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Spring 2014 Preview!

souleaternot blackbullet captainearth nanana m3
hitsugichaika sidonia fairytail haikyuu nogamenolife

It’s that time of year again! While the snow’s melting outside and everyone’s out watching cherry blossoms bloom, the folks at RC have been busy preparing this spring’s anime preview. It features a total of 42 new shows, and many of them might sound familiar. There’s the long-awaited Mushishi Zoku Shou, a new season of FAIRY TAIL, the last saga of Dragon Ball Kai, and Soul Eater Not!, a spinoff of the original Soul Eater. Along with the familiar old shows, there always seems to be a new trend every season. This time I couldn’t help but notice the number of shows about NEETs (Mekaku City Actors, No Game No Life), and a healthy dosage of sports anime (Baby Steps, Haikyuu!!). There’s no shortage of different genres this season either – with not one, but two reverse harems, some great original mecha, and some much needed romance. It’s definitely not a season to be skimping on your watch list, so be prepared for a season of high expectations. Oh! And of course, a special thank you to you for reading!

 

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.

This season we’ll continue using the Expectation Levels we implemented a few seasons ago. As always, remember that these reflect our own subjective excitement level for each show, and as such 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, previews were done by a single writer, Divine. Unfortunately, none of the current writers are nearly as crazy awesome as him, so we’ve divvied up the writing among our seven current writers (Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr, and Stilts) in order to maintain the quality of this preview. As always we will try to point out what appeals to us in each series, in the hope that it will help you determine if it coincides with your tastes.

Disclaimer #2: Please note that this list does not reflect all the series airing this coming season. It is meant to be as comprehensive as possible, but omissions have been made for 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.

 

P.S.: With another year, comes another announcement! This time, I wanted to give a shout-out to my amazing co-writers on this special preview, because it’s officially been two years since we’ve been slaving away privileged enough to write for RC. Happy anniversary to Zephyr, Zanibas and I! We’ve hit another milestone! Also a pat on the back to everyone who’s been here longer than us (Prooof, Takaii, Guardian Enzo, Stilts) – you guys are even more awesome for all the work you do. You are all seriously underappreciated! To the man running the show behind the scenes and continuing to offer us a platform to express our thoughts – Divine, you’re the best! To Xumbra, for always putting up with our ridiculous demands – you’re truly irreplaceable. And of course, thank you to all the readers for allowing us to share our passions with you. We’ve officially hit (way) over 120 million visits, and in lieu of a celebratory post, we hope you enjoy this preview. We love you all!

 


TV Series


Technical Note: The chart below 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
Abarenbou Rikishi!! Matsutarou
6:30 EX (4/6)
Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to
25:05 MX (4/7)
Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san
21:00 Niconico (4/15)
No Game No Life
21:30 AT-X (4/9)
Escha & Logy no Atelier: Tasogare no Sora no Renkinjutsushi
22:00 MX (4/10)
Mushishi Zoku Shou
24:00 MX (4/4)
Pretty Rhythm: All Star Selection
10:00 TX (4/5)
Dragonball Kai
9:00 CX (4/6)
M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane
25:35 MX (4/21)
Mahou Shoujo Taisen
21:55 MX (4/8)
Hitsugi no Chaika
25:05 MX (4/9)
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka?
22:30 MX (4/10)
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
24:30 MX (4/4)
FAIRY TAIL
10:30 TX (4/5)
Cardfight!! Vanguard: Legion Mate Hen
10:00 TX (3/9)
Black Bullet
22:30 AT-X (4/8)
Fuuun Ishin Dai Shougun
TBD MX (4/9)
Ping Pong THE ANIMATION
24:30 CX (4/10)
Date a Live II
25:35 MX (4/11)
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Returns
17:30 ytv (4/5)
Haikyuu!!
17:00 MBS (4/6)
Soul Eater Not!
25:40 TX (4/8)
Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin
25:20 CX (4/10)
Kenzen Robo Daimidaler
18:30 AT-X (4/5)
Baby Steps
17:30 NHK (4/6)
Blade and Soul
25:46 TBS (4/3)
Seikoku no Dragonar
20:30 AT-X (4/5)
Gokukoku no Brynhildr
22:00 MX (4/6)
Sidonia no Kishi
25:49 MBS (4/10)
Mekaku City Actors
24:00 MX (4/12)
Love Live! Season 2
22:30 MX (4/6)
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou
26:16 TBS (4/3)
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
24:30 MX (4/5)
Break Blade
23:00 MX (4/6)
Akuma no Riddle
26:19 MBS (4/3)
Kamigami no Asobi
25:00 MX (4/5)
Isshuukan Friends.
24:00 MX (4/6)
Selector Infected WIXOSS
26:49 MBS (4/3)
Kiniro no Chord: Blue Sky
25:50 TX (4/5)
Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara
24:30 MX (4/6)
Captain Earth
25:58 MBX (4/5)
Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii
26:20 TX (4/5)

* Jump to OVA/Movies.

cardfightvanguard
Cardfight!! Vanguard: Legion Mate HenTop
カードファイト!! ヴァンガード レギオンメイト編
http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/cf-vanguard-lm/index.html
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: March 9, 2014
Genre: Action, Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 10:00
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Zanibas

The Cardfight!! Vanguard series continues, where peace cannot be held for too long. The savior of the world and card-master Sendou Aichi (Yonaga Tsubasa) has disappeared since the battle with Link Joker. In fact, it’s almost like he’s disappeared from history, with everyone’s memories of him erased. However, Kai Toshiki (Satou Takuya) is still connected to Aichi. Through the last remaining bond they shared–the Royal Paladin–Toshiki must now work to fight against those who wish to repress Aichi’s memory, as well as repair the memories of his friends to bring Aichi back into the world they worked so hard to protect.

Anyone not caught up with the Cardfight series should by wary of starting–with 169 episodes spanning over three seasons, entering the series now would be a challenge. Those who are currently caught up have nothing to worry about in terms of changes. The seiyuu have all reprised their roles, the same channels are airing the show, and the same production teams are all on board. The only difference is that Aichi will now take a secondary role and Kai will take the main stage, but it’s unknown how long this will last. Whatever the course, nothing too radical is about to happen, so fans can rejoice as the same show you love continues as usual.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Established
Show Cardfight!! Vanguard: Legion Mate Hen Promotional Videos ▼

bladesoul
Blade and Soul | ブレイドアンドソウルTop
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/blade/
Animation: GONZO Premiere: April 3, 2014
Genre: Action, Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:46
Episodes: 12 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @bns_official_jp or #ブレイドアンドソウル

Preview by Takaii

Seeing how this is going to be an anime based off of a popular Korean MMORPG, I’m going to attack this introduction a little differently. For those of you who don’t know, Blade and Soul is a fairly new MMORPG that was released in Korea by NCSoft back in 2012. Using a very anime-esque style, there are four races based on the four benevolent animals – the Gon, the Jin, the Kun, and the Lyn (who are my favorite). What stood out during the game’s promotional videos from way back when were how customizable the characters seemed, and the extensive use of combos for all classes, used to beat the crap out of enemies or other players alike.

Blade and Soul was an MMORPG that looked amazing at the time and was one I was super excited for. Unfortunately, it never got an official western release (it was delayed into nonexistence). In terms of its anime adaptation, I have a sliver of hope that it will do justice to the game. While it’s clear that shows based off of MMORPG worlds have been a huge hit recently (Log Horizon and Sword Art Online, for starters), I’m hoping this show will bring back the feel I got while watching the anime adaptation of Ragnarok Online – creating a world based on a game without reminding us it’s a game. That said, the last show I watched that GONZO produced was Chrono Crusade, so I have no idea what they’re bringing to the table. A guy can dream though, right?

Watching This: Takaii, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Blade and Soul Promotional Videos ▼

kawaisou
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou | 僕らはみんな河合荘Top
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/kawaisou/
Animation: Brains Base Premiere: April 3, 2014
Genre: School-Life, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:16
Episodes: Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_kawaisou or #河合荘

Preview by Zanibas

Setting: High School. Genre: Romantic Comedy. Protagonists: the newest entrant to a certain apartment, Usa Kazunari (Iguchi Yuuichi), and the quiet yet well-armed resident of the same apartment, Kawai Ritsu (Hanazawa Kana). Kazunari falls in love with Ritsu at first sight, but there’s a barrier between him and her affections. Whether it’s perverted roommates, gender-split apartments, or general high school worries, Kazunari has a lot on his plate if he’s going to get close to Ritsu!

The plot above sounds pretty cut-and-paste, but that doesn’t mean that a tried-and-true formula can’t prove itself once again. Brains Base has produced some quality romantic comedies in the past such as Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun and Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabu Kome wa Machigatteiru., which gives hope for another well-animated adaptation. Add onto that some high-level seiyuu leads such as HanaKana and Iguchi, as well as supporting roles filled by Satou Rina and Kobayashi Sanae. Director Miya Shigeyuki is still fairly new to directing, but considering the moderate success of Blood Lad, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. As for the show itself, it looks to be the standard boy-meets-girl affair, which isn’t a bad thing in itself–the scenes shown in the PV were adorably cute, and were illustrated in an art style that’s reminiscent of pre-2000 designs. For those of us who may be yearning for a more traditional romantic comedy–back to simpler, less sexy times–this may be the one to watch.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Blade and Soul Promotional Videos ▼

akumariddle
Akuma no Riddle | 悪魔のリドルTop
http://akuma-riddle.com/
Animation: Diomedea Premiere: April 3, 2014
Genre: Action, School Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:19
Episodes: 13 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @akuma_riddle or #akumanoriddle

Preview by Zanibas

Azuma Tokaku (Suwa Ayaka) is lost in Myoujou Academy. She is a skilled assassin with a no-nonsense attitude and a cold exterior, yet she struggles with the cryptic riddles that her superior sends her, such as, “The world is full of…?” However, what Tokaku struggles with most is how she should treat her target, Ichinose Haru (Kanemoto Hisako). Haru is a seemingly innocent girl who happens to be the target of twelve assassins, but the scars she carries on her arms and legs suggest a much darker past. Follow the story of womanly love as Tokaku opens up her heart to the seemingly innocent Haru in very intimate ways, all while finding the answers she seeks. The question now remains: can she find those answers before Haru or herself falls to the female assassins around her?

In line with many other survival shows such as Danganronpa and Mirai Nikki, this show will focus on a strong protagonist protecting a seemingly weaker one and the bond that those two share. The twist here is a dominantly female cast, where the yuri themes will undoubtedly arise. With Diomedea on board, we shouldn’t have to worry about this being a satisfactory adaptation, though I do worry that, with only 16 chapters written so far, the anime could veer off into an original ending which may disappoint fans. Also, with only twelve episodes, there may not be enough time to properly develop Haru and Tokaku’s relationship, much less with twelve other assassins in the cast. However, if you’re into the whole survival genre, do give this a try.

Watching This: Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Akuma no Riddle Promotional Videos ▼

selectorwixoss
Selector Infected WIXOSSTop
http://selector-wixoss.com/
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: April 3, 2014
Genre: Psychological Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:49
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @selector_anime or #selector_anime

Preview by Zephyr

Made by J.C. Staff and led by a staff including Takuya Sato (Steins;Gate) and Okada Mari (Anohana, Nagi no Asukara), this new original series revolves around a card game called WIXOSS. A popular card game among teenagers, it’s been said there are special cards that possess a will of their own. Known as LRIG cards, these cards can only be heard and possessed by girls known as “selectors,” who fight in an alternate dimension in order to have any wish of theirs granted. As hope, desire, and greed combine and WIXOSS starts taking a dangerous turn, Kominato Ruko (Kakuma Ai) joins the fight as the newest of the selectors.

If there’s a series this season that’s hard to make anything out of, it’s this one. Whereas one could get pretty excited about the staff working on this series, it’s odd seeing them come together with J.C. Staff for what’s essentially a card game series with a dark, psychological twist. It’s like a puzzle put together with strangely sized pieces and I’m just not sure what to think of this one. There aren’t many shows that have this kind of staff + premise + studio combination (in terms of what each of them have normally done), and the fact that much of the information on this series came out a few days ago makes Selector Infected WIXOSS even harder to gauge. All I can really say is that if the staff names and PV intrigue you, give it a try. Just don’t be surprised if this series doesn’t end up anything like what it seems.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Selector Infected WIXOSS Promotional Videos ▼

mushishi2
Mushishi Zoku Shou | 蟲師 続章Top
http://www.mushishi-anime.com/
Animation: Artland Premiere: April 4, 2014
Genre: Mystery, Supernatural, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @mushishi_anime or #mushishi

Preview by Guardian Enzo

Having Mushishi return from a nearly decade-long absence feels almost like a miracle. After almost a decade I never expected to see Mushishi return to the airwaves – it was a modest commercial success, though certainly no blockbuster. Frankly it’s the sort of anime that seems to have no place in today’s landscape – a slow-paced, episodic and intellectual contemplation that offers great rewards to the viewer, but requires them to be an active participant in the process. I’m not sure who the target audience for Mushishi is in 2014 – apart from those of us that loved in when it first aired – but I’m ecstatic to have it back.

It’s nearly impossible to capture the essence or genius of Mushishi in a short summary. In brief, it’s the story of a traveler, Ginko, who roams the landscape of a Japan in the unspecified past – probably one that never existed, given the anachronistic nature of Ginko’s clothes and belongings – helping people in their interactions with mushi, the strange and elemental creatures that exist on the border between the human and spirit worlds. This is a series full of mystery, beauty, sadness and mono no aware – one that fully engages both the heart and the mind. All of the main players are back for Zoku Shou, including the director, writer, composer and main cast – and each of them are a critical element of Mushishi’s success. Two cours should be perfect to adapt the remaining chapters of Urishibara Yuki’s manga, and about the only reason for even a shred of anxiety is Artland’s somewhat uncertain financial status. Zoku Shou may cut a few more corners than the original in terms of production values (the recent Hihamukage TV special discreetly used CGI, which was virtually unheard of in the original), but apart from that, there’s no reason to expect anything less than brilliance here.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: High
Show Mushishi Zoku Shou Promotional Videos ▼

jojostar
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust CrusadersTop
ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 第三部 スターダストクルセイダース
http://jojo-animation.com/
Animation: david production Premiere: April 4, 2014
Genre: Action, Adventure, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:30
Episodes: 24 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_jojo or #jojo_anime

Preview by Zephyr

Almost a year after the end of the previous iteration, David Production is back with the next in line of Jojo adaptations. Continuing where the original left off, Stardust Crusaders covers the manga’s third major arc of the same name. Originally covered in OVA format, the story revolves around the sudden appearance of Stands, which seem to be the physical manifestation of ripple powers. Making his return is Joseph Joestar (Ishizuka Unsho), who meets with his delinquent grandson Jotaro Kujo (Ono Daisuke) in order to solve the mystery of their newly developed powers and save the latter’s sick mother from being killed by her own Stand. Standing in their way are a multitude of Stand-users and a certain immortal vampire.

Looking back at 2013, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure ended up an easy personal pick for best action series. Every bit as over-the-top as it was bizarre, it was a series that not only gave us an action-filled story, but carried it across multiple generations. With flashy ripple techniques, vampire ass-kicking, god-slaying, and fisticuffs, the original had a little bit of everything, and it sets the stage for what should be another great ride in Stardust Crusaders. Considering the production studio is the same and main staff are carrying over, the sequel could very well end up just as great as its predecessor, and it’s something that has me tingling all over in excitement. If you’re looking for something action-oriented, look no further. JoJo has you covered.

Watching This: Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show JoJos Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Promotional Videos ▼

rainbowlive
Pretty Rhythm: All Star Selection | プリティーリズム・オールスターセレクションTop
http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/prettyrhythm/index2.html
Animation: Dongwoo Animation x Tatsunoko Production Premiere: April 5, 2014
Genre: Drama, Music, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 10:00
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Stilts

It’s spring, and like clockwork that means another iteration of the never-ending (but always changing) Pretty Rhythm series. Based on the Takara Tomy arcade game, the Pretty Rhythm series is about fashionable super-idols who sing, dance, and skate in the popular Prism Show. This fourth season stars heroines from the first three seasons – Harune Aira (Asumi Kana) from the first season (Aurora Dream), Ageha Mia (Ookubo Rumi) from the second season (Dear My Future), and Ayase Naru (Kato Emiri) from the third season (Rainbow Live) – as they team up to teach newcomer Lala (Akaneya Himika) what the Prisma Shows are all about. Together, these previous Pretty Rhythm heroines will show young Lala how to shine.

Please excuse me if I repeat myself from the last three times we’ve previewed this, but Pretty Rhythm is a proper long-running series in that its base attributes never change. Here are the basics: If you’re looking for a light, fluffy, cutesy, super-peppy pop-music-and-pretty-fashion idol anime aimed at young girls, this series is a good exemplar of the type. The characters are always cute and optimistic, they’re always striving for their dreams, and uplifting plots are the name of the game. I still find the transition from traditional animation to CG for the dance routines to be jarring, but the insert songs tend to be good, provided you like hyper-cute J-Pop. What will likely keep you from watching is the same reason I won’t be watching – this series is targeted squarely at young girls, and if you’re reading RandomC, that’s probably not you. If you like cute clothes, peppy singing, and energetic dancing-and-skating routines, then by all means tune in, but if that’s not you then don’t expect a lot of crossover appeal. Pretty Rhythm has always known exactly who it’s targeting, and it has little need for the rest of us. That’s smart, says I.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Established
fairytail
FAIRY TAIL | FAIRY TAIL 新シリーズTop
http://www.fairytail-tv.com/
Animation: A-1 Pictures x Bridge Premiere: April 5, 2014
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 10:30
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @fairytail_PR

Preview by Stilts

After a break to let the manga churn out more material, the rambunctious mages of FAIRY TAIL are back for more knock-down, drag-out, magically-charged adventure! Set in the imaginary world of Earth Land, the story follows the Mage Guild known as Fairy Tail. The tale begins when Lucy Heartfilia (Hirano Aya), a 17-year-old Spirit Summoner who wants to become a full-fledged mage, meets Fairy Tail’s famously reckless Fire Dragon Slayer, Natsu Dragneel (Kakihara Tetsuya). Along with friends like the chronically nude Ice Make mage Gray Fullbuster (Nakamura Yuuichi), the sword-wielding and armor-switching S-class mage Erza Scarlet (Oohara Sayaka), and the young Sky Dragon Slayer Wendy Marvell (Satou Satomi), watch as the mages of Fairy Tail fight to reclaim their place on the world stage. Moete kita zo!

To any existing FAIRY TAIL fans who have read Stereoman’s old posts, you know the overwhelming love she holds for this series. When reached for comment about the new season, she said: “Watch it watch it watch it!!” (Note: I didn’t actually contact her, but I’m pretty sure that’s what she’d say.) Personally, as someone who doesn’t have the time to follow never-ending shounen manga, FAIRY TAIL is the only one I read, and it’s great! Filled with overflowing emotions, the characters continue fighting, never give in to despair, and always find a way to win no matter the odds stacked against them. Combined with unshakable faith in their friends, their tendency to recruit new nakama as the series progresses, and more potential couples than you can shake a very big shipping stick at, FAIRY TAIL has a lot to offer, as long as what you want is a lot of action. The anime version earned my ever-lasting respect for, when it was coming close to catching up with the manga, stopping instead of going into filler-mode. Now that they have more source material to work with we’re getting more of that Fairy Tail goodness, so if you’re a fan of the anime then I know you’re already on board. As for those of you who are interested but haven’t seen FAIRY TAIL before, you’re going to need to start from the beginning to catch up on all the fun.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Takaii Expectation Level: Established
Show FAIRY TAIL Promotional Videos ▼

kindaichir
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Returns | 金田一少年の事件簿R(リターンズ)Top
http://www.ytv.co.jp/kindaichi_r/
Animation: Toei Animation Premiere: April 5, 2014
Genre: Drama, Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 17:30
Episodes: 26 Station: Yomiuri TV (ytv)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Zanibas

After 14 years since its first anime adaptation ended, the long-running competitor to Detective Conan is finally returning to television. Kindaichi Hajime (Matsuno Taiki) is a genius with an enormous IQ. Oh yes, he may trip up many times on really trivial things, but he never trips up when it matters most. As a detective accompanied by his assistant Nanase Miyuki (Nakagawa Akiko), they both solve the many mysteries that elude the Tokyo police. Will Hajime be able to live up to his grandfather’s legacy, and will Hajime and Miyuki finally admit their feelings for one another after fourteen years off the screen?

From what people have told me, it’s not necessarily fair to call this show as a sub-par Detective Conan. The original anime paced itself in a way that allowed the audience to formulate good conclusions before the big reveal came next episode. Many complained about the art style, but praised the characters and mysteries they were intertwined with. Now, the current adaptation should serve to remedy the art—although it still has the flavor of a 1990′s anime, the quality and color palette have been updated for modern viewers, something that Toei Animation is pretty good at doing. Fans looking for that throwback anime that provides a good old-fashioned mystery may find this to be a winner.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Established
Show Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Returns Promotional Videos ▼

daimidaler
Kenzen Robo Daimidaler | 健全ロボ ダイミダラーTop
http://penguin-empire.com/
Animation: TNK Premiere: April 5, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 18:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @midara_anime or #midara

Preview by Zanibas

Madadanbashi Kouichi (Shimazaki Nobunaga) has but one job–to pilot robots to fight off those who would wreck human cities. But as with every mecha show, there has to be a twist, right? That twist happens to be something called, “Hi-ERo particles.” That’s right. Kouichi has to generate sexual eroticism, either through groping the breasts of females from the Prince Beauty Parlor organization–Sonan Kyouko (Hikasa Yoko) being one of them–or through other acts of questionable sexual harassment. How else will he be able to fight against the accursed Penguin Empire!?

Oh yeah, I’m serious, this is a thing. But it doesn’t sound like a new thing, right? This isn’t the first show that’s used sex as a powering mechanism for fighting off evil (and consequently objectifying women shamelessly), but I have to say this might be the one that doesn’t take itself seriously at least. I mean, look at this website! In fact, from reading the first chapter, everything screams comedy and clueless characters everywhere, for that blend of humor that can only happen when you turn off your brain and then some. From the people who brought you High School DxD, you can expect that they’ll deliver the ecchi humor that they’re known for. If that’s your thing, then check out the groping scenes on this show!

Watching This: Guardian Enzo Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Kenzen Robo Daimidaler Promotional Videos ▼

seikokutv
Seikoku no Dragonar | 星刻の竜騎士Top
http://www.seikokutv.com/
Animation: C-Station Premiere: April 5, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 20:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @doragner_anime or #doragner

Preview by Stilts

Learning to tame and ride dragons comes easy to most students at Ansarivan Dragonar Academy – except for first-year student Ash Blake (Takahashi Kouji), who is known as the school’s number one problem child. Ash is a laughing stock at school because, despite the uncommonly large star-shaped brand that covers his entire arm and marks him as a future dragon master, his dragon has never appeared…until now. One fateful day, Ash’s dragon awakens in all its glory, but unlike other dragons, it takes the form of a beautiful young girl! What’s worse, Ash soon discovers that his dragon Eco (Ise Mariya) has an attitude, as she promptly informs him that she’s the master and he’s the servant. Join Ash and others – including the haughty princess Silvia Lautreamont (Sakura Ayane) and the beloved student council president Rebecca Randall (Inoue Marina) – for a fantasy tale with dragons aplenty.

I watch way too much anime, so as soon as I read about this show I started picking out similar series. Dragon Crisis (a loli dragon in human form), Zero no Tsukaima (a main character has a rare/unique human-form familiar), a dash of Unbreakable Machine Doll (familiar battles, a high-class blonde tsundere riding a flying dragon)…and as it turns out, those shows have a lot in common with Seikoku, particularly the first and last. There’s a little bit of fanservice from Eco, who doesn’t think “proud dragons” need to wear clothing, while the action centers around both the dragon familiars and the human character’s magic. Ash isn’t the most interesting of main characters, but he starts out as laudable (he helps others, stands up for his unborn dragon’s honor, etc), so he has room to grow. This is the first anime produced by new studio C-Station, which split from Bee Train last year, but with veteran director Tada Shunsuke and the accomplished series composer Kimura Noboru on board, they’re not without talent or experience. To my eyes this light novel adaptation looks like a poor man’s a-lot-of-things, but the fundamentals are solid. If you’re a fantasy fan – and especially if you enjoy a dash of ecchi or harem alongside your dragon battles – give this one a look. I’ll watch the first few episodes, but it will have to show us something special for me to dive all in.

Watching This: Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Seikoku no Dragonar Promotional Videos ▼

mahouka
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei | 魔法科高校の劣等生Top
http://mahouka.jp/
Animation: Madhouse Premiere: April 5, 2014
Genre: Sci-Fi, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Episodes: 26 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @mahouka_anime or #mahouka

Preview by Zephyr

A Madhouse production, Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei comes in as one of the more anticipated light novel adaptations of the year. Led by director Ono Manabu (Horizon, Saki), the series revolves around a world where magic has become technologically systematized. Magic users have become known as “magic technicians,” and attend magic high schools and universities in order to nurture their skills. Depending on their skill, technicians are divided into two groups: the low achievers and the high achievers. Buoyed by her practical skills, Shiba Miyuki (Hayami Saori) arrives as the freshman group’s top student, while her brother Shiba Tatsuya (Nakamura Yuuichi), who lacks the ability to use magic, is designated as a low achiever. This is the story of two siblings beginning the next stage of their lives.

Considering the popularity of the light novel, it stands to reason that the anime will be worth watching, if only to see what the hype is all about. This series can be polarizing though – as all hyped series are – so it may not appeal to everyone. The whole “institutionalized nature of magic” concept does appeal to me, but the occasional info-dump and the rapid introduction of a large cast in the first few chapters had me tempering my expectations. All in all, I’m cautiously optimistic when it comes to Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei. This is still a hyped series though, and such series have a propensity to skewer expectations and polarize impressions. If you’re going to watch this show, be sure to temper your expectations so you can enjoy it for what it is.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Promotional Videos ▼

kamiaso
Kamigami no Asobi | 神々の悪戯Top
http://www.kamiaso-anime.com/
Animation: Brains Base Premiere: April 5, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kamiaso_anime or #kamiaso

Preview by Stilts

Brains Base is bringing us a new otome game adaptation in this season’s god-themed fantasy romance, Kamigami no Asobi. The story stars Kusanagi Yui (Hayami Saori), an average high school girl and daughter of a Shinto shrine. One day she discovers a mysterious sword, which transports her to another world where she meets the Greek god Zeus (Otsuka Houchuu). Headmaster Zeus asks her to attend the school he created and teach the young, handsome gods there the meaning of love, in order to help cancel the negative effects of the weakening bond between humans and the gods.

“Bishies. Bishies everywhere.” That was my first thought when reading up on this otome game adaptation, though to be fair that’s my reaction to all otome game adaptations. It originally caught my eye because of the god schtick – if it’s going to feature unnaturally handsome bishies, they might as well be literal gods, eh? Works for me. But past the setup, it doesn’t look like there will be much “godly” about the male characters, save for how their personalities are loosely patterned after the gods they’re supposed to be. I did twitch a little when I realized Zeus was ruling over not only bishie versions of Apollo and Hades, but Baldr, Loki, Anubis, and some Japanese gods as well. Stick to one pantheon, will ya! As far as the story goes, it’s the same old tune – some routes are good, some are not so good, so if they animate one of the better ones then this could be a good show. Who knows which one they’ll go for though, or if they’ll try to go full Photo Kano and pack all eight routes in a single cour. (Please don’t.) It doesn’t feel like this is the otome adaptation that will transcend its genre and appeal to fangirls and other everyone else alike, but with Brains Base at the helm hopefully it will be a competently done series for all the otome fans out there.

Watching This: Cherrie Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Kamigami no Asobi Promotional Videos ▼

kinirochord
Kiniro no Chord: Blue Sky | 金色のコルダ Blue♪SkyTop
http://www.ntv.co.jp/corda/
Animation: TYO Animations Premiere: April 5, 2014
Genre: Drama, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:50
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @corda_anime or #corda_bs

Preview by Zanibas

The third visual novel in the Kin’iro no Corda series is getting an anime adaptation, completely independent of the first two iterations. The story begins with Kohinata Kanade (Takagi Reiko), a girl with two male childhood friends, the younger Kisaragi Kyouya (Fukuyama Jun) and the older Kisaragi Ritsu (Konishi Katsuyuki). When Ritsu goes off to music school to become a master violinist, Kanade follows suit by enrolling in the same school. However, this causes Kyouya to come along as well. What follows is a dramatic love triangle full of violins, music, other romances, and various levels of confidence in one’s violin skills.

With roots in an otome game franchise, we can definitely see some shoujo-targeted themes in the art style as well as the choice of seiyuu. But since it is an adaptation of an otome game, it’s a coin flip right now on what the direction the show will go. Is it destined for a singular route, or an omnibus format like Amnesia? Either way, it should be interesting to see a music-themed romance again, though styled differently than the recent White Album 2. The only thing we need to cross our fingers about is for TYO to properly produce the animation. Although they have played a part in producing some beautiful animations in the past, such as with Ghost Hound, this is the first time they’ve taken up the lead role. Otome game lovers, if you’re looking for many boys in a show this season, this could be the musical offering you’re looking for.

Watching This: Cherrie Expectation Level: Moderately Low
captainearth
Captain Earth | キャプテン・アースTop
http://captain-earth.net/
Animation: BONES Premiere: April 5, 2014
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:58
Episodes: 25 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @captainearth_PR or #ce_anime

Preview by Zephyr

Led by director Igarashi Takuya and script writer Enokido Yoji, the staff of Star Driver reunite in their newest original work, Captain Earth. Bought to you by BONES, the series focuses on 17-year-old high school student Manatsu Daichi (Irino Miyu). Having stumbled upon a mysterious rainbow over the skies of Tanegashima, Daichi finds himself inexplicably drawn to the island. There, he finds himself in front of giant robot known as the “Earth Engine.” As mysterious mechanical life forms from Uranus (the Kill-T-Gang) suddenly attack, Daichi’s summer vacation is interrupted as his battle among the stars begins. Burdened with a life full of mysteries, this is a story of one boy’s search for truth and the fulfillment of a promise made years ago.

As one of the many ardent BONES fans among the RC staff, I think I speak for everyone when I say this series screams with potential awesomeness. We have BONES supplying what should be quality animation, the staff of the fabulously memorable (albeit polarizing) Star Driver on board, and a space-themed mecha premise that seems to draw both from the aforementioned Star Driver and some of BONES’ previous classics (such as Eureka Seven). Captain Earth is a series that can only be led by a studio like BONES, and their track record speaks for itself. There will likely be something memorable here, and fans of the studio’s style or its previous works – and Sci-Fi/mecha fans in particular – will probably find a lot to love. The bottom line is simple: Captain Earth is one of the more promising shows of the season.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Captain Earth Promotional Videos ▼

soreseka
Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii | それでも世界は美しいTop
http://www.ntv.co.jp/soreseka/
Animation: Studio Pierrot Premiere: April 5, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:20
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @soreseka_anime or #soreseka_anime

Preview by Kairi

Nike Remercier (Maeda Rena), a simple princess of the Rain Kingdom, loses an unfortunate game of jan-ken-pon (rock-paper-scissors) and finds herself shipped off as a bride to Livius (Shimazaki Nobunaga), the terrifying king of the Sun Kingdom, who is said to rule the world. When she arrives, she meets the king, and finds that he’s a boy even younger than her, though no less powerful for it. Livius asked for a princess of the Rain Kingdom for the sake of having a plaything who could show him rain for the first time, but Nike refuses to be controlled. But as Nike learns more about the boy king, she realizes there’s more to him and his unpleasant nature than she had thought.

The World is Still Beautiful, based on a manga of the same name by Shiina Dai, is one of those rare shoujo adaptations that manages to slip past the radar every so often. I’m quite pleased to see it here, and I’m sure those who still hold fondness for decent shoujo manga feel the same way. Thankfully, this isn’t one of those “cage anime” (though there is a jail cell involved, to a much more satisfying outcome), but a fantasy and romance story with its own charm. I like Nike’s character, which fluctuates between free spirit and feisty more often than not, and while Livius is more stereotypically shoujo, he does have interesting developments here and there. My one dissatisfaction is that the designs in the anime have been changed from the softer shoujo look in exchange for a more shounen aesthetic, but otherwise I’m looking forward to this adaptation.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
abarenbou
Abarenbou Rikishi!! Matsutarou | 暴れん坊力士!!松太郎Top
http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/matsutaro/
Animation: TV Asahi x Toei Animation Premiere: April 6, 2014
Genre: Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 6:30
Episodes: Station: TV Asahi (EX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Zanibas

Matsutarou Sakaguchi is the strongest man you’ll ever meet. When he enters the sumo ring, no one can compare to his strength. However, even with the potential to reach the top, Matsutarou is currently too chill for his own good. Without a clear dream or desire to work hard, it seems that Matsutarou will never reach the top. But with the help of those around him–as well as defeats that will open his eyes–the carefree wrestler may yet be able to finally become the sumo wrestler he was destined to be.

Although the sport of sumo wrestling has been adapted into anime before, there hasn’t been an adaptation since Aa Harimanada in 1992. In fact, this isn’t the first time that Matsutarou has seen an anime adaptation, with a 10 episode OVA adaptation of the manga coming out back in 1990. Though it isn’t the easiest sport to make sexy or cool, it is a sport full of power and an interesting facet of Japanese culture. It would make sense that it would be adapted for a possibly older audience, but judging from the art style and the fact that Toei Animation is taking the helm, this show seems to be primarily aimed at a shounen audience. If you’re okay with a simple journey of a carefree strongman climbing up the ranks of the sumo world, while learning what it means to truly aspire and dream, then this might be worth checking out.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo Expectation Level: Moderately Low
dragonkai
Dragonball Kai | ドラゴンボール改 魔人ブウ編Top
http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/dragon_kai/
Animation: Toei Animation Premiere: April 6, 2014
Genre: Action, Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 9:00
Episodes: Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Takaii

For any of you who have been living under a rock, Dragon Ball Kai (or Dragon Ball Z Kai for those of you watching the English Dub) is the re-mastered and filler free version of the Dragon Ball Z anime that a lot of us grew up with. Seeing how it’s being redone from the ground up, there have been a lot of improvements besides cleaning up the visuals. From getting a majority of the original voice actors to reprise their roles to updating the sound effects and modernizing the sound design, almost no stone has been left unturned.

So why are we talking about this show even though it finished airing a couple years ago? Because after repeated talks of not reaching the Majin Buu Arc and the show’s timeslot being taken over by a different show, Dragon Ball Kai is making its triumphant return this season. What does that mean? If for some reason you haven’t watched Dragon Ball Z, you have absolutely no excuse to start. With a completely re-mastered version available in both English or Japanese (I know some people who hate Goku’s original voice with a passion) that’s going to tackle everything after the Androids Arc, I think both veterans and newcomers to the series will have a great time watching Goku and his buddies try to save the earth again.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Established
haikyuu
Haikyuu!! | ハイキュー!!Top
http://www.j-haikyu.com/anime/index.html
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: April 6, 2014
Genre: Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 17:00
Episodes: 25 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @animehaikyu_com or #hq_anime

Preview by Kairi

Hinata Shouyou’s (Murase Ayumu) love of volleyball began when he watched a match on television by chance, spurring him to start a one-man club at his middle school. After working hard and amassing three other members, the club was finally allowed to participate in a regular middle school match, where it was crushed by the “King of the Court” of Kitagawa Daiichi Junior High School, Kageyama Tobio (Ishikawa Kaito). After vowing to avenge his team, Hinata joins the volleyball club in high school, only to find himself facing his sworn enemy once again.

Boys and sports teams seem to be the fad of the day, but Haikyuu!! does have the added distinction of being adapted from a long running shounen sports manga. Volleyball is a rare entry for sports anime as far as I’m aware, so fans of the sport, and of Production I.G.’s animation quality, might be interested. I’m not sure if the studio plans to mail in the fanservice like other shows in this family, but at the very least, the roots here are strong enough to delve into some of those good rivalry and sportsmanship vibes we’ve grown accustomed to in other series in this vein. But if you’re here for the boys in mini-shorts, I guess that’s okay too.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Kairi Expectation Level: Moderate
babysteps
Baby Steps | ベイビーステップTop
http://www9.nhk.or.jp/anime/babysteps/
Animation: Studio Pierrot Premiere: April 6, 2014
Genre: Sports, School Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 17:30
Episodes: 25 Station: NHK
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @nhk_babysteps or #anime_bs

Preview by Guardian Enzo

This is without exaggeration one of the manga adaptation announcements that has made me happiest. I don’t just like the Baby Steps manga, I love it. It features one of the best main characters in sports manga, some of the most realistic and compelling sports, and outstanding writing top to bottom. It’s funny, it’s exciting, and it’s smart. I was quite disappointed to see it announced as only 25 episodes, worried (based on the CGI-heavy Kingdom) when it was announced to be Pierrot, and deflated when it was reported to be incorporating anime-original material. This is a series that deserves a complete and encyclopedic adaptation, but as we all know, it’s rare that great manga get the adaptation they deserve.

Upon reflection, I’m feeling a bit better. I’m still thrilled to be getting a Baby Steps anime in any form, and mangaka Katsuki Hikaru is going to be writing for the series. It’s a shame the manga isn’t going to get a full adaptation, but hopefully two cours is enough for viewers to get the essence of why this is one of the best sports manga (and by far the best tennis manga) of all time. The story follows Maruo Eichirou (“Ei-chan”) (Murata Taishi), a bookish, responsible first-year high-schooler who’s forced by his mother to choose a physical activity to hone his body as well as his mind. Initially resistant, Ei-chan takes to the idea of tennis as a way to make him a better student – and then, takes to the game for it’s own sake. As he applies his obsessive study habits to this new venture, he discovers he has a natural affinity for the sport – and the fact that the beautiful and talented Takasaki Natsu (“Naachan”) (Kotobuki Minako) is also a member of his new tennis club is the icing on the cake. It’s a fantastic journey to follow, succeeding intellectually and emotionally, and is funny and romantic and genuinely exciting.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderate
gokukoku
Gokukoku no Brynhildr | 極黒のブリュンヒルデTop
http://www.vap.co.jp/gokukoku/
Animation: Arms Premiere: April 6, 2014
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @gokukoku_anime or #gokukoku

Preview by Zephyr

From the studio that bought you Elfen Lied comes the adaptation of another Okamoto Lynn work in Gokukoku no Brynhildr. Also known as Brynhildr in the Darkness, the series revolves around high school student Murakami Ryouta (Ohsaka Ryota). Having lost his childhood crush Kuroneko in an accident, Murakami spends his days trying to prove the existence of aliens in her stead. One day, a new transfer student suddenly arrives, possessing both a similar appearance and name to his deceased friend. Calling herself Kurohaneko (Taneda Risa), she’s in possession of superhuman strength and claims to be a magician on the run. Despite the warning that they’ll be killed if discovered together, Murakami finds himself drawn to her, and their interactions end up changing both of their lives forever.

Having read the manga’s first few chapters, I must say that Gokukoku no Brynhildr has the potential to succeed. Whether it succeeds however, depends on how well it combines the various elements of each genre it touches upon. The way Brynhildr seems to work is it explains its Fantasy elements like Sci-Fi, adds in dramatic elements via the dark atmosphere and death-related aspects of the story, then tops it off with a bit of romance and mystery. The initial parts of the manga end up executing this combination quite well, and it leaves you wanting more, but it’s another question entirely whether it can maintain or build upon this in the later chapters. All things considered, if you’re reading this and anything sounds remotely interesting here, Brynhildr is likely worth a watch just to see how things end up.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Gokukoku no Brynhildr Promotional Videos ▼

lovelive2
Love Live! Season 2 | ラブライブ!第2期Top
http://www.lovelive-anime.jp/
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: April 6, 2014
Genre: Music, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:30
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @lovelive_staff or #lovelive

Preview by Stilts

Love Live! School Idol Project is a story of friendship, music, and the ultra-competitive world of school idols. During the first season Otonokizaka High School, which stands on the border of Akihabara, Kanda, and Jinbo, was threatened with closure due to low student enrollment. Unsatisfied with their beloved school closing down, nine female students came up with a (not so) simple plan – to form a pop idol group to promote the school and keep it from shutting down. Thus the idol group μ’s (pronounced “Muse”) was born. They trained, they danced, they sang, and they worked hard…and success! Their school wasn’t shut down, but they didn’t make it to the famous Love Live school idol tournament like they wanted. But μ’s isn’t gone yet. Maybe this time…?

Before we begin, let me lay one thing out there: Love Live! is a fairly shameless promotional vehicle for the idol group μ’s – the quasi-real one, of which the seiyuu for the main nine Love Live! girls belong. Now, traditionally I’ve never been a fan of the idol genre, but I enjoyed the first season of Love Live! Why? In focusing on school idols rather than professionals, they skirt many of the more corrosive aspects of the industry, and focus instead on the singing, dancing, and intense training required to perform. The characters are more earnest too, since they get to be regular girls in between concerts instead of performing all. the. damn. time. As an original series the first season’s plot was an unknown before it aired, but it ended up fairing well, with a solid if not astonishingly original story anchoring the idol performances – though even I’ll admit that them not making it to the Love Live tournament was a surprising turn of events, and pleasantly so. My main complaint has to be the CGI in some of the performances, which, while not bad per say, wasn’t at Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio levels, and it’s always jarring to see an abrupt switch from traditional animation to CGI mid-scene. This is a show targeted at fans of the idol genre, so if you like cute girls trying their best while singing peppy pop songs, tune in. For others, it’s hard to know whether to recommend it. It’s probably not the defining idol anime of all time – IDOLM@STER still holds that distinction – but it’s solid, occasionally surprising, and a lot of fun once you get into it.

Watching This: Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Love Live! Season 2 Promotional Videos ▼

breakblade
Break Blade | ブレイクブレイドTop
http://breakblade.jp/
Animation: XEBEC x Production I.G Premiere: April 6, 2014
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @breakblade or #breakblade

Preview by Zanibas

Welcome to the world where mecha and technology are powered by quartz, the singular source of power that gives bountiful possibility to those who can harness it. However, not everyone can use quartz. These people are dubbed ‘un-sorcerers’, and Arrow Rygart (Hoshi Souichirou) is one of them. Although this trait prevents him from piloting normal military mechanisms, it allows him to activate an ancient golem from ages past. With this mecha, Rygart must defend his country of Krisna from impending invasion from the nation of Athens. However, to do so, he must butt heads with his former friend and classmate Zess (Kamiya Hiroshi) and re-kindle friendships (and possibly more) with King Hodr (Nakamura Yuuichi) and Erster Sigyn (Saito Chiwa). But things are rarely as they initially seem in Break Blade, with unrequited love, questionable means to an end, and cultural tensions throwing wrenches in everyone’s plans.

For those of us who have seen the six movies that comprised the last adaptation of the Break Blade franchise, none of this is new. In fact, this season’s iteration is a remake of the story, which will probably address concerns of adaptation faithfulness that the movie adaptations were criticized for. Newcomers to this series should give it a shot, especially if you’re interested in mecha anime combined with cultural tensions. Break Blade is at its core a story about ethnic conflict, where one’s upbringing reluctantly binds people to obligations they would never have wished for. These ethical conflicts wouldn’t be complete without well-done mecha fights and beautiful animation and music, something I applaud the movie adaptations for doing so well. My only fear is that the TV version won’t be as immersive as the movies due to the time constraints, but I do look forward to seeing how this year’s episodic presentation will differ from the original.

Watching This: Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Break Blade Promotional Videos ▼

isshuukanfriends
Isshuukan Friends. | 一週間フレンズ。Top
http://oneweekfriends.com/
Animation: Brains Base Premiere: April 6, 2014
Genre: Romance, School 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 @1weekfriends or #一週間フレンズ

Preview by Takaii

If there ever was a show that could get the waterworks flowing with a simple yet sad premise, One Week Friends is that show. On a quiet high school rooftop, Hase Yuki (Yamaya Yoshitaka) and Fujimiya Kaori (Amamiya Sora) are two friends who are trying to fight against a cruel twist of fate – a messed up scenario where Fujimiya loses all memories of the bonds and connections she’s made with anyone outside her family after just one week. But even with such adversity staring straight at them, Hase decides to become the anchor that may one day bring Fujimiya’s memories back. Until then, he’s determined to start every week with a very simple but heartwarming question: Will you be my friend?

This is the one show I’ve been dying to watch since I was linked to its PV in our IRC channel. Even though I originally thought the premise had some flaws (Just how selective is Fujimiya’s memory loss?) and was concerned I wouldn’t feel anything toward the characters, doing the research for this preview has turned me into a complete believer. From the few chapters I read (because I didn’t want to spoil myself too much), I could feel the tears building up toward the end of the first chapter, and couldn’t help but start letting them flow by the end of the second. If you’re on the fence about this show, let me guarantee that if you’re looking for an emotionally heavy experience that uses the amnesia trope effectively and not as a crutch, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Isshuukan Friends. Promotional Videos ▼

gaworare
Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara | 彼女がフラグをおられたらTop
http://www.gaworare-anime.com/
Animation: Hoods Entertainment Premiere: April 6, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:30
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @gaworare_TV or #がをられ

Preview by Stilts

How much easier would life be if there were clear flags like in dating sims? Hatate Souta (Ohsaka Ryota) is a high school boy with the precognitive ability to visualize the future via “flags” over people’s heads. Death flags, friendship flags, and even romance flags are all right there for Souta to see. Despite this ability, Souta avoids making friends due to a ship accident when he was younger. The story begins when Souta transfers to a new school, and it’s not long before four beautiful girls – including Nanami Knight Bladefield (Kido Ibuki), Shoukanji Kikuno (Asumi Kana), and Mahougasawa Akane (Kayano Ai) – become interested in his strange way of living, and begin to live with him at the school dorm by force.

At first glance, Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara – or Gaworare, as it is called for some reason – seems to have a Noucome flavor to it, but if you thought that you are WRONG! While both basically tack dating sim structures onto the real world and feature protagonists who can see things others cannot, Noucome was a rambunctious comedy where the main character was constantly (and hilariously) tortured, while Souta’s ability is actually quite useful. He uses the flags he sees to help others, including breaking death flags of people who he’s never met. But he also breaks friendship and romance flags directed at him, and his reason for doing so – a shipwreck when he was younger – smacked of contrivance to me. It’s like the author decided to give Souta a boring tragedy so he’d be reluctant to accept the girls’ advances rather than thinking up a complex, personality-based reason for his actions. As for the rest, if the art looks familiar to you it’s because the original character designs were done by CUTEG, who also did the character designs for NakaImo. Personally, I find CUTEG’s art to be adorable, so that’s reason enough for me to check this out. This is a light novel harem story with dating sim elements, so it will probably be similar to the rest of its uncomplicated peers. If you enjoy light novel romcoms, give this one a shot. I’ll be watching an episode or two, but it will need to show me something interesting before I’m totally sold.

Watching This: Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara Promotional Videos ▼

mangakasan
Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to | マンガ家さんとアシスタントさんとTop
http://mangakasan.tv/
Animation: Zexcs Premiere: April 7, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:05
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @manashi_anime or #マンアシ

Preview by Stilts

From prolific mangaka Hiroyuki comes a story about a silly mangaka and his assistants. The tale stars Aito Yuuki (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu), the shameless, perverted, and endlessly upbeat mangaka behind GonGon Magazine’s moderately popular manga Haji Cafe. He loves panties, manga, and playing ero games, but mostly he loves his assistants – even if they don’t always like being around him. The girls around Aito include the ever-suffering Ashisu Sahoto (Hayami Saori), the perky & busty Fuwa Rinna (Iguchi Yuka), the pint-sized super assistant Kuroi Sena (Kugimiya Rie), and the tsundere editor Otosuna Mihari (Noto Arisa). Join Aito and the rest of the GonGon family as hilarity most definitely ensues.

Since I watch so much anime I don’t often have time to follow manga, but Mangaka to Assistant-san to is one of the few I follow faithfully. The main reason is that it’s a light read – it’s a light-hearted gag manga, suitable for a quick laugh or a wry smile before charging off to something else. With this adaptation, expect the same thing. There’s continuity but not too much plot, and most of the story is focused on gags about Aito doing something silly and the girl’s reactions to him (though later on other characters start taking the boke role to change things up). There’s also the atmosphere – Aito is so unabashedly happy when he’s being perverted, jumping to conclusions, or drawing panties that it’s hard not to like the guy, even if I feel bad for the girls who have to put up with him. Also of note is the casting, which is perfect. I usually go into adaptations of manga I’m familiar with being concerned about some of the seiyuu choices, but I love all of these, especially the main duo in Matsuoka Yoshitsugu and Hayami Saori. I can almost hear Saorin’s disapproving voice now! *shivers* This is a comedy that’s not so much insane as it is silly, so if a light-hearted comedy sounds fun to you, go for it. You may find yourself coming to like the lovable Aito despite all his perversions, just as some of the girls do as well.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to Promotional Videos ▼

mahoushoujo
Mahou Shoujo Taisen | 魔法少女大戦Top
http://mahoushoujyotaisen.com/
Animation: Gainax Premiere: April 8, 2014
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 21:55
Episodes: 26 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Stilts

The Mahou Shoujo Taisen anime is part of a project originally created for a variety show on the otaku web-TV program “2.5 Chigen TV” (2.5 Dimension TV). After a contest held on Pixiv, illustrations were collected of magical girls to represent the 47 prefectures of Japan, and they will star in this anime adaptation. The seiyuu for each girl was born in the prefecture they represent. The project also includes a browser game “Magica Wars Tactics” and an iOS game “Magica Wars Lock-On”, featuring select characters.

As with Double Circle last season, this is an anime that makes me go “Wha?” I’m familiar with the personification of geopolitical entities – Hetalia being the ur-example – but whereas Hetalia worked because the characters are based on countries with markedly different cultures and personalities, with 47 characters representing 47 often similar Japanese prefectures, I don’t see how this is going to be anything but confusing. Even accounting for the fact that I can’t name more than four prefectures myself, if something like this was made for my own country (the United States), there would be a lot of overlap between the characters since not every state (or prefecture) is distinct enough to support an interesting personality. Gainax is animating, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot without knowing what staff is on the project, and there’s little information available on that right now. This smacks of an anime more focused on building a cross-platform brand rather than telling a good story, so I’ll be skipping it. The character designs do look really cool though, so at least there’s that.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low
blackbullet
Black Bullet | ブラック・ブレットTop
http://www.black-bullet.net/
Animation: Kinema Citrus Premiere: April 8, 2014
Genre: Action, Adventure, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 22:30
Episodes: 13 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tv_BKB or #ブラックブレット

Preview by Takaii

In a world that’s been ravaged by super contagious and deadly virus known as Gastrea – which also happens to spawn things like giant jumping spiders after killing its host – mankind has been driven back into a corner. But if there’s one thing that mankind knows how to do, it’s punch adversity right in the face and push back against oppression. With the discovery of an element known as Varanium and its unique effect against the Gastrea (think of Superman and Kryptonite), mankind has erected huge walls known as monoliths around their major cities to keep the monsters and the virus at bay. But just like how Kryptonite doesn’t instantly kill Superman, Gastrea-spawned monsters sometimes make it past these barriers, and if not handled properly could create a pandemic. That’s why something called the Civil Security Companies were created, private organizations that utilize a Promoter/Initiator combo to deal with the Gastrea threat. The Promoter is the one in charge of battle logistics while the Initiator is the fighter who also happens to be infected with the Gastrea virus, but has built up an immunity to the thing–granting them superhuman powers.

Wow that was a long introduction. After going through the first two chapters of the manga, I was left with the impression that Black Bullet could be my secret pleasure of the spring. It has a ton of action when fighting the Gastrea, a wild cast of characters ranging from an adorable loli and violent tsundere all the way to a kind-hearted detective who’s trying to just be a damn good guy. Oh and did I mention there’s the workings of a secret harem that may never surface too!? Add in the emotion that came from a scene that drove home how the Gastrea is a virus that kills you without any remorse, and you have the premise for a show I can’t wait to see animated.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Black Bullet Promotional Videos ▼

souleaternot
Soul Eater Not! | ソウルイーターノット!Top
http://www.souleaternot.tv/
Animation: BONES Premiere: April 8, 2014
Genre: Action, Comedy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:40
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @soul_not or #soul_not

Preview by Stilts

Soul Eater Not! is a spin-off of the popular Soul Eater series. Beginning before the start of the original Soul Eater storyline, this spin-off stars Harudori Tsugumi (Chisuga Haruka) and her friends in the NOT class. Compared to the students in the EAT (Especially Advanced Talent) class, who train to fight witches and collect souls, the students of Death Weapon Meister Academy’s NOT (Normally Overcome Target) class focus on how to control their powers so they don’t become a danger to themselves and others. Follow Tsugumi as she deals with the difficulties of life in the academy with not one, but two meisters competing to wield her – the shy and ditsy Tatane Meme (Yuuki Aoi) and the haughty ojou-sama Anya Hepburn (Hayami Saori).

Like many others, when I heard BONES was going to be revisiting one of their old series, I was hoping for Soul Eater: Brotherhood. (Note: I’m still waiting for that, BONES. *jiiii*) Soul Eater Not! will do though. If you’re going into this thinking it will be Soul Eater with different characters, stop! It’s a little different than that. A good spin-off takes an established setting and uses it to tell a different story, and this does exactly that. More boarding school drama than action-packed shounen brawl, Soul Eater Not! is a more humble story than its parent. All the characters are likable and funny, but they’re not out to save the world, so the scale is necessarily smaller. But the Soul Eater setting is as vibrant as ever, and it provides a good canvas for a slower story. Plus, there’s the occasional cameo from the original Soul Eater characters, which always sends me into fits of nerd joy. If you’re a Soul Eater fan like me, and less action isn’t a deal-breaker, I suggest you give this a watch. For everyone else, it’s hard to say – this spin-off stands fairly well on its own, but there will always be references and cameos you won’t get if you haven’t seen the original. Just go watch that first, alright? I promise it’s worth it.

Watching This: Cherrie, Kairi, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Soul Eater Not! Promotional Videos ▼

nogamenolife
No Game No Life | ノーゲーム・ノーライフTop
http://ngnl.jp/
Animation: Madhouse Premiere: April 9, 2014
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 21:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ngnl_anime or #nogenora

Preview by Stilts

From prolific illustrator, author, and mangaka Kamiya Yuu comes a story where NEET hikikomoris are the heroes. No Game No Life centers around Sora (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) and Shiro (Kayano Ai), a brother-and-sister pair who together form the legendary hikikomori NEET gamer 「 」 (“Kuuhaku”, lit. “blank space”) that is known across the internet. They dominate at games, but to them real life is just a shitty game they have no interest in playing–but everything changes when they receive a mysterious email. After beating an unknown opponent at a game of chess, Sora and Shiro are summoned by a boy named “God” to another world. This is the world they should have been born into, a world where God has prohibited war and declared “everything is decided by games” – even national borders. Humanity has been driven into a corner by the other races. Can Sora and Shiro become the saviors of humanity in this alternate world?

If you read the synopsis and thought “Sounds like Mondaiji“, you’re not alone. But I really enjoyed Mondaiji, so that was enough to make me excited instantly. Once I looked into it more, my excitement only grew. Where the problem children of Mondaiji were overpowered in the real world, the siblings here are only experts at games, and personality-wise they’re far more caustic, eccentric, and ridiculous. Sometimes it’s great to see extremely competent protagonists triumph against long odds, and that’s what I’ll be looking forward to here. On the staff side, Ishizuka Atsuko is the director, best known (in my mind) as the director of my beloved Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo. You can even see her influence on the casting, because the seiyuu for Sakurasou’s Sorata and Mashiro are headlining this adaptation. The other seiyuu are all big names as well – Hikasa Yoko, Tamura Yukari, Sawashiro Miyuki, and more – and with series composition done by Hanada Jukki, who has worked with nearly everyone on everything, the fundamentals of this series look good. Hopefully this adaptation will go off without a hitch, because I could use some more heroic hikikomori NEETs in my life.

Watching This: Cherrie, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show No Game No Life Promotional Videos ▼

hitsugichaika
Hitsugi no Chaika | 棺姫のチャイカTop
http://chaika-anime.jp/
Animation: BONES Premiere: April 9, 2014
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:05
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @chaikatrabant

Preview by Kairi

Acura Tooru (Majima Junji) is essentially a loafer, a former soldier out of a job since the war ended. Without a purpose in life, Tooru wanders right into Chaika Trabant (Anzai Chika), a 14-year-old sorceress carrying a coffin on her back. Tooru and his adopted sister Akari (Hara Yuuko) – the employed member who actually supports Tooru – end up as Chaika’s companions, with Tooru hoping to find a new meaning in life by following her.

You need look no further for your fill of BONES this season, with Hitsugi no Chaika being just one of a plethora of offerings from the studio. Based on a light novel by Sakaki Ichirou, the author of Scrapped Princess and Outbreak Company, and directed by the man responsible for Scrapped Princess’ adaptation, Masui Soichi, this anime should prove a good morsel for anyone craving magic, guns, and fantasy in their anime diet. The characters are pretty one-dimensional at this stage, with a smattering of stereotypes across the board (gun-slinging loli, check), but I fully expect that to change over the course of the series. If you’re looking for a BONES-quality adventure, I suggest you give this one a try.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Hitsugi no Chaika Promotional Videos ▼

daishogun
Fuuun Ishin Dai Shougun | 風雲維新ダイショーグンTop
http://daishogun-anime.jp/
Animation: J.C.Staff x ACGT Premiere: April 9, 2014
Genre: Action, History Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at TBD
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation #daishogun

Preview by Kairi

What if the Meiji Restoration of 1868 never happened? What if Japan’s history since the Edo period included giant robots and Japan had no foreigners? In a world much like this, Japan has successfully dispelled the Kurofune, the foreign ships, with the help of an ancient mecha named Onigami. As a result, Japan has remained isolated from the rest of the world, and remained in the Edo period. Our hero, Tokugawa Keiichirou (Kakihara Tetsuya), whose surname implies he has ties to the Tokugawa shogunate, claims in the tagline that “I can become the greatest man in the world, because I am a virgin!” When was the last time that happened?

There’s precious little information about Fuuun Ishin, an original series by J.C.Staff and headed by Shakugan no Shana’s director Watanabe Takashi and series composer Dai Sato. Historical series can be entertaining when done right, but when you start mixing in odd elements, things can often go south, and fast. There are still reasons to be interested in a series like this one, even if mecha or vaguely historical plots aren’t your thing. For one, Dai Sato is a good name to swear by if you’re looking for something interesting to watch; he’s behind series like Eureka Seven and Ergo Proxy, and he claims he only works on “meaningful” stories. Whether that’s true or not, it is true that he has a strong resume, and Watanabe isn’t to be taken lightly either. While there’s no word yet as to how long the series is, or even where the plot intends to go, there’s enough of a surprise factor in this original work for us to go in with tempered expectations and (hopefully) be pleasantly surprised.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Kairi Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Fuuun Ishin Dai Shougun Promotional Videos ▼

atelier
Escha & Logy no Atelier: Tasogare no Sora no RenkinjutsushiTop
エスカ&ロジーのアトリエ ~黄昏の空の錬金術士~
http://atelier-ps3.jp/escha-logy/anime/
Animation: Studio Gokumi Premiere: April 10, 2014
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @eschalogy_anime or #エスロジ

Preview by Zanibas

Here comes a story from the Atelier franchise, where the world is facing its darkest doom. Although it’s a grim and impending doom, a country seeks to fight off that destiny through the long-lost power of alchemy. Our story is set in the city of Corseit, where we follow the story of alchemist researcher Logy (Ishikawa Kaito) and government official Escha (Murakawa Rie), two members of the Unentered Area Special Investigation Bureau’s Development Department. With Logy’s practice of new alchemy and Escha’s knowledge of old alchemy, the two join forces with the rest of the department to further the discovery of the long-lost art that may just save everyone’s lives.

There is an interesting combination with Studio Gokumi leading the charge on an already established franchise such as Atelier. The art style demanded of the series is different from many of their other titles, but knowing Gokumi’s track record, it’ll be a successful experiment for them to venture into. The selection of director Iwasaki Yoshiaki may be a bit shaky, though—although his performance in romantic comedies is passable, his ventures into fantasy adaptations has been less than successful. As for seiyuu, the main billing of Ishikawa and Murakawa is fairly novice-level, but more experienced seiyuu such as Koshimizu Ami and Ise Mariya are ready to balance out the list. Overall, the setup for this show looks fairly promising, especially in terms of the music (casual countryside themes) and all those character designs! Fans of Studio Gokumi and fans of Atelier’s art style should give this a sample, as well as those possibly seeking a fantasy-themed, casually-paced show–despite the grim premise.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Escha & Logy no Atelier: Tasogare no Sora no Renkinjutsushi Promotional Videos ▼

gochiusa
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka? | ご注文はうさぎですか?Top
http://www.gochiusa.com/
Animation: White Fox Premiere: April 10, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 22:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @usagi_anime or #gochiusa

Preview by Stilts

WHITE FOX is bringing us a new cute girls doing cute things 4-koma adaptation in Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? The story starts when a girl named Hoto Kokoa (Sakura Ayane, a pun on “hot cocoa”) arrives at the café Rabbit House, excited to play with the rabbits. (In truth, she all but lives in the café.) While there she meets lots of different girls, including a tiny, cool girl named Kafuu Chino (Minase Inori, from “cappucino”), a tough and soldier-esque girl named Tadeza Lize (Taneda Risa, from “Thé des Alizés” tea), a spacey and quintessentially Japanese girl named Ujimatsu Chiyo (Satou Satomi, from “Uji matcha” tea), and the ordinary but dignified Sharo (Uchida Maaya, from “Kilimanjaro” coffee).

I wasn’t able to get my hands on much of the manga, so I’ll be speaking generally here. This is a 4-koma slice of life adaptation starring a bunch of cute girls doing presumably cute things, so you probably already know if this is anywhere near your wheelhouse. I don’t expect this one to break the mold, but with WHITE FOX animating – one of the few studios who, in this blogger’s opinion, seems to take pride in producing solid, enjoyable shows every single time – you probably don’t have to worry about rank failure either. But what’s really an indicator of quality (usually) is the staff, and that’s an unknown quantity right now. Director Hashimoto Hiroyuki has worked on many series, but this is his first time in the director’s chair, while series composition is coming from Fudeyasu Kazuyuki, who has done the same job on many great series, but also a few stinkers. In the end, if you’re interested in a cute girl 4-koma adaptation for something light, funny, and potentially relaxing, give this one a try. Neither the rabbits nor the tea/coffee schtick are big draws for me, but as long as the girls are cute and the jokes are funny, that won’t matter at all.

Watching This: Stilts Expectation Level: Moderate
pingpong
Ping Pong THE ANIMATION | ピンポン THE ANIMATIONTop
http://www.pingpong-anime.tv/
Animation: Tatsunoko Production Premiere: April 10, 2014
Genre: Sports, Psychological Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:30
Episodes: 11 Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @pingpong_anime or #ピンポンアニメ

Preview by Guardian Enzo

Ping Pong is definitely the more old-school Noitamina series of the block’s entries this season. Usasa Masaaki’s disciple Choi Eun-Young’s recent Space Dandy episode reminds us of the particular charms of Yuasa’s bizarre visual and tonal style, though I confess I tend to grow weary of it after an entire series, and thus am less of an unabashed fan than some. The title is truth in advertising: it’s the story of two friends and rivals in a school ping pong club, and based on an award-winning manga by Tekkon Kinkreet mangaka Matsumoto Taiyou.

There’s pretty much no way this is going to be boring, and it might just be great – and that makes it one of my most anticipated shows of the season. Yuasa-sensei’s style can be a lot to take if the material isn’t a perfect fit, but this looks like it should complement his auteur style handsomely. I’m also excited anytime Tatsunoko is on the schedule, as they consistently produce good-looking series, often with a retro look and feel that recalls vintage Gainax. Shows like this that would only be produced for Noitamina are an endangered species even on Noitamina, so we should cherish them when we get them.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Ping Pong THE ANIMATION Promotional Videos ▼

nanana
Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin | 龍ヶ嬢七々々の埋蔵金Top
http://www.nanana.tv/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: April 10, 2014
Genre: Mystery, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:20
Episodes: 11 Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @nanana_tv or #nanana_tv

Preview by Cherrie

Replacing Samurai Flamenco on Noitamina’s Thursday time slot is a adaptation of Ootorino Kazuma’s Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin. Based on a light novel, this story is about a young girl who was murdered 10 years ago. Now, Ryuuagajou Nanana (Tanabe Rui) lives as a ghost with the mission to find her murderer. The story follows Yama Juugo (Ono Yuuki), who has recently been kicked out of his house by his father. With barely any money, Juugo transfers to a high school on an artificial island and rents out an old apartment – haunted by Nanana. He decides to help her on her quest to find her murderer by finding pieces of the “Nanana Collection”. The “Nanana Collection” features items with mysterious powers that Nanana gathered from across the globe, and which are now scattered on this island, hidden in ruins. However Juugo finds out soon after that he’s not the only one hunting down these treasures…

I’ve blogged two Noitamina shows in a row now (Robotics;Notes and Samurai Flamenco), and I’ve got to admit that my faith in this timeslot has gone downhill as a result. However, with every new season, I can’t help but feel excited for every show they bring out. This one in particular has captured my attention strictly by being a murder mystery, and I also love myself a good treasure hunt. There are some aspects I’m leery about, mainly around the lack of experience from Tanabe Rui and the small amount of source material since the novel has only been running for 2 years. Despite all that, the plot itself has got me hooked, and I hope they use their one-cour run wisely to showcase the potential of this show.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin Promotional Videos ▼

sidonia
Sidonia no Kishi | シドニアの騎士Top
http://www.knightsofsidonia.com/top.html
Animation: Polygon Pictures Premiere: April 10, 2014
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:49
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sidonia_anime or #sidonia_anime

Preview by Zephyr

It is the distant future, a thousand years after the solar system’s destruction at the hands of aliens known as the Gauna. Having escaped into space, humanity’s remnants live on in “seed ships” made from the Earth itself. As the Gauna continue to give chase, humanity is forced to rely on new technologies to survive. On is a ship called the Sidonia, and its technology takes the form of genetic engineering, which leads to the production of clones and humans capable of both asexual reproduction and photosynthesis. Capable members of the population are then drafted in the military, where they pilot mechanized weapons known as Guardians. A 30th anniversary production from the 3D CG specialists at POLYGON PICTURES, Sidonia no Kishi (Knights of Sidonia) focuses on the story of a new pilot named Tanikaze Nagate (Ohsaka Ryota). Having been given a legendary guardian known as the Tsugumori, he fights against the Guana threat as part of humanity’s last stand.

An epic tale of survival involving genetically engineered humans, mecha, and nearly indestructible aliens? Count me in. This is the kind of series Sci-Fi fans live for, and it makes it an obligatory watch for all fans of the genre. The staff behind this series may not have extensive resumes, and the 3D CG may end up being a turn off for some, but there’s something to be said about a series entering its fifth year of publication. Considering that it’s 11 volumes long and even officially published in English, it reasons there’s a lot here worth watching. Combining alien slaying awesomeness with a great Sci-Fi backdrop and what should be a memorable soundtrack from the man behind some of Rurouni Kenshin’s best tracks, Asakura Noriyuki, Sidonia no Kishi could very well be one of the standouts of this season.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Sidonia no Kishi Promotional Videos ▼

datealive2
Date a Live II | デート・ア・ライブⅡTop
http://date-a-live-anime.com/
Animation: AIC Plus+ Premiere: April 11, 2014
Genre: Action, Romance, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:35
Episodes: 10 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @date_a_info

Preview by Stilts

Last year’s Date A Live continues this spring with a second season. Itsuka Shidou (Shimazaki Nobunaga) was a generic and “ordinary” high-school boy until he discovered a mysterious girl after a “spacequake” devastated his town. That’s when his little sister, Itsuka Kotori (Taketatsu Ayana), revealed herself to be the commander of a secret anti-spirit organization, and demanded that Shidou woo said mysterious girl – and other spacequake-causing spirits like her – in order to seal their powers and save the world. After a first season meeting spirits like the “Princess” Yatogami Tohka (Inoue Marina) and the “Hermit” Yoshino (Nomizu Iori), Shidou and co are back with more spirits to conquer! First up are Yamai Kaguya (Uchida Maaya) and Yamai Yuzuru (Sarah Emi Bridcut), twins who have the power to manipulate wind.

With a nearly incomprehensible premise and a pastiche of fantasy, sci-fi, and dating sim tropes tossed into one big hurricane of cliche, Date A Live’s premise doesn’t do itself any favors in selling itself – and yet I very much enjoyed the first season. It’s crazy and bonkers and doesn’t always make sense, but it’s also funny, entertaining, and the action is good and occasionally thrilling. To me, Date A Live is best embodied by the word “clash” – the kitchen sink full of sci-fi/fantasy tropes, the tone that swings wildly from slapstick hilarity to macabre depictions of death and murder, and the conflict between Kotomi’s Ratatosk, Tobiichi Origami’s (Togashi Misuzu) AST, and the spirits themselves makes for a messy but entertaining ride. True, it’s not the most accessible show – if you can’t accept the overly complex premise long enough to give it a shot, you’ll never like this series – but I promise that once you get a few episodes into the first season, it starts to make sense…or at least, as much sense as Date A Live ever does, which is half the fun! The first season surprised me by not finishing “Nightmare” Tokisaki Kurumi’s (Sanada Asami) arc, so I’m ready for another season. Yes, I realize I say that on a lot of my previews, but I’m really excited about this one, honest!

Watching This: Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Date a Live II Promotional Videos ▼

mekakucity
Mekaku City Actors | メカクシティアクターズTop
http://www.mekakucityactors.com/
Animation: SHAFT Premiere: April 12, 2014
Genre: Action, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: 11 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @mekakushidan

Preview by Cherrie

Mekaku City Actors starts off following a young man by the name of Kisaragi Shintaro (Terashima Takuma) who has an IQ of 168, but is also a hikkomori. His life revolves around his computer and the internet, which unexpectedly breaks down one day as a result of Ene (Asumi Kana) provoking him. Ene is a cyber-female who was mysteriously sent as a download to Shintaro a year ago. Now she resides in Shintaro’s computer, phone and all other electronic devices. On the fateful day that Shintaro’s computer dies, he ventures outside his home for the first time in two years and attempts to buy himself a new one. Unfortunately, he’s held hostage by a gang of robbers who holds everyone in the mall for ransom. When Shintaro attempts to escape and free everyone, he’s knocked unconscious. When he wakes up, he finds himself at Mekakushi Dan’s headquarters – a gang of teenagers (including his own sister) with odd personalities but extraordinary “eye” powers. They extend him an invitation to join their group, which he accepts.

The source material for this anime is actually from a vocaloid song series which was later released as a light novel and then subsequently a manga. Written by the same artist that created the song, the original series is named Kagerou Project, and follows a group of teenagers self-proclaimed as Mekakushi Dan. While the earlier stories are about the formation of the group and appear more lighthearted and comedic, the latter arcs are based on who each of these individuals are. Their pasts are dark and mysterious (like, who is Ene?), and I expect the story to be told similarly to how Durarara!! was executed. With Shinbo Akiyuki directing, I imagine they’ll use many SHAFT’s staple animation quirks, as well as the storyboarding which the studio is so well known for.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Mekaku City Actors Promotional Videos ▼

inuneko
Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san | 犬神さんと猫山さんTop
http://www.dreamcreation.co.jp/inuneko/
Animation: Dream Creation Premiere: April 15, 2014
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 21:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Niconico
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_inuneko or #inuneko

Preview by Zanibas

Who says dogs and cats can’t get along? At least for these two girls, it seems they get along just fine. Take Nekoyama Suzu (Touyama Nao), the shy dog-lover, and Inugami Yachiyo (Uesaka Sumire), the energetic cat-lover. They meet once and suddenly click together to the point of being attracted to one another at first sight. Of course, their conflicting personalities make for adorable scenes of them together, only to be straightened out by their mutual friend Aki.

As a five minute yuri-type comedy, this show is great for the quick adorable moment you need every week. The premise is simple, but the animal-like qualities of the main couple are what sells the cute factor in this short. If you love yourself some nekomimi and inumimi girls doting on one another, give this soft yuri comedy a shot—the cuteness levels are comparable to Yuruyuri, but now with added animal ear goodness!

Watching This: Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san Promotional Videos ▼

m3
M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane | M3 ~ソノ黒キ鋼~Top
http://m3-project.com/
Animation: Satelight Premiere: April 21, 2014
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:35
Episodes: 24 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @m3_anime or #m_sonokuro

Preview by Zephyr

Brought to you by Satelight, M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane is Sato Juinchi’s (Aria) latest original work. Supported by mecha designs from Kawamori Shoji and writing from Okada Mari, M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane is a Sci-Fi drama set in a near-future Tokyo. There, a distorted area known as the “avidya zone” exists. Characterized by its darkness, the zone is home to strange beings known as Imashime. As beings that consume humans, the Imashime bring despair and chaos, and threaten humanity’s very existence. In order to combat this threat, an expedition of eight boys and girls are sent to the avidya zone. Wielding a destiny forged from years past, they confront the present crisis as keys to humanity’s future.

With its announcement coming only three weeks before the start of the new season, M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane comes in as a literal dark horse. It’s hard to not be interested in a series with such notable staff, and there’s something to be said about the combination of Sato Juinchi and Okada Mari in particular, as the former may serve as a nice balance to the latter’s overly-dramatic tendencies. Put them together with a grim-dark, Sci-Fi backdrop that serves as a great foundation for their respective talents, and we have the makings of a series whose story could be one for the ages. As with any Okada Mari series however, whether it lives up to its potential is essentially a coin flip, and it’ll be interesting to see how she handles writing for two series in the same season. For now though, it’s a winner on paper in my book.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane 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
Early April GJ-bu@ | GJ部@
http://www.ntv.co.jp/gj/
Special TV broadcast.
04/09 Shingeki no Kyojin OVA | 進撃の巨人OVA
http://shingeki-kyojin.com/archives/34787544.html
Bundled with manga vol. 13 (Limited Edition).
04/23 Little Busters! EX | リトルバスターズ!EX
http://litbus-anime.com/ex/
Episode 4 of 8. Bundled with BD/DVD vol. 4.
04/25 Sakasama no Patema | サカサマのパテマ
http://patema.jp/
BD/DVD release.
05/14 Persona 3 the Movie #1: Spring of Birth | 劇場版「ペルソナ3」第1章
http://www.p3m.jp/
BD/DVD release.
05/16 Magi: Sinbad no Boiuken OVA | マギ シンドバッドの冒険
http://www.project-magi.com/sinbad/
Bundled with manga vol. 3.
05/16 Seitokai Yakuindomo OVA | 生徒会役員共 OVA
http://kc.kodansha.co.jp/seitokai/
Bundled with manga vol. 10 (Limited Edition).
05/20 Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Comedy wo Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru OAD
俺の脳内選択肢が、学園ラブコメを全力で邪魔している OAD
http://noucome.jp/
Episode 8. Bundled with vol. 8 of the light novel.
05/28 The Galactic Railways: A Letter from the Abandoned Planet OVA
銀河鉄道物語 ~忘れられた時の惑星~
http://www.gintetsu.com/index.html
BD release.
05/28 Little Busters! EX | リトルバスターズ!EX
http://litbus-anime.com/ex/
Episode 5 of 8. Bundled with BD/DVD vol. 5.
05/31 Monogatari Series: Second Season +α | 〈物語〉シリーズ セカンドシーズン+α
http://www.monogatari-series.com/2ndseason/
06/06 Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn OVA | 機動戦士ガンダムUC
http://www.gundam-unicorn.net/
BD/DVD release. Episode 7 of 7.

Overall Impressions


 

There’s no way that I can’t be excited for this season with the vast variety of shows that are airing. Like I said, there’s a ton of different genres featured here, and there’s bound to be something that captures your attention. Standouts for me have always been mysteries, romances and especially anime that are well-rounded enough to be everything. BONES and Brains Base have really outdone themselves with three series each under their belts, whereas Madhouse, Production I.G, and J.C. Staff have their plates full with two series each. If these animation studios are your cup of tea, then you have something to look forward to. This season is not short of expectations, and my fellow co-writers and I hope this preview can help you determine what’s worthy of your attention.

Every season, several individuals get together to determine the expectation levels of shows. Please see below for a summary of the shows with the definition of what each level means. This is not an indication of how the show will turn out, but rather a prediction of the upcoming season (because who really knows how shows will be animated, right?). My personal watch-outs would be Isshuukan Friends, Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin, Mushishi Zoku Shou, Selector Infected WIXOSS, and No Game, No Life. However, if you’re curious, the vast majority of writers are interested in Black Bullet, Hitsugihime no Chaika, and Mekaku City Actors. Quite a great mix in there, and you can expect an equal mix of shows on our blogging schedule. Thanks again for everyone’s continued support. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

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 as well.

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 fanservice. 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.

  • Niche: N/A

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 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.

March 27, 2014 at 1:27 pm
219 comments »
  • March 28, 2014 at 5:23 pmFlareKnight

    In the end I’m looking forward to Soul Eater NOT, if only because it could lead to that hoped Soul Eater: Brotherhood mentioned. If this spinoff can do well then it shows people are still interested in the series and that could be enough to fire things up. I’d love to see more Soul Eater because obviously some amazing moments came after they diverged from the source material.

    Looking forward to Baby Steps. Went through all those emotions when hearing about its adaptation. Here’s hoping it turns out to be great because this is definitely a great source material they are coming from.

    This is looking to be a strong season. Which is good since it seems like almost every anime aside form the long running franchises are ending going into it.

  • March 28, 2014 at 6:50 pmRepulsr

    Thanks for the preview guys! There looks to be a lot of potential for Sci-Fi this season. I’m looking forward to:

    Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou
    Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
    Captain Earth
    Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii
    Haikyuu!!
    Baby Steps
    Isshuukan Friends
    Black Bullet
    Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin
    Mekaku City Actors

  • March 28, 2014 at 6:51 pmserventarcher

    Not listing the new Yu-Gi-Oh! series almost made me forget about it.

    aaaahhhh 11 shows I’m interested in. This season will kill me

  • March 28, 2014 at 7:49 pmsenefen

    Kagerou project, kagerou project, kagerou project anime Mekakucity actors!
    It’s one of those series you can’t really describe well without going into tons of spoilers, but the current canon, stretched across music videos, light novels and the manga is much more layered and complex than a spoiler free description can suggest. The whole series is a puzzle and I’m really glad Shaft picked it up.

  • March 28, 2014 at 7:55 pmc2710

    There’s a lot of interesting shows there….

  • March 28, 2014 at 8:09 pmUrman

    Been waiting for this for like ages (or rather a few weeks), thanks anyways…
    Finally some better offerings than the last season but i still have a feeling that it lacks something big and stellar… :(

    here are my picks though,
    1. Isshuukan Friends
    2. Sidonia no Kishi
    3. M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane
    4. Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou
    5. Captain Earth
    6. Gokukoku no Brynhildr
    7. Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
    8. Selector Infected WIXOSSTop

  • March 28, 2014 at 8:12 pmTheOrangeOne

    There are quite a few hidden gems this time around. Still a lot of generic stuff (of all genres), but I guess their demographics have to be pandered to somehow, and in the end, it does fund the rest indirectly through the anime industry as a whole, so I guess its all good.

  • March 28, 2014 at 8:20 pmmayooooo

    -> Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Returns. If anything, dectective conan is a sub-par version of this show. I grew up on this manga and I grew up watching the J-drama/movies adapted from it.
    Haikyuu!! is lovely for ppl who wanna watch sports. no super powerup in this series.

  • March 28, 2014 at 8:22 pmkanade_

    Is Mushishi a series where I need to watch the previous installment before watching the sequel?

    Kind of pain in the ass to marathon 26-episode series just to watch the sequel…

    • March 28, 2014 at 11:08 pmRentarou

      I left my thoughts a couple posts down. Tl;dr no, you don’t have to.

    • March 29, 2014 at 5:00 amHunterWulf

      Hmm, how to say that, simply put .. you don’t have to watch the first season but you should .. not just becasue it’s pretty damn good but becasue it is going to make you understand and appreciate the world of Mushishi much more.

      And you don’t have to marathon it in a day or something .. the new season will air one episode per week so in between every two new episodes you can watch 3 or 4 episodes of the older season.

  • March 28, 2014 at 8:34 pmName (required)

    my oni-chan instinct called me to watch this show

  • March 28, 2014 at 9:12 pmAni_BEE

    Is it just me or does each season seem to get more shows added to the list over all for the past two years in terms of slots. >_<

  • March 28, 2014 at 11:06 pmRentarou

    Sidonia no Kishi and Mushishi will be the shows I’m watching until further approval from the contributors here convinces me I need to expand. @Kanade_ if you see this: Because of its episodic nature you don’t need to watch the previous ones probably, but they are incredibly great, atmospheric folk-ghost story type tales which are reminiscent of Tohno Monogatari or other collections of supernatural folk stories, and are incredibly enjoyable imho.

  • March 29, 2014 at 2:09 ameusx

    Gokukoku no Brynhildr: I hope this Kuroneko will win, Show Spoiler ▼

    another certain Kuroneko.

    • April 4, 2014 at 11:20 pmhaseo0408

      Don´t jinx it dude! But to be fair I´m a Kazumi fan myself. XD

  • March 29, 2014 at 4:37 amTomer

    Can’t believe their actually making a second season of Mushishi! Regardless of how bad the other shows may turn out to be, Mushishi alone makes this season a good one as far as I’m concerned.

  • March 29, 2014 at 4:40 amColeTrain83

    Any news on the anime Tokyo Ghoul by Studio Pierrot? Last time I heard it it’s one month ago with the first PV. I thought it was one of the spring animes.

    • March 29, 2014 at 7:22 amZephyr

      From what I’m seeing it’s since been moved to July (Summer).

      • March 29, 2014 at 9:17 amColeTrain83

        Thank you for the update!

  • March 29, 2014 at 4:56 amdaikama

    FYI, for those interested in Mahouka Koukou, three very short introduction specials (“Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – Yoku wakaru mahouka!”) released on the official web site are now English subbed and available. In the specials (about 3 min. long), chibi versions of the characters give simple explanations for background info such as what is magic/magic highschool and a little of the world’s history.

    You can get them at the usual places.

    • March 29, 2014 at 6:21 amKuntzy

      oooh they finally subbed those? It’s a good thing because I’m pretty sure that’s how a lot of the info dumping is going to be handled.

      I wasn’t too fond of how Hayamin voiced Miyuki in that though (*gasp* blasphemy). It’s like they tried to make her match her voice to the image of the chibi character ’cause it doesn’t sound much like her voice in the previews.

  • March 29, 2014 at 5:07 amzztop

    I’m praying for Yato to show up in Kamigami no Asobi myself.⊂(・▽・)⊃
    Now he’ll be able to enjoy high school life with his fellow gods!!

  • March 29, 2014 at 6:42 amGermanguy

    I dont know, but Blade and Soul Anime Art feels not harmonized into Animes. Dunno, perhaps it is the Art of drawing Faces. They are not “Nippon” style

    • March 30, 2014 at 2:23 pmgrayne

      because it is not a ‘nippon’ game

  • March 29, 2014 at 9:07 amacolyte

    Heee… At first I was disappointed by the lineup in the top half of the list, but looks like there’s a lot of promising ones.. That sure is a LOT of anime..

    Anime I’ll be following because they’re sequels to the ones I watch:
    1. Date a Live II
    2. Break Blade (well remake)
    3. Kiniro no Chord: Blue Sky
    4. Mushishi Zoku Shou
    5. Love Live! Season 2

    Anime I’ll be following because of the original source:
    1. Mekaku City Actors
    2. Escha & Logy no Atelier: Tasogare no Sora no Renkinjutsushi
    3. No Game No Life
    4. Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara
    5. Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to
    6. Black Bullet
    7. Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii
    8. Gokukoku no Brynhildr
    9. Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
    10. Seikoku no Dragonar

    And finally, just because out of interest..
    1. Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou – If it’s anything like Sakurasou, I’m in
    2. Blade and Soul – hoping for RO-style too. Not many good fantasy in the recent years.
    3. Akuma no Riddle – Will have to steel my heart but I’ll take peeks once in a while
    4. Selector Infected WIXOSS – Madoka version of Fantasista Doll? Will steel my heart too
    5. Captain Earth – just because it’s BONES?
    6. Isshuukan Friends – reminds me of mangas where there are guys/girls that lose their memory 7. every day – just like 50 First Dates
    8. Soul Eater Not! – again, BONES
    9. Hitsugi no Chaika – again, BONES
    10. Fuuun Ishin Dai Shougun – Nobunaga the Fool vibes
    11. Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka? – Looking for something GJ-bu like, hopefully this one is
    12. Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin – Interesting premise, low expectations though
    13. Sidonia no Kishi – 3D CG looks interesting, worth a try
    14. Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san – just for the short cuteness?
    15. M3: Sono Kuroki Hagan – can’t resist dark sci fi like Psycho Pass or Hamatora even though I get scared easily

    The number of anime seriously surprised me. I was all frown in the first half and was smiling on the second half. That sure is a LOT of adaptations though for this season.

  • March 29, 2014 at 11:58 amPega

    As always – thanks for your your work you put in this preview! ^_^

  • March 29, 2014 at 10:21 pmtheirs

    Harder to choose what to watch compared to last season.

    Wished I didn’t read Brynhildr’s preview and clicked the PV, cause now I’m really interested in that show. Decisions, decisions…

  • March 30, 2014 at 2:33 amGuy

    Are you guys sure on the Captain Earth time? I saw it at 01:58 on April 5th, which means it’ll likely be a Friday release in the west.

  • March 30, 2014 at 7:59 amcshin9

    Can you blog Bokura no Kiseki? It’s a bimonthly manga Comic Zero Sum Zōkan Ward.

  • March 30, 2014 at 9:50 am~fineyristensen

    From what I see this season is going to be a pleasant pain to figure out which shows to watch and which not.

    There are plenty that look worth giving a shot, since they seem to have quite some potential.

  • March 30, 2014 at 10:16 amiron2000

    The only 2 shows I got my eye on at the moment are:
    Kindaichi R – I love mysteries!
    Captain Earth – I love mecha!

    Anyway I still have a lot of backlog to finish up, current season and last season.
    Quite a few mecha anime in the coming season which I might pick up later on.

    And Random Curiosity will be great reference for what is interesting!
    Looking forward to another season of anime blogging from you guys!

  • March 30, 2014 at 12:57 pmnewhope

    Only shows that catch my attention are

    Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
    Sidonia no Kishi

    Will give it a try.

    Black bullet
    Break Blade

    The rest look pretty MEH.

  • March 30, 2014 at 1:43 pmTassadar

    I can’t believe Date A Live II is that high in readers’ votes. Hooray for Tohka!!

  • March 30, 2014 at 2:22 pmTakaii

    Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends Isshuukan Friends.

    :|

  • March 30, 2014 at 2:25 pmAtalla Wanderer

    Well, I never commit to anything on the front, so instead here’s the ones I’ll be checking out; since I only started watching anime last spring, most of the sequels won’t be on this list, since I don’t have the time to go back and watch them. That could always change for Love Live and Date A Live, though.

    Blade and Soul
    Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou
    Akuma no Riddle
    Selector Infected WIXOSS
    Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Returns
    Seikoku no Dragonar
    Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
    Captain Earth
    Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii
    Abarenbou Rikishi!! Matsutarou
    Haikyuu!!
    Baby Steps
    Gokukoku no Brynhildr
    Break Blade
    Isshuukan Friends.
    Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara
    Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to
    Mahou Shoujo Taisen
    Soul Eater Not!
    No Game No Life
    Hitsugi no Chaika
    Fuuun Ishin Dai Shougun
    Escha & Logy no Atelier: Tasogare no Sora no Renkinjutsushi
    Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka
    Ping Pong THE ANIMATION
    Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin
    Sidonia no Kishi
    Mekaku City Actors
    Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san
    M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane

    So, there’s about 30 there. Luckily I only have a handful of roll-overs this time (Ace of Diamond, Yowamushi Pedal, Nobunaga da Fool, Buddy Complex(?)… I think that’s it) so I could end up picking up all of these, since I can manage about 35 shows a season.

    I heard from a Danish friend that Encouragement of Climb (a short from last year) and Puchimas! Idolm@ster were getting sequels – can anyone comfirm this? And if so, do you know when?

  • March 30, 2014 at 3:39 pmMr. Zebub

    What, no Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V? That starts on 4/6

    • April 1, 2014 at 11:38 amSDFGS

      so I get not listing Yu-gi-oh because its aimed at kids in japan…same with Majin Bones…but then why is Cardfight Vanguard even on this list then? Shame because on a TCG-standpoint Yugioh is actually making a comeback.

  • March 31, 2014 at 7:09 amYX

    Going all in on No Game No Life. And yes, the source is somewhat similar to Mondaiji (NGNL is better written but slightly less fun).

  • March 31, 2014 at 5:59 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    man…slim pickings…………and seriously FAIRY TAIL!?!?! FAIRY TAIL????????!!!!!!! Who the eff watches that?! i know i sound like a asshat for saying that, cuz everybody is free to like what they like….BUT COME ON MAN? ………….Fairy TAIL???…..its just terrible

  • March 31, 2014 at 8:01 pmlicolis

    LOVE LIVE!!!
    LOVE LIVE!!!
    LOVE LIVE!!!
    LOVE LIVE!!!
    LOVE LIVE!!!
    LOVE LIVE!!!
    LOVE LIVE!!!
    LOVE LIVE!!!

  • April 2, 2014 at 9:37 amAxe Armor

    Yo, it looks like no one’s mentioned this:

    1. Sidonia no Kishi is by Tsutomu Nihei, the guy who created BLAME! and Biomega.

    2. Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to is by Gogi Power Hiroyuki. He’s the guy responsible for Doujin Work, “a cat is fine too”, “p0n0s” and “vag00″, and “J-J-JAM IT IN”.

    FYI.

  • April 3, 2014 at 6:09 pmTranHere

    I have no idea what I should watch…..besides like Soul Eater Not! and Fairy Tale. T_T

  • April 4, 2014 at 4:15 pmhaseo0408

    This season comes with interesting choice, not as exiting as Fall but will do great. Here is my must watch list:

    1.-Date A Live II

    2.-Gokukoku no Brynhildr

    3.-Hitsugi no Chaika

    4.-Black Bullet

    5.-No Game No Life

    6.-Isshukan Friends

    7.-Sekoku no Dragonar

    8.-Captain Earth

    9.-Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii

    10.-Kanojo ga Flag o Oreratera

    11.-Sidonia no kishi

    12.-Kindaichi Shonen Jikenbo Returns

    13.-Break Blade

    14.-Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to

    15.-Escha & Logy no Atelier: Tasogare no Sora no Renkinjutsushi

    It´s a pity there aren´t many shows this season but this will do nicely. No Game No Life and Chaika have great potential in the fantasy department, Captain Earth most likely will be the spear head with the mecha and I have high hopes that Black bullet and Brynhildr will be the very best of this season.

  • April 5, 2014 at 9:16 amKano

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gblr1QGyL4
    Animated PV for Mekaku City Actors!
    Now I’m even more hyped… xD

  • April 5, 2014 at 6:33 pmYou know, for kids!

    “Institutionalized nature of magic”, eh? I guess by that you mean the school setting.

  • April 6, 2014 at 9:48 amGermanguy

    My First Reaction to Gokukoku no Brynhildr:

    Well, the OP Music is kinda out of Place for an Anime… This is more a Background music in a Movie Film. But not fitting the OP.. As if the Music is talking another Language as the Graphics we see… My Brain dont get the Music Vibes and Visual Vibe not in Sync..

  • April 7, 2014 at 10:37 amRincewind

    Of course JoJo is a must. Same with the second season of Love Live. The first one was great.

    For the new ones. Akuma no Riddle is the one that impressed me the most.
    For the rest. Blade and Soul first episode was pretty ok. So maybe will be a keeper.
    And Inugami, for the yuri. Five minutes of yuri is better than nothing.

    PD: Gah… I already miss Sakura Trick.

  • April 10, 2014 at 7:03 pmcshin9

    I still prefer Brains Base’s character design for Natsume Yūjinchō.

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:25 pmcshin9

    Can you connect to https://ja.wikipedia.org instead of http://ja.wikipedia.org?

  • June 22, 2014 at 5:25 pmYou know, for kids!

    Ping Pong has been underappreciated.

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