We’re approaching the last act of the fall season, which means it’s time once again to shift an eye towards winter and see what the future might bring. This winter season is not looking good, frankly – there are basically no shows I have strong confidence in, and even the potential hits are pretty sparse. But every season has its surprises, and it’d be hard for a season to be as barren as this past summer anyway, so I’m sure it’ll all work out in the end. Winter seasons are historically pretty lousy, anyway; last winter was a fantastic outlier, but with nothing like Shirobako carrying over and nothing as promising as Death Parade or Yurikuma awaiting us, we’re going to have to forage our way through the lean months. Check out your backlog, finish shows you fell behind on, and maybe spare a minute or two to check in on a few of these potential titles
As usual, I won’t be running down every upcoming title here – you can read synopses as well as I can, and there’s only so much I can say about Crappy Light Novel Adaptation #375. You can check out the full list over at anichart, but I’m just going to be hitting the stuff that actually looks interesting to me, and explaining why. Let’s get right to it!
The synopsis for this one looks pretty boilerplate “people in supersuits fight crime,” even if anime-original productions tend to deserve a second glance. The real reason this might be good is the director, Goro Taniguchi. His reputation has classically stemmed from two very different and very well-liked shows, Code Geass and Planetes, but after some time away from direction, he returned last winter with the excellent Maria the Virgin Witch. His name demands notice, and with this show also featuring a reasonable series composer (Naruhisa Arakawa, responsible for Spice and Wolf, Maoyuu, and a bunch of less interesting stuff), there’s plenty of reason to suspect there might be something here. Definitely worth a first episode.
I wish I could feel more excited about this. The original manga, written and illustrated by Gamon Sakurai, is apparently quite well-liked – a solid horror-thriller with some nicely unnerving art. But horror is already difficult enough to pull off in anime, and with mediocre CG like the Sidonia-style art they’re going with for this anime, it seems basically impossible. I’ll be checking this out because people like the source material, but it seems highly likely this will just be one more casualty of CG animation.
Here’s the first PV.
I actually dropped the first season of this, but its reputation remained strong throughout the summer, so if you’re looking for more airing shows, it’d likely be worth it to catch up on this one. I’m debating doing that myself!
Adapted from another fairly well-liked manga, this one sure does have a premise. “Manga artist struggles to express himself while dealing with his precognitive time-travel ability to prevent disasters before being framed as a murderer and ultimately sent back in time to grade school and now he must solve the mystery of his classmate’s disappearance” isn’t exactly the most relatable of premises, but it’s apparently quite a time. Additionally, this one comes from the writer/composer combo behind Silver Spoon, which was very well-liked. Tomohiko Ito was also the director of both seasons of Sword Art Online, which were honestly very solidly directed – that show’s problems have everything to do with its source material, and everyone else involved did the best they could. This one looks bizarre as hell, but I’ll be watching out for it.
Here’s the PV.
So. This does indeed look like just one more in the endless stream of “trapped in a videogame” stories we’ve been drowning in lately. Buuut this one actually has a director associated with some solid productions – Ryousuke Nakamura, who worked on both Aoi Bungaku and Mouryou no Hako. Granted, I’ve already said in this very preview guide that SAO had a talented director, but still. Any upcoming anime port in a storm. Also, the backgrounds in the PV look gorgeous, so that’s also nice.
Here’s that PV.
I was tempted not to include this one in my list, but it just feels weird to not at least mention PA Works’ new thing, even if I don’t really have any reason to anticipate it. But yeah, I don’t have any reason to anticipate this. It’ll probably look good, and it seems possible it could move towards romance, but this seems like it’ll fit squarely into the “mediocre adolescent dramas spacing out PA Works’ fantastic adult dramas” category.
Here’s the PV.
This is a KyoAni production, so its potential ceiling outstrips almost everything else in the medium, but I don’t really have much reason to have faith in this one in particular. Everything I’ve heard about the source material indicates “boilerplate fantasy light novel,” the PV implies the same, and Ishihara isn’t really their best director. But I’m almost certainly going to be watching it straight through regardless – even KyoAni’s lesser shows have moments of brilliance all throughout them, they’re all gorgeous, and there’s always the reasonable chance this one will surprise me. I’m keeping my hopes low, but we’ll have to see.
Here’s that very shiny PV!
This one doesn’t really seem like my kind of thing, but as far as cute boy shows go, it definitely has some points in its favor. The series composer is the same one who’s handling Boke dake ga Inai Machi, and who previously composed both Silver Spoon and Bunny Drop. But more importantly, the director is Atsuko Ishizuka, currently known for Hanayamata, Pet Girl of Sakurasou, and No Game No Life. I found NGNL to be unwatchable trash, but it definitely featured some interesting visual choices. I wasn’t a huge fan of its incredibly loud and abrasive color palette, but a toned-down version of the effect seemed to work well in her other shows, and the PV for this one seems like it might have an even lighter touch. She seems like a talented director, and I’m guessing this won’t be her breakout directorial hit, but it’s worth giving a second look.
Here’s the PV.
Alright, here we go. Featuring the very talented director behind Sankarea, who basically spun lead into gold with that adaptation, this josei period piece looks like a real solid contender. Director Shinichi Omata has distinguished himself as one of the most talented creators to emerge from the “Shaft style,” and I’m eager to see what he does with material that already seems well within my reserved drama wheelhouse. Basically everything about this one look very promising.
Here’s the PV.
And that’s all I’ve got! There are other shows that I don’t really have any expectations either good or bad for (Dimension W, Dagashi Kashi, etc), but this is basically everything I have reason to anticipate outside of the base synopsis. As always, I’ll be covering basically every first episode for ANN anyway, so look forward to that good old Virtually Every First Episode Retrospective in a few weeks. Until next time!