Random Curiosity

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Winter 2015 Preview!

Winter is here, and with it comes another season of anime. This is a light season, with only 31 new series airing. There are some familiar names, including another TV movie-style entry into the Monogatari series, Tsukimonogatari, the speedy return of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, the second half of the trainwreck fantastic spectacle ALDNOAH.ZERO, and more ghoul horror from Tokyo Ghoul. The wildly popular manga Ansatsu Kyoushitsu is also finally getting its anime, as is the perhaps even more popular ship girl video game, Kancolle. This season even features the long-awaited return of Durarara!! That’s just a taste, so read on for the full scoop.

 

As a quick reminder, most entries are divided into two paragraphs:

  • A brief introduction to the series and its premise, often with the starring cast of characters.
  • The writer’s impressions, expanding on the plot and highlighting specific points of interest.

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

 

Disclaimer: Back in the ancient era of 2012, previews were done by a single writer, Divine. Unfortunately, none of the current writers are as crazy awesome as him, so we’ve divvied them up among our staff (Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas, and Zephyr) in order to maintain the quality of this preview. We will try to point out what appeals to us in each series, in the hope that it will help you determine if it coincides with your tastes.

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

 

Once again, thank you to the entire RandomC staff for helping out with this preview. Also, for anyone looking for a second opinion, feel free to check out LiA’s winter preview, completely written by Enzo himself. Finally, a special thanks to all of you for your continued support of Random Curiosity. We say this every time, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Thank you.


TV Series


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

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Absolute Duo
20:30 AT-X (1/4)
Doamaiger D
19:55 KBS (1/5)
Binan Koukou Chikyuboueibu LOVE!
25:40 TX (1/6)
Tsukimonogatari
22:00 MX (12/31)
Tokyo Ghoul √A
24:00 MX (1/8)
THE IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls
24:00 MX (1/9)
Shounen Hollywood -HOLLY STAGE FOR 50-
20:30 AT-X (1/10)
Yoru no Yatterman
22:00 MX (1/11)
Yuri Kuma Arashi
24:30 MX (1/5)
Military!
23:25 AT-X (1/7)
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
24:50 (CX) (1/8)
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc
24:30 MX (1/9)
Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes TD
22:00 MX (1/3)
Junketsu no Maria
22:30 MX (1/11)
Kami-sama Hajimemashita ◎
26:05 TX (1/5)
Kantai Collection -KanColle-
25:05 MX (1/7)
Koufuku Graffiti
25:46 TBS (1/8)
Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
25:20 AT-X (1/9)
Durarara!!x2 Shou
23:30 MX (1/10)
Seiken Tsukai no World Break
25:05 TX (1/11)
Shinmai Maou no Testament
25:35 MX (1/7)
Juuou Mujin no Fafnir
26:16 TBS (1/8)
Death Parade
25:58 TX (1/9)
ALDNOAH.ZERO 2
24:00 MX (1/10)
Sengoku Musou
25:35 TX (1/11)
Soukyuu no Fafner EXODUS
26:19 MBS (1/8)
DOG DAYS”
24:30 MX (1/10)
Ketsuekigata-kun! 2
MX (1/8)
ISUCA
25:35 MX (1/23)
THE ROLLING GIRLS
25:58 MBS (1/10)
Kuroko no Basuke 3
26:58 MBS (1/10)

* Jump to OVA/Movies.

Tsukimonogatari | 憑物語Top
http://www.monogatari-series.com/tsukimonogatari/
Animation: SHAFT Premiere: December 31, 2014
Genre: Supernatural, Romance, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesday at 22:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @nisioisin_anime

Preview by Passerby

The Monogatari series likely needs no introduction, but for those who still want one, here’s the rundown: Araragi Koyomi (Kamiya Hiroshi) is a half-vampire, inextricably linked to full-vampire Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade, aka Oshino Shinobu (Sakamoto Maaya). After spending his high school years solving supernatural problems, battling monsters from Japanese folklore, and generally flirting about, Koyomi has to confront his greatest challenge to date: university entrance exams. In Tsukimonogatari, the events of Koimonogatari have just recently been resolved, and things were supposed to have settled down for good. If only it were ever that easy. Koyomi’s vampirism starts acting up, and he doesn’t know what to do about it. Enter monster hunter Kagenui Yozoru (Shiraishi Ryoko) and her familiar Ononoki Yotsugi (Hayami Saori); old foes though they may be, maybe they can help. Or maybe they can’t. Maybe, this time, nobody can help.

There’s a lot the Monogatari series can be sold on. It’s a relatively mature show brimming with wit, which turns its dialogue-heavy nature into a positive. The visual style—which director Shinbou Akiyuki is now infamous for—is supplementary and abstract, creating a distinct atmosphere. All this is used to deliver a blend of the mystical and mundane that can be philosophical while also being relatable. If you’re new to the franchise and that sounded good to you, you should start with Bakemonogatari, as Tsukimonogatari is the start of the final chapter of the series. It’s the beginning of the end, and like the epilogue-esque Hanamonogatari before it, all the episodes of Tsukimonogatari are going to be broadcast back-to-back to create a movie-like experience. I’m looking forward to Tsukimonogatari, and the focus on the enigmatic Ononoki Yotsugi, strange creature that she is, should prove to be especially interesting. It’s going to be a bit sad knowing that the Monogatari series is ending soon, but one of the marks of a good story is that it knows when to wrap up, and does so with style.

Watching This: Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Tsukimonogatari Promotional Videos ▼

Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes TD | 探偵歌劇ミルキィホームズTDTop
http://milky-holmes-anime.com/td/
Animation: NOMAD x J.C. Staff Premiere: January 3, 2015
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 22:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @milkyholmes

Preview by Samu

The Great Era of Detectives continues into its fourth season, and the girls of the detective team Milky Holmes are back again! With help from the superhuman abilities granted by “Toys,” the famed Opera Koyabashi runs the detective agency Milky Holmes. Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes TD promises to deliver what the series is known for, led by detectives Sherlock (Mimori Suzuko), Nero (Tokui Sora), Hercule (Sasaki Mikoi), and Cordelia (Kitta Izumi), with new additions Kazumi (Terakawa Aimi) and Alice (Itou Ayasa) returning in supporting roles. The big case this time is the songs being stolen from idols within the Yokohama District, with Amagi Marine’s (Nitta Emi) hit “Kiseki no Uta” among them. It’s up to the Milky Holmes team to crack the mystery that lies ahead!

Milky Holmes is a series that you either get, or you don’t. As of right now I’ve only watched the first season, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It delivered exactly what it promised – it was goofy, genuinely funny, the characters were cute, and it was easy to watch. Sometimes you want to enjoy something and not have to think too much, and Milky Holmes is that kind of show for me. From what I’ve heard, Dai 2 Maku carried on the same way, but Futari wa Milky Holmes went in a different direction, losing the distinct Milky Holmes feel in the process. Futari director Nishikiori Hiroshi is returning as director for this fourth season, so it’s more than likely it will resemble the latest season rather than than the first two. For fans of the series, however you felt about Futari will likely tell you what you need to know about TD.

Watching This: Samu Expectation Level: Established
Show Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes TD Promotional Videos ▼

Absolute Duo | アブソリュート・デュオTop
http://absoluteduo.com/
Animation: 8bit Premiere: January 4, 2015
Genre: Action, Fantasy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 20:30
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @abso_official or #abso_duo

Preview by Stilts

Based on the light novel of the same name, Absolute Duo is set to premiere this winter. After losing a loved one he couldn’t protect, Kokonoe Tooru (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) enrolls at Kouryou Academy to could obtain the power necessary to seek his revenge. His tools: an injection of nano-machines called Luciful. The injection gives him superhuman strength and agility, and lets him manifest his soul into a weapon known as a “Blaze.” There’s only one problem—Tooru’s Blaze isn’t a weapon at all! Tooru is a rare Irregular, the only Blaze user with a shield. What’s more, thanks to the school’s Duo partner system, he ends up living with Julie Sigtuna (Yamamoto Nozomi), a beautiful silver-haired girl.

This is a magical-fantasy-action-harem anime based on a light novel with a Matsuoka Yoshitsugu main character, so you probably already know if this is your kind of show. I checked out the source material, and it largely hews to genre conventions; it was competently done, but it didn’t have a lot to distinguish itself. Girls flock to Tooru with little provocation, and he doesn’t stand out as a character—he’s a good guy, but he gets flustered by girls and lets events push him around like so many others before him. The girls have their character types, and they stick to them to the limit I read. I laughed a few times, there’s some fanservice, and the action was pretty good, but that’s all par for the course. Animation-wise, it’s being done by 8bit, and it looks like it’ll be in the same vein as their Tokyo Ravens adaptation. I’m reminded of the recent Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance, which was enjoyable but by no means groundbreaking. That’s fine; there’s nothing wrong with telling a good story, even if it’s familiar. But if you’ve seen this kind of story before, I wouldn’t expect to find anything new.

Watching This: Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Absolute Duo Promotional Videos ▼

Doamaiger D | ドアマイガーDTop
http://www.tvk-yokohama.com/doamai/
Animation: ILCA Premiere: January 5, 2015
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 19:55
Episodes: Station: KBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Takaii

Another one of those “Why would you ever make an anime like this?” mashups, Doamaiger D is TV Kanagawa and KBS Kyoto’s attempt to mash together two wildly different ideas—in this case, mechs and traditional Japanese sweets—in an attempt to create something different. The story focuses on Kyougoku Daijirou (Murai Routa), the 15th generation owner of a candy shop in Kyoto who is surprised to find a giant robot, Doamaiger D, in his basement. As chance would have it, giant enemies, or “Mekaijyu” (whose names are a play on mecha and monster) appear, and it seems that Daijirou and Doamaiger D are the only ones who can stop them.

As much as I don’t want to be downer, I don’t have much hope for a show like this. I’m sure anyone reading this has seen at least one show that tries to combine mecha with something else, and while the results may vary, I don’t think traditional Japanese candy making is the winning ingredient. I mean, come on — Doamaiger D in the preview extends candy out to the freaking monster! But as much as I’d love to go on with this rant, there were a few things that stood out to me, and may tip the scale for you. The decision to use a classic style helps the show stand out, even if it may not be for the right reasons. That and the super nostalgic backtrack playing through the preview reminded me of something that would play during the old Sentai Ranger days. That said, even with a few gimmicks trying to play to my nostalgia, I think this is another one of those shows that we’ll all forget about by week four.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderate Low
Yuri Kuma Arashi | ユリ熊嵐Top
http://www.yurikuma.jp/
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: January 5, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 24:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @yurikuma_anime or #yurikuma

Preview by Samu

Yuri Kuma Arashi is a story of humankind’s struggle against their greatest nemesis: Bears! Some time ago, an asteroid exploded above Earth, creating a meteor shower that brought bears to the world – bears who seek to destroy humanity! The cycle is endless: Bears eat humans, humans shoot bears. That was until the “Wall of Extinction” was built between the two, in order to keep the peace. It’s on one fateful day when Tsubaki Kureha (Yamane Nozomi), a transparent high school girl, friend and lover of Izumino Sumika (Ogura Yui), encounters transfer student Yurishiro Ginko (Arakawa Miho). Ginko is outgoing, cute, and an abnormal person from first impressions. But worst of all, Kureha believes Ginko is not human after all, and is in fact a bear! Are they friends, enemies, soulmates, or something more?

Based off what is available of the source material, Yuri Kuma Arashi knows exactly what type of series it is – cute, wacky, and totally out-there. The whole bears-from-outer-space element is so kooky that it just works, and when you consider this is crafted by famed director Ikuhara Kunihiko (Shoujo Kakumei Utena, Mawaru Penguindrum), you know it’s going to be a big deal. If you’re unfamiliar with Ikuhara’s works, then be prepared for symbolism so heavy you’ll not know what’s real and what’s not. Even from what I’ve familiarized myself with, I’m not sure where to draw the line between what actually happens and what is made up within the minds of his characters. And it’s awesome! If you enjoyed either Utena or Mawaru Penguindrum, chances are this one will deliver a similar feeling – it promises to have the same style, and features the theme of same-sex relationships, similar to Utena. It’s difficult to predict how the story will unfold, but that’s part of the magic of an Ikuhara show – it’s like diving into a kaleidoscope headfirst and being too caught up in the colours to blink. It’s fair to say that Yuri Kumi Arashi promises to be an entertaining watch from start to finish, heralding Ikuhara’s return to seasonal anime.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Passerby, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Yuri Kuma Arashi Promotional Videos ▼

Kami-sama Hajimemashita ◎ | 神様はじめました◎Top
http://mikagesha.com/
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: January 5, 2015
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 26:05
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @mikagesha or #mikagesha

Preview by Samu

Probably the most surprising sequel of the season, Kamisama Hajimemashita returns despite never quite reaching booming popularity. The first season aired back in 2012, and was one of those under-watched shows that deserved more than it got. It follows the life of the new Earth Deity, Momozono Nanami (Mimori Suzuko), after she ends up alone and homeless. Things go from bad to terrible as Nanami finds herself wrapped up in the world of spirits and the supernatural, with her deity contract sealed by kissing fox spirit Tomoe (Tachibana Shinnosuke). From there, we are introduced to an array of quirky spirits that have a contagious sort of energy to them. All of this provides an entertaining mix of unabashed shoujo bubbles, wacky situations with spirits pretending to be students, and the occasional delve into the past of these deities to see how everything connects with the present. There’s also the prevailing fact that Nanami is falling in love with Tomoe, stepping into the forbidden territory of love between human and spirit!

Kamisama Hajimemashita is a series that does a great job at catering to its demographic. It’s filled with cliches, yet always knows when and how to use them to its advantage. Daichi Akitarou (Fruits Basket) is returning as director, and given how self-aware, well-paced, and consistent the direction of the first season was, him taking charge again can only mean great things. This is a man who knows how to make the best of the source material he is adapting. Even as someone who isn’t a massive shoujo fan, I can vouch for Kamisama Hajimemashita by saying that it’s pure fun. If anyone is interested in this show but hasn’t watched the first season, I’d highly recommend it – it grows on you as each episode passes, until you’re left feeling love for every character. Kamisama Hajimemashita◎ promises to be exactly what set it self up as originally, and that guarantees another enjoyable season fans of this cute little series.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Kami-sama Hajimemashita ◎ Promotional Videos ▼

Binan Koukou Chikyuboueibu LOVE! | 美男高校地球防衛部LOVE!Top
http://boueibu.com/
Animation: diomedea Premiere: January 6, 2015
Genre: School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:40
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @boueibou or #boueibu

Preview by Stilts

The world-saving magical boy anime you’ve always wanted (maybe) is finally here! Binan Koukou Chikyuboueibu LOVE! is the story of five high school boys in the Binan High School Earth Defense Club, AKA the Do Nothing Club. One day, when club members Yufuin En (Umehara Yuuichirou) and Kinugawa Atsushi (Nishiyama Koutarou) are soaking in a public bath, a mysterious pink creature called Wombat (Mugihito) suddenly appears and asks them to protect the world. Now they and the other three club members—Hakone Yumato (Yamamoto Kazutomi), Naruko Io (Shirai Yuusuke), and Zaou Ryuu (Masuda Toshiki)—have to fight against mysterious creatures from outer space, as well as the Conquest Club (Student Council), as the new “Battle Lovers”.

When I first read about this series, I thought “So, it’s Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru with boys?” Then I realized it was a magical boy anime. Finally, I said “It’s Sailor Moon with dudes!” There’s probably truth in all of those, especially the latter two. This definitely has a Free! feel to it, where the boys are bishie and probably moe, though Yumato is so feminine I thought he was voiced by a woman. (He’s not.) This is an original series, there’s little information available on the plot. The promos do feature the main cast bathing together a lot, and there are magical boy transformations called “Love Making,” so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some serious yaoi vibes, though I’d expect them to follow Free’s lead and keep it as subtext. This strikes me as exactly the same as when a slice-of-life anime has an all girl cast—some producer went “If it’s targeted at women, why not make them all boys? They’ll like looking at boys more.” And so it was! That’s not a bad thing—it’s the way the industry is moving—and if you like magical girls boys and bishounen, it will be a very good thing indeed. Bonus: Director Takamatsu Shinji has done a lot of work, and most of it has been comedic in nature, including Gintama, School Rumble, and Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou, so this could be funny as well.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate Low
Show Binan Koukou Chikyuboueibu LOVE! Promotional Videos ▼

Military! | みりたり!Top
http://dreamcreation.co.jp/militari/
Animation: Dream Creation Premiere: January 7, 2015
Genre: Action, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 23:25
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_militari or #みりたり

Preview by Takaii

Take one part slice-of-life, half a cup of harem, add a bunch of guns while gently whisking, and you have Military!. Based on a 4-koma manga by author Mamo Williams, this show takes place during a conflict between two fictitious nations, the Krakozhia Dukedom and the Grania Republic. With each side locked in constant conflict, a wild card for Krakozhia appears as typical high school student Yano Souhei (Yamaya Yoshitaka). Not wanting to take any chances, the country sends First Lieutenant Lutgainikov (Touyama Nao) and Second Lieutenant Haruka (Sakura Ayane) in tanks to protect their ace while Grania also sends a representative, Sergeant Shachirof (Minase Inori), to look into things. Imagine what kind of wackiness could ensue when all of them decide to intrude on Souhei’s everyday life!

As another short show of the season, I don’t know how I feel about Military!. The art style is definitely something different and the preview gives off vibes I haven’t felt since Sabagebu!. I mean, how often do you have girls firing off guns for no reason, or busting through walls with tanks simply for the sake of entertaining us? Another interesting thing about this one is the fledgling studio working on it, Creators in Pack TOKYO. With only a supporting role in another series under their belts, it’ll be fun to see what they manage to put out. Either way, if you can get passed the art style I think this will be a great time killer when you’ve got nothing else to watch.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderate Low
Show Military! Promotional Videos ▼

Kantai Collection -KanColle- | 艦隊これくしょん -艦これ-Top
http://kancolle-anime.jp/
Animation: diomedea Premiere: January 7, 2015
Genre: Action, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:05
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_KanColle or #艦これ

Preview by Passerby

Anime adaptations of mobile and online games are becoming increasingly common, and Kantai Collection -Kancolle- may be the king of them all, currently reigning in Japan as the most popular anything ever. The plot of the game is relatively thin, so a lot of it will have to be made from whole cloth for the anime. Here’s what they have to start with: In an alternative world, humans have lost control of the seas to an enigmatic menace they call the ‘deep sea fleet’. The only ones who can fight them are the kan-musume, the ‘ship girls’. As their name implies, they are girls who are also ships, somehow possessed by the spirits of World War II vessels. Vessels like the destroyer Fubuki (Uesaka Sumire). A fresh recruit at a naval base, Fubuki must learn to fit in with a fleet comprised entirely of young girls and, eventually, go to war.

Anthropomorphism is so common to Japanese media that ‘mecha musume’ may as well be its own genre by now. Even moe warships aren’t new; before Kantai Collection -Kancolle- we had Aoki Hagene no Arpeggio, which was more or less the same thing with more sci-fi. Being based on a collectible card game, Kancolle distinguishes itself with huge array of seaworthy females. From the previews, Kancolle also seems to carry a World War II air to it, so war buffs will get a kick out of that in the same way they got a kick out of Girls und Panzer. Unlike Girls und Panzer, though, it seems that only Japanese war machines feature as protagonists; hopefully there won’t be some awkward Axis vs Allies subtext here. Also potentially awkward may be the use of CGI in action sequences, though we do have Kusakawa Keizo, best known as the Nanoha director, on board, and he should have plenty of experience pushing cute girls through over-the-top fight scenes. Kancolle is worth a look, if only to see what all the fuss is about.

Watching This: Passerby, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Kantai Collection -KanColle- Promotional Videos ▼

Shinmai Maou no Testament | 新妹魔王の契約者Top
http://anime-shinmaimaou.com/
Animation: Production IMS Premiere: January 7, 2015
Genre: Action, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @shinmaimaou or #shinmaimaou

Preview by Stilts

“Hey, you said you wanted a little sister, right?” That’s what Toujou Basara (Nakamura Yuuichi) was asked before his father got remarried and departed overseas, leaving Basara with two beautiful step-sisters, Naruse Mio (Asai Ayaka) and Naruse Maria (Fukuhara Kaori). But Mio and Maria’s true forms are that of the future Demon Lord and her succubus protector, respectively. Basara almost gets sucked into a master-and-servant contract with Mio as a means to control him, but it gets reversed, and now Basara is the master. This “rather risque battle action story” begins, as Basara is hit by one ecchi situation after another while Mio’s life is in constant danger, from both hardliners among the demon tribes and the warriors of the hero tribes.

This is a magical-fantasy-action-harem ecchi anime based on a light novel, so you probably already know if this is your kind of show. (I seem to be saying that in a lot this season.) The thing is, the story here is actually somewhat compelling. It feels a lot like High School DxD with a dash of Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai, though since the sisters are step-sisters, they’re free game, right? But the thing about them being a family is a lie—Maria mind controls their way into the house because they need a base of operations, and Basara and his father aren’t regular humans either. There’s plenty of fanservice, and the main imouto, Mio, is stacked, so big-breasted tsundere lovers are in luck. High School DxD really is the best comparison, because while the ecchi is strong, and is the main selling point, the actual plot is showing early signs of being above par, and maybe even legitimately good. What’s more, the scripts are being written by Yoshioka Takao, who did the scripts for DxD, as well as plenty of other ecchi-action series besides. Even with its ecchi bonafides, which say “low brow” to most people, I’m bullish on this show. You’ve got to like ecchi if you’re going to watch, but it could be one of the better ones if it’s done right.

Watching This: Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Shinmai Maou no Testament Promotional Videos ▼

Tokyo Ghoul √A | 東京喰種√ATop
http://www.marv.jp/special/tokyoghoul/
Animation: Studio Pierrot Premiere: January 8, 2015
Genre: Horror, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tkg_anime or #tkg_anime

Preview by Samu

One of the most talked about anime of 2014, for better or worse, is on its way back. Tokyo Ghoul is the story of Kaneki Ken (Hanae Natsuki), a book-loving boy who encounters a human-eating ghoul. He survives the attempt on his life, but part of the ghoul’s body is transferred into his, and he’s never the same again. What followed was a string of devastating encounters with enemies from both sides – ghouls who want to eat, use, and abuse Kaneki for his difference, as well as humans who seek to eradicate any ghoulish life forms they can find. What we last saw was a psychological shift so drastic to Kaneki’s character, that everyone was left wondering: just what is going to happen next?

If I were to summarize my feelings on Tokyo Ghoul, I’d say: what a mess. An enjoyable mess, but a mess nonetheless. While its positives lie in its great production quality, its engrossing story of survival, and its interesting cast of characters, there were always problems. Many complain about the censorship, but there was also the breakneck pacing, which adapted story arcs in an episode or two like it was nothing. The whole thing felt like a rush to the finish line. We never really got to digest what was happening; instead they just threw one thing after another until we came to a stop. However, it’s difficult to predict how Tokyo Ghoul √A will turn out. It’s not confirmed as one-cour yet, which would be even more of tight fit to finish to the story. Another is that the mangaka Ishida Sui is working on the storyboards this time around, in order to tell a story that wasn’t told in the manga. Some reports suggest it’s going to abandon the source material and instead go completely anime-original. That would be worrying, but when done by the original author, it calls for attention to see how it will play out. But as a fan of the manga, I do hope we get to see what is left adapted. There are some really fantastic, gritty events that take place, and if they make it into √A, then I’ll be a happy bunny (or should I say, Rabbit?).

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Kairi, Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Tokyo Ghoul √A Promotional Videos ▼

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata | 冴えない彼女の育てかたTop
http://www.saenai.tv/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: January 8, 2015
Genre: Romance, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:50
Episodes: Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @saenai_heroine or #saekano

Preview by Passerby

Aki Tomoya (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) is an otaku, the kind of nerd that anime fans should be thankful for, because it’s their religious BD purchases that keep the industry afloat. Hardcore geek that he is, Tomoya has little interest outside of purchasing merchandise and working to pay for them, until one day he literally runs into the beautiful Katou Megumi (Yasuno Kiyono), and inexplicably falls in love. Henceforth he is touched by a muse and attains a calling: to produce a galge starring a heroine modeled after Megumi. He ropes in superficially foreign childhood friend Sawarumi Spencer Eriri (Oonishi Saori) and resident genius Kasumigaoka Utaha (Kayano Ai) to form a coterie for the express purpose of creating this amateur visual novel. It’s going to be daunting task, though. Katou Megumi is a girl completely void of personality. How does one write a compelling heroine from that?

For those of you who enjoyed autumn’s Shirobako, the anime about making anime, here’s an anime about making a visual novel, with an even more meta bent. Not only is Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (How to Train an Ordinary Girl to Be an Heroine) an anime light novel adaptation about making a visual novel, it’s an anime light novel adaptation about making a visual novel about itself. Try and wrap your head around that. It’s notable that Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata airs in the noitaminA slot, and that it has produced some interesting fare in the past (but also, admittedly, some duds). On the staff side, we have Kamei Kanta in the director’s chair, who also directed Usagi Drop, which was quite the touching human drama. Those who worry about adaptation faithfulness will be pleased to know that original author Maruto Fumiaki (Whie Album 2) himself is penning the script. What exactly will come of that is hard to say. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata is obviously self-aware, but whether it becomes fully deconstructive remains to be seen. All indications point to it knowing what it’s doing, and those who already have some knowledge of anime and visual novel tropes may find Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata to be an interesting take on a usually formulaic industry.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Promotional Videos ▼

Koufuku Graffiti | 幸腹グラフィティTop
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/koufuku_g/
Animation: SHAFT Premiere: January 8, 2015
Genre: School-Life, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:46
Episodes: Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @koufuku_g or #koufukug

Preview by Takaii

SHAFT makes its return this winter with a slice-of-life that focuses on good food and friendships. Going by the name Koufuku Graffiti, it’s based off of a 4-koma manga that’s serialized in Manga Time Kirara, which has also given us masterpieces such as K-ON! and Acchi Kocchi. This show follows the life of Machiko Ryou (Satou Rina), along with her friends Morino Kirin (Oogame Asuka) and Shiina (Komatsu Mikako), as they live their lives while eating a lot of delicious-looking food.

While there isn’t much to say about this show since it’ll be hit-or-miss like many slice-of-life shows are, I did want to point out a few things I noticed about Koufuku Graffiti. The first being that I didn’t really get the “cute girls doing cute things” vibe from the manga, but rather I got the impression that you’ll get something substantial from it. The characters seem for the most part to be down to earth, and the story likes to focus on serious things every now and then, like the importance of “family,” just as much as it likes to show hyper-sexualized versions of Ryou chowing down on food. Second, this is SHAFT! Seeing how the last thing they did was the complex story of MEKAKUCITY ACTORS a whole season ago, it’s nice to see them picking up a simple show like this. Toss in their trademark head tilts and unique style of storytelling, and maybe they’ll do something amazing with this one.

Watching This: Cherrie, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Koufuku Graffiti Promotional Videos ▼

Juuou Mujin no Fafnir | 銃皇無尽のファフニールTop
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/fafnir/
Animation: diomedea Premiere: January 8, 2015
Genre: Action, Fantasy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:16
Episodes: Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @fafnir_anime or #fafnir_a

Preview by Stilts

With the sudden appearance of the monsters known as Dragons, the world has completely changed. Before long, supernatural girls called “D” were born with the power of the dragons. Supernatural girls … and one boy. The only male “D”, Mononobe Yuu (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu), was thrown into Midgar, a school where the “D” girls are gathered, and he immediately saw his classmate Freyja Iris (Hidaka Rina) naked. He was even reunited with his long-lost sister, Mononobe Mitsuki (Numakura Manami). This school battle action story, about a boy who is supposed to become the strongest assassin and an incompetent girl, unfolds.

This is a magical-fantasy-action-harem anime based on a light novel with a Matsuoka Yoshitsugu main character, so you probably already know if this is your kind of show. (That’s the third time I’ve said that this preview, yeesh.) I wasn’t able to get a hold of the source material, but this appears to be another show that isn’t doing a lot to distinguish itself. The premise is full of jargon, but it boils down to another Infinite Stratos or Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance-style setup, i.e. an excuse to toss one guy into a school full of girls, with a side of magical combat. Then it has some Norse mythological jargon … Fafnir, Midgar[d] … aaaand. Yeah, that’s about it. This is one of four series Diomedéa is putting out this season, though this one is helmed by Kusakawa Keizo, who has a decent track record. But other crucial staff positions are held by comparative newcomers, so without the source material, I have no idea what to expect. Fans of the magical-fantasy-action-harem genre have plenty of choices this season, and while this one is low on my personal list, that’s out of ignorance as much as anything. For everyone else, you probably figured out if you were interested in this show from the first sentence of this paragraph, so now I’m just talking to myself.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Soukyuu no Fafner EXODUS | 蒼穹のファフナー EXODUSTop
http://fafner-exodus.jp/
Animation: Xebec Zwei Premiere: January 8, 2015
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:19
Episodes: Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @fafnerproject or #fafner

Preview by Takaii

In a world that’s been ravaged by aliens known as Festum, there lies a small island called Tatsumiyajima that’s managed to avoid most of the aliens’ aggression. Without falling to their attacks like other major cities, the island’s citizens live out their everyday lives in peace thanks to a sophisticated cloaking shield. However, this all changes when a Festum stumbles upon the lone island and begins assimilating anyone and anything that attempt to strike back. With everything on the line, the island’s defense group AVIS launches a counterattack that literally transforms the island into a battle station, and in turn unleashes their trump card — the mechas known as Fafner. As the battle wages on, an unlikely hero in the form of Makabe Kazuki (Ishii Makoto) appears to pilot the first Fafner, as his childhood friend Minashiro Soushi (Kiyasu Kohei) guides him from mission control.

Another show that I unfortunately haven’t had the time to watch, Soukyuu no Fafner is apparently one of the better mecha series out there. Having already gone through a full 2-cour season and then followed up with a movie, Exodus continues the story after the Heaven and Earth movie. While it’s hard for a non-mecha fan like myself to comment on the premise or the characters, I can say that I was genuinely interested in what the series had to offer. With a huge cast of characters that all seem to fill their niche, amazing attention to detail on the Fafner designs, and the choice to use death as a way to create a enriching wartime story, there wasn’t much I didn’t like. For the returning viewers, XEBEC is still handling the production, with director Habara Nobuyoshi and writer Ubukata Tow reprising their roles. All in all, this sequel seems like a nice present for veteran viewers, but for those just discovering the series it might be a bit difficult to catch up with all the previous material.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Soukyuu no Fafner EXODUS Promotional Videos ▼

Ketsuekigata-kun! 2 | 血液型くん!2Top
http://ketsuekigatakun.com/
Animation:Assez Finaud Fabric x feel. Premiere: January 8, 2015
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ketsuekigatakun or #血液型くん

Preview by Zephyr

Another series receiving a sequel is Ketsuekigata-kun!, which returns after a two year break. As with the first season, Ketsuekigata-kun! 2 is based on the manga by “Real Crazy Man,” and revolves around the anthropomorphization of different blood types based on their expected characteristics—Type A corresponds to reliability, Type B with passion, Type O with independence, and Type AB with capriciousness. Taking the roles of the respective blood types are Fukuyama Jun, Nakamura Yuuichi, Ishida Akira, and Kakihara Tetsuya, all of whom actually have the blood type they represent. They are reprising the roles they had previously.

As with my preview of the first season, I will say that I don’t personally believe in a link between blood types and personality, but have heard much about how Japan (and many East Asian countries) seem to believe in a correlation between the two. As such, the series did get me interested early on because of the cultural difference involved, but the actual execution ended up being more of a miss. There’s only so much relying on the same correlations can get you, and there’s not much going for the show aside from its short length and well-known seiyuu. That’s not to say you can’t find enjoyment here, but you probably shouldn’t expect much from this series.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low
THE IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls | アイドルマスター シンデレラガールズTop
http://imas-cinderella.com/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: January 9, 2015
Genre: Music Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @imas_anime or #imas_cg

Preview by Passerby

THE IDOLM@STER is one of the most renowned game franchises in Japan, and few can match the amount of derivative work it has spawned. If you count the spinoff Xenoglossia—and no one will blame you if you choose not to—winter 2015 will mark its third full anime series. Cinderella Girls is adapted from a mobile game, of the social networking, collectible card game type that seems to be all the rage these days, and by all accounts it was a real money spinner. The premise of the anime, though, seems to be similar to that of its predecessor: a bunch of young girls have their sights set on being pop music idols (which is framed as a burgeoning Japanese industry), and must overcome various trials and tribulations on their way to become big stars. We’ll be following Shibuya Rin (Fukuhara Ayaka), Shimamura Uzuki (Oohashi Ayaka) and Honda Mio (Hara Sayuri) as they and their colleagues at their production agency go through the daily struggles of the aspiring idol. It won’t be an easy road, but no doubt the power of friendship and irrepressible idealism will win the day.

It’s notable that THE IDOLM@STER of 2011 managed to claim the title of Divine’s top slice-of-life of the year, because before it aired nobody would have expected it. It could easily have phoned it in as a vapid promotional piece drawn out of the merchandise budget, but instead it ended up as a series with a lot of heart. As a slice-of-life, THE IDOLM@STER invested in developing a cast of likable characters, then capitalised with some surprisingly effective drama. Cinderalla Girls may well choose to follow this successful formula. There has been a staff shuffle since the previous series—note the different designs, and Nishigori Atsushi no longer directing—but Cinderalla Girls seems to have roughly the same outlines as its predecessor, albeit with an even larger cast. There probably won’t be time to showcase all of them and the focus will likely be on a handful of main faces, but there’ll still be enough characters for everyone to find someone they like. At that point, it won’t matter if the show is about idols or whatever; it’ll just be a solid slice-of-life series that’s easy to enjoy.

Watching This: Passerby Expectation Level: Moderate
Show THE IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls Promotional Videos ▼

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc | ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 スターダストクルセイダース エジプト編Top
http://jojo-animation.com/
Animation: David Production Premiere: January 9, 2015
Genre: Action, Adventure, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_jojo or #jojo_anime

Preview by Zephyr

Jojo and Co. are back after a one cour break, and it’s a welcome return to a franchise that has spawned countless iterations. Continuing from last season, Stardust Crusaders Egypt-hen will conclude David Production’s adaptation of the series’ third major arc. With it comes the end of our heroes’ 50-day world tour, and a confrontation with their mortal enemy, Dio Brando (Koyasu Takehito), possessor of multiple Stand powers, a legion of Stand minions, and the body of Jonathan Joestar. Ono Daisuke, Ishizuka Unshou, Hirakawa Daisuke, and Komatsu Fuminori will reprise their roles as JoJo, Joutaro, Kakyoin, and Polnareff respectively, and return along with the rest of the original staff, led by directors Tsuda Naokatsu and Suzuki Kenichi. Joining them is Fukuen Misato, the voice behind the newest member of the main cast, Iggy.

Considering that David Production and a majority of the staff have worked together for 50 episodes now, I think it’s safe to say we know what to expect from this series: over the top action, an epic supernatural adventure, and entertainment value unrivaled by many. Given the series’ lengthy run and the consistency behind it, there’s not much to say other than it’s been a pleasure watching this franchise every step of the way (it’s a perennial AOTY front runner for me personally, in various categories), and that’s a notion that’s unlikely to change with this season. The fact that there’s more Jojo (at least two cours worth in 2015 alone) is always a good thing, provided you don’t enter this series without having watched the previous seasons.

Watching This: Samu, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc Promotional Videos ▼

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu | 暗殺教室Top
http://www.ansatsu-anime.com/main.php
Animation: Lerche Premiere: January 9, 2015
Genre: Action, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:20
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ansatsu_anime or #暗殺教室

Preview by Samu

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu is a strange one. The manga is already a massive hit, and has been since its debut. It ranked as the 10th best selling manga of 2014, one of the very few series to achieve such a feat without an anime to boost its sales. In short, its popularity is already through the roof. But what makes it so special? If you’ve ever fantasized about killing your teacher, you’ll probably love it, and that might by why Japanese middle schoolers relate to it so well. One thing is different though, as this teacher is Koro-sensei (Fukuyama Jun), an alien that destroyed the moon and threatens to do the same to Earth, unless his students can kill him. Shiota Nagisa (Fuchigami Mai) is one of those students, and he and his classmates are trained in the art of assassination with the help of the government, in order to take down their teacher and save planet Earth.

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu is wish fulfillment for many, and it’ll be interesting to see how many more are caught up by its premise. It’s popularity is undeniable, and there is certainly reason behind that. One factor is a good balance between comedic and serious moments. It relies on gags, situational humour, and smirk-worthy references to tell its story. Sometimes episodic, sometimes plot-heavy arcs, the story can be anything from the daily attempts on their teacher’s life, wars with other classrooms with superiority complexes, and field trips with deadly twists. Koro-sensei is the undeniable star of the series, and within minutes you’re guaranteed to love him. He’s difficult, dangerous, and caring – he wants to destroy the world, but he’s like a proud parent to all the students who constantly try to take his life, which makes for lots of charming relationships. I’ve been reading the manga from the beginning, and I’ve always felt that it would be more suited to an anime, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the director, Kishi Seiji (Angel Beats!, DANGANRONPA, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita) translates this story to the screen. Definitely one to watch out for, if only for how massively popular it is.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Ansatsu Kyoushitsu Promotional Videos ▼

Death Parade | デス・パレードTop
http://www.deathparade.jp
Animation: Madhouse Premiere: January 9, 2015
Genre: Psychological, Horror Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:58
Episodes: Station: Tokyo TV (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @dp_anime or #dp_anime

Preview by Zanibas

Groups of people unwittingly find themselves in a bar called Queen Dekim from time to time, hosted by the polite bartender, Decim (Maeno Tomoaki). Unknown to them, this bar acts as a type of judgement in the afterlife, where bar games such as billiards or darts determine their fate, while also revealing the true side of each participant. These people—unaware they have died together—are sorted in a grand scheme of many bars, each with their own arbiter-bartender, each with a specific purpose. It takes a lot of people to manage an operation like this, such as general manager Nona (Ookubo Rumi), elevator attendant Clavice (Uchiyama Kouki), and the overseer Oculus (Genda Tesshou) making sure that every passing soul is properly exposed and judged before their ultimate fate is delivered. Prepare for a psychological and philosophical ride through the depths of the dead.

Death Parade has its origins in the original OVA Death Billiards, which was produced under the Anime Mirai 2013 banner. Now a full-fledged series, Death Parade will explore human nature through a series of judgments each episode. In a way, it’s similar to Mushi-shi or Kino no Tabi, where each episode is dedicated to exposing a part of human nature. However, Death Parade’s own messages will likely be more morbid, given its subject matter. As a product of Anime Mirai, it will be interesting to see what kind of direction new players in the industry can bring to the table, as this is Tachikawa Yuzuru’s first full directorial work. With Madhouse behind the wheel, I am confident this’ll turn out to be an excellent anime, providing much needed life for the small yet powerful philosophical genre.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Death Parade Promotional Videos ▼

Shounen Hollywood -HOLLY STAGE FOR 50- | 少年ハリウッド-HOLLY STAGE FOR 50-Top
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/shonen-hollywood-anime/
Animation: Zexcs Premiere: January 10, 2015
Genre: Music, Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 20:30
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @shohari_anime or #shohari

Preview by Samu

Shounen Hollywood returns not long after its first season in the summer 2014, and the holly stage has been upgraded from 49 to 50! Amaki Ikuma (Kakihara Tetsuya), Kazami Kakeru (Osaka Ryouta), Maiyama Shun (Ono Kensho), Saeki Kira (Yamashita Daiki), and Tomii Daiki (Aoi Shouta) all return to the fictional theatre of Hollywood Tokyo to continue their idol work from where they left off after their very first live concert. But their goal to become the second generation idols of Shounen Hollywood is only just beginning.

Going by the first season, there was certainly a mixed reaction to Shounen Hollywood. There were those who enjoyed it for what it is – another male idol show with focus on the characters, their hardships, and their charm – as well as viewers who were disappointed in what was given, how the delivery fell flat in its inconsistent animation quality, and was tied with episodes that bordered on filler. It would be fair to say that Shounen Hollywood bears more resemblance to the likes of Wake Up Girls! in how it approaches the idol genre, as apposed to the over-the-top campness of Uta no Prince-sama. While the first season built from the ground up (choreography, speeches, catchphrases, talk show appearances), this time Shounen Hollywood -HOLLY STAGE FOR 50- may show that effort being put to a greater stage, which I’m sure fans of the series would very much appreciate.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low
Durarara!!x2 Shou | デュラララ!!×2 承Top
http://www.durarara.com/
Animation: Shuka Premiere: January 10, 2015
Genre: Action, Drama, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @drrr_anime or #drrr_anime

Preview by Passerby

The original run of Durarara!! aired way back in 2010, and now a full five years later it finally has a sequel, albeit now animated by the newcomer studio shuka. An adaptation of a light novel by Narita Ryougo, who also wrote Baccano! (which sadly has no sequel), Durarara!! is an anime hard to summarise by virtue of how much it has going on. For those new to the franchise, I’ll try to give a quick blurb: the Ikebukuro district of modern Tokyo may seem like another Japanese urban centre, but beneath the surface it is a melting pot of the weird and wonderful. Headless horsemen do delivery. The Incredible Hulk tends bars. Puppet masters manipulate rival factions into states of virtual civil war. So, it’s basically like every other metropolis. Ryuugamine Mikado (Toyonaga Toshiyuki) is just a country boy; how’s he going to survive in the big city? It’s a good thing that, in Ikebukuro, even plain-looking high school students are not all that they seem.

I may only have mentioned one character by name, but, like Baccano! before it, Durarara!! has a humongous cast that defies the scope of two paragraphs of preview. A wide array of colourful characters is the main strength of Durarara!!, and it wields it with gusto. That’s all a great show needs, really; just design a bunch of quirky personalities with unique capabilities, throw them into a blender, and something interesting will come out. To support this character-centric approach, Durarara!! stars a veteran voice cast, with plenty of names you’ll have heard of before, like Ono Daisuke, Hanazawa Kana, and Sawashiro Miyuki, just to pull a few out of a hat. Durarara! has a very loose definition of ‘main character’, and tends to jump between many perspectives. The story may be a bit chaotic, but there’s never a dull moment. With Durarara!!x2 Shou being only the first of three planned sequel seasons (x2 Ten airs in July, and x2 Ketsu next year), they’re bound to have big things planned. If you have never watched the original Durarara!!, go check it out; it’s great fun. If you enjoyed the previous installment, then Durarara!!x2 Shou is an easy pick for Winter 2015.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Durarara!!x2 Shou Promotional Videos ▼

ALDNOAH.ZERO 2 | アルドノア・ゼロ 第2期 Top
http://www.aldnoahzero.com/
Animation: A-1 Pictures x TROYCA Premiere: January 10, 2015
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @aldnoahzero or #aldnoahzero

Preview by Zephyr

After a one-cour break, one of the most hyped series of 2014 is back. The original brain child of Urobuchi Gen, and since taken over by Takayama Katsuhiko and Aoki Ei after the first three episodes, ALDNOAH.ZERO’s first season saw the start of fresh hostilities between the VERS Empire on Mars and the United Forces of Earth. Started initially by the destruction of a Hyper Gate on the Moon 15 years ago, the newest conflict centered around the attempted assassination VERS Princess Asseylum Vers Allusia (Amamiya Sora), and ended with a successful last stand on part of the Earth Forces. ALDNOAH.ZERO’s second season will serve as a direct sequel, and although not much is known about its contents aside from rumors of time-travel and the survival of key characters, it has been noted that all members of the original cast and staff (minus UroGen) will return for its newest iteration.

As one of the most hyped series of 2014 (and this season as well), there’s a measure of polarization in the expectations. With the staff remaining the same, one shouldn’t expect the second season to be any different from its first—an immensely enjoyable, over-the-top action/mecha hybrid rife with suffering, “death,” “Slain-e” jokes, and music from the always great Sawano Hiroyuki. The big question is what path they will choose with this sequel, as the first season’s finale brought with it a bloodbath that could make or break the series depending on who survives. It’ll likely end up being a fun ride regardless, but there’s a lot of room for controversial developments that some fans of the first season may not like, and that’s just par for the course. Gen may no longer be involved, but one can definitely see the mark he’s left, and it’s one that carries through even now. This is a series that will likely be one of the most talked about this year.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show ALDNOAH.ZERO 2 Promotional Videos ▼

DOG DAYS”Top
http://www.dogdays.tv/
Animation: Seven Arcs Pictures Premiere: January 10, 2015
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @dogdays_anime or #dogdays

Preview by Stilts

Once upon the time, the Republic of Biscotti faced a predicament in the form of an invasion by the Galette Leo Knights. In order to save the country, Princess Millhiore (Horie Yui) summoned a hero from another world. Izumi Cinque (Miyano Mamoru), a junior high school boy living on Earth, was chosen as that hero. After two anime seasons worth of adventures in Flonyard, Cinque and his friends are back for a third season of fun! Rumor has it that, though Cinque and his team will show up every episode, the other characters will change every week, and a few more main characters may join the cast.

This is one of the series that our old writer Moomba has been telling me to watch for a while, and after checking out the first few episodes of the first season, I can see why. It looks like High Fantasy with a kemonomimi fetish, but it has a delightful lightness of tone that’s unlike any fighting anime I’ve seen. They’re fighting wars, but the battles aren’t bloody—they’re more of fitness challenges! Defeated soldiers turn into beast balls instead of dying, and everyone takes part enthusiastically. In a way it reminds me of Girls und Panzer, where the excitement of battle is combined with the wholehearted striving of a sports anime, though in Dog Days the contests are all martial arts, acrobatics, and magical attacks. The hero Cinque is the epitome of a lovable idiot, emphasis on the lovable (and idiot). The kemonomimi fetish cannot be denied—there’s fanservice to be had, and few options in this setting outside of kemonomimi characters—but it’s the show’s light tone that attracted my attention. Veterans of this series will know more than me, so I can’t speak to what may happen, save to say that the original creator and the director of season two are back, and that it sounds like this season will be more focused on world building, so it may not be the right season for a newbie to start. As an excuse to go back and watch the other ones, though, it does the job. I for one am finding it hard to write these other previews, because I want to go watch more Dog Days!

Watching This: Stilts Expectation Level: Moderate
Show DOG DAYS'' Promotional Videos ▼

THE ROLLING GIRLSTop
http://rollinggirls.com/
Animation: Wit Studio Premiere: January 10, 2015
Genre: Adventure, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:58
Episodes: Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @therollinggirls or #rollinggirls

Preview by Stilts

Ten years after the Great Tokyo War, each prefecture in Japan has split up into an independent nation. Each is ruled by a prophet called “Mosa” and an army called “Mob,” and they are competing to take over the other countries. Four Mob girls from the Saitama clan, Moritomo Nozomi (Ozawa Ari), Kosaka Yukina (Hidaka Rina), Hibiki Ai (Taneda Risa), and Misono Chiaya (Hanamori Yumiri), are ordered by their Mosa to travel around Japan on their motorcycles to mediate battles between other nations and clans.

This was not on my radar initially, but after a little research, my interest has been thoroughly piqued. The promos felt like a mixture of Kill la Kill and Kyousogiga, though the actual imagery is far more in the latter camp. The premise has a Warring States feeling, though bloodshed and war don’t seem to be anywhere in evidence, opting instead for the colorful (and dare I say, cartoonish) combat epitomized by Kill la Kill and Kyousougiga. The director is Deai Kotomi, who has been an episode director on a lot of shows I respect, and sat in the director’s chair for Gin no Saji 2nd Season, which I absolutely loved. This is the first original series by Wit Studio, of Shingeki no Kyojin fame, though it gave me more of a Trigger feeling. The critical question is about the story, because while the fundamentals look good, a mediocre story could easily derail it all, and that’s the one thing we can’t know until it airs. I suggest everyone watch the promo videos below, and see if this looks like something you might life. It could be great, it could be bad—we don’t know! But it looks good, and there’s charm in the animation, so if they can combine that with a solid script, this could be a winner.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show THE ROLLING GIRLS Promotional Videos ▼

Kuroko no Basuke 3 | 黒子のバスケ 第3期Top
http://www.kurobas.com/
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: January 10, 2015
Genre: Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:58
Episodes: Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kurobasanime or #kurobas

Preview by Takaii

Another show that needs almost no introduction, Kuroko no Basuke is one of those sports-based shows that just does it right. Following the protagonist Kuroko Tetsuya (Ono Kensho) and his fellow teammate Kagami Taiga (Ono Yuuki), the story focuses around Kuroko’s unique style of play combined with Kagami’s latent talent. Instead of Kuroko being the all-star player that you’d expect from a protagonist, he’s the embodiment of a gentleman who lacks any presence both on and off the court. But with such a unique trait, Kuroko is able to manipulate the ball and the players in ways that allow him to break through even the toughest defense and set up insane plays for his hotheaded powerhouse forward, Kagami. Toss in a bunch of other unique characters — like a coach who can analyze her players simply by looking at their bodies, and a senpai who’s a foul-mouthed but charismatic leader — and you have a sports show that’s fun for all fans alike.

While I’m a ashamed to admit that I haven’t actually watched the entire series, the few episodes I saw left such a good impression on me that I’m about to go and catch up with all of it after I finish writing this (Update: I’m almost through season one and it’s only been one day ;_;). What I can tell you is that with Production I.G’s team still behind the reins since season one, I can’t find any reason for veteran viewers to be concerned. It would make sense for new viewers to catch up on seasons one and two if you already haven’t, since there seems to be a big fuss about something special happening in this third season. This show gives off some nice vibes, and for anyone like me who watched Haikyuu!! but not this, and has been looking for something to fill the hole it left, this just might do it for you.

Watching This: Takaii Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Kuroko no Basuke 3 Promotional Videos ▼

Yoru no Yatterman | 夜ノヤッターマンTop
http://yatterman.jp/
Animation: Tatsunoko Production Premiere: January 11, 2015
Genre: Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Passerby

The original Yatterman aired in 1977, as the spiritual sequel of the Time Bokan series. Growing even larger than its venerable predecessor, it got a remake in 2008, and finally a new series in Yoru no Yatterman coming this winter. In the original Yatterman, a trio of ne’er-do-wells known as the Doronbo Gang search for mythical stones scattered around the planet that will lead them to gold and riches, and the only ones that can stop them are a pair of masked heroes, the Yattermen. In Yoru no Yatterman, the situation is somewhat reversed. A bunch of folks called the Yattermen run an elitist utopia, and the Doronbo stand against them. The leader of this band of literal anti-heroes is a woman names Doronjo (Kitamura Eri), and together with her lackeys Tonzler (Miyake Kenta) and Boyacky (Hiroaki Hirata), they are eventually driven from the Yatterman kingdom for their rebellion. But thieves are anti-establishment at heart, and the resistance continues.

Not a lot of information has been released about Yoru no Yatterman, and what we do know can be downright confusing at times, so sometimes it’s hard to pin down what the plot is actually about. The thing to keep in mind, though, is that the original Yatterman never took itself very seriously. It was, for the most part, parody, and treated most subject matter with a certain level of tongue-in-cheek levity. Whether Yoru no Yatterman follows that philosophy remains to be seen, but it does seem to be aware that masked heroes romping around with their robot dog is something from a bygone era. So it’s a bit revamped, a bit edgier. It’s still probably going to be Yatterman, though. I do recommend those thinking of picking it up for the winter, but have no background knowledge of Yatterman, to at least check out the 2008 remake if they haven’t already. Time Bokan is an old franchise, with plenty of self-referential potential. I doubt they’ll try too hard to alienate the new fan, but it may be best to bring yourself up to speed to maximise your enjoyment.

Watching This: Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Junketsu no Maria | 純潔のマリアTop
http://junketsu-maria.tv/
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: January 11, 2015
Genre: History, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @JunketsuMariaTV or #maria_anime

Preview by Passerby

The era: the Hundred Years War. The heroine: a witch. In particular, a witch named Maria (Kanemoto Hisako) who despises war and violence, and tries to intervene between battles as much as possible. Maria uses her familiars, the succubus Artemis (Hikasa Yoko) and incubus Priapos (Komatsu Mikako) to influence enemy commanders (in exactly the way you imagine), and her own prodigious powers to maintain an uneasy peace in northern France. But her magical meddling attracts the attention of the powers that be, and the judgment of the archangel Michael (Inoue Kikuko). The archangel thus decrees: should the witch Maria ever lose her virginity, so too shall she lose her sorcerous powers. The angel Ezekiel (Hanazawa Kana) is sent to watch over Maria and ensure that she ceases flaunting her magic. Maria isn’t the type to listen, though. She still intervenes with magic. She just needs to avoid being caught.

The Hundred Years War, France, and witches may remind you of Joan of Arc, and I think that’s what Junketsu no Maria is going for. It does have some of the trappings of middle-English literature; it’s a bit crude, it’s a bit raunchy, and it launches into faux-theology whenever it pleases. It also comes with the modern critiques that you’d commonly find in less historical fantasy, like war is bad, church is bad, and feudalism is bad. Together with the anachronistic Maria, that keeps Junketsu no Maria from being a straight period piece. Not that it ever intended to be, even without the fantasy elements; Junketsu no Maria is, at times, rather liberal with the historical details and delicate geopolitics of the era. That may be disappointing for history buffs, but we get relatively few medieval anime, let alone one based on history in any remote way. Junketsu no Maria is already quite the standout, especially with director Taniguchi Gorou (of CODE GEASS fame) at the helm. Europe has a rich history; it can suffer being played with a bit and still produce something interesting.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Junketsu no Maria Promotional Videos ▼

Seiken Tsukai no World Break | 聖剣使いの禁呪詠唱Top
http://warubure-anime.com/
Animation: diomedea Premiere: January 11, 2015
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 25:05
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @Jwarubureanime or #ワルブレ

Preview by Stilts

This “campus sword & sorcery” light novel adaptation is set to premiere this winter. Seiken Tsukai no World Break is set in a private high school that brings together Saviors, youths with awakened memories from past lives. Some are Shirogane, who fight enemies with weapons and techniques gleaned from the Puraana in their bodies. Others are Kuroma, who wipe out enemies with magic that surpasses physics by manipulating their Maana powers. A boy named Haimura Moroha (Ishikawa Kaito) enrolls in this school. He’s the first person in history who’s both a Shirogane and Kuroma.

This is a magical-fantasy-action-harem anime based on a light novel, so you probably already know if this is your kind of show. (That’s the fourth time I’ve said that this preview. I’ll stop saying it when it stops being true, anime industry.) Get past all the jargon, and the setup here is fairly simple: They all have heroic past lives. Some of them are swordfighters. Others are spellcasters. The main character is both. Action harem antics ensue. I got a Tokyo Ravens vibe from the mix of old-plus-new—something which was only reinforced by having Harutora’s seiyuu voicing Moroha—but what I read of the manga adaptation didn’t blow me away. He immediately gains a pettanko tsundere imouto (from a past life), Ranjou Satsuki (Taketatsu Ayana), and an odd big-breasted witch (from the other past life), Urushibara Shizuno (Yuuki Aoi). It’s nice that they had an excuse for the girls to immediately fawn all over him, but it’s still abrupt, and the girls are still stereotypes so far. Maybe I’m just growing tired of the endless repetition within the genre, but I can’t get excited, especially not when this is one of four series Diomedéa is putting out this season, and one staffed by staff who all have short (though decent) resumes. Fans of the genre, give this one a shot. Everyone else, I’d keep your ear to the ground and wait to see if it surprises like Tokyo Ravens did, or if it’s just one more magical-fantasy-action-harem anime in a season full of them.

Watching This: Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Seiken Tsukai no World Break Promotional Videos ▼

Sengoku Musou | 戦国無双Top
http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/sengokumusou/
Animation: NAS Premiere: January 11, 2015
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Takaii

Another game-turned-anime, Sengoku Musou is an adaptation of KOEI’s hack-and-slash game of the same name. It also happens to be a spinoff of the ever so popular Dynasty Warrior series! Based loosely around the Sengoku Jidai, or the Warring States period, the game’s story draws its inspiration from a time in Japan where unification was used as a means for clashing powers to fight bloody wars in order to reign supreme. Basically, bloodshed and death were an everyday thing. In this adaptation, the story will focus on Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s last conquest before bringing the era to an end — The Siege of Odawara Castle against the infamous Hojo clan.

I personally love anything involving the Sengoku Jidai, and have ever since I read Dale Furutani’s three part series about a ronin and the mystery he unravels as he tries to find and save the daughter of his late lord. Seeing how this is based on one of the best hack-and-slash games that have ever been made (subjective, I know, but who’s going to say it wasn’t fun?) that also draws from an infamous period in Japan’s history, I have high hopes that this will end up being at worst a fun show to watch. While it doesn’t hurt that there are a lot of big name seiyuu reprising their roles from the video game (Sugita Tomokazu, Ono Daisuke, and Nakata Jouji, to name a few), all I’m really hoping for is a show that manages to tell us an entertaining story while incorporating all the cool and flashy stylizing choices that the games are known for. Because honestly, as much as purists will claim that shows like this ruin history, this is anime, not a history class!

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Sengoku Musou Promotional Videos ▼

ISUCATop
http://isuca.net/
Animation: Arms Premiere: January 23, 2015
Genre: Supernatural, School-Life, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @isuca_official or #ISUCA

Preview by Takaii

ISUCA focuses on the life of Asano Shinichirou (Koumoto Keisuke), a typical high school male who lives on his own because his parents are traveling around Europe on some wacky adventure. Cursed with a type of OCD that would make a clean freak look like a slob, he ends up finding a part-time job as a housekeeper for his classmate Shimazu Sakuya (Kido Ibuki) to make ends meet. Sakuya is a girl who seems normal at school, but is actually part of a powerful clan of exorcists who try to maintain balance between the world and the spirits that try to invade it. Together they form a pretty potent duo that leads Shinichirou down a path toward a world he never thought existed.

While that intro might be a little bland, I absolutely loved the source material for this show. Giving off vibes that I haven’t felt since Shakugan no Shana or Zero no Tsukaima, this is definitely a show that puts the magic stuff on the side and focuses on the relationships among the main characters. Basically, it places a male lead into fantastic positions where he can foster and grow his harem without even lifting a finger — and I’m okay with this! While I could do without all the blatant nudity, all the characters in this show have such contrasting personalities that at times it’s tough to figure out who you want to root for. From the adorable cat spirit Tamako (Sadohara Kaori) to the level-headed but super lewd Suseri (Ichimichi Mao), everyone bounces off of each other nicely. Toss in the main-pair of Shinichirou and Sakuya who could give Shana and and Yuuji a run for their money, and you have all the ingredients for a show that’s bound to be fun. As an added bonus, the story itself isn’t too bad, and through the fifteen or so chapters I got through, I was never once worried about getting bored. If Isuca wasn’t already on your list of shows, why not give it a chance to win you over?

Watching This: Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate

OVA / Movie


 

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

Release Date Title Notes
12/09 Date A Live: Encore OVA | デート・ア・ライブ アンコール
http://store.kadokawa.co.jp/preorder/888800000003/
Bundled with Encore LN vol. 3.
12/09 Shingeki no Kyojin: Kuinaki Sentaku | 進撃の巨人 悔いなき選択
http://shingeki.net/#!/page/comics_15_16ltd
Episode 1 of 2.
12/10 Persona 4 The Golden Animation: Thank you Mr. Accomplice | ペルソナ4 ザ・ゴールデンアニメーション Thank you Mr. Accomplice
http://www.animate.tv/news/details.php?id=1409330831
Alternate ending.
12/10 Rakuen Tsuihou: Expelled from Paradise | 楽園追放 -Expelled From Paradise-
http://rakuen-tsuiho.com/
BD/DVD Release.
12/12 Ao Haru Ride OVA | アオハライド OVA
http://aoha-anime.com/
Episode 13.
12/12 Strike Witches Operation Victory Arrow Vol. 1: St. Trond no Raimei
ストライクウィッチーズ Operation Victory Arrow Vol.1 サン・トロンの雷鳴
http://w-witch.jp/
BD/DVD Release. Part 1 of 3.
12/17 Akuma no Riddle: Shousha wa Dare? Nukiuchi Test | 悪魔のリドル 勝者はだれ?(抜き打ちテスト)
http://www.akuma-riddle.com/bddvd/bddvd_07.php
BD/DVD Release. Episode 13.
12/17 Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo OVA | 山田くんと7人の魔女 OVA
http://www.yamajo-anime.com/
Episode 1 of 2.
12/17 Yoamushi Pedal Re:RIDE | 弱虫ペダル Re:RIDE
http://yowapeda.com/reride/
BD/DVD Release.
12/18 Magi: Sinbad no Bouken | マギ シンドバッドの冒険
http://www.project-magi.com/sinbad/
Episode 3 of 3.
12/19 Brothers Conflict OVA
http://www.bc-anime.com/news/hp0001/index00810000.html
Episode 1 of 2.
12/19 Hyakka Ryouran Samurai After OVA | 百花繚乱 サムライアフター OVA
http://hyakka-ryoran.net/news/news.php
Episode 1 of 2.
12/24 DRAMAtical Murder OVA: Data_xx_Transitory | ドラマティカル マーダー OVA「Data_xx_Transitory」
http://dmmd-anime.com/
BD/DVD Release.
12/24 Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor – Heaven and Earth | 蒼穹のファフナー Dead Aggressor ~Heaven and Earth~
http://fafner.jp/h-and-e/
BD/DVD Release.
12/25 Shin Tennis no Ouji-sama OVA vs Genius10 | 新テニスの王子様 OVA vs Genius10
http://tenipuri.jp/
BD/DVD Release. Episodes 3/4 of 5.
12/26 Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou Special | 僕らはみんな河合荘 初めての
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/kawaisou/
Bundled with BD/DVD vol. 7.
12/26 Edogawa Conan Shissou Jiken: Shijou Saiaku no Futsukakan | 名探偵コナン 江戸川コナン失踪事件~史上最悪の二日間~
http://www.conan-portal.com/
20th Anniversary Special.
12/26 Shin Gekijouban Initial D: Legend 1 – Kakusei | 新劇場版 頭文字D Legend1-覚醒-
http://initiald-movie.com/
BD/DVD Release.
12/30 Tales of Zestiria: Doushi no Yoake | テイルズ オブ ゼスティリア ~導師の夜明け~
http://toz.tales-ch.jp/special/tvspecial.php
01/07 Witch Craft Works OVA | ウィッチクラフトワークス OVA
http://www.witch-cw-anime.jp/
Bundled with manga vol. 8.
01/16 Joujuu Senjin!! Mushibugyou OVA | ムシブギョー 虫奉行 OVA
http://mushibugyo.jp/
01/28 Kuroshitsuji: Book of Murder OVA | 黒執事 Book of Murder OVA
http://www.kuroshitsuji.tv/bom/
BD/DVD Release. Episode 1 of 2.
01/30 Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel: Kyun Kyun☆Tokimeki Paradise!! OVA | 快盗天使ツインエンジェル キュンキュン☆ときめきパラダイス!! OVA
http://twin-angel.com/
Episode 1 of 2.
02/04 Nisekoi OVA | ニセコイ OVA
http://www.nisekoi.jp/
Episode 2 of 2.
02/11 Brothers Conflict OVA
http://www.bc-anime.com/news/hp0001/index01010000.html
Episode 2 of 2.
02/16 Imawa no Kuni no Alice
http://websunday.net/rensai/alice/
Episode 3 of 3.
02/17 Seitokai Yakuindomo* OVA | 生徒s会役員* OVA
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/seitokai/
Bundled with manga LE vol. 11. Episode 3 of 3.
02/18 Appleseed Alpha | アップルシード アルファ
http://appleseedalpha.jp/
BD/DVD Release.
02/18 Nozo x Kimi OVA | ノゾ×キミ OVA
http://websunday.net/rensai/nozokimi/
Episode 3 of 3.
02/20 Shin Tennis no Ouji-sama OVA vs Genius10 | 新テニスの王子様 OVA vs Genius10
http://tenipuri.jp/
BD/DVD Release. Episode 5 of 5.
02/23 Hozuki no Reitetsu ova | 鬼灯の冷徹 OVA
WEBSITE
Bundled with manga vol. 19. Episode 3 of 3.
02/25 Kuroshitsuji: Book of Murder OVA | 黒執事 Book of Murder OVA
http://www.kuroshitsuji.tv/bom/
BD/DVD Release. Episode 2 of 2.
02/26 Diabolik Lovers OVA
http://www.otomate.jp/dialover/df/
Bundled with PS Vita game.
02/27 Slayers | スレイヤーズ
http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/contents/slayers/slayers/story.html
BD Remaster.
02/28 Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin I – Aoi Hitomi no Casval
機動戦士ガンダムTHE ORIGIN I 青い瞳のキャスバル
http://www.gundam-the-origin.net/
Episode 1 of 4.
03/06 Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu OVA | 昭和元禄落語心中 与太郎放浪篇 OVA
http://www.rakugo-shinju-anime.jp/
Bundled with LE manga Vol. 7.
03/10 Hitsugi no Chaika OVA | 棺姫のチャイカ OAD
http://chaika-anime.jp/
Bundled with LE novel Vol. 12.
03/10 High School DxD New OVA: Oppai, Tsutsumimasu! | ハイスクールD×D New OVA
http://www.haremking.tv/
Episode 13. Bundled with DX.1 light novel.
03/10 Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo OVA | 山田くんと7人の魔女 OVA
http://www.yamajo-anime.com/
Episode 2 of 2.
03/11 PERSONA3 THE MOVIE #2: Midsummer Knight’s Dream
劇場版ペルソナ3 #2 Midsummer Knight’s Dream
http://www.p3m.jp/
BD/DVD Release.
03/13 Dragon Ball Z: Kami to Kami | ドラゴンボールZ: 神と神
http://www.dragonball2013.com/
BD/DVD Release.
03/13 Strike Witches Operation Victory Arrow Vol. 2: Aegean Umi no Megami
Operation Victory Arrow vol.2 エーゲ海の女神 限定版
http://w-witch.jp/
BD/DVD Release. Part 2 of 3.
03/18 Free! Eternal Summer OVA
http://iwatobi-sc.com/
Bundled with BD/DVD Vol. 7.
03/18 Shingeki no Kyojin Movie 1: Guren no Yumiya
劇場版「進撃の巨人」前編~紅蓮の弓矢~
http://shingeki.tv/movie/
BD/DVD Release.

Overall Impressions


 

Though winter and summer are considered to be the weaker seasons, I’m usually a bastion of optimism. I even used to joke that winter and summer were Stilts’ seasons! But I’d be lying to you if I feigned optimism this time. It’s looking pretty grim. There are a few standout series, a few potential dark horses, and a few solid sequels, and then so much sadness. I look at this lineup, and I come away with the thought “Well, this will be a good chance to catch up on some old series.” Which I appreciate, but I wish it were happening for a better reason. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying what the winter has to offer, though, because there are potential rockstars throughout, even if they’re a bit thinner on the ground than we’d prefer.

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

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

Note: Lists are sorted in alphabetical order.

 

The Rundown:

High expectation shows give us reason to believe they have the makings of a very good series that should appeal to the widest audience in their given genres. If you consider yourself a “casual” fan who only gets your toes wet every season by watching the “best” shows (i.e. popular ones that generate the most buzz), then these are the ones we feel you should keep an eye out for. We’re also expecting good things from these shows, so if they fall short, disappointment is understandable.

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

Moderate expectation shows, also known as “True Moderate”, don’t provide any immediate indication that they’ll be amazing in retrospect. This is often the case with shows that fall into one of anime’s overused plot devices, which most people, particularly self-proclaimed critics, will perceive as mediocre at best. However, in many of our experiences these shows still provide a great deal of entertainment and may turn out a lot better than they appear. They’re good for “regular” fans who are aware of all these tropes and don’t mind seeing them used in different settings. Personal tastes come heavily into play, so your mileage will vary.

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

Low expectation shows don’t seem to be striving for much and choose to focus on more frivolous aspects such as senseless humor and fanservice. That doesn’t mean they’re the bottom of the barrel and shouldn’t get any consideration, but simply that you need to keep in mind what kind of show it is. Generally only “avid” fans will be interested in seeing what these have to offer, because they’re already watching all the better shows.

Niche shows break away from the norm by being slower-paced, extremely dark/grotesque, or even controversial. In most cases these shows are oriented towards older audiences or those who feel that anime has become far too repetitive and want something different. Shows of this category tend to be highly under-appreciated, but can turn out to be hidden gems for that very reason. Includes some works oriented toward younger audiences.

  • Niche: N/A

Established shows are generally long-running manga/anime series, geared towards younger viewers who are already fans of them. A commonality is that they all air early morning on weekends or well before midnight on weekdays so that “normal” people can watch them. They aren’t very dependent on expectations, but a love for never-ending shows and a willingness to get into all the material that’s out if they’re completely new to you. Shounen series fall into this category, hence why we treat them differently.

December 23, 2014 at 12:00 am
190 comments »
  • December 23, 2014 at 12:02 amAizen

    Just as planned.

    • December 23, 2014 at 4:29 amflCer

      Ready my Tharsis.

    • December 23, 2014 at 6:19 amRetsurai

      They should change the name in the preview of samurai musou to samurai warriors. pretty sure ppl know as samurai WARRIORS not musou. =P

  • December 23, 2014 at 12:11 amsilke13

    MY BODY IS READY FOR:

    KUROKO’S BASKETBALL 3
    Super saiyan basketball, here we go. Glad it’s Japan’s #1 most anticipated winter anime:
    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2014-12-04/kuroko-basketball-season-3-voted-most-anticipated-winter-anime/.81763

    DEATH PARADE
    Psychological and Madhouse, enough said. Also enjoyed Death Billiards movie.

    TOKYO GHOUL √A
    Read the manga but not upset at the anime-original sequel as it’s still written by creator Sui Ishida. I think of it as like an alternate route in a visual novel.

    PSYCHO-PASS MOVIE
    Kougami is back!

    ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM
    The title & plot sound interesting.

    • December 23, 2014 at 5:35 amLeDouche vi Britannia

      Death Parade had the most exciting trailer. This series has a lot of potential.

      ”The only one who can beat me is me.” – Aomine
      Hyped for Kuroko no Basuke as well.

      • December 23, 2014 at 7:44 amkillua69

        Agree. The Death Parade trailer looks amazing. And the OST gave me the chills.

        For those who haven’t seen it:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9lr8jqI-24

      • December 23, 2014 at 12:41 pminnu

        I’m seeing a lot of hype on Death Parade so hope it’s great.

    • December 23, 2014 at 9:56 pmSean

      Is Tokyo Ghoul gonna be censored again??? It honestly makes no sense. The violence and gore in Parasyte is a lot worse and they get away without censoring.

      • December 23, 2014 at 11:07 pmsparky3000

        Agreed,

  • December 23, 2014 at 12:25 amPancakes

    No lie, winter looks weak. Maybe 3-4 new shows that look enticing for me along with the resumed Aldnoah and Tokyo Ghoul. Quite sad most of the interesting stuff remains the ongoing shows such as Log Horizon, Nanatsu no Taizai, and Ange.

    Speaking of that horrible mess Ange, someone should consider a midpoint impression post because Sunrise is–dare it be said–threatening to turn the show into something interesting.

    • December 23, 2014 at 5:53 amflCer

      I found Ange to be compelling right from the start. I really disagree with all the hate it got. In my opinion, most people directed their attention to certain aspects of the show which blinded them from the real story. The recent revelations is believable only because of the set up leading to it. The graphical violence in ange employs offered more than what meets the eye…

      It was never a mess in my eyes… I know I’m part of the minority, but it’s been weaving a strong story right from the start that allowed them to flesh out the story even more. Every element in the story was necessary to deliver the impact on what’s transpired.

      If anyone is avoiding this show because of the popular opinion, I strongly encourage to look beyond that wall and try it out yourself. It’s amazing.

      • December 23, 2014 at 6:38 ambOOtywarrior

        The fanservice was definitely compelling & thought-provoking. It made me think about the Meaning of Life, The Purpose of My Existence and other deep sh*t.

      • December 23, 2014 at 12:49 pmenglej

        ^ give this man a medal

    • December 23, 2014 at 8:47 amSDFGS

      Ironic how most people think. The moment someone says they like Ange everyone else just berates them saying they have no taste or whatever (or in this case just flog people with down votes).

      • December 23, 2014 at 1:21 pmandrew

        Ssshhh! That name can’t be spoken here.

        But seriously, if someone has the right to love it, then others have the right to hate it. That is democracy.

      • December 24, 2014 at 10:03 amMgMaster

        ^Thing is though, one provided some good arguments why it’s not horrible at all(we could well go into details discussing it’s good & bad points, but this isn’t the place for that – it’s own sub-forum on MAL works better) while others just hated on it because it’s a popular opinion. It’s easy to pick on the flaw of a show, in this case being the sometimes excessive amount of fanservice, and ignore everything else about it. The haters’ personal dislike of it fine but it’s hardly a fact that it’s a bad show.

    • December 23, 2014 at 4:29 pmZannafar

      I agree that the coming winter season looks kind of weak, especially if you look at the season that precedes it. Winter does have fewer anime than fall as well.

      It might be the calm before the storm though, as spring seems to be great again, judging from what has been revealed so far.

  • December 23, 2014 at 12:30 amDualash

    I really need to finish Durarara… damn you first world problems!

    Looks like there’s a lot of vivid and tantalizing titles, I can’t wait to try them out; though for some like Tokyo Ghoul I’m curious how they’re going to turn out since they might take a new direction or end at the same results in the manga but with a new route planned and for others. And then there are some of them that sound ordinary but look like they could make a big impact in the long run. In overall, a lot of interesting and new premises and possible shows I feel I’m definitely going to click with me. *rubs hands in anticipation*

  • December 23, 2014 at 12:31 amDalmation94

    Wow so many “magical-fantasy-action-harem” anime this season.. Hey Stilts, what are some of the best anime of this particular genre that you’ve seen?

    • December 23, 2014 at 1:57 amStilts

      I’d have to go through my anime list to remember them all, but the original ones (for me) were Shakugan no Shana and Zero no Tsukaima, with High School DxD and the first season of Infinite Stratos ranking as well. Hell, Fate/stay night is technically one too, though its darker components obscure it somewhat.

    • December 23, 2014 at 2:24 pmpong

      Damn this season looks boring. It’s full of fantasy harem shit. At least I still have Log Horizon, Parasyte and Nanatsu to watch. Death Parade seems to be the only show worth checking out.

    • December 23, 2014 at 7:08 pmSwarz

      Next we’re gonna see magical-fantasy-action harems with proper harem endings and a loser protagonist that ended up being re-incarnated into another world and become OP. Apparently that’s the trend now! Though I dare say there are some very interesting LNs like Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari, Mushoku Tensei (Specially MT. This is pretty awesome with en epic fantasy feel), and there’s this LN about an allpowerfull reincarnated Dragon with some others I’ve forgotten. Oh.. And though a bit different, Gate: thus the JSDF faught there. <— Heard this is getting an anime adaptation. Can't wait.

  • December 23, 2014 at 12:37 amkei014

    “This is a magical-fantasy-action-harem anime based on a light novel, so you probably already know if this is your kind of show. (That’s the fourth time I’ve said that this preview. I’ll stop saying it when it stops being true, anime industry.)”

    lmao

  • December 23, 2014 at 12:37 amingrid

    I am hyped for Kuroko 3 and I don’t even like basketball or sports anime in general. …

    • December 23, 2014 at 2:50 amSexyNoJutsu

      Same. I don’t like sports anime. I tried Yowamushi Pedal, Haikyuu and they were alright I guess, but I really enjoyed Kuroko no Basuke for some reason. It was so funny & games were entertaining to watch.

    • December 23, 2014 at 1:32 pmbOOtywarrior

      As someone who doesn’t give a shit about real basketball, Kuroko’s Basketball is amazing and I will be watching Season 3.

  • December 23, 2014 at 12:41 amShurai

    For some reason The Rolling Girls really stood out to be out of all these lol. Probably the animation style o.O, I’ll probably enjoy for better or worse just cuz of that <_<

  • December 23, 2014 at 12:43 amgingerbread

    Yeah this season there’s a few series I want to watch, most excited for Kuroko no Basuke and Tokyo Ghoul of course also the Psycho Pass Movie XD kyah~ I might try and watch a few probably 1-2 that are interesting to me. I saw a small list for the Spring anime I looking forward to :D Cannot wait for that

  • December 23, 2014 at 12:54 amaria

    Sorry, I’m a bit confused. Is the show called Tsukigamonotari or Tsukimonogatari? It’s written both ways several times…yet judging by the series trend of ending with -monogatari I think it’s the latter? Speaking of trend, I should probably try to get on this one…

    …and Durarara!!

    Other than Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, nothing else really piques my interest so at least that leaves me time for the aforementioned series! Thanks for putting together such an informational preview, as always!

    • December 23, 2014 at 1:01 amCherrie

      Sorry, you’re right. Typo right there needs be fixed haha! Should be “Tsukimonogatari”.

  • December 23, 2014 at 1:08 amWarriorsHeart

    Hurry up and come round, January! Looking forward Kuroko no Basuke, JoJo and AldNOAH Zero.

  • December 23, 2014 at 1:13 amsinkingmist

    Oh man! I can’t wait for TITLE | KANJI to be released on DATE!!!

  • December 23, 2014 at 1:20 amdeVaras

    Finally we get to the awesome part of Stardust Crusaders. Also Yoru no Yatterman makes me want to bust out my Timer Fighters VHS.

  • December 23, 2014 at 1:25 amTresBien

    Really looking forward to Tokyo Ghoul and Kuroko no Basuke 3.

  • December 23, 2014 at 1:31 amMormegil

    Winter 2015: “I hope you like sequels!”

    Definitely watching:
    -Yuri Kuma Arashi(Ikuhara has never let me down)
    -Kamisama Kiss S2
    -Tokyo Ghoul square root A(despite complaints from manga readers, I really enjoyed the first season)
    -JoJo Stardust Crusaders Part 2 Attack on Dio
    -Death Parade
    -Durarara S2
    -Kuroko S3

    Might check out:
    -Ass Class(the manga gets very repetitive, though)
    -Junketsu no Maria
    -Rolling Girls
    -Aldnoah S2(even if I didn’t like the first season much)
    -Tsukimonogatari(if I ever get around to watching Hanamonogatari)

    • December 28, 2014 at 10:09 amRiktol

      More like, ´I hope you have time to catch up on a dozen shows from the past decade.´

  • December 23, 2014 at 1:33 amewok40k

    preliminary watchlist:
    Yuri Kuma (Bear with me, director of Utena and show with Yuri in tile? I’m in!) (sorry for worst pun since ??)
    Kantai Collection – naval battles, sold!
    Aldnoah Zero 2 – I liked first season very much, can;t wait for more!

  • December 23, 2014 at 1:57 amduck

    Watching for sure:
    Tsukimonogatari
    Death Parade
    Durarara!!x2 Shou

    Mabye worth watching:
    Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
    Koufuku Graffiti
    Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
    THE ROLLING GIRLS

  • December 23, 2014 at 2:12 amWorldwideDepp

    These Maria Anime catch my first attention. Lets see how they play this Peace love Witch. But why they use only Angels to watch over her? Are the Angels mad, that she want to end the War? That should be the Demons.

    Well anyway, just let me see how the first 3 Episodes go.

    Idolmaster. Because the voices are filled with Live-force. That they wanna made you stretch out your hand, and want this World take you away. I must admit, Idolmaster has very powerful Seiyus with Soul. But then again, the mix is important. First 3 Episodes rule here again

    Aldhona Zero: Time jump? From the Promos Videos, the “Bad” Count is still alive an in charge, Hime-sama is alive as well. But hidden behind a Desk (Wheelchair?) And looks like Slain-kun is on his Vendetta against the Old MC. Perhaps dark Emotions because of taken away Hime-sama from him. Vengeance. Let’s see if this Time Jump do not ruin the Show

    Shoukyuu no Fafner EXODUS: Last Anime from them was my Dark Horse at that time. I give this Show a peek, for the old sake.

  • December 23, 2014 at 2:16 amPaladinJoe

    Can’t say I am too thrilled for this coming up season but, their are some gems.

    Durarara!!x2 Shou I am sure will be good if it has the same writers first season was great I liked most of the characters.

    Aldnoah Zero left on a cliffhanger so I am excited to see what the new season will bring. I have a felling we will see some characters that we thought were gone I hope it’s explained well.

    Tokyo Ghoul √A has me hyped I want to see the now white haired MC kick ass

    Their are a few others that stick out to me but, I will most likely give them my own 3 episode test and of course their is some stuff from last season that I will be continuing to watch.

    One more thing to add I really hope we get another season of Amagi Brilliant Park it’s the best.

  • December 23, 2014 at 2:19 amDio

    Can’t wait for Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Kuroko no Basuke!

  • December 23, 2014 at 2:33 amKuntzy

    Yay for winter, the season for catching up on fall!

    Season itself looks… okay-ish. Or maybe it’s just that Spring looks amazing. (At least to me.)

    So… on to the watch list.

    Tsukimonogatari – I need to watch the second half of the second season and and Hana still but I’ll get to her eventually. I’m honestly less excited about this than for the previous installments though.

    Absolute Duo – Generic harem show is generic, but I still manage to garner some enjoyment out of them.

    Yuri Kuma Arashi – Color me surprised to see a certain writer absent from the watch list of this. I enjoyed Penguindrum quite a bit so it’s worth a look from me (Haven’t watched Utena though… please don’t hurt me.

    Kantai Collection -KanColle- – I expect this won’t make as good an anime as it does a game. From what I’ve heard from players, the difficulty is one of it’s selling points and that pretty much leaves the moe. It could surprise as the story has the potential to be pretty interesting if the studio deems it important enough to focus on, but it will probably mostly be forgettable yuri fanservice slice of life.

    Shinmai Maou no Testament – I took a skim through the manga and it seemed decent enough and thankfully it’s LN covers aren’t entirely indicative of it’s content. (Meaning Basara doesn’t treat the girls like possessions.) A little preview of what to expect: Very NSFW! http://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/images/b/b0/SMnK_v04_005-006.jpg (P.S. to writers: If this is against the rules, please delete the link. I linked to the picture’s url, but it is still technically on a site that, I believe, would violate this site’s rules)

    Tokyo Ghoul √A – So I guess this is an anime original season written by Ishida-sensei? Honestly, I really liked the first season and the last episode is quite deserving of being in the running for episode year imo. Dat cliffhanger though… I plan on reading the manga eventually so it’s good that I won’t get spoiled… I suppose.

    Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – Having heard about how good of a writer Maruto Fumiaki is, I’ve been eager to see more of his stuff. Unfortunately, the general opinion of the novels that I’ve seen is that, coming from Maruto Fumiaki, it’s a bit disappointing. However, people seem to be raving about the very recently released Vol. 7, which we probably won’t get to. Also interesting is that the adaptation is going to diverge from the noitaminA norm of 11 episode cours according to the disc soliciatations, instead opting for 13 (12 + an episode 0). Odd.

    Koufuku Graffiti – So a while back when this got announced I heard someone say that the manga “is to food as Sakura Trick is to kissing”. Something along those lines at least. I guess that’s kind of interesting?

    Juuou Mujin no Fafnir – I figure I’d give this a shot because “Why the h*** not” but that preview is kind of making me think twice. (And holy s*** Matsuoka-san, stop being in everything!)

    THE IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls – I loved the original series of this. They could have easily turned it into a crappy fanservice harem show, but they decided to give us a show filled with (mostly) developed characters and actually well done drama. I still can’t stop getting misty during the Chihaya episodes. That said, I am regretfully resigning myself that this will essentially be an idol version of Kancolle. PleasebewrongPleasebewrongPleasebewrongPleasebewrongPleasebewrong.

    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc – All that needs be said: Watching This: Samu, Zephyr. *shaking head in disapproval*

    Ansatsu Kyoushitsu – I don’t know really anything about this series but I know the abbreviated name (assclass, lol) and I know the hype. I’m not going to do what I did with Shingeki and wait for it’s last episode to watch the whole show.

    Death Parade – Yet another show I’m watching simply going off of hype. Well, that and the fact that the more Madhouse shows I watch, the more inclined I feel to give them a watch.

    Durarara!!x2 Shou – Not quite as big a fan of this as most people, but it was rather enjoyable and it definitely deserves to be watched again. Looking forward to more Shizu-chanxIIIIZZZZAAAAYYYYYAAAAAA!!!!!.

    ALDNOAH.ZERO Season 2 – Well, what can I say. It’s pretty much near impossible NOT to want to watch this after that ending to the last season. Granted, my enjoyment will entirely hinge on just how bulls*** the explanation for them resurrecting Inaho and Asseylum-hime, as is expected.

    Kuroko no Basuke Season 3 – Super Saiyan basketball indeed. Seriously, just go to the NBA already people. The abilities might be outlandish for highschoolers (or just in general in a few characters cases), but it’s still an entertaining show. And honestly, there’s a little part of me that likes to see this succeed simply because of all the crap the mangaka had to put up with.

    Seiken Tsukai no World Break – That PV I saw was less than stellar. Quite frankly it wasn’t even good. Taketatsu Ayana voiced imoutos tend to make me throw away my sense of reason though. Hence, I’ll be watching this.

    We’ll see on anything else.

    16 shows so far. I reiterate: Thank God for winter season.

    Usually when I hear the word winter, it causes me to hate life. It’s usually cold as all get out, but it’s been a rather warm -7 degrees celcius. (Roughly 19 degrees for all you Fahrenheit-ers.)

    Kuntzy is a happy camper this year.

    • December 23, 2014 at 5:10 amJustpassingby

      No lie. Spring looks amazing. I have more shows I’m hyped about there than Winter’s list. I’m just hoping that some of the series will manage to surprise this season.

    • December 25, 2014 at 10:02 pmJack Spicer

      You need to watch Utena, Naoh!

    • December 30, 2014 at 10:21 amdrzero7

      well, what you expect. After his HUGE debut success as Kirito in SAO, Matsuoka stars like in EVERY MAIN MC. (Before Kirito, he taken nothing but minor chars) He’s what Jun Fukuyama did when he voiced Lelouch in Code Geass along with other super popular male MC back in the days like Midorikawa Hikaru, Koyasu Takehito, Seki Tomokazu, Tomokazu Sugita, etc. etc. etc. (Literally, he stole Jun Fukuyama’s spotlight of taking every male MC role in year 00′s and before him Midorikawa Hikaru in the 90′s) Right now, it’s Matsuoka era in 10′s, and his era will still live in 2015 as he did in 2014. (Check out the VA cast of how many MC roles he’ll take in 2015 anime, ALOT) He’ll live on in his glory for couple more years until another new fresh male voice actor does a huge success.

  • December 23, 2014 at 2:42 amesdesu

    As a horror fan, I am looking forward to these 2 horror anime:
    - Death Parade
    - Tokyo Ghoul

    I’m also excited to watch:
    - Kuroko no Basuke
    - Maria the Virgin Witch

  • December 23, 2014 at 2:49 amstarqo

    Definitely going to watch Aldnoah (kind of hard not to at least finish it) and there is no way I’m not going to watch Fafner Exodus, after waiting all that time for it (it was announced almost right after the movie was released on Christmas 2010, so…around 4 years?).

  • December 23, 2014 at 3:41 amJiCi

    Durarara Season 2?

    YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YEEEEEEEEEEEES!

    I’ve been waiting for that for a while now ^_^

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:02 amDvalinn

    I would’ve put Yuri Kuma Arashi a bit higher than moderate myself, seeing as it’s another show from the hand of Ikuhara Kunihiko (and I loved Penguindrum) and the fact that it looks quite different from most of the other stuff this season. Definitely a show I’m looking forward to.

    For the rest, eh. I prefer staying positive when it comes to season impressions, having defended many seasons in the past (like last winter) but this…it does look pretty terrible. No doubt I’ll find some stuff to watch (the sequels and Yuri Bear Storm, for one) but I’m not expecting much from the rest of them. And how many magical-action-fantasy shows do we need anyway? Not to mention they all have the potential to turn into the next Mahou Sensou. Brrr.

    Well, maybe there’s a sleeper hit among them somewhere. And if not, an opportunity to reduce my backlog, I suppose.

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:03 amJiCi

    Also… acutally surprised by the Yoru no Yatterman cast. Why? Because believe it or not… Doronjo (Noriko Ohara), Tonzler (Kazuya Tatekabe) and Boyacky (Jouji Yanami) have been voiced that exact same actors in 2008 that they were in 1977; all three were also in both versions of Tatsunoko vs Capcom. Furthermore, the trio of actors have voiced each and every Time Bokan villainous trio since the mid-70s! Yes, they’re that long-lasting people.

    So seeing new actors, when the original actors are still alive, is kinda sad really…

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:08 amNitro

    hype for Ass Class! Been a fan of the manga from the very beginning and I can’t wait to see it in glorious animated form!

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:08 ambelatkuro

    copypaste/edited from Metanorn preview post

    Winter is always fewer than Fall and generally considered a weak season. Though that doesn’t stop me from still picking up a lot of titles. And you’ll never know when a gem will appear so I’m always optimistic. If not, I still find enjoyment in what little things shows offer which is good enough for me.
    Very much a step down from last season with only 20 prospects for me. At least there are plenty of carryovers from Fall to add to that.

    On to the listing. My top picks are:

    Aldnoah Zero 2: First season ended in quite a controversy and the promo pictures and PVs are also stirring quite a controversy themselves. I definitely won’t want to miss this sequel, only for the shitstorm that it causes every week.

    Ansatsu Kyoshitsu: I actually got to read this when it first started getting published. I’m a big fan of the manga so I was excited to see this get adapted. It was only a matter of time after all granted that it was popular and selling a lot for a manga without an adaptation. It holds the record for the 2nd highest 1st week volume sales in WSJ(1st is Bakuman). It also won some awards as well. The director-scriptwriter combo worries me as they’re a bit of a hit or miss but we’ll see how it goes.

    Dog Days”: After about 2 years of no news, we finally get to see this sequel. It’s a relaxing and fluffy show full of top notch seiyuus. That’s good enough for me. And it has kemonomimi girls of a wide variety. You can’t argue with that logic.

    Durarara!!x2: After years of wishing for a sequel to this, we finally got it. Brains Base seems adamant with their ‘no sequel besides Natsume’ policy and handed this over to a new studio. Good news is that it’s the same staff and cast so there’s hardly a difference. To be honest, I like Baccano more than Durarara but this also has its charms. And it also sold better than Baccano. Three seasons spaced one season apart is quite a great deal we’re getting so bring it on.

    Jojo: The 2nd season was pretty weak compared to the first season with it going with the monster of the week format. It also did not properly develop this generation’s Jojo. Jotaro isn’t as appealing as Jonathan or Joseph. And don’t get me started on the injuries that they receive every single fight that just magically disappears at the end of the episode. Thankfully, they arrived in Egypt and are close to confront Dio. It’s apparently where Part 3 gets good so let’s see.

    KanColle: To be honest, my exposure to this franchise is only through the doujins. I did do my research afterwards but didn’t decide to play the browser game. There was just so much to do to be able to play the game that I got lazy. Plus it’s in moonrunes so I give up. It’s 2nd only to Touhou in terms of doujin output so I’m curious to its popularity. I’ve already pegged on some characters I want to see(mostly the famous ones on the doujins) so let’s see what this is about.

    Kuroko s3: Production IG milking this one last time before letting it go since the manga already finished. Though I got tired of it in the last stretch due to how it got over the top more than ever. The developments just left me shaking my head every week. Let’s hope we get some decent animation and music this time. 2nd season had some ups and downs with it.

    Tokyo Ghoul: The manga that skyrocketed in popularity recently. My friend keeps pushing me to read the manga before the season starts and I’ll do that in a couple of days. Season left in quite a big cliffhanger that a sequel was in order. The news regarding its content is worrying but I’ll complain after I read the manga.

    Others I’m picking up:
    Seiken Tsukai no World Break – obligatory magical-fantasy-action-harem anime #1
    Absolute Duo – obligatory magical-fantasy-action-harem anime #2 which I’ve read the source. And while I have a high tolerance to harem and ecchi series, this one surprisingly falls below my threshold. It’s below average in terms of plot and character development. Had to force myself to finish vol2 and I’m stalled at volume 3. Let’s see if the anime could do it better. Though my expectations are totally rock bottom.
    Isuca
    Juuou Mujin no Fafnir – obligatory magical-fantasy-action-harem anime #3
    Koufuku Graffiti – SHAFT
    Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
    Tsukimonogatari
    Rolling Girls – Wit Studio
    Junketsu no Maria
    Yuri Kuma Arashi
    Shinmai Maō no Testament – obligatory magical-fantasy-action-harem anime #4

    Picking up too much, time management, real life, etc. My usual complaints. Here’s to the new season and the new year.

    • December 23, 2014 at 7:48 amSK

      I’m actually with you on general tolerance of harem/ecchi and view of Absolute Duo, to the point where I wondered if the translation was being absolutely dumbed down and butchered. The writing isn’t good even with respect to the somewhat low standards I expect from an LN. I thought Blade Dance was pretty generic (though done competently) until at least the actual Blade Dance, which was not covered in its adaptation, but Absolute Duo was worse for me since it had no aspect of it that stood out. I hope for everyone interested in the genre’s sake that at least one of the obligatory magical-fantasy-action-harem anime (based on an LN) turns out decently, since it seems like diomedia is throwing them at the wall hoping one will stick. Spring season will have the 3rd season of DxD, so that should have the genre covered then, but it would be nice if something (Shinmai Maou?) could cover the slot leading into that season.

      • December 23, 2014 at 4:20 pmdaikama

        @SK: Hmm… Absolute Duo is one I’m thinking about trying out. Given the summary/premise, my expectations where not all that high to begin with. I’ll still probably give a try, but from your comments, seems it would be prudent to lower them further. Oh, FWIW, I agree with your take on Blade Dance.

        “I hope for everyone interested in the genre’s sake that at least one of the obligatory magical-fantasy-action-harem anime (based on an LN) turns out decently…

        Agree, though TBH, I’m not holding out a great deal of hope here. Perhaps Shinmai Maou will be better than I expect. As for HS DxD, assuming it sticks with the usual 2 LN volumes per season, next season should be quite a good one. Vol 05 was one of my favorites in the series.

      • December 23, 2014 at 6:35 pmSK

        I’ll still probably watch a few episodes of Absolute Duo and see how it goes, but I’m not expecting much. I read what you had to say below about Shinmai Maou, so I might have to temper expectations for that one as well.
        Sometimes I forget just how far behind the anime is for DxD, but yeah, should be a fun wrap-up of that arc. I love the battle in vol. 5, and I’m kinda hoping the Show Spoiler ▼

        is as funny as I imagine, despite the not-so-funny circumstances around its unveiling.

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:11 amBing

    Aside from DRRR!, isn’t there any LN adaptations not belonging to ecchi, harem, school fantasy, or OP self insert main dude category?

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:33 amkaye

    I am definitely watching…

    Kuroko no Basuke – time for some of that Akashi greatness.
    Death Parade – a lot are telling me it’s gonna be great so I’m looking forward to it.
    Tokyo Ghoul √A – reading the manga now & loving badass Kaneki.

    Will also be watching the first 3 episodes of:

    Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
    Koufuku Graffiti
    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc
    Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
    Junketsu no Maria

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:44 amSetsuna Henry

    I thought Shoukyuu no Fafner EXODUS was Gundam SEED Series cus when I looked at the pic, it looked like Gundam SEED characters.

    Anyway, DOG DAYS” and Aldnoah Zero 2 are what I am looking forward to.

    • December 23, 2014 at 6:17 amfragb85

      Of course it does, the art is done by Hisashi “Same Face” Hirai. Believe me, everyone noticed that back when Season 1 aired in 2005. (Wow its been a decade!)

      Still as Majestic Prince proves, Hirai’s art isn’t indicative of show quality. I did like Fafner back then and the fact that the original staff is back does mean I’m willing to give it a watch.

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:46 ammpsk2

    Aldnoah as moderate high? lol

    • December 23, 2014 at 5:25 amflCer

      Ready my Tharsis.

      *ZAP*

      I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to seeing the Tharsis. Despite what transpired in S1 I’m still looking forward to it :)

      Sawano music is top tier after all.

    • December 23, 2014 at 11:08 amStilts

      @ mpsk2

      The expectation levels are some arcane combination of our own subjective expectations of each series and the general level of hype and/or popularity surrounding them. Predominately the former, though trying to agree on something subjective between three people sometimes introduces oddities. Usually not more than one level either way.

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:47 amFlappy

    Ansatsu Kyoushitsu… BANZAI!

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:59 amRandom Comment

    It’s been a while but Durarara!! finally got its second season. An expanded cast and greater chaos this way comes, huhuhuhuhuhu~

    Kantai Collection: As a player and someone who’ve enjoyed enjoying the various works that comes with it, official or fanmade, I definitely looking forward to seeing my Kanmusu animated. An interview with the staff says the show would start with 30% battles and 70% SoL and will gradually tilt towards the battle side as the story progresses; hopefully this means we’ll get the kind of balance that shows like Nanoha A’s had enjoyed. Of course, shows based on big franchises like Kancolle can be a hit-&-miss thing. When it hits, we get glorious stuff like Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis. When it doesn’t… Well, we all know how those are. Imho the Kancolle anime’s greatest danger is to lose focus on both plot and characters, especially the latter since there’s a lot of ship-girls to date and it has confirmed that many will at least make a cameo in the anime. Hype-aside (http://waku2japan.com/archives/7071), it remains to see if the animation studio can match the better doujin creators in creativity and story-telling. Combined Fleet, sally forth!

    Soukyuu no Faner: EXODUS: KTKR!!!!! \(≧∀≦)ノ

    • December 23, 2014 at 5:11 amRandom Comment

      Forgot one more: Assassination Classroom! If the animation studio sticks true to the manga’s story, we’ll be in for a great treat =D. Unlike other similar stories that has a super teacher stealing the limelight almost all the time, the beauty about Assassination Classroom is that the teachers (especially Koro-Sensei himself) let their students show off the fruits of their studies and usually play a supporting role, as what good teachers should do. And FukuJun as Koro-Sensei should be pretty entertaining, kikikikiki~

  • December 23, 2014 at 5:34 amRed HeartGold ZX

    Glad that DRRR!!x2 is a 3-cour anime. Also, the number of “magical-fantasy-action-harem anime” is so damn high that I’m not even sure what I’d feel every week while watching ‘em all. But still, KuroBasu3, DRRR!!x2 and Ansetsu Classroom are my most hyped new series this season, and the only ones I am sure to watch… (Wait, only three?!)

  • December 23, 2014 at 5:53 amPrimeHector

    male “D” really?

  • December 23, 2014 at 5:58 ampotatogurl

    KUROKO NO BASUKE 3!
    Yes! Yes! Yeeeesss!

  • December 23, 2014 at 6:06 amPrimeHector

    Yuri Kuma Arashi
    Aldnoah Zero
    Koufuku Graffiti – mandatory SOL
    THE IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls
    Durarara!
    Tsukimonogatari
    Kantai Collection -KanColle
    as must watch.

  • December 23, 2014 at 6:31 amBrian

    Varying opinions aside, this got me hyped as hell for the winter new anime lineup.

  • December 23, 2014 at 6:34 amaeria

    Sailor Moon with dudes.
    Fafner – Exodus (criessss!!)
    Durarararararararararara (IZAYA!!!!!)
    Rolling Girls

    That’s it. My body is so ready for winter animes to roll-in.

  • December 23, 2014 at 6:48 amMi-Chan

    I guess my eyes for now are on Kamisama Hajimemashita, love the series so much, and Tokyo Ghoul. As for the other shows, probably end up watching the most interesting ones and deciding later :p ty for the post!

  • December 23, 2014 at 6:49 amc2710

    Straight up…

    Tsukimonogatari, AZ, CindieGirls and KanColle just to name a few.

    As you mentioned, I think it’s suffice to proclaim Mech Musume and Idol as anime genre.

    Seeing that we had Im@s, AKB0048 and Wake Up Girls already thus far…

    As for Mech Musume, I think they’ve been around since Skygirls IMO

  • December 23, 2014 at 6:58 amAbyss

    Weak season… Only two or three shows… I can’t wait for April!

  • December 23, 2014 at 7:23 amcelebrinen

    Buuurning LOOOOVE!

    Kancolle will be a must watch just for an overdose of Nao Touyama cuteness.

    • December 23, 2014 at 11:18 amIncognito

      Four fast battleships… (Kongou, Haruna, Kirishima and Hiei.)
      Four heavy cruisers… (Takao–sadly not the tsundere heavy cruiser/flagship of my heart, Atago, Maya and Choukai.)

      Let’s see if Nao Touyama will be doing the “One Nao show” in the anime… XD

      • December 24, 2014 at 10:27 pmcelebrinen

        The Nao Touyama One Girl Show? Fund it! Fund it NOW!

  • December 23, 2014 at 7:29 amHopu

    I’m pretty sure Tokyo Ghoul root A is 12 episodes since the author(Ishida) replied to a tweet of a fan saying so.

  • December 23, 2014 at 7:32 amYanDaMan

    Kantai Collection anime? Idolmaster anime? New JoJo? Assassination CLassroom? On top of Fate Unlimited Blade Work’s second cour?

    This will be a glorious season~!

  • December 23, 2014 at 7:42 amkillua69

    January can’t come soon enough. I am so excited for…

    Death Parade
    Kuroko Basuke 3
    Tokyo Ghoul
    Yoru no Yatterman
    Sengoku Musou

  • December 23, 2014 at 7:47 amSmuglord

    Contrary to what most people here seem to feel, I honestly think this winter doesn’t look too bad, especially since its usually considered a weaker season anyway so expectations have to be adjusted accordingly. It definitely pales in comparison to the Spring 2015 season though, which is honestly shaping up to be quite possibly the best season in recent memory, at least with respect to my tastes, which admittedly incline to comedies most of the time. (more Gintama, more Nisekoi, Food Wars, Yamada-kun, UBW S2, SNAFU S2… holy crap)

    What I’ll watch:
    Assassination Classroom – Probably the new series I’m anticipating the most; it kind of sounds similar to GTO which I love. The general consensus is that the director of this will bog the whole show down and screw everything up due to his incompetency, though I think his worst flaw is his jarring tonal shifts when he directs anime that incorporate both drama and comedy, like Angel Beats. I’m assuming AssClass is a pure comedy, so hopefully his flaws won’t stand out as much.

    Kuroko S3- Honestly not as interested in this as I could have been, mostly due to the fact that S2 felt like a huge drop-off from season 1. One of the major selling points for me for the first season was the gradual reveal of the GoM’s superpowers and just all-around showcasing how badass they were. There was far less of that in the second season, which resulted in me enjoying it less.

    ISUCA- I wasn’t even hyped for this until I read Takaii’s comparison of it to Shakugan no Shana, which instantly made it shoot several places up my priority list.

    Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata- LN author penned one of my favourite romances in anime, and if I ever needed more reason than that, well, the character designs are pretty damn attractive to me.

  • December 23, 2014 at 7:55 amYK

    Yuri Kuma Arashi is going to be AOTY material, considering how amazing Penguindrum was (if you understood it, or took the time to rewatch it if you didn’t — with the right perspective it actually isn’t confusing at all), and that thus this has potential to be even better.

    Considering how few shows Ikuhara has made, I’m going to bet that YKA is going to turn out to be high quality. When he makes a show, he has a serious story to tell and it’s going to be an exciting and beautiful ride.

    • December 23, 2014 at 8:15 amandrew

      AOTY? Pls tell me you’re joking.

    • December 23, 2014 at 1:03 pmenglej

      “if you understood it”

      step off your hipster ‘high horse’.. most people thought it was complete crap

      • December 23, 2014 at 1:11 pmandrew

        That’s bec it IS complete crap.

        Anime of the year, my ass.

      • December 23, 2014 at 5:39 pmlel

        How did you arrive at that conclusion? Afaik MPD is generally quite well-regarded.

        Personlly I think it was one of the best shows of 2011, which says a lot because 2011 was an amazing anime year. So I can see why someone would think it might be an AOTY contender. Of course it’s way too early to tell anyway.

      • December 25, 2014 at 5:26 amYK

        Nice ad hom. People will surely take what you say seriously like that :)

        Most people from what I know didn’t think it was complete shit. In fact the safest blanketing statement to say is probably that the majority of people who watched it thought it was confusing in one manner or another, and I don’t know how many took the time to look into it deeper or rewatch it. That is why I said “if you understood it”, because those who find meaning and significance in Penguindrum may do so again for YKA.

        I am very disappointed in your accusing someone of being on a high horse like that.

      • December 25, 2014 at 5:38 amYK

        I am not making a statement about people’s intelligence based on “if they understood it” or not. I am simply saying that there are some who found meaning in Penguindrum and thought it was great, and those may also find YKA to be great. I don’t know why you interpreted that as me being a hipster on a high horse.

    • December 23, 2014 at 3:48 pmStilts

      Please be nice. Anime (and fiction in general) are wonderful because everyone can find something they enjoy, even if others don’t have a clue why it appeals. It’s an opinion, not gospel fact.

      • December 25, 2014 at 5:31 amYK

        Sorry that I have to ask — I’m not sure if you’re replying directly to me (if there was something wrong or hostile in my post, it wasn’t intended), or in general to this thread. If it’s the former, I would be glad if you gave me a pointer. (If it’s about me saying it’s going to be “AOTY”, of course I’m not saying that everyone has to think so, but that people who like the things I like, such as Penguindrum, may agree with me).

      • December 29, 2014 at 4:22 pmStilts

        I was talking about the thread in general.

  • December 23, 2014 at 9:00 amrh75

    There’s a first time for everything and this will be my first time where I skip a season of anime. Nothing listed even triggers a hint of interest. Guess I’ll catch up on the shows I didn’t have time to watch.

    • December 23, 2014 at 9:09 amPatty

      I feel the same way but I recommend checking out the 1st episode of a few series before giving up. I got my eye on Death Parade in particular & you could give Ep.1 a shot. Who knows? You might enjoy it.

  • December 23, 2014 at 9:48 amtheirs

    No really new mecha shows, and watching 26 episodes of Fafner seem rather depressing. Does cooking mechs count as a mecha show? Will probably checkout Kantai Collection, but I don’t think I’ll count it as a mecha show.

    A question about Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls, does it have someone like Producer-san? Don’t see anybody like that from the cast. Unless they gave him/her a name.

  • December 23, 2014 at 9:51 amAtalla

    Frankly, I’ve really been looking forward to Winter Season:

    Aldnoah.Zero S2
    Dog Days S3
    Durarara S2
    KanColle
    iDOLM@STER S2
    Toyko Ghoul S2

    On top of these, I’ll likely pick up:

    Yuri Kuma Arashi
    Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
    Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
    THE ROLLING GIRLS
    ISUCA

    That’s 11 shows in 7 days out of a week. For a guy with a busy schedule, it sounds like a win to me.

  • December 23, 2014 at 10:02 amKiritsugu

    All the supernatural, horror, action animes added to my watch list :) Also Aldnoah and Tsukimonogatari cause they’ll be awesome :)

    Absolute Duo, Death Parade, Isuca, Junketsu no Maria, Juuou Mujon no Fafnir (maybe), Kantai Collection, Seiken Tsukai no World Break, Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha (maybe, this one gives me a Trinity Seven vibe, even the lead red haired girl seems the same xD ), Yoru no Yatterman, Shoukyuu no Fafner EXODUS, Ansatsu Kyoushitsu(i’ve got a Danganrompa vibe from this one and that’s not bad at all).
    It seems good enough for a Winter season ^_^

  • December 23, 2014 at 10:08 amMetalder

    Miyuki Sawashiro: one show.
    Ai Kayano: one show.
    Mai Fuchigami: one show.

    Ah well… At least they are still working. Also, I’m glad Fuchigami is doing Maekawa-esque voice rather than Nishizumi-esque moe voice.

    I was kind of hoping for Working! season 3 though..

  • December 23, 2014 at 10:19 amShiden

    Very Interested in:
    Tsukimonogatari (it’s a -monogatari series, after all)
    KanColle
    Sokyuu no Fafner (old-time fan)
    Ansatsu Kyoshitsu (they didn’t even bother to give Nagisa a male VA XD)
    Aldnoah.Zero
    Dog Days”

    Somewhat interested in
    Yuri Kuma Arashi
    Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
    Koufuku Graffiti
    Death Parade
    DRRR … if I ever get around to finishing S1

    Will watch anyway:
    Absolute Duo
    Shinmai Maou no Testament
    Juuou Mujin no Fafnir
    Seiken Tsukai no World Break
    ISUCA

    • December 23, 2014 at 2:06 pmtuloem

      +1

  • December 23, 2014 at 11:15 amsas

    fucking sequels crap all seasons

  • December 23, 2014 at 1:05 pmVyseLegendaire

    Slayers BD Remaster? Count me in bytches!

  • December 23, 2014 at 1:38 pmqwert

    Do the studios not coordinate whatsoever with one another on what they’re working on each season? Even in the slightest?

    One magical-fantasy-action-harem anime based on a light novel is expected. Two magical-fantasy-action-harem anime based on a light novel is a bit odd but acceptable. Three magical-fantasy-action-harem anime based on a light novel is getting weird. But FOUR magical-fantasy-action-harem anime based on a light novel in a single season?

    • December 23, 2014 at 1:41 pmZephyr

      Sometimes I wonder if they actually do that on purpose. Haha. It’s not usually readily apparent, but inevitably I find there’s some similarity/pattern that arises between show plots/themes/guidelines within a given season. One time it’s all zombies and such… another time etc.

    • December 23, 2014 at 1:52 pmRandom Comment

      It’s always possible that there’s far too many magical-fantasy-action-harem LNs nowadays and far too little of everything else for them to work with.

      Not to mention the appeal of magical-fantasy-action-harem has on people that like ORE-TUEEEEEEE stuff =w=

    • December 23, 2014 at 2:19 pmNinja

      Considering how many god damn magic highschool action series get adapted every season, it’s inconceivable how something like mx0 gets cancelled and has no anime…

    • December 23, 2014 at 10:13 pmBing

      Honestly it’s less the whole magical harem school thing (though that doesn’t help) and more light novels about people that write light novels and shows for otaku that are about otaku that make me disinterested in stories like this sounds. It sometimes feels like the light novel industry is eating it’s own tail practically and forever wanking to itself and it’s devoted readers. I don’t know maybe Otaku are so self-possessed in Japan now that they demand shows that are exclusively about people like them that make near constant reference to their sub-culture but it’s kind of alienating to people like me who don’t necessarily want to read/watch a story so clearly targeted at one particular sub-culture, it’s memes and fetishes etc. that they don’t consider themselves a part of per se.

      It’s almost like there’s two seperate anime fanbases at this point, people that like reading stories that are their own stories and which go somewhere, and people that like reading stories that are about otaku culture and very little room for crossover between the two parties.

  • December 23, 2014 at 1:54 pmLastywinfan

    ‘Toujou Basara’ I dont know why but that name tell me he is a badass, I may be mistaken but it has bee a long time since a main character has a name that I could remember.

  • December 23, 2014 at 2:00 pmShaah

    Arrrrg, Junketsu no Maria tagline is killing me!
    After Grisaia, this?
    Broken english is common in anime, so, broken french isn’t that surprising …. it still hurts.

    Anyway I think i’ll watch a few episodes of it, I wonder how the narrative is going to develop.

    Tons of intersting stuff to watch! Ansatsu! I was waiting for the next manga after Neuro, and it delivered. I’m glad it’s getting an anime even if i’m going to get bored watching it ><

    I'll probably also watch no matter what :
    Tsukimonogatari
    Tokyo Ghoul √A – As Ansatasu, I knew what was going to happen …. but know nothing is sure! It's not going to make it any less entertaining!
    Stardust Crusaders
    Death Parade
    Durarara!!x2

    I'll probably watch a few episodes before making THE choice :
    Yuri Kuma Arashi
    Binan Koukou Chikyuboueibu LOVE!
    Kancolle
    Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
    Koufuku Graffiti
    Shoukyuu no Fafner EXODUS
    THE ROLLING GIRLS

    Well, I hope most of these turn out okay.

  • December 23, 2014 at 2:26 pmRockmanshii

    Thanks for the preview guys.
    You may want to precise in the OVA section that it’s the Slayers movies and OVAs that are getting a bluray release, not the TV seasons.
    I’m planning to watch:

    Doamaiger D
    Shinmai Maou no Testament
    I’m actually not in the mood for yet another magical fantasy harem in Tokyo with words under brackets, so maybe I won’t watch it. I also don’t want to feel the void of no LN translations if I end up liking it. I liked Hagura Yuusha no Esthetica, by the same author, and I consider it to be in the upper echelon of magical fantasy harem in Tokyo with words under brackets, thanks to its great protagonist and other details. So maybe this’ll be good too. Others LNs in this upper echelon of magical fantasy harem of mine are Bakatest, Mondaiji, and maybe some other I forgot. While I like DAL it’s not in it. It has good moments but sometimes it’s really pointless.
    I consider Madan no Ou at the summit of this LN echelon I’m speaking of. It’s the only one I have no second thoughts about calling really great. The anime adaptation ended up sucking though.
    Side note: if you liked the Tigre kun specials, you should know that almost all of them actually happen in the LN, they’re part of the stuff they cut.
    Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
    Jojo
    when I finish s1
    Death Parade
    Durarara
    Didn’t read the LN when the s1 anime ended so gonna watch. Baccano! is the best LN ever, after Slayers, but I have to admit I kinda wish it would end. I haven’t read the 2 last volumes or so, and it’s not that the quality is starting to drop, it’s just that even if I like something I’d like to see it end. It’s getting tiresome.
    THE ROLLING GIRLS
    Yoru no Yatterman
    Like how I didn’t watch gatchaman crowds, I’m not gonna watch this anytime soon, because I’d rather watch the originals first. I know Crowds had nothing to do with the original, it’s just a matter of curiosity. I always wanted to watch the originals anyway.
    Junketsu no Maria
    I really like the manga and the end’s not translated. There’s only three volumes(though there’s a sequel) so the anime should cover all of it.
    ISUCA

    Gonna continue watching Cross Ange, G Reco, PriPara and Shirobako. And GBF Try when I start it.
    Like others already said you should make you own opinion in life and not listen to people automatically discarding Cross Ange.

  • December 23, 2014 at 3:37 pmdaikama

    Looks like it’s gonna be an ecchi winter. XD. No set list yet, but some shows which I’ll at least give a “3 Ep. Rule”

    Tsukimonogatari.: Very much looking forward to this one and at the top of my list.

    Aldnoah.Zero S2: Decided to watch S1 given all the buzz, and yeah, have to admit I’m curious to how things play out after that ending.

    Military!: Like military stuff and comedy so I’ll give this a shot though I have not had good luck with 5min short anime. 1/2 length (13 min) seems to work better from my experience.

    Shinmai Maou no Testament: I’ll be honest, RC’s expectations surprised me here. The “moderately” part I expected. The “high” part I did not (i.e. expected “moderately low”). I’ve read part of the LN and manga adaptation as well, and after 2 attempts, failed be interested enough to keep up with either one (and I don’t have any problems with ecchi series in general). Granted all JMO, but just was not impressed with this series – well other than just how ecchi it gets. O.O HS DxD has nothing on Shinmai Maou in that regard. Long story short = I’ll give it a try but personally, my expectations are pretty low. Hopefully the anime adaptation will surprise me (in a good way).

    Junketsu no Maria: Also read the source material (to the extent translated). I think this one may have some potential. Sure it may deviate from RL history, but it’s not intended to be a history class lecture. Besides, the Sengoku Era/Nobunaga alone are far more abused by anime/manga/LN stories. So while it may not be avant garde artistic or delve deeply into the mysteries of life, IMO there was some appreciable level of substance and depth – at least enough for me to at least check it out.

    - ISUCA: Read most of the TL source material (haven’t kept up lately). Nothing ground-breaking here, but pretty solid IMO for the genre/type of series it is. Agree with Takaii that it’s worth try as long as you like/don’t mind ecchi shows.

    - Kantai Collection (KanColle): First, I am playing the game. Second, you can find more information about the anime and franchise in general here.

    To say “Kancolle also seems to carry a World War II air to it…” is an understatement. WWII IJN ship and navel history are without question thoroughly woven throughout the game. Seasonal events are based off of RL WWII battles (e.g. this summer’s event was based upon WWII IJN Operations AL (Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands) and MI (Japanese invasion of Midway Island) and were even called such in the game.). Kanmusu (ship-girl) personality and character designs are largely based upon their WWII IJN counterparts. So Sendai is a night battle freak because the IJN CL (light cruiser) Sendai participated in a lot of night battles. Akagi (CV – standard or fleet aircraft carrier) has a secretary line “Reppuu? Never heard of it.” because the Mitsubishi A7M “Reppuu” (Strong Gale) was introduced almost 2 years after Akagi sunk at the Battle of Midway. I could literally easily give a hundred more examples.

    Overall, I expect the anime to be something similar to Strike Witches (a mix of “slice of life” (SOL) moments and battles/action along with the setting in general) with a little Aoki Hagane No Arpeggio (background/setting) and Upotte!! (Kanmusu concept) thrown in for good measure. One comment I’ve read stated that the anime will be 70% SOL moments and 30% action/battle though I don’t know if that’s confirmed.

    I do think KanColle anime has the potential to be a good show – maybe even a very good show (if one likes this sort of thing), but one question I have is whether the show will be able to maintain the right balance of trying to please it’s core audience (i.e. those who play the game/familiar with the franchise and/or WWII/IJN fans) while remaining sufficiently “accessible” (for lack of a better word) to anime-only viewers. For one, there are a lot of characters in the anime. A number may just have “cameo” roles, but not all. Also, just from the second PV and CM alone I spotted a number of “inside jokes” (e.g. fail penguin and “sparkling”). FWIW, my advice matches RC = go into this with “moderate” expectations. Even “moderately low” is fine since you’re more likely to be pleasantly surprised the lower your expectations.

    • December 23, 2014 at 4:26 pmdaikama

      Forgot to include this. FYI for all Gate – Thus The JSDF Fought There (Gate – Jietai Kare no Chi nite, Kaku Tatakeri) fans. The series is getting an anime adaptation.

    • December 23, 2014 at 8:35 pmRandom Comment

      One comment I’ve read stated that the anime will be 70% SOL moments and 30% action/battle though I don’t know if that’s confirmed.

      I got this from the Animesuki forums, which in turn got it from yaraon =3: http://tinyurl.com/oodxhss

      • December 23, 2014 at 8:58 pmdaikama

        @Random Comment: I wasn’t referring to your post above, but I can see how my comment could be construed that way. Sorry about that. I was referring to the same Animesuki forum post you linked. The original poster wrote “it seems the text…” and “if anyone wants to confirm…” which is why I wrote that I wasn’t 100% sure about whether the 70/30 ratio is confirmed. I can’t read Kanji so I have no idea myself.

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:18 pmboingman

    Shinmai Maou no Testament –> Seems to be THE ecchi show of the season, so why not, though I might wait for the blu-ray edition in case the TV broadcast has a lot of censored fanservice. Will see how the first ep. plays out.

    Tokyo Ghoul Sequel –> Will be heavily censored for sure, unfortunately, but will watch to follow what’s up with the new Kaneki

    New Durarara!! –> Of course! Love the characters, love the voice cast!

    Aldnoah Zero sequel –> Trainwreck story, but enjoyed the David vs. Goliath like fights and the soundtrack. I have to admit that episode 3 of the first season might be my favorite episode of the year. Zephyr is back to blog this, right?

    • December 25, 2014 at 11:48 amZephyr

      To be determined. I’m on the fence on blogging this season at the moment.

      • December 25, 2014 at 4:25 pmboingman

        I see. I know that I don’t need to say this, but don’t feel pressured to do it if you don’t have the time for it.

        At least this is no series that runs the risk of not being blogged at all, I guess, so if somehow Enzo doesn’t feel like blogging it either, then I am sure someone else will (I hope).

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:37 pmDP

    Looks like a strong season. Nothing I’m super-excited about but the 8-9 that look promising are augmented by some potent returning shows, notably Cross Ange (which has been great fun) and Parasyte (probably the most competent manga-based show of last season).

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:45 pmDP

    * The new ones I’m most looking forward to are Aldnoah.Zero S2, Junketsu no Maria, and maybe Isuca.

    * Kantai Collection … I was looking forward to it, but the water-skiing combat girls seemed incredibly silly.

    * Durarara … I liked elements of the first season, especially Celty, but found other parts increasingly convoluted for its own sake and got a little tired of it. But it least it had style, and I’m hoping for memorable OP and ED…

    * Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata I’m hoping will get into the mechanics of light novel creation and the industry at least a little bit and not just be a social club thing.

    * Rolling Girls… who knows? I remember when “So Ra No Wo To” was considered based on previews to be just a K-On in the military; maybe this will turn out to be something as off-expectation. Or if ends up being Kill La Kill on motorbikes, I won’t mind, anyway.

  • December 23, 2014 at 4:46 pmHochmeister

    MORE JOJO!!!!! After waiting 24 episodes for them to get to ‘effin Egypt I am more than ready for Dio’s smackdown. Stardust Crusaders is good, but not nearly as good as Battle Tendency. Hopefully the second half will rectify this. Aldnoah.Zero should also be interesting, but that darn princess better stay dead by the end.

    There aren’t any standouts in the new shows, but I’m moderately optimistic for:

    Shinmai Maou no Testament – From what I read of the manga a year ago this could be some very high-octane action/ecchi/harem. It all depends on how well it’s presented.

    Ansatsu Kyoushitsu – I’m moderatley excited for this one, the premise is hilarious and ripe for exploitation.

    Junketsu no Maria – Anything with a Medieval European setting instantly has my attention, and this sounds like it could be a hell of a lot of raunchy fun.

    Other than that, I’ll be checking out:
    Yuri Kuma Arashi – Killer bears! The premise alone sounds ridiculous enough to be enjoyable so I’ll definitely check it out.

    Binan Koukou Chikyuboueibu LOVE! – Will definitely check out for the novelty and possible lolz of a magical boy anime.

    Kantai Collection - Waifu boat wars! Strike Witches and Girls und Panzer were both enjoyable, hopefully this will follow in their footsteps.

    Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata - Could be an interesting storyline, it depends on how much the characters and directing appeal to me.

    Dog Days - Will watch solely for more kemonomimi fanservice.

    THE ROLLING GIRLS – Interesting premise that promises some action, politics, and friendship, could be good could be bad.

    Yoru no Yatterman - Looks like an old-school action/comedy in the vein of Jojo, definitely worth a shot.

    Absolute Duo - Sounds like the stereotypical action/ecchi/harem. I’ll check it out, but won’t expect much.

    Juuou Mujin no Fafnir - Another typical action/ecchi/harem, will check it out, but am not expecting much.

    Seiken Tsukai no World Break - Yet another stereotypical action/ecchi/harem. Which I will also check out, with low expectations.

    ISUCA - And another possibly interesting action/ecchi/harem. Darn there’s a lot of these this season.

    Definitely not as good as Winter, but I expect that I’ll end up enjoying at least a half dozen shows. Which is good, since this semester is gonna suuuck.

  • December 23, 2014 at 5:16 pmJ_the_Man

    I’ll take a wait and see on Aldnoah and Tokyo Ghoul. I was not impressed with either. I am gonna have to do some marathoning, though…

  • December 23, 2014 at 5:25 pmWanderer

    Durarara and Dog Days for sure, based on past experience. Other stuff maybe, depending on how well you folks can present them to me in your reviews. Yes, I’m placing the burden entirely upon you reviewers. ;)

  • December 23, 2014 at 5:41 pmchromenova

    There are actually a lot of cool shows I’m looking forward to this season compared to the last season, but most of them are sequels or just additional seasons for already established shows. My watch list would be something like this:

    Will definitely watch:
    -kuroko no basket s3 – basketball X dragonball Z, lets go!
    -durarara x2 shou – the wait has been way too long!
    -aldnoah zero s2 – ready to see more slaine and inaho. i felt like first season became a bit of a trainwreck, but it was enjoyable to watch nonetheless.
    -jojo’s bizzare adventure egypt – JoJo is love, JoJo is life. Fabulous men doing badass things. The plot isn’t anything special, but the outrageous characters and action sequences make it a really fun watch.

    Will check out:
    -tokyo ghoul – i’ll be disappointed if the TV version is censored again.
    -death parade – psychological/philosophical ride? definitely will at least check this out.
    -Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – visual novel making + romcom premise sounds interesting
    -kancolle – not expecting too much, but i love the kancolle girls~
    -assassination classroom – looks interesting, but i never read the manga

  • December 23, 2014 at 5:49 pmlel

    A lot of sequels, most of which I’m not particularly looking forward to but will end up watching anyway. Still some I’m excited about, like Kuroko’s Basketball and Tokyo Ghoul (first season was a bit disappointing, but I enjoyed it and read the manga).

    Yuri Bears is probably the show I’m looking forward the most, because I loved Mawaru Penguindrum. It sounds extremely ridiculous and will probably end up being an amazing ride again.

    I really liked the Death Billiard OVA, it’s one of my favorite Anime Mirai episodes. When I watched I thought the setting would make for an amazing episodic anime, so of course looking to Death Parade as well.

    Koufuku Graffiti is about eating food with “erotic undertones” animated by Shaft, so I expect something akin to the toothbrush scene but with food.

    Gonna check out a bunch of other shows. So overall it looks okay. To the people comparing it to current season and saying it sucks: That’s partly because this season has been amazing (best season in a few years imo).

  • December 23, 2014 at 6:02 pmRui Craveiro

    So far, the biggest interest for me in the Winter 2015 season is “Ansatsu Kyoushitsu” – can’t wait to see it in weekly episodic motion ;)

  • December 23, 2014 at 6:40 pmTarage

    No one has made the connection of THE ROLLING GIRLS to Yozakura Quartet?

    For shame. It looks like the same type of fun series.

  • December 23, 2014 at 7:14 pmnoname02cpp

    Shoukyuu no Fafner EXODUS looks like a cross between Gundam and Macross

    • December 23, 2014 at 10:25 pmtheirs

      The original Fafner was more like Eva than Macross or Gundam. It was a good show though.

    • December 25, 2014 at 8:44 pmRandom Comment

      The original Fafner was more like Eva than Macross or Gundam. It was a good show though.

      Agreed! In fact, one may be excused if he is to run through the first half of Season 1 and conclude, “lol EVA clone”. Soukyuu no Fafner S1 shared quite a number of similarities with Evangelion and it is only after the, err, mecha upgrade in the midpoint that the similarities end.

      Imho the story-telling and the character interaction can be awkward at times, but it sticks to its theme faithfully and the main driving force of the show is not so much the mecha but really the human drama (in the good sense).

  • December 23, 2014 at 7:47 pmAltritter

    Hope someone blogs JoJo this season.

  • December 23, 2014 at 8:14 pmMurasaki

    Wait. How many Matsuoka Yoshitsugu shows are we getting this season? 3? Speak of being typecasted- in a good way! Dude was so much fun as Arata in Trinity Seven, so I’m probably going to give all those shows a shot too (Serious to god, I wasn’t interested in harem comedies until Trinity Seven; this show amused me so much).

    Probably won’t be watching Tokyo Ghoul 2 and Aldnoah Zero until it ends- then I’m gonna marathon it the whole way through. I’d be dead otherwise; THE CLIFFHANGERSSSSSS, IT KILLS ME. Huh, come to think of it, the same could be said for DRRR and Kuroko no Basket.

    Definitely checking out Absolute Duo, Shinmai Maou no Testament, Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata, Koufuku Graffiti, Juuou Mujin no Fafnir, Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, Death Parade, THE ROLLING GIRLS, Kuroko no Basuke Season 3, Seiken Tsukai no World Break and ISUCA. Guess I won’t be having time to sleep! Quick question: Slice of life shows are my bread and butter. Would Kantai Collection be a miss-or-go?

    • December 23, 2014 at 8:49 pmdaikama

      @Murasaki: “Quick question: Slice of life shows are my bread and butter. Would Kantai Collection be a miss-or-go?”

      Honestly, I couldn’t say definitively one way or the other. The anime is supposed to be roughly 70% “SOL” moments and 30% action/battles so there will be plenty of SOL moments, but whether you’ll like the show in general… IDK.

      If you have the time and interest, I see no reason not to give KanColle anime the ‘ol “3 Episode Rule” test. I think by the third episode, you should have a pretty good idea of what the show will be like and whether it’s something you’ll want to continue watching.

    • December 29, 2014 at 12:39 amgecd

      kancolle’s first episode was very good
      also it have OP of the season

  • December 23, 2014 at 9:07 pmMinori

    shows like binan are my guilty pleasure

    but the anime ill watch from how hyped i am:

    1. Kuroko no Basket 3 – favourite anime and i honestly can’t wait to see the epic matches
    2. Durarara!! x2 shou – Durarara!! never fails to bore me and i really enjoyed the first season ah also, WAITED FIVE YEARS FOR THIS OBVIOUSLY ILL WATCH
    3. Death Parade – looks like my type of anime, pv also looks really good
    4. Ansatsu Kyoushitsu – didn’t really read the manga a lot but im still pretty hyped for this show
    5. Rolling Girls – im a sucker for slice of life lmao
    6. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – gives off a shigatsu wa kimi no uso feel to it and im really enjoying that anime. also, visual novels? i think yes
    7. Binan Koukou Chikyuboueibu LOVE! – its a guilty pleasure kinda thing, fite me. also, HIROSHI KAMIYA I THINK YES
    Honourable Mention. Psycho Pass Movie – tbh, second most anticipated thing im looking forward to for winter 2015 (first being kurobas) I mean we might see kougami ahh

  • December 23, 2014 at 9:53 pmAnza

    Holy shit I had no idea we’d be getting a sequel to fafner. Okay then need to rewatch that before the new one comes out, I really don’t remember that much except that I really enjoyed it.

    • December 25, 2014 at 8:33 pmRandom Comment

      You might want to watch the Fafner movie “Heaven and Earth” first if you haven’t, since it’s set between Dead Aggressor (aka S1) and Exodus. In fact, Exodus can be seen as the sequel to Heaven and Earth just like Heaven and Earth is the sequel to Dead Aggressor.

      • December 28, 2014 at 10:04 pmAnza

        Yeah I just finished rewatching the show and plan to watch the movie in the morning.

  • December 23, 2014 at 10:17 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    man….anime looking like the GAME industry with all these weak ass Re-hashes and continuations further beating these poor dead horses….of course that’s just my F&^King opinion.
    just like Baccano should have gotten a sequel instead of that boring Duuurara.
    …at least i get more doggy days…my guilty pleasure!!!

    Weak season is weak!!…more time to carve the mountain up i guess

  • December 23, 2014 at 10:22 pmnyanlol

    I’m not sure if I should be looking forward to this season or not. Nothing besides Durarara stands out as a must watch. I’m hoping that at least one of these harems will turn into the pleasant surprise of, say, Strike the Blood, but I’m doubtful, and that there are 4 or more of them says a /lot/ about the industry. I’ve heard that winter is traditionally not the “big blockbuster” season. Is that about right?

    • December 23, 2014 at 10:25 pmnyanlol

      related note: hey Passerby, would you suggest IdolM@aster to watch? I need something else to binge besides Durarara until the season officially kicks off

  • December 23, 2014 at 10:48 pmPetit Orenji

    Aldnoah for certain. As for all of the others.. well, sampling them is going to be a chore.

  • December 23, 2014 at 11:45 pmDafuq

    Will watch:
    Aldnoah.Zero Season 2
    Kuroko’s Basketball Season 3
    Tsukimonogatari

    Wait and see:
    Durarara!!x2 Shou
    THE ROLLING GIRLS
    Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
    Death Parade

  • December 24, 2014 at 12:18 aminfo600

    My shortlist for Winter 2015 (saying this as short makes my stomach churn.)
    Coninuation:
    Gundam Reconguista in G
    Log Horizon 2
    Gundam Build Fighters Try
    Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo
    World Trigger
    Madan no Ou to Vanadis

    Must watch:
    ALDNOAH.ZERO Season 2

    3-episode trial:
    Shoukyuu no Fafner EXODUS – It should be interesting going into this not watching the movie beforehand.

    On the fence:
    Absolute Duo – Classical synopsis, might only worth watching the initial episode.
    Military!
    Kantai Collection -KanColle-

    Blog-watch:
    Kami-sama Hajimemashita
    Death Parade – It hasn’t been aired yet and it already made me having chills down my spine.

    • December 24, 2014 at 2:19 amRockmanshii

      Madan no Ou is only 13 episodes you know

  • December 24, 2014 at 12:44 amOwaranai

    Shinmai is probably the only one I really have any real idea about, since I’ve read quite a bit on the LNs and…It’s most definitely not for kids. Not sure how they are going to do it since sticking faithfully by source material can be a little sticky, but if it’s ‘ecchi done right’ then it should be a entertaining watch.

    Death Parade sounds really promising too, following up from the psychological thriller that is Psycho Pass 2. The rest are probably on a ‘wait and see’ approach, even for Absolute Duo. Just picked up the LNs but it feels a little slow to me.

    On the other hand, I think I will hope to be pleasantly surprised by some shows which you guys only have moderate expectations for. They have plenty of big shoes to fill though from this season’s awesomeness.

  • December 24, 2014 at 2:16 amornehx

    Definitely watching
    - Ansatsu Kyoushitsu – cause moumoon’s song is selected as the ED!
    - Durarara!!x2 Shou – really enjoyed the first one
    - Tokyo Ghoul √A – left on a cliffhanger, and does seem to show promising sights

    Might watch
    - Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc
    - ALDNOAH.ZERO Season 2
    - Death Parade
    - Shinmai Maou no Testament
    - Military!

  • December 24, 2014 at 3:41 amSeya

    Death Parade

    And may be:
    - Maria the Virgin Witch
    - Kuroko no Basuke s1-3
    - Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
    - Tokyo Ghoul s1-2
    - Durarara!! s1-2

  • December 24, 2014 at 3:48 amKanade

    I almost said that this season sucked but can’t do it because there are so many good series returning with the second or 3rd season in winter. Out of the new oens the only one I’m interested in is Death Parade, having watched the standalone episode of Death Billiards almost a year ago.

  • December 24, 2014 at 12:58 pmTass

    Hello! I wanna ask why dont u post Nanatsu anymore? :( You are the best, i only follow you.

    • December 24, 2014 at 1:08 pmZephyr

      Only the first episode was done as a preview. It didn’t get picked up by any one for weekly coverage.

    • December 24, 2014 at 1:26 pmSamu

      It’s like Zephyr says, but Stilts is currently covering it in the Monthly Impressions posts, so that’s an option for you. :)

  • December 24, 2014 at 11:39 pmPrivate

    I hope Slaine is now the main character.

    • December 25, 2014 at 6:40 amWarriorsHeart

      Me, too. He certainly had a more compelling story behind his character.

  • December 25, 2014 at 8:40 amYouKnowImRightBitches

    Good series: JoJo, Aldnoah, possibly Junketsu no Maria ‘cuz Code Geass.

    Everything else is trash. Especially Tokyo Ghoul. MANGA >>> ANIME.

    Downvote me if you agree.

  • December 25, 2014 at 9:25 amKarry

    >Soukyuu no Fafner is apparently one of the better mecha series out there.

    You can safely spit in the eyes of people who think that way. What a horribly mediocre story, not helped by crappy and undistinct mecha designs.

    • December 28, 2014 at 10:09 pmAnza

      I’ll agree about the mech designs but the story was quite good, if not somewhat predictable and rather depressing at times. It’s a much better mech drama then many of the recent Gundam shows though.

  • December 25, 2014 at 1:00 pmAmina

    Death Parade
    KnB 3
    Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
    Jojo’s bizzarre adventure – the would be the first time i’ve would have watched it
    kamisama hajimashita – loved the first series

    willing to check out
    Isuca
    Shingetsu no maria
    Kofuku graffiti
    Kami – sama

    The sequels to some seem really cool are there any that I can just get into now without watching previous seasons or will some stuff go completely over my head

  • December 25, 2014 at 10:20 pmShinwinds

    I cannot complain much about the series that aired this season. The Line-up is good, but unfortunately it’s vary to much. Moe Blob,Harem Supernatural, and some Kick-ass Anime. Depending to your taste. This season definitely has many tastes. lol

    And among many anime show this season, i will definitely watch the good one. My personal list :

    1. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc

    Definitely one of the top contender this season. A must watch anime.

    2. Tokyo Ghoul √A

    The first season end prematurely. The Ending isn’t exactly what i had in mind. As a manga reader the ending is surprising because it’s cut off at the middle of Aogiri Arc. At this point i just want to know how they start the season with that kind of ending.

    3. ALDNOAH.ZERO Season 2

    If Slaine was the main character this season. i will definitely watch the show. otherwise it’s 3 episode rule.

    4. Durarara!!x2 Shou

    I can’t say anything about Durarara, the first season is good. And i hope the second season is as good as the first season.

    5. Kuroko no Basuke Season 3

    As a manga reader i can say that the ending of the manga is predictable. But the action is good and i hope the anime can execute the action in more flashy way. :)

    Other anime isn’t bad enough. i willing to check some anime show like Death Parade, Ansatsu Kyoushitsu or else. But most of the anime in this season is just generic supernatural, harem, and some moe blob anime. As someone that watch many genres anime i can say that i’m kind of sick with this kind of anime. And i believe it’s not just me.

  • December 25, 2014 at 10:47 pmRazorstain

    I will be checking out -

    Tokyo Ghoul √A (need to finish S1 first!)

    Koufuku Graffiti

    And SUPER HYPED FOR

    Tsukimonogatari

    Death Parade

    P.S. Death Parade gives me some serious Kuroshitsuji vibes…? Half expecting the white-haired character say, “After all, I’m one hell of a bartender.” Is it just me?

  • December 26, 2014 at 11:01 amJohn Hunt

    Looks like another really unexciting barren season where I’d consider it a boon if I find more than 2 shows to take an active interest in. I can honestly hardly be pressed to care anymore though as I just know almost everything will end in disappointment and waste anyway. The only thing not just a follow up to a show that started in an earlier season that even looks remotely interesting is Death Parade and I have a feeling it won’t turn out anywhere near how I’m hoping it will so most likely I’ll consider this season yet another write off which is becoming more and more frequent. Maybe I’m just losing my passion for TV anime but hardly anything looks interesting anymore or that I feel any real drive to want to watch.

  • December 26, 2014 at 7:15 pmmegalith

    Only hyped for 2 things. DRRR and Tokyo Ghoul. Rest is so-so.

  • December 27, 2014 at 12:10 amPrivate

    Update on Aldnoah Site. Orange mech trainer converted into space equipment.

    https://twitter.com/b_rabbit007/status/548691932650545152/photo/1

  • December 27, 2014 at 1:02 amJif

    Muh botegirls.

    Regardless of how the anime turns out, there’s going to be a lot of fun happenings on Pixiv and JP Twitter. Pretty much why Kancolle, well, walks on water.

  • December 27, 2014 at 8:36 pmMy Anime

    I am looking forward for Tokyo Ghoul II ! Kaneki continued story.

  • December 27, 2014 at 11:31 pmCherrie

    Polls are up =)

  • December 28, 2014 at 3:08 ampaulrenzo

    Definitely will be watching Fafnir, Aldnoah and Sengoku Musou (even if I don’t like the fact that they drastically changed the character designs, compared to the game)

    Will watch Kancolle and Cinderella Girls if the Admiral and Producer respectively are involved.

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