3-Gatsu no Lion Episode 1 – Oppressive Success


This is a Studio Shaft show, more specifically, it is credited with Shinbo’s name, so many “Shaftisms/Shinoisms” are on display here, such as a head-tilt, a print on a dress that is perfectly aligned regardless of the contours of clothes,rails and a city under construction, amongst others.

3-gatsu no Lion anime / March Comes in Like a Lion anime / Sangatsu no Lion anime Episode 1 - Black and white Kiriyama Rei

The real point here is that a lot of thought went into the construction of scenes here. Some of it is “just” stylistic touches, but some of it has meaning. Such as this sequence, where Rei travels to the Shogi Club, and he’s absolutely dwarfed by the architecture, he gets swallowed up by the environment. A lot of it has to do with pacing, which I’ll discuss soon enough.

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Fall 2016 Anime Season Preview and Expectations

Wow, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? But no way to resume aniblogging like jumping in with the new season. Yes, the Fall 2016 anime season began yesterday, so this is the latest I’ve ever put this post up, but better late than never. Actually, one of the reasons I watched no anime last season was that I kept trying to make time to write the season preview post after the season has began. Anyway, let’s dive right into it.

As always, in these posts I cover shows I plan to follow, or have thoughts on why I will not follow them, or considered following and decided not to. As always, I try to strike a balance between giving you enough information on the show, and telling you why I think it is or isn’t worth watching. Shows ordered by day, and by expectation within the day, as that affects pick status. The “Almost In” category describes shows that I’d pick up in prior seasons, but decided to put aside in order to make more time for backlog, after growing unhappy with how many of the shows I pick up ending up “not worth the time”, let alone “good”.
Much space is given to the people involved with a show, as premises are easy, but execution is hard, and it’s people who are in charge of that. You’re likelier to end up with good shows that way.

Most of the information about the shows can be had from the helpful Neregate Chart, and what I’ve happened to see on various sites, such as Random Curiosity. Check them out if you want more information, or information on shows I didn’t cover (such as follow-ups to shows I don’t watch). Most importantly, remember to have fun!


Almost In:

magic kyun renaissance animeMagic Kyun! Renaissance – Reverse harem crossed with idol, school-festival, and magic. This show seems colourful and draws the eye, and Director Yamazaki Mitsue (Hakkenden: Dogs of the East) is joined by Shoujo/Josei stalwart Series Composer Konparu Tomoko (Ao Haru Ride, Chi’s Sweet Home, Dance with Devils, Glass Mask, Kimi ni Todoke, Nana, School Rumble, Touch, and Uta no Prince Sama). If you’re into reverse harem shows, this is probably the one for you.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
 This show isn’t for me, but shoujo romance series are often better than shounen ones, so I might keep an eye on this.
Airing Date: October 2nd. Preview.

Idol Memories AnimeIdol Memories – The seasonal idol show. What does set it apart from other idol series is that it actually focuses on rivalry between two groups vying to be number 1, rather than just following a single group’s journey. This is Director Kikuchi Katsuya’s second directorial position after 2011’s Sengoku Paradise Kiwami, and they are joined by Series Composer Onogi Hiroshi (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Mnemosyne, Noein, and Birdy the Mighty) who is quite talented, but maybe not what this show calls for.
Interest Rating: 1/3. Just the difference in premise almost merits a look on its own, alongside the Series Composer
Airing Date: October 2nd. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

Monster Hunter Stories: Ride On – Based off of a video game, plagued by butt-ugly 3DCG, directed by Hongou Mitsuru who mostly worked on kids’ stuff or just bad stuff (Sakura Wars movie, Reideen, World Trigger, Deltora Quest), this has “Pass” written all over it.

Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru– This preview does a good job of explaining why I’m passing on this one. 2205, people are changing the past illegally, and the protagonists are part of a team whose job is to stop them. Except the anime follows their “joyous daily lives.” This is standard anime comedy fare, which sadly never really works for me. This is Director Naoya Takashi’s full series debut after being assistant director on Luck & Logic. Joined by Series Composer Sugiura Pierre, who worked on Barakamon (yay!), Kuma Miko (nay!) and a bunch of shorts.

Overall Sunday Thoughts: Sweet Zombie Jebus, I haven’t been this happy about finding nothing of interest in a day full of series in a long long time. But considering Sunday is the first day of the work-week in Israel, combined with how busy Saturday is that it might bleed over, I’m quite pleased at having picked up no Sunday shows this season. And the two “Almost In” shows look like they’ll be pretty good, for the intended audiences, except I’m not part of said audiences. It’s important to know when a show is Not For You™ rather than blame it for failing at succeeding in things it never set out to do.


Almost In:

Stella no Mahou anime / Magic of Stella animeStella no Mahou / Magic of Stella – Following the great Shirobako, and the not as great Saekano, another show about a doujin circle! This time following an all-girl group, and based off of a 4-koma, so we’re not going to get the seriousness of Shirobako, or the oppressive and cloying nature of Saekano. This show is actually based on a 4-koma manga, so expect light-natured hijinks to rule the day. Director Kawatsura Shinya worked on Non Non Biyori, Kokoro Connect, and the more recent Tanaka-kun is Always Listless. He seems competent enough, especially for this sort of show. He is joined by Series Composer Shimo Fumihiko who worked with him on Kokoro Connect and Non Non Biyori, but also worked on the more divisive and heavy-toned Air, Clannad, 2006’s Fate/Stay Night, Golden Time, and The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.

It’s a team that’s produced results before, but I’m unlikely to watch this as 4-koma adaptations and I rarely do well together. But I’ll be keeping an ear to feedback.
Interest Rating: 1/3. For people who like 4-koma series but which can sometimes go a bit more series, this seems like a shoe-in. I expect it to do well. All the lovers of Non Non Biyori, Love Lab, etc. check it out.
Airing Date: October 3rd. Preview.

Trickster anime / Trickster: Edogawa Ranpo "Shounen Tanteidan" Yori animeTrickster / Trickster: Edogawa Ranpo “Shounen Tanteidan” Yori – So we can’t have a year or even two seasons without invoking Edogawa Ranpo’s name these days. An undying boy who wishes his own death, a great detective, a detective boy groups’ team, ye olde shounonsense with a flair of mystery. Director Mukai Masahiro had directed at Studio Shaft, but this is only his second work since leaving them. His prior work was Hyperdimension Neptunia the Animation, and Series Composer and Script-writer Yoshida Erika? First show for her. This deserves some attention as an anime-original, but the signs aren’t looking good. It really looks like a copy of Durarara!! (Or Blood Blockade Battlefront?) and Bungou Stray Dogs. Just check the preview.
Interest Rating: 1/3.
 Anime originals attract my attention, and this could be good, but as always, such shows very rarely are, and my time is especially precious to me this season, alas.
Airing Date: October 3rd. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume / Ping Pong Girl – A show about the competitive world of junior high girls’ ping pong. Sounds alright, but these shows are dime a dozen, so I rely on word of mouth to hear they’re worth it. Director Yasuhiro Irie had done nothing notable (Alien 9, Code: Breaker, and Kurau Phantom Memory), and none of it is recent anyway. Series Composer Hideyuki Kurata worked on some stuff I quite liked (Bamboo Blade, Kannagi, Read or Die, Samurai Flamenco, OreImo, The World God Only Knows), but also worked on some serious duds (Grisaia, Ikkitousen, Gallilei Donna). I’m gonna pass, this show could go places, but in which case, people would tell me. The Series Composer is right up my alley, but the Director has more control, and he’s an unknown quantity. The preview definitely seems to bill it as a non-serious show.

Overall Monday Thoughts: Nothing! Considering how busy Saturday and Sunday are, this is actually a blessing. The two “Almost made it in” shows actually have potential, and especially Magic of Stella is going to treat fans of the sub-genres of girl clubs semi-slice of life pretty well I think, but I’m going to pass on everything here unless I’m given convincing testimonials.


Soushin Shoujo Matoi anime / Matoi the Sacred Slayer animeSoushin Shoujo Matoi / Matoi the Sacred Slayer – Two girls who train to be shrine maidens, an evil person who appears, and the transformation into a magical girl to defeat evil! The show seems like it has the right mix of serious matters, and light-hearted every-day girl occurrences, where one gives more weight to the other, and some light comedy to keep things progressing. Director Sakoi Masayuki (Princess Resurrection, Neppuu Kairiku Bushi Road, Sora no Method, Needless, and Strawberry Panic) has been in charge of non-stellar series, but all of them have decent reputations, while Series Composer Kuroda Yousuke (Ano Natsu de Matteru, My Hero Academia, Btooom!, Gundam Build Fighters, Gungrave, Honey and Clover, Highschool of the Dead, Hayate no Gotoku, Madlax, Infinite Ryvius, Onegai Teacher, Big Windup (Ookiku Furikabutte), and the Tenchi Muyo series.) is a veteran who can be relied on.

The show looks pretty good, aesthetically, in the preview, and while I doubt it’d be anything amazing, it does seem like it’d be worth one’s time. And hey, who knows, between the two people working on it, it could transcend the realm of “just fun” and be good.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
Airing Date: October 4th. Preview.

Almost In:

Nanbaka anime / The Numbers animeNanbaka / The Numbers  – A parody about a super-secure prison with its wacky inmates and guards. Based off of a web manga. Series Composer Hiraota Mitsutaka (Bakumatsu Rock, Phantasy Star Online 2: the Animation, and last season’s Sweetness and Lightning) doesn’t seem like he’ll bring much to the table, but director Takamtsu Shinji (Gintama, Nichijou, Ixion Saga DT, and recent Sakamoto desu Ga?) knows how to do comedy. No, I don’t much care for his shows, and Sakamoto in particular burnt me out pretty quickly, but dude knows his craft, so this show ought to pull many people in. Animation quality looks subpar as well, to those it matters.
Interest Rating: 1/3.
 I absolutely love anime comedy that makes me laugh, but Takamtsu’s style isn’t what draws me in. I might still check an episode or two anyway.
Airing Date: October 4th. Preview.

Soul Buster anime / Shi Ling Yanwu animeSoul Buster / Shi Ling Yanwu – Another entry in the Chinese importation into anime. I wanted to check it out, but this anime which is apparently based on a Chinese novel seems to be making heavy tie-ins into card-games, looks pretty shoddy, is a short (10 minute episodes), is directed by Odahiro Watanabe whose only prior experience is as assistant director on Super Lovers, and Series Composition is handled by Honda Masaya, who did the script for one season of Wooser. Nothing here looks good. Ok, boy from present time erases a time-period, then gets transferred into it, so he is saved by a buxom lady whom he pulls out of a Yu-Gi-Oh card, with cackling villains and shitty graphics? Whatever, anime, whatever.
Interest Rating: 0.5/3.
 Red flags everywhere. Alas.
Airing Date: October 4th. Preview.

Overall Tuesday Thoughts: Two light-hearted shows, both of which I expect to be decently popular, one of which I’ll certainly check out and the other probably give it a whirl. And a show that looks like a train-wreck waiting to happen. Tuesday is picking up, and the shows here seem light enough to ease us into the heavier second half of the week. There’s also “Nobunaga’s Shinobi” for those who want even more silliness on Tuesdays.


Hibike! Ephonium Season 2 anime / Sound! Euphonium Season 2 animeHibike! Ephonium Season 2 / Sound! Euphonium Season 2 – I am suddenly reminded I haven’t put up my notes for the first season of this show, though I took them for every single episode. Someone remind me. Anyway, I thought the show was quite good, certainly good enough to make it as the final show on the “Top Anime Series of 2015” list. I didn’t like the show as much as others did, and found it a bit too slow at start, but it definitely was worth the price of entry, and I’m certainly going to watch the second season, especially as my biggest problem with the show was that it felt like half of a show, with far too much left unsaid (I wrote about that aspect of the show and the show as an “ensemble show” here).

There was one thing I quite disliked with the show, however, and that was the online discourse that surrounded it as it aired. As such, I’m quite likely to try and tune out any and all discussion on the show as it airs, and only watch it once it concludes. It’d be quite tight with the “Top shows of 2016” list, to which it’ll be a contender, so we’ll see.
Interest Rating: 2/3. When your biggest beef with a show’s first season is that it left too much unsaid, even if the show is far from perfect, you know you’re watching the second season. A known good quantity? I’d take it over “potentially perfect, likely dreck” series any day of the week.
Airing Date: October 5th. Preview.

Yuri!!! on Ice animeYuri!!! on Ice – A show about ice figure skaters who had suffered defeat before going back into the rink. Having suffered a defeat already gives this show some more emotional depth and seriousness to start with, but much of what this show is riding on right now are hopes. Director Sayo Yamamoto is one of the few notable female anime directors (who directed Michiko to Hatchin, Lupin the Third: The Woman Known as Fujiko Mine, and plenty of single episodes in high profile series), and she’s also handling Series Composition on this one. Is there any sort of guarantee that this will be good? No, but this is exactly the sort of anime originals that keep some of us hopeful.

Also, that preview is just oozing style. All sorts of style.
Interest Rating: 1.75/3. It’s more “Hope Rating”, but this is why we still watch airing non-sequels, isn’t it? We’re making a leap of faith, hoping to not faceplant into the cold hard ice.
Airing Date: October 5th. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

To Be Hero – I have plenty of friends and readers who love the wacky longer shorts. Well, this is the one for you this season. Director Shinichi Watanabe (Not to be confused with Cowboy Bebop’s Shinichiro Watanabe) hasn’t done anything of note, but that’s fine. A show about a no-good single father who gets sucked into a toilet and must fight to save the earth his daughter lives on. Sweet. But not for me. Preview.

Cheating Craft animeCheating Craft – Speaking of wacky “semi-shorts”, let’s start by giving you this preview. Were you able to discern this is a show about “L-type Students” (“Learners”) and “C-type Students” (“Cheaters”) waging fight inside classrooms to get high scores and stop the other sort of student from getting those life-deciding high scores? Based on a Chinese novel, this is very much an eastern hemisphere sort of film, with those University Entrance Exams, and sometimes even High School Entrance Exams. Director Motonaga Keitarou worked on Getbackers, Jormungand, and a lot of tepid visual novel adaptations (Canary, To Heart, etc.), while Series Composer Kouno Takamitsu worked on Absolute Duo, Himouto! Umaru-chan, Onigiri, two seasons of Minamki-ke, and the recent Utawarerumono 2nd season. Not the best track record for either of them.

Brave Witches – A spin-off of Strike Witches, from Takamura Kazuhiro, the man behind Strike Witches and Vividred Operations. Just putting it here in case some of you long time ardent fans missed it. For those who don’t know, this is the sort of show to give you ecchi combined with military porn. That’s about all there is, or need to say.

Overall Wednesday Thoughts: Two more serious shows that I have high hopes for? Wednesday is looking good! The only real question is whether I’ll watch Hibike! Euphonium’s second season as it airs or not. Considering how bad I’ve been with coming back to shows I planned to watch after they finished airing, I might just watch it as it airs and go into the bunker with regards to discussion surrounding the show. Wednesday is looking good for the lovers of the weirder side of anime as well. A good way to greet the weekend, and a solid conclusion to the mid-week section of the season.


Fune wo Amu anime / The Great Passage animeFune wo Amu / The Great Passage – There are certain things that make me sit up and take notice when it comes to anime. The first is novel adaptations, the second is non-action shows about real adult lives. Fune wo Amu is about both of these things. About a man who loves words and has a hard time dealing with people, working on a new edition for a dictionary, and his relationships with those around him. Low-key? Sure, but that’s a draw to me at this point. This is Director Kuroyanagi Toshimasa’s third full-series directorial work after Shounen Hollywood, and the low-key and quite good Sukitte Ii na Yo (“Say you love me”). He is joined by Series Composer Sato Takuya who handled Series Composition for the aforementioned Sukitte Ii na Yo, 2006’s Fate/Stay Night, Strawberry Marshmallow (Ichigo Mashimaro), NieA Under 7, and also handled direction for a bunch of series such as Steins;Gate, WIXOSS, and others.

The staff might not be the most promising, but they’re also not flagging any red lights. Main voice actors being Sakurai Takahiro, Sakamoto Maaya, and Kamiya Hiroshi definitely don’t hurt either.
Hope Rating: 2.5/3. My expectations are actually a bit lower, but this is the sort of show that fills me with hope for greatness, the sort of show I watch anime for, so you can bet I’ll be watching it, and maybe even taking notes.
Airing Date: October 13th. Preview.

Girlish Number animeGirlish Number – Yet another show on the anime industry, this time it seems like it’d be less realistic and more of a comedy. Directed by first time full-time director Ihata Shouta who directed a few single episodes but has most of his experience as an animator. Series Composition is handled by Watari Wataru, who’s the author behind OreGairu, but also last season’s mediocre Qualidea Code (he also did the anime script for that one). A mean-spirited voice actress who feels she’s passed on unfairly after being hired by her brother. Well, Watari Wataru knows how to deliver when he wants to, but the question is what is he aiming for here.
Interest Rating: 1.25/3. Sweet visuals, and I’m going to bet on Watari Wataru to give me a solid mix of slice of life sweetness with some extra meat.
Airing Date: October 6th. Preview.

Almost In:

All Out!! animeAll Out!! – Another Madhouse adaptation of a sports manga. These are usually quite good. But the way they keep you hanging weekly with not enough happening is torture, so I might check it out after it ends. Madhouse makes good manga adaptations. This one is directed by Shimizu Kenichi who directed the very uneven Kiseijuu (Parasyte), but I feel the series composition was more at fault with that one. Series Composition here is shared between Irie Shingo (single episodes of Log Horizon and Kuroko no Basket) and Yokotani Masahiro (Akuma no Riddle, Beelzebub, Free!, The Devil is a Part Timer, and Maria-Holic). Overall, seems decent.

Oh yeah, the sport this one’s about is rugby, if that even matters.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
 Likely to be good, end inconclusively, and be a torture to watch weekly. Will check after it ends.
Airing Date: October 6th. Preview.

Flip Flappers animeFlip Flappers – Check out this show’s preview, I’ll wait. It sure is colourful. It’s not surprising that the directorial debut for Director Oshiyama Kiyotaka looks like this considering he’s done Key Animation and Animation Direction for a whole slew of series. But forgive my skepticism considering that we don’t even know who’s in charge of the script and Series Composition for this series, which revolves around two girls who adventure in another dimensions called “Pure Illusion”, as they search for “The Stone of Mimi”. The Stone of Mimi? I guess I’m too old and jaded to just have fun. On a more serious note, this show looks absolutely gorgeous, but looks aren’t everything, and there’s nothing to convince me this show is anything more than pretty looks. I’ll probably still check out an episode, because it is that pretty.
Interest Rating: 1/3. Looks pretty, and that’s about it.
Airing Date: October 6th.

Watashi ga Motete Dousunda anime / Boys, Please Kiss Him Instead of Me animeWatashi ga Motete Dousunda / Boys, Please Kiss Him Instead of Me  – For some reason, shoujo romance anime almost always have some unpalatable content, “taboo” seems to be a big part of it. In this reverse-harem show, the unattractive fujoshi (literally “rotten girl”, a term for girls who are into male homosexual art) main character loses weight due to her favourite anime character dying and becomes attractive, which causes everyone to start paying attention to her. That’s already a bit unfortunate of a premise. From then on, the girl’s facing a crisis, because rather than desiring the boys to pay her attention, she keeps imagining them getting it on with one another. How hilarious.

On a positive note, the series is directed by Ishiodori Hiroshi who directed the mid-00s Peach Girl shoujo series, and had done nothing else of note, and composed by Yokote Michiko, who worked on everything under the sun (C3, Genshiken, Handa-kun, Joshiraku, Kobato., Kiba, Bleach, Naruto, Nourin, Prison School, Red Data Girl, 4 seasons of Ranma 1/2, and more.). 
Interest Rating: 1/3.
I expect this to be an alright show, of the sort you watch a lot of, but you can probably do better. I do wish shoujo romances weren’t almost all creepy in some manner.
Airing Date: October 6th. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

Keijo!!!!!!!! – This show’s preview in English is magnificent. If you have a show centered around half-naked girls fighting with their butts and boobs, at least be unabashed about it, right? Right. If this show is for you, you probably know it.

Overall Thursday Thoughts: Thursday is the last day of the work-week in Israel. I could have picked more shows this day, and the three shows under “Almost In” might still make it in, and for at least one of them I’m going to check out an episode. This is a day with plenty for basically everyone, be it sakuga fans, shoujo fans, sports shows fans, or even people who like their low-key humdrum adult lives. I like this day, and I hope at least two shows here will manage to stick until the season’s end, and chances for it look high. Also, butt-lovers are catered to as well. Truly something for everyone.


Drifters animeDrifters – A fantasy world is beset by a non-human race, so to fight their wars they call forth many of our world’s greatest warriors from across time as they stand at death’s door. This is an adaptation of a manga by Hirano Kouta, the mangaka behind Hellsing, which I quite liked (as manga, never checked the anime). It is unabashedly bloody and dark, without trying to paint itself as “Mature”. I have a deep fondness for the beautifully stark heavy lines of his brutal action. I’m not expecting a lot of depth from this show, but this is one of the many sorts of “non-serious” content I like, along romantic comedies and shounen action. And this seems stylistic as all hell. I’m on board.

Director Suzuki Kenichi worked on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders, where the direction was to my liking, but the pacing was not, and the first season of JoJo, which was much more to my liking. Series Composer Hideyuki Kurata worked on some stuff I quite liked (Bamboo Blade, Kannagi, Read or Die, Samurai Flamenco, OreImo, The World God Only Knows), but also worked on some serious duds (Grisaia, Ikkitousen, Gallilei Donna) and is also working on this season’s Ping Pong Girl. He is joined by Kuroda Yousuke on Script, who worked on Hellsing Ultimate, Highschool of the Dead, Btooom!, and My Hero Academia (and this season’s Matoi the Sacred Slayer). All in all, this team seems very well suited to delivering a high-octane gloriously trashy meal.
Interest Rating: 2/3. I don’t expect depth, but I expect top of the line bloody action.
Airing Date: October 7th. Preview.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable – To my chagrin I’m only 5 episodes into the show. It has some stuff I really like, namely the horror atmosphere, some stuff I absolutely hate and plan to write about, such as how the villains are reduced to a mockery of people, and some stuff that is promising, such as a cast with actual personalities. I hope to catch up to the show as it is airing.

Ajin 2nd Season / Demi-Human 2nd Season – I still haven’t finished watching Ajin’s first season, and there was a certain part midway into the first cour that everything seemed to collapse in terms of writing, but I’m planning to finish the first season, and probably keep on watching. Overall, even with how heavy-handed the hammering of “Humans are the real monsters” was, it was quite a solid horror-thriller.

Overall Friday Thoughts: Between JoJo, Ajin, and Drifters, this day is all aimed at boys, mostly “men”, I guess, or those who deem themselves as such. Horror, action, horror-action. Manly-men with ridiculous poses. Dark men with ridiculous blood-spurts. Not a serious day, but a day to dig deep into the popcorn and watch silly cartoons. I approve.


3-gatsu no Lion anime / March Comes in Like a Lion anime / Sangatsu no Lion anime3-gatsu no Lion / March Comes in Like a Lion – Based on a highly acclaimed manga by Umino Chika, the mangaka behind Honey and Clover, comes a story of a teenager who tries to balance supporting himself financially, dealing with the professional life of a competitive Shogi player, being estranged from those around him, and the three girls who invite him into their house, as part of the family. Low-key and very promising, but directed by Shinbo Akiyuki of Shaft, whose style is often very… well, not low-key, we’ll put it like that. I am quite curious to see how Shinbo’s unique fingerprint will interact with what should be much more subdued in terms of material, but hey, a good director (and Shinbo is, even if I don’t always care for his direction), and good source material? I’m on it.
Interest Rating: 2/3. If this doesn’t end up discordant due to material and direction clashing, then it might be quite the experience. Just please, show restraint, Shinbo!
Airing Date: October 9th. Preview.

Shuumatsu no Izetta anime / Izetta: The Last Witch animeShuumatsu no Izetta / Izetta: The Last Witch – World War 2, an alternate Earth where Izetta is the last surviving witch, pledging to protect the Princess of a small Alpine Kingdom in the face of Germanic invasion. I’m hopping onto this one on strength of the premise and visuals alone. War, depicted somewhat seriously but without veering deeply into GrimDark territory? A somewhat realistic setting? I’m in. Director Fujimori Masaya (Tribe Cool Crew, kids’ shorts, Fairy Tail Movie, and the You Are Umasou movie) hasn’t done much, but most of what he worked on has solid reputation, and he is joined by Series Composer Yoshino Hiroyuki who worked on Accel World, Dance in the Vampire Bund, Fractale, Guilty Crown, Heavy Object, Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler), Mai-HiME, SoRaNoWoto, and more, so your mileage may vary as far as he’s concerned.
Interest Rating: 1.75/3.
 This is one of those “I like the sound of it, and if the people working on it don’t raise massive red flags, I’m checking it out.
Airing Date: October 1st. Preview.

Occultic;Nine animeOccultic;Nine – Another entry in the “Science;” series, alongside Steins;Gate, Chaos;Head, and Robotics;Note. This one is based off of a light novel rather than a visual novel. A series of friends who collect “anomalies” and investigate them. Ishiguro Kyohei is known for his work on Your Lie in April (well regarded) and Lance N’ Masques (terrible). Shikura Chiyomaru is also the original creator of Robotics;Notes, and is involved with the creation of all 5PB anime adaptations, but his work mostly seems to be with writing theme song lyrics…

There’s not a lot to go on here, and not all Science Adventure series were as good as the others, but hey, it’s worth a shot. I just hope it’d be more Durarara!! and less generic light novel, and the preview is hanging perilously in the middle. At least the visuals look good, as can be expected from A1 Studios.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. The sort of show that if it ends up both very good and popular, is likely to be this. All too often ends up nothing special, but it looks promising enough.
Airing Date: October 9th. Preview.

Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku anime / Magical Girl Raising Project animeMahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku / Magical Girl Raising Project  – Hope and dreams, and them being crushed, that is the twin-core, the tension that drives Magical Girl series forward. Since Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, they tend to lean very heavily on the “crushing” aspect, usually leading to uneven and uninspired series. This is a show that follows the trend, with a game that gives everyone the chance to become a magical girl, until one day they find out they have to play in a Death Game until half of them are eliminated. Unlike most such shows, this show makes its death-game aspect clear from the get-go, which might help it from taking itself too seriously, or creating a labyrinthine construct to make the mock reveal shocking.

I’m also going to tell you a secret, one of my all-time favourite series is a Magical Girl Death Game series that predates Madoka by more than half a decade. Director Hashimoto Hiroyuki is directing his second full-time series following “Is the Order a Rabbit?”, and is joined by Series Composer Yoshioka Takao, of Elfen Lied, High School DxD, Queen’s Blade, Your Life in April, Zero no Tsukaima, and Sister Testament New Devil “fame”. Oh boy, this looks like it might very well be a train-wreck, but loyal to the Magical Girl tradition, one must have hope for it to be crushed, right? So I’ll check it out.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
 Hope rating is actually lower, but I like “Death Game” series, and I like Magical Girl series, so I guess I’ll check it out. Welp.
Airing Date: October 1st. Preview.

Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari anime / Poco's Udon World animeUdon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari / Poco’s Udon World – A man leaves the city and adopts a boy, living with him in rural Japan, and together they unveil the wonders of the world of udon. What is it about feel-good series that they so often seem to revolve around food? Regardless, each season needs its “Feelgood” show, and this is this season’s. This is Director Ibata Yoshihide’s 2nd full directorial position of a full series after Attack on Titan! Junior High, and he is joined by the very experienced Series Composer Takahashi Natsuko (Yuyushiki Vandread, School Rumble, Romeo x Jueliet, Prince of Tennis, Peach Girl, Ore Monogatari!!, Norn9, Brothers Conflict, Divine Gate, Fullmetal Alchemist, Lady Jewelpet). Do I expect a lot from this show? No, just enough to make me finish Saturday with a smile on my face.

The only thing I really dislike about this show is that they didn’t find an actual child to voice the child’s voice. It tends to add so much.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. Expecting a low-key feel-good show. It’s easy to get those right, so I hope they do.
Airing Date: October 9th. Preview.

Almost In:

ClassicaLoid animeClassicaLoid – Small town undergoing revival through music, so Beethoven, Mozart and others appear, wielding “strange powers” through their music. And then! Giant Robots! This is as Sunrise anime as it gets these days, I guess. The previews look absolutely bonkers, and I have no idea how this will work out. Director Fujita Yoichi is mostly known for having worked on hundreds of Gintama episodes, while Series Composition is handled by Sakaki Ichirou (original creator of Hitsugi no Chaika, Outbreak Company, and Scrapped Princess), and Tsuchiya Michihiro (Cross Game, The Daughter of 20 Faces, Major S1, and PriPara). Script is handled by 4 different people.

I dunno about you, but the impression I get from this show is… weird.
Interest Rating: 1/3. I don’t have any idea what to expect, but it seems like it might be worth at least checking out. Reminds me of Nobunaga the Fool – likely to turn out crap, but maybe not?
Airing Date: October 8th. Preview 1, preview 2.

Tiger Mask W animeTiger Mask W – A story about a Heel and a Face, two mirrored fighters, one a villain, and one a a hero, who fight masked in an underground ring, but both have the goal of destroying the place where they fight. It seems like a shoe-in for luchadore fans, of which I am not, but Director Komura Toshiaki (Kinnikuman, Yes! Precure 5, Marvel Disk Wars: the Avengers) hasn’t done anything to merit any attention, and Series Composer Chiba Katsuhiko (Baby Steps, Freedom, Outlaw Star, Magical Soldier Louie) might’ve done some good stuff, but none of it recent, or very much in line with this show. This show is meta-interesting for its Heel versus Face aspect, but I’d probably pick the manga over the anime. It’s also apparently based on a series from the 1980s.
Interest Rating: 1/3.
 Premise seems interesting, but it doesn’t seem to be my thing, or good enough. The graphics also look complete ass.
Airing Date: October 1st. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

Long Riders – I wasn’t planning to write about this show of a girl who falls in love with bicycles and the all-girls club she joins to ride them with, but it’s directed by Yoshihara Tatsuya (Yoru no Yatterman and Monster Musume), and Series Composition is by Takahashi Natsuko (See a list of works under Poco’s Udon World, above), so that’s worth a mention. This could be fun, or it could be trash. Doesn’t look like anything special, but neither did Monster Musume. So it’s worth a mention at least. I think it’d be an above-average “cute girls being cute” show for those who need more of those. Here is the fun preview.

Luger Code 1951 animeLuger Code 1951 – I want to start with the show’s premise, in full:

The story follows a young genius university professor who is able to learn any language. He is asked to decipher a code used in wireless communication: the Luger Code, developed by werewolves, enemies to mankind. Startled to find that he cannot decipher the code and desperate to study it, the professor embarks on a journey to capture a living werewolf to aid him.

I know it’s hard to believe, but this is not based on a Light Novel, but on a Shounen Jump scenario-winning proposal. This is Director Takahashi Shinya’s debut, where they are joined by Series Composer Takayama Katsuhiko, whose last three works had been Aldnoah.Zero, Big Order, and Tokyo ESP. If you’re checking this train-wreck out, you’ve got more free time than I do.

Time Bokan 24 – A reboot of a show from the 1970s, about 24th century people who invent a time-machine only to find out their history books are all wrong, so they go forth to find out the true history while fighting off an evil time-traveling organization. Sounds like a kids’ show. Looks like a kids’ show. I’ll pass. I am mentioning it here though, because some of those “Reboots” have either been very promising (Yoru no Yatterman) or great (Gatchaman Crowds), so maybe it’d be better than what it seems on the surface?

Bloodivores – Directed by Masashi Nakamura  who worked on two episodes of Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers, and a Chinese Director, a vampire story that seems based off of all the zombie movies of Hollywood. A half-vampire half-human who must find what monsters are attacking him in the prison he is in, and I can’t stay awake through all of this drivel. Have a trailer in Chinese. Seems we’ve got Attack on Titan in here too. Someone lemme know if this is decent.

ViVid Strike – Nanoha ViVid was a spin-off of Nanoha, and this is a spin-off of that. If you’re into Nanoha, you probably should be watching it, I guess. The uneven Nishimura Junji (Simoun, True Tears, Ranma 1/2, Glasslip, Bakuon, Dog Days) is directing.

Overall Saturday Thoughts: It looks like I’m going to watch 5 shows on Saturday. That’s uncomfortable. Saturday really is loaded with far too many shows that interest me to my liking. But I guess it’s better than the alternative. I’m quite likely to drop a couple of these shows, but even so, I’m picking up shows with red flags over them or with little to suggest them beyond their premises. So much for following my research, eh? More to the matter, slice of life shows, crazy callbacks to the 1980s and 1970s, FeelGood shows, GrimDark shows. Saturday seems like it’d have it all. Just a bit too much of everything for everyone, perhaps.

 Overall Season Thoughts:

13 shows on my docket, of which 3 are continuing or returning shows. More disconcerting however is that fully 5 of these 13 shows are on Saturday. 13 shows would be nothing special in prior seasons, but during this season I’m going to work full time 3 days a week and attend university 2 other days a week, so it’s a bit much. Thankfully Sunday is a university day after which I return home early, so I’ll be able to tackle the week’s bounty.

What do I think of the season as a whole? It’s a weird one. Before my research I thought that this season looked completely barren, but my research had revealed some shows I’m only checking out because of the people involved (Girlish Numbers and Drifters), but there are also some series I’m going to check out in spite of my research not promising anything special about them, because we’re all slaves to premises (Izetta the Last Witch, and especially Matoi the Sacred Slayer), but hey, I’m pleasantly surprised by how much caught my attention.

I do plan to spend October, which is mostly filled with Jewish holidays to finish the Spring shows (yes, ConRevo write-ups are coming!), and catch up on the Summer series I’ve got my eye on. If you like my writing and would like to help motivate me to keep the blog updated,  I’d like to remind people of the donate button on the sidebar, aimed at recuperating the costs involved in running this blog over the past 7 years. Any donation would be appreciated, but don’t feel bad if you can’t, or don’t wish to, that’s also alright!

And yeah, I take a break from blogging every 2-3 years, so this break was overdue, but here’s to 7 more years and a million more page-views, as discussed in April :)

Which shows are you excited for? Anything you think will be terrible but can’t avoid checking out? Anything you’d like to see me cover in particular?

Concrete Revolutio Episode 20 – The Soft Dictatorship of Freedom

Let’s talk about contexts. The obvious context for this episode is the Vietnam War. It’s not the context for this episode alone, as the “Shinjuku Riots” also revolved around Japan’s involvement with aiding America in said war. In episode 17, revolving around Devilo and Devila, I drew parallels to how the Native American population was treated, which this episode references as well. The episode made use of the PTSD, no place to return to, and the way the war changes you, all of which had a big place in Hollywood films about Vietnam, but it is even more acrimonious of America’s involvement and nature than that, which is all about context.

Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou anime Episode 20 notes - Jonathan Morrell on natives not wanting their freedom

I’ve discussed before how the whole show is in some ways a Cold War story, and about Japan’s honour, honour that was trampled by America after World War 2. This context is important, because there was a tendency by the two world powers to make use or get involved in the matters of other countries, then leave the clean-up to them. An example of that would be Afghanistan, where what later became the Taliban was supported by America in their bid to fight indirectly against the USSR. While there wasn’t as much “direct colonialism” as was seen by the Imperial Nations (including France and The British Empire) pre-World War 2, there was still the view that America was going to come in and “liberate” the people, give them democracy, whether they want it or not, and then leave them to handle building their country, with a ruined infrastructure, for their own benefit. The most recent example of this would be Iraq, in 2003, or some of the “Arab Spring” revolts of 2011.

(There’s an updated chronological timeline at the bottom of this post.)

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Concrete Revolutio Episode 19 – Farewell to Nostalgia

You know, this whole episode felt like one big homage to the tokusatsu genre, and if we look at a recent anime franchise with ties to the tokusatsu genre, it’d be Garo. We’ve had our knight in a crazy armour, the “monsters” she was fighting, a sword beam, etc. This is a love-letter to a simpler time, with simpler media. Or is it the case? You know Power Rangers? It’s been influenced by Super Sentai, and other tokusatsu series, and we all remember how the villain who’s redeemed and switches sides is actually a pretty common motif in these shows.

Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou anime Episode 19 notes - Hitoyoshi Jirou on how today's morality is ambiguous

And this is obviously a big part of the theme behind this episode. Continuing directly from episode 16, where we discussed how the past can’t be ignored, or it will come back to haunt you, we reach this episode, where Jirou speaks in platitudes and tells Koma how she fit better in the past, where you could clearly tell right from wrong. And just moments before the show had Koma tell Jirou how wrong he is, I thought to myself how those lines are a betrayal to everything the show has been saying up to now, especially in this cour, and in this episode as well. The whole story with Asahi is exactly about how good and evil aren’t clear, and were never clear. Jirou is acting somewhat like a child, thinking there was no wrongdoing and tough circumstances before he came around, but that’s obviously nonsense.

(There’s an updated chronological timeline at the bottom of this post.)

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Concrete Revolutio Episode 18 – For the Children

ConRevo is a show that always builds on past episodes, and you could see it with small moments such as thereappearance of the Tartaros Bug Lady that we’ve first seen in episode 2, or the unsurprising return to one of the best lines in the show, that first appeared in episode 8, “If you’re an ally of justice, does that make me evil?” which I could see why a writer would wish to return to, or another writer commentate on, because it’s just such a good line and such an important moment. But more than just commentate on the past, a show like ConRevo can commentate on the in-show future (aside from dealing with the show’s political climate in modern Japan, as I mentioned in episode 16’s write-up).

Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou anime Episode 18 notes - Human-man on how quickly the past changes and joy is removed

What are we fighting for, if this is the face of “victory”?

It’s important to actually pay attention to when this episode takes place, inside the show’s chronology. It begins a month before last week’s episode. There are small callbacks with moments such as “This is a passage, not a plaza,” but more importantly was Shiba Raito releasing criminal superhumans, especially one who was half-Devil, from Devila’s tribe. This led to people being more on edge against superhumans in general, and the Devila tribe underground superhumans in particular. But are they just looking for an excuse?

(There’s an updated chronological timeline at the bottom of this post.)

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7 Years! 1,000,000 Page Views! 1,000 Posts! Milestones Ahoy!

Rome wasn’t built in one day, and neither was this blog. We’ve passed several noteworthy milestones over the past couple of months, so it’s a nice opportunity to take a moment and reflect on the journey this blog and I have gone on over the years, as I highlight them.

First, 1 million page-views was reached late at night on April 29th! It’s taken us a long time to get here, and I thank all of you who’ve read the posts, and took the time to interact with me, and other readers on the blog. I know I haven’t always been the best about responding to comments timely, and have gone on periods of inactivity at times, but thank you for all visitors, past and current. Trolls aside. Nobody likes trolls. Sorry.

Sephyxer fanart for 1 million pageviews geekorner

An accurate depiction of the blog’s owner by Sephyxer.

Speaking of how long it’s taken to get here, the first post on this blog was made on March 3rd, 2009. That’s just over 7 years ago! It was an early screening review of the Watchmen film. It wasn’t a very good film, let me tell you that. Later that month, I covered the beautifully written Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, by Susannah Clarke, which isn’t perfect, but is quite good. As you can see, the blog’s start in particular was much more wide-ranged than otaku interests alone, and later down the road I even covered a geeky bootleg shirt!

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Concrete Revolutio Episode 17 – Nowhere to Run

Let’s start with the “perfect shot” from this episode (NSFW-ish). Just so pretty. It’s also saying a lot that these two are holding the Earth in their hands so lovingly, because they love the Earth, even as they are forced to abandon it.

Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou anime Episode 17 notes - Devila looks down on puny humans

The past still have power, but it’d be a mistake to overstate it.

This is a continuation of last week’s episode of modern humanity in general, and Japan in particular, renouncing their past, renouncing their obligations to the world and to its inhabitants. You’ll note how Devilo says “introductions are etiquette where I come from,” we are told they’re as much “devils” as yokai, and then you realize there might be some pacts being broken here. Also, “The Pied Piper of Hamelyn,” right? He only led the kids astray when the deal that was made with him wasn’t upheld. Same here.

(There’s an updated chronological timeline at the bottom of this post.)

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