Spring 2018 Anime Season

After a few disappointing anime seasons, I found myself enjoying most of what I wanted to watch during this past winter season — I really liked Junji Ito Collection, thought Kokkoku was pretty good, as well as Devilman Crybaby (although I haven’t finished watching it), and I watched the first episode of B: The Beginning and will watch more. When I started looking into the new spring season — which I always do on AniChart — I found quite a few things I was interested in watching. Below are those series, and I’ve already started watching all of them, so I’ll indicate what I think so far, after 1-2 episodes.

FLCL Progressive
I’m a huge fan of the original FLCL (as is most everyone who’s watched it), and when a sequel series was announced, my first reaction was that I didn’t think it was a good idea. I still tried to keep hope alive that it would be good — and the fact that the original creators are back was a good sign — but I’m just shocked at how much I disliked the first episode. I’m going to watch the second episode when it’s out, just to make sure, but wow, I was bored to tears with what I saw in episode 1. I even rewatched the original series last year, and still loved it, so it’s not a case of me not being into this series/world anymore.

The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These
I didn’t really know what to expect with this series, but figured I’d check it out because I liked the idea of galactic battles as a setting (I don’t feel like we get a lot of series like that anymore), and that it’s produced by Production I.G. I’ve watched the first 2 episodes, and I’m really digging it so far. It really is all about the space battles and the tactics used, and the first episode ends on a great cliffhanger. I’m pleasantly surprised by this.

Lupin III: Part V
I love Lupin, and have watched a lot of his series and movies, and so was pretty happy when I saw they were launching a new series this season. I’ve watched the first 2 episodes, and so far it’s really fun. It’s an interestingly modern setup (people are following Lupin — and getting in his way — through social media), and yet it feels like classic Lupin. I’m pretty sure I’ll be enjoying the rest of this.

Megalo Box
Despite the name, this is actually an Ashita no Joe series set in the future, in celebration of the series’ 50th anniversary. I’ve never read or watched anything that has to do with Ashita no Joe, but the description sounded interesting — a world where cybernetically-enhanced boxing matches take place — and I liked the first episode. The world looks very Akira-esque (if not of that quality), and this is probably the way to get me to watch a sports-themed series (I don’t tend to like watching sports-related anime).

Fist of the Blue Sky
This is a prequel series to First of the North Star. I know the basic setup of First of the North Star — and I can’t wait to play the game by the developers of the Yakuza series — but I’ve never read or watched any. I thought the first episode was pretty neat — its CG cel-shaded, like Knights of Sidonia and Ajin, and produced by that same studio — and it’s funny to see these ridiculously muscled-up characters interacting with crazy kung-fu-inspired moves. But by the second episode I was already growing bored with the story — and lack of action — and so I’m not especially excited to continue watching it. I might give it another episode.

Preview of 2017 Winter Anime

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Although I’m still pretty busy watching the series that I mentioned being interested in my 2016 fall anime post, I’m already curious and excited to see what’s coming up next. Thankfully, AniChart already has a pretty good look at what we can expect to see during the 2017 winter season, and here’s what I’m already thinking I’ll be checking out (based on what little info I have).

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ku
I’m pretty much just interested in this based on the overall art direction. It does sound like a neat political drama set in an alternate reality. Could be uninteresting, but I’ll check out the first episode.

Granblue Fantasy: The Animation
I’ve never played the uber popular mobile game this is based on, but I like the character art, and I’m curious to see what this is like. I don’t expect I’ll be watching a lot of it, but I’ll definitely be checking out the pilot.

Onihei
There’s very little info on this series — and especially no trailer or screenshots yet — but the description sounds interesting to me, of a historical drama set during the Edo period, following a main character who goes after robbers/arsonists.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
I’m still in the process of catching up on this series, watching the first season, and still really enjoying it. The second season that started in the fall continues over winter.

There are also three anime movies I’m interested to see: Gyakusatsu Kikan (Genocidal Organ), Hiruna Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari (a film Christophe Ferreira is involved in), and Lupin the Third: Chikemuri no Ichikawa Goemon.

Update: Here are my thoughts after watching the first 2 episodes of ACCA, Onihi Hankacho, and Granblue Fantasy The Animation.

Fall 2016 Anime Season

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Towards the end of 2004 I started writing two monthly columns for a culture site called Tokyo Q, and one of them was about anime. Each edition was usually made up of reviews of shows, as well as news items, but at the start of each Japanese TV season I’d usually do a round-up of what I thought looked promising in terms of new (and returning) series. In that spirit — and with the warning that I don’t watch a lot of anime series at this point in time, because I have zero interest in the vast majority of what gets produced these days (i.e. the moe type cutesy animated stuff that rules the airwaves) — here’s what I’m at least interested in checking out once the fall season kicks off in October (based on what I’ve seen announced on AniChart’s Fall 2016 page).

Ajin (Season 2)
I’m a huge fan of the manga series this is based on (I’m still currently reading it) and I loved the first season that aired earlier this year — it was a very close adaptation of the manga storyline, with a nicely done cell-shaded animation style (similar to what you see in Knights of Sidonia, which was done by the same studio). I can’t wait to watch season 2, which I expect to be just as good.

Fune wo Amu
I don’t know anything about this series other than the description, which says that it’s the story of a man who works at a publishing company, who is trying to find a successor as he approaches retirement age, and may have found one to work on a dictionary they are looking to publish. Sounds like an interesting setting, and I like the character designs in the preview art.

Occultic Nine
I was sort of interested in this, about a group of students brought together through a blog for some paranormal and occult happenings, but then seeing the ridiculously floppy breasts in this trailer really turned me off.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (Season 2)
I’ve only recently become a fan of Gundam, and am currently watching the 1985 series Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. The thing with Gundam is that you get stuff that follows the timeline of the original series (“Universal Century”), and then wild spinoffs that have absolutely nothing to do with the original setting, but share certain ideas and themes. So far I haven’t been interested in watching any of the spinoff shows, but I’ve heard very good things about Iron-Blooded Orphans, so I’m tempted to give the first season a try, just as the second season is about to start.

Update: I’ve started watching these series, including Occultic Nine and Iron-Blooded Orphans. Also part of the new season, I checked out Izetta: The Last Witch.

Update: Here are my posts for Ajin and Fune wo Amu.