If I had to describe anime in one word it would be diverse. The large numbers of titles released every season contain a highly varied number of concepts. Some of them may be sequels or plumb familiar themes and settings but there is usually something to set them apart and make them unique. It’s all down to the efficient production model the Japanese entertainment industry uses where any manga/light novels gets treated to a multi-format adaptation. In recent years we have slowly edged out of a trough of moe into some more sophisticated titles that can be described as post-modern or meta-narratives with interesting characters. Compared to anime alone (not including films or dorama), western television is absolutely unimaginative. Diversity best sums up what’s on offer with the Autumn 2013 Season.
I finished the Anime UK News Autumn 2013 Anime Guide last week Tuesday while listening to the soundtrack to Hana and Alice non-stop. It took a while (hours) what with checking the autumn 2013 anime season guide (on the right) and looking up things on Anime News Network/MAL and news reports I do for AUKN. The spring and summer seasons had a large number of titles but the autumn one blows them all away with over forty. There are some sequels and a lot of manga/LN adaptations but after a disappointing summer season (the only stand-out anime was the incredible Watamote) I felt energised by the variety and imagination on offer with the autumn season which starts September/October. Here are my selections:
Essentials (I’ll see it through to the bitter end!):
Original Manga Creator: Tomonori Inoue, Director: N/A, Series Composition: N/A, Scripts: N/A, Character Designer: N/A, Chief Animation Director: N/A
Voice Actors: Haruka Tomatsu (Ibara Naruse), Kana Hanazawa (Aoi Fukasaku), Satomi Akesaka (Taeko Nomura), Yui Horie (Kanon Ozu), Rikiya Koyama (Onihei Mishima), Maaya Sakamoto (Shion Ozu)
It is the year 2036 and a nuclear accident has caused Tokyo to suffer radioactive contamination which has resulted in the city being put under a blockade. Three high school girls have been sent to the city. These girls aren’t normal, though since they have been selected for this deadly mission because they are the results of genetic engineering which has made them impervious to radioactivity. They are a special forces unit codenamed “Coppelion,” in the 3rd Division of Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force and they know how to use guns!
This was the first title to get my attention thanks to the detailed key visuals and a quick read of the manga which is by Tomonori Inoue which is full of girls and guns and…, yes, pantsu. It was originally going to be adapted a few years ago but was put on hold after the Tohoku Earthquake and Tusnami which hit Japan on March 11th, 2011 and all of the subsequent problems with Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant. The nuclear problems haven’t gone away as news reports and films reveal (Land of Hope review last week) but inappropriate or not, I think this manga is definitely due an adaptation because it’s pretty action-packed and a lot of fun.
The trailer is full of great animation and music. Three girls taking out giant robots and stealth bombers with rocket launchers? I totally want to see this now!
There are no details of the staff list at the time of writing but it will be updated when that info comes to light. The Japanese vocal cast has been announced with industry vets Maaya Sakamoto (beautiful but tough Funamushi in Fuse: A Gun Girl’s Detective Story), Haruka Tomatsu (the big existentialist speech giver Older Sister Maid in Maouyu), Yui Horie (the sexy and deadly Masako Natsume in Mawaru Penguindrum) and Kana Hanazawa (the so cute I’d die for her Mayuri Shiina in Steins;Gate) filling the lead roles.
Director: Tomomi Mochizuki, Original Manga Creator: Sayaka Mogi,
Voice Actors: Ibuki Kido (Yume Hasegawa)
Studio: Studio DEEN
Utsutsu and his little sister Yume Hasegawa are close so when 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.
This is billed as a “life-and-death sibling” story and is based on Sayaka Mogi’s rather gory manga and it was the second title that caught my eye. The manga is very misleading at first because it’s art style is rather light and the cute sister and school stuff was rather rote but I didn’t expect it to become quite as bitter and bloody as it did. But it went there… and I was hooked and now I want to watch this. Perhaps it’s my roots in violent 80/90s body-horror anime or my interest in seeing how far the anime will take this… Anyway, the concept has great drama in it what with the mix of horror/love and othering that goes on. Another thing that suggests the story will be brought to the screen with skill is that the director is Tomomi Michizuki and he was the chap behind House of Five Leaves and Kimagure Orange Road so he knows how to craft stories around compelling characters which is what I expect this brother/sister title to be. The only voice actress announced has been Ibuki Kido (Kasumi Shinomiya in GJ Club) who voices the sister Yume Hasegawa.
Director: Rie Matsumoto, Original Creator: Izumi Todo, Series Composition: Izumi Todo, Rie Matsumoto, Character Designer: Yuki Hayashi,
Voice Actors: Rie Kugimiya (Koto), Kenichi Suzumura (Myoue), Akira Ishida (Inari), Aya Hisakawa (Lady Koto), Eiji Takemoto (Fushimi), Chiwa Saito (Shouko), Ryoko Shiraishi (Un), Noriko Hidaka (A)
Studio: Toei Animation
The original story took place in an alternate version of Kyoto where humans and spirits co-exist. A young girl named Koto from our world found herself wandering into that world where she met a mysterious monk, was chased by tech-obsessed girls and uncovered a mysterious plot.
I loved the original 2011 one-shot Kyousogiga ONA. The visuals were fun, the story crashed along merrily and it was generally a brash and bizarre anime that contained so much life it had to get a TV anime. It was like Toei was just having fun and throwing out their bizarre ideas and creativity onto the screen and it worked because every episode was like a riot of visuals and audio and it all made sense in a mixed-up hyperactive way. The original staff and cast return so it will be directed by Rie Matsumoto and feature character designs from Yuki Hayashi.
Koto is voiced by Rie Kugimiya (Happy in Fairy Tale) and she has support from Aya Hisakawa (Yoriko Yasaka in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san), Chiwa Saito (Aika in Aria the Natural) and Kenichi Suzumura (Atori in Noein). The latest instalment of Kyousogiga will see theme joined by Akira Ishida (Judeau in the Berserk movies). Here’s my excuse to use this image again.
Beyond the Boundary (Kyoukai no Kanata)
Director: Taichi Ishidate, Series Composition: Jukki Hanada, Original Light Novel Creator: Nagomu Torii, Original Character Designer: Chise Kamoi, Music: Masumi Ito, Character Designer: Miku Kadowaki, Art Director: Mikko Watanabe
Voice Actors: Kenn (Akihito Kanbara), Minori Chihara (Mitsuki Nase), Risa Taneda (Mirai Kuriyama), Tatsuhisa Suzuki (Hirofumi Nase),
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Akihito Kanbara may be a high school sophomore student but he isn’t a normal boy because he is half youmu and invulnerable to wounds due to quick healing abilities. He meets Mirai Kuriyama who is a freshman at the same school when it appears she is about to jump from the school rooftop but he saves her. Mirai has the ability to manipulate blood which is unique even in the spirit world. After their encounter they become the focal point of disturbing events.
Kyoto Animation make lots of “slice-of-life” anime like Tari Tari where cute girls do things etc. I don’t watch that type of thing. There last major title was Free, an anime full of sinewy slim guys in a constant state of undress swimming to a dubstep soundtrack which was aimed at a female market who lapped it up. In short I don’t watch their stuff even if it is brilliantly animated.
Their latest title is a supernatural one?
Ooohhh, you guys! I can’t resist supernatural tales. It’s supernatural stuff in school like Red Data Girl and it looks like it’s going to be just as good looking if not more because KyoAni are bringing their considerable animation expertise to an adaptation of Nagomu Torii’s original light novel and the trailer looks awesome.
Oh gosh, that animation is f*cking awesome. This is going to be Hyouka all over again… screencaps every ten seconds… The director is Taichi Ishidate (Hyouka) and series composition comes from Jukki Hanada (Steins;Gate). Kenn (Phinks in Hunter x Hunter) voices Akihito and Risa Taneda voices Mirai.
There are so many great titles coming out in the Autumn season that I’ll be watching more than these four. I’ve got my next list coming out next month.
27 thoughts on “Genkina hito’s Autumn 2013 Anime Preview Selection Part 1 – Definite Picks”
I totally agree with your must-watch! 😀 Although I’m so behind in my anime watching that it makes me feel bad/sad.
I think this season has a lot of great looking titles and I will end up watching more than this but so far, these are the ones that stand out as the best. Despite spending more time in work I’m getting pretty good at watching more anime. Now if only I could fit in doramas.
Me thinks I’ll be giving Beyond the Boundary a shot.
Because of you I’ve watched a lot of anime!
Beyond the Boundary and Coppelion look like the strongest new titles based on trailers and staff listings. Pupa has great potential. The next list I’ve got coming out has about four or five which look a lot of fun.
I hope you’re enjoying the anime you’ve watched! I know I am. Out of all the titles I have seen this year, it’s definitely Attack on Titan, My Youth Rom-Com, and Watamote that are the stand-outs.
Attack on Titan and Watamote stand out for me, I’m also kinda liking Genshiken Nidaime I think mainly because of my nostalgia for the earlier stuff which is probably a bad sign.
Earlier stuff? Are we talking about old school anime like Shadow Skill and Slayers?
I have not watched Genshiken but I have been thinking a lot about my favourite TV anime and it’s definitely Mawaru Penguindrum. Nothing has topped that. My favourite anime films is a lot harder to decide…
Sorry I meant the earlier Genshiken stuff Seasons 1+2 and the OAV’s
Ah, I’ve not watched those ones. Anyway, the live-action i>Rurouni Kenshin is getting a release in the UK in October just before the BFI London Film Festival.
Still not sure about Rurouni Kenshin……..have you seen it yet?
Not yet. It’s got pretty decent 3 star reviews like a lot of other recent WB Japan releases plus it’s getting a sequel.
I’m looking at the line up for the Toronto International Film Festival and I want to cry. All those lovely looking Japanese and South Korean films… I need to emigrate over to Canada.
Is it me or do all the WB Japan movies feel similar?
Tired Paul’s Predictions (wrong more often than not)
R100 – Not too likely to get screened 😦
Why Don’t You Play in Hell? – Raindance maybe? they had Love Exposure there! Plus Adam’s involved.
Real – I don’t see it at LFF or Raindance…..Maybe Sci-Fi London in May?
Like Father, Like Son – Koreeda has had a presence at the LFF for I think every movie he’s made so I’m sort of expecting it at LFF.
The Wind Rises might possibly get screened at LFF.
It’s likely that all of the Korean movies at TIFF will be screened at LKFF.
Real – I don’t see it at LFF or Raindance…..Maybe Sci-Fi London in May?
Or maybe the Sci-Fi London Oktoberfest?
I don’t see any of the UK festivals screening these films, to be quite frank. Maybe Like Father Like Son because the film is great, the films is the type of thing festivals screen and Koreeda is a known director in the UK who has critical cachet and an audience amongst the art house crowd.
As far as the WB Japan films go… They are all decent enough – mid-budget and slick. The only one that stands out for me is R100 which looks far more risque and funnier than the more safer films (manga adaptations) released.
I’m holding out hope for Why Don’t You Play in Hell? screening at Raindance………a boy can only hope.
I don’t see it at Raindance. It’s more a London FIlm Festival sort of title but I wonder if they think it’s worth screening it.
Coppelion is the anime on that list that I’m most looking forward to. I’ve read some of the manga and found it highly enjoyable for the scenario and action. Too bad that its release was delayed a few years.
I might give Pupa a try. I’m not a fan of horror, but it’s good to branch out now and then.
I also enjoyed what I read of the Coppelion manga and after watching the trailer I’m expecting something special! I need something to fill the gap in outrageous action left by Black Lagoon.
That reminds me. Apparently, there is an old space opera anime that offers an outrageous dose of action: Crusher Joe. I still have to watch that one.
Also, one blogger called Jormungand a “poor man’s Black Lagoon.” You might enjoy that show if you haven’t watched it. I certainly found it enjoyable, though I wish that they had made some of the fights a little more intense.
I’ve never heard of Crusher Joe.
Thanks for the suggestion about Black Lagoon. I’ve watched it already and posted about it here. I bought the limited edition Geneon releases which came with dog tags and cards. Black Lagoon was awesome.
Well I’ll leave this here for your winter line-up preview as it’s the most appropriate place.
Space Dandy is a dandy guy in the space!
After seeing this yesterday it reminded me about Shinichiro Watanabe’s anime from last year, “Kids on the Slope” I’d completely forgot about it, ended up blitzing it in 24 hours.
Oh God, this is so funky what with the music and all of the oppai! Definite must-watch. I’ll post this on AUKN as well 😉
Give credit to Japan Cinema, they tweeted it yesterday!
A while back you made a suggestion on one of my posts to watch Attack on Titan, I just wanted to say thank you. I am officially hooked, at first I was creeped out by anime because the titans are kind of disturbing. However, I gave it another chance and now I see why everyone is talking about it 🙂
Hey, thanks for the comment 🙂
I was also creeped out by the Titans when I first saw them but stick with it and you will find that the show is an awesome adrenaline rush and a thrilling emotional roller-coaster ride.
Let me know what you think of it!
I watched season 1 and I read all of the manga chapters so far, it is addicting. I also love the music in the anime, the OST is amazing. I’ve been replaying songs from the soundtrack this weekend.
The OST is pretty good. Attack on Titan, Counter Attack-Mankind and Eye-water were on repeat for a long while!