Saturday, November 21, 2009

Winter 2010 Anime Season

Once again, for fun, I'll try to predict the good, the bad, and the ugly for next season. It doesn't look like there will be much new of yuri interest- although Railgun will be airing through the winter season, with its 24 episode run (yay!)-, but there are some promising-looking new shows. Here's the run-down for winter 2010, in alphabetical order:
  • Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu:

     high school students summon chibi versions of themselves to fight one another, drawing battle lines based on who belongs to which class. Even though it's based on a light novel series, it feels like a cheap ero-game adaptation (judging from the trailer), with a bland male lead and an assortment of bishoujo game stereotypes passing for a female cast. Pass.

  • Chu-Bra!!: a series about underwear. It should please its intended audience. Definite pass.

  • Dance in the Vampire Bund:

    SHAFT's newest offering, with Shinbo Akiyuki at the helm (how many series has SHAFT animated without him?). The trailer looks kind of cool, but also potentially creepy (not in a good way). Here's hoping that Shinbo Akiyuki steers this series towards the former, and minimizes the latter. (Otherwise, pass for me.) Two of the characters are being played by Saito Chiwa (Miyako in Sasameki Koto, Senjougahara in Bakemonogatari, Aika in Aria, Chiyo in Strawberry Panic, Mami in Marimite, etc) and Itou Shizuka (Nadie in El Cazador, Rei in Marimite, Hisa in Saki, etc).

  • Durarara!!:

    The plot for this one is difficult to summarize in one to two lines (which is why I'm being lazy and linking to the ANN encyclopedia above). By the original creator and studio behind Baccano! The trailer looks pretty cool (with slick animation), and the plot sounds intriguing. The one negative is that one of the character designs reaaaally bothers me. It's a problem that I've noticed in other series as well- some anime and manga artists really can't draw black characters to save their lives. Tagaki Ayaki (Sumi in Sasameki Koto, Nene in CANAAN, and Ein in Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~), Ono Daisuke (Sebastian in Kuroshitsuji, Yukito in Air, Battler in Umineko no Naku Koro ni), Fukuyama Jun (Lelouch in Code Geass, Rikuo in Eve no Jikan, Grell in Kuroshitsuji, Kyou in Saki, Albert in Gankutsuou), and Miyano Mamoru (Tamaki in Ouran, Eiji in Antique Bakery, Light in Death Note, Zero in Vampire Knight) have roles.

  •  Hanamaru Kindergarten:

    A slice-of-life comedy about a group of kindergarteners and their teachers. The art is cute, but it sounds pretty dull. Gainax is animating it, though, so I'll probably still check out an episode. Takagaki Ayaki is also playing one of the characters; nice to see her getting more work.

  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3:

    Like the earlier HaruToki series, about a high school girl being transported to another world, made the priestess of a beast-god (this time it's Hakuryū, the White Dragon), and tasked with saving that world with a bevy of bishonen. What I saw of the original Harukanaru was okay for what it was, despite its plot having been lifted straight from a certain other famous shoujo series. I'll check this one out because Kawakami Tomoko (Utena in Shoujo Kakumei Utena, Athena in Aria, Sayuri in Kanon, and a gajillion other roles- including Akane from the original HaruToki) is playing the lead.

  • Hidamari Sketchx☆☆☆:

    More fun with the residents of Hidamari Sou. ^^ I still need to finish the second and third seasons before starting this one, though. @_@ With Goto Yuko (Mikuru in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, Tsubael in Blue Drop, Anya in Code Geass) as Hiro, Shintani Ryoko (Aoi in Mai-Hime and Mai-Otome, Jan Puu in Kashimashi, Nami in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Kaori in Saki) as Sae, Sawashiro Miyuki (Canaan in CANAAN, Hagino in Blue Drop, Suruga in Bakemonogatari, Chie in Eve no Jikan, Shinku in Rozen Maiden, Ayane in Kimi ni Todoke, Lag Seeing in Tegami Bachi) as the Landlady, and Kugimiya Rie (Touko in Marimite, Al in FMA, Yuuki in Saki, Shana in Shakugan no Shana) as Chika.

  • Katanagatari:

    About the seventh-generation head of a medieval school of martial arts; he embarks on a journey with his sister to find the last twelve swords forged by a legendary swordsmith. The plot sounds like it could quickly grow banal, but it's based on a light novel series by Ishin Nishio (same guy who wrote the Bakemonogatari light novels) and the art style looks pretty interesting, so it's worth checking out. ^^ Trailers can be viewed here.

  • Ladies versus Butlers:

    about a high school student who enrolls into a prestigious academy, but is placed in the school's servant-training department (ouch). The students there are trained to be maids or butlers, and the protagonist finds himself caught in the bickering between them. Based on the art alone, I was completely ready to pass on this show...but...but...Kawasumi Ayako (Chikane in KnM, Osaka in Azumanga Daioh, Ohno in Genshiken, Saber in Fate/stay night, Nodame in Nodame Cantabile, Matsuri in Ichigo Mashimaro) is playing one of the leads! > < *sob* I'll see how long I last with this one... Oh, and Nakahara Mai (Nagisa in Strawberry Panic, Mai in Mai-Hime and Mai-Otome, Rena in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Nagisa in Clannad, Sugimoto Kuri in Aoi Hana), Koshimizu Ami (Kanako in Marimite, Nodoka in Saki, Horo in Spice and Wolf, Tenma in School Rumble), and Kugimiya Rie have roles also.

  • Nodame Cantabile Finale:

    Omg, the final season!!! *squeals* You already know if you want to see it. ^_^ *raises hand* Plus, as always, Kawasumi Ayako❤ plays Nodame as the icing on this delectable (Kasai Kenichi-directed♡ shoot, my mistake, > < NCF is being directed by Kon Chiaki) cake. Trailer found here. (Just click the red circle in the top-left corner.)

  • Ōkamikakushi:

    About a high school boy who moves to a small town in the mountains that is separated into new and old streets by a river. The only person who keeps her distance from him is a member of his class committee, who warns him to "stay away from the old streets." It's based on a new game by Ryukishi07 (of Higurashi and Umineko fame, so automatic must-watch for me XD), with character designs by Peach-Pit. The plot sounds intriguing, although reminiscent of Higurashi. It may not necessarily be good, but it'll almost definitely be weird and entertaining. :) Plus, Kobayashi Yuu (Yumi in Saki, Satoshi in Higurashi, Kanon in Umineko, Setsuna in all of the Negima series), Katou Emiri (Kiyori in Sasameki Koto, Kagami in Lucky Star, Meirin in Kuroshitsuji, Mayoi in Bakemonogatari), and Goto Yuko have roles.

  • Omamori Himari:

    About a high school boy who's protected by a sword-wielding cat girl spirit named Himari. Protected from what, I have no idea. The ANN encyclopedia entry labels this one as a "harem" title, and the promo art point in that direction, so guess more girls will fall for our hapless lead. Koshimizu Ami is playing Himari, but I don't have enough love for her to force myself to watch a crappy show.

  • Rose O'Neill Kewpie:

    a series of 26 episodes, each spanning 5 minutes. Made to celebrate the 100th anniversary of American artist Rose O'Neill's Kewpie doll character. The episodes will be narrated by pop idol and actress Hirosue Ryoko, and models Sasaki Nozomi and Anne. Yeah...I don't get it either. I'll check out an episode (hey, 5 minutes) for the novelty.

  • Seikon no Qwaser:

    The promo art looks kind of cool, but be forewarned. It's about a high school boy attending an elite school in which students fight one another, and derive power through...breast milk. Based on a manga written by Yoshino Hiroyuki (who wrote the terrible Mai-Otome manga; although to be fair, he did do the series composition for Mai-Hime and Mai-Otome, both of which I love) and drawn by Satou Kenetsu (who did the art for the crappy Mai-Hime and Mai-Otome manga series). Includes Shimizu Ai (Mikoto in Mai-Hime and Mai-Otome, Tamao and Kizuna in Strawberry Panic, Hajime in Saki, Ellis in El Cazador), Hirano Aya (Haruhi in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, Konata in Lucky Star, Reira in NANA), Takagaki Ayahi, and...Kawasumi Ayako. I don't want to associate Kawasumi with searing pain, so I'll probably still pass on this.

  • So-Ra-No-Wo-To:

    Set in the future in a land that is in decline as a result of long-lasting war. A 15 year-old girl realizes her dream of signing up for the military, and joins a unit of five that is put in charge of protecting a fortress. Together, the girls "play music that reverberate across the skies over towns without people and seas without fish" (according to the description in an ANN article). It kind of sounds like a dystopian K-ON! (even has similar character designs). lol But I like K-ON!, so it works. :P It could be good. Plus, Kobayashi Yuu has another role in it. A trailer and more promo pics can be seen here.

And that's it. Here's hoping for a good winter anime season! ^^


Ghost In The Shell said...

I think I'll be watching Seikon no Qwaser (really liked the art), Ōkamikakushi and Dance in the Vampire Bund.

I feel like watching Nodame Cantabile, too. But I need to start from the beginning. Didn't watch any season haha

Katherine said...

@ Ghost In The Shell- Nodame Cantabile's a fantastic series- excellent writing, characterization, music (of course), and art (it isn't the most lush-looking art in the world, but it has a warm, distinctive style that fits the series like a glove). Plus it's funny. ^^ If you ever get the chance, you should definitely check it out!

Nelligrand said...

Definitely looking forward to Durarara!! and So-ra-no-wo-to. "Dystopian K-ON!" is a concept that's too good to pass up on and the music in the trailer is wonderful. <3

Might watch Ladies versus Butlers too, could be amusing, could also be one of those shows that's terrible but you just can't stop watching.

Snark said...

"A slice-of-life comedy about a group of kindergarteners...I'll probably still check out an episode."

Don't! I've read the manga, it's even more pedophilic then the usual kiddyporn that Japan churns out!

Katherine said...

@ Nelligrand- Agreed. XD Ladies vs Butlers may be crap, but it'll hopefully be the "I'm going to switch off my brain, pop open a drink, and bask in the unintentionally hilarious wtf-crappiness of this series"-type.

@ Snark- Oh...that's dismaying to hear. I generally look forward to trying Gainax titles (although a series about kindergarteners and their teachers seemed like an odd choice for an adaptation by Gainax in the first place, since it sounds, again, pretty dull).

darkchibi07 said...

@ Snark

Really? I heard it's almost like Kodomo no Jikan without the sexual pedo overtones of the male teacher (I heard he doesn't give a damn on what one of girls do to adavance o him).

P.S. said...

Once again, I find myself enjoying the Hayate X Blade fanart you found.

For some reason, I imagine that Hitsugi is in the background of that picture. Dressed up as father christmas no less.

Katherine said...

@ P.S.- Glad you like the fan art! Yes, Hitsugi would add an extra level of win. ^__^