Well, here I am jumping on the bandwagon and expressing my thoughts on the upcoming fall anime! TV series and movies are organized into three categories: “Scrumdiddlyumptious,” “Taste test,” and “Garbage chute” (a.k.a. will watch, will try, and won’t try). The basic format will consist of title, video link, a quoted synopsis, and my thoughts on what little I know about a particular show.
Excepting the prequels and sequels, everything else is new to me since I’m not a big manga reader. If you feel that a show on my “Garbage chute” list deserves a try, do let me know why 🙂
(Films not yet considered)
And without further ado, enjoy my thoughts on the fall 2011 anime.
- Chihayafuru: PV
Chihaya is a lighthearted tomboy, who’s not especially good at anything in particular. Her dream has always been for her sister (an aspiring model) to become the number one beauty of Japan, or perhaps of the world. But then one day she meets someone who tells her that a dream is something that should concern only herself – and something she has to work hard for as well. At the same time, Chihaya discovers a passion for the old Japanese game hyakunin ishhu, also called “karuta”. (MAL)
I admit that I’m a bit of a shoujo fangirl, so the art style and characters greatly appeal to me. Since I don’t know anything about the story, all I can do is base my thoughts off of the vague description and manga images. A pretty girl, some nice-looking guys, and a card game? Count me in! If anything, I’m hoping for an anime with the game tension of Hikaru no Go and the light romance of Honey and Clover. For now, this is at the top of my to-watch list.
- Guilty Crown: PV
The story takes place in Tokyo in 2039. After the outbreak of the unidentified virus “Lost Christmas” in 2029, Japan has been under the control of a multinational organization called GHQ. Ohma Shu is a 17 year old boy who has a psychic power in his right hand. He can use the power “Ability of King” to extract tools or weapons from his friends. He has been avoiding making trouble for others but his life changes when he meets a girl named Yuzuriha Inori, a member of a resistance guerrilla group called “Undertaker”, whose members pilot mecha weapons to fight against the government. (MAL)
All the visuals of this anime make this look like a winner, and it also seems to be a show that many other bloggers are looking forward to as well. I especially like the mix of near-modern settings, high technology, and subtle magics. The staff working on this particular piece also look promising, including people involved with Death Note, Code Geass, Bakemonogatari (music), and a slew of other intellectual works. I can only hope that Guilty Crown lives up to its predecessors in terms of story and character. I really liked the ambient and quirky music of Bakemonogatari, and hope to hear a unique style used in GC.
Meiji-era story about a detective named Yuki Shinjuro, who solves various incidents that happen in his circle of friends. The adaptation will utilize an original story set in the near future, revolving around the detective and a boy named Inga, who continually encounter mysterious cases. (MAL)
Similar to the previously mentioned GC, UN-GO also has an impressive staff list, with the director of FMA, the script writer for Juuni Kokuki, and the art director of Mushishi. There’s little for me to go on for this anime since I have yet to track down a PV or teaser, but I’m hoping for the best with the production headed by Bones. If anything, I have a feeling this might be a bit of an episodic mystery…but don’t quote me on that.
- Shinryaku!? Ika Musume
Squid Girl has come to the land from the depths of the sea to conquer humanity for its pollution of the ocean. Unfortunately she ruins the first house she uses as an invasion base and has to work to pay for repairs. Of course, she can’t overcome the Aizawa sisters who manage the house, so who knows whether she can subjugate humankind. (ANN)
Seen the first season? Then, you know what to expect! Haven’t seen the first season? Go get your butt over there and watch it for some good-hearted silliness from a strange girl out to save the ocean! I absolutely adore Squid Girl and her ~de geso~ speech, and it is only because of her that I’m willing to try squid ink spaghetti should the opportunity arise. I’m not expecting anything more out of this than a continuation of the style from the first season, with episodic arcs and mundane everyday living.
- Fate/Zero: PV
Taking place 10 years before the events of Fate/stay night, this series chronicles the events of the Fourth Holy Grail War. (ANN)
The same music director from Kara no Kyoukai, and Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica? Enough said.
All music aside, this prequel is a must-see for any fan of the Fate/stay night franchise. Despite its many flaws, I still greatly enjoy F/SN and its cast of heroes–most of all, Saber (of course). The PV does show an interesting amount of time spent on Ilya, who I admit to not liking very much in the main series; I’m excited to see further development on her character, as well as on many of the others only briefly shown in F/SN. Quite a few staff members from Kara no Kyoukai are involved in this production, including the director and original creators. That, too, is making it difficult for me to keep tame my high expectations that hope to see this one far surpass its predecessor.
- WORKING’!!: PV
2nd season featuring the antics of Wagnaria’s servers, kitchen staff, manager, and co.
A sequel to a first season, Working’!! doesn’t really look like anything special, but I did still enjoy the previous show enough to warrant watching this upcoming one. I’m really crossing my fingers in hopes that much less time in spent on Inami’s character, since she and all her ridiculous man-fear drove me up the wall. Her comedic stints stayed the same almost all the way throughout and I didn’t think her attraction to Takanashi was cute at all. The characters who kept me going were the lazy manager, her sword-wielding follower, the male cooks, and Yamada…ahhhh, Yamada. Who are you and where do you come from!?
- Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam: PV
Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing is a new original tale in the Last Exile universe. It features new characters, new mechanics and an all new story centered around the young ace vanship pilot, Fam, and her trusted navigator, Giselle, as they pilot their vanship, Vespa, through the free and peaceful skies. (FUNimation)
I simply adore Last Exile. I had heard about it here and there but didn’t pick it up until I saw how high up it was on The Cart Driver’s list of favorites, and I didn’t regret the choice of buying it on DVD. The setting, characters, story, music–they are all stellar. Did I mention that I’m fascinated with the whole steampunk subculture? While Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing separates itself from the original with a completely different cast of characters and story, the world looks much the same. The feeling I get from the PV also feels familiar, sort of that grandiose adventure thrill. I couldn’t help but notice an inclusion of another strong female leader, so I’m excited to see what GONZO has in store for us with this commemorative 20th anniversary show.
- Tamayura ~hitotose~: OVA OP
“The story takes place in Seto Inland Sea and is about a girl who likes taking pictures” (MAL).
Well, if anyone knows anything about me, you know that this is an obvious choice. Satou Junichi directed my all-time favorite anime, ARIA, so along with the description, I expect a similar “healing” slice-of-life series. And like most people who own cameras, I have a tendency to think of myself as a person with a good eye for special shots, a delusion I revisit every time I actually do pull off some accidental beauty. I love that this show centers around a girl and her photography, and hope that this show brings a similar sense of calm like ARIA and Natsume Yuujinchou give me. If anyone goes into this expecting some sort of driving plot then condemns it for lack of said plot, he or she deserves a head bonk. While this doesn’t promise intricate story or character, it does seem like one that will give us life lessons gently through the revealing camera lens of a little girl.
- Bakuman 2
2nd season featuring Ashirogi Muto’s duo and their entrance into serialization.
Obvious is obvious if you’ve watched the full first season…which I did. The major complaint I stumble across for this show is its pacing: “Blah blah, manga much better, blah blah, pacing is terrible, blah blah, manga crammed into two-episode arcs, blah blah.” Yeah, well, I didn’t read the manga, and I don’t have those expectations. I found the anime enjoyable for what it was and could care less whether or not it’s from the same maker of Death Note (an anime I found interesting, but far overrated as “genius!!!!!!”). I also don’t think the main love relationship strange at all, but reminiscent of old stories of romance that broke the barrier of distance and time through letters sent via snail mail. I think a good factor that contributed to my enjoyment of this anime was that I waited until all the episodes were out before I commenced watching. That way, I didn’t have to sit and wait weekly for the next trial of Ashirogi Muto’s.
- Shakugan no Shana III (Final): PV
According to Animedia August issue, producer Nakayama Nobuhiro said the OVA series “Shakugan no Shana S” is followed by the third season. (MAL)
Shana, oh, Shana. The heart of all tsundere, the conqueror of moe, and one of the most overrated characters in anime. Well, here I am getting sucked into your moe bile. I watched the first season on a whim and enjoyed it for the mediocre work that it was, but made it only 1/3 of the way through the 2nd season. I’ve been told that Season 2 improves significantly a little over halfway through, but I think it’s silly that the anime expects its audience to sit through half a series of crap before finally becoming interesting. Regardless, I feel obligated to watch this 3rd season due to it being the conclusion to the whole Shakugan no Shana tale (and because Riyoga is so hyped up about it). I’m also feeling a bit unfairly annoyed because ISML is in the midst of the Ruby Period and everyone seems to be voting for Shana purely because they want her to have the Ruby necklace, not because they actually like her. That’s just plain stupid. Well, 3rd season, I’ll see how I last through trying to watch the 2nd season again, then give you a whirl. DON’T MAKE ME REGRET THIS DECISION.
- Ben-To: PV 1 and PV 2
Sato Yo is a high school boy who likes SEGA games. One day, he enters a grocery store to buy some food for dinner. When he tries to take a bento box, he loses consciousness. He comes around to find all the bento sold out. He notices there is a war game going on at grocery stores and players called “Wolves” compete for the half-priced bento. Yarizui Sen, the leader of the Half-Pricer Club, forces Yo to join the club and he enters the bento war. (MAL)
With my passion for food of all types, and especially for Japanese food, Ben-To easily makes it onto my must-see list. I like this even more so with its comedic and battle elements. Fighting for half-priced bento? Sounds like a good idea to me! The girls look pretty badass (along with a pair of boots I would love to wear myself). If I get enough inspiration, I may end up doing a food post on bento, along with pictures of my own attempts! I’m really, really hoping this turns out to be a comedic gem.
Remake of the 1999 TV series of Hunter x Hunter based on the manga by Togashi Yoshihiro.
A Hunter is one who travels the world doing all sorts of dangerous tasks. From capturing criminals to searching deep within uncharted lands for any lost treasures. Gon is a young boy whose father disappeared long ago, being a Hunter. He believes if he could also follow his father’s path, he could one day reunite with him.
After becoming 12, Gon leaves his home and takes on the task of entering the Hunter exam, notorious for its low success rate and high probability of death to become an official Hunter. He befriends the revenge-driven Kurapica, the doctor-to-be Leorio and the rebellious ex-assassin Killua in the exam, with their friendship prevailing throughout the many trials and threats they come upon taking on the dangerous career of a Hunter. (MAL)
Hmmm, well, I didn’t watch the original, so I’m not exactly sure what to make of this. The synopsis sounds intriguing enough for me since I do greatly enjoy adventure-type anime, but I’m not too thrilled with the art style. It just looks dated and not at all like the quality of a remake of an older show. Maybe that’s because the original really isn’t that old? I don’t really consider remakes worthwhile if at least ten years haven’t passed (with the exception of FMA: Brotherhood), but perhaps Hunter x Hunter will prove me wrong. I’ll give it the 1-3 episode test and see how I feel.
- Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: PV
It has been a few hundred years since humans began to live on space colonies. In A.G. 101, an unknown enemy (UE) “GAFRAN” suddenly attacks one of the colonies “Angel”. A long war against UE has begun.
In A.G 108, seven year old Flit Asuno lost his mother when UE attacked his colony “Ovan”. His mother left him a memory unit “AGE” which had stored data of an ancient mobile suit Gundam. In A.G. 114, Flit completes the Gundam AGE and counterattacks against GAFRANs. (MAL)
They synopsis itself doesn’t sound too groundbreaking, but I am interested in the Gundam franchise as a whole. I have never seen any of the series, older or newer, but recently watched some video game play of Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 for the PS3 and thought some of the characters looked pretty cool. This thought may have been influenced by my recent watching of Break Blade (a review for which will come out…some day), a series of short films that completely turned around my bias against mecha anime. Again, I have reservations about the art style…though not the same reservations that I’ve seen tons of people talk about online. I could care less whether or not the characters actually look their ages; in my eyes, that’s actually a good thing. Like for Hunter x Hunter, I don’t like how old fashioned the art style looks. And from the synopsis, I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to understand that the protagonist unearths just the memory unit of an ancient Gundam, or if he actually uses a complete suit of one.
- Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon: PV
Set in a distant land, Japan is divided into feudal territories, yet conquered by outside countries, the city Musashi that will ignite the flame of battle is being targeted and has no choice but to keep its people safe by entering this war, with the fate of the world resting on its hands, the students of Musashi may hold the key to victory. (ANN)
So…the girl looks a lot like Eucliwood Hellscythe of Kore wa Zombie desu Ka? (a show I dropped after just one episode). Despite that horrific similarity, I have some hopes that Koukai Senjou no Horizon might actually turn out to be decent. This description from ANN is WAY different from the one on MAL, but both still interest me. The ANN synopsis reminds me of Code Geass, while MAL’s sounds like a crazy war over time and space across parallel worlds. And theeeeen, you watch the PV. The PV makes Horizon out to be some sort of battle anime chock full of a harem of women, though some brawny men do make some appearances. The main male featured a couple of times also seems like he’d be more at home with slit eyes playing the role of a too-crafty kitsune–odd for a possible main character. Whatever this turns out to be, I’ll watch it as long as it keeps me entertained!
- Persona 4 The Animation: PV
Persona 4 takes place in the same universe as Persona 3 in a rural town named Inaba. There have been mysterious murders occurring whenever there was fog after heavy rain. There were also rumors about a channel on television airing only at midnight called Mayonaka TV, during which it is said that one can see his/her “other half” when staring at the TV screen….After the closing events of Persona 3 on January 31, 2010, Persona 4 starts April 11, 2011, putting the start of Persona 4 fourteen months after the end of Persona 3. (MAL)
Well, I haven’t played the games, nor do I have any clue what this show is about even after reading the description and watching the PV, but there’s enough talk about this anime to warrant me giving it a few episodes to catch my interest. The director has worked on a couple of shows I enjoy–Angel Beats! and Kamisama Dolls–as well as one I absolutely did not: Seto no Hanayome.
- Kimi to Boku.
The story revolves around four teens — the good-looking twins Yuuta and Yuuki Asaba, the effeminate Shun Matsuoka, and the class head Kaname Tsukahara — who have known each other since early childhood. While they are not necessarily good or bad friends, they continue to hang out well into high school. The half-Japanese transfer student Chizuru Tachibana joins the circle of friends in this comedy about the everyday life of adolescence. (MAL)
A shoujo with males? Count me in. The closest thing I’ve come to a show even remotely like this is maybe Natsume Yuujinchou, but even then, the primary focus isn’t a slice-of-life story about a group of friends (or wait…). Director Kanbe Mamoru has done a whole lot of work on anime that I truly loved, including Baccano!, Elfen Lied, Cardcaptor Sakura, Ichigo Mashimaro, and Sora no Woto. With this strange mixture of violence and feel-good slice-of-life, I have even more of a hard time pinning down what to expect out of Kimi to Boku. Here’s to hoping that I can find a quality subber for this anime.
- Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle: PV
Daimon Kaito is a high school boy, who loves puzzles. One day, the president of the student council gives him a mobile device and it leads him to an underground ruin buried in the school. He challenges an ” insolvable puzzle” hidden in the ruin with his girlfriend Nonoha, but the puzzle turns out to be the dangerous “The Puzzle of Sage” created by the black society “POG”. He manages to solve the puzzle but it’s the beginning of a puzzle battle against POG. (MAL)
Ignore the close-minded comments on the PV–I find the art style unique and quite likable. With the same director as Tamayura, Phi Brain has a completely different feel to it. Crossing puzzle/mystery with action, the premise behind this anime is strange enough as it is. What high school has an underground ruin beneath it, much less its own “black society”? And am I the only one who thought of the pogs game that was so popular during my grade school days?
- Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai: PV
Hasegawa Kodaka has transferred schools, and he’s having a hard time making friends. It doesn’t help that his blond hair tends to make people think he’s a delinquent. One day, he runs into his bad-tempered solitary classmate Yozora while she’s talking animatedly to her imaginary friend Tomo. Realizing that neither of them have any actual friends, they decide that the best way to alter this situation is to form a club and start recruiting.
That is how “Rinjinbu”, The Neighbours’ Club, was formed, a club specifically designed for people who don’t have very many friends. As other lonely classmates slowly join their little club, they’ll try to learn how to build friendships through cooking together, playing games, and other group activities. But will this group of relationship-challenged misfits really be able to get along? (M-U)
Well, isn’t this the ideal solution for those kids who just didn’t fit in? Despite its gag-worthy message of acceptance and friendship, I honestly do think the idea of the club is interesting, if farfetched. I’m leery of the harem set up revealed in the PV, but am attracted to the character designs that remind me greatly of Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko. If anything, I’m hoping that the director who did Bamboo Blade channels the level of comedy in that anime and brings forth that energy here.
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious: PV
A school battle action & love comedy with ecchi elements. Yachi Haruaki is a high school boy and naturally resistant to curses. His father, Honatsu, sends him cursed instruments called “Worse” to try to break this. One day, Haruaki receives a black cube from Honatsu. During the night, he encounters a naked silver haired girl stealing rice crackers. She is the human-form of the black cube, an instrument of torture called “Fear in Cube”. Haruaki and the girl ‘Fear’ fight together against other ‘Worse’ instruments and their owners using Fear’s 32 mechanisms of torture. (MAL)
Why is this on my list? Am I being pushed around by the expectations of fellow anibloggers? Ahhhh, Silver Link, you tempt me with your name…
In all seriousness, though, the “ecchi” element really turns me off and I’m going into this show with zero expectations…which hopefully is a good thing for me maybe eventually liking this show! The main girl, Fear Kubrick, is voiced by the very talented Tamura Yukari (Furude Rika of Higurashi and Takamachi Nanoha of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha). Perhaps she’ll bring out her talents from voicing Kawasumi Mai of Kanon (2006) in her portrayal of Fear.
- Mirai Nikki: PV1 and PV 2
Middle school 2nd year, Amano Yukiteru, is a boy who has problem making friends. He thinks of himself as a bystander and will always write down everything he sees in a cell phone diary.
Tormented by solitude, Yukiteru began to imagine things like a friend called Deus Ex Machina who is apparently the Lord of Time & Space. Seeing Yukiteru’s miserable state, Deus gives him a new ability. His diary will now record events that will happen in the near future. Yukiteru is then forced to participate in a game which the winner will become Deus’s successor.
Oh god. The man who directed the bombshell Minami-ke Okawari that gave my beloved series a terrible sequel. The man who directed the shudder-worthy fantastical harem titled Shuffle!. As afraid of this director as I am, I can’t help but be intrigued by both PVs, as well as the description. The trailers are almost psychedelic in nature, with the protagonist communicating with a creature of unknown origins and being hit on by a creepy girl with a very creepy laugh. I really don’t know anything about this show or hold any expectations whatsoever. Production company Asread doesn’t have much to show for itself, except for a couple of decent showings in Ga-rei Zero and Minami-ke Okaeri. As long as Mirai Nikki meets the levels of those two, I’ll be satisfied.
- Battle Spirits: Heroes
Some shounen sequel to some kiddy action series.
Not really digging the kiddy theme. I also can’t find much on this except information for its prequels. From what I gather, we have a protagonist who has to save the world, time travel, and lots of battling.
- Busou Shinki Moon Angel: PV
The story will follow the coming of age and Shinki battles of Tsubasa, a boy who dreams of becoming a Shinki Master, and his Shinki partner Arnval Mk. 2. (ANN)
While I admit that the fight animation looks very smooth and flashy, I have no interest in metal-clad little girls clashing together in a generic fantastical setting. Kind of makes me think of Strike Witches, a show through which I could only sit 2 episodes. Before that, there was Sky Girls, another anime which I avoided.
- Cross Fight B-Daman
No synopsis available at this moment.
This looks like another anime for a much younger age group. I’ll pass.
- Maken-Ki!: PV
Takeru Ohyama, a young normal yet perverted minded guy, got accepted and now goes to a school that, unknown to him, was where combat and magic is used. On the first day, he meets again after three years: Haruko Amaya, his childhood friend, Inaho Kushiya, a girl who says she’s his fiance, and Kodama Himegami, a blonde who wants to kill him. Finding out that there are many girls there that just don’t like him, he is told that everyone there uses a special magic ability while using an item or weapon called a Maken. Later, he finds that no Maken is acceptable for him and doesn’t know what to do, since in this school the students get into duels that showcase their magic and combat power, to which he seemingly has none. (ANN)
Lotsa boobs. Lotsa panty shots. Um…no.
- Mashiro-Iro Symphony: PV
One day, Shingo’s school combines with a girls’ school. As a specially selected student, Shingo temporarily joins the girls’ school until they officially consolidate. He meets various unique girls there, but they all dislike male students. To improve their relationship, Shingo works hard, and… (MAL)
While I think the title is pretty (Pure White Symphony), this anime presents nothing new to me. It looks like just another generic harem, and an old style at that since I’m feeling vibes from both Kanon (2006) and CLANNAD. While I actually liked the prior and thought the latter okay, I feel like two of that style is enough for me. If you are a die-hard fan of those shows, then perhaps this is the next on the list for you.
- Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!: PV
Kawakami City is famous for its strong dedication to its samurai ancestors. A healthy fighting spirit is always valued and it’s even an important factor for success at school.
Yamato, a second year student from Kawakami Highchool is always with his close friends (4 boys and 3 girls). They have all known each other since they were young and have done many things together. While they have many other friends, this group of seven is a close-knit, inseparable group. They even have a secret base where they meet.
With the new semester, they welcome two girls into their group and shortly after things begin to change… (VNDB)
I think the synopsis lies. All I saw in the PV were girls, girls, girls…and more girls. Fighting girls. Naked girls. Not my cup of tea.
- Fujilog 2nd Season
More about the hapless life of Osamu Fujiyama, 33 years old and NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). (MAL)
I haven’t seen the 1st season, so I don’t plan on jumping into the 2nd one any time soon. I don’t know if I’ll ever even watch the prequel since I don’t know of anyone (quality at least) subbing this. If any of you have watched the first and like it, let me know why!
- Lupin III (4th Untitled TV Series)
I have nothing against Lupin, but I haven’t seen any of the other installments. I also can’t seem to find any reliable information on this.
Doing these season previews always wipe me out, along with post-season reviews (episodic reviews can take a hike). I always contemplate just dropping the anime I won’t watch from these entries, but then I feel like that doesn’t really accurately portray my feelings to people who might wonder why I don’t have those anime on my list of to-watch.
On a personal note, I’m in the process of moving into my new place. My last landlady was a nightmare, but my new landlord is a cool, retired professor. Cheers to new beginnings!