110 CommentsUpcoming Seasons / By Scamp /

Fall 2012 Anime Season Preview

And Lo’, the Lord did give unto him the 3 Laws of Season Previews:

  1. Everything is interesting until proven otherwise. Going in with a closed mind is the surest way to miss out on the Next Big Thing.
  2. There is no such thing as a sure-fire hit. Everything has a chance of sucking.
  3. Good staff can raise shit source material, and shit staff can rise to good source material. But shit staff and shit source material will always produce a shit anime.

Magi

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Magi is a shounen fantasy manga that has been hyped up by manga readers. Thing is, it’s become a bit of a boy who cries wolf with highly regarded upcoming shounen manga titles, since every single one gets hyped from the manga reading crowd regardless of quality, from Blue Exorcist to Fairy Tail to Toriko to Bakuman to Kuroko Plays With His Balls.  If you’re the kind of person who was genuinely disappointed when they announced the Bleach anime was ending, you might as well stop reading now because will enjoy Magi.

For the rest of us who are more on the fence about shounen titles, I still think Magi is well worth the look. I had a short read of the manga and was impressed. It doesn’t make the typical shounen mistakes of confusing shouting for humour like Beezlebub, or a ridiculously misguided concept of manliness like Toriko. Its action-adventure vibe is certainly closer to the tone of Full Metal Alchemist than most, which is my gold-standard for that genre. It’s supposedly based off the classic story Arabian Nights, albeit in the same way Dragonball is supposedly based of Journey to the West, in that it has barely any resemblance to the source material. The only things that appear to connect the two are a few characters are called stuff like Sinbad and Aladdin, and the Arabian setting. The adaptation is being done by A-1 Pictures, who frustrate me. For all their dosh, they have an annoying tendency to make all their anime look exactly the bloody same in the most generic anime way possible. But the Arabian setting should make up for the lack of directorial visual artistry. Besides, A-1 adaptations are usually competent, especially when you consider the alternative for shounen anime would be Pierrot.

Robotic;Notes

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Robotic;Notes comes to us from 5pb, which is a dumb name so I’m just going to call them Semi;Colon. They’re a Visual;Novel company whose previous titles include Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate, the latter of which was Very;Popular and made them Lotsa;Money. Robotic;Notes stars in the Animation;Backwards timeslot with the full 22 episode treatment. As the rest of this preview will proceed to shit over your expectations, keep that hope in mind. It’s by the guys who created Steins;Gate.

Right, expectation deflation time! As much as everyone would like to forget Chaos;Head, it’s important to consider why that didn’t work while Steins;Gate did. Madhouse’s adaptation had unlikeable characters and a nonsensical plot. Steins;Gate was adapted by White Fox (although ironically helmed by a bunch of ex-Madhouse veterans). That clicked thanks to fantastic directing and possibly the best lead character in anime of all time. The actual plot was a bit silly, with the directing papering over the cracks quite well. The great characters are down to 5pb, but so were the terrible characters in Chaos;Head. Their success rate in that department is still 50/50. It’s not the Steins;Gate adaptation staff working on Robotic;Notes either. It’s Production IG, and the last time they made a 22 episode Noitamina giant robot anime was that catastrophic mess Guilty Crown. And at least Guilty Crown looked great, the trailer for Robotic;Notes is as generic as hell. Also you know how Steins;Gate had a cast of eccentric nerdy losers of varying ages and waistlines? Robotic;Notes flaunts convention by having its cast be a bunch of boring looking highschool students like 99% of every anime ever.

Again, it’s by the creators of Steins;Gate, so if you liked that (and judging by its absurdly high score on MAL, you probably did), then you should check out Robotic;Notes. But there’s plenty of reasons to keep those expectations in check too. It’s not cynicism, it’s caution!

Ixion Saga DT

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Some crappy video game adaptation. These always suck, and this one doesn’t even have the excuse of being a story-focused game. It’s just some action fantasy game. Nothing to see here-

By the director of School Rumble, Gintama, and Daily Lives of Highschool Boys

Woah wait what? My favourite comedy director in anime is on this? OK, you have my attention, let’s take a proper look. It’s based on an upcoming MMORPG by Capcom that hasn’t been released yet. On the plus side, this means they have no obligation to stick to any pre-conceived story, because trying to adapt the story from a video game to anime directly is almost certainly doomed to fail because the two mediums are so different. On the negative side, all the other stuff this director has done that I loved are adaptations of great manga. He just adapted them fairly faithfully with a good knack for comedic timing. Maybe he just keeps lucking out with great source material and is actually a talentless hack.

Psycho Pass

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Psycho Pass is the other Noitamina title of the season. It’s an original sci-fi police anime about a future where you can discern people’s personalities and inner minds using some device. They’ve been pretty limited with the information about the series. We’ve only just got a plot description, animation studio (good old Production IG again), and that the character designs are by the author of Hitman Reborn, so expect eye-candy for the ladies. However there is some rather big speculation going on. You know the way on the upcoming season preview charts there was this little blank space saying “original anime by Gen Urabochi”. That Butch Gen who wrote Madoka and Fate/Zero. That Gen who is now the hottest shit in the industry and a big enough name to warrant an original Noitamina-slot anime. That Gen for whom the Madoka preview material also tried to hide the fact that he was working on it. That Gen who has said in interviews he’s interested in working on something with BL fodder and has worked on such titles back when he was at Nitroplus. That Gen who retweeted the official Psycho Pass twitter account, 5 days after the tweet was originally made. I’m just sayin’ yo.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

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Jojo was a man who peaked in the 90s
But he knew it wouldn’t last
Jojo is a desperate attempt by producers
To bring back old fans from the past

Get back
Get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back
Get back
Get back before your series bombs

*cough* maiming of classic lyrics asides, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is a ridiculously long running manga. It started back in 1987 and has over 100 volumes published so far. There have been two OVA adaptations of various short arcs of the manga. The 1993 one is incredibly dumb, but in an ingenious sort of way. Then there’s the 2000 OVA, which is incredibly dumb in a dumb way. I have no idea why it took them this long for a proper TV series, but we’re finally here. Albeit in the hands on David Production. Now I know a lot of people seem to like David Production, but that’s less to do with them being a quality animation studio and more because they keep picking up rather weird, left-of-centre material to adapt. Level E, Book of Bantorra, Ristorante Paradiso, each atypical productions with very little polish. Hard to tell what they’ll make of Jojo’s though. The trailer gives very little away.

It’s tough to compare Jojo’s to anything, since they don’t really make anime like Jojo anymore, but I think it’s closest comparison would be Pro Wrestling. Lots of incredibly buff men pointing at each other dramatically and saying how they’re angry because they’ve been betrayed or something like that, and generally being giant balls of meat who struggle to express emotions in any way that doesn’t involve punching something. Or at least, talking about punching something. There’s about 10 seconds of punching, followed by lots of talking about the moves they just did and a reiteration of their goals in life. I was never into Pro Wrestling as a kid. Something about buff men in tight black underpants getting hot and sweaty in front of a crowd never really did it for me. I know anime doesn’t produce stuff like this anymore, but Jojo’s brand of hyper masculinity is all the rage in American male culture, and it’s something I’ve never gotten into. Maybe it’s because I got into anime in the mid-00′s, but Jojo’s seems like the product of a bygone era and people going “yeah this is the kind of anime I like” are weird hanging on oldies who should probably try getting back into Pro Wrestling.

Ah I’m just trolling, because I know Jojo’s fans will get pissed at that. While my sentiments about hyper masculinity remain, I’m genuinely looking forward to this new rendition of the franchise. I enjoy its weirdness and how hard it embraces some incredibly stupid plot points. There’s a genuine earnestness to it I can get behind, even if the characters resemble scarecrows made out of bowling balls.

Busou Shinki

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Mecha Musume is one of those weird things that you have to know ANIME to understand. It’s some kind of horrific lovechild of mecha and moe fandom in which cutesy moe girls dress up in spandex leotards and equip multiple robotic parts to their arms and legs until you can barely see the girl beneath a swarm of hardware. Busou Shinki is based off a set of figurines of these mecha musume models. There was a web-series before this too, 10 episodes long with 5-minute episodes. I saw the first one and it was like a cross between Rozen Maiden and Beyblade. It wasn’t bad, but I totally forgot to watch any more or even that it existed in the first place until it showed up on this season preview. It’s being made by the same staff and studio that did Infinite Stratos, another mecha musume show, although personally I prefer Busou Shinki because it has the novel idea of the girls actually being 6 inches tall and having real figurine joints. Ultimately it’s just an advertisement for the figures, but if you honestly like the idea of your teeny tiny girls with giant robot legs and arms get into punch ups, I’d hazard a guess that this will be a decently produced version of that.

Say “I Love You”

‘Tis the season for shoujo fans, for we have 3 in a row coming up. While I do try to take a step back and ask why would anyone be interested in an upcoming anime, rather than just why would I be interested, my personal biases will still come into play. So I feel I should lay my cards on the table now: I don’t like shoujo. I know it’s a target audience rather than a genre, but the shoujo manga that are adapted to anime share a lot of similar traits that I really don’t like, There have been two exceptions to that though. The first is Rose of Versailles, which doesn’t count because it was made in the 70′s and what counted as shoujo back then doesn’t apply anymore. The political intrigue and dramatic plot twists bears a greater resemblance to Code Geass than Kimi ni Todoke. The second is Paradise Kiss, which was Madhouse flaunting their artistic willy in the newly hatched Noitamina timeslot. It still was plagued with some of the issues I have with modern shoujo, but its stylish directing and realistic characters and dialogue won me over. It also had That Sex Scene, which remains the only sex scene in any form of entertainment ever that didn’t make me cringe. It was my sole place of reference for my unsullied virgin heart at the time for what first time sex would probably be like, in that it would be in a smelly room on an uncomfortable bed with lots of apologising (which is a fairly accurate depiction of how it eventually went, except with even more apologising).

Oh right, you’re reading this for upcoming anime, not my sexual history. The reason I bring this up is because the first thing you learn if you do any reading about Say I Love You is that there’s lots of sex. Nearly all of the mangaka’s works are labelled ‘smut’. Of course, Paradise Kiss could be labelled smut too, but its more down-to-earth approach was refreshing next to happy bubbly sparkles or ridiculous melodrama. Or it could just be 50 Shade of Grey-esque smut, it comes down to how it’s presented. The studio adapting it are ZEXCS, a studio whose devotion to the utterly bland is so reliable that I’m starting to think they’re doing it on purpose. I took a look at the source material, but all I got from that was that it was just like every single shoujo ever. Female lead with no money/friends is picked up by the most handsome/dangerous boy. It even had the token misogyny, where the man tells the female lead that if she goes out on her own she has to expect to be raped and don’t worry because you can leave all your worries to the man and oh I hope you don’t mind if I sexually assault you now.

Kamisama Kiss

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Shoujo Storm #2. Kamisama Kiss has Akitaro Daichi directing, and he’s a bit of a weird dude. His résumé includes some of the wackiest weirdest comedies, like Gag Manga Biyori and Sexy Commando. However he’s also directed Fruits Basket, and I have a feeling that is the more relevant title when looking at Kamisama Kiss. I tend to blame Fruits Basket for most modern shoujo tropes. This will the the shoujo-est of shoujo ever to sparkle their way past the sexual assault parlour. Actually the first chapter of the manga didn’t have any sexual assault from what I saw. It was about a girl with no money/friends being picked up by the most handsome/dangerous boy, but the male didn’t sexually assault her. Instead he forced her to work in his temple for no money because she was homeless while he went off drinking with his buddies in between verbally abusing her, but it’s OK because deep down he’s probably a nice guy. It’s not sexual assault, it’s just slave labour. That’s all right then!

The Monster Seated Next to You

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Otherwise known by weeaboos as Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, this is easily the most anticipated shoujo of the three this season. Brains Base are handling this with whole bunch of their most talented staff, and they have a damn fine record. Plus judging by the tongue-in-cheek trailer, they’re clearly having fun with this. Brains Base have had a few stumbles lately, but that’s because they’ve been expanding and experimenting a lot. I’m willing too accept the occasional Sengoku Collection when it also brings Mawaru Penguindrum. Mind you, people have assured me Sengoku Collection is actually really good, but there’s always a handful of people that assure me that the latest Sengoku Era Turned Moeblobs is actually really good, so much like shounen fans I’ve learned to ignore them. Oddly enough, shoujo fans appear to be the opposite of shounen fans in that there appears to be fairly universal agreement on which are good and which are not. Between the three shoujo coming out this season, this is far and away the one with the most critical acclaim.

I did check out the first chapter of the manga for this too, but…well, it seemed to me to be the exact same as every single other shoujo ever.  Female lead with no money/friends is picked up by the most handsome/dangerous boy. Then there’s a scene where the male bishie grabs the female lead, covers her mouth, pulls her behind a wall and says “don’t move or I’ll rape you”. KYAAA SO ROMANTICU~~! [le sigh] I know entertainment aimed at men have this issue with Friend Zone and that women are creatures you can fill kindness coins into until sex pops out, but forgive me if I find the concept of “if you’re kind to a woman she will have sex with you” less offensive than fetishising threats of sexual assault. There’s also the issue of ‘rape as backstory’ being thrown around lightly with little understanding, but at least there it’s at least still agreed upon as rape being a Bad Thing. I know I don’t like shoujo, but I would have thought Rape =! Sexy would be a universal truth irrelevant of taste in Japanese Cartoons.

Whatever, I’m probably overreacting. If you like shoujo, you’ll love this. It’s just I came across this same thing in the first chapter of each of these shoujo manga. I had to get that off my chest.

From the New World

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Right, enough of those crappy shoujo titles, time to move onto some Proper Anime. With cutesy anime girls getting caught up in an apocalypse and shit. Yeah, anime! The trailer certainly makes it point loud and clear with the dramatic music that wouldn’t feel out of place in a grand sci-fi western action game. Latin chanting and everything. Well, it’s not Latin. They’re just repeating “ahh” over and over again, but chanting nevertheless. It’s based off a novel, which tend to have pretty solid writing. Not a light novel, a proper regular novel. You can tell because the title is not also the plot description. It’s being adapted by A-1, so of course it looks like every single other anime ever made ever, but at the very least having A-1 on board means it should be competently executed. The director has never directed anything else before, but the guy in charge of series composition has been around the block a few times, having worked on everything from Full Metal Panic to Trust and Betrayal to GTO to Kekko Kamen. A-1 is certainly laying out something ambitious with this, I really hope it pays off.

Code:Breaker

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Code:Breaker is being adapted by Kinema Citrus, a name that’s always amused me. Like they remake Die Hard except replace Bruce Willis with a giant lemon. What they are in reality is basically just studio Bones. The director is the same guy who did Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, the staff all worked on previous Bones properties, and the only other anime to their name is their co-production on Tokyo Magnitude with (surprise surprise) Bones. The manga is by the same author who did Samurai Deeper Kyo, which is one of those titles everyone seemed to forget existed once it ended. I took a look at the first chapter and, while the writing wasn’t exactly stellar, I liked that the female lead was anti-moe. Characters would comment on how she looked serene and they wanted to protect her, but she was too busy punching boys in the face to be protected. Well, she didn’t punch any boys in the face in the first chapter, but she has super strength and the villains are men so I assume there will be some face-punching to be had. Or not, judging by the numerous angry reviews I read of the manga. I know right, a shounen manga with an upcoming anime adaptation with bad reviews? Maybe I’ll have to revise my “shounen fans like every shounen manga”. Which is a shame because I’d love to see Bones Kinema Lemon and Lime produce another FMA.

K

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GoHands is the perplexingly named animation studio who until very recently had only worked crappy fanservice stuff like Princess Lover and Seitokai Yakuindomo. However people In The Know have said they’re a studio with big ambitions and you just watch out. Their most recent project was Mardock Scramble, which I don’t think quite worked but I certainly appreciated the effort and ambition. What really made me sit up and take notice were the early trailers for their new original TV anime K. Like holy shit, have you seen how great the animation looks? They are pumping a huge budget into this, as should come quickly clear when you look at the voice acting crew they’ve brought in. Tomokazu Sugita, Daisuke Ono, Mamoru Miyano, Jun Fukuyama, Daisuke Namikawa. Basically every single big name male voice actor that fangirls cream their pants over is in this show. Well, apart from Norio Wakamoto, but I’m sure he’ll turn up somewhere as a cute little animal/god of time and space/whatever fucking weird role they give him this time.

Scamp talking about voice actors, what has the world come to? Thing is, asides from the godly trailers, K is being rather coy with information. We still don’t know what it’s even about, except that it vaguely resembles Durarara. On that note, they’ve also been coy about releasing any information about who works on it, but rumours abound on 2ch suggest Ryohgo Narita, the author of Baccano and Durarara, is working on it. However I’m pretty sceptical about that being the case. The crop of big name male voice actors and bishie laden trailers got me a bit worried that this would just be fujoshi bait, but then the latest trailer featured a cat girl with humongous bouncy bosoms, which was basically the creators going “no wait fanboys there’s tits too come baaaack”. Which is a good thing in my book. The more an anime gravitates towards equal opportunity fanservice, the better. Too bishie laden is alienating, while too tit-tastic makes me ashamed to watch it. Tits and bishies fondling each other combined just feels Anime. Yeah I’m just weird like that

Little Busters

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Settle down children, for I shall tell thee a tale. A tale of Key game adaptations. I may not get all the details exactly right, so you may read the comment section to find the people arguing.

Back in the days of yore, animation companies tried to adapt video games into anime. However they never really worked because video games were as focused on storytelling as a hungover student is focused on his morning lecture. One day, the now defunct animation studio Oirental Light and Magic found that adapting the eroge/dating sim/visual novel To Heart by simply placing out each attractive heroine from the game in animated format was a license to print money. However the world of eroge was a strange and confusing place with weird women with giant eyes and irritating verbal tics. For example, there was a genre known as Nakige, roughly translating to “cry you easily emotionally manipulated bitch”. One creator of these nakige games was Key, run by the demonic overlord Jun Maeda, who had a frightening tendency to depict little girls dying in his stories, often while it was snowing for bonus poignancy points.

One Piece was yet to become to juggernaut it is today, and Precure hadn’t been conceived yet, so Toei were scrambling about for the next big cash cow and thought maybe Key would be it. They attempted to adapt their game Kanon in 2002, but it didn’t quite work. The botched experiment led to female characters with their eyes taking up 90% of their faces and their mouths situated somewhere around their foreheads. And so Toei gave it up as a lost cause. A few years later, a small upcoming studio Kyoto Animation, who had cut their teeth helping Gonzo with the hilarious Full Metal Panic spin off, took their shot at a Key game with Air in 2005. Tears were shed, little girls with died in seasonal weather, and money was made. The next year, KyoAni made a little show called The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, which burst onto the scene, spurned a huge charge into the realm of light novels with overly long titles, and changed the face of anime as we know it. Brimming with confidence, they decided to show Toei how it’s really done and made their own adaptation of Kanon. Tears were shed, little girls died in seasonal weather, and the product flew off the shelves. To top it all off, next year they adapted the next Key game Clannad. Tears were shed, little girls died etc, and it became their most popular Key adaptation to date.

Key were in a pretty comfortable position. Their games were doing incredibly well thanks to the Kyoto Animation adaptations, and they were excited to give them Little Busters, their next visual novel. Thing is, KyoAni had a policy of only doing one anime at a time, and they were currently busy on a little 4-koma cutesy thing called K-ON. It was only planned to be a one-cour thing and they’d move onto Little Busters next. Key were fairly pleased with this arrangement, because they had seen what happened when another studio attempted to adapt their works, and were adamant about only allowing KyoAni to tough their products. Unfortunately for them, K-ON fucking exploded in popularity and KyoAni were too busy swimming in giant piles of money to listen to their old partners. Key held out to try get KyoAni interested, but they just didn’t care anymore. And so Key slumped off, got drunk, and then woke up the next morning to discover they’d slept with the fat mouth breathing guy from the cubicle next door: JC Staff.

JC Staff had their heyday in the late 1990s-early 2000s, and were ironically partly to blame for Key’s current predicament, having introduced the world to cutesy all girl 4-koma adaptations with Azumanga Daioh back in the day. But for the past 5 years they had been consistently terrible. Botched adaptation after botched adaptation littered their floor like used tissues on an unhygienic bachelor’s bedroom floor. OK perhaps there’s a bit of personal bias creeping in here, but for christ sake, they didn’t even pick the crew who worked on their well-liked stuff like Toradora or Ano Natsu. Instead they got the director of Hatsukoi Limited and fucking Kill Me Baby. Despite what some people might tell you, who adapts your material does matter hugely. The Key anime adaptation history is the perfect example of this in action. So cry, my dear Clannad/Kanon/Air fanboys. Cry like the little girls in the cartoons you watch. Your most anticipated anime of the season is doomed.

Or maybe it will be good. I dunno, I don’t really care either way. It will probably be the same as all the other Key stories. Amusing at first because it involves a sarcastic dick picking on mentally handicapped girls. But then the melodrama will burst into the room like a chariot pulled by polar bears with their testicles in vices, with about as much subtlety too.

Zetsuen no Tempest

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Zetsuen no Tempest is an adaptation by Bones about a dystopian Orwellian future with pretentious dialogue and alarming levels of homo-eroticism. It bears closest resembles to No.6, an adaptation by Bones about a dystopian Orwellian future with pretentious dialogue and alarming levels of homo-eroticism. No.6 was full of interesting ideas, but what brought it down was a cast of unlikeable fucktards and a nonsensical plot that exploded in truly baffling fashion with the world being taken over by a giant moth. Will Zetsuen no Tempest escape that fate? Director is a relatively talented bloke, having worked on a bunch of Bones titles in the past, most notably having directed Sword of the Stranger. He sorta jumped ship in recent years and has been directing stuff for PA Works, like Canaan and Hanasaku Iroha, but he’s back at his home company again. Unfortunately, like a man trailing a piece of toilet paper from the bottom of his shoe after he’s been to the toilet, he’s brought along from his time at PA Works a scriptwriter by the name of Mari Okada.

No. No, I’m not doing this. I just wrote 800 words on Little Busters, an anime I honestly don’t even care about. I’m not going to go into another big rant about how much Mari Okada sucks. I’ve been doing that for what must be the past 6 season previews because she’s fucking ubiquitous these days, I don’t want to go through that again.

But Scamp, what about all the new kids who’ve never read your season previews and couldn’t name a single anime director outside of Miyazaki to save their life? Go on, I’ll buy you an ice-cream.

Fine, but it better have a flake in it.

Mari Okada is a screenplay and script writer who has worked on a number of anime in the past few years, including a few anime original titles like Ano Hana and Black Rock Shooter. The series she works on tend to have a re-occuring trend of absolutely terrible melodrama. The concept of emotion seems to be something she’s only read about but doesn’t fully know how to convey realistically, so instead makes characters yell a concept of that emotion as loud and in-your-face as possible. The characters don’t act like people when the drama hits the fan. They act more like abstract concepts of emotion that has no bearing on reality. She also worked on Hanasaku Iroha, a show I honestly kinda liked, apart from the sections when it disappeared into melodrama for the exact same reason. The only anime she’s worked on I really like is Aquarion EVOL, but that’s the exception that proves the rule. Someone once tried to argue with me that the characters emotions in EVOL is the one thing that makes it relatable and human, which is utter nonsense. EVOL is a show that plays with the very concept of what emotions are in their most basic form. The characters are specifically meant to be abstract concepts of emotions, which when wrung through the gloriously delirious mind of Kawamori creates utter hilarity.

Some people have tried to argue that you can’t contribute the problems of the anime she works on to her, because script and screenplay don’t hold huge creative control over the property and you don’t know the inner workings of an animation studio. Which is true, I don’t know the exact details of Mari Okada’s job. But I can spot patterns. When every anime she works on has the same issue and the issue is specifically with the writing, I start to think that perhaps this is no longer a coincidence. Another retort I’ve heard is that I should stop picking on Mari Okada because it’s not her fault she’s hired to write dreadful melodrama. This may indeed be the case, but the very fact she keeps being hired for these roles implies the production staff looked at her previous works and thought “gonna get me some of that”. Another one I’ve honestly gotten is that my dislike of Mari Okada is because I’m sexist, which is fairly baffling. I get the feeling crying ‘sexist’ is the new ‘racist’, because clearly my dislike couldn’t be fuelled by something rational such as disliking the anime she’s worked on. Nope, it must be sexism. Another final one I’ve heard is “but I like these anime she worked on so she can’t be bad”. In that case, welcome to the wonderful world of having different opinions as someone else.

Now where’s my ice cream.

Btooom!

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If you held a gun to my head and asked me what my favourite anime studio was, I’d say Madhouse. They’re wildly experimental, handling all sorts of genres. Their heyday was the late 00′s, but they’ve undergone a bit of a dip recently. Albeit a ‘dip’ by their standards also happens to include Redline, Tatami Galaxy and Chihayafuru. Still, the horrid quadrangle of Marvel adaptations they did suddenly made everyone hate them, which I felt was awfully unfair. They are still the studio with the most daring and take on wildly artsy ambitious titles like Redline and Tatami Galaxy. That all said, it isn’t the Madhouse that produced those two shows that they appear to be channeling for Btooom! Instead it appears to be more along the lines of Highschool of the Dead.

Btooom is based off a manga about some kid who’s really good at an online shooter, only for the apocalypse to come knocking at his door like a Jehovah’s Witness and suddenly the world turns into that shooter he’s really good at. The trailer doesn’t really sell it to me either, and I’ve always been uncomfortable about a trailer that depicts rape. As I illustrated earlier, I’m fine with rape as a plot device, even when it’s implemented kinda shoddily. But when you put it in a trailer it has this uncomfortable feel that I’m supposed to be getting off to it. It’s fine if you’re into watching women being ravaged upon by several men, but can’t it be consensual? Like as an experiment when she’s finished college or she’s doing it to raise money for charity or something? That all said, Highschool of the Dead has always been a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. It’s shockingly stupid, but in a endearing self-aware sort of way, where breasts gyrate faster than the speed of sound. The scriptwriter is by the same guy who did HOTD, but this is the director’s first full time directing role. His previous experience working on anime is pretty limited, but that limit consists entirely on episodic directing on Blue Literature, Chihayafuru and Madoka Fucking Magica. Can’t say I blame Madhouse for snatching this guy back and fast-tracking him into directing, even if it is on the anime adaptation of Counterstrike With Tits.

Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai

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Normally I’d translate the title so we can stop all being weeaboos (rough translation in this case would be “She has Adolescent Delusions, But I Want to Love Her Anyway”, with Light Novels continuing their trend of the title also being the plot description). Thing is, it has that little buzzword Chuunibyou. Its translation is something like “middle schooler syndrome” and refers to the desire teenagers have to be something more than what they are. Super powers, amazing anti-hero, fighting against The Man, something along those lines. Think Okarin from Steins;Gate. The term has also been used by poncy critics to describe stories written for people with Chuunibyou. Where some angsty teenager gets magical powers and all the ladies because he was The Hero all along. Think Accel World or Guilty Crown. It’s a bit of a buzzword because people can’t agree exactly on what it means. Plus the vague description I gave there could also include characters like Harry Potter or Luke Skywalker, so the criticism is pretty pathetic. I’ve made a personal rule not to use it, but I kinda have to here because it’s in the bloody title.

So, what about the anime? It’s the latest piece by KyoAni, whose history I’ve roughly outlined earlier in the ridiculously long Little Busters preview. They’re devotion to cute means I’m not a fan myself, but I recognise their usual supreme quality of animation in the trailer. Actually, let’s talk about that trailer. Awful character designs aside (although that’s just me and my dislike of moe, nobody else seems to care), the trailer looks fucking awesome. Apparently all you need to get me excited in an anime is set the trailer to hard rock music. I’m not sure whether the super powers on display in the trailer are jut products of the delusional teenage girl taking animated form, or actual super powers. The former sounds preferable to the latter. It’s the kind of crazy, embracing of anime’s strengths I can get behind. Oh dear, here we go again. I manage to get myself a teeny bit hyped for the latest KyoAni product, only for it to air and I’m brought back to the crushing realisation that I’ve never liked their stuff. Still, for those who do like KyoAni, this seems to have their usual high degree of polish.

Haitai Nanafa

Haitai Nanafa is about some little girls who find some magical spirits. It’s by the director who did Recorder and Randsell, so at a guess I’d say this is also one of those 5 minute long…OK sorry but I can’t hold it in any longer. I’ve been refraining from mentioning it in this season preview so far, but this one is openly challenging me. It’s a holy war I’ve been fighting for a while and there comes a point where I have to take a stand.

Noses.

Where are their noses?

I mean, at least the one of the right is making an effort. OK it’s just a dot for a nose, but it’s a start. The others though have nothing. Absolutely nothing. A totally blank middle section of their faces. It’s not like they’re chibified or anything. They are just regular old character designs with no noses. I’ve been observing the gradual decline of noses throughout the past few years, but a total absense of noses altogether takes things too far. It looks unnatural! Are noses not considered moe or something? Let me take a regular old dude who could arguably be described as moe.

Now let’s take away his nose.

You see? It looks weird and unnerving! Noseless Bieber will now haunt your dreams.

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

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Ah yes, finally something that I can say with a considerable amount of confidence will be bad. Based off a light novel about a guy having to take care of a girl because she’s got a severe mental disability that means she can’t take care of herself and oh boy isn’t that the sexiest thing ever. It has a manga adaptation, so I took a peek at that. Sometimes with manga like Space Bros or Arakawa Under the Bridge, I’m sold within a few pages and know instantly I’m going to love this, usually due to solid witty writing. Pet Girl was like that except the opposite. Underwear, yelling, boring male lead, the works. To throw some more wood on the fire, it’s being done by JC Staff. It’s being written by Mari Okada, although despite my little rant about her earlier, she’s still probably better than the usual staff who are usually put on this sort of stuff. Actually, even the director is pretty talented, being one of those ex-Madhouse folks. I’ve learned from Sankarea that even the crappiest of source material can be made into something watchable, and I have to adhere to rule #3 of season previewing. But still, especially with that trailer, I seriously doubt this will be anything other than total crap.

Litchi DE Hikari Club

This is the most kawaii moe uguu anime of the season. I read the first chapter of the manga and my nutbladder exploded with all the kawaii. It practically melted from my screen into a ball of moe that dripped sweetness and caused my entire room to contract diabetes. Oh wait no, I was thinking of opposite land. Litchi Hikari Club is oh god what the fuck oh jesus help me kind of disturbing. I kept waiting for them to make a joke BUT NO THEY JUST KEPT GOING!!! I’ve heard it described as a parody of those weird guro magazines, which is something I take issue with. You see, with stuff like Detroit Metal City or Popee the Performer, you at least feel like they’re in on the joke. DMC is a mockery of the mask put on by music performers, while Popee is a children’s cartoon put through a different lens. There’s clear parody intent. Litchi Hikari Club is just plain old sadistic guro torture porn. The fact that it’s by a guro artist fuels my theory further that they’re just getting off to this. It’s exaggerated, sure, but exaggeration does not equal parody. You don’t call Gurren Lagann a parody of giant robot anime.You don’t call Ouran a parody of shoujo…well, actually people do call Ouran a parody of shoujo, so maybe I’m alone on this complaint. I have a feeling the fans of the show are going to be pissed with this anime adaptation though, because it’s reportedly going to be an SD version. Although if you ask me, I think that’s exactly the thing I need to push this over the edge into hilarity. Everything the first chapter of the manga had, except in SD form? Sounds great!

Girl Und Panzer

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Gentlemen! I have ze vurld of ze anime inustry deciphered. Zere are zwei important factors zat will bring in ze deutsche marks. Ze virst on ze leest is ze vital inclusion of ze frauleins. Ze second important veapon in our arsenal would be, quite literally, ze guns. Ze Bigger, ze better. Zo, vit zis all in mind, I have crafted ze ultimate anime. Girl Und Panzer. It has ze Gurls. Und it has und Panzer. Vat else do you need?

Teekyu

It’s not unheard of for famous mangaka to have their roots in porn doujins. Ken Akamatsu wrote porn before starting Love Hina. CLAMP started out with Saint Seiya yaoi. It’s similar in many ways to fanfiction writing, in that it’s a pretty good way to get practice. What I’m basically saying is that having your roots in porn shouldn’t necessarily be looked down upon. So yes, the creator of the Teekyu manga has only previously made h-doujins. Specifically under the perplexingly named Muchi Muchi circle (NSFW), if you’re the kind of person who knows your doujin circles. They’re a pretty big circle though, and he’s just one of the many authors, so kinda hard to tell whether this author was the guy responsible for that one doujin of Kasumi from Dead or Alive getting attacked by 50 body-builders or not. Anyway, Teekyu is about a bunch of girls in a tennis club quite pointedly not playing tennis. There’s not a whole lot of information on it, but since it’s being done by the same studio that did Kids on the Slope, I think it’s safe to assume that it will save anime.

Aoi Sekai no Chuushin de

It’s annoying when none of the news sites do a direct translation of upcoming anime titles. I would translate it myself, but my Japanese can be best described as barely existing. It’s something like “Blue World of Choo Choo Trains”. It’s based off a manga where each character represents a various Nintendo or Sega vidya game character, although from what I could tell from reading some forum posts, this is largely superficial. It’s just some generic fantasy action story. It’s another manga by a circle mostly known for doing doujins, namely Crimson. They’re a name I actually know too, unlike those Mucho Macho Michi guys, although all I can remember about Crimson is all their doujins include gangrape. They’re not doing the story though, just the artwork. The story is by some lady called Anastasia Shestakova, which is either a made up name or a Russian otaku living the dream. It’s being directed by the guy who did Highschool DxD, so it’s probably safe to stick this in the same category as stuff like Estetica. Fantasy action anime whose main focus is the boobies.

As Long As There’s Love, It Doesn’t Matter If He Is My Brother, Right!?

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The token light novel adaptation with absurdly long name that includes the word ‘imouto’ of the season. Thankfully, there isn’t a whole lot of these sorts of crappy harems around this season. There’s this and the Pet Girl anime. More shoujo anime than crappy harems, what sort of world are we living in!?! Actually there’s also a To-Love-Ru sequel, but still, that’s only 3. Well, I suppose the Blue World anime also counts as a fantasy version of a crappy boobie-laden harem. And Teekyu is a crappy harem except without a male lead, although there might actually be a male lead and he just doesn’t appear in the promo art. There’s more Hayate the Combat Butler and Seitokai no Ichizon too, which are basically harems. And I bet that new KyoAni show is also a harem NO GO AWAY SHUT UP LET ME PRETEND ANIME IS GOING UPHILL!

Card Games

There’s 3 card game anime coming out next season, which the industry has been pumping out with alarming regularity for the past few years now. Not sure how good or bad any of them are. I heard some people say Cardfight Vanguard wasn’t terrible. Thing is, they really do start to blend into one very quickly. Take the two anime above. Battle Spirits: Sword Eyes and Chou Soku Henkei Gyrozetter. Battle Spirits is a long running franchise, of which this is about the 5th installment. Gyrozetter is the first of its franchise, a card game by Capcom. I’m not sure which is which out of the two pictures, but that really only proves my point. The main characters in both look the exact same. I bring this up because they serve as an interesting comparison to the 3rd card game anime coming out this year.

Aikatsu!

The difference with Aikatsu is that it’s not aimed at young boys. It’s a card game about training up little girls to become the best idols ever. Basically it’s a card game version of IdolM@ster, so it will probably have its audience split between little girls and 20-something year old idol otakus. To add to that, it’s being ‘supervised’ by Seiji Mizushima, director of FMA, Un-Go, Gundam 00, along with a bunch of other reasonable talented staff. I may like Seiji Mizushima a lot, but the only way you could get me less interested in a card game anime was to make it a card game anime about idols. But a disproportionate amount of the people I follow on twitter love Precure and the recent IdolM@ster anime, so if you’re a fan of those kinds of shows, I’d hazard a guess this might be close in tone to them.

Monsuno

Monsuno would be an kids anime without any worth mentioning if not for one interesting little tidbit: This is a Japanese-American co-production. Nik-toons and the Canadian channel YTV have already got rights to air this show, a few months after the Japanese release. They’ve even got toy deals in place already. It’s a rather old-school way of doing things. I hope it does well for them, and get a few more kids into the world of the animus. We’ll have an entire generation of kids who grew up on Monsuno. Of course there’s the slight worry that Monsuno won’t be any good, but who cares. Kids are thick, they’ll watch anything.

Wooser’s Hand to Mouth Life

The 3D shorts center around Wooser, a mysterious mascot character who lives on the Internet and whose charming appearance belies a corrupt heart that craves money, meat, and gals.

Wooser is voiced by Mamoru Miyano, the voice of Okarin from Steins;Gate and Light from Death Note. Also it has music by Supercell. Surprised this isn’t in Noitamina.

Sequels

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

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I lie, this isn’t a sequel. It’s a remake/new material thing, penned by the original author. It’s being done by Manglobe, the same guys who did the recent movie. From what I’ve heard, people really didn’t like what Manglobe did, which just goes to show how low Manglobe have sunk. When people are saying they preferred JC Staff’s version to your version, you’ve truly hit the bottom of the barrel.

Bakuman 3

Adventures of Count Twattyface and Lord Doofustein as they continue their quest to ensure every woman knows their place: Right by the kitchen sink, amirite guys!?!

To Love Ru Darkness

Sometimes with crappy harem shows, I hear complaints that they should stop putting in the forced drama and just focus on the tits. To Love Ru makes a compelling argument why it’s not the crappy drama that holds these sorts of shows back. It’s the terrible writing, male leads with no personality, boring female doormat characters with maybe one brain cell between them, and generally being insulting to your intelligence. It would be nice if every tits n’ ass show was as classy as the -monogatari series. Or perhaps ‘classy’ is the wrong word…

Hiiro no Kakera 2

Seriously? This got a second season? I know that, in a world where To-Love-Ru gets 3 seasons, fangirls have got to take whatever they get their hands on, but Hiiro ni Kakera?

Jormungand 2

Her name is Koko she is Loco I said OH NO!

Hidamari Sketch X Honeycomb

I have a weird sort of respect for Hidamari Sketch. Its depiction of the eternally present mirrors my crushing realisation that my life is never moving forward that haunts my deepest and darkest fears. Watching Hidamari Sketch was akin living in one of my nightmares, but it’s so good at it that I have to admire it. I can understand why people like this show and I respect its craft. Just oh god keep it away from me.

Moar Gintama

Hah! You thought Sunrise would let something as popular as Gintama die. Although what they’re doing it with is rather strange. They’re re-broadcasting select episodes of the 250-odd episodes of Gintama and throwing in the occasional totally new episode. I guess it makes sense if they’re having issues catching up with the manga, but out of all the shounen properties from the past 10-15 years, Gintama is the one best suited to filler. There’s very little ongoing plot. The show is divided into 1-3 episode stories. You could quite easily bring in aspiring Sunrise directors. Heck, given that Gintama is the closest thing anime has to the Simpsons and genuine satire, you could bring in aspiring comics in Japan to use Gintama as political satire. Gintama has been taken off the air once for depicting a politician. The scene was barely a second or two long, and it was a whole load of fuss about nothing, but it does go to show the sorry state of political commentary in the country. Cartoons are a great way to push the boundaries.

Seitokai no Ichizon 2

REFERENCES!

Initial D Fifth Stage

The new Initial D is airing 2 episodes per month on a pay-per-view channel. Haven’t heard of this happening before myself, although I’m sure it has happened. Couldn’t tell you what it means for us pirates viewing it either, apart from the fact it most certainly won’t be legally streamed anywhere. Initial D is the only sequel this season I have no prior experience with, which I feel a bit ashamed of. It’s always struck me as one of those anime cool people like. It’s probably the combination of cars and ugly character designs.

Medaka Box Abnormal

Yes, the sequel is actually called “Medaka Box Abnormal”. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s kind of great. I dropped the anime after 4 episodes, but there’s a niggly voice in my head that keeps telling me to go back to it. Something about Medaka’s character fascinates me. And no, before you start, it’s not the tits. Supposedly the manga gets better I swear, so there’s something for those who have weathered the series this far.

Movies

Letter to Momo

Home video release date: 26th October

We’re not quite done yet. As usual, I’m covering movies that are getting their home video release in Japan over the next 3 months, not movies getting theatrical releases. This is because we pirates don’t get to see the movies until then. Unless you got to see Letter to Momo in one of its many festival screenings. I unfortunately never did, which I’m rather annoyed about because I’ve been hearing rave reviews from those who did go. The last time I heard this level of rave reviews from movie festivals was for Redline. OK, they haven’t been quite at that level, but it’s still a good sign. It’s by Production IG with one of their ace-in-the-holes directing. Hiroyuki Okiura has worked on almost everything great IG have made, along with stuff like Akira and Cowboy Bebop and Satoshi Kon films. Weirdly enough, his only previous directorial role of note was Jih Roh, for which I must admit I’m not a fan. Still, I’m really interested in watching this movie.

Mass Effect: Paragon Lost

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Home video release date: 13 November

Damn it, I’m sick of all these stupid dating sim adaptations.

*cough* anyways, it’s another western video game getting an anime spin off, like Halo and Dragon Age before this. They don’t usually go down that well with either side. Anime fans get their panties in a twist when they see western properties in their Japanese cartoons, while gamers think anime is all pedophilia and Pokemon. The backlash is a bit silly from both sides really, since most anime fans are gamers and most gamers grew up watching anime. As for Mass Effect, the producers are unfortunate this came out after the big backlash to Mass Effect 3′s ending. On the plus side, at least they’ve gone for normal anime-style animation rather than horrible CG again like they did for Dragon Age. Will it be any good? I really like Mass Effect. In fact, I’d go so far as to call it my favourite game of all time. But the trailer didn’t really do it for me. The animation looked kinda shoddy, and there’s the weird disconnect between the usual CGI characters and then seeing them in anime form. Not that a CG movie would look good. The CG cut scenes always looked dodgy as fuck in Mass Effect when the characters were doing anything other than talking. But still, I can understand the trepidation towards this movie.

Strike Witches The Movie

Home video release date: 26th October

You can say what you want about Strike Witches, but that poster is fucking awesome.

OVAs

Kyousogiga

Kyousogiga is a weird beast. It’s a bunch of Precure Toei folks who have decided to flaunt their considerable animation talent in this original anime production. It supposedly has some toy line attached to it, but since it streams online, I’m pretty sure it only exists for the Toei guys to fuck around with. There was a pilot OVA a few months back, and it was a load of beautifully animated, shockingly colourful, absolutely gorgeous, indecipherable nonsense. It struck me like they were going for something like FLCL but got a bit too wrapped up in having fun to tell a proper story. Still, it seemed like they had a story to tell, so that’s where this web series comes in. Apparently they got the go-ahead to make more, a 5 episode series with each episode being 10 minutes long. The first episode has been released already, but I’d say it’s worth waiting for the entire thing to come out before watching it.

Arata Naru Sekai

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The OVA section is throwing up some weird stuff this season, and this has to be the strangest. It’s a cross-media story, written by the author of Denpa Onna. It’s about a selection of people stuck in time, so they travel around into the past, present and future to figure out…err, stuff. What’s interesting is how each segment of the story is told using a different medium. The past is told via manga. The present is told via novel. The future segment is told via anime. In the past I may have raged against this, claiming that you’re supposed to keep your piece instantly approachable to everyone and not get us to read stupid side material, but I’ve mellowed in my old age. Seems like a cool way to tell a story, particularly since there appears to be artistic reason for using the three different mediums for each stage of the story. That said, it can be difficult for us furruners to get our hands on all 3 of the stories. Still, I think a short OVA is the perfect way to do a cross-medium story like this.

Usogui

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This is one of those manga pack-ins. With a random issue they’ll produce a one-episode OVA for fans of the manga. They’re almost all universally terrible since they’re produced with no budget and made solely to appease fans of the manga. You know this show is legit though. Look at those manly faces. It runs in the same magazine that ran Mad Bull and Elfen Lied and the plot description includes the words Ultimate Gamble.

Ippatsu Hicchū!! Devander

Because I’ve got to finish off this monster post with a bang, here’s an upcoming OVA about a guy riding a robot pegasus.

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103 Comments

  1. Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    Ixion Saga: The problem with Takamatsu directing this is that I have no idea how he’ll make the transition from mostly comedy to what seems to be adventure action, so I’m not exactly sold on the show being good. It certainly doesn’t look it.

    Code:Breaker: I actually liked the first volume of the manga I picked up for cheap at a convention. Was not so bad. I’m actually looking forward to the anime, especially since it has Brotherhood’s director.

    Little Busters: So uh, yeah, thanks for rubbing KyoAni’s success in Toei’s faces. They really love it. Honest.

    Mari Okada: The only problem is all the titles, for one reason or another, has been liked by a good portion of fans. Apparently, it clicks with people :/

    Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai: I actually didn’t like the trailer all that much. Also, I’m suddenly reminded of Mei from Another. What makes it excited about it though? The director working on it.

    Noseless Bieber: God damnit Scamp!

    Gyrozetter: Also directed by the same guy who did Gintama, Daily Lives, etc

    Monsuno: They did a panel at Anime Boston which I went to, and for the most part, the show looked ok. I have not watched an episode to confirm if the show is ok, and I have no idea if watching it in Japanese will confirm it either. But…

    I hope it does well for them, and get a few more kids into the world of the animus.

    This.

    Gintama: MOAR Gintama is best

    • Scamp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Takamatsu has directed some stuff before he went on his comedy bent, most notably some Gundam stuff. To be honest though, I’d prefer to see him continue to do comedy. Sword Fart Online soured me on serious MMO stuff

  2. Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    Great season preview as always. Production IG will make or break the Noitamina slot. I’m of the opinion that Noitamina is more overrated than over-hyped, but that’s just me. As for the rest, I’m planning to avoid the terrible drama/romance, and hope something else rises to the top.

  3. Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    >giant moth

    AHEM, IT WAS A GIANT WASP, SIR

    Anyway, I hope Jojo’s will be good. I need a big, hulking dudes beating the shit out of each other oh and also this is really fucking weird anime in my life.

    As for Lychee, well, I’m not really in tune with the guro scene, so people could be getting off to it for all I know. But it seemed to me more like a super twisted version of the boys club that kids like to form so much. I dunno, I thought it was pretty interesting, but I have an affinity for sick, twisted, weird shit, so whatever.

    A perhaps interesting note: the story was originally a horror play that the manga author either saw when he was younger or actively participated in making (it’s unclear to me which), and the play was part of a Japanese recreation of a French form of horror playwrighting that was infamous in the late 19th-early 20th century for its glib social satire and shockingly violent content. I’m reading about it right now; it’s kind of cool! Also, it makes me want to act in a play where I get violently shot onstage or have a vial of acid tossed at my face. So there’s that.

    Anyway, with the rest of the stuff I am holding to my usual practice of not getting excited until what I see gives me reason to be excited. It (usually) works out well for me! Also, using other people as guinea pigs works well, too.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      I suppose the boys kids club gone out of control is an interesting way to look at it, but it still feels like it isn’t necessarily in on the joke

      • Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        I read the whole thing and didn’t get that feeling at all. Don’t want to spoil anything in the comments for anyone who is interested in the manga, but there are several plot points that are obviously satirical.

  4. Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    Am I wrong for thinking Wooser could turn out to be the show of the season?

  5. Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    There’s a lot of stuff I’m interested in seeing. I’ve already decided that I will sit through the Noitamina stuff, K, the KyoAni show, and Little Busters even if they do turn out to be crap because I’m interested in how they turn out at the very least. Got no idea which one I’m going to blog though.

    Litchi…I really hope it’s directed well. That manga was sadistic.

    Oh, and thanks for Noseless Bieber, jackass.

  6. Jimmy
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Just thought I’d let you know Dai Sato is writing for Gyrozetter.

    • Posted September 4, 2012 at 2:35 am | Permalink

      Not quite. His company, Story Riders, is working on series composition, which is distinct from scriptwriting.

  7. Nebulous
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    Scamp showing us why he’s the best in the biz. Very much impressed.

    Chuunibyou’s trailer looks incredible. This season has a lot of decent to good shows.

    On Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun the reason I like it (so far at least) is because it’s so uninspired and conventional (It markets itself as a GIRL X TROUBLEMAKER). When Shoujo is bad it’s really, really bad. So a Shoujo with the standard mains, a semi-decent hook and characters that aren’t offensive and you’ll have a hit. The relationship back and forward dance is the entire point of the genre and Kaibutsu-kun is pretty decent at it. The girl doesn’t like the guy just because he’s there like in shounen, rather he puts some damn effort in and there is a decent back and forward. In Kaibutsu-kun neither character has crowds fawning over them (Asuna….), nor are they people with super blessed lives or overly sad backstories. Simple, innoffensive and interesting.

    And the characters have noses.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      See, that’s what sorta bugs me about these shoujo comparisons. They’re described as positive within the narrow bounds shoujo appears to operate in. As someone who doesn’t like those bounds in the first place, it doesn’t-wait the characters have noses?

      Picked up

    • Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t that what every audience does, ever?

      I call myself an anime fan, because I would rather watch the best 5 anime of the past season, than the best 5 movies of the past decade.

      Others would raher play the best 5 games of this past summer, than to watch the best 5 anime of the past decade, so they call themselves gamers.

      Others would rather read the best 5 sci-fi novels of the year, than to play the best 5 games of the past decade, so they call themselves sci-fi novel fans.

      It’s a logical extension, that shoujo fandom, (or the VN fandom, or the mecha fandom, or whatever), would show more interest in the top few examples of the thing that they are the fans of, than general anime, or general anything else.

      That also explains why manga readers praise everything: Because they are also follow a lot of other manga, that is so mediocre (by genre standards), that it’s unpopularity makes an anime adaptation impossible. When they say “This one is very popular among shonen/shoujo fans”, they mean “This one is so popular that it might even deserve an anime adaptation unlike the rest”.

      It tells only about as much about quality, as a producer saying that “This script is so good that it might even get made into a movie”.

      • Scamp
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        “best” is subjective

      • Posted September 4, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Of course it is, I am talking about amounts here, (that a fan watches a higher percentage of shows in his medium/genre of choice). That these are what the fan would consider the best from his own perspective, is just a logical side-issue.

  8. 27CansOfTuna
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    Isnt Gyrozetter a Square Enix arcade game and manga, i dont understand where you got that it is a Capcom card game..

    • Scamp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Clearly I didn’t do my research on that one. I saw card games and went bleargh

  9. gw_kimmy
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    might check out the bl one and robotic whatever, but we’ll see, blah blah.

    why is anime always adapting shit shoujo?! it’s really bothering me now. why can’t they animate something like yamada tarou monogatari or gokuraku seishun hockey club or my barbaric girlfriend? (actually, any morinaga ai title would be welcome. her stuff animated would be…omg.)

    UGH. oh well. i’ll just wait for sailor moon next year <3

    • Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      it’s really bothering me now. why can’t they animate something like yamada tarou monogatari

      YOU SPEAK THE TRUTH.

      • gw_kimmy
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        tell me that scene where mimura’s grandpa finds out tarou is actually a man and not a girl doesn’t deserve to be animated in all it’s full glory.

        TELL ME.

  10. Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    This is the most epic preview I ever read from you, great job! Especially liked the history of VN and Key anime as primer for Little Busters.

    But a minus for the Biebr. Any Biebr, nose or no nose, must be shot.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Why thank you, I do try~

    • Kioku from Laptop
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Great reviews, and I was expecting a couple more of the ‘GET IT AWAY FROM ME!!’ comments. Wait…I saw no girls being insufferably nice to each other. Scratch that.

      Still enjoy the tags. Still think more people need to use uniquely descriptive ones like them. Scamp, Inushinde, Shinmaru, keep up the good work! ^.^

  11. Karry
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    >Are noses not considered moe or something?

    I kind of want for women to not have noses. It was always pretty annoying to turn your head when kissing.

    >Girl Und Panzer. It has ze Gurls. Und it has und Panzer. Vat else do you need?

    What else ? It must be a MS-06V Zaku Tank. Then it will be perfection incarnate.

    >I heard some people say Cardfight Vanguard wasn’t terrible.

    Nothing with JAM opening can ever be outright terrible. At least the opening part wont.

    >Gintama die.

    *sigh* as if the world could ever be that perfect…

  12. Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Quick thoughts on the three shoujo adaptatanamijergs:

    Say I love you (Suki tte Ii Na Yo)

    I haven’t read this, but I heard of it a few times. It got pretty good reviews, but it sounds meh and drama full, maybe some other time, I will try it.

    Kamisama Kiss
    I really like this one. It is surprisingly cute, though I doubt it is cute enough to melt your Scampian heart.

    The Monster Next to Me (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun)

    It is interesting that you mention that most Shoujo fans agree on what is good and what is bad. I agree with your hypothesis.

    The ratings for most Shoujo seem to be consistent-ish across sites and they normally sort of agree with my own internal ratings.

    Having said that, this series is one of the rare exceptions where I did not agree with the consensus. I came across its rating of 8.9 on MangaUpdates one day. I normally like most things above an 8, so, I was elated.

    I gave it a shot. I did not like it.

    Even if you Ignore the rape threat in the first chapter (some might chalk it up to the male character being totally clueless on getting along with others), the rest of what little I read was totally boring and uninteresting anyway.

    I did not read much, but it seemed to lack the Shoujo awesomeness that makes other Shoujos awesome. So, yeah, unless “it does get better I swear”, I don’t think it is good.

    Other stuff:

    I read a bit of Code:Breaker many eons ago, or at least I heard of it, but I remember nothing.

    Magi seems interesting. I might give it a shot.

    I am looking forward to Hayate. :P

    I watched the first episode of Kyousogiga. It was pretty interesting. Well, it was slightly confusing, but fascinating to.

    We will see about everything else. ~

    Thanks for the preview, though it really does sound like you were trying super hard to get the fanboys/fangirls to rage. :P

  13. Kiseki
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    I read Magi since everyone else (“everyone else” are fujoshi) loved it, but it just left me feeling kind of empty. I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. Something to do with the pace of character development, perhaps?
    But yeah in some ways Magi is not your standard shounen. It looks like it will adapt until at least the Balbadd arc which was full of politics.

    I thought people considered Kamisama Hajimemashita the best out of the three? But anyway the “don’t move or I’ll rape you” was probably an inaccurate translation since…okay never mind it wasn’t so the issue still stands.
    I spent last night reading Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun thanks to the trailer with the CHICKEN. I loved it. It was cliche as hell but at the same time rather unorthodox. (I complain about shoujo needing to have more original plots but when it’s well executed, I don’t mind. orz) It also kind of reminded me of LoveCom so perhaps you might even like it.

    Fall anime? Nah going to go back to playing my broken Korean MMORPG.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      I’ve noticed that about Magi. The trailers certainly like showing off all the shirtless men they have

  14. DarkEnergy
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Is this Scamp’s longest post yet?
    Anyways, great stuff. That’s why this has been my favorite anime blog since I discovered it in 2010.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Technically the longest post is the Franchises one, but most of that is written by other people so it doesn’t really count

  15. Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Considering that Little Busters! going to J.C. Staff was Lebron leaves Cleveland all over again, I actually sort of hope it works out, despite me not being completely sold on Maeda Jun’s writing. Then again, it has been said that Little Busters is a far cry from traditional Key-jerkers.

    It’s an interesting season with a lot of varied shows. To be frank, not many on the list have really popped at me (except for Strike Witches, I’ll watch the fuck out of that shit), but I can spot a few which seem to have great potential, namely Tonari no Kaibutsu, Robotic;Notes (kind of), Magi, and Psycho Pass. Then again, my tastes are fucking weird, so yeah. I’ll probably watch Jojo to the end too, considering that Shinmaru stated up there that it’s about hulking manly men beating the shit out each other in a odd setting.

    Why even produce fanservice shows when Strike Witches is around? Why the fuck would I want to see pantless girls in your lamer, toned down fanservice show, when I watch MORE pantless girls flying around shooting aliens with WWII weaponry? Just my 2 cents.

  16. leokiko
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this post, Scamp. Made me laugh quite a lot.

  17. Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    I recently read the first volume of Tonari–in the translation I read the guy’s “threat” was to *harass* her, and the whole scene was portrayed in what I took to be a very comically melodramatic manner. The boy is as random/socially inept as all get-out, and in this sequence is acting like he’s in the middle of a life-and-death situation–but on the very next page is shown to just be taking the girl to see some dog he found. Tonari in general is a rather goofy story, at least for the first volume.
    Well, that was my interpretation of it at least–I actually didn’t give it a second thought at all due to the way it was translated. At the moment Tonari is possibly the anime I’m looking forward to most, since I found the manga so amusing.

    Certainly very intrigued by several other anime though, such as Zetsuen no Tempest and Psycho Pass.

    • Kiseki
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      The translation went from Japanese to Taiwanese and then English, which is why some of it is awfully awkward.

      I went ahead to download the Japanese raw to check. The word actually used could have meant other things, but in that context was most likely “rape”, although it isn’t the word usually used for rape as far as I know.

      Micchan probably just gave Haru some strange ideas.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      The thing with scenes like that is they have to be taken in context with entertainment in general. It’s like when a new story comes out in which a girl has to be saved by the guy and people complain about yet another damsel in distress. Defenders of the show might say that it makes sense for that to happen for those characters in the story, and they may indeed be correct. But when so many stories include damsel in distresses, it sends out a dangerous message that women can and should expect men to save them because they’re too weak to help themselves. It’s not the intended message of the original story, but that’s what’s coming across.

      Same here with these shoujo manga. None of them are necessarily saying rape is sexy or anything. But they all have something about men taking advantage of women and minor forms of sexual assault eventually gets through to people that sexual assault and harassment is OK.

      • Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:28 am | Permalink

        Well since it does make sense for the characters to act like that in that in that scene of the first chapter of Tonari, I think the case rests there already. There’s no dangerous message or anything since I’ve never seen in any part of Tonari’s manga that there’s a message of rape=sexy. I don’t think that particular scene is coming across with a message like that and I’m sure many other people never really thought of it in THAT way too. Maybe it’s just YOU haha. Besides, the manga never really showed Micchan as some sort of damsel in distress that needs saving anyway nor is the focus of the manga anywhere near that.

        But meh opinions.

      • gw_kimmy
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        i think what he’s trying to say is, regardless of the seriousness of the “rape threat”, the scene consists of a man exerting control over a female character with a threat of harm. i hate myself for continuing to forgive shoujo for having that problem in basically every single title ever, but not only is it problematic from a feminist pov, it’s really lazy and tiring to read again and again. there was a thread on MU about this and it was speculated that stuff like that persists the same reason we have eye-melting novels like twilight and fifty shades of grey as best sellers.

        i will rip my hair out if the likes of black bird or midnight secretary get an anime adaptation.

      • Scamp
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, basically it’s the feminist argument. Making sense in the context of the story doesn’t matter when looking from a more general point of view with entertainment in general

  18. Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    You really hate shoujo don’t you Scamp?

    • Kiseki
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      I wonder if he’ll end up becoming a fan of Sailor Moon.

      • gw_kimmy
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        those transformation sequences better be GLORIOUS.

  19. Light190
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Can not vait for Girl Und Panzer to shake ze industry. Great preview as always.

  20. Chipp
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink
    • Chipp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      ^ “5pb, which is a dumb name so I’m just going to call them Semi;Colon”

      And the director of Little Busters is also the director of Hells.

  21. lmm
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The Strike Witches movie is every bit as awesome as the poster. The mid-movie fight takes place over a fully detailed Venice, and is quite possibly the best action sequence I have seen. It’s worth a look even if you haven’t watched strike witches (heck, I never watched the second series) – it’s not like there’s a lot of character drama (or maybe I just missed it because it was in Japanese). Just a whole movie’s worth of these cool fights.

  22. Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The top anime I’m excited for this cour are

    K
    Psycho Pass
    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
    Robotics;Notes(Staff worry me but who knows)
    Zetsuen no Tempest/Code Breaker

  23. Noname
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    you might as well stop reading now because will enjoy Magi.

    *because you will enjoy Magi.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      A 9000+ word preview and you pick out one grammar mistake? Pedantic much?

      inb4 you pick out every other grammar mistake in reply

      • Noname
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        You got the wrong impression. I just wanted to let you know that I have stumbled upon an error and pointed it out in hopes that it would be corrected.

        I still haven’t read through all the previews so it seemed pointless to talk about the upcoming anime. I might post something concerning the upcoming season later on.

        Good job on your humongous preview. You crazy bastard. ;)

  24. Morridin
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Will probably wait for a few episodes to come out for a few series that I scoped here, but I reckon that K and From the new world might be definitely in there.

    Just hope that I’ll be watching mroe anime this season, seems to take a lot more effort to watch anime now than years back.
    Now I’m still on a huge backlog, nearly at the end of Daily lives of Highschool boys.
    Yes I’m that slow.

    I miss those old days when I could watch an entire run of a series in 1 or 2 days T_T

  25. Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Time to rant.

    -Magi: Mostly agreeing with you, but I’m not going to let you say that every A-1 show looks the same because it’s one of the studios with the least in-house staff and that leads to really different productions. Not like they’re a paragon of originality, but stuff like Tsuritama, Space Bros and Anohana look nothing alike. Magi will be closer to their default character designs but still, generalizations are bad and wrong.
    And hey, they’ve gotten a bunch of the IM@S guys. Some are busy with SAO but it should have nice animation. If we’re lucky enough we might even get a Trigger episode.

    -Robotic;Notes: Judging c;h by its source material is pretty unfair, but the characters really were terrible so your point is still valid. I could mention that the game hasn’t been well received and that most s;g fans were really disappointed by it, but I haven’t read it myself so I can’t support those claims. Checking EGS it seems that the weak scenario and totally anticlimatic ending are the most common complaints, although the cast is what worries me the most. Can we really not have Okarin and co. back?

    -Psycho Pass: The next issue of Otona Animedia has an interview with Urobuchi and this show’s director, you might want to add that in the list of ~subtle clues~.

    -Jojo: I’m slightly worried that we’re getting a Phantom Blood adaptation. It’s not a good representative of what the series is like and, ending aside, it’s fairly average. That’s not really worrying if you’re dealing with the manga because it’s just 5 volumes, but ~13 episodes of PB might be a chore for newbies. I know I’m going to enjoy it, I just doubt it’ll appeal to people who aren’t acquainted with Jojo.

    -Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun: I’m equally biased against shoujo, but that trailer makes me believe it might be enjoyable. As far as I’m concerned, all adaptations of unoriginal series should have bizarre dreams with flaming chicken swords and Tomatsu talking in broken English. The manga does have some stuff that makes us grumpy people more likely to enjoy it, such as not taking bloody ages to throw around the “I love you”. Their relationship is delayed because of some bullshit reasons as you’d expect, but at least you get confessions early on.

    -Shin Sekai Yori: It’s not like being adapted from an actual novel is a trustworthy sign, but this won the SciFi Taisho award (shared with Dennou Coil in 2008, apparently!) so it’s probably legit good.

    -Code:Breaker: This has all sorts of issues that can hardly be fixed by a competent staff. The badass female protagonist you took a liking for quickly becomes a parody of herself who ends being protected by the main male all the time. I’m not sure why even bother to depict someone as a strong girl if you’re going to turn her into damsel in mistress (I do know why actually, it’s just a cheap way to make the guy look stronger and more realiable), but having this and SAO airing at the same time is going to irk me immensely.
    Back to this series’ random problems. The storytelling is an absolute mess, completely relying on twists to keep every chapter remotely interesting. It’s both preachy and uninteresting, which is a terrible combination. If you’re going to use your manga to lecture people about your beliefs, at least make it less shallow than JUSTICE SHOULD BE JUST.
    It’s simply bad. Good looking action could make it more bearable, but there are plenty of shows that will deliver that next season and they happen to be less flawed.

    -K: People who went to the AFA pre-screening said it was nothing but sakuga wank, which I can get behind but many will hate. Something about teenagers fighting gangs with chuuni powers and hot men to lure in fujoshi. But it’s going to be pretty!

    -Little Busters: You got some stuff wrong here. KEY didn’t do well because of KyoAni’s adaptations; if anything, the anime did great because of an already huge fanbase. It’s pretty hard to go from the series to the game even for the most hardcore KEY fans, since KyoAni managed to improve them all in every possible way. We don’t really know what happened between Visual Arts and KyoAni either, other than the former asking at the wrong time. Vava has been asked about this plenty of times, and the only clear reason he’s ever given is something you already mentioned – KyoAni was busy with a certain light music club at the time. How they ended handing this to JC, we’ll never know. I’d blame Kadokawa for it because that’s my default reaction, but I’m glad they’ve freed KyoAni so I won’t.
    So, onto the actual game – LB is easily the best KEY game as far as comedy goes. For the first couple hours. Afterward it gets really stale and even characters like the muscle obsessed Masato end tiring you out. Even that wouldn’t be so much of an issue if the actual routes weren’t dreadful to the point of making Kanon look good. This means you’re forced to go through an insanely long story (if they include the EX routes, longer than CLANNAD), vaguely believing that it will get better at the end. And it does, but it’s not enough to make up for everything else. Little Busters’ Refrain is a lame version of Clannad After Story with a really dumb twist on top. Not exactly a good time investment, I’d say. And definitely not the kind of thing I trust JC to turn into a good show.

    -Zetsuen no Tempest: The manga is slightly less flawed than Code:Breaker and the staff is, Okada aside, slightly better. So I’m slightly more interested. Likely to have sakuga up the wazoo as well.

    -Chuu2Koi: Being really skeptical about this in spite of my condition as a blind KyoAni fanboy. It’s probably the contrast between Hyouka’s subtlety and something that screams ANIME like this. Granted that I never expected to enjoy the former, not even after the first couple episodes, so it might be my paranoia striking again. I guess I’m just terrified this glorious streak of KyoAni shows I can genuinely enjoy might end soon. I wish they didn’t keep rotating staff because Okude’s first role as an art director blew everything the studio has done out of the water. Hopefully I’m wrong about this as well and they manage to beat their previous show and set a new standard for visuals in TV anime, as they tend to do.
    What I’m sure about is that I hope it sells like hotcakes. It’s a self published KyoAni work (even though Pony Canyon/TBS are involved) so it would be great if it did well. A world where KyoAni doesn’t have to rely on evil entities like Kadokawa is a better world.

    -Girl Und Panzer: Defending a show with a premise like this isn’t something I really want to do, but Mizushima is an incredibly good comedy director. One of the best the industry has to offer. Hardcore enough to even turn stuff like Another and Blood-C into humorous stories. Good enough to make a decent show out of this… I hope.

    -Teekyuu: Everyone was ready to commit a mass suicide when it was announced that MAPPA, which is to Madhouse was Trigger is to Gainax, was going to adapt a dumb manga about cute girls (not) playing tennis. With Shin Itagaki on the direction.

    And then it was announced that it would be a 3 mins show and we all calmed down.

    -Hayate remake with ugly designs: It’s sad to see what Manglobe has become. They used to do bizarre shows, which as you’d expect sold like shit. Then they moved onto popular stuff but managed to piss off otaku because of vague reasons so those sold like shit as well. Now it’s gotten to the point where their series are sure to be hated, even if we’re talking about stuff with as big of a fanbase as TWGOK or Hayate.
    But can’t say I blame them in this case, the movie was pretty bad and this doesn’t look any better. Seeing an IP being handed to progressively worse studios kinda reminds me of Minami-ke. And that’s a bad thing.

    -Hidamari S4: SHINBO AIN’T DIRECTING THIS, I FUCKING QUIT. THAT IS NOT HOW YOU TREAT LOYAL CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE FOLLOWED THIS THROUGH 3 SEASONS AND COUNTLESS SPECIALS.

    -SeiZon 2: You know, changing VA in otaku shows with an established fanbase is kind of a dumb thing to do. Going from DEEN to AIC should be an improvement, but this is actually looking worse.

    -Kyousogiga: Airing this on Youtube/Nico is a crime so it better get a proper release soon. The first episode of the new series took its time to introduce the setting and main character, so it might make more sense than the pilot

    • Scamp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Long comment

      -I heard people say that people said that there were negative reactions to the R;N game, but I couldn’t verify where they were coming from so decided to ignore it in favour of more concrete reasons to be sceptical.

      -Most novels adapted into anime nowadays have won awards, so I almost take that as read. Although I believe I’ve heard of that award before. Didn’t Madoka of all things win it last year?

      -That’s pretty much what I was referring to when I mentioned the negative reviews of Code:Breaker that I’d seen.

      -What I heard about the K screening was that it was difficult to get any handle on an overarching plot from the first episode. Since the show is clearly Narita inspired, the first eps of Baccano and Durarara were confusing too, so I’m not inclined to hold that against them

      -Seems weird you don’t like the transition between calm Hyouka to crazy Chuu2Koi since the last anime KyoAni did before Hyouka was the completely bonkers Nichijou

      -I was going to mention Mizushima, but I got too wrapped up in my silly joke I was doing that I ended up not bothering

      • Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        You wouldn’t get long comments if you didn’t write long posts.

        -Madoka was one of the nominees last year but lost to a novel that I know nothing about. Eva and the original Mardock Scramble novels have won in the past, so at worst it should be above average.

        -For the same reason I thought Hyouka would bore me to death after the load of fun I had with Hyouka: being a cautious person/having seen two entire seasons of K-ON. I end falling in love with KyoAni again whenever they do something slightly right so it shouldn’t be that hard to win me over again.
        My “concerns” about the visuals are a bit more rational than that, but the show’s going to be gorgeous for sure so that’s hardly an issue. I also thought that Nichijou’s beastly animation would be hard to beat and they managed to do it with an equally fluid work topped by an insane attention to detail. It looks like chuu2koi will lean more to raw sakuga power, but it’ll have to be fucking great to impress me in that regard!

    • Chipp
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      > I could mention that the game (c;h) hasn’t been well received

      Are you talking about the Japanese audience or American? ‘Cos it was received pretty well in Japan and sold many copies.

      • Posted September 5, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        The game (r;n) has the lowest average EGS score in the series and very few votes. Not a total flop but it’s not anywhere near steins;gate.

      • Chipp
        Posted September 6, 2012 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        But I was talking about Chaos;Head ^^;
        And yeah, I know that it wasn’t too well received, but somebody said on forums that it’ll look much better in anime format than it was in game format.

  26. Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Not sure if I agree with your interpretation of Key’s and KyoAni’s common history. K-on wasn’t an unimaginable “suddenly swimming in money” boom, it only sold 43k units, but Haruhi itself sold roughly the same, 41k, back in 2006.

    If KyoAni would be the kind of company that only follows safe money, we would be watching Haruhi season 6 right now, they would have abandoned Key after Kanon, and wouldn’t have risked with Lucky Star, Nichijou, or Hyouka either, or even K-on for that matter.

    It is be more likely that either KyoAni’s decision makers got bored with the Nakige genre, or there is some corporate skullduggery in the background, but “KyoAni now only makes K-on because that makes more money” overly simplifies both their financial status, and their behavior since that.

    • Random
      Posted September 6, 2012 at 4:22 am | Permalink

      It’s not the sales that is the issue.
      Madoka sold waaaaay more than K-ON did, but wouldn’t make nearly as much money.
      K-ON sold MERCHANDISE, lots and lots of it.

  27. Moomba
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I actually read the first few chapters of Aoi Sekai no Chuushin de in order to get a feel for it and there was actually no notable fanservice whatsoever. Perhaps three chapters isn’t really enough to judge the tone of the whole season, especially given who’s working on it and who it’s originally drawn by, but comparing it to the horror that is Estetica is unfair.

    It was kind of generic though.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Huh, I’ll have to take your word for it. The manga was tagged ecchi on Mangaupdates so I just assumed there were tits everywhere

  28. JoséGenerico
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Let me be the shounen fan around:

    - Magi: I love this manga, the arabian setting really gives it a different feeling from most shonens. I’m really hyped up for this anime.

    - Jojo: It’s Jojo. Jojo is one of the best shounens ever made, this is the anime I’m most anxious about. I sure hope they don’t screw this up. Also, I don’t know what they’re going to adapt. Only the first arc (Phantom Blood)? Everything? I would love to see Kira Yoshikage antics.

    - Code: Breaker: This series begins with a interesting concept but it starts to crumble around after a while… It’s like Bleach in that aspect, the beggining is cool, the rest just sucks.

    But, yeah, this season seems to be more interesting than the current one.

  29. eternia
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    The reviewers aren’t wrong, then. Code Breaker is definitely a downer. I finished reading Samurai Deeper Kyo, but I dropped this manga around chapter 30. At first I were like, “Oh cool, a mainstream shounen manga with a female protagonist. She’s independent and kick ass too!”
    But then, shit happened. All the guys are overpowered, while she remained weak, turning into a damsel in distress. Feeling/nakama power up all over the place. New enemies appeared. Good guys powered up (minus the damsel in distress). They beat the enemies. They got new nakama along the way. New enemies appear again. Rinse and repeat. Yikes!

    I am looking forward for Urobuchi Gen’s story. Is he going to torture his own characters again. Definitely.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      I’ve heard people be positive about it too though. I wonder if there are any fans reading all the ways down here in the comments

      • Siri
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 3:47 am | Permalink

        Fan chiming in! Been a while since I’ve actually commented around here…
        Code:Breaker takes a while to pick up steam- I didn’t get hooked until around chapter 35 or so. I am a bit annoyed with what they did with the female protagonist (I had high hopes for her just as you did) but later on it turns out she’s much stronger than just about everyone in the series- she just doesn’t know it or show it, though I’m not sure how redeeming that is in your eyes. On the other hand there are other strong female characters who kick an amazing amount of butt. They don’t show up until later in the story but it seems the anime’s going to make a point out of having at least one of them show up quite a bit earlier than she did in the manga.
        The plot can be a bit of a mess at times, I won’t deny that, but I love it for the characters. Not the main two I’m afraid- they do have interesting sides to their personalities but they’re not explored that often (though then again it’d be out of character if those aspects showed up a lot). The side characters, however, are all very fun and if there’s one thing that Code:Breaker does well it’s character development. (For most of its characters- not the leading girl, sadly.) It looks like the anime version is going to the change the plot after the first few episodes so it’s possible they’ll fix some of the issues with the manga.
        The other show that I’m looking forward to this season, Magi, is certainly wonderful and has a very good and well-thought-out plot, but its character development (or rather how it tries to give depth to the characters) isn’t all that great and can be a bit of a mess at times, particularly for characters that aren’t the main three. Though the main trio does get a fair amount it can feel forced or rushed and many side characters are reduced to one-trait wonders. It looks like, like Code:Breaker, they’re going to rush some things to introduce some of the more popular characters that show up later on.

        Sorry- got a bit off track there. But yes, I am a Code:Breaker fan and I have hopefully contributed something to this conversation.

      • eternia
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        Rather than fan explanation, it sounds like an objective / good explanation to me.
        :-)
        I might continue it from chapter 31 if the girl does become amazing later on. Yup. The two main guys are annoying. I will be dancing of joy if she put would leash on them and make them her dogs. Still, somebody said that it turned into Bleach…

      • Scamp
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Interesting to hear. Sounds like the anime would have to make some drastic changes, and I’m not sure they’d have to balls to do that

  30. Adrian
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    So, another KEY is coming, uh.
    It may be a good or bad thing. I loved Clannad AF, to the point of making an entire review without highlighting any of the emotional appeal concerning the characters’ sweet moments.

    But Air…Air was a fucking mess. I don’t even need to remind you of the crow. Oh, that dawn crow. The history didn’t make sense, and they just dropped the main arc like it was nothing.
    Sometimes Maeda does things right. And sometimes he gets too wrapped up in his magical realism to the point he can’t figure out a cohesive concept in order to explain/give some hint of what the fuck is happening in his own story. Maybe in Air’s case, the adaptation is to blame. I don’t know.
    And then came Angel Beats!

    Man, was that a trainwreck…

    • Scamp
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Angel Beats is my favourite Jun Maeda anime

    • Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      The problem is Maeda only wrote the stories that concern the guys and the main girl (aka, the near end). Everything else was done by new staff. And they’re surprisingly worse at the “sad girl” and “magical realism” thing than he is.

      • Posted September 5, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        It’s fun because people will be wishing they were watching his crap when the anime hits Tonokawa’s routes. Maeda is a hack, but that guy is just an abysmal writer. Then again, if KEY’s objective is making people commit suicide he might be the better one.

      • Chipp
        Posted September 6, 2012 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        Well at least Rewrite is Romeo’s game for most part.

    • Chipp
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      Key works weren’t written by Maeda only, you know.

  31. Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    The Robotic;Notes trailer reminds me of a Heroman-Angelic Layer mashup, two not-bad-pretty-enjoyable family friendly affairs. But with the predigree of the company behind it and the timeslot it’s airing in, is it too much to assume it will be a simple, straightforward robot/toy action show?

    Select episodes of Sengoku Collection are quite witty and effective as one-of stories, sort of like YATP, except with a common thread of moe-sengoku-characters-in-the-modern-world tying them together. You have to look up which episodes are actually worth seeing though.

    Mari Okada’s isn’t complete mud. She’s worked on the script or series composition of a few great shows, melodramatic or otherwise. Wandering Son, Mine Fujiko, and Simoun are outstanding examples where dialogue and composition are (one of many) strengths. Writing her off outright is foolish.

    A parody calls to attention the inherent silliness or exaggeration of the thing it is parodying, but can also still be an earnest work of that genre. Ouran clearly calls out otome game/reverse-harem anime conventions while Gurren Lagann nods at the bombastic tradition of super robot anime. Both are assuredly quite self-aware of the conventions they are portraying, but it doesn’t stop them from being part of the genre. It’s not an either/or proposition; the trait of questioning self-awareness is actually a part of the (late-stage) evolution of all genres over time. Now whether Hikari Club is formally self-aware (calling attention to the conventions of guro within the text) is a question for someone more familiar with the genre than I.

    The hair in Neo-Hayate is what gets me. The volume is ridiculous! Also the recent movie got maybe one laugh out of me.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Being self-aware isn’t parody. It’s just self-aware. Or maybe I’m just asking for satire.

      Also for Mari Okada, I don’t like the writing in any of those shows you mentioned. I didn’t reach the parts she wrote in Simoun, but the writing in Fujitits was kinda nonsense and full of itself. The one episode I liked was the first Goemon episode because it actually had some fun, which was apparently written by Dai Saito. You said you didn’t like that episode, so again, welcome to the wonderful world of having different opinions

  32. appropriant
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear Jesus lord I know someone who’s going to be soooo happy that a Strike Witches movie is coming out.

    Other than that, well, shit. I’m a sucker for pretty animation and that already put K, Chuu2Koi and Shin Sekai Yori at the top of my priorities list. Aside from that, I may or may not check out Psycho Pass.

    I’ve had these choices lined up for me the first time I saw the previews posters, but I appreciate the effort you took to stick names to each title. Really, thank you for that.

  33. Mr. Anon
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    >Initial D Fifth Stage

    ER
    MA
    GEWD

  34. fathomlessblue
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Good work mate, I appreciate the effort!

    I’m a little surprised by how much potential I’m seeing here. Obviously that doesn’t equate to quality, but there are definitely more shows that could turn out average-to-decent, compared to straight-up harem/imouto stuff. Maybe I’m becoming less jaded and pre-judgemental towards concepts and premises these days. Why moan until you absolutely know it’s bad? Also, as Simoun & EVOL have taught me, even Mari Okada can sometimes spin gold. It’s all about somehow finding a way to channel her (admittedly limited) strengths.

    Btooom! is the only non-fluff show I have particular reservations against. It seems like a mash-up of recent “gritty/pulpy” (ie: juvenile) series like Muv-Luv or Deadman Wonderland. Plus my overwhelming hatred towards HSoD doesn’t help. I know people find that show to be mindless & ott fun, but similar to your opinions towards Hikari Club, self-awareness & exaggeration aren’t enough when I find the core concept so repulsive.

    As for K, I’m treating it as an elaborate prank until I watch the first ep. Animation of that quality surely has no place in a tv series, right?

    • Scamp
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      I only get judgemental of plot synopsis when it’s either stupidly misogynistic or it describes itself entirely using tropes. The first because I like to pretend I’m a feminist and the second because fuck you if you can’t be even slightly original

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted September 6, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

        That moaning comment was directed more at myself than anyone else. You’ve set out your stall and I pretty agree with all of it… with the external exception of HSoD of course. ^^

  35. Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    As a German, I can assure you that you’re pretty damn good when it comes to imitating Germans violating the English language. One of my friends once pronounced “3D” as “Sweetie”. No shit. I also kinda lost it at “I zink zat zey [...]“. I still don’t get why an th is so hard for many Germans to pronounce, but it’s certainly amusing.

    As for PSYCHO-PASS: As far as I recall, it’s actually done by studio wit, which is pretty much the old I.G studio 6. Looks like they preferred to go with I.G for public announcement since that’s a big name. *shrug*
    Looks also like UroGen has already been confirmed for PSYCHO-PASS. One of the sakuga guys tweeted about it and they are rather reliable when it comes to staff news. Not to mention that ANN’s already listing him as the writer.
    Also, no mention of Naoyoshi Shiotani being in charge of the direction? He’s a rather good director or so I’ve heard. Truth to be told, I’ve only watched D’eon #18, but his storyboarding/directing with that one was rather superb.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t even realise they had released the name of the director for Psycho Pass

  36. Anca
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Maybe K will be God’s apology for Guilty Crown to you.

    Ixion Saga looks hilarious just from the trailer. I’m definitely not getting the impression that it’ll take itself seriously, so that’s a big plus point considering the director.

    Little Busters looks stupid, but then again all Key trailers look stupid. I just hope it won’t be another Angel Beats-esque disaster.

    It’s been awhile since I read Fruits Basket, although I seem to remember the dude (who wasn’t a love interest) taking her in because she was fucking retarded, a natural pity magnet (she lived in a tent with a photo of her dead mother), and had a fetish for housekeeping. And she also stumbled across The Big Family Secret. Although I say this it’s really the most heartfelt manga I’ve ever read.

    Mari Okada has penned several of the series I’ve enjoyed most lately – the only series of hers that I’ve seen that I thought stupid was Fractale, but even there I actually somewhat liked the characters. I do think her portrayal of emotions is realistic, but it might be because people in my corner of the world are more emotionally outspoken than people where you live, so whatever in that regard.

    Chuunibyou looks great, but after Hyouka I’m not particularly looking forward to it.

    Regarding noseless Bieber, I felt that he wasn’t moe enough so I fixed him for you: http://i45.tinypic.com/34rzlo2.jpg You’re welcome.

    • Posted September 4, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      But God’s apology to Scamp was Mirai Nikki. No need to apologize twice. In fact, he has yet to apologize to me.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Oh jesus oh god what the fuck bieber oh god get it awaaaaaaaaaay

  37. Posted September 4, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    That. Noseless. Bieber. O_O”

    About Little Busters, seems like there’s another problem to add. I’ve been talking with some fans of the VN and there were people who said that LB has a gimmick (I guess is something about a loop/repetition) which turns it even more difficult to adapt into anime. Some didn’t even wanted an anime adaption of it – not even by KyoAni or PA Works.

    I’m began playing the VN last month and recently finished one of the routes (I’m quite slow and busy these days). Still can’t say too much about the adaptation problems but I’m starting to feel even more unconfident for the anime version.

    And yeah, Chuunibyou character design looks awful to me too.

    • Posted September 5, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      The game has a gimmick to make you go through all routes to unlock the final one, much like CLANNAD’s orb collecting. It’s doable but it’ll most likely be a bit awkward.

  38. Mikejacobs
    Posted September 5, 2012 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    Ahh Btoom, whenever I remember the megane rape scene, I always mysteriously run out of tissues.

  39. Chipp
    Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    BTW you should check this (http://vndb.org/v44) novel written by the same man who wrote Jinrui. I know that you don’t want to read VNs anymore but this one was quite enjoyable for what I’ve read already.

    • Posted September 5, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Though it’s still as long as G-senjou no Maou, and that was also an awesome story, his main problem with it was the length only, and with most VNs in general.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      That is quite possible the least appealing plot synopsis ever

  40. Embok
    Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Precure and Idolmaster are terrible but card games and idols(when they’re not quite as blatantly pandering as in Idolmaster) are great and Mizushima Seiji is the best man in anime. Aikatsu is going to be incredible. As an aside, I’m still annoyed at how easily you dropped AKB0048 despite the Evol team working on it.

    Initial D does seem like something that cool people enjoy. I want to watch it but I haven’t seen any of the earlier series.

    Medaka(show) is terrible. Even the final arc which was supposedly ‘better’ was terrible. But then I hate Medaka(character) and dropped Bakemonogatari after a few episodes so I’m obviously not someone you want to listen to about Nisio series.

    • diz1776
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      Precure=/=terrible. Oh Contraire

  41. teelaelmes
    Posted September 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I read in a few places that there would be saint young men anime/ova in this season, it was not true? T-T

    Well guess I will end seeing more shows than expected, but Medaka doesn’t get better until the next big bad (and boy does it get better) but at least it’s more interesting than last season.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Nope, no Saint Young Men anime, and I doubt they’ll ever be tbh. As popular as it is, producers are afraid to touch it for fear of religious wrath backlash

      • Posted September 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Written 3 weeks before the Saint Young Men movie announcement. Not bad!

  42. diz1776
    Posted September 5, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    For Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo I like to compare it to Usagi Drop in it’s overall feel. Imagine trying to at a VERY young age trying to raise a person who’s the same age as you whilst managing your own personal life.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Really? Like, really? Are you one of those people who also compare Bunny Drop to Listen To Me Girls I Am Your Father?

      • diz1776
        Posted September 6, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        No, not really. If the subject matter is comparable than it’s
        comparable, the two obviously differ in quality but the core premise is the same. Just because one is lackluster that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. The main character will go through a rude awakening when he realizes that doing what he’s being charged to do is a lot harder than it seems.
        This anime “hopefully” will offer insight into the millions of people who struggle with down-syndrome children.

  43. Posted September 5, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Er, just noticed this. The video for Sakurasou says its private

  44. luffyluffy
    Posted September 5, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Basically I’m only excited for Jojo and Little Busters! and the noitaminA stuff.

    I also want Gundam Unicorn to be fucking OVER already so we can finally fucking get Gundam THE ORIGIN but hahahahahFUXCKiNG nOOPPE

  45. Posted September 9, 2012 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    I have nothing to say. I just think this needs to be at 100 comments.

  46. kekekeKaj
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    “Besides, A-1 adaptations are usually competent, especially when you consider the alternative for shounen anime would be Pierrot.”

    But Pierrot did Yu Yu Hakusho and Hikaru no Go! I think I’d rather take my chances with them!

  47. Erif
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Oh Scamp, how have I gone without your posts for so long~ The season previews are probably the funniest and most enjoyable posts I read all year.

  48. Bizogi
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Shitty previews. Better keep ur likes and dislikes 2 urself i’d say.

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