Welcome to The Cart Driver’s World Famous Anime Season Preview: Winter 2014 edition. If you are a regular of these most prestigious of lengthy blog posts, you will know that I like to let my cynical side take over and run amok over Japan’s latest animated offerings. Not this season though. This season looks quite excellent. It will start with an anime series involving a robot wielding a giant sword and donning a cape, riding on top of a horse robot with rockets for hind legs. I think it’s safe to predict that anime is going uphill.
New TV Series
Hoozuki no Reitetsu
Hoozuki no Reitetsu is about a public affairs official in a mystical occult land filled with Japanese folk tales. It’s published in Morning manga magazine, a pretty big seinen magazine. It’s usually known for big manly titles for manly adult manly men like Vagabond, Zipang, Giant Killing and so on. Hoozuki stands out from the pack though for unusually having a massive audience with female readers. The first chapter I read had most of its jokes based around the Momotaro tale, a pretty famous story in Japan but one I only know of thanks to a chibi animation with Legend of the Galactic Heroes characters. Which if you’ve seen LOGH you should totally watch. Yang Wenli and Frederica play the parents and instead of a giant peach, they find Iserlohn floating down a river and a baby Julian Minci pops out.
Interestingly this is being animated by Studio Wit, the spin-off studio from Production IG set up to make Attack on Titan. Not that Hoozuki has any of the main staff that worked on Titan. The main staff here did Kimi ni Todoke and Monster-kun, which should give you an idea of the kind of style we’re going for here. Oppa Shoujo Style! Actually I doubt it will be anywhere near as shoujo-y as either of those two, since the source material is more s’life than romance. S’life in a demon world, but life is being sliced nevertheless. I also seriously doubt it will be anywhere near as popular as Kimi ni Todoke or Monster-kun and certainly not even 10% as popular as Attack on Titan with English speaking fans because it’s too grounded in Japanese folklore. All the jokes from that first chapter would fly completely over the head of anyone not familiar with the Momotaro tale. I predict ‘under-watched gem’ being used liberally in regards to Hoozuki.
Interesting fact about the mangaka who make Noragami. They’re by a female duo who dub themselves Adachitoka. This is their first manga by themselves, but in the past they did the art for a manga called Alive. It’s a psychological thriller about a world where people start contracting this disease which causes them to commit suicide. The author himself got cancer part of the way through writing it, but continued writing the manga even on his deathbed, finishing the 21 volume series barely 6 months before he died. I’ve been really fascinated by that manga ever since. I own the first volume too and it’s not too shabby, but never got around to reading the rest.
Sorry, all of that doesn’t have a lot to do with Noragami. Although if there’s a chapter where the main character goes into hospital and draws the stories someone in there tells them, you’ll at least know they authors are talking from experience. Noragami is otherwise a pretty run-of-the-mill teenage manga about a girl who is bullied but then a god comes to save her but it’s really about her saving herself and gaining confidence. It’s relatively well written without being outstanding. The animation in the trailer looks nice too, as is usually the case with Bones. Director’s first full gig, having previously only done storyboarding on a load of previous Bones anime. Seems like a perfectly adequate anime, but hard to work up much enthusiasm for it.
The hype is strong with Space Dandy. It’s Mr Cowboy Bebop Shinichiro Watanabe directing a 26 episode hugely ambitious anime original project. He’s got some of the top writers around with him. Dai Sato, whose quality you can tell with the two Eureka Seven anime. “But wait” I hear you say, “wasn’t the new Eureka Seven anime not that good and had very shoddy writing”? Exactly, the first Eureka Seven was scripted by Dai Sato, the second had all the same staff apart from Dai Sato. The other key writer is Keiko Nobumoto, who was a writer on Bebop with Dai Sato, but also responsible for writing Macross Plus and Wolf’s Rain. She’s been out of the business for the best part of 10 years but makes a triumphant return with Space Dandy. The trailer has brilliant animation, fantastic artstyle, catchy music, and glorious Engrish with “dandy man in the space”. If you live in the US they’ve already got Space Dandy booked for close-to-simulcast on Toonami, which shows how big their expectations are for this.
All sounds great, right? So time for me to do my job and find reasons to be sceptical! The last time Mr. Bebop was supposed to make a big triumphant return was with Kids on the Slope…although doing some glancing around at ratings, turns out everyone actually liked that schlocky awful drama. Huh, all right then, continue being hyped. Besides, it was really well directed schlocky awful drama and that drama came from the manga. Space Dandy meanwhile isn’t remotely serious. Watanabe described it at a panel as being 25 episodes of Mushroom Samba’s, that episode of Bebop where they all took hallucinogenic drugs and Spike walked on the spot on a single step for the entire episode. Space Dandy has been attracting a lot of comparisons to Redline, which I can definitely see. I’d also like to add my own comparison to Cobra, the other goofy space series about a dandy man in the space. Again, not remotely serious so set your expectations accordingly. If you don’t like anime like Redline or Cobra, then you probably won’t like Space Dandy. You monster.
Complete enigma. I have no idea what to expect from this, which is strangely thrilling. The story is about a string of weapons with the souls of famous historical figures inside them. The titular Nobunagun is a gun with Oda Nobunaga inside it. There’s a weapon with Isaac Newton, capable of controlling gravity. Another with Ghandi inside which can cause people to starve. OK I made that one up, but you get the general idea. The most common appearances of Oda Nobunaga in anime is either incredibly boring historical dramas or he’s magically become a moe girl, but Nobunagun is neither of them. It’s tentacles vs aliens vs massive boots vs god only knows what’s going on in that promo art. The staff are all over the place too. Director has done Sergent Frog and Kekko Kamen, as bizarre a mix as you can get. Script writer has worked on everything from Gurren Lagann to EVOL to Rosario and Vampire. Animation studio is Bridge, who have only previously done Devil Survivor 2 and Mitsudamoe, and none of the main staff from those shows are on Nobunagun so hard to draw any conclusions from that. None of the manga has been translated so I can’t read that. Complete dark horse in every way. So ultimately this preview is quite pointless and I might as well have spent this paragraph writing erotic kill la kill fanfiction for all the good it did.
Magical Warfare, on the other hand, will be much easier to predict: It will be shit. It was one of the 5 light novel adaptations announced in one day by Media Factory that I covered pretty extensively when it came out. Magical Warfare is a horrible generic light novel with a boring ordinary high school lead has a girl fall into his lap, accidentally kiss him, and then through no effort on his part has a harem and magical powers and lots of girls to accidentally fall on, grope, and get glances of their striped pantie-what’s that? Oh shit, I almost forgot. What with me starting this season preview with 4 non-shit anime, I forgot there was a threat of actually having to cover this light novel dross hovering over me. Must come up with a reason to pretend this might actually be good. It’s being animated by Madhouse with the director of Kaiji and the script-writer for Monster. No I am not making that up. Clearly that means Magical Warfare will be as good as Monster and Kaiji combined. Can’t argue with facts.
Wake Up, Girls
Oh Yamakan~! The guy who got a really big head because he made that dance sequence from the Haruhi ending and the moderately well received Kannagi. You might have thought everyone had forgotten about Fractale by now. Most people certainly have, what with Guilty Crown and Black Rock Shooter coming along and totally eclipsing your claim to fame of ruining Noitamina. But I won’t forget. I still remember you said Fractale was going to save anime. You made that stupid meme. You claimed you were going to retire if Fractale was not a success. I’m not going to let you forget…not that you’re ever going to read this…and not that I really care anyway. I just wanted to get that jab in. It’s in my contract to mock Yamakan’s miserable Fractale performance every time his name is brought up. Same why I’m contractually obliged to start frothing at the mouth every time I see Mari Okada on a staff list.
Anyway, Wake Up Girls. It’s another idol show to add to the heaps of idol shows the anime industry has been pooping out regularly. This one even has the main scriptwriter from the IdolmATster anime just to make it extra clear what we’re aiming for here. The story is set in the tsunami hit region of Tohoku where Yamakan has been heavily involved in the relief effort there. So good on him, I suppose helping areas ravaged by natural disaster and nuclear fallout might just make up for Fractale. Not that being involved with charitable causes means the anime will be good. As wonderful a person as Mother Theresa was, I doubt she was much of an anime director.
Nisekoi is a rather popular high school harem manga in Shounen Jump. It’s rather similar to ABSOLUTELY EVERY SINGLE HAREM SHOUNEN MANGA EVER! You know that segment in the last episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion where Shinji is magically transported to a generic high school romance anime? That is Nisekoi except it’s not a parody. It stars Yuji Everylead with and his childhood friend but then in comes the mysterious mixed race transfer student who is blonde and has blue eyes and it turns out the main character has a contract to get married to her but now she has to fight it out with the childhood friend and I think my fingers may have fell off through sheer unbridled excitement at this startling display of originality. It’s being animated by Shaft and Shinbo (Madoka, Monogatari etc.) which is annoying because I like Shaft’s style so I have to try Nisekoi. And it has to be good, right? The manga’s immense popularity can’t just come from people eating up the same wish-fulfilment generic harem pap time after time after time, right?
Tonari no Seki-kun
When doing my research for this Tonari no Seki-kun, I went to read the first chapter to get a taste for it and accidentally read the entire thing and wrote a review. Long-ish review made short, I think it’s pretty great, albeit with the caveat that it’s totally My Kind of Thing. It’s a brilliantly surreal comedy about the strange things a guy does in class at his desk while the girl sitting next to him observes and tries not to get distracted. I can’t say I have a lot of hope for the anime adaptation though. The animation in the trailer is almost flash-level quality, which is a shame. I figured this kind of show would work great with Nichijou or Watamote style animation. The director’s work consists of classics such as Green Green and Arcade Gamer Fubuki. One good thing they’ve done is have the episodes be 10 minutes long. Each chapter follows the same formula of the girl reacting to what the guy does at his desk, never moving from there and having no ongoing plot. 20 minute episodes would get dull quickly. However I’ve personally found 5 minute episodes to not be long enough. Cromartie had 10 minute episodes and it worked a charm for that. Another good thing is that it has HanaKana voicing the girl. Since the manga is just her monologuing chapter after chapter, having HanaKana getting increasingly frustrated for 10 minutes per week sounds wonderful.
Hey do you like Moyashimon and Silver Spoon? Was having more Silver Spoon air this season not filling your weirdly specific desire for anime set in agricultural schools? Then boy oh boy are you in luck! No-Rin is set in an agricultural college too, so obviously it will be just as good as Silver Spoon and Moyashimon. Yes I know it’s based off a terrible light novel with a cute girl plastered over the cover, but you know what else was based off a light novel? Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Yes I know the plot promises to have the tired harem tropes like childhood friend girl vs transfer student idol girl, but you know what other anime had idol girl meets male lead? Macross. It’s being adapted by Silver Link who I know have a terrible record and have their names constantly connected to crappy light novel adaptation after crappy light novel adaptation, but remember they did do Watamote which is better than Galactic Heroes and every Macross series (this is a statement I actually genuinely believe shut up don’t judge me). We can extrapolate from all of this that No-Rin will be amazing and therefore it wouldn’t be funny at all to get me to blog this.
It’s difficult to keep track of who reads lesbian comics in Japan. Because this is what I do in my spare time. Try to keep track of yuri comic reading demographics. For years I was told yuri comics were primarily read by ladies, but now this is less the case with manga like Sakura Trick. It’s one of those manga in which the entire male population has been mysteriously eradicated from the planet and is now only inhabited by lesbians. If this was the plot something published in the west it would be called something like “The Feminist Nirvana” but in Japan it’s read by older dudes who don’t want men ruining the previous innocent image of young ladies but still want them to be romantic. Not sexual I must add. It’s pure innocent romance. So kissing but nothing underneath the frightfully short skirts. Sakura Trick is a 4-koma adaptation that completely fails in every attempt at humour but it does have little girls kissing each other. So you should only watch if you are into young teenage lesbians.
Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha
A whole new animation studio! Say hello to Production IMS, the animation studio behind Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha. Bells and whistles and confetti abound. All right maybe it’s not as exciting as Trigger opening but I’m sure the folks at this studio are thrilled to be working on their own project. Especially since all they’ve worked on before now since they set up in February is doing in-between work for Aikatsu and I Don’t Have Many Friends. Can’t say I’m an expert on animation studio politics, but the director is an old Madhouse hand with some really interesting work under their belt. Like seriously, episode director on stuff like Death Note and Revolutionary Girl Utena. Doing animation for Neon Genesis Evangelion and Macross Plus. Ex-Madhouse staff setting up shop in new studios is generally a good sign. That’s how Steins;Gate turned out so well. The manga in question is a classic shoujo romance with some supernatural elements. OK it’s published in a seinen mag but I hope your mighty brains can understand what I mean by shoujo romance. It seemed all right from what little I read, so I hope it goes well for them.
Yasuomi Umetsu will now be a household name if your household happens to follow currently airing anime beyond just the most popular and actually pays attention to director names. In which case you will have a curiously nerdy household and I want to live with you. He’s made a bunch of anime over the years, none of which have ever really caught on. There was Mezzo Forte and Kite from the late 90s which were only notable for including a curiously pornographic scene in each to try boost sales. Then Mezzo and Kite Liberator came along in the mid 00s and made little to no impact. As recently as this season he’s also made Galilei Donna. It can be tough to gauge how popular a series is while still ongoing, but after the episode where a character caught a cold from falling off a 6 storey high building, I think it’s safe to say it also hasn’t gone down as a memorable classic either. Why he keeps getting all these chances to make anime original material is a little beyond me. He probably knows people who know people who can sort him out. He’s teamed up with Arms this time around, the animation studio behind such classics as Queen’s Blade and Ikkitousen, so start counting them bouncing boobies in the trailer. Forgive me guys, for as cool as the material might sound (something about magical Starbucks employees oh wait no that’s Wizard Baristas doh ho ho I’m so witty) I’m not holding my breath on this guy making a good anime anytime soon.
Nobunaga the Fool
Shoji Kawamori has been on a bit of a roll recently. The man responsible for Macross (not exactly true but he’s been more than happy to take credit for it) had a bit of a weird time in the early 00′s. He went through a hippy phase and made anime like Earth Girl Arjuna. Lately though he’s been really delivering. What was once the unenthusiastically received Macross Zero has since become the much more favourably received Macross Frontier. What was once the generic forgettable Genesis of Aquarion became the brilliantly silly Aquarion EVOL. Regular readers of this blog will have heard this before, but in case you’re new here: WATCH AQUARION EVOL! It’s glorious and hilarious. I don’t care if you haven’t watched Genesis of Aquarion or did watch it and didn’t like it. EVOL requires no knowledge of that series. It was the best anime of 2012. Kawamori also did the two AKB0048 series, which I wasn’t into because idols, but I respect the decision to turn a property like AKB48 into a dystopia where the idols wield lightsabers inside their microphones.
You might not be into Kawamori if you’re not into the silliest aspects of anime, and with Nobunaga the Fool I don’t think there’s any chance of that changing. From what I can tell from the plot description it appears to be about one world ruled by Joan of Arc fighting against a mirror world ruled by Leonardo Da Vinci with Oda Nobunaga acting as a lone swordsman between the two. With giant robots, because giant robots improve everything. As if that didn’t sound ridiculous enough, it’s a cross-media project with stage plays being run before the anime airs. Not as rare as you might think. Plenty of anime get stage plays, such as Galactic Heroes, Code Geass, Bleach, Prince of Tennis, basically anything with a big fangirl following. The one area I’m a little worried about is the director of Basquash and Engage Planet Kiss Dum is the director for this, with Kawamori being listed as original creator and series composition. But I like silly anime, and they don’t get much sillier than whatever the hell Kawamori comes up with.
Witch Craft Works
While not quite as amazingly generic as Nisekoi managed to be, I could probably predict most of the story for Witch Craft Works based off the first few pages alone. So there’s a normal guy living a normal life except he sits next to the most popular girl in school with her own fan club. Then magical bullshit happens and it turns out she has super powers. From here I’m guessing the two characters enter some sort of contract. The main character will have hitherto unexplained powers innate in him that required zero effort on his part. The fan club will get angry that popular girl is spending time with him and chase him round the school. Oddly there’s no childhood friend, but instead I’m betting the villain will show up as a Mysterious Transfer Student to give the popular girl competition for bland male lead’s interest.
In a move that surprised me in how obvious it was in retrospect, Witch Craft Works will be animated by JC Staff. Do JC Staff have some kind of computer algorithm that alerts them whenever a manga or light novel when it has enough of a list of clichés? Copypaste the Shakugan no Shana TV Tropes page into their algorithm and animate whatever pops out the other side? “Hey guys I don’t think we should do this one, it’s about a guy who keeps a sexy mentally disabled girl as a pet, isn’t that a little fucked up”. “No Pete, the Algorithm said we have to animate this, and we must all bow to the Algorithm’s great wisdom”. “But guuuys, remember when we used to make anime like Revolutionary Girl Ute-“, “WE MUST LISTEN TO THE ALGORITHM PETE”. The one good news is they have the director of Girls und Panzer on board, but frankly I doubt there’s much he can do with the JC Staff plus generic source material combo.
World Conquest: Stratagem Star
The latest anime by the creator of Darker Than Black. Tensai Okamura has been around the block a lot. He directed Wolf’s Rain and Blue Exorcist, but Darker Than Black is very much his baby. Darker Than Black certainly had its problems but it was big and ambitious and had some great episodes. Yes even season 2, fuck you losers. This is his brand new show so it’s time for a change. A change that comes in the form of 10 year old girls wearing no clothes. Jeez, thanks for that Japan. There’s not a whole lot of other information out about the show. I think we can safely predict it will be a lot less serious than Darker Than Black, what with the silly costumes in the promo art. I actually quite like the sound of that, since the sillier episodes of Darker Than Black with the detective pretending he was in Film Noir were great. But I’d be hoping against evidence that it won’t have those 10 year old girls wearing no clothes as a central component.
My Big Sister Arrived
There are two things I find interesting about this otherwise not terribly exciting 4-koma incest fetish NOT BLOOD RELATED adaptation. First is that, in a startling display of originality, she is an older sister rather than a younger sister. I know right, a new era of anime is upon us. Secondly is that google translates the title as “My Sister Came” which my immature mind finds terribly amusing.
A Love Song to a Certain Airship Pilot
Apologies for the not terribly exciting promo picture but that’s all the website has. This is based off a prequel novel to Recollection of a Certain Airship Pilot (or Princess and the Pilot depending on whether you watched it legally or like a dirty foreign pilot). And before you ask, no they have nothing to do with the Raildex-verse. Princess and the Pilot went by without too much fuss, possibly because it wasn’t particularly good. I know a few people liked it, but on the whole it disappeared about as quickly as it appeared. It’s being directed by the guy who did Heroic Age and Lagrange, two anime that appeared and disappeared in very similar fashion. A few people liked those two anime, but they were a minority. At a wild guess I would say this will appear and disappear in a very similar fashion. Which seems like a shame to me. None of the anime mentioned in this paragraph are that bad. They’re all serviceable in their own way. A Certain Airship Pilot probably won’t deserve to suffer in inglorious fate of being used by people in the future to out-hipster each other in their knowledge of mid 2010′s anime. But that is indeed its fate.
Man I hate writing season preview material twice. I wrote a pretty lengthy piece on Pupa last season preview, but it was delayed with the staff seemingly failing to find a TV station to run this incest cannibalism anime. There was talk of it being a 5 minute anime, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case. It’s finally coming out, in all its “My Cute Little Sister Can’t Help Consuming My Flesh” glory. So, will it be any good? It looks like very schlocky horror, particularly if you listen to that wonderfully gross chomping at the end of the trailer. They got the voice actress to eat meat into the microphone with instructions to be as sloppy as possible, which I personally love the idea of. It’s being done by studio Deen, but a resurgent Deen who have recently improved their animation far beyond the old lolDeen we’re used to. It’s still a schlocky horror so adjust your expectations according, but if you’re into that sort of thing I still think there might be something worthwhile with Pupa.
Super Sonico the Animation
Super Sonico is one of those bizarre sensations that is nothing more than a popular character design that got a little out of control. It’s not exactly Hatsune Miku, but Sonico already has her own line of string-bikini wearing figurines including a 1/2 human size version. She belongs to Nitroplus but I don’t think she actually represents anything, unlike Miku. She doesn’t even appear to have a personality beyond being a gravure model. I’ve always found her a little skeezy, but I suppose gravure models by definition are skeezy concepts whether they’re animated or not. This anime version has a surprisingly good crew behind it, with White Fox (Steins;Gate, Maou-sama) doing the animation with an inexperienced director with some decent episode director roles on his resumé. I don’t really see what exactly what you can do with a personality-less gravure idol, but then again maybe having complete freedom will produce something entertaining? The trailer promises little mind you.
Mixed media projects wooh~! Don’t we all love them? You know the way when you watch an anime but can’t get the full story unless you also play the game and read the manga, except the game isn’t made yet and got stuck in development hell and won’t be released in English anyway because it’s too niche? Isn’t that wonderful! Hamatora feels like one of those games that gets made for the Vita and then forgotten instantly by all bar a few weird niche weeaboos who try to claim every Japanese RPG is actually really good yo. It’s getting a game sometime alongside the anime. The director is Seiji Kishi, king of the lame adaptations of Japanese games. He did Persona 4, which I thought was all right, and Devil Survivor and Danganronpa, which were not. It’s taken me a while to make up my mind on Seiji Kishi, but with the most recent evidence I think I’m firmly on the side that believes he’s a hack. There’s not a whole lot of information on the story. It looks like a mystery/action/teenage dirtbag story, like Persona. Because if a Japanese RPG isn’t copying Final Fantasy, it has to copy Persona. I’m being a bit overly negative here. Probably because I’m reaching the end of the TV series previews. The premise doesn’t sound bad and the studio is some brand new studio called Naz so I should give it a shot. But with Seiji Kishi on this I just don’t have much confidence.
Lately, My Little Sister’s Been Acting A Bit Strange
Charmingly described by Crunchyroll as “chastity belt imouto anime“, this is based off a manga about a brother living with a NOT BLOOD RELATED sister who gets possessed by a demon which means she now has to make sexual advances on her NOT BLOOD RELATED brother to get her chastity belt taken off. That single image of your little sister is wearing a chastity belt wonderfully sums up otaku bait anime. Purity, sexuality and imoutos all in the single concept. No staff have been announced for this, and even if there were it would probably just be a load of pseudonyms because each member would be disowned by their family if they found out they were working on this. No studio have been announced yet either, although it will probably be some studio that is set up for this anime and then dissolved straight after so brands can keep themselves from being tarnished. In fact the only reason this is being made in the first place is because the government introduced a new bill proclaiming that there must be a new anime with the word ‘imouto’ in the title every 3 months.
I’m going to keep this one short because I don’t think Sailor Moon will be made this season and I hate writing season previews twice for the same anime. Toei have been threatening this Sailor Moon remake for well over a year now. It was originally supposed to air last summer but was pushed back. Then they announced it was going to begin winter 2014 and that it would be streamed worldwide on Nico Nico, but there’s been no noise or trailer or even promo art since then. I’m not saying the project is dead. From what I’ve heard, the notoriously difficult to work with author of Sailor Moon is the reason behind the constant stalling. Keeping this section in because I’m sure if I didn’t I’d get some people asking why didn’t I include Sailor Moon. Toei haven’t officially said it’s been delayed yet. But it has guys.
Robot Girls Z
Since Toei can’t roll in bathtubs of money generated by people’s nostalgia for Sailor Moon, they will instead try to generate some extra income through nostalgia for their old mecha anime. Those people who decry the newer moe-infested scene and long for the day when giant robots dominated the anime landscape. Yes, let’s attract those people by turning all their favourite robots in moe girls! So there’s moe Mazinger, moe Great Mazinger (who is apparently different), moe Grendizer and so on. My knowledge of these robots is pretty limited, but I did get a kick out of seeing moe Baron Ashura in that trailer. There’s only going to be 9 episodes, and they’re 10 minutes long to boot, so this is just the Toei folks mucking about. As an aside, I wish Toei made more vanity art projects. Between Precure and One Piece they have the two biggest money-makers in anime today and with Kyosogiga we’ve seen what their staff can do when let loose to do their own stuff. I’d love to see more original projects like that.
Go! Go! 575
More companies trying to recapture some of the popularity of Hatsune Miku, this time in a more direct comparison. Project 575 is some iOS app and upcoming Vita game for people to make haikus (hence the 575) to be recited back to them by Vocaloid-like programmes. Not entirely sure how you make an anime out of that. Idols who recite haikus? Whatever, it has character designs by the OreImo artist so it’s obviously going to get viewers from that.
Unconfirmed & In-Progress
This is one of the last previews I’ve written because I didn’t think this was coming out because of its name. Seeing “Unconfirmed and In-Progress” just made me think it was some badly google translated way of saying the date wasn’t confirmed yet. It’s Yet Another 4-Koma adaptation. Director of GJ-Bu at the helm here, and I know a bunch of people with very strange and inexplicable taste in anime who enjoy 4-koma adaptations quite liked GJ-Bu. So maybe you might like this one? Maybe one day I will do a good enough job pretending to care about samey 4-koma adaptations about a bunch of cute girls that you won’t notice my indifference?
Pupipopapupoipupopoipopopapeepiepoopepopipipi it’s some 5 minute anime.
Z/X Ignition and Future Guard Buddyfight are both card game anime in which you watch people play a card game. Laugh all you want, but I know a bunch of you losers watch Let’s Play videos so you are in no position to mock. Yokai Watch is some kids show that I remember writing a preview for a good year ago. I guess it’s actually coming out now. There will be another Precure. It’s called HappinessCharge Precure, which sounds like a sex toy. I can’t find any images for the new girls so I just made an artists interpretation.
Silver Spoon more of it
I don’t like how we now class 3 month breaks between seasons as being a ‘season 2’. Cowboy Bebop did that yet do we consider there as being two separate seasons of that? No, and yet apparently we do that with stuff like Fate/Zero and Silver Spoon. What’s weird about Silver Spoon is that they actually did a surprisingly good job of wrapping up the first 11 episodes to give it a great narrative arc. Do watch Silver Spoon if you haven’t. It’s by the same manga author of Full Metal Alchemist. I’m shocked at how few people watched this.
Seitokai Yakuindomo 2
Chuunibyou something something
I like it when KyoAni make sequels. That way I don’t feel bad when I don’t watch their new shows.
You guys do know they make actual pornographic anime, right? Where they actually have sex rather than this blue-balling?
This is the Saki National Tournament arc, which I believe is a sequel to the original Saki TV series rather than that Side-A stuff. Same staff as the last two series. Most importantly, and I haven’t confirmed this yet but I’m 99% sure, the girls still aren’t wearing underwear.
It’s so coooooooooooooooool!
Movies and Specials
As per usual, I don’t preview movies that are getting theatre releases in Japan over the next 3 months since nobody outside of Japan will be able to watch it. I cover the movies that are getting home video releases because that means us dirty foreign pirates get to watch it. Skipping stuff like Shounen franchise, Precure and Pokemon movies because there’s one of them every year and there’s nothing new to say. I also cover the TV specials and OVAs coming out that are worth mentioning, which mostly means everything that is not BD specials that are made to show the characters in disintegrating maid outfits
Bayonetta Bloody Fate
Release date: 24th January
Dat ass. That’s not me reacting to the shapely bottom in the promo art. Rather it’s a short and simple plot description of Bayonetta. It’s based off a game featuring a lady with incredibly long legs whose clothes all fly off and nasty monsters jump out out of her hair. Also her high heels have guns instead of heels. I haven’t played the game so I couldn’t tell you the exact details of the story, but I doubt those who have played the games less than 6 times through could tell you the exact story either since it’s all a load of incomprehensible nonsense. Stylish nonsense though, and has a pole-dancing witch as the main character which is all that really matters. I think it’s clear with this movie they’re targeting western fans. It’s Gonzo (who I could have sworn had stopped making anime and were focusing on animation for games but I guess this is exactly the kind of thing you would see them do) with the director of Afro Samurai and that awful X-Men anime. I imagine it will do well too, since so did Afro Samurai and this has a sexy anime lady on the cover. Not a cute anime lady. A sexy anime lady. Important distinction.
Release date: 18th December
Studio Wit making an anime movie. The guys that animated Attack on Titan. They’re also doing the Hoozoki no Reitetsu anime from earlier in this post. Remember me talking about that? It was an awfully long time ago. It’s right at the start of the post. The one about the demon local politics and involved Julian Minci popping out of Iserlohn as a recreation of the Momotaro folk tale? Anyway, Hal is by them too. Newbie director who has previously mostly done key animation, albeit key animation on some fantastically animated shows. Hal is about a lady falling in love with a robot and stuff. From the people I know who saw the film at festivals the reactions were mixed, so I’m guessing this movie will be quickly forgotten and barely watched like so many other anime movies, but I suppose it’s worth a shot.
Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu
Release date: 13th December
IT’S SO COOOOOOOOOOOL! Sonovabitch.
Should probably say something a little more substantive here. More Steins;Gate! That’s cool. While I’m a little perplexed by how Steins;Gate has become this modern classic and, at time of writing, is rated as the second best anime of all time, I like Steins;Gate a lot and would gladly gobble up more. This is a sequel movie when Kuuurrrristiiiiiiiiiiina ZA ZOMBIE comes back from wearing massive sunglasses in America to team up with the lab crew again to get all lovey dovey with the congroo of el psy himself before bad stuff happens and its up for our favourite megalomaniac to save her. Impressions of the movie from festival screenings have been unfortunately quite mixed, with an alarming number of people who otherwise are big fans of Steins;Gate giving the movie a big fat meh. However I’ve seen others fall in love all over again, so just keep those expectations in check.
Final Gintama: The Movie: Be Forever Yorozuya
Release date: 18th December
At the start of movies in Japan they show this character with a video camera for a head as the star of their anti-piracy campaigns. The plot description for this new Gintama movie starts with Gintoki meeting this man and berating him for his actions. Fuck man, I love Gintama, I should really get back to watching this thing. I’m still only 100 episodes into it. They’re calling this the Final Gintama, but this being Gintama that’s about as believable as a politicians’ pre-election promises.
Mushishi Special: Sun-Eating Shade
Release date: 4th January
There was a very strange moment while I was preparing for this season preview. When I originally heard the news that there would be this new hour special for Mushishi, it didn’t do much for me. I had already heard rumours that there would be more Mushishi, so to get the announcement to just be an hour special rather than a full second season was a little disappointing. But then when I was preparing for this season preview, going to the Mushishi website to get the promo art and crop for this post, it hit me. More Mushishi! Holy shit, more Ginko! Look at him there with his droopy fag and giant wooden box on his back and that ominous sounding episode title. We’re getting more Mushishi!
Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road
Release Date: 31st December
I love that this was scheduled to come out in winter 2013, then they finally announce the date to be the 31st of December. Good job Bushiroad, making my prediction in the last season preview that this would be delayed until next year seem foolish. It will be a 3 hour TV special produced by Bushiroad, the company trying to take over the entertainment world through their card games. Don’t fall foul of their nefarious schemes, lest they draw you in with their pretty Madoka cards. This was some project they announced way back about 10 years ago when it was supposed to be animated by Gainax collaborating with writers from Nitroplus. Since its resurrection, Gainax have been all but rendered obsolete so the animation is now being done by Kinema Citrus, creators of such wonderfully animated cartoons as Yuyushiki and Bottom Biting Bug. Still got the Nitroplus writers, albeit no Butch Gen. Just those other household names from Nitroplus like…errr, Billy and Patrick.
The plot description has something to do with an evil monster called Shinbo coming in and making all their necks snap by twisting them into unfortunate positions, but then the good guys fight back with Proper Noun using Proper Nouns of the Proper Noun, which basically just means Giant Robots. It all sounds like a load of nonsense that I will admit I’m sorta looking forward to because I like silly nonsense. It doesn’t have much quality behind it, the director’s previous big works being Needless and Kamen no Maid Guy. But it sure as hell has a lot of Anime in it.
Release Date: 16th January
To finish things off, here’s something we haven’t seen in a while: An anthology! Short Peace is a collection of anime shorts, brought together by Katsuhiro Otomo, the director of Akira. He’s done this before with things like Memories, Neo Tokyo and most recently Freedom, and they’re usually well worth the time. At least Memories and Neo Tokyo were, never watched Freedom myself. Like Freedom, Short Peace is all CG animated. Looks better than most CG anime judging by the trailer but that’s not exactly high praise. There are 5 short pieces in Short Peace. A piece at the start of Short Peace that’s short, and four other not short Shot Peace pieces. Two of them are by Otomo himself which is exciting since I’m a big fan of his. Two are by blokes who worked on Freedom which is less exciting. On the more bizarre end of the spectrum, the final piece within Short Peace is getting a game made by the creators of Tokyo Jungle and Lollipop Chainsaw. God only knows how that collaboration of Japanese media talents got together. I guess Otomo is kind of a legend within Japan and can draw people in from everywhere.