Spring 2014: Sci-Fi & Mecha


Our penultimate entry in the Spring 2014 preview is one of Japan’s quintessential lines of anime: the science fiction and mecha genre. It’s the first type of show you think of when you think of anime. It’s the type of show that originally crossed over to the western market with the likes of Macross and Voltron leading the way [despite being adapted a fair bit]. These shows have a lot to live up to with such a huge catalogue of gems created over the past fifty years; do these shows hold up? Let’s find out! There’s a lot of them!

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Captain Earth

Genre: Sci-fi/Mecha
Animation Studio: Bones
Origin: Original [Igarashi]
Airing Date: April 6 2014

Summary
Just before his summer vacation, a young boy named Daiji witnesses a celestial event happen right above him – a spherical rainbow. He ventures closer and the mysterious circumstances behind his father’s death ring in his head when he is thrust into combat when an alien batallion from Uranus attacks Earth. Daiji is plunged into this war and his life is changed forever.

Initial Thoughts
Goodness. It’s a beautiful show with a very epic soundtrack and visual presentation. It has a very technical setting whilst being that little bit stylish to add some artistic flair. I do find it a little dubious that Daiji is mistaken for a captain without any sort of background check but hey that’s what the plot has decreed and we shall see how it goes. Based on the art style alone, I am excited for this that’s for sure.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: High

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Dai Shogun – Great Revolution
[Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun]

Genre: Action/Mecha
Animation Studio: J.C. Staff
Origin: Original [Watanabe/J.C.Staff]
Airing Date: April 10 2014

Summary
Dai Shogun is a ‘what-if’ tale set in the late 1800s where the Meiji Restoration never took place and as such Japan remained cut off from the rest of the world. In place of the foreign ships and vessels that would have ventured to Japan, we get ancient giant robots named Onigami. With the Meiji Resortation being removed from history, Japan did not become the ultramodern nation that we know today and maintained its Shogunate political framework. The Onigami put paid to foreigners infiltrating the land.

Initial Thoughts
It’s an interesting concept…in theory. What if Japan remained closed off? Quite a lot of its traditional values would have been maintained and history would have been changed across the world. That idea on its own would have been cool; but we get giant robots thrown in for good measure – and these are old beggars too! Ancient Japanese society loved them robots! I don’t have much to go on as of yet but it seems like a curious idea to follow at least to begin with.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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brynhildr_1

Brynhildr in the Darkness
[Gokukoku no Brynhildr]

Genre: Sci-fi/Drama
Animation Studio: Arms
Origin: Manga [Okamoto]
Airing Date: April 6 2014

Summary
Ryota is a boy struggling to cope with the death of his childhood friend whom he felt responsible for her death which was considered an accident. They both had a promise to prove that aliens exist and he has dedicated his time to realise their dream by joining the school’s astronomy club. Then he meets a girl named Neko who is a carbon copy of his friend…who so happens to be on the run from a scientific facility who just so happens to have magic powers.

Initial Thoughts
If you think this anime looks and sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Lynn Okamoto, the author of this story, is the same author of the classic anime Elfen Lied. There are quite a few elements in the plot which are similar if not the same as the classic. Powerful experiment on the run, violence, cute girls, innocent male main character without a mean bone in his body. If this were any other author you would accuse them of copying, but since this is the same author, we can chalk this up to perhaps a new spin on her original concept. In any case, this is certainly a show to watch on its own artistic and narrative merit, especially if you loved Elfen Lied!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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daimidaler_1

Daimidaler – The Sound Robot
[Kenzen Robo Daimidaler]

Genre: Mecha/Comedy
Animation Studio: TNK
Origin: Manga [Nakama]
Airing Date: April 5 2014

Summary
Our story revolves around Kouichi, a guy with a high number of Hi-ERo particles which grants him the ability to power the mighty giant robot Daimidaler. He is joined in his endeavour by the Prince Beauty Parlor’s agent Kyoko and it’s up to them to save the world from the Penguin Empire.

Initial Thoughts
Uhhh…yeah. This is about killer penguins attacking the Earth. Right. You probably guessed from the initial outline that this is a comedy. You can’t take seriously a show that chooses to have penguins as the enemy. Not to mention that this has a LOT of sexual content, like a LOT. Groping, scantily-clad women, posing, panties as far as the eye can see, you name it! Push that part to one side for a moment and you can see that this show’s visual presentation is a little flaky; the robot, Daimidaler, looks ugly. It’s so out of proportion and stick-thin. It doesn’t look that powerful. So it sort of falls short in the basic giant robot requirement – look awesome. Oh well, since this is meant to be a spoof, I can cut it a little slack but I’m not exactly holding my breath here.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-Low

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m3_image1

M3: That Black Steel
[M3: Sono Kuroki Tetsu]

Genre: Mecha/Action
Animation Studio: Satelight
Origin: Original [Sato/Okada]
Airing Date: April 30 2014

Summary
In terms of plot, there’s little to go on here with only a short teaser being released. However, what we can gleam is that the setting is in a time not too far in the future with giant robots slowly taking on the form we know and love. According to the teaser, there is a pit of darkness and despair known as the Avidya Zone. From within that zone, huge creatures named Imashime are conjured to wreak havoc and it’s up to eight teenagers to save humanity from these beings.

Initial Thoughts
There’s not much content present here but you can look at the staff roster and realise there’s a lot of strong names here; Junichi Sato [director of the first two Sailor Moon series] being one of them. As for its presentation it seems interesting enough. The Avidya Zone conveys the right amount of evil vibes to be spooky yet not traumatic. The characters look a little plain but I think it’s a story that has legs. The whole teenagers being the last hope gimmick is a little paper thin though but here’s hoping it holds water.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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mekakucityactors_1

Mekaku City Actors

Genre: Sci-fi/Rom-com
Animation Studio: Shaft
Origin: Light novel [Jin/Shidu]
Airing Date: April 12 2014

Summary
Shintaro is eighteen years old and hasn’t left his room in two years. One day though, a cybernetic girl named Ene causes him to venture outside to get a new keyboard. He then stumbles upon the “Blindfold Gang” a group of teenagers out to fight crime. Shintaro eventually joins this group and this tale is about the band of teens with powers related to the human eye.

Initial Thoughts
This show was initially created by Jin and originally known as Kagerou Project, a Vocaloid based series. In terms of trailers, there’s little here other than short character introductions which are hard to decipher if you’re not Japanese. However what you can gleam is that this show is fast-paced, high in action and contains powers involving vision. It’s hip, edgy and extremely cool. I think it has potential to be good and I look forward to checking it out properly.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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breakblade_1

Break Blade

Genre: Mecha/Fantasy
Animation Studio: Production I.G.
Origin: Manga [Yoshinaga]
Airing Date: April 6 2014

Summary
Our series focuses around the impending war between the kingdom of Krisna and the city of Athens. In this world, people are able to tap into the power of quartz for whatever purpose they require; except one person, Rygart Arrow. Despite his inability to use the precious stone, this means that he can pilot an ancient Golem [rock robot?] and prove his worth for Krisna in their struggle against Athens.

Initial Thoughts
This show has my attention. Unlike the usual “this person has a gift” storyline, this show turns that on its head and praises a character for having no skill and yet still be useful. It’s a nice twist to have in a world of Attack on Titan and countless other child missing links. However, this show does ape the aforementioned show in terms of walled cities being attacked from huge things [in this case, robots] and over-the-top, agile battle sequences. The animation in the previews is also a little patchy but I think it has legs in terms of narrative. Let’s see where this goes.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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sidonia_1

Knights of Sidonia
[Sidonia no Kishi]

Genre: Mecha/Action
Animation Studio: Polygon Pictures
Origin: Manga [Nihei]
Airing Date: April 11 2014

Summary
One thousand years after Earth was surrendered to the mighty alien beings known as Gauna, the Earth-made ship known as Sidonia is seemingly the last trace of the human race which has perfected a range of human enhancement technologies such as cloning and biological implants akin to Japan’s openness to such practices. Our story focuses on Nagate, a boy who has constantly practiced the art of piloting Sidonia’s Guardian robots to one day hopefully become a pilot. Shortly after his grandfather’s passing, he is discovered by the Guardian regiment and quickly signed up to help protect humanity from the Gauna.

Initial Thoughts
One thing that’ll leap out at you is that this is anime, but not as you know it. It’s 3D. CGI. The character are CGI models and the entire production is 3D instead of using 3D elements with 2D drawings. It adds a whole new feel to proceedings as well as a more fluid animation making everything seem a little more real and dynamic. It really ties into the whole fast-paced feel I get form this show. The preview I saw demonstrated the animation skills of Polygon Pictures and it left me impressed. Very much so. I can’t wait to see the whole package!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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So, we got quite a few interesting concepts in this field this season. It’s understandable seeing as there’s such a wealth of experience and artistry knocking around the animation studios of Japan as well as its writers. Hopefully this should satisfy your craving for suiting up and flying off in your own giant robot. Next time is our last entry, looking at the anime that were originally video games. Don’t forget to save!

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Spring 2014: Sports


Welcome back to Anifile’s look on the Spring 2014 lineup. Today’s entry is the sports genre. A type of show which has seen a resurgence in recent years and is represented by four series for the spring session. Let’s get our boots on and kick off with our selection today.

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matsutarou_1

Roughneck Wrestler!! Matsutarou
[Abarenbou Kishi!! Matsutarou]

Genre: Shounen/Sports [Wrestling]
Animation Studio: Toei Animation
Origin: Manga [Chiba]
Airing Date: April 6 2014

Summary
Our tale is about the life of a roughian named Matsutarou who has incredible strength and a natural at the art of sumo wrestling. However, he has a very wreckless personality meaning he doesn’t take responsibility for his actions or have any goals in life. The anime chronicles his rise to becoming a proper sumo wrestler.

Initial Thoughts
It’s strange for a company like Toei to not put out a trailer for what is meant to be a series aimed at the young male demographic. There’s little to get excited about in terms of visual content, the website for the show is very sparse in terms of information too. No trailer here for this one. However, the fact that Matsutarou is unlike a typical shounen hero in that he has no dream to speak of at the start of the series is quite refreshing in that he is an untapped vessel capable of great things. I’ll reserve judgement for now until I can see some proper content.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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babysteps_image

Baby Steps

Genre: Sports [Tennis]
Animation Studio: Studio Pierrot
Origin: Manga [Katsuki]
Airing Date: April 6 2014

Summary
Eiitirou, more commonly known as E-Chan, is a bright young student who is bored with life and needs to find an outlet for his frustration. He stumbles upon the school’s tennis club and is instantly enthralled with the intricacies of the sport. With all his heart, E-Chan quickly rises to the occasion and throws himself head first into the art of tennis.

Initial Thoughts
Now as soon as you read this, I bet most of you are thinking about the show Prince of Tennis and will immediately begin comparing the two shows. However, it seems that based on initial research [once again, no trailer!] that this is a purely tennis anime, little romance going on. E-Chan is driven to become the best at tennis. Another thing that I’ve gleamed from my research is that people are excited with Baby Steps being adapted. It has a strong following and based on its fanbase, it’s a very real show with very minimal moments of bonkers special attacks or heightened supernatural moments. Worth a look.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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haikyuu_1

Haikyuu!!

Genre: Sports [Volleyball]
Animation Studio: Production I.G.
Origin: Manga [Furudate]
Airing Date: April 6 2014

Summary
Haikyuu!! is about a student named Shoyo who grew to love the sport of volleyball after watching it on TV. Despite the fact that he’s shorter than most players, he wishes to emulate the “Small Giant” a lauded figurehead for smaller volleyball players. Shoyo eventually recruits five other players but is defeated by Tobio, another skilled player. Shoyo devotes his life to one day beat Tobio in another match.

Initial Thoughts
I’m getting massive Free! and Naruto vibes here. The whole intense, male-centric character roster coupled with the determination of a sparky light-haired protagonist to become the absolute number one. Its presentation is very slick and truly adds a lot of drama to an already fast-paced sport. Although most people would be familiar with female volleyball [I’m looking at you, young male audience members!], male volleyball is just as popular and as such it makes sense for there to be an anime. I can see this become popular in western markets and I’ll certainly check this out. Probably my favourite sports show this season based on initial impression.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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pingpong_1

Ping Pong The Animation

Genre: Sports [Ping Pong]
Animation Studio: Tatsunoko Productions
Origin: Manga [Matsumoto]
Airing Date: April 11 2014

Summary
Makoto and Yukata [known as Smile and Peco] are both members of their local table tennis club. Their teacher observes that they both have great talent as they both frequently play against one another. The teacher spots that Smile’s attitude is the one thing that is holding him back from becoming a great player and this story recounts Smile’s development into becoming a competitive player in the field.

Initial Thoughts
This looks a lot different to most anime. It has its own style which is a lot more realistic and at the same time is able to be more artistic than real-life ever could. It’s like a combination of both world and it’s come together into a striking and unique visual presentation which is likely to not be popular with those seeking the typical anime spread. This is meant to be a tale of table tennis; simple as. Drama and action in spades. Or table tennis bats.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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That’s game, set and match for the sports genre for Spring 2014. Most of it is a mystery and we’ll have to wait until the season has begun before we can get the final scores in. Tune in next time for the anime genre biggie – the sci-fi/mecha genre. It’s going to be a big one!

Spring 2014: Slice Of Life


The slice of life genre is arguably the most recognisably anime genre out there. It’s the Japanese equivalent of a soap opera only with more room to be outlandish. We have five entries today, one of the better represented genre this season. If you’re looking for a bit of drama after the comedy of yesterday’s preview, let’s begin.

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bokurawaminna_1

The Kawai Complex Guide To Manors and Hostel Behaviour
[Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou]

Genre: Slice-of-life/Rom-com
Animation Studio: Brains Base
Origin: Manga [Miyahara]
Airing Date: April 3 2014

Summary
This long titled show has a very short and simple plot. A student named Usa moves into a new apartment and his life is changed forever. Free from the trappings of his parents, he quickly encounters the girl of his dreams named Ritsu although their first encounter is less than great. His world is full of outrageous characters including a perverted roommate. All these characters are under the same roof so the chance for drama is high here.

Initial Thoughts
I gotta say that this show looks very pretty. The colouring is luscious and full of vibrance which is not always present in shows these days. The story itself makes sense in that love-at-first-sight encounters don’t always start off serenely like they do in movies. A friendship/romance is built on a multi-faceted foundation and it seems that this is the path that this series is choosing to take. Throw in some comedic supporting characters and you got a good show.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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gochuumon_1

Is The Order A Rabbit?
[Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka?]

Genre: Slice-of-life/Comedy
Animation Studio: White Fox
Origin: Manga [Koi/Hobunsha]
Airing Date: April 10 2014

Summary
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka is focused around a cafe called Rabbit House. One day, Cocoa [an excited rabbit enthusiast] walks in and decides to call this place her home away from home. While she practically lives in the establishment, she meets all sorts of different girls who either visit or work at the cafe and friendships are made and tea is drank.

Initial Thoughts
I’m not sure about this. It’s a pure moepalooza. I think that moe is a very unwieldy ploy for viewership in that it’s very difficult to orchestrate high drama or serious situations with a feeling of gravitas [unless you’re Madoka Magica of course]. I like that the characters have puns based on hot drinks [Cocoa being…hot chocolate for one] but that seems to be the extent of the cleverness as far as the initial preview conveys. I don’t have high hopes for this.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Low

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Rl1pfX8vY4

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One Week Friends
[Isshuukan Friends.]

Genre: Slice-of-life/School
Animation Studio: Brains Base
Origin: Manga [Hazuki/Square Enix]
Airing Date: April 6 2014

Summary
Kaori Fujimiya is a girl who has an affliction when it comes to her memory. Every monday she suffers from amnesia and all the people she’s met during the week are erased from her memories which means for a lonely life. One boy named Yuuki decides to try his hardest to stick in Kaori’s memories for more than a week and rid her of her curse.

Initial Thoughts
Wow. That’s a really tragic premise. Despite the cutesy art style which looks really artistic and beautiful, there’s a dark undertone here which counters the visual presentation. It’s a little odd why mondays and ALWAYS mondays are a trigger for her amnesia [I guess she REALLY must hate mondays then!] and how is she able to function and not forget who she is and where she lives and the basics for living. It seems to just be friends. Weird. Perhaps I’m reading into it too much, this is meant to be a tale of a budding relationship and in this case, it’s best to suspend your disbelief and just enjoy the story.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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mangaka-san_1

The Comic Artist and His Assistants
[Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to]

Genre: Slice-of-life/Comedy
Animation Studio: Zexcs
Origin: Manga [Hiroyuki/Square Enix]
Airing Date: April 8 2014

Summary
Yuki Aito is struggling to grasp the skills of conveying emotion in his comics and he hires Sahoto Ashisu to help him create more-rounded characters and thus their life as colleagues begin and things get wackier from there!

Initial Thoughts
Writing for characters isn’t as easy as you might think. I’ve done it myself; it’s all about creating a complete package when it comes to characters, you as a writer need to know everything about them; even what they have for breakfast. So it’s normal to ask someone more emotionally attuned for guidance. From the looks of the previews, this is going to be a harem anime chronicling the ‘creative’ process of a manga artist. It’s not going to be a Bakuman in terms of depth, but it should be fun enough.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-Low

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Sudden Death
[Sadon Desu]

Genre: Slice-of-life/School
Animation Studio: Gainax
Origin: Manga [Noir]
Airing Date: April 2014

Summary
Sadon Desu is the story of Koume Matsuri enrolling in a private high school. She soon hears about the delights of the tea ceremony club where she can eat snacks to her heart’s content. Koume brings her friends with her to join the club and plot ensues.

Initial Thoughts
Hmmm…I detect genericness here. Something tells me that this has only been made into an anime because the wife of Gainax’s President Hiroyuki Yamaga is involved in it. Based on such little information [no trailer here!] this is going to be another short anime of up to five minutes in length per episode. You can’t really establish much in that time and I have little hopes of this show breaking out and making a dent in the universe.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Low

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So today’s slice of life offering has been a mixed bag of good and not so good. Let’s hope that tomorrow will be able to score a home run for the sports genre. If you want to catch up on the previews I’ve done for the action, fantasy/magic and comedy genres – check them out! Catch ya later!

Spring 2014: Comedy


Our third entry into the Spring 2014 showcase is the comedy genre. We like a laugh every now and then and the anime here hope to tickle your funny bone into submission with their wacky plots and comical dialogue. Let’s check them out!

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locodol_poster

Normal High School Girls Tried Being Local Idols
[Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yatte Mita.]

Genre: Comedy
Animation Studio: Feel
Origin: Manga [Kosugi]
Airing Date: April 2014

Summary
In a small town, a young girl named Nanako is asked by her uncle to become their local idol. She then recruits a friend from high school named Yukari to join her in her endeavours. Over the course of the adventure, they represent the town in local broadcasts, events and even hold concerts.

Initial Thoughts
There’s something odd about this. There is very little to go on in terms of promotional material. I couldn’t find a trailer for the anime and minimal detail when it comes to plot save for a few images, manga snippets and whatnot. From what I did find it seems very simple. The characters look nice but the story isn’t very engaging. It’s about local issues; realistic but questionable content for an anime. The lack of material is also a cause for concern. Let’s hope it’s unfounded.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Low

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If She Were To Raise The Flag
[Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara]

Genre: Comedy/Romance
Animation Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Origin: Light Novel [Takei/Cuteg]
Airing Date: April 7 2014

Summary
Our story is about the adventures of Sota Hatate and his transfer to a brand new high school. He is different in that he has a psychological ability to read the emotions of other people which are represented by flags which appear above the person’s head. However, one day he spots a flag of death over his own head and he recruits a band of young girls to save his skin.

Initial Thoughts
The use of the flag motif is something novel. It adds a bit more substance to proceedings which makes this anime stand out a little more than others especially for those who are interested in psychology. Flags are common throughout the preview and are used not just for the usual emotive analysis but also for comedic effect. I’m going to keep my eye on this and see where this ultimately goes.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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The Buried Treasure of Nanana Ryugajo
[Ryugajo Nanana no Maizoukin]

Genre: Comedy/Supernatural
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
Origin: Light Novel [Otorino/Akaringo]
Airing Date: April 11 2014

Summary
Jugo Yama runs away from his home after being banished by his father and lands upon the island of Nanae. However, his life is disrupted further by the presence of a ghost of a young girl named Nanana Ryugajo whose spirit is trapped. Only the discovery of the person who murdered her will grant her the peace she craves. It is up to Jugo to find the clues pinning the identity of the killer and help Nanana’s quest for peace.

Initial Thoughts
Despite the rather morbid premise, this story is very light-hearted. Nanana is very much present throughout and the fact that she’s dead doesn’t really hinder anything. She acts as a guide for Jugo as well as a new friend. There’s an extra dimension in the addition of other people looking for Nanana’s treasure which adds a feeling of urgency; a much needed touch. It looks good and I think it has the potential to be an enjoyable tale albeit a little safe.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-Low

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Soul Eater Not!

Genre: Comedy/Supernatural
Animation Studio: Bones
Origin: Manga [Okubo]
Airing Date: April 9 2014

Summary
This spinoff of the original Soul Eater series focuses on the individuals of the Death Weapon Meister Academy and its NOT class. Its members are human-born and have been bestowed magical powers to turn into weapons. However, they don’t wish to become weapons like Soul from the original show, but merely seek to control their powers so as they can function in society. The main character, Tsugumi, quickly befriends two meisters [Meme and Anya] and has to pick which meister will be her…meister.

Initial Thoughts
Now I know I said I wouldn’t pick shows that are new seasons or established I.Ps; however this seemed different enough to warrant a look. Soul Eater is a modern classic and one of the most popular shows in American anime circles and hence the weight behind Soul Eater Not is substantial. I feel that even if you don’t know the original title well, that you’ll still get a kick out of this series and revel in the prospect of the original cast making the odd cameo. So expectations are high all round, let’s hope it delivers.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: High

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So that’s it for the comedy anime, tomorrow we sample what is commonly seen to be the most iconic genre of the medium- the slice-of-life. What do we have in store? Check in tomorrow to find out!

 

Spring 2014: Fantasy/Magic


Welcome back everyone to Anifile’s look at the Spring 2014 lineup of anime. Yesterday we began with the action anime. Today’s post is about the fantasy/magic genre. We like to be dazzled with tales that transcend the walls of reality and stimulate our imagination; we like that especially in our anime. So what do we on offer this time? Let’s find out!

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Mahouka_88

The Irregular at Magic High School
[Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei]

Genre: Magic/School
Animation Studio: Madhouse
Origin: Light Novel [Sato/Ishida]
Airing Date: April 6 2014

Summary
In this world, magic has been demystified and made just as ubiquitous as technology. The whole mystique has been lost and now wizards are redubbed technicians and so there are places of education in which to produce these “Magic Technicians”. Brother and sister, Tatsuya and Miyuki enroll in one particular school where their skills are completely poles apart. Tatsuya is a low achiever who punches above his weight whereas his sister is one of the best in class. This tale is about how these two function in such an establishment.

Initial Thoughts
The whole nullifying of magic’s charm and etherealness is sad to witness but it makes for a curious debate. Magic and technology; slowly fusing together to become one and the same. Technology can do magical stuff and as such magic can be a very technical discipline. It therefore seems inevitable that these overlap. Tatsuya isn’t a poor student, he’s just not good at implementing his knowledge. His mental skill is notable and therefore makes him destined for great things on his course. This twist is quite plausible as there are people out there who may not be as good at the practical part of learning than they are at the writing part. I like that and I like where this anime could go.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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No Game, No Life

Genre: Fantasy/Comedy
Animation Studio: Madhouse
Origin: Light Novel [Kamiya]
Airing Date: April 9 2014

Summary
Sora and Shiro are one of the internet’s best game developers going under the name of “__” [blank]. Their skills have caught the attention of a boy named Teto who transports the duo into another world where humanity is about to be wiped out. It’s up to two geeks to save the human race from annihilation using their brains to outwit their enemies.

Initial Thoughts
This is a really cool looking show. The colours on show, the off-black lineart, the epic visuals; everything just screams beauty and wonder, pure Madhouse. I find it funny that our world is also referred to as a “s****y game” too. The whole gaming twist to demonstrate Sora and Shiro’s brilliance is a nice touch too; shows that gaming is good for your noggin! The whole humanity being weak underdogs angle has been done before but this twist on the formula seems more polished than others I’ve seen and I want to see this show so bad.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: High

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Dragonar Academy
[Seikoku no Dragonar]

Genre: Fantasy/Action
Animation Studio: C-Station
Origin: Light Novel [Mizuchi/Shimesaba]
Airing Date: April 5 2014

Summary
Dragonar Academy is about the coming of age of a boy named Ash who has yet to find his true calling when it comes to finding a dragon to partner up with. One day though, his search comes to a close and the dragon buried within his soul is unleashed…but it’s not what you think. Instead of a scaly reptile, we are presented with a dragon girl named Eco; who calls the shots instead of Ash.

Initial Thoughts
In my eyes this whole shebang is a mish-mash of other shows. I see a little bit of Pokemon [Ash dealing with a rebellious entity at first], the TV series of How To Train Your Dragon [Dragons being used in a school/learning environment] and High School DxD [The guy being dominated by tons of well-endowed girls]. I understand that this is meant to be a more mature series but from what I have seen, it seems to cater more towards pandering towards fanservice rather than telling a proper rites of passage story. The whole dragon girl gimmick seems unusual though, so I am somewhat interested to see where that goes. Don’t expect deep and meaningful plot devices here.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-Low

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Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii

Even So, The World is Beautiful
[Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii]

Genre: Fantasy/Shoujo
Animation Studio: Studio Pierrot
Origin: Manga [Shiina]
Airing Date: April 6 2014

Summary
This tale is about Nike, a princess with a fiery temperament who has the ability to command rainfall. A royal of the Rain Dukedom, she is betrothed to the king of the Sun Kingdom, Livius I, who is seen to be a tyrant having conquered the realm in a little over three years. At first, their relationship is cagey [she is thrown in jail to begin with] but over time, their connection begins to glow.

Initial Thoughts
Based on the initial preview, there’s not much to go on. What you do gleam is that Livius is in fact a boy king and younger than Nike so your initial perception is that this will be a tasteless tale. However, it seems to be about the boy king’s pacification and how Nike is able to get Livius to be more caring. I can imagine that people will hate Livius at first because he seems like a snobbish brat but because of his youth, he has room to mature and maybe that’s why Nike is there. It’s a very grown-up narrative and something curious.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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That wraps up today’s batch of previews, if you missed the action batch, you can find it here. Tomorrow we look at the comedy shows to grace our screens this coming season!