In some ways I’m once again caught off-guard by another season being right around the corner. Sometimes it is nice to just enjoy a season without looking too hard at what is coming. But it is time to take a look at the coming Winter Season. I’ll admit my first glance look at this season is that it doesn’t quite hold up compared to the level we’ve had from previous winter seasons. Some of those seasons just had shows I was almost certain would be great and a ton I was hopeful for. This one is more of a mystery bag. There aren’t many shows that I’m certain will be great or that I’m familiar with going in. That doesn’t mean it won’t be a strong season, but it will just be a lot of surprises.

On the positive side we do have quite a lot of good carryover going into this winter. Index is continuing on and while it has some real ups and downs…it is still something worth following and Setsuken is doing a great job covering it. SAO: Alicization is going to continue as well and it does appear to be one of the better SAO main series we’ve had in a while. Toss in with them Karakuri Circus which I’ll enjoy continuing on with along with shows like Jojo and Fairy Tail and we’ve got a nice group that I’ll personally continue enjoying this winter.

As always will rely on LiveChart and AniChart for summaries.

Series of High Interest

These are the shows I’m the most hyped to see. That is either because I’m familiar enough with a previous season/source material or just because the previews and summaries look really good. I’m counting on these to be good.

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunou

  • Air Date: 12 Jan 2019
  • Studio: A-1 Pictures
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? Maybe

Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane are the members of the incredibly prestigious Shuichi'in Academy's student council, asserting their positions as geniuses among geniuses. All the time they spend together has caused the two of them to develop feelings for each other, but their pride will not allow them to be the one to confess and become the submissive one in the relationship! Love is war, and their battle to make the other confess begins now!

I’m not keeping up with a lot of active manga right now, but this is one I tend to keep an eye out for. There is a good amount of comedy with this series and I’m hopeful that will play out nicely for the anime. It’s a very over the top show that lives up to the summary. Watching the two leads trying to win this ‘war’ of love is entertaining. The little victories and defeats along the way has kept me following the source material to this point. And it helps that the supporting cast keep things fun. Whether the jokes will be hit or miss and whether it will get repetitive is just something people will have to wait and see to find out. But if this show can keep me smiling through a cold winter I’ll appreciate that.

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari

  • Air Date: 9 Jan 2019
  • Studio: Kinema Citrus
  • Episodes: 24
  • Blogging? Maybe

Naofumi Iwatani, an uncharismatic otaku who spends his days on games and manga, suddenly finds himself summoned to a parallel universe! He discovers he is one of four heroes equipped with legendary weapons and tasked with saving the world from its prophesied destruction. As the Shield Hero, the weakest of the heroes, all is not as it seems. Naofumi is soon alone, penniless, and betrayed. With no one to turn to, and nowhere to run, he is left with only his shield. Now, Naofumi must rise...

This might be one of those shows that I’m looking forward to while also wincing a bit. That the studio behind projects like Made in Abyss and Black Bullet are making this show just fits. This is a show that should have some good action, drama, and some fairly uncomfortable portions. At most I followed the manga adaptation of this, but I know this is going to have some intense portions of story to it. This isn’t a 100% bleak show, but it does tackle some fairly serious issues and does make life rather difficult for the main character. I fully expect it to be well made and have some good moments to it. This should be an isekai show that doesn’t pull any punches. If it doesn’t end up being one of the stronger shows of the season that will be a bit disappointing.

Series of Moderate Interest

And now to the shows I’m somewhat excited for. While not as excited about these as the category above, I’m still pretty interested in watching these. Some have intriguing premises that if done right could make for great shows. While some have source materials that I’m sort of familiar with, but not extremely interested in. Some of these could easily turn into my favorites. That uncertainty factor can turn into a positive surprise sometimes.

Egao no Daika

  • Air Date: 4 Jan 2019
  • Studio: Tatsunoko Production
  • Episodes: 12
  • Blogging? Maybe

On a planet far from Earth, there is a kingdom full of smiling faces. Princess Yūki is 12 years old, and about to enter a sensitive age in a person's life. Everyday, she cries, laughs, and sometimes, her heart throbs with excitement...Stella is 17 years old and a capable, reserved soldier. However, she is always smiling ... for smiling is essential to living. This is a story of two girls born on distant planets.

This certainly appears to be a show about some very different people. We’ve got the happy princess who is very expressive and the reserved soldier who also keeps a smile on her face. A kind of interesting note with both of them being described as smiling and yet probably having different reasons behind those smiles. Show isn’t exactly hiding that being a focus with the “cost of smiles” being a translation of the title. I’m curious to see this show just to find out what it will focus on. It seems like we’ll have some drama, mech action, and two distinct leads. Here’s hoping we’ve got a nice original show on our hands.

Girly Air Force

  • Air Date: 10 Jan 2019
  • Studio: Satelight
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? Maybe

In the novels' story, mysterious flying creatures known as Zai suddenly appear, and in order to fight the creatures, mankind creates fighter aircraft called "Daughters," as well as the automatic fighting mechanism "Anima," which are shaped like human girls. The story centers on a young man named Kei Narutani, who yearns to fly in the sky, and an Anima considered to be humanity's trump card, a girl name Gripen.

I’m growing increasingly interested in this show as it gets closer. The PVs seem to paint a picture of a show with some good action, but also likable characters. It is one of those settings where a mysterious threat has appeared and people have to create new types of weaponry to deal with it. But at the same time the lead Kei appears to be a likable sort of guy from what the PVs have revealed. Of course part of the ‘mechanism’ for these weapons are shaped like human girls. Got to create some character interactions between the lead and his probable partner who was made to be a weapon. But hey even if it plays out in an expected way, so as long as the action and characters are likable that should be good enough. This could be a fun one.

Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka

  • Air Date: 12 Jan 2019
  • Studio: LIDENFILMS
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? Maybe

When the Earth is threatened by the sudden appearance of undead creatures, a group of young women blessed with powers from a mysterious source rose to defeat them. Now, after three years of apparent peace, the same malevolent creatures have resurfaced. Five magical girls are once again conscripted to war as the Magical Girl Special-Ops force, to defend mankind from an unholy nemesis.

This is another one where the more recent PVs have raised my anticipation for a new show. When it was just a kind of serious magical girls fighting monsters and/or criminals that was fine. That kind of thing can work out alright. But I like what they’ve revealed about the lead so far. She appears to be someone who found some peace after already having fought difficult battles. Finally finding a sense of normalcy, her own humanity, and just not wanting to simply return to ugly battles again. A reluctant magical girl hero who already has experience could make for a good lead. If the other characters also have interesting backgrounds then this could be one of the stronger shows of the season for me.

Dororo

  • Air Date: 7 Jan 2019
  • Studio: MAPPA
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

Dororo, a young orphan thief, falls into the company of Hyakkimaru, a powerful demon-hunting Rounin. Before Hyakkimaru's birth his father, a greedy feudal lord, made a pact with 40 demons and let them each take a piece of his unborn son's body, in return for granting him great power. Hyakkimaru was born without arms, legs, eyes, ears a nose or mouth, a barely human creature, and his father had him thrown in the river. He was rescued and raised by Dr. Honma, who made him artificial limbs...

This could be a pretty good action series. It has a pretty memorable setup with one main character having lost multiple bodyparts before he was born because his father is freaking evil. Ironically it isn’t the character the show is named after so I’m curious what Dororo will actually be doing to warrant naming the show after him. Regardless it should be a pretty memorable adventure of Hyakkimaru journeying to recover his body parts from demons with the end goal being hunting down his father for literally selling him off to demons. I suppose part of it may be Dororo helping this poor guy who was born in such a horrific state become human in spirit while he slowly gains back his human body.

3D Kanojo: Real Girl 2nd Season

  • Air Date: 9 Jan 2019
  • Studio: Hoods Entertainment
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

High school senior Hikari Tsutsui is the quintessential "2D otaku" obsessed with the two-dimensional worlds that unfold in his gadgets and books. A bizarre incident leads him into a romantic relationship with the gorgeous Iroha Igarashi and his days of being wrapped around the finger of his carefree girlfriend begin. Join Hikari as he tumbles through the rough waves that beat the otaku out of him.

This show was surprisingly enjoyable for me. The main character through surprising circumstance ends up gaining a girlfriend who will eventually be moving away. Watching these two who are both surprisingly awkward in their own ways mature was quite enjoyable. They both have flaws and the show results in them both struggling but also managing to grow closer. It isn’t likely to be one of the best shows of the year or anything, but a rather relaxing show to follow. I’m honestly invested enough at this point to at least want to see how their relationship plays out. It isn’t as if the otaku in this case stops caring about his hobby, but rather he starts to add something equally important to his life. That kind of story isn’t a bad thing to have in this season of anime.

Series of Mild Interest

Now for the shows that I’m not too hyped for, but still interested in talking about. Good shows I really like sometimes come out of this section. I just don’t know enough about these shows or don’t see enough from the previews to be excited yet. At the very least I’ll definitely check out those first few episodes.

BanG Dream! 2nd Season

  • Air Date: 3 Jan 2019
  • Studio: SANZIGEN
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

When she was a child, Kasumi Toyama felt a heart-pounding thrill every time she gazed at the stars, and she's been looking without success for something that could inspire the same feeling ever since. One day, she comes across a star-shaped guitar in a rundown pawnshop and, for the first time, discovers the thrill she's been searching for. Kasumi becomes determined to form an all-girl band, and her search leads her to four like-minded souls...

The first season was a fairly solid show and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what season 2 might bring. I’m a bit uneasy about them switching up studios and going full CG. But we’ve got to see how that plays out. At the very least the cast isn’t appearing to change. The music was fine and the personalities worked for me. So if it can just hold up visually then it should at least be something I watch this winter. I don’t expect this one to grab me enough to actually cover it. This is just a pretty light and enjoyable show about girls putting together a band. Nothing wrong with that.

Endro~!

  • Air Date: 13 Jan 2019
  • Studio: Studio Gokumi
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

The anime's story is set on Naral Island, a continent with swords and magic in which humans and monsters coexist. The terrible Demon King lives there. In ancient times, the first-generation hero defeated the Demon King. Over the many successive generations since then, the Demon King has been resurrected, and the hero who opposes him has likewise reappeared. Girls attend a school for adventurers in order to defeat the Demon King when he appears again.

This seems like a good and light-hearted show. Another one of those cute girls doing cute things shows. Just in this case they are a group of young adventurers training and going to classes. This sort of thing of course is going to rely heavily on the main characters to carry it. They’ve all got their quirks established in the summary and those character focused PVs. Should be a show with some laughs, magic, and characters being a bit silly. Hopefully they’ve also got good chemistry since if they are just simply a bunch of stock traits then the show will get old fast.

Bermuda Triangle: Colorful Pastrale

  • Air Date: 12 Jan 2019
  • Studio: Seven Arcs
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

The glittering spotlights. The sparkling, fluffy, cute outfits. The charming voices while dancing with bright smiles. Under the dazzling lights on the big city stage, these would be the mermaid idols who swim and dance freely underwater. But far from this big city, the girls once lived in the peaceful village of Parrel. These girls, who would not even imagine such a glittering future for themselves, are instead just raising a fuss over the snack cakes they are eating.

We’re getting a decent amount of original shows this season and I’m all for it. I can’t say we’ve had nearly enough mermaid anime the past few years. It just sounds like a very cute show that isn’t going to be very serious. Just another show about cute girls enjoying their lives, but this time they are mermaids. As with anything the key will be whether these characters hold up individually and as a group. All I can say at this point is that the characters at least look cute and am hopeful their quality as individuals will carry the show.

Circlet Princess

  • Air Date: 8 Jan 2019
  • Studio: SILVER LINK
  • Episodes: 12
  • Blogging? No

The game follows a fictional near-future e-sport that utilizes a "mixed reality system" developed from augmented reality technology. The story centers on a fledgling team of high school girls from Saint Union Academy who pursue the sport of Circlet Bout.

This season even has sci-fi e-sports as something we can watch. This sort of thing can certainly work. In some ways it kind of reminds me of the Gundam Build Fighters series. This won’t be a show with the world at stake, but it could have some entertaining battles. The setup at least has some potential to be fun. Throw together a likable cast of girls in this highschool club along with some good action and I’ll at least be checking it out.

Go-toubun no Hanayome

  • Air Date: 11 Jan 2019
  • Studio: Tezuka Productions
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? Maybe

One day, a poor high school second-year named Futaro Uesugi comes across a private tutoring gig with good pay. But his pupils are his classmates!! And they’re quintuplets!! A-and they’re all gorgeous girls, but they’re also troublemakers who hate to study and are on the verge of flunking out! And his first task is simply gaining the sisters’ trust?! Every day is a party! The curtain is rising on the Nakano quintuplets’ quirky romantic comedy with five times the cute!!

This looks to be one that will either be quite enjoyable or one I’ll just fail to get into. If the comedy and the romance works in this romantic comedy then sure I’ll be in. Nothing wrong with this sort of harem show if the characters are just likable. And hey I’ll give the show some credit that I can’t recall many harems focusing on the girls being quintuplets. Good luck to the writing for balancing things out. Plus geeze if it works out with any of these girls it will be tough for the others to just move on when the guy will literally end up marrying into their family…

Conclusion

This season looks pretty solid. There are only a few shows I really have high expectations of, but a fair number of shows I’m at least curious about. It isn’t as if I need to pick up many shows this season either with Karakuri Circus continuing on through another couple of anime seasons. I don’t have quite the same feeling as with last Summer that just appeared rather bleak and light on content. This season has a pretty solid mix of shows. There is the usual manga and light novel adaptations that we’re always going to see. But there is a decent amount of original shows and game adaptations. Along with that we have some fantasy shows, slice of life, harem, music, action, a tough of mecha, and comedies. There should be a little bit of something for everyone.

There are a good number of carryovers that added to the mix should at least make winter a good season. I’m still not sure it will match up to some of the previous winter seasons we’ve gotten the past few years, but it could get there. I’m just hoping to find one or two strong shows that I’d love to talk about and enough that I’ll enjoy watching casually. There’s also the consideration that some movies or OVAs may come out and get subbed during this season. While it’s possible to predict what is coming out in Japan, what is actually going to be subbed and when…is less predictable. But if we get some good surprises there then the quality of the season gets another boost.

Time continues to pass and 2019 is coming. I’d love if there were a lot more shows I was extremely confident were going to be great. But this is looking to be a season that will be mostly surprises. At least the previews for quite a few shows appear promising. I hope this at least gave people some food for thought and an idea about what might end up being covered this season.

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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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