AJ's Winter Anime Preview 2018

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AngryJellyfish
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Time flies, and already I'm bringing you another of these season preview threads. :zomg:

Usually, I watch virtually everything that airs each season, struggling to narrow down my watching list even to 18 or 20 titles... not in 2018. I'm setting myself a strict quota of SIX EIGHT new series, so that I can focus the rest of my time on gaming and older anime series. Though I'll still watch the first episodes of *virtually* everything, so I can review them here. If anyone else wants to join in and review stuff, please feel free.

Let's see what's on the horizon, which select few will make the cut... and how long I'll be able to stick to my guns. :p:

(These series are all due to air in the first few weeks of January. If you're looking for something to watch between now and then, maybe check last season's preview thread for some ideas!)


Basilisk: Ouka Ninpouchou
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Genre: Action, Drama, Historical
Animation Studio: Seven Arcs
Japanese Airdate: Jan 9, 2018
Director: Nishimura Junji (Simoun, Bakuon!!)


(Original post by Summary:)
The story is set 10 years after Basilisk: Kouga Ninpou Chou in 1626.
Basilisk would have been high on my list of series I didn't expect to get sequels. :zomg: Hopefully more than just a cash grab, as a second fight to the death between ninja clans appeals to me!


Beatless
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Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Drama
Animation Studio: Diomedea
Japanese Airdate: Jan 13, 2018
Director: Mizushima Seiji (Ooedo Rocket, Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou)


(Original post by Summary:)
With the introduction of an ultra-advanced AI that surpasses human intelligence, beings that mankind is yet to fully comprehend made from materials far too advanced for human technology begin coming into being. Lacia, an hIE equipped with a black coffin-shaped device, is one of these. In boy-meets-girl fashion, 17-year-old Arato Endo has a fateful encounter with the artificial Lacia. For what purpose were these artificial beings created? Amid questions regarding the coexistence of these artificial beings and humans, a 17-year-old boy makes a decision...
'In boy-meets-girl fashion' sums up my first impressions on this one – sounds like so many other 'sudden girlfriend appearance' anime. Trailer looked alright, at least.


Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen
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Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Animation Studio: Madhouse
Japanese Airdate: Jan 7, 2018
Director: Asaka Morio (Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits)


(Original post by Summary:)
Fourteen-year-old Sakura starts junior high school along her friends, including Syaoran, who had just returned to Tomoeda. After having a dream with a mysterious cloaked figure, all of Sakura's cards turn blank and are rendered powerless, thus she starts her quest to find out what is wrong. In doing so, Sakura and her allies discover and capture new transparent cards using a new key.
A franchise that *should* need no introduction... though after my recent anime quiz, I do wonder about that. :erm: I've yet to watch the first series myself, shockingly, so will pass on this for now.


Citrus
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Genre: Drama, Romance, Shoujo Ai
Animation Studio: Passione
Japanese Airdate: Jan 6, 2018
Director: Takahashi Takeo (Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, Rokka no Yuusha)


(Original post by Summary:)
Fashionable Yuzu imagined the first day at her new school she transferred to after her mother's remarriage a bit differently; she didn't know it'd be an ultra-strict and conservative girls' school. So instead of a sweet high-school romance, she butts heads with the stern student council president Mei—who turns out to be her new step sister. And she has to learn that hate and attraction are often not that far apart.
An actual shoujo-ai series for once, not just fanservice or teasing. :zomg: Truly a season of surprises, already. Doubt there will be space for this on my shortened list, however.


Dame x Prince Anime Caravan
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Genre: Adventure, Romance
Animation Studio: Studio Flad
Japanese Airdate: Jan 10, 2018
Director: Hoshino Makoto (Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Revolutions)


(Original post by Summary:)
An adaptation of the smart phone game which will have an original story.

The story of the game follows Ani, a princess from the minor nation of Inako. Ani is sent to the signing ceremony that will bring peace to the rival nations of Mildonia, a mighty military country, and Selenfaren, a powerful theocracy. Ani is supposed to help steer the signing ceremony along, but she runs into trouble when she encounters a handful of obstinate princes.
A colourful, wacky-looking harem show packed with bishounen princes. Coming from a director who has worked on UtaPri, so clearly knows the genre. Not for me, animation looks a bit cheap.


Darling in the FranXX
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Genre: Sci-Fi, Mecha
Animation Studio: Trigger
Japanese Airdate: Jan 13, 2018
Director: Nishigori Atsushi (The Idolmaster, The Idolmaster Movie: Kagayaki no Mukougawa e!)


(Original post by Summary:)
They dream of one day flying into the endless sky, even though they are painfully aware of how far away the sky is beyond the glass that blocks their flight.

The distant future: Humanity established the mobile fort city, Plantation, upon the ruined wasteland and civilization flourished. Within the city were pilot quarters called Mistilteinn, otherwise known as the "Birdcage." That is where the children live... Not knowing anything of the outside world, and unaware of the vast sky. Their only mission in life was the fight.

Their enemies are the mysterious giant organisms known as Kyoryu. The children operate robots known as FRANXX in order to face these still unseen enemies because they believe that is their purpose in life. Among them was a boy who was once called a child prodigy: Code number 016, Hiro. However, now he's a failure and considered unneeded. Those who cannot pilot FRANXX basically do not exist.

One day, a mysterious girl called Zero Two appears in front of Hiro. From her face grew two alluring horns.

"I've found you, my Darling."
As always happens, the titles are starting to get a LITTLE weird... but at least this one's explained in the synopsis. A Trigger mech show with a decent trailer, there's a good chance I'll pick this up.


Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku
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Genre: Fantasy
Animation Studio: Silver Link.
Japanese Airdate: Jan 11, 2018
Director: Oonuma Shin (Ef - a Tale of Memories., Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu)


(Original post by Summary:)
29-year-old programmer Suzuki Ichirou finds himself transported into a fantasy RPG. Within the game, he's a 15-year-old named Satou. At first he thinks he's dreaming, but his experiences seem very real. Due to a powerful ability he possesses with limited use, he ends up wiping out an army of lizard men and becomes a high leveled adventurer. Satou decides to hide his level, and plans to live peacefully and meet new people. However, developments in the game's story, such as the return of a demon king, may cause a nuisance to Satou's plans.
Person transported into a fantasy game world. Title containing 'kara hajimaru isekai'. Light novel adaptation by Silver Link. Yeah... I'm not expecting a lot of originality from this.


Fate/Extra Last Encore
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Genre: Action, Magic, Fantasy
Animation Studio: Shaft
Japanese Airdate: Jan 28, 2018
Director: Simbo Akiyuki (Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei, Natsu no Arashi!)


(Original post by Summary:)
Waking up in a strange virtual world with no recollection of the past, Hakuno finds himself forced to fight for survival in a war he does not understand for a prize beyond value; the opportunity to have one's wish granted. With only an enigmatic "Servant" by his side, Hakuno Kishinami will have to face both friends and foes in battles to the death in order to not only gain possession of a mysterious object known as the "Holy Grail," but also to find the answer to the most important question of all: "Who am I?"
Will I be ready for more Fate, so soon after the end of Apocrypha? From Shaft, almost certainly! Loved the style and the creepy tone of the PV... shame about the late air date, though.


Gakuen Babysitters
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Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, School
Animation Studio: Brain's Base
Japanese Airdate: Jan 7, 2018
Director: Morishita Shusei


(Original post by Summary:)
After their parents are killed in a plane crash, Ryuuichi and his younger brother Kotarou are taken in by the chairman, who they never met before, of an elite academy. Ryuuichi becomes the school daycare's new babysitter.
Bishounen babysitters. Quite the original setting for a slice of life/comedy series, and there's the potential for some drama and feels... not really my kind of thing, but it looks alright!


Gin no Guardian 2
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Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Animation Studio: Haoliners Animation League
Japanese Airdate: Jan 13, 2018
Director: Andou Ken (Ar-Tonelico Sekai no Owari de Utai Tsuzukeru Shoujo)


(Original post by Summary:)
Second season of Gin no Guardian.
Another sequel to a series I haven't seen. This aired months ago in China, so it might not be 'new' to some readers either, but this is its Japanese debut.


Grancrest Senki
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Genre: Action, Fantasy
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
Japanese Airdate: Jan 6, 2018
Director: Hatakeyama Mamoru (Sankarea, Rozen Maiden (2013))


(Original post by Summary:)
On a continent ruled by chaos, the Lords have the power of a holy seal that can calm the chaos and protect the people. However, before anyone realizes it, the rulers cast aside their creed of purifying the chaos, and instead start to fight each other for each other's holy seals to gain dominion over one another. Shiruuka, an isolated mage who scorns the Lords for abandoning their creed, and a wandering knight named Theo, who is on a journey to train to one day liberate his hometown, make an everlasting oath to work together to reform this continent dominated by wars and chaos.
Slightly hypocritical, I know, but I'm looking forward to this fantasy light novel adaptation from A-1 Pictures, as the author Ryo Mizuno also brought us Record of Lodoss War.


Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
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Genre: Action
Animation Studio: Satelight
Japanese Airdate: Jan 12, 2018
Director: Yasuda Kenji


(Original post by Summary:)
In a city known as Fukuoka, crime exists in the underworld from a seemingly peaceful surface. In the Hakata ward of the city, there are various individuals with special talent that consists of professional killers, detectives, informants, and professional revenge seekers. Furthermore, according to an urban legend, an individual known as "killer of professional killers" has shown up in the city.
The title is VERY bizarre, and the key visual didn't stand out to me... the synopsis and trailer certainly piqued my interest, though!


Hakumei to Mikochi
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Genre: Fantasy, Seinen, Slice of Life
Animation Studio: Lerche
Japanese Airdate: Jan 12, 2018
Director: Andou Masaomi (Gakkougurashi!, Kuzu no Honkai)


(Original post by Summary:)
Nine centimeters (3.5 inches) tall, the tiny girls Hakumei and Mikochi live in the forest. Living in a tiny house in a tree, riding insects and birds, and making umbrellas out of leaves, these tiny girls live a tiny life. Follow their tiny but lovely lives as they live their day to day in a fantastic world of tiny people and gods.
VERY CUTE. That's about all I can say about this, really. Though just because the characters are small, that doesn't mean I'll have space for them in my smaller want to watch list. :no:


Hakyuu Houshin Engi
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Genre: Adventure, Supernatural, Fantasy
Animation Studio: C-Station
Japanese Airdate: Jan 12, 2018
Director: Aizawa Kagetsu


(Original post by Summary:)
When his clan is wiped out by a beautiful demon, young Taikobo finds himself in charge of the mysterious Houshin Project. Its mission: find all immortals living in the human world and seal them away forever. But who do you trust—and whose side are you really on—when you've been trained to hunt demons by a demon?
I've watched this one! The earlier 1999 adaptation, that is. Except I can't remember a thing about it, and gave it a mediocre score. Might be a sign that I can skip this without worry. :p:


Hitori no Shita: The Outcast 2nd Season
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Genre: Action, Super Power, Supernatural
Animation Studio: Tencent Animation
Japanese Airdate: Jan 10, 2018
Director: :iiam:


(Original post by Summary:)
Second season of Hitori no Shita: The Outcast.
Again, old news if you've been following the Chinese webstreams. I found the first series to be equal parts good and terrible. Given that I have to be more picky this season... no chance.


Hugtto! Precure
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Genre: Action, Fantasy, Magic
Animation Studio: Toei Animation
Japanese Airdate: Feb 4, 2018
Director: :iiam:


(Original post by Summary:)
The 15th Precure series.
FIFTEEN. :zomg: I've only watched the first series, not that the order matters hugely for this francise I don't think. Little info as of yet, but TBF it is airing a month later than everything else.


IDOLiSH7
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Genre: Music, Shoujo
Animation Studio: TROYCA
Japanese Airdate: Jan 1, 2018
Director: Bessho Makoto (Shangri-La, Mahou Tsukai Nara Miso o Kue!)


(Original post by Summary:)
Working at an agency owned by your father, seven new idols await. They are all part of an idol unit IDOLiSH7, and each of them have unique personalities. It is your task to manage them. In order to achieve the same goals, as manager and idols together, you gather the seven ununified hearts and aim for the top.
Autumn 2017 gave us a couple of very low-budget, boring-looking male idol anime... dare I say this looks far better, based on the trailer at least. 17 eps is an unusual length, though.


Ito Junji: Collection
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Genre: Horror, Mystery, Psychological
Animation Studio: Studio Deen
Japanese Airdate: Jan 5, 2018
Director: Tagashira Shinobu (Diabolik Lovers)


(Original post by Summary:)
A collection of animated horror stories based on the works of Japanese artist Junji Ito.
This should be a must-see for fans of horror manga and anime! The trailer was very creepy, and did a good job of capturing Ito Junji's older-style art.


Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san
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Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, Romance
Animation Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
Japanese Airdate: Jan 8, 2018
Director: Akagi Hiroaki (Hina Logi: From Luck & Logic)


(Original post by Summary:)
"If you blush, you lose."

Living by this principle, the middle schooler Nishikata gets constantly made fun of by his seat neighbor Takagi-san. With his pride shattered to pieces, he vows to turn the tables and get back at her some day. And so, he attempts to tease her day after day, only to find himself victim to Takagi-san's ridicule again sooner than later. Will he be able to make Takagi-san blush from embarrassment even once in the end?
This just looks and sounds adorable, beats even the 9 cm dwarves for me. But, I've always preferred action series, so the first episode will have to be VERY good to make my list.


Killing Bites
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Genre: Action, Horror, Ecchi
Animation Studio: LIDENFILMS
Japanese Airdate: Jan 13, 2018
Director: Nishikata Yasuto


(Original post by Summary:)
People have been created that are human-animal hybrids, and powerful businesses bet on the outcome of their duels. College student Nomoto Yuuya's casual acquaintances ask him to drive them around to pick up girls one day, which he soon finds out means by force. The girl they kidnap is an animal-human hybrid named Hitomi, who slaughters all of them except Yuuya. Hitomi is a honey badger, which has been called the most fearless of all animals. Now Hitomi is assigned to stay with Yuuya, for his protection!
An ecchi, violent battle anime full of animal people. This is more my thing. Should make a nice replacement for this season's Juuni Taisen, and will hopefully be less predictable too.


Koi wa Ameagari no You ni
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Genre: Romance, Seinen
Animation Studio: Wit Studio
Japanese Airdate: Jan, 2018
Director: Watanabe Ayumu (Nazo no Kanojo X, Uchuu Kyoudai)


(Original post by Summary:)
Akira Tachibana is a soft-spoken high school student who used to be a part of the track and field club but, due to an injury, she is no longer able to run as fast as she once could. Working part-time at a family restaurant as a recourse, she finds herself inexplicably falling love with her manager, a divorced 45-year-old man with a young son.

Despite the age gap, Akira wholeheartedly embraces his mannerisms and kind nature, which is seen as spinelessness by the other employees, and little by little, the two begin to understand each other. Although unable to explain why exactly she is attracted to him, Akira believes that a concrete reason is not needed to truly love someone. On a rainy day, she decides to finally tell her manager about how she feels...but just how will he react?
“I'm 17, he's 45 – is this okay?”. Sounds like every thread in TSR's Relationships forum, ever. :awesome: Serious romance/drama probably isn't for me, but it looks really pretty.
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AngryJellyfish
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Kokkoku
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Genre: Mystery, Psychological, Drama
Animation Studio: Geno Studio
Japanese Airdate: Jan 8, 2018
Director: Oohashi Yoshimitsu (Galaxy Angel, Sacred Seven)


(Original post by Summary:)
Juri Yukawa lives with her NEET father and brother, her retired grandfather, her sister (a single mother) and her young nephew.
One day, her nephew and brother are kidnapped for ransom. Having only 30 minutes to meet the demands of the kidnappers, Juri, who realizes there is not enough time to prepare the money, decides to head for their rescue by herself with knife in hand when her grandfather uses a mysterious stone passed on in the Yukawa family to stop time.

In a world where everyone and everything are inert, Juri and her father and grandfather run to rescue the two. But at the kidnappers' hideout, they soon realize they are not the only ones who can move about in this still world...
Kidnapping AND time trickery? Very intriguing. And yet another great trailer, too! I am really going to struggle to narrow my want to watch list down, but this MUST be on it.


Miira no Kaikata
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Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Supernatural
Animation Studio: 8bit
Japanese Airdate: Jan 12, 2018
Director: Kaori (Yuyushiki, Oshiri Kajiri Mushi (2013))


(Original post by Summary:)
When high school student Sora Kashiwagi finds himself staring down a mysterious oversized package sent to him by his self-proclaimed "adventurer" father, the last thing he expects is for it to be opened from the inside... by a little mummy so small it can fit in the palm of his hand!
Another fairly original concept for a slice of life series, fair play! :p: Doesn't jump out at me though, I prefer my mummies on the scarier, horror side.


Mitsuboshi Colors
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Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Animation Studio: Silver Link.
Japanese Airdate: Jan 7, 2018
Director: Kawamura Tomoyuki (Kamigami no Asobi, Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai)


(Original post by Summary:)
Hark! The city is in peril! Who you gonna call? Colors!

Sacchan, Yui and Kotoha are here to protect the city, solving mysteries and battling enemies with help from their friends. But their quest isn't an easy one as their arch-nemesis Saitou, the violent police officer of Ueno, meets them at every turn
'Girls doing things' is the basic synopsis for about 75% of anime these days... but they're usually doing something interesting, or are in a unique setting. There's no real hook for me in this one.


Märchen Mädchen
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Genre: Magic, Fantasy, School
Animation Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Japanese Airdate: Jan 11, 2018
Director: Ueda Shigeru (Senran Kagura: Estival Versus - Mizugi Darake no Zen`yasai)


(Original post by Summary:)
When the two girls meet, magic begins. Hazuki Kagimura loves stories, an orthodox girl who is overly imaginative. Because her relationship with her new family does not go well, the environment sends her toward the stories in which she spends her days. One day after school, Hazuki gets lost among the bookcases of the library, leading her to a mysterious school where meets Shizuka Tsuchimikado. It is a magic school where girls (called "mädchen" are selected by the magical texts from which the world's stories are born. Hazuki herself is said to be chosen by the book of Cinderella. In order to become a true magician, Hazuki becomes friends with Shizuka and begins her new life at the school.
Eh... there are so, so many magic school anime out there nowadays. Is the fairytale sources for their magic enough of an original concept to make this one stand out? So far, for me at least, no.


Nanatsu no Bitoku
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Genre: Action, Ecchi, Fantasy
Animation Studio: Bridge
Japanese Airdate: Jan, 2018
Director: Ishihira Shinji (Fairy Tail, Log Horizon)


(Original post by Summary:)
Series focusing on the angelic counterparts to the demons from Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai.
The same Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai that drove studio Artland to bankruptcy, let us not forget. Just because they're angels, don't expect this to be any less explicit... [EDIT] This series will have short (5 minute) episodes.


Nanatsu no Taizai: Imashime no Fukkatsu
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Genre: Action, Supernatural, Fantasy
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
Japanese Airdate: Jan 13, 2018
Director: Furuta Takeshi (Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Legend Star, Eldlive )


(Original post by Summary:)
The second season of Nanatsu no Taizai
This Nanatsu no Taizai has nothing to do with this thread's previous entry, however. One of the most anticipated sequels of the season, no doubt... not sure if I'll have room for it, though.


Overlord II
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Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Animation Studio: Madhouse
Japanese Airdate: Jan, 2018
Director: Itou Naoyuki (Re:Cutey Honey, Overlord)


(Original post by Summary:)
The second season of Overlord.
And another big sequel! Overlord ticks all the genre boxes for me, but I worry that our protagonist/anti-hero is too powerful... I prefer to see close-fought battles. This is a maybe.


Pop Team Epic
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Genre: Comedy
Animation Studio: Kamikaze Douga
Japanese Airdate: Jan 7, 2018
Director: Aoki Jun (Hennako-chan, Space Neko Theater)


(Original post by Summary:)
The surreal four-panel manga centers around two 14-year-old girls, the short Popuko and the tall Pipimi.
I wish I could understand what was going on in that trailer... can't tell if this is going to be full-length, or just a short, but the first ep warrants a look either way, as I like surreal 4-koma series.


Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san
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Genre: Comedy, Slice of life
Animation Studio: Studio Gokumi
Japanese Airdate: Jan 4, 2018
Director: Setou Kenji (Wooser no Sono Higurashi Kakusei Hen, Gakusen Toshi Asterisk)


(Original post by Summary:)
Koizumi is a mysterious and attractive high school student. But what most people don't know about her is that she's a ramen master who is always on the lookout for great ramen restaurants. Everyday, she goes hunting for real-life places serving the best ramen dishes and delightfully eats the delicious noodles. The way Koizumi downs a giant bowl of ramen–more adeptly than any large man–will amaze and delight you!
Unlike the first Winter series to contain ramen in its title, this one seems to actually focus on the foodstuff. :p: Food reaction anime are wasted on me, they just make me feel hungry.


Ryuuou no Oshigoto!
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Genre: Game, Slice of Life, Comedy
Animation Studio: Project No.9
Japanese Airdate: Jan 9, 2018
Director: Yanagi Shinsuke (Rou Kyuu Bu! SS, Tenshi no 3P!)


(Original post by Summary:)
The story is about a teenage boy who happens to be a shogi master. One day, a nine-year-old girl turns up at his house, requesting to be taken as his disciple. From there, all kinds of wacky hijinks ensue.
Firstly, 3-gatsu no Lion is continuing into next season, so I already have a slice of life shogi series. Secondly, the disciple is 9 years old, and this director's previous works speak for themselves.


Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan 2
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Genre: Comedy, Supernatural, School
Animation Studio: :iiam:
Japanese Airdate: Jan 17, 2018
Director: Sakurai Hiroaki (Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou, GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class)


(Original post by Summary:)
The second season of Saiki Kusuo no Ψ Nan.
I'm fairly certain this will be 5 minute shorts. The first series was. But, none of the sites I've checked can confirm that. Either way, didn't watch the original, so won't watch this.


Sanrio Danshi
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Genre: School
Animation Studio: Studio Pierrot
Japanese Airdate: Jan 6, 2018
Director: Kudou Masashi (Re-Kan!, Chain Chronicle: Haecceitas no Hikari)


(Original post by Summary:)
The project's premise follows Kouta Hasegawa, a high school boy that loves the yellow Pom Pom Purin dog. By mere coincidence, he ends up attending the same school as Yuu Mizuno, a boy who likes the bunny My Melody. Yuu tells Kouta that there's nothing to be ashamed of for liking Sanrio's cute characters. Together, Kouta, Yuu, Shunsuke Yoshino, Ryou Nishimiya, and Seiichirou Minamoto learn to accept their love of the characters instead of feeling embarrassed.
So, regular human fans of the mascots, as opposed to anthropomorphic versions of the mascots themselves? Surely a better tactic for marketing. :p: I like Sanrio, but this does nothing for me.


Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion The Animation
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Genre: Action, Mecha, Sci-F
Animation Studio: OLM
Japanese Airdate: Jan 6, 2018
Director: Ikezoe Takahiro (Slap Up Party: Arad Senki, Show by Rock!!)


(Original post by Summary:)
In the franchise's story, Hayato Hayasugi (his last name is a pun on the words for "too fast", the train-loving son of a train museum curator, accidentally stumbles into his dad's secret research lab one day. Inside he finds the E5 bullet train. As soon as he enters, he hears an announcement that a mysterious enemy, the Bachigami ("bee god", is attacking the city of New Saitama. Luckily, with the touch of his father's Shinca ("evolve" card, the bullet train he's in transforms into a mighty robot — the Shinkalion E5 Hayabusa.

In the anime's story, Hayato and other children will serve as conductors to pilot the Shinkalion. The children must work together with the adults of the "Shinkansen Ultra Evolution Institute" (SUEI) to defeat a monster that looks like a jet black bullet train.
I can still only see Hatsune Miku when I look at that train and its colour scheme... but now it's a mech in its own right. :zomg: The target audience is a bit younger than myself for this one. :p:


Slow Start
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Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, School
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
Japanese Airdate: Jan 7, 2018
Director: Hashimoto Hiroyuki (Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e)


(Original post by Summary:)
Hana Ichinose is a normal 16-year-old high school student. However, there is something different about her: She enrolled in high school one year late! Her classmates are unaware of this, and Hana will have to work hard to catch up with everyone else.
Nah, I'd say this list got off to a strong start, personally. Slow end, if anything, as (sequels aside) nothing has excited me much since Kokkoku. This series being no exception.


Toji no Miko
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Genre: Action, Fantasy, Supernatural
Animation Studio: Studio Gokumi
Japanese Airdate: Jan 5, 2018
Director: Kakimoto Koudai (Cyborg 009: Call of Justice)


(Original post by Summary:)
Since ancient times shrine maidens who wield swords have been exorcising "aratama," strange existences that threaten the human world. These young women who wear school uniforms and a sword are called "Toji," and they serve as an official unit within the police force as a "special religious service police squad." The government authorizes the Toji to wear swords and serve as government officials, and the government has set up five schools throughout the country for the girls to attend. The girls live ordinary school lives, while occasionally performing their duties, wielding their swords and using various powers to fight and protect the people. In the spring, the five schools send their best Toji to compete in a tournament. As the tournament comes closer, all of the representatives rigorously train themselves in order to get stronger and improve their skills.
Generic monsters, sword-wielding schoolgirls and battle tournaments. Might make for passable viewing if the animation budget is decent, but there's nothing original here, at all.


Sora yori mo Tooi Basho
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Genre: Adventure
Animation Studio: Madhouse
Japanese Airdate: Jan 2, 2018
Director: Ishizuka Atsuko (Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, Prince of Stride: Alternative)


(Original post by Summary:)
The anime's story centers on high school girls going to the South Pole, "a place further than the universe." They struggle and grow together as they cope with extreme conditions.
That's more like it! Schoolgirls trying their hand at polar exploration, I can get behind. Though hopefully not in those clothes, it's pretty cold over there, or so I've been led to believe.


Violet Evergarden
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Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Sci-fi
Animation Studio: Kyoto Animation
Japanese Airdate: Jan 11, 2018
Director: Ishidate Taichi (Kyoukai no Kanata, Gekijouban Kyoukai no Kanata: I`ll Be Here)


(Original post by Summary:)
There are words Violet heard on the battlefield, which she cannot forget. These words were given to her by someone she holds dear, more than anyone else. She does not yet know their meaning.

A certain point in time, in the continent of Telesis. The great war which divided the continent into North and South has ended after four years, and the people are welcoming a new generation.

Violet Evergarden, a young girl formerly known as "the weapon," has left the battlefield to start a new life at CH Postal Service. There, she is deeply moved by the work of "Auto Memories Dolls," who carry people's thoughts and convert them into words.

Violet begins her journey as an Auto Memories Doll, and comes face to face with various people's emotions and differing shapes of love. All the while searching for the meaning of those words.
Coming from KyoAni, it's bound to look fantastic, but again I'm not sure it's for me. The trailer made it seem more of a romance/drama series than anything.


Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line
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Genre: Comedy, Sports, Drama
Animation Studio: TMS Entertainment
Japanese Airdate: Jan 9, 2018
Director: Nabeshima Osamu (Zetman, Yowamushi Pedal)


(Original post by Summary:)
The fourth season of Yowamushi Pedal.
I like Yowamushi Pedal, a lot. Enough to pick up a fourth series, at a time when I'm cutting down my viewing? Just maybe. I have to watch SOMETHING that isn't action!


Yuru Camp△
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Genre: Adventure, Slice of Life, Comedy
Animation Studio: C-Station
Japanese Airdate: Jan 4, 2018
Director: Kyougoku Yoshiaki


(Original post by Summary:)
Rin likes to go camping by herself along the lakes that provide a scenic view of Mt. Fuji. Nadeshiko loves to take cycling trips by herself to places where she can see Mt. Fuji. After they meet, Rin and Nadeshiko take camping trips, eat cup ramen together, and enjoy the scenery.
Ah, Winter 2018. The season of ramen. Girls camping, fair enough, but it's not exactly the South Pole is it? :p: Though they do at least seem better equipped for colder nights.


Zoku Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru
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Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, Fantasy
Animation Studio: Doga Kobo
Japanese Airdate: Jan 8, 2018
Director: Koshida Tomoaki


(Original post by Summary:)
The second season of Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru
And finally, we end on a sequel to a series that was so boring, I dropped it. Nice character designs, but too many of them. Interesting plot and setting, but they aren't the main focus. MEH.


All the info has been sourced from Anichart, AniDB, Youtube and MAL. If you think I've missed any upcoming full-length TV anime off this list, let me know and I'll look into them.
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AngryJellyfish
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And finally, my six eight pre-season picks for Winter 2018 (subject to change once I've actually started sampling first episodes):

Basilisk: Ouka Ninpouchou

Darling in the FranXX

Fate/Extra Last Encore

Ito Junji: Collection

Killing Bites

Kokkoku

Overlord II

Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line

(that was HARD :bawling: )
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Trailer added for Hakyuu Houshin Engi:

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Replaced the trailer for Basilisk: Ouka Ninpouchou with Crunchyroll's English-subbed one:

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Well, my plans to cut down on new anime series' didn't last long. :p: Due to Anime-Planet's new challenges (similar to the ones on Goodreads), I'm bumping up my list to 8 titles: Overlord II and the Ito Junji Collection get the two new spaces~

https://www.anime-planet.com/users/A...nime-challenge
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Nanatsu no Bitoku is apparently going to be 5 minute shorts.
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It begins! :zomg:

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho
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Well I may have mocked the promo art over the suitability of short skirts for Antarctic exploring, but the OP soon convinced me that this show was serious, featuring scenes of the girls in more appropriate gear. :p: For now though, the series is still firmly set in Japan, where schoolgirl protagonist Tamaki Mari is feeling disappointed with her dull life. Deep inside, she wants to go on an adventure, skip school, get on a train to a far off destination with no plan in mind... but she's too scared to actually do it. But after picking up an envelope crammed with money, and chasing after its owner to return it, she ends up befriending Kobuchizawa Shirase, a girl who is obsessed with Antarctica. This was a very cute introductory episode, which got me interested in its characters and their (now shared, it seems) goal of visiting the cold, distant continent.
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Apologies for the lack of posts, my first few days back at work were ridiculously busy. Time to get started on some of the season's early highlights:

Ito Junji: Collection
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I've read a few of Ito Junji's manga before - he is a master of great, scary faces and abominations, though not so much one for psychological, slowly-building levels of creepiness. I actually find his works more funny than anything. :p: The majority of this first episode was taken up by one story, 'Souichi's Convenient Curses', where the eponymous character (pictured) carried out a load of curses on his classmates for petty reasons - while these curses did work, none of them were fatal. Apart from for the poor toad. The ep ended with a short (2 minute) story, which again was just an excuse for Ito to show off his monstrous art. Enjoyable and different, but it shouldn't leave you hiding behind the sofa or anything. :nah: Animation, music and voice acting were all great, helping to bring these short stories to life.
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Grancrest Senki
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There are a lot of uninspired fantasy anime out there, but I'm confident this one will be worth a look - the novel series it is based on was written by Mizuno Ryo of Lodoss fame, after all! It started off generic: two countries that had been at war for years are finally to be united by the marriage of a young prince and princess... but their wedding is gatecrashed by a demon lord, their fathers are killed, and war resumes (rather than uniting against the common enemy that is the demons)? :dontknow: Despite this, I really like our main characters Silka and Theo, the dialogue between them has been great so far. The magic and crests seem interesting too. Animation wasn't the best, but the direction and choreography of the fight scenes made good use of what it did have. Now that the introductory stuff is out of the way, hopefully we'll see a great storyline develop.

...except, I'm supposed to be watching less anime this year, so in all likelihood I won't get to see anything develop for a while yet.
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Citrus
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VERY nicely animated, this one. As I said in my first impressions, it's rare to see a yuri series that isn't just subtext. Here we have a serious high school romance/drama show, and judging by the amount of kisses in the opening theme sequence alone, it could be a steamy one! After her mother remarries, our fashionable main character moves to a new home and school. Her stepfather is already absent, doubt we'll ever meet him for 'no parents in anime' reasons. :p: Her mother, though there in body, seems absent in mind - not only did she fail to inform her daughter of the school's strict rules... she also neglected to mention her new stepsister, the same school council president who confiscated her phone. :erm: Their relationship is already awkward, made moreso by a surprising scene right at the end. As first episodes go, this one certainly had impact!
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Yuru Camp△
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Now THAT is how you do the first episode of a slice of life series! I enjoyed that far more than I expected I would; I'd possibly even say it's my favourite of the season's new offerings so far. Which is quite an achievement, considering the first half was pretty much just one quiet girl setting up a campsite, gathering firewood and battling the cold and wind to read a book in peace. Everything from the art style, to the music, the narration and little jokes was perfect, however. And then in the second half, we were introduced to a character who was pretty much the opposite: loud, clumsy and scatterbrained. Character interactions were fun, I'd like to see more of them. I don't know how long this would hold my interest, due to the lack of plot, but if any of my current shortlist disappoints then I may give it a shot.
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Pop Team Epic
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Something that all anime fans should experience at least once in their lives.
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Toji no Miko
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BORING. :yawn: The pre-season synopsis seemed generic, your usual schoolgirls vs monsters show (because boys and adults clearly aren't up to the task). The episode itself did nothing to change that initial opinion, starting off with a REALLY clunky 3D monstrosity wreaking havoc. We were then introduced to our protagonists, middle school trainees... despite being 2D (most of the time), they weren't all that well animated either. A bit better during the brief sword fighting tournament, I'll give it that. Character designs were mostly plain, and the little introduction we've had to the main ones wasn't enough to make me care about them. Don't get me wrong, I've seen worse, but there's absolutely nothing there that makes me want to keep watching.
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Sanrio Danshi
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Quite the unexpected, dramatic start to this episode, as you can tell from the picture... though it turned out to be nothing more than a school play. :giggle: This series is about boys who like Sanrio mascots (Hello Kitty likely being the best known example, for anyone unfamiliar). That's one of the weakest premises I've ever come across for a series, and it felt like 20 minutes of advertising. But, it did focus on one of the guys' pasts, where he got bullied for his interest in the 'girly' Pompompurin, and was forced to keep this fandom a secret for years afterwards. As someone who's been similarly bullied in the past, seeing him go on to embrace his interest with like-minded peers did provide some good feels. I won't be watching any more though, I don't think. :p:
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Basilisk: Ouka Ninpouchou
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Given that the first series of Basilisk is one of my all-time favourite series, this random sequel 13 years later had a tough act to follow. So far... I'm not convinced. Our main characters are far younger, there are less of them, and we've already seen most of their powers during their practice fights early in this episode. They are both Kouga and Iga ninja, the two clans seemingly united following the events of the original series. I mean, there's still potential there, and we don't know exactly what direction the plot is going to take... but I can't see it beating the exciting death match/tragic love story we had last time, where adult ninja with a burning hatred for their rival clan did battle, often not knowing what abilities their foes possessed. Might drop this after all.
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Kokkoku
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And I thought Citrus was eventful... this show did a reasonable job of introducing our main character and her family in a very short amount of time, before her older brother and nephew get kidnapped and held to ransom. She and her father get into a state of panic, wondering what they can do to save the hostages... when suddenly, her grandfather reveals that he owns a magic rock that can stop time. :zomg: Just when it seems like they've successfully rescued their family from the kidnappers using this strange ability, more people show up who can move during the time freeze... then grandad reveals that he can teleport as well. And as if enough hadn't happened, some giant monster showed up at the end. I don't know what's going on, but I loved it, and the music and animation were fantastic as well. :coma: By far the best first ep so far this Winter for me.
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Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line
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Unlike Basilisk, this sequel was always going to be a safe bet. A direct continuation, by the same studio and largely the same staff, picking up exactly where Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation left off. Which was in the middle of the inter high race. :zomg: Very little recap, but just enough to jog my memory, and that way we get more time for new content so I can't complain. I still haven't fully gotten used to the new Sohoku and Hakone team lineups, and miss the former third year graduates, but the races are as exciting as ever. A standard, but high-quality sport anime, definitely makes my watching list.
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Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san
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A boy and a girl sitting next to each other in class constantly try to play pranks on and embarrass each other. The thing is, he sucks at it, while she's an absolute master, capable of making even his best attempts backfire on him. We're talking really childish pranks here, involving pencil case jack-in-the-boxes and hiding from each other behind curtains, things like that. And surprisingly for a series like this (where usually one or both characters are unaware that their feelings are in fact love), it was made clear early on that they both have a secret crush on each other. VERY adorable, perfect character designs, music and animation... but the jokes aren't THAT funny, and I'm not one for romance series - one episode was enough for me.
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Overlord II
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Not the most exciting first episode of the season, more of a buildup episode for the events to come than anything. Most of the first series' major characters got at least a few seconds of screen time, while it also introduced a load of new characters. As with Yowapeda, no real recap, it assumes you remember what happened in the first series 2 and a half years ago... I'll admit, I've forgotten the finer plot points. :p: Main characters are the same, former MMORPG player turned almighty wizard Momonga and his loyal and (overly, in the case of Albedo) loving former NPC servants; nice designs, but not a lot of depth. The animation in this ep was superb, music was also brilliant. Overall, a good episode, but not a great one, so I may give it a miss in favour of something new after all.
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