Christmas and Hanukkah are overlapping this year, though considering the commercials have been flooding the airwaves for over a month now, you could be forgiven for thinking they aren't around the corner (at time of writing). Nothing like the sight of Black Friday shoppers still macing, trampling and/or shooting each other to get a slightly-discounted gift for their children, who will likely forget about the blood-stains in a few months when they demand their parents buy them the Next Big Thing for their birthday, to remind you of how we should be thankful for...ah fuck, I lost my train of thought.
Anyways, this season's got a little something for everyone: a show for those of you who like harem comedies, a show for those who like harem comedies with some fantasy elements, a show for those who want harem comedies with fantasy elements set in a high school setting...oh, also something involving mechs, child assassins, space pirates and other stuff. So yeah, something for everyone.
Inga wants to know why you haven't been watching Un-Go instead of this crap.
As always, keep in mind that 1) these previews are pretty subjective and may contain unserious language and 2) premiere dates are subject to change depending on whims of animation studios and Japanese broadcasters. I will try to edit in dates and pics when I can. Here we go!
Okay okay I won't prejudge the show just don't hurt me!
- Amagami SS+ (1/5): Sequel to Amagami SS, based off dating sim game where a boy tries to work up the nerve to ask out one of many girls in his class who might want to do him. Ask Psycosis about this one, because he knows more about Visual Novels than I do. [Update: Psycosis responded with this. Then said "Amagami SS did a really good job of adapting the visual novel style for anime and I'm looking forward to what's next."]
- Ano Natsu De Matteru "I'll Wait In That Summer" (1/9): An "adolescent romantic comedy" with two girls and a boy. On the bright side, it's an original anime not based off another manga/eroge/other property. However, the creator of "Onegai Twins" is behind this one. Expect creepy harem antics.
- Another (1/9): Supposed to be a mystery/horror show based off a light novel, with a middle school boy who thinks he sees a one-eyed girl in his class who supposedly died in the school 26 years ago. Might be good based on the impressions I'm hearing.
- Aquarion Evol (1/8): A sequel to Aquarion, which was like Zoids Fuzors mixed with some vague references to Greek mythology, I think? It was so lame that I barely remember anything about that show aside from some fusing mechs, feathers and a lot of people screaming "APOLLO!" in the dub. On the other hand, this one is being directed by the same guy behind Macross Frontier and Yoko-fucking-Kanno is scripting the music. Let's just pretend that this is an original anime that is not a sequel to anything, as there are maybe ten people on Earth who will be disappointed that no characters from the original Aquarion will be in this show.
- Area no Kishi (1/7): Highschool kids playing soccer with lots of lessons found in shonen sports series and a younger brother trying to live up to his older brother's expectations. I don't care, but maybe one of you will.
- Black Rock Shooter (2/2): Anime based on an OVA which was based on characters from a Supercell/Vocaloid music video. Fuck if I know how this one will turn out. I guess you have to be part of the Vocaloid mothership to enjoy it?
Waitaminute...you're not Yukimura, are you?
- Brave 10 (1/7): The legendary Yukimura Sanada assembles 10 brave warriors back in the Sengoku era to fight the good fight. Based off a manga. Probably going to tilt more towards Sengoku Basara in terms of "serious business," but with plenty of midriff-baring swordsmen to appeal to the ladies. We'll see how this turns out.
- Danshi Koukousei No Nichijou "Daily Lives of High School Boys" (1/9): A gender-flipped K-ON!, but even more so than the last one (Kimi to Boku). The director of Gintama is behind this one, so I expect this will be a good show for those who like that sort of thing, but I'm not going to bother.
- Highschool DxD (1/6): Stop me if you've heard this one before. An Ordinary High School Boy is chosen by a super-hot babe from his class who secretly happens to be a [devil] to fight against other [devils]. There will probably be a second [devil] girl sent to kill the first but ends up wanting the boy's dick soon after and joining them. Also the boy dies in the first episode, but gets better through magic.
- Inu x Boku SS (1/12): A girl and her Secret Service agent/fox spirit/butler. Tilts more towards the shoujo end of the spectrum. If you liked Black Butler you'll probably like this one. (pssst...I haven't read it!)
This is literally half of the only joke in the story.
- Kill Me Baby! (1/5): A 4-koma adaptation about an airheaded schoolgirl and her assassin classmate. Essentially a nonstop "manzai" routine where the schoolgirl tries to do something stupid to the assassin who retaliates by putting her in a submission hold, and Hilarity Ensues. The manga's worth a chuckle, but the jokes might get old quick in the anime, especially with the studio putting maybe 10 yen and a candy wrapper towards the budget of this show.
- Miniskirt Space Pirates (1/7): An Ordinary High School Girl discovers that her dead father was actually the captain of a pirate ship full of girls...IN SPACE! Based on how well my unseen sleeper picks have gone, I'm hoping that this pick for sleeper hit of the season makes it watchable, unlike Guilty Crown last season.
- Natsume Yuujinchou Shi (1/1): The fourth season of a boy and his mentor who seek to put wayward spirits to rest. A competent show by Brain's Base, though I haven't watched it.
- New Prince of Tennis (1/4): Wait, nearly 200 episodes/OVAs worth of anime and these guys still haven't graduated high school or gone to Wimbledon? What the hell are they doing with their lives? I guess if you liked Prince of Tennis before you'll still like it? Chances are you probably got bored and moved on to another show, as there are others with sports action and/or bishonen for those who are into that sort of thing.
- Nisemonogatari (1/7): A semi-sequel to the weird and/or creepy Bakemonogatari, this time featuring Arararararagi's sisters front and center. They're the ones who only showed up at the ends of various story arcs to beat Koyomi with pillows when he wouldn't wake up, and then do the narration for the next episode preview. It's Shaft and they're adapting a NisiOisiN work, which means I am guaranteed to watch. Whether or not I will actually like it is up in the air.
Too late! He's seen into your soul!
- "Listen to me girls, I am your father!" (1/10): The next Usagi Drop? Or the next "o hai 4chan party van?" Based on what I've seen and heard about the story, my compass is pointing towards the latter. Don't watch it.
- Recorder to Randoseru "Recorder and Backpack" (1/5): A boy who looks seven years older than he truly is and his sister who looks seven years younger than she really is. Based off another 4-koma, but don't expect much from this show now that I have already spoiled the only two jokes that will be repeated ad nauseum.
- Rinne no Lagrange (1/8): Your mecha show of the season, ladies. Three girls piloting giant robots fight bad aliens and I guess 80% of the show is them talking to each other about unrelated stuff. It's an original anime series so I don't have much to go on outside of a trailer. The studio behind this is Xebec, which has lately been producing QUALITY anime like Ladies vs Butlers and Rio: Rainbow Gate...let's hope they took a good hard look at themselves and decided to make something better.
- Senhime Zesshou Symphogear (1/6): Your "magical girl" show of the season, gentlemen. Two female classical musicians fight to save humanity from evil 80s glam rockers trying to reclaim their lost glory one Bar Mitzvah party at a time. Okay, I'm assuming that last part, and I doubt it will be as subversive as Panty & Stocking or as meta as Madoka was. So...yeah.
- Tantei Opera Milky Holmes S2 (1/5): Another magical girl series but pretends it's something better. Four girls in a school for detectives who can't solve a case to save their lives. Luckily, their villains are even dumber. If you think this counts as a detective show I will punch you in the jeans.
- Thermae Romae (1/12): A 3-ep miniseries about a Roman architect who keeps passing out and waking up in various Japanese baths, then brings the lessons back to Rome when he comes back. From what little I've seen of the manga version it's amusing, but I don't know how that will translate to the anime.
- Zero no Tsukaima F (1/7): The fourth and final(?) season of The Familiar of Zero, where a Japanese boy finds himself in old not-Europe with magic and has a talking sword to fight evil alongside the dumbest magician ever who only beats him with a riding crop repeatedly BECAUSE SHE LOOOOOOOOVES HIIIIIIM! I made it to the beginning of the second season before I decided I liked keeping my brain intact. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Just have Rie Kugumiya yell "INUBAKA!" into a microphone, record it, loop it over and over for 30 seconds, and then sell it to various otaku as a ringtone. That's pretty much the same experience you'll get from this show.
OVA's to watch for
[fill this later]
As usual, tell me how my opinions are completely right and/or what you're planning to watch in the comments below.