Haganai News

Haganai is a franchise comprised of 2 anime series, 3 manga series
From Anime Vice
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At the A-Kon panel, FUNimation announced the dub cast for Haganai.

Synopsis

Kodaka Hasegawa is a recent transfer student to St. Chronica's Academy, a Catholic high school. As with every other school he has ever attended, he finds it difficult to make friends there because of his naturally-blond hair and fierce-looking eyes, which make him look like a dangerous "yankee" to his prejudiced schoolmates. One day, Kodaka accidentally comes across the equally solitary and very abrasive Yozora Mikazuki while she converses with her imaginary friend Tomo. Realizing that neither of them have any social lives, they decide that the best way to improve their situation is to form a club: the Neighbor's Club precisely intended to make friends and learn social skills.

Dub Cast

Shoutout to Haganai fans: and

Sources

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Hello everyone! Below is a letter that was written by Yomi Hirasaka and translated by SG Cafe:

To my readers,

As this time around I can’t just go “eh, what the heck?” and feign ignorance about everything [with regards to the Haganai live-action film], I’ve written this slightly long response that I would greatly appreciate if you could sit through without skimming ahead.

That the movie’s existence was outed by a recruitment ad for extra/calefare actors is incredibly “dasai” [lame] (I will not use the word “zannen” [unfortunate] here, which is an important keyword used throughout the Haganai series) but what’s happened has happened so, yes, production on a live-action movie based on my work, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, is currently on-going.

The offer to make a live-action movie based on my light novel series first came to me in June of 2011. At the time, production work on the first season of the anime series was also going well, so it had been a very positive period of my life.

Personally, I’ve always thought that the scenarios depicted in Haganai were never really meant to translate well in a live-action medium, so if you were to ask me if I was for or against the live-action movie, then I would say, without a doubt that I am against it. That said, the offer came during a period of time when I saw that the future of the light novel industry was getting dangerously bleak, and so I thought, “rather than fight over a small pie (marketshare) with other authors over and over, this is a rare chance me to break away from the industry’s status quo of excellent authors forever burying one another’s successes with their next excellent release. The live-action movie could bring into the light novel market a new audience (on top of what the manga, anime, and game adaptations are already doing), so shouldn’t I be taking a bold step forward with this instead?” That was what I remember to be my thought process at the time, and so after a period of deliberating I went ahead and gave my stamp of approval on it.

Now that the anime adaptation is well into its second season, if you were to ask me about what I thought about the decision I made back then, well, it’s already too late as a great deal of industry folks have already pushed forth with the project. As there really is no point in me commenting about that [whether I should have let the movie project happen or not], I’ll refrain from doing so.

Moving on, with regards to whether or not I’m personally involved on the production of the live-action movie or not, this time around the circumstances are quite different from when Haganai was adapted into a manga, an anime, or a game. Unlike with those projects, I am a complete amatuer when it comes to the live-action movie scene, and I do not know which folks are the truly passionate people in that genre, so this time around I’m taking a completely no-touch/hands-off approach. I’ve entrusted the project fully in the hands of the live-action movie’s production crew.

Given my personality, if I were told the details of what’s going on with the project, chances are I’ll feel like opening my flap and intervening, so I’ve asked the editorial department [of Media Factory/the publishing label MF Bunko J] to not keep me in the loop with regards to progress on the movie’s production. Accordingly, that means I do not know anything about the script for the movie, or its casting details. (Although I have checked with the editorial staff, following the movie getting outed, and they have confirmed for me that the so-called “leaked” casting details currently circulating on the Net are completely false).

I have but only one thing to say to the movie production side: “you do not have to try and re-create the light novels’ scenes and details faithfully, if that’s not very possible. Instead, all I want is for you to make a great and interesting movie, independently.” I eagerly await to see the finished product from these professional filmmakers.

… Okay, this has went on long enough, so in summary, “I have no idea what kind of movie the live-action Haganai film will turn out to be. To all of you my faithful readers, if you’re interested in the movie, please do watch it.” That’s pretty much what I want to say.

Lastly, I do also need to ask something from all of you.

On Twitter and various other platforms, I’ve noticed that some of you have been calling for production of the live-action movie to be stopped. No matter how much the news of this live-action adaptation displeases you, I hope that rather than to try and crush it, that instead, if possible at all, I hope that you would simply ignore it. This applies not only to the live-action movie, but to the anime, manga, and the game as well – everything that’s based on the original light novels.

Even if it’s not possible for you to put a lid on your displeasure upon seeing these adaptations [not living up to the original work's quality], there is no need to force yourself to accept them [as part of the Haganai franchise].

There is no need to watch something that you do not want to watch, and if it’s something you really hate, I think it’s okay to just continue hating it. But please do not go out of your way to destroy or crush something simply because you hate it, for that is evil, and something that I believe I’ve written about time and time again in my novels. I have faith that you, my readers, will understand.

Personally, I’m a big fan of light novels, anime, and other 2D mediums. And so, to be perfectly honest, I would be lying if I said that I’m not worried about the live-action film. That said, as to whether I approve or regret my decision two years ago [to let the movie happen], I will reserve final judgement on that for when the film is finally complete and after I’ve actually sat down and watched it.

2013.5.2 From the author of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Yomi Hirasaka

Sources

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Welcome to Featured Figures; a blog feature highlighting a handful of figures, my thoughts on them, the dents they'd leave in your wallet and maybe even links to sites you can buy them from. Let me know what you want to see from these blogs and I'll see what I can do.

Son Goku SSJ, 1/8th scale, Clear Hair Ver. (Medicos Entertainment)

Screaming, as usual
Screaming, as usual

This is easily one of the most bad-ass Dragon Ball Z figures I've seen, and boy has there been a lot of DBZ figures over the years. Not only does this Goku figure have really great looking clothes--all the folds and highlights look really great--but look at that hair. Dude has glass hair, well... I imagine it's really semi-transparent plastic, but it certainly looks the part.

This is version 2 of the figure, with the original featuring boring not-awesome hair, so clearly this is the version to get. The equally awesome Super Saiyan aura around Goku's feet is also a great touch.

What do you think? Is glass hair cool or weird?

Goku is listed at ¥9,200 on Amazon Japan (approx $112 or £71) and $117 on Hobbyfan but currently out of stock.

Samus Aran, 1/8th scale, Zero Suit ver. (Max Factory)

Sleek Samus
Sleek Samus

I have a weird relationship with Metroid games. I acknowledge that they're great, in fact I think very highly of them, but I don't think I've ever finished any of them. Particularly whenever I take a crack at Metroid Prime, I just don't get on with it, not really sure why. Maybe I'll finish one eventually, in the meantime I'll just admire gorgeous figure renditions of Samus like this Metroid: Other M figure from Max Factory. If it's too hard to tell Samus is a woman with her power suit on, there's certainly no question when she takes it off.

I love how sleek this figure looks, I don't know if Samus normally looks as tall as she does here, but I guess I haven't played Other M so maybe one of you knows better than me. There's some nice detail on the gun, and the Metroid looks great too.

Samus can be pre-ordered for $103 on Hobbyfan (approx £65) or $130 on J-List (approx £82)

Kobato Hasegawa & Maria Takayama, 1/7th scale (Max Factory)

Super cute
Super cute

Okay, I haven't watched Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai yet, but these figures are adorable. These are sold as two separate figures, but as you can tell they obviously go together, which is a classic trick to get twice as much of your hard-earned money from you.

I literally can't find fault with either of these figures. They're cute, the hair looks good (while not quite as glassy-looking as Goku's hair, it's similar) and their outfits look especially great. I appreciate it when sculptors put in extra effort to make the clothes look separate from the figure, you know, like actual clothes. Like the "Zero Suit" Samus is wearing, these playboy-style catgirl outfits are super glossy.

These figures can be pre-ordered for $88 each on Hobbyfan (approx £55) or $105 each on J-List (approx £66)

Chifusa Manyuu, 1/4th scale (A+)

Skimpy Samurai
Skimpy Samurai

For those with more risqué tastes we have Chifusa Manyuu from Manyuu Hikenchou. The biggest figure in this selection at 1/4th scale making it more of a statue than a figurine. Chifusa comes with a katana and completely removable attire that already barely covers her expanding bust (in the show, the figure itself doesn't expand... that would be weird).

I'm not really sure why her hair is so blue, I'm pretty sure it was black in the anime, but I like how... soft she looks. That probably sounds weird, but it's easy for figures to look very solid since they're made of plastic, and this doesn't. If you're looking for something a little lighter on clothing and bigger in size, this may be the figure for you. With that sword it would probably make a pretty good letter-opener too I guess.

Chifusa can be pre-ordered for $210 on Hobbyfan (approx £132) with extra shipping fees.

What do you think of these figures? Ready to order one? Or are you like me, preferring to appreciate them from afar instead?

Daniel Newton is a moderator for Anime Vice and Screened. Follow him on twitter: @Daniel_Newton and @AnimeVicers

Other posts:Oreimo Season 2 Announced!

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The slow trickle at the end of the Fall Season's launch ended with UN-GO and Guilty Crown hitting airwaves this week, and while many shows are into their second or third (in the case of Squid Girl) episode, all others have at least started to display their opening moves enough to start forming opinions. While I've deviated a bit in what I wanted to watch, but did so to revisit Samurai Champloo on Netflix, I've still watched probably more anime in the last week than I've played Dark Souls, which is a shame since that game's pretty damn good. That being said, some of the new season hasn't been half bad either, and some was flat out incredible.

Additions to the Super Six from the Fall Season have been a mixed bag, with the two shows I earmarked for automatic invitation getting off to uneven starts before righting themselves with strong second episodes. In the meanwhile, two shows didn't wait for an invitation to sit down at the table and glare menacingly at anyone who'd deny them the stature, they just up and did it and I couldn't be happier. Mawaru Penguindrum still continues on it's magnificent path and with all the focus on newer shows, it should still be pointed out that this show, which I used to replace the dreadful R-15 last season, is fantastic and should be in line for a marathon to anyone who likes a good mind-bender. That being said, the focus goes back on the new stuff now.

The Anointed

Persona 4: The Animation: As many people have already pointed out, the beginning to Whiskey Media's most awaited anime got off to a bit of a rocky start. It wasn't the animation which was fine, and it certainly wasn't the music which falls in line with your opinion of Shoji Meguro's original tracks (which are being reused liberally), but instead was the fact that the pacing was hectic. It seemed like the animators were tasked with two things to accomplish by the end of the first episode, and held at gunpoint to get those things in before the ending credits. First, Nanako must sing the Junes song. Second, someone, and by someone I mean Yu, better summon a Persona and go to town on some shadows. Getting to that point seemed to be the main focus, as all of the other points that are made in the game before that point were glossed over. Fortunately, the battle scene was good which bodes well for the future of the show, and Nanako is cute. (Maybe not Kaga Rin cute, but seriously, who is?)

Like Angel Beats!, there seems to be an initial rush to throw as much content as you as possible while giving you as little context as they can. Seiji Kishi has gone back to the same well from the previous series, which would be disconcerting if not for the fact that he executed it well with Angel Beats! and will need to do so again if he's to keep Persona 4 from alienating potential new fans. The first four episodes seem to be set, however, and the pacing issues which plagued the first episode started to fade as the second episode began. There was more time for conversation and to let the characters stop rushing about and show who they were, and the show was able to slow down and let those characters shine through. It seems that the stopping point for the second episode was Yosuke's awakening, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Chie and Yukiko follow in the next two episodes. It'll be interesting to see if it awakens a character an episode for the first four, and then really slows down the introductions and spends more time on their interactions with each other and the town they live in. Inaba's a fascinating place with some very fascinating characters, and is a terrific location that deserves to be explored.

One of the things that many people, myself included, keyed in on was the intermission screen which showed an actual status screen for Yu, and on closer inspection showed all of his stats at minimum in the first episode. Speculation could be had on whether this was going to be important, and if it could be used as a vehicle to take the cipher and grant him direction and personality. It's a pretty brilliant use of the game's mechanics, as is the use of the calendar, which serves as a nostalgia point, but can also quickly pass on important information. When the "Bravery" stat went up for episode 2, it brought a smile to my face, and we'll see how long it takes to point out the weather icons on the calendar which will point out how close important events are to occurring. I love the use of these screens from the game in this way, and hope that it doesn't lose it's luster by the end of the show since I think it's brilliant.

Bakuman: Season 2: Like Persona 4, the second episode of Bakuman was more in line with what I expected the show to be like, although the central issue was one that I hope they don't draw from too often. While Mashiro is beginning his journey into becoming a manga-ka, Miho has already had a running start to her voice acting career in the first season. The second episode centers around an offer of a picture book which would include some "sketchy" pictures of her in a bathing suit. Mashiro loses focus and Takagi and Miyoshi are forced to scramble to reel him back in while they still have the use of their assistants. Speaking of assistants, I like how the three are slowly being drawn out of their shells and are being worked in to working with Mashiro and Takagi. The conversation between Mashiro and Takahama was an icebreaker which needed to happen, as it looked like he was being lost in the shuffle, but taking a close look at his motivations you see that he may be as driven to succeed as Mashiro, and may have greater aspirations. Like Persona 4's second episode, it's a terrific rebound from the shaky start of the season and any worries I had that it might not be as good as hoped are fading quickly.

The Gatecrashers

Chihayafuru: I mentioned in my previous blog how much I liked the initial episode of Chihayafuru, and how much I was looking forward to seeing where it was going. The show has not disappointed at all, and while it's not pressing new ground in the second episode for originality, it succeeds in solid execution. I like how the show didn't start with the three characters in the time frame this episode takes place in, because it would be easy to start developing a raging hatred for Taichi, and how much of a bastard he is at this point in time. To see that he may have matured out of the phase he's in during this episode might temper animosity more than the scene with his mother at the end of the Karuta match. The match itself also did well to develop the characters strengths and show some of their strong points. Wataya shows that even blind he's more than a match for most karuta players by his powers of sheer memorization. Taichi shows the ability to observe and exploit Wataya's weakness (which he created) by seeing how Wataya is winning and thwarting the plan by moving the cards around. Chihaya meanwhile makes up for her lack of knowledge of the poems by using the physical techniques she's adopted from Wataya to beat Taichi to the punch and stay even with him. It's a great way to show different strengths for each character and avenues where they can teach or thwart each other. It'll be interesting to see how long they stay at this point in time, as they have plenty of episodes to work with, but if they stick in this time frame too long, it may do damage to Taichi's character unless he learns from the error of his ways and develops into the character they show in the first episode starting now.

Mirai Nikki: I thought that I might miss Steins;Gate for a while, but Mirai Nikki looks to be up for the task of taking the sci-fi mindbender role and running with it. I love a show with a good premise, and Mirai Nikki has it. The show centers around Yukiteru Amano, who may just be a hikikomori in training. Maybe the saving grace for him is that he's interested in observing his surroundings while wanting to interact with those surroundings as little as possible. He dutifully marks observations in his cell phone and is happy with his imaginary friends, like Deus. Deus decides to switch things up, and begins writing Amano's diary for him, in advance. By the end of the episode, you find that a game is afoot, with 12 players, and the one left standing being given the prize of taking Deus's role as the God of Space and Time. Maybe I'm just happy with another anime which manipulates time in a completely different way, but it seems to take Steins;Gate seat before it ever got cold and lay claim to it. Without having read Future Diary, there's so many places this game can go, and most of them sound fascinating.

Vying for the Last Seat

Un-Go: I liked the first episode of Un-Go, although, like Persona 4, it seems to have some pacing problems. One of the things that I love about anime, is that it has the tendency to be serial and not episodic. Kamisama no-Memochou, another show about detectives, got around potential pacing problems during the beginning of it's run last season by having an hour long first episode. It used that extra time to introduce the characters and concepts as well as give you a sample of it's mystery solving mechanics, and unfortunately Un-Go has no such fortune. It seemed to spend a lot of time introducing characters, had something happen, and got to the point of solving the mystery. The problem is that the fun you have watching a mystery is trying to figure it out before the detective does, but Un-Go uses so much information unseen to the viewer, that you can't "play along" with it. The characters are strange enough to warrant further inspection, and maybe there's enough recurring characters to allow such a thing. But if the show falls into a rhythm like the first episode, where it introduces a heap of characters that you'll only see this episode and no further, it might be too vexing to continue.

Verdict on Un-Go after episode 1: It's a hold for now, leaning towards keep, if slightly.

Mashiro-iro Symphony: So it's not terrible, which is a relief, but it did something that anime series shouldn't do, which is make me want to watch a different series from the studio. After watching two episodes of Mashiro-iro Symphony, the thought crossing my mind wasn't anticipation for episode 3, but rather a desire to go back and watch Samurai Champloo, which is exactly what I did. I might keep watching and use it as an inoffensive series to play around with doing some Wiki work on Anime Vice with, and maybe the relationships with the characters take hold over time and turns me around into really liking the show, but right now it's nowhere near as good as other Manglobe series, and if I saw it there's no way I could peg this coming from the same studio which made Deadman Wonderland. The World God Only Knows, or Samurai Champloo.

Verdict on Mashiro-iro Symphony after episode 2: I might keep watching it, but for purposes of using it to learn how to use the wiki edit functions better since it looks like no one else has done much more than put a first episode title down.

Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!: Ok, the good news, Momoyo isn't Yamato's sister. The bad news, if the fight scenes weren't interesting, this show wouldn't have any redeeming value left. I haven't found a character to gravitate to and root for, as all of them seem to be as shallow as the deep end of an emptied swimming pool. Oh, you could have something here, I'm just not seeing it and you're running out of time to show me something I'm willing to stick around for. I'm not sure what it's going for at this point with it's "mission" structure, and use of lethal/non-lethal weaponry outside of it's usual battleground. Again, this show has a real chance of driving me into watching the second season of Baka to Test instead of this.

Verdict on Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai! after episode 2: It's a hold, but quickly losing it's grip. If it has a trump card, it better use it, and quick.

C Cube: You know, I was coming close to shrugging my shoulders and walking away from this one about halfway through the second episode. I didn't like the characters, I was finding it boring, and I didn't see any reason to continue. Then it breaks into an insane fight scene, one good enough that it earned the watch of a third episode. Maybe it was the intention of C Cube to lull me into a false sense of the duldrums before bringing out the chaos and raining blood and violence down upon it's unsuspecting viewer. And I just may hate Fear-in-Cube enough to root for the bad girl, as her "cute" antics are making me wish for a Madoka Magica episode 3 repeat. Ok, maybe I don't hate her that badly, but then again, maybe I do. I guess I'll have to keep watching to find out, so victory goes to Fear this time, but you better do your best Lucy impersonation in episode 3 to make me care.

Verdict on C Cube after episode 2: I'm going to keep watching, because I really liked the fight at the end of the second episode, but unless there's some major character shifts, this one's on very thin ice and about to fall into the drop pile if it doesn't deliver some character development I care about, or Elfen Lied levels of violence.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai: Funny that this and C Cube both end up down here, as both are shows that I had hesitation going into the season to watch. But unlike C Cube, I liked the first episode of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai quite a bit. There's potential that hasn't been ruined so far, and the dynamics between the three characters seems like it could go in interesting places. There's sure to be more characters which gives this show the opportunity to either build a strong cast, or fall in on it's own weight. It's an interesting spin having the "popular" girl join the club to find friends because at least she's smart enough to realize that a friend and sycophant are completely different things, but not unwilling to use those sycophants to make her life easier. Sena's just manipulative enough that she might cause more tension because she's accustomed to getting what she wants more than her developing rivalry with Yozora. Kodaka also has a good reason to be lumped in with them, and I appreciate that they'd give a decent explanation for why he'd be in need of this "Neighbor's Club". He's going to be the lynchpin if this show holds together, and it'll be through his eyes that most viewers will watch the show.

Verdict on Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai after episode 1: Not bad, but still has lots of room to either turn great or, more likely, into a giant mess. It has some time to reveal it's ultimate direction at this point.

Next week, I'll hopefully have had time to watch Fate/Zero and Guilty Crown, and more time can be taken for the shows above to shake themselves out.

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So a few things before we get started with this season's contenders to the final three seats to the "Super Six" throne.

First, I just finished off Kamisama Dolls a few minutes ago, and if it's not the most schizophrenic show I've ever seen, I'm going to have to have my memory jogged to what is. It just couldn't maintain an art style, pace, or theme for 13 episodes. It feels like the show had about eight different writers trying to write eight different shows, and they played Rock Paper Scissors to decide who got control of the show next. It's kind of a jumbled mess, actually, it's completely a jumbled mess.

Also just finished Mayo Chiki! which comes off the Super Six board with the end of the season. What a strange way to end the show, with something that seemed a bit like a filler episode that was misplaced and should have been in the middle of the season. Weak ending if there's not a second season, which I'm thinking is more likely than I would have expected. Otherwise, it's just a strange note to end the show on, not focusing on the main trio of the show and doing what seemed like an "alternate route" that didn't really lead anywhere. At least it wasn't the end of Kore wa Zombie desu ka? which with a thirteenth episode name like "Please Grope Me!" seemed imminent.

Of course a lot of news on Persona 4: The Animation with licensing for the US and streaming options announced. This is going to be a disaster. All the excitement drained away as soon as Sentai was announced as the license holder, which means no returning voice cast, probably a messed up rewrite of the script, and in the end there may be very little resemblance to the game. Sentai's track record has not been good, and it seems like every lethal mistake that can be made is about to happen here. I understand that most people think it's few who are complaining loudly, but Persona 4's a special case. If it were just a 2008 game getting an anime, it'd be one thing, but you're looking at releasing this series around the time that Persona 4: The Golden and Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena are being released. Persona 4: the Golden also requires the purchase of a, minimum $250, handheld console in the Playstation Vita which means if you screw this up, the biggest Persona 4 fans are going to be cash strapped enough to give you a pass on your DVD/Blu-Ray release. I hope they make something back off the streaming options, because the likelihood of buying this when it comes out is dwindling quickly.

On to the issue at hand.

The Contenders

Last I left off there were five of the "Super Six" series which have now ended (Mayo! Chiki, Usagi Drop, Tiger & Bunny, Steins;Gate, and Hanasaku Iroha), one which continues from last season (Mawaru Penguindrum), and two which are locked into replacement spots (Persona 4: The Animation and the second season of Bakuman). Here's where things get tricky, trying to figure out what, if anything, fills the other three slots that are emptied out. Here's a list of the things I find most promising before the season starts. Of course this is fluid and can change with the blink of an eye, or the release of a brilliant first episode.

C3: Cubed x Cursed x Curious

The lowdown: So we have a "naked rice thief" who is actually a cursed tool called "Fear in Cube". The finder of this thief in his home is, conveniently enough immune to such cursed tools, and even more conveniently is a high school student who lives alone, which means moving in is the only natural thing to do. Random self sufficient high school student #493 now defends Fear from those who want to study, destroy, or worship her.

Thoughts: So the best case scenario is that this is going to be some strange hybrid between Kore wa Zombie desu ka? and Puelle Magi Madoka Magica, the latter show I just couldn't drag myself into, but the previous I enjoyed thoroughly. The thing that made Zombie work for me though was the absurdity that kept piling on until the whole thing was so ridiculous that taking it seriously was a fools errand. He's a zombie, controlled by a necromancer, who steals a magical girl's powers and is supposed to get married to a vampire ninja because he accidentally kissed her? I have a hard time seeing C3 not taking itself far too seriously to reach those levels of insanity, but maybe it keeps enough of that nature and marries it with a darker show like Madoka to create something interesting. Or maybe this just turns into uncomfortable fanservice that I can ditch after an episode or two.

Prediction: I don't see C3 being a show that you're not going to make your mind up quickly about, so it's safe to contend, since whether or not it's going to be any good should be apparent quickly.

Mirai Nikki

The lowdown: A loner uses his cell phone to report what he sees in the world to his "friend" Deus ex Machina. One day Deus writes back and invites him in a life or death game with the promise of godhood to the winner.

Thoughts: I don't think I could try to keep up with this and Steins;Gate at the same time, but since Steins;Gate is going away a psychological thriller should fit the bill and the premise of Mirai Nikki sounds interesting. Concepts like this can fall apart quickly, and it'll be interesting to see how the "hidden information" aspect of this quest for godhood plays out, but the idea of forcing people against either other in this manner is interesting to say the least. This could be some kind of bastard love child of Battle Royale and Chaos;Head, which might have been the thing that Chaos;Head needed to actually be good.

Prediction: I'm trying to be cautiously optimistic and remind myself that taut psychological thrillers like Steins;Gate don't happen very often. It's becoming increasingly hard not to throw caution to the wind with Mirai Nikki though, as the potential of this show is incredible. If this comes out strong, it'll probably receive a ton of critical buzz off the bat and lodge itself squarely in the Super Six.

Mashiro-Iro Symphony

The lowdown: Before the merging of an all-girls school with an all-boys school, Shingo Uyru is part of a group of boys sent to the girl's school early. The problem being that the girls hate members of the opposite sex which means Shingo's going to have a fight on his hands to be accepted, and pave the way for acceptance of the boys who will follow him into his new environment.

Thoughts: Wow, this sounds completely generic and terrible. I see buckets of blood, violence as ways of showing affection, nosebleeds from fanservice, and wait, that's Manglobe? Wow, am I really going to give this show a shot because I love Manglobe's previous work and I have faith that if they're doing this there might be something worthwhile here?

Prediction: Yes, I am going to watch it although the warning flags are flying at full mast going in. I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised, although I sense a disaster.

Last Exile -Fam The Golden Wing

The lowdown: The sequel to Last Exile follows a sky pirate named Fam as she becomes embroiled in the war between the Kingdom of Turan and the Ades Federation.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed Last Exile, and while many might have a higher opinion of it than I have, I still hold it in high regard. The animation was beautiful,and while I'm not a huge steampunk fan, I can see this show holding my attention as long as it remains as interesting as it's predecessor. This is going to hinge a lot on Fam and how interesting she is. I'm not going to be attracted to the show by pretty airships alone, and it's going to be the story being told that's going to maintain my interest here.

Prediction: I can see watching this show all the way through and enjoying it, but I don't see it rising to the level of a Super Six show unless a lot falls flat around it. I can see it hitting a Kamisama no Memochou level at least, as long as it's half as strong as the series it's following.

Guilty Crown

The lowdown: As much as Shu tries to hide his power to extract weapons from his friends, an encounter with a member of the resistance group Undertaker will force him to use his powers.

Thoughts: There's a lot to like here, with Production I.G. doing the animation, the director having credits on Death Note, and the screenplay being from the person who wrote Code Geass. The problem is that by the time that Code Geass started it's second season, I was completely sick of how self serious the show had become, and it might have worn my tolerance down to any such similar tricks pulled in this show. There's a lot of potential, but I have the fear that it's going to be preachy and I don't know if I have the patience to put up with that long enough to let it develop.

Prediction: I have a bad feeling I'm going to bail on this show before it evolves into something great. I have a worse feeling I might hold on and it won't develop into something great.

Fate/Zero

The lowdown: A prequel to Fate/Stay Night which sets up the fourth Holy Grail War by telling the events ten years before from the perspective of Shiro Emiya's foster father Kiritsugu Emiya.

Thoughts: Another show that I might drop in a hurry, depending on what this show is supposed to accomplish for the Fate universe. In my opinion, a prequel is supposed to create an onramp for people who aren't already fans of the show to join in, not fan service for existing fans. It's the creation of a new entry point for those who haven't followed the Fate series up to this point, and should require little to no knowledge of that series except to know that there's more of it out there if they enjoy this. If Fate/Zero is fan service for those already indoctrinated I'm going to be out of here faster than you can Hen Zemi, if it's a new entry point, then I might stick around and see what people who are already fans see in this.

Prediction: It's fan service, and not (just) the kind that shows pantsu. I'll last an episode, maybe two, but that's it.

Chihayafuru

The lowdown: Ayase Chihaya stops following her dreams for others and begins following her dreams for herself through learning the card game karuta.

Thoughts: The artwork is speaking to me, and the idea of females being involved in competitive card games is one I have particular interest in. Years ago, I used to run my share of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic: the Gathering, and Pokemon tournaments, and trying to figure out the mentality of females who were in the room was one of the most perplexing problems as an organizer I faced. The opportunity to see this perspective with some time removing me from running those events could bring back some memories or show some insights that I was too close to the situation then to understand.

Prediction: There's a lot of love for the manga that this is based off of, and like Mirai Nikki, it's hard to temper my interest in this show. There's potentially a seat at the table for Chihayafuru if it follows through on it's premise. Then again, it could be Yu-Gi-Oh! with a female protagonist.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai!

The lowdown: When a normal high school student runs into a beautiful but unpleasant girl talking to her imaginary friend, they decide to form a club to find others who lack the skills to make friends of their own.

Thoughts: There's lots of way to do high school comedy, but it's all based on the characters and how they interact. There's interesting ways you can do a premise like this right, but there's so many ways that it can go horribly wrong as well. A peek in at this situation should, like C3, make it readily apparent whether this is going to go in a good or bad direction quickly.

Prediction: I think either this or C3 is going to go well, but I have a hard time believing both are going to succeed. I think that this actually might be the stronger of the two and could be a surprise this season if the comedy is good and the characters well realized.

Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere

The lowdown: People who return to Earth from the skies reproduce the events in a book called "Testament" in order to return to the skies again. The book ends in the year 1648, which happens to be the year that the anime takes place.

Thoughts: It's interesting to see what this show is going to try to be. Is it a diatribe on fate? Does it focus on the actions of people who are face to face with an end of world prophecy? What happens when the book runs out of pages, but time marches on? It's too early to tell where Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere is going to go, but there's a lot of fascinating directions it could move in. I might give this show a bit more rope than others just because I think it's going to take a while to reveal itself.

Prediction: I'm cautiously optimistic that this show can go in interesting places and could be incredibly entertaining. I'm also aware that I might get roped in waiting for something which never happens.

End Thoughts

After taking an initial look without seeing a single episode from the fall season, here's the new Super Six going into week zero. This can, should, and probably will change as shows begin to air.

  1. Mawaru Penguindrum
  2. Persona 4: The Animation
  3. Bakuman: Season 2
  4. Mirai Nikki
  5. Chihayafuru
  6. Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere
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