Skip to content

Winter 2014 Anime Preview

December 7, 2013

winter anime largeHey all, it’s season preview time again – doesn’t time fly!?  Anyway this upcoming Winter season is surprisingly decent looking, which is a good thing since it’s cold and I don’t want to go outside.  These days it feels like the quality shows are being more evenly spread out over the year, rather than being clustered into the Spring & Autumn seasons – those seasons are still bigger, but Summer & Winter are definitely much more packed now than they were in the past.  Hopefully the trend continues!

Right on to the preview then~!

Toaru Hikoushi e no Koiuta (A Love Song to a Certain Pilot)

Animation Studio: TMS Entertainment (Detective Conan, Yowamushi Pedal)
Japanese Airdate: 6th January 2014
Seiyuu: Aoi Yūki, Ayana Taketatsu, Kaito Ishikawa, Natsuki Hanae, Hiro Shimono
Director: Toshimasa Suzuki (Lagrange, Heroic Age)
Series Composition: Shinichi Inotsume (Hayate no Gotoku, Nyan Koi!)
PV: (promo for the light novels)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Koroku Inumura‘s light novel series. Prequel to the movie “The Princess and the Pilot”.
The story of love and aerial combat follows a former prince who lost everything to a revolution, and a girl who became the symbol for the revolution. The orphaned prince, now renamed Karueru, embarks on a one-way journey to discover the ends of the heavens. Aboard the levitating island of Isura, he meets a girl named Claire.

I can’t profess to being much enamoured of the ‘Princess and the Pilot’ movie as I found it all a bit boring and uninspired.  This prequel does sound a bit more exciting with a larger cast and expanded world setting though, so it may be worth a look.  The director is pretty solid and mainly does things that are above average but rather overlooked for the most part – like Heroic Age. I think this could be another one to add to that list, I’ll check it out in the hope it turns out to be interesting.


Animation Studio: Bridge inc (Devil Survivor 2, Mitsudomoe)
Japanese Airdate: 5th January 2014
Seiyuu: Shiori Mutō, Akira Ishida, Chiwa Saito, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Tatsuhisa Suzuki
Director: Nobuhiro Kondo (Kekko Kamen, Sgt. Frog)
Series Composition: Hiroshi Yamaguchi (Gate Keepers, Gingitsune)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Masato Hisa’s manga series.
The story opens with high school girl Shio Ogura visiting Taiwan on school trip, when she is caught in a surprise attack by monsters called “Evolved Invaders.” The military is useless against them, but in the middle of the chaos, the mysterious E-Gene Holder agents from the government organization DOGOO appear.
Thanks to technology, these agents wield weapons infused with the spirits of great historical figures. Gandhi is now a barrier, and Newton is a gravitational maneuver. When her friend is endangered, Shio awakens the ability to wield one such weapon — the great Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga as a giant machine gun.

I don’t quite know what to really think about this to be honest.  There’s quite a lot going on in that promo image, and then there’s that synopsis…..I have to say I’m interested just because it sounds and looks a bit weird.  The director is a weird one too – I haven’t seen Sgt Frog, but I have had the misfortune to see Kekko Kamen, which even if I didn’t much enjoy the subject material, was pretty well put together.  Bridge are a relatively new animation studio who seem to like trying new genres so I can’t really guess what they’ll be doing with this show.  It really will depend on the first episode, but I am interested.

Mikakunin de Shinkoukei (Unconfirmed & In-Progress)

Animation Studio: Dogakobo (Majestic Prince, Yuruyuri)
Japanese Airdate: 9th January 2014
Seiyuu: Eriko Matsui, Haruka Terui, Wataru Hatano
Director: Yoshiyuki Fujiwara (GJ Club, episode director Ao no Exorcist)
Series Composition & Script: Fumihiko Shimo (Clannad, Golden Time)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Cherry Arai’s 4-koma manga series.
Yonomi Kobeni, an ordinary girl, finds out on her 16th birthday that she is betrothed to Mitsumine Hakuya, a boy the same age as her. Hakuya moves in from the countryside and starts living with her, bringing his younger sister who is still a primary school student with him. Also added is his older sister who is already living with Kobeni and is two years older.
The story revolves around these four people and their identities as “couples” and “sisters-in-law”.

Odd title translation aside, I can’t say I’m interested in this in the slightest….and the awful cutsey singing in the PV is making my eye twitch.  These random surprise fiancée shows just leave me cold – is it normal for modern Japanese families to set up their daughter/son with a husband/wife when they’re kids without telling them?  It just strikes me as a really random trope when placed in a modern setting – period pieces sure, but not nowadays!  Anyway this is a 4-koma series so it won’t be getting into such things, rather this will be cute girls doing cute things – knock yourselves out if this is your genre, I’m skipping.


Animation Studio: Studio DEEN (Rozen Maiden Zuruckspulen, Higurashi)
Japanese Airdate: 9th January 2014
Seiyuu: Ibuki Kido, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Koji Yusa, Mamiko Noto
Director: Tomomi Mochizuki (House of Five Leaves, Ocean Waves)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Sayaka Mogi’s horror manga series.
The “life-and-death sibling” story follows Utsutsu and Yume Hasegawa, a boy and his little sister who find themselves all alone. One day, Yume sees a mysterious red butterfly and her body undergoes a strange metamorphosis—into a creature that eats humans. Utsutsu struggles to find a way to restore his sister while becoming her living food supply.

Well it is actually happening this season then.  I did write about this last season and my opinion hasn’t changed much – aside from noting that the animation isn’t as pretty as I was hoping.  Still I am very interested in Pupa, I just hope they haven’t had to tone it back too much for TV.

Mahou Sensou (Magical Warfare)

Animation Studio: Madhouse (Death Note, Chihayafuru)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Mamoru Miyano, Nao Tōyama, Jun Fukuyama, Asami Seto, Kenichi Suzumura
Director: Yuzo Sato (Kaiji, Iron Man)
Series Composition: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu (Ben-to, Hajime no Ippo Rising)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Hisashi Suzuki‘s light novel series.
In this modern magic action story, Takeshi Nanase is an ordinary high school boy who has a somewhat dark past. Due to certain circumstances, he formed a “fake” couple with his childhood friend Kurumi Isoshima, but otherwise, he lives a normal life. However, one day, he comes across a girl named Mui Aiba, in a uniform he has never seen before, collapsed on the school campus. This encounters changes Takeshi’s destiny completely. Mui tells Takeshi that she is a magician, and she apologizes, for she turned Takeshi into a magician, too. What Takeshi once knew as one world is actually two — the world where magicians live and the world where humans live.

Bog standard light novel adaptation alert.  Seriously there is nothing to really differentiate this from the hundred other light novel adaptations out there with the exact same premise and art!  The only positive thing I can say about this show is that it has a pretty quality staff on board, so I’m going to say that this ends up being this season’s Tokyo Ravens – rather watchable, but ultimately forgettable.

Houzuki no Reitetsu

Animation Studio: WIT Studio (Attack on Titan, Hal)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Hiroki Yasumoto, Daisuke Hirakawa, Eri Kitamura, Takashi Nagasako
Director: Hiro Kaburaki (Kimi ni Todoke, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun)
Series Composition & Script: Midori Gotou (Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san, Otogi Zoshi)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Natsumi Eguchi‘s supernatural manga series.
Hōzuki is the aide to the great king of Hell, King Enma. Calm and super-sadistic, Hōzuki tries to resolve the various problems in Hell, including a rampaging Momotarō and his companions. However, he also likes spending his free time on his hobbies, such as fawning over cute animals and raising “Goldfish Flowers.”

So this is Studio Wit’s next offering after the massively successful Attack on Titan – pretty different!  Studio Wit are an off-shoot of Production IG and have quite a pool of talent to draw on, so I’m pretty interested in this show.  The manga seems to have quite a big female fanbase, and the staff choices seem to reflect that – getting that shoujo vibe~!  A basic familiarity with Japanese folklore will probably be required to really get this show and its comedy, but I think I’ve picked up enough knowledge over the years to get plenty out of it – will definitely be checking this out.

Space Dandy

Animation Studio: Bones (Eureka Seven, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Junichi Suwabe, Banjou Ginga, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Uki Satake, Masaaki Yajima
Director: Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Sakamichi no Apollon, Samurai Champloo)
Other awesome people involvedtoo many to list

Summary: Original series which will have a simultaneous worldwide release.
Space Dandy is a space hunter, someone who is paid to search for new, undiscovered alien species. It’s an industry where the prize goes to the person who finds aliens the fastest. Dandy searches unknown planets for strange beings with his companions, QT the worn-out robot and Meow from Betelgeuse. Meanwhile, they’re being chased by minions of the Gorgol Empire, for reasons that are still a mystery.

There is so much hype for Shinichiro Watanabe’s new show – and I am no exception.  The sheer volume of incredibly talented individuals who have been credited with creative input into Space Dandy is boggling – at this stage I’m just worried that perhaps there is just too many awesome chefs and they’ll end up over-flavouring the soup!  Still all initial signs are positive, the PV’s just ooze style, entertainment and ANIME!  I can not wait for this.

Wake Up, Girls!

Animation Studio: Ordet (Black Rock Shooter) / Tatsunoko Production (Gatchaman Crowds)
Japanese Airdate: 10th January 2014
Seiyuu: Airi Nagano, Kaya Okuno, Emiri Katō, Kaori Fukuhara, Mayu Yoshioka
Director: Yutaka (Yamakan) Yamamoto (Fractale, Lucky Star)
Series Composition & Script: Touko Machida (Lucky Star, Allison & Lilia)

Summary: Original concept which will have a film also launch at same time – Wake Up, Girls! Shichi-nin no Idol (Wake Up, Girls! The Seven Idols).
Green Leaves Entertainment is a tiny production company on the verge of going out of business in Sendai, the biggest city in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region. The agency once managed the careers of magicians, photo idols, fortune-tellers, and other entertainers, but its last remaining client finally quit. In danger of having zero talent (literally), the president Tange hatches an idea of producing an idol group. On the brash president’s orders, the dissatisfied manager Matsuda heads out to scout raw talent. Matsuda makes a fateful encounter with a certain girl…

Yamakan once again saving anime folks – with yet another idol anime. Yay.  As I understand it, Yamakan is making this as part of his ongoing work with the relief effort in the Tohoku region – which is a good, positive thing, but still doesn’t detract from the fact this is yet another idol anime! Although I suppose this is going back to what Yamakan knows best – cute girls preforming catchy dance routines….guess he really learned his lesson with Fractale.  Still at least Fractale showed a bit of ambition and originality even if it was horrendously flawed – this is just meh.  Also probably the most boring PV I’ve come across.

Nobunaga The Fool

Animation Studio: Satelight (AKB0048, Mouretsu Pirates)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Mamoru Miyano, Minori Chihara, Takahiro Sakurai, Tomokazu Sugita, Yōko Hikasa
Director: Eiichi Sato (Basquash, Slayers Next)
Original Creator & Series Composition: Shoji Kawamori (Macross, Aquarion, Escaflowne)
Character Designer: Yone Kazuki (Hakuouki, Hiro no Kakera)

Summary: Anime section of Kawamori’s ‘multi-dimensional’ project, which will include stage productions and a novel.
The planets of the East and the West were once connected by the Ama-no-Hashidate. The culture that built it was destroyed countless years ago, and the two planets have had separate histories ever since. On the Western planet, ancient culture is experiencing a renaissance after a long period of war. Jeanne Kaguya D’Arc, a girl from the Western Planet, was prophesied to be the Savior of the World at her birth. With Leonard Da Vinci, she lands on the Eastern Planet, where Nobunaga “the Fool” longs for the power to change the world, as his planet is still locked in a war where many heroes vie for supremacy. When these two people meet, the culture of both worlds will be transformed.

This is the other show I am massively hyped about – this is just pure Kawamori mentalness, and I do love me some Kawamori mentalness.  The only thing that tempers my excitement a touch is the fact that Kawamori himself isn’t directing.  He’s handling series composition and is credited as the original creator, but the directors chair is going to Eiichi Sato, who has a rather patchy history.  Still this has so much I like going on – ambitious projects like this always spark my interest (the awesome mecha and bishie character designs help), and I’m intrigued by the fact there are stage productions actually happening before the anime airs.  Definitely looking forward to this.

Sakura Trick

Animation Studio: Studio DEEN (Sankarea, Meganebu!)
Japanese Airdate: 9th January 2014
Seiyuu: Haruka Tomatsu, Yuka Iguchi, Hiromi Igarashi, Mai Fuchigami
Director: Ken’ichi Ishikura (Da Capo III, Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Tachi‘s four-panel yuri manga series.
The story revolves around Haruka and Yū, two girls who go to a high school that is slated to be shut down in three years. To share “something special” between them, they share a kiss, and their relationship deepens from that moment onward.

So we have a former SHAFT staffer directing a 4-koma yuri manga adaptation at Studio Deen….can’t say I’m excited.  However saying that I am certainly not a fan of either yuri nor 4-koma’s, so I was never going to be interested in Sakura Trick anyway.

Z/X Ignition -Zillions of Enemy X-

Animation Studio:
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Hiro Shimono, Aya Uchida, Hisako Kanemoto, Kazuhiko Inoue, Yūichi Nakamura
Director: Yuji Yamaguchi (Fate/Stay Night, Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Nippon Ichi Software‘s trading card game Z/X Zillions of enemy X (ZX is pronounced as Zex).
The story is set in the not-so-distant future. Five “Black Points” suddenly appeared around the world as portals to parallel worlds. Immediately after, strange creatures began their invasion from these portals. These creatures are the inhabitants of five worlds — the same worlds in different timeframes. In order to ensure their own future timeframe survives, each of the five invasion forces battle to wipe the other future timeframes out. The key is one card-shaped device.
The game advertises itself as the “first free” trading card game system since a free deck is offered at meets held by card shops and events. A PDF file is even posted online so people can print them out themselves. The card game has also been adapted into a PlayStation 3 game and a manga series.

Latest card game tie-in anime on the block – not as childish looking as some of its counterparts, but still clearly geared at kids.  Seems interesting enough, but don’t think I can be bothered.

Nisekoi (False Love)

Animation Studio: SHAFT (Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Hidamari Sketch)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Kana Hanazawa, Kouki Uchiyama, Nao Tōyama, Takehito Koyasu, Kana Asumi
Director: Akiyuki Shinbo (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Monogatari Series)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Naoshi Komi‘s romcom manga series.
Nisekoi follows high school student Raku Ichijou, the son of a leader in the yakuza faction Shuei-Gumi, and Chitoge Kirisaki, the daughter of a boss in a rival gang known as Beehive. They unexpectedly meet when Chitoge hops a wall and knees Raku in the face. After she runs off, Raku realizes he has lost his pendant which was given to him by his childhood sweetheart with whom he made a secret promise. After discovering Chitoge is a new transfer student in his class, he forces her to help him look for the pendant. During the search, they begin to dislike each other.

Shinbo/SHAFT’s latest offering, and I can’t say I’m interested.  Even though the manga is pretty popular, the premise is utterly run-of-the-mill so I’m guessing the only thing that will make this interesting is the classic SHAFT approach – be creative with the visuals & direction.  Saying that the promo art looks bog standard and I would never have pegged this for SHAFT if I hadn’t looked at the staff.  I will of course check out the 1st episode, but I’m not expecting much here.

Witch Craft Works

Animation Studio: J.C. Staff (A Certain Scientific Railgun, Golden Time)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Asami Seto, Yūsuke Kobayashi, Ai Kayano, Shiori Izawa
Director & Series Composition: Tsutomu Mizushima (xxxHOLiC, Genshiken)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Ryū Mizunagi‘s manga series.
Honoka knows his classmate Ayaka is talented in both the pen and the sword; attractive in face and figure, and that everyone at school calls her the Princess. When he gets himself involved in the “Witch of the Tower” incident one day after school, however, he learns she is also a witch sent to protect him. From then on, his ordinary school life is completely turned upside down, as he discovers that most of his classmates are not what they seem.

Yet another magical girlfriend show from JC Staff – I swear they go out of their way to seek these fecking things out!  They have managed to get a director who can do great things, but Tsutomo Mizushima’s shows all seem to either be very good, or pretty mediocre depending on what source material he has to work with.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is going to be one of the latter.  The premise is so over done that I really can’t see how Witch Craft Works can bring anything new or fresh to the table.  Not going to bother with this.

Sekai Seifuku ~Bouryaku no Zvezda~ (World Conquest: Stratagem Star)

Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures (Sword Art Online, Magi: Kingdom of Magic)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Director: Tensai Okamura (Ao no Exorcist, Darker than BLACK)
Series Composition: Meteo Hoshizora (Type-Moon)

Summary: Original series with the tagline “The world wants to be conquered!”

Okay I generally quite like Tensai Okamura’s stuff, but I’m a bit put off by the promo art for this latest offering – I’m just not a fan of loli’s in teeny-tiny outfits.  There isn’t much information to really go on, but I’m assuming this is going to be some wacky affair that could be pretty fun to watch.  I’ll give it a whirl so see what it has to offer.


Animation Studio: NAZ
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Ryota Ohsaka, Wataru Hatano, Hiroshi Kamiya, Jun Fukuyama, Yūichi Nakamura, Emiri Katō
Director: Seiji Kishi (Persona 4, Angel Beats, Danganronpa)
Character Designer: Yūki Kodama (Blood Lad manga)

Summary: A “super-powered mystery x battle entertainment” mixed-media project.
The story revolves around “Minimum” or “minor miracle”— special hereditary powers discovered only in an extremely limited number of humans. Those who possess such powers are known as “Minimum Holders.”
Partners Nice and Murasaki form a detective agency called “Hamatora” in Yokohama in 2014 — but their “office” is a table at Cafe Nowhere where they and their friends wait for clients. An old acquaintance of theirs, a cop named Art, hires them for a serial murder case he is investigating, and they discover that the murder victims are all “Minimum Holders.” As Minimum Holders themselves, Nice and Murasaki are drawn into this case, whether they like it or not.

In what is becoming a rather alarming pattern, I was pretty interested in Hamatora right up until I saw Seiji Kishi’s name.  It used to be that I was just a touch wary and knew to expect some choppy direction and strange tonal shifts, but now I just think wasted potential.  Kishi tends to ruin what could have been perfectly decent adaptations with poor direction choices.  That being said, Hamatora isn’t an adaptation, but rather a new mixed media project (which raises different alarm bells for incomplete story arcs due to the other media not being translated) so maybe he can avoid his usual pitfalls with an original premise?  Humanity Has Declined was pretty excellent for the majority of its run, and Angel Beats was good until it succumbed to Mae-aids.  I think I’m just looking for excuses really, because I like the cast & character designs and want to like Hamatora….I’m really shallow after all.

Nourin (No-Rin)

Animation Studio: Silver Link (Kokoro Connect, Strike the Blood)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Shintarō Asanuma, Yukari Tamura, Chiwa Saito, Kana Hanazawa, Marina Inoue
Director: Shin Oonuma (BakaTest, Watamote)
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote

Summary: Anime adaptation of Shiratori Shirow and illustrator Kippu‘s romcom light novel series.
The series follows the students of the Tamo Agricultural High School (Tamo Nōrin Kōkō, shortened to No-Rin). Kōsaku Hata is a student there and is something of an idol otaku. The newest transfer student happens to be the super-popular idol Yuka Kusakabe who Kōsaku adores. The school also has a childhood friend with a local dialect, a bishōnen with glasses, a cute animal mascot, a girl with large breasts, a female teacher prone to flight of fancy, and more.

The promo art scares me, I want mute the PV…….and just how many ‘quirky characters’ can one series synopsis squeeze in?  It is somewhat worrying when a series just lists all its characters pigeon-holes as its synopsis – clearly there is no story to be had from this, just a bunch of s’life randomness in an agricultural setting.  I’d probably accept that if this was a 4-koma manga adaptation, but it’s a light novel series….how did they stretch this out to fill multiple books!?  As an aside, it looks like the popularity of Moyashimon and Silver Spoon has created a new bandwagon – the agricultural school setting, doubt this will contain the same genius though.

Wizard Barristers – Benmashi Cecil

Animation Studio: ARMS (Queen’s Blade, Elfen Lied)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Rui Tanabe, Ayana Taketatsu, Ayumi Tsunematsu, Junichi Suwabe, Katsuyuki Konishi
Original Concept, Director & Series Composition: Yasuomi Umetsu (Kite, Galilei Donna)

Summary: Original series.
In 2018, humans and wizards live together in Tokyo. Police continue to protect order in society, but wizards are tried according to magical law, in special courts defended by wizard barristers. At age seventeen, Cecile has just become the youngest wizard barrister, and begins work at the Butterfly Law Offices. While she hasn’t realized it yet, she has tremendous magical potential.

Wizard Barristers.  Magical Lawyers.  Well that’s certainly an interesting concept!  I was pretty intrigued by this title right up until I realised it was being handled at ARMS.  ARMS are a studio that specialise in soft-core porn so I have absolutely no reason to believe that Wizard Barristers is going to be any different.  Granted the PV for Wizard Barristers seems to be rather light on fanservice, concentrating more on action and making the show look pretty cool, but I’m going to reserve my right to be sceptical until I see the first episode.
Now the director – his original material usually has lots of interesting ideas, but the execution is flawed – just look at the mess that this season’s Galilei Donna have degenerated into!  I’m intrigued by how he managed to get two original series running in back-to-back seasons – I was under the impression that original shows are more difficult to get greenlit due to their not having an existing fanbase to exploit.  Maybe Umetsu has more influence in the industry than I was aware of?

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha

Animation Studio: Production IMS
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Houko Kuwashima, Naomi Ōzora, Hiroshi Okamoto, Satoshi Hino, Kaori Sadohara
Director: Toru Takahashi (Otona Joshi no Anime Time, assistant director – Utena)
Series Composition: Touko Machida (Karneval, Tears to Tiara)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Morohe Yoshida‘s romcom manga series.
The story revolves around Inari Fushimi, a shy, not-so-bright middle school girl living in Kyoto’s Fushimi ward. She has a crush on her classmate Tanbabashi, but cannot express her feelings. One day, as thanks for helping a fox pup, the deity Ukanomitamanokami grants her the ability to change her form.

Right so we have a pretty standard looking shoujo romance with supernatural elements being handled by a brand new animation studio.  Okay so while the plot synopsis is rather standard fare it could be interesting if handled correctly, and the director has been involved with lots of interesting shows in the past.  However this being a new studio it is hard to predict how this show will turn out, and how interesting it is will depend on the quality of the scripts and composition.  Another wait and see I think.

Buddy Complex

Animation Studio: Sunrise (Gundam, Valvrave)
Japanese Airdate: 4th January 2014
Seiyuu: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Saori Hayami, Kouki Uchiyama, Tomokazu Sugita, Takahiro Sakurai
Director: Yasuhiro Tanabe (assistant director – Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere 2)

Summary: Original production
The story will revolve around the friendship and coming-of-age of two boys. It begins with Aoba Watase, a boy who goes to high school in Tokyo and lives a carefree daily life. On the morning of his school’s opening ceremony after summer vacation, he goes to campus as usual, but he has a chance encounter with another boy. The other boy’s name is Jyunyou Dio Weinberg. Their encounter will soon alter the fate of the world.

Sunrise’s new series then, and this looks like it has all their favourite elements in it.  However this doesn’t seem to have their best people on it and the director doesn’t really have an illustrious CV either, so I’m not all that optimistic that Buddy Complex will be good.  That being said, I do love me some stupid Sunrise mecha so I’ll probably watch this.


Animation Studio: Brains Base (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Natsume Yuujinchou)
Japanese Airdate: 6th January 2014
Seiyuu: Kana Hanazawa, Katsuyuki Konishi, Aki Toyosaki, Emiri Katō, Jun Fukuyama
Director: Seiki Sugawara (Episode director: Akikan, Sengoku Collection, Kurenai)
Series Composition: Makoto Uezu (Danganronpa, Kamisama Dolls)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Tomoya Haruno manga series.
Kazama Kenji, a delinquent with an unusually good heart, stumbles upon a game creation club consisting of four girls with bizarre behaviors. With the club members forcing Kenji to join, his normal school life with his gang is replaced with a school life of outrageous events.

Yet another “only boy in a club of wacky girls” show – not sure where this will fall on the spectrum of shit – watchable, but the cast is good and Brains Base are fairly competent.  The director has worked on a lot of Brains Base’s previous shows across a range of genres, but this is his first full director gig.  If I had to make a guess I’d say this will end up on the watchable end of the scale, but pretty forgettable overall just like the vast majority of similar series.


Animation Studio: Seven (Recorder and Randsell, Morita-san wa Mukuchi)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Jun Fukuyama, Ryotaro Okiayu, Satsuki Yukino, Tomokazu Seki, Toshiyuki Morikawa
Director & Screenplay: Takashi Nishikawa (Key animation – Love Lab, Ghost Hound)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Verno Mikawa‘s slapstick gag manga series.
Kou is searching for his older brother Takumi, who left home and has gone missing in the city. Worried that he’s in trouble, Kou decides not to go home until he’s found him., only to find him all too easily. Takumi, it turns out, has become head of the Mikuni Detective Agency, and has no intention of going back home. Kou decides that if he can’t make Takumi return, then he’ll join the agency himself.

While I really like that cast list, everything else about this show puts me off.  Seven only really have the terrible Recorder and Randsell to their names and the fella in charge of writing & directing this adaptation only seems to have animation credits on his CV which doesn’t inspire much confidence.  I think this is shorts, but haven’t found any confirmation of that.

SoniAni – Super Sonico The Animation

Animation Studio: White Fox (Steins;Gate, Katanagatari)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Mai Goto, Mami Ozaki, Kikuko Inoue, Ryota Takeuchi, Hisako Kanemoto
Director: Kenichi Kawamura (Rozen Maiden, episode director – Black Lagoon)

Summary: Anime based on Nitroplus Super Sonico mascot girl.
“Super Sonico,” the mascot girl of the “Nitro Super Sonic” events held by Nitroplus, is credited with playing herself in the lead role and performing the opening theme song. In Super Sonico’s back story, she is already a photoshoot model, game character, and a musician, even as she studies as a college student. She is also part of a three-piece girl band named “Daiichi Uchū Sokudo” (Fastest Speed in Space) as the vocalist and guitarist.
The popular character has already inspired her own line of games and figures.

Anything can get an anime these days…..


Animation Studio: Bones (Darker than BLACK, Star Driver)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Hiroshi Kamiya, Maaya Uchida, Yuuki Kaji, Aki Toyosaki, Daisuke Ono, Jun Fukuyama
Director: Kotaro Tamura (Assistant director – Wolf Childen, Episode director – Heroman)
Series Composition: Deko Akao (Arakawa Under the Bridge, Mysterious Girlfriend X)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Adachitoka‘s manga series.
Yato is a minor deity who lacks even a single shrine. In order to build his own shrine, he scrawls his cell number on the wall of a downtown bathroom telling people he will help them in exchange for a 5-yen offering, becoming a self-styled “delivery god.” Hiyori, the daughter of a respectable family, is almost in a traffic accident, but is rescued by Yato. This causes her to become a “hanyou,” a person who can easily lose her soul. She chases Yato down, and they begin to work together. Yato also finds a boy named Yukine who becomes a “sacred treasure” that can be used by a god. The three of them battle “you” who bring harm to humans as Yato’s hidden history is gradually revealed.

I’m quietly excited about this one, but it does seem to be exactly my kind of show.  Bones, great cast, supernatural elements, shounen action – all things I like.  Director has worked on lots of other Bones shows but this is his first full gig, series composition is being handled by Deko Akao who can be a bit lazy with adaptations, but is excellent when on form.  Judging from the promo materials Bones have given Noragami a pretty decent budget, so it will look pretty good at least…..which is normally enough to get my attention.  I’m looking forward to this.

Saikin, Imouto no Youso ga Chotto Okaishiin Da Ga (Lately, My Little Sister’s Been Acting A Bit Strange)

Animation Studio:
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Chinami Hashimoto, Junji Majima, Hisako Kanemoto, Yui Ogura

Summary: Anime adaptation of Mari Matsuzawa‘s manga series.
In the romance comedy, a girl named Mitsuki Kanzaki lives with her step-brother Yuya after her mother remarries. One day, Mitsuki is possessed by the self-proclaimed spirit of a young girl, Hiyori Kotobuki. Hiyori (in Mitsuki’s body) must fall in love with Yuya to move towards the “Gates of Heaven.”

Otherwise known as the “chastity-belt Imouto anime”.  I don’t believe I have to write any more than that.

Gin no Saji S2 (Silver Spoon)

Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures (AnoHana, From the New World)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Ryohei Kimura, Marie Miyake, Ayahi Takagaki, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Tooru Sakurai
Director: Tomohiko Ito (Occult Academy, Sword Art Online)
Series Composition & Script: Taku Kishimoto (Usagi Drop, Haikyu!!)

Summary: Second part of the anime adaptation of Hiromu Arakawa’s agricultural school manga series. Airing in the Noitamina timeslot.
Yūgo Hachiken decided to escape from the stressful school and home environment in the city by enrolling at Ōezo Agricultural High School. Unlike his peers who’ll eventually embark upon an agricultural career, he decides to study there only because he believes it’ll be less competitive academically. Unfamiliar with his new surroundings, he tries his best to adapt to the agricultural world he had never thought of living in.

Silver Spoon is a exceptionally well written series that more people need to watch.  Sure it is worlds apart from Hiromu Arakawa’s previous series, Fullmetal Alchemist, but it has the same standard of writing and wonderfully natural comedy that Arakawa excels at.  Silver Spoon is a witty, surprisingly educational and down-to-earth look at farming and it is well worth a look if you haven’t already.  I’m looking forward to this second part of the show….and the food porn.

Maken-ki! Two

Animation Studio: Xebec (Broken Blade, Ladies Vs Butlers)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Noriko Shitaya, Tomoaki Maeno, Hitomi Harada, Iori Nomizu
Director: Hiraku Kaneko (Qwaser of Stigmata, Maken-Ki!)

Summary: Second season of the anime adaptation of Hiromitsu Takeda’s manga series.
Takeru Ohyama, a young normal yet perverted minded guy, got accepted and now goes to a school that, unknown to him, was where combat and magic is used. On the first day, he meets again after three years: Haruko Amaya, his childhood friend, Inaho Kushiya, a girl who says she’s his fiance, and Kodama Himegami, a blonde who wants to kill him. Finding out that there are many girls there that just don’t like him, he is told that everyone there uses a special magic ability while using an item or weapon called a Maken. Later, he finds that no Maken is acceptable for him and doesn’t know what to do, since in this school the students get into duels that showcase their magic and combat power, of which he seemingly has none.

The PV tells you all you need to know about this horror.

Seitokai Yakuindomo* S2

Animation Studio: GoHands (Coppelion, K-Project)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Satomi Satou, Sayuri Yahagi, Shintarō Asanuma, Yōko Hikasa, Fumi Hirano

Summary: Second season of the anime adaptation of Tozen Ujiie manga series.
Takatoshi is a new student in a recently gender-integrated high school, and is asked to join the student council as the vice president. Thus begins his days as the only normal boy among 3 female student council officers.

Dirty Jokes: The Anime.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Season 2

Animation Studio: Kyoto Animation (Clannad, Free!)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Maaya Uchida, Jun Fukuyama, Juri Nagatsuma, Sumire Uesaka, Chinatsu Akasaki
Director: Tatsuya Ishihara (Haruhi Suzumiya series, Nichijou)
Series Composition: Jukki Hanada (Kyokai no Kanata, Kuragehime)

Summary: Second season of the anime adaptation of Torako’s light novel series.
Yūta Togashi is a boy who, during junior high school, had ‘adolescent delusions’, believing that he possesses supernatural powers and dubbing himself the ‘Dark Flame Master,’ therefore alienating himself from his classmates. Finding his past embarrassing, Yūta attempts to start off high school where he does not know anyone, free from his old delusions. This proves to be difficult, however, as a delusional girl in his class, Rikka Takanashi, learns of Yūta’s past and becomes interested in him.
As the plot progresses, Rikka becomes more attached to Yūta, who, despite finding her delusions irritating and embarrassing, accepts her. He helps Rikka with a number of things, including founding and maintaining her club and tutoring her.

Second season of Chuu-2-Koi.  I can’t actually remember much of the 1st season if I’m honest, but will watch this regardless because I can’t seem to quit KyoAni.

Saki Zenkoku-hen (Saki – National Tournament Arc)

Animation Studio: Studio Gokumi (Kin-iro Mosaic, NakaImo)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Ami Koshimizu, Jun Fukuyama, Kana Ueda, Rie Kugimiya, Ryoko Shiraishi
Director: Manabu Ono (Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, A-Channel)

Summary: Third season of the anime adaptation of Ritz Kobayashi’s mahjong manga series.
Miyanaga Saki is a first year high school girl whose family would get angry if she won the family mahjong games. But losing would also have its consequences. Because of this she develops a new way of playing that allows her to stay on the thin line between winning and losing, the +/- zero score, an almost impossible score. In a game that relies mainly on luck, the +/- zero score is harder than winning, but Saki can achieve this every time. Having always hated the game, her friend from middle school, Suga Kyotoro, forces her to play in the schools mahjong club. Her developed skill and superhuman luck has made her a worthy mahjong opponent, even to the middle school’s national mahjong champion.

More Saki for those of you who like little girls playing mahjong.

Happiness Charge PreCure!

Animation Studio: Toei Animation (Kyousogiga, Precure)
Japanese Airdate: February 2014

Summary: Latest Precure show – no other information currently available.

Still haven’t watched any Precure, not starting now.

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary

Animation Studio: Toei Animation
Japanese Airdate: ???

Summary: Yeah, god knows if this is actually going to happen this season or not. No information has been released as of yet.

I’m watching if it actually materialises – I completed my Sailor Moon rewatch during my trip in preparation for this 20th Anniversary remake.  Just hope we get some information on it soon and it doesn’t get stuck in development hell.

OVA’s, Specials & Shorts

Tonari no Seki-kun

Animation Studio: Shin-Ei Animation (Crayon Shin-chan, Hare + Guu)
Japanese Airdate: 5th January 2014
Seiyuu: Hiro Shimono, Kana Hanazawa
Director: Yuji Mutoh (Crayon Shin-chan, Green Green)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Takuma Morishige‘s comedy manga series. This will consist of 10min episodes.
In the middle of class at a certain school, Rumi Yokoi, a diligent student, has her in-class life turned upside-down when her next-door desk mate “Seki” begins to play by himself at his desk in class. Although Yokoi is irked by Seki’s distracting yet intricate playtime, she finds herself being drawn into his interesting hobby. Never being able to focus, Yokoi observes Seki’s stunning ways of slacking off in class.

I am glad this is getting half length episodes because based on the premise I think stretching each episode to 20mins would stretch the humour too much. It looks like the kind of absurdist comedy that I quite enjoy in small doses, and the studio certainly has a comedy pedigree. I’ve heard that the majority of the manga chapters are just the main girl monologuing while getting steadily more neurotic – looking forward to HanaKana’s preformance, she’s pretty good at that! Definitely checking this one out.

Double Circle

Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures (Ao no Exorcist, Sword Art Online)
Japanese Airdate: 31st December 2013
Seiyuu: Asami Seto, Chiwa Saito, Daisuke Namikawa, Nobuhiko Okamoto
Character Designer: Kinako(Gatchaman Crowds)

Summary: Short anime series of six 5min episodes, which will be streaming online as part of a collaboration between the electronics corporation Toshiba & the city of Kawasaki.
The meaning of the title Double Circle is a reference to the infinity symbol and the community that “evolves infinitely by the energy and ICT [information and communication technology] in the smart community project.”
The story centers on the residents of Kawasaki who incorporate the ideas of “energy, environment, and activation of the regional economy using ICT.

Basically looks like Gatchaman Crowds but with more advertising.

Go! Go! 575

Animation Studio:
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Ayaka Ohashi, Yuka Ōtsubo
Character Designer: Hiro Kanzaki (OreImo)

Summary: Anime tie-in for Sega’s Project 575 game.
The game lets anyone create songs using the traditional Japanese 5-7-5-syllable meter found in haiku and tanka poems. The tie-in game takes the songs the players create syllable-by-syllable and performs them with Vocaloid voices provided by the high school girl characters Azuki Masaoka and Maccha Kobayashi.

This is a thing that exists……a game that helps you make poems…..with cute girls…..because everything is better with cute girls.


Animation Studio: AIC Plus+ (Cat Planet Cuties, Date A Live)
Japanese Airdate: 20th December 2013
Seiyuu: Shiho Sasaki, Chisato Mori, Mai Goto, Keiji Fujiwara
Director: Kaoru Suzuki (episode director Hellsing, Hanamaru Kindergarten)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Rensuke Oshikiri‘s comedy horror web manga.
Fifth grader Wakaba can see things invisible beings other people can’t. Because of this, she’s bullied by her classmates and spends her days alone. But one day, she meets a strange pink creature who only says “Pupipo.” It quickly becomes fond of Wakaba and protects her from evil beings. With its help, she befriends Reiko, a girl obsessed with the occult. Meanwhile, she meets Naoya, a boy who can also see invisible creatures, and decides to help him get rid of them.

Basically the plot of Natsume Yuujinchou but with Natsume replaced with a little girl and Nyanko-sensei replaced with a pink blob……think I’ll stick with Natsume.

Onee-chan ga Kita (My Big Sister Arrived)

Animation Studio: C2C (Yurumates)
Japanese Airdate: 8th January 2014
Seiyuu: Aimi Terakawa, Juri Nagatsuma, Fumi Morisawa, Marina Inoue
Director: Yoshihide Yuuzumi (Yurumates, episode director Queens Blade)

Summary: Anime adaptation of Rikō Anzai‘s 4-koma manga series. Series will be twelve 3min episodes.
The story revolves around Tomoya Mizuhara, a 13-year-old boy who suddenly gains a big sister when his father remarries. 17-year-old Ichika is a little strange, and her affection for Tomoya is rather overwhelming, if not scary. On top of things, Ichika’s friend Ruri is the ultimate sadist. Then there is Ichika’s big-breasted quarter-Japanese friend Marina.

Basically another Imouto anime – only change is that it’s an Onee-san instead so the squicky situations  are basically genderflipped, with an older girl molesting a younger boy. Yay originality!

Robot Girls Z

Animation Studio: Toei Animation (Kyousogiga, Dragonball)
Japanese Airdate: January 2014
Seiyuu: Inori Minase, Kazusa Aranami, Mariko Honda
Director: Hiroshi Ikehata (Episode director – Yuyushiki, Accel World)
Series Composition: Kazuho Hyodo (Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai, Gundam AGE)

Summary: A series of nine 10min episodes turning Toei & Dynamic Planning’s classic robots into cute girls.
Robot Girls Z focuses on three high school girls: Z-chan (based on Mazinger Z), Gre-chan (based on Great Mazinger), and Grenda-san (based on Grendizer). The group forms the Robot Girls Z unit in Nerima Ward Oizumi Academy’s Photon Power District in Photon Power Town that promotes Photonic Energy as the future energy source and fight the evil Baron Ashura and her Mechanical Beasts Girls Garada-chan and Doublas-chan who seek to use Photonic Energy for their nefarious purposes.

This looks hilarious……and stupid.  I haven’t really watched many Super Robot shows, I generally prefer the Real Robot shows, so while I know the names I haven’t seen the source shows.  Might check these out since they’re only shorts.

Natsume Yuujinchou – Itsuka Yuki no Hi ni

Animation Studio: Brains Base (Durarara!!, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun)
Japanese Airdate: 5th February 2014
Seiyuu: Hiroshi Kamiya, Kazuhiko Inoue
Director: Takahiro Omori (Samurai Flamenco, Baccano!)

Summary: New OVA for Yuki Midorikawa’s popular supernatural manga series.
Takashi Natsume has always had the ability to see and communicate with yokai and demons. When he moves to the small town where his late grandmother once lived, he discovers that she too had strong spiritual powers and that she used them to enslave yokai by recording their names in a book. Now Takashi is beset by spirits—some of them want revenge, some want him to return their names, some want to eat him and some just want his help.


Mushishi Special – Hihamukage (Sun Eating Shade)

Animation Studio: Artland (LoGH, Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
Japanese Airdate: 4th January 2014
Seiyuu: Yuto Nakano
Director: Hiroshi Nagahama (Detroit Metal City, Aku no Hana)

Summary: A new 1 hour special for Yuki Urushibara’s manga series.

The “Mushi” is neither a plant nor an animal; also, it isn’t a microbe or fungus. It is more like primitive life forms. Their figures and existence are very vague. We don’t notice their existence until we meet Mushi and they’ll show us mysterious phenomena. They do not exist to scare others; they just exist there as they are.


Neppuu Kairiku Bushi Road

Animation Studio: Kinema Citrus (Bottom Biting Bug, Code:Breaker)
Japanese Airdate: 31st December 2013
Seiyuu: Kenn, Megumi Han, Akio Ohtsuka, Tomo Saeki, Kousuke Toriumi
Director: Masayuki Sakoi (Kamen no Maid-Guy, Needless)

Summary: Three hour special. The anime is a collaboration between Bushiroad, video distributor Bandai Visual, software company Nitroplus, and anime studio Kinema Citrus. The mecha mixed-media project was originally announced in 2003 as a collaboration between Gainax, Takara, and Broccoli.
The story takes place in a time when the world is in the pits of despair after being ravaged by a poison called “shinobi” that came to earth via an asteroid. The people run away to the place called “Kairiku,” a place that used to be the bottom of the ocean. Here, the people try and protect themselves against the effects of the poison. In such a world, there was a single light of hope. The “Holy Weapon Giga Road” and the legendary warrior “Yagyū” are needed in order to counter the effects of the poison. In order to save the world, Ame, a princess of a fallen nation, stands up in order to save the world.

Oft delayed, but finally happening this season – I’m pretty intrigued by this.  Seems like a real mish-mash of stuff going on in the promo materials, but going by the directors former stuff, I’m guessing that this is just going to be overblown silly entertainment.  And that is something I am perfectly okay with.

Zetsumetsu Kigi Shoujo Amazing Twins

Animation Studio: Encourage Films (Senki Zesshou Symphogear)
Japanese Airdate: 29th December 2013
Seiyuu: Aya Uchida, Aya Uchida, Haruka Chisuga, Hiro Shimono, Satomi Satou
Original Creator & Director: Junichi Sato (ARIA, Phi Brain)
Series Composition: Mari Okada (Aquarion Evol, Hanasaku Iroha)

Summary: Original OVA production from Junichi Sato.
In the story, at a hilltop park in a town, the performance team “Nought” is holding a “supernatural” magic show before a sparse audience. Despite Nought’s best efforts, the audience boos the show. One of Nought’s idols, Amane, happens to have ISH — “Incomprehensible Skill of Humans-beings,” the power to turn what is imagined into reality. Suddenly, a girl appears before Amane. The masked girl with a cold smile is Aya, the popular genius magician in the group “I.A.M.” Like Amane, Aya also has ISH.

Junichi Sato & Mari Okada working on the same show?  I’m really interested in seeing how this turns out!  The synopsis sounds like it has plenty of potential for action – turning imagination into reality as a superpower really lifts the limiters.  Looks like it will be worth checking out anyway.


So that’s what we can look forward to in the next month – I am pretty excited!  The Autumn season ended up having some excellent shows, if Winter can give me another 2-3 I’ll be well pleased.  First impression posts will be going up in January after all the usual end of year stuff.

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

6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 8, 2013 2:17 am

    You know, I read this for my season doze of updates…. and also for your humourous commentaries. THANKS~ I got my list here and there shaked out now.

    • December 8, 2013 11:52 am

      Hahaha~! Glad you find these helpful. What shows are you interested in?

      • December 9, 2013 2:16 pm

        Hozuki & silver spoon are def in my list. and I am considering the fool. Also interested in noragami. This one looks like it would fall in the good category but of course you will never know till you are halfway through. Buddy complex looks similar to Valvrave, so I am considering if I should go for it or not. I’m also curious about strange+… but well, that has a high probability of turning out bad. LastLY….. I am entrapped in the saki trap for years… hahha, cos I was curious about mahjong, though I only ever won via computer play by accidents.

        • December 9, 2013 7:29 pm

          Don’t think Buddy Complex will be as hilarious as Valvrave, looks like it has a much smaller budget too.

          I think Strange+ will end up being shorts, so it may be entertaining enough – does have a good cast even if it does look pretty cheap.

          I escaped Saki after 3 episodes – I am happy with my choice 😛

        • December 10, 2013 1:56 am

          Hmm, if buddy complex is too much like valvrave most likely will drop. Lols. But i dun want it to be boring either.

          Saki mahh…. I’m already too deep into it. -__-!


  1. The Coming Season of Discontent | Lower Mid-Table

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.