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Spring 2011 Anime Preview!

March 15, 2011

So first I have to apologise for dropping off the face of the planet for the past month, if you follow my Twitter you’ll know I’ve been having some health problems and a very bad flare up of RSI in my arm, neck & shoulders.  I’m recovering slowly and I want to get back into my regular blogging routine soon, however I physically can’t type for very long periods of time so I’ll be reducing output until I’m completely ok again.  Shiki manga posts will be resuming soon as a priority (well once I get to talk to A Day Without Me about those posts) and I’ll also be taking on 1 or 2 shows this season to blog all being well.

Second I have to mention the horrific events unfolding in Japan at the moment, the devastation inflicted by the massive earthquake, subsequent tsunami and potential nuclear crisis are hard to wrap your head around; such is the scale of the disaster.  The Japanese people are holding themselves amazingly well in this time of crisis, but they will need lots of help to rebuild the battered coastal towns, so I’d urge everyone to donate whatever you can to the charity of your choice.  I personally chose to give to the Red Cross, but there are many other agencies like Give2Asia UNICEF & Global Giving sending much needed aid to Japan.

Anyway enough with the serious business, back to anime!  The Spring season is just around the corner and it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t have my usual preview done, so that’s what I’ve spent the past week doing whenever I was able to sit for a few hours at a keyboard!  Spring is a huge season and I’ve got about 40 shows on this list (and that’s not everything, I ignore kiddie stuff & movies), but it’s the usual mixed bag and there’s only a handful I’m actually excited about.

OK enough talking, onto the preview!


Animation Studio: Production I.G. (Ghost in the Shell, Kimi ni Todoke)
Japanese Airdate: 14th March 2011
Seiyuu: Kana Hanazawa, Tetsuya Kakihara, Youko Hikasa
Director: Takayuki Hamana (Kemono no Souja Erin, Prince of Tennis)

Summary: Adaption of the best-selling 2009 novel by Natsumi Iwasaki.
A high school girl named Minami Kawashima who becomes the baseball team manager at Tokyo’s Hodokubo High School. Minami accidentally buys Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices — a classic productivity guide by the Austrian-American management guru Peter Drucker — and uses it to rally her dispirited team.

First thoughts were ‘meh’ after reading the synopsis & watching the PV, but apparently this is based on a very well received novel so it may be worth a look.  Still seems very middle of the road to me though, Production I.G. don’t seem to have put their best people on this either.  Still, I’ll have a look when it comes out.


Animation Studio: Madhouse (Highschool of the Dead, Kobato.)
Japanese Airdate: 1st April 2011
Seiyuu: Aya Hisakawa, Hideyuki Tanaka, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Yurika Hino
Director: Fuminori Kizaki (Afro Samurai, Blue Gender)

Summary: Anime adaption of the MARVEL comic.
The X-Men are a team of elite super-powered mutants gathered by Professor X to protect ordinary humans even as they are persecuted by them. In the wake of the death of one of their own, however, the team has stopped operations for a whole year. Then Professor X receives word of a mutant girl’s mysterious disappearance in Japan. Sensing that something larger is afoot, he reassembles the team and sends them to investigate. They uncover a connection between her disappearance and an anti-mutant group known as the U-Men.

Definitely no longer excited about these Madhouse/MARVEL collaborations after being bitten by both Ironman & Wolverine – neither of those shows could be called ‘good’.  The X-Men PV looks pretty snazzy (same was said about the other two though) and I like X-Men a lot more than I ever liked Ironman.  Still not all that interested in this though – give this American comic stuff up as a bad job Madhouse, go back to making proper anime again!

Pretty Rhythm: Aurora Dream

Animation Studio: Tatsunoko Production (Tachumaru Gekijou, Yozakura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi)
Japanese Airdate: 2nd April 2011
Seiyuu: Azusa Kataoka, Kana Asumi, Sayuri Hara, Kanae Itou
Director: Masakazu Hishida (Onmyou Taisenki, Turn A Gundam)

Summary: Based on a bishoujo dancing game.

The Prism Show is an all-new kind of ice skating show that requires its participants to be figure skaters, models, and singers all at the same time. Aira and Rhythm are two girls who both dream of becoming the Prism Queen. They’ll have to train hard and overcome both their quarrels with each other and their blossoming interest in boys if they want to achieve their dream.

Oh god why?  I have very little else to say about this – expecting it to be all kinds of terrible.

Dog Days

Animation Studio: Seven Arcs (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, White Album)
Japanese Airdate: 2nd April 2011
Seiyuu: Ami Koshimizu, Ayana Taketatsu, Mamoru Miyano, Nana Mizuki
Director: Keizou Kusakawa (Asura Cryin’, Sekirei)

Summary: In the land of Fronaldo, the Republic of Biscotti has been aggressively attacked by the Lion Kingdom of Garette. Facing potential defeat, Princess Millhiore summons a hero who can save the country. What she gets is Izumi Shinku, a middle-school boy from Japan. Awaiting him in Fronaldo is the task of becoming hero enough to defeat his enemies while learning the peculiar rules of battle in this strange new world.

“So generic it hurts”, is the phrase that springs to mind although I am surprised that this is an original production rather than being based on some terrible game or manga series……surely they fired this together as a laugh rather than as something serious.  I mean, read that synopsis and look at those character designs!  Please tell me this is a parody or a subversion of the genre or I will lose all faith in the industry!

Nichijou (Everyday Life)

Animation Studio: Kyouto Animation (Lucky Star, Clannad)
Japanese Airdate: 2nd April 2011
Seiyuu: Mariko Honda, Ai Hirosaka, Chika Horikawa, Hiroshi Naka
Director: Tatsuya Ishihara (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, AIR)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Keiichi Arawi’s gag comedy manga.
While the title suggests a story of simple, everyday school life, the contents are more the opposite. The setting is a strange school where you may see the principal wrestle a deer or a robot’s arm hide a rollcake. However there are still normal stories, like making a card castle or taking a test you didn’t study for.

This looks like a pleasant change for Kyo-Ani in terms of character design & animation, and I’m glad to see Ishihara at the wheel again.  It seems like this show will be about the random comedy value rather than the ‘cute girls doing cute things’ that was Lucky Star’s sole selling point.  The manga isn’t a 4-koma so I’m hoping the episodes gel a bit better than most gag manga adaptations – I don’t need structured plot, but I do need some sort of cohesive quality otherwise what’s the point to making it an anime!?  Quietly looking forward to this.

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san TV (You’re Being Summoned, Azazel-san)

Animation Studio: Production I.G. (Eden of the East, Sengoku Basara)
Japanese Airdate: 2nd April 2011
Seiyuu: Daisuke Namikawa, Masaya Onosaka, Rina Satou, Hiroshi Kamiya
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima (Ookiku Furikabutte, Hare+Guu)

Summary: TV anime adaption of Yasuhisa Kubo’s comedy manga series.
Akutabe, a detective, summons devils to solve the troubles of his clients. One day, a low class devil Azazel Atsushi is summoned by Akutabe and is used harshly by him and his assistant Rinko Sakuma.

There was an OVA release for this a while back, but I haven’t seen it yet.  The PV seems to suggest that the comedy is more on the crude side, which can only be a good thing if it’s done correctly, and it’s got a pretty decent director & cast on board so that’s promising.  Not sure about this, shall have to watch the first episode to see if it’s the kind of humour I enjoy.

Hen Zemi TV (Abnormal Physiology Seminar)

Animation Studio: XEBEC (Bottle Fairy, Kanokon)
Japanese Airdate: 2nd April 2011
Seiyuu: Kana Hanazawa, Akira Ishida, Minoru Shiraishi, Takashi Matsuyama
Director: Ryouki Kamitsubo (Hidamari Sketch, Star Ocean Ex)

Summary: TV anime adaptation of TAGRO’s comedy manga series.
Nanako Matsutaka is an innocent university student who is participating in a sexual perversion seminar led by the deviant professor Kenji Meshiya. She desperately tries to keep her morals as well as her sanity while amidst the strange group of students in the study group.

There was an OVA for this a while back too, and I did watch that.  The humour in Hen Zemi is of the utterly disgusting sexual variety, however it was still hilarious!  I just wonder how much they’ll have to tone the show down to make it suitable for TV broadcast (although given this is Xebec they probably won’t tone it down much at all).  I’m kind of worried about how they’ll milk an entire season out of the concept, but will be checking the show out anyway.

Hana-Saku Iroha

Animation Studio: P.A. Works (Angel Beats, True Tears)
Japanese Airdate: 3rd April 2011
Seiyuu: Kanae Itou, Aki Toyosaki, Chiaki Omigawa, Haruka Tomatsu, Junichi Suwabe
Director: Masahiro Ando (CANAAN, Sword of the Stranger)

Summary: P.A. Works’ 10th Anniversary work.
Ohana Matsumae is sent to live with her grandmother, who she has never met nor spoken to, at her traditional hot springs inn. It’s not a lifestyle that Ohana would have chosen, but she decides not to be discouraged and to make the most of her new circumstances.

Seems like boring, but very solid slice of life; pretty strange choice for a 10th Anniversary project.  I think I would have preferred if PA Works went for something ambitious like ‘Angel Beats’ (even if it was very flawed it was fun), rather than this safe ‘True Tears’ type series, but that’s just me.  Expecting this to be the epitome of ‘nice’ and I don’t know if I can be bothered with ‘nice’ at the moment.

Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai (Under the Innocent Sky)

Animation Studio: Nomad (Kampfer, Rozen Maiden)
Japanese Airdate: 4th April 2011
Seiyuu: Ai Matayoshi, Hiro Shimono, Junichi Suwabe, Yuko Goto, Ryoko Ono
Director: Shinji Ushiro (The Blessing of Campanella, Omamori Himari)

Summary: Anime adaption of the NAVEL coming of age visual novel.
It’s winter in the big city of Yanagihara, and young people will meet and fall in love. Takashi is a boy who plans to escape to another world, but is held back by thoughts of his younger sister Kobato and girlfriend Asuka. Shusuke is a poor part-timer who has to work with student-author Hiyoko in spite of their initial dislike for each other. The antisocial Hayato makes his living as a handyman until he is visited by a girl name Naru.

Oh hello there uber generic VN adaptation! I could see your overly fussy character designs coming from a mile off – sticking bows & frills on a standard template does not make a character more interesting looking!  Urgh, I think most know my opinion on this genre no need to flog a dead horse (Nomad & Shinji Ushiro have no objections to that though).

Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi (A Bridge to the Starry Skies)

Animation Studio: Dogakobo (11eyes, Koihime Musou)
Japanese Airdate: 4th April 2011
Seiyuu: Aiko Okubo, Chiaki Takahashi, Eriko Nakamura, Shintaro Asanuma
Director: Takenori Mihara

Summary: Anime adaption of feng’s adult bishoujo game.
The story revolves around Kazuma Hoshino, a boy whose family moves to a new town for the sake of his younger brother’s health. Kazuma gets lost on his way to his new school, but he unexpectedly encounters a girl named Ui Nakatsugawa. Ui guides him, but when Kazuma trips, he accidentally bumps into Ui and kisses her. Plus, Ui’s close friend Ibuki Hinata happens to see the accidental kiss. Kazuma eventually meets Madoka Kōmoto (the daughter of a priest at the local shrine), a third-year girl named Tsumugi Tōdō, and Tsumugi’s spirited younger sister Koyori.

Tempted to copy-pasta what I’ve written about Under the Innocent Sky, because my opinion on this atrocity  is exactly the same.  The only thing that’s different here is that the character designs have been given rainbow coloured hair in addition to lots of bows & frills (which only makes it more apparent that this is an eroge adaptation rather than a VN).

Gintama II

Animation Studio: Sunrise (Code Geass, Cowboy Bebop)
Japanese Airdate: 4th April 2011
Seiyuu: Tomokazu Sugita, Daisuke Sakaguchi, Rie Kugimiya, Akira Ishida, Kazuya Nakai
Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi (Nyan Koi!, Zettai Karen Children)

Summary: Second series of the anime adaption of Hideaki Sorachi’s gag manga series.
Sakata Gintoki is a samurai living in an era when samurais are no longer needed. To add to his troubles, oppressive aliens have moved in to invade. Gintoki lives with Kagura and Shinpachi, taking on odd jobs to make the world a better place…and to pay their rent.

I adore Gintama, absolutely adore it.  Not only is it fecking hilarious, it managed to be consistently hilarious for almost the entirety of its original 201 episode run – an accomplishment not to be sniffed at.  The series not only made me laugh until my sides threatened to split, it also threatened to make me cry on a few occasions!  I for one am definitely well up for another trip to the wacky world of Gintama!

Sengoku Otome ~Momoiro Paradox~

Animation Studio: TMS Entertainment (D.Gray-Man, Itazura na Kiss)
Japanese Airdate: 4th April 2011
Seiyuu: Rina Hidaka, Eri Kitamura, Mariya Ise, Megumi Toyoguchi, Yuka Hirata
Director: Hideki Okamoto (DA Capo II, Nagasarete Airantou)

Summary: Anime based on a popular series of pachinko machines.
Modern-day middle school girl Hideyoshi is mysteriously hurled into a world resembling the Warring States period of Japanese history, only this time it’s inhabited only by women. This world’s Oda Nobunaga is gathering the legendary Crimson Armor so she can rule the world, and for some reason needs Hideyoshi’s help to do it.

Pachinko game adaptation.  Genderbent Sengoku warriors (again!!!!). I don’t think I really need to comment on this – it will be terrible moe pandering of the worst kind.

Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Hakairoku-hen (Ultimate Gambler Kaiji S2)

Animation Studio: Madhouse (Trigun, Summer Wars)
Japanese Airdate: 5th April 2011
Seiyuu: Masato Hagiwara, Daisuke Namikawa, Masane Tsukayama, Naoya Uchida
Director: Yuzu Sato (One Outs, Gokusen)

Summary: Second series of the anime adapation of Nobuyuki Fukumoto’s manga series.
Impoverished loser Kaiji spends his days playing cheap gambling games, and vandalizing cars to take his frustrations out on society. One day a debt collector arrives, informing Kaiji that an unpaid loan he had co-signed for has now fallen upon him. The debt collector coerces him into boarding a gambling boat to clear the debt, and possibly make himself rich on top of that. Kaiji accepts, but he has no inkling of the horrors that await him.

Kaiji was crying out for a sequel, so I am utterly delighted to see that its finally happened.  Can not wait to dive right into more zawa-zawa & tears!!

30-sai no Hoken Taiiku (Health & Physical Education for 30 year-olds)

Animation Studio: Gathering (Tono to Issho)
Japanese Airdate: 6th April 2011
Seiyuu: Hiro Shimono, Kaori Nazuka, Eri Kitamura, Ryotaro Okiayu
Director: Mankyuu (Tono to Issho, Utsurun Desu)

Summary: Anime adaption of Mitsuba and Ichijinsha’s 2008 book.
A guide book teaching shy men around 30 how to date and have sex with women.

Oh dear lord.  Seriously Japan??  I really don’t have a single good thing to say about this – the fact that Gathering & Mankyuu only have Tono to Issho under their belts is really all that needs to be said – this will be awful, no doubt about it.

Sket Dance

Animation Studio: Tatsunoko Production (Tachumaru Gekijou, Yozakura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi))
Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2011
Seiyuu: Hiroyuki Yoshino, Ryoko Shiraishi, Tomokazu Sugita, Hiro Shimono
Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi  (Moetan, Kowarekake no Orgel)

Summary: Anime adaption of Kenta Shinohara’s Shounen Jump gag manga.
At Kaimei High School, the Living Assistance Club (aka the Sket Brigade) was organized to help students with problems big or small. The club consists of three members. Himeko Onizuka “yankee”-girl who has a weakness for cute things; Switch a smart, otaku who talks through a computer. And the leader Yuusuke Fujisaki aka Bossun who the creater of the club. Most of the time, though, they hang out in their club room, bored, with only a few trivial problems floating in every once in a while. In spite of this, they still throw all their energy into solving these worries.

I’ve been following the Sket Dance manga for about a year, and it’s a bit hit or miss most of the time and not the kind of series I thought would get an anime because of that.  Still when it’s on form Sket Dance is quite fun, but most of the time it’s pretty average fare.  The voice cast is excellent, but I’m not all that sure of the staff that’s on board.  Also Tatsunoko Production isn’t a studio I was familiar with – looking into them further, seems that they’ve been mostly assisting on projects for the past decade, but they are a well established studio in their own right.  I’ll be watching this.

Hyouge Mono (Tea for Universe, Tea for Life)

Animation Studio: Bee-Train (Tsubasa Chronicle, Noir)
Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2011
Seiyuu: Hideyuki Tanaka, Kouji Ohkura, Masashi Ebara, Rikiya Koyama
Director: Koichi Mashimo (Blade of the Immortal, Phantom ~Requeim for the Phantom~

Summary: Adaptation of Yoshihiro Yamada’s manga.
In the age of civil war, when the shadow of Nobunaga Oda was still cast over the land, the warlord Furuta Sasuke lost his soul to the tea ceremony. While war shook the world around him, he faced his own conflict between his desire for promotion and his love for his art.

Bee-Train, ye of the ridiculously slow paced, yet stylish shows.  Not sure what to think of this really, it seems like a completely ridiculous concept, which just makes me all the more curious.  I’m also fascinated by the fact this has been given 39 episodes to play with – that’s pretty damn rare these days, however given how this director has a penchant for taking things really slowly I shouldn’t be all that surprised.  Guess I’ll have to reserve judgement for when I’ve actually watched a few episodes.

Aria the Scarlet Ammo (Hidan no Aria)

Animation Studio: JC Staff (Honey + Clover, Hayate no Gotoku)
Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2011
Seiyuu: Junji Majima, Rie Kugimiya, Kaori Ishihara, Makako Takahashi
Director: Takashi Watanabe (Freezing, Slayers)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Chuugaku Akamatsu’s series of light novels.
The story takes place in Tokyo Butei High School, a special school where armed detectives — “Butei” — are trained to use weapons. Kinji Tooyama is a second-year-student who has a special ability, but he keeps it a secret to maintain an ordinary, peaceful life. However, when he gets caught in a bombing on the way to school, he encounters H. Aria Kanzaki, the most powerful S-Rank Butei student in Assault Studies.

Any excuse to have cute lolis with heavy weaponary eh?  Godamnit JC Staff do you even care anymore?  This is just the latest Shakugan no Shana clone to roll out of their doors – it even has KugiRei for feck sake!  *Sigh* guess this stuff sells?

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko (Electromagnetic Wave Woman & Adolescent Man)

Animation Studio: SHAFT (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, ef: A Tale of Memories)
Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2011
Seiyuu: Asuka Ogame, Miyu Irino, Ai Nonaka, Mai Fuchigami
Director: Akiyuki Shinbo (Dance in the Vampire Bund, Bakemonogatari)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Hitoma Iruma’s light novel.
The story revolves around a highschool boy named Niwa Makoto. He lives with his aunt’s family since his parents are away on business. It is there where he meets his mysterious cousin of the same age Touwa Erio — who happens to tie a futon mattress around her upper body and is a self-proclaimed alien, whose staple food is pizza. Erio had been missing for half a year and was found floating in the sea. She doesn’t remember anything about what happened during that period of time, but she began to think that it was the act of an alien and wanders the neighbourhood wrapped in the futon.

I do love SHAFT, but they tend to be a bit up and down and given they’re currently on a high with Madoka Magica, so I have this feeling that their Spring offerings are going to be a bit a low.  Still on the face of it, this series looks to be the kind of quirky show that SHAFT excel at and I really love the character designs.  Will no doubt watch regardless such is my weakness for SHAFT.

Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera

Animation Studio: Brains Base (Natsume Yuujinchou, Durarara!!)
Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2011
Seiyuu: Kappei Yamaguchi, Mamiko Noto, Takehito Koyasu, Norio Wakamoto
Director: Yoshitomo Yonetani (GaoGaiGar: King of Braves, Brigadoon)

Summary: New anime adaptation of Go Nagai’s 1970s series.
It’s Tokyo in the 1970s, and evil youkai (goblins) are attacking the human world. The “Youkai Patrol” – Enma, Princess Yukiko, Kapaeru, and Grandpa Shappo – are sent from hell to exterminate them.

Brains Base…….what are you thinking here?  You’re remaking a 70s Go Nagai kiddie series instead of working on that sequel that Durarara!! badly needs? I don’t really get on well with Go Nagai stuff, and even the voice over in the PV is rubbing me the wrong way.  Still the animation looks good if OTT, the staff is top notch & I like the music in the PV too – perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised (but I won’t hold my breath).

Maria+Holic Alive

Animation Studio: SHAFT (Natsu no Arashi, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei)
Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2011
Seiyuu: Asami Sanada, Marina Inoue, Yuu Kobayashi, Miyuki Sawashiro
Director: Akiyuki Shinbo (Arakawa Under the Bridge, Hidamari Sketch)

Summary: Second series of the adapation of Minari Endo’s manga series.
The story centers on a sophomore named Kanako who enrolls in all-girls school because she has a phobia of men and wants to find her destined yuri partner. She meets a captivating freshman named Mariya who fits her criteria — except her seemingly ideal mate happens to be a cross-dressing sadistic boy.

Now SHAFT, Maria+Holic needed a sequel, why?? I’m drawing a blank on why this show could possibly have warranted getting another season, and I’m one of the few that didn’t really mind the first season!  Oh well, if nothing else we should get another fantastic OP & ED set – the best thing Maria+Holic ever gave us was Hanaji & Kimi ni Mune Kyun!

Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi (Worlds First Love)

Animation Studio: Studio DEEN (Hetalia, Giant Killing)
Japanese Airdate: 8th April 2011
Seiyuu: Katsuyuki Konishi, Shinnosuke Tachibana, Takashi Kondo, Yuuichi Nakamura
Director: Chiaki Kon (Junjou Romantica, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai)

Summary: Anime adapataion of a boys-love manga by Junjo Romantica’s manga-ka Shungiku Nakamura.
Onodera Ritsu has just transferred from his father’s publishing company to Marukawa Shoten. Assigned to the shoujo manga division, he crosses path with the person he’d least expected to meet. Takano Masamune is the editor-in-chief of the division Ritsu’s been assigned to, and the two seem get off on the wrong foot right from the very start when Takano unexpectedly kisses him. However, there is more to than what meets the eye… Takano is actually Saga, Ritsu’s senpai and high school love– whom Ritsu had thought to have played him for a fool by taking his affections for granted when he confessed and summarily dumped him.

So basically this is another Junjou Romantica sequel, just with a different name since it has all the same staff on board…..and I’m ok with that!  Its not really a secret that I enjoy BL, and this looks to be offering exactly the kind of shallowness I want.  Definitely watching~!

Ao no Exorcist (The Blue Exorcist)

Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures (Kannagi, Occult Academy)
Japanese Airdate: 10th April 2011
Seiyuu: Nobuhiko Okamoto, Jun Fukuyama, Kana Hanazawa, Hiroshi Kamiya, Rina Satou
Director: Tensai Okamura (Darker than BLACK, Wolfs Rain)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Kazue Katou’s Jump Square manga series.
Humans live in the world of Assiah, demons in Gehenna. The two dimensions are not meant to interfere with each other, but demons still possess creatures in Assiah in spite of this. The humans who can fight these demons are known as exorcists. Rin Okumura is a boy who bears the curse of being Satan’s illegitimate son. His foster father sacrificed himself to save him from demons. To avenge his foster father’s death as well as to prove himself, Rin decides to follow the path of an exorcist.

I’ve been following Ao no Exorcist since fairly early in its run; I was originally attracted by the artwork and stuck around for the characters and the fact it kind of reminds me of D.Gray-Man.  I’m not surprised the series has spawned an anime, but I am surprised that it’s happened so fast.  Now there’s quite a lot of buzz about this anime adaptation – its got a primetime slot, stellar cast & top notch staff – the only thing I’m not convinced by is the studio – I’d have preferred someone other than A-1 Pictures since they are typically pretty average.  Regardless this is a show I’m very much looking forward to (I swear it’s got nothing to do with FukuJun playing Yukio and Kamiya playing Mephisto.…really!)

Astarotte no Omocha! (Lotte’s Toy)

Animation Studio: Diomedea (Shinryaku! Ika-Musume, Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica crimson S)
Japanese Airdate: 10th April 2011
Seiyuu: Hitomi Nabatame, Rie Kugimiya, Rina Satou, Yui Horie
Director: Fumitoshi Oizaki (Romeo X Juliet, Kaleido Star)

Summary: Adaptation of Yui Haga’s manga series.
Astarotte Ygvar is a succubus and must have a harem because when she fully matures her body will require a regular supply of semen to keep from wasting away, however thanks to trauma from her childhood, Lotte hates men and surrounds herself with lots of other women, who all have quirks of their own.  While job hunting, Naoya is taken by a mysterious girl to a magical land where he is installed in Lotte’s harem and in spite of her selfishness, when Naoya learns that Lotte is really quite lonely he agrees to stay in her world.

You know I thought nothing could top Seikon no Qwaser for having body fluids as ridiculous plot points…….just goes to show you really.  I’m actually speechless, nothing on earth could convince me that this show has any redeeming features.

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai II (The World Only God Knows II)

Animation Studio: Manglobe (Samurai Champloo, The Sacred Blacksmith)
Japanese Airdate: 11th April 2011
Seiyuu: Hiro Shimono, Kanae Itou, Saori Hayami, Aki Toyosaki
Director: Shigehito Takayanagi (Galaxy Angel X, Kanamemo)

Summary: Second series of the adaptation of Tamiki Wakaki’s romcom manga.
Keima Katsuragi is an avid galge gamer known at his school as “Otamega” (a derogatory term combining the words Otaku and Megane) and on the internet a “The Capturing God.” One day he receives an e-mail offering him a contract to “capture” girls. He accepts thinking it’s a challenge and a demon from Hell named Elsee appears. She asks for his help in capturing runaway spirits that are hiding in “real” girls. He refuses stating he only like the girls from the game and she tells him that if he refuses then both of their heads will be cut off.

Another sequel to a show I really don’t think needed a sequel.  KamiNomi was a chore to watch, and now I’ll have to watch this 2nd season since I stuck out the entire 1st season hoping it was going to get better.  I just don’t get why the manga fans love this series so much – the characters have no depth and Keima is just another generic male lead!  Perhaps the 2nd season will be better?  Or perhaps I’ll wake up in the morning to find the sky has turned green.

Seikon no Qwaser II (Qwaser of Stigmata II)

Animation Studio: Hoods Entertainment (Aki Sora)
Japanese Airdate: 11th April 2011
Seiyuu: Ayumi Fujimura, Yuko Sanpei, Aki Toyosako, Aya Hirano
Director: Hiraku Kaneko

Summary: Second series of the adaptation of Hiroyuki Yoshino & Kenetsu Satou’s manga.
In St. Mikhailov Academy, Oribe Mafuyu meets a silver haired boy called Alexander. He is a Qwaser, a being who can manipulate iron and draws his power from breast milk. A mystery surrounding an Icon transforms the academy into the setting for conflict between the various different Qwaser.

I watched the 1st ep of S1 and have no desire to ever watch anymore of this series.  Meh, I’ll not be watching, but I’m sure plenty of people will!

Deadman Wonderland

Animation Studio: Manglobe (Ergo Proxy, House of Five Leaves)
Japanese Airdate: 16th April 2011
Seiyuu: Kana Hanazawa, Romi Paku, Iori Nomizu, Junichi Suwabe, Takako Honda
Director: Koichi Hatsumi

Summary: Anime adaptation of anime adaptation of Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou‘s seinen manga series.
The story is set after the destruction of most of Tokyo by an earthquake and centers on Ganta Igarashi, a middle school student framed for the murder of his classmates. Igarashi is sentenced to a bizarre privatized prison where the inmates are the main attraction in a modern day twist to the gladiatorial coliseums of ancient times. Throw in a healthy dose of weird little girl, some new-found super powers, and a little conspiracy theory, and you have Deadman Wonderland.

Deadman Wonderland is another manga series that I’ve been following for quite a while, being initially drawn in by the fact this is from the creators of Eureka Seven and then sticking about for its particular brand of gory violence.  Characterisation isn’t really a strong point of Deadman Wonderland, rather it’s the setting and action that keep me coming back for more.  I’m pretty happy with the fact Manglobe got this series, and the cast is excellent, although I am slightly concerned that this is the directors’ first full series.  Another for the definitely watching pile.


Animation Studio: Toei (Dragonball Kai, One Piece)
Japanese Airdate: April 2011
Seiyuu: Romi Paku, Ryotaro Okiayu
Director: Akifumi Zako (Fresh Pretty Cure)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro‘s Shounen Jump manga series.
In the world of Toriko, many extravagant and delicious ingredients exist in the most dangerous places, and it is up to the Bishoku-ya, or Gourmet Food Providers, to hunt down these animals and plants in the face of danger. Toriko is one such Bishoku-ya, taking his place as one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Bishoku-ya with his immense strength and appetite. Together with Komatsu, a timid chef trianed in the art of preparing food; Coco, the poisonous Bishoku-ya who can see the future; Terry Cloth, the offspring of a clone of the long-extinct Battle Wolf; and many more, Toriko takes on job after job while searching for the foods great enough to make it into his dream full-course meal.

This looks and sounds utterly retarded; and that’s coming from me with a self professed weakness for shounen!  Horrible character designs, pretty newbie director and utterly random premise – it could turn out to be inspired, but I found the OVA that came out a while back to be pretty rubbish so not really hopeful for this TV series.

Tiger & Bunny

Animation Studio: Sunrise (Mai Hime, Gundam 00)
Japanese Airdate: April 2011
Seiyuu: Hiroaki Hirata, Go Inoue, Kenjiro Tsuda, Mariya Ise
Director: Keiichi Satou (Karas, The Big O)

Summary: Schternbilt City is home to people called “Next,” who use their special abilities to protect the people as superheroes. These heroes solve cases and save lives so they can wear sponsor logos or acquire “hero points.” Their activities are documented on the popular program “Hero TV,” which picks the “King of Heroes” in a yearly ranking. The veteran hero Wild Tiger has always preferred to work alone, but now he’s been assigned the rookie Barnaby Brooks Jr., who has a different perspective on being a superhero.

I’d expect something this wacky sounding to come out of GAINAX, but no this is an original Sunrise production so I’m not too sure what to expect.  The staff looks to be crammed full of individuals renowned for their animation skills so it will probably be a visual treat, its completely up in the air as to whether the writing will be decent though.  Wildcard here I think, could go either way.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai (Ano Hana)

Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures (Kuroshitsuji, Sora no Woto)
Japanese Airdate: April 2011
Seiyuu: Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, Miyu Irino, Takahiro Sakurai
Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai (Toradora, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun)

Summary: Original series airing in the Noitamina timeslot.
Six childhood friends grew apart in high school. One of them is Jintan, now a shut-in. He gets a request to fulfill a wish for Menma, the only one of their friends to have stayed the same over the years. In order to grant her wish, he will have to find and reunite their old friends.

At first glance this isn’t doing anything for me.  The squeaky voice-over in the PV in particular is grating on my nerves and I’m not overly enthused by A-1 Pictures character designs.  Looking a touch closer the staff is promising and this is an original story so it will be tailor made to fit into Noitamina’s running time.  I’m still a bit iffy on the show though, it doesn’t really strike me as a Noitamina type show; however since it is in that time slot I’ll automatically give it a three episode trial.

[C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control

Animation Studio: Tatsunoko Production (Beyblade: Metal Fusion, Tachumaru Gekijō)
Japanese Airdate: April 2011
Seiyuu: Kouki Uchiyama, Daisuke Hosomi, Haruka Tomatsu, Takahiro Sakurai
Director: Kenji Nakamura (Mononoke, Trapeze)

Summary: Original series airing in the Noitamina timeslot.
The Japanese government was rescued from the brink of financial collapse by the Sovereign Wealth Fund. For its citizens, however, life has not improved, and unemployment, crime, suicide, and despair are rampant. Kimimaro, raised by his maternal grandmother after the disappearance of his father and the death of his mother, is a scholarship student whose only dream is to avoid all this and live a stable life. One day, however, he meets a man who offers him a large sum of money if he’ll agree to pay it back. From then on his fate is radically altered as he’s drawn into a mysterious realm known as “The Financial District.”

Ah now here’s something that promises to have that something special I’ve come to expect from the Noitamina timeslot!  The staff is utterly droolworthy, the premise sounds fantastic and the promo art is pretty nice (although quite mainstream, very different to previous Nakamura projects like Mononoke & Trapeze).  Yeap very excited about this, such a pity Noitamina is only 11 episodes!

Showa Monogatari TV (Showa Story)

Animation Studio: Wao World
Japanese Airdate: 3rd April 2011
Seiyuu: Hisako Kyouda, Makoto Aoki, Misako Fukuen
Director: Hiroshi Kugimiya

Summary: The original story follows the human drama of the Yamazaki family in Tokyo in the Year Showa 39 (1964) — the year that the city hosted the Summer Olympics.

Call me uncultured but this looks like a complete snooze-fest to me, but then again its targeted at the older generation as some kind of nostalgia kick.  The OVA’s that came out in January didn’t even get subbed so won’t hold my breath for this TV adaptation.


Animation Studio: White Fox (Katanagatari, Tears to Tiara)
Japanese Airdate: 5th April 2011
Seiyuu: Asami Imai, Mamoru Miyano, Halko Momoi, Kana Hanazawa, Tomokazu Seki
Director: Hiroshi Hamasaki (Shigurui, Texhnolyze)

Summary: Anime adaptation of 5pb. and Nitroplus‘ scientific adventure game.
Steins;Gate is about a group of friends who have customized their microwave into a device that can send text messages to the past. As they perform different experiments, an organization named SERN who has been doing their own research on time travel tracks them down and now the characters have to find a way to avoid being captured by them.

OK so I was one of those who managed to watch all of Chaos;Head, and apparently Steins;Gate takes place in the same universe one year after the end of events in Chaos;Head – here’s hoping that’s where the connection ends because Chaos;Head was a shambolic mess & Steins;Gate looks pretty snazzy!  White Fox did an excellent job on Katanagatari, they’re a studio that don’t mind taking a few risks & the staff looks very promising.  I’m also very much liking the cast & character designs.  Definitely checking this one out – could be a winner, or it could be pretty average.

A Channel

Animation Studio: Studio Gokumi (Koe de Oshigoto)
Japanese Airdate: 7th April 2011
Seiyuu: Aoi Yuki, Kaori Fukuhara, Minako Kotobuki, Yumi Uchiyama
Director: Manabu Ono (Dragonaut, Saki)

Summary: Anime adaptation of bb Kuroda‘s 4-koma manga series.
The series follows four highschool friends — the flighty Run, the reckless Tōru, the timid Yūko, and the level-headed Nagi — who find small hilarity in every aspect of their life.

So basically it’s K-ON! without the band & good animation, i.e. K-ON! with no redeeming features at all.  Do I need to go on? I think we’re all aware that I think that these 4-koma adaptations of cute girls doing cute things, are a special kind of torture brewed up in the Seventh Circle of Hell.


Animation Studio: XEBEC (Ladies Vs Butlers, Break Blade)
Japanese Airdate: 8th April 2011
Seiyuu: Eri Kitamura, Kanae Itou, Miyuki Sawashiro, Shinobu Matsumoto
Director: Ryouki Kamitsubo (Hen Zemi, Hidamari Sketch)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Ryō Azuchi’s comedy manga series.
The story revolves around junior highschool student Kasuga Asuna, who’s a member of the girl’s Soft Tennis club. She aims to one day win the national championship. However, she finds the school life she leads is filled with erotic wild fancies.

Hideous looking character designs Xebec!  Good god, if you’re going to make shitty fanservice anime at least make the girls pretty!!

Fireball Charming

Animation Studio: Jinni’s Animation Studios (Appleseed XIII, Fireball)
Japanese Airdate: 4th April 2011
Seiyuu: Miyuki Kawasho, Toru Ohkawa
Director: Wataru Arakawa (Fireball)

Summary: Second series.
Random sketches during a war between robots and humans

Never heard of Fireball before, but it looks really interesting – think I’ll check out the 1st season.

Tono to Issho: Gantai no Yabou

Animation Studio: Gathering
Japanese Airdate: April 2011
Seiyuu: Tatsuo Suzuki, Daisuke Hirakawa, Daisuke Ono, Gackt, Mamiko Noto
Director: Mankyuu (Kakko-Kawaii Sengen!, Utsurun Desu.)

Summary: TV anime adaptation of Ohba-Kai’s 4-koma gag manga.
Follows the daily lives and details the eccentricities of Date Masamune, Uesugi Kenshin, other famous territorial lords, and their followers during Japan’s Warring States period.

I have no idea why they decided to make more of this tripe.  The only thing this series has going for it is the stellar voice cast, and even they sound like they’d rather be somewhere else!

Appleseed XIII

Animation Studio: Jinni’s Animation Studios & Production I.G.
Japanese Airdate:
Director: Takayuki Hamana (Chocolate Underground, Toshokan Sensou)

Summary: Latest adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s manga.
In the wake of the destruction of a worldwide non-nuclear war, the city Olympus has become the control center of the world. Run by Bioroids (cloned humans made from only the best DNA), it is defended from terrorists by special military forces. Among these are former LAPD SWAT member Deunan Knotts and her multipurpose cyborg partner Brialeos. They face a challenge from the Human Liberation Front and its terrorist underbelly the Argonauts. The leader of this group, Al Ceides, supposedly died 20 years ago in an attack on Poseidon, but now his shadow emerges once again.

I have very limited experience with Appleseed, having only seen a handful of OVAs/movies.  There’s very little information on this new incarnation aside from the fact its going to be completely CGI & 13 episodes long.


xxxHOLiC Rou: Adayume

Animation Studio: Production I.G. (Sengoku Basara, Blood+)
Japanese Airdate: 9th March 2011
Seiyuu: Jun Fukuyama, Sayaka Ohara, Kazuya Nakai, Shizuka Itou
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima (xxxHolic, Kujibiki Unbalance)

Summary: Final OVA for CLAMP’s manga series.
Yuuko’s time flow finally starts moving again, after being alive for an unknown amount of years she must depart now since she can’t be hold by the world of the living any longer. During her final moments she faces Watanuki, her loyal servant and friend and makes her final wish, “stay alive”. So Watanuki made the promise to remain in the store of the wishes until they meet again. Many years later he still keeps that promise giving hope but also taking important belongings from those who ever come to him to make a wish.

Yay more xxxHOLiC!  I’m a huge fan of xxxHOLiC (its not obvious at all is it?) so very much looking forward to this next OVA.  I’m liking how these Rou OVA’s are pretty much original stories rather than straight adaptations of the equivalent manga chapters, it makes them a little bit different.  This is likely to be the last OVA though, as it is being released with the final volume of the manga.

Kämpfer für die Liebe

Animation Studio: Nomad (Rozen Maiden, Sola)
Japanese Airdate: 31st March 2011
Seiyuu: Kana Asumi, Kaori Nazuka, Marina Inuoe, Megumi Nakajima, Yui Horie
Director: Yasuhiro Kuroda (Angel’s Feather, Myself; Yourself)

Summary: Sequel to the 2009 anime adaptation of Toshihiko Tsukiji’s light novel series.
Senou Natsuru is your normal, everyday high school student. However he´s been chosen to be a Kampfer, who´s objective consists on fighting other Kampfer with either guns, swords or magic, however, there´s catch; first you can´t chose if you´re a Kampfer or not, and second, you must have the body of a girl to use your powers.

Oh just what the world needs; more Kampfer! Kampfer was one of those shows that was so utterly terrible that it was brilliant – I’m actually quite looking forward to these two OVA episodes that will finish off the story.

Spelunker Sensei

Animation Studio: Studio Puyukai (Boku Otaryman)
Japanese Airdate: 16th March 2011
Seiyuu: Tomokazu Sugita, Kana Ueda, Mitsuhiro Ichiki, Satoshi Hino, Yui Kano
Director: Minoru Ashina (Boku Otaryman)

Summary: The online four-panel manga itself is based on Irem Software Engineering’s Spelunker action game franchise, of which the title character is the world’s most reckless explorer who becomes a high school teacher. The original manga has been running on Irem’s official website for over 12 years, and Enterbrain compiled and published one book volume last year.

This looks really quite odd, and I’m quite interested in it as a result……..I mainly really like saying the word ‘spelunker’.


Animation Studio: Sunrise (Escaflowne, Planetes)
Japanese Airdate: 25th March 2011
Seiyuu: Miyu Irino, Kazuma Mori, Seizo Katou, Takako Honda
Director: Hiroaki Ando

Summary: The story is set in a certain isolated prison with five prisoners and a cat. One day, a sudden power outage opens the locks and everyone is mysteriously set free from their cells. However, all of the guards are missing, and the prisoners cannot find any exits

This concept is more what I was expecting to see from Sunrise, pity its only an OVA.

Nana to Kaoru

Animation Studio: AIC Plus+ (Asobi ni Ikuyo!, Nekogami Yaoyorozo)
Japanese Airdate: 29th March 2011
Seiyuu: Junji Majima, Kaoru Mizuhara
Director: Hideki Okamoto (Da Capo II, Iketeru Futari)

Summary: OVA of Ryuta Amazume’s manga series.
Nana and Kaoru are next door neighbours and schoolmates, but Nana is a model student and popular, while Kaoru is a poor student and social outcast. One night, however, their relationship changes forever, when Nana discovers that she enjoys being on the receiving end of perverted domination play with Kaoru.

Oh good lord…….


And that’s just about everything – at long fecking last!   Seriously you do not want to know how long I’ve spent on this this season thanks to my shitty arm!  As usual all information is taken from a mixture of ANN, The Fansub Wiki, Wikipedia, The Cart Driver’s chart, the official sites, and various other places I didn’t write down.  My usual ‘First Impressions’ posts will start being posted when the season starts properly in April (although I’ll probably be a bit delayed on lots of stuff since I’m in Prague for the 1st week!)  Until then~!

24 Comments leave one →
  1. judi(togainunochi) permalink
    March 15, 2011 9:21 pm

    Thanks for writing all this. Once again, only a few that interest me. If it’s moe, boobs,and the such I opt out. Just give me mechs or Gintama.

    • March 16, 2011 2:18 pm

      There really is a shocking lack of mecha lately….also no Gainax or Bones this season which is disappointing.

  2. March 15, 2011 11:30 pm

    So many new shows! A few hits and misses as always, hopefully we can all find something to watch! Great list by the way 😀

    A few shows I am looking forward to seeing
    Electromagnetic Wave Woman and adolesent man
    Blue Exorcist
    Lottes’s toy

    And a few Ova’s!

    • March 16, 2011 2:19 pm

      Huge season, feels bigger than normal (but isn’t really).

      You’re looking forward to Lotte’s Toy!???

      • March 21, 2011 10:01 pm

        Lol yeah manga wasn’t so bad, they don’t focus on the ecchi theme to long it like died after the first chapter then became more of the main guy learning to get along with the demon girl.

        So it might be more of a LAWL show.

        • March 27, 2011 8:57 pm


          Well it wouldn’t be the first time my gut reaction of ‘Oh hell no!’ was wrong…

  3. Envy permalink
    March 16, 2011 1:00 am

    Great to see you back hope your feeling better

    • March 16, 2011 2:19 pm

      Thanks! I’m easing myself back into things – I’m no where near back to normal though.

  4. March 16, 2011 6:04 am

    Ohhhhh great! I was wondering what happened to you (since I din know you had a twitter for me to follow~! But now that I know, rest assured that I shall be following you soon!)

    For the most part, I have always depended on your reviews, because they are 90% accurate for me =P I look at the pics, N i roughly guess which is for watching, trial, or a no-no. Then, I read the cast and synposis, and your reviews, and laugh at how you often guessed my feelings.

    • March 16, 2011 2:21 pm

      Haha, I just assume people know my twitter since there’s a widget on the sidebar 😛

      Its a fun guessing game, thats one of the reasons why I like doing these previews!

      • March 16, 2011 3:37 pm

        I never see it. I just go straight to read the posts. The attract most of my attention. I must say, you have rather similiar tastes (and habits) with me, with a few exceptions. On some of your comments, I was totally opposite.

        • March 17, 2011 1:15 am

          Haha! I know I tend to ignore most sidebars too XD

          Glad you share my thoughts on many series, but equally glad you have some divergent opinions on things – makes things much more interesting~

  5. March 16, 2011 6:38 am

    Poor Cara, I’m sure your RSI stems from having to type “good lord” over and over again.

    • March 16, 2011 2:23 pm

      Yeah there’s an awful lot of craptastic looking things on this list! I hate repeating myself, but ‘oh good lord!’ really sums up my opinion perfectly~ XD

  6. March 16, 2011 12:53 pm

    I forgot to thank you on tsr for doing the preview as always despite your RSI :hugs:, so thank you for doing the preview as always despite your RSI mummy:hugs: Hope you feel better soon 😦

    • March 16, 2011 2:24 pm

      You’re welcome Vinnie-kins. I enjoy doing it, its just a right pain in the neck to get it all written & formatted!

      I hope I feel better soon too – tired of not being able to write when I want to.

  7. March 16, 2011 6:42 pm

    Wow, a nice list there. *stars it for future reference* I’d like to say I’ll watch the Shinbo-directed offering, but for every show he does that amazes me, there’s one that doesn’t appeal to me at all.

    I’m looking forward to the Applesee series, although the main thing I liked about the two movies was…well, the movie budget. Since the main draw was the shiny cyberpunk coolness I don’t know how that’ll go.

    I will say though that I can’t wait to see more of Kaiji. I read a bit of the manga that follows and it’ll be interesting to see how it’s adapted for the screen…I’m sure it’ll be as badass as the first one. Zawa-zawa indeed.

    • March 17, 2011 12:52 pm

      I’m a real sucker for SHAFT/Shinbo regardless of how hit & miss their shows tend to be – I always have to give them a fair go.

      I’m also massively excited about Kaiji 2 – I’ve heard good things about the upcoming arcs too, yay zawa-zawa!

  8. March 18, 2011 8:32 pm

    You’re alive! I didn’t decide to start using Twitter until today, so I wasn’t sure what was going on here, haha.

    Anyway–I’m somewhat looking forward to the spring season. There’s a lot I plan to watch anyway, though not anything I’m especially excited for. We’ll see how it goes once it starts up.

    • March 27, 2011 8:59 pm

      Yes I’m still breathing! I forget that not everyone uses Twitter, should really have stuck up a notice XD

  9. Ruu permalink
    March 20, 2011 12:55 am

    Sengoku Otome ~Momoiro Paradox~

    >Basara Cast genderbent

    >Looks for who would be Mouri Motonari

    >dies of laughter.

    Will watch Sket Dance since The shows that I least expect are the ones that surprise me (Like Madoka, who knew I would love the Magical Girls Genre after Nanoha?).

    Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi (Worlds First Love)? BL Series? Count me in!

  10. April 3, 2011 12:41 pm

    Finally someone who is semi-looking forward to the Sket Dance anime 🙂

    Actually, I share your view. I quite like the manga but I fear most of the jokes will be lost in translation. I hope they execute it well and I really hope they don’t have to resort to shouting out dialogue to make it funny.

    • April 3, 2011 1:06 pm

      I don’t get the Sket Dance hate – its not the worst series in the world, and its properly hilarious when it hits its mark. Still very apprehensive about the anime though – its really not the kind of series I thought would work as an anime.

      • April 8, 2011 12:19 pm

        Yea me neither, it can be charming and authentically funny at times. The first volume doesn’t really do the series justice and it sucks that people base their opinions on the subpar start.

        What did you think of the anime though? I thought it went better than I initially thought.

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