Winter 2017 Anime Season Preview and Expectations

The Winter 2016 anime season begins tomorrow, so it’s high time for me to release this post, eh? I’m still not back to two weeks prior to the season’s release, but at least we got back to getting this out before the season. Hurray to small successes! Real life is going to be very busy for me this month, but that doesn’t mean anime’s going to stop. So let’s find out what we’ve got to look for this season (hint: Very little).

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 The Cart Driver or 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).

Sunday:

Little Witch Academia (TV) AnimeLittle Witch Academia (TV) – This is probably the series I’m most excited over since they announced Avatar: the Legend of Korra. For those who don’t know, Little Witch Academia was a truly magical 30 minute short released in 2013, which I loved quite a lot. The second episode, a slightly longer short film, released in 2015, was disappointing to me, not because it was bad, but because it was merely good. Now, this is a full-fledged series, which has more production issues and usually less resources per minute of air-time, but hey, I’ll take it. I’ll take it because at the end of the day there’s little I like more than the sense of wonderment. We’ll get to goof around with Akko and the rest of the gang, and actually see their daily escapades as more than a 2-minute montage. I’m on board.

For those who don’t know, Little Witch Academia is made by Studio Trigger, made by ex-Gainax employees, and although Gainax was mostly known for its action sequences, I’d argue this is studio Trigger’s best work to date. This is Director Yoshinari You’s full-series directorial debut, after directing the two Little Witch Academia shorts, as most of his experience is a Key Animator. Series Composition is handled by Shimada Michiru, who worked on Urusei Yatsura, One Piece, Rurouni Kenshin, Romeo and the Black Brothers, Shugo Chara!, Little Busters, The File of Young Kindaichi Returns, Emily of the New Moon, Gakuen Alice, and The Adventures of Peter Pan. This is actually a very interesting set of works, as what stands about them is that most of them are highly regarded, and quite old. Another thing that stands out about a few of them is that they are adaptations of children novels that border on fairy-tales, which seems like a good fit for this series.
Interest Rating: 3/3. I don’t like most “cute girls being cute” type of slice of life, but the slightly more adventurish sort, or just calming are amongst some of my favourite series to mellow in front of. The first Little Witch Academia was that sort of moment for me, so I hope this series will deliver as well.
Airing Date: January 8th. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

Idol Jihen anime / Idol Incidents animeIdol Jihen / Idol Incidents – I was going to start by saying that this anime is positively Japanese in its premise, but after the last American Presidential Elections, that might be silly. With the situation in Japan worsening, Idol Groups run for national politics, to brighten everyone’s days. This series follows their adventures and travails. Hey, I actually don’t find this that ludicrous, people ascribe one’s public persona or the roles actors portray on the actors themselves all the time. This is Director Yoshidua Daisuke’s directorial debut, and the Series Composers also never directed a full series before, but had worked before on Himitsu: the Revelation and Kure-Nai. Not much to go by, honestly.

ēlDLIVE – I assume the title of this show is pronounced “The Drive”, and is the only notable thing about this show aside from some of its voice actors (Kugimiya Rie, Hayami Saori, and Suzuki Tatsuhisa). A coming of age story of a boy who gets invited to try and join a space police force, and who has a voice in his head. Takeuchi Toshimitsu worked on series that nobody cared much for (Guardian Ninja Mamoru, Saint Seiya: Soul of Gold, and Ramen Fighter Miki). Also, the preview looks underwhelming. This is a pass.

Overall Sunday Thoughts: A show I’m very much waiting for, Japanese idol madness, and a coming of age story. Well, I hope Little Witch Academia delivers, but it’s also likely LWA will draw some eyes that might normally give it a pass due to the paucity of content on this day. Well, one show to start the day after how busy weekends have been the last few seasons suits me just fine.


Monday:

Onihei animeOnihei – Onihei (also known as Heizou the Devil) is based off of a series of stories that began in 1967, with adaptations to movies, television, and theatres, following an Edo chief of police/detective who solves mysteries and crimes. I’m not sure this sort of episodic content is the best fit for 20 minute episodes (and would’ve liked seeing it receive 40 minute episodes), but hey! Psuedo-historical material with actual literature behind it, actual novels, modern classics of Japanese culture. I’ll take it. It doesn’t always turn pretty, but the starting point is higher.

Director Miya Shigeyuki worked on Blood Lad (which I didn’t much care for) and Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou, both of which aren’t too serious, so it’s interesting he’s been given this presumably more serious material to handle. Of note, the series is produced by Murayama Masao, who worked as producer or planner on such noteworthy shows such as Ashita no Joe, Cardcaptor Sakura, Death Note, Monster, Nana, Paprika, Summer Wars, Trigun, Vampire Hunter D, and Zankyou no Terror. So I expect this show will have quite a lot of thought put into its success. I’m not sold on the director, but this looks promising.
Interest Rating: 2/3. The director is not the best, and I worry 20 minutes might not suffice for an episodic story of this nature, but if it worked for Joker Game (the time limit did), and Kino’s Journey, then it shouldn’t be too hard here either.
Airing Date: January 9th.

Almost In:

Gabriel Dropout animeGabriel Dropout – Doga Kabo, the studio behind shows such as Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Himouto! Umaru-chan, Plastic Memories, Yuru Yuri, and Love Lab is back at giving us more fluffy comedies with their signature art-style. This time the premise is that Archangel Gabriel has come to Earth, but has become a slob, skipping school and playing online games instead. A life of hijinks at school with her fellow supernatural girl friends ensues. Director Oota Masahiko directed the aforementioned Himouo! Umaru-chan, Yuru Yuri, and Love Lab, but also Kotoura-san, Minami-ke, and Sabagebu, so I expect the fluffy material and jokes to satisfy those who look for a slice of life cute girls doing cute things comedy.
Interest Rating: 1/3.
 This looks like a well-made show of a genre that usually has me tearing my hair out, but I’m still tempted.
Airing Date: January 9th. Preview.

Overall Monday Thoughts: Monday is always a day where there’s not much to watch. I just hope that this novel-based series will be better than Fall 2015’s crop (Perfect Insider and Sakurakou-san), and that the historical aspect will be better than most Nobunaga-inspired series. But hey, this looks promising, after all, Rakugo Shinju delivered, right?


Tuesday:

ACCA 13 animeACCA 13 – When it comes to manga adaptations, Madhouse is the studio to watch. This show follows an agency tasked with monitoring other agencies in a large kingdom. We follow its chief as he makes the rounds. The original manga was created by Ono Natsume, who created the Ristorante Paradiso and House of the Five Leaves manga series, and it is directed by Natsume Shingo, who directed One Punch Man and Space Dandy’s premiere. Joining him is Series Composer Suzuki Tomohiro, who worked on One Punch Man.

Overall, there’s not much to go by, but it seems like it’d be fun, or at least well done. And isn’t the entire premise of this preview that the people involved matter more than the material? So it is.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. I don’t really know what to expect, but I’m going to put my trust in talented people making a show that’d be well-made, at the very least.
Airing Date: January 10th. Preview 1, very stylistic, makes me think of Lupin. Preview 2, which makes me wonder what sort of show it’d be.

Didn’t Make It In:

Hand Shakers – I feel like I have to discuss non-short anime originals. Well, this sure is one. 2D and 3D art mix in this series (check the preview), which seems to be a battle royale about fulfilling one’s wishes, or a pair’s (yes, because all anime battle royales are about wish-granting). A pair of people with an ability team up, conjure a weapon from their psyche, and fight other pairs for the right to challenge god to fulfill their wish. Very little is actually conveyed about the characters in the previews, so this doesn’t look promising. Director Suzuki Shingo (Coppelion, K), and Series Composer Kanazawa Hiromichi (Seitokai Yakuindomo, Series Director for Coppelion and K) worked before, but their prior work is divisive.  I like battle royale series a lot, but I need a bit more to get me interested.

Overall Tuesday Thoughts: The trend of one good show, and one that is just borderline continues. Though calling any series “good” at this point in time is a bit presumptuous, and rather one means “promising”. But it is promising, both in terms of premise and the people involved. That I don’t know what sort of show it’d be could be seen as a positive, as I’d have to approach it with an even more open mind than usual.


Wednesday:

Almost In:

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon anime / Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid animeKobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon / Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – Have you shown me the trailer for this show, I’d have never guessed that it’s being made by Kyoto Animation, but considering some of their recent shows (especially Phantom World), maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised? Regardless, this is a slice of life comedy series following a salary-woman who gets joined by a dragon who turned into a human and forces herself upon her human host as a maid to repay some debt. Hijinks ensue.

Based on a manga by the Mangaka behind “I can’t understand what my husband is saying” and “Komori-san Can’t Decline”, the 4-Koma is strong with this one. Directed by Takemoto Yasuhiro (Amagi Brilliant Park, Full metal Panic? Fumoffu, Lucky Star, Hyouka, and the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya), the director is certainly capable of levity, but also of poignant delivery. Yuka Yamada (Non Non Biyori, Tamayura, and Ao Haru Ride) is in charge of Series Composition. This team seems more than capable of delivering on a show of this sort.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
 I will likely check this show out regardless of my reservations. It’s likely to be quite a good show to people who enjoy this sort of show, which unfortunately I very rarely am.
Airing Date: January 11th. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

Akiba's Trip the AnimationAkiba’s Trip the Animation – Akiba’s Trip should also be known as “Akiba Strip”, a very intended pun. Based on a game where “vampires” invade Akihabara, and to defeat them you have to beat them up and tear their clothes off. Erm, I actually wonder what the anime will cover. Cover, get it? At least the trailers (fan-servicey NSFW) are honest with how they open with crotches and bosoms in various states of undress. Director Ikehata Hiroshi worked on Robot Girls Z, Toei Robot Girls, and Sore ga Seiyuu!, so he’s not going to leave any mark with this either. Series Composer Hyoudou Kazuho worked on the recent reLIFE, but also Magica Wars, Himegoto, and Robot Girls Z.

Overall Wednesday Thoughts: The final day of the quiet part of the week, then again, Wednesday is usually not this empty, but Winter has three-quarters of other seasons’ shows. I might end up with Kobayashi-san if I find my days empty, but with how busy I am right now with real life, maybe it’s for the best. Also, first show of the season for the ecchi lovers, who can’t be overlooked.


Thursday:

Kuzu no Honkai anime / Scum's Wish animeKuzu no Honkai / Scum’s Wish – Two teenagers who are in love with other people, older teachers, and who use one another (knowingly) to hide their situation from their surrounding, also relying on physical intimacy to help deal with the loneliness. A messy situation. This is material that could easily end up imploding if too much or too little pathos is injected. Apparently the source material is well-regarded.

Director Andou Masaomi (Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle, Gakkou Gurashi, and White Album 2) seems like an overall good pick, I liked White Album 2 alright, even if a “sad scene” towards its end made me burst out laughing, but Gakkou Gurashi (School Live!) was one of my favourite series of 2015 and quite well directed. Series Composer Uezu Makoto is more of an issue, while he worked on Humanity has Declined and Katanagatari, most of his work is prone to overwritten gestures, such as KonoSuba, Assassination Classroom, Akame ga Kill!, Danganronpa, and School Days. So, one has to trust the director and original material will have more sway than an uneven Series Composer. Then again,some of those shows Uezu composed were directed by Kishi “Overblown” Seiji, so let’s go with that.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. Drama always is a touchy subject in anime, because melodrama and bad pacing often kill it. But these stories draw me because they’re also the likelier to feel “real”, and the likelier to be great, shows that are based off of novels or actually aimed at adults like me aside. Sometimes I feel too old for these shows, but then I watch one that’s well-made and I’m in. And I’m usually in on the chance.
Airing Date: January 12th. Preview.

Almost In:

Masamune-Kun no Revenge anime / Masamune-Kun's Revenge animeMasamune-Kun no Revenge / Masamune-Kun’s Revenge – The age old story. Boy meets girl. Girl is rich and high class, boy is overweight. Girl calls boy “piggy” and crushes his self-esteem. Years pass, boy is now a good-looking high-school student, he comes across the rich girl, and vows to exact revenge on her with the aid of her maid. And then he realizes he might actually have feelings for girl. Also, because this is an anime, it’s actually a harem. I’m actually a big fan of fluffy and mostly empty RomComs (and didn’t like Nisekoi too much because it was too much of one). This is exactly that sort of series, the opposite of Scum’s Wish that airs on the same day, not in terms of material, but in how it approaches it.

Direction is handled by Minato Mirai, who directed the first season of Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya and helped by Inou Keisuke who only directed a single handful of episodes elsewhere. Series Composition is handled by Shimoyama Kento (Binbougami ga!, Servant x Service, and Shomin Sample), which mostly gets slice of life comedies, but also by Yokote Michiko (Genshiken, Princess Tutu, Prison School, Shirobako, and so many more). The directors might be greenhorns, but the series composers know their job. I’ll likely check this show after it’s done, because while I enjoy this sort of fluffy content, I enjoy it less on a weekly basis.
Interest Rating: 1/3. Aside from shounonsense, this show is my sort of comfort food, but comfort food is to be consumed with care.
Airing Date: January 5th. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

Urara Meirochou animeUrara Meirochou – 4-Koma comedy slice of life, this time about a bunch of girls who gather at a specific place to follow their dreams of becoming fortune tellers. The reason I still want to highlight this show is that it is directed by Suzuki Youhei, who directed Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko and Shimoneta, so he has some skills when it comes to slice of life comedies. He is joined by the prolific Series Composer Mieno Hitomi (Akagami no Shirayuki-Hime, Asura-Crying, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Flying Witch, Noragami, and more). So at least the people in charge seem skilled enough for this sort of low-key series.

Seiren animeSeiren – What if an anime-original series were made to ape Visual Novels, specifically romantic ones? Well, this sort of show. I wasn’t a fan of the last show that felt to be following this route (Seitokai no Ichizon, see my write-up here), as the whole point is that the story doesn’t get to progress, yet you don’t get to simply load back another save. Anyway, Seiren will feature 6 “heroines”, and will follow discrete paths for 3. I am really not sure why this sort of storytelling is a thing here. Kobayashi Tomoki, who directed Akame ga Kill!, Amagami SS’s second season, Hundred, and the older Sola, Tears to Tiara, and Utawarerumono (the first season), so yeah, VN adaptations and recent grimdark action. Series Composition and series creation is handled by Takayama Kisai, who is known as the original character designer of Amagami SS, but who has no prior credits writing for anime. This to me seems like a show that’s likely to implode. This reminds me of Girls Beyond the Wasteland.

Also, makes me think of anime original series no longer need Light Novels to be perfectly Light Novelish, which is funny, since Light Novels of the sort fed off of anime which were based off of LNs, and the cycle continues.

MARGINAL#4 KISS Big Bang – This is not really an anime show, even if it might appear as one. This is promotional material for a boy-band. I just want to highlight it, that there are also such shows aimed at girls, and that the whole boundary between anime kicking off idol bands also goes in the other direction, with idol bands kicking off anime series. But I doubt there’ll be much to watch here. First-time director, you know how it is.

Overall Thursday Thoughts: Thursday used to be the busiest day of the season, with NoitaminA shows and everything else to follow. What do we have on this season’s Thursdays? Romance. Dirty and messy romance, visual novel romance, and comic romance. Romance for everyone! I like romantic stories, and as some idioms go, most stories end up being stories about romance, so I guess it’s just as well. I’m not sold on anything in these days, and even if Scum’s Wish ends great and Masamune-kun’s Revenge ends mediocre, it’s possible I’ll enjoy the latter more. But hey, something for everyone, so long they care for romance, or slice of life comedies, or idols. Just not action, I guess.


Friday:

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu 2nd SeasonShouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu 2nd Season – A year has passed since the 2016 winter season preview, where I discussed the first season of Rakugo Shinju before it aired. Expectations for it were exceedingly high, and the show mostly delivered. The premiere was incredible, and while the material to follow was slightly weaker, and while the characters often felt distanced, like characters in the threatre putting an act on for us, they still felt real enough, and their relationships and tragedy loomed large, larger than life, as we reached the crescendo. But then, there is still life to be lived in the present tense, full of regrets and a past that nobody can change. Rakugo Shinju might not be a masterpiece, but it’s an exceedingly well-made show, full of memorable characters, and moments that can get us lost within the narratives spun about us.

You can read my write-ups on every single episode of the show here. I’ll likely cover this season as well, but as it airs relatively late and episodes are very dense, do allow a day for the posts to go up.
Interest Rating: 2.75/3. While Rakugo Shinju didn’t rock my world, it was an incredibly filling experience, and it was full of moments of craftsmanship gold. I’m glad to see it return.
Airing Date: January 6th.

Almost In:

Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil animeYoujo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil – I have to say, I was starting to get worried. We got this far in the preview without an ostentatiously Light Novel Shounonsense series to cover? What is the world coming to! Well, Tanya to the rescue. Magic, war, and “trapped in a different world” all had a grimdark baby, with a Japanese Salaryman who angers “God”, and is reborn as a small girl in a war-torn empire, who becomes an efficiency-focused military-leading monster. There’s not much to go by, but damn, the preview really leans heavily on the grimdark nature and how monstrous and scary Tanya just is. I’ll admit I actually like a modicum of GrimDark and Super Competent protagonists, but the real reason I want to watch this show (but might hold off till I get some actual testimonials) is for Yuuki Aoi portraying the little madwoman. Gotta love Aoi Yuuki (Madoka, Victorique, and many other main roles).

The show is directed by Uemura Yutaka (Dantalian no Shoka and Punch Line), and the Series Composer is Ihara Kenta (6 episodes of Ajin, 2 episodes of Zankyou no Terror). No real experience to speak of. This is studio NUT’s first produced show as well. I expect things to go awry.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.
 Light Novel, GrimDark, inexperienced staff. On the other hand, GrimDark and Yuuki Aoi. My actual “Expectation Rating” is more like 0.5/3, and I still need to watch Drifters.
Airing Date: January 6th. Preview.

Fuuka AnimeFuuka – The show’s preview (scroll down) should tell you most of what you need to know about the show. A boy, two girls, plenty of panty shots, one girl who confesses to him on live television, another who beats him up when she thinks he’s taking photos of her panties (which the camera keeps showing us) while he’s actually engrossed in updating his Twitter non-stop. Light RomCom series is the vibe. Based on a manga by Seo Kouji, who also wrote Kimi no Iru Machi, and directed by Kusakawa Keizou (Asura Cryin’, Dog Days, Kancolle, Nanoha A’s, and Ro-Lyu-Bu!), so forgettable ecchi-esque show is what’s to be expected. This is the Series Composition debut for Akashiro Aoi, so good luck.
Interest Rating: 1/3.
 Nostalgic comfort food? The sort of show that one watched in the mid-00s. Might not actually be made of calories.
Airing Date: January 6th. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

Schoolgirl Strikers: Animation Channel – This is a show based off of a smartphone game, so hopes aren’t high. An all-girls’ school which trains a secret unit of (scantily clad) girls who fight invisible monsters. Of special note is that two of the main voice actresses are Sawashiro Miyuki and Hanazawa Kana. This is a show by J.C. Staff, directed by Nishikiori Hiroshi, known for Azumangah Daioh, A Certain Magical Index, Trinity Seven, and a bunch of series nobody remembers from past decades. He’s done action before, which wasn’t too well-received, in other words. Series Composer Yoshioka Takao (Elfen Lied, Your Lie in April, DearS, Highschool DxD, Ikkitousen, Senran Kagura, Shinmai Maou no Testament, Working!!!, WataMote, and Zero no Tsukaima) seems to deal mostly with ecchi series, and other series to more mixed results. Animation looks subpar as well (check the preview), so I’d pass, even in this action-light season.

Overall Friday Thoughts: Friday is weekend here. On one hand, this means I can actually consume more series, so if Fuuka and/or Youko Senki end up worth watching, I could make room for them. On the other hand, this is also a great day to work on my backlog, or on my thesis on, so I’m not going to be stricken if those shows end up quite bad. Also, writing about Rakugo Shinju, especially as it airs so late, takes quite a lot out of me. I’m getting old. More to the point, if I had to describe Friday’s anime in a word, it’d be “indulgent”. Indulging in ecchi RomComs of the 00s, grimdark super competent monstrous protagonists, or just diving into the world of theatre. Alternately, letting games get commercials instead of series. It’s one of the few days where there is an actual action show though, so it bears mentioning. Will it be able to fill in the hole left by JoJo? I somehow doubt it.


Saturday:

Demi-chan wa Kataritai animeDemi-chan wa Kataritai /Interviews with Monster Girls – A world where “demi-humans” such as vampires or headless girls live, and have recently begun to get accepted into society at large. A high school teacher who always wondered about them receives four into his care. A slice of life comedy, which apparently actually tackles the issues the premise alludes to, such as segregation, fear of the other, and teenagers trying to find their place in the world. I always hope to find more anime comedies I’d like, and after rewatching Great Teacher Onizuka last year, I’m willing to give this one a try.

Directed by Andou Ryou, who directed the often ridiculous Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There!, but there, he was just being true to the ridiculousness of the show. Series Composer Yoshioka Takao (Elfen Lied, Your Lie in April, DearS, Highschool DxD, Ikkitousen, Senran Kagura, Shinmai Maou no Testament, Working!!!, WataMote, and Zero no Tsukaima) who also works on this season’s Schoolgirl Strikers joins him, but this show seems more his speed.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. Would I have picked this up had this season not been so devoid of shows to watch? Maybe not. But I did watch a bunch of Assassination Classroom as well. In the end these “Feelgood Comedies” of different sides getting to know one another are something I like, when they’re well done.
Airing Date: January 8th. Preview.

Almost In:

Chain Chronicle: Haecceitas no Hikari animeChain Chronicle: Haecceitas no Hikari – Based on a tower-defense game, I’m no longer making this an immediate pass, after Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis in 2013 has been so good. The animation in the preview looks solid, and the story seems to be a by the numbers fantasy, but the reason I’m gonna give it a pass until I hear good buzz is first and foremost, how mundane it sounds, but also the people working on it, especially Director Kudou Masashi, who’s worked before on Re-Kan!, and two of the later seasons of Hayate no Gotoku, none of which were well-received. This series also joins the series of films that get split apart for an additional TV airing, which is not always a sign of good things. Series Composition is handled by Machida Touko, who worked on DRAMAtical Murder, Endride, and Hamatora the Animation recently, all of which were less than stellar, but who also worked on Hitsugi no Chaika, Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha, Lucky Star, and The Idolmaster, so temper your hopes, I guess.
Interest Rating: 1/3.
 I’m actually a fan of bog-standard fantasy shows, but they’re bog standard and I’ve been burnt enough times that I’d rather wait.
Airing Date: January 8th. Preview.

Didn’t Make It In:

BanG Dream! animeBanG Dream! – Idol show. I usually don’t talk much about those, if at all. But this show’s Series Composer is Ayana Yuniko (Denpa Onna, Bakuman, Flip Flappers, Kiniro Mosaic, The Seven Deadly Sins, but also Girls Beyond the Wasteland), who seems to be cranking out well-paced series. Then again, Director Otsuki Atsushi (Kanokon, Ladies versus Butlers!, To Love-Ru 2nd Season, Shirogano no Ishi: Argevollen, and Wagnaria 2nd Season) hasn’t done anything I deem worthy of much mention. So it goes. But if you like idol series, and none of the other this season do it for you (I am sure there were a couple more), then maybe this one would do the trick. A couple of the voice actresses here seem to be singers rather than actresses, while the other three are actual voice actors who also sing.

Oh, just watched the preview, this seems more interested in creating another real world idol phenomenon than being a show. I mean, isn’t it always the case? But they’re getting more brazen about it.

Overall Saturday Thoughts: Commercials, and A-1 making a light-hearted and not “overly stylized” show, well, that’s Saturday. For the past two years or so Saturday had been the most packed day of the season. Not much to watch here, so it goes.


 Overall Season Thoughts:

6 shows on my docket, of which 1.5 are continuing or returning shows, because Little Witch Academia is making the leap from short movies to a broadcast series, so it’s half of a continuing show, maybe? Anyway, this is the smallest number of series I’ve picked up in a season since the first half of 2013. Yes, I hadn’t actually watched anything as it aired for the last two seasons, but I intended to, and it was more series than this. Of note, I actually have 6 series that are categorized as “almost in”, and if I find myself with superfluous time midway into the season, or if I hear especially glowing reviews a couple of weeks in, I might pick them up.

Then again, most of the shows I didn’t pick up fall into either shounonsense (which I prefer to marathon once done), or into slice of life comedy, which others tend to like more than I do, and there’s no reason to pick up a show and hate it for just not being what I enjoy.

What do I think of the season as a whole? Well. On one hand, it’s important to remember that Winter usually gets only three quarter of the number of series that other seasons get, and that often they’re slightly series with less hype. On the other hand, this season is absolutely dismal in terms of the raw number of interesting series. Wow, I don’t remember things being this bad for quite some time. I notice that in most seasons there are genres that are lacking, but this time? Aside from money-grabbing idol series and romantic series of all varieties, no other genre really has much to say for itself, not action (mostly shoddy game “adaptations”), not slice of life comedy (though it still has some numbers), nothing.

Oh, except for one exception. This season actually seems quite heavy on drama. Dramatical shows are always the most interesting to see how they turn out, because while they have the highest ceiling of masterpieces and shows that speak to me, that speak of human experience, they also are the likeliest to devolve into melodramatic shout-fests with cardboard human stand-outs making you wonder how people could get, well, people, so wrong. But there are still more dramatical series this season than in most, so even if I’m not going to watch many shows, that’s quite alright.

Also, another year has passed, and I had to pay for the blog’s upkeep once more. The numbers in the sidebar are up to date, so if you appreciate what I do here, anyone chipping in would be very appreciated. Expect a post sometime next week about the schedule for the next two months or so.

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?

13 comments on “Winter 2017 Anime Season Preview and Expectations

  1. King Marth says:

    Nice, Shouwa Genroku is back. I got into that one late on your recommendation, and it was worth it. Time to see how well the successor can actually carry the story… The first season largely defined itself by its in-depth exploration of past time periods from the artists’ point of view, and the relationship between the two disciples through the many changes in their lives and the world.

    More importantly, I should be able to go through and watch Occultic;Nine in full. I watched the first two episodes as they aired, only got to the third after an extra week’s break, and found myself lost in its timeline due to lack of notes; it makes perfect sense when you keep up, but I realized that I couldn’t risk delays throwing me off.

    I hadn’t heard of it, but Demi-chan should be interesting. I liked the show that Monster Musume sometimes pretended to be in the fleeting moments between fanservice, and this sounds like it’s giving the idea room to breathe.

    Little Witch Academia might be nice, I liked the OVA but the movie wasn’t as good, so I’m concerned the setting itself is too expendable to handle longer examination. Of course, most series have that early installment weirdness where the author is throwing whatever they have at the wall to fill issues until they are secure enough to plan out a long arc, so they should be able to properly develop the world. It was nice to see the LWA cameo in Space Patrol Luluco.

    • Guy says:

      Such long setup/flashback arcs carry a risk. While flashing back I missed Yotaro, but now we are going to miss Sukeroku. Funny how it goes. Reminds me also of Tenjou Tenge, where the flashback arc went on and on, until I realized it’s the real story, and enjoyed it for it. I’m glad you both picked up the show and that you enjoyed it. It definitely was worthwhile.

      There are such shows, where I go, “Hm, watching it weekly isn’t fun. Marathoning it’d be better!” Especially for thrillers. I imagine watching Zankyou no Terror would’ve been much better if marathoned, and that watching the original Durarara!! would’ve been much worse had I watched it weekly.

      Demi-chan certainly seems to be worth it, good thing my nose didn’t mislead me :)

      And likewise about the two LWA OVAs. We’ll have to see. I don’t think it’s the setting that is incapable of handling it, but how they go about it. It seems they are going with the first OVA setup route, from the previews.

  2. re: Kobayashi-san and Demi-chan – both are super-adorable and have their moments of legitimate pathos and empathy as the respective main characters learn more/interact with their new supernatural acquaintances. Demi-chan is very good at avoiding gratuitous fanservice while Kobayashi is open and upfront about it. But while Demi-chan is the better series, I can’t with honest faith expect A-1 to produce a more pleasant-to-watch series than KyoAni. Hopefully both come out great though!

    And Rakugo is something exquisite to look forward to.

    • Guy says:

      Well, KyoAni had produced several less than pleasant or stellar shows recently, so we’ll have to see.

      And yeah, we’ll see how it turns out. The art-style in Kobayashi really didn’t make me think “fanservice” though, heh.

  3. I do wonder how Netflix will treat LWA. Will it not air it weekly and so everyone will just have to get fansubs?

    As for shows I plan to watch…the rest of March Comes Like a Lion, Rakigo, Seiren (its basically a Amagami sequel and I loved that), Konosuba S2 (I liked that more than Re Zero), Fuuka and Scums wish I’ll probably checkout to see how they are animated as I read the mangas, and probably Masamune-kun.

    • Guy says:

      Oh, Netflix has it? Then yeah, their standard operating procedure is to release it all at once, while we have to wait for fansubs. Hopefully LWA is popular enough that we’d get proper fansubs early enough, though with official subs picking up in both volume and quality, fansubbing efforts have been going down.

      I hope you like Seiren, I just know that sort of show isn’t for me, and while Amagami SS is actually on my PTW list, it has more stuff to recommend it than this, where the author is the VN character designer >.>

      About Konosuba and ReZero, I am not sure it has to be a competition, but Konosuba rarely made me laugh and often made me groan. Since it’s a comedy, that was not a good mix.

      Seems like you’re actually watching quite a bit, mostly all my “Second Tier predictions”, I hope it turns out well :)

  4. Artemis says:

    The only show I’m particularly excited for per se is the second season of Rakugo Shinjuu. Other than that, I’ll be checking out ACCA, Scum’s Wish, Onihei, and Little Witch Academia. Aside from the ongoing March, I honestly think that’s it for me this season.

    • Guy says:

      Oh damn, I completely forgot that March was more than a 1-cour show! I’ll try to catch up on that in February, I guess.

      And yeah, you and I are checking mostly the same shows. The list isn’t really long, or debatable, it feels.

      • Artemis says:

        It really isn’t. Quality over quantity and all that, but geez. I feel like we’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel this season.

  5. megaroad1 says:

    At least on previews, this seems to be heading as one of the weakest seasons I can remember. Other than Shouwa and Little Witch Academia, nothing really calls out to me. The flipside is that I can only be positively surprised.

    • Guy says:

      The flipside is you have plenty of time to visit your backlog. And yes, it is. Last year’s winter season was actually plentiful…

      • megaroad1 says:

        So true. I’ve got a couple of DVD boxes that have been sitting there for years (Last Exile for example). Time to hit that.

        • Guy says:

          While I’ve owned Cowboy Bebop legally for like 13-14 years by now and still haven’t watched it, I want to focus on closing all the shows from the past ~3-4 years that I started and hadn’t finished. Leaving things half-done sucks and weighs on the mind, so I want to slowly (no, I want it to be fast, but it won’t happen) put the lid on as many of those as possible.

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