The Winter Anime Season has arrived. This pretty much means me ranking a ton of new anime and pretty much being dead wrong by the time February rolls around. Let’s get this started!
Now, for those of you who don’t know how my Compendiums work, it’s simple: I only rank all of the new TV anime that’s making their debut this Winter. No Sequels (*looks at Silver Spoon and Chuu2Koi2*). No already existing franchises, or I guess long running franchises (*Looks at Saki, Seitokai Yakuindomo*). No Shorts (*looks at Pupipo, Strange +*). And of course, no films or OVAs. It just makes everything easy for me/I get to shine all the new faces in anime. For better or for worse. So, you get how things work? Then I better get started!
24. Super Sonico The Animation
Title: Super Sonico The Animation
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Studio: White Fox
Director: Kenichi Kawamura (Rozen Maiden)
Script: Yousuke Kuroda (Big Windup, Gundam Build Fighters, High School of The Dead, Maken-Ki!, Trigun)
Air Date: January 6
Official Website: http://soniani.jp/
Summary: A series featuring Super Sonico, the mascot girl of Nitroplus.
My Take: This is it boys and girls. Mark it down: This will be White Fox’s first “everybody agrees it’s going to be awful” anime series they’ve worked on. ”But wait, what about that Tears to Tiara anime?” Well you could make that case, but I did hear some liked it back in the day and it was their first work, so I’ll give them a pass. “Well fine, at least Katanagatari was possibly terrible.” Nah, aside from a few people, not really. “…Steins;Gate?” I just wrote words expressing how much I liked it. And while MAL can be bad with rankings, Steins;Gate is pretty high there. “Well, fine, Robotics;Notes definitely sucked.” They knew better than to adapt that crap. Instead, they did Jormungand. “Well didn’t Jormungand suck?” To some people, a lot. To others, specifically one person who writes for this site, nope. ”Well then, that show you ranked pretty low a few compendiums back must have been bad as you predicted!” Well, no. I mean, I wasn’t too big a fan of Hataraku Maou-Sama, but there were fans of it out there. So in other words, there’s an argument for their shows to be good. This on the other hand has to defy the cash in syndrome and be one of the most revolutionary anime series in the past decade to be any good. Instead, it looks like a sh**ty ecchi anime. I think White Fox will be raking in the money, but not because of the show’s quality.
23. Recently, My Sister is Unusual
Title: Recently, My Sister is Unusual (Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okaishiin da ga)
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Supernatural
Studio: Project No. 9
Director: Hiroyuki Hata (TV Director Debut)
Series Composition: Hideyuki Kurata (Dragon Crisis, Now and Then, Here and There, Oreimo, Read or Die)
Original Creator: Mari Matsuzawa
Air Date: January 4
Official Website: http://www.imocyo-anime.com/
Summary: A girl named Mitsuki Kanzaki lives with her step-brother Yuya after her mother remarries. One day, Mitsuki is possessed by the self-proclaimed spirit of a young girl, Hiyori Kotobuki. Hiyori (in Mitsuki’s body) must fall in love with Yuya to move toward the “Gates of Heaven.”
My Take: The token imouto anime of the season. The good news is this seems to be the only one. The bad news is this looks like it’ll be pretty terrible. Maybe Kurata can spice up the light novel series now that’s an anime adaptation. He could also relish in being lazy too once the money starts coming in when the BD/DVD of this hits store shelves. Then the show will run around in circles and be horrible. And because I avoided watching this anime, I can safety say I kept my anime (mind) virginity safe.
22. Youkai Watch
Title: Youkai Watch
Genre: Comedy, Supernatural
Studio: Oriental Light and Magic
Director: Shinji Ushiro (Omamori Himari, We Without Wings)
Series Composition: Yoichi Kato (Aikatsu!, Mushibugyo)
Original Creator: Level-5
Air Date: January 8
Official Website: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/youkai-watch
Summary: The story begins when Keta discovers an old capsule toy vending machine in the forest. Keta receives a mysterious watch and meets a ghost butler named Whisper. Whisper tells K?ta that the watch allows him to see supernatural creatures — both good and evil — that he could not see before in everyday life. With Whisper and his other companion Jibanyan, Keta explores his town for other ghosts to battle.
My Take: Oh look, a kids anime based off what I guess is a wildly popular video game franchise. Or at the least, a fairly successful video game franchise. I mean it looks exactly as you’d think it would, minus the fact that I couldn’t find a better trailer. The art’s definitely cute, I guess. The story I guess is ok. You see I’m saying I guess a lot like? I’m guessing that I won’t be impressed. Unfortunately, kids anime since Ginga e Kickoff have been few and far between. I tried Tanken Driland’s first episode. It sucked. I tried Gyrozetter. It was exciting! And then some weeks after it was exciting, it started sucking, and sucked for months. I tried Beast Saga. I’ve thankfully forgotten Beast Saga because what I remember watching of it sucked. I didn’t try Gaist Crusher. That’s because it sucked. (Actually I banned myself for watching a lot of Fall anime series, but no one talks about it. I think everyone sucks in this case then.) So I’m expecting little from this anime.
21. Future Card BuddyFight
Title: Future Card Buddyfight
Director: Shigetaka Ikeda (TV Director Debut)
Series Composition: Masanao Akahoshi (A Certain Magical Index, Freezing, la storia della Arcana Famiglia)
Original Creator: Bushiroad Inc.
Air Date: January 4
Official Website: http://www.tv-aichi.co.jp/fc-buddyfight/
Summary: The anime takes place around the year 2030, in Japan’s new capital city of Chou Tokyo. Humans intermingle with beings from the parallel world of “Shinkinkai.” The “Buddyfight” game chooses humans (“Buddyfighters”) and partners them with Buddy Monsters from Shinkinkai, and the duo fight against other Buddyfighters. The battles in these games can sometimes even influence the fate of a country. Gaou Mikado is a sixth-year student at the “Partner Academy” elementary division who longs to be a Buddyfighter and to be partnered with a Monster. One day Gaou notices a young boy being bullied by delinquents, and he helps him out using his Aiki-jujutsu skills. Drum Bunker Dragon, a Monster and the son of the hero of Dragon World, watches Gaou’s actions, and decides to form a contract with him.
My Take: And look, we have another kids anime series, though I think this has more going for it. For starters, that trailer. Just the fact that Bushiroad had the gall to go threaten a poor JP voice narrator to speak English in such fashion is only grounds for complete awesomeness. And the other fact is that this is from Bushiroad. This inevitably means Buddyfight’s going to last more than two seasons at worst, and will run as long as Bushiroad’s current card game craze, CardFight! Vanguard. Don’t worry about the usage of CG, it won’t really matter. The kids will gobble it up, adults might gobble it up, and before you know it, Bushiroad’s going to try and sell their terrible card game over to us humans in the US. Those corporate bastards!
I love you too Bushiroad.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Studio: Silver Link
Director: Shin Oonuma (C3, Kokoro Connect, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, Watamote)
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote (Genshiken, Joshiraku, Princess Tutu, Ro-Kyu-Bu, Squid Girl)
Original Creator: Shiratori Shirow
Air Date: January 10
Official Website: http://www.no-rin.tv/
Summary: When the national idol Kusakabe Yuka suddenly retired from the entertainment business, it shocked the world and it devastated teenager Hata Kosaku. Kosaku was Yuka’s biggest fan and her departure left him depressed. His classmates at the Tamo Agriculture School finally are able to get him to leave his room and attend his class, but to everyone’s amazement, Kusakabe Yuka (her stage name) comes into the class under the name Kinoshita Ringo as a transfer student. Kosaku realizes he has the once in a lifetime opportunity to get to personally know his dream girl and, together with his group of friends, try to find out why she is here and become closer than just classmates.
My Take: Look, this is probably going to be better than I’m giving cre– yeah, I can’t do it. I can’t write that sentence. I admit though the trailer makes everything seem interesting, but this show’s about to bring up agriculture. And a former idol. 1) We have an agriculture anime. It’s called Silver Spoon. Don’t give me that look, you’ve heard of Silver Spoon. I bet you know it by its JP name. Yep, Gin no Saji! Go watch that instead. It’s apparently the only good NoitiminA series in the past couple years or so. 2) I can’t do idols. I tried The iDOlM@STER. I lasted three episodes. I tried AKB4800, and tapped out after 1 episode. I just read Seiyu Academy and I nearly puked. Me and idols is a destructive combination for both sides. 3) Shin Oonuma’s on the call. And boy, Shin Oonuma’s still on my bad side after the work he’s done with the shows I’ve listed above. Ok, except Watamote — and even then, that’s a close call. Unless No-Rin gets hyped up by the many who dare decide to kill themselves to watch every premiere anime, I will just watch something in my backlog instead. That’ll be infinitely better.
19. Wake Up, Girls!
Title: Wake Up, Girls!
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Director: Yutaka Yamamoto (Kannagi, Fractale, Senyuu)
Series Composition: Touko Machida (Allison & Lillia, Battle Girls – Time Paradox, Cat God, Tears to Tiara)
Original Creator: Yutaka Yamamoto
Air Date: Jan 10
Official Website: http://wakeupgirls.jp/
Summary: Green Leaves Entertainment is a tiny production company on the verge of going out of business in Sendai, the biggest city in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region. The agency once managed the careers of magicians, photo idols, fortune-tellers, and other entertainers, but its last remaining client finally quit. In danger of having zero talent (literally), the president Tange hatches an idea of producing an idol group. On the brash president’s orders, the dissatisfied manager Matsuda heads out to scout raw talent. Matsuda makes a fateful encounter with a certain girl….
My Take: Just the words idol force me to go hide under the covers. Then you add group and just like that I expect the lights to go out and then get invaded by idols. Normally that would be a good thing, except they’ll be whacking me with metal bats, and I expect bones to be broken because of it. But combine that and add Yutaka Yamamoto into this, and there’s a good chance I’ll wake up unable to feel a single part of my body. That’s just how dangerous Yamakan is. I mean, that man did the greatest work ever by making Senyuu, and now he’s back, not only doing what looks like it’ll be an unfunny and potentially drama laden TV series, he even gets to do a movie. I actually need to ask: is this the first time where there’s a movie and TV tie-in in one day? I mean, what’s up with that? Do you go see the movie first then go watch the TV series? But why go watch a movie when you haven’t seen the TV series yet? Or maybe this is reve–ok I better stop while I’m ahead. The point is, looks kind of meh, has a unreliable staff (well, I guess Machida’s reliable, since she’s been working on so much anime), and again, idols. Me ranking it this high might be generous.
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Supernatural
Director: Nobuhiro Kondo (First TV Directorial debut)
Series Composition: Hiroshi Yamaguchi (Comic Party, Gingitsune, Rosario + Vampire)
Original Creator: Masato Hisa
Air Date: January 5
Official Website: http://www.vap.co.jp/nobunagun/
Summary: Shio Ogura is a Japanese high school student, who is visiting Taiwan on a school trip when she is suddenly attacked by monsters. Agents known as “E-Gene Holders” from the government agency DOGOO also arrive, who wield weapons infused with the spirits of historical figures. Shio is revealed to also be an E-Gene Holder when the soul of Oda Nobunaga awakens after she tries to rescue a friend.
My Take: You know, I thought there had been something odd the past couple seasons in regards to what anime make their debut — there was no Nobunaga rip off series! And joy, there’s two this season. I can only come to two conclusions:
- Japan forgot the memo that they were supposed to make terrible Nobunaga adaptations every season
- I wish Japan forgot the memo that they were supposed to make terrible Nobunaga adaptations every season
Now this particular version of Nobunaga seems like it won’t be completely terrible, but I wasn’t all that impressed with its trailer. This can probably be better than I’m giving it credit for, but I don’t really like it’s chances.
17. Witch Craft Works
Title: Witch Craft Works
Genre: Action, Romance, Supernatural
Studio: J.C Staff
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima (Another, Big Windup, Blood C, Girls und Panzer)
Series Composition: Tsutomu Mizushima (Ichigo 100%)
Original Creator: Ryuu Mizunagi
Air Date: Jan 5
Official Website: http://www.witch-cw-anime.jp/
Summary: Honoka knows his classmate Ayaka is talented in both the pen and the sword, attractive in face and figure, and that everyone at school calls her the Princess. When he gets himself involved in the “Witch of the Tower” incident one day after school, however, he learns she is also a witch sent to protect him. From then on, his ordinary school life is completely turned upside down, as he discovers that most of his classmates are not what they seem.
My Take: Seriously, why? Don’t we know that Tsutomu Mizushima is at his best when he does comedy? Just why in the world is he working on something that seems like it’ll be half serious? Don’t you know that Blood-C and Another were kinda not good? Don’t you realize how much a good portion of us loved Squid Girl and Girls und Panzer? No? Well screw you guys! It looks like he’s picked up a pretty forgettable series. Well, at least the trailer gives that sense to me. Maybe if we’re lucky J.C. Staff will turn this into something special. But I’d rather go play the lotto and take my chances there.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Studio: Brains Base
Director: Seki Sugawara (TV Director Debut)
Series Composition: Makoto Uezu (Arpeggio of Blue Steel, Danganronpa the Animation, School Days, Tentai Senshi Sunred)
Original Creator: Tomoya Haruno
Air Date: January 6
Official Websites: http://www.d-fragments.net/, http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/d-frag/
Summary: Kazama Kenji likes to believe he is something of a delinquent. Moreover, others seem to like to agree that he is. Of course, Kenji’s gang finds their way to a group of four not-so-normal girls—Chitose, Sakura, Minami and Roka—and all at once, whatever reputation he may have is nothing compared to the outrageous behavior of the girls. Shanghaied into joining their club, what will happen to his everyday life from that point on?
My Take: Brains Base R.I.P. I mean I think I’ve said that for a few years now haven’t I? I mean, this is what they have worked on since 2011– i.e, post Penguindrum:
My Little Monster
Ixion Saga DT
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
Now ok I omitted one of the Natsume series, I actually liked Ixion Saga DT (But that had terrible episodes mixed in), I think My Little Monster could be good (still have it backlogged), but I think that’s more memorable for the rape controversy than it being completely memorable, and SNAFU’s also in my backlog, but opinions are mixed. Otherwise everything else they worked on since is crap. This particular series they’re working on just looks kind of generic. Maybe it’ll be funny, but you’re not doing yourself any favors by having the guy who worked on three straight awful series on this anime. Maybe Kishi was limiting Uezu. Maybe he’ll take no guff from this rookie TV director. Maybe he’ll remember to be a professional series composer and help contribute to a series.
…I don’t think that’s going to happen.
15. Mikakunin de Shinkoukei
Title: Mikakunin de Shinkoukei
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Director: Yoshiyuki Fujiwara (First Directorial Debut)
Series Composition: Fumihiko Shimo (Air, Burst Angel, Clannad, Gravion, Kokoro Connect)
Original Creator: Cherry Arai
Air Date: Jan 9
Official Website: http://mikakunin.jp/
Summary: Yonomi Kobeni, an ordinary girl, finds out on her 16th birthday that she is betrothed to Mitsumine Hakuya, a boy the same age as her. Hakuya moves in from the countryside and starts living with her, bringing his younger sister who is still a primary school student with him.
My Take: Could be one of the few surprises of the anime season. It’s just a lovely looking slice of life series that apparently involves a dude and three girls.
….Well, Dogakobo has been on a bit of roll for the most part. Their last three series, GJ-Bu, Majestic Prince, and Love Lab have for the most part been decently received. The trailer itself doesn’t seem too terrible, and I do like the character designs a bit. The staff seems ok enough, but slice of life series have been a hit or a miss with me. They generally can do things that are good, but then they can do things that are soooooooooo borrrrrrrrrringgggg, which is why unless it has a killer staff and a killer production studio, I can’t rate them too high. But I guess we’ll see with this anime here.
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Mystery
Chief Director: Seiji Kishi (Persona 4, Devil Survivor 2: The Animation, Humanity Has Declined, Arpeggio of Blue Steel)
Director: Hiroshi Kimura (Haitai Nanafa, Recorder and Randsell)
Script: Jun Kumagai (Galilei Donna, Aura), Touka Machida
Original Concept: Natsu Shoubu, Yuuki Kodama
Air Date: January 7
Official Websites: http://hamatorapj.com/, http://hamatorapj.com/animation.html
Summary: The story revolves around “Minimum” or “minor miracle”— special hereditary powers discovered only in an extremely limited number of humans. Those who possess such powers are known as “Minimum Holders.” Partners Nice and Murasaki form a detective agency called “Hamatora” in Yokohama in 2014 — but their “office” is a table at Café Nowhere where they and their friends wait for clients. An old acquaintance of theirs, a cop named Art, hires them for a serial murder case he is investigating, and they discover that the murder victims are all “Minimum Holders.” As Minimum Holders themselves, Nice and Murasaki are drawn into this case, whether they like it or not.
My Take: My first thought when I watched this trailer was, “there’s a lot of flair and style here.” Danganronpa had that going too. That didn’t last long. I can only thank the guy who directed it, and that happens to be the one who’s the chief director of Hamatora. Yeah, I’m concerned. Now, if there is any solace — this isn’t based off a video game. This also isn’t based off a manga. This is an original concept. Therefore…actually no, there’s no therefore. I dread watching this anime as much as I dread watching my Brooklyn Nets play basketball. My Brooklyn Nets are 10-20. In other words, they stink, and unless Hiroshi locks Seiji downstairs in the animation room (he’ll have to say, “Ah, Kishi-san, I left a few papers down there, can you go get them for me,” Seiji drunkenly goes to get it and that’s when Hiroshi locks him in there), this anime will probably stink too. I really hope not.
13. Z/X Ignition
Title: Z/X Ignition
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Studio: Pony Canyon
Director: Yuji Yamaguchi (Angel Links, Strawberry Eggs)
Original Creator: Nippon Ichi Software
Air Date: January 2014
Official Website: http://zxignition.tv/
Summary: The story is set in the not-so-distant future. Five “Black Points” suddenly appeared around the world as portals to parallel worlds. Immediately after, strange creatures began their invasion from these portals. These creatures are the inhabitants of five worlds — the same worlds in different timeframes. In order to ensure their own future timeframe survives, each of the five invasion forces battle to wipe the other future timeframes out. The key is one card-shaped device.
My Take: I’m going to assume it’s bad that I have it this high thanks to its trailer, but guys, I have it this high thanks to its trailer. The music got to me. I’m kind of weak like that — you get dramatic, foreboding music, I’m as good as a sucker. That and while cards are involved, maybe it’ll be a more mature version of the standard card games we get nowadays.
Or maybe I’m just a sucker. Stay tuned this entire month just to see if I’m too easily fooled by magic music. Or something like that.
12. Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha
Title: Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Supernatural
Studio: Production IMS
Director: Toru Takahashi (Orphen: The Revenge)
Series Composition: Touko Machida (Karneval, Okamikakushi, Ramen Fighter Miki)
Original Creator: Morohe Yoshida
Air Date: January 15
Official Website: http://inarikonkon.jp/
Summary: Inari Fushimi is a middle school girl who’s never had a requited love, since she’s shy, clumsy and not very bright. One day, she witnesses her crush Kouji giving a letter to her classmate Akemi. Shocked and saddened, Inari rushes to a shrine, where she sees a mysterious phenomenon. From this strange encounter, she gains the power of physical transformation.
My Take: Feels like we’re getting a lot of these anime that touches more on JP culture recently huh? Gingitsune, Eccentric Family, etc, etc…is this the new theme in Japan nowadays? Will we treat this with the same amount of scorn that Moe had gotten in the past? Probably not, though I bet someone out there will make the case that this can be pretty boring. And they can try, since these types of anime require a good understanding of Japanese culture. If you don’t get that, then chances of enjoying one is pretty low. The trailer looks ok, but having a Director who hasn’t directed in forever can be the difference between a good show and a bad one. So we’ll see if Toru has the chops, since surely Touko’s gonna be busy with the amount of shows on her plate.
11. Nobunaga The Fool
Title: Nobunaga the Fool
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Director: Eiichi Sato (Fortune Quest L, Kenyuu Densetsu Yaiba, Slayers Next)
Series Composition: Shoji Kawamori (AKB0048, Macross 7, The Vision of Escaflowne)
Original Creator: Shoji Kawamori
Air Date: January 5
Official Website: http://www.nobunaga.tv/
Summary: The planets of the East and the West were once connected by the Ama-no-Hashidate. The culture that built it was destroyed countless years ago, and the two planets have had separate histories ever since. On the Western planet, ancient culture is experiencing a renaissance after a long period of war. Jeanne Kaguya D’Arc, a girl from the Western Planet, was prophesied to be the Savior of the World at her birth. With Leonard Da Vinci, she lands on the Eastern Planet, where Nobunaga “the Fool” longs for the power to change the world, as his planet is still locked in a war where many heroes vie for supremacy. When these two people meet, the culture of both worlds will be transformed.
My Take: Annnnddd we get to the other Nobunaga series, which I have a bit more excitement for, I think. It looks kind of cool to me, and the staff seems good enough. I mean, go search Shoji Kawamori and you’ll probably see what I mean. Satelight’s not that utmost reliable studio like a Madhouse or Production I.G., but they’re not completely terrible. Simply put, this can be pretty solid. I just hope it doesn’t have a bajillion mecha battles, since we’ll have to see the awful CG at work. I don’t need to see awful CG all the time.
10. Mahou Sensou
Title: Mahou Sensou (Magical Warfare)
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Director: Yuzo Sato (Bio Hunter, Gokusen, Iron Man, One Outs)
Series Composition: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu (Ben-To, Kampfer, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Wooser)
Original Creator: Hisashi Suzuki
Air Date: Jan 9
Official Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/mahosen/
Summary: Takeshi Nanase is an ordinary high school boy who has a somewhat dark past. Due to certain circumstances, he formed a “fake” couple with his childhood friend Kurumi Isoshima, but otherwise, he lives a normal life. However, one day, he comes across a girl named Mui Aiba, in a uniform he has never seen before, collapsed on the school campus. This encounter changes Takeshi’s destiny completely. Mui tells Takeshi that she is a magician, and she apologizes, for she turned Takeshi into a magician, too. What Takeshi once knew as one world is actually two—the world where magicians live and the world where humans live.
My Take: I actually wanted to rank this lower, but the pedigree of the company, the staff, and the stuff behind it kind of edged things up a notch. The trailer is kind of poor, but I couldn’t find a better quality one. The story seems pretty generic, but at least I can live with it. But considering Madhouse’s last LN adaptation into an anime (Sunday Without God), I’m VERY APPREHENSIVE IN THINKING THIS WILL BE GOOD. I’m hoping that the talent makes this anime stick out.
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Director: Kotaro Tamura (TV Director Debut)
Series Composition: Deko Akao (Arakawa Under The Bridge, Astarotte’s Toy, Blazblue, Mysterious Girlfriend X)
Original Creator: Adachitoka
Air Date: January 5
Official Website: http://noragami-anime.net/
Summary: Yato is a minor deity who lacks even a single shrine. In order to build his own shrine, he scrawls his cell number on the wall of a downtown bathroom telling people he will help them in exchange for a 5-yen offering, becoming a self-styled “delivery god.” Hiyori, the daughter of a respectable family, is almost in a traffic accident, but is rescued by Yato. This causes her to become a “hanyou,” a person who can easily lose her soul. She chases Yato down, and they begin to work together. Yato also finds a boy named Yukine who becomes a “sacred treasure” that can be used by a god. The three of them battle “you” who bring harm to humans as Yato’s hidden history is gradually revealed.
My Take: Probably too high, but I’ll deem it a combination of its premise and trailer is ok, and the stuff behind it doesn’t measure up. You could also consider anything from 12 to here to be about the same (they could be in any order), but that’s just a lame way to go about it. But whatever the case, this could just be a solid series that will probably be nothing special, but won’t be completely terrible. That’s a victory in my book.
8. World Conquest Zvezda Plot
Title: World Conquest Zvezda Plot (Sekai Seifuku ~ Bouryaku no Zvezda)
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Director: Tensai Okamura (Blue Exorcist, Darker Than Black, Wolf’s Rain)
Series Composition: Tensai Okamura, Meteo Hoshizora (Type-Moon)
Air Date: Jan 11
Official Website: http://www.sekaiseifuku-zzz.com/
Every leader of the past has thought of it… but all they have done was to merely dream of its greatness.
WORLD DOMINATION…nobody has been able to achieve it. Until one little girl by the name of
KATE HOSHIMIYA came along. KATE HOSHIMIYA will shock the world!
How was she was able to carry out such a MAGNIFICENT stunt? So FRIGHTFUL! So GLORIOUS!
Could this be…the ZVEZDA PLOT?!
Let the light of our great ZVEZDA shine upon this land far and wide!
My Take: Surely this anime will be good right? It’s got the crazy press release masquerading as a plot, it’s got two writers, it’s got multiple trailers out there (short, but they’re there), A-1 Pictures, despite what you can think of them, is a well known studio, and it’s backed by Aniplex. There’s no way this anime can do wrong can it?
…Well it can, but I like it’s chances at being something entertaining and worthwhile. If nothing else, maybe’ll it just be so bad its good. I’ll live with that. Probably.
7. Sakura Trick
Title: Sakura Trick
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Romance
Studio: Studio DEEN
Director: Ken’ichi Ishikura (D.C.III~ Da Capo III~)
Series Composition: Ken’ichi Ishikura
Original Creator: Tachi
Air Date: Jan 9
Official Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/sakura/
Summary: The story revolves around Haruka and Yuu, two girls who go to a high school that is slated to be shut down in three years. To share something special between them, they share a kiss, and their relationship deepens from that moment onward.
My Take: Can I first just say how goddamn refreshing it is to get a yuri romance anime series? I mean seriously, since I’ve started doing compendiums back in 2011 (Fall season), I have never had the luxury to talk smack about one. You know what that means — that means as long as it’s executed decently this will be the greatest thing since I learned how to make good french toast. You won’t believe how many times I screwed up making french toast as a college student.
Otherwise, it also looks like it won’t take forever to get to the point, if the trailers and summary mean anything. This could still devolve into a retched romance with drama that’s terrible, but I’m just going to bet it won’t. Things will be easier that way.
6. Wizard Barristers
Title: Wizard Barristers
Director: Yasuomi Umetsu (Galilel Donna, Mezzo)
Series Composition: Yasuomi Umetsu
Original Creator: Yasuomi Umetsu
Air Date: January 12
Official Website: http://wizardbarristers.com/
Summary: In 2018, humans and wizards live together in Tokyo. Police continue to protect order in society, but wizards are tried according to magical law, in special courts defended by wizard barristers. At age seventeen, Cecile has just become the youngest wizard barrister, and begins work at the Butterfly Law Offices. While she hasn’t realized it yet, she has tremendous magical potential.
My Take: Considering how I’ve heard for the last two months of how terrible Galilei Donna is, me ranking Wizard Barristers this high is probably shameful. For starters we got the same guy who did Galilei Donna working on this anime. Then you realize it’s done by ARMS. Their holy list of anime they’ve worked on is as follows:
- Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero
- Elfen Lied
- Girl’s High
- Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls
- Ikki Tousen
- Master of Martial Hearts
- Queen’s Blade
- Wanna Be The Strongest In The World
…There’s a very real theme here. That theme involves girls and lack of clothes. Or spicing things up a notch (Hi Maoyu). You can also look at what else they’ve done. HINT: it’s hentai. Something tells me I gave it away. Anyways, so with that knowledge and past history, I would surely have this ranked lower right? Welp, I’ve again been suckered. This trailer is awesome! That choreography! That action! That design that reminds me of Mezzo Forte. I really think this will be a good series, with a chance to be great…assuming these two complications that I’ve pointed out don’t screw things up. Oh, and the main character Cecile isn’t terribly annoying. The fact that it’s not any higher is probably because of their history. They should be lucky it’s not any lower though.
5. Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta
Title: Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta (A Love Song to a Certain Airship Pilot)
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Director: Toshimasa Suzuki (Lagrange – The Flower of Rin-Ne, Polyphonica Crimson S)
Series Composition: Shinichi Inotsume (Ristorante Paradiso, Sket Dance, The Unlimited – Hyoubu Kyousuke)
Original Creator: Koroku Inumura
Air Date: January 6
Official Website: http://koiuta.tv/
Summary: This is a tale of a prince who lost everything who leaves for a journey with no guarantee of returning to his hometown safely. With hatred and revenge in his mind, he meets several people that teach him about friendship… and love.My Take: I think this has the potential to be good. I just hope that Suzuki is not as terrible as I think he is when it comes to directing and I hope Koroku Inumura’s LN’s are actually good. It did get a movie, which has gotten some decent love in places, some dislike in others. The trailer for it is nice though, and I’m kind of partial to the character designs. Overall, it looks like it could be pretty solid, and that can’t be understated.
4. Cool-Headed Hoozuki
Title: Cool-Headed Hoozuki (Hoouzuki no Reitetsu)
Genre: Comedy, Supernatural
Studio: Wit Studio
Director: Hiro Kaburaki (Kimi ni Todoke)
Series Composition: Midori Gotou (Series Composition Debut)
Original Creator: Natsumi Eguchi
Air Date: Jan 9
Official Website: http://www.hozukino-reitetsu.com/
Summary: Hoozuki is the aide to the great king of Hell, King Enma. Calm and super-sadistic, Houzuki tries to resolve the various problems in Hell, including a rampaging Momotar? and his companions. However, he also likes spending his free time on his hobbies, such as fawning over cute animals and raising “Goldfish Flowers.
My Take: From what I can tell, it looks like it can be a funny series. From what I can tell, it looks like it can be a pretty entertaining work from week to week. And I’m hoping Wit Studio learned their lesson from doing Attack on Titan and they schedule better. The staff isn’t all that impressive, but the look of the anime is. I think it’ll be fairly good. I’ll take my chances with it.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director: Akiyuki Shinbo (Arakawa Under The Bridge, Hidamari Sketch, Moonphase, Nisemonogatari, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Sasami-San@Ganbaranai)
Director: Naoyuki Tatsuwa (Katte ni Kaizou)
Series Composition: Fuyashi Tou (Bakemonogatari, Monogatari Series: Second Season, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei)
Original Creator: Naoshi Komi
Air Date: January 11
Official Website: http://www.nisekoi.jp/
Summary: As a child, Raku Ichijo made a secret promise with his childhood sweetheart, keeping a pendant as a memento while his love took the key. He dreams of one day meeting his past love, but years later, reality smashes his hopes when Chitoge Kirisaki accidentally knees him in the face. Though Raku’s a normal high schooler, his family heads the notorious yakuza gang the Shuei-Gumi faction. And he’s dragged into family affairs when he’s forced into a relationship with Chitoge, the daughter of a rival gang’s boss.
My Take: “Ah hell yeah! Look at who’s directing this Nisekoi thing! You got the man who directed that hilarious comedy Arakawa Under the Bridge! That lovable, adorable, slice of life series Hidamari Sketch! That weird yet strangely enticing Moonphase! The Nisemonogatari series! PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA! AND ITS SHAFT! Ok ok so maybe Sasami-San@Ganbaranai didn’t turn out to be the greatest topping to your sundae, but this kind of success is unparalleled! So why in the world are you hating on Nisekoi?”
“Dude, they’re adapting a sh**ty generic Shonen Jump Rom-Com.”
And before you know it, hype dies. There are a lot of things that people can tolerate, but generic Shounen Jump rom-coms are not one of them, apparently, even though they don’t happen all that often. After all, the last SJ Rom-Com to get adapted was Hatsukoi Limited. In 2009. (and that might not even be a typical SJ Rom-Com) That said, Nisekoi is pretty generic. And to make matters worse, it’s pretty much been coasting thanks to it being popular in SJ. And yet, to think it won’t be any good is almost delusional. I say almost because any anime can be screwed up, but this series looks good. And you add all the Shaftism’s and stuff, it can be great. Or just plain weird. Whatever the case, I’ll take my chances in thinking Shinbo will at least be reliable enough to create a solid series. I’ll expect him to break my “The manga > anime” mold that I’ve pretty much held for years now. You can do it Shinbo and SHAFT! You got this!
2. Buddy Complex
Title: Buddy Complex
Genre: Action, Science Fiction
Director: Yasuhiro Tanabe (TV Director Debut)
Series Composition: Buddy Complex Project
Original Creator: Hajime Yatate
Air Date: January 5
Official Website: http://buddy-complex.jp/
Summary: Aoba Watase, a high school boy living in a city called Maihama, leads a normal life of school, romance, and the swim club. Watase’s life changes when he sees a beautiful girl, Hina Yumihara, at the pool one day and discovers he is initially the only person who can see her. In order to keep his high school’s swimming club open by recruiting more members, Watase hopes to enlist Hinao to appear in a promo video shot by Watase’s close friend, Gengo. Hina agrees, but on the condition that he does something for her in exchange – pilot a mecha for an organization known as Celebrum.
My Take: “Oh great. Sunrise is creating yet another terrible Mecha series. Hey don’t give me that look. No matter how you look at it, Valvrave was urrrrrghhhhhhh. I can only get sick just thinking about it. And now they think we’re going to fall for that same trick again? No, Sunrise, we’re not idiots. I can see your trick from my small apartment room in New York City. You’re going to come up with a crappy story, add inconceivable twists and braindead logic, terribad drama, and entirely too many mech fights. There’s absolutely no way, and no reason, to think I should believe Buddy Complex isn’t going to be you trying to shoehorn your mindset when it comes to mechs. I’m not falling for it. Just give up now.”
*Places note on January 5 to watch another terribad mecha anime series*
1. Space Dandy
Title: Space Dandy
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Chief Director: Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Kids on The Slope)
Director: Shingo Natsume (TV Director Debut)
Script: Dai Sato (Battle Spirits: Shounen Toppa Bashin, Eureka Seven)
Air Date: Jan 5
Official Website: http://www.space-dandy.com/
Toonami Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoZ2udQkr3c
Summary: Space Dandy is a space hunter, someone who is paid to search for new, undiscovered alien species. It’s an industry where the prize goes to the person who finds aliens the fastest. Dandy searches unknown planets for strange beings with his companions, QT the worn-out robot and Meow from Betelgeuse. Meanwhile, they’re being chased by minions of the Gorgol Empire, for reasons that are still a mystery.
My Take: Man, my number one’s have been picking up recently huh? Silver Spoon, Kill la Kill, and I expect Space Dandy to continue in the same tradition — just be damn good. And from what I finally did see (I tried to avoid searching it much until I worked on this Compendium), I can’t help but be impressed. It just feels like it’s a step or two above most of the shows this season. And with that killer staff on tow, I don’t expect this to disappointment.
Now, onto the elephant in the room: It’s airing on Toonami, and all I can say is, wow. In my many dreams in my past life, where I clung to my TV and didn’t like watching anime online, I never would have thought this would be possible. We get an anime to air before Japan! Now this has happened before with Kurokami, but it aired on a pretty obscure channel. This also happened with Monsuno, where it aired in the US first, then aired many months ago in JP, but not simultaneously. This is on Cartoon Network, or more specifically, Adult Swim, or even more specifically, Toonami. That, in of itself, is impressive. Needless to say, if this can do well ratings wise for Toonami, this may be more of a norm than just a one time thing.
…But I have my doubts. This type of work can’t be easy, and then of course comes the inevitable sub vs dub fight that’ll be more nuisance than productive. I’ll hope it does well, but I think I have to actually see it do well for me to think this will be more of an occurrence.
Because, you know, I’m definitely not the only one who has opinions out there. I think. Have some more thoughts:
Screw Attack: Winter 2014 Anime Line-Up
The Cart Driver: Winter 2014 Anime Season Preview
Japanator: Winter 2014 Anime Preview Guide
Lost in America: Anime & More: Winter 2014 Season Preview
Standing on My Neck: Let’s Talk About the Winter 2014 Anime Season
Random Curiosity: Winter 2014 Preview
RABUJOI: Winter 2014 Season Preview
Hashihime: Winter 2014 Anime
Angry Anime Bitches: WINTER ANIME 2014 PREVIEW
MagiCasparagus: 2014 Winter Anime Season Preview
Caraniel’s Ramblings: Winter 2014 Anime Preview
UK Anime Network: Winter 2014 Anime Preview
Denshiraku’s (Mostly) Anime Blog: Winter 2014 Anime
Jojo’s Bizarre Blog: The Weight of The Season: A Look at the Winter 2014 Anime Season
ZakuAbumi’s Anime Blog: Winter 2014
The G-Empire: OG’s Winter Anime 2013/2014 Picks
Genkina Hito’s Blog: Genkina Hito’s Winter 2014 Anime Selection
Metanorn: Winter Anime Catalogue 2014
Anime Aura: Winter 2014 Anime Season Preview
Glorio’s Anime Blog: Glorio Winter 2014 Anime Guide Part 1 and Part 2
Gar Gar Stegosaurus: Winter 2014 Season Preview
Jikman’s Anime Zone: Winter 2014 Anime Season Pre-Air Thoughts
Ok, it’s your turn to share what winter anime you’re looking forward to this season. Feel free to share!
Winter 2014 Anime Coverage
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