Last season made me think the anime industry really had collapsed. There were only 19 new shows, compared to almost double that the January before.
But spring has sprung and there are 49 anime on the list this season, right up with the 48 last spring and the 49 the spring before.
And there are quite a few promising shows in this season's offerings. Here are some of my highlights, followed by a full list with complete details, including staff, cast, an outline of the story, a pic, a few comments, and links to trailers, manga scanlations, and AnimeSuki forums. (click images to enlarge)
Arakawa Under the Bridge -- The new offering from Shaft director Shinbou Akiyuki is at the top of many lists (image top right). The story seems right up his alley: a proud, high-achieving, somewhat silly young man, in line to become head of a big company, has a principle of never being in debt to anyone. When a young homeless woman who says she is a Venusian saves his life, in repayment he winds up becoming her boyfriend and living with her under a bridge in Tokyo, surrounded by weirdos.
Angel Beats! -- Game-makers Key/Visual Arts and their writer Maeda Jun (who created Air, Kanon, and Clannad) turn from Kyoto Animation to P.A. Works (true tears, Canaan) to make their latest supernatural weeper. The dead -- who look a lot like the living -- do battle with angels in a school beyond death.
Working!! -- We have already seen a preview episode of this show about part-time workers in a Hokkaido family restaurant. The absurd humor had me laughing out loud. Fukuyama Jun at his best, with Asumi Kana at hers.
Kaichou wa Maid-sama! -- A highly enjoyable shoujo manga comes to anime. The tough, strait-laced student council president has a secret: she works in a maid cafe after school to support her family. What will happen when the most popular guy in school finds out? The writer of Chrome-Shelled Regios and Hanasakeru Seishounen. The director of Di Gi Charat and Les Miserables. J.C. Staff.
Sarai-ya Goyou -- Mochizuki Tomomi (YKK, Zettai Shounen, wrote Touka Gettan) writes and directs this show. That's enough for me. The story of a weak samurai who finds himself unwittingly joining a band of thieves. In the noitaminA timeslot, Thursday nights.
Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei -- noitaminA expands to an hour this season, with these tales of student life at Kyoto University. Directed by Yuasa Masaaki (Kaiba, Kemonozume), so expect the unusual.
Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kitan -- In the 1860s, a girl joins bishounen Shinsengumi rebels in search of her father, a doctor who is somehow involved with the appearance of blood-sucking monsters in Edo. Kuwashima Houko and Miki Shinichirou star in this adaptation of a game for girls from Otomate.
Senkou no Night Raid -- A Japanese spy organization infiltrates Shanghai in the early 1930s. The director of Persona Trinity Soul and the writer of The Third. Stars Namikawa Daisuke and Yoshino Hiroyuki. The second offering in the Anime no Chikara series, following Sora no Woto.
Rainbow - Nisha Rokubou no Shichijin -- A gritty tale of the lives of boys who shared a cell-block in a Tokyo Reformatory in the 1950s, telling what happened to them then and afterwards. The director of Kiba, the writer of Kaiji. Film actor Oguri Shun, Paku Romi, Fujiwara Keiji, et al.
Yutori-chan -- Yuuki Aoi stars as a sweet but lazy and incompetent high-school girl working part-time in a company. Working with her is college student Hanazawa Kana. The first four 2-minute episodes were funny and touching.
K-On!! -- The second season of this monster hit is certainly at the top of many people's lists. But my own interest in season one petered out about halfway through, even though I like other moe slice-of-life shows.
Giant Killing -- A soccer anime! The manga starts well, telling the story of a coach who returns from England to Japan to help his old club defeat the best elevens in the country. The psychology and tactics are interesting. Stars the masterful Seki Tomokazu.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms -- A straight interpretation (at last!) of the classic Chinese historical novel. A China-Japan co-production shown on Chinese TV last year and now dubbed into Japanese. 52 episodes. What I've seen of the Chinese version was quick but strong.
Heroman -- Bones animates a story by Stan Lee (creator of Spiderman) about a boy on the US West Coast who discovers a toy robot that becomes the invincible Heroman. The trailer looks excellent.
Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru -- A shounen-ai series from the director of Tsukihime and the writer of Blue Drop and Tokyo Magnitude 8. The story of an orphan boy with unusual powers. A man claiming to be his long-lost elder brother suddenly appears. Stars a bevy of great seiyuus including Houshi Souichirou, Sakurai Takahiro, Inoue Marina, Fukuyama Jun, Ono Daisuke, Miyano Mamoru, Kamiya Hiroshi, etc., etc. Two promising-looking (and more graphic) yaoi OVAs are also slated to go this spring: Sex Pistols and Ai no Kusabi.
Black Rock Shooter -- The first anime from fired KyoAni director Yamamoto Yutaka's company ordet. The OP animation came out late last year.
Winter Sonata (Japanese voices) -- Moving melodrama based on the smash hit Korean TV drama. The Korean anime is nearing its climax. A Japanese-dubbed version is supposed to start in April.
This is only a short partial list of my highlights. Other shows may appeal to you more: the new season of Hetalia Axis Powers. A full series of KissxSis. Or B-gata H-kei, a comedy about a high-school girl who dreams of a hundred sexual encounters. A new show from the director of Shakugan no Shana, Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou. New seasons of baseball animes Major and Big Windup (Ookiku Furikabutte).
Or one or both of the new series of shows featuring women as the heroes of the Three Kingdoms: Ikkitousen and Koihime Musou. Or the SD Gundam Sangokuden series featuring Gundams in the same roles. And there are kids' shows that might have some adult appeal: Hana Kappa, The Animal Conference on the Environment, Ketsu-inu, or the new season of Marie and Gali.
Link to previews of individual shows from the following alphabetical list. Or read through all the previews listed further below in chronological order:
● Ai no Kusabi ● Angel Beats! ● Arakawa Under the Bridge ● Armored Trooper Votoms: Phantom Arc ● Ashiaraiyashiki no Juunin-tachi ● B Gata H Kei ● Black Rock Shooter ● D.C. ~Da Capo~ Ekusute ● Giant Killing ● Haiyoru! Nyaru-Ani ● Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kitan ● Hana Kappa ● Heroman ● Hetalia Axis Powers 3 ● Hime Chen! Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri ● Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou ● Ikkitousen: Xtreme Xecutor ● Jewelpet 2 --Tinkle ● Kaichou wa Maid-sama! ● Ketsu-inu ● KissXSis (2010) ● kissxsis OVA episode 3 ● K-On!! ● Mahou Sensei Negima! - Another World ● Major 6 ● Marie & Gali 2.0 ● Mayoi Neko Overrun! ● Metal Fight Beyblade ~Baku~ ● Ookiku Furikabutte 2 ● Rainbow -- Nisha Rokubou no Shichijin ● Ring ni Kakero 1: Shadow ● Romance of the Three Kingdoms ● Sarai-ya Goyou ● SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors ● Senkou no Night Raid ● Sex Pistols ● Shin Koihime†Musō: Otome Tairan ● Shoka ● Tales of Symphonia the Animation: Tethe'alla-hen ● The Animal Conference on the Environment ● To Love-Ru OVA ● Tono to Issho ● Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru ● Utawarerumono OVA episode 3 ● Winter Sonata (Japanese voices) ● Working!! ● xxxHOLIC - Rou ● Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei ● Yutori-chan
-- dates and times may change, and will be updated in my anime calendar, which should come out around the end of March
-- information from official sites, MoonPhase, AniDB, Anime News Network, Japanese Wikipedia, Who Subs What, et al.
-- English titles link to an anime's Anime News Network page, Japanese titles to its official site
Streamed two-minute episodes. Yutori-chan (Yuuki Aoi) is a sweet, selfish high school girl doing part-time work in an office. Her main co-worker (Hanazawa Kana), also part-time, is a student at a top university. Directed by Kawaguchi Keiichirou (Hayate)
The first four episodes were previewed in December and are amusing and touching. Worth taking a look at, especially for the nice work of the leads. Yuuki-san in particular shows her talent. The two seiyuus are also fairly exciting on the radio show, which you can find from the show's official site.
seiyuus: Yuuki Aoi, Hanazawa Kana, Watanabe Akeno.
director: Kawaguchi Keiichirou (Getsumen, Hayate, Nyan Koi)
writer: Asakawa Miya (Mars Daybreak, Noein eps, Shounen Onmyouji). Tanaka Yutori (creator).
animation: Actas (assisted on Chrome-Shelled Regios). chara-des: Nishio Kouhaku (ToHeart2, Moetan); POP (orig; Moetan). animation supervisor: Nishio Kouhaku (ToHeart2, Moetan).
music: Kasamatsu Miki (Aishiteruze). OP seiyuus.
trailer. subs: Yuurisan. ONA. forum.
begins tue 16 mar
Based on a a set of "high-tension, chaotic comedy" light novels. The story centers around Nyarlathotep, a formless Cthulhu deity who can take the shape of anyone it wishes, but particularly the shape of a seemingly ordinary silver-haired girl, "Nyaruko." Yasaka Mahiro is a normal high school student who is saved by Nyaruko when he is being chased by aliens one night. (ANN) Ctulhu was created by great horror/fantasy writer H.P. Lovecraft.
Little-known company (DLE) and director. Character design by the person who did the same for Kanokon. Three good seiyuus: Asumi Kana, Kitamura Eri, and Matsuki Miyu.
Flash-animated. Comes with boxed set of v4 of the comic. Simple Flash animation of totally off-the-wall humor.
seiyuus: Asumi Kana, Kitamura Eri, Matsuki Miyu.
director: Tani Azuma （DLE）
writer: Aisora Manta (novel).
animation: DLE (Eagle Talon). chara-des: Koin (orig.; Kanokon original charades.).
music: Sudou Yuuki （DLE）. OP Asumi Kana.
trailer. OVA. 1eps.
The Animal Conference on the Environment (Doubutsu Kankyou Kaigi)
Ecological education anime, featuring situations that teach a group animals about the world.
But there may more to this: the director is Nishimura Junji (Simoun), and the cast includes such names as Yoshino Hiroyuki, Kamiya Hiroshi, and Takahashi Rieko. This is also the first reappearance since his excellent work in Simoun and Touka Gettan of seiyuu Tsujitani Kouji as a sound director.
seiyuus: Yoshino Hiroyuki, Chou, Kusao Takeshi, Tachiki Fumihiko, Hidaka Noriko, Kamiya Hiroshi, Takahashi Rieko, Takahashi Hiroki.
director: Nishimura Junji (Simoun)
writer: Iuchi Masanori.
animation: Studio Deen. chara-des: Saitou Tetsuhito (Bincho-tan, Code-E). art: Higashi Junichi (Ai yori Aoshi, Rahxephon, Regios).
sat 20 mar 16:30
Ashiaraiyashiki no Juunin-tachi
supernatural fighting fantasy comedy
OVA comes with v10 of manga. A 'battle fantasy' story involving humans, mythical creatures and demons living together in an apartment called Ashiaraiyashiki. The manga has been running in Monthly Comic Gum for over eight years. The title translates as "Residents of Foot-wash Manor."
Inexperienced director. Old-school animator. Second-rank cast (except for Kitamura Eri in a supporting role). But Fukuhara Kaori and Hikasa Youko can both be good, and so can Madono Mitsuaki. We shall see.
seiyuus: Madono Mitsuaki, Hikasa Youko, Fukuhara Kaori, Horie Kazuma, Kitamura Eri.
director: Ibata Yoshihide
writer: Minagi Tokuichi (manga).
animation: Studio NOA (some assisting). animation supervisor: Arai Yutaka (LoGH OVA, Huckleberry Finn Monogatari).
thu 25 mar
Tales of Symphonia the Animation: Tethe'alla-hen 2
(jp: テイルズ オブ シンフォニア THE ANIMATION テセアラ編 第2巻)
Based on the Game Cube and Play Station game, "Tales of Symphonia". Two worlds exist, each unaware of the other. In order for one world to flourish, the other has to perish. On the dying world, a Chosen one is sent on a journey to restore that world's mana by awakening the Spirits and becoming an angel. Colette Brunel, the Chosen of Sylvarant, sets out on her journey accompanied by her best friends Lloyd Irving and Genis Sage. As they travel further they meet more friends and even more enemies, and learn more and more about the truth behind World Regeneration. (ANN)
Mizuki Nana does the OP (see preview) and she and Konishi Katsuyuki head the cast., which also includes able voices such as Touma Yumi, Tachiki Fumihiko, Kuwashima Houko, and Ohtsuka Akio. Written by the writer of Manabi Straight. Episode 2 May 26. Eps 3 and 4 summer and fall. This show is apparently more popular outside Japan than at home.
seiyuus: Konishi Katsuyuki, Mizuki Nana, Orikasa Ai, Touma Yumi, Tachiki Fumihiko, Onosaka Masaya, Okamura Akemi, Kuwashima Houko, Ohtsuka Akio.
director: Sotozaki Haruo
writer: Kingetsu Ryunosuke (Futakoi Alternative, Manabi Straight).
animation: ufotable. chara-des: Fujishima Kousuke (orig; Sakura Wars), Matsushima Akira (Marimite).
OP Mizuki Nana, ED Shikata Akio.
trailer. subs: Formula. OVA. 1/4eps. forum.
thu 25 mar
Tono to Issho
seinen historical comedy
Adaptation of a 4-panel comic strip. The comic parodies the exploits of generals during Japan's violent Sengoku (Warring States) period.
Young director Mankyuu (Utsurun Desu) works with a nice cast including up-and-coming Suzuki Tatsuhisa, this year's Seiyuu Award winner Ono Daisuke, Sugita Tomokazu, Noto Mamiko, Kobayashi Yuu, Kuroda Takaya and multitalented singer GACKT.
seiyuus: Suzuki Tatsuhisa, Ono Daisuke, Sugita Tomokazu, Noto Mamiko, Tachibana Shinnoisuke, Hirakawa Daisuke, Kobayashi Yuu, Itou Asuka, Kuroda Takaya, GACKT.
director: Mankyuu (Utsurun Desu)
writer: Mankyuu. Ooba Kai (orig).
trailer. OVA. forum.
thu 25 mar
Armored Trooper Votoms: Phantom Arc
(jp: 装甲騎兵ボトムズ 幻影篇 I)
New OVA series of "Armored Trooper Votoms," following last year's Pailsen Files. This six-episode series may mark the end of director/creator Takahashi Ryousuke's "life work." Mecha design by Okawara Kunio, whose credits include many Gundam shows. Described as a "real robot anime."
"As seen in the promo video, the first OVA seems to take place at the time of Vanilla's and Coconna's 25th wedding anniversary. They plan to go on a trip to revisit Uoodo, Kummen, Sunsa and Quent, which triggers memories of Chirico Cuvie. They meet up with Gotho (how old is he at this point?!) at some point and begin searching for Chirico. A younger man with the same hair color and dour expression that Chirico had is also shown in the promo as Vanilla's and Coconna's daughter wonders about "that person" -- Chirico." (the.Merines on AnimeSuki)
seiyuus: Chiba Shigeru, Kawanami Youko, Tomita Kousei.
director: Takahashi Ryousuke (Hi no Tori)
writer: Gobu Toshi. Takahashi Ryousuke (orig).
animation: Sunrise. chara-des: Shioyama Norio; mecha: Okawara Kunio (Gundams). animation supervisor: Takeuchi Kazuyoshi (Votoms Pailsen). art: Nomura Masanobu (Votoms Pailsen, First Squad).
trailer. subs: Shinsen-Subs & Formula?. OVA. 1/6eps. forum.
fri 26 mar
(jp: Sex Pistols)
yaoi sci-fi fantasy romance
Adaptation of a yaoi manga series. In the 2003 manga, a teenage boy discovers he is one of a select group of humans who evolved from animals other than apes -- leopards or bears, for example. Cat ears, romance, and physical relationships ensue.
This may be near-hentai yaoi, but the cast is well-known and using their own names. Definitely worth a look. Ep2 25jun.
seiyuus: Hatano Wataru (Yuuto/Nogizaka Haruka), Sugita Tomokazu (Kyon/Haruhi), Shimono Hiro (Hiro/ef), Kawahara Yoshihisa (Yasu/NANA), Nojima Hirofumi (Shuga/Moribito, Scarecrowman), Yusa Kouji (Vincent Law/Ergo Proxy).
director: 日向 (Hinata?); Yagami Kouichi (asst dir)
writer: Kotobuki Tarako (manga).
animation: Twilight Town. chara-des: 日向. art: Yoshizawa Kazue.
music: Kouichirou Takahashi. OPED Yuuta (from LAZ).
trailer (NSFW). manga. OVA. 1/2eps. forum.
fri 26 mar
Ikkitousen: Xtreme Xecutor
(jp: 一騎当千 XTREME XECUTOR)
ecchi fighting fantasy
A fourth Ikkitousen series shows the staying power of the franchise.
Academy clan wars escalate. Time to unleash the true powers of all the fighters. A new enemy appears, but Hakufu doesn't notice the true and mighty enemies lurking in the shadows, ready to assault what she treasures the most. The fight no longer involves the academies only but the whole world. (ANN)
The cast is outstanding: Asano Masumi, Kaida Yuuko, Hino Satoshi, Nabatame Hitomi, Horie Yui, Endou Aya and others.
It is interesting to see this show and Koihime Musou, another Three Kingdoms-based show featuring female characters, begin to combine their publicity with shared events and seiyuus appearing on each others' radio shows, under the auspices of Media Factory.
seiyuus: Asano Masumi, Kaida Yuuko, Hino Satoshi, Shindou Kei, Nabatame Hitomi, Chihara Minori, Kadowaki Mai, Asakawa Yuu, Horie Yui, Endou Aya.
director: Ohata Kouichi (Ikkitousen DD, GG; You're Under Arrest Full Throttle)
writer: Ohata Kouichi (Sugar Rune wri/prod). Shiozaki Yuji (orig).
animation: TNK (Kyoushirou, School Days). chara-des: Rinshin (I"s Pure, Ikki GG); Gotou Junji (School Days). animation supervisor: Gotou Junji (School Days). art: Kouno Jirou (Hi no Tori, Bakumatsu Kikan., Genji, Cobra).
music: Takanashi Yasuharu (Gantz, Mononoke, Jigoku Shoujos).
trailer. subs: Ryuumaru, Yuurisan-Subs?. 12 eps. forum.
fri 26 mar 10:00
Hetalia Axis Powers 3
(jp: ヘタリア Axis Powers 第3期)
moe bishounen comedy
What started as a minor show in an unusual format (five-minute episodes) has become a smash hit now entering its third series.
Not my cup of tea, but hilarious to many. National stereotypes played out by a bevy of moe bishounen. A fujoshi delicacy.
seiyuus: Namikawa Daisuke, Takahashi Hiroki, Yasumoto Hiroki, Konishi Katsuyuki, Kaida Yuki.
director: Bob Shirohata
writer: Hiramitsu Takuya. Himaruya Hidekaz (manga).
animation: Studio DEEN. chara-des: Kannan Masaaki. animation supervisor: Matsuda Keiichi.
trailer. manga. forum.
fri 26 mar 13:00
historical fantasy adventure
Production IG animates an original script that was an Animax Award winner in 2008.
An action drama set during the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo, where hidden forces are trying to undermine the shogun's power. Shirou Sumiya, the head of the "Drawing-Immortals" school, is summoned to Edo. With the extraordinary power of his secret drawing techniques, he and his giant drawn creatures become part of the conflict.
director: Yamada Makoto (key anim)
writer: Saidou Kenji (orig).
animation: Production IG. chara-des: Kojima Hirokazu (key anim). art: Itou Hiroshi.
music: Kawai Kenji (Maison Ikkoku, Gundam00, Eden of the East).
TV special. 1/1eps.
sat 27 mar 20:00
children's fantasy comedy
Hanakappa is a little kappa (river monster) with a flower (hana) growing from his head. He lives in a village with his family.
Apparently for kids, but with a starry cast including Kiuchi Hidenobu, Yamaguchi Kappei, MAKO, Shishido Rumi, Ueda Kana, et al. Written by the director/writer of the amusing and somewhat adult Gokyoudai Monogatari. And with OP by My Little Lover and ED by new low-teen idol group Tokyo Girls' Style.
seiyuus: Nakagawa Rie (Ferro/Gunslinger, Nue/Tayutama), Kiuchi Hidenobu, Ozaki Megumi, Yamaguchi Kappei, MAKO, Ogata Kenichi, Horikoshi Mami, Takagi Wataru, Shishido Rumi, Kurita Erina, Kikuchi Kokoro, Ueda Kana, Yanagihara Tetsuya, Mitani Shouko, Haranai Ai, Hashimoto Mai.
director: Nonaka Kazumi (Happy Happy Clover, Mameushi-kun)
writer: Yasumi Tetsuo (Gokyoudai Monogatari dir and script). Akiyama Tadashi (manga).
animation: Group TAC. chara-des: Hayashi Kazuya, Akiyama Tadashi (orig). animation supervisor: Koyama Shin. art: Matsumiya Yumi.
music: Kasamatsu Miki. OP My Little Lover, ED Tokyo Girls' Style.
mon 29 mar 07:15
Marie & Gali 2.0
A second season for the visually interesting five-minute "science" anime. The cast includes old-time pros such as the seiyuus who played Doremi in Ojamajou Doremi and Kitarou in Gegege no Kitarou.
The writer who adapted the original idea is Yamada Takashi, who wrote Doremi and Yumeiro Patissiere. No director is named in the staff list, but Okada Shousuke is named as "responsible for production," as he was for several Digimon shows.
seiyuus: Chiba Chiemi (Doremi, Nanaka 6/17), Cho (headmaster/Hidamari), Nozawa Masako (Kitarou/Gegege no Kitarou, Son Goku/Dragonball), Sakata Tomoyasu (actor/seiyuu), Kosugi Shurouta (Lance/Tekkaman Blade, Hartmann/Princess Lover).
director: Okada Shousuke ("responsible for production"; Digimon Savers)
writer: Yamada Takashi (Ojamajo Doremi, Yumeiro Patissiere). Todo Izumi (orig).
animation: Toei. chara-des: Umakoshi Yoshihiko (Gokinjo Monogatari, Casshern Sins). art: Masuda Ryuutarou (art design).
music: Yoshino Yuuji. OP Swing Mates K.
tue 30 mar 19:25
Bizarre comic manga gets a 13x2.5-minute episode Flash-animated series. The main figure is a dog whose face looks like buttocks. The title translates "Bum Dog."
Stars Sugita Tomokazu, comic Ikki, and comic duo Tokyo Tights.
Directed and written by Kasugamori Haruki, who did Eagle Talon.
seiyuus: Sugita Tomokazu, Tsubuyaki Shirou (comic, Slap-up Party/Wellie), Ikki (Tokyo Tights), Shimizu Satoshi (Tokyo Tights).
director: Kasugamori Haruki (Eagle Talon)
writer: Lifestyle Tsunoda (creator).
13 x 2.5 min. eps.
thu 01 apr
Shin Koihime†Musou: Otome Tairan
(jp: 真・恋姫†無双 ～乙女大乱～)
ecchi-yuri historical fantasy
Surprisingly successful yuri parody of Three Kingdoms gets yet another series. Director Nakanishi Nobuaki did good jobs with Kashimashi and Sumomomomomo. Writer Go Zappa did the rather poor Chocotto Sister and Myself;Yourself. Together they produced a first season that was entertaining for most of its run and which had some hilarious moments, as well as lots of ecchi-yuri ones. I haven’t seen any of the second season, but evidently it was successful enough to spawn a third.
The seiyuu are largely game seiyuu, the same ones who voiced the original ero-games. If you're interested in the Three Kingdoms, make a point of checking out the serious 52-episode Chinese version that will also start this season on Japanese TV.
Preview airing 26 Mar.
seiyuus: Gotou Mai (Mai/Yoakena, Mizuki/ef), Kurokawa Nami (Raika/Demonbane, Tamaki/DCSS), Nishizawa Hiroka (Asa/Sora no Iro), Narumi Erika (Kagami/Lamune), Motoi Emi (Naoko/CCS), Kobayashi Maki, Amamiya Yuu (Chiharu/KimiAru).
director: Nakanishi Nobuaki (Kashimashi, Sumomomo Momomo, Koihime Musou)
writer: Go Zappa (Chocotto Sister, Myself;Yourself; Koihime Musou). BaseSon (original game).
animation: DogaKobo. chara-des: Hiratsuka Tomoya (Myself;Yourself), Oshima Miwa (Hit wo Nerae, Love Love, Koihime Musou). animation supervisor: Hiratsuka Tomoya (Myself;Yourself), Oshima Miwa (Love Love; Koihime Musou).
OP Okui Masami, ED seiyuus.
trailer. 12-13 eps. forum.
thu 01 apr 09:00
robot fantasy adventure
Bones tries its hand at animating a Stan Lee comic. A young boy on the US west coast finds a toy robot that becomes Heroman, a giant robot the boy pilots against evil.
Lee created Spiderman and X-Men. Bones animated FMA, Soul Eater, etc.
The trailer looks good. The writer did Simoun and Gintama. This could be a sleeper.
seiyuus: Komatsu Mikako (actress/model), Kimura Ryouhei (Akira/Eden of the East), Obata Mayu (dubs, narrates, age 18), Chou (Headmaster/Hidamari, Galileo/Marie & Gali), Shindou Naomi (Cagalli Yula Athha/Gundam Seed), Yasumura Makoto (Matsumaru/REC), Suyama Akio (Hima/Wolf's Rain), Ishizuka Unshou (Jet Black/Cowboy Bebop, Klaus/Sora no Oto).
director: Nanba Hitoshi (Anpanman movie)
writer: Yamatoya Akatsuki (Ginban Kaleidoscope, Simoun, Gintama, Soul Eater). Stan Lee (creator); Oota Tamon (manga).
animation: Bones. chara-des: Koyama Shigeto. animation supervisor: Kawamoto Toshiro (Gundam 0080, Wolf's Rain) ; Tomioka Takashi. art: Kondou Yumiko (Mnemosyne).
OP Tetsuya, ED Flow.
trailer. subs: Disney? forum.
thu 01 apr 18:00
B Gata H Kei
Entering high school, a cute girl has fantasies of a hundred sexual encounters. But in her self-consciousness and inexperience she finds herself pursuing one lonely boy.
The director of Keroro Sougun and Welcome to the NHK. The writer of NHK and Needless.
I'm not sure what to think of this one. The first few pages of the manga didn’t do much for me, but some people have read and like it. A next level of ecchi humor, but not likely as graphic as Kanokon or KissxSis.
Starring Tamura Yukari and Abe Atsushi, with Horie Yui, Noto Mamiko, Hanazawa Kana, Kobayashi Yuu, Gibu Yuuko, and Shishido Rumi. Whatever it is, it will certainly be professional. Music by Elelments Garden.
seiyuus: Tamura Yukari, Abe Atsushi, Horie Yui, Noto Mamiko, Hanazawa Kana, Kobayashi Yuu, Shishido Rumi, Shimoda Asami, Gibu Yuuko, Iwasaki Ai.
director: Yamamoto Yusuke (Keroro Sougun, Welcome to the NHK)
writer: Nishizono Satoru (NHK, Needless, Naruto Shippuuden). Sanri Youko (manga).
animation: Hal Film Maker. chara-des: Yahiro Yuuko (key animator). animation supervisor: Yahiro Yuuko. art: Miki Michiyo (Kamisama Kazoku).
music: Elements Garden. OP Tamura Yukari.
manga. subs: Doki, Ryuumaru. forum.
thu 01 apr 25:00
Ookiku Furikabutte 2
(jp: おおきく振りかぶって セカンドシーズン)
Second season of the popular baseball anime. Widely admired, although I myself loathed the main character so much that I couldn’t get more than a few episodes into the first season.
Good cast. Good writer (Kuroda Yousuke, who did Infinite Ryvius and Requiem for the Phantom, as well as Ookiku 1). Animation for A-1 Pictures by Takata Akira, who did both Haibane Renmei and Ookiku 1. This show is also known as Big Windup, which is what the title means.
seiyuus: Yonaga Tsubasa, Nakamura Yuuichi, Taniyama Kishou, Shimono Hiro, Satou Yuudai (Hiroki/ChuuBra), Suzuki Chihiro, Yasumura Makoto, Fukuyama Jun, Kimura Ryouhei, Fukuen Misato.
director: Mizushima Tsutomu (Crayon Shin-chan movies, Dokuro-chan, Ookiku 1, xxxHolic, Kemeko)
writer: Kuroda Yousuke (Infinite Ryvius, Ookiku 1, Requiem for the Phantom). Higuchi Asa (manga).
animation: A-1 Pictures (FMA1, Kannagi, Sora no Oto). chara-des: Yoshida Takahiko (Ookiku 1 chdes and anidir). animation supervisor: Takata Akira (Haibane Renmei, Ookiku1, Natsume Yuujinchou); Taniguchi Junichirou (eps, Ookiku 1 action).
music: Hamaguchi Shiroh (OnePiece, Kiddy Grade, Jewelpet). OP Galileo Galilei, ED CureaL.
trailer. manga. subs: Naisu-Pichi. forum.
thu 01 apr 25:25
Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
shoujo romantic comedy
Romantic comedy centred on student council head Ayuzawa Misaki, who despises the slovenly boys at her school, which was once an all-boys school. She is loathed by the boys and admired by the girls and the staff. However, Misaki's handsomest classmate just discovered her secret — that she works after school at a maid café to support her family.
This is one of my picks of the season: a shoujo romantic comedy directed by the director of Les Miserables and Di Gi Charat, written by the writer of Umishou and Hanasakeru Seishounen, and based on a good original manga. Animated by the dependable J.C. Staff.
Stars rising seiyuu Fujimura Ayumi (Mafuyu in Qwesar) and Okamoto Nobuhiko (Layfon in Regios), with some great voices behind them: Toyosaki Aki, Ueda Kana, Asumi Kana, Ise Mariya, Hanazawa Kana.
seiyuus: Fujimura Ayumi, Okamoto Nobuhiko, Igarashi Hiromi, Toyosaki Aki, Asumi Kana, Ueda Kana, Ise Mariya, Hanazawa Kana.
director: Sakurai Hiroaki (Di Gi Charat, Les Miserables, GA Geijutsuka)
writer: Ikeda Mamiko (Emma2, Umishou, Regios, Hanasakeru Seishounen). Fujiwara Hiro (manga).
animation: J.C. Staff. chara-des: Imoto Yuki.
trailer. TV Ad. manga. subs: Kaze no Koe Fansubs, Generation NeXt, Chihiro?, Hatsuyuki, Eclipse?. forum.
thu 01 apr 25:55
Ring ni Kakero 1: Shadow
(jp: リングにかけろ1 影道編)
shounen sports adventure
After defeating Black Shaft's Team America, the Golden Japan Jr. team returns to training for the World Tournament that will be held in Tokyo. But during training, the Shadow Clan, which uses boxing as an assasination technique, kidnaps Kiku in order to lure Ryuji and the others into a fight to see who are truly the better representatives of Japan's junior boxers. (ANN)
Series director Komura Toshiaki has done Precure 5 as well as the previous Ring ni Kakero 1 series. Writer Kuroda Yousuke is a writing star, having done Infinite Ryvius, Ookiku Furikabutte, Gundam00, and Requiem for the Phantom, as well as the previous Ring ni Kakero 1 series.
Morita Masakazu and Tanaka Rie star, ably supported by names like Okiayu Ryoutarou, Kamiya Hiroshi, and Midorikawa Hikaru.
seiyuus: Morita Masakazu, Tanaka Rie, Okiayu Ryoutarou, Kusao Takeshi, Ishikawa Hideo, Kamiya Hiroshi, Sakurai Takahiro, Kuroda Takaya, Morikawa Toshiyuki, Midorikawa Hikaru.
director: Komura Toshiaki (series dir; Ring ni Kakero 1, Precure 5)
writer: Kuroda Yousuke (Infinite Ryvius, Big Windup, Requiem for the Phantom). Kurumada Masami (orig; Saint Seiya).
animation: Toei. chara-des: Araki Shingo (Rose of Versailles, Saint Seiya, YuGiOh); Himeno Michi (Rose, Seiya, Ring); Inoue Eisaku (Interlude; anidir here). animation supervisor: Inoue Eisaku (OnePiece, Seiya). art: Kurahashi Takashi (Mononoke).
music: Ueda Susumu (Re Cutie Honey, Ring ni Kakero).
fri 02 apr
To Love-Ru OVA
(jp: OVA ToLOVEる)
ecchi science fiction comedy
Final episode of the OVA series for this fairly popular ecchi comedy.
A glamorous interstellar princess suddenly shows up naked in a teenage boy's room and decides he is to be her husband. Directed by the director of Busou Renkin and Rockman.EXE. Written by the lead writer for Blue Dragon, Busou Renkin, and Simoun.
Outstanding cast features Tomatsu Haruka, Watanabe Akeno, and Yahagi Sayuri, as well as Koyasu Takehito. Comes with special edition of v18 of manga.
seiyuus: Watanabe Akeno, Tomatsu Haruka, Yahagi Sayuri, Arai Satomi, Koyasu Takehito, Hanazawa Kana, Kawasumi Ayako, Nazuka Kaori, Oura Fuyuka.
director: Kato Takao (Busou Renkin, Rockman.EXE)
writer: Yamatoya Akatsuki (Blue Dragon, Busou Renkin, Simoun).
OPED Tomatsu Haruka, Yahagi Sayuri.
trailer. OVA. 6/6?eps. forum.
fri 02 apr
Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou
ecchi seinen fantasy
The story of "love, magic, and battles" revolves around Akuto Sai, a boy who aims to become part of his country's highest order of magicians and contribute to society as one of its clergy. But on the day he is admitted into the Constan Magical Academy, his aptitude test predicts his future occupation as "Devil King." Thus begins a difficult school life: resented by his studious female class head, desired by a girl with mysterious powers, and guarded by a beautiful female android (played by Yuuki Aoi). (ANN)
The preview shows a lot of pantsu and dissolving clothing. Directed by the director of Shakugan no Shana. Written by the writer of Elfen Lied…and Queen's Blade. From a novel.
Fascinating cast includes underrated veterans like Kondou Takashi and Hirohashi Ryou, as well as up-and-coming stars like Yuuki Aoi and Hikasa Youko. Add Itou Shizuka and Yonaga Tsubasa and you've got a cast that bears watching. Here's hoping there's more to the story than it appears.
seiyuus: Kondou Takashi, Toyosaki Aki, Hikasa Youko, Yuuki Aoi, Yonaga Tsubasa, Itou Shizuka, Hirohashi Ryou, Takahashi Chiaki.
director: Watanabe Takashi (Slayers, Shakugan no Shana)
writer: Yoshioka Takao (DearS, Elfen Lied, Sky Girls, Queen's Blade). Mizuki Shoutarou (novel).
animation: Artland. chara-des: Itou Souichi (orig), Ozeki Miyabi (Happiness), Kobayashi Toshimitsu (Futakoi Alt., Spice Wolf 2). animation supervisor: Ozeki Miyabi (Happiness), Kobayashi Toshimitsu (Spice Wolf 2, Fate/SN movie). art: Kawaai Shinji (Doraemon movies, Slayers Revolution).
OP Sphere, ED Aso Natsuko.
trailer. subs: Doki. forum.
fri 02 apr 25:30
(jp: エンジェル ビーツ!)
seinen romantic fighting fantasy
Visual Arts/Key turn from KyoAni to PAWorks (true tears, Canaan) to make their next show. Written by Maeda Jun (AIR, Clannad, Kanon). Expect heart-rending emotional loss in the realms of life and death. Director Kishi Seiji has done comedy (Galaxy Angelune, Seto no Hanayome), but also directed Ragnarok.
Supernatural school adventure set in an eerily normal-looking world after death, where the newly dead battle angels. The previews have some fairly starry battle scenes.
Great names in the cast: Kamiya Hiroshi, Hanazawa Kana, Sawashiro Miyuki, Kimura Ryouhei, Kitamura Eri, Makino Yui, Katou Emiri, Kobayashi Yumiko, Asumi Kana. OP by Lia. Definitely worth a look.
seiyuus: Kamiya Hiroshi, Sakurai Harumi, Hanazawa Kana, Kitamura Eri, Sawashiro Miyuki, Kimura Ryouhei, Makino Yui, Katou Emiri, Kobayashi Yumiko, Asumi Kana.
director: Kishi Seiji (Ragnarok, Galaxy Angelune, Seto no Hanayome)
writer: Maeda Jun (orig and adapt; AIR, Clannad and Kanon games).
animation: PAWorks. chara-des: Hirata Katsuzo (Hand Maid May, Cosplay Complex); Na-Ga (orig., Key designer). animation supervisor: Hirata Katsuzo (Magical? Pokahn, five eps of Gurren Lagann).
OP Lia, ED Tada Aoi.
trailer 6. trailer 8. subs: I Eat Anime, Ryuumaru, Chihiro, Static-Subs, Mazui. 13eps. forum.
fri 02 apr 26:00
Jewelpet 2 --Tinkle
(jp: ジュエルペット 新シリーズ)
kids magic shoujo cute animals
This marketing tie-in magical stuffed-animal show must have helped sell a lot of toys and games for Sanrio and Sega, since even with fairly poor TV ratings, the show is about to start a second 52-week season.
A new director and new writer take over. Sasaki Nanako, who had no previous experience as a director, is replaced by Yamamoto Takashi, who did Final Approach and Nanatsuiro Drops. Writer Maekawa Jun (Wellber, Fresh Precure) is replaced by Shimada Michiru (Emily of New Moon, Shugo Chara). These look like changes for the better, especially on the writing side.
Takamori Natsumi plays a new central heroine, and up-and-coming seiyuu Taketatsu Ayana joins the cast.
seiyuus: Takamori Natsumi, Saitou Ayaka, Sawashirou Miyuki, Taketatsu Ayana, Hirano Aya, Shimizu Ai, Kataoka Azusa, Sasaki Nozomi, Fukuyama Jun.
director: Yamamoto Takashi (Final Approach, Nanatsuiro Drops)
writer: Shimada Michiru (Koi Suru Tenshi Angelique, Emily of New Moon, Nanatsuiro Drops, Shugo Chara, Before Green Gables).
animation: Studio Comet. chara-des: Ibe Yukiko; Miyakawa Tomoko.
sat 03 apr 09:30
SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors
(jp: SDガンダム三国伝 Brave Battle Warriors)
robot fighting fantasy
The Romance of the Three Kingdoms with the heroes reimagined as gundams.
Writer Urahata Tatsuhiko did Monster, Strawberry Panic, and Saki. Directed by the team of Mori Kunihiro (Shounen Onmyouji) and Suzuki Kenichi (Gundam Evolve).
Starring Kaji Yuki as SD Gundam Liu Bei (Ryuu Bi).
seiyuus: Kaji Yuuki, Yasumoto Hiroki, Katou Masayuki.
director: Mori Kunihiro (Shounen Onmyouji), Suzuki Kenichi (Gundam Evolve)
writer: Urahata Tatsuhiko (Monster, Strawberry Panic, Saki). Yatate Hajime (pseudonym for staff), Tomino Yoshiyuki (franchise creator).
animation: Sunrise (planning).
sat 03 apr 10:15
(jp: メジャー 第6シリーズ)
People thought season five was the end, but no! Here comes another season of the highly successful baseball anime about a boy aspiring to follow in his father's footsteps and pitch in the major leagues. He got there at the end of season five. Now what?
seiyuus: Morikubo Showtaro, Namikawa Daisuke, Ochiai Kouji, Morita Masakazu, Sasamoto Yuuko, Sakuya Shunsuke, Noda Junko.
director: Fukushima Toshinori (Major 3-5)
writer: Tsuchiya Michihiro (Kaikan Phrase, Major, Chiko, Cross Game). Mitsuda Takuya (orig).
animation: Synergy SP.
music: Nakagawa Koutarou (Planetes, Major 4-5, Cross Game).
trailer. manga. subs: MinorJa Nai. 25eps. forum.
sat 03 apr 18:00
Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kitan
supernatural historical adventure
Set in the early 1860s. Chizuru is the daughter of a Dutch-trained Japanese doctor who vanishes during a trip to Kyoto. Searching for him, she is attacked by a monster, but saved by members of the Shinsengumi rebels. Because she learns part of their secret, she is held by them and meets more and more of these mysterious men, who end up helping her search for her father and her true past.
Directed for Studio Deen by Yamasaki Osamu (Toward the Terra, Itazura na Kiss). The first venture into anime of Otomate, the games-for-girls company. The 2008 PSP game is coming out this year on DS and PS3.
Great cast includes Kuwashima Houko, Miki Shinichirou, Morikubo Showtaro, Toriumi Kousuke, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Usa Kouji, Ohkawa Tohru, et al.
seiyuus: Kuwashima Houko, Miki Shinichirou, Morikubo Showtaro, Toriumi Kousuke, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Usa Kouji, Ohkawa Tohru.
director: Yamasaki Osamu (Toward the Terra, Itazura na Kiss)
writer: Otomate (original story).
animation: Studio DEEN. chara-des: Nakajima Atsuko (Ranma, You're Under Arrest, Trinity Blood); Kazuki Yoko (orig).
OP Yoshioka Aika, ED mao.
subs: Kesenai. forum.
sat 03 apr 24:30
Metal Fight Beyblade ~Baku~
(jp: メタルファイト ベイブレード)
kids shounen comedy adventure
Successful Sunday morning kids' comedy adventure show rolls over into a new season. No end in sight. The show is based on competitions involving fighting tops, which are sold in real life by Hasbro.
Kanada Aki, Hino Satoshi, Katou Emiri, Shindou Kei, Koyasu Takehito.
Director Sugishima Kunihisa directed Yu-Gi-Oh, so he knows eactly what to do with a show like this. Writer Hasegawa Kutsumi did Macademi Wasshoi!
seiyuus: Hino Satoshi, Katou Emiri, Koyasu Takehito, Shindou Kei, Miyake Kenta, Kanada Aki.
director: Sugishima Kunihisa (Yu-Gi-Oh!, Speed Grapher, Nabari no Ou)
writer: Hasegawa Katsumi (Blue Gender, Final Approach, DCSS, Macademi Wasshoi!).
chara-des: Nagamori Yoshihiro (Kirarin Revolution, Nijuumensou no Musume anidir).
music: Neil Perfitt. OP Yu + Ki.
trailer. subs: ZeroPositive & Yuurisan ?
sun 04 apr 08:30
Hime Chen! Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri
(jp: ひめチェン！おとぎちっくアイドル リルぷりっ)
kids shoujo idol
From a Sega arcade card game. Involves three girls who can change into idol princesses.
sun 04 apr 09:00
(jp: GIANT KILLING)
seinen sports futbol
The first Association Football (i.e., soccer) anime I've seen. From a top-ten manga. Adapted by Kawase Toshifumi, the writer of Higurashi and Umineko. Directed by Kou Yuu, the director of Loveless.
East Tokyo United is struggling in Japan's top division. The club is nearing the bottom of the table. Team morale is low, and fans are deserting.
But in comes a new coach, a former star player who previously abandoned the club to coach in England. He wants to prove to his club and its fans that they can win against the top clubs in the nation.
With a nice professional cast including Seki Tomokazu, Okiayu Ryoutarou, Mizushima Takahiro (Rollo in Code Geass), Ono Daisuke, and Asano Masami.
Check out the manga. It's good. But there are rumors of conflict between the mangaka and the anime staff, so we shall see what we shall see.
seiyuus: Seki Tomokazu, Mizushima Takahiro (Romeo, Rollo), Okiayu Ryoutarou, Ono Daisuke, Kawashima Tokuyoshi, Asano Masami.
director: Kou Yuu (Chrono Crusade, Loveless, Zero no Tsukaima 2-3)
writer: Kawase Toshifumi (Higurashi, Umineko). Tsujitomo (manga); Tsunamoto Masaya (concept).
animation: Studio DEEN. chara-des: Kumatani Tetsuya. animation supervisor: Urasaki Nobumitsu (aniprod.; Umineko). art: Higashi Junichi (City Hunter, Cowboy Bebop, Sekirei).
music: Mori Hideharu. OP The Cherry Cokes, ED G.P.S..
manga. subs: Saizen, ray=out? 26eps. forum.
sun 04 apr 09:25
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
China-Japan co-production has already been shown on Chinese TV. It is a straight, faithful and quite good adaptation of the source, moving quickly through a full telling of the story. But there is an unnerving absence of blood, even in the wildest battles.
The Japanese version was slated to come out last fall, but that never happened, and now it is going to be a Sunday morning show on TV Tokyo.
seiyuus: Funakoshi Eiichirou, Ishii Masanori, Toda Naho, Tsurumi Shingo, Kaga Takeshi.
animation: Beijing Glorious Animation x Future Planet.
sun 04 apr 09:30
moe absurd comedy
The comic strip is hilarious: set in a family restaurant in Hokkaido, with part-time teenage workers and a lazy 28-year-old manageress. Fukuyama Jun, Asumi Kana, the tiny voice of Fujita Saki, Watanabe Kumiko (who plays the lead in Keroro Gunso), Ono Daisuke, Kamiya Hiroshi…the list of good seiyuus goes on and on.
The only question is the director/writer, Hiraike Yoshimasa. He did a decent job directing both Solty Rei and Sketchbook, but is he a writer who can adapt this four-panel comic well? We shall see. This could be a sleeper hit, if he can.
The first episode is out as a preview. I loved it; some others hated it. Absurd humor with moe and slapstick added. The seiyuus are excellent. Fukuyama Jun at his best.
seiyuus: Fukuyama Jun, Asumi Kana, Fujita Saki, Watanabe Kumiko (Keroro Gunsou), Ono Daisuke, Kamiya Hiroshi, Shiraishi Ryouko, Hikasa Youko, Itou Shizuka, Saitou Momoko.
director: Hiraike Yoshimasa (Solty Rei, Sketchbook)
writer: Hiraike Yoshimasa. Takatsu Karino (manga).
animation: A-1 Pictures. chara-des: Adachi Shingo (Rockman.exe Beast+). animation supervisor: Adachi Shingo (Megaman Star Force). art: Tajiri Kenichi (Princess Tutu, Sketchbook, ARIA).
music: MONACA, Inc.. OP Asumi Kana, Fujita Saki, Kitamura Eri. ED Fukuyama Jun, Ono Daisuke, Kamiya Hiroshi.
trailer. manga. subs: Chihiro, Himatsubushi, SHiN-gx, Yuurisan/m.3.3.w. forum.
sun 04 apr 23:00
Arakawa Under the Bridge
(jp: 荒川アンダー ザ ブリッジ)
seinen romantic comedy
A young man who is heir to a large company follows his family's policy of not being in debt to anyone. But he is rescued by a beautiful homeless girl who lives under a bridge over the Arakawa River, and says she is a Venusian. Not wanting to be in debt to her, he ends up agreeing to become her boyfriend and live with her under the bridge, among the weirdos.
Shinbou strikes again. Stars the fascinating combination of Kamiya Hiroshi and Sakamoto Maaya. They are supported by a bevy of voice stars: Sugita Tomokazu, Koyasu Takehito, Fujiwara Keiji, Saitou Chiwa, Sawashiro Miyuki, Sanpei Yuuko, Koyama Rikiya, Tanaka Rie, et al.
Lead writer Akao Deko wrote Natsu no Arashi 2. She had a career as a singer in the 1990s, as Mieno Hitomi.
seiyuus: Kamiya Hiroshi, Sakamoto Maaya, Sugita Tomokazu, Koyasu Takehito, Fujiwara Keiji, Saitou Chiwa, Sawashiro Miyuki, Omigawa Chiaki (Maka/Soul Eater, Jun/Natsu no Arashi), Shintani Ryouko, Sanpei Yuuko, Koyama Rikiya, Chou, Tanaka Rie.
director: Shinbou Akiyuki; series dir Miyamoto Yukihiro
writer: Akao Deko (singer Mieno Hitomi; wrote Natsu no Arashi2). Nakamura Hikaru (manga).
animation: Shaft. chara-des: Sugiyama Nobuhiro (ef). animation supervisor: Sugiyama Nobuhiro (ef assistant). art: Azuma Kohji.
music: Yokoyama Masaru (KimiKiss, Queen's Blade 2). OP Etsuko Yakushimaru, ED Suneohair.
trailer. TV ad. manga. subs: Kesenai, Formula, Yuurisan? 13 eps? forum.
sun 04 apr 25:35
(jp: キス×シス (2010))
ecchi harem incest comedy
The popularity of the extremely ecchi and quite well-made OVA series has spawned a full TV series.
Keita, a third-year junior-high student, is studying for his high school entrance exams. His slightly older twin unrelated stepsisters, Ako and Riko, love him and lust after him and compete for his affection. After initial resistance, Keita begins to become attracted to them, and much ensues.
Director Nawa Munenori did Otoboku and Nogizaka Haruka. Manga-writer Ditama Bow did Mahoromatic and Juuden-chan. Anime-writer Hasegawa Katsumi did Final Approach and Otoboku. You get the picture.
Listen for Taketatsu Ayana, who plays Ako, and is Azusa in K-On.
seiyuus: Taketatsu Ayana (Azusa/K-On), Tatsumi Yuiko, Takeuchi Ken, Nagata Yoriko, Imai Asami, Okame Asuka.
director: Nawa Munenori (Otoboku, Nogizaka Haruka)
writer: Ditama Bow (manga; also Mahoromatic, Fight Ippatsu Juuden-chan). Hasegawa Katsumi (Final Approach, Otoboku).
animation: Feel (DaCapo2, Futakoi Alternative, Otoboku). chara-des: Shitaya Tomoyuki (Night Wizard, Hatsukoi Limited; Railgun chief anidir). animation supervisor: Suzuki Gou (Kanamemo); Tatsuta Shinichi (Kanamemo). art: Kosakabe Naoko.
music: Ueki Mizuki. OP Taketatsu Ayana/Tatsumi Yuiko, ED Ogura Yui + Ishihara Kaori.
subs: Ayako, Doki, Ryuumaru, Hatsuyuki. 13 eps. forum.
mon 05 apr 23:30
Senkou no Night Raid
historical action drama
Set in Shanghai in 1931. The story involves a secret Japanese spy organization preparing for Japan's invasion of China. The second offering in the new Anime no Chikara time slot, following Sora no Woto.
The director of Persona Trinity Soul and the writer of The Third and Innocent Venus. I liked The Third a lot.
I'm a bit worried about how this Japanese staff will portray the situation in China. But I'm eager to find out and enjoy the show if I can.
The presence of Namikawa Daisuke and Yoshino Hiroyuki make me think this show, despite some violence, will have a gentle side.
Canadian (quebecoise) singer Himeka gets another ED. Music by well-known violinist/composer Hakase Tarou (Space Symphony Maetel; many TV themes; accompanies Celine Dion on To Love You More).
seiyuus: Namikawa Daisuke, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Hoshino Takanori, Ikuta Yoshiko.
director: Matsumoto Jun (Persona Trinity Soul)
writer: Onishi Shinsuke (The Third, Innocent Venus).
animation: A-1 Pictures. chara-des: Sasaki Keigo (anidir eps of Basara) ; Kamijyou Akamine (mangaka Samurai Deeper Kyo). art: Kanehira Kazushige (art setting; Noein, Ryoko, FMA2).
music: Hakase Tarou (Space Symphony Maetel; huge musical figure in Japan). OP Mucc, ED Himeka.
trailer. subs: Kaze no Koe, Phuzy. 12-13eps. forum.
mon 05 apr 25:30
Mayoi Neko Overrun!
The protagonist is a boy who lives with his older unrelated sister. She manages a run-down patisserie called Stray Cats. One day, she picks up a mysterious beautiful girl off the streets. (Anidb)
The preview shows some nice backgrounds, and the cast looks good, from stars Itou Kanae, Iguchi Yuka, Taketatsu Ayana, and Okamoto Nobuhiko to a supporting cast including Hocchan and Yukarin, as well as Satou Rina, Arai Satomi, and Yoshino Hiroyuki.
No main director. Novelist Matsu Tomohiro is the lead writer.
seiyuus: Itou Kanae, Iguchi Yuka, Taketatsu Ayana, Satou Satomi, Okamoto Nobuhiko, Horie Yui, Tamura Yukari, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Majima Junji, Satou Rina, Arai Satomi.
writer: Matsu Tomohiro (novel, lead writer). Kimura Noboru (work on Phantom, DokiDoki School Hours, Amenaideyo, etc.).
animation: AIC (Pumpkin Scissors, Sasameki Koto). chara-des: Peco (orig), Nakamoto Naoko (Shrine of Morning Mist).
OPED Itou Kanae, Iguchi Yuka, Taketatsu Ayana..
trailer. subs: Doki, Nekomimi. 12eps. forum.
tue 06 apr 23:00
Rainbow -- Nisha Rokubou no Shichijin
(jp: RAINBOW 二舎六房の七人)
"The seven in block 2, room 6." From an acclaimed manga about six junior delinquents and their mentor at the Shounan Special Reform School, near Tokyo, in 1955.
The story follows the boys' lives during their time in the school andin the years after they get out. The manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award in 2006 and has sold over 30 million copies through its first 21 volumes.
Koujina Hiroshi (Kiba, Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro) directs for Madhouse. Takayashiki Hideo (Akagi, Kaiji, Maison Ikkoku) is lead writer, and Kikuchi Ai (animation director on Kiba, Nougami Neuro) does character design.
Actor Oguri Shun (Gokusen, Hana Yori Dango , Crows Zero, FMA Shamballa movie) stars. Film and TV actress Kanjiya Shihori co-stars. With Koyama Rikiya, Fujiwara Keiji, Paku Romi, Kuroda Takaya, Hayashibara Megumi and others. Could be the real deal.
seiyuus: Oguri Shun (TV/film actor), Kanjiya Shihori (TV/film actress), Koyama Rikiya, Waki Tomohiro, Fujiwara Keiji, Paku Romi, Kuroda Takaya, Hasome Tatsuya (TV/film/anime), Hashi Takaya, Hayashibara Megumi.
director: Koujina Hiroshi (Grenadier, Kiba)
writer: Takayashiki Hideo (Maison Ikkoku, Akagi, Kaiji, One Outs, Rideback). George Abe (manga story), Kakizaki Masasumi (manga art).
animation: Madhouse. chara-des: Kikuchi Ai (Kiba anidir). animation supervisor: Kikuchi Ai (Kiba), (Grenadier, Nougami Neuro). art: Shimiu Tomoyuki (Top Secret, NANA, Aoi Bungaku 1-4).
manga. subs: Saizen. forum.
tue 06 apr 24:59
moe slice-of-life comedy
A second series of the smash-hit moe slice-of-life comedy. The same cast and staff return.
Since the first season aired last spring, many of the five lead seiyuus have had plenty of new work. Toyosaki Aki, in particular, has become a moe star, with leading roles in Kanamemo, Railgun, and Seikon no Qwesar, and a "best new seiyuu" award.
But Kotobuki Minako (Umi Monogatari), Taketatsu Ayana (Yumeiro Patissiere, Baka to Test), Satou Satomi (Kiruminzuu), and Hikasa Youko (Chu-bra, Seikon no Qwesar) have also had their careers energized. Reminds me of what Suzumiya Haruhi did for its cast.
I lost interest in the original series about halfway through, but it certainly hit the right notes for a huge number of fans.
seiyuus: Toyosaki Aki, Hikasa Youko, Satou Satomi, Kotobuki Minako, Taketatsu Ayana, Sanada Asami, Yonezawa Madoka, Fujitou Chika.
director: Yamada Naoko
writer: Yoshida Reiko. kakifly (manga).
animation: Kyoto Animation. chara-des: Horiguchi Yukiko. art: Tamura Seiki.
trailer. manga. subs: Frostii, Chihiro, CoalGuys. 13?eps. forum.
tue 06 apr 25:25
Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru
The title means: "Betrayal Knows My Name."
Sakurai Yuki is a mysterious boy with a mysterious ability. He was found in the bushes as a baby and adopted by his current family. Because of this, Yuki strives for independence. The last thing he wants is to be a burden to anybody. Furthermore, when he touches others, he can feel their emotions. Unable to control his ability, he often makes insensitive blunders. With death threats and his abilities increasing, what will happen when a man claiming to be his older brother appears? (manga description from mangafox)
"Uraboku" features an absolutely amazing cast of male seiyuus -- Houshi Souichirou, Sakurai Takahiro, Fukuyama Jun, Ono Daisuke, Miyano Mamoru, Kamiya Hiroshi, Hino Satoshi, Miki Shinichirou, Koyasu Takehito, Ishida Akira -- with some pretty darn good female seiyuus thrown in: Inoue Marina, Yahagi Sayuri, Yukana.
Director Sakurabi Katsushi did Tsukihime and Asatte no Houkou. Writer Takahashi Natsuko did Gakuen Heaven, Blue Drop, and Tokyo Magnitude 8.
The manga runs in Asuka monthly, which has published manga such as Neo Angelique Abyss, Trinity Blood, Saiunkoku Monogatari, Shounen Onmyouji, and Kyo Kara Maoh. The yaoi aspects are real, but apparently more implied than up-front.
Story, cast, and staff will have me right there for this one.
seiyuus: Houshi Souichirou, Sakurai Takahiro, Inoue Marina, Fukuyama Jun, Ono Daisuke, Miyano Mamoru, Kamiya Hiroshi, Hino Satoshi, Miki Shinichirou, Narita Ken, Yahagi Sayuri, Okamoto Nobuhiko, Yukana, Koyasu Takehito, Ishida Akira.
director: Sakurabi Katsushi (Tsukihime, Asatte no Houkou)
writer: Takahashi Natsuko (Gakuen Heaven, Blue Drop, Tokyo Magnitude 8). Odagiri Hotaru (manga).
animation: JCStaff. chara-des: Matsuura Mai (key animator), Nakayama Yumi. animation supervisor: Nakayama Yumi (Ai yori Aoshi, Karin). art: Kakoi Hirotsugu (07Ghost, Hatsukoi Limited).
music: Kaida Shougo.
manga. subs: Yuurisan. forum.
sun 11 apr 24:00
seinen samurai comedy/drama
Akitsu Masanosuke is a timid ronin on his way to Edo from the countryside when he accidentally encounters a playboy named Yaichi, who asks him to be his bodyguard. But it turns out that Yaichi is actually the leader of a group of bandits called the "Five Leaves," and he's hoping that Masanosuke will join them. Masanosuke is reluctant to help them, but as he grows closer to his eccentric new companions, he learns to relate to them and grow as a person in the process. (ANN)
The second weekly anime in an expanded noitaminA timeslot this season, along with Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei.
I'm a big fan of director/writer Mochizuki Tomomi (YKK, Zettai Shounen, wrote Touka Gettan and storyboarded Yami to Boushi to Hon). He once again works with a solid cast: Namikawa Daisuke, Sakurai Takahiro, Oura Fuyuka, Uchida Yuya (Nijuumensou), and Takatsuka Masaya (Blue Dragon).
seiyuus: Namikawa Daisuke, Sakurai Takahiro, Oura Fuyuka, Takatsuka Masaya (Blue Dragon), Uchida Yuya.
director: Mochizuki Tomomi (YYK, Zettai Shounen, Touka Gettan)
writer: Mochizuki Tomomi (YYK, Touka Gettan). Ono Natsume (manga).
animation: Manglobe. chara-des: Nakazawa Kazuto (Starship Girl, Ashita no Najda, Samurai Champloo). animation supervisor: Yamashita Yoshimitsu (Madlax, Bleach, Requiem for Phantom). art: Watanabe Michie (Nagasareta Airandou, Sacred Blacksmith).
music: Kondou Yukio (Elfen Lied, I"s Pure); Konishi Kayo (Elfen Lied, I"s Pure). OP immi, ED Rake.
trailer. trailer 2. subs: Yuurisan? 12 eps. forum.
thu 15 apr 25:15
Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei
seinen comedy drama
Kyoto University reminiscences. "Collected Myths of a Four-and-a-Half-Mat Room."
Yuasa Makaaki (Kaiba, Kemonozume) tries his unique style on a new kind of story. The undependable Ueda Makoto (School Days, Katanagatari) adapts the novel.
Sakamoto Maaya heads a fine cast. OP by Asian Kung-fu Generation.
One of two noitaminA shows this season, along with Sarai-ya Goyou, which airs immediately after it on Thursday nights.
seiyuus: Sakamoto Maaya, Asanuma Shintarou, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Suwabe Junichi, Fujiwara Keiji, Kaida Yuuko.
director: Yuasa Masaaki (Kemonozume, Kaiba)
writer: Ueda Makoto. Morimi Tomihiko (novel).
animation: Madhouse. chara-des: Nakamura Yuusuke (orig).
OP Asian Kung-fu Generation, ED Junji Ishiwatari & Yoshinori Sunahara + Etsuko Yakushimaru.
trailer. trailer 2. subs: Frostii. 11eps. forum.
thu 22 apr 24:45
xxxHOLIC - Rou
fantasy magic seinen
More xxxHOLIC for lovers of the previous series and OVAs. 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.
Issued with a special edition of volume 17 of the manga. ED by the wonderful Suga Shikao.
seiyuus: Ohara Sayaka, Fukuyama Jun, Nakai Kazuya, Itou Shizuka, Kikuchi Mika.
director: Mizushima Tsutomu (Kujibiki, Ookiku, Dai Mahou Touge)
writer: Ohkawa Nanase (CCS).
animation: Production IG. chara-des: Kise Kazuchika (GITS movies, Evangelion 1.0).
ED Suga Shikao.
trailer. manga. OVA. 1eps.
fri 23 apr
Winter Sonata (Japanese voices)
The huge drama hit gets an anime series. Largely Korean production, with some Japanese input. Most of the original Korean actors did the voices for the Korean version.
Get out your handkerchiefs. Mine has had a good workout through 18 episodes of the Korean version (Japanese subbed). Although I can't claim this is a great anime. It's all in the story.
The final scene will be live-action. Thirty Japanese fans (all middle-aged women) were injured when a platform collapsed after they had watched the filming, at a Korean resort.
No firm date yet announced for the Japanese-dubbed version to start. Just "April 2010."
director: Yoon Suk-ho
writer: Kim Hyon-wan.
animation: G&G Entertainment×JM Animation. chara-des: Nakayama Daisuke (draft; studio realthing, ex-Studio 4°C).
trailer. 26eps. forum.
Mahou Sensei Negima! - Another World
(jp: 魔法先生ネギま！～もうひとつの世界～ 第３話)
magic moe comedy
Third episode of a four-episode OVA covering the Mahou Sekai story arc. Shinbou is back to direct, and mangaka Akamatsu Ken writes this series as he did the previous OVA series. Also back from the previous OVA series is animator/character designer Jitsuhara Noboru.
seiyuus: Satou Rina, Shiratori Yuri, Kimura Madoka, Sasagawa Ayana, Kuwatani Natsuko, Yamakawa Kotomi, Asakura Azumi, Itou Shizuka, Kanda Akemi, Bandou Ai.
director: Akiyuki Shinbou
writer: Akamatsu Ken. Akamatsu Ken (manga).
animation: Studio Pastorale, Shaft. chara-des: Jitsuhara Noboru. animation supervisor: Jitsuhara Noboru.
OP Satou Rina, Akemi Kanda, Nonaka Ai, Kobayashi Yu,.
manga. OVA. 3/4eps. forum.
mon 17 may
kissxsis OVA episode 3
(jp: kiss×sis 第3話)
ecchi harem incest comedy
DVD comes with volume 6 of the extremely ecchi manga, about a high-school boy whose two older sisters are constantly trying to get into his pants. A full TV series begins in April.
This episode is called ep3, but is actually the fourth in the series, since there was an episode zero.
seiyuus: Takeuchi Ken, Taketatsu Ayana, Tatsumi Yuiko.
director: Nawa Munenori
writer: Ditama Bow (Mahoromatic, mangaka).
animation: feel. chara-des: Shitaya Tomoyuki (Night Wizard), Masuda, Kuniaki. animation supervisor: Masuda, Kuniaki (Kanamemo). art: Kosakabe Naoko (Mahoromatic, Nyan Koi).
OP Takahashi Nana, ED Tatsumi Yuiko.
subs: Ayako. OVA. 4/4eps. forum.
fri 04 jun
Utawarerumono OVA episode 3
(jp: OVA うたわれるもの 第3巻)
seinen fantasy adventure
The OVA is based on the popular fantasy adventure game and anime series, but with all new staff and studio. First-time director Katsura Kenichirou did character design on Comic Party Revolution and wrote some of DC Da Capo.
The outstanding cast is back, however: Koyama Rikiya, Yuzuki Ryouka (Yuki-nee in Candy Boy), Sawashiro Miyuki, Ohara Sayaka, Nakahara Mai, Kugimiya Rie, Tanaka Atsuko.
Fans of the TV series are divided on the OVA. Many feel there is a bit too much fanservice. Some feel the characters' personalities have changed.
seiyuus: Koyama Rikiya, Yuzuki Ryouka, Sawashiro Miyuki, Ohara Sayaka, Nakahara Mai, Kugimiya Rie, Tanaka Atsuko, Watanabe Akeno.
director: Katsura Kenichirou
writer: Kouno Takamitsu.
animation: Chaos Project/Aquaplus. chara-des: Katsura Kenichirou, Amazuyu Tatsuki (orig).
OP Suara, ED Uehara Rena.
trailer. OVA. 3/3eps. forum.
wed 23 jun
Ai no Kusabi
yaoi erotica romance
Intriguing 13-episode OVA remake of the 1990s yaoi sci-fi OVA, from a famous series of yaoi novels. "Heavy story, action, and a twisted relationship," to quote "cheesie"on AnimeSuki. Even if you don’t normally like yaoi, it sounds as if this is a show to check out.
On planet Amoi, a great computerized city is ruled by supercomputer Jupiter. The populace is almost entirely male and status is based on hair color: silvers and blondes are the elite, and black-hairs are the dregs of society, often known as "mongrels".
Blondes keep young boys as "pets" for a few years, especially for performing sexual acts for the Blondes' voyeuristic pleasure. Blondes aren't suppose to keep pets for long or interact sexually with them, but one blonde named Iason Mink has kept a pet named Rikki for years and is rumored to sleep with him.
Iason refuses to let go of Rikki, even with Jupiter's disapproval. Rikki fights with his emotions and society's problems, unable to decide what to do about his old friend/lover Gai (Guy) and their gang. Iason is obsessed with keeping Rikki, and Rikki doesn't know what to do: fight against him or surrender to him. (ANN)
Director Akiyama Katsuhito did Pumpkin Scissors and Inazuma Eleven. Yoshihara Reiko does the anime adaptation of her own novel. Conceptual art by one of the designers of Appleseed and Blue Drop. The preview looks great.
No date yet, just "spring 2010" -- and that used to be "fall 2009."An event scheduled for 22 March was cancelled a couple of weeks from the date. Looks bad.
seiyuus: Itou Kentarou, Ohkawa Tooru, Miki Shinichirou, Toriumi Kousuke (Raven/Pandora).
director: Akiyama Katsuhito (Pumpkin Scissors, Inazuma 11)
writer: Yoshihara Rieko (orig. novelist and lead writer).
animation: AIC. chara-des: Onda Naoyuki (LoGH, Ergo Proxy).
trailer. OVA. 1/13eps. forum.
conceptual art: Takeuchi Atsushi (I.G. - Appleseed, Blue Drop)
Black Rock Shooter
(jp: BLACK★ROCK SHOOTER)
The first independent animation project by Yamamoto Yutaka's ordet studio.
But this is not directed by Yamakan himself, who passes the job to fellow-KyoAni refugee Yoshioka Shinobu and retains the title of "supervising editor," as Shinbou sometimes does.
Music by suddenly famous amateur ryo, who wrote the Bakemonogatari ED, and performed in it as part of supercell. Stars two outstanding voices: Hanazawa Kana and Sawashiro Miyuki (both of whom were also in Yamakan's Kannagi).
To be streamed free June 25 to August 31. No date yet for DVD/BD. This show is produced by the owner of the figure company, GoodSmile, so it can be distributed free as advertising for present and future figures and other goods.
VAs: Hanazawa Kana, Sawashiro Miyuki. director: Yoshioka Shinobu (eps of Haruhi, Kanon, Lucky Star, Kannagi)
writer: huke (orig).
animation: Ordet. chara-des: Matsui Yuusuke. art: Morikawa Atsushi (Wolf's Rain, Kannagi)
music: ryo. sound: Kikuta Hiromi
trailer. 50min x one ep. OVA. forum.
supervising editor: Yamamoto Yutaka
D.C. ~Da Capo~ Ekusute
(jp: D.C.～ダ・カーポ～ エクステ)
magic romance harem
The fifth Da Capo anime series. Rumor has it that it will be a magical girl anime featuring Sakura, but there is no official info yet. That makes it seem less and less likely it will start this spring, as proposed.
writer: CIRCUS (orig.).
animation: chara-des: Fujioka Maki.
subs: SGKK Fansubs and RocketGang?, Doki. forum.