The new year is rapidly approaching and the winter anime season along with it, so I’d like to present my detailed look into all the upcoming series. As usual, I plan to watch all the ones that interest me to a certain degree and have listed my intentions in the entries below. This season, I only plan to pick up a couple more shows to blog though, as I’d like to take more time away from the site for personal reasons. The past year has been an ambitious one given the number of shows I covered every season, and it’s set some unrealistic long-term expectations on what comes out of the site. Rather than continuing at the feverish pace of 12-16 shows per season, I plan to drop my personal load to a much more reasonable 3-5 shows and take on more in some seasons if time permits. I had only planned to cover four shows this winter, but with STAR DRIVER and To Aru Majutsu no Index II added to my plate, I’m going to make time for six. That will still put me at post a day if I include the Naruto manga, which combined with Kiiragi, Takaii, and Prooof’s coverage, means there shouldn’t be any noticeable shortage of new content.


Disclaimer: Regular readers of the site probably already know that my tastes are fairly diverse, but a quick look at MyAnimeList should give everyone else an idea of my sixteen or so years of history with anime. With that in mind, please be aware that I’ll often watch mediocre and even controversial series for the sake of variety, or simply so that I can make an informed judgment at the end. However, I would only recommend such shows if you’ve seen something similar, enjoyed it to a certain degree, and know what you’re getting yourself into. I still have my usual genres, so it’s usually not too difficult for me to decide what to watch based on premise, art style, production, and cast (a big one for me) after going through some promotional material. For the purpose of this preview, I’ll try to identify what appeals to me about each series, in hopes that it will help you determine if it coincides with your own tastes.

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


Anime Series


Technical Note: The list is ordered by the date and time that the shows premiere. The links in the schedule will take you to a series’ corresponding entry and the “Top” links on the right will bring you back. You can also use the back/forward buttons in your browser to jump between links you’ve clicked. All times are given in a 24-hour, relative-day format where times are extended to show which day they belong to. For instance, Friday morning at 1:30AM would become Thursday at 25:30 to show that the episode aired late Thursday night.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
07:00 NTV (1/9)
Dragon Crisis!
25:30 CTC (1/10)
Rio -RainbowGate!-
23:00 MX (1/4)
16:00 (12/23)
22:00 ANIMAX (1/7)
Cardfight!! Vanguard
08:00 TX (1/8)
Suite PreCure ♪
08:30 EX (2/6)
Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?
25:30 TVS (1/10)
Kimi ni Todoke 2ND SEASON
24:59 NTV (1/4)
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
25:25 MBS (1/6)
25:23 TX (1/7)
09:30 AT-X (1/8)
25:45 TX (1/10)
IS Infinite Stratos
25:25 TBS (1/6)
Onii-chan no Koto ga Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!
24:30 tvk (1/8)
22:55 NHK (3/14-18, 3/21-25)
Yumekui Merry
25:55 TBS (1/6)
Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu!
26:58 MBS (1/8)
24:45 CX (1/13)
Hourou Musuko
25:15 CX (1/13)

* Others: Houkago no Pleiades, SUPERNATURAL THE ANIMATION

Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: December 23, 2010
Genre: Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 16:00
Episodes: 13 (26 half episodes on animate) Station:
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
An adaptation of honeybee’s popular 2009 otome games makes its premiere ahead of the official season opener on’s paid streaming site. The televised broadcast won’t start until February, but those dying to see male personifications of the twelve zodiac constellations need not wait. Starring a heroine named Yahisa Tsukiko (Orikasa Fumiko), the series revolves around her time spent at Seigetsu Academy, an all-boys school specializing in astronomy (befittingly) that has recently turned co-ed. It’s an all too familiar setup, except the focus is on Tsukiko’s school life interactions with the various candidates vying for her heart. The biggest appeals are the guys’ temperament as per their astrological sign, and the seiyuu cast to portray them. It’s truly an all-star male lineup that’s had numerous leading roles, and includes the likes of Fukuyama Jun, Hirakawa Daisuke, Hoshi Shouichirou, Ishida Akira, Kamiya Hiroshi, Kishio Daisuke, Midorikawa Hikaru, Nakamura Yuuichi, Ono Daisuke, Sugita Tomokazu, Suzumura Kenichi, and Yusa Kouji. If I was asked to quickly identify twelve big male seiyuu, these would have all easily made the list. To top it off, they’re also including a thirteenth constellation, Ophiuchus, whose character will be voiced by Miyano Mamoru. Given the cast and diverse range of characters, I can definitely see the appeal to the female demographic that the games are oriented towards, but I’ve never been a huge fan of the so-called “reverse harem”. I am however interested in the romance aspect, particularly with the way they’ve allocated one episode per character. After getting a taste of the omnibus format and enjoying its use, I’m curious as to how effectively they can cram an entire story into a single episode. I’ll probably be checking out an episode or two just to see that, but I can’t really see myself following this one all the way through. I do enjoy hearing Fumiko in lead roles though, so I may check back for a few more if the first couple turn out to be good.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Rio RainbowGate!Top
Animation: XEBEC Premiere: January 4, 2011
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
A series that’s hard to make heads or tails out of this season would be the anime on pachinko slot maker Net and video game developer Tecmo Koei‘s popular character Rio Rollins. She first appeared in Net’s Super Black Jack pachinko games back in 2003, and has been featured in enough games since then to warrant her own anime. The story for this original take finds Rio (Inoue Marina) working as a dealer at the Howard Resort casino. Taking after her mother who was a famous dealer, she’s nicknamed the “Goddess of Victory” and is now looking to collect thirteen legendary cards known as “Gates” to earn the title of Most Valuable Casino Dealer (MVCD). What that prestige entitles her to isn’t all that clear, but the inclusion of various support characters is, ranging from fellow dealers, bunny girl hostesses, the daughter of a multi-millionaire, a Hollywood actress, a perverted resort owner, a magician, and even an air-headed android. With XEBEC behind the production, I can’t really say I’m expecting too much given the type of shows that they tend to undertake. While the support cast is rounded out with popular seiyuu like Taketatsu Ayana, Hikasa Youko, and Chihara Minori in addition to less seen ones these days, Shimizu Kaori and Takahashi Chiaki, the main appeal for me is the gambling portions if they’re depicted in a semi-realistic and interesting fashion. Otherwise, it looks like this may fall suspect to being just a series where Rio beats up bad guys to obtain the Gates along with the occasional fan-service thanks to the perverted owner of the resort. There’s always the possibility that it will turn out much better than it appears, but judging from the premise and promo videos, there really isn’t a lot in the way of grabbing my immediate attention.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Rio RainbowGate Promotional Videos ▼

Kimi ni Todoke 2ND SEASON | 君に届け 2ND SEASON Top
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: January 4, 2011
Genre: Drama, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 24:59
Episodes: 13 Station: Nippon TV (NTV)
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Assuming you watched Production I.G’s adaptation of the first season, the continuation of the high school romantic comedy about the timid and easily misunderstood Kuronuma Sawako (Noto Mamiko) and her mutual yet slowly progressing love for the unbelievably nice and refreshing Kazehaya Shouta (Namikawa Daisuke) would be one of the highlights this season. It features a touching and heartwarming story about two people who just can’t seem to convey their feelings for one another, with a lighthearted side to it from all the quirky character interactions. Much of the first season focused on Sawako befriending Shouta, Sanada Ryuu (Nakamura Yuuichi), Yoshida Chizuru (Sanpei Yuuko), and Yano Ayane (Sawashiro Miyuki), plus the problems that arose from Kurumizawa Ume’s (Hirano Aya) underhanded schemes as a love rival. At the time, the series felt a bit lacking with its inconclusive finale where Sawako and Shouta took several steps forward, save for the one that would actually put them in a relationship. It still made for a worthwhile romantic drama that was screaming for a sequel, leading us to the very welcomed one we have here. This time around, the introduction of a male love rival, Miura Kento (Miyano Mamoru), will serve as the catalyst to get their slow moving relationship off the ground, which should be interesting since Ume played a similar role to some degree of success. I’m actually looking forward to seeing how Shouta copes with Kento’s advances, considering Sawako was rather passive and oblivious to Ume’s tactics before. A lot of my enjoyment in this series comes from how innocent and cute Sawako and Shouta are together, so that’s one aspect of the series I hope to see more of, as well as where the external pressure and help from their friends take them. Despite the somewhat slow pacing at times, this is still an easy series to recommend to anyone looking for something of the romance kind.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Kiiragi Will Blog This: Guaranteed
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica | 魔法少女まどか★マギカ Top
Animation: SHAFT Premiere: January 6, 2011
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:25
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
One series getting a lot of buzz is SHAFT’s original take on a magical girl anime. What started as Shinbou Akiyuki‘s desire to direct an adaptation of one while working on Hidamari Sketch and Bakemonogatari ultimately led to the green light on a completely original series when producer Iwakami Atsuhiro was interested in seeing what kind of magical girl anime Shinbou would create with his unique style. Using his connections from previous projects, Shinbou brought in Hidamari Sketch creator Aoki Ume for the character designs, Cossette no Shouzou composer Kajiura Yuki for the music, and Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ writer Urobuchi Gen for the script. The combination is rather unique and comes with the addition of Kajiura’s Kalafina group performing the ending theme, alongside newly formed idol unit ClariS coming off of Oreimo to perform the opening one. Starring Yuuki Aoi as the heroine Kaname Madoka, with Saitou Chiwa, Mizuhashi Kaori, Kitamura Eri, and Katou Emiri as support characters, Shinbou has gathered a plethora of talent to take this series in whatever direction he pleases. Incidentally, it’s the people behind this original animation that has generated a lot of the hype, as the only bit of premise revealed is that second-year middle schooler Madoka has a fated encounter one day that begins a new magical girl story. Quite frankly, I’m kind of wary about exactly what kind of series Shinbou will create when he has complete freedom over his unique form of expression, but the addition of Urobuchi and Kajiura sure makes me want to find out. I just hope we don’t get something with too many scenes filled with text and focus on eye pupils, two things he tends to favor in his adaptations. I will get a good chuckle out of seeing a magical girl anime that’s heavy on dialogue, since it’s something I could see him pulling off well with the right script. It’s still hard to say if all the anticipation is warranted, but when it comes to original series with a notable production staff, I can’t help but feel a little excited about it as well.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Good Odds I’ll Takaii Will Blog This: Guaranteed
Show Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Promotional Videos ▼

IS Infinite Stratos | IS インフィニット・ストラトスTop
Animation: 8-Bit Premiere: January 6, 2011
Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance, Sci-fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:25
Episodes: 12 Station: TBS
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Combining a romantic school comedy and high-speed mechs, this light novel adaptation brings together two of my favorite genres in a distinctly different way than STAR DRIVER. Rather than a high school, 15-year-old Orimura Ichika (Uchiyama Kouki) is forced to attend an academy to learn how to pilot a powered exoskeleton known as Infinite Stratos, or IS for short, after he mistakenly signs up for an exam there and it’s discovered they react to him. The twist is, he’s the only male in the world who’s able to operate an IS, which is notable considering the weapons have single-handedly shifted societal power to women due to their military prowess. Upon entering, he’s soon reunited with his childhoods friends Shinonono Houki (Hikasa Youko) and Fann Rinin (Shimoda Asami), in addition to various representatives from other countries, Cecilia Alcott (Yukana), Charlotte Dunois (Hanazawa Kana), and Laura Bodevihhi (Inoue Marina). His older sister Chifuyu (Toyoguchi Megumi), the champion of the first IS world tournament whom he’s grown up with alone, ends up being his instructor too. Considered a “high-speed school battle romantic comedy”, this series places emphasis on the IS scrimmages just as much as the relationships, particularly Houki’s interest in Ichika whom she hasn’t seen in six years. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of Sky Girls and STRIKE WITCHES, with the differences being the school setting and male protagonist to center the romance around. With Kikuchi Yasuhito directing and 8-Bit doing the animation, both of whom worked on Macross Frontier, I can’t wait to see what kind of high-speed battle scenes they pull off together. 8-Bit co-produced the movie specifically too, so they’re no stranger to animating awesome aerial battles. The promo videos have already given me a taste of them and I liked every second of it. Even if it weren’t for those two things, the premise is right up my alley, and the series features nice character designs with a great cast of seiyuu (including Kouki who debuted as Soul in SOUL EATER), making this a guaranteed watch for me.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Guaranteed
Show Infinite Stratos Promotional Videos ▼

Yumekui Merry | 夢喰いメリー Top
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: January 6, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:55
Episodes: 13 Station: TBS
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Titled “Dream Eater Merry”, the story about high school student Fujiwara Yumeji (Okamoto Nobuhiko) is as much about the real world as it is the dream world. Ever since he was little, Yumeji’s had the unusual ability to see what kind of dreams people have had based on the color of the aura they radiate, albeit with only about 30% accuracy. The one time he’s completely certain is when he sees a black one, indicating that it was a nightmare. Currently living with his childhood friend Tachibana Isana (Kayano Ai) due to his parents’ work, Yumeji’s been constantly having nightmares about cats chasing him, which a mysterious girl named Merry Nightmare (Sakura Ayane) later reveals are inhabitants of the dream world that are trying to come to the real one by taking over humans in their sleep. Merry also happens to be one such “Nightmare”, except she doesn’t recall how she got to the real world and is only looking for a way back. In her search for answers, she learns that the Nightmare plaguing Yumeji, John Doe “The Chaser” (Nakata Jouji), seems to know something about her past, so the two of them use their combined abilities to find a way for Merry to return to the dream world and to save Yumeji’s literary club friends from other Nightmares. Aside from the modern setting, the otherworldly premise shrouded in mystery reminds me a lot of Pandora Hearts. Replace Alice with Merry and we have something strikingly similar, which interests me for that very reason. The depiction of the dream world is surreal as well, and the threat of the Nightmares extends beyond when humans are sleeping due to daydreaming, giving a sense that Yumeji and Merry have their work cut out for them. Produced by J.C. Staff, this manga adaptation has both the story and backing to turn out really well, but I only had a lukewarm impression from the first few chapters that I read. The emphasis was more on the high school life and Yumeji’s interactions with Merry (who’s a bit of a tsundere), than the Nightmares from chance encounters. Still, all the unanswered questions served as an interesting plot device to keep me interested, in addition to Yumeji’s ability to spot people who are being taken over by Nightmares that prompts him and Merry to fight them off and free the victims. The series is also directed by Yamauchi Shigeyasu, whose work in Casshern Sins I really liked, so I’ll probably be checking this out to see what direction he takes it.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Good Odds I’ll Kiiragi Will Blog This: Guaranteed
Show Yumekui Merry Promotional Videos ▼

Wolverine | ウルヴァリン Top
Animation: Madhouse x Marvel Premiere: January 7, 2011
Genre: Action Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: ANIMAX
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Coming off the completion of Iron Man, Madhouse is bringing us their second Marvel project this season, Wolverine. This time, the adaptation about the claw-toting mutant James Howlett, a.k.a. Logan, focuses on one of his trips out East, after he meets and falls in love with a Japanese woman named Yashida Mariko (Orikasa Fumiko) in New York. When she suddenly goes missing, Logan travels to Japan in search of her, only to find out that she’s the daughter of the head of the Kuzuryuu yakuza organization, Yashida Shingen (Shibata Hidekatsu), who forcibly brought her back to marry an influential member of the crime city-state of Madripoor. In his attempt to rescue her, Logan is hit with a poisonous needle that drastically reduces his superhuman regenerative abilities, is defeated, and left for dead. A mysterious woman named Yukio (Paku Romi) later saves him though, and together they take up the fight against Shingen again. Given that this is an anime, I kind of like how Wolverine’s been dropped into a Japanese setting rather than retelling the same story with a Japanese studio behind it. The character designs have also been completely redone since the teaser material that Madhouse released a while back, and look a lot better because of it. Much like Iron Man, Warren Ellis has provided the story for this series, which I find pretty straightforward yet interesting at the same time with the inclusion of a strong female support character. The cast looks promising as well, with Koyama Rikiya taking on the starring role as Wolverine. For some reason, I still can’t seem to get excited about these superhero East meets West collaborations though. I do feel that they’re a worthwhile endeavor much like when Korean manhwa get adapted, but I’m already familiar with the American cartoons and have gotten my fill of them when I was younger. I do plan to check out the very first episode of this at the very least, and see if it’s something I want to keep up with. After all, Wolverine was one of the superheros I liked the most growing up, even though I never got into the comics.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Wolverine Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: BONES Premiere: January 7, 2011
Genre: Horror, Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:23
Episodes: 24 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Mystery series aren’t something you see a lot of these days, so an adaptation of Sakuraba Kazuki‘s mystery novels is worth unraveling this season. Set in the post World War I year of 1924, a Japanese exchange student named Kujou Kazuya (Eguchi Takuya) finds himself at St. Marguerite Academy in Saubure, a small fictitious kingdom in Europe. It’s a school normally for aristocrats, where urban legends and ghost stories are widespread, including one that labels Kazuya as a traveler who brings death. Before long, he’s caught up in a murder case and becomes the primary suspect, which Victorique de Blois (Yuuki Aoi), a mysterious doll-like girl who’s always at the top floor of the school library, eventually clears his name from. Things quickly pick up from that point on, as Kazuya ends up serving as a proxy to Victorique for the terrible police detective that falsely accused him, Grevil de Blois (Kiuchi Hidenobu), and starts suspecting the new international student Avril Bradley when more mysteries start taking place. Balancing out the darker side of this series is the witty interactions between Kazuya and Victorique, whom he has to bribe with snacks from Japan to get any sort of help out of. There’s also the eccentrically pathetic Grevil, who is actually an aristocrat hobbyist that completely relies on Victorique to solve all his crimes. My impression of the first few chapters of the manga version was that it has a lot of the same elements as Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin, except the mystery aspect was much more prominent. The arrival of Avril sends suspicions flying, as does Victorique herself with her doll-like appearance, smoking pipe, and old womanly manner of speech. The format didn’t simply jump from case to case either, and instead had overarching plot that kept me captivated and wondering where the mysteries would take Kazuya next. With BONES behind the production and true tears/Toradora’s Okada Mari behind the series composition, I’m eager to see how this one turns out. I’m not too fond of how they dropped the drama CD cast of Irino Miyu, Saitou Chiwa, Koyasu Takehito, and Kawakami Tomoko in favor of a relatively green one though. To add to the mystery, the producers are also withholding who’s been cast to play Victorique and Avril until the series actually premieres. It’s a bit disappointing since I could easily picture the drama cast in all these roles, but the change isn’t going to stop me from checking a somewhat rare horror mystery series out.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show GOSICK Promotional Videos ▼

Cardfight!! Vanguard | カードファイト!! ヴァンガード Top
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: January 8, 2011
Genre: Action, Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 08:00
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Usually the source material comes out before an anime, but for Bushiroad‘s latest trading card game, they’ve decided to cut to the chase and get the anime out first. The game itself is a collaboration between Yu-Gi-Oh! R manga creator Itou Akira and Duel Masters technical advisor Nakamura Satoshi. The anime on the other hand centers around one Sendou Aichi, in the not too distant future where the card game Vanguard has become all the rage. As a kindhearted yet timid boy, Aichi was often bullied until his introduction to the game of Vanguard turned that around. In his growth in the game and as an individual, Aichi soon sets his sights on a player he respects, Kai Toshiki, who possesses the talent to be the nation’s best Vanguard player but doesn’t seem to participate in any tournaments. Upon meeting Toshiki again after several years, Aichi soon finds out that he’s become oddly cold and distant. Where that takes them I’m not entirely sure, but that’s the basic premise laid forth. Like most trading card game anime, the battles are depicted in an alternate world — Clay Planet — where the players do battle with one another with the units they summon. Most noticeable are Aichi’s Blaster Blade and Toshiki’s Dragonic Overlord that are seen in all the promo material. Clearly, this is an anime intended to promote the new card game, so as someone not particularly interested in them, it should be obvious what my plans are with this one. The only trading card game I’ve ever played is Magic: The Gathering many years ago, and haven’t ever been interested in any others since. The 8am time slot this is airing in also suggests that it’s targeted more towards a younger audience. While shows like this, Pokemon, Digimon, and Yu-Gi-Oh do appeal to older crowds, they’re never something I’m inclined to get into.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Cardfight Vanguard Promotional Videos ▼

FREEZING | フリージング Top
Animation: A.C.G.T Premiere: January 8, 2011
Genre: Action, Romance, Sci-fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 09:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Korean manhwa author Dall-Young Lim‘s sci-fi action series FREEZING is making its way to television airwaves, making this his second one to do so. Compared to his first one that I never got through, Kurokami, this title caught my interest more with its premise of a futuristic world that’s been invaded by aliens from another dimension known as Nova. Serving as the primary form of defense against them are the genetically modified girls, Pandoras, with the help of their male partners, Limiters, who are able to use a “Freezing” support ability that limits the enemy’s movement once they’ve made a pact known as a baptism. One such Limiter is Aoi Kazuya (Ichiki Mitsuhiro), who’s attending West Genetics Academy in honor of his sister Kazuha, a powerful Pandora who died fighting in the 8th major conflict four years ago. Soon after arriving, he inadvertently causes the school’s infamous “Untouchable Queen”, Satellizer L. Bridgette (Noto Mamiko), to lose a battle against another Pandora for the very first time, and learns that no one will become her Limiter due to how heartless she is. The story quickly picks up when Kazuya discovers that she isn’t as cold as everyone’s made her out to be, and insists on becoming her Limiter because she reminds him of his sister. While skimming through the manga, I found that this wasn’t just about big-busted girls on the battlefield like the promo material suggests, and was surprisingly unable to put it down until the end of the fourth volume. Most of the story actually revolves around the character interactions at school and the absolutely ruthless hazing that Satellizer suffers at the hands of her seniors enforcing the rigid hierarchy between grades. A lot of drama develops from those inter-Pandora battles, the depiction of Satellizer as a powerful yet misunderstood girl, and Kazuya’s attempt to help her with his unusual ability to use Freezing without a baptism. The action is very shounen-like with unique Volt Weapons, Pandora battle suits, and explanations of abilities, plus the way that the Pandoras have rankings on who’s the strongest. Flashbacks add depth to the characters later on, and there are hints of romance throughout, particularly when Rana Linchen (Hanazawa Kana) arrives and takes an interest in Kazuya. In short, this is what I’d describe as a high school battle drama, and one that won’t appeal to everyone but really took me by surprise. It’ll be really interesting to hear Mamiko and Kana play some strong female roles they seldom do, along with the excellent support cast of Kitamura Eri, Inoue Marina, Koshimizu Ami, Ueda Kana, Asakawa Yuu, Kuwatani Natsuko, and Kaida Yuuko. After doing my research, I’m looking forward to this more than I ever thought I would, even though I’ve probably read everything that will be covered in this 12 episode adaptation.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show FREEZING Promotional Videos ▼

Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!! Top
Animation: ZEXCS Premiere: January 8, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Kanagawa (tvk)
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
At first glance, it’s pretty hard to overlook the unusually proportioned character designs in this series or the exceptionally long title, “I Don’t Love My Brother at All!!” The title alone will probably make most people think of Oreimo, which is only accurate if you’re expecting a high school girl named Takanashi Nao (Kitamura Eri) who’s very clear about her romantic interest in her perverted, one year older brother Shuusuke (Toyonaga Toshiyuki). In fact, it’s revealed very early on that Nao’s brother complex is so messed up that she asks her parents to continue pretending they’re siblings, even after learning she was adopted ten years ago when her real parents passed away in a car accident. She’ll even go to the trouble of throwing away all his porn, except the ones that depict incest in some way. Unaware that Nao now knows the truth, Shuusuke’s problems from his attraction to her are further compounded by the return of his childhood friend, Tsuchiura Iroha (Inoue Marina), who’s very open about her love for him when it comes to kissing or anything sexually related. In place of the whole incest controversy that’s conveniently sidestepped, this romantic comedy offers plenty of ecchi humor to compensate. With a fairly indecisive male lead, both Nao and Iroha completely drive all of the perversions, which leads to some pretty funny scenarios considering that Shuusuke is a closet pervert who’s unable to handle their advances. The incest plot device still comes into play however, from Iroha’s insistence that Nao is Shuusuke’s brother now and can’t get into a relationship with him, and Nao’s friends, Kusuhara Hirono (Shiraishi Ryouko) and Katou Haruka (Nakamura Eriko), who aren’t aware that she’s adopted. Rather than being in the realm of the witty humor in Oreimo, this series falls more in line with kiss x sis from what I’ve seen. It’s not nearly as risqué despite the small bits of nudity in the manga, which I discovered after flipping through the first handful of chapters. Anyway, if you’ve read this far and haven’t set off any red flags, then this could be a series worth watching for kicks. Just don’t expect too much other than some slapstick laughs with an ecchi twist. Personally, I’m completely fine with checking it out for that reason alone, with the bonus being hearing Eri and Marina play these wacky roles. I’m still not set on watching it all the way through since I’m not a fan of the character designs, but I do plan to check out the first couple of episodes to see how ZEXCS handles things.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne Promotional Videos ▼

Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu! | みつどもえ 増量中! Top
Animation: Bridge Premiere: January 8, 2011
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:58
Episodes: 8 Station: MBS
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
The Marui triplets, Mitsuba (Takagaki Ayahi), Futaba (Akesaka Satomi), and Hitoha (Tomatsu Haruka), return in a well-deserved sequel, as they continue to cause havoc for their teacher “Yabecchi” (Shimono Hiro) and the rest of their sixth grade classmates. The quick personality rundown is that Mitsuba is precocious sadist, Futaba is a perverted muscle girl, and Hitoha is a mysterious gloomy girl, who loves reading erotic books and is a huge fan of “Gachi Ranger”. As I’ve already mentioned in the preview of the first season and my complete coverage of it, Bridge’s first production as a new studio was full of hilarious slapstick moments and subtle misunderstandings. A lot of the laughs stemmed from the interactions between the other kids in the class, all of whom have various nuances brought out by the likes of Saitou Chiwa, Sanpei Yuuko, Chihara Minori, and Toyosaki Aki. The series uses a skit format to provide multiple mini episodes, where idiocy is absolutely guaranteed to bring out the hilarity in all types of quirky scenarios. My initial impression of the gag manga already had me sold before the original season aired, and that sentiment only improved when I saw it all in motion with voices and sounds. Those who haven’t seen the first season yet shouldn’t be turned away by the somewhat goofy character designs, as they’ll grow on you with the witty and sometimes lewd humor that will have you laughing on several occasions. Given how Mitsudomoe was one of the funniest shows in 2010, anyone looking for a comedy should definitely check out this series if they haven’t already. It’s a bit unusual to see that this “Increasing Quantity!” sequel only has eight episodes slated, but I’ll take whatever I can get when it comes to these quirky sixth graders. By now, it’s probably safe to assume that everyone knows what to expect, or at least that’s what Bridge’s lack of actual anime promo footage seems to suggest. There’s no need for further promotion.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Takaii Will Blog This: Guaranteed
Show Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu Promotional Videos ▼

Beelzebub | べるぜバブ Top
Animation: Pierrot Premiere: January 9, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 07:00
Episodes: Station: Nippon TV (NTV)
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
If a delinquent anime with a lot of school brawls is your thing, then look no further than the adaptation of another Weekly Shounen Jump series. Like Bleach and Naruto, this shounen series is also produced by Studio Pierrot, and features a comedic take on first-year Oga Tatsumi (Konishi Katsuyuki) as one of the strongest fighters in the delinquent-ridden high school Ishiyama, who soon finds himself forced to take care of the Demon King’s baby, Beelzebub (Sawashiro Miyuki). After popping out of a man floating in the river that split in half, “Beel” grows attached to Tatsumi for his cruelty and ruthlessness to others. Before long, a demon maid named Hildegarde (Itou Shizuka) shows up to explain that Beel’s been sent on a whim by his Demon King father to destroy mankind and has chosen Tatsumi to be its parent in the human world to nurture him until then. Thus begins Tatsumi’s hardships with a baby always latched onto him, whom he can’t move more than 15 meters away from or risk dying from the electric shocks that Beel emits when he cries. A lot of the humor stems from his interactions with Hilde, the dimensional transfer demon Alaindelon (Takagi Wataru) who Beelzebub popped out of, and his one and only friend Takayuki Furuichi (Mizushima Takahiro), as he tries to hand off Beel to one of the four strongest delinquents in school — a group known as Touhoushinki comprised of Kanzaki Hajime (Sugita Tomokazu), Himekawa Tatsuya (Ogino Seirou), Kunieda Aoi (Toyosaki Aki), and Toujou Hidetora (Seki Tomokazu). It’s as silly as it sounds with Tatsumi making a name for himself at a school that’s more or less a gangster hideout, only to find himself at the complete mercy of a demon baby ball and chain. The growth of a tattoo-like seal on his arm showing Beel’s approval of him and the misunderstandings from Touhoushinki when he tries to force a baby on them were some of the funniest moments in the first couple of manga volumes I skimmed, particularly when Aoi starts falling for Tatsumi. Balancing out all of Tatsumi’s powerful and feared status is his all-around stupidity, making him an easy character to like. Katsuyuki’s previous starring role in Gurren Lagann makes him a perfect fit as well, so I’m inclined on checking the early stages of this adaptation out. I’m just a bit apprehensive since it’s another long-running shounen series that may see a similarly long anime with Pierrot behind the production.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Good Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Dragon Crisis! | ドラゴンクライシス!Top
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: January 10, 2011
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Chiba TV (CTC)
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Relics and dragons in a modern setting are the selling point of this light novel adaptation, with high schooler Kisaragi Ryuuji (Shimono Hiro) at the center of it all when his university student second cousin Nanao Eriko (Yukana) suddenly returns to Japan with a box she recovered from the black market. Inside is a small girl named Rose (Kugimiya Rie), who’s actually a red dragon that quickly grows attached to Ryuuji. They’re soon targeted by the Fang organization, whose black dragon leader Onyx (Kamiya Hiroshi) wants to take Rose for himself and make use of her powers. It doesn’t sound like anything too out of the ordinary for a premise, but what I found interesting is that the existence of relics, known as Lost Precious, is known worldwide and they are researched and safeguarded by an organization called Society. The actual abilities of these relics vary according to their rank (B, A, S) and their power is dependent on the power level of the Breaker, i.e. relic user, showing that their existence is the way of the world akin to To Aru Majutsu no Index rather than an ability unique to Ryuuji. Of course, that doesn’t mean Ryuuji isn’t special in some way, as he possesses an S rank relic known as Slash Breath, and is one of only seven level 10 Breakers in the world — the highest level there is. In light of how the promo material made this seem like another case of a mysterious girl falling into the protagonist’s lap, and how it gave off Toradora vibes with Rose saying “Ryuuji”, it’s good to know that it’s much more involved than that. There are various other characters to supplement the main plot as well, such as the white dragon Marga (Horie Yui), blue dragon Sapphie (Katou Emiri), and relic thief Ai (Inokuchi Yuka). Compared to my initial impression of the series, all of the above makes it a lot better than I thought it would be. Still, I can’t say I have too many expectations from what appears to be a romantic comedy with a fantasy twist. I am leaning towards checking it out just for that experience though, with the bonuses being Yukana in a major role and Horie Yui performing the opening theme “Immoralist”.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Good Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Dragon Crisis Promotional Videos ▼

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? | これはゾンビですか? Top
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: January 10, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:30
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Saitama (TVS)
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
The honorable mention in the 20th annual Fantasy Prize in 2008 — an award to light novels published by Fujimi Shobou — is getting an anime adaptation. The story follows high school student Aikawa Ayumu (Majima Junji) whose fate would be forever changed after a chance encounter with a silent and emotionless girl clad in plate armor and gauntlets. Not long after, he falls victim to the serial murders that have happening around town, and is resurrected as a zombie by the girl, Eucliwood Hellscythe a.k.a. Yuu, who turns out to be a necromancer. Serving as her bodyguard in his new immortal state with six times the muscle capacity of a normal human, self-regenerating abilities, and inability to feel pain, Ayumu inadvertently snatches away the powers of a magically-equipped genius girl named Haruna (Nomizu Iori), who’s come from her world of Villier on a school credit assignment to hunt down hellish monsters known as Megalo. That marks the beginning of Ayumu’s life as the undead, along with the two girls freeloading at his place. To add to an already unusual plot mash-up, there are also vampire ninjas thrown into the mix, namely one Seraphim (Hikasa Youko), who wants Yuu to resurrect their leader to settle a hundred-year-old dispute over a successor, and is protecting her from reformist vampire ninjas that don’t want to see it happen. Magical girls, necromancers, and vampire ninjas. I can’t say I’ve seen anything like this before, especially with a tomboyish character named Yoshida Yuki a.k.a. Tomonori (Kanemoto Hisako), who turns out to be some mixture of them. The producers are promising laughs, battles, shocking revelations, and unexpected twists, which I’m inclined to believe since I’m still not entirely sure where this one’s even headed. I gather a fair bit of emphasis will be placed on Ayumu having his life completely turned upside-down after he’s murdered, along with the story that comes from three different angles, such as the threat from the Melagos. Studio DEEN’s work usually isn’t something to look forward to, but the distinct ensemble of characters with Sora no Otoshimono‘s Iori (Nymph) in the lead role as Haruna has my interest piqued a little. I also like the darker side to the premise and the action seen in the promo video, so I definitely plan to take a peek. Interestingly enough, the producers are withholding who’ll be voicing Yuu (similar to GOSICK), even though she doesn’t speak much and uses a memo to communicate with people.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Good Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Kore wa Zombie Desu ka Promotional Videos ▼

LEVEL E | レベルE Top
Animation: Pierrot x david production Premiere: January 10, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Sci-fi Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:45
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
There are revival anime projects and then there are thirteen year old revival anime projects. Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter creator Togashi Yoshihiro‘s sci-fi comedy manga “LEVEL E” falls into the latter category, having completed its serialized run in Weekly Shounen Jump back in 1997. The story for this old-school adaptation involves a fictional world where hundreds of alien species are living on Earth disguised as humans without mankind’s knowledge, and centers around Prince Baka Ki El Dogra (Namikawa Daisuke) of the planet Dogra, who was on his way to a galactic conference as his planet’s representative when an accident causes him to crash on Earth. Losing his memory in the process, “Prince” makes himself at home in the apartment of high school student Tsutsui Yukitaka (Hosoya Yoshimasa), whom he ends up tormenting. Despite having the brightest mind in the universe, Prince also happens to have the most problematic personality to go with it and takes a lot of enjoyment from ridiculing people and watching them suffer. He even drives his bodyguard Captain Kraft (Koyasu Takehito) and his two subordinates, Sado and Colin, completely up the wall as they have to clean up the mess he makes with other alien species living on Earth. Along with Yukitaka’s neighbor Edogawa Miho (Akesaka Satomi) and her strong interest in aliens due to her father’s work, I found the first couple of the manga much funnier than I would’ve ever imagined. Leveraging satire and Prince’s nonchalant attitude towards everything, the comedy had a very cheeky, smart-ass feel to it that the sarcastic side of me couldn’t help but appreciate. I could already picture Takehito popping a vein dealing with him, and am looking forward to hearing Katanagatari‘s Yoshimasa (Shichika) do the same. It’ll be pretty wild hearing Tachiki Fumihiko doing the narration as well, given the intimidating voice that he has. Just see the promo video featuring Nakagawa Shoko for an idea of what that’s going to be like. Up until a week ago, I honestly had no idea what to make of this anime based on the initial promo material that I came across, but now that I’ve skimmed through the manga a bit, I’m inclined to say that this will be the gag comedy of the season. I guess you really can’t judge a book by its cover, especially not a thirteen-year-old one.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Good Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show LEVEL E Promotional Videos ▼

FRACTALE | フラクタル Top
Animation: A-1 Pictures x Ordet Premiere: January 13, 2011
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:45
Episodes: 11 Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
One series that I absolutely have my eye on is the first of two new noitaminA shows this season. Director of Suzumiya Haruhi, Lucky Star, and Kannagi, Yamamoto Yutaka, is putting it all on the line in his first original animation. With his studio Ordet in collaboration with A-1 Pictures, “Yamakan” is bringing us a fantasy adventure story by author and culture critic Azuma Hiroki in his first ever anime project, featuring screenplay by Okada Mari, in a series that he’s declared he will step down from his position and retire if it fails. Talk about making a statement where a masterpiece is the bare minimum, which may just make Kyoto Animation regret firing him in 2007 if he pulls it off. When he says something like that, I even find myself more excited about this original work. The premise is almost straight out of a role playing game as well, taking place in a fantasy setting where a thousand-year-old Fractale System has maintained the world and turned it into a paradise. In the present, the system is breaking down and no one knows how to maintain it anymore, causing a lot of people to perceive it as the end of mankind’s happiness. Taking center stage on a remote island is a young carefree boy named Clain (Kobayashi Yuu), who one day rescues a young shrine maiden named Phryne (Tsuda Minami) from falling off a cliff. He immediately falls in love with her, but is only left with a pendant before she disappears. From the data stored inside the pendant comes a very curious avatar girl named Nessa (Hanazawa Kana), a special “Doppel” that Clain can physically interact with. Together, they set out in search of Phryne and uncover the reasons behind why the Fractale System is collapsing along the way. Mixing elements of technology in a vast world where this system could have some dark secrets feels all too similar to something I’d expect from Final Fantasy. It’s a very unusual yet promising feeling to get from an anime, so I’m really looking forward to the what truths Clain and Nessa come across in the fantasy world depicted. I’m actually quite curious about the benefits of the Fractale System and the terminals that people can use to interact with it, plus these monastery researchers who are attempting to restart the system to fix it. As someone who tends to favor original series like this, I know I’ll be tuning in to see what the future bodes for the their world… and Yamakan. The one downside is the actual series differs greatly from the unique style in the promotional concept art, so it’ll be interesting to see if that greatly affects viewer reception.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Guaranteed
Show FRACTALE Promotional Videos ▼

Hourou Musuko | 放浪息子 Top
Animation: AIC Classic Premiere: January 13, 2011
Genre: Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:15
Episodes: 11 Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Filling in for the second noitaminA time slot that opened up is Shimura Takako‘s “Wandering Son” seinen manga. Similar to how her Aoi Hana series touched upon lesbianism in a sensitive way, this title features transsexualism and gender identity disorder in the early stages of puberty. Intended to portray the difficulties of going through such things during childhood, the story features both a fifth grade boy named Nitori Shuuichi (Hatakeyama Kousuke) who wants to become a girl, and his female classmate Takatsuki Yoshino (Seto Asami) who wants to become a boy. Addressing very real issues such as the psychological changes from Shuuichi’s interest in cross-dressing and acting feminine, as well as Yoshino’s refusal to wear skirts and concerns over menstruating and her breasts developing, this drama is very unlike what most people would expect from an anime. In addition to focusing on those worries, social implications, and emotional challenges they face with their parents, there’s also their relationships with their friends as they grow up together and enter middle school. Surgery is another topic that’s brought up, as Shuuichi and Yoshino meet with a transsexual woman for a better understanding on it. This series is definitely not for those who would rather turn a blind eye to these topics, but the series has been praised for its use of such difficult themes as the basis of its story. It also happens to be the longest running series in the manga magazine Comic Beam, having been serialized for seven years and spanning ten volumes. Still, I can’t imagine the typical anime fan finding any interest in something that strives to be deep and meaningful with the given subject matter. For me, I did watch Aoi Hana and enjoyed the more sensitive side to it, so I’ll be following this in hopes of getting a similar experience. What everyone will probably take notice to is the unique style that AIC’s new subdivision, AIC Classic, is using in this adaptation. The soft colors are reminiscent of those seen in Aoi Hana except there’s a noticeable gloss to it that sets it apart. Supporting the relatively unknown lead cast is a plethora of great seiyuu, such as Nanri Yuuka, Nanjou Yoshino, Chiba Saeko, Toyosaki Aki, Mizuki Nana, and Horie Yui. With Okada Mari also doing the series composition (her third series this season), the production looks pretty solid all around. It should make for a pretty interesting offering — one that we don’t see very too often.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Hourou Musuko Promotional Videos ▼

Houkago no Pleiades | 放課後のプレアデス Top
Animation: GAINAX Premiere: February 1st, 2011
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: 4 (mini eps) Station: YouTube
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
GAINAX and Japanese car maker Subaru are collaborating on an anime project titled “After School Pleiades”, in reference to the star cluster seen in the latter’s logo. At the moment, very little has been revealed about this series that will be streamed on YouTube, but the title does suggest a school setting of sorts with stargazing. Five female characters have been shown reaffirming that idea, namely Subaru (Takamori Natsumi), Aoi (Oohashi Ayuru), Itsuki (Tateno Kanako), Nanako (Fujita Saki), and Hikaru (Makino Yui). On the production side, Kono Minikuku mo Utsukushii Sekai‘s Saeki Shouji is directing and Shakugan no Shana‘s Ootsuka Mai is designing the characters. This is still a pretty weird one in my books, but I’ll probably take a peek whenever it starts.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Houkago no Pleiades Promotional Videos ▼

Suite PreCure ♪ | スイートプリキュア♪ Top
Animation: Toei Animation Premiere: February 2, 2011
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 08:30
Episodes: Station: TV Asahi (EX)
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
The Pretty Cure magical girl series is slated for another yearly refresh, and with its eighth iteration come new heroines Houjou Hibiki (Koshimizu Ami) and Minamino Kanade (Orikasa Fumiko) as Cure Melody and Cure Rhythm. Much like their alter ego names and the suite in the title suggest, the motif is music with a harmony that results from their combined effort. Accompanying them is their singing fairy Hummy (Mitsuishi Kotono), in what’s promoted as the PreCure with the most prominent depictions of friendship, great effort, and victory to date. There hasn’t been much else revealed other than that, but my intentions with Toei’s Sunday morning media series were clear from the very beginning.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Animation: Madhouse Premiere: February 23, 2011
Genre: Drama, Horror Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: 22 Station: N/A
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
If you happen to watch American television, then Warner Bros.‘s live-action, filmed-on-location, horror drama about two brothers who hunt demons should ring a bell as it’s currently airing its sixth season. It’s a widely popular series starring Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, and is now reaching out to anime fans due to Madhouse Studios’ ongoing effort of animating Western shows. As someone who’s only caught the odd episode here and there and enjoyed it a lot, this adaptation actually piques my interest more than the studio’s take on Iron Man and Wolverine. I love series about the supernatural and what this one has to offer, so I’m leaning towards checking out how it plays out with Uchida Yuuya and Touchi Hiroki in the leading roles. The focus of this adaptation is on the first two seasons of the drama, where Sam and Dean are in search of their missing father John, who taught them how to hunt ghosts, vampires, and demons. Along the way, they get into other supernatural mishaps and save innocent people, and their search later becomes one for the Yellow-Eyed Demon that killed their mother years ago. In an attempt to capture the essence of the live-action version, the producers have said that this will be a fairly faithful remake; however, they also plan to reach out to audiences who may have already seen the TV series by including anime original episodes that focus on the boys’ childhood, their father’s disappearance, and the various support characters in an attempt to add a deeper meaning to the overall story. Warner Bros. is overseeing the production and creator Eric Kripke is an executive producer, so this could very well be perceived as canonical supplementary material. I still feel that the original television drama is the way to go if any of the above sounds interesting, though this anime may serve as a good introduction or sorts. In fact, hearing of this anime production has resparked my interest in going back to spree the first five seasons.
Note: While this is considered an anime series, it’s coming straight to DVD/BD release in three waves. Volume 1 containing episodes 1-2 will be released on February 23rd, followed by two box sets with episodes 3-12 and 13-22 on March 9th and April 6th respectively. Also, Jared and Jensen are dubbing two episodes from the second box set into English.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor

Moshidora | もしドラ Top
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: March 14, 2011
Genre: Drama, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Weekdays at 22:55
Episodes: 10 Station: NHK
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Japan’s 2010 best-selling novel with over two million copies sold is getting both a live-action movie and an anime. Moshidora, short for “Moshi Koukou Yakyuu no Joshi Manager ga Drucker no Management wo Yondara” (If the Female Manager of a High School Baseball Team Read Drucker’s “Management”), is about second-year Kawashima Minami’s (Hikasa Youko) struggles as the manager of her school’s boys baseball team. She’s a cheerful girl who tends to jump to conclusions, but has a knack for overcoming adversity and seeing things through until the end. When her childhood friend Miyata Yuuki (Hanazawa Kana) has to take time off due to health reasons, Minami fills in as the team’s manager with the ambitious goal of Koshien, the stadium where nationals are held. She’s unaware how weak Hodokubo High School’s club is at first, but later comes across Peter Drucker’s “Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices” book and starts applying its business principles to turn the team around. Author Iwasaki Natsumi has stated that the idea actually came to him when he was playing Final Fantasy XII and couldn’t figure out an effective team composition to defeat certain monsters, after which he read another player mentioning Drucker in a blog. Upon reading the book, he found the concepts so transformative they moved him to tears and inspired him to write his novel. With that kind of background and nationwide reception, this anime adaptation by Production I.G may very well be the surprise hit of the season. The premise itself reminds me a lot of GIANT KILLING since it applies seemingly unorthodox strategies that really aren’t that unorthodox at all in practice. All the same elements seem to be here, including players who aren’t receptive to Minami at the beginning, making this a drama I see myself really enjoying. Iwatsuki’s a producer who’s worked with theater/idol group AKB48, which explains Nakaya Sayaka’s support role as honor student/fellow manager Houjou Ayano, and Maeda Atsuko’s leading role as Minami in the film due out in June. Also noteworthy is how this series is premiering during the last two weeks of the winter season and will air an episode every weekday for a total of ten. I can’t say I’ve ever seen an anime use such a condensed broadcast schedule before, but I like how I won’t be left in anticipation week after week to get through this series. Educational and inspirational. That works for me.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Moshidora Promotional Videos ▼

Original Video Animation


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 as they don’t mean a whole lot to viewers outside of Japan. DVD/BD releases of movies are however. This list is likely incomplete and will be updated as more titles surface.

Release Date Title Notes
01/07 BLACK LAGOON Roberta’s Blood Trail 003
03/02: Episode 004.
05/11: Episode 005.
01/21 Kodomo no Jikan OVA | こどものじかん新作 OVA
01/27 T.P. Sakura ~Time Paladin Sakura~ Jikuu Boueisen, First Half
T.P.さくら~タイムパラディンさくら~時空防衛戦 前編
Da Capo spin-off.
02/24: Second Half.
01/28 .hack//Quantum 1
Episode 1 of 3.
02/25: Episode 2.
03/25: Episode 3.
01/28 Break Blade 3
DVD/BD movie release.
02/25: Movie 4.
01/28 Mazinkaizer SKL 1 | マジンカイザーSKL 1
Episode 1 of 3.
02/02 Kara no Kyoukai Last Chapter | 空の境界 終章
Bundled with BD box set.
02/13 Queen’s Blade Utsukushiki Toushi-tachi Ep. 5 | クイーンズブレイド 美しき闘士たち 第5話
03/13: Episode 6 on AT-X.
02/23 Ah! My Goddess OAD | ああっ女神さまっ新作 OAD
02/23 Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu ~Matsuri~ First Volume | バカとテストと召喚獣 ~祭~ 上巻
03/23: Last Volume.
02/23 Saint Seiya THE LOST CANVAS Meiou Shinwa Chapter 2. VOL.1
聖闘士星矢 THE LOST CANVAS 冥王神話 第2章 VOL.1
02/25 Tales of Symphonia THE ANIMATION Tethe’alla Chapter Ep. 4
テイルズ オブ シンフォニア THE ANIMATION テセアラ編 第4巻
02/25 Koi☆Sento | コイ☆セント
Bundled with manga vol. 9.
02/25 Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu OVA | 今日、恋をはじめます OVA
03/05 Gundam Unicorn Ep. 3 | 機動戦士ガンダムUC 第3話
03/09 xxxHOLiC Rou Adayume | xxxHOLiC・籠 あだゆめ
Bundled with manga vol. 19.
03/09 Kaibutsu Oujo OAD Chapter 2 | 怪物王女 OAD 第2弾
03/16 Koe de Oshigoto! take.2 | こえでおしごと!take.2
03/16 Asobi ni Iku yo! OVA de Asobikinimashita!!
03/17 Air Gear Kuro no Hane to Nemuri no Mori -Break on the sky- Trick2
エア・ギア 黒の羽と眠りの森 -Break on the sky- Trick2
03/22 Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi ~Onedera Ritsu no Baai~ Vol.5 | 世界一初恋 ~小野寺律の場合~ Vol.5
03/23 Hen Zemi Ep. 2 | 変ゼミ 第2弾
Bundled with manga vol. 5.
03/23 Shukufuku no Campanella OVA
祝福のカンパネラ OVA
Bundled with DVD/BD vol. 7.
03/25 Norageki! | ノラゲキ!
03/29 Nana to Kaoru | ナナとカオル
Bundled with limited ed. manga vol. 6.
March 2011 Nichijou Ep. 0 | 日常 第0話
Bundled with manga vol. 6.

Overall Impressions


It’s been a while since I haven’t had a clear-cut idea of the shows I’ll be following, but a handful in the winter lineup left me uncertain about what I’m in store for. Two of the light novel adaptations, Dragon Crisis and Kore wa Zombie Desu ka, are a bit of a marvel, since I didn’t have the original source material to skim through. From what I gather, both show promise but sound like they can just as easily wind up as nothing special. As such, my plan is to watch the first few episodes in hopes of being pleasantly surprised early on, before deciding if I’ll be watching them all the way through. The same goes for Yumekui Merry, whose manga didn’t draw me in right away even when the premise did. In a slightly different sense is SHAFT’s original magical girl anime Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, which is probably just as unpredictable as director Shinbou Akiyuki himself. The project does seem to have all the necessary pieces to turn it into the talk of the season, so I’m foreseeing a cute slice-of-life series that features a witty script that makes it all work. Whether SHAFT is planning to deliver that is a different story though. Regardless, the uncertainty of this project makes it worth keeping an eye on over the next few months.

In terms of shows that knew I’d enjoy, the obvious ones are the sequels to Kimi ni Todoke and Mitsudomoe, whereas my most anticipated ones are the two that I’ll be blogging, Infinite Stratos and FRACTALE. Combining one of my favorite genres (romantic comedy) with some others (action, mecha), Infinite Stratos was something that caught my eye well before I started writing this preview. My interest in FRACTALE on the other hand was only realized when I did some digging into what it’s about. Its fantasy world immediately caught my interest, as did director Yamamoto Yutaka statement about failure not being an option, sending it to the top of my list on shows I wanted to cover. Nudged out was noitaminA’s other offering this season, Hourou Musuko, which I was considering because of its unique style and challenging themes that deserve some limelight. I suspect it’ll be fairly underappreciated, but it’s still one of the series I’m really looking forward to. Also on my watch list is GOSICK, after getting a taste of the mystery elements from the manga. I’m going to try to make time for Beelzebub as well, since I got some good laughs from the chapters I skimmed through.

As for surprises, I found that FREEZING and LEVEL E are much better than they appear. The former I’m even leaning towards making time to cover, while the latter I was going to foolishly ignore and miss out on. Then there’s the adaptation of the 2010 best-selling novel, Moshidora, which I’m a little bit excited about since that book had to be flying off shelves for a reason. It should serve as a nice treat at the tail end of the season.

Anyway, I hope the above was an informative resource on the upcoming season, after spending five days straight researching and writing this post from start to finish. I’ll be posting a blogging schedule closer to the start of the season when I finalize things with the other writers, but you’ll notice that Kiiragi and Takaii have already claimed a couple of series each. I also plan on having another poll, where readers can let us know what they’re looking forward to the most. The pre-season hype is always interesting to reflect back upon and gives us a good idea of people would like to see covered. I haven’t forgotten about the year-end Best of Anime post either, which I’ll get to after taking a couple of days to recuperate.



  1. Thanks a lot for the new preview!
    I gather there are some other floating around, but somehow the ones from RandomC always have a certain ‘je-ne-sais-quoi’ to it that will have me waiting in anticipation 🙂

    When I first saw the new chart by CartDriver (who took over the excellent template of Chartfag) I didn’t see too much exciting stuff, but the added depth in your previews make it all the better to learn about series that might be good after all 🙂

  2. Nice list. I’m probably going to be watching a lot of these, though as a blogger myself, I’ll only be covering Freezing, Yumekui Merry, Beelzebub, and Starry Sky with the former two being my main interests.

    Like you, I was also gonna miss out on Level E until one of my old school manga readers told me how good Level E was, so I’m checking it out. I’m surprised an anime is being aired more than a decade after the manga run, though.

  3. …wait I thought Moshidora was for spring? Ah well. I’ll check out Sparkles and Bubbles season 2, the Shaft magical girl, Infinite Stratos and as a car nut, the Subaru x Gianax one as well. OH and Moshidora whenever it comes out…

  4. Yumekui Merry!!!
    Wow, it’s Sakura Ayane’s first voice acting role, and it is already a main character? I hope she does a good job. The male lead is voiced by Okamoto Nobuhiko, Usui’s voice 😀 Also Accelerator and Niizuma Eiji and many others. Can’t wait!
    I also hope J.C. Staff doesn’t go too cheap on the hair animation, like they did alot recently (Ookami-san for example). But then again, the hair in Maid-sama was really good, so I got my hopes kinda up.

  5. I can’t believe GoSick isn’t going to get blog, except for maybe Fractale, it is the single one on the list thats worth watching. The first volume of GoSick very much reminds me of a certain Detective Conan movie.

  6. I was confused at them moment when I looked through this Winter Lineup and only a few shows seemed interesting to pick up. O_O I guess I will be doing the same actions as Divine and watch a few episodes of the other shows that spark my curiosity ^_^

    Happy Holidays / Merry Christmas everyone!

  7. Looks pretty lame mostly, though Winter isn’t exactly the best season for anime it seems.

    Fractale is a definite watch, hope it fills that

    I’m definitly keeping an eye out for Infinite Stratos, though after the dissapointment of Star Driver (srsly, WTF Bones, you’re better than that)

    Might check out Supernatural and the Subaru X Gainax ones for the “WTF Why does this exist?” factor XD

  8. Hourou Musuko is number one on my watch list this season. The manga is so great! KimiDoke 2 is a must since it’s one of my favorite series. I also have to watch Starry Sky for the sake that the games are amazing.

    It’s not the most impressive season, but at least there’s at least a few things to watch.

  9. man, it doesn’t look like there’s much in the way of slice of life comedy this season 🙁
    fall 2010 was simply epic in that department: Ika Musume, Soredemo Machi and Kuragehime. 3 of the best shows I’ve seen in years. oh well, at least there’s Kimi ni Todoke to take comfort in 😀

  10. Hurray! Someone’s blogging all the new shows that I’ve been anticipating. Though I think I might check out Beelzebub (mostly because of the voice actors) and Hourou Musuko since it looks unique and interesting.

    Thanks again for the informative post. It’s really helpful. 🙂

  11. Fractale, IS, and Dragon Crisis I plan on watching myself. props for trying to bring Horou Musuko into the limelight. while i’m probably in the stereotype of not being interested in watching it, i’m a very big supporter of LGBT rights and am glad it’s an issue being covered. i think that tackling deep social issues helps anime and manga to be seen as a legitimate art form rather than just simple entertainment.

    haha going back to the less serious, very surprised about Supernatural the Animation. I stopped following around season 5 but aside from the MoTW episodes (which i did enjoy because they tackled urban legends like Bloody Mary and the Hookman story that i heard growing up), the main story line is actually pretty intriguing. as a law student i’m also mighty jealous of Sam’s LSAT score >=/

  12. IS or Infinite Stratos is the only one I anticipated the most ever since i hear about it, been reading the novel ever since. Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!! is actually very funny if you give it a chance, beside these two theres only a few handful of series that I am interested in. To be honest this season is kind of dull, especially for series like Freezing, all it got is beautiful girls with huge knockers but its storyline ain’t anything special, if they really want an anime adaption from Dall-Young Lim manhwa to make ppl say WOW they should have pick UxU, then I be all excited and giddy like a teenage school girl.

    Defintely watch:
    IS – My #1 must watch this season.
    Freezing – will watch for the delicious looking female and maybe the plot too -_<.
    Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!! – been readng the manga and i enjoy it.
    Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu!- no explaination needed.
    Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? – been reading the manga and I love Yuu so adorable, plus can't wait too see ppl's reaction getting gross out on seeing the male character do his something thats funny and gross at the same time, not gonna spoil it.

    I am actually looking more forward to most of the OVA thats coming out from – BLACK LAGOON Roberta’s Blood Trail 003, .hack//Quantum 1, Mazinkaizer SKL 1, Queen’s Blade Utsukushiki Toushi-tachi, Ah! My Goddess OAD, Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu ~Matsuri~, FORTUNE ARTERIAL OVA
    , Gundam Unicorn Ep. 3, Koi de Oshigoto! take.2, Asobi ni Iku yo! OVA de Asobikinimashita!!
    ( I hope they finally shown to have Kio have the balls to bang the babes), Shukufuku no Campanella OVA, and Nana to Kaoru.

    Might watch:
    Rio RainbowGate!
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
    Yumekui Merry
    Dragon Crisis! – thought I was watching Shana with main character name Yuji and Rie Kugimiya as girl VA.
    Houkago no Pleiades

    The rest don't care.

  13. I’ll be checking out:

    Infinite Stratos – I’m sold on the Mecha Musume concept. Looks like a year 2352 strike witches.
    Fractale – Interesting concept thanks to your preview.
    Kore wa Zombie – I think it might be a funny show with action to check out.
    Moshidora – Interesting premise.
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka – Just because because of all the people working on it.

    Not quite that many shows this season though you can’t complain, less blogging to be done!

  14. I’ll be watching:
    -Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season
    -IS: Infinite Stratos
    -Beelzebub (why not blog this :<)
    -Yumekui Merry
    -Houkago no Pleiades
    Also, compared to the Fall anime, there are alot ALOT less romance/harem/ecchi now 😀 (sorry, not much of a fan LOL)

  15. Two that are interesting to me are IS (why is it that women are always the “only ones who are capable of using super-advanced powers / technology) and Beezlebub. I’ll rely on RC’s impressions for some of the others.

  16. The shows that I’ll definitely be checking out:

    – Infinite Stratos
    – Yumekui Merry
    – GOSICK
    – Dragon Crisis!
    – Kore ha Zombie Desu ka?
    – Hourou Musuko
    – Moshidora
    – Houkago no Pleiades

    Thanks for a great preview like always!

  17. Seems a few shows i’ve planned to watch, will be blogged and a few i’ve considered – will be blogged too.

    Dragon Crisis, Freezing, IS, Kore wa Zombie, Yumekui Merry

    Beelzebub, Fractale

    On another note, those that you do watch – will we be given a small review or anything in case its something you want to blog but can’t?

  18. First of all, many thanks for such a detailed preview again. On the surface, it looks like a pretty bleak season, but I tend to think that at the start of every season. The fall season was epic for me, but there may be some true gems upcoming that I just dont see from the previews. When I think about the preview description Of Kuregahime I was thinking “no way”. Wow, have I been suprised by that one.

  19. Hmm…not sure how I feel about this season. Seems pretty “blah” off the bat, but then again I’ve been surprised by a lot of shows I didn’t expect I would follow the last 2 seasons. So looks like I’ll be giving a lot of the shows the 2-3 ep. tryout and go from there.

    Thanks again for all the hard work put into another great season preview Divine! Glad to hear you’ll be cutting down on the workload also, you’ve really been going all out for us since getting the new site up.

  20. Thanks for the awesome preview Divine.

    My list for this season has expanded 2x lol:

    Infinite Stratos
    Kimi no Todoke S2

    Ill be checking the 1st ep of this series and drop it If I dont like :

    Dragon crisis
    Yumekui merry
    Horou Musuko
    Houkago no Pleiades

    Again, Im grateful for all the working your ass off even on holidays, thanks.

  21. I’m definitely gonna check out:
    Gosick (I’ve been waiting for a anime adaptation since 2009 when i read the first novel ;DD)
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (Shinbou Akiyuki and Kajiura Yuki working on a mahou shoujo anime WOW~~ that’s probably what makes it interesting ;D )
    IS Infinite Stratos (YES!!! Kōki Uchiyama ;D and it also reminds me of Sky Girls which i liked)
    Hourou Musuko (It’s about time for a anime with a deep story :))

    I’m probably gonna check out:
    Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!! (The manga is sooo funny ;DD)
    FRACTALE (The chara design looks nice)

  22. Since I’m such a sucker for giant robots, I’ll definitely be watching Infinite Stratos. Freezing is fairly interesting, but other than that, I’m not to impressed with the listing. I’ll just wait for them to air before judging them.

  23. Madoka Magica is a absolutely-must-watch-or-die for me since Kajiura Yuki is doing the music and Kalafina sings the ED. All the other things in it is just sugarcoating for me.
    There isn’t really anything else that interest me. Maybe Fractale , it sounds very interesting, like a rpg indeed. This season starts after my exams and I’ll be on vacation,(if I don’t get beaten to death by then if I fail my exams) I’ll probably have time to watch the first episodes of everything anyway.

  24. Why am I not suprised that the mangaka of Onii-chan no koto used to draw hentai manga?

    I am probably in the minority, but I don’t like the way Shaft’s Shinbou is directing his series, so I doubt that I’ll the new magical girls series, but we’ll see.


    Haha, funny to see from the comments that I'm not the only one who put "Kimi no Todoke" on the "must watch" list after reading this preview.

    Looking forward to the winter season :]

  26. My ‘will probably watch’ list:
    1. Freezing: Loves the manga so I have hope on this, though the risk of ‘all fanservice no story’ that had plagued many other anime somewhat deters me…
    2. Infinite Stratos: I won’t expect much from the story but the action looks awesome!
    3. Kara no Kyoukai OVA: Fan of the movies, so no surprise here

  27. my take on the season:
    Dragon Crisis – everything is better with dragons!
    Kore wa Zombie desu ka – for vampire ninjas if not anything else!
    Infinite Stratos – for (hopefully) high quality mecha fights
    Fractale – for some RPG-esque action
    Freezing – for some more action
    Onichaan – for the (sexy) lulz! check out the manga if you can, its more funny than Oreimo by far!
    I am not going into any romance related series, period. I am tired after watching 13 series last season, thank you. ( IF, and if I break this rule, possibly Kimi no todoke as I heard it is quite good)

  28. I’m hoping Wolverine and Supernatural are good. They need to make up for the snorefest called Iron Man. I had such high hopes and it turned into the hydra-villian-of-the-week and pretty boring.

  29. There only seem to be a few that show immediate promise this season. Come to think of it, wasn’t there supposed to be an anime based on a Lovecraft light novel coming out this winter? What happened to that?

  30. The awesome preview aside, at first glance not much for me this season but as always I’m pretty flexible with the titles as long as it’s interesting and doesn’t make me forward my media player.

    So far my eyes are set on these:

    – Beelzebub
    – GOSICK
    – IS Infinite Stratos

    As for the rest, I’ll just follow the writers posts I don’t want to miss out on something great, has potential or even just something okayish. Anyway, winter here we come.

  31. My initial watch list is thus=

    1. Infinite Stratos: action looks awesome.
    2. Yumekui Merry: looks interesting
    3. FREEZING: I liked the manhwa, so I’m willing to give this a shot
    4. Beelzebub: manga is full of fun
    5. Dragon Crisis!: I never get tired of KugiRie lolis
    6. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?: looks interesting
    7. FRACTALE: The art and music feel gorgeous

    Ninja Penguin
  32. Thanks for the preview! Otsukaresama deshita!

    The only thing I’m going to watch is probably Fractale, until something else catches my interest.
    I’m also looking forward to the IS posts.
    Moshidora looks interesting, but the premiere is months away. I’m 90% sure I’m going to forget about it.
    I was excited about Starry Sky since last season but when it came out, the character designs sort of turned me off and even the seiyuu can’t make up for it…

    Add Angel Beats! 14 and Tales of Graces to the list, Hanazawa Kana is in almost everything I’ve selected.^^;

  33. Been waiting forever for the Hourou Musuko anime. Back when I first started to read the manga, there was very little chance there’d be an adaptation, and once I heard there would indeed be one, I couldn’t sit still for January. Can’t believe it’s so close now.

  34. Is it bad that the only series that pique my interest in the slightest are an 8-episode sequel and two adaptations of American properties? The industry doesn’t need Tokyo politicians to bring about its downfall. It’s doing a pretty good job on its own…

  35. Looking forward to the new season. Last year Winter the only great anime was Durarara!
    I plan on watching Kimi No Todoke S2 and a couple others that i dont remember atm xD
    But Arigatou for taking the time to make this preview I appreciate ur hard work 🙂

  36. Thanks for the preview 🙂 really appreciate your hard work!
    as for the shows themselves… I plan to watch most of them, since I like to be open minded about it (also to prevent me from getting bored with school & life, JK…)
    though I don’t understand why people say this season looks dull? is it just me expectation just too low?
    enjoy the holiday and all the anime goodies if you can 🙂

  37. Divine, I marvel at your ability to hype me up and make me extremely interested for shows I didn’t give a second glance to before reading this preview. Before reading this,I was only planning on watching Gosick and IS, but now I’m pretty much set on watching Fractale and Moshidora as well.

  38. Thank you for the preview!
    Usually I will have an idea of what I want to watch each season, but this upcoming season there are a lot of shows I’m not to sure what I should think of them. I’ll probably watch all of the shows you put at Decent or higher (and maybe Rio for laughs if it isn’t too bad). The character designs for the generic-fake-incest show really bother me though (those are just bizarre even for an anime).

    The shows I’m most looking forward to are the two noitaminA shows, IS, Freezing, and Gosick. While magical girl animes are not usually something I watch, I can’t help but want to see how Modoka will turn out. I also have a bit of a thing for J.C. staff, so Yumekui Merry is something I will probably enjoy. I really hope Wolverine won’t disappoint me as much as Iron Man did though.

  39. First time posting here, but I feel compelled to thank you for these in depth previews. I’ve been visiting the site for the past 2 years now, and as my tastes in anime have gradually broadened these posts have become more and more critical to me. Having a fairly comprehensive list such as this is immensely helpful in deciding what shows to watch, so here’s a hearty thanks for your continued efforts.

    As for this season, Infinite Stratos, FREEZING, and FRACTALE have my foremost attention, while Dragon Crisis!, Beelzebub, and Level E fill out the list of potentials. Yumekui Merry sounds a little bit too rote from the description, but it might be worth a try as well. Overall a pretty interesting season, my preference for Sci-Fi / Fantasy animes is certainly being catered to quite nicely.

  40. looks like im late…
    anyway, finally your preview is here.

    only Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica and Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? got my interest at first sight but with your preview, I now have more to watch:
    IS Infinite Stratos – yeah, reminds me of strike witches, however it looks like it might go for the traditional harem rather than yuri like strike witches.
    FRACTALE – from what you said, im now interested to check it out.

    what might be interesting:
    FREEZING – sorta reminds me of seikon no qwaser but I have yet to finish it though.
    Yumekui Merry – as long as they show some cool and awesome fights.

    yeah, my list is pretty small compared to what I usually pick but I might check out the others depending on the reviews…

  41. After watching all the promo’s I have to say,
    IS Infinite Stratos (Animation style),
    FREEZING (Gore/Action),
    Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? (Gore/Action),
    Hourou Musuko (Color/Drawing Style) and
    Moshidora (Dating Sim in action?)
    are interesting as well.

  42. A Supernatural anime!? count me in. 😀 Loved the original. and although I don’t like freezing, it’s good to see the authors getting the attention they deserve. Here’ still hoping for their Unbalance x Unbalance manwha to get an anime.

  43. Thank you very much for the preview! It’s always interesting to read how you feel about the upcoming shows. =3

    The show I’m looking forward to the most is Fractale, for the premise as well as because of the director’s comments. Other than that, I’m also looking forward to Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (if only because it’s Shinbou and Kajiura Yuki), Level E (if only because I loved YYH and HxH) and Hourou Musuko. Others on my watch list are Beelzebub, Moshidora (‘cept it’s starting so late into the season that I don’t think I’ll remember it), Starry Sky (uh, for the seiyuus), IS Infinite Stratos (the premise sounds promising), Yumekui Merry (I like the premise), and GOSICK (I read the manga, liked it but don’t really think the mystery is all that intriguing).

    Looking forward to the next season! (And the blogging schedule. XD)

  44. Will Watch:
    Wolverine – I mean its based On Frank Miller’s “Wolverine” comic-book miniseries about his second stay in japan and from that newest trailer it seems to follow it 1 on 1 which is AWESOME. ( sweet delicious latex Yukio animated in full madhouse glory :3)

    Supernatural The Animation – a big fan of the tv show, hopefully this can live up to it.

    Otherwise – nothing. Apart those two nothing good.

  45. I’m really looking forward in watching Supernatural anime(because i love the show),Wolverine (i thought the Ironman anime was alright) and Beelzebub(love the manga). I’m also considering in watching Freezing since i liked Kurokami and i cant wait for the Ao no Exorcism anime does anyone know when that anime comes out?

  46. Anime that are guaranteed that I would watch this Winter.
    Infinite Stratos, Mitsudomoe, Kimi ni Todoke, Yumekui Merry, and Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica.

    So which anime that I won’t watch this Winter is the hidden gem. (I didn’t expect Shinryaku Ika Musume to be at 9000, so much for my old age and become the best anime I watch this year, until three weeks later after watching the first episode and end up finishing the whole series.)

  47. “Rather than continuing at the feverish pace of 12-16 shows per season, I plan to drop my personal load to a much more reasonable 3-5 shows and take on more in some seasons if time permits.
    Anyway, I hope the above was an informative resource on the upcoming season, after spending five days straight researching and writing this post from start to finish.”

    I never end up watching that many shows O_O

    I have realized just how much effort you put into this blog. Thank You! ^_^

  48. Thanks for working so hard on this winter preview!

    Yamakan isn’t the director for Lucky Star or TMoHS. He just came up with the dances, that’s all. Also, you should note that he directed Black Rock Shooter. Yamakan is also a bit famous for being incredibly rude at times.

    I’m disappointed that you won’t be covering GOSICK and Hourou Musuko, but I’m glad that you won’t be bogged down with work on the point of collapsing like before. Also, when Suzuku recovers, will he rejoin the RC crew once more?

    Definite to-watch list:
    Hourou Musuko
    Yumekui Merry
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
    Infinite Stratos
    Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu!

    Maybe to-watch list:
    Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?

    Suzushina Yuriko
    1. 7 people have left input on this reader’s input on how the voting system shouldn’t be about reader’s input on reader input. YouTubetastic!

      I get what you’re saying, but I find it a way to recognize great posts and subvert less desirable ones. I mean, comments are already a place of discussion, why not just add another way to have people voice themselves :P.

  49. Nothing of note, imo.

    I might catch Hourou Musuko, but I’ve already read quite a lot of the manga, so the impact will definitely be lessened. Same goes for Kimi ni Todoke (I lost interest in the manga after 5 volumes or so, honestly)

    Fractale seems mildly interesting, so I’ll give that a few eps, at the very least… though unlike everyone else, the director hasn’t impressed me at all with his past efforts.

    Might give Bones’ GOSICK a chance as well, but if it’s as lame as that Occult Gakuin drivel, I’m dropping it in a heartbeat.

    Doubt I’ll have the time nor patience for anything else, with the exception of a couple of OVAs… maybe.

  50. I’d say Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season, IS Infinite Stratos, Gosick, Freezing, and Fractale will be the only good animes this winter. This is based purely on how good the animation is. Who knows, maybe one of the new animes might have a good plot.

  51. Really Divine? [Freezing]? I’m not really one to judge someone’s preference (openly), but that series smells the same as [Seikon no Qwaser]… Makes me feel all nasty inside after each chapter… And not in a good way.

    1. I think I addressed that misconception in my write-up about it, but if you still feel so strongly about that, please try checking out the manga and making a slightly more informed judgement. I’m curious to know what people think after giving it a fair chance.

      1. I did read the manga… Okay it was the first few chapters only, but I wasn’t kidding about feeling all dirty inside, maybe it was the hazing and bullying? Those kind of things don’t seat well with me for some reasons…

      2. Yeah, I didn’t like the hazing and bullying either, but wanting to see how they overcome that got me hooked. When Satellizer’s backstory is revealed later on, all the suffering she endured becomes more meaningful as well.

    2. Read all of it that’s out, you can’t just judge the series on a first few chapter basis. ALthough I will warn you, there’s a lot of things some people might find offensive. =/

  52. I just did some research into Yamakan and found out that he was the one who directed the first 4 episodes of lucky star, which, imo, were the worst episodes of lucky star by far. I mean, I’m okay with trying to be creative, but the five minute talk on chocolate cornets seriously bored the hell out of me. On the upside though, I found out that he was the one who directed the amateur movie part of Haruhi, which was pure genius. Guess Fractale could go two ways/:

  53. The Wolverine anime seems to be direcly adapting a storyline which was originally written by Chris Claremont in the 1980’s, btw. No idea why Warren Ellis gets writer credit, even if he re-edited it around.

  54. nana to kaoru 🙂

    Its a very good story.

    Its a love romance comedy with a twist 🙂

    You need to be open minded for it 🙂 but when you give it a shot.
    It really opens another way to tell a standard love comedy

    I hope the ova and the reall life wont dissapoint me >_<

    Well thanks for the links and anime previews 😉

  55. Wow, I’m not excited about ONE new anime this season. -_-

    I really really hope one of them will surprise me and actually be good but I really doubt it. Some of the OVA’s and movie’s look good so maybe that will tide me over till next season. I may watch some episodes of Supernatural but only cause I love that show. Although I have a feeling it will get too embarrassing to watch.

    Ugh, I’m so upset at this winter season. But thanks for the preview anyway.

      1. Hahaha, noooooo. Not at all! I actually couldn’t care less about stuff like that. I don’t even really look at it. It just seems to me that almost every one of the new shows is a cutesy girl show or a sluty girl show. There’s a couple that aren’t like Wolverine and Beelzebub but I’m really not interested in those either.

        I just like shows like Shiki or Shinrei Tantei Yakumo from last season that have really in-depth and good stories. Shows with almost ALL girls really isn’t my cup of tea. Or shows with all guys. This season seems to be the former. Not to say none of these are going to be good, they may surprise me, but from my experience these shows kinda all end up the same and it’s boring to me. Just my opinion though.

  56. Hey Divine, I don’t know if you’ll read my post but I think you should just blog what you feel like is enough for yourself. It seems you’ve overwhelming yourself lately and more is not always better, not to say that the quality of your posts have dropped. If there is a show that you havn’t blogged then your not the only blogger out there.

    1. Well, thats what a lot have said already, and it seems at least he’s going to make some time to actually sleep.

      I have no idea how he managed to keep up up till now this output. It’s really amazing, if a little frightening.

  57. Thanks for the summaries on the Winter season Divine, I can’t even begin to image how long it must’ve taken to collate all the data.

    Not to be a pedantic ass, but your link for Taketatsu Ayana under Rio RainbowGate points to Hikasa Youko instead.

    1. It took almost every waking moment of five straight days. I had to really push myself to get it out by the Christmas deadline I set for myself. It was partly my own fault for not trying to squeeze in time during the season to get some of it done.

      Anyway, thanks for the link correction. It’s been fixed.

  58. Supernatural the Anime? Wow, just what else cannot be anime-fied these days? Heroes, Fringe, Lost and Prison Break?

    Anyway, for me, I’m a bit lost on what to follow, as there’s nothing by AIC this season after Strike Witches and OreImo, and Kyo-Ani will be busy with the K-ON movie, and their next TV project Nichijou won’t be on till Spring.

    though was mesmerized by the nun-like girl in Fractale, plus it’s by Yamakan and has Hanazawa Kana in it, so I guess I’m signed up for that. Same goes for Moshidora for the sailor uniformed girl in the pic. (And again it has Hanazawa Kana in it. 🙂 )

    I’m still not decided on Madoka Magika, IS and Yumekui Merry, but it’s on my “wait and see list”.

    Kinny Riddle
    1. I want to see [Burn Notice] as an anime heh.

      An anime for [Fringe] would be awesome! I can finally do a crossover fanfic with it and [Index] without people giving me weird looks!

  59. nothing worth watching this season. may watch Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!, but i probably won’t even DL it.

    this season is a total bust. Might as well go hibernate and wait till the spring season. though there are a couple of OVAs that i will be watching.

  60. Awww, you’re not blogging Gosick, I was hoping to get some of your thoughts as to how Bones handles this adaptation Divine, ah well, hopefully people will stop putting it down for having a loli in it and take some time to give it the attention it really does deserve 🙁

  61. The artwork for that Mitsudomoe show looks positively terrifying.

    I’d say I’m interested in Infinite Stratos on account of the mecha, but something tells me it’ll tilt more towards romantic comedy. Plus the idea of having to suffer through yet another series where women are portrayed as dominant and men a bunch of pathetic inferior losers in some bizarre sexual fetish that Japan must love but I care not for is not at all my cup of tea. Seriously can’t wait for the day when I’ll see more strong male characters gracing the animated TV series scene again instead of the odd show once or twice a year. First they’ll of course have to get past the obstacle that most anime these days barely seem to have any male characters in starring roles in them.

    Anyway Hourou Musuko, which looks to realistically address gender issues (something Japan really ought to start sorting out sooner rather than later) sounds promising and like it might be a somewhat more challenging watch then the rest of the season’s fare so it remains the only thing on my radar right now other than a couple of OVA’s like Gundam Unicorn Episode 03 and Mazinkaiser SKL.

    Kaioshin Sama
  62. Not sure you will blog it because of the content, but I suggest to watch to Nana to Kaoru ova, at least read the manga. I’m not into S&M, but I read the manga and liked it quite a lot. I expected it to be something more wild or disgusting, but except for two situations in the story, it’s enjoyable. Of course, if you are an open-minded person.

    Apart from S&M, it’s a romatic comedy type between childhood friends. Typical story but atypical setup. Give it a look.

  63. Just read the whole post. I’ve already done this for a few times though. Anyways, I noticed a lot of people is going to watch less than 5 series this season, which i find “weird” ’cause i usually watch almost all new anime. Guess that’s only applies to hardcore one’s like me. LOL.

    Anyways, thanks for the info, divine. I understand that you sacrifice a lot of things to blog new anime and I personally find that amazing. Go Divine.

    Anyways, gonna watch ALMOST all of them with a few “wait and see” titles (starry sky, wolverine*Striketwo*, supernatural)

    p/s : one more and you’re OUT!

    Anime>Sleep Otaku
  64. I can’t believe that not one person mentioned Beelzebub. I love action and sarcasm, and the manga is full of both. Beelzebub is a great manga, and I can’t wait to watch the anime. Personally, I hope they do make a long series out of it. I hate finding a series that I really get into only to have it end after a few episodes. I thought that there were more shows that were interesting this season than the last one. I could only really get into two shows during the past fall. I’m excited to see what’s coming.

  65. This is a pretty good lineup for the beginning of the year.
    I’ll definitely watch:
    IS Infinite Stratos
    Yumekui Merry

    I’ll most likely watch:
    Dragon Crisis!

    I won’t say that I will not watch others on the list, I just casually watch new series since I’m following a few ongoing ones.


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