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Spring 2014 Anime Preview

March 8, 2014

springlrgAnd once again we enter season preview mode.  The Winter season turned out to be pretty enjoyable, although I was mostly enamoured of the Autumn 2013 carry-overs.  The upcoming Spring season looks to be fairly solid, lots of potential and some great sequels to look forward to.  Should be something for everyone……however I’m not really massively hyped for any of the brand new shows.  Maybe something will surprise me – that’s always fun.

Anyway on to the rather lengthly preview – it’s taken me the better part of a week to do this, my RSI is flaring up again!

TV

Knights of Sidonia

Website: http://www.knightsofsidonia.com/
Animation Studio: Polygon Pictures (Clone Wars, Transformers Prime)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Ryota Ohsaka, Aki Toyosaki, Atsuko Tanaka, Takahiro Sakurai
Director: Kobun Shizuno (Detective Conan movies, Fist of the North Star: Toki-Den)
Series Composition & Screenplay: Sadayuki Murai (Mouryou no Hako, Natsume Yuujinchou S3&4)
PV: http://youtu.be/I31QP4SE3Gw

Summary: Anime adaptation of Tsutomu Nihei‘s robot manga series. Streaming on Netflix.

It’s been a thousand years since the Gauna, a strange alien race with no known method of communication, destroyed the solar system. A portion of humanity managed to escape using enormous “seed ships” like the Sidonia, which have allowed them to maintain the population while drifting through space. Nagate Tanikaze is a young man who has been raised deep in the bowels of the ship. When he goes into training to pilot the huge robotic weapons known as Gardes, Nagate is entrusted with piloting the legendary unit known as Tsugumori. Nagate and his fellow pilots put their lives on the line against the Gauna, in the ultimate battle for the survival of humanity.

I’m quietly interested in this – looks like super serious sci-fi which is something I quite enjoy.  However the studio has me slightly concerned.  Polygon Pictures specialise in CG animation – mostly for Pachinko games, which doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence given how the last CG anime I watched turned out – Arpeggio of Blue Steel was hardly eye candy.  I will give it a look, the manga seems to be fairly well regarded.

Akuma no Riddle

Website: http://akuma-riddle.com/
Animation Studio: Diomedea (Campione, Ika Musume)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Ayaka Suwa, Azumi Asakura, Hisako Kanemoto, Yoshino Nanjou
Director: Keizou Kusakawa (Asura Cryin’, Sekirei)
Series Composition: Kiyoko Yoshimura (Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing, Legend of the Legendary Heroes)
PV: http://youtu.be/IrSvb2Fc3d8

Summary: Anime adaptation of Yun Kouga and artist Sunao Minakata’s yuri manga.
Haru Ichinose is a student at a private girls’ boarding school, Myōjō Academy, who is being targeted by 12 assassins disguised as students and Tokaku Azuma is a transfer student and an assassin who also initially targets Haru, but develops feeling for her and decides to protect her from the other assassins.

Yeah not much interested in this – yuri isn’t really my thing, and even if the promo art looks stylish enough to pique my curiousity, the staff isn’t inspiring me with much confidence.

Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~

Website: http://atelier-ps3.jp/escha-logy/anime/
Animation Studio: Studio Gokumi (The Severing Crime Edge, Kiniro Mosaic)
Japanese Airdate: 10th April 2014
Seiyuu: Kaito Ishikawa, Rie Murakawa, Ami Koshimizu, Daisuke Matsubara
Director: Yoshiaki Iwasaki
Series Composition & Script: Tatsuhiko Urahata
PV: http://youtu.be/dDQmyggw0QU

Summary: Anime adaptation of Gust’s PS3 game.

This world has gone through many Dusks, and is slowly nearing its end. Within this world, in the western reaches of the “Land of Dusk,” there was a nation that prospered thanks to its use of alchemy. There, in order to survive the eventual arrival of the “Dusk End,” the people devoted their efforts to rediscover and recreate lost alchemic technologies. Rediscovered technology from the past era was gathered in the alchemy research city known as “Central,” where research was conducted on how to halt the advance of the twilight. One of the heroes is a young man who researched alchemy in Central, the other a girl living in a small town on the frontier. This girl’s name is Escha. In the process of using her knowledge of ancient alchemy to help others, she was assigned to the Development Department. The young man’s name is Logy. Having learned the newest alchemic techniques in Central, he requested a transfer to this understaffed town to make use of his abilities, and meets Escha when he is assigned to the Development Department as well. The two make a promise to use their alchemy together, and bring success to the Development Department.

Game adaptations are very hit and miss and I can’t say I’m too interested in this one since I haven’t even heard of it before.  A city called Central and the focus on Alchemy all bring Fullmetal Alchemist to mind……and this doesn’t look any where near as awesome as FMA.  Don’t think I’ll be bothering with this one.

Black Bullet

Website: http://www.black-bullet.net/
Animation Studio: Kinema Citrus (Yuyushiki, Code:Breaker)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Rikiya Koyama, Rina Hidaka, Yuuki Kaji, Aki Toyosaki
Director: Masayuki Kojima (Monster, Bottom Biting Bug)
Series Composition: Tatsuhiko Urahata (Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere, Monster)
PV: http://youtu.be/sqqTdAER6vE

Summary: Anime adaptation of Shiden Kanzaki‘s light novel series.

In the year 2021, mankind was defeated by Gastrea, a parasitical virus, and is forced to live within a wall made of Baranuim monoliths, a metal that is able to subdue Gastrea. Soon, the “Cursed Children”, children born infected with the Gastrea virus who are able to control them which gives them superhuman abilities, was discovered. Due to the Gastrea virus’ intervention, the Cursed Children could only be female. Civil Securities are formed to specialize fighting against Gastrea, operating with the pair of an Initiator, who are cursed children, and a Promoter, serving to lead the cursed children. Ten years after the war, Rentarō Satomi, a high school student who is also a Promoter in his childhood friend Kisara Tendō’s Tendō Civil Security, along with his Initator Enju Aihara, receives a secret mission to prevent the Tokyo Area’s destruction

Looks all very pretty and stylish, but that synopsis is like Light Novel 101 and an instant turn-off.  The staff on board have worked on stuff that ranges from superb to crap-tastic, don’t know where Black Bullet will fall on that spectrum, but I’d imagine it will be somewhere in the forgettable middle-ground.  I’m really over this samey LN adaptations – can’t even be bothered ranting.

Mekaku City Actors

Website: http://www.mekakucityactors.com/#!/
Animation Studio: SHAFT (Nisekoi, Monogatari Series)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Kana Asumi, Nanami Kashiyama, Yuko Kaida, Mamoru Miyano, Kana Hanazawa
Director: Akiyuki Shinbo (Arakawa Under the Bridge, Hidamari Sketch)
PV: http://youtu.be/Q_uI0F9jH24

Summary: Anime adaptation of Vocaloid musical composer and writer JIN‘s popular Kagerou Project.

Shintaro Kisaragi, a HikiNEET who shut himself inside his room for 2 years, had been living his life normally until he met a cyber girl named Ene, who appeared in his computer screen when someone anonymously sent him a mysterious e-mail one year ago. One day, Ene messes with Shintaro’s PC which causes him to go outside for the first time in two years.

Last time I got interested in a project spawned by Vocaloid Black Rock Shooter happened, and we all know how much I hated that!  I still can’t help but be interested in Mekaku City Actors though, because it looks so stylish!  SHAFT are the perfect choice for this kind of thing because their signature style usually is a good mask for a complete lack of substance.  Although saying that the Kagerou Project does seem to have more to it than BRS since it has light novels and manga in addition to music videos and art.  I’ll definitely be giving this show a look as I definitely am interested, but can’t get too excited about it at this stage.

Blade & Soul

Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/blade/
Animation Studio: GONZO (Last Exile, Dog & Scissors)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Aoi Yūki, Ayahi Takagaki, Sora Amamiya, Sayaka Ohara
Director: Hiroshi Hamasaki (Steins;Gate, Texhnolyze) and Hiroshi Takeuchi
PV: http://youtu.be/hyzvS3avHn0

Summary: Anime adaptation of NCSoft’s MMORPG.  NCSoft describes the game’s story:

Rise. Strike. Avenge.  Blade & Soul brings the world of Asian martial arts fantasy to life in this massively multiplayer online universe. Enter a lush world drawn from myth and legend, and bursting with action and intrigue!  Based on the distinctive visual style of acclaimed artist Hyung-Tae Kim, Blade & Soul combines martial arts inspired combat and Qing Gong action! Good and evil clash in a story of betrayal, revenge, battling factions, and warring gods.  Create your hero. Hone your martial arts skills. Unlock the secrets of Qing Gong. Choose your faction. Conquer your enemies. Bring honor to your clan.  You will have your revenge.

The game lets players make a character from four different races: the tall and strong Gon, the curious and wise Jin, the beautiful and graceful Kun, and the cute and spiritually-tuned Lyn. The player can then train their character to become an Assassin, a Blademaster, a Destroyer, a Force Master, a Kung Fu Master, or a Summoner.

Another game adaptation, but I think I can safely say that this one will be pure trash……purely based on the fact that 80% of the promo pic is taken up by tits & ass, and the PV isn’t wonderful either.  Also this is the current GONZO – they’re hardly on their A-game these days.  The director is the only thing that gives me pause for thought, but otherwise this is 100% skipable in my book.

Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou

Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/kawaisou/
Animation Studio: Brains Base (Durarara!!, D-Frag)
Japanese Airdate: 3rd April 2014
Seiyuu: Kana Hanazawa, Yūichi Iguchi, Gô Shinomiya, Rina Satou
Director: Shigeyuki Miya (Blood Lad, Supernatural: The Animation)
Series Composition & Script: Takeshi Konuta (Ace of Diamond, Library Wars)
PV:

Summary: Anime adaptation of Ruri Miyahara‘s manga series.

Usa Kazunari, a high-school student aspiring to begin a bachelor lifestyle, moves into a new apartment only to discover that he not only shares a room with a perverted roommate that has an obsession for underaged girls, but also that another girl, Ritsu, a love-at-first-sight, is living in the same building as well.

Another romcom adaptation from Brains Base – can’t say I’m enthused given their track record with these things.  The Blood Lad team also don’t inspire much confidence and everything about the summary basically screams boring generic romcom shite.  Skipping.

Captain Earth

Website: http://captain-earth.net/
Animation Studio: Bones (Noragami, Space Dandy)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Miyu Irino, Ai Kayano, Hiroshi Kamiya, Kenichi Suzumura, Maaya Sakamoto
Director: Takuya Igarashi (Soul Eater, Star Driver)
Series Composition: Yoji Enokido (Star Driver, Revolutionary Girl Utena)
Character design & Animation Director: Satoshi Ishino (Date A Live, No. 6)
PV: http://youtu.be/oCRmhnG_Mq0

Summary: Original mecha anime from Bones’ Star Driver team.

One night right before summer vacation, Daichi Manatsu, a second-year in high school, sees a weird round rainbow floating in the sky above Tanegashima and ventures there alone. He has seen this rainbow before. With the memories of his father’s mysterious death and an encounter of a mysterious boy and girl, Daiji arrives on the island while the alarm of a building labeled “Earth Engine” is going off. Someone asks him if he’s a captain, just as robotic intruders from Uranus called “Kiltgang” arrive. The battle around the shining stars is about to begin.

Not to be confused with Captain Planet….

Bones + Mecha = instant must watch in my book!  It does sound rather silly from the synopsis, and I can’t say the designs are too exciting, but the staff is what really has my attention.  This is a team that produce shows that really stand out from the crowd, with really eye catching direction and interesting characters.  Also the cast is pretty top-notch so we can expect some great acting in addition to wonderful eye-candy.  Yeap pretty interested in this show.

Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun

Website: http://daishogun-anime.jp/
Animation Studio: JC Staff (Golden Time, Zero no Tsukaima)
Japanese Airdate: 9th April 2014
Seiyuu: Tetsuya Kakihara, Ayako Kawasumi, Yukari Tamura, Hideki Ogihara, Miyuki Sawashiro
Director: Takashi Watanabe (Shakugan no Shana, Freezing)
Series Composition: Dai Sato (Eureka Seven, Ergo Proxy)
PV:

Summary: Original series.

In the late Edo period, Japan had experienced an unprecedented crisis by Kurofune (Black Ships), the ships from foreign countries. But a giant robot called Onigami, which has existed since ancient time, dispelled the Kurofune ships and the exclusion of foreigners was accomplished. The story begins in Japan where Meiji restoration in 1868 didn’t happen.

I have mixed feelings about this one.  On one hand I am pleased to see JC Staff making something different to crap romcom’s again, and the staff are capable of great things when they aren’t selling out.  On the other the story sounds stupid and the character designs are horrible.  I’ll give it a look just because it may surprise me given the talent involved, but not really getting my hopes up for anything special.

Gokukoku no Brynhildr (Brynhildr in the Darkness)

Website: http://www.vap.co.jp/gokukoku/
Animation Studio: ARMS (Queens Blade, Wizard Barristers)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Risa Taneda, Ryota Ohsaka, Aya Suzaki, Azusa Tadokoro, M.A.O
Director: Kenichi Imaizumi (Katekyo Hitman Reborn!)
Script: Yukinori Kitajima (Hamatora, Senran Kagura)
PV: http://youtu.be/8fXvetP_J_0

Summary: Anime adaptation of Lynn Okamoto‘s sci-fi manga series.

When he was a child, Murakami was infatuated with a girl he called Kuroneko. She insisted on knowing about aliens and having met them, but no one believed her, even young Murakami was skeptical. One day, she decides to show him the aliens, but an accident occurs and Kuroneko dies while Murakami is left seriously wounded in the hospital. Years go by and Murakami obsesses on finding proof of the existence of aliens because of a promise he had made with Kuroneko. Then, one day, a new transfer student comes to his class, who not only looks a lot like Kuroneko, but is named Kurohaneko. And even though she insists on never having met Murakami before, the girl has superhuman strength and seems to even be able to predict the future.

Right so this is from the author of Elfen Lied so I’m imagining a similar slide from standard harem hijinks into gratuitous violence will happen in this story.  The plot doesn’t sound too unique, but if done well this could be an interesting watch.  It is nice to see ARMS finally moving away from plotless fanservice shows – they can’t kick that habit entirely going by the PV, but they are making an effort again.  I’ll be giving this a look.

Haikyuu!!

Website: http://www.j-haikyu.com/
Animation Studio: Production IG (Kuroko’s Basketball, Robotics;Notes)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Ayumu Murase, Kaito Ishikawa, Kouki Uchiyama, Miyu Irino, Nobuhiko Okamoto
Director: Susumu Mitsunaka (Cuticle Detective Inaba)
Series Composition and Script: Taku Kishimoto (Usagi Drop, Silver Spoon)
PV: http://youtu.be/STKrHFUnCkY

Summary: Anime adaptation of Haruichi Furudate’s volleyball manga series.

A chance event triggered Shouyou Hinata’s love for volleyball. His club had no members, but somehow persevered and finally made it into its very first and final regular match of middle school, where it was steamrolled by Tobio Kageyama, a superstar player known as “King of the Court.” Vowing revenge, Hinata applied to the Karasuno High School volleyball club… only to come face-to-face with his hated rival, Kageyama.

You already know I’m going to be watching this.  Production IG seem to have latched on to the fujoshi-bait sports shounen genre, and I for one can’t see anything bad about this move.  If Haikyuu! is anywhere near as addictive as Magical BL Basketball I’m going to be in trouble….although given I’m already creating pairings based on the promo materials alone, I think I’m a lost cause anyway.

Hitsugi no Chaika

Website: http://chaika-anime.jp/
Animation Studio: BONES (Soul Eater, Darker than BLACK)
Japanese Airdate: 9th April 2014
Seiyuu: Chika Anzai, Junji Majima, Chiwa Saito, Kazutomi Yamamoto
Director: Soichi Masui (Scrapped Princess)
Series Composition: Touko Machida (Lucky Star, Karneval)
PV: http://youtu.be/kJUVceh6xOY

Summary: Anime adaptation of Ichiro Sakaki‘s fantasy light novel series.

Toru Acura is a 20-year-old retired soldier meandering through life now that the war has ended. He encounters Chaika Trabant, a 14-year-old sorceress carrying a coffin, and follows her in hopes of finding meaning to his life again. The two travel with Toru’s adopted sister, Akari, the employed member of the group and thus Toru’s source of income.

I do not like the character designs much at all and the PV left me pretty cold.  I do like the focus being on a retired soldier looking for a new reason to live, but the ridiculous sorceress loli mostly kills any interest I may of had.

One Week Friends

Website: http://oneweekfriends.com/
Animation Studio: Brains Base (Natsume Yuujinchou, Baccano)
Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2014
Seiyuu: Sora Amamiya, Yoshitaka Yamaya, Rumi Ookubo, Yoshimasa Hosoya
Director: Tarou Iwasaki (Ryouko’s Case Files, Baki The Grappler)
Series Composition: Shôtarô Suga (Uchouten Kazoku, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)
PV: http://youtu.be/leZ5r1_Bsfg

Summary: Anime adaptation of Matcha Hazuki’s manga series.

High schooler Yūki Hase notices that his classmate Kaori Fujimiya is always alone, and seemingly has no friends. After approaching her Kaori reveals that she loses every memory of her friends each Monday. Despite learning this, Yūki endeavors to become her new friend every week.

I think this will be one of those lovely little romance shows that are enjoyable to watch, but almost entirely forgettable once they’re over (fitting given the plot).  I like these once in a while, so will give it a look.

Kamigami no Asobi ~Ludere deorum~

Website: http://www.kamiaso-anime.com/
Animation Studio: Brains Base (D-Frag, Durarara!!)
Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2014
Seiyuu: Daisuke Ono, Hiroshi Kamiya, Miyu Irino, Yuuki Kaji, Toshiyuki Morikawa
Director: Tomoyuki Kawamura (Binbougami-ga!)
Series Composition: Tomoko Konparu (Uta no Prince-sama, Kimi ni Todoke)
PV: http://youtu.be/6UVqPKyWEKI

Summary: Anime adaptation of Broccoli’s Otome game.

Kusanagi Yui is ordered by Zeus, a god and the headmaster of a school he created, to teach the meaning of love to young and handsome gods. The reason he has for doing this is to cancel the negative effects of the weakening bond between the world of the divine and the world of the humans.

This sounds fecking ridiculous, even for an otome game adaptation……..and I am so watching it!  I can only hope that the bishie gods have song & dance numbers – with hip shaking action.  So very hyped!

Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara

Website: http://www.kamiaso-anime.com/
Animation Studio: Hoods Entertainment (Qwaser of Stigmata, Mysterious Girlfriend X)
Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2014
Seiyuu: Ai Kayano, Ibuki Kido, Ryota Ohsaka, Kana Hanazawa, Yōko Hikasa
Director: Ayumu Watanabe (Space Brothers, Mysterious Girlfriend X)
Series Composition: Takashi Aoshima (Love Lab, Mitsudomoe)
PV: http://youtu.be/5AMtiLIvmlA

Summary: Anime adapatation of Touka Takei’s light novel series.

Hatate Sota is a high school boy, who has an ability to visualize “flags” for future events such as “death flag,” “friendship flag,” and “romance flag.” Despite the flag-viewing ability, he avoids making friends with others due to a trauma he experienced in a ship submergence accident. Four beautiful girls get interested in his strange way of living, and they begin to live with him at the school dorm by force.

Ewww those character designs are horrible!  This sounds like Noucome but somehow I doubt this will turn out to be as surprisingly fun as Noucome was.  Director has piqued my interest given his previous shows, but will have to work crazy amounts of magic to make this show interesting.

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? (Is the Order a Rabbit?)

Website: http://www.gochiusa.com/
Animation Studio: White Fox (Katanagatari, Jormungand)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Ayane Sakura, Inori Minase, Maaya Uchida, Risa Taneda
Director: Hiroyuki Hashimoto
Series Composition: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu (Ben-to, Hajime no Ippo Rising)
PV:

Summary: Anime adaptation of Koi’s 4-koma manga series.

In the four-panel manga, the main character Kokoa (a pun of “hot cocoa”) arrives at the cafe Rabbit House one day, excited for rabbits. She actually all but lives in that café. She meets lots of different girls there, including a tiny and cool girl named Chino (from “cappucino”), a tough and soldier-esque girl named Lize (“Thé des Alizés” tea), a spacey and quintessentially Japanese girl named Chiyo (“Uji matcha” tea), and the ordinary but dignified Sharo (“Kilimanjaro” coffee).

Oh god get it away from me!  Cute girls do cute things at a cute café….the banality hurts!  All the girls look terrifyingly alike…..so creepy.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei (The Irregular at Magic High School)

Website: http://mahouka.jp/
Animation Studio: Madhouse (Chihayafuru, Redline)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Saori Hayami, Yūichi Nakamura, Atsushi Tamaru, Junichi Suwabe, Kana Hanazawa
Director: Manabu Ono (Hellsing, Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere)
PV: http://youtu.be/q7lMGcdnm8I

Summary: Anime adapation of Tsutomu Satou‘s light novel series.

The story takes place in a world in which magic is not a fairy tale, but has existed for nearly one hundred years. In the spring, the Private Magic University Affiliated High School (Magic High School for short) is welcoming its new students, and names the top student with the best grades at the time of their arrival the Bloom (read as “garland” in Japanese), and the student called the Weed is the Bloom’s replacement.

Siblings Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba are designated as the Weed and Bloom, respectively. Miyuki is given the title of Bloom due to her amazing grades, while Tatsuya is given the title of Weed due to his poor magical practical scores. Tatsuya, the young man who always has a farsighted expression, and Miyuki, the young woman who feels far more for her brother than sibling love. Since the day the two entered the gates of the elite school, the establishment’s peaceful days have become chaotic.

I was all ready to write this off as yet another shitty incest LN adaptation, but then discovered this series is the third top selling light novel series of the past year in Japan.  I still think it will be a shitty incest LN adaptation, but now I’m curious to see why it’s so popular….although given it combines both magic and incest I can guess – it’s just missing NEETs.  My curiousity about popular series has burned me before (oh hello OreImo, KamiNomi and SAO) but apparently I never learn.

No Game No Life

Website: http://ngnl.jp/
Animation Studio: Madhouse (Death Note, Magical Warfare)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Ai Kayano, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Mamiko Noto, Miyuki Sawashiro, Rie Kugimiya
Director: Atsuko Ishizuka (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, Supernatural: The Animation)
Series Composition: Jukki Hanada (Kyokai no Kanata, Love Live!)
PV: http://youtu.be/TqMCYf1FibU

Summary: Anime adaptation of Yuu Kamiya‘s light novel series.

Siblings Sora and Shiro are a brother and sister whose reputations as brilliant NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) hikikomori (shut-in) gamers have spawned urban legends all over the Internet. These two gamers even consider the real world as just another “crappy game.” One day, they are summoned by a boy named “God” to an alternate world. There, God has prohibited war and declared this to be a world where “everything is decided by games” — even national borders. Humanity has been driven back into one remaining city by the other races. Will Sora and Shiro, the good-for-nothing brother and sister, become the “Saviors of Humanity” on this alternate world? “Well, let’s start playing.”

Oh here’s the NEETs!  Again, I can’t help but be curious about this because of the really eyecatching art, even if the premise and source material should have me running for the hills…….but PRETTY!  Will probably check out a few episodes and then drop it.

Ping Pong: The Animation

Website: http://www.pingpong-anime.tv/
Animation Studio: Tatsunoko Production (Gatchaman Crowds, Sket Dance)
Japanese Airdate: 11th April 2014
Seiyuu: Fukujurō Katayama, Kouki Uchiyama, Masako Nozawa, Yuusaku Yara
Director: Masaki Yuasa (Kaiba, The Tatami Galaxy)
PV: http://youtu.be/lmZVuMDlw-w

Summary: Anime adaptation of Taiyo Matsumoto‘s manga series.  Airing in the noitaminA timeslot.

The manga revolves around two longtime friends Smile and Peco who are both members of the ping pong club at their high school and are both very talented at the sport. However, Smile’s quiet personality keeps him from being able to win against Peco. The club’s teacher takes notice of Smile’s talent and works to change his attitude toward the sport.

I’d have probably dismissed this show out of hand as sounding dull, if it wasn’t for the magical addition of one of the best directors currently working – Masaki Yuasa.  Yuasa’s trippy style make everything he works on a must see for me, if nothing else his shows are always really interesting to watch.  I’ve also heard positive things about the source manga given it is by the author behind Tekkonkinkreet.  Definitely checking this out.

Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin (Nanana’s Buried Treasure)

Website: http://www.nanana.tv/
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures (Sword Art Online, AnoHana)
Japanese Airdate: 11th April 2014
Seiyuu: Rui Tanabe, Yuuki Ono, Harumi Sakurai, Kana Hanazawa,
Director: Kanta Kamei (Usagi Drop, Oreshura)
Series Composition: Hideyuki Kurata (Samurai Flamenco, Oreimo)
PV: http://youtu.be/wNglC7XLbYQ

Summary: Anime adaptation of Kazuma Ōtorino and artist Akaringo‘s novel series.  Airing in the noitaminA timeslot.

The story centers around the treasure of Nanana, a ghost who was once a beautiful but NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) girl. A boy named Jūgo was disowned by his father and forced to transfer to a high school on the “Special Student Zone,” an artificial island. With only 40,000 yen (about US$500) a month to live on, Jūgo chooses a low-rent apartment that happens to be haunted by Nanana. Jūgo and members of the school’s adventure club join a “treasure hunt royale” on the island for the Nanana Collection, a treasure that possesses a mysterious power.

Gone are the days were the noitaminA tag meant an automatic watch for me.  I would have never picked this out as a noitaminA show as it just sounds like every other light novel adaptation out there.  Oh look at all these quirky characters doing quirky things – are you not entertained!?  If well written this could be entertaining to watch given the mystery slant, and the staff are certainly talented enough to pull it off.  Still there isn’t really anything special about this series and I’m not really all that excited.

Seikoku no Dragonar (Dragonar Academy)

Website: http://www.seikokutv.com/
Animation Studio: C-Station
Japanese Airdate: 5th April 2014
Seiyuu: Kouji Takahashi, Mariya Ise, Asami Shimoda, Kana Hanazawa
Director: Shunsuke Tada (Bungaku Shoujo, Kuroko’s Basketball)
Series Composition & Script: Noboru Kimura (Amagami SS+, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san)
PV: http://youtu.be/JjuHLNYpiic

Summary: Anime adaptation of Shiki Mizuchi‘s light novel series.

Learning to ride and tame dragons comes easy to most students at Ansarivan Dragonar Academy—except for first-year student Ash Blake, who is known by his fellow classmates as the “number one problem child.” Poor Ash is the laughing stock at school because, despite his unfashionably large star-shaped brand that marks him as a future dragon master, he has nothing to show for it. His dragon has never appeared. Until now, that is. One fateful day, Ash’s dragon awakes in full glory, but appears different than any dragon ever seen before—in the form of a beautiful girl! What’s worse, Ash soon discovers that this new dragon has attitude to spare, as she promptly informs him that she is the master, and he, the servant. Ash’s problems with dragon riding have only just begun….

Basically Zero no Tsukaima crossed with Dragon Crisis.  Can only be awful.

Selector Infected WIXOSS

Website: http://selector-wixoss.com/
Animation Studio: JC Staff (A Certain Scientific Railgun, Toradora)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Ai Kakuma, Ayane Sakura, Ai Kayano, Chinatsu Akasaki, Rie Kugimiya
Director: Takuya Satō(Ichigo Mashimaro, Steins;Gate)
Scripts:Mari Okada (Aquarion Evol, Nagi no Asukara)
PV: http://youtu.be/PsD46RvPMhc

Summary: Multi-media project with toy tie-ins.

Hope, desire, greed.

Girls with each of these feelings in their hearts are being swallowed into the vortex of a dangerous game…

Cardgame show – I normally leave these out since they’re children’s shows, but the staff got my attention.  I am endlessly curious to see what a cardgame show written by Mari Okada and directed by the fella behind Steins;Gate is like!  Plenty of potential for full on psychological drama here – consider my interest piqued.

Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii (Even So, The World Is Beautiful)

Website: http://www.hanayume.com/soreseka/
Animation Studio: Pierrot (The Twelve Kingdoms, Bleach)
Japanese Airdate: 6th April 2014
Seiyuu: Nobunaga Shimazaki, Rena Maeda, Ai Kayano, Daisuke Namikawa, Tomokazu Sugita
Director: Hajime Kamegaki  (Fushigi Yuugi, History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi)
PV:

Summary: Anime adaptation of Dai Shiina‘s shoujo manga.

The manga revolves around Nike, the determined princess of the Rain Dukedom who has a mysterious power: she can control rainfall. After losing a game of rock, paper, scissors to her older sisters, she is forced to unwillingly marry the king of the Sun Kingdom, Livius I. Livius (or Livi for short) conquered the world in three years, and is known as the “Dreadful King.” However, when Nike meets him for the first time, she finds to her surprise that he is a boy younger than she is. Livius abruptly asks Nike to call forth the rain, and when she refuses, he has her thrown in jail. The story follows the two who, while at first are a married couple only in name, gradually begin to establish an emotional bond with one another.

Looks like pretty bog-standard shoujo to me – can’t say I’m all that interested.

Daimidaler the Sound Robot (Kenzen Robo Daimidaler)

Website: http://penguin-empire.com/
Animation Studio: TNK (Itsudatte my Santa, School Days)
Japanese Airdate: 5th April 2014
Seiyuu: Nobunaga Shimazaki, Yōko Hikasa, Aya Suzaki, Takehito Koyasu
Director: Tetsuya Yanagisawa (Kannazuki no Miko, High School DxD)
Series Composition: Takao Yoshioka (Sekirei, Watamote)
PV: http://youtu.be/7QtaNvlWU1U

Summary: Anime adaptation of Asaki Nakama’s comedy manga series.

There is a high school boy named Madanbashi Kouichi who has Hi-ERo particles, the power source to operate the robotic weapon Daimidaler. With the help of Sonan Kyouko from the mysterious Prince Beauty Parlor organization, he stands up against the Penguin Empire that troubles humanity.

Ridiculous mecha design with hair.  Penguin Empire.  Prince Beauty Parlor organisation.  Hi-ERo particles.  Yeah.  All these stupid sounding things mean I have to watch this show regardless of the rather crappy staff and studio.

Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to

Website: http://www.square-enix.co.jp/magazine/yg/introduction/manga/
Animation Studio: Zexcs (Aku no Hana, Rental Magica)
Japanese Airdate: 9th April 2014
Seiyuu: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Saori Hayami, Arisa Noto, Rie Kugimiya
Director: Takeshi Furuta
Series Composition & Script: Aki Itami (Flowers of Evil, Mushishi)
PV:http://youtu.be/O0E-c7pkyO4 

Summary: Anime adaptation of Hiroyuki’s 4-koma manga series.

The daily lives of the mangaka Aito Yuuki and his assistant Ashisu Sahoto. Aito doesn’t understand the feelings of the characters in his stories so he asks Ashisu to help him. Ashisu would do anything for the work—she will even let him touch her breast so he will know how it feels like.

Bakuman via shitty harem series?  No thanks……although the staff is solid.

Baby Steps

Website: http://kc.kodansha.co.jp/content/top.php/1000003295
Animation Studio: Pierrot (Naruto, Polar Bear Café)
Japanese Airdate: 5th April 2014
Seiyuu: Minako Kotobuki, Taishi Murata, Daisuke Namikawa, Takuma Terashima
Director: Masahiko Murata (Naruto Shippuden movies, Shikabane Hime)
Series Composition: Katsuhiko Chiba (Freedom, Shaman King)
PV:

Summary: Anime adaptation of Hikaru Katsuki sports manga.

The story follows “Ei-chan,” a punctual and earnest boy who has strived for straight As since elementary school. The 15-year-old high school boy stops by a tennis school to deal with his lack of exercise. There, he meets Natsu, a beautiful, earnest girl who only has passion for tennis. In turn, he awakens a deep passion for tennis within himself.

All my sports show hype has been given to Haikyuu, I have no room for this rather boring looking tennis series.

Sadon Desu

Website: http://kc.kodansha.co.jp/content/top.php/1000006569
Animation Studio: Gainax (Panty & Stocking, Dantalian no Shoka)
Japanese Airdate: ????

Summary: Anime adaptation of Kyo Hatsuki’s manga series.

The original 4-panel manga revolves around Koume who enters a private high school. She hears from her friend Sasuga that if she enters the tea ceremony club, she can eat snacks. They bring along their classmates Mikaeru — the kanji for her name means “angel”, but is read as Michael — and Momiji to join the club with her. The president of the club is 11th grader Ayame.

Don’t know if this has even been greenlit to be honest.  Not interested even if it is airing this season.

Abarenbou Rikishi!! Matsutarou (Roughneck Sumo Wrestler!! Matsutarō)

Website: http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/matsutaro/
Animation Studio: Toei Animation (Precure, Digimon)
Japanese Airdate: 6th April 2014
Seiyuu: Yuko Mizutani

Summary: Anime adaptation of Tetsuya Chiba’s sumo hero manga series.

The story follows Matsutarō Sakaguchi, a giant roughneck man with strength far beyond ordinary people. He never uttered words like “work hard,” “strive,” and “dream” like the typical shōnen manga protagonist. However, he is stronger than anyone and peerless in sumo wrestling. His greatest weakness is his own carefree personality. He grows into a full-fledged sumo westler.

From the same author as Ashita no Joe – seems all very manly!  Doesn’t really appeal to me much though.

Sequels & Spin-offs

Mushishi: Zoku Shou

Website: http://www.mushishi-anime.com/
Animation Studio: Artland (Bokura ga Ita, LOGH)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Yuto Nakano, Mika Doi, Yuji Ueda
Director & Script: Hiroshi Nagahama (Detroit Metal City, Aku no Hana)
PV: http://youtu.be/W05ydugX1RE

Summary: Second season of the anime adaptation of Yuki Urushibara’s manga series.

They are neither plants nor animals. They differ from other forms of life such as the micro-organisms and the fungi. Instead they resemble the primeval body of life and are generally known as “Mushi”. Their existence and appearance are unknown to many and only a limited number of humans are aware of them. Ginko is a “Mushi-shi” who travels around to investigate and find out more about the “Mushi”. In the process, he also lends a helping hand to people who face problems with supernatural occurances which may be related to the “Mushi”.

HYPE!!!  Finally, a sequel to Mushishi,we only had to wait 8 years!  The recent OVA waylaid my fears that the long gap would reduce the quality of the show, but it still has that wonderful atmosphere that sucks you into the world with ease.  Mushishi is a glorious show, so happy to be getting more of it.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

Website: http://jojo-animation.com/
Animation Studio: David Production (The Book of Bantorra, Ben-to)
Japanese Airdate:  4th April 2014
Seiyuu: Daisuke Hirakawa, Daisuke Ono, Fuminori Komatsu, Takehito Koyasu
Director: Kenichi Suzuki, Naokatsu Tsuda
Series Composition: Yasuko Kobayashi (Attack on Titan, Shakugan no Shana)
PV: http://youtu.be/4NXgHW_XBsc

Summary: Adaptation of Part 3 of Hirohiko Araki‘s popular manga series.

The story follows Jotaro Kujo, the grandson of Part 2’s Joseph Joestar.  Jotaro is a troublesome student who regularly gets into fights at school.  He is put in prison after beating up thee armed men and a trained boxer, but he refuses to leave, claiming he’s possessed by an evil spitit.  Joseph Joestar soon arrives with his friend Muhammad Avdol.  Joseph explains that Jotaro’s “evil spirit” is actually a Stand, a manifestation of psychic power.

EVEN MORE HYPE!!!  Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was my best show of 2013 and easily made it into my top 10 of all time – I am beside myself with excitement for Star Dust Crusaders which is hailed as the most popular arc of JBA.  Bring on the ridiculous poses, fantastic music and OTT characters – my body is ready!

Soul Eater Not!

Website: http://gangan.square-enix.co.jp/introduction/souleater_not/

Animation Studio: Bones (Noragami, Fullmetal Alchemist)
Japanese Airdate: 4th April 2014
Seiyuu: Aoi Yūki , Haruka Chisuga, Saori Hayami
Director & Series Composition: Masakazu Hashimoto (Tari Tari)
PV: http://youtu.be/qoGvNse_TCo

Summary: Anime adaptation of Atsushi Ohkubo‘s spinoff manga series focusing on 3 girls at Death Meister & Weapon Academy.

Soul Eater Not! begins before the start of the original Soul Eater story. As Tsugumi Harudori enters the gates to Shinigami Buki Shokunin Senmon Gakkō (also known as Shibusen), a school for training Meisters and Weapons (humans that can transform into various weapons), she encounters Meister Maka Albarn and her Weapon Soul Eater Evans.  By a turn of events, Weapon Tsugumi is assigned to not one Meister, but two. Her hectic days with the gentle Meme and high-class lady Anya begin.

I liked Soul Eater – not falling over myself to heap praise on it, but I liked the style of the show and the world setting was pretty cool.  However I’m not all that excited about this spin-off which basically looks like yet another cute girls do cute things show…..but in the really cool looking world of Soul Eater. Hmmmm…..will give it a look I suppose.

Break Blade TV

Website: http://comic-meteor.jp/sp/breakblade/
Animation Studio: Production IG (Eden of the East), Xebec (Haiyore! Nyaruko-san)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Souichiro Hoshi, Chiwa Saito, Yūichi Nakamura, Hiroshi Kamiya
Director: Tetsuro Amino (Shiki), Nobuyoshi Habara (Fafner)
PV: http://youtu.be/opMUJP7DWtA

Summary: Anime adaptation of Yunosuke Yoshinaga‘s fantasy robot manga.  The updated 12-episode television version of the 2010-2011 films will add previously unanimated scenes.

The inhabitants of the continent of Cruzon are born with the ability to freely control quartz. Technology based on this power allows them to perform a great multitude of tasks such as shoot projectiles and pilot mobile suits (called Golems in this society). Rygart Arrow is an un-sorcerer, a rare individual who is unable to levitate even the smallest crystal. Living with his brother at a farm, he receives a letter from an old friend, Hodr, the current king. Close companion of the king and queen when they were students at Assam Military School, Arrow is informed that a war is about to occur. Hodr called him because an ancient type of Golem has been found in a mining shaft. No one has been able to move it and Queen Sigyn, an expert engineer, suspects that maybe an un-sorcerer might be the key to activate it.

Basically this is the six Break Blade movies reedited for tv with some extra scenes.  I’ve already seen, and enjoyed the Break Blade movies, so don’t feel any pressing need to watch this.  However if you’re new to the series and enjoy giant clunky mecha beating the crap out of each other, definitely give Break Blade a look.

Dragon Ball Kai: Majin-Buu Saga

Website: http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/dragon_kai/

Animation Studio: Toei Animation (Captain Harlock, Mononoke)
Japanese Airdate: 6th April 2014
Seiyuu: Masako Nozawa, Ryo Horikawa, Mayumi Tanaka, Jouji Yanami
PV:

Summary: Digital remastering and re-edit of the Majin-Buu Saga.

The Majin-Buu saga isn’t my favourite so I was pretty pleased that Dragon Ball Kai finished with the Cell saga.  Saying that I’m definitely watching this to see how they’ve tightened up the pacing, and because I’ll never get bored of Dragon Ball.

Date A Live II

Website: http://date-a-live-anime.com/
Animation Studio: AIC PLUS+ (Cat Planet Cuties, Super Seishun Brothers)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Maaya Uchida, Sarah Emi Bridcutt, Marina Inoue, Nobunaga Shimazaki
Director: Keitaro Motonaga (Jormungand, Majestic Prince)
Series Composition: Hideki Shirane (Dream Eater Merry, Hayate no Gotoku)
PV: http://youtu.be/Dqb3ANEiPdw

Summary: Second season of the anime adaptation of Koushi Tachibana‘s light novel series.

Thirty years before a strange phenomena called a “spacequake” devastated the center of Eurasia, claiming the lives of at least 150 million people. Since then, smaller spacequakes plague the world on a irregular basis. Shidō Itsuka, a seemingly ordinary high schooler comes across a mysterious girl at the ground zero of a spacequake and learns from his sister Kotori she is one of the “Spirits” who are the real cause of the spacequakes that occur when they manifest themselves in the world. He also learns that Kotori is the captain of the airship Ratatoskr and recruits him to make use of his mysterious ability to seal the Spirits’ powers and stop them from being a threat to mankind. However, there is a catch: to seal a Spirit, he must make her fall in love with him.

Didn’t watch S1 and don’t intend to ever try it.

Fairy Tail 2nd Series

Website: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/fairytail/index2.html
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures (Galilei Donna, Shin Sekai Yori)
Japanese Airdate: 5th April 2014
Seiyuu: Aya Hirano, Tetsuya Kakihara, Mai Nakahara, Rie Kugimiya, Yūichi Nakamura, Sayaka Ohara
Director: Shinji Ishihira (Log Horizon, Tokyo Majin Gakuken Kenpucho)
Series Composition: Masashi Sogo (Bleach, Shin Sekai Yori
Music: Yasuharu Takanashi (Shiki, Naruto)
PV:

Summary: Continuation of the anime adaptation of Hiro Mashima’s shounen manga series.

Set in an imaginary world, the Earth Land, there exists a Mage Guild called “Fairy Tail.” Fairy Tail is stationed in the town Magnolia, residing in the Kingdom of Fiore, and is currently governed by Guild Master Makarov.

New anime will continue the Grand Magic Games arc.

Fairy Tail is one of the many long running shounen series I follow, so I’m pleased to see it back again.  There are some changes to the staff, but mostly looks like a continuation of the show.  The original anime ended right in the middle of the Grand Magic Games arc so I was expecting the anime to come back at some point – glad they took a break rather than create some shitty filler arc!

La Corda D’oro 3: Blue Sky

Website: http://www.ntv.co.jp/corda/
Animation Studio: TYO (Neo Angelique Abyss)
Japanese Airdate: 5th April 2014
Seiyuu: Jun Fukuyama, Katsuyuki Konishi, Kishô Taniyama, Reiko Takagi, Satoshi Hino
Director: Kōjin Ochi (Case Closed) Takahiro Natori
Series Composition: Keiichirō Ōchi (A Dark Rabbit has Seven Lives)
PV:

Summary: New anime for the KOEI dating sim franchise.

The game follows a girl named Kanade and her relationships with the orchestra members and the other boys at her school.

Given my love of multi-coloured bishie-fluff shows, it probably comes as a surprise to most that I haven’t watched La Corda D’oro before.  I’ve always intended to, but just never got round to it.  This new series has no real link to the previous two series of the show, as it has a completely new cast of characters, so maybe now is the time to get into the franchise!  That fabulous cast list has me majorly excited!

Love Live! School Idol Project 2nd season

Website: http://www.lovelive-anime.jp/
Animation Studio: Sunrise (Kakumeiki Valvrave, Gintama)
Japanese Airdate: 6th April 2014
Seiyuu: Aina Kusuda, Aya Uchida, Emi Nitta, Suzuko Mimori, Yurika Kubo
Director: Takahiko Kyōgoku
Series Composition: Jukki Hanada (Level-E, Robotics;Notes)
PV:

Summary: Second season of the idol anime.

Honoka Kōsaka loves her school. That’s why it’s bad news for her when she finds out it’s being shut down due to lack of new students. In order to bring in more students, Honoka decides to start a “school idol group”, which is certain to get the eyes of the public. To make this dream a reality, she gathers together her close friends and classmates to make the best idol unit possible.

I’m not a fan of idol anime, they just don’t click with me.  So I’ll be passing on Love Live.

Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R (Kindaichi Case Files Returns)

Website: http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/kindaichi/
Animation Studio: Toei Animation (Kyosogiga, One Piece)
Japanese Airdate: 5th April 2014
Seiyuu: Taiki Matsuno, Akiko Nakagawa, Juurouta Kosugi, Toshiyuki Morikawa
PV: http://youtu.be/AP5lzwKzfjs

Summary: New television anime of Yōzaburō Kanari and Fumiya Sato‘s detective manga, will reunite the voice cast from the earlier 1997-2000 television series.

The story follows a high school boy named Hajime Kindaichi who usually seems dull, but when there is a case, he demonstrates remarkable deductive skills inherited from his famous detective grandfather. He is joined by his childhood friend Miyuki Nanase, police inspector Isamu Kenmochi, and Kindaichi’s rival Kengo Akechi.

I’ve never actually heard of this franchise, which is somewhat baffling given that it seems to have spawned a number of anime and movies.  I’m not really into detective series so that’s probably why……don’t think I’ll bother trying to now.

Shorts/OVAs/Specials

Magica Wars (Mahou Shoujo Taisen)

Website: http://www.mahoushoujyotaisen.com/
Animation Studio: GAINAX (Evangelion, Medaka Box)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Arisa Nishiguchi, Aya Uchida, Kappei Yamaguchi, Kotori Koiwai
Director: Ayano Ohnoki
PV:

Summary: Original multi-media project with game tie-ins.

Follows the fight of 47 magical girls representing Japanese prefectures…..or something, there isn’t much information.

Haven’t a clue if this is evening happening this season.  Art looks cool and I’d imagine it’s shorts given the paper-thin premise.

Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san

Website: http://www.dreamcreation.co.jp/inuneko/
Animation Studio:
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Sumire Uesaka, Nao Tōyama, Yuka Ōtsubo, Hitomi Harada
Director: Shinpei Nagai (Hiro no Kakera)
PV:

Summary: Anime adaptation of Kuzushiro‘s 4-koma yuri gag manga.

The story of the original manga revolves around Suzu Nekoyama, a timid, shy tsundere (initially aloof and abrasive, but later kind-hearted) girl loves dogs, and Yachiyo Inugami, a super masochistic, air-headed, friendly girl who loves cats. One day, after a fateful meeting, the two find themselves attracted to each other. In response to Inugami’s instinctive approaches, Nekoyama is always bashful. Their friend Aki has to work hard to make jabs at some of the situations of the two, and also to stop Inugami from going berserk.

Nope.

Magi: Adventures of Sinbad

Website: http://www.project-magi.com/sinbad/
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures (Fractale, Silver Spoon)
Japanese Airdate: 16th May 2014
Seiyuu: Daisuke Ono, Tomokazu Sugita, Akira Ishida
Director: Yoshikazu Miyao (Hellsing, Inazuma Eleven)
PV: http://youtu.be/_h6QPK3Sgrc

Summary: OVA special for Shinobu Ohtaka‘s Magi spin-off manga is set 30 years before Magi and tells the story of the younger days of Sinbad, the king of Sindria.

I really like Magi and Sinbad’s spin-off manga is proving interesting too.  I imagine this OVA will cover the first arc of the spin-off manga – Sinbad and Drakon capturing Baal’s dungeon.

Mitsuwano

Website: http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/mitsuwano/
Animation Studio: ZEXCS(Chrome Shelled Regios, Aku no Hana)
Japanese Airdate: 12th March 2014
Seiyuu: Yui Horie, Rina Satou, Nozomi Sasaki, Yumi Hara, Sayaka Ohara
Director: Takashi Igari
PV: http://youtu.be/k6-9LdItRq8

Summary: OVA for Itsuki Matsumoto’s light novel series.

The light novel’s story follows a group of young girls in Kyoto who dream of becoming maiko, or apprentice geisha.

Puts me in mind of Hanasaku Iroha, probably the traditional background combined with cute girls.  Could be worth a look.

Sengoku Musou SP: Sanada no Shou

Website: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/sengokumusou/
Animation Studio: TYO Animations (Utakoi, Tamayura)
Japanese Airdate: 21st March 2014
Seiyuu: Daisuke Ono, Takeshi Kusao, Akio Ohtsuka, Jouji Nakata, Makiko Ohmoto
Director: Kōjin Ochi
PV: http://youtu.be/tnXFwJQorqU

Summary: OVA for the Tecmo KOEI game.

The story revolves around the Sanada brothers in their youth. Nobuyuki and Yukimura swear to each other to protect the influential Sanada clan. However, thinking of how to best continue the Sanada clan, Yukimura makes a decision, and meets with Mitsunari Ishida and Naoe Kanetsugu at the location he arrived at. On the other hand, his elder brother Nobuyuki must worry about the selfish demands made by the Tokugawa clan.  The anime will cover the Siege of Ueda Castle.

Oh look another Sengoku anime!  And a game adaptation to boot!  I suppose it is a plus point that it isn’t genderbent or focused on Oda Nobunaga, but still can’t find any enthusiasm for this in me.

Futsuu no Joshikousei ga Locodol Yatte Mita. (Normal High School Girls Tried Being Local Idols)

Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/locodol/
Animation Studio: Studio feel. (Listen to me Girls, I am your Father, Kiss x Sis)
Japanese Airdate: April 2014
Seiyuu: Miku Itō, Sachika Misawa
Director: Munenori Nawa (Nakaimo, Kiss x Sis)
PV:

Summary: Anime adaptation of Kōtarō Kosugi’s 4-koma manga series.

In the story, high school girl Nanako became her town’s local idol at the request of her uncle. She and her upperclassman Yukari, a girl who seems perfect but ends up being airheaded, both become idols of their provincial area. They get interviewed (by the town’s shopping center), go on television (low-budget cable), and hold concerts (on the roof of the department store). The girls’ salaries come from the town’s taxes.

I’m assuming this is shorts going by the shallow premise – don’t know how they would draw that out to a full episode.  Everything about this screams crap – staff and studio are hardly stellar.

Wild Adaptor

Website: http://wild-adapter.com/
Animation Studio: Anpro (Saiyuki Gaiden)
Japanese Airdate: 26th March 2014
Seiyuu: Hideo Ishikawa, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Juurouta Kosugi, Shinpachi Tsuji, Toshihiko Seki
Director: Naoyuki Kuzuya (Bus Gamer, Saiyuki Gaiden)
PV: http://youtu.be/sUntI0yCX68 http://youtu.be/92iJuEZkbbE

Summary: OVA for Kazuya Minekura’s manga series.

Kubota Makoto led a somewhat easy going life, until a local yakuza boss approached him for initiation, and he happened upon a ‘stray’ in an alley, Tokitoh Minoru to be exact, whose life seems to be forever connected with a drug, W.A., passing frequently through the Yokohama area, and leaving bodies in its wake. As they further investigate the drug, more information than perhaps wanted is brought to light.

Finally!  I’ve been looking forward to this for ages, I love Minekura’s style!  I’ve been meaning to pick up the Wild Adaptor manga for a while, as it has the kind of plot that appeals to me coupled with those great BL undertones Minekura excels at.  I don’t expect the quality to be fantastic, but still excited about this OVA.

Harmonie

Website: http://animemirai.jp/index.html
Animation Studio: Ultra Super Pictures
Japanese Airdate: 1st March 2014
Seiyuu: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Kenta Matsumoto, Makoto Furukawa, Ryō Iwasaki
Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura (The Time of Eve, Pale Cocoon)
PV: http://youtu.be/gHkoOev4e6Y

Summary: Anime Mirai 2014

Every person has his or her own little world. Among the 34 bustling students of classroom 2-1, there are many such worlds. Akio Honjō’s world — my world — is filled with passionate talk about last night’s anime with Yoshida, Watanabe, and other friends. It’s an fun, comfortable place…. But, I always wonder. Wonder about the world of Juri Makina, smiling and surrounded by gorgeous friends on the other side of the classroom. One day, I enter her world. But it’s not as simple as it sounds.

Probably the stand out from this years Anime Mirai due to the director.  Yoshiura turns out wonderfully thought provoking series and I fully expect Harmonie to be no different.

Ookii Ichinensei to Chiisana Ninensei (The Big First-Grader and the Small Second-Grader)

Website: http://animemirai.jp/index.html
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
Japanese Airdate: 1st March 2014
Seiyuu: Akiko Yajima, Mutsumi Tamura, Misaki Kuno
Director: Ayumu Watanabe (Doraemon, Space Brothers)
PV: http://youtu.be/gHkoOev4e6Y

Summary: Anime Mirai 2014

First-grader Masaya is a crybaby despite his large stature, so he can’t walk by himself on the dark path to school. The one who holds his hand is Akiyo, a tiny but capable second-grader.  Masaya wants to be strong like Akiyo and admires her, but one day, something happens that leaves Akiyo in tears.  To lift Akiyo’s spirits, Masaya goes trekking to the distant Ipponsugi forest to find the spotted bellflowers that Akiyo loves.

So cute that I can feel the diabetes developing.

Paroru no Miraijima (Paroru’s Future Island)

Website: http://animemirai.jp/index.html
Animation Studio: Shinei Animation (Crayon Shin-chan, Tonari no Seki-kun)
Japanese Airdate: 1st March 2014
Seiyuu: Ayumi Fujimura, Anri Katsu, Ayako Kawasumi
Director: Kazuaki Imai
PV: http://youtu.be/gHkoOev4e6Y

Summary: Anime Mirai 2014

There is a tiny island floating on the other side of a distant sea. Strange animals, still unknown to humans, live there. The children of the island — Paroru, Zūzu, and Rikotto — come across a photo of the human world one day, and fascinated by this beautiful wonder, break the rules and rush out of the island. Paroru and the others are surprised and excited to see the human world for the first time. However, unforeseen pitfalls await them there…. Can they safely reach their journey’s destination?

Probably the segment I’m least interested in – artstyle isn’t my thing and the plot sounds really childish.

Kuro no Su –Chronus-

Website: http://animemirai.jp/index.html
Animation Studio: Studio 4°C (Berserk: The Golden Age, Detroit Metal City)
Japanese Airdate: 1st March 2014
Seiyuu: Daisuke Ono, Natsuki Hanae, Tomoaki Maeno, Yūki Matsumoto
Director: Naoyuki Onda
PV: http://youtu.be/gHkoOev4e6Y

Summary: Anime Mirai 2014

Makoto Nakazono is a high school student with a small dark secret. Since he was little, he has had the mysterious power to see “black entities” that steal souls.  One day, he is suddenly interrogated by one of the “black entities,” Akira Seno: “Will you get in our way?”  But Makoto replies with an air of resignation, “There’s nothing I can do anyway, so I won’t.” At that moment, Makoto didn’t notice the threatening shadow approaching his childhood friend Hazuki.

Think this will be the other memorable segment of Anime Mirai.  Studio 4C are pretty good at producing interesting shorts.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

And we’re done!  Quite a lot of stuff coming out next month, some more interesting than others.  Hoping that a couple of shows provide enough inspiration for me to blog them – Winter was pretty bad for that.  Expect first impressions post spam in early April!

As ever all information has been cobbled together from the ever reliable ANN, MAL, AniChart.net, Neregate and everyone’s friend – Google.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2014 4:19 pm

    I tried reading the first chapter of the manga adaptation of the Bones coffin show and auuuugh, couldn’t make it even though the first chapter, the generic brother-sister not!incest is so strong! Plus, I’m reaaaaally tired of MC’s who aren’t doing anything and don’t want to do anything either, it’s just not that interesting guys (god only knows how Hyouka managed to pull it off so well….).

    Oh and for Soul Eater Not! I read some of the manga back when it was first coming out and it had a lot of potential (and actually explained a lot of details of the Soul Eater universe, it’s set really early on in the first manga’s run, possibly before it even starts) but then just started getting messy and fanservice-y, which is sadly what happened to the actual Soul Eater too… But at least Captain Planet is by the same people who did Star Driver, I’M SO IN FOR THIS ONE GUYS, SO MUCH HYPE.

    As for the rest, Nanana’s staff confuses me (like, some of the stuff y’all have done has been great and some has been, interesting), think my feeling on the Anime Mirai shorts match up with yours, I kinda want to watch the magical girl mascot show just for cosplay ideas, and that’s more or less it for me. I’ll be checking out Ping-pong and Mushi-shi, might end up trying one of the sports show and will give Soredemo a chance, but this is a really sparse season for me, guess I’ll use it to tackle my backlog some more!

    • March 9, 2014 12:26 pm

      It is certainly a sparse season for stuff I’m hyped for outside of sequels. Hoping that there will be a few hidden gems in amongst all the run-of-the-mill stuff.

  2. March 8, 2014 4:29 pm

    Irregular at Magic Highschool has a bad reputation amongst light novel fans for having some of the stupidest and most convoluted exposition I’ve seen this side of Index from what I’ve been told. Which probably won’t be a problem with the anime itself, but I see the look in that sister’s eye. Yeah, nice try popular LN #Whatever.

    Also, I tried googling that “bunny girl drinking tea” thing that White Fox is doing and quite a few pictures of them in swimsuits. Coulda done without that.

    • March 8, 2014 7:55 pm

      I remember you writing this on your own blog, too, and I wonder where you’re getting this idea from. It’s among the best-selling LN series, and so far, every single LN reader I’ve encountered liked it a lot.

      It’s got a bad rep with the wannabe-elitist oblivious hater circle, since it’s going to be very popular – I’ll call it the SAO treatment. If you pride yourself of having “good taste” in anime, you best showing it by dumping on the popular show of the clueless masses, no matter whether you know more about the story than the 3-liner summaries you get from the websites.

      • March 11, 2014 6:29 pm

        Meant to say “bit of a reputation” rather than “bad”. Not sure how I made that mistake, but I’m fully aware it’s popular with the masses and all. But even they notice the huge amount of words in the thing. Granted I only looked in one or two forums in regards to the actual novel, so yeah take my statement with a grain of salt.

    • March 9, 2014 12:29 pm

      I haven’t really heard anything too negative about Irregular At Magic High, which makes me even more curious about it. Doubt it will be my thing going by my track record with popular LN adaptations, but I’ll give it a look.

    • March 10, 2014 6:07 am

      Actually, you’ll definitely mostly hear good things about Mahouka as far as light novels go. You must have had a very closed sample size.

  3. dyingearth permalink
    March 8, 2014 5:12 pm

    I love the previous live action adaptation of Ping Pong. Lets see what they can do with anime medium.

    • March 9, 2014 12:31 pm

      I have heard good things about the manga and live action adaptation, will be interesting to see Yuasa’s spin on things.

  4. March 8, 2014 5:50 pm

    Great work putting this together, once again… would almost be tempted to copy and paste it all into my TSR list if I didn’t find researching all the little details myself to be so much fun. :razz: For now, I mostly just skimmed the synopses and read your impressions.

    Don’t know quite how many series I’ll pick up this season yet, but the 10 I’m most looking forward to at this point are:

    Akuma no Riddle – Original story by Kouga Yun, sold.
    Date A Live 2 – The first series was a surprise hit for me.
    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – Obviously.
    Sidonia no Kishi – I like the manga, and have high hopes for this.
    Ping Pong The Animation – Has to be worth a look, if nothing else!
    Gokukoku no Brynhildr – Dark sci-fi/fantasy, my kind of tags.
    Haikyuu!! – Assuming Yowamushi Pedal is ending this season, this’ll fill its slot nicely.
    Mekaku City Actors – Haven’t liked any non-sequel SHAFT show that’s aired post-Madoka, hopefully this one will change that.
    Selector Infected WIXOSS – Ridiculous title, promising staff.
    Kenzen Robo Daimidaler – This is going to be terrible. I’m okay with that.

    • March 9, 2014 12:32 pm

      Ah you’ve caught the bug for putting these things together – I’m glad since I passed off TSR preview duties to you!

  5. March 8, 2014 9:04 pm

    Potential good stuff:
    THE MUSH S2!
    Both of the noitaminA things, even though Yuasa sux and that nananana thing prob will too
    Black Bullet: Kinema Citrus owns and Masayuki Kojima is an ok director. They’ve elevated bad source material before, hopefully they can pull a hat trick. Getting K vibes from that PV though
    Toei sumo thing
    The 3 (!!!) BONES shows
    Isshuukan Friends
    Kanojo ga Flag if only because Ayumu Watanabe x Hoods produced Mysterious Girlfriend X
    Anime mirai shiznit

    No Game No Life depresses me because it’s the second time in a row Atsuko Ishizuka has been stuck adapting terrible source material. Has Sadhouse fallen so low that they’ll allow great female talent to go to waste like this?

  6. March 8, 2014 10:33 pm

    Oof, this is a bit of a shaky list (for my personal tastes, anyway). And here Spring is usually the season when I have a whole handful of shows that catch my eye. As it is, I’ll probably be following Akuma no Riddle (bring me the GL that is about the actual relationship/grows in tandem with a real plot rather than fanservice!) and Captain Earth (that production team, yowza), and dropping in on Ping Pong (for its gravitas of expectations) and One Week Friends once there’s a backdraft of material. Here’s to hoping that Summer and Fall are a bit stronger (though this is already a notch up from Winter – baby steps).

    • March 8, 2014 10:34 pm

      Oh! And thanks for putting all this together. It’s lovely to be able to see everything all in one go, and done quite comprehensively.

      • March 9, 2014 12:35 pm

        I like doing these previews since I personally enjoy the process and find it useful for getting an idea of what I’ll be watching in the next season. If it is also useful to others I’m a very happy blogger.

  7. March 9, 2014 12:51 am

    I’m all kinds of excited about the second season of Mushishi – but I’m biased as hell and see no point in hiding it. I’d happily put the original series on my top 10 list, and thus far I can see no indication that season two will fail to live up to expectations. I’ll be checking out at least the first episode or so of a lot of other new shows coming out during spring season, but the one I’m most excited about otherwise is definitely Captain Earth.

    • March 9, 2014 12:36 pm

      So hyped for more Mushishi, excellent series.

      Captain Earth definitely has buckets of potential, hope it delivers!

  8. leokiko permalink
    March 9, 2014 7:56 am

    “All my sports show hype has been given to Haikyuu, I have no room for this rather boring looking tennis series.”
    It’s a shame though, since Baby Steps is leagues ahead Haikyuu. It’s so much better, that I shudder to think someone would even try to compare them.
    Ei-chan, BS’s protagonist > pretty much every Kuroba’s and Haikyuu’s characters xD
    Oh well. Most will dismiss it though, and I understand. Nothing to grab their attention.

    • March 9, 2014 12:39 pm

      It doesn’t surprise me to hear that the characters in Baby Steps are better than those in other sports series – it does look like one of those well written shows that often fly under the radar. However I am completely shallow when it comes to sports shows – the prettier and flashier they are, the more interested I am……I’m generally not really in it for the plot.

  9. March 10, 2014 2:14 am

    Man, the spring season looks pretty bad. There’s only a handful of series that actually interest me.

    • March 10, 2014 10:06 pm

      Well better a handful of quality shows than a whole mass of mediocre/crap ones I suppose.

  10. ThePsychoGamer permalink
    March 10, 2014 5:33 pm

    I’m actually pretty excited for Atelier Escha & Logy, especially with the promise of a combat system similar to the atelier spin off series Mana Khemia. If time limit also works like it did in Mana Khemia I tihnk I’ll really enjoy this one… Wait we are talking about the anime.
    Well most atelier games don’t really have much of a story so it will be interesting to see what they do with it,

    • March 10, 2014 10:07 pm

      Game adaptations are very hit and miss – with more misses than hits if we’re being honest. Will have to wait and see.

  11. higgsbosoff permalink
    March 13, 2014 2:22 pm

    Eagerly waiting for Jojo and DBZ (my least favourite saga is the Android one, I find the Majin one pretty sweet instead, if only for the cognitive dissonance between MajinBu’s appearance and the horrifying things he does all the time). Haven’t seen Mushishi, still need to check out with Season 1, so no hype there. I think the other shows that have me intrigued here are Sidonia and Wixoss.

    And, Kami help me, I WOULD like something like No Game, No Life done decently. I would really like it. I mean, without the “little sister wanting to bone the lead” part. But the burns from SAO still hurt too much. I will not fall for this illusion, not any more. My heart is hardened and withered by the pain.

  12. blipdelishix permalink
    March 20, 2014 4:52 pm

    Thanks for compiling this list! For someone like me, knowing the seiyuu is probably the most important part of a preview!

  13. March 22, 2014 6:29 pm

    Reblogged this on Medieval Otaku and commented:
    Caraniel’s Ramblings is the best place to get descriptions of and opinions on all upcoming shows. Is it bad that I’m happy that so few shows are worthwhile? Gotta fix my backlog!

  14. March 25, 2014 3:28 am

    Thank you for choosing our versión of the “Isshukan Friends” preview to show it to your followers.

Trackbacks

  1. Spring 2014 Anime Pre-season Info | Abandoned Factory Anime Review
  2. Spring 2014 Anime Season Preview
  3. Fantasy Leagues in the house | The Blindwolf Vision on Anime

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