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Winter 2015 Anime Preview

November 25, 2014

winter anime largeTime is just flying, doesn’t seem like all that long ago that I was firing up the Autumn preview, and now here we are on the countdown to Christmas!

Winter season is all about the sequels – seriously, sequels and franchises make up nearly half the shows airing next season!  This is mainly due to the increase in split cours shows recently, but it is still pretty remarkable to see.  Personally I don’t mind this too much as we are getting the continuations to some excellent shows, some of which we have been waiting years for.

Anyway, long post is long, so lets get going.

TV

 

Absolute Duo

Website: http://absoluteduo.com/
Animation Studio: 8 Bit (The Fruit of Grisaia, Infinite Stratos)
Japanese Airdate: 4th January 2015
Seiyuu: Nozomi Yamamoto, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Ayaka Imamura, Ayaka Suwa, Haruka Yamazaki
Director: Atsushi Nakayama
Series Composition: Takamitsu Kouno (Minami-ke, Ayakashi)
PV: http://youtu.be/oww10tg1–U

Summary: Anime adaptation of Takumi Hiiragi-Boshi’s light novel series.

The story begins with Blaze — a weapon that is the manifestation of a human’s soul. Tooru Kokonoe happens to be qualified for this, but for some reason his Blaze is not a weapon, but a shield. Moreover, he enrolled in a school that teaches combat skills, and thanks to the school’s Duo partner system, he ends up living with a beautiful silver-haired girl.

And we’re kicking off with a bog standard LN adaptation complete with magical high school and cute girls.  Probably should have adjusted the line-up.  It is sort of amazing how many different versions of exactly the same story there are though.

Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu)

Website: http://www.ansatsu-anime.com/
Animation Studio: Lerche (Carnival Phantasm, Re:_Hamatora)
Japanese Airdate: 9th January 2015
Seiyuu: Jun Fukuyama, Mai Fuchigami, Aya Suzaki, Kouki Harasawa, Chie Matsuura
Director: Seiji Kishi (Angel Beats, Danganronpa)
Screenplay: Makoto Uezu (Kamisama Dolls, Qwaser of Stigmata)
PV: http://youtu.be/8d7Xh4p7Ca4

Summary: Anime adaptation of Yusei Matsui’s shounen manga series.

The students of class 3-E have a mission: kill their teacher before graduation. He has already destroyed the moon, and has promised to destroy the Earth if he isn’t killed within a year. But how can this class of misfits kill a tentacled monster, capable of reaching Mach 20 speed, who may be the best teacher any of them have ever had?

Now this is a pretty popular Shounen Jump manga series and I’ve been tempted to pick up the manga a few times.  However I did give the OVA that came out recently and that pretty much killed most of my enthusiasm.  The rest of my hype was effectively murdered when I saw the staff and animation studio.  Seiji Kishi hasn’t been doing good things recently and Lerche aren’t exactly purveyors of quality of action packed animation.  I now feel sort of sorry for the manga fans who were excited for this – I really can’t see this adaptation ending well.

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! (Handsome High School Earth Defense Club Love!)

Website: http://boueibu.com/
Animation Studio: Diomedea (Akuma no Riddle, Gingitsune)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Kōtarō Nishiyama, Kazutomi Yamamoto, Mugihito, Hiroki Yasumoto, Hiroshi Kamiya
Director: Shinji Takamatsu (Gundam Wing, Gintama, School Rumble)
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote (Shirobako, xxxHOLIC)
PV: http://youtu.be/aXXgHNkRjrU

Summary: Original anime.

In the story, the high school “Earth Defence Club” is basically the “do nothing club”. Club members En and Atsushi are soaking in the tub at a public bath house when suddenly a mysterious pink creature, Wombat, appears out of thin air and asks, “I want to save this star…please would you lend me your power?” Then, Yumoto, whose family runs the bath house appears and chases wombat to give him a hug. In school the next day, the remaining two members, Io and Ryuu, also meet Wombat. Wombat gives all give of them bracelets and tells them to protect Earth. A dazzling light comes from the bracelets and envelops their bodies…

MAGICAL BOYS!!  This looks batshit insane and I am so bloody hyped for it!  I don’t think it will be good by any stretch of the imagination, but the director is one of the very best for comedy shows, so if the energy is kept high I think this will be a very entertaining ride.  I mean it has a pink wombat bestowing magical powers onto a bunch of bishies – what’s not to love!?

Isuca

Website: http://isuca.net/
Animation Studio: ARMS (Brynhildr in the Darkness, Queen’s Blade)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Ayumi Fujimura, Ibuki Kido, Keisuke Koumoto, Akane Kohinata, M.A.O
Director: Akira Iwanaga (Corpse Party, Tegami Bachi)
Series Composition: Masashi Suzuki (Kanokon, Rail Wars!
PV:

Summary: Anime adaptation of Osamu Takahashi’s manga series.

Shinichirou decides to look for a job in order to pay his rent, and his teacher suggests that he work for someone at their house, doing housekeeping. However, the person who hired him was Sakuya, a girl who is the 37th head of the Shimazu family, and her job is to exorcise and eliminate unwanted creatures. Shinichirou accidentally releases one of the creatures that Sakuya captures and they cooperate to catch it. A story of comedic creature hunting begins!

Set-up is primed for episodic harem hi-jinks.  I think this could be watchable, but not all that memorable.

Junketsu no Maria: Sorcière de gré, pucelle de force (Maria the Virgin Witch)

Website: http://junketsu-maria.tv/
Animation Studio: Production I.G (Haikyuu!, Guilty Crown)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Hisako Kanemoto, Kana Hanazawa, Kensho Ono, Kikuko Inoue, Yōko Hikasa
Director: Goro Taniguchi (Code Geass, Infinite Ryvius)
Series Composition & Script: Hideyuki Kurata (Kannagi, Read or Die)
PV:

Summary: Anime adaptation of Masayuki Ishikawa’s (Moyashimon) manga series.

The story follows Maria, the most powerful witch who lives during the Hundred Years’ War in France. She despises war, so she obstructs battles with her strong magical powers. Her meddling with her succubus Artemis and incubus Priapos has caught the attention of the heavens, and so the Archangel Michael issues an edict. When Maria loses her virginity, she will also lose her magical powers. A beautiful angel named Ezekiel is supposed to watch Maria and make sure the witch does not use magic in front of people, but Maria continues to use magic anyways.

Now this is intriguing.  At first glance it doesn’t immediately jump out as a must watch, but then you have a look at the author and the staff on board and suddenly Maria the Virgin Witch becomes a whole lot more interesting.  The Moyashimon author coupled with the director of Code Geass finally returning to the directors chair, just makes this whole series very exciting to me.  Add in the Hundred Years War setting and Production IG providing the animation and you suddenly have a show I need to see.  On my must watch pile.

Juuou Mujin no Fafnir (Unlimited Fafnir)

Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/fafnir/
Animation Studio: Diomedea (Lotte no Omocha, Ika Musume)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Manami Numakura, Rina Hidaka, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka
Director: Keizou Kusakawa (Asura Cryin’, Dog Days) Jun Takahashi
Series Composition: Yuki Enatsu (Saint October, Tight-Rope)
PV:

Summary: Anime adaptation of Tsukasa’s light novel series.

In the “unlimited school battle action” story, the world was transformed by the sudden appearance of monsters known collectively as dragons. Before long, girls known as “D” were born with the dragons’ powers. A boy named Yuu Mononobe is the world’s only male “D,” although his existence is kept secret. He is forced to enroll into Midgar, a school for “D” girls, where he see a female student Iris naked. Moreover, he is reunited with his long-separated little sister Mitsuki.

And we’re back in magical high-school LN adapation land.  I like how the synopsis not only includes a long lost imouto, but also a naked chick.  So classy.  Yeah not watching this.

Kantai Collection –Kan Colle-

Website: http://kancolle-anime.jp/
Animation Studio: Diomedea (Mondaiji tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru soudesuyo?)
Japanese Airdate: 27th December 2014
Seiyuu: Sumire Uesaka, Saki Fujita, Yuka Iguchi
Director: Keizou Kusakawa (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Akuma no Riddle)
Series Composition: Jukki Hanada (Beyond the Boundary, Steins;Gate)
PV: http://youtu.be/3u-WE85ExIU

Summary: Anime adaptation of the card battle game featuring female moe characters inspired by Japanese World War II warships such as aircraft carriers, battleships, and cruisers.

The base for the fleet arrayed against the “deep sea fleet” is Chinjufu. There, many various Kan-musume have gathered to live together and work hard everyday in training and other matters. One day, a Kan-musume arrives at Chinjufu, She is a special class of destroyer. Her name is Fubuki. “I am Fubuki! Nice to meet you!” Fubuki’s story — as well as the Kan-musume’s story — begins now.

This was originally slated for Summer 2014, but was pushed back.  My opinion hasn’t changed so here’s what I said in the Summer preview.

KanColle is huge phenomenon that I just do not get – kind of like Touhou.  There is a massive amount of fan materials out there for this game and people take their ship daughters very seriously, but I have no real notion what the fuss is all about.  The studio and staff on board for this is hardly the stuff of dreams, but no doubt fans will watch this regardless…….and then complain incessantly that the character designs / voice acting / costume choices are all wrong.

Koufuku Graffiti (Happy Cooking Graffiti)

Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/koufuku_g/
Animation Studio: SHAFT (Monogatari Series, Nisekoi)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Asuka Ōgame, Mikako Komatsu, Rina Satou, Yuka Iguchi
Chief Director: Akiyuki Shinbo (Hidamari Sketch, Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
Series Composition: Mari Okada (Selector Spread Wixoss, AnoHana)
PV: http://youtu.be/VPYcHXRvvf8

Summary: Anime adaptation of Makoto Kawai’s manga series.

The story follows Ryou, a middle school girl who lives by herself. She has a knack for cooking, and she makes friendships with everyone through her food. The cooking manga is “full of detailed cuisine art to whet the appetite and slightly erotic meal scenes.” The “koufuku” in the title is a wordplay on two Japanese homonyms — one which means “happiness,” and another that means “appetite.”

The “slightly erotic meal scenes” part of the synopsis is what caught my attention.  This coupled with the fact this is Shinbo/SHAFT means that I’m fairly certain this will be a constant stream of very erotic meal scenes.  Well there doesn’t really seem to be anything else to really sell the show, so having the SHAFTiness cranked up to 11 probably won’t be a terrible thing.  Will check out the first episode to judge.

Saenai Heroine no Sodate-kata (How to Train the Ordinary Girl to be a Heroine)

Website: http://www.saenai.tv/
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures (Your Lie In April, The Seven Deadly Sins)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Kiyono Yasuno, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Ai Kayano, Saori Ōnishi, Sayuri Yahagi
Director: Kanta Kamei (Usagi Drop, Nanana’s Buried Treasure)
Original Creator & Screenplay: Fumiaki Maruto (White Album)
PV:

Summary: Anime adaptation of Fumiaki Maruto’s light novel series airing in the Noitamina timeslot.

The life of Tomoyo Aki, a highschool otaku working part time to support his BD hording. With remarkable luck, he bumps head-first into, Megumi Kato, the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. Naturally, the meeting twists his life into a complicated torrent of relationships. Eriri Spencer Sawamura, his half-foreigner childhood friend who’s always valued her relationship with Tomoyo. Kasumigaoka Utaha, a cold, composed renowned literary genius who shoves everyone aside from our protagonist. What is this? An eroge introduction?
The tale of a small not quite doujin circle, but not quite indie studio’s journey through the tough territory of comiket and beyond.

I was all ready to pass over this since it just looks like yet another otaku themed LN adapatation, but then the Noitamina tag caught my attention.  Even the PV doesn’t think this show should be in the Noitamina timeslot!  I’ve mostly learnt my lesson about these shows after sitting through the snorefest that was Nanana’s Buried Treasure (which was also in Noitamina) and this has most of the same people on board.  I’ll look at the first episode, but don’t think this is going to be worth watching.

Seiken Tsukai no World Break

Website: http://warubure-anime.com/
Animation Studio: Diomedea (Campione!, Noucome)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Kaito Ishikawa, Aoi Yūki, Ayana Taketatsu, Maaya Uchida, Yui Ogura
Director: Takayuki Inagaki (Muv-Luv Alternative, Marginal Prince)
Series Composition: Hiroshi Yamaguchi (Argento Soma, Gate Keepers)
PV: http://youtu.be/HI2VVj7D8JI

Summary: Anime adaptation of Akamitsu Awamura’s light novel series.

The story is set in a private high school that brings together “saviors,” youths with awakened memories from past lives. Some of them are Shirogane who fight enemies with weapons and techniques gleaned from the Puraana powers from their own bodies. Others are Kuroma who wipe out enemies, with magic to manipulate the Maana powers that surpass physics. A boy named Moroha Haimura enrolls in this school. He is the first person in history with past lives of both Shirogane and Kuroma.

Diomedea are super busy this season – they have four shows airing!  This is just another magical high-school show though – with a particularly overpowered MC and some truly hideous character designs.

Sengoku Musou

Website: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/sengokumusou/
Animation Studio: Tezuka Productions (Black Jack) & TYO Animations (Wolf Girl & Black Prince)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Daisuke Ono, Takeshi Kusao, Akio Ohtsuka, Eiji Takemoto, Hideo Ishikawa, Jouji Nakata
Director: Kōjin Ochi (La Corda D’oro, Case Closed)
Screenplay: Yuka Yamada (Bungaku Shoujo, Mushishi)
PV:

Summary: Anime adaptation of KOEI Tecmo Games’ Samurai Warriors video game franchise.

The key phrase of the anime’s story is: “What are you fighting for?” The story takes place in Japan’s tumultuous Sengoku era, where violent battles are being raged across the country. The “passionate and painful” story follows the “troubled fate” of the Sanada brothers, who have sworn an oath that no matter what, they will fight to the bitter end together.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi is on the verge of unifying the realm, and all that remains is the Odawara Castle protected by the “Lion of Sagami” Ujiyasu Hōjō. Hideyoshi’s personally trained generals — Ishida Mitsunari, Katō Kiyomasa, and Fukushima Masanori — as well as Ōtani Yoshitsugu, Shima Sakon, and Naoe Kanetsugu are all on the frontline of the battle. Amidst the battle formation are the two young warriors of the Sanada household: older brother Nobuyuki and younger brother Yukimura. As the stalemate begins to break down, Sanada Yukimura rides on a lone horse into the fray. His brother follows him right after.

I know I’m going to get this really confused with Sengoku Basara since they’re both game adaptations set in the same time-period and have some of the same characters……this doesn’t look nearly as fabulous as Sengoku Basara though, so I’ll probably skip it.

Shinmai Maou no Testament (The Testament of Sister New Devil)

Website: http://anime-shinmaimaou.com/
Animation Studio: Production IMS (Date A Live II, Gonna be the Twin-Tail!)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Ayaka Asai, Sarah Emi Bridcutt, Yūichi Nakamura, Kaori Fukuhara, Keiji Fujiwara
Director: Hisashi Saito (Sora no Otoshimono, Haganai)
Screenplay: Takao Yoshioka (Ikki Tousen, Your Lie In April)
Music: Yasuharu Takanashi (Shiki, Fairy Tail)
PV: http://youtu.be/kgIbAAb7TUQ

Summary: Anime adaptation of Tetsuto Uesu’s (Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero) light novel series.

“Hey, you said you wanted a sister, right?” First year highschool student, Toujo Basara, was suddenly asked by his father and fell into a state of panic. On top of that, the eccentric father told him he will be getting remarried. He then departed overseas after bringing Basara two beautiful step-sisters. But Mio and Maria’s true forms are actually the newbie Demon Lord and a succubus!? Basara was almost entered into a master and servant contract with Mio, but a “reversed” contract was formed by mistake, and Basara is now the master!? Moreover, Basara is being hit by ecchi situations one after another due to the contract, but Mio’s life is being pursued by other demon tribes and hero tribes!! The most powerful contractor’s desire/action drama begins!

Ecchi trash.

The Rolling Girls

Website: http://rollinggirls.com/
Animation Studio: Wit Studio (Attack on Titan, Hozuki no Reitetsu)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Rina Hidaka, Risa Taneda, Ari Ozawa, Yumiri Hanamori
Director: Kotomi Deai (Silver Spoon 2)
Screenplay: Yasuyuki Muto (Sengoku Basara, Basilisk)
PV: http://youtu.be/NWTVWrwPbPs

Summary: Original TV anime.

Ten years after the Great Tokyo War, each prefectures in Japan had split up into independent nations. Each of these nations are ruled by a prophet called “Mosa” and an army called “Mob” as they start to compete to take over other countries. Four “Mob” girls from the Saitama clan, Nozomi, Yukina, Ai, Chiaya are ordered by their “Mosa” to travel around Japan riding their motor cycles to mediate multiple battles between nations and clans as they emerge.

Wit Studios have chosen quite a diverse range of shows to work on, so I’m really quite interested in this original series.  The synopsis sounds really intriguing, like there should be lawless bands constantly at war with each other, but then we have promo art featuring a bunch of cute girls!  I’m fascinated to see how they mix the serious sounding setting with the cute girls do cute things aesthetic.

Yuri Kuma Arashi (Lesbian Bear Storm)

Website: http://www.yurikuma.jp/
Animation Studio: SILVER LINK (Girlfriend BETA, Watamote)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Miho Arakawa, Nozomi Yamane, Yoshiko Ikuta, Junichi Suwabe, Kazutomi Yamamoto
Director: Kunihiko Ikuhara (Mawaru Penguindrum, Utena, Sailor Moon)
Series Composition: Kunihiko Ikuhara & Takayo Ikami (Penguindrum, Watamote)
PV: http://youtu.be/9J93cF-I-xA

Summary: Original anime.

Some time ago, the asteroid Kumaria exploded in the depths of space.
The resulting fragments became a meteor shower that rained down on Earth, and for some reason, bears all over the world rose up and attacked humanity! In “Man vs. Bear,” the bears ate the humans and the humans shot the bears, resulting in a seemingly unending battle and a cycle of hatred. In the end, a giant “Wall of Extinction” was erected between the humans and bears and a state of mutual nonaggression came to pass….

In the human world.
One morning, Arashigaoka Academy students Kureha Tsubaki and Sumika Izumino were by themselves and saw the “Yuri Flower” that bloomed in a flower bed. The two are friends as well as lovers. The flower bed is an important place to the two. At that moment, the Bear Alarms ring out! The bears are invading the human world, and humans are being attacked! Are they really those bears? One mystery invokes yet another mystery, one after another. The curtain rises magnificently on Yuri Kuma Arashi!

If I’m completely honest I’d have fired this onto the ‘Nope’ pile immediately if Ikuhara’s name wasn’t attached to it.  Ikuhara’s stuff is an absolute must watch since he does such interesting things in his shows.  I don’t think this is going to be another Utena or Penguindrum though – especially given the strange focus the promo materials has on the girls underwear.  Seriously, all the art realised of the girls includes an up-skirt short of their knickers!  On the upside some of the male characters have hilarious names like Life Sexy, the whole concept just sounds bonkers and Ikuhara has basically lifted his Penguindrum team from Brains Base and set up at Silver Link.  I’m weirdly fascinated by this series.

 

Sequels

Aldnoah.Zero 2

Website: http://www.aldnoahzero.com/
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures (Sword Art Online) / TROYCA
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Kensho Ono, Sora Amamiya , Daisuke Hirakawa, Kazuya Nakai, Ai Kayano
Director: Ei Aoki (Fate/Zero, Wandering Son)
Series Composition: Katsuhiko Takayama (ef: A Tale of Memories, Mirai Nikki)
Music : Hiroyuki Sawano (Kill la Kill, Attack on Titan)
PV:

Summary: Sequel to the original anime created by Gen Urobuchi (Madoka Magica, Fate\Zero).

In 1972, the Apollo 17 mission discovered a hypergate to Mars on the surface of the moon. Soon a war breaks out between Earth and Mars, and Martian soliders begin to decend from the sky, riding steel giants, intent on exterminating humanity.

I really liked Aldnoah.Zero – it was all kinds of fun to see what kind of suffering they’d put Slaine through each week.  I do think they are going to completely bottle it on that rather brilliant final episode from S1 (the Princess is in some of the S2 promo art) which is unfortunate, but I’m not really watching Aldnoah for the quality writing.  If the show continues to have entertaining action and manufactures some more wonderful suffering for Slaine, I’ll be quite happy thanks very much.

Durarara!!x2

Website: http://www.durarara.com/
Animation Studio: Studio Shuka
Japanese Airdate: 10th January 2015
Seiyuu: Hiroshi Kamiya, Daisuke Ono, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Miyuki Sawashiro, Kana Hanazawa
Director: Takahiro Omori (Baccano!, Natsume Yuujinchou, Samurai Flamenco)
Series Composition: Noboru Takagi (Baccano!, Sankarea)
PV: http://youtu.be/UsSDzPso2hA

Summary: Sequel to the anime adaptation of Ryohgo Narita’s light novel series. The story takes place a half year after the first series at Tokyo’s Ikebukuro neighbourhood and will be told over three split cours seasons.

Ryūgamine Mikado is a boy who longs for the exciting life of the big city. At the invitation of his childhood friend Masaomi, he transfers to a school in Ikebukuro. Masaomi has warned him about people he doesn’t want to cross in the city: a champion fighter, an informant, and a mysterious gang called “Dollars.” Nervous from Masaomi’s stories, Mikado witnesses an urban legend on his first day in the city, the Headless Rider astride a black motorcycle. From then on, the existence of supernatural cases and a gang called the Yellow Scarves will rise to the surface, and Ikebukuro will pushed to the breaking point.

We have been waiting five years for this – can not tell you how excited I am!  Durarara!! was ripe for a continuation and it is a pity it took the staff setting up a completely new studio to make it happen.  So yeah, this second series may come under the title of Studio Shuka, but it is still the original Brains Base staff, so we are in safe hands.  The first series ended on a weird arc, in that it was a connecting arc in the novels – there was no real climax as it was just linking into the next major arc.  I got impatient a few years back so I’ve now read the novels up to vol 10, so this will be a slightly different viewing experience for me.  Most of my enjoyment of S1 came from puzzling out what was happening and making up wild theories – that won’t be the case with S2 and that makes me a touch sad.  Still I’m massively excited to see more from the weird inhabitants of Ikebukuro.

But yeah – more Drrrr!!! Get Hyped!

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc

Website: http://jojo-animation.com/
Animation Studio: David Production (Ben-to, Level E)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Misato Fukuen, Daisuke Ono, Takehito Koyasu, Unshou Ishizuka, Fuminori Komatsu
Director: Kenichi Suzuki (Gundam Evolve) Naokatsu Tsuda (Inu x Boku SS)
Series Composition: Yasuko Kobayashi (Attack on Titan, Shakugan no Shana)
PV:

Summary: Continuation of the anime adaptation of Hirohiko Araki’s manga series.  It will adapt the Egyptian phase of the battle against Dio.

The year is 1987 and 17-year-old Jotaro Kujo finds himself suddenly plagued by a ghost-like entity. Jotaro’s grandfather Joseph Joestar, a veteran of a fight to save humanity fifty years prior, arrives with his own supernatural aura and explains that this power, known as a “Stand,” physically manifests its user’s spirit and can be controlled by its user at will. The sudden emergence of these Stands is revealed to be caused by the revival of the megalomaniacal vampire DIO (the Joestar’s longtime enemy) whose awakening from his century-long slumber has triggered Stands to awaken down the Joestar family line, including in Jotaro’s mother whose uncontrollable Stand will ultimately kill her in a few weeks’ time. Jotaro, Joseph, and their allies have fifty days to locate DIO (using their Stands to thwart DIO’s network of devoted Stand-user minions along the way) and eliminate DIO himself in order to save Jotaro’s mother and prevent DIO’s ambitions of world domination.

Stardust Crusaders didn’t really grab me as much as S1 of JBA did.  I think the rather leisurely pacing and the lack of immediate threat from Dio kind of killed my excitement a bit.  I still enjoyed it, but I’m no where near as hyped for this continuation as I should be.  Still, not that the story has finally reached Egypt maybe Dio will play a more active role?

Kuroko no Basket 3 (Kuroko’s Basketball 3)

Website: http://www.kurobas.com/
Animation Studio: Production I.G (Ace of the Diamond, Suisei no Gargantia)
Japanese Airdate: 10th January 2015
Seiyuu: Yuuki Ono, Kensho Ono, Hiroshi Kamiya, Kenji Hamada, Ryohei Kimura, Chiwa Saito
Director: Shunsuke Tada (Bungaku Shoujo, Prince of Tennis OVAs)
Series Composition: Noboru Takagi (Durarara!, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun)
PV:

Summary: Third season of the anime adaption of Tadatoshi Fujimaki’s shounen sports manga series. A continuation of the Winter Cup tournament as Seirin face off against the rest of the Generation of Miracles.

Oh yeah, more magical BL basketball – you know I’m watching this!  Kurobas is fecking wonderful.

Tokyo Ghoul 2

Website: http://www.marv.jp/special/tokyoghoul/
Animation Studio: Studio Pierrot (Naruto, Polar Bear Café)
Japanese Airdate: 9th January 2015
Seiyuu: Natsuki Hanae, Sora Amamiya, Katsuyuki Konishi, Mamoru Miyano, Takayuki Sugo
Director: Shuhei Morita (Freedom, Kakurenbo, Tsukumo)
Series Composition: Chūji Mikasano
PV: http://youtu.be/yRr10QYQCU4

Summary: Continuation of the anime adaption of Sui Ishida’s body horror manga series.

Ken Kaneki is a bookworm college student who meets a girl names Rize at a cafe he frequents. They’re the same age and have the same interests, so they quickly become close. Little does Kaneki know that Rize is a ghoul – a kind of monster that lives by hunting and devouring human flesh. When part of her special organ – the kagune – is transplanted into Kaneki, he becomes a ghoul himself, trapped in a warped world where humans are not the top of the food chain.

S1 ended right in the middle of the Aogiri Tree arc right when things were getting really interesting!  I didn’t have the patience to wait a season for the continuation so I ended up reading the manga, but I am definitely interested in seeing the continuation of the story animated.  Tokyo Ghoul may not be the most consistent of shows, but it is definitely packed full of interesting characters and pretty visceral fights.  This is high on my priority list.

Dog Days” Double Dash (3rd season)

Website: http://www.dogdays.tv/
Animation Studio: Seven Arcs Pictures (Mushibugyou, Trinity Seven)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Ami Koshimizu, Mamoru Miyano, Aoi Yūki, Ayana Taketatsu, Nana Mizuki
Director: Junji Nishimura (Glasslip, Ranma ½, Simoun)
Original Creator & Series Composition: Masaki Tsuzuki (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha)
PV:

Summary: Third season of Dog Days. It takes place two to three months after the second season during fall vacation.

In the story, Princess Millhiore of the Biscotti Republic decides to summon a brave warrior from an alternate world to defend her country from the neighbouring fiefdom of Galette. The “brave warrior” turns out to be a boy named Shinku from modern-day Japan.

In this third season Shinku and his team will show up every episode, but the regular members on the show will change every episode. The director admitted that although there are already approximately 20 major characters, two or three more will be added. The series will go into depth about the details behind the world of Flonyard, as well as delving deeper into what a hero is.

Apparently this franchise is popular enough to warrant yet another series…..who knew?

Kamisama Kiss ◎ (Kamisama Hajimemashita 2)

Website: http://mikagesha.com/
Animation Studio: TMS Entertainment (Cardfight Vanguard, Gugure! Kokkuri-san)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Suzuko Mimori, Akira Ishida, Shinnosuke Tachibana, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Daisuke Kishio
Director: Akitaro Daichi (Fruits Basket, Gag Manga Biyori)
PV: http://youtu.be/xY2QWGu_FgM

Summary: Second season of the anime adaptation of Julietta Suzuki’s shoujo manga series.

The story follows Nanami, a girl who finds herself homeless after her father leaves. She comes to the home of a man who offers to let her stay over — only to discover it is a Shinto shrine. The man happened to be a deity who has just transferred his status and his yōkai guardian to Nanami. That yōkai’s name is Tomoe, and a contract between him and Nanami can only be sealed in one way: with a kiss.

As far as supernatural shoujo shows go, Kamisama Kiss isn’t the worst.  It’s actually pretty fun and well put together, if rather light on plot.  It’s nice to have a bit of harmless fluff to watch.

Shounen Hollywood -Holly Stage for 50- (S2)

Website: http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/shonen-hollywood-anime/
Animation Studio: ZEXCS (Diabolik Lovers, Aku no Hana)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Daiki Yamashita, Kensho Ono, Ryota Ohsaka, Shouta Aoi, Tetsuya Kakihara
Director: Toshimasa Kuroyanagi (Say “I Love You”)
Original Creator, Screenplay & Series Composition: Ikuyo Hashiguchi
PV:

Summary: Sequel of the anime adapation based on Ikuyo Hashiguchi’s mixed-media project Shōnen Hollywood.

The anime tells an original story, set 15 years after the novel’s story. It takes place at a fictional theatre called Hollywood Tokyo in Harajuku, where members of the idol group “Shōnen Hollywood” develop their talents with diligent work and studying. The cast includes several cameos from the original members of Shōnen Hollywood in the novel.

I am still shocked we’re getting another season of Shohari – it wasn’t exactly popular.  I personally really liked it since it could be quite cynical about the idol industry at times, and focused more on developing the characters than shiny song & dance numbers.  It is a very grounded, surprisingly engaging show and I’m certainly pleased that there is more on the horizon.

Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor – Exodus

Website: http://fafner-exodus.jp/
Animation Studio: Xebec (Heroic Age, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Kohei Kiyasu, Makoto Ishii, Marika Matsumoto, Aki Unone, Masahiko Tanaka
Director: Takashi Noto (Heroic Age) Nobuyoshi Habara (Broken Blade)
Series Composition & Screenplay: Tow Ubukata (Heroic Age, Mardock Scramble, Psycho-Pass 2)
PV: http://youtu.be/2Tq2vyuUGOs

Summary: Sequel to Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor, set in 2151, two and a half years after the events of the Heaven and Earth movie (and four years after the original TV series).

Tatsumiyajima is the central island in the middle of a small cluster of islands, in a sleepy backwater of the Japanese isles. Not much happens there, and the island’s young people go to school knowing that their lives are likely to remain peaceful and undisturbed. Or so they have been taught…but the truth is different. The fate of mankind is on the line, and Tatsumiyajima is the last line of defense against a hostile and incomprehensible enemy. At the center of it all, fighting for Humanity’s continued existence, is the giant robot Fafner, the dragon that guards this final treasure of mankind.

I’m kind of shocked that there is more Fafner coming out – I never thought it was all that popular!  It has been years since I watched the original show, and I can barely remember exactly what happened at this stage, but it is a pretty decent watch.  Kind of hoping there is a recap at the start of this new season so I’ll have some idea what is going on.

Tantei Opera Milky Holmes TD

Website: http://milky-holmes-anime.com/td/
Animation Studio: J.C. Staff (Golden Time) / Nomad (Kampfer)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu: Izumi Kitta, Suzuko Mimori, Mikoi Sasaki, Sora Tokui, Yoshino Nanjou, Emi Nitta
Director: Hiroshi Nishikiori (Azumanga Diaoh, A Certain Magical Index)
PV:

Summary: Sequel to the Futari wa Milky Holmes TV anime.

In the story, the Great Era of Detectives — when detectives and thieves with a power known as “Toys” compete — has given way to the Great Era of Idols. However, someone starts stealing the idols’ songs in Yokohama. When super idol Marine Amagi’s hit song “Kiseki no Uta” (Miracle’s Song) is stolen, she enlists the detectives of Milky Holmes.

I had no idea Milky Holmes was still a thing………apparently there are idols now?

The iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls

Website: http://imas-cinderella.com/
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures (Your Lie in April, Nanana’s Buried Treasure)
Japanese Airdate: 10th January 2015
Seiyuu: Ayaka Ohashi, Sayuri Hara, Ayaka Fukuhara, Natsumi Takamori, Nozomi Yamamoto
Director: Noriko Takao
Series Composition: Tatsuya Takahashi
PV: http://youtu.be/OidmQaxneUY

Summary: TV anime adaptation of The IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls mobile game. As of 2012, the idol-raising mobile game earns approximately 1 billion yen each month, and has more than four million users. The game has inspired a line of goods, various manga adaptations, and over 30 character song singles. The first five character song singles released ranked in the top 10 on the weekly Oricon charts.

The iDOLM@STER franchise follows the arduous struggle of the 13 girls from Talent Production 765 who dream of one day becoming idols in the competitive Japanese entertainment industry.

I will never understand the appeal of the Idolm@ster franchise, but apparently it is doing something right to generate that amount of money and spin-offs.

Yoru no Yatterman (Yatterman of the Night)


Website: http://yatterman.jp/
Animation Studio: Tatsunoko Production (Gatchaman Crowds, Ping Pong)
Japanese Airdate: January 2015
Seiyuu:
Director:
PV:

Summary: New TV anime produced in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Time Bokan franchise.

In a remote land, there was a girl who gazed beyond the ocean. The land was Yatterman Kingdom. It is said that it is a heavenly land controlled by the Yattermen, the allies of justice. In order to save her sick mother, the girl attempted to land in Yatterman Kingdom to ask for help. However, she was turned away, and her mother passed away without anyone to give her charity.
Doronbo: One of the bands of great thieves. There was a beautiful girl named Doronjo working under a boss named Dokurobeh. Her lackies were two men named Boyacky and Tonzuraa. The Doronbo fight with Yattermen, and within the fray, the team is banished to a remote land.
This is the story of a new generation of Doronbos. Doronjo, Boyacky, and Tonzura, as well as the story of the birth of Gan-chan and Ai-chan as Yattermen.

I have had no experience of Time Boken or Yatterman before – if this actually gets subbed (hopefully someone will pick it up for streaming) this seems like a great opportunity to get into it.

 

Specials / OVAs

 

Tsukimonogatari (Possession Story)

Website: http://www.monogatari-series.com/tsukimonogatari/
Animation Studio: SHAFT (Arakawa Under the Bridge, Maria+Holic)
Japanese Airdate: 31st December 2014
Seiyuu: Hiroshi Kamiya, Saori Hayami
Director: Akiyuki Simbo (Madoka Magica) Tomoyuki Itamura (Monogatari Series)
Series Composition: Fuyashi Tou (Monogatari Series, Madoka Magica films)
PV: http://youtu.be/C2_6DNW74_M

Summary: First story in the “Final Season” of NisiOisin’s Monogatatari series. All four episodes will air consecutively.

Tsukimonogatari focuses on the character Yotsugi Ononoki.

I’m sort of burned out on the Monogatari series at this stage, but I’ve watched every one of these stories so far, so I’m not going to bail now……..I am pretty determined to get to see that mythical Kizumonogatari film!

Tales of Zestiria: Doushi no Yoake (Dawn of the Fon Master)

Website: http://toz.tales-ch.jp/special/tvspecial.php
Animation Studio: ufotable (Kara no Kyoukai, Fate/Stay Night UBW)
Japanese Airdate: 30th December 2014
Seiyuu: Ryohei Kimura, Ryota Ohsaka, Ai Kayano
PV: http://youtu.be/LdkSqb670JI

Summary: Anime special of the PS3 game.

Think this is just a glorified advertisement for the game.  God knows what it is about.

Yamada-kun to Nananin no Majo (Yamada and the Seven Witches)

Website: http://www.yamajo-anime.com/
Animation Studio: LIDEN FILMS (Terra Formars, Miss Monochrome)
Japanese Airdate: 17th December 2014
Seiyuu: Ryota Ohsaka, Saori Hayami, Aoi Yūki, Daisuke Ono, Eri Kitamura, Maaya Uchida
Director: Tomoki Takuno
PV:

Summary: Two episode OVA of Miki Yoshikawa’s manga series.

The story begins when Yamada, the high school’s worst problem child, bumps into the beautiful honour student Shiraishi on the stairs, and their lips touch as they fall. When they regain their wits, they realise that they have swapped bodies. As time progresses, the two realise that this is not the only mysterious thing happening in the school.

I think this manga is pretty popular but the synopsis isn’t really keying me into why.  I believe the mangaka is penning an original story for one of these OVAs.

Kono Danshi, Sekika ni Nayandemasu (This Boy, Is Worrying About Turning to Stone)

Website: http://www.konodan.com/crystal
Japanese Airdate: 3rd December 2014
Seiyuu: Daisuke Hirakawa, Shouta Aoi
Original Creator, Screenplay & Director: Soubi Yamamoto (This Boy Can Fight Aliens, Meganebu!)
PV: http://youtu.be/OOThRUGl8QY

Summary: Latest instalment of Soubi Yamamoto’s ‘Kono Danshi’ BL series.

The story revolves around high school boy Ayumu Tamari, who has an illness that makes him start to turn to stone when he’s stressed. Since he couldn’t fit in with his class, after repeating a year, he declared that he wanted to have a “Sparkly youth” as well. To do this, he changed his hair and clothes to be more fashionable, and constantly checked for popular topics to stay in the know. In the midst of Ayumu’s life of making a facade, his homeroom teacher and stone-loving geology teacher Kouya Onihara says that Ayumu’s stone transformation is beautiful. Ayumu begins to become attracted to Kouya, who starts to give him advice.

I love Soubi Yamamoto’s stories, they’re so unusual!  These Kono Danshi episodes are just beautiful – wonderful direction and really pretty artwork.  I’m so hyped for this latest instalment.

DRAMAtical Murder: Data_xx_Transitory

Website: http://dmmd-anime.com/
Animation Studio: NAZ (Hamatora)
Japanese Airdate: 24th December 2014
Seiyuu: Atsushi Kisaichi, Hiroki Takahashi, Masatomo Nakazawa, Ryota Takeuchi, Satoshi Hino
Director: Kazuya Miura
PV: http://youtu.be/7R5FX7lwmPE

Summary: Thirty minute OVA for Nitro+CHiRAL‘s BL adventure game.

In the story, Aoba wakes up in a mysterious place. Someone who looks just like Aoba is sitting there, and he says, “This is all the result of what you caused.” As if in response to his words, shifting visions of friends appear before Aoba’s eyes, one after another. Is this really a dream, an illusion, or something else…?

Basically this is all the bad endings from the game and the BL elements that got removed from the TV airing.  Probably would be better to skip the series and just watch the OVA.

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

And we’re done!  Think there is a sequel for everyone this season, and a handful of new shows that may be worth having a look at – could be a fairly decent season.

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

As ever expect first impressions spam to take over the blog at the start of January after all the end of year recap madness is over.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. November 26, 2014 12:32 am

    Excellent post, as always… just a shame about the content!😛 It looks as though I chose a good season to cut down my weekly viewing even further. Assuming Shirobako, Yowapeda and Parasyte continue, and nothing else, I’ll likely pick up seven winter series:

    Aldnoah.Zero 2 – Loved the production values for the first series, anything besides eye- and ear-candy is just a bonus.

    Durarara!!x2 – It’s been a while, so I’ll have to try and fit the first series into my current rewatching spree at some point!

    Tokyo Ghoul 2 – Looking forward to the new and improved Kaneki!😀 Some conclusion to the arc that the first series finished right in the middle of will be nice, too.

    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc – The title just keeps getting longer…

    Ansatsu Kyoushitsu – Suppose I should give something completely new a chance.😛 I’m hoping and expecting this will be great, personally.

    Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! – What’s not to like, indeed? I’ve got room for one guilty pleasure, at least.

    Yuri Kuma Arashi – As long as the fanservice doesn’t kill it for me. Hoping this will be as wacky as it sounds, but with an interesting story and characters to go with it.

    The rest pretty much blurred into one, horrendously generic mess in my mind as I worked my way through the list. Hopefully I’ll have something more constructive to say about them all when I come to write my own preview.😕

    • November 26, 2014 4:06 pm

      Some awesome & exciting sequels, but yeah, rest of the seasons offerings are all a bit samey – only a few stand out…..like the mahou shounen show which I am super excited for!

  2. November 26, 2014 1:39 am

    Nice preview list! Although, a rather small season this time compared to the fall or summer one, there doesn’t seem to be many fine animes this season, except for a few + the sequels.

    The sequels are a must.

    • November 26, 2014 4:08 pm

      Winter & Summer are traditionally smaller seasons but I think this one looks particularly small since it is 50% sequels / franchises

  3. November 26, 2014 3:31 am

    Heh, I wonder how many other people are like, “Hell, I’ve watched this much—I’m gonna see Kizu even if it kills me!”

    And DRRR!! (!!!!!!!!!!). Enough said there, I think.

    • November 26, 2014 9:55 pm

      Been looking forward to Kizu since Bakemonogatari it better be sensational!

  4. November 26, 2014 6:19 am

    Durarara. MY BODY IS READY.

    • November 26, 2014 4:09 pm

      I am so fecking hyped for Drrr!! Come back to me Izaya!!

  5. November 26, 2014 4:11 pm

    Wow, Winter 2015 looks pretty lame. The only two shows which caught my interest are Rolling Girls and the sequel to Aldnoah.Zero. The nice thing about the dearth of original shows is that I get to work on my anime backlog.

    • November 26, 2014 4:27 pm

      That is the silver lining of a quiet season. Whereas I have masses of sequels to keep me busy.

  6. November 27, 2014 2:32 am

    So ready for Tokyo Ghoul 2 and Kamisama Kiss 2. Although Tales of Zestiria: Doushi no Yoake (Dawn of the Fon Master) looks awesome!

    I am almost salivating at the animation by Ufotable. So wonderful.

    • November 27, 2014 9:53 pm

      Ufotable do beautiful animation – that is about the only thing that is keeping me watching F/SN UBW this season.

  7. higgsbosoff permalink
    November 27, 2014 5:40 pm

    How can one not watch something that goes by the title of “Lesbian bear storm”? It also sounds like Attack on Titan except with 100% more lesbians and bears. That must be worth something.

    It kinda embodies the answer to the question “why do you keep watching anime?” for me, really. Because honestly, which other media would ever pull off something so absolutely, completely, balls-out-of-the-park fuck-crazy as this as if it was perfectly normal?

    • November 27, 2014 9:54 pm

      Ikuhara really has a way with titles!

      But yes I completely agree that it is this kind of madness that keeps me coming back to anime. No other kind of entertainment can quite pull these crazy concepts off.

  8. December 10, 2014 11:56 am

    Nice list! I didn’t watch a lot of Anime this year since I challenged myself on reading Manga instead. I’m definitely gonna watch Kamisama Kiss and Durara next year!

    • December 15, 2014 7:13 pm

      Durarara!! is definitely worth watching – I have a lot of love for that series.

  9. April 2, 2015 3:35 pm

    it’s weird..
    why i cant seem to find death parade written here?

    • April 2, 2015 3:36 pm

      It was confirmed for Winter very late – after I posted my preview unfortunately.

      • April 5, 2015 2:46 pm

        i see.., thanks for replying ^^
        BTW its a very good list i appreciate it
        and i love this site xxx holic and tsubasa chronicle pictures

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