Spring 2012 Anime Preview Makes Me Feel Old

A few weeks ago I completed work on the Spring preview on Anime UK News. There are something like 33 shows getting a premiere in April and most of them consist of bishōnen, ecchi, moe and other elements that I dislike. Looking over the list I felt alienated.

I can’t tell if the high presence of such elements is a cynical marketing ploy to guarantee sales of DVDs, body pillows and other assorted merchandise to an otaku audience or a sign of creative bankruptcy but I felt alienated. I grew up watching Vampire Princess Miyu, Patlabor, Ninja Scroll and Dominion Tank Police – a diverse range of shows that catered for a large audience and provided great stories and characters to boot. I know I’m not the primary audience for anime but I do like to support the industry by buying titles an so I would like to see more shows aimed at a more intelligent and discerning audience who don’t want to see bouncing breasts and crotch-shots or moe girl assault rifles. I guess what I’m saying is I’d like more seinen shows like Monster, Master Keaton, Paranoia Agent and Berserk (I got on the bandwagon rather late with this one!). At the end of this post there will be a collecton of AMV’s using old school anime which will reveal a tiny fragment of what I grew up watching in the 90’s. Ugh, I feel so old.

It’s not all doom and gloom because there are some genuinely interesting shows which I’ll probably watch for at least one episode. Here are my picks of the shows that don’t look so bad! How underwhelming.

Accel World

Accel World Anime Image

I’m willing to give this one a shot base on the trailer alone. The subject matter doesn’t really blow me away but it comes from studio Sunrise and I’m open to anything they make.

Synopsis:

The story of Accel World takes place in 2046 and follows bullied middle school student Haruyuki who encounters Kuroyukihime, the prettiest girl in school. She hands him a mysterious piece of software which turns Haruyuki from the weakest of the school caste to the strongest, a “Burst Linker,” a knight defending a princess.

Staff: Masakazu Obara (Director), Hiroyuki Yoshino (Series Composition), KOTOKO (Theme Song), May’n (Theme Song)

Voice Actors: Sachika Misawa, Yuki Kaji, Aki Toyosaki, Shintaro Asanuma

Studio: Sunrise

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia Anime

I’m currently in love with Another and the prospecct of more atmospheric supernatural stories is too good to be missed.

Synopsis:

The story takes place in Seikyou Academy, an old school which has been undergone numerous renovations over the years and has become labyrinthine. It is also the site of strange events and well-known ghost stories including a mystery surrounding how a girl named Yuuko died due to a mysterious occurrence. One day, while lost in the school, a freshman named Niiya Teiichi stumbles into Yuuko. He has the ability to see her in spirit form and he listens to her story about how she became a ghost and lost all of her memories and vows that he together they seek the cause of her death with the help of a mystery solving club set up by Niiya.

Staff: Shin Ōnuma (Director), Katsuhiko Takayama (Series Composition), Yukiko Ban (Character Design, Chief Aniation Director), Konomi Suzuki (Theme Song)

Voice Actors: Yumi Hara, Eri Kitamura, Tsubasa Yonaga, Misato Fukuen

Studio: Silver Link

Eureka Seven Ao

Eureka 7 Astral Ocean Anime Ad

Haven’t wathed the original Eureka Seven but I liked the look of this trailer so I might give this one a shot.

Synopsis:

Eureka Seven Ao has follows to major protagonists: Ao Fukai is a kid on the island of Iwado. His mother and father are missing and he lives with an old doctor named Toshio and he’s about to enter middle school. Naru Arata is Ao’s friend. She lives with her father, older sister, and grandmother. She also has a “Yuta” power awakened within her due to an incident when she was young. She might need to use her power because a mysterious creature is attacking the Scrub Coral life-form on the island and Ao is part of a Japanese military fight-back.

Staff: Tomoki Kyoda, Kenichi Yoshida, Yasushi Muraki, Shoji Kawamori

Voice Actors: Yuutaro Honjou, Kanako Miyamoto

Studio: Bones

Haiyoru! Nyaruko-Chan

Nyaruko Cthulhu Anime

I’m a big Lovecraft fan so I’m willing to give this show a go even if the Cthulhu mythos has been given a moe make-over.

Synopsis:

Nyaruko is the formless Cthulhu type deity of chaos known as Nyarlathotep who takes the form of a silver-haired girl. Mahiro Yasaka is a normal high school boy. One night Mahiro is chased by aliens when Nyaruko steps in.

Staff: Tsuyoshi Nagasawa (Director), Noburo Kimura (Script, Series Composition), MONACA (Music)

Voice Actors: Kana Asumi (Nyarlko), Eri Kitamura (Mahiro), Matsuki Miyu (Cthuko)

Studio: Xebec

Hyou-ka: You Can’t Escape

Hyouka Anime

Yet another high school setting but this one has an interesting story.

Synopsis:

Oreki Hotaro is a passive high school boy who enters the classic literature club as recommended by his older sister. There he meets a Chitanda Eru, Fukube Satoshi and Ibara Mayaka and together they investigate a mysterious case from thirty years earlier which involved previous members of the club.

Staff: Yasuhiro Takemoto (Director), Futoshi Nishiya (Character Design), Kouhei Tanaka (Music), Honobu Yonezawa (Original Creator)

Voice Actors: Satomi Satou, Daisuke Sakaguchi, Ai Kayano, Yuuichi Nakamura

Studio: Kyoto Animation

Mysterious Girlfriend X

Mysterious Girlfriend X Anime

Oh look, another anime set in a high school. The synopsis is so strange that I’ll give the first episode a glance.

Synopsis:

Tsubaki is your relatively normal high school kid until he meets a strange transfer student named Mikoto Urabe who is antisocial and likes to sleep during class breaks. One day, Tusbaki tries to wake her up and accidentally tastes her drool and becomes addicted to it… which leads to him going out with her and discovering more about her which includes her second hobby of carrying around scissors in her panties and cutting paper into flowers.

Staff: Ayumu Watanabe (Director), Deko Akao (Series Composition), Kenichi Konishi (Character Designs)

Voice Actors: Nobuhiko Okamoto, Chiaki Omigawa

Studio: Hoods Entertainment

Natsuiro Kiseki /Summer Coloured Miracle

Natsuiro Kiseki - Summer Coloured Miracle

Oh look another high… you get the picture. It has Seiji Mizushima in the director’s chair and I enjoyed his last anime which was Un-Go a lot.

Synopsis: N/A

Staff: Seiji Mizushima (Director), Sadayuki Murai (Script), Tatsuhiko Urahata (Script, Series Composition), Hiromi Kikuta (Sound Director)

Voice Actors: Sphere – Minako Kotobuki, Haruka Tomatsu, Ayahi Takagaki, Aki Toyosaki

Studio: Sunrise

Ozuma

Ozuma Anime Image

Adult story? Character designs reminiscent of Leiji Matsumoto’s best work? Interesting setting? Yes to all three. Oh hell yeah! This one looks so damn interesting.

Synopsis:

Set on a future earth where the environment has been wrecked by the sun’s radiation, the main protagonist is Sam Coin, a trader in one of Earth’s many deserts. When he saves the life of a beautiful woman named Maya he finds himself chased by government forces and their cloned soldier named “Ideal Children”.

Staff: Ryosuke Takahashi (Director), Takahiro Ikezoe (Director), Junki Takegami (Script), F.T. Island (Theme Song

Voice Actors: Tetsuya Kakihara, Atsuko Tanaka, Rie Tanaka, Takurou Nakakuni

Studio: LandQ Studios

Sakamichi no Apollon

The Kids from the Hill Anime

I listen to Jazz as my review for Chico & Rita revealed and this project ssees Shinichiro Watanabe reunite with Yoko Kanno for the first time since the awesome Cowboy Bebop movie.

Synopsis:

It is the 1960s and the story focuses on Kaoru Nishimi, a smart but naïve young boy who has had to move around Japan a lot due to his father’s job. His circumstances make him something of an outcast but at his latest school he starts to get close with class president, Mukae Ritsuko, and bad boy Sentaro Kawabuchi who tends to skip class and get into fights. What unites the three is their shared love of jazz!

Staff: Shinichiro Watanabe (Director), Yoko Kanno (Music), Yuki Nobuteru (Character Design), Yoshimitsu Yamashita (Chief Animation Director), Ayako Kato (Script), Yuko Kakihara (Script)

Voice Actors: N/A

Studio: Studio Tezuka, MAPPA

Saki: Achiga-hen – Episode of Side-A

Achiga AnimeI’m hoping this turns out like Kaiji with extreme imagination used to make a game that would bore audiences look exciting. I’ll give this one a shot.

Synopsis:

The Achiga Girls’ Academy once had a mighty mah-jong club but it was disbanded after a defeat. Shizuno Takakamo wants to revive it after being inspired by her friend Nodoka Haramura and her achievements which are broadcast on television.

Staff: Manabu Ono (Director), Kenji Setou (Co-director), Tatsuhiko Urahata (Series Composition), Ritz Kobayashi (Original Creator)

Voice Actors: Nao Touyama, Kana Hanazawa, MAKO

Studio: Studio Gokumi/Lantis

Sengoku Collection

Sengoku Collection Anime

Synopsis:

This historical anime story takes place during the tumultuous period of Japan’s history known as the Sengoku Era. Various factions strive for power and part of this struggle is the search for treasures that contain God of War Cards. Two major figures from this period are Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu. And they have both been reimagined as female versions!

Staff: Keiji Gotou (Director), Shinjuurou Mitaka (Series Composition)

Voice Actors: N/A

Studio: Brains Base, NAS

Space Brothers

Space Brothers

The live-action film is coming out just after this gets a premiere so I’ll watch a bit of the anime just so I have extra to talk about when posting trailers and what not.

Synopsis:

Two brothers, the eldest named Mutta and the youngest named Hibito, once saw what they thought was a UFO heading to the moon and decide to become astronauts. Only Hibito makes it while Mutta lives a traditional life working for a car company. Until he gets fired and finds it hard to get a job. Mutta decides to reignite his dreams.

Staff: Ayumu Watanabe (Director), Chuuya Koyama (Original Creator), Toshiyuki Watanabe (Music), Kato Hiroshi (Art Director)

Voice Actors: Kenn, Hiroaki Hirata, Masako Ikeda, Miyuki Sawashiro

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Tsuritama

Tsuritama Anime

Tsuritama is directed by Kenji Nakamura who helmed the awesome Mononoke so I’ll definitely watch the first episode.

Synopsis:

Adolescence, sci-fi and fishing – Tsuritama concerns the lives of four high school boys on the island of Enoshima. The first, Yuki Sanada, lives with his French grandmother and is uncommunicative and has not got a single friend. One day he meets Haru, a boy who thinks he is an alien and is visiting earth to indulge his love of fishing. They are soon joined by Natsuki and the mysterious Indian Akira who has a friend named Tapioca. Who is a duck. Just as they happen to kick things off together the island becomes the stage of an event that will affect the earth.

Staff: Kenji Nakamura (Director), Toshiya Oono (Series Composition), Atsuya Uki (Character Design), Kuricorder Quartet (Music)

Voice Actors: Miyu Irino, Ryota Ohsaka, Kouki Uchiyama, Tomokazu Sugita

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Zetman

Zetman Anime

A synopsis which makes me think of old-school anime like Devilman. It’s not set in a high school so I’ll check it out just because of that.

Synopsis:

Jin is a poor kid living with his grandfather and other destitute people near a river. The only thing strange is the angel mark on his hand. Then, one day, his life changes forever when a monster known as a ‘Player’ appears and starts to massacre the riverside residents. Jin has to do something and transforming into Zet might be a good idea.

Staff: Osamu Nabeshima (Director), Katsura Masakazu (Original Manga)

Voice Actors: N/A

Studio: TMS Entertainment

Staff: Ayumu Watanabe (Director), Chuuya Koyama (Original Creator), Toshiyuki Watanabe (Music), Kato Hiroshi (Art Director)

Voice Actors: Kenn, Hiroaki Hirata, Masako Ikeda, Miyuki Sawashiro

Studio: A-1 Pictures

6 thoughts on “Spring 2012 Anime Preview Makes Me Feel Old

  1. Vashdaman

    I feel the same way as you do, in fact I felt this way for quite a while, there just seems to be heaps and heaps of moe and ecchi nonesense these days, and it doesn’t look it’s going to change any time soom 😦 Still there are always a couple of gems. Sakamichi no Apollon in particular, has no excuse to be anything other than fantastic.

    1. I’m willing to watch the first episode of all of these but I just can’t see myself lasting the course. I mean seriously does every story have to be set in a high school? That said Sakimichi looks the best and it just cannot fail! There’s too much talent for it to happen! It is probably the best anime in the forthcoming season and I think it’ll be the only one I’ll follow. I’ll probably catch up on old school anime over the next few months!

  2. Vashdaman

    I know exactly how you feel. I’m always thinking how nice it would be to have a greater diversity of anime to enjoy as opposed to reams of samey high school shows with samey looking and acting characters, but I’m usually told there’s already enough variety or I want too much lol. I even have to admit feeling a slight twinge of disappointment when I read that Sakimichi was a high school coming of age tale. But I think the fact that it’s set in the 60’s and revolves around Jazz more than makes up for that!

    The upside of watching as little anime as I currently do, is that I’ve usually got a backlog of great shows to get stuck into 🙂

  3. You didn’t share your thoughts on Sengoku Collection…which makes me wonder if you think it’s good or not lol jk

    Also, Zetman is not a film, it’s an 13-ep series. Otherwise, list is solid. Did you get a chance to check out Ozuma? I found it’s first ep pretty cool!

    1. I have yet to watch Ozuma but I’m digging the Leiji Matsumoto vibe and sci-fi story plus it’s on Crunchyroll so there’s easy access. I’m glad to hear that the first episode is good!

  4. Pingback: Anti-Social Geniuses Reference Resource Mondays (Spring 2012 Anime Edition Part I) « Organization Anti-Social Geniuses

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