41 CommentsFantasy Anime League / By Shinmaru /

MAL Will Determine The King of The Cart Driver

This will be Scamp and Inushinde once I am done destroying them.

Hello, friends of The Cart Driver! We’re here to bring to you what will hopefully be a fun series of posts and not something we abandon because we all get bored and/or, god forbid, get a life or something.

Perhaps a few of you have accounts at My Anime List. Even if you do, though, you may not have heard of the Fantasy Anime League group on the site. The long and short of it is that the group takes the basic structure of fantasy sports leagues and applies it to anime. The goal is to guess which anime in a given season (the league usually runs during the spring and fall seasons) will be most popular among MAL users. There’s a bit more to it than that, but look at the club to get all the minutiae behind the game.

We at The Cart Driver of course love to humiliate others, because we’re bitter, awful people. So Scamp, Inushinde and myself have all entered the Fantasy Anime League to determine which among us shall emerge the King of The Cart Driver. (It’ll totally be me, btw.) Every 2-3 weeks or so we’ll check back in on our teams and chat about how awesome we are, the Lelouchesque strategies we are employing and so on. And we invite all of you lovely people to join the league yourselves and match wits against the Masters of Anime! The season starts September 30th, so get your teams in before then! It’s not difficult to keep up with, trust me.

To give you an idea of the sheer amount of thought and planning that goes into the construction of a Fantasy Anime League team, we’ll present our teams and strategies, because when you are trying to defeat people, giving out pro tips by the handful is obviously the thing to do.

Scamp’s Team

  • Little Busters
  • Chuunibyou
  • K
  • Magi
  • Tonari no Kaibutsu
  • Psycho Pass (bench)
  • Robotic;Notes (bench)

Little Busters and Chuunibyou are the obvious picks for the season. MAL loves KyoAni almost as much as they love Key. Little Busters could crash and burn horribly. In fact, there’s a very high probability that it will, but FAL relies on viewers, not critical acclaim. So even if Little Busters does crash, it will still have plenty of people watching it, and I can always sub it out if everyone bails towards the end. Beyond there things get a little bit trickier. K is a bit of a wildcard choice, despite the hype its receiving. Original anime usually are hard to predict. When in doubt though, bet on bishies and pretty animation, which is about the only thing we know K will have.

When it comes to shounen, Magi has lower anticipation numbers on the site next to Bakuman 3 and Code:Breaker, but I’m banking on Magi’s shirtless dudes, flashy looking promo material and better manga reviews to prop it above the other two. I’ve been burned picking sequels before, so I’m betting 2 previous seasons of Bakuman will prevent it from raising too high. With Code:Breaker, the more early-00’s art and poor manga reviews lead me to believe it won’t get the same fervour Magi will. As for Shoujo, I’m hoping that the more traditional flowery shoujo of Kamisama Kiss won’t get the same broad appeal of Brains Base working on Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun.

Oh yeah, and the two Noitamina. Protip for FAL: Put Noitamina anime on the bench. Because they always air late into the season, you don’t want them on your team in the first week because they won’t get any points while those that do air will while sitting forlornly on your bench. Issue here is they’ve introduced a new rule that you can only make a substitute every 3 weeks. So I can’t sub in both Noitamina in week 2. It’s a risky move on my part, but I have a feeling one of the two Noitamina won’t take off. It’s just a gamble to see which one does by the time the second week comes around.

Shinmaru’s team

  • Bakuman S3
  • Robotics;Notes
  • Code:Breaker
  • Little Busters!
  • That KyoAni anime that isn’t Little Busters! because J.C. Staff is doing Little Busters!
  • K (bench)
  • Psycho-Pass (bench)

I’m taking a few chances with my team. Sequels can sometimes be sketchy, because there will be inevitable dropoff from season to season. However, Bakuman’s second season had a respectable viewer count, and I’m banking on season three retaining much of that viewership. If you stick around for season two of a crap show, then you’re going to watch season three, yeah? Robotics;Notes is also a gamble because, as Scamp mentioned, it won’t be scored for the first week. However, I am so confident in my team that I decided to give everyone else a handicap and definitely didn’t neglect to take airing dates into consideration.

With Code:Breaker, I liked the number of people reading the manga. As Sword Art Online shows, fans of a series being adapted from one medium to another will show up in DROVES to bitch and complain every week. I laugh at Scamp thinking people actually care about bad reviews. Sword Art Online posts are the most popular episodics on this site, you fool! Little Busters! is a no-brainer. People will watch and weep every week while we at The Cart Driver hold ourselves back from showering the blog in vomit from our gagging. And, of course, people adore KyoAni so Chuu2etc. is a double no-brainer.

I’m having a bit of trouble gauging K, so it’s going on my bench for now even though there’s a solid amount of hype behind it. All we know is that it looks super pretty. Psycho-Pass is another potential heavy-hitter. The hype building behind the creative team is solid, but I’d like to see an episode or two first before I commit more than a bench spot.

Inushinde’s Team

  • Little Busters
  • Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai
  • Shinsekai Yori
  • Robotics;Notes
  • K
  • Kamisama Hajimemashita (Bench)
  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (Bench)

A good way to judge how popular a show’s going to be on MAL is to see just how many favorites it has before it’s even aired. Even though Little Busters isn’t going to be adapted by KyoAni, it’s still undoubtedly going to be one of, if not the most watched show of the season, due to Key adaptations garnering at times inexplicable amounts of attention. A roster without Little Busters has no chance of winning, in other words.

As for Chuuni, it’s about somebody trying to cope with his chuunibyou past, but with a sense of self awareness about it, two things that sell anime like hotcakes to weebs and otaku the world over. That, and it’s KyoAni’s hound in this particular race track, so that almost guarantees the same popularity as Little Busters. Similarly, Robotics;Notes and K combine things that get your average anime fan drooling over their Pico dakimakuras, so these are safe, if uninteresting choices. Yeah, Robotics;Notes is a late bloomer, but if it doesn’t end up one of the most popular I’m going to be legitimately surprised. As for K… well, beauty sells, and this is fucking gorgeous. I mean people watched Guilty Crown, after all.

Something that I’ve seen very little of in terms of picks is Shinsekai Yori, which confuses me. It has children and teenagers with psychic powers, which I assume panders to the chuunibyou fantasy in all of us enough to warrant a tidal wave of popularity.

My last two choices, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Kamisama Hajimemashita are risks, hence being benched, but the power of bishounen is not to be underestimated even by the most seasoned FAL participant. The Season of the Chuunibyou is upon us, and I shall claim the crown as the FAL Champion of The Cart Driver.

Hopefully this is not you, The Reader, right now.

And there you have it! We’re all ready to have fun, yeah? At least, until the end when the winner is clear and showers the site with his gloating while the two losers figure out the cheapest way to hire someone to commit a murder. Then maybe not so fun!

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  1. Anca
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I had the same list as Scamp, except with To Love Ru instead of Magi. It has its fair share of risks, but I’m banking on it being porn that sells.

    And I was waiting for this post ever since I noticed all three of your names entered a few days ago.

    • Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      I thought about To Love Ru, but I thought Bakuman had more upside as a sequel since it’s much more recent.

  2. Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I posted my choices on Twitter already, but if you haven’t seen them, I’ll soon be making a post to detail my choices that is totally not going to rip off your post in any way.

    But yeah, LB and the KyoAni show are definitely on there, and that’s not helped by the fact that I’m watching them too.

    • Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      We’ll see how much of my own list I actually watch.

  3. Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    This season is going to be so awesome, that I have to stop reading that blog for that time, lest you not taint my mind with your awful cynicism.

    So long!

    • Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      OK, see you later! We’ll try to let you know when our awful opinions aren’t tainting things.

      For serious, though, I think the fall season will be cool, although I have low standards. Give me a few cool shows and I’m totally fine.

    • Chipp
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      I suggest you to read this blog then:

  4. Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Little Busters
    Chuunibyou KyoAni
    Bakuman 3
    Tonari no Kaibutsu
    Code:Breaker (bench)
    Robotic;Notes (bench)

    Not much to add since our teams are so similar, but I have a few more notes:
    Although Bakuman is capped by # of viewers of the 2nd season, sequels of well liked shows always rate higher than their predecessors. Bakuman likely won’t be the most popular, but I anticipate decent numbers and boosts on ratings weeks.

    Code:Breaker will get big numbers, but I’m benching it initially because it airs so late in the 1st week. Tonari begins earlier and had a great trailer, so it starts over C:B. However I fully anticipate swapping in C:B for something after the 1st or 2nd week.

    The last spot has to go to one highly anticipated Noitamina show. Unlike K, which has a spiffy trailer and prescreened some episodes already, Psycho-Pass holding back material makes me wary.

    I actually don’t think Robotic;Notes will be all that popular; the trailer seemed slow and ponderous and the material comes across as mundane. I perceive that its hype comes almost entirely from the reception of Steins;Gate. Still, its preseason numbers are too high to ignore, so I want to have it on my bench just in case.

    The thing about FAL is that all the important action happens in the first 4-5 weeks, when the shows ultimately crystallize into their rankings. But the mandatory wait between swaps means you have to really think about your early season strategy before you send in your registration.

  5. Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    “. . . the trailer seemed slow and ponderous and the material comes across as mundane.”

    As if that actually matters when it comes to what’s popular!

  6. Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Jormungand 2 Perfect Order
    Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
    Robotics; Notes
    Zetsuen no Tempest (Benched)
    Shinsekai Yori (Benched)

    Pshyco-pass and Robotics; Notes seemed like the safest bets for the first week considering how high profile they are right now. I doubt it will last but they should provide a week or two of high points.

    K is probably the biggest risk on my team but I suspect that it too will be strong in the first week. All those bishies running around has got to get the female fandom.

    Shin Sekai Yori and Tempest are on my bench as series that will pick up steam later on in the season. Tempest will wow people after a few weeks, when the story actually picks up.

    Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun should eclipse the other shoujo’s and its preview should get a lot of people watching out of curiosity.

    In hindsight I should have chosen Bakuman 3 over Jormungand 2 but I though Jormungand had more potential.

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:53 am | Permalink

      In my opinion, that Jormungand pick is . . . loco.

  7. Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    1. Psycho-Pass
    2. Little Busters
    3. Girls Und Panzer
    4. Robotics;Notes
    5. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
    6.Hayate the Combat Butler! Cant Take My Eyes Off You (benched)
    7.Magi (benched)

    I feel guilty for choosing Girls Und Panzer

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

      If your FAL list doesn’t make you at least a little bit guilty, then you’re doing it wrong.

  8. Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    All of your lists suck.

    1. Aikatsu!
    2. Aikatsu!
    3. Aikatsu!
    4. Aikatsu!
    5. Aikatsu!
    6. Aikatsu! [Benched]
    7. Tim Tebow [Benched]

    Children’s card games never fail.

    In all seriousness though, I’m surprised that To Love-Ru: Darkness doesn’t have a spot on most people’s teams. Considering that it’s a rather well established ecchi series, it’s got some real staying power with the general anime audience and a fanbase to fall back on.

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:07 am | Permalink

      FAL has a new rule that limits the number of sequels and shows otherwise based on existing anime properties to 2 on a team. Robotic;Notes, Bakuman, JoJo’s, and To Love-Ru all meet this criteria, so the Cart Driver writers (and myself) picked two of the others. R;B is too hyped to pass on. Bakuman is also a 3rd season, but TLR is farther removed in time from its first 2 seasons and lower rated. JoJo’s is a pretty crazy pick, but Inushinde is a pretty crazy guy.

      • Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:51 am | Permalink

        “Inushinde is a pretty crazy guy” is going to be my explanation for everything Inushinde does.

      • Inushinde
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:32 am | Permalink

        I’d like to see myself as a trailblazer, thank you very much.

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:55 am | Permalink

      You’ve got a winning team, sir!

  9. Taka
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    I want to partake but I would feel a sham if I wasn’t even watching my picks. I has no time for anime. Gonna watch Gintama, Bakuman 3 and Jormungand 2. Possibly other stuff if someone tells me a show is the seasons steins;gate.

    I am rooting for you though sir.

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

      I’ve said before that the perfect FAL list is one in which I’m not watching any of the series, but that’s mostly me being an ass. :p

  10. Rait
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Well guys, you got me hooked. Thanks for the information, it seems to be quite an interesting game.

    Here’s my team:
    Team: Rait

    Little Busters
    Bakuman S3
    K (benched)
    Shinsekai Yori (benched)

  11. Anca
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    You can’t do swaps in Week 1, and a swap in Week 2 takes effect in Week 3. You guys might want to reconsider benching some of those series.

    (I just found out.)

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

      Strategy is for suckers!

  12. Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Oh god my team is the same as 5camp’s. The king won’t change after all.

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink


  13. luffyluffy
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Don’t make fun of Einus.

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      Who’s making fun? That’s a great reaction face!

  14. fathomlessblue
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Team: fathomlessblue
    Little Busters!
    Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
    Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
    Bakuman. 3

    Why do I have this strange feeling that not including Hidamari Sketch will somehow bite me on the ass at a later date? Also, including Bakuman nearly made me physically ill. Mind you, poor taste and MAL do seem to go hand in hand, so this deal with devil will hopefully have benefits.

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

      Hm, never really thought about including Hidamari Sketch. Is this the fourth season or fifth? Seems like it’s too many to think about using, but maybe I’ve just got the blinders on.

  15. Erif
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    You guys are all sure to lose, because you’ve forgotten the ace in the hole: Litchi DE Hikari Club. You cannot escape!

    Also, I wouldn’t count out Zetsuen n o Tempest. BONES and Mari Okada have to amount to something.

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

      I would gladly take a horrible loss if it meant Lychee Light Club were the most popular series of the season.

  16. Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    >MAL determining anything

    Good luck, guys!

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

      Good sir, MAL is a bastion of amazing tas– hahahaha

      yeah I can’t even type that without laughing

      • Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:44 am | Permalink

        That reminds me. I should do another Me vs MyAnimeList Top Anime post sometime.

    • Chipp
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Uh, when did I update my MAL list last time…

  17. DarkEnergy
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    This sounds like so much fun. I can’t wait.

  18. hint
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Shin Sekai Yori, Space Bros and Hunte x Hunter2011
    Makes your FAL turn into GAL!

    …maybe the best shoujo will be Sukitte Iinayo.

  19. Posted September 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know what to say except poor bastards.

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