Fall: ‘tis the season of change, and with the birds and the bees now giving way to frost and pumpkin spice lattes, anime too has yet more goodies in store for us once again. While last-minute postponements and unknown air dates remain in abundance (looking at you Shingeki no Kyojin), there’s still plenty on tap to tickle the fancy as you keep those hands warm on your autumn beverage of choice. Besides the incredibly popular and eagerly awaited sequels to DanMachi and Mahouka Koukou to Rettousei, everyone’s favourite Meiji era Golden Kamuy is back for its third season alongside surprise reboots to the psychological horror Higurashi no Naku Koro and anime’s arguable fantasy progenitor in Dragon Quest. Ever-present isekai retains its seasonal presence with the likes of world saving 100-Man no Inochi, the slime studying Kami-tachi Hirowareta Otoko, and Bofuri successor Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, while Jun Maeda’s next original story Kamisama ni Natta Hi and Crunchyroll manhwa adaptation Noblesse help liven the party. And if that wasn’t enough, we also get the next Strike Witches and sports powerhouse Haikyuu seasons, fluffy romcom Tonikaku Kawaii, and some very interesting (if wholly unknown) originals in the Kotobuki-inspired Senyoku no Sigrdrifa and magical girl Assault Lily. The days may be shorter and the nights growing colder, but at least anime is here to help keep us company! This is Random Curiosity’s Fall 2020 Preview:
As is tradition now Excitement Levels previously introduced shall once again be used. With every anime a cacophony of hype and wholly immune to objective thought (because art), we will embrace the spin and give you our visceral gut reactions to what is likely to transpire. 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.
Disclaimer: Back in the ancient times of 2012, previews were done by a single writer, Divine. But even in these modern times the RandomC preview is a substantial task, so we’ve divided it up among our active staff (Choya, Guardian Enzo, Pancakes (that’s me!), 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. Likewise, shows which have been postponed or currently lack a confirmed air date have also been excluded. 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.
And finally, let me take this chance to thank everyone at Random Curiosity for their work on this preview. With Stilts having hung up his blogging hat and quite a few members having experienced various real-life problems over the past couple of months, this preview truly was a monster to get out the door, but get it out we did and I couldn’t be prouder of everyone. In particular special thanks must be given to Choya and Zaiden for the heavy lifting they did, and our tech wizard PiC for ensuring the backend remains pleasantly out of (writer) sight and mind. As per Stilts tradition individual jobs won’t be listed, but everyone helped where they could and did far more than asked for. So once again, thank you all! Also, because it’s tradition, give Enzo’s LiA fall preview a perusal for a second opinion on many of these shows.
And of course, and as always, thank you to the entire Random Curiosity community. There’s no need to get fancy here, so simply put, thank you a lot for your support, thank you for your time, and thank you for being so awesome. Without you RC wouldn’t be able to keep on trucking the way it does. Thank you.
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.
Munou na Nana
21:30 AT-X (10/04)
21:30 AT-X (10/04)
Yuukoku no Moriarty
22:30 Toyko MX (10/11)
Kami-tachi ni Hirowareta Otoko
23:30 AT-X (10/04)
24:00 Tokyo MX (10/04)
Ochikobore Fruit Tart
21:30 AT-X (10/12)
Golden Kamuy (2020)
23:00 Tokyo MX (10/05)
A3! SEASON AUTUMN & WINTER
24:00 Tokyo MX (10/12)
25:30 TV Tokyo (10/12)
Maou-jou de Oyasumi
26:00 TV Tokyo (10/05)
Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season
Ikebukuro West Gate Park
26:00 AT-X (10/06)
Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear
21:00 AT-X (10/07)
Tsukiuta. The Animation 2
22:30 Tokyo MX (10/07)
Kimi to Boku no Saigo no Senjou, Arui wa Sekai ga Hajimaru Seisen
23:30 AT-X (10/07)
Magatsu Wahrheit: Zuerst
24:00 WOWOW (10/14)
Dai 501 Tougou Sentou Koukuu Dan Strike Witches: Road to Berlin
25:05 Tokyo MX (10/07)
21:30 AT-X (10/08)
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (2020)
23:30 Tokyo MX (10/01)
Assault Lily: Bouquet
25:13 Amazon Prime (10/01)
Adachi to Shimamura
25:58 TBS (10/08)
Majo no Tabitabi
21:00 AT-X (10/02)
100-man no Inochi no Ue ni Ore wa Tatte Iru
22:00 Tokyo MX (10/02)
Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle – Rhyme Anima
24:00 Tokyo MX (10/02)
Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darouka: Familia Myth III
24:30 Tokyo MX (10/02)
25:05 Tokyo MX (10/02)
King’s Raid: Ishi wo Tsugumono-tachi
25:23 TV Tokyo (10/02)
25:25 MBS (10/02)
Haikyuu!! To the Top (2020)
26:25 MBS (10/02)
Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken (2020)
09:30 TV Tokyo (10/03)
Hanyo no Yashahime
17:30 Yomiuri TV (10/03)
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Bloom
21:30 AT-X (10/10)
Senyoku no Sigrdrifa
23:30 Tokyo MX (10/03)
Kamisama ni Natta Hi
21:30 Tokyo MX (10/10)
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen
24:30 Tokyo MX (10/03)
25:30 Asahi TV (10/10)
Iwa Kakeru! Sport Climbing Girls
26:00 ABC TV (10/03)
* Jump to OVA/Movies.
Maebara Keiichi (Hoshi Souichirou) moves to the quiet and sleepy town of Hinamizawa and quickly befriends a couple of girls in the village. In fact, he’s arrived just in time to take part in the Watanagashi Festival, a celebration to commemorate and give thanks to the local deity Oyashiro-sama. However, something feels extremely off. When the cicadas continue to cry, an unsettling vibe saturates the air. And with an impending sense of dread and doom, Keiichi soon discovers there’s more to the village than meets the eye.
Many modern anime fans might not know, but Higurashi was definitely one of the most influential series for the Western fandom in the early days of anime, and remains one of the limited examples where horror is successfully explored within the medium. Beware – this series is not for the lighthearted. Born from the creative whims of 07th Expansion – an indie doujin circle – Higurashi seeks to explore human nature. Specifically trusting other people to do the right thing, as opposed to being consumed by paranoia over their intentions. Having experienced the original anime and sound novels, the tension and suspense will chill you to the bones. The moe art style with disturbing flickers of psychopathy slowly gnaws at the audience. And I hope they will re-use the deeply unsettling soundtracks which never failed to put knots in my stomach. Moreover the series uses unconventional storytelling by dividing itself into several question and answer arcs – leaving the audience to pick up the broken pieces to try and put together a feasible answer for the overarching mysteries at hand. If you love horror and enjoy seeing mystery elements intricately woven into the plot, assuming that Passione don’t mess it up, it’s time to prepare for an entertaining scare.
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (2020) Promotional Videos ▼|
In the not too distant future Earth is under siege. Monstrous creatures known as Huge run amok, threatening humanity with total extinction. Yet all is not as bad as it seems. Thanks to the creation of the anti-Huge weapon system CHARM (Counter Huge Arms), mankind has proven able to keep the threat at bay—if only at the cost of its young and finest. After teenage girls are found to be the best at maximizing CHARM’s combat effectiveness, a string of military academies known as Gardens was established to train select girls to become CHARM wielders. While chosen girls are revered as Lilies for the protection and support they provide, a life of fighting is no easy task, and as new recruit Hitotsuyanagi Riri (Akao Hikaru) will discover, it’s also one with far more to it than meets the eye.
Another day, another Earth, another weirdly named alien invasion combatted with magic weapon wielding girls. You can be forgiven for thinking we have yet another Battle Girl High School, Schoolgirl Strikers, or the latest Symphogear sequel on our hands, but Assault Lily Bouquet does have some positives resting under the hood. Unlike a lot of battle academy settings, Assault Lily Bouquet is effectively anime-original; there’s two light novels to the franchise’s name, however this adaptation will be based off the 1/12 scale figurine line and its accompanying flavour material. Couple that with Madoka head tilt masters Shaft producing, Gainax stalwart Saeki Shouji (Medaka Box) on director duty, and some strong yuri overtones (promotional videos never lie) and we are looking at one big box of surprises. I’d hesitate to think Assault Lily Bouquet will be anything more than base franchise promotional media right now, but with a cast, crew, and narrative blank slate like this it certainly deserves a bit of attention. After all, stranger series have turned into season defining shows.
|Assault Lily: Bouquet Promotional Videos ▼|
Stories are the beloved tales, fables, and experiences that we carry with us throughout our lifetimes and beyond. While some come from childhood wonder or a thrilling sense of adventure, some are inherited from our experiences with the world around us. For the witch Elaina (Hondo Kaede), she cherishes the stories gained from meeting with the new friends she makes during her travels. Because Elaina has no quest or goal at the finish line, she is free to wander wherever the wind takes her. With all of the new kinds of people she meets—from a country full of witches to a giant who loves his muscles—she aims to expand her world and add a few pages to the stories of whomever she comes across.
There’s nothing like a healing anime to help you get through difficult times. The calm and low-stakes nature of anime like Majo no Tabitabi cannot be understated for being a valuable asset for your everyday routine of keeping anime on in the background. With Majo no Tabitabi, it adds whimsy to an otherwise relaxing premise by having Elaina use her magic powers to travel from place-to-place and interact with a variety of mythical beings as she learns about their lifestyles and cultural traditions. Hopefully with its charming visuals and light-hearted premise, Majo no Tabitabi will be able to welcome viewers into a world of wonder when it premieres this Fall.
|Majo no Tabitabi Promotional Videos ▼|
For middle schooler Yotsuya Yuusuke (Uemura Yuuto) life is a drag. A dedicated loner who’d rather be at home playing games than worrying about the future, Yuusuke’s only serious goal is to find a way to attend high school far outside of Tokyo prefecture. At least until circumstances slap him across the face. One day in the midst of classroom chores, Yuusuke and fellow classmates Shindou Iu (Kubota Risa) and Hakozaki Kusue (Waki Azumi) are whisked away to another world where an unknown being called the Game Master gives them a very specific duty: complete various assigned quests in this fantasy world to help save the real world, or wind up dead. While the three are given unique job roles to help with their tasks, with Yuusuke being a lowly farmer against Iu’s magician and Kusue’s warrior, saving the world will prove to be anything but easy.
Ah isekai, truly the current time anime staple, and now so far advanced we’re reaching into the more explorative varieties—because 100-Man no Inochi isn’t your typical alternate world adventure. Based on the manga series, this one could be thought of as Psyren meets Danganronpa/Nakanohito Genome, where the main cast travels back and forth between alternate and real worlds (all the while picking up new party members) to beat a “game” whose structure and win conditions are very much unknown. While the series won’t be breaking with too many isekai conventions (did I mention Yuusuke going the wish fulfillment harem route?), there’s enough under the hood to let it stand out if given suitable treatment—i.e. not rushed to hell and gone. Considering the incredibly skilled Yoshioka Takao (Major S2) is handling series composition alongside director Habara Kumiko (Sailor Moon Crystal) I wouldn’t be too concerned about potential quality, but as with most isekai adaptations it’s best to keep some doubt in reserve. When it comes to these types of stories, the proof is always in the execution.
|100-man no Inochi no Ue ni Ore wa Tatte Iru Promotional Videos ▼|
The battle of the sexes rages on in a future where women now dominate the country. Although the creation and use of weapons has been forbidden, there is one other way to resolve conflict; battle rapping. With the power of the Hypnosis Mic, words and lyrics can cause real-life damage to those who wield it, allowing for battle rap to become the primary means of combat. Those in divisions outside of the women-only Chuou Ward have mobilized to use the Hypnosis Mic as their tool to claim territory for themselves. Will fierce rap battles be the trick it takes for those outside of the Chuou Ward to fend for themselves and influence societal change, or will our leading men end up getting booed out of the venue for reading their lines from their rhyme books? Find out when Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle – Rhyme Anima comes this Fall.
Hypnosis Mic has the liberty of getting away with going into some crazy territory. The premise alone might seem like it’d teeter towards misogyny with a corrupt matriarchal society gone mad as battle rap becomes the only means of fighting. But from the trailer, the country’s dominatrix ruler merely appears as window dressing for a multimedia series about cute guys who battle-rap. There’s in-fighting between rival gangs, the ultimate message of unity through their combined efforts, and a cigarette kiss between two of our main rappers. Even if women aren’t portrayed in the best light, there’s a lot for women to like with a sizable roster of guys that cater to every niche as they sing and rap at each other. One interesting detail is how every character has their own style of rapping, so while you have some who follow the beat on pop music or trippy electronic beats, others have an easier time rapping over rock music and heavy guitar as their motif. It should be neat to see if Hypnosis Mic can meet the expectations it has to be an eclectic and off-the-wall battle rap anime when it makes its grand debut.
|Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle – Rhyme Anima Promotional Videos ▼|
Raised in a rural farming village listening to stories of heroes and their adventures told by his beloved grandfather, Bell Cranel (Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) sets off to become an adventurer after his grandfather dies – aspiring to fulfil his dream by becoming a legendary hero. After foolishly venturing into a dungeon despite being unprepared as a beginner and almost getting killed in the process, Bell is saved by one of Orario’s top adventurers – the Sword Princess, Aiz Wallenstein (Oonishi Saori). He immediately falls for her and gains the skill Liaris Freese – an unprecedented ability that grants him explosive growth rates so long as his feelings towards her stay true, as he strives to reach her level.
Well known for the infamous physics defying ribbon that can hold up sizeable tracts of land, Danmachi is a guilty pleasure that has gone from humble beginnings as a whimsical and light-hearted adventure to a more serious one where gods engage in turbulent power struggles, with a dark conspiracy running as an undercurrent within the adventurer’s town of Orario. What makes Danmachi stand out is how the setting and power system are well thought out, and the complex depth in these two things make for an enjoyable progression as Bell rapidly climbs through the ranks and slowly unravels the mysteries behind Orario. With J.C. Staff returning alongside their staff from last time, the juries still out on whether they made the right choice in switching directors from Yamakawa Yoshiki to Tachibana Hideki between S1 and S2. I personally felt that S2 was a step down from S1 – especially with nothing coming close to the Minotaur fight – though I’d say it was for reasons beyond Tachibana’s control as a director. So I hope that the source material provides extraordinary content to work with and that JC Staff will enlist their best animators for this project. One final thing. Hestia is bestia. And no one can tell me otherwise.
|Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darouka: Familia Myth III Promotional Videos ▼|
What is it with me and previews for “next” series this season? Like Fumetsu no Anata e the first thing most new viewers will notice here is the author of the manga. It’s Hata Kenjirou, whose Hayate no Gotoku was certainly a massive hit by any standard. I pretty much knew once I’d read a few chapters of Tonikaku Cawaii that an anime was inevitable – it happened perhaps a bit more quickly than I would have predicted (the manga is just over two years old).
I was of decidedly mixed feelings about Hayate – it could be fun but it was decidedly too self-aware and contrived for my tastes. I like this series better – I wouldn’t go so far as to call is a straightforward romcom (it has some very quirky elements) but it’s certainly more grounded than its predecessor. It’s the story of a lights-out student named Nasa (Enoki Junya; he takes a lot of hell for that name) and the mysterious girl he encounters just before his infatuated reaction lands him in a rather unpleasant situation.
Again, Tonikaku Cawaii is definitely not a stock romcom – the premise itself is pretty unconventional (marriage is part of the equation from day one). But the tone is quite sweet and rather earnest – this is a romance with a capital “R”. Seven Arcs isn’t a studio that in itself suggests success or failure and the staff is more workmanlike than distinguished. And then there’s the question of series length – I’m assuming one cour, though I wouldn’t say a future sequel is totally out of the question. But the source material is strong enough that I expect this to be a very satisfying show for fans of romantic comedy, who find themselves with fewer series to connect with in recent years.
|Tonikaku Kawaii Promotional Videos ▼|
Covering more than half the known world, the continent of Orvis is a vast melting pot of humans, elves, and other races, and with it home to the Kingdom of Orvelia. Birthplace to King Kyle, the man responsible for defeating the demon lord Ang Mundo some hundred years prior, Orvelia now only knows peace, however such peace soon proves fleeting. With reports of demon appearances occurring throughout the land, apprentice knight Kasel (Ishikawa Kaito), after seeking out information on his lost brother Claus, finds himself at the centre of a quest to locate a holy sword capable of defeating this new threat. With the enemy all around and Kasel’s training incomplete, it will take everything he has to see his mission through, but one way or another Kasel will find a way to help keep his world safe.
Before any fantasy lovers eagerly rub their hands together in glee (it’s not an isekai!), it’s important to note that King’s Raid is an adaptation of the similarly named mobile game. Yes, mobile game. While game adaptations have undeniably improved of late, with Shingeki no Bahamut and Princess Connect being some of the better examples, this is an anime form still notoriously hard to pull off even at the best of times and viewer caution is firmly advised. Nonetheless, there are some positive signs here: studio OLM has a very good track record in animation (albeit mostly for kiddie shows) and the cast isn’t what you’d call weak. While this is Hoshino Makoto’s first stint directing a show not involving romance or slice-of-life, with Hamefura’s Shimizu Megumi handling series composition and the story supposedly not being a pure one-to-one adaptation, there’s plenty of pieces present to assemble something interesting. I’d personally keep any hype firmly under control until the first few episodes drop, but King’s Raid certainly has everything needed to be another example of anime game adaptation done right.
|Kings Raid: Ishi wo Tsugumono-tachi Promotional Videos ▼|
In order to avoid being recruited into the Track and Field team, Yuji Itadori (Enoki Junya) joins his school’s Occult Research Club – so that he can leave school by 5.00pm to visit his grandfather in hospital. However, his grandfather passes away, but not before leaving behind two messages – ‘always help people’ and ‘die surrounded by people’. Unfortunately, his friends at the club accidentally come across a cursed finger – and it unleashes a malevolent power which almost kills them. A visiting sorceror, Megumi Fujishiro (Uchida Yuuma), proves no match for the curse either. So to save his friends, Yuji swallows the finger – becoming the host of Sukuna, an evil entity who is considered to be the most powerful of curses. The Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College put Yuji on death row. But after realising that Yuji is able to retain free will and control in spite of Sukuna’s curse inhabiting his body, they postpone the execution date – with the plan being for Yuji to consume all 20 of Sukuna’s fingers before he dies, which will allow them to destroy Sukuna once and for all.
From the get go, Jujutsu Kaisen seeks to invoke inspiration from its predecessors – featuring a protagonist possessed by an evil spirit (Naruto), a secret society committed to exorcising evil spirits (Bleach), a school of talented young sorcerers (Naruto/Hero Academia), and a powerful mentor with half his face covered up (Kakashi Hatake). So we’re not exactly treading new ground here. However, the creator’s approach is what distinguishes it. Gege Akutami knows how to write narratives and set out a consistent pace. As the series progresses, we can also see that story is remarkably character driven. And while Tokyo Ghoul went a step further, Jujutsu Kaisen is definitely a shade darker than the majority of shounen offerings. Even when he’s been given weak source material to work with, I’ve rather enjoyed the directorial vision behind Park Seong-Hu’s shows (Seiken Tsukai no World Break, Garo, The God of High School). And Seko Hiroshi is definitely capable of putting together some nifty series compositions, so with Mappa also taking charge of the animation work, there’s considerable potential for Jujutsu Kaisen to make some serious waves in the upcoming season.
|Jujutsu Kaisen Promotional Videos ▼|
A second cour of a fourth season of a blockbuster manga? It would be fair to say there aren’t a whole lot of surprises implied by that, and at this point I think fans of Haikyuu very much know what to expect from this franchise. There was a bit of a stylistic change in the art for S4, and the budget may have come down a bit (given that the first three seasons were probably the most well-animated sports anime in TV history, that’s not a shock). But Haikyuu remained very much Haikyuu in terms of plot and character.
The one big change, of course, is that the manga has now finished its run in Weekly Shounen Jump. I don’t think the production committee would try to finish things up in one cour – there’s way too much manga for that, and even with the manga finished Haikyuu remains a very popular franchise. So a fifth season seems a virtual certainly at some point, and might just be able to finish the adaptation in two cours (possibly with the help of another OVA mini-series). As to when that will air, the second half of 2022 seems a fair guess – the only thing anyone will be waiting on is Production I.G.’s readiness, and this show should remain a profitable (and thus prioritized) project for them. For now, we have one more cour of the floppy-eared beagle driving a sports car to brighten up the last season of a rather grim year for anime (and generally).
|Haikyuu!! To the Top (2020) Promotional Videos ▼|
From the venerable and long running RPG franchise comes the latest anime adaptation for Dragon Quest. A fully fledged remake of the early 1990s anime (itself based on the manga of the same name), Dai no Daibouken tells the tale of young Dai (Tanezaki Atsumi), a boy from a remote island whose sole dream is to become a hero—and a dream Dai soon gets to realize. After the demon lord Hadler (Seki Tomokazu), infamous scourge to the world in a previous time, is resurrected, Dai and his friends find themselves at the centre of the renewed struggle to put Hadler down. Determined to stop the demon lord and realize his fantasy, Dai will do whatever is necessary, but as the truth is discovered and the real force behind Hadler’s resurrection becomes apparent, it will take more than simple courage for Dai to become the hero he’s always dreamed on being.
While not well-known in the English world, Dragon Quest can easily lay claim to be one of the big 90s anime. One of Toei’s largest franchises (it’s second only to Dragon Ball) and wildly popular across Latin and Arabic speaking communities, Dragon Quest was the penultimate fantasy adventure story which can lay claim to have inspired every similar manga/light novel/anime fantasy series to date. Or, in other words, it’s a traditional fantasy with plenty of magic, RPG-esque levelling and power ups, and a prominent distinction between good and evil. With the 90s show only partially adapting the manga and providing an anime original ending (think Full Metal Alchemist), the major question is whether this will be Dragon Quest’s Brotherhood or first try Hunter x Hunter, and that answer will unfortunately have to be found out the hard way. Considering Toei keeping the show length and source faithfulness close to its chest it’s anyone’s guess how this adaptation will turn out, but if the new Dragon Quest can do what FMA and HxH once did, then this will easily be one reboot to pay some close attention to this season.
|Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken (2020) Promotional Videos ▼|
After the events of the hit anime InuYasha, Sesshomaru’s Half-Demon twins known as Towa (Matsumoto Sara) and Setsuna (Komatsu Mikako) are separated from each other due to a forest fire. While Towa tries to find her younger sister, she wanders into a tunnel that transports her from Feudal Japan to present-day Japan where she is found and raised by Higurashi Souta, the younger brother of Kagome. Ten years later, the tunnel connecting the two worlds is reopened, but when Towa goes back to find Setsuna, she finds that her sister has lost all memories of her. Instead, she is now working as a Demon Slayer working for Kohaku. When the two sisters meet Moroha (Tadokoro Azusa), the daughter of Kagome and Inuyasha, the three of them travel between the two eras on an adventure to reclaim Setsuna’s missing past.
It’s finally here. The sequel to Takahashi Rumiko’s feudal fairy-tale has been on the top of many anime fans’ minds since it was announced earlier this year. Whether you discovered InuYasha at the library, the bookstore, on late-night television, or from an overbearing friend/relative, most anime fans have their own story about how they discovered InuYasha. This nostalgia makes it nerve-wracking to anticipate what direction this sequel spin-off will go with. Considering that it’s about Sesshomaru and Inuyasha’s children, there is already much that would need to be explained about which lucky lady won the Sesshomaru Bowl, whether Kagome ever goes back to visit her family, or how far into the future we’re covering if everyone from the old anime still looks the same as the day we left them. Nonetheless, it will still be exciting to revisit the world of InuYasha, catch up with the old cast, and see how their offspring handle the feudal era and present day when Hanyo no Yashahime premieres.
|Hanyo no Yashahime Promotional Videos ▼|
From the collective minds of Nagatsuki Tappei (Re:Zero), Fujima Takuya (ViVid Strike!), and Suzuki Takaaki (Haifuri) comes the next big anime original military adventure. After the Pillars, an unknown force, appear above the Earth and threaten mankind with annihilation, a god calling himself Odin appears before frightened humanity and pledges his aid. Bequeathing the nations of Earth with battle maidens known as Valkyries, Odin has his warriors ride into battle aboard Herocraft, unique aircraft bearing distinct similarity to humanity’s designs of old. With the struggle against the Pillars now three years old, attention turns to Japan and the Pillar residing over Mt. Fuji—except victory might prove elusive. Thanks to the unique quirks of each Valkyrie, organizing success is troublesome at best, and now with Europe’s ace pilot on the way to join the fight, overcoming the Pillars might prove to be the least of everyone’s concerns.
Ignoring all the risks associated with anime originals (black boxes are a gambler’s paradise), I’m hard pressed to not be excited about Sigururi. Effectively the love child of magical girl combatted alien invasions and Kotobuki flavoured Strike Witches (no mecha musume here), this one all but looks to be the next serious contender for the (sub)-genre the likes of Girls & Panzer and Haifuri have eagerly taken to fleshing out. Given Re:Zero’s author is handling the script alongside Takuya and Takaaki on design and setting respectively, I wouldn’t expect any serious crashing and burning, however considering this is an A-1 Pictures production and they don’t have the best record with this type of story (*cough* Qualidea Code), hedging any bets is a pretty good idea. We’ll get a better idea once the first episode drops, but without a doubt if you’re a military geek or a sci-fi fan in general then this is one show to keep firmly on your radar.
|Senyoku no Sigrdrifa Promotional Videos ▼|
Returning after over a six-year break (if you don’t count the 2017 anime original movie), Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei is back in TV form. Based on the massively popular light novel series, Mahouka revolves around a world where magic has become seamlessly enshrined into technology and explored through science. Magic users known as Magic Technicians practice magic in its various forms and learn it in specialized magic schools, where exam-based talent is near ruthlessly promoted by splitting high achievers and low achievers into separate education streams. It is this system which siblings Shiba Tatsuya (Nakamura Yuuichi) and Miyuki (Hayami Saori) find themselves thrust into, with Miyuki dominating the spotlight as school prodigy while Tatsuya is relegated to the low achievement stream. Except Tatsuya is anything but talentless. Secretly possessing extraordinary skills, knowledge, and combat expertise, Tatsuya may not excel at tests like his sister, but he has the power to ensure their magic school life will be far from routine.
Oh boy, here we go. For those not around in spring 2014, Mahouka is the veritable definition of divisive anime. Between a story which effectively emphasized world building and detailed magic systems over characters and plot and featured one of anime’s most egregious quasi-Gary Stus in Tatsuya (he ain’t called Magic Jesus for nothing), this was a rushed adaptation which one either loved or hated—and there was no in between. While always good to hope for improvements in any sequel, I would hesitate to think any major shakeup will occur; 8bit may be replacing Madhouse for studio and Mahouka movie director Yoshida Risako might be in the big chair, but with light novel volumes nine through eleven up for adaptation alongside all original cast returning, more Onii-sama and Magic Jesus trickery is definitely on the cards. Mahouka fans will easily get their fill here (especially if this winds up being a two cour affair again), however I firmly recommend caution for the uninitiated or those still on the fence. This series may not lack for glitz and glamour, but not all anime fireworks are created equal.
|Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen Promotional Videos ▼|
Kasahara Konomi (Uesaka Sumire) is a first-year student at Hanamiya Girls’ High School who is a genius at puzzle games. But when she stumbles across her new school’s climbing wall, she joins the Climbing Club right away. She might still be a novice at the sport, but she’s able to use her intuition to spot the right moves to ascend higher up the school’s artificial wall. With her new friends at the club, they aim to further excel at improving their skills and proudly represent the school in sports climbing tournaments.
There aren’t many instances where people like hearing “Climbing” and “Fall” in the same sentence, but this show is bound to be the best Climbing anime of the Fall season. As someone who has covered a ton of hobbyist anime recently, it should be interesting to see what approach Iwa Kakeru! will take in teaching viewers about rock climbing as a sport. If it ends up showing as much promise as shows like Koisuru Asteroid, Yuru Camp, Dumbbell Nan Kiro Moteru and Houkago Teibou Nisshi, it’ll be neat to see if Iwa Kakeru! will be as comprehensive as those anime when they delve into the nitty gritty of the anime’s favorite activities. We’ll find out when Iwa Kakeru! makes its ascent this season.
|Iwa Kakeru! Sport Climbing Girls Promotional Videos ▼|
From studio Bridge comes the adaptation of Looseboy and illustrator Furuya Iori’s Munou na Nana. Also known as Talentless Nana, the series focuses on a time in the near future where humanity finds itself under attack by monsters. In order to combat these “Enemies of Humanity,” humanity began sending children with extraordinary abilities to special schools for training. Arriving as a transfer student, Hiiragi Nana (Ookubo Rumi) becomes the newest of the “Talented” at her school. Unbeknownst to the rest of the class however, Nana doesn’t actually possess any superpowers. Instead, she endeavors to fight the Enemies of Humanity with just her intelligence.
Having read the first few chapters to prepare for the preview, I’m torn about what to say here. The manga tries to get you hooked early with a significant twist in the first chapter, but the impact of subsequent chapters pale in comparison as a result. Some awfully convenient developments also put a dapper in things pretty quickly, as does a generic cast of supporting characters, and a protagonist whose personality could very well be a turn off for some viewers. Ishihira Shinji’s directorial resume also isn’t extensive aside from his work on the latter Fairy Tail seasons, making it unlikely we’re going to get anything notable here. For what it’s worth, the series has had a decent publication run (2016 and ongoing) and people swear that it gets better as it goes along, but it may require some significant patience to stick with the series until it gets to that point.
|Munou na Nana Promotional Videos ▼|
“Dying is easy, comedy is hard”. Such are the trials and tribulations of comedy, where day-in and day-out, you need to cut your teeth to come up with the right material to make audiences roar in laughter. Maesetsu follows four amateur comedy duos who struggle to break into the world of stand-up comedy as they work hard to perfect their craft. With their eyes set on starring in intro monologues for TV variety programs, they aim to get enough lucrative opportunities to reach their ultimate goal of headlining at the Namba Grand Kagetsu.But because they are still greenhorns on the mic, they aren’t quite ready for the “Budokan of Comedy” and instead have to perfect their material in smaller venues known as the “Farm Class”. Will the girls make it to prime-time or get heckled off the stage? Find out on Maesetsu.
Comedy anime may be plentiful, but an anime about the experiences of being a comic are a rarity. The ones that do crop up, however, tend to be humorous yet biting musings about the difficulties that come with creating material for the sake of entertainment. While I don’t imagine that this show would go into the harsher realities of the entertainment industry or stand-up comedy, it should give us some insight on what goes on within the minds of comedy duos trying to make it big in Japan. Many comedy duos tend to dive into the boke/tsukkomi routine that is ubiquitous with a majority of anime comedies out there, so it is a natural transition for an anime to focus on how those who create jokes for these routines operate. It’ll be neat to see how far they’re able to go in exploring the world of comedy when Maesetsu arrives in the Fall.
|Maesetsu! Promotional Videos ▼|
From MAHO FILM and co-produced by Funimation is the adaptation of Ririnra and Roy’s Kami-tachi ni Hirowareta Otoko. Also known as The man picked up by the gods the series revolves around 39-year-old Ryouma Takuma (Tadokoro Azusa), who suddenly dies in his sleep after sneezing and hitting his head on the ground. Pitied by various deities, Ryouma is offered the chance to live a brand new life in a new world. With a few innate abilities and affinities, he begins his new life as a child, and devotes himself to studying slimes in the forest by himself. After a chance encounter with a group of travelers, Ryouma finds himself following with the heirs of a local duke, opening a new world where his unique abilities and talents bring both surprise and admiration.
Given all the isekai we’ve gotten in recent seasons, it’s easy to dismiss Kami-tachi ni Hirowareta Otoko as just another generic addition to the isekai fold. The premise doesn’t do it any favors and director Yanase Takeyuki’s (Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni., UchiMusume) resume isn’t exactly lengthy either. Still, the light novel did achieve the distinction of having over a million copies in print, so it’s definitely doing something right. Having read the few chapters myself, I didn’t find it that appealing, but it did distinguish itself as a seemingly wholesome series that seems perfect for just relaxing with after a long day. Sometimes all you need is a series that does just that, and Kami-tachi ni Hirowareta Otoko comes in as a series that could be worth watching on that merit alone. If you’re a fan of the genre or just looking for a slice-of-life to relax with, I’d give this the three episode treatment to see how it goes.
|Kami-tachi ni Hirowareta Otoko Promotional Videos ▼|
From the Korean manhwa series, Noblesse tells the story of the mysterious quasi-vampire Noble Cadis Etrama Di Raizel (Shingaki Tarusuke) and his abrupt entrance into the modern world. After awakening in an abandoned South Korean building following an 820-year slumber, Rai seeks out his loyal servant Frankenstein (Hirakawa Daisuke) for assistance, only to find the man, of all things, in charge of a local school. While Frankenstein successfully enrolls Rai as a student in his school to help Rai get used to modern life and protect Rai from less savoury elements, both soon run headfirst into the secret organization Union and their plan for global domination. With Rai possessing incredible power such machinations are not impossible to counter, but to help preserve his new life and friends, he’ll have to start employing that strength to keep everyone he holds dear safe from harm.
Third in line of the so-called Crunchyroll “originals” (since when are adaptations considered original?), Noblesse is second only to Tower of God in terms of anticipated manhwa adaptations. Effectively a mix of pretty boy aesthetics, school-life setting, and shadowy occultic conspiracies, in a pinch Noblesse can be thought of as Castlevania gone Van Helsing—just with vampires trending more Twilight than Nosferatu. Given Production I.G. has already produced a prequel OVA for the series in 2016, it’s safe to say if you liked that you’ll like this version too, however anyone with a gothic taste and love of the supernatural will find plenty to enjoy here. As with Tower of God or God of High School the one major risk is this adaptation turning into another rushed hatchet job, but considering Noblesse’s manhwa has already concluded and Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu’s Tada Shunsuke and Mondaiji’s Yamamoto Yasutaka are tag teaming director duty, I wouldn’t fret the details all too much. There may be some big unknowns about Noblesse right now, but if there was ever a dark horse this season, this one would be it.
|Noblesse Promotional Videos ▼|
As the original inhabitants of Hokkaido, the indigenous Ainu are discontent with becoming second-class citizens under Japanese rule. So they stockpile huge reserves of gold in order to fund an uprising against the Japanese government. But the hearts of men are easily corrupted. The Ainu guards are slaughtered and the gold stolen. However, from there on, it vanished from living records. History became legend, and legend became myth. Meanwhile, Sugimoto Saichi (Kobayashi Chikahiro) has just survived through the Russo-Japanese war and earned the epithet of “Immortal Sugimoto”, and now seeks out riches so that he can fulfill a promise to financially support his fallen comrade’s widow. Through pure chance, he encounters an escaped prisoner with a mysterious tattoo across his back, gaining his first clue towards this legendary treasure. After partnering with an Ainu girl named Asirpa (Shiraishi Haruka), who is looking for her father’s murderer as well as the tribe’s missing gold, they go on a bizarre adventure to discover the stash. Along the way, they fight against powerful factions such as infamous divisions of the Japanese army, as well as powerful criminal syndicates who are interested in acquiring this wealth to conduct a coup de tat. But who knows. Maybe the real treasure will be the friends that Sugimoto and Asirpa make along the way.
If you’re already familiar with the franchise, there isn’t much that needs to be said about Golden Kamuy. Other than the fact I’m frustrated that three seconds of a CGI bear across 24 episodes of incredible content is enough to put narrow-minded people off experiencing this extraordinary show. To quote a Reddit user – it’s an eclectic mix of adventure, Ainu culture, badasses, comedy, cooking lessons, dick jokes, gold hunting, fast-paced fighting, gore, homoeroticism, history lessons, hunting and survival tips, prison breaks and weird characters. Golden Kamuy has everything you never knew you wanted. With voice actors reprising their roles and Geno Studio returning to the fold – alongside director Nanba Hitoshi, Takagi Noboru and Suehiro Kenichirou, Season 3 is all but guaranteed to be yet another sensational spectacle.
|Golden Kamuy (2020) Promotional Videos ▼|
Princess Syalis (Minase Inori) has the misfortune of being a princess of a fantasy kingdom in peril. Long ago, a demon king had kidnapped her and imprisoned her in his castle. Her royal subjects are in dismay until a hero spearheads “Project Rescue Our Princess” to rescue her from the demon king. But as with many projects, they take time. Too much time. Although Princess Syalis knows she’ll eventually be saved, she’s burdened with the excruciatingly long wait for her knight in shining armor to arrive. Her uneventful captivity might not be a harrowing experience, but there is absolutely nothing to keep her entertained in her dungeon cell. The boredom she faces day-in and day-out is a waking nightmare within itself. In her desperation, she decides the best course of action would be to sleep off the wait, allowing her to just skip to the moment she’s rescued as quickly as she can. If only she can get comfortable in her miserable cell and prevent insomnia from plaguing her night after night. This is the story of a princess trying her hardest to get some quality sleep, even if she ends up looking scarier than the demon king.
Maoujou de Oyasumi gives an amusing answer to the thoughts that you might have about what a captive princess does while the protagonist of a video game goes adventuring across the kingdom. It’s a funny twist that the anime has the princess grow stir-crazy about her surroundings and resorts to slinking around the castle and putting its guards through the ringer as she searches for any way she can get some shut-eye. It’s hard not to get roped in by the playful fun atmosphere of the anime as we see Princess Syalis try to entertain herself by terrorizing those who made the grave mistake of getting in her way. And under the helm of Yamazaki Mitsue, the director behind some of Doga Kobo’s best anime, it’ll be exciting to see Maoujou de Oyasumi as it awakens this Fall.
|Maou-jou de Oyasumi Promotional Videos ▼|
The urban cityscape of Ikebukuro is home to some of the most impressive skyscrapers and shopping centers in the Toshima ward of Tokyo. The Ikebukuro Nishiguchi Kouen in particular is the preferred stepping ground for Majima Makoto (Kumagai Kentarou), the son of a local fruit vendor in his early twenties who is known as the “Troubleshooter of Ikebukuro.” His expertise is in solving various incidents throughout the city whether they involve friends of his or local street toughs. After a personal tragedy happens, Makoto gains a reputation from the criminal underworld and the police as a disruptive force to be reckoned with. Against his own judgement, Makoto continues his path of discovery as he comes face-to-face with the seedy underbelly of Tokyo’s criminal underworld.
It’s always interesting when research for a preview ends up unraveling a franchise’s history that’s far more expansive. For Ikebukuro West Gate Park, that’s finding out that it came from a ten-part novel series from Ishida Ira and spawned a popular TV show featuring actor Watanabe Ken that aired during the summer of 2000. The story itself is intriguing as it captures the grimy side of the city life as told from the lens of a delinquent who can navigate both civilian spaces and mob-dominated territories with ease. With its dark and gritty take on the dangers of Ikebukuro, it should be fascinating to see what this anime has in store and how much of the novels they’ll be able to adapt.
|Ikebukuro West Gate Park Promotional Videos ▼|
Fifteen-year old Yuna (Kawase Maki) is just your typical hikkikomori. Refusing to so much as go to school and up at all hours obsessively playing her favourite VRMMORPG World Fantasy Online, Yuna’s only goal is to live her shut-in life to the fullest. Following an update to World Fantasy Online, however, such simplicity takes a turn for the surreal. When Yuna logs in after patching the game, not only does she find herself in possession of a one-of-a-kind bear outfit featuring absurdly overpowered stats and abilities, but also the apparent inability to log back out. Now stuck living the game as real life, Yuna will have to start putting her gamer skills to good use to survive, but with her bear outfit making her into an unbeatable juggernaut, the task before her couldn’t possibly be easier.
What’s this, more isekai? Oh yes, the gods heard our pleas, and they have delivered. Alright, tongue in cheek snark aside, Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear is the latest of what could be called moe-sekai: cute girls and yuri baiting feature in abundance, the premise is pure slice-of-life, and any sort of conflict will inevitably end with friendship all around. Barring the Overlord similarities with Yuna being “moved” into the game world (SAO this isn’t), this one is definitely Bofuri’s spiritual successor and should be treated as such; expect anything more than wholesome adventures and lighthearted comedy here and you will be disappointed. While studio EMT Squared is arguably more miss than hit in terms of animation, given Haifuri’s Nobuta Yuu is on director duty and comedy moe master Aoshima Takashi (Yuru Yuri, Mitsudomoe) is handling series composition, I’d firmly expect this one to nail all the necessary comedy and slice-of-life components. Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear won’t be setting any new records, but you definitely need look no further than this to meet those seasonal guilty pleasure isekai needs.
|Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear Promotional Videos ▼|
Are you a fujoshi who’s a fan of male idols? Well, there just so happens to be a show that could really tickle your fancy. Even if you’ve never experienced the original Tsukiuta. The first season involved popular male seiyuus performing drama CDs and songs composed by famous Vocaloid composers, and focused on members of the fictional idol units Six Gravity and Procellarum. I’m expecting a similar schedule to the first season, where you had 12 characters representing each month, each getting their own individual episode over a 12 episode cour. With the goal of idol anime being to invoke joy from those consuming it, watch how these male idols try to live out life to the fullest as they face challenges unique to their industry – with lovely music to accompany.
First thing to note for fans of the original instalment, Studio Pierrot are no longer involved now that the relatively new Children’s Playground Entertainment have taken over as the anime production studio. This also means that the directing staff are completely different. Nishimoto Yukio joins as the new director – and while his ample experience mostly consists of storyboarding and episode directing, Ongaku Shoujo is an example on his directorial resume that demonstrates his ability to handle musical idols. Though we will have to see whether this translates over to male idols too. On the other hand, Natsuko Takahashi is a Japanese writer. She is a member of Nihon Kyakuhonka Renmei, the Writers Guild of Japan and has been the writer behind many incredible scripts – Chrono Crusade, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gankutsuou to name a few prominent projects she was involved in. I’m not too sure how her writing expertise can take a simple and down to earth premise like Tsukiuta to another level. But I suppose the primary attraction would be the mega roster of seiyuu, with Kaji Yuki, Kimura Ryouhei, and Tomoaki Maeno being just a few of the huge names that everyone would be familiar with. So even if you’re not a fan of male idols, provided that you’re a fan of male voice actors chilling around, this show might also be for you.
|Tsukiuta. The Animation 2 Promotional Videos ▼|
Brought to you by SILVER LINK. is the adaptation of fantasy light novel series Kimi to Boku no Saigo no Senjou, Aruiwa Sekai ga Hajimaru Seisen. Also known as Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World, the series focuses on a great war between the Empire and the Nebulis Sovereignty. With the former known for its scientific advancements and the latter for its witches, their battles have continued for ages, setting the stage for a fateful meeting between the Empire’s strongest swordsman, Iska (Kobayashi Yusuke) and witch princess Aliceliese (Amamiya Sora). Despite being sworn enemies, the two find themselves enamored with one another, with Iska recognizing the princess’ beauty and righteousness and Aliceliese recognizing the swordsman’s strength and resolve. With a singular victory between one side potentially determining the course of the war however, the two are destined to fight one another—that is, unless they can find another way. The series will be co-directed by Minato Mirai (Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya, Masamune-kun no Revenge) and Oonuma Shin (Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, Tasogare Otome x Amnesia, WataMote), with Shimoyama Kento (Binbougami ga!, Bleach) responsible for series composition.
Consider me intrigued. The premise isn’t fresh by any means, but the whole romantic pair potentially putting an end to a years long war is a formula that could certainly produce a memorable series. Perhaps it’s just that I’m a sucker for Romeo and Juliet-isque romances with possible happy endings, but I can’t help but feel—or just want to believe—that there could be something here worth watching for. The staff is already known for their share of memorable series, the theme used in the PV drew me in along with its surprisingly modern backdrop, and having Elements Garden involved in the music is bound to give an extra edge to its battles. Having a handful of episodes will likely limit the potential regardless—it doesn’t seem like they’re going past one cour at the moment—but they could set up something worth watching here.
|Kimi to Boku no Saigo no Senjou, Arui wa Sekai ga Hajimaru Seisen Promotional Videos ▼|
Eight years (and several side stories) later, Strike Witches returns to continue apace. Set in an alternate mid-Twentieth Century Earth, Strike Witches focuses on the trials and tribulations of humanity as it fights to stave off destruction by a mysterious alien force called the Neuroi. With the average human being proving unable to fight off the Neuroi, militaries worldwide turn to Witches, young girls with latent magical abilities who when equipped with Striker Units (combat flying machines) are capable of holding the Neuroi at bay. Having recently staved off several new Neuroi invasions in Europe (and enjoyed some well-deserved downtime), the elite Witch 501st Joint Fighter Wing now once again returns to the frontline to help keep humanity safe, although given what they’ve learned and the mysteries of the Neuroi still to be discerned, there’s no guarantee this stint in battle will be like all the rest.
Well, it’s here, the anime sequel every military geek has been waiting for. Much like the Indexverse the Strike Witches (or World Witches) franchise has always had an uncannily strong following, whether it be from its mecha musume aesthetics, grounded and realistic military research, or magical girl-esque nature of its story, conflict, and fan service (who ever needed pants anyway?). Simply put it was veritable lightning in a bottle, and the good news is that Road to Berlin looks to be continuing along that established path. As a direct sequel to the Strike Witches movie there’s little risk of this one suffering the sense of stale déjà vu which plagued spin-off Brave Witches, while the inclusion of original Strike Witches staff means this sequel won’t be breaking with pant-less kemonomimi tradition. Although the risk of shoestring budget and rushed story inevitably remains, provided Road to Berlin does as Strike Witches does best, it should more than meet the needs of many a Strike Witches fan. After all, I think few will be complaining about having the OG Witches finally back in action.
|Dai 501 Tougou Sentou Koukuu Dan Strike Witches: Road to Berlin Promotional Videos ▼|
Long ago, Japan became divided after a cataclysmic civil war. When the war concluded, the nation was split into two factions; the Kantou and Kansai groups. As Kansai started to become dependent on Kantou, governing officials and police, began losing control of their hold on the Kansai region. This influx of instability is brought on by the presence of criminals known as Akudama. With the Akudama wreaking havoc across Japan, will tensions continue to escalate between the two factions, or will the Akudama present the nation with a new beginning under their rule?
The main draw for Akudama Drive is how it’s the brainchild of Kazutaka Kodaka, the series writer of the Danganronpa franchise. Because Akudama Drive is a product of Too Kyo Games, Kazutaka and other Spike Chunsoft alum also have their hands in the anime as one of the many projects they’ve been working on alongside the games Death Comes True and World’s End Club. It would be difficult to discuss the Akudama Drive without mentioning their direct involvement in the production because the premise of the series would sound standard if it wasn’t from them. Knowing how off-the-wall and bonkers that the Danganronpa games and anime went with tackling societal strife, it should make for an entertaining and wild experience to see how the Akudama wreak havoc on the power structures surrounding them. Similarly, knowing how the staff try to think outside of the box with the projects they work on, especially with some of the mind-bending craziness in the later Danganronpa games, it should be neat to see what kind of story they want to tell with Akudama Drive when it arrives this Fall.
|Akudama Drive Promotional Videos ▼|
Adachi Sakura (Kitou Akari) and Shimamura Hougetsu (Itou Miku) are two girls attending the same high school. Whether they’re chatting about their favorite shows and cooking, playing ping pong, or chilling together, they’re inseparable friends attached to the hip. But when Adachi dreams of kissing Shimamura, she starts to reflect on her relationship with her best friend. Although she doesn’t see her as anything aside from a friend, Adachi’s emotional attachment to Shimamura makes her possessive of her friend. If Adachi was the first thought in Shimamura’s mind whenever she heard the word “friend”, that should be fine enough, right? In this series, we see their friendship eventually blossom into something far more with every passing day.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a good shoujo-ai series come out. There have been so many that fall into the pitfall of either tying in high-stakes melodrama to the narrative or trying to reassure the audience that the couple is still straight-ish. What’s reassuring about Adachi no Shimamura is how lucrative the property is as a beloved series of yuri light novels. Starting in 2012, the series would spawn eight light novels and two manga adaptations. There’s some cautious optimism to be had as to whether it will be able to scratch that itch for a cute budding romance between these two, but we’ll find out when Adachi no Shimamura makes its debut this season.
|Adachi to Shimamura Promotional Videos ▼|
After a four-year breather, everyone’s favourite caffeine obsessed coffee shop cutie pies are back for round three. Based on the 4-koma manga series, Gochuumon stars five wholesome moeblobs who through their jobs at and visits to café Rabbit House live only for the wonder which is coffee. With Hoto Kokoa (Sakura Ayane) as the group’s excited and bubbly airhead, Kafuu Chino (Minase Inori) the cool realist, Tadeza Lize (Taneda Risa) the hard-headed aggressor, Ujimatsu Chiyo (Sato Satomi) the traditionalist, and Kirima Sharo (Uchida Maaya) as Miss Ordinary, every day is another day for fun, friendship, and the latest batch of coffee-related shenanigans. And with plenty of other cafes to explore in the idyllic town where they all live, none of these girls will be lacking in new things to do.
As far as cutesy slice-of-life goes, you don’t get cuter or more diabetes-inducing than Gochuumon. This series is quintessential moeblob, giving you everything you love (or hate) about the concept in one conveniently consumed (or should we say drunk?) package. While the studio has shifted this season now to Encourage Films over Sentai Filmworks, frankly I wouldn’t expect much to actually change: all cast and show director are reprising their earlier roles, and this is the sort of premise which takes quite a bit of deliberate effort to really run off the rails. Anyone not already in love with Gochuumon or similar fluffy and bubbly shows probably won’t find something capable of flipping opinions here (no matter how much café mascot Tippy might test things), but slice-of-life fans will certainly not want to pass this one by. When it comes to cute and wholesome this season, Gochuumon more than has you than covered.
|Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Bloom Promotional Videos ▼|
Narukami Youta (Hanae Natsuki) is celebrating his last summer vacation in high school before he has to prepare for entrance exams. However, the calm, melancholy summer he envisioned changes immediately when a child-like girl named Hina (Sakura Ayane) suddenly appears before him. Proclaiming herself as the “god of omniscience,” Hina announces that the world will end in 30 days. When Youta gets proof of her prophetic abilities, Hina decides immediately that staying at his home is the right course of action. With the end of the world looming over the horizon, Youta’s final summer is about to begin.
Kamisama ni Natta hi marks the triumphant return of Maeda Jun, the co-founder of Key and the original creator/scenario writer for a number of iconic visual novels. While he’s been involved with anime adaptations of Key’s visual novels, his most in-depth involvement in the script and creation of Angel Beats and Charlotte. After a series of health problems, it’s nice to see that him and Key are ready to helm another major project with most of the staff involved with Kamisama ni Natta hi. It’s especially reassuring that P.A. Works is on-board considering their familiarity with making some great anime with Key. The involvement of director Asai Yoshiyuki with a Key production might make some folks sceptical considering the mixed reaction from Charlotte, but the glory days of being amazed by Angel Beats make it difficult not to approach Kamisama ni Natta hi with a more optimistic approach. One way or another, Kamisama ni Natta hi will be sure to break our hearts and make us cry when it arrives this season.
|Kamisama ni Natta hi Promotional Videos ▼|
The year 2002 was dreadful for just about any reason you can think of, but it was an especially bad year for Shoutarou Aragaki (Namikawa Daisuke). Aragaki was a member of the men’s gymnastics team representing Japan until he became unable to perform as expected. No matter how much time and strenuous effort he devoted to training, his coach urged him to retire from gymnastics before his abilities declined even further. However, Aragaki’s fate changes dramatically due to a certain “encounter”.
MAPPA has been on a roll for these past four years. Each year since Yuri on Ice has come out has had at least a few anime from MAPPA that make a strong argument for being some of the best anime in recent years. At first, it was hard to gauge at first what the synopsis was getting at with a certain “encounter” highlighting Aragaki’s reignited passion to continue gymnastics. I was half-expecting the supernatural to occur, but seeing the trailer helped to solidify that this would be a story of inspiration, unity, and the drive we have to keep on keeping on when the going gets tough. It should help to inspire and lift hearts worldwide when Taiso Samurai sticks the landing this Fall.
|Taisou Samurai Promotional Videos ▼|
Brought to you by Production I.G. and led by director Nomura Kazuya (Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru, Ghost in the Shell 2015, Robotics;Notes, Sengoku Basara Two), is the adaptation of Ryousuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi’s Yuukoku no Moriarty. Also known as Moriarty the Patriot, the series’ backdrop is Britain during the late 19th Century. Amidst a time where social classes determine everything and nobility rule above the rest, a boy named William James Moriarty (Saitou Souma) dreams of a new world built from the destruction of the class system. Originally present as the antagonist in a handful of Arthur Conan Doyle’s works involving Sherlock Holmes, Yuukoku no Moriarty brings a new twist to the series’ original premise by focusing on Moriarty’s perspective and his reasons for becoming the world’s first “criminal consultant.”
From the Robert Downey Jr. movies to the BBC television series with Benedict Cumberbatch, there’s an innumerable amount of takes on Sherlock Holmes in recent years, and each one of them has portrayed the series and its characters in their own unique fashion. That said, I can’t remember the last time someone decided to flip everything by presenting things from the antagonist’s perspective instead, and it’s an interesting twist if I’ve ever seen one. Moriarty was equivalent to Sherlock in intellect after all, and seeing how he ended up as a criminal consultant could be an equally interesting tale in and of itself. Having read the few first chapters of the manga, there’s certainly promise in that regard, and the fact that the manga—now in its fourth year of publication—has inspired musicals, stage plays, and an official English release only makes things more promising. In a time where decent mystery series are few and far in between, I’d keep an eye out for this one if you’re a fan of the genre.
|Yuukoku no Moriarty Promotional Videos ▼|
The fourth dormitory of the Rat Production is a residency where talent goes to die. Although it is a designated living space for drop-out idols to stay in, a decision was made to demolish the dorm rooms unless a debt of one hundred million yen was paid off. All hope appears to be lost for occupants such as former child actor Sekino Roko (Kubota Risa), musician Nukui Hayu (Shiraishi Haruka), and model Maehara Nina (Kondo Reina). But at the same time the demolition plans were made, Sakura Ino (Natta Hiyori) made her grand debut in the dorm as a resident who always dreamed of being an idol. Through Ino’s ambition, she is able to gather Roko, Hayu, and Nina together to help her form a band and save the Rat Production dormitory from being knocked down.
The anime feels largely reminiscent of Comic Girls, the series about cute mangaka living together in a condemned dorm that eventually faces the risk of being torn down. But whereas that anime depicts the lives of girls trying to get their careers started, Ochikobore Fruit Tart is a comeback story where idols that never made the cut have to fight to get a second chance at fame. The art is extremely adorable so it feels like at the very least, Ochikobore Fruit Tart will succeed with flying colors at creating a cute moe anime. Whether it ends up being fluffy and inspirational or surprisingly funny will be determined when Ochikobore Fruit Tart takes the stage this Fall.
|Ochikobore Fruit Tart Promotional Videos ▼|
Velude Way is a district in Tokyo that’s notorious for the number of performers and theatrical groups that originate from there. However, one group known as the Mankai Company has seen far better days. What was once a prestigious all-male theater group is now down to one member and happens to be saddled with debt from yakuza loan sharks. Izumi Tachibana (Nazuka Kaori), the daughter of the theater’s owner and a former stage actress, takes it upon herself to rebuild the company to its former glory as the new owner and chief director. But first, she has to recruit enough talent, lead them down the path to success, and bring her father’s theater back into the spotlight.
As the sequel to A3! Season Spring & Summer and the adaptation of the A3!, viewers familiar with the franchise already have a good feel for what makes the series appealing. Interacting with a whole roster of attractive dudes sounds like a good premise for any property, especially if it’s helping them work towards a common goal of excelling at their respective hobbies and careers. For A3! Season Autumn & Winter, the anime should capture many hearts to see how far the new seasonal theater groups go in being able to restore the prestige of Tachibana’s theater company. Whether you’re a fan of stage acting or attractive guys, A3! Season Autumn & Winter sounds like a promising opportunity to see both in all of their glory.
|A3! SEASON AUTUMN & WINTER Promotional Videos ▼|
The Matsuno sextuplets are in a hell of a lot of trouble. By the end of the second season, they had to be resurrected after being shot straight into the depths of Hades. But even with another shot at living, there isn’t much of a life waiting for them on the other side. Season Three of Osomatsu-san follows the continued misery of the Matsuno brothers as the once precocious children of the beloved Osomatsu-kun franchise have grown up to be miserable NEETs. The Matsuno’s truly have their work cut out for them as their attempts to satiate their urges cause them to spread misery alongside their equally unscrupulous friends and foes. Will they finally get the drive to excel beyond their misfortune and make an honest living for themselves? Find out if Osomatsu-san’s third season will flip the script on the show’s dark comedic satire.
The success of the Osomatsu-san is a fascinating one. Creating a revival for an anime series from the Showa era is one thing, but being able to turn a major profit on turning a majority of the cast into scumbags adults is impressive to say the least. It was hilarious to see how the brothers were written now that they each had a more discernible personality based on their own selfish desires. Seeing these same characters happily promote events, be featured in stage plays, and show up on merchandise was also pretty surreal given the racy content of the anime and the uncouth nature of the brothers. As a fan of the Osomatsu-san anime, it’s a relief to see that it turned out to be popular enough to sustain itself for as long as it has and it’ll be neat to find out what they can do with the material with its third iteration.
|Osomatsu-san (2020) Promotional Videos ▼|
An adaptation of KLab’s popular 2019 mobile MMORPG, Magatsu Wahrheit takes place in the sprawling Wahrheit Empire once devastated by a powerful monster summoned by ten so-called “Lights”. Although Wahrheit and the surrounding world somewhat recovered from the calamity, it is hypothesized the Lights will return to finish what they started and wipe out the remnants of humanity. Thrust into these uncertain times are the shy goods transporter Imunael (Abe Atsushi) and the new Wahrheit military recruit Leocadio (Ono Yuuki), who after encountering each other during a weapons smuggling attempt gone awry, quickly find themselves at the centre of a plot running far deeper than simple profiteering. As both kids will soon discover, the Lights are far from the only danger to the world of humanity.
Yes, that’s right boys and girls, we have another mobile game adaptation on our hands—and funnily enough, it might not be all that bad. While all the usual caveats surrounding these shows remain (game mechanics are always a joy to adapt to TV), Magatsu Wahrheit features a fairly consistent conspiracy-laced fantasy story which should preclude a lot of the narrative issues often plaguing similar adaptations and series—i.e. Fairy Gone. Couple this with big gun Hosoda Naoto (Hataraku Maou-sama!, Mirai Nikki) pulling both director and series composition duty alongside veteran Yokoyama Masaru on soundtrack and there’s a good chance that pleasant surprise will dominate the proceedings over aggravating faceplant. I’d hesitate to think Magatsu Wahrheit will wind up doing anything spectacular right now mind you, but with the cast and crew involved it would certainly be wrong to count this one out before it’s had a chance to show what it’s made of.
Following the acclaimed and eagerly awaited season back in spring 2019, Shingeki no Kyojin is here to finally finish what it began some eight years prior. From the wildly popular manga by Isayama Hajime, SnK tells the tale of a humanity driven into interconnected walled cities by perpetual fear of man-eating Titans. Having miraculously survived for over a century against the monstrous foes, human civilization suddenly faces annihilation after the arrival of one Colossal Titan upsets its precarious balance. In the midst of the chaos, two children—Eren Jaeger (Kaji Yuki) and Mikasa Ackerman (Ishikawa Yui)—emerge into the centre of humanity’s struggle, joining the military’s Survey Corps to help explore and reclaim the land outside of the walls. Involved in everything from hidden conspiracies to political revolution during their military service, Eren and Mikasa now face their biggest test: the truth. Having now learned of the origins of the Titans and what exactly lies beyond their ensconced world, it will take every ounce of their strength for these kids to finally realize the peace they have been desperately yearning for.
Well boys and girls, it’s finally here: the finale of the 2010’s arguably biggest blockbuster anime. SnK certainly has had a wild ride over the years, going from first season critical acclaim to universally loathed break and largely unimpressive sequel before returning to tempered fame with its 2019 continuation. Every anime fan undeniably knows where they stand with this franchise by now, and with its great mystery now revealed and in the rear-view mirror, such entrenched opinions will inevitably colour the final arc of this epic story. Given show swamped MAPPA has been newly charged with animation duties there’s a good deal of trepidation surrounding what we’ll get (understandably), however considering seasoned Dorohedoro and Kakegurui director Hayahsi Yuuichirou is overseeing things alongside returning cast I wouldn’t be too concerned in the end. No matter the staff shakeups, no matter the collective uncertainty, if you love everything SnK I guarantee you won’t be disappointed, because with the series stakes now truly on a whole other level, this is one show set to not only define this anime season, but undoubtably this entire year.
|03/10||Rail Romanesque | レヱル・ロマネスク
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
|06/10||One Room: Third Season | One Room サードシーズン
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
|08/10||Guraburu! | ぐらぶるっ!
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
|08/26||Granblue Fantasy The Animation Season 2 Extra 2
グランブルーファンタジー The Animation Season 2 ジータ篇：Extra 2
|Bundled w/ BD/DVD Vol. 7.|
|08/27||Gekijouban Gundam G no Reconguista 2
劇場版 ガンダム Ｇのレコンギスタ Ⅱ ベルリ 撃進
|08/27||Ta ga Tame no Alchemist (For Whom the Alchemist Exists)
|08/28||Tenchi Muyou! Ryououki 5th Season | 天地無用! 魎皇鬼 第伍期
|BD/DVD Release. OVA 3 of 6.|
|09/02||Ore wo Suki nano wa Omae dake ka yo: Oretachi no Game Set
|09/10||Chuan Shu Zijiu Zhinan (Scumbag System) | 穿书自救指南
|Bundled w/ BD/DVD Vol 6.
|09/17||Seitokai Yakuindomo* OVA | 生徒会役員共* OVA
|OVA 10 of 10.|
|09/18||Golden Kamuy 2nd Season OVA | ゴールデンカムイ OVA
|Bundled w/ Manga Vol. 23. OVA 3 of 3.|
|09/23||Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Fine | 冴えない彼女の育てかた Fine
|09/25||Made in Abyss Movie 3: Fukaki Tamashii no Reimei | 劇場版メイドインアビス 深き魂の黎明
|10/02||BURN THE WITCH | ストライク・ザ・ブラッド IV
|Amazon Prime (Asia), Crunchyroll (Global)|
|10/09||Strike the Blood IV
|OVA 5 of 12.|
|10/25||Toji no Miko: Kizamishi Issen no Tomoshibi OVA
刀使ノ巫女 刻みし一閃の燈火 OVA
|OVA 1 of 2.|
|10/28||High School Fleet Movie | 劇場版ハイスクール・フリート
|11/04||Dokyuu Hentai HxEros OVA | ド級編隊エグゼロス OVA
|Bundled w/ Manga Vol. 11.|
|11/27||Tenchi Muyou! Ryououki 5th Season | 天地無用! 魎皇鬼 第伍期
|BD/DVD Release. OVA 4 of 6.|
|11/27||Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken OVA
|Bundled w/ Manga Vol. 16. OVA 3 of 3.|
|11/29||Toji no Miko: Kizamishi Issen no Tomoshibi OVA
刀使ノ巫女 刻みし一閃の燈火 OVA
|OVA 2 of 2.|
|Fall 2020||Eden | エデン
|Fall 2020||Mo Du Zhe (Silent Reader) | 默读者
With the world still in the throes of Corona-chan and economic chaos (not to mention American election season, oh boy), it’s hard not rushing to anime as a needed escape, and the good news is this season looks well-set to give us something new to dig our teeth into. While the usual concerns of stagnation and devolution rightfully remain, there’s honestly quite a few shows, original and sequels both, which look very interesting, and several more with the potential to easily exceed audience expectations. Or, well, at least if production schedules hold true. Honestly anything is possible for anime at this point, but after the hell of spring and a thoroughly lackluster summer, I’ll hold out hope fall is the change needed to start righting the anime ship and giving us once again some fantastic stories and entertainment. And speaking of what might wind up being fantastic, onto our Excitement Levels!
That’s right, we’ll be continuing with our now-customary Excitement Levels, which includes four main levels plus Established for special cases. Our goal is to make it easier to use the top and bottom of the scale, and to take away the incentive to hedge our bets—after all, we’re not saying these shows will be good or bad, we’re just saying how excited we are. Exciting things can be flawed, and unambitious things can be fun! Hopefully this guide will help those of you with limited time understand which shows to try first, based on our preliminary examination of each show’s staff, seiyuu, and source material. Failing that, it’ll give you another reason to laugh when we get hyped up about a show that ends up failing down the stretch.
As usual, these levels were arrived at by our newly updated (and still shady) “Excitement Council” of Zephyr, Guardian Enzo, and
baby kouhei newest member Zaiden. While we’ve gone to great lengths to consider multiple viewpoints and not get swept away by our own proclivities, these aren’t predictions, and shouldn’t be taken as such. Take these with the appropriate amount of salt.
Note: Lists are sorted in alphabetical order.
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.
High Excitement: Golden Kamuy 3
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.
- Optimistic Excitement: Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken (2020), Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Darou ka III, Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Bloom, Hanyo no Yashahime, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (2020), Ikebukuro West Gate Park, Kamisama ni Natta hi, Kimi to Boku no Saigo no Senjou, Aruiwa Sekai ga Hajimaru Seisen, Taiso Samurai, Tonikaku Kawaii, Yuukoku no Moriarty
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.
- Average Excitement: 100-man no Inochi no Ue ni Ore wa Tatte Iru, Adachi to Shimamura, Akudama Drive, Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle – Rhyme Anima, Jujutsu Kaisen, Kami-tachi ni Hirowareta Otoko, King’s Raid: Ishi wo Tsugumono-tachi, Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, Majo no Tabitabi, Maoujou de Oyasumi, Noblesse, Ochikobore Fruit Tart, Senyoku no Sigrdrifa
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.
- Limited Excitement: Assault Lily: Bouquet, Iwa Kakeru! Sport Climbing Girls, Maesetsu!, Munou na Nana, Tsukiuta. The Animation 2
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.