Fall 2015 Season Preview

It’s time! Time at last to start thinking about putting this lousy season behind us, time pick our heads up from the anime-parched earth and take a glimpse towards the horizon. Is that a mirage in the distance, taunting us with the thought of media sustenance? Are we doomed to wander this barren waste forever, continually lowering our standards until eventually we forget anime was anything more than a vehicle for monstergirls and pee jokes?

Nah, there’s some new shows coming out. Some of them look pretty good, too! We’ve got long-awaited manga adaptations, sequels to steady favorites, new entries in venerable franchises, and even some tasty-looking originals and wildcards. My overall bench isn’t terribly deep, but I’m confident I’ll be happy with at least a couple of them, and even outside of my picks, every season holds surprises.

As always, I won’t be running down every new show here – there’s vast selections of shows I know I’ll never be interested in, and even among those shows, if there are any standouts, I’ll hit them during preview week anyway. If you want the full list, you can check it out over on anicharthere, I’m just gonna break down what I’m excited about, along with maybe a reason or two to feel optimistic. So let’s get to it!



Oh hey, big surprise, my most anticipated show of the season is the sequel to the series in my top ten all-time favorites, the show I’ve likely written more about than any other. Monogatari’s second season was a joy to watch, and managed to elevate much of what had come before through its smart continuation of half a dozen distinct but thematically linked character arcs. Owarimonogatari is billed as the “final season,” which makes sense narrative-wise, since it really does feel like we should be winding down the various arcs now. Half of the cast has moved on in some meaningful way, and Araragi’s journey towards adulthood is finally progressing as well.

The only misgiving I’ve got about this one is the fact that I’ve heard Nisio Isin has actually continued the series beyond these books. I’ve obviously enjoyed the Monogatari journey, but I’d like it to actually have a solid, coherent ending, and not just sort of peter out based on its dwindling economic value. I’m hoping this season either offers satisfying closure in some other way or makes a continuation seem natural, but either way, I’m sure I’ll have a lot of fun returning to one of my favorite universes.

A Corpse is Buried Under Sakurako’s Feet

A Corpse is Buried Under Sakurako's Feet

Following up on the show I’m most certain to like, we’ve got a show that’s basically a total mystery. The series composer apparently also ran composition on Penguindrum, which is about as strong of a recommendation as you can get, but I’m mainly into this for the premise and overall tone it gives off. It’s about a couple who actually are a couple, and one of them isn’t even a high schooler, which basically makes it a unicorn among anime even before you get to the kind of quietly mysterious bones thing. The first touchstone this whole mystery-slice of life-beautiful aesthetic deal brings me to is Hyouka, and while I’m not expecting another Hyouka, it still seems like a show to look out for.

Here’s the PV!

One Punch Man

One Punch Man

And here’s the big manga adaptation darling of the season. One Punch Man has a serious reputation, and Madhouse are a serious (or, well, formerly and now inconsistently serious) studio who are hopefully assigning Top Men to the job. I’ve read a fair bit of One Punch Man, and enjoyed it without really being wowed by it, but an energetic adaptation could change that. The issue here is the same one Prison School had – a big part of OPM’s appeal is its precise, personality-filled art, and translating that strength into motion seems like a tricky feat. The trailer strikes me as solid but not spectacular, but the very clean, anime-friendly designs they’ve gone with seem to be designed with plentiful movement in mind. Hopefully the show can pull it off, but either way, One Punch Man is looking like the heavyweight action show of the season.

Here’s the PV!

Lupin III

Lupin III

The long-awaited new Lupin series has finally begun its run… in Italy. Yep, apparently the Italians have better anime taste than the rest of us, and we all just have to wait and see when Lupin will make his way elsewhere. I’ve got very limited Lupin experience (basically just a couple scattered episodes from back on Adult Swim and Castle of Cagliostro), but I’m excited to have an easy reason to dig into the franchise, and I’ve already been hearing good things about this one’s designs. Definitely worth a shot.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

And continuing in the new entries in old classics genre, we’ve got this season’s brand spanking new Gundam series. My Gundam experiences have been pretty hit or miss, but that likely comes down to Tomino‘s individual wackiness more than anything, and I’m guessing an entry outside of his hands will be a bit more reliable.

Wait, this one’s being composed by Mari Okada, nevermind all bets are off. Mari Okada has a vast and occasionally checkered history, but her love of melodrama and suffering of all stripes will likely lend itself well to Gundam, and she’s certainly a talented writer. Knowing she’s involved actually makes me significantly more interested in this one – I tend to find war dramas a bit dry, but Okada is extremely good at emphasizing the human element. And c’mon, this one’s got “orphans” right there in the title! I’m definitely on board.

Here’s the PV!

The Perfect Insider

The Perfect Insider

Here’s another one that’s pretty close to a mystery. The series composer did composition on both seasons of Gatchaman Crowds, which is nice, but overall I’m mainly excited because this looks like one of those noitaminA prestige pieces that I’ve heard they occasionally put out between light novel adaptations. The story sounds vaguely literary-ish, the designs are interesting, and despite my snark, noitaminA is still a name that means something. Plus, apparently this one’s based on a series of full-length novels, not light novels, which is one of the best single indicators of anime merit out there. This one’s a wildcard, but it has some very strong points in its favor.

Here’s the PV!

Concrete Revolutio

Concrete Revolutio

This one looks like a whole lot of fun. It’s got a classic premise, but not one that’s worn out its welcome, and the overall visual aesthetic looks very inventive. It’s got a veteran director and scriptwriter who’ve worked together on stuff like Fullmetal Alchemist and UN-GO. It’s got a solid studio and great designs and clearly at least the appearance of personality. It looks a bit too breezy to be a personal favorite, and it’ll take a couple episodes to see if the extremely loud style works, but aside from that stuff, this is pretty much all you could hope for in an original. Hopefully it’s actually good!

Here’s the PV!

Garo: Guren no Tsuki


Garo’s back with a new story and new cast, this time centered on a female protagonist in the Heian period. I kind of missed the Garo train the first time around – the hair metal aesthetic and CG suits didn’t appeal to me at all, so I missed out on what seemed to play out as a somewhat inconsistent but also fairly rewarding fantasy drama. In light of that, I’ll be giving this one as fair of a shake as I can. I’ve basically found something to like in pretty much everything MAPPA’s produced so far, so I’m hopeful this one will keep up the trend.

Here’s the PV!

Comet Lucifer

Comet Lucifer

This one’s also a wildcard, and honestly not one I have particularly high hopes for. The initial… music video???… was intriguingly mysterious, but subsequent reveals have added a boy and a giant robot, shifting my impression from “what could this be about” to “oh, it’s this season’s version of this story.” Boy meets magical girl, girl becomes the vehicle of his destiny with the help of a big robot, etcetera. On the other hand…

No, nevermind, there isn’t another hand. I thought there was some staff reason I was interested in this one, but nope, it’s just entirely because this is an original production, and those are generally at least worth a look. I’ll watch the first episode, but yeah, it doesn’t seem too likely I’ll stick with this one.

Here’s that deceptively vague trailer-thing.

And that’s it! Overall I’m pretty happy with this season’s selection – it’s not a huge number of shows, but it seems diverse enough, and a few of the more mysterious ones look like they could have a really high ceiling. If you want to look a little deeper, Utawarerumono, Heavy Object, and Young Black Jack also seem maybe-kinda promising, but I didn’t really have enough personal interest in any of them to include them in the main list. Either way, it turns out anime isn’t dying this year, guys. You can cancel the funeral.

28 thoughts on “Fall 2015 Season Preview

  1. Wow, for me fall is basically a season of wildcards. Aside from Noragami, Monogatari and OPM, most are shows I don’t anything about. Black Jack manga is great , but the quality of various animated adaptations are highly inconsistent. If you want to get to Black Jack, I recommend the Dezaki’s Black Jack OVA or just jump to the manga.

    There’s Heavy Object by the Index author. I loved Railgun, but hate Index. Unfortunately, Heavy Object seem to be more similat to Index. I will watch Gundam, but Mari Okada’s track record is mixed. I despise Mari’s last mech feature M3 too. And Bobduh, you should watch the original Mobile Suit Gundam, especially the movie trilogy since it got better animation and faster pacing.

    • Yeah, I’ve read a bit of Black Jack. It didn’t really thrill me, but I’ll try an episode of this one. I’m sure I’ll get to the original Gundam at some point, though.

      • The movies or the Origin manga are much better ways to get the story of Mobile Suite Gundam than actually watching it. It suffers from it’s ‘Tomino-isms’ a lot more than most of his later work, save for stuff like G-reco.

  2. I’m excited for perfect insider solely on the fact that Asano did the character designs. Also lupin III since a woman named Fujiko Mine was one of the most beautiful anime I’ve seen and a really fun action show, highly recommend it !

    Is Owarimonogatari centering around any character in particular?

    The rest you listed also looks like it has potential. Won’t be hard for this season to surpass the current one.. Bunch of stuff I thought was coming out later.

  3. I’ve heard that Owarimonogatari is the ending of the series and the speculation is that the new announced novels are going to be spinoffs since Nisioisin tends to do spinoffs of his most popular works (Katanagatari got one based on the origins of the Maniwani and Isin has written two different spinoff series based around the LN series that got him popular)

    • That sounds fine, then! Monogatari’s obviously a universe that could support all manner of side stories, covering stuff like the original spirit-busting trio or the Fire Sisters or pretty much any of the individual characters. Even Nadeko’s manga was pretty great.

  4. The last book is Zokuowarimonogatari. Since it contains the “Owari”, it might also be adapted in this one.

    If that one gets adapted, all that’s left is the prequel movie, a collection of short stories, and an upcoming book that will probably take place before the ending.

  5. By the way, Bobduh, don’t know if you knew this, The perfect insider’s novels were written by the guy who wrote Shiki.
    Now, I don’t know whether that necessarily means good things for insider, because despite my positive feelings about Shiki the main thing I remember is the hair, but we know the guy is capable of good. Mix that with Asano…

    I didn’t think it wold be possible for something to make me more excited than I am for Monogatari and Digimon Adventure Tri, but there you go. I’m hyped.

    • I thought character design was the worst thing about Shiki (I was about to change to “main flaw”, but the designs kinda contribute to the overall picture). Shiki’s writing quality on a new studio sounds like a good combination.

  6. Hmm, I’m not overly thrilled with the line-up this season. Owarimonogatari is the only thing that has really caught my attention this time around. Okay, Perfect Insider piqued my interest too but only because I have no idea what it’s about. I don’t really have any expectations for it, which I find is the best place to approach a series from anyways.

    Pretty much I’m looking forward to Owarimonogatari and the Digimon Adventure Tri stuff. Noragami could potentially be good if they build on their strengths from the first season but I originally watched that one because my wife wanted to. Looks like it might be another lackluster season for me.

    Speaking of, Utawarerumono is getting a reboot? Really? I wouldn’t have called that one. Also, I know I go looking for these things but check out this out of context line from the Heavy Objects synopsis:
    “will he discover the grim truth behind Heavy Objects?”

    I laugh way too much at the stupidest things.

    • Speaking of, Utawarerumono is getting a reboot? Really? I wouldn’t have called that one.

      Not a reboot, a sequel. It’s a tie-in for the game (Utawarerumono 2 – I think there was a trailer for it way back in ANN), in a similar way to the Tales of Zestiria movie(?), I believe.

      • If that’s the case I might actually check it out to see if it’s any good. The synopsis for that entry is very misleading though, since it basically summarizes the beginning of the original series.

        • If it is the one on ANN, no it doesn’t, because it seems to really follow the mold of the original series in the beginning. But in the game trailer we already got Kurou actually appearing and in the key visual as well as the trailer for the anime, we have what looks like Hakuoro too. Considering the subtitle for the sequel to be “Itsuwari no Kamen” or “The Fake Mask”, seems like we’re going to focus on what the scientists were doing, but that’s just a speculation on my part and this isn’t a forum so I’ll just leave it at that.

  7. The new season is right around the corner, isn’t it? Quick, find me the time machine to stop it!

    Most of these look interesting, but honestly I have no idea what’s the rest of the season looking like, so I’ll just note it all looks interesting. For the mecha original, usually better to watch them later, it’s not like Eureka 7’s first few episodes are all that amazing, and they often reward being watched in chunks.

  8. Monogatari: The series where the end comes before the start, Kizumonogatari is nothing but a mirage.

    As for Lupin, I live in Italy but still didn’t watch it because it has been years since I last touched a television, meaning that if it’s not streamed online I most likely won’t follow the show.

  9. Ya know, when I heard Tatsayuki Nagai and Mari Okada will be involved in a Gundam series, I thought they would be the ones to pioneer coming up with lead females for Gundam considering their past works with shows with lots of strong females like Anohana.

    It’s an absolute real shame they have to cave in to these “Gundam traditions” and once again do this “all boys club” cast.

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