Looking ahead towards the new season only a week away, it looks as if there won’t be quite as many series that I’ll be following in comparison to this fall. However maybe that’s a good thing considering how I almost died trying to keep up since I’m a stubborn masochist unwilling to drop series. I won’t mention names (check my Twitter for those) but I don’t feel like going derp that much again for a while. Anyway back to the topic on hand, the winter season seems to have at least a couple of guaranteed hits for me as well as a handful of promising shows. Continuing the habit we started last season, we (Aorii [Major Arcana] and Honya [Lyrical Spark]) will be presenting joint preview posts yet again!
PS: I haven’t included anything that will air before January.
Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season [Site]
Production: Production I.G, directed by Kaburaki Hiro
Synopsis: Sequel to the first season. Sawako Kuronuma is misunderstood due to her resemblance to the ghost girl from The Ring. But one day the nicest boy in the class befriends her. Lots of blushing and hand holding follow.
[Honya]: Even though I didn’t pick up the original immediately, I heard some good things from my friends and eventually started a few episodes late. Thankfully I didn’t regret it. Between Mamiko Noto’s sweet voice, Kazehaya’s cute reactions and many other things I fell in love with the series. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the relationship between Sawako and Kazehaya will deepen (without me having to read the manga).
[Aorii]: Ah~ the cutest shoujo of recent days. Sawako is cute, Kurumi is awesome, Ryuu is cool and has his dawww~ moments, and Kazehaya is just too adorable~ (^o^ ). Kimi ni Todoke is all about friendships, love, and improving yourself— shoujo in its best form~ I’ll be inbetween melting to puddle and fangirling over this~
Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son) [Site][PV]
Synopsis: The story depicts a young boy named Shuuichi Nitori who wants to be a girl, and his friend Yoshino Takatsuki, a girl who wants to be a boy. The series deals with issues such as transsexuality, gender identity, and the beginning of puberty.
[Honya]: Hourou Musuko has been on my list ever since it was first announced. I’m always a fan of stories that deal with gender/sexuality issues probably because I can identify with the characters so much. I’ve heard so many great things about the manga and the promo has got me so excited too. I’m really looking forward to it.
[Aorii]: One of my favorite current manga serializations, combining a realistic (finally!) approach to genderbender with a vividly portrayed cast whose coming of age struggles, from first love to gender identity issues, are described in such emotive detail that it almost feels like reading an autobiography about real people; the fact I can relate to certain characters so well only made me love it more. Plus, this is even the Noitmina series of the season, and contains one of the cutest couples ever— seriously, just watch it!!
Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica [Site][PV]
Production: Shaft, directed by Akiyuki Shinbou (Arakawa, Bakemonogatari)
Synopsis: Madoka is a kind, friendly but ordinary second-year middle school girl. She wonders aloud what she should do if she can grant whatever you may wish through magic.
[Honya]: Hidamari Sketch‘s Aoki Ume drawing magical girls? I have no real information beyond those two points but I’m sold on it either way. I’m bracing for wide face. (X ‘______’)
[Aorii]: Shinbou Akiyuki directing magical girls? With their equipment including everything from staves to daggers and guns? I predict Hidamari x Nanoha; no clue what that would be, but this ought to be unique at least~
Production: A-1 Pictures, Ordet, directed by Yamamoto Yutaka (Kannagi)
Synopsis: In the future, the world is managed by a network called the Fractale System. A boy named Crane is living an aimless life with his parents, who are actually computer-generated “Doppels”. One day, he runs into a pretty girl named Furyune, who is being pursued by someone. When he rescues her and helps to keep her hidden from her pursuers, he is pulled into her troubles as well. After meeting her, his life will never be the same!
[Honya]: The titular Fractale System is what intrigues me most about the series. In a future in which a computer system can generate artificial parents and companions, it makes me curious as to the true shape of the world. Is this all a computer simulation, highly-advanced materializing equipment or some other strange truth. It’ll be intriguing to find out.
[Aorii]: Computer generation into reality? So then what’s fake and what’s real? This sounds like a show that’ll cross the line between virtual and reality once again— would that make this an anime version of Total Recall? It’s even got the questionably real heroine pulling the main character into some heavy scheme. Count me interested in finding out just what the Fractale System really is… besides, Noitamina series are always worth checking out at least.
Production: Bones, directed by Nanba Hitoshi (Heroman)
Synopsis: The year is 1924, the place, Sauville, a small European country neatly tucked beside the Alps; Kazuya Kujo has been studying abroad at the prestigious Saint Marguerite Academy, where urban legends and horror stories are all the rage. Most Kazuya ignores but the story of the Queen Berry, a mysterious ghost ship, really gets to him. Of course, his brainy friend Victorique is much more intrigued by true stories, and she uses her unrivaled logic to solve mysteries even the town’s famous detective can’t. Ironically, it is Victorique’s inquisitive nature that leads the duo to board a ship that matches the Queen Berry’s description to a tee, a ship that might just hold the key to solving a sinister mystery…
[Honya]: As a fan of mysteries I’m pretty interested in Gosick. The production values are high as expected and Victorique looks pretty cute. I’ll be looking forward to seeing detective team Victorique and Kazuya solve the seemingly supernatural cases presented in the story Sherlock Holmes and Watson style.
[Aorii]: On other hand, I’m not a fan of mystery series, especially loli-detectives (starting to become its own genre). Will probably give it a try since Gosick has a great reputation for its light novels, but not really expecting much interest, especially since the director has virtually zero experience…
IS: Infinite Stratos [Site][PV]
Production: 8bit, directed by Kikuchi Yasuhito
Synopsis: Japan engineered an armed powered exoskeleton “Infinite Stratos” (IS) and it became the mainstream of weapons. Since only women can operate IS, women dominate the society over men. Orimura Ichika is a 15 year old boy and accidentally touches an IS placed in the IS pilot training school. He is found to be the only man who can operate IS and forced to enter the training school. Ichika’s busy school life surrounded by girls has begun.
[Honya]: At first I only added IS to my list a year ago so that I could compare it to the other mecha musume shows such as Strike Witches and Sky Girls. However after watching the promo videos I’m expecting a lot more than just fanservice. The powered armors and dogfights look pretty cool which isn’t too surprising given the Macross F credits. Did I mention it has a Kuribayashi Minami theme song and that I also caught glimpses of some Touhou-style beam spam?
[Aorii]: Honestly, the trailer looked good, the mecha design isn’t bad, and the dogfights looked excellent; best of all they’re wearing pants! Premise sounds like generic wish-fulfillment again, but I’ll try this out as my ‘actiony’ series of the season… assuming they don’t run out of budget mid-season that is (given the noob studio and questionable director).
Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? [Site][PV]
Production: Studio Deen, directed by Kanasaki Takaomi
Synopsis: Aikawa Ayumu is a normal high school boy. One day he is killed by a serial killer and revived as a zombie by a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe. He starts to serve Eu as her guard but he happens to deprive the mahou shoujo Haruna of her magic power. Haruna orders Ayumu to fight against the anti-mahou shoujo system “Megalo” in her place.
[Honya]: I honestly can’t find much of a reason beyond the cool character designs and the hilarious concept that compels me to watch this but it’s somehow good enough for me. Also, Shana with zombies.
[Aorii]: I’ve yet to hear a single good rumor about this. Pass…
Don’t Know If Want
Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu! [Site]
Production: Bridge, Lantis
Synopsis: Sequel to the first season in which newly hired elementary school teacher Satoshi Yabe is assigned to class 6-3, room of the extremely problematic Marui triplets.
[Honya]: I found the original series entertaining at times but by far my main source of enjoyment came from the Hitoha segments. I didn’t find the other characters as endearing so whether I watch the sequel will depend on how much screentime she’ll get.
[Aorii]: Dropped the first season after 2eps… too many disgusting jokes involving bodily fluids >.>
Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janai n Dakara ne!! [Site]
Production: Zexcs, directed by Motonaga Keitarou (Katanagatari, School Days)
Synopsis: Junior High student Nao’s brother complex is so strong, it’s almost at the point of incest. She’s determined to make her brother, High School student Shuusuke, see her as a woman. So determined, that she goes as far as going into his room to throw away all his non-incest related porn. But as she’s looking for his porno stash, she finds a photo album… and she’s not in any of his childhood pictures. What is going on?
[Honya]: I honestly do not expect much at all but the hard brother complex angle keeps me from forgetting about it. Maybe if the comedy is done well enough I may give it a go.
Production: Studio Deen, directed by Sayama Kiyoko (Skip Beat, Vampire Knight)
Synopsis: In Starry Sky, the 12 constellations of the Zodiac are personified into handsome young men. The heroine, Tsukiko, enrolled to a school that was recently changed from all-boys school to co-ed. Since the area where the school is conveniently rural and the rather exclusive curriculum the school has, up until now the heroine is the only one female who enrolled to the school.
[Aorii]: Checking it out because it’s an Otome game adaptation and I love astrology~ but honestly, I almost died of boredom during ep1 and its production quality is pretty bad..
Kodomo no Jikan OVA 5 [Site]
I like Kojika. That is all I need to say.
Morita-san wa Mukuchi [Site]
I like dandere characters. “She thinks too much before speaking, thus losing the timing to speak altogether,” this happens irl to me too often, need watch now xD.