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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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).
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.
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.
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~
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?
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
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
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.
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,
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.
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~
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.
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.
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.
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
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?