Monday, September 28, 2015

Autumn 2015 New Anime -- full previews (cast, staff, story, image, links) of 45 shows

Better late than never, here, on the eve of the new season, is my almost-usual preview of all the shows.

I'm afraid that the only show I'm really looking forward to that much is Shinbou's next installment in the Monogatari series: Owarimonogatari. Looks like a good version of the type.

But we all have different taste, and there are always some surprises in each season. Here, at any rate, are a few shows that look like possibilities to me:

  • Owarimonogatari -- Good-looking trailer. If you like Shinbou, you should like this.
  • Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider -- A Noitamina mystery directed by the director of Elfen Lied, written by the writer of tsuritama, and with the talented Kido Ibuki in a serious role, for once.
  • Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou -- A comedy from the director of FMA2, the writer of FMA1, and Bones. And starring such luminaries as Ishikawa Kaito, Uesaka Sumire, and Miki Shinichirou.
  • Heavy Object -- The writer of Mai-HiME adapts a manga by the author of Index and Railgun. I get it. Itou Shizuka makes one of her three appearances this season.
  • Hidan no Aria AA -- The first series didn't thrill me, but this time we have the writer of Air, Kanon and Clannad doing the adaptation. And the great cast includes Yuuki Aoi. Did I tell you how much I like her work?
  • Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans -- A new Gundam in the aftermath of the Calamity War.
  • Lance N` Masques -- Two rising young stars -- Ozawa Ari and Yamashita Daiki. The director of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. And the writer -- who also wrote the original novels -- did the solid GJ Club. An adventure comedy.
  • One-Punch Man -- The director of Space Dandy and the writer of episodes of Tiger and Bunny. Add in names like Kaji Yuuki, Yuuki Aoi, Sakurai Takahiro, and Hayami Saori...and buckle your seatbelts.
  • Ore ga Ojou-sama Gakkou ni "Shomin Sample" Toshite Gets-sareta Ken -- The manga, which involves a high-school boy being kidnapped and installed in a high-class girls' school as an example of the "common people" -- is so silly it's good. The writer of the intelligent Servant x Service may be able to do something with this.
  • Osomatsu-san -- The overwhelming cast -- Sakurai Takahiro, Nakamura Yuuichi, Kamiya Hiroshi, Fukuyama Jun, Ono Daisuke, Endou Aya, Suzumura Kenichi -- gives the director of Gintama' something to work with in this "high-tension comedy."
  • Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry -- The worst student in a school for modern knights whose weapons emerge from their souls. Maybe this ecchi battle comedy will be the first Oonuma Shin show I've really liked since ef memories.
  • Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru -- Itou Shizuka stars in a mystery adapted by the writer of Penguin Drum. She is a woman in her twenties, but the girlfriend of a high-school boy with whome she forms a detective team.
  • Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou -- A ridiculous spin-off from Attack on Titan involving a junior high school attended by both humans and titans. Production I.G?!
  • Shinmai Maou no Testament Burst -- This is here solely because its new writer is the guy who wrote Kannazuki no Miko and Shattered Angels, two shows that others didn't much like but I did. There was just something about them. Maybe it came from the writer.
  • Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai -- Features two interesting young seiyuus: Ueda Reina (Mikan in Actually, I am…) and Anzai Chika (Reina in Euphonium). As well as Ookubo Rumi, Shiraishi Ryouko, and Miki Shinichirou. And the writer, once again, was lead writer on Servant x Service.
  • Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen -- A new version from a new studio, with an interesting new director (Motonaga Keitarou) and a new cast. And what a cast, including Fujiwara Keiji, Taneda Risa, Minase Inori, Sakurai Takahiro and Sakura Ayane.
  • Young Black Jack -- Two old hands bring us the prequel to Tezuka Osamu's classic Black Jack.

Read on for full previews of 46 new shows, in the order they will be broadcast. Or click on a title in the following list to go to a particular show.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Yuuki Aoi at Full Speed

Here's Yuuki Aoi rehearsing for and then voicing a TV ad for a new light novel called Chronicle Legion, from Shueisha's "Dash X" label.

She apparently reads 330 characters in 30 seconds -- eleven characters a second. Many of these are probably single syllables and some double or more.

Ao-chan has great vocal skill. I think she's a good actress, too, but her powerful vocal equipment and control are what really set her apart.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Komatsu Mikako -- A Handsome Voice

Komatsu Mikako 小松未可子 had her first leading role in 2010, as Joey in Heroman. She became a star in 2011, playing the schoolgirl pirate captain Kato Marika in Mouretsu Uchuu Kaizoku (aka "Bodacious Space Pirates").

As a seiyuu, she has sailed along ever since, a minor star just below the level of super-stardom. But as a personality, she is very well known among Japanese anime fans. She has hosted 13 different radio shows, and has released seven singles in her own name as a singer. And now she is getting more and more roles.

As a personality, Mikakoshi (her nickname) is a lovely combination of forceful and sweet. She has a deep voice and can be loud and strong, but always gives a natural, easy, honest feeling.

She admires multitalented seiyuu/singers Horie Yui and Sakamoto Maaya, as well as the great Kaida Yuuko, who is a highly successful anime seiyuu but has the kind of range that makes her one of the very top voices in dubbing. Kaida-san also has a coolness and strength that Mikakoshi can easily aspire to.

Here are pics of four of Mikakoshi's best-known characters, Marika (Space Pirates), Neko (K), Miuna (Nagi no Asukara) and Tsugumi Seishirou (Nisekoi):

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summer 2015 Anime Weekly Calendar

The new anime season gets started on Wednesday with Gangsta and Okusama ga Seitou Kaichou.

Gangsta is dark urban action from the director of Ergo Proxy, and features top names like Noto Mamiko, Suwabe Junichi, Koshimizu Ami, and Ishikawa Kaito.

Okusama ga Seitou Kaichou ("My Wife is Student Council President") is an ecchi fantasy starring Taketatsu Ayana. Our straight-laced male hero is defeated in the election for student council president by a new girl who supports free love and distributes condoms...then he arrives home to find that she has moved in as his willing bride, following an agreement between their fathers. (I've recently a post stating this show has ten-minute episodes. No official word.).

Click here or on the image to go to a full weekly calendar of the new season:

New shows are in red, shows that started in various prior seasons are in other colours.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

2015 Summer Anime -- full previews of 45 shows, with story, cast, staff, pic, trailer, comments, etc.

Akagami no Shirayukihime
When I first started looking at the summer season shows, I was pretty disappointed. There were 14 (count 'em, 14!) sequels, some short anime, and not much new of interest.

As I learned more, I found a number of promising shows. But this is still a summer season, traditionally the low point of the anime year.

My shows "most likely to succeed":
  • Charlotte -- A new show from PA Works, written by Maeda Jun, who wrote the Air, Kanon and Clannad games, and the Angel Beats anime. Starring Sakura Ayane, Uchiyama Kouki and Uchida Maaya. Secret superpowers and a depressed atmosphere.
  • Gangsta -- The director of Ergo Proxy sets another dark tale in a dirty city. Great cast.
  • Akagami no Shirayukihime -- Shoujo romantic adventure set in mediaeval times. Stars the glorious voice of Hayami Saori as "Red-Haired Snow White."
  • Overlord -- For Madhouse, the director of Iriya no Sora animates a powerful game-world-becomes-real story.
  • Prison School -- A famous girls' school admits boys for the first time. The four boys who become students find themselves shunned, and enemies of a secret council. Top director (Mizushima Tsutomu). Top writer (Yokote Michiko). Top cast (Kamiya, Namikawa, Hanazawa, et al.). JC Staff.
Not enough romance for my taste, but oh well. Here are some other shows with promise:
  • Aoharu x Kikanjuu -- Girl dressed as boy teams with club host and ero-mangaka to become top survival-game team. Komatsu Mikako. Brain's Base.
  • Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Sen'eki -- Historical fighting fantasy starring Sawashiro Miyuki.
  • Classroom Crisis -- The travails of students with part-time jobs. The director of No.6, the writer of White Album 2.
  • Gakkou Gurashi! -- Four girls live at school.... It's a comedy nd a lot more.
  • Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri -- Fantasy adventure starring Suwabe Junichi, Kanemoto Hisako, Touyama Nao and Taneda Risa.
  • God Eater -- Sci-fi action from the director of Garden of Sinners 5, for ufotable.
  • Joukamachi no Dandelion -- A family of princes and princesses with superpowers is tracked by hidden cameras so that their people can vote on which of them should be the new ruler. The director of Bakuman, written by Yoshida Reiko.
  • Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace -- Kishi Seiji and Uezu Makoto reunite for a school mystery anime featuring Sakurai Takahiro.
  • Rokka no Yuusha -- Six heroes are chosen to fight the reawakened demon king. By the director of Spice and Wolf. 
  • Sore ga Seiyuu -- Young seiyuus learn about the seiyuu world. Created by seiyuu Asano Masumi, written by Yokote Michiko.
  • Ushio to Tora (2015) -- Shounen supernatural action adapted from an award-winning manga by the writer of Death Note.
  • Wakako-zake -- Anime remake of a live-action TV series in which a woman unhappy at work goes alone to eat and drink fine cuisine. It's about the food. Stars Sawashiro Miyuki.
The one genre that seems most active this summer is ecchi:
  • Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou -- From a popular manga featuring seductive monsters coming to live in a schoolboy's home.
  • Okusama ga Seito Kaichou! -- The beautiful new student council president (Taketatsu Ayana) moves into the schoolboy's home and says she is his wife. 
  • Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai -- Ecchi hijinks from the director of Henneko. Matsuki Miyu, Gotou Saori, Ogura Yui.
  • Makura no Danshi -- "Pillow boys." Twelve episodes featuring twelve different bishounen sleeping next to you and whispering sweet nothings. A reverse Sleeping with Hinako.
And those sequels? Aquarion Logos, Durarara!!x2 Ten, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya Zwei Herz!, Gatchaman Crowds Insight (Ishihara Kaori joins Uchida Maaya), Hetalia The World Twinkle, Idolm@ster: Cinderella Girls 2, Junjou Romantica 3 (real yaoi romance), Miss Monochrome The Animation (Horie Yui), Non Non Biyori Repeat, Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX, Teekyuu 5, To Love-Ru: Trouble - Darkness 2nd, Wooser no Sono Higurashi Mugen Hen, Working!!! (my favorite in this list).

And there are four shows involving idols. In addition to Miss Monochrome and Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls, there are Venus Project and the interesting Million Doll, which is about otaku promoting their favorite new idols.

That's the summary. Read on for the main body of the post, giving full details -- story, cast, staff, pic, trailer (where available), and comments -- for each of 45 shows.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hibike! Euphonium characters/seiyuus

I wasn't going to do any of these pages this season, but this show has made itself an exception. This is a very good show with a big and interesting cast. And I have trouble keeping all the characters straight. Maybe a page like this can help.

The star, Kurosawa Tomoyo, is a 19-year-old former TV/film/stage child actress, and a singer with the Sound Horizon troupe. Reina is played by Anzai Chika, who was Nagisa in Kiruminzoo six years ago, then did little until resurfacing as Coffin-princess Chaika. Asuka, the vice-president of the club, is played really well by Kotobuki Minako, of Sphere and K-On. Chihara Minori has a good role. And Sakurai Takahiro give us both the wonderful sound of his voice and a powerful character yet again.

Click here or on the image to go to the full page.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Seiyuu Video Mini-clips

There's a twitter bot sending out five-second video clips of amusing and/or charming seiyuu moments, mainly from radio shows or public appearances.

Here's one of Uchida Maaya:


And here's Yahagi Sayuri, with her trademark tongue-loll:


The account is 動く女性声優bot -- "Women seiyuus in motion", @Gif_booot. If you follow this, be prepared: the clips come through at the rate of two an hour, with duplications. They are best viewed on repeat, which is how they come through naturally on Twitter.