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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

Preview by

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 27, 2012 at 8:56 pmjunglepenguin

    It’s fine, guys. No need to worry about how short your watch list is, because YAMAKAN IS BACK TO SAVE ANIME. Rest in that thought.

    • December 28, 2012 at 11:17 amRS456

      Who is Yamakan? Is it Yutaka YAMAMOTO? If so then I think it would be better if Masaki Kajishima returns. Nearly every anime he worked on is interesting

      • December 29, 2012 at 9:26 pmSortedevaras

        *insert Picard facepalm gif here*

  • December 27, 2012 at 9:03 pmRS456

    I really don’t see any anime that interests me this season except for like 3 maybe 4. Might check out a few more but I doubt I’ll be watching it on a regular basis reading the description.

    Definitely going to watch:
    Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT
    Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
    Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru

    Plus a few continuing series

    Zetsuen no Tempest
    Magi
    ROBOTICS;NOTES

    Thats about it with probably 1 or 2 more additional series if I find the first episode interesting.

  • December 27, 2012 at 10:07 pmLeena

    Am I the only one who’s really excited for Tamako Garden?

  • December 27, 2012 at 10:48 pmHagiri

    Ahhhhhhhh~
    My list of will-watch-but-haven’t-watched anime keeps on growing each season~

  • December 27, 2012 at 10:55 pmMason

    Sasami-san probs only thing I’ll watch.

    • December 28, 2012 at 6:50 pmMason

      Though I might also watch Tamako Market if I get a good first impression.

  • December 27, 2012 at 11:23 pmMi-Chan

    ChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuru ChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuru ChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuru ChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuru ChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuru ChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuruChihayafuru!!

    Chihaya!! Taichi!! D-kun, N-kun, Kana-chan! I CAN’T WAIT FOR SEASON 2! In fact I’ve been waiting ever since season one :( I loved the anime so much T__T’, it is the only thing I am looking forward this season so far. I’ve been in soooooooo muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… eh how can I put it, I just like and love it!!!!!

    *screams like a fan girl*

    *doesn’t know how to conclude this post* >_<'!!!!!!

    • December 28, 2012 at 12:45 amverdant

      Haha, your fangirling broke out of the comment box, that’s how crazy it is =P

      • December 28, 2012 at 3:18 amMi-Chan

        haha, love your comment, made my day xD lmao!!!!

    • December 28, 2012 at 11:46 pmStrawman

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

      • December 29, 2012 at 10:54 amMi-Chan

        If you were a good commentator, then you wouldn’t have such a negative feedback. There is nothing wrong with feeling excited when something you’ve been waiting for comes out. Saying that one’s a fangirl doesn’t mean that I’m some little kid screaming over some anime that I just like with no other reason to. There are reasons, and I won’t share them in a topic with a list of anime’s to be looking for in the next season (means we were waiting for it, if it was a season 2, just so you know.)

        People like you make people regret ever posting. If freedom to write what you like is measured over someone being overly negative over other’s reactions, then, that’s your problem.

  • December 27, 2012 at 11:53 pmwhy..

    too many girls show for boys in winter.. :( no shounen ai?

    • December 28, 2012 at 12:43 ammistress_kisara

      Hetalia? I don’t know if its shoune-ai… Or you could watch Hakkenden I heard there’s a lot of bromance there (but not shounen-ai)

  • December 28, 2012 at 1:31 amnekomimimeido

    Hmm, there’s the upcoming “Nekomonogatari black” 4 epusode TV Special this end of the year, should this somewhat be mentioned in this post?

  • December 28, 2012 at 2:13 ammegalith

    Tamako!

  • December 28, 2012 at 3:36 amBoobie-loving-alien

    Man! This season sucks! Where is HighSchool DxD 2nd? I’ll only watch Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT and maybe,maybe, Vividred…. Hopefully Psyco-Pass, Zetsuen and Robotics still have 12 more chapters if its not, we are doomed.

    • December 28, 2012 at 3:41 pmAllen Walker

      Seriously MORE THAN HALF of the anime this season have ALL girl casts. Doesn’t japan get tired of creating the same rehashed moe & harem shit season after season.

      • January 1, 2013 at 12:50 pmBlahblah0625

        Finally someone who shares my views ._.

  • December 28, 2012 at 3:43 amBoobie-loving-alien

    Sorry by the double post and mayber for the off topic, but, what anime are announced for the new year? Somebody knows?

  • December 28, 2012 at 3:46 amJhacks

    Wehhh, I’m still crawling to finish some of the Anime from summer and fall season then this thing arrived, time sure flies by. Thankfully the winter season doesn’t have too much of an appeal to me, definitely picking up Chihayafuru 2 and Haganai 2 and of course the new Kyo-ani show (cuz it’s Kyo-ani). The others can wait.

  • December 28, 2012 at 4:32 amOneClaim

    It’s fine for me since it’s some new anime to be viewed,…well,even though most of them are Shoujo,we can’t judge a book by it’s covering,right?Anyway,the ones that take my interest are Mangirl! and Vividred Operation.
    But where’s Nanoha The 2nd Movie A’s?When it’s gonna be released?

  • December 28, 2012 at 4:41 am†Croos†

    I will drop everything that Divine watches.

    Since Divne doesn’t watch anything.
    I will be forced to watch anything.

    • January 1, 2013 at 2:48 amTheMoondoggie

      I’ll quiz you on every episode 1, then.

  • December 28, 2012 at 5:33 amTheMoondoggie

    Only 3-4 shows looks good. I’d prolly just watch each episode 1 and see what happens….

  • December 28, 2012 at 5:49 amPerlaNemesis

    Right now I’m interested in Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, Sasami-san@Ganbaranai, Tamako Market and Amnesia. This would be fine if I didn’t have tons of fall season anime. I will be countinuing Shin Sekai Yori, Psycho-Pass, Little Busters, Robotics;Notes (still have few episodes to catch up), Magi (currently I have seen 2 episodes, so still need to catch up) and I really want to catch up with Zetsuen no Tempest. Also, I want to watch Toonari no Kaibutsu-kun and Sukitte Ii Na Yo because I couldn’t keep.up with my shows and didn’t watxh them.
    Somebody, please help me survive this winter. @.@

    • December 28, 2012 at 12:17 pmKingofConquerors

      we’re on the same boat, man…

  • December 28, 2012 at 6:37 amunknown2

    After the amazing Fall season. I feel the winter is fulll of girls and moe types. :-( I think Ill be watching only like 3 series or so. :-( Waiting for the spring season!
    Good thing some of the fall season anime continues…

    But its up to RC’s first impressions to inspire me to try some out

  • December 28, 2012 at 7:34 amDCLXVI

    Looks like a moeblob-fest this winter. Not that I dislike moeblobs, but I do prefer some over others. Tamako Market in particular piques my interest, partly because of all those ads. I thought that was just an add for some shopping district or something, lol :p

  • December 28, 2012 at 8:37 amJoe

    Regarding Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, anybody have any thoughts on which manga to read? There appears to be several ongoing adaptations; which would be the most canon?

    • December 28, 2012 at 8:40 amTheMoondoggie

      Read the one the named as the novel’s manga adaptation… From the Extrascans team….

      • December 28, 2012 at 9:00 amJoe

        Thanks for the quick reply.

      • December 30, 2012 at 9:17 amzeroyuki92

        Maoyuu manga adaptations are probably a very unique case since (CMIIW) there is no actual “canon”, and if we’re going by definition of “Canon is the one with the same manga title”, the non-canon adaptation has exceeding the canon pretty far in the term of popularity and average score.

        http://myanimelist.net/manga.php?q=maoyuu&sm=0&sd=0&em=0&ed=0&c0=b&c1=c&c2=a&o=3&w=1

        I also stand to the same opinion. “Be mine, Hero.”, “I refuse!” version is the superior version.

  • December 28, 2012 at 9:54 amBomi Love

    Lol @ the current state of anime

    • December 28, 2012 at 11:35 amDenscafon

      As the years go by, it seems more and more Moe stuff become the main stream :( I think I count like 9 shows where it seems all the main characters are a group of 4 girls. And the mech anime we get this season is one where they’re all girls, that look like elementary kids wearing bloomers or something stupid like that. Doesn’t seem like this Moe/loli movement is gonna end anytime soon…sigh

    • December 28, 2012 at 4:14 pmAnon

      Lol @ the same comment every season

  • December 28, 2012 at 3:17 pmSoraNoKaze

    There are a few anime that catch my eye. But this season will have a hard time toping a great Fall season.

  • December 28, 2012 at 3:34 pmSeishun Otoko

    Thanks for the very comprehensive preview guys. Moomba’s the boss for Fall ’12, blogging four shows and spearheading the Winter Preview effort. You’re more than awesome, my good sir ;)
    Come on guys, we have a very ‘seishun’ combo with three animes that feature pop idols this winter! You gotta be psyched if you’re a sucker for catchy J-pop tunes and fabulous idol performances. Oh and of course, cute girls in their animated glory :3
    My Winter 2012 list: Senran Kagura, Love Live! School Idol Project, AMNESIA, Puchimas! Petit Idolmaster, Tamako Market, Sasami-san@Ganbaranai, Vividred Operation, Haganai NEXT, Kotoura-San, Cuticle Tantei Inaba, Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, OreShura, AKB0048 Next Stage, Minami-ke Tadaima

    • December 28, 2012 at 3:38 pmStilts

      PFFFT, yeah right. ‘mo like we just let him write the intro and outro!

      Now, that whole 12 Days thing? Totally his idea. Props mucho deserved for that one :D

      • December 28, 2012 at 5:42 pmMoomba

        Damnit Stilts you ruined the illusion!

        But as Stilts says, there’s no way I could possibly take full credit for the immense team effort that went into making this post happen. You guys are awesome!

      • December 29, 2012 at 2:47 amStilts

        Damn right–which is to say, only to direct attention towards where it is thoroughly deserved : )

      • December 29, 2012 at 7:55 amSeishun Otoko

        Stilts nii nii is mad awesome too, not to mention tremendously fun and remarkably GARRR. Just look at dem Horizon posts, even the great Johnny Bravo would be hard-pressed to come close your almighty awesomeness. Judge Judge and Judge :3

  • December 28, 2012 at 5:04 pmplushkin

    Vividred Operation – my impression was that Japan is pretty bad at doing Science fiction…
    *sees Guilty Crown on the preview* …LOL case in point =P

    • January 9, 2013 at 7:27 amSessha

      Yeah… forget about all those GOOD sci-fi anime out there. It’s not like such a thing would exist.

  • December 28, 2012 at 5:11 pmTibu

    I love your shout out to DIVINE…he’s such a badass >:O

    • December 28, 2012 at 5:40 pmMoomba

      He most certainly is!

  • December 28, 2012 at 5:22 pmAmutofan123

    There isn’t too much I’m planning on watching, but with all the 2-cour anime from fall I’m watching, I don’t really mind.

  • December 28, 2012 at 6:01 pmion62

    Unless any of these slice of life or school life anime are something like Clannad or Seitokai Yakuindomo, I ain’t going to give them a chance. There are way too many

  • December 28, 2012 at 6:11 pmsdsad

    Unless any of these slice of life or school life anime are something like Clannad or Seitokai Yakuindomo, I ain’t going to give them a chance. There are way too many anime like them around every season and it’s getting a little frustrating when like five come out each season. One or two is acceptable, but there are too many of these cutesy types.

    Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Really? They’re continuing this? I will straight admit that I love the manga, but despise the anime. For one thing, they focus way too much on the fan service. I don’t mind fan service, but not at the expense of plot or comedic value. One thing that made the manga interesting were the unusual expressions and the main character’s inner dialogue. In the anime, they took that out and focused on fan service. Not to mention, the mc looks way too bishounen. He actually looked a bit like a delinquent in the manga. I get the light novel had this character design, but I don’t think I would have very much enjoyed the manga if the designs were like this.

    Maoyuu Maou Yuusha – I’m gonna give this a try because again, I like the manga. However, I’m just praying it doesn’t end up like my problem with Boku wa Tomadachi.

    This season looks a bit dull. Even the OVAs. I really wish they would start noticing some of the more underrated series like Franken Fran, Ubel Blat, Akumetsu, Akame ga Kiru, Mushibugyo or even Team Medical Dragon (And I don’t mean that drama series).

  • December 28, 2012 at 7:05 pmFuu

    Episode 1 of AKB0048 next stage is floating around online. I think it got leaked from the preview event?

  • December 28, 2012 at 7:10 pmTheOrangeOne

    Girls. Girls everywhere.

  • December 28, 2012 at 7:45 pmstalkingpanda

    most of this looks fairly unappealing… *sighs* … no doubt one or two will end up being a pleasant surprise for me though (at least i hope !)

  • December 28, 2012 at 7:46 pmstalkingpanda

    then again, i didn’t read the descriptions…just skimmed the pictures X-D

  • December 28, 2012 at 7:52 pmWanderer

    0048! The girls are coming back! Really the only specific series I’ve been waiting for this season. For everything else I’m going to wait and see how interesting the reviewers make it sound, and how well the screencaps catch my eye. NO PRESSURE GUYS. :P

    Oh, suggestion to the bloggers: maybe you should sticky this post up to the top right, like you have the preview for summer and fall of 2012? I almost missed it.

  • December 28, 2012 at 10:34 pmLonelyRurouni

    Thanks for all your hard work! I was afraid this listing wouldn’t be available anymore, to look at all the new upcoming shows. :)

  • December 29, 2012 at 7:25 amCrook

    I’m not the only one who had his misconceptions on what Mangirl would be like, right? It sounded rather… Dubious.

  • December 29, 2012 at 9:02 amSeedStriker

    And Sunrise is still shooting at itself this season with Love Live! in the same way the latest two Gundam series has been the worst of the frachise.
    First mistake: Love Live! is stealing Girls und Panzer’s reason d’ tre with the “if we don’t do this, our school will be closed”. But contrary to the Panzercraft crew, here there’s no higher appeal except the girls itself. Strike one.
    Second mistake: An almost unknown cast. Even the secondary VA’s aren’t that well known, so it’s an uncertain how well can they be up to the challenge against direct competition. Strike two which gets us into the final nail in Love Live! coffin.
    Third mistake: trying to go head to head against AKB0048 S2 is suicide, Sunrise! You don’t have Kawamori’s mechanics, music, and overall, the tremendous hype that was generated last season. Strike thee, and you’re out!

    So, Sunrise will continue on the red until Unicorn 6.

    • January 1, 2013 at 4:32 amTheMoondoggie

      I’d reserve that comment about new seiyuus if I were you. They might find the next big thing in that batch and Sunrise find their next cashcow with it…

  • December 29, 2012 at 6:35 pmNaYa

    I’m not sure if I should be relieved or disappointed to find out what Mangirl was… XD

    The only thing that seems to stand out for me this season seems to be Maoyuu. Other than that I’ll just keep watching the other continuing series.

  • December 29, 2012 at 7:33 pmxanity

    Looking forward to Maoyuu and Minamike~!

  • December 29, 2012 at 9:22 pmSortedevaras

    More Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai?! I thought Christmas only came once a year.

  • December 30, 2012 at 9:48 amzeroyuki92

    Suggestion : For next season, I think it would be great to have a specific label/information/tag or even a separated category for 5 minute/other short shows.

    Why? It’s simple : Some people don’t bother to read all of the descriptions (I still read everything, though) and jump to the conclusion of “The heck! Why most of the shows are slice of life with so many girls in the promotional picture?!” while most of them are 5 minutes shows.

    I’m not saying that 5 minutes shows are bad (since most of them are there solely for “refreshing” purpose), but I think some people are expecting more long/deep/serious shows and there are a very little possibility to find them in a 5 minute anime. Thus, separating or giving special mentions in the information tab will help them.

    The real problem with this season is that there are not many shows to watch from the very beginning, since we still have some two/more cours from fall to fill the slot.

    ===========================================================

    So, personally I will try and most likely follow Sasami, Tamako and Maoyuu. With some continuation of Fall shows, I guess they are enough. I probably will try Vividred, although I don’t have any expectation.

    For extra, maybe I will watch more 5 minutes from last (this) year. There are some intriguing titles such as Wooser to fill the “refreshing break” purpose.

  • December 30, 2012 at 11:26 amMarina2

    Well, Girls und Panzer, the anime that almost no one noticed its existence at first, becomes one of the best show of 2012. That tell us that we shouldn’t judge anything by the cover and give them a chance. Can’t wait to see what is the darkhorse of this serson.

    I’m interested in
    - Yama no Susume (Well, it’s plot is interesting)
    - Tamako Market (Kyoani!!)
    - D.C. III ~Da Capo III~ (followed it since the first D.C.)
    - AKB0048 Next Stage Top (I watched the first series ,so why not?)
    - Love Live! School Idol Project (another idol anime shouldn’t be bad)
    - Vividred Operation (It gives me the feeling of Skygirl, Stike witches and THAT short pants!)

  • December 30, 2012 at 1:45 pmUrman

    man i m sooo disappointed… only decent watchable shows i find are,
    1- Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
    2- Sasami-san@Ganbaranai
    3- AMNESIA
    and maybe,
    4- Tamako Market (only bcoz of kyoAni)

    well thankfully i still have,

    1- psycho pass
    2- shinsekai yori
    3- robotics notes
    4- zetsuen no tempest

    to look forward to…. :)

  • December 30, 2012 at 5:34 pmkei

    Bleh, this season is weak. Looking forward to spring already!

  • December 30, 2012 at 6:12 pmvrr4141

    I try to limit myself upto 5 : Maoyuu Maou Yuusha; Vividred Operation; Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT; Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru; Kotoura-san.
    Ok 6! Sasami-san Ganbaranai. Must resist temptation! HNGGGGGG

  • December 30, 2012 at 9:22 pmMatroid

    Except for Chihayafuru 2, I don’t have any other on my must-watch list. Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?, Vividred Operation, and Maoyuu Maou Yuusha seem interesting. Season 1 of gdgd Fairies had some cheap laugh moments. But I don’t know if that’s enough to keep me engaged the whole season. I guess, with so many strong series continuing from Fall 2012, companies are saving their best productions till after Winter 2013.

  • December 31, 2012 at 6:57 amhamDemiya

    Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT, Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru and Tamako Market will be on my watch list. Vividred Operation and Senran kagura might also be on my watch list if I can find time for them.

  • December 31, 2012 at 3:02 pminnerchihiro

    Not a lot I like this season… I haven’t been watching as much anime these days either. Just been reviewing old series. I think it’s true that only a handful of great series come out of any year in anime. Oh well.

  • December 31, 2012 at 3:14 pmEspada

    Moeshit – Cancer of the Anime Industry

    • January 1, 2013 at 2:46 amTheMoondoggie

      But you got to admit, it’s a good cancer. It’s more like chocolate: one of the good ways to die.

      • January 1, 2013 at 3:46 amEspada

        but diabetes is painful…

      • January 1, 2013 at 4:24 amTheMoondoggie

        No pain no gain!

        Though I’d still avoid Minami-ke and AKB0048 because it’s still shit.
        DCapo bores me.
        Yama no Susume and Mangirl! looks good.
        Tamako Market is this season’s hype, so I’ll take a peek. But I have this nagging feeling it would be the K-On of economics anime so I won’t expect much.
        Vividred, Maoyuu and BokuTomo is a definite “yes.”
        And, finally, Mondai-ji, AMNESIA and Love Live! looks fun.

        Everything else is a “no, I’m not watching because blah, blah, blah….”

  • December 31, 2012 at 3:16 pmmike

    kind of a bit boring, missing some good decent kick ass action series. Too much harem love comedy, need some action series like SAO, Accel world, Shinki kind of action.

  • December 31, 2012 at 10:35 pmginobi47

    Sad fact is…. moe sells….

    Maybe i’m just old, but i miss the era where animes like Kara no Kyokai and Ghost in the Shell were still being made.

    On the other hand, there might be something in this season that might surprise me, just like how Girls and Panzers did last season.

  • January 1, 2013 at 12:34 pmuis

    It become a meme now that everyone forgot Cardfight Vanguard Season 3 and blogger here even forgot Doki Doki Precure.

    Anyway i really look forward to Da Capo III adaption and Oreshura. Other than that i will watch everything except short anime that not interested me.

  • January 1, 2013 at 6:56 pmHelvetica Standard

    ermmm… no nekomonogatari.
    :/
    you planning on skipping it?

    • January 1, 2013 at 8:59 pmZephyr

      Nekomonogatari already aired, so it’s not listed in the Winter schedule for next season. It will be covered (most likely once subs are available for all the episodes).

      • January 2, 2013 at 8:14 pmHelvetica Standard

        all right, thanks! :D

  • January 1, 2013 at 10:45 pmTingster013

    Is it me or is there too many shows that feature too many females? The balance is not there anymore…

    • January 2, 2013 at 12:44 pmakagami

      Not very often you hear someone asking for “more sausage, less tits”.

  • January 2, 2013 at 5:13 amJohnHayabusa

    Tamako Market looks very interesting. Looking forward to watch it, as well as for AKB0048, Love Live, Vividred, and Senran Kagura.

  • January 2, 2013 at 9:23 pmoldtimer

    I’m an old anime fan who loved the older shows like eva, cowboy bepop,and macross but that doesn’t mean i’m gonna dis the newer ones just beause they don’t have mature storylines. To me moe is like eating your favorite ice cream: no matter how many times you’ve had it before it will always taste great reguardless of anyone else’s opinion. no one is forcing any of you to watch the shows this season, just stick to the genre that you do like and that will be that.

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:46 amconyo985

    I’m going to only watch the “serious” shows on this list. I’m surprised the expectation level for these shows are niche or moderate.

  • January 3, 2013 at 5:11 amTatsuki

    Girls, girls, girls…everywhere!

  • January 3, 2013 at 6:57 amTrombe

    I’m looking forward to Chihayafuru! I don’t feel really excited about any other yet.

  • January 3, 2013 at 4:25 pmEMChamp

    This season’s new selection seems weak but I suppose that is because so many shows from Fall are 2-cour and still continuing.

  • January 4, 2013 at 4:26 pmelior1

    please do a first impressions on doki doki precure this season going to be very mature and the villains are demons

  • January 4, 2013 at 9:01 pmAshen

    Some things I’m very excited for in this coming quarter:

    Chihayafuru 2 – My favorite shoujo of the season, bar none.
    Amnesia
    Hakkenden
    Senyu
    Tamako Market
    Vividred Operation
    Maoyu
    Mondai-Ji

  • January 5, 2013 at 9:46 ammarsh381

    Weird…I guess I’m the only one looking forward to Senran Kagura…don’t get me wrong! I’m not watching it cause of THAT thing we’re all thinking about…I just happen to like perverted things and it does appear to have good battle animation…and I’m a gay dude. Anyways~! Also looking forward to Blood C the Last Dark and damn…I thought Attack on Titan would be in this season but apparently it’ll be in the spring…I was really looking forward to it.

  • January 10, 2013 at 12:34 amichigo_daisuki

    It is always a pleasure when a new anime season is coming up. That is, everyone gets to check out Random Curiosity’s Season Preview and Season Schedule posts!

    I may have spoken the obvious, but every time, I look forward to these posts and have such a fun time reading about which series I should pick up watching or not.

    Although the staff here may have heard this at least once before from readers, I appreciate the effort in giving us a place to further explore the world of anime!

  • January 11, 2013 at 1:16 pmGabz Girl

    At least there’s one show with mostly guys as the main characters…Hetalia. =[

  • January 12, 2013 at 4:23 amImPermanentlyMenstruating

    Maoyuu Maou Yuusha,Minami-ke Tadaima,Sasami-san@Ganbaranai,Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT nice for a few years of almost everything crap.

  • January 13, 2013 at 1:59 amNeregade

    Are some animes missiong from here or i am just going around searching in the wrong sources… Was really looking foward to Savana Game though.
    http://www.lovemyanime.net/images/winter_2013.jpg

  • January 16, 2013 at 12:04 amhaganeloli

    Review THE UNLIMITED please *^*!!!

    • February 1, 2013 at 5:45 pmSilent

      I second this!!!

  • February 11, 2013 at 12:47 pmElsu

    Ah man, again no good shows. Over 20 shows are based on cute little girls. Seriously? Come on Japan. Thanks for the review though, really enjoy it!

    Unfortunately still getting worse :( @Divine:
    http://randomc.net/2011/03/18/spring-2011-preview/comment-page-3/#comment-670790

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