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Winter 2013 Preview!

yamanosusume cdinaba maoyuuv2 oreshura akbnextstage
senran amnesia tamakomarketv2 sasamisan haganai2

With Christmas and the end of the world (no relation) behind us, 2013 approaches at a breakneck pace, heralding the coming of the winter anime season. 2012 has passed by rapidly, and I for one feel like it was only yesterday that I first started writing for RC! Winter has long been one of the less active seasons for anime; just as the trees are devoid of leaves, the anime charts are… relatively less densely populated. Well that was a terrible analogy, especially when we have 31 previews for you to peruse! This seems to be a season of shorts, and from all manner of genres, from Yamakan’s anime-saving (just kidding!) Senyu., to the weird and wacky gdgd Fairies 2. It’s looking pretty good for adaptations too, with the popular 2channel-birthed fantasy light novel Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, as well as the fantasy romantic comedy Sasami-san@Ganbaranai as handled by SHAFT! On the sequel front, we have a long-awaited continuation in D.C. III ~Da Capo III~ – returning after a whole five years of absence – along with a fourth season of Minami-ke and second seasons of the surprise hit Chihayafuru, the ever hilarious Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, and the singing and dancing sci-fi original AKB0048. As for originals, we could well be in for a treat with KyoAni’s Tamako Market. This winter proved almost as busy as our fall preview, so continuing in last season’s trend, we’ve brought on a whole seven writers to give you a glimpse of what to expect! Have a look around, see if anything catches your fancy, and get fired up!

 

As a quick reminder, each entry is divided into two paragraphs:

  • A brief introduction to the series and its premise, often with the starring cast of characters.
  • The writer’s impressions, expanding on the plot and highlighting specific points of interest.

As with last season, we’re bringing back our Expectation Levels in an attempt to help you decide what to watch based on how excited we are about each of the individual shows. For more on this, including our definition of each level, check out the overall impressions section at the very bottom. We’ve also included a list of all shows organized by expectation level, just to make things easier.

 

Disclaimer: past season previews were done by a single writer, Divine. Unfortunately, we’re not quite as badass as him (I once heard he single-handedly fought off a pack of giant wolves, all while working on the season preview), but by forming an invincible gattai of multiple writers, we hope to be able to come close to his prowess in providing high-quality and objective impressions of each upcoming show. Similar to what Divine did in the past, we will also try to identify what appeals to us in each series, in hopes that it will help you determine if it coincides with your tastes.

This season, we expanded our number of preview writers from five to seven to better withstand any potential wolf attacks. Each of these seven was chosen for the taste and anime watching experience we felt would bring the best possible previews to the table. Those writers are: BakaMochi, Moomba (that’s me!), Stereoman, Stilts, verdant, Zanibas, and Zephyr!

By no means does this list reflect every single anime series that is going to air, though it’s meant to be as comprehensive as possible. Shows that stray far from the anime norm or are deemed oriented towards younger children are omitted, so check out MOON PHASE for a complete listing, syoboi’s calendar for specific air times, and Fansub Wiki’s page for a tentative look on who’s subbing what.

 

As a final thought before we get to the previews themselves, I’d like to take a moment to thank all those who helped to put this beast of a post together. Where Divine managed alone, it took eight of us working in concert to get the job done, and even then we still lost a few to those hungry wolves! (I’m sure your leg will heal, Zephyr!) Aside from the aforementioned preview writers, here’s what everyone did to help out:

  • Zanibas and Cherrie handled the html and information gathering (links, airdates, etc).
  • Zephyr translated the OVA / Movie list.
  • Stereoman helped take some of the burden of encoding off my shoulders and singlehandedly gathered and cleaned all the images.
  • BakaMochi, verdant, and Stilts went through the entire post to proofread, edit, and double-check every tiny detail.
  • Last, but not least, you – the readers. Without you awesome guys, we’d really have no reason to create these previews and that would leave us at a loss as to what we should be watching!

So thanks everyone for working hard! With the Best of Anime post on the horizon and the 12 Days of Anime posts behind us, it’s been a pretty busy month, and things would’ve been even more hectic if none of you were around!


TV Series


 

Technical Note: the list is ordered by the date and time that the shows premiere. The links in the schedule will take you to a series’ corresponding entry and the “Top” links on the right will bring you back. You can also use the back/forward buttons in your browser to jump between links you’ve clicked. 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.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Senran Kagura
20:30 AT-X (1/6)
AMNESIA
23:30 AT-X (1/7)
Jigoku Youchien
23:00 Niconico (1/8)
Tamako Market
24:30 MX (1/9)
Ai Mai Mi
23:00 AT-X/TVS (1/3)
Cuticle Tantei Inaba
23:30 AT-X (1/4)
D.C. III ~Da Capo III~
22:00 MX (1/5)
Love Live! School Idol Project
22:00 MX (1/6)
Line Offline Salaryman
25:30 TX (1/7)
Senyu.
25:35 TX (1/8)
GJ-bu (Good Job Club)
25:29 NTV (1/9)
Sasami-san@Ganbaranai
25:25 TBS (1/10)
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
25:00 MX (1/4)
Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
24:00 MX (1/5)
Ishida to Asakura
22:27 MX (1/6)
THE UNLIMITED – Hyoubu Kyousuke
25:35 TX (1/7)
Puchimas! Petit Idolmaster
animate.tv (1/1)
Yama no Susume
25:30 MX (1/2)
Vividred Operation
25:30 MBS (1/10)
Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?
25:30 MX (1/11)
AKB0048 Next Stage
25:00 tvk (1/5)
Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman
26:05 TX/AT-X (1/7)
Mangirl!
25:35 MX (1/2)
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT
25:55 TBS (1/10)
Chihayafuru 2
25:53 NTV (1/11)
Minami-ke Tadaima
25:00 MX (1/5)
gdgd Fairies 2
25:40 MX (1/9)
Kotoura-San
26:00 CBC (1/10)
Boku no Imouto wa Osaka Okan
25:55 BS Asahi (12/21)
Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun
26:58 MBS (1/5)
Hetalia: The Beautiful World
animate.tv (1/25)

* Jump to OVA/Movies.

imoutookan
Boku no Imouto wa Osaka Okan | 僕の妹は「大阪おかん Top
http://www.imouto-okan.jp/
Animation: Charaction Premiere: December 21, 2012
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:55
Episodes: 12 Station: BS Asahi
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Preview by

Based on the popular Osaka Okan Rule (Osaka Momma Rules), this short, 5 minutes per episode flash anime provides a tongue-in-cheek guide to dealing with people from Osaka. It stars older brother Kyousuke (Shiraishi Ryoko), who has been living apart from his younger sister Namika (Asumi Kana) for ten years. Kyousuke is excited about living with Namika again, only to find out that she’s turned into an energetic tsundere Osaka girl in the intervening years! Namika’s classmate Kaede (Iguchi Yuka) rounds out the cast.

Ah, I’ve been waiting for this since I started writing previews – the chance to legitimately invoke a trope in one of these posts! Have you ever heard of The Idiot From Osaka? (trope!) Well that’s what this tongue-in-cheek comedy is about: a normal guy dealing with his suddenly very Osakan little sister. Unfortunately, this is a trope that has fallen into cliché, and isn’t one that is liable to resonate with audiences outside of Japan anyway. After all, how many of us have met a person from Osaka and will go “Haha, that’s funny because they are so like that!”? In addition there’s the fact that this is a series of 5 minute long flash shorts, meaning the animation quality isn’t at the glorious heights to which we have become accustomed to. On the plus side, the seiyuu cast is filled with seasoned pros, and some of my favorite ones at that. The bottom line is that unless you’ve been to Osaka, you probably won’t “get” this show’s humor. If you have, then definitely give this one a shot, but seeing as I’ve never had the pleasure of touring Osaka, I’ll be sitting this one out.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low
Show Boku no Imouto wa Osaka Okan Promotional Videos ▼

puchimasv2
Puchimas! Petit Idolmaster | ぷちます! Top
http://puchimas.com/index.html
Animation: Gathering Premiere: January 1, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Music Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: 64 Station: Nico Nico
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia

Preview by

Did you enjoy THE iDOLM@STER? Would you like more humorous antics from 765 Production? Then look no further! Follow the daily work lives of the 765 Pro idols and their shenanigans, but with the added presence of “Puchidoru”, chibis that resemble their idol counterparts. Not much is known about where these chibis came from, but their personalities generally reflect the idol they “represent.” All the girls have a respective chibi which are voiced by their original seiyuu, such as Harukasan (Nakamura Eriko), Afu (Hasegawa Akiko), Chihya (Imai Asami), Yayo (Nigo Mayako), Yukipo (Asakura Azumi), Makochi (Hirata Hiromi), Koami/Komami (Shimoda Asami), Io (Kugimiya Rie), Miurasan (Takahashi Chiaki), Takanya (Hara Yumi), Chibiki (Numakura Manami), Piyopiyo (Takita Juri), and Chicchan (Wakabayashi Naomi).

Although intended as a mini-series for the net, I would still recommend this anime for people looking for a quick laugh. After reading the first nine chapters of the 4koma manga, I legitimately laughed out loud during some segments, even though I’m only halfway through the anime (the original, not the alternate universe version). While the artistic quality might be a step down from the typical A-1 production, I expect the high energy and ridiculousness of the 4-koma to translate well, and it’ll be interesting to see how the seiyuu convey their chibi characters. If you like the idea of cute girls interacting with their cute chibi-selves and doing random things, I would highly suggest watching these two minute segments each week!

Watching This: Zanibas Expectation Level: Niche
Show Puchimas! Petit Idolmaster Promotional Videos ▼

yamanosusume
Yama no Susume | ヤマノススメ Top
http://www.yamanosusume.com/
Animation: 8bit Premiere: January 2, 2013
Genre: Slice of Life, Adventure, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:30
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Preview by

Because we can never have too much of cute girls doing cute things, 8bit sets out to adapt Siro’s Yama no Susume. This is the story of two childhood friends Aoi (Iguchi Yuka) and Hinata (Asumi Kana) who decide to dabble in mountaineering to relive the beautiful sunrise they saw at the mountain peak when they were young. But there’s a catch: Aoi is acrophobic. They are joined by their friends Saitou Kaede (Hikasa Youko) and Kokona (Ogura Yui).

Clocking in at five minutes, I don’t know what the series expects to accomplish other than (hopefully) boost manga sales. With the source material being only one volume long, there’s not much to spin a story out of. But hey – cute girls, scenery porn, and the likes of Ogura Yui and Iguchi Yuka doing what they do best? I’m sure the show will have no problem finding its audience. Studio 8bit, who worked on Aquarion EVOL and Infinite Stratos, have proven they can churn out decent work though, so there’s hope for Yama no Susume yet. So why not give it a watch? The worst thing that can happen is that you waste five minutes of your time looking at pretty mountain scenery and cutely designed girls.

Watching This: Moomba, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Yama no Susume Promotional Videos ▼

mangirlv2
Mangirl! | まんがーる! Top
http://www.mangirl.jp/
Animation: Dogakobo Premiere: January 2, 2013
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9):Wednesdays at 25:35
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Preview by

Contrary to the title, this is not a show about a half-man, half-girl… although that would not be too surprising considering the weird premises found in anime. Mangirl! is actually the animated adaptation of Tamaoka Kagari’s 4-koma manga starring “Japan’s cutest manga editors”, consisting of editor-in-chief Sasayama Hana (Miyamoto Kanako) and her team of assistant editors Haraki Tsugumi (Otaka Moemi), Nishijima Ringo (Ohashi Ayaka), and Torii Aki (Komagata Yuri). The story follows them as they try to take their new manga magazine to number one with zero experience in the field. It takes a certain amount of courage, confidence, and foolhardiness (okay maybe a lot of foolhardiness) to undertake a new project without any experience at all, but that doesn’t faze the girls one bit as what they might lack in experience, they make up for with hard work, dedication, and plenty of comedy.

At first glance, it’s hard to not compare Mangirl! to Bakuman., with the major differences being a cast full of moe girls designed by Yasu and a focus more on the editing side rather than the mangaka side. However, with a runtime of only five minutes per episode, chances are anime studio Dogakobo’s (YuriYuri) adaptation will focus more on quick hitting comedy rather than the heartwarming moments and behind-the-scenes look at the manga world that Bakuman. is known for. Hopefully, director Nakanishi Nobuaki (Shin Koihime†Musou) will channel YuruYuri-style hijinks along with insights into the manga magazine industry, so if this comedic style sounds right down your alley, you should definitely tune in.

Watching This: Moomba, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
aimaimi
Ai Mai Mi | あいまいみー Top
http://www.takeshobo.co.jp/sp/tv_aimaimi/
Animation: Seven Premiere: January 3, 2013
Genre: Comedy, School Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 23:00
Episodes: 13 Station: AT-X, TV Saitama (TVS)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Preview by

An adaptation of the 4koma manga of the same name, Ai Mai Mi follows four girls in a manga club – the titular Ai (Ootsubo Yuka), Mai (Uchida Aya), and Mii (Uchida Maaya), along with Ponoka-senpai (Kayano Ai) – as they fight evil alien invaders, face off against their rivals at tournaments, and deal with other strange situations. Oh, and they also occasionally draw manga. Absurd comedy abounds as the story follows the antics of these four girls.

I’m not going to lie to you – this looks like a pretty low-budget affair. Check out the promo section below if you want to see for yourself, but the animation is decidedly rough. Looking at it, I almost felt like I was watching one of the old Cartoon Network shows I watched as a lad, only this one would be hard pressed to be as awesome as shows like Johnny Bravo (though to be fair, most things would). Seiyuu-wise we have a solid showing, with the cast full of newer faces who have been turning in consistently good-to-great performances since their debuts. On the production side, things are dicey once again – I haven’t heard of this Imazaki Itsuki chap who is director, writer, and damn near everything else, and Studio Seven hasn’t done anything of particular note. That said, all of these potential shortcomings can be forgiven if the jokes are good, as they generally were with Seven’s short-form work, Recorder to Randoseru. If absurd comedy is your thing, go ahead and give this one a shot. I might check out an episode or two, but I won’t be too surprised if this comedy bomb ends up being a dud.

Watching This: Stilts Expectation Level: Low
Show Ai Mai Mi Promotional Videos ▼

cdinaba
Cuticle Tantei Inaba | キューティクル探偵因幡 Top
http://www.cdinaba.com/
Animation: Zexcs Premiere: January 4, 2013
Genre: Action, Mystery, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 23:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Preview by

Zexcs presents the adaptation of Mochi’s (no, not me) Cuticle Tantei Inaba, a story about a werewolf detective named Inaba Hiroshi (Suwabe Junichi) who has an extreme hair fetish. Although formerly employed by the police, Inaba now runs his own investigative agency with his two assistants: sadistic trap Sasaki Yuuta (Shimoda Asami), and “sensible” part-timer Nozaki Kei (Irino Miyu). Often roped into helping the police by his former partner Ogino Kunihara (Morikawa Toshiyuki), Inaba finds himself suckered into assisting in the capture of Don Valentino (Ookawa Tohru) – a nefarious criminal with a literal taste for money.

To be honest, I only decided to preview this show based on the promo image featuring Inaba, and after reading what little was available of the manga, the main draw is still Inaba. Suwabe is pretty much a pitch-perfect casting for him, so in the character department, I’m looking forward to the titular hero the most. I’m not entirely sure what to make of the direction/atmosphere of the series though, as one chapter and one PV really isn’t enough to form any concrete opinions. The first chapter showcased some zany interactions akin to Binbougami ga!, with situational gags that played off character traits such as Yuuta’s sadism and Inaba’s hair fetish. With a cast that all seems to be missing a couple screws one way or the other, Cuticle Tantei Inaba seems like a harmlessly fun show, so I’ll definitely be checking it out. For those who enjoyed the over-the-top interactions in Binbougami ga!, give this series a watch.

Watching This: BakaMochi, Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Cuticle Tantei Inaba Promotional Videos ▼

maoyuuv2
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha | まおゆう魔王勇者 Top
http://maoyu.jp/
Animation: ARMS Premiere: January 4, 2013
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Preview by

”Become mine, hero!” Delivered by Demon Queen (Koshimizu Ami), these are the lines which open Maoyuu Maou Yuusha and shape everything that’s to come. ARMS brings us this adaption of Touno Mamare’s brilliantly thought-provoking novel, a work originally born from a 2chan thread which also spawned several manga adaptations and even a drama CD. Would killing the leader of the demons truly end the war? Or is there a better way? What is good and evil and who gets to define these standards? With her vast intellect and economic prowess, Demon Queen shows Hero (Fukuyama Jun) the truth: such a simple fantasy conclusion would never end the war. War is profitable, and while profits exist, so will those who strive for them. It is here that the true journey towards peace begins, with the two joining forces to bring it about not through death and destruction, but through economics, diplomacy, and politics.

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha has often been compared to Spice and Wolf, so who better to bring on board for on this adaption than the core staff who made Spice and Wolf such a success? The comparisons are fair: where Spice and Wolf deals mostly with microeconomics, Maoyuu focuses on macroeconomics. They even share their two lead seiyuu! But at the same time, their differences are both numerous and large. It’s not all economics after all, and Maoyuu has the added bonus of deconstructing various traditional fantasy tropes while simultaneously parodying the likes of Dragon Quest. Demon Queen is also extremely genre savvy, and together with her entourage, we move through a sort of accelerated history as they work to improve conditions and find a way to end the war. There’s much potential for spectacular battles – things don’t always go to plan! I have but one concern, that being the choice of studio. For the most part, I have nothing against ARMS – I even enjoyed Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls quite a bit. However, given their history, they’re certainly not the studio I would’ve expected to pick up a series like Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. On the flip side of the coin, if the PVs are anything to go by, the choice of the relatively unknown Hama Takeshi for the soundtrack is certainly a solid one. This may not be a series for everyone, but for fantasy fans, it should be a must!

Watching This: Asobi, Moomba, Stereoman, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Maoyuu Maou Yuusha Promotional Videos ▼

dacapo3
D.C. III ~Da Capo III~ | D.C.III ~ダ・カーポIII~ Top
http://www.hatsunejima.com/
Animation: Kazami Gakuen Kōshiki Dōga-bu Premiere: January 5, 2013
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, School Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 22:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Preview by

Many decades have passed since the events of Da Capo II SS. With the disappearance of the undying Sakura Tree and the last appearance of Yoshino Sakura, life (and the seasons) have normalized around Hatsunejima. The paranormal is a thing of the past…until now. One winter, the sakura trees suddenly bloom, just as all the members of Kazami Gakuen’s newspaper club receive a mysterious text message dating back to 1951. Morizono Rikka (Nitta Emi), director of the club, seeks to solve both of these mysteries, calling upon her clubmates to help investigate. Those involved include former school newspaper owner Yoshino Kiyotaka (Ono Yuuki), the clumsy Hinomoto Aoi (Kaiho Erika), Kiyotaka’s doting cousin Yoshino Charles (Miyazaki Ui), Kiyokata’s “sister” Katsuragi Himeno (Sasaki Mikoi), and the smart-yet-awkward Rukawa Sara (Ousaki Chiyo). Together they seek to discover Hatsunejima’s past, hoping it will shed light on the weird phenomena that are affecting the present day.

Generally, the Da Capo anime series has had major ups and downs. There have been polarized reactions towards the first halves of both D.C. I and II, but generally positive ones towards the second halves. Studio feel. has passed on production to Kazami Gakuen Koushiki Douga-bu, a completely new animation group. Though risky to dedicate animation of a popular franchise to a newcomer, I have hopes that they will do justice to the series with their debut. Two new seiyuu, Ousaki Chiyo and Kaiho Erika, are also taking up main roles, meaning fresh (and hopefully good!) voices. While the anime’s quality is uncertain with these new staff members and seiyuu, the general trend of Da Capo signifies improvement. If you’ve seen the first four seasons, I would definitely check out the first few episodes at the very least – it looks like the Da Capo franchise will reinvent itself this season. For everyone else, if melodrama and contemporary supernatural themes are your cup of tea, this series should not disappoint.

Watching This: Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
oreshura
Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru Top
俺の彼女と幼なじみが修羅場すぎる
http://www.oreshura.net/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: January 5, 2013
Genre: Comedy, School Life, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Preview by

Studious high school student Kidou Eita (Ohsaka Ryota) hates anything to do with love. Not just because of his parents’ divorce – though that’s certainly part of it – but because he has a goal in mind: to be accepted into the National University School of Medicine. And for that, he needs no distractions! That’s all well and good, until the beautiful, silver-haired kikokushijo (someone who has returned to Japan after studying abroad) Natsukawa Masuzu (Tamura Yukari) confesses her love for him! Now Eita has a girlfriend along with a very annoyed childhood friend in Harusaki Chiwa (Akasaki Chinatsu), who is not going to give up without a fight. Add in two more girls infatuated with Eita – and a side of Masuzu that most people don’t see – and suddenly this anti-romance boy is up to his neck in love.

A harem romcom lives or dies on the strength of its haremettes, and OreShura’s can hold their own. Masuzu is a fun leading lady, with her theatrical tendencies and her darkly entertaining “true self”, though for me it’s all about the perky, loyal, and super cute osananajimi Chiwawa. There are other girls as well, but most of the humor early on comes from typical harem antics + Masuzu and Chiwa fighting, so if you don’t like these two then you may be out of luck. Staff-wise, A-1 Pictures is at the helm, and after a stellar year and some luxurious looking promos, I have no worries there. The seiyuu cast is respectable as well, though I can’t help but wonder if some were miscast…Chiwa’s seiyuu in particular struck me as an odd choice, though Yukarin as Masuzu is an even better choice than I dared to hope for. In short, if you’re looking for a well-done harem comedy, this one ought to do the trick. Bonus: if you learned what “chuunibyou” means from watching Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!, that will come in handy. I’m not telling why, though…you’ll have to tune in to find out!

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Moomba, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru Promotional Videos ▼

akbnextstage
AKB0048 Next Stage Top
http://akb0048.jp/
Animation: Satelight Premiere: January 5, 2013
Genre: Sci-Fi, Idols Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:00
Episodes: Station: TV Kanagawa (tvk)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Preview by

Following an interplanetary war in the 21st century, humanity is forced to leave Earth and settle on other planets. In order to curtail rebellions against the totalitarian rule that developed on many of these planets, various methods of entertainment became either heavily regulated or outright banned. This ultimately gave rise to a group of idols known as AKB0048, who — armed with their songs and fighting prowess — perform guerrilla concerts to fight against the ban and bring back entertainment. The anime tells their story: one about changing the world with music and the struggles of a new group of hopefuls as they attempt to become the next generation of AKB0048. Based on the extremely popular AKB48 idol group in Japan, a vast majority of the cast are voiced by actual members and supplemented by the likes of Sawashiro Miyuki and Horie Yui.

Led by Kawamori Shoji (Macross Frontier), AKB0048’s first season was (at least to me) one of the most underappreciated series of the year. Combining a ridiculous premise with over-the-top action, it admittedly required a bit of suspension of disbelief at some points, but that’s also exactly what made the series entertaining to watch. I mean, what other show has microphone lightsaber wielding idols fighting off the military on hoverboards!? To top it off, AKB0048 had one of the best soundtracks of the season, which only served to enhance the magic that Kawamori’s known for. With all of the original staff returning for this sequel, AKB0048’s Next Stage should definitely be a series to look out for this coming season. However, I will say that this is not a series for everyone. If you’re someone who prefers more realistic series that don’t require a suspension of belief to get into, this may not be the show for you. But for those who are fans of Japanese music, or shows of the idol or Sci-Fi genres, you’ll find a lot to like here. Be sure to watch the first season first though!

Watching This: Asobi, BakaMochi, Moomba, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show AKB0048 Next Stage Promotional Videos ▼

minamike4v2
Minami-ke Tadaima | みなみけ ただいま Top
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/minami-ke/4/
Animation: Feel Premiere: January 5, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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Minami-ke follows the everyday lives of the Minami family and their friends. There’s the reliable big sister Minami Haruka (Satou Rina), who takes care of everyone and does all the chores; the mischievous middle sister Minami Kana (Inoue Marina), who loves to play pranks (when she’s not being lazy and useless); and the smart youngest sister Minami Chiaki (Chihara Minori), who has a wicked wit she delivers in her quiet, monotone voice. But that’s not all, because each of them has a bunch of close friends, and the fun really starts when they mix together with the likes of the hyper crossdresser Makoto/”Mako-chan” (Morinaga Rika), the energetically stupid Uchida Yuka (Kitamura Eri), the no-nonsense tomboy Minami Touma (no relation) (Mizuki Nana), and the constantly stripping-and-fantasizing Hosaka (Ono Daisuke). And that’s only the start of it!

With the Minami-ke series on its fourth season (+ two OVAs), many of you probably already know whether you like it or not. For the uninitiated, let me just say this – this is honestly one of the funniest slice-of-life comedies I’ve seen. Much of the comedy comes from the large and varied cast of characters, each of whom are interesting in their own way and provide plenty of opportunities for laughs. This is low-key humor – it’s not a series that will send you into peals of laughter, but it never ceases to make me smile or chuckle, as Minami-ke has always had some of the best comedic dialogue in the business. With that said, this series has a history of switching production houses, so the real question is, how does this latest studio, feel. (Kissxsis, Papakiki, Mayo Chiki, Yosuga no Sora), match up? Fortunately, I don’t have to guess here, because a few months ago feel. released the Minami-ke Omatase OVA! Watching it, this is Minami-ke at its finest, more like the first season (i.e. the best one) than the following two. The humor is still spot on, the animation is crisp, and the seiyuu lineup – which has always been phenomenal – has all the old stars returning once again. Also, fanservice haters, have no fear! Though feel. is known for its ecchi series, there’s not a trace of that here. To me, this is a no-brainer – the Minami-ke series has always been a great pure comedy, so I’m happy to have the girls and their friends back for another season. If this even remotely sounds like your kind of thing, I encourage you to join me as well. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Moomba, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Minami-ke Tadaima Promotional Videos ▼

hakkenden
Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun | 八犬伝 -東方発見異聞- Top
http://hakken-den.com/
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: January 5, 2013
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:58
Episodes: 13 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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Studio DEEN is adapting Abe Miyuki’s “shoujo” title Hakkenden – Touhou Hakken Ibun, which centers around Inuzuka Shino (Kakihara Tetsuya), Inukawa Sousuke (Hino Satoshi), Hamaji (Takagaki Ayahi), and the sentient blade “Murasame”, who all happen to be survivors of the tragic burning of Ootsuka village. The three have managed to live a peaceful life for five years, but when the imperial church summons Shino and Sousuke to the capital, everything is about to change…

Hmm…I don’t know what to say about Hakkenden. The artwork is certainly very pleasing to the eyes, but it seems very on the fence regarding what it wants to be, genre-wise. I certainly liked what I was reading, but at the same time it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I like about the series – everything maintains a relative status quo in terms of plot, characters, and artistic technique. There are several things that do stand out, but these elements need time to be fleshed out a little more, which wasn’t possible with the amount of material I could read. But Hakkenden is certainly inoffensive and an easy read, so I suspect it’ll be one of those adaptations that are perfect to pass the time. Once the plot kicks into gear the series has the potential to be pretty good, so it shouldn’t be written off just yet.

Watching This: BakaMochi, Stereoman Expectation Level: Niche
Show Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun Promotional Videos ▼

senran
Senran Kagura | 閃乱カグラ Top
http://senran.tv/
Animation: Artland Premiere: January 6, 2013
Genre: Action, Ecchi, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 20:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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Artland brings us an adaption of the side-scrolling action game for Nintendo 3DS by Marvelous AQL. Ninjas were once highly skilled individuals who worked for the country’s benefit from the shadows. Over time, they began to fade from existence, but in the world of Senran Kagura, their necessity has not vanished even in the present day. There are those who would employ ninjas for nefarious purposes, so the government founded Hanzou Academy in order to train kunoichi in secret to combat these wrongdoers. We follow five students of this academy: Ikaruga (Imai Asami), the collected and formal class rep you never want to make angry; Katsuragi (Kobayashi Yuu), a tomboy who acts before thinking; the energetic and hardworking Asuka (Harada Hitomi); the stoic Yagyuu (Mizuhashi Kaori) who doesn’t take any nonsense; and the weak and clumsy but intelligent Hibari (Iguchi Yuka).

How often do you see a franchise try to sell itself entirely on ‘dancing breasts’? Not very often, that’s for sure! But then, Senran Kagura is the game that was originally conceived based on the idea that the thing people would most want to see using the Nintendo 3DS’ 3D capabilities would be giant anime boobs! In the words of Takaki Kenichirou, producer and original creator, ‘Tits are life, ass is hometown.’ The PV alone showcases a string of bouncing breasts, clothing damage, and scantily clad ninjas, so it’s fairly easy to guess what to expect. Watanabe Takashi should be familiar as the director of shows such as Ikkitousen and FREEZING, and like those Senran Kagura has a similar flair and boasts a host of great female seiyuu. I wouldn’t expect an overly complex plot, but for those seeking a combination of ecchi, comedy, and combat (which is actually quite good – seriously, check out those promos!), Senran Kagura will undoubtedly be one to deliver.

Watching This: Moomba, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Senran Kagura Promotional Videos ▼

lovelive
Love Live! School Idol Project | ラブライブ!School idol project Top
http://www.lovelive-anime.jp/
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: January 6, 2013
Genre: Music, School Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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Do you like idols? Well how about nine of them? Love Live! School Idol Project is the story of a high school stuck between Tokyo’s Akihabara, Kanda, and Jinbocho neighborhoods, and it is about to be “streamlined” out of existence. Not willing to sit by while this happens, nine female students become idols in order to boost attendance and save their school!

Think of this show like an (un)holy combination of IDOLM@STER, Natsuiro Kiseki, and American Idol (or your local equivalent). We’ve got a big group of cute idols voiced by the idol group µ’s (pronounced Muse) – which this anime is obviously trying to promote – so there are your comparisons to the first two shows. As for the third, the interesting part is that fans are going to be allowed to “vote on the future of the fictional idol characters.” I’m not sure if this means they’ll be pitted against one another or the plot will change directions based on the votes, but it adds an interesting dimension to the show…if you live in Japan. For those of us who don’t, we’ll just have to trust the Japanese fans. Other thoughts: Sunrise is producing, and they’ve got plenty of experience with this kind of show, so no worries there. On the staff, that’s more of an unknown – I don’t recognize any of them, but their resumes look respectable, so call that a toss up. As for the seiyuu, I was prepared to call them no-names…but they’re not. They’re not big names either, but you might have heard a few of them before (Suzuko Mimori, Yoshino Nanjo, Sora Tokui, Emi Nitta), even if you don’t necessarily recognize their names. All in all, if you like idols or peppy JPop music, this is an easy choice. If not, I’m not exactly expecting this to break the mold, but hey, I’ve been wrong before. It is an original series after all, so you never know what you’ll get until it starts airing!

Watching This: Asobi, Moomba, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Love Live! School Idol Project Promotional Videos ▼

ishitoasakurav2
Ishida to Asakura | 石田とあさくら Top
http://www.yte.co.jp/program/ishiasa/
Animation: DAX Production Premiere: January 6, 2013
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:27
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList

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After a run in seinen magazine Young King during 2012, popular pixiv artist Masao’s debut manga will receive an anime adaptation this winter. Revolving around two high school boys – Ishida (Morishima Shuta) and Asakura (Nakamoto Nobuhisa) – this series is a gag comedy about their daily lives and friendship with one another. Asakura aims to become a teacher at an all-girls’ school, while Ishida aims to become a florist with Asakura.

Information about the series seems to be lacking in general, but it appears that this will be a series of anime shorts corresponding to the two-page short stories in the manga (of which there are only two volumes). Combined with the fact that the cast is also filled with relatively unknown seiyuu, it becomes admittedly difficult to to have much in terms of expectations for this series. Those who love a good laugh and don’t mind the shortness of the series will probably find something to like here, but it seems likely that there will be a multitude of other worthwhile series to watch this coming season.

Watching This: Moomba, Zanibas Expectation Level: Low
amnesia
AMNESIA Top
http://www.anime-amnesia.com/
Animation: Brains Base Premiere: January 7, 2013
Genre: Romance, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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The requisite otome game adaptation of the season is coming from Brains Base this time, in the form of Otomate’s AMNESIA. Following the story of a heroine (Nazuka Kaori) who suddenly wakes up one morning with no memories whatsoever, the series chronicles her efforts to remember who she is with the help of a spirit named “Orion” (Igarashi Hiromi) while coming face to face with a boyfriend she knows nothing about. As if that isn’t difficult enough, she must make sure no one realizes her predicament.

Despite the fact series of this ilk are very hit or miss, I’m pretty intrigued by AMNESIA’s premise. I’ve never played the game, but poking around on the web, the unique “draw” seems to have been the fact the player could “create” the heroine’s personality depending on which route they were playing and which response they chose. Of course I doubt the system was perfect, but it’s still a very interesting setup. The only problem is, how is this going to carry over into the anime adaptation? The nature of the game doesn’t seem to allow for much crossover between different routes via common events, so I’m left wondering how Brains Base intends to direct the story/romance. In any case, I’ll most likely give this a watch since Hiiro no Kakera has renewed my faith in otome game adaptations.

Watching This: Asobi, BakaMochi, Guardian Enzo, Stereoman, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Niche
Show Amnesia Promotional Videos ▼

lineoffline
Line Offline Salaryman | LINE OFFLINE サラリーマン Top
http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/line-anime/
Animation: Premiere: January 7, 2013
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:30
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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Coming at us from net services company NHN Japan’s Line voice-chat/messaging app, we have a series of TV anime shorts called Line Offline Salaryman. Based on Line’s in-app “sticker” mascots, this anime stars an idiosyncratic crew of workers at the fictional Line Corporation. Characters include the narcissistic president’s son James, the constantly absent (but mysteriously productive) subsection head Moon, the quiet but kindhearted Brown, and the eternally dieting Connie.

There’s no escaping it – this is an anime based on some random corporation’s mobile app. You are forgiven if this strikes you as weird – you are not alone! When I first read about this show, it reminded me of the short-lived sitcom Cavemen, the one based on those GEICO television advertisements. The good thing is that while GEICO’s foray into narrative storytelling floundered spectacularly, Line Offline Salaryman doesn’t appear to be going for romance, drama, or anything deep. It’s a series of shorts, each episode lasting for less than five minutes, and what time it has will undoubtedly be spent on humour. There’s also an upside to its unconventional origins – these are characters who were so popular in their own right to spawn this anime + two different manga adaptations, so there must be something to them, right? Though it’s probably just that they’re fun to use in the app, so I’m not sure what my point is. Bottom line is that you don’t lose a lot by giving this short anime a shot, but I’ll understand if you don’t bother.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low
theunlimited
THE UNLIMITED – Hyoubu Kyousuke | THE UNLIMITED 兵部京介 Top
http://unlimited-zc.jp/
Animation: Manglobe Premiere: January 7, 2013
Genre: Supernatural, Action Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:35
Episodes: Station:TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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Zettai Karen Children was an anime based on the manga by Shiina Takashi, which followed a trio of young female espers known as ‘The Children’ and their ordinary handler as they worked for a government organisation in order to take down other rogue espers. For the most part, the anime never really achieved much popularity in the west, and my own personal experience with the franchise is limited to the early reaches of the manga. THE UNLIMITED -Hyoubu Kyousuke- is a spin-off in which the main antagonist of the original series, Hyoubu Kyousuke (Yusa Kouji), plays the role of the protagonist. Labelled by the official site as more of an anti-hero than an outright antagonist, Hyoubu Kyousuke is an esper of considerable skill, and leader of the criminal esper organisation P.A.N.D.R.A. His hatred of humans helped contribute to his reputation as history’s most evil esper. Of course, no criminal leader can be alone – he’s joined by two new characters for the spinoff: the foreigner Andy Hinomiya (Suwabe Junichi), and the potential love interest Yuugiri (Touyama Nao). Also making a return from the original series are Fujiura You (Hatano Wataru), Kanou Momiji (Oohara Sayaka), Magi Shirou (Ochiai Kouji), Minamoto Kouichi (Nakamura Yuuichi), and Sakaki Shuuji (Taniyama Kishou).

Spin-offs can sometimes be a good way to get new blood interested in a franchise they would otherwise have ignored. Where the original series was far more light-hearted and frequently looked down upon because of its protagonists, THE UNLIMITED -Hyoubu Kyousuke- bills itself as something far more serious. A good spin-off, tailored for this purpose, features just enough ties to the original to keep fans happy while also recapping all the required information for newcomers without coming across as obtrusive (see: Aquarion EVOL). While I can’t guarantee that THE UNLIMITED will be able to handle this – some of its staff is relatively untested (the director, Igarashi Shisho, in particular) – I’m certainly going to be watching to find out. With an intriguing concept – it’s not often you have a series where the protagonist is the antagonist of another work – and music by the awesome Nakagawa Kotaro, it certainly has potential.

Watching This: Moomba, Guardian Enzo, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show THE UNLIMITED -Hyoubu Kyousuke- Promotional Videos ▼

bakumatsu
Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman | 幕末義人伝 浪漫 Top
http://roman-anime.com/
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: January 7, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, History Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 26:05
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX), AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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This winter, TMS Entertainment brings us Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman, a historical fantasy show based on a pachinko game called CR Ginroku Gijinden Roman. Meet Manjirou (Nakai Kazuya), a seemingly ordinary man who spends his daytime hours working as a “helper”, doing odd jobs here and there. However, when night arrives he becomes a masked phantom thief, a “retriever” called Roman whose job it is to steal back items that people of authority have unfairly taken away from villagers.

Aside from a protagonist who leads a double life, the cast is rounded out by several characters who are voiced by fairly popular seiyuu, such as Kitamura Eri, Suzumura Kenichi, Uchida Maaya, and Ogata Kenichi, to name a few. Seiyuu aren’t the only well-known names working on Bakumatsu though, as the director is none other than Ogura Hirofumi, who has helmed various other historical series such as Amatsuki, Gintama, and InuYasha. He has quite an impressive list of shows to his credit, and joining him is another staff member with a noteworthy resume: original character designer Monkey Punch, who is best known for creating the very popular Lupin III franchise. The staff and cast are unquestionably accomplished, and Bakumatsu’s premise has the potential to be quite interesting as well. With a protagonist that is reminiscent of the English folklore hero Robin Hood, this historical tale about a heroic outlaw definitely has a lot working in its favour, and is definitely worth a try!

Watching This: Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman Promotional Videos ▼

jigoku
Jigoku Youchien | 地獄ようちえん Top
http://jigokuyouchien.com/
Animation: Kasuga Soft Premiere: January 8, 2013
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): First Tuesdays every month at 23:00
Episodes: Station: Niconico
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList

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We’ve become used crowdfunding, but what about crowdsourced writing? Well that’s what Kadokawa Shoten is attempting with their new crowdsourced flash anime, Jigoku Youchien. Using characters designed via their 10 Chara Grand Prix contest, the story centers around a school for mischievous demon toddlers. Characters include Sakyuba-chan (Asumi Kana), Kiichi-kun (Ono Yuuki), Yuki-chan (Ookubo Rumi), and Kadokawa Shoten President and CEO Inoue Shinichiro as the Narrator. Each episode will last 12 minutes.

This is a strange way to create an anime, so I’d like to go over the reasons why it could work (since I’m sure you’ve already thought of plenty of reasons why it won’t). First of all, the character designs are pretty good. They’re interesting, visually distinct, and really convey the mischievous tone that “Hell Kindergarten” is clearly going for. Secondly, there’s the fact that they’re all kindergartners (stay with me). I don’t know exactly how Kadokawa ran this contest, but it appears like they set up a basic idea (there’s a kindergarten, it’s for demons, etc) before soliciting suggestions. This is good, as is the fact that it’s a comedy – gathering ideas willy-nilly for a plot-based show would have probably yielded an erratic and totally incoherent story, but that’s less of a problem when it’s a plot-light comedy you’re talking about. Lastly, there’s the old standby reason – it’s been done successfully before. Sure, the only example I can think of was a webcomic (MS Paint Adventures), and it did eventually abandon the fan suggestion model when the author decided he wanted to tell a more coherent story, but that doesn’t matter! This is possible, people! …that said, there are certainly a number of reasons why this probably won’t work, enough that I don’t think I need to list them all. Call me a cynic, but while I have faith in the wisdom of the crowd for many things, I’m not sure writing in numbers is one of them. Add onto that the fact that this is a flash anime with 12 minute long episodes, and suddenly expectations have sunk again. Still, I approve of Kadokawa for trying something new, so it might be worth a peek. Who knows, the dawn of crowdsourced writing (well, character design) might be upon us…but eh, probably not.

Watching This: Zanibas Expectation Level: Niche
senyuu
Senyu. | 戦勇。Top
http://senyu.tv/
Animation: Ordet Premiere: January 8, 2013
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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Yamakan returns to save anime once more in this series of five-minute shorts adapting the online manga originally written by Haruhara Robinson (and later picked up by Jump Square). First hosted by Niconico Seiga, Senyu. is a little bit of an oddity when compared to mainstream serialized manga, featuring musical accompaniments and sound effects to complement its otherwise static panels. After being sealed for a thousand years by a hero, the demon lord who once terrorized the land returns. Afraid of a resurgence of the chaos once wrought by this demon lord, the King calls for the hero’s descendants in order to fight back, but in order to circumvent the difficulty of finding true descendants, he instead sends forth 75 hero-like individuals. This particular story follows Alba (Shimono Hiro), Hero No. 45, and his appointed monitor, the sadistic Ross (Nakamura Yuuichi), as they go off on their adventure, encountering numerous others including Ruki (Kayano Ai), Foifoi (Suzumura Kenichi), Rudolf (Nakata Jouji) and an as yet unnamed character voiced by Kato Emiri.

After boasting that FRACTALE would fix everything that was wrong with anime and failing miserably in this goal, Yamakan finally slinks back into the ring with a series of shorts, despite claiming he’d quit should FRACTALE fail. His participation in this adaption doesn’t faze me – it’s not a series that intends to break new ground or ‘fix’ the genre. The source material leaves me cautiously optimistic – it’s obviously not a work that’s meant to be taken particularly seriously, a frequent failing with certain recent series, and the video game references could potentially be entertaining if handled well. Comedy shorts such as this rarely leave any long-lasting impression, but at the very least watching it through won’t require any large time investments and many of the gags in the first chapters were genuinely funny. If nothing else, JAM Project may just save anime OPs and EDs with their music!

Watching This: Moomba, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Senyuu. Promotional Videos ▼

tamakomarketv2
Tamako Market | たまこまーけっと Top
http://tamakomarket.com/
Animation: Kyoto Animation Premiere: January 9, 2013
Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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This winter, Kyoto Animation is releasing one of their rare animes not based on pre-existing material, named Tamako Market. Centered around Tamako Kitashirakawa (Aya Suzaki), a high schooler who works at her family’s mochi shop, the show will explore the various quirks of her daily life. When she’s not practicing at the Baton (not Badminton!) Club or hanging out with her friends and fellow clubmates Midori Tokiwa (Yuuki Kaneko) and Kanna Makino (Nagatsuma Juri), the practical Tamako helps her family out at the mochi store while experimenting with new types of mochi on the side. Of course, other people around the shopping district, such as “The Florist Princess” Kaoru Hanase (Daisuke Ono), or the family who manages Ooji-ya, the rival mochi shop across the street, and whose son Mochizou Ooji (Tamaru Atsushi) has had a crush on Tamako since they were kids, are bound to make Tamako’s daily life more interesting. Simultaneously ordinary and quirky, Tamako’s life is sure to have comedic twists every step of the way through her high school and mochi lives.

For those of you who enjoyed K-ON! for its slice of life atmosphere and moe character designs, you’ll probably want to give Tamako Market a try. Along with the usual KyoAni animation team, the K-ON! team of director Naoko Yamada, scriptwriter Reiko Yoshida, and character designer Yukiko Horiguchi are all working on this series. In terms of story and atmosphere, I expect something close to what K-ON! and Nichijou had to offer: cute everyday events with an exaggerated comedic flair. Mochi making and baton twirling may not be of burning interest to many, but it’s definitely a unique combination. In terms of animation, think of an updated K-ON! with influences from recent KyoAni works, such as Hyouka and Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!, where scenes are beautifully fluid (even mochi making looks pretty!). As far as seiyuu go, at this point, it’s up in the air. KyoAni is repeating a trend that worked well with K-ON! and Lucky Star – employing relatively inexperienced seiyuu in the main roles. However, the supporting cast is very experienced, each with many shows under their belt. While seemingly unintuitive, the studio made it work for K-ON! (among others), so there’s definite reason for hope here. All in all, if you’re not terribly turned off by the stereotypical “slice-of-life-with-cute-girls” story, I recommend checking out Tamako Market. It may be easy to dismiss it as another K-ON, but the potential an original work has is great, and with a studio like KyoAni to back it up, it’s worthwhile to see how this shopping district story plays out.

Watching This: Asobi, Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Tamako Market Promotional Videos ▼

gjbu
GJ-bu (Good Job Club) | GJ部 Top
http://www.ntv.co.jp/gj/
Animation: Dogakobo Premiere: January 9, 2013
Genre: Comedy, School Life Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:29
Episodes: Station: Nippon Television (NTV)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia, syoboi

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You know what a 4koma manga is, right? Well this show is based on a 4koma novel, a collection of short stories where each one is only 4 pages long. GJ-bu stars Shinomiya Kyouya (Shimono Hiro) and his four female classmates, Amatsuka Mao (Uchida Maaya), Amatsuka Megumi (Miyamoto Yume), Bernstein Kirara (Arakawa Chika), and Sumeragi Shion (Mimori Suzuko). As is befitting a series of short stories, the story is that there is no story – GJ-bu consists of a bunch of short vignettes of the high school life of its quirky, moe characters.

To be honest, I’m quite intrigued by this series, though I’m having trouble pinpointing exactly why. Let’s go over everything – for one, the character designs are wonderful. They have a soft, cute quality that I really enjoy, as well as the occasional chibi that’s super cute. Another reason is the unique format of the source material. I’m curious whether a “4koma novel” really works, and whether those short stories can then be properly translated into full-length episodes – though to be fair, in adaptation it should be no different than a 4koma manga, so why not? The show’s pedigree is fairly good as well – the seiyuu include pros like Shimono Hiro and rising stars like Uchida Maaya, as well as a lot of young newcomers (seriously, very young… check out those seiyuu pages, people. What is with this trend?). Production studio Dogakobo is another factor I wasn’t initially sure about, but am now optimistic about …they have done a lot of work over the years, including running point on shows like Natsuyuki Rendezvous and Yuruyuri. All in all, it’s hard for me to explain exactly why I’m intrigued about this show since the producers are being so tight-lipped about everything. What I can say is that if you like slice-of-life, cute characters, light comedy, or moe, give this a shot. I know I’ll be watching, if only to figure out what in the hell has got me so intrigued.

Watching This: Moomba, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show GJ-bu (Good Job Club) Promotional Videos ▼

gdgd
gdgd Fairies 2 | ぐだぐだふぇありーず(2) Top
http://gdgdfairy.com/index.html
Animation: Strawberry Meets Pictures Premiere: January 9, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Improv Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:40
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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Returning for another dose of surreal, ad-libbing comedy, gdgd Fairies (pronounced gu-da-gu-da) is back for a second season! The fairies that just love to chill in their fairy tree house and talk about/do everything that is ridiculous are here with some more improv, for better or worse. Returning are the morbid, serious, yet trolltastic krkr (korokoro, Satomi Akesaka), the gullible and cheerful Meru-chan pkpk (pikupiku, Suzuko Mimori), and genki-girl shrshr (shirushiru, Kaoru Mizuhara). The season will likely follow the same format as the first season: a segment of talking about a random subject, followed by the highly exaggerated gag segment inside the “Mental and Time Room”, and finished off at Afure Lake where the seiyuu ad-lib a dubbing of a silent nonsensical clip.

If you don’t mind CG animation and informal acting, then gdgd fairies may be a good dose of comedy for your winter schedule! As I watched the first season, I found that while their initial conversations about random subjects were light on the humor, the series’ true strength lies in its gags and ad-libbing dubs. Satomi Akesaka in particular shines during her ad-lib moments, so for those of you who have followed her work from Mitsodomoe, Softenni, and Milky Holmes, you’ll definitely enjoy her work here. The animation is CG, but that doesn’t hurt the humor. Their nonsensical jokes just make me laugh, as the fairies always think of the most ridiculous settings – such as playing magical shiratori, bungee jumping from space, or my personal favorite, fighting an RPG’s final boss as a townsperson, a pervert, and a masked wrestler who’s past their prime. You can feel that the seiyuu use this time to relax and play around, which reflects in the absolutely hilarious improv gems spread throughout the show. If you’re looking for a break from the standard type of comedy this season and don’t mind a show where the seiyuu sometimes make improv flops, gdgd fairies may be a good choice. It’s possible to jump straight into the second season due to the lack of a plot, but I do recommend watching the first season if you want to get a proper feel for the characters – or rather the seiyuu portraying them.

Watching This: Zanibas Expectation Level: Niche
Show gdgd Fairies 2 Promotional Videos ▼

sasamisan
Sasami-san@Ganbaranai | ささみさん@がんばらない Top
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/sasami/
Animation: SHAFT Premiere: January 10, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:25
Episodes: 12 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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After a relatively light year in the wake of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, SHAFT and Shinbo return to bring us an adaption of the fantasy romantic comedy light novel by Akira. Tsukuyomi Sasami (Asumi Kana) is a hikikomori with a complete lack of motivation to do anything whatsoever. Instead, she spends her days watching the outside world via a special tool on her computer. Through this tool, she keeps an eye on her doting brother, Tsukuyomi Kamiomi (Otsuka Houchuu), as he interacts with the three Yamagi sisters, fellow high-school teacher Tsurugi (Saito Chiwa), middle sister Kagami (Hanazawa Kana), and the deceptively young Tama (Nonoka Ai). But not everything is quite as it seems on the surface.

My impressions after skimming the first few chapters of the light novel leave me wanting to read more. At first glance, it seems like a run of the mill romantic comedy, albeit handled by SHAFT. This alone would be enough to get me to check it out since I thoroughly enjoy Shinbo’s directing, but the clincher comes from the source material itself. It’s a work befitting a SHAFT adaption – it has that combination of absurdity and atmosphere that really lends itself to Shinbo’s unique style. We have the slightly off-kilter characters (Kamiomi’s face is hidden at all times and Tama looks much older than she truly is, for example), the oddly tantalizing fanservice, and the slightly unusual choice of subject matter. The romcom aspect is merely a surface layer, concealing the true nature of the series – a series in which all of the characters are gods of some sort, with mystical powers to boot. Heck, within the first few chapters, Kamiomi accidentally turns the world into chocolate! This is not your average romcom by any means. With such a great cast and staff, and so much potential for wackiness in the source material, one would be remiss not to check it out!

Watching This: Asobi, Guardian Enzo, Moomba, Stereoman, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Sasami-san@Ganbaranai Promotional Videos ▼

vividred
Vividred Operation | ビビッドレッド・オペレーション Top
http://www.vividred.net/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: January 10, 2013
Genre: Action, Sci-fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:30
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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A sci-fi original directed by Takamura Kazuhiro (Strike Witches), Vividred Operation takes place in a futuristic world where science provides the answer to everything. With the creation of a machine known as the Manifestation Engine, energy problems are no more and world peace a reality. The peace is short lived however, as aliens invade the Earth and attack the Engine. Known as the “Alone” and invulnerable to conventional weapons, the only way to fight them involves the use of a powered exoskeleton known as a Palette Suit. With a suit in tow, it’s up to fourteen-year-old protagonist Isshiki Akane (Sakura Ayane) to fight off this alien threat. Joining her are classmates Futaba Aoi (Murakawa Rie), Saegusa Wakaba (Otsubo Yuka), Shinomiya Himawari (Uchida Aya), and Amagi Mizuha (Yamazaki Haruka).

I won’t mince words here – Vividred Operation is the show I’ve been looking forward to the most out of all the winter series. Why not? It’s backed in the animation department by A-1 Pictures (Anohana, Ao no Exorcist, Sword Art Online, Tsuritama), has redjuice (one of my favorite artists) working on conceptual design, and it’s a science fiction series (my favorite genre). Furthermore, there’s Takamura Kazuhiro of Strike Witches fame here (animator for Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and FLCL), along with Yoshino Hiroyuki (Code Geass, Macross Frontier). Granted, Yoshino does also have some less successful works to his name (Guilty Crown, Gundam Seed Destiny), but it doesn’t change the fact that there are ingredients for greatness here. There’s just a high bar set in terms of entertainment value regardless of how the plot develops, and it makes Vividred Operation a series everyone should give a try. You owe it to yourself to watch this series.

Watching This: Moomba, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Vividred Operation Promotional Videos ▼

haganai2
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT | 僕は友達が少ない NEXT Top
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/haganai/
Animation: AIC Build Premiere: January 10, 2013
Genre: Comedy, School Life, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:55
Episodes: Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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One year has passed since we last saw the members of the Neighbor Club in action, and now they’re revving up for round two! Mikazuki Yozora (Inoue Marina), currently in her short-haired form, is ready to clash with rival Kashiwazaki Sena (Itou Kanae) once again, usually with protagonist Hasegawa Kodoka (Kimura Ryouhei) stuck in the middle. If that weren’t enough, Kodoka also has to deal with the BL-inspired antics of fujoshi-genius Shiguma Rika (Fukuen Misato) and the continual admiration of the maid-trap/man-in-training Kusunoki Yukimura (Yamamoto Nozomi). Finally there’s Kodoka’s gothloli little sister Kobato (Hanazawa Kana), who is generally found butting heads with the Neighbor Club’s advisor, loli-nun Takayama Maria (Iguchi Yuka). The second season will continue to observe this unorthodox group’s exploration of friendship via their signature socially awkward events.

The first season’s uncommon perspective on the concept of friendship caught my attention, along with the antics that naturally arise from an awkward set of characters. While the question of what a friend is may be further examined in a more serious setting, it is a pleasure seeing it played with in Haganai, with hilarious results. There lies a certain pleasure in seeing Yozora and Sena constantly butting heads each other, and turning everything into either a competition or a revenge match. The good news is that more fun might be on the way thanks to some staff changes. Original author Yomi Hirasaka and experienced script writer Kurasumi Sunayama (Monster, Romeo x Juliet) are both joining the writing staff, which is a good sign for the dialogue. Toru Kitahata, previously the first season’s assistant director, takes on his first full director position for the second season, and Toshihiro Kohama takes up the role as the new art director. None of these changes stand out as a downgrade – in fact, the staff’s credentials are reassuring for a quality second season. As the all-star cast returns once more with zero changes, the success of the second season heavily relies on the quality of the source material. I look forward to seeing how this well-built team executes the sequel to this well-written romantic comedy.

Watching This: Asobi, Guardian Enzo, Moomba, Stereoman, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: High
Show Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT Promotional Videos ▼

kotourasan
Kotoura-San | 琴浦さん Top
http://www.kotourasan.com/
Animation: AIC Classic Premiere: January 10, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Supernatural, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:00
Episodes: 12 Station: CBC
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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With web mangas becoming more and more popular nowadays, it was only a matter of time before a 4-koma with over 7.5 million views was given the green light to become an anime. As another romantic comedy with a school academy setting, enokids’ Kotoura-san needs a fantasy twist to keep things fresh. This comes in the form of the titular character, 15-year-old transfer student Kotoura Haruka (Kanemoto Hisako), who possesses the power to read minds. Unfortunately, it’s more of a curse than a gift, as her ability has caused her traumatic experiences in the past, so as a result she’s closed off her heart. Enter Manabe Yoshihisa (Fukushima Jun), a high school boy who falls for Kotoura (and constantly flusters her with his ecchi thoughts), tsundere social butterfly and Kotoura’s rival in love Moritani Hiyori (Kubo Yurika), and the members of Midorigaoka High School’s ESP Research Club, president Mifune Yuriko (Hanazawa Kana) and vice president Muroto Daichi (Shimono Hiro). Together, they slowly open Kotoura’s heart again as they experience the ups and downs of daily life with a healthy dose of comedy.

AIC Classic has a veteran staff working on Kotoura-san in director Ohta Masahiko, Aoshima Takashi handling series composition, and Oosumi Takaharu with the dual duties of character designer and chief animator. All three have had extensive prior experience working on comedies and shows about the daily lives of school girls, and are essentially reprising the production roles they had on Mitsudomoe, Minami-ke, and YuruYuri. It’s fair to expect that Kotoura-san will have similar comedic and slice-of-life vibes as these three shows, and hopefully with its ESP/mind-reading twist, it will also be able to bring some of its own flair to the table as well. Winter looks to be the season for plenty of laughs, and Kotoura-san has the pedigree and potential for comedic success amongst the new offerings.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Kotoura-San Promotional Videos ▼

mondaiji
Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru sou Desu yo? Top
問題児たちが異世界から来るそうですよ?
http://mondaiji.tv/
Animation: Diomedéa Premiere: January 11, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:30
Episodes: 10 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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Continuing the recent trend of shows with inexplicably long and hard to pronounce titles, Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru sou Desu yo? (Problem children are coming from another world, aren’t they?) imagines a world where Kurousagi (Nomizu Iori), a beautiful girl with bunny ears and a prodigious bust, sends a magical letter to three mondaiji (problem children) with powerful supernatural and psychic powers. These lucky three are Sakamaki Izayoi (Asanuma Shinatro), a boy bored with the world, and two attractive but problematic girls, the shy Kasukabe You (Nakajima Megumi) and haughty Kudou Asuka (Bridcut Sarah Emi). Upon opening the letter, they are transported to a fantasy world called Miniature Garden, where they use their powers battling all manner of demons, gods, and monsters to eventually overthrow the Devil King, a tyrant plaguing the bunny girl’s community of No Name… Sounds like many a boy’s dream come true, right? (The preview writer does not share this dream.)

The anime adaptation of Tatsunoko Tarou’s fantasy light novel is helmed by Campione!, Dog Days, and Sekirei director Kusakawa Keizou, so it’s highly likely he’ll bring his talented eye for crafting an entertaining show to Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru sou Desu yo? as well. His resume is perfect for this show, especially since the premise shares some major similarities with his past works, such as the main characters finding themselves in a previously unknown world and then pairing up with a beautiful girl who wants them to save this new world. Like these shows, Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru sou Desu yo? also looks like it will also be a harem as well – after all, with three girls and only one guy comprising the main cast, it has all the makings of one, for better or for worse. A season of anime doesn’t feel complete without a fantasy/comedy harem, and given the director’s stellar track record, Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? is almost a sure bet to be an entertaining ride.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Moomba, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? Promotional Videos ▼

chihaya2
Chihayafuru 2 | ちはやふる2 Top
http://www.ntv.co.jp/chihayafuru/
Animation: Madhouse Premiere: January 11, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:53
Episodes: Station: Nippon Television (NTV)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

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The sequel to fall 2011′s adaptation of Suetsugu Yuki’s Chihayafuru, the second season continues heroine Ayase Chihaya’s (Seto Asami) journey to become the “Queen” of competitive karuta along with the rest of her high school team members and her two childhood friends, Mashima Taichi (Miyano Mamoru) and Wataya Arata (Hosoya Yoshimasa).

Chihayafuru’s first season was an emotionally riveting series, transitioning smoothly from heartfelt childhood days to an impassioned adolescence wrought with enthusiasm, hesitance, hardships, and friendships. Although the romance portion wasn’t necessarily at the forefront, it was handled and incorporated into the story (rather than constructing a plot around it) with such finesse that the series was every bit of a “romance” as series like Ano Natsu de Matteru or Natsuyuki Rendezvous. With Seto Asami, Miyano Mamoru, Hosoya Yoshimasa reprising their roles as Chihaya, Taichi, and Arata respectively, I’m eagerly expecting for the second season to bring more of the emotional range and understated drama that characterized the first season. For those of you that loved what Chihayafuru had to offer originally, this continuation is a must. For those who have no idea what the series is about, do give it a try – there’s no complex plot that makes a viewing of the first season necessary, although watching it might yield a better appreciation for the series’ charm and its inexplicable ability to build character drama so well.

Watching This: BakaMochi, Guardian Enzo, Stereoman Expectation Level: High
hetalia
Hetalia: The Beautiful World | ヘタリア The Beautiful World Top
http://hetalia.com/bw/
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: Jan 25, 2013
Genre: Comedy, History Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: Station: animate.tv
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia

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History has never been more handsome! Whether you’re a history buff or not doesn’t matter because Hetalia Axis Powers has something for everyone to enjoy: history, bishies, comedy, and lots of shenanigans! Studio DEEN’s adaptations of the Hetalia web manga have been doing quite well over the past three years, so it makes sense that a fifth season is coming up this winter. The series’ portrayal of historical events using bishounen characterisations of the world’s countries was more controversial than expected, so in the end it was decided that the series would not be allowed to air on television. Fortunately, it wasn’t completely banned, so this winter the satirical show returns, airing weekly as an ONA just like its previous installments. Like the other seasons, this one will focus mainly on the Axis Powers – Italy (Namikawa Daisuke), Germany (Yasumoto Hiroki), and Japan (Takahashi Hiroki). There will also be appearances by the Allied Forces’ main countries such as America (Konishi Katsuyuki), United Kingdom (Sugiyama Noriaki), France (Onosaka Masaya), Russia (Takato Yasuhiro), and China (Kaida Yuki).

The most noteworthy change in this fifth season is with the production staff. Watanabe Hiroshi (Ueki no Housoku, Tactics, Slayers) is taking over the role as director, Oka Mariko (Ghost Hound, Jigoku Shoujo, Nurarihyon no Mago) will be designing the characters, and Fudeyasu Kazuyuki (Ben-To, Kämpfer, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes) will take care of the series composition. These three staff members are completely new to the Hetalia franchise, but they’re fairly well-known in the anime world, so the future of this show looks promising. My winter will have “Pasta~!” – will yours?

Watching This: Stereoman Expectation Level: Moderate

OVA / Movie


 

Technical Note: OVAs are sorted by the date they are released. For series that have multiple episodes coming out over the course of the season, please refer to the Notes column for additional dates. More information on each OVA can be found on their respective websites, including promotional videos in some cases. Movie premiere dates are not included since they don’t mean a whole lot to viewers outside of Japan. DVD/BD movie releases are, however. This list is likely incomplete and will be updated as more titles surface. If you notice anything missing, please feel free to point it out in the comments or e-mail one of us directly (Stilts, verdant, Divine).

Release Date Title Notes
01/16 Carnival Phantasm OVA | カーニバル・ファンタズム OVA
http://www.typemoon.com/products/cp/index.html
Bundled with Type-Moon 10th Anniversary BD Box.
01/25 Toshokan Sensou: Kakumei no Tsubasa | 図書館戦争 革命のつばさ
http://www.kadokawa.co.jp/toshokan-sensou/
BD/DVD movie release.
01/29 Gusko Budori no Denki | グスコーブドリの伝記
http://wwws.warnerbros.co.jp/budori/
BD movie release.
January Hyouka: Motsubeki Mono Wa | 氷菓 持つべきものは Episode 11.5. Bundled with Limited Edition manga Vol. 3.
02/06 KissxSis OVA | キスシス OVA
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/kiss_sis/
Bundled with Limited Edition manga Vol. 11.
02/08 Joshiraku OVA | じょしらく OVA
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/joshiraku/
Bundled with Limited Edition manga Vol. 5.
02/15 CØDE:BREAKER OVA
http://www.code-breaker.jp/
Bundled with manga Vol. 22. Episode 2 of 3, 4/17: Vol. 3.
02/15 Seitokai Yakuindomo OVA | 生徒会役員共 OVA Bundled with Limited Edition manga Vol. 8.
02/20 Kagaku na Yatsura OVA | カガクなヤツら OVA Bundled with Limited Edition manga Vol. 4.
02/20 Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki | おおかみこどもの雨と雪
http://www.ookamikodomo.jp/index.html
BD/DVD movie release.
02/22 Kuroko no Basuke OAD | 黒子のバスケ OAD
http://www.kurobas.com/
Episode 22.5. Bundled with BD/DVD Vol. 8.
02/22 Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team -Sanjugen to no Tatakai- OAD
機動戦士ガンダム 第08MS小隊 -三次元との戦い- OAD
http://www.08ms-team.net/blu-ray/memorial.html
Bundled with 08th MS Team BD Memorial Box.
02/22 TIGER & BUNNY -The Beginning- | タイガー&バニー-The Beginning-
http://www.tigerandbunny.net/
BD/DVD movie release.
02/27 BLOOD-C The Last Dark | 劇場版 ブラッドシー ザ ラスト ダーク
http://blood-c-movie.jp/index.html
BD/DVD movie release.
February SKET Dance OVA | スケットダンス OVA
http://sketdance.jp/news/index.html
Bundled with Limited Edition manga Vol. 29.
Winter 2013 Aruvu Rezuru – Kikai Jikake no Yousei-tachi | アルヴ・レズル -機械仕掛けの妖精たち-
http://animemirai.jp/news.php?p=86

Overall Impressions


 

Normally this would be the place where Divine would give his overall impressions of the upcoming season, but since there were many of us involved in the creation of this preview, we once again got together to discuss our thoughts and expectations. Personally, I see a lot to like – there may be a relative lack of original series, but there are plenty of great adaptations, sequels, and lots of shorts on the horizon! Even those which may not seem as impressive at first have the potential to surprise you – take last season’s sleeper, Girls und Panzer for instance!

Below is a collection of all the shows debuting this season by excitement level, along with the definition of what each level means to us. We arrived at these levels by setting a date for a shadowy council and convening with all those preview writers who decided to show up. There were five of us involved in this – Stereoman, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr, and myself. As per the norm, we yelled at each other a lot and tried to be as objective as possible. Stilts kept trying to insist on ranking the ecchi shows too high while Zephyr and Stereoman frequently face-palmed over our corrupted thoughts, but I like to think we came to a point we could all agree on. Don’t take these as unassailable truths though! Note: The lists are sorted in alphabetical order.

 

High expectation shows give us reason to believe they have the makings of a very good series that should appeal to the widest audience in their given genres. If you consider yourself a “casual” fan who only gets your toes wet every season by watching the “best” shows (i.e. popular ones that generate the most buzz), then these are the ones we feel you should keep an eye out for. We’re also expecting good things from these shows, so if they fall short, disappointment is understandable.

Moderate expectation shows don’t provide any immediate indication that they’ll be amazing in retrospect. This is often the case with shows that fall into one of anime’s overused plot devices, which most people, particularly self-proclaimed critics, will perceive as mediocre at best. However, in many of our experiences, these shows still provide a great deal of entertainment and may turn out a lot better than they appear. They’re good for “regular” fans who are aware of all these tropes and don’t mind seeing them used in different settings. Personal tastes come heavily into play, so your mileage will vary.

Low expectation shows don’t seem to be striving for much and choose to focus on more frivolous aspects such as senseless humor and fan-service. That doesn’t mean they’re the bottom of the barrel and shouldn’t get any consideration, but simply that you need to keep in mind what kind of show it is. Generally only “avid” fans will be interested in seeing what these have to offer, because they’re already watching all the better shows.

Niche shows break away from the norm by being slower-paced, extremely dark/grotesque, or even controversial. In most cases, these shows are oriented towards older audiences or those who feel that anime has become far too repetitive and want something different. Shows of this category tend to be highly underappreciated but can turn out to be hidden gems for that very reason. Includes works oriented toward female audiences.

Established shows are generally long-running manga/anime series, geared towards younger viewers who are already fans of them. A commonality is that they all air early morning on weekends or well before midnight on weekdays so that “normal” people can actually watch them. They aren’t very dependent on expectations but a love for never-ending shows and a willingness to get into all the material that’s out if they’re completely new to you. Shounen series fall into this category, hence why we treat them differently.

  • Established: n/a
December 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm
258 comments »
  • December 26, 2012 at 7:13 pmSol

    Sasami-san is AOTY. Calling it.

  • December 26, 2012 at 7:26 pmrh75

    Normally, I write down a dozen shows that catch my eye from these previews and then narrow it down to a handful. This is the first time where I find myself with only 2 shows written down after going through the previews.

    Sigh.

    At least Sakurasou and Psycho Pass are still going strong.

    • December 26, 2012 at 7:31 pmHimari

      Feel the same way. And this current season has been so good to me. :/ At least there’s some good two-cour series still carrying over into 2013.

    • December 26, 2012 at 7:43 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

      Same here… =/

    • December 26, 2012 at 7:51 pmStilts

      Yes somehow, I’m planning to watch like 20 shows :X

      M! Stilts is an M for trying to watch everything!

      • December 27, 2012 at 1:23 am†Croos†

        All whats left is that you blog those 20 show that you are watching.
        >:D

      • December 27, 2012 at 3:09 amfishell

        Woah…20 shows! I am having trouble choosing anime to watch since year 2010…the only anime for 2012 seasons I finished watching this year is Fate/Zero. I marathon few years old animes mostly…
        By the way, what happen to Hyouka’s posts? Is it still ongoing?

      • December 27, 2012 at 8:24 amgoukaryuu

        The minute I saw Senran Kagura’s description I knew you would be watching it. lol

        Your following 20 shows! Geez. I had enough trouble trying to follow 14 this past season. Then again many of these are shorts right? Either way good luck.

      • December 29, 2012 at 7:55 amd-LaN

        Stilts, I salute thee…. How did you guys even manage the time for it? I ady falling behind on ALL shows in this season… (Yes even those anime on must-not-miss-list is falling behind….)

    • December 26, 2012 at 7:51 pmKarmafan

      This whole year has been mostly one good series after another until now. On paper this winter season looks really WEAK for those of us that like action, sci-fi, or adventure type stuff. I also like comedy and slice of life so there some good choices there.

      I always watch at least the 1st episode of a series and then make a decision to keep watching or dropping it. So I will keep an open mind and hope for the best.

    • December 26, 2012 at 7:54 pmEdios

      don’t like Zetsuen no Tempest? well, who needs you anyway.

      • December 26, 2012 at 8:00 pmdxb_blackwolf

        Shinsekai Yori and Robotics;Notes are good too. I’m watching those five shows, six if I decide not to drop Magi. So I’m not that worried about my anime doses next season :P

      • December 27, 2012 at 5:14 amrh75

        I’m going to marathon Zetsu when I have time. Same with Shinsekai. My current work schedule, 14 hour days including travel time and going to get worse, doesn’t leave me time to watch a lot. Sakurasou and Psycho Pass are my must watch shows.

    • December 26, 2012 at 8:39 pmNic

      Yeah, guess we’ll see when it starts. I’m only confident of one show myself and that’s Chihayafuru S2. I heard good things about AKB but I’m not sure I want to watch a idols show. As for the rest, I could only narrow it down to that Lupin look-alike show and even then, it’s a gamble. It’s a good thing the current one is still going strong into the winter because I don’t expect anything from this upcoming season.

      Also, I think it’s a bad idea to recommend watching Chihayafuru without having seen S1 because frankly, few people are familiar with Karuta and it’s gonna confuse the hell out of them if they didn’t watch the episodes explaining the complexities of the game.

    • December 26, 2012 at 9:24 pmYanDaMan

      Yeah, not a lot of shows that interest me this season also. Maybe 2 or 3 at most.

    • December 26, 2012 at 10:09 pmLightnDark

      Hello fellow anime comrades! After scrutinizing the list, I think it is safe to say that the offerings for this season isn’t that plentiful (especially after coming off an insanely stacked Fall), despite a higher-than-usual no. of shows (at 31 total!). People have pointed out that the number of shows that made it to their watch-list can be counted with 1 hand, if not 2, and I agree with them. Based on the initial writeup and cover pictures, I only have noted down 8 titles at the moment, although I will probably add a couple more after based on first impressions and whatnot.

      Anyway, since I have nothing better to do (well not really), I went through and compiled a couple of stats which I did for the previous season. Disclaimer: The numbers are accurate at the time of writing, these are subjected to change as edits and changes will be made to the preview over time.

      Who is the most M of them all? aka How many shows do they watch per season
      Zanibas: 23 (M here is for MAD)
      Stilts: 19 (someone is more M than you)
      Moomba: 16
      Zephyr: 12
      Enzo: 11
      Stereoman: 7
      Asobi: 7
      Bakamochi: 5

      Note: Everyone else that is unlisted (seewhatididthere) have a grand total of 0, not because they aren’t watching anything (I hope) but rather they haven’t quite indicated what they would like to watch when this preview is made.

      Most overrated..I mean popular picks for the season

      With a total of 8 names, the threshold for shows to be listed is 5 (>50%) and above, since there are quite a number of shows with 4 people watching.

      Amnesia: 7
      Sasami: 7
      Haganai: 6
      Maoyu: 6
      Tantei: 5
      School Idol: 5 (oook..)
      Tamako: 5
      Mondaiji: 5

      Seiyuu stalk..I mean watchlist

      Note: The names featured are “random” and more importantly, I realized that most of the bigger names in the industry do not appear more than once or twice throughout this list :( They might play supporting roles which won’t be factored into the list below though.

      Asumi Kana: 4
      Iguchi Yuka: 4
      Hana Kana: 3 (Sasami, Haganai, Kotoura)
      Uchida Maaya: 3 (Up and coming? Played Rikka in Chuu2Koi and Rea in Sankarea)
      Everyone else is either at 1 or 2 counts.

      Interestingly in Ai Mai Mi, Mai and Mii are played by Uchida Aya, Uchida Maaya respectively, I’m not sure if they are siblings but..coincidence?

      Also in Senran Kagura, 2 two of the female leads consist of the two female leads in BakaTest (Asuka->Himeji, Yagyuu-> Minami)

      Last but not least, and as always a big thank you to the people who are involved in the making of this preview. It’s not an easy task (especially coupled with the AOTY post) and it always makes me wonder how does a certain single man (or robot) manage to do of all this alone?

    • December 26, 2012 at 11:46 pmewok40k

      It says something when only 2 “new” shows that catch my eye are continuations, namely Boku wa Tomodachi… and Chihayafuru (Taichi… fridays?).
      Fortunately, the continuation war, erm, series are some of the best of the passing season, including Sakurasou, Zetsuen no Tempest, Psycho-Pass, and finale to Girls und Panzer.
      Edit: after a re-read of the list I’ve spotted a possible hidden gem:
      Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
      I am sucker for shows where mere fancy swordplay can’t save the world, where forces of light and darkness are forced to cooperate for common gain, and finally where grand scale policy – in this case macroeconomic? – takes precedence over battlefield heroics.

      • December 30, 2012 at 11:55 amAllen Walker

        I thought Suisei no Gargantia was supposed to be in this season?

    • December 27, 2012 at 12:40 amWrenleos

      Well at least there will always be video games and an enormous backlog of older animes for me to fall back on.

    • December 27, 2012 at 1:36 amsmokex365

      I see about 4 shows, maybe another 1 or 2 worth watching. It seems like a pretty weak season. It’s a good thing there’s several shows I enjoy carrying over into the winter season.

    • December 27, 2012 at 7:16 amMii-ju

      I totally agree. I mean, winter season used to be my favourite season because there was always so many good shows. This year, I’m sort of disappointed.

    • December 27, 2012 at 9:12 pmhaseo0408

      I know how you feel, there arent many shows in this new season that cath the eye right away but give some of them the benefit of the doubt, they might surprise you that´s what I´m going to do.

      In my case I´m defenitly watching:
      Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
      D.C. III ~Da Capo III~
      Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
      Minami-ke Tadaima
      Vividred Operation
      Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT
      Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru sou Desu yo?

      This are the ones that cath my eye but I´m going to check some of the rest to make sure if there is potential in some of them.

      Thanks for the hard work in the preview, Happy Holidays.

  • December 26, 2012 at 7:28 pmCrunchie

    No DokiDoki PreCure preview? D:

    • December 26, 2012 at 8:39 pmZephyr

      Hmm… it seems like it was erroneously omitted from the final list for some reason. I’m not sure exactly why at the moment, but it may be because we didn’t preview it before in previous seasons. More info if I get it. Apologies though, regardless.

      • December 26, 2012 at 11:22 pmCrunchie

        Oh, it’s alright! Pretty sure you had a Smile PreCure preview last year so I was just a little confused. Understandable, though. You guys don’t cover the PreCure series. :)

  • December 26, 2012 at 7:31 pmJack

    Thanks for all your hard work putting this together, I really appreciate it!
    Quality writing right here ^^

  • December 26, 2012 at 7:32 pmJimhawk

    Good to see Shimono Hiro in a few shows, I miss having the God of Conquest around. Even for those viewers who don’t find a lot to like about this season (I actually think there are some legitimate gems here), we have a lot of strong carryover from Fall 2012 so no worries there.

  • December 26, 2012 at 7:42 pmdxb_blackwolf

    Many slice-of-life-with-cute-girls animes this season. Out of those, I’m probably just gonna watch Tamako Market since KyoAni somehow managed to never disappoint me since season 2 Haruhi. I’m bored with these kinds of shows though so I’m probably not going to watch the rest.

    There are some animes I’m looking forward to but this I’m not so excited with this list of animes so I’m keeping my expectations low this season. At least, I know I’ll be watching “boku wa tomodachi” and “chihayafuru” along with the other 2-cour series of this last season.

  • December 26, 2012 at 7:46 pmazeriraz

    I’m surprised to see Vividred being so highly anticipated. Hiroyuki Yoshino hasn’t exactly been on a winning streak lately.

    • December 28, 2012 at 5:13 pmplushkin

      lol yea, for me, his name is mud in this industry. I’m surprised not more people are actually turned off when hearing his name with Sci-Fi and Redjuice together in the same sentence.

      • December 28, 2012 at 5:54 pmBakaMochi

        I remember when they last worked together. Wish I kind of didn’t, though.

      • December 28, 2012 at 7:03 pmazeriraz

        The his work in the last 2 years is painful.

        @Bakamochi – Darker than Black season 1 is but a distant memory of the good days.

  • December 26, 2012 at 7:47 pmMagoiichi

    Only 3-4 shows I’m watching this time.The oversaturation of moe moe crap is annoying.

  • December 26, 2012 at 7:49 pmOBAMABASEDGOD

    Winter doesnt look too bad. Some new stuff to watch while i’m on vacation. Excited for :
    Puchimas! Petit Idolmaster
    Mangirl!
    Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
    AMNESIA
    Love Live! School Idol Project
    THE UNLIMITED – Hyoubu Kyousuke
    GJ-bu (Good Job Club)
    Tamako Market
    Sasami-san@Ganbaranai
    Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT
    Vividred Operation

    seems like there are alot of idol series coming out as well. whatsup with that

  • December 26, 2012 at 7:49 pmClick

    A very interesting season filled with wild cards. I don’t think there’s anything of definite quality out there this season (but really, is there ever any?) besides Chihayafuru, which had a nothing short of stellar first season.

    My highest expectations go towards Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, but this one’s going to be tricky. Not only is it being animated by ARMS, the guys who are notorious for risque fanservice laden shows such as Queen’s Blade, but the director is has a very skewed resume with far less hits than he has misses. However, he did direct Spice and Wolf I and II, which puts this right up his alley! Should be interesting to see how it turns out.

    The new Zettai Karen Children is a must watch for me as well. The director is a fairly new talent with only one other production under his belt, but the fact that this is entirely anime original intrigues me. As a confessed fan of the original manga, I’ll just have to wait and see!

    Also, Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman has ties to two of the worst series ever produced: it’s an anime original production with designs by Monkey Punch which makes it reminiscent of the infamous Gun Samurai and it’s also based off a Pachinko game, tieing to Rio: Rainbow Gate. Now, the thing is both were entertainingly bad and arguably tried to do so. I’ll be watching.

    Everything is else is pretty much up floating aloft right now. KyoAni’s new original project is interesting, but the last time did something original we got Munto, and that was erm, well, let’s just say it’s far from the best of KyoAni’s excellent track record. There’s a lot of variety in this season and everything is completely up in the air, so I guess that means it’s worth watching a ton of shows to find out.

    And I’ll be watching Doki Doki Precure, cause fuck it, that’s why. I’m so down to watch a new mahou shoujo.

    • December 27, 2012 at 7:27 amSuppa Tenko

      But since, Maou Yuusha is mostly dialogue more than anything, it’s kinda eh.

  • December 26, 2012 at 7:54 pmkanade_

    Except for some titles, this Winter’s line-up looks very dull and uninteresting…

    • December 28, 2012 at 12:34 amverdant

      Yeah with this sparse selection, it was even harder than usual deciding what to watch, so that’s why my name isn’t under any of these shows, haha =)

  • December 26, 2012 at 7:56 pmdimasok

    What’s up with the 5-minute shows? *sigh*
    Really disappointing :(

  • December 26, 2012 at 8:04 pmcutemi2

    where the Heck is Doki-Doki Precure

    • December 26, 2012 at 9:06 pmZephyr

      If I am remembering correctly, it didn’t get a preview because the previous iterations never did either. Apologies for this regardless though.

  • December 26, 2012 at 8:06 pmStrawman

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • December 26, 2012 at 8:21 pmdxb_blackwolf

      Chill yo. I agree about Vividred though. With Yoshino as the writer, the only good thing about it is being directed by Takamura Kazuhiro. Also A-1′s works have great animation but they never exceed expectations. I’d consider Shinsekai yori to be the only exception to that in a long time.

    • December 26, 2012 at 8:35 pmZephyr

      Why hello there. Is that you deathtogeneric?

      The reason I put it as high is because despite the fanservice and what not, it looks like it has promise to be genuinely entertaining. And since the basic point most people watch is to be entertained, it thus has wide appeal (and is also being talked about quite a bit), so it fits the criteria of “high expectations”.

      Oh yes, and did I mention that I’m a science major and thus am intrigued at Vividred’s “world where science has answered every question?”

      Either way though, you’re taking this way too seriously considering it’s an opinionated post.

      • December 26, 2012 at 10:01 pmStrawman

        deathtogeneric? Not me, Zephyr. I’d assume that you assumed so based on the public IP address since that’s the only plausible case for such out-the-blue mistaken identity, but you know IP address can be for a starbucks, library, dorm, school computer room, etc, and not just a single household, right?

        Anyhow, Zephyr, it’s okay. Just say you like moe girls flying around and fighting in revealing protective armors (thus rather pointless endeavor if you were to ask me) and that would be sufficient. Just because I won’t be watching doesn’t mean I’ll be judging those who will. I simply questioned the hype, nothing more (okay I admit that I did trash it a bit while doing so…but I am not being overtly serious!) I’d actually respect it if someone just comes out and say it out front. No need to conjure up “world where science has answered every question?” and revoking your education since it just makes your selling point sillier. Yes… when the science answers every question and people do away with superstitions, the answer is… “fighting-’n-flying-moe-Japanese-teenage girls in a skimpy armors.

        Now if you said so for series like “Eve no Jikan” (great show, btw), then it’s a different story.

      • December 26, 2012 at 10:41 pmZephyr

        Really now. Seems like a heck of a coincidence seeing that IP address multiple times posting similar toned posts. But no matter.

        Seems like you can’t accept that there’s something at least remotely interesting to someone involved in the sciences when you have a world so based on it. There’s the conceptual interest in the world that forms from it and the problems that would arise if the Engine does get borked. Sure, this respect will probably be a very small portion compared to fan-service, action etc., but you can’t deny it’s there.

        In addition, I already explained that the big part of my reasoning stems from the criteria I mentioned above for “high expectations,” which it does fit. You may point to me and Stilts as being the “only ones” who think this way, but everyone else involved thought similarly.

        In the end, you’re free to disagree and I respect your opinion. It seems like your respect of others opinions in the opposite end could use some work though, or at least how you phrase things.

        P.S. I did watch Eve no Jikan too and loved it. Just cause Vividred ain’t anywhere similar doesn’t mean it can’t be good or entertaining though. Judging by a cover is what makes you miss hidden gems.

      • December 27, 2012 at 9:56 pmStrawman

        Zephyr, fair enough. We can agree to disagree on the show’s merits. Even though I do have slight issues with your somewhat sanctimonious attitude ““It seems like your respect of others opinions in the opposite end could use some work though, or at least how you phrase things.”” (you do realize that I am in no obligation to sugarcoat my opinion just to make others feel better, don’t you? It’s safe to say I’m fairly opinionated on certain things -an outright non-compromising aversion on shows about moe girl pandering or genuine appreciation for mature Seinen, to name a few-, which is one reason why I or anybody even bother to spend a few seconds to post a comment to begin with. There is always some value in provoking the other side instead of trying to spare some hurt feelings. Think science/reason vs. religion debate), I think it’s safe to assume that both of us has said what needs to be said on the matter and should move on.

        To chihayafuru fans: c’mon, relax. It was all in good fun. I too can see how it can look more mean-spirited than intended on a paper. Sure I taunted Enzo a bit, but I’m sure he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about that particular post of mine to even be offended by my cheap shot (note to Mormegil: thanks for your concern. You’re very kind. I do have a life, thank you very much. Talks about responding a cheap shot with even cheaper shot, LOL!!). Once in a while, I like to stir things up a bit just to make things lively. I will freely admit that …Besides I don’t even hate chihayafuru as a show. It’s not for me for the reason stated in my previous post, but I generally don’t have any issue with it -only when “some” fanboys lose their cool with their extreme hardcore fanboying, which gets real annoying. In any case, I am not your enemy, as far as chihayafuru is concerned.

      • December 27, 2012 at 10:00 pmStrawman

        Zephyr, fair enough. We can agree to disagree on the show’s merits. Even though I do have slight issues with your somewhat sanctimonious attitude ““It seems like your respect of others opinions in the opposite end could use some work though, or at least how you phrase things.”” (you do realize that I am in no obligation to sugarcoat my opinion just to make others feel better, don’t you? It’s safe to say I’m fairly opinionated on certain things -an outright non-compromising aversion on shows about moe girl pandering or genuine appreciation for mature Seinen, to name a few-, which is one reason why I or anybody even bother to spend a few seconds to post a comment to begin with. There is always some value in provoking the other side instead of trying to spare some hurt feelings. Think science/reason vs. religi@n debate), I think it’s safe to assume that both of us has said what needs to be said on the matter and should move on.

        To chihayafuru fans: c’mon, relax. It was all in good fun. I too can see how it can look more mean-spirited than intended on a paper. Sure I taunted Enzo a bit, but I’m sure he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about that particular post of mine to even be offended by my cheap shot (note to Mormegil: thanks for your concern. You’re very kind. I do have a life, thank you very much. Talks about responding a cheap shot with even cheaper shot, LOL!!). Once in a while, I like to stir things up a bit just to make things lively. I will freely admit that …Besides I don’t even hate chihayafuru as a show. It’s not for me for the reason stated in my previous post, but I generally don’t have any issue with it -only when “some” fanboys lose their cool with their extreme hardc@re fanboying, which gets real annoying. In any case, I am not your enemy, as far as chihayafuru is concerned.

    • December 26, 2012 at 8:48 pmKuntzy

      Don’t you be dissin’ Taichi Tuesdays.

      • December 26, 2012 at 8:56 pmKuntzy

        or rather Taichi Fridays(T_T) now it seems. Why would you change the days? Now the hype nickname doesn’t work anymore…

      • December 27, 2012 at 8:46 pm7godeohs

        Sure it works, just watch it on Tuesday! Taichi Tuesdays are back!!

    • December 27, 2012 at 6:21 amazeriraz

      You do know that other bloggers rate Chihayafuru highly right? Not just Guardian Enzo that loved the series.

      • December 27, 2012 at 7:06 amCherrie

        You’re right, a lot of bloggers (or people in general) really like the show. Div finished it and liked it =)

        I think everyone has their own definition of what is a good/bad show… that’s why we define what we consider “high/low/moderate/etc.” expectations. Even if Enzo really likes it, that doesn’t represent RC’s expectations as a whole. But what’s wrong with Enzo advocating how much he loves the show? As long as people aren’t trolling or hating on something, I see nothing wrong with it ^^’

    • December 27, 2012 at 12:17 pmMormegil

      Strawman, your obsession with Enzo is downright creepy. Get a life.

      I swear, Enzo gets the worst trolls.

  • December 26, 2012 at 8:14 pmShiden

    AKB0048, Ore no Kanojo, ZKC, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Mondai-Ji-tachi, Inaba, Vividred Operation, and Maoyuu. Only 8 shows catch my eye this season….

  • December 26, 2012 at 8:15 pmqwert

    Seems like a real hit or miss season so far.

    A couple of great returns, a few new shows that look like they could hit big and a whole bunch of “hopefully this doesn’t suck”.

  • December 26, 2012 at 8:35 pmZero Hour 17

    think the only thing Im excited for is that 08th Mobile Suit team OAD

  • December 26, 2012 at 8:38 pmKairoru

    Looking forward for KyoAni’s Tamako Market!

  • December 26, 2012 at 8:50 pmctscloud

    Nice nice shows…I always love the beginning of any season :)

  • December 26, 2012 at 8:55 pmc2710

    Quite dry though…. Currently only 4 confirmed on the watch list.

    BTW… Isn’t nekomonogatari kuro slated for a 4 part release at the end of 2012???

    • December 26, 2012 at 8:59 pmZephyr

      It is, but because the Winter season doesn’t start in earnest until January, it’s not classified as a Winter series and was not put in this preview.

  • December 26, 2012 at 8:57 pmJustSayin’

    Unlike many, last season I immediately had my eye on Girls und Panzer and a few others. But there is little this season that catches my eye at the moment. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. At least some of last seasons titles are continuing so I’ll have something to watch if everything disappoints.

    I remember when the original Da Capo first aired. Most people I know called it Da Crapo and I kinda agreed at the time. So I’m puzzled why they’d want to revive it, but maybe this time it will be good.

    • December 26, 2012 at 9:51 pmKuntzy

      They’re not really reviving it per say, they just tend to put an anime out not too long after the game comes out. The turnaround is especially quick this time though.

      Da Capo may as well be crack to some people though (especially the VN’s) so I’m not really surprised Da Capo 3 got an anime as well.

  • December 26, 2012 at 8:59 pmJason Isenberg

    Taichi Tuesdays are coming back! Only…it’s Friday instead lol

  • December 26, 2012 at 9:04 pmBelka

    Yeah I saw Strike Witches….It was pretty bad. Just seeing that the characters in Vividred Operation don’t have pants (just like most female characters in Strike Witches), just tells me that this is going to be an anime full of butt and camel toe shots. I wont be fooled again by mediocrity. At least Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is here and I loved Spice and Wolf.

    • December 27, 2012 at 12:12 amChisel

      Completely agree, the premise was interesting until they said that it was up to 14 year old schoolgirls to save the world, facepalm. I still had some glimmer of hope that maybe it might turn out fine and be akin to evangelion, but then I saw the PV. First shot: girl’s ass.

  • December 26, 2012 at 9:16 pmDSSeraph

    Jeeze, should we just call this the season of slice of life comedy? there were only a couple shows in other genre’s in that bunch, and only one of them made any sort of “jump” at me… Gonna be a light season :-/

  • December 26, 2012 at 9:28 pmBelka

    Also Vividred Operation synopsis is literally the same as Strike Witches. Aliens come and attack little girls get into suit to fight them (while showing as many butt shots and possible during the fight). The creator didn’t even bother to do something different.

    • December 27, 2012 at 7:29 amSuppa Tenko

      Watch as they have the exact same camera angles as an attempt to write it off as “homage”

  • December 26, 2012 at 9:32 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    WOW! talk about BLEAK….this coming season that is..well more time to work on my ab’s for the upcoming spring/summer i guess ….thanks for the hard work any way yall.

  • December 26, 2012 at 9:32 pmKamui04

    Not many titles catch my eyes this season. Gonna stick those I’ve liked before, Haganai, Minami-ke and puchimasu.
    As for new ones, of course Useless Meat!

  • December 26, 2012 at 9:35 pmKuntzy

    Ah, my rom-com needs will be satiated quite well in the first two seasons of 2013.

    Sakurasou will be continuing, OreShura and Haganai start this season, and then Hentai Ouji, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru and OreImo in spring. ‘Tis bliss.

  • December 26, 2012 at 9:40 pmGeoff

    I don’t think there’s much that can top what we got from last season.

  • December 26, 2012 at 9:45 pmEntrav

    Well, only a couple of shows really worth looking into but that’s to be expected. We have some great 2 cour anime this season so…

  • December 26, 2012 at 10:20 pmGentlemanFair

    I’m sad you guys did not include DokiDoki Precure this time since you included Smile Precure last year :(

    Anyway, there does not seem to be much that interests me this season. For now my watchlist looks like its only going to consist of Tamako Market, DokiDoki Precure, and Vividred. Along with obligatory sequels like Haganai 2. Well that should hopefully be enough since I still have Psycho-pass, Robotics;Notes, and Shin Sekai Yori from last season :)

  • December 26, 2012 at 10:34 pmEl Huesudo II

    “We’ve got a big group of cute idols voiced by the idol group µ’s (pronounced Muse)”

    WRONG MUSE, JAPAN

  • December 26, 2012 at 10:36 pmMagoiichi

    This list has actually convinced me to go through the current season’s lineup and try out some anime that I wrote off.

    Anything would be better than the list for the new season.

  • December 26, 2012 at 11:12 pmLGrey

    “If you like the idea of cute girls interacting with their cute chibi-selves and doing random things, I would highly suggest watching these two minute segments each week!”

    Isn’t Puchimasu aired daily?

  • December 26, 2012 at 11:14 pmarlulez

    so, looking at the preview, i have no interest in most of the shows.
    This winter preview is looking so bland T_T usually i have 10+ shows to watch every season, now not even 5..

  • December 26, 2012 at 11:16 pmf4ctfinder

    That Spice and Wolf anime-alike <3

    That Tamakomoeness <3

    That Shaft <3

  • December 26, 2012 at 11:23 pmPlayer

    Wow. So much in-depth and insightful explanation of so many shows. Getting more people to do the preview was the right decision (for readers at least).

    So many shows that I just cannot judge, like sasami and Vividred.

  • December 26, 2012 at 11:36 pmRickyMack

    I’m excited for more Minami-Ke and Haganai. Chihayafuru kinda lost me towards the last few episodes but I think I’m gonna check it out initially. Those with Sakurasou will be plenty for me because I’m also gonna be watching Suits, How I Met Your Mother, and Community.

  • December 26, 2012 at 11:48 pmsakuga

    Definitely an interesting lineup and I’m surprised to say that I did not predict finding myself intrigued by fourteen different series this season. I’m not certain whether that means my interests are expanding or what but I’m definitely curious about the potential here. It seems like we may find more hidden gems than anything with the current reception. Moments like that are really something worth looking forward to though so here’s hoping the Winter exceeds the lack of hype.

    What I plan on watching:
    Yama no Susume, Mangirl, Cuticle Tantei Inaba, Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, OreShura, Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun (Maybe), Senran Kagura (Maybe), AMNESIA , Senyu, Tamako Market, GJ-bu, Sasami-san@Ganbaranai, Vividred Operation, Mondaji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?

  • December 26, 2012 at 11:54 pmFreddeh

    Lotta crap but enough decent-to-possibly good looking new stuff to make this season not too bad if you consider the great shows that are continuing (ZnT, Sakurasou, SSY) along with the great sequels coming up (Chihayafuru and AKB).

    I’m sure by the time we get into the season I’ll have 10 shows on my list, and in the meantime I can catch up on a couple shows I never got caught up on this season XD.

  • December 26, 2012 at 11:55 pmion62

    There are WAY too many “moe” anime coming out.

  • December 27, 2012 at 12:00 amAccess

    Well, all of two shows that interest me. This is going to be a dry season.
    There’s Maoyuu Maou Yuusha too, but I am very upset that they adapt the manga’s art style. I find this one so jarring it might seriously hamper my enjoyment of the whole thing.

    • December 27, 2012 at 12:02 amAccess

      Good heavens, I meant that I’m upset they DIDN’T adapt the manga’s art style.

      • December 27, 2012 at 3:30 amMoomba

        I sort of feel the same way – Ishida Akira’s manga art is gorgeous and I would’ve loved to see it animated in that style. But I guess it’s not really all that much of a surprise they’d decide to go with the more official style of the Light Novel. Still a little bit disappointing. I have high hopes for it anyway!

  • December 27, 2012 at 12:02 amfragb85

    Vividred is probably my most anticipated new title for me. I’ve always enjoyed sci-fi, magical girl hybrid shows ever since Nanoha. They always provide an enjoyable flair and action. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha also looks like a keeper for me, since I do love Spice and Wolf and I’ve heard a lot of praise from its original source materials.

    As for returning shows, the severely underrated AKB0048 is on the top, though I’m worried since the writer Mari Okada has a tendency to ruin shows she’s involved in, but I’ll keep an open mind for now. The second season of Haganai is another show I would likely see, since I found the first one decent enough to keep watching.

    I have to say the lineup this season lacked the WOW factor that previous seasons had. I looks like I’ll have to judge brute force style, picking first episodes and see how good an impression it leaves.

  • December 27, 2012 at 12:19 amAni_BEE

    Actually it looks busy to me but I totally understand at first feelin let down with all the Harem lookng show this commig season.

    Here my list, might remove or add some:
    Cuticle Tantei Inaba
    Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
    AKB0048 Next Stage (flawed maybe but proven to me to be entreating and interesting.)
    Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun
    AMNESIA
    THE UNLIMITED (might drop this)
    Senyu
    Tamako Market
    Sasami-san@Ganbaranai
    Vividred Operation
    Mondaji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? (might drop this)
    Hetalia: The Beautiful World (me love satire and Pasta!)

    Fronlast season carry over:
    Shin Sekai Yori
    Zetsuen no Tempest
    JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure
    Little Busters!
    Ixion Saga DT (?)
    Magi
    PSYCHO-PASS
    ROBOTICS;NOTES

    So plenty on the to watch plate. ;)

  • December 27, 2012 at 12:55 amTre

    “It’s not all economics after all, and Maoyuu has the added bonus of deconstructing various traditional fantasy tropes while simultaneously parodying the likes of Dragon Quest…we move through a sort of accelerated history as they work to improve conditions and find a way to end the war.”

    If we’re bringing up similar fantasy games, then that kind of sounds like Terranigma to me (if anyone hasn’t played that game, I highly recommend it).

  • December 27, 2012 at 1:11 amDrift

    Wow, even just looking at the pictures there are so many animes with only girls as the main characters. Not judging but I bet half of them rely on fanservices and male otakus to get better views…

    • December 27, 2012 at 3:41 pmRockmanshii

      I’m not judging, but chinese should go back to their own country and eat their rice there!
      I can do it too.

  • December 27, 2012 at 1:29 amTakaii

    -Walks in the door-

  • December 27, 2012 at 1:48 amdany1908

    well only have like 5 titles and 2 [might think if i'll check]

    Cuticle Tantei Inaba
    Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
    Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun
    Amnesia
    and the karuta anime lol

    THE UNLIMITED (might check it)
    Tamako Market [might check it kinda reminds me of other aninw]

  • December 27, 2012 at 1:53 amNamzor

    I really thought I was going to get away with a light viewing schedule this season as it looked somewhat weak but my list filled up nicely.

    6 Guaranteed watches (you kinda sold me on Vividred, Zephyr)
    Chihayafuru, Haganai, Vividred, Sasami-san, Tamako, Maoyuu

    6 possible watches (seems Stilts’ love of ecchi is infectious)
    Inaba, OreShura, Senran Kagura, GJ-bu, Koutura-san, MondaiJi

    I may marathon Yama no Susume and Mangirl at seasons end, 5min every week seems kinda pointless.

  • December 27, 2012 at 1:58 amdaikama

    By far the show at the top of my list is Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. I liked Spice & Wolf a lot so bring on the economics and clever dialog! Spice & Wolf staff is perfect for adaptation, but I’m with Moomba in wondering whether ARMS is up to the task. Characters seem a bit “off” in the PVs compared to the manga – more than one would expect due to just difference in media. I have high expectations for this show, and don’t see why they won’t be met as long as the adaptation is faithful to the source material.

    LOL – have to love Senran Kagura. No excuses or attempts to claim it’s something other than what it is – an ecchi show. With the director of Freezing and Ikkitousen, it can’t miss in that regard. Should do quite nicely filling that genre this season. I have no expectations beyond ecchi + some decent fight scenes. Anything beyond that is an added bonus.

    Wasn’t even aware of Vividred Operation. I’ll add that to my watch the list, but even as someone who likes SW, I’m having a hard time setting moderate expectations let alone high ones. It may be an “original”, but neither the story line nor the setting seem all that original, unique or compelling to me. After watching the PVs, this seems very much what you’d expect as the offspring of SW & Sky Girls. Apart from the plot (very similar to both), the aliens remind me of neuroi (mechanical/geometric designs) and the “exoskeletons”/weapons along with futuristic setting taken from SkyG. No reason not to give it a shot (2-3 eps), but expectations are average at best.

    Overall, a decent season line up, but apart from Maoyuu Maou & maybe Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT, nothing that stands out as “must watch” for me.

  • December 27, 2012 at 1:59 amDa5id

    Half the shows here have all female main casts.

    The only ones that look appealing are Vividred, Hetalia, and Maoyuu.

  • December 27, 2012 at 2:19 amMentar

    I think OreShura is severely underappreciated – this show is awesome. Other than that, MaoYuu, of course. And then let’s see what else comes up :)

  • December 27, 2012 at 3:04 amN0216332

    Hmmm, I was struggling to pick a fifth for the poll. Well, managed it at the end, and 3 out of 5 were sequel of previous anime.
    1) Haganai
    2) Chihayafuru
    3) Minami-Ke
    4) Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
    5) Kotoura-San
    Also in the order my excitement. 1 being the most excited.

  • December 27, 2012 at 3:06 amRyu222

    In my opinion it looks like it could be another great season of anime. I had trouble picking just 5 in the current poll. Hard to say about a few of them but they at least look/sound interesting enough to give a try.

    Another anime sequel(ZKC) I was looking forward to ends up being another disappointment(Kiddy Grade 2 being another recent one) due to being a spin-off. Not in the least interested in the spin-off and will in all likelihood skip it and hope they eventually announce a second season of ZKC(starting to seem really unlikely).

  • December 27, 2012 at 3:08 amAnimesetsuna

    This will be my list

    Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT
    Sasami-san@Ganbaranai
    Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
    Kotoura-San
    Yama no Susume
    Boku no Imouto wa Osaka Okan
    PSYCHO-PASS
    Shin Sekai Yori

    • December 27, 2012 at 2:38 pmAnimesetsuna

      I forgot Zetsuen no Tempest.

  • December 27, 2012 at 3:08 amNatsuLaSommer

    Nothing to Savanna Game or Train Hero, nor Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman? ..

    So this season doesn’t look like a good one.
    Althrought there are a few anime I will watch.
    Quiete interresting to me seems Sasami-san, Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, Tamako Market, Amnesia and GJ-bu.

    I will watch the first of each either way.

    • December 27, 2012 at 5:13 amMoomba

      If you’re asking where the previews are, Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman is here. Savanna Game is… well who knows – it seems to have pretty much dropped off the map as no new information has been released other than that it ‘airs is 2012′. We came to the conclusion that it probably isn’t going to air this season since that information is pretty old. Train Hero was pushed back again and is now apparently airing in Spring.

  • December 27, 2012 at 3:13 amMightnare

    Guess its the idol season for me..
    AKB, Love Live and probably Maoyuu Maou Yuusha are in.
    Knowing me, I’ll probably end up watching more.

  • December 27, 2012 at 3:36 amdrk

    looking to pick on to see

    YES list
    Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

    maybe/hmm still checking
    Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
    Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
    Senran Kagura

    give 4 to check so far could be rest still hmm wonder on it?

    & Puchimas! why does it remind of potemayo http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa152/JereMedia/gif/potemayo01.gif

  • December 27, 2012 at 4:16 aminfo600

    My line of fire…

    The test subjects (most likely followed on RC):
    Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
    Tamako Market
    Vividred Operation
    Yama no Susume

    Solid garrantee:
    Chihayafuru

    stayed on from last season:
    ROBOTICS;NOTES

    …better than last season…3 shows watched (one of then tacked on mid season because of “mecha!”), 1 (other) show dropped by ep. 4, read 1 extra show’s summaries, and dropped 2 (other) shows’ summaries mid way through the season…

    • December 27, 2012 at 7:11 amCherrie

      Yaya Robotics;Notes! I’m also carrying over a few shows myself =) R;N included obviously.
      I wouldn’t consider R;N a “mecha” series… yes, there are robots IN it, but the focus really isn’t on building a giant robot. I would consider it more mystery, and drama =) and it has a creepy undertone to it too sometimes >_>

      • December 27, 2012 at 1:09 pminfo600

        actually i started R;N from the beginning…though on the hind sight i shouldn’t have put that one (other) show in the “started from mid-season”, since I remembered watching it from the get go…

        the show? Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse

        :o

  • December 27, 2012 at 4:38 amshadowalker

    well, this season’s dull compared to the last one, only a about couple of shows to look forward to.at least Magi and Zetsuen no Tempest is going to continue, anyone know when or if there’s going to be a SAO season 2?

  • December 27, 2012 at 4:57 amPhoenix

    Thank you very much for the 2013 Anime Preview.

    Will be watching only 3 anime :

    1) Hakkenden
    2) Cuticle Tantei Inaba
    3) Amnesia

  • December 27, 2012 at 5:02 amrazz

    I’ve been a good solid anime fan for at least 8 years now and honestly…. this season does not impress me…. someone should seriously go to japan and smack some heads.. stop it with the loli moe ish shows that are just full of fanservice and crappy plot sigh only will be watching Maoyuu Maou Yuusha and Chihayafuru this season.

    • December 27, 2012 at 1:40 pmTitanAnteus

      Agree 100%.
      Maoyuu’s going to be great. No continuation of Magi or Btooom… come on. They should’ve let those two go on instead forsaking their timeslot for 9 billion 4-koma all girl made for dudes gag manga.

      Might watch… Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru sou Desu yo? cause of other and art.

  • December 27, 2012 at 5:44 amBaLdUrIaN

    Unm, I’m picking up only three:

    - Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
    - Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
    - Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

    And maybe I’ll give a three episodes chance to:

    - Hetalia: The Beautiful World
    - Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?
    - Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

    Overall, a bad season -_–

  • December 27, 2012 at 5:45 amlittlejinx

    in my heart, chihayafuru deserves a high expectation level than any show on that preview list <3 more people should watch that show

  • December 27, 2012 at 6:14 amSin1505

    Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

    Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

    Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

    Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

    • December 27, 2012 at 6:44 pmn30nl16ht

      All aboard on the SENA SHIP!!! hehe

  • December 27, 2012 at 6:26 ambelatkuro

    Let’s see:
    My top shows that I want to watch are:
    1. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha(disappointed they didn’t use the art for the ‘Kotowaru’ manga version)
    2. Haganai NEXT(how will they adapt it with so little material left?)
    3. OreShura(disappointed that they didn’t keep Saito Chiwa and Aki Toyosaki from the drama CD. Not that I don’t like Yukarin and Akasaki Chinatsu)

    The shows I’ll try:
    1. Cuticle Tantei Inaba(the seiyuu cast)
    2. Senran Kagura(gotta have my dose of fanservice show per season)
    3. AMNESIA(I’ll try another otome game again just because)
    4. Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman(depends if this gets subbed)
    5. Senyu(YAMAKAN!)
    6. Tamako Market(Kyoani)
    7. GJ-bu (Good Job Club)(I like the art)
    8. Sasami-san@Ganbaranai(SHAFT)
    9. Vividred Operation(will try since I haven’t seen SW yet)
    10. Kotoura-San(sounds good plus an excellent seiyuu cast)
    11. Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?(a dose of harem is needed too)

    …wait what? Wow, I listed 14 there. What do you know.
    I thought I would only be watching less than 10 shows. Though the lineup doesn’t seem that strong, I always underestimate it and gets surprised later. Here’s to a good winter season I guess.

    P.S I promise I’ll catch to to Chihayafuru later. The buzz I hear is pretty positive.

  • December 27, 2012 at 6:53 amCelecia01

    Damn, I was hoping To aru Kagaku no Railgun S would be airing in the next season since it’s been rumored for so long now. Guess production effort is focused on the Index movie for now. Still, would have been nice…especially since there can’t be an Index III until Railgun S has finished.

  • December 27, 2012 at 7:01 amLegaia

    Honestly i surprised when discovered ZTC released THE UNLIMITED – Hyoubu Kyousuke as the spin off
    the manga wasn’t stated anything at all neither about Hyobou nor the project

  • December 27, 2012 at 7:02 amQiesamuel

    Only one anime which falls into mystery genre in this season: Cuticle Tantei Inaba, and it does not look like mystery anime -.-

  • December 27, 2012 at 7:33 amAffy

    Maoyuu Maou Yuusha & Minami-ke <3

  • December 27, 2012 at 7:38 amKiiro

    Too many good shows carrying over! (Sakurasou, Magi, Shinsekai, Psycho-Pass etc)

    Probably following Tamako Market, Maoyuu, Sasami-san and Oreshura. Still undecided whether to follow or backlog Vividred. An anime about cute girls who think pantsu is acceptable outdoor wear is a hit for me!

  • December 27, 2012 at 7:56 amauratum

    Saki ep 14 is airing on 29th January. It is technically not an OVA, so not sure if it should be included in the list?

    As for the winter season, I will be looking forward to Vividred (and Stilts’ coverage of it of course :P ).

  • December 27, 2012 at 8:37 amRyuuzaki21

    around 3-6 shows this season that im definitely gonna watch. =/

  • December 27, 2012 at 8:39 amgoukaryuu

    My coming season looks like this.

    Continuing Series:

    1. Little Busters
    2. Magi
    3. Robotics;Notes
    4. Zetsuen no Tempest

    Winter 2013 Shows:

    5. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Next
    6. Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
    7. Sasami-san@Ganbaranai
    8. Tamako Market

    I also am looking forward to the end of Girls und Panzer. I had watched a little of Psycho-Pass and Shinsekai Yori and might pick those two back up but I most likely will use this season to go through my back log of shows to watch, given I have box sets I haven’t watched yet and have had for years. Still, looks like the season isn’t a wash at least.

  • December 27, 2012 at 9:04 amTopboy

    Still don’t open subject for vote best anime of 2012?

  • December 27, 2012 at 9:25 amchad

    I’m going to watch Maoyuu Maou Yuusha for sure.

  • December 27, 2012 at 9:31 amMorridin

    G’damnit Stilts. Yet again I’m spending way too much time at the TvTropes site, clicking link after link.

    • December 27, 2012 at 12:16 pmStilts

      I literally laughed out loud at this XD My evil plan is working!!

      • December 29, 2012 at 10:32 amMorridin

        I actually still am flipping through the pages even if I did read some/most a few months back.
        Nightmare fuel… “Huh, Disney had Nightmare Fuel in their movies? Interesting” * hours and pages later*

        “Aaaah, finished those pages now let’s get back to… NightmareFuel/Disney…. Damnit.”

  • December 27, 2012 at 9:39 amchris

    Only thing I’m looking forward to watch is Yamakan’s Senyuu. There’s something genuinely fun and interesting about the PVs. And I really love his creative direction. I will probably buy/import the blu ray when it comes out (I bet it’s going to be only one volume and hopefully not overpriced). I would also love to get the storyboard book of this if they plan to release one.

    Not really sure about the rest. I’ve been watching less and less anime, having pretty much dropped every show I tried to watch or was following from last season, except for 2: one is about to finish and the other one I will most likely drop once it tries something (or maybe not, I somewhat enjoy the characters and the direction seems fine if not a little dull, but it hasn’t tried anything yet, so…).

  • December 27, 2012 at 10:12 amAki-Chan

    Since Shin Sekai Yori is still running , thats already on my list for Winter 2013..
    and I think for new series I will probably watch:
    Sasami-San@ganbaranai
    Yama no Musume
    AMNESIA
    Tamako Market
    (but I need to narrow it down to 3 new series , due to lack of time….)

  • December 27, 2012 at 10:50 amLaughingMan

    This season looks like shit.

    • December 27, 2012 at 11:44 amjhpace1

      Makes you wonder if the economy troubles have caught up with the anime corporations.

      I’m only interested in The Unlimited and Vividred Operation at first glance.

  • December 27, 2012 at 11:02 amTorami

    Seems like this season is a bit lackluster :p oh well, it’s a good thing some series from fall will carry over.
    For this season I’ll atleast watch chihayafuru, haganai, sasami and maoyuu. Might check out tamako market.
    For the fall series I’m watching psycho-pass, robotics, sakurasou, tempest, shin sekai and magi. Enough shows to survive on haha ^^

  • December 27, 2012 at 11:45 amMelissa

    Not all anime can be mature thought provoking masterpieces. Sigh why do we western fans do this almost every season? Just because something has ” “moe” in it we automatically dismiss it as cliche. It’s like we westerners are saying ” make shows that appeal to us all the time”!. I guess don’t judge a book by it’s cover motto doesn’t apply to anime. I’m just stating my opinion on how we judge moe shows all the time completely forgetting that moe had been in anime for years.

  • December 27, 2012 at 11:57 amelmaton04

    The Weakest winter I have ever seen. The only thing I’m looking forward to is Tamako Market, and that alone is not a very anticipating show at all.

    Vividred Operation has nice animation and design, but it looks like it’s going to be another fanservice with lots of pandering. I’m not interested in this.

    I was looking forward to Yama no Susume and Mangirl!, but it turns out to be a 5 min show.

    As much as I love the iDOLM@STER universe, I’m not looking forward to its spinoff show. I’m not into those types of shows.

    At least I have Robotics NOTES to look forward next season.

  • December 27, 2012 at 12:02 pmScarletNyx

    It seems im not the only one with some doubts about this season, thank goodness for two cour and hagani next :) But if you guys blog and make it look nice, i will at least take a look at them. A few of the action/eechi/sci-fi series caught my eye, but as the last 3-4 seasons have showed me, those series either end prematurely or badly, or just leave me wanting more which wont happen for another few years…ahh the source material (<_<) but hopefully something good comes out of this seemingly bland season, ive been wrong before.

  • December 27, 2012 at 12:10 pmMormegil

    Not sure why Chihayafuru S2 is in the Moderate Expectations category…

    On another note, there are way too many 4koma adaptations this season.

    • December 27, 2012 at 12:20 pmStilts

      It was a very near thing. Like, coin flip near. Remember, though we try to be objective, it’s pretty much impossible, so feel free to mentally adjust that to high when you read it. Won’t hurt our feelings : )

  • December 27, 2012 at 12:14 pmYX

    Mondai-Ji-tachi LN is GREAT. It’s not a harem at all, the closest IMO is Owari no Chronicle (more so than Horizon). My bet for best anime of the season.

  • December 27, 2012 at 12:45 pmKaySe

    Hooray for Chihayafuru 2! Sadly, I think that’s the only show I’ll pick up for this season.

  • December 27, 2012 at 1:09 pmRittan

    Can’t wait for Amnesia. Only if they do it in omnibus format, though. I love the game but unlike other otome games it doesn’t work at all otherwise. Especially with Ukyo.

    Come on, Large Dog Cage.

  • December 27, 2012 at 1:35 pmlupanvi

    I don’t know why but no one I like

  • December 27, 2012 at 2:16 pmAoihoshikage

    I’m totally going to be eating mochi with each episode of Tamako Market, I just know it.

    Wow, this season has A LOT of 1-cour and 4-koma adaptations, must the “new” thing now. I do enjoy comedies so this season looks great. Though my usual concerns about 1-cour series is the fact that:
    1) Endings tend to be rushed and handled poorly if there’s some intended closure
    or
    2) If there’s an intended continuation, we usually have to wait!

    I’m also excited that Haganai is back!

  • December 27, 2012 at 2:23 pmLiche

    Thank you for providing us with the winter preview Moomba (and the others)!
    I’ve been reading these (and the site in general) for like 3-4 years now I think but I felt the need to say this once.
    I realize (or at least try to) just how much work/time crawls into researching/thinking/writing these things and I’m very glad there’s people like you guys out there that do the job, despite the fact that you can’t gain any material profit from it…
    Quite the opposite happens frequently, people take offense on what you write or don’t write down. I have my own opinion about such people, but being negative in a comment would rank me down with them so I’d rather be positive in my comments.
    Luckily there’s a lot more positive people around loving anime and your efforts. I think I also speak for them when I say: Thank you for your hard work every day! If it weren’t for people like you, my life might’ve been (a bit) different :)

    …I guess that was slightly off-topic. Anyway… I always get an extra hype for the new season when browsing through this list. I already knew what was coming, but the vibe only gets to me when it’s posted here xD
    Chihayafuru! Minami-ke! Haganai! I like where this is going!

  • December 27, 2012 at 2:48 pmjingoi

    going to(maybe)watch- Boku no Imouto wa Osaka Okan, Senyu, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

    watch/check out/edit for fanservice scenes- Yama no Susume,Mangirl!, Ai Mai Mi, Da Capo III,
    Minami-ke Tadaima, Senran Kagura, Love Live! School Idol Project, Tamako Market,
    GJ-bu (Good Job Club), Vividred Operation,Kotoura-San, Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru sou Desu yo?

    This list is depressing.

  • December 27, 2012 at 4:17 pmRockmanshii

    Thanks guys for the preview. I may not watch a lot of shows while they air but I still appreciate your efforts each season.
    I’m planning to watch:

    Senran Kagura: Boobs aside, just like Moomba said I think the promos looks really nice.
    THE UNLIMITED: Always been interested in ZKC so it’s a good opportunity to get into it.
    Nakumatsu Gijinden Roman: MATE RUPPAAAAAAN!!!
    Senyu: At least I’m sure I’ll watch the first episode to listen to the OP.
    Haganai: I’m not going to write in detail about it, and you may call me gay, but I dislike every character in this story besides Kodaka and Sena’s dad. They all have massive flaws. Seeing them trying to overcome those flaws and find the meaning of friendship is a really good thing though. And it’s hilarious.
    Kotoura san: Sounds interesting.
    Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru sou Desu yo? I think I’ll enjoy it. My instinct tells me it’s going to be one of those shows some won’t watch because it looks like a harem while it will actually be good. My instinct can be wrong though.
    Chihayafuru 2: After I watch s1

    I could watch Maoyuu since I read one of the mangas but I don’t think I will. Not because of the chara design, but simply because I don’t actually like it that much…

    I’ll keep watching Aikatsu!, Saikopass, Robonotes and Pretty Rhythm Dear My Future.
    Again, thanks guys. And girls.

  • December 27, 2012 at 4:28 pmsmcn

    Thanks for this! These previews are must-reads for casual anime watchers like myself.

  • December 27, 2012 at 4:59 pmNovice

    Tamako Market -> it’s from kyoAni so I’ll watch it ^^
    Haganai season 2
    AKB0048 next stage
    VividRed Operation -> No Boys Anime. I Like it!!!
    Sasami-san@ganbaranai -> Just… Like to watch it

  • December 27, 2012 at 5:02 pmVaan

    I’m in for some idol anime so I’ll definitely gonna watch.

    AKB0048 Next Stage
    Love Live School Idol Project

    The others I’ll also watch:

    Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
    Minami-ke Tadaima
    Senran Kagura
    Tamako Market
    Vividred Operation
    Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

  • December 27, 2012 at 6:05 pmmistress_kisara

    For me: Hakkenden, Chihayafuru S2, Amnesia, Cuticle Tantei Inaba
    Might watch: Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

  • December 27, 2012 at 6:21 pmDvalinn

    Eh, there’s not much that interest me this season (much like the summer one last year), but hey, 8 of the shows I’m watching are on their second cours then anyway.

    Still, this preview list is always useful to make at least some of them catch my eye: Maoyuu Maou Yuusha sounds very interesting now that I’ve heard more about it and Shaft’s Sasami-san@Ganbaranai seems like it could make a fun, weird show in the vein of Denpa Onna no Seishun Otoko. There’s still the second season of Haganai too.

    No to mention there’s always a chance of a random show coming out the blue and being awesome, like with Zetsuen no Tempest and Sakurasou this season. I won’t be bored, anyway.

  • December 27, 2012 at 7:08 pmVoid

    This season looks really bad. I see only one show I have the slightest interest in (Vividred Operation) and even that one seems from the description like it could fall into horribly cliche territory.

  • December 27, 2012 at 7:27 pmAiries

    MY LIST
    -Vividred operation
    -Sasami-San
    -DokiDoki Precure
    -chihayafuru2
    -haganai next
    -tamako market
    -AKB0048
    -Oreshura
    -Maoyuu
    -nekomonogatari

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