The world famous Cart Driver anime season preview has arrived, Fall 2014 edition. The rest of 2014 hasn’t really been up to much. Is there a chance the Fall season will turn it all around? Well, do you love light novel adaptations that feature a single dude being surrounded by a group of attractive ladies in high school? You do? Well lucky you because there are loads of anime for you to look forward to! Do you enjoy literally anything else? Well maybe there’s slightly less for you.
The Seven Deadly Sins
Before this goes on to be the next super popular long running shounen franchise that kids who have seen less than 10 anime tell you is the best anime ever, let’s take a moment before it comes out to say a few positive things about Seven Deadly Sins before we all get exasperated by its fans. It’s based off a hugely popular shounen adventure manga about a bunch of warriors going off to fight evil and shit like that. I was intrigued by what I read of the manga, particularly the art. It’s super busy with every scene packed with all these weird details and every space filled with speedlines. The character designs and general art have this weird mix between modern manga art and manga art from the 60’s. It’s a bit much to keep up with and gives you a bit of a headache but it’s certainly original and fascinating to look at. It’s got a wild imaginative world with things like giant pigs that are also houses, the kind of stuff that makes other shounen manga like One Piece and Magi popular. Staff are impressive too, with the director of Darker than Black working on it. I’m less convinced that I personally will like it because it suffers from the same old stupid shouty shounen protagonist problems, but if you’re into big shounen action stories then this looks really promising.
Fate/Stay night: Unlimited Blade Works
I’m sure some self-important Fate-verse fans will correct me on my mistakes, but here goes my attempt at explaining the lineage to this new Fate series. So first there was the visual novel Fate/Stay Night written by Nasu, a needlessly wordy story about summoning historic figures as super heroes. Then came the first Fate/Stay Night anime by Studio Deen which adapted the main route from the visual novel. This anime is looked back on very harshly by most people, probably because it’s rubbish. The same studio then made a movie version of the more popular Unlimited Blade Works route from the games, an alternative route with a different story. It was forgotten pretty quickly. Then came Fate/Zero, an adaptation of what was basically a prequel fanficiton by author Gen Urobuchi. It was massively well received and reignited the Fateverse fanbase, partly because Butch Gen is a better writer than Nasu and partly because it was adapted by the vastly superior Ufotable. Now they’re returning to the the original Fate/Stay Night game to adapt Original Blade Works into an anime again, except this time as a TV series and with Ufotable instead of Deen, and later turn the Heaven’s Feel route from the games into a movie.
So, with that out of the way, what do you as a newcomer need to have seen beforehand to watch this? Almost certainly nothing. You will be able to jump into this the same way you could jump into Fate/Zero. I’ve read a few VN fans say you need to know the original route (that the first anime adaptation covered, make sure you’re listening there at the back), but those struck me as the kind of people who also demanded you read the visual novel before watching Fate/Zero aka crazy controlling people. You’ll be fine. The more pressing question is will the anime be any good? The director is a relative newbie and isn’t the same guy who did Fate/Zero, but the directing in Fate/Zero wasn’t very good anyway so that’s not exactly a bad thing. You can hope the creators will cut out most of the needlessly wordy original visual novel, but given the popular approach taken with Fate/Zero being needlessly worthy, Japanese fans’ obsessive demands for parity between adaptations and the fact the series is being given the full 2 cours to breath, I wouldn’t hold out too much hope of that happening either. Still though, for a franchise that seems super intimidating, it’s generally easy to jump into any of the adaptations and for that I suppose we can be grateful.
Gundam Reconguista in G
New Gundam! Not a kids show Gundam where they play with model robots, but a Gundam-ass Gundam. Plus one you can jump into without any prior knowledge of the franchise It’s technically set in the original Gundam timeline but takes place thousands of years into the future so who cares. It’s being ‘directed’ (quotation marks because it’s questionable how much actual say he has in it) by Tomino, the guy who made the original Mobile Suit Gundam. Unfortunately I haven’t seen Tomino’s most famous Gundam works, but I have seen one of the last things he did direct: King Gainer. Now any anime with a robot with dreadlocks dancing the monkey in the OP can’t be all bad, but it had the worst writing I’ve ever seen in anime. As in I was so genuinely shocked at how awful it was I could only stare with my gob wide open in horror at what travesty of dialogue was being spewed in front of me. The only other time I can remember having that same reaction to shockingly awful writing was for that infamous terribad OVA Garzey’s Wing. Now who was the director in charge of that again…oh, that was Tomino too?
The visual design doesn’t appear to have gone down too well with Gundam fans, but I personally dig it. It’s a lot like the visuals in Eureka Seven, specifically Ao and that show looked cool, whatever about the writing. Given the staff list it certainly looks like it’s going to be a visually impressive piece. Writing-wise though they haven’t listed anyone yet. Only Tomino, and his writing leaves a little something to be desired. Still though, it’s a big colourful giant robot anime with the daddy of real robot anime taking charge. It will be exciting to see how this turns out, even if the dialogue sometimes makes your brain start dripping out of your ears.
Rage of Bahamut Genesis
Madhouse used to be my favourite anime studio. Throughout the 00’s they made a whole bunch of fantastic anime from a wide variety of genres. It’s not like the stuff they made wasn’t popular, with things like Death Note on that list. But for whatever reason they weren’t making money and eventually the people who founded Madhouse left. The studio was gradually stripped off all its most talented staff and now they’re all off making shite like Mahouka. The studio the Madhouse founders left to go and make is Mappa. Their output has been limited, consisting of Terror of Resonance, Kids on the Slope, Hajime no Ippo sequel and Teekyu. I haven’t really liked any of their stuff yet, but there’s definitely a trend with the kind of stuff they’re producing that I like. It’s like Production IG, or even old Madhouse, in that even when they’re not necessarily making anime I think I’m good, they’re making the kind of anime I want to see. It’s only when a studio goes on massive successive flops like old Gonzo despite the interesting premises that you lose faith.
So, Rage of Bahumet is Mappa’s latest anime (they’ve got 2 this season) based off a phone card game. You know the type. Bunch of generic-ass fantasy art that all ultimately are copies of Magic the Gathering that’s all based around a relatively simple card game with free to play mechanics so you spend money to get all the best cards. I shouldn’t throw rocks. I’ve been helplessly addicted to Solforge, another one of these generic-ass fantasy card games that are all basically Magic the Gathering. The trailer is super flashy though. It has a lot of funny looking CG, but they’re making the CG do crazy shit so I’m kinda OK with it. The director did Tiger and Bunny which is a pretty good starting point. The plot is a load of “in the land of giants the kings and knights of herpy derpy doo da” generic fantasy stuff, but all fantasy sounds kinda silly when you break it down. It’s selling your world and telling a fittingly epic tale that makes it tick. I think I might be down for this. Again, that trailer is super flashy, and it’s not like a friggen card game can have much existing story the writers must stick rigidly to. That will probably work out in its favour.
Parasyte is my favourite manga. Take that with a pinch of salt because I haven’t read that much manga, but I still absolutely love Parasyte. Its weirdly fascinating body horror story combined with its themes on what it means to be human both grabbed me instantly and stuck with me long after I finished it. The original manga came out in the early 90s and was a huge worldwide hit and considered a classic of manga. I’m not 100% sure of the lineage here, but I think the reason it never got adapted before was because it was bought by a Hollywood studio with the intent of making a movie but was stuck in development hell. The rights only ran out recently where it was snapped up and is being turned into a new anime and a Japanese live-action movie.
It’s weird seeing an anime being made out of it because it made me realise I don’t actually know what I would want out of a Parasyte adaptation. The character designs are already vastly different from the manga. Not necessarily better or worse. The original manga’s character art isn’t much to write home about. It’s just different. The trailer alleviated most of my worries because the animation and the alien body-horror transformations look great. Madhouse are doing the animation, which I did admittedly say one preview ago don’t make anything any good anymore, so I may have to rewrite that whole section. The staff are hard to read too much into either. The director has mostly been an animation director, while the script writer has worked on Death Note, Berserk and Precure. As a final note, god only knows what they’re going to do about censorship. This may turn into another Tokyo Ghoul where you’re better off waiting for the uncensored version. Although unlike with Tokyo Ghoul, I won’t be able to wait. I have to see how Parasyte turns out.
Ronia the Robber’s Daughter
This one just makes me sad. This is a TV anime by Goro Miyazaki, the son of that bloke Hayao, being animated by Studio Ghibli (sort of). Yes it’s a friggen Ghibli TV series. Something that hasn’t happened in some 30+ years. This should be exciting. Yeah Goro isn’t as talented as his dad and made Tales of Earthsea, but Up on Poppy Hill was actually pretty good and well directed. The fantastic hand-drawn super detailed Ghilbi animation in a TV series should be something to cheer for. Then you see the trailer and you see the highly awkward CG animation. I was starting to get used to the lifeless characters in these CG anime like Knights of Sidonia. I thought CG anime was getting there. But suddenly seeing a Ghibli heroine, usually such expressive characters, show up as this lifeless CG creature just brings into such hard focus how far behind CG anime is. I am not against CG in anime as a concept, and there have been some good mecha fights done in CG, but I have yet to see any anime do any good human animation in CG. Not even close.
April is Your Lie
When I first saw Noitamina announce this show with that artwork I instantly went into hyper-cynic mode and thought “oh look, Noitamina doing another completely unfitting otaku-bait show and continuing their path away from the alternate anime audience they were aiming at”. But then I read the source material and quickly backtracked on all those statements. April is your Lie is based off a manga that is kinda like Nodame Cantabile but with angsty teenagers instead of stuck up Chiaki and fun-loving Nodame. Which admittedly is not an improvement. When reading the manga I wanted to grab one of the characters and yell “you’re fucking 14 years old, get over yourself”. But the writing is above average and the characters feel human. It’s being animated by A-1 Pictures with admittedly not the best staff behind it. The writer for this also did classics such as Queen’s Blade, Ikkitousen, Highschool DxD, Freezing and so on. But hey, the trailer looks nice at least. I admit this probably won’t be my thing. Sometimes it’s little things like the font looking eerily similar to the one they used for AnoHana that get me worried. But if you’re into teen angst then this looks like it will be better than most.
Method of the Heavens
Do you miss visual novel adaptations about teenage girls with the mental capacity of 6 year olds slowly dying? I sure don’t. But in case you do, here’s an anime written by the guy who wrote Kanon and Sola about a bunch of cute girls. I don’t know if they start slowly dying yet though. The plot description talks about how a magical disc appeared in above a village looking an awful lot like the alien spacecraft from District 9. Here it just grants wishes or something. What I love about the promo art is it has all the cute girls and then the one dude off to the side like he just accidentally walked in because who the fuck cares about the guys when there’s cute girls. It’s saying “do you like cute girls? Are you one of those people who are easily emotionally manipulated by shallow nakige stories like Clannad, Kanon and Air? Then watch our anime”.
Garo: Honoo no Kokuin
The second anime this season by Mappa, which is exciting. Glad to see they’re finding their feet and doing a wide variety of stuff. Garo is part of a tokusa..tokasut…tokowotso…power rangers genre of television in which dudes transform into super suits and fight big evil monsters. I’m not usually a fan of the genre, but what has got me excited is seeing Yasuko Kobayashi in charge of the scripts and series composition. Her most recent work has been for Attack on Titan and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, which means Garo will be a big, dramatic and stupidly fun. I know less about the live-action Garo though, so for your sake I checked out one of the Garo movies and it sure was something. Every single scene I saw was terribly acted, produced, written and so amazing. I kept fast-forwarding to random scenes and every one made me laugh so hard my face hurt. I’m not sure what that means for the quality of the upcoming anime, but I feel like being arbitrarily positive and assuming that this means Garo will be amazing.
Terra Formars is a hugely popular manga. The story is basically a zombie story except it’s set on Mars and the zombies are hyper evolved cockroaches. It’s the Next Big Thing That Everyone Will Watch Even If You Hate It. I’ve had it described to me as somewhere between Gantz and Attack on Titan, which is sort of accurate. Except you know how Titan was remarkably even handed with its treatment of genders for a shounen manga? Not so much Terra Formars. If you’re a lady, you’ll be killed. If you’re not Japanese, you’ll be killed. Yes they don’t just call it the racist bug manga because the hyper evolved cockroaches look like a 1800’s depiction of a black person.
The manga entertaining in a super lowbrow action thriller sort of way. They had an OVA out recently that was an adaptation of the prologue manga but unfortunately it was awful. A combination of pacing problems and boring action directing really put my hopes down for the TV series. The director is normally really good. He’s an ex-Madhouse bloke who directed Steins;Gate so I thought he’d be a safe pair of hands but that OVA really was quite bad. We’ll see, maybe that was just a bad day at the office and the anime itself will deliver. It’s just a shame that, with the comparisons to Titan, Terra Formars could have really done with Tetsuo Araki’s bombastic directing.
Amagi Brilliant Park
Nope. I aint even mad. You’re not going to get a reaction out of me KyoAni. I shall cover this in a purely neutral fashion. Amagi Brilliant Park is a light novel adaptation by the author of Full Metal Panic about a highschool dude who goes to a mysterious theme park with a succession of beautiful girls. It’s being adapted by Kyoto Animation, who also did Chuunibyou, Beyond the Boundary, Free, Tamako Market etc. I read a bit of the manga adaptation and it is fucking garbage. The male lead never shuts his fucking mouth and the camera sure loves to gaze up skirts and shapely bottoms while everyone acts like sociopaths. Oh dear, I was supposed to be neutral. Well so much for that, let’s go full rage.
Kyoto Animation do good animation but have been consistently making garbage since their inception. The one anime I feel even remotely positive towards that they did was Full Metal Panic Fumoffu. Oh sure a new Full Metal Panic would be nice and picking up a light novel by the same author that includes a carbon copy of Bonta-kun might seem like the same thing, but we all know you weren’t going to make another Full Metal Panic anyway since you’re too busy mining your own awful light novel publishing chain with samey shallow adaptation after samey shallow adaptation. And you know what, the best season of FMP was the first one aka the one done by Gonzo. The Second Raid was a Bad Anime and frankly maybe it’s better off leaving it as it was. Rawr rawr rawr all your anime are garbage rawr rawr rawr not even gonna bother with this junk rawr rawr rawr I’m right you’re wrong rawr rawr rawr look guys I just really like Full Metal Panic sob sob sob why don’t my favourite anime get sequels sob sob sob oh wait more Mushishi never mind I’m ok again.
Akatsuki no Yona
There are two types of shoujo manga. The ones about a girl in high school and this other dude who is kind of a dick and they fall for each other, and then there’s the ones that never get turned into an anime. Until now! (note the preceding statement may be mostly false). Akatsuki no Yona is about this fantasy princess lady who is surrounded by heaps of beautiful boys until one day bad stuff happens and she goes on an adventure where she meets more cute boys. It’s shoujo as fuck with sparkles and flowers appearing behind everyone and all the boys have girly figures and harsh eyes. But beyond its obvious teenage girl heartthrob appeal, it seems all right. It has killing and betrayal and decent action judging by the trailer. Staff are fairly inexperienced but the director did a load of episode directing on Aquarion EVOL so she clearly has some talent. It might not be my sort of thing, but it’s not another goddamn high school romance so shoujo fans rejoice.
Cross Ange: Rondo of Angels and Dragons
Oh Sunrise, you really do make some mad anime anime. You can’t really see it in the picture but it comes off better in the trailer how dumb her outfit is. She has this bodysuit covering her arms and legs but then the entire centre region from the collarbone to the lower thigh is completely naked bar the skimpy black underwear. It’s utterly ridiculous. Sunrise are a huge studio so it can be hard to track which of the many branches of the studio is making this thing. Sunrise won’t run out of money anytime soon either, not with that sweet Love Live money coming in alongside the shockingly popular Aikatsu series for little girls, so they can continue making utter nonsense like thing thing. It’s got robots and dragons and boobs and it’s just so anime it hurts. I find it hard to ever dislike Sunrise. Their anime from this decade they’ve made that I actually liked consist of Daily Lives of Highschool Boys (a pretty straight adaptation) and Code Geass Akito the Exiled (part of an established franchise) but they make such anime stuff that I’m always happy to give their nonsense a shot, even if that usually means we end up with stuff like Valvrape the Lubricator.
INOU-Battle in the Usually Daze
This is a completely unremarkable crappy light novel adaptation complete with a boring loser male lead, high school club on their ordinary lives, chuunibyou fantasy powers, girls with no noses and promo art where the male character is the smallest, least prominent person in the art. The only thing that makes this even remotely worth mentioning is the fact that Trigger are animating it. Yes, Trigger. The guys who did Kill la Kill. They’re doing this thing. I tried to see if there was any of that Trigger-style animation in the trailer, but nope. Nothing. You could say “oh they’re just doing this for some money” but in reality most of these light novel adaptations sell like shit. It’s not like Kill la Kill sold badly either. I know the expectations are different between a brand new anime original 24 episode TV series verses a glorified advertisement for a shitty light novel, but still. I can’t help feel a little disappointed.
Wolf Girl and Black Prince
Sabagebu came out last season and showed that shoujo manga can be other things. OK the anime swapped a flowery shoujo aesthetic for tit-tastic approach to attract a different audience, but it at least showed that shoujo manga is more than rapetastic high school romances. Akatsuki no Yona shows it can do fantasy stuff too. So next season we have Wolf Girl and Black Prince, a rapetastic high school romance. OK I shouldn’t use the word rape so lightly. This isn’t about forced sexual activity. It’s about a girl who has this dude who has to pretend to be her boyfriend so he forces her to act like a dog for him in sexual ways. Oh wait no I take it back, rapetastic is a perfect way to describe this!
There is a pretty convincing argument for this stuff being OK because yo it’s a fantasy. The forced aspect is what makes something sexy. And hey, I find bondage pretty sexy and that’s about the fantasy of tying someone up so you or they can do stuff without the other being able to resist. It’s OK because it’s consensual, but you’re buying into the forceful nature. Heck even a kiss where you push someone up against a wall follows the same general rules. With something like Wolf Girl and Black Prince, we have already bought into the fantasy because it’s a story, so we don’t have to act like they’re playing a game. The problem with this response is that this isn’t porn. It isn’t even smut. It’s a romance series for young girls. That’s where things get more than a little weird.
Cute girls make anime: The anime! I’m not terribly fond of PA Works usually. They’ve been making the same anime since Hanasaku Iroha with stuff like Glasslip, Red Data Girl, Tari Tari, that other anime with the girl with the farting fish knee. This one thankfully looks a little different. Not stylistically, all PA Works anime look like the characters have been dipped in varnish beforehand. It’s the director that has my interest piqued. Tsutomu Mizushima has proven to be a consistently good director with mildly interesting premises like with Girls und Panzer. Also just like Girls und Panzer, where Mizushima had to break out the whip in the animation department to stop his animators drawing the girl’s underwear, he has also promises there will be no upskirt shots in Shirobako (except maybe for the dudes). Let’s see if they really do depict what it’s like to work as an animator with below living wage pay with horrible working conditions and overworked to the point of collapse.
The latest Shounen Jump title adaptation by Toei. I must admit comparing this side by side with Seven Deadly Sins does not do World Trigger any favours. World Trigger has been generally poorly received and was on the verge of getting cancelled before it started to get a little bit better, while Seven Deadly Sins is a massive hot seller. Deadly Sins has the director of Darker than Black on it who also worked on stuff like Bebop and Ghost in the Shell. World Trigger has a dude who did a bunch of kids shows. Oh and Outlaw Star, which quite frankly doesn’t hold up in the slightest and if you like it I’m going to blame that on nostalgia. World Trigger does have Kenji Kawai doing the music as a plus, but even Deadly Sins can counter that with Dude Who Did Attack on Titan Music. It’s all round kinda bleh looking.
King of the Magic Bullet and the Vanadis
14 months ago the light novel publisher Media Factory announced that five of their light novels were to be turned into anime. Four of these have already been adapted. Magical Warfare, Dragonar Academy and Blade Dance went by about as swiftly and as welcomed as a fart in a lift, while No Game No Life proved both popular and a damning indictment on otaku’s desire to be told that it’s totally OK they are complete losers who sit indoors and play games all day because here’s an escapist fantasy where doing that gets you all the tits and success you could want also look here perv on your underage younger sister. Vandis is the final one of these and it’s one that at first glance you could be forgiven for thinking was a big traditional fantasy story, especially with the director of Space Pirates and Nadesico working on it and it’s generic fantasy plot description involving kingdoms and warriors and so on. But don’t be fooled. It has a variety of girls with revealing clothes comparing boob sizes all falling for the main character complete with awful writing.
I’ve reached a pretty cynical dismissive place with light novels now. There were a few odd ones here and there in the early 00’s like Kino’s Journey, Shakugan no Shana and Full Metal Panic, but the boom didn’t really start until Haruhi. Even then though the ratio from shit to not shit was respectable. Since OreImo though, light novels became the go-to medium for cheap, badly written wish-fulfilment fantasies. They are the harem manga post-Tenchi Muyo. The Visual Novel adaptations post-To Heart. I’m now pretty happy to throw them all into a pile where I ignore them all unless there’s a real good reason.
Laughing Under the Clouds
This is one of those historical samurai anime that nobody will watch because nobody ever watches these anime no matter how good they are. This isn’t even being dismissive. It’s just the hard truth. It’s being animated by Dogakobo who usually just do “here’s a bunch of cute girls aww aren’t they cute” type anime and I’m sure their fanbase will be delighted to see them jump from high school to 19th century Japan. Beyond that there’s not much more to say. The director has only previously directed the Eureka Seven movie nobody liked. Maybe Crunchyroll will pick it up? There’s always a chance.
A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd
Oh would you look at this. After going off on one about how light novel adaptations have become the trashy visual novel adaptations of the late 00’s, here comes a trashy visual novel adaptation. Complete with sameface blushing girls in high school setting with custom school uniform designs, colourful hairdos so you can tell them apart and completely bland protagonist. How quaint. Anyways I’m perfectly fine with them sitting around and existing with 1-2 per season in the same way shoujo romance manga adaptations do rather than the scourge they used to be, or the scourge light novel adaptations have become.
Electric Town Bookstore Worker
It’s like Working! but set in a book store and a bit more otaku-focused. I don’t necessarily mean that in a negative way either. The trailer has a reference to Kuso Miso Technique with the dude unzipping his overalls, and any anime with a reference to Kuso Miso Technique can’t be all bad. It also has creepy pedo-vision tendencies to from what I read of the manga, which is less welcome. The director worked on Pokemon, Jewelpet and Sex Demon Queen. I know it’s pretty common in the industry for burgeoning animators, voice actors and manga artists to start their career on porn but it doesn’t stop amusing me to see the creative staff on Pokemon start out on Fuck Master 9000.
I, Will Become a Twin Tail.
I’m feeling a little gloomy. Not because I’m about to launch into yet another rant about shitty light novels. No, I’m sad because the one thing that endlessly cheered me up about light novels was their hilariously dumb naming schemes. Look at that title. What a load of nonsense. It’s brilliant! It describes the show while also proudly wearing its light novel heritage on its sleeve. Now though these sorts of titles are disappearing and are now having innocuous names like Sword Art Online. You can’t in good faith recommend “My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute” but you could be easily suckered by a title like No Game No Life. It’s made the job of fake charting more difficult because I have to come up with new jokes rather than filling the spaces with actual for real light novel titles like Convenience Stores Manage By Middle School Girls Are Boring and I Was Captured as a Sample Pleb For a School of Ojou-samas. Those were names you could respect. So kudos to you I, Will Become a Twin Tail. You look like you’ll probably be garbage. But you wear that garbage label proudly.
The Circumstances in My Home’s Bathtub
This is a story about Yang Wenli and Reinhard from Galactic Heroes living in a house together. Except Yang is a down-on-his-luck high school student and Reinhard is a pompous merman who lives in his bathtub. Anime was taking little steps towards a more even approach to pandering with a lot of fujoshi-targeted shows being made recently, but this season has seen a huge swing back towards the penis owning demographic. This, that wolf prince shoujo manga and the fantasy princess one are the only obviously vagina-owner targeted shows this season, while the one boring dude surrounded by pretty noseless girls-genre has 10+ anime. Indeed neither demographic was given actually good anime, and this Reinhard-Merman anime doesn’t appear to be changing that rule. It’s a one-joke 4-koma adaptation (the merman is pretty lol…yeah that’s all we got). But gender equality is a Good Thing so it’s a little disheartening to see the shift backwards.
Searching for the Lost Future
While not quite as good as Amagi Brilliant Park’s promo image, the placement on the main male character in this one is also fantastic. Can you spot him? There he is. Right down in the bottom left corner. He’s the main character by the way. I have got endless entertainment from these promo art shots with the male dude in the background while all the girls hog the screen. This is the first time I’ve really noticed it and now I can’t stop seeing everywhere. It was like this a few years ago when I noticed in Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere that nobody had noses, so now in certain shiny faced, pretty girl anime that none of them have noses either. The lack of noses was more irritating, while the relegation of lead male characters to barely featuring in the promo art is something I mostly just find hilarious. Everyone knows you’re here for the girls and everyone knows the male character will be Yuji Everylead the Bland. Why they even bother to include him in the promo art is the most mysterious part for me. Anyway, this is some visual novel adaptation set in high school with unique school uniforms and school festivals and ghost girls and yada yada you know the rest.
Le Fruit de la Grisaia
I tried. I really did try. But I couldn’t find promo art with the male lead in it. Maybe he’s one of those tiny specks in the horizon. He’s gotten so small that you can’t even make him out anymore. Maybe he doesn’t actually exist? I should probably read the plot description first to see if he exists. Err-hum. “The adult PC game is set in an academy that is a cloistered “orchard” for girls to be educated and cultivated away from external influences. Five girls spend their lives within these walls in repentance and atonement. Yūji Kazami has just enrolled as the sole male student there.” Ah so he does exist. Wonder where he is?
Another one! There he is, behind one two three four five girls! He’s the main character ya know. I’m surprised he’s not the one sitting on the handrail right at the back. Wait, is he the main character? I should read the plot description first. It’s a light novel adaptation about some disaster lalala must rebuild lalala boy enrols into magic school where he meets seven beautiful girls aha there we go! He is the main character. Which of the girls is your favourite? I like the one at the back because she’s the only one that appears to have gotten the message that she’s not the main character. Also she’s wearing the least clothes.
Girl Friend BETA
Awww no random dude in this pic. Then again they’re struggling to fit all the girls in. Girl Friend Beta is based off a phone game in which you can date OVER 100 GIRLZ! OVER 100 GIRLS!!! Each with their own voice actor. 100 of them! I haven’t even talked to 100 girls in my life, and that’s including the ones at the maid cafe who are contractually obliged to talk to me. But now there’s 100 anime girls I can date! Over 100 I mean. All the girls you could ever want, unless you want to not be a creep and wanted to date a nice lady in her early 30s or something. Sorry mate they’re all schoolgirls as far as the promo art suggests. But that’s still OVER 100 SCHOOLGIRLS! They have so many schoolgirls there’s no way they could fit a male character in the promo art. There’s so many schoolgirls they’ve started spilling out of the air vents. I can’t breathe with all these schoolgirls. The oxygen in this room is running out with all these schoolgirls. No really I’m dying the schoolgirls are breathing in all the oxygen. There’s over 100 of them you know. Oh god help me they’re all dying.
OVER 100 SCHOOLGIRLS! ARGH SO MANY SCHOOLGIRLS! HOW CAN I CHOOSE WITH ALL THESE SCHOOLGIRLS! I WONDER IF ANY OF THEM WILL BE BLACK LOL NO OF COURSE NOT THEY’RE ALL JAPANESE SCHOOLGIRLS. OVER 100 JAPANESE SCHOOLGIRLS WITH MAYBE ONE FOREIGNER WITH BLONDE HAIR AND BLUE EYES. OVER 100. YOU WILL NEVER GET TIRED OF THIS MANY SCHOOLGIRLS! SCHOOLGIRLS SCHOOLGIRLS SCHOOLGIRLS SCHOOLGIRLS!
This is the token lol Japan makes weird comedies of the season. There’s usually one, such as that one about the dog detective with a hair fetish and the evil goat. Or the public servant in hell who grows goldfish plants in his spare time. Or the one about the carrot bread that ripped its own head open and fairies taking over from humanity. Or the one about a gun-toting male nun living under a bridge with a man dressed as a kappa. I find them rather difficult to preview since OVER 100 SCHOOLGIRLS SO MANY SCHOOLGIRLS sorry don’t know what came over me there. The problem is they’re so random that trying to pick apart from the preview material whether they’ll be good or not is difficult. It often comes down to whether there’s a point to the humour. I love Arakawa Under the Bridge and also thought OVER 100 SCHOOLGIRLS sorry, also thought Humanity has Declined was pretty great, but there’s others that just disappear because they’re randomness for its own sake. I say they’re hard to preview, but I totally predicted both Arakawa and Humanity has Declined would be good, so maybe I should give it another shot. Err-hum: OVER 100 SCHOOLGIRLS NEVER GET TIRED OF ALL THESE SCHOOLGIRLS!
Yuuki Yuna is a Hero
Hah, take that Girl Friend Beta. Do you have a schoolgirl in a wheelchair? I bet you don’t. Yuuki Yuna has you beat. Over 100 schoolgirls my ass, what’s the point if there’s not true variety. Wait, where was I? Oh yes, Yuuki Yuna. The plot description is utterly baffling and involves something about the era of the gods and dealing with a mysterious creature called Vortex but all I can see in the promo material is a load of schoolgirls in generic anime school #52956. The story is being written by the author of Akame ga Kill and being directed by Seiji Kishi who did Angel Beats so I’m sure it will combine both their fine knowledge of appropriate tone and levity to proceedings.
Hi☆sCoool! Sega Hard Girl
That is the actual title. None of that is a typo on my part. The placement of the star. The lack of space between His and Cool. The extra o in coool. Look it’s by the guy who made the fantastic CG thing that was gdgd fairies and I think he could tell you a thing or two about titles. At least gdgd fairies rolls off the tongue. Well, maybe it more shuffles awkwardly off the tongue, but at least I could take a fair crack at how to pronounce it. The second part of the title seems to be a producer demanding he include something sane people could call it and in the end they had to compromise and include both titles because the gdgd fairies creator isn’t going to let the Man tell him what to do. The story is about Sega Saturn, Dreamcast and MegaDrive as they enter a school. Look man, don’t you question the creative genius. He did gdgd fairies. He knows what he’s doing.
Selector Spread Wixoss
Split-cour: An anime where the it takes a 3 month break between ‘seasons’, almost always after the halfway point. Wixoss is one such show. I never watched it because I have my steady “don’t watch JC Staff anime” rule, but it sounded sorta interesting in what I read from reviews, if admittedly in highly flawed ways. It was obviously taking cues from Madoka, but it sounded like it was taking interesting cues that improved their own show. Although the fact that it’s an anime about a trading card game also kept me away.
Since the show ended, I’ve actually found my opinions of Psycho Pass have gone up quite a lot. I always liked the show, but when they went and announced the sequel and how pumped I got at seeing new badass Akane made me realise how much it had really stuck with me. It’s real proper cyberpunk with proper depth and a fantastic lead character who goes through a meaningful character arc. I hope they don’t fuck this up though. Don’t fuck up Akane’s character arc.
It’s an anime where it is required for fit boys to wear tight pants and stick their sweaty shapely bums in the air and wave them from side to side. Of course more of it was going to be made.
Gundam Build Fighters Try
Try as in try to get people to care about Gunpla doh ho ho I’m so funny.
Chaika the Coffin Princess
Log Horizon 2
[the promo art for the second season was so awful that I’m just going to make farting noises with my mouth instead. Farrrrrttt]
This just proves my theory about Buddy Complex’s creation. It sold nothing, yet still got a second season. The only reasonable reason for this is that Buddy Complex was just one day mysteriously generated inside Sunrise studios when a critical mass of mecha anime were created. Nobody knows where it came from. Nobody created it. If you make enough mecha anime, the remaining unused pieces gather in corners to eventually create this amorphous blob that is Buddy Complex.
Knights of Sidonia
Remember when in the Psycho Pass segment I said that the more time passes, the more I look back fondly on my time with Psycho Pass? Knights of Sidonia is the opposite. I sure enjoyed watching it, but the more I think back on my time with it, the less of the good things I remember and the more I remember Harem of Sidonia and its completely flat characters. And that was barely 2 months ago. Maybe putting it back on air will jog my memory of the parts I liked.
Movies and Specials
Normally I have a proper section here, but the only movies being released on home video are from existing franchises so there’s nothing interesting to say about them. There will be a Sora no Otoshimono movie (remember the one about flying knickers), a Tamako Market movie (kyoani sux lol), a Bodacious Space Pirates movie (remember when a bunch of people said that would be the next big thing) and an Idolm@ster movie (because anime needs more idol shows). These will be released on home video over the next 3 months. Hurrah for pirating.