134 CommentsUpcoming Seasons / By Scamp /

Winter 2013 Anime Season Preview

Welcome to The Cart Driver’s World Famous Totally Accurate Just So Long As You Don’t Mention Guilty Crown Season Preview! Before we begin, here is my handy guide to how promising the source material for an upcoming anime is, according to my totally biased heterosexual male in the 18-35 age bracket view.

Original anime > non ecchi seinen manga > non yaoi josei manga > novel  > non school romance light novel > shounen manga > non dating sim visual novel > web published > non school romance shoujo manga  > school romance light novel without the word imouto > video game > school romance shoujo manga > ecchi seinen manga > 4-koma > pachinko/card game/children toys > yaoi josei manga  > male targeted dating sim visual novel > otome game > light novel with the word imouto

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

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Oh hi there Shinbo! Haven’t seen you in a while. What have you been up to recently? Rolling around in piles of money again? I remember back in the day when there was at least one Shaft anime per season, sometimes 2. But then Madoka came along and suddenly money was flowing in so they decided to step back and take stock. Denpa Onna came the subsequent season, but that was already in production before Madoka exploded. Since then they’ve made another instalment in the -monogatari franchise, some weird OVA that was basically more Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, even more Hidamari Sketch, and the Madoka recap movies. This is the first new thing they’ve done in a hell of a long time, especially considering how frequently they were pumping out new material before.

So, what have we got here? It’s a light novel adaptation about a hikikomori teenage girl as she follows the life of her brothers’ romantic involvements with a bunch of girls from school. I’ve got to admit, if this was by some other studio, like JC Staff or AIC, I’d have no interest whatsoever. Light novel adaptations about brother/sister relationships are probably the worst thing anime is producing at the moment, even worse than otome dating sim adaptations, and that’s a pretty fucking low bar. My entire interest comes from it being Shaft/Shinbo. That’s far from a guarantee that it will be good. They’re pretty hit-or-miss, although their hit ratio has been higher in recent times. But it does mean that it will at least be noteworthy.

Caught in the carnage between my girlfriend and my childhood friend

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That name! There’s a few alternate translations, but I prefer any version that has the world ‘carnage’ in it. The story behind these dumb light novel titles is that publishers found it increasingly difficult to attract the attention of potential buyers when their book was just one amongst many light novels that all looked the same. So what they started to do was, instead of relying of prospective readers to pick up the novel and read the blurb on the back, they simply made the title the plot description. That way they instantly stand out. Thing is, everybody started doing it, and because light novels tend to go back to the same shallow trope well, it ironically resulted in all light novels looking the exact same again.

Caught in the carnage between my girlfriend and my childhood friend (or Oreshura, as the entire anime fandom will refer to it to prevent brain haemorrhaging) does have some decent talent behind the adaptation. A-1 Pictures have brought on board the director of Bunny Drop and the screenwriter has been around the block too, from Monster to Cardcaptor Sakura to Nana. Plus the source material seems to be decently popular amongst light novel circles and it’s a best-seller in Japan. I did take a gander at the manga adaptation, but it looked like any other harem-y romcom light novel, except with less tits. I keep wondering whether this trend will blow over, but in reality this sort of stuff was always being made. They just now does a better job of telegraphing it with awesomely dumb names.

Cuticle Detective Inaba

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My first thought seeing the title was that it was about some kind of film noir story set in a nail clinic, which I would totally watch. However a cuticle is found on more than just the base of your nails. It’s also a protective layer around your hair. The more you know~! The story is actually about a detective with a fetish for hair so intense that they use him in a police department to help track down criminals. Also the villain is an evil goat with a cape. I am totally on board with this anime.

Things unfortunately start to look down when you see the crew involved in the adaptation. The director’s only previous solo title was a piece on Genius Party, namely Dimension Bomb, which hasn’t got the greatest reviews. He was assistant director on Campione, which again is not a gold star on his CV. ZEXCS are a reliably terrible studio. OK, maybe picking on ZEXCS for stuff like Fortune Arterial or Chu-Bra is unfair, because there’s not a whole lot you can do with that source material. But more ambitious stuff like Chrome Shelled Regios or Rental Magica still hardly manage to reach the high bar of thoroughly average. The trailer also looks bland and poorly animated, with the added worry that it seems to be awfully shouty with its humour. We’ll see, maybe an evil goat will be enough of a hook.

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

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Going off source material alone, Maoyuu Mao Yuusha is easily the most interesting anime this season. It was originally published as a 2chan novel, and was later adapted into several different manga and novel formats. Because the entire thing is dialogue, it reads more like a play than a traditional novel. How people have sold it to me is that it’s Spice and Wolf except with macroeconomics, which gave me a pause for thought. Didn’t people used to joke about watching Spice and Wolf for the economics? The economics was something you begrudgingly sat through because what everyone was really here for was watching Holo and Lawrence flirting. Then again, Spice and Wolf’s focus on economics was symbolic of its more mature approach, which is largely the same case with Maoyuu Mao Yuusha.

“What’s that, a mature fantasy tale about economics?” says one idiotic Japanese producer. “Quick, get those guys who made Queen’s Blade and Ikkitousen on the phone now!”. Who the hell thought bringing Arms onto this was a good idea? The only thing Arms has done that has some ambition beyond tits is Elfen Lied, and even that’s questionable because Elfen Lied was hardly lacking in the tits department. At least I get the logic with bringing the guys who made the Spice and Wolf anime on board, but the fact Spice and Wolf was that good is a miracle. They have done absolutely nothing of worth before or since. I’m still keeping my eyes on this, but for gods sake they could have picked better staff.

Don’t Problem Children Come From an Alternate World?

From the director that brought you Campione and Ro Kyu Bu, and from the studio that brought you That One With The Semen Sucking Loli, comes their latest masterpiece. Shunned by society and labelled problem children, these teenagers are cast asunder into an alternate dimension where they are tasked with the gargantuan task of destroying the devil himself. Aided merely by the mysterious entity know as Black Rabbit, these teens must trek this dangerous unknown world to discover the truth, both about themselves and the world they inhabit. 4 teenagers! 6 breasts! 2 rabbit ears! One absurdly long title that can only mean it comes from a light novel! This is: Don’t Problem Children Come From an Alternate World?

Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman

Don’t those character designs look familiar? Yup, it’s the confusingly named Monkey Punch, creator of Lupin III, lending his character designs to this anime. The designs were originally for a pachinko game, because that’s where all the money is in the Japanese entertainment industry is at the moment. Well, pachinko and idols. So it’s not exactly the greatest of source material. Neither are the staff of particularly high quality. The last anime this director made was Knight in the Area, which was bad enough to be cancelled, something that simply doesn’t happen with anime anymore.

The other thing that’s nagging at the back of my head with this is that it’s an anime with Monkey Punch character designs set around the 15-16th century. There has actually been another anime with those parameters. One of the most infamous anime of all time, so much so that it became an ironic hit in Japan with the limited edition boxset, released only due to public demand, sold out instantly and became a collectors item. An anime with production values so bad that the character designs have jpeg artefacts. That anime is Musashi Gundoh. One can only dream of another Musashi Gundoh, but nevertheless I hold on to that hope.

Tamako Market

You should probably be able to guess where this anime comes from with those eyes alone. Yup, it’s KyoAni. More interestingly, it’s anime original KyoAni. Admittedly the last time they tried an anime original was Munto, but nobody remembers Munto so it’s hardly relevant. The director is Naoko Yamada, who was just some relatively lower league animator and occasional episode director at KyoAni until they decided to let her direct this relatively unknown 4-koma adaptation called K-ON! Then K-ON fucking exploded and now she, along with the rest of the team who worked on K-ON, have been given free reign to make something of their own. So they make an anime about cute girls eating cakes. Well, stick to what you know I guess.

I’ve made my peace with KyoAni by now. Chuunibyou was the final chapter, enabling me to fully realise that I simply have a different outlook on what constitutes entertainment. Their production values may indeed be incredibly high, but it’s all put towards this creation of cute. Everything about how the characters move and how they speak and interact and develop and everything must be laid out according to the holy gospel of cute, to the point that I started to find it almost disconcerting. You see that strategic placement of the mole on the girl’s neck? You just know that at KyoAni headquarters they had several meetings to decide what would be the perfect placement of that mole for maximum adorableness. I haven’t genuinely enjoyed a KyoAni anime since Fumoffu, and that was almost 10 years ago by this point. I’m done even bothering to look at whatever new stuff KyoAni puts out anymore, and something about that is incredibly relieving.

Hakkenden

Hakkenden was originally a samurai epic published in the 1800′s over a series of about 30 years. It was huge at the time of its publication, and regained popularity in the 20th century and got several movie and TV adaptations. Come the 21st century and it has gone the way of many classic samurai story: turned into a bunch of bishies with vague hints of supernatural powers! Mangaka’s previous works mostly consist of yaoi. Director is pretty good though. Never done something by himself, but his episode directing history includes stuff like Durarara, Kurenai, Sankarea, Kids on the Slope, a massive chunk of Penguindrum. All anime with really solid directing. The ‘Chief Director’ is a weird dude too. Most of his work are strange near-hentai 80s OVAs, including the Lemon Angel series, but recently has stuff like Toward the Terra and Itazuru na Kiss, two anime I admittedly don’t like, but again have interesting directing choices. Studio Deen is in charge, which normally is a big fat bleh, but Sankarea proved that someone there decided to hire some decent staff. Although you have the same problem as Sankarea in that you’ve proceeded to put these talented staff on a crappy manga.

Encouragement of Climb

The latest addition in the ‘moe girls doing X activity’. This time it’s…wait for it…mountain climbing! The studio is 8-bit, known mostly for doing Infinite Stratos. On the positive side though, the manga didn’t show any sign of skeeviness or harems or underage arse shots. It looked it came from an honest love of mountain climbing. Director’s not a half bad dude either. Yuusuke Yamamoto worked as ‘director’ on Aquarion EVOL (with Shoji Kawamori listed as ‘chief director’) so he’s instantly got my respect. He’s had a pretty colourful career in general. Directed Welcome to the NHK, B Gata H Kei, a chunk of Sgt. Frog, a few episodes here and there on Nisemonogatari, Haibane Remnei, Ramna. He’s got a few stinkers too, and has even directed some porn when times were tough. All in all though, fairly talented guy.

This is probably one of more promising shows of the season. I mean, what do you want? It’s winter, pickings are always slim during winter. Moe mountain climbing could be good? The trick with these Moe Girls Doing X Activity things is they have to make it about the actual activity rather than the moeblobs. Moeblobs do not make engaging characters  but they do make for an amusing counterbalance to the activity. Having one of the chief guys in bringing EVOL to life working on this puts hope in my heart that he’ll get the balance right with Moe Mountain Climbing.

Love Live! School idol project

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Bleh idols. From the mind that brought you Baby Princess, quite possibly the most disturbing anime ever created. But don’t worry, because this guy’s credentials are pretty solid since he also made Sister Princess! I think this guy must have something for sisters. And princesses. The only other thing he has is Strawberry Panic, which is easily the best he’s made, and even then it’s still not exactly high quality. Also bleargh idols. The creation of the product is interesting. They’ve crowd-sourced the character designs and attributes by getting people to vote on their favourite character, hairstyle, costume, song etc. Because we all know crowd-sourcing is the best way to produce musical quality, just look at how great all the music to come out of X-Factor is! Also blleaaarrrgghh idols. There’s a lot of things that bug me about idol culture, from the sexualising of children to the way they get used by big corporations and then get dumped aside when no longer young and pure to how manufactured, shallow and false their personalities are. Mostly though, I just think the music sucks because I hate jpop. Also BBLLLLLEEAAAARRRGHHH idols.

Vivid Red Operation

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The teasers the staff revealed for this were pretty hilarious. It’s genre was labelled as “girl science-fiction action” and promised it “cutely depicts girls who strive to do their best”. It hasn’t got the greatest of staff working on it. Notably is has Hiroyuki Yoshino doing the script, a guy I think is the new Mari Okada when it comes to online vitriol directed towards a screenwriter. To be fair, the guy really does have a number of stinkers next to his name. A lot of the second half of Gundam Seed Destiny is his work. He’s the main guy responsible for the story in Guilty Crown. He had a big part in bringing Dance in the Vampire Bund and Accel World to anime. He wrote the manga for Seikon no Qwasar. More relevantly though is Vividred has the director of Strike Witches on. I’ve learned from Girls und Panzer that I am totally OK with the concept of little girls + military hardware. The issue with Strike Witches is shoving those little girl crotches in our faces. So would Vividred Operation fall on the Girls und Panzer side, where the director had to beat the animators until they stopped trying to put crotch shots in, or would it be lovingly rendered 14-year old camel toes like Strike Witches?

*takes a look at the trailer*

*stops 15 seconds in*

*marks under ‘Strike Witches’ column*

Amnesia

Asides from the token anime of the season with ‘imouto’ in the title, otome game adaptations are fairly reliably the worst stuff of the season. But hey, maybe Amnesia will be the one to change that? It does have Brains Base animating, and they’re one of the best studios around at the moment. They have a talented staff working on it too, with the director having worked on masterpieces such as…errr, Sacred Seven and Witchblade…well, scratch that then. Maybe the source material is good? It’s about a girl who gets Amnesia (surprise surpise) and then is surrounded by a group of pretty boys who are either ex-boyfriends or mysterious spirits. It comes from Idea Factory, that wonderful place that brought us Mars of Destruction and Skelter Heaven, respectively the worst and second worst rated anime on MAL of all time. Yup, star studded cast if ever there was one.

Kotoura-san

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4-koma adaptations are back! Seems like it’s been ages since I’ve trotted out my 3 Laws of 4-Koma Adaptations.

1) Thou shall not be just cute girls doing cute things

The story is about a girl with psychic powers joining a club for kids with psychic powers. So no, it’s about psychics doing cute things, which I am OK with.

2)  Thou must have more than one joke in your repertoire

Hard to tell without having a look at the source material, of which there isn’t any translation of. So instead I’ll have to use my amazing detective skills and make all these judgements based on the character designs. The little guy on the right looks pretty baller, so I’ll assume he’s like a nerdy genius or something. The blue haired girl has big tits, much bigger than the orange haired girls in the middle. That obviously means there will be jokes about breast size. I have therefore proven there will be more than one joke, so I can move on.

3) Thou must form some sort of cohesive narrative

Most difficult to tell of the 3, as this largely comes down to the staff involved. The team have been together on other 4-koma, so they’re at least experienced at this. They worked on the first season of Minami-ke, which is pretty good, Mitsudamoe, which has a teacher pouring piss into her eye so it gets my respect if not my praise, and Yuru Yuri, which is probably the most popular of the 3. Honestly, that baffles me. I remember watching Yuru Yuri when it first came out, and I just tossed it into the same pile as A-Channel of bad 4-koma adaptations where the only joke is that they’re lesbians. But apparently “she’s a lesbian ha ha” is the gift that keeps on giving? Anyway, Kotoura-san looks all right I guess.

Good Job Club

Good Job Club sells itself as the first 4-koma light novel. How this works is a little bit beyond me. I’m going to assume for a second that you, the reader, is a total newbie and you don’t know what a 4-koma is. It’s exactly like those gag comics newspapers run, like Dilbert or whatever. 4-koma just means 4-panel, so they’re 4 panel manga. K-ON, Azumanga, A-Channel etc. The format generally goes ‘scene setting -> set up -> punchline -> reaction’ (although more commonly its ‘dumb girl asks how to do basic task -> other girl tells her -> dumb girl fails to do it but cutely -> other girl reacts). But as a 4-panel light novel? Ehhh…whatever, let’s push it through the 3 Laws anyway.

1) Thou shall not be just cute girls doing cute things

The story is about the normal lives of high school students. Judging by the promo art, the characters are 4 cute girls. So no.

2)  Thou must have more than one joke in your repertoire

This is the director’s first role as the head honcho, but he has directed episodes of Guilty Crown and Sword Art Online. So that’s already 2 jokes on his repertoire doh ho ho I’m so witty.

3) Thou must form some sort of cohesive narrative

The guy writing the script has previously written scripts from Akikan and Aki Sora so the cohesive narrative appears to be look at how much we suck doh ho ho I’ll be here all week.

Senyuu

A shounen manga fantasy action gag comedy with each episode being only 5 minutes long. Normally this would be prime material for quick gloss over in a season preview, but I can’t resist having a little jab in at the director: Yamakan. Oh Yamakan. You thought you were the hottest shit because you came up with that dumb dance in Haruhi. Then you started spouting a load of hot air about how the anime industry is failing and you were going to correct all the wrongs with Fractale and that you would quit anime if Fractale didn’t succeed  Then it turned out Fractale was really bad, and ironically did a bunch of the very same things that he claimed were killing anime, so Yamakan retreated into the shadows with egg on his face. To be fair to the man, if he’s going to break back into the business as a director, starting on some low-barrier to entry 5-minute episode shorts is a nice easy way to slip under the radar. I wish him luck.

Senran Kagura

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I sorta love this trailer for how utterly blatant it is. Shot 1: BOUNCING TITS. Shot 2: GIRL EATS PHALLIC OBJECT. Shot 3: UPSKIRT + MORE BOUNCING TITS. From the director of Ikkitousen, Aria the Scarlet Ammo, Shakugan no Shana and Dangerous Ji-san. Whatever bros, it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s tits and clothes disintegrating. As if the picture didn’t give that away already. Look at the girl on the bottom right. Shirt wide open with no bra and legs confidently spread while she winks at the camera. I’ll give her props on those impressive thighs though.

Mangirl!

Another 4-koma adaptation. Right, you know the drill by now.

1) Thou shall not be just cute girls doing cute things

The story is not, as the name might imply, about a bunch of cute girls with penises. It’s actually about a bunch of girls trying to get into the manga publishing business but not being very good at doing it. That could really go either way, since ‘failing to understand X’ is a standard in the area of cute things. If the entire show is “eeehhhhh, how do I make manga doshiooooo”, then it will probably get very tired very quickly.

2)  Thou must have more than one joke in your repertoire

Holy crap have you see the size of their eyes compared to their noses? The eyes must be 100 times larger than their noses. Probably more, when you consider the girl on the right has a nose that’s literally just a dot. Where was I?

3) Thou must form some sort of cohesive narrative

The director is a total newbie at this thing. He’s so unknown that I have twice the amount of followers on twitter than he does, and clearly the best indicator of someone’s worth as a human being is how many followers they have on twitter.

Ai Mai Mi

Another 4-koma adaptation. This one has 4 girls in a club doing something, so it’s basically the same as every single 4-koma adaptation ever. But go on, humour me anyway Ai Mai Mi.

1) Thou shall not be just cute girls doing cute things

According to the synopsis, they fight off alien invasions, duel with the devil, and make manga, sometimes all at the same time. So yes, I suppose that is more than just girls being cute.

2)  Thou must have more than one joke in your repertoire

Is that…tentacles I see in the promo art? What the hell is this show?

3) Thou must form some sort of cohesive narrative

It’s by the animation studio Seven, who have only done 3-minute shorts so far, like Morita-san and Recorder to Ransell. My assumption here is that this will be the same. So that’s a no. Won’t have any cohesive narrative. However there will be tentacles, so that’s something.

Ishida and Asakura

Guys! Guys guys guys! Hold the phone, stop the clocks, put down your sewing machines. That man. Has a pencil. Up his nose. Anime of the season, of all seasons.

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There’s a few flash shorts and anime aimed at toddlers that I’m not going to bother with.

Sequels

Minami-ke Tadaima

As far as ‘buncha girls doing nothing’ anime goes, Minami-ke is the only one since Azumanga that I think is pretty good. The first season that is. Then they shoved it off to asread for the second and third seasons, who changed the artstyle and generally didn’t treat the poor girl that well. For the fourth season it’s changed hands again. This might sound wonderful to people who hated what asread did to the second season, but the studio they’ve tossed Minami-ke off to is Feel. Asread’s latest anime was Future Diary, which they did a fine job with. Feel’s latest anime were You Mean I Can’t Be Perverted and Listen To Me Girls, I Am Your Father. Or how about the other anime they did before that, like Mayo Chiki or Kiss X Sis? They did release an OVA earlier this year to calm our nerves, but that was so unfunny it made me question whether Minami-ke was even funny in the first place. All in all, this probably isn’t the best of places Minami-ke could have been moved to.

Chihayafuru S2

Fuck yeah more Chihayafuru…says everyone who isn’t me because me shoujo anime and I just don’t get along. Even when it’s animated by a resurgent Madhouse and everyone else loves it, I still can’t get into it. Fine all you guys. Have your fun with your Chihayafuru sequel. I’ll sit here in the corner with my gdgd Fairies sequel.

gdgd Fairies 2

gdgd Fairies is weird. Each episode is split into 3 segments. The first is the three fairies talking about some nonsense thing that doesn’t really go anywhere. The second is a sequence where they go to the Real World full of awkward and ugly CGI and something happens to them. The third, and my personal favourite part, was where the three fairies would gather around a short scene and the voice actors would have to ad-lib a response. What I liked about these segments were how the voice actresses would break character as they collapsed into giggles over their own dumb jokes. It served as a nice reminder at how fake dialogue is in anime otherwise when you see these people have actual conversations. The whole anime is sort of like some dumb Youtube video series of people talking over Gary’s Mod. I wouldn’t say it’s good. It’s more of a time-waster than anything. But Japan seemed to like it and it obviously costs fuck all to produce, so here’s a second season. Yay?

Zettai Karen Children The Unlimited

Zettai Karen Children was a comedic otaku-friendly magical girl-ish anime from a few years ago. I think it did all right in Japan but it never caught on with English speaking fandom at all. This is a spin-off though, focusing on what appears to be the villain from the original series. Totally different staff and director with an entirely different focus. This time it’s ‘darker and edgier’ and all that. Now I am a loser who still has ears that prick up at the phrase ‘darker and edgier’, so even though I’ve never seen Zettai Karen Children, anime like EVOL have shown me that a good spin off can still be thoroughly enjoyed by someone who has never seen the original. That said, it’s not like the staff they brought on here are great. The director did a few episodes on Deadman Wonderland and that Case Irvine Votoms spinoff that Votoms fans didn’t really like. Animation is by Manglobe, whose name has kinda been dirt since they made Sacred Blacksmith. I’m not sure what to expect really, but that key art sure does look cool.

I Don’t Have Many Friends Season 2

I wonder if there’s anyone out there who still tries to argue this is all about a touching tale of friendship? Probably the same number of people who try to argue that Ore no Imouto is a genuine heartfelt realistic take on a brother/sister relationship.

AKB0048 Next Stage

I probably should have liked AKBnumbers more than I did, or at least give it more of a chance to grow on me, considering it’s made by the exact same crew who made Aquarion EVOL. My dislike of idols is just too strong. I hope this team stays together at Satelight after AKBnumbers ends. I feel like Kawamori and Mari Okada are a duo that complement each other quite well.

Hetalia The Beautiful World

Ah Hetalia~! I had thought the whole Hetalia craze had left us by now, but apparently Deen won’t let a franchise so cheap to produce and yet so popular with teenage girls die so easily. I’ll always have a little soft spot for Hetalia. I blogged every episode of the original 52 episodes back in the day, and I managed to get a pretty darn large following because of it. I found Hetalia’s gimmick got old after the first season. It really didn’t need World Series, and it needs this new season even less. But hey, since there’s a new one, why not jump in? This is a series you can jump in anywhere and follow, since all you need is a basic grasp of actual history to follow events.

The other thing that’s rather turned me off Hetalia though, asides from it simply outstaying its welcome, is the fanbase. Every fanbase has obnoxious fans amongst it once it gets big enough. Hetalia’s do seem louder and more obnoxious than most, particularly since the fanbase is rather young, but it’s not as loud and stupid as the fanbase for My Little Pony or Homestuck. But what makes parts of the Hetalia fanbase that much worse is the ignoring of real history in favour of their imaginations. Part of the thing that makes Hetalia great is its ability to get people interested about the history. Think of it as a Horrible Histories for teenage girls. But then you get people re-writing the actual history in their head because it doesn’t portray their favourite character in a good light. “How dare you suggest my lovely Doutsuu~ would do something so bad as kill all those jews, that never happened, stop hating on my ship”. You know a fanbase it pretty bad when it has a small but vocal amount of Holocaust deniers.

Dokidoki Precure

The new Precure, as there is always a new Precure this time of year. The only thing we know is the name (which, by the way, is a dumb name). However I am going to use my magical crystal ball to predict what it’s going to be about. There will be some schoolgirls with colour coded hairdos minding their own business until suddenly magical pets with incredibly annoying voices and the ability to turn into cheap plastic toys descend from the heavens and turn these girls into magical girls to fight everyday objects turned into evil monsters. The girls will beat up these monsters with canned animation stock footage but then mysteriously let the actual perpetrator get away every time. However this villain will be so unbelievably stupid that he will use the exact same method of attack for the next 40 episodes, resulting in an incredibly repetitive monster-of-the-week formula. The writing will almost certainly be terrible because the series is aimed at children but it will have bitchin’ transformation sequences and an awesome ending song in which CGI versions of the characters will do a dance and I will watch it solely for that dance.

Da Capo III

Da Crapo more like doh ho ho.

Puchimas

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A flash animated Idolm@ster chibi spin-off adaptation of YET ANOTHER 4-koma. All you need now is to throw ‘imouto’ in there too and my life will be complete.

Movies

The OVAs for this season consist of a bunch of DVD specials, which I usually ignore anyway, and some softcore porn OVA that I can’t be bothered covering, so no OVA section this season. As for movies, the usual rules apply. I won’t be covering movies that are getting their theatrical releases in Japan. Us dirty foreign pirates won’t get to see them until they get their home video release, so I’m just going to list the ones getting a home video release over the next 3 months.

The Life of Guskou Budori

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Home Video Release: 29th Jan

You heard of Night on the Galactic Railroad? It’s a novel by the acclaimed Japanese children’s author Kenji Miyazawa about a pair of brothers getting on a train and going somewhere, all a big metaphor for death and afterlife or something like that. It’s like 1984 or Lion King or Shakespeare. It’s so deeply rooted in culture in Japan that people simply know it through osmosis. It had an anime movie in 1985 where the two boys were cat boys, and it’s one of those classics in Japan. I’d say roughly 99.5% of the people reading this post haven’t seen it yet and only know about it because Penguindrum referenced it quite heavily. Life of Guskou Budori is another story by the same author. It got a movie back in 1994 by the director of Serial Experiments Lain, but some wise crack decided it would be a great idea to make a new movie. Unfortunately he died and the studio went bust, but Tezuka Productions scooped up the movie and brought it out themselves.

Bit of a colourful history behind this movie as you can see. Should you watch it though? I get the feeling that setting the characters as cat people shows they’re clearly calling back to the original Night on the Galactic Railroad movie, so you should probably watch that before trying this out. Don’t worry, I haven’t seen it either. I’m just pretending to be knowledgeable.

Tiger and Bunny Movie

Home Video Release: 22nd Feb

It’s a recap movie of the first few episodes of Tiger and Bunny with a lot of new scenes. I’ve seen it thanks to wooh movie festivals, and I thought it was pretty darn good. It felt like the creators learned from their mistakes from the TV series and made an active effort to improve on them with this. Well worth your time if you like Tiger and Bunny, and even better if you’ve never seen the TV series.

Library War: Wings of Revolution

Home Video Release: 25th Jan

I’m going to have to admit that I’m really confused by this. Library War was a Noitamina anime from 2008, back when Noitamina’s record was pretty spotless. Up until Fractale though, this is the one anime from their lineup that I’d have pointed to as one where they had mistepped. It was the first season where I followed anime as they aired, along with stuff like Geass R2, Kaiba, Kurenai, Soul Eater etc. I remember it starting off promising but then kinda floundering about a bit before ending rather boringly. Japan must have liked it, or maybe Production IG felt they had something more to tell? Either way, it got this movie quite a while after the TV series ended and it did well at the box office in Japan, so maybe it’s good? I’ll probably give it a shot, because my taste has changed a lot since then. I’d think it would be open to newcomers given the time between TV series and movie.

Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey

Home Video Release: 5th Dec

Second movie in the Berserk reboot movie series. Another movie I got the chance to see at a movie festival. If you’ve seen the last Berserk movie, this is more of the same. For better and for worse, and when it comes to that CG, mostly for worse.

Blood-C The Last Dark

Home Video Release: 27th Feb

And if this season is terrible
There’s always next season

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132 Comments

  1. Posted December 4, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman will clearly be the greatest show of the season, since its characters have pachinko roots just like 2011′s masterpiece, Rio Rainbow Gate. Come at me bros!

    • Scamp
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Pachinko games are the saviour of the anime industry

  2. Kelloggs
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Good stuff as always. FYI, Yuru Yuri isn’t a 4koma. Although the jokes and plot elements are what you’d expect out of 4komas so… yeah.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      It’s not? Gosh darn, and neither is Minami-ke. I’m a terrible anime blogger

  3. Posted December 4, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Is it sad that the one thing that actually piques my interest somewhat for the winter is the otome game adaptation? And it’s even about amnesia… >_>
    A good season to watch more of my backlog, looks like. But hey, spring certainly looks promising! =P
    (Wheeeeeere is my Desperaaaaaaaa)

    • Scamp
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Don’t get excited for Amnesia, seriously. Unless you’ve genuinely enjoyed angsty otome games in the past, this one really does not look like it has any chance of breaking that, even with Brains Base

  4. Posted December 4, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Is it bad if I was actually pumped for that seasonal chart? X D
    Oh Scamp, you almost had me there

  5. Chipp12
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Oh yeah, there are a LOT of animated dating sim visual novels:
    http://vndb.org/v/all?q=;fil=tagspoil-2.tag_inc-39.olang-ja.hasani-1;o=d;s=rel

    And quite a BIG amount of yaoi josei manga:
    http://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?genre=Josei_Yaoi (neither of them was adopted to anime – but if you’re talking about “shounen-ai josei manga” then there’s only this one – http://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?category=Adapted%2Bto%2BAnime&genre=Josei_Shounen%2BAi)

    > Caught in the carnage between my girlfriend and my childhood friend
    Aren’t you gonna say something about the brightness of this show that melts your eyes?

    > I’ve made my peace with KyoAni by now.
    *brofist*
    I’m gonna wait until they’ll adapt or create something that has at least somewhat interesting plot. Not another moeblob or unfunny show like Nichijo.

    > Library War: Wings of Revolution
    Here’s a video about dat Movie:
    http://bit.ly/TzhHB1

    > And if this season is terrible
    > There’s always next season
    Oh haai there another troll chart!

    • Karry
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      “unfunny show like Nichijo.”

      Hey, you, you dropped something. Look, right there, under your foot ! Oh, its your sense of humor.

      • Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        “Oh, look! The principal is fighting a deer! And another character is making a face at that! That is so funny!” #badumpish

    • Posted December 4, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      I dropped Nichijou after one episode. What’s so funny a robot with a screw behind her, and arms which can be taken off.
      >_>

      • Chipp12
        Posted December 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        Dropped after the fifth. The way KyoAni animated it pouring a lot of monies in animation and trying too much to make every joke funny (and failing of course) just didn’t go with me.

      • Chipp12
        Posted December 8, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Still no answer, Scamp? So uncool.

  6. Karry
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    “the villain is an evil goat with a cape. ”

    My. God. I had to see this. Looks like a bishie Milky Holmes.

    “pachinko game, because that’s where all the money is in the Japanese entertainment industry is at the moment.”

    If anyone actually reads this, go, go NOW, go to youtube and find pachinko animations for Combattler and Macross.

  7. Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    sasamisan@ganbaranai: It’s Shaft, might be A Thing.
    Maoyuu Mao Yuusha: certainly looks interesting.
    Hakkenden: because Tempest and K were so utterly disappointing.
    Tamako Market: clearly the next spice and wolf.
    Chihayafuru S2, AKB0048 S2, Hetalia S?, T&B movie: woo.

    The rest is utterly disregardable.

  8. Dynellen
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Sasami-san’s synopsis doesn’t actually tell the truth about the show. It’s from the author of Kyouran kazoku nikki, there’s no romantic comedy and almost all the characters are gods/goddesses/half-gods of varying power. Cities turning into chocolate, fighting shiva, meeting buddha etc.

    The mountain climbing show was recently revealed to be only 5 minute episodes btw.

  9. Posted December 4, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I lol’d when I saw the Bunny Drop sequel. “Bunny Drop Beyond” AHAHAHAHAHA.

  10. Posted December 4, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Well, you haven’t convinced me to pick anything else up but you have helped me scratch a few off my list! One day I’ll learn to do actual research into the season beyond looking at the charts; that day will probably be when nobody does previews like these anymore.

    Why I thought that planning to pick up Vivid Red Operation was a good idea in the first place, though…

  11. Adreme
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Please tell me the Bunny Drop sequals description is just a lost in translation error and that “feelings” dont mean what I think they mean.

    Bunny Drop is possibly the only thing ive watched in years that came close to almost giving me warm happy fuzzy feelings. They cant destroy that can they?

    • Posted December 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Don’t ever read the manga.

    • fathomlessblue
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      They can & they do.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Never read the manga, read spoilers for the manga, read spoilers of spoilers for the manga. Proceed to now throw a pillow over your head and scream until you forget everything

  12. Anonymous
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    That Spring preview chart. Too hilariously good to be true and such. That convenience stores anime title! Bwahaha!

    • Scamp
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      That’s a real light novel title btw

  13. Posted December 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    When I search Google for ‘Spring 2013 anime chart’, your fake chart is the first image result.

    Picking up Shinbo@Shaft, Maoyuu (Schokolade and FukuJun doing his Gammon voice), Cake-On!, Daily Lives of Climbing Girls, maybe Mangirl, Chihayafuru 2… Good ol’ Winter with your piles of shit.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Last winter was admittedly the best season of the year. Year before had Madoka. Maybe winters being bad is a myth?

      • Posted December 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t Durarara come out in Winter 2010?

      • Erif
        Posted December 5, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Woah, are you saying Winter was better than Spring last year? And this season is pretty good as well.

    • Random
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Both 2011 and 2012 had the best selling animes in Winter.

      The glamorous animes like Guilty crown nearly always turn to shit, where as unsuspecting ones like Madoka nuke the scene.

  14. krais
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    i got trolled over katekyo hitman reborn… i hope that chart comes true

    • Kiseki
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Not with an Usagi Drop sequel, hell no.

  15. Posted December 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Wow… This season doesn’t look so good… I’m gonna go rewatch Nichibros and FLCL…

  16. fathomlessblue
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I fistpumped at Arpeggio of Blue Steel, then looked at the studio & immediately realised I’d fallen for my own joke. I feel a bit of a tit right now.

    Also, I was happier living in a world that did not recognise the existence of Baby Princess. *shudders*

  17. Posted December 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    KyoAni has been on a role with me this year, so Tamako Market is my most anticipated. Especially if the rumors that a boy and a girl are both in love with the main girl is true. I get you made your peace with them though. Still need to make my peace with “LNs that try to blend LN cliches with serious issues” like Sakurasou is currently doing.

    The Shaft anime I was planning to watch since it’s Shaft, but the synopsis didn’t sell me. If the summary is a lie like I’ve heard, then it ties with Tamako Market in hype.

    The anime with the Monkey Punch designs based on a pachinko game…sign me up. Enjoyed Rio Rainbow Gate, so I’m hoping Lupin-like characters make things more enjoyable.

    Everything else, I’ll give one episode to impress me, aside from the kiddy stuff, the 4-koma, and the sequels to stuff I’ve never seen.

  18. luffyluffy
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    I would suggest at least trying the new Hetalia, if character designs and revamped everything are saying anything.

    Hetalia season 5 is basically the same thing as Gen 5 of Pokemon.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      I’ll give it a shot, but I feel my goodwill towards Hetalia has been battered recently

  19. Moomba
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Maybe this is an odd thing to pick up on (it totally is but screw it) but there are two very different Japanese boards. One is 2chan.net – 2chan or futaba. The other is 2ch.net – 2ch or 2channel. The former is an image board, the latter a text board. Maoyuu was born on 2channel.

    That is all.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      ….I always thought they were the same thing.

      I feel really dumb now

      • Posted December 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT

        YOU ARE THE WORST WEEB EVER

        JEEZ

      • Scamp
        Posted December 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Next thing you know you’ll tell me 4chan and Channel 4 are different things

      • Moomba
        Posted December 4, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        No, I think those two are pretty much the same thing. In terms of content at any rate.

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted December 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Next up on Channel 4: Countdono followed by Hollyboke, Brass Ai & The Inbijineeners!

  20. Posted December 4, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Bloody brit might just conned me in of his tweets. Balls to you good sir! Again, I’m using your cynical genius to prune out even more unneeded anime from this season and finally can start on my bloody backlog of anime. *grudgingly thanks scamp*

  21. leokiko
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Hope the 3-gatsu no Lion by J.C Staff really become an anime someday. Honey & Clover was brilliant.
    And Ever17 by Deen? That would be….peculiar.

    Anyway, Chiayafuru 2 and Haganai 2 for me. Awful season.

  22. Nebulous
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Chihiyafuru S2 mofo’s!

    Seriously though scamp, brilliant as usual. I’m always amazed at how genuinely witty you are. The consistency is quite frightening.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Why yes, I agree that I am wonderful

      • Clo
        Posted December 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        And modest, too.

  23. Kiseki
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    JFC I thought I would read through all of it but ended up mostly scrolling past the pictures of cute girls.

    I think the most interesting things about Sasamisan@Ganbaranai is that they won’t be showing the protagonists face at all, and that my beloved Hidari finally has his art adapted into decent character designs (Fractale and Natsukise urghhh).

    Mountain girls has a nice palette.

    It doesn’t hurt to try watch the ZettaiChil anime, I’m just not sure if you’d like it. The manga is really good though, you can tell that Shiina cares for his characters.

    I agree that the Hetalia fandom is pretty horrible. But Holocaust deniers? This is the first I’ve ever heard of it. There was that one time when a bunch of cosplayers sieg heil’d not too far away from a Holocaust memorial though. Fanbase threw a fit over it and the people who did such apologized.
    Nothing about the new, pretty character designs!? LOOK AT THOSE HANDS.

    There’s a rumor that the Doki Doki ED won’t be CGI dance.

    I’m not sure if this was pointed out already, but Giovanni and Campanella aren’t brothers, silly.
    I had to buy the novel on the stinking iPad since there’s no decent translation of it in print. Then I found it online. .-. Go read it. It’s good.
    Or just watch the movie since it’s a faithful adaption anyway.

    …What the fuck are those gifs from.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      gifs are from the final episode of Blood-C. I find them strangely hypnotic

      • The Big Guy
        Posted December 5, 2012 at 1:07 am | Permalink

        They make my stomach churn. Here I thought after Elfen Lied I thought I saw everything, but that… was a little too much. For the love of God, please never, ever use those gifs again.

  24. Posted December 4, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad JoJo, Polar Bear Cafe, and Psycho-Pass are continuing, because the only thing I find remotely interesting TV-wise is Cuticle Hunter.

    Then again, one interesting show is all I need. I find it hilarious to see people bemoaning seasons as terrible when they’re “only” watching two or three good series.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      For Winter and Summer, my bar is 3 anime worth watching. In my experience, the average is about 3-4 that I enjoy in those seasons

  25. lmm
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Disappointed that Absolutely Lovely Children will be a spinoff – I was hoping for a conclusion. The villain was cool enough that I guess this could be interesting.

    Also AKB0048 hell yeah.

  26. Mr. Anon
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Now I’m used to Winter seasons being even worse than Summer seasons, but this one looks especially terrible. But I’m a masochist so I’ll try everything anyway.

  27. Calendula
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    SAYA NO UTA and MONSTER MUSUME and SHAFT and KHR in one season!
    I can’t wait for spring~

  28. Anne Onymous
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Since most entries in the troll chart are based on some source material: what’s Cyborg Stowaway based on? It looks like it would be relevant to my interests.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      Nothing, unfortunately. I just wanted to make an entry that would be my ideal anime. Sorry to let you down. However, Purple Cow Studios Japan is the new name of Studio Rikka, the guy who made Time of Eve and Pale Cocoon. If you haven’t checked them out yet, I highly recommend you do. They’re no Cyborg Stowaway, but it’s the best we’ve got

    • Anne Onymous
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      I love Time of Eve, didn’t know about them renaming themselves though. Patema looks interesting.

  29. kirin
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    If nothing else, I will at least be watching Chihayafuru and Minami-ke, but I hope hope a few more shows stand out.

    Also…

    > I haven’t genuinely enjoyed a KyoAni anime since Fumoffu, and that was almost 10 years ago by this point. I’m done even bothering to look at whatever new stuff KyoAni puts out anymore, and something about that is incredibly relieving.

    Watch Hyouka already Scamp. I won’t raise the bar unreasonably, but it’s probably the best thing they’ve done in a while.

  30. The Big Guy
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    It really is a shame Scamp that you never gave Hyouka a fair shake. That was one of the few KyoAni shows that actually concentrates on character development and interesting plot lines/mysteries that enrich the character development rather than on moe. Best show of the year thus far in my unprofessional opinion.

    • shytende
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Hyouka is maybe the best slice of life Anime ever done !
      I was really surprised. Plus the second OP animation is wonderfull…
      Just think of it as a slice of life with mistery element instead of a pure mistrey serie, and you’ll be able to truly enjoy it.

  31. Erif
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Guys, Pluto is getting an anime adaptation next season. That’s enough to tide me over <3

    Also, is that last .gif actually from Blood-C? That's fucking horrible.

    • Erif
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 2:58 am | Permalink

      Actually, the lineup for the spring season already looking absolutely amazing. There’s a steampunk Bones show, a remake of Mobile Suit Gundam, a spiritual successor to Durarara! and Baccano, an Akira adaptation, and both Saya no Uta and Pluto are getting anime adaptions. Oh, Usagi Drop is getting a sequel. Holy shit.

      • Scamp
        Posted December 5, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        I know man, it looks amazing. And have you read the description for the new FMP? Holy shit!

      • Erif
        Posted December 5, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        disappointment ;-;

        really crafted the dream there.

  32. Sarif
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Toward the Terra and Itazuru na Kiss are amazing, Beautifully paced shows.

    Why no review of Milky Holmes? That show is so insanely funny and a complete diamond in the rough of the comedy genre.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Why no Milky Holmes in this season preview: Because the new thing is just a one episode special.

      Why no Milky Holmes on this site in general: I had skipped over it entirely because people said it was offensively stupid. I have since then seen people say it’s amazing, so I do plan to go back to it one day

      • Sarif
        Posted December 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Glad to hear it. I think you will enjoy it. Season 2 episode 1 is my favorite, but almost every episode has several rib cracking jokes.

  33. Jeremiah Wilderson
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    HORRAHHH for the number of visual novel adaptations!

    I got suspicious at Ever 17 though, since they’d have to avoid showing the two main characters’ faces until the end. Maybe you should have put Ever 17 in around the middle instead; it’s not good trolling ethic to put something suspicious in the beginning.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      People get suspicious at different things, so it’s hard to format. For some people it was Akira TV. For others it wasn’t until FMP.

  34. Edraii
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Great, that fake chart just depressed me, You suck!
    Blue steel, I need you…

    Although a monster musume anime will probably happen sooner or later. Never thought an ecchi manga would get so amusing from just adding monstergirls.

    Also, FMP sequel… Ugh

    Anyway, only thing that I’m even remotely interested this season is Maoyuu Maou… And even then I’m pretty sure that one is better read than watched.

  35. Posted December 5, 2012 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    -Sasami-san@Ganbaranai: Shinbo is back for real with Harada on the animation front and ready to adapt a novel by the KKN writer. What is wrong with anyone not looking forward to this.

    -OreShura: The only enjoyment to be derived from this will be people on the internet claiming that it’s ripping off ChuuniKoi/riding its popularity, even though this has been moderately well known for almost two years while ChuuniKoi was obscure crap no one read until KyoAni announced its adaptation. That aside it’s just a very bland romcom with people yelling at each other all the time because the author couldn’t figure out how to be funny. It’s not notoriously terrible, even the out of place dramatic parts are more likely to send you to sleep than infuriating you.
    But hey, it’s rather good looking and it has Yukarin voicing an asshole rich girl so I sure as fuck I’m watching it.

    -Cuticle Detective Inaba: Haven’t bought into this yet, but I have no idea how you can call that trailer poorly animated when it has plenty of great cuts. Sakuga potential aside I have no idea what to think of it since the only other hair anime I’ve seen is Bobobo and this doesn’t quite look similar.

    -Maoyuu: I don’t know how many times I need to say this, but the staff is really good. This is not an ARMS project at all, they’re simply the studio hosting the ex-m.o.e. crew just like feel./IMAGIN/Brains Base/Hoods did before. They are a bunch of friends who love working on the craziest crap possible and have been getting hired as freelancers ever since their studio went out of business. Every now and then they accept working on a serious project like Spice and Wolf or Maoyuu, but even in their shitty series you can tell they’re just very talented people having fun. They made a boring game like Yosusora into something completely ridiculous and stuff like Cosprayers is pretty much legendary.
    tl;dr It’s not a fluke, they just prefer boobs and shitty cartoons.
    Anyway, economics being just an excuse to enjoy the relationship between the main characters is more spot-on than you might think. While it’s not at Horo/Lawrence’s level, their banter and interactions are pretty fun. The setting is the main draw but it ends becoming an excuse to see those two talking to each other. And if the manga is to go by, the play-like structure transitions nicely to more conventional formats so that shouldn’t be an issue either. Easily the safest bet this season.

    -Mondaiji: It was kinda obvious ever since Dog Days 2 was announced, but this finally confirms that Seven Arcs has gotten rid of their main director. Hardly a problem for the studio since they’re big enough to replace anyone, even if it’s the man behind most of Nanoha, but the poor guy has to work on awful LNs that sell like shit to make a living. And now he’s paired up with the man who ruined Ika Musume S2. This sure can’t go wrong.

    -Tamako Market: Chuu2Koi has lacked most of the big KyoAni names, with only Kigami being really involved and Yamada/the Ikedas having brief appearances, meaning that this might be their next big project. I don’t know why they’d have waited so long to announce it in that case though, so it might be yet another small series before their next Kadokawa hit, which to the joy of most of the internet would mean more Haruhi/FMP next spring. KyoAni’s moves used to be easier to guess but now with Animation Do’s growth it’s become much more complex.
    Either way, it’s great news to see KyoAni moving towards original projects and away from the big bad evil that is Kadokawa. Now that you’ve brought up Munto, let me remind everyone that those are the guys who made it happen. Several times. Because they thought rereleasing that was a great idea. I doubt KyoAni is amused by their business practices either, since they’re the factor that made Nichijou bomb and has been limiting Hyouka’s sales, so it only makes sense for them to try and become more independent. Their LN series was the first move, and seeing how Chuu2Koi is working alright they now feel confident to go original. Man, the day they get a crazy writer we’ll have an unstoppable studio.

    -Yama no Susume: Yo, this is a series of 5 minutes shorts and the manga has one volume out so I wouldn’t get my hopes up. It looks cute and all but it’s barely more than small ads for the manga. At least the VA are great and they had the decency to cast Ogura as a quiet girl.

    -LoveLive: I honestly feel bad for Asako Nishida for having to work on this piece of shit, but at least that guarantees it will be fairly nice looking. Then again, there’s this one show by the name of idolmaster that renders all their efforts useless because no similar series will have animation and staff of that calibre.

    -Vividred: I smiled when Takamura asked on twitter if we still remembered that other series of his by the name of Strike Witches. Yes, we kinda do. And now it’s back with much better production values! SAO is about to end so it’s quite likely that a lot of staff will move here, which is great news for everyone involved. Tensai Okamura being there means that Trigger is sure to work on at least one episode for the series.
    I’m perfectly aware that it’s not for everyone, but “Strike Witches revamped with an A+ staff” is something I can totally get behind. Ass pun not intended.

    -Amnesia: The main girl is literally called “Heroine”. I like when otome games don’t even try to hide the self-insert aspect.

    -Kotoura-san: I still can’t figure why AIC Classic even exists, but after Ebiten this is bound to be an improvement no matter what. Borrowing Dogakobo’s staff is a good idea since if anything Yuruyuri is rather well made. At worst it should be a polished piece of crap, at best a funny show with crappy character designs. Holy shit they’re hideous.

    -GJ-bu: …meanwhile, Dogakobo’s actual show is all outsourced to untalented people. If Kotoura-san sucks it will manage the impossible feat of ruining two shows at the same time. Though it could be argued that this was doomed to begin with.

    -Senyuu: Yamakan directing a 5 minutes show with a JAM Project opening. I… I don’t know either.

    -Senran Kagura: If I didn’t know any better I’d be impressed with the action animation in the trailer, but sadly I’m aware that those are likely to be half the good looking cuts in the entire show. A pity, because over the top sakuga would make this more palatable. I mean, it’s got the VA and appealing designs, why not have cool fights to fulfill our primitive needs?

    -Ai Mai Mi: Yes it’s 5 minutes long. No I don’t know why do they keep making them after Teekyuu.

    -Minamike Tadaima: The title seems pretty apt since it seems the series is back for real. Kawaguchi is a fairly good director for this kind of show and the scriptwriter isn’t half bad either. The key visuals aren’t anything to talk about but those have got to be the best designs since the first season. It all gives a feel of “not as good as the original but still watchable”, which I’m perfectly alright with. It was a franchise we all thought was dead, so having it come back as a zombie that doesn’t stink is an alright outcome.

    -Chihayafuru: Just wanted to say that it’s josei, not shoujo. And that I hope it keeps bumping the manga’s sales so this can keep getting more sequels even though no one buys the BDs.

    -gdgd 2: This has a new scriptwriter because Kotarou Ishidate went too crazy with the first season, so there’s the risk it might become a sane show. A terrifying thought, almost as bad as those Milky Holmes OVA that are actually about solving cases.

    -Haganai 2: At least the designs are less awful now? The staff hasn’t really changed so it’ll be the same uninspired adaptation of a slightly amusing source material.

    -DokiDoki Precure: After a bizarre installment like Smile I’m quite looking forward to a more straightforward Precure, even moreso because we haven’t had a good one of those since HeartCatch. As much as I love Smile’s humour and self-awareness, I think it’s time for some magical girls beating he everliving shit out of monsters every week, which is what we all signed up for in this franchise. The theme doesn’t look really interesting and it’s likely to be forgotten after some episodes and a couple of toys, but the designs are quite nice. Those Doremi-esque outfits are a nice throwback to Precure’s roots. The only thing that bothers me are those rumours that Yasuharu Takanashi might not be in charge of the soundtrack. Not having badass metal songs on the background could ruin my magical girl immersion.

    -Puchimasu: Considering “Idols doing Idol things” is enough to scare you away, I wonder how you’d react to “Idols doing idol things while taking care of their own gremlin clones”. I think you should be forced to watch this one.
    While it is pretty nice for a silly spinoff of big franchise, the anime isn’t really looking good. It takes some skill to make 4koma work in anime and a cheap flash cartoon is bound to get it wrong. Imas fans are known for accepting any bullshit Namco throws at them as long as it doesn’t have “Xenoglossia” in the title so they might be pleased anyway.

    -Library War: Yes, the series was quite succesful. Second best seller in the noitaminA slot in fact, surpassing big titles like Nodame and Honey&Clover. Not the worst thing they could have brought back for some extra cash, honestly. If we’re going to complain about noitaminA series spawning movies there’s this thing called AnoHana that I’m sure you know about.

    -Blood-C TLD: This might disappoint you but the movie has hardly anything to do with the series. Not even the hilarious gore scenes are left! Instead you get a genuinely great action movie with impressive production values and some of the best action you’ll see in anime, which is an acceptable trade-off as far as I’m concerned. It kinda falls flat as a story since there really isn’t much you could do with the awful scenario, but as a self-contained action movie it works pretty damn well.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Long comment:

      Cuticle Detective: The trailer has nice exploshunz, but the rest of it is reaction face cuts with people shouting. That is not prime trailer material in my experience.

      MMY: Not buying it. I am not buying that the director of Love Love is anything other than a horrible human being. And Cosprayers isn’t even that terribad. I see what they were going for, but they needed to take way more tricks out of the Kawamori handbook to be anywhere near the level of entertaining.

      lol look at you thinking there will ever be more FMP

      What is the best seller in Noitamina? From memory, I know Ano Hana sold great, as did Eden of the East and Mononoke. Never saw Library Wars topping sales charts, although I suppose that was before I ever looked at sales charts.

      Moe mountain climbing not being a proper show depresses me. There goes one of the three anime I was actually looking forward to.

      • Posted December 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        AnoHana is, yeah. Then there’s a bunch of hits like Mononoke, Nodame, Honey&Clover and Eden. It’s fun how we’ve reached a situation where people believe that noitaminA shows are bound to flop unless they appeal to otaku, since the slot consistently got great sales when it was at its best.

  36. Nazaren
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Wow, absolutely nothing interests me this Winter. I assume Chihayafuru would, whenever I get around to watching it.

    Also, I would watch the shit outta some slice-of-centaur, and I hate you for making me think that could be a thing…

    EDIT: Holy crap, it is a thing…

    • Scamp
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Nearly everything on that chart is based off something. The only…err, ‘anime originals’ are Flintlaunch Tinderbox, Cyborg Stowaway and Oda Nobu-Nya-Ga

  37. Posted December 5, 2012 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Thank you for reminding me that I need to rewatch what little has been subbed of Musashi Gundoh. What an art that show is.

    • T1g
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      looks like I have material for the first meeting of next semester

    • Scamp
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately what is subbed is just troll-subbed. It’s better than nothing, but not much better

      • Posted December 6, 2012 at 1:16 am | Permalink

        IT IS MUSASHI GUNDOH I WILL TAKE WHAT I CAN GET

        I’d watch the raws if I could find them. The animation alone is more than enough to enjoy.

  38. Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    Fuck yeah more Chihayafuru…says everyone who isn’t me because shoujo anime and I just don’t get along.

    But it’s josei! JOSEI!!!

  39. SQA
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    Nice to know I’m not the only one that reflexively reads it as “Da Crapo”. I remember when the first two were popular. Those were so terrible.

    On the Troll Chart, I really wish they were animating Monster Musume. Having read it on a whim, it’s really damn funny. It’d be better than most series we’ll get, haha.

  40. shirayuki75
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    Sasami-san@Ganbaranai
    Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
    Tamako Market, just to see if it’s not just about cute girls doing cute things.
    ONE 4-koma adaptation since I liked K-ON season 1.
    Chihayafuru 2!!! My #1 favorite anime.
    I haven’t watched Hetalia before. Is it worth it (comedy-wise)?

    I’m going to kill you for that chart. I almost told my friend about Usagi Drop until I realized that I hadn’t received news on any of these.

  41. gw_kimmy
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    ….what on earth is “josei yaoi” manga? no really. im curious and if it exists i need to check some out ;x

    you almost had me with that chart. eyes almost bugged out at a few titles. gj.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      That was just me listing every yaoi manga, since in my experience they tend to be listed under ‘josei’. I mean, they hardly fit under any of the other 3 categories, and we all know every manga must rigidly fit into one of those 4 boxes

  42. Posted December 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    “To be fair to the man, if he’s going to break back into the business as a director”
    But he also did some advertisement shorts, Uta Koi #2 and blossom. That’s worth… uhh… something, isn’t it?

    Also, your fake season chart is pretty crappy: Not only did you forget to slap the noitaminA tag on Exorister and My Girlfriend Is The President, you also fucked up with PLUTO’s choice of picture (and obviously with the choice of studio but doh ho ho, that was clearly on purpose). That’s some other Urasawa manga you got there.

    Anyway, MaouYuu is the only show that miiiiiight turn out to be good so I’ve come to the conclusion that guessing on whether there’ll be porn releases or not is a far more efficient way of deciding which shows to watch and which ones to ignore. It’s not like’s any difference between them beyond that, is there?

    • Scamp
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      “That’s some other Urasawa manga you got there”

      …whoosh~

      Take a proper look at that picture and then the studio again

  43. shytende
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    OK, I have to ask because I’m to afraid to look by myself…
    Does “Exorsister!” and “Absolute Queen Nyaa-sama really exist ?

    Does it makes me bad if I will watch “Exorsister!” just because it’s by Shaft ?

    • Posted December 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Not only is it hentai, it’s a gender bender one which i’ve read a few times. And i still will watch it if it’s by shaft. I’m sure it would be weird-funny and still very fappable.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      They do exist. Both light novel titles. Related: This twitter feed is the best

  44. Clinton
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    The Senran Kagura game play’s pretty well. It’s a fun little brawler/ fighting game with stupid amounts of bouncing and clothing damage. The odd thing about it is that it may be released in the west as a downloadable title.

    Not too shocked they gave it an anime.

  45. Posted December 5, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Nice! The evil goat post header is an exceptional touch. I really hope that goat involving series turns out great.

    You had me going for a bit with that fake chart of yours. To have tricked me like that, surely no one understands the anime industry as well as you do.

    Minami-Ke’s success is directly proportional to how much screen time Hosaka gets. The more Hosaka, the better it will be.

    I have read a little bit of one of the Maoyuu Maou Yuusha adaptions and it was really good. Not only does it talk about economics in a somewhat interesting manner but it also does a decent job of parodying the whole heroic journey thing.

    Having said that, it does have a lot of talking, so you might end up classifying it as another “tell, don’t show” anime. I hope the anime ends up at least somewhat good.

    I wonder if there’s anyone out there who still tries to argue this is all about a touching tale of friendship?

    But, but, it has the word “friends” in the title!

  46. alexvoda
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Such a shame I didn’t get the chance to get trolled by the chart, since I didn’t even notice the hints before reading the comments.
    Here is how I read it.
    ooh new chart
    first panel: Nisekoi , hmm that sounds familiar. Picture, reminds me of Campione, not a good sign, but I thought nisekoi was something better.Hmm, I wonder where have I heard this title before??
    second panel: Shaft, yes yes, will check out. Description, “teleports”, “exorcist”, “kill him”, “sister”. Doesn’t matter, it’s Shaft.
    3′rd panel: Silver spoon, ohhhh, nice nice nice. Next.
    Skipped over 4′th panel for unknown reasons.
    5′th panel: Monster Musume, nice nice.(for some reason I already thought this anime was supposed to air this spring even before reading the chart, and even though I know the manga has no way near enough chapters yet).
    Next Row:
    Passing glance at Reborn.Huh, Reborn, really?? will look at later.
    1′st panel:Ever 17: this looks interesting -> read the whole thing -> yup this will be interesting.
    2′nd panel: same as previous panel
    Skipped the 3′rd and 4′th panel.
    5′th panel: ohhhh Reborn sequel for real, nice nice. This chart is starting to look too good to be true.
    Next row:
    SKIPPED panels 1 through 4!!!! (Akira would have been an obvious giveaway if I had noticed it was even on the chart.)
    5′th panel:(I think my sight just went downwards from reborn to Saya no uta) Ohhhh, Saya no uta, nice nice, this chart is really too too good to be true.
    Skipped 4′th row.
    5′th Row:
    Glance at FMP’s picture without reading title. Hmm they look familiar.
    Notice Bunny Drop and instantly move over to it. “A sequel” “follows” “manga”. NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
    6′th row:
    Chart courtesy of thecartdriver.com
    Heyyy, didn’t Scamp stop making charts. Did he start again?? Nah. This is too good to be true. Must be troll. Or is it??

    Went back to read the comments and noticed it was a troll.
    I have no idea why I skipped all of the hints I would have recognized(I had no idea about Ever 17).
    One thing I noticed I usually do when reading anime charts is read each row in alternating directions: the first row left to right, the 2′nd r2l, the 3′rd l2r and so on.
    Hope this was an interesting insight into how one of this blog’s regulars read the chart and useful for future real and troll charts.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Interesting to note the reverse order thing. I went by a principal of more left + more height = more noticeable, but apparently that’s not quite the case

  47. Posted December 6, 2012 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    Hm I missed the weeping about bunny drop the first time around, but I still maintain that manga > anime. All who says otherwise are just weak and sane.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for allowing me to continue to ignore people who say that ‘the manga is always better’

    • Chipp12
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Why only manga? Around 95% of adaptations are still worse or more incomplete than original works.

      • Scamp
        Posted December 8, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Coming from a person who says the Sankarea manga is better than the anime :P

      • Chipp12
        Posted December 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        That’s right, I still think that anime version is garbage :3
        Time wasting garbage actually. You can read all translated manga 5-6 times instead of trying to watch… this

      • Chipp12
        Posted December 9, 2012 at 4:52 am | Permalink

        To tell the truth, I don’t really hate this anime, I hate it’s wasted potential. Because of the direction they’ve decided to take – slow pacing and fillers – it didn’t even manage to get to the real story and great moments of manga. Instead they’ve decided to stay in “prologue” – and with it’s sales I can guarantee that you won’t see a sequel, meaning that it will stay here forever.

        For example, Tenjou Tenge is anime that wasted all of it time on the “prologue”, and then failed to sell good. These OVAs just scratched the surface of begging of real plot but the second one dealt the final blow with stupid filler ending. And that’s why the anime version will stay in there forever.

        For example, 1st season of Medaka Box that has slow pacing – most of the episodes were just a prologue to show the characters and their relations, the slice of life which wasn’t too interestin and scared off most of the people watching it. And now, with the 2nd season which now have some great story they want people to buy more discs for the 3rd season, but it’s gonna bomb even harder then the 1st one (795 blu-ray copies) even though it’s much better.

        So what, you’re still gonna continue saying that animated “prologe” it better than the original manga with the real story?

      • Scamp
        Posted December 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        Is that a “IT GETS BETTER I SWEAR!!!” argument I hear there?

      • diz1776
        Posted December 10, 2012 at 1:51 am | Permalink

        Sankarea manga is still better.

      • Chipp12
        Posted December 10, 2012 at 5:53 am | Permalink

        Nope, it’s “anime version goes nowhere” argument.

  48. Shadow
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Saya no Uta anime for the next season? OMFG!!!!! Ive been waiting for an anime for ages!!!!!

  49. KBKarma
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Sasami-san@Ganbaranai actually seems to be it for me this season. I might pick up more, but I don’t want to – I still haven’t finished watching stuff from season before last season, let alone LAST season.

    I am unhappy with that list. Vamp! would be cool; Silver Spoon and Saya no Uta would be interesting; Despera at fucking LAST, awesome; and Arpeggio would probably be great. And now my hopes are shattered. QQ

  50. Posted December 7, 2012 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Wait, I was under the impression that Silver Spoon was getting an anime adaptation sometime, since Da Vinci magazine back in March said there were animation plans underway.

    Anywho, I agree with you about Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. I’ve been interested in checking it out ever since it’s adaptation announcement came out because of the premise (and romance tag). I really want it to be good but the director and studio leave me feeling a tad disappointed and pessimistic about how good it will actually end up being.

    On the bright side, looks like I can finally catch up on all the stuff from previous seasons and wait for Spring which looks much better.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      There were some rumours about Silver Spoon floating around a while back, and there’s usually no smoke without fire, but nothing confirmed just yet. Actually those rumours were the reason I put it in the chart in the first place

  51. Random
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Gainax and IG have failed to produce anything relevant for 5,6 years. Kyoani had no impressive commercial successes since KON.

    Currently, SHAFT is the top dog in the industry, proving its ability to produce massive award winning animes or money printers (monogatari)

    • Scamp
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      In the past 5 years, IG made Bunny Drop, Eden of the East and Kimi ni Todoke. They’re all pretty relevant I would think. Also made some surprisingly big sellers, like Azazel-san and Sengoku Basara.

      IG flail around a bit, but they do crop up with popular titles fairly frequently

      • Posted December 9, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        He literally made up everything about the industry he said so it’s safe to ignore him.

      • Scamp
        Posted December 9, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        At first I thought you were talking about me and I was all “hey, I only make up most of this stuff” before I saw what comment you were referring to.

        Or wait…were you talking about me?

      • Posted December 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        You’re not the one at fault for once, I meant him.

  52. appropriant
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Oh screw you that chart raised and crushed my hopes at the same time.

  53. diz1776
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Proof that Winter season will be even more awesome than last years.

  54. Elysium
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Just a note– apparently the first two (? I’m not sure if it’s one or two) episodes of Hetalia’s newest season will be based on a drama CD wherein the characters are playing a video game, if my sources are correct. //goes back to quietly stalking like what I did the past year or two like woah

  55. Posted December 14, 2012 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    There’s so much pressure on me to pick the right show for once. One that people actually watch rather than existing in a wasteland like most shows. Ah screw it, I’ll just be drawn into Haganai again.

  56. yepperoni
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Blah, too bad Moe Mountain Climbing is only gonna be one of those 5-minute short series. Seems like I wasn’t the only one disappointed by that, as various other people were thinking the same thing.

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-12-02/yama-no-susume-anime-shorts-to-begin-on-january-2

  57. Yalanjini
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    I am pretty damn sure that Sakurako Kimino; the writer for the Love Live MVs and manga is a ‘he’

    • Yalanjini
      Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

      *not a he

  58. elior1
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    you could not be more wrong about the villains of doki doki precure they going to be vempire villains with their look and the inoccent civvilains become the monsters so this will be more complicated and lastly it will be more diffrent becouse the main first girl is more mature and for the first time the first girl who became precure is a student concuil prezident. so this will be completly diffrent season with love theme

  59. NormalMar
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh my god those gifs under Blood C Jesus Christ D:

  60. Badna
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    God, what a horrible season. I’m so looking forward to the spring…

  61. Posted January 4, 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Under Yamakan’s parole terms he cannot direct anything longer than 5 minutes.

    Fraking prison overcrowding.

  62. Posted January 12, 2013 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Too much cutesy bullshit.

    PUT ON SOME FUCKING PANTS.

    More importantly, IS GIRLFRIENDS FINALLY GOING TO BE ANIMATED!?!?!?!?!??!? THERE’S NO WAY THAT’S TRUE.

  63. Posted June 3, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I rarely drop responses, however i did some searching and wound
    up here Winter 2013 Anime Season Preview | The Cart Driver.
    And I actually do have a few questions for you if you
    tend not to mind. Is it only me or does it give the impression like a few of these responses look like left by brain
    dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing at additional sites, I’d like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Would you make a list of all of your public pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

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