It’s back. The bi-annual ‘who can predict how bad MALs taste will be this season’ competition Fantasy Anime League has returned. As per usual, the writers for The Cart Driver will be competing. The rules are fairly simple, even easier if you are already familiar with the fantasy sports leagues that dominate sportsball discussion around the world. You pick 7 anime that are airing next season that you think will be the most popular. Whoever picks the team with the most popular anime wins. The rules are all explained over on the MAL page. Submissions close on the 30th (yeah we left this post a bit late) so make sure you get your team in as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to take part. I might crush you as I always do, but you should at the very least beat Inushinde.
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
Gokukoku no Brynhildr
Mushishi Zoku Shou
Mekaku City Actors
Not picking No Game No Life ended up being a really tough decision. I didn’t want too many late-airing anime because I already had Mekaku City Actors and didn’t want to suffer. I hope not picking No Game No Life won’t come back to bite me. I ultimately went for Black Bullet over it simply because Black Bullet airs one day earlier. Haikyuu is a real gamble too because sports anime don’t tend to do that well on FAL. However shounen jump plus fujoshi giving it a high score might push it higher this time around. It worked for Kuroko and high scoring anime are given more emphasis these days. This, incidentally, is why I went for Mushishi. It won’t get anywhere near the numbers the first season has on MAL for viewing figures, but it will completely destroy everything else with its high score which will start to be a real points boon towards the end. It could be replaced with Stardust Crusaders for similar effect, but you get limited swaps and I don’t want to be stuck in a position where I can’t swap effectively.
The rest of my choices were much easier. Mahouka will destroy everything in its path. Mekaku City Actors may have been a dark horse for top points scorer this season if it didn’t happen to be the last anime to air. Kenzen Robo Daimidal is admittedly a total wildcard that I picked purely on the basis of its amazing website. Brynhildr comes from the same legacy as Elfen Lied and Deadman Wonderland so I’m hoping it will pull in similar numbers, albeit I am worried about how its inevitable terrible score might damage it. It will become this season’s Coppelion. Then again, that’s why I’ve got Mushishi there to compensate. Tactical swapping may end up being my key to success this season. I think I do stand a chance. At least if I don’t win, I’ll be happy if I beat Shinmaru.
Akuma no Riddle
Gokukoku no Brynhildr
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
No Game No Life
I am writing this while sick and hungry, so apologies if my reasoning is crap. (This will not be used as an excuse if I get my ass kicked this season.) Had a tough choice between Haikyuu!! and Mushishi for the final spot on my team. Scamp’s point about Mushishi’s score is certainly relevant — I would not be shocked if it got at least an 8.5 and edged toward 9 territory. (The first season has an 8.81 as of this writing.) My concern is whether it will have enough viewers to make it a force outside of those weeks where score is counted. One more week to flex that score muscle is pretty big, though, and admittedly I had the same concerns about Kuroko, which ended up biting me in the ass. I do think Kuroko benefitted from airing in a relatively weak season where the top shows in viewers didn’t dominate like, say, Attack on Titan. I dunno, I think Haikyuu!! could get a similar boost (though likely not to that level) while having the stigma of having to watch something before checking out the new season of a series (whether true or not). This is also why I never considered putting JoJo on my team, as sad as that makes me.
Everything else was a pretty easy choice. Plan to watch stats are definitely not a golden indicator of how many people will watch something (you usually get one or two surprises a season), but they’re at least OK for showing what’s on the radar. Mahouka, Mekakucity and Black Bullet have a lot of people at least willing to give it a shot. Hopefully that makes up for Mekakucity airing pretty late — good bench anime! There seem to be a lot of shows with some air of mystery in the synopsis, and I think Brynhildr is most likely to make people latch on. No Game No Life is there because I need to have a different team than Scamp. There are so many seemingly obvious picks this season …
Also, my Week 1 is going to suck hard. I think I have one show airing, haha. At least it will be easy to guess the Ace!
Kutsushita ga Daru Daru ni Nacchau Wake: Imadoki Youkai Zukan
Abarenbou Kishi!! Matsutarou
Cardfight!! Vanguard: Legion Mate-hen
In FAL, there’s no such thing as a team that’s guaranteed to give you the number one spot. Gauging what MAL likes is an infuriating exercise in futility, and I’m not just saying that because I put Shinsekai Yori toward the top of my ballot in 2012, which everybody suddenly decided was really really good and worth mass-watching after it could have helped me. It’s easier to guess what they won’t jump on, though the art in aiming for last place is finding absolute dreck that even MAL doesn’t want to touch. And boy does the spring season look to deliver.
If a guaranteed, perfectly safe last place is possible, I think this season has given it to me in the form of six kids’ shows/flash shorts, and a sumo one that nobody gives a shit about. Considering that most of these show interested potential viewers in triple digits, if not double, I’d say that the Bottom wo Nerae is back, and more real than ever.
We’re not holding a competition this year. Sorry guys, but I think Shinmaru might stab someone if he was made to blog something like Sakura Trick again, possibly himself. By all means though we’ll continue posting the Cart Driver’s commenter league each week if you want to take part. Just post your MAL username in the comments section on this post after you’ve entered and you’ll be part of the Cart Driver Commenters League. Maybe I’ll come up with a prize later. You can choose which magical girl I cosplay as or something like that.