Ah, spring is here! Well, it is down here in Australia anyway, where the weather is heating up and the sooty smell of bushfire is already in the air. Fun. In animeland, though, it’s autumn, the season of food and plenty, so accordingly we have a fresh crop of shows ready for harvest. The seeds of sequels sown sooner have since seen sprout, giving us six more episodes of the singular FLCL, a third season of the seminal To Aru Majutsu no Index, and an insane 4-cour streak of Sword Art Online. Still starving for serials? Then Fairy Tale, Tokyo Ghoul, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure all serve second (or more) seasons. But if you’re sick to your stomach of the same script, you should seek special stimulation. The least straightforward shows of any season are the originals, and Fall 2018 has several across the spectrum, from P.A. Work’s supernatural slice-of-life Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara to the hard science-fiction of RErideD to… whatever Release the Spyce supposes to screen. But enough of this silliness. As always, our crack team of animethusiasts have taste-tested all of this season’s offerings and are waiting to provide you with samples and suggestions for your informed viewing pleasure. This is Random Curiosity’s Fall 2018 Preview.

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

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

This season we’ll continue using the Excitement Levels we introduced last year. You know how this works by now, right? Every new anime is a bag of hype, and rather than pretend to objective prognostication we’re going to embrace the marketing and give you our visceral gut reactions instead. 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 excitement level.

What’s new though is that we’ve finally switched from Flash to HTML5 for our PVs. I know some of you have been clamouring for that so… here you go. Woo. Marzipan.


Disclaimer: Back in the year of 2012, then the world was still young, previews were done by a single writer, Divine. But the RandomC preview is as the implacable behemoth that crushes those who hunt it alone, so we’ve carved up this beast amongst our staff staff (Choya, Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts, Takaii, Zaiden, 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 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 sources for each series.

Though I’m just a humble Passerby, I’d like the entire Random Curiosity crew to give themselves a pat on the back for pumping out preview after preview every season. It’s never any less work (and, let’s face it, increasingly more work), so since the boss isn’t writing the intro this season, I think we should make use of the paragraph nobody reads for well-deserved self-congratulations. Special thanks go to Xumbra for encoding the PVs; Zephyr for doing early prep work; Stilts for editing and managing; Zaiden for being our new images and formatting guy, and for finally implementing HTML5 for the PVs!; some Passerby fellow for proofreading and the shorts section. And of course there’s everyone who wrote previews. You know who you are, and we did a pretty good job of it, if I do say so myself. And this is where I plug our own Guardian Enzo’s LiA fall preview for a contrasting one-man-show perspective.

Finally, a ritualised thank you to the readers and community of Random Curiosity. Whether you’ve been with us all along or are tuning in for the first time, thank you for reading. Sometimes I wonder if anybody bothers to read more than 280 characters these days and, hey look, there’s you folks. Not only do you maintain my faith in humanity, you also give all of us here at RandomC cause to keep doing what we do. Where would we be without you? We could just scream into the void instead, and while that’s infinitely more practical it wouldn’t be nearly as cathartic.

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
Fairy Tail (2018)
07:00 TV Tokyo (10/07)
Akanesasu Shoujo
19:30 MBS (10/01)
Tokyo Ghoul:Re (2018)
23:00 MX (10/9)
Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto Dakedo Imouto ja Nai
22:00 AT-X (10/10)
Han-Gyaku-Sei Million Arthur Bu
22:00 MX (10/11)
Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san
21:00 AT-X (10/05)
Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu”, Igi Ari! Season 2
17:30 ytv (10/06)
Ulysses: Jeanne d’Arc to Renkin no Kishi
22:00 MX (10/07)
Thunderbolt Fantasy: Touri-ken Yuuki 2
22:00 MX (10/01)
Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru
25:29 Nippon TV (10/02)
Hora, Mimi ga Mieteru yo!
22:24 MX (10/03)
Karakuri Circus
22:30 TBS (10/11)
Yagate Kimi ni Naru
21:30 AT-X (10/05)
17:35 NHK-E (10/06)
DOUBLE DECKER! Doug & Kirill
22:30 MX (9/30)
Golden Kamuy 2nd Season
23:00 MX (10/08)
25:30 Sun TV (10/9)
Sora to Umi no Aida
24:00 MX (10/03)
Merc Storia: Mukiryoku Shounen to Bin no Naka no Shoujo
22:30 AT-X (10/11)
To Aru Majutsu no Index III
22:00 AT-X (10/05)
Sword Art Online: Alicization
24:00 MX (10/06)
Anima Yell!
23:30 AT-X (10/07)
Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken
24:00 ANIMAX (10/01)
BEATLESS Final Stage
27:00 ANIMAX (9/25)
RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida
24:00 MX (10/03)
Zombieland Saga
23:30 AT-X (10/04)
Hinomaru Zumou
22:00 MX (10/05)
24:00 WOWOW (10/06)
Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudou Bu
24:10 NHK (10/14)
Souten no Ken REGENESIS Season 2
24:30 MX (10/08)
24:55 CX (10/17)
Gakuen Basara
25:28 TBS (10/04)
Kitsune no Koe
22:30 MX (10/05)
Goblin Slayer
24:30 AT-X (10/06)
Gaikotsu Shoten’in Honda-san
26:05 BS11 (10/07)
Ken en Ken: Aoki Kagayaki
26:05 TV Tokyo (10/01)
Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume o Minai
26:15 ABC (10/03)
Bakumatsu: Ren’ai Bakumatsu Kareshi Gaiden
TBA TBS (10/04)
Gurazeni Season 2
22:30 BS SKY (10/05)
26:38 MBS (10/06)
Beelzebub-jou no Oki ni Mesu Mama.
26:50 ABC (10/10)
Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru!
23:00 AT-X (10/05)
Dakaretai Otoko 1-i ni Odosarete Imasu.
24:00 MX (10/05)
Senran Kagura: Shinovi Master – Tokyo Youma Hen
24:00 AT-X (10/12)
JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Ougon no Kaze
25:05 MX (10/05)
Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet
25:25 TBS (10/05)
Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara
25:55 TBS (10/05)
Castlevania Season 2
TBA Netflix (10/26)

* Jump to OVA/Movies or Short Series List.

FLCL Alternative | フリクリ オルタナTop
Animation: Production I.G. Premiere: September 7th, 2018
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:00
Episodes: 6 Station: Adult Swim
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @FLCL_USA or #FLCLAlternative

Preview by Passerby

In a world much like Earth, at a time not far from the present, humanity was on the cusp of the space age. Rocket launches had become a regular event, even as the Japanese government considered fully regulating space and banning civilian flights. None of that affected Koumoto Kana (Miyama Karen). She’s just a normal high school girl. She hung out with her friends. She worked part-time at a noodle shop. She crushed on some guy. It seemed like those good times would last forever, but one day an unidentified object fell from the sky and spawned a giant mecha that seemed intent on devouring Kana and her friends. To the rescue leaps one Haruhara Haruko (Shintani Mayumi), an eccentric, pink-haired woman who introduces herself as a space investigator of the space police. She has an in interest in Kana — or rather, an interest in the inter-dimensional portal inside Kana’s head.

Back in the Noughties, we had FLCL (pronounced, for whatever reason, ‘fooly cooly’). It was, in a word, anime: weird, fun, and it managed to speak of the chaos and confusion of adolescence in a visual way only this medium can. I’m not sure it ever needed a sequel, but now it’s gotten two, with Alternative being the third in line to bear the FLCL name. That said, unlike season 2, Progressive, which was quite conscious of its sequel status, Alternative does not seem to be as concerned. Besides the ever present Haruka, there is not that much that links this third season to the first. Perhaps it understands that it’s cut from a different cloth. The new cast are, comparatively, low key, mostly sane, and without quite same manic energy that possessed the original cast. Perhaps that’s to be expected; this is a new generation, and after all these years the face of our youth will naturally be different. Indeed, none of the (not one, not two, but) three directors in charge of Alternative were involved in the original FLCL, and their take on the new Zeitgeist should prove to be a worthwhile watch. In fact, some of you have probably had a sneak peak already; the first episode of Alternative was leaked for April Fools a while ago, and our very own Choya had a take on it. If you want more information on FLCL Alternative, give that a look, though I’m sure if you’re a fan of FLCL already it shouldn’t take much convincing to add Alternative to your list.

Watching This: Choya, Passerby Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show FLCL Alternative Promotional Videos ▼

BEATLESS Final StageTop
Animation: Diomedea Premiere: September 25th, 2018
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 27:00
Episodes: 4 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @beatless_info or #anime_beatless

Preview by Zephyr

Following a series of delays and intermissions, Beatless returns for its last arc in Beatless Final Stage. The series’ finale will continue the story of Endou Arato (Yoshinaga Takuto), a 17-year-old student who stumbled upon a highly intelligent hIE (a humanoid robot a.k.a. humanoid Interface Element) named Lacia (Touyama Nao) . As one of five unique hIEs released into the world, Lacia is a “Red Box,” possessing abilities exceeding what was thought possible by humanity. Upon accepting his role as her owner, Endou’s fateful decision sets into motion a series of events that begin to change the world. As the other Red Boxes find owners of their own, a symbolic clash begins between humans that envision a future where AI and humans can co-exist and those unwilling to have their lives taken over further by machines. As the smoke begins to settle, Endou takes Lacia’s hand once more in order to craft the future they envisioned.

Given the series’ dreadful start, it would be easy to dismiss Beatless as just another series that tried and failed miserably at crafting a sci-fi universe worth delving into. Having finally caught up to the first season’s last few episodes though, I’m glad to say the series does eventually fulfill some of the expectations placed on it. At the very least, things become more interesting as the big picture comes into focus and we see what the Red Boxes’ abilities are and the reasons behind their (and their owner’s) actions. What results is a decent commentary on the possible issues a future with full automation and highly intelligent AI would have, even if having a bunch of ultra-powerful AI fight it out to determine the future seems a bit ridiculous, and a generic protagonist combined with cliché developments took away from the series’ initial engagement. Thankfully, they do eventually explain the choice of making the protagonist who he is and why some of the developments happened in the first few episodes, but it’s understandable that many viewers ditched the series long before it could get to that point. Beatless wasn’t quite a total disaster, but rather wasted potential due to its lengthy development time (especially when combined with all the delays and intermissions), and ultimately the last few episodes did get me interested enough to see what Final Stage has in store. I suspect I’ll be one of the few people to actually watch the series to its completion, though.

Watching This: Passerby, Zephyr Excitement Level: Average
DOUBLE DECKER! Doug & Kirill | DOUBLE DECKER! ダグ&キリルTop
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: September 30th, 2018
Genre: Action, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:30
Episodes: TBA Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @dabudeka or #ダブデカ

Preview by Passerby

Lisvaletta. On the surface, it’s a peaceful city state, but in actuality it’s a regular hive of scum and villainy. It wasn’t always this way; the chaos came when a new drug called ‘Anthem’ floated up from the underworld. Not only was it highly addictive, it also had the curious side effect of turning habitual users into crazed mutants. With drug-fueled violence sweeping across Lisvaletta, the military was called in to tackle this drug wave. A special task force is set up to combat this problem. Christened ‘SEVEN-O’, this agency is tasked with fighting both superhuman criminals and a drug epidemic, so it recruits from all quarters. Agents work in pairs nicknamed ‘double deckers’, and are made up of everybody from accomplished detectives to ex-cons. Kirill Vrubel (Amasaki Kouhei) is neither of these things; he’s just a lowly constable with delusions of grandeur. But he’s drawn into the fight against Anthem and ends up being partnered with veteran agent Doug Billingham (Mikami Satoshi) to form SEVEN-O’s newest double decker.

Double Decker! is apparently set in the same universe as TIGER & BUNNY, which would be a positive association, but the extent of that association is hard to tell. The setting seems to be based on the Mexican drug wars (only very, very loosely based, or else Double Decker wouldn’t be able to be a comedy), and while there’s that buddy cop dynamic going and some references to TIGER & BUNNY may pop up now and again, for the most part Double Decker! should not require any prior knowledge and can be judged on its own merits. In fact, you can probably do some of that judging right now; the first episode is already out there for your previewing, and you might want to give it a look. Double Decker! seems to be largely a comedy and comedy is the most subjective thing. Only you will know whether its brand of irreverent parody is for you. Otherwise, it’s got some style, it’s got some flair, and will probably be a fun time. Sure, most of the staff don’t have a load experience (with a notable exception of a score by Hayashi Yuki, which can’t go wrong) but you don’t need much for an action comedy romp to be entertaining, and Double Decker! should dish out plenty of that.

Watching This: Choya, Guardian Enzo, Zaiden Excitement Level: Average
Show DOUBLE DECKER! Doug & Kirill Promotional Videos ▼

Akanesasu Shoujo | あかねさす少女 Top
Animation: Dandelion Animation Studio Premiere: October 1st, 2018
Genre: Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 19:30
Episodes: TBA Station: ANIMAX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @akanesasu_shoujo or #あかねさす

Preview by Stilts

October, 2018. In a certain city in a certain provincial area, a group of high school girls perform a ritual. They’re part of the Crystal Radio Club, a group the cheerful Tsuchimiya Asuka (Kurosawa Tomoyo) started with her friends. The ritual was supposed to be an urban legend, but after several conditions were coincidentally met, it stops being fun and games. They slide into an alternate world, and a harrowing adventure begins.

The Animax channel is about to ring in its 20th anniversary, and they’re celebrating in the usual way: launching an anime and smart phone game multi-media franchise. The 20th is the franchise anniversary, after all. The Girl in Twilight stands out from some of the other (much shiftier) originals I previewed this season by being tight-lipped with the plot details, even though there’s plenty of information available overall. There are five girls, there’s a ritual, they’re transported to an alternate world (maybe), and then … something will happen. An alternate version of one of the characters, perhaps, but it’s unclear. It seems we will have to wait for the premiere to find out. What I can say is the seiyuu cast is stellar, the animation looks pretty darn nice, and the staff is a mixed bag, with some having only short resumes, while others are more like Yasukawa Shougo, who has done series composition/script writing for half of everything. I’m cautiously optimistic, because even if Akanesasu Shoujo doesn’t end up being good, it’s clear a great deal of work and consideration has been put into this story. It doesn’t feel generic, is what I’m saying, so even if it sucks, hopefully it won’t be boring. I know I’ll be checking it out, and I suggest you do too. I’m curious where it will take us.

Watching This: Choya, Passerby, Stilts Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Akanesasu Shoujo Promotional Videos ▼

Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken | 転生したらスライムだった件 Top
Animation: 8bit Premiere: October 1st, 2018
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 24:00
Episodes: TBA Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ten_sura_anime

Preview by Pancakes

Another day, another life, another isekai. Or at least that’s what Mitami Satoru (Okasaki Miho) probably thought while perusing the latest such story, before chaos overtook his life. When a robber on the run interrupts Satoru’s daily salaryman routine by stabbing him to death, he finds himself whisked away to another world by the Great Wise One, a being who interprets Satoru’s mental regret at dying a virgin as a call for redemption. There’s just one catch: Satoru’s reincarnation lands him in the body of a slime. Now stuck as one of the weakest monsters in a world full of deadly threats, all Satoru has going for him is his contact with the Great Wise One and a special ability to steal the skills of his opponents, but he’s not about to let such an awkward new start get him down. With salaryman smarts, Satoru will succeed with his new slimy existence, one way or another.

And the isekai train keeps chugging along. While everyone and their waifu loving grandfather has a strong opinion on this latest genre craze by now, there’s nothing stopping a bit of ingenuity from yielding an entertaining story, and Slime Datta Ken makes the most of this fact. Having your (male) protagonist as an actual monster is a pretty big (and risky) shakeup after all, though it’s one the series utilizes to its utmost by wholly focusing on Satoru’s adaptation to and overcoming of the challenges of his new life. Likewise, harems and cliché love interests are pushed to the side, as Slime Datta Ken, much like Death March and Isekai wa Smartphone, goes all in on upbeat slice of life and simple (and fun) adventuring. Not to say there won’t be any of the typical isekai shenanigans (there is), but anyone with a taste for the genre’s more “natural”, laid back stories will find lots to love here. While Slime Datta Ken could still wind up being just another isekai, particularly with Kikuchi Yasuhito of Comet Lucifer fame handling director duty, with two confirmed cours and plenty of material to adapt, this series has all the pieces needed to stand out from the alternate world crowd.

Watching This: Pancakes, Stilts, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken Promotional Videos ▼

Ken en Ken: Aoki Kagayaki | 軒轅剣 蒼き曜 Top
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: October 1st, 2018
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays
Episodes: TBA Station: TBA
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Join the conversation #蒼き曜 or #軒轅剣

Preview by Stilts

Ken En Ken: Aoki Kagayaki is based on the Xuan-Yuan Sword series, a long-running franchise of fantasy RPGs created by Taiwan’s DOMO Studio. It is set in a magical and mystical version of ancient China, and involves the struggle of various factions among the rising and falling dynasties of the day. Matsuoka Yoshitsugu will star as Pú Zhāo, alongside Mizuki Nana as Fú Yīn and Kugimiya Rie as Fú Níng. Venerated Slayers director Watanabe Hiroshi will helm the production for Studio Deen, while industry veteran Takayama Katsuhiko will be on series composition.

There is almost no information available for this series. Which is odd, because this isn’t a shifty original thing, it’s actually an adaptation of a well-known (in its locale) action fantasy RPG series, so you’d think there’d be plenty of information to distribute. I ended up having to peek into the games themselves, and what I found was something very much like a Final Fantasy or Tales fantasy RPG, only without being too crazy complex (hi Square Enix) and with a marked Chinese flair. It seemed like a good RPG series, and I felt an old itch that could use some scratching. I deliberately evoke the Tales series there, because that’s one of the rare video game series that has actually yielded decent anime. Xuan-Yuan Sword is of that genre, so while I don’t specifically know if its story is worth a damn, it’s clear the characters and story is thick enough on the ground that I’d be surprised if it wasn’t. Plus the staff we know of is surprisingly strong. I’ve got my eye on this, there could be something here, though it remains that there’s little actual information about this show, so I could be grasping at straws. I guess we’ll see when the anime airs.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Average
Show Ken en Ken: Aoki Kagayaki Promotional Videos ▼

Thunderbolt Fantasy: Touri-ken Yuuki 2
Thunderbolt Fantasy 東離劍遊紀[とうりけんゆうき] 2Top
Animation: Thunderbolt Fantasy Project Premiere: October 1st, 2018
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 22:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @TBF_PR or #東離劍遊紀2

Preview by Zaiden

Once upon a time, Urobuchi Gen attended a comic convention in Taiwan. An exhibition booth happened to be showcasing a traditional Taiwanese puppet show, resulting in love at first sight. Urobuchi immediately flew back to Japan and made it known how eager he would be to create a series inspired by Taiwanese puppetry. Almost no other person could have convinced Nitroplus and Goodsmile Company that the risk of collaborating with a Taiwanese Puppet company was well worth taking for such an unproven venture. But then again, Urobuchi is by no means an ordinary person. The rest is history, and the Thunderbolt Fantasy Project was born.

Set in an Eastern fantasy continent, where flying swords, martial arts and magic are the disciplinary focuses for spiritual practitioners, Thunderbolt Fantasy marks a radical departure from anything you’ll ever see in modern anime. Is this a good thing? Hell yeah! First off, it’s a puppet show. You definitely don’t see those every day. Secondly, it is utterly shameless in proceeding with its free-spirited and unorthodox style, making way for a completely unpredictable watch that will entertain you to no end. Thirdly, the show is heavily character driven, with each character possessing their own unique ideals and hyperbolic traits which make them stand out in a ridiculously entertaining fashion. And last of all, though it might look really shallow at face value, the show actually possesses significant depth when it comes to the symbolism behind swords and their representation as an apparatus of destruction. Now how does this sound to you? Despite being available on Crunchyroll, the lack of exposure has been such a shame because Thunderbolt Fantasy is hands down one of the greatest shows to come out in recent years. The imminent arrival of a second season is certainly worthy of jubilant celebration. What kind of chaotic schemes will Lin Setsu (Kousuke Toriumi) be hatching? Will Shofukan (Suwabe Junichi) get reluctantly caught up in them yet again? I honestly can’t guess. But buckle up your seatbelts because based on how the first season went, I know for sure we will be in for an epic ride.

Watching This: Zaiden Excitement Level: Average
Show Thunderbolt Fantasy: Touri-ken Yuuki 2 Promotional Videos ▼

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuite Iru | 風が強く吹いているTop
Animation: Production I.G. Premiere: October 2nd, 2018
Genre: Sports, Drama Airtime (GMT+9): 25:29
Episodes: 23 Station: Tokyo TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kazetsuyo_anime or #kazeanime

Preview by Guardian Enzo

Production I.G. always seems to make time for a literary title or two every year (bless their hearts) and you can pretty much assume excellent production values when they’re involved. This time around it’s an adaptation of a novel by Miura Shion, whose Fune wo Amu was adapted by ZEXCS for NoitaminA last year. The director this time is Nomura Kazuya, who counts Ghost in the Shell’s 2015 movie and the vastly underrated Robotics;Notes among his directorial credits. The writing is handled by Kiyasu Kouhei, equally well-known as a writer and a seiyuu, and music is by the excellent Hayashi Yuki. With a top-shelf staff list and this source material – not to mention two cours to work with – I have high hopes.

The story of Kaze ga Tsuyoku (like that of The Great Passage) sticks out like a sore thumb in modern anime. The focus is on the Hakone Ekiden, a crazy 135 mile college marathon between Tokyo and Hakone (and back) held every January 2-3. College settings are rare enough in anime, but a serious exploration (and with Miura it could hardly be otherwise) of the psychology of running is a potentially fascinating topic to say the least. There’s not a lot that sounds really challenging on this schedule, but Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru certainly bucks that trend.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuite Iru Promotional Videos ▼

Hora, Mimi ga Mieteru yo! | ほら、耳がみえてるよ!-畏,看見耳朶拉- Top
Animation: monofilmo Premiere: October 3rd, 2018
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 22:24
Episodes: TBA Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @horamimi_anime

Preview by Stilts

This Chinese-Japanese coproduction of a Chinese webcomic stars Daisuu (Uchida Yuuma), a manga creator who grew up in an orphanage, and whose comics don’t sell very well. Every day he lives a lonely life, until one day when he meets Myou (Murase Ayumu), a young man who has cat ears. Daisuu’s life changes completely. Enjoy a heartwarming story of how Myou gets into trouble every day, but how for the first time in Daisuu’s life, his heart experiences warmth.

Anime adaptations with any source material and/or production links to the great country of China tend to go poorly, but this one doesn’t look bad. The animation is soft in a way that exudes warmth, while the lines and colors look like they’re drawn with chalk. I can’t speak to whether the gags are good since I was unable to sample the source material, but you’re probably going to need to enjoy (or at least not mind) shounen ai, because I’m getting those vibes from this catboy story. Not much is known about the staff, and those who have been named are light on experience. And then there’s that China link. Still, eventually a Chinese source material is going to render a good anime, and while I don’t think this one will be a world-beater, it could yield a competent little show. Slice-of-life is the name of the game, so if you’d like to see one with a catboy, give this one a shot.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Limited
Show Hora, Mimi ga Mieteru yo! Promotional Videos ▼

Sora to Umi no Aida | ソラとウミのアイダTop
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: October 3rd, 2018
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:00
Episodes: TBA Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @soraumi_app or #ソラウミアニメ

Preview by Choya

Set in the Onomichi-city, Hiroshima Prefecture, during an era where people venture out to space on the hunt for wildlife, the main story focuses on six girls who dream of becoming Space Fisherman. The party consists of Soramachi Haru (Takahashi Karin), a bright and cheerful girl who has great physical strength and a noble sense of justice; Murakami Namino (Tachibana Rika), a descendant of a pirate family with weaponry and pride to spare; Azumi Ruby (Inoe Honoka), the daughter of the fishery’s board of directors who is a moody genius that’s both innocent and curious; Sakura Maiko (Momoko Suzuki), an intelligent girl who is strong willed yet lacks physical strength; Mitsurugi Makoto (Kousaka Ao), the daughter of a swordmaster with a cool and boyish personality; and Maki Makiko (Komeno Maori), the main promoter of the space fishery who acts as everybody’s arbitrator. Together, they aim to capture monsters that leave fish vulnerable, as well as outfox any enemies they may encounter.

Starting out as a smartphone game coming out in unison with the anime, as well as future stage projects, the evolving nature of this series is no surprise given how appealing it sounds as a game where you’re fishing in space! Combine that with the hometown appeal of representing Onomichi, Hiroshima, and you have a series that pays homage to the city’s luscious waterfront in a fun, inventive way that taps into the booming field of smartphone gaming. Not only does the story sound like it would be an engaging way to capture futuristic fishing as an intergalactic hunt for aliens, but the characters all have personality and depth based on their backgrounds alone. With each character encapsulating their own mindset and a specific expertise in space fishing, the potential for them to bond further through their interactions with one another can be easily realized.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Limited
Show Sora to Umi no Aida Promotional Videos ▼

RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida | RErideD-刻越えのデリダ-Top
Animation: Geek Toys Premiere: October 3rd, 2018
Genre: Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:05
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @Derrida_2060 or #リライデッド

Preview by Passerby

Thirty-two years in the future. 2050. Mankind is on the cusp of mastering robotics. Young engineer Derrida Yvain (Ono Kensho) gains worldwide recognition for his development of autonomous machines at his father’s manufacturing company. However, just before this groundbreaking technology is to be rolled out Derrida and his colleague, Nathan Bilstein (Sakurai Takuhiro), discover a flaw in the automata, but their warnings about the potential danger are ignored. The decision is taken out of their hands regardless; mere days later, the two are attacked by unknown forces. Derrida only survives by being frozen in a cryonics machine. Nathan does not make it. Ten years later, in 2060, Derrida is thawed out and awakens to a world devastated by war and mankind ravaged by out-of-control robots. Even amidst the chaos, Derrida remembers the final promise he made to Nathan, a desperate plea to take care of Nathan’s daughter, Mage (M.A.O). But she is gone. There’s only one thing Derrida can do: there is technology by which he can go back in time, back to 2050. What had happened on that fateful day in 2050? And is there any way to prevent it?

Some of you may have wonder why Steins;Gate director Satou Takuya didn’t return for Steins;Gate 0. Well, here’s the answer. Take a look at the trailer. It reminds me a lot of the old-school, sci-fi smorgasbord that anime was fond of; there’s robots, time travel, dystopia, and perhaps something more (Jacques Derrida was the father of deconstruction). A great part of this nostalgia must surely come from the character designs by ABe Yoshitoshi, who after 15 years away is still instantly recognisable from his work on shows like Habane Renmei, Serial Experiments Lain, and Texhnolyze. All sci-fi, as you might have noted, and in fact ABe-sensei did contribute to RErideD’s story. Satou and ABe both have great passion for sci-fi, and their collaboration can only lead to great things (and NieA_7). Alas, it is my duty to proffer words of caution. New studio Geek Toys lacks both size and experience, and even the Crunchyroll dollars may not be enough. If you were expecting RErideD to be a visual blockbuster, it’s best to abandon that now. From a narrative viewpoint, original anime like RErideD, rich in ideas but little else, have a tendency to implode. But though I speak from a place of cautious pessimism, I really, really hope I’m wrong. From the interviews I’ve read with its creators, it’s obvious RErideD is a passion project, with a foundation of love for the genre by two greats of the industry, and I wish it all the best. As long as one goes into it with the proper expectations, it could well give us more of that hard sci-fi that anime is ideally suited for yet never has quite enough of.

Watching This: Choya, Pancakes, Passerby Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show RerideD: Tokigoe no Derrida Promotional Videos ▼

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume o Minai
Animation: CloverWorks Premiere: October 3rd, 2018
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 26:15
Episodes: TBA Station: ABC Television
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @aobuta_anime or #青ブタ

Preview by Choya

Azusagawa Sakuta (Ishikawa Kaito) is enraptured by a bunny girl who briefly allured him in the library before suddenly disappearing. She is revealed to be Sakurajima Mai (Seto Asami), a teenage actress who is currently an inactive high school senior that people have no longer been able to see for the past few days since her encounter with Sakuta. Wondering if this is linked to a rumored “Puberty Syndrome”, where teens undergoing puberty are able to experience mysterious sightings, Sakuta sets out to learn about the puzzle behind Mai’s appearance. Along the way, he gets to know her and finds himself evaluating his own feelings towards Mai as he starts to experience newer, unexpected surprises every step of the way. Set in a city where the skies and seas shine together, Sakuta aims to reveal the mystery behind the Puberty Syndrome’s role in his bizarre encounters with Mai, all while the situation develops in ways he couldn’t have imagined.

Presented by the Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo original creator combo of Kamoshida Hajime (story) and Mizoguchi Keiji (art), the premise of this series offers a plethora of secrets to keep audiences on their toes. With the light novels being described as a combination of supernatural romantic comedy, slice-of-life, and psychological drama, its classification alone provides as much intrigue as the story’s Puberty Syndrome. The lengths it goes to create a compelling mystery within a love story itself provides material that goes far beyond your standard romcom. Because the relationship between Sakuta and Mai developing acts as the backbone of the series, its efforts to create chemistry between the two and see how they complement each other are some of the treats we can expect when the anime adaptation debuts this fall.

Watching This: Choya, Stilts, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume o Minai Promotional Videos ▼

Zombieland Saga | ゾンビランドサガTop
Animation: MAPPA Premiere: October 4th, 2018
Genre: Comedy, Horror Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 23:30
Episodes: TBA Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @zombielandsaga or #ゾンビランドサガ

Preview by Passerby

Minamoto Sakura (Hondo Kaede) is a teenage idol. She sings. She dances. She dreams of stardom. But then, suddenly, zombies! Isn’t that how it always goes? By some unknown, evil force the dead are somehow rising from their graves in pursuit of brains. You’d think if it’s brains they’re after, they would be attacking neither teenagers nor idols, but, alas, not even unholy spawns of darkness in defiance of the laws of man and God can tolerate pop music. So, bad news for Sakura. But she’s not going to just roll over and die (…undie? Whatever). And neither are six other of her fellow idols. They are all joined by a simple wish: they want to live, and are resolved to survive in this horrifying new ‘zombieland’. And perhaps their shared wish will be the miracle that will save humanity.

So, we’ve known for a while that Cygames, the Japanese mobile game giant, is making anime now. But it seems they’re not just content making anime, they want to make weird anime with novelty marketing potential, hence they’ve partnered with studio Mappa to bring us Zombieland Saga. Honestly, I don’t really know what to make of it. On the face of it, it’s just zombie horror. Zombies have always been popular, and we all know the formula well enough. On the other hand, the trailer for it is so very over the top and tries so hard to be a ridiculous B movie that it feels more like a parody of horror than actual horror. It doesn’t help that zombies are already amorphous horror monsters in the first place. They’re horror tofu, always taking on the flavour of their time. Zombies can be created by occult magicks, or radiation, or corporate greed, or superviruses — any kind of social fear can spawn zombies. What I’m hoping for, though, is that Zombieland Saga is secretly an idol show, just with zombies. Idols vs zombies, or zombie idols, both sound good to me. In any case, any anime that goes out of its way to call itself a ‘saga’ must be taking itself very seriously, or not seriously in the slightest. Either way, Zombieland Saga should prove to be an interesting watch, if only to uncover what it truly is.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Average
Show Zombieland Saga Promotional Videos ▼

Gakuen Basara | 学園BASARATop
Animation: Brain’s Base Premiere: October 4th, 2018
Genre: Action, Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:28
Episodes: TBA Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @gakuen_basara or #学バサ

Preview by Choya

The Warring States period is an era from 1467 to 1603 that has made a tremendous impact on the cultural landscape of Japan. Many works of fiction have been inspired by the Sengoku period and the warlords who defined the era, but none have brought audiences as close to the action and intensity of the battlefield as the Sengoku Basara games by Capcom. Inspired by the Dynasty Warriors series, Sengoku Basara allows you to select an ultra-stylized version of renowned warlords to take into battle, mowing through hordes of warriors to destroy other warlords in pursuit of glory. In Gakuen Basara, the warriors of the Sengoku era are dropped into a contemporary high school setting where Masamune Date (Nakai Kazuya) and Yukimura Sanada (Hoshi Soichiro) battle to replace Hideyoshi Toyotomi as the next student council president. With both figures heading the sports clubs, their transition toward student government is being paved with the same sweat and tears as the olden years.

A high school parody of a Sengoku-era story may seem like an out-of-this-world idea, but given the popularity of the video game franchise, spin-off potential was always on the table. If you have enough fun with the characterizations of the game’s warlords, it would be amusing to see how they adapt when placed in a modern school, and how they deal with the conveniences of being in a setting where conflict is settled through diplomatic means or sporting events. With Shingeki no Kyojin’s school spin-off being a surprisingly great time, Gakuen Basara too has the potential to be extremely funny as well. The spin-off lasted from 2007 to last year, so they are adapting it at just the right time for us to see the full vision they had for a warlord high school.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Average
Show Gakuen Basara Promotional Videos ▼

Bakumatsu: Ren’ai Bakumatsu Kareshi Gaiden
BAKUMATSU ~恋愛幕末カレシ 外伝~Top
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: October 5th, 2018
Genre: Action, Historical, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays
Episodes: TBA Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @BAKUMATSU_info or #BAKUMATSU

Preview by Takaii

Bakumatsu is a sci-fi action show revolving around key historical players during the aforementioned Bakumatsu period in Japan. It was a period that not only marked the end of the Tokugawa shogunate but also a vast shift of the mindset and everyday lives of people in Japan. Directed by Watanabe Masaki with the help of the ever-notorious Studio DEEN, Bakumatsu is poised to be a show full of action and emotion.

With otome dating games on mobile all the rage, I doubt it surprises anyone to see another game-to-anime adaptation. With the lure of even more money and notoriety, I wouldn’t fault any gamemaker for trying to expand their IP’s universe through other media. However, I must say that in Bakumatsu’s case, I’m rather surprised to say that the show seems to be going in a slightly different direction by creating a whole new premise based around the characters from its game’s universe. Straying from its original story revolving around the heroine (aka the player’s character) who is given a magical watch that takes her back 150 years ago to the Bakumatsu period, the show is instead creating an action-y sci-fi show that revolves around the main historical figures that pop up in the game. From legendary swordsmen to high ranking officials of the period, there’s a whole slew of material to draw on for a show that’s based during the final years of the Edo period when the Tokugawa shogunate finally ended. In a nutshell, it’s tough to say what Bakumatsu is going to give us. But for any show that’s willing to take risks by shaking its core story up, you can bet I’ll be willing to at least check out whether or not things went well for it.

Watching This: Takaii Excitement Level: Average
Show Bakumatsu: Renai Bakumatsu Kareshi Gaiden Promotional Videos ▼

Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san | となりの吸血鬼さんTop
Animation: Studio Gokumi Premiere: October 5th, 2018
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 21:00
Episodes: TBA Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kyuketsuki_san or #吸血鬼さん

Preview by Takaii

Have you been looking for a slice-of-life to replace all the joy you’ve been missing from your life? If so, look no further than Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san! Based on a 4-koma sharing the same name, this show follows the lives of Amano Akari (Sasahara Yuu) and Sophie Twilight (Tomita Miyu), the former being a high school student who loves cute things (and dolls) and the latter being a vampire who’s been around for over 300 years or so. Through a random series of events Akari ends up moving in with Sophie, and the two spend their days learning more about each other. Or rather, learning about how some things about vampires are true and how some things are comically over-exaggerated.

Like most shows that are based on 4-komas, Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san will have to do some work adapting its material to an anime format. However, if the show runners are successful, I think we may have one of the best slice-of-lifes of the season on our hands. Be it the fantastic characters or the wonderfully relevant material, it’s tough for me to not just gush over how much I loved the source material. Toss in some fantastic humor that ranges from dry all the way to gut-busting laughter and I think you have something that’ll definitely leave an impression for anyone who watches it. If I were to be more specific, I think it’s all the little things the material does that really helps sell the story. Because if you really think about it, life for a vampire in modern Japan shouldn’t be all that difficult, right? With just about anything available on the internet and the ability to protect yourself from the sun easier than ever, I was absolutely loving how the story completely embraced this simple fact. That and one of the best parts for me was whenever Sophie took the time to dispel a common vampire myth that was actually super false. All-in-all, I think Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san is going to be a fantastic slice-of-life for anyone who likes an easy to watch show that’ll definitely get them laughing a few times per episode.

Watching This: Choya, Pancakes, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san Promotional Videos ▼

Yagate Kimi ni Naru | やがて君になるTop
Animation: Troyca Premiere: October 5th, 2018
Genre: Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 21:30
Episodes: TBA Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @yagakimi or #やがて君になる

Preview by Pancakes

For Koito Yuu (Takada Yuuki), love is a strange beast. Ever since discovering shoujo manga she has eagerly awaited the day she would receive a sparkly, heart-racing confession all her own, but when a junior high classmate finally provides her one on graduation day, Yuu is unable to respond, feeling nothing at all. Confused and disappointed with no clear answer as to why, Yuu’s mental predicament follows her into high school where she catches the stunning student council president Nanami Touko (Kotobuki Minako) gracefully turning down a potential suitor. Desperately wanting assistance, Yuu asks Touko for advice regarding her romance issues, but after a bit of friendly bonding, Yuu winds up with more than she ever bargained for: Touko confessing her own feelings for Yuu. Now truly confused with emotions swirling all over, Yuu is about to get the first taste of the teenage romance she’s always desired.

No, your eyes do not deceive, another yuri series is here to grace our presence. As far as adaptation quantity goes, girls love has been riding high of late with multiple adaptations making up for a period of near non-existence. While none have been particularly noteworthy overall thus far (*cough* citrus, Netsuzou TRap), something good always comes with enough effort, and Yagakimi is arguably that first diamond in the rough. Unlike the recent wave of fan service and teenage melodrama, this one is firmly vanilla and “traditional”: adorably awkward moments, hand holding, and cutesy kisses are Yagakimi’s romantic bread and butter, with the story emphasis firmly on Yuu exploring her emotions and understanding and accepting the feelings of Touko. It’s simple, tried and true (yuri) romance at its finest which, with the venerable Hanada Jukki handling both script and series composition, is very likely to yield some choice entertainment. While Yagakimi certainly sports a few flaws, those with a thing for girls love should give it a shot. This is likely to be the best yuri show we will have seen to date.

Watching This: Pancakes, Stilts Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Yagate Kimi ni Naru Promotional Videos ▼

To Aru Majutsu no Index III | とある魔術の禁書目録[インデックス]IIITop
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: October 5th, 2018
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:00
Episodes: 26 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @toaru_project or #とある

Preview by Pancakes

Based on one of Japan’s most popular light novel franchises, Toaru Majutsu no Index is set in the technologically advanced Academy City. Being 30 years ahead of the world in R&D, Academy City is dominated by students wholly focused on developing their psychic talents as espers. And smack dab in the middle of it all is one Kamijou Touma (Abe Atsushi). Possessing the lowest psychic rank possible, all Touma has going for him is his Imagine Breaker, an inexplicable ability allowing him to negate any esper power he encounters. This quirk isn’t enough to make Touma famous, but it’s plenty to let him be an ordinary teenager—at least until he encounters the young girl Index (Iguchi Yuka). With a mind containing knowledge of numerous forbidden and powerful supernatural grimoires, Index is sought after by many dangerous foes, and now it falls to Touma to help ward them off. The poor kid may not know what he’s gotten himself into, but with a heart of gold and a stubborn attitude Touma will do whatever it takes to defend his new companion in the face of a strange and new supernatural world.

Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes, for the prodigal son returns. It should need no mention that Index is probably one of the most well-known and beloved light novel adaptations, if not the one which sparked the modern light novel adaptation craze. It was a true gateway for its time, featuring a large and deep character cast with a strong story reinforced by the excellent—and arguably better—spin off series Toaru Kagaku no Railgun. Simply put, Index and its universe is modern anime distilled, which makes its return now six years later all the more impressive; many, including me, had written any more Index (and Railgun) off for good. While nostalgia will inevitably be riding high here, it’s anyone’s guess just how well Index will hold up after all this time, but considering JC Staff is retaining the signature art style and all main cast are reprising their roles, I don’t see much changing at all. The show could wind up rushing like a madman or prove challenging for newcomers to get into (watching the first two seasons beforehand will be mandatory), but I’m sure few of us will be disappointed at seeing Academy City and its motley cast return to continue what they started.

Watching This: Pancakes, Stilts, Takaii, Zaiden, Zephyr Excitement Level: High
Show To Aru Majutsu no Index III Promotional Videos ▼

Hinomaru Zumou | 火ノ丸相撲Top
Animation: Gonzo Premiere: October 5th, 2018
Genre:School-Life, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @hinomaru_zumou or #火ノ丸相撲

Preview by Takaii

I can’t be the only one who has always thought about how interesting it’d be to be a sumo wrestler, am I? From Shounen Jump comes a new entry into the martial arts anime ring called Hinomaru Zumou, and boy does this one feel like it’s going to be fun to watch. Revolving around the life of Hinomaru Ushio (Abe Atsushi), someone who on the outside looks completely unfit to partake in the sport known as sumo, we get to see his rise to fame as he tries to claim the highest title a professional sumo wrestler can get.

It’s really tough to describe the feeling the source material gives off. Coming from Shounen Jump, you have your typical shounen elements of a simple but likable protagonist who has something that helps him stand above the rest. Except behind the simple guise of a show with protagonist who’s trying to “power up”, there’s this overwhelming sense of fun and silliness that shines through even when you have less important characters doing dumb things that would normally infuriate most people. It’s something that I think manages to work since the strongest part about Hinomaru Zumou is its characters and just how over-the-top they are without going into the realm of too unbelievable. On the adaptation side of things, it looks like the art style managed to stay faithful to the source by going with a slightly more realistic look. Besides that and a couple seiyuu announcements, there isn’t much else out there yet. All that said, if you’re looking for a fun to watch show that has memorable characters that’ll definitely leave a lasting impression on you, or if you’ve ever wondered just what the heck makes sumo such a popular sport, you won’t go wrong picking up Hinomaru Zumou.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo Excitement Level: Average
Show Hinomaru Zumou Promotional Videos ▼

Kitsune no Koe | 狐狸之声Top
Animation: Yumeta Company Premiere: October 5th, 2018
Genre: Music Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:30
Episodes: TBA Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kitsune2018 or #狐狸之声

Preview by Stilts

Hu Li (Kawanishi Kengo) is a poor high school boy who dreams of becoming a popular singer. And he has the voice to do it, but he has neither the good looks nor financial means to pursue said dream, so instead he becomes the ghost singer/songwriter for the popular and narcissistic male idol Kong Que (Suganuma Hisayoshi), who can barely sing, but boy is he pretty. Though the two don’t get along, together they challenge their rivals in their quest to claw their way to the top of the idol world. The title Voice of Fox comes from the fox mask Hu wears to hide the large facial scar he got in a traffic accident, as well as the screen name he uses to publish his music online, Mr. Fox.

This is an adaptation of a Chinese manhua, from a studio that’s only produced one other anime (Akkun to Kanojo) since 2010, by a staff that largely hasn’t been active since the early aughts as well, and featuring a cast of seiyuu I’m largely unfamiliar with. That, along with the key visuals looking dated and bland, doesn’t inspire confidence. I’m trying not to rag on this one, I’m totally ready for a manhua adaptation to actually be good, but this show just isn’t doing a lot to suggest itself. My kingdom for a promo video! Rumor has it each episode will only be 15 minutes long, so perhaps it will be good enough for small doses, and the premise isn’t without potential. I just haven’t seen anything that suggests Kitsune no Koe will break the track record of manhua adaptations.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Limited
Gurazeni Season 2 | グラゼニ シーズン2Top
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: October 5th, 2018
Genre: Comedy, Seinen, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:30
Episodes: TBA Station: BS SKY PerfecTV!
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sptv_gurazeni or #グラゼニ

Preview by Guardian Enzo

Watanabe Ayumu’s “other” baseball series from the spring season provided a perfect complement to the superb Major 2nd. Where that series is all about baseball as a game, Gurazeni is a deconstruction of it as a sport. Not so much the boys of summer as the men of locker rooms, izakayas and team buses. In that sense it reminds me of Giant Killing, another manga/anime that attempted to provide a comprehensive take on the experience of a professional sport (in that case, soccer).

I’m not surprised Gurazeni didn’t generate a huge following in the West – it’s not as though sports anime not ticketed for Comiket generally do anyway, but this may be the most “inside baseball” of all baseball anime (I almost fainted in joy at seeing “LOOGY” as a subtitle). It really helps if you love the small details about the game of baseball – the things that make it so quirky and unpredictable. But if they give this show a chance I think almost any viewer could grow very fond of Natsunosuke Bonda (Ochiai Fukushi), Gurazeni’s immensely likeable journeyman southpaw middle reliever protagonist. A star he isn’t and will never be, but no one is more aware of that than Bonda – and his hopes and dreams are extremely relatable as a result.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo Excitement Level: Average
Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru! | うちのメイドがウザすぎる!Top
Animation: Doga Kobo Premiere: October 5th, 2018
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 23:00
Episodes: TBA Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @uzamaid_a or #uzamaid

Preview by Pancakes

After losing her mother at a young age, second grader—and half Russian—Takanashi Misha (Shiraishi Haruka) moves in with her Japanese father in Japan. A total recluse with a stubborn streak of recalcitrance, Misha refuses in general to listen to anyone, including her father who, thanks to his work, barely has any time to spend with his daughter. All attempts by him at helping care for Misha by hiring housekeepers has failed in the face of her bellicose resistance, but that is only until Kamoi Tsubame (Numakura Manami), a former Air Self-Defense Force sergeant, takes on the task. Misha may be used to getting her way, but with Tsubame molded in the culture of rigid military life and sporting one voracious lolicon fetish to boot, this is one housekeeper little Misha is going to have a hell of a time dispensing with.

Before anyone asks, yes, Uchi no Maid is definitely a comedy. This story at its core is simple: Misha tries to avoid and/or disrupt Tsubame, the lolicon housekeeper upsets her ingenious plans, and hilarity ensues. Or in other words, your usual slice of life gag comedy with a smidgen of yuri flair. This simple setup shouldn’t discredit Uchi no Maid though; in terms of humour, the series is gut busting from the manga chapters I’ve read, with Tsubame’s hilarious (and often horrifying) antics acting as a perfect counter to Misha’s solidly tsundere attitude and her father’s deadpan obliviousness. Even the minimal fan service keeps with the crazy theme by going all in on Tsubame’s chiselled abs and the always mandatory bath time scenes. While adapted comedies can often wind up being hit or miss, considering Doga Kobo is handling animation and comedy master Oota Masahiko is doing director duty, expecting plenty of tear-inducing hilarity is a pretty good idea. Uchi no Maid may not be to everyone’s taste, but if you’re in need of a good laugh this season look no further than this.

Watching This: Pancakes, Stilts, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru! Promotional Videos ▼

Dakaretai Otoko 1-i ni Odosarete Imasu. | 抱かれたい男1位に脅されています.Top
Animation: CloverWorks Premiere: October 5th, 2018
Genre: Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:00
Episodes: TBA Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @dakaretai_1st or #だかいちアニメ

Preview by Takaii

As someone who has been diving into some genres I normally wouldn’t in order to try to empathize more with my friends, let me say that I went into Dakaretai Otoko 1-i-ni Odosarete Imasu with a totally different mindset than I previously would have. For the uninitiated, this show is about two guys who are basically in a rat race with one another for the rank of number one in the modelling industry. That is, except the one who started out as rank one, Saijyo Takato (Takahashi Hiroki), goes a little too hard on the bottle after losing his position as number one, and the newcomer Azumaya Junta (Ono Yuuki) just so happens to catch him doing it and holds it over his head in order to blackmail Takato for physical affection.

Okay, so, while I may not be the best person to introduce a series like this, let me admit there’s a few things going for it. In typical BL fashion, you have two guys who have something that brings them together that establishes one as the clear top and the other as the clear bottom. There isn’t an overabundance of smut, which typically means the story won’t have to be changed up all that much when the material makes its leap into anime form. And last but not least, the staff behind the show has big names who’ve worked on shows like Nisekoi, Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10 cm Datta., and Kuroshitsuji. All things considered, it sounds like a good enough combination of things to create a show that fans of the genre should enjoy. So if you’re looking to take a peek at a BL show that revolves around male models and the slightly darker side of that industry, give this one a peek!

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Average
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JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Ougon no Kaze | ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 黄金の風Top
Animation: David Production Premiere: October 5th, 2018
Genre: Action, Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:05
Episodes: 39 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_jojo or #jojo_anime

Preview by Choya

Naples, 2001. A young man named Giorno Giovanna (Ono Kensho) is identified by the Speedwagon Foundation as having an enigmatic connection to the Joestar bloodline. Although he is a small-time thief with the dream of becoming a “Gang-Star”, his moral code goes against the harmful affairs that come with the mafia’s effects on his community. When he meets Bruno Buccellati (Nakamura Yuuichi), a Stand user from the gang Passione, they bond over ideals, influencing Bruno to help him reform Passione by allowing him to join the gang and overthrow the boss. With Giorno, Bruno, and his friends Guido Mista (Toriumi Kousuke), Pannacotta Fugo (Enoki Junya), Narancia Ghirga (Yamashita Daiki), and Leone Abbacchio (Suwabe Junichi), they plan to take on other squads with wavering loyalties, unpredictable caliber, and a mysterious boss who is as elusive as he is puzzling. With their respective Stands, they are all set to embark on a trip across Italy for le bizzarre avventure di GioGio.

Otherwise known as Vento Aureo or Golden Wind, Part V marks a positive turning point in Araki’s storytelling. Although Diamond is Unbreakable was the perfect balance of action, suspense, and drama as Josuke encountered Stand users and unearthed murder mysteries in his hometown, Part V is where Araki improved on Stardust Crusaders’ formula, creating a string of fight sequences that are complex, entertaining, and fun to follow. With a plethora of unique Stand abilities and tag team combinations, the solutions for life-or-death combat go beyond just knocking someone out, and the kill-or-be-killed nature of Passione results in fights with higher risks as the Stand users who survive must place their bodies on the line to come out on top. The creativity of many of the fights and Stand users ensures that the shift back to a combat-centric storyline is entertaining, pulse-pounding, and engaging. Combine that with the likable personalities of Giorno’s new crew, the quirky yet lethal villains they face, the funnier music references this time around, and the possibility of finding out how a certain Stand works, and you have another dynamite entry in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Arrivederci!

Watching This: Choya, Passerby, Zaiden, Zephyr Excitement Level: High
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Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet | 寄宿学校のジュリエットTop
Animation: Liden Films Premiere: October 5th, 2018
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:25
Episodes: 12 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @juliet_anime or #juliet_anime

Preview by Pancakes

From the manga of the same name, Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet centres on the prestigious Dahlia Academy. Designed to educate the next generation of leaders, the academy is attended by students from the two rival nations of Touwakoku and Western Principality, with the animosity felt through their diplomacy carrying over into Dahlia’s daily function. The students of both states are largely segregated into two dorms, and while contact between them isn’t forbidden, quarreling and rivalry between them is the name of the game—except for Juliet Persia (Kayano Ai) and Inuzuka Romio (Oono Yuuki), the leaders of their respective dorms. Having fallen in love with each other and now having committed to dating, Romio and Juliet have to do everything in their power to keep their relationship secret, because if anyone discovers them, it’ll be more than their love which winds up on the line.

As a self-professed lover of more experimental romance series, KGJ is a prime example of what hooks me so hard. Why? Because this story at its core follows the usual romance script, except in one key area: no courting. Boy meets girl and spends 12-24 weeks (read: an eternity) actually closing the deal? Not in this drama love fest, as right from the get go Romio and Juliet (yes, KGJ is Shakespeare influenced) are already together, with the challenge here being actually keeping them together. It’s a surprisingly refreshing premise all things considered, and one the series utilizes to maximum effect, inserting shounen-inspired battles and similar forms of action to highlight the hilarious degree to which our couple must act to try and throw their friends off their scent. Of course, KGJ does retain certain staple romance tropes—i.e. competing love interests—but much like Busou Shoujo Machiavellism, the fun of the premise largely overshadows any conventionality. While KGJ may have its share of problems (particularly later in the story), should it stick close to the manga and avoid any rushing, it’s likely to be one fun and memorable romance ride.

Watching This: Choya, Pancakes Excitement Level: Optimistic
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Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara | 色づく世界の明日からTop
Animation: P.A. Works Premiere: October 5th, 2018
Genre: Drama, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:55
Episodes: TBA Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @iroduku_anime or #iroduku

Preview by Passerby

Nagasaki. Known for the unwelcome visit from a fat man back in the War. Nowadays Nagasaki is a vibrant port city, but more importantly it’s the setting of Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara, the newest original anime series courtesy of P.A. Works. In the Nagasaki of Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara, there are still people who practice magic. Not just illusions and sleights of hand, but honest to goodness magic, which still exists in small ways in that world. For example, we have Tsukishiro Hitomi (Ishihara Kaori), the 17-year-old scion of the Tsukishiro family. She would just be an average high school student if she wasn’t of an old family of magi, and the granddaughter of the great witch Kohaku (Hondo Kaede) herself. In truth, though, Hitomi has grown to hate magic. When Hitomi was young, magic cost her the ability to see colour, and since then she found her world dull and lost her zest for life. In an attempt to help her granddaughter, Kohaku uses magic to send Hitomi back in time, to meet with a 17-year-old Kohaku, hoping that she and her friends can help Hitomi find the magic again.

It feels like every season I preview a P.A. Works original, and every season I make fun of them for making Glasslip. A bit mean-spirited, perhaps, but you can tell where I would be coming from with this one, right? A slice-of-life/romance mixed of the supernatural, maybe a dash of time shenanigans. Yeah? The point is, even the most promising sounding shows can end up as flops, sometimes felled by their own ambition. But for every Glasslip, there’s a chance for a Nagi no Asukara, and for Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara that seems at least the closer pedigree. At least, that’s what I think of when I see a theme song by Yanagi Nagi and Shinohara Toshiya directing. Of course, it also matters a great deal who’s actually going to be writing an original anime like this, and on that front we also have good news; we have Kakihara Yuuko on series composition, and after a plum job on Tsuki ga Kirei we should be in good hands. On the visual front, it should go without saying; P.A. Works is on production, and from the little we’ve seen of Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara it looks to be a gorgeous show. So, basically, everything is good, right? While I also hesitate to get overexcited about original shows and cautionary tales abound, for Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara a bit of hype would not be amiss.

Watching This: Choya, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts Excitement Level: High
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Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu”, Igi Ari! Season 2
逆転裁判~その「真実」, 異議あり!~ Season 2Top
Animation: CloverWorks Premiere: October 6th, 2018
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 17:30
Episodes: TBA Station: Yomiuri (ytv)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_gyakuten or #逆転裁判

Preview by Passerby

More Phoenix Wright? More Phoenix Wright. Last time we were here, budding lawyer Naruhodou Ryuuichi aka Phoenix Wright (Kaji Yuuki) was thrust suddenly into the national spotlight after the murder of his mentor drags him into a world of conspiracy and intrigue where he must ferret out dastardly criminals while at the same time defending the innocent framed for their crimes. Now, after a modest career bluffing his way through impossible cases, Phoenix can consider himself a seasoned attorney, but the past will just not let go. The loose ends of his mentor’s old cases start to unravel. Said mentor’s sister and Phoenix’s assistant, Maya (Yuuki Aoi), is once again accused of murder. A new opponent with a taste for coffee (Hirata Hiroaka) steps up to the prosecutor’s bench. And Phoenix’s old flame suddenly re-emerges — despite rightfully being dead. Truly, these will be the greatest trials and tribulations Phoenix has had to face yet.

Gyakuten Saiban is better known as Ace Attorney in the West, but best known as ‘those Phoenix Wright games,’ where the titular lawyer collects clues, solves crimes, and battles prosecutors in biased courts. It’s part visual novel, part point-and-click adventure, and all fun, filled with vibrant characters and quirky humour that help offset the serious subject matter (invariably, murder). If you’re an actual lawyer it’ll drive you mad, but for laymen it made for thrilling legal drama full of twists and turns that should be a perfect fit for anime. But it’s never that easy, is it? Fine games though they may be, video games always seem so hard to adapt properly to a different medium. Anime has its own spotty record and, indeed, the first season of Gyakuten Saiban was decidedly mediocre. It wasn’t a bad show, per se, it simply did not reach the heights of its source and never really managed to impress. Unfortunately, this new season keeps the same staff as the first, so perhaps we can’t expect much better. At the same time though, it’s adapting the third game of the Phoenix Wright trilogy, arguably the best game of the series and definitely the most climactic. So perhaps there will be some extra resources for it, or perhaps some extra effort, but even failing all that it’ll have a strong story core to carry it forward. If you had no problem enjoying that first season, there’s nothing to worry about. We’re going to have the same, but better. As long as we go in with proper expectations, it should prove to be an entertaining watch.

Watching This: Passerby Excitement Level: Limited
Radiant | ラディアンTop
Animation: Lerche Premiere: October 6th, 2018
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 17:35
Episodes: 21 Station: NHK-E
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation N/A

Preview by Pancakes

Once upon a time the world was lush and peaceful, but everything changed when a race of monstrous creatures called the Nemesis descended from the sky to ruin everything. After the young and brash Seth (Hanamori Yumiri) witnesses his hometown—and own home—ravaged by the Nemeses, he vows revenge, swearing to find and destroy the land of Radiant where the Nemeses are thought to originate. Helped along by his Infection (a status borne by those few fortunate enough to have survived a Nemesis’ touch), Seth sets his sights on becoming a magician skilled in Nemesis extermination, but the training and life of one dedicated to hunting Nemeses isn’t easy. Between the harsh education and even stricter scrutiny of the Inquisition overseeing the war against the Nemeses, it will take everything Seth has to survive and see his mission of a world free from the Nemesis through.

Radiant is arguably one of the more interesting experiments for anime these days. This series is neither anime original nor Japanese, but rather a shounen-inspired French comic which found good success in the Japanese market. It’s not the first time Western franchises have seen anime adaptations, of course—i.e. Ninja Batman—but an originally non-English comic, and fantasy based at that? Definitely out of left field. The good (or bad) news though is that Radiant doesn’t stray too far from the well-trodden path, featuring all the tropes and ubiquitous character archetypes populating recent shounen works, but in a manner which runs more along the lines of D.Gray-man than Black Clover. Need a slightly deeper and more thematically complex Nanatsu no Taizai? You’re in the right place. While it’s unlikely Radiant will rival the likes of the Boku no Hero Academia juggernaut anytime soon, given it’s already scheduled for two cours under Lerche’s animating hand and Kishi Seiji’s good directorial skill, the series is certainly well set to start making its mark in one of anime’s most competitive fields.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Stilts, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
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Sword Art Online: Alicization | ソードアート・オンライン アリシゼーションTop
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: October 6th, 2018
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Game Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: 48 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sao_anime or #sao_anime

Preview by Takaii

After a long break where both a spin-off and a movie aired, Sword Art Online makes its return this fall by kicking off the next big arc after Mother Roselia, commonly known as the Alicization Arc. For those out of the loop, Sword Art Online is a future-based earth where virtual reality has become a truly immersive experience. With advanced technology, Players are able to dive into a completely immersive virtual world where just about anything is possible. On the flip side there’s also strong AR or augmented reality technology that’s brought a majority of the virtual world into the real one by being able to paint over real life terrain and environments to simulate VR in the real world. Together, these advanced technologies have created various settings and situations where our main character Kirigaya “Kirito” Kazuto (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) manages to find himself in some sort of shenanigans whenever any of the aforementioned technologies are involved. However, with this upcoming Alicization Arc it looks like things are taking a slightly different turn with a new type of full dive machine known as the STL and its ability to do things your typical full dive machine can’t.

As polarizing as this show can be, I will never refuse to admit that I’m a huge SAO fan. Be it ALFheim Online to Gun Gale Online Alternative, I’ll always accept the opportunity to consume media related to this IP. So you can only begin to imagine how excited I was when I was gently reminded that we have a 4-cour long new iteration coming up. When it comes to the actual content of the upcoming arc, I’ve seen various discussions talking about how Alicization can/will give the Mother’s Rosario arc a run for its money. Which, for anyone who’s watched the arc, should know it’s pretty high praise. That said, I have no intentions of spoiling myself since I’ll be there every single week with my eyes glued to the screen as we’ll be diving into Alicization together. But let me leave you with a few thoughts for uninitiated viewers since I’m fairly sure any veteran viewers will already know if they’re in or not. If you’re looking for a fun-to-watch show that manages to handle the whole idea of “power-fantasy” well and has enough varied material to change things up every now and then, you can’t go wrong giving SAO some of your time.

Watching This: Pancakes, Takaii, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
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Animation: Trigger Premiere: October 6th, 2018
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: TBA Station: WOWOW
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @SSSS_gridman or #SSSS_GRIDMAN

Preview by Passerby

Hibiki Yuuta (Hirose Yuuya) awakens. He doesn’t remember who he is. He doesn’t remember where he came from. But he can see things. Disturbing things, that nobody else seems able to see. Strange lights in the corner of his eye. Giant monsters on the horizon. And in the screen of his friend’s computer, a curious costumed warrior calling himself Gridman (Midorikawa Hikaru) tells Yuuta in a voice only he can hear that he must ‘remember his calling’. But of course, he can’t. He will soon, though, because Yuuta’s visions quickly stop being visions. A monster attacks. It seems unstoppable. But then, Gridman somehow transports Yuuta inside the computer, and manages to transform Yuuta into a physical version of Gridman, in which Yuuta can fight the monster. And he will have to fight. Yuuta still can’t recall what his calling is meant to be, but one thing’s for sure: the monsters will keep coming, and the only one who can stand up to them is Gridman.

Before there was SSSS.Gridman, there was Tsuburaya Productions’ Denkou Choujin Gridman. If you’re familiar with the live-action special-effects genre the Japanese call tokusatsu then you’d know how it goes. Kaijuu attack, costumed heroes grow big to fight them, and sometimes, Gojira. Perhaps you’ve even watched it, though more likely under the name of Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad (hence the ‘SSSS’) by which it was localised for the West. Now, Tsuburaya and Trigger are teaming up to bring us an animated version of Gridman. However, apparently SSSS.Gridman does not intend to be a reboot of the franchise; it seems what they’re going to do is plagiarise the ideas they liked from the tokusatsu shows and use them to spin a brand new anime property. From what we’ve seen so far it does seem that SSSS.Gridman will be heavily influenced by tokusatsu, even a love letter. Or it could just be an excuse for Trigger to experiment with 3D CGI animation. SSSS.Gridman will be director Amemiya Akira’s first full-length project, and in it he seems to play around with blending 2D and 3D animation. Most shows would stick with 2D monsters or 3D monsters, but SSSS Gridman mixes it up depending on the scene; it’s a technique that’s actually common, funnily enough, in idol anime. So at least visually it should be interesting enough. SSSS.Gridman could be a weathervane for the future of both anime and the tokusatsu, and it’s well worth giving it a look just to keep up with what’s going on.

Watching This: Choya, Pancakes, Passerby, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
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Goblin Slayer | ゴブリンスレイヤーTop
Animation: White Fox Premiere: October 6th, 2018
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Episodes: TBA Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @GoblinSlayer_GA or #ゴブスレ

Preview by Pancakes

At the edge of civilized land lies a frontier town home to the Guild, an adventurer’s cooperative handing out jobs—and fame—to anyone eager to take on its contracts. For one young and inexperienced Priestess (Ogura Yui) it’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and as she joins her first party to begin her new adventuring life she expects the riches and rewards to quickly follow. If only. When Priestess’ first job ends in disaster with her entire party slaughtered by goblins, she escapes only with the timely appearance of the Goblin Slayer (Umehara Yuuichirou), an enigmatic adventurer who lives for one sole purpose: to kill goblins by any means necessary. Where did he come from, and what are the origins of his intense hatred? Priestess certainly doesn’t know, but when word of Goblin Slayer’s feats start circulating through the Guild community and new threats begin to appear, she’ll quickly find out just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Oh boy, do we have a fun one here. While synopsis and promotional art may make Goblin Slayer look like the next seasonal isekai contender, rest assured it is anything but. Oh is it ever. Besides being pure and unapologetic fantasy (no reincarnation shenanigans here), Goblin Slayer is best related to Berserk: the suffering is widespread, the gore is plentiful, and the edge is sharp enough to split baby hair. Murder, slaughter, excruciating death? All on vivid display as our goblin-hating badass goes through life on his self-imposed crusade. Needless to say one’s enjoyment of this will heavily depend on one’s love for all things grimdark, but if you ever need a break from the current isekai deluge, Goblin Slayer is it. While censoring will inevitably make or break things, given White Fox is animating and the show features both a strong staff and good cast, expecting something amazing is entirely within reason. We may not know how well it will work in practice until the first episode drops, but Goblin Slayer is without a doubt one show to pay some serious attention to this season.

Watching This: Pancakes, Stilts, Zaiden, Zephyr Excitement Level: Optimistic
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Animation: Lay-duce Premiere: October 6th, 2018
Genre: Action, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:38
Episodes: TBA Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @releasethespyce or #リリスパ

Preview by Stilts

Release the Spyce is an original spy action thriller from the mind of Akame ga Kill and Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru original author Takahiro. It follows Minamoto Momo (Anzai Yukari), a girl who attends high school in the city of Sorasaki. She’s also a member of the secret organization Tsukikage, an intelligence agency which protects the peace of the city. As a new member, she works alongside her sempai Hanzoumon Yuki (Numakura Manami) and others to defeat the criminal organization known as Mohryou, which currently holds the city in its evil grasp.

While some people are claiming I’m only previewing this series so I can make Dune references—the spyce must flow!—the truth is it’s the Princess Principal vibe that got my attention. This appears to be firmly ensconced in the Hollywood action version of spy thrillers, which have almost nothing to do with how real spies operate but are so much stinking fun. The girls wear mini-skirts in the spy/ninja outfits, fer chrissakes! I love it. From the goofy school life scenes to the mascot animals to the explosive action, I’m all on board for a spy show that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The biggest question is director Satou Akira, who has never held the top job before. Plus this is an original, which always entails a fair amount of uncertainty. Regardless, I’m excited for this one, which has all the hallmarks of a fun show. As we all know, he who controls the spyce controls the ani-verse, so let’s see if this show has what it takes.

Watching This: Choya, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts Excitement Level: Optimistic
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Fairy Tail (2018)Top
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: October 7th, 2018
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 07:00
Episodes: 25 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @fairytail_PR or #フェアリーテイル

Preview by Zaiden

Fairy Tail’s manga finished a year ago. However, the anime remains unfinished business and seeks to pick up where it last left off. A year after the Fairy Tail guild disbanded, following the disappearance of guild master Makarov Dreyar, Lucy Heartfilia (Hirano Aya) became an intern for the Sorceror Magazine. However, the bonds she had with everyone forces her to endlessly question the fate of her missing friends. So she tirelessly pursues information that will give her any kind of lead regarding their whereabouts – to no avail. But as luck would have it, the Grand Magic Games take place and reward her efforts. A mysterious stranger gatecrashes the tournament and single-handedly defeats all the participating guilds, before revealing he’s in fact Natsu (Kakihara Tetsuya)! After a tumultuous and joyful reunion, Natsu, Lucy and Happy set off on a new adventure, in the hopes they might rediscover lost friends and ultimately revive their beloved guild.

From what we know, Mashima-sensei has announced this will be the final season to wrap up everything that’s left of the manga’s story. With the previous instalment having left off partway into the Avatar arc, the penultimate one to boot, it makes sense that we’re heading down the final stretch. As with most big shounen serialisations, I felt that Fairy Tail’s story tapered off towards the end. But that won’t stop it from making one last harrumph in the name of friendship – a power which no other thing can exceed. The usual folks are in charge of this venture, with the series retaining the same director in Ishihara Shinji, series composer in Sogo Masashi and music coordinator in Hata Shouji ’til the very end. This more or less ensures we will be getting much the same in terms of what we got before. So expect Fairy Tail to be fun and magical like it always has been, and we can certainly hope it will deliver an outstanding finale!

Watching This: Stilts, Zaiden Excitement Level: Established
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Ulysses: Jeanne d’Arc to Renkin no Kishi
ユリシーズ ジャンヌ・ダルクと錬金の騎士Top
Animation: AXsiZ Premiere: October 7th, 2018
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_ulysses or #アニメユリシーズ

Preview by Pancakes

In the early 15th Century at the height of the Hundred Years War, France is under siege. Henry V, after victory at Agincourt, forces a treaty out of the mad Charles VI, positioning Henry’s sons as heirs to the French throne, all the while continuing the conquest of France’s vassal states. In this chaos the young Frenchman Montmorency (Osaka Ryota) had hoped to become a registered alchemist, but after Paris is occupied and his royal school is closed down, this nobleman’s son is left with nothing but a warrant to his name charging him with using black magic. With few places to run and even fewer friends to turn to, Montmorency makes for the countryside for a chance at survival, but it is here he finds the most unlikely source of salvation. In a small village at the edge of the fighting is a young shepherd named Jehanne (Oono Yuuko), and Montmorency’s chance meeting with her will do more for his situation—and France’s—than he ever thought possible.

Let’s get the obvious out the way: Ulysses is not going to be setting any records for historical realism. The light novel series might broadly follow the history of the Hundred Years War, as shown by the synopsis, and feature some of its most iconic figures—i.e. Jeanne d’Arc—but beyond first impressions this one is firmly rooted in the realm of fantasy. There is magic and sapient fairies are featured, and if the promotional art wasn’t a give-away, oh yes there is fan service too. And plenty of it. Like the similarly themed Junketsu no Maria, Ulysses firmly embraces the idea of artistic liberty, but whether it can match up to the former’s surprising quality and charm remains to be seen. Considering Berserk 2016’s divisive Itagaki Shin is directing, Ulysses has quite a bit to prove before it can aspire to greatness, but should its fantasy flair properly complement its historical base, this series could certainly turn into one of this season’s more entertaining adventure-esque shows.

Watching This: Pancakes, Stilts, Zaiden, Zephyr Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Ulysses: Jeanne de Arc to Renkin no Kishi Promotional Videos ▼

Anima Yell! | アニマエール!Top
Animation: Doga Kobo Premiere: October 7th, 2018
Genre: Comedy, School-Life, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 23:30
Episodes: TBA Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @animayell_anime or #アニマエール

Preview by Stilts

Anima Yell! stars Hatoya Kohane (Ozaki Yuka), an absolute airhead of a high school girl who loves to be helpful to others. Right before she enters high school, she becomes fascinated with cheerleading, and decides to join her school’s Cheer Club. Only, there isn’t one! So she sets out to start one, with her childhood friend (and resident tsukkomi) Sawatari Uki (Izawa Mikako) and the overly-serious cheerleading veteran Arima Hizume (Yamada Yuina) as her first recruitment targets.

This is a cute-girls-doing-cute-things anime by Doga Kobo. And that should tell you all you need to know, because while I don’t put a great deal of stock in the studio (they’re often simply corporate vessels into which are poured staff of varying quality), Doga Kobo has built a culture that knows how to turn a 4-koma source material into solid CGDCT anime. It’s cheerleading this time, which means the cute is going to be easy to come by. I checked out the manga, and the main character is doofy in an adorable (and so far not annoying) way, while the others have their own quirks that feed into the comedy. I do question what a cheerleading anime will actually be about once the club is formed, but this is a comedy anime. It doesn’t need to be about much. And even if it falters down the stretch, there should be enough to get one good season of anime out of it. I’m expecting this to be exactly what it seems, so if you need a relaxing cute-girls-doing-cute-things anime in your life, Anima Yell! has you covered.

Watching This: Stilts Excitement Level: Average
Show Anima Yell! Promotional Videos ▼

Gaikotsu Shoten’in Honda-san | ガイコツ書店員本田さんTop
Animation: DLE Premiere: October 7th, 2018
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:30
Episodes: TBA Station: BS11
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @gai_honda or #ガイコツ本田

Preview by Choya

When it comes to working in a bookstore, there are no bones about it. That’s the lesson that Honda (Saitou Souma) knows all too well in Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-San. The titular character is a skeleton who finds himself working at the bookstore’s manga counter. Hilarity ensues when he is confronted with obstacles a skeleton often faces when trying to make an honest living behind a cash register. He is not alone, however as he is accompanied by other oddities and skeletons who help him pass the time as he makes ends meet at the bookstore.

This adaptation came from humble beginnings as a manga on the pixiv comic site, but the spotlight it’s getting now with a new anime on the horizon aims to catapult it to new heights the likes of which a skeleton hasn’t seen in a while. The manga’s creator, Honda, shares his skeleton counterpart’s sense of humor as his skeleton-related jokes permeate into the promotional material. With the premise already offering up fodder for great jokes tied toward Honda’s skeletal anatomy, the anime is bound to provide fans of spooky scary skeletons material that will tickle their funny bones during the Fall festivities.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Average
Show Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san Promotional Videos ▼

Golden Kamuy 2nd Season | ゴールデンカムイ (2018)Top
Animation: Geno Studio Premiere: October 8th, 2018
Genre: Historical, Thriller Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:00
Episodes: TBA Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kamuy_anime or #ゴールデンカムイ

Preview by Passerby

Over 100,000 soldiers died in the Russo-Japanese war. But not Sugimoto Saichi (Kobayashi Chikahiro). His ferocity in combat and willingness to go to extremes to survive earned him the sobriquet ‘Immortal Sugimoto’. Unfortunately, his comrades didn’t share his preternatural constitution, and after the war Sugimoto takes it upon himself to honour a promise to a slain friend to take care of his widow. For that he will need lots of money, and coincidentally Sugimoto comes across a story of hidden treasure. Apparently, the indigenous Ainu people of Hokkaido had hoarded a great trove of gold in preparation for a war against the Japanese, only to have the gold’s keepers murdered and the gold stolen. An Ainu girl named Asirpa (Shiraishi Haruka) corroborates the story, and the two set out on a journey to both avenge Asirpa’s father (presumed killed), and to find the gold, its location lost after the murderer was imprisoned. But they are not the only ones. A group of disgruntled soldiers seeks the treasure to fund a coup de tat, and a relic of the Shinsengumi wants to use it to overthrow the post-Restoration government. And perhaps all that glitters is not gold; there is a reason why the Ainu consider the gold to be cursed, and perhaps the great wealth will not prove to be great fortune.

If we’re being honest, there’s not much reason to preview this second season of Golden Kamuy. The first season ended not long ago, and it didn’t end so much as stop. So this is not so much a sequel as a continuation; all the staff are back, we’re going to pick up where we left off, and if you watched the first season you’ll want to watch the second. So, rather than previewing, let me try to sell you on why you might want to go back and watch Golden Kamuy. If you’re an anime fan, and a RandomC reader to boot, you probably have some interest in Japanese culture. Golden Kamuy is nothing if not cultural. It’s a period piece that fully engages with its setting, and of particular interest is its exploration of the Ainu people. Watching it, one can tell there’s a good deal of research behind it, or at least enough to require an ‘Ainu Language Supervisor’ on the payroll! Japan’s indigenous population is not a topic that comes up often in anime (a bit of a touchy past, as I’m sure folks living in the colonies like me will understand), and is one perhaps even Japanese viewers will be unfamiliar with. But if you don’t go for the highbrow stuff, Golden Kamuy will still serve as a gritty adventure story that, while never being the best looking show, still has plenty of hardened badasses doing violence on each other. Both educational and entertaining, if you’re looking for value from your anime time, Golden Kamuy is an excellent deal.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts, Zaiden Excitement Level: High
Souten no Ken REGENESIS Season 2 | 蒼天の拳REGENESIS 第2期Top
Animation: Polygon Pictures Premiere: October 8th, 2018
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @soutenregenesis or #蒼天の拳

Preview by Zaiden

There was once a man named Kenshiro, who was famed for saying ‘Omae wa mou shindeiru‘. If we delve into the specifics of things, we can trace everything back to his namesake: Kasumi Kenshiro (Yamadera Kouichi). Known as ‘The King of Death’, Kenshiro Senior roams the streets of 1930s Shanghai, poking down any villains who dare to cross his path. This became a frequent occurrence, since a power struggle is playing out between various factions in Shanghai, each seeking to carve out their own brand of laws and ways of governance. As the 62nd successor of the Hokuto Shinken, Kasumi Kenshiro will restore peace and justice to his troubled locality.

Continuing from where the first cour left off, Souten no Ken REGENESIS carries on with the story of Kenshiro Kasumi (a.k.a. Yan Wang). There isn’t much to divulge about this series that my first cour preview hasn’t covered. However, I can only say this: I wouldn’t recommend Souten no Ken REGENESIS as an entryway into the franchise, considering it starts off in the middle of the final arc, bypassing 90% of the series. As for why, the director views REGENESIS as a continuation from the 2000s series which went on a permanent hiatus before it could finish. So if you are new to the franchise, go and read the glorious manga – I can vouch that it’s incredibly good! And even if you are familiar with the story, it could be preferable to go back and read the manga. While the manga’s art looks dated, the 3D CGI is a cantankerous sight that might induce damage your vision. My advice? Unless you’re the most avid of Hokuto Shinken fans, avoid this adaptation like the plague.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Limited
Tokyo Ghoul:Re (2018) | 東京喰種[トーキョーグール]:re (2018)Top
Animation: Studio Pierrot Premiere: October 9th, 2018
Genre: Horror, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tkg_anime or #東京喰種re

Preview by Zephyr

Led once again by Studio Pierrot, Tokyo Ghoul:re returns for its second season, continuing a story about man-eating beings known as ghouls. Indistinguishable from humans, they blend into society and hunt humans for food. In response, the Commission of Counter Ghoul (CCG) is formed to investigate and exterminate the threat. In an attempt to turn the tide against a group of ghouls calling themselves Aogiri Tree, a group of humans are implanted with parts that allow them to use ghoul abilities. Known as the Quinx Squad, they are led by a half-human, half-ghoul named Sasaki Haise (Hanae Natsuki). As various events cause Haise to slowly regain the memories he lost prior to joining CCG, Haise finds himself caught in a dilemma as he realizes the recovery of his memories could spell the end of his peaceful life with the squad. Mikasano Chuji will return for series composition and Watanabe Odahiro as director.

When you get down to it, :re’s first season was a mixed bag. On one hand, you had an adaptation that ignored any of the changes √A made to the story line while remaining generally faithful to the source material. Unfortunately, this was overshadowed by dreadful drops in animation quality, and the pacing was affected by a clear attempt to end the first season at a specific point in the story. The fact that they ended things there combined with a multiple month wait left a bitter aftertaste, and what we received in return was a series that was better than √A but falls short of the original Tokyo Ghoul. I’d love to say this second season is where the series will truly shine (multiple twists work their way into the story and things really get rolling in the source material), but Pierrot’s handling of things doesn’t inspire confidence, and tweets hinting that the second season will culminate the series only makes things worse given how many more chapters they’d have to adapt if they try to fit everything into another single cour run. I’d watch this just to see some of the series’ best moments animated, but it’s likely that many viewers will have to turn to reading the source to experience the series as it was meant to be.

Watching This: Pancakes, Zaiden, Zephyr Excitement Level: Average
Show Tokyo Ghoul:Re (2018) Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: Gonzo Premiere: October 9th, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Wish-Fulfillment Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:30
Episodes: TBA Station: Sun TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @conceptionanime or #コンセプション

Preview by Passerby

Yuuge Itsuki (Ono Yuuki) was just your average high school student, and he almost made it through his entire school term as one. Alas, he’s also an anime protagonist, so on the day of his graduation he receives shocking news: his cousin, Konatsuki Mahiru (Katou Emiri), tells him she’s pregnant. He doesn’t know why. She doesn’t know why. An immaculate conception? Who would believe that? But at that moment, a gate to another world opens out of nowhere and the two are summoned to the land of Granvania, where they are called upon to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Granvania is currently gripped by darkness, with ‘impurities’ spawning monsters that terrorise the populace. Only 12 ‘Star Maidens’, each styled after a constellation of the zodiac, can cleanse these impurities, and Mahiru is one of them. Itsuki’s fate is to find the other 11 Star Maidens and combine his supernatural energies with theirs in a sacred ritual to create ‘Star Children’, diminutive warrior spirits with the power to fight monsters.

The original Conception game was, ahem, conceived at around the time the PS2 Persona games were spiking in popularity. At that time a bunch of industry executives must have decided Persona was the future of JRPGs, because they spawned a wave of second-rate bandwagoners, and Conception was one of them. So if you’re familiar with the Persona games you probably have a pretty good idea of Conception already; it’s part dungeon crawler, part visual novel, and part dating sim, though much more dating sim than anything else. You woo women, build a harem, engage in PG-13 babymaking, i.e. it’s, ahem, conceptually not too different from the other isekai wish-fulfillment fantasies already on the market. I’m not sure exactly what about Conception compelled this anime adaptation, but, surprisingly, it actually sounds legit. Motonaga Keitarou has a fairly respectable record as director, as does Kakihara Yuuko on scripts. That’s still no guarantee of Conception’s quality, but perhaps it’ll at least raise the floor. Plus, the original Conception game never made it over to the West, so if you’re interested in it at all this anime adaptation may be the easiest way to experience it.

Watching This: Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Show CONCEPTION Promotional Videos ▼

Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto Dakedo Imouto ja Nai
Animation: NAZ Premiere: October 10th, 2018
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 22:00
Episodes: 10 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @imoimo_anime or #いもいも

Preview by Stilts

Nagami Suzuka (Kondou Reina) is a beautiful third-year middle school student with excellent grades who’s also the student council president. She’s also an effortless super imouto, the kind of serious little sister who does all the cooking, cleaning, and basically everything else for her older brother, Nagami Yuu (Hatanaka Tasuku), a light novel fanatic who wishes to become a light novel author himself. Suzuka is pretty aloof to ol’ Yuu, and the two don’t get along particularly well. That’s why it’s surprising that it was Suzuka who wrote a light novel about a little sister who dotes on her older brother, and for that novel to win a light novel award. After they discuss the matter, it’s decided that Yuu will be the one who debuts as a (proxy) light novel author instead of Suzuka, under the pen name Chikai Towano.

This is your regularly scheduled light novel imouto thing. The little sister is perfect but secretly a lot nerdier than she seems; the big brother is exactly as nerdy as he seems, but is secretly more dependable than he first appears. Also, the little sister is a total brocon. The end result is (inevitably) that the two will grow closer together as they navigate the unique circumstances brought about by the little sister’s not-so-secret crush on her older brother. Not that these things can’t be fun, I just don’t expect this to rise above its genre, since its premise is so well trodden. The promo video does look decent though, so we can probably expect some solid animation, and the two leads seem likable at first blush. To me it will all pivot on how much humor comes from the big brother’s personality, and I get the sense he’s open about his nerdery and just shameless enough to really get a rise out of his overly-serious (usually) imouto. That could be fun, so if you’re up for some light novel-style imouto antics, ImoImo is the show for you.

Watching This: Choya Excitement Level: Average
Show Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto Dakedo Imouto ja Nai Promotional Videos ▼

Beelzebub-jou no Oki ni Mesu Mama. | ベルゼブブ嬢のお気に召すまま.Top
Animation: Liden Films Premiere: October 10th, 2018
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 26:50
Episodes: TBA Station: ABC Television
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @beelmama_anime or #ベルまま

Preview by Stilts

Beelzebub (Oonishi Saori), the formidable right-hand of Satan who rules over millions of demons in her lord’s absence, commands fear and respect throughout the demon world of Pandemonium. Mullin (Yasuda Rikuya) idolizes Beelzebub, and so decides to serve as her attendant. Only it turns out the great Beelzebub is a laid-back airhead with a love for all things fluffy and adorable, though she may enjoy teasing her new attendant even more than that. Thus begins the daily-life comedy about a cute, silly demon lord and her tsundere attendant.

The manga for Beelzebub-jou no Okinimesu mama. is a lot of fun. Beelzebub is a superb airhead, and her pursuit of flufficity knows no bounds. Seeing her tease Mullin is a constant delight, especially since Mullin is that rare male tsundere who can go from blushing like a maiden to doing an inadvertent kabedon (wall slam) that can make even a demon lord blush. It’s a delight! What remains is how well this translates into anime. The staff is all pretty light on experience, and the promo videos don’t have the uber fluffy animation I was hoping for. The seiyuu cast is damn fine though, so if they can nail the comedic timing, that might be all that’s needed to make this a success. I can vouch for the source material, so if a flirty comedy between an airheaded demon lord and her tsundere attendant sounds fun to you, give it a whirl. Hopefully the anime can live up to its charming source material.

Watching This: Pancakes, Stilts Excitement Level: Average
Show Beelzebub-jou no Oki ni Mesu Mama. Promotional Videos ▼

Karakuri Circus | からくりサーカスTop
Animation: Studio Voln Premiere: October 11th, 2018
Genre: Action, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): 22:30
Episodes: 36 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @karakuri_anime or #からくりサーカス

Preview by Choya

Saiga Masaru (Ueda Chihiro) is a fifth grader who dreams of being a puppeteer. He inherits 18 billion yen after his father, the CEO of a home telephone company, passes away. His newly inherited wealth makes him the target of hitmen and thieves out to steal from him, but he is saved by two people, Katou Narumi (Koyama Rikiya) and Saiga Shirogane (Hayashibara Megumi). Narumi is knowledgeable in Kung-Fu and has a weird illness named “Zonapha Syndrome,” while Shirogane controls the puppet Arurukan, or Harlequin. Together, the three are thrown into multiple situations where they must fight their way out of the traps set for them by those conspiring to steal Masaru’s inheritance.

Creator Fujita Kazuhiro has recently seen his previous manga Ushio & Tora reach new success with its recent adaptation, so fans are bound to enjoy what’s to come from a new anime based around his more recent work. Its supernatural trappings bring a sense of wonderment and fascination to the premise of Karakuri Circus, as the three learn more about the Saiga family, the automation that gives power to the puppeteers, and the Zonapha Syndrome that Narumi lives with. Additionally, its roots in action and mystery add some flair to the fantastical elements as the three navigate to find their way out of the clutches of the more nefarious members of Saiga’s family that want to rob and/or kill Masaru. The original series ran from 1997 to 2006, so the anime has 36 episodes preplanned to tell its story. With this in mind, Karakuri Circus is shaping up to be a solid anime with the foundational material needed to do justice to its source material.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Karakuri Circus Promotional Videos ▼

Merc Storia: Mukiryoku Shounen to Bin no Naka no Shoujo
メルクストーリア -無気力少年と瓶の中の少女-Top
Animation: Encourage Films Premiere: October 11th, 2018
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 22:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @merc_storia or #メルスト

Preview by Choya

This fantasy anime is set in a world where humans and monsters co-exist. The main story in this smartphone game adaptation involves Yujutsushi (Tamura Mutsumi), otherwise known as Yuu, who is a healer apprentice with the ability to tame monsters. After finding a girl named Merc (Minase Inori) trapped in a bottle, Yuu goes on a journey across several countries to restore her memories. Each country has significance as different events expand the plot to create a web of lore-expanding material to learn about the nations, magic, and properties within Yuu’s world as he seeks out Merc’s memories.

As with many recent anime adaptations, Merc Storia is derived from a game that launched for iOS and Android devices. While some smartphone stories have paper thin premises as a means to make it accessible for anyone who wants to throw down on some quick gaming, this series aims to flesh out its world and lore further through the many countries that Yuu visits in his travels. Each destination on his map isn’t only to restore Merc’s memories, but also to offer audiences more information on the world surrounding him. With each nation holding some significance to Yuu and Merc, the anime intends to bring these worlds to life and breathe fresh air into the settings that surround them. With a staff that is highly experienced in adapting phone games, fans of the game will be delighted to see how the anime is able to do justice to the magic and wonderment of the terrain that Yuu traverses.

Watching This: Pancakes Excitement Level: Limited
Show Merc Storia: Mukiryoku Shounen to Bin no Naka no Shoujo Promotional Videos ▼

Senran Kagura: Shinovi Master – Tokyo Youma Hen
閃乱カグラ SHINOVI MASTER -東京妖魔篇-Top
Animation: TNK Premiere: October 12th, 2018
Genre: Action, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:00
Episodes: TBA Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kagura_tv or #閃乱カグラ

Preview by Choya

The story of Senran Kagura focuses on Asuka (Harada Hitomi), a girl who happens to be a part of the Hanzo Academy for ninjas. Along the way she gets to know her friends at the academy, and also gets involved with the school’s rivalry with Hebijo Academy. The rivalry is mended after the events of the first serason as Hebijo’s Homura (Kitamura Eri) starts to form a bond with Asuka, and eventually defects from Hebijo to form her own squad. This new season continues Asuka’s story as she encounters Gessen Girls’ Academy, who find the unprincipled manner of Asuka and her friends to be unbecoming of a ninja. Lead by Yumi (Hara Yumi), a girl who seems icy on the surface but is actually cute and easily flustered around her friends, Gessen aims to shake things up as they teach Hanzo what it means to be disciplined. Yumi’s relationship with Fubuki (Asumi Kana) will also be revealed as we learn about what exactly their connection is.

Senran Kagura is a series that always finds itself in awkward positions. For the most part, it prides itself on fanservice, celebrating both life and hometown on handhelds, home consoles, PCs, and television. But once you start getting into the game’s stories, at least with the 3DS releases, the veil is lifted and you are able to see a much deeper story that goes beyond its eroticism, outfits, and physics. Although its hard to tell where this season is starting off since Yumi doesn’t show up until the PS Vita and PS4 games, and the first season covered the first 3DS title, the anime is promising much of the game’s former attributes, with the appeal being about unearthing Yumi and Fubuki’s bond and giving audiences some of the best fanservice that TV anime can offer (without getting in trouble). The game’s famed designer Takaki Kenichiro has his input as one of the anime’s producers, ensuring that viewers won’t be disappointed as we see the game’s characters fleshed out in more ways than one.

Watching This: Choya, Stilts Excitement Level: Average
Show Senran Kagura: Shinovi Master – Tokyo Youma Hen Promotional Videos ▼

Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudou Bu | ツルネ -風舞高校弓道部-Top
Animation: KyoAni Premiere: October 14th, 2018
Genre: Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:10
Episodes: TBA Station: NHK
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tsurune_anime or #ツルネ

Preview by Zaiden

When an archer perfects his technique and his bow is pure of heart, the soul of the arrow is released, producing a beautiful resonance. In Japanese, there is a specific word for this sound – ‘tsurune‘. And it has a beautiful secondary meaning; the expression of truth. Namely that the proficiency of an archer as well as the quality of their shot can be ascertained through the truth of their bowstring. Narumiya Minato (Uemura Yuuto) was a prodigious archer throughout his youth, yet an incident in middle school made him turn away from the sport. However, a turn of events in high school causes him to reconsider. And thus, with a reinvigorated soul, he picks up the bow once again.

Tsurune and Free! seem to be conceived along similar lines, given how they’re both about a group of boys partaking in competitive sports together. That said, I think the PVs have brought up interesting implications that deserve attention. You could non-ironically say KyoAni are following through with the recent ASMR fad, and that bishounens are thrown into the mix. Criticise KyoAni all you want, but they sure know how to please their target demographic! At least I got the impression that KyoAni were emphasising sound over visuals, in what could be described as a natural succession from Hibike Euphonium. Though I would continue to distinguish these two shows, because the endeavours of a full-on orchestra cannot be compared to the mere twang of a bowstring. That said, I have to admit that the twang of the bowstring we heard in the trailer was extremely crisp and immaculate – borderline eargasmic! Perhaps this experimental deviation into sounds while maintaining stellar visuals can be explained by the new blood involved in Tsurune’s production. Yamamura Takuya is from Animation Do, and this will be the first anime project he presides over. Meanwhile, Yokote Michiko will be in charge of the series composition, but her portfolio looks like a coin flip at best, maybe inclined towards mediocrity. Hopefully our rookie director and his fellow staff can step up big time. Otherwise, we’ll have to hope the strength of the premise will be enough to see this adaptation through.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudou Bu Promotional Videos ▼

Barangay 143 | バランガイ 143Top
Animation: ASI Studios Premiere: October 14th, 2018
Genre: Sports, Drama, Action Airtime (GMT+9): TBA
Episodes: 26 Station: TV Asahi
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @brgy143 or #Barangay143

Preview by Choya

A gritty story about persevering in this high stakes game we call life. Bren Parker (Migo Adecer) was inches away from stardom in his favorite game of basketball when tragedy struck his family. He sets his dream aside, vowing never to play basketball again, when he goes on a journey to the Philippines to find his way back to himself and his passion. While he’s in Manilla, he comes across legendary basketball coach, Coach B (John Arcilla), who demands justice for his son’s death, and is using the game that took his son from him to find the culprits and take down the syndicate that killed him. To gain his vengeance, however, he needs a captain to lead his ragtag team of players to victory. Connected in their mutual tragedy surrounding basketball, Bren agrees to be the leader of Coach B’s basketball team in pursuit of peace, forgiveness, love, redemption, and justice.

As a massive media project from the Philippines, TV Asahi is collaborating with Filipino game developer Synergy88 in bringing Barangay 143 to life. It’s a highly ambitious project with this anime and a webcomic series in the works after a smartphone game tied to the project launched last year. Most multi-media ventures from abroad in current years have tended to be either collaborations with staff from other foreign production companies or shows which acted as tie-ins for preexisting material, and while this series has a phone game released, its story shows far more ambition. Creating a gritty crime story with basketball as the backbone of the main characters’ pursuit for truth and justice is a concept that stands out. It will be interesting to see how its roots in Filipino culture and production lend itself to the direction that TV Asahi is helping to capture to its fullest. With plans to extend its reach outside of the Philippines and Japan, seeing how far it goes will be intriguing.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Average
Show Barangay 143 Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: Craftar Premiere: October 17th, 2018
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:55
Episodes: TBA Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @IngressAnime or #Ingressanime

Preview by Pancakes

While the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2013 was a major breakthrough for CERN, in its shadow a more secretive project was taking place: the investigation of Exotic Matter. Believed to have existed since prehistoric times, Exotic Matter directly interfaces with the human brain, capable of influencing not only individual minds, but the progress of entire societies and civilizations. Its discovery unleashed a monumental struggle between states and corporations, each determined to harness the power of Exotic Matter for their own purposes, although all falling largely into two groups: the Enlightened who seek to use the matter to enhance humanity as a whole, and the Resistance who view it as little more than a hostile subjugation of free will. Now, in the modern year, in Tokyo and across the entire globe, these various forces will collide as the debate on the future of mankind and the purpose of Exotic Matter is settled once and for all.

If you were part of the Pokemon Go craze back in 2016, you might have heard of Ingress. Before Niantic hit liquid Pokemon gold it developed a similar experience with Ingress, another augmented reality game which played in real time in the real world through an app on your phone. Ingress never reached the same lofty heights as its younger sibling, but with a 2018 game revamp ready to roll out, nothing says day one advertisement like an anime series, so here we are. As with all game adaptations of late, it’ll be a crapshoot of what quality of a product we’ll wind up with (particularly with full 3D CGI animation on order), but considering Niantic is producing and Netflix is directly involved—and we all know the power of that Netflix dosh—expecting quality along the lines of B: The Beginning seems reasonable. While it would be wise to hedge any bets here, should Ingress properly capitalize on its interesting, thriller-esque premise, it could very well become this season’s top sci-fi hitter.

Watching This: Choya, Pancakes, Passerby Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show INGRESS THE ANIMATION Promotional Videos ▼

Han-Gyaku-Sei Million Arthur Bu | 叛逆性ミリオンアーサーTop
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: October 25th, 2018
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 22:00
Episodes: TBA Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @hangyakuseiMAAN or #アニメ叛逆性MA

Preview by Stilts

Square Enix’s mobile card battle, virtual reality, arcade, and MMORPG Million Arthur franchise is finally making its anime debut! What? You aren’t familiar with the Million Arthur franchise? It’s that venerated (since 2012) video game series about the King Arthur myth in Japan, where players get to choose from one of many Arthurs to play. (Why does this sound familiar…) That will be true of the anime as well, as it headlines six different Arthurs: Dancho Arthur (Amamiya Sora), Tekken Arthur (Kakihara Tetsuya), Yamaneko Arthur (Taketatsu Ayana), Renkin Arthur (Minase Inori), Kakka Arthur (Hanae Natsuki), and Rurou Arthur (Nakamura Yuuichi), each of which has pulled Excalibur out of the stone, which rather did a number to the time/history stream. Now these various Arthurs—some use swords, some use guns, some punch real good, some are lolis—are all trying to guide history down the right path in order to defend the future. Possibly fantasy RPG-style action will ensue. We can only hope.

This is an adaptation of a video game franchise, which triggers alarm bells for most people. As it should! Video game adaptations have a … fraught track record. Where games can make up for flat characters and shifty plotting by being interactive and fun to play—save for visual novels, a genre no Million Arthur iteration belongs to so far—anime has no such luck. It’s like the Assassin’s Creed games (fun stabby action) versus the Assassin’s Creed movie (a joyless slog). Will that be the case with Million Arthur? …I mean, probably. There are no trailers released as of this writing, but the premise is overly complex, the character designs look merely okay, and the staff doesn’t give me a lot of optimism. It could always buck the trend, but I would be surprised. Check it out if something tickles your fancy, or if you just need to fulfill your quota of blonde women screaming about Excalibur in fluent Japanese. I may do the same, but it will depend entirely on how bored I am the day it comes out, because as someone who’s not in the market for a Japanese-language mobile MMORPG, I don’t think this anime has much to say to me. My Fate/Grand Order-playing friends, on the other hand…

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Limited
Castlevania Season 2Top
Animation: Frederator Studios Premiere: October 26th, 2018
Genre: Adventure, Horror, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays
Episodes: 8 Station: Netflix
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MAL, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation #castlevania

Preview by Pancakes

In 1476 the small country of Wallachia is under siege. Count Dracula (Uchida Naoya), enraged over the wrongful execution of his wife for witchcraft, has declared war on the people, promising to eradicate everyone as atonement for their sins against one of his own. As Dracula’s legions of demons and monsters overrun the countryside and terrorize Wallachia’s few urban centres, the disgraced vampire hunter Trevor Belmont (Okiayu Ryotaru) winds up caught in the middle of the chaos. With his family blamed by the people for Dracula’s wrath, and feared by the church for his power, Trevor is content stay to out of things, but a chance meeting with a young mage named, Sypha (Shimoyamada Ayaka), soon forces his hand. With demons all around and a mage now his unlikely sidekick, Trevor has no choice but to face off against the very monster he hoped he could avoid for good.

As one of Konami’s most iconic franchises, Castlevania needs little introduction. These widely played games helped define platform gaming, taking simple but well-thought-out stories on the Belmont family’s perpetual fight against Dracula and pairing them with fantastic console gameplay. Why it took so long to see the franchise adapted is anyone’s guess (*cough* production hell), but when Netflix came out with a four episode “season” for Castlevania III last year, it certainly lived up to expectations. While script and animation weren’t as perfect as Netflix money more recently would lend one to believe, Castlevania featured some impressive fight sequences and voice acting with hints of greater things to come. The good news is this season should fulfill those hopes, as with eight episodes to work with and introductions largely finished, there’s nothing but action from here on out as Trevor and friends make their way to Dracula. Absolute perfection shouldn’t be expected given the first season’s quirks, but as pure popcorn entertainment Castlevania is very unlikely to do any wrong. It might not be “true” anime, but if you’ve got a thing for vampires or gritty action, Castlevania definitely deserves a watch. You won’t be disappointed.

Watching This: Pancakes, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Castlevania Season 2 Promotional Videos ▼

Short Series List

Technical Note: As of the Fall 2016 Preview onward, short one-cour series that are being broadcast with irregular duration times (under the 24 minute per episode norm) have been separated from the main preview into their own section. This is to account for the increasing number of short series and to allow for ease of viewing for those who have a preference for one type of series over another. While the list should be complete, there are short series that have been announced very close to the start of a season, in which case they may not have made it onto the list. If you notice an anything missing, incomplete, or incorrect, please feel free to point it out in the comments or e-mail Passerby directly.

Air Date Title Series Synopsis
10/01 Uchuu Senkan Tiramisu 2 | 宇宙戦艦ティラミスⅡ

AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Battleships in space!
But, alas, just parody.
Sequel may mean plot.
10/02 Jingai-san no Yome | 人外さんの嫁
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Do you remember
Mahoutsukai no Yome?
Like that, but diff’rent.>
10/04 Devidol! | でびどる!
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Even pachinko
Gets an anime these days.
What is happening?!
10/05 Okoshiyasu, Chitose-chan | おこしやす, ちとせちゃん
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Heal your weary soul
With an Emperor penguin
Touring Kyoto.
10/06 Sono Toki, Kanojo wa | その時、カノジョは。
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Think a picture book
Of pretty watercolours
Turned to anime.
10/07 Pingu in the City (2018) | ピングー in ザ・シティ (2018)
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Another penguin show?
To meet popular demand?
Blame the ABC.
10/07 Himote House | ひもてはうす
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Four girls and a cat
Live together in a house
And they… improvise?
10/08 Hashiritsuzukete Yokattatte.
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Sixty minutes of
Sore ga Seiyuu! except
There are men here, too.
10/09 The iDOLM@STER Side M: Wake atte Mini!
アイドルマスター SideM 理由あってMini!
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
If female idols
Get a chibi comedy
This is only fair.

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. BD/DVD movie releases are, however. This list is likely incomplete and will be updated as more titles surface (usually by the next season’s preview). If you notice anything missing or incorrect, please feel free to point it out in the comments or e-mail one of us directly (Stilts, Zephyr).

Release Date Title Notes
09/07 Musunde Hiraite | むすんでひらいて
Anime Beans App Release.
09/16 Golden Kamuy OVA | ゴールデンカムイ OVA
Bundled with LE manga Vol. 15.
09/21 Yarichin☆Bitch-bu | ヤリチン☆ビッチ部
09/26 Free! Dive to the Future Episode 0 | Free!-Dive to the Future- 第0話
Bundled w/ BD/DVD Vol. 1.
09/26 Gakuen Babysitters OVA | 学園ベビーシッターズ OVA
Bundled w/ BD Vol. 7.
Episode 13.
10/04 Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san OVA | ゆらぎ荘の幽奈さん OVA
OVA 2 of 3.
10/10 Starmyu in Halloween | スタミュinハロウィン
10/24 Ninja Batman | ニンジャバットマン
BD/DVD Release.
10/24 Servamp Movie: Alice in the Garden | 劇場版 SERVAMP -Alice in the Garden-
BD/DVD Release.
10/26 Tennis no Ouji-sama: Best Games!! | テニスの王子様 BEST GAMES!!
10/26 Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana wo Kazarou
a.k.a. Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
10/26 Yuu☆Yuu☆Hakusho OVA | 幽☆遊☆白書 OVA
11/09 Koi to Uso OVA | 恋と嘘 OVA
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 8.
OVA 1 of 2.
11/09 Terra Formars: Revenge OVA | テラフォーマーズ リベンジ OVA
OVA 2 of 2.
11/14 Nanatsu no Taizai OVA | 七つの大罪 OVA
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 34.
11/14 Uma Musume: Pretty Derby – BNW no Chikai
ウマ娘 プリティーダービー BNWの誓い
Bundled w/ BD Vol. 4.
11/21 Asagao to Kase-san. | あさがおと加瀬さん。
BD/DVD Release.
11/28 Peace Maker Kurogane Movie: Omou Michi
PEACE MAKER 鐵 前編~想道〈オモウミチ)
BD/DVD Release.
11/30 PriPara & Kiratto Pri☆chan Movie: Sparkling Memorial Live
劇場版 プリパラ&キラッとプリ☆チャン ~きらきらメモリアルライブ~
BD/DVD Release.
12/03 Hero Mask | ヒーローマスク
12/04 Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san OVA | ゆらぎ荘の幽奈さん OVA
OVA 3 of 3.
12/05 Liz to Aoi Tori | リズと青い鳥 台本付初回限定版
BD/DVD Release.
12/10 Saint Seiya: Saintia Shou | 聖闘士星矢 セインティア翔
Amazon Prime Video.
12/14 Hori-san to Miyamura-kun | KANJI
OVA 4 of 4.
12/19 Strike the Blood III | ストライク・ザ・ブラッド III
Episode 1-2 of 10.
12/19 Uma Musume: Pretty Derby – BNW no Chikai
ウマ娘 プリティーダービー BNWの誓い
Bundled w/ BD Vol. 4.
12/21 Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon OVA | 境界線上のホライゾン OVA
Bundled w/ BD Box Set.
12/21 Steins;Gate 0 | シュタインズ・ゲート ゼロ OVA
Bundled w/ BD/DVD Vol. 6.
12/31 Asobi Asobase OVA | あそびあそばせ OVA
Bundled w/ manga Vol. 7.
12/31 PERSONA 5 the Animation – Dark Sun OVA

Overall Impressions


We say this every year, but autumn is traditionally the big anime season. There’s been something of a redistribution in recent years but fall still reigns in sheer weight (as appropriate for the harvest season), and 2018 still maintains the plumpness. Of course, if we’re going to talk about quality then that’s a very subjective thing, but the amount of brand power being slung about this season overshadows analysis. We have names like SAO, JoJo, and Towel Magic as the 200kg silverbacks this season and they punch hard. Such hefty franchises tend to have the gravity to suck the oxygen out of the rest of the season, but if get past the usual light novel and manga adaptations we’re used to by now, I think Fall 2018 is actually the clearest example we’ve had yet of two dominant trends in anime today: the injection of foreign money and the rise of mobile gaming. Indeed, with each season we’ve seen more increasingly higher representation of foreign investment and mobile game adaptations (and, sometimes, foreign mobile games) and I see no reason why this will slow down. It’s neither a good thing nor a bad thing, but it is a thing, and if you have even a passing interest in the direction of the anime industry it can’t hurt to be wise to the trends.

What do we feel about the anime, though? For that we’ll be using the Excitement Levels introduced last year, which includes four main levels plus ‘Established’ for special cases. Why Excitement? Well, as much as we try to predict the future of these shows, our only mediums for scrying the portents are the premise of the show, the reputation of the staff, and our own intuition. While we can’t give you a definite, objective metric on the anime, we can describe our general hype. These Excitement Levels do not condemn any shows to being ‘good’ or ‘bad’; exciting things can have flaws, and unambitious things can be fun. What they hopefully do is help those with limited time judge which shows to try first. And even if we end up being completely, embarrassingly, woefully wrong, our human fallibility will at least be hilarious in hindsight.

As usual, these levels were arrived at by our regular (and reliably shady) “Excitement Council” of Stilts, Zephyr, and some other guy. While we’ve gone to great lengths to consider multiple viewpoints and not get swept away by their own proclivities, these aren’t predictions, and shouldn’t be taken as such. By which I mean, it’s entirely Stilts’ fault, and all blame and hate-mail should be directed towards him.

Note: Lists are sorted in alphabetical order.


The Rundown:

High excitement shows are the ones we’re truly pumped about. These are the shows we want to watch the most, and which we think have a good chance of being exemplars of their kind — or at least come close. Shows in this category might be sequels to excellent anime, adaptations of highly regarded source material, projects with stellar pedigrees, or even originals that just light up our minds. They don’t have to be perfect, but they do have to feel like something special. If you consider yourself a casual fan who only gets your toes wet every season, then these are the shows we feel you should most keep an eye on.

Optimistic shows are ones that we’re hopeful will be really good, and which we have good reasons to think they might be. The underpinnings of these are generally strong, with a lot to suggest in each of them, but with one or two elements that give us pause and keep our enthusiasm from boiling over. They still have most of the makings of very strong series, though, and many stellar anime will arise from this category. If you’ve exhausted all the High shows, or want to delve deeper into your favored genres, check out these as well.

Average excitement shows look middle-of-the-road to us. They could be good or they could be bad, but they don’t provide much immediate indication that they’ll be amazing in retrospect. This is often the case with shows that are firmly ensconced in their genres’ tropes, or which overly rely on some of anime’s overused plot devices. It can also apply to shows that seem deeply flawed, with elements that could make them amazing, but with so many potential pitfalls that we’re not getting hyped up. 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. Personal taste comes heavily into play, so your mileage will vary.

Limited excitement shows are ones that we simply aren’t all that excited about. They often don’t seem to be striving for much, and choose to focus on more frivolous aspects such as senseless humor and fanservice. Other times they’re doing the same thing we’ve seen a thousand times, with few mitigating signs that they’ll rise above their tropes. That doesn’t mean they’re the bottom of the barrel and shouldn’t get any consideration, but simply that they’re not doing a lot to suggest themselves. Keep in mind what kind of show they are, though, and you might find something you enjoy amid this cohort.

Established shows are any series that has aired for more than 40 episodes or has been previewed three or more times. This can include anything from never-ending shounen and decade-spanning dramas to that quirky comedy that keeps getting renewed season after season. The only commonality is that they’ve aired a lot of episodes, and that they’re the kind of show that most viewers will want to catch up on all the previous content before watching the new. Spin-offs and remakes don’t automatically qualify, since they’re considered new series.


  1. Just in case some people skip past the intro text, we’ve done away with using Flash Player for the PVs and have added support for HTML5! Enjoy!

    P.S. – Feel free to join us on Discord to hang out and chat about anime, manga, life and all the latest stuff on RandomC.

  2. I’m really surprised by the SAO Alicization order, but if that means we’ll get absolutely everything including side stories that’s fine with me. It’s a tremendous show of faith by A-1 in the franchise.

    That and I’m sure it won’t be long before Bandai Namco announce an Show Spoiler ▼

    game. Now they just need to give us SAO Alternative GGO too and 2019 will be a great year for SAO fans.

  3. Fairy Tail – Of course…
    Golden Kamuy – I’m just getting to watch S1 and it’s great!
    JoJo – A followup to Cells At Work,
    Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken – I mean, really, this has gotta be funny
    Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume o Minai — bunny ears…
    Index – I hope it’s 2 cour. I really love the clones and their deadpan deliveries
    Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara

    and others to test the 3 episode rule…

    Great job — really do appreciate the work that
    goes into this preview! Thank you!

  4. Well this season has some good shows but not many I’m too excited to see, but regardless I’m looking forward to these shows:
    Dakaretai Otoko 1-i ni Odosarete Imasu (I Need this since we don’t many Yaoi shows unlike Yuri, but I don’t complain… much X3)
    Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuite Iru (The art style is the same as Haiykyu it sold me so I need to watch it.)
    Sword Art Online: Alicization (Love this series especially love its getting 4cour)
    Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudou Bu (I love all of Kyoani’s shows well some like Free so I’m excited to see this.)
    Beelzebub-jou no Oki ni Mesu Mama (Its adorable I need this.)
    Hora, Mimi ga Mieteru yo! (It looks cute, I love that this boy has cat ears.)

    There are many others but these are the most I’m looking forward too, even one of the left over shows, Banana Fish which is so good. So this and these others I’m excited to see them all.

  5. As an FT manga reader, I am equal parts excited for and dreading the rest of the story getting finished in anime form. I’ll spare the details for the things I’m looking forward to and the things I’m not, but we can bet there will be one hell of a voice cast and music as usual, and that could make a world of difference.

    If there’s one thing that I think has a realistic chance of happening, however, it’s something the second movie already touched on briefly, and that’s Show Spoiler ▼

  6. As always, thank you all for your hard work. (I also gave my usual thank you on Twitter to those I actually follow there)

    What looked good to me this season:

    JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Ougon no Kaze (Because of course)
    Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara
    SSSS.GRIDMAN (Because Trigger)
    Golden Kamuy 2nd Season

    Will Check Out:
    RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida (Token this preview got me interested selection)
    Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume o Minai
    Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet
    Gaikotsu Shoten’in Honda-san

    Wait and See:
    Akanesasu Shoujo
    Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken
    Yagate Kimi ni Naru
    Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru!
    Ulysses: Jeanne d’Arc to Renkin no Kishi
    Beelzebub-jou no Oki ni Mesu Mama.

    So that looks like (not counting any continuing shows, of which I have 2.5) I have 8 shows I will definitely be watching or checking out myself plus another 8 I will keep my ears open on. This is probably a bit too ambitious, but this is everything that looks interesting.

    1. Prolly the Nudity and Goblin rape scenes? Yeah they’ll be watered down, the gore though? prolly not :-?. I still have to gird myself mentally whenever I read the latest chapters as it’s really Dark XD.

      I remember mentally reeling after reading the first 2 chapters way back when I jumped blindly in after skimming the synopsis (Was thinking goblins killing specialist? What so special… WTH?) XD

      1. If you talk about the manga, let me tell you that it is invalid because the anime can take a totally different direction and put original material Full metal alchemist (2003) and hanebado is a sample of that, until today I have not seen a yuri that do not be garbage fanservicera I doubt very much now make the difference.

        Fede 5000
      2. @Fede 5000

        If they try going the fan service route they’ll have a hell of a time. I also agree adaptations can twist the source material into something different, but Yagakimi isn’t like other yuri: there’s simply not enough provocative stuff to drag it out and make it the main feature. The writers would have to invent completely new scenes for that purpose, and that would destroy the essence of the story and what makes it work. Considering most adaptations are meant to advertise for and help sell the source material these days, I cannot see that much artistic liberty happening here.

      3. @Pancakes I just say that I have never seen a yuri as such that shows a “healthy” relationship, it is something they could have done long ago, but I have never seen how funny is that I have seen better lesbian relationships in animes that are not yuri at least one Very friendly relationship between girl and girl.

        Fede 5000
      4. @Fede 5000

        Jesus Fucking Christ… so you’re idea is that they’re going to take the source material and throw it away and turn it into some sort of standalone fanservice toxic relationship ecchi series based on your experience with… Fullmetal Alchemist?

        Know why FMA’s first series took so much of a clusterfuck of a turn compared to the manga? Because they produced the fucking thing while the manga was still ongoing and reached a point where they literally had to pull the plot out of their asses to keep making episodes.

        Yagate Kimi ni Naru is not a about toxic relationships, it’s in fact the exact opposite where (and not to provide spoilers) two broken people learn to love themselves and others.

  7. woah… fall season is jam packed of goodies. looks like i need to buy 256 gb of sd card to fit all of the episodes i want to my phone. looks like it will be really a insane season for RC bloggers.

  8. Sequels
    To Aru Majutsu no Index III
    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
    Senran Kagura

    Definitely Watching
    Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san (aka Kiniro Mosaic with vampires instead of Brits)
    Yagate Kimi ni Naru
    Anima Yell

    Akanesasu Shoujo
    Release the Spyce

    Give it an episode
    Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
    Beelzebub-jou no Oki ni Mesu Mama.
    Uchi no Maid ga Sasugiru
    Irozuku Sekai no Ashita Kara

    Less shows I’m interested in compared to the rest of 2018 but what I am looking forward to I am really looking forward to. Also the calendar at the top has Kyuuketsuki-san listed under Monday

  9. Definitely going to watch:
    Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken: I’ve read the manga and it’s one of the better isekai out there. Like Overlord but with a slime as the protagonist.

    To Aru Majutsu no Index III: 7 years is not a short time and I hope it concludes the story well.

    JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Vento Aureo: After a full year without JoJo, it’s back with pink Giorno!

    Goblin Slayer: Rip and tear! I heard the novel is well done and the anime is done by White Fox so I expect something like Re:Zero in term of suffering.

    Sword Art Online Alicization: 4 cours might not be a good idea for series like SAO but we’ll see how it will turn out.

    Tsurune: A Kyoto Animation anime is a must watch in my note.

    One Pinch Man
  10. Jeanna de Arc… An host of “Light” needs “Dark Magic” to become the light pillar?.. Oh well, they jsut took the name an made something totally different from it

    Like Budda! the Fighting Tiger!

  11. Congrats on the new video players, it’s flawless.
    Too bad there’s no new mecha show apart from Gridman which is part tokusatsu, I thought this season would carry on the trend of this year (we’ve had Full Metal Panic, Gundam Build Divers, Shinkalion, Darlifra, Juushinki Pandora, and of course the excellent Planet With). I hope 2019 brings a solid lineup.
    Also, it seems we have a lot of shows based on mobile franchises, they’re expected to be commercially viable but I doubt any of them will be memorable. We really need some groundbreaking project to come along and shake up the industry. (yes… I’ve rewatched some of Evangelion recently)

    Apart from that, the top show I’m looking forward to:
    – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wing (of fucking course)
    – SSSS Gridman (if it has mechas I’m in, plus the character design is excellent)
    – Karakuri Circus (from the author of Ushio and Tora, that’s all I need to know)
    – Fairy Tail (never watched the anime adaptation, experiencing the final arc once again will be fun)
    – Goblin Slayer (the idea of a masked, unknown hero hooks me)
    – Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu”, Igi Ari! Season 2 (the first season grew on me, I guess I’m watching this out of loyalty)

    Maybe I’ll watch these:
    – Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuite Iru (good production values, original premise)
    – Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume o Minai (not getting my hopes up)
    – Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (if anything it’s pretty to look at)
    – RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrid (the team behind it looks solid but it lacks oomph)

  12. Reporting in. Thanks again for the previews, RC.

    Will surely watch:
    JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo — In memory of the late Unshou Ishizuka (the voice of Old Joseph Joestar): “YES! YES! YES! OH MY GOD!” (Rest in peace, o legendary seiyuu… o7)
    While I’m mainly in it for the “Taste of a liar” scene and figuring out how King Crimson works, I do hope that this will be as entertaining as Battle Tendency and Diamond is Unbreakable. I also can’t wait to hear the ending theme for the anime–and as a non-sequitur, I’m finding it hilarious that the Love Live! Sunshine!! movie will also be set in Italy, especially since the first season of LL! Sunshine!! aired during the same season as Diamond is Unbreakable.
    To Aru Majutsu no Index III — About effing time! (And a shorter wait than Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory!)
    I’ve been looking forward to the later arcs of the Index light novel being animated ever since [[https://randomc.net/2011/04/02/to-aru-majutsu-no-index-ii-24-end/ season 2 ended]]. While the movie Endymion no Kiseki held the line for a while, it feels easy for a new season of an anime based on a light novel to fall into the backburner the longer the hiatus. Thank goodness Index fans didn’t have to wait too long.
    P.S.: How’s Heavy Object progressing on the light novel front?

    Will try out (three-episode rule):
    Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru! — Manami Numakura (Tsundere Heavy Cruiser Takao, Aya “Ayame” Fujisawa, Saya Endou, Hibiki Ganaha) as a lolicon maid taking care of a bratty(?), spoiled rich girl? I’m not really into the “lolicon” concept, but since female lolicons are often given a free pass (at least in anime) for the sake of comedy, this show feels like it’s gonna be fun–if not less disturbing.
    Goblin Slayer — Many seasons ago, I watched this little thing called Ninja Slayer. Despite the limited animation, it proved to be an amusing watch and had its funny, gory and awesome moments. Plus it was a story I could get behind: The main character sees his loved ones killed by an evil ninja and he’s left for dead. He then makes a deal with a higher power to give him the strength to take revenge and does so, but along the way he finds out there is more to life than revenge.
    I wonder if a similar thing applies to this particular “Slayer”?
    Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume o Minai — That promo image had an easy job hooking me in… ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
    Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san — Hmm… How many “friendly neighborhood anime vampires” does this make now? (Rosario + Vampire‘s Outer Moka, Jitsu wa Watashi wa‘s Youko, Demi-chan wa Kataritai‘s Hikari, the titular Karin…)
    Barangay 143 — Considering that my home country lacks good press as of late, it feels a bit strange seeing this co-production in this season’s RC Preview. On one hand, I can attest to Filipinos’ love of basketball–my generation (those who are now in their 30s) grew up watching Slam Dunk, while the younger ones are likely familiar with Kuroko no Basuke. But at the same time, I can’t help but feel unease. For all I know, it could be a sleeper hit worthy of being mentioned alongside those aforementioned basketball anime. Or it could be a trainwreck full of “off-model” animation and clichés from Filipino soap operas, TV series and movies.
    That being said, I do wish the show turns out surprisingly well, both locally and abroad. Heck, I’d love to see who’ll do the Japanese dub of the characters. Also, John Arcilla (a.k.a.: Heneral Luna) as a basketball coach? Sige na nga! (“All right, fine!”)

    Shorts, OVAs and carryovers:
    Persona 5: The Animation — Glad to see this show getting more episodes, despite the hiccups with some of the Confidant subplots.
    Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san OVA 2 — While waiting for the uncensored version of the TV series, here’s an OVA to tide fans over. I’m hoping to see Hibari (Sagiri’s cousin) make an early-bird appearance.
    – The October installment of Emiya-san Chi no Kyou no Gohan.

    Damn, and I have the urge to marathon some Summer 2018 shows I missed: Jashin-chan Dropkick, Hataraku Saibou, and Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu–the last one after watching a compelling video from YouTuber Mother’s Basement (“The Art of Good Ecchi – How Not to Summon a Demon Lord”) and reading through Stilts’ coverage of the show.

    In any case, happy viewing! (Once Fall officially rolls in.)

    1. Ah, crap. Messed up the link insert for RC’s entry for the last episode of Index season 2. (This one.)

      Hope I got that HTML coding right. Man, talk about a “Damn you, muscle memory!” moment switching back and forth from basic HTML coding to TV Tropes coding and vice-versa… ^^;

  13. Wow, really appreciate how early the preview is this time round! Usually I have to wait until most shows from the previous season have ended! So many things seem like they’d be fun to watch, but so little time…

  14. TBH I don’t even know why Castlevania is listed in this preview. It’s an American production, Netflix exclusive, and it’s not even “anime” as the English-speaking community uses the term – from animation style to writing style. It’s even hilarious that despite using Kojima Ayami’s character designs, and despite the fact that they’re trying to ape the anime aesthetic, the show manages to look and feel 0% like anime, landing closer to things like Aeon Flux.

    One of these things is not like the others, indeed. I mean sure, Castlevania is a Japanese franchise I guess…

    And nah. Watched the 4-episode first season when it aired and while I’ve watched worse, I don’t think it deserves much of a second glance. Honestly? Me and most of the people I know reacted to the 2nd season trailer with a “hadn’t this shit been cancelled?”.

    Hard pass. Wouldn’t recommend.

    1. Mostly for the same reason Thunderbolt Fantasy was given a preview: it’s conceptually similar enough to other anime and is also released at the same time other fall shows start up. It’s certainly not the most amazing of shows, but we figured we’d include it so people who may not already know about it (or know of this season’s release date) have something else to check out if interested.

      1. Though, Thunderbolt Fantasy is at least helmed by the (in)famous Urobuchi Gen. Castlevania isn’t only far removed from anime in terms of staff, production, and style, it also far removed from its source material in all but the most barebones of concepts. Hell, it doesn’t even reach “wannabe-anime” levels like Avatar The Last Airbender or Netflix’s Voltron.

        You guys might as well also include She-Ra by those standards – and that one looks way more promising than Castlevania, even.

  15. After the MAL collapse, I switched over to AniList, and as a fan of your site, it would be great if in future you’d maybe consider adding information links to AniList? It’s not the biggest inconviencie, but i’d really make life easier haha x3

    I still love these previews! Looks to be a pretty good season!

  16. Umm “the next big arc after Mother Roselia”. You mean Mother’s Rosario.

    Anyways, looking forwards to:

    SAO: Alicization
    Fairy Tail
    Goblin Slayer

    None of the others have caught my interest enough to guarantee a watch.

  17. Whoa were the words “upbeat slice of life and simple (and fun) adventuring” used in reference to the Isekai Smartphone show? That show was the walking example of so boring you’d rather watch paint dry. I’m actually a bit more worried about the Slime show than I was before with that comparison being made.

    We have a decent amount of variety this season and frankly it just feels more exciting than the fairly bland Summer season. Fingers crossed a lot of these shows will deliver and some pleasant surprises will come from the ones I don’t know anything about.

  18. Aside from the giant returning anime such as Sword Art Online, Fairy Tail, A Certain Magical Index, and Tokyo Ghoul:re which I am seriously excited at. I am also looking forward for Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara, and Godblin Slayers.

    Oh there’s also the return of the Chinese anime “Soul Land” on December, badly wanting to see it too.

  19. Some good stuff in here, but what I’m really looking forward to is the anime adaptation of Yagate Kimi ni Naru. The manga is really well-written, to the point that it feels like the anime almost writes itself. With a good director and a good script, it should be a great series… if they don’t screw up the adaptation, that is.

    Fingers crossed.

    It’s getting harder to tell which series are going to be awesome, and which are going to be dumpster fires, so I’m just going to take it an episode at a time, a series at a time.

  20. Here are the series from the list that I’ll watch for sure:

    – “Karakuri Circus”
    – “Merc Storia: Mukiryoku no Shounen to Bin no Naka no Shoujo ”
    – “Radiant”
    – “Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken”
    – “Tokyo Ghoul:re” (2nd season)

    And the ones I’ll keep an eye on – not knowing if I’ll watch them for sure:

    – “Gakuen Basara”
    – “Gurazeni” (2nd season)

  21. Ugh,i do not have much this season o.o ]

    – tokyo ghoul because lol need to finish it all “sigh” as anime as well
    – SSSS.Gridman
    – Dakaretai Otoko 1-i ni Odosarete Imasu.
    – Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken
    that it -.-
    damn not much lol
    maybe i will watch some summer series

  22. Looking forward to Goblin Slayer. The light novels have been very good, and am hoping that the violence isn’t watered down. Not worried about the sexual violence being watered down because it was never fetishistic or gratuitous in the light novel, which focused on the horror of the psychological aftermath (the manga adaptation went far beyond what the light novel described).

    tl;dr: Goblin Slayer = Effective Propaganda for Goblin Genocide.

  23. Looks like a pretty good season for my tastes.

    Most hyped for SAO Alicization. Having read the LNs, the author created an interesting scenario once again but the villain development remains severely lacking. I appreciate Edward Snowden’s leaks influencing his work though.

    Looking forward to Trigger’s new work but with moderate expectations less I destroy the experience for myself.

    Also checking out:
    – Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken (b/c Isekai)
    – Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuite Iru (Haikyuu design makes me curious)
    – RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida (curious what the world building is like)
    – Seishun Buta Yarou (Harem Romcom fix, reminds me of Oregairu in some way)
    – To Aru Majutsu (forgot much of the first 2 seasons but checking it out anyway)
    – Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (hopefully it’ll be able to maintain my interest)
    – Radian (curious)
    – Goblin Slayer (Isekai. And I’ve seen it on 4chan so it must be doing something right)
    – INGRESS THE ANIMATION (interested to see if they can build a compelling sci-fi world without tripping over themselves with convolution)

    Now living in Japan, I was surprised to see BEATLESS still appearing in Newtype magazines. Seeing Zephyr saying it wasn’t complete trash makes me slightly curious now. Perhaps I’ll try finishing the first season.

  24. Is it just me, or are many poster images here very weak? I find most of them boring, including those for established franchises such as Index, SAO or Tokyo Ghoul. Only a few (BEATLESS, Ken en Ken, Ao-buta, Yagakimi, Radiant, Fairy Tail, and Golden Kamuy) are OK-ish and none of them really stands out.

    I understand that there are many limitations for anime poster image design. For instance, one usually has to stuff a lot of characters inside a single image. But even so, there weren’t any lack of great examples in the past (Moribito, Erased and Flying Witch immediately come to mind), and we’ve also got some good ones (Genkou Kassenki, Back Street Girls, and Hanebado) in this season. I’m surprised that the images here in this preview are so weak. Let’s hope that they don’t speak for the qualities of the anime series.

    The suffocated
    1. That sounds subjective. Doesn’t seem particularly different from any other season.

      SAO’s poster looks very detailed though the detail and coloring are lost at RC’s low resolution. But once again, completely subjective.

  25. This season will be interesting.
    Top 5 animes
    1.Dakaretai Otoko 1-i ni Odosarete Imasu (I need Yaoi, since there there always tends to be more yuri shows and less Yaoi’s so I need this, and I’ve read it and its pretty good)
    2.Banana Fish (Even though its from the Summer list its crossing into the Fall and I’m just Hyped to see the rest of what the series has to offer)
    3.Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuite Iru (The design its so much like Haikyuu, I love it so I’m gonna watch)
    4.Fairy Tail (I’m just excited to see how this will all end)
    5.Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (I love PA works shows, sometimes they’re a hit an miss but I have high hopes for this one)

    The rest they’re interesting like Taoru but I’ve never gotten past the first season.
    But Sword art Online I would put it one my list if not for PA works, show but I’m still looking forward to SAO definitely.

  26. >Mother Roselia
    I see Takaii’s got too much Bandori in his free time.
    But I digress, looks like Toaru and Tensura and a lot of SoL/romance anime will be on my PTW list for the next 3 months huh.
    Now if only my mobile data can handle ’em all lmao.

  27. @Uchi no Maid

    -It won me over in just the first Episode.. the Slapstick, the fun and the very fitting audio samples…

    – Also nice ABS from an Woman.. Respect!.. aehm i mean, Salute!

  28. @Goblin Slayer

    – The “Intro scene” of our Main Hero” alone delivering that i was expecting from the manga, just better because “Sound” 🙂

    – But do not worry, the violence is still there. Yes even against woman.. If you know the manga, you know what i am talking about. But of course TV rules..

    – Good first Impact!…

  29. I pulled her thong down to her knees and instinctively knelt down to lick her pussy (from the front, from behind, sat on top, I adore oral sex), she hissed “NO, just fuck me”, but as she was tentatively balanced, stood up, but with her panties around her knees, I gave her a light push forward onto the bed and was rewarded by a sodden and strangely reddened looking pussy, framed between her bum, legs and lacy panties. This was a target I couldn’t resit, I dived into her, tongue straight in, nose nuzzled against her arsehole, it was amazing, she responded by pushing back, her pussy lips unusually pushed straight over my mouth (her pussy usually needed a bit of work to get her full loosened up). Stacey was grunting, subconsciously rubbing her pussy up and down my face, I had each of her hands held tightly, clamped next to my face, which allowed me to pull her deeper onto me and didn’t allow her squirm forward. I’d been too horned up to notice the obvious signals, but the realisation suddenly hit home.

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