Fall 2016 Season Preview

My quick take on Fall 2016 is this: it doesn’t look all that great, but we’d better enjoy it for what it is – because the early returns on 2017 look positively grisly.

On balance, I think both Spring and Summer 2016 have been pretty good seasons, and that 2016 as a whole has been a modestly above-average year (though I won’t be able to say for sure until I start working on the year-end Top 20). Sadly, though, these two seasons haven’t been nearly as successful commercially as they have been artistically. My fear is that this is causing the industry to throw up their hands and say “Well, we gave it our best shot – back to what’s safe and predictable.” That’s what 2017 looks like so far, anyway – and Fall 2016 might just be somewhere in-between.

What really struck me as I started putting together this post is just how many damn shows there are this season. Fall is usually one of anime’s two biggest seasons (just behind summer) but without actually doing a historical comparison, this strikes me as among the most packed  in years. Quantity at the very least gives you more chances to strike gold, but while I am previewing a high number of series (23) there are relatively few about which I feel any real enthusiasm or optimism. And it’s not as though we’re overloaded with LN adaptations (happily, the trend away from them seems to be continuing). Rather, the problem seems to be that the quality and creative ambition of original series is declining (precipitously) and the choices for manga adaptations getting safer and more derivative.

Stepping back and looking at this massive schedule as a whole, the picture that emerges is that of a resurgence of “house of pies” type series (especially cute girls doing cute things, a spike which seems set to go into overdrive in Winter) targeted at specific buying groups, with a few quirky square pegs dotted here and there. There are a ton of kids series and game adaptations (a rapidly growing segment seemingly filling in the space left by the decrease in LN adaptations) but not an obvious predominance of any other specific genre.

The safest bet for Fall is surely Natsume Yuujinchou Go; the obvious make or break series for the season Shaft’s take on Umino Chika’s blockbuster manga Sangatsu no Lion. There’s a lot riding on that one, largely because the boom-bust factor is off the charts. There’s very little else that I would consider a sure-thing to cover, but with so many candidates you just have to hope a few break out of the pack.

The sidebar poll is in the usual place – go get it! Without further ado, on to the previews:

 

digimon

Digimon Universe: Appli Monsters – Toei
Director: Koga Gou
Writer: Kato Youichi
Schedule: Premieres Saturday 10/01, 07:00
Episodes: TBA

Preview:
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First Look: This certainly doesn’t look like the most ambitious updating of the Digimon franchise (the movie series takes that honor) but hey, it’s a soft season and I was always a Digimon over Pokemon guy so I’ll give it a shot.

wwworking

WWW.Working!!– A-1 Pictures
Director: Kamakura Yumi
Writer: Yoshioka Takao
Schedule: Premieres Saturday 10/01, 23:30
Episodes: TBA

 

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First Look: There seems to be some consensus that this web-based spinoff of the classic manga Working isn’t quite on the same level as its parent series, though as I haven’t read it myself I can’t speak from experience. Working of course ended almost perfectly,, so I don’t feel any great imperative to revisit the franchise, but I’ll certainly give WWW.Working a chance. Mangaka Takatsu Karino is fond of crossovers, so don’t be surprised if we see some cameos by the staff of the Wagnaria we know best.

gunam-tekketsu-2

Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans 2nd Season – Sunrise
Director: Nagai Tatsuyuki
Writer: Okada Mari
Schedule: Premieres Sunday, 10/02, 17:00
Episodes: TBA

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First Look: It would be fair to say that the first season of Tekketsu no Orphans proved to be quite a disappointment to me, especially with a great director like Nagai Tatsuyuki and a divisive writer like Okada Mari on-board. There were some hints here of what could have been one of the more emotionally involving Gundam incarnations out there, broaching some very difficult political and moral questions. But there was just too much unpunished stupidity, too much moral abdication by the writing, and too much headdesk-inducing writing in the end. I’ll give S2 a shot (it’s doing quite well in the U.S. on Toonami) but my expectations are going to be pretty modest. Frankly, I think Iron-Blooded Orphans is far from the best use of Nagai’s time.

natsume-go

Natsume Yuujinchou Go – Shuka
Director: Omori Takahiro
Writer: Murai Sadayuki
Schedule: Premieres Tuesday, 10/04 – 25:35
Episodes: TBA (one cour)

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First Look: There could hardly be a safer bet on this schedule full of crapshoots than this fifth-generation sequel in one of the most consistent franchises in anime history. It probably wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say I’ve spent more emotional capital on Natsume Yuujinchou than any other anime over the years if you look at it cumulatively. It’s one of the shows that’s hopelessly intertwined with my identity as an anime fan.

It’s sort of odd, then, that I don’t feel more enthusiasm for “Go” than I do (though it’s still a lot). Part of it may be that the fourth season was overall my least favorite, yet ended so perfectly and in such elegiac fashion that it seems almost sacrilegious to add anything to it. Yet the manga is ongoing, and it is only right that the series should see completion in anime form – it’s been a big seller from the beginning and frankly, I think the anime transcends the manga. As with several other Brain’s Base properties, this one is moving to the new studio Shuka, but with most of the creative staff (most crucially director Omori) intact. Here’s hoping we get another Kogitsune episode this season.

magic-kyun

Magic Kyun! Renaissance – Sunrise
Director: Yamazaki Mitsue
Writer: Konparu Tomoko
Schedule: Premieres Sunday, 10/02 – 22:30
Episodes: TBA

Preview:
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First Look: We’re beyond flyer status with this one, but a few of these are going to have to pan out or it’s going to be a long and desolate season. Sunrise taking on what sounds like an otome game crossed with “Fame!” is just bizarre enough to get a one-episode audition.

12-sai-2

12-sai.: Chicchana Mune no Tokimeki 2nd Season – OLM
Director: Taichuu Seiki
Writer: Tsubota Fumi
Schedule: Premieres Monday, 10/03, 19:30
Episodes: 12

 

MAL:
First Look: I liked the first season of 12-sai, though it was hardly a revelation. Anime that attempt to take a semi-serious look at the lives of pre-teens are rare and always welcome, though the most similar series to this one, Kyou no Go no Ni, was certainly better. The more focus there is on the “B” couple and the less on the rather boring main pairing the better off 12-sai is.

trickster

Trickster: Edogawa Ranpo “Shounen Tanteidan” yori – Shin-Ei Animation, TMS
Director: Mukai Masahiro
Writer: Yoshida Erika
Schedule: Premieres Monday, 10/03, 25:05
Episodes: 24

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First Look: Anime takes another crack at Edogawa Ranpo’s famous “Boys Detective Club”, and let’s hope this version turns out better than the last one (the very disappointing “Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace”). There’s not much to go on based on staff (Peach-Pit is doing the character designs, interestingly), and the studios (TMS and Shin-Ei) are pretty much neutral factors. This time around the Ranpo boys are re-imagined in the future (2030). Modest expectations here, but there seems to be some potential for an interesting take on a classic mythology.

nanbaka

Nanbaka – Satelight
Director: Takamatsu Shinji
Writer: Hirota Mitsutaka
Schedule: Premieres Thursday, 10/06, 26:00
Episodes: TBA

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First Look: Yet another flyer, this time a manga adaptation about four guys in the world’s most formidable prison. And it’s a comedy, which is a good thing, otherwise I’m not sure director Takamatsu Shinji would know what to do with himself. I’m here mostly for the staff – Takamtsu is generally good, there are some other capable hands on-board, and the art somehow reminds me of Blood Lad (a series of which I’m quite fond).

all-out

All Out!!– Madhouse, TMS
Director: Shimizu Kenichi
Writer: Yokotani Masahiro
Schedule: Premieres Thursday, 10/06, 24:00
Episodes: 25

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First Look: Well, Madhouse is back on the sports train with All Out!! (exclamation points are all the rage these days) – with a little assist from co-producer TMS. As far as I know there’s never been a rugby anime before, but the sport is moderately popular in Japan. There’s no one involved at the top levels that stands out as outstanding, and the promo art seems to make it pretty clear who the target audience here is (perhaps not coincidentally Free! writer Yokotani Masahiro is on series composition). But I take some hope in the fact that All Out!! runs in a seinen magazine and I’ll hope for the best.

drifters

Drifters – Hoods Drifters Studio
Director: Suzuki Kenichi
Writer: Kurata Hideyuki
Schedule: Premieres Friday, 10/07, 23:00
Episodes: TBA

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First Look: The Japanese obsession with Sengoku warlords seems truly limitless, and here’s another riff on the theme. This time the focus is on Toyohisa Shimazu, mortally wounded at the Battle of Sekigahara. There’s a sci-fi element, as the story surrounds war heroes plucked from throughout history to join the group of “Drifters” whose purpose will be made clear. The manga this show is based on is fairly well-regarded and the staff looks decent, and my overall sense is that Drifters is going to be a pretty solid effort.

haikyuu-3

Haikyuu!!: Karasuno Koukou VS Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou – Production I.G.
Director: Mitsunaka Susumu
Writer: Kishimoto Taku
Schedule: Premieres Friday, 10/07, 25:55
Episodes: TBA (one cour)

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First Look: Haikyuu!! is a pretty unassailable series on the whole. I don’t consider it among the very best sports anime out there, but it’s remarkably consistent, spectacularly drawn and animated and suffered very few extended mediocre spells. It’s also one of the most commercially successful sports manga franchises there is, so the fact that this third season is one cour shouldn’t be taken as any kind of loss of confidence from the suits. Rather, it seems Production I.G. and Shueisha have decided to focus exclusively on the Shiratorizawa match, which is apparently enough of a blockbuster to take up an entire cour. It’s possible Haikyuu may suffer the kind of marginal dip that Shokugeki no Souma did by having an entirely competition-driven season which doesn’t give the characters (or audience) time to breathe, but this series has shown itself to be pretty deft in its decision-making so I’m not expecting any major problems.

classicaloid

ClassicaLoid– Sunrise
Director: Fujita Yoichi
Writer: Tsuchiya Mishihiro
Schedule: Premieres Saturday, October 08, 17:30
Episodes: TBA

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First Look: Sunrise is pretty busy this season, and it’s always nice to see them venturing into territory that’s outside their normal happy zone. Whether that applies to ClassicaLoid is debatable, though, since despite the presence of Western classical giants like Mozart and Chopin this is essentially a mecha series. The presence of Fujita Yoichi (Osomatsu-san, Gintama) as director should clue you in as to the tone, if the premise wasn’t enough. I’m not sure whether Hitsugi no Chaika/Outbreak Company writer Sakaki Ichirou being the creator is a good thing or not. Another flyer, but weird enough and with enough interesting names involved to be one to keep an eye on.

udon

Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari – LIDENFILMS
Director: Ibata Yoshihide
Writer: Takahashi Natsuko
Schedule: Premieres Saturday, 10/08, 25:55
Episodes: 12

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First Look: The number of shows that give me real sleeper vibes this season is tiny, but Udon no Kuni is definitely one that does. It checks a lot a lot of boxes for me – Japanese mythology (the boy the protagonist adopts is a tanuki), soft-hued watercolor palette, adult main character, seinen. The staff isn’t spectacular (though writer Takahashi Natsuko has done some nice work) and LIDENFILMS – well, who knows. But it feels like a winner.

Plot-wise, we’re looking at the story of a 30 year-old from Tokyo who moves back to his hometown in Kagawa Prefecture, where he crosses paths with the aforementioned tanuki child. I spent a little time in Kagawa – Japan’s smallest prefecture that is indeed famous for its tanuki udon – and it’s really a charming and quirky place. The notion of the two main characters traveling its backroads (which is most of its roads) has the potential for a really winning slice of life.

luger

Luger Code 1951– Studio Deen
Director: Takahashi Shinya
Writer: Takayama Katsuhiko
Schedule: Premieres Saturday, 10/22
Episodes: TBA

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First Look: Here’s another original series with a first-time director from a neutral studio, but there are a few interesting quirks with Luger Code 1951. It’s the first winner of the “Shonen Jump+ × Animax Anime Scenario Award”, though as the contest was originally set to be for a scenario for a “short anime covering 30-40 minutes” it’s not clear to me whether this is intended as a full series or not. In any event it’s an interesting premise – a genius teenage professor is tasked with cracking a code used by… werewolves (and must capture a live one in order to do it). Well – why the hell not?

fune

Fune wo Amu – Zexcs
Director: Kuroyanagi Toshimasa
Writer: Sato Takuya
Schedule: Premieres Thursday, 10/13, 24:55
Episodes: TBA

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First Look: There aren’t many times when I prefer the English title of an anime, but this is one – “The Great Passage” just has a fabulous aura to it. That aside, this novel adaptation is probably one of the more intriguing prospects of the season. Miura Shion’s original book already inspired a live-action film that won the Japanese Academy Award for best film in 2013, and Fune wo Amu seems like a perfect fit for NoitaminA – from five years ago, anyway.

The premise is a very interesting one – the focus is on a group of dictionary writers and editors trying to bridge the divide (“the great passage”) between words and the people. The only thing that really gives me pause is that Zexcs is hardly a premier studio, and director Kuroyanagi Toshimasa doesn’t have much of a track record to go on. Indeed, the big name is Sato Takuya, certainly best known as a director himself but handling series composition here.

time-bokan

Time Bokan 24 – Tatsunoko
Director: Inagaki Takayuki
Writer: Katou Youichi
Schedule: Premieres Saturday, 10/01, 17:30
Episodes: TBA

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First Look: I’m always happy to see something new from Tatsunoko, even if it’s something old. In this case really old, as in over 40 years since the original Time Bokan series (also by Tatsunoko) premiered. This kids’ time travel adventure doesn’t figure to be anything spectacular, to be honest, but sometimes these revivals of old chestnuts can surprise you (Osomatsu-san on line 2).

 

sangatsu

Sangatsu no Lion – Shaft
Director: Shinbou Akiyuki
Writer: TBA
Schedule: Premieres Saturday, 10/08, 23:00
Episodes: TBA

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First Look: And here we are, the big kahuna. A lot rides on this one, certainly for me – in theory, a Sangatsu no Lion adaptation should have been a slam-dunk, the highlight of the season in a walk. I love Umino Chika’s manga, and the subject of why a massively popular series by the author of Himitsu to Clover was going years without an adaptation was a hot topic in animanga circles. When the anime was announced there was much rejoicing. But then, we got Shafted.

I don’t see a lot of point in rehashing the problems I have with Shaft and its embodiment, Shinbou Akiyuki – suffice to say I find them both emblematic of and contributors to the increasingly crass and marketing-driven nature of anime production. I could hardly have imagined a worse choice from my perspective, but this is the choice that was made. And apparently Umino-sensei herself requested it (either that or she’s a world-class liar). The initial previews don’t seem terrible, and the fact is that there are series in the Shaft-Shinbou canon that I like and which don’t smother the source material in the director’s signature tics and posing – it’s just that there haven’t been any for quite a few years. I’m still hopeful that some semblance of the manga will survive the Shaft treatment intact, but my expectations are guarded rather than expansive. With a straightforward adaptation by a respectful and competent director Sangatsu no Lion would have been a can’t miss – with Shinbou, only a fool would even hazard a guess.

watashi

Watashi ga Motete Dousunda– Brain’s Base
Director: Ishiodori Hiroshi
Writer: Yokote Michiko
Schedule: Premieres Thursday, 10/06, 25:58
Episodes: TBA

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First Look: If you didn’t look too closely at the promo materials for this manga adaptation, you’d think it was destined to be another in a long line of depressingly formulaic otome game adaptations from the once mighty Brain’s Base. But this one is a bit different, starting with the fact that it is a manga adaptation. It’s also rather amusing on paper – the story of a rampant fujoshi who ships two of her classmates and who loses a bunch of weight after her favorite anime character dies, and becomes a hot target herself. It might still end up being pretty dumb or a formulaic harem comedy, but the manga gets pretty decent reviews for the most part. I’ll certainly be giving this one a chance.

yuri

Yuri!!! on Ice – MAPPA
Director/Writer: Yamamoto Sayo
Schedule: Premieres Wednesday, 10/05, 26:21
Episodes: TBA

 

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First Look: Honestly, my favorite part of Yuri!!! on Ice has been seeing the apoplectic reactions of otaku who assumed the title referred to something besides a Russian boy’s name. Apart from that, I have some modest interest here on the grounds of this being another MAPPA sports series and an original at that. I know director Yamamoto Sayo has her fans, but I’m not really one of them. Still, Russian figure skating prodigies are at least fairly new ground for anime, and with three (!) exclamation points Yuri!!! on Ice has wrested the punctuation crown away from the likes of Haikyuu!! and All Out!!.

ajin-2

Ajin 2nd Season – Polygon
Director: Seshita Hiroyuki
Writer: Seko Hiroshi
Schedule: Premieres Friday, 10/07, 26:25
Episodes: One Cour

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First Look: Unless the manga jumped the shark (and that seems very unlikely) the second season of Ajin should be a pretty sure thing with very few surprises. Excellent pacing, a well-crafted plot, lots of despair and off-putting CGI character animation seem to be sure bets here. Taken all together that should make Ajin one of the better shows of the Fall, animation issues aside. This is a good series, one of the better straight-up action thrillers of recent vintage when it comes to matters of writing.

hibike-2

Hibike! Euphonium 2nd Season– Kyoto Animation
Director: Ishihara Tatsuya
Writer: Hanada Jukki
Schedule: Wednesday, October 05, 24:00
Episodes: TBA

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First Look: Hibike Euphonium is one of those shows where mass opinion and I are two ships passing in the night. I liked it well enough to finish it but I’m nowhere close to the level of adoration seen in some quarters. It’s a slightly above average KyoAni show that shares a lot of common characteristics with most of their catalogue – if that’s your bag, you’re going to be in good shape here I’m certain. For me, I’m going to have to see a good bit more from the sequel if I’m going to stay on-board for another season.

kiitarou

Kiitarou Shounen no Youkai Enikki– Creators in Pack
Director: TBA
Writer: TBA
Schedule: Premieres Wednesday, 10/05, 22:33
Episodes: TBA

 

MAL:
First Look: This one is going to be a short (5 minutes) but looks modestly interesting. It’s the story about a boy who’s hypersensitive to the presence of youkai, and the youkai that make his life a constant adventure. Not really a blogging candidate but it might be a fun watch.

chi-3

Chi’s Sweet Home (2016) – Marza Animation Planet
Director: Kusano Kiminori
Writer: Chiba Misuzu
Schedule: Premieres Sunday, 10/02, Time TBD
Episodes: TBA

Preview:
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First Look: The original two seasons of Konami Kanata’s Chi’s Sweet Home from Madhouse may just be my favorite short anime ever. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the experience of sharing one’s life with a cat depicted with more humor and accuracy. Now it’s coming back as a 3D CGI from tiny Marza Animation Planet with an entirely new staff, and my emotions are decidedly mixed. I don’t suppose it can possibly be as charming in this form, but the manga is still one of the cutest and funniest around so I’ll be tuning in expecting to enjoy the experience as long as the animation isn’t too wretched (the previews aren’t especially encouraging).

Will Definitely Blog: WWW.Working, Natsume Yuujinchou Go, Haikyuu Season 3, Udon no Kuni, Sangatsu no Lion, Ajin Season 2. Six is a good number here, but four of them are sequels.

Sleeper Candidates: Boy… Udon no Kuni, again? Maybe Watashi ga Motete Dousunda.  Or Drifters

 

OVA/Movie: Slim pickings here.

Sakamoto desu ga? (Special) – 10/26/2016: The “true” ending of Sakamoto desu ga? finally gets its airing this October.

Boku no Hero Academia: Jump Festa 2016 Special – 11/27/2016: Boku no Hero Academia has already passed Shokugeki no Souma on the Weekly Shounen Jump pecking order, and with the ending of Ansatsu Kyoushitu and Bleach, it’s become a very important part of the magazine’s present and future. This year it gets the Jump Festa special slot, and a new season is coming sometime next year.

 

Theatrical: Another fairly busy season on the big screen.

Yowamushi Pedal: Spare Bike – 9/09/2016: Yowapeda returns to TV with its third season next January, but in the meantime we have this adaptation of Watanabe Wataru’s spinoff manga. The focus is on the early years of the third-year students in the main series.

The Red Turtle – 9/17/2016: Ghibli returns to theaters – sort of – with this collaboration with Dutch-British animator Michaël Dudok de Wit. The reviews from the European festival circuit have been superb, and the buzz is that the film is a near-lock for an Oscar nomination. Entirely free of dialogue, it’s the tale of a shipwrecked man whose efforts to leave his deserted island and foiled by the titular giant sea turtle. Visually this one looks stunning and while I don’t know if it’s anime, it may be as close as we ever get to another Ghibli feature.

Ajin Movie 3: Shougeki – 9/23/2016: Ajin are everywhere. My assumption is that these films are telling the story in more or less parallel fashion with the TV series.

Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni – 11/12/2016: MAPPA forays onto the big screen with this adaptation of much-lauded manga about a young newlywed girl coping with the travails of World War II in the small Hiroshima town of Kure. I don’t know the source material personally but this looks very promising.

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34 comments

  1. Since I always say the same thing and seeing that big picture up there, hearing that Natsume is back makes me feel so content that I just can’t wait. I have marathoned the 4 seasons again when I heard of the 5th season, I can’t wait!! Other than that, Haikyuu is one I’m also looking forward to. I would have to test out the other anime when they come out :/.. nothing says WATCH ME yet hm..

  2. I don’t care what else is on this season, if a season has Natsume airing its a win for everyone. Still there are some other good series airing so it won’t be too bad.

  3. Watched the 1st episode of Brave Witches and it was fun. Its a spinoff of the great series Strike Witches.

  4. R

    RAD…Natsume Yuujinchou is back! And we have Haikyuu!! and Ajin. I’m already happy with just the sequels.

    As with the new shows, I think I will go for Fune no Amu and Sangatsu no Lion. I’m curious about Yuni!!! on Ice (am a fan of figure skating) but I’m unsure if the aesthetics of the story is on a par with the sport. I also think that Udon no Kuni has potential, but I don’t want the experience with Amaama to Inazuma to repeat.

  5. D

    I completely agree with you about Hibike Euphonium. I don’t quite understand its broad affection throughout the anime community, as it largely seems like lightweight high school melodrama to me, far, far beneath KyoAni’s greatest works, like Hyouka.

    But what is it you don’t like about Sayo Yamamoto? While you can certainly find faults in Michiko & Hatchin and Mine Fujiko, both are exciting and really well-made shows that don’t just demonstrate great promise, but by and large are truly among the most compelling anime made by an up-and-coming director in the last decade. She’s one of the handful of anime directors whose work I would watch based solely on her involvement. I take it you’ve not found her limited oeuvre nearly as thrilling as I have?

  6. That would be a fair assessment. You could read my posts in Fujiko Mine for more details (I’ve no wish to rehash or relive the experience) but I came to truly loathe that show by the end.

  7. D

    Definitely happy to see “Natsume Yuujincho” back, I always loved that show and after the fourth series closed I figured that was it, so more of that is an unexpected pleasure.
    “Sangatsu no Lion” – more Umino Chika is a good thing and about time too (“Honey and Clover” is still in my ‘desert island anime’ list)
    “Funi no Amu” – Ah, this looks like it’s going to be a proper Noitamina show. I will always check out any show where the main cast are adults simply because you don’t get many of those.
    Never had an interest in figure skating, but I shall be giving “Yuri!!! On Ice” a viewing simply because I thought the “Endless NIght” short was simply exquisite.

    Given I didn’t make it through the recent “Hibike! Euphonium” OVA I’m not sure I can be bothered with the second season.
    “Tekketsu no Orphans” – I enjoyed the first season, so will watch this, but if it doesn’t have Tragic Melodrama I shall be disappointed.

  8. e

    – Haikyuu!! Haikyuu!! It’s a rainy day outside but confetti are raining in my – alas non VEPP – mind theater at the mere thought of more Crow goodness and the return of the Sugoiwara. Fly oh dumpster heap gang <3 !!
    – Natsume of course.
    Now about the rest…
    – Yuri On Ice. Because in spite of a certain very-in-your-face subtext ot of luscious glossy lips closeup and of the bratty blond kiddo I liked the rest of the promo(s). And hey Suwabe-san is voicing a character who's giving me Plushenko vibes. P-l-u-s-h-e-n-ko I tell ye. Bring on that Plushy goodness <3 I am so not complaining *_* .
    – Udon
    – Sangatsu
    – The Great Passage.
    Will check out based on reviews:
    – uhm… is that supposed to be Beethoven on the left in that ClassicaLoid promo picture? :,D
    – Drifters
    – All Out (never mind the pandering in promo cast art – some of their facial expressions and posture seem taken straight out of a rugby yaoi I stumbled upon once… mostly a LOL feeling – it's the knees. Their knees are weird D: )
    – Time Bokan [dem old series were among my childhood staples but I am skeptical about a palatable update for the modern age without substantially altering them. Enzo you made me feel old btw XDD]
    – Chi
    – Watashi Ga etc etc
    – the movies 😀

  9. r

    no keijo!!! ?
    this season might be quite barren, and might be a start of drought, but as manga reader, there are so many manga that I hope can be animated.

    Helck, Kaguya Wants to be Confessed to, Kingdom Season 3, Dungeon Meshi, Grand Blue, Spirit Circle, Historie….
    but DemiChan wa Kataritai and Tsugumomo will have anime soon. that’s good.

  10. Help me here. What is there in Hip Whip to make me think it’s not a straight-up otaku pandering piece? I tried to convince myself it was worth previewing but it just looks like a straightforward exploitation show.

  11. F

    I think it was a joke from randompasserby but aside from that keijo surely wins one thing in this new season: it has a ridiculously high amount of exclamation marks at the end of its title (actually never bothered to count thembut there are a lot).

  12. G

    I think Keijo is pretty funny – but this is the same guy who thinks Prison School is funny.

    A lot of the humor comes from a concept they talk about in Bakuman with Perfect Crime Party: something mundane (or in Keijo’s case really dumb) taken way too seriously. They also use a lot of anime/manga reference gags.

    At the end of the day it’s still fanservice…but I chuckle with it, not at it, most of the time.

  13. I count Honey and Clover as part of my top 5 (if I even have such a list), so awaiting Sangatsu no Lion with great excitement. I shouldn’t want the same washed out watercolor shoujo look of H&C, since that’s not being open to Sangatsu on its own terms, but the heart wants what it wants.

    More Natsume is just good stuff.

    Also the news of Uchouten Kazoku 2 might be amping the giddiness here.

  14. I dont how quite to approach your take of commercially successful . I check the BLU-RAY and regular DVD sales at ANN / FAndom POST and sales are down ( there a couple of exceptions ) in Japan. Head honcho ( JUSTIN ANN ) think we have hit the anime bubble .Now I will give my thoughts and by no means am an expert just a long time anime fan

    ON a side note the whole anime industry is in upheaval . Sentai pulling titles from everbody Hulu basically bowing out . Netflix / Amazon Prime becoming players but the CR / Funimation partenership is the big ? mark . Wiil it work ?

    1ST I think the 12 season to push just manga sales seems to be backfiring , People want seson 2 and or completions. ( Again there are exceptions ) People want more when they shell out the YEN ( I am excluding US sales / because that just dont get reported much )

    2nd I kinda disagrre with you that there are a a big amount of good shows This past summer I dropped 15 to 20 shows and ending up watching 30 . That being said probally 10 – 12 are excellent . another 10 good and the rest are watchable .I drpoeed Battery to like 25 becuse it has become garbarge to me. I dumped RE:Zero / Kuromukuro which I wenr thrugh almost 18-20 episodes and they ticked me off.

    Now for Spring for myself Big Order / The Lost Villsage were disasters . Even the highly hyphed Bungo Stray Dogs and Kiznaiver fell short

    3RD There were really good shows / surprises such ( SPRING / SUMMER ) Assassination Classroom Season 2 / Flying Witch / Shonen Maid / Three Leaves, Three Colors / RIN-NE Season 2 ( Like you say just a great show) 91 Days / The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. / Mob Psycho 100 / New Game! / Sweetness & Lightning / This Art Club Has a Problem and yes ( forgive me but I am a pirate if neccessary ) MARCROSS DELTA

    4th Just too many shows nowadays cutting into the overall qualitly

    5th Lets face it I have been watching since DBZ / Ookemin first came out so I am a fussy old timer with lots ( I mean lots ) of anime viewed > The new anime fans are mostly 15 to 30 and they have a different mindset ( Not all ) that watched anime for fanservice / RPg’s / Zombie type anime etc So that may affect th qualitly shows being watched.

    FALL VIEW / I cant wait for AJIN 2 that just set the bar for horror violence anime Others Haikyu!! S 3 / Luger Code 1951 / Fune wo Amu/The Great Passage / March Comes in Like a Lion (Sangatsu no Lion) / Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2 / Occultic;Nine /Sound! Euphonium 2 / Brave Witches ( yes I am a fan of Strike Wirches ) / Book of Friends (Natsume Yūjin-Chō)

    BTW FALL has at least 25 shorts which may be a record !

  15. New season of Natsume = win. The rest of the season can be a write off as long as Natsume is good. Natsume is one of my top 3 shows that I desperately wanted another season of.

  16. Fune Wo Amu may be the most interesting series in the list.

  17. s

    soooooooooo uhhmmm (taps on desk)…how about that flip flappers guys???? in all seriousness, im actually looking forward to it. Same animation studio that worked on dimension w. In terms of animation, this is looking to blow everything else this season out of the water (unless for some reason yuri on ice is able to maintain its sick skiing animation quality…even then flip flappers beats that on just art design); web gen animators are the future ppl.

  18. It looks interesting, yeah. I’m still a bit under the effects of the Rolling Girls burn when it comes to the matter of “pretty visuals but fluff-sounding premise” though. I’ll probably keep an eye on it anyway.

  19. That was my take, and pretty much why I didn’t preview it. A lot of the same main staff as Rolling Girls in fact.

  20. Apparently there are no girls in Sangatsu no Lion.

  21. Of the new shows that are neither sequels nor continuations, these are what I am interested in:
    Sangatsu no Lion: Interested because of the pedigree of the work.
    Luger Code 1951: Only because it won the Grand Prize of the Shonen Jump + × Animax Anime Scenario Award
    Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemabi: Food (udon) and relationships. I dig the combo.
    All Out!!: A manga series that has not been on my regular reading list due to paucity of raws. I hope the action can be properly animated and directed to give that feel of rough power, good tactics and the occasional finesse that is rugby. It is under the care of Madhouse but my fingers are still crossed.
    Fune wo Amu: This is the one that has my highest expectations.
    Yuri!!! on Ice: The framing and animation of the ice skating in the first preview and subsequent teasers grabbed my attention.
    Long Riders: Girls gran fondo cycling team. My suspicion is that this would be like K-ON! but with cycling instead of musical instruments.
    To Be Hero: Hoping this would be a good parody.
    Bernard-jou Iwaku: Conversations about books/stories? Wonder where this would go.
    Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume: Middle school girls ping pong. It’s not going to be like Yuasa’s “Ping Pong the Animation” but will give it a try to see whether it is not mostly fanservice and moe. I have my doubts though.
    Tiger Mask W: Reboot/imagining of classic sports anime. I’m in!
    Sengoku Choujuu Giga: Fascinated in the use of sumi-e style.

    How many of those I will be following after 3-4 episodes is up in the air. I don’t expect to be following more than 6-7 of these when there are more sequels that expected this season. The sequels that I will be following:
    Bungou Stray Dogs 2nd Season: Interesting to see how each writer is depicted taking into account the type of works that each wrote
    Haikyuu!!: Karasuno Koukou vs Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou: The most epic match in the manga to-date. Production and direction of the first 2 seasons has been exceptional and exemplary. This match will be a harder test than the first 2 seasons.
    Ajin 2nd Season: This has the cynicism down pat. Plus Tanaka-san is such a glorious villain and none of the major characters are clean.
    Natsume Yuujinchou Go: More Nyanko-sensei is *always* good. Natsume and the buta neko are such a great pair.
    Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans 2nd Season: I can’t help myself when there’s Gundam or Macross in the title.
    Koneko no Chi: Ponponra Daibouken: Err.. umm.. Nothing to see here. Move along.

    Rare to have so many sequels to follow. There are 3 that I look forward to the most – Natsume Yuujinchou Go, Haikyuu!!’s 3rd season, Ajin 2nd Season.

  22. S

    I was really looking forward to read your preview Enzo, big thanks as always! Also may I hear your opinion on Occultic;Nine? Are you planning the write about the first episode?

  23. Yeah, in hindsight I really should have included Occultic;Nine in the preview post. I’ll certainly watch the premiere.

  24. A

    Chiiiii:)))))) so happy to see the kitten back:)

    Watashi ga motete dousunda is a funny and lovely manga

    Natsume and Nyanko-sensei:)

    All outs and Haikyuu!

    Sangatsu no lion, Udon no kuni, Yuri on ice look very good

  25. A

    Forgot, the great passage and Boku no hero academia movie are also to look forward to

  26. Its a shame more people did not watch Thunderbolt Fantasy this season. If they gave it a chance they would have seen some good actors, incredible fight scenes, and a great story. Last episode aired tonight and at the end they announced a 2nd season on the way.

  27. I wonder if anyone has any expectations for Tiger Mask W, I’m getting a pretty appealing old school vibe from it.

  28. e

    @Earthlingzing: I watched the 1st Tiger Mask (Italian dub, renamed as Tiger Man) as a kid and I remember it rather fondly. It hasn’t aged gracefully but I still like the grittiness of its art during the fight sequences. The closest modern comparision in terms character design (bodies not faces) is probably Kemonozume. Much fuzzier memories about the 2nd Tiger Mask (this one had a He-Man’s tiger mascot of sort… ).
    Not sure what to expect in terms of content from the contemporary remake – the original was very much a product of its time. It’s a very dated kind of charm – , the visuals as well have left me rather cold honestly so far. Feel rather plastic ^^””. But hey I’m an ancient picky pessimistic curmudgeon like that :D.

  29. K

    Just watched http://WWW.Working, just found out it is the original Working!! and not a spin off as the Working!! manga was released 2 years later than the webcomic.0.o

  30. The new Working is a stinker. They should have just made another season of the series they already aired. Perhaps if we had never seen Working and this was our 1st look at the franchise I might have liked it better but this series just is not that funny.

  31. Watched the 1st episode of Shuumatsu no Izetta and really liked it. Set in 1939 on an alternate earth a facist country called Germania invades a small peaceful country that tries to be neutral.The leader of the small peace loving country (a Princess) ends up being protected by an actual Witch when foreign agents from Germania try to do bad things to the princess.

  32. Z

    Wow, the first episode of this season’s Bungo Stray Dogs was exponentially better than all the good bits from the first season combined. I don’t expect a high ROI from watching this season, but *that* episode was great.

  33. It’d take a lot to get me to wade back into that mess.

  34. Here is some good news… One Punch Man season two was announced.

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