Fall 2008 Anime Preview and Watchlist

Shikabane Hime: Aka – Gainax’s latest

It’s that time again – the new season of anime is upon us and it appears that it’s full of good anime. My preview covers those shows that I plan on checking out. I used the most excellent THAT Animeblog’s Fall Preview to figure out what I plan to watch and if you want to read a more complete preview I’d suggest to go there.

For this preview I am continuing to use my criteria from before: who’s doing it, how’s the source material, and finally who are the voice actors. The first two being the most important and the voice actors coming in third. This time I’m going to break the shows into three categories based on how much I’m looking forward to it.

Must See

Clannad – After Story

The second season to Kyoto Animation’s adaptation of Key’s visual novel is here. Almost everyone will be watching this, me included. I enjoyed the first season immensely but I felt it didn’t quite measure up to AIR and Kanon. Hopefully this season will be awesome and, as opposed to some people, I like Nagisa and I am glad her route was chosen for the show. I’ve tried to keep myself in the dark about what’s set to happen but I just have a feeling a box of tissues will probably be necessary. Here’s the trailer.

Shikabane Hime: Aka

Gainax’s new series. After making one of the greatest anime series last year – I don’t expect the same level of excellence from this series. However, if it’s only 25% as awesome as Gurren Lagann, it’ll be well worth the time. The story is about an undead girl, Makina Hoshimura, who’s known as the Corpse Princess and must hunt down 108 corpses in order to go to heaven. If I’m reading this correctly then next season, winter, the animation house Feel will do a second a second season – much like how Minami-ke was done.

Kannagi

I don’t read alot of manga but I happened to read the first ten chapters of the manga a few months ago and I thought it had possibilities. The basic gist is that Jin, having to turn in a project for art class, decides to use a trunk from the sacred tree of the local temple that was recently cut down because of a housing development being put in. He carves a young girl and the guardian god that lived in the tree takes the shape of the statue. Comedy and craziness will (hopefully) ensure. The reason this gets but in the top bracket is first: A-1 Pictures is doing it (they get points because of doing a good job with Birdy: The Mightly Decode), second: Yutaka Yamamoto is the director (who was the first director of Lucky Star), third: Hideyuki Kurata is doing the screen play (did script writing for Read or Die, Bamboo Blade, and Kamichu), and fourth: the voice actors Mai Nakahara (Rena and Nagisa) and Kana Hanazawa (Potemayo and Sora from Sketchbook). This is the trailer:

Definite Good Vibes

Hyakko

This 13 episode comedy first got my attention because Aya Hirano is one of the voice actors. This alone would guarantee that I’ll check out the first episode. However, the setup also intrigues me: Slice-of-life slapstick school comedy that follows 4 H.S. girls that enroll in a school that teaches all grades from K-12. A vague write-up like this can mean the series is a diamond in the rough like Melancholy of Haruhi was or a generic knock-off of a funnier series like Minami-Ke or Lucky Star. If the animation studio doing this show was one I liked (instead of being one I have no real opinion of), I would have bumped this up a level.

Kemeko Deluxe

The fact that DbD talked positively about the manga earlier meant this show was on my radar. Then when I realized that Hal Film Maker (Aria and Sketchbook) is going to be behind it with Rie Kugimiya in it, my interest increased at least 4-fold. The story is that Sanpeita made a promise with a female childhood friend when they were both little that he would marry her when they were older. The friend moved away and 10 years passed when one day a rather unattractive girl (really a mech) showed up with the intention of marrying Sanpeita. You probably can guess these two girls are linked and you’d be right. Sanpeita’s childhood friend turned out to be pretty but for some reason has become a mech pilot and the mech she pilots is the unattractive girl (which no one knows is really a mech). Did that make sense, I hope it did. I hope this show remembers to be funny and not devolve into a fan-service show. Here’s the trailer.

Michiko To Hatchin

A new original production from Manglobe, the people who did Samurai Champloo. It follows Michiko, a free-willed “sexy diva”, who destroys a supposedly inescapable prison fortress and Hatchin, a girl fleeing her strict foster parents. Once together, the two go on an improbable escape to freedom. A relatively recent rewatch of Samurai Champloo reminded me how much I liked it (once you got past the food-centric first half) and thus I’m cautiously optimistic that this will be a good show. Here’s the trailer:

Toradora!

Like I said in my summer anime picks, someday I probably will get tired of Rie Kugimiya but the day is not here yet and in this anime she once again plays a tsundere. With the animation being done by J.C. Staff, it should promise to be at least pretty to look at – though at this point I’d like another season of Potemayo.

Yozakura Shijuusou ~Yozakura Quartet~

I think the story is mildly interesting: three super-powered teen girls and a normal teen boy work together to keep their city safe from supernatural threats. Also mildly interesting is the animation house working on it, Nomad (Kyouran Kazoku Nikki). What makes me think this might be a good series is that source manga has already been licensed in the U.S. and that has to mean that it’s at least decent, right?

Unsure How It’ll Turn Out But Willing to Give It a Try

This last group of shows all have something that interests me enough to check them out but each one of these also have reasons that make me more cautious.

Let’s start with shows that come from animation studios that interest me. The first is To Aru Majutsu no Index, done by J.C. Staff. While I like J.C. Staff, they’ve been less then stellar recently in adapting light novels and this is another light novel adaptation. So, I’ll definitely catch it but I won’t be holding my breath.

Next is Skip Beat. This one is being done by Hal Film Maker which I mentioned earlier but the story about this one doesn’t sound like my cup of tea. It’s about a girl whose boyfriend becomes a famous singer but then finds out that he thinks of her as a nobody. She vows revenge and sets out to become a more famous singer then her ex-boyfriend but to do so she will first have to learn to be able to love again.

The next two: Kurozuka and CHAOS;HEAD are both being done Madhouse (Kaiba, Death Note) and both might turn out good. The first is about a guy whose a thousand years old and lives in present day Japan. With not much more to go on I can’t really say if I think it’ll be good or not. The second title is a psychology horror show which might be interesting if they can actually it stays scary and psychological and doesn’t end up as a campy gore-fest.

Moving away from animation studios, the next show – Hakushaku to Yousei – has the voice of Kyon, Tomokazu Sugita, in it which slightly interests and the picture that accompanied THAT Animeblog’s preview also slightly interests me. Put the two together and I think I’ll catch the first couple of episodes.

Hakushaku to Yousei

The final show is Akane Iro ni Somaru. It’s a eroge game adaptation which means I normally have zero interest in it but this one happens to have both Rie Kugimiya and Aya Hirano in it. Therefore, I’m going to have to catch this and hope it won’t turn out to bad.

And of course, once the season starts I’ll check what people are saying about the shows that aren’t covered here to see if I’ve missed any gems and try to find the time to fit them in as well.

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5 thoughts on “Fall 2008 Anime Preview and Watchlist”

  1. I’m looking forward to Skip Beat after reading the first volume of the manga. Think of it like Full Moon’s drunken, chain-smoking, guttermouthed cousin. I’m also curious about Hakushaku to Yousei because I’m a shallow, shallow person (bishies and cats? Sign me up!)

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  2. i’m so excited for skip beat though.
    i randomly read the manga. and i like it because of how the characters are developed and how many faces kyoko has.
    though i hope the anime will turn out well and not ruin the manga.

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  3. Thanks for the comments.

    Being a cat person, I think the cat was what made me decide to watch it. Now if only they could get Cary Elwes to do the cat’s voice 🙂

    If Skip Beat has good character development then I will probably like it.

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  4. “It’s a eroge game adaptation which means I normally have zero interest in”

    What part of that do you have negative perceptions of?

    Chaos;head anime wasn’t bad. Obviously, I prefer the visual novel psychodrama thriller. I only watched like a few segments of the beginning and the ending episodes. The ending wasn’t as AWESOME as the one in the VN. (yes, caps) But they didn’t mess around with it like some other studios would have tried to. Some of the final boss fights actually made more sense. And some of the other fights they cut out, and probably for the greater good in the end.

    The PSP port was what the anime was based upon, I think, which means there were multiple routes for each heroine. The original PC game, amazingly enough, did not have any 18 rated H scenes in the VN. Maybe cause it was a satire about eroge and the fact that the lower the age rating, the more market sales. They can always make an eroge like ending path later on.

    Anyways, it (the PC VN) wasn’t that scary. But that was just me. The fact that it could even make me feel slightly uncomfortable, makes me give it a big bonus. It was definitely psychological. And it had one of the most uplifting endings I have ever seen. Just make sure you answer all the questions right.

    I didn’t like how they changed the song for FES. The one I heard in the game was a lot more beautiful and pleasing than the one they had in the anime. The original song really created the right mood for that type of story. Shrugs, oh well.

    Clannad Afterstory: I’m still in the apartment stage with N****A in CAfter. I didn’t even know the afterstory part was so freaking long. I thought it was like an epilogue. But until I finish reading it, I won’t be seeing the anime version. It really feels like a different story, what with Ushio and all. One of the bad things about having an analytical mind is that you can create accurate predictions based upon a scatter of loose information. Which means stories get easier to spoil if you aren’t careful.

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