Random Curiosity

Winter 2014 Preview! »« Summer 2013 Preview!

Fall 2013 Preview!

coppelion kyoukai loghorizon kyousougiga nagiasu
outbreakcompany samumenco killlakill goldentime kurobas2

うらやまし   urayamashi
美しう成て  utsukushuu natte
散る紅葉    chiru momiji

Sorry for going all Garden of Words, but fall is definitely the envied big sibling of all other anime seasons. With 40+ offerings, hopefully all of you will find at least one show to immerse yourselves in, maybe while sipping tea as the leaves fall. Fantasy, sci-fi, supernatural, and sports fans can rejoice, as offerings like the watery Nagi no Asukara, post-disaster COPPELION, the surreal Kyousougiga (finally), and baseball epic Ace of Diamond fill the board as the dominating genres this season. Many series are also returning this fall, with shows like Magi, Kakumeiki Valvrave, and IS: Infinite Stratos returning to meet popular demand. Other interesting shows include the darkly themed pupa, Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~, which will make heavy use of 3D CGI, and quite possibly the most ecchi offering this season, wrestling anime Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!. But enough from me, let’s get this preview on the road! Welcome to Random Curiosity’s Fall 2013 season preview, built by sweat, tears, and the rustling of the fall leaves.

 

As a quick reminder, most entries are 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.

That said, we’ve allowed individual writers to mix things up if they think another way will work better, so the format may differ slightly from writer to writer.

This season we’ll continue to use the Expectation Levels we implemented last season, as reception to the new system seemed positive. As always, remember that these reflect our own subjective excitement level for each show and do not necessarily reflect how shows will pan out. For more information check out the overall impressions section at the bottom, which includes an expanded explanation of each category and a list of all shows by expectation level.

 

Disclaimer: Way back in the ancient era of 2012, it was one robot-god that did the previews: Divine. Unfortunately, none of the current writers are nearly as amazing and divine as him, so we’ve divvied up the majority of writing among seven of his disciples (Kairi, Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Seishun, Zanibas, Zephyr, and Stilts) in order to maintain the quality of this preview. Hopefully we can point out what to look for in a series as well as Divine did. We are in your care once again, dear reader.

Disclaimer #2: Please note that this list does not reflect all the series airing this coming season (such as the new Pokemon season). It is meant to be as comprehensive as possible, but omissions have been made in regards to shows that stray from the anime norm or seem to be oriented towards young children. Please check out MOON PHASE for complete listings, syoboi for specific air times, and Fansub DB for a list of potential subbers for each series.

 

Thanks to everyone who worked on writing and the grueling behind-the-scenes back-end work necessary to make this preview a reality once more. Here they are, in case you want to give them your thanks and/or cookies.

  • Cherrie, Kairi, and Zephyr took care of the “intel” (links, air dates, episode lengths, series/movie/OVA lists, etc).
  • Seishun and our tech guy Xumbra encoded the PVs using black magic.
  • Cherrie gathered and cleaned all the beautiful images.
  • Cherrie, Zanibas, and Zephyr formatted the post and made sure your browser wouldn’t crash because of it.
  • Stilts proofread and edited the post for any sneaky mistakes.

Last but not least, thank you dear reader. If not for your continued readership and Facebook/Twitter/G+ shares, we wouldn’t find the energy to move forward with this program. We are glad to be of help to you, and we hope this helps you become a more informed watcher as you dive into another season of anime!

P.S: Since one of our previewers this time, Guardian Enzo, does his own preview as well as working on this one, we felt it would be a nice nod to post his own preview here. Go check it out if you want the unique insight that Enzo brings to the field!


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
Ace of Diamond
8:30 TX (10/6)
Gundam Build Fighters
18:00 TX (10/7)
Tokyo Ravens
24:30 MX (10/8)
COPPELION
21:00 AT-X (10/2)
Nagi no Asukara
22:00 MX (10/3)
Freezing Vibration
21:30 AT-X (10/4)
Log Horizon
17:30 NHK-eTele (10/5)
Magi: The Kingdom of Magic
17:00 TBS/MBS (10/6)
Unbreakable Machine-doll
20:30 AT-X (10/7)
BLAZBLUE ALTER MEMORY
25:30 MX (10/8)
Kyoukai no Kanata
24:30 MX (10/2)
Galilei Donna
24:50 CX (10/10)
Strike the Blood
23:30 AT-X (10/4)
Little Busters! ~Refrain~
20:30 AT-X (10/5)
Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle (Season 3)
17:30 NHK-eTele (10/6)
DIABOLIK LOVERS
23:30 AT-X (9/16)
Miss Monochrome The Animation
25:35 TX (10/1)
Kyousougiga
25:30 MX (10/2)
Samurai Flamenco
25:20 CX (10/10)
Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku o Ketsui Shimashita.
25:30 MX (10/4)
WHITE ALBUM 2
25:30 MX (10/5)
Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!
20:30 AT-X (10/6)
Yowamushi Pedal
25:35 TX (10/7)
Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru
25:50 MX (10/9)
Outbreak Company
25:28 MX (10/3)
Super Seisyun Brothers
25:53 TX (9/13)
Hajime no Ippo Rising
25:35 NTV (10/5)
Teekyuu Season 3
22:27 MX (10/6)
Non Non Biyori
26:05 TX (10/7)
Kakumeiki Valvrave 2nd Season
25:35 MBS (10/10)
Kuroko no Basuke 2
25:58 MBS (10/5)
Yozakura Quartet ~Hana no Uta~
23:30 MX (10/6)
Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~
26:55 MBS (10/7)
IS: Infinite Stratos 2
25:58 TBS (10/3)
Tesagure! Bukatsumono
26:20 NTV (10/5)
Meganebu!
24:00 MX (10/6)
Kill la Kill
26:05 MBS (10/3)
Walkure Romanze
24:30 MX (10/6)
Golden Time
26:35 MBS (10/3)
Gingitsune
25:05 TX (10/6)

* Jump to OVA/Movies.

seisyunbrothers
Super Seisyun Brothers | Super Seisyun Brothers -超青春姉弟s-Top
http://ssb-love.tv/
Animation: AIC Plus+ Premiere: September 13, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Josei Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:53
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @SSB_tencyou or #ssb_anime

Preview by

The Shinmoto siblings, Chiko (Yamamoto Nozomi) and Chika (Ohsaka Ryouta), are a pair of narcissists, whereas the Saitou siblings, Mao (Ishikawa Kaito) and Mako (Kayano Ai) are somewhat mysterious. As a result of their similarities, the Shinmoto and Saito kyoudai are all friends, sharing an otaku lifestyle under the life motto that “those of a feather should stick together.”

Based on a manga by Shin Shinmoto, SSB is definitely one of the quieter entries this season. There’s not a lot of information available as far as plot and staff goes, but I got that slice-of-life vibe so common among shows that feature the everyday lives of high school students. I think there’s definitely charm to a premise like this one, where the relationship is between siblings and friends at once rather than focusing exclusively on one, and I have a gut feeling that the dynamic, being of the josei denomination, might be a tad more profound and realistic than it might otherwise. If anything, this sounds like a pleasant sort of comedy, and well worth giving a chance.

Watching This: Kairi Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Super Seisyun Brothers Promotional Videos ▼

diaboliklovers
DIABOLIK LOVERSTop
http://anime-dialover.com/
Animation: Zexcs Premiere: September 16, 2013
Genre: Reverse Harem, Shoujo Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_dialover or #animedialover

Preview by

At a certain night school for celebrities, there’s a rumor that vampires exist among the student body. Komori Yui (Suegara Rie), an optimist with a penchant for the supernatural, is a second year transfer to this particular school as a result of her father’s job. Somehow she finds herself living among those very rumored vampires, the six Sakamaki brothers, who crave and demand her blood and make her everyday life a sadistic endeavor.

Lately it seems that we’re getting an otome game adaptation every season or so, which is always good news for fans of the genre. Personally, I don’t have very high expectations for Dialover, if only because of the poor track record I hold with reverse harems. Vampires are also something I tend to stay away from as far as premises for romance shows go, so I’m somewhat apprehensive to see how this series handles itself. So far, I’m at least glad to hear that the female lead has been assigned a personality, though I do have to wonder how risqué an otome game about sadistic vampires is willing to be, or how much that allows for character development. Nevertheless, it would be nice if the series did overcome those tropes and limitations and work on creating real characters instead of character types, as the genre is wont to do. If it does this could be worth a look, as long vampires and harems are your thing.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Niche
Show DIABOLIK LOVERS Promotional Videos ▼

missmonochrome
Miss Monochrome The Animation | ミス・モノクローム -The Animation-Top
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/miss_monochrome_anime/
Animation: Sanzigen x Liden Films Premiere: October 1, 2013
Genre: Music, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by

After Miss Monochrome debuted as a 3D virtual singer at Horie Yui’s March 2012 “Horie Yui wo Meguru Bouken III ~Secret Mission Tour~” concert, the character took off. Created and played by Hocchan herself (that’s Horie Yui’s nickname, for you non-seiyuu buffs), Miss Monochrome has since appeared in a range of merchandise and even a social network game. Now she’s getting an anime as well. True to her name Miss Monochrome dislikes all color, and dreams of changing the world into her ideal monochrome paradise. Now she’s working at becoming a best-selling idol. Each episode will be five minutes long.

Am I the only one going “Uhh…what?” I’m a pretty big fan of Horie Yui – I blame for Divine for that, she’s long been his favorite – but the idea of basing an anime on a gimmick a seiyuu thought up for one of her concerts is worrisome at best. This will only be a short, so it’s not like it will take much to watch an episode or two and see if it’s any good, but the uncertain origins coupled with weak characterization – so far Miss Monochrome’s dislike of color is about the only thing noted about her, and that’s not exactly a strong basis to build on – have me more than a little skeptical. The idol thing + Miss Monochrome’s origins practically ensure some Hocchan singing during the show, so there’s that. For this one I’ll fall back on my old standard for shorts – if this at all interests you, each episode will only be five minutes long, so there’s little stopping you from checking it out. A little Hocchan might be exactly what you need.

Watching This: Zanibas Expectation Level: Low
Show Miss Monochrome The Animation Promotional Videos ▼

coppelion
COPPELIONTop
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/coppelion/
Animation: GoHands Premiere: October 2, 2013
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Seinen Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 21:00
Episodes: 13 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @coppelion_anime or #coppelion

Preview by

The year is 2016. Following the meltdown of a nearby nuclear power plant in Odaiba, the Japanese government is forced to relocate its capital and evacuate Tokyo. Despite this, over 90% of Tokyo’s citizens perish following the incident, and the city becomes a ghost town. Two decades later a sudden distress signal leads to the deployment of “Coppelion,” a special forces unit within the Self Defense Force. Composed of three high school girls in Fukusaku Aoi (Hanazawa Kana), Naruse Ibara (Tomatsu Haruka), and Nomura Taeko (Akesaka Satomi)–all of which have been genetically engineered to withstand radiation–the girls are sent to the city to find and retrieve any survivors. Amidst a city reclaimed by nature and filled with nothing but the remnants of the past, the girls find themselves searching for people that shouldn’t exist, all the while unraveling the mysteries of a land long abandoned by mankind.

Having been initially delayed following the meltdown of Fukushima’s nuclear power plant, I’m surprised GoHands received the go ahead to reboot this adaptation–especially considering the new developments regarding that same reactor. With that said, I’m glad they’re doing so, because the first few chapters of the manga were promising. There’s nothing quite like the surreal backdrop of high school girls walking across a radioactive wasteland to pique one’s interest. Combine that with its sci-fi components, it’s philosophical relevance regarding nuclear reactions, and the obvious fact that the city holds more than meets the eye, and everything culminates in a series that could get going in a hurry. The lack of information regarding the staff does curb my enthusiasm, but at the very least the seiyuu choices are superb. Ultimately there’s a fair amount to like in GoHands’ adaptation of Inoue Tomonori’s seinen manga. This is a show most viewers should keep in mind for the fall season, especially if you’re a fan of the Sci-Fi or Action genres.

Watching This: Seishun, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show COPPELION Promotional Videos ▼

kyoukai
Kyoukai no Kanata | 境界の彼方Top
http://anime-kyokai.com/
Animation: Kyoto Animation Premiere: October 2, 2013
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:30
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_kyokai or #kyo_kai

Preview by

Straight from KyoAni’s light novel division comes an adaptation of the dark high school fantasy Kyoukai no Kanata. The story follows high school second-year Kanbara Akihito (Kenn), a normal-looking boy who is actually an immortal half-demon whose heritage caused him to be ostracized from his underworld peers. One day Akihito meets first-year Kuriyama Mirai (Taneda Risa) when it looks like she’s about to jump off the school roof. Mirai also feels isolated due to her ability to manipulate blood, which is as unique among underworlders as it is feared. Along with friend and Akihito’s fellow club member Nase Mitsuki (Chihara Minori) and her chronically cold older brother Nase Hiroomi (Suzuki Tatsuhisa), disturbing events begin to unfold after Akihito saves Mirai.

I consider myself something of a KyoAni skeptic, but it’s hard not to be excited about this one. Finally they’re not doing some hyper-moe slice-of-life show, but a dark fantasy where KyoAni’s skill at atmosphere and pacing ought to come in handy. We’re also finally getting some serious action out of them again, the first time since…Full Metal Panic? (Unless you count those Chu2koi action scenes, which were good, if sadly brief.) The staff is chock full of KyoAni veterans, including director Ishidate Taichi (Clannad After Story, Hyouka, K-ON!), script writer Hanada Jukki (Chu2koi, Steins;Gate), and character designer–okay, they look like all KyoAni characters, but that’s not a bad thing. Don’t expect them to completely discard KyoAni’s normal bag of tricks, though – at least one of the promos included their standard moe comedy stylings. Really though, the big draw of Kyoukai no Kanata is finally getting a story that looks like it “deserves” KyoAni’s talent. They can do pulse-pounding action, dark drama, and the delicate characterization that makes it all work, but will they? If I were to guess, I’d bet a lot of us will be tuning in to find out.

Watching This: Asobi, Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Seishun, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Kyoukai no Kanata Promotional Videos ▼

kyousougiga
Kyousougiga | 京騒戯画Top
http://www.kyousougiga-tv.com/
Animation: Toei Animation Premiere: October 2, 2013
Genre: Action, Comedy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:30
Episodes: 13 Station: ANIMAX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kyousougiga_tv or #ksgiga

Preview by

The hyperactive, frenetic, and frequently insane world of Kyousogiga is back with a full-length television series at last! In the ‘Mirror Capital’ Kyoto, ruled over by a monk (Suzumura Kenichi), a demon (Kitamura Eri) and a priest (Nakahara Shigeru), Koto (Kugimiya Rie) continues her search for the rabbit that will allow her to return home to her mentor, Inari (Ishida Akira). Along with the two spirits A (Hidaka Noriko) and Un (Shiraishi Ryoko) – and with the occasional appearance of the powerful and enigmatic Lady Koto (Hisakawa Aya), a youkai who resides within our heroine – Koto wreaks havoc throughout the city, causing extensive frustration for Shouko (Saito Chiwa). There will be ten episodes with three 7-minute chapters each, along with two recaps and one special episode.

Kyousogiga is an energetic, entertaining, and mind-boggling spectacle – it’s as simple as that. Well, perhaps simple isn’t the best way to put it – this time last year Moomba likened Kyousogiga to FLCL, and I think this still holds true. While the plot is frequently convoluted, it makes up for its lack of sense with style, flair, and beautiful animation. This is one of those stories that only anime can truly tell, as it takes all the unique strengths of animation – the bright colors, the stylized character designs, the fluidity of action and form – and shows us a nonsensical and fantastic world that hums with life even though it’s about as far from realistic as can be. If you enjoy seeing an anime do what only an anime can do, or watching some of the most inventive and spectacular action sequences you’ll ever see, check this out. The most disappointing thing about the last season was that it aired as low definition online streams, but that problem has (finally!) been rectified. Kyousogiga is unique, entertaining, and totally crazy – and when it slows down it can be downright touching to boot. I will absolutely be tuning in.

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

nagiasu
Nagi no Asukara | 凪のあすからTop
http://www.nagiasu.jp/
Animation: P.A. Works Premiere: October 3, 2013
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 22:00
Episodes: 26 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @naginoasukara or #nagiasu

Preview by

Born from the collaborative effort between P.A. Works and ASCII Media Works is the original series Nagi no Asukara. Set in a universe where all of humanity once lived in the sea, the world is now home to two types of people: those who chose to leave the sea (the land-dwellers) and those who chose to stay (the sea-people). Following the closure of their undersea school, childhood friends Sakishima Hikari (Hanae Natsuki) and Mukaido Manaka (Hanazawa Kana) find themselves forced to attend school on land. Joining them are two other friends in Hiradaira Chisaki (Kayano Ai) and Isaki Kaname (Ohsaka Ryota). Together they find their lives changed as their new school life starts with a fateful encounter.

Once in a while there are series whose staff are so good it makes you can’t help but want to see how it works out. And with P.A. Works, Okada Mari (AnoHana, Toradora, Hanasaku Iroha), and Buriki (Haganai and Denpa Onna character designs) all coming together to work on an original project, Nagi no Asukara is one of them, at least for me. Sure, P.A. Works hasn’t exactly been at the top of their game and Okada has produced terrible scripts on top of her good ones, but there’s a “magical romance” vibe this series gives off that is quite attractive. It’s reminiscent of the well-received AnoNatsu from over a year ago, a notion further reinforced by both Ray and Yanagi Nagi performing themes for this series. It remains to be seen whether this series ends up as promising as the promos seem to indicate, but I would keep an eye out to see how this develops, as it just might end up being a dramatic romance that sweeps everyone off their feet. Either that or it’ll be the series that makes everyone rage quit–that’s just the kind of variance this staff can give.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Ezno, Kairi, Seishun, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Nagi no Asukara Promotional Videos ▼

outbreakcompany
Outbreak Company | アウトブレイク・カンパニーTop
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/obc/
Animation: Feel Premiere: October 3, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Diplomatic, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:28
Episodes: 12 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_obc or #ob_c

Preview by

The plot for Outbreak Company comes off as surreal and crazy. Imagine your “professional otaku”, with his insights and knowledge on the topics of anime and moe, being shipped off to a fantasy world–containing loli princesses Petrarca Ann Erudanto III (Fuchigami Mai) and maid Myuseru Foaran (Mimori Suzuko)–to be the ambassador of “moe” to this new land. That’s the plot, where the ambassador is Kanou Shinichi (Hanae Natsuki), whose job is to spread the good news and glory of moe. On top of spreading the word of the d’awwwww, Kanou has to deal with the inevitable social conflicts that aris–wait…social issues? And I thought this sounded like an ecchi comedy in the making!

At first I had my doubts, and I still have some, but with studio Feel at the helm, I have more confidence in this show’s ability to pull off the ridiculous and thoughtful simultaneously. Their track record in saving Minami-ke and producing some pretty good romance/romantic comedies has earned my respect–it’s a risky project, but I have confidence in their success. The plot intrigues me enough to definitely give this show at least half a season, to see if the so-called “social issues” actually end up becoming as profound as they hint. The staff looks weak in terms of experience, but the seiyuu on board are fresh and successful. Joining the above will be the voices of Dekomori and Rikka reunited again, as Uesaka Sumire and Uchida Maaya voice the characters of Hanaiman Erubia and Koganuma Minori respectively. Be on the lookout for this show if you’re looking for something different, because this might just be the dark horse of the season.

Watching This: Seishun, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Outbreak Company Promotional Videos ▼

is2
IS: Infinite Stratos 2 | IS<インフィニット・ストラトス>2Top
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/is2/
Animation: 8bit Premiere: October 3, 2013
Genre: Action, Comedy, Harem, Mecha, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:58
Episodes: 12 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @is_anime or #is_anime

Preview by

After a publisher change and a two-year wait, the harem/mecha stylings of Infinite Stratos are back for a second season! In the near future, a Japanese scientist created powerful combat exoskeletons known as “Infinite Stratos” (IS). What could have led to war instead lead to peace, as the nations of the world signed the “Alaska Treaty” and distributed existing IS technology among themselves equally. The IS have had one major effect on society, though – since IS can only be piloted by women, there has been a power shift as women came to dominate society over men. That is until it was discovered that 15-year-old high school boy Orimura Ichika (Uchiyama Kouki) can pilot IS too. Now Ichika is the only guy in the prestigious international Infinite Stratos academy, which includes an abundance of beautiful (and powerful) young women like Shinonono Houki (Hikasa Yoko), Cecilia Alcott (Yukana), Lingyin Huang (Shimoda Asami), Charlotte Dunois (Hanazawa Kana), Laura Bodewig (Inoue Marina), and new this season, student council president Sarashiki Tatenashi (Saito Chiwa) and her younger sister Sarashiki Kanzashi (Mimori Suzuko).

Infinite Stratos is one of the best harem anime I’ve ever seen. That’s a bold claim, but I stand by it. The trick lies in how interesting, varied, developed, and above all viable all the haremettes are. Usually the winner is blindingly obvious from the beginning, but while there’s still a favorite to win, she’s not the one with the special nickname, nor was she the one who took Ichika’s first kiss. Yes, Ichika is as dense as a brick like so many other harem protagonists, so if that annoys you then be prepared – the girls practically throw themselves at him and nothing seems to stick. It has a really good sense of humor though, so even when I’m shaking my head I’m usually laughing too. As a bonus, the mecha combat is actually quite good – I could name shows that beat it, but it’s definitely upper tier when they focus on the fighting. The same studio (and director) are working on this season, and all the cast from season one are returning, so if you liked the first season then this is an easy choice. If you haven’t watched season one and you like harem anime, you owe it to yourself to watch it now. It was one of the greats, and I expect this season to be more of the same.

Watching This: Seishun, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show IS: Infinite Stratos 2 Promotional Videos ▼

killlakill
Kill la Kill | キルラキルTop
http://www.kill-la-kill.jp/
Animation: Trigger Premiere: October 3, 2013
Genre: Action Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:05
Episodes: 25 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kill_la_kill or #kill_la_kill

Preview by

Armed with ex-GAINAX members and the creators of Gurren Lagann, Studio Trigger (Little Witch Academia, Inferno Cop) comes in with their first original TV anime series, Kill la Kill. A battle action series, the story revolves around a high school where uniforms give students special powers and the Student Council president Kiryuin Satsuki (Yuzuki Ryoka) rules by force. However, the arrival of transfer student Matoi Ryuuko (Koshimizu Ami) threatens to change the status quo. Armed with a unique scissor-shaped sword, it’s kill or be killed as the school heralds the beginning of a new calamity.

Kill la Kill has been eagerly anticipated by many since its announcement, and it’s easy to see why. The pedigree behind Trigger (and this series) speaks for itself. Director Imaishi Hiroyuki has been working on anime since Evangelion, both he and script writer Nakashima Kazuki were behind Gurren Lagann, and the studio’s Little Witch Academia was so well received that it’s getting a fan-funded sequel in the future. This might be the first TV series the studio is releasing, but it’s far from the first for its staff. From the art and the story to the star-studded staff, there’s plenty to be excited about regarding Kill La Kill, which makes this perhaps the series to watch this coming season. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it’s bound to impress one way or another–whether with its unique style, its entertainment value, or because it represents the potential of one of the fastest rising studios out there.

Watching This: Asobi, Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Seishun, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Kill la Kill Promotional Videos ▼

goldentime
Golden Time | ゴールデンタイムTop
http://golden-time.jp/
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: October 3, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Seinen Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:35
Episodes: 24 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @golden_time_tv or #ゴールデンタイム

Preview by

Tada Banri (Furukawa Makoto) has just started law school and gotten himself lost even before orientation begins when he meets and befriends a fellow freshman, Yanagisawa Mitsuo (Ishikawa Kaito). However, Mitsuo isn’t just an ordinary law student; he has run off to Tokyo in the hopes of shaking off his past, a very beautiful and seemingly “perfect” past by the name of Kaga Kouko (Horie Yui), who’s followed her childhood friend and fiancé (despite his attempts to escape) and enrolled in the same school. From the author of Toradora comes this romantic comedy about the “golden time” that is the college experience.

I’m probably an anomaly in that I really like J.C.Staff as a studio (Stilts edit: no you’re not, I do too. And so does Zani!); I like their projects and I like most of their shows just fine, even if they’re not as fancy as others studios. Yet J.C.Staff is only the icing on the cake when it comes to Golden Time. As a huge fan of Toradora and Takemiya Yuyuko’s work, I’m excited to see this project come to life. I don’t necessarily expect excellence or an instant classic, but I do expect a solid series, especially since it’s so rare that we get to see protagonists older than high school age. That J.C.Staff is in charge only makes me feel more confident that this will be pretty enjoyable, if only because the studio has a knack for depicting social lives and friendships in a fairly entertaining and insightful way. Whatever happens, we can at least expect some good humor and romcom antics.

Watching This: Asobi, Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Seishun, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Golden Time Promotional Videos ▼

freezingvibe
Freezing Vibration | フリージング ヴァイブレーションTop
http://freezing.tv/
Animation: ACGT Premiere: October 4, 2013
Genre: Action, Ecchi, Romance, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 21:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @freezing_anime or #genetics

Preview by

A.C.G.T’s adaptation of Im Dall Young’s sci-fi action manhwa is returning for a second season. Set in a futuristic world where Earth is constantly at war with the Novas, an alien race from another dimension, the story follows the exploits of the genetically-modified female soldiers known as Pandoras, as well as their male Limiters who employ a support power called “freezing”. In West Genetics Academy there’s a powerful but unapproachable (thanks to her haphephobia) Pandora known as the “Untouchable Queen”, Satellizer L. Bridgette (Noto Mamiko). Against the advice of his friends, Aoi Kazuya (Ichiki Mitsuhiro) decided to aid Satella in her many tribulations, both as a potential love interest and her Limiter during battle. They are joined by an excellent supporting cast, which includes the feisty Rana Linchen (Hanazawa Kana), the happy-go-lucky Chiffon Fairchild (Inoue Marina) and a slew of Pandoras voiced by a team of all-star female seiyuu, including Kitamura Eri, Kugimiya Rie, Koshimizu Ami, Ueda Kana, Asakawa Yuu and Kaida Yuuko, just to name a few. The many conflicts that ensued, both from inter-Pandora politics and the ongoing Nova attacks, drive most of the action and drama of this series.

For those of you who saw the first season, you should know what to expect. Freezing is more than just an excuse for fanservice – the beautiful, busty female warriors are one of its key attractions, but Freezing also boasts a compelling sci-fi setting chock-full of character drama and action-packed thrills. Both the physical action and the verbal strife are nothing short of brutal – Pandoras have to cope with getting their limbs chopped off, their throats slit, and even their eyeballs gouged out! The first season ended with a victory for the Pandoras in the 10th Nova Clash, a highly intense battle that pitted Satella against Cassie Lockheart, one of the top five Pandoras in the world, and if anything the second season should be even more entrancing, as one of Freezing’s most gripping and elaborate storylines is next. The all-star cast is also set to expand further as the rest of the world’s top five Pandoras make their formal appearance. I have high hopes for this series and there’s certainly more than enough going on to keep me watching for another season.

Watching This: Seishun, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Freezing Vibration Promotional Videos ▼

striketheblood
Strike the Blood | ストライク・ザ・ブラッドTop
http://www.strike-the-blood.com/
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: October 4, 2013
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 23:30
Episodes: 24 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @stb_anime or #ストブラ

Preview by

From the team of SILVER LINK and Connect (the animators behind Mawaru Penquindrum, Prisma Illya, and To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S) comes the adaptation of Mikumo Gakuto’s Strike the Blood. An action fantasy series, Strike the Blood revolves around the legend of “The Fourth Primogenitor.” Supposedly a source of great calamity, the Fourth Primogenitor is also rumored to be the most powerful vampire in existence. As it turns out, the legends are true, and the Fourth Primogenitor is none other than high school student Akatsuki Kojou (Hosoya Yoshimasa). To observe and eliminate him if necessary, an organization known as the Lion King send an attack mage named Himegari Yukina (Taneda Risa). Also known as a Sword Shaman, she arrives at Saikai Private Academy wielding the strongest of all anti-Primogenitor spears, the “Schneewalzer” (or Snow Waltz).

I’m interested in seeing how this series develops. As the winner of numerous awards (including Japanese Sci-Fi Rookie of the Year in 1999), creator Mikumo Gakuto brings a notable resume to the table. Considering that two of his previous works (Asura Cryin’ and Dantalian no Shoka) have received anime adaptations as well, it’s safe to say he’s done something right when it’s come to source material. But as with any adaptation, a good pedigree doesn’t guarantee a great anime, especially when you consider that Chief Director Sano Takao and Director Yamamoto Hideyo have little experience in those roles, and Yoshino Hiroyuki (Guilty Crown, Gundam Seed Destiny) is behind the screenplay. The former two (along with SILVER LINK and Connect) do have extensive experience in animation however, which may be all they need in this case. It’s still up for grabs whether or not they do a faithful adaptation and if Strike the Blood is as good as Mikumo’s previous works, but there’s definitely enough of a historical precedent to make this series worth keeping an eye on.

Watching This: Cherrie, Seishun, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Strike the Blood Promotional Videos ▼

yusibu
Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku o Ketsui Shimashita.Top
勇者になれなかった俺はしぶしぶ就職を決意しました。
http://yu-sibu.com/
Animation: Asread Premiere: October 4, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @yu_sibu or #勇しぶ

Preview by

It’s a renaissance of Maou and/or Yuusha light novel adaptations, and YuShibu is next in line to join the party. The story revolves around Raul Chaser (Koumoto Keisuke), a boy who did not become a hero because the demon lord was defeated just before his hero exams. With his dreams dashed, Raul is now working at a magic shop in the capital. One day, none other than the vanquished demon lord’s daughter Phino Bloodstone (Tadokoro Azusa) comes in looking for a part-time job! So begins the fantasy work comedy of a former hero-in-training and the daughter of the demon lord.

If you read the premise and immediately thought of Hataraku Maou-sama!, you’re not alone. The Maou/Yuusha thing is becoming so common as to border on cliché, but I admit I’m fond of it. I like seeing old foes trying to get along, and it’s a solid setting that can be very good when done well. The work angle also provides fertile ground for comedy, as this past summer’s Servant x Service proved so well. That said, I’m not calling this as a sleeper quite yet. The staff and cast either have unimpressive resumes or are practically new, though it is being animated by asread, which can do a very good job when they’re given good source material – Mirai Nikki comes screaming to mind. It comes down to the source material, and what little I could get my hands on was…okay. I laughed a few times, there was some solid romantic potential, the characters were likable…it was fine. If this doesn’t seem like a swimming endorsement, that’s because I’m not sure what to think yet. I underestimated Hataraku Maou-sama! and it blew me out of the water, but I’m not ready to assume all Maou/Yuusha shows are going to be hits quite yet. If you like fantasy romcoms, definitely tune in. For everyone else I can tell you I’ll be watching, and I’ll leave the rest up to you.

Watching This: Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku o Ketsui Shimashita. Promotional Videos ▼

loghorizon
Log Horizon | ログ・ホライズン。Top
http://www9.nhk.or.jp/anime/loghorizon/
Animation: Satelight Premiere: October 5, 2013
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Magic, Shounen Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 17:30
Episodes: 25 Station: NHK-eTele
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @nhk_loghorizon or #loghorizon

Preview by

From the creator of the Maoyuu Maou Yuusha novels comes a new trapped-in-a-fantasy-MMORPG anime, Log Horizon. The story starts when 30,000 Japanese gamers are trapped in the fantasy online game Elder Tale. Join loner spellcaster Shiroe (Terashima Takuma), his old friend and tank Naotsugu (Maeno Tomoaki), the beautiful ninja Akatsuki (Kato Emiri), and the rapier-wielding cat creature Nyanta (Nakata Jouji) as they join together to form the guild Log Horizon and try to survive the sword-and-sorcery world that is now their reality.

One of the reasons Sword Art Online was so disappointing (to me; you’re welcome to your own opinions) was because the setting had such great potential which the characters and story didn’t live up to. Here we have another gamers-trapped-in-a-fantasy-MMORPG story, and I’m pretty optimistic it will go better. First of all, the source material was written by Touno Mamare, the original author of the Maoyuu novels, and whatever flaws the anime adaptation had the source material (and manga based on it) are innovative, interesting, and just roundly well done. Secondly it seems lighter in tone, both from what I saw in the promo and because the characters apparently aren’t in danger of dying in real life. There also appears to be more focus on the party – rather than Shiroe running around alone, he’s always mentioned along with his friends and guildmates, and it was this group dynamic that I most missed in SAO. There’s also the fact that Shiroe is a spell-caster, which I like because A) nuker is my default role in MMOs (blow em all up, bwahaha!), but because B) it’s harder for a glass cannon to run off and try to be an invincible hero. If even Lina Inverse traveled with a party, I doubt this guy can go it solo! It remains to be seen whether Statelight and their staff can pull off a good adaptation, but the fundamentals look good. Bottom line, if you’ve ever played a fantasy MMORPG – which should include roughly all of you – then you should watch at least a few episodes of this show. It’s based in a world we’re all familiar with – let’s see if they can do it right.

Watching This: Kairi, Seishun, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Log Horizon Promotional Videos ▼

littlebusters2
Little Busters! ~Refrain~ | リトルバスターズ!~Refrain~Top
http://www.litbus-anime.com/
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: October 5, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Drama, School, Seinen Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 20:30
Episodes: 13 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @litbus_anime or #litbus_anime

Preview by

I’ve already covered two cours of Little Busters! here on RC, so my feelings about the series are well-established. There was always something about the innocence and the focus on loyalty and friendship that appealed to me, and while the first season had its ups and downs, I stuck with it even as it was bombarded with complaints from viewers who never got over Kyoto Animation not being chosen to animate it, or who were just turned off by the stylistic differences between it and the likes of Clannad and Kanon.

That first season was effectively a prologue though, and now the real story begins with Refrain. I haven’t played the VN but I know things are going to get much darker (the preview makes no “secret” of that), and the tonal change can be pretty jarring. This had already started to happen by the end of the first season, in fact. I think it goes without saying that if you haven’t played the VN or seen the first season, you should do one or the other before watching Refrain, or it won’t make a whole lot of sense. For viewers like me the challenge is going to be avoiding the weekly barrage of spoilers about “the secret of this world” that are sure to follow every episode, as they did in the first season. If you’re not a fan of Key but enjoy drama built around friendship, I’d give Little Busters! a chance – I think it’s quite unique even among Key series.

Watching This: Asobi, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Little Busters! ~Refrain~ Promotional Videos ▼

whitealbum2
WHITE ALBUM 2Top
http://whitealbum2.jp/
Animation: Satelight Premiere: October 5, 2013
Genre: Drama, Romance, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:30
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @wa2_anime or #wa2anime

Preview by

Taking place ten years after the original series, White Album 2 centers around college junior Kitahara Haruki (Mizushima Takahiro) and his relationships with Ogiso Setsuna (Yonezawa Madoka) and Touma Kazuki (Nabatame Hitomi) in the light music club. Love, music, and drama are in the air in this visual novel adaptation.

First things first: the original White Album anime did not have a particularly good reputation. Uneven animation, slow pacing, and not-particularly-likable characters lead to Omni dropping it from coverage before the first cour was finished (yes, the original aired that long ago!). That said, from what I hear of the White Album 2 visual novel it was apparently an improvement over the original. Now it’s up to the team at Satelight to show us whether they can adapt it correctly. The staff is lacking in experience but the main seiyuu cast is back from the visual novel, and they’re all seasoned anime vets, so no problems there. What else to say… Honestly, this is a dating sim adaptation that gives no outward signs of breaking the mold, save for perhaps having fewer heroines than usual (only two). If you like romance stories or dating sim adaptations, this should be right up your alley, and fortunately you don’t even have to worry about watching the original. For skeptics, I would wait to hear the initial reactions. It could end up being an unexpected gem, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets lost in all the other dating sim adaptations instead.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show WHITE ALBUM 2 Promotional Videos ▼

hajimeippo
Hajime no Ippo Rising | はじめの一歩 RisingTop
http://www.ntv.co.jp/ippo/
Animation: Madhouse x Mappa Premiere: October 5, 2013
Genre: Action, Drama, Shounen Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:35
Episodes: 25 Station: NTV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ippo_anime or #ippo_anime

Preview by

After four years, Hajime no Ippo returns with a third season. Once again led by Madhouse Studios, Hajime no Ippo: Rising continues the anime adaptation of Morikawa Joji’s boxing manga of the same name, which has now eclipsed 100 volumes since its 1989 debut. As with its previous iterations, the focus remains on Makunouchi Ippo (Kiyasu Kohei), a bullied student turned boxer trying to reach the top of the boxing world. Joining Kiyasu will be Takagi Wataru, Namikawa Daisuke, Fujiwara Keiji, and Koyama Rikiya, all of who will reprise their respective roles as part of the main cast. Sadly, Utsumi Kenji (the voice of Kamogawa Genji) passed away this past June, and it is unknown who will take over his role for this third season.

Well, what can I say? It’s without a doubt that fans of this series are excited for this sequel, and it’s been a long-awaited one to say the least. There still isn’t much information regarding the exact content that will be covered this time, but with the a majority of the cast and staff returning for this new season, it’s safe to say that fans won’t be disappointed with Hajime no Ippo: Rising, especially considering it will be at least 26 episodes. Still, keep in mind that this is a third season, so if you’re reading this and you haven’t read the manga or watched the previous iterations, be sure to catch the first two seasons and two OVA’s before you give this a glimpse.

Watching This: Zanibas Expectation Level: Established
kurobas2
Kuroko no Basuke 2 | 黒子のバスケ 第2期Top
http://www.kurobas.com/
Animation: Production I.G. Premiere: October 5, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Drama, School, Shounen, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:58
Episodes: 26 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kurobasanime or #kurobas

Preview by

A second season of Kuroko no Basuke is coming at us courtesy of Production I.G. A story about high school boys and their fervent passion for basketball, Fujimaki Tadatoshi’s Shounen Jump serialization centers on Kuroko Tetsuya (Ono Kensho) and Kagami Taiga (Ono Yuuki), two first-years at the Seirin High School basketball club. Kagami, an intimidating six footer, is a powerhouse of raw talent who stands in stark contrast to Kuroko, who is short, slow and somewhat flimsy. While seemingly unremarkable, Kuroko is actually the Phantom Sixth Man of Teiko Junior High’s “Generation of Miracles”, and a unique player who excels solely in the support roles of passing and stealing. The yin and yang relationship between Kuroko and Kagami is at the heart of the story, as their friendship, teamwork, and an assortment of entanglements – both on and off the court – drive most of the action and character drama of the series. This is especially so when their path crosses with the core members of the “Kiseki no Sedai” – Kise Ryouta (Kimura Ryouhei), Midorima Shintarou (Ono Daisuke), Aomine Daiki (Suwabe Junichi), Murasakibara Atsushi (Suzumura Kenichi) and Akashi Seijuro (Kamiya Hiroshi)!

Kuroko no Basuke’s popularity is beyond doubt – more than 24,000 copies of its BD/DVD have been shipped and a whopping 8 million copies of its manga were sold in 2012, a figure that dwarfs even the likes of Naruto. The series has been frequently associated with a large fujoshi following – hardly a surprise, considering its large cast of bishounen and a storyline that draws attention to “bromance” so very often! Spin this any way you like, the charm of this series extends beyond its pretty boys – Kuroko no Basuke is a very well-written sports shounen story. The series has a lot to offer, whether it’s action-packed thrills, comedic gags, slice-of-life, or the drama that surrounds each and every player. Speaking as a devoted fan of the genre, I wouldn’t think twice about calling Kuroko no Basuke one of the best – it’s right at the top along with the likes of Slam Dunk and Captain Tsubasa. The first season ended on a high note, an intense inter-high match that pitted Kise and Aomine against each other – tears for the former and cheers for the latter. With the entire production team making a return, I expect the same high-quality presentation in its second season. Akashi and Murasakibara, the yet-to-be-introduced “Kiseki no Sedai”, are set to receive their share of the spotlight. Character drama has always been one of the series’ strongest suits, and their appearance will almost certainly bring the buzz and exhilaration to a whole new level.

Watching This: Seishun Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Kuroko no Basuke 2 Promotional Videos ▼

tesabu
Tesagure! Bukatsumono | てさぐれ!部活ものTop
http://www.ntv.co.jp/tesabu/
Animation: Tesagure! Production Committee Premiere: October 5, 2013
Genre: School, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:20
Episodes: 12 Station: NTV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tesabu or #tesabu

Preview by

Tesagure! Bukatsumono is a CG anime that centers around the extracurricular activities of students. It will be made using the freeware “MikuMikuDance” CG software, which has previously been used to animate shows like Chokkyuu Hyoudai Robot Anime and gdgd Fairies.

CG animation is starting to become more and more common, as smaller creators use software like MMD to do what would take entire teams of animators working the old way. Look at the anime-styled webseries RWBY, which is animated using a similar program. That said, “animated a different way” isn’t a major draw. The plot and characters seem like an afterthought, which is worrying to a story-focused guy like me. It could be the best animated CG show ever, and it’ll all be for naught if the story isn’t good. RWBY drew me in with fantastic action sequences that made me willing to forgive any awkward animation, while this show is promising…the same thing we always get, just animated differently. I may check out the first episode out of curiosity, but unless someone tells me it’s a really good show than I can’t imagine myself jumping all in. I’ve been wrong before, though.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low
Show Tesagure! Bukatsumono Promotional Videos ▼

diaace
Ace of Diamond | ダイヤのATop
http://diaace.com/
Animation: Madhouse x Production I.G. Premiere: October 6, 2013
Genre: School, Shounen, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 8:30
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @diaace_anime or #ダイヤのA

Preview by

I’m not the biggest fan of sports manga because of just how ridiculous things can get, but Diamond no Ace (also called Daiya no A) is probably one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time. But before we get into anything related to the story or how GAR all the characters are, have you seen the powerhouses behind this adaptation? With big names like Madhouse and Production I.G. handling the important parts AND a long-running, successful manga to draw material from, I can’t imagine this show being anything less than awesome.

But if you ask me whether I liked the story, I would say I freaking loved it. You have a headstrong protagonist who understands the importance of friends and building relationships, some random stranger who quickly befriends him, and tons of questions surrounding just what makes the main character so awesome. Tack on a possible love interest that’s too shy to do anything plus lots of profanity being thrown around and what more could you ask for? And let’s not forget that, at least in the manga, there’s a scene where they use bitch-slapping to make a point. And trust me, when bitch-slapping is done correctly it’s just so satisfying to watch.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Seishun, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Ace of Diamond Promotional Videos ▼

magi2
Magi: The Kingdom of Magic | マギ The kingdom of magicTop
http://www.project-magi.com/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: October 6, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Shounen Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 17:00
Episodes: Station: TBS/MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @project_magi or #magi

Preview by

Magi returns for a second iteration, aptly subtitled The Kingdom of Magic. The wandering trio–Aladdin (Ishihara Kaori), Alibaba (Kaji Yuki), and Morgiana (Tomatsu Haruka)–continue their quest as they journey to the distant magical country of Magnostadt to hone their skills. Though the usual cast of characters will still play crucial roles, such as Sinbad (Ono Daisuke), Ren (Hanazawa Kana), and Judal (Kimura Ryouhei), new characters such as the Magi of Magnostadt and the various characters associated with the Magicians will take center stage. SID will be back to perform the first OP, while Aqua Timez–known for performing some of Bleach’s OPs–performs the ED.

Magi has been gaining fans for quite some time, with its wide audience appeal, large dynamic cast, great seiyuu appeal, and overall fresh setting. Fans and followers of the first season should definitely check out the progress of the Magnostadt arc, though it may be hard for newcomers to catch up with 25 episodes before the current season. The main concern lies with A-1 Pictures’ handling of the show, in regards to animation quality and story integrity. Viewers who watched the first season are well aware of how terrible the animation was handled towards the end (I still cry for Morgiana’s dance), and manga readers were irked by the original-style ending, which created many plot holes for the second season to fix. Overall, Magi is still a fairly good show and still worth checking out, but be prepared for any inconsistencies that may arise.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Seishun, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Magi Season 2 Promotional Videos ▼

phibrain3
Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle (Season 3) | ファイ・ブレイン ~神のパズル 第3シリーズTop
http://www.phibrain.net/
Animation: NHK x Sunrise Premiere: October 6, 2013
Genre: Action, Shounen Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 17:30
Episodes: Station: NHK-eTele
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @PB_SRPR or #phibrain

Preview by

Though some may disagree with the quality of this show, the timeslot ratings for Phi Brain have been consistently good; as such, NHK and Sunrise are pairing up once again to bring “Puzzle Time” back for a third season. The plot revolves around Daimon Kaito (Saito Chiwa and Asanuma Shintaro), a puzzle-solving “Einstein” who, with his companions, fights against various evil organizations who use puzzles to wreck havoc on the world. Central to the new season will be two new rivals, Reitzell (Chihara Minori) and Enigma (Nakata Jouji), who, if past seasons are any indication, probably have connections to Kaito in some way. So begins an adventure with more puzzles to be solved.

Newcomers will probably have a hard time getting into this show–it’s said the characters take a while to warm up to, and with two previous seasons to tackle, this third season will mainly appeal to its existing viewers. Fortunately, with Sunrise doing its usual job there shouldn’t be any surprises as compared to previous seasons, so continuing fans should have no worries about shifts in the production.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Established
Show Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle (Season 3) Promotional Videos ▼

sekatsuyo
Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai! | 世界でいちばん強くなりたい!Top
http://www.sekatsuyo.com/
Animation: Arms Premiere: October 6, 2013
Genre: Ecchi, Wrestling Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 20:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sekatsuyo or #sekatsuyo

Preview by

One only needs to look at the PV to know where this is going. Saw it? Good. This is going to be one of the sexiest offerings this season, titled Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!. Courtesy of ecchi specialists from ARMS, the show revolves around Hagiwara Sakura (Taketatsu Ayana), an idol who’s turned to pro wrestling because her friend and fellow idol, Miyazawa Erena (Asumi Kana) was hurt by an overly aggressive Kazama Rio (Tomatsu Haruka). Vowing to avenge her friend, Hagiwara enters the pro-wrestling spotlight to climb the ranks and beat down (in a sexy manner of course) the provoking Kazama.

Past its sexy nature, this show has a lot going for it in terms of the cast. Besides the big three above, you’ve got HanaKana, the Kitamura Eri, Satou Rina, Kanemoto Hisako, and many more after that. Imagine: scantily clad wrestlers, voiced by some of the best in the industry, directed by a man that has experience in both the hentai and ecchi genres, Kujou Rion (Hagure Yuusha no Estetica). Even if the plot ends up shallow, as long as ARMS can keep up production values I’m sure many people will enjoy this portrayal of a very physical sport.

Watching This: Seishun, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai! Promotional Videos ▼

teekyuu3
Teekyuu Season 3 | てーきゅう 第3期Top
http://te-kyu.com/
Animation: Mappa Premiere: October 6, 2013
Genre: Comedy, School, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:27
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @te_kyu

Preview by

Note: since it hasn’t even been a season since we last previewed this show, below is a copy/paste from the Summer preview. Have no fear – I checked out Season 2, and everything is still valid.

Teekyuu is a comedy sports short about four girls in a tennis club. There’s the main character (and the only sensible one) Oshimoto Yuri (Watanabe Yui), the bizarre Shinjou Kanae (Mimori Suzuko), sempai Takamiya Nasuno (Narumi Kyoko), and the perverted Bandou Marimo (Hanazawa Kana). Each episode is two minutes long.

After watching the first season, my immediate reaction was “What the hell were they smoking?” Overdose on sugar, down a bunch of speed, chug a dozen energy drinks, and maybe you’ll just begin to approach the craziness of this show. Personally, it wasn’t for me. The jokes flew so fast and heavy that sometimes I didn’t realize a joke was done until I was three jokes away. The animation is also a bit lacking. It does fit the drug-fueled tone the show is going for, but it ended up striking me as haphazard and sloppy, even though I assume it’s a stylistic choice rather than studio Mappa cheaping out. In the end, with a two minute comedy short only one thing matters – is it funny? For me, it was not. Not even perverted HanaKana was quite able to do the trick. The good news is that at two minutes per episode, if absolutely anything interests you about this show then there’s little excuse for not giving it a try. Who knows, it just might be your thing!

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low
yozakura
Yozakura Quartet ~Hana no Uta~ | 夜桜四重奏 ~ハナノウタ~Top
http://yozakura-anime.jp/
Animation: Tatsunoko Production Premiere: October 6, 2013
Genre: Action, Comedy, Shounen, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 23:30
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @yozakura_anime or #yzq

Preview by

The Yozakura Quartet anime franchise is getting a reboot with this season’s Yozakura Quartet ~Hana no Uta~. Sakurashin is a town where supernatural beings called youkai coexist peacefully with humans. The city was built around the “Nana-gou”, seven huge cherry blossom trees that connect the human and youkai worlds. The story revolves around a quartet of teenage heroes who have been chosen to protect the town and the gate. They are the super-strong mayor Yarizakura Hime (Fukuen Misato), mind reader Nanami Ao (Fujita Saki), half-youkai conjurer Isone Kotoha (Sawashiro Miyuki), and the mostly-normal human Hiizumi Akina (Kaji Yuki), who possesses the ability to send youkai back to their world.

I watched the original 2008 series, and I must admit I forgot almost everything about it. I remember liking the dynamic between the main characters, and I enjoyed both the action that formed the backbone of the series as well as the comedy that was interspersed throughout; it was the plot that never resonated with me, to the point where I honestly couldn’t remember whether I finished the series until I watched a few clips to jog my memory. To be fair, there have been changes since then – this series has the same staff as the Hoshi no Umi OVAs, which I understand are a lot closer to the manga (in animation and content) than the original series was. I can tell you that the previews I’ve seen of this season do look more “manga-like”, with action that’s more flowing and kinetic than the 2008 series. Personally, I don’t know whether I’ll be watching this one. It’s a reboot, so anyone who’s interested can jump right in, and there will even be new content and characters for those who watched the original series. Even so, I’ve seen the majority of this before, and it didn’t resonate then. Don’t let my ambivalence stop you – a more faithful take on the manga could be just what’s needed to show why this series keeps getting adaptations greenlit. If you like supernatural action, try out an episode or three and see what you think. If it’s new to you, it might be the sort of show you’ll enjoy.

Watching This: Asobi, Guardian Enzo Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Yozakura Quartet ~Hana no Uta~ Promotional Videos ▼

meganebu
Meganebu! | メガネブ!Top
http://mgnb.tv/
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: October 6, 2013
Genre: Shoujo, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @mgnb_tv or #mgnb_anime

Preview by

I’m not sure how to describe this show. Being adapted by Studio DEEN from a collection of drama CDs, this show is described as a must watch for bishounen fans. With frilly characters who definitely round out the more feminine side of the male spectrum, the story revolves around five guys who create a club together because of their passion for glasses.

While I’m certainly not in the target audience for this show, I have to admit that it took a bit of willpower to do the research for it. Unlike Free!, which I am totally in love with (Mako’s back muscles anyone?) I couldn’t get myself to accept the art style. Maybe it was because the website’s color scheme was just too pink or the characters’ outfits were just a bit too cutesy, but I don’t think I could watch it. Don’t get me wrong though! It is classified as a comedic slice-of-life and Studio DEEN has done some impressive work in the past. While I’m not really holding my breath, I wouldn’t could this show out.

Watching This: Seishun Expectation Level: Low
Show Meganebu! Promotional Videos ▼

walroma
Walkure Romanze | ワルキューレ ロマンツェTop
http://walroma.com/
Animation: 8bit Premiere: October 6, 2013
Genre: Jousting, Romance, School Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @walroma_a or #walroma_a

Preview by

Anyone here remember Princess Lover! from 2009? The VN studio that produced the original material is getting another VN adapted, called Walkure Romanze. The protagonist, Mizuno Takahiro (Yamashita Seiichirou) is unable to become the knight he wanted to be thanks to injury. Instead he will now assist one of the many beautiful and competent girls around him in realizing their own dreams of becoming knights. First is Kisaki Mio (Shimizu Ai), whose childhood friend connection with Mizuno should surely give her a head start. However, competition from fellow knights Celia Cumani Aintree (Mizusawa Kei), Noel Marres Ascot (Nakamura Eriko), and Lisa Eostre (Taguchi Hiroko) should provide enough romantic and dramatic tension for an entire season. They’ll all compete both for Mizuno’s affections and in the jousting ring as love and competitive skill mesh together in this chivalrous production.

It’ll be interesting to see how much animation attention Walkure receives this season, since 8bit is producing both Tokyo Ravens and IS 2 this season, which are very high profile titles. 8bit does have a good, stable reputation in animating its titles, so perhaps I’m being pessimistic. After all, Director Yamamoto Yuusuke is taking the helm, whose wide experience should enhance this beyond the levels Princess Lover! achieved, with the whole “noble air” premise dialed up to the max. While the general structure may be similar to its predecessor by nature of being a VN, the production team at hand is reassuring. Add onto that the voice of Haruka from THE IDOLM@STER voicing Noel, and you’ve got a fairly good harem-type waiting to be unleashed. This’ll probably pass under the radar for most, but if you’re into harems, this season has an offering that looks like it may exceed expectations.

Watching This: Seishun, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Walkure Romanze Promotional Videos ▼

gingitsune
Gingitsune | ぎんぎつねTop
http://gingitsune.net/
Animation: Diomedea Premiere: October 6, 2013
Genre: Slice-of-life, Seinen, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 25:05
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @gingitsuneanime or #gingitsune

Preview by

Gingitsune is set in a small Shinto harvest shrine in present day Japan, where spirits and humans have been living in harmony. Saeki Makoto’s (Kanemoto Hisako) family possesses the power to see the messenger of the gods, but the ability is limited to one living relative at a time. When Makoto’s mother passed away, Makoto inherited the ability to see the kitsune (fox spirit) Gintaro (Miki Shinichiro) as the sole remaining family member. The story follows the everyday life of Makoto and Ginatro as they help the people of their community.

What attracted me to this show is the idea of a seinen slice-of-life – a slower paced, “everyday happenings” kind of show that is more mature, focusing on helping people with their everyday problems rather than the cutesy high-school-girls-doing-cute-things shows we’re so used to. There’s also the mixture of the supernatural and mundane that gives me Kannagi vibes, which is always a good thing. Animation is being done by Diomedea (Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Mondaiji), and is staffed by a bunch of Diomedea veterans, which makes me think they’ll work well together. The seiyuu cast is also really good, with the main two joined by Koshimizu Ami, Akasaki Chinatsu, Fujimura Ayumi, and more. The animation does look a bit dated, like this is airing in 2006 rather than 2013. Gingitsune promises a slower, more mature look on life and its problems mixed with a few supernatural spirits – if this sounds interesting to you, give this show a try. It has all the makings of an unsung favorite.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Gingitsune Promotional Videos ▼

gundambf
Gundam Build Fighters | ガンダムビルドファイターズTop
http://gundam-bf.net/
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: October 7, 2013
Genre: Mecha Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 18:00
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @buildfighters or #g_bf

Preview by

Continuing the long line of Gundam series is the latest iteration from Sunrise, Gundam Build Fighters. Created for Gundam’s 35th Anniversary, this series is based in part on the Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G OVA from 2010, which had customized Gundam models fighting each other in competitions known as GunPla Battles. Featuring new mecha designs and customized versions from previous Gundam series, Gundam Build Fighters revolves around middle school student Iori Sei (Komatsu Mikako) and the mysterious Reiji (Kokuryu Sachi). With the former being a skilled builder of GunPla and the latter an accomplished Gundam Fighter, they unite in an effort to win the GunPla Battle World Championships.

Essentially a Gundam take on Angelic Layer, Gundam Build Fighters looks like it’ll be a battle anime through and through. This newest iteration isn’t what many fans expected or wanted, and I’m admittedly disappointed we won’t be getting an actual Gundam series this time around. That doesn’t mean Gundam Build Fighters won’t be worth a watch, especially if you’re a Gundam or mecha fan. The designs and scripts are all being done by staff that have worked on previous iterations, and the series itself will likely provide fans with a lot of nostalgia in time for the 35th anniversary next year. Furthermore, the series has spawned a new set of customizable, high grade model kits, and the line’s not too shabby if I do say so myself. Overall the premise says it all, and Gundam Build Fighters likely won’t surprise in terms of what it’s going to offer. If you’re not in one of the aforementioned fan groups, it’s probably best to pass on this series.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Gundam Build Fighters Promotional Videos ▼

machinedoll
Unbreakable Machine-doll | 機巧少女は傷つかないTop
http://www.machine-doll.com/
Animation: Lerche Premiere: October 7, 2013
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Magic, School, Seinen Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 20:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @mdk_anime or #mdoll

Preview by

Straddling the line between technology and fantasy comes the adaptation of Kaitou Reiji’s modern magitech light novels, Kikou Shoujo wa Kizutsukanai. It’s the early 20th century and a student puppeteer from Japan named Akabane Raishin (Shimono Hiro) has come to Walpurgis Royal Academy of Machine Arts in England to study the emerging field of Machinart, a combination of magic and technology with military applications. He’s accompanied by a beautiful young girl named Yaya (Harada Hitomi), who is actually his Automaton, a living machine doll who is powered by magical circuits and controlled by a human puppeteer as a weapon. Raishin’s goal is to obtain the title of “Wiseman”, the greatest puppeteer, but with test scores that put him nearly dead last he’s going to have to depend on his determination and combat abilities to beat the myriad of deadly classmates standing in his way.

This is one of those stories that has been on my radar for a while, but I never dove in because, well, I didn’t have the time. No longer! After thumbing through the source material, I’m glad. For starters, the action in this is just damn good. Despite the technological underpinings this is basically straight fantasy, but Yaya is no fragile girl – she gets in there and punches, kicks, and beats the tar out of adversaries with her bare hands. I also instantly took a liking the main characters – Raishin for his cocksure confidence that sidles right up to arrogance without going over, and Yaya for her cheerful loyalty and constant attempts to get into Raishin’s futon. That’s right, Yaya is no emotionless girl – she’s as lively and expressive as any human character, and more so than many. There are hints of romance, and comedy too, but for me its Raishin’s unshakable drive and the exciting magical action that has me pumped up for this adaptation. This is a popular series with a solid fanbase, so if you like magic, fantasy, action, and especially a combination of the three, watch Kikou Shoujo wa Kizutsukanai. If the team at Lerche can adapt it well, it should be a wild ride.

Watching This: Cherrie, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Unbreakable Machine-doll Promotional Videos ▼

yowapeda
Yowamushi Pedal | 弱虫ペダルTop
http://yowapeda.com/
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: October 7, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Shounen, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:35
Episodes: 38 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @yowapeda_anime or #yp_anime

Preview by

Sports manga, for all their popularity in Japan, tend to not have much of an impact with English-language audiences. When these manga are adapted into anime they seem to find one of two major audience demographics – young males or fujoshi (the irony is self-evident, but that’s a subject for another post). A few, like KuroBasu, find both and thus become major commercial powerhouses in Japan, with huge Blu-ray/DVD sales and merchandising. I don’t expect Yowamushi Pedal to achieve that kind of notoriety (or infamy, as the case may be) but judging by my last trip to Comiket it seems to have an appeal to both demographics. Already on its 29th volume in Japan, the manga is certainly an established success.

I see Yowamushi Pedal as a test of how open-minded the Western anime audience can be. It has everything an anime should need to succeed – sharp comedy, a little romance, action, a good story, cute characters of both genders – but it just happens to be a sports series, usually the kiss of death. We’ve had only a few cycling anime (Over Drive, Nasu), so Yowamushi should certainly fill a niche, albeit a small one. I’ve read much of the manga and it’s really good – the story of a high-school freshman named Onoda Sakamichi (Yamashita Daiki) who rides his cheap mamachari bike 45 KM each way to Akihabara to indulge his otaku hobby, catching the attention of school cycling club leader, Imaizumi Shunusuke (Toriumi Kousuke). Yowamushi Pedal has an excellent supporting cast, and it gets both the niceties of high school social order and the sport of cycling spot-on. If viewers give this show a chance, I think they’ll be hooked.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Yowamushi Pedal Promotional Videos ▼

nonnon
Non Non Biyori | のんのんびよりTop
http://www.nonnontv.com/
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: October 7, 2013
Genre: Comedy, School, Slice-of-Life, Seinen Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 26:05
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @nonnontv or #なのん

Preview by

As much as I don’t like to admit it, I’m very fond of shoujo/slice-of-life shows. While I can’t say exactly what draws me to them, it’s probably the art style and the types of gags that get thrown out that resonate with me so well. And just like all the other ones before it, Non Non Biyori is no exception. With its detailed yet moe-moe-kyun characters, I got sucked in before I knew it.

When a story starts off in a small rural town with one school for all its kids, meaning elementary kids are together with middle schoolers, you know you’re in for one heck of a ride. Don’t we all love it when someone’s older sibling appears randomly throughout a show? But how often do you see someone’s older brother or sister in the same class as them?! Throw in some role reversal due to the older sibling being tiny in comparison to their underclassmen and things just keep spiraling into the kawaii-abyss. And by the kawaii-abyss, I mean that dark part of your mind where you can’t stop “hnnnnnnnnnng-ing” because of all the moe.

Watching This: Takaii Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Non Non Biyori Promotional Videos ▼

aokihagane
Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~ | 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ -アルス・ノヴァ-Top
http://www.aokihagane.com/
Animation: Sanzigen Premiere: October 7, 2013
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Seinen Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 26:55
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @arpeggio_TV or #アルペジオ

Preview by

By 2039, the seas will rise, the lands will mostly be lost, and a global conflict will be born. The Fleet of Mist, warships surrounded by mystery and mist, will cripple the naval freedom of humanity through force, preventing any sort of safe naval travel or trade. However, one submarine, I-401, will one day defect from the terror fleet and help a lowly cadet, Gunzo Chihaya (Okitsu Kazuyuki). Through the submarine’s organic humanoid interface Iona (Fuchigami Mai), I-401 will assist humanity in fighting back against their biggest enemy, and of course the other humanoid interfaces that will taunt them along the way. This is Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova.

SANZIGEN, the lead animation studio for this show, is untested in their current role–they usually do secondary animation for another studio. However, what their resume has is tons, TONS of practice with 3D CGI, which is clearly apparent in this show. While I do find the 3D animation of the characters to be slightly off-putting, the 3D CGI for the action scenes is superb and should be a treat to watch. While not in the same vein as anthropomorphic shows such as Upotte!!, the “humanoid interface” of the ships are present to allow dialogue to occur, which is more in line with the interfaces in Suisei no Gargantia. While perhaps not as highly animated as the latter, hope for a good adaption lies with Kishi Seiji, whose work with shows like Angel Beats! and Jinrui is promising. However, a director is only as good as the material he’s given, so here’s to hoping these ships have a good story to tell.

Watching This: Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~ Promotional Videos ▼

tokyoravens
Tokyo Ravens | 東京レイヴンズTop
http://www.tokyo-ravens.com/
Animation: 8bit Premiere: October 8, 2013
Genre: Action, Comedy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 24:30
Episodes: 24 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @TYO_Ravens or #tokyo_ravens

Preview by

As one of three shows 8bit is releasing this season, Tokyo Ravens provides some of the supernatural-spirit-shounen flavor of this season. Main character Tsuchimikado Harutora (Ishikawa Kaito) starts off living the easy life, despite the prestige of his spirit-seeing family–Harutora can’t see spiritual energy like his relatives, so he doesn’t participate in his family’s duties. That all changes when childhood friend and relative Tsuchimikado Natsume (Hanazawa Kana) rolls in and pulls Harutora into the world of spirits he was destined to participate in.

One thing that immediately stands out in Tokyo Ravens is the A-star cast, rivaling even the cast of IS. Besides Kaito and Kana above, other veterans such as Toyosaki Aki, Kanemoto Hisako, Kitamura Eri, Sakura Ayane, Shimono Hiro, and Kimura Ryouhei are joining the fray. Though the overall synopsis doesn’t look too original, with this cast, the dialogue will at least be pleasant to hear. There’s also director Kanasaki Takaomi on board to bring his School Rumble and Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? experience to the fantasy-action-comedy table he knows so well. Judging from the promos, though it looks like the normal everyday life scenes will be plainly animated, the true shine should come from the action scenes that have people flying through the sky, blasting and raising crazy barriers, and of course some one-on-one fighting as well. I trust 8-bit to do a decent job on this piece, so if you’re looking for that balanced blend of comedy, shounen action, and supernatural events, check out Tokyo Ravens this fall.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Seishun, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Tokyo Ravens Promotional Videos ▼

blazblue
BLAZBLUE ALTER MEMORYTop
http://blazblue-am.jp/
Animation: TeamKG x Hoods Entertainment Premiere: October 8, 2013
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by

Continuing the trend of game-to-anime adaptations is Blazblue Alter Memory, a collaborative work from TeamKG and Hoods Entertainment. Based on the BlazBlue series of arcade fighting games from Arc System Works, Alter Memory revolves around the rebel Ragna the Bloodedge’s sudden appearance in the city of Kagutsuchi. Also known as the “Grim Reaper,” his goal is to destroy the Novus Orbis Librarium, the multinational task force in charge of keeping the world’s balance. In order to stop him the NOL offer the largest bounty ever to anyone who can capture him, and the fight commences as the strongest warriors converge on the city to collect. This adaptation covers Blazblue: Calamity Trigger, the first in the Blazblue line of games.

While I haven’t played the games myself, I have heard good things about them, and it’s a series that has sold well (two million copies) since its debut in 2008. This only means so much though, since game-to-anime adaptations typically miss the mark. Despite this, and the fact that Alter Memory will be TeamKG’s first production, the series does have some things going for it. Blazblue director Toshimichi Mori will be supervising the project, while Mizushima Seiji (Full Metal Alchemist) will join the series as Assistant Director. They’re joined by an all-star cast that includes Saito Chiwa, Sugita Tomokazu, and Nakamura Yuuichi, all of which are reprising their respective in-game roles. This series should be a treat for those that have played the games or those looking for a pure action series.

Watching This: Seishun, Stilts Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show BLAZBLUE ALTER MEMORY Promotional Videos ▼

noucome
Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama ShiteiruTop
俺の脳内選択肢が、学園ラブコメを全力で邪魔している
http://noucome.jp/
Animation: Diomedea Premiere: October 9, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation #noucome

Preview by

Light Novel. Long Title. What could this possibly mean? Choose from A) Another “Ore no” type romantic comedy; B) A high school story that revolves around a boy making multiple choice answers to progress through life; C) “Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh” is voicing the main character, Chocolat (Sadohara Kaori); or D) All of the above. If you chose D, you’re correct! Along with the main heroine we have main protagonist, Amakusa Kanade (Toyonaga Toshiyuki), and fellow classmates Yukihira Furano (Kondou Yui) and Yuuouji Ouka (Tsuji Ayumi). Together they’ll navigate through high school life light novel style, undoubtedly with many innuendo-laden mishaps along the way.

Continuing the light novel title trend, NouCome doesn’t seem to stand out among similar titles of its type, though it does have unique elements that should entertain current fans of the genre, myself included. The multiple-choice style is reminiscent of VN and school culture, while reminding me of Baka to Test’s school antics. Diomedea has done a fairly good job with its recent titles, so production shouldn’t be much of an issue–at worst we get a Campione!, while at best another Ika Musume. The art style should prove interesting, as art director Abe Yukio has extensive experience with old and new titles, along with a good number focused on children shows. The main seiyuu are all fairly fresh with exception of Toyonaga, so if you’re looking for new voices to hear, give an episode a listen. Overall, if you’re a fan of the light novel/long title trend, give NouCome a shot, and see just how its main plot device will stand against the competition.

Watching This: Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Promotional Videos ▼

galileidonna
Galilei Donna | ガリレイドンナTop
http://www.galileidonna.tv/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: October 10, 2013
Genre: Action, Adventure, Battle Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:50
Episodes: 11 Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @galileidonna or #galileidonna

Preview by

Replacing Gin no Saji as the newest addition to the noitaminA lineup is the new original series, Galilei Donna. Produced by A-1 Pictures, this self-labeled “battle action adventure” focuses on the three female descendants of Italian astronomer Galileo, Hazuki, Kazuki, and Hozuki (Hidaka Rina) Ferrari. Known as the “three moons,” the three sisters suddenly find themselves under attack by an unknown organization. In a future where the world is consumed by the early comings of a new ice age, the sisters are forced to work together to fend off the organization and find out why they’re being targeted. That is of course, provided they can overcome the challenges caused by their vastly different personalities. At the helm is Umetsu Yasuomi, who was both responsible for the series’ original concept and the animation of series such as Akira, BECK, and Tegami Bachi.

Considering the series that have aired on the noitaminA block (Anohana, Nodame Cantabile: Finale, and PSYCHO-PASS are just a few examples) since its inception in 2005, the fact that Galilei Donna’s associated with it automatically makes it a series worth keeping an eye on. That’s not to say all noitaminA series are guaranteed to succeed, but they have been well-received and/or of the original variety that you won’t see anywhere else. Umetsu Yasuomi’s lack of experience with the director role does end up hurting the series’ prognosis, but it’s something countered by his extensive experience with animation and storyboards–the former of which is key considering the importance of animation quality and style in a “battle action adventure” series. Overall, what Galilei Donna gives us is another battle-focused series in a season full of intriguing ones. Given what we know so far it may not wow as much as others off the bat, but it’s noitaminA association makes it a potential sleeper, albeit one whose uniquity may cause quite the divide in impressions.

Watching This: Asobi, Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Seishun, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Galilei Donna Promotional Videos ▼

samumenco
Samurai Flamenco | サムライフラメンコTop
http://www.samumenco.com/
Animation: Manglobe Premiere: October 10, 2013
Genre: Action Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:20
Episodes: 22 Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @samumenco or #samumenco

Preview by

Samurai Flamenco joins Galilei Donna as the other new original anime airing in the noitaminA block this fall. It follows Hazama Masayoshi (Masuda Toshiki), a male model turned superhero balancing a life of crime fighting and show business. The anime’s taglines are “To those ‘adults’ who don’t want to become adults…” and “Hero will never give up, never hide, never be defeated, never accept evil.”

Information is limited on this original project, but we can draw some assumptions. The noitaminA block generally airs more experimental anime with adult themes (Sakamichi no Apollon, Tsuritama, PSYCHO-PASS). Then move over to the tagline that caught my attention, which was about adults who don’t want to become adults. While I would argue that being a male model isn’t very “serious” (try being behind a desk all day, Masayoshi), I can certainly understand the desire to not grow up into all the responsibility that adulthood demands. Losing out on your silly, childish dreams, and deciding to chase after them anyway…that’s a meaty theme that interests me far more than “male model turned superhero” ever could. While noitaminA originals can be hit or miss – that’s one of the risks you take with experimental shows – they’re usually interesting. If you fancy yourself an advanced anime watcher or are looking for something a little more mature, try out Samurai Flamenco. I have a feeling it will give us all something to think about.

Watching This: Asobi, Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Seishun, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Samurai Flamenco Promotional Videos ▼

valvrave2
Kakumeiki Valvrave 2nd Season | 革命機ヴァルヴレイヴ 2ndシーズンTop
http://www.valvrave.com/
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: October 10, 2013
Genre: Action, Drama, Mecha, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @valvrave or #valvrave

Preview by

The second half of Kakumeiki Valvrave, Sunrise’s latest mecha epic, kicks off in this fall. The two leads are Tokishima Haruto (Ohsaka Ryota), a pacifist from the neutral territory of JIOR who was dragged into the war, and L-elf Karlstein (Kimura Ryouhei), a prodigious soldier of the Dorssian military who was sent to steal JIOR’s prized humanoid weapon, the Valvrave. L-Elf and Haruto are polar opposites, but one thing leads to another and an unlikely alliance is formed between the ambitious, prophetic soldier and the immortal, vampire-like mecha pilot. The female side of the equation is represented by Sashinami Shouko (Seto Asami), Haruto’s childhood sweetheart, and Rukino Saki (Tomatsu Haruka), the lovely former idol who also pilots a Valvrave of her own. They are joined by a large cast, each with motives and allegiances of their own.

This series is penned by Okouchi Ichiro (Code Geass), and like his previous work there’s a wide difference in opinions on Kakumeiki Valvrave. Some rejoice at its complete lack of restraint, while others are put-off by its absurdity. For those who followed my coverage of the first season, you should know I hold Kakumeiki Valvrave in very high regard. What started out as stereotypical mecha sci-fi quickly developed into something unconventional – from body hijacks and flash forwards to multiple defections and deaths, and right down to a full-on sexual assault, the series has thrown more curve balls at us than I could count! Kakumeiki Valvrave encapsulates everything a great mecha show stands for – fast-paced action scenes, top-notch animation, lovely character designs (by D.Gray-man’s Hoshino Katsura), a terrific soundtrack (by FMA Brotherhood’s Senju Akira), and a broad range of eye-catching mecha that are reminiscent of Super Robot Wars. The series also boasts a huge supporting cast, voiced by perhaps the most impressive seiyuu lineup I’ve ever seen, including Fukuyama Jun, Miyano Mamoru, Kaji Yuuki, Yuuki Aoi, Horie Yui, and Mizuki Nana, to name a few. The first season ended on a nut-cracking cliffhanger, with the entire fate of Module 77 left hanging in midair after Colonel Cain (Ono Daisuke) took control of Tekka, a supposedly defunct Valvrave. For its second season a time-skip is probably inevitable, and cross-planetary excursions might also be in the cards. My expectations for this series are very high, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the many facets of Kakumeiki Valvrave again.

Watching This: Asobi, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Seishun, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Kakumeiki Valvrave 2nd Season Promotional Videos ▼


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 or incorrect, please feel free to point it out in the comments or e-mail one of us directly (Stilts, Zephyr).

Release Date Title Notes
09/30 Maken-Ki! OVA | マケン姫っ! OVA
http://maken-ki.com/
Bundled with Limited Edition manga vol. 11. Episode 2 of 2.
10/02 Naruto the Movie – Illusion in the Ruins of Earth’s Depths
劇場版 NARUTO 大激突!幻の地底遺跡だってばよ
http://www.naruto-movie.com/
BD Release.
10/09 Yozakura Quartet: Tsuki ni Naku OVA | 夜桜四重奏 ツキニナク
http://yozakura-anime.jp/news.html
Bundled with Limited Edition manga vol. 14.
10/16 Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home Movie | 花咲くいろは Home Sweet Home
http://www.hanasakuiroha.jp/
BD/DVD Release.
10/16 Kill Me Baby OAD | キルミーベイベー OAD
http://killmebaby.tv/top.html
Bundled with Kill Me Baby Super best album CD.
10/17 Seitokai Yakuindomo OVA | 生徒会役員共 OVA
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/seitokai/top.html
Bundled with Limited Edition manga vol. 9. Episode 8 of 8.
10/23 Saint☆Young Men Movie | 聖☆おにいさん
http://www.saint023.com/
BD/DVD Release.
10/25 Eve no Jikan Movie | イヴの時間
http://timeofeve.com/
BD release.
10/25 Suisei no Gargantia OVA | 翠星のガルガンティア 完全新作OVA
http://gargantia.jp/
Bundled with BD vol. 3. Episode 2 of 2.
10/26 Miyakawa-ke no Kuufuku OAD | 宮河家の空腹 OAD
http://miyakawahungry.com/
Bundled with Lucky Star Limited Edition manga vol. 10.
10/30 IS: Infinite Stratos 2: Hitonatsu no Omoide OVA
IS<インフィニット・ストラトス>2 ロングバケーション 一夏(ひとなつ)の想いで
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/is2/
40 minute episode.
11/06 Kiss x Sis OVA | キスシス OVA
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/kiss_sis/
Bundled with Limited Edition manga vol. 12.
11/06 Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of the Snow
劇場版 NARUTO (ナルト) 大活劇!雪姫忍法帖だってばよ!!
http://www.naruto-movie.com/
BD Release.
12/13 Steins;Gate Movie | 劇場版 シュタインズゲート 負荷領域のデジャヴ
http://steinsgate-movie.jp/
BD/DVD Release.
12/25 Ghost in the Shell ARISE – border:2 Ghost Whispers
攻殻機動隊ARISE -GHOST IN THE SHELL- border:2 Ghost Whispers
http://www.kokaku-a.com/
BD/DVD Release.
12/25 Space Battleship Yamato – Final Chapter Movie | 宇宙戦艦ヤマト 完結編
http://yamato2199.net/
BD Remaster.

Overall Impressions


 

I’ll skip over the “it’s a good season” mumbo jumbo and get to some specifics. As I said in the the intro, this season is showing some especially strong showings for sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, and sports. In each of these genres, we’re seeing some interesting art styles, such as COPPELION’s faded but detailed art style, Kyousougiga’s FLCL-like graphics, Kill la Kill’s Gurren Lagann emulation, and a Madhouse x Production I.G. backed Diamond no Ace. For those of us who like to get a little ungrounded in our stories in a artful way, this is the season to be paying attention to. For those of you looking for original material, a good number have popped up this season, with Nagi no Asakara, Galilei Donna, and Samurai Flamenco, all of which have promising staff backing them up.

As for our expectations, our rubric hasn’t changed since last season–we think we’ve struck a balance between fine-tuning and comparability with the current rubric. Hopefully this guide will help viewers with limited time what shows to try first, based on our preliminary examination of the show’s staff, seiyuu, and source material.

We arrived at these levels by convening our seasonal (and reliably shady) “anticipation council,” consisting of Stilts, myself, and Zephyr. While we have taken great lengths to try and normalize our subjective feelings on each show, we’re mortals here, so there’s going to be shows that completely surprise, as well as those that are major flops–things that we could never see coming. Note: The lists are sorted in alphabetical order.

 

The Rundown:

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.

Moderately High expectation shows are ones that came close to joining the High expectation crowd, but missed out due to one or two elements that gave us concern. The series underpinnings are generally strong, but there is just something that keeps us from putting all our hopes and dreams on these shows. They still have most of the makings of very strong series, so if you watch only the “best” shows but want more than what the High category provides, keep an eye out for these.

Moderate expectation shows, also known as “True Moderate”, 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.

Moderately Low expectation shows don’t seem to be aspiring to much, but it’s hard to call them bad exactly. They might focus on senseless humor or fanservice, but there’s often at least one element that elevates them above other members of their genre. Once again, personal taste comes heavily into play with these shows, because if they’re part of one of your favored genres, then chances are you’ll enjoy them no matter what. Just don’t expect them to break the bank with originality.

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 under-appreciated 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.

September 18, 2013 at 5:00 pm
270 comments »
  • September 19, 2013 at 5:58 pmsonicsenryaku

    From the interviews and character bios that i have read, kyokai no kanata seems to be a tad darker and more story-driven than its light novel counterpart so i hope that bodes well for the final product; I cant help but feel super amped but at the same time wary. I really want this series to succeed on a story-telling point so badly for the sake of Kyoani’s reputation because when they want to, they can pull of some extremely excellent work (The disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kanon). I want them to become relevant from a creative standpoint.

  • September 19, 2013 at 6:10 pmboki

    Looks good, will be picking up 10~15 shows.

  • September 19, 2013 at 7:05 pmNierTevra

    lol expectations for valve – moderate…as if the first season didn’t establish enough expectations…

  • September 19, 2013 at 7:07 pmlicolis

    will watch anime from Kyoani, Kyoukai no Kanata, Gundam, Kakumeiki Valvrare and (maybe) Pupa

  • September 19, 2013 at 7:26 pmDudeman

    High expectations for:

    BLAZBLUE ALTER MEMORY
    Coppelion
    Kyokai no Kanata
    Kill la Kill
    Pupa
    Unbreakable Machine-doll
    Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio
    Magi
    Freezing Vibration
    Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!
    Infinite Stratos 2
    Nagi no Asukara

  • September 19, 2013 at 7:49 pmGetchman

    with Space Bros and Monogatari second season as carryovers, looks like I’m watching 25 shows this season, and 2 or 3 shorts.

    Did you guys forget Aikatsu! season 2? it starts Oct 3rd

  • September 19, 2013 at 8:15 pmWanderer

    Yes, Ichika is as dense as a brick like so many other harem protagonists, so if that annoys you then be prepared – the girls practically throw themselves at him and nothing seems to stick.

    If bricks were as dense as Ichika, buildings would crush themselves through sheer gravitational force. The only place to find material that matches Ichika’s density is in the heart of neutron stars or black holes.

    • September 21, 2013 at 6:00 pmTheOrangeOne

      I hate to be the geek to point this out, but I have to, otherwise its like accepting that horses galloping sound like coconuts. Black holes, Neutron Stars, any star for that matter, and even Earth’s own core, are not dense at all. There is a near equal amount of matter in every direction to neutralize any gravitational force, so anything in the center has no reason to be pressurized into something dense. Its essentially zero, and is so much “zero” in a black hole, that any matter would be determined to be essentially cut off permanently. Basically erased. So in a way, his logic to anything that might be a clue to what others think of him, essentially would not exist at all, if it were like a black hole

      • September 23, 2013 at 1:05 pmyour friendly neighborhood nerd

        Weeelllll…

        You’re correct in that at a SINGULAR point within the core of a planet or star, there should be no net gravitational forces. Problem is, the core is not just one point. It’s a whole sphere that has enormous pressure crushing and compressing its surface from all around. Since it’s impossible for all of that matter to be forced into a single point, it ends up being compressed into a ball much more dense than the outer layers.

        I’m sure you know, but gravitational force is directly related to the mass of an object; the more mass something has, the stronger its gravitational pull. For something like the the sun to keep the planets within its gravitational field and not be relatively huge (compared to bigger objects, such as red giants), its core has to be ridiculously dense.

        It’s theorized that black holes reside at the center of galaxies, which hold BILLIONS of stars just like the sun. This means that the core of the black holes must be dense enough to keep ALL of those stars within its gravitational field. Instead of its density being infinitely zero, it’s more accurate to say that its density is infinitely, well, infinite.

        Which, as Wanderer pointed out, is comparable to Ichika’s.

      • September 24, 2013 at 3:58 pmjltrm

        1. seriously?
        2. even from a physics perspective, what you’re saying is incorrect

  • September 19, 2013 at 8:59 pmGuren

    *Starts filling the MAL plan to watch*
    *looks at the whole amount of anime/movies to watch in the next season*
    *looks at time needed to look at all of’em, including worktime and study*


    *despair*

  • September 19, 2013 at 9:09 pmKaioshin Sama

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

    • September 20, 2013 at 4:15 amZannafar

      I think you misunderstand how the results of the poll work.
      Because there is no direct ranking, Kyoukai no Kanata being at the top of the poll doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most anticipated anime, but the anime anticipated by most.
      Many of the people who voted for it might have the highest expectations of different anime like Kill la Kill or Hajime no Ippo: Rising, but also voted for Kyoukai no Kanata as their 4th or 5th choice, because it might be good.

    • September 20, 2013 at 3:22 pmTheMoondoggie

      Multiple accounts/IP just for polls? Seriously? In 2013? Just for KyoKan? Seriously, if that show flops people will say it’s the worst anime ever(similar things happen before).

    • September 21, 2013 at 6:40 amCybersteel

      inb4 aniblog tourney

    • September 21, 2013 at 9:14 am☠Croos☠

      >Multiple accounts/IP address
      >KyoAni
      It’s not worth fun to make fun with.
      I were to make multiple ip address I would rather make SSB and Meganebu on top of the list!
      Then that would make other think “WTF is this sh*t“.

    • September 21, 2013 at 9:35 amAnonymous

      Why am I not surprised this complaint is made by you of all people? Once again, your anti Kyo-Ani and Shaft bias is starting to become tiresomely repetitive.

    • September 21, 2013 at 10:34 pmagr0n

      There was a vote! Were at?

    • September 22, 2013 at 1:14 amAnonymous

      True that, Anonymous above.

      Back when I used to lurk in the Animesuki forums, he was already quite an insufferable anti Kyo-Ani hater, frequently launching his one-man crusading antics against said company for every episode thread of their series.

      I see he still hasn’t changed one single bit.

    • September 22, 2013 at 4:53 amAmiluhur

      Well, as someone who has witnessed constant K-sama’s utter hatred towards KyoAni shows on some anime forums (notably MAL and ANN) on many occasions, i would be surprised if he didn’t come here and chime in about Kyokai no Kanata. But then, calling other people “shitty” is a bit too far, i suppose.

      Anyway, the ones i’m looking forward to this season :

      1) Valvrave – Full of stupid drama and stupid plot twists, yet still fun nonetheless. Guilty pleasure for the season
      2) Ace of Diamond – The manga is awesome, enough said
      3) Yowamushi Pedal – The manga is awesome, enough said
      4) Nagi no Asukara – More cheesy and over the top melodrama from Mari Okada is always welcome
      5) Arpeggio – Cool naval battle!? Count me in!
      6) Kyokai no Kanata – Dunno, might be either a cool DF epic battle or another hyper moe crap, but still worth anticipating to

  • September 19, 2013 at 10:41 pmFortis931

    oh man… tons of new goodies to watch… and me as an otaku is now havin a hardtime updating my watchlist since, summer season anime are yet end.

    will be rootin for kyoukai no kanata for sure…

  • September 20, 2013 at 12:02 amKuntzy

    *sigh* It’s already almost October and I’m still behind on so many shows. I’m behind in my shows this season by about *goes to check MAL* …45 episodes overall (not including Shingeki which for whatever reason I keep putting off after watching the first episode).

    Backlogs friggin’ suck.

    Anyways, looking forward to IS2, Valvrave 2, LB:R, Magi 2, KnB2 (holy damn that’s a lot of sequels), Nagi no Asukara (must prepare myself for the Okada Mari assault upon my tear ducts), and Blazblue (The story isn’t really anything great, but it holds a special place in my heart. Also, IMO Hazama is probably Nakamura Yuuichi’s best role to date.)

    Also, not trying to hype White Album 2 up or anything, but it’s actually the highest rated game on erogamescape (a site where fans rate visual novels) which places it above visual novels turned anime such as Fate/Stay Night, Clannad, and Steins;Gate. Obviously there’s a lot that go into the ratings and that doesn’t necessarily mean it will make a good anime.

    There is one thing I’d like to correct from the preview though. This is not a dating sim. That’s actually kind of insulting a game with such wonderful writing (even though you didn’t mean it that way and I’m pretty much just fanboying at this point). It’s pretty much considered a kamige (Godly game) in Japan. There’s going to be tons of characters acting stupid drama though, so it’s definitely not for everyone.

    • September 20, 2013 at 10:16 pmFaggot-kun

      White Album 2 is going to be the underrated masterpiece of the season, without a doubt.

  • September 20, 2013 at 9:53 amAki-Chan

    Hmmm….I only have time for 4 or 5 , so:
    Already watching Diabolik Lovers , so that’s one
    Nagi no Asakura and Kyoukai no Kanata are 2 more I have my eye on…
    Pupa looks interesting , as does Non Non Biyori , so…I guess I’ll use the 3 episode rule with Non Non Biyori , as I’m doing with Diabolik Lovers , and see which one’s better. Then I’ll drop the other one , and then I’ll have 4 , so I’m sorted.
    Easier than I’d thought =P

  • September 20, 2013 at 12:56 pmRockmanshii

    Thanks for the preview like always guys.
    The two shows I’ll do my best to watch weekly are Yozakura Quartet and Valvrave. I’m a huge fan of YQ, and I really liked Vavlrave, so yeah.
    There’s some other things I’m interested in, but like every season for a few years now, I probably won’t watch them as they’re airing.
    I’ll keep watching Aikatsu and Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live, the latter still being the best show currently airing imo.
    Like Getchman already pointed out, did you forget to include the second season of Aikatsu or did you omit it for being a “kids show”?

  • September 20, 2013 at 1:08 pmbreak

    wow…i will give all of these episodes the good old first two episodes try !!

    but here is what i should be watching regularly :

    Ace of Diamond

    COPPELION

    Galilei Donna

    Gundam Build Fighters

    Hajime no Ippo Rising

    Kill la Kill

    Kyoukai no Kanata

    Log Horizon

    Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road

    Samurai Flamenco

    Unbreakable Machine-doll

  • September 20, 2013 at 3:07 pmSin1505

    I’m not too sure what I will follow, but Kakumeiki Valvrave 2nd Season is guaranteed

  • September 20, 2013 at 3:48 pmjimmy

    just want say thank you for these previews an blogs you guys do i mostly lurk but love reading your guys stuff

  • September 20, 2013 at 4:21 pmlivid

    Good God, so many must-see series! I hope they don’t affect my grades…winter exams are coming up…

  • September 20, 2013 at 6:31 pmEntrav

    So many great shows this season, but one thing comes out above all else.

    VALVRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVE!!!

  • September 20, 2013 at 8:20 pmNicole

    Seishun, please blog Kuroko no Basuke… You’ll be perfect for it, I just know it =)

    • September 23, 2013 at 12:32 amSeishun

      I <3 KuroBasu and I really wish I can make time for it. You’ll get an intro post no matter what even if the series doesn’t get picked up – so you have that to look forward to ;)

  • September 20, 2013 at 10:28 pmsadakups

    I don’t care what people say, but I’m watching Gundam BF. This was basically Sunrise saying FUCK YOU at those people who taught AGE was going to be the kiddie Gundam but it wasn’t. Now they are actually doing a kiddie Gundam.

    Seriously though, I like Gunpla Builders and Gundam BF will expand it. And seeing Gundam X in HD glory is the draw for me.

    • September 23, 2013 at 3:31 pmTheMoondoggie

      AFAIK everytime people complain about their work Sunrise’s immediate reply is:

      “You ain’t seen shit yet.”

      Proof: Valvrave

  • September 20, 2013 at 10:57 pmJason Isenberg

    Oh yeah this definitely makes up for Summer, my GOD so much to watch

  • September 21, 2013 at 2:58 amJhacks

    Finally some anime worth my time…. by some I mean 2 (IS & Valvrave). Let the stupidity recommence!!

  • September 21, 2013 at 4:59 amDodgers

    The show I’m most excited about:

    - Kill la Kill

    Shows I’m not as excited about as the above one, but will still follow on weekly basis:

    - Diamond no Ace

    - Gingitsune

    - Hajime no Ippo: Rising (kind of an exception: I would certainly watch it regularly if it weren’t for the fact I only saw the first season, and even that was 6-7 years ago)

    Shows not likely I’ll follow for too long, but still gonna check out the first few episodes:

    - Blazblue: Alter Memory

    - Kyousou Giga

  • September 21, 2013 at 6:27 amGuy

    Why is Thursday so stacked? Why won’t they have mercy?

  • September 21, 2013 at 8:44 amNewhope

    Looks like a ok season but no must watch shows for me.

    Ones I’ll watch/give a chance.

    Moderate expectations

    Unbreakable Machine-doll
    Strike the Blood

    No-low expectations

    Yozakura Quartet
    Coppelion
    Walkure Romanze
    Infinite Stratos 2

  • September 21, 2013 at 10:58 amSeishowmeu

    This is probably the greatest fall season for animation that I can remember! So many high quality shows it blows my mind! But I noticed one thing missing! SPACE DANDY! HOW COULD YOU NOT POST ANYTHING ABOUT SPACE DANDY?? ARE YOU GUYS INSANE??!!!! From the makers of Cowboy Bebop! Come on!!! There are so many articles about it and yet you don’t even put it on the list? For shame!!! http://io9.com/we-cant-wait-for-space-dandy-from-the-creator-of-cowb-1235259759

    • September 22, 2013 at 2:08 pmZannafar

      Space Dandy doesn’t air this fall.
      It is scheduled for winter season.

  • September 21, 2013 at 1:27 pmrh75

    Don’t know what it is, but my viewing habits are way down with each season.

    Definite watch:

    Kyoukai no Kanata
    Strike the Blood (read manga and LN)
    Non Non Biyori (read manga)
    Nagi no Asukara (read manga)

    Possible watch:
    pupa
    Unbreakable Machine-doll
    Golden Time (read LN)
    Coppelion

    Absolutely bored watch:

    IS 2
    Tokyo Ravens
    Walkure Romanze

    Nothing else even sparks my interest.

  • September 21, 2013 at 2:51 pmYanDaMan

    Infinite Stratos Season 2? YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • September 21, 2013 at 3:51 pmAndré

    Kakumeiki Valvrave, Yozakura Quartet and Phi Brain… Impressive how these shitty shows can get so many seasons.

    • September 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm☠Croos☠

      Cause they’re cheap to make and sellable at the right time?

      • September 21, 2013 at 6:00 pmAndré

        They not that cheap, since the animation quality is on par with other anime. I think there are so many otakus in Japan, that even crap anime can find some audience.

  • September 21, 2013 at 7:12 pmPhoenix

    Many to watch but pending for give up after watching first episode. :P

    Coppelion
    Kuroko No Basket
    Magi
    Gingitsune (Pending)
    Tokyo Ravens
    Samurai Flamenco
    Kakumeiki Valvarve
    Pupa (Pending)

  • September 21, 2013 at 10:48 pmagr0n

    In no particular order

    1. Kurko no Basuke 2
    2. Kakumeiki Valvrave 2nd Season
    3. Freezing Vibration
    4. Infinite Stratos 2
    5. Super Seisyun Brothers (short only 3-6 mins of LOL fun why not :p)
    6. Miss Monochrome (short the back story to this anime is interesting, plus at only 3 mins an ep why the heck not?)
    7. COPPELION (nuclear apocalypse + girls with guns/super powers, right up my alley)
    8. Kyoukai no Kanata (sounds interesting and highly acclaimed this season)
    9. Outbreak Company (Maoyuu Maou Yuusha expect with moe?! sounds weird)
    10. Kill la Kill (not sure what to make of this, but its highly acclaimed so ill try it, but what’s wiht the sciccors theme lately last 2 seasons ago Dansai Bunri, last season Dog and Scissors and Gatchaman crowds, now this?!?!)
    11. Golden Time (college-slice of life)
    12. Non Non Biyori (Elementary school slice of life with this and Golden Time my slice of life collection will be complete!! I will have seen ones from kindergarten, middle school, highschool, college, and in work.)
    13. Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru (I’ve been liking these long named love comedies)
    14. Log Horizon ( Basically Sword Art Online in a different game with different people and hopefully this anime won’t be as bad as SAO was -sao rocked until the second half)
    15. Kyousougiga (sounds weird and fun)
    16. Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~ (I have a thing for ships so an any about a naval war sounds interesting)
    17. Walkure Romanze (never seen an anime about jousting, possibly romance too)
    18. Gingitsune (sounds light-hearted and that fox guy looks so chillax especially in the trailer.)
    19. Unbreakable Machine-doll ( been looking forward to this)
    20. Galilei Donna (something about stars I like astronomy I’ll try this out)
    21. Pupa (The only horror anime I’ve seen was Another and this sounds so much scarier)
    22. Samurai Flamenco (have no clue what will happen in this one guess I will have to find out)
    23. Strike the Blood (no clue what to make of this, but it sounds good and it’s on tues)
    24. Tokyo Ravens (again no clue what to make of this and it’s on friday)

    I’m definitely watching all those or at least trying them, but here are others I want to watch or was thinking of watching:

    25. Nagi no Asukara (I’m already watching 3 slice of lifes a 4th would push it, but this sounds so good!)
    26. Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku o Ketsui Shimashita. (Sounds exactly like Hataraku Maou-sama! wchich I loved)
    27. Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai! (Ecchi wrestling if I have room I will watch this ;) also I’ve never seen a wresting anime)
    28. Yowamushi Pedal (never seen a cycling anime If I have room I’ll watch; also its on monday >.>)
    29. Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road (original Mecha anime, but I’m already watching one this season and I’ve found that watching more than one in a season isn’t the best Idea nevertheless I might add this if I have room.)

    Damn tues and fri have such a small line up seriously why is thurs bigger than sat and fri 0_0

    If I’m bored and people are saying its good I might even watch BlazBlue I’ve never played the games, but at this rate I only have 2 anime to watch and one is a 3 min short. Either I’ll probably watch that catch up on mon/weekends’ stuff or watch an older anime I’ve been meaning to see.

    Hey does anyone have any idea for me to stay balanced? There are loads of older anime I want watch and with me watching at least 24 anime this season I probably won’t have the time to see any of them :( that’s the only shitty thing about keeping up with the airing anime >.> that and if you watch to many the stories start to mesh together o.O

  • September 21, 2013 at 11:13 pmjeroz

    The lack of Koroshiyasan here saddens me

  • September 22, 2013 at 4:09 amNachtwandler

    People so accustomed to high-schoolers in anime that than we have collage students bloggers still put them in high school.

    Main chars of Golden time are collage students not high schoolers. All of them already finished high school and attending Law institute. Please fix it if you can.

  • September 22, 2013 at 4:10 amNachtwandler

    Oh. Sorry. It was fixed.

  • September 22, 2013 at 11:04 amJinS

    I think people will be pleasantly surprised by White Album 2. There’s a lot of cliche like high school band, harem, cheesy romance, etc. but those elements are weaved together quite well to make a very solid work. The main trio are also infinitely more likable than Touya and Yuki from WA1.

    There’s a good reason it is one of the highest rated visual novels of all time. It has not gotten much exposure outside of Japan though because it is relatively new and without translation.

  • September 22, 2013 at 12:46 pmdany

    Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road was delayed for winter from ANN new news update
    the pv looked cool so the key visual
    kinda looked forward to it this season

  • September 23, 2013 at 7:06 amKamion

    If White Album 2 is even half as good as the visual novel (they’ll probably only adapt Introductory Chapter, which is the best part) it’ll be one of the better shows this season.
    I cried so many tears during my playthrough, you can’t imagine.

    • September 23, 2013 at 3:25 pmJinS

      Watching the PV, it looks like you’re right about only the introductory chapter getting animated. It’s pretty short though so can’t see it being any longer than 12 episodes.

  • September 23, 2013 at 10:16 amtotoum

    I’l just share the Log Horizon OP here because I like it so much

    • September 23, 2013 at 7:02 pmTheMoondoggie

      Nice find. Love that OP.

  • September 23, 2013 at 11:21 amShugima

    I have to say thanks for another preview, and thanks for following up on my advice (if it was because of my advise) to add the demographics of series (Seinen, Josei). It has already helped me a great deal in looking into which series to keep an eye out for.

    Hopefully it helped some other people too.

  • September 23, 2013 at 3:18 pmGoodCriticism

    Would you folks at RC please stop hosting your preview videos? Seriously. Just host it on YouTube where bandwidth is plentiful.

  • September 23, 2013 at 4:30 pmk

    About Magi – only Aladdin is going to Magnostadt.

  • September 23, 2013 at 5:55 pmChaos

    Finally, my favorite anime get another season…

    Valvrape: The Second Cuming

  • September 23, 2013 at 6:36 pmstarss

    If you guys want to see Kiniro Mosaic, the finale BLEW ME AWAY. Just beautiful!

  • September 23, 2013 at 9:51 pmhoro

    Just read Golden Time (manga and LN) after I saw the post in here. I’m glad I did. It was beautiful. Can’t wait to see the anime. :) <3

  • September 24, 2013 at 7:01 amiron2000

    Lets see what catches my eye…

    Kyoukai no Kanata makes me think of Kara no Kyouka.
    Just the words, the plot should be different.
    Nevertheless interesting to me.
    Underworld? Will they feature it extensively like in Ao no Exorcist and Blood Lad?

    Kyousougiga, I remember the wacky style.

    Outbreak Company reminds me of El-Hazard and Majin Eiyuu Wataru.
    The modern guy in alternate world setting.

    IS2, if its still tournaments then it will be boring.
    Put in some aliens then it will be like Muv Luv.

    Kill la Kill, over the top action it seems.
    And I think I’ll like it.

    ….
    Ok as I scroll its as if I have something to say about most shows.
    I give up :P
    I want to watch most of them shows!!
    Too much to watch.

    But one show this season sticks out, to me.
    That is the horror show, pupa.
    Hmm, transformed to man-eating monsters?
    Shiki?

  • September 24, 2013 at 1:59 pmBirdway

    Nagi no Asukara will be shit guys, sure it has a wonderful studio but the writer can only write shit that will make you rage and facepalm at its sheer stupidity.

    Just read the manga.

  • September 25, 2013 at 12:09 amShageki

    been along time Random Curiosity :D
    Absolutely a weak season and fills with show that wins by it’s studio that i dont care if i watch or not (well Everyone have they favorite)
    -Kill la kill(battle schoolgirl uniform wtf),
    -Kyoukai no kanata(kyoani and they usual charater design),
    -Nagi no asakura(Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai character design with ??? story)

    My only pick:
    -Kyousogiga(quite a lot of intersting character last season),
    -Blazblue(im quite fan of the games and Mr.Sugita(Ragna)) and
    -IS2(been 2 years since 1 season, well generic harem anime but still i want to watch it)

    And my advise if you dont want to ruin your live and become hikikomoiri better watch not more than 3 show… because you have your live and it’s your precious live… not 2D world

    btw nice preview Zanibas :D

  • September 25, 2013 at 11:58 amTatsuki

    Oh god, so many shows, so little time… *otaku spasm*

  • September 26, 2013 at 8:26 pmasdf

    >Infinite Stratos is one of the best harem anime I’ve ever seen.

    Terrible shows listed as great. Great shows listed as terrible. Reminds me why I barely visit this site anymore.

    Bring back Divine and Omni, cheers.

  • September 27, 2013 at 2:53 pmSDFGS

    I swear, with each season its getting progressively more clear that these hater-viewers have some seriously horrible tastes/attitudes. I’m pretty sure Japan wouldn’t really adhere to their strict and limited interests because then only…a show a season would get produced. Like all because you don’t like something or it doesn’t interest you doesn’t mean its crap, shesh!

  • October 2, 2013 at 7:38 pmTori no uta

    Really looking forward to the new season little busters. The fact that the promo video alone is bringing on some feels makes me very excited for the show itself.

  • October 3, 2013 at 2:45 amRincewind

    Oh boy, I will miss the over-the-top awesomeness of Symphogear and the cuteness and humour of Kiniro Mosaic.
    This new season doesnt look terribly promising.

    Except for Kill La Kill.

  • October 3, 2013 at 3:05 pmbakakubi

    Awwww, I really wanted you guys to do Pokemon Origins. ;_;

  • December 20, 2013 at 7:29 amkyrix

    Any ETA on the Winter 2014 season preview???

    • December 20, 2013 at 7:31 amCherrie

      Soon! Just keep coming back and we’ll have it up before the new year ^^

    • December 20, 2013 at 7:36 amthedarktower

      around next week..P:
      or so someone whispered in my ear (:
      no need to hurry..RC writers working hard, especially with AOTY (first week of January in case you wondered)

  • December 24, 2013 at 11:37 amamado

    white album 2 is great guys, just try it. you dont even need to see the first one.
    it’s simply beautiful.

  • December 26, 2013 at 7:59 amjltrm

    Need the new season preview pleaseeeee

  • December 26, 2013 at 8:52 amdu5k

    Random Curiosity stopped doing previews? Next season’s almost here…

  • December 26, 2013 at 11:42 amMgMaster

    Just be patient people,lol. No one’s paying them for this.

  • « Older Comments