Winter 2017 Preview Mega Post

Due to a combination of real life obligations, a need for vacation, the fact that the winter seasons are usually more modest than other anime seasons, and because this time there were very few shows that drew my interest based on the synopses, this post is probably going to be unusually short. I only picked up 10 regular TV shows (I will be checking out Fate Grand Order and Dragon Dentist as well), so let’s hope at least some of them are good.

 


Thursday

Seiren

https://myanimelist.net/anime/33836

  • Premiere: January 5
  • Studio: AXsiZ x Studio Gokumi
  • Director: Tomoki Kobayashi (Akame ga Kill, Sola)
  • Series Composition: Kisai Takayama

Staff-wise, this show is the first of many wild cards of the season. The series composer doesn’t seem to have worked on many things and I’ve seen neither of the director’s aforementioned other works, so I have basically no idea what to expect from this show. Based on the barely existent synopsis, and the airing time being 28 minutes past the hour, however, I have a feeling this might be a short-format show, possibly with 2-minute episodes.

But personally I’m hoping for 7-minute or longer episodes, because of 3 reasons: Some of the promo art looks really good, I like Studio Gokumi, and its genres consist only of “school”. It wouldn’t have to be the best show ever, I’d be content with even a decent slice of life show. But we’ll see, I guess.

 


Friday

Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu

https://myanimelist.net/anime/31422

  • Premiere: January 6
  • Studio: A.C.G.T x J.C.Staff
  • Director: Susumu Kudou (Mardock Scramble)
  • Series Composition: Kurasumi Sunayama (Bakuon, Z/X: Ignition)

Well, that’s a mouthful of a name, isn’t it? I hope the show proper will also be a mouthful for me, because I have not watched a cycling-themed anime before (I dropped YowaPeda after 1 episode and skipped Long Riders) and I’m excited to see where it will go with its premise. On the flip side, if it wants to retain my interest it kinda has to go somewhere interesting, because based on the premise it’s otherwise exactly like the millions of other shows about a bunch of girls in a school club.

The staff looks reasonably solid, though. I’m not sure how appropriate it is to have the director of Mardock Scramble direct this – not that I disliked Mardock Scramble, quite the opposite actually, but the fact that the series composer also did Bakuon is reassuring. I doubt this series will be as much of a crazy comedy as Bakuon was, but I hope it’s fun nonetheless.

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen

https://myanimelist.net/anime/33095

  • Premiere: January 6
  • Studio: Studio Deen
  • Staff: Presumably the same as the first season

This is probably the series I’m looking forward to the most, and if you read my blog posts from Winter 2016 you will understand why. Rakugo was probably my favourite anime of the entire year of 2016 (though Yuri on Ice is definitely competing for that top spot), for a few very good reasons. It was solid from beginning to end, it looked wonderful, it sounded wonderful, its premise (rakugo) was extremely interesting, and the setting (Shouwa-era Japan, as the title implies) was greatly enjoyable.

This sequel, which (as I wrote above) I assume is going to be produced by mostly the same staff as the first season, takes place later in the non-flashback timeline from season 1, and considering one of my only problems with season 1 was that it teased this storyline but never really showed a lot of it, I’m super excited about the sequel. Let’s hope it’s as great as the first season.

 


Sunday

Nyanko Days

https://myanimelist.net/anime/34148

  • Premiere: January 8
  • Studio: EMT2
  • Director: Yoshimasa Hiraike (AKB0048, Momokuri)

At first glance, this show is pretty inconspicuous. I can’t find a PV or a proper synopsis, and the promo art and title don’t say a lot aside from “It’s going to be a show about cute girls doing cute things”. Which is fine by me, but I would very much like to know more. Based on the fact that it airs at 25 minutes past the hour, though, I’m guessing it’s a short-format show.

Which is a little bit disappointing, because with a director like Yoshimasa Hiraike, I feel like it could go anywhere, and probably somewhere good. That said, if it is a short-format show, I’ll probably watch it regardless of whether it goes anywhere or not, because 5 minutes per week is not a huge time investment.

Idol Jihen

https://myanimelist.net/anime/34028

  • Premiere: January 8
  • Studio: MAPPA x Studio VOLN
  • Director: Daisuke Yoshida
  • Series Composition: Naoya Takayama (Chihayafuru, Supernatural The Animation)

To be completely honest, I picked this up purely because I saw that it was animated by MAPPA and VOLN, who brought us Ushio to Tora in Summer 2015. With idol shows being so popular nowadays, I expect most new idol anime to flop, even though I love the genre in general. So, I actually don’t have great hopes for this show.

The premise, however, is kind of insanely different: The idols are not just idols, they’re also apparently politicians. In the real world, a development like this would deeply worry me, but in an anime it could be very interesting… Or terrible. It remains to be seen.

Little Witch Academia (TV)

https://myanimelist.net/anime/33489

  • Premiere: January 8
  • Studio: Trigger
  • Director: You Yoshinari (Little Witch Academia)

Another non-new franchise, but one that definitely checks out. I loved the original LWA OVA and the sequel, and I’m very excited for this TV series. I’m a little worried that it won’t stay consistently great for the whole duration, but then again that’s a worry that applies to most shows, and I’m pretty sure LWA TV will be more enjoyable than most other anime anyway.

That said, I’m kind of getting bored of Trigger only doing shorts and sequels. I want to see a big new original project from them at some point, because I know they have it in them to make great stuff. Until then, however, I’ll have to make do with LWA. Which I guess is not a bad compromise at all.

 


Tuesday

ACCA 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

https://myanimelist.net/anime/33337

  • Premiere: January 10
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Director: Shingo Natsume (One Punch Man, Space Dandy)
  • Series Composition: Tomohiro Suzuki (One Punch Man)

So, at least some of the staff involved in One Punch Man reunite for this series, along with studio Madhouse. Based on the PV, I like the art style but I’m unsure about the actual quality of the visuals. That said, I’m watching so few shows this season that I might as well decide to stick with this one regardless of outcome. We’ll see.

As for the story, I really don’t understand what the synopsis is about. It’s packed with technical in-universe terminology, most of which doesn’t make sense to me due to lack of context. Or maybe it’s not at all story-driven? The genre tags say “police” and “drama”, so maybe it’ll be like Patlabor in some ways. I hope so, actually.

Hand Shakers

https://myanimelist.net/anime/32981

  • Premiere: January 10
  • Studio: GoHands
  • Director: Shingo Suzuki (Coppelion, K)
  • Series Composition: Hiromichi Kanazawa (Seitokai Yakuindomo S2)

Not as catchy a title as Flip Flappers, but the PV sure made it look good. Again, the synopsis is full of jargon that I can’t be bothered to decipher, but the visuals looked really interesting and not at all what I would have expected out of a GoHands show with GoHands staff. A pleasant surprise.

My only big problem with the PV was that it felt very VN-y, if you know what I mean. The shower scene and the character designs being the most egregious examples. I know that I’m generalising a lot here, but it’s a feeling I can’t… shake. Bad puns aside, I’m still looking forward to this show a lot.

 


Wednesday

One Room

https://myanimelist.net/anime/34392

  • Premiere: January 11
  • Studio: Typhoon Graphics

Short stories, no real synopsis, a PV with basically no new information. Why did I decide to watch this? Well, I’m not joking when I say that I’m watching it purely because the title reminded me of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, and it made me laugh.

After taking a closer look at it, I guess I’m also excited about the fact that the character designs are by Kantoku, but I don’t know how much that will affect my enjoyment of the show, if at all. In any case, short episodes means it might be worth sticking with even if it isn’t the greatest anime ever.

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

https://myanimelist.net/anime/33206

  • Premiere: January 11
  • Studio: Kyoto Animation
  • Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto (Amagi Brilliant Park, Haruhi)
  • Series Composition: Yuka Yamada (Non Non Biyori, Umi Monogatari)

I’m pretty certain that this show won’t be another Eupho or Hyouka, or even a Free. It’ll most likely be more akin to Amagi Brilliant Park or Myriad Colours Phantom World, but then again I didn’t dislike either of those shows, so that would by no means be a bad thing.

And, after looking at the PV, it seems like at least some effort has been put into the comedy. The rapping narration probably won’t make an appearance in the show proper, but the main character’s reaction faces might, and that’s a very good thing (possibly the funniest such since Nichijou). Also, the main character is apparently a woman, which is not something I would have expected, but it’s an extremely welcome surprise. I have high hopes for this now.

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