Saturday, August 24, 2013

Autumn Season Preview

My impression of the upcoming season? Holy crap! There are tons of different series to watch out for! Lots of big names will return, and we will get a ton of series with amazing animation. This could very easily become the best season of the year, especially in terms of TV-Series. To give an indication: there are a whopping seven series that I'm psyched for to come out. It's rare for a season to get to that number the last couple of years.



MOVIES AND OVAS TO WATCH OUT FOR:


Here is a list of the upcoming OVAs and Movies that will be up for release that interest me. In this case though, I can just leave out the "OVAs"-part of this description and title, because there are none! Seriously, there is not a single interesting OVA on the schedule at this point. Only a bunch of random harem OVAs that are the umpth instalment of series that have been going on for ages.



PERSONA 3 THE MOVIE #1: SPRING OF BIRTH



IMPRESSIONS: AIC doing another Persona thingy, but thankfully is only the supervisor, and the director is someone else. However, the question remains whether this will be an as soulless adaptation as Persona 4. The problem I have is that the new director is the director of Bakuman, which for me also had huge pacing issues. Heck the creators know that they're trying to push a huge game into a bunch of movies, right? They know that you need to take some creative liberties in order to make everything fit, right?



ANO HI MITA HANA NO NAMAE WO BOKUTACHI WA MADA SHIRANAI.



IMPRESSIONS: Okay, the big question: will the Anohana movie be a recap movie, or not? And that's the tricky thing here: you can't say for sure. It's an alternative retelling, showing the story from the perspective of Menma, one of the major characters. You can take such a premise everywhere, because some of the series actually DID show things from her perspective. It all depends on how lazy you get, or how ambitious you get. This can become anything inbetween a recap and a new insight into a heart-wrenching albeit annoying character.



CAPTAIN HARLOCK



IMPRESSIONS: Yes, there will be a new CG Harlock movie. The original Harlock was all about melancholy in space, and judging by the trailer, the creators seem to be going for the same effect, albeit a bit more action-packed (the original series had action, but the pacing was very slow). The graphics look very good, but the biggest challenge will be for this series to get the characters right. Can it evade the dreaded botox-faces that plague just about every3D movie? Can it actually balance out the characters who are constantly gloomy? The director will be the guy who directed Appleseed, and that was not his strongest forte!



CODE GEASS - BOUKOKU NO AKITO



IMPRESSIONS: Hell yeah, finally the second instalment is up, with my favorite director behind the scenes in an original story where they apparently got a lot of freedom to do what they wanted. Now, Kazuki Akane usually really gets fired off when his stories enter their second halves, but until that we still get to see his impeccable sense of action.



GEKIJOU-BAN MAHOU SHOUJO MADOKA MAGICA SHINPEN: HANGYAKU NO MONOGATARI



IMPRESSIONS: So after two recap movies, the third and final Madoka Magica movie will have an original story. From the beginning I have said to not do this, because the story of Madoka Magica fits perfectly into just 12 episodes. It ha a very good ending that was very conclusive. But still, the creators and Urobuchi Gen in particular still can make something borderline classic out of it with the right mindset. One of the biggest issues will be that Gen's ego needs to win from Shinbo's.



PATEMA INVERTED



IMPRESSIONS: Aack! I still need to watch the prequel OVA that came out for this movie a few years ago. Anyway, this is the full instalment. And yes, it's by the guy who made Time of Eve. This is a guy who likes to take full control of his series, and he does nearly everything: the direction, the script, he wrote the original story. One to watch out for.



UPCOMING TV-SERIES:

Here is a list of all of the upcoming TV-series. Again, minus the kiddie series because I've gotten really tired of saying the same thing over and over again. Excluding those series there are about 37 series coming up in total. A very healthy number.



SEKAI DE ICHIBAN TSUYOKU NARITAI!



SUMMARY: "One day, all of a sudden, a main vocalist of a popular singer group in Japan becomes a female pro wrestler." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:ARMS

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER:



IMPRESSIONS:Here we go with ARMS and their porn shows again. Moving on.

IMPRESSIONS:Har har har, it's funny because it looks and sounds like they're having sex. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:0%



DIABOLIK LOVERS



SUMMARY: "The story centers around the six sadistic Sakamaki vampire brothers. Yui Komori is a positive-thinking girl who nevertheless is troubled by seeing spirits and experiencing poltergeist phenomena. In her second year in high school, she transfers to a new school -- a night school for entertainers and celebrities -- due to her father's work. There are rumors that there are vampires among the student body, and Yui ends up living with the Sakamaki brothers." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY: ZEXCS

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:Rejet

CHARACTER DESIGNER:



IMPRESSIONS:this is just Uta Prince but then with Vampires! Holy crap, Zexcs have fallen as well? Really, I don't mind bishies and all, but would you at the very least try to look like you're at least trying to do something new here. This show is just a carbon copy of shows that girls like, lumped together without any more thought put into it. Also, apparently this one will be directed by a character designer, so the goal really seems to be to make the bishies as pretty as possible, it seems.

IMPRESSIONS:And yet, the bishies just look like every other cast of bishie out there. Also these vocalists can't sing! FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:0%



INFINITE STRATOS 2



SUMMARY: " Infinite Stratos (IS), a weaponized exoskeleton system, has become the dominant tool of warfare and conflict. Unfortunately for the men in society, only women are able to operate Infinite Stratos with very few exceptions. One of those exceptions is Ichika Orimura, an orphan raised by his older sister, who is herself a famous IS pilot. When his compatibility with Infinite Stratos is discovered after he accidentally touches one at the age of 15, he is given a scholarship and enrolled in a school that specializes in training IS pilots. Which means an interesting life surrounded by girls for this shy, unassuming boy." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:8-Bit

DIRECTOR:,

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER:

MUSIC:



IMPRESSIONS: I remember what a giant troll the first season was. "Interesting science fiction premise? HA Screw that! Here are some harem hi-jinks!" - And yet, it sold. It sold ridiculously well, so here we have the inevitable second season. So yeah, don't get fooled that it's by the director of Macross Frontier or anything: this is a very blatant harem show with some mechas thrown in. It's a shame, because Hikaru Nanase is one of my favorite soundtrack composers. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:0%



TESAGURE! BUKATSU-MONO



SUMMARY: "The anime will center around the extracurricular activities of students." - (Taken from ANN)

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:



IMPRESSIONS: Crappy flash show about a random high school club alert. Moving on! FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:0%



GUNDAM BUILD FIGHTERS



SUMMARY: "The story is set in the near future when GunPla Battles, competitions that pit Gundam plastic models against each other, have become popular worldwide in the "Second GunPla Boom." Sei Iori (pictured above), a first-year middle-school student and the only son of a model shop owner, is talented at building GunPla, but inexperienced in the GunPla Battles. He encounters a mysterious boy named Reiji who happens to be an accomplished Gundam Fighter. Together, they strive for the GunPla Battle world championships. Sei's customized GunPla is the Build Strike Gundam (pictured above)" - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Sunrise

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER:



IMPRESSIONS: I usually omit kiddie shows because I pretty much end up saying the same thing over and over about them and they are totally irrellevant unless you're under the age of 14, but I do want to make an exception here, because it's sad to see that Gundam has now devolved into one as well: a series that seems solely designed to sell toys, or Gundam model kits in this case. The problem is also that this being Gundam, Sunrise put some good people on it: Kenji Nagasaki directed No.6, which was well directed aside from its ending, and Yosuke Kuroda has penned many good original stories. I have seen this pattern way too much though: it's a kiddie show and with that in mind not even the most talented people like can make something remotely interesting.

IMPRESSIONS:Fancy transformation sequences! Buy our toys! FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:0%



FREEZING VIBRATION



SUMMARY: "Set in a slightly futuristic world where Earth has been invaded and is at war with aliens from another dimension called the Nova, the story follows the adventures of a Japanese boy named Kazuya Aoi who enrolls for training at a special school for genetically modified girls called Pandoras who battle the aliens, and their male partners, called Limiters, who use a special power called "freezing" to limit their opponent's mobility. The protagonist makes the acquaintance of an unusual older girl named Bridgette L. Satellizer who appears to be the most powerful Pandora in her class, but has not yet chosen a male partner to be her Limiter, and in spite of the warnings of all his friends, he decides to be her Limiter." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:ACGT

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER / CHIEF ANIMATION DIRECTOR:



IMPRESSIONS: I watched the first episodes of the first freezing. It's basically lots of gore and fanservice, plus a bunch of stupid characters. Girls pick fights for no reason, and it was really geared to go into the harem route. There really was nothing redeeming about it aside from some neat action here and there perhaps. Moving on.

IMPRESSIONS:Okay, I have to grant it: the soundtrack was nice. But what were those famous artworks doing right in the middle of those girls fighting each other? FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:20%



UNBREAKABLE MACHINE DOLL



SUMMARY: "It is the early 20th century, and Raishin Akabane is a student puppeteer from Japan, who has come to the Walpurgis Royal Academy of Machine Arts in England to study the emerging field of Machinart: a combination of magic and technology with military applications. He is accompanied by a girl named Yaya, who is actually his Automaton: a living machine doll powered by magical circuits specialized in hand-to-hand combat. In the Academy, there is a combat tournament exclusive to the Top 100 students and their automata, to decide who shall be bestowed with the title of "Wiseman", the greatest puppeteer." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Lerche

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER:



IMPRESSIONS: I hate how some series literally force the setting of a school onto their stories, even if this doesn't make any sense. Why are students competing for a title named "Greatest Puppeteer"? What happened to the people who graduated that school then? Are they all dead? Beyond that, we have the director of Queen's Blade and a bunch of hentai series, together with the one who adapted Persona 4. This one may look pretty, but that's all there is to it, it seems.

IMPRESSIONS:Okay, it's very flashy at the very least, but beyond that FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:20%



ORE NO NOUNAI SENTAKUSHI GA, GAKUEN LOVE COME O ZENRYOKU DE JAMA SHITEIRU



SUMMARY: "The story centers around Kanade Amakusa, a boy cursed with the mental power of "absolute multiple-choice" -- a multiple-choice quiz will suddenly appear in his mind, and the choice he makes will become his reality. For example, he would have to choose between going nude from the waist up or the waist down in school. While in school, he is given another choice: 1) A beautiful girl will fall before him or 2) he will fall from the rooftop in female clothes. He chooses option 1, and a blonde girl named Chocolat falls before him." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Diomedea

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:Takeru Kasukabe

CHARACTER DESIGNER / CHIEF ANIMATION DIRECTION:



IMPRESSIONS: You know what the thing is? In the right hands this premise can become comedic gold. But no, a cute girl has to fall on his lap, yadda yadda, boobs. I mean, you just need to look at the promo art to know instantly where the mind of this series lies, and the director of Rosario to Vampire doesn't make things better.

IMPRESSIONS:Oh my god! Everything about this trailer is annoying! FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:20%



OUTBREAK COMPANY



SUMMARY: "Outbreak Company's story centers around Shinichi Kano, a "thoroughbred class" otaku with a light novelist father and an erotic game artist mother. The NEET (not in education, employment, or training) high school dropout has no special talents except for his vast knowledge, opinions, and insight on moe. Despite this, the Japanese government assigns Shinichi as a "moe" evangelist to the Holy Eldant Empire, a parallel world with an entrance through a thick forest of trees in the Mount Fuji area. In this fantasy world where dragons soar the skies, Shinichi forms a deep friendship with the half-elf maid girl Myuseru and the beautiful young empress Petoraru. Even as he deals with the threats of war between different factions, he worries that he himself is an invader (shinryakusha) to this wondrous land." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Feel

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER:



IMPRESSIONS: This is one of those stories that just seems to drown completely into its own meta. A cute idea that I fear is never really going to work because it tries to be way too tongue-in-cheek. There is giving a wink to your audience, and then there is just blatant ass-kissing. I also don't expect much of the staff. They're pretty standard, and Naruhisa Arakawa has a lot of experiencedoing pretty mediocre adaptations. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:25%



VALVRAVE THE LIBERATOR 2



SUMMARY: "Thanks to the development of the Dyson Sphere, The majority of the human populace lives in space. The Dorssia Military Federation, and the Atlantic Rim United States exist as major Military countries, while JOIR is a neutral principality, the story follows Haruto Tokishima as a normal boy going through high school in T.C (True Calendar) year 71. This all changes when Haruto meets the humanoid weapon Valvrave." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Sunrise

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

CHARACTER DESIGNER:



IMPRESSIONS: Oh god, there is more. There is an entire season more of this. I'm not going to watch it. It started off entertaining enough, but as soon as it started taking itself seriously the fun quickly died, and then it only got worse. This is a series that aims to shock its audience, while not caring about anything such as a plot or anything. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:30%



MEGANEBU!



SUMMARY: "Akira S ma, the 17-year old club president and founder of the eyeglasses club. He categorizes all of humanity into three groups: "glasses," "those who don't wear glasses," and "the ladies." He scolds those who wears contacts, going around and calling them "weaklings!!" There are many times when he, the passionate boy that he is, would argue with his fellow club-mates about glasses. His favorite kind of glasses are ones with square frames, and both of his eyes have 0.03 vision (in the Japanese eyeglasses prescription notation)." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Studio Deen

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:



IMPRESSIONS: They actually made a show about glasses. I mean, this is just bizarre. I only included one of the characters' descriptions in the synopsis, but they are all . In fact, this was so cheesy that it became hilarious. Oh, this show will be bad, but at least it's going to be bad in a way that we haven't seen before. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:30%



LOG HORIZON



SUMMARY: "The story begins when 30,000 Japanese gamers are trapped in the fantasy online game world Elder Tale. What was once a "sword-and-sorcery world" is now the "real world." The main lead Shiroe attempts to survive with his old friend Naotsugu and the beautiful assassin Akatsuki." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Satelight

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

MUSIC:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:



IMPRESSIONS: I had to do a double-take when I read the premise. Why am I reading the premise of Sword Art Online here? It's also originally written by Maoyuu's original author. I didn't like Maoyuu, but I'm not sure whether that was because of the story itself, or because of how it was just handled poorly. Anyway, Shinji Ishihara directed Fairy Tail and Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou, which mostly stand out with their action. Toshizo Nemoto also worked on Tokyo Majin Gakuen, although he also did Dog & Scissors and Inu X Boku. All adaptations that had their pacing issues. Thankfully Yasuharu Takanashi is an excellent composer. This seems to be an ambitious project for Satelight and they're already set on 26 episodes, so this will probably a show with high production values, and a bad storyline. So yeah, pretty much Sword Art Online II. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:40%



WALKURE ROMANZE



SUMMARY: "The visual novel centers around Takahiro Mizuno, a student training to be a begleiter (knight's assistant) at an academy where aspiring knights joust. He himself had come to this academy to train as a knight, after becoming the unrivaled junior champion in his own home country. However, an injury in a tournament's finals forced him to withdraw. Instead, he decides to be a begleiter to one of the academy's maiden knights and help her win." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:8-Bit

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

CHARACTER DESIGNER:



IMPRESSIONS: It's such a shame to see actually talented creators being assigned toseries like this. I mean you can't get anything out of a premise like this unless you really try. The thing is though, that Kazuyuki Fudeyasu and Yusuke Yamamoto: they both actually managed to make very entertaining series about series with hopeless premises: Milky Holmes and B Gata H Kei respecively. With this series, they need that experience more than ever.

IMPRESSIONS:Had some silly shots, but overall this seems still too dull. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:40%



KUROKO NO BASKE 2



SUMMARY: "Tetsuya Kuroko is a former member from the legendary middle school basketball team known as "The Generation of Miracles". Upon meeting Taiga Kagami he decides upon becoming his shadow to help him become Japan's greatest basketball player." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Production IG

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER:



IMPRESSIONS: Kuroko's basketball is a seires that I didn't continue watching. Why? I guess it was because it's a shounen jump adaptation: these things tend to go on for ages, and unless they're really god right away I'm not really motivated to spend time on them. The first two episodes that I saw were okay, and had some nice basketball matches, but I saw little in terms of variety to keep up with it for longer. And yeah, with this it'll probably have 52 episodes. That's too much for me to give it a second chance. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:60%



NON NON BIYORI



SUMMARY: "The slice-of-life comedy is set in a countryside school with only five students total. The nearest bookstore is 20 minutes away by bicycle, a certain "Jup" magazine comes out on Wednesdays instead of Mondays, and the video rental store is 10 stations away. Fifth-grade schoolgirl Hotaru Ichijtransfers from Tokyo to this school and readjusts to the slow life in the country. Her fellow schoolmates are first-year middle schoolgirl Natsumi, second-year middle schoolgirl Komari, first-grade schoolgirl Renge, and Komari's big brother Suguru in the third year of middle school." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Silver Link

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER / CHIEF ANIMATION DIRECTOR:



IMPRESSIONS: Basically, life in the countryside as seen from a bunch of fifth-graders. It's Silver Link, but it does have the director of Kokoro Connect (that guy from Bee-Train who moved over), so who knows? It'll be charming, but will it be charming enough to be worth watching?

IMPRESSIONS:At the very least this does not feel as obnoxious as Silver Link series usually do. Very mellow, but that's fine. It's not trying too hard to be funny like most other shows of this genre are. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:60%



NEPPU KAIRIKU BUSHI ROAD



SUMMARY: "Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road will be part of Bushiroad's new Five Qross "hybrid trading card game" that combines paper cards with online gaming, via QR codes printed on the back of the cards. Each card will have a unique serial code as a countermeasure against overseas counterfeits. The first batch of Five Qross cards will feature two other anime -- Fantasista Doll and IS (Infinite Stratos) -- besides Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Kinema Citrus

DIRECTOR:

SCREENPLAY:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER:



IMPRESSIONS: This is a weird one. It's basically a commercial for a random company out there, in the same way that Infinite Stratos and Fantasista Doll were, however those two series looked like sell-outs. this oneit looks different. It's this strange project that has been announced like ten years ago at this point, and only now got picked up again, which also intrigues me. But yeah, at the end of the day it does have the director of Needless and Kamen no Maid Guy. These are two series that weren't necessarily sell-outs, but were full of dumb action and fanservice humour. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:60%



ARPEGGIO OF BLUE STEEL



SUMMARY: " The sci-fi story takes place in the future where humanity has been pushed to near extinction by the mysterious against the mysterious and unknown, "Fleet of Fog." The heroes commandeer one of the Fleet's submarines and begin to fight back." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Sanzigen

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:



IMPRESSIONS: It's a bit of a shame that Seiji Kishi is doing this series, but at the very least this isn't another game adaptation. The thing is that the characters here seem colourful, and fun, the science fiction story is clich d, but it sounds like it has potential. I just don't know whether I want to trust Seiji Kishi with this.. There are so many better directors.

IMPRESSIONS:This contained quite a bit of animation, but ultimately all that it did was show a bunch of characters or things unleashing their flashy powers. that should not be the meat of the story! FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:65%



GINGITSUNE



SUMMARY: "After her mother passed away, Saeki Makoto was granted the ability to see an agent of the gods named Gintaro. Being the only person who can see the sprit, Saeki helps people around the community with their problems with help from Gintaro." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Diomedea

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER:,



IMPRESSIONS: What I miss here is ambition. Really, this show seems fine, but I detect very little reasons to keep watching it if all the lead girl is going to do is help a bunch of people. It's going to need to be very genuine in order to set itself apart from the series that are already there as well. It does help that it has some good staff behind it though. Shin Misawa has like two decades of experience, and the same goes for Hiroshi Yamaguchi (although their series do range from good to bad across the entire spectrum). I can't comment much on the original mangaka because she only seems to have done one thing before. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:70%



PHI BRAIN 3



SUMMARY: "Daimon Kaito solves puzzles like a boss."

PRODUCED BY:Sunrise

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:



IMPRESSIONS: Here you have it. The series that I never thought would get a second season. Let alone a third! And technically, it doesn't need one: all season all have a beginning and end. I'm still not sure who in their right mind green-lighted all of this, but the thing remains that it had some really good characters, even though it did waste A LOT of time through its airtime. I also really hope that is going to return as the director again, which helped a lot with the first two seasons, but I can't yet see his name among the staff. In any case though, the promo art is full of fabulous characters again, so let's hope that this time things will get a bit more varied. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:70%



TOKYO RAVENS



SUMMARY: "The school supernatural fantasy centers around Harutora, a boy from a branch of the Tsuchimikado family of onmyoudou occult practitioners. However, he lacks the ability to see spirit energy, so he is now just an ordinary high school student. Natsume, a girl who was Harutora's childhood friend and the next head of the Tsuchimikado family, reunites with Harutora and changes his future." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:8-Bit

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER:



IMPRESSIONS: The impression that I get from this series is that it seems decent, though juvenile. The whole premise is one that we've seen over and over again, the promo art is badly drawn, and don't get me started about how this is a SCHOOL supernatural fantasy series. What also doesn't get my hopes up is that the director of Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka is involved here, though granted that had its moments. It's also going to depend on whether the original source material is good or not.

IMPRESSIONS:Okay, this wasn't actually half-bad. I like the music a lot, the direction works out quite well. It's still very juvenile though. That will probably be a big problem. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:70%



MAGI: THE KINGDOM OF MAGIC



SUMMARY: "In a fantastic middle-age world where slavery is very common, there are mysterious tall towers named "Dungeon" which mysteriously appeared out of nowhere fourteen years before the story line. Someone who conquers a Dungeon becomes very powerful and wealthy. Our hero Ali Baba is a teenager who works for merchants to support himself. He dreams for conquering a lot of Dungeons and becoming a very rich person. One day, he comes across with a strange young boy named Aladdin who carries a mystical flute with supernatural powers in it. Ali Baba and Aladdin agree to travel their first Dungeon together." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:A-1 Pictures

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER / ANIMATION DIRECTION:



IMPRESSIONS: Ah, the second season of Magi. It's a show that I wanted to finish, but in the end couldn't. Getting busier is one of the reasons, but it also just wasn't interesting enough to warrant to continue. The characters were compelling, but it lacked genuine tension and at times it seemed to be trying too hard to be dark and edgy. So yeah, I'm not going to watch this one, but props to those who kept on with it.

IMPRESSIONS:Nice eye-candy, as expected. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:75%



ACE OF DIAMOND



SUMMARY: "The story follows Eijun Sawamura, a pitcher who joins an elite school with a brilliant catcher named Kazuya Miyuki. Together with the rest of the team, they strive for Japan's storied Koushien championships through hard work and determination." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Madhouse, Production IG

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:



IMPRESSIONS: Here we have a series witha unique staff listing. We have Madhouse and Production IG collaborating (when was the last time that that happened, aside from those movies that consist out of tiny different shorts), about a bunch of kids who play baseball and being directed by the director of Polar Bear Cafe. Well, if that one baseball episode of Polar Bear Cafe was an indication then at least the baseball scenes will get well animated, but it remains a weird match-up. My big worry is Takeshi Konuta, who previously adapted Library War, which really was not an example of how to do an adaptation right. Furthermore, baseball series have a really high standard, after Touch, Cross Game, One Outs and Ookiku Furikabutte. You can't just make a baseball series about hard work and guts and hope that that's all you need to do. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:75%



STRIKE THE BLOOD



SUMMARY: "The school action fantasy story of Strike the Blood revolves around KojAkatsuki, a boy deemed the world's most powerful vampire (once thought to only exist in legend and lore), and Yukina Hirameki, a girl entrusted with watching over the vampire and if needed, hunting him down." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Silver Link

CHIEF DIRECTOR:

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER:



IMPRESSIONS: Silver Link doesn't exactly have the best track record with me, but who knows/ They did make Kokoro Connect. What strikes me most here is that it's simple, and just focused on the interplay between the two main characters. They just have to get those two characters right and they'll at least have an enjoyable series. Big problem here is Hiroyuki Yoshino who is trying to make a soap opera out of everything whenever he gets the chance, though luckily this is a light novel adaptation, rather than an original story. The guy who wrote them also wrote Asura Crying, which despite the bad direction did originally have some potential. Both directors have both done little in terms of directing an entire series, aside from two series that were doomed to fail, so let's see if they're a bit more motivated with a series with a bit more potential. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:75%



BLAZBLUE ALTER MEMORY



SUMMARY: "" - (Taken from )

PRODUCED BY:Hoods Entertainment

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:

CHARACTER DESIGNER / CHIEF ANIMATION DIRECTOR:



IMPRESSIONS: Well, finally a game adaptation in which Seiji Kishi isn't involved. In fact, the assistant director will be , who directed the first Full Metal Alchemist, Un-Go, and Natsuiro Kiseki, among others. This show is going to need it, because Hiteki Tachibana is a TERRIBLE director. He completely butchered Dragon Crisis and Higurashi's Kira OVA. His big problem is that his series focus on the complete wrong things. Deko Akao is decent at adapting, so here she too needs to do her best to make up for this guy.

IMPRESSIONS:Eye candy, action-packed. Seems interesting enough. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:75%



WHITE ALBUM 2



SUMMARY: "The story centers around a college junior named Haruki Kitaharaand his relationships with Setsuna Ogiso and Kazuki Touma in the light music club." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Satelight

CHIEF DIRECTOR:

DIRECTOR:

SERIES COMPOSITION:Fumiaki Maruto

ORIGINAL CREATOR:

CHARACTER DESIGNER / CHIEF ANIMATION DIRECTOR:



IMPRESSIONS: What made the first White Album so good? It's because from out of nowhere, it took the concept of a harem and did something completely in its own style, disregarding any sort of conventions. It was annoying, but it was unique and in the end it really came together. The second White Album looks a lot more generic, but perhaps Satelight has a trick up their sleeve. Especially since they never do series like this. Fumiaki Marutothis guy probably is someone who doesn't write for anime who they managed to reel in with their connections, so that sounds promising. What's really weird about this though? It's the directional debut of Seiya Numata. That just makes no sense whatsoever. For those of you who don't know him: he is one of the most awesome animators out there. His work is always completely crazy: full of energy, realistic movements, over the top motions. It's crazy. For an example: he was the main animation director for Shion no Ou and the second season of Milky Holmes. I have no clue what he's doing here on such a serious drama

IMPRESSIONS:And the thing is, the animation isn't even that good FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:75%



HAJIME NO IPPO RISING



SUMMARY: " Ippo, a timid highschooler, is one day saved from being beaten up by Takamura, a boxer. Enthralled by Takamura's skills Ippo begins to learn boxing, soon finding love for the sport and a drive to challenge the boxing world." - (Taken from ANN)



IMPRESSIONS: Nothing has been revealed yet of who will adapt the third season, which does have me on a bit of an edge. This is because the first and second seasons were incredibly good adaptations. Everything went right there: the music, the animation, the pacing. It all just fit, and both in really different ways. The manga is good and all, but with these kinds of sport series you also really need the animation to bring everything alive. The promo art that has been released so far however, doesn't look that way. The character-designs look mellow, and they lack the punch that the first seasons had. Especially thing here. But yeah: if this does work, then we're in for an incredibly intense and engaging series. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:80%



LITTLE BUSTERS - REFRAIN



SUMMARY: "" - (Taken from )

PRODUCED BY:JC Staff

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IMPRESSIONS: Well, Little Busters, go ahead. I managed to sit through the sometimes cringe-worthy first half. Go ahead and hit me with your best stuff. The refrain part that is supposed to be the amazing part of this story. The director and series composition have not changed, so you'll have to do with them. Go ahead and just show me whether the plotholes, melodrama and bad voice acting were worth it!

IMPRESSIONS:From this trailer I get the impression that the creators are really trying. This wasn't such a thing that was hastily cobbled up. Some effort went into this. That's the first good sign. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:80%



YOWAMUSHI PEDAL



SUMMARY: "The story centers around Sakamichi Onoda, a high school otaku who loves figures from anime and games so much that he would ride his commuter bicycle to and from Tokyo's Akihabara shopping district in a 90-kilometer (about 60-mile) round trip over steep slopes. Onoda ends up joining the competitive sport of bicycle racing." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:TMS Entertainment

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IMPRESSIONS: Ah, a manga adaptation about cycling. What makes this one special is that it's by the director of Zetman, and the character designs (and therefore also probably the chief animation direction) will be done by the guy who directed the animation for Ookiku Furikabutte. I have no idea what that adds together, but I really want to see how the cycling scenes will end up looking now, because these people are in theory able to make stunning cycling sequences: Osamu Nabeshima's energy on one hand and Takeshi Yoshida's attention to detail and realism on the other hand.

IMPRESSIONS:Not the best animationbut it looks fun. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:80%



GOLDEN TIME



SUMMARY: "The school romantic comedy of Golden Time revolves around Banri Tada, a college student who lost all of his memories upon graduating his high school. The story follows Banri, Kouko Kaga, a girl whose seemingly perfect looks belies her hidden regrets, Kouko's significant other Mitsuo Yanagisawa, and other students at Banri's college in Tokyo, including NANA Hayashida, Chinami Oka, Nijigen-kun, and NANA-senpai" - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:JC Staff

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IMPRESSIONS: Finally! Chiaki Kon is doing something other than bishie-series. Really, as one of the most (if not THE most) prolific female directors, you shouldn't keep doing the same thing over and over but instead set an example for all other aspiring female directors out there. And with this, she actually has a really good premise. When was the last time a story starts out when the main character already has a significant other? Oh, and this has the character designer of Revolutionary Girl Utena, which is also awesome. Really, this can become quite an interesting college series when done right.

IMPRESSIONS:This was charming; I can see this work as a romantic comedy, but I'm not sure whether it'll become something special. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:80%



COPPELION



SUMMARY: "The story is set in 2036, after radioactive contamination from a nuclear accident has put Tokyo under a blockade. Three high school girls have been sent to this dead city. Thanks to genetic engineering, the three girls have been impervious to radioactivity since birth. They form a special forces unit, codenamed "Coppelion," in the 3rd Division of Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:?

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IMPRESSIONS: They have yet to announce anything about the staff behind this series, but holy crap does it look good! This one gets my award for the best promo art of the season. Just look at those details. There is also a lot that they can do with this premise if they go the right way. I'm excited for this one.

IMPRESSIONS:Stunning scenery, but the animation also is just amazing here. Wait, this is obviously being produced by Gohands. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:85%



NAGI NO ASUKARA



SUMMARY: "???" - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:PA Works

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IMPRESSIONS: Yuriko Ishii really didn't seem to try hard on these character designs, because they really look like something generic, just with a lot of extra polish (literally: look at these characters shine!) She wasn't this bad when she adapted the characters for Persona - Trinity Soul or even Another. But yeah, who cares? Mari Okada is back with a new series, and her stories at the very least are always interesting to watch. Also, she is assisted by the director of Bantorra. This will be their third series together, after Bantorra and Kuroshitsuji, so I really hope to be able to see the same energy and creativity in the storyline.

IMPRESSIONS:Holy crap, the backgrounds look gorgeous! Such a shame of those character-designs. But this hints at quite an interesting character drama. FIRST-GLANCE POTENTIAL:85%



KYOUKAI NO KANATA



SUMMARY: "The dark fantasy follows a high school sophomore named Akihito Kanbara. Although the boy appears human, he is half youmu and invulnerable to wounds because he can heal quickly. One day, Akihito meets freshman Mirai Kuriyama when it seems she is about to jump from the school rooftop. Mirai is isolated because of her ability to manipulate blood, which is unique even among members of the spirit world. Disturbing events begin to unfold after Akihito saves Mirai." - (Taken from ANN)

PRODUCED BY:Kyoto Animation

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ORIGINAL CREATOR:Nagomu Torii

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IMPRESSIONS: Could it be? Is Kyoani trying something different, and it's not just a fluke? Finally! Finally they do something different from a random high school slice o
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