Winter Anime 2014 Roundtable Thoughts

Space Dandy Winter 2014Chuunibyou 2 Winter 2014 Silver Spoon Winter 2014

Oh look, here’s something new: some of the team actually providing their thoughts on the Winter Anime season! This can only end spectacularly. Anyways, 6 questions were asked to my team and a special guest. Here’s some of the responses back!

What are your initial impressions of the Winter anime season?

Kuuki (Go For Broke Columnist): FUCK YEAH SILVER SPOON!

Aside from that, well, nothing very different from other seasons. I always want to watch everything. Just from looking at the chart I’m already planning on watching 2/3’s of it. And usually it increases even more afterwards.

Emily (Anime Staff Reviewer, Amateur Rambling Blogger): The optimist I am, seasonal charts tend to inspire some hope and confidence in the upcoming season to produce a number of decent shows. This season’s chart is no different, with the number of shows that look like they’ll be pretty okay and the shows that look like they’ll fall completely on their faces being about half and half. That’s not too bad considering there are always going to be shows in a season that are bound to suck no matter what. I actually think this season has some real potential hits (okay, Space Dandy) in it which is exciting. That said, I do have to admit that the majority of the shows that I’m sort of interested in are ones that will probably turn out to be terribly average or simply bad. I can always hope, though!

sjw (Episode Staff Reviewer): Too many shounen/slice-of-life/Nobunaga rehash/comedy series for my taste. But we also have an unexpected amount of original works! Let’s see which series could be interesting…

Double Circle because it’s a perfect opportunity for Toushiba to market stuff

Toaru Hikuushi e no Uta, because it reminds me of the previous Toaru series, none of which I have watched, but the premise looks interesting. Fantasy world plus epic journey is always a good start for me.

Pupa. I don’t really like horror, but this one is supposed to be good.

Seitokai Yakuindomo 2, because I kinda liked the first series.

Chuunibyou 2, because the first series was painful-to-watch-yet-entertaining. (I really hated the blackmail scenes)

Runner-ups: Mahou Sensou, Wake up Girls!

Muse (Subdued Figures Columnist, Subdued Fangirling Blogger) : It seems like it’ll be an okay season. There’s nothing that’s really jumping out at me, but there’s a couple sequels airing that I’ve been looking forward to.

Chris (Through The Looking Glass Blogger): My genuine reaction was “eh?” I mean, I know that the winter season is traditionally weak as it’s off the back of the much stronger autumn season so shows aren’t quite as polished as those from the previous season (and they have to compete with the longer shows which have spilled over to the winter season) but man, this is pretty weak with very few shows standing out for me, and 2 of the bigger ones only stand out because I’ve been reading the manga for a while!

What anime series or two do you have high expectations for?

Kuuki: Not counting sequels (otherwise it’d be Silver Spoon 2 and Chuunibyou 2, not very surprising), I think I’ll have to say Houzuki no Reitetsu (Cool-Headed Hoozuki) and Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha. These two seem exactly like the supernatural stuff I dig.

AnimeEmily: Like everyone else, Space Dandy is, of course, the series that I’m most excited for, though, I’ll admit I’m probably not as hyped for it as everyone seems to be. Regardless, the series looks pretty neat from what’s come out so far and, how can I not be excited about a series with the word “Dandy” in it’s title? Surely this sign that only greatness can follow.

I’m also looking forward to Noragami, mainly because I have a friend who’s really looking forward to it and her excitement was infectious. After the watching the PV, though, I have to say, this show looks like it has the potential to be really exciting. At the very least, it’ll look nice, thank you very much BONES.

sjw: Toaru Hikuushi e no Uta and Chuunibyou 2

Muse: I’m expecting a lot out of Space Dandy, or rather, I’m expecting a lot from the animation and entertainment value. It’s the first simulcast on TV, how can I not be excited about it?

Chris: The only show I have high expectations for is Seitokai Yakuindomo 2, since the previous season, all the OVAs and the ongoing 4-koma are laugh out loud hilarious! But it’s been a while since the last show and there’s always the possibility that the delivery might be flat this time, but I really hope not.

What anime series or two do you think will be the surprise title of the season?

Hoouzuki no Reitetsu Winter 2014Kuuki: Houzuki no Reitetsu, especially among the ladies.

AnimeEmily: I think Houzuki no Reitetsu will end up being the surprise show of the season. Most people, I think, are expecting it to be pretty okay since Wit is behind it and the premise itself sounds like it could be pretty neat. I think this show will either manage to surprise people with an unexpected amount of excellence in terms of execution or manage to surprise in terms of how poorly it’s executed since I think the show could, honestly, go either way. Of course, I’m hoping the former will be true.

sjw: Surprise title… huh… really hard to say. I don’t usually make predictions about upcoming series – I start to watch a bunch of them and drop them as they turn out to be disappointments. Having said that, Inari, Konkon, Koi no Iroha has some potential – gender-bender and place-swap series can go either hilariously good (think Ouran High School) or hilariously bad.

Muse: These are hard to predict, but… I’m hoping that Sakura Trick will be received well. It’s pretty rare to get an animated yuri series at all, let alone one that has an actual relationship instead of being implied for fanservice value.

Chris: This is where I draw a complete blank since, Yakuindomo aside, there are no shows which really hit my “must watch” meter. Maybe Inari, Konkon, koi Iroha but I’ve been reading the manga for some time now, so it’s unlikely to hold any surprises for me.

Is there any anime related thing (director, writer, voice actor, etc) we should be keeping an eye on this Winter?

Kuuki: Mamoru Miyano. Because Wooser.

AnimeEmily: Maybe Studio Wit since Houzuki will be their second series and a good show of whether they have the potential to produce more than one hit.

Space Dandy is going to air on Toonami. What do you hope this will accomplish for anime in general? Or do you see this not working out so well? (I know some of you live in other countries, butttt I’d like to see if you can answer anyways)

Space Dandy Winter 2014Kuuki: Space Dandy seems like the type of show that plays on nostalgia so I guess that could be a good choice; on the other hand it seems hard to advertise, reading a summary of it really does not make me want to watch.

In any case, I think that if it can help get one more person interested in anime, then it’s worth the shot.

AnimeEmily: First off, I think it’s really neat that we get to experience something like Space Dandy airing on Toonami at the same time it’s airing in Japan. That said, I don’t really think it’ll have much of impact on anime in the States aside from maybe encouraging Funi or other companies to try and air dubbed versions of airing shows at the same time they’re airing in Japan, which would be really cool, but doesn’t seem like something that will happen. Maybe I’m simply being pessimistic, but I feel like unless it’s communicated to people that this is special and hasn’t happened before, casual viewers won’t really see a difference between Space Dandy on Toonami and the other shows airing alongside it. I also doubt it will make anime more “mainstream” or necessarily attract more people since the folks that are excited about Space Dandy on Toonami are the ones who regularly watch the channel anyway or have been in the fandom for a while. All that said, I’m not a huge Toonami watcher myself so I’m probably not the best person to be talking Space Dandy’s effect on anime in the States.

sjw: I don’t know if it will have any impact on anime airing outside JP, because as I gather, most people associate anime with Bleach/Naruto/One Piece/etc, and Space Dandy just doesn’t have this kind of reputation (and it’s an original to boot). Well this is true for the average Joe here, and things are probably quite different across the other side of the Atlantic.

Muse: I’m hoping that it’ll open up more doors for anime on TV. Having Toonami back is great, but we’re still a far cry from how it used to be. I love the availability of anime on digital outlets, but I’d also like for TV channels to give anime a fair chance instead of treating it as late-night filler or dismissing it entirely.

Chris: Space Dandy airing on Toonami will mean sweet FA to the scene in general. History has shown that companies in the west simply don’t get how to market shows properly in the west. Even when they have a sure fire hit, they never seem to know what to do to keep the momentum and popularity going so I predict that this will be a flash in the pan job and will be forgotten in a few years time. Anime will remain niche and the mainstream will still consider it simply cartoons and thus solely for kids. It has zero effect for us in the UK anyway, even now…

Super Sonico Winter 2014Finally, any bold predictions you think will take place this season?

Kuuki: There will be yuri!

AnimeEmily: Super Sonico will turn out to be a quality show full of deep characters and interesting plot lines….HA. On a serious note, I’m really hoping that Mikakunin de Shinkoukei turns out to be a major sleeper hit. Everyone will forget about it because of all the action-y/serious shows, but it’ll secretly be really cute and heartwarming.

sjw: Personally I will have *even less* time to watch anime. But to answer your question, I’d expect this upcoming season to be viewed as one that sucks come April. Everyone’s viewpoint is different of course, but I just don’t see any shows that are WOW THIS IS FREEKIN EPIC I MUST WATCH THIS NOW level on a first glance.


Chris: No predictions from me but I will eat my hat if Maken Ki 2 is anything other than trash. (note: I am not wearing a hat, nor do I actually own one). Oh and Chuunibyou 2 and Super Sonico will suck donkeys balls. In fact, I will predict something. Super Sonico will be so bad, you will want to wash your eyes out with acid!

Winter 2014 Anime Coverage

Winter Streaming | Winter Compendium | Winter Roundtable | Winter Newcomers | Winter Music

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Basically a get together of geniuses. Or something like that.