Looks like I got my Christmas present early.
Winter ended up getting a better reception than I thought it would from both me and the general public. Rakugo and Konosuba continued to impress their fans, but people actually liked KyoAni’s Dragon Maid series despite the terrible pre-impressions, and Tanya the Evil Dictator was the unintentional comedy of the season. ACCA was elitist-bait in both good and bad ways, and if anyone was willing to travel to the world of illegal downloads, you were rewarded with Little Witch Academia for pure animated fun and Scum’s Wish for being a romance anime that actually had well-written characters. Okay, it’s true that I only watched two anime from that selection whilst the rest of my Winter watchlist consisted of trash that nobody is going to remember in a few months, but what I’m getting at is that 2017’s Winter anime wasn’t the disaster any of us were expecting. Instead, that seems to hold more true for 2017’s Spring selection.
I mean dear lord the upcoming season looks horrendous. Okay, the (numerous) sequels look fine for fans of the first installments, but the brand-new stuff looks like absolute ass. Nothing but light novel adaptations, generic manga adaptations, and all-around uninspired premises no matter how you look at it. I really don’t like it when the only good anime in a season is something you already know you’re going to like – hence another reason why I don’t bother reading manga and such – because it kills the excitement and energy you receive when discovering something new. Obviously I’m open to one of the new shows proving me wrong, but that isn’t going to stop me from being dismissive towards most of them until they actually air.
Alright, let’s get this over with. As before, aside from the impossible-to-miss animation studio on those charts, I did absolutely no research on these shows beforehand (well, I did watch a few of the PVs this time, and some people who acknowledge my existence spoiled the staff for one or two shows to me) because as far as I’m concerned, anyone who chooses to watch an anime because they worship the creators has very bad judgmental skills, and anyone who chooses to avoid an anime because they hate the creator can go fuck themselves. A summary is pretty much all you should need, and even then that doesn’t really tell me anything. Studios tell me a little more, but they’re not exactly all that accurate either, and while I’ll complain a bit about them here, I’m not going to avoid an anime solely because of the production company. No movies or shorts because they don’t count, and I won’t include the kiddy shows like Future Card Vanguard or the new Yu-Gi-Oh because I don’t want to.
Let’s start with the sequels in alphabetical order first, shall we?
Attack on Titan 2 (Wit Studio)
Summary: The second season of Shingeki no Kyojin. Eren Jaeger swore to wipe out every last Titan, but in a battle for his life he wound up becoming the thing he hates most. With his new powers, he fights for humanity’s freedom facing the monsters that threaten his home. After a bittersweet victory against the Female Titan, Eren finds no time to rest—a horde of Titans is approaching Wall Rose and the battle for humanity continues!
I admit my feelings for Attack on Titan have fluctuated throughout the years. While I’m still not a big fan of how shonen-esque it is, assuming this sequel doesn’t degrade what the first season accomplished, I’ll happily accept the series’ return. As I said before back when Kabaneri came out, shonen action as a genre has gotten pretty stale over the years, and Wit Studio’s dramatically serious bombast is something anime action desperately needs to stay fresh. So please Attack on Titan S2. Deliver on what all the other action anime this season are bound to fail at. Looking at you…pretty much every other sequel below this one.
Berserk 2 (Millepensee)
Summary: New season of Berserk set for Spring 2017.
From what I’ve been told, this new Berserk’s writing is still good for fans if you ignore all the quarter-assed production values and such. Never liked Berserk’s story to begin with, so even if the animation improves like some people have been theorizing based on that PV, I think it’s safe to say that this sequel isn’t for me.
Boku no Hero Academia 2 (Bones)
Summary: The second season of Boku no Hero Academia.
Academia wasn’t a bad show, but the pacing was about slow as most Shonen Jump adaptations (aka really slow) and the finale with all those random supervillains who had no chemistry with the leads and just existed as an excuse to show off their power drained me. From what I heard, Academia 2 is just going to be more of the same except with a tournament arc. Oh yeah, because that’s always fun to watch. Well okay, it is fun to watch for Shonen Jump fans, but see what I said in my Attack on Titan 2 entry regarding how stale the shonen genre has become, especially from this magazine.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Summary: Naruto was a young shinobi with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He achieved his dream to become the greatest ninja in the village and his face sits atop the Hokage monument. But this is not his story… A new generation of ninja are ready to take the stage, led by Naruto’s own son, Boruto!
Wake me up when ninjas stop being the most boring Japanese fighter alive.
Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Gaiden: Sword Oratoria (J.C. Staff)
Summary: Sword princess Aiz Wallenstein. Today, once again, the strongest female swordsman heads to the giant labyrinth known as the “Dungeon” along with her allies. On the 50th floor where mysteries and threats such as a decayed dragon’s corpse that crumbles to ash and an irregularity that creeps ever closer to the party loom, Aiz calls for the wind and heads deeper into the darkness of the Dungeon. Eventually, she finds herself meeting a boy for the first time. “Um, are you OK?” In the Labyrinth City of Orario, the contrasting stories of the boy and the girl intersect!
Didn’t watch the original show, but I don’t think that really matters since it’s a spinoff, so I’m pretty sure I can just jump into this with only knowledge of the boob string and such.
Granblue Fantasy: The Animation (A-1 Pictures)
Summary: Video game developer Cygames announced during the Tokyo Game Show event on Thursday that its Granblue Fantasy smartphone game will receive an anime adaptation.
Apparently the Granblue that aired last season was just the first two episodes. Here’s the rest of the show.
Idol Time Pripara (Tatsunoko Productions)
Summary: The story focuses on Yui, a girl who lives in the town of Paparajuku, and who dreams of being an idol, even if she realizes that being an idol is next to impossible for her. Her friends often remark on how much she dreams about it. But then, the PriPara idol theme park opens in her town, and that an idol named Laala is coming to town from Parajuku, which only makes Yui dream even bigger. The new PriPara theme park has been updated with new concepts. However, due to a system error, Laala is no longer able to PriPara Change.
Obviously not watching this.
Kekkai Sensen & Beyond (Bones)
Summary: Second season of Kekkai Sensen.
Okay I’ve made it very clear in the past that I hated this show, but even I have to call bullshit when I accidentally discovered that Matsumoto isn’t returning for the sequel and the replacement they got for her…well I won’t spoil who they got, but let’s just say that person has a very bad track record. I mean without the lively direction, what reason is there to watch Kekkai Sensen in the first place? Yeah people could like the source, but Kekkai Sensen doesn’t have an overarching plot. It’s a pure energy junk food show, and without good direction or visuals, it won’t even be able to sell itself as that.
Kyoukai no Rinne 3 (Brains Base)
Summary: The third season of Kyoukai no RINNE.
Does anyone even remember this show?
Natsume Yuujinchou ROKU (Studio Shuka)
Summary: Sixth season of Natsume Yuujinchou.
I stopped watching Natsume for the same reasons I stopped watching comedies like New Girl and Modern Family: it’s just more of the same and while the quality remains consistent, I just can’t be bothered to spend any more time on a show that has long since passed its peak. Opening theme I’ll listen to though, as I tend to like them.
Saenai Heroine no Sodateka β (A-1 Pictures)
Summary: Sequel to the Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata anime.
I honestly don’t get this show. It wasn’t funny, the nerd stuff was completely unrelatable to me, the meta-humor made me want to punch the screen, and there was no tension in anything going on since the characters lose absolutely nothing by not finishing their visual novel. If there are no stakes in anything going on in your main plot, then why am I supposed to care about anything surrounding it? Do I look like an Aria fan to you?
Shingeki no Bahamut 2: Virgin Soul (MAPPA)
Summary: Second season of Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis.
While I thought the first Bahamut was an alright show, I was never really keen on seeing more of it. Although to be fair, the show was never really known for having story, so it doesn’t have as much of a chance to succumb to sequelitis as most anime sequels tend to. Either way, I’d be a failure of an animation fan to not watch this. Unless the production team suffered brain aneurysms in-between work, Bahamut can generally be counted on for great action setpieces and fun adventure, and why would I want to deny that?
Star Myu 2 (C-station)
Summary: Second season of that anime that sounds like Staryu.
I can hear the fangirls squealing already.
Uchouten Kazoku 2 (PA Works)
Summary: One day, “The Junior”, estranged son of Professor Akadama, who disappeared after losing a fierce father-son dispute, has returned home after a century, now an English gentleman. The big news spread in and out of the Kyoto area in the blink of an eye and shake up both the Tengu and Tanuki worlds. The paths of Humans, Tanukis and Tengus intertwine in Kyoto as the second volume of the furball picture scroll unravels!
No real pre-opinion on this one. No I wasn’t a fan of the first season, but this is a new story with the same characters and presumably the same team, so my stance on it doesn’t really count. I’ll just take it in stride and see how this goes, but I’m wary it’ll turn into another mundane mystery that takes too long to get going.
Warau Swordsman NEW
Summary: Each episode follows Fukuzou Moguro, a traveling salesman, and his current customer. Moguro deals in things that give his customers their heart’s desire, and once his deals are made and their unhealthy desires are satisfied, Moguro’s customers are often left with terrible repercussions, especially if they break the rules of his deals…
Not my kind of show at all.
Alright, that’s it for the sequels. On to looking at the new stuff, also in alphabetical order.
Alice to Zouroku (J.C. Staff)
Summary: The fantasy story begins with a group of young girls who hold a power named “Alice’s Dream,” which allows them to make their imaginations come true. These girls have been locked up and treated as research subjects. Sana, one of these girls whose specific power includes the ability ignore the laws of physics and physically manifest anything she can imagine, has escaped. Afterwards, she meets an old man named Zouroku, who dislikes disruptions in his everyday life.
I honestly have no idea what this anime is supposed to be about, but I see the promo images showing little girls hanging out with an old man and any enthusiasm I had for this evaporated upon that sight.
Atom: The Beginning (Production I.G.)
Summary: The manga tells the story of what happens up until the birth of Astro Boy, and is considered an “episode zero” story.
I don’t get the appeal of these Osamu Tezuka shows. He may be the God of Manga, but since I don’t give two shits about manga, you might as well be trying to defend Watchmen to a guy who’s not into comics by saying it’s the most well-written comic book of all-time. My knowledge of Astro Boy is pretty much zero, as I never watched anything he’s been in. And I don’t think Astro himself is even in this prequel, which may or may not work out in the show’s favor. Whatever. There’s nothing about this show’s premise that screams “avoid”, so I’ll give it a shot, but I’m not holding my breath.
Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism (Silver Link)
Summary: The “battle action” story follows Fudou Nomura, who transfers to a school where girls carry weapons to rule mercilessly over the boys. Shortly after transferring he becomes a target of Rin Onigawara, a member of the the Five Ruling Swords that commands the school. In order break free he must defeat the Five Ruling Swords.
The sexism of that summary makes me want to reach into the screen and slap every single character on the promo material silly, male and female alike.
Clockwork Planet (Xebec)
Summary: Naoto’s a high school dropout and brilliant amateur tinkerer. He lives in a world that has been so over-exploited that the entire surface has become one vast machine. When a box crashes into his home containing a female automaton, it’s a harbinger of change that will rock the entire globe, and give Naoto his chance to be a hero.
Nothing really stands out to me about this one. The premise is uninspired. The look is uninspired. Xebec has a reputation for making uninspired shows. It’s a light novel adaptation, which is generally synonymous with the term “uninspired”. I get nothing from looking at this but “no one’s going to remember this, right?”.
eromanga sensei (A-1 Pictures)
Summary: The “new sibling romantic comedy” revolves around Masamune Izumi, a light novel author in high school. Masamune’s little sister is Sagiri, a shut-in girl who hasn’t left her room for an entire year. She even forces her brother to make and bring her meals when she stomps the floor. Masamune wants his sister to leave her room, because the two of them are each other’s only family.
Masamune’s novel illustrator, penname “Ero Manga Sensei,” draws extremely perverted drawings, and is very reliable. Masamune had never met his illustrator, and figured he was just a disgusting, perverted otaku. However, the truth is revealed … that his “Ero Manga Sensei” is his own younger sister! To add to the chaos that erupts between the siblings, a beautiful, female, best-selling shōjo manga creator becomes their rival!
Goddammit A-1 Pictures, I’m so fucking sick of your tired otaku-pandering premises and lackluster execution even by those standards. Why are you still around? Well okay, I know a lot of people liked Dokyuusei and that Shelter thing, but then that begs the question why are you still allowed to produce TV shows? Not a single one you’ve made with your Sword Art Online money has been good.
Frame Arms Girl (Zexcs)
Summary: The anime’s story begins when Ao opens a package that arrives at her doorstep. Inside the package is Gourai, a Frame Arms Girl: a small robot capable of independent movement. Gourai is a newly-developed prototype: a Frame Arms Girl equipped with an “Artificial Self,” an advanced AI that gives her a personality. Ao is the only one that has activated her. Gourai begins to gather both battle data and emotions, starting a day-to-day life with Ao, who knows nothing about Frame Arms Girls.
You’re better off playing that Arms game on the Nintendo Switch. If you don’t have that machine or the game, just go to your local retail store and play it there. If there isn’t one near you…well how the hell are you reading this blog in the first place?
Fukumenkei Noise (Brains Base)
Summary: The manga tells a romance story with the themes of “music x one-sided love.” Nino, a girl who loves singing, made a childhood promise with her first crush Momo and song-composing Yuzu to someday find her voice. The three went their separate ways, but Nino kept her promise and continued to sing. Years later, the three are now high school students, and Nino is drawn into the world of band clubs.
I like music. I hate love triangles. With the exception of Sakamichi no Apollon, I hate love triangles that try to incorporate music into their narratives. Not really expecting this to be nearly on the same league.
Gin no Guardian (Emon)
Sui Gin may be poor, but he is one of the best online video game players. This identity however, is unknown to all except for RikuLei, Sui Gin’s classmate. She delivers a mysterious mobile device to Sui Gin but before being able to explain herself, RikuLei is kidnapped and Sui Gin unwittingly finds himself wrapped up in series of problematic circumstances. Searching for a way to save her, he accidentally activates the device allowing him to dive into a new Virtual game-world.
Can someone please explain to me how Emon continues to exist after all this time? Their Chinese cartoons (actual ones) have not gained any sort of praise either critical or financial, their animation is lacking, and pretty much nobody acknowledges their existence but a bunch of cult idiots who have never seen a Happy Science movie in their life. A lot of people seem to be holding out hope that one day an actual good Chinese cartoon will come from this model, and while I have no problem with seeing that myself, I’m not expecting it from these ding dongs. I mean look at that premise. Another video game anime? Really China?
Hinako Note (Passione)
Summary: Hinako is poor at speaking and lives in a rural part of Japan. She wants to improve her speech to be able to talk to people freely, so in high school, she transfers schools to Tokyo and plans to join a theater club. When she arrives, it turns out her boarding house is a secondhand bookstore, and a girl who eats books lives there.
Looks too pedophilic for me, and the fact that it’s Passione producing the thing just turns me off even more.
Summary: I-Machines are the general term for robots that operate in extreme environments. While Alliance Academy student Maya Mikuri is in the middle of operating an I-Machine, she gets involved in an incident with pirates, and ends up serving as a crew member on an excavation company’s spaceship.
I see it’s an all-girl mecha show with Sanzigen’s mediocre CG animation, so pass.
KABUKIBU! (Studio Deen)
Summary: The series revolves around Kurogo Kurusu, a high school student who loves kabuki so much that it’s annoying. Kurogo yearns to perform kabuki as part of a club at his school, but currently his school doesn’t have a kabuki club. So Kurogo sets out to create a kabuki club, and his first order of business is to gather members.
While I’m a little interested in kabuki culture, I’m not really sure if I’d want to watch an entire show on the subject. And I’m also not smiling at how the summary flat-out admits the lead dude is annoying.
Love Kome: WE LOVE RICE (Encourage Films)
Summary: The “heartwarming ‘kome’dy with laughs and passion” promises to let audiences rediscover the virtues of rice (“Japan’s soul food”). It follows five handsome rice-inspired boys as they shine at the “Harvest Show” live event at the Kokuritsu Inahou Gakuen (“Rice Ear Academy,” a wordplay on national schools).
What a retarded title.
Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine (Bridge)
Summary: Accepting the post of Royal Tutor at the court of the king of Grannzreich, Heine Wittgenstein is a little professor with a big job ahead! Each of the kingdom’s four princes has a rather distinct personality. Does their diminutive new instructor have what it takes to lay down some learning? It’s a comedy of educational proportions!
I am very doubtful that this show is gonna be funny. Or that Bridge is capable of making a good anime in general.
Re: Creators (Troyca)
Summary: Humans have created many stories. Joy, sadness, anger, deep emotion. Stories shake our emotions, and fascinate us. However, these are only the thoughts of bystanders. But what if the characters in the story have “intentions”? To them, are we god-like existences for bringing their story into the world? Our world is changed. Mete out punishment upon the realm of the gods. In Re:CREATORS, everyone becomes a Creator.
Since this is an original show by a studio who I don’t recognize and don’t care to look up if I’ve seen any of their stuff before, there’s not much I can say until it actually airs. I do notice that there are quite a few anime tropes from different genres sharing the same universe (mecha, magical girl, etc.) and I’m not big on the look, but it’s not bad. The premise has potential and I think they employed a decent team to realize this potential, but I’m gonna need to see the results before I can make any actual judgments.
Renai Bouken (EMT Squared)
Summary: The story begins when Guri, an angel with a mysterious item which turns any two people who kiss into a couple, appears before a high school boy named Seiji Aino. However, there is a yandere high school girl named Akane who loves Seiji.
Why do I even bother?
Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Kinki Kyouten (LIDENFILMS)
Summary: In the “action fantasy” story, Guren is a part-time teacher at a magic school who is inclined to write “self-study” on the blackboard and then take a nap. One of his students, Sistina, gets angry and challenges him to a duel and he is easily defeated. However, when a terrible incident threatens the school, Guren shows intense dedication to protecting his students.
You know, the premise itself is pretty horrible, but I don’t understand why we’re even giving it a full series treatment in the first place. That sort of gimmicky “teacher must save students” plot line looks like it’d be more at home as a one-shot OVA or something.
Sagrada Reset (David Production)
Summary: The novels’ story is set in a town called Sakurada, where almost half the population possess some form of special powers. The story centers on two high school students. Kei Asai has the ability to perfectly remember anything he sees and hears, while Misora Haruki can turn back or “reset” time for a maximum of three days.
Both students are members of their school’s “Service Club,” which their town’s administration bureau uses to observe people with powers and protect the peace. By using their powers together (Kei can remember things even when time has been reset), they solve cases for the club. Kei learns of the “MacGuffin” stone, which looks like a worthless black stone, but in reality will turn out to be the stone upon which the existence of Sakurada will hinge on.
David Production is a studio that’s been up and down in my eyes. On the one hand, Planetarian. On the other hand, Monster Hunter Stories. In regards to their latest light novel adaptation, the premise isn’t bad, and the studio has been known to produce the more tolerable products to come from that banal land. The summary itself is tolerable to read, although it doesn’t really tell me what the show will be about, and I can’t say the Haruchika vibes emanating from it are all that enjoyable. Oh yeah, and there’s time travel involved, but I’m so used to that plot device at this point that it’s pretty much white noise to me.
Sakura Quest (PA Works)
Summary: The story centers on five girls who work in the tourism bureau of their small provincial town. The town revives its “micro-nation” tourism program, which originated from a nationwide movement during Japan’s bubble economy period, and hires the five girls as “monarchs” (tourism ambassadors). The anime will depict one year in their jobs in the tourism industry, and show how they change and grow.
Another anime about a bunch of adult women living their lives, except this time we’re going to look at the tourism trade. Someone told me the Scrapped Princess/Chaika creator was involved with this, but I’m not sure how. Is this his original anime or something? Anyways, all the PV shows is slice-of-life with very token drama, so unless someone tells me that the show was mis-advertised, I doubt I’ll watch it. I mean I guess it’s a step up from banal school club activities and more power to you adults who can relate to those situations I guess, but as with several other workplace anime I’ve seen (Shirobako, Fune wo Amu, Girlish Number, Hataraki Man, ACCA…sort of counts), I don’t see the appeal of watching a bunch of fictional drawings trying to make it in a profession that I have never been interested in, facing small problems that everyone goes through in life, and having no characterization that challenges the mind.
Seikaisuru Kado (Toei Animation)
Summary: Toei Animation’s original CG animation project.
For what it’s worth, the CG doesn’t look bad. And given how awful Toei is at animation when it’s not one of their Precure shows, that’s pretty high praise.
Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka? (Satelight)
Summary: Five hundred years have passed since humanity went extinct at the hands of the fearsome “Beasts”. Even up in the sky, where the surviving races dwell on floating islands, these monstrosities constantly threaten to bring death and destruction. Only a small group of young girls, the Leprechauns, can wield the ancient weapons needed to defeat these creatures. Into the girls’ unstable and fleeting lives, where a call to certain death could come at any moment, enters an unlikely character: a young man who lost everything five hundred years ago, the last living human awakened from a long, icy slumber.
I love how this summary tries so hard to justify the one dude/many girl dynamic that most light novel adaptations have.
sin Nanatsu no Taizai (Artland)
Summary: The anime portion of a multimedia project by Hobby Japan.
Do I even have to explain why this anime looks like it’s going to suck?
Summary: Kazuya Kagami’s most treasured possession in the world is the obi left to him by his late mother. The scent of cherry-blossoms infused into it helps him through his day – but he never expected it to save his life, becoming a beautiful kimono-clad girl who calls herself an “artifact spirit.” Her name is Kiriha, tsukumogami of the sash, who naturally moves in with him, as he is her “owner.” Throw in Chisato, his bespectacled friend, an overprotective older sister who wants to take baths with him, a busty priestess, a seductive sorceress named Kokuyoura, and Kazuya’s life has just gotten a lot more…interesting.
The ultimate bullshit is strong in this harem setup.
Tsuki ga Kirei (feel)
Summary: The series focuses on characters Akane Mizuno and Kotarou Azumi, two third-year middle school students who become classmates for the first time. The series will depict each characters’ growth and connection to the people around them, such as classmates, club-mates, teachers, and parents. The anime will also center on the youthful adolescent romance of the characters, who are hounded by change and uncertainty as the seasons inevitably pass.
This is one of those shows where it seems the execution will make or break it. And unfortunately, the Scum’s Wish – or even the Yahari wa Blablablas for that matter – of the world are incredibly rare. Having said that, feel isn’t the worst studio around and I do like romance stuff when it actually focuses on the characterization and the romance. So yeah, as long as the drama isn’t too light or too maudlin, I can see this being a nice watch.
Twin Angel Break (JC Staff)
Summary: In the story, two third-year middle school girls fight evil as Twin Angels under orders from a hedgehog named Miruku-chan. The girls disagree, but as they work together, little by little they become friendlier with each other.
Ignoring. Definitely ignoring.
Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho (White Fox)
Summary: The “grimoire fantasy” series follows a witch named Zero who is ignorant of the world and a half-beast half-human mercenary who longs to be human. Witches who practice sorcery exist in the world, however, in this era no one knows how about the art and study of witchcraft. Zero is going on a journey to search for a magical tome called “The Book of Zero” that hides a power that can destroy the world. The mercenary travels with her as her guard.
I’ve never understood the appeal of light novel anime fantasy personally. Their world-building is always crap, the quest the characters are on always has its epicness short-changed by ill-fitting anime-isms, and they’re just a step down from video game anime fantasy in general. I mean why watch them when I could just play a Tales game? Even Xillia 2 looks more appealing than sitting through this Zero whatever show by White Fox, who seem to be obsessed with making fantasy shows lately. Maybe the entire staff recently discovered Game of Thrones or something.
That’s pretty much all the shows that have been announced by the time I scheduled this post to go up. It’s possible something else will get announced later, but even if it happens, I find that any show that tries to enter the playing field this late in the game very rarely turns out well. That was the same situation that gave us Hitori no Shita – The Outcast. Anyways, I’ll watch a good chunk of the sequels and I’ll do some of the originals and light novel shows, but…well I’m hoping one of the non-sequel anime appeals to me. Not that I disliked Yuri on Ice, but I really don’t want a repeat of Fall 2016.
Mind you, with all the high-profile Japanese video games that are coming out each week as of lately, I won’t be able to stay away from anime for a LONG time.
I guess technically Little Witch Academia comes out this season for all the people who want to watch it legally.