It amazes me how amidst such a great season, I'd find the time to write up this preview. With that in mind, the Winter 2013 anime season looks weak (like always) but has a few new series which pique my interest and a few sequels to some favourites from 2011/2012. One of the most notable things about this season is that we have no new series airing in the noitaminA timeslot, since PSYCHO-PASS and Robotics; Notes are continuing.
As usual I'll be reviewing almost everything that's coming up, but I'll no longer provide embedded previews. There will be links to previews in an attempt to speed up this post's loading time.
Enough talk, let's see what Winter has in store for us.
Plot: The title tells the story of the childhood friends Aoi, a girl who prefers staying inside and who has acrophobia, and Hinata, a girl who loves mountains. The two decide to climb a mountain in order to once again see the morning sun from its peak as they did when they were young.
Thoughts: Back when I read the first chapter of the manga on JManga, I was a little surprised by what the series was. Don't let the cutesy drawings fool you, the first chapter actually had a more serious side to it and it gives off the vibe of a heart-warming story about friendship. It still isn't my type of story and the production studio 8bit has only produced one anime I've actually watched and it wasn't particularly good.
Director Yamamoto Yuusuke is attached, which is good. The man has done some fine work with comedies (B Gata H Kei, Welcome to the NHK) so he brings some confidence to this project. Even with him attached, it's unlikely I'll watch this series.
Will I Watch : Unlikely - Cute girls building up friendships....how original.
Soure: "4-koma" Light Novel Studio: Dogakobo
Plot: Within the old school building of a certain high school, is the clubroom of the GJ (Good Job) Club, into which Shinomiya Kyouya finds himself forcibly conscripted. The other members are:
Mao, the short and egotistical president;
Megumi, Mao's sister who's as generous as an angel;
Shion, a genius lacking in common sense; and
Kirara, who is perpetually hungry.
Thoughts: The artwork seems to be right up Dogakobo's alley - the studio that brought us Yuru Yuri - but I have no idea what to make of the source material. The light novel has been described as 4-koma light novel and I have no idea what this means, but if I had to guess I'd say it's a collection of short chapters.
.......I'm gonna say this anime's chances of success are very slim.
Will I Watch : Very Unlikely - Just doesn't look good.
Soure: Original Studio: A-1 Pictures
Plot: Something like 14 year old girls trying to save the world, whilst they ride on their futuristic vespas.
Thoughts: Now this is a big project. Dengeki G, Aniplex and A-1 Pictures are collaborating on an original series revolving around 14 year old delivery girls who have to save the world. Basically, Strike Witches in a new and shiny package.
The script is being handled by Tensai Okamura and Hiroyuki Yoshino, the duo that brought us the Darker than Black series though I have to say Yoshino-sensei's recent work hasn't been good (who remembers Guilty Crown ). As big a project as this is, the staff involved don't do much for me which spells bad news if no source material is involved.
Will I Watch : Unlikely/Maybe - The staff isn't to my liking but you can never know with original works.
Plot: Eita enters high school aiming for the National University School of Medicine. Because of his parents' divorce and his goal he shuns anything to do with romance or love. One day Masuzu, the school beauty with the silver hair, who has just returned to the country, enters his life in a most unexpected way. Chiwa, his childhood friend since elementary school, will not let this go without a fight.
Abbreviated to OreShura for everyone's convenience.
Thoughts: Finally a long title romance anime that doesn't have imoutos! And it's done by A-1 Pictures! I actually read a few chapters of the manga adaptation available for this series and I could tell that I'm going to enjoy this romance/harem series. Unlike most male leads, the main character of this series doesn't have any interest in love which makes for some hilarious moments whenever his childhood friend tries to get something going with him. As you might expect with a shonen romance series and a light novel adaptation, there will be a harem at some point, besides the obvious love triangle caused by the childhood friend and school idol.
Will I Watch : Likely - Seems like my type of romantic comedy, but at the end of the day it's all about execution since the story won't be extremely original.
Plot: Private Detective Hiroshi Inaba is an artificially-created being, formed by splicing the genes of both a human and a wolf, who gains information by tasting and examining people's hair, and pretty much has a hair fetish. He can transform into a more wolf-like form, and also gain special powers and perform different attacks depending on the type or colour of hair he eats. Formerly employed by the police and partnered with an officer, he now runs his own private detective agency with the help of his sadistic, cross-dressing secretary Yuuta (often mistaken for a girl), and Kei (a *relatively* normal teenager working part-time at the office. Ogino, the officer formerly partnered with Hiroshi, also often helps out with cases.
[Source: Extract from MAL]
Thoughts: ZEXCS is a relatively active studio with a bad rep, and rightfully so. The studio doesn't have many titles to its name that make you excited. That being said, their most recent anime Sukitte Ii na yo. was quite delightful, so they can sometimes be good.
The source material can go either way. Cuticle Tantei Inaba's manga is serialised in one of the many Monthly Gangan magazines (GF Fantasy if I'm not mistaken), whose shonen manga division doesn't get as much attention as it should. Just in 2011 manga from group of magazines such as Tasogare Otome x Amnesia and Inu x Boku SS received anime adaptations, all of which were at the very least decent. The description alone is quirky and like that it looks like a more fun detective series than what we usually get.
The poster art is also very much to my liking and because this is a detective series, the mystery fan in me wants to give the series a shot. Am I expecting much A moderate amount.
Will I Watch : Very Likely - I tend to like the Gangan anime adaptations.
Source: Manga Studio: Dogakobo
Plot: Girls without manga editing experience, create a new manga magazine.
Thoughts: Wow, this is also another piece that's just perfect for Dogakobo. Girls doing cute thing There seems to be a lot of that this season and Mangirl! is another addition. Unlike Yama no Susume, which has a little more depth, I have a feeling that this one is pure comedy and moe.
As I've mentioned before, I'm not one for these types of series. For that reason, this is making my bottom of the list.
Will I Watch : Unlikely - Cute girls doing pointless things is just as boring to me as them building bonds.
Plot: On the morning of August 1, the heroine wakes up and discovers she has absolutely no memories of the past. A boy appears before her, and introduces himself as a "spirit" named Orion. The heroine struggles to regain her memories under the guidance of Orion. She then gets a phone call, but she does not recognize the name on her mobile phone screen. She meets her apparent "boyfriend," despite not knowing his face.
Thoughts: Otome game adaptation, therefore it's going to be cra- wait a minute, Brain's Base is in charge ! This makes things more complicated. For all of you wondering, this indeed Brain's Base's first venture into adapting a otome game. The studio I know and love who have brought us Durarara!!, Baccano! and the Natsume Yuujin-chou series have decided to try their hand with a type of source material that tends to put me to sleep. Oddly enough Brain's Base's 2012 performance was rather odd; aside from Natsume Yuujin-chou Shi and Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, the studio other anime were both comedic adaptations of games....
Something tells me that J.C. Staff's Arcana Famiglia - incidentally another decent studio's first jab at an otome game adaptation - is still fresh in our minds as being dull, so how can this one be any different If it does turn out to be an actual adventure series with a good set of characters it could be something special and be the first otome game adaptation I've watched fully, but I'm curbing my expectations so that I'm not left bitter and disappointed.
Will I Watch : Maybe - Only for Brain's Base but I won't hesitate to drop the series if it gets boring.
Soure: Light Novel Studio: SHAFT
Plot: The story follows a hikikomori named Sasami who is unmotivated about even changing clothes or eating. Her brother takes care of her, even though she despises his slave-like nature. Sasami spends her days viewing the outside world via a "Brother Surveillance Tool" on her computer. In the outside world, the three beautiful Yagami sisters and Sasami's brother are in the middle of relationships worthy of a romantic comedy.
Thoughts: Based on the description alone, it's no surprise that SHAFT are animating this. Probably one of the more bizarre takes on the romantic comedy genre, it's got me really curious for many reasons: how does Sasami actually play into the story Is she a humorous character like the reclusive sister from Working!! Are we gonna see more of Shinbou-sensei's artistic touches and if so how is he going to apply it to the romantic comedy genre
Shinbou-sensei's style, while distinctive, is not to everyone's tastes. Even I'll admit that after getting used to Bakemonogatari I found it less enjoyable watching more of the same in Arakawa Under the Bridge. Still, both of those series were very good and I do want to see what he does with this one.
Will I Watch : Very Likely - Shinbou and SHAFT do a romantic comedy. Enough Said.
Plot: Satan Rchimedes returns to the earth after being sealed for one thousand years by a hero. The King tries to seal Satan once again by dispatching descendants of the hero. However, it's troublesome to find the genuine descendants, the king chooses 75 hero-like people. This is an adventure of Alba, the hero No.45, and an his monitoring fighter Ross.
Thoughts: Where to begin......... Well all I know about the manga is that it moved from the online niconico to the popular Jump SQ and that it's a semi-gag action series. Doesn't sound all that promising now does it The story looks like its aimed at the younger end of the shonen demographic based on just the art style, though I may be mistaken.
Ordet are taking the reins on this one. A relatively unknown studio who before Black Rock Shooter had only been in the background doing the assisting. Black Rock Shooter was wasted potential but for a first full on production, it was a nice effort, so they shouldn't be disregarded. The director is Yutaka Yamamoto, a man who has directed many episodes of various KyoAni works - quite a few from Air - and has Kannagi as his only fully directed TV anime. He isn't a big shot by any means, though Michiko Yokote is and he'll be in charge of the series composition.
What I have no idea about is how much I'll enjoy the story itself, though given that it runs in Jump SQ I'm willing to give it a shot.
Will I Watch : Maybe - There could be something here.
Source: Light Novel Studio: Diomedea
Plot: Izayoi Sakamaki, Asuka Kudou, and You Kasugabe have tremendous psychic powers and are bored with the regular world. An envelope arrives for each person, and when each opens their envelope, they are stunned to see the scenery around them change to a world they had never encountered before. They've been summoned by the Black Rabbit to help the community "No Name" to overthrow the Devil King.
[Source: Crunchyroll via MAL]
Thoughts: So Alice in Wonderland with a twist Well that's what I thought straight away. This upcoming anime doesn't really excite me with it's staff and the story seems like a mix of fantasy and darkness. Diomedea is one of those studios that I rarely hear about, or care about for that matter so their involvement is just another piece of ordinary news for me.
Will I Watch : Unlikely/Maybe - I have no idea what to expect.
Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun
Plot: Five years ago, almost every villager of Ootsuka died due to a tragic plague. But mysteriously enough, three survivors: a girl and two boys, emerged. Now living in a church, the three live in isolation, hidden from those who may seek to find them. Shino, one of the survivors, has control over the power of Murasame, the blade of life. But when the imperial church seeks to take the Murasame for themselves, their peaceful life becomes a thing of the past...
[Source: Bliss via MAL]
Thoughts: This happens to be a rare shojo series to get an anime. Skimming the manga, I was reminded a little of CLAMP's style of fantasy, which excites me. Studio DEEN is continuing on its current trend of churning out anime aimed at the fairer sex, which is not the most interesting thing but they at least have the experience to pull it off.
It only makes sense that Hakuouki director Osamu Yamazaki is the Chief Director and the another Yamazaki (Mitsue) will be making his directing debut after assisting with the direction of Mawaru Penguindrum. Both of these guys have ample experience and since their also combining efforts to take of the script and composition, there is potential for something good.
Will I Watch : Likely - Shojo fantasy series are rare enough and this one has potential.
Plot: After a long and treacherous journey, our Hero finally arrives at the Dark Lady's castle only to find himself being asked for help. The Hero explains how the war that the demons have brought upon the humans have killed thousands and put more in misery. The queen of demons however argues that this war has made the human society band together as one and showed empirical evidence how it has increased population, increased production, boosted economy and improved society overall.
[Source: Extract from MU via MAL]
Thoughts: Oddly enough the light novel started off as a story posted on 2chan and has even been described as Spice and Wolf meets Dragon Quest. Very little of the light novel has been translated so it's not got much of a following in the west, though based on the first instalment I read it's definitely something special. There is a lot of economics talk - even the description gave that idea - whilst the overall feel of the conversations between our Hero (Yuusha) and Demon King (Maou) remain humorous. In any case the source material is solid and has even spawned 5 manga adaptations, so it's all on the studio and staff.
Unfortunately, the studio is Arms whose single contribution in 2012 was Hagure Yuusha no Estetica. The director-writer duo who brought us Spice and Wolf are taking charge, though I'm still pissed with their latest anime offering from 2012.
Will I Watch : Maybe - Source material seems good but I wasn't impressed with the last thing the Spice and Wolf duo did.
Source: Game Studio: Artland
Plot: There was a time when there were ninja serving the powerful, hired for intelligence missions, destruction, or assassination. While the times have changed, the need for ninja has not vanished. In a particular school, there are girls who are secretly in training to become ninja. Ninjas-in-training, Asuka, Katsuragi, Hibari, Ikaruga, and Yagiyuu each have a secret technique scroll that they protect at all times. This features their tumultuous school life as they pursue the path of the ninja!
Thoughts: This girls and ninja school setting seems awfully familiar......oh right! I was thinking of Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls. It's almost hard not read the synopsis and be reminded of Hyakka Ryouran with a bit Infinite Stratos thrown in.
Needless to say, this series will be all about the ecchi fan service. Just watch that preview and you can see.
Will I Watch : Not A Chance - It doesn't look good whatsoever.
Source: Pachinko Game Studio: TMS Entertainment
Plot: The story takes place in Kyoto in the late 19th century. Manjiro has two faces. During the day, he works as a helper for people in Kyoto, but he also acts in secret to get back people's properties from the men of power. As a get-backer "Roman", Manjiro is getting involved in a nationwide conspiracy.
[Source: MAL News Post]
Thoughts: An anime inspired by a Pachinko game Really Yes it is. There's actually more than meets the eye here; Monkey Punch did the original character designs and TMS Entertainment are the studio helming this project.
In some way, what TMS is doing by adapting another Monkey Punch project is similar to David Production's animating old school Shonen Jump series (Level E, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure) and I'm happy to see that. As a studio, they had a decent showing this year with 3 series, all of which were at least okay.
The director does nothing for me since his works are Area no Kishi - perfectly boring - and Kuroshitsuji II, but the series composition is being done by Toradora's script writer Higuchi-sensei. Solid everything but the source material, although I like the Robin Hood-esque synopsis of the story.
Will I Watch : Maybe/Likely - You can never know with a source material that's a pachinko game.
Source: 4-koma Manga Studio: AIC Classic
Plot: A school love comedy. Kotoura Haruka is a 15-year-old girl who can read people's minds. She has been suffering from troubles caused by her mind-reading ability, and her parents got divorced as a result. She moves to a new high school but tries to keep away from her classmates. Manabe Yoshihisa, one of her classmates, accepts and appreciates her ability and she begins to interact with her friends with his help.
Thoughts: Well.....it looks okay. HanaKana fans will probably watch this because she's in this and other than that, there's not much. Scratch that, the director is Masahiko Oota. The man has a lot of highly praised comedies under his belt such as Mitsudomoe, Minami-ke and Yuru Yuri. This is yet another AIC romcom airing this season and it sounds interesting, but as usual romantic comedies tend to be overly familiar.
Who am I to judge Since I'll be checking out OreShura I'll probably check this one out as well.
Will I Watch : Maybe - It could be good. Just saying.
Source: 4-koma Manga Studio:
Plot: The manga follows girls in a manga club Ai, Mai, Mi, and Ponoka-sempai who might be fighting evil invaders threatening Earth, facing off against rivals in tournaments, and dealing with other absurd situations when they are not drawing manga.
Thoughts:.............How can I comment This just sounds........not good. Actually I should say that it sounds plain crazy.
Will I Watch : Very Unlikely - What the hell
Source: Original Studio: Kyoto Animation
Plot: Tamako is a mochi-loving high-school freshman whose family runs a mochi (rice cake) shop in a certain town's shopping district. She enjoys her high school life with her friends Midori and Kanna in the badminton club. She also helps out at her family's shop and develops new mochi.
She is childhood friends with Mochikura, the son of the neighboring rival mochi shop, but when their fathers meet, they fight like cats and dogs. On Tamako's birthday on New Year's Eve, Mochikura is determined to hand her a birthday present that he had not been able to in past years. Then, suddenly, a splendid bird (parrot) appears in the shopping district, and a year like no previous one is about to begin.
Thoughts: This KyoAni's first ever original TV anime, brought to us by the director and writer of K-ON! That already doesn't do much for me seeing as how I'm not into K-ON! in any way or form. It is an original work so there is some curiosity on my part, especially since KyoAni haven't done that yet. Also, the synopsis has a quirkiness which sounds just right for the studio.
Will I Watch : Maybe - I'm not that excited about this particular KyoAni piece.
That takes care of the new series. Next up we have some sequels.
Soure: Manga Studio: MADHOUSE
Plot: Chihaya and the rest of the karuta club are back for a second season. Each one has their own goals with karuta and there may be a few new additions to the outcast crew of karuta loving students as they aim for the nationals whilst dealing with personal relationships and the like.
Thoughts: The biggest surprise of 2011/2012 is back with a sequel and I could not be happier. Chihayafuru combines romance and slice-of-life with a competitive sport that no one has heard of (before the first season aired) to give us a beautifully different anime.
The sequel announcement came as a surprise to many for reasons relating to sales figures and the general lack of Josei works with sequels. If your one of those who loved the series then you know what to expect and if your one of the people who didn't give this series a shot, please do.
Will I Watch : Absolutely - Probably my most anticipated sequel of the year and most anticipated anime of this season.
Soure: Manga Studio: Feel
Plot: There are three of the Minami sisters: Haruka, Kana and Chiaki, who have an average life. The girls only have each other to depend on and help each other get through everything from love confessions to cooking.
[Source: ANN via MAL]
The fourth season of the Minami-ke franchise.
Thoughts: The most notable thing thing about this 4th season of Minami-ke is the studio change from Asread to Feel. I'm not really Asread's biggest fan, but I consider it a lot better than Feel.
I haven't gotten around to watching any episodes of Minami-ke despite my intention to do just that. I've heard great things and was well aware that fans of the series were more than happy to see a 4th instalment confirmed. I might get around to watching the series soon of the year and who knows Might get to the 4th season before the year is over.
Will I Watch : Maybe - Only once caught up and if I like what I see.
Source: Light Novel Studio: AIC Build
Plot: The "I have no friends club" made up of a wrongly labelled yankee, his gender confused subordinate, his goth loli sister, a sex obsessed genius, the rich and popular girl, a 10 year old nun and a sarcastic childhood friend are back for more craziness,
Thoughts: If you watched season one, then you know what to expect from the series: a harem romantic comedy based around a group of people who aren't good at making friends. I quite liked season one but I wasn't really expecting a second season. The series almost prides itself on its shamelessness and if ever there was a reminder, the OVA that aired last Fall would do the trick.
Now with the second season fas approaching, I do want to see something different than what we saw in season one which was basically introducing the main cast of characters with the slightest bit of romantic development at the end. Either way, this one makes the list.
Will I Watch : Absolutely - I quite liked season one and the series is really easy to watch.
Plot: The third Da Capo Visual novel's adaptation and technically the fifth season. The story is centred around the third generation of characters,
Thoughts: Very few visual novels get so many anime adaptations, but the Da Capo franchise is one of the most noteworthy. It has a total of 78 episodes of anime so far (2 seasons of 26 episodes for Da Capo I and 2 seasons of 13 episodes for Da Capo II) but the interesting thing is that the anime's are based on the sequels to the visual novels.
I haven't watched anything of Da Capo nor have I played the games. I can't even tell you if you have to watch the first two parts to get what's going on, but what I gathered is that it's a different generation each time so it may not be necessary to get up-to-date. I'm not a fan of any Feel anime, so I'll be skipping this altogether.
Will I Watch : Not A Chance - Feel is just not a good studio for me.
Source: Original Studio: Satelight
Plot: Some idols that do idol stuff even though it's illegal to do so in some future dystopia. Basically crossing idols and guns is what got you this series.
Anyhow, season one aired in the Spring 2012 season and the sequel was hinted at the end of the series.
Thoughts: I gave up halfway through the first episode from the first season. That should just about sum up my thoughts on the sequel to the AKB48 inspired anime.
Will I Watch : Not a chance - Just no.
Plot: The original story follows the 3 most powerful ESPers and the organisation B.A.B.E.L. This particular series is a spin-off featuring the most popular male character in the series and one of the more powerful characters in the Zettai Karen Children universe.
Thoughts: All new project for the Zettai Karen Children franchise. New director and new studio, not to mention that this isn't a direct sequel. As I understand the spin-off is for the most popular male character Hyoubu Kyousuke and there is no continuation from the first anime series.
I've been putting off watching/reading the series, and I don't think watching a spin-off first is a good idea.
Will I Watch : Unlikely - Unless I find the time to watch the first season or read enough of the manga.
Overview of Winter 2013 Anime
As I already mentioned, the season isn't strong. I don't really mind because there are quite a few series carrying on from the Fall season and there are a few series that stand out. My top picks would be:
- Chihayafuru 2
- Cuticle Tantei Inaba
I'm on the fence for a few others series such as:
- Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman
- Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
I probably won't blog as many shows in the Winter, but the most likely candidates are out of the 8 listed above. What about you guys What you looking forward to Leave a comment.