Maybe it’s because the first time I visited an anime blog was to read a Spring 2008 season preview, but these season preview posts always feel a bit special. Nothing else takes as much time to make or attracts as much hits. Season Previews are arguably the most important posts blogs produce for the rest of the anime community (well I’d argue that it is). So sit back and enjoy the latest Fall Anime Season Preview! (why Fall? Real men say Autumn)
You can probably see where I’m going with this picture. Not only does this season see the return of one dog-eared demon, but we also see the birth of a brand new hit. It’s a good time to be a shounen fanboy. Shame I’m not one…
Most of the synopsis are either taken fron ANN or MAL (even though MAL takes most of it’s synopsis’ from ANN but whatever). Other info is generally taken from Chartfag’s amazing chart, Moetron or Can you Moe. You can also go to Ganbatte’s preview as it’s the only other one I’ve seen that’s actually had effort put into it.
A quick note before I begin. Please for gods sake, do NOT copy and paste this entire preview onto a forum or your own blog. If you do I’m going after you with a machete
Darker than Black: The Comet of Gemini
Synopsis: Hei and Yin are now on the run after betraying the Syndicate in the previous season. After leaving Japan, Hei encounters Suou Pavlichenko, a 13 year old Eurasian girl who becomes embroiled in the war and politics of the various factions and Contractors vying for power. Meanwhile, Hell’s Gate remains standing in Tokyo, after Hei’s efforts to stop the Saturn Ring anti-Gate particle weapon from activating. Although Contractors are safe from the danger of having their existences erased, this does not prevent new and old Contractors from abusing their powers. As Misaki Kirihara and her team in the Public Security Bureau deal with the increasing Contractor cases, she also has to keep the Syndicate at bay, who has major positions in the Japanese police andintelligence bureaus around the world. The storyline setting primarily takes place in both Japan and Russia.
Scamp: Reading that synopsis highlighted a rather large problem: I can’t remember the plot from the original series in the slightest. I’m sure they revealed what the syndicate was up to but I just can’t remember anything. Judging from the trailer and synopsis, it looks like this season is told from a different standpoint aka: that Russian girl. Which hopefully means we will be explained the plot again. Then again, I never really knew what was going on in DTB. It’s the only anime to have more confusing conspiracies than Eden of the East. BTW, no Yoko Kanno this season, which is a downer but the guy who’s taking over isn’t half bad. Oh, of course I’m watching this, the first season was awesome. It’s just I just have to prepare myself for utter confusion all over again.
Toaru Kagaku no Rail Gun
Studio: JC Staff
Synopsis: Academy City. 2.3 million inhabitants. 80% of the students are active in the ‘Brain Development Program’ and out of those only 7 are Level 5s. Meet the civilian protagonist Mikoto and her friend Kuroko, maintainers of peace and order in the University district. Kuroko is a member of ‘Judgement’
Scamp: Never got into Index so I don’t have any interest in watching this.
Since those two anime were effectively spin-offs, they needed a synopsis but the rest are all direct continuations so I’m not going to bother with one. If you’ve seen the first season then you know what they’re already about and if you haven’t, then you won’t be watching it.
Natsu no Arashi! 2
Additional info: Air date Oct 4th
Scamp: I’m surprised this got a second season seeing as it wasn’t that popular. Personally, I’m delighted to see more of those bizarre milk-carton arguments. This show really grew on me as it progressed.
Scamp: You can’t deny Inuyasha was in dire need of this sequel, but I have no interest in it. Ah well, I’m sure there’s plenty of fangirls manly men delighted to see this.
Queen’s Blade 2
Scamp: The greatest anime of the year, possibly the decade, has made its much desired re-appearance. Praised by critics worldwide, described by many as a cross between Cowboy Bebop, Mushishi and Ikkitousen, it’s engaging plot and deep emotional impact are on display for the world to see. Are you watching the sequel to Queens Blade? Do I even need to ask?
Asura Cryin’ 2
Studio: Seven Arcs
Scamp: Why do crappy anime get second seasons anyway? I thought the point of making 2 seasons was to cut costs if it was rubbish. Apparently not if this has a second season and neither Baccano nor Moyashimon have a sequel yet.
Tentai Senshi Sunred 2
Studio: AIC ASTA
Scamp: This wasn’t on Chartfags chart but ANN and MAL both list it as airing this season. Considering how much I love random comedy, I wonder why I never watched this when it came out originally. I don’t think anyone was subbing it.
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: Purezza
Scamp: Meh, it has its fans. I’m not one of them
White Album 2nd Season
Studio: Seven Arcs
Scamp: Pretty picture. Shame the show sucks
Scamp:*Copy and paste random rant on ANN about how these anime are killing the industry*
Right, now they are out of the way, let’s get onto what we really want to see. Well, what I want to see anyway
Tatakau Shisho – The Book of Bantorra
Additional Info: Based off light novels. Air date Oct 2nd
Synopsis: In a world where dead people turn into books and are stored in the Bantorra Library where anyone who reads a book can learn their past. Bantorra Library is maintained by Armed Librarians who wield psychic powers and their enemy is a religious society known as Sindeki Kyoudan.
Scamp: Well the trailer has already managed to be 10 times more interesting than Ristorante Paradiso ever was, Studio David’s only other anime I’ve seen thus far. I do want this anime to be a hit because it’s always encouraging new studios to compete in the anime universe. The director has worked on some pretty decent stuff but what really has me is the trailer. The animation looks slick, the music is cool and the action looks like it will flow freely. Plus since light novels quite often turn into pretty good anime, it’s certainly worth a shot.
Additional Info: Based off manga written by CLAMP. Air date Oct 6th
Synopsis: Kobato is sweet and perky girl, but also extremely naive about the world around her. She has a “mission”, which is to fill a mysterious bottle of hers with the suffering from people’s hearts so her wish to go a certain place that she desires to go can be granted. However, she must not fall in love with a particular boy she works with and whose heart she must heal.
Scamp: ClampXMadhouse is one of the ultimate combo’s in anime. From Cardcaptors to X to Chobits (one of my personal favourites), Madhouse have proven they are the best when it comes to Clamp’s works. The thing is, Clamps work ranges from the girly to the extremely girly and this one looks like the latter. The homepage had an awful lot of pink. Still, I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now. It’ll be good to see Madhouse producing quality again. After three years of pure brilliance from 06 to 08, they’ve been pretty poor this year (Needless anyone?). You should know by now if you like Clamp or not so if you do, lucky us, we get some awesome Clamp. If you don’t, well…you have no taste. Mwahaha, go my biased views, go!
Additional Info: Based off manga. Air date Oct 6th
Synopsis: Murasame Sumika is popular in the high school for her excellence in the marks and sports. However, she has a secret: she is in love with her classmate Kazama Ushio. Ushio also has a liking to the love between girls, but she hasn’t noticed Sumika’s feeling and always been refused by other girls.
Scamp: Yuri. This instantly translates into automatic no interest for me.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Studio: Beijing Glorious/Future Planet
Additional Info: Joint Chinese/Japanese project. Based off famous book by the same name
Synopsis: The original famous novel depicts the tumultuous warring period of second-century China and the political intrigue between the different factions
Scamp: I have serious doubts that this will ever be fansubbed, much less licensed. In that sense, it’s pointless to work up any enthusiasm for this series.
Additional Info: Based off manga. Air Date Oct 1st
Synopsis: JunpeiKōsaka is a second-year high school student who despises cats and has an allergy to them. It just so happens that his high school crush is Kaede Mizuno, a girl who adores cats. One day, while walking home from school, Junpei kicks an empty can and unfortunately beans the local neko-jizō-sama(guardian deity of cats). He finds he can now understand what cats are saying, including his family’s own ill-tempered cat, Nyamusasu. However, if he does not grant 100 wishes from cats, he will turn into a cat himself.
Scamp: So many things point to this being a crappy anime. AIC are not a good studio and I’ve found very little hype behind the manga itself, which is never a good sign. And yet I find myself looking forward to this. Why? Slightly because I like the character designs, slightly because there’s a notable absence of fanservice in any promo material, slightly because I love a good comedy. But mainly because the synopsis made me laugh.
Studio: Toei Animation
Additional Info: Based off Short stories. Airing in noitamA timeslot which (usually) means high ratings and 11 episodes
Synopsis: In modern Japan, people visit ‘doctors of nuerology’ rather than therapists. Dr.Ichiro is an eccentric neurologist with an injection fetish, an Oedipus complex and a green Porsche, known for making patients much worse before they get better.
Scamp: Now this has really gotten me interested. By the same group who worked on Mononoke, the best anime that nobodies watched, and airing in the now famous noitamA timeslot. Now I’ve never seen Mononoke but the reviews are fantastic and it’s been a while since I’ve watched a proper elitist anime that I’ve really enjoyed (the last was probably Casshern Sins). The short stories it’s based off has won awards, the synopsis is so wonderfully random and the promo picture is so bizarre. Maybe not for the more casual fan but if you are one of those ‘moe anime are killing the industry rawr rawr rawr’ type of people who flood ANN, then this looks like your sort of thing.
Studio: A-1 Pictures/Satelight
Additional Info: Based off ridicolusly popular Shounen Jump magazine manga (thanks viralu) manga. Air date Oct 12th
Synopsis: Lucy is a 17-year-old girl, who wants to be a full-fledged mage. One day when visiting Harujion Town, she meets Natsu, a young man who gets sick easily by any type of transportation. But Natsu isnt just any ordinary kid, he’s a member of one of the world’s most (in)famous mage guilds: Fairy Tail.
Scamp: To call this ‘the next big thing’ in shounen isn’t correct. It’s already big! To give you an idea, it’s the fourth most popular manga on onemanga.com, behind Naruto, Bleach and One Piece. So get ready to see lots of shady stream sites called ‘watchfairytailonline.com’. As for myself, I’ve never been a fan of these long-running shounen hits. I want to like them, they have kick-ass fights and cool looking characters, but everything is just dragged out so long it kills the fun. A-1 and Satelight are good studios, neither of whom have animated a true shounen series before so I’m guessing they’ll take a slightly different approach to animating this. I’m definitely going to watch it but I really hope this moves quicker than a herd of one-legged tortoise’s stampeding through maple syrup.
Additional Info: Based off Visual Novel
Synopsis: Satsuki Kakeru lost his sister by suicide andhas been living a dull life ever since then. One day, he is transported into a bizarre world “Red Night” along with his friend Minase Yuka. In order to survive and escape from Red Night, he fights against Dark Spirits (Ralva) and Black Nights.
Scamp: Some people seem to be excited about this anime. WHY? It’s based off an eroge, which translates to shitty anime 90% of the time. It’s made by a nothing studio and the character designs are ulta-generic. I would quite like to be proved wrong. I’m hoping this to be as good as that other eroge-turned-anime that was excellent…can’t think of any right now but I’m sure one will come to me…eventually.
Sora no Otoshimono
Studio: AIC ASTA
Additional Info: Based off manga
Synopsis: Sakurai Tomoki has been having the same strange dream since he was a child and would wake up in tears. Sugita, an upperclassmen as his school, believe the dream to be of the new continent. Later that night while waiting under the cherry trees for his Sugita and Sohara, his childhood friend, an angel comes flying down.
Scamp: God this looks awful. The manga reviews are crap and then there’s those horrible droopy breasts, urgh. Why does this have to be one of the few anime to have a trailer out? I would much prefer to see Kobato or Fairy Tale trailer’s.
Additional Info: Based off Light Novels
Synopsis: Once upon a time, there was a tragic war, in which the power of the devils was involved. After the war, the devils’ power was banned and the world was restored to peace. Cecily Campbell is a knight, who has been looking for a blacksmith to repair her old sword given by her father. One day, she saw a man fighting with a ruffian who used the tabooed devil’s power. The man defeated him with one blow of his weirdly shaped sword. The man turned out to be a blacksmith called Luke. The fateful encounter was the beginning of the adventure.
Scamp: My elitist side hates this anime. Manglobe gave up making original anime productions and decided to animate a fanservice-y fantasty novel. My non-elitist side points out that it’s not like Michiko to Hatchin was any good. Manglobe always produce high quality animation and the trailer proves that much. My elitist side responds by pointing out that the last anime this director worked on was Linebarrels of Iron, not a good sign. There was a worrying amount of boob shots in that trailer. My non-elitist side says who cares, the girl is hot! Besides, the last fantasy anime with a hot female lead was Spice and Wolf and look how awesome that is. My elitist side said, fine then, have your crappy moe shows. Anime has been going downhill for a long time and this is the last straw. My other side says fine then, you have your way you whiny little git…yeah, take what you will from the above conversation.
Seitokai no Ichizon
Additional Info: Based off Light novels
Synopsis: The members of the student council of Hekiyou Gakuen are chosen by a popularity vote. As a result, all the members are cute girls except for Sugizaki Ken, who studied hard to enter the council. This novel is about the endless chattering of the members with full of parodies of “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”, “Dragon Ball” etc.
Scamp: Ah Studio Deen, you are one weird studio. Everything from Hetalia to Higurashi to this. Some moe show about girls sitting round a table, talking about nothing and probably eating cake. Chances are watching this will recount all the most boring experiences in your life. Hey, this sounds almost as boring as Lucky Star doesn’t it? If you liked being bored out of your skull by that, chances are you’ll like this too. I made a reference to being bored 3 times in those few lines. Guess how I think this anime will turn out?
Studio: G&G/JM Animation
Additional Info: Based off K Drama, voiced by same actors as original live action. Air date Oct 17th
Synopsis: The story follows two childhood friends — a boy and a girl — and the tragedy and angst that befalls them and those around them in the years between high school and young adulthood.
Scamp: I didn’t really want to put this in since it keeps being delayed. Chances are it will be moved back yet again. It sounds, heck it is, an ultra cheesy soap show so the anime will be no different. Never liked cheesy soaps myself.
Additional Info: Based off manga
Synopsis: Gauche is a governmental employee, given the task to deliver any letter to it’s destination. Meeting a young boy who is the letter to be delivered, Gauche makes friends with Lag and inspires him to take up the job. Five years later, Lag Seeing finally becomes his dream, that of a Letter Bee. However, the one who inspired him has gone missing and only there does the mystery start.
Scamp: Pierrot already made a pilot episode of this and I highly recommend watching it. I found it on youtube when searching for a promo vid. Here’s the link to the youtube video but if you are fussy enough to want to download it then find it yourself. But really, go watch it. I was expecting some generic shounen flick since it’s a Shounen Jump manga but that’s far from the truth. It’s much more melancholic than that. You forget that when Pierrot aren’t making generic shounen, they make some really excellent stuff. If the rest of the series is as good as the pilot then we have a potentially brilliant show on our hands.
Additional Info: Based off…err…trains?
Synopsis: 5 famous train lines in Japan turned into bishies…and that’s pretty much it.
Scamp: Call me if some Koreans get this banned
Additional Info: Based off Light Novels
Synopsis: Senou Natsuruis a normal high school boy. One day he wakes up to find himself turned into a girl. A stuffed tiger “Harakiri Tora” gains a life and tells him to fight as a female psychic fighter “Kämpfer”. Having no idea about what’s going on, Natsuru is involved in the battles against other Kämpfers.
Scamp: I know enough about this to know it won’t be any good. Done by a pretty crappy studio, the reviews of the novels told me that it was basically full of fanservice and little in the way of coherent plot. Can’t say I’m looking forward to this much.
Kimi ni Todoke
Studio: Production IG
Additional Info: Based off manga
Synopsis: This story is centered around a girl named Kuronuma Sawako who is nicknamed Sadako (ghost girl from “The Ring”) by her classmates because of her scary face and demeanor. She greatly admires Kazehaya-kun from afar, he is “100% refreshing” and is able to draw in people with his personality. Unlike her facial expressions she yearns to make friends andlive as a normal student. Gradually she starts affects those around her, including Kazehaya-kun…
Scamp: I’ve saved one of the better ones ’till last. The manga is one of the biggest shojo manga’s to come out in a long time. I remember seeing it was the top manga for girls 10-20 to read in Japan and plenty of the older generations read it as well. The manga is also rated in the top 100 on MAL, so it’s a hit amongst English speakers as well. True, Production IG aren’t the best when adapting manga and the director is a bit of a nobody but I really recommend keeping your eye on this one. I’ve never really liked shojo anime but I’ve found myself really looking forward to this one.
Movies and OVAs
The DVD for Summer Wars should be coming out sometime over the winter. It’s by the same folks who made Girl through Time, but I hope this time they make a better bloody ending then that disaster. The final episode of Time of Eveis coming out. I think it airs in September so now would be your chance to check the rest of this fantastic series on Crunchyroll. There’s a Shakugan no Shana OVA coming soon, as is extra episodes of Mahoromatic but neither of them is a full series. The Macross Frontier movieis screening November but it will be longer before anyone sees that. Ditto with those Eden movies, one comes out the end of November and the other in January. I really hope those movies cover the rest of the plot, I would hate to see such a great series come to a disappointing end. There’s also a Trigun movie which was said to air sometime 2009 but I’ve heard very little about that. In fact, the only movie that you are likely to see any time soon is the second Gurren Lagann movie, which looks like will be made of entirely new material judging by the way the first movie ended. Don’t quote me on that though. Finally, a pilot episode for an anime based off a Vocaloid song is coming out in September. Sounds stupid until you look at the homepage.
Black Rock Shooter. Looks pretty awesome doesn’t it?
The most obvious thing here is the huge amount of sequels. Normally this would leave me raging but this year had been keeping the sequel count to about 3 per season so an explosion at the end was to be expected. Disappointing, but expected nevertheless. One worrying sign is the lack of anime original material. The only thing in this entire list that is original material is Darker than Black and that’s a sequel anyway. We may be in the middle of a recession and companies don’t want to take risks but it’s been proved time and time again that anime original material has a far higher percentage chance of being brilliant. The best anime of this year so far was Eden, another anime original creation. However next season Aniplex and TV Tokyo are joining together to create a new timeslot called ‘Anime no Chikara’ which focus on creating original anime material so hopefully we can expect some quality come next year. One thing I’m rather relieved about is that the number of moe anime appears to be dropping. Yes, there is still a lot but hopefully this means moe saturation point has been met and we’ll start to see a decline. Or maybe that’s just due to the fact there’s no anime by Kyo Ani, Gonzo and only one JC Staff. Meh, it’s not the greatest season but there’s certainly enough there to keep you entertained. The spread is decent but, yet again, mecha fans are left in despair. WTF really, I though Code Grease’s popularity would spark plenty of copycats but we’ve gotten none whatsoever. The only proper mecha this year is Mazinger Z and that’s absolutely rubbish.
F:Miracle Train, Sasameki Koto, sequels of boring first seasons
E:Seitokai no Ichizon, Sora no Otoshimono,
D:Winter Sonata, 11eyes, Kampfer, Romance of the Three Kingdoms
C:Sacred Blacksmith, Fairy Tail, Nyan Koi!, The Book of Bantorra
B:Kimi ni Todoke, Kuchu Buranko, Letter Bee, Kobato, Natsu no Arashi Season 2
A:Darker than Black: Comet of Gemini
As usual, I’m going to ask you what are you watching, but don’t you dare say ‘it all looks crap’ or else I’m breaking out that machete again.