Part 2 of zee list.
Major season 6- The sixth season (wow) of the anime adaptation of Mitsuya Takuda's popular shounen manga about a boy named Honda Goro, who wants to become a professional baseball player like his father Shigeharu. Major follows Goro from his early childhood through adulthood as he strives to make his dream come true, especially after a horrible tragedy happens to his family. (Augh- what a way to die...don't want to spoil it for other people, even though I already spoiled it for myself via Wikipedia.) I haven't seen any episodes of Major, although now that it's on my radar, I would like to try it eventually. It's also being directed by Kasai Kenichi, and some famous seiyuu names are sprinkled among the (really, really) enormous side cast- Noto Mamiko, Paku Romi, Ohara Sayaka, Ueda Kana, Kugimiya Rie, and Satou Rina.
Mayoi Neko Overrun!- "The story revolves around Takumi Tsuzuki, a boy who lives with his older "sister" Otome, although the two have no blood ties between them. [Uh oh, I see where this is going... And who names their daughter "Otome"?] Otome manages a run-down confectionary store called Stray Cats. One day, Otome picks up a mysterious beautiful girl off the streets."
I'm sure I won't be following this one, even though it has the most...memorable trailer this season. ^^; Horie Yui, Tamura Yukari, Itou Kanae, Taketatsu Ayana, and Satou Satomi have roles.
Ookiku Furikabutte ~Natsu no Taikai-hen~- The second season of "Oofuri" (released on R1 DVD as Big Windup!), based on Higuchi Asa's prize-winning manga series being serialized in Afternoon (the same seinen magazine that runs Octave and Aa! Megami-sama!). I really expected it to be running in a shounen magazine. It's about Mihashi Ren, a high school freshman who loves baseball but doesn't think that he can play well. (He was the ace pitcher at his middle school, but only, seemingly, because his grandfather owned the school.) After transferring to Nishiura High School, he joins the baseball team there and makes friends with his new teammates as they compete together in baseball. Since the subtitle for the new season is "~Summer Tournament Chapter~", I guess season 2 will cover some...summer tournaments. I haven't seen any episodes of the first season, even though I've heard really good things about it. I do want to see it, though. ^^ Fukuyama Jun has a role.
Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin- This series is going to be really depressing... It's based on Abe George and Kakizaki Masasumi's long-running shounen manga set in 1955 about a group of six boys who get sent to a reformatory school, where they endure a lot of crappy treatment and meet an older student who teaches them about friendship. I'll pass.
Ring ni Kakero 1: Shadow- The third season of a show based on Kurumada Masami's classic manga (it ran from 1977 to 1981, which explains the art style) about a boy named Ryuji who competes in boxing tournaments to fulfill his dead father's wish, with his sister Kiku as his coach. It sounds like it's filled with special boxing techniques and crazy shounen-tournament antagonists with names like "The Dark Emperor of the South" and "The Shadow Clan" (just so you know that they're the antagonists). I haven't seen the first two seasons (don't really want to), so this is a pass. Tanaka Rie plays Kiku. (Darn it, why isn't she in a show that I want to watch?)
Sarai-ya Goyou- I'm really looking forward to this one. ^^ It's based on a manga by Ono Natsume, who is most well known as the creator of Ristorante Paradiso. (Which, yes, I liked quite a bit.) Sarai-ya Goyou is about Masanosuke Akitsu, a ronin who encounters Yaichi, the charismatic leader of a group of bandits known as the "Five Leaves", while traveling to Edo. Yaichi asks Masanosuke to be his bodyguard, hoping that he'll permanently join the group. Masanosuke "is reluctant to help them, but as grows closer to his eccentric new companions, he learns to relate to them and grow as a person in the process." A PV can be seen here. This show will air in Fuji TV's noitaminA programming block.
Bonus Trivia: Sarai-ya Goyou is currently running in Ikki magazine, the alternative seinen magazine that's also running Nakamura Ching's Gunjo.
Volume 1 of the Sarai-ya Goyou manga is also being released in English this May. (Titled House of Five Leaves in English.)
Senkou no Night Raid- The second series airing in TV Tokyo and Aniplex's Anime no Chikara programming block, after So-Ra-No-Wo-To ends. "The story is set in Shanghai in 1931, when the Imperial Japanese Army has been dispatched to mainland China due to the relatively recent First Sino-Japanese War, Russo-Japanese War, and World War I. In this cosmopolitan city of intrigue, there is a special military spy organization called "Sakurai Kikan" that has since been buried in history." What a coincidence- I recently read a few literary works related to Japan's early 20th century imperialism in China for my Japanese lit class ("Writing, Japan, and Otherness"). The synopsis already sounds kind of problematic (I know that it's an animated television series, but still), but I'll see how it is. PVs are available here.
Shin Koihime Musou: Otome Tairan- A third season of Romance of the Three Kingdoms-ish moe-service-yuri hijinks. A PV (that doesn't really show anything new) can be seen here.
Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru-When I read the title ("Betrayal Knows My Name") and saw the promo artwork, I instantly thought of Odagiri Hotaru's Only The Ring Finger Knows- and what do you know, UwBnNoS is based on another BL manga by the same author. It's about Sakurai Yuki, a first-year high school student whose mother left him in an orphanage after he was born. Because of that, Yuki is afraid of getting close to anyone. He has the power to read people's feelings while touching them, and a mysterious young man named Zess saves his life. (From what, I don't know.) He feels like they've met before, even though he isn't sure where. I'm not too interested in watching this- the plot sounds like an amalgamation of at least several other shoujo titles that I've read (and Only The Ring Finger Knows bored me), but I might give it a try. Ono Daisuke, Fukuyama Jun, Koyasu Takehito, Sakurai Takahiro, and Miyano Mamoru have roles.
Working!!- I've already written here a few times about this slice-of-life romantic comedy taking place in a family restaurant. I'm definitely checking it out. Several PVs are currently available. Shiraishi Ryouko, Itou Shizuka, Fukuyama Jun, Hikasa Youko, Ono Daisuke, and Kitamura Eri have roles.
Yojou-Han Shinwa Taitei- The other new series airing in noitaminA. It's an adaptation of Morimi Tomihiko's novels about "a nameless protagonist who is a third-year college student. The protagnoist looks back at the earlier years of his college life and his adventures with a particular circle (club)." It looks like the protagonist simply refers to himself as "Watashi", a la Kokoro. At Japanese universities, circles are kind of like clubs, only they're more casual/tend to require less formal commitment, if that isn't too vague.
Oh! And Sakamoto Maaya is playing one of the circle members! ^___^ Kaida Yuko also has a role. I'll definitely give this series a try. A PV is available here.
It looks like we have a good spring season coming up. ^^ I'm looking forward to it!