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Spring 2013 Anime Preview and Watch List

yotsuba_seasons

I like to say that every season of anime has a different character to itself then the preceding seasons but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such an extreme change as the coming spring season appears to herald.

For the record, that’s not a bad thing because I think keeping an open mind about what I watch is one of the main reasons why I have not gotten bored of anime.

One of the reasons this spring season already feels different is the lack of several prominent (or, at least, frequent contributing) animation studios sitting this season out – Kyoto Animation, Shaft, Bones, Diomedea, Silver Link, and Studio Deen – amongst others. Another reason is the noitaminA time slot will be re-airing Katanagatari instead of offering one or two new series as has been the case for several years now.

Then there’s the mix of genres of the new series versus the old. There are several mecha series this season, for instance, along with several more SF-themed series. There’s also a relative dearth of new slice-of-life (and slice-of-life/something else) series; this season has only Danchi Tomoo filling the space where, for example, last spring season was filled with Natsuiro Kiseki, Hyouka, Mysterious Girlfriend X, Sakamichi no Apollon, and Space Brothers.

Another interesting observation I noticed, not that it will necessarily impact the feel of the season, is there are three series being helmed by first time directors – Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru, and Photo Kano. Normally there might be one series a season helmed by a first time director; so, it’ll be interesting to see how these series turn out and impact the feeling of this season.

Okay that’s enough rambling; let’s get to the list. :)

Below are my picks for the Spring 2013 season, sorted by how good I think the show will turn out and broken into 4 broad tiers.

  • Platinum Tier shows are those anime that I believe have a virtually 100% guarantee of being good. Sometimes I’m wrong like when Shaft/Shinbou stretches out the plot of a sequel (Natsu no Arashi 2 and Arakawa Under the Bridge 2) to, presumably, do a third series. When that happens it’s always very disappointing.
  • Gold Tier contains those shows that I think have a very good chance of being, at a minimum, “good” shows. Anime at this level usually miss out on being Platinum Tier because I don’t know enough about the source material or the studio animating it has been known for doing variable work or some other small thing that makes me less then fully certain.
  • Silver tier shows still have a lot going for them but bigger potential problems start showing up. The problem might be in the source material, animation studio, or director and it’s a big enough one that I think the show could go either way.
  • Bronze tier shows have something that makes me think it possibly could be a decent show but I’m not holding much hope. Sometimes there’s a surprisingly good show from this group.

Second opinions for the Spring 2013 season can be found many places but I personally like Star Crossed Anime Blog, The Cart Driver, Lost in Anime, and hashihime – Anime Voices.

The final item of business before moving to the Spring preview/watch list is to mention the anime series that are continuing into this season that are worth a renewed look.

Hunter x Hunter  – The Greed Island arc turned out to be pretty good after all. Liberal doses of Hisoka helped, of course. The upcoming story arc is apparently the favorite of many of the manga readers so I’m getting excited.

Uchuu KyoudaiSpace Brothers is back for a fifth continuous season. Starting this season, it will have it’s time slot shifted to a more coveted and more watched spot which I hope signals this anime will continue for many more seasons so I can get my fill of astronaut-in-training Mutta and his already astronaut younger brother.

Chihayafuru 2 – Who knew an anime series about a group of high school kids that play a 1000 year old card game built around memorizing poems could so enthralling.

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Platinum Tier

No series is such a lock to rank this highly.

Gold Tier

Shingeki no Kyojin

attack on titan

Director: Tetsurou Araki – Death Note, Kurozuka, Guilty Crown
Studio: Wit Studio – Spin-off from Production IG
Origin: Manga

There is one thing that held me back from putting this anime into the top tier. If this is as surefire of a hit as it appears to be why is a new studio with no completed series under it’s belt the studio that’s handling it? This certainly looks like it’s going to awesome. Just the setting alone – humanity has been pushed back to living in a single city that has a wall large enough to keep the Giants, who are giant humanoids, out until one day a super large giant appears and tears down the wall – is something to be giddy about. With Psycho-Pass and Shin Sekai Yori finished up, I’m looking for something new to scratch my smart SF itch.

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To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S

railgunS

Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai – Honey and Clover 2, Anohana, Toradora
Studio: JC Staff – Joshiraku, Little Busters, Zero’s Familiar, Shana, Index, Railgun, Milky Holmes, Potemayo, Ano Natsu de Matteru, Hidan no Aria
Origin: Manga

The much better half of the Index Railgun shared world franchise is getting a sequel and I’m excited. I’ve always been mystified at how annoying and grating it is to watch Index and how merely changing the viewpoint character makes Railgun a thoroughly more enjoyable experience. One of the problems with most every JC Staff series is the anime series is only as good as the source material; they do not have the ability to improve upon or smooth over the problems when adapting from one media to another. Therefore, even though the first season was very good, this season will only be if the source material is very good which is why I haven’t placed this in the top tier.

For those that aren’t familiar with the franchise, this series takes place in a city designed to nurture the talent of kids who have developed super-powers and the main character here is one the most gifted with the ability to manipulate electrical forces. One of her favorite tactics in battle is to turn a coin into a railgun projectile and it’s always an impressive sight when she does. To catch-up for this series, the Index side isn’t necessary to watch the Railgun side but watching the first Railgun series will be needed to watch this series.

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Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199

yamato2199

Director: Yutaka Izubuchi
Studio: AIC / Xebec
Origin: Anime original

If I wanted too, I could know if this series is good or not because it began airing last year in movie form and the BD/DVDs of the first several of the parts have been released; but, at this point, I’m just going to wait and be surprised. The set-up for this series shows the age of the original – an alien invasion has left humanity on the brink of extinction in the year 2199 AD when another alien race offers to help humanity if we can travel to them and pick up the offered weapons to save humanity and so humans build, then, send a space battleship by the name Yamato to do just that – however, as one of the most influential anime ever, there’s probably something good about Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 :) .

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Silver Tier

Arata Kangatari

Arata Kangatari

Director: Kenji Yasuda – Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Noein
Studio: Satelight – Noein, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Aquarion Evol, ½ of Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, AKB0048, Mouretsu Pirates
Origin:
Manga

I’m disinclined to bet against an animation studio that’s on a hot streak and Satelight has been on a strong hot streak for well over a year now. I’m even more disinclined to bet against Arata Kangatari when the director last did Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, one of my favorite series from 2011, and the very excellent Noein. Which is the reason why I’m placing this as high as I am when the set-up for this fantasy/adventure series really could go either way. Speaking of which, the story for Arata Kangatari involves a boy from modern-day Japan getting swapped with a guy that has the same name in a fantasy world who has had to pretend to be the next princess in the line of succession due to “reasons” and has been blamed for the assassination of the current female ruler. Like I said, the story could go either way but I’m betting that Satelight and Kenji Yasuda will ensure that this turns out good.

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Suisei no Gargantia

gargantia

Director: Kazuya Murata
Studio: Production IG – Ghost in the Shell:SAC, Eden of the East, Kemono no Souja Erin, Sengoku Basara, Psycho-pass, Robotics:Notes
Origin: Anime original

Of the various mecha series this season this is the one that I believe has the greatest chance at being good and is also the one I’m most looking forward too. The reason is that the writer for this series is Gen Urobuchi – who shouldn’t need any introductions at this point but for those that don’t recognize the name, he was the writer for Psycho-pass and Madoka. I’m really curious to see what Gen Urobuchi will do with a mecha series. I’m hoping it’s something interesting because, truth be told, I’m not the biggest mecha genre fan. I would have placed this higher but the director needed to be a stronger pick. He’s probably competent but he hardly ever directs (of the three director credits, according to ANN, two were from the mid-90′s and the other was the original Eureka Seven);  in a few weeks we’ll find out one way or the other :) .

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Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san

Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san

Director: Tatsuya Yoshihara
Studio: Tatsunoko – C, Sket Dance
Origin: Manga

Gut feeling time – I think Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san is going to be one of the surprise hits of this season. This confidence doesn’t stem from the director involved (this is his second time directing) or the animation studio (it may have been around since the 1960’s but recently Tatsunoko has done the interesting failure that was C and Sket Dance which I dropped like a hot potato almost immediately) or from the positive buzz from people who are familiar with the source material (there isn’t anyway familiar with it) which is why it’s a gut feeling :) . If I had to point to something beyond a visceral liking of the animation style as the reason to expect something from this anime then I’d have say the writer’s prior credits of Ben-to and Milky Holmes is reason for my optimism. This past experience should serve as good preparation because this series is apparently a high-speed, crazy comedy about a boy that meets a group of mermaids who are behind such phenomenon as the Bermuda Triangle.

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Red Data Girl

Red Data Girl

Director: Toshiya Shinohara
Studio: PA Works – Another, Hanasaku Iroha, Canaan, Angel Beats, True Tears, Tari Tari
Origin: Novel

I probably could have a more definitive read on this series if I cheated and watched the early streaming of this series but I wanted to wait. Which is probably just as well since I really haven’t heard very strong buzz in either a positive or negative direction and that probably signals that this series will be a bit of a slow burn. Of the six works produced by P.A. Works only two – Another and Hanasaku Iroha – were good. That’s not a good track record but Red Data Girl being a supernatural drama lands right in one of my favorite genres so I think there’s a relatively good chance that this will worth a watch.

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Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai 2

ore no imouto

Director: Hiroyuki Kanbe
Studio: A-1 Pictures – Shin Sekai Yori, Occult Academy, Tsuritama, Space Brothers, Working, Ao no Exorcist, Kannagi, Birdy the Mighty Decode
Origin: Light Novel

This anime’s reputation being what it is, probably everyone reading this already has their opinion about it’s merits or the lack thereof. I fall somewhere in the middle between the two opposing camps; I found enough to the first season that I’m willing to give the second season a try but I have no allusions about it’s less-then-savory parts. I am also curious to see how the change in the animating studio will affect this series. The first season was done by AIC Build but, apparently, they were too busy to animate the second season so it got moved to A-1 Pictures and the staff followed.

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Aku no Hana

flower of evil

Director: Hiroshi Nagahama – Mushishi, Detroit Metal City
Studio: Zexcs – Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu, Chuu-Bra!!, Omamori Himari, Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi, Wagaya no Oinari-sama
Origin: Manga

In my readings Aku no Hana has received a very high level of good press from people familiar with the source material and normally when there’s this many people excited for an anime there’s a good chance it will be a winner but these same people seem to be pretending not to notice that Zexcs is handling the anime and Zexcs is synonymous with making mediocrity look like a difficult feat to meet. The director has the chops to make a good anime so it’s possible that Aku no Hana will turn out just fine. I’m hoping it does because watching a dark, psychological anime always nicely balances out watching the light and fluffy anime series and that gets me to appreciate the depth seen in anime.

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Bronze Tier

Danchi Tomoo

Danchi Tomoo

Director: Ayumu Watanabe – Mysterious Girlfriend X, Space Brothers
Studio: Shougakukan Music and Digital Entertainment – apparently this is their first anime
Origin: Seinen Manga

Looking back at my past season previews there always seems to be a least one series from the Bronze Tier that turned out to be a hit. Last season it was Kotoura-san, for example. This season I think Danchi Tomoo has the best chance to be that surprise hit. At first glance this appears to be a kid’s show but a check of the source material reveals that it runs in a seinen manga and it’s been nominated for an award with Death Note, Hyouge Mono, and Moyashimon. That’s pretty good company. Also in this anime’s favor is the director because he was responsible for the surprisingly good Mysterious Girlfriend X and the utterly sublime Space Brothers. Saying that, I don’t have much to go on past that it’s apparently about a fourth grade boy who looks for adventures and gets into trouble a lot which makes me reluctant to place this higher. I will give it shot, in part, also because Danchi Tomoo appears to be the best chance at finding a new slice-of-life series to watch.

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Devil Survivor 2: The Animation

devil2

Director: Seiji Kishi – Tentai Senshi Sunred
Studio: Bridge – Mitsudomoe
Origin: Video Game

A video game adaptation from the director that made the Persona 4 anime and animated by a company that’s only ever done Mitsudomoe is not the strongest way to pitch an anime but there are worse. In it’s favor it does have a bevy of top seiyuu so I should, at least, enjoy listening to the characters of this anime.

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Photo Kano

Photo Kano

Director: Akitoshi Yokoyama
Studio: Madhouse – Death Note, Kaiba, Kurozuka, Rideback, Kobato, Rainbow, Tatami Galaxy, Btooom!, Chihayafuru
Origin: Dating Sim Video Game

Madhouse is one of the few animation studios that I will give all their series a chance, even when they look less then interesting. Photo Kano falls into the less then interesting category because it’s a dating sim/harem video game adaptation. On the plus side the original is made by the same company that made Amagami SS which turned out to be pretty watchable. I’m also interested to see how the first time director will handle being the director and writer for this anime series. And there appears to be several very good seiyuu attached to this as well.

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Hataraku Maou-Sama

Hataraku Maou-Sama

Director: Naoto Hosoda
Studio: White Fox – Steins;Gate, Jormungand, Katanagatari, Tears to Tiara
Origin: Light Novel

I’ll be honest. The only reason this anime makes it on the list is that White Fox is animating it and their last three series – Jormungand, Steins;Gate, and Katanagatari all placed in my yearly top 10 lists. I don’t want to bet against them but a comedy series about a demon lord coming to our world and working at a McDonald’s knock-off and directed by the guy that handled the second season of Minami-ke (which is one of the two I pretend do not exist) does not instill much confidence in me. I would like to be proven wrong but I have the feeling this will turn out to be another one of those unfunny comedy series that rear their ugly heads every so often, like Godzilla come to destroy Tokyo.

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Valvrave the Liberator

Valvrave the Liberator

Director: Kou Matsuo – Kurenai, Natsuyuki Rendezvous
Studio: Sunrise – Code Geass, Daily Lives of High­school Boys, Tiger and Bunny, Sacred Seven, Natsuiro Kiseki, Phi Brain, Binbou-gami ga!
Origin: Anime original

Like I said earlier, I’m not the biggest mecha fan, even though my all-time number 2 anime is Gurren Lagann, but Sunrise delivered several great series last year so I’m willing to give them the chance here as a result. A very solid seiyuu cast definitely helps. The setup for Valvrave the Liberator reads like a typical mecha series so the outcome of this will depend on the execution. As an aside, I’m curious if there’s ever been a mecha series that featured an old guy as the hero mecha pilot, instead of the very standard young male character.

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There are a few more series that I feel have a chance at being watchable – Karneval, Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Bride, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru, and Mushibugyou – but I’m going to wait and see what the peanut gallery says first before spending the time to watch them.

And with that we’re at the end of my spring 2013 preview. Looking ahead, the summer season is looking very solid and I’m betting my excitement will get me to finish writing the preview quicker.


Filed under: anime, season preview

Winter 2013 Anime Preview and Watch List

kanon_snow2

Remember when KyoAni’s Kanon looked good.

I think I can, I think I can. After a few misfires, for the first time since the Summer 2011 season, I’m finally back with a seasonal anime preview. :) The purpose of this post has always been twofold. The first is for those reading this so that they might watch a series that might not otherwise. The second is for me because when I don’t make this post I always feel a little lost when the new season comes and I haven’t made any decisions on what to watch and what to definitely not watch.

The Fall season was a very strong season and many of these most excellent anime series are continuing into the Winter season so even if there was nothing new that will be good, there’s still plenty to watch; but, there’s going to be at least a few new hits. Read on to see my picks.

Below are my picks for the Winter 2013 season, sorted by how good I think the show will turn out and broken into 4 broad tiers. Platinum Tier shows are those anime that I believe have a virtually 100% guarantee of being good. Sometimes I’m wrong like when Shaft/Shinbou stretches out the plot of a sequel (Natsu no Arashi 2 and Arakawa Under the Bridge 2) to, presumably, do a third series.  When that happens it’s always very disappointing. The next level is the Gold Tier. This level contains those shows that I think have a very good chance of being, at a minimum, “good” shows. Anime at this level usually miss out on being Platinum Tier because I don’t know enough about the source material or the studio animating it has been known for doing variable work or some other small thing that makes me less then fully certain. Silver tier shows still have a lot going for them but bigger potential problems start showing up. The problem might be in the source material, animation studio, or director and it’s a big enough one that I think the show could go either way. Bronze tier shows have something that makes me think it possibly could be a decent show but I’m not holding much hope. Sometimes there’s a surprisingly good show from this group.

Second opinions for the Winter 2013 season can be found many places but I personally like Star Crossed Anime Blog, The Cart Driver, Lost in Anime, and hashihime – Anime Voices (when it gets posted).

The final item of business before moving to the Winter preview/watch list is to mention the anime series that are continuing into this season that are worth a renewed look.

  • Hunter x Hunter – after starting slow, this shounen title got really good but with a new story arc how this season plays out remains to be seen
  • Uchuu Kyoudai – I’m excited to see the antics of astronaut-in-training Mutta
  • Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – The pacing for this feels like a one season series so I’m curious to see what this slightly uneven, overall decent anime has up it’s sleeve for it’s second half
  • Shinsekai Yori – The first half was really awesome but I think we’re just now getting to the meat of the story and if that doesn’t disappoint then this series will be an early contender for best anime of 2013.
  • Psycho-Pass – Another anime that I think is just starting to get to core of it’s story, I think Gen Urobuchi will confirm his place amongst the top creative big-wigs of anime if this ends as strongly as I think it will.
  • Robotics;Notes – This anime keeps dropping clues that, when it’s ready to get serious about the overarching plot, it could be as good as Steins;Gate but the first half was a bit of slog because the characters just aren’t as interesting as those in Steins;Gate.
  • Zetsuen no Tempest – The story on this one also feels like it’s a one season anime so I hope there’s somewhere to go with the second half of this pretty good anime.
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – David Production keeps finding these weird anime series that fit their weird, vaguely ugly animation style but, as much fun as this has been, I wonder how they’ll handle the continued oneups-menship component to the story.
  • Magi – I wish these shounen series could just start good and not need some time to get through their introduction part before getting good; it’s only been in the last couple of episodes that it feels like we’re actually getting somewhere with the story – I’m hoping the second half continues to get better.

Platinum Tier

Chihayafuru Season 2

winter201204950

Director: Morio Asaka
Studio: Madhouse – Death Note, Kaiba, Kurozuka, Rideback, Kobato, Rainbow, Tatami Galaxy, Btooom!
Origin: Manga

The first season of Chihayafuru will be finishing near the top of my best anime of 2012 list because it did a few simple things correctly – create interesting and fantastic characters, allow these characters to organically drive the story, make the story about all the characters and not just a couple main ones, avoid the pitfalls of relying on a set of genre clichés, make it look good, get a great vocal cast, and make the sport of Karuta interesting. The only problem I see is that I’m going to have to see this end again and not know if I’ll see a season 3.

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AKB0048 Next Stage

summer201223644

Director: Shouji Kawamori
Studio: Satelight – Noein, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Aquarion Evol, ½ of Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, AKB0048, Mouretsu Pirates
Origin: Anime Original inspired by idol group

The first season of AKB0048 will finish near the top, probably just behind Chihayafuyu, of my best anime of 2012 list because it took an absurd premise and courageously went all-out with it. It probably helped that I didn’t expect much from this series and was pleasantly surprised when it did good. The first season left enough questions that need answers like – just what is Sensei-sensei and what happens to the idols that disappear – that there should be plenty of surprises to make this another great series of AKB0048.

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As an aside, the pickings this season are kinda thin so, to those readers who haven’t watched either Chihayafuru or AKB0048, I really recommend giving the first season of these a shot before the winter season starts. There’s still plenty time to get caught up on what most likely will be the best new series of the season.

Gold Tier

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

Director: Akiyuki Shinbou
Studio: SHAFT – Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Maria+holic, Hidamari Sketch, Bakemonogatari, Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Origin: Light Novel

Yeah new material from Shaft. If Nisemonogatari taught us anything, it’s that Shaft/Shinbou can make pretty much everything watchable. So even when the premise sounds a bit meh like with Sasami-san@Ganbaranai – hikikomori girl has a brother who tends to her needs like doing her laundry and making her meals and she uses technological means to spy on her brother and his love life with a trio of sisters he knows from school – it’s basically guaranteed to be at least watchable. I do like the apparent change in style this series will be using, at least that means the people at Shaft are still willing to experiment.

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Tamako Market

Tamako Market

Director: Naoko Yamada
Studio: Kyoto Animation – Hyouka, K-On!, Chuunibyou, Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Nichijou
Origin: Anime Original

This marks the fourth consecutive season that Kyoto Animation will be airing an anime series and each of the three series that aired during this run had a different director. I’m hoping this increased output is continued in the future because maybe then finally we’ll get more Full Metal Panic and Haruhi. Before then, we have the latest work from the director of K-On!Tamako Market. Apparently this will be a more laid-back story centered around a high school girl whose parents run a mochi shop in the local business district. I love when anime uses a local small business as a backdrop because it seems so quaintly old-fashioned when compared to the mega-stores I’m used to seeing. I’m a little leery about this; though, while it can be argued that Chuunibyou was about 70% original material, Kyoto Animation has yet to make a good anime original series. I hope they do it but it won’t be easy. If it was as easy to make this type of series as some would condescendingly suggest, every studio from J.C. Staff to Gonzo would be doing it and seeing similar sales figures.

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Silver Tier

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

Director: Toru Kitohata
Studio: AIC Build – Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Ore no Imouto, Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate
Origin: Light Novel

I wanted to really like the first season of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai and it did have many things going for it like an excellent vocal cast, very nice character designs coupled with good animation, a storyline about a group of people that never had friends coming together to become friends with each other, and a few interesting characters. However, the story suffered from intrusions caused by fan-service (nothing inheritantly wrong with fan-service but it should either tie into the story or, at least, not interfere with it) and there was a couple really annoying characters. Now that there’s been a director change to the guy that did Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate and a writer change to the original creator, a chance exists for the second season to outdo the first season.

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Minami-Ke Tadaima

Minami-Ke Tadaima

Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi
Studio: Feel – Dakara Boku wa H ga Dekinai, Mayo Chiki, Yosuga no Sora, kissxsis, Kanamemo, Nagasarete Airantou
Origin: Manga

After a second and third season that I try really hard to forget ever existed, I don’t hold out much hope that this season of Minami-ke will be a worthy successor to the first season, especially since Feel is the animation studio doing it this time. The sole hope I see is that the director is the guy that directed the only good season of Hayate – the very first one – and is currently making the  stupidly long named Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne! funny enough to be somewhat actually watchable. If they mess another season of Minami-ke up I think I need to go over there and knock some sense into these people; properly handled, Minami-ke would be widely considered the funniest anime franchise ever at this point.

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Yama no Susume

Yama no Susume

Director: Yuusuke Yamamoto
Studio: 8-Bit – Infinite Stratos, Busou Shinki
Origin: Manga

About two girls who are friends and into mountain climbing until one of the girls develops acrophobia, Yama no Susume will focus on the efforts of the one friend in getting the acrophobic friend back mountain climbing to fulfill a promise to see a sunrise at the top of a certain mountain together. The story has potential; if the mountain climbing aspect is made interesting and the characters fleshed out beyond cardboard cliché. What pushes this up to the silver level is the director has previously directed B Gata H Kei, NHK ni Youkoso, and assisted on Aquarion Evol.

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Bronze Tier

Koutora-san

Kotoura-san

Director: Masahiko Ohta
Studio: AIC Classic – Ebiten
Origin: 4-koma Manga

Oh look, the director of the first season of Minami-ke and the reason why I’m looking forward to this. Since the first season of Minami-ke Masahiko Ohta has directed Mitsudomoe and YuruYuri; two series that I think had problems with their source material and both never got better then being sporadically funny. How funny Koutora-san ends up being will probably also depend on the quality of the source material. It sounds like it could be good – the main character can read minds and joins the ESP club at her new school.

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Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman

Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman

Director: Ogura Hirofumi
Studio: TMS Entertainment – Zetman, Kamisama Hajimemashita, Lupin the Third:Fujiko
Origin: Pachinko Game

Monkey Punch apparently likes the idea of  thieves because after creating Lupin the Third he was tapped to work on a pachinko game that this anime is based on and it features a phantom thief that lived in a historical time period. For the anime they’re shifted the time period to the Bakumatsu which if I remember my anime is during the Kenshin-the-Manslayer time period. I think there’s a good chance this will be watchable and probably the best chance of any in this low-tier of turning out great, assuming an high enough animation budget,  because the published artwork seems enticing and it shouldn’t that hard to string together a few interesting heists for our thief to do.

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Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited

TheUnlimited

Director: Shishou Igarashi
Studio: Manglobe – Sacred Blacksmith, Samurai Champloo, Hayate the Combat Butler 3, The World God Only Knows
Origin: Manga

After finishing the first season of Hayate, Synergy SP animated a 52 episode anime called Zettai Karen Children. It had potential but ended up being pretty average and I don’t remember actually finishing it. Fast forward several years and a spin-off has been made centering on the villain from the original series and is supposedly more dark and edgier (neither of which characterized Zettai Karen Children at all). I’d be more looking forward to this if Manglobe wasn’t the one animating since their last great work was Samurai Champloo.

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Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru

Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru

Director: Kanta Kamei
Studio: A-1 Pictures – Occult Academy, Tsuritama, Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Bros), Working, Ao no Exorcist, Kannagi, Birdy the Mighty Decode
Origin: Light Novel

This season’s long named anime is not about a brother/sister relationship but the more traditional love triangle between a boy, his childhood friend, and the newcomer. Hardily a unique premise but I’m betting on the studio and director that this will be at least a bit better then it would seem on paper. The anime character designs looking better then the original light novel is always a good sign.

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Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

Director: Takeo Takahashi
Studio: ARMS – Queen’s Blade, Ikkitousen, Elfen Lied, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls
Origin: Light Novel/Manga

Take a director that has done one good work – Spice and Wolf – along with tons of junk, mix in a studio that also produces a fair amount of junk themselves, season with a story that sounds a bit similar to Spice and Wolf and bake at 350 degrees for 2 and a half minutes to leave just enough time to watch the nicely animated trailer. The result is a muddled mess that might turn out good or completely inedible; only time will tell.

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Amnesia

Amnesia_anime

Director: Yoshimitsu Ohashi
Studio: Brains Base – Kamichu, Baccano, Durarara, Spice &Wolf 2, Kuragehime, Dororon Enma-kun Meramera, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Ixion Saga: DT
Origin: Otome Visual Novel

I’m probably making a big mistake thinking this has even a remote chance of being watchable because even though it’s from Brains Base that’s no sort of guarantee when they were the ones who made Akikan. The director inspires no confidence when the last work from Yoshimitsu Ohashi is Sacred Seven. This will probably turn out just being a better animated Studio Deen-style pretty boy anime.

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Also don’t forget that the next chapter of -monogatari franchise (Nekomonogatari: Kuro) from Shaft/Shinbou is coming out on December 31st.


Filed under: anime, season preview

Winter 2013 Anime Preview and Watch List

kanon_snow2

Remember when KyoAni’s Kanon looked good.

I think I can, I think I can. After a few misfires, for the first time since the Summer 2011 season, I’m finally back with a seasonal anime preview. :) The purpose of this post has always been twofold. The first is for those reading this so that they might watch a series that might not otherwise. The second is for me because when I don’t make this post I always feel a little lost when the new season comes and I haven’t made any decisions on what to watch and what to definitely not watch.

The Fall season was a very strong season and many of these most excellent anime series are continuing into the Winter season so even if there was nothing new that will be good, there’s still plenty to watch; but, there’s going to be at least a few new hits. Read on to see my picks.

Below are my picks for the Winter 2013 season, sorted by how good I think the show will turn out and broken into 4 broad tiers. Platinum Tier shows are those anime that I believe have a virtually 100% guarantee of being good. Sometimes I’m wrong like when Shaft/Shinbou stretches out the plot of a sequel (Natsu no Arashi 2 and Arakawa Under the Bridge 2) to, presumably, do a third series.  When that happens it’s always very disappointing. The next level is the Gold Tier. This level contains those shows that I think have a very good chance of being, at a minimum, “good” shows. Anime at this level usually miss out on being Platinum Tier because I don’t know enough about the source material or the studio animating it has been known for doing variable work or some other small thing that makes me less then fully certain. Silver tier shows still have a lot going for them but bigger potential problems start showing up. The problem might be in the source material, animation studio, or director and it’s a big enough one that I think the show could go either way. Bronze tier shows have something that makes me think it possibly could be a decent show but I’m not holding much hope. Sometimes there’s a surprisingly good show from this group.

Second opinions for the Winter 2013 season can be found many places but I personally like Star Crossed Anime Blog, The Cart Driver, Lost in Anime, and hashihime – Anime Voices (when it gets posted).

The final item of business before moving to the Winter preview/watch list is to mention the anime series that are continuing into this season that are worth a renewed look.

  • Hunter x Hunter – after starting slow, this shounen title got really good but with a new story arc how this season plays out remains to be seen
  • Uchuu Kyoudai – I’m excited to see the antics of astronaut-in-training Mutta
  • Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – The pacing for this feels like a one season series so I’m curious to see what this slightly uneven, overall decent anime has up it’s sleeve for it’s second half
  • Shinsekai Yori – The first half was really awesome but I think we’re just now getting to the meat of the story and if that doesn’t disappoint then this series will be an early contender for best anime of 2013.
  • Psycho-Pass – Another anime that I think is just starting to get to core of it’s story, I think Gen Urobuchi will confirm his place amongst the top creative big-wigs of anime if this ends as strongly as I think it will.
  • Robotics;Notes – This anime keeps dropping clues that, when it’s ready to get serious about the overarching plot, it could be as good as Steins;Gate but the first half was a bit of slog because the characters just aren’t as interesting as those in Steins;Gate.
  • Zetsuen no Tempest – The story on this one also feels like it’s a one season anime so I hope there’s somewhere to go with the second half of this pretty good anime.
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – David Production keeps finding these weird anime series that fit their weird, vaguely ugly animation style but, as much fun as this has been, I wonder how they’ll handle the continued oneups-menship component to the story.
  • Magi – I wish these shounen series could just start good and not need some time to get through their introduction part before getting good; it’s only been in the last couple of episodes that it feels like we’re actually getting somewhere with the story – I’m hoping the second half continues to get better.

Platinum Tier

Chihayafuru Season 2

winter201204950

Director: Morio Asaka
Studio: Madhouse – Death Note, Kaiba, Kurozuka, Rideback, Kobato, Rainbow, Tatami Galaxy, Btooom!
Origin: Manga

The first season of Chihayafuru will be finishing near the top of my best anime of 2012 list because it did a few simple things correctly – create interesting and fantastic characters, allow these characters to organically drive the story, make the story about all the characters and not just a couple main ones, avoid the pitfalls of relying on a set of genre clichés, make it look good, get a great vocal cast, and make the sport of Karuta interesting. The only problem I see is that I’m going to have to see this end again and not know if I’ll see a season 3.

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AKB0048 Next Stage

summer201223644

Director: Shouji Kawamori
Studio: Satelight – Noein, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Aquarion Evol, ½ of Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, AKB0048, Mouretsu Pirates
Origin: Anime Original inspired by idol group

The first season of AKB0048 will finish near the top, probably just behind Chihayafuyu, of my best anime of 2012 list because it took an absurd premise and courageously went all-out with it. It probably helped that I didn’t expect much from this series and was pleasantly surprised when it did good. The first season left enough questions that need answers like – just what is Sensei-sensei and what happens to the idols that disappear – that there should be plenty of surprises to make this another great series of AKB0048.

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As an aside, the pickings this season are kinda thin so, to those readers who haven’t watched either Chihayafuru or AKB0048, I really recommend giving the first season of these a shot before the winter season starts. There’s still plenty time to get caught up on what most likely will be the best new series of the season.

Gold Tier

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

Director: Akiyuki Shinbou
Studio: SHAFT – Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Maria+holic, Hidamari Sketch, Bakemonogatari, Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Origin: Light Novel

Yeah new material from Shaft. If Nisemonogatari taught us anything, it’s that Shaft/Shinbou can make pretty much everything watchable. So even when the premise sounds a bit meh like with Sasami-san@Ganbaranai – hikikomori girl has a brother who tends to her needs like doing her laundry and making her meals and she uses technological means to spy on her brother and his love life with a trio of sisters he knows from school – it’s basically guaranteed to be at least watchable. I do like the apparent change in style this series will be using, at least that means the people at Shaft are still willing to experiment.

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Tamako Market

Tamako Market

Director: Naoko Yamada
Studio: Kyoto Animation – Hyouka, K-On!, Chuunibyou, Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Nichijou
Origin: Anime Original

This marks the fourth consecutive season that Kyoto Animation will be airing an anime series and each of the three series that aired during this run had a different director. I’m hoping this increased output is continued in the future because maybe then finally we’ll get more Full Metal Panic and Haruhi. Before then, we have the latest work from the director of K-On!Tamako Market. Apparently this will be a more laid-back story centered around a high school girl whose parents run a mochi shop in the local business district. I love when anime uses a local small business as a backdrop because it seems so quaintly old-fashioned when compared to the mega-stores I’m used to seeing. I’m a little leery about this; though, while it can be argued that Chuunibyou was about 70% original material, Kyoto Animation has yet to make a good anime original series. I hope they do it but it won’t be easy. If it was as easy to make this type of series as some would condescendingly suggest, every studio from J.C. Staff to Gonzo would be doing it and seeing similar sales figures.

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Silver Tier

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

Director: Toru Kitohata
Studio: AIC Build – Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Ore no Imouto, Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate
Origin: Light Novel

I wanted to really like the first season of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai and it did have many things going for it like an excellent vocal cast, very nice character designs coupled with good animation, a storyline about a group of people that never had friends coming together to become friends with each other, and a few interesting characters. However, the story suffered from intrusions caused by fan-service (nothing inheritantly wrong with fan-service but it should either tie into the story or, at least, not interfere with it) and there was a couple really annoying characters. Now that there’s been a director change to the guy that did Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate and a writer change to the original creator, a chance exists for the second season to outdo the first season.

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Minami-Ke Tadaima

Minami-Ke Tadaima

Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi
Studio: Feel – Dakara Boku wa H ga Dekinai, Mayo Chiki, Yosuga no Sora, kissxsis, Kanamemo, Nagasarete Airantou
Origin: Manga

After a second and third season that I try really hard to forget ever existed, I don’t hold out much hope that this season of Minami-ke will be a worthy successor to the first season, especially since Feel is the animation studio doing it this time. The sole hope I see is that the director is the guy that directed the only good season of Hayate – the very first one – and is currently making the  stupidly long named Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne! funny enough to be somewhat actually watchable. If they mess another season of Minami-ke up I think I need to go over there and knock some sense into these people; properly handled, Minami-ke would be widely considered the funniest anime franchise ever at this point.

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Yama no Susume

Yama no Susume

Director: Yuusuke Yamamoto
Studio: 8-Bit – Infinite Stratos, Busou Shinki
Origin: Manga

About two girls who are friends and into mountain climbing until one of the girls develops acrophobia, Yama no Susume will focus on the efforts of the one friend in getting the acrophobic friend back mountain climbing to fulfill a promise to see a sunrise at the top of a certain mountain together. The story has potential; if the mountain climbing aspect is made interesting and the characters fleshed out beyond cardboard cliché. What pushes this up to the silver level is the director has previously directed B Gata H Kei, NHK ni Youkoso, and assisted on Aquarion Evol.

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Bronze Tier

Koutora-san

Kotoura-san

Director: Masahiko Ohta
Studio: AIC Classic – Ebiten
Origin: 4-koma Manga

Oh look, the director of the first season of Minami-ke and the reason why I’m looking forward to this. Since the first season of Minami-ke Masahiko Ohta has directed Mitsudomoe and YuruYuri; two series that I think had problems with their source material and both never got better then being sporadically funny. How funny Koutora-san ends up being will probably also depend on the quality of the source material. It sounds like it could be good – the main character can read minds and joins the ESP club at her new school.

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Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman

Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman

Director: Ogura Hirofumi
Studio: TMS Entertainment – Zetman, Kamisama Hajimemashita, Lupin the Third:Fujiko
Origin: Pachinko Game

Monkey Punch apparently likes the idea of  thieves because after creating Lupin the Third he was tapped to work on a pachinko game that this anime is based on and it features a phantom thief that lived in a historical time period. For the anime they’re shifted the time period to the Bakumatsu which if I remember my anime is during the Kenshin-the-Manslayer time period. I think there’s a good chance this will be watchable and probably the best chance of any in this low-tier of turning out great, assuming an high enough animation budget,  because the published artwork seems enticing and it shouldn’t that hard to string together a few interesting heists for our thief to do.

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Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited

TheUnlimited

Director: Shishou Igarashi
Studio: Manglobe – Sacred Blacksmith, Samurai Champloo, Hayate the Combat Butler 3, The World God Only Knows
Origin: Manga

After finishing the first season of Hayate, Synergy SP animated a 52 episode anime called Zettai Karen Children. It had potential but ended up being pretty average and I don’t remember actually finishing it. Fast forward several years and a spin-off has been made centering on the villain from the original series and is supposedly more dark and edgier (neither of which characterized Zettai Karen Children at all). I’d be more looking forward to this if Manglobe wasn’t the one animating since their last great work was Samurai Champloo.

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Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru

Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru

Director: Kanta Kamei
Studio: A-1 Pictures – Occult Academy, Tsuritama, Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Bros), Working, Ao no Exorcist, Kannagi, Birdy the Mighty Decode
Origin: Light Novel

This season’s long named anime is not about a brother/sister relationship but the more traditional love triangle between a boy, his childhood friend, and the newcomer. Hardily a unique premise but I’m betting on the studio and director that this will be at least a bit better then it would seem on paper. The anime character designs looking better then the original light novel is always a good sign.

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Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

Director: Takeo Takahashi
Studio: ARMS – Queen’s Blade, Ikkitousen, Elfen Lied, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls
Origin: Light Novel/Manga

Take a director that has done one good work – Spice and Wolf – along with tons of junk, mix in a studio that also produces a fair amount of junk themselves, season with a story that sounds a bit similar to Spice and Wolf and bake at 350 degrees for 2 and a half minutes to leave just enough time to watch the nicely animated trailer. The result is a muddled mess that might turn out good or completely inedible; only time will tell.

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Amnesia

Amnesia_anime

Director: Yoshimitsu Ohashi
Studio: Brains Base – Kamichu, Baccano, Durarara, Spice &Wolf 2, Kuragehime, Dororon Enma-kun Meramera, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Ixion Saga: DT
Origin: Otome Visual Novel

I’m probably making a big mistake thinking this has even a remote chance of being watchable because even though it’s from Brains Base that’s no sort of guarantee when they were the ones who made Akikan. The director inspires no confidence when the last work from Yoshimitsu Ohashi is Sacred Seven. This will probably turn out just being a better animated Studio Deen-style pretty boy anime.

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Also don’t forget that the next chapter of -monogatari franchise (Nekomonogatari: Kuro) from Shaft/Shinbou is coming out on December 31st.


Filed under: anime, season preview

Summer 2011 Anime Preview and Watch List

One of the reasons I like to blog about anime is that it helps focus my thoughts about the anime I watch. This extends to doing these seasonal anime previews; not only do I hope it helps some people out there to try anime they might not have otherwise, I also discover series that I should try and other series I should pass over.

This season is shaping up to be potentially a very strong season, though the lack of a new Shaft series is kind of a disappointment.

Below are my picks for the Summer 2011 season, sorted by how good I think the show will turn out and broken into 4 broad tiers. Platinum Tier shows are those anime that I believe have a virtually 100% guarantee of being good. Sometimes I’m wrong like when Shaft/Shinbou stretches out the plot of a sequel (Natsu no Arashi 2 and Arakawa Under the Bridge 2) to, presumably, do a third series.  When that happens it’s always very disappointing. The next level is the Gold Tier. This level contains those shows that I think have a very good chance of being, at a minimum, “good” shows. Anime at this level usually miss out on being Platinum Tier because I don’t know enough about the source material or the studio animating it has been known for doing variable work or some other small thing that makes me less then fully certain. Silver tier shows still have a lot going for them but bigger potential problems start showing up. The problem might be in the source material, animation studio, or director and it’s a big enough one that I think the show could go either way. Bronze tier shows have something that makes me think it possibly could be a decent show but I’m not holding much hope. Sometimes there’s a surprisingly good show from this group.

If you want a second opinion about the upcoming shows try out the previews by Star Crossed Anime Blog and The Cart Driver and if you want the most complete coverage of all the new Summer anime go to hashihime’s always most excellent preview when it’s up (edithere it is).

The final item of business before moving to the Summer preview/watch list is to mention the anime series that are continuing into this season that are worth a renewed look.

  • Blue Exorcist – a fairly typical shounen series that has retained my attention
  • Hyouge Mono – the subs are so slow but I’m really enjoying what I’ve seen so far
  • Steins;Gate – I keep telling myself the ending is probably going to stink like Chaos;Head but it’s been really interesting so far
  • Hanasaku Iroha – Still entertaining but the story is wandering a bit right now. Supposedly the second half introduces a more cohesive plot.
  • Nichijou – After a few episodes this comedy has really dialed in on the laughs and leaves me in stitches week-in and week-out
  • Tiger & Bunny – So far the plot’s been pretty decent and it’s well animated and been very entertaining

Two shows I’m not covering are Baka to Test to Shoukan­juu Ni! and Nur­ari­hyon no Mago 2 because they are sequels to shows that I didn’t watch (the later) or didn’t finish (the former).

Platinum Tier

Natsume Yuujin­chou San

Aka Natsume’s Book of Friends 3

Director: Takahiro Omori
Studio: Brains Base – Kamichu, Baccano, Durarara, Spice &Wolf 2, Kuragehime, Dororon Enma-kun Meramera

On my mental list of anime that I’d most want to see a sequel done, few shows rank higher then Natsume Yuujin-chou. In fact, only, FLCL, Kino’s Journey and maybe Haibane Renmei finish above and the chances are very slim that any of those three will ever get a sequel, sadly.

Natsume follows the adventure of Natsume, a high school student that’s struggled with the “gift” of being able to see and communicate with spirits (youkai). His grandmother had the same abiltiy and when she passes on at the beginning of the series, her “Book of Friends” is given to him as her last living relative. The book contains the true names of the many spirits that the grandmother fought and defeated during her life – a powerful artifact many humans and spirits would covet for the power it gives. Natsume, on the other hand, has no such desire; he merely wants to live a peaceful life without bothering those around him because of his unique ability. Which is near impossible and some of the dangers Natsume faces are quite deadly; so he’s lucky that he has a booze-drinking, grumpy, talking cat – Nyanko-sensei – to help protect his back.

The first season was light on plot and heavy on the mono no aware slice-of-life vibe with a pleasant dose of comedy. The execution was perfect; it was even able to work in that late summer/early fall melancholy feeling into the show by syncing the events of the episodes with when they first aired on television. The second season introduced the first hints of a real plot which explained why many people thought the second season felt different. This unresolved plot was one of the driving reasons for wanting a third season (and because it’s an all-around awesome show). I’m hoping the third season will pick up where the second season left off and delve deeper into the plot of the show. Natsume Yuujin­chou San is not to be missed.

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Usagi Drop

AKA Bunny Drop

Director: Kanta Kamei
Studio: Production I.G. – Ghost in the Shell:SAC, Eden of the East, Kemono no Souja Erin, Kimi ni Todoke, Sengoku Basara

Usagi Drop is about a 30 year bachelor who decides to take in the six year old illegitimate daughter of his grandfather after the grandfather dies and no one else in the family wants her. And then they go on Jerry Springer – just kidding. Between the studio, the trailer, it’s placement on the Noitamina timeslot, and it’s premise, this series has excellence written all over it. My gut tells me that this will be another winner of the season so I’m ranking Usagi Drop as high as I am. Though I haven’t checked out the source material like Scamp advises blog writers to do before writing a season preview. The only potential fly in the ointment is the director and other staff don’t come with the longest pedigree but I think the positives vastly outweigh the negatives here.

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Gold Tier

Kamisama Dolls

Director: Seiji Kishi
Studio: Brains Base – Kamichu, Baccano, Durarara, Spice &Wolf 2, Kuragehime, Dororon Enma-kun Meramera

Brains Base normally only does one series a season so it was surprising  to see them suddenly run three series this season. Not that I’m complaining, the chances of a random Brains Base series being good is much higher then just about every other studio.

Kamisama Dolls follows Kyouhei (he’s old enough to drink so he’s probably college age) who’s moved to Tokyo to get away from his hometown and his past but discovers a simple move is not enough when he finds a dead body and learns that the killer was someone he knew from his hometown and that his younger sister is on the murderer’s tail. To make matters worse, since every small town in Japan harbors some sort of dark secret – the people from his hometown worship some sort of weird gods that manifest in giant, creepy humanoid forms known as kukuri that people can command.

This earns top-billing in this section because the director, Seiji Kishi, did the first season of Tentai Senshi Sunred – one of best comedies of the past couple years, Seto no Hanayome – another funny comedy  and Angel Beats – whose only real problem was the scenario writer created a 48 episode anime and tried to shoe-horn it into 13 episodes.

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Neko­gami Yaoyorozu

Director: Hiroaki Sakurai
Studio: AIC PLUS+ – GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class, Asobi ni Iku yo!

Trying to keep track of which subsection of AIC did which anime can be quite a chore but it does help gauge expectations. Neko­gami Yaoyorozu is a product of AIC Plus+ which has produced two previous works: GA was a fun slice-of-life series about a group of high school art students that was somehow able to feel different then both Sketchbook and Hidemari Sketch and the other, Asobi ni Iku yo!, was a fun SF romp involving first contact with aliens. Both series really could use a sequel but instead we have Neko­gami Yaoyorozu which is a comedy series about a cat god that hangs out at an antique dealer’s store and presumably causes trouble.

I’m especially looking forward to this series because AIC has been a roll of late with a string of shows that have been well-produced, entertaining and often including just the right amount of ecchi fan service and their absence this season after a steady release of a couple series a season for the last couple years was clearly evident. (I’m guessing that AIC was working on the movie for Sora no Otoshimono which comes out this June and they didn’t have the time to do a TV series or two.)

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Mawaru PenguinDrum

Director: Kunihiko Ikuhara
Studio: Brains Base – Kamichu, Baccano, Durarara, Spice &Wolf 2, Kuragehime, Dororon Enma-kun Meramera

With essentially no real information about this anime except it’s director is Kunihiko Ikuhara – director of Revolutionary Girl Utena – that it’s being animated by Brains Base and is 24 episodes long, there’s no good reason why I’m putting this so high on my list outside of a gut feeling about it being good. I haven’t even actually seen Utena to know if being the guy that directed it means something good for the chances of this anime. On the other hand my gut is telling me this is going to be a good series and I agree. :)

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Silver Tier


No.6

Director: Kenji Nagasaki
Studio: Bones – Soul Eater, Xam’d: Lost Memories, Eureka 7, Full Metal Alchemist, Heroman, Star Driver, Gosick

The other Noitamina series of this season. A SF series set in the near future, No. 6 is about a boy that’s lives the golden lifestyle that being an elite student allows until he happens to rescue a boy that’s escaped from the under-city where all society’s rejects live and his life is forever changed.

As awesome as the potential for this to be an intelligent SF anime series there are two things that worry me. The first is this only appears to be 11 episodes long which isn’t exceedingly long to balance world-building, character development, and delivering a decent story. It can be done and in the right hands that’s no problem, which leads me to the second worry. Bones often has a problem with pacing and with it’s endings. So, I’m not very confident that they can make No. 6 into a good and successful anime. Though, as a minimum, it will be well-animated.

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Blood-C

Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
Studio: Production I.G. – Ghost in the Shell:SAC, Eden of the East, Kemono no Souja Erin, Kimi ni Todoke, Sengoku Basara

Normally I’d pass on a sequel to a franchise I’m behind on but apparently prior knowledge isn’t imperative with this series. The only experience I have with Clamp series to this point is the recent Kobato, which was an all-around decent series, but I know they’ve been around a long time and they’re well-liked by many people. So, it’s difficult to really rank this as high as psgels did for Star Crossed Anime Blog but with Production I.G. and a talented staff, Blood-C will probably be a very watchable series.

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Ikoku Meiro no Croisee

Director: Kenji Yasuda
Studio: Satelight – Kiddy Grade, Guin Saga, Basquash, Fairy Tail

I love anime series set in past, it doesn’t matter the time period or the location. Half the reason I’m currently watching Gosick is for the setting (and the other half is Aoi Yuuki’s superb vocal work as the main character). I don’t think I’ve every completed or watched an anime series from Satelight; so, I don’t have that easy gauge of expectations like I have for other series. The trailer, however, looks like the animators aren’t skimping on the animation – an important consideration when watching a series for it’s setting. Therefore, I can pretty much guarantee that I’m going to be watching Ikoku Meiro no Croisee to the end, even if it’s not the best.

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Dantalian’s Library

Director: Yutaka Uemura
Studio: Gainax – Gurren Lagann, Hanamaru Kindergarten, Evangelion, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

On one hand this is Gainax, a name synonymous with epic awesomeness but on the other hand it’s only with original projects that Gainax really shines. On the other hand the premise (guy inherits grandfather’s mansion and the equivalent of Index from Index) could be interesting but on the other hand the source material is from the guy who wrote Asura Cryin’. And this isn’t first string Gainax or even apparently second-string Gainax and it’s only 13 episodes long which means capable hands are required to develop a good story in that span of time. It’s still worth a look but I’m going to hold my expectations down and hope they announce their next original series soon.

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R-15

Director: Munenori Nawa
Studio: AIC – Ore no Imouto, Amagami SS, Hourou Musuko, Sasameki Koto, Mayoi Neko Overrun, Strike Witches 2

To be clear, if anyone other then AIC was doing this series I almost certainly wouldn’t bother because the premise – high school student who writes ero novels but must hide this fact from his classmates – is very stupid sounding. However, as I mentioned earlier, AIC’s been on a streak lately, turning even a show like Ore no Imouto into something watchable, and I’m guessing there’s a decent chance they can do it again with R-15.

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Sacred Seven

Director: Yoshimitsu Ohashi
Studio: Sunrise – Tiger and Bunny, Code Geass, Gundam

I pay attention to any series that is an original production like Sacred Seven is. It’s where you find much of the very best anime (and also the worse – cough*Fractale*cough). I’m currently enjoying Tiger and Bunny and if this show can entertain on a similar level then it’s definitely worth watching.

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Bronze Tier

Kamisama no Memo-chou

Director: Katsushi Sakurabi
Studio: J.C. Staff – Hatsukoi Limited, Toradora, Potemayo, Shana, Index, Railgun, Milky Holmes

I still have a residual like of J.C. Staff based on some really great previous work but they’ve seem to sunk into a rut of late. It’s like they’re just going through the motions. For example, when was the last time J.C. Staff actually wowed anyone with their animation quality?

Kami-sama no Memo-chou is about a NEET detective girl (though wouldn’t being a detective count as employment, thereby invalidating being a NEET??) and a high school boy that’s her assistant. If there are decent mysteries to solve or they get to meet the Harlem Globetrotters then this could be a very watchable series. More then likely this’ll turn out to be just a meh series.

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The IdolM@ster

Director: Atsushi Nishigori
Studio: A-1 Pictures – Birdy the Mighty Decode, Ao no Exorcist, Occult Academy, Working!!, Sora no Woto, Kannagi

This is another case of being aware of some part of anime/manga/etc. fandom without being familiar with it. The IdolM@ster is based off a game where you manage the careers of 10 wannabe female idols. Yawn. The only redeeming feature is A-1 Pictures is animating this; so it’ll look good and theirs a chance that the content of the show will be at least entertaining.

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Itsuka Tenma no Kuro-Usagi

Director: Takashi Yamamoto
Studio: Zexcs  – Wagaya no Oinari-sama, Chrome Shelled Regios, Umi Monogatari, Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu (The Legend of Legendary Heroes)

There are actually worse studios then Zexcs to see attached to the production of an anime series but the chances of that series being anything higher then just “watchable” are very, very slim. (The chances for it falling below the line of “not worth your time”, however, are very high.) I’m guessing with such a crowded summer season, it’ll be very difficult not to drop this series but I wouldn’t mind being wrong.

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Mayo Chiki

Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi
Studio: Feel  – Yosuga no Sora, kissxsis, Kanamemo, Nagasarete Airantou

At this point I feel like I’m really scrapping the bottom of the barrel but the last show I’m going to cover is Mayo Chiki. I like reverse-traps-hiding-their-genders-while-being-a-butler as much as the next person but it’s going to be tough for this show to convince me that I shouldn’t drop this after the first episode. I’m an open-minded guy; there’s always that chance. :)

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There’s my list. If I missed something that you think I’d like then, by all means, post a comment to suggest it. I still remember having Cross Game suggested to me in a comment on this blog and discovering one of my favorite shows of the year. I’d’ve never picked it up since it was technically a sport anime, a genre I don’t normally like.


Filed under: anime, season preview

Fall 2009 Anime Preview and Watchlist


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With the fall season starting in a couple of weeks, I figured it was about time for me to get this done. :)

Two things happened that delayed this post. The first was that I formed the opinion that there wasn’t much to look forward to in this season and, as a result, I didn’t feel excited enough to want to do this post. I still think this is probably the weakest looking season in at least a year but I also think there’s at least a few good shows. The other thing that delayed this post was that I became addicted to playing a video game – Europa Univeralis 3 – but after playing it for well over a week, I’ve started to burn the game interface onto my computer monitor (something I’ve been told is impossible to do) and I figured I need to get back to my neglected blog. By reading this, you can be assured that I finished writing this post but even right now, I really want to pick up where I left off with my game which was having the Polish empire kick the Mamluks out of the Mid-East.

My criteria for picking shows is the same as last time. I’m looking for which animation house is doing it, if the summary/source material sound very enticing and if one of my favorite seiyuus will be involved. This won’t turn up all the good shows of the season; Cross Game is an example from the spring season of a show that I missed until it’s great character driven story was pointed out to me – but, using this criteria, I normally get most of the shows that are worthwhile to watch.

Some other previews that I found helpful include these here: hashihime, Metanorn, Simplicity, Sea Slugs!, That Anime Blog and Rabbit Poets.

One group of shows that I won’t cover are sequels to shows that I haven’t watched or shows that I have watched but don’t intend to waste my time watching the sequel. For completeness sake I’ll mention them here:

  • Asura Cryin’ 2: I can’t believe I took the time to finish the first season but I won’t make that mistake again.
  • Inuyasha – Final Act: I wasn’t taken by Inuyasha when I saw a couple episodes of it on Cartoon Network so I’ll pass on this one.
  • White Album Final: Didn’t see the first season
  • Tenshi Senshi Sunred Second Season: Didn’t see the first season but the odd artwork kinda makes me want to
  • Shugo Chara Party!: Haven’t watched the first 100+ episodes so I’ll miss this season as well but I do hear good things about the series so I sometimes wonder if I should have tried watching it
  • Darker then Black – Gemini of the Falling Star: I wonder how I missed this Bones show, yet somehow I have so I’ll have to skip this season as well
  • Shin Koihime+Musou – A sequel to a show that I don’t even recognize as existing so it’s safe to say I won’t be picking this one up either
  • Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: Purezza – I almost watched the first season but at the time, I had enough shows and never got around to it. Now it’s time for the sequel and I’ll have to pass because I haven’t seen the first season.
  • Kiddy Grade – And: Bizarre uses of English 4TW; couldn’t they just call it season 2. Anyways, missed the first season and will almost assuredly miss this season.

And with that, I knock 25% of the new season’s shows from my radar. There’s probably a few good shows in there but if you’ve seen the first season, then you probably don’t need me to do more then mention their existence.

So with that out of the way, let’s head to preview/watchlist proper.

This first group is made up of the shows I’m really excited to see as well as being very good bets at being great – I’ll start calling them Tier 1 shows. Last season I had 3 Tier 1 shows: Taishou Yakyuu Musume, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, and Bakemonogatari. Two of the three where definite homeruns and the last one (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0) still turned out well. This time, there’s a total of one show in this first group and it’s a sequel, meaning that as long as it can hold up well it’s a guaranteed hit.

Natsu no Arashi 2

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Director: Akiyuki Shinbo
Studio: SHAFT – Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Maria+holic, Hidamari Sketch, Bakemonogatari
Seiyuu: Ryoko Shiraishi, Chiaki Omigawa, Yuko Sanpei, Ai Nonaka, Yui Horie

I was in the small minority of anime fans that actually watched the first season and I was treated to a surprising good show. I say surprisingly because even after watching the first episode – I was sure this show was a bomb. I couldn’t help but compare Natsu no Arashi to other shows from the SHAFT/Shinbou combo and the character designs looked so ugly and poor that I was sure it was reflection of the quality of the series. Then there was the first episode that I flat out hated. And it would have ended there if I was just a fan watching the show but since I want to be accurate with what I write for this blog I decided to watch a couple more episodes and it was a complete turnaround. True, I never got to the point of actually liking the character designs but the story reeled me in. I’ll spoil a bit of the first season in the hopes of getting more people interested in this show.

Arashi is a ghost of a high school girl that died in a WW2 air raid. Every summer something happens that allows her to take corporal form and thus she can enjoy the season in the small town that she lived in. And every summer she gets a job at The Ark (a small café) because it’s one of the few places that has not changed since the war. The show starts when a middle school aged boy, Yasaka, meets the older Arashi at The Ark and falls in love. Luckily for him, he “connects” with Arashi which allows the pair to time travel. What they do with this power ranges from visiting an arcade in 1980’s to saving people that Arashi knows will die in the air raids.

I liked how Natsu no Arashi was able to balance the comedy and seriousness that different aspects of the show had. I also liked how the time traveling allowed for a bit of reflection about how Japanese society has changed since the war years. The first season ended at a good point and it was obvious that it was going to get a sequel but I’m happy to see that it’s being done so soon. I just hope that the trouble SHAFT had during the summer with animating Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Bakemonogatari at the same time won’t spill over to this series

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The small number of shows that rank in the top tier when compared with last season is a bit of let down, especially since the summer season is traditionally thought of as an off-season.

The next group of shows rank a bit lower in my expectations but I still think these shows have a real possibility in being good shows and let’s call these Tier 2 shows. My picks for last season’s Tier 2 shows (Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei S.3, Spice and Wolf II, Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Aoi Hana) turned up some real gems with the least one of the bunch (Umineko no Naku Koro ni) still was an enjoyable watch.

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Nyan Koi

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Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi
Studio: AIC – Bamboo Blade, Oh! My Goddess, Asu no Yoichi, Ga:Rei – Zero –
Seiyuu: Shintaro Asanuma, Yuka Iguchi, Yu Kobayashi, Jun Fukuyama, Rina Satou

My “sleeper hit” senses tingled when I read the write up and looked at who was working on this one. The story is about a boy, Junpei Kosaka, who dislikes cats but accidentally angers the local cat deity. He is punished by this cat deity with the ability to understand cats and the task of fulfilling 100 wishes from cats with the penalty for failure being that he will get turned into a cat. A very promising summary since I absolutely love talking cats and this set-up provides a fertile field for comedic situations.

However, it’s important to remember that a set-up is just a set-up and without a good group of people working on the show – the show will still stink. In this department I like what I see. The director did the first season of Hayate, Zettai Karen Children and Getsumen Miina. The writer did the first season of Hayate and Ristorante Paradiso. And the studio is AIC, who doesn’t get a lot of credit but shows like Bamboo Blade, Asu no Yoichi, and Ga:Rei – Zero – show that it’s very capable of turning out a good show.

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun

Aka: A Certain Scientific Railgun

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Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai
Studio: J.C. Staff – Hatsukoi Limited, Toradora, Potemayo, Shana
Seiyuu: Atsushi Abe, Rina Satou, Kanae Itou, Satomi Arai, Aki Toyosaki

Last fall saw J.C. Staff adapt To Aru Majutsu no Index with mixed results. Outside of the initial few episodes, the only story arc that I really liked was the one that centered on Misaka Mikoto, the clones of Misaka Mikoto and the use of the clones in a science experiment. So the idea of more anime being made from this universe didn’t really excite me, even though J.C. Staff was going to use the spin-off series, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun that featured Misaka Mikoto.

If no changes had been made with the personal working on this show, I would have put this in a lower tier because I’d almost be positive that the show wouldn’t turn out that good; however, there has been some personal changes. This time around the director is the guy that did the second season of Honey and Clover as well as Toradora and the series composition is done by the person who did the second season Birdy as well as Asatte no Houkou. These two changes give me a fair amount of hope that the second season will be much improved. And I do hope it’s good because when J.C. Staff does an action series and that series “clicks”, like the second half of Shana 2, then it’s a truly enjoyable experience.

Kimi ni Todoke

kiminitodoke01

Director: Hiro Kaburaki
Studio: Production I.G. – Ghost in the Shell:SAC, Eden of the East, Kemono no Souja Erin
Seiyuu: Daisuke Namikawa, Mamiko Noto, Aya Hirano, Miyuki Sawashiro, Yuko Sanpei, Yuuichi Nakamura

The story for this one kinda reads like the premise of a female version of Toradora. Kuronuma Sawako is a typical high school girl that has a crush on a boy in her class and the desire to live a normal life but she has a problem. She, unfortunately, was born with a face that creeps people out, so much so that her nickname is Sadako – i.e. the super-creepy girl from The Ring. The series will, presumably, focus on how she works to overcome this obstacle and get her classmates to like her and win the heart of the guy she likes.

I don’t know if it’ll play out like Toradora but I do know that it’s a very rare day when Production I.G. misses with a show. Throw in a pretty strong vocal cast and I’m almost sure that this’ll turn out to be a hit.

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The third group of shows are ones that I think have a decent chance of being good shows but there’s too many variables involved to get really excited about them. These are the Tier 3 shows and last time I had 3 shows in this level – GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class, Needless, Canaan. For me there was only one winner out of that group and it wasn’t Needless or Canaan.

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Seiken no Blacksmith

Aka: The Sacred Blacksmith

Seiken no Blacksmith

Director: Masamitsu Hidaka
Studio: Manglobe – Michiko to Hatchin, Samurai Champloo
Seiyuu: Ayumi Fujimura, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Aki Toyosaki, Hideki Tasaka, Kazuhiko Inoue

The story to this one (ancient war on evil that supposedly sealed away the evil but it’s now on the loose so queue the band of plucky young would-be heroes) sounds fairly generic to me but even generic shows can sometimes be great. That fact alone wouldn’t be enough to get itself listed here but what does interest me is that Manglobe is doing this series. They don’t do many series but the ones they do always seem unique; so, while the shows sounds generic and the publicity pics make the animation style look ordinary, I think there’s a good chance that this show won’t be generic.

Kobato

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Director: Mitsuyuki Masuhara
Studio: Madhouse – Death Note, Kaiba, Kurozuka, Rideback
Seiyuu: Kana Hanazawa, Tetsu Inada, Chiwa Saito

I’ll start off by saying that I think I fall far from the target demographic of this show. Even from the summary of the show – Kobato is a sweet, perky, and really naïve but she’s charged with a mission to collect people’s sufferings in a mysterious bottle and she can’t fall in love with a boy she works with and who’s heart she must heal – it’s clear that this belongs to a genre I don’t really watch.

Astute readers will probably ask why I’m listing Kobato then. Well, there’s three reasons. The first is that I’ve picked up some of the giddy enthusiasm that other bloggers have over this title and it makes me want to see. The second is that Madhouse is doing this and, if the publicity shots are any indication, then this’ll be well-animated. The third is that I’ve been a life-long fan of marshmallow peeps (it’s not Easter without them) and it appears that Kobato likes them too since she’s got a blue peep handbag.

Those three things are good enough to get this show listed and pushed up to being the second listed of the third tier shows. And if the show can create good characters and stick to a story without too much filler – I might really like this show.

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Here's my peeps!

Winter Sonata

2009-10-sonata

Director: Yoon Suk-ho
Studio: G&G Entertainment and JM Animation
Seiyuu:

Apparently, this anime is based off of a Korean live action tv drama series that’s hugely popular in Japan and around the world. I’ve never heard of it, nor have I ever watched any Korean series so I have no real strong way to gauge if I should be looking forward to it. As a result, I have to use what other people say and from what I gather, Korean dramas are notorious for being tear-jerkers on the level of Clannad ~After Story~. I really liked Clannad so that makes me think I might enjoy this show. I probably would have ranked this higher if the anime was coming from an animation house I was familiar with or they where using voice actors I knew since that could help me gauge how well I could expect the adapting will be done. I probably shouldn’t worry since this type of project normally means that there’s been a lot of money put into the project to ensure that it’s a success.

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The fourth and final group of shows are the real wildcards of the season and – unsurprisingly at this point – are called Tier 4 shows. There might be a winner in this group but these titles will probably just struggle to become watchable. Last time, of the 3 Tier 4 shows that aired, Umi Monogatari and Sora no Manimani turned out to be pretty good. Which is why I think it’s important to give all the shows a fair shot by watching a couple of episodes before deciding if I’ll keep watching them or not.

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Tatakau Shisho – The Book of Bantorra

Aka: Armed Librarians – The Book of Bantorra

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Director: Toshiya Shinohara
Studio: David Production – Ristorante Paradiso
Seiyuu: Romi Paku, Akira Ishida, Ayako Kawasumi, Miyu Irino, Miyuki Sawashiro

This is also where I put the wtf? shows of the season that interest me enough that I’ll watch them but I really have no idea what they’re about. This is one such series.

The Bantorra Library contains a repository of all humans that have died because when people die in this world, their essence is crystallized into the form of a “Book”. This library is maintained by an armed staff of librarians as various groups would like to get there hands on what’s inside. One such group turns a boy into a suicide bomber but instead of killing the top librarian, he falls in love and finds himself joining the world of the Armed Librarians.

I absolutely loved Ristorante Paradiso, the first series done by David Production and if they can do as good with this title as Ristorante Paradiso, then I’ll probably like this series a lot, especially since I like the idea of armed librarians (I want more Library War!). And the idea of a library full of people’s memories is a very interesting idea that I hope they do something cool with.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

2009-10-rot3k

Director:
Studio: Beijing Glorious Animation and Future Planet
Seiyuu:

I realize that there’s been tons of adaptations of this already from many different angles (and videos games as well) but so far I haven’t been exposed to any yet which is a bit strange if I think about it because I love historical shows. So, I’m thinking I might just try to catch at least a few episodes to see what the hubbub is about in regards to this franchise.

This is going to run 52 episodes which almost made me decide against even giving this show a chance but then I remembered that I complained about Kemono no Souja Erin running for 50+ episodes back in my winter preview. If I come to like Romance of the Three Kingdoms like I did Kemono no Souja Erin then I’ll like that it’s going to run for awhile. Now I just got to hope someone actually subs this.

Sasameki Koto

Sasameki-Koto

Director: Eiji Suganuma
Studio: AIC – Bamboo Blade, Oh! My Goddess, Asu no Yoichi, Ga:Rei – Zero –
Seiyuu: Ayahi Takagaki, Megumi Takamoto, Chiwa Saito, Emiri Katou

A yuri school romance show is probably all I need to say for most people to decide one way or the other if they’re going to catch this. I’m normally in the camp of not bothering if that’s the sole draw for a show (probably because asking me to suspense disbelief over having so many girls that like girls in one place is a bit too much) but I liked Aoi Hana and I’m currently giving AIC the benefit of the doubt on their shows based on recent successes that’ll continue until I get to one that I don’t like. So, I’ll be sure to watch at least a couple episodes and see how it turns out.

Sora no Otoshimono

Aka: Heaven’s Lost Property

soranootoshimono

Director: Hisashi Saito
Studio: AIC – Bamboo Blade, Oh! My Goddess, Asu no Yoichi, Ga:Rei – Zero –
Seiyuu: Saori Hayami, Souichiro Hoshi, Ayahi Takagaki, Tatsuhisa Suzuki

I normally steer clear of shows when I get the impression that the show is just about how much fan-service can be crammed into it with no regard to trying to tell a coherent story – which is the feeling I get when I look at publicity pics of this show.

And I was about to pass it over except I noticed that the director of Bamboo Blade is directing this show. Now, I’d really much prefer a second season of Bamboo Blade but since I can’t have that (at least not yet), I’ll give this show a small chance to wow me because, while, I’m sure this’ll be full of fan-service, there’s a chance that it’ll have something that makes it worth watching.

Kampfer

kampfer1

Director: Yasuhiro Kuroda
Studio: Nomad – Rozen Maiden, Yozakura Quartet
Seiyuu: Marina Inoue, Yui Horie, Kaori Nazuka, Kana Asumi, Megumi Nakajima, Michiko Nomura, Yuko Goto

It’s not too often that I’ve read a manga before it’s made into an anime. The last time was Kannagi and I think knowledge of the manga hurt my liking of the anime since I didn’t like the additions the director (the guy that KyoAni fired over the lackluster start to Lucky Star) made. On second thought, saying that I read the manga to Kampfer is probably an overstatement; I looked at the first 10 chapters and I wasn’t impressed. If it’s adapting a manga that I’ve read, why not do FrankenFran, The World Only God Knows, or Rabbit Doubt?

The story is about a normal high school boy that one day wakes up and finds that he’s been changed to an attractive high school girl and is now a “Kampfer” and must now fight other Kampfers – though I can’t remember if they gave a reason why they had fight or why all Kamfers have to female.

My interest in catching this stems wholly from the fact that the seiyuu cast as a rather strong one (I just love Marina Inoue’s voice) and the slight interest to see if the anime adaptors can improve upon the manga. I’ve seen it done, Asu no Yoichi the manga was very forgettable but Asu no Yoichi the anime turned out pretty good.

Miracle Train: Ooedo-sen e Youkoso

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Director: Kenichi Kasai
Studio: Yumeta – La Corda D’Oro ~primo passo~ , Neo Angelique Abyss
Seiyuu: Hiroshi Kamiya, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Miyu Irino, Daisuke Ono, Keiji Fujiwara, Masakazu Morita

A comedy show about Tokyo subway stations personified as beautiful guys? Why not? This is anime and even the bizarre can be used for inspiration. Umi Monogatari was based off of a line of pachinko machines and Hetalia Axis Powers used countries as people.

What does interest me is the director, Kenichi Kasai, who was last seen being the director for Aoi Hana and has also done Honey & Clover S1, KimiKiss, Nodame Cantabile. This seems to lend a level of quality to this show that makes it worth checking out.

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There’s a couple of series (Aoi Bungaku and Kuuchuu Buranko) that I can’t seem to find enough information about to see if they’re worth adding here but I might catch them later if someone subs them.

Also, I normally don’t mention OVAs but I did want to call attention to the 4 episode OVA that J.C. Staff is doing with the Shana franchise before they do a supposed final season of Shana. I’ve actually gotten to point that I miss this series so I’m glad to see that J.C. Staff is getting back to it.

So, there you go. Even with what I consider a weak slate of shows, I still manage to write a 3,800+ word preview and watchlist. I tried to highlight all the shows that I believe are worth highlighting but I’m sure I missed a few so check out my first impression posts when the new season starts to air (which is in about 10 days).

And if this list of shows don’t inspire a lot of interest and you’re looking for something to watch this season – you might want to try one of the great shows that will continue into this season:

  • Full Metal Alchemist
  • Kemono no Souja Erin
  • Cross Game

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Finally, here’s a chart of all the series and OVAs that are running this season.

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Awesome chart comes from here.

Posted in anime, season preview




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