It's that time of the year. It's the feeling of hope that substitutes of a football team experience when rushing over to the next match's lineup to see if they made it. It might not be as sweaty or as gruelling for us anime fans, but every season we hope to see a new anime that would be stiff competition to your current favortites list. Last season, was rather lackluster and even contained anime that was gave Mars of Destruction a run for its money. However, thre was one glimmering anime that shone above the rest and toppled charts and exceeded expectations. I am, of course, talking about the smash hit Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. Would this season contain more junk or was the lineup set to impress? (Expect cynicism)
Wow, that was a lot of build-up. I hyperbole, don't I? Let's get started. Trust me, putting together a preview post for a season that contains 50+ anime, alone, is one hell of a nightmare. I won't be providing much of a synopsis or full links like I did last season. I suggest you use the anime chart made by cowboybibimbop.
[ SPRING 2011 ANIME PREVIEW ]
30-sai no Hoiken Taiiku
(Should've chosen something else to start with...)
An anime that educates thirty year olds how to fall in love, lose your virginity, have sex and maintain their health. Will I watch this? No. Should you? Look at ~ these ~ three ~ images ~ and decide for yourself. I swear, those two look underage. Hard to believe (actually, no) that the manga/novel was successful in Japan. I don't want to talk anymore about this. No, I refuse to even spend one more second of my time trying to analyze this anime. I bet perved 30 year old otaku would have a field day with this one though.
TRazor verdict: "Hell, no!"
A slice of life series that revolves around four moe high (probably middle) school girls. Adapted from a 4-koma manga. 4-komas are usually too small to get much of a reaction from me, but I've grown to be more tolerant of them after last year's hilarious dirty comedy, Seitokai Yakuindomo. The characters seem to be the usual lot - a moe airhead, a moe bookworm, a moe tomboy and a ... just moe. Since the characters seem to be nothing out of the ordinary, it would take an exceptional level of hilarity for this one to succeed.
TRazor verdict: "Not likely"
Ano hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shirinai
(Thank god for copy-paste)
A noitaminA slot program that tells the tale of how six high schoolers who lost touch over the years reunite at the behest of one of the members. When a prestigious and well-known houser, such as noitamina, known for hosting unorthodox yet superb anime like Eden of the East, Honey and Clover and The Tatami Galaxy, brings out a series that deals with long lost friends getting back together, I'm bound to place my bets on it. Nice to see "childhood friends" make an appearance in non-harem anime after all. This is the kind of show I like. I pray with all my heart it doesn't let me down.
TRazor verdict: "Without a doubt, yes"
Ao no Exorcist
(I'm waiting to see how that sounds in Engrish)
Satan's child, Rin, is a demon who exorcises other demons. Set in a world where demons and humans live in separate realms, Rin wants to go to the other side and destroy his father at all costs. Not bad. Sounds standard shonen. It reminds me of Yu Yu Hakusho (demon dad, two realms) + Bleach (sword looks like a Zanpakto and character design looks a tad like Ichigo). The series already has a pretty successful manga and also managed to muster up a decent fanbase. I don't see anything out of the ordinary here, standard stuff. the art looks sexy. Ao no Exorcist will probably win the hearts of many otaku, mainly shonen and beat-em-up fans. Expect a lot of loud-dumbass-protagonist and tsundere-eyes-in-shadow-of-hair moments.
TRazor verdict: "Depends on the length. <13 = maybe. >13 = Flat out no."
C: The Money of Soul and Possibility of Control
This is the second anime that noitaminA is housing this season. C:TMoSaPoC (try to read that out loud) follows Kimimaro a man who is forced onto the streets of the financial district of of the country, which is still reeling from the aftereffects of a financial slump. And... .. . .. ... wait, that's all the info we get? Well, since it's on noitaminA (I know, I'm biased) and comes from the scriptwriter and screenplay supervisor of Baccano! and Durarara!!, I suppose I should be a little interested. Add to that, (I think) it's economy related, so a marketing student such as myself should be intrested. Will it be shades of Spice & Wolf or just plain bad? Have to wait and see.
TRazor verdict: "Maybe. Need more info on the story."
Kids with tiny functional robots that battle against each other in cardboard boxes. Beyblade + Daigunder. Meh...
TRazor verdict: "No"
(Is the Napolean-esque soldier in the middle a guy or a girl?)
An adaptation of a highly successful manga, Deadman Wonderland is about a Tokyo set in the future where the entire city has gone to ruins due to a massive earthquake (what the...), but is still home to Ganta, a boy on the death row, who is out to prove his innocence (he was accused of mass manslaughter). Will probably end up being one of the big-name anime of the season because of the higher readership for the on-going manga. However, it is said to contain tons of gore and other nasty content which will test your stomach. The world is drawn in a video-game post apocalype style and is supposed to be very atmospheric. Well, it is horror...
TRazor verdict: "Will watch just to see if it can live upto its potential"
Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
Hmm, I wonder what this translates to... I hope it isn't something ridiculous like "Electromagentic Wave Woman" or "Adolescent Man". Yea, like that's gonna happen. Damn, that would be stupid. Huh? You're telling me the title translates to "Electromagnetic Wave Woman and Adolescent Man?!?!" Shit's gone crazy, son! And there I was, thinking The Adventures of SharkBoy and LavaGirl 3D was a terrible name... Getting to the story, it's about a high school guy (well, what did you expect? Don't you know that all Japanese heroes are actually high school delinquents? And yet, the hot nerds always fall for them) whose sister claims to be an alien. It's from SHAFT, so, I'll keep my expectations open.
TRazor verdict: "Unless the boy gets shot and his sister uses her alien powers to dismantle the CIA, it's a no from me."
So, right, an anime from the creator of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. Set in a world called Fronaldo (I know, I know...), a princess summons a hero. To her disappointment, the hero is a ... Japanese high school boy. And so,
I refuse to continue.
TRazor verdict: "I don't care if it's darker than Madoka and has more shock value than Elfen Lied. The moment I see another pansy high school boy getting his kicks from babysitting mahou shoujo, I cemented my score of 1/10. Sue me."
(Gintoki, you hypocrite...)
Alright, let's get this straight - I haven't watched all 200 episodes of Gintama. I haven't even watched a hundred. I just watched a few random episodes and found it to be witty at times and chuckle-worthy occassionaly. But there was no actual point where I was actually sold on it. Marathoning it might very well have been the worst possible idea as it got stale. Very fast. My question here is, why does this show even need a season two? Two hundred seems moe than enough. And why so quickly? Why not wait a couple more years to parody all the newer trends (reverse-harem, yaoi fanservice and a few other things I would never want to watch) ? I just don't see the point behind this release. If you liked Gintama, then I'm sure you'll have a rollicking time with this one. I just hope this one doesn't consume another 200 episodes.
TRazor verdict: "Sorry, but two hundred episodes is enough to keep me busy. Too much of anything can make you sick...and bored"
A slice of life series revolving around three girls, the lead being a 16 year old girl who manages an inn to help out her grandmother. The first thing that caught my eye was the artwork. Notice how the girls eyes (and physique) are drawn in a very manga-like way? Looks gorgeous. Many a time, animation/design changes due to the artistic differences between the mangaka and the character design artist of the production artist. If you know me well, you should be aware of my love for the genre. Besides, if this isn't a yuri (not that I have anything against it) I think this will be one of my season favorites.
TRazor verdict: "If it has good pacing for the first three weeks, then I'm sure this will be a great series. I'm giving this one the TRazor A-OK"
Hidan no Aria
(Aria the Scarlet Ammo)
An anime about a high school prodigy that ...
TRazor verdict: "Precisely this"
Definitely one of the best of this season. Looks and sounds a lot like Mushishi, except Ginko looks like he has an attitude in this one. In Hyouge Mono or Tea for the Universe, we follow a man who has immesurable passion for Japanese tea ceremonies and other cultural traces of the country. Set in the Japanese Warring States Era, this series was praised by critics and was also the recepient of the Tezuka Award in 2010. If it's a wandering, charming and atmospheric series that I think it will be, then I'm sure this is going to be of great aristic value many years down the road.
TRazor verdict: "A beautiful glimpse into Japanese culture in the old days. xxxHOLiC + Mushishi + Japanese culture sounds about right. Without a doubt, the TRazor approves."
Kaiji Season Two
I haven't watched season one, so no comment about season two. But why haven't I watched season one? I dunno! I just gave the synopsis and the reviews for it a read through and I'm thoroughly impressed. Sounds like Liar Game, one of the very few manga I've read.
TRazor verdict: "Season one - yes. Season two - no."
Lotte no Omocha
In my FLCL review I mentioned the fine line between innovation and creativity. But innovation is out of the picture here. How about the fine line between creativity and insanity as in my Paprika review?
Wondering why I'm talking about originality? Here's the synopsis (copy-pasted from source mentioned below. I'm too disgusted to type it out): Lotte no Omocha (Lotte's Toy in English) is an adaptation of a manga series about a ten year-old girl who needs to build a harem because she's a succubus who needs "Sauzfryma" (otherwise known as semen) to stay alive.
TRazor verdict: "I can just imagine the paedophilic creator, smacking his lips and rubbing his hands as he hugs the money earned by DVD sales thanks to middle aged pervotakus. Hell, no! On the bright side, I promoted two of my reviews ¬.¬"
Maria Holic Season Two
Haven't watched season one. A lesbian girl in love with a cross-dressing boy. Sounds kinda fun though.
TRazor verdict: "No. Yuri fans should enjoy this though."
Metal Fight Beyblade 4D
I'm not even sure whether there's a synopsis for this one. This is, what, the sixth instalment in the franchise? Seriously, if they didn't buy the 'blades then, they won't buy it now. At least in the early 2000s, the kids shonen was fun. Now, Naruto and Co. have wringed the target audience dry.
TRazor verdict: "I used to love this show (and playing with my 'blades) when I was young. They're making shows like these just to mock my childhood pleasures. *gives them the finger*. No."
A sports anime with tactics? I was treated to this delightful combination last season with Giant Killing and looks like I might be having a scrumptuous meal again. Except that Moshidora is about baseball. Story goes like this: A girl uses Peter Drucker's book on management to coach a high school baseball team. Odd, yet intriguing isn't it? For a Commerce and Marketing and a future Management student such as myself, I can't give this one a miss. Besides, it has great potential on its own anyway. As long as it doesn't turn into a reverse harem, this should be interesting to say the least.
TRazor verdict: "Oh, what the hell, yes!"
Aah, finally KyoAni decides to play its hand. And their trump card is... Nichijou? Huh? A slice of life show about moe high school girls doing mundane things? This sound awfully like... K-ON. No no no no no no no no no no nono no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no nono no no no no no no no no no no no NOOOOOOOO!!! Given KyoAni's success rate and reputation, this is guaranteed to be a hit. But more importantly (it is my blog), will I like it? This is one time I wish to be wrong.
TRazor verdict: "I'll watch it. To see KyoAni catch me off guard again or just to write a hate rant/review."
Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
So, has this what the world has come to? Cheap, high school rip-offs of Haibane Renmei? That sickens me. It's said to be a coming of age story. No further details. I highly doubt that it will be anything close to Haibane, and will more or less be a harem. A harem Haibane Renmei. I'm disgusted. But then again, you never know. Hopefully, I don't.
TRazor verdict: "They'd better score with this one..."
Seikon no Qwaser II
Season two of the guy who needs breast milk to survive. I wonder why this pick-up line never works for me:
"Yo. I'm in the middle of a massive battle here. My superability is no use unless I feed off fresh breast milk. Mind lending yours for a quick session? I swear, I won't be very touchy-feely.!" *insert abuse" + slap.
"His boobjob brings all the girls to the yard,
Cause his lips, they better than yours
He can do you, but he'll have to charge."
TRazor verdict: " Look at this. And that was with Google settings on moderate and with SafeSearch on."
I'm ... just not a fan of yaoi. I'm sure yaoi fangirls will have a fun time with this one though.
TRazor verdict: "I'll pass."
A charming anime about a family that resides in Tokyo during the Tokyo Olympics of 1964, focussing on the life of the family and the city along with them. It's said to be aimed at a (very) mature audience - seniors. It's definitely something out of the box. I don't expect too much action, instead expect some quality character development and a fun family movie. The impact might've been better if I were a senior, but meh, I'm not complaining.
TRazor verdict: "The idea behind the whole thing, family unity, is pretty cute. But I'm not expecting very much."
An adaptation of an extrenely popular manga. It's said to be a slice of life shonen manga. I'm not even sure how that works. What, the guy has superpowers and sidekicks, but ponders about life's mysteries? Moving on with the story, three teenagers form a Campus Support Group and vow to help the students with any problem they might have. Since they undertake any problem, it would be nice if they had a plethora of issues, ranging from broken windows to broken hearts. I'm interested in seeing this one unfold.
TRazor verdict: "Yo bathroom flush ain't workin. Who you gonna call? Watching this depends on the performance of the other Spring anime"
Tennis + Fanservice = Someone left their creative juices at home.
TRazor verdict: "Me no like babes in sports. Me likes sports to remain manly. Me no want trzr23 to watch this."
(The phone the woman's holding looks awfully like the Selecao phone)
Set in the Akibhara district of Japan 2010, a bunch of friends somehow manage to program their microwave (what? It's an anime) to send messages (this is weird even for an anime) to the past. Wow. No, really, this is waaay more useful than spending resources on fighting global warming right? Still, the story is set one year after the events that take place in Chaos Head, an anime I've yet to watch. It has great potential, no doubt, but time travel is a tricky little plot device, so minimizing on that would be a good thing. The genius group is said to be wanted by a company, who obviously don't play nice. I really want to watch this, but I don't know how much my experience will be ruined because of me not watching Chaos Head.
TRazor verdict: "I'll keep this on the maybe list for now, since Chaos Head's still nowhere on my radar."
Tiger and Bunny
(I wonder what the sidekicks are called...Horse and Donkey?)
This mecha anime from Sunrise looks 100%, absolutely, hands down, without a doubt, no second thoughts horrible. Watching mecha anime has never been a pleasureful experience and Tiger and Bunny is most likely going to do nothing to change that trend, seeing that it's a mecha-superhero series. If bright colors, Power Rangers and fan service is your thing, then jump right in.
TRazor verdict: "I know my opinion is biased, oh hell, I'm thoroughly biased, so I'll just put this one down because it's mecha."
Look at the above picture. Look at it. Doesn't it just drip uber-manliness? A man with an abnormally ripped body gashing through monsters - GAR in its purest form. But it's not. Well, not completely at least. Toriko follows a man in search of the world's best ingredients to cook the world's best dish. Needless to say, it will contain large doses of comedy and predictable shonen action. Still, gotta give it to the studio for taking up such a ... weird project. Hard to believe it's an adaptation of a successful manga.
TRazor verdict: "Doesn't look worthwhile. Looks like they don't take themselves seriously."
The World God Only Knows Season Two
Just caught the first three episodes of season one. And thank god I dropped it there. I'm not going to go very in-depth here seeing that fans of the first season will already have their claws gnawed deep into this one. Manga's a roaring success, so I see this becoming one of the season's biggest hits.
TRazor verdict: "God only knows why people continue to watch this. But I know why I don't and most certainly won't."
Teach TRazor TM27?
TRazor learned Futuresight!
TRazor used Futuresight!
TRazor saw this.
TRazor watched this.
TRazor verdict: "This anime is too stupid to have a verdict. Defendant declared insane. Case closed."
First Beyblade, now this? I don't think anime is still a worthwhile investment for promoting kids merchandise, but meh...
TRazor verdict: "I'm done playing cards. Sorry. This one goes to the graveyard."
And so, finally...
[ THE WRAP UP ]
(Stuff that replenish hope)
Ano hi Mita Hana
(Stuff that I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole)
30-sai no Hoiken Taiiku
Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
Hidan no Aria
Lotte no Omocha
Metal Fight Beyblade 4D
Seikon no Qwaser II
Tiger & Bunny
The World God Only Knows
Ao no Exorcist
C: The Money of Soul & Possibility of Control
Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
Ctrl+F is your friend. Use it well. How do you like the spring '11 lineup?
Source: UK Anime Network