Ok, I have to get this post out the door, I’ve already spent way too much time already tweaking code. I’m not happy with it, because I had grander design plans in mind. But I eventually cut out 90% of the work I originally did, because I couldn’t get things to look and function perfectly. Sadly my vision for this post was more ambitious than my very limited coding skills. But at least it’s table free, which was the one goal I was able to accomplish (for better or worse). Oh well, I’ll revisit it for the next season. (On a completely separate note, much thanks to Ryan A for continuing to help me figure out the melative plugin. It hasn’t been implemented yet, but I’m hoping to think of interesting ways to eventually incorporate information from melative here.). So without further ado (and any more bitching), I bring you… the winter 2009/2010 anime season preview – complete with cheesy header banner!
I’m fairly psyched about the winter season. I think there’s a few that have the potential to be excellent (DRRR, Nodame Finale, Ookami Kakushi, and Dance in the Vampire Bund), and a few others that could be just as good, if not better, than anything airing right now during the fall season (SoRaNoWoTo, Hanamaru Kindergarten, and Katanagatari). After that there’s a substantial drop in quality, and overall, it’s a pretty light season. But 7 watchable shows? That’s a solid number, and maybe even more than I have time for. Blogging-wise, Nodame is a definite. And I’ll pick up 1-2 others, DRRR and Ookami being the frontrunners for now.
Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
Summary: One dumb boy will knock up one smart girl. And summon one fantasy creature to rule them all.
I know very little about the studio and the source material. I think it lies somewhere in between Pokemon and Zero no Tsukaima. I do know that I was very put off by the image of Emiri Katou’s character. That girl is not a man. But what the heck, I’ll give it a fair shot when it eventually airs.
Crystal ball of suck: Probably will.
Anticipation meter: 1
Summary: Every generation has a legend. Every journey has a first step. Every saga has a beginning. Chu-Bra: Episode I: The Black Lace Menace.
So is this show limiting is fanservice to just black-laced panties or do black-laced bras apply too? And who in the world thought an "underwear club" would be a good setting to make a manga and anime series about? I suppose it’s only natural then for the show artwork to feature a girl presenting herself to the world. Butt-first. More importantly, can this reach levels of brilliance reserved for Sora no Otoshimono’s flying pantsu?
Crystal ball of suck: Probably will… but has guilty pleasure potential.
Anticipation meter: 4
Dance in the Vampire Bund
Summary: In a world run by terrorists, Mina Tepes, the princess of the ancient covenant and ruler of all vampires, dreams of change. And sometimes. Dreams can come true. Can she "Yes, we can!" her way into authority, or will the terrorists achieve their nefarious plans?
Loli vampire. Need I say more? Ok, SHAFT and Shinbou. Admittedly, not exactly the team you’d expect to direct an action-packed story like this, but I learned from Bakemonogatari that SHAFT can do more than random comedies and wacky slices of life. They can take a good story and tell it brilliantly. Here’s hoping they have plenty of animation budget for this one.
Crystal ball of suck: No way! … as long as SHAFT actually animates the action and doesn’t stick in static screens to save budget.
Anticipation meter: 7
Summary: Ryuugamine Mikado is a normal high school boy who seeks peculiar beings, like aliens, time travelers or espers. But when he moves in to Ikebukuro, he gets more than he bargained for. A world without laws. A world without hope. Murder. Mystery. Mafias. One boy’s quest to find peculiar beings will take him to the ends of a large commercial and entertainment district in a very large city.
So if Scamp didn’t get you excited enough about the show brought to you by the people who brought Baccano, chew on this: Daisuke Ono, Mamoru Miyano, Jun Fukuyama and Hiroshi Kamiya. Four of the biggest male seiyuus taking the role of four of the main cast members. GARness is just bursting from the seams. Plus, the trailer features some wonderfully funky music – an underrated aspect of Baccano. I just hope DRRR’s animation is more Baccano, and less Spice and Wolf 2.
Crystal ball of suck: I predict that it’ll be the most epic show since Gurren Lagann
Anticipation meter: 9
Summary: In a far off land, one lonely man will break all the rules and stand up to the lolicons and fight against the evil preschool empire. All in the name of love.
From the makers of Top wo Narae, Evangelion, and Gurren Lagann comes the next epic, intergalatic adventure starring- wait a second. What’s that? No mechas this season either? Gainax is doing what? A comedy about preschool kids? Are you sure? Hmm, ok. Well, they do look cute. Sort of like marshmallow peeps. Ah what the heck. I’m a sucker for cute things. And the trailer was epic troll.
Crystal ball of suck: Only if you have no heart.
Anticipation meter: 6
Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu
Summary: The third season of Hidamari Sketch.
Also known as Himari Sketch x Three Stars. I’m not going to bother searching for the HTML code to signify stars. Hidamari Sketch is one of those shows that I downloaded, but haven’t gotten around to watching yet. So needless to say, I won’t be watching the third season before I get to the first two.
Crystal ball of suck: N/A
Anticipation meter: N/A
Summary: In the face of an enemy, in the Heart of One Man, Lies the Soul of a Warrior. Tom Cruise stars as the Last Samurai. This time, it’s animated.
Katanagari has a couple strikes going for it and going against it. Starting out with the cons: it’s produced by a newbie studio, White Fox, whose major work, Tears to Tiara, I’m not familiar with. It also seems to be a historical epic of sorts, which I’m typically not too hot about. On the plus side, it’s from the creator of Bakamonogatari, so I would think that it’ll have some interesting characters at the very least. And the artwork is very attractive and pretty unique. Interestingly, Katanagatari has a unique airing schedule, airing one hour episodes once a month. So even though it’s only 12 episodes long, it’ll feel more like a 4-cour… or maybe a bunch of disjointed OVAs.
Crystal ball of suck: Please let it be more Bakemonogatari, and less Samurai Jack
Anticipation meter: 6
Ladies versus Butlers
Summary: From the creators of Kanokon and To Love-Ru comes a harrowing tale of butlers-in-training battle against maids-in-training in a fight to the death. All for a chance to determine who is deserving of a life of indentured servitude for one special rich family.
It’s got a good cast (Ayako Kawasumi, Rie Kugimiya, Mai Nakahara). The story doesn’t seem that original (a school for butlers and maids), but it’s not like Hayate no Gotoku had a brilliant, original story, and that turned out well. On the downside, Ladies verus Butlers is produced by XEBEC, who are apparently masters at producing ecchi shows with poor animation – a very bad combo.
Crystal ball of suck: Only a Hinagiku sighting might save this.
Anticipation meter: 4
Nodame Cantabile: Finale
Summary: Gyabo! The third and final season.
I only got around to watching Nodame Cantabile fairly recently, but I love, love this show. Both the anime and the live action version. So although on one hand, I’m sad to see the show end, I’m really psyched to have more Nodame to indulge in.
Crystal ball of suck: Mukyaa? Blasphemy! This will be great… I just hope they end it well.
Anticipation meter: 10
Summary: Yuuto is your average, high school boy leading an ordinary life when all of a sudden, a girl named Himari walks into his life *record scratch* and turns it completely upside down! Himari is a cat-girl samurai who is sworn to protect Yuuto. Except there’s only one small problem: Yuuto is allergic to cats! Da Derp De Derp Da Teetley Derpee Derpee Dumb!
Himari, the cat samurai sworn to protect Yuuto, "your average, high school boy" aka typical harem loser, really does look like a well developed Azu-Nyan in the picture on Sea Slugs. So if you took a buxon Azu-nyan, and stuck her in a blender with Nyan Koi and Shakugan no Shana what would you get? You’d probably get Omamori Himari. Unfortunately, while all the individual ingredients are good, the mix seems more like a generic sludge than anything special. Not to mention that this is produced by ZEXCS, another studio whose animation work I have not been impressed by.
Crystal ball of suck: In a totally generic way I’d imagine.
Anticipation meter: 2
Summary: Hiroshi Kuzumi is the new kid in town in the seemingly serene village of
Hinamizawa Jogamachi. But young Hiroshi soon discovers the terrifying secrets behind the village’s ancient and mysterious traditions and customs. A harrowing race for survival begins as Hiroshi unravels the mysteries within.
11eyes wasn’t too bad. However, I lost interest a few episodes in and dropped it. If Ookami Kakushi was just another VN adaptation, I’d think I was in for more of the same. Teenage boy moves to a new town. Strange things start to happen. But there’s one thing that makes Ookami Kakushi stand out – it’s from the creator of Higurashi and Umineko, Ryukishi07. That’s a big deal. It’s like seeing a trailer for a new war movie and thinking, "geez, another war movie?" If you hear it’s a Michael Bay film, you’re like "aw, screw that." But if you hear it’s a Steven Spielberg film, you know it’s going to be good. I’m a little disappointed that the male lead is voiced by a girl seiyuu, because it means he can’t be as GAR as Keiichi (although Yuu Kobayashi is very good), but otherwise I’m pretty eager to dive into a new Ryukishi07 world, especially with Umineko coming to an end. Plus, AIC is producing it, so it should look a lot better than either of the Higurashis or Umineko series.
Crystal ball of suck: As long as Ryukishi07 hasn’t been playing other VNs, we’re good
Anticipation meter: 9
Seikon no Qwaser
Summary: In a world where power is taken by those who can best suckle on breast milk, one boy will suckle more breast milk than anyone else to solve the true mysteries… of breast milk.
God bless the Japanese and their penchant for really weird fetishes. Chu-Bra’s underwear club doesn’t take the cake for weirdness, because Seikon no Qwaser features a lead who can manipulate iron (ok, seems fine so far, sort of like Magneto, right?) and draws his power from breast milk (uh, what!?). Apparently, he can do this because he’s a Qwaser – which means there’s a whole species out there who goes around drinking each others’ breast milk. To each their own, but dude, that’s gross. No thanks.
Crystal ball of suck: Worst show this season.
Anticipation meter: -10
Summary: In the city of Seize, a long war brings a gradual decline to the world. People disappear from the town and fishes cease to exist in the sea. But five girls will save the world… by playing brass instruments in the spirit of five heroes that came before them.
Already described as K-ON in the military, I think A-1 is a master of mimicking other studios’ styles. Kuroshitsuji looked CLAMP-esque. Valkyria Chronicles looked Sunrise-esque (speaking of which, what have they been up to?). And now So-Ra-No-Wo-To has that K-ON-style art. I don’t know much about the story, but I gather it’s a slice of life with a dash of drama mixed in. People criticized K-ON for not having much substance behind the avalanche of cute, but now it seems like we’re going to get both. That should make it an excellent combo, right?
Crystal ball of suck: I will love it. Others will hate it. Screw you guys!
Anticipation meter: 7