[Description]: Now that the Fall season is just around the corner I wanted to take the opportunity to flesh out my opinions about the upcoming shows and talk about what looks good going forward. I will only be discussing the anime that have peaked my interest and so I won’t be covering every single show in the season. I likely won’t be watching every show I mention here and I’ve included a few that I don’t think will be as great as some others but many of them I’ll at least be giving a shot based on either their production or premise. I’m particularly excited by how many original anime there seem to be this season.
3-gatsu no Lion (March Comes in Like a Lion)
How fortunate that I’m able to put this show alphabetically first on my list because Sangatsu no Lion is one of the shows that I, as well as many other people, are looking forward to the most. Based on the Young Animal manga by author Umino Chika, Sangatsu no Lion is a character drama revolving around the game of shogi. It features the relatively untapped Kawanishi Kengo playing the role of the protagonist Kiriyama Rei accompanied by the more recognizable and veteran talents of Hanazawa Kana and Kayano Ai. What’s more – it’s a Shaft production so it will surely sport some of their usual flair alongside the directing style of Shinbou Akiyuki of Monogatari and Madoka renown (to name but a few). The show looks beautiful and promising and while I haven’t read the manga, I’m excited to see what kind of story this is.
Personally I really disliked the first season of the show but it’s in my masochistic nature to see things through to the end and at least it’s still got Bones’ animation behind it. Maybe, with the first season out of the way, the show can move onto bigger and better things and perhaps this is the season that miraculously turns things around but my hopes are not high going into it. To the best of my knowledge the production staff remains the same as it was in the previous season and I’ll either end up watching it or not.
This is a show with a premise just too bizarre and strange for me to ignore. The story involves weird versions of famous composers, chiefly Mozart and Beethoven, who appear and possess the ability to cause the stars to fall and make giant robots appear. It sounds totally unhinged and at the very least might be checking out for the sake of its comedy. Its a Sunrise original anime directed by Fujita Yoichi – the same director as Gintama and the recently successful Osomatsu-san series. Staring well-known seiyuu such as Kaji Yuki, Shimazaki Nobunaga, and Komatsu Mikako it’s got a reasonably recognizable cast. This may very well turn out to be completely absurd and forgettable but there’s also the chance it’s genuinely funny.
Speaking of bizarre premises, Flip Flappers revolves around two girls named Papika and Cocona, an alternate dimension named ‘Pure Illusion,’ and a mysterious crystal called the ‘Shard of Mimi’. I have no idea what this show is actually about but the PV for it looks fantastic. Originating from the relatively new Studio 3Hz, the stellar animation sequences exhibited in its promos has already peaked the interest of many sakuga-fans. It’s hard to say whether the narrative content will back up the show’s supposed visual strengths but it looks fun, boisterous, and vibrant so I’m definitely looking forward to figuring out what this original anime is all about.
Fune wo Amu (The Great Passage)
Another one of the anime I am most looking forward to, it features the prodigous voice acting talent of Sakurai Takahiro, Kamiya Hiroshi, and Sakamoto Maaya. Based on the novel of the same name, Fune wo Amu has the look of a contemporary workplace drama revolving around dictionaries and words. It’s original character designs were provided by Kumota Haruko known for their work on Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu and the anime’s promos seem to host a variety of visual metaphors which ought to be entertaining. I’m unsure about the production work of studio Zexcs as I’m unfamiliar with most of their shows but from what I’ve seen so far it looks to be very promising.
Third season of Haikyuu!! As evidenced by the title, the season details the team’s showdown with their most substantial opponents yet and the only marked difference between this season and the previous ones is that it is only 10 episodes (I believe). For those who have already seen the prior two seasons of the show, you already know what you’re going to get. For those who haven’t – volleyball, sports, teamwork; all that good stuff.
Hibike! Euphonium 2 (Sound! Euphonium 2)
Another sequel series, Hibike Euphonium looks to be following along right where its predecessor left off. Expect a lot of music, drama, and high school band politics. Not much to say here as the production remains primarily unchanged and Kyoto Animation ought to be bringing out their usual gorgeous artwork and aesthetic.
Keijo!!!!!!!!! (Hip Whip Girl)
Here’s a… bizarre show. Keijo!!!!!!!!!! is a sports ecchi that centers around the gambling sport of ‘Keijo’ wherein girls stand on small, floating platforms and attempt to push each other off by means of their butt and breasts. It sounds ludicrous – and it is, but from what can be gleaned from the PVs, it brings such a hilarious intensity and spectacle to the premise that it might just be over-the-top enough to be funny or really entertaining. Maybe it’s an absurd example of pure fan-service or perhaps it’s a comically gratuitous sports show but either way, I’ll at least be giving it one episode to see whether it’s worth watching.
Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku (Magical Girl Raising Project)
These anime just seem to get weirder the further down I go. Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku is a twisted magical girl anime from studio Lerche based on a light novel of the same name. Its premise involves a social networking game with the capability of turning people into real Magical Girls. The administration of one district containing 16 of these Magical Girls decides that the number must be halved and what follows is a murderous battle for survival. The voice cast features a large number of recognizable seiyuu including Hayami Saori, Sakura Ayane, Kobayashi Yuu, and Arai Satomi to name just a few. I’m interested in anything that sounds this laughably perturbing and Madoka has given me a permanent sweet spot for the more sinister takes on the mahou shoujo genre. Worth checking out at least.
Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Natsume’s Book of Friends Five)
After a break of approximately 4 years, the fifth season of Natsume Yuujinchou finally arrives. Fresh off of the success of 91 Days and having finished the animated adaptation of Durarara, Studio Shuka has demonstrated their ability to produce something original as well as uphold the quality of older Brain’s Base titles. With that said, I’m confidant in the studio’s ability to deliver another good installment of the series. From the looks of it, Deai Kotomi, director of Rolling☆Girls and Gin no Saji’s 2nd Season, has stepped up alongside Omori Takahiro to direct the show so I’m curious to see if there is any styalistic difference. I think it’s fair to expect more of the same out of this series.
Based on the light novel series created by Shikura Chiyomaru, also known for his involvement in Steins;Gate, Occultic;Nine looks to be a paranormal mystery show centering around a reasonably large, central cast of bizarre and eccentric characters. Featuring what is likely the most remarkable voice cast of the season, it stars Kaji Yuki, Ishikawa Kaito, Sawashiro Miyuki, and Sakura Ayane as well as several others. It’s an A-1 Pictures show directed by Ishiguro Kyohei who also handled Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso and Lance N’ Masques so it’s hard to know what to expect. It looks pretty erratic and unusual and has a lot of star-power to it so it’ll probably be worth watching.
Shuumatsu no Izetta (Izetta, The Last Witch)
Shuumatsu no Izetta is an anime original show produced by the seasoned yet relatively obscure studio Ajia-Do. The premise features an imaginative blend between magical witches and the European wartime of the 1940’s in an alternate world. Akaneya Himika stars in one of her only lead rolls as Izetta herself but is accompanied by Hayami Saori and a handful of other recognizable talent. It’s hard to get a read on what the tone of this show will be but all it needed to show me was a witch riding a rifle in place of a broom to get my attention – and maybe that’s all the show will ever need to be. At the very least, it looks to have crisp and colorful visuals and should be worth checking out.
While not technically a sequel, WWW.Working!! is a new show based on the web manga by the original author of the series, Takatsu Karino. The story will take place in the familiar setting of a different Wagnaria restaurant which hosts a new cast of characters that are guaranteed to be just as fun and quirky as the last. Kamakura Yumi, the director of the final season of Working!! returns to direct this new series. The voice cast presents a variety of well-known seiyuu such as Hikasa Yoko, Amamiya Sora, Nakamura Yuuichi, and Uchiyama Kouki and the show will still be handled by A-1 Pictures. One of the most notable production changes is addition of Yokoyama Masaru who will be providing the music for the show.
Last but certainly not least, Yuri!!! on Ice is an original, figure skating , sports anime from studio MAPPA. It is created and directed by Yamamoto Sayo who recently directed a short animated feature of a similar subject matter for the Nihon Animator Expo titled ‘Endless Night‘. It has an all-star cast of seiyuu, seemingly dramatic and expressive animation, and choreography provided by renowned Japanese figure skater Miyamoto Kenji. This show looks pretty promising and is definitely one of the upcoming anime I am most looking forward to.