Random Curiosity

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Winter 2010 Preview!

With the new year almost upon us, it’s also time to look at the new series that will be premiering this Winter season! As usual, I’ll try to watch the first episode of as many shows as I can within certain parameters (in other words, not those 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 unless it actually is good.

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 airtimes, and Fansub Wiki’s 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.

cobra COBRA THE ANIMATION
http://www.cobra30th-anime.com/
Premieres on January 2nd, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Saturdays at 9:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
The Cobra series chronicles the adventures of a once infamous space pirate, who erased his memory to escape his past, but then starts to remember it again. It’s based on an 80′s manga series, so the character designs and style of this series are very old school (original author Terasawa Buichi was even a disciple of the famed Tezuka Osamu). Having never read the manga or seen the recent OVAs, I’m not very familiar with the story and am not convinced this is my kind of show, but this does look like the kind of series that has plenty of action.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
harukanaru Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3: Owari Naki Unmei
http://www.gamecity.ne.jp/media/mix/haruka/destiny/
Premieres on January 3rd, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 25:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Sundays at 11:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList
If you’re familiar with otome games, then you’re probably familiar with the Haruka series or can guess the general premise. For those of you who are not, it involves various female protagonists being transported to a Heian period world where their powers are needed to protect that world, and in the process they’re surrounded by numerous beautiful guys. I suspect that if you liked Neo Angelique Abyss or the more recent Miracle Train, then you’ll probably like this since they share a lot of the same staff and cast, but I doubt I’ll be watching it.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3: Owari Naki Unmei Promotional Video ▼

chu bra Chu-Bra!!
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/chuubra/
Premieres on January 4th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 23:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Mondays at 9:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Following the footsteps of COMIC HIGH! title Kodomo no Jikan comes Chu-Bra!!, a series about an underwear-obsessed middle school girl who goes as far as to start an underwear club. The manga is chock-full of pre-teen girl panties and bras, and the anime looks like it’ll be more of the same – it’s even got a lingerie designer on the staff. It’s airing on AT-X too, so they should be okay to show any particularly risqué stuff. Having said all that, I probably won’t be watching it as there are more appealing series to spend my time on.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Chu-Bra! Commercial ▼

sora no woto So-Ra-No-Wo-To
http://www.sorawoto.com/
Premieres on January 4th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 25:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Mondays at 11:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
So-Ra-No-Wo-To is the first show for the new Anime no Chikara project which is aimed at creating original anime series, as opposed to those based on manga, games, or light novels. It follows a girl who obtains a trumpet from a female soldier, and she falls under the misconception that she’ll be able to play this trumpet by joining the military, so she enlists and gets assigned to a small garrison force with several other girls. If you look at the promo material for the show, one of the first things you might notice is that this series bears a striking resemblance to K-ON and Kannagi. I’m not sure if they were going for the K-ON similarities (it’s hard to ignore the fact that four of the five girls resemble K-ON girls), but it’s being produced by A-1 Pictures and shares some of the same staff as Kannagi – though not Yamakan. In any case, the original anime part was enough to get me interested in the series, and the promotional videos just fueled that interest further.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show So-Ra-No-Wo-To Promotional Videos ▼

gag manga biyori Masuda Kousuke Gekijou Gag Manga Biyori+
http://www.kids-station.com/minisite/gag/
Premieres on January 4th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 26:14
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Mondays at 12:14
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
As the title implies, this is a comedy show based on the long-running manga by Masuda Kousuke, and it’ll be the fourth one in the series. Each episode is a 5-minute burst of comedy, sometimes completely random and sometimes with recurring characters (like a detective rabbit girl and her perverted bear friend). I’ve seen most of the first two series, and while it’s not a bad watch for a laugh now and then, it’s not the kind of series I’d want to blog regularly.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
ladies versus butlers Ladies versus Butlers!
http://www.ladies-vs-butlers.com/
Episode 01 Premiere on December 29th, 2009
Normal Broadcast Starts on January 5th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 22:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Tuesdays at 8:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
From the team that brought us Kanokon comes a series based on a light novel about a boy who lost his parents when he was young and looks like a delinquent now. When he learns that a prestigious girls’ school is establishing a new department for butlers and maids, he takes the entrance exam, gets accepted, and the story follows his interactions with the upper-class girls there. The series sounds less fanservice oriented than Kanokon, but with the character designs and the staff that they have, it’ll probably lean in that direction anyway (the promo videos below seem to confirm this). The main draw for me is the fact that there’s a fairly strong voice cast including Kawasumi Ayako, Nakahara Mai, and Koshimizu Ami, but in the end I suspect that this is more of the type of series that Divine would be likely to follow.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Ladies versus Butlers! Promotional Videos ▼

omamori himari Omamori Himari
http://newtype.kadocomic.jp/omahima/
Premieres on January 6th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Wednesdays at 11:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Omamori Himari also features a boy who lost his parents at a young age, but in this series, he is taken care of by a childhood friend up to his 16th birthday. At that point, a mysterious cat girl suddenly appears vowing to protect him from evil spirits who are after him because of his lineage. What I’ve read of the original manga has shown the story to be part supernatural action and part high school life/romance, and the promo videos below seem to support that, albeit with a bit more emphasis on the fanservice, so this seems like it could be a decent series. It’s worth noting that the cat girl has a few similarities to Holo from Spice and Wolf, with the main one being her archaic way of talking combined with the fact that she’s voiced by Koshimizu Ami – I might tune in just for that.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Omamori Himari Promotional Videos ▼

bakatest Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
http://www.bakatest.com/
Premieres on January 6th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Wednesdays at 26:20
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Wednesdays at 13:20
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
You might remember this title from Patrik’s review of the first volume of the light novel a while back. To recap, the plot follows a class of supposedly poor students who are given an equally poor class environment and want to move up by defeating the top class in battle. This particular school has a battle system in which each student has a mini avatar that can fight based on that student’s exam scores. Patrik found the light novel to be pretty funny though a bit empty at the end, and what I’ve read of the manga has shown a lot of strategizing and maneuvering for battles as well. The promo videos don’t look too bad either.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Promotional Videos ▼

vampire bund Dance In The Vampire Bund
http://www.vampirebund.com/
Premieres on January 7th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 09:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Wednesdays at 19:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
The first of SHAFT‘s two Winter series, and arguably the series I’m most excited about out of this entire list, is Dance In The Vampire Bund. It’s about the princess of all vampires and her bodyguard as they establish a new kingdom in Japan and all the challenges and dangers they run into with humans and with other vampires. The main girl is a bit like Nagi from Hayate, but instead of a comedy, this is a dark and much more mature series with a dose of politics and plenty of backstabbing. I could barely put down the manga because it was such a fun and interesting read, and hopefully SHAFT will do a good job with it.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Guaranteed
Show Dance In The Vampire Bund Promotional Videos ▼

durarara Durarara!!
http://www.durarara.com/
Premieres on January 7th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:25
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Thursdays at 11:25
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Replacing Darker than BLACK in this Thursday MBS timeslot is a series based on a light novel written by the same guy who wrote the Baccano! series. The anime is being produced by the same Brains Base team that animated Baccano! as well, and it features a large cast of characters centered in Ikebukuro, including a mysterious black motorcycle rider and a guy who just moved there to attend high school. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this series, and it’s in a timeslot I normally watch, so it’s guaranteed that I’ll be blogging the first few episodes.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Guaranteed
Show Durarara! Promotional Videos ▼

hidamari Hidamari Sketch x ☆☆☆ (Hoshi Mittsu)
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/hidamari/
Premieres on January 7th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:29
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Thursdays at 11:29
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
The other SHAFT title this season is another sequel to their now long-running comedy and slice-of-life series about a group of high school girls studying art. Unlike Dance In The Vampire Bund though, I have practically no interest in this series since I’ve seen very little of the first series and none of the second series, and the general concept doesn’t appeal to me enough to motivate me to get caught up. That’s not to say, however, that the series is bad since obviously it’s popular enough to get a third season, so your mileage may vary.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Hidamari Sketch Commercial ▼

ookami kakushi Ookami Kakushi
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/okami/
Premieres on January 7th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:59
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Thursdays at 11:59
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Based on a PSP game released earlier this year, Ookami Kakushi is notable for being a joint project featuring Ryukishi07 of Higurashi fame and the mangaka duo Peach-Pit. The former might lead you to think that this is a Studio DEEN series, but the anime adaptation will actually be handled by the studio AIC. The story takes place in a town that’s divided into an old and new part by a river, and a boy who recently moved there gets warned not to go near the old part. It seems like it could be interesting, and I’m sure that Ryukishi07′s involvement has a lot of people excited, but given my higher interest in the other Thursday shows, I’m not sure if I’ll have time to pick this one up.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Ookami Kakushi Commercial ▼

kaitou reinya Kaitou Reinya
http://www.reinya.jp/
Premieres on January 9th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:50
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Saturdays at 10:50
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList
Kaitou Reinya is a comedy based on a 4-koma series about a convenience store girl who moonlights as a thief and the inept police who come after her. It doesn’t sound too bad on paper, but all indications are that this is a series made to promote Morning Musume girl Tanaka Reina since she’s voicing the main character that is originally based on her, so I don’t have high hopes for it.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Kaitou Reinya Promotional Videos ▼

qwaser2 Seikon no Qwaser
http://www.qwaser.jp/
Premieres on January 9th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 27:28
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Saturdays at 13:28
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Seikon no Qwaser takes place in a Japanese Eastern Orthodox school that sees the arrival of a mysterious boy who is a Qwaser, i.e. a person with special powers who wields a certain chemical element. It follows the girl who meets him and how he has to fight a group that is after an icon depicting the Virgin Mary breastfeeding an infant Jesus. The series is heavy with Eastern Orthodox religious ideas, and connected to all this is probably the most controversial part of the series: the use of breastfeeding to restore a Qwaser’s power. The manga certainly doesn’t skimp on the nudity and sexual themes, but I doubt all broadcasts of the anime version will be uncensored like the promo video is below. I would guess that only the AT-X version will be, however the AT-X broadcast doesn’t start until two weeks after all the other channels (the first of which being MBS) begin airing it. In any case, I’m curious enough to watch the first episode, but unless it turns out to be really good, I’m not keen on picking up a Saturday show.
I was half-tempted to use this image from the February issue of Megami, but the one at left seemed more appropriate.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Seikon no Qwaser Promotional Video ▼

hanamaru youchien Hanamaru Youchien
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/hanamaru/
Premieres on January 10th, 2010
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, MyAnimeList, syoboi
In stark contrast to the above Qwaser series, Hanamaru Youchien is a cute comedy and slice-of-life title about three kindergarten girls and two of the teachers. One of the girls is obsessed with getting the attention of their male teacher, but he’s more interested in his female coworker, and the series follows their everyday lives. The manga reminded me of a cross between Potemayo and Kodomo no Jikan (except without the perverseness), but one of the things that’s likely going to keep me from watching the anime is the fact that I can’t stand how Shindou Kei voices Anzu (see videos below). It’s worth pointing out though that this is being animated by GAINAX and has Mizushima Seiji directing.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Hanamaru Youchien Promotional Videos ▼

nodame cantabile finale Nodame Cantabile Finale
http://www.nodame-anime.com/
Premieres on January 14th, 2010
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, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Taking its last turn in the noitaminA programming block is the final Nodame Cantabile series. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a classical music-focused title that follows the lives of a conductor and the eccentric pianist girl who loves him, and the second series brought them to Paris. The Nodame manga finished in October, and this third season will cover from where the second season stopped until the manga’s end, which should be about 40 chapters worth. I would be more excited about it, especially since I like Kawasumi Ayako in the Nodame role, but I stopped reading the manga somewhere in the middle of the Paris stuff and never felt motivated to pick it up again. And like I said above about Ookami Kakushi, there are other Thursday shows I’m more interested in.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Nodame Cantabile Finale Commercial ▼

katanagatari Katanagatari
http://www.katanagatari.com/
Premieres on January 25th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 25:10
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-5): Mondays at 11:10
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
From the author of Bakemonogatari comes a story about a guy who is the head of a sword style family that doesn’t use swords. He and his sister live on a remote island until a woman arrives asking for his help gathering 12 swords made by a legendary swordsmith. The original light novels were written one a month for twelve months, and in that same vein, the anime will have one episode a month for twelve months. The anime adaptation, however, is not being produced by SHAFT and is instead being done by WHITE FOX. That shouldn’t be a bad thing since they did some pretty nice work with the anime adaptation of Tears to Tiara, and the promo videos also show off the music that composer Iwasaki Taku (who also did Gurren Lagann and Soul Eater music) has contributed. All of that means that there should be a lot to look forward to with this series over the next year.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Katanagatari Promotional Videos ▼

This Winter season has a few less new series than usual – past years have had over 20 – but there are enough that I’m excited about, so I can’t really complain. The bigger problem is that, unlike Divine who had all of the shows he was following end except for one, I have all of the shows I was following except for one continuing through the new year. That means I have a lot less room to pick up new series, and depending on how I shuffle around my schedule (particularly if I opt to drop any ongoing series that I haven’t been so enthusiastic about), I might have time to follow/blog three or four new shows. As you can see above, I’ve got high hopes for Dance In The Vampire Bund and Durarara, and I’ve got my eye on Katanagatari and So-Ra-No-Wo-To as well.

Oh and before anyone asks, I am still planning on doing a best-of-the-year post – it’ll be out in the next few days. I just decided to finish and post this Winter series preview first.

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

December 30, 2009 at 12:36 am
113 comments »
  • January 3, 2010 at 12:20 amRaithos

    dance in the vampire bung omfggggggggggggggg

    just read that entire manga, fucking amazing.

  • January 3, 2010 at 3:51 amStellacadente

    Can’t wait for Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu.
    I’ve been waiting since September. Katanagatari and So-Ra-No-Wo-To looks awesome too.

  • January 3, 2010 at 4:42 amEiken

    Dance in the vampire bund and Qwaser of course. :D

  • January 3, 2010 at 9:50 amMatt_D

    Erck why does shaft have to be doing dance in the vampire bund, those people need to sort out their scene focus and ban photoshop filters. There comedy isn’t too bad but they wreck really serious stuff.

    Other then that more hidamari sketch w00t (shaft comedy is good), so ra no wo to should be good, other then that nothing looks great next season so I’ll just end up watching misc after downloading any mildly interesting 1st episodes.

  • January 4, 2010 at 1:02 amsigh

    i certainly liked the fall season a lot better like last season though ill give every series a try but i doubt i’ll be watching more than 3

  • January 4, 2010 at 9:38 pmShuffleness

    VAMPIRE BUND is a MUST See! i will definitely be watching it, I’m surprised they animated it..But then again the manga is awesome so I shouldn’t even be all that surprised :p

  • January 4, 2010 at 10:05 pmmohshinobi

    OMG only boring not one serious action
    for me it will be only bleach/naruto.scan

  • January 5, 2010 at 2:40 aminnerchihiro

    Man, this is rough… I’m only interested in one for sure and two pending…

  • January 5, 2010 at 12:51 pmno one in particular really

    prejudice is such a funny thing.

    OMFG BREASTFEEDING MUST BE BAD SERIESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS (some people requested this to be blogged and who knows, it might not be so fan-service-y)
    OMFG K-ON ANIMATION MUST BE BADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD (again, prejudice. It’s not like KyoAni is making this)

    idk what the hell is wrong with people these days

    ah never mind me, I’m just a little pissed at what people are saying so ignorantly as if they’ve seen everything already. And some people think W. is the best president ever, so is Bin Laden.

  • January 15, 2010 at 5:45 pmArarararararagi

    you shud try Hanamaru its really cute and fun

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