(ง’̀-‘́)ง Time for the Fall’16 list! (ง’̀-‘́)ง
[ Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku ] As a huge mahou shoujo fan I’ve always joked with my friends on Twitter or Skype that I would love to see a Super Smash Brothers Melee/Street Fighter style game where you play strictly magical girls! Imagine seeing any of your favorite magical girl characters beating each other up? That said it appears we’re getting just that with this series? Story wise in the world of Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku they have a game called “Magical Girl Raising Project” which somehow actually produces real magical girls? however one day the people behind the “game” drop a huge change to the game by announcing that there are too many magical girls and now they want to narrow it down to just sixteen? After reading that summary I was instantly excited! Now I just wonder how violent will the fighting be or will the team behind this series play it safe without including any blood or gore? We shall see…
[ Flip Flappers ] Flip Flappers might win the award for most randomly named anime ever for the fall season! So what is this series even about? Story wise it deals with two girls going on a multi-dimensional journey which kind of reminds me of a cross between Space Patrol Luluco/Space Dandy and that alone has me excited! Since we’re going to be dealing with random dimensional travel that easily opens the doors for the creative team behind Flip Flappers to do whatever the hell they want and if you’ve seen any of the previews you can clearly see they are having fun! I just hope under all the bright colors and crazy animation for this series we get an actual story thrown in, but I’m sure I will be fine with whatever Flip Flappers becomes.
[ Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans 2 ] When we ended season one of Iron Blooded Orphans, team Tekkadan finished escorting Kudelia to earth where she could have peace talks with the earth forces, but with that mission completed what’s next? For starters Mika lost the use of his right arm and is blind in one eye which sucks; however he is a strong character and those injuries won’t stop him from fighting! Besides that one of the newest previews showed off a bunch of good and bad characters which means some of them probably will die and most forget Mari Okada is still writing this so expect more sad deaths! Also who will be left standing when the series is over? Will it be Mika or Orga? We shall see…
[ Bubuki Buranki: Hoshi no Kyojin ] When we last left things off in season one of Bubuki Buranki, we saw Azuma and his team were finally working as a team and seemed to have a handle on how to pilot their giant voltron mecha and we also saw teams from America and Russia randomly appear near the end; however one nagging thing kept bothering most of us while we watched! Azuma himself who landed on either being loved or hated by the fans and personally I found him to be kind of a dull character even though I was far more curious about the team of villains lead by Reoko, but we quickly learned that team wasn’t really all that evil and they only fought the heroes as a way to prepare them for future battles. Now that we’re getting a second season I can’t wait to see what happens next! Just kidding I have a feeling that Azuma’s sister Kaoruko will be playing a huge role in the new season, but what is her actual role? Will she be a hero or a possible villain? I kind of would love to see her step up as the new Reoko type figure who can pilot her own Buranki without anyone else. As a side note she is also going to be voiced by Hisako Kanemoto aka Squid girl/Cure Peace/Amy/Atra which is a bonus for me since I love whatever role she plays.
[ Brave Witches ] Strike Witches is one of those series that always seems to go away for a few years and then randomly pop back up with an OVA or movie, which is fine by me since I’m a fan! Besides all the fanservice, Strike Witches to me always has fun characters, but with this new re-branding Brave Witches is going to have a brand new cast of characters which is great! I’ve always been interested in seeing the other teams; however even with this going from Strike Witches to Brave Witches not much is going to actually change because in the end the characters are fighting the same old monsters, using the same magical powers and tech! Then again maybe they can add some brand new things to the franchise? Also, I’m curious if any of the original witches will appear to help the new team? We shall see.
[ Natsume Yuujinchou Go ] I was behind on the Natsume Yuujinchou train, so I watched all the seasons in a row (not in one sitting!) because I instantly fell in love. This is such a heart-warming and endearing series about an introverted boy who gradually becomes more comfortable forming bonds with youkai…and his classmates. As he makes friends in both worlds, we see some beautiful bonds being formed…and some lost, as well. It’s a bittersweet kind of show, but I always feel better after watching it. This will be the first time I get to watch a Natsume Yuujinchou show as it’s airing, so this should be exciting!
[ Hibike! Euphonium 2 ] Next up on, “I put these super safe choices in my top 2 because I enjoyed the previous seasons a lot”, Hibike! Euphonium! It doesn’t need to be said that KyoAni hit this one out of the park in terms of animation (they usually do). However, this show was more than just K-ON!: But More Serious, as it did an astounding job at creating complex characters and having them rub against each other in interesting ways. Sometimes literally rubbing against each other too (please, more Reina and Kumiko!). I’m down for more musical shenanigans that somehow turn a cast of like 40 characters into people I recognize and know better than my own goddamned classmates in school.
[ All Out! ] By now, it’s obvious I’ll always have a shameless sports anime pick with hot guys in it. All Out! Looks like it’s trying to trap anyone who falls for the male population with lovingly animated asses. The booty is strong with this one. Honestly, I don’t even remember what this is about, but it’s rugby so the guys will constantly be tackling each other…soooo…I don’t really need to say more, do I?
[ Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari ] Once again, another obvious pick for me. It’s the classic “adult adopts adorable child and then indulges in food” trope that I’ve come to love, especially from last season’s Sweetness and Lightning. This time, the kid is a tanuki. I think this means things won’t turn into a heart-wrenching melodrama any time soon, but I’m down for silly parent-child shenanigans mixed with good ‘ol cooking. Or at the very least, hyper-realistic shots of udon to make my mouth water. I’m so down!
[ Keijo!!!!!!!! ] And yet another obvious…okay wait, this one isn’t really my usual fare. Keijo!!! is one of the rare instances where I’ve actually read the manga first and I must say that it’s incredibly addictive. They take a simple concept – bumping asses to knock each other off of floating arenas – and take it to the extreme. It’s like if Prison School was a (more tame) sports anime. It’s a pandering show that gives asses attention for once instead of boobs (I say that as if that’s a cruel fact of life, but I suppose it is), but it has enough sports anime training shenanigans that I enjoy it. Plus, it’s just so ridiculous that I can’t stop grinning while reading it. Read the first 2 chapters and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
[ Natsume Yuujinchou Go ] Natsume Yuujinchou is one of those feel-good shows that manages to balance the relaxing aspects of Natsume’s (sort of normal) everyday life with his encounters with the supernatural. It’s the perfect combination for me, and the episodes never feel too long or boring. So I’m really looking forward to the new season, and seeing Natsume deal with more yokai following him around. Plus Nyanko-sensei. Nyanko-sensei is adorable.
[ Magic Kyun! Renaissance ] Aaannd that’s about it for serious things I’m looking forward to. Since school is going to be really busy for me, I’m actually looking forward to all of the fluffy, useless otome anime that are going to be coming out since I won’t have to keep track of any kind of complex plot. Magic Kyun seems to fit right in there, since it’s about a bunch of magic school artist guys getting ready for some festival, and then romance between them and the main girl Ohana ensues. There’s an actual otome game to this apparently, but seeing what the yen is at, I’m probably never going to play it. Plus Broccoli’s games haven’t been that great recently. Though seeing how KamiAsobi was different enough from the game, maybe this will be alright.
[ Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love Legend Star ] Another season of UtaPri was kind of a given seeing how the last season ended off, but at the same time, it’s kind of sad how they’re milking the series for ALL of the money. Come on, even Hakuouki has (kind of) given up by now. Nonetheless though, UtaPri should be a fun, easy watch for this season. The last season with its new director kind of reduced the amount of quirkiness of the series, but at least the songs should still be around to keep me entertained every episode.
[ Lostorage incited Wixoss ] Without Mari Okada as the script writer, I’m curious to see if this is going to be anywhere near as angsty as the previous Wixoss seasons. Seeing the basic premise of the world, I assume that there’s going to be some kind of drama. It should also be interesting to see if this is a prequel to the previous Wixoss seasons since Ruu (probably) saved everyone in the last season? Regardless though, I’m mostly excited for this because I play the card game occasionally and with the anime being relevant again, maybe I can convince more of my friends to buy cards and play with me.
[ Natsume Yuujinchou Go ] Ah, Natsume. I remember I blogged this with the bishie of Metanorn aka. Jrow before. Blogging it was definitely exhausting because each episode of Natsume can be interpreted in so many ways. I had to ponder for hours because every time I think I found the morale for the episode, somehow I found another perspective of it. Of course, that’s the beauty of Natsume Yuujinchou series. It can be seen in so many angles, and people can relate to it in so many ways. Nothing can describe the beauty of this series. I’m not so sure whether Kamiyan extremists will watch or not considering his scandal was a huge shock in the anime/seiyuu world, but I am sure as hell I am going to watch it.
[ Drifters ] I have no clue what Drifters is about except that it’s made by the mangaka of Hellsing and takes a hella long time just for one volume to be published (one year if I remember correctly). Also, my friend is obsessed with it, and I have the same taste with her so I think I will like it. I know that Hoods Entertainment has been a hit-and-miss studio (read: mostly miss), but I kinda like their Seikon no Qwaser, um, Aki-Sora…and…um… Anywaaaayyy, it has Nakamura Yuichi so what’s the harm in trying this one?
[ Touken Ranbu ] Bishies with sword. Fighting by using each other’s swords. Defeating each other with swords. Men. Swords. Men swords. Men. Swords. Do I need to say more? Except with the worrisome fact that it’s handled by Pierre Sugiura (although Doga Kobo is also handling it), nothing can stop me from watching men playing with each other’s swords.
[ All Out! / Yuri!!! On ICE ] This is another conflict for me. I know I wouldn’t be able to handle more than one sport anime, but the sport anime of this season looks so tempting. ALL OUT! gives me what I have been praying to the god of gays anime: muscle. Finally, we have real men with real muscles. Moreover, rugby is a concept I am not familiar with, and I always get excited when I can actually learn something from anime. Well, I did read Eyeshield, but that’s not a real rugby. That’s Capcom rugby. However, Yuri on Ice looks so effing beautiful with its animation. It’s also about something I am not familiar with. Plus it perked my curiosity when one of the seiyuu said it barely passed the censorship law. How bad is the homohint in this one that it barely passed the censorship? The two hyped sport anime of this season offers me new knowledge and offer the audience with something unique, so my heart is torn right now. I’ll be watching both of them though.
[ Watashi ga Motete Dousunda ] It’s weird for me to look forward for this because I actually hate this series with a passion. The first successful non-yaoi series by Junko, it presents the perspective of men who fall for women based on their looks first, then the personality. Sounds very… annoying, right? Doesn’t sound like the typical shoujo thing. However, that is the unique aspect this series offers. Instead of approaching things the traditional way, Junko becomes a hit by doing things differently and blatantly. As much as I hate the concept, I have to admit that its realistic start does perk my interest of it.
[ Hibike Euphonium 2 ] I don’t know if there’s anything more I can say about Hibike Euphonium to get someone to watch it, but the first season was perhaps the best series I have ever watched. I found it to be the pinnacle of Kyoto Animation’s character-driven storytelling, but even with as great as that aspect was, it was just barely ahead of the visuals, the music, and the story itself. We’ll see where season 2 goes, since the group has already overcome the biggest hurdle: going from a terrible band to a good-enough-to-get-out-of-regionals band at the hand of Taki-sensei. So I think they might focus a lot more on the emotional and romantic side for this series. Whatever way they go, it’s going to be great.
[ Flip Flappers ] This is a show that had a great promotional video, and instantly went way up in my thinking. I don’t know if it will stay up there, but it has a good look and an interesting premise that may not make a lot of sense. So we’ll see how it does.
[ Keijo!!!!!!!! ] That’s right, someone had to put this in the list. A show that’s probably completely titillation, the key to it being watchable is going to be whether it has any kind of story, or whether it will just fall into being a sports anime with a bad, made up sport. And the animation will probably have to be pretty good, or it will turn into Sekai de Ichiban Tsyoku Naritai. They might have a chance with the story given the “I need the money” aspect of it, which might help short-circuit some of the “I have to be the best!” brooding that usually gets so tedious in sports anime.
[ Long Riders! ] I like cycling, even if I don’t do it. I like the team aspect of road racing, and I like the individual effort that goes into it. So I’d like it if this show played it more straight and got away from, again, the sports anime aspects that dragged down Yowamushi Pedal. That show was ridiculous in how it dragged things out, in a sport that changes quickly, and that got completely away from the feel of road racing. I’d love to see this show do a little better at that, even if the sports anime fans don’t get the cheesy drama that they usually want. And this one’s from Actas, which doesn’t do a lot of shows, but they did do the best sports anime I’ve seen: Girls und Panzer. Plus, director Tatsuya Yoshihara doesn’t have a background in sports anime, but has done a couple shows that are watchable, if not particularly remarkable.
[ Brave Witches ] I’ve been a huge fan of the franchise since I reintroduced myself to anime back in 2011. It was great fun to catch up with the stuff that was already available, and since then it’s been fun to anticipate more. It doesn’t matter what studio produces it, from Gonzo, to AIC, to it’s newest home at Silver Link, the song remains the same: defend the world from the threatening alien monsters.That’s what the show does, and I really don’t see any reason for it to stop doing that now that franchise regulars, the 501st, are passing the storied torch to the newest colorful and lively gang, the 502nd. Same enemy, same stakes, same fanservice, but new character dynamics that have become the real hallmark of this show, Keep to expectations, I say, and add a new layer here and there. Seeing that they’ve kept all the familiar faces behind the scenes, I’m more than happy to see them refine the vision and take to the skies once more with some new ideas. I can’t wait.
[ Shuumatsu no Izetta ] I’m struck with so much deja vu. It was the Winter of 2015, nearly two years ago, that I covered one of my very favorite shows for the blog, Junketsu no Maria. Brilliant show, with lovely characterization, bold background, and some striking historical accuracy. But, one of the things that made it such a strong entry, for me, was that Maria, unlike the Strike Witches I just mentioned, never got a franchise. Yep, it was story that had a confident beginning, engaging middle, and a satisfying end; and in this day and age of near endless repetition and reboot, repackage and repeat, that’s saying something. But darn if Izetta doesn’t feel very much like a spiritual successor. It’s not, at least not by design, as the shows share no creative team members. But this is the feel I’m feeling. Just like Maria, we have a witch, a war, and the struggle to remain humane when things are very very desperate. Great stuff can’t help but happen with that bold a story…I’m looking forward to this one.
[ Hibike Euphonium 2 ] The first series was, hands down, accept no substitutes, no arguments brokered or heard, the AOTY for 2015. Now, I made that case during my coverage of the show week in and week out, so I won’t reiterate here. Needless to say, this is a feather in Kyoto Animation’s cap, and it pretty much has a built in reason to continue.They gotta stomp down hard and win Best Wind in Japan! LOL. I’m only partially joking there, as them winning the Kyoto prefecture is really only the beginning for the band. It looks like they are going to spice things up with the addition of new characters, and continue with some of the romantic lines the introduced the first time around. The hallmark of this show is the strongest character and plot beats around. Credibility is the buzzword here. Again, I can’t wait…
[ Flip Flappers ] Oh my, magical girls in crazyland?! I don’t know where to start with this one…and I mean that, there’s so little to go on that I don’t know where to start. I mean, yeah, go by the synopsis: that’s pretty much generic mahou shoujo, right there. But it looks like a case of nutbags! 3hz hasn’t had a lot of time spent on punching the production bags, and from where I’m sitting they’ve made two uneven series out of the two they got in the bag…But they got the stuff for both action and characterization, they just need to sew things up and keep their storytelling tight. Sora no Method was fairly brilliant drama with just the right touch of moe, but it overextended the ending a bit too far. DimW has a very strong sci-fi background and fantastic superhero style characters, but it came out convoluted and way over-obsessed with some of it’s own details. I’m hoping the third time’s the charm for them, as I love the feel of this one…
[ Soushin Shoujo Matoi ] Well, after both the second season of Is this Order a Rabbit??, and two cour of RE: Zero, I’m kinda on a White Fox studio high. Luckily this show comes along to help me keep that vein tapped. It’s got more magical girls (like four shows this season?) and tons and tons of moe, and it centers on a miko. It also has a creative bench that has done just about everything, so those great character designs and Japan as a Character scenes we know and love come from some hard core pros. It has a pretty solid magical girl premise but the proof will be in it’s own details, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the first episode works out…
[ Shuumatsu no Izetta ] Looks like non-traditional “brooms” are trending in the witch community, because here we have a girl flying through the skies on what looks like an anti-tank rifle, of all things. Set in an alternate history version of WWII Europe, Shuumatsu no Izetta promises us the story of a small country’s struggle against invading not-German forces. As Skylion mentions, the formula is highly reminiscent of Junketsu no Maria, but in a different time period. However, it looks like there will be a shift in focus from the more ordinary people to military officials and even royalty. Also, Izetta’s reason for fighting (and it looks like she joins the war effort, rather than trying to prevent war) appears to be much more personal. That is to say, the premise has yuri goggles fogging up for a potential relationship between the titular witch and the princess of the country she fights to defend. But only time will tell if this yuri bait comes to fruition…
[ Girlish Number ] I’ve always thought it was clever of the anime industry to introduce shows focusing on the meta of their own work. They already have an audience that enjoys the product they deliver, and it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to assume that said audience also has an interest in how this product is created. So creating anime about how anime is made is a natural move. Girlish Number continues this trend by providing a look into the struggles of aspiring voice actresses. From what I can tell after watching the PV, it looks like the show will lean more into the dramatic side of things, perhaps with heated rivalries and jealousy. Which is fine, because the original story was written by none other than Wataru Watari of Romcom SNAFU fame. And we all know that he excels at that kind of story.
[ Soushin Shoujo Matoi ] This new mahou shoujo anime didn’t really stand out to me at first. But then I saw that it is actually an original work helmed by White Fox, and now I’m interested. The synopsis and PV don’t give us anything that particularly stands out from other mahou shoujo anime, but White Fox is the true savior that anime deserves (Trigger an overrated wannabe with a gaggle of groupies). So I think that this being their first true anime-original story (if you ignore the fact that Akame ga Kill! ended up diverging from the manga significantly), there is quite a lot of potential for Shoushin Shoujo Matoi to set itself apart from the rest of the magical girl bunch. Who knows, if we’re lucky we might get something more than the boring mahou shoujo deconstruction that we’ve been stuck with ever since Gen the Butcher did his work to the genre.
[ Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekettsu no Orphans Season 2 ] Oh, I am so, so, sooooo excited for this! You guys know how much I love mecha and I am a pretty huge Gundam fan. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans has been my favorite entry to that series to date and I am beyond excited to see the newest season of it. I can’t wait to join up again with Mika, Orga, and the rest of Tekkadan as we come to the next chapter of their story. We left Tekkaden after finishing their first major job in getting Kudelia to Earth, but there are quite a bit of trouble on the horizon involving Gjallarhorn, the space mafia, and age old vendettas that are still at play here. We have new characters this season, new mechs, some interesting plot directions, and a whole lot of awesome is in store for us in this next chapter. But the big question is–Can IBO ever hope to have an OP/ED combination as great as “Raise Your Flag” and “Orphans no Namida”? I think not!
[ Bubuki Buranki: Hoshi no Kyojin ] Well, this was a series that nobody knew was a mecha series when it started, and seemed overly silly, with really different animation, and so nobody watched it. However, those of us who were the few who decided to keep with it, got a really awesome treat out of BBK/BRNK. Considering how few people watched it, I was actually pretty surprised that this series was even going to get a sequel, but here it is, and this time we’ll be following last season’s MC’s more interesting twin sister and seeing what she’s been up to all this time. While rather silly at its surface, there is surprisingly some real depth to the characters in this series, their motivations, and who and what heroes really are. Full of neon technicolor, pretty cool battles, and some very good world building, I’m interested in seeing this new second chapter involving the mechanical titans.
[ Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari ] I’m not a huge SoL fan, but if I spot one that catches my attention in some way, I’m willing to give it a chance. These past seasons, Tanaka-kun and Sweetness & Lightning were the standouts for me in that department. But Udon no Kuni seems to be taking that position this time. Family bond series really charms me. We had the father/daughter relationship of Sweetness this summer, and this looks to be a father/son, or at least older brother/younger brother, relationship dynamic on display here. The only difference of course being that there is a little bit of fantasy involved as well with our small child being not completely human… There are so many shenanigans that are possible from this premise, but also some really heartfelt moments as well.
[ Yuri!!! On Ice ] Every so often, I’ll take a look at a sports series, not often mind you, but they do have their charm. This series was brought to my attention earlier this year and to be honest, I wasn’t that interested in just hearing the synopsis. Sure, I think figure skating is a beautiful sport, and yet, it can also be pretty downright boring in my opinion. But I could say the same thing about competitive swimming, and yet I found Free! to be a pretty awesome series. And when I actually got the chance to see the PV for the series, I was blown away with how beautifully animated the skating movements were, especially accompanied with a great classical soundtrack that has left me quite intrigued. Sure, I’ve heard all the jokes and all the innuendos, but I think this series might (hopefully) have quite a bit more substance than that.
[ Bloodivores ] A newcomer to the season, this Japanese/Chinese collaboration does indeed have the stupidest, unscientific title for this season, and yet, I’m slightly interested in this latest vampire series. The idea that vampires came from a failed medical something or other is nothing new. However, what was the cause of the whole “insomnia outbreak” that led to it all in the first place? What’s going on in this weird town? It will also be interesting to see vampires who have actually lost the war with humans this time around and what it is they have to go through now. While the animation isn’t the best and there isn’t a whole lot to really judge as of yet, I like what I’m seeing thus far. We’re getting both a werewolf and a vampire series this season, I’ll have to see which one will come out on top.
Possibly Blogging: Gundam IBO 2 // BBK/BRNK 2 // Bloodivores