Fall 2014 is nearly here, and the season actually begins on Thursday, October 2nd (Terraformars aside). So time to see what I’m more interested in. this post doesn’t really focus on my “predictions” for how good something will be, but is about my interest levels, on what I think will be interesting, and why. Shows that “didn’t make it” are usually shows I’m slightly less interested in, or find it interesting to remark on.
What do I think of the season? It’s the season of sequels or returning shows! Almost everything I’m actually excited for falls under that purview, from Psycho-Pass 2, to Log Horizon 2, and of course, Legend of Korra Season 4 (not anime, I know). Aside from that? Some seasons have no comedies, others have no action. This season has it all, the only thing I see lacking is romantic comedies, but between straight comedies and straight romances, I think most people will be satisfied.
As always, organized by days of the week, because I might pick a show on an empty day or cut shows I enjoy on days already overfilled with other shows. Order is by expectation within that day. Continuing from Summer, I’m cutting down on my coverage of posts with episodic write-ups, so only up to a couple of shows will get that.
Most of the information about the shows can be had from RandomCuriosity’s page, the helpful Neregate Chart, and what I’ve happened to see on various sites, such as The Cart Driver. Check them out if you want more information.
The Seven Deadly Sins / Nanatsu no Taizai – This looks to be a pretty standard shounen fantasy adventure – a group of super-powered klutzes who must be convinced to save the kingdom from tyrannical Holy Knights, with the usual shounen manga gag humor. It’s going to be a long-running shounen, so don’t expect any real form of closure. Directed by Okamura Tensai and series composition done by Suga Shoutarou, who between them worked on Cowboy Bebop, Darker than Black, Kannagi, Sekai Seifuku, Wolf’s Rain, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and OreGairu. That’s impressive.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. I like shounen action, and the people behind it make it likely for this to be on the more enjoyable end of the spectrum for a sort of show I already enjoy, even if it’s likely to be “nothing special”.
Airing Date: October 5th. Preview.
Akame ga Kill! – If you look at it with anything more than a cursory glance, Akame ga Kill! certainly contains many problematic messages. The show goes for hyperviolence, and sometimes seems to want you to take it seriously. Me? I’m watching it as a silly shlocky action series, with regular manga-style gag humor, and I actually find it enjoyable, so I’m going to keep watching. It scratches that itch for me.
Current Rating: 6.9/10. Fun, simplistic fun, though sometimes it’s not. I’m sort of alright with it as my empty popcorn show?
Airing Date: Right now. 12 out of 24 episodes aired.
World Trigger – Toei animation, this can be good, or this can be bad. An invasion from a different dimension, secret group, but actually living normal life in the shadow of these events, rather than all doom and gloom. I’m mostly picking this up because it reminds me of Gatchaman Crowds. The downside is it also reminds me of Tokyo ESP, and what people say of this make it sound like a relatively dull battle-shounen. It might be that I’m getting old, but I prefer marathoning shounens, watching them weekly doesn’t really cut it.
Interest Rating: 1/3. The premise interests me, but it seems like it’d be a worse Seven Deadly Sins, and it’s filling the same spot as Akame ga Kill! as well.
Airing Date: October 5th. “Trailer”, mostly made of manga-style still shots.
Didn’t Make it In:
Sora no Method – This show looks very pretty. The writer behind it was being Kanon, an ex-Key author. It looks like it’d be a cross between AnoHana and Glasslip, with cute girls doing cute things with a big infusion of melodrama and some mystery. I’m just gonna say “No” preemptively, though I like some melodrama now and then, and quite liked AnoHana, it’s just that this feels too much for me right now, and the “moe slice of life” might be too strong. Might pick up after it ends.
Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji / Wolf Girl and The Black Prince – Standard abusive shoujo manga adaptation. I like them better after they end, also to avoid the more “rapey” ones, and I wish I didn’t mean that term.
Grisaia no Kajutsu – The first of the harem romance VN adaptations. I’m gonna nope this one in the bud.
Girlfriend (Kari) – What’s worse than a romance VN adaptation? An adaptation of a mobile dating game where you get to date 100 different girls. Anime please. The one thing that stands out for this anime is a bunch of top-notch voice actresses, but even such voice actresses and great visuals didn’t save Hyakka Ryouran for me, for instance.
Overall Sunday Thoughts: Action, action for everyone! Simple action, without much more – I expect enjoyment though! And if you want melodramatic romance, or just melodrama, seems Sunday will have that for you as well. I’m starting with 3 shows on Sunday, but am quite likely to pick 2 and stick to them, but this day has an extra chance of me picking the series after they finish their run.
Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de / Inou Battle Within Everyday Life – First, why I’m watching this and why I have even a shred of hope for this – “Ordinary school students get amazing powers, but half a year later, nothing in their life changed.” – I’ve read stories set up around apocalypse-cults where the apocalypse failed to happen. I find that a very interesting setting, and this series feels as if it could actually take the premise of Haruhi Suzumiya and actually do something with it, and be more interesting than most such series. Ootsuka Masahiko, credited as Chief Director worked on Dennou Coil, FLCL, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gurren Lagann, Diebuster, and other awesome Gainax stuff.
Now to the bad – “This is soooo Light-Novel!” is written large all over this series. It’s likely not going to have much to differentiate it from all the other Haruhi-style LNs, which are usually quite bad. The preview made me think not only of such LN adaptations, but also the equivalent manga adaptations such as D-Frag! which are fine, but not my thing. Takahashi Masanori, the other director of the series, worked on Angel Beats!, Vividred Operation, and Strike Witches. That doesn’t infuse me with confidence.
Interest Rating: 1/3. I know I’m going to regret this, it’s more like “interest-level 1.5/3, expectation-levels 0.5/3”.
Airing Date: October 6th.
Write-ups/Notes: I suspect I’ll drop this 1-2 episodes in. But hope springs eternal. Trailer.
Didn’t Make it In:
Shingeki no Bahamut GENESIS / Rage of Bahamut GENESIS – This show is very close to being watched, I’ll likely try it when a couple of episodes are out anyway. So, a fantasy series based on a story-less mobile card game, meaning the director, Satou Keiichi, who created Karas, directed Tiger and Bunny, Asura, and worked on plenty of mecha design could have more input. Seems like epic fantasy, with a lot of giant ass monsters. What’s the story? No one knows just yet. Trailer.
Orenchi no Furo Jijou – 4-koma adaptation, one shtick, not my thing, but I know many of you guys like that sort of stuff.
Overall Monday Thoughts: Monday is up in the air. I have a show I plan to watch without much hope for, and another series that interests me but I won’t pick up without good buzz. Likely to end up being a free day.
Didn’t Make it In:
Trinity Seven – A magical apocalypse, a boy going to a magical school to save his cousin who got swept up in it. As someone who likes such stories, I’ve had hopes. Then I read some more about it, and realized it’s going to be a thinly veiled harem. One boy, seven girls. No thanks. Here’s a preview to show you all the girls, and their boobs.
Overall Tuesday Thoughts: A day of pure bliss, of nothing, a day to catch up, and do non-anime stuff! Just like last season.
Parasyte / Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu – Many of the bloggers I speak with are massively hyped about this series, and I won’t lie and say it had no effect on me, but the reasons I care for this myself is because it seems to combine what I liked about Tokyo Ghoul and Ping Pong, of all combinations. Parasyte is based on a manga that finished its run in 1995. Although there’s also a live-action film coming out, it means that the series will be “complete”, with no cliffhanger or original ending finale, and that it’s probably not churned out as an advert to a still-running series. The other bit is that although horror rarely works well in anime, I’m still interested in it, and seeing someone have to deal with an “evil” side, but also coexist with an invading monstrous race that can’t be that monstrous? I’ve always been interested in that sort of premise.
Interest Rating: 2/3. I hear a lot of good stuff, and there’s a lot behind it that makes me hopeful, but I’m still wary because horror in anime is often… disappointing.
Airing Date: October 8th. Trailer.
Write-ups/Notes: It’s possible, if I find it meaty enough. I suspect small editorials will work better.
Hitsugi no Chaika S2 / Chaika the Coffin Princess S2. Officially “Avenging Battle” – As I said in my Spring 2014 season overview, this show was pleasant enough to get through, and it even had a recurring theme that was meaty and handled well and an actually interesting post-war setting. It’s a nice and light show with some good action, but it’s not terribly more than that, it really needed to step up its characters, and character-arcs, as it had 1.5 actual characters.
I commented that it truly felt like half a series, and that a lot of how I’ll think about the show as an entire thing would depend on the second half. I don’t have great expectations, but I’m ready to be pleasantly surprised.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. Chaika occupies an interesting spot here, I have less hopes for it being great than new entries, but I’m relatively sure it won’t be crap.
Airing Date: October 8th
Write-ups/Notes: Though I wrote notes for most of the first season (see here for some of them), I doubt I’d take any for this season. There’s not enough to justify episodic write-ups, maybe. Trailer, made up almost entirely of season 1 footage.
Overall Wednesday Thoughts: Wednesday, the last day before the Thursday madness hits. Another day that seems comfortable. Will Parasyte amaze? I hope so, but since I am not actually invested in the manga, I’ll be fine even if it doesn’t. A comfortable day, unless Parasyte really delivers on hard-hitting themes.
PSYCHO-PASS 2nd Season – I know a lot of people are worried or disappointed that Urobuchi Gen who wrote the script for the first season was replaced by Kumagai Jun, who has a relatively unimpressive resume (Persona 4 the Animation, Hamatora? Eesh), but I’m going to watch this series for the same reason I’ve watched the original – actual serious science-fiction in a dystopian setting, discussing issues of humanity and morality? Yes please. Even if the original wasn’t perfect, it was still quite good.
I’ll have watched this even if it were an original first season. What it benefits from is already having an established world and cast that are interesting and developed. The downside is people might notice differences which will bug them. I’m going to hope for the best, and even at worst, it’d likely be better than most on offer.
Interest Rating: 2/3. This is the sort of series I want to see more of. How will it turn out? Probably interesting.
Airing Date: October 9th. Trailer.
Write-ups/Notes: I still want to get a piece on the original out, but it’s been too long since I watched it. Mini-pieces on this one are a possibility.
Gundam: G no Reconguista – I’ve never watched anything related to Gundam, aside from the endless Gundam clones Sunrise keeps pumping out (Buddy Complex, Valvrave, etc.). And while Gundam may be where all those tropes began, right now when we’re fully acquainted with said tropes it doesn’t amount to much, especially not with a new series. And still, since this is a bona-fide main Gundam work, I expect a lot of effort will actually go into this show to make it more than just a pale imitation of itself.
I do worry a bit that even though the show is aimed at newcomers to the franchise, we’re going to get swamped with franchise spoilers as people point out all the ways in which it relates to the rest of the franchise. Also, the art-style looks almost classic (aside from the CG), which is a nice touch.
Interest Rating: 2/3. Gundam, so many Gundam clones that range from great to incredibly boring, this is an actual Gundam, but it may yet fall. Also, my first Gundam!
Airing Date: October 2nd. Trailer.
Write-ups/Notes: Could be interesting to note my thoughts on this as a newcomer, but if I do any for Psycho-Pass, then that’d take too much effort.
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso / April is Your Lie – A-1 churn out really pretty anime. This is the bet for the drama-melodrama anime of the season (except perhaps Sora no Method). Angsty teenagers, young romance, trying to find yourself, and your art, and the hardships of growing up. It’s a story we’ve all heard countless times, but there’s a reason we keep returning to it, because it resonates.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. I may love it for the feels, or I will tire of the melodrama. This one’s a speculative pick.
Airing Date: October 9th. Trailer.
Write-ups/Notes: No, I suspect what I wrote for Nagi no Asukara’s episodes will stand in well for any would be “interpersonal drama” show for some time to come.
Didn’t Make it In:
Amagi Brilliant Park – KyoAni is going to work to make me trust them again. This one has the author apparently actually controlling the content, and apparently some good people are behind it, but the premise doesn’t really interest me, and three shows on Thursday are enough for me. Might give it a try if people say good things about it. Likelier after the season ends.
Shirobako – Girls making anime! It’s by P.A. Works so will likely look good, but their works had been mostly “miss” for me since Hanasaku Iroha back in 2011. It’s also listed as comedy. The only reason I’m mentioning this is since the director is Tsutomu Mizushima, who worked on Genshiken, Girls und Panzer, and a couple more, and series composition is done by Yokote Michiko who worked on Cowboy Bebop, Hikaru no Go, Genshiken and Mononoke. I’ll keep my ear to the ground about this one.
Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu. / I, Will Become a Twin Tail. – “This is so Light-Novel it’s not even funny.” – A boy with fetish for twintails is given the power to transform into a girl with twintails to fight alien invaders, aided by girls with twin-tails. I don’t care if it’s making fun of itself, enough is enough >.>
Denki-gai no Honya-san – Another moe slice of life meets comedy with people working in an office, hilarity ensues. I just think live action does this better.
Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken – At first I was excited, a series actually having a married couple? Setup reminds me of Genshiken? But then I saw it’s going to be a 4-koma adaptation revolving around one joke, a normal wife married to an otaku.
Overall Thursday Thoughts: Oh Thursday, what a crazy day. That I’m only picking up three shows is a small miracle, especially as the top two picks in “Didn’t Make it In” actually interest me, but I’ve decided to cut back because I have too much on my plate as is. Three shows that could be meaty on my plate, and a lot of comedy and slice of life for everyone else. A mix of new and old.
Garo: Honoo no Kokuin (Garo: The Carved Seal of Flames) – Garo is a live action tokusatsu franchise, meaning lots of special effects, power-rangers style stuff, and usually bad acting. The series many characters in anime go to festivals to observe, what we see in Samurai Flamenco, seem to fit. MAPPA, the studio behind Zankyou no Terror, which looked amazing will be behind this one. Apparently the story here is a pretty standard insane prince, quest for power, golden knight fantasy sort of deal. Will it be good? I really don’t know. Expect lots of over-the-top stuff.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. Wary though, expectation level is lower. I’m checking this because it’s an existing franchise making the jump to anime, and I’m intrigued.
Airing Date: October 3rd. Preview.
Didn’t Make it In:
Terraformars – This one almost made it in. It helps it’s directed by Hamasaki Hiroshi, the director behind Texhnolyze and Steins;Gate. It’s also the sort of corny premise that I like, of a fight against the odds against humanoid cockroaches on Mars. It’s just that I don’t think the source material is actually going to be good. It’s going to be the show that manga readers will hype to high heavens, and then complain non-stop that the manga did it better. I might check it out after it ends. Tune in if you want b-movie action, shlocky non-horrror, and apparently racist undertones.
Interest Rating: 1/3. Almost. It’s just the sort of series I know I’d lose interest in 4-6 weeks in, if I watch it weekly.
Airing Date: September 26th, talk about soon. Two-part OVA which is apparently meh is already out. Trailer.
Overall Friday Thoughts: Honestly, there’s nothing on Friday I have much hopes for, but I can be pleasantly surprised. I am secretly hoping that like the first half, Mushishi 2nd season will actually air on Fridays. Otherwise, it’d be a good day to relax from Thursday, with some action, or with non-anime.
Avatar: The Legend of Korra Book 4: Balance – Season 3 ended a couple of weeks ago, it was great. Back to the joys of actually traveling the world, experiencing the culture, and meeting new people that made the original Avatar: the Last Airbender, so enjoyable, and its world feel so realized. And the ending, oof, it sure did come out of nowhere, but not in some grand way, but in a somber way. I can’t wait to keep watching, and I won’t have to wait long!
Hype Rating: 3/3. I haven’t been this excited for something since… why, since the last season of Korra, back in fall, and the third season was an improvement over what came before so I’m really excited.
Airing Date: October 3rd.
Write-ups/Notes: I know it’s not anime, but it’s my blog. And this is going to be better than most anime to air this season anyway, so suck it up.
Mushishi Zoku Shou 2nd Season (Mushishi 2nd part, 2nd season…) – More Mushishi! The original Mushishi was great, and so was the new season that aired back in Spring. Yes, some of the episodes felt weaker, some were scarier, and some were sublime. It’s still quite an experience, and most people who liked Mushishi, which I’ll hazard to say is made up of most people who’ve watched it, will be happy for more episodes of it.
Interest Rating: 3/3.
Airing Date: October 18th. This will likely be 10 episodes long. Hopefully it’d actually end up on Fridays, like the first half.
Sword Art Online Season 2 – This series is doing work. I’m not as emotionally attached to it as I was when I watched the first season, or indeed, when I’ve read the novels it is based on. Is it the series itself, or that I’m watching myself watching the series? Regardless, the story here is sound, and the delivery is mostly sound as well, and again, it’s doing a lot of work on actual characters and motivations. I’m eagerly awaiting the Mother’s Rosario arc, myself.
Current Rating: 7/10. I like it, but I don’t love it. It’s not perfect, but it’s doing solid work.
Airing Date: Currently airing.
Write-ups/Notes: I do write-ups now and then when an episode is especially interesting or brings up something I want to discuss. You can read those write-ups here.
Log Horizon Season 2 – I liked Log Horizon’s first season on the whole. It had enjoyable cast, a good atmosphere, and some actual politics. But being a day-time anime aimed at the whole family, you could clearly see they removed a lot of the political nuance and replaced it with “Next week we’ll reveal our true plan!” and there were some pacing issues throughout the series in several segments, where nothing happened, because the depth was removed to make it more palatable. Regardless, this show was worthwhile, it dealt with social issues, and issues of morality quite well, and the world-building and showing how a game’s rules work when adapted to “reality” was usually clever and even inspired.
I meant to go and read the novels, but then the second season was announced so I decided to wait. The people behind the series remain the same, but the studio changed from Satelight to DEEN. Another worry is that the first season covered 5 novels, and still had some padding. This season will have the same number of episodes (25), but only has two novels’ worth of content to cover. Will they cover the manga’s side-stories or come up with an anime-original finale? I’m not sure, but those are reasons to worry. Still, time spent with the characters from this show is actually enjoyable, so padding will not be the worst, just adjust your hopes accordingly.
Interest Rating: 1.75/3. Interest rating is actually higher, but expectation rating is lower, due to the reasons mentioned above.
Airing Date: October 4th.
Write-ups/Notes: You can see my notes for every single episode of the first season here. I’m moving away from episodic notes, and considering this season may be padded, I’m unsure whether I’ll write any.
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works – I’ve watched the original Fate/Stay Night anime back around 2007. I thought it was fine. Everyone saying how it sucks these days is awfully anachronistic post-Fate/Zero crowd. I did also watch Fate/Zero, and didn’t actually care much for it; I think it could’ve easily been much better with better series composition. I’ve also watched the Unlimited Blade Works movie back in 2010. All this to say that I know a thing or two about the Fate-verse, and consumed considerable amounts of material related to it (and Fate/Kaleid, and some Kara no Kyoukai films). But, I can’t be called a Fate-fan. You see, the Fate fandom is incredibly hardcore and god awful, that even if I were to rate everything I’ve watched as 10/10, I wouldn’t be a real fan because I didn’t consume everything about it.
This series is gonna ride massive ways of hype, but it’s also going to have people jumping down your throat telling you how the original material, or another route did XYZ, constantly spoiling stuff, constantly spoiling your enjoyment. I’d love to be proven wrong, but this will be the same situation as with popular GrimDark anime, times billion. It doesn’t help that the source material is honestly not that strong. The director behind it only really directed the 6th Kara no Kyoukai film and a couple of Fate/Zero episodes, mostly working as an animator or animation director. This series will be beautiful, but for the most part it’s likely to be an action series that takes itself a tad too seriously. Taper your enthusiasm, and avoid reading or engaging with hardcore fans in discussions.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. Soooo fucking wary.
Airing Date: October 4th, just follow the sounds of hype and wails of despair.
Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo / Rondo of Angels and Dragons – Someone on Twitter put it right, this show is the perfect posterchild of what NewType covers are like. Mecha versus dragons! Skimpy outfits that make absolutely zero sense, a princess who is sort of banished and has to protect the realm. It looks crazy, it looks fun, and it does indeed remind me of Mai-Otome, that was also such a “NewType cover” show. It just looks fun?
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. What could possibly go wrong? Well, either it’d be great, or pretty terribly mediocre.
Airing Date: October 4th. Trailer.
Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter / Sanzoku no Musume Ronja – Astrid Lindgren wrote my favourite children’s book, The Brothers Lionheart. Studio Ghibli is the studio credited with the main work on this series, though with Goro Miyazaki, rather than Hayao. But go and watch the trailer. I was fine with the full CG people in Sidonia, also done by Polygon, but seeing what are supposed to be more emotive faces, on Studio Ghibli’s lush backgrounds, with these twisted CGI faces? Also, the trailer really makes it seem like a pure children’s show – not that that’s bad (I super love Avatar: the Last Airbender and Princess Tutu, for instance), but the chances of it just not delivering rise up.
Still, this is Astrid Lindgren, and Studio Ghibli, and though I might regret it, I’m gonna watch it.
Interest Rating: 2/3. Hype Rating: 1/3.
Airing Date: October 11th. Trailer.
Didn’t Make it In:
Madan no Ou to Vanadis / King of the Magic Bullet and the Vanadis – Another medieval fantasy series. I like this sort of stuff, but after hearing it’s basically an excuse for an endless parade of scantly-clad women, and considering how stacked Saturday is, it was an easy drop.
Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete – Another VN/LN-style harem non-comedy, with one male lead and an endless amount of girls, supposedly about leaving our childhood behind. Yawn.
Overall Saturday Thoughts: Ah, Saturday. This day is so great, this day is so terrible. That’s seven shows I’m going to watch on this day, which are probably 2-3 more than I find comfortable. I still hold hope Mushishi will actually air on Friday nights, otherwise the only real hope for me is that I’m going to wake up to Korra (which airs on Friday-time for North America), and that Log Horizon and Ronia are “Day-time shows”, so there’d be several hours between them and the rest of the shows. Still, Saturday is incredibly packed, and I could feel a whole week’s worth of watching with it.
Overall Season Thoughts:
I do find myself agreeing with Guardian Enzo, recently-serialized manga adaptations are often little more than adverts, light-novel adaptations are pandering trash, and visual-novel adaptations just don’t work out in anime, for reasons covered in my Seitokai no Ichizon post, and the Nisekoi one. Original anime projects, once the hallmark of potential are increasingly “miss”, so what are we left with? Manga adaptations of completed or long-running series, and the rare novels. And yes, sequels to works that proved themselves, often manga adaptations.
I’m going to try 17 series. Of these, I’m extremely skeptical about three (World Trigger, Inou-Battle, and Ronia), of the remaining 14, there aren’t that many I’m actually excited for, and maybe it’d have been more sensible to only watch those, it’s not like I don’t have shows on my backlog, video games, books, and my real life to juggle. Which shows am I actively excited for? In order: Korra season 4, Mushishi S2 part 2, Psycho-Pass 2, Gundam Reconguista, Log Horizon 2, and Parasyte. Rounded up with the ongoing Akame ga Kill! and Sword Art Online II.
It’s not smart picking up shows only to drop them later, but that’s what I’m going to do once more. The goal is to get down to ~12 shows after three weeks or so. I’d like it to be down to 10, but continuing I’m actually watching 8 returning/continuing shows, that’s not meant to be. And that’s the other bit, this season is heavy on drama and romance. There’s a lot of 4-koma adaptations, a lot of popcorn action. But if you’re looking for more serious shows that aren’t melodrama romance, you’re basically stuck with returning shows, or Parasyte.
I see a lot this season that is likely to be good, but not a lot I’m terribly excited for, returning shows aside.
As for my desire to write less episodic notes, this season seems pretty good for that.
Which shows are you guys excited for? Anything you think will be terrible but can’t avoid checking out? Anything you’d like to see me cover in particular?
If you’d rather not comment, here’s a strawpoll for which shows you’d like to see me cover. No promises, please vote for up to three.