Genkina hito’s Autumn 2014 Anime Picks

Autumn is here! New anime!

Genkina hito's Autumn 2014 Anime Picks

We are almost at the end of the year and 2014 has had a summer season to die for what with awesome titles like Space Dandy, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, and Barakamon providing an excellent stream of entertainment, humour and great animation. Tokyo Ghoul was another standout as it compressed the manga to create an excellent action title. Expect series reviews for those titles!

With the help of Anime News Network and My Anime List, I got my autumn anime season previews published by Anime UK News at the beginning of the month (part one and two are up) and I found the experience to be an interesting mixture of comfort derived from doing something familiar and relief that the season doesn’t look too bad.

At first glance, the autumn season doesn’t look too stellar but I prefer to try avoid being negative because there are a few shows that have the right combination of staff and source material to make things work. There’s a strong fantasy element in this season and I’m willing to take a chance on quite a few titles.

Here are the shows I am most excited by (this is a provisional list which will probably change as I drop and add shows):

Psycho-Pass Season 2        Psycho-Pass 2 Key Image 2

Staff

Chief Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro, Director: Naoyoshi Shiotani, Series Composition: Tow Ubukata Character Designer/ Chief Animation Director: Kyoji Asano, Original Character Design:  Akira Amano Story Concept: Gen Urobuchi,

Voice Actors and Characters

Kana Hanazawa as Akane Tsunemori, Kenji Nojima as Nobuchika Ginoza, Shizuka Itou as Yayoi Kunizuka, Keiji Fujiwara as Sakuya Tougane, Ayane Sakura as Mika Shimotsuki, Masumi Asano as Risa Aoyanagi,

Studio: Tatsunoko Production

Website

Synopsis

At the end of the last season, detective Akane Tsunemori discovered the true nature of the Sybil System and due to her belief in legal order chooses to obey the system. She now takes the head of her department and takes command of a new set of enforcers. As she transitions into her role a new criminal looks set to challenge society.

I really enjoyed the first Psycho-Pass and even went as far as to rewatch it quite recently. It had big ideas and themes and a dystopian setting all of which were thought-provoking and that was mostly thanks to the series’ antagonist, Makishima Shogo (I cannot remember the last time I was so charmed by a serial killer!) and the ending was so cynical and open that it invited another season. Well we’re getting it (plus a movie).

Psycho-Pass Season 2 lacks the presence of original creator Gen Urobuchi which may be a good thing. I have watched most of the new shows which he has created and/or written and I have been underwhelmed by them. The man replacing him is Tow Ubukata, an experienced writer who was behind Le Chevalier d’Eon and Mardock Scramble. He is also in charge of the writing for Ghost in the Shell: Arise. The rest of the staff are familiar names who have worked on a lot of Production I.G titles I like. Speaking of I.G, they have been replaced as the animation studio for this title. Perhaps Production I.G is focussing on the Psycho-Pass film that is currently being made. I’m eagerly waiting for the second season plus I want to see if Akane Tsunemori can take down Sibyl.

Donten ni WarauDonten ni Warau Key Image (Laughing Under the Clouds)

Staff

Director: Hiroshi Haraguchi, Series Composition: Yuuya Takahashi, Character Designer: Takao Maki, Original Creator: Kemuri Karakara, Music: Shuichiro Fukuhiro,

Voice Actors and Characters

Tsubasa Yonaga as Chutaro Kumo, Yuichi Nakamura as Tenka Kumo, Yuuki Kaji as Soramaru Kumo, Mamiko Noto as Nishiki,

Studio: Dogakobo

Website

Synopsis

The story takes place during the Meiji era. As Japan modernises those known as samurai are slowly fading away into the pages of history. However, there are those who will not go without a fight and because of them the crime rates are increasing. The government decides to create an inescapable prison  on a lake which is only accessible by water. Three boys of the Kumo family are assigned to transport the criminals to their new “home”.

Donten ni Warau is based on a popular shoujo manga and features a lot of ikemen and what seems to be a heavy fantasy element. I’m willing to give this a go despite knowing nothing about it and the premise being hardly unique. The animation studio is Dogakobo, a group responsible for some awful harem anime and the lovely Natsuyuki Rendezvous.

Gugure! Kokkuri-san   Gugure! Kokkuri-san Key Image

Staff

Director: Yoshimasa Hiraike, Original Creator: Midori Endo, Character Designer: Miwa Oshima,

Voice Actors and Characters

Ryou Hirohashi as Kohina Ichimatsu, Daisuke Ono as Kokkuri-san, Jouji Nakata as Shigaraki, Takahiro Sakurai as Inugami,

Studio: TMS Entertainment

Website

Synopsis

A little girl named Kohina accidentally summons a Kokkuri-san, a low-ranking ghost in Japanese folklore. The Kokkuri-san just happens to be a handsome, young man with white hair. When he sees her terrible eating habit of consuming cup ramen for every meal he decides he wants to protect her.

I’m looking for a simple comedy to enjoy. I do not expect this to be as memorable as Barakamon but I do expect to get a few laughs from it much in the way that I did with Kill Me Baby.

Amagi Brilliant Park    Amagi Brilliant Park Key Image 2

Staff

Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto, Series Composition: Fumihiko Shimo, Character Designer: Miku Kadowaki, Original Creator: Shoji Gatoh, Music: Shinkichi Mitsumune,

Voice Actors and Characters

Kouki Uchiyama as Seiya Kanie, Ai Kakuma as Isuzu Sento, Kana Hanazawa as Satomi Murano, Tomoyo Kurosawa as Sylphy,

Studio: Kyoto Animation

Website

Synopsis

Seiya Kanie is a high school student blessed with good looks, athletic abilities and a massive intellect. This is probably why he’s kidnapped by a mysterious transfer student who carries a musket. He is taken to a deserted amusement park, Amagi Brilliant Park, which will close unless it can attract 100,000 visitors in two weeks. Seiya is in a battle to bring his brains to the business world and make Amagi Brilliant Park a success!

The PV won me over. Kyoto Animation are bringing back the team who adapted Full Metal Panic to create a new comedy anime. Alas, that was a show which was popular back when I was in high school and totally passed me by.  The premise sounds silly enough to visit for a few laughs and since this is Kyoto Animation, it’ll look great.

 

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis    Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis Key Image

Staff

Director: Keiichi Satou, Series Composition: Keiichi Hasegawa, Character Designer: Naoyuki Onda, Original Creator: Cygames, Music: Yoshhiro Ike,

Voice Actors and Characters

Shuuichi Ikeda as Walfrid, Ayako Kawasumi as Reesha, Yoko Hikasa as Anne Murano, Mamoru Miyano as Roux,

Studio: MAPPA

Website

One look at that promotional video and I was sold. In a season with strong fantasy titles, this looks absolutely top notch in terms of visuals. MAPPA are currently dazzling people with their animation on Zankyou  no Terror and it looks like they are continuing to put the money on the screen with some sparkly and fluid looking visuals, distinctive characters and settings that mark this as THE fantasy show of the season. It is based on a card game which may be something to make one cautious but the director is Keiichi Satou, and he did sterling work on Tiger & Bunny.

Save the best until last!

Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu     Kiseijuu Sei no Kakuritsu Key Image

Staff

Director: Kenichi Shimizu, Series Composition: Shoji Yonemura, Character Designer: Tadashi Hiramatsu, Original Creator: Hitoshi Iwaaki, Music: Ken Arai,

Voice Actors and Characters

Nobunaga Shimazak as Shinichi Izumi, Aya Hirano as Migi, Kana Hanazawa as Satomi Murano, Miyuki Sawashiro as Kana Kimishima,

Studio: Madhouse

Website

Synopsis

High school student Izumi Shinichi lives a normal life with his mother and father in Tokyo but that all stops when worm-like aliens called Parasytes invade Earth. They plunge from the sky and take over the brains of humans by entering through the ears and nose. Shinichi was targeted while he slept but since he was wearing headphones, the Parasyte was forced to burrow into his arm and occupy his right hand and settled there.

Shinichi wakes up horrified and finds that the alien has its own intellect and personality and it is named Migi. The two join forces when they become targeted by other Parasytes who want to destroy Shinichi because he can still think for himself. The two battle other Parasytes and try to save humans from being snacks for aliens!

Every season has at least one show which is a heavy hitter for committed anime fans from the old school who remember a time before the poisonous mixture (to me, objectively it might be good) of moe and slice-of-life dominated everything and this is it for me. It’s based on a manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki which is held in high regard (I haven’t read it but I keep hearing great things).

One note of caution is that the director is new to the game although he has worked on titles like Monster and Roujin Z so I’m willing to believe he can do the job. The character designs come from Tadashi Hiramatsu who will forever be remembered by me for his work on Dennou Coil and Moldiver. The writing looks to be in good hands because Shoji Yonemura has written on great series like Berserk, an adaptation of a long-running scary manga.

The promotional art and videos released so far look fantastic and it’s animated by Madhouse, the guys behind great titles like Paranoia Agent and Black Lagoon. Their recent batch of shows haven’t really grabbed me (the premise of Photo Kano made it a non-starter and Sunday Without God was too uneven) but I’m reassured by what I am seeing here. With 24 episodes already guaranteed, we could see something of real quality with this one.

Aaaaand that’s about it for the anime I’ll be watching. Below is a gallery full of the key images from most of the shows airing this season:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Genkina hito’s Autumn 2014 Anime Picks

  1. Not watching Hitsugi no Chaika? I’m hoping that the studio is able to put more money behind the project this time, though hear people saying that season’s plot sounds less exciting than the first.

    I almost picked up Donten ni Warau, but I was not sure what to make of it. The plot does sound a little cliche, doesn’t it? We’ll see what people think of it after it airs.

    I’m also waiting to see what other people say about Parasyte. I’m not a fan of horror, though anime has produced a few good ones–Shiki and Ghost Hunt come readily to mind.

    I’m also curious to see what Tow Ubukata comes up with for Psycho-Pass 2. He does have the right kind of style for a dystopian setting, and I wonder what new themes he shall insert into the story.

    1. Hitsugi no Chaika narrowly missed out on me watching it. I read a few blog posts that left me interested so I’ll probably pick it up before the end of the year.

      I love horror films so Parasyte is one I’m definitely interested in not least because it looks like it’s getting a major push from the production committee behind it. Ghost Hunt was a lot of fun, wasn’t it!

      I feel that Tow Ubukata is a better writer than Urobuchi – Gargantia and Aldnoah.Zero have underwhelmed me. I hope Psycho-Pass 2 can surpass the first season but Makishima was a compelling antagonist!

  2. Some very exciting new anime here. Thanks for the list. I’ve missed last season and would probably watch 2-3 from your list. They all look awesome, hard to really pick just 1 or even 2.

    1. Space Dandy!!! Space Dandy and Barakamon are the standouts of the summer season. I also rate Tokyo Ghoul highly.

      Autumn… Psycho-Pass 2 and Parasyte. Crime and psychological/body-horror in both titles. Parasyte is also getting those live-action movies starring Shota Sometani.

      1. Same here this show is something really special this season. I’m glad to see that this genre is finally making quite the comeback after a couple of years of absence. If you like mystery series you should check out Mouryou no Hako.

      2. Haha, I keep plugging Mouryou no Hako and The Summer of Ubume on an anime site I write for. I agree with you about how it’s good to see more seinen stuff adapted and with class.

      3. Shiki took this to a level all on its own: an atmosphere that centralizes on human survival and personal connections. Having said that I feel like Kiseiju and Mouryou no Hako provide this same elements that lead to some fascinating results. (Ex. Migi’s risky method of saving Shinichi). Noitamina starting tomorrow will be announcing their lineup for 2015 and I hope to see a series venture into this direction and at least one josei.

      4. Kiseiju has been hitting consistently high quality marks since episode one and it’s down to the great characters and writing. Even when I know plot twists in advance or can guess what may happen, it still comes as a shock and that’s because I am embedded in the story!

        Noitamina usually have at least a few decent shows but the best one this year by a long shot was Ping Pong: The Animation. There’s nothing else to touch it, not even Psycho-Pass 2.

        I think more josei would be good just to broaden the audience beyond shounen and shoujo. Natsuyuki Rendezvous was my last.

      5. Agreed ping pong was my favorite from noitamina’s lineup this year. Masaaki yuasa has such a creative mind and his artwork certainly pulls through in telling a compelling and mature story. Not to mention the voice acting was the best of this year so far.

      6. It was refreshingly mature as well. The focus on relationships, the meaning of sport and innovative animation to display it all brought me to tears at times. I think it was my last anime review. I pick up so many titles and finish some and review even less. Ping Pong was really worth the time and effort.

        I need to finish my Space Dandy review and edit my Tokyo Ghoul review.

      7. I’ve got to say though that one of the biggest surprises of the fall season so far has been Garo honoo no Koukuin. Love the animation and MONACA (composer of captain earth and star driver) pulled off a few memorable pieces of music to the show.

      8. I’m really enjoying Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis so I’m curious about Garo since it’s in a similar vein. I’ll check it out at some point.

        I’d like to recommend Monster, if you have the time to watch it. It’s a great thriller.

      9. Honestly I’m enjoying Garo a bit more than Bahamut because I feel that a 1 cour is not going to work with the caliber that MAPPA has designed for its show. It’s strange to see two widely different plots placed in the same timesetting and location by the same studio.

      10. I feel what would be a creative idea is do a mystery series on noitamina where the first time slot is devoted to building up the atmosphere from the antagonist’s perspective and the second time slot dismantles it by using the protagonist’s point of view. Also thinking of doing a podcast for my 300th post do you have tips on making one?

      11. I would enjoy a mystery because that one be fun to aniblog and concoct theories for.

        My recommendation for podcasting would be using a high quality webcam or microphone (don’t skimp because audio quality is everything) and getting some good software and getting a theme tune.

        I made one with another blogger using Adobe Soundbooth – features were somewhat limited and I was a complete amateur (still am) at using it so maybe I missed some things. It took a while to do but was fun.

      12. I just got the iPhone 6 plus a few weeks ago and was thinking of trying it on that but wasn’t sure what sort of program would be adequate for podcasting. I will definitely have to check out soundbooth. Thanks for the tip!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s