Feels Good Man: Spring 2011

I get to be in a cool position for Spring 2011. More than ever before, I know a lot about most of the shows that are coming out this season. It helps that I read a lot more manga last year than I used to, but it’s just coincidence that several of those being adapted are among my favorites. This isn’t a pro season preview post like you can find other places, but hopefully you’ll learn something useful to your decisions about the next season here. And my co-blogger, Thoughtcannon, will be helping me out.

Thoughtcannon: I on the other hand have read exactly jack squat in terms of manga and am mostly going into this season based on wits alone. It takes a keen eye and a sure foot to separate the anime wheat from the anime chaff. I have neither superlative appendage, which is probably why I watched all of Heroman, 07-Ghost, and the 2nd season of Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu. Most likely I will also watch every piece of tripe that comes out in Spring as well…including sequels…especially sequels.

Listed in order of how psyched I am:

Ao no Futsumashi (AKA Ao no Exorcist. Incorrectly translated as “Blue Exorcist” by some, but is more accurately “Exorcist of Blue,” given the title’s relevance to the story) – Ao no Futsumashi is one of my favorite currently-running manga, and I’m ultra psyched for the adaption by A-1 Pictures. I’ve seen the vocal cast for this series and it’s unreally perfect—I wouldn’t have done anything different if I’d cast the show myself. Kamiya Hiroshi is playing Mephisotpheles, the kind of role I’ve wanted him to play ever since Izaya. Fukuyama Jun, Nakai Kazuya, Fujiwara Keiji, and Hanazawa Kana are all in roles that they’ll fit like a glove and really make exciting. On top of all that, the director is genius Okamura Tensai (pun intended) who’s best known for creating, directing, and writing Darker Than Black.

Thoughtcannon: Despite the fact Digitalboy is betraying both himself and I by putting this before Gintama, I must say if I were to pick a new show coming out that looks the best it would be Ao no Exorcist. As well as the great seiyuu cast and director, I would also add the music is being done by Sawano Hiroyuki who is currently doing the great Gundam Unicorn soundtrack. Overall I think it will be pretty hard to screw this one up.

More Gintama – Gintama will probably never end, and that’s a truly beautiful thing. I still have 70 episodes to plow through if I want to make it in time to watch this weekly.

Thoughtcannon: Digitalboy and I are probably some of the biggest fans of Gintama floating around the blogsphere. Both of us have ranked it quite high in our respective arbitrary rankings. To see more coming down the pipeline is like…being told they are making more Full Metal Panic or discovering a lost vault of works by Douglas Adams. Never mind it’s only been like a year.

More Qwaser – THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH QWASER.

Thoughtcannon: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH QWASER

Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai S2 – Kami Nomi was one of the most endearing anime of 2010, and I really hope this season turns out well and could possibly rocket the show into my favorites list.

Thoughcannon: While I’m not as big a fan as Digitalboy the first season was inoffensively enjoyable. Also the whole sequel thing. Funny story: The only anime I have watched the first season of but not the 2nd season: Motto to Love-ru. I did watch like one episode of it though so I don’t think it’s much of an improvement.

Deadman Wonderland – I haven’t read that much of the manga, but what I have, I really enjoyed. I’m excited that the adaption is being done by Manglobe. I’ve had a sordid history with the studio, but their Kami Nomi adaption completely recooked my faith in them, so I’m pretty excited if they can bring that level of care to this manga that really deserves it. The lead characters are played by HanaKana and Romi Paku, two of my favorite seiyuu, which also helps a lot.

Thoughtcannon: I am basically in the same line of thinking as Digitalboy. One of my favorite older seiyuu with one of my favorite younger seiyuu is too delicious to pass up. The one qualm I have is the series directors first time as the big boss. Koichi Hatsumi has done plenty of animation directing and key animation so will Deadman Wonderland be complete eyecandy and earcandy with questionable story-telling chops? Personally I’m cool with that if the answer is yes.

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko – The upcoming SHAFT/Team Shinbo anime, which is enough to make me watch the first episode no matter what. I know decidedly little about this anime outside of what’s been reported on Animapple-Tore, but I do know that it’s a light novel adaption, and there are far more light novel adaptions in my favorites list than any other kind of anime (and a lower failure rate). Besides that, the character designs are absolutely fucking gorgeous.

Thoughtcannon: I have also fallen in love with at least the main characters design. The lead seiyuu Asuka Ogame is a moderate novice, having only done bit roles in anime no performance of which I can actually remember which isn’t tremendously promising. I was initially worried about the series composition being done by Yuniko Ayana who has such credits listed as Bakuman, Shangri-La, and Occult Academy but on closer inspect it appears that she did the script of some of the best episodes of those series such as the 5-6 out of body experience in Occult Academy. In actuality it’s nice to see her step up into the series composition seat after writing such great episodes.

Nichijou – I found this hilarious manga at complete random one day, with only a handfull of translated chapters, and it had me laughing my ass off. It reminds me Ichigo Mashimaro in that it takes the cute girls/puni moe/school comedy thing and does it with its own definitive style and wackjob brand of comedy. I also have a lot of faith in Kyoto Animation, so I look forward to this adaption a lot.

UPDATE: I watched the OVA that came with one of the manga volumes and it was fun. It definitely carries the style of Lucky Star but with the manga’s overlay of batshit.

Thoughtcannon: The continuation of the KyoAni-animates-cute-schoolgirls-doing-cute-things saga.

Hana-Saku Iroha – I know next to nothing about this show, but I’m looking forward to it on pure faith. I love P.A. Works, and this is their 10th anniversary project. I have no idea what to make of it being directed by Ando Masahiro, whose only other works were the fight-heavy Sword of the Stranger and Canaan, in spite of this appearing to be a slice-of-life series. What I do know is this: Itou Kanae, Toyosaki Aki, Omigawa Chiaki, Tomatsu Haruka, and Noto Mamiko are in it. I hope the Itou and Toyosaki characters are best friends because it’ll be like lapsing into the best parts of Railgun.

Thoughtcannon: I’m glad to see Kanae Ito getting another starring role as she’s usually quite enjoyable. She was especially enjoyable in Taisho Yakyuu Musume; that this show is also set during the Taisho era only increases the good feelings. Maybe it will be Baseball girls minus baseball plus hotsprings?

A Channel – Like Hana-Saku Iroha, I’m going purely on assumptions about the staff and cast that this could be very good. Studio Gokumi has only done one other anime—the Koe de Oshigoto OVA, which happens to be one of the most fun and hilarious things I watched in 2010. More excitingly, it appears as though most of the creative team from Saki is working on this series, including the director, writer, and character designer/animation director. I loved Saki, especially the designs, and this show also looks very attractive, so I’m very interested. I hope it at least makes up a little for the lack of Saki 2 (orz). The lead is also played by Yuuki Aoi, sharing the stage with Fukuhara Kaori and Kotobuki Minako, both of whom have only had a couple of big roles, but which were very good, so I look forward to their performances here.

UPDATE: Read some of the 4-koma it’s based on. Like most 4-koma it doesn’t translate well to English, but it’s really cute and fun, so the anime adaption should be worth looking out for!

Thoughtcannon: Saki minus Mahjong and lightning eyes and Rinshan Kaiho? I’m not sure if that will fly too well with me but we’ll see. Duh I’ll watch it anyway. Also: I spot a Nagato clone in the PV

Hidan no Aria – This show is going to get *hell* from the anime community. It’s a new J.C. Staff light novel adaption featuring, wouldn’t you know it, a DFC heroine with twin-tails and none other than the almighty Kugimiya Rie for a voice. She even has the midriff thing going on that J.C. Staff invited onto the world with Yumekui Merry. Clearly, they have no intention of letting this trend stop, ever. What I know about this series is that the characters are great-looking, and guns are involved, and I tend to like every combination of “J.C. Staff” and “light novel,” so there’s a very high chance that I’ll love this series. It’s being directed by Watanabe Takashi, which means all bets are off in terms of quality. Most of the first and third volumes of the novels are translated, so maybe I’ll check those out and see what’s up.

UPDATE: I ran through some little bits of the light novel and it seemed pretty fucking bad. This one will all come down to whether or not the material is better suited to animation and how much effort J.C. Staff puts into it.

Thoughtcannon: I honestly got nothing. Seriously all it’s missing is a soundtrack by Otani Ko.

Lotte no Omocha! – Speaking of Kugimiya-voiced lolis~ At first glance and after the plot description, I’d assume this was a fenservice-comedy. Even so, I’d watch it because the character designs are phenomenal (a trend in this season’s anime it seems). This is the second animation production by Diomedea, who did Shinryaku! Ika Musume, which was a good show that unfortunately didn’t stand up to being a full series in length, but if nothing else was damn good to look at. Now here’s where things get interesting: in ANN’s credits, there is a spot for “Series Composition Cooperation” filled by Shinbo Akiyuki, and a position for “Visual Design” filled by Okama. I don’t know what those positions do or how influential they are, but I love Shinbo and Okama, so those are exciting names to have attached.

UPDATE: I knew I recognized the name “Haga Yui” (the original creator) and not for doing the art on BakaTest. I’ve got a fairly large collection of this guy’s porn! He’s a top-class lolicon, indeed. So I went ahead and read all the translated chapters of Lotte no Omocha and I adore it, so I look forward to the anime adaption, and to being the only person who isn’t completely and totally disgusted by it’s constant sexualization of 10 year-olds.

Thoughtcannon: Wait, he is? How come I’ve never read any of his dou…nevermind.

C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control – All I really know about this is that it’s being directed Nakamura Kenji, who directed the only two arthouse shows that I really liked (Mononoke and Kuuchuu Buranko) so I hope to once more be refreshed by his style of arthouse anime.

Thoughtcannon: Where has Tatsunoko Productions been to suddenly come out with 2 anime series and an currently airing OAV. This in all honesty will probably be awesome but I can’t help but think this sounds like that corny one-shot of Mashiro and Takagi’s from Bakuman. Also: Taku Iwasaki doing the soundtrack=win.

Other things that look interesting: Toriko, Tiger & Bunny, 30-sai no Hoken Taiiku, Steins;Gate, Nana to Kaoru

OVAs with new eps coming out!: Roberta’s Blood Trail, Highschool of the Dead, Gundam Unicorn, Koe de Oshigoto!, .hack//QUANTUM

Final Shot from the Thoughtcannon: In addition to those above mentioned by Digitalboy I will check out: Sket Dance, Yondemasu yo, Azzazel-san, Ano Hana, Sofuteni, Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai, Sengoku Otome, X-Men, and Dororon Enma-kun. That last one I hope will be pretty good, it’s a remake of an older show with a nice production staff. I wish I could watch Kaiji and I even still might but I haven’t seen the 2nd season. The terrible sequels I’ll watch is limited to 2 this season: Kampfer du Liebe and Maria+Holic the latter of which wasn’t too bad especially if there is more “Cosuplay, cosuplay, cosuplay angel”.

I’m quite excited for all this. The winter season has ultimately been disappointing, with a lot of the shows I had high hopes for at the start turning out less than great, though there are still some amazing shows coming out of it (Madoka Magica and Hourou Musuko). Hopefully, Spring delivers on the wealth of promise that I see. Let me know what you look forward to, and all comments about any anime looking like shit will be deleted.

12 thoughts on “Feels Good Man: Spring 2011

  1. Good to see that you share my enthusiasm for Deadman and Ao no Exorcist. I don’t really know how well the studios handling them have done in the past but if they keep true to the source, it should be a really good rendition.

  2. Nah I meant 1st season. Typoes is a bitch.

    Also I wasn’t included Kaiji in the crappy sequels section just Kampfer and Maria+Holic

  3. I go into the season with no knowledge on any of the shows (except Steins;Gate, but only that it’s tied to Nitro+)… So this season preview felt quite overwhelming. Still, I think Exorcist is probably going to be my first pick. Seems interesting.

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  6. Lack of Steins;Gate disappoints me. I have few friends who have played it, and they were all confident to say that it is the most elaborated and well-structured time-travel story ever written and has zero plot hole. White-Fox staffs said that the first priority is making it as close adaptation as it can be so that original fans can appreciate. Knowing this, there won’t be anything shit story wise. They also guaranteed (in joking way though) that series will have movie quality animation, which is hyping the entire anime community even more.

    Honestly, 2011 is time to kill all those ‘only moe sell’ argument. Madoka Magica has already killed it, Steins;Gate will be the next strike, ending with Fate/Zero, three-strike out. (and all three is Urobuchi/Nitro+ related lol)

    • There are a few reasons I’m taking a complete “wait and see” approach for this. Firstly, White Fox’s only two past productions, Katanagatari and Tears to Tiara, sucked IMO. Second, I’ve heard that Demonbane was bad and I’m pretty sure its part of the same universe-thing.

      Now, I’m glad you prompted me to do research further, because I didn’t know that Hamasaki Hiroshi was directing, and that’s pretty much good enough reason for me to watch anything. Also even though the promo art wasn’t great, the show actually has my favorite character designer on it, basing designs on huke.

      So, all told, now I’m excited about it. But being Hamasaki Hiroshi directing, I don’t see it achieving too much mainstream success.

      Also I have no idea what you mean since Madoka Magica and the Fate/Stay franchise are absolutely moe works.

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