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Fall 2014 Preview!

Say good-bye to the hot summer temperatures with a refreshing fall breeze and a slew of new anime for your viewing pleasure. There are some big hitters making their triumphant return, like Fate/stay night diving into its Unlimited Blade Works route and Log Horizon starting its second season. Some crazy slice-of-lifes making their fall debut include the mermaid-related Ore no Furo Jijou and the Akiba based bookstore Denki-Gai no Honya-san. There’s also a bunch of your typical fare to fill in the cracks, like Kyoto Animation’s slapstick drama Amagi Brilliant Park, a Sunrise original called Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo, A-1 pictures’ part-medieval part-shounen Nanatsu no Taizai, a high school based fantasy known as Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de from Studio Trigger, and Studio Ghibli’s first foray into television with Sanzoku no Musume Ronja. One’s taste in anime can be really subjective, but I think this season’s offerings provide enough for anyone to find something they’ll like. So what are you waiting for? Start scrolling!

 

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 our Expectation Levels. As always, remember that these reflect our own subjective excitement level for each show, and do not necessarily reflect how shows will pan out. For more information check out the Overall Impressions section at the bottom, which includes an expanded explanation of each category and a list of all shows by expectation level.

 

Disclaimer: Back in the ancient era of 2012, previews were done by a single writer, Divine. Unfortunately, none of the current writers are as crazy awesome as him, so we’ve divvied up the the process among our staff (Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Passerby, Stilts, Takaii, our tech guy Xumbra, Zanibas, and Zephyr) 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. From Takaii: Once again, a huge thank you to the entire staff at RandomC for helping out with the preview. Without everyone’s consolidated effort, we probably wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. Also, for anyone looking for a second opinion, don’t forget to check out LiA’s Fall Preview, completely written by Enzo himself. And finally, a special thank you to all of you for continuing to support Random Curiosity. I really mean this — you are the best. Without you, there’s no us!


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
World Trigger
6:30 EX (10/5)
Shingeki no Bahamut GENESIS
22:30 SUN (10/6)
Akatsuki no Yona
23:00 AT-X (10/7)
Gundam Build Fighters Try
18:00 TX (10/8)
Denki-gai no Honya-san
22:30 MX (10/2)
TERRAFORMARS
24:30 MX (9/26)
Log Horizon 2
17:30 NHK (10/4)
Nanatsu no Taizai
17:00 MBS (10/5)
Orenchi no Furo Jijou
23:54 BS11 (10/6)
Trinity Seven
25:40 TV (10/7)
Hi sCoool! Seha Girl
22:00 ANIMAX (10/8)
SHIROBAKO
23:30 MX (10/9)
Selector Spread WIXOSS
25:05 MX (10/3)
Magic Kaito 1412
17:30 ytv (10/4)
Grisaia no Kajitsu
20:30 AT-X (10/5)
Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road
25:35 TX (10/6)
Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai
24:30 MX (10/8)
Gundam Reconguista in G
24:00 MBS (10/2)
Garo: Honoo no Kokuin
25:35 TX (10/3)
Sanzoku no Musume Ronja
19:00 NHK (10/11)
Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji
22:00 MX (10/5)
Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de
26:05 TX (10/6)
Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle
25:05 MX (10/8)
PSYCHO-PASS 2
24:50 CX (10/9)
Donten ni Warau
26:28 NTV (10/3)
Bonjour: Koiaji Patisserie
19:00 Niconico (10/11)
Sora no Method
22:30 MX (10/5)
Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu
25:29 NTV (10/8)
Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken
25:00 TVS (10/2)
Madan no Ou to Vanadis
20:00 AT-X (10/4)
Gugure! Kokkuri-san
25:05 TX (10/5)
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
25:20 CX (10/9)
Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete
20:30 AT-X (10/4)
Girlfriend (Kari)
25:35 TX (10/12)
Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu.
25:33 TBS (10/9)
Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works
24:00 MX (10/4)
Amagi Brilliant Park
26:03 TBS (10/2)
Mushishi Zoku Shou 2nd Season
24:30 MX (10/18)
Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru
26:34 MBS (10/16)
Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo
25:30 MX (10/4)

* Jump to OVA/Movies.
** Ai Tenchi Muyou! airs every day Monday to Friday at 21:55 MX (10/6).

TERRAFORMARSTop
http://www.terraformars.tv/
Animation: LINDENFILMS Premiere: September 26, 2014
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @_terraformars or #terraformars

Preview by Zephyr

Tasked with enabling humans habitation on Mars, 21st century scientists devised a cost-efficient (albeit slow) method of terraforming the planet by introducing cockroaches and mold. Five hundred years later, the year is 2577, and the transformation is complete. A manned crew is sent to eliminate the roaches and pave the way for humanity’s migration, but upon their arrival, they realize that the roaches are no longer the ones they left behind. Now two meters tall, humanoid in form, and possessors of immense strength, they wipe out the crew–but not before they manage to send an emergency transmission back to Earth. Years later, humanity returns once again, armed with a new group of genetically enhanced warriors. Based on the immensely popular 2013 Manga Taisho Award nominee, this adaptation is being produced by LINDENFILMS (Aiura, Senyuu.), led by Hamasaki Hiroshi (Steins;Gate, Texhnolyze).

Oh, evolution, how does it work? Essentially a mixture of Bug Wars and Starship Troopers, TERRAFORMARS focuses on the demolition of giant humanoid cockroaches and delivers with all the exploding bug guts, death, and destruction a premise like this demands. It’s a rather ridiculous story, but it’s extremely entertaining and possesses a bit of intrigue with its plot lines about evolution and the world itself. It remains to be seen if the latter developed to its full potential–I only previewed the first few chapters–and I’m not sure how LINDENFILMS will do with its first non-short TV production, but this should be worth watching (if only for the entertainment value and Hamasaki Hiroshi’s involvement). Whether you should watch this show depends on whether you like this sort of premise. If you’re squeamish when it comes to large bugs running all of the place, and if you’re sensitive to elements that some viewers may construe as racist, you may be better off passing on this series for something else.

Watching This: Stilts, Zephyr, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show TERRAFORMARS Promotional Videos ▼

Denki-gai no Honya-san | デンキ街の本屋さんTop
http://umanohone.jp/
Animation: Shin-Ei Animation Premiere: October 2, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 22:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_denkigai or #denkigai

Preview by Takaii

Have you ever wondered what life would be like working in a bustling bookstore located smack dab in (most likely) Akiba? Well wonder no longer! Denki-gai no Honya-san is the story of a high school kid named Umi (Ohsaka Ryota) and his struggle to survive at his grueling workplace. Between trying to deal with his rowdy coworkers – with nicknames like Sensei, The Director, and Zombie Girl – to periodic inspections from government workers whose sole job is to check that all the ero-hons or PORNOS are labeled and sealed properly, Umi definitely has his work cut out for him.

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten this excited for a show after researching it. I’m completely in love with everything the manga has shown me, and I’m really hoping its unique charm doesn’t get lost in translation. From the art style to the Seitokai-levels of dirty humor, I had to restrain myself from reading too much. If I had to pick my favorite character, it would be a close battle between Umi and Hio (Takamori Natsumi). With the former being the straightman for just about everyone and the latter ending up in hilariously awkward situations (like rampantly running around yelling that she loves porn), there’s more than enough reason to like them both! All in all, if you’re looking for a quirky slice-of-life that’ll get you laughing, this show should definitely be on your list.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Denki-gai no Honya-san Promotional Videos ▼

Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken | 旦那が何を言っているかわからない件Top
http://www.dreamcreation.co.jp/danna/
Animation: Seven Premiere: October 2, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:00
Episodes: 13 Station: TVS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_danna

Preview by Passerby

Being a nerd is serious business in Japan, and Tsunashi Hajime (Suzumura Kenichi) is as otaku as they get: he makes his living blogging, gets worked up about video games, and sings only anime songs at karaoke. The only anomaly: he’s happily married, and to someone who’s nothing like him. Tsunashi Kaoru (Tamura Yukari) is a straight-talking, chain-smoking pragmatist with a stable office job, and she’s completely unfamiliar with her husband’s world. Not that that she doesn’t try. The story of Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken is the story of one woman boldly going where no one (sane) has gone before: cohabitation with a raving, shameless, internet-based organism. There is no Rosetta Stone for this. She’ll need to learn the language through trial and error alone. Does she succeed? Only for certain definitions of success. But it’s cute to watch her struggle nonetheless. This series will be comprised of 13 five-minute episodes.

If anything, Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken has its target audience completely pinned down. It’s about otaku and for otaku, and if you’re not in tune with that culture (or at least the stereotypes surrounding that culture), you’re probably not going to get it. The humour of this fish-out-of-water comedy is, for the most part, parody, something for nerds to laugh at their own idiosyncrasies. The rest is wish fulfilment, the dream that there are those out there who are entirely accepting of whatever strange person you are deep down. The idea of the otaku, personally shunned and socially reviled, actually attracting a mate is as amusing as it is fascinating. And I suppose on some level the entire thing is a model for human interaction as a whole: the need to cross barriers, to find compromise, and to treasure what’s unique in each other. You don’t need to be a hardcore geek to appreciate Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken in that way.

Watching This: Cherrie, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Amagi Brilliant Park | 甘城ブリリアントパークTop
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/amaburi/
Animation: Kyoto Animation Premiere: October 2, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:03
Episodes: 13 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @amaburiANIME or #amaburi

Preview by Passerby

Based on a light novel of the same name, Amagi Brilliant Park marks the second time writer Gatoh Shouji has collaborated with Kyoto Animation to bring one of his original works to the screen. The story features misanthropic narcissist Kanie Seiya (Uchimaya Kouki) getting on with his generic high school life, until one day a mysterious transfer student Sento Isuzu (Kakuma Ai) threatens him, at gunpoint, to go on a date with her to the titular theme park. There Seiya meets self-proclaimed princess Latifa Fleuranza (Fujii Yukiyo), who assigns him a quest: take management of the park and attract 100,000 customers in two weeks. Unfortunately, Amagi Brilliant Park is but a decrepit remainder of the economic bubble from a previous century. Success will take nothing short of a miracle.

Having had just a peek at the original source, Amagi Brilliant Park seems very different from what we’ve come to expect from Kyoto Animation, or at least its modern incarnation. Sure, comedy has always been in KyoAni’s genetic blueprint, but the apparent harem antics? Not so much these days. This may be a good thing because Gatoh Shouji’s Full Metal Panic!, which has had no new anime in eight years and counting, also does not fit into KyoAni’s current mold. Not that I expect Amagi Brilliant Park to also be a sci-fi mecha romp–far from it–but it does evoke some of that old KyoAni flair. For those clamouring for more FMP this may be as close, spiritually, as we’re going to get, especially with veteran director Takemoto Yasuhiro also on board. On my part, KyoAni has not really impressed since Hyouka, and what do you know, Gatoh was also involved there (with Takemoto), albeit in the (important) role of series composition. The evidence mounts: whenever the two collaborate, in whatever capacity, only good things happen. Amaburi promises to at least be something different, but I have faith it will turn out to also be something worth watching.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr, Samu Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Amagi Brilliant Park Promotional Videos ▼

Gundam Reconguista in G | ガンダム GのレコンギスタTop
http://www.g-reco.net/
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: October 2, 2014
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at
Episodes: Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @gundam_reco or #gレコ

Preview by Zephyr

Gundam is back and so is original creator Tomino Yoshiyuki. After nearly 10 years, Tomino returns to the scene as writer and director of Gundam Reconguista in G, a series made to celebrate the franchise’s 35th anniversary and “give children of Gundam fans a series to enjoy.” Set in a new era known as the Regild Century (R.C.), Reconguista takes place after the Universal Century (U.C.), a time of human prosperity and world peace, symbolized by a space elevator known as The Capital Tower. The year is now R.C. 1014, and space pirates wielding a unique mobile suit known as the G-Self suddenly launch an attack on the Capital Tower. As a Capital Tower Guard trainee, pilot Bellri Zenam (Ishii Mark) deploys in response to the threat, successfully fending off the attack and capturing the G-Self in the process. Upon doing so, he meets the G-Self’s pilot: Rayhunton Aida (Shimamura Yuu). Stirred on by inexplicable feelings for a pilot he’s never met and for a mobile suit he should know nothing about, Bellri suddenly finds himself piloting the G-Self, starting a series of events that will reveal Bellri’s destiny and change the Regild Century forever.

Considering how Gundam Unicorn recently put a wrap on the Universal Century, Gundam Reconguista in G couldn’t have come at a better time. The first main line Gundam TV series since Age in 2012, Recongista arrives amid much fanfare as the franchise’s celebratory 35th anniversary work, and it comes with the added treat of original creator Tomino Yoshiyuki helming a Gundam series for the first time in nearly a decade. This is a Gundam series in every sense of the word, and despite the “children of Gundam fans” focus, I would say this qualifies as a must watch for all fans of the franchise. Ultimately, it’s a brand new story set in a brand new timeline, and it’ll be nice to see how it ends up while we wait for the imminent arrival of the Mobile Suit Gundam: Origin OVA. The fact that it’s oriented to new viewers also makes this a good access point to first-time Gundam viewers, although it’s no substitute for actually watching the franchise’s previous iterations.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Gundam Reconguista in G Promotional Videos ▼

Selector Spread WIXOSSTop
http://selector-wixoss.com/
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: October 3, 2014
Genre: Psychological Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:05
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @selector_anime or #selector_anime

Preview by Zanibas

The second season of suffering continues for the players of WIXOSS after only a one-season break! The Madoka-esque show continues as Kominato Ruuko (Kakuma Ai) attempts to decipher the flurry of events that ended the first season. With Urasoe Iona (Seto Asami) as Ruuko’s LRIG and Tama (Kuno Misaki) nowhere to be found, Ruuko must continue to unravel the secrets of the card game WIXOSS, whose purpose and ultimate goal is still shrouded in mystery. Joined by her LRIGified friend Kurebayashi Yuzuki (Sakura Ayane) and Uemura Hitoe (Kayano Ai), the trio will unveil the madness behind the diabolical card game, as well as the secret behind Iona’s wish.

With struggles of unrequitted love, friendship, and denying one’s potential, all wrapped in a manipulative contractual situation, Selector Spread WIXOSS has earned a label of J.C. Staff’s Madoka Magica in certain circles. Despite the flack, the show has become infamous for its constant flood of despair on every character, as well as extending the series one season longer than its spiritual predecessor. Fans of the first season should be excited to see the second season come out with all the loose ends that the cliffhanger left. Considering the decent job J.C. Staff did with season one, I expect season two to be on the same level of quality. This isn’t your Yu-gi-Oh! card game, this is psychological drama thanks to a card game.

Watching This: Cherrie, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Selector Spread WIXOSS Promotional Videos ▼

Garo: Honoo no Kokuin | 牙狼〈GARO〉-炎の刻印-Top
http://garo-project.jp/ANIME/
Animation: Mappa Premiere: October 3, 2014
Genre: Action, Horror Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_garo or #anime_garo

Preview by Zanibas

A kingdom is in turmoil. With a witch-obsessed advisor in control of the country while its king ails, the crown prince, Alfonso san Valiante (Nomura Katsuhito) seeks the power of the Gold Knight to aid his quest to retake the throne. His search leads him to Leon Lewis (Namikawa Daisuke), a young Makai Knight, adpoted son of Lewis Herman (Horiuchi Kenyuu) and biological son of the a late Makai Priestess. Although a capable fighter, Leon is unstable due to his mother’s death, and can lose control whenever memories of her arise. Perhaps this is why a fellow Makai Priestess Emma Guzman (Park Romi) distrusts the Makai Knights and has her own agenda concerning the country. Together, these unlikely four come together to fight demons, save a country, and make peace with their pasts.

Honoo no Kokuin is the latest production of the prolific Garo franchise. Focusing mainly on horror, drama, and demonic folklore, the series will weave a story independent of the main franchise, yet borrowing the same feel as its predecessors. Since the series hails from a show that heavily used CGI and special effects, its no surprise that the anime will also feature such techniques. The quality of animation should be good with studio MAPPA, whose work on Hajime no Ippo: Rising and Zankyou no Terror has turned out well. Notable staff and cast include series composer Kobayashi Yasuko, as well as seiyuu Park Romi and Namikawa Daisuke. If Japanese folklore mixed with European medieval elements sounds up your alley, this might be a title to watch out for.

Watching This: Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Garo: Honoo no Kokuin Promotional Videos ▼

Donten ni Warau | 曇天に笑うTop
http://www.dontenniwarau.com/
Animation: Doga Kobo Premiere: October 3, 2014
Genre: History, Action Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 26:28
Episodes: 12 Station: Nippon TV (NTV)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @donten_pr or #donten

Preview by Kairi

In the early Meiji period, carrying swords in public was prohibited by the government. Samurai suddenly found that they no longer had a place in society and many became outraged. As a result, crime rates shot up and there was a need for further policing and detention. A small island on a lake, containing a massive tree, became the country’s most fortified and inescapable prison. Three brothers, the heirs to the Kumo family, were assigned the duty of catching and ferrying criminals to this prison. However, things in this lake town, and the Kumo brothers themselves, may not be all they seem.

Another historical shoujo, Donten ni Warau leans even further to the dark side of the spectrum than the other shoujo offerings. The manga is popular enough and the story intriguing, if mysterious in some ways. The Kumo brothers seem at first like shoujo tropes all around, from their bishounen looks to their rather flamboyant style, but that isn’t really a detriment here. In fact, the art in the manga is quite pretty, and hopefully we can see the adaptation take advantage of that. In terms of plot, it’s hard to determine early on just what kind of series this is, but it does have quite a lot of action, spiritual magic, and fairly good characters. The first part of the manga focuses on the middle Kumo brother, Soramaru Kaji Yuuki), and his dream of becoming useful to and acknowledged by his older brother, though we do see quite a few dark threads beginning to unravel in the background.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Passerby, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Donten ni Warau Promotional Videos ▼

Log Horizon 2 | ログ・ホライズン 第2シリーズTop
http://www9.nhk.or.jp/anime/loghorizon/
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: October 4, 2014
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 17:30
Episodes: 25 Station: NHK
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @nhk_loghorizon or #loghorizon

Preview by Stilts

Touno Mamare’s MMORPG fantasy Log Horizon 2 is back for a second season. When the twelfth expansion of the global hit MMO Elder Tale launched, thirty thousand Japanese gamers (and several hundred thousand worldwide) found themselves sucked into the PC game’s world. Forced to deal with their complicated new reality, the adventurers of Akihabara banded together to form the Round Table Alliance, led by master strategist and “Villain in Glasses” Shiroe (Terashima Takuma). Together they tamed Akiba and formed strong alliances with the People of the Land. Now a real villain has appeared, and Shiroe – along with his guild Log Horizon, which includes the cheerful tank Naotsugu (Maeno Tomoaki), the loyal ninja Akatsuki (Kato Emiri), the rapier-wielding werecat Nyanta (Nakata Jouji), and a spate of promising newbies – is leaving Akiba on a new quest that could have major implications for their new reality.

Log Horizon is the MMORPG anime I always wanted. It’s not just the MMORPG-style classes and magic—though those help suck the viewer in, since so many of us are familiar with tanks, healers, nukers, DPS, etc. It’s that Log Horizon embodies the cooperative nature unique to MMOs; they’re games not of individual heroes, but of groups and guilds. Even someone as powerful as Shiroe can’t do it all alone, and its in the group dynamics that Log Horizon 2 shines. It reminds me of when I played late 90′s / early 2000′s MMOs like Everquest and Dark Age of Camelot, which is fitting because Touno Mamare apparently based Elder Tale off his time playing EQ and EQ2. They had to censor some events during the first season becase of the channel it airs on, but the underlying story remained true, even if there were a few hiccups along the way. It’s an open question whether Elder Tale is a game or another reality, but the show’s feeling is that of an MMORPG through and through. I look forward to more adventures as the boys and girls of Log Horizon leave Akihabara on whatever crazy quest Shiroe has in mind.

Watching This: Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr, Samu Expectation Level: Moderately High
Magic Kaito 1412 | まじっく快斗1412Top
http://www.ytv.co.jp/magickaito/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: October 4, 2014
Genre: Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 17:30
Episodes: 24 Station: Yomiuri TV (ytv)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Passerby

Before the Kaitou Kid was a recurring rival in Aoyama Goushou’s Detective Conan, he actually had his very own manga series, and it’s finally getting an anime adaptation this fall. Kuroba Kaito (Yamaguchi Kappei) is a young and budding magician whose father died eight years ago under suspicious circumstances. One day he discovers that his father was actually the alter ego of the famed thief and illusionist Kaitou Kid. Kaito decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and don the costume of the Kaitou Kid, carrying on his capers. Of course, this attracts the attention of the law, made doubly awkward by the inspector’s daughter, Nakamori Aoko (Ichimichi Mao), also being Kaito’s nominal love interest. And thus begins Kaito’s routine—operate as a professional jewel thief, evade capture, and conceal his secret identity—all while trying to uncover the mystery surrounding his father’s death.

If a manga can ever be considered a cultural icon, then Detective Conan is one. It has a significant local and international presence, and has been going for a good twenty years and counting. Magic Kaito is of an even older pedigree—older, by now, than its target audience. That makes it slightly dated—it’s like something from the Silver Age of manga—but still evidently loved. Aoyama adds chapters to it between pumping out more Detective Conan, and the two have crossed paths enough for Magic Kaito to almost be a spin-off of Conan, despite its seniority. Indeed, Magic Kaito has already appeared in anime form as Detective Conan specials, so one can consider this season’s offering a remake of sorts. The thought of remaking the anime of an old manga may bring to mind Sailor Moon Crystal—they’re even bringing back the original seiyuu for the main role!—and one can make of that what they will. But A-1 Pictures usually gives their adaptations a fair bit of respect (and a respectable budget), so there’s no reason to not be positive. Fans of Aoyama Goushou’s works are probably obligated to watch Magic Kaito 1412. Even if you’re not one, something so closely connected to a Japanese cultural icon is definitely worth a look.

Watching This: Passerby Expectation Level: Established
Madan no Ou to Vanadis | 魔弾の王と戦姫Top
http://www.madan-anime.jp/
Animation: Satelight Premiere: October 4, 2014
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 20:00
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @madan_anime or #madan_anime

Preview by Stilts

Set in (fictional) Western Europe during a time of war, there lies the nation known as Zhcted. Though ruled by a king, it’s the seven Vanadis of Zhcted, beautiful women who reign over the country’s seven provinces and wield weapons they received from dragons, who strike fear into the hearts of their neighbors. Eleanor “Ellen” Vertalia (Tomatsu Haruka) is one such Vanadis, the silver-haired, red-eyed “Silver Fraulein” who leads a small Zhcted army against neighboring Brune. In the battle that follows, Ellen meets a young earl in the service of Brune, Tigrevurmud “Tigre” Vorn (Ishikawa Kaito). Tigre is an expert archer, and though he is defeated by the Vanadis’ overwhelming power, Ellen chooses to spare his life after witnessing his skills. In exchange, she takes him prisoner and asks him to serve her.

Though the synopsis sounds terminology heavy, the setting really isn’t that complex; it’s medieval Europe, and countries are attacking each other for all the stupid reasons medieval European countries were always fighting (glory, pride, resources, grudges, boredom). But there’s something romantic about the medival setting that draws fantasy authors to it. War is a constant, but it’s not apocalyptic; it’s not a matter of good or evil, it’s just something people do, more a sport than a moral cause. I like how the story gives a realistic view of human aims in a medieval setting, as well as how the Vanadis’ magic is, at least so far, almost mundane. In a good way! Ellen bats arrows out of the sky and can move her sword with a word, but these are presented as the astonishing feats they are, rather than as commonplace as they are in so many other fantasy shows. I also liked Tigre instantly, though when he’s harassed by a bunch of sniveling nobles who think only swords and lances are “proper” weapons, it’s not hard to like the guy who sees the sense in sharpshooting. This is being produced by Satelight, who have a respectable track record with fantasy, and I can say the same about the staff. I don’t know if it will shatter stereotypes or upend expectations, but it’s looking like a solid fantasy series so far.

Watching This: Stilts Expectation Level: Moderate
Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete | 失われた未来を求めてTop
http://ushinawareta-mirai.com/
Animation: feel. Premiere: October 4, 2014
Genre: Drama, Romance, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 20:30
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @waremete_anime or #waremete_anime

Preview by Passerby

In Uchihama Academy, the student body is busy preparing for their school festival. Their school will soon be moving to a newly constructed building, and this festival is the last to be held at the old campus. All the clubs at Uchihama plan to make it something to remember, but things are going awry. Students report ghosts, mysterious accidents and sudden narcoleptic fits that are plaguing progress at the old building. The Astronomy Club is commissioned to investigate. Akiyama Sou (Terashima Takuma) is a member of this singular group. But he needn’t go out in search of oddities; oddities find him. For example, mysterious transfer student Furukawa Yui (Tomonaga Akane). What are the circumstances behind her sudden and peculiar appearance? How does she know Sou? And why does she want to join the Astronomy Club?

Some of you might recognise Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete by its French title: À la recherche du temps perdu, a direct allusion to an influential (and long) twentieth century novel. This apparent literary underpinning may set it apart from other anime adaptations of visual novels, which tend to be hit or miss. While this one still has that veneer of generic high school romance, there are already indications that it will lead to something more—more than even the hints of supernatural mystery may suggest. If anything, In Search of Lost Time speaks of the themes of its namesake novel: separation, regrets, and ultimately, tragedy. It also forgoes some of the multi-route-pick-a-girl affair for something more linear. Those familiar with the big finales of titles like CLANNAD ~AFTER STORY~ or Little Busters! Refrain may take heart in this formula. A closer point of comparison, however, may be ef – a tale of memories—a similarly introspective piece that ultimately comes together. We have several visual novel adaptations this season; I would expect Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete to hold its own.

Watching This: Cherrie, Passerby, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade WorksTop
http://www.fate-sn.com/
Animation: ufotable Premiere: October 4, 2014
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @Fate_SN_Anime or #fate_sn_anime

Preview by Zephyr

Two years after Fate/Zero, ufotable returns to the Fate universe with their first of two Fate/stay night adaptations. Like the original 2006 series, Fate/stay night (2014) focuses on the fifth iteration of the Holy Grail War, which revolves around “Masters” fighting for the Holy Grail, a device said to be capable of granting any wish. To aid in their cause, each Master is allowed to summon a powerful Heroic Spirit, a legendary figure from the past with powers based on his or her achievements. As this adaptation will focus on the Unlimited Blade Works route of the visual novel, the story will revolve around both Tohsaka Rin (Ueda Kana) and fellow schoolmate Emiya Shirou (Sugiyama Noriaki), who ends up caught in a war he knows nothing about. Brought together by circumstance, they fight to survive as they realize the ties of fate that bind them.

I was quite excited upon hearing this series’ original announcement. ufotable’s treatment of Fate/Zero was a sight to behold, and rumors abounded that they would adapt the well-known and much liked Heaven’s Feel route. It didn’t quite work out as anticipated, but the fact that they’re planning to do HF in a separate movie makes it only a slight disappointment, and I’m eager to see how ufotable does things here. It’s surprising that they chose to go the Unlimited Blade Works route over remaking the original series, but it must be said that the events of UBW make it a more enjoyable choice. Whether or not you should watch this depends on your prior experience with the franchise, as those with experience should know what to expect. For those who haven’t experienced Fate/stay night (or the Fate universe overall), it’s a good a time as any to get started on one of the most popular fantasy franchises out there.

Watching This: Cherrie, Divine, Passerby, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works Promotional Videos ▼

Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo | クロスアンジュ 天使と竜の輪舞Top
http://crossange.com/
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: October 4, 2014
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_crossange or #クロスアンジュ

Preview by Zephyr

Adding to Sunrise’s mecha lineup is the new original series Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryu no Rondo. Scheduled as two-cour, Cross Ange is set in a world where humanity has successfully obtained “Mana” technology. Akin to magic, the usage of Mana leads to the creation of an utopian Earth free from wars, starvation, and pollution. It is at this time that Angelize (Mizuki Nana), first princess and heir to the Misurugi Empire, realizes she is in fact a “Norma,” someone incapable of using Mana. In a blink of an eye, Angelize loses everything and becomes an outcast, shunned by society. A fateful meeting brings her together with a group of Norma girls, whom she joins in their fight against dragons from another dimension. Wielding the humanoid weapon “Barameiru,” Ange fights to survive in a world that discarded her, hoping to find something she can believe in.

Here we go again. Sunrise is doing what they do best and adding a dragon’s touch while they’re at it. The premise is a bit generic, but the animation quality is bound to be high, and it’s great to see Mizuki Nana back in not only a main role, but also the singer for series’ OP. More Mizuki Nana is always a good thing in my book, but the jury’s still out on a series that interests me with its all-female cast–a rarity, considering the genre. Don’t get me wrong, the cast’s pedigree is anything but lacking, including Koshimizu Ami, Kitamura Eri, Kuwashima Houko, and Ishihara Kaori, but the blatant use of their pilot suits as fanservice has me tempering my expectations, as is the general lack of directorial experience from Ashino Yoshiharu. I think the safest bet here is to consider it your general Sunrise affair. It’ll likely be worth watching for fans of the genre, but it’s hard to tell whether there’s any significant appeal besides that plus its status as an original series.

Watching This: Cherrie, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo Promotional Videos ▼

World Trigger | ワールドトリガーTop
http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/wt/
Animation: Toei Animation Premiere: October 5, 2014
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays 6:30
Episodes: Station: TV Asahi (EX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @Anime_W_Trigger

Preview by Takaii

Part Sci-Fi and part AWESOME, World Trigger (or WaTori for short) is the story of the defenders of Mikado City and their constant struggle against creatures known as Neighbors. Four years ago, a portal to an alternate dimension opened and out emerged monsters that completely wrecked the eastern part of the city. With traditional weaponry proving useless against this new foe, a mysterious group known as Border appeared with weaponry known as Triggers that dealt with the new threat. Fast forward to the present where the people of Mikado City have returned to their daily lives with the help of Border and their defense grid that suppresses new portals from opening, you’d think everything’s peachy. That is, until a mysterious humanoid neighbor named Kuga Yuuma (Muranaka Tomo) appears with his special Black Trigger.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too hyped about this show after simply reading its plot. I mean, how many times have you heard about a show that incorporates a mysterious threat that can’t be dealt with without special weaponry? Luckily the source material seems to downplay the whole catastrophic mess part in favor of giving you a super enjoyable story. Blending intense action scenes with a good amount of humor, and tossing in a few tsunderes for fun, everything about this show oozes shonen awesomeness. I’m a big fan of main character duos who grow off of one another, and Mikumo Osamu (Kaji Yuki) (the level headed one) and Kuga Yuuma (the OP one) don’t disappoint. So if you’re looking for a fun show that blends some sci-fi elements with the fairly grand shonen style fights, you won’t go wrong with WaTori.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show World Trigger Promotional Videos ▼

Nanatsu no Taizai | 七つの大罪Top
http://www.7-taizai.net/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: October 5, 2014
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays 17:00
Episodes: Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @7_taizai or #七つの大罪

Preview by Takaii

If you’ve wanted to scratch that medieval/fantasy itch, look no further than Nanatsu no Taizai. Taking place in the nation of Britannia, Nanatsu no Taizai, or the Seven Deadly Sins, were a group of seven powerful knights who were suspected of plotting to overthrow the king. After being disposed of by the King’s Holy Knights, all that was left were rumors of the members being in hiding. Years later, the King himself has been overthrown and killed by those very same Holy Knights. As the knights begin their tyrannical rule, the former king’s daughter Princess Elizabeth (Amamiya Sora) barely escapes and embarks on a journey to find the Seven Deadly Sins, in the hope of removing the Holy Knights from power and recapturing the throne.

I’ve always been a huge fan of fantasy, and especially fantasy based in the medieval era. As I read the first few chapters of Nanatsu no Taizai, it slowly dawned on me that the story had the potential to become a really popular shonen anime. The characters are memorable and I wouldn’t hesitate to assume each member of the Seven Deadly Sins has some quirk that matches them to the sin they’re depicted after. On the plot, I love how there’s an air of mystery to the whole thing, even though the story is fairly simple. Toss in the remarkably level-headed main character Meliodas (Kaji Yuki), who’s also pretty epic in his own right, and I think you have all the pieces to turn this show into something really special!

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Takaii, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Nanatsu no Taizai Promotional Videos ▼

Grisaia no Kajitsu | グリザイアの果実Top
http://www.grisaia-anime.com/
Animation: 8bit Premiere: October 5, 2014
Genre: Drama, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays 20:30
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @grisaia_anime or #grisaia

Preview by Zephyr

Made by Studio 8bit (Tokyo Ravens), Grisaia no Kajitsu is the first of what could be a line of adaptations based on Front Wing’s visual novel trilogy. Led by Tanaka Motoki (creator of the Rewrite VN’s opening sequence) and Kurata Hideyuki (Oreimo, TWGOK), this first installment focuses on the newest arrival at Mihama Academy, Kazama Yuuji (Sakurai Takahiro). In seeking a normal student life, Yuuji joins the five previous inhabitants of the Academy, which was established as a closed learning environment for students with special circumstances. The first and only male student at the school, his arrival may very well be the trigger that allows the academy’s students to overcome their traumatic pasts. That is, if Yuuji himself manages to face his own past, which could be the weightiest one of them all.

Initially announced over a year ago, the arrival of this adaptation comes as a pleasant surprise after I posted about its source material not too long ago. I’m always excited to see a good visual novel receive an adaptation, and there’s much to be said about the series’ interactions and the strength of the cast’s stories once you get into them (more details in the spoiler-free VN retrospective). The problem is, it’s not an easy job to do an adaptation of a series with five distinct stories to tell, and the staff’s lack of anime production experience has me concerned. It’s balanced out by the fact that the visual novel’s original staff is assisting, but that doesn’t change the fact that a proper adaptation of Grisaia no Kajitsu is a tough task, and this could go either way. It probably won’t be a substitute for playing the visual novel, but it’s likely worth a look if the premise and/or my post have you interested.

Watching This: Cherrie, Passerby, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji | オオカミ少女と黒王子Top
http://www.ookamishojo-anime.jp/
Animation: TYO Animation Premiere: October 5, 2014
Genre: Romance, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ookamishojo_tv or #ookamishojo

Preview by Kairi

Erika Shinohara (Itou Kanae) is a high school student who believes in the power of appearances. Her friends know her as the mature, popular girl, and in keeping with her self-styled personality, she brags about having a hot boyfriend. In reality, however, Erika’s “boyfriend” is just a random guy she snapped a picture of on the street, and she has no more experience with men than most young girls. Unfortunately, Erika’s little white lie ends up backfiring when she finds that her “fake” boyfriend is actually her classmate, and that if she hopes to keep up her appearances, she’ll have to convince this “dark prince”, a sadist, to pretend to be her boyfriend for real.

Unlike most of the other shoujo adaptations on the list this season, Ookami Shoujo is more along the usual lines of the genre. I find that to be less of a perk here, especially since the manga itself lacks the charm or grace of some of the better offerings (Strobe Edge comes to mind). However, the manga does have some comedy to go along with the drama, even if the characters are a bit flat. Erika is pretty much a normal heroine who happens to be a “wolf in disguise”, so to speak, and Kyouya (Sakurai Takahiro) is the classic sadistic (and rather abusive) bishounen. Obviously romance does bloom, and both characters end up genuinely liking each other eventually. It’s worth watching if you prefer simpler and to the point shoujo romances with a bit of comedy on the side.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji Promotional Videos ▼

Sora no Method | 天体のメソッドTop
http://sora-no-method.jp/
Animation: Studio 3Hz Premiere: October 5, 2014
Genre: Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays 22:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sora_no_method or #sorameso

Preview by Stilts

A new original anime from the creator of Kanon and sola, Sora no Method is the story of five friends who made a wish when they were younger. The wish was realized with a miracle in the form of a disk that hovers above their town. It’s been seven years since then, and Furumiya Nonoka (Natsukawa Shiina) has returned to the “Town of the Disk” after moving away to Tokyo for her father’s work. She’s reunited with her childhood friends, including the mysterious Noel (Minase Inori), a bright and innocent girl who appears to be of elementary school age … and has been since Nonoka left seven years ago.

It’s always hard to know whether an original series will be good, so let’s go over its bona fides first. With script writer and original creator Hisaya Naoki on board, I would expect there to be a mixture of the realistic and the fantastic, and perhaps some tragedy as well. Director Sakoi Masayuki has directed before, but nothing lately and nothing I’ve watched, so I can’t speak to him. This is being produced by Studio 3Hz, a new studio, but it could be made up of industry veterans for all we know. As for the story, they’ve released precious little information so far, and the promo videos aren’t forthcoming. Right now we know there are five childhood friends with varying agendas + a mysterious little girl. It all piques my interest enough that I want to watch the first episode and see exactly what it will be about, but I can’t grab a hold of anything to know whether to suggest it or not. It’s reminding me of Glasslip or Natsuiro Kiseki, with its group of disparate friends and the wonder/miracle element, but I have no idea if that will hold true. We’ll have to wait until the first episode airs to know more, but hopefully it will at least turn out better than the former.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Sora no Method Promotional Videos ▼

Gugure! Kokkuri-san | 繰繰れ!コックリさんTop
http://www.gugukoku.com/
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: October 5, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays 25:05
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @gugukoku_anime or #gugukoku

Preview by Passerby

Kokkuri is a Japanese table-turning variant once believed to have been a communication with the spirits, but has since fallen out of fashion. That is, until Ichimatsu Kohina (Hirohashi Ryou), an unwaveringly deadpan little girl, performs the ritual with the intent of summoning a spirit. And a spirit she gets, in the form of a white-haired, fox-eared young man. This Kokkuri-san (Ono Daisuke) initially intends to haunt Kohina like a good spirit should, but takes pity on her self-abusive lifestyle in which she subsists only on cup ramen. He is reluctantly roped into Kohina’s surreal lifestyle to serve as an ad hoc housekeeper. But Kohina is hardly going to be satisfied with just one spirit. Expect other supernaturals to join the fun, including creatively named characters like racoon-themed Shigaraki (Nakata Jouji) and dog youkai Inugami (Hirohashi Ryou). And more! Needless to say, hijinks ensue.

4-koma like Gugure! Kokkuri-san do not receive adaptations as often as their normal manga counterparts, perhaps because they do not typically conform to those traditional narrative forms. But Kokkuri-san isn’t the typical 4-koma, and it doesn’t let itself get stuck in the four panel format too rigidly. The stereotypical 4-koma is something of a light-hearted gag roulette, and while Kokkuri-san has that too, there’s some heavy themes about solitude, self-neglect, and societal commentary lurking under the surface. From the looks of it there are plenty of opportunities for black humour, though whether they’ll be fully capitalised on remains to be seen. Not that Kokkuri-san necessarily needs to buck the norm to be good—the staff is surprisingly solid with a seasoned voice cast (lead by Ono Daisuke, still eternally typecasted as good-looking young men). Perhaps the seiyuu talent is indicative of a strong character focus—you don’t need much more than a zany cast forced to interact with each other to produce comedy. If you’re in the mood for laughs from the occult this fall, then Gugure! Kokkuri-san is your ticket.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Gugure! Kokkuri-san Promotional Videos ▼

Ai Tenchi Muyou! | 愛・天地無用!Top
http://www.ai-tenchi.jp/
Animation: AIC Premiere: October 6, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Drama, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Monday to Friday at 21:55
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ai_tenchi or #ai_tenchi

Preview by Takaii

Ai Tenchi Muyou! is another spinoff based in the Tenchi Muyou universe. With Masaki Tenchi (Kikuchi Masami) reprising his role as the male lead, he has to once again deal with some sort of impending disaster caused by none other than the devilish Washu (Kobayashi Yuuko). But in order to prevent it this time around, he must infiltrate a Girls-only school under the guise of a student teacher. For any of us who’ve watched anything Tenchi Muyo before, it should be clear just how rough of a time he’s in for. Oh, and did I mention the show is slated to be 5 minutes long airing every weekday?

For those of you who didn’t grow up in the era of Saturday Morning Cartoons, the original Tenchi Muyo (I’m using original loosely there) that aired on cable television in the states was arguably one of the best anime of the time. It was a little raunchy, tossed in hints of romance here and there, and had an awesome depiction of what technology could be in the future. So when I heard the words “Tenchi Muyo” and “new show” in the same sentence, I was stoked. After doing a bit of research though, I’m not sure how I feel about this upcoming spin-off. Even if you look past the 5-minute nonsense, I can’t help but feel its use as a form of advertising for the city of Takahashi is only going to hurt it. It is Tenchi Muyo though, so you bet I’ll be at least taking a look!

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Shingeki no Bahamut GENESIS | 神撃のバハムート GENESISTop
http://shingekinobahamut-genesis.jp/
Animation: Mappa Premiere: October 6, 2014
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:30
Episodes: Station: Sun TV (SUN)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @bahamut_genesis or #bahamut_genesis

Preview by Zanibas

Humans, gods, and demons, though drastially different, once banded together to seal their common foe, the dragon Bahamut. The seal to Bahamut could only be opened by a key, which was split into half and split between the gods and demons respectively. All is at peace in the world of Mistarcia for many millenia, until one human disrupts the peace by stealing one half of the key. Amira’s (Shimizu Risa) intentions are unknown, but her path will undoubtedly cross that of Favaro Leone (Yoshino Hiroyuki) and Kaisar Lidfort (Inoue Go), who will find themselves at the crossroads of a battle between gods, demons, and humans once again.

I don’t usually consider myself an action fan, but when I watched the promotional video, I was blown away. Although based on a mobile game, this adaption doesn’t look like a mere “cheap promotional show” with no heart. Although 3D CGI is utilized a fair amount, the amount of detail to the drawings and shading is remarkable. What’s most striking though is the art style, which is very distinct—of all the previews I’ve written this season, this one is the most memorable. It’s no surprise that MAPPA is the animation company, as their recent success with Sakamichi no Apollon and Zankyou no Terror have illustrated. The music is also a great addition to the epic feel of the show—Ike Yoshihiro might not be popular yet, but after this season, he may well be. Overall, I recommend this show to anyone looking for a “sweeping visual fantasy” of epic scale, complete with epically large Shadow of the Collosus scale foes.

Watching This: Cherrie, Stilts, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Shingeki no Bahamut GENESIS Promotional Videos ▼

Orenchi no Furo Jijou | オレん家のフロ事情Top
http://www.orefuro.jp/
Animation: Asahi Production Premiere: October 6, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:54
Episodes: Station: BS11
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @orefuroTV or #orefuroTV

Preview by Takaii

Let me preface this with this statement: this show is going to be absolutely hilarious! Orenchi no Furo Jirou, or the Special Circumstances of my Bathtub, is the story of a typical high school kid named Tatsumi (Shimazaki Nobunaga) and the life he leads after discovering a merman named Wakasa (Umehara Yuuichirou) lying on the side of the beach. Like all sane people, Tatsumi ends up taking Wakasa home and “saves” his life by tossing him into his bathtub full of warm water. To his surprise, Wakasa decides to move into his bathtub, which in turn leads to a bunch of crazy things happening. Things like a half-octopus, half-man with serious handyman skills named Takasu (Suzuki Tatsuhisa) randomly coming over, to his water and gas bill literally quadrupling.

I still can’t get over how much I think I’ll enjoy this show. While I have some serious doubts about how it’ll hold up in the transition from a 4-koma to anime, there’s no doubt in my mind the show will be pure comedic gold. It’s not often you find a comedic duo that works right off the bat, but the contrast between the busybody Tatsumi and the hyperactive Wakasa seems to strike all the right notes whenever they’re within twelve feet of each other. And when they’re not, there are still other elements to hold the story up as it prepares to hit us with another joke. From the mantopus Takasu to the consequences that come with awkwardly high water and gas bills, I think there’s more than enough to keep the jokes flowing.

Watching This: Takaii, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Orenchi no Furo Jijou Promotional Videos ▼

Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road | 弱虫ペダル GRANDE ROADTop
http://yowapeda.com/
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: October 6, 2014
Genre: Sports, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @yowapeda_anime or #yp_anime

Preview by Guardian Enzo

What a delight it is to see Yowamushi Pedal achieve the success it so richly deserves (and I so richly predicted). Not only is Yowapeda itself a terrific series, but its popularity got mangaka Watanabe Wataru’s other manga, Majimoji Rurumo, a wonderful anime this past season (and shame on you if you haven’t watched it). Watanabe-sensei is a real talent, a writer of boundless wit and heart, and by all accounts one of the true nice guys in the business.

Content-wise, things should be pretty straightforward here – it’s the much-anticipated third day of the Inter-high, which sees first Hakogaku and then Sohoku having clawed their way back to catch Kyoto Fushimi and the Chimera cyclist, Midousuji-kun. We don’t know if this season will also be three cours, but Yowapeda has proven popular enough (in terms of disc sales and massive merchandising tie-ins) to hope that we might eventually see something close to a complete adaptation of the manga, which is still ongoing. It’s not the staggering monster hit with females that Haikyuu!! and Kuroko no Basuke have been, but it’s a hit nonetheless – and it’s the sports manga that’s perhaps most effectively crossed over to the new audience while still retaining a sizeable chunk of the old. Yowapeda comes as close as any sports anime to bridging the gap between old-school and new-school, but more importantly, it’s simply a blast – a fun, exciting and witty series full of great characters and an unabashed love of cycling.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Samu Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road Promotional Videos ▼

Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de | 異能バトルは日常系のなかでTop
http://inou-anime.com/
Animation: Trigger Premiere: October 6, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 26:05
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @inou_pr or #異能バトル

Preview by Passerby

If one were to learn about Japanese society entirely from their entertainment media, one would get the impression that high school in Japan is a very dangerous place. Every student is an alien, a time traveller, or an esper, and they’re called up routinely to save the world as we know it. But in Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de, the members of the literature club (of course it’s the literature club) suddenly gain superpowers, and nothing comes out of it. Kanzaki Tomoyo (Yamazaki Haruka) controls time. Kushikawa Hatoko (Hayami Saori) is an elementalist. Himeki Chifuyu (Yamashita Nanami) creates matter. Takanashi Sayumi (Taneda Risa) is a pseudo-white mage. Andou Jurai (Okamoto Nobuhiko) is a standard loser harem lead. Half a year has passed, but none of them have been scouted to attend a school for mutants or participate in deadly battle royales. Yet. Deep down, the literature club is confident that their physics-defying abilities have a higher cause. The superpower battles will begin any day now! Right?

Adapted from a light novel by Kota Nozomi, Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de does not come off as a satire per se, but does make light of a number of shounen manga tropes. The idea of a bunch of people expecting the Call to Adventure that never comes actually has some depth for exploration, like a cross between Waiting for Godot and those chuuni shows, or a variation on the Suzimiya Haruhi schtick. Whether or not Inou-Battle continues in this direction remains to be seen; the promotional material paints the picture of an unassuming harem comedy. With over-the-top powers, of course. The bit of silliness will make Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de a perfect palate cleanser for those who already consider superpowered high school kids to be mundane.

Watching This: Passerby, Stilts, Zephyr, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de Promotional Videos ▼

Akatsuki no Yona | 暁のヨナTop
http://www.marv.jp/special/yona/
Animation: Studio Pierrot Premiere: October 7, 2014
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 23:00
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @yona_anime or #暁のヨナ

Preview by Kairi

Princess Yona, sole heir of the Kouka Kingdom, is raised in luxury and lives in ignorance of the world outside the castle walls. Her father dotes on her, her childhood friend serves her, and she has no worries beyond her attraction to her cousin, the handsome Soo-won, and the annoyance of her unruly red hair. On her 16th birthday, however, everything changes when Yona simultaneously loses everything and becomes a fugitive of her own kingdom. With no one but her bodyguard, Hak, at her side, she flees her pursuers for the relative safety of the outside world where she will have to learn to fend for herself.

On the heels of Pierrot’s adaptation of Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii comes another shoujo manga adaptation. However, Yona has far less in common with Soreseka than it does with Watase Yuu’s shoujo classic Fushigi Yuugi. As a result, Akatsuki no Yona leans a bit more toward the harem side of the spectrum, but it’s no “BroCage” either. It’s an adventure with dark undertones and some light humor on the side, and likes to reflect on Yona’s predicament as a fallen princess. Unfortunately, fans of Soreseka may not be quite as enthralled with this princess, though she’s not exactly a pushover herself. Unlike Nike, she is spoiled and weak at first and has to change to survive. However, she does have an army of shoujo boys ready to dazzle and save the day, and she does undergo vast character development, so if that’s more your style of romance, you should give Akatsuki no Yona a try.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Passerby, Samu Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Akatsuki no Yona Promotional Videos ▼

Trinity Seven | トリニティセブンTop
http://trinity-7.com/
Animation: Seven Arcs Pictures Premiere: October 7, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:40
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @TrinitySeven_PR or #トリニティセブン

Preview by Stilts

Kasga Arata (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) leads a normal everyday life … until one day everything changes after he wakes up to a black sun, and a magician appears before him. The black sun was caused by a mysterious disturbance dubbed as the Breakdown Phenomenon, which disintigrated his entire town, including his cousin and childhood friend Kasuga Hijiri (Suwa Ayaka). Arata is saved by the grimoire Hijiri thrusts on him, which temporarily resurrects the town for his benefit. That’s what draws the magician Asami Lilith (Hara Yumi), and eventually gives Arata his ticket to Royal Biblia Academy, a school of magic where he hopes to learn how to resolve the Breakdown Phenomenon and rescue Hijiri from the other world. Waiting in the school are seven beautiful female magic users who might be able to help—the Trinity Seven.

I like this story already! It doesn’t show in the synopsis, but based on the source material it has the potential to be an upper tier fantasy-action harem show. First of all is Arata as the male lead. He’s unabashed about his tastes and perversions, though he’s not goofy about it like Issei. He’s also decisive; this is no wimpy guy who will be pushed around by his harem—he’s going to be the one doing the pushing. But his haremettes are fun too. Some of them start out stereotypical—Lilith is a textbook tsundere to start—but others are quirky from the get-go, either fueling his antics or perpetuating their own. This is the story of a guy who will take a good long look at a naked girl if given the chance, and will enjoy the accidental grope if it happens. But it mixes in some surprisingly serious material in the beginning, and in the manga, it works. The trick will be whether Seven Arcs can balance the tone between serious fantasy-action and silly harem comedy, and that’s a delicate act. Director Nishikiori Hiroshi has experience, though nothing quite like this, and while series composition is being done by Yoshino Hiroyuki, who has Magi, To Aru Majutsu no Index, and Strike the Blood on his resume, he also did series composition for one Guilty Crown, so consider my optimism tempered. If they can balance things well, this could be one of the best fantasy-action harems out there, but I’m going to need to see more evidence before I sing it any more praise.

Watching This: Cherrie, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Trinity Seven Promotional Videos ▼

Gundam Build Fighters Try | ガンダムビルドファイターズトライTop
http://gundam-bf.net/
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: October 8, 2014
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 18:00
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @buildfighters or #g_bf

Preview by Zephyr

A year after the series’ original run, Gundam Build Fighters Try returns with a new cast of characters led by Fumina Hoshino (Makino Yui). The sole remaining member of Seiho Academy’s Gunpla Battle Club, Hoshino finds herself in desperate need of two additional members, as three are now required in order to participate in the national Gunpla tournament. In a chance encounter, Hoshino stumbles upon transfer student Kaimiki Sekai (Togashi Kazumi), who joins the club along with model-building champion Kousaka Yuuma (Uchida Yuuma). In a time where Gunpla Battle has never been more popular and new rules and battle modes are the name of the game, they begin their march to the top, eager to reverse the academy’s decline following Iori Sei’s victory seven years ago.

While I didn’t watch the original series, I heard good things about its entertainment value and how it’s essentially a celebration of the kits that formed the basis of many fans’ childhoods. The director may have changed–Watada Shinya of the Gundam AGE OVA takes the reigns–and the cast may be completely different, but there’s no reason to expect anything radically different with this new iteration of Gundam Build Fighters Try. Sunrise will be Sunrise in regards to its animation quality, and the core story about Gunpla battles remains the same, meaning this will stay a Gundam series made for Gundam fans. It goes without saying that fans of the original series will find something to like here, though Gundam fans who haven’t watched the original should be able to join in too, courtesy of the new rules and cast.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Gundam Build Fighters Try Promotional Videos ▼

Hi sCoool! Seha Girl | Hi☆ sCoool! セハガールTop
http://shg.sega.jp/anime.html/
Animation: TMS Entertainment x Jinni’s Animation Studio Premiere: October 8, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 22:00
Episodes: Station: ANIMAX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @SHG_Official or #セハガール

Preview by Stilts

Hi sCoool! Seha Girl is part of the Sega Hard Girls multimedia project, which reimagines Sega video game consoles as anthropomorphized goddesses who appear all over modern Japan. The anime follows the story of Dreamcast (Ichimichi Mao), Sega Saturn (Takahashi Minami), and Mega Drive (Sega Genesis, Izawa Shiori), who have just enrolled in SeHaGaga Academy at Tokyo’s Haneda Otorii station. They are given an assignment required to graduate by a suspicious teacher, and to clear it, the girls have to dive into the world of Sega games. The girls must try their best to graduate without anything going wrong.

I was a Sega kid. I had a Genesis, I had a Dreamcast, and then I gave up on consoles when the Dreamcast died an ignominious death. Yet I still don’t understand the nostalgia for Sega consoles, nor the multimedia anthropomophized (and frequently moe) franchises it spawns (Ex: Aoi Sekai no Chuushin de, Choujigen Game Neptune, this). Don’t get me wrong, Sega games were fun! Maybe they still are. Sega still exists, right? But the consoles were just a way to get to the games. This project is being directed by Sugahara Souta, who also directed gdgd Fairies and Boku no Imouto wa “Osaka Okan”, so at least he’s in familiar territory. The entire premise just seems like a shallow nostalgia grab, and I have little desire to encourage this kind of pandering. It could be good, but I wouldn’t bet on it. If you’re nostalgic for Sega consoles, or have a fondness for low-budget CG adaptations—they’re using the MikuMikuDance software, like in Minarai Diva—this could be up your alley. Otherwise I would probably steer clear. I usually only account for one exception with odd premises like this, and since I’ve heard good things about Neptunia, I’m going to assume that was the one. I’ll be skipping this one unless someone tells me it’s amazing.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low
Show Hi sCoool! Seha Girl Promotional Videos ▼

Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai | 大図書館の羊飼いTop
http://www.daito-anime.com/
Animation: Hoods Entertainment Premiere: October 8, 2014
Genre: Comedy, School-Life, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @daito_anime or #daitoanime

Preview by Zanibas

Academy student Kakei Kyoutarou (Majima Junji) loves reading peacefully. His childhood wish was to read magical texts, which was soon granted with a caveat that he spread happiness and kindness to others. Although his days in the library are initially solitary, a text from someone only known as the “Shepherd” changes everything. Under the distant guidance of the Shepherd, Kyoutarou ends up meeting many girls, such as the excellent cook Shirasaki Tsugumi (Yonezawa Madoka), the high-class and self-sufficient Sakuraba Tamamo (Saitou Yuka), the stoic Misono Senri (Yamamoto Nozomi), the girl-next-door Kodachi Nagi (Tanezaki Atsumi), and the polite Suzuki Kana (Sendai Eri). The five of them all share an interest in the library and/or Kyouarou, and are most likely the people he must spread happiness to.

When you’ve got to list a whole bunch of girls after one guy, it’s definitely from a visual novel, which Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai hails from. Labeled as the best Bishoujo VN of 2013 by Getchu, its strong points draw from its excellent music and character design. It’ll be interesting to see such an esteemed title adapted by Hoods Entertainment, which has been taking interesting risks with the likes of Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara and Nazo no Kanojo X. With only one-cour, the series will have to be economical to quickly tell its story. For seiyuus, I’m personally excited to see Majima Junji onboard, whose voice is underused, considering how well he played Ryuuji from Toradora!. Saito Yuka is also a welcome sight, whose voice of Chizuru from Seitokai no Ichizon is also appropriate in her assigned role. Although the quality and staff is up in the air, I do recommend watching this series if you like visual novel character designs and plots. With the ranking so high, I’m sure that loyal fans and newcomers alike will find something to enjoy with this large female cast in tow!

Watching This: Stilts Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai Promotional Videos ▼

Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle | 棺姫のチャイカ AVENGING BATTLETop
http://chaika-anime.jp/
Animation: Bones Premiere: October 8, 2014
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:05
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ChaikaTrabant or #棺姫のチャイカ

Preview by Passerby

BONES reprises its adaptation of Sakaki Ichirou’s light novel from Spring to bring us Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle. Picking up from the end of the first season, gun-toting, magic-shooting Chaika Trabant (Anzai Chika) is still lugging her coffin across the continent, intent on collecting the body parts of her dismembered father. Acting bodyguards for the Coffin Princess include former mercenary Tooru Acura (Majima Junji) and his stoic yandere (yes, that’s a thing) sister Akari (Hara Yuuko). As their quest brings them into conflict with mystical native fauna, government authorities, and the Chaika family franchise, there are always unsettling questions. Why are there forces that wish to see them fail? And for that matter, why are there forces that wish to see them succeed?

Hitsugi no Chaika reminds me of an RPG plot, but from the villain’s point of view. Our protagonists are trying to collect what seem to be the parts of an Evil Mage Emperor and the antagonists are a quirky band of adventurers who have come together to stop them, but are always one step behind. There certainly is an epic adventure feel to the whole affair, and the first season proved to be a fairly fun fantasy romp. The writing had a tendency to dip a bit heavily into exposition, but a good chunk of the setup (like world-building, back-stories, various mysteries, etc.) should be done by now, which leaves us with more time to get into the meat of the narrative. Which is good, because the last season ended at a climatic point (at least as far as the antagonists are concerned), and there are plenty of plotlines left unresolved. We can also expect more crisp action sequences and those hints of romantic tension. There’s no indication that BONES means to deliver anything different from the first season, so if you enjoyed that, odds are you’ll enjoy Avenging Battle as well.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Passerby, Stilts, Zephyr, Samu Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle Promotional Videos ▼

Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu | 寄生獣 セイの格率Top
http://www.kiseiju.jp/
Animation: Madhouse Premiere: October 8, 2014
Genre: Sci Fi, Action, Horror Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:29
Episodes: 24 Station: Nippon TV (NTV)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kiseiju_anime or #kiseiju_anime

Preview by Kairi

A worm-like species of alien called Parasytes has invaded Earth, taking human beings as hosts by wrigging in through their noses and ears and taking over their brains. A young man, Izumi Shinichi (Shimazaki Nobunaga), falls prey to a Parasyte named Migi (Hirano Aya) when it tries to enter his ear and fails, burrowing into his arm instead. Since Migi fails to inavde Izumi’s brain, the two become seperate entities residing in the same body. Upon realizing that Izumi is still human in his mind, other Parasytes attempt to kill him, leading Migi and Izumi to learn to work together in order to survive.

The latest in a recent surge of adaptations including creatures that eat humans, Kiseijuu is in actuality a very old manga (it began in 1989; wow, it’s older than me). It’s rare in the first place that a manga this old is only now getting an adaptation (and it gives hope for those series that have passed into silence without seeing the light of a television screen), but it does offer variety in style. The synopsis doesn’t sound that original in our time, but it’s actually a pretty creepy and chilling story, and doesn’t focus one-mindedly on the Parasytes as evil creatures. Instead, we see both Izumi’s dilemma and Migi’s, as well as that of how Parasytes in general exist in their human hosts. Character oriented and psychologically driven, Kiseijuu promises to deliver a slightly denser plot than most, and it seems to be in fairly good hands as far as adaptations go.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Zephyr, Samu Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu Promotional Videos ▼

SHIROBAKOTop
http://www.shirobako-anime.com/
Animation: P.A. Works Premiere: October 9, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 23:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @shirobako_anime or #musani

Preview by Zanibas

P.A. Works enters the ‘making-an-anime’ genre with its newest production, SHIROBAKO. The story revolves around a group of five girls who each play a distinct role in producing an anime. Miyamori Aoi (Kimura Juri) leads as director, while the aspiring writer is Midori Imai (Ouwada Hitomi). Misa Toudou (Takano Mami) is in charge of the 3D CGI, while Yasuhara Ema (Kimura Haruka/a>) is the representative animator. Finally, Sakaki Shizuka (Sakaki Shizuka) represents a new seiyuu in the industry. These five, along with supporting animating cast members, will reveal the hardships of anime…or not. While technical aspects of anime production will be revealed, the story will mainly be a heartwarming tale of friendship and lots of donuts.

As a collaboration between P.A. Works and director Mizushima Tsutomu, SHIROBAKO has potential to become a fairly decent “anime-about-anime”. Judging from the PVs, the animation quality won’t be on-par with some of P.A. Works’ previous productions, Mizushima Tsutomu still has some great titles behind his back, such as Another, Ika Musume and Girls und Panzer. Promotional videos indicate an authentic portrayal of its premise, unlike Glasslip of last season. In fact, the show itself will focus less on dramatic and interpersonal drama, and more on the technical and group struggles of producing an anime. Since this is original material led by an experienced director, this may be Mizushima Tsutomu’s way of lifting the curtain on the anime industry to the general public, even if done in a broad and simplified manner. If the combination of a behind-the-scenes premise with the standard P.A. Works character design interests you, watch a few episodes and see if those expectations are met.

Watching This: Cherrie, Stilts, Takaii, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show SHIROBAKO Promotional Videos ▼

PSYCHO-PASS 2 | サイコパス 2Top
http://psycho-pass.com/index.html
Animation: Tatsunoko Production Premiere: October 9, 2014
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:50
Episodes: Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @psychopass_tv or #pp_anime

Preview by Xumbra

Two years after its initial air date, PSYCHO-PASS returns to the noitaminA block for a much anticipated second season. Like its predecessor, the series will focus on a dystopian future originally crafted by Urobuchi Gen (Fate/Zero, Madoka Magica), where one’s mental state, personality, and likelihood of committing crimes can be quantified and represented by a statistic known as a “Psycho-Pass.” In a new age led by the Sibyl System, inspectors at the Ministry of Welfare’s Public Safety Bureau use special weapons known as Dominators; capable of performing instantaneous measurements of one’s Psycho-Pass, they dispense justice on those that would seek to commit crimes. PSYCHO-PASS 2 will continue the story of inspector Tsunemori Akane (Hanazawa Kana), who will be joined by the MWPSB’s newest inspector, Shimotsuki Mika. Mardock Scramble’s Ubukata Tow will replace Urobuchi Gen as the writer for this series.

When I first watched PSYCHO-PASS, I enjoyed how it showed this incredible world where technology pretty much determines your entire life, and how, just when you started to think there’s no way a system like that would work in the real world, the show explored and subverted the rather clear flaws of this system. For example, bystanders get their Psycho-Passes infected by being near traumatic scenes or people are assigned to detention facilities when they are young because of one Psycho-Pass scan. I expect the second season to explore three things: Tsunemori’s interaction with the Sibyl System, the new recruit getting accustomed to life as an inspector, and the whereabouts of the ex-enforcer Kougami Shinya (Seki Tomokazu). This show gives me the same vibes as another favorite sci-fi show, Ghost in the Shell, and I’m looking forward to more action and crime scene investigations. If you’re interested in this series but haven’t watched the prequel, you may want to skip the first season entirely and instead watch the New Edit version, which gives a good recap plus some extra content.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Passerby, Stilts, Zephyr, Samu Expectation Level: High
Show PSYCHO-PASS 2 Promotional Videos ▼

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso | 四月は君の嘘Top
http://www.kimiuso.jp/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: October 9, 2014
Genre: Drama, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:20
Episodes: Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @shigatsuhakimi or #kimiuso

Preview by Kairi

Arima Kousei (Hanae Natsuki) was a child prodigy, a piano player instructed by his mother. Though he had a lot of promise, his career came to a screeching halt when his mother died and he became psychologically unable to hear his own piano playing despite having good hearing. After a failed recital, Kousei becomes depressed and refuses to play again. His world becomes plain and without color until he meets Miyazono Kaori (Taneda Risa), a beautiful violinist with plenty of spirit. She helps Arima become interested in music once again and has him realize that passion is just as important as technique.

A-1 Pictures is bringing us the adaptation of Naomi Arakawa’s award-winning manga of the same name, and from the PVs, this looks like it’s going to be one pretty production. On top of that, Ishiguro Kyouhei, who worked on the quirky Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, is directing, which promises us some interesting things as far as characterization. Being a series about music also wins a point in my book, and the series seems both straightforward and charming. Obviously this is a character-driven show, and Arima’s PTSD-like problem serves as the reason for why he finds Miyazono so alluring and special. Hopefully the romance and drama aspects are well executed, and if so, I find no reason why this shouldn’t be one of the best series of the season.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Passerby, Stilts, Zephyr, Samu Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso Promotional Videos ▼

Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu. | 俺、ツインテールになります。Top
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/ore_twi/
Animation: Production IMS Premiere: October 9, 2014
Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:33
Episodes: Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ore_twi_anime or #ore_twi

Preview by Passerby

Tired of people calling anime weird Japanese cartoons? Tired of getting suspicious looks about your hobby? Tired of being on all the government watchlists? Then this show is…hell yeah, for you! It’s time to embrace the stigma and watch something completely ridiculous! And it doesn’t get much more ridiculous than Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu.. This is an adaptation of a light novel by Mizusawa Yume, in which high school hairstyle-fetishist Mitsuka Souji (Shimazaki Nobunaga) is visited by Thouars (Uchida Maaya), a girl from an alternate dimension. She grants him the power to use his love for the twin-tails hairstyle to transform into a superpowered twin-tails girl named “Tail Red”. Now he and his childhood friend Tsube Aika (Aisaki Yuuka), alias “Tail Blue”, must fight against monsters that have suddenly invaded the town in conquest of twin-tails. The fate of the world now rests on their shoulders.

Let it not be said that Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu. ever pretended to be anything other than what’s on the tin. And if the summary sounded tongue-in-cheek to you, make no mistake: I can’t make this stuff up. Frankly, if you’re going to make something like I, Will Become a Twin Tail, you might as well be completely shameless about it. While guys turning into girls isn’t necessarily new or high brow, this show separates itself with what can only be described as surrealism. If you think about it that way, Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu. works out to be a strangely postmodern super sentai series. The absurdity of the premise is but a deconstruction of superficiality in anime. Underneath the action and the harem comedy is a self-aware commentary on…something. About hair. Whatever. So, yeah, anime can be art, peoples. We’re going to run with that.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Sanzoku no Musume Ronja | 山賊の娘ローニャTop
http://www9.nhk.or.jp/anime/ronja/
Animation: Polygon Pictures Premiere: October 11, 2014
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 19:00
Episodes: Station: NHK
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ or #

Preview by Kairi

From the amazing studio that put out amazing movies like The Wind Rises and Kiki’s Delivery Service comes their first foray into the realm of television with Sanzoku no Musume Ronja, or Ronja the Robber’s Daughter. Based off of the popular children’s novel of the same name, the show focuses on the journey of a young girl named Ronja (Shiraishi Haruka), the heir to a village of thieves, as she slowly discovers the secrets of the dark pine forest she resides in. Secrets that can make a kid grow up too quickly. And while it’s hard to say how closely Studio Ghibli will stick to the source material, it looks like we’re going to get a whimsical tale as Ronja discovers the joys of growing up and finds out what it really means to live.

Seeing how it’s possible that this may be the last work Studio Ghibli ever produces—or at least, the last one for a while—fans of the studio may be disappointed to learn that even though Ghibli is directing the show, the character art is being entirely handled by Polygon (who animated Sidonia no Kishi), meaning we’re getting really thick CGI. That’s a shame considering this may be the last time we see the beloved studio, and even more so because the charm of the show will probably be undermined by the CGI. It’s also unclear just how much the series will be influenced by the book, so at the moment it looks more like a slice of life show with adventure thrown in. We do know that Goro Miyazaki is directing, and that he’s quite good at these kind of productions, so hopefully the CGI will not be a major detriment for anyone interested in watching.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Passerby, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Sanzoku no Musume Ronja Promotional Videos ▼

Bonjour: Koiaji Patisserie | Bonjour♪恋味パティスリーTop
http://www.bonkoi.com/
Animation: CONNECT x SILVER LINK. Premiere: October 11, 2014
Genre: Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 19:00
Episodes: Station: Niconico
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @bonkoi_pj or #bonkoi

Preview by Xumbra

Produced jointly by CONNECT and SILVER LINK, Bonjour: Koiaji Patisserie is an anime adaptation of a mobile game app that is currently in production. The story revolves around Haruno Sayuri (Ishikawa Yui), a girl who attends a confectionery school on a scholarship to learn how to make sweets so she can open her own pastry store. There she meets many handsome and suave men who are either learning or teaching others the joys of candies, desserts, and pudding! This includes Aoi Mitsuki (Kakihara Tetsuya), Kouduki Ryou (Ishikawa Kaito), Hanahusa Gilbert (Kimura Ryohei), and Suzumi Yoshinosuke (Midorikawa Hikaru). Bonjour: Koiaji Patisserie‘s director is Akitaya Noriaki, who also directed Bakuman, and its character designer is Yukihiro Utako, the creator of Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist and the artist for the Uta no Prince-sama manga. This series will be available as a web release on NTV On Demand, Nico Nico, and Hulu.

There’s not a lot of information about the anime—or the game, for that matter—but what’s obvious is that this is an otome series. We don’t know anything about the main character, other than that she’s really motivated to start her own patisserie, but I’m sure she’ll meet and develop relationships with the other charming (and very good looking) men of this series, such as the popular and kind Aoi Mitsuki or the brusque Kouduki Ryou. Since this is a show about making sweets, I’m interested to know whether there will be any cooking or baking competitions. I’m not expecting anything over the top like Shokugeki no Soma’s cooking matches, but I can easily imagine an episode dedicated to the guys competing to win the main character’s praise or to assert dominance over each other (in the kitchen, of course). And as expected of someone of Yukihiro Utako’s caliber, the character designs are really nice and clean, and they really bring out the personalities of the men we’ll be seeing in this confectionery school. If you’d like to see attractive men making sweets, this may be the show for you.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Girlfriend (Kari) | ガールフレンド (仮)Top
http://girlfriend-kari-anime.jp/
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: October 12, 2014
Genre: School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @gf_anime or #ガルフレ

Preview by Zanibas

The hugely popular Japanese dating game on mobile, Girlfriend (Kari), is getting an anime adaptation. The twist: a cast list that is way too long to list, and can be found here. Centered around the concept of choosing your ideal girlfriend (and her ideal voice), the game is an ambitious project in itself. The anime is no less inclusive, with well over 30+ voice actors portraying 30 different girls (as of this writing), with voices including the likes of Kugimya Rie, Sato Satomi, Harada Hitomi, Kato Emiri, and more. Not much about the plot has been revealed, nor how the anime plans to convert a game with over 100+ characters into a cohesive show.

With a huge backing from fans for its mobile app, a good number of those users will most likely follow this show. SILVER LINK. is qualified to handle a show full of girls no matter what direction it takes, considering its passing success in handling Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? and Nourin as romantic comedies. However, without much more information, all that can be said is that the scope of the project is at least ambitious, hoping to appeal wide due to its large selection of girls and their various “moe points”. If you’re the kind of person who likes the concept of IDOLM@STER with the many-girls approach, then this experimental anime may be something to check out. Just think cute-girls-doing-cute-things, but with a cast eight times larger. Whether that will work is up in the air, but at least SILVER LINK. will know how to make these characters appeal to their target audience.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Girlfriend (Kari) Promotional Videos ▼

Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru | 結城友奈は勇者であるTop
http://yuyuyu.tv/
Animation: Studio Gokumi Premiere: October 16, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:34
Episodes: Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_yukiyuna or #yuyuyu

Preview by Zanibas

In a supposed “era of the gods”, four middle schoolers form a “Hero Club”, with one goal in mind: dealing with the “Vertex”. With Yuuki Yunna (Terui Haruka) leading the charge, she is accompanied by her fellow clubmates: wheelchair maiden Yougou Mimori (Mimori Suzuko) and sisters Inubouzaki Fuu (Uchiyama Yumi) and Inubouzaki Itsuki (Kurosawa Tomoyo). Together they enjoy a fairly normal middle school life, except for those moments when club activities call. It’s a slice of life about cute-girls-doing-cute-things plus fantasy action, all mixed into one package.

Studio Gokumi has been one of my favorite underdog studios for a while, especially their comedy division. With Kishi Seiji as director, we can expect some well-directed scenes—the man does the best with the time and source material he’s given, which could be good news, considering this is an anime original production. While the show has fantastical elements, consider it a combination of slice of life with some fun fantasy elements, much like how Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? played out this summer. I’m already liking the character designs, which aren’t too extravagant, yet are uncommon enough to distinguish themselves from the herd. It’ll be even better once we see the transformation scenes, especially from our wheelchair-bound heroine Tougou Mimori. If slice of life club activities plus fantasy fighting is up your alley, give this four-person cast a taste.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zephyr, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru Promotional Videos ▼

Mushishi Zoku Shou 2nd Season | 蟲師 続章 後半エピソードTop
http://www.mushishi-anime.com/
Animation: Artland Premiere: October 18, 2014
Genre: Mystery, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @mushishi_anime

Preview by Guardian Enzo

Mushishi is like a gift to anime, and anime’s gift to the world. Timeless, ageless, heartbreaking, fantastic and beautiful – there’s nothing else like it. It seems almost redundant to summarize the show, because Mushishi is never-changing – every episode is frozen in time, both in the narrative and literal sense. I don’t know what’s more remarkable – that we don’t see any other series try and copy Mushishi, or that it’s managed to be as much of a commercial success (a modest one) as it has. I suspect if Mushishi had premiered now, it would have failed to find the audience it did in 2005, because that sort of viewer isn’t watching anime any longer – but fortunately, the series seems to have banked enough supporters to keep the new disc releases from sales ignominy.

It’s remarkable how little Mushishi changed in the eight-and-a-half years it was gone – it returned as if it had never left, as magical and mystical as ever. You’ll rarely see backgrounds this beautiful or writing this subtle and profound, or stories and characters that will stay with you for so long. Mushishi is special, and this season will bring the comprehensive adaptation of Urushibara Yuki’s manga to a close. Artland’s financial adventures may have given it more fits and starts than ideal, but if we get through this cour (and with Artland, it’s never safe to assume), Mushishi will – like Hunter X Hunter – be that exceedingly rare great manga that gets the anime adaptation it deserves.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Stilts, Samu Expectation Level: High

OVA / Movie


 

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

Release Date Title Notes
09/18 Ane Log OVA | 姉ログ OVA
http://websunday.net/rensai/anelog/
Bundled with manga Vol. 5 (Limited Edition).
09/18 Fantasista Stella | ファンタジスタ ステラ
http://websunday.net/rensai/fantasista/
Bundled with manga Vol. 8 (Limited Edition).
09/20 Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow OVA
ストライクウィッチーズ Operation Victory Arrow
http://w-witch.jp/
Episode 1 of 3.
09/22 D-Frag! OVA | ディーふらぐ! OVA
http://www.d-fragments.net/news/
Bundled with manga Vol. 9 (Limited Edition)
09/24 Gokukoku no Brynhildr: Kara Sawagi. | 極黒のブリュンヒルデ
http://www.vap.co.jp/gokukoku/
Episode 11.5. Bundled with BD/DVD Vol. 2.
09/25 Bakumatsu Rock: Mystery! Onsen Kaijiken ze yo!! OVA
幕末Rock 湯煙推理劇[ミステリー]! 温泉怪事件ぜよ!! OVA
http://bakumatsu.marv.jp/anime/
09/30 Buddy Complex: Kanketsu-hen – Ano Sora ni Kaeru Mirai de
バディ・コンプレックス 完結編 ―あの空に還る未来で―
http://news.buddy-complex.jp/app-def/S-102/news/?p=743
September Hayate no Gotoku! OVA | ハヤテのごとく! OVA
http://ani.tv/hayate/
Episode 2 of 3. Bundled with manga Vol. 42 (Limited Edition).
10/03 Nisekoi OVA | ニセコイ OVA
http://www.shonenjump.com/j/2014/05/140519news03.html
Bundled with manga Vol. 14.
10/9 The iDOLM@ASTER Movie
http://www.idolmaster-anime.jp/movie/
BD/DVD Release.
10/11 Zephyr | ゼファー
http://rejetweb.jp/zephyr/
10/15 Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda – Shin Zvezda Daisakusen
世界征服~謀略のズヴィズダー~ 新・ズヴィズダー大作戦
http://www.sekaiseifuku-zzz.com/pkg/07.html
Episode 13. Bundled with BD/DVD Vol. 7.
10/17 Inawa no Kuni no Alice OVA | 今際の国のアリス OVA
http://websunday.net/rensai/alice/
Bundled with manga Vol. 12 (Limited Edition).
10/22 Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui! OVA
私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い! 未放送第13話
http://www.ganganonline.com/special/watamote7/
Episode 13. Bundled with manga Vol. 7 (Limited Edition)
10/25 Kuroshitsuji: Book of Murder OVA | 黒執事 Book of Murder OVA
http://www.kuroshitsuji.tv/bom/
Episode 1 of 2.
10/29 Hybrid Child OVA | ハイブリッド チャイルド OVA
http://www.hybridchild.jp/
Episode 1 of 4.
10/29 New Prince of Tennis OVA | 新テニスの王子様 OVA
http://tenipuri.jp/
Episode 1 of 5.
October Tsubu★Doll OVA | ツブ★ドル OVA
http://www.tubudol.com/
Episode 1 of 5.
11/12 Mouretsu Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace
モーレツ宇宙海賊 ABYSS OF HYPERSPACE -亜空の深淵-
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/mo-retsu/gekijo/
BD/DVD Release.
11/15 Kuroshitsuji: Book of Murder OVA | 黒執事 Book of Murder OVA
http://www.kuroshitsuji.tv/bom/
Episode 2 of 2.
11/17 Daiya no Ace OVA | ダイヤのA[エース] OVA
http://diaace.com/
Episode 1 of 3.
11/18 Nozo x Kimi OVA | ノゾ×キミ OVA
http://websunday.net/rensai/nozokimi/
Episode 2 of 2.
11/21 Suisei no Gargantia: Meguru Kouro, Haruka OVA
翠星のガルガンティア~めぐる航路、遥か~ OVA
http://gargantia.jp/blog/?p=1953
Episode 1 of 2.
11/21 Yuru Yuri Nachuyachumi! OVA | ゆるゆり なちゅやちゅみ! OVA
http://yuruyuri.com/
11/22 LOVE STAGE!! OVA
http://lovestage-tv.jp/
Bundled with manga Vol. 5 (Limited Edition).
11/26 Hybrid Child OVA | ハイブリッド チャイルド OVA
http://www.hybridchild.jp/
Episode 2 of 4.
11/26 IS: Infinite Stratos – World Purge OVA
IS〈インフィニット・ストラトス〉ワールド・パージ編 OVA
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/is2/
11/28 Lupin the IIIrd: Jigen Daisuke no Bohyou | LUPIN THE IIIRD 次元大介の墓標
http://jigen-movie.com/
BD/DVD Release.
12/09 Date A Live: Encore OVA | デート・ア・ライブ アンコール
http://store.kadokawa.co.jp/preorder/888800000003/
Bundled with Encore LN vol. 3.
12/09 Shingeki no Kyojin: Kuinaki Sentaku | 進撃の巨人 悔いなき選択
http://shingeki.net/#!/page/comics_15_16ltd
Episode 1 of 2.
12/10 Persona 4 The Golden Animation: Thank you Mr. Accomplice
ペルソナ4 ザ・ゴールデンアニメーション Thank you Mr. Accomplice
http://www.animate.tv/news/details.php?id=1409330831
Alternate ending.
12/10 Rakuen Tsuihou: Expelled from Paradise | 楽園追放 -Expelled From Paradise-
http://rakuen-tsuiho.com/
BD/DVD Release.
12/12 Ao Haru Ride OVA | アオハライド OVA
http://aoha-anime.com/
Episode 13.
12/12 Strike Witches Operation Victory Arrow Vol. 1: St. Trond no Raimei
ストライクウィッチーズ Operation Victory Arrow Vol.1 サン・トロンの雷鳴
http://w-witch.jp/
BD/DVD Release. Part 1 of 3.
Fall Futari Ecchi (2014) OVA | ふたりエッチ (2014) OVA
http://futarihanime.com/
Episode 1 of 3.

Overall Impressions


 

They say that the Fall Season is one of anime’s biggest, and I wouldn’t disagree — there are quite a few diverse offerings this season. With some awesome sequels like Log Horizon 2 and Fate/stay night Unlimisted Blade Works ready to strut their stuff, and a bunch of new shows to fill in the gaps, I can’t help but feel that we’re all going to have a lot on our plates. Thanks again for going through our preview! I hope it was able to provide you with some useful information or help you find something new to watch!

Onto the rundown! Our rubric remains the same, with the five main expectation levels ranging from High to Low, plus Niche and Established hanging around for special cases. Hopefully this guide will help viewers with limited time know which shows to try first, based on our preliminary examination of the show’s staff, seiyuu, and source material.

We arrived at these levels by convening our regular (and reliably shady) “anticipation council,” which consists of Zanibas, Zephyr, and Stilts. While we’ve gone to great lengths to be as objective as possible, we’re all fallible human beings around here, and even the most well-considered predictions can prove themselves wrong in a hurry. Take these designations with a grain of salt.

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 some works oriented toward younger 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.

September 18, 2014 at 10:57 am
264 comments »
  • September 20, 2014 at 9:02 amgrayne

    mushishi is good, but can’t understand the constant fawning over it. rather overrate in that regard.

    • September 20, 2014 at 6:48 pmgrayne

      “Mushishi is like a gift to anime, and anime’s gift to the world”

      Lol steady on now

      • September 20, 2014 at 11:30 pmSolace

      • September 21, 2014 at 6:48 amgrayne

        I do like it and it is good, just think that the constant ‘worshipping’ is a bit much

    • September 21, 2014 at 8:31 pmJohn Hunt

      If there’s one thing I don’t really get the constant fawning and fanaticism over Fate/Stay Night and yet I still think it’s a good show, I just never got why it’s supposed to be the be all end all. I mean all Type/Moon stuff I’ve found pretty interesting, I guess there’s just nothing that really convinces me as to why it should be elevated so far above the rest of the pack in terms of expectations and anticipating, same with Psycho Pass. Plus we’re talking about an remake adaptation of a 10 year old visual novel game so many people are already familiar with. It just strikes me as kind of odd and kind of damning that that’s the show most people are looking forward to along with a sequel to a sci-fi psychologically thriller that has basically undergone a total overhaul in the staff and studio working on it.

      • September 23, 2014 at 12:24 amanon

        The original Fate/Stay Night anime was never considered good, but the source material has a big following as does the Nasu-verse in general. UFOtable is also one of best renowned anime studios out there and they did a great job with Fate/Zero and KnK so that’s a big reason why the hype for this new adaption is so high.

      • September 23, 2014 at 2:32 pmFlareKnight

        Well when you think about it, the most anticipated stuff is usually going to be these kinds of shows. There are always surprises that challenge for the best of a season, but if we knew which those would be they wouldn’t be surprises.

        The most anticipated is obviously going to be something that has something familiar. Sequels certainly fit since you are already familiar with the quality that can be there. And for UBW, if a VN has the staying power to spawn all these sequels even now then it’s not surprising that people are hyped for it.

    • September 25, 2014 at 6:09 amYeahRight

      Agreed. They are laying the praises a little too thick on Mushishi. It’s good IMHO and I like it but let’s not go overboard.

    • September 26, 2014 at 5:33 pmAgreed

      Totally right? I mean, how can other people love a series that you think is just good? It’s just inconceivable.

      • September 27, 2014 at 8:35 pmYeahRight

        Mushishi is the kind of anime that many ‘anime connoiseurs’ want to brag having watched it because it’s so ‘deep’ and ‘thoughtful’, as compared to the other trashy contemporary animes which only the tasteless masses would enjoy.

  • September 20, 2014 at 9:10 amJ_the_Man

    I somehow compiled a list of 21 shows I want to watch. Throw in Akame Ga Kill… My goodness. I’ve never touched more than 15 shows before. My free time :*(

  • September 20, 2014 at 11:10 amRigelin

    Hmm this season seems like it’ll be a hit or miss for me. Not sure what to think about any of the titles.

    After being spoiled for a season with Haikyuu, Baby Steps, and Nozaki-kun; and to a lesser extent Aldnoah, Hanayamata, SAO2, and Zankyou, I feel a little disappointed in this lineup. But you never know till the season starts!

    • September 20, 2014 at 12:11 pmCady

      I agree. Spring anime had so much flair that this lineup just runs at second this year. Not that I’m complaining. This buys me time to finish my initially planned to-watch list and just catch up later on in the highly
      received shows.

  • September 20, 2014 at 11:40 amFlayvor Of Evil

    SSSSSSSSSSSLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

    • September 25, 2014 at 11:15 amjltrm

      don’t get this.. and its bugging me lol.

      can someone explain to me please? :)

      • September 26, 2014 at 2:47 pmo_o

        Watch Aldnoah Zero.

  • September 20, 2014 at 12:05 pmdeVaras

    5 minute Tenchi episodes . . .who exactly thought that was a good idea? :/

  • September 20, 2014 at 5:59 pmTunafish Man

  • September 20, 2014 at 9:02 pmgustave154

    wow thanks for the list! definitely looking forward to watching Grisaia. Lets hope it is as good as the VN.

  • September 20, 2014 at 10:08 pmJolly

    Ugh…so much fantasy!
    *sigh* but still, there are a few scifis this season

  • September 21, 2014 at 1:15 amsadakups

    Two Gundam shows + the return of YowaPeda and Psycho Pass = awesome season for me.

  • September 21, 2014 at 1:49 amPtolemaios00

    Damn, I was hoping for a Fate Heaven’s Feel anime. The UBW movie wasn’t particularly awesome, but hopefully a series will be able to flesh out what the movie jumped around.

    • September 23, 2014 at 4:19 pmMenu Maker

      Me too. UBW was the path I liked the least. HF was a surprise, definitely a different flavour from the othe two.
      Hope the movie won’t be too watered down.

  • September 21, 2014 at 7:13 amGermanguy

    i saw Gundam Reconguista in G promo video, and my Heart enjoy the Style. The Drawing technique is 70-80 years Style. a bit of Nausicca, in short many Studio Ghibli vibes, raised inside me

    But my Brain, was a bit disappointed. This “old stuff” is nothing for the Generations of today. As if they watching TV in these old tube televisions. Today the generation is used to HD, Handy and Computer CGI, even TV Promotions are more present Style as this one feels.

    I think i saw a bit of CGI Sequence at this Space Lift. But compare this Style with a Update Anime Style, like Aldonoah Zero. The Vibes of the current Animes is different

    i think, the younger Generation will not get hooked, because of the viewable content (and the 70-80 sound effect)

    But i will give this Show my 3 Episode “do i get hooked?” test

    • September 22, 2014 at 4:28 amGermanguy

      Now i found it again, this Art of Drawing Style and Time-slot, reminds me of Ozuma Anime. Yes, this Anime, with this Submarine under the Sand. Same Vibes.. And Do someone watched it? At that time i was thinking Ozuma was just an Time-slot filler and that was in year 2012…

      Source: http://randomc.net/category/ozuma/

  • September 21, 2014 at 8:36 amzarathos

    Man what is up with this season? After going through the list it seems like i’m following 23 series and I have no idea how i’m gonna keep up. On another note I sure am worried about the Grisaia no kaijutsu adaptation. Those of you who have also read the VN probably know what I’m talking about. Without adapting all the routes most of the story will be unknown and people wont be able to fully enjoy the series. At the same time considering how difficult it will be to use all the routes because of how the stories overlap. All in all I think the adaptation will turn out bad which is heartbreaking for a fan like myself.

  • September 21, 2014 at 11:36 amXefjord

    Urgh… I don’t know what to watch! Or rather, where to start!

    • September 21, 2014 at 4:02 pmKingofConquerors

      Fate/Stay Night
      Mushishi Zoku Shou 2nd Season (Tomino’s back FTW!!!)
      Gundam G Reconguista
      Sanzaku na Musume Ronja

      They’ve got greater pedigrees talent behind them, not to mention looking the most promising.

  • September 21, 2014 at 6:02 pms_w

    OMG Denki Gai no Honya-saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

    That’s an awesome little manga. Could be another Nozaki… it won’t have as broad an appeal, definitely, but I’m so stoked for this.

    Oh yeah, Log Horizon 2 is a definite watch for me as well. I’ve already read through vol.7, so I’m wondering how far they’re gonna go, and how they’re going to animate it. (Vol. 8 is coming out this week, IIRC.) Should be fun!

    More Chaika, that’s good. Koutei, koutei, kansha!

    In a similar vein, Madan no Ou to Vanadis might be good. Read some of the source material, and it’s not bad. Might be more interesting animated.

    Oh, and Yama no Susume continues! (I think? I hope?)

    Other than that… everything else gets 3 eps. I’ve got a pretty wide and weird strike zone, but those shows that don’t do it for me get the boot pretty fast. Yeah, the Ghibli thing gets the same chance as “OreTwintails.” Pedigree can sometimes inform, and sometimes deceive. (Even great directors make bad shows from time to time, and even wretched sounding shows can be pretty damn entertaining!)

  • September 21, 2014 at 9:43 pmTripleSRank

    I’m particularly looking forward to Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. Amagi Brilliant Park and Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete look interesting too. I actually have hopes for Akatsuki no Yona since I liked Scrapped Princess and it seems reminiscent, but I suppose we’ll see.

    ‘Not really feeling it with the action-y series this time around. I haven’t been following the originals and Zankyou no Terror from this season was a disappointment for me, so I’ll likely hold off unless I hear a lot of positive things.

    I discovered this site a few months back and thought it seemed pretty cool, but I forgot about it afterwards. After happening onto a different anime blog, I remembered this place and figured I’d start following once the fall season starts.

    Nice to meet you, everyone~

  • September 21, 2014 at 10:54 pmdany

    hmm i’m waiting the most for donten ni warau
    i love the manga but i’m bit worries…12 eps and the manga is completed…hope they won’t cut/change to much
    and no airing date yet :(

  • September 22, 2014 at 3:25 ammegalith

    The most stacked season since FOREVER.

    2 Gundam series
    3 sequels
    1 remake
    2 completely new shows

    I don’t even know how I can watch all of these…. God dammit..

    Also sad to know that Gundam Build Fighters Try will have a different director. I really like how the director paced season 1. Here’s hoping he delivers.

  • September 22, 2014 at 3:26 amdjian87

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

    • September 25, 2014 at 4:49 pmPeTdo

      Anime compatibility :
      djian87 will not get along with pokpok.
      Damn so this is how the affinity system work.

  • September 22, 2014 at 7:30 amOwaranai

    Lots of awesome stuff this season. Should be a welcome break from the enigmas like Glasslip and Ald.noah Zero (which had an ending I unfortunately hated).

    That said, I’m most looking forward to Amagi Brilliant Park, Fate/Stay and Madan no Ou as well as Log Horizon. Amagi for its humor for as far as I’ve read the manga, which seemed pretty solid with an awesome protagonist, Fate/Stay simply for the UBW storyline, Horizon to continue a good story with solid characters and Madan for what should be a good mix of everything.

    Madan’s obviously my favorite since I’ve read quite a long way up the novels, and most of the characters are given ample time for development. For any novel adaptation though, I’ll still be cautiously optimistic about how it will fare.

    For now, really looking forward to the new season.

  • September 22, 2014 at 9:25 ammichaelman90

    Really excited to see Madan no Ou; in my opinion the light novels are really interesting, though I kind of wonder how they will translate to animation.

    I have to wonder why UBW is being done again when there’s already been a movie made for it. Sure, a full series can go into more detail than a movie, but I’d like to see something new done.

    Seems like a fairly interesting season, will probably pick up random series.

  • September 22, 2014 at 1:22 pmM.I.L.K

    This season looks pretty disappointing. :/ Psycho pass is the only series that caught my eye.

    I don’t get why there isn’t a slice of life or even action/supernatural show with a whole bunch of straight manly looking men in their 20′s-30′s going around living their life, and all of them having interest in a different women.

    Instead I see a bunch of girly looking men all going after this ONE chick. A bunch of girly looking men in the edo period. Or a bunch of girly looking men being well…..girly in general.

    Is that the ‘WANTS’ from anime fan girls but I’m a different fan girl and just like my men to look manly?

    • October 17, 2014 at 6:57 amFlayvorOfEvil

      Fist of the North Star and Jojo.

  • September 22, 2014 at 1:43 pmGuml3all

    o.o cant wait!!

  • September 22, 2014 at 10:55 pmSaburau

    Knowing the original novel, I would say Amaburi will rock as an anime.

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  • September 23, 2014 at 8:35 pmKuma Kuma

    My watch List (mostly pre-established for me):
    1) TERRAFORMARS – Liked the manga, a lot of action fighting Alien at Mars with political, betrayal, and hidden agenda spice up from inside. Very informative on introducting insect and animal around us but not known by many.
    2) Selector Spread WIXOSS – Its like watched the train wreak, its killing me inside on all tragedy but I can’t stop watching. Need more Tama’s “RU, BATTORU~!”, hope she is back soon.
    3) Log Horizon 2 – Nuff says. More bad ass Megane and Akatsuki~.
    4) Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works – Ufotable & FSN. What could goes wrong.
    5) Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road – I can’t believe I missed this awesome manga! After skimmed through a few chapter, I am totally hooked.
    6) Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle – Chaika…back.., Kansha!
    7) Sanzoku no Musume Ronja – Did someone say Studio Ghibli & Goro Miyazaki?

    Will gives these series a try;
    1) Amagi Brilliant Park – Fumoffu~
    2) Gundam Reconguista in G – Don’t know much about Tomino Yoshiyuki. Only watched gundam only from Gundam Wing onward. Will try to see if how the series goes with its original creator in lead.
    3) Madan no Ou to Vanadis – The manga is quite good, but worry the adaption might fall into fan service trap.
    4) Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete – See if this can evoke my feel train.
    5) Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo – Dragon VS Mecha = Dragon Flare vs Laser Cannon.
    6) Grisaia no Kajitsu – heard a lot good thing about the VN.
    7) Sora no Method – “Kanon” and “Sola”. Will give it a try.
    8) Shingeki no Bahamut GENESIS – Ok, I am sold to promotion material, Berserk vibe, Colossal and dragon.Hope not too much CGI.
    9) Gundam Build Fighters Try – heard a lot good thing about the original Gundam Build Fighters. Might marathon it first before see this.
    10) Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu – Not a fan to the arts, but will give it a try for fight for survival plot.
    11) PSYCHO-PASS 2 – Dang, stop at ep. 3 season 1, need to marathon it.

    Including Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen & Akame ga Kill. This will be 10 hours a week for anime. Time management, time management… D:

  • September 24, 2014 at 12:12 pmLyfe

    I’m going into this season blind, I only know about Log Horizon lol. But I’m looking forward to downloading a load of stuff and seeing if a show is worth watching, I’ll likely check this place out to see what people think of stuff to get some suggestions.

  • September 27, 2014 at 5:35 amSolaris

    I have maximum expectations for Log Horizon. I’ve read all of the volumes and especially the sixth was awesome so I look forward to see it animated now. Anyway it doesn’t look there’s enough material for 25 episodes, does it? Do we expect anime original arcs maybe?
    Anyhow this season sure is packed with UBW remaked and first studio Gibli’s serie. Time to buy another HD…

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:56 pmHavoc

    Having read the Nanatsu no Taizai manga, this is definitely a gem to watch out for. Unless they completely screw up the simple plot and the action scenes….

  • October 3, 2014 at 7:51 amShinsekaiyori

    This season is gonna be so great with Mushishi and Psycho Pass 2. OMG CAN’T WAIT!!!

  • October 5, 2014 at 1:02 pmGermanguy

    @Shingeki no Bahamut GENESIS

    This is Cowboy Bebop in a Fantasy Setting with heavy Spanish Blood. Favaro!!! Yes, yes.

    • October 5, 2014 at 1:13 pmGermanguy

      oh, and a “Long John” *snickers* :)

    • October 13, 2014 at 9:52 amGermanguy

      Shingeki no Bahamut GENESIS Ep 2:

      I must say this. if this Episode had some CGI in it, then it fooled my Eye. I dont saw any difference. But then The Animation so far is Top notch.

      You should give it a try, if you loved Cowboy Bebop.

    • October 20, 2014 at 10:36 amGermanguy

      Ep 03:

      A Episode with a bit of Action again. But here and there you could see some little drops in Animation quality. Looks like the Budget Wound is about to hit the Production. But fear not, the Episode is still good Animated.

  • October 6, 2014 at 12:06 pmRockmanshii

    Many thanks for the preview as always, finally organized myself to read it. You guys’ preview is still my favorite.

  • October 8, 2014 at 12:45 pmgilvin

    High Hopes for this season :D

  • October 9, 2014 at 12:12 pmGermanguy

    @Shirobako

    I dont want to spoil the beans, but Oh my God, this Girl has amazing Driving skills. Drifting goddess Oi-chan!!!

    • October 24, 2014 at 7:28 amGermanguy

      Just to say, that i Like this Anime. We are now in Episode 3, and i get good entertainment. Please continue doing so

  • October 10, 2014 at 9:27 amGermanguy

    @Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu.

    This Show is on my Temp Watch List for 3 Episodes.

    Episode 1 is okay, i think i need more Episodes to get a Grip.

    For my gusto, the Boy has a strange fetish…

    • October 10, 2014 at 9:31 amGermanguy

      i can not stopping getting Vibes from this Show:
      Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W

      The Girls remind me strong of this Show…

      Same Producer or something? Can an Otaku help me out here?

  • October 12, 2014 at 6:58 pmsealouse

    Hey is anyone going to blog the first episode(s) of Shingeki no Bahamut?

  • October 15, 2014 at 11:11 amKendra

    Sorry but is anyone gonna review Shingeki no Bahamut? I just watched the first episode and it is imho awesome!

    • October 15, 2014 at 2:07 pmStilts

      Sorry, we kind of missed the boat on that (and Terra Formars). Everyone was super swamped when it was released, so by the time any of us watched it (me), it was a week too late to blog it.

      It’s looking like I’m going to keep up with it though, so you can expect to hear about it on the monthly impressions & perhaps podcasts. We’ll be better about intros (and picking up worthy shows) next season, when the first few weeks don’t feature three writers going on hiatus and two being on or freshly back from big vacations, lol

      • October 16, 2014 at 10:18 amfish-fish

        Aww, that sorta sucks about not covering SnB. I just watched the first 2 episodes of it and its so fun. Really a breath of fresh air. Especially love the character design (sorta reminds me of cowboy bebop for some reason). Their faces are so expressive and their body shapes and sizes are so varied and ‘normal’ looking compared to the constant deluge of perfectly proportioned anime gals and guys.
        After so many animes where the main characters are your basic brown/black/blonde hair with normal looking hairstyle, its fun to have a main character with an orange afro.
        And the animation’s really cool ^^ Still can’t believe it’s based off of a video game.

        As for TerraFormers, I can do without it. I thought Tokyo Ghoul’s censor was bad but the Terraformers censoring thing is ridiculous to the point where I might as well just watch a blank computer screen.

      • October 18, 2014 at 5:17 pmsealouse

        It’s never too late to post about something. Oh well I’ll look forward to reading about it in the monthly impressions.

  • December 6, 2014 at 6:44 amjltrm

    @ RC staff: any ETA on the Winter 2015 preview?

    • December 7, 2014 at 2:59 pmjltrm

      @ RC staff: any ETA on the Winter 2015 preview?

      • December 10, 2014 at 2:53 pmjltrm

        someone from RC have info?

      • December 10, 2014 at 2:57 pmPatty

        Shut up already. The Fall season isn’t even over yet.

      • December 10, 2014 at 3:29 pmjltrm

        1 cour/season = 12-13 episodes. most currently airing animes are current on episode 11, i.e finishing in next week or week after. i would classify that as close enough to the season end to warrant at least some info on when the next preview can be expected.

        i come to this website primarily for the season previews, as i suspect is the case for a significant number of people. therefore it would be nice, and in the interests of a large number of visitors, to give an indication of when the next one might be out.

        if you disagree, be civil/rational about it at least.

      • December 10, 2014 at 5:32 pmStilts

        Look at the season preview category. You can expect the post to go out on, before, or shortly after the same day the winter preview was posted last year.

        When in doubt, just wait. We don’t miss previews. You can rest assured it will always come out before the new season begins in earnest.

        Oh, and we never give an indication of when the preview will be out, because the answer is always the same: “Same time as last year.” So I wouldn’t expect any updates until it appears, this time or in the future. We’re too busy actually working on it.

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