Category Archives: Previews

Fall 2014: Slice of Life/Drama


Our final genre is probably one of anime’s most defining genre – the slice of life. Second only to giant robot anime, the slice of life can chronicle any sort of ‘real-world’ scenario from schools to work to life in general. Most tend to gravitate to school environments and be the most prone to fanservice. Despite this, I think this is probably my favourite genre because it’s the most relaxing and easiest to understand; very little chance of learning specific terminology or complicated story arcs. Just kick back and enjoy the drama!

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Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken
(I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying)

Animation Studio: Dream Creation
Origin:  Manga [Kyoshinsha]
Date of Premiere: October 2nd

Summary
Welcome to the internet, we say to Kaoru [our leading lady]. She is married to Hajime, a full-blown otaku to which she is the almost complete opposite; she smokes, has an office job and is cynical as all hell. Now she’s wed to this guy, Kaoru feels like she needs to understand the world her husband inhabits if she wants to save her sanity.

Initial Thoughts
If the producers of this anime wanted to appeal to their target market with something relevant, then they did a good job. I’m sold! This is a five-minute anime series so the time invested is minimal so the risk factor is negligible for those skeptical. This is probably one of the shows I’m looking forward to the most because of the fact that I’m a geek and I want to see what happens. Plus the animation looks cute!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai
(The Shepherd of the Great Library)

Animation Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Origin:  Manga [August/Sasaki]
Date of Premiere: October 9th

Summary
Kyoutarou just wants to read a book, to nocialise in peace in the school library. One day though, his wish to read fantastic tomes is granted with the proviso that he acts like a good samaritan. With the guidance of an outside figure known only as the “Shepherd”, he is charged with spreading happiness to five female classmates with different quirks and personalities.

Initial Thoughts
As soon as I saw Hoods Entertainment were the animators of this I sort of knew where this was going. Hoods primarily animate racier productions and it implies that there will be plenty of stimulating material for young men; of course there will be, this is based on a visual novel game! Predictable and pandering but it looks very good, I’ll probably save this for the latter half of the review season.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Girlfriend (Kari)
Girlfriend (Beta)

Animation Studio: Silver Link
Origin:  Game [CyberAgent/Ameba]
Date of Premiere: October 13th

Summary
You want a girlfriend? Take your pick! You have over thirty girls to choose from in this anime adaptation of the hugely popular iOS and Android game [those have over one hundred to choose from!]. Other than that not much else has been divulged in terms of plot but I think you can guess where it’ll go.

Initial Thoughts
This is certainly…ambitious. One of the most inclusive dating sims in circulation, Girlfriend (Kari) will not have anyone feeling left out, but does it need an anime? This linear art form may not lend itself well to what is essentially an endless video game; people will feel like their favourite has been given short shrift or left out all together. Also nothing about the plot has been explained so that adds to the uncertainty. Not sure about this.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Low

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Grisaia no Kajitsu
(The Fruit of the Grisaia)

Animation Studio: 8-bit
Origin:  Game [Front Wing]
Date of Premiere: October 5th

Summary
Yuuji Kazama is the first boy to enrol in a special school for troubled children where the only other classmates are attractive girls. Each of these characters has a tragic past which has affected their daily lives and it is believed that Yuuji’s presence might be the solution to their problems and help them get over their trauma…it doesn’t help though that Yuuji is there because he has a past he’d want to forget too, can everyone get over their woes?

Initial Thoughts
Another visual novel, Grisaia no Kajitsu seems to be a lot more cerebral than most. The idea of investigation psychological trauma through compassion helping the girls solve their issues is noteworthy but it still could fall foul that plagues most adaptations of visual novels – condensing. You have HOURS of content from five different plots and you have to shrink them all and pick one of the girls to get with Yuuji [probably Sakaki]; people who played the game will again feel left out if their girl isn’t chosen. Risky but interesting enough to give a chance.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
(Your Lie In April)

Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
Origin:  Manga [Arakawa]
Date of Premiere: October 9th

Summary
Kousei was a child prodigy when it came to playing the piano, but when his like-minded mother passed away he was unable to hear his piano play and as such vows to never play the instrument again. After that, life becomes meaningless…until he meets Kaori, a wonderful violinist, who could restore his love for music and rekindle his passion!

Initial Thoughts
This looks really good. A-1 Pictures has picked a cracker of a series to adapt. It’s a simple plot about conquering one’s fear and trauma but it looks like it will be done rather tastefully and eloquently with plenty of visual cues and use of the colour palette. Kaori and Kousei look to be a solid match and I’m keen to see how this relationship unfolds.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Shirobako
(White Box)

Animation Studio: P.A. Works
Origin:  Manga [Sugihara/Mizutama]
Date of Premiere: October 9th

Summary
Five girls want to make an anime, simple as. Each girl has a specific trait and together they start to carve their way into the animation industry, one trial after another; with donuts. Lots of donuts.

Initial Thoughts
There’s not much to say really with this one. You can sum it up in a sentence which is good. The story is uncomplicated and should actually be interesting as it goes through the animation process and deconstructs it into its component parts; colouring, voicing, 3D work and so on. The story is meant to be heartwarming as these girls will stick together and I will stick around for this because I want to know how a modern anime is made! I mean after last season’s Glasslip, anything that PA Works makes will be better!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete
(In Search of A Lost Future)

ushinawareta

Animation Studio: Feel
Origin:  Game [Trumple]
Date of Premiere: October 4th

Summary
Uchihama Academy is planning to move to a new location and this year’s school festival will be the last at the current campus. The student body work together to make this festival the best ever…that is until the campus fights back with sightings of ghosts, seizures and unexplained accidents. The school’s Astronomy Club, led by Sou Akiyama, is charged with investigating the phenomena and finds odd things tend to gravitate toward him, especially when new transfer student Yui comes into his life. What happens next?

Initial Thoughts
Oooh, paranormal elements. I like that! Other than that, the premise is solid enough. The original game is based on a long-running novel À la recherche du temps perdu or In Search of Lost Time written by Marcel Proust and in that themes of loss, anxiety as well as tragedy! In all it’ll be interesting to show how this high-brow visual novel is adapted into an anime; based on visuals alone it feels like a Clannad in its sophisticated colour palette but we shall see if that holds true!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru
(Yuna Yuki is a Hero)

yuyuyu

Animation Studio: Studio Gokumi
Origin:  Manga [Takahiro/Kotamaru]
Date of Premiere: October 16th

Summary
Four girls from the same school form a “Hero Club” which saves the world for what is known as the “Vertex”. When these girls aren’t fighting demons or otherworldly oddities, they are standard moe girls doing adorable things together without a care in the world with cute plushy mascots to accompany them…then they go fight demons!

Initial Thoughts
I think this could be good? It feels almost like a magical girl anime but a lot more grounded. The girls look pleasant enough and the ambience seems rather mellow. It’s a more laidback action anime with chances to have a chuckle with the girls as they go about their lives. Quaintness aplenty.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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And thus concludes our showcase of anime for the upcoming fall season. Our final post will be our Fall Preview Summary where you can see what anime excites Anifile and which leaves us feeling cold and a chance to cast your vote for the anime you’re most excited to see!

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Fall 2014: Fantasy/Magic


Magic can be quite…well, magical. It can also be, like science fiction, an avenue of pure creativity; you can do whatever you want and claim that magic is behind it. Yet despite that freedom, you’d be surprised the number of times I’ve seen a magic-based show follow the same trends as all the other ones instead of branching out in its own direction. Do any of these shows buck said trend? Let’s find out!

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Madan no Ou to Vanadis
(The King of the Magic Bullet and Vanadis)

Animation Studio: Satelight
Origin:  Light Novel [Kawaguchi/YoshiO]
Date of Premiere: October 4th

Summary
The European country of Zhcted [I think I missed that geography lesson] is in the middle of a great war. Seven beautiful women lead the country as ambassadors or Vanadis despite there being an overall king. Enter Eleanor Vertalia, the silver haired main protagonist and Tigre, a young earl who is taken prisoner by Eleanor after one battle and is taken into her court to serve her as a warrior.

Initial Thoughts
As much as I think that the animation looks pretty good and the idea is sort of decent, it feels like a stock slice-of-life plot disguised as a harrowing and action-packed romp with the whole “From today you must serve me” angle. It DOES look cool but all I sense is a buddy-cop scenario with the potential for unnecessary fanservice; here’s hoping it doesn’t go there but my hopes are tempered.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-Low

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Magic Kaito 1412

magickaito

Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
Origin:  Manga [Aoyama]
Date of Premiere: October 4th

Summary
Kaito Kuroba is a young magician who takes revenge on his father who died eight years previously in somewhat shady circumstances. Upon further investigation, Kaito discovers that his father was the infamous thief The Kaito Kid. In memory, the young Kaito takes on the moniker. From there begins a tale of revenge, illusion and having a thing with the Chief Inspector’s daughter!

Initial Thoughts
This goes without saying, this is going to be good. Magic Kaito has been around since the late 1980s in either his own manga or making cameo appearances in Aoyama’s other famous work Detective Conan as a rival. I am curious to see the origin story of this character as there is a lot to him. As for the product by A-1, it looks the business and you can expect a great amount of care with this show as it’s a national icon. You might wonder that since this is a spin-off and not a WHOLLY new show why I’m covering it. I feel it’s a re-telling in the same vein of Sailor Moon Crystal and it’s popular so people want to know my thoughts – OK, you got it!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: High

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Nanatsu no Taizai
(The Seven Deadly Sins)

Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
Origin:  Manga [Suzuki]
Date of Premiere: October 5th

Summary
In Britannia, seven powerful knights [the Seven Deadly Sins] struck fear into the heart of the nation’s monarch. After wiping them out with his own Holy Knights, rumours begin to spread that the group are in hiding. However, the king’s own Holy Knights use their power against their ruler and take over the kingdom by force. The king’s daughter Elizabeth escapes capture and goes on a quest to find the Seven Deadly Sins in order to dispose the usurping warriors from the throne.

Initial Thoughts
I’m getting a very 90s vibe here. It looks quite retro despite being a new property with the manga only starting in 2012. The overall feel is that I think this will be a fun adventure with seven colourful characters and a plot that would appeal to younger boys akin to Naruto or Bleach. There is some potential for fanservice to come into play but I’m somewhat confident it won’t be an issue.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Sanzoku no Musume Ronja
(Ronia the Robber’s Daughter)

Animation Studio: Studio Ghibli/Polygon Pictures
Origin:  Novel [Lindgren]
Date of Premiere: October 11th

Summary
Based on the classic Swedish children’s book, Ronia is the daughter of a group of bandits and the heir apparent to the tribe. She and the gang live in a fort in the middle of a forest. One day she comes across another child from a rival tribe and together they come across mystical creatures and powerful truths.

Initial Thoughts
It’s Ghibli. It’s Polygon Pictures. These two powerhouses in anime have come together to produce the former’s first TV series after decades making movies. It’s unusual to see studios go the opposite direction from the silver screen to the small screen but it’s an interesting prospect. We all know what Ghibli can do and we all know this could be the last thing we see from the fabled studio after the upcoming restructuring or it could be the start of a new path for the beloved animation house. I’m most intriuged as are you as to how Ghibli adapts this story into anime form.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: High

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Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis
(Rage of Bahamut: Genesis)

Animation Studio: MAPPA
Origin:  Game/Rage of Bahamut
Date of Premiere: October 6th

Summary
This adaptation of the mobile game Rage of Bahamut chronicles the tale of how the legendary dragon Bahamut was sealed by all living factions to protect the world from his tyranny and the only way to open it is a key which is cut in half. All is well for many years until one human decides it would be a great idea to steal half of the key; this sparks a conflict between gods, demons and humanity after millenia of peace. Smooth.

Initial Thoughts
Good golly this looks amazing! The lush colour palette and organic movement all come together spectacularly and to think that all this came from a phone app. This is going to be epic and despite the fact that this is to promote a smartphone game it doesn’t feel like a cheap marketing ploy; it feels like a genuine product with a lot of care and attention put into it. MAPPA are building a strong reputation in that regard.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Sora no Method
(Celestial Method)

soramethod

Animation Studio: Studio 3Hz
Origin:  Cross-platform original
Date of Premiere: October 5th

Summary
From the creator of Kanon, this tale is about a wish that five girls made one summer which comes true seven years later. This wish takes the form of a magical disk which hovers over the town which they all met in. Nonoka, our main character, returns after this timeskip and finds the friends she met that one summer including the colourful Noel, who hasn’t aged at all. Duh-duh-duuuuuuh.

Initial Thoughts
There’s not much to go on here. This being an original production with little information released so far save for a few chapters from the manga which came out a month previously. I can’t really say whether this will be good or not but I will check out the first episode with great interest to see what it’s all about. Perhaps the mystery is part of generating hype…or to hide something they don’t want you to know.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Trinity Seven: 7-nin no Mahoutsukai
(Trinity Seven: The Seven Magicians)

trinity7

Animation Studio: Seven Arcs
Origin:  Manga [Nao/Saitou]
Date of Premiere: October 7th

Summary
Arata is living out his normal humdrum existence until one morning when he is greeted by a black sun caused by the Breakdown Phenomenon. This doesn’t cause people to go insane, it causes them to LITERALLY break into pieces including Arata’s family and friends. He is only saved when his childhood friend Hijiri entrusts a special grimoire which saves the town for the time being. Because of this, Arata is enrolled into Royal Biblia Academy where he can learn how to disable the Breakdown Phenomenon and save his home town from ultimate destruction with the help of the Trinity Seven.

Initial Thoughts
I feel like this will be a harem show with a bit of class. The premise is engaging enough to be different in that Arata has a real and worthy reason to join an academy of magic. He seems like a guy who knows what he wants instead of a whiny and naive frontman we’re all too familiar with. The production feels serious and yet funny at the same time; the show is a comedy mixed with magical action so it’ll be necessary to strike a balance between the two contrasting genre in order to make a good story; do that and things will be bright!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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The rabbit is truly out of the hat! We have one more genre showcase coming up tomorrow and that’s the fabled Slice of Life/Drama category. Catch you later!

Fall 2014: Comedy


Our third preview post covers those anime which are primarily made to make you smile or ideally laugh out loud. Japanese comedies have trouble translating into English but these shows have the potential to break that trend and come up with the goods. We have seven series to go over today so let’s start!

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Amagi Brilliant Park

Animation Studio: Kyoto Animation
Origin:  Light Novel [Gatoh/Nakajima]
Date of Premiere: October 2nd

Summary
It all starts with a young man [Seiya] being held at gunpoint to on a date with another girl [Isuzu]. It then involves them going on a date to a rundown theme park. The ‘princess’ of the park tasks Seiya with managing the theme park and attracting over one hundred thousand patrons in a fortnight. You think that’d be easy? No, Amagi Brilliant Park is a beat-up relic of the nineteenth century. Good luck, mate!

Initial Thoughts
Kyoto Animation has been in a bit of slump when compared to its stature in the mid-2000s. Here’s hoping that this collaboration with Full Metal Panic creator Shouji Gatoh can kickstart things again [even some of his characters from the other title make a cameo!] On paper, it looks pretty good as do most KyoAni productions, but can it translate that into results in terms of ratings.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Denkigai no Honya-san
(The Bookstore of Akihabara)

Animation Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
Origin:  Manga [Mizu]
Date of Premiere: October 2nd

Summary
Umi is a desperate boy whose life depends on his employment at a small bookstore located in the heart of Tokyo, Akihabara. The store sells literature of the adult kind and he and his colleagues have to make sure things are properly sealed and hidden away from kids. A mix of personalities all concentrated in a tiny space in a bustling city.

Initial Thoughts
My first reaction was this: I want to see this! Not because of the adult bookstore angle or potential fanservice but by the charming design. Everything about the previews looks so characterful and cute; you cannot accuse it of being bland or generic. You know what you’re watching; it even has a chance of being quite ‘meta’ in that it’s set in the heart of otakudom and will likely poke fun at everything to do with anime or hentai. I’m curious!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: High

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Gugure! Kokkuri-san

Animation Studio: TMS Entertainment
Origin:  Manga [Endo]
Date of Premiere: October 5th

Summary
A young girl [Kohina] is messing about with the paranormal when she practices the Japanese divining game Kokkuri. The result lands her with a new friend, Kokkuri-san, a white-haired fox dude. Instead of scaring her, the spirit actually feels sorry for Kohina’s meagre lifestyle and miserly attitude. It seems clear that she won’t stop at one spirit friend, more will come along to add to her existence.

Initial Thoughts
This shows seems a little heavier than most four panel comics. There are themes concerning loneliness and personal neglect which leave the door open for some black comedy to be had here. So expect some darkness mixed with some laughs with this one. Kohina’s appearance is a little odd but at least it’s different!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de
(Inou-Battle Within Everyday Life)

Animation Studio: Trigger
Origin:  Light Novel [Nozomi/029]
Date of Premiere: October 6th

Summary
Jurai is an average high school loser who has recently joined the literature club, but its members aren’t bookworms. The girls of the literature club actually possess magical powers that range from creating matter to bending time…problem is, they don’t know what to do with it. They’re waiting for the call to action but must first face the ultimate test – boredom!

Initial Thoughts
Ohhh, I see what they’re doing! I like it. The fact that these people get powers and then six months later have done nothing with them shows that not every power comes with an innate mission statement. If you’re bored of the usual action/comedy series with powered students and are looking for something new then you might be in luck here; it looks the business and should stand out over the average harem comedy.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji
(The Wolf Girl and the Black Prince)

Animation Studio: TYO Animations
Origin:  Manga [Hatta]
Date of Premiere: October 5th

Summary
This story is all about keeping up appearances. Erika has bragged to her classmates about having a hot boyfriend and exudes self confidence. This ‘boyfriend’ turns out to be Kyouya, one of her classmates and the picture she parades about is not a loving keepsake but a covert snap. In order to keep her reputation stable, Erika has to keep Kyouya in her good books and get him to play along.

Initial Thoughts
Oh what a tangled web we weave. The classic moral story of how lying can get you into trouble. In order to score popularity, Erika has pulled a few fibs and the show is about to punish her to the extreme and we get to watch her squirm. This could be funny but also predictable in the long run but that makes it straightforward rather than convoluted and taxing on the old noggin! Light relief!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Ore, Twintails no Narimasu
(I Will Become a Twintail)

Animation Studio: Production IMS
Origin: Light Novel [Mizusawa/Kasuga]
Date of Premiere: October 10th

Summary
Get ready to be weirded out! Souji Mitsuka is big on sexy hairstyles and is one day visited by a pan-dimensional being who uses his hair-driven passion who grants him the power…to turn into a superpowered girl with twin ponytails. He and his like-minded friends use these new skills to face the forces of evil! Right.

Initial Thoughts
Oh my days. I think that the writer of this show decided to flip the bird to convention and do what he wanted! No inhibitions here; if you’re a guy and wish to be a lolita girl with ponytails, then so be it! You can have it! Want to use this power to fight bad guys? Hells yeah, go for it! I would normally baulk at this due to the potential fanservice and I probably will be subjected to plenty of it; but screw it, this is weird enough for me to give it a chance.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Orenchi no Furo Jijou
(The Special Circumstances of my Bathtub)

orefuro

Animation Studio: Asahi Production
Origin:  Manga [Itokichi]
Date of Premiere: October 6th

Summary
This is the tale of human compassion when a young man [Tatsumi] discovers a washed-up merman on the beach [Wakasa] and takes him home so he doesn’t die. This sets the scene for a light-hearted comedy with a very nautical theme which has the chance to be pretty cute; it’s certainly different.

Initial Thoughts
This is another four panel comic adaptation and it feels like it; like it’s going to be a collection of short stories revolving around Tatsumi and Wakasa. I get a strong feeling that this could be pretty funny and something that will hit home with Western audiences, it’s certainly full of pretty men and wacky music and voices. Plenty of eccentricity to be had!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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So we got some good comedies coming up which can only be a good thing, but what about something a little more magical? Well, find out next time in our Fantasy/Magic showcase!

Fall 2014: Sci-Fi & Mecha


Next up we have the Sci-Fi & Mecha genre. Surprisingly, this is a very small list for this season. Granted, there are two new Gundam shows [Gundam Build Fighters Try and Gundam: G no Reconguista] but these are continuations or variations of the original Gundam franchise and as such are ineligible for coverage here. Only one new mech series this season! True there are shows that I’ve listed in different categories, like World Trigger, that COULD be considered sci-fi but their premise, I find, is geared more to that other category than it is to sci-fi; your definition may differ from mine. In any case, let’s take a look at the two candidates.

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Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryu no Rinbu

(Cross Ange: Rondo of Angels and Dragons)

Animation Studio: Sunrise
Origin:  Original Sunrise [Director – Yoshiharu Ashino]
Date of Premiere: October 4th

Summary
Sunrise returns to produce YET ANOTHER giant robot franchise. Enter Cross Ange, a world where magic exists (albeit in a pseudo-technological kind of way). Everyone is able to use this new “Mana” technology; except our main character – Angelize! She’s the heir to the Misurugi Empire but upon the discovery she is “out of mana” she is outcast from the kingdom. She then teams up with a gang of similarly discarded misfits who pilot giant robots fighting against inter-dimensional dragons – woo!

Initial Thoughts
Hmm, the premise is a little harsh, don’t you think? Mind you, why would you want a leader who is ‘inferior’ to the major population? Bold but harsh. What taints my expectations for this show is that the main cast of characters are all exploited in terms of fanservice. I’m all for an all-female team of mech pilots, but I don’t like the fact that their uniforms are pretty revealing; it cheapens their strength and the integrity of the story. I pray that the fanservice is otherwise kept to a minimum, I really do.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium (Medium Low if the fanservice gets out of hand)

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TERRAFORMARS

Animation Studio: Linden Films
Origin:  Manga [Sasuga/Tachibana]
Date of Premiere: September 26th

Summary
This one is quite straightforward. Mankind is ready to conquer Mars; but Mars isn’t ready for mankind. As such, humanity launches a five-hundred year mission using cockroaches and mould to terraform the Red Planet and make it less red. In 2577, a mission to Mars receives a grim reminder; the cockroaches they sent have evolved into super-roaches! After wiping that initial squad, another mission is sent to fight the roaches now armed with genetically enhanced soldiers. It’s time to take Mars!

Initial Thoughts
Oh man, this premise is pretty bonkers. It’s pure science fiction and something I really respect. The whole idea of science fiction is to excite and go insane; you have no tethers holding you back and do whatever you want and this is what is going on here! It looks like a real thriller with tons of action and violence; just be sure that you don’t mind seven foot tall bugs walking around!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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The sci-fi & mecha genre may be small this season but the titles are pretty ambitious in their approach! Tune in next time for comedy!

Fall 2014: Action


Summer’s gone and Autumn [or Fall] has taken its place.  The anime is still coming by the boatload though and on Anifile we are delighted to be able to continue with the previews for the shows coming up. Like in the spring, we are separating shows into different categories based on their primary genre. There are thirty anime eligible for review on this site [As usual, I don’t count sequel seasons of series such as the two new Gundam series] and instead focus on the brand new franchises and see if they’re worth your time. Let’s begin with some action!

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Akatsuki no Yona
(Yona of the Dawn)

Animation Studio: Pierrot
Origin:  Manga [Kusanagi]
Date of Premiere: October 7th

Summary
On her sixteenth birthday, the only princess of Kouka [Yona] is greeted with the sight of her dead father at the hands of her cousin and love interest Soo-won. Before he can kill Yona, her servant Hak rescues her and takes her to an old monk who teaches them about four legendary dragons which can save the kingdom from the tyranny of Soo-won’s faction.

Initial Thoughts
Upon first glance, it’s a decent looking show with average visuals and some grandiose battle sequences thrown in. The plot is somewhat samey with the whole love interest angle despite the fact that one of the subjects killed the other subject’s father; kind of makes things awkward. It seems like a good show overall though but it’s not novel enough to bring to the front of the queue.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Donten ni Warau
(The Cloudy Laugh)

Animation Studio: Dogakobo
Origin:  Manga [Karakara]
Date of Premiere: October 3rd

Summary
In the Meiji era, the age of the samurai was starting to fade away into the history books. Carrying swords was made illegal, but crime spiked as a result. In response, the government created a huge island prison where the only way in or out is via boat. Three brothers from the Kumo family man the vessels as they transport convicts to the island. However, from first glance, it seems that things aren’t quite as straightforward as you might think.

Initial Thoughts
The last hurrah of the samurai is a hugely significant part of Japanese history and to focus on it in an anime is somewhat refreshing. It’s like how the Western genre revelled in the dying days of the cowboy in the 1880s. It’s the same thing! These trio of samurai-born warriors have a cool look about them and clearly show prowess in different ways. I’m intrigued with how this will pan out as it’s clear that the story goes far beyond simply ferrying prisoners. Let’s see!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Garo: Honou no Kokuin
(Garo: The Carved Seal of Flames)

Animation Studio: MAPPA
Origin:  GARO Tokusatsu franchise
Date of Premiere: October 3rd

Summary
The Valiante Kingdom has begun a massive search for wielders of Maki, both priests and knights. In the resulting purge, the art of Makai is brought to a near extinction. One man, Leon Luis, returns to the Valiante Kingdom at the request of the king’s son when his throne is taken from him by his former advisor. Leon wields the power of the Golden Knight Garo and only its power can help the land be restored to its rightful owner.

Initial Thoughts
Two thoughts came to mind. Knights transforming and ‘The past will come back to haunt you!’ This adaptation of the famous Garo tokusatsu series is a curious retelling of the concept. Unrelated to the live-action series, the anime plans to take a grander approach to the idea of knights with sentai-like powers. This show carries a lot of weight behind it and seems to look pretty cool too!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Kiseijuu
(Parasyte)

Animation Studio: Madhouse
Origin:  Manga [Iwaaki]
Date of Premiere: October 8th

Summary
In this world, Japan has been besieged by intergalactic parasites known as…Parasites. These aliens invade the population not with lasers but by burrowing into humans and animals through their noses or ears taking them over – in VERY disturbing ways. One boy named Shinichi is spared such a fate, or at least for the most part, because he was wearing headphones. He is still infected but only his right arm is infected; it develops a personality and together they fight other Parasites whilst using each other to survive and prosper.

Initial Thoughts
Wow. I thought Terra Formars was going to be the shocker of the season; this probably will give it a run for its money. It is a REALLY scary idea; parasites taking over your body without you knowing it and turning you into some kind of monster that likes eating other people. Even dogs aren’t safe! In any case, I really want to see where this goes and how Shinichi and his partner, Migi [Japanese for right as the parasite takes over his right hand] interact and help one another!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: High

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World Trigger

worldtrigger

Animation Studio: Toei Animation
Origin:  Manga [Ashihara]
Date of Premiere: October 5th

Summary
The city of Mikado is home to some of the worst Neighbors you’ve ever seen. From another dimension, these beings destroy Mikado and have been for about four years before the story proper begins. The Border group meet this challenge with a brand new class of weaponised young kids, Triggers. Thanks to these Triggers, the city is brought back to a relative peace until a Black Trigger appears and threatens to disrupt the newly formed status quo.

Initial Thoughts
I don’t know. I’m not overwhelmed with the initial premise. I’ve seen this before and I reckon I’ll see this again in the future – demons appearing which cannot be stopped by regular weaponry and as such NEW weapons need to be made. Fortunately, the show in its entirety seems to be quite light-hearted and characterful with a neat main duo. My main concern is that Toei will skimp on the animation [which is somewhat evident IN THE PREVIEW] like it has done with recent shows that aren’t Dragonball or One Piece. If it can give this show a good animation budget then things should be OK, otherwise the look won’t match the feel.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-Low

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So we have five action-packed productions in the work. What else do we have? Well, we got twenty-five other anime to cover and seven of them are comedies which we will look at next time!