Hey all, its that time again, as promised, for the early look at what we’ve got coming up this season.
Starting with this one, I’ll ditch the somewhat marginally confusing seasonal identifier, and just state which months we’re covering. Previously, this post would have been known as Winter/Spring 2011, for example.
Anyway, I’ve identified 14 shows that meet the usual criteria this time, so without further ado, let’s leap straight into frying pan, shall we?
Okay, this made me immediately go ‘wut?’, as my first reading of some of the previews suggested it might have been an anime about Japan’s favourite gambling pastime, Pachinko. In fact, it seems that the story is merely inspired by some of the artwork on one of those machines.
This is about the dealer at a famous (if fictional) Howard Resort casino, Rio Rollins (her entire name reeks of gambling, eh?). However, there are some Yu-gi-Oh! type foundations here, as she is actually searching for a set of legendary cards called Gates. Which, if my spider senses are correct, are probably of the summoning variety. The person to gather all (13?) of these cards gains a special title.
The previews suggest it might be laden with fanservice, and possibly battle maids. And perhaps a perverse loli. The fact that there is a suspicious number of cards that convieniently match a standard seasons number of episodes (i.e. 13) also makes me think its going to be monster of the week. So, overall, I’m rather wary about it.
Anticipation: I’d put my money on Red 4 over 10 Black anyday.
Kimi no Todoke 2
Yes, I’m breaking my criteria again by including a sequel, but quiet you. This immediately had me out in fanboyish squeeing, since I absolutely loved the first season of Kimi no Todoke. It was so warm and fuzzy and delightful, even when there was angst.
Its about Sawako Kuronuma, whom has the unfortunate blessing of looking exactly like Sadako from the Ring. Terrifyingly so. As a result, she was a lonely girl shunned by most of the class. At least, until popular and kind Kazehaya Shouta steps into the picture. This season is the continuation of their romance.
Since I’m a romance junkie, this probably my only guaranteed watch for this season. I’m glad its come along since Amagami has finally finished and I’m always in need of good Fuzzy Feeling Fix.
Anticipation: 10 tonnes of KAWAII!
I also don’t normally analyse obvious Mecha shows, but for some reason, this vaguely reminded me of Stratos 4 and Vandread; so I gave it a look. The initial description is kind of rife with cliche, though. It is about the namesake of the title, which are exoskeletons that sort of resemble samurai armour. Unfortunately for the guys, only women are able to operate Infinite Stratos… with very few exceptions.
As you might imagine, our male protagonist, Ichika, is an exception, a (cough) orphan raised by a famous pilot. When his compatibility is found at 15, he’s gets a scholarship. Which means this is a harem mecha show.
I guess, as usual, we’re going to be analysing whether or not Ichika has a spine, and whether the actual combat and plot are any good. I’m not exactly holding my breath, but since this could be alright, I’m interested.
Anticipation: 7 dancing mecha, 3 stupid perverts
What’s this, a magical girl show? You bet. Again, normally this might not meet the criteria and I’d pass it off as a kids show; but… its directed by Akiyuki Shinbou! And since the last magical girl series he directed was indeed Nanoha… you’ve got my attention (even if he hadn’t have made other brilliance like Bakemonogatari under his belt).
There is therefore no way that this is just a magical girl show. If that wasn’t enough, Urubochi Gen is the writer (that guy who wrote the Fate\Zero novels!!). So yeah… my only reservation is that they obviously have the Hidamari Sketch character designer, but I might forgive that, if the others pull that up.
Basically nothing is known of the plot besides the usual magical girl faire. Normal middle schooler has strange encounter with cute sidekick, and the magic hits the fan. Chaos ensues.
Anticipation: 9 Divine Busters
Hohum, its another one of those ‘attack from the mysterious alternate world’ scenarios. I do have a bit of weak spot for these kinds of concepts, actually, and who can blame me when they can produce things as interesting as Shana and PandoraHearts?
Anyway, this about a student called Yumeji whom has a secret ability: he can gaze into other peoples dreams. One day he stumbles across a midriff bearing girl who calls herself Merry (wanna take bets if she falls from the sky?), whom wandered into the Real from the dream, hunting escaped nightmares. The two, naturally, have a duo in the making.
Possibly quite generic, indeed. Merry also looks like Al-Azif with a fashion statement (what is that, a prehensile coat?) and a haircut. With so little to go on, I guess it could go either way, but we shall have to see.
Anticipation: 8 dreams of striped stockings
Gothaloli detective that resembles Evangeline from Negima? Well, I’m sold.
Ahem. This is set in the roaring 20’s (specifically, 1924), where a transfer student from the Japanese Empire, Kujo, comes to study at St. Marguerite Academy in the fictional country of Sauville (though by that name I think we can assume they’re going for a French tone). In this traditional place, he meets a genius girl called Victorique that finds school boring and prefers to read the entire contents of the library and solve puzzles and crimes.
By the sounds of it, he is made into her sidekick, and together they go onto
fight crime solve mysteries.
Basically, they’ve taken Detective Conan, turned him into a loli, and chucked him into a time machine. Thats a good recipe for success in my opinion, and I’m quite interested to see how this turns out.
Anticipation: Its 85% elementary, my dear Victorique!
The latest Jump franchise, and quite likely a very long running series as a result.
This is probably the shounen interpretation of Ashiteru ze Baby, with 100% more demonic blood in your resident child. Also seems to remind me a bit of Tenjou Tenge. Tatsumi attends a school for delinquents (seriously, I don’t think any school would advertise itself as such an institution!) and is the most feared and strongest fighter. He is fishing (whilst plotting downfall of his enemies) one day and sees the body of his friend floating downstream. The body splits in half revealing a strange baby; which so happens to be the son of the demon king. He suddenly inherits a maid called Hilda to aid in the process of raising the child; and tries to find someone more evil and powerful to take the burden of raising it.
Its unlikely I’ll pick this up, mainly because I don’t really think I can stomach a huge series (I always lose interest after 50+ episodes). If it turns out to be shorter, I may pick it up after the matter, however, and I’m likely to, at the very least look at the first episode.
Anticipation: 6 Googoogaa’s, 4 Raaagh’s!
I don’t even really need to say anything about this, do I? Really?
Take perverse male lead. Add to NOT RELATED BY BLOOD sister. Insert four pairs of used panties. Dash with a character designer who thinks girls shoulders should be half the width of their thighs. Blood extracted from the nose of a virgin is optional.
I think that should give you a good idea of what to expect. If you like this, then here it is, but I’ll be standing over there, thanks.
Anticipation: 10% of your bodies haemoglobins are expelled with your semen*
* = This is not a medically endorsed fact. Please ignore it.
A comtemporary fantasy based on a light novel? That often works out pretty decent.
One day, Ryuji, an otherwise normal high school student, is unwillingly dragged along by his cousin Eriko on a dangerous excursion to retrieve a strange box from black-market dealers. Ryuji finds he is able to open, and inside there happens to be a golden haired, blue-eyed girl called Rose, that actually turns out to be some kind of dragon with alot of firepower. He is drawn into an underground conflict for relic boxes, and Ryuji decides to fight to protect Rose, whom becomes utterly dependent on him.
So yeah, I guess this is your exotic girl franchise of the season; I guess its cashing in on D&D thing where Gold Dragons like to turn into humans for the lulz. Oh, and guess what, Shana’s voice actress is being the dragon girl. Oh dear. Still, could be fun.
Anticipation: My breath weapon melts 75% of your steel from half a mile away!
Boobs, check. Underwear Flashes, check. Improbable destruction of cloth in an inappropriate manner, check. Genetically modified super girls, check. I guess this one is going sweep the ‘ecchi girls with stupid weapons’ category this season.
Its semi-futuristic. Earth has been invaded by pan-dimensional aliens. Our protagonist, Aoi, enrolls to train in a school to become a handler for a genetically modified girl (a ‘Pandora’) that is made to battle the aliens. All Pandoras have a male partner called a Limiter, that is trained to limit their foes mobility with a power called Freezing. Aoi meets a weird older girl called Bridgette (hopefully not a trap), who seems to be powerful yet is lacking a partner. He is warned about her by all the others, but chooses to be her limiter in spite of this.
On the other hand, its by the same author as Kurokami, so its not a complete bust from the word go (yes, pun intended). If you can blind me with enough awesome, I might forget about the pointless fanservice, I suppose. Not holding my breath though.
Anticipation: A 6-billion dollar female taskforce against 10 aliens?
Who knows what kind of crack they were smoking when someone had this idea.
Ayumu is a lazy boy who suddenly gets killed during a run of bizarre serial killings. However, he is then resurrected as a zombie by a necromancer girl called Yuu, whom he had met shortly prior to his untimely demise. He enters this strange world of magical girls and supernatural creatures, and chaos ensues.
So, err, Necromancer girls wielding colour co-ordinated chainsaws. Oh, and some valkyries, and vampire ninjas. Okay then. Like I said, who knows what crack was involved in the pre-production of this show. Maybe it’ll be amusing though.
Anticipation: 7 stoned golems, 3 fantasy cliches.
Hmm, some Sci-fi that isn’t mecha based? Thats a nice change. This is apparently based on a nearly forgotten work from the 90’s by the author of Yu-Yu- Hakusho, that looks almost inspired by the Men In Black idea that loads of aliens are living among us, as us, but we are not aware of their presence.
One day, Baka, the prince of the planet Dogra, crash lands on Earth and loses his memory. He forcibly moves in with Yukitata, a first year high school student whom had just moved out on his own. The normal life Yukitaka once knew is quickly pulled away as he becomes the target of the prince’s torment, as the alien has an exceptionally high IQ and has little interest other than using it to torment those around him for his own amusement.
Hilariously, in japanese, Baka-ouji means ‘stupid prince’, which is perhaps ironic given the main characters intellect. I have to say I’m quite interested in how this one pans out.
Anticipation: 9 out of 10 surveyed adults claimed they had spoken to an extraterrestrial
One of those oh so very rare (these days) animes that is actually an original work, rather than being based upon something. The idea reminds me of some kind of mid point between now and what happens in H.G. Wells The Time Machine or the Setting of Metamorphosis Alpha to Omega.
With the creation of the “Fractale”, a computer system that manages every aspect of the world, humanity creates a kind of ultimate paradise; in which living requires absolutely no effort and everyone is free to do whatever they like. But, a 1000 years after the systems creation, there is no one alive who understands it, with the vast majority seeing it as a kind of myth, and whom unquestioningly believe that it is the only requirement of human happiness. However, on a distant island, the system finally shows signs of wear and tear. Crane is a boy who lives an aimless life until he helps a girl being pursued. She disappears before his very eyes, leaving only a brooch that contains data, which can project itself as Nessa, an avatar in the form of a girl. Crane, together with Nessa, leave on a journey in search of the girl. In doing so, he will learn the truth behind the System.
Well, an actual solid plot is a darn good start here, and this is definately getting a look (especially since I also like the art style as well). Part of me is also reminded of the wonders of Kino’s Journey and Scrapped Princess.
Anticipation: 100% agreement that ignorance is never bliss.
Huh, and I guess we’ll finish with the semi-contraversial this time. Though it doesn’t look it, huh?
Hourou Musuko is based upon a manga that addresses the identity crisises of an effeminate boy and a masculine girl that become friends when they realise they both feel they are of the wrong gender. It follows them from 4th grade until high school and their relationship troubles and conflicts with the society that raises them.
Pretty serious stuff, but presented in a lighthearted way, and resulting an eventual Trap + Reverse Trap romance by the sounds of it (Yes, in the above image, I believe left is a boy, right is a girl, by the way). I’m quite enamoured by the art style, so I might give this a look. If it doesn’t turn out to be too heavy going with its transgenderisms, I may watch it.
Anticipation: 7 x/y, 3 y/x
And there you have it, thats all for now. Phew!
Hope you can find something to whet your palete there. As always, there is no guarantee I didn’t miss something, but these things happen, don’tchaknow?
I imagine I won’t be posting anything else until after Xmas now, but hopefully I’ll put something new out before the new year. See you soon, and have a good festive holiday, people!