Fall 2011 Anime Pre-Season Outlook

Because of the number of series that would turn out to be a surprise hit, and the number of potential series that end up sucking, this preview is really a little more than a quick and very superficial outlook of the upcoming series. I put this statement up front because people tend to take previews a little too seriously, and more than often the conclusion at the end of the season doesn't match.

Phew, this would be my first "preview" that isn't late.

The order of the series follows Neregate's chart, which is what I use for reference. There are many more charts out there you can use, follow the usual sources. The pics are from MAL cuz I'm a lazy bastard.

Busou Shinki Moon Angel
If I remember correctly, the Busou Shinki figurines and Sky Girls shares the same designer... so... just in case you haven't notice the similarities. Busou Shinki figurines exists for a while now for otaku collections, so it ain't exactly surprising that they make an anime out of it. The interesting part of this is that the girls retains their size and robotic joins, because they exist merely as toys in the story. So it's like Beyblade but the Beyblades are actually moé characters. Man, have you seen the trailer? If they actually made a game out of this, it's gonna be pretty awesome.

But moé or not, I'm not watching an anime based on kids playing with toys.

Hunter x Hunter
Remake. I never found out why it was so popular when it first appeared on TV, because I've never gave it a try. Hunter's designs are closer to pre-2000 anime styles more than most, and that never appealed to me. The chance of me watching this highly depends on how the blogosphere reacts to this remake, but I don't think this is going to win over many people.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
When I was in Japan in june, there was quite a bit of publicity for this series, and most anime-related shops I went to features the manga in a prominent spot. The series relies on the overused concept of trying to fit into the lonely otaku stereotype, but based on the buzz it created in Japan I guess it actually worked.

But when I took a shot at the manga, it was as disappointing as hell. There doesn't seem to be any story, it wasn't exactly slice-of-life, it wasn't exciting, it wasn't funny, it wasn't anything. I have no idea what it's trying to sell here. Oh wait, it actually ends up in a harem.

The Karuta card game had been featured fairly often in anime series, and most recently in the first episode of Carnival Phantasm, so at least we're not looking at a Yu-gi-oh. Based on the premises I guess it's going to turn out to be something like Hikaru no Go or better yet, Shion on Ou.... ok, I've never watched either, since animes based on a single sport or game never interests me. Still, I'll like to see how the shoujo (josei?) genre can help inject some nice drama into the series, and that might give me a good reason to appreciate the anime.

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE
So I heard it's a attempt to make Gundam more friendly to kids or something, and for that reason we're looking at what seems to be a ten-years-old protagonist. Well, the real turn off is that the trailer suggests that the new series is full of the standard Gundam stuff; people using mobile suits for selfish purposes, Micheal Bay level of explosions, killing random civilions, teenage angst... etc. Gundam 00 did not live up to my expectations. I don't expect this to.

Hidamari Sketch x SP
HidaSketch is one my favourite series of all time, so I don't need any research to know that I'm going to enjoy this anyway. I just hope that the two new characters would have a stronger role this season, after their lackluster impression in Hoshimittsu. I'd also have to try my best not to relate Yuno to Madoka...

Working!! (the first season) is my second favourite series that season. So much that I've ended up buying the manga (which I rarely do) and eagerly waiting for more. Not to mention the cast voiced by an exceptional group of seiyuus, and Inami is voiced by HATSUNE FUCKING MIKU herself (ok, not exactly, but kind of...). And it seems like one of Kyouko's henchmen would be making an appearance, judging from the promo pic. Damn, I'm still sore about Tomatsu Haruka's character being a joke.

Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing
You probably already know that Last Exile is regarded as one of the best series of all time. Not a personal best, mind you, but one that actually ranks amongst Cowboy Bebop and NGE back then. Gonzo is now a fraction of what it used to be, due to poor direction and perhaps, I think, trying t hard to make every series like Last Exile. Their previous attempt at mimicking the series is Shangri-la, which failed horribly. In any case, a new Last Exile still got me excited and despite not having a lot of confidence in the studio's capabilities, if this season can achieve half of what the last season did, Gonzo might finally start to grow back to what they used to be. Thank god the story does not carry on from the previous season, which would have destroyed the franchise, but I don't mind seeing a cameo from Lavie or Claus though. Toyosaki Aki's also taking the lead role Fam, and if she could make Nakocchi work, Fam won't be a problem.

There's barely anything on the internet, and all I know is that it's a detective story animated by BONES aired on the noitaminA timeslot, and the promo pic looks as nondescript as hell. Likely be good. But oh I dunno.

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon
Quote Scamp:
Wor­ried, I checked the staff list and found the series was being directed by the people behind Dragonaut, Saki and Strike Witches. The cast of prats who produced Gonzo’s dying breaths! Argh nooooo, fuck these guys and their phobia of animating noses!
Furthermore, the trailer is full of loli, giantic boobed teenagers, combat suits with extremely elaborate designs, and there's an instance of accident hands-on-boobs. Based on my experience, it's difficult for series like this to not suck.

Kimi to Boku
I'm sorry, in my definition of anime, bishoujos are part of the package.

I'm no Type-Moon-tard, but I mostly enjoyed the works I've seen. I've not played the Fate/Stay Night game myself, but I do know that the anime follows just one of the three paths available in the story (with a little mix from the other two), while the movie Unlimited Blade Works faithfully follows one of the other paths. The problem with UBW is that it is totally catered to people who have played the game; the story is little more than the sum of the many climaxes in that particular path, and is extremely hard to get into if you're not familiar with it. It's next to impossible for you to "get it" if you had no knowledge of the game's story. Now Fate/Zero does not follow the game's third path aka Heaven's Feel, but is a prequel about the previous Holy Grail War which had a lot of impact on the story in Fate/Stay Night, much like that of Ga-rei Zero. Though, I fear that it might end up like UBW with very little to help you get into the storyline unless you're very familiar with it.

Guilty Crown
Read this. I dunno about you, but I'm convinced already. I dunno shit about the show except that it's aired on noitaminA timeslot, but the trailer does feel very Code Geass.

Persona 4
Didn't know, and probably didn't care. You don't need to know any of the previous works to get into the series, but despite being the 4th... something of the franchise, I haven't seen or heard anything about the series or game that remotely interests me. A quick look at the trailer tells me I'll probably not like the character designs, so that's that.

Tamayura ~Hitotose~
Junichi Sato is the director, series composition and storyboarder for this, as well as for one of my all-time favourite Aria... which you've probably realised from the design of this blog. It seems like he's the original creator for this series too, according to ANN. Having a true slice-of-life series that revolves around capturing the best moments of life through the viewfinder sounds really promising BUT... unlike most opinions out on MAL, I've found the 4-episode OVA terribly boring. Unlike Aria, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Croiseé or even Hidamari Sketch, I find that Tamayura lacks one of the most important element that made these series interesting; the atmosphere. The crappy animation in the OVA also made a pretty bad impression. I'm very likely to give this a try, but I'm having pretty low expectations.

The manga has been pretty popular for a while now, and I've seen it sell pretty well in Japan when I was there a couple of months back so the anime adaptation was bound to happen sooner or later. I found it difficult to get into the manga because the protagonist is your run-of-the-mill perverted dumbass fag, there was nothing original with the combat element and overall the whole thing itself has little to go for other than the blatant fanservice. It wasn't until the shounen aspect of the manga starts to kick in that I've began to take interest in it, but I guess that it would most likely end up like Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou. I'm curious to find out who would be casting the main three girls, but it's unlikely that they alone can sell the show. Right now I think I'll just stick to the manga.

Mashiro-iro Symphony
I hate Akane-iro no Somaru Saka with a passion, so don't expect me think this would be any good. I had plans to make a video primarily on how much Akane-iro sucks, and now it seems that I have a good reason to complete the project. I admit the girls look pretty cute...

Shinryaku!? Ika Musume
...is it a taboo to name it Ika Musume 2 or something? Why has it become a tradition to simply add an exclamation or question mark to denote the second season?

Anyway, despite completing the first season, I found it quite a bore. Although it had led me into the manga, which had much better comedic timing, it's still far from being something excellent. I'll check out the first couple of episode to see if there's any significant improvements, but I'm not likely to keep it on my watch list.

I hate huge-breast meganekkos. And, wtf?

Shakugan no Shana III
Despite what I've written for the previous seasons... I actually have no idea what's the appeal in SnS. Except for the loli aspect... or maybe, it's really all about the loli aspect. I dunno. I'm watching this because why the hell not, I've already been through two season, might as well finish it up.

Zero no Tsukaima Kessakusen
See above.
Season 1 was pretty good, though.

Mirai Nikki
I've actually wanted to blog about the manga series way before the anime season was announced, because the story blew me away. Well, just the final arc of the story, actually. The series is chock-full of character archetypes that I hate, and the "game" that was played throughout the story is over-the-top and pointlessly horrifying. If it wasn't for someone who suggested that I should give the last part of the manga a chance, I wouldn't have liked the series at all. I'm having mixed feelings about this. Should I just sit through most of the story that I'm sure I won't like, just to enjoy the brilliant ending? I'll have to think about that...

And I thought only J.C Staff would produce things like this. Well, the "high-school protagonist meets unique girl" is practically a trope now, and recently animes based on this trope had been more disappointing than the last. On the other hand, this form of setup had been used so many times due to its effectiveness, and when so many talented people wants to have their own take on this setup, it's nice to see when one of them actually shines above the rest. C³ might be the one, after all, J.C Staff isn't the one who pick it up. I'm interested to see what's the real concept behind this one, beyond the guy-meets-girl part. I'm not ready more any more disappointment, but we'll see.

Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!!
See Mashiro-iro, minus the cute part.

Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle
It'll take a lot more than puzzles solving to get me interested. But when you can put a superhero show and blatant advertising together in a series that managed to do so well, I guess Sunrise would be the studio that would have what it takes to work out an unlikely concept. We'll see.