Posted on 11 August 2012 with categories: Seasonal Previews

The next season: 36 new series, and that’s probably not even the total amount, since I’m quite early with my preview this time. There will probably be a few more announcements next week for the latecomers. What sets this season apart is how relatively little bad series there are. I mean, there are a number of kids series and bad fanservice shows and all, but much fewer than usual for an Autumn season. Plus, for some strange reason the kids’ shows nearly all have really good people working on them, do not ask me why. That’s another theme of this season by the way: really talented people working on relatively dull or just outright questionable premises.

With most of these previews, I usually have a clear one that sticks out. This time though, I don’t. I’ve got about 7 shows that all intrigue me equally, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg here. Seriously, this season is definitely going for the quantity, because there were a lot of shows that piqued my interest. On the other side of the coin though, it does have one major weakness: everything looks the same! There are a lot of very similar premises out there and series with the exact same genre. On top of that, just about every show deals with teenagers again. We definitely don’t have the sheer amount of imaginative premises that we’ve gotten used to from the past half year here, unfortunately.

Also, do note that I’ve decided not to include Kyousogiga for now. We just don’t know yet whether it’ll be an OVA or TV-series. However, I do want to note that if it does turn out to be a full fledged TV-series, helmed by the same director, then it will immediately rise to the top of the list of shows I’m looking forward to.

Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankei Nai yo ne—

Summary: “The story centers around Akito Himenokōji (Ryota Ohsaka), a boy who was separated from his twin sister Akiko six years ago, but they end up living under the same roof together during high school.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Silver Link
Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi
Series Composition: Kazukyuki Fudeyasu
Original creator: Daisuke Suzuki
Other Notable Staff: Kyousuke Kawamura (Character Designs)

The Positives: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu… in theory could make this into something enjoyable, after what he did to Milky Holmes.
The Negatives: If you don’t understand what the title means: BE GLAD!!!

First-Glance Potential: 0%

To Love Ru Darkness

Summary: ” The story is about Yuuki Rito, a high-school boy who cannot confess to the girl of his dreams, Sairenji Haruna. One day when coming home and sulking in the bath-tub a mysterious, nude girl, appears out of nowhere. Her name is Lala and she comes from the planet Deviluke, where she is the heir to the throne. Her father wants her to return to her home planet so she can marry one of the husband candidates, but she decides that she wants to marry Rito in order to stay on Earth.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Xebec
Director: Atsushi Ootsuki
Original creator: Saki Hasemi

The Positives: I see no positives about this one whatsoever.
The Negatives: Good lord, they’re still going with this show? This makes 52 episodes of mind-numbing fanservice. Or am I really missing something beyond the boobs that makes this worth watching?

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Hiiro no Kakera 2

Summary: “Tamaki Kasuga has supposedly gone to live with her grandmother after her parents are transferred overseas. But the real reason for her arrival is that she must continue the role, handed down from her ancestor Princess Tamayori, to seal the sword Onikirimaru. Five young men serve as her guardians against the mysterious Logos.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Deen
Director: Bob Shirohata
Series Composition: Yoshiko Nakamura

The Positives: It has bishies.
The Negatives: Studio Deen, for god’s sake stop making these crappy bishie series and get back to actually doing justice to the shoujo genre.

First-Glance Potential: 0%


Summary: “Chase Suno and his friends, Jinja and Bren, are on a search for Chase’s father, Jeredy Suno. However, they soon become involved in something else upon reaching their father’s lab and becoming involved with an organism known as Monsuno. Chase, choosing to side with his father’s work, denies S.T.O.R.M. access to the Monsuno and escapes. They are now on the run from the military organization, S.T.O.R.M., while still looking for Chase’s father. However, a mysterious organization also has his eyes set on Chase and the group’s Monsuno.” – (Taken from Anidb)
Produced by: Jakks Pacific
Director: Yoshiaki Okamura
Series Composition: Michael Ryan
Other Notable Staff: Michael Tavera (Music)

The Positives: An American-Japanese co-production…
The Negatives: … about spinning tops that summon monsters. Yup, it’s another kiddie show. The director also isn’t looking good, being the director of Element Hunters and all. Moving on…

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Seitokai no Ichizon – Hekiyoh Gakuen Seitokai Gijiroku

Summary: ” The series, which is also called Hekiyō Gakuen Seito-kaigi Jiroku (The Records of the Hekiyō Academy Student Council’s Activities), revolves around a private high school whose student council is chosen entirely by popularity vote. Because of this, Ken Sugisaki is the only male representative, in the otherwise all bishōjo student council, that may enter the “sacred sanctuary” of the council’s meeting room. At the behest of Council President Kurimu Sakurano (pictured at right), Sugisaki records the minutes of the council meetings, which devolve into daily conversations about the students’ lives and interests.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: AIC
Director: Kenichi Imaizumi
Series Composition: Reiko Yoshida
Original creator: Sekina Aoi

The Positives: Staff change! This season is handled by AIC, adapted by Reiko Yoshida (a very experienced writer) and directed by the director of Kateikyo Hitman Reborn.
The Negatives: I did not like Seitokai no Ichizon. It was like, funny for one episode and then it lost all of its charm. Most of the jokes were bad moe jokes anyway. Do I think that this will change with the new people working on it? Not really, bad moe jokes is everything that this show is. The creators are going to have to try really hard to make this consistently hilarious, and I don’t see that happen.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Battle Spirits: Sword Eyes

Summary: “The story is set 14 years after Atlantia, the largest country in the world of Legendia, was torn apart by riots. The protagonist Tsurugi Tatewaki was secreted away from the chaos at a young age. Oblivious to his true birthplace, Tsurugi grows up as a spirited boy in the neighboring rocky land of Pacifis. One day, Tsurugi suddenly comes across the ‘Shining Sword,’ and his great adventure begins. An army of darkness is hunting down the 12 Sword Braves, and as the army pursues Tsurugi, a figure appears before him. Bringer is a Card Battle Droid entrusted with the duty of protecting Tsurugi. Trained by Bringer in the ways of the Battle Spirits combat, Tsurugi joins the other Sword Braves in rising up against the army of darkness with his Key Spirit ‘Shining Dragon’.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Sunrise
Director: Masaki Watanabe
Series Composition: Atsuhiro Tomioka

The Positives: The thing with the Battle Spirits franchise is that Sunrise keeps enlisting actually competent writers and directors to its installments (heck, Dai Sato worked on one of them). This time they got the director of Bartender. I am not kidding with that. Atsuhiro Tomioka, many of you may know him better as as the guy who adapted Zetman. The potential is definitely there.
The Negatives: The thing however with this franchise is that even though it isn’t among the worst of the kiddie series, it’s clear that the creators are forced to dumb themselves down a lot. From the few episodes that I did watch, they were trying way too hard to conform to the standards of kiddie series that really limits creativity, for the sake of selling toys through a business model that has proved to be lucrative. But then again, I only watched the first episodes of these series, so perhaps they got better later. With so many episodes however (all previous four seasons had 50 episodes, this one will likely have that as well), this franchise is just way too long for me to actually give it a chance.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Bakuman 3

Summary: “Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi have come a long way since they started making manga in middle school, but trials still await them as they head towards their goal of getting an anime adaption for one of their manga. As they continue to grow as artists and as people, they will be faced with new friends, new rivals, and new hurdles to overcome.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: JC Staff
Director: Noriaki Akitaya, Kenichi Kasai
Series Composition: Reiko Yoshida
Original creator: Tsugumi Ouba

The Positives: For those of you with enough time and patience this will be a treat.
The Negatives: Sorry Bakuman, you could have been a nice series for me. But there is no way I’m going to watch 75 episodes of you dragging on. You’re just not worth it, especially after you pulled a bunch of soap operas in the second season. This might be bearable for a series with a regular length, but not one that is as long as this one. Zero potential, because I already know that I’m not going to continue watching it.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Haitai Nanafa

Summary: “?”
Produced by: Passione
Director: Hiroshi Kimura
Series Composition: Takeshi Konuta

The Positives: Passione is relatively new, and this will be their first full series to produce. Nice.
The Negatives: The thing is, that this is like Recorder and Randsell: it’s got five minute episodes and even the same director, so I really fear that it will be as dull and under-produced as that series.

First-Glance Potential: 10%

Hayate the Combat Butler: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

Summary: “Abandoned by his parents and given a monumentally large debt as a Christmas present, 16-year old Ayasaki Hayate is at the lowest point of his life. Desperately trying alter his hapless fate, he decides to kidnap someone to hold for a ransom. Due to an ill choice of words, the girl he tries to kidnap misunderstands the action as a confession of love. His plan is totally crushed when he gives his real name out. Realizing his wrongdoing, Hayate proceeds to rescue the girl from the yakuza, who had instead kidnapped her. The girl, as a token of thanks, offers Hayate a job as her butler. Hayate, overwhelmed by her kindness, vows to protect her even at the cost of his life.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Manglobe
Series Director: Yooichi Ueda
Director: Masashi Kudo
Series Composition: Rie Koshika
Original creator: Kenjirou Hata

The Positives: Manglobe is… well, I guess I can’t use that argument anymore, can I? Anyway, the character-designs at least look better now, although I’ve heard that they really don’t work in animation-form.
The Negatives: Hayate the Combat Butler has been recommended to me quite a few times now, but really: with this instalment it will probably have 100 episodes. Is such a huge amount really worth it? Does it really stay hilarious enough for its entire run? Is it really fun enough to make up for Rie Kugimiya in yet another of her tsundere roles? On top of that, this season will be directed by the director of the ultimately very dull Asobi ni Iku Yo.

First-Glance Potential: 10%

Aoi Sekai no Chūshin de

Summary: “All the characters are parodies of Nintendo or Sega games such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda etc. Segua Kingdom has been losing the war against Ninterdo Empire but the tables are turned by the appearance of a boy called Gear (a parody of Sonic the Hedgehog).” – (Taken from MisaoFan)
Produced by: ?
Director: Tetsuya Yanagisawa
Series Composition: ?
Original creator: Anastasia Shestakova

The Positives: Perhaps this has potential for a few classic game jokes or something?
The Negatives: It’s very hard to find something about this series, but basically we have an adaptation of a parody manga with a lot of fanservice, adapted by the guy behind Kannadzuki no Miko and High School DXD. I’m not expecting much from this one.

First-Glance Potential: 20%


Summary: ” Even though the four high school girls are in the tennis team, they hardly play any actual tennis.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Mappa
Director: Shin Itagaki
Original creator: Tsugeo Terada

The Positives: This is a case of awesome people working on… what!? I mean really: Mappa, the people who broke off from Madhouse studio that did Sakamichi no Apollon is now going to work on somehting that sounds like K-On with tennis. It’s also directed by Shin Itagaki, who is someone who really knows how to make exciting action scenes, as shown by Ben-To and Basquash.
The Negatives: What really worries me is the original source material here. Looking at some of the other works of Tsugeo Terada, there is a lot of hentai doujin among them. This is not looking good and I predict a lot of bad fanservice.

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Hidamari Sketch × Honeycomb

Summary: “Yuno has been accepted to her dream school: Yamabuki Arts High School. To attend the school, Yuno moves and starts to live in a small apartment building named the Hidamari Apartments located near the school. Once there, she starts making new friends like her classmate Miyako and the second year students, Hiro and Sae. Surrounded by good friends, Yuno starts moving towards her dream of being an artist.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Shaft
Original creator: Ume Aoki

The Positives: Hidamari Sketch is not one of my series. I tried watching it, but after around four episodes, I came to the conclusion that just too little happened. It was just too slow and boring to hold my attention. I can understand the appeal though.
The Negatives: However, there is one thing that I’m wondering about: how can series like this last for four entire seasons? Is there really enough material to warrant 50 episodes, or are the creators just repeating themselves over and over? I mean, me and Shaft sequels have a very bad relationship, so I’m very sceptical about this one.

First-Glance Potential: 30%


Summary: “In the card game, players use collectible clothing cards to help their idols pass auditions in pursuit of becoming the top national idol singer.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Sunrise
Director: Ryuichi Kimura
Series Composition: Yoichi Kato
Other Notable Staff: Seiji Mizushima (Supervision), Hiroko Yaguchi (Character Designs)

The Positives: Oh great, another show based on a card game. Prepare yourselves, because this season really has a ton of them and… Seiji Mizushima?! The Director of Un-Go, Natsuiro Kiseki, Hanamaru Youchien, Full Metal Alchemist, Gundam 00… what’s he doing here with the supervision? And you know about the director? He was the assistant director for Natsuiro Kiseki and Hanamaru Youchien.
The Negatives: And on the other side of the coin we have the guy who wrote the utterly terrible Miracle train. This season is bizarre in these choices, really.

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Busou Shinki

Summary: “The slice-of-life battle story is set in a future that has neither World War III nor an alien invasion — just an ordinary future set after our current age. In this world, robots are part of everyday life, and they contribute in various aspects of society. “Shinki” are 15-centimeter-tall (about 6-inch-tall) cute partners made to assist humans. Equipped with intelligence and emotions, they devote themselves to serving their “Masters.” These Shinki can even be equipped with weapons and armor to fight each other. Such Shinki are named “Busou Shinki” (literally, “armed divine princesses”). In particular, the Shinki Ann (Arnval), Aines (Altines), and Rane (Altrane) serve a high school freshman named Masato. Things change when a new Shinki, the bellicose Staarf, joins them.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: 8-Bit
Director: Yasuhito Kikuchi
Series Composition: Masahiro Yokotani
Other Notable Staff: Ryouma Ebata (Character Designs, Chief Animation Direction), Takahiro Kishida

The Positives: To think that they actually made a full fledged anime about this. And take a look at the character-designer, Takahiro Kishida: he also designed the characters for Baccano, Durarara, Noein and Madoka Magica, so the producers are definitely gambling on this as an advertisements for their action figures (because yes, that’s what this series is).
The Negatives: So yeah, this basically requires an original storyline to be written for these figures. So who do the producers get? The director of Infinite Stratos. Sure, he also directed Macross Frontier, but that was under Shoji Kawamori. But I guess that he’s not all bad, with that series and Kurogane Communication under his helm. My real worry here lies with the guy who is going to have to write everything: This is the guy adapted World Destruction, Beelzebub, and Maria Holic. His one original story is from Reideen, which was more wasted potential than anything and saved by good directing. Add that to the story of the OVA which just involved a boy finding one of these girls, even though it did have really good staff behind it, and it seems that on top of that these guys will probably be facing a lot of restrictions in this adaptations from above. To be honest this isn’t sounding too good.

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Chou Soku Henkei Gyrozetter

Summary: “The card game this is based on depicts battles between cars that transform into robots. The arcade machine for the game features a steering wheel for controlling the game’s cars, but the machine “transforms” into a lever control setup for piloting the robot mode. Square Enix claims that this is the first physically transforming arcade machine.” – (Taken from )
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Shinji Takamatsu
Series Composition: Dai Sato
Other Notable Staff: Naoki Sato (Music)

The Positives: My very first impression when I saw this was: great, not another kiddie show to promote toys. And then I found out who were involved: the director of Daily Lives of High School Boys and the first 100 episodes of Gintama will direct, and Dai Sato will be writing it. On top of that it also turned into a show to promote various cars, the soundtrack is composed by the same person who composed the awesome soundtracks of X and Blood-C and they got a lot of different designers together for the various mecha designs. And on top of that A-1 Pictures will animate it. That’s a lot of ambition for a kids’ series, don’t you think?
The Negatives: As much as I’d love to see more Dai Sato (this is the guy who wrote Eureka Seven, Ergo Proxy and various episodes of Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell, and he’s characterized by his very intelligent dialogue), I want to see him do an actual non-kiddie show again: one that can take itself seriously. Because he already did this before with Battle Spirits and also with the Tekken movie. After he went off and created his own writing studio, he unfortunately had to take a lot of jobs for the heck of it in order to make some money, it appears. It’s a bloody shame, because a writer like him really needs to get his chances.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Girls und Panzer

Summary: “The “military teen battle action” manga is about “high school girls x battles in tanks.”” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Actas
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
Series Composition: Reiko Yoshida
Other Notable Staff: Takaaki Suzuki (Military Advisor)

The Positives: From the creators of Squid Girl: a series with a bunch of girls and a tank. Okay, fair enough. These people know what good comedy is, and this time they’re dealing with an original story so they can go all out. Just don’t let this get a sequel.
The Negatives: Reiko Yoshida is busy this season: three series at the same time. Also, it’s a bunch of girls with a tank! I can just imagine the creators coming up with this “Quick! We need another premise! What do people like besides girls?” “Uh, tanks?” “Good enough! Let’s go!”

First-Glance Potential: 65%

Suki-tte Ii na yo

Summary: “Mei Tachibana has spent her 16 years without making either boyfriend or friends. One day, she drop-kicks a popular boy in school, Yamato Kurosawa, because of a misunderstanding but for some reason it seems that he takes a liking to her and one-sidedly claims that they’re friends. Furthermore, he not only protects Mei from a stalker, he does it with a kiss…?!!” – (Taken from Mangaupdates)
Produced by: Zexcs
Series Director: Toshimasa Kuroyanagi
Director: Takyua Satou
Series Composition: Takuya Satou
Original creator: Kanae Hazuki
Other Notable Staff: Yuuji Nomi (Music), Yoshiko Okuda

The Positives: This most definitely looks unlike anything Zexcs have ever done before. I think we can blame Yoshiko Okuda for that, who has an interesting track record as an animator so far with experience on episodes of Casshern Sins and Shigurui. Yuuji Nomi also did the soundtrack of Bokura no and Hi no Tori, so that also sounds very promising. On top of that, this will both be directed and adopted by one of the two directors of Steins;Gate. The series director meanwhile is completely new. He worked as an animator for a few years, after which he moved on to a few series for episode direction (Ao no Exorcist, Inu Boku, Working and Kimi ni Todoke) and this will be his first chance to direct an actual series. Interesting.
The Negatives: For the negatives, I unfortunately have to turn to the original source material. Looking at the author’s other works, she seems very fond of smutty shoujo romances, and to be honest, that’s exactly what this series sounds like. It’s so entirely typical, so the execution really is going to have be good here to prevent us from watching yet another couple of paper bags in a “will they won’t they” relationship.

First-Glance Potential: 65%

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

Summary: “The romantic comedy centres around Shizuku Mizutani, a girl who has absolutely no interests except for school and her plans for the future. One day she delivers print-outs to the chronically absent Yoshida. After delivering the school materials to Yoshida, he believes the two of them are friends.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Brains Base
Director: Hiro Kaburaki
Series Composition: Noboru Takagi
Original creator: Robico
Other Notable Staff: Masato Nakayama (Music), Chikako Shibata (Art Direction), Hitoshi Tamura, Norihiro Naganuma

The Positives: It’s a bit difficult to explain what a director of photography does, but he basically is in charge of the camera work, and making everything look good. Now, the guy who does this for Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun also did this for the various seasons of Natsume Yuujin-chou, Durarara and Kuragehime. Add that to the director of Kimi ni Todoke and we’ll probably have a very pretty looking series here. Noboru Takagi is also a very good writer, having adapted Baccano, Durarara, Koi Kaze and Sankarea in the past.
The Negatives: Now the question is: can they make this story work? I’m glad to see more shoujo romance, but if it’s just going to be like “will they won’t they” like with Kimi ni Todoke, then I’m not feeling like sitting through that again. The set-up is really clichéd for a shoujo series: especially dating a bad boy has been done to death, so something definitely needs to set this one apart in its progression or execution. I’ve taken a look at some of the other stories that Robico, the writer of the manga this is based on, has written and they’re typical romances, although all of them aren’t as plain as what Kimi ni Todoke was: from what I could gather she always tries to at least give a side or story to her character. She also seems to like to use irony in some of her short stories, so let’s see whether her longer ones can also make use of this.

First-Glance Potential: 70%


Summary: “The game and anime follow Kon Hokaze, a boy who embarks on a journey from our world to an alternate world known as Mira, which is full a mysterious energy known as Alma. After saving Princess Ecarlate from attackers, he soon finds himself in the middle of a struggle around Alma.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Brains Base
Director: Shinji Takamatsu
Series Composition: Akatsuki Yamatoya
Original creator: Capcom
Other Notable Staff: Shinji Takeuchi (Character Designs, Chief Animation Director), Junpei Fujita, Hiroshi Fujima (Music)

The Positives: So here is the thing: Ixion Saga is based on an MMORPG. Since these games are known for their plots, the main creators will need to put a lot of new and original stuff to make it work. And wouldn’t you know, they happen to be the people behind the Gintama anime: its series composition guy and the director of my personal favorite first 100 episodes, so be exact. That series had some really good fillers, so they have shown that they’re able to create original content. Atsuki Yamatoya also worked on the series construction of Simoun, which I found to be utterly brilliant.
The Negatives: The downside is that these two don’t always try to deliver good stories. Akatsuki Yamatoya is just as well fine with doing stuff like To Love Ru and Blue Dragon. Also, how on earth did they succeed in making this show this ugly? Shinji Takeuchi is the character designer of Gintama, so he should know how to correctly portray colourful characters.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Medaka Box 2

Summary: “Medaka Kurokami, a first year student at Hakoniwa Academy, excels at everything she does. She becomes the Student council president and along with her childhood friend, Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, she plans to solve all of the student body’s problems that are submitted to a suggestion box, dubbed the “Medaka Box.”” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Gainax
Director: Shouji Saeki
Series Composition: Shouji Saeki
Original creator: NisiOisin

The Positives: Well, even though this involves Gainax’s worst director and Nisioisin, I enjoyed the first season. It was nothing special, but the craziness it evolved into… I could appreciate that, and the second season is promising more of that, if you liked that, then you’ll probably like this sequel as well.
The Negatives: It remains a shounen jump adaptation that needs to squeeze in 52 chapters in one year. That rather scares me, because that gives this series the danger of dragging on horribly, like so many other of its predecessors have done as well. When I see the first signs of this happening, I’m bailing out.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Chuu-2 Byou Demo Koi ga Shitai!

Summary: “In the novel, Yuuta Togashi, a boy who used to suffer from “chuu-2 byou” (adolescent thoughts that teenagers commonly have — especially delusions of grandeur or the belief that one is special compared to everyone else.), and Rikka Takanashi, who still has the syndrome, made a true contract with each other (that is, they are dating). They are in the middle of enjoying “real life” to the fullest … or should be. However, Satone Shichimiya a.k.a. “Sophia Ring SP Saturn VII,” a friend from middle school and the one suffering the most from “chuu-2 byou,” appears and turns Togashi’s life upside down. And so, a battle between “Saturn” and “Jaou Shingan” (True Eye of the Devil King) begins.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Kyoto Animation
Director: Tatsuya Ishihara
Series Composition: Jukki Hanada
Original creator: Torako
Other Notable Staff: Kazumi Ikeda (Character Designs, Animation Director), Hiroyuki Takahashi (Setting)

The Positives: Trying to find information about light novels is really hard on the internet. I’m surprised nobody has yet set up some kind of AniDB for light novels yet. Because of that, I also have no idea what the source material is going to be like. It does sound interesting if it goes in-depth to what that “Chuu-2 Byou” actually does to teenagers, despite the really bad title. Jukki Hanada is a good choice to adapt this material, and on top of that Kyoani put its best director on the job: Tatsuya Ishihara was behind Air and Clannad, whose adaptations I really loved.
The Negatives: But it can just as easily turn into yet another show in which cute girls fight and a male lead is in the middle of them. There are too many of those, so this show will have to set itself apart, and not just with Kyoani’s trademark really good animation. Is this the right type of material to make Kyoani shine, or have they just gotten more generic?

First-Glance Potential: 75%


Summary: “This story is about the flow of fate and the battle to keep the world on the right path. Aladdin is a boy who has set out to explore the world after being trapped in a room for most of his life. His best friend is a flute with a djinn in it named Ugo. Soon enough, Aladdin discovers he is a Magi, a magician who chooses kings, and he was born to choose kings who will follow the righteous path, battling against those who want to destroy fate. Follow his adventures as he meets others from 1000 Arabian Nights, like Ali Baba and Sinbad, and fights to keep the balance of world in check!” – (Taken from Mangaupdates)
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Koji Masunari
Series Composition: Hiroyuki Yoshino
Original creator: Shinobu Outaka
Other Notable Staff: Toshifumi Akai (Character Designs, Chief Animation Director), Takashi Hashimoto

The Positives: Oh god, this will definitely be the eye candy series of the season. A-1 have really managed to improve themselves even more, and with this they also brought in Takashi Hashimoto in for the special effects. The list of series this guy has worked on is HUGE, and includes things as direction the animation of Mononoke and Bake Neko, including their conceptual designs and the Special Skills director of Karas. And then there is the director: the guy who directed the really imaginative Read or Die, Risky Safety, and Kamichu. Whole premise is loosely based on the Arabian Nights. Interesting!
The Negatives: Oh god no! Not Hiroyuki Yoshino! The guy behind the script of Guilty Crown, Macross Frontier, Mai Otome, Seikon no Qwaser and Code Geass. This guy’s name is nearly synonymous with train-wreck. Thankfully he is adapting a story this time, but when I look at who wrote it, I’m not really positive either: he’s the guy who wrote Sumomomo Momomo before this, a series whose only redeeming quality was its catchy name (Plums and peaches too!), otherwise it was just a run off the mill romantic fighting school comedy. Magi thankfully sounds much more creative, but can he really do justice with a story based on the Arabian nights? I mean, such a setting sounds really promising, but not when it’s chock-full of shounen cliches. Especially not with Hiroyuki Yoshino having to adapt it.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Jormungand 2

Summary: “The series follows Koko Hekmatyar, a young arms dealer who sells weapons under HCLI, an international shipping corporation that secretly deals in the arms trade. As one of the company’s unofficial weapon dealers, she secretly sells weapons in many countries while avoiding the local authorities and law enforcement as most of her work is actually illegal under international law. Traveling with her is her team of bodyguards who are mostly composed of ex-military veterans. Her latest addition to her crew is Jonah, a seemingly emotionless child soldier who is skilled in combat yet ironically hates arms dealers. Jonah joins Koko as he wishes to find the arms dealer responsible for his family’s death. What follows is Koko and her crew’s escapades around the world.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: White Fox
Director: Keitarou Motonaga
Series Composition: Yosuke Kuroda
Original creator: Keitarou Takahashi

The Positives: Well, those who watched this series know what to look forward to: snarky military action with a lot of intrigue.
The Negatives: The first season for me missed something. The characterization was just one-sided, especially on the villains’ side. That’s something that this sequel is definitely going to have to fix.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Initial D New Season

Summary: “High school student Takumi Fujiwara works as a gas station attendant during the day and a delivery boy for his father’s tofu shop during late nights. Little does he know that his precise driving skills and his father’s modified Toyota Sprinter AE86 Trueno make him the best amateur road racer on Mt. Akina’s highway. Because of this, racing groups from all over the Gunma prefecture issue challenges to Takumi to see if he really has what it takes to be a road legend.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ?
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?
Original creator: Shuuichi Shigeno

The Positives: I’ve actually never watched anything of Initial D, but who knows? A hot blooded racing anime has potential, especially now that the creators are giving it a modern touch. This series will air twice every month, so it’ll follow the same formula as Wangan Midnight, allowing the creators to just take their time. Nice choice.
The Negatives: I’ve heard that Initial D was not the best looking series (to the point where the car CG stood out way too much, and one particular character resembling a potato more than a human being), so I wonder if this new series will have the same problems or not.

First-Glance Potential: 80%


Summary: “?”
Produced by: Gohands
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?
Other Notable Staff: Gou Nakanishi (Producer)

The Positives: This is an original project by Gohands, and the only thing we know so far is a bunch of voice actors, a bunch of promos and that it’s got a producer who worked on most notably Fafner, Stellvia and Heroic Age. Based on the promo images, this seems like an action series with good animation and a lot of different characters walking around. The trick will now be to give them all character and make them all interesting, so I hope they went with the right people behind this.
The Negatives: One warning sign though was that everyone looked around the same age. If you want to have a diverse cast, then go for it. Switch up the ages as well. Also, make sure not to go overboard on the CG, Gohands.

First-Glance Potential: 80%


Summary: “Riding the bus one day, Sakurakouji Sakura looks out the window to see people being burned alive with a blue fire as a boy her age remains unharmed and stands over the people. When she goes back to the site the next day, there are no corpses or evidence of any kind of murder, just a small fire. When Sakura goes to class, she discovers the new transfer student is the same boy she saw the day before. Sakura soon learns that he is Ogami Rei, the sixth “Code: Breaker,” a special type of assassin with a strange ability and also a member of a secret organization that serves the government” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Kinema Citrus
Director: Yasuhiro Irie
Series Composition: Yasuhiro Irie
Original creator: Akamine Kamijou
Other Notable Staff: Masayuki Sakoi (Assistant Director), Yukie Akitani

The Positives: Kinema Citrus, with the director of Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood and Kurau Phantom Memory. Hell yeah! This guy knows how to portray action scenes and how to do characterization properly, and he’s doing both the direction and series composition.
The Negatives: This does seem like the least interesting story he’s worked on so far, though. The original mangaka seems to have written Samurai Deeper Kyo before this. The premise for Code Breaker just seems… plain in comparison to what Yasuhiro Irie and Kinema Citrus did before this, so let’s hope that it at least has some good character development.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Summary: “This is the story of the Joestar family, and their battles against bizarre enemies. Jonathan Joestar’s battle against the vampire Dio Brando starts it all, and it continues into roughly each second generation of Joestars through all parts of the story.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ?
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?
Original creator: Hirohiko Araki

The Positives: Finally a show that doesn’t look like the others! I tend to love remakes of classic series, so I’m very interested what the creators can do with this, and the character designs at least look very artistic. We still have no bloody clue who will end up doing this, but they definitely plan to make it interesting to look at.
The Negatives: However, try to look at that trailer on the official website and you get treated to some very jumpy and awkward animation, showing that character designs like this are hard to move around.

First-Glance Potential: 80%


Summary: “Ryota Sakamoto is one of the top-ranked players of BTOOOM!, an online battle game. But no amount of simulated warfare could have prepared him for what is to come …Ryota wakes one evening to find himself dangling from a tree by a parachute with no recollection of how he got there. Before he can orient himself to his unfamiliar surroundings, Ryota is attacked. As a barrage of explosives rain down on him, Ryota realizes that he too has a pack of bombs …bombs that look very similar to the ones used in BTOOOM! Ryota may have mastered the online game, but can he come out on top in this real-life game of survival?!” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Madhouse
Director: Kotone Watanabe
Series Composition: Yosuke Kuroda
Original creator: Junya Inoue

The Positives: Yosuke Kuroda as the scriptwriter is a really solid choice. This guy is really experienced. The director is also very interesting: he hasn’t done much, but the episodes that he did work on were really, really good: A Spider’s Thread of Aoi Bungaku, plus a few episodes of Madoka Magica, Chihayafuru and Supernatural. I wonder what he can do with the actual series here.
The Negatives: So… basically we have Sword Art Online again here, only this time with a survival theme and instead of an MMORPG the focus is on an action game. Okay, sounds promising. The mangaka of Btooom seems to like a lot of horror as well and his stories definitely have potential. There is that fact that the manga isn’t finished yet though…

First-Glance Potential: 80%


Summary: In Robotics;Notes, the player assumes the role of Kaito Yashio, someone who enjoys fighting games. He is in his school’s robot club. The story begins when the protagonist finds out that one of Robotics;Notes’ main heroines is actually a genius programmer who created the game engine for a world renowned fighting game. The main character then decides that he wants to create a robot based around command inputs and motion capture technology. He decides to go to the karate club to look for someone to perform the motion capture sequences. – (Taken from Wikipedia)
Produced by: Production IG
Director: Kazuya Nomura
Series Composition: Jukki Hanada
Original creator: Chiyomaru Shikira
Other Notable Staff: Chikashi Kubota (Animation Character Designs), Tatsuya Matsubara (Producer), Naotaka Hayashi (Scenario)

The Positives: Well, so after Chaos;Head, Steins;Gate there is Robotics;Notes. The whole futuristic approach really reminds of Eden of the East. And yes, for those wondering: Naotaka Hayashi is a member of 5pb, the company who published the game that this is based on. He’ll be able to keep Jukki Hanada in check, who sometimes manages to lose himself in his own scripts. Beyond that Jukki Hanada managed to turn into a very solid writer who manages to deliver when he needs to in his adaptations recently, as shown by Level E and Steins;Gate. This is also necessary for Kazuya Nomura, the director of Sengoku Basara 2 and its subsequent movie.
The Negatives: So yeah, the big challenge will be to stuff everything into just Noitamina’s 11 episodes. This is pretty much tackled by people with pacing problems. Sengoku Barara’s second season for example had its awesome moments, but near the end you could see that Kazuya Nomura was unable to make everything come together due to his excessive focus on build-up. Also, Noitamina is for adults, put them in there for god’s sake!

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

Summary: “After being kicked out of the main dorms for bringing in a stray cat, Kanda Sorata is forced to live in the smaller Sakura Halls where problem students are sent to live. Although he doesn’t mind his room-mates, Sorata can’t wait to move out of Sakura Halls. But when Shiina Mashiro moves into the dorm, everything changes. Mashiro is an artistic genius who, at a young age, won many awards for her skills, but due to her childhood being so focused on art, she has no common sense and social skills. Forced to take the role of taking care of Mashiro, Sorata learns about himself and begins on a path of self improvement” – (Taken from Mangaupdates)
Produced by: JC Staff
Director: Atsuko Ishizuka
Series Composition: Mari Okada
Original creator: Hajime Kamoshida
Other Notable Staff: Masahiro Fuji (Character Designer)

The Positives: Mari Okada! That definitely gives it a plus, because even though she writes really good original script, she is also brilliant at adapting other works, as shown by Hourou Musuko, Gosick and the Armed Librarians. What’s also good is that there is character-development in the premise of this series. And to make things even better: they got the director of the final two stories of Aoi Bungaku, and half of Supernatural, both which were really artistic and well directed. And on top of that she worked on a ton of awesome episodes of series like Mouryou no Hako, Monster, Nana, Chihayafuru, and Himitsu. My favorite female director out there is Sayo Yamamoto, but damn: she comes close.
The Negatives: So of course the next move for these two would be a seinen romance. A bit strange when you consider that they’re both women, and from the outside this does look like wish fulfillment for the common fetish of helpless girl (pretty much like Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko). On top of that, JC Staff is a lot more conservative than the companies that they usually work with. The thing with both of them is that they need freedom. But something tells me that Mari Okada is going to grab that anyway. Also, I don’t really like the character-designer: she was the one behind the IMO ugly designs of Zero no Tsukaima and Hayate the Combat Butler.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Zetsuen no Tempest: The Civilization Blaster

Summary: “Yoshino Takigawa is visiting his friend’s family grave. After getting there, he encounters Evangeline Yamato, a woman in search for his friend, Mahiro Fuwa, who left a month ago to find his family’s killer without any clues to who it might be. Evangeline informs Yoshino that two places where Mahiro has been spotted have been quarantined, due to an epidemic. When Evangeline is questioning Yoshino at gun-point, Mahiro comes out of nowhere and swiftly saves him and can stop bullets in mid-air, claiming to have a deal with a sorceress; not just any, but the strongest sorceress, Hakaze Kusaribe, who promised to help find his family’s killer with her magic so he can kill the killer himself. After saving Yoshino, Mahiro informs him about the epidemic, a curse that turns living things into metal, claiming the Kusaribe clan plans to revive the Tree of Zetsuen that could destroy the world.” – (Taken from Mangaupdates)
Produced by: Bones
Director: Masahiro Ando
Series Script Editor: Mari Okada
Original creator: Kyou Shirodaira
Other Notable Staff: Michiru Oshima (Music), Hiroki Kanno (Chief Animation Director)

The Positives: From the original author of Spiral, very interesting. This guy knows how to write mind games really well. But what about the rest? Well, the plot for this story definitely sounds much more interesting than that of Spiral. Add that to that it’s going to be adapted by Mari Okada, who is excellent at adapting stories, along with a chief animation director who previously designed the characters for Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood and Rahxephon, along with none other than Masahiro Ando, the director of Sword of the Stranger, Hana-Saku Iroha and Canaan, and you might just have something that can surpass Spiral very easily.
The Negatives: Unfinished manga alert! Abort! Abort! With Spiral this ended in a disaster where this caused the series to be unable to answer just about every single damn question that it asked.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

From the New World

Summary: ” In the future Japan has become a fractured country, and small towns now exist. The rulers of this world have the cursed power of Telekinesis. When an incident occurs, 5 children come to realize the world is not as it seems, and learn the bloody history behind this world. These 5 children unite and help the world as it falls into a downward spiral of chaos.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Masashi Ishihama
Series Composition: Masashi Sogo
Original creator: Yuusuke Kishi
Other Notable Staff: Chikashi Kubota (Character Designs)

The Positives: A-1 Pictures adapting the work from an award-winning novelist about a dystopian science fiction mystery story. Count me in! The director is a very interesting guy. He doesn’t direct often, but he did the really stylish OP for Senkou no Night Raid, he did half of Speed Grapher (which I unfortunately didn’t watch), he was the chief animation director of Read or Die and directed the animation for Welcome to the Space Show. This guy needs some freedom (he also designed the characters for Eiken of all things), but he can really make this work. Masashi Sogo meanwhile is a decent scriptwriter for this. He worked both on good and lesser series, but he can really make this work I feel. I especially enjoyed his work for Yukikaze.
The Negatives: The big potential pitfall: the 5 children. The promotional material already made it clear that they’re just a small part of this world, but make sure that they can play out their role, instead of forcing them in the midst of struggles they don’t belong, having to pull deus ex machina to get them out again.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Little Busters

Summary: ” The story follows the life of Riki Naoe, a high school student who has been a member of a group of friends named the Little Busters since childhood. Riki brings multiple girls at his school into the Little Busters to have enough people to play a baseball game.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: JC Staff
Director: Yoshiki Yamakawa
Series Composition: Michiru Shimada
Original creator: Maeda Jun
Other Notable Staff: Magome Togoshi (Music), Maruko Iizuka (Character Designs, Aimation Director)

The Positives: After Air, Kanon, Clannad and Angel Beats, this will be the next Key work. This one’s another adaptation, and this time it’s JC Staff’s turn to have a go at it. I’ve heard from various sources that the original story is even better than Clannad, so I’m definitely interested here. Michiru Shimada can make it work. On one hand she did a very botched adaptation of Before Green Gables, but her adaptation of Kaze no Shoujo Emily was amazing and very well thought out.
The Negatives: I haven’t seen Hatsukoi Limited enough, but I do wonder: is the director of that one good enough to make this work as a tear-jerker? Beyond that he also directed Kill Me Baby, but such a gag manga isn’t really comparable to something by Key. And here is the thing: what made Air and Clannad stand out (both with the movies and the TV-series) was that there were some amazing people working on it. Can these people live up to that in their own way?

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Psycho Pass

Summary: There is a gun involved. And it’s about a Ministry of Wellfare Public Safety Bureau Criminal Investigation Department. And Psychopaths (Psycho pass -> Psychopath, get it?)
Produced by: Index
Director: Huh?
Series Composition: Wut?
Other Notable Staff: Where?

The Positives: The creators are being really mysterious with this one. And it’s really working as well. This will definitely be some sort of police series, an interesting new direction for Noitamina, and the way in which it does this will probably involve some sort of science fiction. But the exact how and what are still completely unknown. This is unique for a Noitamina-series, but goddamit whoever the people behind this are: they definitely wet my appetite.
The Negatives: The only promotional material was of a gun that looked very CG-ish. Be sure to use your CG well, Psycho Pass!

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Litchi DE Hikari Club

Summary: “Nine sexually frustrated teenage boys build a robot fuelled by lychee fruit to help them kidnap girls and aid them in their plot for world domination.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ?
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?
Original creator: Usamaru Furuya

The Positives: And the winner of the most creative premise of the season: Lichee Light Club. I mean, this just looks bizarre from start to finish, and with such ideas behind it it’s bound to have a few laughs. A horror comedy isn’t done often, so this definitely has potential, and it also definitely stands out from the rest. Good job.
The Negatives: We still don’t know who will adapt this, nor if it’s actually going to be able to make it on October, since there is no official art yet on the website to be found. The above image was either that, or some strange live action picture.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Kamisama Hajimemashita

Summary: ” After her father having run away due to gambling debts, and being evicted from her apartment, Nanami meets Mikage, a strange man who is afraid of dogs. Nanami “saves” Mikage from a dog and tells him her story. He gives Nanami his house as a thank you for saving him. Nanami accepts the offer, due to having nowhere else to go. Mikage draws her up a map showing her where to go. Upon arriving, she finds that it is a rundown shrine. Nanami is then almost killed by Tomoe, who was expecting Mikage to finally return after his 20 year absence. She is then greeted by both Onikiri and Kotetsu, as the new land god of the shrine. Unable to accept Nanami as the new land god, Tomoe mocks her then leaves the shrine, which, without Tomoe’s power transforms back into a run-down state. Not wanting to rob Tomoe of his home and realizing that her powers as a god are too weak anyway Nanami leaves, but eventually is brought back by Tomoe after she seals a contract with him, making him her familiar.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: TMS Entertainment
Director: Akitaro Daichi
Original creator: Julietta Suzuki
Other Notable Staff: Junko Yamanaka (ANN)

The Positives: YES! YES! For more than three years I have been waiting for Akitaro Daichi to actually direct a proper series again. I mean, he’s doing a wonderful job with Poyopoyo right now, and his adaptation of Gag Manga Biyori also was hilarious, but remain just random gag series. For those who are unfamiliar with him: I consider him to be the single most consistent comedy director out there, who at the same time gets even better when he has something serious in his hands (he was the guy who directed Now and Then, Here and There for example). On top of that, the premise here sounds like we’ll finally get another good shoujo series again, and Julietta Suzuki has potential as a writer: her short stories won a few awards and her stories overall seem much more imaginative than what I’ve been used to from most shoujo-series of the past years. TMS Entertainment, I really like the complete change in direction you took this year.
The Negatives: My one worry is TMS Entertainment, in the way that they’re obviously taking a huge risk this year. Now don’t get me wrong: I really like that, but I fear that like with Zetman, they won’t have enough support to fully animate it. Especially considering how the manga has 13 volumes currently published… and is still ongoing.

First-Glance Potential: 85%
Posted on 17 May 2012 with categories: Seasonal Previews

I’ll be honest here: in terms of OVAs the upcoming season will suck. The continuation of the Tales of Symphonia anime is the only thing noteworthy coming out. On top of that there will also be very little original content: nearly everything is based off on some franchise or the other. I am not sure what it is, but producers seem to get more and more scared to put out movies and OVAs with an original premise.

However, and I don’t say this often: in terms of movies the upcoming season has the potential to become one of the best of the past decade. This season has four movies coming out that have the potential to be incredible due to the staff involved in all of them. Of course things still need to air and all, but really: it has been a long while since there were so many of these movies at the same time coming out.

Franchise Movies and OVAs

Comments: These are the OVAs and Movies that either just keep coming out, or that are a small release. Squid Girl and Rinne no Lagrange for example are getting OVAs that probably won’t be more than just random side-stories. The key here will be whether or not they’re fun to watch, it’s that simple. There is also an OVA of that Esthetica series by Arms coming out, which I don’t care about in the slightest. And bizarrely enough there will also be a Code Geass OVA. In which they’ll do exactly the same as what Kuroshitsuji did a few years ago in having everyone play cameos in Alice and Wonderland. That Kuroshitsuji OVA really was not good. Did the producers really look at that and said: “yeah, we can do that too”? As for the movies, Naruto is getting a new one, and it looks really dull and generic again. At least with Blood Prison I could imagine what it’d be about.

Ongoing OVA and Movie Series

Comments: There are lots of on-going OVA and Movie series coming out this season. To start with the OVAs: The Tales of Symphonia episode is especially looking interesting and more Azazel is always nice. Beyond that though, To Love Ru, Hakuouki, To Heart and Seitokai Yakuindomo all get more OVAs which I don’t care about, and let’s net get started on KissXSis. Kimi no Iru Machi and Holy Knight also both get continuations, but the first episodes of both these OVAs were really bad and cheesy romance, and not really worth it to continue. Also hell yeah! Berserk’s second installment. From what I heard of first impressions, it’s supposed to be amazing, but filled with ugly CG. Well, let’s see if the second movie will be able to improve on that, but regardless I am really looking forward to it. Yamato’s second movie will also arrive, and based on the first episode that was pre-screeened a few weeks ago we’re in for a very solid science fiction show with a lot of nostalgia value. Nanoha’s second movie though.. I am not looking forward to that one. Unlike the two above, those movies are just simple recaps with very little value on thir own. The only point about the first movie was that now Nanoha’s story could be viewed in movie format. There is no way in which that’s going to work for Nanoha A’s. The story is just to big for that.

Asa Made Jugyou Chu!

Summary: “The story revolves around Yuuki Kagami, a boy who enrolls in the academy of his dreams as a honors student — and is mistakenly put in the girls’ dormitory where boys are prohibited. Faced with the possibility of having to leave the school, Yuuki has to dress up as a girl in the dormitory. On top of things, he ends up rooming with the female teacher Ayana Kakinozaka, who has to watch over him.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: OVA
Director: Hiromitsu Kanazawa
Screenplay: Hiromitsu Kanazawa

The Positives: Yeah…
The Negatives: It’s pretty much porn from Gohands again, this time with the director of Princess Lover.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Tight Rope

Summary: “The story follows two childhood friends, Ryuunosuke and Naoki. Ryuunosuke is the heir to a crime family, but Ryuunosuke fell in love with Naoki and would rather spend every day with him. Just before his high school graduation, Ryūnosuke suddenly renounces any claim to his family legacy. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Two Episode OVA
Director: ?
Screenplay: ?
Other Notable Staff: Isaku Natsume (Original Creator)

The Positives: You could probably guess by the picture, but this will be a shounen ai OVA. Nothing is known about this yet and who will end up handling it.
The Negatives: That’s a very emo sounding premise you’ve got there, guys… Granted, it is a kind of premise that could work well when in the right hands. But I really doubt that these hands are right. Especially with a two episode OVA like this.

First-Glance Potential: 10%

Eiga Jewelpet Sweets Dance Princess

Summary: “The story of the film is set in Sweetsland, a country next to Jewelland. Ruby and the other Jewelpets are celebrating the birthday of the princess with dancing. However, during the preparations for the birthday party, a mysterious object appears from the skies. In the object is a Sweetspet boy, whose identity is unknown. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Hiroaki Sakurai
Screenplay: Takashi Yamada

The Positives: Studio Comet. Are you serious with the staff you gathered for this movie? The director of Kodocha, Les Miserables and and Geijutsuka Art Design Class, together with the writer of Ojamajo Doremi, Heartcatch Precure, Marie&Gali, Shion no Ou and Yumeiro Patissiere? The people who can totally make this premise work if they try?
The Negatives: And here is the ting with these two: if they try they can deliver some very charming and incredible series. If they don’t then the result is random fluff without much value. I have no idea what’s going to happen when both of them come together, though…

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Fairy Tail Houou no Miko

Summary: “The film revolves around a mysterious girl named Éclair who appears before Fairy Tail, the world’s most notorious wizard’s guild. She lost all of her memories, except for the imperative that she must deliver two Hououseki (Phoenix Stones) somewhere. The stones may spell the collapse of the magical world, and Natsu, Lucy, and the rest of the Fairy Tail guild are caught up in the intrigue” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Masaya Fujimori
Screenplay: Masashi Sogo
Other Notable Staff: Yasuharu Takanashi (Music)

The Positives: Fairy Tail fans, be delighted because this movie has a really good director assigned to it: Masaya Fujimori directed You Are Delicious a movie which was good on so many levels. The story is original so I think even I am going to take a peek at what he did here.
The Negatives: The scriptwriter is the same as for the TV-series, which I hope will work out because the annoyance of the characters lead me to quickly drop the show.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Toshokan Sensou: Kakumei no Tsubasa

Summary: “In a slightly different time-line than ours, the explosion of information and misinformation came to be considered a direct threat to society. In a daring decision, it was decided to create a new government agency dedicated solely to information management. Some thirty years later, in 2019, the government still monitors and controls information, suppressing anything they find undesirable, but standing against their abuses of power are the libraries, with their special agents called ‘the book soldiers.’” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Takayuki Hamana
Screenplay: Takeshi Konuta

The Positives: The director and screenplay writer are the same as for the Toshokan Sensou TV-series, so if they did have some sort of vision that was cut off at the really incomplete ending of the TV-series, then this is the place to show it. Toshokan Sensou does have potential. The TV-series did not find it, but it also did not cut it off. The director in particular is very volatile: he made some awesome stuff and some dull stuff, often in the very same franchise. Anything could happen at this point.
The Negatives: Still, before the advent of Guilty Crown, Library Wars was my least favorite installment of Noitamina, especially after the Armed Librarians came, and did everything that it should have been. If I had to give the movie one advice: pick one plot, and develop it. The TV-series was all over the place and therefore didn’t really do anything quite well. Keep your focus here.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki

Summary: “Hana is a 19 year old student who falls in a “fairy-tale like” love with a ‘wolf man’, over the course of the 13 year story Hana gives birth to two children – older sister Yuki, and younger brother Ame or ‘Snow and Rain’. At first the family quietly lives in city trying to hide their wolf heritage, but when the ‘wolf man’ suddenly dies Hana makes the decision to move to a rural town, far from their previous city life.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Screenplay: Mamoru Hosoda, Satoko Okudera
Other Notable Staff: Takaaki Yamashita (Animation Director)

The Positives: Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo)’s next movie looks really interesting. It’s closer to Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo again, and looks to be a very personal story, about a grown woman and a mother, of all things. That really isn’t something you see everyday, and with these writers on board it’s bound to become really interesting
The Negatives: Hmm, my only concern would be that the focus would lie too much on the children, and there are enough movies about kids already. But heck, with these creators they’ll end up balancing things really well.

First-Glance Potential: 100%

Blood-C – The Last Dark

Summary: “Tokyo has enacted the Youth Protection Ordinance, minors are forbidden to be out at night, and the internet is policed however, Sirrut, an underground rebel organization, has declared war on Fumito Nanahara. Sirrut uses the internet to try and find information in cyberspace, and they discover something more gruesome, TOWER, a mysterious organization behind Fumito that is rumored to be conducting experiments involving human beings, and alluding to people being…eaten.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Naoyoshi Shiotani
Screenplay: Junichi Fujisaku, Nanase Oukawa
Other Notable Staff: Naoki Sato (Music), Kazuchika Kise (Character Design, Chief Animation Director)

The Positives: If you want to know why I’m looking forward even more to this than compared to the TV-series, just watch this video. That is the third opening for the Blood+ TV-series, and the guy who directed it will direct the new Blood-C movie. It is a gorgeous and very artistic opening, and if you look at some of the other episodes he’s worked on, like Sengoku Basara’s second episode, or Chevalier’s eighteenth episode, the amount of passion he puts in his direction and visuals is just completely stunning. He already showed that he is a very clever director with the cute romance OVA Tokyo Marble Chocolate, but here he gets to direct a full fledged action movie. Written by Clamp who have shown that they had huge guts with their complete re-imagination of the Blood franchise. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to this one.
The Negatives: Overall the direction of Production IG has taken after Blood-C has worried me. I really hope that this wasn’t caused by Blood-C’s backlash, but ever since they have been so incredibly safe. First Guilty Crown and the Prince of Tennis, now Shining Hearts and Kuroko no Basuke. And it’s such a pity, because these guys need to go back to their days in which they took huge risks and delivered on some of the most imaginative and bold series out there. I really hope that this movie won’t be the last of that side of theirs that we get to see. Have some balls, IG!

First-Glance Potential: 100%

Code Geass – Bokuko no Akito

Summary: “” – (Taken from )
Type: 4-Part Movie Series
Director: Kazuki Akane
Screenplay: Kazuki Akane, Miya Asakawa
Other Notable Staff: Ichiko Hashimoto (Music), Shuuichi Shimamura (Chief Animation Director)

The Positives: I have been looking forward to this for so long. For those new to this blog: Kazuki Akane is like, my favorite director ever. He directed three of my most favorite anime ever (Noein, Escaflowne and Birdy the Mighty Decode). I don’t care whether he’s doing the Code Geass sequel next, it’s an original story in any case so this can be taken anywhere he wants. He has been working on this for years now, and I’m really psyched what he is able to do with this franchise. The staff isn’t a dream team, but together they can do some really interesting stuff.
The Negatives: Miya Asakawa did write the Mars Daybreak, a show with some very flimsy plot twists, so she does need guidance because her scripts on Noein, Birdy the Mighty Decode and Overman King Gainer were amazing.

First-Glance Potential: 100%
Posted on 16 May 2012 with categories: Seasonal Previews

The upcoming season, there will be 25 series in total. A healthy number for a Summer Season. There will be interesting stuff to watch, however, it really looks like it will not live up to the currently excellent Spring season. The reason is the amount of series that have the potential to stand out. On a first look, I could only spot two series that had that, both Josei. The rest of the series all have their perks, but not enough to really set themselves apart in the way that the current season has done by looking different, unique or in any other kind of attempt to break a mold. I’m a bit pessimistic about this season, but that may also be because while I was compiling this list and gathering the right links on Anime News Network, I kept getting bombarded by ads for the Armed Librarians. I tried, but it’s hard to not subconsciously compare things to that after a couple of hours…

In any case though: this is a big season for Josei. I don’t think we ever got three josei series in just one single season. Beyond that, the science fiction and fantasy genres also have some interesting stuff coming out. The bad shows meanwhile are exactly the bloody same bad shows that we get every single season, unfortunately. AIC is the studio with the most series coming out, unfortunately. Sunrise, Studio Gokumi, Dogakobo and JC Staff also have multiple series coming out.

Again, this list is mostly about a quick look at premises, staff members and production companies. I have no idea how the original source material for these series are, because I haven’t read them.

Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai

Summary: “The main character of the story, who lost his “erotic spirit” by making a contract with a beautiful Goddess of Death, struggles to regain that spirit back. Ryousuke cannot enjoy himself while living with the Godess of Death Risara under a contract, because he gave up his erotic spirit under the deal. He cannot get excitement from watching girls and wonders if his adolescent days are over. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Takeo Takahashi
Series Composition: Naruhisa Arakawa
Other Notable Staff: Cher Watanabe (Music)

The Positives: Japan, why do you keep making these shows?
The Negatives: From the creators of the anime Yosuga no Sora… yeah you know the rest.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!

Summary: “The story centers around Shougo Mikadono, the son of an industrial magnate named Kumagorou Mikadono who passed away. As a final wish, Kumagorou gave Shougo a condition before Shougo can inherit the family legacy — find a female mate at school. Shougo transfers into a school to fulfill that condition. However, he learns that he has a younger sister who was separated at birth. He does not know what his long-lost sister looks like, but she happens to be one of the students at his new school. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Munenori Nawa
Series Composition: Go Zappa

The Positives: There are other series out there…
The Negatives: These incest shows just keep getting more desperate.. Plus, the director of KissXSis pretty much tells where this one’s going.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Oda Nobuna no Yabou

Summary: “The historical romantic comedy follows a modern-day high school boy named Yoshiharu Sagara who is transported to Japan’s Sengoku Jidai (Era of the Warring States) — except the well-known warriors of the era are female. Oda Nobuna, a cute girl who happens to be a warlord, nicknames Yoshiharu “Monkey” and takes him under her wing. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Yuuji Kumazawa
Series Composition: Masashi Suzuki
Other Notable Staff: Yasuharu Takanashi (Music)

The Positives: No.
The Negatives: No.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Hagure Yuusha no Estetica

Summary: “The story follows an international training organization named Babel which protects the young people returning from another world. A wayward hero named Akatsuki has come back to the real world from a world of sword and magic called Areizaado, along with beautiful girl who is a demon king’s daughter.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Rion Kuji
Series Composition: Ryunosuke Kingetsu
Other Notable Staff: Kayo Konishi (Music), Yukio Kondo (Music)

The Positives: Interesting music choice with the soundtrack composers of Elfen Lied. Ryunosuke Kingetsu also is good… when he works for Ufo-Table. He adapted Manabi Straight, Tales of Symphonia and Futakoi Alternative.
The Negatives: It’s really a shame that this is one of the worst companies out there, Arms, which really won’t allow him to take the liberties necessary to make this premise work. That result lead to the horribly bad Samurai Girls. No, we want fanservice and stupidity here. That’s what sells. The director of the incredibly stupid Asu no Yoichi only reaffirms this.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmon-Bu

Summary: “The story centers around Itsuki Noya, a boy who wishes to join his school’s astronomy club (tenmon-bu). However, he actually entered the similarly named Tenmon-bu — a club for fujoshi (female otaku) interests.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Hideki Okamoto
Series Composition: Yuuko Kakihara
Other Notable Staff: SCA-ji (Original Creator, Script)

The Positives: The original creator is working on the script so you can’t whine that it won’t be faithful.
The Negatives: Otaku jokes by AIC and the director of Sengoku Otome and the adapter of Sora no Otoshimono. Blegh, absolutely nothing of interest here. Moving on.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

La storia della Arcana Famiglia

Summary: “The story follows Arcana Famiglia, a self-appointed organization with mysterious powers that has protected a small Mediterranean island from pirates, foreign countries, and other threats. The only daughter of the family’s “Papa,” Felicitá, will be married to the next head of the family in two months — and the successor will be decided in a competition that Felicitá herself will take part in.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Chiaki Kon
Series Composition: Masanao Akahoshi

The Positives: At least until you start looking more carefully, it doesn’t look that bad.
The Negatives: Chiaki Kon, get back from directing bad bishie fiction to actually direct proper series again. You are a good director when you actually try. Or were.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Yuruyuri ♪♪

Summary: “Right after starting middle school, Akari Akaza joins the Amusement Club which is composed solely of her two childhood friends, Kyouko Toshinou and Yui Funami. Chinatsu Yoshikawa, Akaza’s classmate, becomes a member after finding out about the dissolution of the Tea Club. The Amusement Club, situated at the tea room facility since the Tea Club disbanded, has no clear purpose, being free for the girls to do whatever they want.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Masahiko Oota
Series Composition: Takashi Aoshima
Other Notable Staff: Yasuhiro Misawa (Music)

The Positives: Well, this still is handled by right people: the director and scriptwriter of Minami-ke and Mitsudomoe. These guy know what it is to be funny. What’s more, Mitsudomoe’s second season was also pretty much better in every way compared to the first season. Hmm…
The Negatives: But really: the first season of Yuruyuri lost my interest within two episodes. I gave up on it when it turned out to be nothing… but bad lesbian jokes. Over and over. And they want to make a second season of that. Is there really enough material for that?

First-Glance Potential: 10%

Hakuouki Reimeiroku

Summary: “Based on Idea Factory’s romance adventure game: Yukimura Chizuru has come to Kyoto looking for her father, a doctor who has gone missing. While there, she witnesses a fight between an Oni and the Shinsengumi. Taking her into custody, the Shinsengumi debates on what to do with Chizuru when they discover that she is the daughter of the doctor they are also looking for. The Shinsengumi then takes Chizuru along on their search after the missing doctor, from adventures to adventures.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?

The Positives: Well, so with this, Hakuouki has three seasons, two OVAs and two movies coming up. Fans of the series: is it really worth so much airtime?
The Negatives: I’m getting tired to keep having to talk about Hakuouki in these previews. All that is to say about it has been said by now.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate

Summary: “Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate follows the protagonist Yūki Ōjima, who attends Takafuji Private Academy a large school with over 6,000 students. Yūki is a member of the Food Research Club along with seven others, including his childhood friend Chisato Sumiyoshi. The members leisurely spend their time in the club not doing much activities. When the election of the next student council president comes up, the front runner Satsuki Shinonome proposes that clubs that have no merit should be sorted out and abolished. The Food Research Club seeks advice from the current student council president Yakumo Mōri, who suggests Yūki run in the election as an opposing candidate. Yūki learns about the issues facing the school and decides to run in the election.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Toru Kitahata
Series Composition: Katsuhiko Takayama
Other Notable Staff: Elements Garden (Music), Hiroaki Gouda

The Positives: Katsuhiko Takayama isn’t the best scriptwriter, but he can churn out good adaptations if he wants. The director is new. He did work as a unit or assistant director before (notably on the Big O and Argento Soma), so this will be his first chance to show what he can do on his own.
The Negatives: Unfortunately, this is AIC again. And unfortunately, some of the other works that the director worked on more recently… were Haganai and Ookami Kakushi. Combine that with that dull harem premise and we’ve got another show that very suspiciously looks like all those other uninspired school romance comedies that don’t try to stand out.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse

Summary: “In the year 1973, alien species known as BETA (Beings of Extra Terrestrial origin which is Adversary of human race) came to invade earth. During the next 30 years, they have conquered most of the Eurasian continent, effectively decreasing the world population by billions. In response to their unique behavior, a new type of mobile mechanical humanoid weapon was developed, known as Tactical Surface Fighter (TSF). In the year 2001, elite pilots from around the world start to gather at a UN base in Alaska named Yukon to participate in the Prominence Project. This project is a joint effort between Russia and America on research and development of next generation of TSF. The job of the pilots is to test the prototypes, which occasionally involves pitting them one against another… “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Takayuki Inagaki
Other Notable Staff: Yumiko Hara (Character Designs), Kouki Yoshimune (Original Creator)

The Positives: Satelight is behind this series (seriously, these guys are really packing out for 2012), so it’s bound to be action-packed and very pretty to look at. The premise with the right execution has the potential to become a nice mecha epic.
The Negatives: Terrible director… agh. We’re talking about the guy behind some of the most blatantly bad and stupid fanservice series as Rosario to Vampire, Baby Princess, Koharu Biyori and Marginal Prince. The bad character designs also really hint that this will be very focused on pandering to its audience. Let there at least be a good scriptwriter behind this, because I don’t see how letting this guy take the reins will lead to anything successful here.

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Kokoro Connect

Summary: “The teen comedy follows the strange phenomena at the Yamahoshi Academy’s Culture Club, starting with the five male and female club members switching bodies with each other. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Chief Director: Shin Oonuma
Director: Shinya Kawamo
Series Composition: Fumihiko Shimo

The Positives: That’s interesting here… after collecting one of Shaft’s sub directors, Silver Link has now also recruited one of Bee-Train’s sub directors. Let’s hope that he can show himself off here more than what Oonuma Shin did. Fumihiko Shimo adapted Air and Clannad for Kyoani. This definitely is a stronger team that what we usually see from Silver Link.
The Negatives: Speaking of which, Oonuma Shin: you are not Shinbo. You never will be, and you are far from knowledgeable enough to act as a chief director at this point. Come back when you learn a thing or two about good acting.

First-Glance Potential: 50%


Summary: “The “battle fantasy” story follows an ordinary high school student named Godou Kusanagi who kills a god and claims its powers. As a result, Godou becomes a Campione who slays other gods.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Keizo Kusakawa
Series Composition: Jukki Hanada
Other Notable Staff: Masakazu Ishikawa (Character Designs), Susumu Mitsunaka

The Positives: Jukki Hanada: very solid, especially improved over the past year with his work on the script of Steins;Gate and Level E. Keizo Kusakawa meanwhile is an average director, but if the source material is good he can give it a pretty good portrayal.
The Negatives: Which leads me to the premise of that source material. It sounds really really corny, in a bad way.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Binbou-gami ga!

Summary: “The story revolves around Ichiko Sakura, a girl whose blissful life comes from her bountiful “happiness energy” — gained by sapping that energy from other people. To restore the balance, the Binbō-gami (Poverty God) Momiji Binbada attempts to eliminate her.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Yoichi Fujita
Series Composition: Kento Shimoyama

The Positives: Okay, so you have the director of Gintama, the guy who took over after episode 100 doing a new TV-series. Personally that was for me the point where Gintama started to decline, but with this concept it’ll be interesting to see whether he can bring another comedy to life.
The Negatives: Kento Shimoyama is currently doing a horrible job with Rock Lee’s script. And before he adapted Bleach. I’m not sure whether that will work well.

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Dog Days’

Summary: “In the land of Fronaldo, the Republic of Biscotti has been aggressively attacked by the Lion Kingdom of Galette. Facing potential defeat, Princess Millhiore summons a hero who can save the country. What she gets is Izumi Shinku, a middle-school boy from Japan. Awaiting him in Fronaldo is the task of becoming hero enough to defeat his enemies while learning the peculiar rules of battle in this strange new world.” – (Taken from Dog Days)
Director: Junji Nishimura
Series Composition: Masaki Tsuzuki
Other Notable Staff: Masaki Tsuzuki (Original Creator)

The Positives: If there is any series this season where I have the most conflicted feelings for, then it’s this one. The first episode of the first season was terrible. The premise of this show is an insult to warfare. And yet, this is Seven Arcs: they have shown plenty of times that their second seasons are much better than their first seasons. On top of that, they changed directors here… into one of my favorites: Junji Nishimura. He doesn’t always hit the right mark, but when he hits, he hits HARD.
The Negatives: So yeah, I’m stumped here. This can either be great, or just plain mediocre and a waste of time. Agh! Fans of the first season: give me reasons to pick up this show!

First-Glance Potential: 60%


Summary: “The story follows the behind-the-scenes dressing-room conversations of a group of female (joshi) Japanese verbal show (rakugo) performers.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote

Other Notable Staff: Kouji Kumeta (Original Creator)

The Positives: Kouji Kumeta is the original creator of Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei. It’s going to be interesting to see this without having Shinbo all over it. Tsutomu Mizushima is a great director for this type of show, teamed up with Michiko Yokote like they did with Squid Girl. . Backed up by Squid Girl, this seems like it’ll be a solid comedy.
The Negatives: The genre of “gather a bunch of cute girls and have them talk’ is very over-saturated. The creators will really have to try to set themselves apart.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon 2

Summary: “In a distant future, Japan is divided into feudal territories, which have been conquered and are ruled by outside countries. The flying city-ship Musashi, which holds the remnants of the Japanese, is being targeted and has no choice but to keep its people safe by going to war. With the fate of the world resting on its hands, the students of Musashi may hold the key to victory.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Manabu Ono
Series Composition: Tatsuhiko Urahata
Other Notable Staff: Tatsuya Katou (Music))

The Positives: Well, here we get Horizon’s second season. It’s a series with a huge amount of creativity. This was up to the point where it got lost in its own convolution at times, and the battles just make no sense whatsoever, but it’s still going to be interesting where this show plans to go. Everything about this series is huge, and even though the character designs still are pretty terrible, there also will be a lot of stuff to look out for.
The Negatives: The source material for this series is HUGE. Will 26 episodes even be enough to do justice to everything?

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Moyashimon Returns

Summary: “College student Tadayasu Sawaki has a unique ability. He can see and communicate with bacteria and other microorganisms. Hijinks ensue. Sawaki Souemon Tadayasu is a freshmen in Tokyo agriculture university. He has a unique ability that worth the value of a 1 million yen electron microscope: to see microorganism with naked eyes. Together with his childhood friend, Kei, he begins a new and carefree life as a student.” – (Taken from )
Director: Yuichiro Yano
Series Composition: Natsuko Takahashi
Other Notable Staff: Takefumi Haketa (Music)

The Positives: Only four series in Noitamina have ever gotten sequels: Nodame Cantabile, Honey and Clover, Mononoke and Moyashimon. These really are the big ones who made the timeslot what it is today. Moyashimon out of those for is the least impressive, but it’s still a very solid and quirky comedy. Plus the characters are of college age, which is always a plus.
The Negatives: Now, a sequel in Noitamina is a very special privilege. What does this series hope to add to Moyashimon that hasn’t been said already?Just having “More of the same” will not be quite enough for Noitamina’s standards, you know?

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Arve Rezzle

Summary: “In this cyber science-fiction story, a boy named Remu goes to take back the soul of his little sister, who disappeared in net space. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?

The Positives: Very little is known about this anime, and I do suspect that it’ll eventually end up getting delayed at this point, but still: I am intrigued by this premise. It’s simple, but if the creators develop it right it can become an interesting science fiction series.
The Negatives: At this point I can only say: Zexcs. They unfortuantely aren’t the most stable production company out there.

First-Glance Potential: 80%


Summary: “In the Warring States Period of ancient China (475-221 BCE), Shin and Hyou are war-orphans in the kingdom of Qin. They dream of one day proving themselves on the battlefield. One day, however, Hyou is taken to the palace by a minister. Winding up on the losing side of a power-struggle, Hyou manages to return to the village, barely alive. Shin then meets a boy who closely resembles Hyou, Ei Sei. For now he is the king of Qin; later he will become the emperor Shi Huangdi.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Jun Kamiya
Series Composition: Naruhisa Arakawa

The Positives: I am keeping my eye on this for one reason: Jun Kamiya’s direction of the Third made a huge impression on me, and that series still is among my favorite anime ever. Of course, afterwards he went on to direct Penguin no Mondai, but on the other hand his direction on Hikaru no Go was also amazing. I’m looking out for what he can do though because he definitely knows how to handle a good story. Naruhisa Arakawa is the kind of scriptwriter who is mostly working on random moe shows (and very bad ones at that), but he does strike me as someone who can also deliver a good story when he sees one, as evidenced from his work on Spice and Wolf, Legend of Black Heaven,Seraphim Call and Sentimental Journey.
The Negatives: Now, I am a fan of historical series. Strangely enough, the series based on Chinese history are a large exception to that. It probably has to do with anime’s tendency to make a complete mockery of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but I’ve yet to see an anime about Chinese history that really caught my interest.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Summary: “The story is set several centuries into the slow decline of mankind. Earth has now become the realm of “fairies” — 10-centimeter-tall (about 4-inch-tall) creatures with remarkable intelligence and an appetite for sweets. The human protagonist of the story serves an important duty as the international arbitrator between the fairies and humans, and she returns to her former hometown of Kusunoki. She chose this job because she thought it was an easy job she can do, even when she is as old as her grandfather. However, she learns that her job is anything but simple when she meets the fairies. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Seiji Kishi
Series Composition: Makoto Uezu
Other Notable Staff: Kou Outani (Music), Kyuuta Sakai (Character Designs, Animation Director)

The Positives: Oh my god, an AIC promo that actually looks pretty? Seriously, I hate these guys with passion, but I have to admit here: this series actually looks very interesting and genuine. It’s got a potentially great pair of director and writer, and the ever awesome Kou Outani is perfect for this kind of series.
The Negatives: Seiji Kishi and Makoto Uezu. Both two people who can be incredibly good (Angel Beats, Seto no Hanayome, Sunred, Uchuu Kyoudai) or incredibly bad (Persona, School Days, Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka, Tayutama…), regardless of source material. This is either going to be great, or a complete disaster. And seriously.. why of all people, THESE two for a very cute and innocent looking series? Their styles are about the complete opposite.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Tari Tari

Summary: “The story centers around five Japanese high school students who are too young to be called adults, but who no longer think of themselves as children. Wakana Sakai once took music lessons, but she withdrew from music after losing her mother. Konatsu Miyamoto is a positive-thinking girl who loves singing and spends time after school at the vocal music club. Sawa Okita is a spirited archery club member who dreams of becoming a horse rider. Taichi Tanaka is a chronically late badminton team member who lives with his college student sister. “Wiin” just transfered into Wakana’s class after 12 years abroad in Australia. Music brings Wakana, Konatsu, Sawa and the others together into an ensemble during their last summer in high school. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Masakazu Hashimoto
Series Composition: Masakazu Hashimoto
Other Notable Staff: Shirou Yamaguchi (Music), Kanami Sekiguchi (Character Designs), Kazuki Higashiji

The Positives: So here we have PA Works’ new production, and the visuals immediately strike resemblance to Hana Saku Iroha. The character designer and animation director indeed is the same woman, and she really has been the visual ticket of many of PA Works’ series. This will also be completely original, and about what to expect of the plot: we’ve got the director of the Professor Layton movie behind this one, both behind the direction and the series composition. I have no idea what to expect of that, but if he has one vision then this could tun into a very interesting high school drama.
The Negatives: I have one issue with how the premise of this show is written: you’re describing the characters as stereotypes. Do not do that. Just create their characters, give them traits, but don’t immediately put them into one cube.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Rinne no Lagrange Second Season

Summary: “Madoka is the lone member of her school’s Jersey Club. She is one day recruited by a mysterious girl named Lan to pilot the robot “Vox” and protect her city from space invaders. They are joined by a third girl, Muginami, who has a different goal than Ran. Meanwhile, they still don’t know their enemies’ true goal, or what “Rinne” might be.” – (Taken from ANN)
Chief Director: Tatsuo Sato
Director: Toshimasa Suzuki
Series Composition: Shuuratou Suga

The Positives: Well, with this we get to see the second half, and seeing as how Tatsuo Sato is on a roll with Mouretsu Pirates currently, it would be great to see how his work with Lagrange will turn out. The first season was definitely building up to something, and it’s up to the second one to really deliver.
The Negatives: Overall I do consider Rinne no Lagrange to be a bit below Mouretsu Pirates, mostly because of how the setting is really quite simple. This is something that the new season will need to improve on. Otherwise though, it was a very neat version of a mecha series with some good acting.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Sword Art Online

Summary: “The story revolves around a boy named Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya who enters a virtual-reality, massively multi-player online (MMO) world called “Sword Art Online.” There is no escape from this world unless the player clears the game, but “game over” means the death of the player.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Tomohiko Ito
Other Notable Staff: Yuki Kajiura (Music), Takayuki Nagashima (Art Director), Yusuke Takeda (Art Director), Tetsuya Kawakami (Animation Director), Reki Kawahara (Original Creator)

The Positives: I’m looking forward to Tomohiko Ito’s next work. Occult Academy was a flawed, but very fun and interesting series to watch, and this series seems to be in the same vein. A lot of interesting people seemed to be gathered around him, including several talented Bones animators, and of course Yuki Kajiura behind the soundtrack is also a very big plus here.
The Negatives: Now, this was created from light novels, the same from the creator of Accel World, which I didn’t really like. It was too forced, there were many uninteresting characters. My big fear is that she is only very good at creating an interesting setting, while ignoring everything else. Let’s hope that Sword Art Online will be different.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi

Summary: “The story is a “super-liberal interpretation” of the Hyakunin Isshu anthology of poems that were written between the 7th and 13th centuries in Japan. The anthology features 100 romantic poems from 100 different poets such as The Tale of Genji’s Murasaki Shikibu. The poems are also used as the basis for the karuta card game. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Kenichi Kasai
Series Composition: Tomoko Konparu
Other Notable Staff: Aki Tsunaki (Character Designs), Yasunori Mitsuda (Music)

The Positives: Now this is a really interesting one to look forward to. With Chihayafuru we already got to see the 100 poems that were compiled together for the Karuta card game. Now here we have a story that is actually based on the subject of these poems. I am not sure whether the two series collaborated in any sort of way, but this show is perfect as a different look at these poems here. And then the people who are in charge of this: Kenichi Kasai is a wonderful director when he has the right source material (just look at Nodame Cantabile, Honey and Clover, Aoi Hana, and Tomoko Konparu is an excellent scriptwriter with series as Les Miserables, Nana, Nodame Cantabile, Kodocha and the Hi no Tori movies on her name. These are the perfect people to adapt this manga!
The Negatives: Yasunori Mitsuda has yet to compose anything noteworthy, and mostly did soundtracks for Inazuma Eleven. Does he have the talent to give this series a great soundtrack? It’d be great if he did.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Summary: “the story of a love triangle between Hazuki, a young man who works part time at a flower store, Rokka, the widow who owns the store, and the ghost of Shimao, Rokka’s deceased husband.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Kou Matsuo
Other Notable Staff: Haruka Kawachi (Original Creator), Junichiro Taniguchi

The Positives: The big reason I’m looking forward to this one: Kou Matsuo. For those who don’t know: in producing his series he tends to record the voice acting before the animation process. The result of this leads to some absolutely fantastic voice acting. The best examples of this are Red Garden and Kurenai. I really hope that he will do this again for Natsuyuki Rendezvous, because it is a wonderful effect that he makes a brilliant use of. The creators also got a wonderful animation director here with the animation director of Madoka Magica and Ookiku Furikabutte’s visuals.
The Negatives: Dogakobo? Don’t they only do bland moe shows?

First-Glance Potential: 90%
Posted on 11 February 2012 with categories: Seasonal Previews

I’m really busy this weekend, so this preview will be a compact version, simply because I don’t have the time to look up and list the creators and synopsizes of all of the different DVD-specials, franchise movies or ongoing releases that are coming out next month.

When looking purely at the new releases, the next season will be small. There will hardly be any new OVAs beond the usual DVD specials and manga DVDs. In terms of movies, there are going to be three that I’m really going to keep my eye out… and beyond that everything looks dull.

DVD Specials

Comments: This season, we’ll get DVD episodes and specials from Maken-Ki, Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka, Sankarea and Another. Ignoring Maken-Ki, which is just going to be porn, and Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka (the first dvd special was horrible…), there are two interesting ones coming. Apparently Sankarea is going to be more than just another zombie comedy (still: two Zombie series in one season, which both have a DVD-special. Get back to your variety, Studio Deen…). The big one will be Another, though: this is definitely a DVD special with a clear meaning, and it’s going to offer some vital background for the main female. I’m definitely looking out for that one.

Franchise Movies and OVAs

Comments: These are the kinds of movies and OVAs that just keep returning with new installments and of which I don’t feel like covering them over and over again with each preview. This time I also included series like A-Channel and Kenichi, which are coming out with random OVAs that honestly, I don’t care about, having never finished the TV-series they’re based on. I’ve heard good stuff on Kenichi, but the characters were just too annoying to continue with when I first watched it. A-Channel also wasn’t really interesting, and it was mostly unremarkable moe with insert songs that took up way too much time. Beyond that, To Heart is coming out with yet another spinoff OVA, again pretty uninteresting. Oh, and the new Conan movie will be about soccer, for the people interested in that. Honestly, the only thing that stands out here for me is that there seriously is going to be yet another Precure All-Stars movie. Yes, the count has actually reached a staggering 29 main characters. Who are all going to be stuffed into this one movie. And that does not even include all the various mascots that have been collected over the years. Good lord, I’m going to watch that only to witness the complete chaos that can only result from it.

Ongoing OVA and Movie Series

Comments: These are ongoing Movie and OVA series, including manga who just keep releasing an OVA with one of their volumes, like Fairy Tail, Seitokai Yakuindomo and Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san. Of those three, the latter is the only one I care about, having dropped the other two really quickly. Still, the OVAs of Azazel-san are actually better than the TV-series, so it’s good that they keep making more of them. Beyond that, the Eiyuu Densetsu OVA will be continued, which honestly disappointed me a bit: the story there assumed that you are familiar with the original source material, which I am not. And then there is the second Scryed movie coming out. I’m still debating whether or not to watch it, but damn: these guys sure look constipated. The fifth installment of Gundam Unicorn will also arrive, but at this point I’ve pretty much lost interest. It’s a real shame: it’s incredibly well made. But the main character drags the entire thing down. Just like more than 50% of all other Gundam shows.

Moe Can Change

Summary: “Based on a game. The “playful bishoujo Miroid-raising/clothes-changing moe game” has the player joining a beta test program for an android, who the player must raise and dress up as a girl. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Type: OVA
Director: Takeo Takahashi

The Positives: Moe can change? Hah, I’d like to see that!
The Negatives: Takeo Takahashi is pretty much another porn director, with series as Aki Sora and Yosuga no Sora behind his belt now. Yeah, there is no hope for this one.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Strike Witches The Movie

Summary: “The year is 1939 – it was then that the Neuroi appeared. Nobody knows where they came from or what their ultimate agenda is, but the fact remains that their attacks drove people out of their towns and cities. In order to take arms against them, humanity develops a new anti-Neuroi weapon called the “Striker Unit.” Using the power of magic to fight against the monsters, this new device enhances and amplifies the power of female magic-wielders. To use this device, young witches from all over the world have been brought together to form an elite task force unit called the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, commonly known as the “Strike Witches.”” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Kazuhiro Takamura

The Positives: Well, I guess they’re milking the Strike Witches cow here some more.
The Negatives: And here is the thing with this movie: when you look at the trailer, the animation didn’t really improve over what it was. It still looks quite generic, and apparently doesn’t make use of the fact that it’s a movie at all. This franchise really isn’t so complex that it warrants two whole series and a movie…

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Kimi no Iru Machi

Summary: “Kirishima Haruto is your average Hiroshima Prefecture countryside Japanese student that is about to start his 3 year High school life. But before that happens a girl from Tokyo, Eba Yuzuki, whose father is the friend of Haruto’s father, shows up at his house to live with him and his family so she can attend the same high school. Haruto isn’t happy of the situation; a stranger that happens to be a girl of his same age, not his relative, living in the same house like him will cause complications. Truth is Haruto has another girl in mind, Kanzaki Nanami, whom Haruto has hidden romantic feelings for since middle school. And so starts his complicated life.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: OVA
Chief Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura
Director: Hiroshi Kobayashi
Screenplay: Momoko Murakami
Other Notable Staff: Kouji Seo (Original Creator), Ryuusuke Chayama (Character Designs), Akira Takahata (Chief Animation Direction)

The Positives: Akira Takahata is an awesome animation director: he also directed the animation for Natsume Yuujinchou, Karas, Durarara and Ookiku Furikabutte. As if that wasn’t enugh already, we’ve got the director of Eve no Jikan acting as the chief director here.
The Negatives: This brings me to the premise: a guy and a cute girl are going to live together again. I really wonder: is this kind of OVA really right for the guy of a caliber of Hasihiro Yoshiura? This guy should delve into hard sci-fi with experimental stuff, not some random romance OVA that is most likely just a promo for the manga it’s based on.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Niji-Iro Hotaru ~Eien no Natsu Yasumi~

Summary: “The story revolves around a sixth-grade boy named Yūta on his summer vacation. His father passed away one year ago in a traffic accident, and Yūta now goes alone to visit a place where he and his father once shared memories. The two had gone often to an unused dam deep in the mountains to collect the rhinoceros beetles nearby. Yuuta suddenly receives a shock in a thunderstorm, loses his footing, and gets knocked out. When he wakes up, he see a small girl and a village — except this village is the one that should be submerged below the dam. Yuuta realizes that he slipped back time to over thirty years ago, before the dam was completed. Another summer vacation, and another chance for Yuuta to reclaim what cannot be reclaimed, begins. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Kounosuke Uda
Screenplay: Kei Kunji
Other Notable Staff: Takaaki Yamashita (Screen Design)

The Positives: Interestingly, Takaaki Yamashita has closely worked for a lot of the Mamoru Hosoda movies as a designer and animation director. The director will be the same One Piece director who’s going to direct the Ginga he Kickoff series. The really great part is the guy behind the series composition, though: it’s the guy who adapted Porfy no Nagai Tabi. This guy is perfect for bringing a coming of age drama to life.
The Negatives: The show does have a few cliches: this definitely isn’t the only show about a young boy, a remote village, and a dam that’s causing problems. The time travel thing however has some definite potential, so let’s see whether this show can set itself apart from these other series.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Space Battleship Yamato 2199

Summary: “In the distant future, the war between the human race and the Gamilon has taken its toll on the planet Earth. Constant bombardment of radioactive asteroids has rendered the planet’s atmosphere uninhabitable. As a means of relief aid, Queen Starsha of the planet Iscandar offers the Earth Forces a device that can completely neutralize the radiation off the planet. For this task, the space battleship Yamato is launched from the remains of its World War II ancestor on a 148,000 light-year journey. However, the crew of the Yamato has only one Earth year to travel to Iscandar and back, or the human race will come to an end.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Yutaka Izubuchi
Screenplay: Ryuusuke Hikawa
Other Notable Staff: Leiji Matsumoto (Original Creator), Akira Miyagawa

The Positives: Yes, the director of Rahxephon is actually doing the Space Battleship Yamato remake. This is going to be awesome. I love remakes as it always brings out the best in the people working with them. Most of these series were really made by fans, and more often than not they are excellent vehicles to experiment in all kinds of new styles. The Yamato series as a space exploration franchise with a very simple story is perfect for this. I’m also definitely looking forward to that TV-series, whenever it’s set to come out.
The Negatives: AIC and Xebec? That’s about the last combination I’d expect when animating this space epic. Especially AIC, but I’m glad that they FINALLY are going to do something that isn’t moe again.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

A Letter to Momo

Summary: “A Letter to Momo follows a girl named Momo who struggles with her father’s sudden passing and resulting move to the countryside. Momo finds an otherworldly surprise at her new home.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Hiroyuki Okiura
Screenplay: Hiroyuki Okiura
Other Notable Staff: Hiroyuki Okiura (Storyboard), Hiroyuki Okiura (Original Concept), Hiroshi Ouno (Art Direction), Masashi Ando, Takeshi Honda

The Positives: And ths is the very obvious big hit of this season: the director of one of the best anime movies ever made (Jin Roh), finally returning with another movie for which he took no less than seven years to write, direct and storyboard. This just couldn’t be anymore different to Jin Roh, and Mamoru Oshii also is not involved this time, but this still is chock full of talent, and a number of fantastic animators will be involved as well.
The Negatives: The coming of age movie is very overcrowded in terms of movies. That’s all I have. These guys will have to set themselves apart, but with such names behind this thing, I have no doubt that they will.

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

The upcoming Spring Season will be a bit small: only 33 new series will premiere. Last year, in comparison, we had 40 of them. In any case, here is my preview for them. As usual, I can only comment on the anime themselves, and not on the source material they’re based on, since i don’t read any manga or light novels.

I’s unfortunate, but only four series of these shows aren’t about teenagers. We’ve now gotten to the point where this is really getting annoying and one-sided. And to be honest, this season is in one thing very mediocre: the actual premises. Very few of the premises really stand out as potential classics, and most of them really are the same usual teenaged stories or moe shows compared to previous spring series. I’m really talking about the taglines of a series that immediately catch your attention.

Looking beyond that and to the creators involved, and the potential for some of these series, and then we’ve got a very solid bunch. I’ve got about 11 series that I’m really looking forward to, along with quite a few others that could turn out very nice. Unfortunately, the fact remains that yet again, there will be a ton of moe and dull romantic comedies.

There are two major themes of this season aside from that: coming of age, and thrillers. The most series this season come from Studio Deen again. And really, by now you’d think that with the amount of series they release, they’d at least use one of those slots for something interesting or expermental. But no, we apparently only need moe and bishies. Sunrise also has three shows, which thankfully look more promising. The most impressive company this season will be A-1, with two shows with a lot of potential coming up.

Haiyoru! Nyaruko-Chan

Summary: “The story centers around Nyaruko, a formless Cthulhu deity who can take on the shape of a seemingly ordinary silver-haired girl. Mahiro Yasaka is a normal high school who is chased by aliens one night, until Nyaruko saves him.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Tsuyoshi Nagasawa
Series Composition: Noboru Kimura

The Positives: I… um… what?
The Negatives: I’m just completely baffled here. For those of you who don’t know: Haiyoru Nyarani was released a few years ago as this utterly terrible flash OVA that was very poorly produced and had the most mind-numbing banter imaginable. It kicked off the very annoying trend of showing horrid flash shows that are barely animated and that just feature cute girls talk to each other and fail miserably in their attempts to be funny. Xebec saw this, and thought “hey, we can make an anime about this too!”, or so I can only imagine. Just… what the hell? These guys have completely given up. Thank god there still is Good Xebec.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Sengoku Collection

Summary: “The story is set in the tumultuous Sengoku Era of historical Japan, when military masters circle the figurative throne of Japan’s first shogunate. In the game, “God of War Cards” have been sealed in six hidden treasures, and fighting breaks out among those who seek the treasures. As a new military master, the player embarks on a journey to obtain the treasures by clearing quests and fighting bosses. The anime’s main character is a female re-imagining of the great warlord Oda Nobunaga. Another major character is the female version of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of Japan. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Keiji Gotou
Series Composition: Shinjuurou Mitaka

The Positives: Keiji Gotou surely worked on a ton of different series here.
The Negatives: Brains Base, seriously? Are you seriously saying that you too have sold out and followed the horrible bandwagon of turning famous historical figures into moe stereotypes? Are you seriously trying to beat a horse that has been dead for half a decade now?

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden

Summary: “The story centers around the secondary Naruto character Rock Lee. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Masahiko Murata

The Positives: I really like Masahiko Murata. He’s the director of some really good horror series: Shikabane Hime and Gilgamesh. His sense of action is raw and cold, just like his characterization.
The Negatives: Just… no. Are they really going to milk out the Naturo franshile like what Toei is currently doing with One Piece? Is there really a need for this? Is there really a need to use such a good director as Masahiko Murata?

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Pretty Rythm Dear My Future

Summary: “The Prism Show is an all-new kind of ice skating show that requires its participants to be figure skaters, models, and singers all at the same time. Aira and Rhythm are two girls who both dream of becoming the Prism Queen. They’ll have to train hard and overcome both their quarrels with each other and their blossoming interest in boys if they want to achieve their dream.” – (Taken from ANN)

The Positives: Nothing.
The Negatives: Oh, I remember watching the first episode of the first season of this one. What really stood out was how abysmally poorly it was in every single aspect. The animatio was virtually nonexistant, and the writing in particular was incredibly stupid and convenient. I can’t believe they’re making a second season of this.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Jewel Pet Sunshine Second Season

Summary: “The Plum Section of the 3rd grade class at the Sunshine Academy in Jewel Land are also known as “the Leftovers.” Ruby and her classmates aim to graduate and follow their dreams.” – (Taken from ANN)

The Positives: I remember when kids’ series were actually about something other than selling toys…
The Negatives: There’s going to be even more of this?

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Queen’s Blade: Rebellion

Summary: “” – (Taken from )
Director: Yousei Morino
Series Composition: Hideki Shirone

The Positives: The positives should be obvious by now…
The Negatives: Will there ever come a point at which the guys at Arms will stop producing these bad fanservice shows? I mean, I remember the frst show they ever made: Elfen Lied. That was good. What happened afterwards? Did they just realize “hey, we can actually make a lot more money while putting in a lot less effort!” or something?

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Acchi Kocchi

Summary: “The four-panel manga follows a tsundere (initially aloof and abrasive, but later kind-hearted) girl named Tsumiki, the most unsociable eyeglasses-wearing boy named Io, and their classmates. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Fumitoshi Oizaki
Series Composition: Nobuhiko Amagawa

The Positives: The best I can think of is that the series composition isn’t anything bad.
The Negatives: It’s got the director of Astarotte no Omocha. My big problem with this one is that I just can’t find anything about it that interests me whatsoever. It’s just another mediocre high school romance show, but this time based on a 4koma; the designs look generic and being produced by AIC seals the deal here.

First-Glance Potential: 0%


Summary: “???”

The Positives: Information about this thing is very scarce. I managed to find out that it’s being produced by the same company who produced Hanoka. Now, that actually was an interesting experiment to animate a small action series in only flash vector graphics…
The Negatives: … so of course their next work will be yet another one of those horrid flash school series. Of course. Let’s at the very least hope that they won’t be as cheap as the crap that companies as DLE produce.

First-Glance Potential: 5%

Nazo na Kanojo X

Summary: “When a mysterious transfer girl happens to drool on her desk one day, Akira Tsubaki decides to taste it. Little did he know that soon he would be going out with Mitoko Urabe, a girl who he knows absolutely nothing about, yet seems to be destined for.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Ayumu Watanabe
Series Composition: Deko Akao
Other Notable Staff: Kenichi Konishi (Character Designs), Shigemi Ikeda

The Positives: The character designer of Bokura no and Tokyo Godfathers? Awesome. Ayumu Watanabe only directed a few doraemon movies before, so I’m interested in what he can do as a director of an actual tv-series.
The Negatives: Ugh, it’s Hoods again, or the guys who just produce porn over and over again. This really seems like a typical raunchy romance of theirs again, especially since Deko Akao isn’t really such a good writer (having adapted Astarotte no Omocha and Pretty Rythm before…). It’s a real shame to waste such a good character designer on this.

First-Glance Potential: 10%

Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? Of the Dead

Summary: “Ayumu Aikawa is a normal high school boy. One day he is killed by a serial killer and revived as a zombie by a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe. He starts to serve Eu as her guard but he happens to deprive the mahō shōjo Haruna of her magic power. Haruna orders Ayumu to fight against the anti-mahō shōjo system “Megalo” in her place.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Takaomi Kanasaki
Series Composition: Makoto Uezu

The Positives: Well, it’s bound to have a few good episodes, like the first season.
The Negatives: This show pissed me off so much. It could have been a fun gory show, but instead it dabbled way too much into dull harem hijinks, along with a joke of a story to close itself off with. The staff is exactly the same, and it really looks like they’re going to pull the exact same here. In the meantime though, I’ve thankfully been exposed by a lot of comedies who weren’t so lazily adapted at this one, and who were genuinely fun despite having a lot of moe in it (Enma, Ben-To, Milky Holmes), so this one is going to have to be really impressive for me to also follow it all the way through.

First-Glance Potential: 25%


Summary: “At Seishou Academy, a newly transferred teacher discovers that girls like Funko always aim to do their best and shoot for their goals, often literally with live ammo. Because these girls aren’t just expert shooters, they are the guns, in human form.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Takao Kato
Series Composition: Naruhisa Arakawa
Other Notable Staff: Takaaki Suzuki (Military History Advisor)

The Positives: Takao Kato still puzzles me a bit. He’s a very mediocre director, who at the same time captured the Pandora Hearts Manga really well. I’ve given up with this guy though. Too many of his series were just unremarkable, but there is hope, at least. Naruhisa Arakawa also certainly isn’t a bad writer per se. He wrote Legend of Black Heaven for example, and adapted Spice and Wolf and Papakiki.
The Negatives: “Hey, you know Strike Witches? That’s really popular, right? Let’s do that too!”, said Xebec, five years after Gonzo originally aired it… just… no. Let’s also not forget that Naruhisa Arakawa also wrote Love Love, Yosuga no Sora and CosPrayers…

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Medaka Box

Summary: “Medaka Kurokami is an exceptional first year student at Hanokiwa Academy who got elected as president of the student council with a smashing 98% of the votes. Extremely intelligent, strong, and rich; she wants to help anyone in need. To do that, she introduces a suggestion box that allows any student to contact her. Later known as the “Medaka Box”, it will bring forth incredible challenges to Kurokami and her friends of the student council.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Shouji Saeki
Series Composition: Shouji Saeki
Other Notable Staff: Nisioisin (Original Creator)

The Positives: Nisioisin as the original writer will at least lead to some nice wordplay, I guess.
The Negatives: My interest was piqued a bit when I noticed that Gainax seemed to be behind this, not to mention that it has one guy overseeing both the direction and the series composition of this thing. Unfortunately, that guy turns out to be the “bad Gainax director”, who has been directing their worst series and stories with He is My Master, Houkago no Pleiades, This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, or those Mahoromatic OVAs. On top of that the premise also seems very generic, as yet another school romantic comedy about a student council. I see nothing that stands out here.

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

Summary: “A young woman, by some strange occurrence, was left to die alone in the former building of the Academy for Sincere Teachings. Mysteriously, there is one person who can see her in ghost form: Niiya Teiichi, a freshman. Now they both seek to find out the reasoning behind her death, and what could have caused it.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Shin Oonuma
Series Composition: Katsuhiko Takayama
Other Notable Staff: Yukiko Ban (Character Designs, Animation Director)

The Positives: Yukiko Ban was a main character designer for Bee-Train (she designed the characters for Avenger, .Hack//Sign and Yakumo), and a good animation director for Studio Deen (07-Ghost, Amatsuki). The designs for this show will at least be good.
The Negatives: Just… go to the website of this series. Then you’ll immediately see where the mind of this series lies. I mean, could they really have been less subtle? I’d like to see the Silver Link guys as the Shaft Graduates without actual talent (in comparison: I consider Shinbo to be very talented, I’d just wish that he’d use it better). Ever since they left the company to form their own, all they pretty much worked on was mediocre and unimpressive. I’ve given them enough chances by now, but all they can hope for here is that the source material is good enough to pull them through.

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Hiiro no Kakera

Summary: “The original game centered around Tamaki Kasuga, a 17-year-old high school girl. When her parents have to go overseas for work, Tamaki moves to her mother’s hometown in the mountains with her grandmother. On the day that Tamaki arrives at the village, she encounters strange creatures, only to be saved by a mysterious boy. The boy, Takuma Onizaki, is the first of five Guardians of the Tamayohime that Tamaki meets. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Bob Shirohata
Series Composition: Yoshiko Nakamura
Other Notable Staff: Naoyuki Onda (Character Designs, Animation Direction)

The Positives: The director of Hetalia’s next project. Also, the character designer is very good.
The Negatives: I used to be a big fan of shoujo, but now the genre has become just way too diluted by angsty bishies to still be as enthusiastic about it. Here we yet again have an interesting sounding premise, but every single one of these series just descends into a bishie fest full of bad acting and characters trying too hard to look cool that is too focused on wish fulfillment. Especially considering the direction that Studio Deen have gone into the latest years. The series also is supposed to have a very good character designer (Ergo Proxy, Detective Story, Blassreiter, Berserk Movie), but I’m really not seeing that here.

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Saki Achiga-hen episode of side-A

Summary: “The anime adapts Aguri Igarashi’s Saki Achiga-hen episode of side-A manga, which is a spinoff of the original Saki high school mahjong manga. The story follows Shizuno Takakamo and the other mahjong players at the all-girls school Achiga. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Manabu Ono
Series Composition: Tatsuhiko Urahata

The Positives: So, we had the Saki TV-series, which ended with a really obvious sequel hook, and so the next season will focus on some completely different characters instead. Okay. At the very least this won’t be a Manabu Ono series with his enormous boobs trademark…
The Negatives: Oh, I remember that it was a really big chore to sit through the first Saki series, as it turned itself into some magical girl series in which the matches were determined by how well the different characters could manipulate luck (no, seriously). At the very least I hope that the new cast will be more interesting than the old cast, because these girls got very bland very quickly.

First-Glance Potential: 40%


Summary: “This is the story of Furuya, a 15 year old boy who is obsessed with zombies. From videos to manga, trinkets to video games, he will stop at nothing in his quest for anything zombie related. However, his interests turns from a simple hobby into an obsession when his cat dies in an accident. Using an old manuscript, Furuya embarks on a quest to revive his fallen pet. During his quest however, he is discovered by the idol Rea, a popular and elegant lady from a wealthy family. Though it may appear that her life is perfect, everything is not as it seems. And she turns to Furuya, for a chance to live her life, in this life or the next.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Mamoru Hatekayama
Series Composition: Noboru Tagaki
Other Notable Staff: Kyuuta Sakai (Character Designs), Mitsuru Hattori

The Positives: Noboru Takagi, the guy who adapted Baccano, Durarara and Koi Kaze. This premise is a major step down from those, though. It does seem slightly better than the usual romantic comedy. Emphasis on slightly, though. And I admit that I’m always interested in new directors: most of the time they’re nothing special, but things get interesting when they manage to already show off their own style.
The Negatives: There are going to be TWO zombie moe comedies in one season? And both are produced by Studio Deen? What the hell man, go back to your good premises again dammit.

First-Glance Potential: 45%

Natsuiro Kiseki

Summary: “I have no bloody idea. The anouncements for this series seem more focused that it’s meant to promote some group of four idols.”
Director: Seiji Mizushima
Series Composition: Tatsuhiko Urahata
Other Notable Staff: Shigemi Ikeda (Art Director), Sadayuki Murai (Script)

The Positives: Seriously, this series has a killer staff: the guys behind Hanamaru Youchien creating a new anime original series, aided by the scriptwriter of Mouryou no Hako, Natsume Yuujinchou San & Shi and Boogiepop Phantom, animated by Sunrise.
The Negatives: That really makes me wonder: what the hell will this series be about? This show seriously has some of the most generic promo art I’ve seen in a while. On top of the characters looking very generic, they’re just not doing anything at all. From the impression I get here, this seems to be one of those shows to promote four random idols. Those things usually turn out terrible, which is why it’s so sad to see so many great people work on this.

First-Glance Potential: 50%


Summary: “Inspired by the popular Japanese idol group AKB48.” – (Taken from ANN)
Chief Director: Shoji Kawamori
Director: Yoshimasa Hiraike
Series Composition: Mari Okada
Other Notable Staff: Mikan Ehime (Character Designs)

The Positives: What the…? What are Shoji Kawamori and Mari Okada doing here?
The Negatives: What the hell is this, man? There’s going to be another idol promotion show this season? Why two of them? And why of all people Shoji Kawamori and Mari Okada, the people who are currently working on Aquarion Evol? Is this AKB48 really popular enough to warrant this?

First-Glance Potential: ?!#%

Accel World

Summary: “The “future teen” story revolves around a bullied middle school boy named Haruyuki. One autumn day in 2046, he has an encounter with Kuroyukihime, the prettiest girl in his school, that changes his life. Through a mysterious piece of software from Kuroyukihime, Haruyuki learns of the existence of the virtual “Accel World.” In that moment, the lowest of the “school caste” becomes “Burst Linker,” a knight defending a princess. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Masakazuu Obara
Series Composition: Hiroyuki Yoshino
Other Notable Staff: Nobutaka Ike (Art Director)

The Positives: Oh good lord. This show reunites certain staff together: the people who made Mai Hime, which was a very good series…
The Negatives: … only to be followed up later by Mai Otome, which was one gigantic mess of a series. The director later went on to direct the Girl who Leapt through Space, a mediocre comedy, while Hiroyuki Yoshino… went on to write Seikon no Qwaser, Code Geass, Macross Frontier and Guilty Crown. Thankfully this is an adaptation, and granted, Yiroyuki Yoshino did show that he is good at that with Denpateki na Kanojo. But really, this is another trainwreck waiting to happen unless they go back to their roots with Mai Hime.

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Arashi no Yoru ni

Summary: “Through an unlikely friendship between a goat and a wolf, One Stormy Night is a heartwarming children’s story that explores themes about acceptance, loyalty despite differences, and highlights the important message that those from different backgrounds or cultures can be accepting and develop into the very best of friends.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Tetsurou Amino

The Positives: They’re going to remake Arashi no Yoru ni into a television series? This could get interesting, especially now that they have more time to tell the story (this will have 52 episodes of 11 minutes long, interestingly). Tetsurou Amino is also a very interesting choice for a director With Shiki, he did prove that he is a very good director.
The Negatives: It will be entirely in 3D CG, though. This just doesn’t seem like the right story for that.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan

Summary: “One day, a mysterious girl named Kaguya was washed ashore the island of Wyndaria after a great storm. She encounters Rick, a swordsman who wound up working at the island’s bakery. Apparently, Kaguya is suffering from having lost her memories and emotions. In addition, the usually peaceful Wyndaria is now swarming with pirates who came seeking for the special spirit stone that is worn around Kaguya’s neck. Knowing the situation, Rick and his co-workers, Nellis, Amyl, and Aerie decided to bring back peace to island and help Kaguya regain her lost memories and emotions.” – (Taken from Wikipedia)
Director: Itsuro Kawasaki
Series Composition: Itsuro Kawasaki
Other Notable Staff: Ike Nobutaka (Art Direction)

The Positives: Once in a while, you run into a series where the direction and series composition are done by the same guy. This season has Mouretsu Pirates, and last season had Tamayura. These are often very well done series, because there is one guy who is holding in the reigns quite well for his own vision…
The Negatives: … so I can’t believe that this season is the turn for Itsuro Kawasaki. His series are often quite mediocre, with a few series that admittedly did end up well. (Denyuuden, small parts of Sengoku Basara, Wild Arms (although that series was also helmed by Koichi Mashimo) and bizarrely enough Papakiki, although that series still has some very bad parts). Still, I’m positive here: what can he do when he’s involved much more than usual here? Does he have a vision to make this an interesting RPG adaptation?

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Ginga e Kickoff!!

Summary: “The story follows a boy who was in a soccer team, but it was disbanded due to not enough players. However, after the boy meets a female professional soccer player, he aims to bring his soccer team back. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Kounosuke Uda
Series Composition: Takashi Yamada

The Positives: This series airs on the NHK channel. The one advantage of series that air there is that they don’t necessarily have to be profitable. At first sight this may look like yet another sports show, but yet again this show has a very solid staff. In particular Takashi Yamada, who also wrote the series composition for Heartcatch Precure, Ojamajo Doremi, Marie&Gali and Shion no Ou. Kounosuke Uda? This guy is the director of One Piece. I assume not the entire series, but I couldn’t find how big that part was.
The Negatives: The big problem with this one remains the premise. It’s yet again the story of a young boy with passion for the sport he plays. The creators will have to put in some serious work to make this stand out, instead of making such a soap opera like what Knight in the Area is currently doing. The standards for this genre are very high, after all.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Kuroko no Basuke

Summary: “In the story, Taiga Kagami has just enrolled into Seirin High School when he meets Tetsuya Kuroko of the school’s basketball team. Kuroko happens to be the shadowy sixth member of the legendary “Generation of Miracles” basketball team. Together, Kagami and Kuroko aim to take their team to the inter-high school championship — against Kuroko’s former teammates. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Shunsuke Tada
Series Composition: Noboru Takagi

The Positives: And yet again they put some really, really solid writers on the sports series. Noboru Takagi is the guy who adapted Baccano, Durarara, Koi Kaze and wrote C. Can he bring a dull story about basketball to life? Will the director of Bungaku Shoujo be able to bring life to this series.
The Negatives: I unfortunately keep looking at these high school sports series with a negative feeling. The thing is that I’ve already seen so much of them, and the only reason they stood out was due to their ridiculously good execution. These kinds of series miraculously keep pulling me in, even when their premises are nothing special. I expect Kuro no Basuke to do the same.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Kimi to Boku 2

Summary: “About 4 friends, twins Yuta and Yuki Asaba, the cute and girly Shun Matsuoka, and the class head Kaname Tsukahara, who have known each other since kindergarten. When a half-Japanese transfer student named Chizuru Tachibana joins their group, he brings a new dynamic to their friendship.” – (Taken from ANN)

The Positives: The staff for the second season hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s safe to assume that it will be the same as the first season. That means Manabu Kanbe as the director and Reiko Yoshida behind the series composition. A very solid combination, as they did breathe life to the manga and portrayed a unique way for the characters to interact with each other.
The Negatives: But yeah: that way does get on your nerves quite a bit. This show is hard to watch at times, but that was also what made it interesting to see how it would nearly always end its episode on an interesting note.

First-Glance Potential: 80%


Summary: “Jin, a mysterious kid with a halo carved in his hand, and extraordinary fighting skills, lives with his grandfather in a beggar’s community. In other place, the old scientist Amagi is searching for professor Kanzaki, to ask him for the whereabouts of the “player” -a kind of genetic altered humans- Zet, which they created some years ago. Soon, Jin and his grandfather are attacked by a mysterious man who turns into a monster. The connection between professor Amagi and professor Kanzaki, seems to connect also young Jin to the mystery of the “players”, and Zet.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Osamu Nabeshima
Series Composition: Atsuhiro Tomioka
Other Notable Staff: Mazakazu Katsura (Original Creator), Shinichiro Yoshihara

The Positives: Finally! A show that doesn’t look completely generic and like the others. As for the director, he never really directed anything I watched (he’s the director of D.Gray Man, Saint Tail and Clamp School Detectives; and Hamtaro). In any case though, I’m very interested in the premise here.
The Negatives: Atsuhiro Tomioka, oh boy. This guy strikes me as someone who rushes in with his own vision, and it’s always the question whether the end result is good. This is the guy who adapted Samurai 7, Nishi no Yoki Majo, Trinity Blood, Disgaea, Zombie Loan, Inazuma Eleven, Danbooru Senki and Chrno Crusade. The quality between all these adaptations varies greatly, so this series can really go anywhere, although it’ll probably be rushed.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Saint Seiya New Omega

Summary: “Kōga is a 13-year-old boy who assumed the role of the Saint of the Pegasus constellation. His undefeatable spirit and rebellious nature are strong, as is his single-minded determination. Saori Kido (the goddess Athena) also appears as the protector of peace and all living things — and the woman who raised Kōga like a parent. Mars kidnaps Athena to establish a new world order, and Kōga stands up against Mars.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Morio Hatano
Series Composition: Reiko Yoshida
Other Notable Staff: Yoshihiko Umakoshi (Character Designs, Chief Animation Director)

The Positives: The thing that immediately stands out: Yoshihiko Umakoshi, the character designer of Heartcatch Precure and Casshern Sins is on another series. And this time he’s going to also act as the animation director. That combined with Toei’s staff of excellent animators, and we’re in for a lot of eye candy here. The director will be another rookie (seriously, for the past years Toei has been putting the episode directors of Heartcatch Precure as the directors for all sorts of different projects), and the Heartcatch Precure episodes this guy worked on were some of the highlights of the series. To make things even better, Reiko Yoshida is a very experienced writers and has helmed a lot of classic series, including a few originals.
The Negatives: I have never followed Saint Seiya, and none of the OVAs that appeared particularly caught my interest, but if this can be watched without being familiar to the whole franchise I’ll certainly give it a shot. That’s going to be my big fear though: the Saint Seiya franchise at this point is huge. Will it be easy to get into?

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Phi Brain Second Season

Summary: “Kaito Daimon is a brilliant 16-year-old teenager who loves to solve puzzles. He acquires an enigmatic item called the Armband of Orpheus that allows him to fully utilize his brain, but that consequentially drains him completely. Currently attending Root Academy as an honor student, he is invited by the school principal to confront a secret organization named POG. They create deadly Sage Puzzles to protect invaluable treasures and challenge the select few individuals capable of facing them. Given the title of Einstein, Kaito battles against the mysterious group in order to keep a promise he made as a kid while at the same time he heads towards the ultimate test: the Divine Puzzle.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Junichi Sato
Series Composition: Mayori Sekijima
Other Notable Staff: Youhei Sasaki (Character Design)

The Positives: Well, this was about the last series of the currently airing series that I’d expect to get a sequel, but here it is. And really: there is a lot of great stuff that they can do with this. Phi Brain is currently at the point where you can really see that Sato Junichi’s characterization is paying off, and the character development is getting very good now, not to mention that the puzzles can only get more interesting with the way things are set up.
The Negatives: My one big question is what the new season will be about. The current season is building up to a very easy to see climax, but this will also be a climax that will be very hard to beat, as it really looks into the characters and pasts of the main protagonists and antagonists.

First-Glance Potential: 85%


Summary: “The title of the project is Ozuma, and it is set on a future Earth that has gone to ruins in a sea of sand. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Chief Director: Ryousuke Takahashi
Director: Takahiro Ikezoe
Series Composition: Junki Takegami
Other Notable Staff: Leiji Matsumoto (Original Creator), Nobuteru Yuki (Character Designs), Kousuke Yamashita

The Positives: I am a big fan of Ryousuke Takahashi, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I found out that he would be involved in this project. It’s only going to be six episodes long, and I don’t know whether it counts as an OVA or TV-series, but I’m thrilled to see a series that reunites him, with Leiji Matsumoto of all people. The music also will be excellent: it’s got the composer of Chihayafuru and Shion no Ou, and the style of this guy could pretty well fit in a space opera. Junki Takegami as a scriptwriter doesn’t really say anything to me to be honest, but this guy does have a lot of experience. He just didn’t really work on many series I saw, with the big exception of being the guy who adapted the first Gunslinger Girl season.
The Negatives: The big question mark here is the director: he’s the director of Slap Up Party, something that meant to be an RPG parody, but didn’t know what a parody was. I’m not very confident with him behind the reigns, although as a standalone episode director he does know his stuff and worked on some impressive episodes.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Hyou-ka: You can’t escape

Summary: “The story follows a boy named houtarou who is not assertive about getting involved, but was ordered by his older sister to join the classic literature club. In the club, he gets close to the truth about an incident, involving a female member’s uncle, which happened 33 years ago. The “energy-saving” boy is joined by an inquisitive girl in this adolescent mystery.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto
Series Composition: Shouji Gatou
Other Notable Staff: Kouhei Tanaka (Music), Honobu Yonezawa (Original Story, Series Composition Cooperation)

The Positives: My big problem with Kyoani is that they keep making shows I’m not interested in. I know that they’re really well animated, but for me to watch a bunch of moe blobs in their daily lives, there has to be something that catches my attention, and neither K-On, Lucky Star nor Nichijou succeeded in that. But lo and behold, it’s like they heard me, because their next series will be an actual mystery-series. Awesome! The series composition guy will be the writer of the Full Metal Panic novels, and the guy who wrote the Druaga no Tou series, which also is quite interesting.
The Negatives: My one concern with this series: I don’t “get” Yasuhiro Takemoto’s sense of humour. Lucky Star, Fumoffu, those Haruhi ONAs… they all bored me to death, so I really hope that he will keep to his mystery in this series and just ignore the comedy altogether.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Uchuu Kyoudai

Summary: “story follows two brothers, Mutta and Hibito, who made a vow as kids to travel to space. The younger Hibito became an astronaut. Mutta did not, but his life changes on one fateful day. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Ayumu Watanabe
Series Composition: Makoto Uezu
Other Notable Staff: Toshiyuki Watanabe (Music), Hiroshi Kato (Art Direction)

The Positives: Now here is one who really caught my eye. This premise is potentially gold, and A-1 Pictures behind the animation is showing a lot of potential here. The art will look amazing: Hiroshi Kato also did the art for many other gorgeous looking series. The director has only worked on Doraemon movies before, so he has experience in directing, and let’s see what he can do with an actual mature series like this.
The Negatives: Oh god, not Makoto Uezu. This guy sometimes gets lucky when he’s got good source material, but he also screwed up potentially interesting stories up often enough. I’m looking at you, Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka. Since he also adapted “classics” such as School Days, Seikon no Qwaser and Akane-Iro ni Somaru Saka, in which it felt like he wasn’t even trying, I’m really holding my heart out for this guy.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Fate/Zero Second Season

Summary: “Taking place 10 years before the events of Fate/stay night, this series chronicles the events of the Fourth Holy Grail War.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Ei Aoki
Original Creator: Gen Urobuchi
Other Notable Staff: Yuki Kajiura (Music)

The Positives: Well, it’s finally time for the second season of this series. The first season was entirely dedicated to building up, so there had better be some payoff now. In either way though, this was an incredibly solid series: well produced in all ways, so this series definitely has the potential to come well together.
The Negatives: The only slight downside I can think of now is that familiarity with Fate/Stay Night is slightly assumed, both for the in-universe concepts of magic and the personalities of some of the characters and I’m not going to watch that series again.

First-Glance Potential: 90%


Summary: “In Enoshima, Yuki is a high school student who’s never been good at making real friends thanks to his abnormally poor communication skills. Haru is the self-styled alien who decides to teach Yuki to fish. Natsuki is an irritable born-and-raised local. Akira is the mysterious Indian who watches them all from a distance. These four meet, fish, and find big adventures on their little island.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Kenji Nakamura
Series Composition: Toshiya Ono
Other Notable Staff: Atsuya Uki (Character Designs)

The Positives: More Kenji Nakamura! This guy is really an excellent director, and with A-1 Pictures backing him, he can really flex his creative muscles again, and again this is a series completely different from his other works. The premise very well could work here.
The Negatives: Just one question. The guy who wrote Suite Precure will be writing this? Why him? Also, the thing remains: Noitamina should not be about high school kids. There are enough other shows who do that.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Eureka Seven Ao

Summary: “The “real mecha epic” will center around a boy named Ao who “set ‘destiny’ in motion again when he held the ‘power.'” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Tomoki Kyouda
Other Notable Staff: Mitsuyasu Sakai (SF-Setting), Shiho Takeuchi (Design), Shoji Kawamori (Nirvash Design)

The Positives: Awesome to see Eureka Seven back. the original series took a while to get going, but when it went off, it really was amazing. And the director of the series has finally returned for some more. This will be his first full series again after directing that series, so I’m very curious what he can do with a re-imagining of this series. A lot of work has also gone into the designs of this series (including getting Shoji Kawamori to design the main mecha). This is definitely one to look out for.
The Negatives: I see none so far, but it would be a bit of a shame if Bones can’t also get this to 52 episodes.

First-Glance Potential: 95%

Sakamichi no Apollon

Summary: “Summer, 1966. Kaoru Nishimi has moved to live with relatives in Kyushu. He’s been an aloof honor student his whole life, but that starts changing when he meets Sentarou Kawabuchi, the school’s notorious bad boy. Through him, he learns the appeal of jazz and forms his first real friendships.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Shinichiro Watanabe
Other Notable Staff: Yoko Kanno (Music), Yuuko Kakihara (Script), Ayako Katou (Script), Yoshimitsu Yamashita (Character Designs)

The Positives: Well, this is it: the big one. The show in which Shinichiro Watanabe finally returns for another series. Aided by Studio Mappa, who are apparently the same division of Madhouse who were behind series as Dennou Coil and Casshern Sins. I really want to see more of these guys. The story being about Jazz fits him really well, and yet it’s very different from his usual series (and yet, his short film Baby Blue on Genius Party showed that he can also very well animate non-action series). Add that to an excellent character designer and animator (think the character designs for Hyouge Mono and the animation direction of Sarai-ya Goyou).
The Negatives: At the same time, it would have been even more awesome for Shinichiro Watanabe to just do a Noitamina series, but a full fledged rich and diverse series as Cowboy Bebop. He can really make it happen, especially with how ridiculously solid the trailer looked, showing that he had nowhere lost his touch. Also, one of the scriptwriters worries me a bit. Yuuko Karihara adapted Sora no Otoshimono, Persona, Stitch and Kamichama Karin. Can she keep up with this series?

First-Glance Potential: 95%
Posted on 19 November 2011 with categories: Seasonal Previews

Okay, so what does the upcoming season look like in terms of OVAs and Movies? Well, it’s definitely interesting.

First things first though: there are no DVD specials whatsoever that caught my interest. All franchise releases (movies and OVAs that get released every year over and over) were about shows I don’t care about. The new installments of all ongoing OVAs? I didn’t see anything among it that I liked.

And then we come to the actual new releases and movies. And that’s where the upcoming season is really going to deliver. There are a lot of strong titles there with strong staff members. The movie selection also is excellent, but in particular the movies of existing TV-series are looking really good. On top of that we’ve got a few very interesting looking standalone OVAs of which I’d just wish that they were proper TV-series instead.

DVD Specials

Infinite Stratos Encore: A Sextet Yearning for Love

Summary: “The story centers around the IS Academy: a school for training the pilots of the Infinite Stratos weapon system, which can only be used by females. Candidates plucked from girls from countries all over the world are brought here — as well as one boy named Ichika Orimura. As it turns out, Ichika is “the only male in the world who can use the IS.” “ – (Taken from ANN)
Type: BD/DVD Special

Comments: Watching the Infinite Stratos TV-series felt like watching one big middle finger. “You want to see an exciting mecha-series? Hah! Too bad. Here are some unfunny harem antics!” With a title like this, the creators really dropped all pretense.

Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi

Summary: “Kazuma’s brother Ayumu needs to recuperate from an illness, so they move from the city to a rural mountain village. They plan to board at their father’s inn, Yorozuyo, but get lost on their way. Wandering in the mountains, Kazuma stumbles across a girl named Ui Nakatsugawa. It’s the first of many encounters in his new country life.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: DVD Special

Comments: This was a show that was ridiculously badly acted, based on the first episode that I watched anyways. Apparently this OVA will host an OVA-original character who didn’t appear in the TV-series.

Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi

Summary: “The “reverse school fantasy” light novel series follow an ordinary high school boy named Taito Kurogane who is given a “poison” by a female vampire named Saitohimea, thus changing his life.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Special, bundled with Manga

Comments: This OVA will contain manga content that didn’t make it in the anime. Apparently, people could vote on twitter which story they would like to see animated. In any case, I dropped Itsuten quite early on. The thing that stood out to me the most was the name of one of the characters: “Kurenai Gekkou”.


Summary: “Takuto Akutagawa has a special ability for writing porn novels. He applies to Hirameki Gakuen a high school which only accepts people with “Unique” talent. Now he must chase his dream and direct his classmates to win an interclass competition. All while trying to create the prefect harem.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: OVA, bundled with Manga

Comments: This show just made no sense whatsoever. It was full of idiots pretending to be geniuses, and most of its attempts at being funny got old really fast for me.

Seitokai Yakuindomo

Summary: “The manga follows a former all-girls school’s student council which has three female members and one sole male representative. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Type: OVA, Bundled with Manga Volume
Director: Hiromitsu Kanasawa
Script: Makoto Nakamura

Comments: This show surely does have a lot of OVAs and DVD-specials, doesn’t it? Ah well, I stopped caring about this long ago.


Summary: “The OVA project will adapt the thus-far-unanimated World Series arc and the story’s illusive final matchup, while the new book will let fans see the last pitch in the manga. The project promises the return of the “Golden Battery” in America. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Type: OVA, bundled with Compilation Manga

Comments: So this truly seems to be the final installment of Major, after god knows how many season and manga volumes. I actually attempted to watch the first season of Major, when Goro was still a kid, but I didn’t really like it. It was just way too shounen.

Franchise Movies and OVAs

Inazuma Eleven GO: Kyuukyoku no Kizuna Griffon

Summary: “he Inazuma Eleven GO storyline is set one decade after the first Inazuma Eleven storyline.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie

Comments: Well, this show also has started the tradition of having a new movie released every year, like a ton of other successful kids’ shows are doing. I tried to watch the GO Television series, but in the end I just got turned off by the dry and uninteresting characterization. Kids movies don’t have to be bad, as long as they put enough attention in the character department.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Lupin III: Chi no Kokuin Eien no Mermaid

Summary: “Arsene Lupin III is the grandson of the master thief Arsene Lupin. With his cohorts Daisuke Jigen and Goemon Ishikawa XIII and his love interest Fujiko Mine, he pulls off the greatest heists of all time while always escaping the grasp of Inspector Koichi Zenigata.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: TV-Special

Comments: Okay, I might have mislead people a bit with some of my previous statements. As it turns out, the new Lupin Television series will just be a standalone TV-special, just like the thirty previous ones. It appears that I’m not the only one who made this mistake, so let me warn all the other preview writers out there who make use of Moonphase: Moonphase also puts standalone TV-specials in the TV-series category. Pay attention to that in order to prevent misleading everyone. In any case, this seems to be yet another one of those Lupin Specials. If you liked those, you’ll probably like this one, but I’m not really interested in it.

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Ongoing OVA and Movie Series

Kiss X Sis 06

Summary: “Keita has two older step-sisters, Ako and Riko, but since they aren’t related by blood, they love him in a lustful way. After a mishap at school, Ako and Riko finally confess their love to him. Keita dislikes the thought of seeing them other then brother and sister, but as he tries to enter the same school as his sisters, he slowly becomes attracted to them.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Munenori Nawa

Comments: Just end it already!

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Queen’s Blade OVA

Summary: “The stories are set after the Queen’s Blade competition of Hobby Japan’s original games but before the Rebellion. They take place after the storyline of Queen’s Blade Utsukushiki Toushi-tachi video anime series.” – (Taken from AniDB)
Type: OVA
Director: Morino Yousei

Comments: Nothing to see here. Moving on…

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kira – 03 & 04

Summary: “With things such as story out of the way, Higurashi cranks up the fanservice with Kira, a new OVA series to commemorate the series’ 10th anniversary, featuring nail-biting situations such as Rika and Satoko becoming magical girls to battle evil magic crime syndicates with the help of their trusty squad of cheerleaders, among other things.” – (Taken from MAL)
Type: OVA
Director: Hideki Tachibana
Script: Toshifumi Kawase

Comments: Ugh.. there’ll be two more episodes before this will be over. At this point, I’ve given up all hope.Toshifumi Kawase is one of the best writers that Studio Deen currently has, but he definitely isn’t trying for this one. On top of that, they still haven’t gotten rid of the abysmal Hideki Tachibana as the director.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Morita-San wa Mukuchi – 05

Summary: “Morita Mayu, a high school girl. She is extremely reticent and her silence and habit of looking at people’s eyes straightly sometimes cause misunderstanding. The reason behind it is not because she doesn’t like to talk nor because she has nothing to say. The reason she rarely speaks is due to the fact she thinks too much before speaking, thus losing the timing to speak altogether. But she lives a happy school life with her classmates.” – (Taken from MAL)
Type: OVA
Director: Hayashi Naotaka
Script: Hiroshi Satou

Comments: Im getting a bit tired of these creators. Morita-San wa Mukuchi would have been an enjoyable slice of life series if the creators actually put some effort into making it enjoyable. Right now this just feels like reading a random 4-koma over an audio book.

First-Glance Potential: 10%

Yuri-Seijin Naoko-san – 02

Summary: “Naoko, an alien maid, accompanies Misuzu and her friend Hii on her way to school to guard her from a groper that has been sighted on the neighborhood.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: OVA
Director: Tetsuya Takeuchi

Comments: At least, I think that this will be some sort of continuation of the first 6-minute OVA. The Internet is being very vague on that. In any case, the first OVA was very random and also very wrong in its content material. It’s impressive that it was mostly created by just one guy, but it wasn’t exactly good entertainment.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Carnival Phantasm – Third Season

Summary: “In this show you’ll see parodies and new stories loosely based on Type-Moon’s original works like Melty Blood, Fate/Stay Night, Tsukihime and more.” – (Taken from MAL)
Type: Collection of short OVAs
Director: Seiji Kishi
Script: Makoto Uezu

Comments: I just don’t get this series. Carnival Phantasm really is meant for hardcore fans of the Type Moon universe, and not for people who maybe saw a few series here and there of it. If you’re not a fan of every single series, this will just end up as a collection of very, very bad jokes.

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Hakuouki Hekketsu-Roku – 05

Summary: “: Based on Idea Factory’s romance adventure game: Yukimura Chizuru has come to Kyoto looking for her father, a doctor who has gone missing. While there, she witnesses a fight between an Oni and the Shinsengumi. Taking her into custody, the Shinsengumi debates on what to do with Chizuru when they discover that she is the daughter of the doctor they are also looking for. The Shinsengumi then takes Chizuru along on their search after the missing doctor, from adventures to adventures.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: OVA
Director: Osamu Yamazaki

Comments: Osamu Yamazaki is a bit of a mystery to me. I mean this in the way that the series he directs have no similarities whatsoever to each other. His adaptation of Toward the Terra was amazing, but after that he always just missed something.

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Saiyuki Gaiden – 03

Summary: “500 years before Saiyuki, a heretic child with golden eyes is brought to Heaven and given into the reluctant care of a minor deity, Konzen, nephew of the Merciful Goddess Kanzeon Bosatsu. Konzen eventually names him “Goku”. Goku befriends two other minor gods, Marshal Tenpou and General Kenren of the Western Army of Heaven, and a boy who seems to be his age, the War Prince Nataku. Though Goku is happy in his new home, Heaven is not kind to heretics.” – (Taken from )
Type: Movie
Director: Naoyuki Kuzuya
Script: Kazuya Minekura

Comments: So, how has Saiyuuki Gaiden been doing? This will be the third and last installment of this OVA, and while I didn’t check it out due to time restraints, I guess that this one is interesting for Saiyuki fans.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

New Releases

Sacred Seven: Shirogane no Tsubasa

Summary: “The special edition will focus on the fighting between the Sacred Takers Alma and Night, as well as the fight with Kenmi from Night’s point of view. The re-edited version will have new scenes, particularly of Night’s past, and a new dialogue recording.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Compilation Movie

Comments: Oh dear god why!? The TV-series already was mediocre, and now they want to make a recap movie to add even more insult to the injury? The new content is nice and all, but it will probably just amount to three minutes of new footage or something. I also love how silly the promo art for this show is. Like, the one who drew it couldn’t believe how silly it was what he had to draw.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Waza no Tabibito

Summary: “The story centers around Tekuni Depagaa, a girl who embarks on a journey to train and become a fighting master known as a “wazabito.”” – (Taken from AniDB)
Type: OVA
Director: Matsuena Shun
Other Notable Staff: Tenmon (Music)

Comments: Tenmon behind the music is very solid, considering he also did the music of ef, and most of the Makoto Shinkai movies. Matsuena Shun meanwhile wrote, directed, designed and produced this thing by himself. Unfortunately however, one look at the trailer should tell that the visuals in this thing will be… weird. It’s got the most abysmal character designs, the animation of the 3D models is really poor. And yet it looks like it’ll get some stunning background art.

First-Glance Potential: 50%


Summary: “The movie will depict a story not told in the television series, even though it will follow the five female members of Sakuragaoka High School’s light music club while they are still attending high school. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Naoko Yamada
Script: Reiko Yoshida

Comments: Well, it had it coming: K-On has gotten itself a movie. Overall I don’t care about the TV-series at all, although I do admit that a movie could be interesting if there’s… something actually happening. This was the main reason I didn’t continue with any of the TV-series: it gave me no reason to.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Holy Knight

Summary: “The “dramatic school (romantic) fantasy” centers around an ordinary orphan named Mizumura who goes to a missionary school in Tokyo. His seemingly normal life changes when a beautiful half-Romanian girl named Lilith suddenly transfers into his school. This timid boy is actually a vampire hunter and the successor of the Romyuarudo lineage. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Jiro Fujimoto
Storyboard: Hiroyuki Shimazu

Comments: This seems to be the first part of the “cammot” animation project. I have no idea what the rest of the installments of this projects are going to be, but at least I hope that they’ll come with a bit of a more creative story. The trailer itself seems solidly put together. But seriously, couldn’t you have come up with a better premise?

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker

Summary: “he game is set in Ferelden, one of several countries that makes up the mythical continent of Thedas. The game opens with an animation which details the origins of demonic creatures called the darkspawn, that dwell within the Deep Roads, an underground highway system created by the dwarves long ago, deep beneath the surface of Thedas. Every few hundred years, the darkspawn swarm the surface world in a movement known as a Blight. Beginning with the first Blight, Thedas relied on the legendary order of warriors known as the Grey Wardens to drive the darkspawn back. Dragon Age: Origins begins on the eve of Thedas’s fifth Blight.” – (Taken from Wikipedia)
Type: Movie
Director: Fumihiko Sori
Other Notable Staff: Daisuke Nakayama (Character Designs), Tetsuya Takahashi

Comments: If only because of the character designs, I’m going to watch this movie. It’s actually got the same character designer as Mahou Shoujotai! The soundtrack will also be awesome, coming from the same guy who composed all of the soundtracks for the Marvel-series. Only the director will be a bit lackluster: it’s the director of Vexxile and TO, which both had potential, but had rather weak storylines.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Minori Scramble

Summary: “The story revolves around Tamaki Kakegawa, a fifth grade girl whose father is a penguin researcher. As such, Tamaki is constantly surrounded by penguins and has grown to hate them. In order to cure Tamaki’s hatred of penguins, a ‘penguinoid’ named Minori is built to befriend her.” – (Taken from Wikipedia)
Type: One-Shot OVA
Director: Takuya Nonaka

Comments: The trailer of this one actually looks fun and well directed. At first sight this one may seem like Yuri-Seijin Naoko-san (it’s actually being released together with this series),but Ufo-Table put some good people on this thing, including the director of the second Kara no Kyoukai movie.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Friends: Mononoke Shima no Naki

Summary: “Naki and Gunjou are friends who live on Mononoke Shima, and they cross paths with a human child. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Script: Takashi Yamazaki
Other Notable Staff: Hirosuke Hamada (Original Creator)

Comments: Here is another interesting one: at first sight this seems like a kiddie movie in 3D. However, it seems that this movie will be based upon a tear-jerker of a story, plus it will feature the main character at different ages. That alone has caught my interest.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Eiyuu Densetsu: Sora no Kiseki The Animation

Summary: “In the southwest area of the Zemulia Continent, one will find the tiny Liberl Kingdom. A small monarchy that has managed to defy all odds against attempts to overcome them during war. Liberl is split into five regions: Rolent, Bose, Ruan, Zeiss, and Grancel. In the city of Rolent, Cassius Bright has raised two children by himself, Estelle and Joshua. He taught them everything they know himself, and encourages them to sign up to become apprentices in the Bracers Guild. Soon after, however, he receives a letter and has to leave on business, leaving Estelle and Joshua to fend for themselves. While working, they receive notice one day that their father’s airship has gone missing. With this in mind, the two gear themselves up, and set off to find the ship and save their father.” – (Taken from MAL)
Type: Movie
Director: Makoto Tachibana
Script: Makoto Uezu

Comments: Christ, this one just keeps getting delayed. But, it looks like it’ll finally get released on November 25th. Anyway, the story is still the same: the director of Tokyo Magnitude doing another OVA with Kinema Citrus. Looking forward to it.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Tales of Symphonia the Animation: The United World

Summary: “Two worlds exist, both unaware of the existence of the other. In order for one world to flourish, the other will have to perish. On the doomed world, a Chosen one is send on a journey to restore that world’s mana by awakening the Spirits and becoming an angel. Colette Brunel, the Chosen of Sylvarant, sets out on her journey accompanied by her best friends Lloyd Irving and Genis Sage. As they travel further they meet new friends and even more enemies, while they learn more and more about the truth behind the World Regeneration.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: OVA
Director: Haruo Sotozaki

Comments: It’s finally time for the final arc of this story to commence. And I must say, Ufo Table did a great job on trying to tell the whole story so far with these small series of OVAs. The previous episodes stood out because they nailed that balance between faitful and creative freedom, doing justice to the games, but also creating their own storyline. In the games, this is around the point where things get a bit less interesting, due to the increase in epicness. I wonder how the creators are planning to use that.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Rurouni Kenshin: Shin Kyoto-Hen – 01

Summary: “Himura Kenshin is a vagabond with a dark past and sunny disposition. Not a ronin but a rurouni, he was never a samurai, but an assassin of utmost skill in the Meiji restoration, who in the turning point of the war simply walked away. His travels lead him to Tokyo in the 11th year of the Meiji era, where he befriends a female Kendo master, a former thief, a brawler and a doctor all with their own secrets. Together they fight off the enemies surfacing from the dark past that Kenshin cannot escape.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Two-Part OVA
Director: Kazuhiro Furuhashi
Script: Mari Okada
Other Notable Staff: Hiro Kaburaki (Episode Director)

Comments: I’m not going to watch the Rurouni Kenshin TV-Series due to the fact that it’s so damn long, but these OVA series? Count me in for that. Tsuioku-hen was brilliant, and this finally shows Kazuhiro Furuhashi doing something other than Gundam again (for the record: this was the guy who, beyond directing Tsuioku-hen, also directed Real Drive, Amatsuki, Hunter X Hunter, Chevalier, and Zipang). On top of that, this time he’s got Mari Okada and the director of Kimi ni Todoke helping him out.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

.Hack//The Movie

Summary: “he story is set in 2024, when children have lived their entire lives since birth in a world connected by networks. A cheerful 14-year-old middle school girl named Sora Yūki has no interest in games, but her friends get her to go into the popular network game “The World.” However, due to “a certain incident” in The World, anomalies start occurring in the real world. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Hiroshi Matsuyama
Script: Kazunori Ito

Comments: Holy crap, Kazunori Ito will actually return for this movie. He was the one who originally wrote .Hack//Sign, but also shows as Zettai Shounen, Twillight Q’s first episode, wrote the screenplay for all sorts of parts of the Patlabor Franchise (including the second movie!), plus he also wrote the screenplay of the first Ghost in the Shell Movie. This also seems to be much more in the direction of .Hack//Liminality. I mean, it’s 3D and all, but as a fan of the .Hack franchise this is one movie that I’m really looking forward to.

First-Glance Potential: 90%


Summary: “???”
Type: Original Net Animation
Director: Rie Matsumoto
Other Notable Staff: Yuki Hayashi (Animation Director, Character Designs), Takashi Kurahashi (Art Design)

Comments: Now this is a very obvious one to keep our eyes out for: Toei doing an anime original ONA, helmed by the director of the surprisingly good and well written Heartcatch Precure Movie. And that’s not everything: on top of that this thing will have the art directors of Ayakashi and Mononoke, and various animators of Heartcatch Precure seem to be returning for this project. This one can get very interesting here. Now ideally, things like this need to get a full fledged TV-series. Experiments like this need more time to really show what they want to do.

First-Glance Potential: 90%


Summary: “Someting in Okinawa reeks, and it isn’t long before Tadashi and his girlfriend Kaori realize that the smell are coming from dead fish, which are walking out of the sea. The fish are fused to metal legs and are infected with a disease contractable by humans that was invented as a weapon by the Japanese government. After Kaori is infected, Tadashi goes to find a solution to this putrid takeover, if there even is an answer to be found.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: One-Shot OVA
Director: Takayuki Hirao
Other Notable Staff: Takuro Takahashi (Character Designs), Junji Ito (Original Creator)

Comments: For some reason this is being released alongside Yuri-Seijin Naoko-San and Minori Scramble. One of these things is not like the others. In any case, I’m very interested in this one-shot horror OVA from Ufo Table. What’s even more interesting is that they put the director of the fifth Kara no Kyoukai movie on it (like, the best movie of the entire series). Beyond that, this guy also directed Futakoi Alternative and even worked on Paranoia Agent. Here is one to look out for.

First-Glance Potential: 95%

Un-Go Episode 0

Summary: “The 45-minute original story will depict the protagonists Shinjūrō and Inga’s first encounter and “reveal the biggest mystery [of the story] in theaters.” “ – (Taken from ANN)
Type: 45-Minute Movie
Director: Seiji Mizushima
Script: Shou Aikawa

Comments: I’m not sure under which section to put this thing, because this is definitely not your average DVD-special. It’s 45 minutes long, and actually gets released in theaters. And Un-Go already was my favorite show of the current Autumn Season. It’s really well written and uses every minute of its airtime. This movie also will show the past of the two main characters, which has been hinted at very heavily to be something special.

First-Glance Potential: 95%

Berserk Ougon Jidai-Hen I: Haou no Tamago

Summary: “A brave young warrior named Guts fights for his fortune as a mercenary on the front lines. A fated encounter unites Guts with the charismatic and deadly young man named Griffith. Leading the rogue soldiers known as the Band of the Hawk, Griffith wields his formidable force like no other. Driven by a quest for status, the Hawks exert military and social prowess the likes of which have never been seen before. The armies of Midland will quake with fear as Griffith and Guts set off on a path that will bring the world to its knees.” – (Taken from MAL)
Type: Movie
Director: Toshiyuki Kabooka
Script: Ichiro Okouchi
Other Notable Staff: Naoyuki Onda (Chief Animation Direction), Yusuke Takeda (Art Direction), Goki Nakamura, , Susumu Hirasawa

Comments: Now this is it. I mean, Berserk having a movie reboot is already one thing. But with Studio 4C! Heck, they even got Susumu Hirasawa to write the theme song for this movie. For the director, they also got a great guy: the guy who directed the “Remaining Sense of Pain”-part of the Batman movie, which was really well directed. My only worry is that the writer of Code Geass will handle the script here, but as long as they follow the manga, there is very little that can go wrong here. Or is the manga’s story too big for three movies?

First-Glance Potential: 100%
Posted on 18 November 2011 with categories: Seasonal Previews

Holy crap, the next season will be big. To put it into perspective: there will be 22 new series. All non-kiddie. The only Winter season that had more than that was the winter of 2009. Yes, we’re indeed looking at the second-biggest Winter Anime Season in history.

That’s not the only strange thing about this season, though. It’s full of new companies making their debut on a full fledged series. It’s also got a ton of mecha in it, with Satelight suddenly deciding to go all out. There’s also a ton of moe, courtesy of JC Staff. Winter Seasons usually are a bit bleaker than the other seasons, with it being winter and all. This time however, just about every series here however is bright and colourful, with only one real exception.

The downside to this is of course that there will be very few dark series. For that, we have to rely on the series that will carry over from the current Autumn Season (which are quite a lot).

As for the potential, this is a very hard season to really gouge for, due to the lighter nature of most series. Are there any obvious classics among them? To that, I have to say no. However, there are series that can grow into those if they’re handled really well: there are people in this season with set-ups that might actually pull it off if they get really lucky. Above all though, this will be a very entertaining season.

Amagami SS+ Plus

Summary: “A second-year high school boy finds himself uneasy during Christmas time due to an experience in the past. However, this year at Christmas, he gets his last chance to ask out a graduating female senior named Haruka Morishima—or one of several other classmates. The story of the anime will be arranged in an omnibus format, with each heroine getting her own version of the story animated. Each heroine will sing her own version of the ending theme song.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Tomoki Kobayashi
Series Composition: Noboru Kimura
Other Notable Staff: Machida Touko (Script)

The Positives: Director Switch. This season will be directed by the director of Sola, Utawarerumono and Tears to Tiara, so let’s hope that this will be a bit less lackluster than the first season, as unlikely as it may sound with that track record.
The Negatives: Just… why? I’m just baffled as to why this series got a continuation, other than AIC milking its moe shows again. The cover art shows the exact same characters as the first season again, even though the arcs I managed to sit through were pretty conclusive. What the hell are they really going to do? Add in even more forced romace? Rewrite the entire series? In any case, I did watch about 10 series of the first Amagami before giving up on it, but at this point I have no idea why I stuck with it so long. It was incredibly forgettable romance that failed to stand out in any way. Can the new series really bring a change in that?

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Zero no Tsukaima Final

Summary: “Meet Louise, a budding magician. The students at the Tristein Academy call her “Zero Louise”, due to her current record of zero successes with magic. In fact, her magic tends to go spectacularly wrong. Now, as an important test of her aptitude for magic, she must summon a familiar to be her servant. At this critical moment, she summons up all her magic and wishes for a familiar that is “devoted, beautiful and powerful”, and gets… Hiraga Saito, an ordinary Japanese boy. It’s difficult to say who is more surprised and dismayed, but the rules don’t allow for second attempts. Louise is stuck with her strange familiar, and he with her.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Yoshiaki Iwasaki
Series Composition: Noboru Yamaguchi

The Positives: The series composition will actually be handled by the writer of the Zero no Tsukaima manga. The director did work on a bunch of good series like Sky Girls and Wagaya no Oinarisama…
The Negatives: But unfortunately the same guy worked on just as many lesser shows, like Ookamisan and Twin Angel. And really, the thought of two Kugimiya Rie shows at the same time… with the two characters who started off her infamy. Louise was the first Shana clone out there, and while I blame Shana for creating a really obnoxious stereotype, I blame Zero no Tsukaima even more for adhering to it and making it even more popular.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

High School DXD

Summary: “The story follows Issei Hyōdō, a dim-witted, lecherous second-year high school student who is killed by a girl on his first date ever. Issei is reincarnated as a devil, and from that day forward, he serves as an underling of Riasu, a high-level devil who is also the prettiest girl on Issei’s campus. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Tetsuya Yanagisawa
Series Composition: Takao Yoshioka

The Positives: Um, Takao Yoshioka usually isn’t that bad of a scriptwriter, with the series composition of Elfen Lied, Daimaou and Sky Girls under his name… usually…
The Negatives: What do you want from me?! The url of this show’s website is called “Harem King”!

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Papa no Iu Koto o Kikinasai!

Summary: “Segawa had just gotten into college and settled into his first semester with new friends, but the plane that his older sister and her husband were riding went missing. As a result, Segawa has to watch over the middle school girl Sora, the fifth-grader Miu, and the kindergartener Hina in his tiny 3-meter-by-4-meter (9-foot-by-12-foot) apartment. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Itsuro Kawasaki
Series Composition: Naruhisa Arakawa
Other Notable Staff: Tomohiro Matsu (Original Creator)

The Positives: So here we have the generic moe romantic comedy of the season… only it’s directed by a guy who normally handles action series: Itsuro Kawasaki.
The Negatives: Most of his series though miss something, and he only really nailed a series with Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu, which did have a very strong source material. I really cannot say the same for this show though. It feels like Rou Kyuu Bu II or something. The entire premise is dedicated to pandering to a certain type of audience. Naruhisa Arakawa is the same: she wrote a lot, but ultimately most of these works are rather generic. With the big exception of the Legend of Black Heaven, but that unfortunately seems completely different.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Baby, Please Kill Me

Summary: “A four panel series about the not-so-ordinary school life of hyper Yasuna, her (unwilling) partner-in-crime Sonya the assassin and Agiri, a ninja with highly questionable skills.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Yoshiki Yamakawa
Series Composition: Hideki Shirane
Other Notable Staff: Shinya Hasegawa (Character Designs)

The Positives: The character designer of Utena, wut? The director isn’t anything special, but he’ll probably make this mildly fun.
The Negatives: I still haven’t forgiven Hideki Shirane for ruining Yumekui Merry. And it’s good that this doesn’t have a serious story, because he seems to be really bad at that (Aria The Scarlet Ammo, anyone?). In any case, this seems like it’ll be typical JC Staff: typical but ultimately unfunny antics by moe young girls. We’ve got enough of those series already.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Recorder to Randoseru

Summary: “The manga revolves around Atsushi Miyagawa and his sister Atsumi Miyagawa. Atsushi looks like an adult at 180 centimeters (about 71 inches) tall, but he is actually an elementary school boy. Atsumi looks like a little girl at 137 centimeters (54 inches) tall, but she is actually in high school. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Hiroshi Kimura
Series Composition: Ryou Karasuma
Other Notable Staff: Takaaki Anzai (Music)

The Positives: Next up in the category of series that can only happen in Japan: two siblings who look nothing like their ages. At first sight this seems like it might just be an interesting series. This will be the debut of director Hiroshi Kimura, and he has worked on episodes of series as Koi Kaze, Haibane Renmei and Gungrave, so he should know what it takes to tell a serious story.
The Negatives: However, this is still produced by Seven, the same people who gave us Morita-San wa Mukuchi, the incredibly poorly produced show where it felt like nobody really cared what they were making. The series composition guy will be the same. I really have no idea what’s up with these really cheaply produced series lately.

First-Glance Potential: 25%

The New Prince of Tennis

Summary: “This continues what happened in the “Prince of Tennis “, after the end of the tournament . In “The New Prince of Tennis,” Ryoma and the others (team members and teams they faced) begin a new adventure when they are the only 50 middle school students to be invited to the Japanese High School Representatives Selection Camp where only the top potentials in the Japanese tennis world train.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Shunsuke Tada
Other Notable Staff: Cher Watanabe (Music), Takuya Hiromitsu (Sound Direction)

The Positives: This thing will be produced by MSC. They’re a small animation company, founded from Production IG, and while they did produce a bunch of OVAs (which mostly were Prince of Tennis OVAs), this will be their first full fledged Television series. As newbies on the market, I wish them good luck. The director they got for this one also is an interesting one: the director of Bungaku Shoujo and World Destruction. That does show that this guy needs good source material, but he’s got an interesting style.
The Negatives: I’ve heard… some bad things about the Prince of Tennis franchise. I’ve never seen a single episode of it, but from what I’ve heard it’s got one of the most obnoxiously perfect main characters in the book. Beyond that, I also have a very unnerving question here: in total, the Prince of Tennis has gotten 209 episodes and one movie… and they still haven’t left middle school?! What have they been doing for these past 200 episodes? O.o

First-Glance Potential: 50%


Summary: “The story is set in the early 21st century as a sequel to another NisiOisin story, Bakemonogatari, and it centers around the “Fire Sisters” Tsukihi and Karen Araragi. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Akiyuki Shinbo
Series Composition: Fuyashi Tou, Akiyuki Shinbo
Other Notable Staff: Satoru Kousaki (Music), Akio Watanabe (Character Designs), Toshiharu Iijima (Art Direction)

The Positives: Oooh, you really make things hard, don’t you, Shaft? Here is the thing: with this, Shinbo has finally done what I’ve been hoping him to do for ages now: stop being involved in a truckload of different series at the same time and just focus on one series and make that one as good as possible. I really hated how he basically used his own style as an excuse to rush through all of his series, instead of just making one good one. With this, he has actually taken a half-year break and not released anything.
The Negatives: However, will that be enough to finally put an end to some of the most obnoxious Shaft tropes? The big one is how there hasn’t been a single Shaft Sequel that was just as good or better than its original, and I already didn’t like Bakemonogatari. The thing is, that I really want to like this guy, but when he keeps telling these half-assed stories full of pointless symbolism that actually gets in the way of telling this story, then I’m not in.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Senhime Zesshou Symphogear

Summary: “The anime follows two girls in a top vocal unit named Zweiwing who fight to save humanity against a threat known as “Noise.” “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Tatsufumi Ito
Series Composition: Akifumi Kaneko
Other Notable Staff: Elements Garden (Music), Noriyasu Agematsu (Original Creator), Thomas Romain (Art Director, Future Visuals), Fumiaki Kouta (Action Director)

The Positives: Encourage Films did a random ONA in the past, but this is the first time they do a full series on their own. I wish them good luck. This is all in all a very weird production, because the original creator is one of the musical composer from the band Elements Garden. On top of that, Thomas Romain, the director of the japanese inspired Code Lyoko and co-production of Oban Star Races and the original creator of Basquash will handle the art direction. It’s clear that this studio emerged from Satelight, and it’s very interesting to see that someone like Thomas Romain went along with them. Fumiaki Kouta behind the action direction also brings a lot of promise considering his huge experience. Also: it’s a music battle tv anime. What the hell?
The Negatives: And then bizarrely enough this also got the director of Shugo Chara Party (that huge cop-out) and a guy behind the series composition without any other experience (pseudonym?). Ah well, Tatsufumi Ito has shown that he can direct with his work on some episodes of Casshern and Croisee.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Ano Natsu de Matteru

Summary: “All that’s known at this point is that this is an original story about a romantic comedy between three teenagers.”
Series Composition: Yosuke Kuroda
Other Notable Staff: Taraka Uon (Character Designs)

The Positives: Here is an interesting project: most romantic comedies nowadays are adaptations of either mangas, light novels or hentai games. This time however, we have a series that is completely anime original. And not only that, it’s written by Yosuke Kuroda. Now, I have not seen Onegai Teacher, which seems to be the closest comparison to this series, but we’re talking about the guy who wrote Madlax, Infinite Ryvius, Gundam OO, and who adapted Trigun, High School of the Dead, Phantom, Gungrave, Honey and Clover and Ookiku Furikabutte. If anyone can make a romantic comedy work, then it’s this guy.
The Negatives: Though granted, Yosuke Kuroda isn’t perfect. His list of bad shows is also quite long with Maken-Ki, Ring ni Kakero, Kokoro Library, Spider Riders and Yumeria. If this guy really wants to though, he can make something very interesting here.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

The Knight in the Area

Summary: “Believing himself to be useless at soccer, Aizawa Kakeru is the manager of his school’s Soccer team, while his brother Suguru is its ace, and is even good enough to represent Japan. However, Kakeru may be harbouring a strong talent within himself that only Suguru can see, and the two often get into arguments over Kakeru’s denial of his skills. Things are made more complicated when Suguru dies in a car accident and Kakeru got a heart injury and needs a heart transplant, given by their parents’ heart. Seven, an old playmate of theirs that Kakeru has a crush on. She join Aizawa Kakeru in his journey to the national and even international championships.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Hirofumi Ogura
Other Notable Staff: Tadashi Agi (Original Story)

The Positives: Tadashi Agi seems to be a veteran in the manga business. I haven’t seen any of his works, but his experience might be interesting for this series. This is produced by Shin-Ei Animation, and it’s been a while since they released anything (they were behind a truckload of Doraemon movies, but also Kappa to Coo to Natsuyasumi. Hirofumi Ogura meanwhile was the director of Kuroshitsuji II, which proved to be an excellent tongue in the cheek sequel.
The Negatives: You know… something tells me that the original creator is a really, really big fan of a guy named Adachi. My big problem with this show at the moment lies with the premise of this show, which feels like someone took an Adachi storyline, and turned it into a soap opera, removing all the subtlety from it. The reason Adachi’s works work is because of how well they’re told, not because how he tries to be as sad as possible.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki

Summary: “The slice-of-life manga centers around a mysterious “spherical cat” named Poyo, its family, and the people in Poyo’s everyday life.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Akitaro Daichi

The Positives: Do not get fooled here: this show is being directed by the guy who is pretty much the best and most consistent comedy director out there. Akitarou Daichi has a track record of working on a ton of different series, and being consistently hilarious no matter what he’s working on.
The Negatives: At the same time though, I’d really wish that this guy would get back and work on a project with a bit more ambition. I mean, this is also the guy who brought us Now and Then, Here and There and the adaptation of Fruits Basket.

First-Glance Potential: 70%


Summary: “The story reimagines the legendary adventures of the 10 brave warriors assembled by the warlord Sanada Yukimura in the year 1600, in the middle of Japan’s tumultuous Sengoku (Warring States) era. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Kiyoko Sayama
Series Composition: Mamiko Ikeda
Other Notable Staff: Yukiko Ban (Animation Director)

The Positives: This will be produced by Studio Sakimakura, who are completely new on the market. Nice! Also nice is that another series at least tries to take the Sengoku Era seriously, without turning its characters into girls or something. Yukiko Ban meanwhile is a very solid choice behind the animation director, having previously done so with Amatsuki, .Hack//Sign and Shinrei Tantei Yakumo. It’s also great to see Kiyoko Sayawa back again, as she’s one of the few female directors out there, and her work on Pretear and Skip Beat definitely caught my eye. This show can become what Hakuouki failed to do.
The Negatives: I’m a bit iffy on Mamiko Ikeda. She’s not entirely bad, she did a great job on adapting Victorian Romance Emma, Tsukikage Ran and Fruits Basket… only not so much on Regios, Maid Sama, Nagasarete Airantou and Hanasakeru Seishounen…

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou

Summary: “As the title indicates, the gag comedy manga follows the humorous yet “realistic” everyday life of Tadakuni, Hidenori, Yoshitake, and other students at a boys’ high school.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Shinji Takamatsu
Other Notable Staff: Audio Highs (Music), Kenichi Tajiri (Art Direction), Souta Ooya, Ai Yoshimura

The Positives: Here we do have an interesting project: the first 100 episodes of Gintama (basically the best part of the show) were directed by Shinji Takamatsu. Even though his previous attempt at a series failed with Sora no Manimani, I’m still curious to see what he can do with a bit of a wilder premise that isn’t just any other romantic comedy. He brought some solid directors along with him it seems, and also the art direction seems to have potential here.
The Negatives: My main complaint here is that the whole premise isn’t that interesting, but slice of life comedies really depend on their execution anyway.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Aquarion Evol

Summary: “Twelve thousand years in the past, mankind was at mercy of the mythical creatures known as Shadow Angels, immortal winged beings with overwhelming powers and technology. That is, until one of their kind, Apolonius, fell in love with a female human warrior, Seliane. Apolonius joins forces with the humans to free them from their oppression, by using the legendary giant fighting robot Aquarion” – (Taken from Wikipedia)
Chief Director: Shoji Kawamori
Director: Yuusuke Yamamoto
Series Composition: Mari Okada
Other Notable Staff: Yoko Kanno (Theme Song)

The Positives: Oh boy. Shoji Kawamori and Mari Okada working together on one series. I have no idea how well that’s going to go, but it definitely has me interested. I never bothered to watch Aquarion because its premise just didn’t seem interesting enough to marathon compared to all the other shows that I still need to check out (yeah, it was a very subjective reason), however when it airs weekly like this I think that I’ll have enough motivation to keep watching it. Especially now that Mari Okada is involved. Oh, and not to mention the director of NHK ni Youkoso and B Gata H Kei. These are some of the strongest names that Shoji Kawamori worked together with in a long time.
The Negatives: If Kawamori TROLLS ME ONE MORE TIME….

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Black Rock Shooter

Summary: “Mato Kuroi just got into junior high school, and on the first day, someone catches her eye; her classmate Yomi Takanashi. The two meet.The innocent and naive Mato. The mature Yomi. Seemingly opposites, but the time they spend together only strengthens a growing friendship. But as they go into their second year at the school, they get placed in separate classes, and they begin to grow apart. But somewhere simultaneously… In another world, a young girl, blue fire residing in her eyes, Black Rock Shooter faces another young girl; this one holding a jet-black scythe, Dead Master, and a battle to the death begins to unfold.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Shinobu Yoshioka
Series Composition: Mari Okada
Other Notable Staff: Yusuke Yoshigaki (Animation Director), First-Glance Potential: 80%

Tantei Opera Milky Holmes 2

Summary: “In the future world, people use ‘Toys’ that grant them superhuman abilities like ESP and telekinesis. This has led to a boom in both minor crimes and the need for Toy-using detectives to track down the offenders and bring them to justice. Opera Koyabashi runs the detective agency, Milky Holmes, staffed by four cheerful and energetic girls.” – (Taken from ANN)

The Positives: The exact staff of this series hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s very likely that the same guys will be returning for this sequel of the series that really surprised me when it first came out. At first it seemed like this really dull moe show, but it actually turned out to be a very funny detective parody with very likable characters and surprisingly good animation at times (courtesy of Seiya Numata).
The Negatives: The big question will be: will this be as good as the first season? The problem with comedy sequels is that they’re hardly ever as good as their predecessors. The second season is the point where the inspiration runs dry, the best jokes have been already told, the writers try too hard, all resulting in a lesser experience. Especially in the case of the good comedies like this one. Let’s hope that this can avoid this syndrome.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Inu x Boku SS

Summary: “The Shirakiin house’s daughter, Shirakiin Ririchiyo, who has a complex about being unable to live independently and unprotected, feels the need to move out and live on her own under the condition of residing in the mansion named “Ayakashi Kan.” In this mansion, only those who have cleared a very strict examination could reside in it, and for each resident, they are accompanied with one agent of the Secret Service (S.S.). Although Riricho has rejected the company of the S.S., while residing in the mansion she finds out that the agent dedicated to protecting her is actually the Fox Spirit whom she previously rescued.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Naokatsu Tsuda
Series Composition: Saizo Nemoto
Other Notable Staff: Haruko Iizuka (Animation Direction), Takyua Satou (Supervision)

The Positives: There are very few studios nowadays that can immediately gain my interest upon a normally dull looking show as David Production. With Ben-To they showed that even with the moe shows, they try their best to make it entertaining. And indeed, the premise here does seem more interesting than your average moe show. On top of that we’ve got a talented animation director working here and it’s supervised by the director of Niea and Steins;Gate. The director will be a new guy, which is also interesting. He worked on a bunch of interesting episodes already. Saizo Nemoto also sounds quite interesting, as he adapted quite a few episodes for Bantorra, Steins;Gate, Shangri La and Toward the Terra.
The Negatives: Saizo Nemoto is also currently writing Towa no Quon, which disappointed a little. That’s all I have.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Mouretsu Pirates

Summary: “Marika is a first year high school student living in a far away galaxy known as Uminoakeboshi. One day she finds out that her recently deceased father was once the captain of the space pirate ship called the Bentenmaru. More importantly, the only one to inherit the captain’s title has to be a direct descendant – meaning that Marika is next in line to become the captain of the ship.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Tatsuo Sato
Series Composition: Tatsuo Sato
Other Notable Staff: Hiroshi Takeuchi (Chief Animation Director), Kenji Teraoka (Mechanical Design), Masahisa Suzuki (Mechanical Design), Shoji Kawamori (Mechanical Design)

The Positives: Hell yeah! This sounds like a fun and exciting story from Satelight. They got some really good animators and designers behind it (including the animation director of The Big O of all things), and Tatsuo Sato will really be the man of this season, with two very ambitious mecha series under his helm. I’m expecting a lot here from the director of Nadesico, Stellvia, Tokyo Tribe, Shingu and Shigofumi, especially since he’s also writing the series composition on top of directing. It’s been a while since someone had the guts to do that.
The Negatives: Moe and boobs. Please don’t let those get in the way of making this one fun.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Rinne no Lagrange: Flower declaration of your heart

Summary: “Kyono Madoka is a 17-year-old girl, who loves her home town Kamogawa and likes to help people in trouble. She rides a robot called Woks in her jersey wear and fights against aliens.” – (Taken from MAL)
Chief Director: Tatsuo Sato
Director: Toshimasa Suzuki
Series Composition: Shoutarou Suga
Other Notable Staff: Eiji Umehara (Script), Hiroshi Oonogi (Script), Shigeru Morita (Script), Touko Machida (Script), Yuuichi Nomura (Script), Chizuru Kobayashi (Character Designs), Michie Watanabe (Art Director)

The Positives: Could it be? Is Xebec finally getting a bit ambitious again? It’s been ages since we’ve seen a good mecha, so I really hope that this one will be it. The chief director behind it in any case will be amazing, and I’m expecting a lot from the same guy who brought us Shingu, Cat Soup, Nadesico, Tokyo Tribe and Shigofumi. The cast of this series seems huge, which seems to be working in his favor. The director of Heroic Age and the Fafner Movie also can make things quite interesting here and the team is complete with nobody other than the guy who wrote Darker than Black and various episodes of all kinds of awesome series as Chevalier, Blood+, Ghost in the Shell, Seirei no Moribito and Wild Arms. Oh, and to make matters even better: Hiroshi Ohnogi (you know, the guy behind the series composition of Birdy the Mighty, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, NOEIN, and Shangri-la, among many others will be among the scriptwriters. This has some HUGE potential.
The Negatives: The obvious flaw of this is the fanservicy character designs, but also the collection of scriptwriters: it’s got some of the best, but also some of the worst ones. Most notably Machida Touko, who has ruined many great premises by her mediocre scriptwriting.

First-Glance Potential: 90%


Summary: “Horror novel reader Kouichi Sakakibara moves to his grandparents home after his father went abroad, but soon after turning 15 he’s hospitalized by a sudden pneumothorax, missing his first day of school. In the hospital he meets a mysterious girl called Mei Misaki. After recovery he joins the 3rd year 3-Class at North Yomiyama Middle School. Kouichi finds Mei Misaki is in the same class, but notice that the rest of his classmates don’t see her and avoid to speak about it. He later hear from his aunt from the story of a prestigious girl in the same class from 26 years before that died in an accident. Refusing to accept it her classmates kept pretending she was still alive. In that year’ graduation commemorative photograph, the girl supposedly not to be was there. Her name was Mei Misaki.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
Series Composition: Ryou Higaki
Other Notable Staff: Kou Otani (Music), Satoru Hirayanagi (Art Director), Yoshimasa Yamazaki (3D Director), Yoshikazu Iwanami

The Positives: This one will be a show to keep your eye out to. PA Works assembled some great staff for it, including their usual background art artists (just look at Hana-Saku Iroha for the amazing things these people can do), Kou Otani is making the soundtrack, the series composition will e done by one of the scriptwriters of Seirei no Moribito, and to finish things off: Tsutomu Mizushima (who also directed Ookiku Furikabutte, Blood-C, xxxHolic and Squid Girl) will be directing it. The series is in an excellent genre as well, so I’m looking forward to this.
The Negatives: A high school. The creators had better make good use of this cliche.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Natsume Yuujinchou Shi

Summary: “Natsume Takashi has the ability to see spirits, which he has long kept secret. However, once he inherits a strange book that belonged to his deceased grandmother, Reiko, he discovers the reason why spirits surround him. Containing the names of these spirits, a binding contract was formed between the spirits and the owner of the book. Now, Natsume is determined to free the spirits and dissolve the contracts. With the help of a spirit cat, his days are filled trying to return the names to these spirits.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Takehiro Omori
Series Composition: Sadayuki Murai
Other Notable Staff: Makoto Yoshimori (Music)

The Positives: Well, what can there be said about this series at this point? The third season that aired this summer was just exquisite and brought in a ton of character development for the titular character. And then to think that it was nowhere near finished. The staff for this series will be the same, so the incredibly strong direction and script of Takehiro Omori (who previously directed Baccano, Jigoku Shoujo, Fancy Lala and Koi Kaze) and Sadayuki Murai (who previously adapted Boogiepop Phantom and Mouryou no Hako, two utterly brilliant adaptations) should be able to work their magic again.
The Negatives: So far, Natsume’s stories that just took part into one single episode have been the strongest. I really hope that the creators put in many of these kinds of episodes. The main storyline of Natsume Yuujinchou is very good, but not THAT good.

First-Glance Potential: 95%
Posted on 13 August 2011 with categories: Seasonal Previews

Ooh, this is a very dark season for OVAs. Probably the worst we’ve had in years. Do you want to know how many original OVAs are going to be released over the next three months, so the ones who aren’t based on a TV-series? One. And that one show got delayed half a year. Beyond that, out of all the OVA episodes that will be released, there will only be four that are really worth watching, with perhaps one getting the benefit of doubt. Apart from that, it’s all going to be moe and fanservice. And occasionally bishie harems.

As for the moies: again, really barren. There’s hardly anything new coming out, but the stuff that does come out will be great at least. Don’t expect a lot to come up, though. Like, the two movies… yeah. In the seasons that I’ve been doing these movie and OVA previews, I have never encountered a season that looks as empty as this one.

Unlike last season’s preview, I do have a bit more time to go into more detail for the DVD Specials, Ongoing OVAs, Ongoing Movie Series and Franchise Movies (you know, those shows that have a movie coming out each year). I still refuse to keep listing their staff list, especially since they’re either nothing to really write home about or exactly the same as their predecessors, so I’ll just group them together at the start of this preview.

DVD Specials/Single Franchise OVAs:
Infinite Stratos – Koi ni Kogareru Sextet

Description: “Koi ni Kogareru Sextet” means something like “A sextet in love”.
The Positives: Um.. it sold well?
The Negatives: The past winter season was full of disappointments. None was as big as finding out what Infinite Stratos turned into, though. They weren’t even trying! With this OVA, they completely stopped pretending to be about anything: it’s just another cheesy harem now.

The World God Only Knows – Four People and an Idol

Description: This will apparently adapt chapter 54 of the manga, which apparently focuses on some of the girls of the previous arcs making a light music club.
The Positives: This probably is good news for the fans of this series, because the creators are actually willing to animate more of the manga.
The Negatives: I really doubt that this is going to save this series for anyone who got tired of TWGOK, like myself. The one redeeming factor of this series was that it did spend a lot of attention to get some depth into its characters. This is just another silly side-story, which were by far the worst parts of the anime.

Boku wa Tomodachiga Sukinai

Description: It will be bundled with the seventh volume of the novels it’s based on, which chronicles a bunch of kids who start a club for people who don’t have many friends. I couldn’t find anywhere which chapters it’s going to be adapting, though.
The Positives: I still think that this premise has potential, if it just hadn’t blatantly written “moe” all over it.
The Negatives: With AIC though, I really don’t have any expectations for this one at all. Nearly all of their series are only interested in delivering pointless moe unless it’s explicitly clear from the beginning that they’re not, like with Hourou Musuko or Sunred. Persona might break that trend, but Bokuwa Tomodachi ga Sukinai has no chance.

Deadman Wonderland

Description: This is going to be an unaired DVD episode for Deadman Wonderland.
The Positives: Finally! This will be one of the very few OVA episodes that I’m looking forward for the upcoming season. Deadman Wonderland is in dire need of more episodes, so even an extra DVD episode that shows more of the story is good here.
The Negatives: Now, Manglobe: please continue with this series instead of continuing with bad and pretentious hentai game adaptations. This series deserves to be finished!

Ongoing OVAs :
VitaminX Addiction

Description: Based on a dating sim. This is the second of three episodes.
The Positives: None.
The Negatives: Oh god, there’s going to be more? The shoujo genre is already completely stale. We don’t need any more cheesy harems like Uta Prince.
Aah Megami-Sama

Description: It continues the story of Aah Magami-Sama, in which the lead character Keiichi gets his wish fulfilled and gets to live together with a bunch of goddesses. The tag line will be “Keiichi-san, do you wanna kiss me?”
The Positives: Well, it’s about bloody time, isn’t it?
The Negatives: I still don’t get Aah Megami-Sama. Sure, the premise is nice for a short series and all. But 96 TV-episodes, three OVAs and one movie? Is its character development so amazing that it warrants so many episodes? And for that matter, if it is indeed so amazing, why is their relationship still at the point where they haven’t even kissed yet? Is this really more than a really endless “will they won’t they”-show?

Queen’s Blade

Description: “The art collection books will include two DVDs with about 40 minutes each of all-new original anime . About 20 minutes will be a story about the Rebellion characters who have not appeared in Queen’s Blade anime until now. About 20 more minutes will be devoted to an anime in which the character Alleyne and Siggy give private lessons. “ – (Taken from ANN)
The Positives: Well, if you want to see boobs then this series surely is catering to you.
The Negatives: Ugh… why is this one still pretending that it isn’t porn?

Higurashi n Naku Koro ni Kira

Description: This one will adapt four random stories. This tie it’s the turn for the Ayakashisenshi-hen -Do- and later in November the Kichienshi-hen -Ai-, unlike the first episode completely original stories.
The Positives: Well, at the very least Toshifumi Kawase is still involved. This guy rocks…
The Negatives: But unfortunately he just can’t do miracles. Seriously, what a disappointment this first episode was. Who on Studio Deen found it a good idea to put one of their worst directors on this job? It was nothing but characters imagining pointless fanservice, without any connection whatsoever between all of the scenes. To make matters worse, the episode director of the second episode seems to be Fumihiko Shimo. When working on an adaptation, he can really make this adaptation shine: Clannad and Air really rocked. When he’s doing an original story though… yeah. Hello, Infinite Stratos, Bakuretsu Tenshi and Gravion. Studio Deen, seriously: get back to making awesome series again.

Seitokai Yakuindomo

Description: “It is the start of Takatoshi Tsuda’s second year as the put-upon vice president of the student council and his sister Kotomi is entering school as a first year. New friends and double entendres are made.” – (Taken from ANN)
The Positives: Seitokai Yakuindomo is about one thing, and one thing only: dirty jokes. If you liked the first season, you’re bound to like this upcoming OVA.
The Negatives: Granted, it was much, much better than Princess Lover, but what turned me off of this series was its endless repetition. It just kept repeating jokes over and over to the point of annoyance, so I didn’t last long with this show.

Hakuouki Sekkaroku

Description: Third, Fourth and Fifth episode of this OVA will debut next season, continuing the story of Hakuouki and the Shinsengumi.
The Positives: Kou Outani behind the music is really good. and it’s not like Hakuouki is doomed: a story about the Shinsengumi could have been very good…
The Negatives: … if only the main character wasn’t such an idiot. Instead, this now just turned to be Deen and its bishies again. Did it get any better in the meantime?

Kaibutsu Ojou

Description: Third episode of an OVA of a show about a guy who gets brought back to life by a monster princess.
The Positives: I never checked it out because I really didn’t like the premise, but at the very least this OVA has a different staff from the TV-series. That’ got to be intentional, right?
The Negatives: I am glad that I didn’t check it out though, because just LOOK at that promo art. On the main website, I mean. here it reveals its colors as just another fanservice OVA.

Carnival Phantasm Second Season

Description: “The anime adapts an anthology of Type-Moon manga short stories by Kannagi creator Eri Takenashi to celebrate Type-Moon’s 10th anniversary” – (Taken from ANN)
The Positives: Yasuharu Takanashi behind the music and Seiji Kishi behind the direction should be fun.
The Negatives: The original writer of Kannagi is a very big problem, though. Especially with
Description: Not the DVDs, but the manga will bundle episode 12.5 of the series. Very subtle.
The Positives: Again, Sekai-Ichi hatsukoi wasn’t bad. It was a nice look at the life of a manga-publisher, and at least this OVA will be about the main couple, and not the side ones.
The Negatives: The longer this goes on though, the more I’m reminded of Junjo Romantica all over again. I really don’t think that this series has as much staying power as the creators would like you to believe. Oh, and the manga also still is on-going, so a good ending also won’t be possible.

Saiyuuki Gaiden – 02

Description: “500 years before Saiyuki, a heretic child with golden eyes is brought to Heaven and given into the reluctant care of a minor deity, Konzen, nephew of the Merciful Goddess Kanzeon Bosatsu. Konzen eventually names him “Goku”. Goku befriends two other minor gods, Marshal Tenpou and General Kenren of the Western Army of Heaven, and a boy who seems to be his age, the War Prince Nataku. Though Goku is happy in his new home, Heaven is not kind to heretics.”
The Positives: I haven’t seen the first OVA of this thing due to time constraints, but did it turn out worthwhile? It’s in any case at least not moe fanservice. That’s good.
The Negatives: I still have a bit of doubts about Naoyuki Kuzuya, the director of Bus Gamer, behind this thing.

Gundam Unicorn – 04

Description: “The year is U.C. 0096. Three years have passed since the end of the Second Neo Zeon War. It is said that the Vist Foundation manipulates the Earth Federation and Anaheim Electronics from behind the scenes. Hoping to create a new world, the Foundation attempts to hand over a certain secret to the Neo Zeon remnants known as the Sleeves. This will mean the opening of Laplace’s Box, which holds a great secret tied to the origins of the Universal Century. The exchange between the Vist Foundation and the Sleeves is to take place at the manufacturing colony Industrial 7. This is the home of the student Banagher Links, who rescues a girl he sees falling through the colony’s zero gravity area. The girl gives her name as Audrey Burne and says she wants to prevent a war, spurring Banagher to step into the conflict surrounding Laplace’s Box—almost as if he is drawn in by his own bloodline.” – (Taken from ANN)
The Positives: This is where this series is going to have to deliver. It’s past its halfway point, so now it’s all up to the creators and prevent this show from turning into yet another string of random battles, and instead make good use of the build-up of the first three episodes. Gundam Unicorn has the big benefit of having a ridiculously solid director. Make use of that!
The Negatives: By far my biggest problem with this series has been the male lead. Please, make him the next Amuro, not the next Kamille!

Yozakura Quartet

Description: Third episode of the OVA, which intends to follow the manga, rather than what the TV-series did.
The Positives: Hell yeah! More Yozakura Quartet with its beyond awesome action and fun and interesting characters! There aren’t many OVAs worth watching this season, but this one is an absolute must-watch.
The Negatives: The only criticism I have at the moment is that the dialogue sometimes feels a bit uninspired. But heck. This OVA has more than enough to make up for that.

Franchise Movies:
Suite PreCure: Take it back! The Miraculous Melody that Connects Hearts!

Description: The title seems to suggest that this movie will focus on taking back a miraculous melody that changes hearts.
The Positives: Now, the movies of the Precure series are always produced by different people, so there is hope. The Heartcatch Precure movie was really charming, despite not having the same director and scriptwriters.
The Negatives: That title still puzzles me, though. The Heartcatch Precure at least had an interesting premise: coming to Paris for a Fashion show, and around that it built its drama. This though… yeah, we’re gonna save the world again! Whoop-dee-doo.

Actual new Releases
Scryed Alteration

Summary: A strange environmental phenomenon 22 years ago in the Kanazawa prefecture caused the land to split and protrude upwards reaching unprecedented heights, creating the secluded area known as The Lost Ground. Kazuma is a young mercenary who lives in the Lost Ground, looking for any work he can find to sustain his livelihood within the harsh environment. He is one of the few people that are gifted with the Alter ability, which allows him to plaster his right arm and torso with a metallic alloy. When this mercenary encounters HOLY, an order whose purpose is to suppress and capture what they call Native Alter Users, and one of the elite members of HOLY, Ryuho, an epic rivalry begins. – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Recap Movie with New Footage
The Positives: It will look more polished.
The Negatives: Don’t buy that “new footage”-thing. Nine times out of ten it’s just some subtle reworkings of scenes or like, two minutes of new scenes. I never really started Scryed, because… well… it looks silly. The promo art has two overly emo dudes yelling and trying to beat each other up. Sacred Seven had more subtlety than that. Also, why a recap movie? those things usually suck.
First-Glance Potential: 0%

Eiyuu Densetsu: Sora no Kiseki

Summary: Blazers are gallant warriors that consider the well being of others and the safety of the land as their priority, and work hard to defeat monsters and criminals. Estel is an aspiring Blazer who lives near the city of Rolento in Rebel Kingdom. Together with her friend Yoshua, Estel continues to train herself in the arts of Blazers. The story begins when Estel’s father receives a strange letter, starting a chain of events. – (Taken from IGN)
Type: OVA adapted from an RPG
Director: Masaki Tachibana
Other Notable Staff: Atsuko Nozaki (Character Designs)
The Positives: This one got delayed for half a year, so I’ll just write down what I had on it during my previous preview. We have the character designer of Tokyo Magnitude here. Plus its director. That’s plenty of reasons to look forward to this one.
The Negatives: Eiyuu Densetsu seems a lot more generic than .Hack//Quantum though, but I’m still very curious what the creators can do with this.
First-Glance Potential: 85%

To Aru Hikuushi e no Tsuioku

Summary: To Aru Hikūshi e no Tsuioku’s story revolves around Charles Karino, a Revaamu Empire mercenary aerial pilot who mans the twin-seater reconnaissance seaplane Santa Cruz. One day, he receives a preposterous assignment: to fly solo over 12,000 kilometers of enemy waters to protect a girl named Fana del Moral. Fana happens to be the next in line to the empire’s throne and a girl possessing beauty “equal to 5,000 beams of light.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Jun Shishido
Script: Satoko Okudera
The Positives: Um, beyond the awesome premise: it’s written by the same woman who wrote The Girl Who Leapt through Time, Summer Wars and Miyori no Mori and directed by the director of Saiunkoku Monogatari and Hajime no Ippo New Challenger. The two of them really have the expertise to make this a wonderful movie. I’m a big fan of stories that focus on traveling, and this premise holds a ton of potential.
The Negatives: This is an adaptation of a light novel series. I didn’t manage to find the answers about this, but: how large is the story? Are the light novels already finished?
First-Glance Potential: 90%

Horutabi no Mori e

Summary: The story of Hotarubi no Mori e centers around Hotaru, a little girl who gets lost in an enchanted forest where apparitions reside. A young boy, Gin, appears before Hotaru, but she cannot touch him for fear of making him disappear. – (Taken from AniDB)
Type: Movie
Director: Takehiro Omori
Other Notable Staff: Yuki Midorikawa (Original Story), Makoto Yoshimori (Music)
The Positives: As if Brains Base isn’t good enough already this year: here is a movie from the creators of Natsume Yuujin-Chou. It even has Takehiro Omori as the director, and this is going to be the first time where he actually gets to handle a movie. The premise for this movie is absolutely adorable and I see no way in which it isn’t going to turn heart-warming.
The Negatives: Negatives? We don’t need no stinkin’ negatives!
First-Glance Potential: 95%

Posted on 12 August 2011 with categories: Seasonal Previews

This season is interesting. It’s got some very notable strengths and weaknesses. First of all, this season has about as many series as the Autumn of 2010: 29, which was overall a tad disappointing, and it only has three more series than the current Summer Season, even though traditionally Autumn Seasons are always much larger than Summer Seasons. On the other hand though, I need to pick up 10 new series to blog next season, and I probably won’t have any trouble picking so many. There’s actually a lot to watch. Though, there are a few catches.

The first catch is that there isn’t something that seems like an instant classic, or something that immediately stands apart from all of the others, like Hyouge Mono or Penguin Drum last seasons. Things only start to get interesting as soon as you look a tier below.

The second catch is that this is going to be a very delicate season. With that, I mean that there are a ton of interesting premises, which could very easily fall pretty to very often made mistakes. A lot of care will be needed to get them all to avoid their big potential pitfalls. When they do though, it will be glorious. Half the shows this season have imaginative premises. And original stories. There are A TON of original stories this season.

The third catch is also pretty bad, though: there’s only one series that doesn’t have a teenaged cast. Unfortunately for three months, the only adult casts will be that show and Hyouge Mono. It’s especially aggravating after how well the past spring season balanced its ages. This really is going to be a juvenile season.


Summary: “The story is set in a family restaurant named Wagnaria in the northern Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido. Takanashi Souta works part-time among the restaurant’s high-spirited, mysterious, yet cool staffers. “ – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Atsushi Ootsuki
Series Composition: Takao Yoshioka
Other Notable Staff: Monaca (Music)
The Positives: So, how do you call a sequel of a show that already has two exclamation marks in its title? Just pick any random character, of course! An apostrophe? Why not!
The Negatives: My heart sank when I found out who the director was. I mean, I dropped Working!! after only one episode mostly because of the reason that there were too many annoying characters, but it wasn’t the worst thing out there. However… Atsushi Ootsuki… why is this guy still getting work? He’s pretty much the worst currently active director out there, with works ranging from Kanokon, Ladies Versus Butlers and To Love-Ru. This guy will grab all of the potential that was left and turn it into a blatantly stupid fanservice fest.
First-Glance Potential: 0%

Cross Fight Bedaman

Summary: It’s about kids who fight each other with robots that shoot marbles…
The Positives: None.
The Negatives: Out of all of the kiddie show franchises out there, the Bedaman franchise has got to be amongst the worst (perhaps only surpassed by
Summary: “The series centres around Ooyama Takeru, a young normal yet perverted minded guy, who enrolls into Tenbi Gakuen, which was once an all-girls school now turned into a co-ed school. Unbeknownst to him, the only students admitted are those who are able to control a source of energy found in all living things called Element, and furthermore can use magical artifacts called Maken, which give the users specific and varied abilities. On the first day, he meets again after three years, Amaya Haruko, his childhood friend, Kushiya Inaho, a weird big busted girl who declares she’s his fiance, and Himegami Kodama, a blonde oujo who wants to kill him. After a whim by the school principle Rokujou Minori, he and the three girls end up living in the same room. Furthermore, after being persuaded by Haruko, Takeru decides to join the Maken-ki, a special force unit under the school student council, whose responsibility is to mediate duels between students in the school. However, he later finds out that no Maken is acceptable for him. How will his life continue in this school, where the students get into duels that showcase their magic and combat power, which he seemingly does not have.” – (Taken from Maken-Ki)
Director: Kouichi Oohata
Series Composition: Yosuke Kuroda
Other Notable Staff: Nobuderu Yuuki (Character Designs)
The Positives: Yosuke Kuroda baffles me sometime. He’s a very talented writer and adapter (Ookiku Furikabutte, Phantom, Honey and Clover, Madlax, Trigun? This guy rocks!), but his resume also contains tons of really questionable shows…
The Negatives: .. I mean, Maken Ki is pretty much just a big walking cliche. Noting about it feels original, not to mention that having the director of the various Ikkitousen series and Bakuretsu Tenshi pretty much destroys all hope of Yosuke Kuroda’s presence.
First-Glance Potential: 0%

Mashiro-iro Symphony: Love Is Pure White

Summary: “Shingo’s school is decided to be joined with a girls’ school. As a selected student, Shingo temporarily transfers to the girls’ school until they officially consolidate. He meets various unique girls there, but all girls dislike male students. To remove their misunderstanding, Shingo works hard and…” – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Eiji Suganuma
Other Notable Staff: Toshie Kawamura (Character Designs, Animation Direction)
The Positives: Eiji Suganuma can deliver on a great series if this gets handed to him.
The Negatives: Okay. That’s it. Manglobe has officially sold out. The Sacred Blacksmith and TWGOK were one thing, but with a hentai game adaptation, there’s no going back. It’s a shame, because they used to be one of my favourite production companies, but their direction of the past years has unfortunately turned a studio who once stood at the creative edge of anime to another one of those mediocre moe companies. Mashiro-Iro’s premise and title are so pretentiously stupid that there is no way for this to really work.
First-Glance Potential: 0%

Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!!

Summary: “The game this is based on follows Naoe Yamato and his childhood friends plus 3. The group is called the Kazama Family after their leader. The player has the choice to go through the 5 main heroine routes, 3 sub-heroine routes, 4 friendship routes and finally a sort of harem end route.” – (Taken from Wikipedia)
Director: Keitarou Motonaga
Series Composition: Katsuhiko Takayama
Other Notable Staff: Mayumi Watanabe (Character Designs, Chief Animation Direction)
The Positives: I’m very iffy about Katsuhiko Takayama: he can write some very good series…
The Negatives: but also some very bad ones. The first season of Natsu no Arashi was very good, Ga-Rei Zero was excellent and ef also was top notch. He’s terrible with sequels though, and even when something isn’t a sequel, there are things with which he just can’t do anything, like Asobi ni Iku Yo, which is exactly what “Please love me seriously!!” feels like. It’s in some way related to They Are My Noble Masters, and that was just mediocre from top to bottom. What seems to seal the deal here though is the director of School Days, Akane-Iro ni Somaru Saka and Onii-chan no koto blah blah. It’s the same romantic comedy we’ve seen a dozen times before.
First-Glance Potential: 0%

Shakugan no Shana III

Summary: “Sakai Yuuji was a normal student, but one day his normal life was gone. He was assaulted by a monster, Guze no Tomogara.It was a monster which came from another world, and was able to turn humans into light for him to eat. It was a girl with burning hair and red eyes (shakugan = flaming eyes) that saved him, while he was too surprised to move. Then, that girl said to him You don’t exist anymore. What she meant was… “ – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Takashi Watanabe
Series Composition: Yasuko Kobayashi
Other Notable Staff: Ootani Kou (Music)
The Positives: Ootani Kou brings one final bulb of light to this show.
The Negatives: Ah, Shana. It’s one thing for her to just be annoying, but what really turned her into one of my most hated characters was because of how she just kept returning and returning in all kinds of other shows. She started one of the most obnoxious stereotypes out there, and with this there will be 70 episodes of the original. The director and series composition guy will be exactly the same, so I doubt that any of the problems will be resolved with this third season, even though both have worked on some very good series in the past.
First-Glance Potential: 0%

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukinai

Summary: “The story revolves around Hasegawa Kodaka, a half-Japanese/half-British transfer student whose delinquent-like blonde hair scares people, and a seemingly perpetually sullen girl named Mikazuki Yozora. The two decide to form Rinjinbu, a club for people with hardly any friends.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Hisaishi Saitou
Series Composition: Tatsuhiro Urahata
Other Notable Staff: Yoshihiro Watanabe (Character Designs, Animation Direction)
The Positives: Somewhere within this is a good premise about outcasts. I mean, if I just read the premise, without looking at the title, I wouldn’t mind it and it seems like a nice drama.
The Negatives: So why do these girls look like they’re about to have orgasms? Why does it have such a silly title? Why is it directed by the director of Sora no Otoshimono? With AIC, there really is no question possible: the creators are going for another silly fanservice show that just keeps repeating itself. Tatsuhiro Urahata also is the Mari Okada of this season: he’ll be working on a ton of different shows at the same time. Considering the fact that he adapted Monster and Master Keaton this is a good thing, but the promo art leaves little hope here.
First-Glance Potential: 10%

Battle Spirits Heroes

Summary: I could list the premise of the first Battle Spirits series here, but they all seem to have completely different protagonists, so that defeats the purpose. It’s basically another show based on a trading card game.
The Positives: The bizarre thing about the Battle Spirits franchise is the big names who worked on previous seasons. The weirdest one being the writer of the first season: Dai Sato. You know, the guy who wrote Ergo Proxy. The past two seasons have been written by Atsuhiro Tomioka (a bad adapter with Disgaea, Nishi no Yoki Majo and Trinity Blood under his belt, all of which could have become classics with better balance, but he has done a pretty great job on Crystal Blaze, Samurai 7, and, from what I’ve heard, Yugioh 5D’s and the first Inazuma Eleven series) and directed by Akira Nishimori (Hitohira, Rumiko Takahashi’s Rumic Theater, two very underrated but very good series), which would have been a really solid staff if this weren’t a kiddie show.
The Negatives: Here is my problem with kid’s series nowadays, though: they don’t seem to take their audience seriously. They just tell the same random adventure over and over again with unmemorable acting and subpar animation. I mean, these will be the series that today’s kids will remember 20 years from now as nostalgic. Wouldn’t it rock if people would actually put a ton of effort into them? Come on and aspire to make something of the caliber of the Mysterious Cities of Gold, not the umpteenth Yugioh-clone.
First-Glance Potential: 20%

Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi 2

Summary: “” – (Taken from )
Director: Chiaki Kon
Series Composition: Nakase Rika
The Positives: Chiaki Kon certainly isn’t a bad director, especially now that she stopped pulling a Shinbo and just works on one series at a time. The first season of Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi actually had some very good points and was actually quite an interesting look at being a manga publisher.
The Negatives: Here is the thing though: I remember that the creators pulled the exact same thing three years ago with Junjo Romantica. Junjo Romantica 2 got significantly derailed and unbalanced. On top of that, I already dropped the first season because of how it went from actual characters in the first arc, to the generic yaoi stereotypes in the sec ond arc that make it part of such a notorious sub genre. I like a good shounen ai series like Uragiri or Antique Bakery, but when things are nothing but “kiss kiss rape rape kiss”, I don’t have to watch that, just as how I don’t want to watch shows who insert way too much fanservice. If you want to make these guys kiss, do it at logical points in the storyline. Don’t just MAKE it the storyline.
First-Glance Potential: 30%

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon

Summary: “In the far future, humans abandon the devastated Earth and move to the upper world “Tenjo”. But Tenjo and the law of causation collapse in a war and humans return to the Earth, which has turned into an inhabitable planet except for Shinshu area. Shinshu is too small to accommodate all the humans, so they duplicate the area and create “Juso Sekai” in a parallel world. In order to rebuild Tenjo and the law of causation, the returned humans start reproduction of the history from B.C. 10,000. When the reproduction proceeds to A.D. 1413, a war breaks out in Shinshu and Juso Sekai falls onto the original world. The humans living in Juso Sekai lose their land and invade the original world. People in Shinshu surrender and the land is divided by the invaders from Juso Sekai. They try to resume the history reproduction from A.D.1457, but the update of the history terminates in A.D.1648. A rumor of apocalypse begins to spread the world. “ – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Manabu Ono
Series Composition: Tatsuhiko Uruhata
The Positives: Tatsuhiko Uruhata is an excellent choice to adapt this series (this show is based on a series of novels), having previously adapted Monster, Hitsuji no Uta, Master Keaton, Hajime no Ippo and Cardcaptor Sakura….
The Negatives: … at least, that’s what I would have said four years ago. Ever since, he really took a nose-dive and worked on just mediocre projects. Oh, and yeah: this show has the director of Dragonaut. Dragonaut! This really could have been an interesting premise, but instead this guy will probably make a moe mockery out of any potential that was left. Especially the character designs here are abysmal. How can they actually walk around with that?
First-Glance Potential: 40%

Busou Shinki Moon Angel

Summary: “The story will follow the coming of age and Shinki battles of Tsubasa, a boy who dreams of becoming a Shinki Master, and his Shinki partner Arnval Mk. 2.” – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Masayuki Kojima
Series Composition: Megumi Shimizu
Other Notable Staff: Takayuki Yanase (Design Works), Fumikane Shimada (Design Works)
The Positives: It’s easy to dismiss this show. It’s to promote a bunch of action figures, its episodes are only five minutes long. It’s probably the same uninspired stuff as usual. But take a look at who’s going to direct and write it: they would have been an utter dream team if they were put on an actual series: the director of Monster, Master Keaton, Hanada Shounen Shi, A Spirit of the Sun and Piano no Mori, and the main writer of Bounen no Xamdou. What are they doing here?
The Negatives: What are they doing here indeed? I mean, this is a very risky series: if they get full creative freedom it will of course be awesome. However, the premise really seems to suggest that a lot of executive meddling will be involved. My biggest reason for believing this is that the two people behind the designs are the designer of Ergo Proxy, Bakumatsu and Terra e… and the character designer of Strike Witches and Sky Girls…
First-Glance Potential: 40%

Kimi to Boku

Summary: “The story revolves around four teens — the good-looking twins Asaba Yuuta and Yuuki, the effeminate Matsuoka Shun, and the class head Tsukahara Kaname — who have known each other since early childhood. While they are not necessarily good or bad friends, they continue to hang out well into high school. The half-Japanese transfer student Tachibana Chizuru joins the circle of friends in this comedy about the everyday life of adolescence.” – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Mamoru Kanbe
Series Composition: Reiko Yoshida
Other Notable Staff: Masayuki Onji (Character Designs)
The Positives: I was surprised to learn that this isn’t a romance. The title just seems so similar to Kimi ni Todoke. I was also very surprised to learn that this has the director of Elfen Lied and Sora no Oto behind the direction. Reiko Yoshida however is going to be the real force behind this series: if the source material is good, then she can get it out.
The Negatives: But yeah, it’s all going to depend on the source material manga here, which to be honest I’m not feeling yet. It just seems like yet another high school show, only instead of having an all-female cast we now have an all-male cast. It’s indeed nice to have something different and all, but the problem with those shows lies a bit deeper than just that.
First-Glance Potential: 55%


Summary: “The story revolves around a poor high school student named Satou You. Satou goes to the supermarket one day and discovers a bento (boxed meal) on sale at half price. Just as he reaches to grab it, he ends up on the floor unconscious. Satou has just entered the fierce, no-holds-barred supermarket survival battle for half-price bento.” – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Shin Itagaki
Series Composition: Fudeyasu Kazuyuki, Shin Itagaki
Other Notable Staff: Taku Iwasaki (Music)
The Positives: The director is also looking over the series composition. That helps in making this show whole and consistent. Oh, and he also directed the awesome parts of Basquash, which could work to make such a premise work. I really hope that with this, David Production aren’t selling out like what Manglobe is currently doing, because beyond the busty character designs there is a recipe for a good comedy in here.
The Negatives: Seriously though, this show is one big question mark: both the director and series composition guy have worked on great and boring series, and it’s up to the novels to provide enough inspiration for a full season, and for them to correctly translate the jokes to animation. Fudeyasu Kazuyuki did write Milky Holmes, so he can definitely be funny. He also wrote Kampfer, though.
First-Glance Potential: 60%

Hunter X Hunter

Summary: “Gon’s father, long believed to be dead, is still alive and was once one of the greatest Hunters in existence. Gon believes he will be able to meet his father once he himself becomes a Hunter. However, before he can become one, he has to pass the Hunter Exam first, an exam made of numerous tasks and dangerous trials. Persevering and refusing to give up, Gon manages to reach the Hunter Exam, all the while keeping his innocent attitude. Throughout many of the tasks and trials of the Hunter Exam, Gon manages to make many unique friends. Kurapica, a sole survivor of his clan seeking revenge, Leorio, who wants to become a doctor, and Killua, a member of an infamous assassin family, all eventually join up with Gon in hopes of passing the exam together. Each of them have their own reasons for taking the exam, but will they manage to pass it alive? It will be no easy task, as the tasks and trials in the exam are not easy. Aside from worrying about dying from the exam itself, Gon and his friends also have to watch out for killers participating in the exam…” – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Hiroshi Koujina
Series Composition: Atsushi Maekawa
Other Notable Staff: Takahiro Yoshimatsu (Animation Direction)
The Positives: Hunter X Hunter? One of the best shounen fighting series ever made returns? Awesome! The character designer is also a really good one, who delivered excellent work on both series as Trigun and Supernatural, but also Ooedo Rocket and Les Miserables.
The Negatives: There is a big problem with this one, though: why is this one even getting made? I mean, the creators are really planning to start from the beginning again. You know, trying to tell the story that we’ve already seen throughout 92 episodes of Nippon Animation doing an absolutely wonderful job adapting it (aside from perhaps the Greed Island finale). What do they hope to accomplish? Sure, it’s bound to be an awesome series and all, but what’s the point of creating a story that’s exactly the same as an already existing anime? What’s even worse, is the guy who’s going to adapt it: Maekawa Atsushi. The director is probably fine, although nowhere near as good as the directors that Nippon Animation got for it. However, who the hell finds it a good idea to let one of the smartest shounen fighting series get written by a guy who is known for his utterly stupid series? Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Jewel Pet, Dragonaut, Fresh Precure and the Prince of Tennis. Who looked at that resume and thought: “yup; he’s the one we need for this job”?
First-Glance Potential: 65%


Summary: “The story begins when a high school student named Haruaki Yachi receives a mysterious, super-heavy black cube from his father overseas. That night, Haruaki wakes up to a suspicious noise in the kitchen, and he discovers a fully naked female thief of rice crackers. The girl, Fear, is the first of several surprises that Haruaki receives. “ – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Shin Oonuma
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote
The Positives: Very solid staff. Michiko Yokote behind the series composition is awesome (she also adapted xxxHolic, Kobato, Squid Girl wrote Strange Dawn and Princess Tutu), and Shin Oonuma will be fine as long as this doesn’t get a second season.
The Negatives: There is such a thing as “functional nude”: if nude fits in the storyline, there’s no problem with it. Having said that though, when this nudity becomes part of the actual premise, you’ve just got straight up porn.
First-Glance Potential: 70%

Shimanchu MiRiKa

Summary: “The anime revolves around three girls — Mai, Ruri, and Kei — who are into music and dance, Ryubu or Okinawan stage productions, and karate.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Kyuma Oshita
Series Composition: Yasushi Hirano
Other Notable Staff: Hiroshi Katou (Art Supervision)
The Positives: This is quite the peculiar series. It’s meant to promote Okinawan culture and it’s actually sponsored by the Okinawa prefecture. The director will be the one who designed the characters for Rocket Girls and Hi no Tori, which both had quite unique characters, plus he directed the animation of Himitsu The Revelation, which really looked gorgeous, so I really wonder what he can do as an actual director.
The Negatives: The last thing that Yasushi Hirano wrote was a cheesy dinosaur fighting kiddie show, and before that he didn’t really work on anything notable. The trailer looks good, but has cheesy monster design. I also fear that it gets too restrained by its sponsorship to really give a good picture of Okinawa beyond the level of a tourist brochure.
First-Glance Potential: 70%

Bakuman Second Season

Summary: “Bakuman follows the story of high school student Mashiro Moritaka, a talented artist who does not know what he wants to do with his future. One day he draws a picture of Azuki Miho, a girl he is secretly fond of, during class and forgets the notebook at school. He comes back to find that his classmate Takagi Akito is waiting for him with his notebook. Takagi tries to convince Mashiro to become a mangaka, a manga artist, with him, only leading to Mashiro’s disagreement. Mashiro goes home and thinks about his mangaka uncle, who had only one successful series before he died in obscurity. Mashiro is interrupted by a phone call from Takagi, who says that he is going to tell Azuki that Mashiro likes her. Mashiro runs down to Azuki’s house to find Takagi waiting for him. Once Azuki comes out to meet them, Takagi tells her that he and Mashiro are aiming to be mangaka. Mashiro then learns that she wants to be a seiyuu, a voice actor, and has shown promise in the field. Mashiro, once again thinking about his uncle, accidentally proposes to Azuki who accepts. However, she will only marry him after they achieve their dreams. “ – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Kenichi Kasai, Noriaki Akitaya
Series Composition: Reiko Yoshida
The Positives: The staff behind this is going to be the same, which means that it’ll still be rock-solid: Kenichi Kasai of Aoi Hana, Nodame Cantabile and Honey and Clover fame and Reiko Yoshida of Maria-Sama ga Miteru, Saiunkoku Monogatari, Popolocrois and Kaleido Star fame.
The Negatives: Something didn’t go right with the first season, though. The pacing was really slow, and looking back on the series, it was quite repetitive. Trying to blog it also turned in a bit of a chore due to the slow pacing and I’m not sure whether I want to do that again.
First-Glance Potential: 70%

Shinryaku!? Ika-Musume

Summary: “The comedy centers around a squid girl who vows to invade the beaches of mankind since humans have polluted the seas. However, her invasion is less than successful, and she ends up on dry ground. “ – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima, Yasutaka Yamamoto
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote
Other Notable Staff: Masakazu Ishikawa (Character Designs, Animation Direction)
The Positives: Squid Girl’s Back! The first season was a really adorable and funny comedy full of really likable characters. Especially Tsutomu Mizushima surprised me: usually his pure comedy series try too hard, but this was completely different from his other comedies. Michiko Yokote is also back, which is quite nice to see, because she is excellent at adapting.
The Negatives: Who the hell drew that!? The promo art, I mean; it’s like Squid Girl just suffered from a stroke or something. Also, it is very difficult to make a comedy sequel good. Mitsodomoe did it because its first season was really flawed. Squid Girl however was a perfectly fine comedy with plenty of laugh out loud moments, with just a very disappointing ending. What can the creators add to it at this point?
First-Glance Potential: 75%

Mobile Suit Gundam Age

Summary: “The new series will have three generations of father, child, and descendant as the lead characters. The main characters pilot the Gundam unit to fight against an unknown attacking enemy (UE) and save Earth in a One Hundred Year War – an apparent homage to the One Year War of the first Gundam series. The first main character is Furitto Asuno, who developed the Gundam AGE-1 mobile suit (humanoid mobile weapon) equipped with the AGE System (a self-adapting computer). The second main character is Asemu Asuno, Furitto’s child. The third main character is Kio Asuno, Furitto’s descendant who inherits the Gundam. The Gundam AGE-1 can be augmented as the Gundam AGE-1 Titus for more power, or as the Gundam AGE-1 Sparrow for more speed. Other characters include Emily, Furitto’s friend since he was 7. Guruudekku is a Commander in the Earth Federation Forces and the captain of the battleship Diva. Mireesu is a Lieutenant (junior grade) in the Federation Forces aboard the Diva.” – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Susumu Yamaguchi
Series Composition: Akihiro Hino
Other Notable Staff: Kanetake Ebikawa (Mechanical Designs), Junya Ishigaki (Mechanical Designs), Kenji Teraoka (Mechanical Designs)
The Positives: My big problem with the Gundam Franchise is that it’s not going anywhere. And with that I don’t mean that their premises all look alike, but instead the way the plot progresses is always the same and nearly always disappointing. I can however appreciate it a lot that Sunrise are finally trying to move into a different direction. The “three main characters”-concept in particular intrigues me. The director can go anywhere, having only directed a bunch of Keroro Gunsou movies that I’ve never watched, which is interesting to follow, at least.
The Negatives: The Father, Son, Descendant bit is interesting, yet it can also very easily degenerate into the standard Gundam formula, which first starts very interesting and diverse, yet by the time we get to the descendant it devolves into a string of random fights by completely ignoring all sorts of potential for interesting setting development. Also, I have a big problem with the main writer, Hino Akihiro, the founder of Level 5. I admit that he’s better than the usual kids’ series writer, but I especially noticed with Inazuma Eleven GO, that his characters are often just empty and uninteresting. They’re often overenthusiastic cliches that just weren’t interesting to watch at all, with the sole exception of Professor Layton himself. If he wants to make Gundam AGE work, he really needs to work on his characterization. On top of that, this series also has some very solid mechanical designers behind it. Now don’t waste them by oversimplifying things, like you do with your other series.
First-Glance Potential: 75%

Guilty Crown

Summary: “The story takes place in Tokyo in 2039. After the outbreak of an unidentified virus Lost Christmas in 2029, Japan has been controlled by a multi-nation organization GHQ. Ouma Shuu is a 17 year old boy, who has a psychic power in his right hand. He can use the power Ability of King to extract tools or weapons from his friends. He has been avoiding making troubles for others but his life has changed when he met a girl Yuzuriha Inori, one of the members of a resistance guerrilla Undertaker.” – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Tetsurou Araki
Series Composition: Hiroyuki Yoshino
Other Notable Staff: Ichirou Ookouchi (Series composition)
The Positives: So, Production IG has pretty much created a huge ticking time-bomb with this. If only because of that it’ll be fun to watch, but beyond that: this is an original story, directed by Tetsurou Araki, of Death Note and Kurozuka fame. With him, you just gotta make sure that he’s not with his mind in the gutter and this can become really interesting and well directed. Meanwhile the series composition assistant is the writer behind Angelic Layer, Overman King Gainer, but also Code Geass and Shigofumi.
The Negatives: While the writer of Code Geass is already risky enough, the real concrete wall right on top of this series’ train tracks lies within the guy behind the series composition, who happens to have written the really good Mai Hime… only to afterwards write the really bad Mai Otome, Dance in the Vampire Bund and… Seikon no Qwaser. Oh, and he also assisted in writing Code Geass. He did write two good shows: Macross Frontier and Denpa-Teki na Kanojo… but yeah. Macross Frontier also had a ton of problems. Have I already mentioned that this despite being Noitamina focuses on a teenaged boy meets girl story?
First-Glance Potential: 75%

Lupin III – Fourth Series

Summary: “Lupin III chronicles the adventures of Arsene Lupin III, the world’s greatest thief, and his partners in crime: master marksman Daisuke Jigen, beautiful and scheming Fujiko Mine and stoic samurai Goemon Ishikawa XIII. Lupin and his gang travel around the globe in search of the world’s greatest treasures and riches and always keeping one step ahead of the tireless Inspector Zenigata, who has vowed to bring Lupin to justice.” – (Taken from AniDB)
The Positives: Nothing is known about this series, but it really looks like we’ll have a fourth Lupin III TV-series, since the previous one ended in 1985. I have no idea who is going to make it other than the people of TMS Entertainment, but I’m still eager to check this one out due to its remake status: very often these series are made by big fans who try to do justice to the original source material, while also giving them a completely new spin. I hope that the same will happen here.
The Negatives: Just to make things clear though: I am NOT a fan of Lupin III. I only checked out Castle of Cagliostro once, but I never even wrote a review about it. After watching it, I just had one thought in my mind: “…that’s it?” It was nice and all, but I expected much more from a movie that’s consistently heralded as a classic.
First-Glance Potential: 75%

Tamayura Hitotose

Summary: “For her first year of high school, family circumstances force Sawatari Fuu to move to Takehara, a scenic old town near Hiroshima on the Inland Sea and live with her relatives. Her father, who has passed away, grew up in Takehara and always spoke fondly of his childhood while living there. Sawatari learns to love taking photographs with his old film camera, a Rollei 35S while making friends and learning about the town.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Sato Junichi
Series Composition: Sato Junichi
Other Notable Staff: Haruko Iizuka (Character Designs),
Mamiko Ikeda (Script), Tatsuhiko Urahata (Script), Yuka Yamada (Script), Reiko Yoshida (Script)
The Positives: Sato Junichi sure is on fire these days. First there was Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, next up will be Tamayura as gentle slice of life. The OVAs weren’t anything special, however with an entire series dedicated to it they can grow out pretty nicely. Amongst the series that just focus on a bunch of random girls, it’s great to see a series at least not focusing on boob jokes or overly forced jokes.
The Negatives: By far the biggest potential pitfall for this series will be a lack of ambition. The staff behind this thing is really excellent with scriptwriters who really know what they’re doing, and it would be awesome to not just see one string of random slice of life, but also show the girls gradually grow up, like how these series used to be in the past before they got too small to actually do that. And in theory this series can really do that: it’s original, there is no source material that can constrain them. Make use of this! Screw conventions! If any series has the potential to break them, then it’s this series!
First-Glance Potential: 80%

Mirai Nikki

Summary: “Second year middle school student, Amano Yukiteru, finds it difficult to make friends. He only thinks of himself as a bystander, just someone who watches the world go by, writing down everything he sees in his cell phone diary. Tormented by solitude, Yukiteru begins to imagine things like a friend called Deus ex Machina, who is apparently the Lord of Time and Space. Seeing Yukiteru’s miserable state, Deus gives him a new ability. His diary now spells out events that will happen in the near future, updated daily, for the next 90 days. This gift inadvertently forces Yukiteru to participate in a game where the winner — the last one alive — will become Deus’ successor. Should Yukiteru lose the diary he will be dead, and there are quite a few other scrupulous players participating in this very deadly game.” – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Naoto Hosoda
Series Composition: Katsuhiko Takayama
Other Notable Staff: Hidetsugu Harayama (Character Designs)
The Positives: The pilot OVA was quite promising: the direction was snappy, the premise seemed very interesting and it made me hungry for a full series, which later indeed got announced. Katsuhiko Takayama is a very good writer when handed either complete freedom or a very good source material. As for the director… ah, it could be worse. The problem with this guy is that he has always been directing mediocre or outright bad premises. Based on the things he did in Shuffle though, he can pull this off. “All kinds of awesome reality altering diaries” sounds much more interesting than “bunch of princesses fall in love with dude”.
The Negatives: The main problem with this show will be its length, but in a different way than usual. You see, this is the rare kind of series where the creators were actually smart enough to wait until the manga gets finished, so that they could fully plan it in. No, the real problem with this show is going to be that Katsuhiko Takayama will turn it to crap as soon as it goes past episode 13. Seriously, to me it seems that this guy hates long series with such a passion that he’ll refuse to put in any effort once they go past a certain point.
First-Glance Potential: 80%


Summary: “The story is about a high school girl, Ayase Chihaya, who after seeing her sister become a fashion model, is inspired by a new classmate to take up karuta, a Japanese card game, competitively.” – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Asaka Morio
Series Composition: Naoya Takayama
Other Notable Staff: Kunihiko Hamada (Character Designs)
The Positives: More Josei? Awesome! At first sight this really looks like a shoujo series, though. But at least we finally get something more than yet another high school series. The card battle seems really interesting, especially considering that it’s for once not a cheap way to sell more toys. It’s also got a truly excellent director: the director of No Longer Human, Nana, Gunslinger Girl, Chobits and Cardcaptor Sakura. Oh, and the series composition of Supernatural also really helps.
The Negatives: It’s a manga adaptation, and there are already 13 volumes published, and it hasn’t finished yet. This one’s gonna have ending problems again…
First-Glance Potential: 80%

Persona 4 The Animation

Summary: “Due to family circumstances, Narukami Yuu moves from the big city to his uncle’s place at rural Inaba. However, on his first morning there, a woman is found dead dangling from a television antenna.” – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Seiji Kishi
Other Notable Staff: Shouji Meguro (Music)
The Positives: Seiji Kishi is quite an interesting director. He did a number of very funny comedies before, but now he seems to focus much more on action-packed stories, like with Angel Beats and Kamisama Dolls. He’s a very solid choice for this and will probably work with this premise. The first Persona series was the perfect example of “wasted potential”, so I really wonder whether this guy can do anything different. (Oh, and for those wondering whether you need to have seen Trinity Soul for this series: I do not recognize any of its characters in the promo art). The musician behind this has also never composed music for an anime before, which holds interesting possibilities.
The Negatives: AIC. But heck, they’ve made great shows. Let’s hope that this will be another one, but we don’t know yet who’s going to write this things, so let’s hope that I’ll be someone who can really deliver.
First-Glance Potential: 85%

Last Exile – Ginkyou no Fam

Summary: “Four characters, three fifteen-year-old girls and one nineteen-year-old girl, have so far been revealed on the anime’s official website: Fam Fan Fan who pilots a small-sized vanship named Vespa, Jizel Collette who is Fam’s close friend, Milia il Velch Cutrettola Turan who is a princess of the Kingdom of Turan, and Liliana who is Milia’s older sister. The story will revolve around the conflict between the Commonwealth of Adess and the Kingdom of Turan. The MacGuffin will be Exile, but whether it is the same Exile from the original series is not known.” – (Taken from Wikipedia)
Director: Kouichi Chigura
Series Composition: Kiyoko Yoshimura
Other Notable Staff: Range Murata (Character Designs), Osamu Horiuchi (Animation Character Designs), Hitomi Kuroishi (Music), Makoto Kobayashi (Production Design)
The Positives: Well, the long wait has certainly increased my appetite for this series. In the meantime I’ve managed to watch the first Last Exile, and there is still plenty of potential to expand upon its universe. Kouichi Chigura returning as the director holds a lot of potential. The designs of this series, especially the mechanical ones that you can find on the main website, look absolutely gorgeous and it’s awesome to finally see Gonzo back in the picture again with an actual series.
The Negatives: The only question mark here really is the one who’s gonna write it: Kiyoko Yoshimura. I’m mostly referring to Dogs and Kurogane no Linebarrels, which I felt were quite some disasters in terms of adaptations. But then again, she seems to have learned since Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu and this time she’s not held back by original material so who knows and she might be a very good original screenwriter.
First-Glance Potential: 85%

Phi Brain

Summary: “The anime revolves around a high school boy named Kaito who fights battles via puzzles with a mysterious intelligence group known as POG. “ – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Sato Junichi
Series Composition: Mayori Sekijima
The Positives: You can say a lot about NHK, but here’s the thing with them: they refuse to air moe, they aren’t afraid to experiment with strange broadcast schedules (Hyouge Mono, Moshidora), they don’t care at all about recent trends and often offer educational material. Enter Phi Brain, which most likely seems to become everything that Spiral should have been. The thing with Sato Junichi is that when he does slice of life, he is really good, but when he does anything other than that, he becomes even better! This has the potential to become a very interesting series. Oh, and Mayori Sekijima: under a terrible director she produces Rio Rainbow Gate. Under a great director she writes Zegapain, Soultaker, Orphen and adapts Skip Beat.
The Negatives: So of course, there still is the possibility of Mayori Sekijima’s bad influences to show up.
First-Glance Potential: 85%


Summary: “The Holy Grail War – A death-match between 7 magi (Masters) and their summoned heroic spirits (Servants) in which the prize is the legendary Holy Grail, said to have to power to grant miracles. This is now the 4th Holy Grail War. The 3 preceding Wars had ended without a victor. In pursuit of their individual goals and ambitions, the magi congregate at a place called Fuyuki. All the magi will do anything, rationalize away any atrocity, in pursuit of the Holy Grail. All of them, but one… Kotomine Kirei is a mage, but one without a reason to fight. Unable to release himself from the threads of fate, he is drawn reluctantly into this War. However, as fate would have it, one of his rival Masters turns out to be an old enemy, Emiya Kiritsugu, a man more severe and merciless than anyone else. A man who desires the miracles offered by the Holy Grail… “ – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Ei Aoki
Series Composition: Gen Urobuchi, Type-Moon
Other Notable Staff: Yuki Kajiura (Music), Tomonori Sudo (Character Designs), Kouji Etou (Art Direction), Koujirou Shishido
The Positives: I watched the original Fate/Stay Night when it came out for just five episodes. After that, the characters and storytelling were just too uninteresting, to really continue with it. Fortunately though, it seems that Fate/Zero will be a prequel, you don’t need to have watched Fate/Stay Night to understand it and the staff behind it will be completely different. Ufo Table once were a mediocre studio, but they certainly have grown since they started with the Kara no Kyoukai movies, assembling an array of really interesting people to work with: Gen Urobuchi is a definite plus, and he’s bound to provide an interesting storyline. Yuki Kajiura also is awesome, and the CG direction will be done by a former independent film maker. This all sounds very interesting.
The Negatives: The only negative I can find at this moment is that Ei Aoki once directed Girls Bravo. But yeah: he too has changed a lot since then, and his work on the first Kara no Kyoukai movie and especially Hourou Musuko was very good.
First-Glance Potential: 90%


Summary: “The main characters, Yuuki Shinjuurou and Inga, work together to solve mysteries in a near future timeline. The story is based on the works of Sakaguchi Ango (Aoi Bungaku Series’ “In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom”), a post-World War II Japanese novel and essayist. “ – (Taken from AniDB)
Director: Seiji Mizushima
Series Composition: Aikawa Shou
Other Notable Staff: Yun Kouga (Character Designs), Narasaki (Music)
The Positives: Now this is the Noitamina series to anticipate this season. Seiji Mizushima is a versatile director who didn’t just direct Full Metal Alchemist and Gundam OO, but also Ooedo Rocket, and Aikawa Shou is a terrific writer who also wrote Ooedo Rocket, Nadesico and Ayakashi Ayashi. The original writer being the guy who wrote In the Woods, Under Cherries in Full Bloom makes this even better. As a mystery fan, this is a must-watch for me. Oh, and the composer of the soundtrack of Paradise Kiss and Deadman Wonderland is also really good.
The Negatives: The only negative part I can see right now is that the character designer of Gundam OO might not have been the best choice for this series.
First-Glance Potential: 90%

Posted on 14 May 2011 with categories: Seasonal Previews

Interestingly, in terms of movies the upcoming season will be a season of experiments. There are a lot of movies that try out new ideas, or go into different directions than the series they’re based on. This both has a huge amount of potential, as a huge amount of risks, and I like it! Even if the movies and OVAs might disappoint, at least it’ll be interesting.

There is something new about this Season’s Movie and OVA preview: due to a lack of time I don’t have any room to be as thorough as I usually am, so I’m just going to lump all of the DVD specials and Franchise Movies together. I usually have the least to say about all of them, and most of the time their staff (especially with the DVD specials) are the same anyway. Only in special cases I’ll make exceptions and give them a full post. Oh, and this way I can also talk about ongoing OVAss

DVD Specials:

Titles: Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Fairy Tail
Comments: This season has only two dvd specials, one for Milky Holmes and one for Fairy Tail. I couldn’t care less for the Fairy Tail one, especially after the promo for the previous OVA, but more Milky Holmes is always fun. It’ll allow the creators to deliver one more time, without potentially dragging themselves in another season.

Ongoing OVAs :

Titles: Air Gear – 03, KissxSis – 05, Black Lagoon – Roberta’s Blood Trail – 05, Yurumates – 02
Comments: Out of all these four, I’m only looking forward to Black Lagoon. The previous episodes have been excellent and the finale is looking out to be one where all of its build up comes together. It’s a raw and powerful OVA. Yurumates 1 was really forgettable, and really poorly produced from what my memory tells me. KissXSis was just crap, and Air Gear seems just for the fans of the manga (correct me if I’m wrong here, though).

Franchise Movies:

Titles: Gekijōban Pocket Monster Best Wishes! Victini to Kuroki Eiyū Zekrom, Naruto Shippūden: Blood Prison, The Prince of Tennis: Eikoku-shiki Teikyū-jō Kessen!
Comments: These are the kinds of franchises who either churn out a movie every single year, come out so often that I don’t want to talk about them anymore. Having said that though, that Naruto Movie does intrigue me. It finally has a good looking promo, and I just discovered that it’s being directed by the director of Gilgamesh and Shikabane Hime. As far away as I’d want to stay from a Naruto movie, it does have me curious. As for the prince of Tennis, though I stopped being interested in that one when I learned about the ridiculous tennis moves that were pulled off. And seriously, how long can you make a show that’s just about tennis?

Ongoing Movie Series:

Titles: Mardock Scramble – 02
Comments: Ah, mardock Scramble is a movie that I’m still looking forward to. The first one hasn’t appeared yet though, but it’s about time that it showed up. It looks completely gorgeous anyway, and it’s a premise I’m really intrigued at.

Baby Princess 3D Paradise 0 [Love]

Summary: It’s about a family of 19 sisters — from a newborn baby to a graduating high school senior. In the novel version, a high school senior named Youtarou thought he was an only child — until he met his real mother and discovered that she has 19 daughters. He ends up living with his “true family.” – (Taken from ANN)
Type: OVA
Director: Takayuki Inagaki
Script: Yuuko Kakihara
The Positives: It gets points for actually thinking that people will buy such a stupid premise.
The Negatives: Good lord, there is so much wrong with this series. The fact that it tries to sell itself in 3D with no point or purpose, fact that there is a guy living together with 19 of his sisters, the incest, the fact that he was unaware of everything, and that poor mother of his. Don’t get me wrong though, the story about a really large family has potential, but not with the director of Rosario to Vampire and the series composition guy of Sora no Otoshimono behind the execution.
First-Glance Potential: 0%

Vitamin X Addiction

Summary: The game is set at Seitei Gakuen, an elite private academy that teaches every level from kindergarten until college in Tokyo. A new female teacher named Yūri Minami is starting her second year of teaching here, and she is now moving up from teaching middle school students to the assignment she had sought after: grammar for high school students. Unfortunately, she gets assigned to “Class X,” an infamous group of seniors; it is said that all of their previous teachers have retired due to ulcers or neurosis. Minami must try to reach out to these students and get them into college. – (Taken from ANN)
Type: OVA
Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi
Other Notable Staff: Satonobu Kikuchi (Character Design)
The Positives: … at least it has a story that goes beyond “let’s try to get in romantic situations with members of the opposite sex”. Also, Keiichiro Kawaguchi… you could do much worse with him. although he will be working on three things at the same time…
The Negatives: What is it with these utterly stupid titles for the bishie shows this season? Also, is this series seriously thinking that it can run through thirteen bishies in three episodes? They’re not even trying anymore…
First-Glance Potential: 0%

Sora no Otoshimono: Tokei-jikake no Angeloid

Summary: Tomoki’s peaceful life is far away in the past, now he has to deal with 2 angeloids Ikaros and Nymph along with his friends from school, each one of them very special on their own ways. Tomoki’s dream about an angel warning him from the rage of heavens is getting very common at his sleep, then one day a new angel who has power up to the standard of Ikaros arrives Earth with the sole purpose of terminating Tomoki since his dream is starting to connect both realities, the Earth and the Synapses, a very powerful angel indeed. – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Hisashi Sato, Tetsuya Yanagisawa
Script: Yuuko Kakihara
The Positives: Um, the fanservice?
The Negatives: I once praised Sora no Otoshimono for at least trying to be entertaining, but heck. I take that back. Sora no Otoshimono really is a lot of the same. the premise is once fun, and then it just keeps repeating itself over and over again. This movie too: the trailer looked exactly like the series has been. Not even the animation seemed improved. This turned out to be just another one of those generic moe shows, and I can’t believe they actually made a movie about it.
First-Glance Potential: 0%

Gekijouban Mahou Sensei Negima

Summary: The story is centred around Negi Springfield, a ten-year-old wizard from Wales, who dreams of becoming a Magister Magi like his missing father, a special wizard who uses his powers to help normal people, using covers such as working for NGOs. Initially appointed as an English teacher at Mahora Academy in Japan he becomes a teacher to a middle school class of 31 older girls. However, the peaceful school life is quickly disturbed as people from his father’s past appear and Negi has to form contracts with various students to overcome the new dangers. Finally he embarks on a journey to the Magic World together with his partners to find his long-lost father. This film is the climax to their adventures depicted in the Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba and Mou Hitotsu no Sekai OVAs. – (Taken from AniDB)
Type: Movie
Director: Akiyuki Shinbo
The Positives: If you’re a fan of Negima, then there’s more. This is one franchise that either gets the proper time to get its story, or is getting milked out by Shinbo once more. I unfortunately never watched it beyond one episode (and have no intention to pick it back up by the way) so I can’t tell.
The Negatives: Blegh, Shinbo.
First-Glance Potential: 0%

Hakuouki OVA

Summary: ??
Type: OVA, 5 Episodes
Director: Osamu Yamazaki
The Positives: Well, Hakuouki 2 was only 10 episodes long. I guess that this is where the remaining episodes went. This looks like it’ll focus on some of the bishies some more and I guess that there’s nothing wrong with that. And it still has the director of Toward the Terra, but it’s getting harder and harder to believe that he once actually directed that kind of epic.
The Negatives: But still, Hakuouki felt mediocre in every way to me. I mean, I could see where it was going and all, but the characters all just were so dull, and the female lead was so cheesy. I just couldn’t get through it. Twice.
First-Glance Potential: 30%

Alice in the Country of Hearts

Summary: Alice Liddell was forcefully kidnapped,brought down a hole into Heartland/Wonderland. Due to a trick,she has no choice but to play a mysterious game in order to go home. She has to meet the residents in Heartland/Wonderland to fill up a potion bottle(to complete the game),only then can she go home. – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
The Positives: So this movie is based on a game that re-imagines Alice in Wonderland with Bishies, and the movie itself will also contain a completely original take on the story. This can go either way, depending on who will be in charge of this thing (which unfortunately isn’t known yet). This reminds me the most of Kuroshitsuji, though.
The Negatives: It’s just that Kuroshitsuji’s Alice in Wonderland arc was terrible. There was way too much randomness for the sake of randomness. Plus, what can still be said about Alice in Wonderland right now? Just make your own story, instead of trying to stick to that famous name.
First-Glance Potential: 70%

Hayate the Combat Butler

Summary: Abandoned by his parents and given a monumentally large debt as a Christmas present, 16-year old Ayasaki Hayate is at the lowest point of his life. Desperately trying alter his hapless fate, he decides to kidnap someone to hold for a ransom. Due to an ill choice of words, the girl he tries to kidnap misunderstands the action as a confession of love. His plan is totally crushed when he gives his real name out. Realizing his wrongdoing, Hayate proceeds to rescue the girl from the yakuza, who had instead kidnapped her. The girl, as a token of thanks, offers Hayate a job as her butler. Hayate, overwhelmed by her kindness, vows to protect her even at the cost of his life. – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Hideto Komori
Script: Yasuko Kobayashi
The Positives: Hayate never caught my attention, but perhaps this is different, because the staff is different yet again. I mean, Manglobe, of all studios, is behind this one? The director in particular did a ton of animation and animation direction on Samurai Champloo and Ergo Proxy. Or take Yasuko Kobayashi, who wrote Casshern Sins. This could actually prove to be quite an interesting experiment here.
The Negatives: The big question though is whether or not you can watch this without having seen the series. I don’t feel like catching up to 75 episodes right now…
First-Glance Potential: 70%

Carnival Phantasm

Summary: ??
Type: OVA
Director: Seiji Kishi
Script: Makoto Uezu
Other Notable Staff: Yasuharu Takanashi (Music), Eri Takanagi (Original Creator)
The Positives: This… has the same director and writer as Kamisama Dolls. That’s quite interesting, especially considering how Seiji Kishi is a fun director with a great sense of comedic timing. Oh, and the soundtrack made by the same guy who did Heartcatch Precure, Jigoku Shoujo, Shiki and Toward the Terra? Count me in!
The Negatives: Makoto Uezu of course remains a bit of a bug here, and the same goes for Eri Takanagi: I’m not sure whether the original writer for Kannagi is the best for this project.
First-Glance Potential: 75%

Gekijō-ban Anime Nintama Rantaro Ninjutsu Gakuen Zenin Shutsudō! no Dan

Summary: The anime is based on Soubee Amako’s Rakudai Ninja Rantarō ninja gag manga (Asahi Comics) about the adventures of Rantarō and other ninja apprentices at an elite ninjutsu academy. The story is set in Japan during the tumultuous Sengoku Jidai (Era of the Warring States). As first-graders, Rantarō and his ninja-in-training friends are called “Nintama” — a contraction of the words “ninja” and “tamago” (“egg”). – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Masaya Fujimori
The Positives: Yeah. Um, so I was planning to just ignore this one and label it amongst the other franchise movies that it looked like. But then I discovered that it has the same director as You Are Delicious, the surprisingly amazing dinosaur movie that also looked like a kids’ show at first sight. And indeed, the promo looks nothing like the TV-series. This could very well be another brilliant movie of his.
The Negatives: it remains a kids’ show, though. And 3D.
First-Glance Potential: 75%

Tekken: Blood Vengance

Type: Movie
Director: Yoichi Mori
Script: Dai Sato
The Positives: The trailer looks really cool and varied, this is promising to be an excellent action movie, especially with Dai Sato (Eureka 7, Ergo Proxy) as the main writer.
The Negatives: I couldn’t find anything about that director, though.
First-Glance Potential: 80%

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira

Summary: It’s a collection of four mini-stories, one adaptation and three original, to celebrate the 10th anniversary fo the franchise.
Type: OVA, 4 Episodes
Director: Hideki Tachibana
Script: Toshifumi Kawase
The Positives: Being a big fan of Higurashi, I really got delighted to see more of it. When used well, they can really become awesome. Rei already showed that even comedy episodes can become great here. Toshifumi Kawase also is one of the best people that Studio Deen have: his characterization in particular is consistently incredible, so I’m very eager to see what he has in store here.
The Negatives: What the heck? What is the director of Dragon Crisis and H2O doing here? We don’t need Higurashi ruined by his mediocre direction.
First-Glance Potential: 80%

Fullmetal Alchemist: Milos no Sei-Naru Hoshi

Summary: Two brothers lose their mother to an incurable disease. With the power of “alchemy”, they use taboo knowledge to resurrect her. The process fails, and as a toll for using this type of alchemy, the older brother, Edward Elric loses his left leg while the younger brother, Alphonse Elric loses his entire body. To save his brother, Edward sacrifices his right arm and is able to affix his brother’s soul to a suit of armor. With the help of a family friend, Edward receives metal limbs – “automail” – to replace his lost ones. With that, Edward vows to search for the Philosopher’s Stone to return the brothers to their original bodies, even if it means becoming a “State Alchemist”, one who uses his/her alchemy for the military. – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Kazuya Murata
Script: Yuichi Shinbo
Other Notable Staff: Taro Iwashiro (Music), Kenichi Konishi
The Positives: The animation director? It will be the same guy who animated Tokyo Godfathers. That’s bound to look amazing.
The Negatives: To my surprise, the staff is entirely different compared to any other Full Metal Alchemist anime, and that worries me. The guy who is going to write this thing has only written Doraemon movies before. Kazuya Murata also doesn’t really stand out as a director. Sure, he has done great episodes, but none of the full series he directed stand out.
First-Glance Potential: 80%

Kokuriko-Zaka Kara

Summary: The story is set in Showa 38 (1963, a year before the Tokyo Olympics) and follows the coming of age of an ordinary, pigtailed high school girl named Komatsuzaki in Yokohama, a harbor city near Tokyo. Her sailor father went missing after an accident, and her photographer mother is frequently going abroad for work. Her family now runs a lodging house. The manga recounts Komatsuzaki’s everyday life of “laughter and tears” with two boys — a school newspaper member and the student council president. – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie
Director: Goro Miyazaki
Script: Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa
Other Notable Staff: Katsuya Kondo (Character Designs)
The Positives: Ghibli’s new film. This will be a collaboration between father Hayao Miyazaki and son Goro Miyazaki. It’s interesting how time, Hayao is actually actively collaborating with Goro after Tales of the Earthsea, and I’m intrigued to what the results will be. In any case this seems like a very good shoujo movie.
The Negatives: I thin kit’s safe to say that Goro Miyazaki is a bit spoiled. I’d love to see him go someplace other than under his father, and develop his own style, rather than forever trying to live in his fathers’ shadows.
First-Glance Potential: 85%

Towa no Quon

Summary: The story follows a boy named Quon and others who suddenly wake up with supernatural powers. – (Taken from ANN)
Type: Movie, Six Parts
Director: Umanosuke Iida
Script: Saizo Nemoto
Other Notable Staff: Kenji Kawai (Music), Toshihiro Kawamoto (Character Designs/Animation Direction), Takeshi Mori (Collaborative Director)
The Positives: Bones looks like it’ll be doing something really interesting here, celebrating a project conceived by the late Hellsing Director. Toshihiro Kawamoto is an amazingly experienced animator and Kenji Kawai is an amazing musician, so this will definitely be a feast for the senses.
The Negatives: The weakest here seems to be the main writer: Saizo Nemoto. He’s excellent on individual episodes, but I’m not sure about his works on the Tokyo Majin Gakuen Sequel…
First-Glance Potential: 85%


Mail will not be published
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:19 PM)
    There’s plenty of in battle explaining. I don’t think there’s been a battle without in battle explaining. You got the first time villain that ends up a good guy. You got powerups and levels of quinques. There’s a ton of shounen elements.
    Just because something has gore does not make it seinien. Deadman wonderland is Shounen and it has just as much gore and torture.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 02:52 PM)
    @Emma: ah, yes.
    @Aidan: How so? A variety of weapons and abilities does not turn something into a shounen battle manga.
    I’d need a lot more random in-battle explaining secret powers to your opponent, and a lot more mercy to not consider it seinen.
    Also, torture, balls and limbs being chopped off as a sick joke, slicing people in half without warning, breaking half their bones…
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 12:44 PM)
    I felt that the story became too shounen battle manga When at first it was portrayed as seinien. Especially with the quineqes and such.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 12:06 PM)
    @Raggers: His past with the old lady ghoul where he was castrated =<
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:48 AM)
    @Emma: which moment is that?
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:26 AM)
    @Raggers : And in one moment, a rather disturbing development.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:24 AM)
    @Raggers: Actually, thinking it over you’ve got a point there, As I had said I’ve been marathoning re and come to think of it, it is more enjoyable to do so that way.

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Well the end of the episode did get over melodramatic but still, a very good episode. It is rather amusing to see two people bond over a shared goal of revenge. Their thinking slowly edged towards a dangerous outlook it became clear that one of these two is not on the same wavelength as the […]

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No animation issues this time around thankfully. Really like the touch of Irelands flag on the cup Shinra gave the girl at their apartment. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Celty is indeed Irish. Probably one of the few Irish characters in anime. And here we learn that the one who told the little girl […]

Death Parade – 08

Why do you do this to me death parade? You dodge your true potential and instead focus on background exposition or, of all things, comedy. Then just as I was about to lose interest and give up, you present the best episode of the series so far. Now this, this is what I was talking […]

Durarara!!X2 – 07

I think the problem with this episode was evident right from the opening scene. I had to do a double take when seeing a very poorly drawn Simon. I even questioned whether it was a new character entirely. But no, the animation budget took a nosedive. Or the guy who was to do the inbetweens […]

Death Parade – 07

Why is the girl from the last episode still around? This episode brought up three rules about arbiters. The third rule, about arbiters not having emotions, Is odd to me. For the arbiters we have been introduced to are very emotional. They state that Decim was given human emotions yet he is the least emotional […]

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