In case you missed it, Part 1 is here.
The second half of our anime preview focuses on what you might call our “second string” authors. Jake and Eric are both new to the site, although they do have extensive anime blogging experience. As for Chris, he’s a regular guest on the podcast, but has been too disillusioned with recent anime to do much reviewing. However, with a little coercing from my taskmaster whip, they should all be writing weekly anime reviews for the fall season. As for which shows they’ll be covering, we still haven’t worked out those details yet. However, you can get a fairly good idea of their tastes by reading their short previews below. I’ve also included a preview by a special guest, Janai of the eponymous Janaiblog. Enjoy, and be sure to leave your own 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.
Jake (of Jake’s Anime Blog)
To put it simply, I was amazed when I saw how many shows were coming out this fall that I wanted to watch. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a season with so many series that caught my eye as prospective pick-ups. At last count, there were thirteen that I was considering, but the rigors of my college schedule will force me to whittle that number down as I go along.
With the exception of Panty and Stocking, all of the shows I consider “locks” for viewing this fall are romantic comedies. Sora no Otoshimono was the first show this season that I knew I must watch. I loved the first season, and I was pleased to find out that a second one had been green-lighted. Motte To Love-Ru is another must-watch. The first season was one of the funniest harem shows I’ve ever seen, and I’m glad my Twitter friends convinced me to buy the DVDs. Though I didn’t initially consider it a “lock” for my fall viewing, the research I’ve done on Fortune Arterial: Red Promise leads me to think I’ll enjoy the show. I’m not expecting too much from it, but if it makes me laugh, I’ll be satisfied. Another show that’s worked its way up into the “lock” status is My Little Sister Can’t be this Cute. As with Fortune Arterial, I’m not expecting too much, but it looks like it will amuse me.
My final “lock” for viewing this fall is, as I have already alluded to, Panty and Stocking. I don’t think I was originally going to pick this up, but the trailer for it impressed me enough to change my opinion. I must admit, the usage of a 1990’s American style of animation is probably what intrigues me most, especially since this appears to be anything but a kids’ show. It will be interesting to see how this affects the story and presentation.
As for the other shows I’m considering, Soredemo wa Matteiru looks to be the one I’m most likely to pick up as well. There are two main reasons for this: first, I’ve long been a fan of SHAFT’s work, and second, it’s on Thursday, which is one of the least demanding days of my schedule. The second seasons of Arakawa Under the Bridge and A Certain Magical Index also look to be likely pick-ups, but I’d like to finish their respective first seasons before I move on to them. As much as I’d like to see it, I believe I’ll have to pass on The World God Only Knows, as it happens to air on the busiest day of my week. The other shows I’m considering picking up are MM!, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, Shinryaku! Ika Musume, and Otome Youkai Zakura. Of these, the first two are the most likely ones to be picked up, but only because they happen to have weekend air dates.
Eric (aka The Austin Critic)
This summer season was probably the worst I have ever experienced in my whole year of reviewing anime. Whether it be the over abundance of fanservice (I’m looking at you Highschool of the Dead), the crazy character models, the generic concepts, or the poor execution of plot, it’s obvious that last season could have been much better. Thankfully, the upcoming fall season shows some promise and while a majority of the shows look pretty mediocre, a few have piqued my interest.
The show that I’m interested in the most has to be Bakuman. While it doesn’t boast anything special animation-wise, the concept promises to give some insight into the life of a mangaka and will probably go into detail on the creation of a manga series. A show like this will probably allow viewers to gain a greater understanding of the industry, making me curious to see how it’ll turn out. Other shows that I want to watch include Iron Man, a show that obviously got my attention due to the fact that it was based on the popular American comic series. It seems like Madhouse may try to make this a darker adaptation, a prospect that really makes me wonder if it could match up to the two Iron Man films released recently.
Psychic Detective Yakumo is one series that I’m not really excited about, but will still watch due to the interesting concept. It’s been a while since a good horror show has been released (Shiki doesn’t count), so I’m hoping that it will succeed in actually scaring me, as the only anime able to do that thus far was Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni. Another show that seems pretty dark is Togainn no Chi, in which a guy named Akira tries to destroy a crime syndicate. Having experienced shows such as Darker than Black and Baccano!, I’m pretty excited to see a crime drama being released in this season, as the mature storyline gives me hope that this can be a unique experience.
Then there are a few of the shows that have a lesser chance of being checked out by me. Yosuga no Sora does have a nice art style, but an uninteresting concept. However, I don’t know enough about it to make a judgement call. Super Robot Taisen OG: The Inspector is, like Yosuga no Sora, a complete mystery to me. The only reason I’m watching this is because of my experience playing Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier, which I enjoyed for its funny characters. The series that seems to be the weirdest of this whole season has to be Kami Nomi Zo Shiru Sekai, as while it has an 80% chance of being a generic romantic comedy, its concept is so crazy that it might be entertaining.
Why is everyone falling head over heels for Panty and Stocking? Am I alone in my opinion that the ‘great American cartoons’ of the nineties, or whatever Jon keeps blabbering about, were complete crap? Any throwback that has that particular art style, like the Powerpuff Girls, isn’t worthy of the title ‘great’. Then again, I’m not American… so Panty and Stocking with its wild and crazy character designs does absolutely nothing for me, period. The only thing that is going to save that series from my binning it is an EPIC story or equally satisfying comedic element.
Something I really am looking forward to is, perhaps predictably, Iron Man. I really enjoyed the recent movie adaptations starring Robert Downey Jr, and have high hopes that MADHOUSE can pull it off in anime form. My only concern is how, in the movies, Downey made the role his own with his acting style. Can the series, with a faceless seiyuu, compete on any scale with its American counterpart? Time will tell.
As a manga nut I will give Bakuman a shot as it promises a pair of mangaka going through the motions of becoming famous and scoring hot chicks, both of which are interesting story elements. That said, I am purposely not researching the series any further or finding the manga online because I want to be impressed without much risk of disappointment. Same goes with My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute! and Yosuga no Sora.
Janai (of Janaiblog)
Many anime fans seem to be weary of the upcoming fall season, and the biggest cause of that may be the large amount of “Season 2″s on the roster. While this may not work out for some people, it’s great for fans of those series, such as myself! Am I looking forward to the continuations of some of my favorite shows ever? YOU BET I AM!
For starters, both To Love-Ru and Sora no Otoshimono are getting second seasons. Both of these shows involve some extra-terrestrial girls falling (literally) into the life of some guy. So they’re your basic rom-com harem stories… with lots and lots of fanservice! While they don’t really do much to set themselves apart from other anime of their kind, both are hysterical in their own way. I loved season 1 of both of these shows, and if you’re into that kind of stuff, you should be super-psyched for these.
The Index saga continues with To Aru Majutsu no Index 2. While the first season did have several pacing issues, I still enjoyed it very much because of its intricate story and fun character designs. Index (and Railgun, its side story) is definitely worth a look for anyone into fantasy.
But enough about sequels. I predict The World God Only Knows will be the most talked about show of the season, mainly based on the popularity of the manga. Having read some of the manga myself, I can say that it’s very funny, and I can only hope that the humor translates well into anime form. Check it out on Crunchyroll starting soon.
Some new mecha shows! Finally! Between both Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto and Super Robot Taisen OG: The Inspector it looks like mecha might be making a bit of a comeback, and that’s not a bad thing at all. Blending mecha action together with the CG technology we have today makes for some excellent eye candy.
Finally, for some odd reason I’m compelled to watch Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai (for the love of God, can we please just call it OreImo?). The show looks like a Nogizaka Haruka ripoff (sort of) that has nothing new to offer, but I figure I’ll give this one at least a few episodes. I like the character designs from what I’ve seen, so who knows? Maybe I’ll end up liking it.