Winter 2015 Season Preview

Durarara Kamisama Binan Ghoul2
Aldoah 2 Ansatsu Yurikuma Saenai

Is it Spring yet?

There’s no sugarcoating the headline here – this is the shortest preview post I’ve ever done.  Eleven series, that’s all – and believe me, this was not the most stringent selection process I’ve ever used.  If this preview wasn’t going to be one I could send out as a tweet, anything on the fence was getting in.

Shorter previews don’t always correspond with low anticipation, but they definitely correlate here.  If this Fall season was in the running for the weakest on paper, Winter 2015 pretty much has that title uncontested.  There are a few good series carrying over, thank goodness, but it seems as if I’m having to lean on that for consolation more and more.

Winter being a weak season isn’t news, of course – Winters generally are, and 2014’s was pretty poor.  But given the overall trend in anime’s artistic ambition – and achievement – this season would normally be an ominous signal to say the least.  The saving grace is that at least a few months out, Spring looks as if it has a chance to be pretty good.  I don’t see anything non-sequel that looks like a slam-dunk for greatness, but there are enough interesting manga and novel adaptations to suggest it’s at the very least going to be much better than the last couple of seasons have been.  It had better be.

But that’s then, and this is now – and Winter 2015 is not a pretty sight.  It’s a small schedule to begin with – even by Winter standards (this is another trend in anime production – shrinking schedules).  And among the shows on the docket there’s very little that stands out.  The best bets seem to be sequels to several good but not elite series (Durarara and Kamisama Hajimemashita being the best).  The LN adaptations (including the NoitaminA one) look uniformly dreadful, there’s nothing among the manga adaptations that excites me and the decline in quality of original series seems a good bet to continue based on what’s headed our way (if the return of the complete crapshoot that is Ikuhara Kunihiko is a clear standout, you know it’s a weak crop).  Apart from that, it looks great.

This is the part of the preview where I normally talk about genre trends, but I really see only one here – formula.  There are a smattering of oddballs, but the vast majority of the schedule is made up of exactly the sort of flavorless otaku-focused feed corn that’s been the only constant in recent seasons.  There’s a tiny smattering of sci-fi, a bit of satire, a shoujo or sports show here and there.  But the homogeneity which has been on the ascendancy in anime for the past half-decade has never been more firmly in control.

Once again I would expect this season to be a light one for me – not necessarily by choice or necessity, but simply as a function of there being very little I want to cover, even factoring in the four shows carrying over.  My personal status – right down to what continent on which I’ll be living – remains in doubt, and it’s possible I would be unable to cover much more even if I wanted, but at this point that’s a secondary issue.  If indeed I do have some time and the season is as bad as it looks on paper, I may even look to pick up a few more currently serialized manga for coverage.

But enough of all that pessimism – it is what it is, and all we can do is hope to be surprised.  As always, please vote for your most anticipated series in the sidebar poll!

With that, to the previews:

Ansatsu

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu – Lerche
Director: Kishi Seiji
Writer: Uezu Makoto
Schedule: Friday 25:20, Fuji TV – Premières 1/09/15
Episodes: TBA

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: One of the two “next gen” power elite from Weekly Shounen Jump finally gets its adaptation.  My gut feeling is that the other young turk, Shoukugeki no Souma – which gets its adaptation in the spring – will actually sell better on disc, though kill-the-teacher wish fulfilment fantasy Ansatsu is the better-selling manga (it was #10 in total sales in 2014).  I like Assassination Classroom as a fun diversion, but I don’t think there’s anything especially distinctive or brilliant about it.  Kishi and Uezu are obviously an up-and-down proposition, but this sort of zany and frenetic material seems to suit their aesthetic pretty well, so I expect this series to work just fine (though I did like the cast from the OAD better, as a whole).

Durarara

Durarara!!x2 Shou – Shuka
Director:
Omori Takahiro
Writer: Takagi Noboru
Schedule: Saturday, 23:30, Tokyo MX – Premières 1/10/2015
Episodes: Three cour (Winter, Summer 2015, Winter 2016)

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: In a historically weak season, a sequel to Narita Ryohgo’s Durarara!! is one of the highlights.  I liked the first season a lot, though I thought it lost a lot of steam in the second cour – and my preference among Narita-sensei’s works is actually for Baccano! (one of the greatest LN adaptations ever).  But DRRR is the one that had the better sales, so it gets the sequel – that’s the way the ball bounces.  There’s no denying this series has a memorable cast of characters, and its particular sense of style has been very influential in anime – often imitated but very rarely captured.  It’s also managed to cross over and be quite popular with both male and female buyers, which is even less common now than it was when the first series aired five years ago.

The other interesting angle with the sequel is that it has fled Brains Base and is being produced by new studio Shuka, founded by Omori Takahiro and producer Sato Yumi.  This is a sad development for me as I’ve historically loved Brains Base, and seeing their top production unit depart makes me worry for the future of the studio itself.  In addition to the lucrative DRRR they’re also losing the Yahari sequel and the new Ikuhara Kunihiko series (see below).

Ghoul2

Tokyo Ghoul √A – Pierrot                    
Director: Morita Shuhei
Writer: Miksasano Chuuji
Schedule:  Thursday, 24:00, Tokyo MX – Premières 1/08/15
Episodes: 12

MAL:                        
Preview:

First Look: Apparently the title means “Tokyo Ghoul root A”, for the record.  While the first season of  Ishida Sui’s horror manga adaptation sold only modestly well on disc, it saw one of the largest increases in manga sales from any recent adaptation (skyrocketing all the way to fourth overall in total volume sales) so I can’t imagine the production committee is regretting their decision (likely pre-airing) to make a second season of this series.

There were some hiccups along the way, but I generally liked that first season a lot – especially when it focused on the complex narrative surrounding the seemingly irreconcilable existences of humans and ghouls in modern Tokyo.  Academy Award-winning director Morita and the staff are back, but given that Ishida-sensei “ended” the manga, it’s interesting to speculate on where the anime will go from here.  That ending was a stunt, of course – Ishida’s sequal Tokyo Ghoul:re started almost as soon as the first one ended.  It seems this anime is following Ishida’s original but never-published manga plot, and he’s also working on the storyboards, which all sounds pretty promising for its prospects.

Yurikuma

Yuri Kuma Arashi – Silver Link
Director: Ikuhara Kunihiko
Writer: Ikami Takayo
Schedule: Monday, 24:30, Tokyo MX – Premières 1/05/15
Episodes: TBA

MAL:
Preview:                                      

First Look:  One of anime’s most creative and difficult directors is back with a follow-up to 2011’s Mawaru Penguin Drum.  Sadly, like Durarara!! and Yahari Yuri Kuma Arashi is leaving Brains Base, this time for Silver Link.  Just about the entire MPD team is reassembled here, a story about a “man vs. bear” war that erupts after an asteroid explodes and rains meteorites down on Earth (oh, Ikuhara-san…).  There will be yuri (it’s in the title), bears (ditto) and since it’s Ikuhara, we can assume outrageous dark comedy and massive amounts of symbolism that border on the inexplicable.  There’s not much point in trying to dissect an Ikuhara series before the fact – you just have to let the insanity wash over you and hope it works.

Junketsu

Junketsu no Maria  – Production I.G.
Director: Taniguchi Goro
Writer: Kurata Hideyuki
Schedule: Sunday, 22:30, Tokyo MX – Premieres 1/11/2015
Episodes: TBD

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: This is one of those borderline shows that slips into the preview based on the level of competition.  The premise – the story of the most powerful witch during the Hundred-Years War, who will lose her magic when she loses her virginity, and the angel assigned to watch over her – frankly sounds pretty banal to me.  But it’s seinen, it’s Production I.G., features a highly experienced staff with some very good work scattered through their resumes, and the mangaka (Ishikawa Masayuki) also wrote the tolerably good Moyashimon.  Given all that, it gets a look.

World Break

Seiken Tsukai no World Break – Diomedea
Director: Inagaki Takayuki
Writer: Yamaguchi Hiroshi
Schedule: Sunday, 25:05, TV Tokyo – Premieres 1/11/2015
Episodes: TBA

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: See above.  The reasons here are…  Well – honestly just a shot in the dark.  It’s a LN adaptation and the staff is nothing special.  The premise?  Typical as LN gets – a “savior” high school where all the students possess memories of their past lives, and dueling styles of magic (plus, of course, a guy surrounded by girls).  I don’t know why this is even in here, to be honest, except the season really does look just that bad and, you know – eleven series in the preview.

Aldoah 2

Aldnoah.Zero 2 – A-1 Pictures
Director: Aoki Ei
Writer: Takayama Katsuhiko
Schedule: Saturday, 24:00, Tokyo MX – Premieres 1/10/2015
Episodes: 22

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: The return of Summer’s most talked-about series is certain to see passions flying high on both sides.  I should know – I blogged S1 both here and at RC and took a lot of flak from both the haters and the fanboys (though mostly the latter, in truth) for charting a middle course.  I liked a lot about that season, but there was a lot of stuff that just didn’t add up and frankly, some unintentionally comedic headdesk moments.  And then there’s that ending…

Which, it looks like, is a big “never mind”.  But come on, did anyone really expect otherwise?  This is Aldnoah – no one important really dies here, and Asseylum is making a career out of bogus death scenes.  So figure on the Princess, Saazbaum and everyone’s favorite Gary Stu to be back in some form or another – though the most interesting (unconfirmed) rumor has Slaine becoming S2’s big bad.  It seems very likely that Urobuchi Gen will have even less involvement (read: none) in this cour than he did in the first.  Frankly it’s going to be hard (er – harder) to take Aldnoah.Zero seriously once it invalidates its own ending by bringing everyone back, but if one can get past that, this is a sci-fi that was frequently among the most exciting and visually striking shows of the Summer so it should be taken at least somewhat seriously now.

Binan

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! – Diomedea
Director: Takamatsu Shinji
Writer: Michiko Yokote
Schedule: Tuesday, 24:40, TV Tokyo – Premieres 1/06/2015
Episodes: TBA

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: In a season desperately starved for genuinely distinctive new series and in a time when the quality of original anime has been declining precipitously, Binan (title too long to type) looks – on paper – like a breath of fresh air.  A full-on mahou shounen parody is a relatively rare thing in anime, especially one that appears to be going to distance with the concept as this one does.  We have the excellent comedy director Takamatsu Shinji (Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou, Gintama, School Rumble) and veteran writer Yokote Michiko (Hare Guu, Shinryaku Ika Musume) on-board as well.

Basically, a concept like this in an original is a crapshoot – it could be a disaster.  But I think the key is commitment, and Binan seems to have it.  Five high school dudes given special powers and charged with saving the Earth by a pink wombat (played by Mugihito, no less?) – the possibilities for not just spoof but also satire of the modern anime industry seem virtually endless.  I don’t know what we’re going to get with this show, but I know it has serious potential – and for that alone, it’s one of the standout show to watch for going into the season.

Saenai

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – A-1 Pictures
Director: Kamei Kanta
Writer: Maruto Fumiaki
Schedule: Thursday, 24:50, Fuji TV – Premieres 1/08/2015
Episodes: 11

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: Here’s another show that looks like a reach – it’s a LN adaptation, and the premise is pretty depressing – a regular guy high school otaku surrounded by a harem of VN routes.  But it’s NoitaminA – though in truth that matters less than ever – and more importantly, author Maruto Fumiaki also wrote the nearly-great White Album 2.  And like WA2, this adaptation is putting Fumiaki in charge of series composition.  Add in a pretty good director in Kamei Kanta (Usagi Drop) and you have more than enough to earn a trial run.  Hopefully this is the book that demands to not be judged by its cover.

Kamisama

Kamisama Hajimemashita TMS Entertainment
Director/Writer: Daichi Akitarou
Schedule: TBA – Premieres 1/2015
Episodes: 1 Cour

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: The two sequels that most interest me this season could hardly be more different.  With Durarara!! the question was “What took so long?”  But with Kamisama Hajimemashita, it’s more like “How the heck did this show get a sequel (that, and “WTF does mean and why does anime keep using characters in titles that aren’t on my keyboard?”)?  Don’t get me wrong, I thought the first series was one of the underrated gems of a very good 2012, but it didn’t sell many discs, and the manga is hardly a sales powerhouse.  If it’d been a split cour I could see it, but this is two years later – to say this announcement was a pleasant surprise is a serious understatement.

Kamisama Kiss was one of those shows that snuck up on you – never flashy, it was nevertheless full of heart and frequently outright hilarious.  Daichi Akitarou is of course one of the greatest shoujo directors ever – maybe the greatest – and his straightforward brilliance is all over this series.  There were some hints at the end of the first season that the manga goes deeper and darker as it probes Tomoe’s past, and I suspect we’re going to see that impact the tone of the second season a bit – but it’s hard to believe Kamisama Hajimemashita will lose any of its simple charms.   I’ve said in the past that the magic of this series is that it’s just serious enough when it’s funny and just funny enough when it’s serious, and in Daichi’s hands that perfect balance seems certain to continue.

Rolling

Rolling Girls – Wit
Director: Deai Kotomi
Writer: Mutou Yasuyuki
Schedule: Saturday, 25:58, MBS – Premières 1/10/2015
Episodes: TBD

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: In all honesty Rolling Girls looks pretty dumb to me.  But it’s in here because the second preview hinted that the dumbness may be the good kind rather than the bad kind, and it reflects a pretty unabashed Gainax (in fact, I would almost say post-Gainax, as in Trigger) aesthetic.  Besides, I originally thought it was going to be a roller derby anime and it turned out to be about mobs of motorcycle chicks (they literally call themselves mobs) in post-apocalyptic Tokyo kicking each others’ asses (which I suppose is marginally better).  I don’t remotely get the massive hype that seems to be building here – the preview is pretty good but not that good, and the staff is a mixed bag – but parched in a desert, one isn’t choosy about where the water comes from.

Rolling

Death Parade – Madhouse
Director/Writer: Tachikawa Yuzuru
Schedule: Friday, 25:58, NTV – Premières 1/09/2015
Episodes: TBA

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: Well, that’s teach me to go to press early with the preview post.

Winter certainly just got more interesting (although part of me was hoping everything would fall into Spring and make is a truly elite season).  In a flash Death Parade is easily the most interesting original series on the calendar, coming on the heels of the Anime Mirai 2013 one-shot Death Billiards, which I noted at the time could potentially make a great series.  I’m very surprised this ended up being a Winter show after all – that’s one hell of a fast turnaround.

Tachikawa-sensei is an interesting figure, and the essence of what I figured Anime Mirai should be about – giving a guy who had an interesting track record their first bite of the directorial apple.  Death Billiards was terrific – gorgeous visually and full of interesting ideas.  Of course, until we see the results there’s no way of knowing if he’s developed the concept enough to make a compelling series out of it – that’s a lot harder than making a compelling OVA.  But Death Parade is the epitome of what original anime should be – challenging, atypical, not cut from the same cloth as the adaptations that make up the bulk of the schedule.  Needless to say, I have very high hopes.

Will Definitely Blog: Um…  Durarara!!x2, Kamisama Hajimemashita , Tokyo Ghoul A, Death ParadeAldnoah.Zero 2 would likely be listed here too, but honestly, I need to see just how much of an asspull the premiere is before I commit.  Besides, it doesn’t have any funky characters in the title.

Sleeper Candidates: Gosh. Well – Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!  And, because I can’t bring myself to list just one, Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata.  I guess.

Flag Yamada Tari
Gugure Hoozuki Nozaki

OVA/Movie: The evolution of the OVA from creative canvas to TV series advertisement continues apace, but at least we have a few good ones:

Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara (OAD) – 12/02/2014: This past season saw the OAD for the comedy posing as a tragedy (Gokukoku no Brynhildr) and next sees the tragedy posing as a comedy join the ranks.  The theme is a Christmas party at Quest Dorm, so expect something more on the comic side (as is usual for these sorts of things).  Gaworare was a much-misunderstood, underrated series.

Yamada-kun to Nananin no Majo (OAD) – 12/17/2014: With a series announced for later in 2015, I’ll be checking out this OAD for Yoshikawa Miki’s comedy manga with some curiosity.  It’s quite popular and pretty well-regarded, as it happens, so I have some hopes for the TV series at the very least.

Tari Tari (OAD) – 12/17/2014: I believe there’s a picture of Tari Tari next to “pretty good” in the Oxford English Dictionary.  This show is for me the quintessential pleasant diversion, solidly in the middle of the P.A. Works pack in almost every way.  While the way it marginalized its male cast members occasionally drove me crazy (in part leading to what remains, I believe, the most-commented post in LiA history) generally speaking Tari Tari is a fun show with a good heart that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Gugure! Kokkuri-san (OAD) – 12/24/2014: A series of shorts bundled with the BD/DVD volumes of this very smart and likeable comedy, starting with the first release on Christmas Eve.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (OAD) – 12/24/2014:  Also dropping on Xmas Eve is a short beach episode from Gesshounoku, and this seems like the sort of series that can hit that gag out of the park.

Hoozuki no Reitetsu (OVA) – 2/23/2015: Hoozuki no Reitetsu was one of the genuine surprises of 2014.  Not that it was so good (I had it pegged as my top sleeper of last Winter) but that it would be a commercial blockbuster – averaging almost 20K, it was the only series of the least successful season for disc sales in anime history to average 5-digits per volume.  The humor is smart, alternately subtle and blissfully dumb and often very Japanese, but as anyone who’s been to Comiket on Saturday could tell you this show is much beloved by female fans.  This is the first of 3 planned OVAs, shipping with the 17th-19th volumes of the manga.  Why we haven’t seen a S2 announcement yet I’m not sure, but it seems certain to happen fairly soon.

2199 Naruto Pass

Theatrical: Pretty depressing crop here too, again mostly disdaining original material for TV and manga tie-ins.  If theatricals go as well, anime really is screwed blue.

Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199: Hoshi Meguro Hakobune – 12/06/2014: At long last, new Yamato 2199 material hits the big screen.  Figures to be a pretty big hit
Trailer:

Naruto: Shippuuden Movie 7 – The Last – 12/06/2014: I’m not a Naruto guy, but it seems wrong not to plug the final film what with the manga recently coming to an end.
Trailer:

Psycho-Pass: The Movie – 1/09/2105: The second season of Psycho-Pass has been a disappointment because, frankly, it’s just not very good.  This movie should be better, for two primary reasons: it’s back at Production I.G., and it’s being co-written by Gen Urobuchi (with P-P mangaka Fukami Makoto).
Trailer:

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60 comments

  1. w

    Pretty sure I said at one point I think Winter looks great. Yeah… Don't quite believe that anymore. But hey… those OVAs look pretty sweet don't they? Especially Gaworare, I'm surprised by how fond of that show I am even now.

    I'm definitely most excited for Yuri Bears. Only thing I'd be worried about is that it'll be more Kill la Kill than Space Dandy, if you get my meaning. And it sure looks set to indulge in Ikuharas fetishes, so that's a legitimate worry.

    Since DRRR is set to stick to the LNs this time, I'd imagine this one could be better than the first season, or at least on par with its first half. I've heard things really kick off soon after where season one ended, so best get remembering who everyone is again!

    Otherwise… pinning my hopes on Rolling Girls, NoitaminA and the Magical Boys. Because who knows?

    Also, I find it interesting that this year has had a much higher percentage of manga adaptations that caused massive spikes in sales. I might just be naive but this seems a clear sign that they're alienating potential anime buyers with overpriced BDs. Well, I suppose that was obvious anyway. It'd be nice if the industry could somehow take note of that though.

  2. D

    Tokyo Ghoul and DRR aside, I can't see anything that gets me even remotely enthusiastic. I'll probably give Rolling Girls a shot, being a motorcycle guy and all, but I doubt it'll hold my attention for more than a few episodes. Maybe I'll be surprised.

  3. S

    I'm looking forward mostly to LESBIAN BEAR STORM (seriously, dat title…) and Maria the Virgin Witch. Heard good things about it. To be honest, I don't even know why'd you give so much credit to stuff like World Break though. It doesn't seem to have any possible redeeming qualities at the moment. It might pull a surprise stunt on us at the premiere, but there's definitely no way to know whether it'll be that or one of the other X LN adaptation shows you didn't mention.

  4. Like I said – loose standards by necessity. Truthfully, it's the series I have the lowest expectations for of any I've ever included in a season preview.

  5. S

    What about Yatterman? It looks at least… different. I'm curious, if not necessarily intrigued.

  6. Never found the franchise interesting.

  7. R

    Will certainly be picking up Tokyo Ghoul, mainly because I just want to see how those end. But one sequel that I am really looking forward to this winter is Fafner Exodus (I am quite surprised you didn't list that here). I really loved the 2004 series and the movie and was excited for this sequel. Hope it really does get released this season.

  8. Sadly I never really found Fafner held my interest. It seems pretty good on paper but it never clicked for me.

  9. R

    Yeah, I guess Fafner was really one of those series that only a few would be patient enough to go through with.

  10. T

    I'm really excited for Durarara season 2~~ i really want to know whom were the inspiration for the characters >_< they are all so unique 0_0. I really wish baccano could get a sequel but ah I can continue to dream….I might check out kamisama hajimemashita since I keep hearing good things about it. I must also catch up on Mushishi too…..(where is the time I desperately need)

  11. K

    I believe the art director (designer? Hosaka Yumi?) who worked on Kyousougiga (and tsuritama, Mononoke, Gatchaman Crowds etc.) is also on board the Rolling Girls staff. Half the scenes in the PV were reminiscent of Kyousougiga's aesthetic at least…

  12. A

    A bit of a nitpick but I think this image would be a lot more appropriate for TG; the one you posted is from the new manga.

    http://i.imgur.com/95YsgnR.jpg

  13. Fair enough. I'll get on that when I'm back in Tokyo.

  14. m

    Death Parade doesn,t seems to be included in the winter chart . I thought it was confirmed in ANN at the same time that the voice actors were anounced. You can see it Here:
    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-11-21/rumi-ookubo-yoshimasa-hosoya-join-death-parade-anime-cast/.81306. It said that is going to premiere in january.

    PD: sorry if i appear as an anonymous but i don,t have a blog.

  15. I've been unable to confirm anywhere that it's premiering in January – if it is, it would immediately move near the head of the list. But it's not on most of the anime charts and I can't find any official source that says it's this coming season.

  16. m

    Well, No sure if it,s "official" using that word, but there is a cool preview art already in the front of madhouse page, i think they only do that with series who are currently airing or very close:
    http://www.madhouse.co.jp/
    Also in the NTV anime site is the only series put in the place of next series:
    http://www.ntv.co.jp/movie-anime/.
    I was thinking myself about Spring beacuse it was more logical to air just right after when kiseijuu ends, but maybe is taking the slot for Akatsuki no Yona on Thursday.

  17. Akatsuki is two cour.

  18. s

    supposedly death parade has been postponed to spring; at least that's what i hear floating around the blogosphere.

  19. o

    My Japanese is far from perfect, but from what I can tell the article ANN linked to actually says that since the advanced screening is on the 28th they (the Japanese blog) *think* that the TV series will start in January, not that its confirmed to air. (ANN having problems with news and accuracy is nothing new though I guess)

    Shows usually don't air only two months after they're announced (in fact I'd be a bit worried if Death Parade was airing in Winter) although there have been exceptions such as M3 this year. Sidonia S2 also had an advanced screening recently but its not airing until Spring and it was announced back in June so Death Parade is almost definitely Spring if not later.

  20. A

    It could be the worst winter of the decade and it would still be amazing just because Jojo fridays are back, but I'm willing to give Baccano's author the benefit of the doubt.

    I'm also mildy curious about Aldnoah, and if you add Fall's leftover to that, I think it could still be a fairly decent season.

  21. G

    I don't consider it too bad for a winter season. Aldnoah, Tokyo Ghoul, and Kamisama Kiss are just 3 gems I'm looking forward to.Right now Funamation anime channel just started showing the 1st season of Kamisama Kiss so its good timing (unfortunately its dubbed).

  22. R

    I seem to watch less and less anime every year, but I also seem to have less and less time each year so I guess it's not too bad *in denial*

    As long as there's a few series that I want to watch, I'll keep watching anime, but it is sad that there's more and more series each year that just aren't for me.

  23. M

    I heard on an ANN interview with a Funimation guy that Kamisama Kiss was very successful for them, surprisingly so. I know international stuff is no where near as important as doing well in Japan, but maybe it helped get a sequel.

  24. That's great to hear.

  25. H

    " though kill-the-teacher wish fulfilment fantasy Ansatsu is the better-selling manga" You COULD argue that AssClass is wish-fulfillment but it sure isn't because of the kill-the-teacher part
    IIRC, both DRRx2 and Yuri Bear Storm have nearly the exact same staff as before, even though both of those have left Brains Base (although Penguindrum wasn't made up of BB regulars to start with, I remember people deducing it was going to be a BB production since they actually had ads out needing people), so I'm less worried about the staff here and more worried about the stories themselves.
    Maria: Oh so THAT'S why the character design reminded me of the lady who liked wearing black leather in Moyashimon, guess the manga-ka has that as a preference….
    And well damn, that rolling girls preview actually looks kinda fun and interesting, now I see why everyone seems to be talking about it….

  26. K

    You know it's a weak season when the shows I am most interested in are sequels of shows I was lukewarm at best about. Drrr's 2nd half was a complete disappointment. Although the first half was good and I do love the cast.

    Kamisama Hajimemashita wasn't bad but I did kind of get bored of it before the first half ended. I'll still check out the 2nd season.

    As for the new shows I am most interested in: Assassination Classroom, The Magical Boy show, and the new Ikuhara show.

  27. s

    Is aldnoah part 2 really going to bring back the characters it killed off? why???!!!! dont make an ending like that just for shock value…THAT ISNT GOOD STORYTELLING!!! Sigh….im mostly looking forward to Tokyo Ghoul Route A, primarily because this is original material so Shuhei Morita's hands might not be so tied like it was previously and he will be able to flex his directing muscles more. I liked how he handled the first season given what he had and im very intrigued to see how he handles the new season with sui ishida's direct input. Along with Tokyo ghoul im also looking forward to durarara S2 and Kamikiss will satisfy my "good shoujo" fix.

  28. Well, they're promoting the hell out of Asseylum and Saazbaum for S2. Inaho is a very strong rumor.

  29. J

    It's not about storytelling with that one, it's about selling Blu-Rays using popular names and trying to surpass Gundam in the process somehow apparently.

  30. e

    – Hoozuki OVA.
    – JoJo SD2 (can't remember atm if it's airing this winter or next season).
    That's it for me.

  31. H

    Bring on winter (and JoJo) I say! I'm sick of fall.

    Kinda curious about lesbian bears and virgin witches.

  32. g

    Virgin witch would by my candidate for a surprise blog posting here. The manga has a certain charm. What was the yowamushi quote – it's no Zaku? We'll see.

  33. "It's not a mass-produced model" is the one I believe you're referring to?

  34. g

    Yep – that's the one. It's an unusual manga for sure.

    The manga is certainly raunchy, but I think it comes from a good place. I haven't read past the first few chapters, but I liked what it was doing.

    We'll see what the studio does with it I guess. They could certainly go overboard with some of the material….

  35. M

    If Aldnoah Zero brings back Inaho (I'm willing to accept Asseylum and Saazbaum) then I'm seriously questioning the competence of writers in the anime industry. Sometimes I think anime staff are doing whatever they want without thinking about the story. You don't need to write a masterpiece, but at least make it is consistent and not insulting your viewer's intelligence. I thought Aldnoah Zero was bad with keep pulling gimmick deaths, then Cross Ange came and keep pulling gimmick sexual assault. I honestly don't know what they were thinking when writing Cross Ange and approved them.

  36. G

    They were dropping hints all along that Inaho is not a normal human. I'd be more surprised if he didn't come back.

  37. There are no circumstances under which the "shock ending" where three characters die and all come back wouldn't be an asspull – just a question of how big. Especially as Asseylum has now "died" three times.

  38. Z

    ••• Yuri Kuma Arashi. Ikuhara.

    • Junketsu no Maria – dubious, but hopefully it can rise above that for an old school fantasy vibe. At the very least it's not a fantasy LN, and the art style doesn't look terrible.

  39. Z

    Although there is a character named Priapos…

  40. s

    I just realized why I keep reading this same entry every time I go to anime nano….. it was supposedly posted on the 11th of December….. Wow, so you time traveled just so you could pin this post at the top of anime nano? wow….. ok, so I don't believe the time travel thing, but I am assuming the only reason you marked this post as the 11th is so it would be pinned at the top of anime NaNo and that's just stupid. Seriously, I'm getting sick of seeing this one post at the top, PLEASE correct the date as it was obviously not posted on the 11th as it is only the 7th as of this comment.

  41. S

    Dear Enzo,

    is there a chance for you to pick up an old series for blogging when the coming season turns out to be weak?

    If yes, I'd strongly recommend the Aria series. While the series targets more of a younger audience and can be considered slice of life, it's just a blessing to watch after any stressfull day.

  42. Bad seasons do offer that chance, but I generally watch backlog series for the pleasure of it, and blogging one regularly seems too much like work. Maybe a summary post when it's over.

    As to Aria, I could never get into it, sorry. Just didn't connect.

  43. Z

    I found Aria actually ended up causing more stress.

  44. w

    Personally, I'm excited for Kamisama Hajimemashita. I think it sold 300, 000(?) copies of one volume earlier this year, so that might be the reason it got another season, finally.

    Anyway, the reason I'm excited is that they'll be adapting longer arcs this season, and such arcs have more adventure and more supernatural stuff (more worldbuilding). Don't know how far in the manga they'll adapt (with another 1 cour on their belts), but it's confirmed that they'll show arcs I loved with their promos. They'll need 2 cour if they'll go up to the longest, most convoluted arc.

    As to Durarara, I'm quite surprised. I somehow think the last season ended all right. I am curious as to what story they'll have for this season, as I don't read the novels.

    As to Tokyo Ghoul, I'm definitely intrigued. I liked the ending last season. I refrained from reading the manga though (I didn't have time anyways). I read that the mangaka will do the screenplay because he didn't like last season's script (with all the rearrangements, it seems, or so I heard), so it's really interesting how that will turn out…

    As for Ikuhara's new anime, I'll definitely check it out. That and the PP movie next year, of course.

  45. w

    Just to add, the "◎" in KH probably means "2nd round."

  46. Oooooh kay… I suppose that's as good an explanation as any.

  47. o

    Well damn, looks like Death Parade is airing in winter after all. http://www.deathparade.jp/

  48. J

    Spring isn't really looking super hot either again. Better than Winter for sure with 4 titles so far that look like they might have some potential, but I seriously hope you like more Urobuchi, more Fate, more Key and just more seemingly eroge inspired stuff like cause that looks like more of what we're going to be getting for the stuff that is supposed to be high profile.

  49. l

    Just to bring it up again, maybe you could give HxH 1999 a shot at blogging over winter.

  50. g

    If we are bringing up random things GE should blog, my money is on the rest of the Kingdom manga.

    It's…so…goooood. And as far as I've heard , there aren't any plans to animate more of it (please let me know otherwise).

    What do you think Enzo? Even if you don't blog it, consider reading. It's so worth it.

  51. It's definitely on my bucket list, so that's not impossible. I don't believe there are plans to animate it, but I do plan to read it at the very least.

  52. Z

    I think smaller schedules are a good thing. Schedules are overstuffed as it is.
    If you look at Spring 1997 you only have 16 series (excluding OVAs).

  53. R

    Agreed with Zeta Zero that a smaller schedule isn't a bad thing. Honestly, Winter 2013 was the worst season in the last 5 years. I couldn't pick up one show, and if it wasn't the carry-overs — and they were awesome — like Shin Sekai Yori, Zetsuen no Tempest, Psycho Pass and others — there would have been nothing on watch. Having gone through that, the upcoming season isn't that bad, and there are a few shows on your list that are enticing:

    Death Parade — Death Billiards was an awesome one-shot — it's brimming with potentials. I'm quite excited that it gets a TV series and will fill the space of a winter season. I'm a little cautious though. It's a lot easier to have a great idea — and therefore the OVA — but how the creator is going to bring an idea to life and turn it into a solid and complete entity is a totally different game. We've seen failures before — and many of them — but I'm gonna make a bet and hope this will turn out to be great.

    Kamisama Hajimemashita — I quite enjoyed the first season, and I find myself having a tendency to throw shows that can make me giggle into the mix — that's on one condition of no stupid characters though.

    Junketsu no Maria — the preview looks pretty neat, and it gets me curious about Maria already. It probably is just the preview, but I want to check it out.

    Yuri Kuma Arashi — This is only because of Ikuhara-sensei. Well, I quite like the score of the preview, too. Ikuhara-sensei is such a prolific, experienced and different director/writer, and I don't want to miss the latest entry from him. Having said that, it really depends on what the focus of the story and characters will land on — it will bore me to death if it's just about if she likes me or not kind of plot, I really can't help but hit the delete button. I'm betting not but let's see.

    That's my top picks. I will also try out the sequels — DRRR!! 2, Tokyo Ghoul root A, Aldnoah.Zero 2 — and see if they have weights for a full season. There are also the carry-overs, so I think my winter anime schedule will be filled despite a smaller Winter schedule.

  54. Z

    Quality over quantity. Larger schedules don't increase the chances for excellence. One masterclass series per year is all I need.

    I've got a lot of time for Ikuhara. It's a shame that the dream team that was BePapas isn't around anymore.

  55. R

    Agreed. I, too, have a bucket list of older shows to catch up to, so I guess it's time to get to them.

  56. S

    Definitely looking forward to a year and a half of Durarara split across three separate seasons. I hope sometime during 2015, even if it's December 2015, that the Durarara light novels get licensed in English during Durarara's anime run. Baccano's light novels getting licensed would be a bonus.

    Besides that, looking forward to Death Parade. I'm surprised of all the Anime Mirai shorts that aired that year, Death Billiards was the one to become a full-fledged anime series. I thought it would have been Little Witch Academia. I'll be watching Death Parade for sure alongside Durarara. I'm glad it will run for 12 half hour length episodes. Given the time it was announced, I thought Death Parade would have been a 12 minute short episode series or less.

    I'm also interested in Assassination Classroom and Junketsu no Maria, but these are series I'd rather watch after they've finished airing.

  57. I'm mystified that LWA hasn't been made a series – hell, that Trigger had to go cup-in-hand to beg for crowdsourcing to make another episode. I find Death Billiards by far the more interesting project, but LWA seems like incredibly commercial material, and well-made at that – and how is it something like that isn't a series?

  58. S

    LWA felt like it was on the same quality of Disney's classic animated films from the 90s and earlier decades. It was also one of the rare times I felt truly emotional after finishing a half hour short without anything else animated associated with it. I felt like crying with how well it was presented and beautifully animated it was. If it were to become an anime series, I'd want it to be at least as long as Shirokuma Cafe or Soul Eater.

  59. I certainly agree it was better technically than anything else Trigger has done before or since (which is disappointing). I can't say I felt anything emotional afterwards because content-wise, I thought it was pretty boilerplate.

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