It seems season preview posts are happening earlier and earlier these days. By the time the actual season rolls around, it’s like you gotta root through ancient history to remember what was what. Meanwhile, I’ve been doing the previews later and later. It’s at the cost of comments, but it seems to make sense to me. Sort of like how I don’t care about football season until baseball season is over, it’s hard for me to get psyched about the next season when we’re running right into the climax of the current season. So I’m bringing up the rear.
So with the new season is a new look. A more autumnal style. I’ve been jonesing for cooler weather ever since global warming went off the hook this past summer. Anyway, the fall season seems top heavy. On the downside, you’ve got a bunch of sequels mostly for shows I thought no one cared about. And you’ve also got the ecchi and harem shows by the numbers that somehow always seems to flood the season in numbers. But on the plus side, unlike the summer season where there was zero shows with CLASSIC potential, you’ve got a couple shows this season that could conceivably get there. Star Driver and Bakuman, I choose you.
Takagi convinces Mashiro to join him in becoming the greatest mangakas Japan has ever seen. Takagi, with his gift of writing, hopes to become a successful mangaka, and Mashiro, with his gift of art, hopes to marry the girl of his dreams, Azuki Miho.
Studio: J.C. Staff
Director: Kasai Kenichi (Nodame Cantabile, Honey & Clover)
Libera: The whole internet seems to be hyping this one primarily because it’s done by the writer who wrote Death Note. I wasn’t very fond of Death Note but I’ll admit that it was very well written. If Bakuman is a tad more light-hearted, and as good as those who’ve read the manga make it out to be, then this is a definite watch.
Janette: I like what Hinano said-Bakuman: girls are stupid poopieheads and worst of all, they ruin our boys-only shounen manga clubhouse. Of course, anime isn’t known for not being sexist, but, uh, I actually do have limits. Pass.
RP: I’ve gotten to the point where I can pretty much tell whether a show is going to be worth watching or not just by checking out who the studio and the director are. Story be damned. But when you can combine it with the fact that the source material has been well received, and comes from the creator of Death Note, I feel pretty damn sure in predicting that this will be one of the best shows this season.
Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku
Kohei Hasekura transfers into a prestigious public school in the style of an English six-year school encompassing junior-high and high school students. Soon after transferring, he discovers that one of the student in the class next door to his, Sendo Erika, is in fact a type of vampire. Presumably, highjinks occur.
Director: Nawa Munenori (Kiss x Sis, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu)
Libera: I didn’t even know this show existed until I was writing this preview. No one at all seems to be interested in this. That includes me.
RP: You know what I just said about the studio and director? Well, Fortune Arterial is like the direct opposite of Bakuman. ZEXCS sucks, feel sucks and Munenori sucks. Apply the transitive property as you will.
Tony Stark, CEO of a large weapons manufacturer, physicist, engineer, and brilliant inventor, is wounded by shrapnel from one of his own weapons. While held captive by terrorists, he develops the Iron Man Suit and escapes. From that day on, he vows not to waste his second chance at life and to change the world for the better. For that purpose, he comes to Japan.
Director: Satou Yuuzou (One Outs)
Libera: Delayed projects are hard to summon up enthusiasm for. Something good should have those working on it trying to finish it on time out of pride for their work, so whatever’s happened to this is worrying. That aside, it is a show about a guy in a super powered suit kicking bad guys’ collective asses done by Madhouse so there is reason to be optimistic.
Janette: Well, it should be better then the second movie. Maybe.
RP: Didn’t I write about this before? I’ve never been an Iron Man fan, so I won’t watch this, but I imagine it’ll be pretty good. At the very least, I think they get bonus points for casting Keiji Fujiwara (Ladd Russo, Maes Hughes, Ali Al-Saachez) as Tony Stark. He was the first and only person that came to my mind for that role.
The story centers around Kurashita Tsukimi, a huge fan of jellyfish and a girl who moves to Tokyo to become an illustrator. She moves into an apartment complex that is full of fujoshi with a no-men-allowed rule. However, one day, Tsukimi invites a stylishly fashionable woman to stay at her room at Amamizukan — only to discover that the guest is not who she seems to be.
Studio: Brains Base
Director: Oomori Takahiro (Baccano!, Natsume Yuujinchou, Durarara)
Libera: A jellyfish otaku. I’m quite certain I can say that that’s never been done before. As for everything else, this is an award winning manga in the NoitaminA timeslot done by a decent studio so I’m reasonably
optimistic about this.
Janette: Probably the show I’m the most excited about. Although I do have my concerns that Funi will pick it up, then subs will be hard to find, so as much as I want to watch it, I’m not 100% sure I’ll be able to.
RP: When did Brains Base sneak up and become an elite studio? I feel like it wasn’t long ago that I just associated them with shows like Akikan. Well, they’re teaming up with their workhorse director for the NoitaminA time slot, so this should be a good combo – even if the story sounds sort of retarded.
Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls
The story takes place in Japan in the early 21st century, in an alternate reality where the Tokugawa Shogunate has remained in power. In this reality, student councils are tasked with oppressing schools. Yagyuu Muneakira is a high school student who rebels against his student council with the help of girls who’ve had the names of famous samurai heroes passed on to them.
Libera: If it wasn’t for the copious amounts of fanservice in the trailer I would’ve been interested in this. Even the censorship style was stylish with all the ink splashed about, more stylish than the convenient steam anyway. Unfortunately, this is still a show where the primary interest is girls with boobs. So yeah…
Janette: Hahahahaha, no. Pass.
RP: From the studio that brought you Queens Blade, comes Queens Blade: The Samurai Years. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
Sado Tarou suffers from sexual masochism; he experiences sexual pleasure from pain. He feels he won’t ever have a normal relationship with his condition and decides to visit the Voluntary Club, a place that grants students’ wishes, for a cure. At the club, he finds Isurugi Mio, a girl who thinks she is a god, and Yuuno Arashiko, the girl who caused his condition in the first place…
Director: Nagasawa Tsuyoshi (Kyou no Go no Ni)
Libera: Whoever thought up the idea for this show is probably also a masochist, or at least a sadist. Anyone who expects viewers to sit through stuff like that is clearly not trying to entertain people. They must be out to cause incredible pain to those who innocently come across it on TV or to bloggers who’s solemn duty is to watch everything so they can embark warnings to all others to stay away. Far, far away. In short, I’m not at all interested.
RP: XEBEC, otherwise known as LOLXEBEC, continues the new sex comedy trend (this is what we traded the moe trend for? wtf.). This would be interesting to me only if it were a side story of DMC’s “Pig of Capitalism.
My Litter Sister Can’t Be This Cute
Kyousuke Kousaka, a normal seventeen-year-old high school student, hasn’t gotten along with his younger sister, Kirino, in years until one day, Kirino brings Kyousuke to her room and shows him an extensive collection of moe anime and lolicon bishoujo games she has been collecting in secret.
Director: Kanbe Hiroyuki (Chrno Crusade, Viper’s Creed)
Libera: This is so not aimed towards girls. You can tell by how dull and unmemorable the male lead looks. And I bet that this’ll be full of references to anime that I haven’t seen yet/are too vague to get even if I have seen it. In other words, I don’t think I’m going to watch this, and AIC don’t really inspire confidence either.
Janette: I know, I know what the title makes it sound like, but face it. AIC does entertaining stuff, and I think this will be surprisingly good as well.
RP: Well… his little sister is really cute. N-n-not that I care or a-a-anything like that. I’ll probably give this a shot because AIC does moe and fanservice well. But the title reminds me of the Shelbyvillian cousin fetish.
Otome Youkai Zakuro
It’s the Meiji Era in a slightly alternate Japan, and the Gregorian calendar has just come into effect. The fox-eared girls living in the youkai part of town are about to be put to work together with a delegation of young human soldiers, to promote interracial understanding. So what will happen when Zakuro’s strong personality collides with human sensibilities?
Studio: J.C. Staff
Director: Chiaki Kon (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Nodame Cantabile Paris and Finale)
Libera: Nothing says that this will be horrible. Actually it looks like a decent series, but there is lots of other shows this season, and lots of other shows in general, that I’d rather watch. I’ll try the first episode but if I’m watching too much to handle this’ll be the first to go.
Janette: The summary lacks one thing…why are there fox eared girls?
RP: The show looks like typical fanservice fare, but the story sounds pretty serious. And even though Chiaki Kon might be the most criticized anime director on Earth, I’ve always liked her work. Honestly, I don’t know what to think about this. It doesn’t sound terribly interesting, but I’ll probably give it a shot.
Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
The story centers around a teen-celebrity-like blonde-haired girl named Panty and a black-haired Goth Loli girl named Stocking. The two are angels sent from the heavens to battle the Ghosts on Earth.
Director: Imaishi Hiroyuki (FLCL, TTGL Yoko S.T.a.R.S. music video)
Libera: Well the character design are ridiculous and I don’t like them. Aside from that utterly biased opinion this is supposed to be a raunchy comedy and it’s also done by Gainax. So I’m not too certain what to expect plot-wise but almost everything screams out “Not My Kind Of Show.” Even if it is Gainax.
Janette: GAINAX, what happened to you?
RP: We’re going to look back on this decade in Gainax’s history and describe it as their “What the heck was Gainax thinking” phase.
Psychic Detective Yakumo
Saitou Yakumo is born with different eye colors. His red left eye gives him a special ability to see ghosts and spirits. He believes ghosts and spirits are bound to earth because of a certain cause, and simply eliminating that cause will let those spirits rest in peace.
Studio: Bee Train
Director: Kurokawa Tomoyuki (Murder Princess)
Libera: Another slow moving Bee Train plot that takes ages before anything makes sense. Not that it’s a bad thing. I actually like the kind of show where you can endlessly theorize about what’s going on, once you
actually know enough to build an opinion. No girls with guns but I don’t particularly mind because the main character appears to be bishounen, and that’s always a plus.
Janette: This sounds so cool. I’m really excited about this.
RP: Lelouch is back! In slow motion! (obligatory Bee Train dig)
Shinryaku! Ika Musume
The sea in our world has been polluted. One of the inhabitants of the sea seeks to exact revenge on humanity for throwing trash into the sea. Clueless about the surface, she seeks to invade humanity alone, trying to rule over the world, only to find herself slaving away at one of the nearest beach-houses for breaking a side of its wall.
Director: Mizushima Tsutomu (Genshiken, xxxHolic, Hare+Guu)
Libera: This could end up as anything. Most likely it’ll be a kiddie story where everyone is happy, especially at the end, and the characters are all insufferably cute and everyone is inherently good at heart (I hate
those type of shows. Unless it’s Aria). On the other hand, nothing says that this couldn’t be something like a random comedy. It’s the best case scenario but I prefer to be optimistic.
Janette: I think this sounds really cute!
RP: I agree, I think it sounds really cute, and could be pretty funny. Good director, mediocre studio. Hopefully it doesn’t turn out like Umi Monogatari.
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
Clumsy Arashiyama is a girl with a love for mysteries and a knack for getting into trouble. She works for an old lady’s lackluster maid café in a small shopping district. The cafe is largely unsuccessful in attracting customers aside from Sanada, a regular and one of Arashiyama’s classmates (who has a secret crush on her). One day Arashiyama’s clever friend Tatsuno is invited to the café, and, upon seeing the miserable state of things (and Sanada, whom she has a secret crush on), decides to work there. Don’t miss the crazy antics of Arashiyama and friends, mismatched love stories, and all the hilarity that is created as a result.
Director: Tatsuwa Naoyuki (assistant director on Zetsubou Sensei and Maria+Holic), Shinbou
Libera: I liked Shaft’s last work but the lack of close ups on eyes in the trailer seems to leave something lacking in this. If it was anyone but Shaft doing this I’d say this would be a simple solid comedy but who knows where Shaft will bring this?
Janette: SHAFT does maids? Interesting….
RP: So the duo that brought you a maid story, Maria+Holic, team up again to bring you… another maid story. I don’t think Soredemo and Maria+Holic will be particularly similar except for the maid theme, but considering Naoyuki and Shinbou also worked together on Zetsubou Sensei, you should probably prepare for a similar rapid-fire, pause the screen 500 times an episode style of humor.
To the south of Japan, there lies a lush green island called Southern Cross Isle. One night, a boy by the name of Takuto Tsunashi washes up on the shore of the island alone. Having swum from the mainland alone and without any possessions, this boy enrolls in the senior high level in the school on the island – Southern Cross High School. But this school hides a deep secret. There are sleeping giants hidden under the ground called “Cybuddies.”
Director: Igarashi Takuya (Ouran Host Club, Soul Eater)
Libera: Bones doing mecha, in fact the very presence of mecha on its own, is enough to make me hype this. Bones originals can be dodgy and they hardly ever have satisfactory endings (DTB and Xam’d, oh god Xam’d). Eureka 7 ended well but it had 50 episodes. If Star Driver was 50 episodes long I’d be 100% confident but for now I’ll have to settle for the comfort of a top notch staff and the possibility that we will once again have mecha fights with pink explosions.
Janette: I wonder why everyone thinks something being made by BONES automatically makes it good? BONES almost always has good animation, but they do a lot of misses as well as hits. Anywho, I don’t really have an opinion on this. I have no idea whether it’ll be good or bad, just have wait and see.
RP: You know it’s good because the companion PDF is full of engrish. It’s been so long since we had a good mecha series. Like just about everyone else I’m looking forward to Star Driver, backed by BONES, good director, good cast, I hope we get a lot flashy action as a prelude for the undoubtedly disappointing ending.
Tantei Opera Milky Holmes
The story takes place in an imaginary world in “the Age of Detectives”, where private detectives and phantom thieves overwhelm the cities. It’s about four girls who aim to be great detectives.
Studio: J.C. Staff
Director: Moriwaki Makoto (Onegai My Melody)
Libera: The series synopsis seriously clashes with the character art, so therefore I’m guessing that the plot isn’t going to be that important. Looks like something for the moe fans to gush over instead of something that’s supposed to be a story. It’s a pity, I kinda like detective stories.
Janette: Aw….this sounds really cute.
The World God Only Knows
Keima Katsuragi, is an avid dating sim gamer. He is known on the Internet as “The Capturing God” for his legendary skills to be able to “capture” any 2D girl in games. However, in his actual school life, Keima is a loser. Until he accepts a challenge from a demon from Hell named Elsee, to help her in catch runaway spirits by “capturing” 3D girls hearts. If they fail, both Elsee and Keima would lose their heads.
Director: Takayanagi Shigehito (Kanamemo)
Libera: Top marks for an original plot anyway. It doesn’t sound like a typical harem since the main character has an actual personality instead of simply being a viewpoint. The synopsis is absolutely ridiculous, so it
could go either way. If it becomes an over the top comedy there’s a good chance it’ll be unbelievably hilarious, but if it ends up pandering to the moe, well that’ll suck. Hopefully Manglobe can make something of it.
Janette: Very interesting premise. This could be really fun.
RP: Meh. Manglobe’s track record lately has been really spotty. If they’re not doing obscure stuff like Saraiya Goyou, they’re doing crappy fanservice shows like Seiken no Blacksmith. My guess is this is more the latter than the former. Also, if any show is going to sport a keyblade, it damn well better be a bona fide Kingdom Hearts adaptation. Anything else would be uncivilized.
Togainu no Chi
A young man named Akira, is falsely accused of a crime. Once arrested, a mysterious woman appears before him, offering him freedom. The story follows Akira’s life in the harsh, lawless Toshima as he fights both to survive and to unravel the mysteries developing around him.
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Director: Konno Naoyuki (Dance in the Vampire Bund)
Libera: Since watching Uraboku I’m not as apprehensive at watching BL as I was. And the action in the trailer was pretty cool and the character designs definitely aren’t a turnoff, except maybe that incredibly effeminate looking guy in the trailer. Unfortunately this is a game adaption, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a decent game adaption.
Janette: There’s all this cool background information in an attempt to disguise the fact it’s about playing a game. Erm…and according to Scamp, it’s based off a BL game. Pass.
Yosuga no Sora
The story is set in the distant mountain village of Okukozome-chou. Haruka Kazugano and his twin sister Sora lose their parents in an accident, and the two must move in with their grandfather. The twins get reacquainted with their old childhood friends. All seems peaceful and familiar. However, beneath the surface is a secret promise that the twins made with each other long ago, the whereabouts of an important lost item, and the real reason they chose to come back here.
Director: Takahashi Takeo (Spice and Wolf)
Libera: The trailer was full of painfully generic characters, and there’s also a painfully generic plot. The only thing I like here is some of the character designs but I guess that’s the sort of thing that’s really
important in eroge adaptations, not this posh stuff like originality or engaging plots. This was obviously never aimed at people like me.
Janette: …that is the stupidest thing I’ve read in a long time. Pass.
RP: If a good director teams up with a mediocre studio to do an eroge adaptation, what will you get? I’m actually pretty curious. Something about distant mountain village settings that always pique my interest.
A Certain Magical Index
Libera: Index’s first season was good, but It’s main appeal was its concept. The whole season was more of a building block for future stories (psgels’ review basically sums up my opinion). I‘ve been looking forward to a second season ever since the first ended, though my enthusiasm was considerably dented after Railgun, one of those shows that was so painfully boring that I was sorely tempted to break my rule of dumping a show mid episode. The only show I ever dumped mid episode was Ikkitousen, and I was only watching that to see if there were really that many panty shots in the opening scene (there are). Back on topic, Index should be good if it actually continues with the first season’s plot, which I’ve heard it does so hurray!
RP: Nooooo! Spiky-kun and his morality speeches are back. I’d be much more interested in Index if they killed off Spiky-kun and then replaced the rest of the characters with the characters from Railgun. No Mikoto and Kuroko is no fun. Still, I’ll probably watch it since I watched the first season and they sort of left it on a cliffhanger.
Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge
Libera: This didn’t really need a second season, the first had a proper finish to it and I’m worried that Shaft will mess up again and ruin what was an absolutely brilliant show. On the other hand, more Arakawa! Whatever sequel hook they were planning with the Amazon woman at the end of the first season is a mystery to me though.
RP: Libera’s right. I thought they ended the first season really well and didn’t need a sequel. But with that said, Arakawa was one of the best shows in the spring, so I’m happy to see more of it.
Hetalia Axis Powers 4th Season
Janette: …this is turning into the new Shugo Chara. Enough is enough.
Hakuoki Shinsegumi Kitan
Janette: GET IT AWAY…PASS
Letter Bee Reverse
Janette: Didn’t watch the first season. Pass.
RP: Was the first Letter Bee popular enough to warrant a sequel? If the industry is scraping the bottom of the barrel for sequel ideas, there’s about a 100 shows I’d be happy to recommend as deserving sequels.
Sora no Otoshimono Forte
RP: Season 2 needs… more Nymph, more Sohara, more chibis and more flying pantsu.
To Love Ru Motto
Janette: GET IT AWAY X100 PASS X 100
RP: To Love Ru is one of those shows I frequently criticize for being utterly shitty. But I still watch it anyway. Actually, I just watch for Mikan. Pineapple hair buns are so hot.