This time, I’ve come prepared. I’ve done research on the most interesting shows and I’ve even watched at least one PV for each show that has a PV. That’s about it for all the 21 shows I’m watching next season, though. I’m sure I’ll get some things slightly wrong and misunderstand others, but I will try my best.
Prince of Stride: Alternative
This is airing at 11 PM on Tuesdays. That’s a relatively early time slot but not prime time, and it’s basically the only show airing on that day of the week. I’m not sure if I should consider this a good or a bad thing, but based on the PV I have a feeling I’ll enjoy it at least to some extent. From what I understand, it’s a sports show based on an otome game, and while the sport is fictionally named “Stride”, it seems to basically just be parkour in a relay race format, which is in agreement with the synopsis on MAL. As for me personally, I don’t care that it’s based on an otome game or that the fictionalisation of the sport is unnecessary, because I like sports shows and I like shows with nearly all-male casts as much as I like shows with nearly all-female casts.
And, I must admit that I like listening to the voices of Ryouhei Kimura, Daisuke Ono and Mamoru Miyano among others. For those who prefer to fanboy/fangirl over female seiyuus exclusively, I can tell you that Kana Hanazawa is in this as well, which should be a positive. As for the staff, the series composition is by Taku Kishimoto(Gin no Saji, Haikyuu, Usagi drop) and the director is Asuko Ishizuka(Hanayamata, No Game No Life, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo). Based on what I’ve heard about Haikyuu, I think it’s safe to say that Kishimoto will probably do a pretty good job with Prince of Stride. On the other hand, Ishizuka’s experience with sports shows seems to be limited to one episode of Chihayafuru, but that’s probably not too bad. All in all, everything about this show seems pretty solid so far.
Musaigen no Phantom World
This will probably end up being the best-looking show of the season, if the people who worked on Euphonium aren’t too busy, that is. Story-wise I’m not very interested in this show, mostly because I know it’s a light novel adaptation. Despite this I tried to give the PV and the synopsis the benefit of the doubt, but neither managed to answer my questions regarding what the show really is about, so I really have no idea what I’m getting into. All I can hope is that it at least looks good. And based on the PV, I probably don’t need to worry too much about that.
When it comes to the cast, I’m now actually excited for Phantom World. I’m not too familiar Hiro Shimono, he’s not one of my favourite voice actors, but Saori Hayami, Sumire Uesaka, Maaya Uchida and Kikuko Inoue are all great. As for the staff, the series composer, Fumihiko Shimo, and the director, Tatsuya Ishihara, both have plenty of experience, and I like many of the shows they’ve worked on, so I’m not worried about that aspect. I’m not expecting this show to become on my favourite KyoAni productions, but it’s probably not going to be terrible.
HaruChika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru
Speaking of KyoAni… This show has a premise that seems very similar to Euphonium. Well, except for the fact that the wind instrument club is “on the verge of being shut down”(a pretty common anime cliche), and apparently there’s some kind of incident/mystery element. The PV and the synopsis are too cryptic to make sense of, though the Rubik’s cube reminded me of the Fall season’s Subete ga F ni Naru. I hope that’s the vibe the show is trying to give off, because I have serious doubts about music and mystery working well together.
P.A. Works are doing the animation, so I’m sure the show will at least look decent. Cast-wise there’s not much to say because I don’t think I recognise anyone. I didn’t recognise the name of the director, Masakazu Hashimoto, either, but knowing he directed Tari Tari is making me at least somewhat hopeful. Reiko Yoshida, the series composer, is very familiar to me, though. She’s worked on everything from Aria to K-On and Non Non Biyori, i.e. most of my favourite feel-good shows. I don’t know if that’s what HaruChika needs, to be honest, but I have a lot of faith in Yoshida’s abilities.
Boku Dake ga Inai Machi
I hadn’t heard anything about this show until a month or so ago, but after looking at promotional art, the genre, etc. I got very interested. Watching the PV brought my expectations down a notch(because I’m not the biggest fan of how it looks), but reading the synopsis made me excited again. It’s been a veritable rollercoaster, and right now I find myself hopeful. On a related note, I’m also glad about the apparent winter setting. I love stories that take place in winter.
The staff and cast for this show are a very mixed bag. The voice actors and actresses range from experienced but relatively obscure to famous(Aoi Yuuki), and at the other end of the spectrum, neither of the main character’s voice actors have been in any other anime. As for the series composition, I’m surprised that Taku Kishimoto is doing both Prince of Stride and Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, but I’m going to consider that a good thing. Tomohiko Itou(Gin no Saji S1 and Sword Art Online among others) is directing, and Yuki Kajiura is composing the music. I’ve heard good things about the direction of Sword Art Online, so I’ll give Itou a pass, and I’m already a huge fan of Kajiura. Not shabby at all.
Ojisan to Marshmallow
I’m going to be honest: I picked this show up only because of the promo image(seen above) and the promise of a marshmallow-related premise(which I find unbelievably hilarious for some reason). Other than that, I don’t know. It looks pretty cute, I guess. I can’t even say anything about the cast, because MAL doesn’t have anyone listed. The staff, on the other hand, are listed, but most of them haven’t really done anything else than this show, so it’s hard to judge. Oh well, the episodes are only 5 minutes long, so there’s no harm in trying it out.
I have heard a lot about this show, but I don’t know much about it outside of the premise as described in the synopsis on MAL. The gimmick of the premise is, in itself, nothing new, but the setting is kind of fresh I guess. I haven’t seen many shows focus on candy(and traditional Japanese sweets in particular), so while I think the story about a girl encouraging a boy to do something so she can get her way is kind of passé, at least it’ll have something going for it. Well, that and the character designs, because I love the character designs for some reason.
There’s not much to say about the staff and the cast, aside from the fact that Ayana Taketatsu plays the main girl(which is probably a very good thing) and that Michiko Yokote is co-writing the script(also probably a good thing). The director, Shigehito Takayanagi, also directed The World God Only Knows, so he should be able to make that semi-bland premise a bit more interesting.
In this case, the premise contains a surprisingly large amount of information. The characters – Galko, Otako and Ojyo – are a gal, an otaku and an ojou-sama(respectively), that’s my guess. Based on this distribution of characters(and the genres listed on MAL), I assume it’s going to be a SoL comedy in the same vein as Wakaba Girl, Kiniro Mosaic and maybe a hint of Seitokai Yakuindomo. I liked all of those shows, so this may just be wishful thinking, but I’m allowed to fantasise.
At first, the lack of information regarding the staff and cast, just like with Ojisan to Marshmallow, made me think that this was going to be a short-format show, but looking at the airing times on the official website gives off the impression that it’s airing in a regular 30-minute slot. The website also reveals the cast, so it’s just MAL that is not up-to-date. The worst thing about the staff is the director, Keiichirou Kawaguchi. I respect him for Hayate no Gotoku, but he also directed Mayo Chiki and the last season of Minami-ke, both of which were awful. I know that’s kind of a sour note to end on, but that’s just how it is.
Now this is confirmed to be a short-format show, because it’s airing in the Ultra Super Anime Time time slot on Fridays. So, the premise is that 4 gypsum busts based on historical/mythological figures make up an idol unit. Yes, I think this will live up to the USAT legacy, which includes shows such as Miss Monochrome, Wooser and Hacka Doll. Also, Saint George is voiced by Tomokazu Sugita, so I have a feeling it’s going to be fantastically funny. As for the studio producing it, I don’t really care. Liden Films can screw it up if they want, but that won’t matter. Neither do I care about the staff. I mean, bizarrely, Michiko Yokote is doing the script and series composition, which is probably a good thing, but I doubt that will have much effect on 4 frigging gypsum busts!
Tabi Machi Late Show
This is also airing in the USAT time slot, but it differs from the usual USAT shows in that it’s 4 episodes long with each episode being 20 minutes long. When it ends, it seems Kono Danshi, Mahou ga Oshigoto Desu will take its place in the lineup. Very confusing, but anyway, I digress. Tabi Machi Late Show seems to be going for a more serious and thematic approach than other USAT shows(especially compared to Sekkou Boys), so I’m curious to see who’s going to be producing it. Unfortunately, MAL is of no help this time, because there is no cast, staff or even studio listed. Mysterious, but I remain optimistic.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
Finally! A “real” show! Nah, just kidding. What I mean is that this show is going to be 13 episodes of most likely normal length. And this show seems interesting to boot. Josei, drama, probably a historical setting, those are all aspects that I tend to enjoy in anime. Having said that, I must however note that the last time I thought something like this was regarding Donten ni Warau, which turned out to be not so good. The synopsis of Shouwa Genroku is alleviating my concerns a bit, though, because it actually seems like it might not involve swords and fighting all the time.
I’m slightly concerned about Studio Deen being in charge of the animation, but that’s probably just unfounded prejudice on my part. I know they can create good-looking stuff, so I’ll trust them. Staff- and cast-wise I’m not really concerned, partially because I’m sort of ignorant when it comes to josei-focused creators. There’s nothing exceptionally bad about the staff, though, so that’s good. I’m kind of looking forward to this.
So, apparently there’s also a movie series of this franchise, and the first part is out already. On one hand, that’s exciting because I can check out the movie(or at least parts of it) before starting the TV series, but on the other hand, I find it kind of disheartening that I hadn’t heard anything about this series until about a month ago. The premise seems kind of interesting – I like these kinds of global sci-fi stories – but depending on how it’s handled, Ajin could become another Parasyte, and I don’t particularly want to see another Parasyte.
The most noteworthy thing about the production is that it’s being animated over at Polygon Pictures, who also animated Knights of Sidonia, which means that Ajin is going to be CGI. That much was of course apparent from the PV, but some people are turned off by CG, so I thought I’d mention it explicitly. Personally, I have nothing against it, I even liked the visuals of Sidonia, but it’s not enough to carry the show either. I’m not going to keep watching it just because it’s CG.
Speaking of CGI, here’s an original show animated over at Sanzigen, who usually handle CG details and elements in traditionally-animated shows(unlike Polygon who have their own solo projects). I must admit that I’m not so interested in the premise of this show, but the PV made it look pretty fun, so I guess I’ll at least try it out. If nothing else, I’m sure I’ll get some enjoyment out of the action.
Just like with Ajin, though, I probably won’t keep watching this show if all it provides me with is good-looking action. I can’t speculate much, however, because MAL doesn’t list any of the cast or genres, and only a few of the staff. Apparently Yukinori Kitajima is doing the series composition. Out of his other works I’m familiar with Gokukoku no Brynhildr, and that’s not really a good thing. Oh well, I doubt this will be worse than God Eater.
Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R
Until two days ago I was not aware that this was an older franchise. I picked it up because it’s apparently a magical girl parody/comedy, and I feel like I could enjoy that. And the main characters are also idols. And nurses, I assume based on the title. At first I thought this was going to be a short show because it’s airing at a weird time, 25 minutes past the hour, but apparently its time slot is a full 30 minutes long, so it’s probably normal length. For a parody show, that might not be the best thing.
And staff-wise, this show is the first real disaster on my list. Keiichirou Kawaguchi is directing this show too, and unfortunately neither of the writers seem outstanding enough to salvage the show if it turns out to be a trainwreck(though Kazuyuki Fudeyasu, one of the scriptwriters, is familiar with comedy/parody, so that’s good, I guess). The only really positive thing I have to say about the staff is that Akio Watanabe(Bakemonogatari, Grisaia no Kajitsu, The World God Only Knows) is doing the character designs. So at least the characters will be pleasing to the eye.
I’m gonna cut to the chase: I only picked this show up because it looks very similar to the Fall season’s High School Star Musical, which I thought was pretty good. The synopsis kind of deflated my enthusiasm, though. The boys in this show are apparently not idols, nor is the show a musical. There’s going to be romance, but I’m not getting my hopes up.
And I’m honestly kind of surprised that there doesn’t appear to be any singing or idol shenanigans in this show, considering the chief director is Tetsuro Amino, the director of Macross 7. He seems very much not suited for directing a slice of life comedy. The other director, Tomihiko Ookubo, did key animation on Akira, which is, well, fairly different from a slice of life comedy. I really don’t know what to expect of this.
Ooyasan wa Shishunki!
Based on the facts that the source for this is a yonkoma manga and that it is airing at 27 minutes past the hour, I’m going to assume that this show is a short-format one. The 3 minutes between the starting time and the half hour suggests 3-minute episodes, but it could be something else. I’m not sure. Anyway, the title translates to “The landlord is going through puberty”, which I think is pretty self-explanatory. As for the staff and cast, the only person I recognise is Yurika Kubo(Hanayo in Love Live), who voices the character Chie Satonaka(probably unrelated to the character from Persona).
The premise for Dimension W is pretty simple, but interesting. There’s a 4th dimension beyond X, Y and Z, aptly named “W”(of course, the XYZ naming scheme is completely arbitrary, but I digress, because it doesn’t matter here). Because I thought that was intriguing enough, it was then unfortunate that the PV didn’t give me much in the way of new information, though I must admit that I liked the soundtrack.
Looking at MAL, I notice that the staff looks very solid. The series composition is by Shoutarou Suga(Uchouten Kazoku, OreGairu, etc.), the direction is by Kanta Kamei(Usagi Drop, OreShura, SaeKano) and the music is by Go Shiina(Kyousougiga) as well as Yoshiaki Fujisawa(Love Live). Whether the result of these people working together is good remains to be seen, but I have a feeling I’ll at least enjoy many individual aspects of the show.
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar
This seems to be an adaptation of a generic fantasy LN series, which means I wouldn’t usually pick it up. In fact, I instantly dismissed it on my first pass of the Winter 2016 lineup. I don’t really care about the synopsis, because again, it seems like a generic fantasy story, maybe with some MMORPG elements. So why did I pick this show up?
Well, the answer is in the PV. It looks absolutely gorgeous in a pretty unique way, both when it comes to character designs and the backgrounds. The reason for this is that Grimgar marks the return of basically the entire production team of Aiura, a very good-looking short anime that aired in 2013. It wasn’t a very popular show, but I have so many good memories about the visuals that I picked up Grimgar solely because of that reason. I have a feeling that I won’t really care about the story of Grimgar, and I might drop it after a few episodes, but it should at least be a feast for the eyes.
Speaking of game elements, generic tropes, fanservice, harem elements, etc. etc. here’s a show that will probably have all of them! I know this because I’ve read all of the main Muv Luv VNs, and while Muv Luv Alternative is probably my favourite VN of all time, it does have a lot of clichés and stuff like that. However, as I have not read Schwarzesmarken, I don’t know to which extent those tropes will feature in this show, but I’m not expecting a super sophisticated story.
There is only one thing I want to say regarding the staff: The director is Tetsuya Watanabe, who did not direct Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, and he did direct Kimi ga Nozomu Eien and Akane Maniax(alternate universe stories with some of the characters that show up in Muv Luv). This is a very, very good thing in my opinion. I’m very hopeful for this show.
Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 2nd Season
Is… is this the only sequel I’ll be watching this season(aside from Teekyuu, of course)? Yeah, it seems so. I have to admit that I didn’t pay a lot of attention while watching the first season, so I don’t remember many details, especially not when it comes to the last few episodes. I do remember liking it, though, and I do remember the kiss in the last episode.
Which brings us to the 2nd season. I’m very hopeful for this season, because it has the opportunity to explore a post-kiss relationship, which is sadly pretty rare in anime. I’m sort of afraid that Shirayuki is going to pull a Chuunibyou and undo all of the development that happened in Season 1, but I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic. At the very least, I think this will be one of the more consistent shows this season.
Teekyuu never ends, does it? I’ve been watching it since Spring 2015, and it has been airing continuously since then. I’ve run out of things to say about it. Naturally it’s a short. Season 6 was better than Season 5, in my opinion. I have no idea what to expect of Season 7. That was a lie. I know exactly what to expect. As should you. If you’ve never seen Teekyuu, start with Season 1. It takes like 24 minutes to watch a whole season.
Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu kara.
I assume this show is a short as well, because it airs at 11 minutes past the hour. That probably means 3- or 15-minute episodes. This also seems like it’s going to be a parody of the magical girl genre, though MAL doesn’t explicitly list is as a parody show. Again, I do tend to like parody shows, so I’ll be watching this, but I don’t know much about it.