Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winter 2014 Anime -- Full Previews of 40 New Shows

The winter season was never like this: 40 new shows in a season that usually has less than 30. Nothing that looks like an immediate masterpiece, but lots of promising possibilities.

I'll give full details of each show, with images, stories, staff, cast, and links to trailers, mangas, and discussions. But first, in alphabetical order, here are brief notes about some shows that seem particularly promising to me:
  • Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren -- Another season of KyoAni's big comedy hit, featuring romance, juvenile delusions, and Uchida Maaya.
  • D-Frag! -- Harem comedy with a strong cast (Konishi Katsuyuki, Hanazawa Kana, Itou Shizuka, et al.), written by Uezu Makoto and directed by a man who has done episodes of Kurenai and Kids on the Slope.
  • Hoozuki no Reitetsu -- Episodic comedy in hell, wryly portraying the exploits of a sadistic bureaucrat, an assistant to the King of Hell.
  • Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha -- A girl living near the great Fushimi fox shrine in Kyoto helps a little fox and in return is granted the ability to change her form. Things don't quite work out the way she hoped, however. Broad situation comedy directed by a man who directed episodes of Utena and Monster.
  • Mahou Sensou -- "Magical warfare." A great cast headed by Miyano Mamoru, Touyama Nao, and Seto Asami. Directed by the director of Pita Ten and Kaiji. Our high-school boy (and kendo black belt) hero helps a girl he finds collapsed on the school grounds, and she accidentally involves him in a war among wizards.
  • Nisekoi -- Shinbou tries his hand at romantic comedy. In order to prevent a war between two criminal gangs, the daughter of the boss of one gang and the son of the boss of the other are ordered by their fathers to pretend to be in love.
  • Nobunaga the Fool -- A new science fiction epic from Kawamori Shouji, who made Macross Frontier. The cast is headed by Miyano Mamoru and Sakurai Takahiro, Hikasa Youko, Chihara Minori, and Koyama Rikiya.
  • No-Rin -- Oonuma Shin (ef, Baka to Test, Watamote) works with Tamura Yukari, Hanazawa Kana, Saitou Chiwa and others to create a show in which a famous idol suddenly shows up as a student in the male lead's high school.
  • pupa -- Great director Mochizuki Tomomi's horror anime about a girl who transforms into a human-eating monster, and her brother who tries to save her by offering himself as her food. Budding star Kido Ibuki plays the girl/monster. Unfortunately, these will only be five-minute episodes, it turns out.
  • Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okashiinda ga -- Classic ecchi bro-con set-up in which a younger sister is suddenly possessed by a ghost girl and finds herself making out with her brother. Adapted by the writer of Kannagi and OreImo from a manga by the artist who did Inukami.
  • Sailor Moon 20th anniversary new anime -- Supposed to come out this season, but no specific date yet.
  • Sakura Trick -- Sweet yuri romance starring Tomatsu Haruka and Iguchi Yuka, directed by the director of Da Capo III.
  • Space Dandy -- Watanabe Shinichirou (Cowboy Bebop, Kids on the Slope) brings us a madcap space comedy starring Suwabe Junichi, one of my favorite voices. The creators are a who's who of great names, including Taniguchi Gorou (Planetes, Code Geass) and Yuasa Masaaki (Tatami Galaxy).
  • To Aru Hikuushi e no Koiuta -- "Love Song For a Certain Pilot." Romantic adventure starring Yuuki Aoi and directed by the director of Rinne no Lagrange. Set in the same world as The Princess and the Pilot.
  • Wake Up, Girls! -- Yamamoto Yutaka ("Yamakan"), who made his name with the Haruhi ED and Kannagi, returns with an idol comedy. This should be right up his alley.
  • Witchcraft Works -- Seto Asami stars as a high-school girl who is secretly the strongest witch in the world, there in school to protect the male lead, whom she calls her "princess." Directed and written by Mizushima Tsutomu (Squid Girl, Genshiken).
  • Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil -- The director of Kite Liberator directs a comedy adventure about a girl who is the youngest "wizard barrister," defending wizards in cases brought against them by humans.
  • World Conquest - The Zvezda Plot -- An odd departure for Okamura Tensai (Wolf's Rain, Darker than Black), who directs a loli-ecchi action comedy in which young girls in revealing costumes set out to conquer the world.
Some good shows are continuing from previous seasons, as well: Golden Time, Nagi no Asu kara, Tokyo Ravens, Strike the Blood, Ace of the Diamond, Magi 2, Yowamushi Pedal, Samurai Flamenco, Kill La Kill.

Click through from the alphabetical list below to full details of each show, which are given in chronological order.

Buddy Complex     ● Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren     ● D-Frag!     ● Future Card Buddy Fight     ● Gin no Saji (2014)     ● Go! Go! 575     ● Hamatora     ● Happiness Charge Precure     ● Hoozuki no Reitetsu     ● Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha     ● Mahou Sensou     ● Maken-ki! Two     ● Mikakunin de Shinkoukei     ● Minna Atsumare! Falcom Gakuen     ● Nisekoi     ● Nobunaga the Fool     ● Nobunagun     ● Noragami     ● No-Rin     ● Onee-chan ga Kita     ● pupa     ● Pupipo!     ● Robot Girls Z     ● Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okashiinda ga     ● Sailor Moon 20th anniversary new anime     ● Saki: Zenkoku Hen     ● Sakura Trick     ● Seitokai Yakuindomo *     ● Space Dandy     ● Strange+     ● Super Sonico The Animation     ● To Aru Hikuushi e no Koiuta     ● Tonari no Seki-kun     ● Wake Up, Girls!     ● Witchcraft Works     ● Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil     ● Wooser no Sono Higurashi Kakusei Hen     ● World Conquest -- The Zvezda Plot     ● Youkai Watch     ● Z/X: Ignition

-- information from official sites, MoonPhaseAniDBAnime News NetworkJapanese Wikipediaet al.
-- English titles link to the Anime News Network encyclopedia; Japanese titles link to official sites. "forum" links to AnimeSuki forum threads.
-- click images to enlarge. 

Winter 2014 TV Anime Series
(in chronological order by date/time of first broadcast)

  (jp: プピポー!)   jpWiki

supernatural comedy
director: Suzuki Kaoru (eps of Hellsing, Acchi Kocchi, etc.)
writer: Nakajou Tomofumi (Maji de Otaku na English! Ribon-chan). Oshikiri Rensuke (manga).
seiyuus: Sasaki Chiho, Mori Chisato, Itou Setsuo, Gotou Mai, Miyazawa Tadashi, Ookubo Hanae, Misao, Fujiwara Keiji, Ootsuka Kotomi.
animation: AIC PLUS+.
trailer. manga.
starts fri 20 dec 25:53

Fifth grader Wakaba can see invisible beings other people can't. Because of this, she is bullied by her classmates and spends her days alone.

But one day, she meets a strange pink creature who only says "pupipo." It becomes fond of Wakaba and protects her from evil beings. With its help, she befriends a girl obsessed with the occult. And then she meets a boy who can also see invisible beings, and decides to help him get rid of them.

Long-time storyboarder and episode director Suzuki Kaoru gets her first full show. Writer Nakajou Tomofumi did the English-instruction anime Maji de Otaku na English! Ribon-chan. Most of the seiyuus are unknowns. It's hard to say whether this show will be worth watching or not. I like the design of the main character, which comes straight from the manga. EDIT: The first episode has aired, and it was four minutes long. Otherwise a bit more serious show than I thought it would be. Enjoyable.

Future Card Buddy Fight
  (jp: フューチャーカード バディファイト)   jpWiki

kids' shounen fighting
director: Ikeda Shigetaka (eps. of Kaiji, Steins;Gate, SAO)
writer: Akahoshi Masanao (Index, Freezing). Ikeda Michio 池田芳生, Bushiroad. Kidani Takaaki (general supervisor of production).
seiyuus: Mizuno Marie, Oohata Shintarou, Terakawa Aimi, Yasumoto Hiroki, Kitta Izumi, Tokui Sora, Morishima Shuuta, Saitou Souma, Sasaki Mikoi.
animation: OLM Xebec. OP Suara and Psychic Lover.
starts sat 04 jan 08:00

Based on a Bushiroad collectible card game. The director has previously only directed epsiodes. The writer, however, adapted Index and Freezing.

The seiyuus are interesting lesser-known voices: Mizuno Marie, Kitta Izumi, Tokui Sora, etc. OP by Suara and Psychic Lover. The trailer is for the card game.

Robot Girls Z
  (jp: ロボットガールズZ)   jpWiki

comedy action/adventure with robots and fanservice
director: Ikehata Hiroshi (eps of KuruKuru Shuffle, Moyashimon, Saki, etc.)
writer: Hyodo Kazuho (Tactical Roar, Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai). Nagai Gou (based on his Mazinger and Grendizer shows).
seiyuus: Minase Iori (Suzu in Love Lab), Aranami Kazusa, Honda Mariko (Kurimu in Seitokai no Ichizon), Hisakawa Aya, Tsuji Ayumi, Touyama Nao, Kitaoka Chiharu, Takaoka Kaori, Satou Satomi, Morishita Yukiko.
animation: Toei.
trailer. 9x10mineps. forum.
starts sat 04 jan 17:30

Robot Girls Z is a three-girl unit assigned to promote the future energy source Photon Energy, and to eliminate any enemies who want to take Photon Energy for themselves. The team's members are Z-chan (based on Mazinger Z), Gre-chan (based on Great Mazinger), and Grenda-san (based on UFO Robo Grendizer).

Three lesser-known younger seiyuus take the lead, but with a few bigger names behind them. Director Ikehata Hiroshi does his first series, having previously directed/storyboarded episodes (KuruKuru Shuffle, Moyashimon, Saki) and directed one special (Toei Robot Girls). Writer Hyodo Kazuho did Tactical Roar and Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai. Nagai Gou, author of the Mazinger and Grendizer shows, is credited as the author whose work is being adapted. The nine ten-minute episodes will be broadcast in three groups of three.

Seitokai Yakuindomo *
  (jp: 生徒会役員共*)   jpWiki

school comedy with dirty thoughts
director: Kanazawa Hiromichi (Princess Lover, Asa made Jugyou Chu)
writer: Nakamura Makoto (Princess Lover, Telepathy Shoujo Ran). Ujjie Tozen (manga).
seiyuus: Asanuma Shintarou, Hikasa Youko, Satou Satomi, Yahagi Sayuri, Shimoda Asami, Kobayashi Yuu, Omigawa Chiaki, Arai Satomi, Katou Emiri, Tamura Mutsumi, Hino Miho, Hirano Fumi, Shiina Hekiru, Saitou Chiwa.
animation: GoHands. OP Triple Booking (seiyuus), ED Satou Satomi.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sat 04 jan 20:30

After one series and eight OVAs, here comes a second series of this comedy featuring a weird group of girls in the student council, led by an innocent maiden whose mind is fixated on sex.

The cast is outstanding. They do a lot to help make this anime work: Hikasa Youko, Satou Satomi, Yahagi Sayuri and many more. The director and writer did Princess Lover together. The director did the fairly raunchy Asa made Jugyo Chu, and the writer did the (to me) forgettable Telepathy Shoujo Ran.

Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okashiinda ga
  (jp: 最近, 妹のようすがちょっとおかしいんだが)   jpWiki

ecchi bro-con romantic comedy
director: Hata Hiroyuki (storyboards and ep dir Big Windup, AmagamiSS, Girls Panzer)
writer: Kurata Hideyuki (Kannagi, OreImo, etc.). Matsuzawa Mari (manga; Inukami art).
seiyuus: Hashimoto Chinami (debut), Majima Junji, Ogura Yui, Kanemoto Hisako.
animation: Project No.9. OP seiyuus, ED Ogura Yui.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sat 04 jan 22:30

After her mother remarries and goes overseas with her new husband, Mitsuki finds herself living awkwardly alone with her new step-brother Yuuya. She has trouble with men because of her bad relationship with her real father. One day, however, Mitsuki is possessed by the spirit of another girl, Hiyori, and finds herself climbing all over her new brother in passion.

Hashimoto Chinami makes her seiyuu debut as Mitsuki. Ogura Yui appears in another ecchi comedy. An adult video live-action version -- with different actors, of course -- will come out next spring.

Writer Kurata Hideyuki is a top hand at ecchi comedy, having done shows like Kannagi and OreImo. Director Hata Hiroyuki is a long-time storyboarder and episode director getting his first full show. Animation director/charades Suzuki Dai is doing those jobs for the first time here. Project No.9 is a newish studio doing its second full show, following Roh-Kyu-Bu. I expect this to be entertaining ecchi comedy.

  (jp: ノブナガン)   jpWiki

action comedy with weapons
director: Kondou Nobuhiro (Keroro Gunsou)
writer: Yamaguchi Hiroshi (ToHeart, Rosario+Vampire). Hisa Masato (manga).
seiyuus: Mutou Shiori, Suzuki Tatsuhisa, Shimazaki Nobunaga, Asakawa Yuu, Ishida Akira, Uesaka Sumire, Saitou Chiwa, Yasumura Makoto, Tsuda Kenjirou, Tamura Mutsumi, Murase Ayumu, Inoue Haruno, Satou Ai, Yusa Kouji, Watanabe Akeno, Tobita Nobuo.
animation: Bridge.
trailer. forum.
starts sun 05 jan 22:00

Government agents with mysterious weapons protect our high-school-girl heroine from attacks by monsters. The weapons are imbued with the spirits of historical figures, from the gravitational weapon Newton to a barrier weapon called the Gandhi. Our heroine discovers within herself the ability to wield a weapon called the Nobunagun, named after the Japanese warlord Nobunaga.

Stars Mutou Shiori, in her seiyuu debut. Directed by the director of the long-running family comedy Keroro Gunsou. Adapted by the writer of ToHeart (a plus) and Rosario+Vampire (a minus).

Minna Atsumare! Falcom Gakuen
  (jp: みんな集まれ! ファルコム学園)   jpWiki

comic strip comedy
director: Pipya
seiyuus: Kaji Yuuki, Kanda Akemi, Saiga Mitsuki, Shindou Naomi, Mizuhashi Kaori, Okitsu Kazuyuki, Kakihara Tetsuya, Koyasu Takehito, Kondo Takayuki, Konno Hiromi, Nishihara Kumiko, Baba Keisuke, Satou Takuya, Kotera Kanako.
animation: DAX Production, Chara Ani.

starts sun 05 jan 22:27

This series of three-minute episodes features characters from games by the Nihon Falcom video game company, one of the founders of the Japanese video game industry, particularly with PC role-playing games. Their titles include Dragon Slayer, The Legend of Heroes, and Ys.

Director pipya did storyboards and scripts for Shiba Inuko-san and storyboards for Ishida to Asakura. Good cast (Kaji Yuuki, Saiga Mitsuki, et al.) but I have no idea what this will be like.

Witchcraft Works
  (jp: ウィッチクラフトワークス)   jpWiki

seinen magic fantasy
director: Mizushima Tsutomu (xxxHolic, Squid Girl, Genshiken)
writer: Mizushima Tsutomu. Mizunagu Ryuu (manga).
seiyuus: Seto Asami (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Kobayashi Yuusuke, Izawa Shiori, Kayano Ai.
animation: JC Staff.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sun 05 jan 22:30

Takamiya Honoka seems an ordinary boy. Like everyne else, he admires the girl who sits next to him in class, Kagari Ayaka, who is athletic, pretty, and smart. Unbeknownst to him, she also happens to be the most powerful witch on Earth, and her purpose in life is to protect her "princess," Takamiya, at all costs.

Successful director Mizushima Tsutomu (Genshiken) has top young seiyuus Seto Asami and Kayano Ai to work with here. He is his own lead writer, but has two of the best -- Yokote Michiko and Yoshida Reiko -- writing scripts for him. I have a feeling that JC Staff may have another hit on its hands.

Space Dandy
  (jp: スペース☆ダンディ)   jpWiki

madcap space comedy with fanservice
director: Natsume Shingo, chiefdir: Watanabe Shinichirou (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Kids on the Slope)
writer: Satou Dai, Nobumoto Keiko, Ueno Kimiko.
seiyuus: Suwabe Junichi, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Satake Uki, Hatakeyama Kousuke, Ishizuka Unshou, Yurin, Ginga Banjou, Kuwashima Houko.
animation: Bones. OP Okamura Yoshiyuki, ED Kanno Youko and Yakushimaru Etsuko.
trailer. forum.
starts sun 05 jan 23:00

Watanabe Shinichirou (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Kids on the Slope) brings us a madcap comedy he describes as 80% comedy and 20% serious. Dandy is an alien hunter, going off into space with his companions -- QT the worn-out robot and Meow the Betelgeusan -- searching for new species. Meanwhile, he himself is being chased by agents of the Gorgol Empire, for reasons that remain mysterious.

The studio is Bones, and the animation and writing help is a who's who of famous names. Satou Dai (Eureka Seven, episodes of Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain, GITS:SAC) is part of the writing crew. Directors Yuasa Masaaki (Tatami Galaxy), Yamamoto Saya (Michiko to Hacchin, Lupin 3 Fujiko Mine), and Taniguchi Goro (Code Geass) are listed among the "creators" involved. One of the most anticipated shows of the season, for obvious reasons. I hope it doesn’t end up being as uninteresting to me as Kill La Kill did.

The music will be important, composed and/or played by a long list of famous names, starting with Kanno Youko. And the cast starts with Suwabe Junichi (one of my favorite male voices) and includes names such as Yoshino Hiroyuki, Kuwashima Houko, and young Hatakeyama Kousuke

  (jp: ノラガミ)   jpWiki

supernatural comedy adventure
director: Tamura Koutarou (boards and ep direction on Heroman, Gosick, etc.)
writer: Akao Deko (Arakawa, Astalotte no Omocha, Mysterious Girlfriend X). Adachitoka (manga).
seiyuus: Uchida Maaya, Kamiya Hiroshi, Kaji Yuuki, Sawashiro Miyuki, Ono Daisuke, Toyosaki Aki, Fukuyama Jun, Komatsu Mikako, Kugimiya Rie, Ookawa Tooru, Inoue Kazuhiko.
animation: Bones. OP Hello Sleepwalkers.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sun 05 jan 23:30

Uchida Maaya's surprising talent has propelled her iinto the big leagues. Here she plays opposite Kamiya Hiroshi, and is surrounded by top names including Kaji Yuuki, Sawashiro Miyuki, Ono Daisuke, Fukuyama Jun, Kugimiya Rie, Ookawa Tooru….

Yato is a minor god whose dream is to have a lot of worshipers. So far, however, he doesn't have a single shrine. This may be because he's a bit of a jerk. His luck might change, however, when he finds a girl called Hiyori. Together with Hiyori and his new partner-weapon Yukine, Yato will do everything he can to gain recognition.

Tamura Koutarou (storyboards and ep direction in Heroman, Gosick, et al.) gets his first full show. Writer Akao Deko has done Arakawa, Astalotte, Mysterious Girlfriend, etc. I'll watch a couple of episodes for the stars, but despite this being Bones, the manga hasn't hooked me, through one chapter.

Buddy Complex
  (jp: バディ・コンプレックス)   jpWiki

mecha adventure
director: Tanabe Yasuhiro (storyboards and ep director Battle Spirits, Horizon)
writer: Sunrise staff ("Yatate Hajime").
seiyuus: Uchiyama Kouki (Yoshino in Zetsuen no Tempest), Matsuoka Yoshitsugu (Kirito in SAO), Hayami Saori, Morikawa Toshiyuki, Inoue Marina, Sakurai Takahiro, Satou Rina, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Hayami Shou, Tamura Mutsumi.
animation: Sunrise.
trailer. forum.
starts sun 05 jan 24:00

A new Sunrise mecha show. It was just another normal day. Aoba was on his way to school for the last day before the summer break. But he met Dio, and that meeting changed the world.

Great cast stars Uchiyama Kouki, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, and the entrancing voice of Hayami Saori. But the cast list goes on from there to the heights of Inoue Marina, Hayami Shou, Sakurai Takahiro, et al. Director Tanabe Yasuhiro did episodes and storyboards for Battle Spirits shows and Horizon, but this is the first time he has been in charge of a whole show.

Fans of Horizon and Valvrave are disappointed not to see a new season of one of those shows, instead of this new show.

Nobunaga the Fool
  (jp: ノブナガ・ザ・フール)   jpWiki

science fantasy adventure
director: Satou Hidekazu (Basquash)
writer: Kawamori Shouji (creator of Macross 7, Escaflowne, Aquarion, Macross Frontier, Basquash, AKB0048). Kawamori Shouji (original work).
seiyuus: Miyano Mamoru, Hikasa Youko, Sakurai Takahiro, Kaji Yuuki, Sugita Tomokazu, Chihara Minori, Touyama Nao, Nakamura Yuuichi, Kido Ibuki, Ishida Haruka, Shimazaki Nobunaga, Nanami Hiroki, Koyama Rikiya, Nakai Kazuya, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu.
animation: Satelight. OP Chihara Minori, ED Stereo Dive Foundation.
trailer. forum.
starts sun 05 jan 25:05

A new project from Kawamori Shouji (Macross 7, Aquarion, Macross Frontier, AKB0048). Terrific cast includes Mamo-chan and Sakurai-san, as well as Hikasa Youko and Chihara Minori, Koyama Rikiya and Nakai Kazuya. And Touyama Nao. And even 16-year-old Kido Ibuki (her steady rise continues).

The Eastern Planet and the Western Planet used to be connected, but have now had separate histories for a long time. The Eastern Planet suffers through the chaos of war, while the Western Planet is in a renaissance of ancient culture. Jeanne D'Arc and Leonardo Da Vinci come from the Western Planet to an Eastern Planet where Nobunaga "The Fool" is seeking power to change his world. Caesar, Alexander, Magellan, and Hideyoshi are also characters in the story.

Kawamori's shows are always worth a look, especially with this wonderful cast. The first half of the "trailer" link is Sakurai Takahiro talking about the show; the second half is a show trailer.

Tonari no Seki-kun
  (jp: となりの関くん)   jpWiki

seinen comedy
director: Mutou Yuuji (Crayon Shin-chan)
writer: Morishige Takuma (manga).
seiyuus: Shimono Hiro, Hanazawa Kana.
animation: Shin-Ei Animation. OP Hanazawa Kana, ED Jimbo Akira, insert Suzuki Ichirou.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sun 05 jan 26:05

Yokoi is a diligent student. But next to her sits Seki-kun, who always seems to be playing at weird games on his desk. Somehow, however, the teacher never notices, and he goes on and on creating little worlds in front of himself.

Some people find this manga hilarious. I confess I don’t. But Hanazawa Kana might be able to do something with Yokoi. How Shimono Hiro will do anything with Seki-kun escapes me, however, since in the manga he never speaks.

Directed by veteran director Mutou Yuuji, who has been directing since the early 1990s, doing shows including Crayon Shin-chan, Corrector Yui, and Green Green.

Super Sonico The Animation

ecchi comedy
director: Kawamura Kenichi (eps. of Black Lagoon, Devil May Cry)
writer: Kuroda Yousuke (Big Windup, Requiem for Phantom, HSotD).
seiyuus: Super Sonico (Nitro Plus mascot girl), Gotou Mai, Ozaki Mami, Takeuchi Ryouta, Kanemoto Hisako, Inoue Kikuko.
animation: White Fox. OP Super Sonico.
trailer. forum.
starts mon 06 jan 20:30

Super Sonico is the mascot girl for the Nitroplus game company's live events. In the anime, she is a model, game character, and musician, as well as a college student. In the preview, she clearly has enormous physical assets. The character has already inspired a line of games and some figures.

The trailer makes the anime look like a compendium of cliches. We'll see if the highly competent staff can make something of them.

To Aru Hikuushi e no Koiuta
  (jp: とある飛空士への恋歌)   jpWiki

romantic fantasy adventure
director: Suzuki Toshimasa (Rinne no Lagrange, Vampire Bund)
writer: Inotsume Shinichi (Hayate, Ristorante Paradiso). Inumutra Koroku (novel).
seiyuus: Yuuki Aoi, Hanae Natsuki, Taketatsu Ayana, Ishikawa Kaito, Nanjou Yoshino, Hayami Saori, Tano Asami, Shimono Hiro.
animation: TMS Entertainment. OP petit milady (Yuuki Aoi and Taketatsu Ayana).
starts sun 06 jan 22:00

"Love Song For a Certain Pilot." Set in the same world as The Princess and the Pilot movie, but earlier and with different characters. The pilot is a former prince who lost everything to the revolution and now sets out to find the end of the sky. He is with a girl who was the symbol of the revolution. And on an island floating in the sky he meets another girl.

The staff seems competent to me. I liked both Rinne no Lagrange and Vampire Bund, which had the same director. And I admired the writer's Hayate and Ristorante Paradiso, in their different ways. Although his Zettai Karen Children did less than nothing for me….

For me personally, the presence of Yuuki Aoi is key. She's one of my favorite voice actresses, but this is the first time in a couple of years she has been in an anime I'm likely to watch. Hanae Natsuki and Ishikawa Kaitou are both good young male stars. And although Taketatsu Ayana doesn’t do much for me, Hayami Saori and Nanjou Yoshino do, so it's all good.

Saki: Zenkoku Hen
  (jp: 咲 -Saki- 全国編)   jpWiki

yuri moe sports anime
director: Ono Manabu (A-Channel, Horizon)
writer: Urahata Tatsuhiko (Strawberry Panic, A-Channel, Horizon). Kobayashi Ritz (manga).
seiyuus: Ueda Kana, Koshimizu Ami, Kugimiya Rie, Shiraishi Ryouko, Itou Shizuka, Fukuyama Jun, Hayami Saori, Kotobuki Minako, Akasaki Chinatsu, Date Arisa, Matsuda Satsumi, Mizuhashi Kaori, Mizuno Mariko, Morota Kaoru, Nagatsuma Juri, Nakatsu Mariko, Ohara Sayaka, Satou Rina, Toyota Moe, Tsuji Ayumi, Yoshimura Haruka.
animation: Studio Gokumi. OP Hashimoto Miyuki, ED seiyuus.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sun 06 jan 25:35

In this third Saki series, we finally reach the national high school mahjong tournament. I'm not sure why this show has never reached me: I like both yuri and moe, and I like many of these seiyuus. But I just don’t react the way the audience you can hear in the trailer does (it was cammed at a live event).

For the show's fans, this is a big deal. The same staff returns, as do most of the original cast -- along with excellent newcomers such as Hayami Saori and Satou Rina.

Wooser no Sono Higurashi Kakusei Hen
  (jp: うーさーのその日暮らし 覚醒編)   jpWiki

comedy shorts
director: Yamada Toyonori
writer: Fudeyasu Kazuyuki. Usa Yoshiki (manga).
seiyuus: Miyano Mamoru, Nagamune Haruka, Ozawa Minori, TIA, Satou Yuri.
animation: Sanzigen.
trailer. forum.
starts tue 07 jan 25:35

New season for the series of short comic episodes starring Miyano Mamoru as a selfish and lecherous little bunny-like animal who freeloads in the home of agreeable twin girls.

Director Yamada Toyonori is a director of photography (Gurren-Lagann, Little Witch Academia, etc.) for whom the first series was his first directorial job. Writer Fudeyasu Kazuyuki has done many shows, including the comedy hits Kamen no Maid Guy and Ben-tou. The original manga is by Usa Toshiki, who also works as a designer with the music group supercell. The trailer link is to ep4 of the first season.

  (jp: ハマトラ)   jpWiki

shounen action comedy
director: Kimura Hiroshi (Recorder and Randsel), chiefdir: Kishi Seiji (My Bride is a Mermaid, Arpeggio of Blue Steel)
writer: Machida Touko (Idolm@ster), Kumagai Jun (eps of Humanity Has Declined, Valvrave). Café Nowhere (manga).
seiyuus: Oosaka Ryouta, Hatano Wataru, Katou Emiri, Kamiya Hiroshi, Yasuno Kiyono, Fukuyama Jun, Kitamura Eri, Nakamura Yuuichi, Murase Katsuki, Ono Atsushi, Akimoto Yousuke, Eguchi Takuya, Okamoto Nobuhiko, Oohashi Ayaka.
animation: NAZ. OP livetune w/ Ozaki Yuuka.
trailer. forum.
starts tue 07 jan 25:40

Detectives with a special magical ability discover that the serial killer they are looking for is actually killing only people with the same abilities they have.

Director Kimura Hiroshi did two series each of Recorder and Randsel and Haitai Nanafa. He is working under the supervision of Kishi Seiji (Humanity Has Declined). Fine cast and competent staff give this show possibilities.

  (jp: ディーふらぐ!)   jpWiki

harem romance slice-of-life comedy
director: Sugawara Seiki (eps. of Kurenai, Yozakura Q, Kids on the Slope)
writer: Uezu Makoto (Tayutama, Humanity Declined). Haruno Tomoya (manga).
seiyuus: Konishi Katsuyuki, Hanazawa Kana, Itou Shizuka, Saitou Chiwa, Takahashi Mikako, Koshimizu Ami, Fukuyama Jun, Toyosaki Aki, Katou Emiri.
animation: Brain's Base. OP Iosys jk Girls, ED seiyuus.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts mon 07 jan 26:05

Kazama Kenji is a bit of a delinquent. Then he and his gang meet a group of four not-so-normal girls who are even more outrageous, and he ends up being forced to join their club.

The manga is amusing, and the cast is outstanding. On the other hand, I'm always a bit leery when Uezu Makoto is the writer. He seems to me to have his ups and downs. And Sugawara Seigi is an episode director (Kurenai, YozakuraQ, Kids on the Slope, etc.) doing his first full show. But I'm certainly going to be there for the first episode, at any rate. Subbed drama CD here.

Youkai Watch
  (jp: 妖怪ウォッチ)   jpWiki

supernatural family comedy
director: Ushiro Shinji (Strait Jacket, Campanella)
writer: Katou Youichi (Aikatsu, Mushibugyou). Level-5 games.
seiyuus: Seki Tomokazu, Tomatsu Haruka, Endou Aya, Kozakura Etsuko, Nara Tooru, Satou Chie.
animation: OLM.
starts wed 08 jan 19:00

Tomatsu Haruka plays Keita, a boy who one day finds an old capsule toy machine in the forest and from it gets a magic watch that allows him to see supernatural beings. From that time on, he and the ghost butler Whisper (Seki Tomokazu) search for ghosts to battle.

Seki-san is one of the top professionals in the seiyuu business, spending much of his time teaching. We don't get to hear him enough. And the recently married Endou Aya continues to prove she has not abandoned us. The trailer link is to an animated trailer for the game by Level-5, which was the first product in what will be a media franchise.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren
  (jp: 中二病でも恋がしたい!戀)   jpWiki

romantic comedy with juvenile delusions
director: Ishihara Tatsuya
writer: Hanada Jukki. Torako (novel).
seiyuus: Uchida Maaya, Fukuyama Jun, Akasaki Chinatsu, Nagatsuma Juri, Asakura Azumi, Uesaka Sumire, Amano Yuri, Fukuhara Kaori, Shitara Mami, Houshi Souichirou, Inoue Kikuko, Sentai Eri.
animation: Kyoto Animation. OP ZAQ, ED seiyuus (Black Raison D'Etre).
trailer. forum.
starts wed 08 jan 24:30

Second season for the popular (with me, in particular) KyoAni comedy. Rikka ends up moving in with Yuuta's family. At the same time, a girl whom he was close to in middle school enters the picture. Will she pry Rikka and Yuuta apart or drive them closer together?

"Trailer" link is to the last scenes of ep12 of the first series.

Onee-chan ga Kita
  (jp: お姉ちゃんが来た)   jpWiki

ecchi comic-strip comedy
director: Yuuzumi Yoshihide (Yurumates 3Dei)
writer: Anzai Rikou (manga).
seiyuus: Terakawa Aimi (Emi/Henneko, Roxanne/Freezing), Nagatsuma Juri (Kanna/Tamako Mkt, Shiromi/Saki Zenkoku), Kido Ibuki, Minami Omi, Inoue Marina, Kobayashi Yuu, Togashi Misuzu, Morisawa Fumi, Hamada Kenji, Takahashi Kouji.
animation: C2C.

starts wed 08 jan 27:00

Our 13-year-old protagonist's father remarries, and he suddenly acquires a 17-year-old sister who has the hots for him. Not only that, but she has (1) a sadistic friend and (2) a big-breasted half-foreign friend. Dostoevsky this ain’t.

The show animates a comic-strip manga that only started last year. It is directed by the director of the fairly hilarious Yurumates 3Dei. And Kido Ibuki shows up again, in her third role of the winter.For what it is, I feel as if this could be good.

Mikakunin de Shinkoukei
  (jp: 未確認で進行形)   jpWiki

ecchi comic-strip comedy
director: Fujiwara Yoshiyuki (GJ Club)
writer: Shimo Fumihiko (AIR, Kanon, Clannad, IS). Arai Cherry (manga).
seiyuus: Terui Haruka, Matsui Eriko, Yoshida Yuuri, Hatano Wataru, Manami, Sakura Ayane, Kakumoto Asuka, Fujita Saki.
animation: Douga Koubo.
trailer. forum.
starts thu 09 jan 21:30

Kobeni is an ordinary girl with big breasts. On her 16th birthday, a tall but quiet boy called Hakuya suddenly appears whom she is told is her fiancé. The two of them, along with her ecchi siscon elder sister and his more-mature-than-her-age younger sister, begin life together in Kobeni's family's home.

The director of GJ Club and the writer of Kanon and Clannad seem like a good start. Several seiyuus here are getting their first main roles. But we also hear Sakura Ayane, Hatano Wataru, and Fujita Saki. This too has possibilities.

Gin no Saji (2014)
  (jp: 銀の匙 (2014))   jpWiki

noitaminA shounen comedy
director: Deai Kotomi
writer: Kishimoto Taku. Arakawa Hiromu (manga; FMA).
seiyuus: Kimura Ryouhei, Miyake Maria, Sakurai Tooru, Takagaki Ayahi, Shimazaki Nobunaga, Shouji Masayuki, Kobushi Nobuyuki, Takanashi Kengo, Izawa Shiori, Konishi Katsuyuki, Masutani Yasunori, Mitsuya Yuji, Ono Yuuki, Mizushima Takahiro, Tano Asami, Kawahira Yoshihisa, Nishimura Tomohiro, Utsumi Kenji, Yahagi Sayuri.
animation: A-1 Pictures. OP Fujifabric, ED Goose House.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts thu 09 jan 24:45

A second noitaminA season for the human comedy about an urban guy going to an agricultural college.

Deai Kotomi takes over as director, doing her first full show after doing episode direction and/or storyboards on shows such as House of Five Leaves, Kids on the Slope, and SAO.

Unlike many reviewers, I never made it past three episodes of the first series. Just not my style of humour. But make no mistake, this is a quality show.

  (jp: ストレンジ・プラス)   jpWiki

detective gag anime
director: Nishikawa Takashi
writer: Nishikawa Takashi.
seiyuus: Seki Tomokazu, Okiayu Ryoutarou, Yukino Satsuki, Fukuyama Jun, Kawato Taeko, Hatano Wataru, Terasaki Ayano, Konishi Katsuyuki, Morikawa Toshiyuki.
animation: Seven (Recorder + Randsel)
starts thu 09 jan 25:00

Kou goes off in search of his missing brother, who turns out to be running a detective agency. Rather than taking him back home, Kou stays to work in the agency.

The original manga has reached 13 volumes, so must have something to it, though I haven't been able to read any yet. The cast of the anime is largely made up of top pros, including Seki Tomokazu, Yukino Satsuki, Fukuyama Jun, et al.

The first-time director is a youngish key animator. It is striking that he seems to have gone from key animation straight to directing a whole show, without any episode direction in between. The producers must think he has talent.

Go! Go! 575
  (jp: GO!GO!575)   jpWiki

girls slice-of-life with poems and music
director: Anzai Takefumi (eps of Darker than Black, Angel Beats, et al)
writer: Koyanagi Keigo (scripts for Blast of Tempest, Sakurasou).
seiyuus: Oohashi Ayaka, Ootsubo Yuka, Kotobuki Minako.
animation: C2C.
starts thu 09 jan 25:25

Tie-in anime for Sega's Project 575 game, which uses a Vocaloid system to perform songs for lyrics the players write. "5-7-5" are the numbers of syllables in the three lines of a haiku poem (or in the first three lines of a five-line tanka poem).

First full show for director Anzai Takefumi, who has done storyboards and/or episode direction on Darker than Black, Angel Beats, etc. Also first show as lead writer for Koyanagi Keiko (scripts for Blast of Tempest, Sakurasou).

The trailer link is to a preview of the game. I'm looking forward to this for the poetry.

Mahou Sensou
  (jp: 魔法戦争)   jpWiki

magic action adventure with romance
director: Satou Yuuzou (Pita Ten, One Outs, Kaiji)
writer: Fudeyasu Kazuyuki (Kamen no Maid Guy, Hajime no Ippo New Challenger, Milky Holmes). Suzuki Hisashi (novel).
seiyuus: Miyano Mamoru, Touyama Nao, Seto Asami, Suzumura Kenichi, Okamoto Nobuhiko, Morikawa Toshiyuki, Fukuyama Jun, Nakai Kazuya.
animation: Madhouse. OP Nanri Yuka.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts thu 09 jan 25:28

"Magical Warfare." From a novel. Ordinary student (and kendo black belt) Takeshi helps a girl whom he finds collapsed on the school grounds. She involves him in an alternate magical world from which good magicians are trying to prevent bad magicians from destroying human life.

Fabulous cast starts with Miyano Mamoru and includes some good young female seiyuus (Seto Asami, Touyama Nao) and good male seiyuus (Suzumura Kenichi, Okamoto Nobuhiko, et al.).

Veteran director Satou Yuuzou did Pita Ten and Kaiji. That sounds good. Writer Fudeyasu Kazuyuki did OniAi and Hajime no Ippo New Challenger. That's at least a wide range. The manga is good as far as I've read. This show has some promise.

Hoozuki no Reitetsu
  (jp: 鬼灯の冷徹)   jpWiki

comedy in hell
director: Kaburaki Hiro (Kimi ni Todoke, My Little Monster)
writer: Gotou Midori (eps. of Real Drive, Azazel-san, GenshikenSS). Eguchi Natsumi (manga).
seiyuus: Yasumoto Hiroki, Nagasako Takashi, Yusa Kouji, Gotou Hiroki, Tanezaki Atsumi, Kakihara Tetsuya, Hirakawa Daisuke, Aoyama Touko, Kitamura Eri, Uesaka Sumire.
animation: Wit Studio
trailer. manga.
starts thu 09 jan 25:35

Episodic comedy centered on a bureaucrat of hell, who resolves hell's problems as an aide to King Yama. Despite being sadistic, he is calm and controlled. And he likes cute animals.

The award-nominated manga is amusing. The director did two good shoujo romances: My Little Monster and Kimi ni Todoke. Writer Gotou Midori is doing her first full show, having down several episodes each of Azazel-san and GenshikenSS.

Cast of mid-level veterans should bring expertise to the task. This could be the kind of series that is a critical success and a popular failure.

Z/X: Ignition
  (jp: Z/X IGNITION)   jpWiki

sci-fi fantasy adventure
director: Yamaguchi Yuuji (Fate/Stay Night, Touka Gettan, Crime Edge)
writer: Broccoli.
seiyuus: Shimono Hiro, Sawashiro Miyuki, Ogura Yui, Nakamura Yuuichi, Uchida Maaya, Kanemoto Hisako, Ishihara Kaori, Endou Yurika, M.A.O., Inoue Kazuhiko, Uchida Aya, Hiyama Nobuyuki, Asanuma Shintaou, Kuwashima Houko.
animation: OP Hikasa Youko, ED Endou Yurika.
starts thu 09 jan 25:50

A gate from another world suddenly opens and invaders attack the Earth.

A few years later, when things have settled down, we meet our hero, an ordinary high school boy. A mysterious girl appears and gives him a special "card device" and his fate changes.

Director Yamaguchi Yuuji is an old hand, and did Fate/Stay Night, Touka Gettan, and Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge. That sounds like a good resume to me. With some interesting names in the cast, this sounds as if it has some possibilities -- even though no lead writer is yet credited, and even though it is a tie-in to a trading card game by Broccoli.

ED singer Endou Yurika is a member of the group Yuri*Kari, which did the ED to Crime Edge. She won the 2013 Pony Canyon Voice Audition. She plays Haruno in Ace of the Diamond, and will play Rina in Sakura Trick.

Sakura Trick
  (jp: 桜Trick)   jpWiki

shoujo ai comedy
director: Ishikura Kenichi (DaCapo 3)
writer: Ishikura Kenichi (DaCapo 3). Tachi (manga).
seiyuus: Tomatsu Haruka, Iguchi Yuka, Aisaka Yuuka, Igarashi Hiromi, Fuchigami Mai, Toda Megumi, Fujita Saki, Asakura Momo, Endou Yurika.
animation: Studio Deen.
manga. forum.
starts thu 09 jan 25:58

Haruka and Yuu enter high school and are disturbed to find that their seats are not together, as they were in middle school, and that other girls are entering their lives.

In order to cement their special bond, they want to do something that can only be between them. They decide on a kiss. They both enjoy it, and the kisses continue.

A couple of fairly big names star: Tomatsu Haruka and Iguchi Yuka. And we get another chance to hear what Fuchigami Mai (Maekawa-san in Denpa Onna, the queen in Outbreak Company) can do. Director Ishikura Kenichi has done only one other show: the neglected but enjoyable Da Capo III. He has directed episodes of several Shaft shows. I like yuri shows, so this is high on my list for the coming season. We'll see how it goes.

  (jp: pupa)   jpWiki

shounen horror
director: Mochizuki Tomomi
writer: Mogi Sayaka (manga).
seiyuus: Kido Ibuki (Akiko/OniAi, Kasumi/Gj-bu), Shimazaki Nobunaga (Taichi/TariTari, Haruka/Free), Yusa Kouji, Narumi Kyouko, Noto Mamiko, Tsuda Kenjirou, Ise Mariya, Mikami Shiori, Kurosawa Yurika.
animation: Studio Deen.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts thu 09 jan 27:00

Utsutsu and his little sister Yume have left their abusive father and live on their own. One day, Yume sees a mysterious red butterfly. After it alights on her, her body metamorphoses into a creature that eats humans. Utsutsu refuses to abandon her, and offers his own flesh to help her survive while they try to find a way of returning her to normal.

Shimazaki Nobunaga and exciting young seiyuu Kido Ibuki star, but the real hook for me is the director: Mochizuki Tomomi, who directed YKK, Zettai Shounen, and House of Five Leaves (the best show of 2010). I will watch anything he does. He was also lead writer for the remarkably constructed Touka Gettan.

The show was first slated for fall 2013, but now has been announced for January. The first two episodes will be shown in a Tokyo cinema on 21 December. The TV version will be somewhat censored, but the uncensored version will come out on Blu-Ray , and will probably be streamed on NicoNico. The TV broadcast is at 3am, for obvious reasons. Five-minute episodes.

  (jp: のうりん)   jpWiki

romantic comedy drama
director: Oonuma Shin (ef, Baka to Test, Watamote)
writer: Yokote Michiko (Princess Tutu, Genshiken, XXXHolic). Shirou Shiratori (novel).
seiyuus: Asanuma Shintarou, Tamura Yukari, Hanazawa Kana, Saitou Chiwa, Hatano Wataru, Higashiuchi Mariko, Ootsubo Yuka, Katou Emiri, Inoue Marina.
animation: Silver Link. OP Yukarin, ED Yukarin/HanaKana.
trailer. forum.
starts fri 10 jan 25:00

When popular idol Kusakabe Yuka suddenly retires, it devastates teenager Hatta Kousaku, who is a huge fan. It takes a long time for his classmates to convince him to leave his room and attend class. But then a transfer student shows up who looks just like his idol….

Oonuma Shin has a great cast to work with here, starting with Tamura Yukari, Hanazawa Kana, Saitou Chiwa, and Asanuma Shintarou and going on to Katou Emiri and Inoue Marina. He also has Yokote Michiko to write the story for him, and Tsuruoka Yota as sound director to get the most out of the seiyuus. This should be worth watching.

Wake Up, Girls!
  (jp: Wake Up, Girls!)   jpWiki

idol comedy
director: Yamamoto Yutaka
writer: Machida Touko.
seiyuus: Yoshioka Mayu, Nagano Airi, Tanaka Minami, Aoyama Yoshino, Yamashita Nanami, Okuno Kaya, Takagi Miyu, Ootsubo Yuka, Katou Emiri, Tsuda Minami, Fukuhara Kaori, Yamamoto Nozomi, Akesaka Satomi, Yasuno Kiyono, Asanuma Shintarou, Hidaka Noriko, Hanazawa Kana, Tomatsu Haruka.
animation: Ordet x Tatsunoko.
trailer. forum.
starts fri 10 jan 25:23

Yamakan returns. A couple of years ago, director Yamamoto Yutaka expressed disgust with the anime business and threatened to stop making anime if his anime Fractale failed. Well, it didn’t sell very well, but he still made the anime shorts Senyuu, and now he is back to his strength, combining music and comedy on screen. He is perhaps most famous for his ED to Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu.

Not only that, but he has reassembled some of the people who worked with him on Lucky Star, the KyoAni show from which he was fired after four episodes. First is the same writer, MachidaTouko. And we also have Katou Emiri and Fukuhara Kaori in the cast.

A failing talent agency in a minor city decides to save itself by creating an idol group. And off we go…. A movie-length version comes out the same day as the TV anime's first broadcast.

  (jp: ニセコイ)   jpWiki

romantic comedy w/harem
director: Tatsuwa Naoyuki (Katte ni Kaizou), gen dir Shinbou Akiyuki
writer: Tou Fuyahi, Shinbou Akiyuki. Komi Naoshi (manga).
seiyuus: Uchiyama Kouki, Touyama Nao, Hanazawa Kana, Koyasu Takehito, Kaji Yuuki, Uchiyama Yumi, Asumi Kana, Komatsu Mikako.
animation: Shaft. OP ClariS.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sat 11 jan 23:30

An inside-out Romeo and Juliet story, in which the son of one gang leader and the daughter of another are ordered by their fathers to pretend to be boyfriend and girlfriend, in order to prevent a gang war. Unfortunately, the two of them despise each other….

This kind of harem comedy is a bit of a departure for Shaft and Shinbou. I suspect the anime will severely Shinbou-ize the original manga. I hope so, anyway.

Shinbou and Tou Fuyashi are listed as the lead writers, as they are on the Monogatari shows. The anime is directed by Tatsuwa Naoyuki, who directed the OVA series Katte ni Kaizou and was assistant to Shinbou on all the Zetsubou-sensei shows, as well as on MariaHolic and others. Shinbou is credited as "general director" on this show, as he was on Katte ni Kaizou.

Touyama Nao continues her patient rise. And we have another Koyasu Takehito sighting!

Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecile
  (jp: ウィザード・バリスターズ~弁魔士セシル)   jpWiki

magical comedy adventure
director: Umetsu Yasuomi (Kite Liberator)
writer: Umetsu Yasuomi.
seiyuus: Tanabe Rui, Shindou Kei, Touchi Hiroki, Taketatsu Ayana, Arakawa Miho, Ookubo Rumi, Tsunematsu Ayumi, Takagi Wataru, Suwabe Junichi, Konishi Katsuyuki, Inoue Marina, Wakamoto Norio. Ono Daisuke, Chafurin, Taya Yui, Koyama Rikiya, Yasuhiro, Hara Hideshi, Miyoshi Rie.
animation: Arms. OP Lia, ED Tanabe Rui.
trailer. forum.
starts sun 12 jan 24:30

Tokyo 2018. Wizards and humans coexist, but wizard criminals are tried by special laws and defended by special "wizard barristers." At 17, Cecile has just become the youngest wizard barrister, and she begins work at the Butterfly Law Offices.

Outstanding design and animation in the trailers, as expected from the director of Kite Liberator. Perhaps this will be more interesting than his recent Galilei Donna. That show, he did not write. This show, he does.

There are some great seiyuus buried in the cast, but the stars are generally of the second rank. Leading lady Tanabe Rui is 16, but has already had seven minor roles. This is her first major role.

World Conquest -- The Zvezda Plot
  (jp: 世界征服 ~謀略のズヴィズダー~)   jpWiki

loli-ecchi action comedy
director: Okamura Tensai (Wolf's Rain, Darker than Black, Ao no Exorcist)
writer: Okamura Tensai, Hoshizora Meteo (type-moon). brothers, hunting cap (orig).
seiyuus: Kuno Misaki, Hanae Natsuki, M.A.O., Ise Mariya, Hanazawa Kana, Kotobuki Minako, Toriumi Kousuke, Hirota Minoru, Yamazaki Erii.
animation: A-1 Pictures. OP Sakamoto Maaya, ED Yuuki Aoi.
trailer. forum.
starts sun 12 jan 24:30

Young girls in revealing costumes set out to conquer the world.

How will Okamura Tensai, the director of Wolf's Rain and Darker than Black, deal with a show like this? I'll be there to find out.

Kuno Misaki has had parts in Galilei Donna, Log Horizon, etc., but this is her first leading role. Like Hanazawa Kana, Noto Mamiko, and Kawasumi Ayako, she is from the highly respected Office Osawa agency..

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha
  (jp: いなり, こんこん, 恋いろは)   jpWiki

romantic comedy with magic
director: Takahashi Tooru (eps. of Utena, Monster, etc.)
writer: Machida Touko (Lucky Star, Idolm@ster).
seiyuus: Oozora Naomi, Kuwashima Houko, Okamoto Hiroshi, Ueda Youji, Hara Sayuri, Sadohara Kaori, Ikebe Kumiko, Nomizu Iori, Koyasu Takehito, Hino Satoshi, Isobe Masako, Watanabe Kumiko.
animation: Production IMS. OP May'n, ED Sakamoto Maaya.
manga. 10eps. forum.
starts wed 15 jan 25:00

Inari is a shy middle school girl living in Kyoto's Fushimi ward, near the great Fushimi Inari fox shrine. She has a crush on her classmate, but can't express her feelings. One day, as thanks for helping a fox pup, the goddess of the shrine grants her the ability to change her form….

Star Oozora Naomi was effective as Susannah in GenshikenSS and was Yuragi in NouKome. We also get a chance to hear Kuwashima Houko as a main character, as well as a touch of Koyasu Takehito.

Director Takahashi Tooru is doing his first full show since 2001, but he has a long history as a storyboarder and episode director. He did lots of both on episodes of Utena, and on episodes of Monster, Kobato, SAO, etc.

The humour in the manga is pretty broad situation comedy, but somehow classic. I'm expecting good things here.

Maken-ki! Two
  (jp: マケン姫っ! 通)   jpWiki

school boob comedy w/magic and fighting
director: Kaneko Hiraku (dir Stigmata no Qwaser, chardes Queen's Blade)
writer: Kuroda Yousuke (Madlax, Jormungand). Takeda Hiromitsu (manga).
seiyuus: Shitaya Noriko, Yahagi Sayuri, Nomizu Iori, Maeno Tomoaki, Zougou Saeko, Takamori Natsumi, Furuya Shizuka, Harada Hitomi, Mina, Misato.
animation: Xebec. OP sweet ARMS, ED Zougou Saeko.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts wed 15 jan 25:30

Another season for Maken-ki. "The best boob staff!!" says the publicity poster. And this may be true. Director Kaneko Hiraku did character design for Queen's Blade and directed Qwaser no Stigmata. Character designer/animation supervisor Takami Akio did Kanokon.

Solid professional seiyuus Shitaya Noriko and Yahagi Sayuri starred together in Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora.

Happiness Charge Precure
  (jp: ハピネスチャージプリキュア!)   jpWiki

magical girl

writer: Todo Izumi (original creator).

animation: Toei Animation. OP Gojou Mayumi, ED Yoshida Hitomi.
starts sun 02 feb 08:30

This will be the eleventh Precure TV series. Starts in February. Cast and staff not yet revealed.

The girls will be able to change form, and there will be dancing. On the AnimeSuki Forum, "Ichuki" says that two new girls will be: Cure Princess (Shirayuki Hime), 14, a slightly selfish girl whose specialty is being fashionable, and who is Princess of the Blue Sky Kingdom; and Cure Lovely (Aino Megumi), also 14, a cheerful popular girl who helps out others and is filled with love and courage.

Sailor Moon 20th anniversary new anime
  (jp: 美少女戦士セーラームーン 誕生20周年記念新作アニメ)   jpWiki

shoujo mahou shoujo
OPED Momoiro Clover Z. trailer. manga. forum.

The show's legions of fans are eagerly awaiting word on when this new anime will be broadcast and how many episodes there will be. No word yet, just "winter 2014." We all hope that's true.

Talk show events online.

The trailer link is to the last episode broadcast, episode 200, from 1997. The manga link is to the original manga.


baozhu said...


Stumbled on your site some weeks ago and liked what I read. Although I'm usually a lurker, I thought this would be a good time for my first post considering the new season is fast approaching.

Now for my thoughts on select shows...

Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okashiinda ga: I hate incest with a passion and hope it doesn't become a common anime trope like moe and extreme/untasteful ecchi.

Space Dandy: Watanabe Shinichirou didn't impress me with Kids on the Slope(unfamiliarity in directing a love story perhaps?) but this show seems more up his alley since this looks to be a futuristic/quirky version of Cowboy Bebop.

Nobunaga the Fool: Big fan of Macross Frontier and enjoyed the Aquarion series. The seiyuu cast looks great as I'm a fan of Miyano Mamoru, Hikasa Youko and Sakurai Takahiro. I expect this to be a big hit.

D-Frag!: For some reason I don't enjoy Fukuyama Jun's performances when he plays your average joe(think Chu-2) but because I like the female seiyuu cast I'll probably give this a go, albeit with low expectations.

Youkai Watch: Tomatsu Haruka voicing a boy? Sounds neat! But the simple character design isn't really grabbing me. Somewhat off topic but I find it funny how family anime like Conan, Sazae-san and Ghibli movies all have really simple character designs yet they are vastly more popular than standard/otaku anime.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren: I enjoyed the first season thanks to Rikka's kawaii antics(props to Uchida Maaya) but as I said before, I'm rather apathetic to Yuuta.

Onee-chan ga Kita: Thank god Kido Ibuki isn't playing the incestuous female lead here like she was in OniAi, she's too young to be exposed and therefore desensitized to fetish works like this. It's shows like this that otaku culture is deservedly shunned.

Gin no Saji (2014): It seems we share a similar sense of humor because this show elicited at most a few chuckles from me... however I give huge props to the portrayal of farm life and raising awareness about where our food comes from. But in saying that I'll probably skip this.

pupa: This is the "incest" I can get behind, giving a much more interesting take on eating your brother.

Nisekoi: I read the first volume of this and found it to be one of the most uninspired harems I've ever had the chance of reading... And yet I hear it gets solid manga sales. Just my taste? Who knows. I'm a big fan of Shinbou Akiyuki's work but looking at the source he's working from, I don't have high hopes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks as usual for the preview.

As usual, I'm most interested in the original shows like Nobunaga the Fool, Space Dandy, and Zvezda. The latter has a strange staff considering the type of anime it is. I'm curious what writer Hoshizora Meteor will bring to the table. His style is very peculiar.

You would think that after Madoka and Monogatari Shaft wouldn't need to produce filler shows like Nisekoi anymore. I wonder why they're even bothering with it instead of just putting all their resources into Mekaku City Actors. Kizumonogatari, too, if they haven't forgotten about it.

I have a feeling that any day now they are going to announce another delay for Sailor Moon. The new season starts in two weeks and they haven't given us any kind of info other than a vague start date. It's suspicious.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention that Pupa is 5 minutes anime

hashi said...

@anonymous -- Unfortunately, it appears you are right. I was hoping against hope that the inference from the length of the preview showing wasn't true. But the length was finally announced clearly on December 24. People had been talking about it possibly being a regular-length anime. But no such luck. Oh, well. I'll add the info in the text. Thanks for letting me know.

@baozhu -- Thanks for your interesting notes. I had the same reaction to the Nisekoi manga, but I'll take a look because it's Shinbou. I liked Kids on the Slope, although it did not bowl me over as it did some people.

Anonymous said...

Onee-chan ga Kita and Strange+ are shorts too

Mockman said...

As always, this is a great resource to have. It’s very generous of you to provide such a coherent, useful reference piece (moreso, on an ongoing basis). Many thanks.

I’m looking forward to hearing more of Hayami Saori. After a great spring with her roles in Kami nomi, Yahari Ore and Red Data Girl, she hasn’t been very busy. Not especially hopeful as to all of the shows that she’s in but…

Looking forward to the second Chuunibyou as well. In addition to its appealing main heroine, this show has one of the best secondary characters ever in Nibutani. Along with Hayami, her seiyuu Akasaki Chinatsu will get a role in Saki. Hopefully they are meaningful roles.

Anyways, thanks again,

p.s. this new captcha is truly awful to deal with