Winter 2015 Anime Preview

5 Jan , 2015,
Panther
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Nekopara - Sayori

 

A New Year’s greeting from the creator of Nekopara, Sayori! This original artwork by Sayori can be found at this pixiv link.

A belated Happy New Year to the readers of NTP! It has been some days since the start of the year, and as of this post, the new anime season has actually already begun. However, I have not watched anything from the new season yet, and by the time you get around to watching any of them, most of you would probably have read this post. So without further adieu, let us jump into 2015 with the winter season anime.

Once again, all of the views in this post regarding the anime series represents only my own view of the studios, genres, plots and characters involved, and thus, like any other anime season preview, should be taken as a subjective opinion, and little else. Take it how you will. I will be taking my information from this excellent post once again by the team over at Random Curiosity, which has a fuller post on the season. As before, the series talked about in this post will reflect those I am most likely to watch and keep tabs on.

Here follows a short few lines on series that might be worthwhile for others to watch, due to either popularity, or continuing seasons. I am not watching them for several possible reasons – lack of interest in the genre, not having watched the first season, etc.

Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes – A continuation of the somehow really popular Milky Holmes series. I have never really got into it nor its premise, but I suppose this must come as really welcome news for fans.

Absolute Duo – Generic harem show, from what I have heard. However fans of certain seiyuu might want to watch it for their voice acting. One of two shows I know have already aired.

Yuri Kuma Arashi – Um, wacky and quirky? That is the kind of vibe I get from the show’s preview. Perhaps it might be something up a few people’s alley, but it is pretty niche indeed.

Kami-sama Hajimemashite 2 – A sequel to the original series in 2012. Supernatural romance.

Binan Koukou Chikyuboueibu LOVE! – I really do not know what to say. Magical boys saving Earth. I suppose some girls would really want to see this though. Yes the title reads “Handsome High School Boys Earth Defense Club LOVE!”.

Soukyuu no Fafner EXODUS – A sequel of a supposedly good science fiction series. I did not watch it, so I cannot comment on it, but fans should be really pleased with this sequel.

The IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls – Based off the mobile game for the wildly popular idol game series, IDOLM@STER. Fans probably already went wild over this one. I never followed the series or got into it, so I am skipping this.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc – JJBA’s fame is among the highest out there, and is one of the most established series. If you already know what it is about, there is little to add on the subject. If you do not, you might want to read up on it, and see if you might be interested in this show pumped full of muscles and adrenaline.

Kuroko no Basuke S3 – Return of the series that made fame the wrong way when a series of threats forced its events to be cancelled. The perpetrator was eventually caught.

*****

Tsukimonogatari

Tsukimonogatari

The “-monogatari” series likely needs no introduction – since the inception of Bakemonogatari (Ghostory) as an anime series in 2009, it has been one of the most popular and famous series in existence in recent years. The saga continues with Ononogi Yotsuki (pictured above) being called upon by our protagonist Araragi Koyomi to assist him with a special…”problem”.

This is actually the other of the two series that I have known that has actually aired before I wrote this post, and like Hanamonogatari before it, Tsukimonogatari finished all of its episodes in one shot. The series’ well-established plot development and slightly quirky (read: SHAFT) story-telling style however needs no further elucidation as to its merits (to some of you though, “downfalls”), and the series has already been determined to end with Owarimonogatari (Story of the End), which will likely air this year. If you loved the -monogatari series, then this will be a no-brainer for you. For those just picking it up though, I highly recommend beginning at the start, with Bakemonogatari.

Kantai Collection

Kantai Collection

This probably also needs no introduction. Kantai Collection is the game that has taken the world by storm, surprising even its own creator in the process with its overwhelming popularity. It is little surprise then that an anime series has now come out for it.

I am not sure how they will fit in any form of story, as the original game anthropomorphizes old Japanese battleships (and recently, other countries’ World War II’s battleships) into girls. If you really like the game though, or just want to look for something that might be a little different from the normal, then give this series a shot.

Shinmai Maou no Testament

Shinmai Maou no Testament (The Testament of Sister New Devil)

An ecchi show, Toujou Basara gains two new beautiful stepsisters when his father remarries and departs overseas. However, all is not rosy when both are revealed to be the future demon lord and her succubus protector. Things get messier when Toujou becomes the master of the demon lord, Naruse Mio, when she fails a contract spell, and now they must learn to live together while fending off attacks from vigilantes and other demon tribes.

As an ecchi series, there will likely be little out of the ordinary that is expected out of such shows. Despite the enthusiasm shown for the series, you should still expect a healthy dose of situations dealing with chest aspects, naughty connotations, and more. I am all for ecchi if well done, so I will be giving this a shot. Aside from Naruse Mio’s seiyuu, the voice acting cast is also veteran in character, so there will likely be nothing lacking in that department.

Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul √A

Wait, how do you even read that title? “Tokyo Ghoul Square-root A”? Sounds strange. Regardless of its title’s naming sense, Tokyo Ghoul is back with its second season, with Kaneki Ken now as a broken ghoul. While the first season, as you already know if you kept tabs with my posts, was disappointing compared to the source material’s hype, the end of the first season did show quite a bit of promise.

I am not holding out hope for the animated series for Tokyo Ghoul, but it would be interesting to see how Kaneki Ken develops from this point on. If you liked the first season then you can continue with this, but I would be willing to bet most fans of the manga have already put this off as hopeless because of the animation issues.

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (Assassination Classroom)

Assassination Classroom is tremendously popular in Japan. As RC’s writers put it, it is quite likely because it brings to life a fantasy of students, albeit a dark one – that of killing your teacher. In the series, Koro-sensei is an alien who destroyed the Moon and threatens to do the same to Earth…unless the students in the worst class of an ordinary school can kill him. Forced to train the art of assassination, the students begin their daily lessons with Koro-sensei, all the while having to figure out how to kill their teacher…and survive.

The premise is unique indeed, and there might be more to the show than just the main plot of assassination attempts on Koro-sensei. A huge and largely stellar voice cast support the show, and if the manga’s popularity is anything to go by, the anime will quite likely be a massive hit as well if the studio doing it, Lerche, pulls it off. This will be one to watch this season, if only to see why the hype surrounding the series is so huge.

Death Parade

Death Parade

Two people wander into a bar, but unlike a joke, the two people are pitted against each other with their lives at stake. A bartender watches over them as they play, the only person aside from any other staff at the event who knows that the two people have actually already died at the same time, and are being judged through the use of such games.

Death Parade has its beginnings in the Anime Mirai project of 2013, for the OVA Death Billiards. I watched that and found it very good, touching upon the morbid and dark sides of humanity. Judging by its material, Death Parade will continue with this path, bringing viewers through a rather subtly horrifying trip through humanity’s abscesses. Needless to say, if you would like to think more about the often-unsaid dark side of humankind, or view opinions on such, Death Parade will likely be among the anime series to watch. Given its possible depth and execution, I would say that it might turn out to be among the best series yet of winter 2015.

Durarara!! x2 Shou

Durarara!! x2 Shou

Durarara!! is back! The depth of the series and the amount of things going on in Ikebukuro, centered around the headless rider Celty and the soft Ryuugamine Mikado, promises to bring back even more action as Ikebukuro is once again thrown into chaos.

The hype surrounding this series as well as its popularity, while definitely not near Assassination Classroom levels, is still enough to warrant quite a bit of attention. If you watched the first season, you would know why. The original cast is back, but the studio has changed, which can be a hit-or-miss thing, depending on how the studio manages to do. I, for one, would definitely continue with this series and likely see it to the end, for it has more than the usual things in a hotpot of various elements, all mixed together in seemingly random twirls, yet being tied together via an invisible thread woven intricately around the seams.

Aldnoah.ZERO S2

Aldnoah.ZERO 2

A disappointing end to the first season, and perhaps the possibility of a disappointing second season as well. Slaine returns as the protagonist of the show, but spoiler images on the website already show Asseylum alive and well when she was shot in the head at the end of the first season.

A little known fact is that Urobuchi Gen stopped with the series after the third episode, so most of it is not his doing. Still, the music by Sawano Hiroyuki is fantastic, and I will definitely like to see where this original series ends up. I am just not as hyped about it as I was for its first season. We will see if it becomes a series to remember.

Dog Days"

Dog Days”

Dog Days is back with a third season! I finished both the first two seasons in a marathon upon recommendation, and I found that I really liked it despite its rather laid-back style.

The back story involves warring kingdoms, but unlike what you might think, the wars are not actually battles, but in fact more like the style of American Gladiators. In other words, sports entertainment. The participants do not die – if they are attacked and take a lot of damage, magic ensures that they are turned into balls and then rescued, to be given a second chance back at their base camp. The battle is over when a certain side has scored an objective, or a certain number of points. Of course, this is all well and good when combined with cat girls, dog girls, and the like!

I will definitely continue watching this for the furry wonders, and the cast is, as for such shows commonly, quite strong and full of ability. The show is not for everyone with its light-hearted nature, but it can be quite enjoyable for those who like it.

Junketsu no Maria

Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch)

Maria is a witch in the Hundred Years War era that hates war, and uses her powers as well as her familiars to stop battles and generally interfere with how things would go in that era. This earns her the ire of the archangel Michael, who decrees that if Maria should ever lose her virginity, then she would lose her powers as well.

This has all the looks of a possible ecchi anime, and I am torn between wanting to watch it for the chance of a good plot combined with ecchi, and just not wasting the time needed each week to watch it. This might be a hit-or-miss, so if you want to pick this up, do be sure to go in with a light hear and little expectation.