Spring 2014 Season Preview

Mushishi Zoku Baby Steps Isshuukan Friends Gokukoku
Earth Ping Mahouka Bullet

The Winter of our discontent is drawing to a close, and it looks as if Spring is going to be a considerably better season for anime fans.


Even by Winter’s normally low standards, 2014 was a rough one for anime.  A few strong carryovers and a few very good shows at the top (Hoozuki no Reitetsu, Noragami and Space Dandy primarily) have saved it from being a total loss, and it looks marginally better than it did after a truly brutal first two weeks.  But a lack of true greatness at the top and ambition across the board ensure that Winter 2014 will be remembered as one of the weakest seasons anime has seen.

But we’re here to talk about Spring 2014, not Winter, and happily we’re almost certain to see a significant improvement.  Frankly the presence of Mushishi alone would pretty much be enough to clear such a low bar, but there are a number of interesting series to go along with it.  There are long-awaited manga adaptations (like Baby Steps), the return of auteur directors (Ping Pong) and studios seemingly returning to the sort of material that made them great (Brains Base and Isshukan Friends).  A few shows I was hoping would make it to Spring slipped to later in the year, but this still looks like an above-average – though not exceptional – pool of shows on the whole.

If you’re looking for trends, the first one that jumps to mind for me is BONES.  2013 was almost comatose but it’s as if they were saving it all up for a binge in 2014.  In this season alone they have four shows, though not all of them are of interest to me.  In fact you’d be hard-pressed to find a significant studio not represented on the Spring schedule somewhere – even Brains Base has no less than three series premiering.  The revival of sci-fi and mecha continues, with a wide range of shows targeted at both adults and kids, and sports continues to surge with the aforementioned Baby Steps and Haikyuu!! entering the game.

It’s a pretty big batch of shows in the preview this time around – 24 to be exact – and while only a few truly seem exciting going in, I didn’t have to dig deep and include a bunch of shows I’d normally exclude in order to have a preview at all, as I did in Winter.  There are only four originals on the schedule, but that’s balanced out by the fact that the number of scheduled LN adaptations is the lowest it’s been in any season for the last few years – only six, in fact, and one or two of them (BONES’ Hitsugi no Chaika and Black Bullet) actually look pretty good.  That should mean good things for the season as a whole, for while no source material is a guarantor of quality, the batting average for good adaptations has been much lower for LNs than originals, manga or novels.

For my tastes the sequel board is slim pickings (I’m used to that) but here again, the presence of Mushishi: Zoku Shou alone is enough to make it better than average.

As always, please vote for your most anticipated series in the sidebar poll!

With that, to the previews:

Baby Steps
Baby Steps – Pierrot
Director: Murata Masahiko
Writer: Chiba Katsuhiko
Schedule: Saturday 17:30, NHK – Premières 4/05/14
Episodes:25

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: This is without exaggeration one of the manga adaptation announcements that made me happiest.  I don’t like the Baby Steps manga, I love it.  It features one of the best main characters in sports manga, some of the most realistic sports, and outstanding writing top to bottom.  It’s funny, it’s exciting, and it’s smart.  I was quite disappointed to see it announced as only 25 episodes, worried (based on the CGI-heavy Kingdom) when it was announced to be Pierrot, and deflated when it was reported to be incorporating anime-original material.

Upon reflection, I’m feeling a bit better.  I’m still thrilled to be getting Baby Steps anime in any form, and mangaka Katsuki Hikaru is going to be writing for the series.  It’s a shame the manga isn’t going to get a full adaptation, but hopefully two cours is enough for viewers to get the essence of why this is one of the best sports manga (and by far the best tennis manga) of all time.  There are way more questions here than there should be with source material this unimpeachable, but I’m still expecting fine results.

Abarenbou
Abarenbou Rikishi!! Matsutarou – Toei
Director:
TBA
Writer: TBA
Schedule: Sunday, 06:30, TV Asahi – Premières 4/06/14
Episodes: TBA

MAL:

First Look: This is a bit of a flyer for me, but it’s so far outside the mainstream anime adaptation in 2014 that I have to give it a look.  It’s the story of a carefree but supremely strong sumo wrestler, and it’s based on a manga by the legendary Chiba Tetsuya (Ashita no Joe) which ended – wait for it – 16 years ago.  The last time we saw a similar time gap produced delicious results with Togashi Yoshihiro’s Level E, and there’s something to be said for the timeless nature of good writing.

Haikyuu
Haikyuu!! – Production I.G.                    
Director: Mitusnaka Susumu
Writer: Kishimoto Taku
Schedule:  Sunday, 17:00, MBS/TBS – Premières 4/06/14
Episodes: TBA (probably a lot)

MAL:                        
Preview:

First Look: Not content with diving Scrooge McDuck-like into the massive piles of cash KuroBas has generated, I.G. cranks up the next series that’s going to be a smash with the same demographic, Haikyuu!!.  I have a troubled relationship with Shounen Jump sports manga – I prefer some semblance of realism over their mystical superpower-driven plots – but this one has a pretty decent reputation as far as I can tell, and a volleyball anime is a novelty if nothing else.  I sat through the Haikyuu!! event at Jump Festa (staking out a spot for the Hunter X Hunter one which followed) and I can tell you, this show has a wildly enthusiastic (and overwhelmingly young and female) fanbase that seems certain to make it one of the biggest hits of 2014. 

Nanana
Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin – A-1 Pictures
Director: Kamei Kanta
Writer: Kurata Hideyuki
Schedule: Thursday, 25:20, Fuji TV – Premières 4/10/14
Episodes:11

MAL:
Preview:                                      

First Look: The phrase “what is this show doing on NoitaminA” has pretty much lost all meaning by now, but if it hadn’t this series would be a strong candidate.  Still, it has a strong writer/director team in Kamei and Kurata, and the source material is apparently an actual novel (though it looks and sounds as much like a LN as it’s possible to).  The plot focuses on the titular Nanana, the “ghost of a beautiful NEET” (can’t make this stuff up) and the boy (disowned by his father) who lives in an apartment she and her spiritual playmates currently haunt.  Frankly it sounds pretty dumb to me, but it’s only rarely that NoitaminA descends to outright awfulness and again, the staff is pretty strong.

Ping
Ping Pong  – Tatsunoko
Director: Yuasa Masaaki
Writer: TBA
Schedule: Thursday, 24:50, TBS – Premieres 4/10/14
Episodes: 11

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: Definitely the more old-school NoitaminA of the block’s entries this season.  Yuasa disciple Choi Eun-Young’s recent Space Dandy episode reminds us of the particular charms of Yuasa’s bizarre visual and tonal style, though I confess I’ve tended to grow weary of it after an entire series and thus I’m less of an unabashed fan than some.  The title is truth in advertising: it’s the story of two friends and rivals in a school ping pong club, and based on an award-winning manga by Tekkonkinkreet mangaka Matsumoto Taiyou.  There’s pretty much no way this is going to be boring, and it might just be great – and that makes it one of the most anticipated shows of the season.

Gokukoku
Gokukoku no Brynhildr – ARMS
Director: Imaizumi Kenichi
Writer: Kitajima Yukonori
Schedule: Sunday, 22:00, Tokyo MX – Premieres 4/06/2014
Episodes: TBA

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: Gokukoku no Brynhildr looks like one of the more interesting series on the schedule.  The headline is that it’s based on a manga by Okomoto Lynn, author of Elfen Lied (also adapted by ARMS).  I don’t love that series, but I certainly acknowledge how shocking and provocative it was.  Gokukoku looks less horrifying but possibly even more tragic, as it based on a story of a boy who blames himself for the death of a childhood friend, and the transfer student who looks exactly like her.  There are unsurprisingly supernatural elements involved (the heroine is self-described as a magic-user having escaped from a research lab), and the hero and his friend were investigating aliens at the time of her death.  Imaizumi is very experienced but somewhat inconsistent; Kitajima relatively new.  The potential quality range on this one is pretty wide, but it certainly packs a lot of intrigue.

Mekaku
Mekaku City Actors – SHAFT
Director: Yase Yuuki/Shinbou Ashiyuki
Writer: JIN
Schedule: Saturday, 24:00, Tokyo MX – Premieres 4/12/2014
Episodes: TBA

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: Increasingly I find SHAFT series unwatchable of late, but somehow I’m always sucked into giving them a chance.  This one is based off a popular series of Vocaloid music videos titled “Kagerou Project” posted on Nico Nico Douga, and concerns a hikikomori (hikiNEET officially, for whatever reason) who has a run-in with a “cyber-girl” that causes him to go outside for the first time in two years. It all sounds pretty weird and this could be a disaster, but I’m curious nonetheless based on the unusual pedigree.

Kawaiso
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou – Brains Base
Director: Miya Shigeyuki
Writer: Konuta Kenji
Schedule: Thursday, 26:16, TBS – Premieres 4/03/2014
Episodes: TBA

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: It’s truly remarkable how many underage kids live alone in Japan – at least if anime and manga are to be believed (hint: they’re not).  Brains Base is busy this season, here bringing us an adaptation of Miyahara Ruri’s (Love Lab) manga about a high schooler whose parents move out of town, leaving him at the Kawaiso Apartment Complex.  Conveniently, it’s full of perverts and the girl he has a crush on.  Frankly that sounds pretty generic, but I like Miya-sensei’s work (Blood Lad is a recent example) and the mangaka’s Love Lab certainly wasn’t terrible.

Fairy
Fairy Tail 2014 – A-1 Pictures/Bridge
Director: Ishihara Shinji
Writer: Sogo Masashi
Schedule: Saturday, 10:30, TV Tokyo – Premieres 4/05/2014
Episodes: TBA

MAL:

First Look: I quite liked the first go-around of the Fairy Tail adaptation, though when it switched over to original material the quality dropoff was rather severe.  The main staff is unchanged and we should be back on the manga at least for now, so I see no reason to expect anything too much different from the first season.

Bullet
Black Bullet – Kinema Citrus
Director: Kojima Masayuki
Writer:Uruhata Tatsuhiko
Schedule: Tuesday, 22:30, Tokyo MX/AT-X – Premieres 4/8/2014
Episodes: TBA

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: BONES continues their assault on the airwaves via their sister studio, bringing us an adaptation of yes, a LN by Kanzaki Shiden.  But it has the director and writer of Monster and music by the legendary Sagiso Shiro, and that along with the BONES connection is more than enough to get it a trial run.  The premise is a post-apocalyptic (virus) nightmare with humans forced to live isolated in small enclaves, and “cursed children”, girls who have the ability to live with the virus and thus superhuman abilities (I’m sure that’ll be explained).  It’s a pretty stock sci-fi plotline on the face of it, but the bloodlines are too good here to dismiss Black Bullet without seeing for yourself.

Mahouka
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – Madhouse
Director: Ono Manabu
Writer: TBA
Schedule: TBA, Tokyo MX – Premières 4/2014
Episodes: 26

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: Yeah, another LN adaptation makes it onto the list.  But it’s Madhouse (though they have mailed it in a couple times in the last year) and the director is pretty competent.  This one is a Dengeki LN and apparently hugely popular, set at “Magic University High School” and surrounds a pair of siblings, an overachieving sister and a non-achieving brother, and apparently even has a brocon element just for good measure.  I read that paragraph back to myself and I think I have to be crazy for including Mahouka Koukou here, but it looks like Madhouse is putting some money behind this show that they expect to make back, and I’m curious to see what all the fuss is about.

Wixoss
selector infected WIXOSS – J.C. Staff
Director: Satou Takuya
Writer: Okada Mari
Schedule: Friday, 26:49, MBS – Premieres 4/04/14
Episodes: 12

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: Not for the first time with an Okada Mari series, this looks like a trainwreck to me.  But as always my curiosity ensures I’ll give it a watch.  We also have the experienced Satou Takuya (Steins;Gate) on-hand, which may help.  This original series offers us only the tagline so far: “Hope, desire, greed – girls with each of these feelings in their hearts are being swallowed in the vortex of a dangerous game…”  Okada’s previous efforts to branch out in terms of genre have usually been disastrous, but as usual, my tagline is “it won’t be boring”…

KenzenKenzen Robo Daimidaler – TNK
Director: Yanagisawa Tetsuya
Writer: Yoshioka Takao
Schedule: Saturday, 18:30, ATX – Premieres 4/05/2014
Episodes: TBA

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: Kenzen Robo Daimidaler is strictly a flyer for me based on the premise that anything that sounds this dumb has a chance to be good.  The premise – a high-school boy who operates the titular giant mecha using “Hi-Ero particles” which he gets from groping females.  All this in the service of the battle against the evil Penguin Empire.  It was the penguins that sealed the deal.  I think there’s a pretty good chance this will be every bit as bad as it sounds and dropped like a hot rock, but it might be a candidate for mindless entertainment status.

Soredemo
Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii – Pierrot
Director: Kamegaki Hajime
Writer: TBA          
Schedule: Saturday, 26:20, NTV – Premières 4/05/14
Episodes: TBA

 
MAL:

First Look: A relatively rare entry on the schedule for shoujo medieval fantasy, Soredemo Seikai wa Utsukushii looks like a potential sleeper.  Kamegaki is extremely experienced, and the source manga by Shiina Dai seems to be quite well-regarded.  The storyline surrounds a princess with the power to control rainfall (that’s a good power to have) who loses a game of Janken with her sisters and is forced to marry the King of the neighboring Sun Kingdom.  He has a terrible reputation but much to the Princess’ surprise, he turns out to be a kid younger than she is.  That premise could go either way, but my instincts are telling me this could be pretty good.  Plus, shoujo makes it onto the schedule so rarely these days that I always root for it when it does.


Escha
Escha & Logy no Atelier: Tasogare no Sora no Renkinjutsushi – Studio Gokumi             
Director: Iwasaki Yoshiaki        
Writer: urahata Tatsuhiko
Schedule: Thursday, 22:00, Tokyo MX – Premieres 4/10/14
Episodes: TBA

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: RPG adaptations are a decidedly mixed bag, but this one has a strong staff and comes from Studio Gokumi, whose work I’ve been very impressed with of late.  Alchemy is the central conceit here, and both title characters are practitioners of the art living in the post-apocalyptic world after the “Dusk End”.  There’s not a lot to go on with that premise but I’m always curious to see what Gokumi comes up with – and it’s usually something visually beautiful at the very least.

Earth
Captain Earth – BONES              
Director: Igarashi Takuya          
Writer: Enokido Yoji
Schedule: Sunday, Time TBA,  – Premieres 4/06/14
Episodes: TBA

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: Let’s see – a BONES sci-fi series.  An original sci-fi at that, and featuring Miyu Irino in his first lead TV role in over a year.  I’m excited about Captain Earth, but somehow not as excited as I should be.  Part of it is that this is the Star Driver team re-united, and Star Driver is one of my least-favorite BONES shows – though to be fair, both Igarashi and Enokido have done a lot of other work, some much better.  Part of it is that the look of the series just doesn’t seem all that interesting, and that the plot (normal high-school boy with a mysterious past is called upon to save Earth from aliens) sounds so cookie-cutter.  My worry, in effect, is that this could be to BONES sci-fi what Buddy Complex is to Sunrise mecha – but of course, there’s every chance that worry might be completely off-base.  I look forward to Captain Earth with a great deal of hope but somewhat less expectation.

Chaika
Hitsugi no Chaika – BONES
Director: Masui Souichi
Writer: Machida Touko                             
Schedule: Wednesday, 25:05, TV Tokyo – Premieres 4/09/14
Episodes: TBA

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: Oddly enough, I have a better feeling about this LN adaptation from BONES than their original sci-fi show this season.  The original LN is from the author of Outbreak Company, which shows a certain wit and intelligence (and BONES typically doesn’t choose crap to adapt), and Arai Nobuhiro (Animation Director and Character Designer) has a distinguished record of work on visually stellar series.  The story – a 20 year-old ex-soldier struggling with civilian life teaming up with a 14 year-old coffin-carrying sorceress and her sister – doesn’t tell us a whole lot.  But the show as a whole just has an interesting vibe to it, and I have a suspicion it’s going to be a cut above most LN adaptations.

Fuuun
Fuuun Ishin Dai Shogun – J.C. Staff/A.C.G.T
Director: Watanabe Takashi
Writer: Satou Dai                            
Schedule: Thursday, Time TBA, – Premieres 4/10/14
Episodes: TBA

MAL:

First Look: Here’s a show that makes an appearance mostly based on staff.  Watanabe is a very experienced director (best known for the Shana series), Animation Director/Character Designer Iijima Hiroya has a stellar resume, and most importantly Satou Dai should require no introduction for fans of quality sci-fi anime.  It’s an alternative take on Japanese history where rather than the Meiji Restoration, the Black Ships were turned away by a giant robot called Onigami and the country remained isolated.  In other hands that might seem like a vehicle for the ugly nationalism that occasionally creeps into anime, but fans of Satou-sensei know that isn’t his style – rather, I expect something that satirizes that sort of isolationist thinking.  An original series with Satou behind it and the potential for political commentary definitely piques my interest in a big way.

Isshuukan Friends
Isshuukan Friends – Brains Base
Director: Iwasaki Tarou
Writer: Suga Shoutarou                            
Schedule: Sunday, Time TBA, Tokyo MX – Premieres 4/06/14
Episodes: TBA

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: This is one of my top picks of the season – a manga adaptation that seems a picture-perfect fit for Brains Base, who can do wonders with this kind of material when they’re on their game.  The story is that of a girl who loses all of her memories every Monday, and a kind-hearted and somewhat smitten boy who wants to be her friend anyway.

I’ve read some of this manga, and it’s a special sort of series – emotionally powerful and heartbreaking without being saccharine or manipulative.  It’s a story full of symbolism about kind people dealing with pain and loneliness.  As I said, this is the sort of show that Brains Base normally hits out of the park – Iwasaki-sensei is a pretty new and inexperienced director, but Suga is one of the better adapters in the industry.  The manga is only 4 volumes along so one cour should be a good fit for now – I’m not expecting a big commercial hit, but Isshuukan Friends should be one of the best series of the Spring.

Mushishi Zoku
Mushishi: Zoku Shou – Artland
Director/Writer: Nagaham Hiroshi
Schedule: Friday, 24:00, Tokyo MX – Premieres 4/04/14
Episodes: Two split cours

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: Having Mushishi return from a nearly decade-long absence feels almost like a miracle.  The original series was quite successful if hardly a blockbuster, but I certainly never expected to see a continuation.  In any schedule, this would be one of the highlights – its presence alone enough to turn a weak-looking season into a decent one, and a mediocre-looking season into a good one.  It’s one of the finest anime of the modern era.

I could write an entire post on why Mushishi is such a superb and important series (I did in part in covering the Hihamukage TV special), but this isn’t the time and place for that.  Simply put, Mushishi is a triumph – an adaptation that perfectly captures the tone and feel of one of the most lauded manga ever and makes it even better.  This is a series full of mystery, beauty sadness and mono no aware – one that fully engages both the heart and the mind.  All of the main players are back for Zoku Shou, including the director, writer, composer and main cast – and each of them are a critical element of Mushishi’s success.  Two cours should be perfect to adapt the remaining chapters of Urishibara Yuki’s manga, and about the only reason for even a shred of anxiety is Artland’s somewhat uncertain financial status.  Zoku Shou may cut a few more corners than the original in terms of production values (Hihamukage discreetly used CGI, which was virtually unheard of in the original) but apart from that, there’s no reason to expect anything less than brilliance here.

Sidonia
Sidonia no Kishi – Polygon Pictures
Director: Shizuni Koboun
Writer: Murai Sadayuki                            
Schedule: Friday, Time TBA, MBS/TBS – Premieres 4/04/14
Episodes: TBA

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: This is a bit of a flyer for me based on the fact that Nihei Tsutomu’s manga seems well-regarded, and I like the general look of the piece.  It’s a sci-fi set on-board a giant humanity-preserving “seed ship” in the distant future, a millennium over an alien race called the Gauna (not “guano”) has destroyed the solar system.  On the downside this figures to be all CGI, as Polygon Pictures is best known for Transformers Prime and they’re working with Ghibli on the already announced as CGI Sanzoku no Musume Ronja adaptation later this year.  But the story seems to have an agreeably dark and old-school vibe, so I’ll give it a chance.

Mangaka
Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to – Zexcs
Director: Furata Takeshi
Writer: Itami Aki                            
Schedule: Monday, 25:05, Tokyo MX – Premieres 4/07/14
Episodes: TBA

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: Mangaka-san to Assistant-san is going to be half-length, which is a bit of a disappointment.  Still, the source material is a lot of fun and this could be one of the pleasing diversions of the season.  It’s a simple story at heart – an odd mangaka and his odd relationship with his assistants – basically a slice-of-life with some ecchi and a bit of meta-satire.  First-time director and a studio which is emblematic for mediocrity most of the time doesn’t instill confidence, but this one should be pretty hard to really screw up.

Sadon
Sudden Death – Gainax
Director: TBA
Writer: TBA                           
Schedule: TBA – Premieres 4/2014
Episodes: TBA

MAL:

First Look: That’s an awful lot of “TBA” but there just isn’t much detail known about Gainax’ new series.  I’m including it because it’s Gainax and it seems generally to be believed to still be a Spring series, but the days when Gainax being enough to earn a show a trial run are nearing their end.  Sadon Desu is a manga adaptation about shenanigans inside a high school tea ceremony club, FWIW – beyond that I know nothing, really.  If it makes it onto the schedule, I’ll give it a chance.

M3
M3 ~Sono Kuroki Hagane~ – Satelight
Director:Satou Junichi
Writer: Okada Mari                        
Schedule: TBA – Premieres 4/2014
Episodes: TBA

MAL:

First Look: A very late addition to the schedule (it was just announced a few days ago), this represents Okada Mari’s second original series of the season (and she’s apparently decided to work only with directors named Satou).  If Wixoss looks like a potential trainwreck, M3 looks like an apocalypse in the making.  Okada doing multiple originals simultaneously, returning to the mecha genre she stumbled over with the atrocious Aquarion Evol, and if that weren’t enough, re-teaming with Kawamori Shouji (though thankfully he’s not writing here, just designing mecha).  The wild-card here is Satou Junichi, who has some tangential experience with mecha anime but certainly isn’t a specialist.  Normally I feel about both Okada and Satou that they’re better when their working with a strong collaborator who can temper their excesses – which are completely different in nature.  Will they cancel each other out here, or resonate and create a kind of perfect storm of awfulness?  You’d have to be crazy not to be curious, but I’m sure not going in with a lot of expectations beyond straight-up spectacle.

  
Will Definitely Blog: Baby Steps, Gokukoku no Brynhildr, Ping Pong, Ishhukan Friends, Mushishi Zoku Shou.  Not a long list, but the next tier is big enough that it’s a lock several shows will make the jump.

Sleeper Candidates: Abarenbou Rikishi!! Matsutarou, Black Bullet, Soredemo Sakai wa Utsukushii, Hitsugi no Chaika, Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun

Mirai Ookii Otoshimono

OVA/Movie: The inverse relationship between the number of interesting TV series and OVAs continues here – it’s a pretty damn threadbare schedule.  Among the candidates:

Oukii Ichinensei to Chisana Nisensei (OVA) – 3/01/2014: I’m not necessarily expecting anyone to translate this A-1 OVA (part of the 2014 Anime Mirai project) from Watanabe Ayumu (Uchuu Kyoudai, Nazo no Kanojo X) but if they do, I’ll watch.  It’s the story of an oversized but immature first-grade boy and the undersized but mature second-grade girl who looks out for him.

Kuro no Sumika ~Chronus~ (OVA) – 3/01/2014: Another Anime Mirai offering, this one from the highly-regarded Studio 4C, about a boy with the ability to see “Black Entities” that steal human souls.

Harmonie (OVA) – 3/01/2014: The third leg of Anime Mirai, this one seemingly a school slice-of-life with a mystery angle.

Shingeki no Kyoujin: 104th Gurren Heidan-hen (OAD) – 4/09/14: Let the cashing in continue!.

Magi: Sinbad no Bouken (OVA) – 5/16/14: The OVA debut of the Magi spinoff manga.

Theatrical:

Sora no Otoshimo Final: Ein no Watashi no Torikago – 4/26/2014: I’m not what you would call a huge fan of the Sora no Otoshimono franchise, but I’ve liked most of it – and this is really the only theatrical release of the Spring that looks interesting to me.  There was some talk that this film would rectify some anime-original changes and set up a third season of the TV series, but the consensus now is that with the manga having ended, the movie is going to be the true finale for the anime.
Trailer:

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142 comments

  1. S

    Isn't the Gainax series about girls whose designs are based off the Japan provinces? Which doesn't really make it with more potential to be interesting (quite the opposite in fact, since starting off with a character design alone doesn't sound like a good way to write a compelling story), but is quite the curiosity.

    Also, I think you're the first person that gives me hopes for Mangaka and Assistant. Everyone else seemed to assume it'd be just a dumb ecchi thing. I was a bit enthralled by the premise – working adults and the guy drawing erotic manga could be an interesting set-up for a story, even a comedy, that plays a bit with sex and eroticism without falling into the usual, dumb and rather juvenile traps anime can't seem to avoid when dealing with these topics. I guess that's probably expecting too much, but you gave me back some hope.

  2. Well listen, it's not Shakespeare or anything but I don't consider it just dumb ecchi (though it is kinda dumb sometimes and sort of ecchi). I just think it has a certain charm in a lowbrow, unpretentious way.

    I hadn't seen that about Sadon Desu, but it really wouldn't matter a whole lot to me either way.

  3. D

    He's referring to Mahou Shoujo Taisen, also by Gainax. They're putting out two shows this season, neither of which are particularly enticing.

  4. Yeah, that one didn't even merit inclusion in the preview.

  5. S

    Oh, my bad about the Gainax series. Anyway, let alone Shakespeare, I'm not even expecting another Tonari no Seki-kun. I'd be happy even with a slightly spicier version of ServantXService.

  6. Z

    "since starting off with a character design alone doesn't sound like a good way to write a compelling story"

    BRS comes to mind.

  7. C

    Zetsuen no Tempest counts as very Shakespeare?

  8. By anime standards it probably does. In the larger scheme of things, not all that much.

  9. e

    Lock: Mushishi s2 (YAY)
    Will check it out: Ping Pong ( sport and interesting visuals? let's give it a chance) and the Anime Mirai OVAs.
    Might watch: Isshukan Friends, 'Rainfall pouah princess' and sumo fighter uhuh bring dat old school on 8D!

    Skip unless reviews persuade me: Supernatural Volleyball ( watched that back in elementary school lready. And that one had a female cast with tomboy protagonist + gloriously bad animation and cheese :DDDD ), Capt. Earth and the mangaka&assistent series.

  10. e

    P.S.: Baby Steps got lost in my copypasting but it falls in-between 'will check' and 'might watch'.

  11. e

    P.P.S.: wait where's Jojo SC? Ahah. That's my best lock candidate actually. it ended up really just so fun to watch for me in that fearlessly beefy hamy preposterous yet somehow tongue-in-cheek colourful way X,D.

  12. e

    eh. Bad day for typos today. My *2nd* best lock candidate etc etc.

  13. s

    I'm also getting good vibes from Hitsugi no Chaika. It's certainly flying under the radar, which I'm okay with. Leaves more room for me to think. 😀

  14. R

    I'm a bit surprised that you would say that Winter 2014 had "a few" strong carryover, considering that Nagi no Asakura seems to be the only Fall 2013 two-cours series that can still be considered good by this point, with all the others having ended up becoming a mess at some point over the course of the series.

    Personally I'm more interested into Abernbou and Ping Pong then Baby Step and Haikyuu!!, seeing as they seem to offer something outside of the usual Fujoshi pandering genre that sports series seem to be trapped in by this point.

    I read a few chapters of the Manga Adaptation of Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei and ended up dropping it because the Main Character was a boring Gary Stu and the sister just another dime a dozen brother obsessed Imouto.

  15. I think Yowapeda and Diamond no Ace are both excellent. You also have to factor in older shows like H x H and Uchuu Kyoudai in that statement as well.

  16. R

    I don't really consider shows that have been running for over a year without break as "carryovers".

  17. I consider any show that "carries over" from the season before a carryover. But either way, YP and DnA are both Fall shows.

  18. S

    Hey, some of us still enjoy Kill la Kill a lot XD. It's not the smartest series out there, true, but it's consistently been both pretty, funny and spectacular. Personally I was more engaged by it than I was by Space Dandy, which turned out as having high production values but feeling somewhat soulless to me.

  19. t

    space brothers doesn't make to 100 episodes. will end at 99 (AKA this week). I am kinda sad (until I am far away by 2 eps…really?)…but that's how it is. looking forward the movie!
    that means it's not a leftover anymore.. =

  20. n

    I heard they're making Durarara!! 2nd season. So timely since I'm watching it right now. (I hope they'll make a new season of Baccano!! too).

    Hitsugi no Chaika looks and sounds good. And since I don't have problems with CGI, Sidonia no Kishi also looks promising.

  21. DRRR sequel should be good. I certainly preferred Baccano but DRRR vastly outsold it so I wouldn't hold my breath for more (maybe another Isaac and Miria cameo at best).

  22. M

    Baccano is leaps and bounds better, but DRRR!! was more transparent in its appeal (hip with the times too) – certainly shows in the merchandise. Hopefully they shift focus off the bland students though.

  23. t

    really looking forward DRRR sequel. same team but not the same studio somewhat (still unknown who will take that instead of brains base). but hey, it intrigues me even more…how much better this is gonna be… 😛

  24. n

    I especially love the English dub version of Baccano. It's one of anime that I frequently go back to to watch again and again and never get bored of. Real shame the marketing failed in Japan.

  25. w

    That's actually true?! Yessss. Today is a good day.
    I preferred Baccano as well, but I think DRRR is more suited to a sequel. I'm pretty happy with where Baccano wrapped thing up, while DRRR feels like it has much more story to tell yet. And yeah, we'd have a better chance of some of Narita's other work getting picked up (which should totally happen anyway because he's a great writer) than more Baccano.

  26. t

    spring is always a major season in anime so there are a lot of anime.
    I find current spring with a lot of decent and good candidates to produce good results, but I have troubles to find some real "ace" (of a diamond of course HaHa), though there are some that might turn the tables here.

    2 out of 4 sports series will end in the next few weeks. one of them is really good (you guessed right – hajime no ippo). but luckily, 4 new sports will start! and that's in addition to the 2 newly (kinda..) great sports – YP and DnA!
    mostly, I look forward to baby steps, HQ. baby steps will be with original material (from pierrot – aka Naruto and bleach fillers studio), god knows why, and that's kinda sad. but still, it caught my attention. as for HQ, well, it's IG so I expect great production, even greater than Kurobas and with some real sports for a change.
    Toei also bring something out. I don't know much about it, but I'll give it a shot.
    ping pong does intrigue me. but the character's design looks bizarre and remind Aku no hana (which I dropped really really early). but other than that, animation on the whole looks fine and it's sports that has ended (for a bit of change), so I am kinda looking forward to it.

    mangaka-san looks like a great relief like Tonari no seki-kun.

    Madhouse 2 new LN adapation sounds nice and are successful in japan, especially Mahouka, but "no game no life" has my attention as well. I don't expect it to be something this great, but it's madhouse we're talking and they can do some really good stuff (despite lately I didn't much like their LN adaptation on the whole – mahou senso and KamInai).

    we have 4(!) original series. one of them of A-1, keep "assaulting" noitaminA, but it intrigues me (though I don't trust A-1 on the whole – GD was horrible, and A-1 tend to screw up with endings..but we'll see).
    there is also JC with Okada and S;G director. sounds interesting, but it's Okada with psychological genre and dangerous game (why is it reminding me danganronpa)…so who knows what to expect.
    and finally captain earth by Bones. looks flashy and Mecha, just like star-driver (well, it's from the same team), but I hope they can redeem for it and create something better.
    and lastly, M3 (too long). Okada, satelight and Mecha. wow that's a bizarre combination. I love satelight studio and I love Mecha (though Nobunaga the fool isn't enjoying as I wished it was) and Okada is Okada. maybe something really good can be from it. who knows.
    all in all, I love original series, but it seems we have some achilles heel for each one here. we'll see how they will deal with it.

    above all, I highly look forward to Isshukan friends and Hitsugi no Chaika.
    and we have anime mirai, after great results from last year, I really looking forward to that (and yeah, still waiting for LWA 2!)
    there are Soredemo,Gokuku, Bokura wa Minna and mushishi 2 which I look forward. while others are sleepers like Sidonia, black bullet, fuuun an yeah, even Mekaku of shaft (weird…).

    p.s
    you haven't mention break blade of IG here. not even in the poll.
    I haven't seen the 6 movies, though I intent to and hope to do it before the show, but I understand you can watch it without the prior knowledge. I intend to watch this show too.

  27. I didn't mention Break Blade because I don't really consider it new material. Judgment call.

  28. i

    With the exceptions of Mushishi and Jojo:Stardust Crusaders (which i don´t know if you follow it, Enzo) this season is definitely a hit or a miss from the moment i saw the full chart. You have choosen the ones i think are more promising, but even with that i will wait and see what is said about the first chapters of a lot of series.
    And this is counting that gin no saji is over in two weeks and uchuu kyudai in one week…seems i trust in HxH, Jojo and Mushishi for the next months

  29. S

    Yeah, I remember something about Enzo saying he watched Jojo but wasn't interested in blogging it as it's… well, Jojo, namely a glorious and very stylish hamfest and little more – fun to watch but not much to talk about. Definitely my highlight of the season, as I still have never watched Mushishi (I know. I'll check it out… eventually).

    As for the rest, call me a nostalgic, but I'm happy for the new DB Kai season. Other that that I'm moderately excited for Sidonia and Captain Earth, I don't care much for sports anime and will maybe give Ping Pong a try, and not touching Mahouka with a ten-foot pole unless I hear it's good from people whose taste I trust.
    A show that didn't make it into this preview, No Game, No Life seems to have at least an interesting aesthetic – but the synopsis is like the worst LN tripe tropes all mashed together: there's NEETs, imoutocest potential, and gaming power fantasy. I still have an unhealthy curiosity towards it. It's probably going to end bad.

  30. That's about right with JoJo. It's enjoyable for what it is but I don't have a lot to say about it, and I don't quite see what all the fuss is about. Good show, just not on my wavelength.

  31. S

    I'd say for me it works at the same level at which Kill la Kill does – extremely enjoyable from a stylistic point of view, both visually and musically (the first JoJo had one of the best OSTs in 2013), and carries that with a story of silly bombast that sends me back to the days when I was a little more than a kid and used to watch DBZ and such.
    I won't deny that kind of feeling – the raw excitement of the fight, the hype for a new, stronger enemy and the likes – plays a big part of me. It's quite primal but it works, I guess it's kinda how super-sentai fans loved Samurai Flamenco while I dropped it after it turned into Power Rangers. I wouldn't be excited any more with what worked for me back then, but JoJo is so well done it satisfies me aesthetically and thus works at that level too.

  32. A

    Parts 1 and 2 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure are easily the most outdated of the series, and David Production knew that. The fact it worked as well as it did still baffles me to this very day, but now that we know exactly what we can expect, I can only imagine the hype for parts 3 and 4 given the already established fanbase there is for 3 and the author's sudden spike in creativity with 4.

  33. i

    If there are the most outdated, i´m hyped. I liked a lot part 1, even is generally recognized as the worst part, and part 2 for me is supreme. Speaking of jojo, i can´t find any part from 2 onwards that is better than others, as a lot of people have diverse tastes on each part, which only hypes me more because that tells me that each part is good in his own ways.
    As Simone says, the feeling that Jojo, DBZ or even for me Hajime No Ippo creates about the fights are top notch, but only when it works.

  34. S

    In a sense, I'm worried about Part 3 in that I know it's become basically a source of inspiration for 90% of the modern shonen stuff – I've seen the very idea of Stands mentioned as the origin of the various special powers that we see in anime, from Bleach's Zanpakutos to HunterXHunter's Hatsu. So in a sense, while the "outdatedness" of Parts 1 and 2 made them somewhat different from what I'm used to, I'm a bit worried that Part 3 might feel like "just another shonen" – due to basically fathering almost all of them. I'm more curious about the later parts where I hear Araki has gone crazier and crazier with his ideas. I'm still withholding reading the manga though because watching the anime is such a much more visceral and satisfying experience.

  35. M

    Meh. Just can't get excited for anything by the veteran studios: I.G, Badhouse, Gainax *shudder* BB and BONES. Lots of 4-koma, LNs and more sub-par looking mecha.
    Not sad about having fewer things to follow though. Winter got a bit crazy.

    Also, Tatsunoko Production are supposedly handling Ping Pong – not Madhouse.

  36. R

    okay, since i am a mecha fan, will definitely be picking up Bones' Captain Earth (as well as the new Broken Blade series). thank goodness no sunrise original mecha here. valvrave left me a nasty aftertaste and buddy complex game me head trauma for the insane amount of headdesk moments that it has.

    now for the main dish: Mari Okada. i don't know if i read it here, but someone commented that Okada is at her best elements if she as few shows at any given time to focus on and give love to (okay, she sometimes gives too much love). we clearly saw that with her excellent handling of NagiAsu, which is her only show during the fall and winter seasons.

    NagiAsu is now firmly entrenched in my top favorites list, so i am quite scared watching another Okada series, much more two at the same time. either one of them would turn horrible, or both of them would.

  37. Z

    It's quite the shame that Sunrise gave up on the serious Mecha genre indeed.

  38. R

    let's cross our fingers that the new Gundam series they will be announcing in the next few days is worth it. not a fan of Build Fighters (never hated it, nor liked it. just isn't my cup)

  39. Z

    It would be nice if a trend started where the Gundam pilots started acting like professionals instead of having adolescent hissy fits all the time.

  40. R

    Gundam 00 dd that, if i recall correctly. what i wanna see is a female gundam pilot/protagonist for the series. just want to see them break away from that odd sexism in the franchise.

  41. Z

    The Gundam franchise has a lot of potential (MG kits aside) which is seldom ever used. As it stands it's more likely to find that potential in an OVA format aimed at an older audience than in TV series designed for children.

  42. Z

    And yes, I would take a properly trained female pilot over an adolescent Newtype any day.

  43. Z

    Well this time around it sounds like the pilot is a cadet at least. Baby steps.

  44. M

    Gundam: AO

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kX_kQZLb64E

    Getting a few Turn A vibes from the mecha though.

  45. Z

    Safe Bets:

    Stardust Crusaders ("Za Warudo! Toki wo tomare!")
    Mushishi

    Chance:

    Sidonia no Kishi (shame about the CG)
    Captain Earth
    Abarenbou Rikishi!! Matsutarou (Japan's de jure national sport)
    Ping Pong

    "…the days when Gainax being enough to earn a show a trial run are nearing their end"

    Those days are long over.

  46. w

    I'd really like it if Escha and Logy turned out to be very good, but the fact that it's an RPG adaption worries me. Still, the promo art looks really nice and it involves alchemists so I'm pretty much completely bought in. Should be a good fit for Gokumi, as well. They know how to do pretty visuals.

    I kinda wish Isshukan Friends had Takahiro Omori directing, but still really looking forward to it. Should be excellent. I'm actually looking forward to both BB series you previewed, hopefully this season represents a return to form for them.

    I never really understood the hype around Shaft series, I haven't been able to finish one of their shows since Madoka.

  47. N

    hah, I read about 10 or so chapters of Gokukoku no Brynhildr without realizing it's the same author as Elfen Lied (which I loved, the manga quite a lot more than the anime) and ended up dismissing it as a 'weak attempt to do an Elfen Lied light'. Will give the anime a shot, though

  48. S

    Interesting list, thank you. But I was kinda surprised not to see Kindaichi in the list. You didn't like the old series? It was pretty enjoyable show when they followed manga, there aren't much of bearable detectives in anime.

  49. For whatever reason "Boy Detective" series tend not to work for me. I know it sounds off when discussing a medium like anime, but the conceits of the genre seem especially silly to me.

  50. S

    The next season has some interesting title's.

    Having a sequel of one of Mushishi is great, yet the other series are also interesting.

    Especially Ping Pong, with its manga already having ended 7 years ago. I read more manga than anime, but in the few cases where I watched the anime adaption of a reknown manga first: Monster, Mushishi, Aria, Death Note it definitely did not disappoint. I hope that this anime can become one of those classics.

    Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou also sounds interesting, that is mostly because Love Lab was quite funny and charming in its own way.

    Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii is also on my try out list.

    Haikyuu has this great Volleyball setting, but the manga is IMO not very entertaining unfortunately.

  51. M

    I've been meaning to read the Baby Steps manga for a while now… But now I don't know whether I should start reading it before I watch the anime or watch the anime and then read all of it. Decisions, GAH.

  52. Since the anime is going to change things up, sadly, I think either is fine. Just be sure to read the manga whether it's before or after.

  53. H

    I found out there was a manga adaptation of the Coffin Princess story so I gave that a shot a week or two ago and dear lord I couldn't make it past the first chapter, that's as close to rage-quitting as I ever get. You're right that BONES doesn't make too many missteps, and this certainly could turn out just fine, but I'm a lot less interested in it than I was when I first heard about it.

  54. G

    Yeah…not digging the manga either (I haven't read a whole lot, but not very impressed by that I read). But it's Bones, I'll bite. Who knows, maybe they'll make it better?…lol

  55. i

    It appears to me that today you can only decide to animate LNs, moe, or mecha. Heck, it if were for animate a story and not to write it, they should try to animate VNs on the level of Steins;Gate or Little busters!, but no,it appears if you create original anime now it should be about mechas, moe, harem or the similar(there are a few cases when it works, ok, but…) and if you don´t want to create a new series, you animate a harem VN, a mediocre LN, or a manga(although in this last case there aren´t many failures).
    Good lord, at least i can see a lot of anime that is good and finished from the past years, or decades, or so.

  56. S

    Seems like a somewhat promising season: I’m looking forward to the 4 sports series, soredemo sekai, Ishuukan Friends and hope some other series will positively surprise me.

    Have to say I don’t quite understand the appeal of Mushishi. I saw the first few eps of the first season and thought it was excruciatingly boring due to the snail pace, episodic nature and lack of emotional investment. But then again, most shows with supernatural elements, occultism or deities are not really compatible with me (I dislike Natsume Yuujinchou for the exact same reasons).

  57. E

    So my list for this Spring is Uchouten Kazoku, Gingitsune, and Ghost Hound. Should be a really good season, then!

    Yes, I'm well aware that the first 2 shows I list are 2 seasons old, and Ghost Hound is a few years old, even. What I mean is that this is gonna be the season when I clear out my backlog because I'm not picking up anything new. This Spring seems to me weaker than Winter, with a lot of shows that look like they're not gonna be good, along with a lot of shows that definitely look like they're gonna be terrible. At least Winter had Silver Spoon to lift it up, and boy does it have lifting power.

    Two great disappointments this season, as Knights of Sidonia is pure CGI, and thanks to you I found out Ghibli's Ronja is also gonna be. After Arpeggio, and with the shadow of RWBY looming over, I'm not ready at all to give 3D anime a chance – and Polygon Pictures isn't a trustworthy studio. They're good at mixing their CG with 2D animation in films, and really good at that – but Transformers Prime, Clone Wars and Tron: Uprising are atrocious animation-wise, and show the studio isn't ready to tackle TV, and much less to tackle whole projects by themselves. I can only dread what they'll be reduced to do on a TV anime budget…

    As for the rest, I'm on "once bitten, twice shy" mode for pretty much everything all the time – dropping everything with the "Ecchi" tag on it; dropping several writers on sight (Okouchi Ichiro, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Okada Mari, Kawamori Shoji, Shinbou Akiyuki, Uezu Makoto, Kishi Seiji, Nisioisin, Narita Ryougo…); dropping any romance show with siblings on the lead roles; dropping RPG-like fantasy settings like they're hot; disregarding sports shows like they don't even exist; and refusing to watch anything released by BONES, GONZO, Gainax, or ARMS…

    …sometimes I wonder why do I still consider myself an anime fan.

  58. Z

    I actually do admire that cutthroat style of yours.

  59. G

    Kinda interesting that you group Bones with the other three studios, in which two had fallen from grace. But meh, you are entitled to your own opinion.

  60. E

    I group Bones with them because of my experiences with Bones. They're really good at animating, and they have a good eye for sources to adapt, not to mention that they publish a lot of well-made and polished originals – however, I'm not a fan of their adaptation policies (especially after the mess they made with Full Metal Alchemist and Soul Eater) and most of the time the shows they do are pretty unappealing to me (like Captain Earth and Space Dandy), not to mention that despite the polish of their original work, I find the substance to be not of my predilection (Eureka 7, Xam'd, Space Dandy again).

    Oh, and Star Driver sucked.

  61. m

    I've been clamoring for a proper Mahouka conversion for years now 😉 … it's a fantastic LN series, and for people who are a fan of well-crafted colorful characters in a reasonably well thought-out world, it's a real treat. It is heavy on exposition, so it's going to be pretty difficult to animate (and thus, it can certainly fail if done by a poor scriptwriter), but for the time being, and all of its flaws notwithstanding, I opt to be optimistic. In fact, I do believe that in the hands of a good writer, stripping some of the exposition out and streamlining the rest might actually improve the overall experience. We will see.

    On the downside, this show is bound to get the SAO treatment from the hater community. Meaning that droves of "anime veterans" will dismiss it based on oblivious summaries and echo chamber dissing. Forgive me for being rude, but I simply don't buy what Riliane was writing – after "a few manga chapters", the MC is the opposite of a Gary Stu, and the imouto is also not remotely a "dime a dozen" character. I smell another dismissal based on rumor and ignorance.

    As for the rest, I'm certainly going to follow Brynhildr, Black Bullet and dabble in various other shows. After the Winter 2014 season which I consider downright disastrously bad, it's definitely an improvement.

  62. b

    I'm a fan of Mahouka as well, but please don't kid yourself in saying that Tatsuya is not a Gary Stu. He is in every sense a GS and it's ignorance on your part to say otherwise.
    Discussing further is spoilers and Enzo doesn't like that so I'll stop.
    Just remember, just because you're defending the series doesn't automatically mean you're in the right. Remove your bias goggles as well so you can see the facts clearer.

  63. m

    You don't get it. The point is that Tatsuya is most definitely no Gary Stu "after a few chapters of the manga". There he is anything but. You can call him a Gary Stu after LN volume 4, maybe, but no sooner.

  64. S

    belatkuro, this guy has been defending fiercely Mahouka on every Spring 2014 post around in many blogs. He does so with such unwavering conviction I'm beginning to suspect he's actually the series' writer.

    To Mentar: my advice for you would be to do like the Chinese proverb say, wait and sit on the river's bank. When Mahouka will prove itself mind-blowingly good you'll get to see the corpse of everyone who dared raise the suspect it was just another standard LN adaptation and all those haters that you assume will bash the show just out of frustration at its popularity float downstream and say "Told ya!".

  65. m

    Why thank you for your thoughtful advice, Simone 🙂 … thank you, not interested.

    Let me be very blunt: A significant part of the anime blogsphere has degenerated into a mean-spirited dissing echo chamber of veterans who are bored by anime, feel they have seen everything and draw pleasure out of ridiculing anime along those fans who still enjoy it. For these experts, all they need in season previews is to read a sloppy oblivious summary on ANN, and they already have all info they need to extrapolate what a show amounts to. Which is something I find truly annoying. Not just in case of Mahouka, but rather in general.

    When you dump on a show in a preview, you should at least have some firsthand knowledge about it. And when you can see by errors made by critics that they have no clue and are merely regurgitating nonsense, I reserve the right to spank them for that and point out where they're off. Don't like that? Too bad.

    GE's blog is one of the precious rare spots that has maintained a positive outlook on anime, and who is giving _balanced_ criticism on it. I took the liberty to give him a fan's perspective on "what the fuss is about", as he put it. Him and me go way back. The show is getting my recommendation, even though I openly concede that it is difficult material which CAN be screwed up. But it deserves better than "boring Gary Stu with default incestuous imouto" as summary. Hence my post.

    Mentar

  66. S

    I just don't see the reason for all this fuss. There are lots of blogs out there, and while it's true that there's a lot of picky critics, and I don't always agree with them either (for example I never understood psgels' stance on HXH) I don't assume that they're saying what the say just to fell like they're better than everyone else. I think they all are in good faith and say what they honestly think. AND that they honestly think that certain shows are shit for them. They are not on a contract that binds them to do more research that they feel is needed; if tomorrow someone simply started blurting out random judgements that don't match any of their readers' taste, nor make any kind of sense to them with the reasons for their judgements, they'll probably lose their readership. As soon as they keep it it means that there is a certain slice of viewers who share their opinions to a degree. You simply have to admit that there IS a certain amount of people who thinks that kind of premise doesn't ring good. Which doesn't mean automatically that the show will be bad to them, just that it looks so, with respect to their interests/tastes. These impressions are just a random glance, almost everyone will watch the first episodes and possibly retract what they said if they see they are refuted by facts. Lots of people blogged and liked NouCome, and that sounded like shit. Lots of people is now enjoying Witchcraft Works. So if Mahouka IS superior to what the studios made it look like by releasing that synopsis it'll become apparent soon. Since I do trust the good faith of the bloggers you mention, I'm sure they'll just go back on their word in that case because to refuse to watch something that is entertaining just because of a stupid pride taken in being superior and despising stuff just because of its popularity would be childish and unreasonable. And it's not like it happened – look at JoJo or SnK, they were both insanely popular but they didn't receive flak for this. But if after the first impressions come out everyone STILL thinks that Mahouka is shit, then you just have to come to terms that there is people who subjectively feels that way. And I can assure you, when it happened with SAO it didn't happen because it was popular, it happened because lots of those people you accuse of being "elitists" liked it at the beginning and THEN was disappointed.

    TL;DR: if you don't like the anime blogosphere, don't read blogs. If you don't like their posts about Mahouka, don't read that. But you can't claim that anyone who doesn't like what you like is automatically biased or is not looking at the merits of the show.

  67. m

    Projection much? Straw man festival?

    The short, impolite, but clear version, then. Hater cesspools communities do exist. I don't like them and leave them when the vitriol level gets too high for my taste (see psgels). GE's blog is a pleasant exception which I always like to read.

    I don't really care what you think about my criticism of oblivious inaccurate characterization of anime content. Heed your own wisdom: If you don't like it, don't read it or leave the kitchen. I have no problem with criticism on the shows I like, as long as you happen to know what you're actually talking about (seemingly a big hurdle nowadays) and stay factual.

    And lord knows I'm not trying to convert anyone to become a fan, that would be the most foolish errand ever. I'm giving feedback to GE and some extra information, because I happen to know that some people actually do take tips from me. If you don't, more power to you.

  68. Everybody please calm down here. Valid topic for conversation but beginning to verge on pissing contest.

  69. Interesting to see such spirited disagreement. I have no preconceptions (I never heard SAO here) so I'll make up my own mind…

  70. m

    Just in case it's not clear: SAO = Sword Art Online. A popular and highly controversial show which polarized the fans into "disgusting worthless trash" and "awesome stuff" camps. I expect something similar to happen here.

  71. R

    I will admit I screamed, like literally out loud screamed, back when I read your post that Mushishi was going to get another adaptation.

    And then I had pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. And then run up and down the stairs giggling like a schoolgirl to burn off the excess energy. To say that I am looking forwards to Winter would be the understatement of the century.

    Now, if it had been announced that Natsume was also getting another season, I may have just fainted from over excitement on the spot.

    That being said, there are a lot of shows I see that I expect firmly to fall in the "will watch and have fun with but probably won't be immersed" spectrum of my viewing list. I tend to give shows a much wider berth in how much they can vary outside of my expectations. Or put another way, I don't mind watching a lot of mediocre shows if they're at least fun. I do want to take a look at No Game No Life if only because the visuals on the PV were the only series to immediately catch my eye aesthetically (which means nothing considering I could say the same about Day Break Illusion) but hey.

    And to be fair, even though I have a very, VERY love-hate relationship with Mari Okada, even if she does stumble over different genres, I still give her points for trying to expand her work outside of her normal zone (granted, sometimes it would be better if she didn't expand, but I'll give her points for trying XD).

    Besides Mushishi, I'm also a carryover fan of Haikyuu!! (I just find it funny. It makes me laugh a lot so that's good enough for me. The facial expressions though are golden) and Mekaku City Actors (ok that's just bias, I loved the series and song and story from the Vocaloid side of it, we'll see how the anime goes but it also elicited the screaming fangirl reaction soooo)

    And quite a few others too. A lot more than this season. I'm still crying over Baby Steps though. I started reading that after you mentioned how much you loved it and it may have been the worst decision of my life because it was 5AM the next day when I realized I forgot to sleep.

  72. I've been of the opinion that another season of Natsume was a given. But if the meaning of the DRRR announcement is that Omori and the producer are leaving Brains Base for good and taking a bunch of staff with them, I'm no longer so sure.

  73. R

    I would not only scream, but scream and dance at the same time if there's another season of Natsume although it'd be sad if Brains Base would lose the franchise. To be honest, I'm quite worried about the future of the studio. None of the shows after Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun were good in my view, and, sorry…I don't like Blood Lad.

  74. R

    I certainly had very high hopes that another season was a given (considering the rest sold relatively well), so hopefully the DRRR season doesn't come with a swan song for a large portion of Brains Base's talent. I think it was less of a question of if and more of a question of when (although your comment does make me worry a bit now). Seasons 3 and 4 of Natsume weren't spaced all that far apart, so I've just kind of been impatiently bouncing up and down waiting for the announcement of the next season, which is what I meant by dying of overexcitement if it had been announced XD

    ….but now I'm worried. I really just wouldn't want the series to go to any other studio, not with the amazing job Brains Base has done with it.

  75. I don't know whether BB owns the anime rights, or whether they could take it to Shuka if they wanted. Sales have been more than respectable, downright excellent and frighteningly consistent (which is very important for sequel decisions). The studio thing is really the only hiccup. Omori did do the Yuki no Hi OVA for BB recently – and it was incredible – but there's certainly some uncertainty in the overall situation.

  76. R

    Actually I remember during the announcement of the OVA my first reaction was unbridled glee and my second was "so where's the season 5 announcement" XD

    Omori's been the director of all seasons of Natsume, hasn't he? It never ceases to amaze that he's also the director of DRRR. You probably can't find much more different a pair of series then those.

    To be completely fair, the source for Natsume is so simply elegant and touching and quiety amazing that I'm still convinced that it would take a very, very large screw up on the part of the anime studio to turn me off of it, so even in the worst case scenario that Brains Base doesn't produce the next season for some reason, it probably would still be ok.

  77. Omori is one of the most versatile directors in the business.

    I agree, the material is so good that I think it would be fine at BB under another director or with Omori at Shuka – maybe not quite the same, but still special. My bigger worry is that if this is a divorce, the kids may get lost in the shuffle.

  78. y

    Fun fact: A single producer handled all the Aniplex productions at Brains Base. This includes Omori's work (including Hotarubi no Mori e), Kamichu, and Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun.

    More specifically, Shuko Yokoyama is the producer from the Aniplex side, while BB's Yumi Sato managed and staffed the production line (creating the schedule, lining up episode directors and animators, managing the team of production managers responsible for each episode). You can read more on Sato's relationship with Omori here:

    http://animesecrets.org/fanime-2013-takahiro-omori-and-yumi-sato-exclusive-interview/

    It isn't yet confirmed if Sato established Shuka, but Japanese fans speculate that this is the case. No one else worked with Yokoyama (who tweeted the Durarara sequel announcements) and Omori.

    Following any split, it's only natural who they'd would work with. Sato has been with them the whole time, plus it can be argued that she was most responsible for BB's success and strong workmanship. Before Kamichu and Baccano, they were nothing.

  79. G

    Brains Base was never a prolific studio before 2012. They were very selective but produced phenomenal results. For whatever reasons, they started producing more shows – and many of them are pretty trashy. They also hopped on the bandwagon of reverse harem brainless bishonen pandering. I'm not sure who's pulling the strings here, but there is definitely a sharp divide between what they used to do and what they do nowadays, so I'm not surprised if a split does happen.

  80. R

    To be fair, given the state of the market, financially speaking I can't say I'm all that surprised that a lot of niche companies would have to start branching out into my mainstream material, including the already over saturated well of cliches. And to be honest, I can't blame them for it. As large as the otaku market is, you'd honestly be surprised how much stuff fujoshi and girls buy. I mean, I buy otome games and pay exorbitant shipping (XD;;;) and merchandise and I don't consider myself even close to the hardcore ones ($120+ for limited edition games of DVDs I just….why)

    I'm not going to say I LIKE all of their adaptations, but some of them are firmly in that "OK" section of my watchlist, and I do get why they might have to start adapting more of those kinds of shows.

    The problem becomes if they stop producing the types of shows that I fell in love with in the first place, like Natsume. Then that will be a horrifyingly sad day in my anime career.

  81. Exactly. I'm not a fan of Otomate's material when it comes to anime adaptations, but if Brains Base sees it as a necessary evil to fund the sort of adaptations they're used to doing (plus originals like MPD) then I have no issues with it. They haven't had quite the run of success the last couple of years that used to be their standard, though.

    The female side of the market – both otome-specific and otherwise – is hugely important now, which is why the likes of KyoAni have tapped into it. The otaku market isn't all that large, actually, which is part of the problem the industry faces and why shows like Free and KuroBas are so important to its financial survival. Male otaku only have so many Yen to spend and if every show is trying to sell to that same pool of buyers (which numbers in the low five figures) only a few will be successful in any given season.

  82. y

    I just looked through BB's repertoire of works and learned some things:

    1. Before 2008, Bandai Visual was their main client. The studio tended to invest more, producing shows like Gigantic Formula and Innocent Venus.
    2. Between 2008 and 2013, Brains Base didn't invest in a single production. During this period
    3. Starting from 2007, Yumi Sato continuously oversaw a line of projects from Aniplex and NAS. Of these titles, she directly pursued Natsume Yuujinchou and Hotarubi no Mori e.
    4. Recently, Brains Base expanded their clientele to include TBS, Geneon, Frontier Works, and the otome game publishers. They're getting lots of projects now that these relationships have been established.
    5. President Kazumitsu Ozawa has been directly involved with some recent shows (he was heavily involved during the Bandai Visual tie-up but not after), maybe because they're courting new clients and expanding operations.
    6. Generally, they outsource 1-3 episodes per show, even on a two-cour production.
    7. Production-wise, Natsume always got the short end of the stick. They outsource 4-6 episodes per season.
    8. D-Frag is the production debut for Yayoi Saito, who was Yumi Sato's second in command. BB also joined the production committee, which they'd been avoiding since Baccano.

    There's an unconfirmed rumor that Shuka and BB's "Third" production office are one and the same (i.e. Yumi Sato was already producing her shows in a separate location).

    If so, it remains unknown if they're a BB subsidiary or an independent spin-off inheriting the existing facility (like Gokumi or C-Station, which split off from Gonzo and Bee Train respectively). Nevertheless, Brains Base has used core members of her production staff for D-Frag and My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU.

  83. m

    Love the Steinbeck reference! that's my favorite author/book.

  84. m

    I agree that Baby Steps is one of the best sports manga ever, and leagues above any of those jump superpower sports manga. Kuroko no Basket was so annoying I couldn't get through a few chapters before dropping it from frustration. It feels like manga like those trivialize what goes into taking sports seriously. Maybe it's just me, but they have always really annoyed me.

  85. s

    I wouldnt say those type of manga's trivialize the sports they are based on; Think about it this way: anime and manga are mediums that generally need to rely heavily on their visuals to make an impression. What those "superpower sports" manga are essentially doing is taking a genre (in this case sports) and over stylizing it for the sake of entertainment so you can be like "wow, that was pretty cool" all the while trying to tell a characterized story (some of them at least) underneath that guise. I dont think the goal is to trivialize the under-workings of the sport than it is to create something exuberant and entertaining out of a genre.

    Yes there are two types of sports anime/manga and its understandable that they can be divisive, but that doesnt hurt the overall package in my opinion if it fulfills these two requirements: 1. is the entire package entertaining? and 2. Is the character drama on point? A big part of sports anime/manga is the character drama; that has to be very well-written for a successful sports show. If you have that, i dont think it matters whether the sports aspect is over-stylized or more realistic; it becomes a matter of preference at that point.

  86. I don't think trivializing is the goal of these anime, but it often is the result IMHO.

    I'm tempted to say your tolerance for WSJ superpower sports depends on how much you're a fan of actual sports, but that's probably an oversimplification.

  87. s

    Funny you say that because i actually was going to touch upon a person's passion for sports and their enjoyment of WSJ superpower sports; but as you said, i knew it would be oversimplifying so i decided not to go there. After all, i know a guy who passionately plays basketball and is into other sports as well yet he enjoys kuroko no basuke, mostly because he gets that it's not real basketball, but a flashy representation of it for the sake of entertainment. At the end of the day, there is still something a person who enjoys sports vastly can relate to in those type of sports anime/manga even if it is minimal….suspension of disbelief my friend…that is key. As long as the drama can support the show, it should be ok….maybe…..probably

  88. m

    That might be an oversimplification Enzo, but I don't think you could explain any better in one sentence. It seems to be a very inverse relationship between love of sports and tolerance to superpowered sports.

    @sonic Yeah there's aspects you can relate to, but it just feels to trivialize it when you have things like "lack of presence" and "the zone (as in a literal zone al a NBA Jam)" To take things people have worked so hard for and make it seem like you can gain typical WSJ character skills in just annoys me personally. Not that that was intended, or that the manga no longer has value, but that it isn't for me. And I just don't think it compares to a great manga like baby steps. When you have a manga/anime like Area no Kishi which not only begins with a large misunderstanding of how heart transplants work, but calls soccer moves "phi trick" as in he is tricking someone (but the move itself is close to a move that is actually used minus the "disappearing" part) sort of leaves out what sports are really about: hard work, learning to accept failure, dedication, sportsmanship, trust, and the many other things that make sports arguably the best way to teach kids how to act in life. There really is nothing else where you work so hard and essentially everyone fails except one team/player, and learning to deal with that with dignity and using it as fuel to succeed later is something that helps anyone in the real world. Haha please don't think I mean that everyone DOES learn those lessons, but it really does teach a lot for essentially being a bunch of silly games. But you're definitely right, sonic, it isn't the intention to trivialize sports or anything included in it, but the villains you need for WSJ characters don't work as well as the rivals you get in realistic ones such as baby steps. I'm clearly too biased to make a fair argument here haha. It doesn't help that I like realistic characters (personality wise) more than perfect or super evil ones.

  89. T

    I want to travel in Japan!! I like Japanese culture and anime.

  90. f

    Just a minor correction on your post about Atelier Escha and Logy Enzo.

    They aren't really trying to "save the world" per se, because in the Dusk subseries of the Atelier franchise, the world has already ended. It's all about them trying to continue living on in the world ruined by their predecessors and rediscovering ancient ruins in order to piece together bits and pieces of what caused the ruin in the first place.

    The Atelier franchise has never been big on the whole epic story thing, but rather it focuses more on the setting and characters. Escha and Logy will provide some amazing atmospheric setting and beautiful views. The spectacular scenery interspersed with the ruined world (ancient derelict advanced ruins, deserts that used to be oceans, polluted rivers and lakes etc.) provide some really nice contrast.

    If you're aware of ARIA and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō, then Atelier Escha and Logy, is a mix of both. It's a slightly dreary and melancholic setting, but it still is able to be quite saccharine and idealistic series. So if you;re a fan of the aforementioned to, you'll enjoy Escha and Logy alot. The game itself isn't really plot driven, so Studio Gokumi has alot of free ground to take liberties on the setting they were given.

  91. Thanks for the clarification. I've not heard anyone compare this to YKK, but given that I hold that manga in the highest possible regard it certainly catches my attention.

  92. U

    Aw why was Jojo not on your preview.

  93. M

    Because he no like.

    You might enjoy reading through this one:
    http://thecartdriver.com/spring-2014-anime-season-preview/

  94. Z

    Certainly lots of love for Jojo's over there.

  95. e

    Ahah Jojo fan indeed over there. Also 7 Seeds mention (AAAAH <3) linking to a pretty decent review of it too. Thanks 🙂

  96. Z

    7 Seeds. Now that's a shoujo manga I can get behind!

  97. e

    Unfortunately that's not the kind of shoujo that gets the anime treatment these days :,). And Tamura's manga have not been very lucky abroad publishing-wise either…

  98. Z

    That's a shame because while I do like the shoujo visual style (yes even the flowers and sparkly stuff) I just can't stand the high school romance theme.

  99. R

    Hey! they finally have more details out for M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-03-18/sailor-moon-sato-anohana-okada-macross-kawamori-unveil-m3-story-cast-staff

    and the characters are, uhh, in high school.

    yep, this is going to be Aquarion Evol all over again with all that signature Mari Okada teenage angst.

  100. S

    Took me a minute to realize that "mono no aware" was Japanese, Enzo. Threw me off guard.

    Really looking forward to a lot of things this season. Hopefully, they all pan out. I can't say I've been waiting for Mushishi as long as you have, just because of age differences, but man am I excited for that.

    Also, I never watched Aquarion EVOL, but what was so awful about it?

  101. I would say pretty much everything.

  102. e

    @Salmon: EVOL (much like the first Aquarion… ah the second ED 'Celiane' :,) ) has a few fine musice pieces so I'd suggests to skip the series BUT check out its OST ( song-wise especially the ED Gekkou Symphonia, Aquaria Mau Sora, Pride and the a capella version of the OP).

  103. a

    "Ensure that Winter 2014 will be remembered as one of the weakest seasons anime has seen" I have been enjoying the hell out of this season and out of the top 3 anime you mentioned I'm only watching Space Dandy 😛

    No Akuma no Riddle or No Game No Life?

    Nice preview any idea when Randomc is doing its?

  104. I'll watch the premieres of both, though neither look especially interesting to me. We'll see.

    I don't get much involved in the final stages of putting the RC preview together, but it'll be next week for sure.

  105. i

    Nice review here Enzo-san!
    It's great to see someone appreciated sports anime.Sport genre is too underrated because many people always thought that this genre is fujoshi bet or whatever.I won't refuse that I have some fangirl feeling in me to persuade myself to watch some of those,but the result often turn out to be the anime that have great action and animated scene(better than most of battle-fantasy anime lately) and excellent character development,Moreover because the story is really linear,it make you look into the detail and absorb the overall atmosphere.You will love that series so much after you finished it.

    I can tell you that Haikyuu!! is different from usual jump sports anime.I endure to watch kuroko no basket since most of my friends watch.I like it but not as much as another sports anime that I've ever watched.If I can compare atmosphere this remind me of Ookiku furikabutte.In addition the director Mitsunaka Susumu and staff involves with many thing in Oofuri(I can't write all here,you can search at animenewsnetwork).

    Overall this spring season looks miles better than winter.
    My main "try" list is Haikyuu,Ping Pong(baby steps looks too shoujo for me…),Mekaku City Actors,Captain Earth,Isshuukan Friends,Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii and Mahouka Koukou no Rettouse
    Anyway, I still give a chance to any anime in this season.Looking forward to it!!

  106. If Haikyuu!! is more Oofuri than KuroBas, I will happily watch it.

  107. i

    I read haikyuu till the lastest chapter.At least i can guarantee that this series didn't have any supernatural power for sure.Everything can explain and super fresh because we haven't ever see volleyball series before,right??

  108. D

    I'm guilty of this. I don't touch sports series because they are fujoshi bait. It's a prejudice, I admit. I always think they'll be like that made up sports manga in "My Girlfriend is a Geek" where they pick an obscure sport and throw in a ton of beautiful boys and sexual references/bromance. Then they'll go make the dinosaurs extinct with a single tennis shot or something.

  109. Z

    Why do people care if sports anime are considered underrated? Baseball and basketball manga are a dime a dozen. It's not as if the Japanese are going to stop producing and consuming sports themed entertainment anytime soon.

  110. m

    Baby steps isn't shoujo at all. If you like sports manga/anime even a little you'll love Baby Steps. I hate tennis in general (for a bunch of irrelevant to my point reasons) and that made me hold off on baby steps for awhile, but I promise you won't find a better MC in a pure sports manga. It is done with great respect for the game, and for what goes into dedicating your life to sports both on and off the field. The tennis is 100% realistic, yeah the MC is analytical to a unrealistic degree and his memory is equally unrealistic, but it doesn't ruin anything. And there are no "pretty boys" in any of the main cast.
    I'm def gonna check out the first ep or two of Haikyuu bc of what u said so thanks for the tip.
    @zeta people care bc people always want other people to appreciate the things they like. If they are popular they won't get cancelled or the anime will get second and third seasons.

  111. D

    I'll check it out. I don't know though, the problems of sports manga are many beyond that. Sports manga and anime always focus on professionals and prodigies, and can never really show things like career-ending injuries or many hours put in of practice. Training montage, yeah. They don't ever show people being put on the back bench and needing to earn their way, unless its a device to show how much the prodigy or diamond in the rough the MC is.

    That attitude actually is what harms sports in the USA, too. Kind of the same with music, we only see professionals and prodigies attempt it, so we get conditioned to believe sports are for experts only.

    It's a non-sports anime, but I'd love to see an anime treat sports like U-jin brand treated college. It's a meh anime when it tries to be sexy, but the point of "you can't always be the guy who gets into the best college in order to get the best girl and that's all right." was striking in comparison to a lot of anime.

  112. Manga spoilers.

  113. D.M. If that's what you think all sports manga are like, you haven't checked out very many sports manga.

  114. m

    Haha sorry bout that, I didn't even realize I was doing it.

  115. p

    I'm relatively new to watching anime (say a year or so), and I've been amazed at how much I love the sports-type anime (like Cross Game, Ookiku Furikabutte, Hikaru no go, Chihayafuru) compared to the more sci-fi types I had assumed were what anime was all about. In general, I've found that when people rave about a robot, sci-fi type show, I'm often really underwhelmed when I check it out (exceptions to this being something like Dennou Coil), but the sports anime have been quite the surprise. I suppose there are lots of terrible ones out there, but I've been amazed by the character development you find in them and even more by the way in which the concept of a "rival" is explored so differently than you find in most Hollywood sports shows. US sports show frequently make the person- or team-to-beat unlikeable or even evil so that you can root for the protagonist and feel moral about doing it. At least in the anime I've seen, it seems like there's a much more complicated view of the goal of sports. Am I wrong about this?

  116. I don't think you're wrong, but only in the good sports manga/anime – they aren't all like that, sadly.

  117. Z

    @pjg: I would say the goal of science-fiction and sports anime are a little different (speaking generally). Sports tends to focus on character development as you say, while sci-fi tends to be more focused on questions surrounding technology vs the human condition. Audiences who prefer character development/relationship centered stories would tend to lean to towards genres like sports. It all depends on one's preferences.

    @ maverickmann84: Precisely my point. Sports series in Japan are popular enough considering the volume of sports titles.

  118. R

    Ha, as expected Enzo, mindless over the top action is not your cup of tea, hence the lack of JoJo ;p
    Anyway, I heard somewhere that Black Bullet is basically Shingeki no Kyojin, only with loli (didn't occur to me until I read the synopsis though).

  119. Actually I think "mindless" is pretty harsh for JoJo – harsher than I would go, certainly. There's wit here. Over the top? Absolutely, but nothing wrong with that. I just don't click with JoJo beyond the casual enjoyment level.

    I haven't heard that comp with Black Bullet and honestly, reading the synopsis doesn't put me in mind of it. We'll see how it plays out.

  120. R

    Haha my bad if I phrase it wrong, by "mindless" I mean something that you can watch even with your brain shut off, i.e not thinking too much on it, but I think you get the gist of it.

  121. K

    I am definitely interested in Isshuukan Friends based on your description. That is one that definitely skipped passed my radar previously.

  122. I'll be disappointed if it's not one of the three best shows of the season, carryovers excluded.

  123. F

    I will be sorely disappointed if it does not get the treatment it deserves. It is a beautiful and touching story….

  124. Brains Base is the studio I would most trust to do that – at least at one time. Now I'm not as convinced, and I sure wish Omori were directing this. But it will be a good test of whether they're still capable of delivering the goods.

  125. N

    Exciting list here! A lot of new anime that peek my interest. I will definitely check out these:
    Baby Steps ,Haikyuu!!, Gokukoku no Brynhildr, Mekaku City Actors, Black Bullet, Mahouka,Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii, Isshuukan Friends and M3.

    I will also have to watch the first Mushishi series. It's been on my to-watch list for ages now but I've just never gotten around to it.

    Despite the flak Mari Okada gets I'm curious about both her new series. It will be interesting to see her doing something more action oriented, after her more recent romance anime. And I haven't watched Aquarion Evol, probably for the best.

    I'd really reccomment you to check out Haikyuu. There's no superpowers in it like Kurobas and it has fun and interesting characters. I'm looking forward to seeing it animated, it's probably top on my list along with Baby steps and Isshukan Friends. I read a couple of Baby steps chapters before and remember really liking it, but just never finished it. I'm torn now between going back to read it now or waiting for the anime to finish before reading it. I guess I will wait since I'm the type who prefers when an anime sticks to the manga storyline, so I won't be as let down if I read it after the anime.

  126. I'll definitely check Haikyuu out, don't worry, as I've said several times. I check out most premieres at least even if they aren't in the preview, and usually the ones that are get a three-episode audition unless I just hate them instantly.

    Highly recommend you watch S1 of Mushishi before Zoku Shou. It may not be 100% necessary but it'll help – and why deprive yourself of a wonderful experience?

  127. N

    Will do!! Seems like a wonderful experience indeed. I'll also have to check out Natsume since I've seen it mentioned here quite a few times.

  128. n

    Hi Enzo, I just watched the latest movie of Kara no Kyokai and wondered what opinion you have on this. Did you watch this series? In my view, it's far prettier than the other Kyokai of Kyoani series that came out last year whose exact name I cannot recall. Didn't know where else to ask so I decided to post here.

  129. D

    So in the end I'm only waiting for Haikyuu and Gokukoku no Brynhildr ( why the have to find so hard to remember names ;/ )… Comparing to last spring season, this year is really poor if it comes to good titles. I hope I'll be positively surprised with some series at least. Oh and Enzo, you put mad video by niconico user as haikyuu trailer 🙂

  130. Uwah! Thanks, changed.

  131. m

    I just watched Mushishi's English dub for the first time (over the past few days) and that show is great eve dubbed. Ginko is played by Travis Willingham (Roy Mustang for the 2 FMA series) and he does a really great job. I don't hear him too often in dubs, which is a shame bc he's a very good voice actor. IMHO the 2 FMA series are one of the rare examples of when the dub is better than the sub, and actually better acted overall, not just in that if its almost as good acting-wise then the dub is more enjoyable bc you can focus more on the animation and the subtlety of acting (i.e. use of inflection or tone for specific words instead of just emotion displayed). Though I am biased here bc FMA was the show that turned me into a serious anime fan not just someone who had watched a few anime. But that being said I forgot just how incredible Mushishi is. It's rare to have a show with essentially one character have so much depth and subtlety. So much credit to Urushibara for coming up with such a fascinating concept, and executing it with such subtlety and depth. Also to Trevor Willingham for such a good job in the dub, but even more so to Yuto Nakano for the original voicing (which is better than the dub).

    Is this going to be another 2-cour run or just one?

  132. 2 split cours.

  133. s

    Travis willingham as well as Troy baker; who i think are best friends in real life do superb dub work. In my opinion, they are funimation's A-listers when it comes to dubbing. Completing the trio is laura bailey (who i believe is romantically involved with Travis and friends with Troy..what a funny coincidence)

  134. m

    Haha that is pretty funny. I guess they work together so much it just happened that way. I like the guy who played Ed Elric Vic Mognagna or something like that. The spelling is prob wrong, but he doesn't get enough roles even though he's skilled. I agree with you about troy and laura though, they always do a great job. And just playing Excalibur in soul reaper would be enough for me to like Troy. That was one of the weirdest/funniest anime characters/

  135. F

    Finally, some footage of Baby Steps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMFw0JeStSo

    I'm pleased. So so pleased.

  136. Looks good! Not too much CGI. But was that centre court at Wimbledon???

  137. E

    Sorry if this isn't the right place to ask about this, but why is Happiness Charge Precure listed on the poll? It started airing last season, so I'm a bit confused as to why it's up there.

  138. Did it? My mistake. Must have been wrongly listed on the schedule I used to generate the poll.

  139. S

    BONES, BONES, BONES, and again… BONES. This seems to bee a BONES dedicated season. Which makes me happy. Though I'm most looking Forward to Mahouka, and Black bullet.

  140. Well, Black Bullet is effectively a BONES series anyway…

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