We are Project Haruhi. We are not one, but many.
That’s right! Contrary to popular belief, this website actually has several different authors writing for us. And we’re not just a bunch of emotionless clones, either… we each have unique opinions and aesthetic preferences. Despite what some of our readers believe, we’re not all grumpy moe-hating oldfags or fanservice-bashing puritans. Our tastes are as diverse as the colors of the rainbow.
To help emphasize that fact, I’ve asked each of our authors to write up their own short fall anime preview, detailing which shows they’re interested in and why. The first four of these previews are in this post; the rest will come tomorrow. Hopefully, this should give you a good idea of what to expect in our upcoming episode reviews and podcasts. Maybe our opinions will help you decide which shows you want to watch as well. So read on below the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comment section.
Note: Before reading this, it might be a good idea to check out Random Curiosity’s preview. It has descriptions and trailers for each of the shows we’ll be talking about, and is generally an excellent resource for keeping track of the new fall season anime.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, I love American comics, so I’m very excited about Iron Man. Not only does it have Madhouse’s talent behind it, but Tony Stark’s penchant for constantly upgrading his suit makes it a perfect fit for a Japanese audience weaned on shounen and mecha series that love introducing new models, weapons and fighting techniques. That said, I question Madhouse’s decision to use CG for the armored suits. I don’t think it will look nearly as good as pure animation could.
On the more traditional mecha front, I have Super Robot Wars OG and Star Driver to look forward to. Of the two, I’m more eager to see what Star Driver has in store, since its art style seems to be taking a page from Gurren Lagann and transplanting it in a school setting. Super Robot Wars, however, did nothing in its promo to make me think it’ll be anything other than generic. I’ll certainly give it a chance—since I’m starved for mecha at the moment—but I won’t get my hopes up.
And then there are the shows I’m not sure what to make of, such as Panty & Stocking. It seems to be Gainax’s homage to American cartoons, which—if true—should be really cool. I think it’s great that Japanese companies are starting to blend different cultural influences into their entertainment products. Bakuman wasn’t initially on my radar, but the more I read about it the more I want to check it out. Plus, I’m a writer, so a show about the difficult road to becoming a mangaka might “speak to me.” Or something.
Finally, there are a few shows I’m planning on taste-testing. The promo for Psychic Detective Yakumo, for instance, did not hook me at all; but we hardly get any horror series in anime, so I’ll give it a couple episodes and hope BEE TRAIN just makes really dull promos. The World Only God Knows has an interesting premise, but I fear the execution will either be bland or terrible. Given the track record modern anime has for showing believable and healthy romantic relationships, I think my fear is well-founded. I feel similarly about My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute!. Could it actually be a good comedy? Yes. Could the hype surrounding it be justified? Sure. Am I skeptical about it? Considering how disappointed I was with Lucky Star, absolutely.
So, that’s my list. I have quite a few more things to try than I did last season, which is a good sign. Maybe not so good for my free time, though.
Surprisingly, I’m not all that excited about Iron Man. Maybe it’s the lackluster trailers, or the middling review of the first episode on ANN, but I can’t shake the feeling that this series is going to be a disappointment. As I’ve already stated, I think the must-watch anime of this season is going to be Gainax’s next blockbuster, Panty & Stocking. This utterly absurd tribute to the great American cartoons of the nineties looks like the twisted love child of Genndy Tartakovsky and Jhonen Vasquez. This show will be a welcome relief from the endless stream of slice-of-life and romantic comedy crap that’s been sucking all the life out of anime as of late.
Speaking of romantic comedy, I am planning to watch My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute!, or OreImo as the fans call it. And you know what? I am going to be absolutely merciless in my criticism of this show. Based on the trailers, it looks like an utterly abominable blend of every tired cliché imaginable… exactly the kind of show I love to hate. I’ll keep an open mind, but OreImo is going to have to work hard to impress me.
Naturally, I’ll be watching Star Driver because of its unique take on mecha designs. However, based on the trailers, it looks a little too much like Gurren Lagann for my liking. I will NOT be watching Index as I had originally planned, since I haven’t found time to finish the first season. Finally, we come to Hyakka Ryoran Samurai Girls, the fanservice show of this season. I had previously dismissed this show as having no redeeming value, much like Queen’s Blade or Strike Witches, but the trailers have changed my opinion completely. The mise-en-scéne of this show is absolutely stunning; even if the story turns out to be total crap, I’ll probably keep watching for the art alone.
And there you have it. This season has a lot more promise than the last one, and I’m hoping these shows can follow through.
I’ll admit that a show will attract my attention simply because it seems completely different from what I’m used to seeing. Sometimes I find gems, and sometimes I’m reminded that things are often a lot more interesting in my mind than they actually turn out to be. After meandering through a handful of previews which seemed interesting and a few that didn’t, I’ve managed to pick out five potentially unusual series which I’ll initially be following.
Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge easily had the best trailer out of everything I watched, and the unusual setting combined with Shinbou as the director and production by SHAFT makes this a shoo-in for me. Apparently it’s a sequel, though, so I’m hoping I can blast through the first series before this one premieres. Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru has a similar appeal in that it’s also a Shinbou/SHAFT production, but I’m admittedly a little less enthusiastic about this one as the setting is a bit more typical. Still, it’s been a while since I watched a gag-centric slice-of-life series, so I think it’s worth a shot.
Otome Youkai Zakuro has an interesting premise, but the trailer broke a bit of my confidence with its generic presentation. Still, the last time I saw an anime with the Imperial Japanese Army as protagonists was in old war-era propaganda shorts, so I’ll at least give this a chance. Yosuga no Sora is an eroge adaptation which, judging from the trailer, may end up actually being erotic. I’m hoping this will be one of the extremely rare anime which portray sexual relationships in a tasteful yet unashamed manner. However, with the trailer showing the main character about to French kiss his sister with her tongue hanging out in typical hentai fashion, I’m braced for disappointment. Finally, Kuragehime basically gender-swaps the old otaku group dynamic and drops a cross-dresser who is running away from his father into the middle. I look for unusual things and this show seems to have it in spades.
Out of all the shows I’ve seen for the coming season, Iron Man appears as though it will be the most watched–despite how good or bad it may be. Personally, I’m not a very big mecha fan, but for the sake of keeping up with what people enjoy, I’ll certainly check it out to see what all the hubbub is about.
Of course, there’s no way I could pass the chance to see Panty and Stocking. It’s hard to tell how this show will turn out, with its very distinctive and crazy style. I’m hoping it winds up as a very entertaining anime, since I was forced to sit through so much crap last season. I’m also going to at least give Bakuman a chance, due to all that I’ve heard about it. I really need something to help wash down this moe crap. I am also going to give Psychic Detective Yakumo a try, since I haven’t seen a good thriller anime since Paranoia Agent. Plus, I’ve always seemed to enjoy watching detective shows, and this one seems like it could actually be scary.
But of course, I’m still a slice-of-life nutcase. The World Only God Knows has definitely caught my interest because of all the hype, despite my uncertainty on whether I’ll enjoy it or not. I feel the same way about My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute!. It may end up as a great comedy or a huge dud. Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru has also just barely pulled in my interest, simply due to the fact that it’s slice-of-life. Plus, it looks as thought it’s a bit more unique compared to most shows I’ve seen recently. And–just for the heck of it–MM!, just because it looks somewhat interesting. No, it has nothing to do with the masochism. I swear.
So far, that’s all I’m planning on watching. I’ll probably add or drop shows from this list based on what others say, though.