New season zomg everybody hit the deck. The lineup of shows is available here, and certainly covers a pretty diverse spread of genres. As for what I’m moderately excited about? Let’s get to it.
Monogatari S2: Easily the most-anticipated show of the season. Isin and Shinbo riffing yet again. Every reason to expect distinctive, hyper-stylized dialogue and some of the best direction in anime.
Free!: One million moe lovers cried out and were silenced. I can’t say a show based on selling sex to either gender really appeals to me, but it’s obviously far too early to write this off. KyoAni are stupid-good animators, excel in subtle character moments, and last year showed themselves to be just as capable of constructing a full story (Hyouka, Chuunibyou) as they are of animating one. I’d say right now I’m cautiously optimistic.
Danganronpa: Can’t-miss adaptation of an extremely linear, stylish, and pretty hilarious game combining Phoenix Wright and Battle Royale. If not for the director’s track record of utterly mangling can’t-miss adaptations, this would be the obvious choice for sleeper hit of the summer… as is, well, it’s still the obvious choice, but it’s earned itself a tiny question mark. Still extremely worth checking out.
Uchouten Kazoku: This season’s top early contender for the Shinsekai Yori/Aku no Hana “Too Good For the Anime-Purchasing Community” award. Another story by the writer of Tatami Galaxy, though this director seems far less accomplished than Yuasa. But adding the series composer of OreGairu certainly helps counteract that! High hopes for this one.
The World God Only Knows S3: This show’s a semi-guilty pleasure for me. I don’t think it’s actually a sad wish-fulfillment fantasy in the style of traditional harems – it’s too sharp and self-mocking for that. But it’s still pretty fluffy. Mainly I really like the idea of a show that’s so aware of narrative conventions (jeez, I wonder why). Plus the animation style is very… shiny? Anyway, everyone says this Goddess stuff is the Good Bit, so I’m looking forward to some light, occasionally pointed comedy.
Blood Lad: My expectations are somewhat middling for this one – the trailer indicated a fairly generic shounen, and the only reason it’s really on my radar is because Brain’s Base are easily my favorite current studio. Yeah, seriously. They were pretty high up there last fall, though KyoAni were still riding the wave of Disappearance/Hyouka/Chuunibyou – since then, KyoAni have released the forgettable Tamako Market and Brain’s Base have released OreGairu, my third favorite series of all time. They’re amazing.
This series probably won’t be, though. But I’ll still check it out since I respect their adaptations so much.
Brothers Conflict: Okay, maybe not THAT much. I understand, though – they did Amnesia in the winter, after all. Making transcendent anime is great and all, but them otome dollars put food on the table. Enjoy your windfall, Brain’s Base!
Gen’ei o Kakeru Taiyou: A purely speculative choice, based solely on the very stylish PV. Outside of that, aside from Nanoha, the director and writer’s resumes are dens of filth and villainy – it’s highly unlikely this show stays in my rotation. But I’m giving it a chance.
Silver Spoon: Slice-of-life that actually seems to focus on semi-realistic characters, a fairly unique setting, and a very respected mangaka. I’ve only seen bits and pieces of FMA, but it’s well-liked by many people whose opinions I respect, so I see no reason not to expect something good here. Not high on my list, but still pretty secure.
Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou: This just looks too batshit crazy for me not to at least check out.
Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi: Ditto this one. Getting a serious Crime Edge vibe from this lunacy. And hell, it’s Madhouse.
Servant x Service: Speculative, since I’ve never seen Working!! and kinda doubt I’d like it. This is in the air purely because there aren’t nearly enough shows about adults, or SoL shows that actually resemble the real world. We’ll see.
Gatchaman Crowds: The writing for this seems to be pretty much wholly anime-original, and the character designs look very stylish. That’s enough for at least one episode!
C3-bu: Last chance, Gainax. Do you have any talent left at all, or is this just one more desperate cash-grab as your once-proud empire slowly circles the drain? Girls und Panzer was excellent – clearly this concept could work. This isn’t impossible. You were my favorite studio, once. Prove me wrong.
Genshiken S2: I’m actually not watching this, but only because I vastly prefer the manga – the comedic timing of the anime ruins this material for me, even though it’s actually one of my very favorite manga. But the show’s base material is obviously excellent.
And the rest: Feh. Watamote makes me too uncomfortable to read, and nothing else looks particularly enticing.
That is way too many goddamn shows. I guess I’m starting at 13 plus Titan, but it will likely be culled to 7-8, unless many speculative ones turn out to be great.
As for what I’m gonna be writing about? It’ll probably depend on those first couple episodes, but my first guess would be:
Titan, Monogatari S2, Free!, Danganronpa.