Random Curiosity

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Winter 2008 Preview!

Another year has come and gone, which means that it’s time for a new season to begin! Unlike Fall, which had a ton of shows, this upcoming Winter season is relatively light on new titles, though hopefully not on quality titles. As usual, I’ll watch the first episode of most shows within certain parameters (in other words, not the kiddie shows), and what I list here are the chances of me actually blogging something based on my initial impressions from promotional material. However, even if I list the chances for a show as good or guaranteed, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll stick with it for more than a few episodes.

By no means does this list reflect every single anime series that is going to be aired, though I did try to be as comprehensive as I could. Check out MOON PHASE for an entire listing, syoboi’s calendar for specific air-times, and Fansub Wiki’s Winter 2008 page for who’s tentatively subbing what.

Technical Note: All times are given in a 24-hour, relative-day format where times are extended to show which day they belong to. For instance, Friday morning at 1:30AM would become Thursday at 25:30 to show that the episode aired late Thursday night.

wellber Sisters of Wellber Zwei
http://avexmovie.jp/lineup/wellber/index.html
Premieres January 1st, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 26:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Tuesdays at 13:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
After a half-year break, Sisters of Wellber has returned with a new season. Since the first one wrapped up without much about the guy who killed Rita’s parents, that’s apparently what the new one will focus on. The entire cast and crew is back, so if you enjoyed the first series, you’ll probably enjoy this one too. However, I never personally got a chance to watch the entire first series (saw the first episode and then heard some mixed reviews about the rest of it), so odds are low that I’ll watch the second one.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
rosario Rosario to Vampire
http://www.rosa-vam.com/
Premieres January 3rd, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 23:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Thursdays at 10:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
As the name suggests, this series has vampires (and a rosario!). The hapless main character is a human who accidentally starts attending a school for monsters, and he quickly makes friends with a beautiful girl who turns out to be a vampire. Add some more monster girls, a lot of fanservice and fighting, and you get Rosario to Vampire. Having read a good deal of the manga, the main problem I have with it is that the beginning is very formulaic monster-of-the-week (new monster, main character finds himself in trouble, girl saves the day with her vampire form), and it takes a fairly long while for all the characters to get introduced and the plot to really get going. The anime adaptation, which is being produced by GONZO, runs the same risk, and to complicate things, even if I really wanted to watch this, it’s airing on Thursdays, and I’m very happy with the current Clannad & Shana II lineup.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
h2o H2O ~FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND~
http://anime.webnt.jp/h2o/
Premieres January 3rd, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Thursdays at 12:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
“H2O Rocks Your Soul!” As I mentioned in my earlier post, if I could give out an award for the most unintentionally funny promotion video ever, this series would get it. I was laughing for a good five straight minutes when the narrator suddenly started spouting random phrases designed to make the series sound exciting. I don’t know why they decided to have the trailer in English, but it certainly made my day. As for the series itself, H2O is about a (blind) boy who loses his mother and ends up moving to her hometown to recuperate. PV aside, I think the show has a lot of potential, and if I weren’t already watching Clannad and Shana II on Thursdays, I’d make room for this. As it stands though, I probably won’t have time to follow this.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
hatenkou Hatenkou Yuugi
http://hatenkouyugi.com/
Premieres January 4th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Fridays at 26:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Fridays at 13:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Hatenkou Yuugi (known by the name Dazzle in English for those of you who might be following the Tokyopop releases) takes place in a world with magic. The series is about a powerful girl who one day gets kicked out by her father because he wants her to go on an adventure and see the world. She ends up meeting and partnering up with a strong guy who’s looking for his father’s murderer, and the story is about their journeys together. I could never really get into the manga, but maybe the anime version will fare better for me – the commercial looked decent at least, and Studio DEEN is animating this.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
major MAJOR 4th season
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/anime/major/
Premieres January 5th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 18:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Saturdays at 04:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Since I’m not familiar with the series, here’s what (die-hard fan) Patrik had to say:
“Picking up where last winter’s 3rd season left off, our pitching protagonist Gorou is now all grown up and decides to move to America to break into Major League Baseball. The manga’s already up to 65 volumes, of which I’ve read 59, and let me just say one word for season four: romance! That’s right, actual romance in a show that I’ve most likened to “Bleach with Baseballs”. There’s also a bunch of epic battles and a national team competition coming up. If you haven’t started watching yet, best start now so you can be caught up when the best sports anime/manga resumes its story in 2008. Still, it’s a sports anime and it’s already had a bunch of seasons, so no one will be blogging it. “
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
persona PERSONA – trinity soul -
http://www.persona-ts.net/
Premieres January 5th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 22:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Saturdays at 08:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
The story of the Persona 3 game involved the investigation of the mysterious Apathy Syndrome and the creatures called Shadows that you had to fight with the help of the Persona that you summoned by shooting yourself in the head with a special gun. The Persona anime takes place ten years after the game when it seems that the Apathy Syndrome is back, and it’s up to three brothers to get to the bottom of it. From the trailer and the information released so far (which talks about corpses being turned inside out), it appears to be a dark series, but the animation quality looks fairly good, and it’ll be on MBS (meaning that there’s a good chance it’ll air in pretty high quality). Plus music is being composed by Iwasaki Taku, and I thought his Gurren Lagann soundtrack was one of the best of last year.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
zetsubou2 Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/zetsubou2/
Special Program January 4th, 2008
Premieres January 5th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Saturdays at 10:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is about a teacher who tends to have a very negative outlook and his class of very unique students (except for Nami – she’s normal). SZS was the favorite comedy series for a lot of people in 2007, and the second season promises to have more of the same kind of humor. I liked the first series, but it wasn’t quite as off-the-wall funny as some of my friends made it out to be (more of a clever funny). Anyway, mewmew had originally wanted to blog this, and hopefully he’ll be back from the holidays in time to do so.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
true tears true tears
http://www.truetears.jp/
Special Program January 4th, 2008
Premieres January 5th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Saturdays at 11:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
true tears is a visual novel game released in 2006, but apparently that doesn’t matter much because the anime adaptation is an original story with original characters. It’s about a high school boy who wants to become a picture book author and meets a girl who can’t cry because of some childhood trauma. I find it hard to get excited about a series with a premise like that, and there’s no particularly big names on the cast or crew either except for maybe director Nishimura Junji (he also did Simoun) or eufonius singing the OP. The promo videos don’t look too bad though and probably warrant watching at least the first episode.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
shigofumi Shigofumi
http://www.shigofumi.com/
Premieres January 5th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:35
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Saturdays at 11:35
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
true tears might not have an interesting premise, but Shigofumi certainly does. Shigofumi are letters sent to loved ones after a person dies, delivered by a girl and her talking staff (which was apparently changed from being male to being female for the anime). My first reaction was that this was like the Shinigami no Ballad show from almost two years ago because of the similarities with a white-haired girl dealing with issues surrounded death. I wasn’t a big fan of Shinigami no Ballad though because of its episodic nature, and the light novels on which Shigofumi is based are unfortunately episodic too. However, J.C.Staff appears to be using an anime original story to start, so who knows how the show will proceed.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
kimiaru Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de
http://kimiaru.jp/
Premieres January 5th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Saturdays at 12:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
If I haven’t been talking much about voice actors or actresses so far, it might be because a lot of the voice talent is going towards this show. With the likes of Gotou Yuuko, Itou Shizuka, Seki Tomokazu, and Tanaka Rie, Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de (KimiAru for short) is about a boy who runs away with his sister because of their father’s abuse, but the two have a hard time finding work when they’re out on their own. After a chance meeting with one of the three sisters of a rich family, the siblings get jobs as servants. It’s noteworthy that the story-writer of the original game that this is based on is also working on the series composition for the anime version, unlike a previous game he worked on that also got turned into an anime (Tsuyokiss) with less than stellar results. Anyway, the commercial for this didn’t exactly stand out, but I’ll give this the benefit of the doubt because of the strong cast.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
porfy Porfy no Nagai Tabi
http://www.nippon-animation.co.jp/porfy/
Premieres January 6th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 19:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Sundays at 5:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Replacing Les Misérables: Shoujo Cosette in the World Masterpiece Theater timeslot is The Long Journey of Porfy. For all five of you who care, this takes place in Europe in the 1950s, starting with an earthquake that ravages a poor Greek town and separates a brother and sister. The title character subsequently goes on a journey to look for his sister whose dream it had been to become a singer. The story will probably appeal to some people, especially if you appreciate the series Nippon Animation works on, but it’s definitely not my kind of show.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
minami ke2 Minami-ke ~Okawari~
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/minami-ke/2/
Premieres January 6th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 25:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Sundays at 11:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
As I noted back in the Fall 2007 Preview, Minami-ke – a humorous look into the lives of three sisters – is taking the unusual route of having two halves, each with completely different staff, but with the same voice talent. The new director is Hosoda Naoto, and with him are several members of his SHUFFLE! team. It’s an interesting idea to say the least, and since Minami-ke is already a funny show, I’m curious to see what kind of changes a different staff will bring. According to advance Newtype and TV Tokyo spoilers, the first episode will involve a trip to a hot spring.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
aria3 ARIA The ORIGINATION
http://www.ariacompany.net/
Premieres January 7th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 26:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Mondays at 12:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
The popular series ARIA, which is the slice-of-life story of the female gondoliers of the canal-filled Neo-Venezia, is also back with its third full series. As the name ORIGINATION suggests, the theme of this season is going to be “beginnings,” though with the manga ending soon, this could very well be the final one. If Jaalin were around, he’d want to blog this, but I may end up doing it in his absence unless Gunslinger Girl’s second series ends up being really good.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
gunslinger2 GUNSLINGER GIRL -IL TEATRINO-
http://www.gunslingergirl.com/
Premieres January 7th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 27:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Mondays at 13:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
And speaking of which, after a four-year period, Gunslinger Girl is getting another anime series too. For those who might not be familiar with it, Gunslinger Girl is about a group of cybernetically enhanced girl assassins who work for an Italian counter-terrorism agency. Now, it’s easy to dismiss this as another girls-with-guns show, however there are actually a lot of interesting themes explored here, including brainwashing and the relationships between assassins and their handlers – it can be a pretty dark series at times. In any case, the first anime more or less covered the first two volumes of the manga, and the sequel looks to pick up right where that left off. It should be noted though, that pretty much the entire cast and crew have been changed (Artland will be animating it instead of Madhouse), so the sequel will likely have a different feel to it.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
spicy wolf Ookami to Koushinryou
http://www.spicy-wolf.com/
Premieres January 8th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Tuesdays at 11:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
First things first, I can’t help but be amused whenever I look at the URL of the official website. The series’ Japanese name translates to “Wolf and Spices,” but seeing spicy wolf just makes me laugh. Anyway, the show is about a traveling merchant who one day finds a wolf harvest goddess stowing away in his wagon. The two start traveling together, and she ends up helping him with his work. I haven’t read the light novels (here’s a review of someone who has), but supposedly they focus a lot on Middle Ages economics and trade, which sounds unique, however I don’t know how interesting that’ll turn out to be. The biggest draw to this show for me is actually the combination of Fukuyama Jun (Lelouch) and Koshimizu Ami (Kallen) voicing the two main characters. Plus, aside from Sisters of Wellber Zwei, Ookami to Koshinryou is the only other show airing on Tuesdays this upcoming season, so there’s a pretty good chance I’ll watch it. Oh, and ROCKY CHACK is performing the ED, and since I haven’t heard them since ZEGAPAIN, I’ll be looking forward to that too.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Guaranteed
noramimi Noramimi
http://noramimi-anime.jp/
Premieres January 9th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:45
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Wednesdays at 11:45
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
In the world of Noramimi, children can have special “characters” who keep the children company through their elementary school years. These characters look like human-sized hamsters, caterpillars, or lions. The title character Noramimi is not wanted by anyone, so he ends up having to stay at an agency that matches characters with kids. I suspect this show probably won’t be very popular, but it’s got a very cute and fun story (heartwarming even), so it might be worth a look.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
kitarou Hakaba Kitarou
http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/hakaba/
Premieres January 10th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:45
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Thursdays at 10:45
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Replacing Moyashimon in Fuji TV’s Noitamina block is another adaptation of the popular Hakaba Kitarou manga about a youkai boy born in a cemetery who gets caught up between humans and other youkai. The animated versions of it thus far (including the most recent one in 2007) have gone by the GeGeGe no Kitarou name, but this new one will use the original title and be supposedly closer to the original work. The interesting thing is that the 2007 version hasn’t ended yet, so there’ll be technically two adaptations of the story airing at once. Nakagawa Shouko fans should also pay attention to the fact that she’ll be voicing a character and singing the ED. Regardless though, I don’t have space in my schedule for another Thursday show, so I doubt I’ll be watching this.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
moegaku Moegaku★5
http://tv.moegaku.jp/
Premieres January 14th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 17:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Mondays at 3:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, syoboi
Moegaku is a new series based on a 2005 PC title that was designed to teach English using moe characters. In the animated version, which will air five days a week, they’ve expanded that to include Korean (on Tuesdays), Spanish (Wednesdays), Chinese (Thursdays), and French (Fridays) as well as English (Mondays). The extra gimmick here is that each 15-minute episode is half animated and half live-action, and the life-action halves will feature Hirano Aya (she also voices a character in the animated half, though not the main character). Sad to say, all that makes me really curious, so I might watch an episode or two of this just for shits and giggles.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
yatterman Yatterman
http://www.ytv.co.jp/yatterman/
Premieres January 14th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 19:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Mondays at 5:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Yatterman is a remake of an old series from the late ’70s a boyfriend/girlfriend duo who are both mechanically talented and work to battle against a group of villains who were after a mysterious stone that could show the location of the largest gold vein in the world. In the new version, the villains are after five rings that grant wishes, and it’s up to the heroes to stop them. It doesn’t sound all that appealing, and the trailers for the new series don’t look particularly special either, so I’ll likely skip this.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
mnemosyne Mnemosyne – Mnemosyne no Musume-tachi -
http://www.rin-asougi.com/
Premieres February 3rd, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 24:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Sundays at 10:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Coming in February is a set of six-episode series, with each episode being an hour long, about a woman who finds a young man with memory problems and tries to help him get them back. She eventually finds a connection to a pharmaceutical laboratory and ends up being hunted by an assassin in what promises to be a dark and mature (nudity and violence) sci-fi series. Noto Mamiko, Tanaka Rie, and Kugimiya Rie are all in this, and it looks like XEBEC did a fairly good job on the animation quality, but I’m not exactly sold on the story yet. Hopefully when February comes I’ll have time to check this out.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent

The list above has the 19 major series premiering in January, plus Mnemosyne in February, and doesn’t include the kiddie shows (like Zenryouku Usagi or the newest Pretty Cure). You may notice that I’ve only got one series marked “Guaranteed” this time around when normally I have at least a few. I think that’s a sign that there’s not a ton of upcoming stuff that interests me greatly at first glance, though of course most of these shows have the potential to be good. Whether they are or not we’ll have to wait and see.

Like last season, I’ve uploaded a torrent with the promotional videos and commercials of many of the shows I’ve just talked about. Included in the pack – 19 files total – are: ARIA The ORIGINATION (CM), H2O ~FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND~ (PV), Hatenkou Yuugi (CM), Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de (CM), Mnemosyne (PV), Ookami to Koushinryou (CMx2), PERSONA – trinity soul (CM, PV), Rosario to Vampire (CM, PV), Shigofumi (CMx2), true tears (PVx2), Yatterman (CMx2), and Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (CMx2).
Note: CM = Commercial, PV = Promo Video.

Torrent Link

As always, comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome.

December 30, 2007 at 4:57 am
111 comments »
  • January 1, 2008 at 9:11 pmET3RNAL

    Looking forward to watch:
    Rosario + Vampire ~ Special A ~ Amatsuki ~ Code Geass ~ To-LOVE-Ru ~ Soul Eater ~ and Bio Hazard ^^

  • January 2, 2008 at 5:52 amKazuhide Aeiji

    Even though I’ve already played Persona 3, I’m not too sure I’m even going to bother watching the spin-off show. Maybe the first episode, but I don’t have too high hopes for it considering that I don’t know what can beat the awesomeness that is the game itself. So I guess it’s just Gundam 00 and (waiting for) Tsubasa: Tokyo Revelations for me.

  • January 2, 2008 at 2:51 pmJT

    any1 know anything about the new mai otome series?

  • January 2, 2008 at 3:09 pmamerico

    gundam 00 es la mejor serie del genero “mecha” tiene una esquisita historia, para mi obra maestra al igual que la saga GUNDAM SEED Y G. SEDD DESTINY

  • January 2, 2008 at 4:03 pmTetsu

    lets me say few thing about Major the anime.
    there isn’t few sport anime I like, but Major is different, I love it.
    it has slice of life in the first season. and although it’s anime.
    there is things cant happen in real life.
    in a way baseball is important sport in Japan.
    if you dig in the history, touch is also anime about baseball, still it is good (though I haven’t saw all epsiode)
    but anime Major is 1 of my list to watch, I have waited for a long time to it release, january 5th is on my agenda!!!

  • January 2, 2008 at 10:22 pmlinkdarkshadow

    Rosario + Vampire FTW!
    Though it does start slow in the manga, later on it gets rather interesting.

  • January 3, 2008 at 4:56 amNiki

    I prefer the Horo of manga, is more hot and moe. :D

  • January 4, 2008 at 11:19 pmJenn-Jen

    Gunslinger Girl!!! It’s here!! The awaited 2nd season!!! *goes and adds more anime to her mental list*

  • January 5, 2008 at 1:59 pmAnonymous

    if you have not completely read through part 1 (vol 1 – vol 10) of rosario + vampire, then you phail for rating it a poor.

  • January 6, 2008 at 8:03 amDantekottai

    Shigofumi ~Stories of Last Letter~

    Director: Tatsuo Sato (Martian Successor Nadesico, Stellvia)
    Series Composition,Script: Ichiro Okouchi (Code Geass, Planetes, Azumanga Daioh, King Gainer)
    Original Character Design: Kouhaku Kuroboshi (Kino’s Journey, Allison to Lillia)
    Assistant director: Katsushi Sakurabi (Tsukihime, Yomigaeru Sora – RESCUE WINGS -, Asatte no Houko)

    This is a original animation. Light Novel’s one is a link of media franchise.

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