Just about done previewing stuff for the new anime season. Here are some of the things I’m watching.
The following list includes things which debuted in the Winter 2015 season. It is not a complete representation of everything that is available on Crunchyroll or other anime streaming sites. I also do not have a formal “rating” system as such.
Here are eight things I am adding to my current (and growing) watch list.
Samurai Warriors (Sundays at 10:35 PST)
Tags: Action, Games, Historic, Shounen
Better known as Sengoku Musou, Samurai Warriors is based on its video game counterpart by the same name, which inspires many of the character designs. The story is set in the historic Sengoku period, which I have covered briefly in other anime reviews on this site. This time, however, the story focuses on the Sanada brothers’ (Nobuyuki’s and Yukimura’s) campaigns. You don’t really need to know the history or the video game to enjoy this series. Just know that it is a samurai piece, minus the intense amount of visual bloodshed.
Cute High Earth Defense Club Love (Tuesdays at 10:40 PST)
Tags: Comedy, Parody, Fantasy, Shoujo
Honestly not my favorite pick out of this list, but let’s be real: I subjected myself to shows like this (which shall remain nameless) in the past, and someone’s bound to get mad at me if I don’t say anything about this one.
Judging by the poster, you should know by now that this is noly only going to appeal mostly to a female audience, but also have plenty of BL undertones. It’s a parody on all the things boys typically like about magical girls; but instead, it’s things girls like about magical boys. Of course, the best thing out of this series (for me anyway) has to be the green hedgehog villain, Zundar! No one gets away from the deepest voice of anime: Hiroki Yasumoto!
Kantai Collection (Wednesdays at 10:30 PST)
Tags: Action, Anthropomorphism, Military, Games, Shounen
Again, not my favorite pick on this list, but I have subjected myself to plenty of shows like this (again, which shall remain nameless) in the past, and someone’s bound to get mad at me if I don’t say anything about this one.
Based on the video game by its same title, KanColle puts us in a world where naval vessels are represented by middle and high school girls. Unlike a certain naval drama with a similar subject that I fervently enjoyed, this one turns out to be extremely cute in execution. Perhaps too cute for some! However, based on the most recent episode I have seen, this series isn’t afraid of adding some heart-wrenching moments either! I would normally dismiss something that appeals strongly to fan service to a point where the story is lost, but it may still surprise me later across the sea. Who knows?
Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend (Thursdays at 10:30 PST)
Tags: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life, Harem, Shounen
I had my doubts about this series. If you just watched the TV special that was made prior to this series (Episode 0), you would think it was made from a visual novel. I was surprised to find out it was actually based on a light novel series (there is a HUGE difference), though I’m sure there are plans out there to make one… probably.
What happens when an otaku tries to create the ultimate visual novel by transforming a real girl with no personality into the main heroine? Who knows, but Aki Tomoya is going to try! MyAnimeList tagged this series in the drama category, and it might very well be. I haven’t seen anything particularly dramatic yet, but I’m sure it’s bound to happen. We’ll just have to see.
Fafner Exodus (Thursdays at 11:30 PST)
Tags: Drama, Science Fiction, Romance, Mecha, Shounen)
I’m quite impressed with this series’ art. Plenty of diverse characters and mechs, stunning visuals that cross 2D animation with 3D animation beautifully, and an wonderful orchestral score. While the story does take place in the future, its themes hit close to home, showing plenty of emotion as many mecha series do.
Unfortunately, as far as plot is concerned, this series is a sequel to the Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor series, which first debuted in Japan as early as 2004. That means if you are someone like me who didn’t get a chance to watch it the first time, you’re likely to get lost very quickly! However, I’ve been trained to watch an animated series as if each one is independent from its prequel (well… we’ll see about that), and this series will have to explain things from the past rapidly (or at least reference them) since its last feature was a movie in 2010!
I’m sure I’ll pick up on the story rapidly; but for now, it’s the artistic techniques and themes that are keeping me interested. I’m happy to add this one to my simulcast list.
Military! (Thursdays at 11:30 PST)
Tags: Comedy, Action, Military (duh), Animated Short, Seinen
I honestly have no idea what’s going on in is show, other than it’s about a guy named Souhei Yano who gets two military-grade body guards, Haruka and Lutgalnikov, sent to protect him from his deranged father, or rather put him on house arrest, it seems. I don’t know! But that’s okay. It’s a comedy series; and there are a lot of animated shorts out there that seem to make no sense! And based on some of the other shenanigans I watch, how much worse could this possibly be?
Isuca (Fridays at 11:00 PST)
Tags: Action, Supernatural, Ecchi, Romance, Seinen
One of the late-comers for this season, Isuca is one of the more hyped shows to come out for this season, from what I understand. That, of course, doesn’t necessarily make it a great series; but I’m not one to judge that! I’m liking the premise so far; but yes, there will be fan service, and lots of it! And when you got plenty of censorship bars for the TV version, you know there’s going to be a sexier version of it when it comes out on Blu-Ray!
Okay, not quite the best things I could say about this series (granted I’m still watching it). However, the last series on this list is the one that I’m most excited about, as far as the debuting animes are concerned.
Gourmet Girl Graffiti (Saturdays at 20:00 PST)
Tags: Comedy, Slice of Life, Seinen
Better known in Japan as Koufuku Graffiti (literally Happy Cooking Graffiti), this is admittedly one of those moé-esque series that are meant to provide plenty of cute moments. However, even though this is a comedy series, it is a very light-hearted one with its share of the feels. There are moments where I do start to tear up!
But what I think makes this one interesting is the animation itself. Since this series is about food, there is an incredible amount of detail that’s used in showing the girls eating: scenes which some may call grotesque, but I find to be considerably beautiful. They’re definitely not afraid to show certain angles with crisp detail. But most of all, these characters are quite easy to relate to, and the series jumps into discussing some of their internal conflicts right away!
If you have been following the things I have watched and enjoyed through the many posts on this site, you bet this is going to be a favorite of mine for this year!