My Winter 2013/4 season preview is up and running on Anime UK News and while writing it I noticed that the number of shows was up on previous years and that among them are a nice selection of titles that range from the familiar trend of light novel/manga adaptations and sequels to some interesting looking original series. I used the chart on the right (which I got from here) as a basis and went researching for a day. Anyway I culled the best shows from that list to put in here.
The winter may be coming and yet I still haven’t finished the autumn anime selection (there are about three weeks left) but I can say that I love this autumn’s shows and will continue to watch Samurai Flamenco. Indeed I wrote this while listening to the OP for Galilei Donna over and over.
Anyway, back to the winter selection. I’m pretty excited about Space Dandy which sees the return of Shinichiro (Cowboy Bebop) Watanabe to the television with a funky looking space adventure. Just watching the trailer gets me grooving. I’m also pretty hyped over finally getting to see Pupa after it was delayed due to battles with censors over its violent content. There are two anime playing with the historical figure Nobunaga and both shows look like fun especially the one from Shoji Kawamori. Enough rambling, here are my picks!
Chief Director: Shinichiro Watanabe, Shingo Natsume (Director:), Dai Sato, Keiko Nobumoto, Kimiko Ueno (Scripts:), Yoshiyuki Ito (Character Designer🙂
Voice Actors: Junichi Suwabe (Dandy:), Uki Satake (QT:), Hiroyuki Yoshino (Meow:), Maasaki Yajima (Narrator:),
Dandy is an alien-hunter tasked with finding new species of aliens that have never been seen before. With the aid of a defective robot named QT and a talking alien cat named Meow, he journeys to different planets when not going to “Boobies,” a restaurant full of voluptuous waitresses.
Quite frankly this is the big release for the season for me. This 26-episode anime is an original idea from Shinichiro Watanabe and he reunites with studio BONES and some of the Cowboy Bebop writing staff in the form of Dai Sato and Keiko Nobumoto. The trailer and character designs and sexy women take me back to the old-school anime like Space Adventure Cobra which also had dandy guys in space travelling with oddball companions, getting into wild battles, meeting sexy women and fan service. This is Space Adventure Cobra from Shinichiro Watanabe though so I’m hoping it will be special.
Director/Series Composition: Tensai Okamura, Oiginal Character Designer: Kouhaku Kuroboshi, Music: Tatsuya Kato
Voice Actors: N/A (Venera-sama), N/A (White Robin), N/A (White Eaglet), N/A (Robo-ko), N/A (Plamya-sama), N/A (Uumu Kyouju)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Zevzda is a secret society bent on world domination! And led by a little girl!
This anime is based on an original idea from Tensai Okamura and he’s a name familiar to shounen anime fans due to titles like the fun Blue Exorcist and the cool Darker than Black. Looking at the synopsis it reads like Excel Saga – evil organisation with goofy staff looking to take over the world – while the art and trailer released thus far reminds me of Kyousogiga – colourful and fun. Character designs comes from Kouhaku Kuroboshi and he worked on Kino’s Journey so that’s me sold on this without all the other info! Music is composed by Tatsuya Kato (Free!) so I’m hoping for overdramatic dubstep permeating scenes of violence and hilarity sort of like in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. This could be the dark horse of the season.
Director: Eiichi Sato, Series Composition/Original Creator/Main Mecha Design: Shoji Kawamori, Character Designer: Yone Kazuki
Voice Actors: Yoko Hikasa (Jeanne Kaguya d’Arc), Tomokazu Sugita (Leonardo da Vinci), Mamoru Miyano (Oda Nobunaga), Takahiro Sakurai (Akechi Mitsuhide), Minori Chihara (Ichihime), Yuuki Kaji (Toyotomi Hideyoshi),
The story takes place on both the Western Planet and the Eastern Planet, both of which were once bound by the “Dragon Pulse” which spanned the heavens. A civilisation that once prospered has turned into a tale of dreams as war tears the realm asunder. The return of super technology known as “sacred treasures” could alter the status quo but only one person knows of it – a heretical girl from the Western Planet known as Jeanne Kaguya d’Arc. She had heavenly visions of the birth of a “Star Messiah” who will save the world and so she, together with Leonard da Vinci, head to the Eastern Planet where they encounter another heretic, “the greatest fool of the day,” Oda Nobunaga.
Shoji Kawamori is one of the big guns in anime with titles like Aquarion EVOL and AKB0048 under his belt. His name regularly crops up every season and he effectively takes familiar titles/concepts and makes something new and fun – AKB0048 – idols in space in sci-fi battles. Who could have seen that coming? He’s a major presence in this show with writing and design duties. I love its ambition and designs and it looks like it could fill in the action quota.
Staff: Director: Tomomi Mochizuki, Original Creator: Sayaka Mogi,
Voice Actors: Ibuki Kido (Yume Hasegawa), Nobunaga Shimazaki (Utsutsu Hasegawa), Kyoko Narumi (Maria), Koji Yusa (Shiro Onijima),
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 was meant to come out during the autumn 2013 season but was delayed apparently (according to the internet) due to censors having problems with the content of the show and Studio Deen weren’t going to tone anything down. It is billed as a “life-and-death sibling” story and is based on Sayaka Mogi’s rather gory manga which is full-on incest, cannibalism and a moe girl.
The human character designs for the animation are par for the course but the creature design is where the anime is unnerving. Tomomi Michizuki is the director and he has helmed such anime as House of Five Leaves and Kimagure Orange Road.
Director: Hiro Kaburaki, Series Composition: Midori Gotou, Character Designer: Hirotaka Kato, Original Creator: Natsumi Eguchi
Voice Actors: Hiroki Yasumoto (Hoozuki), Daisuke Hirakawa (Momotaro), Takashi Nagasako (Enma Daio), Eri Kitamura (Oko), Sumire Uesaka (Peach Maki), Yumiko Kobayashi (Shiro)
Studio: Studio Wit
Houzuki is an aide to the Great King of Hell, Enma. As an advisor and aide he tries to resolve problems that occur in hell including a rampaging Momotarou. In his spare time he fawns over cute animals and raising “Goldfish Flowers.”
Studio WIT are the guys formed by Production I.G. to create the excellent Attack on Titan and they also worked on the futuristic romance HAL. Their latest title is an adaptation of Natsumi Eguchi slice-of-demon-life manga about a functionary in a supernatural world populated by popular characters from Japanese folklore. It’s seinen so it’s going to have all sorts of vibes that appeal to me. The anime is directed by Hiro Kaburaki (My Little Monster) and Midori Gotou (Guilty Crown) is overseeing the scripts.
Director: Nobuhiro Kondo, Original Creator: Masato Hisa, Series Composition: Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Character Design: Hiromi Matsushita, KAZZ T, Mechanical Design: Hirofumi Nakata, Kenichi Takase,
Voice Actors: Shiori Muto (Shio Ogura), Tatsuhisa Suzuki (Jack), Chiwa Saito (Geronimo), Yuu Asakawa (Newton), Sumire Uesaka (Galileo), Akira Ishida (Vidocq), Nobunaga Shimazaki (Ghandi),
High school girl Shio Ogura is visiting Taiwan on a school trip when monsters attack. These creatures are called “Evolved Invaders” and the military is useless against them but then… the mysterious E-Gene Holder agents from the government organisation DOGOO appear! What is special about these guys is that they wield weapons infused with the spirits of great historical figures – Gandhi s a barrier and Newton is a gravitational manoeuvre. It just so happens that Shio Ogura has the e-gene and can wield a weapon! Hers is infused with the spirit of Oda Nobunaga. He is now a giant machinegun. He is… Nobunagun. Genius. Let the battle commence!
This is based on a manga by Masato Hisa and it looks like it will be fun. The idea of historical characters brought back to a modern school setting is familiar (Read or Die, Afterschool Charisma) but this seems to lean more towards the wild action of the awesome anime Read or Die. The only name that stood out for me on the production side was the chap in charge of series composition, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, who worked on New Dominion Tank Police and Aquarion Evol.
Director: Toyonori Yamada, Original Creator/Character Designer: Yoshiki Usa, Series Composition: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu, Character Design: Tomoko Fujinoki,
Voice Actors: Mamoru Miyano (Wooser), Haruka Nagamune (Ren), TiA (Yuu), Minori Ozawa (Rin), Yuri Sato (Miho),
That was the OP for the first season and now we get a second season of Wooser’s Hand-to-Mouth Life and the reason I’m watching it is because these anime are shorts and easy to digest. Wooser is a mysterious mascot character who lives on the internet. He may look cute but he has a corrupt heart that craves money, eat and gals! Fittingly enough Wooser is voiced by Mamoru Miyano who played Light Yagami in Death Note and Okabe in Steins;Gate!
Director: Kaoru Suzuki, Series Composition: Motoshi Chujo, Character Designer: Takumi Yokota
Voice Actors: Shiho Sasaki (Wakaba Himeji), Chisato Mori (Pou-chan), Mai Goto (Reiko Azuma), Kottomi Otsuka (Naoya Yuuki), Setsuo Itou (Ryouhei Ameyama), Keiji Fujiwara (Misao)
Studio: AIC Plus+
Wakaba Himeji is a fifth-grade girl who can see things other people cannot. This scares her and she keeps her distance from others which renders her lonely. Then, one day, she meets a mysterious soft, pink creature that cries “Pupipou!” and finds her life changing.
I’m going to check out Pupipou! Because it is horror and looks to have some quirky art/humour. It is based on a horror comedy web manga by Rensuke Oshikiri and is directed by Kaoru Suzuki who has directed episodes of Hellsing and Date A Live.
Director/Original Concept: Yutaka Yamamoto, Series Composition: Touko Machida, Character Designer: Sunao Chikaoka,
Voice Actors: Airi Nagano (Airi Hayashida), Kaya Okuno (Kaya Kikuma), Minami Tanaka (Minami Katayama), Mayu Yoshioka (Mayu Shimada), Miyu Okamoto (Miyu Takagi), Noriko Hidaka (Junko Tange)
Studio: Ordet/Tatsunoko Productions
A small production agency in Sendai called The Green Leaves Entertainment is on the verge of bankruptcy following the flight of its roster of stars but the president has an idea – produce a new idol group! We follow seven girls who want to star in the “ideol sengoku jidai” Idol Warring States Period! of the modern day.
The synopsis about idols might make me dismiss this but it takes place in Sendai in Japan’s Tohoku region which was one of the locations heavily affected by the Earthquake and Tsunami. I’m tuning in to episode one to see if the disaster is mentioned and how it is used. This could be the anime full of big emotions. A film of this will also be on release the same day the TV anime is aired.
Director: Toru Takahashi, Series Composition: Touko Machida, Character Designer: Yuka Takashina, Original Creator: Morohe Yoshida,
Voice Actors: Naomi Ozora (Inari Fushimi), Houko Kuwashima (Uka-no-Mitama-no-Kami), Hiroshi Okamoto (Koji Tanbabashi),
Studio: Production IMS
Inari Fushimi is a shy school girl who lives in Kyoto’s Fushimi ward. She has a crush on classmate Koji Tanbabashi, but cannot express her feelings. One day, as thanks for helping a fox pup, the deity known as Uka-no-Mitama-no-Kami grants her the ability to change her form.
Production IMS are a new animation studio and their first work is based on this shoujo romance manga by Morohe Yoshida and directed by Toru Takahashi, a vet of the anime industry who has worked on things like AD Police, Azumanga Daioh, Death Note, and Monster. I’m figuring that it will run along the same lines as Red Data Girl.