link
Director: Shin Oonuma
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote
Original creator: Shiratori Shirow

Impressions: Oh my god, Shin Oonuma is getting lazier and lazier. I mean, when you thought that he couldn’t go lower than with that Fate/Stay night ripoff, with this show they basically just putting up a sign saying “Otaku! Buy this!” I mean, can we please move away again from the idea that “big boobs” are a character trait?

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Wake Up Girls

Summary: “Green Leaves Entertainment is a tiny production company on the verge of going out of business in Sendai, the biggest city in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region. The agency once managed the careers of magicians, photo idols, fortune-tellers, and other entertainers, but its last remaining client finally quit. In danger of having zero talent (literally), the president Tange hatches an idea of producing an idol group. On the brash president’s orders, the dissatisfied manager Matsuda heads out to scout raw talent. Matsuda makes a fateful encounter with a certain girl…” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Ordet
Director: Yutaka Yamamoto
Series Composition: Machida Touko
Original creator: Yutaka Yamamoto

Impressions: I’ve talked about this one above: Yutaka Yamamoto could have picked any premise he would have liked (he has the ego to get away with things, we know that), and he goes for a generic idol series with seven cute girls. Yay for originality!

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Nisekoi

Summary: “Nisekoi follows high school student Raku Ichijou, the son of a leader in the yakuza faction Shuei-Gumi, and Chitoge Kirisaki, the daughter of a boss in a rival gang known as Beehive. They unexpectedly meet when Chitoge hops a wall and knees Raku in the face. After she runs off, Raku realizes he has lost his pendant which was given to him by his childhood sweetheart with whom he made a secret promise. After discovering Chitoge is a new transfer student in his class, he forces her to help him look for the pendant. During the search, they begin to dislike each other.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Shaft
Director: Akiyuki Shinbo
Original creator: Naoshi Komi

Impressions: So many red flags going up here, it’s ridiculous. Right after finishing the Monogatari series Shinbo is immediately going to continue with another series. It’s a romance series, adapted from Shounen Jump, meaning that there is no way in hell that they’re going to be able to stuff the entire series into just 13 episodes, and it’ll probably drag out as hell due to the weekly format of that magazine. Also: “during their search they begin to dislike each other”… yeah right.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Robot Girls Z

Summary: ” Robot Girls Z focuses on three high school girls: Z-chan (based on Mazinger Z), Gre-chan (based on Great Mazinger), and Grenda-san (based on Grendizer). The group forms the Robot Girls Z unit in Nerima Ward Oizumi Academy’s Photon Power District in Photon Power Town that promotes Photonic Energy as the future energy source and fight the evil Baron Ashura and her Mechanical Beasts Girls Garada-chan and Doublas-chan who seek to use Photonic Energy for their nefarious purposes.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Toei Animation
Director: Hiroshi Ikehata
Series Composition: Kzuho Hyodo

Impressions: This one seems like Toei’s lesser department doing another series, because it completely lacks any sort of creativity whatsoever. It’s just another series that turns things into cute girls, only this time it’s classic robot series. This is not how you do a homage! This is just blatant ass-kissing. You’re putting these girls at places they totally don’t belong! The director and series composition are both really meh: both people who seem lazy and not really inspired to make something good out of this one.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Go! Go! 575

Summary: “The anime ties into Project 575, which lets anyone create songs using the traditional Japanese 5-7-5-syllable meter found in haiku and tanka poems.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: SEGA

Impressions: I’m thinking: how on earth can they make this work? No staff has been announced yet, but even then: it’s two characters who read Haiku. Who on earth can make an enjoyable series that lasts an entire season out of that?

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Chuuninbyou Demo Koi ga Shitai II

Summary: “High school freshman Yuuta Togashi was once a “chuunibyou patient” i.e. an overly self-conscious middle schooler. He wants to bury this embarrassing past and begins a new life in high school—unsuccessfully. His classmate Rikka Takanashi, a “current” chuunibyou patient, has found traces of residual symptoms on him and used the fact to force Togashi “making a contract” with her.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Kyoto Animation
Director: Tatsuya Ishihara
Series Composition: Jukki Hanada
Original creator: Torako

Impressions: I’ve ranted about Kyoto Animation before, but let me quickly explain why I dropped Chuuninbyou quite early: all of their characters look the same! They always keep relying on the same archetypes and gags over and over, and even when you think that they’re going to try something different, the first episode airs and they find some way to make their characters look way too much like their previous iterations. I’m of course not denying that things can get better later on, but the question is: do I want to pain myself sitting through the same characters over and over again? Right now my answer to that is no.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Magical Warfare

Summary: “In this modern magic action story, Takeshi Nanase is an ordinary high school boy who has a somewhat dark past. Due to certain circumstances, he formed a “fake” couple with his childhood friend Kurumi Isoshima, but otherwise, he lives a normal life. However, one day, he comes across a girl named Mui Aiba, in a uniform he has never seen before, collapsed on the school campus. This encounter changes Takeshi’s destiny completely. Mui tells Takeshi that she is a magician, and she apologizes, for she turned Takeshi into a magician, too. What Takeshi once knew as one world is actually two — the world where magicians live and the world where humans live.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Madhouse
Director: Yuzo Sato
Series Composition: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu
Original creator: Hisashi Suzuki

Impressions: Another boring premise with silly promo art that fails to stand out whatsoever. It’s a light novel adaptation, which raises even more red flags. The only bright point is that the staff behind this one is quite good: the director of Kaiji, Agaki and One Outs (but also Iron Man) and the series composition of Hajime no Ippo (but also Kampfer and Kamen no Maid Guy). And those negative examples are unfortunately what I’m fearing here: yes these guys have adapted some wonderful stuff. But they made that with great premises. Not bland and boring crap like this.

First-Glance Potential: 10%

Super Sonico the Animation

Summary: “Super Sonico is the mascot girl of the “Nitro Super Sonic” events held by Nitroplus. In her back story, she is already a photoshoot model, game character, and a musician, even as she studies as a college student. She is also part of a three-piece girl band named “Daiichi Uchū Sokudo” (Fastest Speed in Space) as the vocalist and guitarist.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: White Fox
Director: Keiichi Kawamura
Series Composition: Yosuke Kuroda

Impressions: This one has me puzzled: so it’s a mascot of Nitro+, and it’s getting its own anime. If it’s going to be good, then it’s probably the first of its kind to actually deliver, because the potential for failure is incredibly high here. The problem is corporate: of course she’s a mascot so you can’t make her look bad or anything, she needs to be constantly appealing and you can’t do anything risky with her because it might lead to bad views about Nitro+. The creators behind it aren’t that bad or anything, but I really doubt that they can do anything with this.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Hamatora

Summary: “The story revolves around “Minimum” or “minor miracle”— special hereditary powers discovered only in an extremely limited number of humans. Those who possess such powers are known as “Minimum Holders.” Partners Nice and Murasaki form a detective agency called “Hamatora” in Yokohama in 2014 — but their “office” is a table at Cafe Nowhere where they and their friends wait for clients. An old acquaintance of theirs, a cop named Art, hires them for a serial murder case he is investigating, and they discover that the murder victims are all “Minimum Holders.” As Minimum Holders themselves, Nice and Murasaki are drawn into this case, whether they like it or not.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ?
Director: Seiji Kishi
Series Composition: Yukinori Kitajima

Impressions: When the page loaded and I could only see a few vague hints, I could already tell immediately that this would be Seiji Kishi’s new series. It’s painfully obvious, and usually when you can recognize a director’s personal style, it’s good. With him though, I see him blatantly recycling some of the ideas he used in Daganronpa and Devil Survivor. I mean come on: over the past year he has done three series and one movie. This guy is overworked and needs to stop right now. The worst thing is that the premises of his series aren’t that bad. It’s just the execution that keeps on getting worse.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road

Summary: “An asteroid collision brought with is a deadly menace known as “Shinbo.” Faced with destruction, humanity retreated to land reclaimed from the sea. The one ray of hope is a device that can fight the Shinbo called “The Mechanical Divine General.” Ame, the princess of the refugees, and Sutou, who carries the blood of the Yagyu family, must awaken its power in order to save the world.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Kinema Citrus
Director: Masayuki Sakoi
Series Composition: Norimitsu Kaihou
Original creator: Sunao Yoshida

Impressions: It’s probably a coincidence, but I love how they decided to call the deadly menace that destroys humanity Shinbo (hey, it’s not my idea!) – But yeah, the plot here is pretty generic and pretty stupid (a princess of refugees seems very much like a silly attempt to make that character more special than what she actually is). The director of Needless and Maid Guy also makes me fear about whether this show will be more than cheap entertainment.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Mikakunin de Shinkoukei

Summary: “The comedy revolves around Kobeni Yonomori, who on her 16th birthday suddenly has a young man with little presence named Hakuya Mitsumine and his younger sister Mashiro appear in front of her. It turns out that Hakuya is her fiancé, and Mashiro is her future sister-in-law. The three (and Konbeni’s older sister Benio) start living together underneath the same roof, and hilarious happenings occur.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Dogakobo
Director: Yoshiyuki Fujiwara
Series Composition: Fumihiko Shimo
Original creator: Cherry Arai

Impressions: This one seems like the standard premise for a sitcom, and nothing more. So slice of life that depends on the antics of three characters, and possibly a lot of cuteness. I personally don’t think that it will work. Perhaps one episode will be nice, but it won’t have enough material for 13 episodes. Unless you like the 4-koma adaptation genre, I see this one as instantly forgettable.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Nobunagun

Summary: “Shio Ogura is a Japanese high school student, who is visiting Taiwan on a school trip when she is suddenly attacked by monsters. Agents known as “E-Gene Holders” from the government agency DOGOO also arrive, who wield weapons infused with the spirits of historical figures. Shio is revealed to also be an E-Gene Holder when the soul of Oda Nobunaga awakens after she tries to rescue a friend.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Bridge
Director: Nobuhiro Kondo
Series Composition: Hiroshi Yamaguchi
Original creator: Masato Hisa

Impressions: When I first saw the promo material, my reaction was that it was a really artsy project that probably would rely a lot on being cool. Then I read the premise and this show lost all of the hope that I had for it. The plot of this show is one that I hope will die out very soon, because it really is a dead horse at this point. And as for the staff behind it… Nobuhiro Kondo previously directed Kekkou Kamen and Keroro Gunsou… two series that I haven’t seen before, but I doubt whether that kind of experience can really make something good out of this series. Hiroshi Yamaguchi though… this guy is a good writer when he wants to be. He really needs to try though, in order to make something workable out of a bad premise like this.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Sakura Trick

Summary: “The story revolves around Haruka and Yuu, two girls who go to a high school that is slated to be shut down in three years. To share “something special” between them, they share a kiss, and their relationship deepens from that moment onward.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Deen
Director: Kenichi Ishikura
Original creator: Tachi

Impressions: Kenichi Ishikura is an episode director who previously worked at Shaft, and then went on to direct the umpth Da Capo series (which was really forgettable). But yeah, we have a lesbian romance series, which unfortunately still remains a series about a bunch of high school girls who all look the same, stuffed together. I like yuri, but I like it because of how good the stories of yuri-series on average tend to be. But I’m not sure whether just the addition of romance will be enough to lift this bland premise up from mediocrity.

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha

Summary: “The story revolves around Inari Fushimi, a shy, not-so-bright middle school girl living in Kyoto’s Fushimi ward. She has a crush on her classmate Tanbabashi, but cannot express her feelings. One day, as thanks for helping a fox pup, the deity Ukanomitamanokami grants her the ability to change her form.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Production IMS
Director: Toru Takahashi
Series Composition: Machida Touko
Original creator: Morohe Yoshida

Impressions: I’m on the fence about this one. The thing is that it’s a romance series that has the potential when done the right way. It also seems to want to take itself seriously. And it does have the director of Otona Joshi no Anime Time I. However it is a manga adaptation, and Machida Touko isn’t really good at adapting things. With that, I really fear that this will end up as a generic romance show that ends inconclusively and doesn’t go anywhere.

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil

Summary: “The show takes place in Tokyo in 2018, where normal humans and those who can use magic coexist. As a result, there are laws against using magic, and a “magic courtroom” exists to preside over lawsuits regarding magic use. In these cases, “Benmashi” or wizard barristers defend those who use magic. The anime follows Cecil, the youngest Benmashi in history, and her associates as they defend clients in these cases.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Arms
Director: Yasuomi Umetsu
Series Composition: Yasuomi Umetsu
Original creator: Yasuomi Umetsu

Impressions: Okay, and the biggest WTF of the season in terms of staff is going to this series. Yasuomi Umetsu, the guy who is currently doing a pretty bad job with Galilei Donna, is going to follow it up IMMEDIATELY with a new series. Animated by Arms of all things, the single worst major production company out there. I… have no idea what he’s doing. He’s again going to write it from scratch and direct it at the same time. What puzzles me is how he got away with it, and why on earth he’s not doing a better job if he’s got so much ambition. I mean, this is not something you do normally in order to get a paycheck: he really needs to have wanted to do this in order to suddenly come out of nowhere with two completely original series. Why did Galilei Donna have such bad writing then? And if it’s apparently so easy to just get yourself an original series, why aren’t more people doing it?

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Witch Craft Works

Summary: “Honoka Takamiya is perfectly content with living his quiet life as an average high school junior. The only disruptions to his mundane daily routine all seem to stem from unexpected encounters with his school’s super-popular student idol, Ayaka Kagari, the talented, phlegmatic, and gorgeous daughter of the school board chairman. To his dismay, Takamiya’s classroom seat turns out to be right next to Kagari-san, thus he suffers jostling, harassment, and even a beating from her inescapable crowd of jealous fans. As if this isn’t bad enough, Takamiya’s world–as well as a portion of his school–suddenly collapses around him, and he is twice lured into bizarre and fantastic deathtraps. Astonished at his own survival, Takamiya learns that his rescue is thanks to the cool head–and fire power–of a witch… named Ayaka Kagari. From then on, Honoka quickly discovers, with Ayaka’s devoted help, that neither his school, nor the people he thought he knew, nor even he himself are in any way normal.” – (Taken from )
Produced by: JC Staff
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
Series Composition: Tsutomu Mizushima
Original creator: Ryuu Mizunagi

Impressions: Tsutomu Mizushima’s biggest problem is that he’s overworked: he doesn’t take his time for his series, despite being a really good director. Thankfully there has been some time since Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san, but I wonder whether it is enough. I mean, he needs to be really sharp again in order to make this premise consistently funny for an entire season, because it’s a school magic series. A very overcrowded genre, especially when it’s about this helpless male being escorted and protected by a cool and powerful female. What can they do to make this fresh? For one, the chemistry between the main couple NEEDS to be good. If it’s even remotely bland, then this show has no chance to remain interesting.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Sekai Seifuku ~ Bouryaku no Zvezda

Summary: “?”
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Tensai Okamura
Series Composition: Tensai Okamura, Meteo Hoshizora

Impressions: Tensai Okamura is coming with a new original series, combined with A-1. That sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, the thing with him is that he’s a hit or miss director, but when he hits, he really hits hard with stuff like Darker than Black and Stink Bomb, but he has also written series that… didn’t really go anywhere. I really want to like this one… but just look at the promo art. Obviously there is THAT outfit, but I have another issue with it: EVERYONE is trying to make some quirky facial expression. That to me, is a sign of trying too hard. Adding too much of one spice while not caring about the rest.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Noragami

Summary: “At the boundary between this realm and another, there live eight million gods, dead spirits who serve the gods, and other assorted spirits who help and meddle in the affairs of humans. A sweet middle school girl named Hiyori Iki has been enduring bullying from her classmates, and she goes to the restroom by herself to cry. Scrawled on the bathroom wall is a phone number and the message, “I solve your troubles.” After Hiyori calls the number, she encounters a homeless, unemployed figure who proclaims himself a “god.” Crude, unpredictable, and worthless, he does not answer people’s prayers and no one acknowledges him. However, he has one sole power, the ability to cut all who pass between this world and the next.” – (Taken from )
Produced by: Bones
Director: Kotaro Tamura
Series Composition: Deko Akao
Original creator: Adachitoka

Impressions: This one looks like it might actually be quite interesting to watch if it’s handled well. Of course, it is an adaptation, and to me this sounds like a story that will have a hard time fitting into its time-frame. Deko Akao is quite a flawed writer. However, the director seems to be a young talent who has been running around Bones, and with this he’s getting his first chance to direct a full series. The website for this really screams that budget has been put into it. So yeah Deko Akao, don’t be lazy this time: give this story the attention it deserves. Use your head and think.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta

Summary: “The story of love and aerial combat follows a former prince who lost everything to a revolution, and a girl who became the symbol for the revolution. The orphaned prince, now renamed Karueru, embarks on a one-way journey to discover the ends of the heavens. Aboard the levitating island of Isura, he meets a girl named Claire. This is a tale of a prince who lost everything leaves for a journey with no guarantee of returning to his hometown safely. With hatred and revenge in his mind, he met several people that taught him about friendship…and love.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: TMS Entertainment
Director: Toshimasa Suzuki
Series Composition: Shinichi Inotsume
Original creator: Koroku Inumara

Impressions: Remember Toaru Hikuushi e no Tsuioku about a fighter pilot who has to escort a princess? Well, the author wrote more novels, and this time we’re getting a TV-series about it. I’m fine with that: planes and fighter pilots are a pretty interesting topic to make a series about, and with this we have a bit more time to delve into the characters and the setting than just one movie. The director of Heroic Age and Rinne no Lagrange seems solid, as long as he won’t have to write his own story, but he knows his characterization at least. Shinichi Inotsune has adapted a variety of series, including good ones like Ristorante Paradiso. This has potential to work out.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Nobunaga the Fool

Summary: “The Western Planet and the Eastern Planet. Once upon a time, the two sides were bound by the “Dragon Pulse” spanning the heavens. The civilization that once had prospered has now turned to a tale of dreams, as the inextinguishable flames of war tear the realm asunder. The two planets remain engulfed in endless battles. The return of the super technology known as “sacred treasures” could revolutionize the world order, but no one knows of them but one person — a “heretical girl.” A girl from the Western Planet, Jeanne Kaguya d’Arc, saw heavenly visions of the birth of a “Star Messiah” who will save the world. She embarks on a journey to the Eastern Planet with Leonardo da Vinci, “the one who observes the world.” They come across the heretic of the Eastern Planet and “the greatest fool of the day,” Oda Nobunaga.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Satelight
Director: Eiichi Sato
Series Composition: Shoji Kawamori
Original creator: Shoji Kawamori

Impressions: Nobunaga… oh god not another one, please let this guy rest for onc.. HOLY CRAP THAT LOOKS AWESOME. I mean, this show. This is what he needed, because it dares to do something new with the guy. This is the kind of premise that is so ridiculously stupid that it might actually work, and Shoji Kawamori, who is strangely writing a series for once, rather than sitting at the position of chief director, is one of the people crazy enough to actually make it work. His ego will make sure that no idea is too crazy. And combined with that we have the director of Kiss Dum, which will make this an entire trainwreck. But it will be glorious!

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Houzuki no Reitetsu

Summary: “Houzuki is the aide to the great king of Hell, King Enma. Calm and super-sadistic, Houzuki tries to resolve the various problems in Hell, including a rampaging Momotarou and his companions. However, he also likes spending his free time on his hobbies, such as fawning over cute animals and raising “Goldfish Flowers.”” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Wit
Director: Hiro Kaburaki
Series Composition: Midori Gotou
Original creator: Natsumi Eguchi

Impressions: Wit Studio seems to be split off from Production IG, and it looks like they took a lot of talent with them, and they actually came with quite an interesting premise to animate again, this time without Production IG at their side. It’s a premise that dares to be different. It’s an adaptation, but it’s the kind of adaptation that I can see would fit within an anime timeslot. It’s got a solid director who knows how to shoot stuff, and the writer wrote for a chunk of good series that Production IG did back in the days, so these people can pull it off. Now all that’s left is to hope that the manga this is based on is good.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Silver Spoon Second Season

Summary: “Yuugo Hachiken decided to escape from the stressful school and home environment in the city by enrolling at Ouezo Agricultural High School. Unlike his peers who’ll eventually embark upon an agricultural career, he decides to study there only because he believes it’ll be less competitive academically. Unfamiliar with his new surroundings, he tries his best to adapt to the agricultural world he had never thought of living in.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: A-1 Production
Original creator: Hiromu Arakawa

Impressions: Noitamina next season will rock, with the second halves of both Samurai Flamenco and Silver Spoon. Silver Spoon is a series that takes a very honest, yet also silly and endearing, look at farming, and the first episode was very effective at that. Like full metal alchemist, everything was calculated and let’s hope that the second season will be as enjoyable.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Pupa

Summary: ” The “life-and-death sibling” story follows Utsutsu and Yume Hasegawa, a boy and his little sister who find themselves all alone. One day, Yume sees a mysterious red butterfly and her body undergoes a strange metamorphosis—into a creature that eats humans. Utsutsu struggles to find a way to restore his sister.” – (Taken from )
Produced by: Studio Deen
Director: Tomomi Mochizuki
Original creator: Sayaka Mogi

Impressions: Okay, so it got delayed one season. That still doesn’t change that I’m looking forward what is promising to be the first good show with incest in a long, long while. Tomomi Mochizuki is one of the best directors that Deen could have gotten, and it’s great to see him in the director’s chair again, and if that means a few delays in order to get things just right, then I’m willing to wait. I’m really looking forward to how disturbing they can make this one.

First-Glance Potential: 100%

Space Dandy

Summary: ” The story follows Dandy, an alien hunter who is “a dandy guy in the space”, in search for aliens with his robot assistant QT and a cat alien named Meow.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Bones
Chief Director: Shinichiro Watanabe
Director: Shingo Natsume
Script: Dai Sato, Keiko Nobumoto

Impressions: Space Dandy isn’t just awesome because it’s helmed by Shinichiro Watanabe. No, it also reunites parts of the Cowboy Bebop writing staff: Dai Sato and Keiko Nobumoto. The three brains behind one of the most solidly executed and celebrated anime ever are finally coming together again to make something new, and let’s see what 15 years of extra experience has brought to them. This will be their big chance to come with something big again. They’ve got 26 episodes, they’ve got the talents of the animators of Bones behind them. The character-designer behind Cowboy Bebop, and I can already see a ton of different musical artists who will be behind the soundtrack. This will be big.

First-Glance Potential: 100%
Posted on 16 August 2013 with categories: Seasonal Previews

My impression of the upcoming season? Holy crap! There are tons of different series to watch out for! Lots of big names will return, and we will get a ton of series with amazing animation. This could very easily become the best season of the year, especially in terms of TV-Series. To give an indication: there are a whopping seven series that I’m psyched for to come out. It’s rare for a season to get to that number the last couple of years.

Movies and OVAs to watch out for:
Here is a list of the upcoming OVAs and Movies that will be up for release that interest me. In this case though, I can just leave out the “OVAs”-part of this description and title, because there are none! Seriously, there is not a single interesting OVA on the schedule at this point. Only a bunch of random harem OVAs that are the umpth instalment of series that have been going on for ages.

Persona 3 The Movie #1: Spring of Birth

Impressions: AIC doing another Persona thingy, but thankfully Seiji Kishi is only the supervisor, and the director is someone else. However, the question remains whether this will be an as soulless adaptation as Persona 4. The problem I have is that the new director is the director of Bakuman, which for me also had huge pacing issues. Heck the creators know that they’re trying to push a huge game into a bunch of movies, right? They know that you need to take some creative liberties in order to make everything fit, right?

Ano hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.

Impressions: Okay, the big question: will the Anohana movie be a recap movie, or not? And that’s the tricky thing here: you can’t say for sure. It’s an alternative retelling, showing the story from the perspective of Menma, one of the major characters. You can take such a premise everywhere, because some of the series actually DID show things from her perspective. It all depends on how lazy you get, or how ambitious you get. This can become anything inbetween a recap and a new insight into a heart-wrenching albeit annoying character.

Captain Harlock

Impressions: Yes, there will be a new CG Harlock movie. The original Harlock was all about melancholy in space, and judging by the trailer, the creators seem to be going for the same effect, albeit a bit more action-packed (the original series had action, but the pacing was very slow). The graphics look very good, but the biggest challenge will be for this series to get the characters right. Can it evade the dreaded botox-faces that plague just about every3D movie? Can it actually balance out the characters who are constantly gloomy? The director will be the guy who directed Appleseed, and that was not his strongest forte!

Code Geass – Boukoku no Akito

Impressions: Hell yeah, finally the second instalment is up, with my favorite director behind the scenes in an original story where they apparently got a lot of freedom to do what they wanted. Now, Kazuki Akane usually really gets fired off when his stories enter their second halves, but until that we still get to see his impeccable sense of action.

Gekijou-ban Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Shinpen: Hangyaku no Monogatari

Impressions: So after two recap movies, the third and final Madoka Magica movie will have an original story. From the beginning I have said to not do this, because the story of Madoka Magica fits perfectly into just 12 episodes. It ha a very good ending that was very conclusive. But still, the creators and Urobuchi Gen in particular still can make something borderline classic out of it with the right mindset. One of the biggest issues will be that Gen’s ego needs to win from Shinbo’s.

Patema Inverted

Impressions: Aack! I still need to watch the prequel OVA that came out for this movie a few years ago. Anyway, this is the full instalment. And yes, it’s by the guy who made Time of Eve. This is a guy who likes to take full control of his series, and he does nearly everything: the direction, the script, he wrote the original story. One to watch out for.

Upcoming TV-Series:
Here is a list of all of the upcoming TV-series. Again, minus the kiddie series because I’ve gotten really tired of saying the same thing over and over again. Excluding those series there are about 37 series coming up in total. A very healthy number.

Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!

Summary: “One day, all of a sudden, a main vocalist of a popular singer group in Japan becomes a female pro wrestler.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ARMS
Director: Rion Kujo
Series Composition: Kazoho Hyodo
Original creator: ESE
Character Designer: Rin-Sin

Impressions: Here we go with ARMS and their porn shows again. Moving on.
Trailer Impressions: Har har har, it’s funny because it looks and sounds like they’re having sex.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Diabolik Lovers

Summary: “The story centers around the six sadistic Sakamaki vampire brothers. Yui Komori is a positive-thinking girl who nevertheless is troubled by seeing spirits and experiencing poltergeist phenomena. In her second year in high school, she transfers to a new school — a night school for entertainers and celebrities — due to her father’s work. There are rumors that there are vampires among the student body, and Yui ends up living with the Sakamaki brothers.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ZEXCS
Director: Shinobu Tagashira
Series Composition: Seiko Nagatsu
Original creator: Rejet
Character Designer: Yuuko Yahiro

Impressions: … this is just Uta Prince but then with Vampires! Holy crap, Zexcs have fallen as well? Really, I don’t mind bishies and all, but would you at the very least try to look like you’re at least trying to do something new here. This show is just a carbon copy of shows that girls like, lumped together without any more thought put into it. Also, apparently this one will be directed by a character designer, so the goal really seems to be to make the bishies as pretty as possible, it seems.
Trailer Impressions: And yet, the bishies just look like every other cast of bishie out there. Also these vocalists can’t sing!

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Infinite Stratos 2

Summary: ” Infinite Stratos (IS), a weaponized exoskeleton system, has become the dominant tool of warfare and conflict. Unfortunately for the men in society, only women are able to operate Infinite Stratos…with very few exceptions. One of those exceptions is Ichika Orimura, an orphan raised by his older sister, who is herself a famous IS pilot. When his compatibility with Infinite Stratos is discovered after he accidentally touches one at the age of 15, he is given a scholarship and enrolled in a school that specializes in training IS pilots. Which means an interesting life surrounded by girls for this shy, unassuming boy.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: 8-Bit
Director: Susumu Tosaka, Yasuhito Kikuchi
Original creator: Izuru Yumizuru
Character Designer: Kumi Horii
Music: Hikaru Nanase

Impressions: I remember what a giant troll the first season was. “Interesting science fiction premise? HA Screw that! Here are some harem hi-jinks!” – And yet, it sold. It sold ridiculously well, so here we have the inevitable second season. So yeah, don’t get fooled that it’s by the director of Macross Frontier or anything: this is a very blatant harem show with some mechas thrown in. It’s a shame, because Hikaru Nanase is one of my favorite soundtrack composers.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Tesagure! Bukatsu-mono

Summary: “The anime will center around the extracurricular activities of students.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Koutarou Ishidate
Series Composition: Masatake Yamaguchi

Impressions: Crappy flash show about a random high school club alert. Moving on!

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Gundam Build Fighters

Summary: “The story is set in the near future when GunPla Battles, competitions that pit Gundam plastic models against each other, have become popular worldwide in the “Second GunPla Boom.” Sei Iori (pictured above), a first-year middle-school student and the only son of a model shop owner, is talented at building GunPla, but inexperienced in the GunPla Battles. He encounters a mysterious boy named Reiji who happens to be an accomplished Gundam Fighter. Together, they strive for the GunPla Battle world championships. Sei’s customized GunPla is the Build Strike Gundam (pictured above)” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Sunrise
Director: Kenji Nagasaki
Series Composition: Yosuke Kuroda
Original creator: Yoshiyuki Tomino
Character Designer: Kenichi Ohnuki

Impressions: I usually omit kiddie shows because I pretty much end up saying the same thing over and over about them and they are totally irrellevant unless you’re under the age of 14, but I do want to make an exception here, because it’s sad to see that Gundam has now devolved into one as well: a series that seems solely designed to sell toys, or Gundam model kits in this case. The problem is also that this being Gundam, Sunrise put some good people on it: Kenji Nagasaki directed No.6, which was well directed aside from its ending, and Yosuke Kuroda has penned many good original stories. I have seen this pattern way too much though: it’s a kiddie show and with that in mind not even the most talented people like Dai Sato can make something remotely interesting.
Trailer Impressions: Fancy transformation sequences! Buy our toys!

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Freezing Vibration

Summary: “Set in a slightly futuristic world where Earth has been invaded and is at war with aliens from another dimension called the Nova, the story follows the adventures of a Japanese boy named Kazuya Aoi who enrolls for training at a special school for genetically modified girls called Pandoras who battle the aliens, and their male partners, called Limiters, who use a special power called “freezing” to limit their opponent’s mobility. The protagonist makes the acquaintance of an unusual older girl named Bridgette L. Satellizer who appears to be the most powerful Pandora in her class, but has not yet chosen a male partner to be her Limiter, and in spite of the warnings of all his friends, he decides to be her Limiter.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ACGT
Director: Takashi Watanabe
Series Composition: Masanao Akahoshi
Original creator: Dall-Young Lim
Character Designer / Chief Animation Director: Mayumi Watanabe

Impressions: I watched the first episodes of the first freezing. It’s basically lots of gore and fanservice, plus a bunch of stupid characters. Girls pick fights for no reason, and it was really geared to go into the harem route. There really was nothing redeeming about it aside from some neat action here and there perhaps. Moving on.
Trailer Impressions: Okay, I have to grant it: the soundtrack was nice. But what were those famous artworks doing right in the middle of those girls fighting each other?

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Unbreakable Machine Doll

Summary: “It is the early 20th century, and Raishin Akabane is a student puppeteer from Japan, who has come to the Walpurgis Royal Academy of Machine Arts in England to study the emerging field of Machinart: a combination of magic and technology with military applications. He is accompanied by a girl named Yaya, who is actually his Automaton: a living machine doll powered by magical circuits specialized in hand-to-hand combat. In the Academy, there is a combat tournament exclusive to the Top 100 students and their automata, to decide who shall be bestowed with the title of “Wiseman”, the greatest puppeteer.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Lerche
Director: Kinji Yoshimoto
Series Composition: Yuuko Kakihara
Original creator: Reiji Kaitou
Character Designer: Atsuko Watanabe

Impressions: I hate how some series literally force the setting of a school onto their stories, even if this doesn’t make any sense. Why are students competing for a title named “Greatest Puppeteer”? What happened to the people who graduated that school then? Are they all dead? Beyond that, we have the director of Queen’s Blade and a bunch of hentai series, together with the one who adapted Persona 4. This one may look pretty, but that’s all there is to it, it seems.
Trailer Impressions: Okay, it’s very flashy at the very least, but beyond that…

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Come o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru

Summary: “The story centers around Kanade Amakusa, a boy cursed with the mental power of “absolute multiple-choice” — a multiple-choice quiz will suddenly appear in his mind, and the choice he makes will become his reality. For example, he would have to choose between going nude from the waist up or the waist down in school. While in school, he is given another choice: 1) A beautiful girl will fall before him or 2) he will fall from the rooftop in female clothes. He chooses option 1, and a blonde girl named Chocolat falls before him.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Diomedea
Director: Takayuki Inagaki
Series Composition: Hiroko Kanasugi
Original creator: Takeru Kasukabe
Character Designer / Chief Animation Direction: Hiroyuki Saida

Impressions: You know what the thing is? In the right hands this premise can become comedic gold. But no, a cute girl has to fall on his lap, yadda yadda, boobs. I mean, you just need to look at the promo art to know instantly where the mind of this series lies, and the director of Rosario to Vampire doesn’t make things better.
Trailer Impressions: Oh my god! Everything about this trailer is annoying!

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Outbreak Company

Summary: “Outbreak Company’s story centers around Shinichi Kano, a “thoroughbred class” otaku with a light novelist father and an erotic game artist mother. The NEET (not in education, employment, or training) high school dropout has no special talents except for his vast knowledge, opinions, and insight on moe. Despite this, the Japanese government assigns Shinichi as a “moe” evangelist to the Holy Eldant Empire, a parallel world with an entrance through a thick forest of trees in the Mount Fuji area. In this fantasy world where dragons soar the skies, Shinichi forms a deep friendship with the half-elf maid girl Myuseru and the beautiful young empress Petoraru. Even as he deals with the threats of war between different factions, he worries that he himself is an invader (shinryakusha) to this wondrous land.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Feel
Director: Kei Oikawa
Series Composition: Naruhisa Arakawa
Original creator: Ichiro Sakaki
Character Designer: Takashi Mamezuka

Impressions: This is one of those stories that just seems to drown completely into its own meta. A cute idea that I fear is never really going to work because it tries to be way too tongue-in-cheek. There is giving a wink to your audience, and then there is just blatant ass-kissing. I also don’t expect much of the staff. They’re pretty standard, and Naruhisa Arakawa has a lot of experience… doing pretty mediocre adaptations.

First-Glance Potential: 25%

Valvrave the Liberator 2

Summary: “Thanks to the development of the Dyson Sphere, The majority of the human populace lives in space. The Dorssia Military Federation, and the Atlantic Rim United States exist as major Military countries, while JOIR is a neutral principality, the story follows Haruto Tokishima as a normal boy going through high school in T.C (True Calendar) year 71. This all changes when Haruto meets the humanoid weapon Valvrave.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Sunrise
Director: Kou Matsuo
Series Composition: Ichiro Okouchi
Character Designer: Tatsuya Suzuki

Impressions: Oh god, there is more. There is an entire season more of this. I’m not going to watch it. It started off entertaining enough, but as soon as it started taking itself seriously the fun quickly died, and then it only got worse. This is a series that aims to shock its audience, while not caring about anything such as a plot or anything.

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Meganebu!

Summary: “Akira Sōma, the 17-year old club president and founder of the eyeglasses club. He categorizes all of humanity into three groups: “glasses,” “those who don’t wear glasses,” and “the ladies.” He scolds those who wears contacts, going around and calling them “weaklings!!” There are many times when he, the passionate boy that he is, would argue with his fellow club-mates about glasses. His favorite kind of glasses are ones with square frames, and both of his eyes have 0.03 vision (in the Japanese eyeglasses prescription notation).” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Deen
Director: Soubi Yamamoto
Series Composition: Deko Akao

Impressions: They actually made a show about glasses. I mean, this is just bizarre. I only included one of the characters’ descriptions in the synopsis, but they are all equally cheesy. In fact, this was so cheesy that it became hilarious. Oh, this show will be bad, but at least it’s going to be bad in a way that we haven’t seen before.

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Log Horizon

Summary: “The story begins when 30,000 Japanese gamers are trapped in the fantasy online game world Elder Tale. What was once a “sword-and-sorcery world” is now the “real world.” The main lead Shiroe attempts to survive with his old friend Naotsugu and the beautiful assassin Akatsuki.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Satelight
Director: Shinji Ishihara
Series Composition: Toshizo Nemoto
Music: Yasuharu Takanashi
Original creator: Mamare Touno

Impressions: I had to do a double-take when I read the premise. Why am I reading the premise of Sword Art Online here? It’s also originally written by Maoyuu’s original author. I didn’t like Maoyuu, but I’m not sure whether that was because of the story itself, or because of how it was just handled poorly. Anyway, Shinji Ishihara directed Fairy Tail and Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou, which mostly stand out with their action. Toshizo Nemoto also worked on Tokyo Majin Gakuen, although he also did Dog & Scissors and Inu X Boku. All adaptations that had their pacing issues. Thankfully Yasuharu Takanashi is an excellent composer. This seems to be an ambitious project for Satelight and they’re already set on 26 episodes, so this will probably a show with high production values, and a bad storyline. So yeah, pretty much Sword Art Online II.

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Walkure Romanze

Summary: “The visual novel centers around Takahiro Mizuno, a student training to be a begleiter (knight’s assistant) at an academy where aspiring knights joust. He himself had come to this academy to train as a knight, after becoming the unrivaled junior champion in his own home country. However, an injury in a tournament’s finals forced him to withdraw. Instead, he decides to be a begleiter to one of the academy’s maiden knights and help her win.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: 8-Bit
Director: Yusuke Yamamoto
Series Composition: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu
Character Designer: Keiichirou Katsura

Impressions: It’s such a shame to see actually talented creators being assigned to… series like this. I mean you can’t get anything out of a premise like this unless you really try. The thing is though, that Kazuyuki Fudeyasu and Yusuke Yamamoto: they both actually managed to make very entertaining series about series with hopeless premises: Milky Holmes and B Gata H Kei respecively. With this series, they need that experience more than ever.
Trailer Impressions: Had some silly shots, but overall this seems still too dull.

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Kuroko no Baske 2

Summary: “Tetsuya Kuroko is a former member from the legendary middle school basketball team known as “The Generation of Miracles”. Upon meeting Taiga Kagami he decides upon becoming his shadow to help him become Japan’s greatest basketball player.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Production IG
Director: Shunsuke Tada
Series Composition: Noboru Takagi
Original creator: Kuroko no Baske
Character Designer: Yoko Kikuchi

Impressions: Kuroko’s basketball is a seires that I didn’t continue watching. Why? I guess it was because it’s a shounen jump adaptation: these things tend to go on for ages, and unless they’re really god right away I’m not really motivated to spend time on them. The first two episodes that I saw were okay, and had some nice basketball matches, but I saw little in terms of variety to keep up with it for longer. And yeah, with this it’ll probably have 52 episodes. That’s too much for me to give it a second chance.

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Non Non Biyori

Summary: “The slice-of-life comedy is set in a countryside school with only five students total. The nearest bookstore is 20 minutes away by bicycle, a certain “Ju_p” magazine comes out on Wednesdays instead of Mondays, and the video rental store is 10 stations away. Fifth-grade schoolgirl Hotaru Ichijō transfers from Tokyo to this school and readjusts to the slow life in the country. Her fellow schoolmates are first-year middle schoolgirl Natsumi, second-year middle schoolgirl Komari, first-grade schoolgirl Renge, and Komari’s big brother Suguru in the third year of middle school.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Silver Link
Director: Shinya Kawamo
Series Composition: Reiko Yoshida
Original creator: Atto
Character Designer / Chief Animation Director: Mai Otsuka

Impressions: Basically, life in the countryside as seen from a bunch of fifth-graders. It’s Silver Link, but it does have the director of Kokoro Connect (that guy from Bee-Train who moved over), so who knows? It’ll be charming, but will it be charming enough to be worth watching?
Trailer Impressions: At the very least this does not feel as obnoxious as Silver Link series usually do. Very mellow, but that’s fine. It’s not trying too hard to be funny like most other shows of this genre are.

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road

Summary: “Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road will be part of Bushiroad’s new Five Qross “hybrid trading card game” that combines paper cards with online gaming, via QR codes printed on the back of the cards. Each card will have a unique serial code as a countermeasure against overseas counterfeits. The first batch of Five Qross cards will feature two other anime — Fantasista Doll and IS (Infinite Stratos) — besides Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Kinema Citrus
Director: Masayuki Sakoi
Screenplay: Norimitsu Kaihou
Original creator: Sunao Yoshida
Character Designer: Mai Toda

Impressions: This is a weird one. It’s basically a commercial for a random company out there, in the same way that Infinite Stratos and Fantasista Doll were, however those two series looked like sell-outs. this one… it looks different. It’s this strange project that has been announced like ten years ago at this point, and only now got picked up again, which also intrigues me. But yeah, at the end of the day it does have the director of Needless and Kamen no Maid Guy. These are two series that weren’t necessarily sell-outs, but were full of dumb action and fanservice humour.

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Arpeggio of Blue Steel

Summary: ” The sci-fi story takes place in the future where humanity has been pushed to near extinction by the mysterious against the mysterious and unknown, “Fleet of Fog.” The heroes commandeer one of the Fleet’s submarines and begin to fight back.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Sanzigen
Director: Seiji Kishi
Series Composition: Makoto Uezu
Original creator: Ark Performance

Impressions: It’s a bit of a shame that Seiji Kishi is doing this series, but at the very least this isn’t another game adaptation. The thing is that the characters here seem colourful, and fun, the science fiction story is clichéd, but it sounds like it has potential. I just don’t know whether I want to trust Seiji Kishi with this.. There are so many better directors.
Trailer Impressions: This contained quite a bit of animation, but ultimately all that it did was show a bunch of characters or things unleashing their flashy powers. that should not be the meat of the story!

First-Glance Potential: 65%

Gingitsune

Summary: “After her mother passed away, Saeki Makoto was granted the ability to see an agent of the gods named Gintaro. Being the only person who can see the sprit, Saeki helps people around the community with their problems with help from Gintaro.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Diomedea
Director: Shin Misawa
Series Composition: Hiroshi Yamaguchi
Original creator: Saoyri Ochiai
Character Designer: Naomi Ide, Mayuko Matsumoto

Impressions: What I miss here is ambition. Really, this show seems fine, but I detect very little reasons to keep watching it if all the lead girl is going to do is help a bunch of people. It’s going to need to be very genuine in order to set itself apart from the series that are already there as well. It does help that it has some good staff behind it though. Shin Misawa has like two decades of experience, and the same goes for Hiroshi Yamaguchi (although their series do range from good to bad across the entire spectrum). I can’t comment much on the original mangaka because she only seems to have done one thing before.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Phi Brain 3

Summary: “Daimon Kaito solves puzzles like a boss.”
Produced by: Sunrise
Director: Hirotaka Endo
Series Composition: Mayori Sekijima

Impressions: Here you have it. The series that I never thought would get a second season. Let alone a third! And technically, it doesn’t need one: all season all have a beginning and end. I’m still not sure who in their right mind green-lighted all of this, but the thing remains that it had some really good characters, even though it did waste A LOT of time through its airtime. I also really hope that Sato Junichi is going to return as the director again, which helped a lot with the first two seasons, but I can’t yet see his name among the staff. In any case though, the promo art is full of fabulous characters again, so let’s hope that this time things will get a bit more varied.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Tokyo Ravens

Summary: “The school supernatural fantasy centers around Harutora, a boy from a branch of the Tsuchimikado family of onmyoudou occult practitioners. However, he lacks the ability to see spirit energy, so he is now just an ordinary high school student. Natsume, a girl who was Harutora’s childhood friend and the next head of the Tsuchimikado family, reunites with Harutora and changes his future.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: 8-Bit
Director: Takaomi Kanasaki
Series Composition: Hideyuki Kurata
Original creator: Kouhei Azano
Character Designer: Atsuko Watanabe

Impressions: The impression that I get from this series is that it seems decent, though juvenile. The whole premise is one that we’ve seen over and over again, the promo art is badly drawn, and don’t get me started about how this is a SCHOOL supernatural fantasy series. What also doesn’t get my hopes up is that the director of Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka is involved here, though granted that had its moments. It’s also going to depend on whether the original source material is good or not.
Trailer Impressions: Okay, this wasn’t actually half-bad. I like the music a lot, the direction works out quite well. It’s still very juvenile though. That will probably be a big problem.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Magi: The Kingdom of Magic

Summary: “In a fantastic middle-age world where slavery is very common, there are mysterious tall towers named “Dungeon” which mysteriously appeared out of nowhere fourteen years before the story line. Someone who conquers a Dungeon becomes very powerful and wealthy. Our hero Ali Baba is a teenager who works for merchants to support himself. He dreams for conquering a lot of Dungeons and becoming a very rich person. One day, he comes across with a strange young boy named Aladdin who carries a mystical flute with supernatural powers in it. Ali Baba and Aladdin agree to travel their first Dungeon together.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Koji Masunari
Series Composition: Hiroyuki Yoshino
Original creator: Shinobu Outaka
Character Designer / Animation Direction: Toshifumi Akai

Impressions: Ah, the second season of Magi. It’s a show that I wanted to finish, but in the end couldn’t. Getting busier is one of the reasons, but it also just wasn’t interesting enough to warrant to continue. The characters were compelling, but it lacked genuine tension and at times it seemed to be trying too hard to be dark and edgy. So yeah, I’m not going to watch this one, but props to those who kept on with it.
Trailer Impressions: Nice eye-candy, as expected.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Ace of Diamond

Summary: “The story follows Eijun Sawamura, a pitcher who joins an elite school with a brilliant catcher named Kazuya Miyuki. Together with the rest of the team, they strive for Japan’s storied Koushien championships through hard work and determination.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Madhouse, Production IG
Director: Mitsuyuki Masuhara
Series Composition: Takeshi Konuta
Original creator: Yuuji Terajima

Impressions: Here we have a series with… a unique staff listing. We have Madhouse and Production IG collaborating (when was the last time that that happened, aside from those movies that consist out of tiny different shorts), about a bunch of kids who play baseball and being directed by the director of Polar Bear Cafe. Well, if that one baseball episode of Polar Bear Cafe was an indication then at least the baseball scenes will get well animated, but it remains a weird match-up. My big worry is Takeshi Konuta, who previously adapted Library War, which really was not an example of how to do an adaptation right. Furthermore, baseball series have a really high standard, after Touch, Cross Game, One Outs and Ookiku Furikabutte. You can’t just make a baseball series about hard work and guts and hope that that’s all you need to do.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Strike the Blood

Summary: “The school action fantasy story of Strike the Blood revolves around Kojō Akatsuki, a boy deemed the world’s most powerful vampire (once thought to only exist in legend and lore), and Yukina Hirameki, a girl entrusted with watching over the vampire and if needed, hunting him down.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Silver Link
Chief Director: Takao Sano
Director: Hideyo Yamamoto
Series Composition: Hiroyuki Yoshino
Original creator: Gakuto Mikumo
Character Designer: Keiichi Sano

Impressions: Silver Link doesn’t exactly have the best track record with me, but who knows/ They did make Kokoro Connect. What strikes me most here is that it’s simple, and just focused on the interplay between the two main characters. They just have to get those two characters right and they’ll at least have an enjoyable series. Big problem here is Hiroyuki Yoshino who is trying to make a soap opera out of everything whenever he gets the chance, though luckily this is a light novel adaptation, rather than an original story. The guy who wrote them also wrote Asura Crying, which despite the bad direction did originally have some potential. Both directors have both done little in terms of directing an entire series, aside from two series that were doomed to fail, so let’s see if they’re a bit more motivated with a series with a bit more potential.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

BlazBlue Alter Memory

Summary: “” – (Taken from )
Produced by: Hoods Entertainment
Director: Hideki Tachibana
Series Composition: Deko Akao
Character Designer / Chief Animation Director: Tomoyuki Shitaya

Impressions: Well, finally a game adaptation in which Seiji Kishi isn’t involved. In fact, the assistant director will be Seiji Misuzhima, who directed the first Full Metal Alchemist, Un-Go, and Natsuiro Kiseki, among others. This show is going to need it, because Hiteki Tachibana is a TERRIBLE director. He completely butchered Dragon Crisis and Higurashi’s Kira OVA. His big problem is that his series focus on the complete wrong things. Deko Akao is decent at adapting, so here she too needs to do her best to make up for this guy.
Trailer Impressions: Eye candy, action-packed. Seems interesting enough.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

White Album 2

Summary: “The story centers around a college junior named Haruki Kitaharaand his relationships with Setsuna Ogiso and Kazuki Touma in the light music club.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Satelight
Chief Director: Seiya Numata
Director: Masaomi Ando
Series Composition: Fumiaki Maruto
Original creator: Takeshi Nakamura
Character Designer / Chief Animation Director: Satoru Fujimoto

Impressions: What made the first White Album so good? It’s because from out of nowhere, it took the concept of a harem and did something completely in its own style, disregarding any sort of conventions. It was annoying, but it was unique and in the end it really came together. The second White Album looks a lot more generic, but perhaps Satelight has a trick up their sleeve. Especially since they never do series like this. Fumiaki Maruto… this guy probably is someone who doesn’t write for anime who they managed to reel in with their connections, so that sounds promising. What’s really weird about this though? It’s the directional debut of Seiya Numata. That just makes no sense whatsoever. For those of you who don’t know him: he is one of the most awesome animators out there. His work is always completely crazy: full of energy, realistic movements, over the top motions. It’s crazy. For an example: he was the main animation director for Shion no Ou and the second season of Milky Holmes. I have no clue what he’s doing here on such a serious drama…
Trailer Impressions: And the thing is, the animation isn’t even that good…

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Hajime no Ippo Rising

Summary: ” Ippo, a timid highschooler, is one day saved from being beaten up by Takamura, a boxer. Enthralled by Takamura’s skills Ippo begins to learn boxing, soon finding love for the sport and a drive to challenge the boxing world.” – (Taken from ANN)

Impressions: Nothing has been revealed yet of who will adapt the third season, which does have me on a bit of an edge. This is because the first and second seasons were incredibly good adaptations. Everything went right there: the music, the animation, the pacing. It all just fit, and both in really different ways. The manga is good and all, but with these kinds of sport series you also really need the animation to bring everything alive. The promo art that has been released so far however, doesn’t look that way. The character-designs look mellow, and they lack the punch that the first seasons had. Especially this thing here. But yeah: if this does work, then we’re in for an incredibly intense and engaging series.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Little Busters – Refrain

Summary: “” – (Taken from )
Produced by: JC Staff
Director: Yoshiki Yamakawa
Series Composition: Michiru Shimada
Original creator: Jun Maeda
Character Designer: Haruko Iizuka

Impressions: Well, Little Busters, go ahead. I managed to sit through the sometimes cringe-worthy first half. Go ahead and hit me with your best stuff. The refrain part that is supposed to be the amazing part of this story. The director and series composition have not changed, so you’ll have to do with them. Go ahead and just show me whether the plotholes, melodrama and bad voice acting were worth it!
Trailer Impressions: From this trailer I get the impression that the creators are really trying. This wasn’t such a thing that was hastily cobbled up. Some effort went into this. That’s the first good sign.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Yowamushi Pedal

Summary: “The story centers around Sakamichi Onoda, a high school otaku who loves figures from anime and games so much that he would ride his commuter bicycle to and from Tokyo’s Akihabara shopping district in a 90-kilometer (about 60-mile) round trip over steep slopes. Onoda ends up joining the competitive sport of bicycle racing.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: TMS Entertainment
Director: Osamu Nabeshima
Series Composition: Reiko Yoshida
Original creator: Wataru Watanabe
Character Designer: Takeshi Yoshida

Impressions: Ah, a manga adaptation about cycling. What makes this one special is that it’s by the director of Zetman, and the character designs (and therefore also probably the chief animation direction) will be done by the guy who directed the animation for Ookiku Furikabutte. I have no idea what that adds together, but I really want to see how the cycling scenes will end up looking now, because these people are in theory able to make stunning cycling sequences: Osamu Nabeshima’s energy on one hand and Takeshi Yoshida’s attention to detail and realism on the other hand.
Trailer Impressions: Not the best animation… but it looks fun.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Golden Time

Summary: “The school romantic comedy of Golden Time revolves around Banri Tada, a college student who lost all of his memories upon graduating his high school. The story follows Banri, Kouko Kaga, a girl whose seemingly perfect looks belies her hidden regrets, Kouko’s significant other Mitsuo Yanagisawa, and other students at Banri’s college in Tokyo, including NANA Hayashida, Chinami Oka, Nijigen-kun, and NANA-senpai” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: JC Staff
Director: Chiaki Kon
Series Composition: Fumihiko Shimo
Original creator: Yuyuko Takemiya
Character Designer: Jin Aketagawa

Impressions: Finally! Chiaki Kon is doing something other than bishie-series. Really, as one of the most (if not THE most) prolific female directors, you shouldn’t keep doing the same thing over and over but instead set an example for all other aspiring female directors out there. And with this, she actually has a really good premise. When was the last time a story starts out when the main character already has a significant other? Oh, and this has the character designer of Revolutionary Girl Utena, which is also awesome. Really, this can become quite an interesting college series when done right.
Trailer Impressions: This was charming; I can see this work as a romantic comedy, but I’m not sure whether it’ll become something special.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Coppelion

Summary: “The story is set in 2036, after radioactive contamination from a nuclear accident has put Tokyo under a blockade. Three high school girls have been sent to this dead city. Thanks to genetic engineering, the three girls have been impervious to radioactivity since birth. They form a special forces unit, codenamed “Coppelion,” in the 3rd Division of Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ?
Original creator: Tomonori Inoue

Impressions: They have yet to announce anything about the staff behind this series, but holy crap does it look good! This one gets my award for the best promo art of the season. Just look at those details. There is also a lot that they can do with this premise if they go the right way. I’m excited for this one.
Trailer Impressions: Stunning scenery, but the animation also is just amazing here. Wait, this is obviously being produced by Gohands.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Nagi no Asukara

Summary: “???” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: PA Works
Director: Toshiya Shinohara
Series Composition: Mari Okada
Character Designer / Animation Director: Yuriko Ishii

Impressions: Yuriko Ishii really didn’t seem to try hard on these character designs, because they really look like something generic, just with a lot of extra polish (literally: look at these characters shine!) She wasn’t this bad when she adapted the characters for Persona – Trinity Soul or even Another. But yeah, who cares? Mari Okada is back with a new series, and her stories at the very least are always interesting to watch. Also, she is assisted by the director of Bantorra. This will be their third series together, after Bantorra and Kuroshitsuji, so I really hope to be able to see the same energy and creativity in the storyline.
Trailer Impressions: Holy crap, the backgrounds look gorgeous! Such a shame of those character-designs. But this hints at quite an interesting character drama.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Kyoukai no Kanata

Summary: “The dark fantasy follows a high school sophomore named Akihito Kanbara. Although the boy appears human, he is half youmu and invulnerable to wounds because he can heal quickly. One day, Akihito meets freshman Mirai Kuriyama when it seems she is about to jump from the school rooftop. Mirai is isolated because of her ability to manipulate blood, which is unique even among members of the spirit world. Disturbing events begin to unfold after Akihito saves Mirai.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Kyoto Animation
Director: Taichi Ishidate
Series Composition: Jukki Hanada
Original creator: Nagomu Torii
Character Designer: Miku Kadowaki
Music: Hikaru Nanase

Impressions: Could it be? Is Kyoani trying something different, and it’s not just a fluke? Finally! Finally they do something different from a random high school slice of life series. It’s based on a light novel so they can’t do anything lazy with it, and Jukki Hanada is fairly skilled in adapting stuff. The director will be on his first full directing job, but he’s got enough experience working on other Kyoani projects, going back as far as Air and Munto. Also, Hikaru Nanase, one of my favorite composers, will do the soundtrack!
Trailer Impressions: HOLY CRAP THAT ANIMATION!

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Yozakura Quartet ~Hana no Uta~

Summary: “” – (Taken from )
Produced by: Tatsunoko Productions
Director / Character Designs / Chief Animation Director: Ryo-timo
Series Composition: Manabu Ishikawa
Original creator: Suzuhito Yasuda

Impressions: Remember those awesomely animated Yozakura Quarted OVAs? Well, they’re going to make a series out of that. Still with the ridiculous talents of Ryo-timo, who also directed the animation for Birdy the Mighty Decode, and many other beautiful-looking episodes (think Noein, Bokura no, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt). This is the Yozakura Quarted what it should have been! (Yes, you don’t need to have watched the first series).
Trailer Impressions: This is mostly a recap of the OVA, but at the end there are some new scenes. You can see that the budget is a bit lower (obviously), but it’s still full of creativity and eye candy.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Kill La Kill

Summary: “The story centers around two fiercely fighting schoolgirls, Ryūko Matoi and Satsuki Kiryūin . On a campus ruled by force, a transfer student wielding a Basami sword brings about upheaval.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Trigger
Director: Hiroyuki Imaishi
Series Composition: Kazuki Nakashima
Character Designer / Chief Animation Director: Sushio

Impressions: The first TV-series produced by Studio Trigger, the studio that Hiroyuki Imaishi founded after leaving Gainax, and this time he’s reuined with Gurren Lagann and Ooedo Rocket writer Kazuki Nakashima. While I’m not the biggest fan of Gurren Lagann, there is no denying how much talent there was put into that show, and I love seeing what these guys can do now. Especially after Panty and Stocking, there can only be creativity here. Also, it will be 2 cours long. Now let’s also hope that the story is good.
Trailer Impressions: A few images, but they already look quite amazing.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Samurai Flamenco

Summary: “To those ‘adults’ who don’t want to become adults…” and “Hero will never give up, never hide, never be defeated, never accept evil.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Manglobe
Director: Takehiro Omori
Series Composition: Hideyuki Kurata
Character Designer: Yoshimitsu Yamashita

Impressions: Could it be? Is Manglobe finally going to make good stuff again? Well, the indication is certainly there with a 2-cour Noitamina series helmed by Takehiro Omori, who is an incredibly solid and versatile director. And this time they seem to go for the nostalgia of old-school superheroes. The action director and designs are also done by the guy who did the animation direction on all four Natsume Yuujinchou series. So yeah, this is definitely one to watch out for. The only archilles heel here is Hideyuki Kurata. This guy is a really good writer: he wrote Read or Die, Now and Then, Here and There and Kamichu, but the past few years he really ended up cranking out some bad shows. But on the other hand, let’s see what he can do with a really good director again.
Trailer Impressions: Aah, classic retro cheese with a lot of detail and touches.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Galilei Donna – Storia di tre sorelle a caccia di un mistero

Summary: The story is about “three moons” — three of Italian astronomer Galileo’s female descendants who are on international wanted lists. – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Yasuomi Umetsu
Original creator: Yasuomi Umetsu
Character Designer: Shingo Adachi

Impressions: Finally Noitamina is back in full force this season, with two original series. A-1’s contribution is a series that air for just one season, and it’s directed and written by a guy who is… interesting. He’s been in the business for a very long time, and yet his work ranges from really talented, to borderline porn. Yet he intrigues me, because he’s not among the crappy directors who just shove boobs everywhere: his serious work is actually really good. Just take a look at one of them. Or one of the more mellow examples. Note how good the animation is. You don’t just get that with a lot of budget, that really took talent. Oh, and he also directed one of the best and most unique shorts of Robot Carnival, so he definitely can do short stories incredibly well. But what about long series? His only other long work so far, Mezzo, didn’t really get the best reviews even though I never really watched anything of it.
Trailer Impressions: This consisted out of a bunch of stills, but really: the soundtrack that accompanied it was really, really good.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Kyousogiga

Summary: “” – (Taken from )
Produced by: Toei Animation
Director: Rie Matsumoto
Series Composition: Rie Matsumoto
Character Designer: Yuki Hayashi

Impressions: Yes yes! I have been asking for this one for so long, and they actually made it! It’s only 10 episodes, but that’s perfect. Kyousogiga is poetry: it doesn’t need to last long. Just longer than… two OVAs. The OVAs were so charming, and really genuine while being full of some really creative animation techniques. It’s basically the show in which the talented Toei animators could try out new stuff and experiment. Rie Matsumoto really was a discovery: her directional style is incredibly warm and that is what made me originally a fan of Kyoutogiga.

First-Glance Potential: 95%

Pupa

Summary: “The “life-and-death sibling” story follows Utsutsu and Yume Hasegawa, a boy and his little sister who find themselves all alone. One day, Yume sees a mysterious red butterfly and her body undergoes a strange metamorphosis — into a creature that eats humans. Utsutsu struggles to find a way to restore his sister.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Deen
Director: Tomomi Mochizuki
Original creator: Sayaka Mogi

Impressions: This one looks amazing, but what’s more important: it’s going to be helmed by an amazing director: Tomomi Mochizuki. He’s currently already active as the one who adapts the current Rozen Maiden series, but he really shines as a director, with an impeccable visual style and an amazing feel for his characters. This will be by far be the darkest series that he’s ever done, but with Zettai Shounen and Sarai-ya Goyou he showed that he can make an incredible atmosphere.

First-Glance Potential: 95%

Shoutbox

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  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, May 31. 2016 02:36 AM)
    I feel like I got a decent amount of use out of my Wii U. Seeing as I bought it secondhand it didn’t exactly cost me a whole lot. I got what I paid for mostly out of the Nintendo exclusives.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 09:27 PM)
    @Swa For sure, I expect my low expectations to sink even lower now that Nintendo’s already announcing a new game system.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 09:21 PM)
    @swa Just my gamepad that’s busted to hell, decided to just get a new one.
    @Vonter Nope, didn’t pick Star Fox up after seeing some reviews. I’ve forgotten about the franchise entirely since that Star Fox 64 remake.
  • Vonter
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:50 PM)
    Not getting Mother 3 with GBA emulator will be disappointing to me considering the trend they have had over the passed two years of re-releasing games of that series by E3.
  • swa
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:24 PM)
    Meh… Can you really be disappointed with anything Wii U related anymore?
    I am waiting for my Fortisimo Edition to arrive, and I will enjoy it no matter what, even if I have to hypnotise myself to do it.
    PS: I’m quite positive you could even get a whole new Wii U for 150, after all I got mine new for 200 more than 3 years ago.
  • Vonter
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:20 PM)
    Have you tried Star Fox Zero. That one demands the gamepad. Although IMO more because of the gyroscope than the dual screen. I mainly swap screens according to my needs.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:46 AM)
    How pissed off will I be when I purchase Mirage Sessions and it turns out to relegate the gamepad screen to some map like so many other WiiU titles. It already seems like it’s incompatible with offscreen play, so that’s not a good sign.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:35 AM)
    Looking at my bill to fix my WiiU gamepad, total comes out to $150 at a local game shop…This is why having an overly high-tech glorified remote controller with a thousand things that can break is such a shit idea.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:26 AM)
    @Spike Good point, wordpress already has good plugins like wp-recaptcha that I’m pretty familiar with and it does seem to work well. In the past I’ve had to deal with spambots that could retrieve emails from sites and it took a while to figure out how to tinker with javascript to get that shit sorted out over the course of a month. With this site I’m just a writer hence I cannot install entirely new plugins, hence I was looking for alternatives on my end.
  • Spike
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 07:31 AM)
    Most decent Spambots have IP and MAC address spoofing, you will never be able to ban them effectively. Board needs a string re-CAPTCHA to prevent bots posting all together.

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