So here's a look at the 24 upcoming shows, most of which are starting in January. A mix of sports, gag, mecha, horror and action this time round as well as quite a few sequels out this season so after the first episodes of the series are released we will confirm what we are going to review on a weekly basis. We have a good idea of what series we will be reviewing but it may be possible that if we end up finding a series has gotten terrible after the first few episodes we will drop it.
New Prince of Tennis
Based On/Original: An anime based on the manga of the same name running in Jump SQ and a sequel to the anime (and manga) titled 'Prince of Tennis.' In terms of sports manga, we can say with certainty that the Prince of Tennis series is up there with the likes of Hajime no Ippo for quality and notoriety as the original series ran for almost nine years before starting up again in SQ. Now with 5 volumes published, the anime is set to start up and will most probably keep all fans satisfied since it's been almost six years since the Prince of Tennis anime ended.
Plot: Ryouma and his friends compete within a training camp for a chance to win a spot on Japan's Under 17 team, but something like this will not be an easy feat to achieve. After arriving at the camp, the 50 middle school players are forced to have an elimination match between themselves, sending half of them home (or maybe not).
Daily Lives of High School Boys (Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou)
Based On/Original: Based on the web gag manga with the same name. Having previously been released as a web manga followed by a set of webisodes, this time round it will get a proper broadcast animation
Plot: A slice of life story revolving around 3 boys: Tadakuni, Hidenori and Yoshitake and their adventures/misadventures in an all boys high school. .
Amagami SS+ Plus
Based On/Original: Based on the dating simulation game Amagami. Second season of Amagami SS,
Plot: A romance anime, focussing on six different girls in a school. Evidently each episode is done focusing on one of these girls and their romantic dealings.
Start Date: January 10th 2012
Based On/Original: Based on a series of light novels and a current manga running in Shueisha's Jump SQ. Seven volumes of the light novel have been published and an ongoing manga just shows how popular this story is. It has essentially had the same pre-animation start as Ben-To and Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai have (both of which started as light novels, got manga adaptations and inevitably got animes). The publisher Shueisha, especially it's shonen magazine departments, never fails to disappoint when bringing out hits that get animated!
Plot: Yuuta Segawa is forced to take care of his sister's three daughters following a journey which leaves their mother's plane missing - not ideal for Yuuta as he has just become a college freshman and only has a tiny apartment that barely fits just him. If the story will follow the basic plot of the light novels/manga we can also expect to see a supporting cast of characters from Yuuta's university also known as the "Street Observation Club."
Area no Kishi - The Knight In The Area
Based On/Original: Based on a popular football manga currently running in Kodansha's Weekly Shonen Magazine, Area no Kishi has finally bagged itself an anime adaptation after being serialised for around 5 years and 27 volumes. The manga artist of the series is none other than Shin Kibayashi - though this manga is published under his main pen-name Tadashi Agi (which he shares with his sister - a man of 7 pen-names and a a god amongst men when it comes to creating hit manga; Bloody Monday, GetBackers, Physcometrer Eiji and the critically acclaimed seinen manga Les Gouttes de Dieu (Drops of God) are all his creations
Plot: Kakeru becomes the football team's manager after admitting to himself that he possesses absolutely no talent for the sport, much to the dismay of his older brother; the captain of the team Suguru, who in fact believes that Kakeru possesses a hidden talent. However after an unfortunate turn of events, Kakeru can no longer avoid playing football, even with the nickname of "Mr. No Goal" and proceeds to try his best at football in order to fulfil a dream.
Based On/Original: Based on the light novel series Bakemonogatari. A sequel to the anime Bakemonogatari.
Plot: The black swindler Kaiki Deishu returns to curse Nadeko once more with an incantation. The responsibility to capture him falls onto Karen and Tsukihi.
Zero no Tsukaima F
Based On/Original: Based on the light novel series "Zero no Tsukaima"
The fourth and last Zero no Tsukaima.
Plot: After successfully rescuing Tabitha, Saito and gang return to the Magic Academy and their normal, everyday life. However, a secret order from Henrietta sends Saito and Louise to Romalia, with Tiffania also tagging along.
Based On/Original: Based on the manga of the same name. The manga itself is not really aimed at the shonen demographic but based on the plot will be action-packed and exciting. The manga though published by Media Factory's Monthly Comic Gene, is going to be animated via a joint effort of Media Factory, TMS Entertainment and Studio Saki Makura; 2 big guns and one unknown.
Plot: The story is set in the middle of the Sengoku era (year 1600). A re-imagining of the adventures of the 10 brave warriors assembled by the warlord Sanada Yukimura. The protagonist, Kirigakure Saizou, stumbles upon a shrine maiden (Isaname) who is being attacked by assassins and is coincidentally travelling to seek sanctuary with Sanada.
Based On/Original: Based on the novel of the same name, later adapted into a manga in Young Ace magazine with the 4th and final volume being released right before the new year (December 29th).
Plot: In the spring of 1998, a boy named Sakakibara Kouichi transfers into a classrom in his new high school, which he immediately feels suspicious of; something in the atmoshpere just doesn't sit right with him. It may have something to do with the fact that 26 years ago, in that very classroom there was a student named Misaki; an honors student who was also good at sports, the charming girl was popular with her classmates who suddenly died. But this didn't stop her classmates, who decided to carry on as if she was still alive until graduation. What a strange coincidence that Kouichi meets a beautiful girl by the name of Mei Misaki who wears an eyepatch and is always alone drawing pictures.
A little bit of a horror and thriller story for all interested.
Kill Me Baby
Based On/Original: Based on the 4-cell manga of the same name running in the seinen magazine Manga Time Kirara Carrat, so far only 3 volumes have been collected.
Plot: Following the everyday school life of Yasuna and her assassin friend Sonya, the main focus being Sonya trying to fit in but always failing due to her inability to calm her assassin instincts.
Tantei Opera Milky Holmes 2
Start Date: January 5th 2012
Based On/Original: Sequel to original animation.
The second season of this series makes it's way onto the television screen.
Plot: "Sheryl, Nero, Elly, and Cordelia are the most popular students at Holmes Detective Academy, because of the many cases they've solved with their Toys and teamwork. The students and the people of the Detective City Yokohama all look up to the members of "Milky Holmes", as they're called. But on a dark and stormy night, during a battle with their rivals "The Gentlemen Thief Empire", they lose their toys, and their fate undergoes a dramatic change..."
Ano Natsu de Matteru
Based On/Original: Original Animation
Plot: A teen romantic comedy with 3 main characters: the 2 girls Ichika Takatsuki and Remon Yamano and the boy Kaito Kirishima. There seem to be additional characters, such as a weird animal, 2 younger girls and another guy to make up the entire cast.
Based On/Original: Sequel to original animation Genesis of Aquarion.
Plot: Set 12,000 years after the first Aquarian Tv series, a fight will ensue between the cast of new characters and their enemies from a different dimension using an Aquarian Robot.
The enemies are "abductors" from other dimensions, causing people to live in fear of abduction, but the Aquarea will stand against the abductors. In a time when dating and unification between the opposite sexes is forbidden, the meeting between Amata and Mikono will change everything and unleash a new power.
Something for all of you mecha fans to watch out for
Based On/Original: Based on the light novel "Mini-skirt Uchuu Kaizoku" (still ongoing after 6 volumes), this animation is also set to be simulcast by Crunchyroll.
Plot: Set in a galaxy called Uminoakeboshi, Marika's carefree life as a first year high school student messing around in the space yacht club and working part-time in a caf come to an end when she is informed that her recently deceased father has left her to be in charge of a pirate ship. Since the rules clearly state that a direct descendant of the captain must inherit the ship, Marika ends up setting off on a new and unexpected adventure.
The title "Bodacious Space Pirates" probably tells us that there will be a fair amount of fan service in this anime.
Rinne no Lagrange
Based On/Original: Original Animation and nabbed itself a manga adaptation in Square Enix's seinen magazine Young Gangan. For our North American friends, the anime will be streamed by Viz Media as it airs in Japan (pretty bold move).
Plot: Madoka is the lone member of her school's Jersey Club. She is one day recruited by a mysterious girl named Lan to pilot the robot "Vox" and protect her city from space invaders. They are joined by a third girl, Muginami, who has a different goal than Ran. Meanwhile, they still don't know their enemies' true goal, or what "Rinne" might be.
Another one for all you mecha fans!
Recorder to Randoseru
Based On/Original: Based on a 4-cell gag manga of the same name
Plot: Two siblings; one a 5'9, adult-looking 11 year old boy and the other a 4'5, 17 year old girl with an elementary school appearance. Almost like a Freaky Friday-esque story, the older sister still happens to take good care of her younger brother! There's no way anyone could mistake this anime for nothing but a gag series.
Natsume Yujin-chou Shi
Plot: 4th Season of the anime adaptation. The story is about a boy who can see spirits and for this reason is avoided by most people, even when he get's his grandmother's book full of trapped spirits his loneliness doesn't cease due to the fact that the spirits are pissed off with being trapped.
So this season, we see a continuation of Natsume's quest to dissolve all the spirits of their binds to the book.
High School DxD
Plot: Issei, a second year high school student, is killed on his first date ever by a girl and is then reincarnated as a devil. Now he must serve Riasu; a high-level devil and coincidentally the prettiest girl in his school. Seems to be another ecchi-type anime but based on the previews
Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki
Based On/Original: Ongoing manga of the same name. Fruit Basket's director the legendary Akitaro Daichi is set to direct this anime, so anyone who is a fan of his work will be excited to jump on this. Though this anime is going to be directed by such an amazing professional, it is a 4-cell manga serialised in the lesser known monthly magazine Manga Life. The episodes look to be short (about 6 minutes each).
Plot: A slice of life anime about the Sato family, who keeps a round shaped cat named "Poyo."
Black Rock Shooter
Based On/Original: Based on the 50-minute long OVA
Plot: (OVA) Two girls, Mato and Yomi, become the best of friends over a period of time. When Yomi of them goes missing Mato is left worrying for her safety, even more-so after receiving blank text from Yomi, which prompts Mato to visit their favourite spot. Upon arriving at this spot, a charm given to her by Yomi starts to resonate and sends her into a different dimension where she meets a girl by the name of Black Rock Shooter - later fusing with her to save a Yomi who possessed by Dead Master.
Thanks to the fusion, Mato saves Yomi and they return but are surprised to see another friend (Yuu) act strangely. The animation picks up where the OVA finished and follows the lives of these three alongside Black Rock Shooter
Inu x Boku SS
Based On/Original: Based on ongoing manga with the same name, serialised in Square Enix's magazine Gangan Joker. Not to be confused for a shojo series, it is in fact shonen.
Plot: The Shirakiin house's daughter, Shirakiin Riricho, who has a complex about being unable to live independently and unprotected, feels the need to move out and live on her own under the condition of residing in the mansion named "Ayakashi Kan." In this mansion, only those who have cleared a very strict examination could reside in it, and for each resident, they are accompanied with one agent of the Secret Service (S.S.). Although Riricho has rejected the company of the S.S., while residing in the mansion she finds out that the agent dedicated to protecting her is actually the Fox Spirit whom she previously rescued.
Senhime Zesshou Symphogear
Based On/Original: Original Animation
Plot: Noise =the enemy, Symphogear = the system capable of eliminating Noise, "Zwei Wing" = a singing duo consisting of Amou Kanda and Kazanari Tsubasa who also happen to wield symphogears in order to save humanity.
The duo also enrol in a private school where they meet Tachibana Hibiki and Kohinata Miku, two normal girls who get sucked into the battle against noise.
4 girls as main protagonists = too much fan service (maybe).
Start Date: February 5th 2012
Based On/Original: 9th instalment of this original animation
Plot: Once upon a time, there was a kingdom of fairy tales called "M rchenland", where many fairy tale characters live together in joy. Suddenly, the evil emperor Pierrot made an invasion on M rchenland, sealing its Queen in the process. To revive the Queen, the symbol of happiness called Cure Decor, "the Queen's scattered power of light of happiness", is required. To collect the Cure Decor, a fairy named Candy searches for the Pretty Cures on Earth. There, Candy meets a girl, who decides to collect the Cure Decor. Now, will the world earn a "happy ending"
Anyone familiar with the series will know what this show is about, we on the other hand couldn't care less.
What looks good
I'm not going to lie and say that I'm actually spoiled for choice this coming January, the shows that have definitely caught my eye are:
1. Brave10 - Because it's right up my alley story-wise and I'm interested in watching a battle animation adapted from a non-shonen manga.
2. Inu x Boku SS - From the preview it gave me a Black Butler-like vibe. Even though I never got into Black Butler, I enjoy the story idea of these works so I'm going to at least watch the first episode. Somehow I also seem to be drawn in by shonen series with shojo elements like Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle.
3. Another - Since I've never actually watched any type of horror animation (mainly because I avoid anything to do with the genre period) I thought I'd give this one a go.
4. Black Rock Shooter - I like the idea so I'm going to first watch the OVA and then at least the first episode
What can go either way
1. Area no Kishi - Just because it's a sports manga and they are sometimes a complete failure when compared to the manga. But since the author of the manga is amazing, not to mention sufficient chapters of the manga and the director has been involved in directing various episodes of Gintama and Black Butler, it has the potential to be great.
2. New Prince of Tennis - I read the manga and thought it was enjoyable but again as a sports manga adaptation it could fail/get boring quickly. It's dangerous since there is not much content (a lot of the chapters don't have more than 10-15 pages) and the number of episodes is still unknown to us. Unfortunately the director of "Prince of Tennis," Shunsuke Tada is not returning since he's tied up with Kuroko no Basket - another reason why I'm reluctant to pick up a sports animation this winter is that I am patiently waiting for Kuroko's animation which comes out in April.
3. Papa no Iukoto o Kikinasai! - Not knowing what to expect, I can say that this could surprise me and make me laugh like Boku wa Tomadachi ga Sukunai did or just bore me/ disgust me with the use of fan service. However, if Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai and Ben-To, have taught me anything is to trust the animation of light novels published by Shueisha (since I enjoyed both those anime's very much).
4. Mouretsu Pirates - Too much fan service and I'm out
5. Rinne no Lagrange - I'm very selective when it comes to mecha anime, plus I hate excessive fans service. The fact that Viz media have put a lot of expectations on this anime by streaming it as it airs in Japan does make it more appealing to watch and that's why I'm going to watch at least the first few episodes before passing judgement.
6. Aquarion EVOL - I'm very selective when it comes to mecha anime, but this is a sequel to what can be considered a classic so I will watch at least the first few episodes.
7. Daily Lives of High School Boys - Will it actually be funny I'm not great at getting shonen comedies (well not many of them) but the humour from the webisodes does seem to be my style. I'll give it a few episodes.
8. Senhime Zesshou Symphogear - I REALLY hate fan service, but not going to judge until the first episode (maybe the second)
What I won't watch because it's a sequel
As some of these are sequels I don't have the time to get up-to-date, but this doesn't mean they're bad! (Well the ones which I wouldn't watch anyway are in red)
1. Nisemonogatari (1st sequel)
2. Zero no Tsukaima F (4th Season)
3. Natsume Yujin-chou Shi (4th Season)
4. Amagami SS+ Plus (2nd Season)
5. Tantei Opera Milky Holmes 2
6. Smile Precure
What I won't watch because it doesn't appeal to me
1. Recorder to Randoseru - I'm all for seinen humour anime that have been adapted from 4-cell manga (Working!! was a favourite of mine) but I really can't see myself getting into this one.
2. Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki - Solid director, no idea about the depth of the story or much a bout the content but it sounds terrible.
3. Gokujyo - Anti-ecchi is what I am, I mean how many times have I mentioned that I hate fan service (I do appologise for that!) and since this is a seinen series I'm definitely out ( I couldn't stand To Love-Ru, so this one is out of the question). Not to mention, I never understood the appeal of the yuri genre, which you can just foresee popping up in this anime.
4. High School DxD - No way no how, especially since the manga for this runs in the same magazine as Maken-Ki!
5. Ano Natsu de Matteru - Nothing against this one but I just prefer romantic comedies to actual comedies (hoping that Nisekoi lasts long enough to get an anime adaptation!)
6. Kill Me Baby - Same thing as Recorder to Randoseru, plus I'm not sure which one of the two will be more ridiculous as a story.