Spring 2015 Anime Season Preview and Expectations

Spring 2015 is starting soon, and unlike most seasons, this time my post is done more than a day or two before the shows start dropping, hurray! I actually took time and wrote this monstrous post over two days, so I’m not entirely drained.

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, since I might pick or not pick a show up based on how busy that day is. That’s only sensible. Unlike past seasons, I included “Almost In” as a new category, describing 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 shows I pick up end up “not worth the time”, even, let alone “good”.

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 The Cart Driver. 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).

Sunday:

Arslan Senki - The Heroic Legend of Arslan anime Spring 2015Arslan Senki / The Heroic Legend of Arslan – An 80s epic fantasy series, a contemporary of Lodoss. This anime is an adaptation of the modern and ongoing adaptation by Hiromu Arakawa, the mangaka behind Fullmetal Alchemist (which I liked), and Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon, the anime adaptation of which I liked). As the manga adaptation is ongoing, and anime is often used to help market source material, I wonder if we’ll be allowed a conclusive ending, as the original material is there, or if we’ll be forced to wait, or told to go and follow the manga?

The material is there, but the studios are mostly known for shorts such as Aiura and Miss Monochrome, or shows such as Terra Formars or Arpeggio of Blue Steel. Abe Nokiyuki as the director is known for Bleach, Yu Yu Hakusho, Great Teacher Onizuka, and well, Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler), while the script composition is handled by the very prolific Uezu Makoto (Katanagatari, Humanity Has Declined, School Days, Danganronpa, and many more).

This is the show I have the most hopes for this season, but production is looking a tad iffy. I really hope they pull it through.
Interest Rating: 2/3.
 Epic fantasy? Good source material? I’m in. Though maybe I should just read the source material, eh?
Airing Date: April 5th. Preview.

Almost In:

Ghost in the Shell Arise: Alternative Architecture (TV) – Ghost in the Shell Arise are hour-long film continuations of the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex franchise. GitS: SAC is very good. I haven’t seen Arise yet, but I can’t imagine splitting each such film into three episodes will do the content any favours. I highly recommend watching the original method of delivery, and then watching only the two new episodes that will lead to the upcoming film. Watching weekly is probably easier, but I don’t recommend it.

So even though this is, by all accounts, very good content, and although I haven’t watched the Arise films yet, I’m not going to watch this.
Interest Rating: 2.5/3. What should be really good material, just not in the optimal configuration, which exists, so go and watch that.
Airing Date: April 5th.

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches - Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo anime Spring 2015Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches / Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo – A boy kisses a girl, and they swap bodies, turns out she’s a witch. Turns out the school has six more witches, all of whom have their powers unlocked when kissed by Yamada. Hijinks and romance ensue. The plot sounds quite similar to The World God Only Knows, another show whose premise sounded to me as not worth my time and ended being very enjoyable, and even good later on. But reading over this story’s plot, it seems the author doesn’t know where to take it and just keeps escalating by adding more nonsense to the mix. Fittingly enough, the person in charge for composition, Yokote Michiko, aside from taking care of series such as Genshiken and Shirobako, also took care of xxxHolic, Witch Craft Works, Naruto, Bleach, and even Ranma 1/2, so is no stranger to these things. This is the director’s first work, and the studio (LIDENFILMS, behind Terra Formars and Miss Monochrome),  and recent OVA (which seems to contain material that’ll be used in the proper series) don’t put forth a good showing.

If this weren’t me attempting to cut down on shows, I’d pick it up. Heck, I might have picked it up as a “fun shounen” which I drop mid-season if it didn’t come out on Sunday, where I’d still be recovering from Saturday. It’s a close call, but I’ll probably only pick this up if people say really good things about it, or after it ends. An ongoing manga that isn’t going to end anytime soon is also a strike against the show, but something we’re used to by now.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
 Looks pretty stupid. Looks like it’d be reasonably fun. It’s one of those “I want to watch it, though I know I shouldn’t” calls. Except I’m not picking it up, yet.
Airing Date: April 12th. Preview
 – Two minute preview, apparently for the recent OVA. The anime preview is 100% material from this, however.

Didn’t Make It In:

Show by Rock!! – Based on a mobile rhythm game, this anime’s focus seems to be to create and move songs. The lack of plot in the original game means the staff behind it would have more leeway to basically treat it as anime original (which could be good, such as last year’s Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis), but it usually ends badly. Animated by BONES, it’s going to look good, though the director isn’t known for anything in particular. What’s the show about? Animal-eared girls band together and battle other bands for dominance of the music scene, or something. Have a preview. That some previews exist with multiple versions where only the background music differs says a bit.

Ameiro Cocoa / Rainy Cocoa – Our protagonist had a rough day, they’ve been called ugly by a pretty boy, and then come across them at the cafe where they work! Sounds like the most bog standard shoujo ever? Yes, except our protagonist is a boy. The art looks bad, the director’s only two notable works this millennium are House of Five Leaves and Pupa, yes, that Pupa. Also, if that’s not enough, episodes are two minutes long. So much “pass”. Preview.

Overall Sunday Thoughts: Sunday is actually pretty respectable. Arslan Senki is the show I have the most hopes for this season, with strong staff and material behind it, Ghost in the Shell Arise is basically “proven good”, for people who didn’t already watch it, though I again recommend the original, and even Yamada-kun is likely to be fun, but even if it’s bad, will likely have quite a following based on the manga following. A nice day, where I only watch one show, but based on how Saturday pans out might pick up more.


Monday:

Didn’t Make It In:

Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku anime Spring 2015Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku / Mikagura School Suite – A song-series based show (in the style of Mekakucity Actors and Black Rock Shooter) does not fill one’s heart with much faith. The show seems like it’d be a fun little nonsense show, about clubs fighting and a story one shouldn’t pay attention to. The director, Iwasaki Tarou was recently in charge of One Week Friends, that was well directed. The series composer is Yokotani Masahiro, who aside from Free! mostly deals with “anime comedies” such as Beelzebub, The Devil is a Part Timer (Hatarku Maou-Sama), and the Maria Holic series.

I’m sure this show will have plenty of fans, as “plot” isn’t as much of a necessity for this brand of comedies, but it’s not for me.
Airing Date: April 6th. Interest Rating: 1/3. Preview.

Overall Monday Thoughts: Merciful Monday. While this show may surprise and be quite good, it’s just that anime comedies are almost always misses for me. Time to recuperate from the extended weekend of shows, and the Sunday catch-up.


Tuesday:

Almost In:

Sound Euphonium anime Spring 2015Sound! Euphonium / Hibike! Euphonium – That preview sure has great music. After the failures of trying to adapt light novels they own the rights for and mostly butchering them, KyoAni is back to taking others’ works, and hopefully giving them more air, as it seems to be original changes to scripts where KyoAni’s shows often fail.

Speaking of which, there’s a lot of experience helming this show, with Ishihara Tatsuya as the director, who directed the Jun Maeda Key adaptations (Clannad, Kanon), and who also directed the Haruhi franchise, and Chuunibyou, and Nichijou. If I had to describe his style, it’d be as inconsistent, with a tendency to lean on melodrama. The series composer, Hanada Jukki, is behind some shows I quite loved the composition and/or scripts for, such as Steins;Gate, Chuunibyou, and Rozen Maiden, but also recent failures such as Chuunibyou Ren and Kyoukai no Kanata, where it seems he was also in charge of the script; the feeling I get is that he can make content sing, but absolutely falls apart as a writer of original content and its composition. While this duo is experienced, I can’t say I have too much faith in them, as they’re inconsistent.

So much depends on how much KyoAni will change from the original material. And that brings us to the final issue, while “spending time with characters” certainly seems to be KyoAni’s forte compared to “plot-driven shows” or even “character-driven shows”, they’re not the sort of shows I care much for, and KyoAni’s recent track record leaves this off more as a show I might check based on word of mouth. And this is even assuming this is the sort of show it’d be, as anything about the show seems to hide that there are, actually, male characters involved as well. Drama, club competition, slice of life? Who knows.

Interest Rating: 1/3. Likely to be a very lavishly produced show, competently made, but with a chance of imploding, and not what I usually look for.
Airing Date: April 7th. Preview.

Overall Tuesday Thoughts: A KyoAni show! Some people will watch it, and some people won’t. It’s possible it might get bumped up, I’ll likely wait until it’s over, or turn to some of the other shows on my backlog. Tuesday is a relatively empty day, always is. Combined with Monday being empty for me, it’s going to be beneficial, as Wednesday is when I have schoolwork to hand in this semester.


Wednesday:

Ore Monogatari!! anime Spring 2015Ore Monogatari!! / My Love Story!! – If you’ve read my past season previews, you might have seen me say I prefer to marathon shoujo RomComs after they end, and also put them off because most tend to be very samey to one another. So, what changed? We’re all used to a shoujo RomCom revolving around an unpopular girl who might not be all that pretty who just happens to have the most popular guy in school fall for her, but this time it seems we have such a series, revolving around an unpopular guy. This is not common in the shoujo RomComs I’ve consumed, and usually can be found in shounen RomComs, who then become harems. So this is an opportunity to see a show that’ll tread all the usual lines, while still being different, or so I hope.

Of course, that the series is directed by Asaka Morio, who’s been behind Chihayafuru, Nana, Gunslinger Girl, and Cardcaptor Sakura doesn’t hurt. I’m really pleased Madhouse keeps adapting manga, which I feel is a very fruitful source for good material, as opposed to most Light Novels we seem to get.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
 I like Shoujo RomComs, and this seems different enough, and with good enough people behind the helm to follow weekly.
Airing Date: April 8th. Preview.

Almost In:

Houkago no Pleiades - Wish Upon the Pleiades anime Spring 2015Houkagou no Pleiades / Wish Upon the Pleiades – (Japanese title literally reads as “Afterschool Pleiades”) Pleiades is the western name for the constellation known in Japan as Subaru, who helped fund this show. That aside, it’s also the name of an alien who bestows a bunch of girls with magical girl powers to help collect the fragments it needs to go home. This show seems like a bog-standard magical girls-club show, which is pretty standard. It could be great, or it could be terrible, and is likely to be mediocre. There’s just nothing about it to make me go out of my way to check it. If I weren’t resolved to cut down on the number of shows I watch, I’d probably have given it a couple of episodes.

Directed by Saeki Shouji, who directed FLCL, Medaka Box, and not much more. The show is listed as “G – For all ages,” while I love Avatar and Princess Tutu, combined with all of the above, there’s nothing to get me excited.
Interest Rating: 1/3.
 This show could go anywhere, but there’s nothing about it that draws attention.
Airing Date: April 8th. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

Triage X anime Spring 2015Triage X – I wanted to like this, boobs and all, as a potentially solid if somewhat silly action series. Well, it’s by the author behind Highschool of the Dead, one of the two directors is new while the other is most recently responsible for Pandora Hearts and To-Love Ru, and the series composer is responsible for shows such as Fullmetal Alchemist and Ef, but also Boku no Pico and Aldnoah.Zero. This looks like it’s going to be trashy fun at best, and simply trash in any case. I’m gonna skip. I suggest most of you do the same.

Overall Wednesday Thoughts: There’s nothing mind-blowing about Wednesday, but a show that I expect to enjoy every week, without it exceeding my expectations, or failing to meet them, is nice. I suspect the other two shows will be the same for those who choose to watch them – they’ll give you just what the cover says (“Average and bog-standard magical girl” for Pleiades), and if you’re fine with that, great! But it doesn’t make for an exciting day.


Thursday:

OreGairu Second Season / Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku / My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU 2 anime Spring 2015OreGairu Second Season / Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku / My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU 2 – I liked the first season, I’ve rewatched it last month and I still liked it. I may not be head over heels about it, but it has amusing characters, it has characters I can empathize with, and even sympathize with, even as I see people online get entirely the wrong ideas about it, thinking the protagonist’s lines are vindicated, and so they too, but the cynical outlook is something the show keeps criticizing as running away.

Well, another season, of a show with some sharp writing and smart moments, about the loneliness of growing up. The director changed, and the new director, Oikawa Kei, directed Minami-Ke’s third season as well as Outbreak Company, so we might see a bit more comedy. The series composer remained the same.
Interest Rating: 2/3.
 I am not excited about this show, but I’m looking forward to it. I expect to enjoy it, and not get disappointed; the best outlook to have.
Airing Date: April 2nd. Preview.

Punchline anime Spring 2015Punchline – Studio MAPPA (Zankyou no Terror, Garo, Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis)’s new show, and they can crank out good-looking shows, and this certainly seems to continue that trend. Directed by the director of Dantalian no Shoka, and written by Uchikoshi Kotaro, the man behind visual novel puzzle games such as the Zero Escape series.

Oh yeah, what’s the story about? A boy who gets super-powers when he sees panties. Err, uh, yes. It seems silly, it seems stupid, even, but it’s colourful, and I’m going to make this anime-original colour explosion my speculative pick of the season.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
 Seems silly, seems fun. I should hold off (and place it under “Almost In”), but the power of colour compels me! I might regret it, but hey, that’s life. Also, I’m not watching much prior to this in the week.
Airing Date: April 9th. Short preview
, long preview, NSFW.

Almost In:

Ninja Slayer From Animation Spring 2015Ninja Slayer From Animation – Trigger’s latest offering, directed by the man behind Inferno Cop, which I hated. A parody of what the Japanese think 90s’ anime fans from America would think Anime looks like. Garish colours, superviolence. Definitely what some people would describe as “So (intentionally) bad and over the top it’s good,” but which I think is “Stylistically choosing to be crap still leaves you as crap”, and I know it’s unlikely I’ll like it. I’m probably going to have to ignore all the “THIS IS SO GOOD!” cries, because I literally fell asleep in the middle of Inferno Cop, which was only 36 minutes long.
Interest Rating: 1/3.
 This is just not my sort of thing. It’s interesting, but I just know I’m going to not like it. In prior seasons, I’d have tried it out anyway, and then suffer as I did with NouCome.
Airing Date: April 16th. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

Re-Kan! – 4-koma adaptation on a girl who can see ghosts, following her daily life. If it’s a short, I might check it out, as it sounds similar to the lovely Pupipo!, but 4-koma adaptations don’t make for compelling long form experiences, certainly not when directed by Kudou Masashi, known for Ikkitousen and the later Hayate no Gotoku seasons… ew.

Overall Thursday Thoughts: Definitely another day for boys. Well, more seriously, it’s a day with a serious tonal shift, from a RomCom with less romance and more social commentary (which the target audience which it describes mistakes for affirmation), to silly and over the top action shows. Well, it’s not crazy as Thursdays used to be every single season, as that gradually seems to have become Saturday’s lost.


Friday:

Knights of Sidonia Battle for Planet Nine - Sidonia no Kishi  anime Spring 2015Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki / Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine – The first season of Sidonia had a pretty standard plot, and nothing in its presentation gave us much hope for it, certainly not it being drawn entirely in CGI. And yet, it ended up being my 4th favourite show in Spring 2014. It had a very distinct sense of place, and an attention to detail with regards to the setting, and it had a sense of drama. It was just well-done, beyond what one could assume from the cover.
It’s somewhat troubling that Seshita Hiroyuki, the assistant director of the first season is now listed as the director, but I’m going to tune in even so.
Interest Rating: 2/3.
 The first season came out of nowhere, but we’re ready now.
Airing Date: April 10th.

Food Wars Shokugeki no Souma anime Spring 2015Food Wars: Shokugeki no Souma – “Shounen food battles”? After reading the Weapons of the Gods manwha, I felt ready, then raised an eyebrow at the “Ecchi”, wondering if we’ll simply have big-breasts everywhere, but it seems there’ll be foodgasms to put Koufuku Graffiti to shame. I found myself highly entertained by the preview. A shounen, an elite gourmet food where fights are handled via cooking. Hey, it’s not like it’s any different from any sports show or any other shounen, except the format of the fights. I like shounens, it looks highly entertaining, so I’m in.

People behind it haven’t done anything noteworthy, and J.C. Stuff can be feast (Toaru Kagaku no Railgun) or famine (Golden Time), in terms of production. So not much to go on beyond the source material.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
 I expect to be highly entertained. Anime-induced laughter is sorely missing in my life, these days. A fighting-sports shounen, that’s all I’m expecting.
Airing Date: April 3rd. Preview 
(NSFW), made me laugh.

Assassination Classroom / Ansatsu Kyoushitsu – An enjoyable show, which hammers us unsubtly with its “life-changing messages”. I enjoy it alright, and it’s harmless, but in retrospect, it definitely deserves room in the “Almost In” category, it’s an alright show, but it’s nothing I haven’t seen, and don’t get several shows each season that are better than it. But being “average and enjoyable” is far from terrible, and I’ve already watched enough episodes, so I’ll keep watching. I mean, I do enjoy it, overall.
Current Rating: 6/10. Take it or leave it, a “good enough to not drop” show, basically. If you haven’t watched Great Teacher Onizuka, watch that, much better.
Episodes Watched: 9/22.

Almost In:

Nisekoi: 2 anime Spring 2015Nisekoi: (Nisekoi 2nd season) – In the same season that Sidonia ended as my 4th favourite show, Nisekoi’s first season ended 5th. I liked the show, overall, though it sometimes frustrated me. It’s the epitome of “Shounen Harem RomCom,” and it’s comfort food, so long you don’t need the consummation of the relationship for that, because you won’t be getting it with this show. I’m sure I’ll enjoy most episodes of the show (at least those not featuring Marika), but as part of trying to cut down on watching airing show, this show is literally not interested in giving us anything new, so it’ll be kept for until after it finishes airing, when I’m in the mood for what it’s selling. I’ll miss Chitoge and Raku some, but so it goes.
Interest Rating: 1/3.
 Enjoying each episode of a show does not mean you’ll enjoy the show, and it does not mean you won’t enjoy other things more.
Airing Date: April 10th.

Familiar Myth 0 Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a Dungeon -  Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteriru Darou ka anime Spring 2015Familiar Myth – Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a Dungeon? / Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteriru Darou ka? – Can you tell by that mouthful of a title that this is a a light novel adaptation? No, then seeing Matsuoka Yoshitsugu in the lead role (Kirito in Sword Art Online, Sora in No Game, No Life) should suffice. A Dungeon city, fantasy, antics, some harem romance, everything sounds terribly ordinary. Honestly, this is the sort of show I usually enjoy (for the most part, with some reservations, especially when watched weekly).

I expect it to be fun, somewhat offensive, quite stupid, of a show. The people behind this show aren’t known for doing anything of note either. Apparently a girl does the saving here, not the boy, but the focus on harem romance in such shows makes it a thin veneer (I bet she’ll be dubbed a tsundere, in show, even). This is the sort of show I’d pick up if I were going to pick up everything that is “my taste”, even if I think it’ll end up utterly forgettable, but since that’s exactly what I think this show will end up being, I’m not.
Interest Rating: 1/3.
 Are you in the market for a standard power-fantasy fantasy action RomCom light novel adaptation? Yes? Then this one’s for you. No? Then move on.
Airing Date: April 3rd. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan anime Spring 2015The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki /Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu – Take a popular franchise (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya), create an alternate timeline where none of the characters are the same as in the original, and even the premise is different (removing all ESP, aliens, and time-travel from the original), mix it a bit, and end up with a bog-standard manga adaptation that tries to cash in on the original’s popularity. Watch if you like this sort of tepid comedy slice of life manga, or skip it, like me.

Overall Friday Thoughts: A lot of interesting shows on Friday! Provided you’re a boy, preferably young (ergo shounen). For those who like shounen shows (and I’m one of them, admittedly), there’s enough content here to last a season. Most of it isn’t going to be all that good, but that’s how things work. If you’re not into “boys’ shows”, and especially if you’re not into continuing shows (and there’s also JoJo: Stardust Crusaders for those who want both), Friday is basically a loss. I mean, even Sidonia sometimes leans into the Harem antics.


Saturday:

Plastic Memories anime Spring 2015Plastic Memories – Hayashi Naotaka, the author behind Steins;Gate, Chaos;Head, and Robotics;Notes creates his first original anime. The story revolves around androids with emotional circuits that malfunction, and the human and android team charged with collecting them. There’s rich ground here, of the sort explored by Asimov and other authors, to comment on the human condition. It’s interesting, and being handled by a proven author, so I’m definitely interested.

It’s somewhat unfortunate the character designs evoke that “Standard 2005-2007 anime” style one associates with shows such as Index, and that the director is mostly experienced with slice of life shows such as GJ-bu and Engaged to the Unidentified, but that won’t stop me from picking up this sort of show, which is far too rare.
Interest Rating: 2/3.
 An actual sci-fi story from an author with a proven track record? I can’t say I’m not excited.
Airing Date: April 4th. Preview, longer preview.
Write-ups: 
This might actually get weekly write-ups, believe it or not.

Kekkai Sensen - Blood Blockade Battlefront anime Spring 2015Kekkai Sensen / Blood Blockade Battlefront – An adaptation of the newest action manga by Nightow Yasuhiro, the mangaka behind Trigun and Gungrave, directed by Matsumoto Rie, the director behind the exquisite Kyousougiga (Capital Craze, my top show of 2013), and handled by the capable (especially for stylish and great-looking action series) Studio Bones, that’s all I need to watch this.

I have to admit, a premise of high and stylish action anime that takes place in New York is also of interest, as I like the spin Japanese often give to such locales (and was part of my interest in Baccano!), and from all of the “fun and slightly serious action anime” of the season, this one is the most interesting to me.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
 It’s an action show, with a focus on spectacle seeming likely, but if any such show this season seems to be especially promising, it’s this one.
Airing Date: April 4th. Preview.
Speaking of Baccano! earlier, that Sakaguchi Daisuke, the voice actor for Jacuzzi Splot narrates the preview is just perfect.

Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works 2nd season anime Spring 2015Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works 2nd season – This is the second cour, at this point you should know what you’re getting into – too serious and introspection-lacking chuunibyou discussions on honour and ethics courtesy of Shirou, Archer, and the rest, some lovely comedy and RomCom sequences, and lavishly animated backgrounds and fighting sequences. The show is definitely at its weakest when it engages in “serious talk”, as the writing and characters just can’t support it, but that is part of its charm, you can’t help but feel some fondness for the little kid who imagines himself an adult. I enjoyed the first season for the most part, entirely unironically. It’s not great, but it’s solid, and it has many enjoyable bits.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
 Sometimes I hate myself, but I actually enjoy the show, warts and all.
Airing Date: April 4th.
Write-ups:
 Since I did some write-ups for the first season (reminder I need to upload the rest and collect them all), I might do for this one as well. With how crazy busy Saturdays are though, I’m not sure. There’s a lot to write, which actively works against it, especially as most of it isn’t truly with weight.

Denpa Kyoushi - He is an Ultimate Teacher anime Spring 2015Denpa Kyoushi / He Is an Ultimate Teacher – Great Teacher Onizuka, a teacher who has to handle a rough class, always with a twist, right? This time the twist is that it’s a young anime blogging NEET who used to be a genius physicists. Shounen harem antics ensue. Will it be good? I doubt it. Will it be enjoyable in the sort of comfort food I often look for? Probably. Nothing about the production stands out.
I do hope the focus is on the RomCom, not the anime-pandering “memes and references as jokes” that will probably be also present.
Interest Rating: 1/3.
 I love RomComs, including shounen ones. This is the comfort food I was looking for from Nisekoi’s first season, for me.
Airing Date: April 4th. Preview.

Almost In:

Owari no Seraph - Seraph of the End anime Spring 2015Owari no Seraph / Seraph of the End – A virus wiping out adults, vampires appearing and enslaving the remaining humanity, and our hero who wishes to rise up against them. Sounds like Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)? Thankfully, it’s the same studio behind it, with Sawano Hiroyuki, the same music composer who had given us the music in Shingeki and Aldnoah.Zero back as well. The art in the preview looks sweet, and this is just what I enjoy, but Saturday is already so stacked on shows, specifically action shows, that I’m going to give this one a pass, and likely watch it after it ends.
Both the director and the series composer have this as their debut in the lead roles, having only been in charge of single episodes in the past for other shows.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
 This is my kind of show, which I often tire of by the end if I watch weekly, and quite enjoy marathoning. Putting it here is hard, but Saturday has so much action already.
Airing Date: April 4th. Preview.

Kyoukai no Rinne anime Spring 2015Kyoukai no Rinne / Circle of Reincarnation – The latest anime based on a manga by Takahashi Rumiko, the mangaka behind InuYasha, Urusei Yatsura (Lum), and Ranma 1/2. What is this show about? It’s basically Bleach, but with some more romance, and Takahashi’s art-style. The preview made it seem like a blast from the 90s. It seems quite slow, at that. It just doesn’t seem as interesting to watch weekly as the rest of the sugar-high action shows of the season, it’s like a sedated Bleach, and anti-action is not the vibe I want from my action shows.
Interest Rating: 1/3.
 The least interesting action series of Saturday. Might be worth a check after it ends, or just watch or read Takahashi’s older material, there’s plenty of that to go around.
Airing Date: April 4th. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

Gunslinger Stratos the Animation – A show based on a shooter by Square Enix, to which Urobuchi Gen wrote the original script (and considering it’s mostly a plot-less shooter, that means squat), produced by A-1. That’s all we know. Just like Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis, the lack of any real story means something could be made out of it, but I’ll let other people take the time to vet this one out for me, especially as the director and series composer are both entirely new. Preview.

Overall Saturday Thoughts: Do you like action shows? No? Then you still have Plastic Memories, a bona fide sci-fi show, and I guess you also have the haremy Denpa Kyoushi, and a sane Saturday night. You do like action? Well, there’s enough material here to fill an entire season, and they all premier on the same day, even. You could watch all of these shows, but how much action can one person watch in one evening? I suggest finding the couple of shows you like best, and dropping the others, or saving them for a rainy day.

Saturday is somewhat of a “tentative” day for me this season, it’s possible any of the shows I watch will tire me and I’ll drop them, and it’s still far from impossible for me to watch Owari no Seraph. If I had better self-control, I’d just put all these shows on hold and watch them as the season ends, alas. And I’m happy with the non-action shows as well.


Unknown Days:

Lupin III 2015 anime Spring 2015

Lupin III (2015) – My only experience with the Lupin the Third franchise is with The Castle of Cagliostro, which I thought was “okay”. I don’t even know if this series will have multiple arcs and each being a “case”, a case per episode, or one long adventure. I don’t know what to expect, but hey, I may as well dive into what Lupin has to offer with a currently airing show.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
 I don’t know what to expect, but I’m curious.
Airing Date: TBA. Preview: None yet.

Didn’t Make It In:

Digimon Tri – I watched Digimon back during junior high school. I have some fond memories of it, but I’ve also had fond memories of Poke’Mon, and I haven’t watched Poke’Mon X/Y. Who knows, maybe some day.


Overall Season Thoughts:

First of all, how am I looking with regards to number of shows? 12! That’s usually my goal after three weeks into the season, usually achieved around the mid-way point. How many shows would I have picked up had I also watched all the “Almost in” shows? 23, which is at the same time as many as I’ve picked up in several prior seasons, and too many by far. It’s good to make more time for better backlog shows, non-anime interests, and of course, my school work.

What do I think of the season as a whole? It’s an absolutely amazing season if you’re into shounen, with quite a bit of shounen harem RomComs, and an absolute flood of action series. But we still have some shoujo RomComs, and more serious series, such as Plastic Memories, Lupin, and Arslan Senki, rubbing their elbows against absolutely bizarre shows such as Ninja Slayer from Animation. There’s a couple of “cute girls being cute” shows which I didn’t mention, but this season has something for everyone, I’d say, and a few shows that are very promising, alongside high profile continuations (Nisekoi, Sidonia, OreGairu, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, and Nanoha).

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?

28 comments on “Spring 2015 Anime Season Preview and Expectations

  1. Link0306 says:

    Looks like a nice list of anime you’ve got, and I think I’ll be watching most of the same stuff as you for the most part!

    I do just have one worry though, and that’s about Plastic Memories. While I am a fan of Steins;Gate and I think that Hayashi Naotaka is usually a good writer, he can have a tendency to pander in his works. A bunch of his female characters are usually blatant archetypes, and this appears to be the case with the main robot girl of this upcoming anime, who seems to be a dandere according to the released info. And while danderes can be done well, I’m worried that she may end up being the obedient type like Angel/Kanade in Angel Beats. Also, there’s the possibility of this turning into a Key-style melodrama altogether.

    In the end, Plastic Memories is probably the anime I’m most hyped about, but also the most worrying one for me.

    • Guy says:

      Having robot girls be like that is a bit of a thing, yes. I’d say “I’m not worried about such depiction because I’ve gotten used to it in anime as the status-quo,” but 1. I’m slowly growing less tolerant of such stuff, and 2. that’s cause for worry on its own.

      But since it’s about robots, I think she’ll probably start that way and gradually grow out of it. And yes, Plastic Memories is my “speculative pick,” the show that can reach the highest, but also one that can sink the lowest.

      But hey, it at least has the chance to get that high, and actual sci-fi stories are so rare. Their place in my favourites is clearly much more significant than their portion of the anime being made.

  2. Artemis says:

    I think I’ve got about ten shows I’ll definitely be checking out, and I fully expect at least half of them to be keepers. Of them all though, I’d say I’m most excited about Arslan Senki at this stage – the synopsis looks right up my alley, and the staff names behind the show certainly don’t hurt.

    • Guy says:

      Gotta say that considering your like for “mythic lowish fantasy” (Moribito, Juuni Kokki), I’m surprised you’ve dropped Yona of the Dawn, though having not watched any episodes yet, it’s only going by premise, and we both know it’s the execution that matters at the end of the day.

      Now I’m curious, are there any shows you’re picking up which you suspect will not be keepers, and just can’t help yourself picking them up, like I tried out Koufuku Graffiti and KanColle this season?

      • Artemis says:

        But I haven’t dropped Yona – I’m really enjoying it, though there’s only one more episode to go.
        Occasionally I do pick up shows that I suspect absolutely won’t be my cup of tea but can’t help myself trying out for giggles anyway, but I don’t think there’s any this season. I’m probably more likely to do that when I’m a little bored and don’t have a lot of titles on my weekly line-up.

  3. S&P says:

    WHAT! How could you hate Inferno Cop?!?! ………………

    That aside, yeah, nothing really jumps at me this season. I’ll watch OreGairu continue to chip away at Hachiman’s defenses, and I’m hoping we’ll see more of Hayama. And, well, less Saika.

    Sidonia I kinda found interesting, particularly the cold nature of the show. That scene where the captain changed the gravity or something and ended up killing thousands literally like flies… And then the camera coldly presented you gigantic blood stains… That I found fun. Well, “fun”. The character & character interaction part left much to be desired, quips about photosynthesis aside, but all in all I’ll be watching that one.

    F/SN… I didn’t find the chuuni dialogue as amusing as I thought I would, for some reason. I’ll just fast forward the eps until fights start.

    Welp… That’s not much, is it… I’ll give Arslan a try since you seem to have reasonably high expectations of it. I enjoyed both FMA anime when I gobbled them up 2 years ago, though my tastes have significantly changed since then, for what it’s worth. I believe I though Silver Spoon was a bit boring and rather unsubtle in its messages, and only found the countryside aspect interesting. But hey, epic fantasy? I’m in.

    Lupin sounds intriguing. I had the same reaction as you did regarding Cagliostro (all I’ve watched about the franchise as well). Had some issues with the female character IIRC, but all in all it was OK-decent. Apparently though the Fuijko anime is pretty good.

    I also might give the shoujo with the ugly dude a watch, though I think it’ll depend on you anibloggers’ reactions to it. Same with other shows that might be hidden gems.

    Well, that’s it. Cheers!

    • Guy says:

      Shoujo romances often seem to have a great first episode, tepid for a while later, and then slowly ramp up as you get attached to the characters, which is one of the reasons I much prefer marathoning them in general.

      I too am a strong believer in letting others vet some shows for me. I mean, “I’m watching all those shows so you guys won’t have to,” is nice and all, but it’s even better when others watch all these bad shows so I won’t have to :D

      I’ll be honest, there are only a couple of new shows I have high hopes for, but hey, I’ll take “enjoyment and fun” over “boredom”, I guess. And it also means that anything beyond those two shows that ends up great will be a pleasant surprise, which will be nice.

      As for F/SN, why not just wait for all the fight scenes to appear as webm/youtube videos? And yeah, if you can both notice the chuuni scenes for what they are and aren’t amused for them, watching the show is probably unbearable.

  4. exof954 says:

    Shonen is love, Shonen is life. I do subscribe to English Shonen Jump, after all, meaning I’ve read the manga for Food Wars, Seraph of the End, and Nisekoi. I think I’m going to enjoy this season very much!

    • Guy says:

      I personally dislike watching adaptations of material I’ve consumed, but yeah, it’s definitely for you, this season :)

      I’m curious, besides shounen, do you look out for any other particular demographics, or genres, if we quantify that as “shounen action” and “Harem RomComs”?

    • exof954 says:

      I like a lot of different types of series in manga form, even things like Girls in a Dungeon and The World is Still Beautiful. But whenever they go to anime form, it just drags on too long for me to want to watch it. And I have a lot of tolerance for long series, seeing as I’ve seen/read all of Bleach, Naruto, and Fairy Tail.
      Shonen is the only series that really keeps my attention, and comedy. But most comedies are hit-or-miss, so I read you guys’ reviews and then choose whether or not to watch it from there.
      Pseudo-shonens, like mechas, Log Horizon, Parasyte, and NGNL, are also interesting.

  5. fenglengshun says:

    As usual, my way of determining if a series is worth following is by looking at the manga.

    DanMachi was… surprisingly inoffensive, though it’s nothing new either. It’s weakest part, for me, was the focus on the secondary goal (getting strong) than the main goal (getting close to the girl), making the series feel aimless and meandering.

    Yamada-kun was surprisingly fun. The author used the 7 Witch Abilities quite well. The main character is shonen stupid, which makes the obstacle to the objective of the week feels rather… artificial, I suppose. Still, the series has its moments, and I felt it was worth following.

    Agreed on Nagato Yuki, it lacks the charm the original series had. It’s literally just fan service like Steins;Gate movie and the first part of the Madoka Rebellion movie was, intended for the generic fans.

    Shokugeki no Souma. Um. It’s fun and the art is good, but it’s ecchi that could put DxD to shame.

    At the end of the day, I’d probably watch the first three episodes of all of them, then stick to five or so series. Overall, this doesn’t seem to be a narratively interesting season like this season, but a “Fun, fun, fun!” kind of season typical of anime. Which I’m OK with, since that’s what I’m looking for in anime (or the Akiba culture media in general).

    • Guy says:

      As usual, my way of determining if a series is worth following is by looking at the manga.

      What about anime originals, you don’t watch those?

      And I’m curious, if the manga is fun, and you’ve already read it, why watch the anime, rather than read manga you haven’t read yet?

      • fenglengshun says:

        Whoops, only checked my inbox now. More or less, me reading the manga is just a way to trim down the amount of shows to watch but to also not miss things that I would normally dismiss if I didn’t know any better about it.

        I do watch anime originals, but they’re really dependent on their first presentation. With those that had a mangas, I could somewhat tolerate poor first impression on the adaptation since I can still look forward to how they convert the rest of stories, but on the other hand, checking the manga means that I also can just dismiss an anime because I know the story was bad.

        Well, first of all is that they’re generally not much scanlated. Like with Kikou Shoujo and Black Bullet, the anime quickly surpassed the point of the scanlated chapters at the time. And while mangas are okay, but watching them animated can also be fun. It’s just a matter of seeing which one I’m going to have much more fun with, as well as which one gives a more superior story and experience (going to those two series, I stopped watching Black Bullet’s because I felt the manga was stronger, but with Kikou Shoujo the anime was stronger so I kept watching it).

        That’s really the thing that I search most in anime and mangas, fun. Well, to be more exact, they’re the bottom line. I certainly would be very happy when any media I consume turns out to be deep, rich, and, thoughtful. Yeah, my standards are low like that, but eh, real life is generally stressful so I’ll take what fun I could get.

        • Guy says:

          You know what’s interesting, there are many shows we won’t give much to if we tried to get through their early episodes weekly, but if we knew they’re good, we’d stick to them – such as if they’ve been recommended to us after they ended. But if you thought a show’s first 4-5 episodes were crap, and people tell you it ended up great later, you might dismiss them more than if you never checked out the show.

          For manga/LN adaptations, it can go both ways – an adaptation can be better, or it can be worse. And sometimes it changes things majorly and you’re unlikely to like it much, in my experience, if you’re familiar with the source material. I just don’t find reading the source material or listening to those who did to be very indicative of what the adaptation will be like, unless they say the source material is terrible ;-)
          Definitely not very useful when sending out a general call for opinions, because fans are the most likely to respond, and any show will be labeled as “good”, so it’s better to try and find a few people who consumed numerous to get their opinion.

      • fenglengshun says:

        But if you thought a show’s first 4-5 episodes were crap, and people tell you it ended up great later, you might dismiss them more than if you never checked out the show.

        Indeed. It’s the same with Saekano. I dismissed it in regards to its poor first (0th) and second (1st) episodes, but looking at the ANN review, it seems that it was quite decent. Same with Yuuki Yuuna, from what I’ve heard from my friend.

        Once you’ve made an opinion, it’s really hard to change them.

        I just don’t find reading the source material or listening to those who did to be very indicative of what the adaptation will be like, unless they say the source material is terrible ;-)

        From my view point is that if the source material is already horrible, then there’s a really high chance that the adaptation is going to be horrible too, unless they don’t follow the basic storyline of the source material for some reason or had a lot of alterations (not that that saved UBW).

        Other than that, it’s also to make my “assessment’ of the adaptation more complete. While it’s true that an adaptation should be able to stand on its own, I personally like to evaluate them for how well did they actually adapted the source material, to see where they did well and where they did poorly, where are the changes they made, and how faithful they are to the source material. It can really add appreciation to the adaptation, which is the case with david pro’s adaptation of JoJo.

        As for getting opinions, the only way to get an accurate estimation of quality is by making an easy to do poll with four options: Good/Interesting, Neutral, Meh/Not Interesting, Bad/Offensive. Other than that, you really, really have to hear their reasoning. Those people who have sampled numerous shows are probably the ones that could make good reasoning, though.

  6. Aeternix says:

    Oh! Plastic Memories is a thing? Must have gone under my radar but it definitely looks like a show I would be into – a scifi setting, a theme about emotions and their relationship to humanity, robots, and from the accomplished writer who created the great Steins;Gate? Yeah, I’ll definitely check that out! (Damn, and I thought I had lessened my list down to simply four “Must Watch” XD)

    I will also be watching Sidonia, as it’s really the only thing craving my need for space opera lately. I watched the first season and thought that it was pretty generic if you’ve ever seen any other “lone surviving ship” story (a la Star Trek: Voyager, Battlestar Galatica, Macross, Yomoto, ect.). However, I did enjoy the opening a lot and I had fun with the show as it went on. I think some of the best stuff came out of the end of the first season, so I hope it continues on strong from there.

    Lupin III I’m really excited for and even though I know it won’t be anything like A Woman Called Fujiko Mine (which I highly recommend if you want a film noir, detective styled look at the Lupin story) I can’t wait to see a more high adventure, roguish look at the series. That one I would say is the show that I would use to relax.

    That BONES show, Blood Blockade Battlefront, looks intriguing from a story perspective, but the art doesn’t really jive well with me. I dunno, I’m excited by it and maybe it will surprise me in its delivery.

    Also, I know how you mentioned that the Arise movies seem to be a better format for the story, is this just because they were made in this form first or that the story arcs seem to fit a movie better? I was thinking about watching the TV adaption but don’t want to be robbed of any enjoyment (as you have given it a recommendation).

    • Guy says:

      Sidonia is definitely generic, in its plot, its characters, in most regards. It’s just well done. I think if you like space operas, there’s really nothing like reading books. Alastair Reynolds who keeps writing good space operas is active these days, so it’s pretty good.

      The Arise films were made in that format first, yes. They were already limited to a static length (1 hour), so much of what I dislike about the episodic format isn’t necessarily helped there, but you can’t simply cut a 60 hour segment into 2-3 episodes. The moments where they stop, the build-up, they often fall apart like that. Doubly so when watched weekly. I can’t help but think it’d go poorly. It usually does.

      And glad Plastic Memories is now on your radar, that’s what such posts are for, and also why I include the “Almost in” and the “Didn’t make it in” categories, because I know not everyone shares my tastes :)

      • Aeternix says:

        Yeah, I love when you write these posts. There’s always something under my radar and it’s exciting to see other opinions on shows too! Look forward to seeing if you write anything on Sidonia!

        I’ll also keep an eye out for Alastair Reynolds, is there a good book to start with him?

        • Guy says:

          Revelation Space is considered the place to start with Alastair Reynolds :)

          Also, give a look to Vernor Vinge’s A Fire Upon the Deep. Slightly less space opera, but one of my favourite sci-fi books.

  7. ChazzU says:

    I always like your lay-out for these posts, very clean and well structured.

    I’m sitting on 13 shows, although I expect most of those to be not meet the bar of what I’d like to set for airing shows, as I usually keep watching too much I would drop would I be watching it after it finished airing. Gunslinger Stratos, Hibike, Kekkai Sensen, Kyoukai no Rinne, Owari no Seraph, Cooking Shouma and even Punch line are titles that will need to prove to be worth their time. In fact, only Digimon, Arslan, Ace no Diamond, Baby Steps and F/SN look to be titles I’ll most likely definitely finish.

    I’m glad Kuroko no Basket 3 is airing, because I’m not even too sure if I’ll make it to 10 titles after two or three weeks. But that means more time for my backlog – glass half full!

    • Guy says:

      I always like your lay-out for these posts, very clean and well structured.

      They say necessity is the mother of all invention. As my list grew in scope, I needed more ways to split this post up, and then as I picked up more and more shows, the more I realized that the days shows air on matter, at least if you want to watch them close to that date, before spoilers, or while online discussion is at its hottest (which is less relevant to me now that I don’t post most of my semi-notes on reddit). And here we are, a couple of years down the line.

      And thanks, it’s nice it’s appreciated!

      I find, “But I might not even have 10 shows” to be a blessing, there’s always backlog! Though yes, if you start with X shows and end up with X/2 shows, but half of them dropped around episode 5-6, you feel like it sucks, or at least I do. Much worse than if you pick up that “X/2” number of shows from the get go and never dropped any, or only dropped shows around episode 1.

      I’m curious, how did you decide on Gunslinger Stratos? There’s basically absolutely nothing we know about it. Then again, the joys of discovering something new, eh?

      • ChazzU says:

        “I find, “But I might not even have 10 shows” to be a blessing, there’s always backlog!”

        I should really just go and decide to watch an episode a day, because that’s how easy it is to enjoy stuff. I watch airing shows even if I’m not 100% feeling it so I don’t fall behind, and I’m totally into it after two minutes. I should do that with more shows, because not 100% feeling a show is almost always the reason I’m not watching anything on my backlog, even though I know they’re good shows I’ll most likely enjoy.

        “I’m curious, how did you decide on Gunslinger Stratos?”

        There was no real reason I believe. I boiled down to “Everything’s shounen this season? Might as well pick up more shounen!” and didn’t question the logic. I haven’t even looked up what it’s about, I’m just like “Fuck it, I’m ready to be disappointed or positively surprised.”

        • Guy says:

          Considering there’s basically no information on Gunslinger Stratos, to the point it’s essentially an anime original, that’s sort of how everyone’s going to go into it.

          And yes, an episode a day is what I miss the most from when I worked and watched an anime a day during my lunch break. I keep saying I’ll do it but can’t do it when I’m home every day. I wouldn’t have gotten through K-On! otherwise, as I’d have tried to marathon it and then dropped it, for instance :P

          Though I did with some shows question whether to drop them or not, even in this format, cause they were just mediocre, but at the rate of an episode a day, it was easier to keep along with it.

  8. EatzAce says:

    Shokugeki, Arslan, Plastic Memories, Unlimited budget works’ 2nd cour, Game of Thrones, Good Wife… Jesus my body is ready (to not sleep).

    By the way I was curious. When you said:

    People behind it haven’t done anything noteworthy, and J.C. Stuff can be feast (Toaru Kagaku no Railgun) or famine (Golden Time), in terms of production.

    What about Golden Time did you think was “famine?” I personally thought Golden Time was a great romantic drama with well executed comedy laced with an amnesiac twist; full of things to sink your teeth into.

    • Guy says:

      I didn’t like Golden Time’s two episodes I watched, but that’s not what I described as “famine”, I was talking about production, such as character art, animation, and even sound design, all of which were quite terrible in Golden Time. It’s as far as one can get from the crisp designs, fluid animation, and great soundtrack of Railgun S.

  9. rikuo06 says:

    Etotama and Robot Girls Z Plus

    • Guy says:

      Any particular reason? I find it interesting that there exists this idol/magical-girl sub-genre, of “representing”, a city, a company, a deity. Feels closer to what one form of commercial idols, akin to booth-babes.

      How would new idols differ? I wanted to say they do, but not really, new idol groups merely sell the franchise that is the idol or idol group, rather than standing in for something else?

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