Fall 2016 Anime Season Preview — There’s Potential In Here Somewhere

Let’s see if I can actually dig it up next month.

The end of the year is approaching and whilst I’ll give my full thoughts on a later date, I will say right now that nothing has really matched up to Concrete Revolutio in terms of blowing me away. And based on what I’m seeing on the Fall charts, I don’t expect to see a full-on anime series that’s going to really impress me by the time 2016 ends. Of course, there’s always potential for something to surprise me like Revolutio did last year, but we’ll deal with that when it comes. Anyways, I thought about sticking to the standard season preview format I’ve been doing as of late a little while longer, but I found that I can’t be assed due to the large amount of anime that would only get a one sentence dismissive snark from me, along with my new rule to not look up who’s doing the anime (with some exceptions) until after I’ve watched a bit of it, restricting the amount of preview information I can actually talk about.

Why am I not looking up the anime before I watch it, you may ask? Because I’m sick and tired of people judging anime by the staff and circumstances behind it over the actual product, and whilst I can’t avoid learning the studio producing the show on Anichart, I’m putting my foot down regarding the actual staff. Yes, this means I won’t be reading my colleagues’ previews either, but I’m sure they’ll have a lot of fun jizzing all over Sayo Yamamoto’s pretty boy ice-skating show solely for the fact that it was made by her. And you’ll have fun reading their excitement regardless, judging the show before you actually watch it like those Suicide Squad defenders who petitioned to have Rotten Tomatoes shut down before they even saw the movie. Hey, remember when people thought the first episode of Plastic Memories was actually good? Were they the same people who found Planetarian’s first episode to be uninteresting? Because that’d be fucking ironic.

Anyways, I’m just going to highlight a few upcoming shows this time and cram everything else into its own PV-less entry. Also, whilst I’m not bothering to watch anything that belongs to a genre I don’t care about or a sequel to something I either never saw or didn’t care for the first iteration of, I’m still going to watch everything else for the blog and am open to the possibility of all of them being fun (except Occultic;Nine, obviously). Also, forget previewing movies. Even when you know the DVD release date, it’s a crapshoot regarding when it gets subbed.

****

Sound Euphonium 2

Summary: A sequel to Sound Euphonium, an actually good KyoAni anime.

My worry in regards to the new Euphonium is whether KyoAni realizes what it was about the first show that’s actually fun to watch. If they continue focusing on the characterization/drama with this sequel, then I’ll happily eat up more. But if they focus on the mundane wonders of being in a high school band like the first season occasionally did (particularly in its first half) or give Hazuki too much screen time (she sucks, Euphonium fans. Accept it), then I’ll probably drop it. Not my kind of entertainment, man. Still, the chances of that happening are fairly low. With the new season apparently adapting two books instead of one and the club’s motivation all risen, the only worry I really have to care about is whether the upcoming drama is actually good drama and not the kind of mundane shit that brought down Kiznaiver. I’ve heard one of them concerns a certain character moving away, which sounds kinda light to me, but the first season managed to spin a compelling tale out of learning that the desire to win competitions can be strong enough to get emotional over even when it looks silly to an outsider, so here’s hoping.

Also, that PV is hilarious and I will not hear anything to the contrary.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

Summary: Second season of that anime that people jumped onto like leeches for some reason, despite the fact that the two episodes I lasted were terrible and my Gundam-loving friends have informed me was too much for even them before the halfway point.

Not in a million years. Get your “being a child soldier is bad” themes, fucking awful usage of in medias res, and cheap emotional manipulation away from me Okada, because I’m not interested!

March Comes Like a Lion

Summary: Rei Kiriyama is a 17 year old boy who recently started living alone, financed by his salary as a professional Shogi player. Despite his independence, however, he’s yet to mature emotionally, and his problems continue to haunt him in his daily life. His relationship with his adoptive family is strained, and he has difficulties interacting with his fellow high school students.

Meanwhile, his professional career in Shogi has entered a slump. Burdened with the heavy expectations placed upon him, his wins and losses are fluctuating as his record and progression into the ranks begin to stagnate.

Acquainted with Rei are the three Kawamoto sisters: Akari, Hinata, and Momo. Unlike Rei, they live happily in their modest home, which they warmly welcome Rei into as if he were one of their own. He frequently visits the family, interacting with them and receiving the kind of care and affection he never quite had while under his foster home.
This is the story of Rei’s triumphs and failures, relationships new and old, and his growth as a person.

There’s a good amount of pedigree behind this one. Shaft is adapting a critically acclaimed manga that was written by the dude responsible for Honey & Clover, which seems to be more focused on the characterization than the competition. Of course, Shaft does have a history of ruining their past material with their own quirks, so who knows (I’ve heard the PV I linked above shows toned-down Shaft-isms, but I refuse to watch it to confirm that)? Either way, I’ll give this the benefit of the doubt until I actually see it. Seems to be a nice counterpoint to KyoAni’s own “competition anime” this season, and whilst I’m not looking forward to have to sit through Shaft-isms, the thought of enjoying both a Shaft and a KyoAni show in the same season is something I’d like to see come true.

Haikyuu!!: Karasuno Koukou VS Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou

Summary: You’d have to be living under a rock to not know what Haikyuu is by now.

Haven’t watched any of this series, which is over fifty episodes as of this point. Normally, that means I wouldn’t pick an anime up, but I noticed that this iteration of Haikyuu is only ten episodes long and I’m familiar enough with the show to get the gist of what goes on in it (it’s not like Haikyuu is Hikaru no Go in terms of Shonen Jump sports anime). So what the hell? I’ll put it on my schedule as long as it doesn’t come out on a busy day or something.

Yuri on Ice

Summary: The show’s story revolves around Yūri Katsuki, who carried all of Japan’s hopes on his shoulders to win at the Gran Prix Finale ice skating competition, but suffered a crushing defeat. He returns home to Kyushu and half feels like he wants to retire, and half feels like he wants to continue ice skating. With those mixed feelings swirling inside him, he confines himself inside his parents house. Suddenly the five-time consecutive world championship ice skater Victor Nikiforov appears before him, and along with him is Yuri Plisetsky, a young Russian figure skater who is already defeating his seniors. Victor and both Yuris take up the challenge on an unprecedented Gran Prix series.

Why only have one Mappa sports anime centered on a bunch of males being gay for each other when you can have two in the same season? Anyways, this is that Sayo Yamamoto show I mentioned at the beginning of this post and whilst I have no reason to doubt that it’ll be pretty, nothing about the summary indicates what the show is actually going to be about. Will it be about the characters or the act of ice-skating itself? Because whilst the latter sorta interests me, there’s only so long you can extract entertainment out of that, especially with a TV show. And then there’s the fact that the characters are all guys, I generally don’t watch monogender shows, and I don’t see a single female manager in any of the promo material. I can’t say for sure if Yuri on Ice is going to be another fujoshi-pandering sports anime, but I can definitely say that that audience is going to eat it up, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen eye-to-eye on them in regards to these sorts of shows.

Shoushin Shoujo Matoi

Summary: It is 2016. Matoi Sumeragi, a second-year junior high school student, works part-time as a shrine maiden at Tenman Shrine in the city of Kamaya. Ever since being separated from her mother in early childhood, Matoi has been entrusted to her grandparents on her father’s side, but three months ago, she finally began to live with her father Shingo. In those circumstances, she only wishes for a peaceful, normal life.

Her close friend and part-time workmate Yuma Kusanagi is part of the family of the shrine’s chief priest, and is a candidate to be the successor shrine maiden. For generations, her family has performed exorcisms of evil spirits. She invites Matoi to one of these exorcism ceremonies, a so-called “Divine Possession” that she will attempt.

One day, Matoi and Yuma walk from the school to the shrine as usual, but when they arrive, they are greeted by the shrine’s now damaged grounds, and Yuma’s parents have both collapsed from their wounds. Matoi’s father Shingo, a police detective, launches an investigation, and he comes upon a man who does not seem entirely sane: his only witness. When he holds down the man, Yuma begins the ritual of Divine Possession.

Something strange then happens, not with Yuma, but with Matoi. Matoi Sumeragi, who had only wanted a normal, peaceful life, takes the role of a god, and gains the power to banish evil spirits! To get her precious everyday life back, Matoi must conduct exorcisms!

You’re not going to convince me to watch a show about cute girls, especially not with an overly complex summary like that. Plus, after Re:Zero, I need a break from White Fox. Seriously, it’s like this studio has a grudge against me or something.

Occultic;Nine

Summary: The “paranormal science” story follows nine idiosyncratic individuals, linked by the “Choujou Kagaku Kirikiri Basara” occult summary blog run by 17-year-old second-year high school student Yuuta Gamon. Little incongruities that occur around these nine eventually lead to a larger, unimaginable event that may alter what is considered common sense in this world.

If there was an award for the worst hype-killer of the season, the contest would immediately be cancelled because no judge would possibly consider anything else after seeing all that Occultic;Nine has stacked against it. As I’m sure some of you are aware, A-1 Pictures’ reputation has gotten so bad these days that saying they don’t suck is actually considered a bold statement, so you can imagine what the reaction was when their name was attached to this (not that the boob shots in that Japan-only PV helped). Second, whilst it is based on a light novel series that apparently has nothing to do with the Science Adventure/semicolon franchise, it’s still the same creators, which isn’t a plus in my book. And light novels are nothing but another form of visual novel anyways, so I can’t see any reason to hype this up at all. I did actually take a look at the staff for this and saw that the director is the guy who did Your Lie In April. I saw him at Anime Boston and he seems like a nice guy, but I’m pretty damn sure his talent his limited by how many resources the studio wants to give him given he also gave us Lances n’ Masques, so don’t go using his name as a reason for thinking this might turn out alright.

Time Bokan 24

Summary: The anime centres on Tokio, a junior high student living in the present time who is suddenly made a member of the 24th century’s Space-Time Administration Bureau. Immediately, he learns that the history he has learned in the textbooks is wrong, and there is a more interesting version of history where the peerless beauty Cleopatra is actually the comic duo of Cleo and Patra, Momotarō is more of an ogre than actual ogres. Together with his teammate Karen, they use the 24 Bokan Mecha to search for the True History.

Another one of Tatsunoko’s attempts to revive an old series. Another “I don’t care” reaction from me, because I have not liked any of these attempts thus far and I don’t think Time Bokan is going to change that.

Kochira Katsushikaku Kamearikouenmae Hashutsujo

Summary: 40th anniversary celebration of this Guinness World record-breaking manga

I’m surprised the manga for this is still going on given that it’s about four decades old by now. Never read any of it myself or watched the anime adaptations, so all I know about this series with a long name is that it’s about this greedy fool cop named Ryotsu and the antics he causes, not helped by the fact that the police in this show are generally incompetent. It’s Shonen Jump, and I’ve never found the transition from manga to anime to work out well for any of their products because you can’t get away with the on-going format as well with cartoons as you can with comics, so I don’t expect to like this. Still, I’ll probably watch some of it just to see what the deal is.

Tiger Mask W

Summary: In “The Tiger’s Hole,” the behind-the-scenes organization of the revived wresting world, two young wrestlers take a stand. One of those fighters has inherited the training facility and mask of a tiger that Naoto Itou left at the foot of Mount Fuji. The other fighter has been victorious at fierce competitions since entering The Tiger’s Hole, and has obtained the black Tiger Mask. A Tiger Mask that walks down the path of light, and a Tiger Mask that walks down the path of shadow. Neither of them have ever seen each other’s face… In the ring, the two are fated rivals, but their goals are the same: “Crush The Tiger’s Hole!”

Don’t know a thing about this one. Don’t care to look it up. I just know some old-school fans are looking forward to it, so I thought I’d spotlight it here.

The Great Passage

Summary: The series follows the employees at the Genbu Shobō publishing company. Araki, who is a veteran editor for the dictionary department, is looking for a successor now that he’s approaching retirement age. After Majime Mitsuya — a salesman who’s a poor talker — meets Masashi Nishioka — Araki’s coworker who is sociable and frivolous — Araki overhears their conversation and decides to recruit Majime into the department. The story follows “the awkward humans” Majime and Masashi as they work together to compile a medium-sized Japanese dictionary titled “The Great Passage”

I can’t seem to find much information about the new noitamina show, but I did discover that it had a decently reviewed live-action film adaptation in the past, although of course there aren’t any subs for it. Apparently, it’s about the fifteen-year long tale of a guy and his friend creating a dictionary in order to connect people across language barriers or something to that effect. Depending on how that’s executed, that premise can turn into either a grand tale of words or a moppy Oscar-bait snorefest. Of course, that’s not the entire story. Apparently, the main dude falls in love and decides to find the “true” definition of the word as part of his dictionary journey. Yeah it sounds cheesy when you say it out loud, and I don’t think it’s going to be much better when it plays out in animated form.

Nambaka

Summary: Four men are assigned to the prison: Juugo, a man who attempted to break out of prison and ended up extending his jail time; Uno, a man who likes to gamble with women; Rokku, a man who likes to get into fights; and Niko, a man who likes anime.

Let the Prison School comparisons come in. Other than that, I’ve got nothing.

Drifters

Summary: The story of the manga centers around Shimazu Toyohisa, the real-life samurai who fought in the pivotal Battle of Sekigahara. In his dying moments, Shimazu is transported to a world of magic with other famous warriors throughout history. These warriors are forced to fight each other in an endless battle.

You guys who were already interested in this have seen that OVA by now. Why should I bother adding to the excitement?

Classicaloid

Summary: The story follows high school students Kanae and Sousuke, who live in a provincial town that is trying to revitalize itself with music. One day, suddenly “Classicaloid” versions of Beethoven and Mozart appear in front of Kanae and Sousuke. When the suspicious-looking Classicaloids play music they call “mujik,” it has a strange power: stars start to fall, and giant robots appear. Now every day is tumultuous. Eventually, more Classicaloids start to appear such as Bach, Chopin, and Schubert. What is the great power that the Classicaloids have? Are they friends or foe to humanity?

I know that the same team who did Osomatsu-san is doing this, but this doesn’t look to be a gag comedy (although no doubt it’ll have some of that style of humor in it). In fact, I have no idea what this show is at all. I’m just bringing it up because of how unique it looks, although there’s no doubt that this is a Sunrise show from the very summary. Bishie versions of Beethoven and Mozart? Giant robots, because what’s a Sunrise anime without giant robots? I guess this show will appeal to people who wanted Euphonium to be more wacky or whatever, but unless the anime actually deals with the existence of Classicaloids in a mature way, then what’s the point? And before people ask me what I’m looking for in terms of maturity regarding this show, let me pre-emptively answer with “not my problem”. Last I checked, the good anime deliver on what I didn’t know I wanted, thus it’s out of my hands regarding what I want from Classicaloid. What I definitely don’t want though is another Gintama, so I better not see any blatant anime parodies in this thing.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go

Summary: Fifth season of Natsume Yuujinchou

Self-explanatory.

Everything Else

Let’s wrap this up by giving some one sentence thoughts on everything else coming out this season that I can’t be assed to give their own entries.

12-Sai. Chiccha na Mune no Tokimeki 2 – Don’t care.
AJIN 2 – I’ll wait for the Netflix release.
All Out!! – I’m planning to watch a lot of sports/competition anime this season and I think rugby is pushing it.
Bloodivores – When an anime gets announced to air this late in the preceding season, that’s generally not a good sign.
Brave Witches Don’t care.
Bubuki Buranki: Hoshi no Kyojin – Hell fucking no.
BUNGOU STRAY DOGS 2 – Whatever.
Cardfight!! Vanguard G Next – Don’t care.
Chi’s Sweet Home 2016 – Don’t care.
Digimon Universe: App Monsters – Don’t care.
Flip Flappers – Those eyes in the promo images turn me off.
Girlish Number – Not watching a cute girl show.
Heybot! – Don’t care.
Idol Memories – Unless it’s horror-related, I will never watch an idol show.
Kaitou Joker 4 – This is still going?
Keijo!!!!!!!! – Xebec + fanservice = gross.
Long Riders! – When did cute girls on bikes become a thing?
Lostorage incited WIXOSS – People who can actually take this show seriously exist, and that scares me.
Luger Code 1951 – This doesn’t look bad, but since I never read the manga and refuse to look at who Deen put on this, I can’t say much.
Magic-kyun! Renaissance – Reverse harems aren’t my speed.
Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku – No magical girl stuff on this blog.
Monster Hunter Stories: RIDE ON – Hahaha, no!
Nazotokine – WTF?
Nobunaga no Shinobi – How many times is anime going to rape Nobunaga’s corpse?
Sengoku Choujuu Giga – Not really interested in the Sengoku era.
Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume – I’d rather watch the ping pong anime from 2014.
SHOW BY ROCK!! 2 – Don’t care.
Shuumatsu no Izetta – I have no idea what this is, but I see yuri in the promo image, which is not a good sign in my book.
Stella no Mahou – Keep your cute girl shit away from me, Silver Link.
Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru – I don’t do anime based on video games I haven’t played or stories about “cheerful lives”.
TRICKSTER: Edogawa Rampo “Shounen Tantei-dan” yori – Considering mystery shows and TMS Entertainment have screwed me over in the past, I don’t see a reason why I should give this its own entry.
Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari – Unless someone can give me a very good reason, I won’t watch a slice-of-life show about some dude taking care of a kid.
Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Legend Star – Let’s hope the budget comes back to appease the fangirls.
ViVid Strike! – Isn’t it kind of redundant to air this in the same season as Brave Witches?
Watashi ga Motete Dousunda – Reverse harem + Brains Base = Destined to be forgotten.
WWW.WORKING!! – How is this show still going?
Various Shorts – 
Maybe if I’m in the mood.

Minor Quips

  • Hopefully that Euphonium recap film gets subbed sometime this week so I can refresh my memory quickly.
  • Do we count Ajin 2 as a Fall anime or a Winter anime?
  • So how was you guys’ Labor Day weekends? Good I hope.

12 responses to “Fall 2016 Anime Season Preview — There’s Potential In Here Somewhere

  1. About Nanbaka, I read a bit of the manga, and it has nothing to do with Prison School. Whereas Prison School’s humour was purposefully raunchy and the entire premise rode on applying the tropes of prison escape movies with a straight face to the entirely ridiculous setting, Nanbaka’s humour seems to be the most inoffensive ever seen form of anime-isms and despite being set into an ACTUAL prison there’s no sense of dread or seriousness at all. Just a few dudes chillin’ with theirguard friend and their wacky shenanigans. I somehow doubt you’ll enjoy this.

    That 40 year old manga thing is closing down, I hear, so that’s what the celebration is actually about.

    Classicaloid sounds way too out there for me not to at least look at it. I would be surprised if it’d be good-good, but it has wide margins to be ridiculous-good. Which is… not the best kind of good actually, but it still can be entertaining.

    And “Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku” doesn’t seem very magical-girly, despite the title. More like Battle Royale meets your standard magical girl setting. It’s one of Madoka’s spawn, except probably it’s going to be terribad and edgy for its own sake. Still giving it a shot, could be fun.

    • The way I see it, if Classicaloid can integrate its “anime-isms” into whatever tale it wants to weave as a proper storytelling device like with Osomatsu-san’s dramatic parts or Danganronpa, than I can see it working out. If it keeps the anime-isms and plot separate though like Rewrite or the majority of Sunrise’s other anime, it can get real old real fast.

      • Personally I’ll be happy already if it produces a decent-to-good soundtrack that reworks classical music in modern genres. I’m a sucker for that kind of thing. Not that I need to actually *watch the show* for that, of course.

  2. You Kyoani fans will keep up eating any piece of bland moeshit with cheap pandering like Euphonium again and again, won’t you? Who cares if the show has terrible writing and the characters are infantilized cardboar cutouts, give me my cute girls doing cute things, right? People like you are everything wrong with anime and anime fans.

  3. There are a ridiculous number of sequel and nostalgia-bait shows in fall. Seems like anime industry is learning from Hollywood, which is not a good thing. There are some shows I’m interested in, but it’s hard to say anything concrete at this point.

    So, let’s speculate a bit. March Comes Like a Lion will probably be the hype anime of the season, while Classicalnoid is going to be that show critic loved but no one else does. Natsume Yuujinchou is the critically acclaimed sequel which nobody watched because they haven’t caught up to the four previous seasons. Of course, there’s that Sengoku series that no one outside of Japan cares about.

    There’s a also few other notable sequels. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans will be loved by the public and hated by the Gundam elitist. Haikyuu is that show hyped by sport anime fan, while the rest of anime watching population ignore it. Ajin 2 will be liked, but will not generate any discussion whatsoever, since netflix has it.

    Occultic;Nine and Yuri on Ice will be the next in the line of “made by famed creator who actually only created one or two good show in their entire career”.

    That’s about it, I think. At this point, you can only wait and laugh at the seasonal fight of the “worst season ever” and “best season ever” camp of anime fan base.

    • Occultic;Nine and Yuri on Ice will be the next in the line of “made by famed creator who actually only created one or two good show in their entire career”.

      On the one hand, most people are lucky to create even one good show (for all the shit we give Shyamalan, the fact remains that most directors are lucky to ever make 2, arguably 3, good movies like he did). On the other hand, you should probably stop making things after you create something good because then you’d have to live up to that legacy for the rest of your life, and that’s how we got that weird-tasting True Detective Season 2.

  4. I am afraid Occultic; Nine will be another The Perfect Insider in terms of sheer pretentiousness.

    Sangatsu no Lion and Fune wo Amu are the only shows I honestly look forward this Fall 2016. I lost all my hopes with Kiss Him, Not Me when Brains Base picked the show for adaptation.I am torn with Classicaloid but I am sure I will watch that one given the ‘anime’ premise.

  5. If you look at the premise for ‘Yuri on Ice’, I think its clear that it is, in some nontrivial ways, very different from your average sports show. Just bear in mind I’m making these observations while knowing nothing about the production of the show.

    1) The sport in question is individual. You don’t ice-skate with friends unless the friend is the female candidate from your country. It means that the majority of character interactions should, unlike most sports anime, be characterized by rivalry and not camaraderie. Rivalry is not an uncommon trope, but it is imo one that forces progression in some form.
    2) Figure Ice-skating is a ‘performance’ sport, and not an ‘objective’ sport; that is to say it’s closer to a show about actors than sportsmen. This means you can, unlike Haikyuu, Kuroko et al, potentially actually take the visual depiction of the sport seriously.
    3) MAPPA.
    4) So the act of figure skating does, by itself, have quite a bit of sexuality about it, what with the tight pants, emphasis on feminine grace, and all. Its basically dance done on ice, and evaluated as one would evaluate gymnastics. What that means is that we will almost inevitably get stuff that could be construed as, and feel like ‘fujoshi-pandering’, but is it necessary to treat it that way? Or, could one do a show about figure skating and leave out the implicit sexuality?

  6. A nasty little addition to the minor 2016 horror boom, Don’t Breathe tops up its surfeit of straight-forward jump scares with an impressively disgusting third-act reveal.

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