Sunday, December 29, 2013

Winter 2013/4 Season Expectations and Write-ups

A new season is coming up, so once more I look at the incoming listing of pain and suffer anime and choose what to watch next. The list will cover how likely and what form of write-up I'll give each show, and how interested I am in it currently. I mostly went by random internet chatter, , and the , I don't really watch previews, which bit me in the ass with NouCome/Yuushibu last season, so let's hope we don't get a repeat this season.

I'll give my current opinion on the shows that carry over. Show-names with a strike-through means I don't plan to pick the show up, but wanted to discuss it. Interest scale is out of 3 stars.


NOBUNAGA THE FOOL - Sci-fi, over the top historic figures who fight, an anime-original which always is promisingI'm so ready. Also made by people who make good-looking shows.

INTEREST RATING: 3/3. I want this.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Dunno how far they take the ideas, post-episode notes with a chance of being upgraded.

SPACE DANDY - This show has hype riding in its wake, withwho is best known as the director of Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop at the helm. The show seems to go over-the-top, with a womanizing, alien bounty-hunter dandy-man at the helm. It seems really weird and over-the-top, so it could really go anywhere, but we have to trust in Watanabe.

INTEREST RATING: 2.5/3. It has hype surrounding it, it has pedigree, but it's weird, so we're going to have to see where it goes. Anime-original as well.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Potential for in-depth episode write-ups, but it's always nicer to watch a spectacle without pause, and this is going to be a spectacle.

BUDDY COMPLEX - Sunrise, the studio behind most mecha, returns for another mecha story, about clashing super-powers and the power of friendship. Looks interesting enough.


WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Post Episode to not at all.

NORAGAMI - Yet another popcorn show, but being animated by BONES and the source-material apparently being more serious than silly (though one can't tell where the anime will take it), I am likely to give it a chance.

INTEREST RATING: 1.5/3. Will give it two episodes.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: None to post-episode only.

WITCH CRAFT WORKS - A popcorn show, this time with magic and witches, and a girl who saves a boy. Sounds like the kind of shows I marathon when I feel like marathoning shows akin to Zero no Tsukaima / Toaru Majutsu no Index.

INTEREST RATING: 1/3, Will give it one episode at least. Popcorn in a season and day overflowing with it, but a side dish of supposedly solid RomCom/character interactions mean I'm slightly more interested.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Moderate, seems post episode notes with one or more lengthier observations during an episode could occur.

NOBUNAGUN - Over the top crazy action, I could probably give it an episode or two.

INTEREST RATING: 0.5/3, Will give it one episode at least. Popcorn in a season and day overflowing with it.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Probably none, maybe post-episodes.

TONARI NO SEKI-KUN - A short about a boy who constructs weird creations on his table during school and the girl who sits next to him, dunno how fun/amusing it'd be, but I've heard good chatter about it, although it's mostly from short-lovers. Can't hurt, right?

INTEREST RATING: 1/3. It's a short, it might actually amuse me, and if not, not too much time will be lost.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Zilch, it's a short.

WIZARD BARRISTERS - Not going to watch it. Watched the preview, gave me flashbacks to the Galilei Donna preview, and it's the same director - Umetsu Yasuomi. I trust this to be just a popcorn show, but I'm going to pass, especially with how full of popcorn action shows this season is. I don't trust his capability to make it deeper, and will wait for others' thoughts.

OVERALL SUNDAY THOUGHTS: This day is full of popcorn shows. I am pretty sure I'll pick 3-4 full-length shows from this day, which is actually too much, but since Monday is looking pretty vacant, I might just watch one of those shows there. If I also avoid write-ups, I could do 4. In-depth write-ups of shows take about 1-2 hours, 3 hours for 2k word write-up viewings, the shorter notes usually double an episode's watching time. Cutting down on all note-taking would enable me to watch 4-5 shows on Sundays.

7 shows, 1 short.


TOARU HIKUUSHI E NO KOIUTA - A prince is ousted by a revolution, only to take to the skies as a pilot afterwards. Drama, romance, aerial combats. This show looks like it has it all.

INTEREST RATING: 2.5/3. Drama! Aerial Combats! Revolutions and politics! I mean, seriously.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Huge Potential, good chance of weekly in-depth write-ups.

SUPER SONICO - Big-breasted mascot-character, designed to move figures and such. White Fox is a good studio, so I'll be listening to what people are saying, but I suspect they only picked this up in exchange for getting the rights for Nitroplus's Virtual Novelss, such as Steins;Gate.

OVERALL MONDAY THOUGHTS: Pretty empty day, which means I can put a show from Sunday here with ease, which will likely be necessary.

1 show.


TOKYO RAVENS - CONTINUING FROM FALL 2013 - When this show does action it's so-so, also due to the inclusion of horrible CGI. When this show does RomCom it's charming and makes me laugh. I like this show alright, and I'll keep watching it.


WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Zero, moved to not taking any notes. It's possible an episode will come now and then where post-episode notes will be justified.

HAMATORA - I'm not even sure whether this will be an action show like Index, or whether it'll be more mystery oriented. Likely to not have the best animation, so a mystery could be nice.

INTEREST RATING: 1.5/3. Will give it 3 episodes. It's coming on a slow day on the wake of a slow Monday, so it's likelier to stick around.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: High, if it's a mystery, none, if it's just a popcorn action show.

OVERALL TUESDAY THOUGHTS: Another slow day, maybe I'll use this day to work on my backlog, play video games, well, I do want to engage in non-anime activities, so Monday-Wednesday seem like the right time.

2 shows.


CHUUNIBYOU DEMO KOI GA SHITAI! REN (2ND SEASON) - I love RomComs. What I dislike the most about RomComs is that they end just as the couple gets together, as if the only real conflict is being able to admit your feelings to yourself and to another, but it's just the first step. The prospect of having this show begin with our couple in a relationship excites me. I enjoyed the first season thoroughly (both the humorous moments and the drama moments) and gave it a very loving 7/10 for a RomCom.

INTEREST RATING: 3/3. Yeah, I'm super excited for this.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Nope. I prefer to watch this show without taking any notes, which will only hamper my enjoyment of it. I might give you guys a post-episode write-up only.

DOUBLE CIRCLE - 6 episodes about energy, funded by energy companies. Each is 6 minutes long, and they already released the first one. I'm actually interested in seeing what they do with it.


WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Moderate, post-episode perhaps, they're shorts, although at 6 minutes-long they're longer than most. The topic does invite more discussion, though.

OVERALL WEDNESDAY THOUGHTS: Chu2koi! Yeah, another slow day, to give us time and energy before the monstrous Thursday strikes again.

1 show, 1 short.


GIN NO SAJI / SILVER SPOON S2 - I liked the first season, but it really felt like a complete season cut in the middle, but seeing as it's based on an ongoing manga, it's probably going to feel as if we stopped in the middle anyway. A city boy in an agricultural school, slice of life, coming of age, with a bit of would be comedy undertones. I like it, a good treatment of humans.

INTEREST RATING: 3/3. I gave the original season 8.6/10, and it felt incomplete. .

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: High. I actually had a bunch to say about the final few episodes. Due to how busy Thursday is and how the ideas are usually easily to group into one or two paragraphs, I am likely to go for more in-depth post episode notes.

KILL LA KILL - CONTINUING FROM FALL 2013 - A spectacle, and actually not moving as quickly as I thought. I am still wondering just how much thematic depth there is to this show and how much of it I'm projecting myself, but I enjoy the themes and philosophies whenever they're spouted off, so let's keep at it.


WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: It's true that I infuse the show and elaborate on a lot of the things, but they do reference them. It's a spectacle show, but I still enjoy writing about it, so high.

NAGI NO ASUKARA - CONTINUING FROM FALL 2013 - A drama about middle schoolers with a background of cultural clash and an impending Armageddon, it's finally hitting on all cylinders, and I'm excited with it. If you happen to think the characters are annoying early on, give them a chance.

CURRENT SCORE: B+. This is a drama show, and it's finally hitting its stride.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: High. Most of the ideas can be summed up in 2-3 paragraphs after the show, so might go for an in-depth post-episode writeup.

SAMURAI FLAMENCO - CONTINUING FROM FALL 2013 - A story of camaraderie and the human spirit, of becoming a hero, an adult. The last episode took us someplace weird, in that it hadn't really touched on the show's themes, so we'll see. I hope they return to being my 2nd favourite show of Fall 2013.

CURRENT SCORE: A-. It'd be A to A+, but the last episode has me worried, the first one where things didn't carry through, let's see where they go from here.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Incredibly high. Probably going to keep with in-depth write-ups.

PUPA - Turns out this is going to be a 5 minute long short, about a boy whose sister became a flesh-eating monster, so he has to feed her his flesh. I'm going to watch it, because, well, I can't imagine not doing so. I might need a hug afterwards

INTEREST RATING: 3/3. I'm definitely curious, because who can look away? I have no idea if I'll even enjoy it.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Short, so not much, but we might have to chronicle how we felt after watching this.

MAHOU SENSOU / MAGICAL WAR - A popcorn show, magical warfare, secret societies, but it's by Madhouse, with a strong composer behind the soundtrack, and it has Fukuyama Jun, how could I not give it a shot?

INTEREST RATING: 2/3. Carried by the people behind it, I guess. Going to give it 2-3 episodes, probably on Friday.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Anything from nothing to in-depth, probably only go up to post episode notes.

SAKURA TRICK - I had hopes for a drama, this seems like it'll be a RomCom with an ecchi boost. That it's a "yuri romance" show doesn't move me in either direction. This season has too many RomComs or nearly RomComs I'm already invested in, so pass.

OVERALL THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Someone save me, please. My Thursday is full of content even without picking up anything new, especially since all four continuing (including Gin no Saji's 2nd season) are ones where I do write-ups, erm, this might be hard. I think one show might have to go to Friday, like it or not, or skip the write-up.

5 shows, 1 short.


PUPIPO! - A short about an elementary girl who can see ghosts and is thus ostracized, and the creature she meets who eats the ghosts. It has some nice issues, and could've made for a solid full-length more serious show, I guess.

INTEREST RATING: 3/3. I've actually watched the first two episodes and I liked them.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Zero. There's just not enough meat there.

OVERALL FRIDAY THOUGHTS: A reprieve from Thursday! If I want to cover all shows in Thursday at length I probably need to move at least one to Friday, but then you lose much of the discussion, might move one here and do post-episode notes only.

1 short.


SEKAI SEIFUKU (WORLD DOMINATION) - Over the top show, probably action oriented. A secretive group of people, led by a small girl, vows to take over the world. Animation seems top notch, writer seems notable, I'm very interested in what this has to offer.

INTEREST RATING: 3/3. It's my big bet of the season. I think it can be grand, but there's also a good chance it'd implode like Galilei Donna and Coppelion have last season.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: No idea, anything from post-episode to in-depth write-ups.

LOG HORIZON - CONTINUING FROM FALL 2013 - A group of adventurers stuck in a video game, but this time we focus on politics and society. Sadly, the show seems more interested in us spending time with the characters than actually moving anywhere, which is unfortunate, but due to its family-time slot perhaps not too surprising.

CURRENT SCORE: B-. This show keeps coasting on characters without actually doing much, always telling us "next episode something interesting will happen!" - I'm disappointed, honestly. Might have to pick up the LNs.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Began high, but it's down to post-episode notes now.

NISEKOI - A RomCom by Shaft. I actually liked Denpa Onna fine, and this studio has some really good people working for it, so why not?

INTEREST RATING: 2.5/3. I know I'm probably going to enjoy it.

WRITE-UP POTENTIAL: Next to none, a RomCom.

OVERALL SATURDAY THOUGHTS: An interesting day, where I'm actually interested in all shows. 3 shows is a good amount for Saturday.

3 shows.

OVERALL SEASON THOUGHTS: A good number of RomComs, too many popcorn over-the-top action shows, and seem some will be more serious action/spectacle shows, including Samurai Flamenco and Kill la Kill which carry over from autumn, so I will pass on many of those. My tally of shows is 19 full-length shows and 4 shorts - yikes, that's too many shows. I hope to have 10 full-length shows and no more, but if I don't do write-ups for each episode, I could probably manage a couple more.

There are 4 shows I know make for solid write-ups but all appear on Thursday. I'll probably aim for 4-5 in-depth write-ups, 3-4 additional post-episode notes, and nothing for the rest. I'm actually quite pleased with the upcoming season's content. On the other hand, I wanted the season to be terrible, so I would have time to allocate to other things

Last season I sampled 21 shows, and my decision to only watch 10 shows after two weeks at most didn't work out, and it's taken me 6 long weeks. My time is not without limits, nor is my energy, and each show I watch or write-about is time not spent elsewhere. As such, I'm going to be more picky this time around (or try!). I'm also going to only give weekly in-depth write-ups to shows that seem to warrant it, most likely I'll do "post episode notes" for the first week and see from there, and some shows will get no notes at all, because it's time saved. Let's see how strong my resolve will be this time around.

Finally, for my in-depth write-ups, I'll pick between 0 and 2 every week that I think are especially impressive and post them on the main-blog, rather than on the episodics' page. BTW, my "Write-up potential" is very much a guess-work, seeing how Kyousougiga () and Gatchaman Crowds () came out of nowhere over the past two seasons as shows which merited copious amounts of weekly discussion.

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