Spring 2012 Season Preview

I’m sick of waiting for trailers! I’m getting this season preview out of the way before it burns a hole in my drafts folder >.< I’m also changing things up a bit and only commenting on the anime that I’ll be watching or trying out.  I always have a hard time coming up with things to say about anime that don’t interest me in the slightest, yet I don’t want to say a bunch of negative blab and be unfair to something I’ll never watch.

Scrumdiddlyumptious


Fushigi no Umi no Nadia
(Digital Remaster)
I have already seen the show in its original quality, but I can’t help but jump back in for a re-watching of this beloved adventure anime.  This may have actually been the very first of its genre that I encountered.  Despite feeling like a show geared towards a younger type of audience, I was drawn in to its bright colors, the goofy humor of Jean, and Nadia’s exotic aloofness.  It had that feeling of those early morning cartoons that I so rarely was able to enjoy as a child.  Like a good number of adventure anime, it starts out full of bright-eyed vigor, then later gets pumped full of drama.  While it’s very easy for this transition to be handled poorly, Nadia does so seamlessly.


Eureka Seven Ao
The prequel had been on my radar for quite a while, especially so after watching Xam’d, which I loved and saw compared to Eureka Seven repeatedly.  I finally got around to watching it and am halfway through it at the moment.  If you follow me on twitter (hint, hint), you’ll have seen that I am enamored with the show so far.  Like Xam‘d, we start out with the more innocent adventure feel, then gradually start pushing the envelope with Renton’s realization that the Gekko isn’t just a group of fun-loving surfers–they’re terrorists in the government’s eyes, mercenaries, and killers.  I love the family-like atmosphere of the crew and how it changes along with Renton’s coming of age.  Although I have yet to finish the show, I’m already on board for the sequel, which looks to center on a young boy who most likely is the child of Renton and Eureka.  The same director is back, so I’m crossing my fingers that this sequel will follow in the steps of its predecessor.

Phi Brain 2nd Season
This show has a strange hold on me, since I’ve been watching it all through the first season with a reluctance that predicted a drop from the list at any moment.  And yet, I hung in there and kept watching.  It feels like the show pulled one on me and somehow worked, despite its many flaws, and that I would be doing it and myself a disservice by not finishing it out.  I greatly dislike the protagonist, his masochistic Solver addiction, and sadistic lack for care for his friends, particularly Nonoha.  At the point that the 1st season is at right now, I’m not surprised that most of his friends have abandoned him.  Heck, I would leave his sorry butt.  But, I want to know the result of the quest for the Divine Puzzle.  I want to see Rook’s “come to the light” moment.  I want to see all my predictions proved right.  Despite the puzzles being annoyingly hidden from the viewers with the solutions served up with expectations of awe and applause, I want to see the puzzle pieces of my guesses for plot direction slide into place.


Fate/Zero Part 2

Unlike Phi Brain, this anime has my full on approval and unshakeable loyalty.  I found the first part incredibly well crafted, with characters rivaling only a couple others of that year (including Steins;Gate and Nichijou) for best cast list.  I’m excited for more Rider and Waver, and hope Saber and Irisviel’s relationship blossoms in a way that forces Saber to take on a more active role, one that warrants her face gracing the posters for this series.  Along with Eureka Ao, the two head my list for most anticipated shows of the season.


Saki: Achiga-hen
I’m going to sound like a track on repeat, but once again I’m reminded of my feelings for Phi Brain.  I have no good reasons for wanting to watch Saki, except to say that I watched the first season and admittedly had a lot of fun with it.  I chalk it mostly up to my liking of game-centered anime, but I can’t deny the charming humor and yuri fan service of Saki‘s characters.  And even though this side story involves none of the original cast, save one as a reference, I still can’t help my curiosity.  Per Yumeka’s post about guilty pleasures, this most assuredly fits the bill for anime I don’t normally talk about or recommend.  Its blatant exultation in girl-on-girl love is so bad that it’s entertaining.  Watching this with another usually results in the two of us putting on ultra-girly voices, hugging one another, and exclaiming how lovely our breasts are.  Then follow that up with exaggerated arm flailing for mahjong pieces.  If I don’t have these to distract me in this prequel, I wonder what other route the anime will take.  I have a feeling we might end up with a K-ON! or YuruYuri look-a-like.

Taste Test

Ozuma
It’s not so much the description that pulled me in as much as the art.  It features an older style of character design, and gives off an aura of a possible classic in the making.  If you look at the original creator, Masumoto Leiji, you’ll hopefully remember Galaxy Express 999.  The synopsis also reminds me a little bit of Frank Herbert’s Dune series.  Another possibly promising addition is director Ikezoe Takahiro, who has worked on such great works as Dennou CoilFMA: BrotherhoodPiano no Mori, and Xam’d.  What prevents me from getting too excited is that this appears to be only his second time heading an entire project, instead of working as episode director or in animation.  The only other work isn’t familiar to me at all and has average ratings.  The other director makes up for experience, but I am also unfamiliar with the majority of his works (excepting Rurouni Kenshin, and Samurai 7).

Uchuu Kyoudai: PV
Like OzumaUchuu Kyoudai looks to be stepping up with a more mature face and original concept.  The offered quote for this anime states that “[t]he older brother should always be ahead of the younger one…” I’ve always found the order in families and even a group of similar-aged peers interesting.  I’m also reminded of the phrase (probably butchered), “Parents shouldn’t live to see their children die before them.”  As an only child who has only had a few exchange student sisters of the same age, I don’t really have that familial closeness with anyone other than my parents.  A good number of my childhood friends have moved on and away, and I keep in touch with only a select few, and always with extended periods of non-communication between each encounter.  So it stands to reason that I find sibling connections extremely fascinating.  I love that the competition circles around a childhood dream turned adult reality, and that our protagonist is in his early 30s.  I want him to succeed partly for the selfish reason of proving that I still have a promising future ahead of my current slump.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia: PV
Another mixed with Ghost Hunt? Sure, I’m in.  I’m a bit of a sucker for supernatural anime featuring haunted buildings like houses, hospitals, and even schools.  Pretty much any building is terrifying when you walk in it alone at night (especially churches).  The description of this school also reminds me of those episodes in Ghost Hunt that take place in the demon-haunted mansion with multiple expansions built around the original structure.  There’s just something uncanny about mismatched buildings being up against one another.  You get the feeling that ghosts of one can cross over into the newer area, infecting everything and everyone.  And like in Another, I can’t help but be intrigued by the ethereal female lead.

Hyouka: PV
[inner monologue]
Why, hello, Mio! I didn’t realize you were featured in yet another high school anime.  And you’re in a classic literature club this time around.  Wait, this is a mystery? But, it looks like a romantic, slice-of-life school anime.
[/inner monologue ]

I’m not sure what the heck to think about this anime, seeing how it looks like a starry-eyed romance mixed with aspirations of detective grandeur.  The art style is very pretty, but obviously I wish I had the same hope for the story.  I’ll give this a try, but drop it if it goes the same way of Kamisama no Memo-chou.

Jormungand: PV
Being as how the the company is the still young White Fox, I can’t go off of their works alone to judge how successful Jormungand will be.  The director’s record is also all over the place, from the clever Katanagatari, to the highly acclaimed Legend of the Galactic Heroes, then to the abysmal works of School Days and Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka.  So disregarding both, the plot sounds pretty interesting, a sort of cross between anime Black Lagoon and film Lord of War.  Trust anime to have messed with my sex sense so much that I totally thought that the main character with the flowing white hair was a guy.  It turns out that it’s actually a woman, which is cool by me.  I like me some strong women.  I hope the twist doesn’t turn out that she’s actually the one responsible for the weapons dealt that killed Jonah’s family, because that would be, you know, lame.

Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan
This premise of this anime is about as ridiculous as I can imagine, some type of fantastical, adventure slice of life.  Magical girl A with no memory and personality lands herself in a mysterious land, is found by a baker boy, and is brought into his bakery with his pals with a vow to recover her past.  Meanwhile, super bad guys come a’searching for the special stone hanging around her neck.  It connected to some sister story called Shining Tears x Wind that sounds so all over the place, I don’t even want to consider it.  I am interested to see, however, that we’ll hopefully have the gorgeous artwork of Production I.G. hand-in-hand with the awesome character designs of Tony Taka.  Some of my favorite works by him include his tamer versions of the Stellvia cast, as well as Holo of Spice and Wolf.  I can’t say too much about the director’s experience since I’m familiar with a limited amount of the works, including Chrome Shelled Regios (which I thought was pretty bad), Rental Magica (so-so), Tsubasa Chronicle: Tori Kago no Kuni no Himegimi (again, just ok), and Noir (pretty good).  He does have some other ones on his record that I enjoy, but they’re ones in which he had minimal influence.

Natsuiro no Kiseki: PV
I guess I always gotta try at least one of these per season, yeah? There’s really not much out there about this anime in the form of summaries, but the PV does show a good amount of generic slice of life girl activity.  It feels like an anime made for the purpose of promoting its four seiyuu, who are members of the J-pop band, sphere.  Two of them also come from the main cast of K-ON! If you’re thinking the character design looks familiar, then you’re probably thinking of Index and Railgun, all of which include the same artist.  What’s keeping me on this is the director, who has headed some fun works like Fullmetal AlchemistHanamura Youchien, and UN-GO.  I’m hoping he can take this blah premise and insert some truly touching (emotionally, not physically) moments.

Hiiro no Kakera: PV
Good ol’ Marina’s list wouldn’t be complete without her seasonal reverse harem.  I’m usually more for a slightly brawnier build, but these guys are pretty enough for my fantasies.  The one thing I don’t like right now is how weak the female lead looks; I like mine with a bit more spunk.  I’m assuming she’ll get some backbone since the manga summary is a bit more telling and reveals a task that she must carry out along with her male companions.  Something I find kind of comical is that the director worked on Hetalia Axis Powers and Hetalia World Series.  They’re the only ones on his short record I recognize, so I’m wondering if there might be some tongue in cheek humor inserted here and there.

Sakamichi no Apollon: PV
A josei featuring the director of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo and the musical giant, Kanno Yoko? This one is a no brainer.  Even the short PV alone was enough to get me excited for this, with its dance-inducing jazz beats and smooth art design.  I am of the opinion that there can never be enough josei anime, and I hope to add this to the woefully short list of some of my favorites (including Nodame Cantabile, Honey & Clover, NANAKuragehime, and Usagi Drop).  The three friends also look like an unlikely grouping, so I’m looking forward to seeing how jazz music is able to bring them together.  I’m almost equally as excited for the soundtrack as I am for the anime.

Tsuritama: PV
Daily Lives of High School Boys did wonders for my expectations out of boy slice of life, and it was with a renewed sense of hope that I viewed the trailer for Tsuritama.  The art is very reminiscent of Kyousogiga, with whimsical music to match.  Excepting one new voice actor, we have two and two for experience in Daily Lives and Kimi to Boku.  I’m hoping we get some of the craziness of Kyousogiga along with the parody of Daily Lives.

Zetman: PV
What we’ve got here looks to be another addition to our recent and ongoing superhero trend.  I originally wrote this off, but had my mind changed once I viewed the trailer and did a bit of research on the seiyuu involved.  The atmosphere and art style looks very dark, especially so when accompanied with a heavy chorus and percussion soundtrack.  I’m just hoping the violence and sexual content are scaled back instead of used as some sort of self-satisfied shocker (Deadman Wonderland, anyone?).  Actors include the voices behind Yagami Light, Kida Masaomi, Tachibana Kanade, Shiina Mayuri, and Edward Elric.

Trashed
It’s kind of ridiculous how many anime are airing this spring…

48 thoughts on “Spring 2012 Season Preview

  1. Nice preview! We really are being spoiled for choice in the coming season, aren’t we? :razz: I’ll likely pick up at least ten series, probably more.

    In terms of spinoffs/sequels/remasters, Fate/Zero and Eureka Seven top my list, though I’ll also check out Saki, Kore wa Zombie and Queen’s Blade Rebellion. Maybe Phi Brain S2 – I meant to stall the first season to focus on other things, but like you I keep getting pulled back to it despite it’s flaws, so we’ll see… Glad that Nadia is getting remastered, it’s an awesome series (excluding that island arc!), but I don’t think I’ll follow it weekly.

    New shows are harder to judge, but I’m looking forward to Jormungand (White Fox <3), Sakamichi no Apollon (for the obvious reasons you've already covered), Hyouka (though I don't want another Kami Memo either) and Sankarea (wary of DEEN's inability to end anything satisfactorily, but the premise intrigues me). Also Shining Hearts since I'm a fan of fantasy series and Tony Taka's character designs… Shining Tears x Wind was awful, but that was two games adapted into one big mess, so I'll give the franchise another chance. :)

    • Thanks! There really are a ton of choices this season, but I’m glad that I’m not really that interested in a lot of them. My anime plate is already overflowing!

      I’m really curious how Sankarea will turn out since I like the art, but find the whole zombie premise thing tired. Maybe if there are enough positive reviews about it, I’ll try it out. It seems like we have a lot of similar interests, so here’s to a good spring :)

  2. Kimi to Boku 2, Fate/Zero 2, Natsuiro Kiseiki, Saki: Side A. Queen’s Blade Rebellion, Yurumates, AKB0048

    Curiosity: Medaka Box and Kanojo X, Sankarea, Otome x Amnesia.

  3. Fate/Zero?! That’s it! I think I’m officially suffering from withdraws. I love those characters!

    Also I haven’t seen much anime since about episode 4 or 5 of Kore wa Zombie desu ka. Been trying to fill the void with the meager manga selection at the library.

    When you said strong female lead I thought of Caanon. I believe that’s what it’s called at least.

    • Yeahhhh, you should start with the first part of Fate/Zero, which aired last fall. It’s much better than the original F/SN series.
      I’ve heard of Canaan, but have yet to give it a try. Have you seen it? Would you recommend it?

  4. I’m really surprised at just how many shows don’t interest me despite the humongous list. I had to take several looks through it to find anything besides Eureka and Fate/Zero. At this point, the only others I’m think I would like is Zetman and maybe Shining Hearts.

    That said, I can’t be sure about anything until they actually start airing. Last season I wrote off Mouretsu Pirates as garbage, but it is now my favorite of the currently airing season. Who knows? Maybe there are similar hidden gems in the Spring. It makes it all the more fun transitioning from season to season.

    • Yes, I was a bit appalled at how many anime I decided to pass on when I compiled that list at the bottom. And usually my definite list is much longer. Like you, I tend to try out a lot of things in hopes that I get a surprise. I’m also enjoying Mouretsu Pirates a ton!

  5. None of these series I’m familiar with, but I have been looking for new animes to try out myself. I might give these titles a look too. I’m hoping one of these will hook me into the story.

    • Well, I’m also hoping you find something of interest…then blog about it >.< I especially want to see some fashion posts out of you, so I'm crossing my fingers for some intriguing character designs!

  6. There’s a lot of interesting stuff this season, but Apollon is the show that really has my attention. I’ve never seen Nadia, and somehow had it confused with something that it obviously isn’t, so thanks for pointing that out. I can imaging kicking back with a fun adventure tale someday.

      • No, I’m sure it was a more recent series about a girl that is an underwater rescue operator (like a lifeguard?) or something. At any rate, Ashita no Nadja looks to be more entertaining. The one I am thinking of clearly did not make a good impression on me (given that I can’t remember the name), but I am glad to learn about Nadja, because I have seen that title and thought incorrectly that I had seen and disliked it.

      • Ok, I just want to be clear that Ashita no Nadja and Fushigi no Umi no Nadia are two completely different anime. I think I may have confused you there with my own guessing of what you might have been thinking about. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of an underwater rescue operator before >.<

      • Yeah, sorry. I was looking at the wrong place.

        On another matter, I watched the preview episode of Hiiro no Kakera, and, while it isn’t the best show of its type, they did a decent job of setting up the premise.

      • I am really hoping that HnK improves with the official start, as my reaction to the preview wasn’t quite so positive.

  7. I was put off at Zetman at first but after reading your quick opinions, I started getting more interests in it :D Umm… well just a little.. But truthfully, this Spring’s anime list doesn’t look as good as winter, out of the whole list, I’m only interested in Accel World and Sankarea.

    • Haha, well, I’m glad to change your mind…just a little :p
      I hope you blog about both Accel World and Sankarea since I’ve chosen to skip on both of those. Maybe you, too, will change my mind!

  8. Fate/Zero is even better? Well that’s a strong endorsement. I am very interested now. Let me ask you this. Did you prefer the series or the movie? Also which did you see first?

    Yeah I would reccomend it. I liked it quite a bit actually. I just liked the overall feel of the show. If you do give it a try review it. I enjoy reading your reviews and it’d be nice getting to read your thoughts on something I’ve seen for a change. lol

    • When you say movie, are you talking about Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works? If so, then I definitely preferred the TV series to that film. I know there is also a 2-part OVA out there, but I haven’t seen it. I saw both Fate/stay night and UBW before Fate/Zero.

      I’ll have to hunt out Canaan, and if I do watch it, I’ll let you know what I think :)

  9. Yeah. I meant Unlimited Blade Works. Sorry I didn’t know about the OVA. I asked because it seems people usually prefer the one they saw first. For the record I preferred the series too. It’s more fleshed out.

    Thanks! Even if you dislike it I greatly look forward to your opinion.

  10. Great write-up and you got me even more excited for this upcoming season as well as introduced a few new ones I haven’t encountered yet. Definitely count me in for Eureka Seven, Sakamichi no Apollon, Fate/Zero 2, Ozuma and Uchuu Kyodai.

    • Thanks, ken :) I’ll also write up my impressions after they start airing, be that after 1-3 episodes, so I look forward to hearing your thoughts there as well!

  11. Woah woah woah woah. Woah. Woah woah.

    How is THE Marina not going to watch shirakuma cafe? You’re practically required to! Plus, it’s a polar bear running a cafe! You just can’t beat that! How can you not want to watch what’s going to be the best show this season?

    • Yeah, I wasn’t so sure about that…it sounds cute, but I dunnnnnnno. If I find a sub of it, I guess I’ll try it out, if simply to fulfill this expectation :p
      And you know, polar bears aren’t nice, not nice at all.

  12. Excellent preview- everything I wanted to know about the shows was included. Even after having done a preview of my own, this showed me there was still a lot about the shows I covered that I didn’t know!
    Also, there are just not enough josei shows, huh? I loved all of the shows you mentioned, Kuragehime and Honey and Clover being particular favourites of mine. Have you seen Paradise Kiss by any chance?

    • Thanks Ty-chama :) Previews are pretty daunting, though I find my end-of-the-season total review more intimidating. In these, I just make a whole lot of guesses and conjectures.

      I have seen Paradise Kiss, very early on. I liked it well enough, though I prefer the prequel manga, Gokinjo Monogatari. The art style of Paradise Kiss, however, is superior and I do like it very much.

  13. Tasogare is probably my favorite pick for this season next to Fate/Zero. Just like you, I have a soft spot for supernatural and mystery anime. :3

    • I really hope they nail the eerie quality that I love about supernatural anime like this :) I look forward to exchanging impressions with you when it starts airing!

    • I’m actually passing on a few that I am kind of curious about, so I hope people write some impressions that may help me change my mind! If so, I think a good number might have to be backlogged for later marathoning.

  14. If I had to choose only one title to watch, it would be Sakamichi no Apollon, closely followed by Tsuritama. I haven’t watched good josei anime for while now :)

  15. This is the first I’ve actually heard of the story for Shining Hearts, but it does sound pretty ridiculous. I’m keeping an eye on it for the artwork too. I bought a few figures because they looked pretty so I’m hoping the anime doesn’t let me down.

  16. Hm, let’s see… Sakamichi no Apollon is a definite considering plot, director and music *waves tail*. Then Tsuritama and Space Bros are series I want to check out. I’d like to give a chance to Lupin III, Shirokuma Cafe, Kuroko no Basuke, Hyouka in this order of preference. I haven’t watched Eureka Seven and I have an issue with mechas so I don’t think I’ll check Ao for now. I might try the first ep of Ozma now that it’s out – just for the design like you :) There are a lot out there that seem good this season.

    • Your magnificent tail echoes my own excitement for Apollon :p And now that’s a second note for Shirokuma Cafe! Maybe I will have to check it out now.
      I actually used to be very much against mecha, until I saw a few anime that really helped to change my bias against them. Have you tried Macross Frontier or Bounen no Xamdou? Although they do feature mecha, I was so fascinated by the story and characters that I wasn’t even bothered by the machines. in the slightest.

      • I’ve tried Macross Frontier because I’ve liked the fanarts of Sheryl and Alto, but by the first episode the battles took several minutes that were incomprehensible and boring to me :(

    • One would hope! Like you, I’m struggling to keep up with all the anime this season. If we have as many fun shows in the spring, I think I really will be forced to backlog some of them for later viewing.

  17. Top 5:

    1. Sakamichi no Apollon – Obvious reasons
    2. Jormungand – I read the manga and the main character in Jormungand makes Nick Cage in Lord of War look like a little princess.
    3. Zetman – voice actors are awesome, plus I love the dual protagonist setting and the dark nature of the manga (hope TMS doesn’t mess up).
    4. Uchuu Kyoudai – I’m listening to my inner child and watching this
    5. Tsuritama – Since it’s got a noitaminA slot, I’m hoping it’s not as shonen as Kimi to Boku.

      • Yes! Uchuu Kyoudai’s first episode was good, the one I’m most unsure about is Tsuritama but I’m hoping the quality is on par with all other A-1original works

      • I’m just about to watching Space Brothers, and I’ve already read a lot of excited comments by others about the first episode.

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