19 CommentsUpcoming Seasons / By Scamp /

Fall 2016 Anime Season Preview

thunderbolt-fantasy004Anime blog? No, this is a Taiwanese puppet drama blog now.

Welcome to The Cart Driver’s slightly late Fall 2016 Anime Season Preview. You may only declare this blog dead when a new season passes with no season preview. Plus this season looks all right. It has a gay Russian figure skating, bikini-clad boob wrestling, bisexual prison escapades, hot sculpted rugby rear ends, and an anime featuring Mozart with a giant pink braided ponytail. No Taiwanese puppet dramas but I suppose not every season can be 10/10 Best Season Ever.

Occultic;Nine

imageIt’s by the author of Steins;Gate (yay). Who also wrote Robotics;Notes (not so yay), and Chaos;Head (booo). So that’s a 33% hit record for the semi colon series, not super high so far. I’m increasingly tempted to think that it was the directing that made Steins;Gate work for me. The oppressive atmosphere and the way it was shot all framed perfectly with Okarin’s view of the world. It was kind of expertly done that has become even more impressive to me in retrospect. Whether Occultic;Nine will be like that we shall have to see, but early signs aren’t particularly strong. The trailer features oversized bouncy breasts and manic pacing like its biggest inspiration was Punchline. Director’s main works have been Lance n Masques and Your Lie in April, neither of which I’m exactly a fan of, although perhaps in both cases I can put that down to source material. I’ll have my eye on this at least because I still really like Steins;Gate, but that trailer put me off massively.

Drifters

imageThis is my totally obvious hit of the season and something I have had my eyes on for years. The author of Hellsing writes a story about historical warriors in interdimensional eternal battle. Oh, and the anime version is being done by the director of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. That to me seems too easy a sell for me. So here’s me reigning in my hype train as I look for reasons to be worried. The studio is Hoods Studio whose main previous anime are ones that either involved boob sucking or boob mutilation as their main plot points (Quasar of Stigmata and Manyuu Hikenchou respectively). Admittedly studio doesn’t really mean too much when all the staff are different, but I don’t recall the actual technical animation quality being great in either of those anyway. The second worrying thing is that after Hellsing Ultimate I think I might actually not like this author once I get too far into their stories. Hellsing’s relentless violence porn as the author masturbated to Nazi imagery flicked a switch in my head at a certain point where all the other merits I had really loved Hellsing for before then just stopped being relevant. I don’t know if Drifters falls into that region too, but I can see from the plot description how it might. On the other hand, the opening parts of Hellsing that I like, I absolutely fucking love. So hey, I can at least tentatively stay hyped for now.

Keijo!!!!!!!!

imageSome genius of a man invented a sport in which women in bikinis whack their boobs and butts off each other on top of floating stands in swimming pools and then drew a manga based off that sport. Give them a Nobel Prize now. Honestly the manga is about as good as a manga about boob and butt bikini wrestling could be, which might sound like damning with faint praise…and yes, it totally is damning with faint praise. But I did kinda enjoy the money-fueled realism of the lead girl and her powerful independence into sticking it to the guy who told her it was too dangerous. It also knew the perfect balance between recognising how dumb it was and yet fully embracing the premise and taking it seriously. It’s being animated by Xebec, which is fitting I suppose. I was hardly expecting Mappa to pick up butt wrestling the animation. I admit I do fully plan to watch this because I appreciate a properly stupid premise being embraced when I see it. The only really criticism I had of the manga was the author’s complete inability to draw a female crotch. They do not bulge! In fact female crotches are specifically known for the complete lack of bulge, unless every single female character in the manga is pre-op transgender, in which case this gives the story a whole crazy new dimension.

Trickster: Edogawa Rampo ‘Shounen Tantei-dan’ Yori

imageEdogawa Rampo stories are Japan’s version of Sherlock Holmes by this stage. Mystery/detective stories that keep getting adapted set in different periods with the same general outline and theme going. This one is set in the future with a bunch of middle school kids solving mysteries and so on. I’m admittedly struggling to find anything particularly notable about this one. The director is a relative novice, although they have worked on some pretty cool anime as an episode director like Madoka and Space Dandy. The trailer looks fairly generic with a bunch of bishies. I haven’t really liked any of the other ‘based off Edogawa Rampo’ stories so perhaps I just don’t like his stories. I keep going back to Rampo Kitan from last year and the girl who always dreamed of being a chair.

Nanbaka

imageSo the story is about a bunch of colouful (both figuratively and literally) folks in jail and their daily lives as they annoy their prison guard. It’s a sitcom that’s made more unique by its….I’m not sure what the word for it is, but when I clicked on the author’s profile and saw they were a full of ganguro complete with the heavy brown face makeup, bleach blonde hair and long ornamental fingernails it all sort of made sense. It’s quite…camp? It’s tumblr humour, not in the “don’t trigger me I identify as a wolf sapiosexual” section of tumblr, but in the sense it’s the kind of humour that you would see in popular tumblr shitposts. Where I’m pretty sure every character is bisexual and wear garish colours. I kinda liked it for its own weirdness. Plus it’s Shinji Takamatsu directing, the guy who did Gintama, Daily Lives of Highschool Boys and School Rumble. Not everything they do hits, but he has enough comedy hits that guarantee I’ll check out what he’s on next, and this feels like a good fit for him.

Yuri!!! on Ice

imageThis is definitely the anime expert’s choice for potential masterpiece of the season, mostly for the director being Saya Yamamoto. The story is about the main character from Parasyte taking up figure skating and getting into intense and very gay rivalries with a bunch of pretty Russian men. Not super high concept or anything unless you’re really into figure skating. It’s a sports show with a more unusual sport at the centre of it. You could replace figure skating with the butt wrestling of Keijo and you wouldn’t necessarily notice the difference. It’s that it’s studio Mapa with Saya Yamamoto really, the director of Michiko to Hatchin and Lupin III Fujitits. My problem with getting excited about this is I didn’t really like either of those anime. I can recognise her talent, sure. A simple glance through her resume throws up some insanely impressive material, from Redline to Death Note to Champloo. Arguably the most impressive things in her resume are the OPs and EDs she’s directed. Arakawa Under the Bridge OP, Psycho Pass OP, Attack on Titan ED. All have super distinct styles and are really cool in their own rights. She definitely has an anime in her that I will love. I’m skeptical that it will be Yuri on Ice, but I’m eager to at least see.

Izetta: The Last Witch

imageI find it amusing how Japan skirts around ever actually depicting WW2 so changes the names around like they’re afraid of copywrite infringement. This is set in 1939 and features the kingdom of Germania invading Europe including the Principality of Elystadt where Izetta lives. She’s from a clan of witches and she’s taking her father’s throne to prepare for the invasion. It all sounds pretty cool as an anime original so far. Trailer animation looks decent, if a little generic. Director hasn’t done much of note, although I personally have a soft spot for the You Are Umasou movie. Where it kinda all fell apart for me was when I saw the person writing the story: Hiroyuki Yoshino. The man behind Guilty Crown. The author of Seikon no Quasar. His resume is just absolute shitfest after shitfest. He has become quite possibly the most dreaded name for me in anime. Like sure, I have issues with Mari Okada, but that’s with a specific type of story she’s drafted to write and I actually find her writing style OK in genres that aren’t overwrought teen dramas. Yoshino though is just bad all the way to the floor yet he keeps getting big name stuff. The first episode has come out and is getting good reviews, but I just can’t get my hopes.

March Comes in Like a Lion

imageIt’s been a long time coming. I remember seeing this on fake charts back in 2008. The author of Honey and Clover finally has her latest manga turned into anime. I’ll admit I never expected it to be adapted by Shaft of all studios, with Shinbo taking personal control over the directing himself. That’s two slightly incongruous elements coming together, but from what I’ve seen from trailers it seems like he’s capturing the feel of the manga just fine. The only part I’m worried about is whether I actually like the manga. I read a bunch of it and never really got a feel for what it’s actually about. Which may be the point, and it’s not like Honey and Clover was specifically about anything either, but it didn’t really grab me. Honey and Clover felt like it at least had more of a hook to get you interested in these characters and situations. Maybe the anime will do a better job at that? Pick a better point to start the story at? Given the fear adaptions have of veering from the source material, probably not.

Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru

imageI remember this game! It came after the massive success of Kancolle with its moe historical boat girls. So another company looked at that, saw a gap in the market, and made a browser game in which you collected moe boys that were personifications of famous swords. Cue 1.5 million players, a huge female following, and two planned anime adaptations later. The second won’t come out until 2017 and will be animated by ufotable, which is the more interesting looking one of the two. This meanwhile is by Dogakobo and is being directed by the bloke responsible for Luck and Logic. Yup, never mind then.

All Out!!

imageYou want some tight, sculpted, rugby asses? I sure as hell know I do! I was fairly impressed by what I read of the All Out manga, and that wasn’t just by the sculpted butts. It’s fairly well written, if admittedly a touch generic, with likable characters. Also rugby! I love rugby! I love seeing sports anime that are about different sports and not about bloody baseball again. It’s being animated by Madhouse and looks pretty good in the trailers, which are all good signs. I hope I’m not building this up too much in my head, but I’m really hoping this is more Haikyuu “actually good shounen sports anime” and not one of the million completely forgettable sports anime that are nearly always about either baseball or soccer (looking at you Ace of Diamond and Knight in the Area).

Kiss Him Not Me

imageAfter reading the first few chapters of the manga I was originally OK on it because there was something entertaining about the main character’s yaoi-fangirl-stare that amused me. But the more time I’ve thought about it, fuck this manga. Going on hunger strike turning you into a beauty queen with delicious boobs instead of a gaunt figure of depression? Sure, healthy message right there. Load of wish-fulfillment rubbish in which a bunch of interchangeable bishies all suddenly fall for you overnight. Brains Base have kinda fallen apart in the last few years. I guess all the staff that made the likes of Baccano, Durarara, Natsume, Penguindrum and Spice and Wolf have long since left.

Poco’s Udon World

imageHave you noticed this sort-of trend of single men raising kids? With Bunny Drop a few years ago I figured it was a josei thing but Sweetness and Lightning and now Poco’s Udon World ran in seinen magazines. I wonder if this is a reaction to trends in Japan? Young adults aren’t getting married and getting into relationships and therefore not having children. For young women it’s because they’re expected to leave their career behind and raise a family so they don’t even engage with the idea of getting married and being forced into that lifestyle. Meanwhile young men who harbour dreams of starting a family aren’t getting that opportunity anymore. Hence the single dad manga genre raises in popularity because it’s wish-fulfillment. A very specific form of wish-fulfillment, far cry from the harem-fests that we associate that term with, but it’s still the fulfillment of a specific wish that young men aren’t having fulfilled anymore.

The Great Passage

imageNoitamina making anime that feel Noitamina again, which is nice. A story about two blokes making a dictionary together? Not exactly the thrill ride that gets people leaping out of their chairs but definitely fits the non-standard approach Noitamina felt like it was missing for a few years. Not that avoiding light novel adaptations automatically makes for a better anime, but I still prefer the interesting failure of something like Everything Becomes F. Please, no more seasons where the two Noitamina anime are Guilty Crown and Black Rock Shooter. My scars are still visible. As for The Great Passage, I dunno, staff and studio aren’t particularly notable, but the trailer looks all right so hey why not.

Magical Girl Raising Project

imageI’ve had my eyes on this one for a while now. It’s super obviously inspired by Madoka Magica, starting out as a light novel series in the summer of 2012. My theory behind why this might not be total cash-in on a trend is that it kept running for several volumes and Madoka is old news now by anime standards. I just happen to like the premise. A phone app gives girls the chance to turn into magical girls and they all be happy and stuff, until one day the app says we have too many magical girls and you have to half your numbers by taking each other out. I like to think of it as a metaphor for the job market, being told you can follow your dreams and get your perfect position only for market forces to change and suddenly you have to backstab your colleagues to keep your position. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

Luger Code 1951

imageThis was the winner of some kind of Shounen Jump manga short story award and now it’s getting an anime. Having read some of the manga, I can only assume the other entries were all To-Love-Ru knockoffs or something because this wasn’t particularly impressive by any stretch. It’s got a reasonably unique premise, being set post-WW2 and features a genius code cracker trying to decipher werewolf code. But in practice it ended up as a bunch of teenagers playing war while we got upskirt shots of wolf girls.

Girlish Number

imageThis is trying to be the Shirobako of the seiyuu industry in the same way New Game was the Shirobako of the doujin game industry. Which I personally like as a general concept. I was all ready to be dismissive after the title and promo image being just a bunch of generic moe blobs, but then I watched the trailer which just featured a bunch of blokes in a shady bar discussing upcoming seiyuu and figured maybe this was going to be more true to its word of being actually about the industry. Heck, Shirobako’s promo materials are a bunch of generic anime girls too and the plot description talks about college students which is a plus. The person credited with writing the story is the author of Love Com SNAFU which I personally don’t like, but that had more to do with me not liking Catcher in the Rye which Love Com SNAFU basically is, and I’ve since learned to sort of begrudgingly respect that series from a distance. So yeah, for something I went into writing this preview expecting to be mockingly dismissive of, I’m now actually willing to give it a fair shake. See, I’m not all hate and cynicism here!

Stella no Mahou

image4-koma adaptation about cute girls in a club and blibble blibble blibble blibble

Flip Flappers

imageA bunch of the sakuga fans I follow have gotten themselves hyped for this one, and yeah I suppose the trailer features neat fluid animation and nice colours. The staff are some prodigies and this is an anime original project with a brand new studio which is all exciting and stuff. But…I mean, those character designs are horrible! Their eyes are too big and off-putting. The plot description is just some nonsense about two magical girls finding magic shards. There’s just so many things I find vaguely off-putting about it that I just can’t bring myself to care that the animation is especially fluid and colourful. I mean I’ll probably give it a shot since I usually give anime original stuff a shot but those goddamn horrible character designs. For something where the visuals are such a huge draw, that’s kind of a killer for me.

ClassicaLoid

imageMozart has a long pink braided ponytail. This anime will be amazing. It’s about magical composers doing magical shit. It is being directed by the guy behind Osomatsu-san. Anime of the Season right here. Don’t doubt me on this, just watch it.

Long Riders

imageCute girls join a bike club. It claims they are university students even though they look 14 years old but OK. I suppose the trailer isn’t full of boobs, but in general I feel like lots of tits and ass in anime has kinda dropped off a bit recently, since that isn’t moe, a trend I’m kinda OK with. Which is amusing considering this director did Monster Musume. Also when I saw dropped off a bit, I mean that in the sense that it’s no longer literally half the anime coming out next season. Something that apparently caused Yamakan to claim anime is dead. Pantyshots were the only thing keeping anime alive.

Magic Kyun Rennaisance

imageA phone game adaptation about a magical school full of bishies with colour co-orindated hair. To think that after Bahamut I got excited about the potential freedom phone game adaptations gave animators. I feel pretty stupid now.

Matoi the Sacred Slayer

imageIt’s a magical girl show that doesn’t appear to have any unique selling points? Director did Needless and Strawberry Panic so maybe there will be lesbians, which would at least be something notable….sorry guys, I’m struggling. It’s anime original so I suppose anything could happen. Yeah, let’s go with that.

Idol Memories

80935lPhone game companies looking at all the money and success had by Love Live School Idol Festival so decide to launch their own anime with a phone game on the side featuring idols. I would say I’m done with the idol craze by now, but since I was never on board from the start, it has instead become a fun thing to watch the gold rush from a distance. Just so long as they don’t start putting idols in genres I like we’re cool. Like, could you imagine idols in mecha anime? Pah, imagine such a ridiculous thing. I’m so glad mecha anime have never had something like that. Nope, definitely never been a thing.

Ping Pong Girl

imageA bunch of middle school girls get so into playing ping pong that they all turn lesbian and orgasm at the table. At least that’s what I got from reading the manga. It reminded me of Saki, that mahjong anime from a few years ago. Not really my sort of thing and rather overly obsessed with everyone pointing out how cute each other looks, but clearly caring enough about the sport and in having a coherent plot to be kind of engaging.

A whole bunch of shorts

imageYou know me, I’m usually willing to give some of the weirder looking shorts the time of day, but looking through the batch from this season seems grim. There’s a lot of generic-looking phone game adaptations or stodgily-animated Chinese co-productions, and I’ve learned to not trust co-productions unless they involve puppets. Thunderbolt Fantasy anime of the year. On the other hand, Gakuen Handsome is coming out. Thunderbolt Fantasy has competition.

Sequels

Haikyuu: I’m a little worried given that it’s one game lasting the entire season. On the one hand the games are always the best parts of Haikyuu. On the other hand I’m really worried it will drag the pacing down horribly.

Natsume Yuujinchou: Natsume was the first anime I blogged about on a regular basis back in 2008. I’ve been around for a while I guess. I’ve admittedly never been that crazy on Natsume and the only thing that would get me super hyped for a new season would be if they said this was the final season and they would wrap things up, but since I’ve watched every other Natsume season and still generally enjoyed them I will probably be continuing anyway.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans: I have supremely mixed feelings on Iron Blooded Orphans but it’s ambitious enough that the parts I like I really, really like. Enough to keep me coming back. Just please, less harem spaceships please.

Those are the sequels I’m personally interested in, and there’s not much point in previewing the other sequels since you already know if you’re interested in them or not. There’s more Ajin (I’m still annoyed that they made in bad CG), Sound Euphonium, Bubuki Buranki, Bunghole Stray Dogs, Uta no Prince Sama, Working, Wixoss, Strike Witches (they’ve called this season Brave Witches but don’t be fooled), Show By Rock, and My Wife is the Student Council President. Of those the only one I’m keeping half an eye on is Wixoss since it looks like it’s an entirely new cast of characters, so it could be another EVOL and be amazing. But this season preview has been long so I’ll just leave that to be a surprise.

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19 Comments

  1. GoukaRyuu
    Posted October 3, 2016 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    “See, I’m not all hate and cynicism here!”

    Scamp! What has writing for MAL done to you?!

    • Scamp
      Posted October 3, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      It has made me a better man.

      or well, at least a better paid one

  2. Kiseki
    Posted October 3, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    B-but Sora no Woto was good! Mostly. Its setting was. So I can at least trust Yoshino on that. Maybe.

    A lot of people think the ufo adaption of sword boys will be better since it’s going to be the serious one, but can you reeeeeaally count on that after the shit that went down in the ship girls adaption? (These games only have bare bones stories after all.) I’m still betting on the cute boys doing cute things adaption.

    Going on hunger strike turning you into a beauty queen with delicious boobs instead of a gaunt figure of depression?

    To be fair, it’s meant to be unreasonably ridiculous. At one point, she gains the weight back as quickly as she lost it.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 3, 2016 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Hmmm I can kinda see where you’re going with why the ufotable might be the worse one. Can’t say I’m immediately interested in either mind you and I suppose it’s not like I’ve ever really liked something by ufotable in the past.

  3. Ibri
    Posted October 3, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    “A phone game adaptation about a magical school full of bishies with colour co-orindated hair. To think that after Bahamut I got excited about the potential freedom phone game adaptations gave animators. I feel pretty stupid now.”

    Yeah freedom means they could potentially do something interesting, but original works are even more free (with this you still have to have some connection to the game) and still plenty of them suck.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 3, 2016 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Yes but I feel the hit-rate with anime original properties is higher than that of anything else

  4. Shinmaru
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    If I were still here, you would’ve highlighted the pro wrestling anime!

    • Scamp
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Maybe I did it deliberately to get your attention

      kyaaa senpai noticed me

  5. Outcast
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I was going to correct you by pointing out that it’s “copyright” not “copywrite” and then undercut my asshole-ry by looping it round to some joke about being a grammar nazi, which would have been especially pertinent what with that paragraph being about WW2. But then I realized it wasn’t a grammatical error and this paragraph has no point and was a waste of your time.

    Am I the only one who thinks the characters in girlish number look like high school students despite being college students? Considering Scamp said nothing about it, I’m guessing it’s just me.

    I was interested in Magical Girl Raising Project when I read the premise a few days ago, but from the stills I’ve seen of episode 1, I feel I’m going to give this one a pass.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      I actually liked the first ep of Magical Girl Raising Project. However if you’re not a crazy person who requires sticking with every anime as they come out on a weekly basis, I’d recommend maybe waiting a few eps to see if people are still on board as it could quickly go to shit

      • Outcast
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I’m sure the content might be fine, it’s just the characters look WAY too young for me to the comfortable with the fanservice-y outfit one of the girls was wearing or for the panty shot towards the end.

        Anyway, if it ends up being good I might come around to it at some point. I still have to finish 91 Days from the previous season anyway.

  6. Gan_HOPE326
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Izetta seems actually pretty good from Episode 1, but the store-brand naming of WW2 Europe is just hilarious. As for Magical Girl Raising Project, I found episode 1 surprisingly good. Not masterpiece material but I can jump on board of this train.

    Of course still waiting for the big hits. 3-gatsu, Drifters, and of course Classicaloid. I too can recognise a masterpiece when I see one.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      I was a bit wary of Izetta but I liked the final 5 mins of episode 1 quite a lot. Will probably write something on a couple of the opening episodes. God it feels weird to blog again

  7. Ken
    Posted October 5, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I wasn’t sure I wanted to see another season of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans. But I watched the first episode anyway and WOW! IT’S SO GOOD TO SEE THEM BACK AGAIN!

    I’m also looking forward to Euphonium #2.

    And Scamp, did you catch the first OVA of The Ancient Magus’ Bride? It was so good I had to start reading the manga (something I almost never do.)

    • Scamp
      Posted October 5, 2016 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      I did indeed watch Ancient Magus’ Bride and quite enjoyed it. I believe plenty of others have mentioned this, but it had a very Ghibli-feel to it. I wasn’t expecting it to be quite as s’life as it turned out being

  8. Mormegil
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    This season seems bad so far. AND HAVE YOU SEEN THE INSANE NUMBER OF SHORTS? Has to be more than full-lengths shows this season.

    I’ve given a few of them a shot, and your impressions are right. They aren’t good shorts. Just wacky and weird. But not good wacky and weird. However, I do recommend “To Be Hero.” Since it’s by Shinichi Watanabe.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      I’ve heard Saiki Kuso no Psy Nan is pretty good from last season and it’s got like 7 min episodes. I think for goofy comedies like that, 7 minute episodes are actually preferable as they can get stale if given more time.

      • Mormegil
        Posted October 14, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Saiki’s great.

  9. Nagisa33
    Posted October 9, 2016 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the season preview as always.

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