Another year and another anime season is on the way. A new anime season has pros and cons to it. New shows mean new adventures to enjoy and stories to experience. However it also means I’m saying goodbye to shows and risking that the next season won’t be as enjoyable as the one that has passed.

The Fall season was an interesting creature. There was some really strong series that I will miss when they are gone. The show I’ll easily miss the most is the consistently great Natsume Yuujinchou Go. I will certainly miss the drama that is Hibike! Euphonium 2. And if nothing else Vivid Strike! was an interesting ride. I may have some mixed feelings for that show, but I still enjoyed talking about it. The list could go on and on including shows like Brave Witches and Flip Flappers.

Although there was also a fair amount of shows that didn’t keep my interest, maybe a bit more than the average season. And that result somewhat lead to a lot of highs and lows without a ton of in-between. I’m hoping winter can at least be a solid season even if it might not be able to live up to what we got last year. So with that, let us see what the winter season has in store and if there are some potential surprises waiting for us. Most of the information for this season is coming from sites like Live Chart, MAL (My Anime List), and AniChart. Very useful sites for finding out what is coming in the next season.

Series of High Interest

The only place to start is with the shows I’ve got the highest expectations of. These are the shows that I’m either very confident in or very hopeful of. No one should be surprised by one of the choices put in this section, though there may be some surprises for others.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2

  • Air Date: 12 Jan 2017
  • Studio: Studio Deen
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? Maybe

The second season of Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! The popular "alternate world home comedy" centers around Kazuma Satou, a hikikomori (shut-in) die-hard fan of games, anime, and manga. A traffic accident brings his disappointingly brief life to an end … or it should have, but he wakes up and sees a beautiful girl who introduces herself as a goddess. "Hey, I have some good news — would you like to go to an alternate world? You may only bring one thing you like with you."

Well it is definitely a strange feeling being able to say that Konosuba is now one of my more highly anticipated shows of this winter season. I didn’t expect a lot from this show last year, though it was in the moderate category. It really did end up being the surprise of the season in terms of just how good it was.

This series will never have great animation or visuals (save for explosions). But that actually works in its favor in terms of comedic expressions. No telling how things will play out but this is a show I have a lot of faith in. There will be laughs, ridiculous situations, and probably a few villains that don’t know what to make of our main cast.

Masamune-kun no Revenge

  • Air Date: 5 Jan 2017
  • Studio: Silver Link
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? Maybe

As an overweight child, Makabe Masamune was mercilessly teased and bullied by one particular girl, Adagaki Aki. Determined to one day exact his revenge upon her, Makabe begins a rigorous regimen of self-improvement and personal transformation. Years later, Masamune re-emerges as a new man. Handsome, popular, with perfect grades and good at sports, Masamune-kun transfers to Aki's school, and is unrecognizable to her. Now, Masamune-kun is ready to confront the girl who bullied him...

In terms of the new shows for the season I think this one has some nice potential. If nothing else I respect the effort and gall of the main character. This guy was teased and bullied because of his weight and decided to get even. He didn’t change himself just to make the bullying stop around him, but because it was a necessary part of getting payback. I suppose there’s a negative message in there, but credit to him for putting in the work. This does create an interesting dynamic between the male and female leads. I’m curious to see this one play out.

Tales of Zestiria the X 2

  • Air Date: 8 Jan 2017
  • Studio: ufotable
  • Episodes: 12
  • Blogging? No

The second season of Tales of Zestiria the X. Sorey is a human youth who grew up among the seraphim, spiritual beings not visible to humans. Sorey believes in the folklore that says “long ago, every human was able to see the seraphim" and dreams of unraveling the ancient mystery to make the world a place where people and seraphim can live together in peace.

Honestly, I didn’t expect a lot from the Tales of Zestiria adaptation. And that is mostly because I didn’t really get into the game at all. So I mostly didn’t bother with the first season until it was 2/3s of the way over. This is a series that is a visual spectacle. In some ways it is worth watching just to enjoy watching it. But, they have also done a good job in making the series appealing to those that might not have enjoyed the game.

Whether that is a good thing or not…I’m not sure. I think adaptations should try to appeal to their core audience and not push them away. But at the same time if you feel there is things a source material could have done better shouldn’t some changes be made? I don’t know. In the end I am looking forward to seeing how the second half of the series will play out. Hopefully they keep the focus on Zestiria since I don’t think they can afford another preview episode for the next Tales game here.

Digimon Adventure tri. 4: Soushitsu

  • Air Date: 25 Feb 2017
  • Studio: Toei Animation
  • Episodes: 1
  • Blogging? Yes

The fourth movie in the new Digimon Adventure series. The sequel series tells a "new story for all the DigiDestined in the world" and features the characters in their high school days.

I don’t often toss movies into this kind of preview. However this is something I’m definitely going to be covering so it is probably fair. The first three chapters of the Digimon Tri movies have been good. There are questions still hanging in the air and a few criticisms, but it has overall been very strong. I’m just curious to see how this story is going to play out. We’re getting into the second half of it and they’ll probably need to start giving some answers. This is bound to have some nice action, music, and emotional scenes. I can’t wait to see it.

Series of Moderate Interest

Now we get into the shows that could really go in different directions. There have been times when some of my favorite shows in a season come from this group. These are shows I’m just not as confident about, but I’m still fairly interested in. They are the shows I either don’t know anything about or those I didn’t have a ton of interest in the source material. If surprises are going to come from this winter season then it is likely to be from this group.

Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen

  • Air Date: 7 Jan 2017
  • Studio: A-1 Pictures
  • Episodes: 12
  • Blogging? No

In the late Edo Period, a demon known as the Impure King killed thousands of people. After defeating the demon, the Knights of the True Cross kept its left eye safely sealed away on Academy grounds - but now someone has stolen it! Hearing the thief has taken a child hostage, Yukio and Rin go to help. The investigation and pursuit will lead Rin and his friends to Kyoto and involve them even deeper in a sinister plot! But will his friends' knowledge that Rin is the son of Satan drive a wedge...

Ao no Exorcist is an interesting creature. I both liked the original series, but wasn’t in love with it. It does have some interesting concepts and the action in the original series was enjoyable. Plus it is kind of interesting seeing an organization focused on fighting the demons of Satan himself. That the MC is biologically the son of Satan is kind of interesting. Hopefully this continuation is both enjoyable and exciting. The PV does give the impression that this should be good.

Little Witch Academia (TV)

  • Air Date: 9 Jan 2017
  • Studio: Trigger
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

TV version of Little Witch Academia. For young witches everywhere, the world-renowned witch Shiny Chariot reigns as the most revered and celebrated role model. But as the girls age, so do their opinions of her—now just the mention of Chariot would get a witch labeled a child. However, undeterred in her blind admiration for Chariot, ordinary girl Atsuko Kagari enrolls into Luna Nova Magical Academy, hoping to someday become just as mesmerizing as her idol.

I didn’t know what to expect when I first came across the Little Witch Academia animated short. It seemed like a fun concept and I definitely enjoyed it. You could tell Trigger had fun making that thing and they managed to go over the top in a fun way. I was more than happy to find out they were making a second episode and just sought extra funds via Kickstarter to make it a bit longer. Just seems smile worthy that they were seeking only $150k to add 15 minutes to an originally 20 minute episode and ended up with over $600k. People really did love the original short and were happy to see more.

That it ended up with two shorts and now a full blown sequel is great to see. I’m curious where Trigger might go with the chance to tell a much bigger story with this setting and these characters. I’m definitely going to check it out and hope it is good.

Seiren

  • Air Date: 6 Jan 2017
  • Studio: Studio Gokumi
  • Episodes: 12
  • Blogging? Maybe

The anime is an omnibus work that will consist of four-episode arcs focusing on each of the main heroines. The three planned story arcs will focus on Hikari Tsuneki, Touru Miyamae, and Kyouko Touno. The love stories take place in the summer of the main characters' second year of high school. The protagonist Shouichi is anxious about growing up, and his homeroom teacher calls him to talk about his career plans. Shouichi meets various girls and heads to an unknown future.

A sequel to Amagami SS in all but name, I’m actually pretty excited to see how this turns out. From the school uniforms they are going to the same school, but just without any of the original cast still in that school to take part in this. Amagami SS did a great job making use of the omnibus format. I think that format can work pretty well in this kind of series that otherwise would have to just become another harem. Instead of trying to give everyone a little bit of development, but never settling anything you can simply give each girl a small arc.

What makes this kind of curious is that they have 6 girls, but will only be able to cover three of them. I’m guessing they are intending to go split cour, or else they are somewhat hedging their bets. They can make a 12 episode series that covers three girls and see how the series sells. If it does well enough then season 2 can cover the other three. Hopefully this turns out to be a good show.

Series of Mild Interest

And so we’ve arrived at the shows that I’m just interested enough in to talk about XD. Although this is hardly a show of the damned since I did actually pick Vivid Strike to blog last season and it was in this section. All this means is that I don’t have many expectations for these shows and they will have to surprise me. That can happen, but I’m not going to know at this point. So let us see what we’re getting into here and what shows might just catch me offguard.

Chaos;Child

  • Air Date: 11 Jan 2017
  • Studio: Silver Link
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? Maybe

The game is set in a reconstructed Shibuya district in October 2015. A string of mysterious deaths occurs in Shibuya amidst the reconstruction. People begin to take notice as the strange events start on the same day that chaos broke out in Shibuya with a certain incident five years earlier. The events are called the "Return of the New Generation Madness."

This one is here partially because of personal history. One of the first shows I ever blogged anywhere was Chaos;Head. It was just “ok” of a show, but one of the first ones I stuck with for the whole ride. Now we have this sequel to that series. For that reason alone I’m just a bit curious. It could and probably will be another crazy and weird psychological ride. Probably not something I’d blog though.

Demi-chan wa Kataritai

  • Air Date: 8 Jan 2017
  • Studio: A-1 Pictures
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

Succubus, Dullahan and Vampire. They are known as Ajin, or "demi"s and are slightly different than the average human. They have lived alongside humans for ages under persecution. However, in recent years, they have become accepted as members of society. This manga follows a high school biology teacher who has a great interest in demis and his interaction with the various demis in his school, each with their own cute problems.

The concept for this series seems somewhat interesting. It could be a nice little comedy about a teacher who is dealing with teaching some demi-humans. This appears to be another show that focuses on human and non-human interactions like Monster Musume. Though clearly there are some noticeable differences…like this not appearing to be a harem show XD. Bring on the school setting.

ēlDLIVE

  • Air Date: 8 Jan 2017
  • Studio: Studio Pierrot
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

Chuuta Kokonose is an orphan who lives with his aunt. For as long as he can remember he's had a voice in his head, but other than that he's a normal boy - right until the day when a strangely-looking thing follows him home and teleports him to a place filled with more fantastic creatures. It's a space police station, and Rein Brickke, the Chief of Solar System Department, tells him that he's been chosen by the computer as a possible candidate to join the police force

At this point the premise and the PV has been enough to get me mildly curious about this one. It could be interesting. An orphan kid finds out he is more special than he imagined and gains an opportunity to be something more than he ever imagined. I think for a lot of kids the chance to be a kind of space cop would be appealing. Of course for this one it is as much to prove someone wrong and find some things out about himself. I will probably watch a couple episodes at least.

BanG Dream!

  • Air Date: 21 Jan 2017
  • Studio: Xebec
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

Since she was very young, Kasumi Toyama has always been searching for the "Star Beat", a sparkling and exciting sound she heard while looking up at the night sky. Just after getting into high school, Kasumi comes across a "star-shaped guitar" in the storage area of an old pawn shop. Feeling a rush and excitement she has never felt before, Kasumi teams up with four other girls and embarks on a journey to seek out the shiny place. We promise to perform a live here!

That this series is part of a multimedia brand launch doesn’t mean it won’t be good. It just means there is obviously a lot riding on this anime and the other sides of this project. I’m up for giving a band focused anime a shot. It might not be anything special, but it could be a really enjoyable ride. If nothing else the PVs have me curious to see a few episodes.

Kirakira☆Precure À La Mode

  • Air Date: 5 Feb 2017
  • Studio: Toei Animation
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

14th PreCure TV anime No further details on this time besides the tagline "Cook! Eat! Fight!!"

There is really little to base this on outside of franchise history. With a new year comes another new Precure series to watch. This isn’t a franchise that I’ve watched a lot of, only a few here and there. However, some have been enjoyable to watch. Thus I will watch a few episodes to see if this is a series I want to watch or one I’d be better of skipping.

Closing Thoughts

This certainly doesn’t have the same feel of the last winter season. That season had a fair number of shows I was really confident would be strong ones and a lot of possibilities. This season seems a bit more leaning towards possibilities with fewer hits. Now part of that may simply be tastes in series and the kind I enjoy aren’t as popular. What it does mean is that I’m not as sure about what I might end up picking up this time around. There are good odds with Konosuba 2, but will see.

One interesting thing is that there seems to be a fair amount of mobile game adaptations in movie or full anime series form. You have GRANBLUE FANTASY The Animation and Chain Chronicle standing out on that front. Who knows if they will be any good, but I suppose mobile games might have a less strict story to stick to. That might allow for more creative writing that would fit within the episode or time limits that they have to work with. The hard thing for game adaptations is some games are just too long to easily condense into 12 or 24 episodes.

This season doesn’t have me that excited, but I’m hoping for surprises. Winter last year completely blew me away so it isn’t like winter has to be one of the weaker anime seasons. I always enjoy having shows to talk about. If winter can deliver then that just means more fun to be had talking about things.

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About

An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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  • Flower

    Chain Chronicle’s first movie (of three – which basically “translates” to four 20+ minute “mini eps” with no OP or ED) hasalreqdy been released on CR and I did not think the first movie to be bad, necessarily. For whatever reason it just did not engage me much in the long run. Am still curious about how Granblue Fantasy’s adaptation will fare, havine read a handful of manga chapters.

    What surprised me the most was your choice of Masamune-kun. Was totally not expecting that. I read some of the earlier chapters of the source manga (maybe 9-12 of them?) some time ago and set it aside as it did not hold my interest, although I don’t clearly remember why. Have been curious to see what the studio and staff will do with it, but at the moment only amounting to a light curiosity.

    • FlareKnight

      I can’t put a finger on it, but something about Masamune-kun made me think it would be interesting to watch. Maybe I’ve got a strange thing for revenge going XD. Hopefully not. I don’t fully expect it to be one of the best shows of the season, but I’m hoping it is good.