With the melting of winter’s snow comes a new glut of anime to last us the next four months, and you’ll need a guide to show you the cream of the crop and the low-key offerings this spring. Although I’ll try my best to be that guide, be aware that I’ve barely scratched the surface and that I’ll really only be covering at most 3 or 4 anime this season (I need my sanity for y’know, life?). If you need a complete and thorough preview/guide, I’d definitely Metanorn’s always-detailed guide.
Also, my focus will first be on shows in my favourite genres and then shows that generate alot of buzz and discussion next, so some anime might get sidelined or even dropped. I sincerely apologize in advance for not having omnipotent otaku powers. If you feel the need to bring some attention or love to an unsung gem through the comments or an entire post here, go ahead! I’d love to hear from you. (^_^) So, after you grab and equip your hay-fever protection gear, take a seat and then a gander at the anime of spring ’12!
Where would we be without action in anime? A dull place, of course! Well, let’s take a look at what new vendettas will be born into this season of new beginnings.
Summary: Under the guise of an international shipping company called HCLI, Koko Hekmatyar sells weapons under the table to foreign customers. She travels around the globe with a colourful team of bodyguards with shady pasts. A former child soldier, Jonah, joins the crew despite his hate of guns and arms dealers in general in order to search for his family’s killers’ and exact his revenge.
Thoughts: At first, the manga cover I saw with the androgynous-looking Koko didn’t really get my hopes up. After watching the PV, I changed my mind. The animation looks smooth, the characters look realistic and the premise in general sounds good, with promises of action, action and more action.
Some bloggers have compared it to another anime known for its action and violence-Black Lagoon. I haven’t read or watched the latter, but if its reviews and praises are to be believed, Jormungand will have a tough time escaping Black Lagoon’s shadow. With Unsho Ishizuka (Jet Black/Cowboy Bebop) voicing though, I’ll likely keep an eye out on this one to see how he’s fared since that role while savoring the story.
Lupin III : The Woman Called Fujiko Mine
Summary: As almost every single source I’ve checked says, it’s the first anime based on the famous manga by Kazuhiko Kata in 27 years. The Lupin series is basically about a gang of thieves that include Lupin the Third, the grandson of a fictional legendary thief (who was created by a French author); Daisuke Jigen, a marksman with skill; Goemon Ishikawa XIII, a master swordsman and Fujiko Mine, a femme fatale who occasionaly tricks Lupin for his spoils. This new series is a prequel to the original series and revolves around Fujiko Mine.
Thoughts: The first memory I have of this series is its PS2 game, which I failed miserably at. Admittedly, me being unable to pass the first level was due to personal incompetence, but the poor graphics and clunky game mechanics ensured the death of my interest as well. Anyway, Lupin did redeem himself after I watched his antics in one of his movies. I think the humour was the best part of the movie and I’ll be waiting to see if they’ll stick with it or tone it down in this series.
Fate/Zero (Part 2)
Summary: The prequel to Fate/stay Night, it tells the story of the Fourth Holy Grail War-a war to obtain the fabled grail that is able to grant any wish. This is the latter half of the series that started in winter.
Thoughts: My interest in the Type-Moon universe has peaked of late (thanks to a fan of the series), but I haven’t gotten around to watching this anime adaption of the light novel written by the esteemed Gen Urobuchi (scriptwriter for Madoka Magica). The visuals definitely look impressive along with the story, but I’m also well aware of the complexity of the Type-Moon universe. Since this is prequel to the ‘Fate’ arc though, I think I’ll try to jump into the Type-Moon universe from here. Most likely will attempt a marathon to get up to speed before this series starts. Wish me luck!
After the high bar set by Steins;Gate last year, it’ll be difficult for this year’s newbies to dethrone Oka-I mean HOOUIN KYOUMA! Nonetheless, their premises seem out of this world enough that they just might knock him off his perch…
Summary: Haruyuki, a boy with less-than stellar physical looks and low self-esteem, is offered a chance by a fellow VR game player named Kuroyukihime to join a program called Brain Burst which would gives him the power to slow time down in-game by accelerating his brain waves in the real world. As a way of saying thanks and to overcome his weaknesses, he agrees to help her find out the motive behind Brain Burst. To do that, he’ll have to reach the highest level (10) by defeating 6 Level 9 Brain Burst users in a VR fight. The fact that a defeat in Level 9 will uninstall the program permanently also complicates things.
Thoughts: Actually, I first mistook this manga-adapted anime for a similar-sounding anime-Excel Saga since they both have almost the same title. Need to get my otaku eyes and ears checked… Anyway, Accel World’s definitely got my attention, thanks to the VR part since I’ve a soft spot for sci-fi. Blame it on Steins;Gate, I guess.
Also, dat bishoujo. However, the shonen-style tournament with the Level 9 players is leaving me a little suspicious though, since I’m not a big fan of shonen plot devices…
Moving on, the main protagonist isn’t the most appealing-looking hero I’ve seen in a while, what with the short and pudgy stature and the very simple design. But who knows? He could pull a fast one later on as the story progresses like Simon in TTGL did. Based on the PV though, the art for the avatars isn’t really up my alley too. I mean, couldn’t they at least make the Haruyuki’s avatar a tad personalised? It looks so soulless and impersonal imo, which is the opposite of what an avatar’s supposed to do, isn’t it?. The supporting characters aren’t looking too promising either, but, as I’ll definitely say later on-it’s too early to tell.
What do you think of Haruyuki?
Eureka Seven AO
Summary: An original sequel to the Eureka Seven series, it tells the tale of Ao Fukai, an orphan who lives on an island in the Okinawa region. When it is attacked by an entity called ‘Secret’, he rises up to the challenge of defending his home.
Thoughts: A sequel? I don’t think I’m up for it, since I’ll be missing a ton of references concerning the first Eureka Seven. Did I mention that I’ve not watched the first one too? The ‘unassuming kid becoming a hero’ theme is not the most original plot device either, but we’ll have to see if they add any twists to it. Anyway, the animation from the PV looks decent, but nothing awe-inspiring just yet. Ao Fukai really looks like Naota Nandaba from FLCL though, and I just couldn’t get the latter out of my head when watching Ao in the PV. This could be problematic in the future…Overall, I’m not too hot on this one, but I’ll watch a few episodes to see if it latches on to me.
Does Fukai look a bit too familiar to you? And have you watched the original Eureka Seven?
Summary: Jin Kanzaki, a man with the ability to transform into the superhuman Zet and Kouga Amagi, a youth who uses technology to become the hero Alphasz, fight against enemies known as Players-monstrous creations created by Kouga’s grandfather with the help of his Amagi Corporation.
Thoughts: Other than a vague memory of the manga cover, I’m also a complete newbie to this series. But after a watch of the PV, the dramatic music and unique art style has already got me hooked as well. I’m having high hopes for this, so I hope TMS Entertainment can deliver the goods.
Pining for ultra-macho looking men?
Summary: Little is known about this anime, since it’s based on an unpublished script from the 198o’s by Leiji Matsumoto. What we do know however, that it’s about a post-apocalyptic story about Earth being buried in a see of sand. The protagonist, Sam, pursues his brother’s enemy Ozma, and meets Maya-a fugitive from the Theseus army.
Thoughts: I can’t count myself among the most enthusiastic fans of classic anime, but I do acknowledge and appreciate their contribution to modern anime. That said, the art style looks distinctively retro but polished enough to keep it up to date. The story is a bit vague for now, but I’m hoping it’ll prove itself when it airs for 6 episodes (yes, it’s that short). Might be worth it to take a look, if only to get a taste of what it was like back then.
Miss the oldies?
~Bishoujo, Bishounen and Romance etc.~
Admittedly, I’m not a fan of bishounen, so there’ll be little to no coverage on this genre. I might touch upon it in the future, but right now, with so much to cover and with little time, my focus will be on bishoujo. Feel free to recommend (and review, if you’d like) some upcoming or past bishounen shows though, I’d be glad to hear them. Enough chatter though, let’s see what lovebirds will grace our screens in the warmth of spring.
Summary: Mahiro Yasaka encounters Nyarlathotep-a monster from Lovecraftian lore-who apparently, is a bishoujo. That’s it. No seriously, that’s it. It’s an adaption from a light novel by Manta Aisora.
Thoughts: HaiNya’s premise is unique(?) for anime
and dat bishoujo, so I think I’ll give this a chance to see how it goes. No other reason to watch this one all the way through for now though, except for Eri Kitamura (Sayaka Miki/Madoka, Kawashima Ami/Toradora). Fact is, I’m setting my expectations a bit low for this one…
Nyarlathotep not to your taste? How ’bout Cthulhu?
Summary: Chihiro Furuya loves zombies, so much so that he tries to revive his dead cat using a zombification potion. Rea, a girl from a wealthy family, wishes to die and be reborn and helps Chihiro with his potion. After a scuffle with a guard sent by her oppressive father, she falls of a cliff and dies. What goes on next is quite obvious…
Thoughts: The story seems a bit cobbled up to me, with bits and pieces from different genres like romance, comedy and ecchi put together not convincingly. That’s not unappealing, but the way they’re randomly put together does unsettle me a bit. The PV doesn’t reveal much, other than Chihiro (who has cat hair) and Rea (who looks a bit like the female NEET from Kamisama Memo). Hard to say if this’ll fly, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Tired of zombies?
Summary: Very little info is known about the plot, but it seems to be a slice-of-life series along the lines of ‘K-on!’. The title means literally Summer Colour Miracle.
Thoughts: The seiyuu are made up entirely of members from Sphere-a J-pop idol unit made up of seiyuu. Other than that, there’s really nothing to set this apart from K-On or any other schoolgirl series. The art’s quite generic but the production values from the PV look very stunning. Still, I don’t think I’ll be checking it out unless I hear some good news about it from other people later on.
Although she looks cute, anyone else think Rinko’s hair looks like fried bacon or seaweed?
Summary: An adaption from a mystery light novel by Honobu Yonezawa, this anime tells the tale of Hotaro, Eru, Satoshi and Mayaka-members of a high school classical literature club. A collection of works by former club members titled ‘Hyouka’ leads them into a mystery stretching back 33 years.
Thoughts: With KyoAni behind this, I can see this show being the darling of the otaku crowd, including myself. The signature Kyoani style on the characters is really reminding me of K-On!, which can only mean high quality animation and plenty of moe to squeal over. I love mysteries as well, so Hyouka might prove itself to be a strong contender for Best Mystery Anime against “Another’. Overall, I’ll definitely be tuning in to this one.
Pweety Hyouka on your reading list?
~~~~~Misc and Misfits~~~~~
The above title may sound rather unkind, but this season’s misfits are definitely among the most anticipated shows for me. Let’s see what oddballs will surprise us this season.
Sakamichi no Apollon
Summary: In the 1960’s, freshman Kaoru Nishimi moves to a Kyushu high school thanks to his father’s job. There, he meets the infamous Sentaro Kawabuchi, who shows him the beauty of jazz and becomes his first real friend. With a cast of fellow students, Sakamichi no Apollon portrays the challenges faced by these youths as they grow up.
Thoughts: C’mon, who doesn’t love the 60’s? Okay, there were a lot of problems in the world then, but that’s no reason to ignore the energy and promise that seemed to permeate the air. Granted, I may be looking at this through nostalgia-tinted glasses, but the 60’s definitely has a charm that other periods don’t have. Makes me wonder why not many anime are made about this period though, I think there’s so much potential.
Anyway, Sakamichi no Apollon looks like your usual story of teens growing up, except for the different time period and the inclusion of jazz as a major theme. I’m definitely going to follow this one closely because of the big names behind the production team such as Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop!) and Yoko Kanno. The energetic PV along with that realistic drumming (I’m assuming-I’ve never drummed before XD) also begs me to take a look at this unique series. Prepare for tons of ‘Dat Drum’ or maybe even ‘Dat Sax’ from me in the weeks to come.
Swinging Sixties your thing?
Summary: Yuki Sanada, a socially-awkward boy, meets an alien, a fellow high-schooler and an Indian. Together, they get involved in an event on Enoshima which will be determine the fate of the world.
Thoughts: The art seems like it came out of a modern art museum, which is why I’m eyeing this one closely. As far as weird storylines in anime go, Tsuritama’s is par for the course. It has potential, but as I said, we’ll have to see how it goes about it this spring. The seiyuu lineup is giving me some hope though, with luminaries such as Sugita Tomokazu and Irino Miyu from Nichibros providing their talent.
Are self-proclaimed aliens a hidden menace to other unsuspecting characters?
Phew, that was a long one. I almost ran out of things to say too, which is quite evident in the last entry. XD Anyway, these’re the anime that I’ll be keeping an eye on for the spring. Expect a(nother) humongous Post Pilot episode compilation similar to this one after I’ve given the first episodes a spin. Until then, enjoy this First Look!