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Caraniel's Sublime Spring Anime Preview 2012

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    Winter is over and Spring is upon us, so in my typically untimely manner it’s time to check out what the new season has in store for us.



    As always all opinions are my own personal thoughts and I’m often wrong so take things with a pinch (or shovel) of salt.

    On we go~!
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~


    Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers)




    Website: http://www.ytv.co.jp/uchukyodai/
    Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
    Japanese Airdate: 1st April 2012
    Seiyuu: Hiroaki Hirata, Kenn, Masako Ikeda, Miyuki Sawashiro
    Director: Ayumu Watanabe (Doraemon)
    PV: http://youtu.be/eUB4ebxoYLI


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Anime adaptation of Chuuya Koyama’s manga series.
    The story follows two brothers, Mutta and Hibito, who made a vow as kids to travel to space. The younger brother Hibito did become an astronaut, but not Mutta. However, Mutta's life changes one fateful day.
    Aside from the fecking awesome title (SPACE BROS!) this does seem like it will be a show to keep a close eye on. It’s a long running and award winning seinen manga series, and this anime has already been earmarked for 48+ episodes – so no worries about the story being overly condensed. The director only really has Doraemon under his belt, but that isn’t anything to sniff at given the massive popularity of that series. This definitely has the potential to be something great – will be checking it out.


    Hiiro no Kakera (Scarlet Fragment)




    Website: http://www.hiironokakera.tv/
    Animation Studio: Studio DEEN
    Japanese Airdate: 1st April 2012
    Seiyuu: Kousuke Okano, Tomokazu Sugita, Marie Miyake, Daisuke Namikawa
    Director: Bob Shirohata (Gravitation, Hetalia)
    PV: http://youtu.be/BwhEvxkXLkc
    *~Streaming on Crunchyroll~*


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Anime adaptation of Idea Factory’s PS2 otome game.
    The original game centered around Tamaki Kasuga, a 17-year-old high school girl. When her parents have to go overseas for work, Tamaki moves to her mother's hometown in the mountains with her grandmother. On the day that Tamaki arrives at the village, she encounters strange creatures, only to be saved by a mysterious boy. The boy, Takuma Onizaki, is the first of five Guardians of the Tamayohime that Tamaki meets.
    I’ve actually already seen the first episode since Crunchyroll had a decent quality pre-air. It’s everything you would expect from reading the synopsis, watching the PV and looking at the art – generic reverse harem fluff. Now I usually enjoy my reverse harem bishie fluff, but Hiiro no Kakera doesn’t have any of the trashy fun that most of this type of show has. Nope, rather Hiiro no Kakera seems to be taking itself seriously rather like Hakuouki (which also bored me to tears). This wouldn’t be so bad if the story was in anyway interesting or if the bishie’s were particularly pretty (like the Hakuouki cast – I watch that because it is very, very pretty even if it’s boring). For a bishie reverse harem to be unpretty with hella derpy animation, as well as boring as **** is unforgivable – guess I’ll have to look elsewhere for my bishie fix this season.


    Yurumates 3D




    Website: http://www.takeshobo.co.jp/sp/tv_yuru/
    Animation Studio: C2C
    Japanese Airdate: 2nd April 2012
    Seiyuu: Halko Momoi, Miyu Matsuki, Natsuko Kuwatani, Satoshi Hino
    Director: Yoshihide Yuuzumi / Tomohiro Yamanashi
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary:)
    TV anime adaptation of saxyun’s 4-koma manga series.
    Yurume, an 18-year-old "ronin" and recent high school graduate, has high hopes of being accepted and attending Tokyo University. She moves into an apartment complex, the Maison du Wish, located on the outskirts of Tokyo where other ronins living there are studying for upcoming college acceptance exams.
    This series has already had two OVAs, but I’ve never actually heard of the show before. Not overly keen on the art, story seems run of the mill, and I doubt that this will really get any subs, so not bothering with it.


    Zetman




    Website: http://zetman.jp/index.html
    Animation Studio: TMS Entertainment
    Japanese Airdate: 2nd April 2012
    Seiyuu: Daisuke Namikawa, Mamoru Miyano, Aya Hisakawa, Kana Hanazawa
    Director: Osamu Nabeshima (D.Gray-Man, Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas)
    PV: http://youtu.be/UTqww3yzPTU


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Anime adaptation of Masakazu Katsura’s manga series.
    The story starts off with a face-off between two rival heroes, ZET and ALPHAS, and then traces their origins - Jin Kanzaki, a young man with the ability to transform into a superhuman being known as ZET, and Kouga Amagi, a young man with a strong sense of justice who uses technology to fight as ALPHAS. The fates of these two men and those around them intertwine as they fight to protect mankind and destroy monstrous abominations known as Players, who ironically are the creations of the Amagi Corporation, the company founded by Kouga’s grandfather, Mitsugai Amagi.
    I think I got a bit overly caught up in the epic trailer music and angsty bishies, but I’m actually quite interested in this. It seems like a pretty standard setup for two rivals facing off (expecting to see a mountain of BL fanart emerging soon) but it does have a lot of style – I quite like this kind of thing. It’s a straightforward concept, but it does have the potential to be very interesting if the effort is put into the production and writing. Things seem solid enough but I’ll wait until I’ve seen the first episode before I pass judgment on this show.


    Queen’s Blade: Rebellion




    Website: http://queensblade.tv/
    Animation Studio: ARMS
    Japanese Airdate: 2nd April 2012
    Seiyuu: Aya Endo, Aki Toyosaki, Haruka Tomatsu, Shizuka Itou
    Director: Yousei Morino (ONE ~Kagayaku Kisetsu e~, Midnight Panther)
    PV: http://youtu.be/sY4W5_fY6Ho


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Third TV series for the franchise.
    After the 30th Queen's Blade, Claudette becomes the queen. At first, she governs the country well by abolishing the heavy taxes and the aristocracy. However, her reign turns into terrorism by power and the Queen's Blade is repealed. The Princess Knight of Rebellion, Annelotte organizes a rebel army and declares war against Claudette.
    Oh look, more boobs……..moving on.


    Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden




    Website: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/lee/
    Animation Studio: Pierrot
    Japanese Airdate: 3rd April 2012
    Seiyuu: Yoichi Masukawa, Kouichi Toochika, Masashi Ebara, Yukari Tamura
    Director: Masahiko Murata (Mazinkaiser, Shikabane Hime)
    PV: http://youtu.be/95m2QR2E7Pc


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Anime adaptation of Kenji Taira’s manga series.
    Chibi styled spinoff of Masashi Kishimoto’s long running Naruto series focusing on Rock Lee.
    Interesting fact – this is the show that is replacing Bleach. Yeap Bleach has been cancelled at long last, and a Naruto spin-off is taking its slot; oh how the mighty have fallen. But yeah, back to Rock Lee. I can’t profess to being a massive fan of Lee and his bizarre character design, but this looks like it could be amusing for a bit. The show is basically fanservice for existing Naruto fans – if you don’t like the show you’ll not be watching this. I do like Naruto, but I’m not sure if I could be bothered with this spin-off, checking out the first episode to see what it’s all about.


    Ginga e Kickoff! (Kickoff to the Galaxy!)




    Website: http://www9.nhk.or.jp/anime/ginga/
    Animation Studio: TYO Animations
    Japanese Airdate: 3rd April 2012
    Seiyuu: Mariko Nakatsu, Yu Kobayashi, Houko Kuwashima, Kenn
    Director: Konosuke Uda (Lovely Complex, One Piece)
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Anime adaptation of Hiroto Kawabata’s 2006 novel Ginga no World Cup (Galactic World Cup). Show is relaunching NHK General’s animation block.
    The story follows a boy who was in a soccer team, but it was disbanded due to not enough players. However, after the boy meets a female professional soccer player, he aims to bring his soccer team back.
    Kiddie show about football………so not interested.


    Gakkatsu!




    Website: http://www9.nhk.or.jp/anime/gakkatsu/
    Animation Studio: Fanworks
    Japanese Airdate: 3rd April 2012
    Seiyuu: Miyuki Kawasho, Sota Arai, Youhei Azakami
    Director: Rareko (Chi-Sui Maru)
    PV: http://youtu.be/8TnwUrvgqSk


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Flash animation project.
    The story centers on a junior high school class where students discuss strange topics as part of their classroom activities. In the first episode, the class president Chiho Takachiho asks her classmates what "pokkori" is, and they discuss various opinions on the subject. Every 5-minute episode features the unique classmates' views on a different bizarre topic.
    Another flash anime. The concept sounds like the way a Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei usually goes down…….but without the SHAFTiness. Don’t think I can be bothered and doubt this will even get subs.


    Kuromajyo-san ga Touru!




    Website: http://www.shin-ei-animation.jp/kuromajyo/
    Animation Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
    Japanese Airdate: 4th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Fumiko Orikasa, Romi Park
    Director: Tetsu Yasumi (Happy Happy Clover, Fighting Foodons)
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Anime adaptation of Hiroshi Ishizaki’s series of children’s novels consisting of 7 minute long episodes.
    The story centers on Chiyoko "Choco" Kurotori, a somewhat cynical fifth-grade schoolgirl who is training to become a black witch with the magical world's most ardent instructor, Gubid.
    Kids show, probably another one that won’t get subs too. Seems mostly harmless though.


    Kore wa Zombie Desu-ka? Of the Dead




    Website: http://kadokawa-anime.jp/zombie/
    Animation Studio: Studio DEEN
    Japanese Airdate: 4th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Iori Nomizu, Junji Majima, Midori Tsukimiya, Youko Hikasa
    Director: Takaomi Kanasaki (School Rumble S2, Magician’s Academy)
    PV: http://youtu.be/NXDIyBxwYAc


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Second series of the anime adaptation of Shinichi Kimura’s light novel series.
    In the story, a normal high school boy named Ayumu Aikawa gets killed during a spate of mysterious serial killings. However, Ayumu is resurrected as a zombie by a necromancer girl named "Yū" (Eucliwood Hellscythe), who Ayumu had just met before dying. Ayumu then accidentally deprives the magical girl Haruna of her powers, so she demands that Ayumu take her place in fighting her enemy Megalo.
    Now I quite liked the first season of Korean Zombie Desk Car, but it really ran out of steam in the final quarter, which is why a sequel has me less than excited. Judging from the promo material this is going to be more fanservice & harem hijinks than mahou-shounen transformation sequences and flying whales. I’ll be watching it anyway since I’m a completionist, but really don’t have any expectations for this sequel.


    Lupin III: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna (The Woman Called Fujiko Mine)




    Website: http://lupin40.com/tv/
    Animation Studio: TMS Entertainment
    Japanese Airdate: 4th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Daisuke Namikawa, Kanichi Kurita, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Miyuki Sawashiro
    Director: Sayo Yamamoto (Michiko to Hatchin)
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary: )
    First TV series for the Lupin III franchise in 27 years.
    The series revolves around the character of Fujiko Mine, depicting her and the rest of the Lupin III cast during their younger days. The series will reportedly capture the "sensuality" present in Monkey Punch's original Lupin III manga in its "daring interpretation" of the franchise.
    My only real experience with the Lupin III franchise is The Castle of Cagliostro movie (which I highly recommend) so I’m very excited to be able to watch a Lupin III TV series as it airs! This is going to be massive, the Lupin III franchise is phenomenally successful, but it is also designed to be very accessible to new viewers so there’s no real need to have watched anything prior to this. The artwork for the official site and the promo art is all extremely stylish and there is definitely a sexed up feeling to this incarnation – I can’t wait!


    Medaka Box




    Website: http://medakabox.jp/
    Animation Studio: GAINAX
    Japanese Airdate: 4th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Ai Kayano, Aki Toyosaki, Emiri Katou, Daisuke Namikawa, Yuuki Ono
    Director: Shouji Saeki (He is My Master, This Ugly Yet Beautiful World)
    PV: http://youtu.be/wD7JsfLaKww http://youtu.be/xp2Px6aWQwo


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Anime adaptation of NisiOisin & Akira Akatsuki’s Shounen Jump manga series.
    Kurokami Medaka, a first year, is elected as Student Council President, and the first thing she does is establish a suggestion box, later dubbed by students the "Medaka Box". Medaka encourages students to submit any problem to the box without hesitation and promises to take on any issue from anyone.
    Since Medaka won the Student Council elections with a staggering 98% of the vote, she ends up as the Council's only member. She asks her childhood friend, Hitoyoshi Zenkichi, for help and he grudgingly agrees, becoming the Student Council's lowest ranking member. Soon Medaka recruits two more people to the Student Council, the former judo club member Akune Kouki as secretary and the current swim club member Kikaijima Mogana, on loan for 300 yen a day, as treasurer.
    Now the Student Council members spend their days solving the problems submitted through the Medaka Box, whether they be hooligans in clubs where they don't belong, girls who need help writing love letters or people who've lost their pets, gradually earning the respect and admiration of the entire school.
    On paper I should be excited about this just by seeing the key words “Shounen Jump, NisiOisin & GAINAX”, but once you do a wee bit of research you find a different story altogether. Medaka Box consistently ranks low on the polls, being known for it’s meandering plotlines that go nowhere – it’s a wonder the series hasn’t been canceled yet. The GAINAX tag is also misleading because none of the great GAINAX names are at GAINAX anymore – Medaka Box is being handled by the leftovers, like the director responsible for lacklustre titles like He is My Master & This Ugly Yet Beautiful World. This is a potential trainwreck, but I’m not sure if I’m interested enough to bother witnessing it.


    Shirokuma Café (Polar Bear Café)




    Website: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/shirokumacafe/
    Animation Studio: Pierrot
    Japanese Airdate: 5th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Takahiro Sakurai, Hiroshi Kamiya, Jun Fukuyama
    Director: Mitsuyuki Masuhara (Chi’s Sweet Home, Kobato.)
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Anime adaptation of Aloha Higa’s manga series.
    The gag comedy follows the daily life of penguins, grizzly bears, and other animals at a café run by a polar bear.
    Clearly the show of the season right here! I do actually want to watch this – great cast, solid staff and fecking bears & penguins! Bring on NichiBears!


    Sengoku Collection




    Website: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/sencolle/
    Animation Studio: Brains Base
    Japanese Airdate: 5th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Kana Hanazawa, Rumi Ookubo, Asuka Nishi, Mai Nakahara
    Director: Keiji Gotoh (Gatekeepers, Kiddy Grade
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Anime adaptation of Konami's Sengoku Collection social networking service game.
    The story is set in the tumultuous Sengoku Era of historical Japan, when military masters circle the figurative throne of Japan's first shogunate. In the game, "God of War Cards" have been sealed in six hidden treasures, and fighting breaks out among those who seek the treasures. As a new military master, the player embarks on a journey to obtain the treasures by clearing quests and fighting bosses.
    The anime's main character is a female re-imagining of the great warlord Oda Nobunaga. Another major character is the female version of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of Japan.
    Oh Brains Base, what is this? Why are you giving us yet another fecking genderbent Sengoku show when you could be working on that second season of Durarara?? Urgh.


    Natsuiro Kiseki




    Website: http://www.natsuiro-kiseki.jp/
    Animation Studio: Sunrise
    Japanese Airdate: 5th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Aki Toyosaki, Ayahi Takagaki, Haruka Tomatsu, Minako Kotobuki
    Director: Seiji Mizushima (Gundam 00, UN-GO)
    PV: http://youtu.be/K2PW7gu9CKI


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Original s’life anime featuring the four members of Sphere as the main cast. Sphere will also provide the theme songs.
    Words fail me. I really did try to find a proper synopsis for this, but it really is just another “cute girls do boring ordinary things that people somehow find cute” show entirely engineered to showcase the talents of seiyuu/idol group Sphere. Why is Seiji Mizushima working on this? That man has serious talent, but I don’t think this show is going to make use of that. Such a waste of what looks like a pretty decent budget.


    Accel World




    Website: http://www.accel-world.net/
    Animation Studio: Sunrise
    Japanese Airdate: 6th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Aki Toyosaki, Sachika Misawa, Shintaro Asanuma, Yuuki Kaji
    Director: Masakazu Obara (My-HiME, My-Otome)
    PV: http://youtu.be/VHOiqv3Xw1o


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Anime adaptation of Reki Kawahara’s liht novel series.
    One autumn day in 2046, Haruyuki has an encounter with Kuroyukihime, the prettiest girl in his school. For the middle school boy who is often bullied, the meeting changes his life. Through a mysterious piece of software from her, Haruyuki learns of the existence of the virtual Accel World. In that moment, the lowest of the "school caste" becomes "Burst Linker", a knight defending a princess.
    Looks like another magical girlfriend type show, except this time the male lead is a short fat kid – guess that’s new. The show looks very pretty, and the director does know what he’s doing with action series. Hearing Yuuki Kaji in the main role puts me in mind of Shoe from Guilty Crown though – it’s going to be very hard for me to like any character he plays from now on! I’ll probably check this out – so long as the writing is half decent I enjoy this kind of shallow action series.


    Upotte!!




    Website: http://www.upotte.jp/
    Animation Studio: XEBEC
    Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Iori Nomizu, Misuzu Togashi, Aya Gouda, Yuka Iguchi
    Director: Takao Kato (Hen Zemi, To-Love-Ru)
    PV: http://youtu.be/f8NQBjDhUig


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Anime adaptation of Kitsune Tennouji’s manga series.
    A teacher is looking for a school by the name of Seishou Academy, as he is a new transfer teacher for that school. Seishou Academy is known for having students with excellent marksmanship. However, he gets lost along the way and decides to look for someone who knows where the school is at a summer festival.
    He encounters a girl at a shooting range and finds her marksmanship skills to be professional. The girl tells the new teacher that she is an assault rifle, not a student. Her name is FNC and is an assault rifle of Seishou Academy.
    The new teacher attends school the next day to find students, including FNC, practicing shooting M16s and realizes that he has come to an unbelievable school. How will his experience be at Seishou Academy?
    Well they’ve anthropomorphised practically everything, why not guns? I’m clearly not going to watch this.


    Mysterious Girlfriend X (Nazo no Kanojo X)




    Website: http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/nazokano_x/
    Animation Studio: Hoods Entertainment
    Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Ayako Yo****ani, Miyu Irino, Misato Fukuen, Yuuki Kaji
    Director: Ayumu Watanabe (Doraemon)
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Anime adaptation of Riichi Ueshiba’s manga series.
    One day, a strange transfer student appears before Tsubaki. Urabe Mikoto is an antisocial girl, whose hobby is just sleeping during class-breaks. One day, Tsubaki goes to wake her up and accidentally tastes her drool... And gets hooked on it!
    After that, he starts going out with her and gets to know her better. Her second hobby, as it turns out, is carrying around scissors in her panties and cutting paper into flowers...
    I’ve read a few volumes of this manga, but randomly dropped it for some reason I can’t entirely remember – think I just forgot about it really. The concept is wacky and the characters are interesting, so it should be a fun show to watch. Sort of concerned about the studio though – Hoods have only really brought us boobs in some form or other so far, but maybe they are branching out to panties and spit now.


    Kuroko no Basuke (Kuroko’s Basketball)




    Website: http://www.kurobas.com/
    Animation Studio: Production I.G.
    Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Kensho Ono, Yuuki Ono, Chiwa Saito, Daisuke Ono, Hirofumi Nojima
    Director: Shunsuke Tada (Bungaku Shoujo, Prince of Tennis specials)
    PV: http://youtu.be/mGg7jWeFRsI


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Anime adaptation of Tadatoshi Fujimaki’s Shounen Jump sports manga series.
    Kuroko is a member from the legendary middle school basketball team known as "The Generation of Miracles", and while nobody seems to know about him, the main 5 players of the team all admit that he is a better player. When he joins the high school basketball team, everyone is surprised to find out that he is small, weak, and easy to miss. What is the secret that makes him so strong, and how will he help his high school team?
    Normally I reflexively avoid sports anime, but I’m trying to get over that, and this does look promising. I know nothing about basketball, but the character designs are nice, cast & staff very solid and I think this could be a pretty good adaptation. Of course this is an ongoing Shounen Jump series so god knows when it will actually end – not sure if my already overloaded watching list can take another shounen show!


    Fate/Zero S2




    Website: http://www.fate-zero.jp/
    Animation Studio: ufotable
    Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Ayako Kawasumi, Rikiya Koyama, Akira Ishida, Tomokazu Seki, Sayaka Ohara
    Director: Ei Aoki (Ga-Rei: Zero, Wandering Son)
    PV: http://youtu.be/QCBgp_5s-q8


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Second half of the anime adaptation based on the Type Moon game franchise.
    Taking place 10 years before the events of Fate/Stay Night, this series chronicles the events of the Fourth Holy Grail War.
    Not so much a sequel as the rest of the show! Of course I am watching this, the first half of Fate/Zero consistently delivered brilliant animation and interesting characters – so hard to believe this is part of the same franchise as Fate/Stay Night. This 2nd half better have more Rider & Waver antics though; they’re the best characters by a mile!


    Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle 2nd Season




    Website: http://www9.nhk.or.jp/anime/phibrain/
    Animation Studio: Sunrise
    Japanese Airdate: 8th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Jun Fukuyama, Shintaro Asanuma, Akira Ishida, Keiji Fujiwara, Kaori Shimizu
    Director: Junichi Sato (Kaleido Star, Princess Tutu)
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Continuation of the original puzzle based anime series.
    The school adventure story revolves around Kaito, a puzzle-loving freshman at the private high school named “Root Academy.” He is selected as a candidate for “Phi Brain” for his extraordinary mental skills. One day, he and his childhood friend Nonoha tackle the “unsolvable puzzle” hidden in the underground ruins near the school. They are guided by the mobile device given to Kaito by the student council president. The puzzle is the “philosopher’s puzzle,” a life-threatening creation of a mysterious intelligence group known as “POG.” When he defeats the puzzle, he is designated as a “Solver.” Together with Nonoha and other Solvers, Kaito battles POG at “philosopher’s puzzles” all over the world.
    I’ve heard that Phi Brain is a very special series the likes of which we are unlikely to see again. However I still feel no desire to plunge into the world of hardcore puzzle solving so I’ll leave this for the dedicated Phi Brain followers to enjoy.
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    Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia)




    Website: http://www.amnesia-tv.com/
    Animation Studio: Silver Link
    Japanese Airdate: 8th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Tsubasa Yonaga, Yumi Hara, Eri Kitamura, Misato Fukuen
    Director: Shin Oonuma (Baka Test, C3)
    PV: http://youtu.be/cDeQ2YYeINI


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Anime adaptation of Maybe’s manga series.
    The story takes place in Seikyou Private School. A facility that consists of multiple buildings that connect together to accommodate both junior and senior high school students. Sixty years of ongoing renovations and expansions have meant most of the old inner structures have been sealed and abandoned. Classrooms turned into storage rooms, staircases no longer in use, hallways like dark alleys. With the existence of such a maze-like building, it is only natural that rumours of the paranormal would appear.
    One day first-year middle school student Teiichi Niiya gets lost in this maze and by chance arrives at an old storage room. This is where he meets Yuuko Kanoe, a mysterious girl with raven black, long silky hair and a tall and slender figure, who introduces herself as the ghost of the old school building. For some unexplainable reason Niiya is the only one able to see this spirit and she herself does not have any recollection of the reasons or time of her death, nor any lingering feelings about life itself. Curious about the circumstances of her death the two create a paranormal investigation club and seek to find out the truth about it and the many other mysteries surrounding the school.
    This could go either way. The premise is interesting enough, and Silver Link have made it look quite pretty. However the director of C3 isn’t inspiring confidence nor is the fact that the official site has a decided to concentrate on ghost girlies cleavage. I’ll be giving it a chance, Silver Link are basically SHAFT lite since so many of the staff used to work at SHAFT – if nothing else it will be nice to look at.


    Saki: Achiga-hen episode of side-A




    Website: http://www.saki-anime.com/
    Animation Studio: Studio Gokumi
    Japanese Airdate: 8th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Aoi Yuki, Kana Hanazawa, Mako, Nao Toyama, Arisa Noto
    Director: Manabu Ono (A-Channel, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere)
    PV: http://youtu.be/mzznGgx4bWI


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Spin-off story from Ritz Kobayashi’s Saki manga series.
    The Achiga Girls' Academy in Nara once defeated regional mahjong powerhouse Bansei High School. It advanced into the national team semifinals but lost to the eventual champion, and the mahjong club was later disbanded.
    Six years later, elementary school student Shizuno Takakamo befriends transfer student Nodoka Haramura. The two eventually enter Achiga Girls', but Nodoka transfers out of the school in the second year.
    When Shizuno sees Nodoka on television the following year as the national middle school individual mahjong champion, she decides to revive Achiga's mahjong club.
    So this is a spin-off from Saki, which is surprising given Saki apparently didn’t really end – thought there would be a sequel before a spin-off, but apparently not. I didn’t watch Saki so won’t be watching this – moe girls playing mahjong is not my thing.


    Jormungand




    Website: http://www.jormungand.tv/
    Animation Studio: White Fox
    Japanese Airdate: 10th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Mutsumi Tamura, Sayaka Ohara, Shizuka Itou, Unshou Ishizuka
    Director: Keitaro Motonaga (School Days, Katanagatari)
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Anime adaptation of Keitaro Takanashi’s manga series.
    Jonah is a child soldier, born into the chaotic conflicts that rage across Africa, his family lost to a war fueled by weapons supplied by the so-called "Merchants of Death"--international arms dealers. Despite Jonah's hatred of weapons and violence, he employs both extremely well in the service of high-flying arms dealer Koko Hekmatyar and her band of mercenaries. Their journey through the dark underbelly of the world's arms markets may lead only to damnation, but will Jonah one day make his way back to the light. Only one thing is certain: it's going to be a long, hard road out of Hell...
    Now this sounds very interesting. It’s pretty hard to tell how it will actually turn out as White Fox are more of a collaboration of different people working on each new project – none of the people responsible for Steins;Gate are working on Jormungand. We do have the director of Katanagatari, but thats about as far as the returning ‘White Fox’ staff goes. Jormungand strikes me as having a kind of Black Lagoon vibe about it, which can only be a good thing – think this could be an interesting show.


    Sakamichi no Apollon




    Website: http://www.noitamina-apollon.com/
    Animation Studio: MAPPA / Tezuka Productions
    Japanese Airdate: 12th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Ryohei Kimura, Yoshimasa Hosoya, Aya Endo, Junichi Suwabe
    Director: Shinichiro Watanabe (Samurai Champloo, Cowboy Bebop)
    PV: http://youtu.be/AFuO_2kBwlQ


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Anime adaptation of Yuuki Kodama’s manga series. Airing in the Noitamina timeslot.
    Nishimi Kaoru has moved from city to city and school to school because of his father's job. So the first day at his new school was just routine for him. Being intellectual and the new transfer student, he has always been seen as an outcast and all Kaoru had to do was bear it until the next time he moved. But things were slightly different this time. First, he started to get close to the class president, Mukae Ritsuko, and, secondly, unlikely as it seemed, grew closer to Kawabuchi Sentaro. Sentaro was infamous for getting into fights, skipping class and was an overall bad boy. Strangely enough, the three of them find common ground in music, namely jazz, and Kaoru finds himself actually enjoying the new town.
    Have you watched that PV? You can’t tell me this isn’t going to be brilliant! I am so hyped for Apollon I can’t tell you! Not only is Shinichiro Watanabe back from his extended absence, we also get a wonderful jazz themed Yoko Kanno soundtrack – what more could you ask for!? Apollon is based on an award-winning manga series and this is definitely the kind of show that Noitamina became known for – a very welcome return to form after the drivel we’ve had this season. Massively looking forward to this, just hope it’s as good as it looks on paper!


    Tsuritama




    Website: http://www.tsuritama.com/
    Animation Studio: A-1 Productions
    Japanese Airdate: 12th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Kouki Uchiyama, Miyu Irino, Ryota Ohsaka, Tomokazu Sugita
    Director: Kenji Nakamura (Mononoke, Trapeze)
    PV: http://youtu.be/uTV_ct6Rwsw


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Original production airing in the Noitamina timeslot.
    In Enoshima, Yuki is a high school student who's never been good at making real friends thanks to his abnormally poor communication skills. Haru is the self-styled alien who decides to teach Yuki to fish. Natsuki is an irritable born-and-raised local. Akira is the mysterious Indian who watches them all from a distance. These four meet, fish, and find big adventures on their little island.
    Tsuritama is a Kenji Nakamura original project, something I wouldn’t have guessed from the artwork given the quirky art in Mononoke and Trapeze, although [C] was a bit more mainstream looking I suppose. However reading the synopsis you can see his fingerprints all over it. The show puts me in mind of Arakawa Under the Bridge given the waterside theme and quirky characters – if its as fun as Arakawa I’ll love Tsuritama, and I have high hopes given the excellent staff on board. Looks like Noitamina is going to be back on form this season.


    Eureka Seven Ao (Astral Ocean)




    Website: http://eurekaao-prj.net/
    Animation Studio: BONES
    Japanese Airdate: 12th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Kanako Miyamoto, Yuutaro Motoshiro, Chiaki Omigawa, Kazuhiko Inoue
    Director: Tomoki Kyoda (Eureka Seven, RahXephon)
    PV: http://youtu.be/tEQWg4JvX3g


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Sequel to the 2005 anime.
    The story is set on Okinawa's isolated island of Iwado, which has seen a growing movement advocating a return to an autonomous government. Ao Fukai, a 13-year-old boy with a missing father, lives on the island with an old doctor named Toshio and is about to enter middle school. Ao's mother was taken away a decade ago by unknown individuals. Naru Arata, Ao's 13-year-old childhood friend and the story's heroine, lives with her father, older sister, and grandmother. She has a "Yuta" power awakened within her due to an incident when she was young.
    A mysterious entity called "Secret" suddenly appears and launches an attack on the Scub Coral lifeform on the island. Ao launches a certain military FP called "Nirvash" aboard a Japanese military transport in his fervent desire to protect the island.
    Eureka Seven Ao is technically a sequel to the original anime, but since it has a completely new cast and only really takes place in the same world, there is no real need to have seen the original show (although why you haven’t I don’t know – do so ASAP!). I suppose if you’re going to make a sequel to a show that didn’t need one this is the way to do it. I feel in love with the world of Eureka Seven, so another show set in the same environment is quite welcome – looking forward to this, finally there are decent mecha shows coming out again!


    Hyou-ka: You Can’t Escape




    Website: http://www.kyotoanimation.co.jp/kotenbu/
    Animation Studio: Kyoto Animation
    Japanese Airdate: 22nd April 2012
    Seiyuu: Satomi Satou, Yuichi Nakamura, Ai Kayano, Daisuke Sakaguchi
    Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu)
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Anime adaptation of Honobu Yonezawa’s mystery novel.
    Oreki Houtarou is a self-proclaimed "energy-saver" - that is, he will not actively waste energy doing things that aren't necessary. Though he had no interest whatsoever in joining any clubs upon entering Kamiyama High School, he was commanded by his older sister Tomoka to enter the school's Classics Club, which was in danger of getting abolished as all previous members have graduated. Together with his old friends Fukube Satoshi and Ibara Mayaka, as well as the elegantly ladylike and curiously inquisitive Chitanda Eru, the newly reformed Classics Club find themselves involved in all sorts of mystery-solving escapades. Houtarou soon finds out that the Classics Club, as Tomoka has promised, is actually "quite interesting".
    New KyoAni show then. I’m pretty interested in this as I like mystery shows, but have a feeling that this will be more s’life than anything else given KyoAni’s fascination with moe girls doing bugger all for episodes on end. The ray of light here is that there are actual boys in the show and the director of Disappearance is taking the helm, so there is some hope that stuff will actually happen at some stage. Of course this looks absolutely gorgeous, even with the moeblob character designs, the backgrounds are up to KyoAni’s usual high standards. I’ll end up watching this I think, but will jump ship if it breaks out the tea & cake.


    AKB0048




    Website: http://akb0048.jp/
    Animation Studio: Satelight
    Japanese Airdate: 29th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Anima Satou, Haruka Ishida, Karen Iwata, Kumi Yagami
    Director: Shoji Kawamori (Macross, Aquarion EVOL)
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Anime inspired by and starring members of, the popular Japanese idol group AKB48.
    In the beginning of the 21st century, a world war breaks out over interplanetary travel tech. The environment is pretty much destroyed so mankind leaves Earth and starts Star Calendar 00. Entertainment and songs become heavily regulated and eventually banned due to their power to move people, but a brave idol group puts on guerrilla performances in the name of a famous act from earlier times that sang to Earth's bitter end, AKB48. The illegal revival group's name is... AKB0048.
    So the second show this season acting as a vehicle for an idol group, this time the behemoth that is AKB48. I can’t profess to know anything about the J-Pop idol scene, but have heard of AKB48 (you’d have to be living under a rock in this fandom not to have at least heard the name) – they are a completely manufactured troop of something like 80 idols who rotate line-ups so someone from AKB48 is always working somewhere, and they are absolutely huge in Japan. It’s therefore unsurprising that they’ve gotten their own anime. I have absolutely no idea what to really say about this show – it’s so WTF sounding that it almost sounds genius. I suppose that’s Kawamori’s influence, and indeed in the crappy quality PV I found there is dodgy CGI & mecha. To me this show looks like prime Terribad material – can’t actually see it being any good.


    Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan (Bread of Happiness)




    Website: http://shining-world.jp/heartsTV/
    Animation Studio: Production I.G.
    Japanese Airdate: April 2012
    Seiyuu: Hiroshi Kamiya, Kanae Itou, Mai Aizawa, Hikaru Midorikawa
    Director: Itsuro Kawasaki (Legend of the Legendary Heroes, Sengoku Basara)
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Anime adaptation of Sega’s RPG.
    One day, a mysterious girl named Kaguya was washed ashore the island of Wyndaria after a great storm. She encounters Rick, a swordsman who wound up working at the island's bakery. Apparently, Kaguya is suffering from having lost her memories and emotions. In addition, the usually peaceful Wyndaria is now swarming with pirates who came seeking for the special spirit stone that is worn around Kaguya's neck. Knowing the situation, Rick and his co-workers, Nellis, Amyl, and Aerie decided to bring back peace to island and help Kaguya regain her lost memories and emotions.
    So apparently in the original game you can switch between swashbuckling action and adventures in baking – not entirely sure how that is going to translate into an anime format, but I can’t say I’m too excited by this. The only way I can see this working if it is played for laughs – luckily(?) they have the guy behind Sengoku Basara & Legend of the Legendary Heroes directing the thing so maybe it will be as OTT & amusing as those shows. Again I don’t expect this to be much good, but if it is at least entertaining it could be worth a watch.


    Acchi Kocchi (Place to Place)




    Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/ackc/
    Animation Studio: AIC
    Japanese Airdate: April 2012
    Seiyuu: Nobuhiko Okamoto, Rumi Ookubo, Hitomi Nabatame, Shintaro Asanuma
    Director: Fumitoshi Oizaki (Astarotte no Omocha, Romeo x Juliet)
    PV: http://youtu.be/bBqCI0P0AXM


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Anime adaptation of Ishiki’s manga series.
    Wouldn't you just love to poke in a relationship between two young high schoolers who have a subtle distance between each other? Of course you would. Tsumugi and Io have this subtle distance that anyone would want to jump in between just to bug them. That's what the other characters are there for. Tsumugi, being a tsundere and all, won't be honest about her feelings toward Io. Io on the other hand is unaware of Tsumugi's feelings, hence the subtle distance between the two. Now, let's watch these two and see what events await them.
    High schoolers? They’re meant to all be high schoolers in the same year!? Urgh. I don’t do well with 4-koma adaptations at the best of times, and this looks like a rather rubbish example. The director of Lotte’s Toy and AIC do not fill me with optimism either – avoiding.


    Sankarea




    Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/sankarea/
    Animation Studio: Studio DEEN
    Japanese Airdate: April 2012
    Seiyuu: Maaya Uchida, Ryohei Kimura, Mayumi Asano, Misato Fukuen
    Director: Mamoru Hatakeyama
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Anime adaptation of Mitsuru Hattori’s zombie romcom manga series.
    This is the story of Furuya, a 15 year old boy who is obsessed with zombies. From videos to manga, trinkets to video games, he will stop at nothing in his quest for anything zombie related. However, his interest turns from a simple hobby into an obsession when his cat dies in an accident. Using an old manuscript, Furuya embarks on a quest to revive his fallen pet. During his quest however, he is discovered by the idol Rea, a popular and elegant lady from a wealthy family. Though it may appear that her life is perfect, everything is not as it seems. And she turns to Furuya, for a chance to live her life, in this life or the next.
    So zombies are a thing now. Who knew? This just looks like a typical DEEN on autopilot show, sometimes I think they go out of their way to find the trashiest manga/novels to adapt.


    Haiyore! Nyaruko-san: Another Crawling Chaos




    Website: http://www.nyaruko.com/
    Animation Studio: XEBEC
    Japanese Airdate: April 2012
    Seiyuu: Eri Kitamura, Kana Asumi, Aya Hisakawa, Bin Shimada
    Director: Tsuyoshi Nagasawa (MM!, Kyo no Go no Ni)
    PV:
    *~Streaming on Crunchyroll~*


    (Original post by Summary: )
    TV anime adaptation of Manta Aisora’s light novel series.
    The story centers around Nyarlathotep, a formless Cthulhu deity who can take on the shape of anyone it wishes, but particularly the shape of a seemingly ordinary silver-haired girl. Mahiro Yasaka is a normal high school student who is chased by aliens one night, until "Nyaruko" saves him.
    So apparently this franchise is popular enough to warrant an actual TV series rather than the flash animations it had gotten before. Granted it only managed to get XEBEC, but lets not go nuts here. I didn’t really like the episodes of the flash show I caught – it’s all very dull and generic if you ask me, but there does seem to be a fanbase for the series, so what do I know!?


    Kimi to Boku S2




    Website: http://www.kimiboku.tv/
    Animation Studio: JC Staff
    Japanese Airdate: April 2012
    Seiyuu: Kouki Uchiyama, Miyu Irino, Ryohei Kimura, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Yuuki Ono
    Director: Mamoru Kanbe (Elfen Lied, Sora no Woto)
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Second series of the anime adaptation of Kiichi Hotta’s adolescent comedy manga.
    The story revolves around four teens — the good-looking twins Yuuta and Yuuki Asaba, the effeminate Shun Matsuoka, and the class head Kaname Tsukahara — who have known each other since early childhood. While they are not necessarily good or bad friends, they continue to hang out well into high school. The half-German transfer student Chizuru Tachibana joins the circle of friends in this comedy about the everyday life of adolescence.
    I ended up watching all of S1 despite my terrible initial impression of the show and was moderately entertained. It’s a forgettable show that wouldn’t get a look in if it aired in the same season as a Natsume series. JC Staff seem to be aware of that, so they’ve slotted Kimi no Boku into the seasons where Natsume isn’t airing! It’s cute boys doing cute things – great for watching with your brain switched off.


    Ozuma




    Website: http://ozuma.jp/
    Animation Studio: LandQ Studios
    Japanese Airdate: 16th March 2012
    Seiyuu: Ayumi Fujimura, Rie Tanaka, Tetsuya Kakihara, Atsuko Tanaka
    Director: Ryousuke Takahashi (Armored Troopers Votoms, Blue Gender)
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary:)
    A 6 episode series based on a scenario created by Leiji Matsumoto (Space Battleship Yamato, Captain Harlock) 30 years ago.
    In the far future, the elevated irradiation from the sun has destroyed the environment of the earth and the birth-rate of humans has drastically decreased. The government controls society with an army of cloned soldiers called "Ideal Children (IC)". Sam Coin is a trader in a desert. One day, he saves a beautiful woman Maya, who has been chased by Theseus, a corps of IC. He shelters her in his trade ship, but the destroyers of Theseus surround Sam and Maya.
    First episode is out, but I haven’t watched it yet. There seems to be a revival going on for Leiji Matsumoto shows at the moment – not that that is a bad thing. I don’t really have much experience with his shows (I’ve really only watched his work on Interstella 5555 – you know that Daft Punk collaboration) but the mans influence on anime as we know it, is nothing to be sniffed at. I’m quite excited to be able to watch something of his as it airs – what a season, new Leiji Matsumoto show and a new Lupin III show airing at the same time!


    OVA’s


    Holy Knight




    Website: http://holyknight.cammot.jp/special.html
    Animation Studio: Cammot
    Japanese Airdate: 27th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Hiro Shimono, Maaya Uchida, Yuiko Tatsumi, Jouji Nakata
    Director: Jiro Fujimoto (Ane Haramix)
    PV: http://youtu.be/T8oFx_UDkjs


    (Original post by Summary:)
    OVA adaptation of Maya Miyazaki’s manga series.
    Mizumura Shinta is a plain undergraduate student. One day, he meets a transfer student from Romania, Kishimoto Lilith. She is a half human and half vampire. Through the life with Lilith, he knows the secret of his birth. He is the sole descendant of the Romuald clan, the vampire hunters.
    Another show cashing in on the popularity of vampire trash at the moment. Probably one for the manga fans only.


    Ai Mi! Moe Can Change




    Website: http://ai-mi.jp/ova/
    Animation Studio: Frontier Works
    Japanese Airdate: 26th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Asuka Ogame, Emiri Katou, Mai Aizawa, Sayaka Ohara
    Director: Takeo Takahashi (Spice & Wolf, Cosprayers)
    PV: http://youtu.be/XSbyxe2cGVo


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Anime adaptation of Ambition’s bishojou raising/dress-up moe game.
    The original game has the player joining a beta test program for androids, which the player must raise and dress up as a girl.
    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Good god, anything can get an anime these days – can’t wait for the Angry Birds anime!


    UN-GO Episode 0: Inga Chapter




    Website: http://www.un-go.com/
    Animation Studio: BONES
    Japanese Airdate: 20th April 2012
    Seiyuu: Aki Toyosaki, Ryo Katsuji, Shinichiro Mikki
    Director: Seiji Mizushima (Fullmetal Alchemist, Hanamaru Kindergarten)
    PV:


    (Original post by Summary: )
    Prequel to the original TV series explaining how Shinjurou & Inga met.
    Can not wait for this. I really enjoyed UN-GO, it had some weak episodes, but it was just so intelligent and well presented that it became a fast favourite last year. The only thing left to be covered was Shinjuro’s past and how he met Inga, which is exactly what this OVA will be covering – really excited about this.


    Kimi no Iru Machi (A Town Where You Live)




    Website: http://kc.kodansha.co.jp/kimino/index.html
    Animation Studio: Tatsunoko Productions
    Japanese Airdate: 16th March 2012
    Seiyuu: Yoshimasa Hosoya, Aoi Yuuki, Megumi Nakajima, Saori Hayami
    Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura (Eve no Jikan, Pale Cocoon)
    PV: http://youtu.be/BxyKYA-esTU


    (Original post by Summary:)
    Anime adaptation of Kouji Seo’s manga series.
    Eba Yuzuki has mysteriously decided to go to high school in the countryside. But despite Kirishima Haruto's objections, she is living in his home. Now he has to put up with a freeloading city girl and even worse, make sure Kanzaki Nanami, the girl he likes, doesn't get the wrong idea!
    Can’t say I’m interested in this as I’m not massively interested in shipping wars, which is what this series entire premise rests on. However my interest is sparked by the director – Yoshiura is better known for things like Time of Eve and Pale Cocoon, to see him directing an OVA about love polygons is certainly different.


    History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi




    Website: http://websunday.net/kenichi/ova/
    Animation Studio: Brains Base
    Japanese Airdate: 14th March 2012
    Seiyuu: Rie Kugimiya, Tomokazu Seki, Juurouta Kosugi, Mamiko Noto
    Director: Hiroshi Ishiodori (Bubblegum Crash, Peach Girl)
    PV: http://youtu.be/9mUzfI51L0g


    (Original post by Summary: )
    OVAs of History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi bundled with volumes 46 and 47 of the manga by Shun Matsuena.
    Shirahama Kenichi is an average student who has earned the nickname "Weak Legs" from always getting bullied. One day he meets a cute girl named Furinji Miu who helps him build the courage to begin training at a mysterious dojo where she lives. Here Kenichi faces intense training from masters of many different martial arts styles as he attempts to become stronger.
    I’ve watched the Kenichi anime, but never bothered with the manga. It’s a fun action packed series, but I’d imagine I’d be completely lost if I watched these OVAs considering they’re being bundled with the manga – bonus for the manga fans I guess.


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~

    And there we go, I’ve left off the majority of the kiddie shows because no one really watches those and the list was frighteningly long before I took them out – you have no idea how long it has taken me to write this post.
    As usual all the information here has been taken from a mixture of ANN, The Fansub Wiki, MAL, the official sites, and Neregate’s Chart (plus a few other random places).
    First impressions posts will be going ahead as normal at the start of April regardless of how sore I am. Looking forward to this season, do think there are a few gems in there.
    As ever the first post will be updated with a list of what’s available through legal streaming on Crunchyroll & Anime on Demand.

    ‘Til then~!

    ~*Caraniel*~

    Simulcasts!

    Crunchyroll
    Ozuma
    Hiiro no Kakera
    Haiyore! Nyaruko-san: Another Crawling Chaos
    Space Brothers
    Kimi to Boku S2
    Saint Seiya Omega
    Folk Tales from Japan
    Yurumates 3D
    Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden
    Sengoku Collection
    Polar Bear Cafe
    Saki: Episode of the Side A
    Kuroko no Basuke (Kuroko's Basketball)
    Mysterious Girlfriend X
    Tsuritama
    Sakamichi no Apollon
    Queens Blade Rebellion
    Dusk Maiden of Amnesia


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    I was just wondering when this thread would come up

    After last season suprises I'm trying to look at as many series as I can but the main ones that I really want to watch are:

    Fate/Zero - funny thing about this is that while it was on hiatus I tried watching Fate/stay night and stalled after a few episodes as I got a bit bored. It just was so inferior compared to Fate/Zero. I'll probably start again...someday

    Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers)- Looks good, but that's all I have to say.

    Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden- So I'm a narutard. Bite me.

    Kuroko no Basuke (Kuroko’s Basketball)- Basketball? Shonnen Jump? I'm there!

    Jormungand- Again the plot looks interesting.

    Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia)- Just because it has paranormal.... stuff.
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    (Original post by The Cornerstone)
    Fate/Zero - funny thing about this is that while it was on hiatus I tried watching Fate/stay night and stalled after a few episodes as I got a bit bored. It just was so inferior compared to Fate/Zero. I'll probably start again...someday
    One of the biggest problems with Fate/Stay is that they tried to take stuff from all three main routes of the VN, mish-mashed them together, leaving a lot of stuff specific to each route uncovered and then finished off with the most boring route of the three, although understandable as Saber is pretty much the poster girl for the Fate series.

    Ufotable, being pretty damned good at what they do anyway, only have one set story to stick to for Fate/Zero. No branching, no composite mashing or anything like that. Just the one straight track that Urobochi penned out.

    Things really do get taken up a notch for the rest of the story too. There are some great moments that should hopefully look fantastic when animated. I can't really say much without giving away massive spoilers, but it should be well worth the wait.

    Anyway, the more I look into this coming season, the less interested I become. On initial looks, I had a good 7 or so shows that I was keen to watch. Now I can only really pin it down to Fate, Hyouka and Apollon. Possibly E7AO too.
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    Picked up:

    Uchuu Kyoudai - Great first episode.

    Zetman - Benefited from being the only new ep downloaded during a time when I had no internet access. :p:

    Fate/Zero S2 - As if there was ever any doubt.

    Upotte!! - Better than I expected!

    Acchi Kocchi -
    ...those aren't nendoroids, Cara...

    Saki: Achiga-hen episode of side-A - Still a ridiculous name, but meh. :p:

    Phi Brain S2 - Is it just me, or was that better than any episode from the first series?

    Kore wa Zombie Desu-ka? Of the Dead - I'd forgotten just how fun this series was. :giggle:

    Sankarea - Miles better than Bakemonogatari!

    Jormungand - *imagines crossover with Upotte!!*

    Eureka Seven Ao - This could definitely compete with Fate/Zero for best of season.

    Queen’s Blade: Rebellion - :teeth:

    Tsuritama - WOW. That was AMAZING.

    Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan - It's like Shukufuku no CamPanella all over again!

    Nazo no Kanojo X - It's different, I like it. :drool:

    Sakamichi no Apollon - VERY SIMILAR first ep to Tsuritama. :zomg: But presented in a very different way. I'll give both a shot.

    Tasogare Otome x Amnesia - Couldn't be bothered waiting another week for Hyou-ka, so picked up the other mystery show!
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    Thanks for doing the thread again cara.

    Stuff I want to watch:
    Space Bros something seinen about space :beard: looks nice too, zetman, it looks cool :teeth:, Lupin III have never watched any lupin before but wanted to :redface:, Fate zero of bloody course :teeth:, Jormungand sounds intriguing , Apollon, it was a done deal as soon as that drumming started.:shock: Ozuma, already watched the first ep which I liked.

    Maybes: kore wa zombie... I dunno it ended in a dull way before. medaka box, sounds like a laugh but "meandering plot lines" and the rest isnt encouraging. :erm: Mysterious Girlfriend X seems amusing though I dont usually watch this sort of thing :pierre:. Was thinking that amnesia girl series.. but the song in the pv reminded me too much of ali project.:afraid: Naruto rock lee thing, Ive read some of the rock lee spin off manga ..which was ok but I didnt think much of it beyond that.


    "Clearly the show of the season right here! I do actually want to watch this – great cast, solid staff and fecking bears & penguins! Bring on NichiBears!"
    Not sure if sarcastic.:erm:
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    (Original post by vin)
    Thanks for doing the thread again cara.
    Summer is probably the last one of these I can do since I'm heading traveling mid September so won't have time to do the Autumn one. Someone will have to take over for me for a year!

    "Clearly the show of the season right here! I do actually want to watch this – great cast, solid staff and fecking bears & penguins! Bring on NichiBears!"
    Not sure if sarcastic.:erm:
    I'm half serious - Takahiro Sakurai, Hiroshi Kamiya & Jun Fukuyama voicing a random collection of bears & penguins who run a cafe? It can only be genius!
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    So boys doing cute boring things is also a one or two a show season thing too eh?

    Jormungand, the penguin thing and maybe that odd thing with the drool (character design) are the only things that seem to interest me at the moment...
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    I feel obliged to say that on the subject of the Fate/ series, that the anime adaption was terrible compared to the VN source material.

    Anyway planning to watch
    Fate/Zero
    Accel World
    That silly Lovecraft adaption thingy
    Hyou-ka cause Kyoani
    Zombie cause saw first season

    I'm also liable to pick other stuff up based on recommendations.
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    (Original post by Carecup)
    I feel obliged to say that on the subject of the Fate/ series, that the anime adaption was terrible compared to the VN source material.
    I weep knowing that HF will never be animated and UBW will never be done justice. If it (HF) did get animated, DEEN would undoubtedly hash it up.
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    (Original post by Tabris)
    I weep knowing that HF will never be animated and UBW will never be done justice. If it (HF) did get animated, DEEN would undoubtedly hash it up.
    If Type moon threw the rights to their VNs at ufotable t'would be pretty amazing.

    Or shaft- although I'm trying to imagine F/S N with wide heads (Ala Hidamari) or being animated with powerpoint (Ala Bake).
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    (Original post by Carecup)
    If Type moon threw the rights to their VNs at ufotable t'would be pretty amazing.

    Or shaft- although I'm trying to imagine F/S N with wide heads (Ala Hidamari) or being animated with powerpoint (Ala Bake).
    You don't have to imagine it, courtesy of pixiv.

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    great work once again cara :top:

    theres quite a few shows im interested in this season :beard: will give the following a go:

    space bros - sounds pretty cool and original :yep:

    naruto sd - rock lee baby :sexface: just seen the first ep, a bit dumb but quite amusing :mmm: them 3 playing house :rofl:

    zombie desu 2 - :woo:

    medaka box - sounds kinda interesting :beard:

    accel world - the short fat kid did it for me :awesome:

    mysterious girlfriend x - interesting :lolwut:

    Tasogare Otome x Amnesia - :iiam:

    Sakamichi no Apollon - :cool:

    Hyou-ka: You Can’t Escape - cant go wrong with KyoAni, usually :p:

    Sankarea - yay zombies :woo:

    Kimi no Iru Machi - short and sweet :yes:

    Kenichi - yesss :dice: even though i havent read the manga gona watch this anyways :yep: they should make a 2nd season :puppyeyes:

    hmm i seem to have taken up more than i wanted to but will probs end up dropping half of them anyways :p: need to finish last seasons stuff before starting new stuff, i always seem to struggle to do this at the end of every season :pinch:

    also looking through the list, i need to get round to watching the first seasons of eureka, fate/zero, saki and maybe phi brain one day :yep:

    and fecking LOL at the ai mi moe thing :rofl:
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    (Original post by Tabris)
    You don't have to imagine it, courtesy of pixiv.

    http://i.imgur.com/zk2v8.jpg
    O god Kyubey Gil

    "Make a contract with me and become my master you wretched dog"
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    Okay folks, I'm running a bit behind schedule, but should get caught up soon! It's First Impressions time! As usual I'm cross-posting from my blog.

    Space Brothers (Uchuu Kyoudai)

    This was an outstanding opening episode. SpaceBros did everything you could possibly want an opening episode to do – established the main character, gave him a believable and relatable personality and a goal to strive for. It’s wonderful to have another series with adults as its focus, you can really tell that these characters have a wealth of experience behind them, and having our main character decide to embrace his childhood dreams once again was wonderful. SpaceBros has got 50+ episodes to develop its story with, if all the episodes are as tightly paced and well written as this one, we are in for an absolute treat with this show.

    In terms of production everything is positive too – the animation is nice and crisp with plenty of attention payed to the detailing in the backgrounds. Music is superb, already I think we have a contender for the best OP & OST of the season! I loved the use of imagery in the OP too, the ED wasn’t just as impressive, but by no means bad. Voice acting is brilliant, Hiroaki Hirata really shines in this kind of role.

    SpaceBros is an immediate keeper from the first episode, I am so glad this turned out as well as it did!

    Kimi to Boku S2

    It’s more of the same with this first episode of the second season of Kimi to Boku – absolutely nothing happens, the boys just sit around chatting and the camera is constantly drawn to some random cats that have nothing to do with the actual show. Despite that I’m still going to watch this show – made it all the way through the first season on the merits of my needing a ‘moe boys’ show to watch every season – Kimi to Boku fills that gap nicely. For some reason I can tolerate this s’life series where similar shows with girls as the main characters have me clawing my eyes out in boredom. No idea why that is, I’m just biased I guess. Also this episode was actually pretty well written – the conversation flowed naturally (even though Chizuru is still irritating) and there was even some genuinely funny moments with Kaname’s mother.

    Minimal effort is put into the production since it’s just the five boys sitting about chatting about nothing in particular, inter-cut with some shots of random cats. Music is pretty bland and the new OP & ED aren’t anything special. Voice acting saves the show as the characters sound natural & I was amused by their impersonations of Shun.

    I’m watching this, but it is something you could easily skip.

    Ozuma

    Cheating slightly as we are already three episodes into Ozuma – midway through it’s run really since it’s only 6 episodes. I’m a bit disappointed by the show if I’m honest, it’s been much more about ‘real time sand submarine operation’ than anything else so far, and the characters have received minimal development so I don’t actually care about any of them (barely remember anyones name!). The world hasn’t really been explored much either and I’m generally just left a bit cold by the entire show – really by this stage I should care a bit more.

    Production isn’t wonderful either – the Matsumoto character designs don’t really work with the clean modern animation resulting in them looking stiff and unnatural when compared to the backgrounds. There is a good cast here, but the script is quite dry and boring which bleeds into their performances. Overall Ozuma just hasn’t impressed me much.

    I’m watching it to the end because it’s short, but I did expect more from Ozuma so I am disappointed it’s been so average. Maybe it will redeem itself in the 2nd half, but I’m not optimistic.
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    Zetman

    Oh dear. If I tell you that I spent the majority of this first episode giggling like a madwoman you’ll get an idea of what I thought of Zetman. This show desperately wants to be taken seriously, and it does have a potentially interesting premise and lots of style, but unfortunately it just goes too far and ends up becoming cheesy and OTT. I’m hoping that this is just a case of being overly enthusiastic about its opening episode and that everyone calms down in the next few episodes, because I am still pretty interested in Zetman.

    The worst offender in this episode was whoever did the action choreography, because it was just a mess. It was impossible to tell what was going on, the animation degraded into blurs and lulzy camera angles were thrown in randomly – it’s like the director got way too caught up in making the fights look dynamic and stylish, and forgot to make them easy to follow as well! The music, just like Another from last season, is also very overblown – some of the musical cues in the “touching scenes” set me off into giggles from how blatant they were. Voice acting is actually pretty decent, if somewhat cheesy (mostly the scripts fault), and I quite liked how overdone the OP was.

    Overall I enjoyed this episode of Zetman, but not for any of the reasons I was expecting. If it continues like this it will be worth watching for the entertainment value, but I am still hoping it gets itself together and starts presenting the story in a more restrained manner.

    Kuromajyo-san ga Touru!

    This is pure kiddie fluff – it’s only 7 minutes long and not a whole lot happens, so pretty harmless. There isn’t much explanation or exposition about why the main character is suddenly in training as a witch, nor is there a whole lot of actual animation going on (any less and it would be a powerpoint slide show). Still for what it is the show is watchable and not overly irritating – which is more than I really expected.

    Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden

    Well this pretty unfunny. Aside from reusing jokes (that poop joke got recycled three times in 20minutes!) the show doesn’t really seem to know what it want to do and completely fails at being a comedy. Rock Lee is already a pretty goofy character in the main series but at least he does have some cool moments, however in this spin-off they just strip him right back to being an incompetent idiot. I think the only skit I laughed at was the “playing house” one, and that was mainly done to Neji acting like an elementary schoolgirl!

    The OP is unremarkable in its cheesiness, but the ED…….my god the dancing. Scarred for life.

    So yeah, I am a fan of the Naruto franchise, but not even that could make me watch more of this awfulness…….makes me want Bleach back even it’s all filler!
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    Kore wa Zombie desu ka? Of the Dead

    I don’t know if it was because I was drinking while watching this or if it was actually entertaining, but I liked this first episode of the 2nd season. It does absolutely nothing new – the entire package from S1 is present here right down to the recycled animation in the ED (without the awesome song). However I am actually okay with this. I had zero expectations from this show, so I had a good giggle at Ayumu’s embarrassing Mahou-shounen transformation sequence (we even got the 1000% frillier version too). Zombie Desk Car is as shallow as they come, but it’s not like it aims to be anything other than fluff which is why I find myself enjoying it.

    DEEN appear to have spent their budget entirely on the OP, which is pretty stylish looking (even if the song is a bit meh) as the episode animation is nothing to get excited about and they resorted to reusing animation for the ED (very meh song there unfortunately).

    So I’m keeping this on regardless of how uninspired it is – even if it isn’t going to do anything new I enjoy the old stuff enough to sit through the series.

    Lupin III: The Woman Called Mine Fujiko

    I was expecting this new series of Lupin III to be sexed up, but I wasn’t prepared for just how filthy this show turned out to be! It just oozes sex appeal, from the jazz inspired soundtrack, to the nudity, to the gorgeous stylised background art – Lupin II is a very attractive show. As the title would imply this new series of Lupin III is mostly told from the perspective of Mine Fujiko, so that’s something new – I don’t really have any experience of the previous Lupin III series, but I’d assume that they mostly focus on Lupin himself. Here Fujiko (and her breasts) takes centre stage and Lupin just drops into her adventure. It’s pretty interesting viewing – quite looking forward to more.

    The real star of this show though (aside from Fujiko’s nipples) is the animation. Very heavily stylised with lots of heavy black stenciling and plenty of interesting direction choices; the animation style is one of the first things you notice about this show – I love it. The OP is very unusual, certainly one of the more unique OPs I’ve seen – with all the naked Fujiko it feels like a Bond OP (which I imagine is the whole point) but the accompanying track with this dialogue makes it feel quite different. The ED isn’t just as memorable, but the song is quite good.

    So I’m quite impressed with this first episode of Lupin III – looking forward to following this weekly, even if it is much more NSFW than I initially imagined!

    Gakkatsu!

    I really wasn’t all that impressed with this, mainly because Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei uses a similar premise and does it infinitely better. Still it’s a short wee thing and does its thing fairly well so I’d imagine some people will enjoy it.

    As flash animations go, this is one of the better examples – there is actual animation at times! Voice acting is also pretty good – sounds like they are actually putting some effort in, which is nice. The OP is also surprisingly good if forgettable.

    I’m not keeping this on simply because I can’t be bothered, but it’s a fairly decent little flash show.
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    Polar Bear Café (Shirokuma Café)

    I was originally looking forward to this simply due to the cast and the novelty factor of having a café run by a polar bear, but I am actually surprised by how good Polar Bear Café turned out to be! As a slice of life show it managed to entertain for the entire episode even though not a whole lot actually happened – for a s’life show to hold my attention for that long is quite an achievement, I have a very limited amount of patience for them. The whole setting was hilarious – random exotic animals living & working side by side with humans, yet there is still a busy zoo! The Polar Bear enjoys his lame puns, the Penguin likes coffee & playing the straight man and the Panda is obsessed with bamboo and every bit as lazy as you would expect a panda to be.

    The OP was pure brilliance – I seriously did not expect this show to have much effort put into it, but I was quickly proven wrong when that OP started playing. Similarly the ED is creatively animated with stop-motion Go pieces with FukuJun providing the vocals in character as Panda – adorable. The voice acting in general is fantastic, allowing me to indulge my inner seiyuu fan.

    So a very positive start to NichiBears – definitely looking forward to watching more of this ridiculously cute show.

    Sankarea

    This first episode was much better than I was expecting, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d seen this before because there were just too many clichés on display. You have your male lead with his one quirk and his inexplicable instant harem (moe imouto, genki cousin, bishoujo ojou), the annoying best friend and the fateful meeting with the bishoujo ojou when she’s having an emotion moment – you’ve seen it all before and Sankarea does the set-up remarkably well. Yes, even though this is retreading well worn ground there is no denying that Sankarea takes a lot of care in presenting it’s material in a very solid way – this is a good first episode for this kind of show. That being said I couldn’t shake the feeling that the team on Sankarea desperately wanted this show to be Bakemonogatari – there were certain shorts that just screamed SHAFT wannabe to me, which wouldn’t be a bad thing except the characters just don’t have the same presence & there isn’t the same quality of writing in Sankarea.

    On the production front – wow, DEEN certainly pulled out the A-team for this. Sankarea is very pretty to look at (although the male leads random cat-ear hair-style makes him look like he should be in Shiki), with lots of attention lavished on the backgrounds & directing. The OP was really nicely presented and I liked the ED song a lot – voice acting is also excellent.

    So not the borefest I was anticipating but nothing amazingly original either. Rather Sankarea is a well presented example of its genre – worth checking out if you’re bored.

    Yurumates 3D

    Well it was only three minutes long (half of which was the OP) so I don’t have an awful lot to say about this. In fact the OP was probably the best thing since it had inexplicable mecha action! Basically this is one of those ‘main character moves to Tokyo & comedy ensues when she meets her new housemates’ kinda shows – you’ve seen it all before.

    Voice acting is obnoxious – the main girl sound like she’s been huffing helium and everyone else just yells their handful of lines. Character designs are those disturbing loli things (and then they tell us these characters are all over 18!! LMFAO) that I really don’t like.

    So I am definitely not sticking around for any more of Yurumates – really is not my kind of show.

    Medaka Box

    I had concerns about this before I went into it, but it actually wasn’t as terrible as I was expecting……although that’s not to say Medaka Box is any good, because it’s not. It’s saving grace is that the episode was so fast paced that we were not allowed any time to dwell on how shallow and dull this premise is. Dialogue is motor-mouthed, but lacks the usual flair we’ve come to expect from NisiOisin and the characters have the depth of a teaspoon, but everything moves quickly with lots of energy so it’s easy to get swept along with things. Medaka herself is like a sociable version of Haruhi – irritatingly perfect at everything but with this desire to only do good for other people instead of Haruhi’s determination to make the world revolve around her. This makes Medaka less interesting because she has no discernible flaws meaning she’s very bland. Her childhood friend side-kick is a touch more interesting due to his inferiority complex, but I’m being generous there. I’d agree with other people’s impression that the premise of Medaka Box is very similar to Sket Dance, but without the comedy element.

    The animation is bright with constant movement (hello gainaxing boobs) which was great for distracting your attention away from how bland the rest of the show is, however I am not fond of the character designs at all (why is Kamina in this show??). Voice acting is reasonable, as is the music.

    I can’t be bothered with Medaka Box, even though it was nowhere near as awful as I was expecting, it still isn’t good enough to warrant trying another few episodes. Not even my legendary tolerance for shounen rubbish can compel me to stick this out.

    Acchi Kocchi

    This. This is the kind of thing my nightmares are made of. I can not stand these s’life shows were absolutely bugger all happens. I don’t mind if the characters or writing is charming enough (Kimi to Boku is just about getting by on that), but Acchi Kocchi has neither. The characters are literal moe blobs – shapeless brightly coloured creatures with zero discernible personality and huge soulless eyes……..terrifying. The writing is as bland as cardboard, we have the characters go to school, attend class, have lunch & go to the arcade. Amazing. I just don’t see the appeal here – what am I supposed to be interested in, because it sure as hell can’t be the strange purple haired thing that can’t seem to form coherent sentences and sprouts cat ears randomly!

    As I’ve said, the character designs terrify me, and the actual animation is nothing spectacular either. The OP is a prime example of why some voice actors should not be allowed to sing and the ED is basically an advertisement for nendoroids. I WILL NOT BUY YOUR CREEPTASTIC MERCHANDISE!

    So yeah…….not liking Acchi Kocchi much.

    Natsuiro Kiseki

    And to complete this triumvirate of meh, Natsuiro Kiseki. What was the point of this show? I have absolutely no idea what it is meant to be about. About six minutes in when sporty orange haired girl, and snobby blonde haired girl started bitching at each other I about gave up any hope of this show being worth watching. At that point I didn’t even know the girls names, why the feck should I care if they are fighting? Why were they fighting anyway? There was something about tennis, a flashback to a giant rock and vague mentions of idols……I have so idea why anything was relevant or why I was meant to care. And then there was the ending were there was suddenly magic. Heck fire in some alternate dimensions where the girls beat the ****e out of each other and we’ve basically got Black Rock Shooter all over again! Urgh!!!

    On the up side the animation was pretty nice to look at. However the voice acting was kind of irritating given the four girls have like one personality trait each and they play those up to 11. The OP & ED were quite nice though, but we already knew Sphere could sing.

    Another one for the dropped pile – I have no patience for watching any more.

    Accel World

    Another show filled to bursting with wasted potential. It really is unfortunate that these characters are so obnoxious because I really quite like the setting for Accel World. The characters just ruin any potential enjoyment though, particularly the sad sack main lead – his “oh woe is me” routine got old within 10minutes. Also those bullies had to be the most laughable stereotypes I’ve seen outside a parody show. It seems like the characterisation is entirely dependent upon the character design in this show – a glance at a character is more than enough to gauge what their personality is going to be and very little effort is put into going beyond that. I am utterly bemused as to why the main character has been modeled after a beach ball though. Not a single other character has quite such a stylised OTT design and it makes him feel completely out-of-place. I get that they want to emphasize his inferiority complex and dissatisfaction with his appearance, but it could have been done in a much more subtle way – he could have been made short and chubby without being turned into some sort of SD marshmallow man!

    This is quite irritating because the world setting is very interesting – I like the way the virtual world is layered over the real world; it’s been done before, but it’s still an interesting premise and Accel World has really nice looking animation so it all looks pretty impressive. Clearly we’ve got a show with a decent budget here. In terms of voice acting – I can no longer take Kaji Yuki seriously; the poor fella is one and the same as OH MA SHOE in my head now, otherwise the cast is grand.

    So Accel World is off to a pretty meh start. It’s unfortunate that a show which wants to explore how it is the inside that really counts can be so superficial in itself. I’ll give it another chance, but I’m not expecting anything from it.

    Upotte!

    I didn’t get this – it just did not appeal to me in the slightest. Upotte has it’s mind firmly in the gutter, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s just that all the jokes fell completely flat with me. All the innuendo should have amused me, but I was still sitting there going “meh” for the duration. It’s unfortunate because Upotte is fecking weird and I usually like weird. Maybe it’s because I have absolutely no interest or knowledge about guns or any interest in underage girls who are actually guns??

    Production is reasonable – seems they’ve done plenty of research on the guns in question anyway. Slightly mystified about why they chose to shadow Mr Protag’s face for the majority – felt like a bad eroge for a lot of the time.

    Not my thing – dropped.

    Sengoku Collection

    Watching this was physically painful – I could feel my braincells crying in anguish as they died. Genderbending Sengoku figures is nothing new, it’s been done many times before, but this is one of the worst examples I’ve had the misfortune to sit through. So we’ve got Oda Nobunaga genderbent into a moe girl and launched into the crotch of Mr Bland Every-lead within the first 5 minutes……..and then it got worse. This version of moe Nobunaga was a horrid tsundere ditz with no redeeming features whatsoever, and the whole episode was just her ordering Mr Bland about and giggling in a manner I suppose was meant to be cute……..AURGH! And then we had a trio of Touho rejects send moe Nobunaga on a fetch quest to meet other moe Sengoku generals to collect power orbs to get sent back to their world……..I am completely serious!

    The production was woeful – it’s like they aren’t even trying. The colours are garish, character designs blobby and the backgrounds are completely flat and featureless. The OP & ED were the epitome of generic (I swear the OP is a female cover of the Brave 10 OP!) and voice acting was horrid too.

    I wanted to quit this within 6 minutes – not a hope in hell of me watching more!
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    I can't believe I'm so far into these first impressions and we're still on the first page of this thread..........

    Fate/Zero S2

    Since Fate/Zero was a massive troll and hit pause right before it started what should have been it’s mid-season climatic battle, season two presses the play button again and we’re right back into the action. And it was glorious. Sure Caster’s giant squid monster could have been a bit more threatening, as it is it seems more like a behemoth that is difficult to kill rather than a terrifying threat, but Caster was never really the draw of this series. Rather it’s watching the other servants & masters fighting around the chaos Caster causes that is what really made me excited about this episode. Highlight had to be Gil’s fabulous gold UFO Vs Berserker’s hijacked fighter jet – awesome!

    Production quality is still as good as it ever was and I really liked the new Kalafina OP. The new ED is also great, although the animation suggests that the focus of this half of the story is going to switch more to Kiritsugu……which I suppose I should have expected since Saber is meant to be the main character. I do hope that Rider, Waver & Gil get more screen time though – they are easily the best characters.

    Excited to have Fate/Zero back – lets hope the Grail War continues to thrill.

    Mysterious Girlfriend X (Nazo no Kanojo X)

    I’m pretty impressed with how well this show has turned out – rather than the generic romcom it could have been, they’ve stuck close to the manga material and given us the kooky story I was hoping for. All the usual elements are here, but there is just enough of a spin put on things to make this a very entertaining watch. The whole drool element is presented in a fascinatingly squicky manner – so much attention is paid to making that drool as gloopy as possible – it’s slightly nauseating, but at the same time you can’t help but watch. The characters are also interesting – the male lead is pretty bland, but he’s very earnest in his blandness, and he was never going to be able to match up to the quirkiness of Urabe – she is a wonderful character, refreshingly different from most female leads, yet still somewhat believable. The whole episode just has this great atmosphere to it – I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

    The direction and animation are a large part of why I enjoyed this episode so much. The director is also doing Space Bros this season, but he doesn’t seem to be favouring one show over the other. Things are presented in a visually interesting manner in this show – I particularly liked the dream sequences and the dated feel to the character designs. The voice acting is natural sounding – no helium fueled performances or excessive shouting, just natural flowing conversations in a normal tone. The music is nicely done – although I’m not overly fussed on the ED.

    Mysterious Girlfriend X just feels like something a bit different, and I really like that – will be keeping on.

    Kuroko’s Basketball (Kuroko no Basuke)

    Okay shounen sports anime time! I actually really enjoyed this – which is kind of unsurprising given my innate weakness for shounen shows (and their tendency to be filled with BL shipping opportunities). It was a fairly run of the mill opening episode, but introduced the characters and set up the aim of the show well – nice to have the characters be fairly grounded and their abilities aren’t too exaggerated, which is always a potential issue with sports anime (looking at you Prince of Tennis). The set up here is simple, our main character is pretty remarkable in his unremarkableness, and he’s brilliant at getting the ball to where it needs to be to make his team shine - the story will emphasis the importance of working as a team and not judging a book by it’s cover……and also there will be tons of BL undertones. And I shall enjoy it!

    There isn’t much directorial flair on display in this episode, it’s very simply but competently animated and presented. Voice acting is fine, and I liked the music choices and the OP (not fussed on the ED).

    Keeping this on, but I do hope that it doesn’t drag on and on – about 26 episodes would be perfect for this show.

    Saki: Achiga-hen episode of side-A

    This episode just further confirmed to me that this just isn’t my type of show. I completely zoned out within 10minutes so I don’t think I’d even be able to tell you what this was all about! I do know that this Saki spin-off was much more grounded than the main Saki show (the whole 1 episode that I watched of it anyway) and the characters are nowhere near as annoying, but that’s about it. Cute girls playing mahjong is not my idea of fun, especially since I know absolutely bugger all about mahjong so I don’t even have that to latch on to.

    Production quality is grand, however I still do not get the fascination with underage girls legs & boobs. Can’t really say anything about the voice acting or music because I wasn’t listening for the majority of the episode.

    So not my thing – but I am sure fans of the series will be glad to have more Saki to watch.

    Haiyore! Nyaruko-san: Another Crawling Chaos

    Now this surprised me. Having seen a handful of the flash shorts back when they were airing, my expectations for this show were pretty much on the ground, however this first episode was actually a lot of fun! The show is full of manic energy, hyper self-aware and simultaneously attempts to parody its genre while also reveling in its tropes. It is exceptionally difficult not to get swept up in the pace, and I found myself laughing by the end. I am properly surprised by how much I liked this episode! Saying that though, I do not expect the show to maintain this level of fun and energy for very long – it will probably burn out and become what it wants to parody within a few episodes; but it will be a fun watch while it lasts.

    The star of this show is Kana Asumi’s motor-mouthed performance as Nyarko – she must have been absolutely exhausted after recording this show, because Nyarko rarely stops to draw breath and the entire show revolves around her. The production is certainly better than I was expecting, not that that’s really saying much, but still. the OP & ED are pretty fun if generic and in keeping with the rest of the show.

    So I enjoyed this despite myself – will give it another few episodes to see if they can actually keep the series fresh, even if I have my doubts.

    Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia)

    I liked the way this episode showed the same scene from two different perspectives – that was quite clever, but that’s about the most praise I can give the show because otherwise it was rather uninspired. I was hoping for more from the premise, but it seems that this is just going to be yet another harem show – except this time one of the harmettes is a ghost. I did get some Natsu no Arashi vibes from the show for a while, but there isn’t really the same charm here, and the clever direction can’t really cover up for the dull writing or obnoxious characters.

    And the production really is well done! There are some very creative shots, nice music and interesting direction choices here, but in the absence of appealing characters or witty dialogue, the nice looking art & animation seems rather wasted. Voice acting is bland, the male lead has zero presence and that girl who can’t see the ghost just rambled on and on until I wanted to strangle her.

    So not the best start to the show – I am willing to give it another episode or two though, because there is some potential here – they just need to make their characters more appealing and sharpen up the writing.
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    Sakamichi no Apollon: Kids on the Slope

    Loved this episode – thank god it turned out to be just as good as I hoped, I really would have been crushed if Apollon turned out to be mediocre! Apollon is a very grounded kind of story, but it is exceptionally well told, paced and directed – I really could not ask for anything more from this opening episode. The character introductions and interactions feel natural and there is a wonderful flow to the pacing – nothing is too forced or unrealistic, you can really tell that it is the steady hand of a seasoned pro directing this show. The characters themselves are pretty standard archetypes, but they’re well written and superbly acted.

    On the production front, this is a gloriously well animated show. You just have to look at that drum solo scene to appreciate the quality – the timing perfectly matches the soundtrack & the motion is just fabulous! I really can’t believe how good the character animation is in the this show – so much attention to detail! The music is also great, however there wasn’t as much BGM as I was initially expecting – but it is early days, the characters are only discovering music at the moment.

    Very impressed with Apollon, definitely keeping on!

    Jormungand

    Well looks like our pre-season impression that Jormungand would have lots of Black Lagoon vibes, was spot on! I enjoyed this episode quite a lot – we are dumped right into the action and left to soak up snippets of information from the characters conversations & actions; it’s an exciting and interesting way to start a show, although not unusual. I am quite sure I didn’t really grasp all of what was going on in the plot of this episode, but that’s not really important as all we really needed to get was what the characters were like, and it accomplished that with ease – this show has two cours to tell its story, we’ve got lots of time to get to grips with the finer details of the arms dealers world.

    I wasn’t all that sure about the character designs – bemused as to why Koko is practically albino, does anyone actually have hair the same shade of white as their skin, but it all works pretty well in the show. Guns are rendered in loving detail and action is well choreographed with some nice direction choices. Voice acting is great, but the music is a touch underwhelming.

    So a positive start to Jormungand, looking forward to more.

    Tsuritama

    The other noitaminA show now, and strangely this has basically the same plotline as Sakamichi no Apollon! It was quite interesting to see how much a shows tone can change just by changing the artstyle and keeping things much more on the whimsical side. Where Apollon feels like a serious, highly polished show, Tsuritama is much more lighthearted and absurdist, employing a more energetic, if not quite so refined, directing style. I like both shows for different reasons. I enjoyed Tsuritama’s weird side – it’s got an indian fella having dinner with a duck, it has a weird attention grabbing character proclaiming to be an alien and wielding a water gun that appears to fire memory erasing water, and it has a really funky granny.

    The quirks continue in the art style. Originally I thought Tsuritama looked rather normal compared to some of Kenji Nakamura’s other shows, but it does have some very interesting stylisation going on, particularly with the way the backgrounds are rendered in gloriously bright colours. The character designs are fairly standard, but there are lots of interesting facial expressions and movement going on – it’s quite an attractive looking show! The voice acting is ok - not overly fussed on Haru’s hyperactive squawking, although Yuki’s neurotic monologues are well done.

    Overall I wasn’t completely bowled over by Tsuritama, but it was a pretty good opening episode. Will be keeping on and hoping for more randomness to come.

    Eureka Seven Ao

    This was pretty much a textbook start to a mecha series – it ticked every box and the execution was nearly flawless; it is a joy to have Bones & Eureka 7 back! Bones are old hand at this by now, and with E7 Ao they’ve gone back to what they know best – and it really shows. The pacing was great, they’ve managed to make the male lead nowhere near as irritating as Renton first was, the setting is glorious and the explosions just as dazzling rainbow-hued as I wanted. I had a lot of fun watching this episode even though the Nirvash hasn’t made an appearance yet – it’s still the same world of E7 that I fell in love with. Those neon-green sky surfing trails, the abundance of bright colours and the character designs – the aesthetic is there and looks even more polished now!

    Yes the production on this series is excellent, from the smooth, technicoloured animation and snappy direction to the awesome soundtrack and competent voice acting, it’s all looking very good for E7 Ao from this opening episode. Of course it’s difficult to judge just from the 1st episode (Xam’d had an even better first episode and look how that show panned out) but I remain optimistic about the show.

    There was never any doubt that I’d be watching Eureka Seven Ao, so I’m very glad that this episode was legitimately entertaining!

    Ginga e Kickoff! (Kickoff to the Galaxy!)

    You know as first episodes of kiddie sports shows go, this wasn’t all that bad – I didn’t feel any of the usual eye-rolling boredom that usually accompanies trying these kinds of shows. Granted that’s not to say it’s a good show, but it is nowhere near as bad as I was expecting. The main wee boy is pretty annoying in that is seems that the child is constantly on a sugar rush, but he’s well-tempered by the rest of the cast. The football element seems to be well handled from what I can tell (I know next to nothing about football) and the show does seem to have plenty of sincere energy.

    The character designs childish and brightly coloured, but the animation is nicely handled with good attention paid to movement – there is certainly more so than there was in Knight in the Area! Kobayashi Yu is playing the male lead, and she’s gone a wee bit too far in conveying his excitable personality, so it’s bordering on irritating. Otherwise the voice acting is pretty good.

    I’m obviously not keeping this on, but it seems like a pretty decent kiddie show.

    Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan (The Bread of Happiness)

    Oh holy god, this was such a chore to sit though! What the hell was the point to this?? I know it was based on an RPG, but the way the characters just wander about from place to place, flogging bread and engaging people in banal conversation, was just beyond tedious!! The only way to tolerate this show is to play the “replace BREAD with PENIS” game proposed by Scamp – I know that was the only way I made it out of this episode without causing myself permanent injury. The characters are just so bland it’s actually offensive; what the hell is Rick putting in his bread that turns the population of the island into brainless fangirls?? Also for a show about bread there wasn’t a whole lot of time spent on how bread is made, or just what special way of baking Rick employs to make his bread taste so damn addictive. A lot more time was spent on the three vapid females cackling with glee over the amount of cash they were raking in thanks to Rick’s delicious bread. Rawrgh! Why does this show exist?

    The animation isn’t even all that good. The characters are really plastic and don’t really move in a convincing manner (this is amplified a hundred times over in that freakish ED – sweet Christ that was nightmare fuel). I was also fascinated by how the girls skirts appeared to be either starched beyond all reason, or just moulded from cardboard, because those things do not so much as flutter when they move. On the voice acting front, all the girls in this sound brain damaged to some degree, and for some incomprehensible reason Hiroshi Kamiya is voicing two characters – he actually has a conversation with himself at one point!

    So no, not watching more of this – I think some of my brain cells committed suicide in protest when watching this drivel.

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