35 CommentsUpcoming Seasons / By Scamp /

Winter 2011 Anime Season Preview

The first time I ever read an anime blog, it was a season preview. That’s part of the reason why I consider season previews to be the most vital posts of the year. The most important thing anime blogs do for the community. They are the ones who do the research and provide it all in an easily digestible format for the rest of anime fandom. But since I started making the charts, I started to wonder was there any point of doing season previews anymore. The animesphere had devised a superior method to divulging information about the upcoming season in. One that was much easier to read and more aesthetically pleasing than the endless scrolling down of a season preview. Was the era of the season preview over? Was all I needed to do was put up the chart and be done with it?

It was then that I realised the mistake I was making. A season preview is not about information. How silly of me to think such a thing. The real driving force behind what makes a great season preview is opinions. Informed opinions, yes, but opinions never the less. A chart is no place for my opinions, they are merely information storage houses. But I love opinions, especially my own. So with that revelation, it’s back to doing what I do best: Informing the world of my totally biased views on anime!

TV Series

Fractale

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First of all, Fractale is airing in Noitamina, a timeslot devoted to hosting anime that doesn’t suck. Being in Noitamina alone means it’s worth checking out, regardless of anything else. The series is directed by Yamakan, a guy who’s reputation far exceeds his few achievements. He storyboarded a few episodes of Haruhi Suzumiya, got kicked off Lucky Star after 4 episodes for sucking so much, directed that dull Black Rock Shooter OVA. In fact, the only real worthwhile achievement he has to his name is him directing Kannagi. I’m a little bit worried about his moe reputation, but Noitamina wouldn’t host pure moecrap. Yamakan did say that if this anime isn’t a hit, he would retire. However he is a bit egotistical so take all that with a pinch of salt. Trailer looks slightly Ghibli-esque and I love some of the steampunk artwork I’ve been seeing of the series. Sorry, I’m really just babbling by this point. Definitely optimistic, if not overwhelming so.

Kimi ni Todoke 2

Stupid shojo. I don’t think my problem comes fundamentally from the shojo genre as a whole. It’s the stereotypical shojo fair that I have no time for. That is what Kimi ni Todoke is, and I simply have no patience for that at all.

Gosick

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First off, it’s by Bones. While their original productions often fill me with rage with their pitfalls, they’re generally pretty good at bringing out the best in adaptations (FMA and Ouran, as case points). Second case for Gosick is the high praise I’ve seen the novels get. It’s a proper detective story, true to the style of Sherlock Holmes, which can often be hard to find in anime outside of Detective Conan. The case against is a bit damaging though. This is far from a star studded staff listing from Bones here. Warning signs alone come from seeing the Heroman director on board. Still, he’s working with better material here, so it should be worth a shot at least.

Beelzebub

I know there are many people excited about this. These people have already expressed surprise at the apparent lack of enthusiasm expressed by the rest of the aniblogsphere towards this hit manga. Want to know why, all you Beelzebub fans out there? Fairy Tail, Letter Bee, Nuaridgyaoean no Mago Nurarara. Time and time again we get the latest Shounen hit manga getting adapted into an anime, getting hyped up by the shounen manga fans, only for it to be yet another disappointment. Seeing Pierrot at the helm as well (they did Letter Bee and Nurarara, along with Naruto and Bleach) doesn’t fill me with excitment either. I mean, it sounds like a pretty cool story. Teenage delinquent in charge of demon baby. A combination of the shounen formula with the new parent comedy, it sounds promising. But I’ve been burned too many times in the past to get excited for whatever the latest shounen hit anime is.

Wandering Son

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Noitamina again. Just in case you’re unfamiliar with the timeslot and think I’m hyping these titles up for nothing, here’s a quick snapshot of what anime it’s hosted in the past 5 years: Eden of the East, Moyashimon, Nodame Cantabile, Honey and Clover, Tatami Galaxy, Trapeze, Jellyfish Princess…I think you get the gist. Even when the studio attached is AIC, whose previous anime have included Ore no Imouto, Amagami SS and the Strike Witches sequel, the call of Noitamina has caused them to produce probably the most original looking anime of the season, at least in terms of the artwork. Admittedly, Wandering Son doesn’t look to be my sort of thing. A bit too airy fairy/fluffy/lovely/beautiful and I generally don’t react too well to these sort of anime. But hey, good for the people who do like this sort of stuff, and good for AIC that they’re not doing fanservice crap yet again.

Merry Dream Eater

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To be fair to JC Staff, they have been branching out a bit lately. Most notably of which is their careful stepping into the generic shojo genre of Maid-sama. So hey, good for them that they’re finally diversifying from the typical ‘flat-chested highschool girl, possibly  with super powers, meets generic male lead’ that they always put out. Merry Dream Eater is about a generic teenage boy and the  flat chested girl who falls into his lap one day. JC Staff being JC Staff. Shakugan no Shana, Raildex series, Ookami-san you know the drill by now. They put out something resembling a plot while the fans fawn over the moeness of the female leads. The Light Novel adaptation has very low profit margins and I guess these series are sorta par for the course for JC Staff. A way of giving their staff some experience on working on anime. It’s just it’s starting to feel like a while that they made an anime I liked that isn’t called Nodame Cantabile.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

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The wildly erratic but occasionally brilliant Shinbo, along with his equally eratic studio Shaft, are producing this anime original product. There’s been a bit of hype surrounding this due to an apparently godlike staff list, which I had gone along with until I actually took a look at the staff list. Err, this is godly? The actual good staff are on stuff like music and character design, which is a pretty useless place to put good staff if the actual prodict they’re making stuff for isn’t well written. The actual main bulk of the writing staff are a few Shaft folk (although the director of Arakawa Under the Bridge makes me happy) and a bunch of nobodies who only previously worked on the forgettable Gonzo anime Blassreiter. Essentially, this anime boils down to what Shinbo has cooked up in his brain, never a good thing to rely on. My feeling is Shinbo is aiming for a true Magical Girl series, based on wha the promos have shown. Absolute purity and goodness in an unabashed, totally serious way that leaves the old school magical girl fans declaring the glory days have come back. Sorta like Gurren Lagann for the Magical Girl genre. Which I’m afraid I just can’t get excited for. Magical Girl anime just don’t do it for me (he says, basing this prejudice solely off Princess Tutu and the fact they have stupid names like Magical Musical ~Chu~ ~Chu~ Lyrical Heart and Soul Puni Puni Girl SOS).

Wolverine

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Oh Madhouse, what on earth has happened to you? I was one of the few that originally kinda liked Ironman, but eventually the stupidity got to me and I dropped it. Actually no, it wasn’t the stupidity. I watched and enjoyed the entire of Cobra. The problem with Ironman was you could tell the creators simply did not care about the product they were working on. Which makes it even more baffling that they decided to take on these projects when they clearly had no interest in them. Why Madhouse? To any anime fans reading this: Don’t bother with Wolverine or Ironman. If you want some Madhouse goodness, wait for Redline to finally come out on DVD. That will be the next big thing to hit the anime scene from them.

Level E

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First off, actually watch the trailer the full way through. Pretty cool looking eh? Level E is your token low budget, high concept anime of the season. The sort of minor hit that will never achieve much due to its low budget, but will gain a small following of supporters. A bit like Giant Killing from last spring. David Production are a pretty shitty studio, having only previously made Ristorante Paradiso and Book of Bantorra, and being propped up by Pierrot isn’t the most exciting of duos. The manga is from the same guy who wrote Hunter X Hunter (called Hiatus X Hiatus by its adoring fans) so there’s talent somewhere behind this show. Really though, my mild optimism is based more off the interesting synopsis than anything more concrete. But hey, that’s the great thing about these low budget anime. Nobody really cares if they drop off the face of the earth, and if they succeed then it’s always a nice extra to have each season.

Dragon Crisis

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This is apparently the anime to look out for if you’re a sakuga nerd (translation: animation nerd, because animation nerds are also massive weeaboos). Deen have decided to bring in some talenter animators for this. Otherwise, you’re staring at yet another Deen crapfest. You would think something with the word ‘Dragon’ in the name would be pretty awesome. Afraid not. Generic male lead finds magical girl who instantly likes him while bossy childhood friend gets jealous. Yeah, you all know the drill by now. Yawn next~

Infinite Stratos

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Generic male lead goes to school where he’s one of the only guys, although I’m sure they’ll be able to fit in the perverted best friend character somewhere. The catch is this school has girls using massive weaponry to fight off aliens or something along those lines. Basically, excuse to have lots of explosions and mecha musume action. It’s far from being the most inspiring of concepts. It does have one interesting point of note. The director of Infinite Stratos was also a director on Macross Frontier. Otherwise though, total newbie studio 8-bit making harem animu doesn’t fill me with excitement.

Is that a Zombie?

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lolDeen. This is basically Deen imposing on JC Staffs domain of ‘generic male lead getting picked up by flat chested high school girl with magical powers’. Which they can’t even do very well. I certainly would have more faith in Merry Dream Eater being watchable than this. lalala next

Nyarlko

In case you haven’t got the memo, Nyarlko is a moe-fied version of  Cthulhu; H.P. Lovecrafts demon monster thingy I dunno, I’m an uncultured plebian who has never read any Lovecraft. Basically a massive demon thing with tentacles and claws and all sorts of horrid things, turned into a flat chested, silver haired moe girl. Just let that sink in for a minute. The first episode is out already. It’s a directionless flash animation that barely qualifies as a legitimate anime.

Rio Rainbow Gate

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Rio is based off a pachinko game character, a gambling machine for single men who can’t get a job. This isn’t actually the first time an anime has been based off a pachinko game. There was Umi Monogatari a few seasons back. It wasn’t very good, but what it did show was that, given something so plotless as a gambling machine, the creator could come up with their own plot. So what did Xebec decide to do with this anime? Yeah, this was doomed from the moment the name Xebec came into the picture. For a quick idea of what to expect from Xebec, last season they made Yosuga no Sora. Booooooobs~

Houkago no Pleides

Houkago no Pleides is a project between the car manufacturer Subaru and the animation studio Gainax. I have a sneaking suspicion this is just a bloody advertisement. You’d think the producers would say that it wasn’t a TV show if it wasn’t, but I wouldn’t put it past Gainax to troll anime fans. That’s the thing about this project. Having the name ‘Gainax’ attached could mean bloody anything. The promo image is just a bunch of moe girls. It could be an advertisement. It could be some moecrap. It could even be a Redline-esque racing show. I really have no idea what to expect.

Mitsudomoe 2

The first season of Mitsudomoe was low-brow to the extreme, to the point that I stopped finding it funny and was mainly just grossed out by ‘urine samples being mistaken for eye drops’ type jokes. This season is only 8 episodes long btw, so not much for those handul of Mitsudomoe fans out there.

I don’t like you at all,

Big Brother

They’re not blood related. Just sayin’. In the world of incest anime, this is far more down the KissXSis route of straight up softcore porn than the fence-sitting nature of Ore no Imouto. If you like softcore anime porn, then you’ll love this! If you actually have taste, then you won’t. You’ll watch actual porn instead.

Freezing

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The website for the Freezing anime has a game. It’s one of the ball-and-paddle games where you knock out the blocks off the screen. In this case, the blocks are the clothes of the buxom females of the show, revealing their underwear-clad bodies beneath. It’s a rather fun way to pass the time actually. I cleared every single girl…umm, maybe I shouldn’t be admitting to that. Anyway, you should know what to expect from the game alone. This is one of those ‘girls fighting while their clothes disintergrate’ anime, which is a little bit depressing when you realise that’s now a fully fledged genre. Booooobs~

Starry Sky

If I’m going to heap scorn upon Freezing and I don’t like you at all, Big Brother, then it would be hypocritical of me to no heap just as much scorn upon Starry Sky. Generic female lead with no personality goes to school with heaps of beautiful boys with various famous voice actors (that you can listen soothe you to sleep in seperately sold drama CD’s) who all are instantly infacutuated with the female lead. This is the biggest pile of crap out of anything this season. Seriously girls, don’t watch this crap. If you do, I have as much respect for you as I do the people who watch Kiss X Sis. Well, maybe not. As far as I’m aware, straight up female oireantated anime porn doesn’t actually exist. The only one that actually shows anything explicit is Boku no Pico. You’re stuck with ero games, yaoi manga, static art or male aimed hentai. In fact, I’m pretty sure Boku no Pico was actually aimed at the shotacon male audience. So I guess if you’re really starved for some moving anime beautiful men whose only purpose is to sexually excite the viewer, then there’s really not much options. But for god sake, don’t pretend Starry Sky is anything but that.

Suite Precure

The endless Precure franchise. It has its fans, but my unnatural bias against magical girl anime has prevented me from ever watching this series. For those who do, I’m afraid I’m not sure if this is meant to be a sequel to Heartcatch or not. It’s all a bit confusing and I don’t really understand the continuity in the franchise, so go research that for yourself.

OVAs

Most of these are spin off or sequels to whatever. People tend to get unduly excited for OVAs when they’re just stupid extra episodes, which is annoying to see when there’s some genuinely interesting OVAs in there.

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Future Diary was just a 7-minute pilot. Yuri Seijin is a project by ufotable about a planet of lesbians. Dream C Club is based off those idol games, like Idolm@ster, for loser purity-obsessed otaku only. Haven’t a clue what Goulart Knight is supposed to be. There are still 3 interesting OVAs in here. Supernatural is the obvious one. It’s basically a fully fledged series, spanning 22 episodes in length. I’m unsure how the release format is going to run though. Madhouse is behind the project, although I’m wary after their miserable attempts at Ironman. I’ve never seen the original American TV series and all I know is that it has a massive fangirl following. It’s worth keeping an eye on anyway. The other two new project OVAs worth keeping an eye on are Tailenders and Koisento. Tailenders I was originally hyped for but, after watching Redline in the cinema, it now inspires considerably less excitement. It’s basically a much worse animated version of that. Still should be worth watching, but from a company called ‘Anime Innovation Tokyo’ is it too much to ask for a little bit of innovation? Koisento is interesting simply because I know next to nothing about it. Sunrise producing a 40 episode OVA? Sounds cool to me

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Movies

Usual blah blah about movies not being seen by western anime fans until the DVD’s come out etc. My method is researching what anime movies are coming out is to type in names of anime movies that have been screened in Japan but I haven’t seen hit the fansub scene into amazon.jp to see if they have a release date announced. It’s not the msot accurate method, but it’s better than nothing.

Proffesor Layton and the Eternal Diva is apparently out already, although from what I’ve heard, you’re better off waiting for the English dub to hear Laytons hilarious gentlemenly english accent. King of Thorn is out 13/Dec, which looks mildly entertaining.  Trigun: Badlands Rumble is out 15/Dec. Again from reviews, it sounds like a nice nostalgia trip but nothing substantial. The Dissapearence of Haruhi Suzumiya is out 18/Dec, which has been hyped up to extrodinary levels by those who saw either the c

::Edit:: What the hell guys? Why did nobody tell me I was missing the last few paragraphs of this post? What the hell happened to them anyway?

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34 Comments

  1. Posted December 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m just judging by the picture there but since the girls are the same I would safely say that it is a sequel.

    I still like Ironman so I’m totally looking forward to Wolverine XD since that’s what I said in my own winter anime post hehe

    Love how you think pretty much the same as I do for “I don’t like you at all, Big Brother” It just looks beyond hopeless. Kimi and Mit­sudo­moe I’ll only be watching since I’ve seen both other seasons heh.

  2. Posted December 11, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    and of course i’m talking about the pretty cure picture in that first sentence :P

  3. Posted December 11, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Have to say that the character designs for I Don’t Like You At All, Big Brother are just unpleasant to look at. They have this elongated look to them that just freaks me out. Creepy.

  4. luffyluffy
    Posted December 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    so far so far~

    Merry Dream Eater, Starry Sky, Fractale, Rio Rainbow Gate, Houkago no Pleides, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, and GOSICK.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted December 11, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Oh, and by the way, do you think you could include the Japanese name along with the English? I was going to add Wondering Son to MAL, but then I couldn’t find it so I said fuck it.

  5. Posted December 11, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Kyaaa, Starry Sky, kyaaaa.
    Etc.
    Bleh.

    Anyway…guess I’ll be melting into a puddle at Kimi ni Todoke, watching Gosick like a cynic, blaming you if Fractale sucks, drooling over the art in “Wandering Son” AKA Hourou Musuko, and uh…avoiding Level E unless you give it an A. So, basically all anime is your fault.

  6. Posted December 11, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Going down the list guhhh.

    Damn I never bothered to care for Fractale but that CM! * 3*

    As for Gosick, I heard the mystery part of it wasn’t that good…? :c

    Anime will probably be shit but BEEEEEEELZEBUB

    I love Hourou Musuko, but it probably is too slow for you now that I think about it.

    Do they only have one character designer on board in JC Staff or something?

    >Gur­ren Lagann for the Magical Girl genre
    Oh man I thought you mean a manly mahou shoujo when you first tweeted that.
    But if it’s like old school magical girl, I’m very excited…if the demographic is shoujo.

    SHOKO-TAN IS AN ALIEN!? ಠ_ಠ

    Starry Sky will be shit, but it will be good…oh fuck forgot the term.

    Suite Precure will be the musical successor to Heartcatch.

    Luke sounds gross in the English dub (even moreso, English English; American English has a shitty English accent but the British one sounds like a rodent). I would recommend watching Professor Layton in Japanese, but watching both would be cool too.
    Go play the games.

  7. Posted December 11, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Niceeee.
    Not as good as fall, I guess, but looks pretty good.

  8. Alternate
    Posted December 11, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    So basically nearly everything is crap? k.

    I want to watch Gosick, though. But is a white hat with dark clothes really doable when you’re not Michael Jackson?

    • Alternate
      Posted December 11, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      That avatar is so incredibly camp, words cannot describe it. What the hell.

      • Scamp
        Posted December 12, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Christmas has always been a little bit camp

  9. Posted December 12, 2010 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    First of all, thank you for the chart. It saves me tons of time researching for the shits.

    Second, surprisingly, we shared the same general opinions about these anime. I based my opinion on your chart, and you on your researches. See why I thanked you?

  10. Gutts
    Posted December 12, 2010 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    The only trailer I bothered watching was Level-E. Looks promising, it’s the only show I’m hoping won’t disappointment me this season. Most everything else looks pretty generic, I’ll watch it but I doubt there will be much substance to the time wasted watching those shows.

    • Gutts
      Posted December 12, 2010 at 3:36 am | Permalink

      I forgot to mention that due to the references of other anime I found redline. It looks really good, I think I need to give this a try.

  11. Posted December 12, 2010 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    There are some movies I’ll consider watching that you might not even look upon. First… Kimi ni Todoke. I’m not a huge fan of slow pace anime, but i read the manga so therefore i must watch the anime as well. i’m weird.

    2. Gosick, story looks plenty good enough for me.
    3. Wandering Son… pictures are a little outdated in my opinion but the trailer was kind of interesting… not reallly… but yea i’ll watch it.
    4. Infinite Stratos… i’m not for the boobs but rather for the mecha. i’m a mecha fan so it looks pretty good. again… not for the huge boob girls.

    That’s pretty much all the anime that spark my attention. Others like Merry dream eater and dragon girl are way beyond too lame. Most of the anime have similar plot to others…

  12. smallish
    Posted December 12, 2010 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    Mostly agree with your assessments, but you’re much more informed. I’m more, LULZ THAT SOUNDS GOOD.

    I’m a fan of the live-action Supernatural. It’s all good fun, but I wouldn’t say that it’s especially good due to lots of inconsistency. Buuuut, everything that I’ve heard so far about the anime sounds like it’s actually going to be better than the original, especially since they’re willing to do original things while keeping true to the story… and cutting out the majority of the filler-tastic first season. So as long as Madhouse comes out of its slump and use the power of hindsight, I think it’ll be really good.

    (Here’s hoping that if they decide to introduce Adam, they don’t end up contradicting their entire ‘importance of family’ theme again. Not that I’m bitter.)

  13. BlueYoshi
    Posted December 12, 2010 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    On Star Crossed a while back, I told Psgels all I was interested in when he did the season preview was Future Diary. That turned out well…the “OVA” being delayed for half a year just made the crushing disappointment of it all much worse.

    I haven’t experience the crushing disappointment of terrible shounen adaptions in a while though! So I’m definitely watching all of Beelzebub, since I’m a fan of the manga.

    I’ll probably check out Fractale, Gosick and Supernatural, but with weary expectations. This season still looks pretty weak.

  14. Posted December 12, 2010 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    “…A bit too airy fairy/fluffy/lovely…”

    Dude, someone needs to actually check out the source manga. Legit gender crises don’t really qualify as any of those adjectives.

    • Gutts
      Posted December 12, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      I just took a look at the manga on mangaupdates. I’ve had the manga on my wishlist for a while now but I didn’t realize that Hourou Musuko was Wandering Son when I was looking through the season preview. I haven’t started the manga yet and I wasn’t planning to but it definitely looks promising. I’ll watch the anime before I start reading the manga. Thanks for pointing this out.

  15. ~xxx
    Posted December 12, 2010 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    lately, there are more noitamina anime.

    are they trying to make things good. or at least trying to make watchers watch them.
    Anyways, noitamina anime doesn’t suck.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 12, 2010 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Noitamina doubled its timeslot length last spring. Hence the increase in Noitamina anime

  16. mrwan
    Posted December 12, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Wolverine has sideburns so long they’re stuck to his cheeks. I find that sexy.

    Also, I think Yosuga no Sora is produced by Feel, the studio that also brought us the universally acclaimed KissXSis. Xebec has nothing on these masterpieces!

  17. boo
    Posted December 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    “Admit­tedly, Wan­der­ing Son doesn’t look to be my sort of thing. A bit too airy fairy/fluffy/lovely/beautiful and I gen­er­ally don’t react too well to these sort of anime.”

    You just mentioned all things that Wandering Son is not, at least as far as manga goes. It deals with gender identity and it’s subtle in its realism, there is no other manga that approach this subject the way Hourou Musuko does. I hope the anime will be just as good.

    • aeg
      Posted December 23, 2010 at 3:59 am | Permalink

      Yeah, I couldn’t stop crying for two straight chapters of the manga, and I’m a callous, soulless bastard.
      That said, there are some really funny moments that I hope don’t get left out.

  18. Posted December 12, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    A few of these show actually seem appealing to me. More so than this Fall season at least, which is mostly a series of shows which are just degrading into disappointment…

  19. Posted December 12, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    it’s true that kimi ni todoke is the epitome of shoujo, although i’ll argue that it’s not full of ill-placed and ill-executed shoujo tropes. but whatever. hopefully my frustration with the manga’s slower-than-snail pace will be relieved with the second season.

    will watch hourou musuko and check out fractale. wandering son (manga at least) is anything but fluffy, but it might be too slow or quiet for your tastes ;/ more of a character analysis/crisis type story.

  20. Posted December 13, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, season previews are the best. Best part of the season pretty much.
    Also, your image for Fractale looks infinitely more exciting than the show will probably be.

  21. stefkov
    Posted December 14, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I like your opinions and agree with most of them, but I did enjoy the first Kimi ni Todoke. I’ve got a new blog to read.
    Some of these sound quite good .Gosick and Fractale looks like they’ll be on my list.

  22. Elysium
    Posted December 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m definitely watching Fractale, Wandering Son, Gosick, and Beelzebub.

    Might check out Starry Sky, because I don’t know what’s appealing about it. (I seriously don’t~)

  23. Garlyle
    Posted March 12, 2011 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    I know you probably don’t care.

    But reading this in review and seeing your estimation on Madoka was hilarious considering what we know now.

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