Saturday, March 29, 2008

49 New Anime: preview, staff, cast, story, pic

As usual, what looked like a poor season is actually shaping up to have a number of interesting shows. Nothing so far looks like an instant classic, but there are always surprises. And with 49 shows (including OVAs), there could be plenty of surprises.

Hirano Aya returns to anime in a big way, starring in two series (Chico, Heiress of the Phantom Thief and Zettai Karen Children) and appearing in two OVAs (a Lupin III OVA and a Fist of the North Star OVA).

I'll be watching Wagaya no O-inari-sama to hear 16-year-old Hayami Saori in her first role since bursting onto the scene at 15 with a wonderful performance as Momoka in Touka Gettan. Yukana in the starring role is also a big plus. What a voice.

Kaiba, by the maker of Kemonozume, is a love story set in a future dystopia where bodies die and minds are transplanted, but some memories are lost.... Stars the great talent of Kuwashima Houko, Noto Mamiko, and Paku Romi.

sakurai takahiroIf you've never seen a yaoi (gay male) show, you might take a look at Junjou Romantica, directed by the director of Higurashi, and with a great cast: Sakurai Takahiro, Itou Kentarou, Kanna Nobutoshi, Kishio Daisuke, Taniyama Kishou.

On the yuri (Lesbian) side, there is the series based on the surprise hit romantic comedy ONA Candy Boy, with Nabatame Hitomi. Seven ten-minute episodes broadcast on the Net.

Macross Frontier may be the most anticipated series of the season, extending that franchise. Or the most anticipated might be the new season of Code Geass. Macross interests me more than Geass.

horie yuiVampire Knight is written by the writer of true tears, gives a female director who did eps of Princess Tutu her first full show, and character design is by the great Nishida Asako (Simoun, Touka Gettan). Horie Yui is surounded by a bevy of bishies: Miyano Mamoru, Kishio Daisuke, Chiba Susumu, Fukuyama Jun, Suwabe Junichirou, Houshi Souichirou, Koyasu Takehito.

Real Drive involves a future dystopia and is done by Production IG based on a concept from Shirow Masamune (Ghost in the Shell, Ghost Hound).

watanabe akenoToLoveRu is a top-class ecchi comic that should translate well to anime. Great cast includes Watanabe Akeno, Tomatsu Haruka, Yahagi Sayuri, Arai Satomi, Koyasu Takehito, Hanazawa Kana, Kawasumi Ayako, Nazuka Kaori.

Kurenai stars Sawashiro Miyuki and is directed by the director of Red Garden and Rozen Traumend. The story involves a 16-year-old bodyguard and a seven-year-old tsundere.

In any case, here are the shows, by day of the week. Titles I am going to make a special point of looking at myself are in red. English titles link to Anime News Network entry. Japanese titles link to official sites. Click photos to enlarge.


Sunday

Net Ghost Pipopa ネットゴースト PIPOPA Yuta (Satou Rina) moves to a highly technological city, and when he logs in to his computer is sucked into the world of the Net. He is rescued by three Net Ghosts, Pit, Pot, and Pat, and their adventures together in the two worlds begin.

An early Sunday-morning show, but director Kimura Shinichro did Mahoraba and Karin, and writer Yamada Ysutomo did Tsuyokiss and Potemayo. Satou-san (Negi Springfield) is joined by Arai Satomi (Kozue in Mahoraba), Shiraishi Ryoko, and one of my favorite young seiyuus, Yahagi Sayuri (Karin). Studio Hibari. 08:30 apr 06




Zettai Karen Children 絶対可憐チルドレン Hirano Aya gets a new starring role, her first since Lucky Star. Mangaka Shiina Takashi says he was thrilled when he heard the producers had chosen her as the lead. The story revolves around three girls with superpowers -- telekinesis, teleportation, and sensitive touch -- and bad attitudes.

Aya's compatriots will also be played by excellent seiyuu: Shiraishi Ryoko (Hayate) and 18-year-old Tomatsu Haruka (Corticarte in Polyphonica, Sumi in Moetan). Add to them a male lead played by Nakamura Yuuichi (Tomoya in Clannad) and you have a cast to conjure with.

Even more important is the director: he is Kawaguchi Keiichiro, the fast-rising talent behind Getsumen to Heiki Miina and Hayate the Combat Butler. This show takes over in Hayate's Sunday-morning time-slot on TV Tokyo. The manga has been adapted by Nishizono Satoru, who did the same for Welcome to the NHK. Animation by Synergy SP (Hayate, Kirarin, Major). 10:00 apr 06

Code Geass R2 コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ R2 The most anticipated show of the spring is one I personally don’t anticipate much at all. I thought the great cast (Fukuyama Jun, Koshimizu Ami, Sakurai Takahiro, Yukana, Orikasa Fumiko, Midorikawa Hikaru, etc.) was wasted on the pointless and confused first series. Animated by Sunrise, with character design by Clamp. Director Taniguchi Goro did Planetes and Infinite Ryvius. 17:00 apr 06






Wagaya no O-inari-sama 我が家のお稲荷さま Based on novels about a family that is protected by a beautiful fox goddess. I'll be watching mainly to hear young Hayami Saori again. She was outstanding in her first role as Momoka in Touka Gettan. I'm also eager to hear Yukana in the lead role. Also with Nakamura Yuuichi (Tomoya in Clannad), Mizushima Takahiro (Romeo, Kazuki in KimiKiss), Itou Shizuka, Kano Yui (in her first role since Momoko in Sumomomo), Ono Daisuke, and Mizuhashi Kaori. Lovely character design. Written by Yoshida Reiko (Saiunkoku, RomeoxJuliet, Canvas2). Directed by Iwasaki Yoshiaki (Love Hina, Sky Girls). Animation by ZEXCS. 24:00 apr 06

Nabari no Ou 隠の王 Kugimiya Rie and Hino Satoshi (Shana and Yuji) team up again -- but in this case, they both play boys. Saiga Mitsuki, Namikawa Daisuke, and Fujimura Ayumi round out a nice core cast, with help from big names such as Suwabe Junichi, Nakata Jouji, and Okiayu Ryoutarou.

"Rokujou Miharu (Kugimiya) is a boy who has a hijutsu (hidden technique) living inside of him. This hijutsu is the power of creation. Many ninja clans are seeking it as the one who posesses it becomes the ruler of the ninja world. Rokujou's classmate Kouichi (Hino) started a nindou ('Way of the Ninja') club at school with Kumohira, his English teacher. Both Kouichi and Kumohira are secretly ninjas. They tried to persuade Rokujou to join the ninjutsu club. At first, he was reluctant, but after being attacked by group of ninjas trying to get his hijutsu, he joins. He must become the Ruler of Nabari in order to survive." (ann)

Director Sugishima Kunihisa did Speed Grapher. Writer Yokote Michiko did Genshiken, xxxholic, and Princess Tutu. J.C. Staff 13 episodes? 25:30 apr 06

SA - Special A S・A ~スペシャル・エー~ Hikari Hanazono (Gotou Yuuko), the main character, has always been second to Kei Takishima (Fukuyama Jun). While Hikari considers Kei a rival and somewhat of a friend, Kei loves Hikari. Everyone knows this, but she is too dense to notice.

Their wrestling-loving fathers first introduced them to one another when they were 6 years old. Assuming that she was the best in wrestling, young Hikari challenged Kei to a wrestling match only to be thoroughly defeated. Ever since that fateful incident, Hikari swore to beat Kei in school grades, sports - anything. To do this she has enrolled in the same school as Kei since elementary school. Now she attends Hakusenkan, an ultra elite school, that costs her carpenter father a lot of money. Hikari and Kei are the top two students in the school, with Kei holding firmly to that number one position. (ann)

With Yonaga Tsubasa, Takagaki Ayahi, Shimono Hiro, and Nabatame Hiromi. Based on a shoujo manga by Maki Minami serialised in Hana to Yume. Written by Hanada Jukki (Rozen Maiden, sola, H2O). Animation by AIC and Gonzo. OP by Gotou Yuuko.

I'll be watching for the stars and Takagaki Ayahi. Director Miyao Yoshikazu is new to directing. After H2O, Hanada Jukki has to earn back his status as a top writer. 25:30 apr 06

Neo-Angelique: Abyss ネオアンジェリーク Abyss Endou Aya (Miyuki in Lucky Star) gets her second big role this spring (along with Macross) as the new voice of Angie. Or is it her third? She is also starring in the new Mai-Otome OVA. With the glamorous new character design, she has a chance to make this role count. Another series of the quietly popular girls' reverse-harem supernatural adventure franchise. With Takahashi Hiroki, Hirakawa Daisuke, Irino Miyu, Nakamura Yuuichi, and Ono Daisuke as the surrounding bishies. Animation by Yumeta. 26:00 apr 06







Onegai My Melody Kirara おねがいマイメロディ きららっ☆ Onegai My Melody enters its fourth year. Studio Comet. 9:30 apr 06











Monday

Chi's Sweet Home チーズスイートホーム Lead writer Konparu Tomoko did both NANA and Nodame Cantabile. But this isn't them: it's a five-minute kids' show about a cat. Madhouse 06:40 mar 31










Ikuze! Gen-san いくぜっ!源さん Nice character design in a GyaO net animation for kids. Stars Yamaguchi Kappei. Written by the writer of Otoboku and DCSS. Director did Crash Hit Bedaman. Nippon Animation 24 eps. 12:00 mar 24




Soul Eater ソウルイーター To make their weapons, students in a school for shinigami weapons technicians must collect the souls of 99 bad people and a witch. Director Igarashi Takuya did Ouran HS Host Club. Writer Yamatoya Akatsuki did Simoun, Gintama, and Busou Renkin.

The cast includes Miyano Mamoru, Kobayashi Yumiko, Katou Emiri, Koyama Rikiya, Koyasu Takehito, Kuwashima Houko, Nazuka Kaori, and Watanabe Akeno. Animation by Bones. 18:00 apr 07






Gag Manga Biyori 3 ギャグマンガ日和3 Directed by Daichi Akitaro, director of Fruits Basket and Bokura ga Ita. With Ueda Yuuji (Morita in Honey & Clover) and Nazuka Kaori.

"Gyagu Manga Biyori is hyperactive, random, and nonsensical, revolving around various plots and characters throughout the series. It makes absolutely no sense. The 1st episode is about stickers included in snacks." (ann) Artland. 23:00 mar 17






Vampire Knight ヴァンパイア騎士 "Yuki's earliest memory is of a stormy night in winter, when she was attacked by one vampire and then rescued by another. Now, 10 years later, Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of the headmaster of Cross Academy, has become a guardian of the vampire race, protecting her savior, Kaname, from discovery as he leads a group of vampires at the elite boarding school.

But also at her side is Zero Kiryu, a childhood friend who hates the creatures. Is Kaname's infatuation with Yuki the beginning of a forbidden romance, or is it something in her forgotten past that draws him to her? In this world of secrets, nothing is as it seems." (anidb)

Outstanding constellation of male seiyuus surrounds Horie Yui: Miyano Mamoru, Kishio Daisuke, Chiba Susumu, Fukuyama Jun, Suwabe Junichirou, Houshi Souichirou, Koyasu Takehito. Director Sayama Kiyoko gets her first full show, having done episodes of Princess Tutu and Blood+. Writer Okada Mari did true tears, Sketchbook, and episodes of Simoun. Outstanding character designer Nishida Asako did Simoun, Touka Gettan, and Fate/Stay Night. Studio DEEN. 25:00 apr 07

Monochrome Factor モノクローム・ファクター "Akira Nikaido is a typical slacker high school student who thinks he has a normal life -- until a mysterious man called Shirogane appears and tells him to meet him at the school that night. He is skeptical but goes anyway…and gets attacked by a shadow monster! Shirogane convinces him that the balance between the human world and the shadow world has been distorted, and that Akira must become a shin--a creature of the shadow world--in order to help restore the balance." (anidb)

Fine cast includes Ono Daisuke, Suwabe Junichi, Kamiya Hiroshi, Asano Masumi, Saiga Mitsuki, Konishi katsuyuki, Tamura Yukari, and Okiayu Ryoutarou. The director and the writer did Loveless and Zero no Tsukaima. Animated by ACGT. 26:00 apr 08


Tuesday

Sugar Bunnies 2 シュガーバニーズ 第2シリーズ Cute-looking early-morning kids' show featuring cute bunnies and the cute voices of Horie Yui and Ueda Kana. From Sanrio (Hello Kitty). Even the official site doesn’t give info about the staff. Or about the start date. 07:30









Uchi no San Shimai うちの3姉妹 Animation of an overwhelmingly popular blog (75 million hits) and book (800,000 copies sold) about rearing three daughters. ACGT . 17:30 apr 08






Real Drive RD 潜脳調査室 "The story takes place in 2061, 50 years after humanity developed the Net Society that depended on information networks, despite their security issues. To improve security, a new network called Metal was developed. People's personal memories were reduced to information and placed online. The result was a virtual explosion of creative freedom as people felt safe enough explore instincts and desires on Metal that they would not otherwise explore in real life. This friction between the Metal's alluring lack of restrictions and rules-bound reality led to trouble and incidents that investigators known as Cyber Divers must handle. Masamichi Haru is one such cyber diver." (anidb)

I hardly know what to expect, except for Production IG animation. Veteran seiyuu Mori Katsuji plays the lead, with inexperienced Oki Kanae billed second. But they are followed by a strong list including Takahashi Hiroki, Kawasumi Ayako, Fujiwara Keiji, Watanabe Akeno, and Nonaka Ai. Director Furuhashi Kazuhiro did Bincho-tan and Chevalier D'Eon. The concept is from Shirow Masamune, and writer Fujisaku Junichi did Blood+. Production IG 24:59 apr 08

Crystal Blaze クリスタル ブレイズ aka Glass Maiden. An outstanding cast, including Ueda Yuuji in his best role since Morita in Honey & Clover. The (woman) director did Saikano. Guns and sex in a near-future Asian dystopia. With Miki Shinichirou, Arai Satomi, Takahashi Mikako, Kobayashi Yu, Sawashiro Miyuki, Itou Miki, Chiba Saeko (married but still working) and Takahashi Hiroki. Animation by Studio Fantasia. Could be a good one. 25:15 apr 08


Himitsu: Top Secret 秘密 -トップ・シークレット- Psychological thriller starring Seki Tomokazu, Namikawa Daisuke, and Nonaka Ai. Don't ask me why, but I have a good feeling about this one.The director of Rocket Girls doesn’t inspire confidence, so that can’t be it. Madhouse. 25:29 apr 08










Wednesday

Lupin III - Green vs Red ルパン三世 GREEN VS RED 40th anniversary Lupin III OVA gives Hirano Aya her second OVA and fourth show of the spring. 1 episode. apr 02










Fist of theNorth Star: The Legend of Toki 真救世主伝説 北斗の拳 トキ伝 Abe Hiroshi, Sakamoto Maaya, and Hirano Aya in the latest Hokuto no Ken OVA. Trailer on official site. Animation by Tom's Entertainment OVA ep 1 of 1. mar 26









Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's 遊戯王5D's At least 13 new epsiodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! 18:00 apr 02








Strait Jacket ストレイト・ジャケット "Leon the Professional meets Blade Runner…but steampunk." In a world where industry and sorcery coexist, people can suddenly turn into Malevolents, the enemies of all mankind, and even a young boy has had to kill someone he loved. A "gun action fantasy." Already licensed for R1 release.

From a popular series of novels by Sakaki Ichirou (Scrapped Princess). Director Ushirou Jinji was assistant director of Otoboku. Miki Shinichirou (Kurz Weber) leads the cast, with Shindou Kei, Maeda Ai, and Asano Mayumi. Animation by Feel. OVA 3 of 3. apr 30





Thursday

Kyou Kara Mao 3 今日からマ王!第3シリーズ Ready for 39 more episodes of a modern boy as king of a medieval race? Directed by the masterful Nishimura Junji (Simoun, true tears). Animation by Studio DEEN. With Sakurai Takahiro, Morikawa Toshiyuki, and Saiga Mitsuki. 39eps. 23:02 apr 03









Allison and Lillia アリソンとリリア Intriguing show set in early 20th century fictional world, featuring war, adventure and friendship. Mizuki Nana, Kumai Motoko (Goro in Major), Yamadera Kouichi, and Noto Mamiko. Based on shounen light novels, adapted by Machida Doko (Lucky Star, Kanban Musume). Directed by Nishida Masayori (Mokke, Eyeshield21). Animation by Madhouse. 26 eps. 23:32 mar 03






Kaiba カイバ One of the most promising shows of the season. Original series directed by Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game, Kemonozume), and animated by MADHOUSE. Outstanding cast: Kuwashima Houko, Noto Mamiko, Paku Romi.

"A sci-fi love story set in a world where digitization of memory made physical death obsolete. A world where memories can be stolen and altered, and replaced in a new human body. Kaiba wakes up in a room wthout knowing who he is. He has a pendant with the photograph of a woman he does not remember. After being attacked all of a sudden, he has to flee to space, meet various people, and rediscover the world. 'Even without my memories, I love you…'"(anidb) 12eps. 24:00 apr 10




Library War (Toshokan Sensou) 図書館戦争 "In the year 2019, the explosion of information and misinformation had become a direct threat to society. A new government agency dedicated solely to information management is created. Now, some thirty years later, the government still monitors and controls information, suppressing anything they find undesirable, but standing against their abuses of power are the libraries, with their special agents, 'the book soldiers.'" (anidb)

The director of Sisters of Wellber doesn’t attract me, but Production IG does, and so do Inoue Marina, Sawashiro Miyuki, and Ishida Akira. Based on a light novel series by Arikawa Hiro, illustrated by Adabana Sukumo. Production IG (Studio 9). 24:25 apr 10



Junjou Romanchika 純情ロマンチカ Good-looking yaoi series from Studio DEEN. Directed by Kon Chiaki, director of Higurashi. With Sakurai Takahiro, Itou Kentarou, Kanna Nobutoshi, Kishio Daisuke, Taniyama Kishou, and Hanada Hikaru (Creed in Ergo Proxy). Studio DEEN. 24 episodes. 25:20 apr 10









Macross Frontier マクロス FRONTIER Endou Aya (Miyuki in Lucky Star) gets the lead role in a new Macross series. Written by the lead writer of Mai-HiME and My-Otome. Music by Kanno Yoko. Also with Nakamura Yuuichi, Fukuyama Jun, Kamiya Hiroshi, Kobayashi Sanae, Tanaka Rie, Inoue Kikuko, and Sugita Tomokazu. The cast is up to it, that's for sure. "Love, friendship, and the fate of planets intertwined. An intergalactic Love Story." Animation by Satelight (Macross, Aquarion, Shugo Chara). 25:25 apr 03





xxxHOLIC: Tsugi xxxHOLiC◆継 More xxxHOLIC for lovers of the first series. Ohara Sayaka and Fukuyama Jun are a great start for the cast. CLAMP and Production IG. Director Mizushima Tsutomu also did Kujibiki Unbalance, Ookiku Furikabutte, and Dai Mahou Touge. 25:25 apr 03









To Love-Ru To LOVEる A glamorous interstellar princess suddenly shows up naked in a teenage boy's room and decides he is to be her husband. She runs him ragged, while befriending the human girl he really loves. The manga makes the most of a hackneyed concept. Let's hope the anime can, too. Directed by the director of Busou Renkin and Rockman.EXE. Written by the lead writer for Blue Dragon, Busou Renkin, and Simoun.

Outstanding cast includes Watanabe Akeno, Tomatsu Haruka, Yahagi Sayuri (yes!), Arai Satomi (her third role of the spring), Koyasu Takehito, Hanazawa Kana, Kawasumi Ayako, Nazuka Kaori, Oura Fuyuka, Yoshino Hiroyuki. Animation by Xebec. 26eps. trailer. 25:55 apr 03




Kure-nai "16-year-old Shintaro Kurenai is a Mediator. Then one day, he is approached by the daughter of a rich and powerful family asking him to be her bodyguard. This somehow ends up with him living in a run-down tenement with Murasaki Kuhouin, his new 7-year-old apprentice, landlord, self-proclaimed fiance, and all-around tsundere, and several other eccentric ladies." (anidb)

Promising show directed by Matsuo Kou, director of Red Garden and Rozen Traumend. Stars Sawashiro Miyuki as the male lead, with Ishige Sawa (the twins in PaniPoni), Sanada Asami and Shintani Ryouko. Animation by Brains Base. From the novels. 26:00 apr 03




Friday

Naisho no Tsubomi ないしょのつぼみ "Naisho no Tsubomi tells the story of Tsubomi Tachibana, a fifth grader dealing with issues such as her mother's pregnancy, her first period and the strange feelings she has started to get when she has been around boys. Based on a shoujo manga by Yabuuchi Yuu, serialised in Ciao." (anidb)

Stars the wonderful tiny voice of big Nazuka Kaori. With a stunning supporting cast: Koshimizu Ami, Kanda Akemi, Kobayashi Sanae, Shiraishi Ryouko, Miyata Kouki, Saiga Mitsuki. Written by the writer of Lovege Chu, Cosmopolitan Prayers, and Elemental Gelade, however…. Studio Kikan OVA, ep 1 of 3. apr 25





Amuri in Star Ocean 星の海のアムリ Delayed from December, the first ep of this interesting 3DCG space-loli OVA will be released 23 May. With Makino Yui (Misaki in Welcome to the NHK), Saitou Momoko (Choco in Chokotto Sister) and Aizawa Michiru (Furoe in Simoun) in the lead roles, supported by Mamiko Noto and Kaneda Tomoko. Studio Hibari. ep 1 of 3. may 23








Candy Boy Candy☆Boy "Nonchalant talk of the certain twin sisters in daily life." Surprising hit net OVA gets a brief series of seven ten-minute episodes. Yuri tales of twin sisters. With Nabatame Hitomi, Yuzuki Ryoka (Eruruu in Utawarerumono), and Katou Emiri (Kagami in Lucky Star). The original ONA was wonderful -- very romantic and very yuri. AIC. 7x10min. 12:00 may 02







Kirarin Revolution 3 きらりん☆レボリューション 第3期 I watched the first thirty or so episodes of season one, and found them a lot more entertaining than the average shoujo wannabe-idol show. But I had no idea the show would become so popular that it kept going to episode 100 (which aired 14 March) and beyond, to season three.

Star Kusumi Koharu came straight from Morning Musume. She has a lot more seiyuu experience now than she did in April 2006, when this all began. New director Fujimoto Yoshitaka did Girl's High and KoiKoi7, neither of which bodes well. Writer Tsuchiya Rikei has some depth: she did Major and KimiKiss. Animation by Synergy SP. 18:00 apr 04




The Tower of Druaga: the Aegis of Uruk ドルアーガの塔 ~the Aegis of URUK~ Directed by Chigira Koichi (Full Metal Panic, Last Exile). Animated by Gonzo. Orikasa Fumiko stars, with Chihara Minori, Horie Yui, Ishida Akira, Sakurai Takahiro. Features Yukana as a succubus (type-casting). Writer Gatoh Soji created FMP and worked on Suzumiya Haruhi and Lucky Star.

"In a summer once every five years, demons in the mysterious Tower of Druaga lose their powers due to the magic spell cast by a god named Anu. King Gilgamesh, ruler of the kingdom of Uruk, uses the appearance of demons as an excuse to invade the tower and find out its secrets. As 80 years passed, the Uruk army managed to fight back the demons and build a fortress city and safe haven on the very first floor of Druaga, Metz Kier. Thus begins the story of a warrior named Gil who, finding companions along the way, embarks on a quest for the fabled Blue Crystal Rod, a powerful artifact rumored to be in the highest floor of Druaga. However, other competitors, including the kingdom of Uruk itself, want the treasure." (anidb) trailer. Gonzo 25:15 apr 04

Golgo13 ゴルゴ13 Little is known about this new show based on an ultra-violent hard-core old-style manga. Something for fans of the genre to look forward to. Animated by The Answer Studio, which did the underrated Flag. 25:23 apr 11









Itazura na Kiss イタズラなKiss "It was love at first sight for Aihara Kotoko as top student Irie Naoki delivers a speech on the first day of high school. After 2 years of secret admiration, 'I don't want it' is the rejection she gets when she plucks up enough courage to hand him a love letter. Dejected, Kotoko vows to give him up. By a twist of fate, Kotoko's house collapses; her dad and she put up at a friend's place, who happens to be Naoki's father. And thus, life with Naoki begins and Kotoko's love for Naoki rekindles again. Much laughter ensues when scatterbrain Kotoko makes her countless advances (supported by Naoki's wacky mum) on ice-cold Naoki who hates girls and is a genius at practically everything from studies to sports." (anidb)

Animated by the director of Toward the Terra. With Mizuki Nana, Hirakawa Daisuke, and Paku Romi. Promising shoujo. Tom's Entertainment 26eps. 26:25 apr 04


Amatsuki あまつき "History isn't Tokidoki's strong subject. He`s even forced to do make-up work at a high-tech history museum to bring up his failing grades. After losing an eye to a virtual reality monster in an Edo-period simulation, he finds himself unable to leave the game. Could it be real? Based on the shoujo manga by Takayama Shinobu." (anidb)

Stars the ubiquitous Fukuyama Jun and the glorious Paku Romi. Directed by the director of Chevalier D'Eon. Studio DEEN. I'll watch at least an ep for Paku-san. 26:30 apr 04





Bus Gamer Bus Gamer "When three complete strangers, Mishiba Toki, Nakajyo Nobuto and Saitoh Kazuo, are hired by a corporation to compete in the Bus Game, an illegal dog-fight conducted in strict secrecy, they are given the team code of "Team AAA" (Triple Anonymous). This group of three who differ entirely from their living environments to their personalities have to work together effectively, but without mutually wiping out their mistrust of each other or prying into each other's privacy. They only have one point in common - each of them need a large amount of money for their individual circumstances. To get the money, they must play in the game despite their very own lives being at stake." (ann)

Star seiyuus Suzumura Kenichi, Suwabe Junichi, and Takahashi Hiroki star in this three-episode series. Based on a cult manga by Minekura Kazuya (Saiyuki). Animation by Anipro. 26:30 mar 14


Saturday

Blue Dragon: Seven Dragons of the Heavens BLUE DRAGON 天界の七竜 Quality Saturday-morning kids' adventure show Blue Dragon continues. With Paku Romi, Hazuki Erino, Namikawa Daiusuke and others. Studio Pierrot 09:00 apr 05







Kanokon かのこん Intriguing ecchi comedy from Xebec with a number of good seiyuus. Kawasumi Ayako in a leading role is always promising. So are Noto Mamiko and the underused Saitou Chiwa and Itsuki Yui (I love her techno-core band Yousei Teikoku). Add two of my favorite seiyuu personalities, Miyazaki Ui and Kadowaki Mai, as well as the excellent Kondou Takashi, and I will certainly take a peek at this one.

"On Kouta's first day at a new school, a beautiful second-year female student named Chizuru Minamoto asks him to meet her alone in the music room. When he arrives, she reveals her that she is in fact a fox deity (see also Wagaya no Inari-sama) and from that day on the two hang out together. Nozomu is a first year female student at Kouta's school, she is in fact a wolf deity and in love with Kouta, and a rival of Chizuru for Kouta's affections." (anidb) Xebec 12eps. 10:30 apr 05


D.C. II ~Da Capo II~ Second Season D.C.II S.S. ~ダ・カーポII セカンドシーズン~ Continues from the first season, which aired last fall. This time, I expect Takagaki Ayahi (Yume here, Noe in true tears) to play a larger role. With Horie Yui, Chihara Minori, Itou Shizuka, Asakawa Yuu, Yamaguchi Kappei, Kishio Daisuke. Directed by the director of Utawarerumono and sola. I'll watch it for Aya-hime (Takagaki). Animation by feel. 13 eps. 24:30 apr 05







Kyouran Kazoku Nikki 狂乱家族日記 A thousand years after a monster almost destroyed the Earth, human children are identified, one of whom may be its successor. The children are brought together in a single family in hopes that a happy family life in a human family may make them unwilling to destroy humans. Directed by Kuroda Yasuhiro (Guardian Hearts, Chocotto Sister), with Fujimura Ayumi (Ayano in Kaze no Stigma), Hanazawa Kana, Hirohashi Ryou, Tomatsu Haruka, Satou Rina. Animation by Nomad (Rozen Maiden, sola). 25:00 apr 12







Kamen no Maid Guy 仮面のメイドガイ "Fujiwara Naeka is a typical 17 year-old high school student. Or so it apears. Shes really one of two surviving heirs of a tycoon and has the right to inherit his fortune when she turns 18 in half a year. Fubuki, a young and beautiful maid, and Kogarashi, a big burly maid guy with a mask, have been assigned to keep Naeka and her brother Kousuke safe from those who would plot their demise and steal the fortune she would inherit." (anidb)

With the up-and-coming Iguchi Yuka in what I think is her first lead role. Also starring Toyoguchi Megumi, Sakaguchi Daisuke, Katou Emiri (who won a best new seiyuu award for Kagami in Lucky Star), Mugihito, Fujita Saki, Kanda Akemi, Kobayashi Yu, Kaido Yuko. I'll be watching ep1 for Iguchi-san (Ai in true tears), if nothing else. Animation by Madhouse. 25:35 apr 05


Blassreiter Blassreiter Future fiction with motorcycles, highly athletic mecha, and Gonzo. Preview. Directed by Itano Ichirou, who directed Gantz, and written by the writer of Shana and Witchblade. Character designer did Gantz and Ergo Proxy. Mecha by Niθ. Voices by Itou Shizuka, Matsukaze Masaya, Hanazawa Kana, Hiyama Nobuyuki, Miyake Kenta. As long as the preview's resemblance to Dragonaut is only skin deep, this could be good. 24eps. 26:00 apr 05







Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief (Nijuu-mensou no Musume) 二十面相の娘 One of two series in which Hirano Aya will star this spring. The story revolves around a female thief named Chico, who is the spiritual successor to the Kaijin Nijū-Mensō ("The Fiend with 20 Faces"), a thief character created by famed suspense and detective novelist Ranpo Edogawa, who considered himself the spiritual successor of Edgar Allan Poe. (info from anidb). Directed by the director of Kanban Musume, which is a plus, and Futakoi I, which is a bit of a minus. Adaptation by Tsuchiya Rikei, who did both Major and KimiKiss. Those are both pluses. Animation by Bones. Also with Arai Satomi (Kozue in Mahoraba) and Satou Rina (Negi Springfield). 26:05 apr 12