DocHaus (Level 18)

It's no use, I'll have to use...THAT!
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For those of you (like yours truly) who have been wondering if there would be another season of one of the most awesome animes ever, rumors have popped up on a couple of blogs (see here and here) that a third season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is in development right now. At AnimeNEXT during a panel with Production IG key animator Satoru Nakamura along with storyboarder and episode director Koudai Kakimoto let slip that a new season of the show was in the works. The former blog calls it "unofficially announced," so take from that what you will.
Well folks, are you excited? You should be! If you have not seen either of the first two seasons, get thee to a DVD place and watch them. Now.
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Okay, that last list of mine was horrible, so let's attempt to do something a little less full of crap here. The following list is a basic summary of the various shows that are coming up this season, in alphabetical order. The summaries will probably be very subjective, you have been warned.
Mods? Interns? If you are reading this, you guys need to do a better season preview than I'm doing right now, because the quality of this list is going to fluctuate wildly with the subject matter.
Everyone else, if you see a bullet point that doesn't begin with a link (or even a few that do), there is no wiki entry for that particular series. Please prove me wrong on this one guys, and help me fill out some new series and/or franchises!   
EDIT: List has been updated with pictures and spacing to make it a little more readable. Thanks for the front page!
What you should be watching instead of 85% of this list.
What you should be watching instead of 85% of this list.

  • Appleseed XIII (6/02): Yet another retelling of Masamune Shirow's Appleseed manga featuring futuristic cyborgs and androids with Greek names. Like the movies, there will be lots of CGI involved. Hope this will be good, but I don't know. Not many big names working on this one that I can see. Production IG is behind the production in some capacity, and Maaya Sakamoto is voicing Deunan I think.
  • BakaTest Season 2 (7/07): The first season was a sleeper hit and a surprisingly funny comedy for a light novel adaptation. A class full of idiots tries to rebel against their smarter peers, by engaging in battles with little summoned Beings/Beasts. Also features a certain legendary trap character. Directed by Shin Oonuma, who used to work at SHAFT and did the first season of this show.

  • Blade (7/01): The last of Madhouse's adaptations of Marvel comic characters. Blade travels to Southeast Asia (Japan and/or Vietnam) to fight some vampires. Will probably be "okay" and forgettable, but for those of you who get G4 on your TV, the show's been licensed by the network (along with the other Marvel adaptations) so even if you miss the first run and you really really want to see the show don't worry about it.

  • Blood-C (7/07): A collaboration between IG and CLAMP. Don't know where this falls in the canon of the franchise, but it will probably be better than Blade if hot vampire-on-vampire action anime is your thing. Nana Mizuki will be voicing Saya.

  • Bunny Drop (7/07): Adaptation of a josei manga where a 30 year old bachelor tries to raise a young daughter by himself. Most of you are planning to run at this description, but this story is actually a serious look at the subject. If you're in the mood for a slice of life show, then check this one out.

  • Dantalian no Shoka (7/15): Mystery light novel adaptation by GAINAX. Young ex-pilot from The War (WWI, maybe?) returns home to find his grandpa is dead and left him a giant mansion full of books. Also, there's something about a gothic lolita and "Phantom Books" that he has to...collect? Destroy? I'm not sure. I'm hoping against hope that it will be a pleasant surprise like that other book-filled show none of you watched (but you should). Then again, it's GAINAX.

  • Double-J (6/28): "Life in a high school full of cute girls." Sounds like generic crap, right? On the other hand: the manga this show is based off of was written by the same person behind Cromartie High School, so maybe it'll actually be amazing? Let us pray it is so.
    Here's where the FBI breaks down your door.
    Here's where the FBI breaks down your door.

  • Idolm@ster (7/07): Based off an XBOX 360 game franchise (Japan only, sorry guys) about a young guy who manages fake J-pop idols. Will probably be as bad and creepy as it sounds.

  • Ikoku Meiro no Croisee (7/??): Seems to be Gosick with less murder mystery and more romantic wish-fulfillment. Even set around the same time period and country (though real-France instead of faux-France). The show is being written by the talented Jun'ichi Saito, so it could turn out very good.

  • Kaito Tenshi Twin Angel (7/04): Magical girl anime, and this one also has characters from a pachinko machine. You figure it out.

  • Kamisama Dolls (7/05): Based on a manga, a series involving murderous dolls and the ancient clan that controls them. When one of them goes off the reservation, an estranged college student is dragged back into the conflict he tried to escape. Brain's Base is behind the production, so maybe it'll be a pleasant surprise.

 If a NEET is self-employed, is she still a NEET?
 If a NEET is self-employed, is she still a NEET?
  • Kamisama no Memochou (7/02): Mystery light novel adaptation about an Ordinary High School Student who acts as assistant for a reclusive NEET detective. This one is my sight-unseen pick of the season, and I hope I'm right about this one, but prepared for disappointment.

  • Manyuu Hikenchou (??): If there's one thing you can say about this show, they actually bought the domain name "oppaidaisuki" ("I love breasts" in Japanese), so they aren't bothering to hide the only reason some folks will watch this show. If you really want to know the plot: alternate-history Japan where bigger breasts = bigger status, and the warrior who was heir to the secret of that power has decided to fight for equality among various-sized women instead. I'm done filling out entries for horrible fanservice shows, one of you will have to bite the bullet and do the wiki-ing this time.

  • Mayo Chiki! (7/07): Ordinary High School boy finds out a butler of a rich classmate at school is actually a cross-dressing girl. Directed by Keiichiro Kawaguchi who also did the anime adaptations of Nyan Koi! and Sket Dance. Looks to be another shitty harem/fanservice series. Might make a few "guilty pleasure" lists, but I probably won't bother with it.

  • Morita-san wa Mikuchi (7/05): Another manga adaptation about four girls doing things. One of them is a quiet girl who, with the power of friendship, will become less quiet. I guess. Not planning to watch it.

  • Natsume Yuujin Chou San (7/04): Season 3 of supernatural adventure series with a boy and his demon mentor. Solid show directed by the same guy who directed the anime of Baccano!, Durarara!! and Princess Jellyfish.

  • Nekogami Yaoyorozu (7/09): Tiny catgirl-god antics in an antique shop. One of the Whiskey interns posted a trailer about it. I dunno anything beyond that, nor do I really care.

  • No. 6 (7/07): Sci-fi tale by BONES, based off a light novel, will air on the noitaminA block. A wealthy boy rescues a wounded homeless boy, but later discovers that the "perfect" city called No. 6 might not be as perfect as it seems when he is forced to run for his life. Might contain some yaoi undertones, but from what I've seen the story seems like The Giver meets 1984. If you don't know what those titles are, read a book once in awhile.

  • Nurarihyon No Mago S2 (??): Ordinary High School boy is secretly a powerful youkai who wants to live a normal life. Also known as "Nura, Rise of the Yokai Clan." A Shonen Jump production. Someone help me fill in the blanks here.
  • Nyanpire the Animation (7/06): A stray black cat is given blood from a vampire. Hilarity ensues, I guess? All I know about this one is that it is made by GONZO. Also, the preview image leaves itself open for a Date MEOW-samune joke, followed by Samurai Warriors/Sengoku Basara fans beating me to death with a replica sword.

 It's like Charlie Bartlet, but with more dirty jokes
 It's like Charlie Bartlet, but with more dirty jokes
  • R-15 (7/09): Teenage ero-novelist somehow manages to get into a school famous for smart people. I expect it will be horrible, but if we're lucky it could be a tongue-in-cheek surprise. Assume the worst until proven otherwise.

  • Ro-Kyu-Bu: An athletic girl joins a boys high-school basketball team, but decides to coach an even younger team when the former team is suspended due to the coach being a pedophile. The only thing going for this is the same light novel writer did Ookami-san. Otherwise, it just sounds creepy as fuck.

  • Sacred Seven (7/02): Described as "new school battle action" project where "people's memories change the world!" I have no idea what this show will be about outside of this tagline and this trailerProbably will be forgettable, but again, I hope to be proven wrong. The writer behind this also worked on Speed Grapher, one of the few Gonzo shows that was actually kind of good.

  • Uta-no Prince-sama (7/02): Reverse harem comedy where a girl goes to art school with several boys. Anyone wanna take a crack at it? Because I probably won't.

  • Yuru Yuri (7/04): Yet another manga adaptation about four girls doing girly things, but this one has more yuri subtext than the others. So probably a bit more creepy than K-ON!
Also, there's word of a Last Exile sequel that was supposed to come out this summer, but outside of a trailer and some internet rumors nothing's confirmed yet. The only confirmed date I can find is that it will be broadcast this year, or this could be just one hell of a troll that the remnants of GONZO are pulling on everyone.

Here are some OVAs to watch for:

  • Sengoku Basara: The Last Party (6/04) -- seriously? No one filled in the second season on the wiki?
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Sacred Star of Milos (7/02) -- based off of Brotherhood. Just pray that it will be better than Shamballa.
  • Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail (6/22) -- Part 5 of 5, the last OVA depicting the "El Baile de la Muerte" arc. Still waiting for an official 12-ep season.
  • Valkyria Chronicles 3 (6/29) -- First of a two-parter based on the upcoming video game sequel.
  • Pokemon Best Wishes! (7/16) -- Technically two different movies being released at once, much like the games, hoping to suck extra money out of your wallet by making exclusive Pokemon in each one. You pokefans out there will buy them both anyway. Don't deny it.
If you folks notice anything particularly missing, please let me know and I will try to edit some information in. If you just want to whine or complain that some parts of this are incomplete, keep in mind that a) I don't know everything about these series and b) I'm not getting paid to write this stuff, so do a better job yourself or look up the tens of other charts that have more info and less snark than I've posted here.
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Not so much a drunkblog (be safe, Zombiepie) as this is a very late blog. Listening to this song may be helping set the mood. Also, Italian Spiderman.
Where was I? Oh yeah...I've found a couple of charts from this blog. There is no way in hell any functioning human is going to watch all of them, even if you wanted to (and you shouldn't). So I'm going to come up with previews in a couple of sentences that explain my basic thoughts on various shows. Interpret them as you wish. Or don't. Whatever.
  • Moshidara -- Girl buys Peter Drucker's management book and uses it to rally her baseball team. Production IG is involved in this.
  • Kampfer fur die Liebe (roughly "Kampfer fight for Love") -- two episodes of epilogue for the genderbending-fanservice series with the dumbest male lead in any series ever.
  • X-MEN -- Madhouse adaptation #3 of a Marvel franchise. Iron Man was boring, but Wolvering wasn't bad. Let's see how this one turns out.
  • Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream -- I dunno...some magical girl stage show? Maybe it's like little kids training for a strip club? Fuck you Japan.
  • Dog Days -- The hero is named Sink and he's a junior high kid saving a princess from...tell Sink to gb2kitchen. GEE ISNT I CLEHVERRRR?
  • Tiger & Bunny -- Superhero reality show meta thing...could be good maybe?
  • Nichijou -- LOLRANDOM HUMOR that's all I know about this thing.
  • Beyblade -- A SHOW ABOUT FUCKING SPINNING TOPS AND KIDS SHOUTING AT EACH OTHER FOR THEM! Is Haim Saban still around? I want to pitch my idea for a show about a young Jewish boy who yells at his custom-painted dreidel until it lands on the gimel and he beats the undead spirit of the ancient Greek armies in a game.
  • Toriko -- a shonen take on food.
  • Hanasaku Iroha -- Slice of life, maybe some light humor about a girl who works at her parents inn.
  • Gintama -- yep it got another season
  • Sengoku Otome -- I'm gonna say that this show will be like this season's Samurai Girls, which was last season's Ikkitousen. Basically expect loads of fanservice with some yuri undertones and with thin coat of Japanese legend painted on top so you can convince yourself this isn't a waste of time when it really is. PS: it is based on a pachinko game. You know what the last one was? That's right.
  • Tono to Issou -- based on a 4koma set in the Sengoku period. So...historical humor?
  • Kaiji -- I should really read the manga one of these days. Something about a legendary gambler.
  • Steins;gate -- semicolon abuse alone makes it tough to recommend watching this. Something about sci-fi and time travel and what might be a spiritual sequel to Chaos Head but I have no clue what that show was about.
  • SKET DANCE -- you already know whether or not you are watching this one depending on liking the manga or not.
  • Hyouge Mono -- Some Bee Train exec thought that their stories just weren't boring enough, so they decided to make a big series based on tea ceremony set in the Sengoku period. FUCKING TEA CEREMONY.
  • Hidan no Aria -- the manga was a tsundere girl yelling at everything while a high-school boy saves the day or some shit. I don't expect the anime will be any different.
  • Sofuteni -- something about tennis that will be interspersed with panty shots because Japan hates you that much.
  • Maria Holic S2 -- Fuck you Japan.
  • Seikon no Qwaser S2 -- Just...fuck you. I am not going to watch this shit again...
  • Lotte's Toy -- ...okay fine, YOU RUINED THIS WHOLE SEASON! I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY!
  • Appleseed XIII -- Wait, I liked this one. Okay, I guess you're not all least not yet.
  • Deadman Wonderland -- The cast that looks verrrrry familiar to that of Eureka 7 locked in a hellish prison? Sign me up.
  • [C] -- I am intrigued, though this one sounds like Yu-Gi-Oh! with gratuitous economic language thrown in.
This is not a complete list, as doing such at this time will kill me. I reserve the right to edit this later if there are any that intrigue me.
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Of course, we know that none of you are participating in illegal downloading and/or streaming of anime right? Because Funimation was providing a legal avenue for you to view the new show Fractale through its site. However, the production committee behind it has yanked the streaming rights from Funimation after its pilot episode. So sayeth ANN:

According to Funimation representatives, the committee requested that Funimation eliminates unauthorized videos of the anime on the Internet — including streaming sites, file-sharing networks, and file servers — before its simulcast will be allowed to continue. As a result, there will not be a simulcast of the second Fractale episode tomorrow, and the rest of the series' simulcast is on indefinite hold. 

Get that, you little un-Japanese punks on these internets? Until Funimation stops anyone from pirating all anime everywhere, Fractale will not be touched by your unclean eyes! Because everyone knows that if you want people to watch a show where it can be found legally, you remove the only safe, legal avenue they have. Of course this will not cause curious viewers to use the Google and find other malware-laden sites that are streaming it for free or download a fansubbed version at all, because...well, they're working on that part.
There are only two explanations for this weird turn of events: Either they wanted an excuse to use against simulcasting shows and they decided to make one of their own out of spite, or they really are naive enough to think that Funimation can take down all the illegal streaming and uploading internet sites by themselves. Whatever the answer, my point still remains that this is a very, very stupid move if they wanted to let this show find a bigger audience.
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I get the feeling I've used that line before...
Hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving and saved up on leftovers, because there's very little aside from overly-sweet candy ahead this season. Granted, I could be wrong about a few shows. After all, everyone thought Shinryaku! Ika-Musume! would be some kiddy show, but then it turned out to be somewhat humorous and even (dare I say?) heartwarming on occasion (I didn't even think it was worth mentioning back in my blog previewing the Fall season). For the most part though, the Fall season has unfolded just as I thought it would. I hope that I'm wrong about this upcoming season, but if it turns out I'm right, then I'll have a little more time to complete that massive backlog of shows I have yet to watch.
Somebody remarked that you could probably fill in most of the shows described here with Mad Libs. Let's see how long I can keep this up in my highly-subjective capsule previews. In no particular order...
  1. Fractale: An ordinary high school boy and his mysterious girlfriend fight against The Matrix in an action show. Might actually be cool, but I have very little information to go on outside of a couple translated manga chapters.
  2. Kimi ni Todoke (2nd season): An ordinary high school girl and her popular boyfriend fight against loneliness and stereotypes in a shoujo romance show. Not my cup of tea.
  3. Gosick (possibly "Gothic?"): An ordinary transfer student and his goth-loli incarnation of Sherlock Holmes fight against clever criminals and an incompetent inspector in a mystery show. This one's being done by Studio BONES. Might be worth a look.
  4. Beelzebub: An ordinary delinquent schoolboy and his demonic baby fight against other delinquents and possibly hellish demons in a shonen action show. This is one of those manga I enjoy, so perhaps the anime will be good as well. Not just the fact that it's a shonen show, but that the designated hero doesn't seem to care that he might be raising the very child destined to destroy humanity.
  5. Wandering Son: An ordinary cross-dressing boy and his transgender-ish girlfriend fight against strict gender identities in a dramatic show. The question is if they'll take the subject seriously or subject it to the usual fucked up anservice. Based on skimming the wikipedia entry, it might actually be the former. Maybe.
  6. Merry Dream Eater: An ordinary boy who can see colored auras and his loli-witch fight against evil cats in a shonen and/or harem show. Pass.
  7. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica: An ordinary schoolgirl and her magical powers fight against...I'm sorry, this being another ShaftXShinbo show I don't have any frame of reference other than it will involve zooming in on several people's faces combined with random shots of background scenery. I'd also throw in "lead male yells at cock-blocking girl," but this one seems to be a magical girl show. Who knows how this one is going to turn out? But because it's ShaftxShinbo, I'm probably gonna watch it anyway.
  8. Wolverine: Oh come on, you should fucking know what this one's going to be about.
  9. Level E: An ordinary high school boy and his disguised alien prince with amnesia fight against idiocy in this sci-fi comedy show. I have no clue about this one.
  10. Dragon Crisis: An ordinary high school boy and his surprisingly-human dragon girl fight against other surprisingly-human dragon girls in a fanservice-laden action show. This one's mostly my prediction, considering it's based on a light novels series I will never read. But if this turns out to be inaccurate, I will watch one episode of something terrible that isn't this show.
  11. Infinite Stratos: An ordinary boy and his mech suit fight against some mysterious enemy in a sci-fi/harem show. I can already see where this one is going.
  12. Is This A Zombie?: An ordinary zombie boy and his necromancer fight against a magical girl-hating system in a fantasy-ish show. This one could be a clever meta look at magical girl shows...but considering that Studio DEEN is behind it I'm willing to bet that this boy will just be another celibate harem lead.
  13. HP Lovecraft the Anime: Fuck you Japan. Fuck you with the many-tentacled reach of Cthulhu.
  14. Rio ~Rainbow Gate~: An anime based on a pachinko machine mascot. I have no fucking clue what this one will be.
  15. Houkago no Pleiades: Do you find yourself turned on by that fucking weird scene in the Utena movie? This collaboration between Gainax and car-maker Subaru might just be your thing!
  16. Freezing: An ordinary superpowered ice-queen and her affectionate not-quite-boyfriend fight batshit crazy super-girls in a shonen anime. If it's anything like the manga, expect big-breasted girls in fights that take five episodes apiece just to resolve, intertwined with flashbacks and some fanservice.
There are others that might deserve mention, but I really can't be arsed to bother with them. Supposedly there's a BakaTest OVA coming out, but I will bet that it just turns out to be 10 minutes of Hideyoshi taking his clothes off and blushing while everyone just stares at Hideyoshi and blushes back. Part 3 of Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail is supposedly dropping in January, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
I'm sure you folks have your own Winter Preview blogs and forum posts lined up, but this has been my own. Feel free to comment on it.
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