This is kind of a funny time for anime fans – most of the fall series have ended, almost none of the winter ones have started, and a lot of the carry-over shows are on hiatus for the New Year’s holiday. I’ve already looked back on 2010 with a couple of “Best of” posts, so here’s a look at what I’ll probably be blogging starting in January.
Gosick. This one had me hooked from the first time I saw the artwork. Throw in that it’s a BONES production and it’s a slam-dunk. They don’t exactly have their A-list director on it (Nanba Hitoshi, “Heroman”) but the prospect of a goth-loii mystery series from BONES is too good to pass up.
Mitsudomoe Zoryouchuu. One of my favorite shows of 2010, and the best comedy of the year for me. The team is intact and there’s enough manga material, so we should be primed for another excellent season. I was surprised this one got renewed as DVD sales were so-so, but that’s likely the reason it’s only getting 8 episodes.
Fractale. Another automatic, as it’s a Noitamina show and directed by Yamamoto Yutaka. Add to that it’s A-1 pictures, who are on almost as impressive a roll as Noitamina. Yamakan has dug himself quite a hole by declaring that he’ll quit the business unless this show is a success (whatever that means) but that’s a sideshow – the premise is unusual and the talent involved impressive.
Hourou Musuko. Notimaina’s other winter entry, from AIC Classic. This may be my most anticipated show of the season – the previews have been spectacular. It appears to be taking a serious look at a serious issue – gender confusion among adolescents – and has taken the unusual step of casting real kids in the lead roles. Scripter Mari Okada (“True Tears”) is the most impressive name among the behind-the-camera team.
Moshidara. It doesn’t premiere till March, but this is a must for a number of reasons. It doesn’t get much odder – this show runs over 10 days, spread over 2 weeks on a nightly basis. Plus, it’s a series about a HS baseball team based on the management philosophies of Theodore Drucker. Add that it’s Production I.G., and it definitely makes the rotation.
Kimi ni Todoke Second Season. Another effort from my favorite studio, Production I.G., but the first season was so toothless as to be only mildly appealing.
Dragon Crisis. Premise looks pretty pat and it’s DEEN. But I like the character designs and it has a humdinger of a cast (Horie Yui, Hiro Shimono, Kugimiya Rie).
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. Yes, it’s a magical girl series from Shinbo (who directed the first season of “Nanoha”). This has the smell of bad, over-indulgent SHAFT to me, but the curiosity factor is such that I have to give it a look.
Infinite Stratos: 15 year-old boy is the only dude at a combat academy full of girl space pilots. Cliche central this is, but it looks to have a major budget and the sci-fi genre hasn’t exactly been overflowing with winners lately.
Freezing. Another boy amongst the fighting girls premise. My spider-sense says this one has sleeper potential, though I’m not sure why.
Houkago no Pleiades. Well, it’s Gainax – though that doesn’t hold the weight it used to. Looks like all the legends want a piece of the Mahou Shoujo pie this winter. We don’t know much about this except that it’s got astronomical connections and it’s co-produced by Subaru (yes, the car people). Director is Saeki Shouji, one of Gainax’ B-team.
Oniichan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki ja Nai n da kara ne!!. Well, the title’s way too long. Could it be this season’s “Ore ni Imouto”? In some ways this looks like the show I thought Oreimo was going to be – lots of fanservice and incest themes. But I was wrong about that one, so who knows. I’m not a fan of the anything director Motonaga Keitaro has done, including the overrated “Katanagatari” and the execrable “School Days”, but I’m curious enough in a bad traffic accident sort of way that I have to give it a look.
Continuing to blog: Bakuman, Tegami Bachi Reverse, To Aru Majutsu no Index
As for the others (Yumekui Merry, Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka, etc.) I’m always open to being surprised. I’ll inevitably drop a couple of the shows I thought were locks, and pick up at least one that was barely on my radar screen – that’s part of the fun of a new season.