Season Previews:- Winter 2009 Anime
- Spring 2009 Anime
- Summer 2009 Anime
- Fall 2009 Anime
- Winter 2010 Anime
- Spring 2010 Anime
Fall 2009 Anime Season Preview
I know, I know, I'm a bit late getting this fall 2009 anime preview to you-- the fall shows are already starting all over the place! But hopefully the wealth of information will make it up to you. As those of you who've been through a couple of my season previews before, you know I'm always trying to tweak the formula to give you guys the info you want most in the most sensible ways. This time around I'm making use of that handy-dandy spoiler/nsfw tagger-- because I know I get sick of having to scroll through so much stuff!
So it looks kinda like this: each show has its own "cut" or "jump," with all the information, the trailer (or other visual, if I couldn't find an embeddable trailer), etc. underneath it. And each one of those jumps is labeled for its show with a nice little one-liner, so you know whether you want to look at it or not. Hopefully this'll make it easier to scroll through this when you're looking for one specific thing later, and help it from looking like just a giant, daunting wall of text! And so, without further ado...
- Title: 11eyes
- Studio: Doga Kobo
- Director: Masami Shimoda (Polyphonica, E's Otherwise, Someday's Dreamers)
- Based On: 2008 eroge of the same name
- Airs: Chiba TV, Wednesdays at 1am, starting October 7th
- Website: http://www.mmv.co.jp/special/11eyes
Satsuki Kakeru is, as far as he knows, a pretty normal guy, not including the fact that his sister committed suicide some years back. One day his normal world disappears as he gets sucked into a different one, known as Red Night, along with several of his female classmates. There, they defeat six black knights in order to return to their home world...if they can.
- The original game is known in part because of its character designs, which were created by a number of doujinshika and illustrators: Chikotamu, the doujinshi circle Onsendou, Yuu Ozawa, and Yuu Narumi.
- Daisuke Ono (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya's Itsuki Koizumi, Kuroshitsuji's Sebastien) will be playing Satsuki.
- To my disappointment, they aren't using Lunatic Tears, the opening song from the game, for the TV anime. However, the show's opening theme will be sung by the same artist, Ayane, so hopefully it'll still be awesome. The video attached to this anime above is the opening for the game, specifically because Lunatic Tears is a pretty cool song. (Kinda like what ALI Project wants to be.)
- Title: Anyamaru Tantei Kiriminzuu
- JP Title: あにゃまる探偵 きるみんずぅ
- Studio: Satelight X HAL Film Maker X JM Animation
- Director: Soichi Masui (Scrapped Princess)
- Based On: Original concept by Shoji Kawamori
- Airs: TV Tokyo, Mondays at 5:30pm, starting October 5th
- Website: http://www.kirumin.com
The Mikogami sisters live in an amazing (non-existent) Japanese city with beautiful wonders of nature all around them. They love animals and like to play dress-up as them. One day they stumble upon a magical compact in their attic and suddenly, the girls can transform into actual animals. And they have cute, silly adventures.
- This may sound too cute and kid-focused to be worth checking out, but it was created by Shoji Kawamori, of multi-Macross fame (not to mention Escaflowne, Aquarion, Basquash, etc).
- Aoi Yuuki (who is also playing the lead in Yumiero Patissiere this season) will be playing one of the three sisters, Riko. Joining her are Chika Anzai, a newbie seiyuu, as Nagisa, and Satomi Satou (Asura Cryin's Aine, Hatsukoi Limited's Yuu Enomoto) as Rimu.
- This is mostly a project with young (and hopefully up-and-coming) staffers: Kanou Kawashima is composing, Sumie Aizawa did character design, and series composers Yousuke Yuuki and Eriko Matsuda don't have many credits either (Matsuda did work on some episodes of Itazura na Kiss, however).
- Title: Aoi Bungaku Series
- JP Title: 青い文学シリーズ
- Studio: Madhouse
- Director: Various
- Based On: Four classic tales of Japanese literature
- Airs: NipponTV, Sundays at 1:20am, starting October 11th
- Website: http://www.ntv.co.jp/bungaku
In four chunks of 2-4 episodes each, Madhouse is going to retell four of Japan's greatest literature to date. First up is director Morio Asaka (Cardcaptor Sakura, Gunslinger Girl) working with Death Note manga artist Takeshi Obata to retell Osamu Dazai's No Longer Human, in which the protagonist continually dissociates from the rest of the world. Tetsuro Araki (Kurozuka, Otogi-Jushi Akazukin) will retell Ango Sakaguchi's tale In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom, with help from Bleach's Tite Kubo. Takeshi Obata joins director Shigeyuki Miya (Buzzer Beater, Lupin III: Green VS Red) for Soseki Natsume's Kokoro, and Ryosuke Nakamura (Mouryou no Hako) will direct another Osamu Dazai work, Run!. Tite Kubo returns for Ryuunosuke Akutagawa's The Spider's Thread and Hell Screen, both with director Atsuko Ishizuka (assistant director on Maple Story). In other words, it's a giant mass of amazing talent and you should check it out.
- Title: Asura Cryin' 2
- JP Title: アスラクライン 2
- Studio: Seven Arcs
- Director: Keizo Kusakawa (Asura Cryin', Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha)
- Based On: Gakuto Mikumo's light novel series of the same name
- Airs: AT-X, Thursdays at 9:30am, starting October 1st
- Website: http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/asura
- Simulcast: http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Asura_Cryin
The continued adventures of Tomoharu Natsume and his ghostly companion, Misao Minakami. Tomoharu lives on his own and has a pleasant, normal high school life, except for his ghostly best pal, until a woman named Kurosaki Shuri appears and and hands over a trunk supposedly from Tomoharu's brother Naotaka. Along with the trunk comes a shrine maiden named Kanade Takatsuki, who wants the trunk. You get the idea.
- Singer Angela, who performed the opening and ending themes for the first season, returns to perform new ones for the second: “Alternative” for the OP, and “Kanata no Delight” for the ED.
- There are a few staff changes: Deko Akao, who script-wrote for the first season, is taking over series composition for the second. The replacement on the script front is Takamitsu Kouno, who wrote the script for the Utawarerumono OVA, a few eps of the first Minamike season, and did series composition on the Kyou no Go no Ni TV anime.
- Title: Darker than Black -Ryuusei no Gemini-
- JP Title: DARKER THAN BLACK - 流星の双子 ( ジェミニ )-
- Studio: BONES
- Director: Tensai Okamura (Darker than Black, Kikaider, Wolf's Rain OVA)
- Based On: Original concept by Tensai Okamura
- Airs: MBS, Fridays at 1:25am, starting October 9th
- Website: http://www.d-black.net
Darker than Black takes place in a world where two strange "gates" appeared, one in Tokyo and one in South America. Along with the appearance of these "gates" comes "Contractors," people with remarkable abilities. But the abilities aren't the only thing that sets Contractors apart. Contractors are emotionless beings operating on logic (hello, Spock) and in addition to their abilities they must pay a "remuneration," an OCD-like need to perform an act after using their powers. This can be anything from breaking one's own fingers to singing to eating cigarettes. In this new season, original main character Hei seems to make an appearance, but the focus seems to be on a new character: Suou Pavlichenko.
- Kana Hanazawa, this season's Kobato and various other leads (Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino-'s Angelica, Sketchbook's Sora Kajiwara), will play Suou.
- Not a lot of staff changes, but unfortunately, Yoko Kanno-- who did the excellent soundtrack for the first Darker than Black –is not returning for the second. The composer this time is Yasunori Ishii, whose credits are somewhat minimal. (Artist management on Trigun? Animation director on a 1975 TV anime? I dunno.)
- That said, abingdon boys school, who did Darker than Black's first OP “HOWLING,” is back with an ending this time, “From Dusk Till Dawn.”
- Title: Fairy Tail
- Studio: A-1 Pictures X Satelight
- Director: Shinji Ishihira (Tokyo Majin, Aoi Kokuhaku)
- Based On: Hiro Mashima's manga of the same name
- Airs: TV Tokyo, Mondays at 7:30pm, starting October 12th
- Website: http://kc.kodansha.co.jp/fairytail
The next Naruto/One Piece/Dragon Ball Z? Maybe, but unlike those, I actually really dig Fairy Tail. Maybe it's because the starting protagonist is a woman, Lucy, even if she's more interested in finding the “coolest” and trendiest magic guild rather than necessarily the best. Of course, it turns out that the guild she stumbles into, Fairy Tail, is the coolest AND the best, and our main hero is, of course, the fire-user Natsu. It's an action-adventure in the classic sense, with plenty of comedy mixed in for good measure.
- While director Shinji Ishihira's directorial credits list isn't a mile long, he HAS worked on storyboards for some very prominent shounen series: Darker than Black, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, etc.
- It's the return of Aya Hirano! The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya/Lucky Star star will be voicing Lucy, along with Tetsuya Kakihara (Gurren Lagann's Simon, Romeo x Juliet's Mercutio) as Natsu.
- I may not be too into Naruto, but that doesn't mean I can't acknowledge that it has some great music-- and not just the openings and endings. Composer Yasuharu Takanashi is the one to credit for that, and he'll be working on Fairy Tail, too.
- Title: Gokyoudai Monogatari
- JP Title: ご姉弟物語
- Studio: Shin-Ei Douga
- Director: Tetsuo Yasumi (ATASHIn'CHI, Zenmai Zamurai)
- Based On: Tetsu Adachi's manga “Baka Kyoudai”
- Airs: TV Asahi, Saturdays at 11:20am, starting October 10th
- Website: http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/gokyoudai
Two amazingly unattractive and unintelligent twin children have “heartwarming” adventures in this comedy which runs in a seinen publication, but appears to be reasonably all-ages, since it's airing in a kids' timeslot and has an anime who specializes in kids' shows.
- The twins, Onei and Junichiro Jinushi, are played by Yuki Matsuoka (Azumanga Daioh's Osaka-- enough said) and Yumiko Kobayashi (Love Hina's Sarah McDougal, Slayers Evolution's Pokota). They are joined by Sayaka Ohara (Code Geass' Milly Ashford, xxxHOLiC's Yuuko), playing “Shizuka.”
- Title: Himitsukessha Takanotsume Countdown
- JP Title: 秘密結社 鷹の爪 カウントダウン
- Studio: Kaeru Otoko
- Airs: TV Asahi, Wednesdays at 1:21am, starting October 7th
- Website: http:// 鷹の爪 .jp
- I don't really have the least idea what's going on with this thing. It's a goofy series of anime shorts, from the looks of it, based on an...Internet meme? a mascot? I'm not entirely sure. It's by Frogman, and he's done a lot of stuff-- even a small collaboration with the Watchmen. There are a few of Himitsukessha Takanotsume projects going on, including a 2010 movie consisting of nothing but fans sending in videos of themselves shouting TAKANOTSUME, apparently.
- FYI, the video above is one of the original shorts, from 2006.
- Title: InuYasha The Final Act
- JP Title: 犬夜叉 - 完結編 -
- Studio: Sunrise
- Director: Yasunao Aoki (InuYasha, Yakitate!! Japan, Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz)
- Based On: The final chapters of Rumiko Takahashi's InuYasha manga
- Airs: Nippon TV, Sundays at 2:20am, starting October 4th
- Website: http://www.ytv.co.jp/inuyasha
- Simulcast: http://shonensunday.com/anime
As if any of you don't know the basics: a girl from our time (Kagome) falls into a well at her family's shrine and wakes up in the feudal era. There, a series of incidents occurs where she unleashes a half-human, half-dog demon (InuYasha), and they accidentally find a powerful magical jewel inside Kagome, which then gets smashed into a million pieces that they have to collect. It turns out that a powerful foe, Naraku, has set some amount of this up, and they have to fight him while collecting the jewel back together. They acquire a few allies, some who travel with them, some who they just stumble upon every so often. When we last left our heroes, they were struggling to locate and destroy Naraku's heart.
- There don't appear to be any changes to the staff or cast (although Yasunao Aoki only directed episodes 45 and beyond for InuYasha; the first director was Masashi Ikeda). However, VIZ is simulcasting the series, which is awesome. I had kind of hoped that they would try for a simultaneous dub-- the only ADR director who's done this before, Toshifumi Yoshida with Kurokami, also happens to be the guy who ADR directed the first InuYasha. Last I talked to him he had not been approached, however, so we'll see what happens with the dub here in the States later.
- Title: Kaidan Restaurant
- JP Title: 怪談レストラン
- Studio: Toei
- Director: Yoko Ikeda
- Based On: Various ghost stories
- Airs: TV Asahi, Tuesdays at 7:30am, starting October 13th
- Website: http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/kaidan_restaurant
Just in time for Halloween, Toei offers up a collection of “thriller” tales (for so Kaidan can be translated). Each episode will actually feature three stories: an “appetizer,” a “main dish,” and a “dessert.” The appetizers and main dishes will always feature one Ako Oozora, the heroine of the series. It's a bit more kid-oriented than adult, but it sounds like it could be fun.
- Ryouko Shiraishi (Hayate the Combat Butler's Hayate, Nyan Koi!'s Kanako, Natsu no Arashi's Sayoko-- and that's just this season!) will play Ako.
- Will the music be spooky enough? Composer Hiroshi Takagi did some music for Dragonaut, as well as Sky Girls and the entirety of Beet the Vandel Buster.
- Title: Kampfer
- JP Title: けんぷファー
- Studio: Nomad
- Director: Yasuhiro Kuroda (Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou, Angel's Feather)
- Based On: Toshihiko Tsukiji's manga of the same name
- Airs: TBS, Fridays at 1:30am, starting October 2nd
- Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/kenpu
A normal school guy wakes up one day...as a girl. (Sound familiar?) As if that wasn't weird enough, his tiger plushie comes to life and tells him (her?) he has to fight as a female fighter, a Kampfer. He has no idea why, but Natsuru Senou finds himself fighting various attractive women...as a woman himself.
- Mangaka Toshihiko Tsukiji also created the Maburaho manga, and the original story for Umi Monogatari.
- You might want to keep an ear out for the music in this title: up-and-comer Tatsuya Katou, who's responsible for the music of Needless and Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~.
- One of my favorite voice actresses in recent memory, Marina Inoue (Gurren Lagann's Yoko, Valkyria Chronicles' Alicia Melchiott), is playing the lead, Natsuru (male AND female?...), and is joined by such names as Nana Mizuki (Nanoha's Fate Testarossa, Naruto's Hinata), Yui Horie (Kanon's Ayu, Love Hina's Naru), and Yuuko Gotou (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya's Mikuru, Code Geass' Anya Alstreim).
- Title: Kiddy Girl-and
- JP Title: キディ・ガーランド
- Studio: Satelight
- Director: Keiji Gotoh (Kiddy Grade TV & Movies, Uta~Kata)
- Based On: Original work by gimik (Keiji Gotoh, Megumi Kadonosono, Hidefumi Kimura)
- Airs: SunTV, Fridays at 12:40am, starting October 16th
- Website: http://www.kiddygirl-and.com
For all ten of you who have been sitting at the edges of your seats waiting for more Kiddy Grade, here it is: Kiddy Girl-and. Set 50 years after Eclaire and Lumiere of the Galactic Organization of Trade and Tariffs ends, the galaxy has quickly found itself in yet another major standoff. Two heroines must rise to save the world...but this time, it's Ascoeur and Q-feuille.
- ...Which is not to say that Lumiere and Eclair don't both show up in the cast lists.
- By interesting coincidence, both of the new heroines are played by girls named Aya. Seiyuu newbie Aya Gouda will play Q-feuille, while Aya Uchida (who played Chikara in Kyoto Animation's Munto anime remake) will play Ascoeur.
- The two leads are confirmed to be singing the series' OP song.
- Title: Kimi ni Todoke
- JP Title: 君に届け
- Studio: Production I.G
- Director: Hiro Kaburaki (Directorial debut! Episode director Chevalier d'Eon, Speed Grapher, NHK ni Youkoso)
- Based On: Karuho Shiina's manga of the same name
- Airs: Nippon TV, Wednesdays at 12:59am, starting October 7th
- Website: http://www.ntv.co.jp/kiminitodoke
Sawako may have a somewhat ghastly appearance-- so ghostly that she's nicknamed “Sadako” after the character from the horror flick The Ring, and classmates claim she can see ghosts –but she's just a normal girl who is thrilled when her crush, classmate Kazehaya, starts talking to her. The two begin to develop a romance, but their different social statuses (as well as just plain ol' being teenagers) sometimes gets in the way.
- Mamiko Noto, also playing this season's Haruka Nogizaka, will play Sawako. Joining her is Daisuke Namikawa (Gantz's Kei Kurono, Hetalia's Italy) as Kazehaya.
- Expect this shoujo romance to be sweet, but not TOO sweet. Series composer Tomoko Konparu is best known for Chi's Sweet Home, Nodame Cantabile, and Les Miserables: Shoujo Cosette.
- Title: Kobato.
- JP Title: こばと。
- Studio: Madhouse
- Director: Mitsuyuki Masuhara (Chi's Sweet Home)
- Based On: CLAMP's manga of the same name
- Airs: NHK, Tuesdays at 8pm, starting October 6th
- Website: http://www.kobato.tv
ZOMG new CLAMP anime! This sweet title revolves around a young woman, the titular Kobato, who is sweet and chipper but ultimately naïve. Somehow she is tasked with filling a magical bottle with other peoples' suffering, who she must heal. The only law: she mustn't fall in love with any of the people she heals.
- CLAMP has proven pretty amenable to the simul-release-- see also the upcoming CLAMP mangettes –but I don't believe animator Madhouse has ever done one, so we'll see if this turns out to be one of Crunchyroll's simulcasts (and what an awesome GET it would be).
- Kana Hanazawa, who is playing the titular lead, is a pretty smashing up-and-coming seiyuu. Of late she's played everything from Potemayo's also-titular lead to To Love-Ru's Mikan Yuuki to Kannagi's Zange-chan. This season she will also be working on Darker than Black -Ryuusei no Gemini- as Suou Pavlichenko.
- Director Mitsuyuki Masuhara may only have one full directorial credit to his name, but he's worked on CLAMP materials before, episode-directing Chobits' 21 and working as a unit director for the second CLAMP in Wonderland OVA. He's not just known for cute, though: he's also directed episodes of Death Note, BECK, and Gungrave.
- Title: Kotatsu Neko
- JP Title: 炬燵猫
- Studio: Iyasakadou Film
- Director: Ohko Ogawa
- Based On: Live-action romance film of the same name
- Airs: TV Kanagawa, Saturdays at 8:25am, starting October 3rd
- Website: http://ameblo.jp/velvet-kotatsuneko
This strange little anime project came to light when one of its seiyuu mentioned working on it on her blog. It claims to be based on the aforementioned film, which sounds a little bit like Look Who's Talking Now, if you remember that fine piece of cinema history, meets Garfield & Friends. Basically, it revolves around two cats owned by the same human; one's a girly white cat named Shito and the other is Zero, a cool cat who's a Cool Cat. Shito has a crush on Zero, but Zero is too cool for school or some such nonsense, thus leading to kitty drama! Their owner, a third grader, also has a crush on a female classmate that he can't admit to. Aw, pet sympathy.
- Word of this anime first filtered onto the 'net via the blog of seiyuu Sakura Nogawa (Azumanga Daioh's Kaorin, Rozen Maiden's Hinaichigo).
- A relative newbie seiyuu, Hibiku Yamamura, will voice Zero. He's had bit parts on Evangelion 2.0 and the Utsurun Desu. OVA.
- The anime will actually be a collection of five-minute shorts, although it well air on TV regularly.
- Title: Kuuchuu Buranko
- JP Title: 空中ブランコ
- Studio: Toei
- Director: Kenji Nakamura (Ayakashi – Samurai Horror Tales (Bakeneko arc), Mononoke (Zashiki Warashi arc))
- Based On: Okuda Hideo's short story collection of the same name
- Airs: Fuji TV, Fridays at 12:45am, starting October 16th
- Website: http://www.kuchu-buranko.com
There are a variety of short stories written by Okuda Hideo, who won an award for the collection, to be had in this relatively literary anime, but the primary theme is that they are about a psychiatrist and his various patients. One of these is a circus member who's starting to have difficulty performing his act.
- As with the stories, a variety of voice actors will pop up in each episode to tell the tales. Toshiyuki Morikawa, for example-- he plays Sephiroth in the various Final Fantasy VII games/flicks/spinoffs –appears in the first episode. As if to balance him out, Takahiro Sakurai, who plays Cloud in the same iterations, appears in episode two. Hiroaki Hirata (One Piece's Sanji) appears in episode five, episode 10 features Ryotaru Okiayu (Bleach's Byakuya), etc. And that's just a few of 'em.
- The look of the series is pretty unique-- day-glo, with some, shall we say, unusual character designs –and I'm guessing this can be laid on Toshifumi Hashimoto, Chief Animation Director and Character Designer. Past credits include key animation on Vampire Princess Miyu and the Silent Mobius films.
- Title: Miracle Train ~Ooedosen e Youkoso~
- JP Title: ミラクル☆トレイン～大江戸線へようこそ～
- Studio: Yumeta Company
- Director: Kenichi Kasai (Nodame Cantabile, Honey and Clover, Aoi Hana)
- Based On: The web manga, which is based on the Ooedo train line in Tokyo
- Airs: TV Tokyo, Mondays at 2am, starting October 5th
- Website: http://www.miracle-train.tv
- Simulcast: http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Miracle_Train
This one's for the ladies: six hot, totally stereotypical Japanese bishounen run the Ooedo train line and have various misadventures doing so. The men, while all totally different, are best of buddies, and include: the cool (effeminate) guy, the cool (masculine) guy, the precocious youth, the prankster, the totally honest guy, and the behind-the-scenes mastermind. Or something like that.
- It may sound like a goofy premise, but it's got a great cast. Hiroshi Kamiya (Fate Stay/Night's Shinji, Macross F's Michael) as Riku Nakano, Hiroyuki Yoshino (Gundam 00's Allelujah/Hallelujah) as Zero Toukyou, and Kenn (Tower of Druaga's Jil, Katekyo Hitman Reborn!'s Dino) as Fumi Roppongi?
- ...Kouki Miyata (Kyou Kara Maou's Ken Murata, RahXephon's Souchi) as Rune Tachikawa, Miyu Irino (Gundam 00's Saji Crossroad, Asura Cryin's Tomoharu Natsume) as Takuto Kichijouji, and Ryotaru Okiayu (Bleach's Byakuya, Fullmetal Alchemist's Scar) as Shintarou Shinjuku?!
- ...Not to mention the guest list: Masakazu Morita (Bleach's Ichigo), Tomokazu Sugita (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya's Kyon), and Daisuke Ono (Kuroshitsuji's Sebastien), among others. Whew. It's like the show exists to subsidize male voice actors, in stark contrast to all the moe-girl gigs...
- Title: Natsu no Arashi! Akinaichuu
- JP Title: 夏のあらし！～春夏冬中～
- Studio: Shaft
- Director: Akiyuki Shinbo (Natsu no Arashi!, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Pani Poni Dash)
- Based On: Jin Kobayashi's manga of the same name
- Airs: TV Tokyo, Mondays at 1:30am, starting October 5th
- Website: http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/natsunoarashi2
The adventure continues with the young Yasaka, crashing at his grandparents' home, and 16-year-old(-looking) Sayoko, who possesses mysterious powers. After Yasaka rescues Sayoko from a creepy dude, she moves in with Yasaka and his grandfather. The two young'uns can travel back and forth in time, and Yasaka tries to unravel the mystery throughout their adventures.
- Like White Album, this second season was already pretty much in the works when the first season was airing, so there aren't really any changes in staff and cast.
- But probably most of you don't realize: one of the script writers on Natsu is Deko Akao, who is also working on Asura Cryin'. Busy busy!
- Singer/songwriter Etsuko Yakushimaru will be singing the OP, while voice actresses Ai Nonaka (Yayoi), Kaori Nazuka (Kaja), Ryoko Shiraishi (Sayoko), and Yui Horie (Kanako Yamazaki) will sing the ending.
- Title: Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu Purezza ♪
- JP Title: 乃木坂春香の秘密 ぴゅあれっつぁ♪
- Studio: Dio Media
- Director: Munenori Nawa (Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, Kissxsis, Otoboku)
- Based On: Yuusaku Igarashi's light novels of the same name
- Airs: YTV, Tuesdays at 2:14am, starting October 6th
- Website: http://www.nogizaka-haruka.com
- Simulcast: http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Nogizaka_Haruka_no_Himitsu
It's every popular girl's worst nightmare: that the entire school might find out that she is secretly a hardcore, massive geek. In Haruka Nogizaka's case, she's a closeted otaku, living in fear that her fondness for figures and anime will cause her to lose her status as Most Popular Girl in School. So when her classmate Yuuto finds out her dark little secret, she makes him her confidante, and the two have various slice-of-otaku-life adventures.
- There are even fewer staff changes for this show than usual-- I can't find a single confirmed one. (Usually some very minor, not-terribly-notable changes are made-- key animators and the like.) It may just be that the info isn't out. But if you liked the first Haruka, it looks like this will be virtually identical in look, sound, and feel.
- Seiyuu/singer Hitomi Nabatame, who plays Ruko Ayase (Yuuto's older sister), is performing the opening-- I wonder if her character gets more attention? The other girls-- Mamiko Noto (Haruka), Kana Ueda (Nanami), Kaori Shimizu (Hazuki), Mai Goto (Mika), and Rina Satou (Shiina) sing the ending theme.
- Title: Nyan Koi!
- JP Title: にゃんこい！
- Studio: AIC
- Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi (Getsumen to Heiki Mina, Moetan, Zettai Karen Children)
- Based On: Sato Fujiwara's manga of the same name
- Airs: TBS, Fridays at 2am, starting October 2nd
- Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/nyankoi
Second-year high schooler Junpei Kousaka is allergic to and despises cats. Unfortunately, the girl he has a crush on adores the little fuzzbutts. One day he kicks an empty can and accidentally smacks the local guardian deity of cats, who puts a curse on Junpei: he must grant 100 wishes from cats or turn into one himself. Fortunately he was given one little ability to help out-- he can understand what cats say.
- You may not recognize the name of Junpei's seiyuu, Shintaro Asanuma, at first glance, but I'm betting you've seen something he was in: he played Kirio Karasuma in Kamichama Karin, Takeru in all three Minamike series, Daisuke Kusuriya in Mushi-Uta, and Frank in Nodame Cantabile: Parihen.
- Female lead Yuka Iguchi, playing heroine Kaede Mizuno, is perhaps better known as Zero no Tsukaima's Irukuku and Bakemonogatari's Tsukihi Araragi.
- Jun Fukuyama, Code Geass' Lelouch himself, will also be playing a role in the series-- two, actually. Haruhiko Endou, and "Tama." I'm betting that the latter is a cat. That should be kinda awesome.
- Title: Sasameki Koto
- JP Title: ささめきこと
- Studio: AIC
- Director: Eiji Suganuma (Kodomo no Jikan)
- Based On: Takashi Ikeda's manga of the same name
- Airs: TV Tokyo, Thursdays at 2:20am, starting October 8th
- Website: http://www.sasameki.com
This girls love series, based on the manga by Takashi Ikeda, revolves around a pair of best friends. Sumika, a tomboy, is in love with Ushio, who only loves cutesy girls...leaving poor Sumika to sit and watch while Ushio falls in and out of love with various other girls. Ouch.
- Ayahi Takagaki, better known as Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~'s Ein and Gundam 00's Feldt Grace, will voice Sumika, while Megumi Takamoto (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Winry, Negima's Chao Rinshen) will play Ushio.
- Scriptwriter Hideyuki Kurata won an award for his work last year, and is very prominent: he wrote the scripts for Read or Die (TV and OVA), Hellsing Ultimate, Kamichu!, and more.
- This is Shigeomi Hasumi's first gig as an anime music composer, so let's see how he does.
- Title: Seiken no Blacksmith
- JP Title: 聖剣の刀鍛冶 （ブラックスミス）
- Studio: Manglobe
- Director: Masamitsu Hidaka (Pokemon, Linebarrels of Iron)
- Based On: Isao Miura's light novel series of the same name
- Airs: AT-X, Saturdays at 9:30am, starting October 3rd
- Website: http://www.blasmi.com
Cecily Cambell is a would-be knight with a remarkable old sword from her father which she hopes to get repaired-- but first she has to find the right blacksmith. One day she bumps into a man with a strange taboo power and an oddly-shaped sword. His name is Luke Aunsworth, and the two unite for a what will probably be a rollicking adventure. Eventually the two are joined by Luke's live-in helpmate, the loli Lisa, and the mysterious bodyguard Aria.
- Ayumi Fujimura, better known as Nabari no Ou's Raimei and Kaze no Stigma's Ayano, is pulling double duty this season: as Cecily here, and as Niche in Tegami Bachi.
- Fujimura's co-star Nobuhiko Okamoto (Luke) has voiced a number of strongly-performed but not always well-known characters: Ghost Hunt's Osaka-dialect-speaking foreign priest John Brown, Shugo Chara!'s pint-sized chibi samurai Musashi, etc. Oh, and he played Shin in Persona -trinity soul-. <3
- Yet another soundtrack to watch for: Tamiya Terashima will compose. His past credits include Key: The Metal Idol's OVA, the Studio Ghibli film Gedo Senki/ Tales of Ged, and Studio 4 ° C's Tweeny Witches.
- Title: Seitokai no Ichizon
- JP Title: 生徒会の一存
- Studio: Studio Deen
- Director: Takuya Sato (Mission-E, Strawberry Marshmallow, NieA_7)
- Based On: Aoi Sekina's light novels of the same name
- Airs: TV Aichi, Saturdays at 2am, starting October 3rd
- Website: http://anime.webnt.jp/seitokai
A particular school's student council is elected entirely based on popularity (sounds like my high school!), and as such, the student council is all-female...until Ken Sugisaki manages to get elected secretary. He takes his duties very seriously, taking down notes about all of the council members' daily lives. Stalker alert!
- Leading man Ken will be played by Takashi Kondo, who I know best as Black Cat's Train Heartnett, although some of you may recognize him as Katekyo Hitman Reborn!'s Kyouya Hibari or Himawari!'s Yonezawa-kun.
- The four female seiyuu announced so far as Ken's fellow council members are all relative newbies to the trade. Top-billed is Mariko Honda as beribboned councilor Kurimu Sakurano. Then there are Yuka Saitou as Chizuru Akaba (Saitou has one significant past credit, Umineko no Naku Koro ni's Lucifer), and Misuzu Togashi and Yuki Horinaka as sisters (I assume) Minatsu and Mafuyu Shiina. These four girls will also sing the theme song. Yoroshiku, seiyuu-tachi!
- Title: Shin Koihime Musou
- JP Title: 真・恋姫†無双
- Studio: Doga Kobo
- Director: Nobuaki Nakanishi (Koihime Musou, Sumomomo Momomo)
- Based On: 2007 eroge Koihime Musou
- Airs: AT-X, Mondays at 5:30pm, starting October 5th
- Website: http://www.mmv.co.jp/special/shinkoihime
A guy gets tossed into the Three Kingdoms era, where he finds cute moe girl versions of Japan's historical figures from that time. I'm mildly surprised a second season was made of this, as I didn't think the first season did so well-- as I understand it, it's neither as badass action-wise as Tenjho Tenge (which features modern female reincarnations of the samecharacters), and not as over-the-top with its fanservice as Queen's Blade...but I haven't actually watched it. Maybe I should?
- For all that the rest of the show seems kinda meh, I will give it five stars for character designs-- they're quite attractive. I can't find the name of the designer who worked on the original game, but the anime's designer is Miwa Ooshima, who also designed Rizelmine and Saiunkoku Monogatari.
- There don't appear to be any cast or staff changes in this second season.
- Title: Sora no Otoshimono
- JP Title: そらのおとしもの
- Studio: AIC Asta
- Director: Hisashi Saitou (Bamboo Blade)
- Based On: Suu Minazuki's manga of the same name
- Airs: Chiba TV, Mondays at midnight, starting October 5th
- Website: http://anime.webnt.jp/soraoto
- Simulcast: http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Sora_No_Otoshimono
A would-be "normal guy," Tomoki Sakurai, tries to have a normal life in spite of the strange dreams he has about a girl who he feels he should remember. Then, one day, she falls from the sky-- a scantily-clad angel with wings and a chain around her neck. Along with the angel, Ikaros, comes a slew of decidedly not-normal difficulties for Tomoki to deal with.
- The show looks like little more than a fanservice blitz, just shy of Queen's Blade levels, but Hisashi Saitou did a fantastic job keeping Bamboo Blade light and fun and more than just a moefest, so we'll see how it turns out.
- Seiyuu veteran Souichiro Hoshi, aka Gundam SEED's Kira Yamato and Saiyuki's Son Goku, will voice Tomoki.
- Our angel Ikaros is to be played by Saori Hayami, Eden of the East's Saki and Sekirei's Musubi.
- Title: Tatakau Shisho The Book of Bantorra
- JP Title: 戦う司書 The Book of Bantorra
- Studio: david production
- Director: Toshiya Shinohara (Gunparade Orchestra, InuYasha movies 2-4, Kuroshitsuji)
- Based On: Ishio Yamagata's light novel series
- Airs: Animax, Fridays at 10pm, starting October 2nd
- Website: http://www.bantorra.com
- Simulcast: http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/The_Book_of_Bantorra
"In a world where people die and become books..." Such is the tagline of the series, which is based on a series of light novels by Ishio Yamagata. In this fantasy world, dead people turn into books held at a particular library-- Bantorra. Librarians there wield great power, and an amnesiac named Colio Teniesu wakes up one day with a bomb embedded in his chest to try to kill the most powerful of the librarians: Hamyuts Meseta. Instead, Koria falls in love with her, and finds himself in the middle of a war over the library.
- One of my favorite seiyuu, Romi Paku-- also known as Bleach's Hitsugaya and Fullmetal Alchemists' Ed Elric –is playing the lead role, Hamutz.
- You're probably familiar with Miyu Irino, who plays Korio, and he'll be busy this season: he also plays the lead in Asura Cryin'. You may also remember him as Saji Crossroad in Gundam 00.
- This is another soundtrack to listen for: composer Yoshihisa Hirano has also worked on Death Note, Ouran High School Host Club, and Real Drive, all of which have strong musical components.
- Title: Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee
- JP Title: テガミバチ
- Studio: Pierrot
- Director: Akira Iwanaga (Directorial debut! Episode-directed on Bleach, Pandora Hearts, Saiyuki Reload)
- Based On: Hiroyuki Asada's manga of the same name
- Airs: TV Tokyo, Saturdays at 11pm, starting October 3rd
- Website: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/tegamibachi
- Simulcast: http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Tegami_Bachi:_Letter_Bee
One of the more anticipated titles this season, and I must say I look forward to seeing if it has any potential for TV broadcast. A young orphan named Lag Seeing is rescued by a “Letter Bee,” a delivery person who passes on peoples' “hearts” in messages. Lag idolizes the man and trains to become a Letter Bee himself. In the world of Amberground it is always night and the journeys are dangerous, so Lag gets into quite a few adventures.
- This series is already well underway in gaining its popularity in Japan and the US. A special titled Tegami Bachi: Hikari to Ao no Gensouyawa (“Light and Blue's Night Fantasy”) was released back in 2008, and VIZ Media is already releasing the manga here. That the anime will be simulcast will only help!
- Miyuki Sawashiro, who's played everything from CANAAN's titular heroine to Di Gi Charat's Puchi Charat to Rozen Maiden's Shinku to Strike Witches' Perinne H. Closterman to Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei's Maria, will voice Lag. Whew!
- Joining Sawashiro is Ayumi Fujimura, as Lag's companion Niche. Fujimura is also playing Seiken no Blacksmith's lead Cecily this season.
- Title: Toaru Kagaku no Railgun
- JP Title: とある科学の超電磁砲
- Studio: J.C. Staff
- Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai (Honey and Clover II, Toradora!)
- Based On: Kazuma Kamachi's manga of the same name
- Airs: Tokyo MX TV, Saturdays at 1:30am, starting October 3rd
- Website: http://www.project-railgun.net
In Toaru Majutsu no Index, we watched the tale of Touma Kamijou and his remarkable ability to negate magic in the midst of a battle between magic-users and science-using espers. In Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, we will see the story unfold from the point of view of one Mikoto Misaka, one of the aforementioned espers (where Majutsu, of course, focused more on magic-user Index).
- We've had a director switch this time around: Majutsu's director, Hiroshi Nishikiori, has been replaced with Tatsuyuki Nagai, who's known for a certain amount of moe and fanservice (Toradora!, IDOLM@STER: Xenoglossia).
- Rina Satou, Negima!?'s titular young wizard and Minamike's Haruka Minami, returns to play Kagaku's lead, Mikoto.
- Title: Usaru-san.
- JP Title: うさるさん。
- Studio: Media Factory
- Based On: A popular mascot
- Airs: Kids Station, Saturdays at 1:53pm starting October 3rd
- Website: http://www.usaru.jp
A cute kids' anime based on a cute mascot, Usaru-san, a rabbit that wears a monkey suit. (Usagi = rabbit, saru = monkey, see?).
- AKB48 songstresses Sayaka Nakaya and Amina Satou will be voicing roles in the kids' show.
- Title: Waimo-kun~ Kiiroi Kao Shite Banbanban
- JP Title: わいもくん きいろいかおしてババンバン
- Based On: Sketches by singer Tortoise Matsumoto
- Airs: Music On! TV, Tuesdays at 10:53pm, starting October 6th
- Website: http://www.waimokun.com
Not a standard anime, but I wanted to include it because it has kind of a neat history. Singer Tortoise Matsumoto, of the band Ulfuls, has drawn sketches of a yellow mascot-type character on concert flyers back in 1989. The character frequently called out “wai mo!,” which is an Osaka dialect version of “watashi mo” (me too), and the character soon came to be called Waimo-kun. The band adopted him as a mascot, and now he's getting his own TV show. It's like the American dream, for fictional characters in Japan.
- Title: White Album Second Half
- Studio: Seven Arcs
- Director: Akira Yoshimura (White Album's first half was his directorial debut.)
- Based On: 1998 eroge of the same name.
- Airs: KBS, Saturdays at 1:30am, starting October 3rd
- Website: http://www.whitealbum-tv.com
I won't do a full write-up for this, since it's technically the “second half” of the anime, as opposed to a new full season with potential staff/cast changes...but if you missed the first season: in an unusual move for an eroge or harem anime, our hero Touya is already dating a girl, Yuki, who is working to become a famous idol singer. The couple meets a wide variety of challenges, particularly other girls who Touya meets in college.
- Title: Winter Sonata
- JP Title: 冬のソナタ
- Studio: G&G Entertainment X JM Animation
- Director: Yoon Suk-Ho (known for a collection of four dramas collectively known as “Endless Love,” including Winter Sonata)
- Based On: A live-action drama from South Korea
- Airs: DATV, Saturdays at 12pm, starting October 17th
- Website: http://anime-wintersonata.com
This immensely popular romance saga tells the tale of the introverted and pessimistic Joon-sang and his classmate Yu-Jin, with whom he falls in love. The two share a blossoming romance, until Joon-sang gets into a car accident and suffers brain damage. His mother-- who bore Joon-sang as the love child of a prominent musician –has him brainwashed, so that he does not recall his painful childhood. She moves with him to the United States. Ten years later, Joon-sang is a happy, outgoing architect...until he returns to Korea and Yu-Jin spots him. Cue a tangled mess of romance between the two and their current lovers, and you've got Winter Sonata in a nutshell.
- The original Korean drama is widely credited with being an immense part of the “Korean wave,” in which Korean culture spread throughout all of Asia, particularly Japan. The drama was aired in Japan as well.
- The anime is set to air in both Korea and Japan, and will feature over 20 of the cast members of the original K-drama in the anime. It's unclear to me at this time whether they'll be speaking Japanese or Korean, but I guess we'll find out!
- Title: Yans! Gans!
- JP Title: ヤンス！ガンス！
- Studio: Bonus
- Airs: TV Kanagawa, Fridays at 7:25am, starting October 2nd
- Website: http://www.bonus.co.jp
Look, I have absolutely no clue what this is-- it was listed on Moon Phase, so I checked it out. And it has this video, and it looks like it's heavily influenced by the likes of Takashi Murakami and Junko Mizuno-- really cute, very weird, and sometimes a bit gross –so I thought some of you might be interested. Don't say I didn't warn you.
- Title: Yumeiro Patissiere
- JP Title: 夢色パティシエール
- Studio: Pierrot
- Director: Ko Suzuki (Directorial debut! Episode directed Princess Rouge, Saikyou Robo Daiohja)
- Based On: Natsumi Matsumoto's manga of the same name
- Airs: NipponTV, Sundays at 7am, starting October 4th
- Website: http://www.ytv.co.jp/yumepati
In this cute young shoujo series, a clumsy 14-year-old girl named Ichigo Amano wants nothing more in life than to become a pastry chef. Then one day, she rather suddenly and serendipitously gets a chance to enroll in a culinary school that specializes in sweets like candy and pastries. But Ichigo is such a klutz, she may not be able to pass her classes...
- Up-and-coming seiyuu Aoi Yuuki is voicing Ichigo. She's played Budoko in Akikan!, Murasaki Kuhouin in Kurenai, and Akira in Shikabane Hime. She's also pulling double duty this season as Riko Mikogami in Anyamaru Tantei Kiriminzuu.