I loved autumn as a school kid because signified a return to school, where I could finally see my friends again after one summer apart. Strange child. I know, I know. It’s crazy to think some of these younger school kids have not seen their classmates in person across the better part of two years. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes. Some of them have possibly never seen their classmates in person at all! For me, I’d definitely go back to school and talk about all the upcoming anime excitedly with my dearest friends. Like so.

This season Kimetsu no Yaiba is without question the headline grabber as Tanjirou, Nezuko and friends return with one of the best arcs in the Red Light District. The second season of 86 will certainly go from strength to strength as Vladilena and Shinei Nouzen seek to endure through the futility of warfare, the inhumanity of racism, and systematic oppression in one of the most character-driven stories of modern anime. Meanwhile the isekai progenitor Mushoku Tensei picks up from where it leaves off as we set off on a transformative journey of a lifetime, watching Rudeus Greyrat overcome his failings to finally become human through fantastical trials of life and death. I have a feeling people are going to fall in love with Komi-san wa, Komyushou Desu, who is the epitome of shy and precious, as the earnest Tadano-kun yearns after her (Justice for Manbagi!), while Digimon Ghost Game pivots to capitalise on a rising trend in the youkai genre to provide continuity to their recent reboot. It might not be the next Gundam that fans were waiting for, but Kyoukai Senki is the latest mecha offering to come out of Sunrise as critically acclaimed Muv-Luv Alternative finally receives an anime adaptation. Finally, we cannot forget the potential dark horses in Ousama Ranking and Deep Insanity: the Lost Child to watch out for.

The world’s been in a pretty strange place. But as can be seen, at least our regular consignment of seasonal anime is still on the way. Seeing how everything is transient, we may as well enjoy these fleeting moments while they last. Welcome to Random Curiosity’s Fall Preview 2021!

As is tradition now our Excitement Levels previously introduced shall 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, FJ Freeman, Gabie, Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Princess Usagi, Miss Simplice, Takaii, Yaseen Hijazi, Zaiden (yours truly), 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, seem to be oriented toward young children, or of late, shows being exclusively batch released through Netflix (refer to the OVA section for mentions on these). Likewise, any 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 if we happened to miss something major, don’t hesitate to poke us!

Above all else, however, let me take this chance for a big thank you to the Random Curiosity team for this season’s preview. Life is hectic at the best of times (even while the world is starting to look up!), and if not for the help of everyone this one definitely would have strained quite a few nerves – so the kudos are plentiful and the thanks persistent. Also remember if in need of some differing perspectives to check out the LiA Fall preview for a second opinion on many of these shows.

Finally, and as always, many thanks to the entire Random Curiosity community. Whether you read every post or only a handful, whether you’re involved with and/or contribute to our Discord channel, or simply just lurk the site and stop by for the seasonal preview roundup, it’s your time, attention, and company which keep us going. Here’s to another fun season of anime for us to enjoy together!

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. Series being streamed are excluded and series lacking confirmed air times are excluded until further airing info is released.

* Jump to OVA/Movies.

Heike Monogatari | 平家物語
The Heike Story Top
Animation: Science Saru Premiere: September 16th, 2021
Genre: Historical, Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Web streaming
Episodes: Station: Funimation
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @heike_anime or #山田尚子

Preview by Guardian Enzo

Editor’s Note: Premieres early through Funimation and bilibili broadcast. Regular release scheduled for winter 2022.

Heike Monogatari wasn’t even announced until after the first draft of my season preview was written. But in one fell swoop it transformed the intrigue level of what looked like a pretty dull season. There are so many interesting angles attached to this story that it’s hard to know where to begin. You have a series streaming on Funimation before it airs in Japan (though it will stream locally this season too). There’s the recent controversy regarding overwork and animator abuse at Science SARU, which this announcement only seems to exacerbate. And there’s director Yamada Naoko, a Kyoto Animation legend, leaving that hollowed studio to work with a new one.

It’s that last angle which has commanded the most attention, unsurprisingly. But as big a story as that is, for me the headline is Heike Monogatari itself, because this greatest of the Japanese classics is a story which I hold in the highest possible esteem.

Maybe a year ago I tweeted my puzzlement that this gripping saga that’s such a part of Japanese culture had never received a proper adaptation in anime or even manga form. The Tale of the Heike is a collection of oral fables, passed down by the (usually blind) Biwa Houshi monastic storytellers, chronicling the Genpei War between the Taira (Heike is another reading for the Kanji) and Minamoto clans. Cast as Buddhist parables, these stories were told as musical chants by the monks for decades before being compiled in written form in the 14th Century.

That’s all well and good. And make no mistake, this anime has a very strong staff – in addition to Yamada, the venerable Yoshida Reiko is writing the scripts. My worry – as it always was whenever I thought about this day – is that rather that a proper adaptation we’d get an “inspired by” series. And that looks like what this show is – its central conceit a completely original character (a little girl – historically all the Biwa Houshi were men) and subplot to tie the tales together. Frankly, Heike Monogatari doesn’t need any of that – it’s a magnificent and heartbreaking work that deserves at least one faithful anime adaptation.

This series doesn’t look like it, and that makes me very sad. It may in fact end up being great, but when you contemporize this of all works to appeal to a modern audience, I go in with a significant level of skepticism – I can think of few stories less in need of it. But that is what it is, and whatever this show turns out to be, it’s the closest thing Heike Monogatari has ever gotten to a real adaptation. That makes it the most interesting new anime prospect in a long time, one with a gaping chasm between floor and ceiling that few prospects have ever been able to match.

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Princess Usagi, Zaiden Excitement Level: High
Heike Monogatari Promotional Videos ▼

Star Wars: Visions | スター・ウォーズ:ビジョンズTop
Animation: Geno Studio, Kamikaze Douga, Kinema Citrus, Production I.G, Science Saru, Studio Colorido, and Trigger Premiere: September 22, 2021
Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Web release
Episodes: 9 Station: Disney+
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @Disney or #StarWarsVisions

Preview by Gabie

フォースと共にあらんことを! Foosu to tomo ni aran koto o! Over forty years ago, a young George Lucas found marvel and fascination in the world of Kurosawa Akira and the History of the Samurai. And from a rich compost of inspirations and ideas, the space opera Star Wars was born. In the following years, thousands and thousands of fans, from all over the world would carry in their hearts the journey of the Skywalkers and some would even create works of their own. Since George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney, there’s been mixed reactions to the expansion of the cinematic universe, and with reason, the last trilogy was pretty awful–but thanks to guys like Dave Filoni and Jon Fraveau, not all hope was lost. So imagine the collective surprise when they announced an anime series, then double that with the list of studios involved with the project and a mindblowing PV.

The series consists of nine short films produced by six prominent studios: Kamikaze Douga (The Duel), Twin Engine/Geno Studio (Lop and Ochō), Twin Engine/Studio Colorido (Tatooine Rhapsody), Trigger (The Twins & The Elder), Kinema Citrus (The Village Bride), Science SARU (Akakiri & T0-B1) and Production I.G (The Ninth Jedi). Part of what makes this project seem like it’ll be a hit is how much love the actual studios hold for the Star Wars lore and universe, how much each director has been personally inspired. The fact that they were given a wide creative berth to explore their own ideas certainly rings all the right bells. Star Wars: Visions is a much anticipated adaptation and it can set an amazing precedent for our fandom.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, FJ Freeman, Gabie, Pancakes, Princess Usagi, Zaiden Excitement Level: High
Star Wars: Visions Promotional Videos ▼

Blue Period | ブルーピリオドTop
Animation: Seven Arcs Premiere: September 25th, 2021
Genre: Drama, School Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:25
Episodes: Station: Netflix
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @blueperiod_PR or #ブルーピリオド

Preview by Guardian Enzo

Editor’s Note: Premieres early through Netflix Japan. Regular airing via TBS at listed time starting on October 1st.

There are no sure things in manga adaptation, but Blue Period comes about as close as any. Yamaguchi Tsubasa’s manga is almost universally praised, and with good reason. The story of a “normal” kid who longs to find an outlet for who he really is and does so in art, Blue Period touches on many themes with intelligence and subtlety. I love good stories about the creative process, and this definitely qualifies as one. In general the number of seinen adaptations we get these days is depressingly small – when it comes to the demographics elite works, evern smaller. Blue Period getting an adaptation is against the run of play, to be sure.

I wish Blue Period had been paired with a truly great anime director, but in Masunari Koji it has a very good one with a wealth of experience. And writer Yoshida Reiko is one of the surest hands in the trade. Together that should be all it needs to soar, really. The only caveats – as is so often the case – are the series’ length, and the fact that this adaptation comes quite early (the manga has 10 volumes though, so I’m not crazy worried about that). A one-cour adaptation would only give the merest teaser of how good this series is, and as with any ongoing series even it gets two cours it has to deal with the matter of a stopping point. In the end, though, it would be a surprise if Blue Period isn’t fall’s best new series.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, FJ Freeman, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Optimistic
Blue Period Promotional Videos ▼

Hanma Baki: Son of Ogre | 範馬刃牙 SON OF OGRETop
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: September 30th, 2021
Genre: Action Airtime (GMT+9): Web release
Episodes: 12 Station: Netflix
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @baki_anime or #バキ

Preview by Yaseen Hijazi

The fourth part of the iconic Baki series is on its way to Netflix! This next installment of everyone’s favorite grappling anime is back, this time taking place in the USA’s “Black Pentagon” in Arizona, an exclusive prison to the most dangerous criminals in America. Baki Hanma (Nobunaga Shimazaki) has now reached a level of power and technique to rival his father, the strongest creature on Earth, Yuujiro Hanma (Akia Ootsuka). However, he decides to get one level stronger before taking on his father, willingly imprisoning himself in the Black Pentagon where he will go up against the most extraordinary fighters in the country. Baki will need to summon his strength and harness his abilities in order to reach the final boss, Biscuit Oliva (Houchuu Ootsuka) who goes by the title of “Mr. Unchained.” Based on Mr. Universe and three-time Mr. Olympia Sergio Oliva, Mr. Unchained is a US assassin who once crossed paths with the legendary Yuujito Hanma. Indeed, he is hyped up to be Baki’s toughest opponent yet, possessing an iron body of muscle that is believed to be invulnerable to anything.

Once again brought to you by TMS Entertainment, this season is sure to bring all the explosive punching, kicking, and grappling we all know and love. Indeed the UFC of anime, Baki promises fight sequences and choreography that any fan of mixed martial arts can appreciate and get onboard with. The journey to becoming the best continues with this latest iteration of the franchise, and the opponents at hand are stronger, meaner, and wackier than ever! There’s no doubt that it’s going to be the fighting anime of the season, so definitely keep an eye out for this iconic series during your next Netflix and chill session. Now with the plot thickening and that final showdown between father and son fast approaching, there has never been a better time to get on the Baki train than this anime season.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Established
Megaton-kyuu Musashi | メガトン級ムサシTop
Animation: OLM Premiere: October 1st, 2021
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @musashi_project or #メガトン級ムサシ

Preview by Pancakes

For the residents of Ixia life couldn’t be better. All whims taken care of, nary a threat in sight, it’s absolute perfection – and also a false front. In truth Ixia is a shelter, one of humanity’s few remaining refuges after the extraterrestrial Dracter came from space, eradicated over 99% of the human race, and proceeded to drill a massive hole into the Earth and terraform it to suit their needs. The denizens of Ixia have had their minds wiped to forget this past, except for a cadre of “Chosen Ones”, Ixians selected to learn the truth and fight to keep their homes safe and sound. Each Chosen One is trained to fight the Dracter in giant machines called Rogues, and today, after a prolonged period of delay, a new Chosen One is finally set to make their appearance.

Well, I have no idea what we did to deserve so much mecha at once, but I shall gladly take it all. Unlike fellow season-mate Kyoukai Senki, MkM is your post-apocalypse take on the genre: mix equal parts TTGL and Franxx, throw in some Space Battleship Yamato for thematic spice, and darling you’ve got your adventure set. Or in other words, everything you’ve seen (and either love or hate) before, just now in a brand-new wrapping. The main caveat here will be the intended tone; while ostensibly dark in outlook, MkM is also the latest pet project of Level-5’s Hino Akihiro (Danball Senki, Inazuma Eleven) best known for his work on children’s series and games. It’s not to say MkM won’t tilt towards more mature themes and audiences of course, but it’s probably best thinking this will trend more kid-friendly Gundam than Evangelion for the moment. It’s anyone’s guess just what kind of show we get here in the end, but at minimum MkM is one series mecha and sci-fi fans will want to firmly keep on their autumn radar.

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Megaton-kyuu Musashi Promotional Videos ▼

Selection Project | SELECTION PROJECTTop
Animation: Doga Kobo Premiere: October 1st, 2021
Genre: Musical Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:00
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @pj_selection or #セレプロ

Preview by Choya

“Selection Project” is a national show that gives girls across Japan the opportunity to break into the idol industry. One of the show’s success stories is legendary idol Akari Amazawa (Hayami Saori), whose singing voice gave Suzune Miyama (Yano Hinaki) the strength to audition. Although Suzune has spent most of her childhood sick and weak, she is inspired to follow in Akari’s footsteps. In her last summer of junior high, she decides to challenge the “Selection Project” alongside a number of other hopeful girls. Of the thousands of candidates who all have strong emotions, accumulated efforts, and extraordinary charm only nine are selected. Now, the hot and harsh “Audition Battle” of the girls begins to make their dreams come true.

Kadokawa’s Idol x Audition x Reality Show multimedia project gave us a taste of what’s to come with the manga adaptation that began in July 2021. But one detail that makes Selection Project potentially worthwhile is the involvement of studio Doga Kobo. Their penchant for creating entertaining slice-of-life anime makes them an interesting, promising choice to develop an idol anime. Director Hiramaki Daisuke also has a solid record with Doga Kobo as the head of two comfy anime that thrive on their cozy atmosphere and their light pastel art style. Although the premise is pretty straightforward, it should be neat to see whether this will be an enjoyable show about the girls giving it their all or an intense drama that encapsulates the pressure it takes to push yourself to the very top. In either case, Selection Project aims to dazzle your screens when it arrives this Fall.

Watching This: Choya Excitement Level: Average
Selection Project Promotional Videos ▼

Isekai Shokudou 2 | 異世界食堂2
Restaurant to Another World 2 Top
Animation: OLM Premiere: October 1st, 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:38
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @nekoya_PR or #異世界食堂

Preview by Zaiden

Isekai Shokudou is a series of individual stories of unique patrons at an unassuming Japanese eatery that has a hidden surprise up its sleeve. Because I wouldn’t be able to put it better myself, here’s how Passerby painted the scene back in the days. With a respectable fifty-year history, Nekoya has garnered a steady clientèle of office workers looking for affordable and appetising food. There, at the glazed oak tables amid the dim mood lighting, you can indulge in dinner with class, open a bottle from the chef’s personal cellar, and have a pleasant chat with the friendly staff. If you visit on a Saturday, though, Nekoya’s door will not open. It’s closed for business. But rumour has it that Nekoya still serves on those days, just to a different set of customers. For the restaurant sits not only on the corner of the shopping district, but on the corner between worlds. And on Saturdays Nekoya prepares a special menu—for diners from lands beyond imagination, from all walks of life, each with their own story to tell.

Season 1 ended on a huge plot twist. Turns out we were actually experiencing a reverse isekai all along with the Head Chef of Nekoya, Tenshuu (Suwabe Junichi), actually being the grandson of the Legendary Hero who people believed had died in the final battle against the Demon King. Only she actually got teleported to Earth where she settled down, lived out a normal life and presided as matron over a wonderful family. When I blogged this show, every item of food in every episode looked tantalisingly delicious. Sure, the animation might have been stilted at times and people shouldn’t expect anything too exciting. But Silver Link put up a weekly fare of comfy food that was consistently uplifting and enjoyable to the point I was inspired to improve my cooking. With the same director and multiple animation staff making their return, I expect a similar product to before and look forwards to resuming my weekly cooking traditions once more when I take up the reins for Season 2.

Watching This: Choya, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Isekai Shokudou 2 Promotional Videos ▼

Yakunara Mug Cup mo Niban Kama | やくならマグカップも 二番窯
Let’s Make a Mug Too Top
Animation: Nippon Animation Premiere: October 1st, 2021
Genre: Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:55
Episodes: 12 Station: CBC
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @yakumo_project or #田中美海

Preview by FJ Freeman

Based on and around the city of Tajimi, located in the south part of the Gifu Prefecture a short distance away from Nagoya. A region most famous for its pottery produce and ceramic art foundations tailored around sculptures using Mino earthenware. The abundance of this mineral has made Tajimi the exact location where people come to try their hand at making pottery. Toyokawa Himeno (Tanaka Minami) moves to a shopping district within Tajimi and is quickly swept to a new world of Mino earthenware. She makes friends along the way and meets the townsfolk, making buddies with them and taking her sweet time, learning about the culture and appreciating the regional pottery that molds Tajimi’s history of rich ceramic arts.

Himeno’s dad named Tokishirou Toyokawa (Ishikawa Kaito) runs a coffee shop where they serve drinks in cute homemade mugs, either made by the locals or the shop owners themselves. Consequently, Himeno attends her mom’s alma mater and very quickly joins the same club. The colorful cast of characters that appear around her brings life and piquancy to the series. There’s Aoki Tooko (Honizumi Rina), the silent leader of the group, Kukri Mika (Serizawa Yuu), the resident genki-girl who likes cute stuff and sweets, and Naruse Naoko (Wakai Yuuki) who serves as the supporting friend.

Sure this anime falls within the very familiar trend of creating anime just to promote tourism within a certain region of Japan, that brings life and culture to the city. The anime has a companion live-action show where the Seiju’s visit a certain coffee place featured prominently in the anime and try out sweets or other delicacies. At the same time, the voice actors are invited to try their hand at pottery. But its firm position as a daily life school show is what sets the program apart from the other tourist traps anime. the presence of the other girls keeps the show grounded and ultimately helps it be both an informative display about Tajimi and a fun slice-of-life about girls that just want to make pottery.

Watching This: FJ Freeman Excitement Level: Limited
Yakunara Mug Cup mo Niban Kama Promotional Videos ▼

Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Dai Mankai no Shou | 結城友奈は勇者である -大満開の章-
Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter Top
Animation: Studio Gokumi Premiere: October 1st, 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Magical Girl Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:55
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS / TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @anime_yukiyuna or #yuyuyu

Preview by Gabie

Fans of the Yuuki Yuuna series rejoice in their confusion as the third installment of the series hits the screens this fall. After the Hero Arc, when the story reached a satisfactory conclusion, there no longer seemed to be any more tales to tell, but alas! The lovely ladies of Sanshu Middle School’s Hero Club are back in business for some more… Suffering? An epilogue of sorts? Perhaps a mix of both? Fans will have to embark on this new journey to find out. For newcomers with an interest in boarding this ship, the Yuuki Yuuna series follows the lives of Mahou Shoujo who split their lives fighting evil forces, doing kid shows and school. I have not personally seen much of the series, but fans certainly love and adore how it mixes Slice of Life elements with the magical action.

Back in this new production are returning director Kishi Seiji (Asobi Asobase), writer Uezu Makoto (Konosuba), BUNBUN (Sword Art Online series) with original character design, and Okabe Keiichi’s studio MONACA with the musical score, all previously involved with the Yuuki Yuuna series. Hopefully this continuation will be a positive addition to the lore!

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Established
Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Dai Mankai no Shou Promotional Videos ▼

Hanyou no Yashahime: Sengoku Otogizoushi (2021) | 半妖の夜叉姫 -戦国御伽草子- (2021)
Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon The Second Act Top
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: October 2nd, 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 17:30
Episodes: Station: Yomiuri TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @hanyo_yashahime or #半妖の夜叉姫

Preview by Choya

After years of being separated and being cast into the modern era, Sesshomaru’s daughter Towa (Matsumoto Sara) is reuinted with her sister Setsuna (Komatsu Mikako). The reunion is bittersweet though as Setsuna’s memories of her past were taken from her, kicking off the sisters’ quest to regain her long-forgotten past. They are joined by Inuyasha’s daughter Moroha (Tadokoro Azusa), a spunky scavenger who helps the two find resources and bounties to fight along the way. The last season ended with Towa and Moroha kick-starting their new journey without Setsuna, but with Season 02 on the horizon, perhaps there will be a possibility of seeing more of Setsuna in the future.

The kindest thing you could say about Yashahime is that it helped extend the olive branch towards newer, younger viewers who would be entertained by the adventures of Sesshomaru and Inuyasha’s daughters. For newbies, it provides them with a rollicking adventure alongside a cast of strong, energetic girls as they journey across the feudal era. Older fans will have a harder time swallowing many of the decisions the show made towards altering the source material so that Inuyasha, Kagome, and Sesshomaru are as distant as can be. Because the material you’re getting with Yashahime is firmly skewed towards a younger demographic, the tone of the show steers towards Saturday morning cartoon territory with its embrace of campier villains and a cheerier atmosphere. It might not be the InuYasha sequel that fans were clamoring for, but if you take callbacks to the older series with a grain of salt and embrace some of the fanservice from the old InuYasha, Yashahime’s second season should be an entertaining action show to give a spin if you’re looking for some early morning demon-slaying.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Average
Hanyou no Yashahime: Sengoku Otogizoushi (2021) Promotional Videos ▼

86 (2021) | 86 – EIGHTY-SIX (2021)Top
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: October 2nd
Genre: Action, Sci-fi Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @anime_eightysix or #エイティシックス

Preview by Zephyr

Following its well-received debut in spring 2021, Eighty Six returns for a second go around with A-1 Pictures at the helm and the cast and staff reprising their roles once more. The series focuses on an ongoing “bloodless war” between the unmanned weapons of the Republic of San Magnolia and autonomous Legion of the Giadian Empire. Hidden behind the propaganda is the truth that the Republic’s weapons are actually piloted by people known as the “Eighty Six”. Composed of immigrants and those different from the silver haired Alba’s leading the Republic, they became scapegoats early in the conflict and were ostracized. Now interned in a secret eighty sixth district outside the protective walls of the Republic, they are treated as less than human and forced to fight. The first season saw the arrival of Major Vladilena Milize (Ikumi Hasegawa) as the newest remote handler of the Spearhead Squadron, led by Shin the “Undertaker” (Chiba Shouya). Following a series of successful sorties and the squad’s imminent release from the military due to days served, Spearhead Squadron is suddenly given a special order to traverse deep into Legion controlled territory. The second season will reveal the fate of the Spearhead Squadron as they bid farewell to the Major and embark on what could be their final operation.

Having written the preview for the series’ first season, I’m glad to say that Eighty Six ended up meeting the expectations I had for it. The series was a shining example of how a faithful adaptation should be done, with great care taken to ensure that virtually everything from the light novel’s first volume carried over with little alteration. What resulted was an emotional rollercoaster powered by better than expected CG, great action scenes, a superb soundtrack by Sawano Hiroyuki, and just enough downtime to get you invested in the characters. Ending the first season on the cliffhanger was unfortunate, but the fact that many are eager to see how things end up shows just how well the series drew in its viewers, and if my quick glimpse into the light novel’s second volume is any indication—the series will only continue to impress. With the same cast, staff, and studio returning, Eighty Six’s second season is an easy recommendation if you’re into military Sci-Fi dramas or just want an above average series to watch in general.

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Pancakes, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Optimistic
86 (2021) Promotional Videos ▼

Muteking the Dancing Hero | MUTEKING THE DANCING HERO Top
Animation: Tatsunoko Production Premiere: October 2nd, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:26
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Osaka
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @MUTEKING2021 or #MUTEKING

Preview by Gabie

Last night a DJ saved my life with a song! Welcome to Neo San Francisco, lovechild. In this sparkling city you gotta listen up to your local DJ, you better hear what he’s got to say. Kind-hearted newcomer Muteki does just that and finds himself thrust into the role of the dancing hero Muteking, to save this beautiful city from the threat of alien monsters! Muteki and his friend and sidekick DJ fight with groove and melody, but unbeknownst to them, a much darker threat lurks in the shadows, hidden away from the bright lights. What perils await humanity? Can these heroes prevent calamity from striking?!

Directed by oldtimers Takahashi Ryousuke and Sasagawa Hiroshi, MUTEKING THE Dancing HERO’s stage was inspired by 80’s San Francisco and features Mashiro Kentarou as Muteki (in his second role) and Eguchi Takuya as DJ. The show promises a colorful and very musical adventure with a touch of humorous growth and camaraderie. In a joint production between Victor Entertainment and upcoming Smile Company, it sounds intriguing and charming enough to give it a go.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Gabie, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Limited
Muteking the Dancing Hero Promotional Videos ▼

Digimon Ghost Game | デジモンゴーストゲームTop
Animation: Toei Animation Premiere: October 3rd, 2021
Genre: Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 09:00
Episodes: Station: Fuji TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @digimon_tv or #digimon

Preview by FJ Freeman

It’s the near future, new technology has been developed that functions only on social media, and rumors have been circulating around the SNS that strange phenomena of unknown authenticity termed Hologram Ghosts. First-year junior high school student Hiro Amanokawa (Tamura Mutsumi) one day suddenly activates a mysterious device left by his father called a Digivice, resulting in an unknown creature appearing that can’t be seen by the normal person. A Digimon named Gammamon (Sawashiro Miyuki). Since that fateful day Hiro met his companion Digimon life has never been the same. Suddenly a mouth-stitched man appears with an MO to steal human time. There’s also a mysterious “Mummy Man” who wanders around every night kidnapping people. Believed to be Hologram Ghosts, these people are a danger to everyone, and only Hiro, Gammamon, and Digimon can stop them.

A reboot or a completely new series set in the Digimon Universe, whichever the case here Ghost Game is taking a different approach to its storytelling and worldbuilding. Digimon has been evolving with the times and adapting its narrative to create new and unique premises that still avid to the original lore and story. There’s still the other world where Digimon reside, we still have the Digivices and the humans who accompany the digital creatures. It’s everything old, and yet everything new; this season join Hiro as he ventures into a new world of intrigue and mystery, and together with his friends go on an adventure to try and solve the case of the Ghost Game!

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Pancakes Excitement Level: Optimistic
Digimon Ghost Game Promotional Videos ▼

Mieruko-chan | 見える子ちゃんTop
Animation: Passione Premiere: October 3rd, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Horror Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:00
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @mierukochan_PR or #見える子ちゃん

Preview by Miss Simplice

Right on time for the fall season comes horror-comedy Mieruko-chan, a series about regular high school girl Yotsuya Miko (Amamiya Sora) and her day to day life. One catch though, she can see ghosts and spirits lurking her community. While Miko may be able to see the monsters, it’s her seemingly placid composure that elevates the horror to comedy. She tries with all her might to ignore what she sees trying to live her best high school days alongside her best friend Yurikawa Hana (Hondo Kaede) but not without its consequences.

I remember the first time I encountered horror in anime with Umineko no Naku Koro ni. Little did I know it would evoke the same feelings of fear and anxiety I get when I watch a live-action horror. Unlike that nightmare inducing series, this one promises to include some comedic relief alongside its darker themes. The original manga, initially serialized on the ComicWalker website in November 2018, has been extremely well received growing a loyal community of readers. The anime will be releasing early October, right on time for the season of horror here in North America. If you’re into the genre, I’d add this to your watch list for the season or alternatively, give the manga a read as it’s not extremely long to get through.

Watching This: Choya, FJ Freeman Excitement Level: Average
Mieruko-chan Promotional Videos ▼

Sankaku Mado no Sotogawa wa Yoru | さんかく窓の外側は夜
The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Top
Animation: Zero-G Premiere: October 3rd, 2021
Genre: Supernatural, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @sankakumado_PR or #さんかく窓の外側は夜

Preview by Princess Usagi

The things that go bump in the night-are they the ghosts or our protagonists up to some after-work fun? For Sankaku Mado no Sotogawa wa Yoru the answer could be both, as this show is both supernatural and Boys’ Love! Many protagonists that have the gift of supernatural sight often feel it to be a curse and Mikado Kosuke (Shimazaki Nobunaga) is no different. Who better for him to pair up with than someone to dispel those beasties-the exorcist, Hiyakawa Rihito (Hatano Wataru)! The pair set about to resolve various supernatural mysteries, as well as their feelings toward each other.

This anime is based upon a manga of the same name and has also had a live action movie adaptation. The directors (Yasuda Yoshitaka and Iwanaga Daiji) and the studio, Zero-G, have all previously worked together on Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue and Tsugumomo. Doukyonin was an enjoyable show with a good focus on character relationships and I hope that style will come through as well with Sankaku Mado. This appears to be their first foray into Boys’ Love, although the producer, Avex Pictures, has previously done some BL shows such as, Hitorijime My Hero. Sankaku Mado looks to have the potential for some good paranormal crime-solving and passionate romance-this would be a show to check out for fans of the supernatural and BL.

Watching This: Choya, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Niche
Sankaku Mado no Sotogawa wa Yoru Promotional Videos ▼

Tesla Note | テスラノートTop
Animation: Gambit Premiere: October 3rd, 2021
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 23:00
Episodes: Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @teslanote or #テスラノート

Preview by Choya

Did you know famed inventor Nikola Tesla scattered jewel shards across the world? No? Well, these fragments are what the secret operation known as “Mission T” seeks to gather to save the world from destruction. Two members of the operation, the young ninja Botan Negoro (Kohara Konomi) and the excellent spy Kuruma (Suzuki Tatsuhisa), are selected to pursue what is known as the “Shards of Tesla”. Together, they aim to outwit agents from other countries in an original sci-fi spy thriller.

TESLA NOTE has quite an uphill battle that even SpaceX would have a problem climbing up. The newly founded studio Gambit is taking a CGI direction with the show, drawing direct comparisons to EX-ARM thanks to its trailer. Right off the bat, you also have to suspend disbelief to buy into the crazy world presented by TESLA NOTE where Nikola Tesla was able to scatter random shards of electricity across the planet during his lifetime. As if it wasn’t enough, there is an air of uncertainty as to whether Suzuki Tatsuhisa will still be attached to the project given that his recent infidelity scandal has caused him to back out of a number of projects and go on hiatus. At the same time, its ludicrous concept combined with the tumultuous lead-up to its premiere creates its own sense of appeal. It’s hard not to root for an underdog, and even EX-ARM gathered a cult following because of its infamy. Whether TESLA NOTE will follow suit or end up overcoming the odds will be answered when the anime debuts in the fall season.

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Tesla Note Promotional Videos ▼

Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu (2021) | 無職轉生~到了異世界就拿出真本事~ (2021)
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Part 2 Top
Animation: Studio Bind Premiere: October 3rd, 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @mushokutensei_A or #無職転生

Preview by Zaiden

On that fateful day, a calamity befell Fittoa. A piercing sphere of blue light descends from the skies before rapidly expanding and detonating across the region, teleporting tens of thousands of citizens to random locations in the world with few confirmed alive, some confirmed deaths and the majority being missing people who will most likely end up dying. Though Paul Greyrat (Morikawa Toshiyuki) and Norn Greyrat are confirmed to be safe and well, the whereabouts of Zenith (Kanemoto Hisako), Lilia (Lynn), Ghislaine (Togoyuchi Megumi), Aisha and Sylphiette (Kayano Ai) remain unknown, while our protagonist Rudeus (Uchiyama Yumi) and his cousin Eris (Kakuma Ai) are flung away to the Demonic Continent. 10 and 12 years old respectively with limited formal training in magic and swordplay, they are ridiculously out of their depth and prospects of survival look extremely bleak. Through sheer luck, they encounter Ruijierd (Namikawa Daisuke), a fearsome warrior who makes a vow to find them safe passage back to the Human continent. The last member of the Superd Tribe, Rujierd is seeking to atone on behalf of his race from the infamy and hatred they garnered in the previous Human-Demon War. So begins the coming of age, adventure of a lifetime for Rudeus Greyrat as he continually faces dangers of life and death combined with significant moral dilemmas amidst the laws of a ruthless demonic jungle, during the transformative teenage years of his second life.

As mentioned back in the first season, Mushoku Tensei is widely regarded as a progenitor of modern isekai with most modern staples of the genre drawing from its inspiration. Any questions about how the production quality would turn out have been completely set aside by Studio Bind, who have demonstrated pristine animation quality beyond anything many fans could have hoped for as they turn back the clock to elect for a work-intensive, hand-drawn, cel-shaded vintage animation style which looks every bit as beautiful as the effort required. Setting aside morally controversial topics, my primary qualm with Season 1 was definitely the music. Hopefully it comes closer to meeting the mark. Otherwise, I would still expect amazing things given how the first cour staff have been retained across the board. A must-watch in my books and for anyone new I’d highly recommend taking the time to catch up – assuming you can stomach your way through some highly questionable earlier scenes as far as ethics go.

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Gabie, Pancakes, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu (2021) Promotional Videos ▼

Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu | 月とライカと吸血姫
Moon, Laika, and the Bloodsucking Princess Top
Animation: Arvo Animation Premiere: October 3rd, 2021
Genre: Sci-Fi, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 25:35
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @LAIKA_anime

Preview by Miss Simplice

The first astronaut in space was a vampire girl – I’d have paid much more attention in history class if that were fact. In this alternate world after WWII, two opposing countries, the Republic of Zirnitra and the United Kingdom of Arnack compete to send the first human manned shuttles out into space. To achieve this, the Republic has devised a secret project named “Project Nosferatu”. They task Lev Leps with overseeing the project’s success which he soon discovers is reliant upon the testing of our young heroine, Irina Luminesk, a vampire. While this isn’t the typical setting for a romance between vampire and human, it’s one that’s sure to bring these two space aficionados closer together. But in a world that was just to recently torn apart by war, how will their world accept the connection and affection between a human and vampire?

Bandai Namco Arts is producing while Arvo Animation is listed as the studio for the series. I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed series from Bandai Namco Arts including Bungo Stray Dogs or Kimono Jihen so I say with only some caution that I trust the quality that will come of this one. While vampires and space travel might not be for everyone, I can’t imagine this story not piquing the community’s curiosity. We’re also blessed with a pretty solid main cast. You might recognize Hayashibara Megumi as Irina, our vampire Juliet, who voiced Rei in Evangelion, Midori in Chihayafuru 2, and Paprika in Paprika. And our Romeo, Lev, will be brought to life by Uchiyama Kouki who played Ulgar in Kanata no Astra and Kei in Haikyuu!! amongst so many others. I can imagine this being a combination of Space Brothers’ ambition, Vampire Knight’s romance, and The Saga of Tanya the Evil’s setting. I’m slightly biased because anything with a vampire will attract me like a moth to a flame, but I’d suggest not to scratch this one off the list just yet.

Watching This: Choya, Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu Promotional Videos ▼

Kyuuketsuki Sugu Shinu | 吸血鬼すぐ死ぬ
The Vampire Dies in No TimeTop
Animation: Madhouse Premiere: October 4th, 2021
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @johnwakawaii #吸血鬼すぐ死ぬ

Preview by Princess Usagi

A weak vampire-every vampire hunter’s dream. A vampire that dies only to be resurrected-every vampire hunter’s nightmare. Vampire Draluc (Fukuyama Jun) happens to have both qualities and the cause of his deaths-not an epic showdown, but terror at everyday things. Ronaldo (Furukawa Makoto)- a vampire hunter- while on a hunt, ends up with Draluc as his roommate and the two must work to fight off evil-the normal stuff like bosses, detectives, and vampires.

I have not read the manga source, but the premise of a constantly-terrified vampire constantly dying paired with a vampire hunter sounds amusing, so long as the same joke doesn’t get resurrected as often as Draluc does. Madhouse has a strong reputation thanks to previous shows like Death Note , Hunter X Hunter (2011), and Cardcaptor Sakura, to name a few. The director Koujina Hiroshi is also quite experienced, having worked on some older shows like City Hunter and Detective Conan . He also directed a series called Vampire Hunter D , so I expect that experience would come in handy for directing this vampire show. All in all, I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in vampires and comedy and I hope the humor has more bite than Draluc!

Watching This: Choya, FJ Freeman, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Average
Kyuuketsuki Sugu Shinu Promotional Videos ▼

Kyoukai Senki | 境界戦機
Boundary Fighter Top
Animation: Sunrise Beyond Premiere: October 4th, 2021
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:30
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @kyoukai_senki or #kk_senki

Preview by Princess Usagi

Mecha as a political linchpin is nothing new-we’ve seen it before in various renditions of the Gundam franchise, Code Geass, and so on. This anime original is following in the spirit of this, set in a futuristic Japan crushed underneath a trade-held regime. This trade-ruled Japan makes itself a world power through weaponized mecha-AMAIM. A machine-geek, Shiiba Amou encounters an A.I. machine named Gai, setting him on the path to fight for Japan’s freedom.

This show isn’t explicitly labelled as a Gundam show, however, it does have connections to the franchise, with the studio Sunrise Beyond having done a few Gundam anime in addition to being a branch off of Sunrise, the studio known for Gundam series and Code Geass. Everyone here, from director Nobuyoshi Habara and the mechanical designers Ebikawa Kanetake and Teraoka Kenji have oodles of mecha experience, promising something interesting. Although the premise itself sounds standard, it could still have an interesting storyline and cool robots. Or at the least you can definitely see promise for the cool robots part from the first episode preview that the producer Bandai Spirits released. I would recommend checking this out for any mecha fans.

Watching This: Pancakes, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Optimistic
Kyoukai Senki Promotional Videos ▼

Takt Op. Destiny | takt op.DestinyTop
Animation: MAPPA Premiere: October 5th, 2021
Genre: Music, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TV TOKYO
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @takt_op_destiny or #タクトオーパス

Preview by Yaseen Hijazi

It is the collaboration of the gods, Takt Op. Destiny combines the efforts of MAPPA and Madhouse studios for this visually entrancing depiction of the upcoming mobile game Takt Op. Destiny in the City of Crimson Melody by Game Studios. The story takes place in 2047 America after a meteorite crash lands on the Earth and completely changes the world as we know it. Monsters known as D2 have emerged from the meteor and are now running rampant, forbidding humans from all music, their one weakness. Humanity’s hope now lies with the “Musicart,” a category of young musical women who are able to resist the D2, and they are led by “Conductors.” Within this premise, protagonist and Conductor Takt Asahina (Kouki Uchiyama) is partnered with the Musicart Unmei, meaning fate or destiny, and with their combined hopes of bringing music back to the world and defeating the D2, they work together in battle as they head towards New York.

A peek into the trailer has already got me excited about this, more so for the animation, effects, and musical components as opposed to the plot itself, which doesn’t look half bad either. It’s definitely a premise that requires flawless execution to capture the audience, in my opinion, and I think with studio team M & M on the job Takt Op. Destiny is on route to be a hit. In my first season here at RC, I had the honor of covering Mashiro no Oto which brought me into the world of musical anime, so I definitely have high hopes for this one! Musical series are made for anime as far as I’m concerned, and I think if the composers can pull off the music then this series is heading towards greatness as a top-tier show within the genre. If you consider yourself an anime fan of the music genre, I’d recommend keeping this on your plan to watch list, because I know I will be!

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Takt Op. Destiny Promotional Videos ▼

Shinka no Mi: Shiranai Uchi ni Kachigumi Jinsei | 進化の実~知らないうちに勝ち組人生~
The Evolution Fruit: Conquering Life Unknowingly Top
Animation: feel., Children’s Playground Entertainment Premiere: October 5th, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Adventure Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: Station:
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @shinkanomianime or #進化の実

Preview by Choya

Editor’s note: Specific airing time and hosting station still unconfirmed at this time.

Hiiragi Seiichi (Shimono Hiro) is an ugly bastard. He’s revolting. He smells horrible. He’s a massive tub of crap. He flat-out sucks. Nobody likes him. Or at least, these are the kinds of insults that poor Seiichi has to contend with in his daily school life of bullying. However, when a voice claiming to be a god announces through the PA system to prepare to be transported to another world, Seiichi and his classmates have a new lease on life inside of an RPG-inspired fantasy world. Because Seiichi was excluded from the groups formed by his other classmates, he was summoned to a different area where he came upon the “Fruit of Evolution”. As soon as he takes a bite into the fruit, he’s suddenly transformed into an attractive boy on the right path to becoming a champion. And he’s not the only one. After his life-changing transformation, he is joined by Saria (Hanazawa Kana), an affectionate gorilla who might just have the power to shapeshift. These two will have to keep their heads up and stay positive if they’re going to survive in this new world with their new looks.

Shinka no Mi thrives on the surreal, odd-ball absurdity that it revels in. Isekai might be a dime-of-a-dozen nowadays, but an isekai where an ugly kid is trapped in an RPG whose new attractive looks end up landing him a gorilla as his soul mate is bound to gleefully lean into its goofy premise. Rather than be bogged down by taking itself entirely seriously, Shinka no Mi embraces its silliness by having Seiichi willingly take Saria as his partner even if her human form doesn’t quite erase the fact that she’s a gorilla with a deep lust for a human at both his ugliest and his prettiest. It might be tempting for the show to lean into the wish-fulfillment aspects of becoming cool in a fake world to escape reality, but the premise might help prevent the show from steering entirely into generic territory. Only time will tell though as Shinka no Mi prepares to go bananas in the Fall season.

Watching This: Choya, Pancakes Excitement Level: Limited
Shinka no Mi: Shiranai Uchi ni Kachigumi Jinsei Promotional Videos ▼

Puraore! Pride of Orange | プラオレ!~PRIDE OF ORANGE~Top
Animation: C2C Premiere: October 6th, 2021
Genre: Slice of Life, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 22:30
Episodes: 12 Station: ABEMA
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @puraore or #プラオレ

Preview by Choya

Nikko city, Tochigi Prefecture. Characterized by cold winters with heavy snowfall, it’s the perfect climate for the hockey season. Local junior high school student Manaka (Masuda Riku) and her younger sister Ayaka (Sagara Mayu) aim to be some of the greatest hockey players in the world. When they both end up joining their hometown team, the Dream Monkeys, they are joined alongside their childhood friends to become further fascinated with ice hockey and eventually begin their path to glory.

As with many contemporary anime titles, if it isn’t about traveling to another world, it’s tied into a mixed-media project. From this upcoming title produced by CyberAgent and DMM Games, Puraore! Pride of Orange will focus on girls who compete against one another in the high-octane sport of ice hockey. This anime is set to be the first of many titles in the franchise with a mobile game expected to be released shortly after its grand debut. But that shouldn’t discount the series for average viewers considering how popular sports anime can be when it’s done right. Ice hockey in particular is a fun sport to watch and play, so it’d also be a natural fit for anime to tackle. For all of the manga about ice hockey, Puraore! Pride of Orange looks like it’d be one of the first ice hockey anime to come out in a while, if ever. Hopefully, the anime can re-capture the exhilarating experience of ice hockey when it pulls a hat trick this fall.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Niche
Puraore! Pride of Orange Promotional Videos ▼

Shin no Nakama ja Nai to Yuusha no Party o Oidasareta node, Henkyou de Slow Life Suru Koto ni Shimashita | 真の仲間じゃないと勇者のパーティーを追い出されたので, 辺境でスローライフすることにしました
Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside Top
Animation: Studio Flad Premiere: October 6th, 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 22:30
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @shinnonakama_tv or #真の仲間

Preview by Choya

Red (Suzuki Ryouta) used to be a prospective adventurer who joined the Hero’s party and joined him on a fateful journey to battle Taraxon, the Raging Demon Lord. But when he gets kicked to the curb by one of his comrades after they finally surpassed his level, he opts to avoid the obnoxious platitudes of heroism in favor of a quiet life in anonymity. Although he shifts his goals towards opening an apothecary, he has a difficult time keeping his former life a secret, especially when the beautiful adventurer Rit (Takao Kanon) shows up to see if he was really one of the adventurers she traveled with in the past. When she decides to move in with him, Red finds that maybe he might not be living the slow life he thought he would.

We were this close to having two fantasy pharmacy anime debuting at the same time. Shin no Nakama ja Nai to Yuusha no Party wo Oidasareta node, Henkyou de Slow Life suru Koto ni Shima’s original release date coincided with the release of the isekai slice-of-life pharmacy anime Cheat Kusushi no Slow Life. But while that series was more focused on giving viewers a fluffy, mellow comedy about the ordeals its main character went through to concoct medicine for tricky customers, this series looks like it’ll focus more on the angst that Red had to contend with after he was booted from the Hero’s party. I can imagine that he’d be regularly haunted by his past as recollects old teammates and familiar situations. But even with Red’s troubled past, Shin no Nakama ja Nai to Yuusha no Party wo Oidasareta node, Henkyou de Slow Life suru Koto ni Shima looks like it will check off every box for a wholesome, romantic, and quiet slice-of-life that explores his new life together with Rit. Look forward to Shin no Nakama ja Nai to Yuusha no Party wo Oidasareta node, Henkyou de Slow Life suru Koto ni Shima when it opens up shop this season.

Watching This: Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Shin no Nakama ja Nai to Yuusha no Party o Oidasareta node, Henkyou de Slow Life Suru Koto ni Shimashita Promotional Videos ▼

Sekai Saikou no Ansatsusha, Isekai Kizoku ni Tensei Suru | 世界最高の暗殺者, 異世界貴族に転生する
The World’s Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World as an Aristocrat Top
Animation: Silver Link Premiere: October 6th, 2021
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 23:00
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @ansatsu_kizoku or #暗殺貴族

Preview by Pancakes

As many can attest, the isekai bug makes no distinctions, even for the realm of assassination. After the world’s greatest assassin finds his usefulness made obsolete, his subsequent “retirement” sees him reincarnated into an alternate world as Lugh Tuatha Dé (Akabane Kenji), the son of an aristocratic family which also happens to be filled with – you guessed it – skilled assassins. While Lugh would likely be content with living his new life in relative peace, the goddess who reincarnated him has other plans in mind. In exchange for a new shot a life, Lugh has been given a job to complete, one whose outcome will affect the entire world. You see there’s a wickedly powerful hero on the loose with insidious intentions, and unless Lugh finds and kills that hero, this new world as he knows it will end.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: SSnA is going to be divisive. And no, not because of the (relatively tame) premise. For the unaware, SSnA is one of Tsukiyo Rui’s works, the author of Kaiyari which has a multitude of, shall we say, enthusiastic audience opinions. Love or hate the guy writes what he likes with no reservations, and any viewer should expect similar narrative quality in SSnA. The key though is that this series will be more conventional: rape-a-thon revenge porn is now replaced with a thriller-esque plot and a harem arrangement that sticks largely to PG13 material. Don’t expect any sort of brilliance on the part of SSnA mind you (simplistic cookie cutter runs through this series’ veins), but its head won’t be plumbing the depths of the gutter all too much – and Silver Link producing ensures the quality will at least match the aspirations of the source material. While a healthy dose of caution is recommended here, any isekai fan will certainly want to keep tabs on this one once the autumn season kicks into gear.

Watching This: Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Sekai Saikou no Ansatsusha, Isekai Kizoku ni Tensei Suru Promotional Videos ▼

Komi-san wa, Komyushou Desu. | 古見さんは, コミュ症です.
Komi Can’t Communicate Top
Animation: OLM Premiere: October 6th, 2021
Genre: School Life, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @comisanvote or #古見さん

Preview by Yaseen Hijazi

If there is a show that stands out from the rest for me this Fall 2021 season, it’s Komi-san wa, Komyushou Desu, or Komi-San can’t Communicate. The plot follows the beautiful Shouko Komi (Aoi Koga) who unknowingly by the rest of the school has a communication disorder. As the school’s “Madonna,” the students have wrongly perceived Komi as being perfect in every way, but her tragic communication skills have now been uncovered by the average high schooler and classmate Hitohito Tadano (Gakuto Kajiwara). Despite her flawed communication skills, Komi longs to be able to speak with people, and her dream is to make 100 friends to which Tadano has resolved to help her out in order to overcome her disorder. An overly ambitious goal? Perhaps. A goal wacky enough to keep me interested? Most definitely.

In a story about overcoming one’s flaws, lending a friendly hand, and embracing imperfections, Komi-san wa, Komyushou Desu promises to be a hilariously heart-warming series that explores the nature of introverts, misunderstandings, and unlikely romance. Brought to you by studio OLM, the studio that brought us Odd Taxi, Pokemon, and Berserk 1997, I feel this will be a series many of us did not know we needed in our lives. On a personal level, I’ve grown up in a similar predicament to Komi-san, that is, I’ve had my own struggles when it came to expressing myself properly, and I understand the pain of not being fully understood (even now to an extent). As such, I feel this will be the most relatable series for me, and perhaps many others, as we watch how even the most seemingly “well put-together” person can have similar human struggles to ourselves as the audience. This Fall 2021, be sure to keep an eye out for Komi-san can’t Communicate because I have a feeling it’ll be a big hit!

Watching This: Choya, Guardian Enzo, FJ Freeman, Pancakes, Princess Usagi, Yaseen Hijazi, Zaiden Excitement Level: High
Komi-san wa, Komyushou Desu. Promotional Videos ▼

Muv-Luv Alternative | マブラヴ オルタネイティヴTop
Animation: Flagship Line, Graphinica, and Yumeta Company Premiere: October 6th, 2021
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:55
Episodes: Station: Fuji TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @Muv_Luv_A_anime or #マブラヴアニメ

Preview by Zephyr

Often regarded as one of the best visual novels of all-time, Muv-Luv Alternative finally arrives in anime form as a collaborative effort between Graphinica, its partner media company in Avex Pictures, and subsidiary anime studio Yumeta Company. Muv-Luv Alternative follows the events of Muv-Luv Unlimited, which introduced a world where aliens known as the BETA have invaded Earth, taking over much of Europe and Asia and decimating most of the human population. Following the enactment of Alternative V—a plan to evacuate a portion of the population to another habitable planet while the remainder attempt one last all-in counteroffensive against the BETA—protagonist Shirogane Takeru (Kouichi Kamiki) wakes up to find himself in same ruined hometown he found himself in at the beginning of Unlimited three years prior. Armed with knowledge of events to come, Takeru endeavors to save Earth and humanity by bringing about the previously failed Alternative IV plan instead. Thus begins the final chapter of a tale about love, courage, and the overcoming of insurmountable odds.

If you told me back in 2012 that we’d get eventually get almost the entire Muv-Luv franchise officially translated and released, I wouldn’t have believed you. But following a Kickstarter that received a record million USD in pledges, that’s exactly what happened, and it came with the bonus of many other series receiving localized releases as well. Now that everything relating to that Kickstarter campaign is almost done, it’s only fitting that everything culminates with the release of an anime adaptation that fans of Muv-Luv have wanted for the longest time. Unfortunately, the adaptation won’t cover the Extra and Unlimited prequels, nor will the series have nearly enough length to cover all 50+ hours of Alternative’s content. This means that newcomers to the series won’t be able to experience the entirety of Takeru’s legendary journey from regular student to a hardened mecha pilot fighting to save the world and the great writing that accompanied his development in the visual novels. As excited as I am for the adaptation and as much as I want it to end up great, Muv-Luv Alternative could very well end up a series that appeals strictly to people who are already familiar with the content and want to see the series’ best moments animated. It’s definitely worth looking into if you’re interested in the franchise regardless in the off-chance they do something spectacular here, but it’s likely the visual novels will remain the way to go to receive the definitive Muv-Luv experience, and watching the anime should hopefully persuade you to read said novels if they do things right.

Watching This: Pancakes Excitement Level: Optimistic
Muv-Luv Alternative Promotional Videos ▼

Sakugan | サクガンTop
Animation: Satelight Premiere: October 7th, 2021
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 23:30
Episodes: Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @ANIMA_info or #サクガン

Preview by Pancakes

In the far-off future humanity has it rough. Pushed into living shoulder to shoulder in vast underground colonies, everyone finds their lives hemmed in not just by rampant squalor, but also by the Labyrinth, a massive uncharted subterranean zone lying beyond the confines of the colonies. A few brave individuals called Markers seek their fortune in charting this Labyrinth, and Gaganbar (Touchi Hiroki) is one such person. A Labyrinth mapper made a single father through dreary circumstance, Gaganbar’s life of calculated exploratory risk is upended when his rambunctious genius daughter Memenpu (Amane Kanon) decides to seek out her mother in the Labyrinth. Given the love of Gaganbar’s life has not been found to date in his own expeditions he personally doesn’t hold much hope of finding her, but he’s not about to disappoint his only child and so throws caution to the wind. Come what may father and daughter will conquer the unknown and do their utmost to reunite their family.

As the winner of Project ANIMA’s sci-fi/robot theme competition, Sakugan certainly has its mind fixed on fun. Inspiration should be pretty obvious at first glance: Made in Abyss meets Usagi Drop and complements the proceedings with the dieselpunk mecha aesthetics of Deca-Dence. Did I mention the Trigger influences too? Because there’s a bit of that at work as well. Although it’s unlikely something of Made in Abyss calibre will occur (if Crunchyroll’s pilot showcase is anything to go by), considering the father-daughter pairing at work and Satelight’s fairly consistent record of late good wholesome adventuring is easily within the cards – particularly when Log Horizon’s Nemoto Toshizou is pulling script duty for what effectively amounts to an anime-original story. I’d caution against any major expectations being placed on this one until we see more, but without a doubt Sakugan will do the trick if you’re in need of some distinctively “anime” anime this fall season.

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Pancakes Excitement Level: Limited
Sakugan Promotional Videos ▼

Platinum End | プラチナエンドTop
Animation: Signal MD Premiere: October 7th, 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Thriller Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:28
Episodes: 24 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @ani_platinumend or #プラチナエンド

Preview by FJ Freeman

Angel or Devil? Based on the manga by the same name, with the talent behind Death Note and Bakuman, Platinum End starts with Mirai Kakehashi (Irino Miyu), shrouded in darkness. One day he decides to end it all. He jumps off a building, gravity pulls him down, but before he can hit the ground an angel named Nasse (Ogura Yui) saves him from his doom. Now Mirai is pitted against 12 others chosen players in a battle to decide who will become the next god of this world, as only the last one standing after 999 days gets this heavenly title. Mirai has an angel to his side, but he may have to become a devil in order to survive.

Just from that synopsis, we can already safely assume Platinum End runs with the battle royal trope on its sleeve and wears it proudly. But the heavenly twist of angels and demons makes this series unique. The arrows the angels carry also hold certain rules over them but are given to the players in order to be able to concoct their master plans for killing each other in order to become God. You already know this series is going to have lots of twists and turns, some hidden in plain sight, others have deeply cloistered for shock and surprise later on. Just by the simple fact that the creators of Death Note penned the original work, the community is going to have a field day, scrummaging through every little detail, hanging on every word, every sentence, and every breath. It certainly looks interesting.

A battle royal set in the urban landscape of the sprawling metropolis, a game played in plain sight but hidden away in the shadows, a game protected by the angels. Do they have a hidden agenda? Or is their heart in the right place? I’ve been keeping a close eye on this one, and now it’s finally time to sit back and enjoy!

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, FJ Freeman, Gabie, Pancakes, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Optimistic
Platinum End Promotional Videos ▼

Visual Prison | ヴィジュアルプリズンTop
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: October 8th 2021
Genre: Music, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @visualprison or #ヴィジュプリ

Preview by Princess Usagi

Music can be the key to open emotions imprisoned within the heart. Yuki Ange( Chiba Shouya ) seeks just such a relief when he encounters two visual kei groups, Lost Eden and Eclipse, put on a fierce performance- forever changing the life of this solitary young soul. These are not your average musicians, as they are also vampires, performing in a legendary music festival for the red moon.

With A-1 Pictures as well as many of the staffing choices having also been involved in various renditions of Uta no☆ Prince- sama♪ and other musical group-oriented anime such as BanG Dream! and Senki Zesshou Symphogear, I am expecting this original work to be another cute boys singing anime, but with a gothic twist. For anyone who has not heard the term before, visual kei is a style of Japanese music that has gothic overtones and ornate costuming. Given the gothic elements of visual kei, it makes sense that they would eventually have made an anime combining vampires with this musical genre as a way to keep the all-male singing group genre fresh. Given that Elements Garden is doing the music composition and the seiyuu have music experience relating to anime pop music as opposed to visual kei music, I don’t expect the music to be anything ground-breaking (in my opinion). That doesn’t mean it won’t be good, especially if you are a fan of music anime! At the very least, the concept of vampire musicians sounds both fitting and intriguing!

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Niche
Visual Prison Promotional Videos ▼

Taishou Otome Otogibanashi | 大正オトメ御伽話
Taishou Maiden Fairytale Top
Animation: SynergySP Premiere: October 8th, 2021
Genre: Romance, Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:53
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @otome_otogi or #大正オトメ

Preview by Princess Usagi

Sometimes it takes just one person or one event to change one’s life more than any amount of money could ever do. Rich boy Tamahiko Shima’s (Yuusuke Kobayashi) cushy life is shattered when an accident leaves him with a crippling injury and out of his father’s favor. Shima becomes enveloped in darkness until a chipper girl, Tachibana Yuzuki (Aizawa Saya), barges in and brightens his life. Yuzuki was purchased by Shima’s father to be his wife and caretaker, but through showering him with the joy and genuine love he has always longed for, their relationship grows from caretaker and her charge to that of loved and beloved.

One of the most exciting things for me about this manga-based series is that it takes place in the Taisho era (mid 1910’s-late 1920’s) Japan, a fascinating period which is not focused on as much in anime as say, the Edo period. The director Hatori Jun is an interesting choice, because up until now, he has done mainly children’s anime such as Kamiwaza Wanda. While the director and SynergySP don’t have much to recommend (at least for my personal taste), what will be a draw is the plot, which promises a good romance and character development (plus the historical setting!). If you are a fan of romance and history, I would recommend putting this on your watchlist!

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Optimistic
Taishou Otome Otogibanashi Promotional Videos ▼

Saihate no Paladin | 最果てのパラディン
The Faraway Paladin Top
Animation: Children’s Playground Entertainment Premiere: October 9th, 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @faraway_paladin or #最果てのパラディン

Preview by Zaiden

A man completely loses his will to live and passes on. However, as his mind succumbs to darkness and oblivion, the faint glow of a lamp lights up the way. He ends up making a promise to the goddess of flame and eternal flux who has become weakened and long forgotten following the extinction of her followers in a terrible war. A promise to make people re-remember her lost, olden ways. And in another world, at a once glorious citadel of a fallen empire subsumed by decay and undeath, he awakens as a helpless human baby crying out into the night. Yet curiously, he is taken in by a party of three undead entities: Blood the Berserker (Konishi Katsuyuki), Mary the Cleric (Horie Yui), and Gus the Wizard (Tobita Nobuo). All who carry a deep sadness and regret over their former lives. They raise him with every bit of love in their hearts, passing on centuries of wisdom and experience, preparing him for the inevitable day where he must venture beyond the Undead Citadel. The life he once carelessly threw away returns to him once more, and William G Maryblood (Kawase Maki) must learn what it means to handle loss while appreciating the preciousness of life in this strange yet wonderful fantasy world, on his journey to becoming the eponymous Faraway Paladin.

I know this wouldn’t be the first time you’ve heard someone say ‘This isekai isn’t like other isekais’. But believe me, it really is different in a special way too. For starters, no Japanifying of the other world experience – meaning no JRPG mechanics or attempts to simulate creature comforts from home such as rice or soy sauce. Saihate no Paladin starts off in a Dark Souls type setting – in a grand citadel filled with arching spires in the backdrop of eternal dusk reminiscent of Anor Londo in both decayed magnanimity and the absence of any hope. Material comforts and personal glory are mostly eschewed in favour of focusing on what it means to live a meaningful second life transitioning over from an unbearably painful first life. If the anime lives up to the source material, you will most probably cry. Only that’s actually a pretty big if. As mentioned in my preview for Shuumatsu no Harem, Nobata Yuu sorely lacks for directing credentials. He’s like the grinch who is about to ruin my Christmas. To make matters worse, Children’s Playground Entertainment is a pitiful studio judging how Hatena Illusion completely ran out of budget halfway through its production cycle. Like many source materials that deserved so much better, Saihate no Paladin looks destined for adaptation hell. As such I highly recommend that anyone interested should read the light novel or manga at J Novel Club.

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Gabie, Pancakes, Zaiden Excitement Level: Average
Saihate no Paladin Promotional Videos ▼

Build Divide: Code Black | ビルディバイド -#000000(コードブラック)-Top
Animation: LIDENFILMS Premiere: October 9th, 2021
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @build_divide or #ビルディバイド

Preview by Yaseen Hijazi

It is the must-watch series of the season for trading card game enthusiasts. Coming in with its own collectible card game, Build Divide: Code Black may well be the next big TCG franchise since Yu-Gi-Oh! Set in the state of New Kyoto, the series follows Teruto Kurabe (Yuuto Uemura) who is on a journey to take down the “King” by means of challenging him to Build Divide, the card game that determines one’s strength and worth in this world. Teruto is guided by the mysterious girl Sakura Banka, as they battle through the Black Divide TCG tournament known as “Rebuild” in order to reach the King. “He who defeats the King can have any wish fulfilled,” this is the driving force of all participants as they fight to complete the “Key” which will allow them to challenge the King and have their shot at a wish.

Brought to you by LIDENFILMS, the studio that brought us the ever-popular Tokyo Revengers, this game-fantasy series has stunning visuals and an iconic card design that is sure to entice members of the TCG fandom. As a lover of anime card games myself, I am keen to give this series a shot and after seeing the trailer I don’t think that is a decision I’ll regret. Teruto’s VA Yuuto Uemura has done an amazing job of voicing the main character of RE-MAIN, a series I am currently covering, and I think he has a knack for voicing heroic-like protagonists. I look forward to seeing this collaboration of top-tier studios and VAs bring to life what could be the next big trading card game franchise. Not only that, Build Divide: Code Black surely has the potential to draw in audiences outside the TCG fandom through its awesome animation sequences, intense fight scenes, and interesting premise.

Watching This: FJ Freeman Excitement Level: Average
Build Divide: Code Black Promotional Videos ▼

Lupin III: Part 6 | ルパン三世 PART6Top
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: October 9th, 2021
Genre: Adventure, Action Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:55
Episodes: Station: Nippon TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @lupin_anime or #ルパン6

Preview by Choya

Arsène Lupin III (Kurita Kanichi) is a legendary thief who seeks out some of the world’s most valuable jewels, treasures, and artifacts to cleverly swipe. He’s aided by expert marksman Daisuke Jigen (Kobayashi Kiyoshi) and the deft swordsman Ishikawa Goemon XIII (Namikawa Daisuke) as they work together to undermine any obstacles that get between them and the loot. That’s not to say that Lupin won’t be constantly tested and thwarted during his schemes. His most endearing rival Inspector Zenigata Koichi (Yamadera Kouichi) has a borderline obsession with being the one to throw the cuffs on Lupin for good, and will go to any lengths he can to get there. Additionally, Lupin has to keep his guard up for Mine Fujiko (Sawashiro Miyuki), a thief extraordinaire who plays into Lupin’s weakness for women as she often tricks him into making costly mistakes. In this installment, Lupin will be making his way to the U.K. in pursuit of treasure, mysteries, and lust. However, it appears that there are harrowing threats during this season’s heists that could end up bringing out a darker, more dangerous side out of the master thief.

Lupin the Third has been on quite a roll since 2012 when the stellar anime spinoff The Woman Named Fujiko Mine helped renew interest in more installments for the franchise. 2015’s Part IV and 2018’s Part V took Lupin and his crew to Italy and France respectively to continue stealing treasure and hearts from a modern perspective. Because of their emphasis on transporting these timeless characters to a present-day setting, these newer seasons serve to provide the cast with more advanced hurdles by stealing riches in an age of mass surveillance, facial recognition technology, and online databases. Many of Lupin’s older adventures were fun, casual romps as we watched Lupin, his crew, Fujiko, and Zenigata in a constant tug-of-war for control of a major heist. But recent installments have also tinkered around with experimental animation and darker themes that help to spice up the formula that made Lupin the Third an addictive and fun series to follow. One interesting detail to note is that Lupin slaps his green jacket back on from 1971’s Part I after spending the last two seasons in a new blue jacket. It should be neat to see how much of the green jacket era shines through this sequel and what tone it ends up taking on with its edgier promotional material.

Watching This: Choya Excitement Level: Established
Lupin Sansei: Part 6 Promotional Videos ▼

Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi | 先輩がうざい後輩の話
My Senpai is Annoying Top
Animation: Doga Kobo Premiere: October 9th, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @uzai_anime or #先輩がうざい後輩の話

Preview by Choya

Igarashi Futuba (Kusunoki Tomori) has every reason to be excited about her new job… The only obstacle keeping her from enjoying it to her fullest is having to share a workplace with her annoying senpai Takeda Harumi (Takeuchi Shunsuke). Takeda is massive, has an obnoxious laugh, and treats her like a small child because she’s short and looks young. But even as Futaba continues compiling a list of complaints about Takeda’s boisterous personality, she finds herself spending far too much time with him. As she starts getting used to his frustrating quirks, will she still see him as an annoying senpai, or can love bloom between this odd duo? Find out when Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi gets under your skin this Fall.

For viewers that enjoy comedy anime or manga, there are a few simple words that will have many falling out of their seats like the Vince McMahon meme; “short romantic gag comedy”. This sub-genre might seem like it’s easily digestible, but a little goes a long way with fun hilarious stories that avoid overstaying their welcome, especially for a comedy manga about two goofballs who eventually fall in love. For Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi it’s both adorable and humorous to see Futaba begrudgingly enjoy the company of her boisterous yet caring co-worker Takeda. For the anime equivalent of a cute, wholesome aperitif with a little bite to it, like a fine limoncello, you can’t go wrong with Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi.

Watching This: Choya, FJ Freeman, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Average
Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi Promotional Videos ▼

World Trigger 3rd Season | ワールドトリガー 3rdシーズンTop
Animation: Toei Animation Premiere: October 9th, 2021
Genre: Sci-Fi, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:30
Episodes: Station: TV Asahi
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @Anime_W_Trigger or #ワールドトリガー

Preview by Yaseen Hijazi

Not much is known about the upcoming 3rd season of the iconic World Trigger series unless of course, you are a manga reader, but for the sake of spoilers, I won’t be mentioning anything that may be adapted to this season. For those new to the series, World Trigger follows the story of Mikado City, which is being invaded by strange alien creatures known as “Neighbors.” Osamu Mikumo (Yuki Kaji), Yuuichi Jin (Yuuichi Nakamura), and Chika Amatori (Nao Tamura) fight against the Neighbors using special weapons called “Triggers.” Things get interesting when transfer student Yuuma Kuga (Tomo Muranaka) joins the Tamakoma branch after revealing that he is in fact a humanoid Neighbor who exhibits extraordinary abilities. With humans and Neighbors working side-by-side, we begin to learn who the true enemies are, as the battle for Earth’s survival continues.

After producing the hit that was World Trigger Season 2, and trumping its predecessor on MAL ratings, I’ve got high hopes for World Trigger Season 3, and with Toei Animation on the job, I think it’s bound to be at the same, if not greater level of supremacy. As the second battle for Tamakoma begins, things are as interesting as ever now with the addition of Hyuse (Nobunaga Shimazaki), a Neighbor from Aftokrator who is sure to lend a massive helping hand to the Tamakoma Second team through his latent abilities. Definitely a must-watch for World Trigger fans, and perhaps an incentive for others to get started on the series, the third installment is looking promising from its PV trailer alone. Manga readers will be ecstatic to see their favorite characters and scenes brought to life by Toei Animation, and as someone yet to give the series a shot, this may just be the push I needed to get started. Awesome fight sequences, quality animation, and a beautifully orchestrated soundtrack are all staples of the World Trigger series and it looks like the upcoming season won’t be compromising on any of it!

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Established
World Trigger 3rd Season Promotional Videos ▼

Shikizakura | シキザクラTop
Animation: Sublimation Premiere: October 9th, 2021
Genre: Sci-Fi, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:55
Episodes: 12 Station: Chukyo TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @ShikizakuraA or #シキザクラ

Preview by Miss Simplice

Action, adventure, sci-fi and the supernatural come together in Sublimation’s new fall anime series, Shikizakura. The story follows Kakeru Miwa, a high school kid who inadvertently finds himself joining a tech-armored team tasked with saving the world from the Oni, otherworldly beings who possess humans. He dons the powered suit “Yoroi”, said to be the only one of its kind with the ability to defeat the Oni. In this adventure, Kakeru is joined by a shrine maiden Myojin Ouka who is fated to save the world. What lies in store for these two fated souls is still to be seen.

At first glance, I personally cringed at the animation style. I’m not a huge fan of excessive 3D animation, especially when the entire series is done in the style. A good balance or light touch can always elevate a series but in some cases, it can distract. This is a particularity of Sublimation who is best known for its Netflix original series Dragon’s Dogma. I was immediately taken aback by the animation though, with some surprise, the story drew me in and kept me invested through to the very end. If you choose, like me, to look past the animation style, there might be something in Shikizakura for you to latch on to. If you strip back most of the summary, the essence of the story is about a hero navigating new abilities while he protects the shrine maiden fated to save the world. It resembles so many other series but including the high tech gear – heavily inspired by Kamen Rider Zero One – is what gives this series its modern touch. I’m not convinced this one will make it onto my watchlist but I’m open to the idea. What about you?

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Average
Shikizakura Promotional Videos ▼

Kimetsu no Yaiba: Yuukaku Hen | 鬼滅の刃 遊郭編
Demon Slayer: Entertainment District ArcTop
Animation: Ufotable Premiere: October 10th, 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 23:15
Episodes: Two Cour Station: Fuji TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @kimetsu_off or #鬼滅の刃

Preview by FJ Freeman

Editor’s note: Season officially premieres December 5th. A seven episode re-edit of Mugen Ressha-hen will precede it beginning on October 10th.

After a very successful first season and movie, Kimetsu no Yaiba returns for a second cour and I’m glad to have this series back in our lives. Not too much is known about the second season outside of it being two seasons – except maybe for the manga readers of course! To keep things relatively spoiler-free though, what I can say is that Tengen Uzui (Konishi Katsuyuki), the sound pillar, will be joining the Demon Hunting Corps this time around. Or more like the Demon Hunting Corps will be accompanying him, something like that. Not only that, the new location the group is visiting is the entertainment district – i.e. the red district. A demon has been terrorizing said district, and it’s up to our lovely cast of characters to find and defeat it. All your favorites are back for the adventure, with Tanjiro (Hanae Natsuki), Zenitsu (Shimono Hiro), and that wolf boy, err, Inosuke (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) all reprising their roles this new season.

Kimetsu no Yaiba has reached unprecedented heights in its aptitude to attract readers and anime watchers alike. Ufotable has done an incredible job so far at adapting the manga into a series that is worth remembering. Ufotable is the perfect studio for such a high-octane supernatural action-adventure like this one, especially considering the results after they took charge of the Fate/ franchise – I couldn’t be happier to have them on board here. It’s hard to deny my expectations are high for this season considering how the studio and the franchise are towering in my list of what I consider good anime. Plus considering the manga has now concluded gives a huge advantage to Ufotable, it provides them a sense of security not only knowing this product will sell, but they can take their sweet time making the anime the best that it can possibly be.

Watching This: Choya, Gabie, Guardian Enzo, FJ Freeman, Pancakes, Princess Usagi, Yaseen Hijazi, Zaiden Excitement Level: High
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Yuukaku Hen Promotional Videos ▼

Gyakuten Sekai no Denchi Shoujo | 逆転世界ノ電池少女
Rumble Garanndoll Top
Animation: Lerche Premiere: October 11th, 2021
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @denchi_project or #電池少女

Preview by Pancakes

In 2019, at the dawn of a new decade, Japan is thriving. Until it suddenly isn’t. After a dimensional rift appears over the islands, modern Japan finds itself at the mercy of Shinkoku Nippon, a parallel world Japan which never abandoned militarism. Conquering Japan through the aid of gas weapons nullifying all modern weaponry and giant humanoid walkers called Garann, Shinkoku Nippon reduces Japan to a beaten vassal state with all things Japanese harshly censored. Anime, manga, the whole doujin industry? Completely killed off, or at least to the occupying authorities. In truth, under the surface, otaku culture remains defiant thanks to the effort of Arahabaki, a secret society utilizing female-controlled Garanndolls to help keep modern Japan live and well. It’s a dangerous struggle with no clear end in sight, but the members of Arahabaki will do whatever they can to keep their passions alive.

Gyakuten is quite the surprising show on a few fronts. Besides being yet another anime original mecha (seriously, this season is ridiculous on that front) it’s also of the genre defying variety, dispensing with super serious takes on world ending doom or outright pulp popcorn premise for a more eclectic take. Code Geass for example will be the immediate comparison given the premise, but Gyakuten is arguably better served referencing the likes of Animegataris or Akiba’s Trip, as otaku culture, its value, and its importance as an outlet are the main themes at work under the surface. Couple this foundation with Konosuba’s Uezu Makoto writing the thing and Kanata no Astra’s Andou Masaomi overseeing as director and I dare say you’re looking at something very interesting. While unclear just how Gyakuten will play out in practice, without a doubt this will be one show for any anime fan to pay some close attention to this season.

Watching This: Pancakes, Zaiden Excitement Level: Average
Gyakuten Sekai no Denchi Shoujo Promotional Videos ▼

Deep Insanity: The Lost Child | Deep Insanity THE LOST CHILDTop
Animation: Silver Link Premiere: October 13th, 2021
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @deepinsanity_pj, #DeepInsanity, or #ディープインサニティ

Preview by FJ Freeman

This looks interesting! Initially, just by its premise, I was intrigued, then seeing the PV confirmed it. This has garnered my attention! And it’s no surprise since Square Enix is behind this, a multimedia project spanning an anime, a video game, and a manga! So what is Deep Insanity? An endless abyss has opened in Antarctica, called Asylum. Inside of it is a world that only God knows. Within Asylum a new illness is bred, one which slowly but steadily approaches humanity bringing madness, unawakening, delusion, and dreams. Now a young man named Shigure Daniel Kai (Shimono Hiro) front-lines against Asylum. What lies beyond it is a fact only those that have gone in and survived know, and it’s something Kai now faces himself.

Multimedia projects are always concerning given the number of moving parts, so my expectations are firmly in check, especially for those with little info out to dissect. Personally, I love Lovecraftian stories like this, where the creators take a shot in the dark and take a step towards imagining what something like this would mean for humanity. In this case, a giant chasm abyss opening up in Antarctica. There’s something about plundering deep into it and exploring its nooks and crannies, that sparks something almost primordial within us. The same idea permeates within Made in Abyss, and I hope Deep Insanity does something similar and explores these concepts while bringing new light to them.

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Pancakes, Princess Usagi, Zaiden Excitement Level: Average
Deep Insanity: The Lost Child Promotional Videos ▼

Ousama Ranking | 王様ランキング
Ranking of Kings Top
Animation: Wit Studio Premiere: October 14th, 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:55
Episodes: Station: Fuji TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @osama_ranking or #王様ランキング

Preview by Guardian Enzo

In the first place, I love the fact that Wit dropped Shingeki no Kyoujin for the opportunity to do stuff like this. They’re one of the most interesting studios in the game, and seem genuinely interested in trying to maintain a certain standard of production and in pursuing interesting and worthwhile projects. They’re resisted the urge to go the MAPPA route of quantity over quality, and I think they should be applauded for that. Of course, none of that means much if Ousama Ranking isn’t a good series on its own terms.

As far as Ousama Ranking is concerned this series is something of a leap for me, though I’ve been seeing the manga covers in bookshops for years and thinking it looked like an interesting and quirky series. Now with a few chapters translated I’ve read a bit, and found them thoroughly charming. The story of a deaf crown prince mocked and derided by most of his family and retainers, and his very strange friend, Ousama Ranking is not going to be for everybody. It’s decidedly weird, frankly, but there’s a bittersweet quality to it that I really like. I’m sure we’ll see some bitching from entitled fans about Wit “wasting their time” on this sort of material (especially if, as suspected, they’re off the second season of Vinland Saga), but who cares – anime needs more of these sorts of idiosyncratic shows desperately.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Princess Usagi, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Ousama Ranking Promotional Videos ▼

Blade Runner: Black Lotus | BLADE RUNNER – BLACK LOTUSTop
Animation: Sola Digital Arts Premiere: November 14, 2021
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: 13 Station:
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN)

Preview by Gabie

Cross exchange between western productions and anime has become more common (this season we have not one, but two big time adaptations), but unfortunately these tend to be either a hit or a miss. In the case of BLADE RUNNER: BLACK LOTUS I’m afraid it falls on the latter. The story is set in the year 2032, in the city of Los Angeles–17 years prior to Blade Runner 2049 and 10 years after the Black Out animation. The main character is an older teen who carries a locked data device and has a black lotus tattoo, and she wakes up with no memories and a set of overpowered skills. To recover the truth about her mysterious past she must go on a vicious hunt for the people responsible for her predicament.

Back in October of 2016, when Hollywood announced a sequel to Ridley Scott’s cultural touchstone, fans all over the world anxiously feared and anticipated it’s release. What Denis Villeneuve delivered was a testament to its predecessor, an homage to the pace, cinematography, script, casting, lighting, soundtrack–how does one answer Vangelis? Well, hello there Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch. After watching the two minute preview and the opening sequence (sung by pop singer Alessia Cara), it was hard for me to remain non-judgemental, the project felt more like a statement of woke-gender-politics and commercial interest in the younger short attention-span generation. Regardless of whether or not I enjoy this particular animation style, I just couldn’t find any of the reasons why we fans fell in love with Blade Runner present in the BLACK LOTUS adaptation–well, except the cityscape, I’ll give them that, it looks good.

Watching This: Choya, Guardian Enzo, FJ Freeman, Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Blade Runner: Black Lotus Promotional Videos ▼

Short Series List

Technical Note: As of the Winter 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. Unfortunately given Passerby’s current haitus, shorts do not come with the accompanying haiku previews. Real life do be like that sometimes.

Air Date Title
10/02 Deji Meets Girl | でーじミーツガール
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
10/03 Gunma-chan | ぐんまちゃん
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia (JP)
10/15 180 Byou de Kimi no Mimi o Shiawase ni Dekiru ka? | 180秒で君の耳を幸せにできるか?
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
10/?? Kaginado | かぎなど
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia (EN)

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. For the most up to date North American theatrical release schedule, please visit Fathom Events or Funimation Films. BD/DVD movie releases are included in this list. 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 comment below or send me a quick tweet/DM @ZephyrRC.

Release Date Title Notes
09/09 Pokémon Evolutions
Global Pokemon TV and Pokemon YouTube Channel Release.
09/15 Alice Gear Aegis: Doki! Actress Darake no Mermaid Grand Prix
アリス・ギア・アイギス ~ドキッ!アクトレスだらけのマーメイドグランプリ
09/21 Mahou Tsukai no Yome: Nishi no Shonen to Seiran no Kishi
The Ancient Magus’ Bride OVA | 法使いの嫁 西の少年と青嵐の騎士
OVA Episode 1 of 3.
09/28 Princess Principal: Crown Handler Chapter 1
プリンセス・プリンシパル Crown Handler
Chapter 1 of 6.
BD/DVD Release.
09/30 Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta… OVA
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
乙女ゲームの破滅フラグしかない悪役令嬢に転生してしまった… OVA
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 7.
09/30 Hanma Baki: Son of Ogre | 範馬刃牙 SON OF OGRE
Netflix Release.
10/13 Violet Evergarden Movie
劇場版 ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン
BD/DVD Release.
Netflix Release.
10/14 Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii OVA | ヲタクに恋は難しい OVA
OVA Episode 3 of 3.
10/29 Kakushigoto Movie
Kakushigoto: My Dad’s Secret Ambition Movie
劇場編集版 かくしごと
BD/DVD Release.
Oct 2021 Gundam Breaker Battlogue | ガンダムブレイカー バトローグ
Gundam Channel Release.
11/26 Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2205: Aratanaru Tabidachi – Zenshou: Take Off
Space Battleship Yamato 2205: A New Journey – Prior Chapter: Take Off
宇宙戦艦ヤマト2205 新たなる旅立ち 前章 -TAKE OFF-
BD/DVD Release.
12/01 Given: Uragawa no Sonzai OVA | ギヴン うらがわの存在 OVA
Bundled w/ LE BD/DVD Vol. 7.
12/15 Sidonia no Kishi: Ai Tsumugu Hoshi
Knights of Sidonia: Love Woven in the Stars
シドニアの騎士 あいつむぐほし
BD/DVD Release.
12/22 Fate/Grand Order: Shinsei Entaku Ryouiki Camelot 2 – Paladin; Agateram
劇場版Fate/Grand Order -神聖円卓領域キャメロット- Paladin; Agateram
BD/DVD Release.
12/22 Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight Movie
劇場版 少女☆歌劇 レヴュースタァライト
BD/DVD Release.
12/24 Girls und Panzer das Finale – Part 3 | 『ガールズ&パンツァー 最終章』第3話
BD/DVD Release. Film 3 of 6.
12/24 Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru: Trinkle Stars The Animation
乙女はお姉さまに恋してる 三つのきら星 The Animation

Overall Impressions


Beyond school, I have always loved autumn’s seasonal wonders. Scattering sunlight filtering through burnished golden foliage, a sultry autumn wind carrying over a loamy scent of earth and voices of rustling leaves, with passing flocks of migratory birds soaring through the clouds. When evening comes, you can stare into the sky and observe the moon, reaching the fullest point in its cycle across a calendar year – known as the ‘Aki no Tsuki’ in Japan – prompts raucous celebrations around Asia. Eating mooncakes and drinking sake (I’m not one for Spiced Pumpkin Latte) seems like a pleasant way of celebrating the occasion. If that’s something you’ve never done before, I highly recommend you try it sometime!

To help lift some weight off my mind, I have often commiserated on how KyoAni are my favourite animation studio of all time. Especially since they produced my favourite anime – Clannad After Story. They will forever have that special place in my heart that cannot be surpassed. In one of the most shocking developments within the anime industry, Yamada Naoko has forsaken Kyoto Animation to join Science Saru. Perhaps it was inevitable. I wonder how she will pair with Eun Yong Choi – Yuasa Masaki’s second in command throughout most of Science Saru’s existence. But nevertheless, I look forwards to observing how her creative influences will bear on Heike Monogatari. It made me wonder, just how much pain Yamada must have felt, continuing to work around a place where her beloved colleagues, friends and mentors used to live and laugh, for her to reach that decision. To leave an enterprise she clearly loved, that she had imparted much of her soul onto. But like the migratory flock of birds in autumn do, we must relinquish our attachments in acknowledging the good times don’t last forever, by proceeding with making the best possible choices in our personal interest. Life is short. Make the most of its time span. You only live once.

To conclude, we’ll be continuing with our enshrined 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 totally not shady “Excitement Council” of Zephyr, Guardian Enzo, and 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 Himalayan pink salt.

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 possibilites 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.

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

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. Very strong lineup of fall shows, with genres for everyone’s tastes.

    I’ll be sure to watch:
    – “86” 2nd season –> Took a few eps. to convince me in the 1st season, but Lena went through some great changes from naive rich girl to someone able to take matters in her own hands. Unlike the rest of the (Sawano) soundtrack, I disliked the OP song of the 1st season though, so hopefully the 2nd one will be more in line with what I would expect from such a show.
    – “Komi-san” –> Have only seen a few pages of the manga, so I don’t know if the comedy is as prominent as in the hilarious “Kaguya-sama”, but heard great things about it
    – “Platinum End” –> Another battle royale? But at least one with the manga complete, so we can expect a proper adaptation till the end.
    – “Demon Slayer S2” –> To be honest, it’s all about the ufotable animation for me, because story wise the 1st season and movie failed to impress me. Just too many old shonen battle manga tropes.
    – “Muv-Luv Alternative” –> I remember Zephyr’s blog post. It might even have been part of the reason why I played through the 3 main games with Alternative my favorite VN to date.
    Frankly, my current mood is that I would have preferred for this anime adaptation to never see the light of day. The best I’ll hope is that it doesn’t sour new ppl on the VN like it did for me for titles like “Rewrite” or “Yu-No”. Anyways, I don’t expect for this anime to covered here, which already says enough about the expectations, but it you have time, Zephyr, I would be interested in your final thoughts after it finished airing. Since you wrote that blog post and all…

    A bit funny to see “Shuumatsu no Harem” criticized for containing “wish fulfillment”, while “Mushoku Tensei” has questionable character actions as well. If those character traits are absent in the 2nd season, I might just skip the 1st season and dive right into the 2nd one.

    1. Totally agree with Eighty Six OP. It’s not much a matter of music preference but I feel that the song is totally divorced from the rest of the soundtrack. Unfortunately even S2 seems to have a similar music label deal for the OP, but it seems a better fit this time.

      I am also a bit scared on how Muv Luv Alternative will turn out. Even in optimal conditions it’s not an easy adaptation.

  2. Some of the dates for the OVAs and movies feel wrong to me cause I know some of them were available ages ago, but who knows maybe whatever was released wasn’t released officially or on BD formats

  3. Watched the Muv-Luv Alternative PV and thought it was absolutely dire. The worst part was the “music”, the sort of thing you could reel off in a few hours with Reaper and Garritan Personal Orchestra. Just awful.

  4. Seems like a potentially pretty good season

    Blue Period – I’ll give it a try, i’m hoping to see some good character writing

    Takt Op. Destiny – Not a big fan of games adaptation but it looks pretty cool, I may watch it as a chill show after work

    Komi-san wa, Komyushou Desu – I’ve always had a strange relationship with Komi-san. I liked the manga but god, I had an incredibly hard time reading it because those giant eyes that make every character look like a joke were triggering me. I know it’s a stupid reason but I can’t help it. It looks a little better in anime format, I’m gonna check it out.

    Platinum End – I’m always up for a battle royale, let’s hope it’s good

    Taishou Otome Otogibanashi – Absolutely loved the manga. I’m a little scared it’s 12 episodes, I feel like they’ll end up cutting some of the SoL chapters between arcs, which is a shame since they are really cute but oh well, let’s just hope the adaptation is good.

    Deep Insanity: The Lost Child – The trailer looks cool but doesn’t really tells me much. May be great, average or garbage, let’s see which one

  5. It hits me in the gut that Komi Can’t Communicate will be a Netflix original in the US, because that means there won’t be any real legal way to watch it until months after its Japanese premiere!

  6. Here we go… Was looking forward to Fall/Autumn 2021 for Date A Live Season 4, until I read the news (and saw on the promo video) that it’s been delayed to 2022. I don’t mind the delay if it means better animation + presentation quality (compared to the lackluster previous season) and added health “safety nets” for the staff in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not to mention that the delay frees up space for other anime I’m planning to follow this season (as well as the occasional videogaming). Anyway…

    Will definitely watch / Obligatory sequel watch:
    Mushoku Tensei Season 2 – Even if season 1 is/was a slow burner, Mushoku Tensei proved itself to be a quintessential isekai anime recommendation with its well-written story and dialogue, excellent voice performances, and its gorgeous animation. Can’t wait to see Rudeus reunited with Roxy (and perhaps see Eris get jealous, hehe).
    Isekai Shokudou Season 2 – The comfy restaurant to another world returns! Looking forward to the new dishes in store, and as always, never watch this show on an empty stomach!
    Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu. – Oh heck yes! One of the most memed school-life manga series finally gets an anime adaptation. While I’ve had my fill of “teasing girl” anime/manga in the form of Takagi-san and Uzaki-chan (and I’m really not eager to finish Nagatoro), having a socially anxious introvert as the main girl feels like a refreshing change of pace. (Not that I mind the “manic pixie dream girl” archetype.) Also, I consider Komi’s “art shift” moments to be a unique signature of the series.
    Shuumatsu no Harem – Been waiting for this since the last episode of Kaifuku Jutsushi no Yarinaoshi (and the floodgate it opened). And with Date A Live Season 4 out of action until 2022, this post-apocalyptic guilty pleasure series will have to do for now. It’s gonna be boring just focusing on Reito’s group, though.
    Muv-Luv Alternative – Wonder if there will be references to Schwarzesmarken and Total Eclipse?

    Will try out (three-episode rule) / Last-minute pickups:
    Kyoukai Senki – A Sunrise real robot mecha anime that isn’t Gundam? Was thinking Code Geass, or the classic Metal Armor Dragonar but Cross Ange isn’t that far behind. Also, having Sunrise Beyond (a.k.a.: the former Studio Xebec) at the helm of this show has me cautiously optimistic about this series.
    Mieruko-chan – A horror-comedy anime? Sure. Also, hello again, Ten-chan!
    Gyakuten Sekai no Denchi Shoujo – Strangely getting Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure vibes from this show, with a pinch of sociopolitical commentary plot a-la Shimoneta thrown in for good measure. (Synopsis also reminded me of 2019’s Pastel Memories–never thought I’d mention that anime again.)

    Carryovers from last season (based on info from Livechart):
    Jahy-sama wa Kujikenai – Comparisons have been made to Hataraku Maou-sama and Gabriel Dropout, and Jahy-sama is a worthy successor to both. Though I’m gonna miss NEGI☆U’s ending song once the second half begins. (Otsuaqua, Otsubaru and Mata-nene!)
    Kaizoku Oujo – Will probably give my full thoughts on it once the post for the latest episode comes around, but basically, the show still has me intrigued despite knowing it’s a partly Western-funded show (which explains the Williams Street Productions vanity card–something that I’m used to seeing at the end of each episode of Rick and Morty) and despite translated subtitles for locations sometimes not showing properly.
    Shiroi Suna no Aquatope – With how old the place is (as demonstrated by a passing typhoon), it seems Gama Gama Aquarium’s closure is inevitable. And with Fuuka about to return to showbiz, all that’s left is to see Kukuru’s character growth from that point.

    Shorts / OVAs / Movies (some based on info from Livechart):
    Star Wars: Visions – Well, just finished a day-long marathon of The Mandalorian season 2, and I concur that after the divisive (to put it mildly) sequel movie trilogy, The Mandalorian went above and beyond carrying the Star Wars franchise. Anyway, I might watch these (Star Wars anime! *gasp*) shorts while waiting for the next live-action Star Wars TV series this December–though the title of said TV series contains a late-arrival spoiler for The Mandalorian season 2. So if you haven’t, watch that season already to get up to speed. (Or consult wikis for that show / Star Wars YouTubers like EckhartsLadder if you don’t mind getting spoiled, I dunno.)
    Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii OVA – WotaKoi? Haven’t heard that name in a while. Can’t even remember if I’ve seen the first two OVAs. If not, might as well marathon all three.
    Violet Evergarden Movie – I’ve yet to watch the side-story film (Violet Evergarden Gaiden: Eien to Jidou Shuki Ningyou–the same movie I wanted to watch in a theater back in early 2020 before COVID-19 upended everything), but fortunately, this movie will be available for Netflix streaming.
    Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2205: Aratanaru Tabidachi – Zenshou: Take Off – After Sunrise’s acquisition of Studio Xebec (see Kyoukai Senki entry above), this much-anticipated starter (hopefully) to a new season of the Space Battleship Yamato remake is now being done by Studio Satelight (best known for making the most recent entries in the Macross franchise). As long as a good number of the staff (or at least the important ones) from the last two seasons are on-board, I’m pretty optimistic about this.
    Gundam Breaker Battlogue – If you still need your Gundam fix, well, here ya go.
    Fate/Grand Order: Shinsei Entaku Ryouiki Camelot 2 – Paladin; Agateram – Might as well marathon this with the first F/GO movie…after watching the last installment of Heaven’s Feel.
    Girls und Panzer das Finale – Part 3 – Looking forward to the finale of the match with Chi-Ha Tan.

    OT stuff:
    – A bit sad to see indie VTuber Lyrica graduate, especially since her last collabs and streams occurred one month after Coco’s graduation. Well, to go along with her joke, “Enjoy life in the Maldives, Lola Lyrica! And thanks, see you again.”
    – Finally got my J&J/Janssen vaccine last August 16. Besides the usual pain in the (jabbed) arm and a slight fever/tiredness the day after (solved with some paracetamol), no other noticeable side effects. It’s been four weeks(+) since getting the jab, so hopefully my body now knows how to resist the real thing (or won’t be in worse condition). While I’m still kinda careful not to let that happen, it does feel like I can breathe a little easier…

    1. Addendum – Couple more short-form anime with surprise premieres this Fall:
      – Season 2 of Getsuyoubi no Tawawa, whose first episode already premiered Sept. 20. (Boing-boing Ai-chan is back!)
      Kaginado–basically Key’s version of Isekai Quartet (Keysekai Quintet?)–premiering October 13.

        1. What wrong idea? That I’m one of those wumao? F**king hell I’m not, and–honest opinion–those wumao (and yes, I know of one commenter here who even threatened me with violence) are one of the reasons why the world is so f**ked-up right now.

          No amount of denial is gonna change the fact that COVID-19 came from Wuhan, China…and at this point, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) certainly has a lot to answer for.

          So yes, I’ll interchangeably use “CCP Virus” with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future; yes, I’ll be sticking with the “Chinese coronavirus” flag for my avatar as a silent protest (and a reminder of those people who were lost to the pandemic); and “F**k the CCP” will remain a sentiment of mine as long as they propagate their BS.

          *Deep breath*

          And to those “international CCP bootlickers”, I’mma leave this tweet as well:

          Why I admire Chinese dissidents: Despite brainwashing, censorship, and media control they take off the shackles of authoritarianism

          Why I abhor Western tankies: Despite critical thinking, free speech, and free media they take up the shackles of authoritarianism”

          1. I think the reason why you’re being asked to re-evaluate your choice of avatar is because that flag is in poor taste: whatever the original intentions were, it’s stopped being symbol of protest against a government, and represents the idea that it is somehow acceptable against the entire Chinese people, thanks in no small part to the former Trump administration.

            Thanks to actions like those, symbols encourage discrimination and violence against overseas Chinese; the actual origins and causes notwithstanding, that flag is a signal that racism and discrimination against ALL Chinese is acceptable, which is something I expect isn’t (and shouldn’t) be tolerated here or anywhere.

          2. Since this is getting incredibly out of hand I’m going to chime in briefly:

            I personally do not care what avatar a commenter has. You want to run with some risque within Gravatar terms of use? Go right ahead. I would like to think people here are smart enough to understand the difference between what someone writes and what they use to visually represent their board postings. This even applies to me; there have been plenty I dislike, but I’m not about to start banning those people because of what their picture is or might represent.

            Likewise RC is not going to ban anyone from commenting unless their comments are deliberate spam, shitposting, or otherwise deviating from discussing anime. So long as discussions relate to the post/topic at hand there’s no problem – something I would note this discussion is no longer doing. Any further remarks on this will see all future comments from those involved flagged.

            Otherwise Incognito I firmly suggest to stop taking the bait and overreacting because that’s what has blown this up; ignore it and move on. Likewise same for SonicFirestorm and others, you’re similarly free to ignore it and/or Incognito entirely. Agree to disagree and move on. Life is too short and there’s plenty of anime worthy of discussion.

  7. Sequels/Continuations
    Isekai Shokudou S2
    Yakunama Mug Cup mo S2
    Yuuki Yuuna S3

    Very interested
    Selection Project
    Platinum End

    Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi
    Pride of Orange
    Komi-san wa Komyushou Desu

    Give it an episode
    Blue Period

    1. Err… Gary Kurtz never wrote star wars and neither did he have a staff of writers. As a producer he was working closely with Lucas and had an active voice in and influence for sure, but he has no writing credits, these go to Lucas, Brackett and Kasdan (for the two movies Kurtz was involved with). I have zero intention of starting a debate about taste here, it’s just that Kurtz didn’t write Star Wars.

      1. Lucas did not create, and did not “Write” most of the original Star Wars movie, including the iconic scenes of Star Wars. Lucas was (and still is) a “Screenplay writer” (and a pretty bad one, the man’s creative talent for story-writing was STILL juvenile 30 years later with the Prequels, which he arguably DID “write”) – he took other people’s ideas and pared them down for a movie – and he wasn’t even good at that especially back then – so much so that Kurtz literally had to rewrite Lucas’ screenplays, particularly these sequences.

        Saying “Lucas wrote Star Wars” is like saying “Peter Jackson wrote The Lord of the Rings”. Or “Steve Jobs designed the Macintosh”. Or “Ray Kroc built McDonald’s”.

        It’s a categorical Lie – especially given Lucas’ behaviour to date.

        Let’s use the MOST iconic Star Wars scene as an example: the Death Star “Trench Run”. Lucas didn’t understand the sequences for the climactic Final Acts – and as a result, could NOT even CONCEIVE of to begin with, let alone write in detail. Re-read that, and take your time with it, because it’s one of the keys to understanding the creation of Star Wars (and all writing, really).

        Lucas stated in later interviews that the iconic Death Star Trench Run scenes didn’t make any sense (he should have said they didn’t make any sense TO HIM, and to this day, I wonder if he STILL thinks that even with the internet). Today, Lucas has come up with new whoppers to cover his trail, claiming that “his” Trench Run sequences were inspired by looking at crevices in the Death Star model. And that the Star Wars Rebels are supposed to represent Communists. And that Star Wars itself was written to represent North Vietnamese against the Evil American Empire. Etc, etc, etc.

        What’s the Truth?

        The Truth is that Trench Run was conceived of, written, and adapted during production by Kurtz and his team/circle of writers/advisors, some of whom were Vietnam Veterans, pilots and/or Industrial Defense experts.

        If you want to encapsulate that in an oversimplified (and inadequate) form: Gary Kurtz is responsible for the creation of Star Wars, especially its key sequences like the Trench Run.

        The Trench Run is a smorgasboard of military aviation and expertise. The scene itself was based on Rainbow Canyon in Death Valley and the combat tactics they simulate to this day (NOT on Lucas’ “inspiration” of looking at the Death Star model). Rainbow Canyon was famous in the 70s at a time when America was enamored with the aviation culture of the time, from the experimental A-12 and XB-70 Valkyrie, to the Veteran F-105 Thunderchief and F-4 Phantom, to the State-of-the-Art F-14 Tomcat and F-15. Morever, the Canyon’s use, exercises, and “terrain-hiding features” and tactics have been in operations since before WW2, long before George Lucas was born (and are still happening at Rainbow Canyon today as the tactic is still very much relevant). This was especially important during the revamping of the B-1 design into a low-altitude bomber in the 1970s (later called the B-1B). This American history and aviation culture is what inspired the Kurtz’s “staff” to create the Trench Run – scene by scene…

        …the “Thatch Weave” that Wedge uses to save Luke, R2D2 acting as the “Navigator” or “RIO” monitoring systems and engines, the ground crew actions and sequences, the “wingmen” flying in wedge/vic formation, the turrets being unable to angular-traverse fast enough against “planes” too low and too close, the fact that the lasers in The Trench are “firing blind” because “the horizon” is too close on a smaller “Death Star” (the “planes” cannot be detected in time, and you can’t accurately see/”track”, and you can’t “shoot” what you can’t see/”track”), etc, etc, etc…. all underlying the over-arching plot mechanic where the overlapping engagement envelopes and cross-firing of these defenses made direct attack above the Death Star’s weakness, the “Exhaust Shaft”, too dangerous – but were inherently vulnerable to the tactics used at Rainbow Canyon – a “Trench Run” – a fact dramatically shown to the audience when Porker flies into one of these air-defense envelopes and crossfiring arcs, and is killed. It’s used to demonstrate why the Rebels must make the Trench Run: Rather than flying “high” and through the defense’s engagement zones, they avoid or obviate them by flying “low”, using Death Star’s terrain and horizon to their advantage (the Death Star’s radial curvature is even smaller than the Earth’s, accentuating this advantage).

        The Rainbow Canyon’s Military Exercises and their association with the Star Wars Trench Run was so closely tied in the 1970s, that Rainbow Canyon was given a new colloquial name: “Star Wars Canyon”.

        THAT is the origin of Gary Kurtz’s Trench Run sequence. It was well-known at the time; and the only reason why Lucas has felt comfortable with lying about it today is because….Well, I don’t really know why he thinks he can get away with it (beyond his typically mendacious nature). But I know why he tries.

        Now ask yourself: How could George Lucas, a draft-dodger and a military and technical ignoramus, “write” THIS masterpiece sequence in the 1970s? Especially when he didn’t even have a Snowflake’s chance in Hell of having a good working relationship with the military experts and pilots to even realize these scenes made any sense to begin with?

        Of course, Lucas didn’t write it.*1

        Lucas didn’t understand ANY of this; Military Aviation, Air-defenses, engagement envelopes and criteria, tactics and operations, etc. It was a different era, with no Internet and where information was a matter of personal circles. To be certain, Kurtz can’t completely be called the creator of the Trench Run, nor did he understand ALL of the mechanics from the start (many things at the time were reportedly added and subtracted – which is normal in any project – as the production progressed with Kurtz’s advisors making corrections and additions to the script and production, essentially “rewriting” the movie). But the big issue was that – whereas Kurtz was only out of his MOS on technical matters, he DID swim in his circle of Vietnam veteran pilots and military pals who could be counted to advise him, and HE could be counted on to listen to that circle – Kurtz RESPECTED their expertise, the material, the subject matter, and the PEOPLE who were the literal avatars of worldly knowledge and guides in these fields of military aviation which was tapping into the American audiences fascination with aviation (so did many of the craftsman and producers of the sets and models and effects).

        That’s how Kurtz made Star Wars a cultural hit that resonated with American audiences. His crew’s attention to detail was stunning because HIS attention to detail was professional and well-advised – today, it’s often called “authenticity”.

        Lucas was not only ignorant, but he was UNWILLING to learn – even contemptuous of the subject matter*2 But in reality, I think Lucas was not simply resentful of Kurtz and his circle; Lucas was AFRAID of them and it makes sense once you understand where Lucas is coming from (aside from the fact that Kurtz was the head of the Project and had no qualms about overruling Lucas, despite Lucas’ pull with the Studio Execs).

        Lucas is a Draft-Dodger, who got those famous “Deferments” (draft waivers) from his Councilman who were handing them out in droves to the point where entire Districts avoided the Draft when their lot number was called.

        Kurtz was a Vietnam veteran with contacts to the military pilots and personnel associated with the nearby military installations in Death Valley – where some of the Tatooine scenes were filmed – and not coincidentally, where Rainbow Canyon is situated. Naturally, Kurtz not only respected the military culture and experts, he was previously PART of that military culture, as MANY of the Star Wars crew were (at a time when a majority of Americans regarded conscription as a DUTY, not “victim status”). This created MANy disconnects, fracturing the team.

        It is no mistake that Lucas wouldn’t even talk to Kurtz’s team and would try to expunge them out of Star Wars history later. To this day, few people who’ve watched Star Wars even realize Kurtz was even associated with the Movie, let alone it’s leading Creator.

        This shouldn’t even need to be explained, really. Because anybody can see that the Original Star Wars and the Prequels were NOT WRITTEN BY THE SAME PERSON. They weren’t even written by the same CULTURE.

        The Original’s creators not only had writing talent (actually, the ability to RECOGNIZE good writing and suggestions from the circle), but also had a fundamental understanding and affinity for military affairs – even to a point where many in the American and foreign audience of the time were just confused as Lucas was about why the Rebels couldn’t just drop their torpedoes/bombs from above the Exhaust Port. This happens a lot, actually, when People in a professional field are talking to people outside their field – they assume that what they are trying to convey makes perfect sense, skip/assume some important parts they need to explain, use “in-house” jargon, and the other side ends up misunderstanding/confused.*3

        Star Wars was not created to make “heroes” of the Communists, nor did the Trench Run represent North Vietnamese pilots attacking the “Evil American Death Star’s air defenses” (that makes NO sense). This Lie certainly WOULD be transparent to anyone familiar with the 1970s origin of Star Wars or lived at the time, but apparently is opaque to the current generation…

        The North Vietnamese didn’t even have pilots of stature or skill to defeat American and South Vietnamese air patrols, let alone attack South Vietnamese ground-based air-defenses in South Vietnam. Star Wars was created as an amalgam of the American Revolution and the Cold War – the Final Act was a choreograph of US military pilots attacking COMMUNIST air-defenses as happened countless times during the Vietnam War, against NORTH VIETNAMESE and SOVIET-EMPIRE-BUILT air defenses (what else would you expect from Gary Kurtz and his circle?). Overall, the Empire in Star Wars was an amalgam of America’s two worst enemies in history: the British Empire (which is why the vast majority of the Empire’s officers ahve ENglish accents) and the Soviet Empire (The “Evil Empire” as the USSR was colloquially called by many Americans back then, which Reagan would later tap into for one of his speeches in the 80s). That’s why the Rebels are called – well – “Rebels” (and why the vast majority had American accents). In older American history books in the 70s (printed earlier too, not sure about today) taught to American children, the American Revolutionary heroes are referred to as “REBELS”. And the American Revolution is referred to (often by both sides) as a “Rebellion”. Whereas there are NO contemporaneous references to the North Vietnamese in the HISTORY of the Vietnam War as “A Rebellion”. North Vietnam and South Vietnam were considered different Nation-States during the Cold War, just as North Korea and South Korea, or West and East Germany were different Nation-States during the Cold War – it would make NO SENSE to call the North Vietnamese “Rebels”. Etc, etc, etc.

        As should be obvious, Lucas is a wholesale Liar – not unusual in a profession of liars and pretenders, but Lucas is the worst kind, stealing credit and profits from other people’s work.

        Kurtz and his circle did NOT create Star Wars to glorify their enemies (QUITE THE CONTRARY). Lucas was possibly predisposed to do just that (and would have made an entirely different movie which would have probably bombed), but the movie adhered to Kurtz’s vision, not Lucas’.


        And the process of destroying the Original Star Wars culture, of course, began by destroying the team that created it, increasing Lucas’ creative input, and of course , kicking Kurtz (and his creative circle) out of the Franchise. This is why the story-writing suffers as the Franchise goes on – “Return of the Jedi” is literally “disjointed storytelling” with the second Death Star sequences a poor and technically nonsensical imitation of the Original’s Trench Run – with Lucas’ creation of the Ewoks as his actual representation for the North Vietnamese and American Indians (the idiocy was not well received) – I’ll stop there, because this could go on forever.

        Again, Lucas is historically just a Ray Kroc*4, a corporate plant of mediocre talent (some would say “meager”, like Steve Jobs’ engineering talent) who got his position and money by being a toady-sellout to Hollywood monopolists, controlling which kind of talent is “allowed” to produce in Hollywood – something ultimately that honchos like the Fleischers, Horowitz, Iger (no he’s not “out” of Hollywood’s decision-making loops, far from it), etc, etc, etc, control today – Lucas’ real job title was “Corporate Raider”.

        But a Corporate Raider is often not a good Creator – he can only Raid and Sellout other people’s creations (and Creators get wise eventually, although the monopolists restrict the ability to make a living off it; their leverage is to negate).

        The Star Wars franchise was all but dead until the 90s under Lucas and co. , and they were seized by the fact they needed superior writers like Anderson, Stackpole, Wolverton, etc, more than they needed Hollywood’s writing credits and copyrights *5. It was Timothy Zahn who took the real risk, given his own talent, and knowing Lucas’ penchant for treachery (which Lucas would live up to, and more specifically, the Hollywood studio and book publishing honchos and their legal teams). Zahn has always been too smart for Lucas’ liking – the writer’s culture as a trained Physicist and affinity/respect/knowledge of American military affairs also earned him Lucas’ hatred.

        It was principally Zahn who “invented” the new generation of Star Wars fandom in the 90s, NOT Lucas. Zahn’s vision and creative writing skill to weave Applied Physics and some semblance of military tactics into a believable story (with believable and complex villains and heroes) literally swelled the Star Wars audience to such heights that it was ripe for a movie harvest (novels were often the pass-time of adults, educated, parents, etc – people and families with money to spend) – except that Lucas and co. wanted to cut the principal creator OUT of profits – AGAIN (Execs and also distributors – Iger and Disney didn’t “own” Lucasfilm at the time but they might as well have through distribution and moneymaking rights, like the Mayers and Loews and too many to count in this hodgepodge) .

        The result was just as predictable: a poorly written “Prequel”, creatively controlled by Lucas.

        And as before, Lucas and co. tried to expunge Zahn (and others) out of the history of Star Wars – not just fandom, but to “disappear” Zahn’s contributions, even suing to close down websites that referred to Zahn’s books on fansites, not because they’d win those lawsuits, but because nobody can afford to spend millions in legal fees to fight them. This was stunning at a time when the Internet was supposedly much more “free-wheeling” than it is today. And it wasn’t the only Communist gangsterism by the Hollywood group.

        After all, before Zahn (though not just Zahn), it was princiaplly Kurtz (though not just Kurtz) who was milked and kicked to the curb by men who’s only talent is gangsterism. It was Kurtz and his military friends, pilots, etc, whom Lucas (and just as importantly, the corporate Studio mavens) resented. Kurtz acted as the liaison between his military and industrial “consultants” much like Dale Dye – and unlike Dye, these guys didn’t know they should get credited, or didn’t care – it was a different age back then and Kurtz’s troop were a different breed; not everyone who associated with Hollywood back then was a parasite angling for 15 minutes of fame, particularly if you were military, aviation and industrial professionals who had a real job and was only moonlighting in Hollywood (and were assiduously against the Communist culture that dominated it).

        Neither Zahn nor Kurtz created alone, of course. Kurtz put together an entire team of logisticians, consultants, and friends who shared his vision – and yes Lucas was a part of the team but partly because of his connection to studio resources and distribution rights – but to claim that Lucas wrote or that he “Created” Star Wars is a deep and misleading Lie, one that leads to Lucas’ tangled web of follow-on Lies that devolve into Communist claptrap, all in Lucas’ effort to hide the fact that he’s a no-talent faker trying to steal credit for creations he did not, and could never, create himself (and that’s the central key to understanding why Lucas does what he does – why he hates the older fanbase who’s gotten wise to what he is – he’s desperate not to be “found out” by a newer, younger, more foreign and largely ignorant fanbase who isn’t as wise to his petty Lies).

        If Lucas had not been part of the team, the Original Star Wars Movie would have turned out largely the same product as Kurtz and his circle intended – probably even better since John Milius would have been given directorship (he was the Director of Conan the Barbarian, and black-balled by Hollywood studio Execs).

        Because Kurtz’s talent and his circle controlled that creation.

        And if Lucas had not been part of the Star Wars books, Zahn would have done just fine without Lucas’ “input” to his novels.

        Because Zahn’s talent and whatever circle he had controlled that creation.*6

        You can’t “write” something if you don’t understand what you’re writing. To claim you can is just nonsense. And Film projects (like any such project and operation in Engineering, Military, Medicine, Construction, etc) are much more than the creation of any one man (including Kurtz and Zahn, though they are certainly the “sparks” who set the entire spinning wheel in motion) – they’re a cultural collaboration, and require a large group of people to create a cultural creation. Whether it’s actors conveying their “interpretation” of a given character, or a writer weaving plot points and character development in a chronological sequence, in order to “tell” a story, or an engineer balancing thermodynamic-volumetric constraints of a heat sink with component stability and frequency drift, etc.

        It is no mistake that Kurtz’s Masterpiece of the original Star Wars movie is regarded as the “best” Star Wars movie – it has a clear beginning, middle, and end – interwoven with meaningful and logical plot and character development, with details that everyone from children to hardcore professionals can appreciate. The skill and attention to detail from models to writing to acting is exquisite (and yes, Lucas does deserve some credit for the latter).

        It is also no mistake that Lucas has on multiple occasions tried to imitate Kurtz’s Masterpiece repeatedly – without Kurtz (and the talent and resources which he REPRESENTED so that good creators would have the opportunity to create a good project) – and without success. *7

        This has gotten long, so I’ll stop here, but I encourage you to research/corroborate more, if you’re interested.

        *1 I would say “obviously”, because it should be, and yet it’s flabbergasting to see young people find his lies so convincing.

        *2 And by that, I mean he was contemptuous of the Military and Technical experts he needed to learn from if he wanted to understand the big changes and scenes, stages and props being put together, and not just trying to get actors to make certain facial expressions; in that, Kurtz was largely directing Lucas and the actors, as much as Lucas was directing Mark Hamill – And Lucas had a famous penchant for Communist political hackery, he got into hissy fits and unintelligible muttering around people in Physics, Military, Engineering, Technical, etc, to the point where he avoided them altogether (with the other side becoming stunned by Lucas’ childishness) – this “emotive behaviour” may make you a compelling director with actors in a Hollywood Sense, but it makes NO SENSE to people in a technical and professional field; Lucas never dared show contempt to their faces, though, and very rarely to Kurtz himself – he just ran away in a huff and avoided them. You saw these kinds of bed-wetters all the time in Hollywood with few exceptions; they argued not by providing reasoned solutions to problems, but by throwing tantrums and “acting out” – today, it hasn’t gotten any better in Hollywood, and arguably has gotten worse. If you have a real job and actual professional experience beyond pretending to be a “victim” with “chips on your shoulder”, don’t expect to be taken seriously in the Hollywood cespool.

        *3 This is really where Kurtz was key in writing, by bridging the gap in understanding and incorporating the common sense of a layman but still understanding the material with the help of his friends – he was in film-making for the military, not a pilot, ground crew, air-defense expert, etc. Lucas had no excuse for not learning beyond his petulence – unlike many Americans and foreigners, Lucas certainly had the opportunity to ask the relevant questions, with relatively easy access to the experts who were helping Kurtz write the scenes for Lucas to adapt into a movie – Lucas was simply too much of a Communist bed-wetter to ask about something he didn’t understand, and the result was a lot of miscommunication and wasted time that – again – Kurtz himself had to rectify and set straight right through the production – as if Star Wars needed to get that much more expensive.

        *4 Hollywood’s “The Founder” movie about Ray Kroc is an overall Lie – which gives you an idea of who was actually responsible for stealing the McDonalds Franchise from the McDonalds brothers – Kroc with a few thousand dollars to his name is NOT principally responsible for stealing the Franchise – he had Bank interests to the tune of MILLIONS of 1950s Dollars orchestrated by Sonneborne who engineered the entire corporate takeover from expansion and land acquisitions to legal resources and regulatory shenanigans. Most of this ultiamtely falls back to the San Fransisco Federal Reserve and its associated banks, but that’s a huge can of worms to unpack. If you want to talk about the over-arching Banking and Financial honchos who deal free debt and money to Hollywood, I’m not here to write the encyclopedia necessary, because we’ll have to go back to the father of the Film industry, Thomas Edison, and how these no-talent grifters and pornographers dealt themselves “unlimited money” (technically, there’s no such thing as you’re just devaluing a fiat currency in an attempt to scam wealth out of producers) or unlimited debt to cheat creators like Walt Disney out of their creations – and even with all those unlimited financial resources and gangsterism, they still couldn’t cow Walt’s company until after his death.

        *5 It must be stated that the fall of their beloved Soviet Union was a major blow to morale among the Communist elite in America and especially Hollywood, causing something of a cultural panic, and the internet was also an unknown and growing factor which might limit the future money-making rights, making the time to strike for paper books NOW. By this time, Lucas’ reputation was notorious – not just from Star Wars, but also from other projects like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where he had stolen credit for “writing”. The actual writer of Last Crusade was an expert on Christian archaeology and thehology; Lucas doesn’t know anything about Christianity and its history, and again more importantly, didn’t care to learn.

        *6 I don’t know precisely what resources Zahn learned from or what circle he had. But it’s clear based on his writing why Zahn clashed with Lucas, especially if you understand Lucas’ character flaws – Zahn owed much more to his American understanding of Star Wars and to Kurtz’s culture and contributions – again, Lucas and more importantly the Studio Execs, Distrubutors and Bankers could only sabotage creative efforts and the ability to make distribution money off it across borders, while injecting their incompetence and malice – but at that point in the early 90s, they didn’t even have the leverage to do that against Zahn – the Star Wars franchise had decayed too badly, Lucas and co. had long ago run the Franchise (and market potential) into the ground by that point, and they were desperate for ANY audience in the post-Cold War era. In short, Lucas had no built in fanbase for new Star Wars creations (ie no leverage and market potential to browbeat Zahn into an unfavorable agreement, which gave Zahn creative control rights, something many other authors took advantage of) until Zahn created it. Even so, Lucas and Hollywood did what they did best – Lie, Cheat, and Steal – knowing Zahn wouldn’t and couldn’t expend his limited resources against a culture backed by unlimited debt. But if Kurtz had not had his Franchise stolen from under him, I have no doubt Zahn and Kurtz (and Milius) would have worked great together.

        *7 Star Wars still makes money (though not as much as you think), but it makes money in the same way that mediocre food makes lots of money: if you put every quality food producer and distributor out of business with threats and debt laundering, the “slop” you call food looks great, and can be marketed on a massive scale, but only so long as the plebs never get to taste (and/or don’t realize or care) what good food really is. But even with mass-marketing and distribution on an International scale, this is partly a facade. To a large degree, Hollywood movies have become little more than laundering businesses, meant to shovel “free money” and unlimited debt into a banking infrastructure to scam for real goods – much like empty sporting stadiums, shell companies, houses on bank ledgers worth “millions of dollars” on their books, etc. That’s an economic lesson in and of itself – “money” is not determined by fiat currency or “Bitcoins”, but by “value” and “wealth” – you can be “rich” by having a lot of electronic money in a “bank”, but you need a farm, family, resources of innate Value and a community of actual People that can create and produce everything from cotton underwear to CNC machined tooling for making even more precise tooling, etc, to be actually “wealthy”.

  8. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to watch this season going in, hence why I stopped by this list to inform my own opinion. Of all the selections, I’m going to pick Platinum End and Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu as my seasonal watches. Also Blade Runner: Black Lotus, but since I’m a regular Toonami watcher, I was going to watch that one anyway.

  9. I really was hoping to read a MT preview without any sort of moral disclaimer, otherwise it should be included in any work depicting flawed characters whatever the nature of their flaw may be.

    There are no “highly questionable decisions as far as ethics go” made by the series, whatever it means. Unless you mean to imply portraying reprehensible humans in fiction also amounts to reprehensible storytelling, thus adding more fuel to the fire created by people who use such argument to villify the work as a whole.

    1. hear hear.

      fiction is fiction. you don’t see the likes of Nabakov or DH Lawrence works saddled with these pathetic and completely needless disclaimers though they were arguably more controversial.

      enough of pandering to the lowest common PC denominator.

  10. Looking forward to Shin no Nakama – have read the original WN and it’s a good one.
    Should be pointed out that despite its fluffy SOL moments, there are also equal amounts of plot action, dark themes and existential issues.

  11. Saihate no Paladin was a great read, the world was more Tolkien like than other fantasy settings. Although it’s a isekai, he doesn’t really gain anything from that knowledge. This is definitely what I’m look forward to the most.

  12. Kimetsu no Yaiba has me worried. Usually this close to the season, you’ve long since been given official premiere dates, and series without confirmed premiere dates this close to the season, more often than not, are later revealed to be delayed to next season.

    1. I wouldn’t worry too much right now IMO. I believe Fuji TV is currently re-airing the first season and will also apparently air the movie before premiering this season. This would be enough to explain away the lack of specific date, but the first cour may also be short (there’s rumours to that effect) so the exact scheduling would take time to confirm in that case.

      Now stuff like Build Divide and Blade Runner are definitely up in the air, but like Kimetsu I expect their info to pop up in the next week or two.

  13. Am I crazy to be excited for 86 S2 over S2 Kaimetsu no Yaiba? I remember fawning over Kaimetsu no Yaiba after watching all the episodes of S1 and wishing for Kanao to have a good future. Then I watched 86 and my eyes had a monsoon for two weeks.

  14. great summary as usual team RC.

    looking forward to KnY ofc, Ousama Ranking looks intriguing (esp in Wit’s hands).

    REALLY hoping MuvLuv gets a worthy adaptation.. it’s too good to get the Berserk treatment – which I concerned about.

    1. Ousama Ranking definitely looking like the dark horse.

      MuvLuv I don’t know. LIDENSFILM definitely has a lot of technical quality going for them in terms of how they can produce crisp looking animation. But there’s always something lacking in terms of the soul, perhaps because they seem to lean so heavily on computer drawings/CGI animation.

  15. Gensou Sangokushi can be removed; delayed till, as of yet, unannounced premiere date. At very least, it won’t be this fall.

    Shuumatsu no Harem can be safely removed as well. They aired episode 1, but the rest of the season will be delayed till Winter 2022.

    1. Already ahead of you with Shuumatsu no Harem, that popped up on Thursday unexpectedly lol. TY for pointing out Gensou and Blade Runner though, didn’t realize Gensou especially had announced a delay earlier last month!

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