Tag Archives: Previews

Panther’s Summer 2014 Anime Season Preview

1 Jul , 2014,
Panther
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Sengoku BASARA - Date Masamune

 

Date Masamune says it all – let’s put the guns on! YEAH! Welcome to the summer, folks. And with summer, comes a whole new anime season. Date is not just there for show either (for those who know Japanese and caught the pun, good job) – he will be in this season once more. Before we get down to it however, there are a few things to keep in mind as you read this anime season preview.

The first is easy – any preview is subjective in nature and should never be taken as anything more than an opinion by another person. So please, nothing written here is absolute, and you should take it in stride with that in mind. What I write is all my own opinion – you are more than welcome to hold a different opinion, because as Virgil said, “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” So by all means, do not get offended if your favorite show is not in here, or was not given enough attention. You and I just have different views about it, that is all.

 

Secondly, the preview will not cover all shows airing in the season. Most of it are major shows, and I will also skip over even more shows compared to other previews. These posts can take hours to write up. I jest you not; on my old blog trying to do almost every show in a season including my thoughts, one of these previews once took over 5 hours to complete in total. I will mention in passing some that will likely be given attention elsewhere, but I will not do much for them.

Lastly, I am taking my information from these excellent sources. Random Curiosity is a very established and well-known anime blog in the aniblog community, and you will be richly rewarded with more information than anything here if you go over there to read their Summer 2014 Preview post. Hashihime is another blog I trust, though he deals a lot more with seiyuu (voice actors/actresses), an aspect of anime I am more into than others. You can hop on over to check out his preview as well. I thank these two blogs for their sources of information, and remember, their previews are opinions too.

 

One more point – I will often talk about certain seiyuu in my posts, but I will not list their more famous roles. Some of these roles can be subjectively remembered by everyone for different reasons, while other roles may be more prominent for you for a seiyuu. I will link their ANN profiles so you can always click on their names to go there and check for yourselves.

By the way, the new season actually starts tonight in Japan (or tomorrow, if you see it as being in the wee morning hours of Wednesday), hot on the tails of several anime series finishing tonight for the spring season. Actually, the new season will start in the wee morning hours of the 3rd of July in Japan, one day away from the end of the spring season. Off we go.

Glasslip

 

Glasslip

While largely a season of sequels, Glasslip is one of the original anime series coming out that is getting quite a bit of attention. I made up my mind to watch this since I knew about it before or around the start of the spring season, when it was announced. Glasslip is about a group of students, including Fukami Touko who wants to be a glass artisan, having their lives changed by the appearance of Okikura Kakeru, who came to her saying he heard a voice from the future that led him to her. A slice-of-life anime from a studio known for doing such stuff, I am looking forward to this for a “softer” anime series.

Hayami Saori and Taneda Risa are in this, and these two have a great track record by now. They are backing up a younger, newer cast, so I guess I will not be too upbeat about the cast themselves. P.A. Works, however, has a great track record. The anime’s concept is reminiscent of Tari Tari, but with Uchouten Kazoku added into the mix, I am pretty sure that we can expect an average anime in Glasslip at the very least.

Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen

 

Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen

Argevollen is another original anime series, though this time in the mecha department. Coming from XEBEC and the makers of Break Blade, which I really liked, the story follows a long conflict between two countries that sees the balance being tipped when a new weapon is introduced. Rather typical for a plot, but I am expecting the animation quality and the action to be no less than Break Blade (the movies’). There is little information surrounding the series, but I hardly see that as a problem when XEBEC and mecha are combined in this case.

In the main team, Oonishi Saori may not be as well-known as a favorite veteran of mine, Ohara Sayaka, but both are being backed by some excellent voice talent in Hayami Sho (I have to mention Aizen Sousuke of Bleach here, still his most badass best role by far), Yoshino Hiroyuki and Sakurai Takahiro. Osaka Ryouta rounds out the cast that I know, so we can expect some excellent work in the voice department.

Tokyo Ghoul

 

Tokyo Ghoul

A horror anime series that might, for fans of the horror genre, be a long time coming, Tokyo Ghoul is one of the more hyped series of the season. While there are some raised concerns about the anime, as mentioned in RandomC’s preview, I suspect that the hype surrounding this show will at least have some truth to it when the show gets released. I am not very much into the horror genre, but Tokyo Ghoul has perked my interest enough that I will definitely be watching this for a bit to see if it is worth continuing.

Ghouls in TKG are beings that look like humans, but must feast on human flesh in order to survive. Kaneki Ken gets close to one without knowing it, and his life is changed forever thereafter. It sounds like a generic plot at first, but what happens after can turn out very interestingly sometimes. Hanae Natsuki and Hanazawa Kana voice the main characters, backed by the likes of Amamiya Sora, Miyano Mamoru, Sakurai Takahiro, Asanuma Shintarou, Nakamura Yuuichi and Konishi Katsuyuki…is this like a red carpet walkthrough of a stellar male seiyuu cast or something? At the very least, I bet fangirls of said seiyuu would be delighted to know they are all together in this show.

ALDNOAH.ZERO

ALDNOAH.ZERO

Another original anime series in the mecha genre, this one is immediately famous not for the genre, but for the creator, the infamous Urobuchi Gen, otherwise known as Urobutcher. Author and creator of such works as the visual novel Saya no Uta, and anime series like Psycho-Pass, Puella Magi Madoka Magica and the more recent Suisei no Gargantia (considerably milder than his previous works), this is a series not to be missed just because it is one done by the Butcher himself. At the very least, it should be given a chance to see whether it will go down a similar route to Gargantia, or perhaps end up being more sinister like in Psycho-Pass or Madoka.

A hypergate was discovered in 1972 on the moon, and it led to the colonization of Mars. Conflict occurred between the immigrants and Earth, and the hypergate went out of control destroying the Moon in the process. Now 2014, 15 years after the war began, the story is set to begin. Little else is known about the show, but Sawano Hiroyuki comes in as the series’ composer, ensuring that the background music will be nothing to laugh at as well.

Hanae Natsuki and Amamiya Sora star together once again in an anime series; they must be getting popular or something. Hayami Sho, Ohara Sayaka, Kayano Ai, Oukawa Toru, and Nakai Kazuya make up the veteran cast, while Misawa Sachika and Komatsu Mikako come in as relatively new seiyuu, though the latter has already made quite a name for herself as a singer.

Sengoku BASARA Judge End

 

Sengoku BASARA Judge End

ARE YOU READY GUYS? PUT THE GUNS ON!

I never would have thought it possible, what with the movie ending the series on an excellent note, but they are having this third season of Sengoku BASARA after all. All of the yaoi implications aside, the show is a ridiculous throwback to the likes of a warring state era that I dearly loved when I was younger, and read about the ones in China. And the level of ridiculous power in Sengoku BASARA has never failed to entertain, alongside the action as well as the music, so there really is nothing left to say about a show that has already set its expectations quite high.

The only worrying thing is that a new studio took over for this season instead, so I hope they will keep up the standard. Nothing needs to be said in terms of the seiyuu either – they are a very strong group. This will definitely be one of the biggest sequels to look forward to this season.

Akame ga Kill

 

Akame ga KILL!

WHITE FOX brings us the adaptation of a dark manga series, where the seemingly good are the true evil, and the killers are the real harbingers of justice. Nothing good seems to come out of this world, and those who wish to watch it should bring a very open mindset to this series as you will likely step down the path of bloodshed in order to see where the concept of “good” truly lies. The series has a lot of hype surrounding it, and will run for 2 cours, so I am definitely watching this for the gore, action, and the plot. WHITE FOX is pretty decent in its track record, so I expect that they will at least do justice to the manga adaptation.

Amamiya Sora appears once again. Konishi Katsuyuki, Noto Mamiko, Komatsu Mikako, Asakawa Yuu and Tamura Yukari are also in this, so there should be no worries with respect to the voice cast.

Momo Kyun Sword

 

Momo Kyun Sword

A re-imagining of the classic folk tale of Momotarou the Peach Boy, but with a girl instead. The plot is generic as all hell, but the cast might just make this a funny show to watch on the side. Momoko will be voiced by Taketatsu Ayana, and she will be backed by a strong host of female seiyuuImai Asami, Takahashi Chiaki, Asano Masumi, Katou Emiri, and slightly newer ones in Komatsu Mikako, Tsuda Minami, and Mimori Suzuko. There really is not a whole lot of reason to watch this other than for the fanservice and perhaps the humor though, so you would be well advised to keep that in mind if you plan to watch this.

Zankyou no Terror

 

Zankyou no Terror

While probably listed under the “horror” genre, Zankyou no Terror is more of a horrifying thriller than anything. A terrorist group has practically annihilated Tokyo in a large-scale attack, and unbeknownst to the common public, the group called “Sphinx” responsible for it is actually made up of two boys. It is the beginning of their grand game that will soon engulf all of Japan in terror.

I do like psychological thrillers and this one seems to have great tangible consequences, so I will definitely pick this up. The show will very likely play around with your mind a lot, so if you are not into that, stay far away from this series. With its deep-seated creepiness, this one looks to be quite the hit in its own right, and being an original anime series, who knows how it will go? Ishikawa Kaito voices one of the two boys, but little else is known about the voice cast. The director Watanabe Shinichiro, however, is no strange name in the industry, so we can expect quite the solid show in this one.

Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?

 

Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?

Invaders of the Rokujouma (a 6-tatami-mat sized apartment) is an obvious comedy from start to finish. With wacky characters surrounding our literally poor protagonist, he has to face a ghost determined to drive him out of this small hole. As with comedy shows, the humor could be hit-or-miss depending on your tastes, so you might want to approach this one with caution. Nakamura Yuuichi voices our lead, while Hayami Saori, Taketatsu Ayana and Yuuki Aoi are also in it. One can only hope that the humor will be good right now.

Tokyo ESP

 

Tokyo ESP

Urushiba Rinka is a normal girl, until she sees a flying penguin and chases it, resulting in her ending up with strange powers. Together with a boy from her school, they meet others with various different powers, and end up as justice fighters. The premise seems interesting and there is a lot of good hype surrounding the show’s adaptation, so I expect quite a lot out of this show. Some fantasy and magic done well is always welcome.

Kido Ibuki, a mere 16 years old, is getting a major role this season as Rinka in this one. Quite a bit of the cast are veteran seiyuu, such as Inoue Kazuhiko, Genda Tesshou, Ogata Megumi and Nakata Jouji, while some relatively new ones like Tadokoro Azusa and Misawa Sachika are also in it. There sure are a lot of good things going for this even before it airs, so it will probably be one of the top shows of the season.

Hanamonogatari

Hanamonogatari

Little really needs to be said about the continuation of the almost epic -monogatari series by NisiOisin. Hanamonogatari will run for 5 episodes covering Kanbaru Suruga’s latest problem, and for fans, you know exactly what to expect out of this by-now legendary series. Really, do I have to say anything more?

*****

Mentions

Free! -Eternal Summer- – The second season of the wildly popular bishounen swimming anime Free!. I bet there are lots of fujoshi looking forward to this.

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal – Yet another season of the very long-standing series Sailor Moon. Established fan levels will probably guarantee its success no matter what.

Shounen Hollywood -HOLLY STAGE FOR 49- – A male idol anime. Idol anime are certainly getting very popular nowadays. This one will largely cater to the ladies.

Sword Art Online II – Wondering why this did not make the list above? Because I am not watching it. In fact, if I were to watch it, I would just make fun of it. I had enough of Kirito and his broken stuff. I also heard the GGO arc is bad, which is what they will cover in this. But hey, I am not even bothering with the series anymore. Still, if you are a fan of this, this is not to be missed of course.

Space Dandy 2 – I did finish the first season, but it was a lot of hit-and-miss. I am still debating if I should watch the second season. If you liked the first season though, go ahead with this one. I have heard that Westerners far prefer this than Japanese viewers, so you would do little to hurt yourself by giving the first season a go at least.

Ao Haru Ride – One of those romance genre series that I am not into. I am pretty sure there are lots of people who would be into this though, so if you like the genre, give it a try. There have been some good things said about the series.

LOVE STAGE!! – Yaoi is written all over this. You know how that goes for me – a big no. But I am sure there are many fangirls (maybe even fanboys) who would be into this so fast, you would have to take out a camera to slow it down frame by frame so you can see what they are actually doing.

 

I have left out several other sequels of shows I do not watch, but you get the general idea already from this. I still suggest going to both RandomC’s and Hashihime’s posts to find out more if you are interested, for this is just a very general look at the season at hand. Further, the shows might have hype, but whether you like it or not is another matter once they actually start airing. Have fun with that when the season starts!

 

PSO2 goes English, and we love it!

3 Apr , 2014,
Crimson
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Asiasoft announced that they were publishing Phantasy Star Online 2 in English (PSO2) about a week ago, and just this afternoon, I got several hours hands on with the game during a closed door media preview.

Having already tried the Japanese service, I had some high hopes. This was a Sega title, after all.

For the uninitiated, PSO2 is an MMOARPG (the ‘A’ here stands for action, in case you were wondering) with console style graphics and aesthetics where you play an ARK recruit in a sci-fi setting.

With the customization options, you can pretty much adjust anything. Well, almost anything. :x

With the customization options, you can pretty much adjust anything. Well, almost anything.

ARK recruits are essentially the equivalent of space cadets, and once you’ve customized your character (and the level of customization is quite comprehensive) and picked one of several races and classes (with localized archetypal names of warrior, ranger, and wizard), you’re thrust into a fairly deep and involved story line with all the hallmarks of a classic JRPG.

The good thing of course is that the game can be played solo or with friends, and features instanced dungeon maps linked to a central hub. Friends, naturally, make things go a whole lot smoother.

Beat on alien life-forms, steal their treasure, have fun with friends.

Beat on alien life-forms, steal their treasure, have fun with friends.

I was a little sad that I didn’t get to roll a Deuman or Braver at the outset, but I’m sure that the good folks at Asiasoft will be making them available sometime in the near future. *hinthint*

Now, on to the localization.

One of the biggest challenges I’d expected this release to face was the dialogue and the VOs. The original Japanese cast included some top name seiyuu, and matching up would be a tall order. It was a pleasant surprise when I discovered that rather than dubbing the NPCs over, the company had chosen to streamline the written dialogue instead, without compromising any of the nuances from the original.

And that, of course, was a win in my books.

Needless to say, PSO2 is a game best experienced, and with the Beta test coming up 10th to 13th April, we’re giving away some Beta keys to a few lucky readers who live in  Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, or the Philippines.

These keys will also give you early access when the game goes live sometime in the next two months, so be sure to check out our Facebook raffle  for more details!

You can also keep tabs on the latest developments PSO2 in English developments through their official Facebook page.

X, Japan. Part Deux

2 Mar , 2011,
Crimson
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Latest line-up, guys. Now, where's the villain's gallery?

Guess what, folks? It looks like my earlier guess was right on the money.

Animax Japan and Madhouse just revealed their character line up for the X-men anime, and it’s gonna be Beast, Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine.

They’ve also included Armor (who can project a pretty psychic armor suit around her body) as the token Japanese member of the group. I was rather hoping for Psylocke, but hey, you can’t have everything.

Of course, the baldy Professor is gonna be in there too, but I’m really more interested in the villains.

Who are the X-men gonna go up against, I wonder?

 

X, Japan

19 Feb , 2011,
Crimson
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Cyke actually looks bish, instead of like a fawning sycophant in this series. Screen cap from X-men anime webby.

Just saw the promo video for the X-men anime produced by Marvel in collaboration with Superhero Anime Partners and Madhouse, and I think it’s gonna be great.

I spotted Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm and Beast in the sequence. Character designs are a step up from the old cartoons, that’s for sure.

Check out the official Animax website for X-men, as well as the vid here.