Random Curiosity

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Winter 2009 Preview!

Sorry this took so long to get written up – leaving for a week set me back a week in terms of working on this. Regardless, the new year is upon us and with it is another new season of anime. Since this isn’t a spring or fall season, there are relatively fewer new offerings, but that still leaves around 24 major titles, not including the kiddie shows and some long-running shows. As usual, I’ll try to 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 2009 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.

shikabane hime kuro Shikabane Hime Kuro
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/shikabanehime2/
Premiere on January 1st, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 10:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Wednesdays at 20:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Shikabane Hime Kuro is the continuation of Shikabane Hime Aka, and they appear to have changed the name of the series solely to mark the next chapter of the story. Kuro picks up where Aka left off, with main character Makina now contracted to young Ouri – saying anything more probably spoils the end of Aka for those who haven’t seen it yet. I’ve heard some good things about the first series, but given that I haven’t had the time to watch it (the previous sentence was provided by Divine who did watch it) and given how I probably won’t have time with the new season, I’m going to have to pass on this. The staff and cast appears not to have changed though, however there’s no word yet if FUNimation is going to be streaming Kuro like they did for Aka.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Shikabane Hime Kuro Preview ▼

maria sama ga miteru Maria-sama ga Miteru 4th Season
http://www.gokigenyou.com/
Premiere on January 3rd, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 10:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Fridays at 20:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
The girls of Lillian Girls’ Academy are back for a fourth season, and the new story appears to be giving more focus to first year girls Touko and Kanako along with the series regulars Yumi and Sachiko. If none of those names are familiar to you, just know that this is the continuation of a series with a lot of yuri overtones about the relationships at a prestigious all-girls school. I’ve read some of the manga and watched a couple episodes of the first tv series a long time ago, but my interest in the general story is pretty low these days, so I doubt I’ll be watching this.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Maria-sama ga Miteru Promo Video ▼

akikan Akikan!
http://www.melomelomelon.com/
Premiere on January 3rd, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Saturdays at 10:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Akikan is about a boy – played by Fukuyama Jun in his lecherous boy voice – who drinks from a can of soda, and that can turns into a girl who has special powers, has to be refilled (drinking from her is apparently like sex), and she can’t be allowed to lose her carbonation. It’s a completely ridiculous setup, so much so that I was laughing from the utter stupidity of it as I watched the first episode. That first episode was streamed online prior to the TV broadcast and has already been subbed, so you can go make your own decisions about it, but it presented me with very little that made me want to watch more. I’d probably be better off just reading the light novels that it’s based on.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Akikan! Promo Videos ▼

white album WHITE ALBUM
http://www.whitealbum-tv.com/
Premiere on January 3rd, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Saturdays at 12:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
WHITE ALBUM is a love triangle story between two female idols and a regular college guy. The guy and one of the girls have been dating since high school, but they start to grow apart, and things happen between him and the other girl. Given that those two female leads are both singers, it makes sense that Hirano Aya and Mizuki Nana have been tapped for the roles, and there’ll probably be a decent amount of music coming from the series. Whether it’s good or not remains to be seen – I’ll say right now that I haven’t been a big fan of Hirano Aya’s music. In any case, I’m a sucker for these kind of love triangle stories, so I’ll probably be watching this.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
maria holic Maria†Holic
http://www.mariaholic.com/
Premiere on January 4th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 24:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Sundays at 10:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Like Maria-sama ga Miteru, Maria Holic is takes place at an all girls school. Unlike Maria-sama ga Miteru though, this is a comedy series being animated by SHAFT and Shinbou Akiyuki, and it features, to use a popular term, a trap. I won’t spoil the surprise if you haven’t already read the manga or seen the first episode that was streamed online a few days ago, but I will say that I enjoyed that premiere and think that this could turn out to be very amusing. The downside is that it airs regularly on Sundays, and my current Sundays are booked for Gundam 00 + other stuff.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Maria†Holic Promo Videos ▼

minami ke okaeri Minami-ke Okaeri
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/minami-ke/3/
Premiere on January 4th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 25:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Sundays at 11:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
After almost a year off, the Minami sisters are back for a third comedy series. This one is still being animated by the same studio (asread) that did the second season, but the director and the person in charge of series composition have changed again, so there’s no telling if this will be more like the first series or the second series or neither. The promo videos were amusing enough, which is a good sign, and I had a good laugh at Kana pretending to be Barack Obama (see video below). Don’t worry though at the indication below that I won’t be blogging this – Trillian is a big fan of the series and probably will be.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Minami-ke Okaeri Promo Videos ▼

zoku natsume yuujin chou Zoku Natsume Yuujin-Chou
http://www.natsume-anime.jp/
Premiere on January 5th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 25:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Mondays at 11:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
The second season of this series continues the story of a boy who can see spirits and – with the help of a feline spirit – deals with the various other spirits in his grandmother’s Book of Friends. This is a title that put me to sleep in the past, but Trillian loves it and swears by its thought-provoking and tear-inducing story, and the commercial below seemed interesting enough, so maybe I should give it a second chance.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Zoku Natsume Yuujin-Chou Commercial ▼

sora wo kakeru shoujo Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo
http://www.sorakake.net/
Premiere on January 5th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 25:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Mondays at 11:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Among the sea of adaptations and sequels, the Sunrise team behind Mai-HiME and Otome is introducing a new title that (to I’m sure no one’s surprise) involves a bunch of girls and mechas. The story takes place in a future with space colonization, and it revolves around a girl who encounters a space colony with a unique artificial intelligence. Now generally I like Sunrise series because they tend to have original stories that are backed up with some pretty good production quality. In this case however, I have a hard time getting really excited about the series (and no, ALI PROJECT doing the OP has nothing to do with it, though maybe the fact that Gundam 00 is still airing does), so I’m taking a more wait-and-see attitude.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo Commercials ▼

vipers creed VIPER’S CREED
http://viperscreed.jp/
Premiere on January 6th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 22:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Tuesdays at 8:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
VIPER’S CREED takes place in an troubled 21st century with a polluted environment, economic collapse, terrorism, and a great war, and the story is about the members of a private military company who guard a key city. The CG action style reminds me a bit of BLASSREITER, but this is being animated by AIC Spirits and Digital Frontier instead of Gonzo, and the big draw should be that it’s being directed by APPLESEED director Aramaki Shinji. That’s what they keep advertising anyway, though it’s not enough to get me interested in the series.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show VIPERS CREED Promo Videos ▼

hajime no ippo Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger
http://www.ntv.co.jp/ippo/
Premiere on January 6th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:29
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Tuesdays at 11:29
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
One of the longest running manga series is finally back with a new anime adaptation. It’s still being animated by Madhouse and has some of the same staff (Sugiura Kouji, Fudeyasu Kazuyuki) as the original series, but now has a different director Shishido Jun. For those unfamiliar, Hajime no Ippo follows the rise of a great boxer and the other boxers around him. I haven’t seen the first anime, but I have read a good bit of the manga, and as with a lot of good sports series, it can get quite engaging at times, so I’m curious to see if the new anime will be as good.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger Commercial ▼

asu no yoichi Asu no Yoichi!
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/yoichi/
Premiere on January 8th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:29
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Thursdays at 11:29
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
The premise of Asu no Yoichi is pretty simple: after being raised in the mountains by his father as a swordsman, a boy is sent into a modern city to live with a family of girls and attend high school. Hilarity and fanservice ensues with some martial arts and swordplay mixed in. I thought the manga was a cute and amusing read, but the story isn’t all that deep, and I’m not sure if the anime adaptation will turn out to be anything more than a lot of fanservice. The promotional material make it look like it’ll be a nicely animated series (done by AIC), but be forewarned that this is going to be inheriting Yozakura Quartet‘s timeslot, which means a 4:3 aspect ratio.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Asu no Yoichi Promo Videos ▼

tower of druaga sword of uruk The Tower of Druaga ~the Sword of Uruk~
http://www.druaga-anime.com/
Premiere on January 8th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Thursdays at 11:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
For those of you who didn’t watch watch the first Druaga anime series, it was about a group of adventurers who climbed to the top of a tower so that they could get a great treasure. The story for this second season picks up half a year after the events of the first, and main character Jil remains somewhat shocked over a certain betrayal until he meets a young girl and decides to make the climb again. The first series was pretty average overall, but I got invested in the characters, and the series had an incredibly frustrating cliffhanger that practically forces me to watch the sequel (meaning it did its job). Here’s to hoping the Gonzo team doesn’t screw it up.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show The Tower of Druaga ~the Sword of Uruk~ Promo Video ▼

kurokami Kurokami The Animation
http://www.kurokami-anime.net/
Premiere on January 8th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:40
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Thursdays at 12:40
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Kurokami is an action title that follows a boy who by chance meets and becomes contracted to a powerful girl. The main twist on the story comes up when characters meet their doppeliners (similar to doppelgangers) and one of them subsequently dies. Sunrise is adapting the manga – which is incidentally written by a pair of Korean authors – into an anime, and the first episode got an online screening in advance of the TV premiere. Having watched it, I’d say the series has potential (especially given how they showed a certain semi-graphic car accident scene), though with all the new and currently airing Thursday shows, it might get lost in the mix.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Kurokami The Animation Promo Videos ▼

tetsuwan birdy decode 02 Tetsuwan Birdy DECODE:02
http://www.birdy-tv.com/
Premiere on January 9th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Fridays at 26:10
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Fridays at 12:10
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Having finished its first season a few months ago, the Tetsuwan Birdy DECODE story continues here with the two main characters again sharing one body. This time, Birdy goes after some escaped prisoners who may be connected to what happened in the first season, and the story looks to examine her past more. Some of you may remember that I started blogging the first season but had to drop it, and although I did eventually finish watching the series, I didn’t enjoy it enough (partially because of my dislike for the male lead Tsutomu) to want to see a second season.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Tetsuwan Birdy DECODE:02 Commercial ▼

kemono no souja erin Kemono no Souja Erin
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/anime/erin/
Premiere on January 10th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 18:25
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Saturdays at 4:25
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Taking over the NHK-E timeslot vacated by Telepathy Shoujo Ran is a new 50-episode series originally written by the same author of Seirei no Moribito, Uehashi Nahoko. It’s about a green-eyed young girl who has the ability to control a great beast and subsequently gets involved in a power struggle. Like Seirei no Moribito, this will also be animated by Production I.G and will have some of the same staff members, but to be honest, the main draw to this series for me is the fact that music duo Sukima Switch will be singing the OP since I’m a fan of their music.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Kemono no Souja Erin Commercial ▼

chrome shelled regios Chrome Shelled Regios
http://anime.webnt.jp/regios/
Premiere on January 10th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Saturdays at 11:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Chrome Shelled Regios takes place in a world full of pollutants that force mankind to live in mobile domed cities called Regios, and the story follows one particular talented group of fighters who protects their particular academy city. This looks like a pretty typical action series to me based on the promos (production handled by the ZEXCS team behind Rental Magica), but I guess the story can’t be all that bad given that this is a title which has been popular enough to lead to four manga and two light novel series.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Chrome Shelled Regios Promo Videos ▼

rideback RIDE BACK
http://www.rideback-anime.jp/
Premiere on January 11th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 24:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Sundays at 10:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
RIDE BACK is a very intriguing story about a time of great political turmoil in the not-so-distant future, but it focuses on a girl who was raised as a dancer and is attending a university. She accidentally gets involved with the Rideback club – Ridebacks are a cross of motor bike and mecha – and puts her dancing skills to use on a Rideback just as things start to erupt politically. The original manga is very good, and I’m really looking forward to this anime adaptation that’s being done by Madhouse and Digital Frontier and has Mizuki Nana in the lead role. Trillian is just as excited about this series as I am and might be blogging this instead of me since I have a fairly busy Sunday schedule.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show RIDEBACK Promo Videos ▼

slayers evolution r Slayers EVOLUTION-R
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/slayers_revolution/er/
Premiere on January 11th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 9:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Sundays at 19:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Evolution-R should pick up where Revolution left off, meaning that Lina Inverse and company are trying to help revive the city of Taforashia and its people who were put into an icy slumber because of a plague. This in turn means finding someone called Rezo the Red Wizard. I never did end up watching the rest of Slayers Revolution (Divine provided the basic outline in the two prior sentences) and probably won’t get around to it anytime soon, so it’s highly unlikely that I’ll be blogging this.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
munto Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai
http://www.munto.com/
Premiere on January 13th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:45
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Tuesdays at 11:45
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
This series is a retelling and continuation of one of Kyoto Animation‘s original works, Munto, a story about a girl who has the ability to see floating islands in the sky and a young king whose world is running out of a certain energy. He has to go to Earth to find the girl who is the key to saving his world and convince her to help. The two original OVAs will be made into part of this new series, so I assume you won’t need to have seen those (and I haven’t) for this series to make sense. Given that this is a Kyoto Animation title which is being worked on by a veteran team, I’ve got high hopes for it.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai Promo Video ▼

genji Genji Monogatari Sennenki
http://genji-anime.com/
Premiere on January 15th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:45
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Thursdays at 10:45
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Replacing Nodame Cantabile in the noitaminA timeslot is famed director Dezaki Osamu‘s anime adaptation of The Tale of Genji. Though first slated to be an anime adaptation of the 80s manga adaptation of the 11th-century classic, this is now going to be a straight adaptation of that original work about the rise and fall of Hikaru Genji, a son of a Japanese emperor during the Heian period. Since I couldn’t find any promotional material on the series, the most I can be is cautiously optimistic. Given that this is a Thursday show however, odds are that even if I end up wanting to watch it, I won’t have time to blog it.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
hetalia axis powers Hetalia Axis Powers
http://hetalia.com/
Premiere on January 24th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:52
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Saturdays at 11:52
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
It’s hard to describe Hetalia Axis Powers as anything but cute. Based on a popular webcomic, the series follows the adventures of the male personifications of various countries of the world, including the cowardly Italy and hard-working Germany, in a comedic parody of history (not always WWII-era and not always the Axis side). Studio DEEN is animating this, and each episode is only five minutes long, so it might be worth watching as just a quick dose of humor.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Hetalia Axis Powers Commercial ▼

Now before anyone asks, Fullmetal Alchemist and Queen’s Blade aren’t premiering until spring season, so that’s why they’re not in this preview. I also omitted the 5th season of Major because it’s a long-established title that I honestly just don’t know much about, and I suspect that me figuring out and talking about its fifth season here probably isn’t going to motivate anyone who’s not already familiar with the title to go watch it.

In any case, there are a number of shows I’m interested in seeing (most excited about RIDE BACK), though I’ll ultimately probably only have enough room in my schedule to regularly blog a handful since I have so many shows still ongoing. I suspect things are going to get especially crazy/overloaded on Thursdays now that Index is “moving” to that day. Fortunately, as I’ve noted above, Trillian has expressed interest in several series, so we should be able to cover more than just a few of the new shows.

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

January 3, 2009 at 6:41 am
117 comments »
  • January 4, 2009 at 9:04 pmJellayrei

    .< anyways ty for this

  • January 4, 2009 at 9:46 pmDreamer _ J

    Chrome Shelled Regios this will be one if not the best anime of the winter season!!
    you can bank on that so be prepared

  • January 5, 2009 at 5:53 amSeto’s Darkness

    I’ve been waiting for this post! :]

    The only one I’m really sure I’ll watch is Hetalia XD;;; Though I’ll probably check out the first two episodes of everything, just to see if there’s anything that catches my eye :D

  • January 5, 2009 at 9:37 amMu

    I really have high hopes for “Kemono no Sou-ja Erin”, “Ride Back”, “Genji Monogati” and “Viper’s Creed”.

    I do hope to enjoy a lot also a couple of 2nd seasons such as “Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou” and “Shikabane Hime: Kuro”

  • January 5, 2009 at 12:24 pmmootab

    i guess we’re not gonna see a new season of tsubasa anytime soon T-T

  • January 5, 2009 at 1:19 pmHasian

    This season doesn’t look all too promising, although I’ll probably still at least try to start watching some of the series

  • January 5, 2009 at 10:23 pmsmiz

    omg theres so much shoujo anime this season. well the anime film i cant wait 4 is eureka seven a pocket full of memories :D cant waaiit.

  • January 5, 2009 at 11:53 pmRyvius

    Thanx for the winter preview Omni, doesn’t look as interesting as last season though…

    http://worldofanimemusic.blogspot.com

  • January 6, 2009 at 8:49 amQuite

    Uninteresting season for me. Might as well be called, Winter 2009 Preview! Featuring Hajime No Ippo!

  • January 6, 2009 at 11:39 amSore no Kaze

    Maria + Holic is a interesting show

    O yeah, completely forgot about Haruhi

    I want more Haruhi!

  • January 8, 2009 at 9:29 amkitari (kp-chan)

    *sigh* Here we go again with Winter Season. But at least, there’s more shows worth watching than last year i think…? Maria+Holic, for me is really awesome. It’s the only winter anime 2008-2009 that I’ve watched so far because of school and I like it.

    I guess I’d try the others after examination.

  • January 10, 2009 at 12:09 pmkathy025

    Random Curiosity sure is the BEST place for previews. This blog never fails to put good information.

    Regarding the winter season, I’m not exactly looking forward to anything though. Everything looks uninteresting maybe except for Ippo and Maria-sama 4th. I guess I’ll try and look into Viper’s Creed.

  • January 16, 2009 at 12:06 amTsubasa1Syaoran

    hey how come they are not subing Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai?

  • January 16, 2009 at 3:23 amJW17

    Apparently, the TV broadcast of Hetalia Axis Powers has been cancelled due to the protests against the show in Korea.

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-01-15/japan-kids-station-cancels-its-hetalia-anime-run

    I was really looking forward to that series too, sigh.

  • January 16, 2009 at 4:08 pmzeroshti

    shit. Isn’t there going to be a season like code geass ??

  • January 20, 2009 at 4:15 amfayte

    Honestly, I have high expectations for this season’s animes. I’m waiting patiently for the second season of La Corda D’ Oro. (“,)

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