Ah, the humble season preview. Nothing takes more time to compile nor attract as many hits. I’ve been doing them for the past 6 seasons now so I like to think I’m pretty damn good at predicting what will be the big hits of upcoming seasons. Heck, I even have proof.
Fantasy Anime League (FAL). Predict what will be the biggest hits of the season and earn points based on their popularity. Out of 186 competitors I came in second place. So yeah, I like to think I’m pretty good at this prediction thing.
I completely encourage anyone to link this preview on a forum or wherever but for gods sake do NOT copy and paste the entire thing onto a forum or your own website. I swear, this happens more often than you might think.
Senko no Night Raid
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Additional Info: Second anime to air in the Anime no Chikara timslot, a timeslot devoted to anime original projects
Synopsis: The story is set in Shanghai in 1931, when the Imperial Japanese Army has been dispatched to mainland China due to the relatively recent First Sino-Japanese War, Russo-Japanese War, and World War I. In this cosmopolitan city of intrigue, there is a special military spy organization called “Sakurai Kikan” that has since been buried in history.
Thoughts: Really looking forward to this myself. A-1 and Aniplex have had a slow but relatively successful start with this Anime ne Chikara project of theirs with Sora no Woto but this show looks to be much more up my alley. It’s going to be interesting to see how well they sidestep the potential dangers of positive portrayal of this period of history seeing as how the Japanese did some pretty horrible stuff. Now the staff behind this don’t exactly fill me with joy but anime original projects are always worth keeping an eye on.
Additional Info: Based off Marvel Comic Book. 12 episodes long
Synopsis: Guy builds suit and whoops some badguys ass. Pretty cool stuff eh~
Thoughts: Probably the best part of this project is that Madhouse have been given total freedom to adapt this story as they wish. Now I wasn’t that big of a fan of the movie but the story was indeed an interesting one. Plus just watch that trailer. After a miserable 2009, this is Madhouse back on form with some slick animation. There’s not a whole lot of info on this out there but the name Madhouse combined with the promise of action always gets my interest up.
Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei
Additional Info: Airing in the Noitamina timeslot. Based off novel and directed by Masaaki Yuasa (Kaiba, Mind Game)
Synopsis: The 2005 novel follows a nameless protagonist who is a third-year college student. The protagnoist looks back at the earlier years of his college life and his adventures with a particular circle
Thoughts: Yuasa is a nutter. Watch his anime and you will see a crazed mind at work. But with each project he makes he gradually gains control of that clearly brilliant mind of his. I personally thought we’ve seen the best out of him with Kaiba and that was his own creation. What makes me interested in this project though is that he is restricted by both the fact he’s been given source material and the fact it’s a slice-of-life series. This is normally a negative strike but restrictions is exactly what the guy needs. Give him restrictions and he’ll crate a masterpiece. I’ve also heard that this novel is a damn fine book as well. Plus it’s Noitamina! In fact, this is my most anticipated anime of the season, although I’m certain that the wacky art style will turn off most people so I’m sure you’ll see plenty of elitist blogs complaining that nobody is watching this. And you should watch this because there is nothing greater than obscure Madhouse anime. Ah, isn’t it great to see Madhouse back on form~
Arakawa Under the Bridge
Additional Info: Based off manga by the same author of Saint Young Men
Synopsis: The story is about the strange courtship of a successful executive in life called Kou and a mysterious woman called Nino who lives under a bridge. It all begins when Kou almost drowns in a river but is saved by Nino. For saving his life, Kou fulfills Nino’s desire to have a boyfriend. Thus, Kou becomes her boyfriend, but has to live with her under the bridge…
Thoughts: On one hand, I’m getting kinda sick of Shaft. Bakemonogatari is looking more and more like a one-hit wonder. On the other hand, fuck that, this is going to rock! I’ve read a few chapters and this is one of the most bizarrely hilarious pieces in existence and one of the few pieces out there that could probably improve with Shinbo and Shaft at the helm. I hesitate to say this because Shaft have let me down in the past, but this could just be the next great anime comedy.
Additional Info: Based off manga
Synopsis: The story of are seven teenagers in 1955, who have to learn to live together in the same hold in the reformatory of Shio. Confined in a hall where suffering and humiliation are daily, they are waiting for a ray of hope in a dark, incarcerating world. It follows their life together and how they move on afterwards.
Scamp: I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance of this airing this season and even if it does then there’s a 50/50 chance of it getting fansubbed. So I’m not getting my hopes up too high for now. The manga is one of the all-time best selling mangas worldwide and I assume there’s a reason for that. If it does air I’m going to assume the elitists of the anime world are going to sing its praises and whine that it’s not more popular. Meh, I have rather strong elitist tendencies so I’m moderately excited.
House of Five Leaves
Additional Info: Airing in Noitamina timeslot. Based off manga
Synopsis: The manga follows the lives of the House of Five Leaves gang members in Edo-era Japan during the height of the shoguns rule. In particular, the masterless samurai Akitsu Masanosuke finds himself desperate for work after being let go by one lord after another for his naïvety. He becomes the bodyguard of the House of Five Leaves gang’s charismatic leader Yaichi and discovers there is more to the gang leader than his criminal activities would suggest.
Scamp: First of all, it’s Noitamina. Anything in Noitamina deserves to be looked at after its track record. Secondly, it’s Manglobe animating Samurai’s. Hmmm, where have we seen that before? This isn’t going to be as action packed as Champloo though and the animation looks far from conventional. After their blip in the road of Sacred Blacksmith, it’s good to see Manglobe doing something proper for a change. I hesitate to get my hopes up too much for this because the author also wrote Ristorante Paradiso, one of the most yawn-inducing anime of recent times. Still, this is Manglobe X Noitamina. Must always remember the Noitamina tag.
Additional Info: Based off manga by Stan Lee (Spiderman and x-men creator)
Synopsis: The story will center on a boy named Joey who discovers a toy robot near the west coast of the United States. Then, the toy becomes Hero Man, a giant robot that Joey pilots against evil threats.
Thoughts: I can’t be the only one out there that can’t take this seriously, can I? I mean look at that robot. It has the star spangled banner tattooed on everywhere and a plot description that sounds like the most generic piece of crap ever made. Why the hell are you working on this Bones? Are they trying to appeal to an American audience here? Please don’t tell me Americans are gullible enough to buy into this shite.
Studio: P.A Works
Additional Info: Original Anime Production by Jun Maeda, writer of Key Visual Novels (Air, Clannad)
Synopsis: In a world after death, angels fight for their fate and their future. Yuri, the leader of the Shinda Sekai Sensen, rebels against the god who destined her to have an unreasonable life. On the otherhand, Tenshi, the chairperson of the student council for the world after death, battles against the SSS members. SSS members utilize armed weaponry to battle it out against the angels harnessing supernatural powers.
Thoughts: In a season where I’ve found myself laughing in the face of moe fans because of the relative lack of moe shows this season, this is the one that moefags are placing their hopes on. To be honest, I don’t blame them. Even I’m kinda excited about this after reading the synopsis. Most importantly is that this anime isn’t trapped by having to stick to a VN (I’m not fully sure about this but from what I could gather, Angel Beats is being released on several different mediums at once) and anime original productions always spike my interest. OK, Key Dorama isn’t really my type of anime, but this has a pretty epic sounding plot synopsis and has a Haruhi cosplayer with a gun. I can’t help but feel a little bit excited about this.
Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou
Additional Info: Based off light-novel series
Synopsis: The story of “love, magic, and battles” revolves around Akuto Sai, a boy who aims to become part of his country’s highest order of magicians and contribute to society as one of its clergy. On the day he is admitted into the Constan Magical Academy, his aptitude test predicts the following: “Future Occupation … Devil King.” Thus begins his severe school life in which he is resented by his studious female class head, desired by a girl with mysterious powers, and guarded by a beautiful female android.
Thoughts: So, have you watched the trailer yet? Did you see the amount of tits ‘n ass? Yup, this is one of those fanservice action harems with as much T&A as possible. They are actually a dying breed in the anime world with only the occasional Ikkitousen or Queens Blade per season and you’ll rarely get more than 2. There used to be way more but it was overtaken by the moe boom around 06/07. Which is a good thing. The lack of these types of anime that is. Not the fact that moe took over.
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Additional Info: Based off 4-koma
Synopsis: Set in a family restaurant in Hokkaido, the northern prefecture of Japan, 16 year old high school student Takanashi Souta works part-time along with his strange co-workers: Taneshima Popura, a high school girl who’s a year older than Souta who’s easily mistaken for a elementary/middle schooler, and Shirafuji Kyoko, the 28-year old store manager who doesn’t bother to do any work at all.
Thoughts: It’s utterly impossible to tell how well a 4-koma will adapt into anime form. I flicked through a few chapters and I was totally incapable of summoning any enthusiasm for it (maybe that’s just compared to the fantastic Arakawa manga) but, like every single thing in existence, will work better in anime form (mwahahaha, go my biased views, go!). How well it will adapt I have no idea and the staff are a mixed bunch. It’s worth giving a shot I suppose but it won’t be a world beater or anything.
Studio: Studio Deen
Additional Info: Based off manga
Synopsis: In Giants Killing a ragtag bunch from East Tokyo are struggling in Japan’s top football league. The team is going through an abysmal spell right now where they are nearing the bottom of the table and have lost 5 matches in a row. The loses haven’t done much to team moral, because it was already low. Fan support, on the other hand, is looking bleak. In the world of football, once the fans turn on a team the end is near. Teams don’t recover. Coaches are fired, players are sold, and teams drop to smaller divisions where profits often prevent them from ever being successful against even mediocre top division programs. East Tokyo United, ETU, can only blame their coach right now. And Coach is ready to give up this next game to prove to his team and fans, that against the biggest club in the nation he can make this team win
Thoughts: A football anime (to any Americans out there, this means rest-of-the-world football kthxbye) where the focus is actually on the coach, something that’s gotten me pretty damn interested in this. I love football and this is all about tactics, which is even more awesome. I’ve heard some very good things about the manga it’s based off but best of all, I’ve heard the main character being described as similar to Jose Mourinho, which is a guaranteed way to ramp up my interest in anything. OK, Deen are hardly as good as Madhouse but I’m still looking forward to this
B Gata H Kei
Studio: HAL Film Maker
Additional Info: Based off manga
Synopsis: Yamada is a virgin high school student who dreams of having 100 casual sex partners. However, she ends up targeting and pursuing only one boy
Thoughts: I thought the synopsis was actually kinda funny myself. I mean, if you were to swap the gender around and it’s a guy aiming for that would people still be as put-off by it? On the other hand, the staff are crap and the manga is meant to be crap so I don’t have any real hopes for this anyway.
Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
Studio: JC Staff
Additional Info: Based off manga
Synopsis: A romantic comedy that centers on the student council head named Misaki Ayuzawa who despises the mostly male, slovenly population at her school, which was once an all-boys school. However, Misaki’s most handsome schoolmate just discovered her secret — that she works afterschool at a maid café.
Thoughts: A very popular shojo manga being adapted, rather oddly, by JC Staff. Now I don’t know about you but I can already sense that there’s some pretty annoyed fangirls out there by how JC are adapting this. Judging by the promo art and trailer, they seem to be trying to spread the popularity of this show by highlighting the hawt maids as well as the bishies, drawing in both a mail and female audience. This could backfire and appeal to neither audience so it’s going to be interesting to see fan reactions to this. Now I couldn’t care less about shoujo so I’m not really bothered about this but most other people do so keep an eye on it.
Studio: Studio Deen
Additional Info: Based off PS2 game
Synopsis: The protagonist, Yukimura Chizuru is the daughter of a doctor who works in Edo. The father leaves Edo to work as a volunteer doctor and moves to Kyoto without his daughter. As time passes by, Chizuru starts worrying about losing contact with her father, so she decides to go to Kyoto in search of him. On the way, Chizuru is attacked by few criminals and witnesses a fight between an oni and the Shinsengumi. Taking her into custody and saving her, the Shinsengumi debate on what to do with Chizuru when they discover that she is the daughter of the doctor they are also looking for. So they decide to become Chizuru’s protectors and help her look for her father(the doctor). Lots of events happen while she stays with the Shingensumi, as they discover mysterious secrets and also fight against the Bakumatsu group. The story is overall romantic with a historical and political background.
Thoughts: Based off a game. Interest in anime practically non-existant. Game based anime have a 98.5% chance of being rubbish and they are odds I’m willing to bet on.
Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru
Studio: JC Staff
Additional Info: Based off manga
Synopsis: Sakurai Yuki is a mysterious boy with a mysterious ability. He was found in the bushes as a baby and adopted by his current family. Because of this, Yuki strives for independence. The last thing he wants is to be a burden to anybody. Furthermore, when he touches others, he can feel their emotions. Unable to control his ability, he often made insensitive blunders in the past. With death threats and his abilities increasing, what will happen when a man claiming to be his older brother appears?
Thoughts: Just because I love Hetalia doens’t mean I have now developed an interest in gay anime. Plenty of angsty bishies in this one with lots of yaoi to masturbate to (I guess you don’t call it fap when it’s women). Knock yourself out fangirls.
Mayoi Neko Overrun!
Additional Info: Based off light novels
Synopsis: The story revolves around Takumi Tsuzuki, a boy who lives with his older “sister” Otome, although the two have no blood ties between them. Otome manages a run-down confectionery store called Stray Cats. One day, Otome picks up a mysterious beautiful girl off the streets.
Thoughts: The order of these anime is how they appear on Chartfags Amazing Chart. He has a habit of ordering them in the order he is interested in them. Chartfag has fairly similar taste to me. Neither of us are that interested in this anime. Try watch the trailer with all those bleeding nyaa~ sounds going off the whole time.
Kiss x Sis
Additional Info: Had OVA series before anime. Was made specifically to attract incestious pedophiles
Synopsis: Keita has two older step-sisters, Ako and Riko, but since they aren’t related by blood, they love him in a lustful way. After a mishap at school, Ako and Riko finally confess their love to him. Keita dislikes the thought of seeing them other then brother and sister, but as he tries to enter the same school as his sisters, he slowly becomes attracted to them.
Thoughts: Apparently not a hentai, even though I’m pretty sure thats a wet camel toe I can see. Actually I take that back. Two wet camel toes.
Ookiku Furikabutte 2
Thoughts: I still haven’t gotten around to watching this yet although I certainly plan on doing so sometime soon.
Thoughts: *decides to keep quiet this time around*
Ring ni Kakero 1: Shadow
Studio: Toei Animaton
Thoughts: ….has anyone ever heard of this?
Movies and OVA’s
The Gundam Unicorn OVA is out already but the next one isn’t out until Autumn so a bit of a long wait there. Black Rock Shooter is something many people were excited about, including me, until I found out it was only an OVA. Hence, I’m not expecting much more than a glorified music video. For movies, it generally takes 3-5 months from screening in cinema’s to dvd so anticipating any movies coming out in theatres now is pointless. I’m the most excited about Eden of the East: The King of Eden myself, which is coming out on BD on 24th March. But that’s the only date I know. The Macross Frontier movie should be out soon. There’s also upcoming Fate Stay/Night Movie and Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha movie, neither of which I have any interest in but I’m sure have their fans. Unfortunately, we probably won’t see The Dissapearence of Haruhi Suzumiya until the summer though.
ANN, MAL, Moetron, Chartfag’s amazing chart, Mangafox, Mangaupdates, Animesuki forums and a whole load of other places I can’t remember. For other worthwhile season previews, there’s Metanorn (fangirly but with plenty of info and I got most of my trailers from them), Star Crossed (who has finally returned to doing season previews again), Bokutachi no Blog ( I miss doing those joint season previews…), THAT (the guys who I originally moddled my season previews off), Rabbitpoets (2 people chipping in this year) and Caraniel (there’s always a newbie each season that surprises me). I’ll update this every now and then whenever a worthwhile season preview comes along.
Unusual lack of moe anyone? Something I’ve been seeing quite often when people are talking about this upcoming season is the moefag response of ‘K-ON 2, Angel Beats, Black Rock Shooter and nothing else’. Frankly, I’m delighted at that. There’s a limited amount of moe but the very few that are being produced are of the highest moe quality. K-ON is the absolute highest in terms of light ‘n fluffy moeblob while Angel Beats is serious moe that even I’m quite excited about. Toss out an experimental OVA or two like BRS and you have moe the way it should be: A niche genre rather than the market flooding we’ve seen in recent years. That doesn’t mean I’m enthralled by this season either. There’s no obvious big wide-audience hit like Durarara even if the spread of titles is even. There’s easilly enough to keep one interested no matter what genre of anime you like but nothing for all of anime fandom to go wild over.
Anyway, some final rankings:
Highly Anticipated: Senko no Night Raid, Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei, Arakawa Under the Bridge
Anticipated: Ironman, House of Five Leaves, Angel Beats, Giant Killing
Possible: Rainbow, Working, Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
Uninterested: Heroman, B Gata H Kai, Hakuouki,
Crap: Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou, Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru, Mayoi Neko Overrun!, Kiss X Sis