With the Winter season halfway done, I thought I'd take a look at the upcoming Spring 2013 anime season. At the beginning of the year I thought the Spring 2013 anime season would be great, but now it doesn't really have the same wow factor for me. There are still a number of high profile series, just not that high a quality across the board. Also there aren't all that many new series, many sequels and no new noitaminA anime; Katanagatari will be re-airing in both timeslots.
In terms of studio's; WHITE FOX is back once again, as is P.A. Works. Production I.G are busy with 3 series this season, whilst A-1 Pictures are sticking to 2 sequels
As usual, I'll be giving my thoughts on almost all upcoming TV anime. If I miss any, it's because they are either magical girl series or aimed at a younger demographic. Before we start, there are a few changes to this preview:
- I'm bringing back the "What should I blog?" poll. Last time it didn't work out so well but I'm giving it a second chance.
- A look at some OVA's and movies has been included, even though movies will come out either at the end of this year or beginning of next.
Quite a lot to get through. Let's take a look.
UPDATE: Remember to vote on the poll on the side. The series with the highest votes gets blogged.
Devil Survivor 2 THE ANIMATION
Source: Game Studio: Bridge
Plot: Mysterious invaders called the Septentriones arrive in Japan and begin attacking the country on a Sunday. To fight back, the heroes in Devil Survivor 2 signed a pact with the devil to become the Thirteen Devil Messengers. The Septentriones show up at least once a day and you have a time limit of seven days to defeat them.
Thoughts: Seiji Kishi and Makoto Uezu are teaming up once again. The duo responsible for Kamisama Dolls and last year's Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita are now heading up the adaptation of Atlus' Devil Survivor 2 game. What better person than Kishi-sensei right?
If you're wondering why this looks like Persona 4, it's because they're related. Both Persona 4 and Devil Survivor 2 come from the Megami Tensei game series. As such the plot looks familiar, making it the perfect anime for Kishi-sensei to head. What I like more about this series on paper, is Uezu's involvement which we didn't see in Persona 4. Whenever those two team up, they create anime I enjoy.
Kishi and Uezu are working with Bridge on this one. A studio with a tiny resume. Although, the previews look very good and high budget. For me, this a series to watch. Just because of Kishi's track record.
Will I Watch?: Very Likely - Good staff that's familiar with this type of adaptation.
Suisei no Gargantia
Source: Original Studio: Production I.G
Plot: The story begins in the distant future in the far reaches of the galaxy. The Human Galactic Alliance has been constantly fighting for its survival against a grotesque race of beings called "Hidiaazu." During an intense battle, the young lieutenant Redo and his humanoid mobile weapon Chamber are swallowed up into a distortion of time and space. Waking from his artificially induced hibernation, Redo realizes that he has arrived on Earth, the planet on the lost frontier. On this planet that was completely flooded by the seas, people live in fleets of giant ships, salvaging relics from the seas' depths in order to survive. Redo arrives on one of the fleets called Gargantia. With no knowledge of the planet's history or culture, he is forced to live alongside Amy, a 15-year-old girl who serves as a messenger aboard the Gargantia fleet. To Redo, who has lived a life where he knows nothing but fighting, these days of peace continue to surprise him.
Thoughts: Not letting PSYCHO-PASS be a one time thing, Gen Urobuchi and Production I.G are at it again. Yet another addition to the studio's sci-fi resume, Gargantia doesn't look like a typical Urobuchi story. Now I know as soon as it starts, the plot twists and deaths could take over but I'd prefer for it to stay more light-hearted.
We've seen Urobuchi do the dark, so I'm hoping for something new. Even if it isn't, the chances of it being a top notch production are very high. The weakest link here is the newbie director Kazuya Murata. Most of his work includes assistant director on major series, with only FMA: Sacred Star of Milos as his full project. I haven't seen the movie, but the response wasn't positive. I am willing to discount it given the difficulty of producing a decent movie for an acclaimed shonen series - 95% of them suck.
Either way, with Gen Urobuchi on board this series already has a head start.
Will I Watch?: Very Likely/Absolutely - Urobuchi, I.G and space adventure. I'm sold.
Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko
Source: Light Novel Studio: J.C. Staff
Plot: Youto Yokodera is always thinking about his carnal desires, but no one acknowledges him as a pervert. He learns about a cat statue that supposedly grants wishes. The boy goes to pray that he will be able to express his lustful thoughts whenever and wherever he wants. At the statue, Youto encounters Tsukiko Tsutsukakushi, a girl from his high school with her own wish — that she would not display her real intentions so readily.
Thoughts: Much like I.G continuing their work with Urobuchi, J.C. Staff are continuing to adapt romantic comedy light novels after Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo''s 2-cour run ending this March. For me, this is a combination that works. Whenever the studio sticks to manga/light novels as source material for romance/slice-of-life series, they tend to bring out decent works. Sometimes even very good anime come from this combination.
There's not much to get excited about. Whilst I enjoy the J.C. Staff seasonal romantic comedies, the staff attached aren't anything special. In fact, the highlight of the staff might very well be the character designer Kantoku. As unimpressive as this project sounds, I'll most likely watch it.
Much like with Sakurasou, I might just leave it to be marathoned later as opposed to followed weekly. Either way, the odds I'll watch it are good.
Will I Watch?: Likely - J.C. Staff sticking to what they know.
Aku no Hana
Plot: Kasuga Takao is a boy who loves reading books, particularly Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal. A girl at his school, Saeki Nanako, is his muse and his Venus, and he admires her from a distance. One day, he forgets his copy of Les Fleurs du Mal in the classroom and runs back alone to pick it up. In the classroom, he finds not only his book, but Saeki's gym uniform. On a mad impulse, he steals it.
Now everyone knows "some pervert" stole Saeki's uniform, and Kasuga is dying with shame and guilt. Furthermore, the weird, creepy, and friendless girl of the class, Nakamura, saw him take the uniform. Instead of revealing it was him, she recognizes his kindred deviant spirit and uses her knowledge to take control of his life. Will it be possible for Kasuga to get closer to Saeki, despite Nakamura's meddling and his dark secret? What exactly does Nakamura intend to do with him?
[Source: Mangahelpers via MAL]
Thoughts: Oh boy. This is definitely one of the more unique series of the Spring 2013 anime season. Word of caution: it isn't for everyone.
Remembering how I read the first few chapters of the manga makes me laugh. I immediately stopped after four chapters because the manga was taking a turn into the bizarre. Not the fun type of bizarre I might add, the dark and creepy kind. Even so, I knew it was a good manga from the start.
Sharing the same name as Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal, Aku no Hana will shatter your expectations. Being a manga from Bessatsu Shonen Magazine, you know it isn't cookie-cutter. If that's not enough to convince you, director Hiroshi Nagahama (Mushishi, Detroit Metal City) is attached to direct something as bizarre as this - arguably it's comfortably in his wheelhouse.
Again the weak link is ZEXCS, who I believe can produce decent work if they try. They did alright with Sukitte Ii na yo after all.
Will I Watch?: Maybe - I want to see if the anime can change my mind, since the manga is weird. Trust me.
Plot: The story revolves around the male protagonist who just got a DSLR camera from his dad and start to develop photography as his new hobby.
Thoughts: I'm not usually one for romances adapted from games, but it's not every day MADHOUSE takes charge on a romance. That and the big list of seiyuu attached to this series, makes it look good in my eyes.
I don't know
much anything about the game, so I have no idea what to expect. This could turn out to be something like Amagami or a more stereotypical harem. I'm personally hoping for the former, since I'm fine with omnibus romances.
As with all game, or in this case, dating sim adaptations I'm not putting all my hopes on the series. The direction (and series composition) are being handled by someone who hasn't done much on their own. That only adds to my wariness and prevents me from expecting too much. Still. For me MADHOUSE is a studio that can churn out quality anime on a regular basis. Also the lack of pure romance series this season, makes me more inclined to watch this.
Will I Watch?: Likely - Romance with many good seiyuu.
Shingeki no Kyojin
Plot: Set in a world where humans aren't at the top of the food chain. Humanity is struggling for survival as they seek a away to beat the titans and regain the land, allowing them to expand beyond the confines of their walled cities. A group of young army recruits are thrown into battle straight after their graduation, and they begin to uncover the truth behind these titans.
Thoughts: YES! YES! YES! Shingeki no Kyojin's anime is finally coming! The day it was announced, was a fond memory for the end of 2012. Okay, fanboying over. Time to give you coherent thoughts.
Anyone who reads my monthly manga reviews, knows how much I love the manga. If you're new to it or don't read manga, here's a few things you should know about it:
- It was rejected from Weekly Shonen Jump.
- The manga artist's style was inspired by artist Ryouji Minagawa and Berserk author Kentaro Miura.
- It runs in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine.
As you can tell, it's far from your typical action series. It goes much deeper than that by exploring humanity's choices in a situation where we are cornered. Also it has great action scenes, worthy of being animated by top notch studios (given the rough art, an anime should clean things up nicely).
Wit Studio is a new extension of the Production I.G family. Coincidentally, I.G is also co-producing the series with DEATH NOTE director Araki Tetsurou on board. I'll forgive him for Guilty Crown if he brings his MADHOUSE directing experience to the table. It's clear the new studio wants to start with a bang, and Shingeki no Kyojin is that bang.
To top off my excitement, the previews and poster both look great!
Will I Watch?: Absolutely - Anime of the season without a doubt.
RDG: Red Data Girl
Source: Novel Studio: P.A. Works
Plot: A modern fantasy based on Japanese Shinto legends. Suzuhara Izumiko is a 15-year-old girl, who has been raised and protected in a shrine deep in the Kumano mountains. She is quite shy and destroys all the electric devices she touches. When she begins to think about going out of the mountains and moving to the city, her guardian Sagara Yukimasa recommends her to enter a high school in Tokyo and forces his son Miyuki to serve Izumiko for life. Miyuki and Izumiko repel each other but their relationship begins to change when a terrifying accident occurs on the school excursion. Izumiko learns her fate as the last representative (yorishiro) of a Himegami goddess and Miyuki learns of his duty as a guardian Yamabushi of Izumiko.
Thoughts: Whilst P.A. Works has earned the admiration of a number of bloggers, it hasn't earned mine. I appreciate the series they've made, yet I'm not going to go out of my way to recommend any of them. Regardless, any of their series deserves a look.
All I know about the novel, is that it completed in November last year. This on its own holds a lot of merit for the series, allowing the staff to better adapt it. It also gives a higher probability of a faithful adaptation, for better or worse. Both the director (Shinohara) and head of composition (Yokote) have plenty of experience under their belts, with Yokote looking in better shape.
The plot doesn't grab me. It sounds uninteresting and somewhat generic, leaving a weak impression already. That said, I'm more than ready to be proven wrong.
Out of the strong series, this one looks the weakest. It could end up as a strong series, but that's to be seen.
Will I Watch?: Maybe - More out of curiosity for P.A. Works' new anime.
Source: Original Studio: Sunrise
Plot: The story is set in an era when 70% of the human race lives in space due to the development of space cities. Between two major powers — the Dorushia Military Pact Federation and the Atlantic Ring United States (ARUS) — there is a small neutral nation called Ji?ru that has prospered economically. The protagonist Haruto, a high school student who lives in Ji?ru, encounters the mysterious "forbidden" humanoid weapon Valvrave when the Dorushia army invades.
Thoughts: Originally, when little was known about this project, I assumed it would be another addition to Sunrise's mecha resume a la Gundam. Then we got all the bits of information, and something tells me it isn't that.
For one the director Kou Matsuo isn't all that experienced with mecha series. In fact his resume boasts diversity with series such as Kure-nai, Rozen Maiden and Yozakura Quartet. Is he genuinely going to do a mecha series after only doing a storyboard here and there for them? Or is there something more to this series?
Add the fact that CODE GEASS creator Ichiro Okouchi is handling the series composition, and I'm in. That might make this closer to Geass than Gundam, which is more than fine by me but I don't want a copycat. Whether we go down that route can very well affect the quality of the series.
For now, I'll place some higher expectations on it.
Will I Watch : Likely - This could be a mecha series I actually enjoy.
Date A Live
Plot: Thirty years before a strange phenomena called a "spacequake" devastated the center of Eurasia, claiming the lives of at least 150 million people. Since then, smaller spacequakes plague the world on a irregular basis. Shido Itsuka, a seemingly ordinary high schooler comes across a mysterious girl at the ground zero of a spacequake and learns from his sister Kotori she is one of the "Spirits" who are the real cause of the spacequakes that occur when they manifest themselves in the world. He also learns that Kotori is the captain of the airship Ratatoskr and recruits him to make use of his mysterious ability to seal the Spirits' powers and stop them from being a threat to mankind. However, there is a catch: to seal a Spirit, he must make her fall in love with him.
Thoughts: Am I the only one who was reminded of Campione? A story involving fantasy, action and a harem pretty much screams light novel adaptation. Well if that's the case, I don't think this will be anime I watch this season.
Regular readers will know how much I'm not into ecchi or light novel harem adaptations. They all tend to be the same thing, with little or no differentiation and that in itself is enough for me to skip this one altogether. The only reason I'd give this series a shot is the nice cast of voice actors attached, but that doesn't seem like a good enough reason.
Will I Watch?: Unlikely - Harem fantasy......need I say more?
Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san
Plot: Mukoujima Takurou is a lonely teenager who spends his time fishing at the pier and, to his incredible surprise, fishes up Muromi, a mermaid. Muromi first off doesn't realize she's a mermaid until she meets Takurou. Not only that, she is incredibly dense and crazy and has a drinking problem to top it off. Now every time Takurou goes fishing, Muromi appears and makes life interesting for him.
Thoughts: I know almost nothing about the manga that serves as the source material of this adaptation. It comes from Weekly Shonen Magazine, which for the most part is a tad bit unrefined and obvious when it comes to various genres. Since it isn't being scanned, it's either not so good or just overlooked.
My money's on the former. Tatsunoko productions may be one of the more unambitious studios, but even for them this seems lazy. A director that's entering the Anime Mirai Project for ZEXCS coupled with the hit-or-miss Fudeyasu-sensei, puts this series towards the bottom of my list.
As with all unknown series there's an element of surprise, though that seems very unlikely.
Will I Watch?: Very Unlikely - Nothing to get excited about.
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru
Source: Light Novel Studio: Brain's Base
Plot: This romantic comedy revolves around an antisocial high school student named Hikigaya Hachiman with a distorted view on life and no friends or girlfriend. When he see his classmates talking excitedly about living their adolescent lives, he mutters, They're a bunch of liars. When he is asked about his future dreams, he responds, Not working. A teacher gets Hachiman to join the volunteer service club, which happens to have the school's prettiest girl, Yukinoshita Yukino.
Thoughts: Usually I'd be stoked to see Brain's Base doing another anime, but I'm of two minds about this series. Yes it a light novel adaptation, which they haven't done in a while but their recent work has been below their usual calibre. Just looking at the staff on this project, you can't say they are pulling out the stops.
Putting aside the studio, I haven't heard much hype praise for this series. What I did hear was that it's close to a rip-off of Haganai, which the aforementioned actually made fun in the anime. In my book, that's not good publicity whatsoever.
With Brain's Base's name being the most alluring detail, I might just skip this series.
Will I Watch?: Unlikely - Only going to check it out because of the studio.
Source: Light Novel Studio: WHITE FOX
Plot: Devil King Sadao is only one step away from conquering the world when he is beaten by Hero Emilia and forced to drift to the other world: modern-day Tokyo. As "conquering the world" are the only skills the Devil King possesses—and are obviously unnecessary in his new situation—he must work as a freeter to pay for his living expenses!
Thoughts: In what looks like a Maoyuu x Working!! crossover, White Fox's Spring 2013 Entry is this light novel adaptation. The studio has recently gotten a lot of attention for series such as Steins; Gate and most recently, Jormungand. I hold both anime in high esteem, so that alone makes me curious about the studio's next venture.
The demon king genre is somewhat of a trend now, much like how the influx of Imouto anime was a year or so ago. This is a trend that seems to be more open to variation, so it's not as problematic as the previously mentioned one. Nonetheless, I'm not 100% sold on it or any genre trends in a given year for that matter.
In Hataraku Maou's case, I'm undecided. The combination of director Hosoda and composition by Yokotani could bring about a delightful comedy. Being another adaptation with unknown source material, I'm approaching this series with caution. I will say that I'm more optimistic about it than a few others.
Will I Watch?: Maybe/Likely - At this point, it's more to do with the studio but could be fun.
Plot: This 4-koma style manga features 3 school girls as they hang out and chat. Friendly, clueless Yukari, enthusiastic, childish Yuzuko, and the more level-headed Yui hang out and talk about various subjects, like ketchup and mayonnaise, hands, the sun and more.
[Source: MangaHelpers via MU]
Thoughts: This will be a quick no. The reasons are quite simple actually:
- Kinema Citrus is not a good studio - 1 good series and the rest bad.
- 4-koma Manga - There are series like Kotoura-san but the description isn't to my liking.
Will I Watch?: Very Unlikely/Not A Chance - Unless bloggers I respect enjoy it, I'll be passing on it.
Plot: Every 30 years, a new princess is chosen from the Hime family to serve the Hayagami. The time has come again, but over these past years, records state not a single female has been born, save for one, the 15-year-old Arata. The only problem is, Arata is actually a male! Forced to disguise himself and take the place of the princess candidate until a formal one can be found, he attends the festival only to witness the current princess, Kokuri-hime, murdered, and his own life is forfeit as well, by the hands of the princess' personal guard, the 12 Shinshou. As he runs for his life, Kannagi of the 12 convinces everyone that Arata is the one who has murdered the princess instead, and now everyone in the Imperial Court is after his head! Now, another Arata from our world has crossed over in Arata's place! How did this happen, and how will these two survive?
Thoughts: The first of 5 new anime adaptations to come from Weekly Shonen Sunday, Arata Kangatari is the one displaying most potential out of the 3 airing this season. The manga has gained admirable popularity and has a good number of the volumes licensed in English, but it just isn't talked about all that often. I for one was planning on checking it out on many occasions, and ended up stalling since there was no one to really vouch for it. It also happens to be shojo mangaka Yuu Watase's first and only shonen manga.
Satelight will be where Kenji Yasuda will direct this series. I'm not a fan of the studio but Yasuda-sensei is a director to look out for in my opinion. Since he's being aided my Mayori Sekijima, whose resume has a number of good works, this project should have an eye kept on it.
Truth be told, it doesn't sound original. The plot will no doubt be generic at times, but that's not a bad thing. I'm still planning on watching it, and hoping it'll turn out decent. The only question I have is about the length of this adaptation, but that's a tertiary concern at best.
Will I Watch?: Likely/Very Likely - It's a shonen manga adaptation that sounds interesting.
Plot: Nai searches for someone important to him, with only an abandoned bracelet as a clue. Gareki steals and pick-pockets to get by from day to day. The two meet in a strange mansion where they are set-up, and soon become wanted criminals by military security operatives. When Nai and Gareki find themselves desperate in a hopeless predicament, they encounter none other than the country's most powerful defense organization—"Circus"!!
[Source: OneManga via MAL]
Thoughts: Just looking at Karneval, I'm reminded of anime such as Pandora Hearts. Looks like a shojo series, but it doesn't have to be since it sounds like any other shonen adventure series.
This one's over at Manglobe, who recently haven't been all that impressive. They're recent works have been two spin-off anime for series running in Weekly Shonen Sunday; one I enjoyed, the other was abysmal. Looking at the staff, I can't say I'm impressed, but I'm hoping the manga itself is good enough to allow for an easy adaptation. Based on what I did read of the manga, I can see the series being very enjoyable in a relaxed way.
I like the look of this series, but it is easy to group it with the any bishonen series from Studio DEEN. Not the worst thing that can give the anime a very generic feel to it.
Will I Watch?: Maybe - I liked the few chapters of the manga, but the staff isn't instilling confidence.
Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge
Plot: Haimura Kiri is a seemingly ordinary boy with one slight problem: he is obsessed with cutting other people's hair. One day he meets Mushiyanokouji Iwai, the "Hair Queen" who cannot cut her hair because of an inherited curse. Kiri finds out that his scissor, "Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge" is the only thing that can cut them. But little did he know that their meeting sparked the start of an old murder game to kill the "Hair Queen" using the cursed killing tools, the "Killing Goods." Can Kiri protect Iwai from the Killing Goods Owners? Let the game begin!
Thoughts: There you have it! The Spring 2013 anime season's most bizarre sounding series is this one. Aku no Hana may be the freakiest, but Crime Edge is so strange that I had to read a few chapters of the manga. Let's just say I'm intrigued.
Studio Gokumi may be out of their depth with this one. There's an odd dark feel to the series, that even shows in the preview. Something Gokumi are not at all experienced with, as they usually focus on either Saki or something trashy. For this they've brought a decent director-writer combo: Yuuji Yamaguchi of Fate/stay night as director and Tatsuhiko Uraha (ARIA, Cardcaptor Sakura, Haganai) for composition, so we can expect that they're actually trying with this new venture.
Will I Watch?: Maybe - Out of sheer curiosity.
Ginga Kikoutai: Majestic Prince
Plot: In the latter half of 21st century, humans leave the Earth and begin to live in space. In order to adapt to the environment in space and deal with the hostile aliens in Jupiter, genetically engineered children called "Princes" are artificially raised and trained to be pilots of armed robots "AHSMB (Advanced High Standard Multipurpose Battle Device). This is a story about one of the teenage "Princes", Hitachi O Izuru, who studies in an academic city Grandzehle.
Thoughts: I'm not big on mecha anime, but this season has two enticing series from the genre. Majestic Prince is a series that actually looks pretty decent.
The source material is impossible to find online but as I understand the author is the same man who did GetBackers. Not the most popular of shonen anime I admit, but I have heard some good things from a few people.
On the animation side, this is a joint venture by Dogakobo and the newly formed Orange. The former is taking a break from moe series and doing their obligatory once-a-year serious anime. From what I saw in the previews, the action scenes look great whilst the character designs look a little generic. The project itself is helmed by director Motonoga Keitaro, who's also handling Date A Live this season. He has worked on some pretty good series, such as last year's Jormungand, though his track record isn't the most consistent. Out of his two anime this season, it's clear this is the one to take more seriously.
All in all there could be something here. The previews look good enough to warrant a closer look when the time comes.
Will I Watch?: Maybe/Likely - It looks good, but again it's not my genre.
Source: 4-koma Manga Studio:
Plot: Story is about Tomoo, a kid in grade school who lives in a Danchi (hi-rise apt. building complex) with his friends. He gets into trouble a lot and is dumb, whiny, etc. All about his misadventures at school and with the people in the Danchi, and being a kid in Japan in general.
Thoughts: Yet again, this is another adaptation I'm curious about. This happens to be a rare occasion that the 4-koma manga source material was actually nominated for a Tezuka Cultural Award three times. A piece of information that's eye-catching for sure.
Nothing on the studio yet, but Uchuu Kyoudai director Ayumu Watanabe is attached as director. In fact, the only thing that stops this from being the most high profile 4-koma anime adaptation is the preview. The use of 3D CG has me worried a little, since I still don't deal well with it's excessive use in anime.
This is another in a long list of series from this season that leaves me undecided. Guess I'll wait for the first episode or two to decide.
Will I Watch?: Maybe - Curiosity once again.
Joujuu Senjin!! Mushibugyo
Plot: The action story is set in Edo-era Tokyo in the early 1700s. The eighth shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune ordered boxes to be installed so commoners can submit their thoughts. After hearing their voices, the shogun creates a new magistrate unit — Mushibugyou — to protect the people in the heart of the city. Each member is a specialist with unique fighting skills.
Thoughts: Out of all the anime adaptations to come from Weekly Shonen Sunday, this is the one I know least about. It's announcement quite frankly surprised me, and after taking a quick look at the manga I wasn't all that impressed with it. The manga does have a charm to it, but as with many series adopting historical settings, it's lacking in originality.
It's a pity Production I.G, who made the anime ad for the manga aren't handling it. For me it would have been a selling point, but instead we're stuck with Seven Arcs' more cutesy and tame animation. Since this isn't inspiring any feelings, I guess I might skip this series. It is taking the Monday 6 p.m. slot, which makes me think it'll be aimed at a younger demographic - not a deal-breaker, although it's not a pro for Mushibugyo.
Will I Watch?: Unlikely - Doesn't look god enough on paper.
That concludes al the new anime airing this season. As usual, we have some sequels which interestingly enough are mostly comedy series. Here they are:
Hayate no Gotoku (2013)
Plot: Hayate Ayasaki is an unlucky teenager who has worked since childhood to make ends meet due to his parents' irresponsible behavior. One day on Christmas Eve, he finds out that his parents were planning to sell his organs to the Yakuza to make money, leaving behind a massive gambling debt on his shoulders of ¥156,804,000. While running away from the debt collectors he ends up meeting Nagi Sanzenin, a young girl who is the sole heir of the wealthy Sanzenin estate, and due to a misunderstanding, Nagi ends up falling in love with Hayate. After he rescues Nagi from some kidnappers, she hires Hayate as her new butler.
Thoughts: My only experience with the Hayate franchise was with the Fall 2012 season's Can't Take My Eyes Off You! An unfortunate experience, that I'm assured was the butchering of this beloved franchise. Since then, I've decided to skip anything new related to the series until I get caught up on the other anime or the manga; the latter has been on my backlog for quite some time.
As such, I'm going to be skipping this season. Even if I was up to date, I'd be apprehensive since AniDB lists Tsugumi Ruri as one of the characters. That means this is most likely another Manglobe spin-off production.
Will I Watch?: Not A Chance - Not this season or maybe this year.
Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Bride
Plot: The series takes place in an alternate version of Japan called Great Japan, in an alternate timeline where the Tokugawa shogunate remained active and has remained isolated from the rest of the world. The story takes place at Buou Academic School , an academy located at the base of Mount Fuji where children of military families train to become samurai warriors. The academy is in the middle of a power struggle between Yukimura Sanada and Matabei Goto of the Toyotomi faction and the powerful student council that rules the school, and Muneakira Yagyu, the owner of the Yagyu Dojo, and the mysterious Jubei Yagyu are dragged in the middle of the conflict.
Thoughts: After checking out a few episodes a while ago, I came to the conclusion that this wasn't my type of series. It's an ecchi humour series that just doesn't appeal to me in any way. A positive for the series was the animation style being so vivid. ARMS' watercolour animation is a nice and rare sight, so it was visually appealing at least.
This one is a pass.
Will I Watch?: Not A Chance - Ecchi humour that doesn't do it for me
Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san 2
Prequel: Yongemasu yo, Azazel-san Studio: Production I.G
Plot: The story follows the misadventures of Rinko Sakuma, an employee at a detective agency. Not just any detective agency mind you, but one where the detective Akutabe summons various demons. Amongst those demons are Azazel the dog and Beelzebub the fly who looks like a penguin.
Thoughts: When I went to check out the first few episodes for the sake of writing this preview, I did not anticipate how crude and shameless the comedy could be. It's definitely not for everyone, but then again that's the deal with the comedy genre and anime. For me, it works.
I feel somewhat guilty for liking this series, just because of how un-clever it is. If I had to characterise it, I would say it's what you'd get if you'd cross Cuticle Detective Inaba and a more unrefined South Park. With a cast of random misfits, Akutabe was the main source of the comedy in season one as he performed demonic acts and treated his summoned demons like slaves. I'm hoping he's as present as ever in this sequel, because a lot of the funnier moments came from him.
One question I do have is about the length of each episode. Season one's episode were 10 minutes long each, and it ended up working to the series' favour. Should that continue, I wouldn't have any qualms especially since it's easier to watch.
Will I Watch?: Absolutely - My type of comedy
Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai.
Plot: Kyosuke Kosaka, a normal 17-year-old high school student living in Chiba, has not gotten along with his younger sister Kirino in years. For longer than he can remember, Kirino has ignored his comings and goings and looked at him with spurning eyes. It seemed as if the relationship between Kyosuke and his sister, now fourteen, would continue this way forever. One day however, Kyosuke finds a DVD case of a magical girl anime which had fallen in his house's entrance way. To Kyosuke's surprise, he finds a hidden eroge (an adult game) inside the case and he soon learns that both the DVD and the game belong to Kirino. That night, Kirino brings Kyosuke to her room and reveals herself to be an otaku with an extensive collection of moe anime and younger sister-themed eroge she has been collecting in secret. Kyosuke quickly becomes Kirino's confidant for her secret hobby.
Thoughts: The Imouto anime that started the crazed trend is back for the second season. What's more the staff have remained the same but production has switched from AIC Build to A-1 Pictures. Since the light novels are ending and the last volume ships in the same season, the anime will cover the ending of light novel series. That means this should be the final season of OreImo we see.
Admittedly the translation of the title was misleading at first. In fact, because of it I decided to avoid it for as long as possible, but then I gave in and watched the first season. The story has mostly nothing to do with incest but rather more about the life of otaku female and her brother who's not interested in anything of that sort. When it wasn't subtly hinting at forbidden love, which wasn't too often, it was a decent comedy. Not my cup of tea for the most part, but it had its moments.
As wildly popular as the series is, I'm not positive I'll be following the sequel. Maybe if I find the time.
Will I Watch?: Maybe - Don't know if I care enough about it.
Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love 2000%
Prequel: UtaPri Studio: A-1 Pictures
Plot: Nanami Haruka wants to be a song writer, so she attends an idol training school filled with beautiful bishounen. The school pairs each aspiring songwriter with an aspiring idol, but Haruka finds herself paired with 6 bishounen idols. To make things more difficult, Nanami is also not allowed to date any of her beautiful partners.
Thoughts: One of the most successful otome game adaptations is also getting a second season. I for one have given up on anything good coming from these adaptations, so I'm not putting in the effort of catching up. If you watched season one and enjoyed it, I'm sure you're happy to see the series' return.
Will I Watch?: Not A Chance - Otome game adaptation season 2.
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W
Plot: The story of Haiyore! Nyaruko-san centers around Nyaruko, a formless Cthulhu-deity of chaos (Nyarlathotep) who can take on the shape of a seemingly ordinary silver-haired girl. Mahiro Yasaka is a normal high school boy who is being chased by a fearsome black alien one night, until Nyaruko saves him. She explains that the creatures from H. P. Lovecraft's works are actually races of aliens, and that she has been sent to Earth to protect him from being kidnapped by an alien trafficker. Eventually, Nyaruko and two other Lovecraft-creatures, Cthugha and Hastur, end up being freeloaders at Mahiro's place
Thoughts: As I've already mentioned, comedy is one of the most subjective genres. You either get the series or you don't, and in Nyaruko-san's case I don't.
Will I Watch?: Not a chance - Just no.
To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S
Prequel: To Aru Kagaku no Railgun Studio: J.C. Staff
Plot: The second season will focus on The Sisters Arc. Lasting only a single volume in the Toaru Majutsu no Index light novels, it was later expanded greatly in the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga.
The arc focuses on the ordeals of Mikoto Misaka after discovering the existence of the Radio Noise sisters that are being used in the Level 6 Shift, an experiment where they are killed in order for the highest-ranking Level 5, Accelerator, can achieve Level 6.
[Source: Wiki via MAL]
Thoughts: Yet another addition to the To Aru franchise comes in the form of a second season for the spin-off series Railgun. With the first season of Index still sitting on my on hold list, I feel as though I shouldn't be trying to catch up with this series. However, half the blogosphere agrees that Railgun is the better of the two, and that watching one without the other is also plausible.
No major changes to the staff. The director and writer are still the same, and now that I've checked, talented bunch handling this series. Might have to put some time aside to catch up on season one so I can follow season two!
Will I Watch?: Likely - If I catch up.
For the first time, I thought I'd do a quick list of movies and OVA's that have caught my eye. Much like how this season doesn't have that many series that are instant wins, there are very few movies and OVA's that I'm anticipating.
Anime Mirai (Young Animator Project)
Some of you might remember this from last year. Basically a set of OVA's from studios that train young animators, and this year's line up is as follows:
Ryo (Gonzo), Little Witch Academia (Trigger), Arve Rezzle (ZEXCS) and Death Billiards (MADHOUSE).
Should be interesting to see what each one has to offer. In the mean time, enjoy the preview.
Aura: Maryuuinkoga Saigo no Tatakai
Seiji Kishi directs what looks like a more dramatic version Chuunibyou. Whilst the writer for the series is but an inexperienced pup, Kishi-sensei's involvement warrants some attention on the project. The release date is set for April 13th.
Not surprising that the manga about Jesus and Buddha being room mates is getting a film over a TV series. The comedy manga was always hugely popular, but I assumed it would be considered offensive by some religous groups. Anyhow, A-1 Pictures' adaptation comes out on May 10th in Japanese theathers.
Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu
The movie for the TV series that rocked 2011 is out on April 20th. My guess is that people are antsy for Steins; Gate and that'll make the wait for the Blu-Ray/DVD relases that much more painful.
Overview and Potential Blogging Plans For Spring 2013 Anime
For me the anime of the season has already been decided. It's without a doubt Shingeki no Kyojin. If there's one thing you can count on, it's this anime being blogged on this site by me or someone else - I simply won't let it be ignored.
With the my top pick out of the way, a lot of series have me on the fence. I guess I'd have to pick Kakumeki Valvrave, Devil Survivor 2 The ANIMATION and Suisei no Gargantia as my next top picks. I plan on keeping an eye on a number of series just to see what they turn out like. Some like Aku no Hana, just to see if the anime convinces me over the manga whilst others like Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge out of curiosity.
If I had to categorise all the series, it would look something like this:
High Expectations - Shingeki no Kyojin, Devil Survivor 2, Suisei no Gargantia, Kakumeki Valvrave
Medium-High Expectations - Photo Kano, Arata Kangatari, RDG: Red Data Girl
Medium-Low Expectations - Karneval, Ginga Kikoutai: Majestic Prince, Hataraku Maou-sama!, Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko
Curiosity/Second Chance - Aku no Hana, Danchi Tomoo, Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge
Sequels - Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san 2, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S, Oreimo
Low-No Expectations - Everything else