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Semi-Final Impressions for the Fall Anime Season and Checking if My First Impressions Turned Out Right or Wrong


Blue Literature was super-awesome but outside the scope of this post :(

The idea for this post came from the result of several shows from the season either over performing or under performing after my first impression post and my desire to ensure the readers of The Null Set knew of my updated (and more accurate) opinion of those shows.

Listed below are the fall shows that I wrote about, sorted by grade and I’m going to start at the top and work down, giving some final/almost final impressions and say how well my first impression of the show held up.

Natsu no Arashi! Season 2

First Impression Score – 10.5/12 after 3 episodes
Seasonal Ending Score – 7/12 B
In Short – Every now and again the show lived up to the first season but those moments where few and far between

The first season of Arashi was a wonderful blend of comedy and drama that kept me enthralled and I was very excited about this season and after 3 episodes of this season, I was sure that this season would be another winner. It didn’t turn out that way; pretty much the entire rest of the season was fluffy comedy without the seriousness that helped make the first season so good. Now I don’t have anything against the fluffy comedy but what helped set this show apart from other shows was the time-travel aspect of the show and for this season, it was like this part was no longer important.

It really felt like Shaft was treading water with this season – not willing to finish the plot but desperate to fill the episode count up. This was a very disappointing turn for a show that I had felt was one of the overlooked gems of the year. I assume Shaft will be doing a third season and I will watch it because I like the characters but it’ll be far down on my list of priorities when it does air.

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Kobato

First Impression Score – 9.8/12 after 3 episodes
Seasonal Ending Score – 10/12 A
In ShortKobato’s slowly deepening story is just icing on an already delicious cake

This is one show that has started off strong and has kept on performing at the same high level. Kobato is still the charming, genki girl that warms our heart as she tries to help the people around her and that’s plenty to make this a must watch show. I can’t wait to see the second half of Kobato.

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Sasameki Koto

First Impression Score – 9.6/12 after 6 episodes
Seasonal Ending Score – 11/12 A+
In Short – A character-driven and character-focused show that knew when to be serious and when to be funny

I waited awhile to write my first impression post for Sasameki Koto because I wanted to sure that the show was as good as I thought it was so my final impression of the show matched up with my first impression very closely. One of the reasons I really liked this show was how character driven and centered it was. The result was that the characters and their problems felt real and I wanted to see what happened to them. It would have rated even higher but the very non-ending ending was a bit of a letdown – easily remedied if AIC does a second season.

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Sora No Otoshimono

First Impression Score – 8.4/12 after 5 episodes
Seasonal Ending Score – 11.5/12 Near Perfect
In Short – Epic!

Remember in The Matrix how at the end when Neo had his powers fully awakened and he was operating on such a higher level than the agents that killing them was easier than squishing a bug. That was the level that Sora no Otoshimono was operating on by the final episodes. I feel sorry for all the fan service shows coming out in the coming seasons because I highly doubt any of them will hold a candle Sora no Otoshimono and I’ll have a hard time justifying the time spent on watching these inferior shows when I could rewatch Sora no Otoshimono. I also feel sorry for any other type of show that comes out that doesn’t display the creativity and energy that this mere fan service show was able to display. I’m really hoping 2010 brings another season of Tomoki and crew.

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Kimi ni Todoke

First Impression Score – 7/12 after 6 episodes
Seasonal Ending Score – 3/12 D, dropped after 11 episodes
In Short – What could have been a great show was tripped up by the lack of a compelling story and reason to watch

I had hoped that something would come along that would shake up the show’s formula and make me want to watch this but that wasn’t the case. Instead the effort needed to watch the next episode became exponentially greater as the series continued and after 11 episodes it became too much and I dropped it for good. One of the big problems, I think, was that Kazehaya – the boy who likes Sadako and is the boy who Sadako likes – had about as much testosterone flowing in his veins as Mikuru from the Melancholy of Haruhi has. Another big problem was the complete lack of a realistic reason why the two of them hadn’t started dating by the end of episode 2.

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Nyan Koi

First Impression Score – 7/12 after 7 episodes
Seasonal Ending Score – 9/12 A-
In Short – Good characters but a somewhat weak story – the cat curse needed to be a more important component to the show

Nyan Koi slowly wormed it’s way into my heart; it wasn’t perfect but it was good enough. Yuu Kobayashi was one of this year’s best seiyuu and her character here – Nagi – was easily my favorite of the show and much like Hosaka from Minami-ke was able to put a smile on my face by just getting onscreen. A second season was confirmed at the end of the final episode and I’ll be sure to tune in when it airs.

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To Aru Kagaku no Railgun

First Impression Score – 7/12 after 4 episodes
Seasonal Ending Score – 11.5/12 Near Perfect
In Short – Vastly superior to it’s parent show Index, Railgun finishes a year that has repeatedly show J.C. Staff at the top of it’s game

After 4 episodes of Railgun I wrote my first impression post and mentioned that the show had the potential to become a decent show. It turns out I was underestimating J.C. Staff by a large margin and Railgun turned into one of the best new shows of the season. One way to prove the prowess in the storytelling is to point out how both my sister and I felt that we should have completely hated Kuroko (the girl with an overly affectionate attachment to Railgun) but somehow neither of us did. I have high hopes for the second half of this series and I’m dying to see Uiharu’s power.

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Tatakau Shisho

First Impression Score – 6/12 after 6 episodes
Seasonal Ending Score – 8/12 B+
In Short – Storytelling continues to be very disjointed which makes it hard to really get into but it also continues to be interesting and different

If the story arcs flowed together better and if the show had a better feeling of the overall story going somewhere, I think I’d be raving about it; instead, I’ve just been mildly positive about it. Watching Tatakau Shisho, or Armed Librarians, has been worth the time and I remain interested to see what happens as we move into the new season.

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Seitokai no Ichizon

First Impression Score – 6/12 after 6 episodes
Seasonal Ending Score – 7/12 B
In Short – At best Studio Deen can make a mildly entertaining show and Seitokai no Ichizon is Studio Deen at it’s best

From the time of my first impression post to the end Seitokai no Ichizon got a little better but it never really hit the zone like an A level show would. Slightly entertaining but very forgettable.

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The Sacred Blacksmith

First Impression Score – 5/12 after 6 episodes
Seasonal Ending Score – 4/12 C, dropped after 9 episodes
In Short – The completely generic show was completely generic and a waste of time (which makes it perfect for the domestic anime market, never mind Manglobe’s vastly superior Michiko to Hatchin remains unlicensed)

As long as it was relatively painless I was going to try to keep watching The Sacred Blacksmith but when my preferred sub group dropped it, I figured that I would take it as a sign to drop it for good since it didn’t show any improvement. And I’ve had absolutely no urge to pick it back up. If Manglobe wanted to do an anime on the cheap to try to make money there’s still plenty of good material that could have been adapted; they didn’t need to settle for the mediocre.

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Miracle Train

First Impression Score – 4/12 after 6 episodes
Seasonal Ending Score – 5/12 C+
In Short – Never a great show, Miracle Train improved in the second half and at times was a pretty decent show

Another title that I said I’d drop but I kept watching and actually finished. There was one episode, I think it was the eleventh, that was genuinely good and I remember thinking if only the rest of the series could have been this good. This is in no way an endorsement to watch Miracle Train but I did want to say that it did get a little better later on.

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Kampfer

First Impression Score – 2.8/12 after 5 episodes
Seasonal Ending Score – 1/12 Epic Fail
In Short – Garbage

I finished this just so that I could have at least one really low series review. Watching Kampfer was about as much fun as getting a root canal without any Novocaine.

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Trapeze

First Impression Score – 2/12 after 5 episodes
Seasonal Ending Score – 6/12 B-
In Short – After finding some actual nice characters to feature and showing that there was some connection between the different people, Trapeze didn’t turn out as bad as I first thought it would

The second half resurgence to Trapeze was something I wanted to mention since I gave it such a low first impression score. I had thought that 5 episodes was enough to be sure that Trapeze lacked redeeming qualities but, of course, the next episode didn’t suck as much. Which lead to my continued watching of this show and I was shocked when, by the end, I was actually getting into the show. I credit how it was revealed that many of the patients where actually connected in some way and having more sympathetic patients to my increased liking of the show (and the Christmas episode didn’t hurt either). I’m actually on the cusp of recommending this to other people, especially if they’re looking for something a bit different. At the very least, I’d suggest giving this a shot if a person is looking for something different and won’t mind watching half the series before it starts to come together.

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Well that’s a general look at the fall season, expect my award picks shortly and my overall 2009 picks in a couple of weeks (I’m going to try to finish up a couple series from 2009 first).

Posted in anime, general anime interst, series review

Fall Anime Wallpapers (Kobato, Sasameki Koto, Kimi ni Todoke, Natsu no Arashi)


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The wallpaper making bug bite me again (writing series impressions of mediocre shows is so much fun ;) ). For awhile I’ve been wanting to figure out a way to make wallpapers out of screen shots that could be used at all three sizes that I make wallpapers for and I think I hit upon a simple yet nice design. I hope you like them and I might have more wallpapers for other shows in the near future.

1280 x 1024

Kimi ni Todoke

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Natsu no Arashi

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Kobato

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Sasameki Koto

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1600 x 1200

Kimi ni Todoke

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Natsu no Arashi

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Kobato

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Sasameki Koto

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1920 x 1200

Kimi ni Todoke

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Natsu no Arashi

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Kobato

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Sasameki Koto

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Posted in anime, anime wallpaper

Fall 2009 Anime Impressions – Natsu no Arashi! Season 2

Posted by Author | Anime, Anime Review, Manga Review, Natsu no Arashi, Natsu no Arashi Season 2, fall 2009, first impressions | Friday 23 October 2009 7:01 am

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The best place to start my fall season anime impressions is with the best new show of the season – Natsu no Arashi! Season 2. Of course there’s still a few series I need to get to; for example, I’d really like to pick up Aoi Bungaku but with the previous great but strange Madhouse show – Mouryou no Hako – still not completely subbed a year later, I don’t want to get attached to a show that I’m not going to be able to finish.

Rating: episode 1 – 11/12 A+
Rating: episode 2 – 10/12 A
Rating: episode 3 – 10.5/12 Strong A
Anticipation Level: 4.5/5 – High

For those that aren’t familiar with this series. The show revolves around a 13 year old boy, Hajime, who’s gone to visit his grandpa out in the country for summer vacation and what happens after he meets a 16 year old young woman, Arashi, and falls in love. She’s not like other woman but that’s to be expected, I guess, because she died in a bombing raid during WW2 and now she’s a ghost that only appears during the warmth of summer in physical human form and then she disappears for the rest of the year. If she can find someone to “connect” to, Arashi and that someone can travel in time. The first season showed that Hajime was able to “connect” with Arashi and this leads Arashi to asking for Hajime’s help with saving people she knew from being killed in the bombing raid; Hajime is more then willing to help and one of the dramatic highlights of the season was when the pair got caught up in an air raid.

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Watching the first 3 episodes of the new season, I’m struck with the feeling that Shaft/Shinbou took an already pretty good show and increased the quality by a sizable amount. The animation still doesn’t feel on par with say Bakemonogatari but everything else just feels like it’s operating on a higher level right now.

Take the first episode, for example. Towards the end there was a fabulous example of how Shaft/Shinbou was able to effortlessly shift the show back-n-forth from being comedic to being serious without either feeling wrong or out-of-context. All while taking what had been a running joke from season 1 – that Jun is actually a girl – and turning it into a serious piece of character development and changing how the rest of the series will play out. They also were able to remind the viewer that Arashi comes from an older time period with her observation that Hajime reminds her of the boys from her time (the 1940’s) which hits Hajime’s character right on the head when one thinks about it (and probably explains why he “connects” with her). Even his liking of science feels like a throwback to when people believed that science was going to help bring about a better world and boys (and girls) wanted to be astronauts/rocket scientists.

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And the comedy just seems funnier this time around, maybe it’s because the first season laid down a solid foundation to work with. For example, I was literally rolling on the floor when they went back to the first season joke of how the owner of the shop thinks you can de-age things by having it travel into the past but this time instead of milk she asked to be taken back in time so she could become younger and then one of the characters commented that it’s impossible for something that’s expired to become unexpired by time traveling. :) And the start of episode 3 has another great example but I don’t want to spoil that one as well. :)

It’s pretty apparent, at this point, that this is a weak season of anime which is disappointing but it doesn’t have to be all bad. Now is a great time to catch some of the great but overlooked shows from the past few seasons, and there’s not better place to start then Natsu no Arashi. (And for those that check out the first season, episode 1 is not the best of first episodes so I’d suggest watching the first 3-4 episodes before making an informed decision about watching the rest of the series.)

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Shaft being Shaft

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Mahjong is serious business.

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Score! References to movies that are older then the majority of the audience watching it.

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Just had to stitch this together.

Posted in anime, first impressions

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

chuo-line

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.

fall-2009-v2

Awesome chart comes from here.

Posted in anime, season preview




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