Since I can’t think up of a good gimmick to describe the upcoming season, I’m just going to be straight with you guys here.
Winter is generally seen as a dead period for anime and whilst some people will try to convince you that the last one was one of the best anime seasons in years, remind yourself that more than half of what bloggers liked at the time were Fall carryovers like Shirobako, Parasyte, Yowamushi Pedal, and Akatsuki no Yona. Okay, there were quite a lot of stuff that started interesting that Winter, but…well the point is that you don’t know what you want until you got it, and you don’t know whether something will stay good until the very end which is why I ultimately don’t see the point in me writing up season previews. We all know I’m going to watch everything anyways, and sometimes in the process, I’ll discover that the best anime of the season isn’t the swanky show set in the Star Wars version of New York, but the anime about cute girls trying to take their orchestra club to the Nationals. Plus, did you know that the guy who wrote one of the worst anime of the year would turn around and write some of my favorites this Fall? Sure I’m still not going to watch Gundam, but when I say watch everything, obviously I don’t mean “everything”.
That said, I can still label warning signs on upcoming products, which is why this season preview stuff is still under my blogging radar. So let’s just get started by saying that I have absolutely no interest in checking out the upcoming Macross series whatsoever. Do You Remember Love has sort of stopped appealing to me overtime, thus severing the one connection I ever had with that mecha franchise; and on top of that, the trailer looks ugly, the main characters are all idols, and the writer is the person responsible for those awful Towa no Quon films and the second season of Log Horizon. I won’t deny that I’m tempted to make some “Kawamori pls” jokes, but with all the bad shit that Satelight has put out over the last few years, I feel like I’d need more than that, and Macross Delta doesn’t look like the kind of show to offer new writing material. As such, unless someone can give me a very good reason why it’s worth watching sometime down the road, it’s getting a pass from me.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s be honest with ourselves regarding the upcoming light novel adaptations and admit that you know they’re going to suck just as much as I do. I mean I don’t even like the “good” light novel adaptations like Baccano or Crest of the Stars, so what chance does Phantom World (which looks pretty of course, but man that rap music in the PV is bad) with its very imbalanced female-to-male ratio, right down to the male lead being pushed in the background in most of the promos, have? Still going to watch A-1’s and KyoAni’s output in the field mind you, but that’s mostly because it’s fun to review/mock their offerings. Can’t say the same for Lerche or Lidenfilms or…actually that’s it. There are only five light novel adaptations coming out this Winter, which is pretty low by today’s standards, and two of them will have some real talent behind ’em. Tatsuya Ishihara is a great director despite his questionable taste in source material, and Ryousuke Nakamura is no slouch either, although how you go from Mouryou no Hako to Psychic School Wars, I’ll never understand. So even though I’m doomed to not like their light fantasy adventures, here’s hoping they at least keep me visually entertained. It’s pretty much the only reason I’m still watching One-Punch Man (and Comet Lucifer to a lesser extent).
Can pretty much write off all the visual novel adaptations as well since they’re just as bad as light novel ones, partly because I think the latter took inspiration from the former. And video game adaptations in general are pretty much doomed from the word “go”. That said, I’m kind of surprised Prince of Stride is based on a visual novel given the premise, but even if it wasn’t, it looks too male-focused for my taste. And of course, there’s the one about people trying to make a bishoujo game despite not knowing a thing about the medium. Seriously, how many times can someone use that “make a manga/dating sim/whatever despite being utterly clueless at it and having girls fall for you in the process” premise anyways? And do the people who write that stuff even watch Welcome to the N.H.K.?
I suppose I can’t do a preview without mentioning PA Works new anime, which I think quite a bunch of people are paying attention to on the grounds that it’s PA Works, who have been getting more positive recognition from certain people due to their recent stuff with Charlotte being a misstep caused by hiring Jun Maeda to write the scripts. Except for the fact that Shirobako and Uchouten were exceptions to the rule too in the same manner that people don’t care for White Fox now that the Steins;Gate team is gone, and Haruchika or however you pronounce it is being made by the usual PA Works guys who’ve made nothing memorable (fuck Tari Tari). Being based on an actual novel is little comfort since Red Data Girl was the very same. And of course, the final point against it is that I don’t like either Shirobako or Uchouten as is, so I have no reason to be hyped for this other than the premise and situation kind of reminding me of Euphonium’s, right down to having its own male teacher with glasses. But whilst Euphonium’s PVs were energetic and lively with animation that didn’t look flat and a premise that spelled out its intentions well, Haruchika’s PV puts me into a saccharine-induced coma and its synopsis is so vague that I don’t know how anyone in their right mind can be excited for this.
The sequels are more of the same, so they need no explanation. That said, I’m hesitant on watching more of Red-Haired Snow White due to how light its overall story actually is, but we’ll cross that bridge when it comes. As for Durarara!!x2, the only thing I’m curious about regarding its last cour is how many people can still say to me with a straight face that it’s a worthwhile show once it’s over. Seriously, how has this show maintained the popularity it still has in certain fandoms? Even Japan hates this show now, and who do you think is the main reason why light novel adaptations continue to exist in the first place?
Not going to speculate on the original anime other than one looks like a shitty version of Patlabor and the other is a Sangizen sci-fi show, but they’re not really grabbing me from their descriptions either. And fuck me if I’m watching the cute girl/slice-of-life shows along with that Fairy Tail prequel. So lastly, we’ve got the manga adaptations. Not gonna bother reading the source since what happens in still pictures is never the same as what happens when they’re moving, but I will say that A-1’s is one of the most interesting based on the premise and mood of the PV. Of course, this hype is tempered by the fact that it’s A-1 and is being directed by the Silver Spoon/Sword Art Online/Occult Academy guy aka one of the blandest anime directors alive. Also, I’m a little creeped out by the fact that a good chunk of the original mangaka’s works have nude girls on the cover. Nevertheless, A-1 has yet to impress me with any one of their sixty-whatever anime mostly due to their horrendous pacing/budget issues, and the fact that they’ve pretty much become anime’s version of the AAA video game industry over the years just makes me want to shun them even more. But of course, being bad by itself isn’t enough of a reason to make me not watch your product, so I’m going to continue watching their bland garbage until they eventually make nothing but idolm@ster sequels.
Okay, so is there anything I’m looking forward to next season with a modicum of hope attached to it? Well like I said, you don’t know what you want until you’ve got it, and it’s possible that one of the anime I all but dismissed above will come around and surprise me, Concrete Revolutio-style. But if there was anything on the charts I could summon enthusiasm for without watching it first, it’d have to be Ajin. It’s apparently a story that explores the dark recesses of humanity, which I’m all for, and Polygon Pictures isn’t a slouch when it comes to making anime either despite their horrendous CG (I wasn’t a fan of Sidonia though). Director is the same guy who took over for Sidonia’s second season, which isn’t much to go by, and I have to admit the format for this show is kind of weird. It has a series and a movie trilogy planned at the same time? Do they tell the same story or is one a continuation of the other?
Whatever. I’m out of energy to describe the upcoming season any further and I still need to save some in regards to finishing the current season. I haven’t even gotten to deciding whether I’ll be taking another quasi-break after the Christmas period is over. All I know is that at the end of the day, I need to write about something to keep the blog alive and just watching what I like isn’t going to pay the bills. So I’ll watch whatever catches my eye and hopefully I’ll enjoy something in the process.