Here we are, another season and another seasonal preview. I would say this is probably as tough as any of these have been since I know so little about the source materials for the shows airing this season. A few sequels I can turn to, but overall…it is uncharted territory. That can be good, but it can be trick to talk about. On the positive this does appear to be a pretty strong season. I do not get the same impression that I did from Fall where it looked to be one of the weaker Fall seasons in a long time. This Winter looks pretty good in comparison to what Winter usually is in terms of being a bit of a weak one. Still, it should be fun to go through the series and try to find things that stand out.

For more detailed information on everything that is out there next season I’d recommend hitting sites such as AniChart. As always the focus is just to discuss the shows that I’m personally looking forward to and why I’m looking forward to them. I know about as much as everyone else about the shows coming out this season, but will still give my thoughts on what stands out to me at this point. So for those interested feel free to continue on reading.


Most Anticipated Series:

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar
Living, isn’t easy. When Haruhito awakens, he’s in the dark. He doesn’t know where he is, why is he here, and where he came from. Around him there are several men and women who have the same circumstances. Together, they advance forward away from the darkness, and a world they’ve never seen before called “Grimgar” spreads out before them. Memories, money, special powers — This is the reality we who have none of those things have obtained.

This is definitely a show that caught my eye for a few reasons. The idea of people getting dumped in a fantasy realm or a game world has become more and more common. But what feels interesting here is the sense of weight to the situation. It doesn’t sound like these characters are going to gain or have any special powers. They are just people who have somehow arrived in this fantasy setting and need to take steps to survive in it. The combat has some real potential to be entertaining and pretty gripping if these are just people dealing with the kind of fantasy monsters you might expect them to meet. Also I have to say the visual style works for me. It does let the show stand out compared to the other series we’re going to see this season.

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi
Struggling manga author Satoru Fujinuma is beset by his fear to express himself. However, he has a supernatural ability of being forced to prevent deaths and catastrophes by being sent back in time before the incident occurred, repeating time until the accident is prevented. One day, he gets involved in an accident that has him framed as a murderer. Desperate to save the victim, he sends himself back in time only to find himself as a grade-schooler one month before fellow classmate Kayo Hinazuki went missing. Satoru now embarks on a new quest: to save Kayo and solve the mystery behind her disappearance.

Now this is a show where the preview gives more than enough to be excited about. Just the summary makes it sound like this will be more than interesting. A guy with an agonizing ability if not curse, to be thrown back in time to prevent a certain incident and constantly going back until he manages to prevent it. Eventually the guy getting flung back right into his childhood before a certain girl disappeared. Have seen young characters having to prevent terrible incidents in shows before and this seems like it will be an interesting one if they pull off the concept well. I haven’t read the manga, but this seems like a solid base for a good show.

Musaigen no Phantom World
The story takes place in the near future, in a world born of human imagination. What humans would call ghosts or monsters appear, and they come to be called “phantoms.” The main character, Haruhiko Ichijo, is a first year at Hosea Academy along with his upperclassman Mai Kawakami, who fights phantoms with the ability “Spirit of Five Elements,” Izumi Reina, who has the ability “Phantom Eater,” and Koito Minase, who fights phantoms in solitude. They experience the ups and downs of high school life before a certain incident leads them to the truth of this world.

For a show without a super detailed summary, this has done a good job grabbing my attention. Throw together some super powers, KyoAni doing some darn fine animation as always, and a struggle against some mysterious organization and you at least have the basis for something entertaining. So far I can say the cast looks nice, the animation looks good from the previews and just something about this one has me curious to see how it will turn out. Sadly I have no knowledge about the light novel behind this one so can only hope that this will turn out well. One thing I worry about with adaptations is that the people behind the show have enough sense not to rush it. No story will come through unscathed if you are adapting too much for too few episodes.

Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut
The story of the light novel series revolves around Lux, a former prince of an empire named Arcadia that was overthrown via a rebellion five years earlier. Lux accidentally trespasses in a female dormitory’s bathing area, sees the kingdom’s new princess Lisesharte naked, and incurs her wrath. Lisesharte then challenges Lux to a Drag-Ride duel. Drag-Rides are ancient armored mechanical weapons that have been excavated from ruins all around the world. Lux used to be called the strongest Drag-Knight, but now he’s known as the “undefeated weakest” Drag-Knight because he will absolutely not attack in battle. After his duel with Lisesharte, Lux ends up attending the female-only academy that trains royals to be Drag-Knights.

This does have a lot of elements that personally I’m more than interested in. It’s certainly not the harem element though which certainly has me concerned if it will be a decent one or a “meh” kind of harem. But, the other elements definitely have me curious. In a sense it’s kind of like a non-silly version of Infinite Stratos. The main character being this former prince of an empire that was overthrown. Instead of just being this guy that everyone would go nuts about in a certain other show, you’d expect the MC to be less beloved. After all he is someone who was part of an empire that no longer exists. Plus I like the idea that the MC is this kind of badass fighter that just doesn’t want to attack and yet remains undefeated. Sure, the whole stumbling on the bathing area thing is so tired that I’m exhausted about it, but there is nice potential here. If Lux can be an interesting lead character and the girls aren’t that bad then this could turn out nicely. A kind of fantasy setting with these dragon-mech suits that the characters pilot. I’m definitely looking forward to this just based on the setting and where this kind of show could go.


Series of Moderate Interest:

Divine Gate
When the Divine Gate opened, the living world, the heavens, and the underworld became connected, ushering an era of chaos where desires and conflict intersect. To restore order, the World Council is formed. As peace is restored, the Divine Gate becomes an urban legend. In that world, boys and girls deemed fit by the World Council are gathered. They are ones who aim to reach the gate for their personal objectives. Those who reach the gate can remake the world. What lies beyond the gate? When they reach the door, will the world change? Will it be the past that changes, or will it be the future?

I’m tempted to call this “the other Gate series” of the winter season XD. Of course like that other show there is this Gate that exists, but the plots are clearly very different. Here’s a video game adaptation which like anything can be pretty hit or miss. At the very least it seems interesting. The preview’s animation wasn’t bad at all and seems like they’ll have a solid cast. I’m always up for shows with that kind of elemental powers focus. Plus the summary does have some interest to it. This almost mystical gate that people believe will grant their wishes and change the world. It could very much be a fun show.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!
The popular “alternate world home comedy” centers around Kazuma Satō, 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.” He responds, “…So, I’ll bring you.” With that, he is transported to another world and his great adventure subjugating the demon king begins … but first the hard work of finding food, clothing, and shelter begins. Kazuma wants to live in peace, but the goddess raises one problem after another, and then the demon king’s army has its eyes set on him.

The setup for this kind of series seems like it could be pretty fun. Another regular person dropped into a fantasy world scenario, but with a solid enough change. Unlike some where there is some question of how they got there or getting back….this guy is going there because he died. Kind of a rough situation for Kazuma with the whole dying business. But not a bad consolation prize being sent to this new world as himself and having the ability to bring something with him. Interesting call though in choosing the goddess who is telling all this to him XD. Sounds like it will be a comedy focused show which isn’t a bad thing. Yeah, Studio Deen hasn’t exactly a great record on visual quality, but the setup itself sounds fun.

Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm
The story is set on an archipelago of four islands far south of Japan or even the South Seas. It is all but a different world from modern Japan. From the discovery of anti-gravitons came the dream invention of anti-graviton shoes that let people fly the skies. They introduce people to a new realm by enabling flight with just one’s own body strength, without feathers or engines. This led to the rise of the sport of “Flying Circus”. The protagonist who once hoped for a future in this sport suffered a setback due to an overwhelming defeat, and withdrew from the sport for this and some other reason. However, he met the transfer student Asuka Kurashina, and in teaching her to fly the skies, the old passion returned. He takes part in the Flying Circus again.

Visually this is looking to be pretty nice and the setup seems fun. I mean the idea of sky based sport sounds pretty cool. Certainly something I think people wish we could actually do. These super shoes that basically let people fly. The setup is solid enough. The guy who was actually really good at it suffered a setback, pulled away and now thanks to the introduction of a new person in his life (of course a beautiful girl) he’ll get back into it. The setting seems pretty fun and the characters look nice. A visual novel adaptation and basically a harem situation so I’m curious if the show will focus on the main girl or just play it safe with the whole cast. Either way, I think this will be solid and something I’m moderately interested in.

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 2nd Season
In the kingdom of Tanbarun lives Shirayuki, an independent and strong-willed young woman. Her resourceful intelligence has led her become a skilled pharmacist, but her most defining trait is her shock of beautiful apple-red hair. Her dazzling mane gets her noticed by the prince of the kingdom, but instead of romancing her, he demands she be his concubine. Shirayuki refuses, chops off her lovely locks, and runs away to the neighboring kingdom of Clarines. There, she befriends a young man named Zen, who, SURPRISE, is also a prince, although with a much better temperament than the previous one. Watch as Shirayuki finds her place in the new kingdom, and in Zen’s heart.

This one is pretty easy to be moderately excited about. Anyone who saw the first season knows what they are getting into here. This was a really well made anime. The visual quality was nice, the characters were interesting, and they told a good story. I really enjoyed seeing Zen and Shirayuki interact as the show reasonably got them closer to each other. I’m all on board for another season. Now it’s not something I’m super excited about. I know I’ll enjoy it, but I don’t think my excitement will go crazy for whatever reason. Maybe just the genre doesn’t always pull me in. It will be good, but it’s more like setting in for a very enjoyable and comfortable ride. Not jumping out of my seat in anticipation.

HaruChika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru
Anime adaptation of the Haruchika Series novels by Sei Hatsuno which revolve around two high school students named Haruta and Chika, who are members of a wind instrument club that is on the verge of being shut down. The two are childhood friends, and they spend their days practicing hard while also trying to recruit new members. When a certain incident happens within their school, they work together to solve it.

This is an interesting one. While it’s about two members of the wind instrument club, I wouldn’t say my hype is at the level it was for say Hibike! Euphonium. That was much more purely about the music while this seems to be more a backdrop for a kind of mystery solving series. Visually it stands out if nothing else from the previews (those eyes), but I’m not sure how this show will turn out. Also…I do hope they put in some good effort on the playing of the instruments. I’m not expecting world changing quality here, just make it look like the person should be able to make some sounds come out from that instrument please. A couple of childhood friends solving mysteries and perhaps growing closer along the way? That could be good.

Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri 2nd Season
The second season of the Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri anime which will cover the Fire Dragon Arc.

Another sequel graces this preview and that is Gate. I put this more in the moderate area, because while I enjoyed the first season I wouldn’t say it was my favorite anime of the year. It was a good show and thus I’m looking forward to seeing more of it. The setup is interesting enough. You have the modern world and basically this fantasy world connecting via this gate. It’s less this big adventure than just seeing how these worlds interact. How a powerful modern society deals with this different world that has powerful beings, but also is mostly technologically inferior. It is a fun series and glad to have it back after the season it had off.

Fairy Tail Zerø
Many years ago, Mavis Vermilion was a servant on Sirius Island, mistreated by a guild master and his daughter, Zera. But Mavis stayed positive, because her mother once told her that fairies never visit people who cry about their problems. When the guild came under attack, Mavis pulled Zera from the wreckage into the forest. Seven years went by, and the powerful wizards Warrod Sequen, Precht, and Yuri Dreyer arrived on the island, seeking a powerful jade gemstone. This journey would change the course of magical history.

Well, it is Fairy Tail. While the show has had its issues in terms of pacing and such, the series is one I’m always up for watching. I’m looking forward to the adaptation of this kind of prequel story that was written on the side. Getting to see the first Master of Fairy Tail and how she established and created her guild should be fun. A nice way to take a break from the current series for the time being. Having read through the manga for this story I can say it should be a pretty enjoyable ride. I’m not crazy excited for it, but I should enjoy it.

The events in Schwarzesmarken take place in 1983, the East German Army 666th TSF Squadron “Schwarzesmarken” (Black Marks) are a special-forces unit tasked with assaulting BETA forces through unconventional tactics; specifically, they target Lux and Magnus Lux to deny the BETA the advantage of ranged firepower. Their orders are given the topmost priority, such that it is common practice for the 666th to ignore allied distress calls that will result in deviation from their original mission, even if only for a short moment. The 666th Squadron mostly operates MiG-21s, with their squadron commander Irisdena Bernhard piloting an MiG-21PF.

The Muv-Luv universe is always one that is kind of mixed for me. While on one hand I’m always up for mech action and fighting against crazy aliens…this series is dark stuff. Nothing good happens out there and frankly terrible things unfold. So that is why I’m both looking forward to it and am apprehensive. I expect to enjoy some elements of this show and to cringe as decent characters get…killed in rather unpleasant ways. Should be an interesting show though despite what I expect to see happen in it. This time the show is going to Germany, let’s hope a few main characters make it through to the end.


Final Thoughts:
So as we can see it is a pretty good season. There are a lot of shows that I feel somewhat interested in and some that I am pretty hopeful about. On the positive side Fall is bringing some of its best shows along for the Winter. Utawarerumono is continuing, Gundam is continuing, and Heavy Object is continuing. All shows I am either covering or am enjoying watching. It is nice to know that even if some shows disappoint this Winter that I will still have plenty of series that I can enjoy and continue discussing.

The nice thing is that there a lot of shows that I did not mention that could still impress. Here is hoping I look silly for ignoring some of these shows and end up enjoying them as much as anything this season. Another positive is that the next Digimon film will hit in March so a good ways into Winter we will be able to enjoy seeing where that story goes. For the time being that is all I have to say about this upcoming season. Here is hoping this helped give people some idea of what is out there for the next season and let us hope this is a really strong season of anime.

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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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