So we head into 2021 and hopefully that’s a better year in general. At least the winter season looks pretty good from an early glance. It has a few shows I’ve been looking forward to for most of 2020 and a few that I hadn’t heard about yet that look to have nice potential. It is nice to look ahead and see a lot of positives. Winter seasons can be a mixed bag at times when it comes to the anime schedule. I’m not sure if this season is incredibly balanced in terms of settings and genres. But it does seem to have a pretty good selection of shows that I’m interested in checking out.

I will miss the Fall season. Easily one of my top shows of the year in Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Bloom is ending here and I will miss the heck out of it. Tonikaku Kawaii, was pretty darn cute and that will be missed. The list does go on. But in part it isn’t a heavy blow since there are a lot of good shows carrying into winter for me. Higurashi is going to continue on with whatever story they are telling here. So even if some good shows end, not all the fall shows are wrapping up. That in part makes it a bit easier on me to head into this next season with some optimism for what we’re getting.

As always the preview will be referring to information listed on LiveChart and AniChart. This certainly won’t be a comprehensive preview of what is coming up. It will just be a list of the shows I’m interested in. As always everyone can feel free to talk about the shows they are hyped about even if I don’t mention them here. And there will definitely be shows I don’t know that much about their source material so any discussion on what can be expected there (minus spoilers) sounds good to me.

Series of High Interest

These are the shows I’m the most hyped to see. Odds are that is either because I’m familiar enough with a previous season/source material or just because the previews and summaries look really good. If these don’t turn out to be good that will be rather disappointing.

Yuru Camp△ Season 2

  • Air Date: 7 Jan 2021
  • Studio: C-Station
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? Maybe

While the perfect getaway for most girls her age might be a fancy vacation with their loved ones, Rin Shima's ideal way of spending her days off is camping alone at the base of Mount Fuji. From pitching her tent to gathering firewood, she has always done everything by herself, and has no plans of leaving her little solitary world. However, what starts off as one of Rin's usual camping sessions somehow ends up as a surprise get-together for two...

The hype is through the roof here. Yuru Camp was a downright excellent show back in 2018. Honestly I’m surprised it has been so long since it came out. This show is just really relaxing. One of those shows you can just sit back, watch, and feel some of the weight of your day fading away. I’m excited just for the things that I can expect from this. Rin and Nadeshiko camping together, separately, and in a mixture of groups. Honestly feels like we might see at least one case of Nadeshiko going full solo which should be interesting. Easily one of my most anticipated shows of the winter season because of how good I know this show is. And hey, it is airing in the proper time slot.

Show By Rock!! Stars!!

  • Air Date: 7 Jan 2021
  • Studio: Kinema Citrus
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? Maybe

"All stars" season of Show by Rock!! featuring all the bands from previous seasons.

I’m mostly just excited that we’ll be getting the original cast back into the story for this one. From the opening I’m still not sure if they’ll be sharing the focus 50/50 with the new band or if that band will take the lion share of the story focus. But regardless, I’m still excited to see Cyan again. I’ll also be rather interested in finding out why exactly she’s back in that world since she usually only gets dragged there during a major crisis. Regardless though I’m happy to see this show back for another season and for it to hopefully focus on the more entertaining cast XD.

World Trigger Season 2

  • Air Date: 9 Jan 2021
  • Studio: Toei Animation
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? Maybe

When a gate to another world suddenly opens on Earth, Mikado City is invaded by strange creatures known as "Neighbors," malicious beings impervious to traditional weaponry. In response to their arrival, an organization called the Border Defense Agency has been established to combat the Neighbor menace through special weapons called "Triggers." Even though several years have passed after the gate first opened, Neighbors are still a threat and members of Border remain on guard to ensure safety...

The first season of World Trigger was one that I mostly enjoyed. The anime-original arc(s) weren’t all that great, but the main story was pretty solid. It’s a pretty good setting that manages to balance being mostly Earth based while having these other world threats moving the plot forward. What got me hyped for this season is that I did pick up the manga after the original show ended and found myself really enjoying it. So I’m looking forward to seeing what Osamu and company will experience this season.

Hataraku Saibou!!

  • Air Date: 9 Jan 2021
  • Studio: David Production
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

The average human body contains about 60 trillion cells, and each of them has work to do! But when you get injured, viruses or bacteria invade, or when an allergic reaction flares up, everyone from the silent but deadly white blood cells to the brainy neurons has to work together to get through the crisis!

I still find it interesting that we’ve got both this and the other version airing in the same season now. But I’m more excited for this one in all honesty. It felt like a fun anime version of Osmosis Jones and shows/movies like it. The main duo was a directionally challenged red blood cell and a pretty badass white blood cell. I enjoyed the ridiculous nature of this show and how it interpreted the characters of these cells. It will be a lot of fun to return to this world/body and see what they get into next. The comedy should be good, the action good, and I think David Production usually can be counted on for a good show.

Kumo desu ga, Nani ka?

  • Air Date: 8 Jan 2021
  • Studio: Millepensee
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? Maybe

I, the protagonist, was just an ordinary high school girl, but suddenly I was reincarnated as a spider monster in a fantasy world. Not only that, but I awakened in a dungeon filled with vicious monsters. Armed with only my human knowledge and my overwhelming positivity, I'm forced to use spiderwebs and traps to defeat far stronger monsters just to stay alive... So begins the labyrinth survival story of a girl with incredible mental strength living as one of the lowest-ranked beasts!

This is a show I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while. I only read some of the manga chapters out there, but the setup for this show is interesting. To be fair, I’m not a big spider person. But this is a case where anime not being real life changes the equation entirely. You make a likable main character, put them through an ordeal, and have that character be voiced by Aoi Yuuki…then you’ve got my attention. A cute anime spider changes the equation entirely. Besides can’t help but route for someone thrown into a rather rough isekai situation. Trapped in the body of a small spider, thrown into a cave of death, and left to try and survive however she can. Definitely excited to see how this goes. Though I’m a bit uneasy since at the time of writing this…we still don’t have the studio behind this.

Series of Moderate Interest

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.

Idoly Pride

  • Air Date: 10 Jan 2021
  • Studio: Lerche
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

To become an idol, I shed blood, sweat, and tears. Even so, I push on. I want to shine. I want to earn it. I want to become number one. I want to smile. I want to make my dreams come true. I want to look back at a sea of people. I want to be noticed. I want to find it. I want to overcome obstacles. I have only pride inside my chest. No one is in the spotlight from the beginning. Everyone is weak. Only those who do not break will reach the highest peak to become an idol.

There’s something about a fairly serious looking idol anime that catches my attention. Maybe it’s just enjoying the idea of these characters chasing their dream, fighting through difficulty, and trying to come out of it on the stage they dream of. But really the summary and early trailers look good. It feels like we’ll get a nice varied cast of characters. It may not be my favorite of the season, but it should be a pretty solid show. Hopefully the music part delivers since you can have all the drama you want, but this kind of show should bring good music to the table as well.

Log Horizon: Entaku Houkai

  • Air Date: 13 Jan 2021
  • Studio: Studio Deen
  • Episodes: 12
  • Blogging? No

A year after the adventurers were blown into the Elder Tale world, Akiba's prosperity begins to teeter with the emergence of a new monster ("Genius"), a festering power struggle between the east-west aristocrats, and the growing gap among the adventurers themselves. Finally, the Round Table, the symbol of their unity, faces a decisive crisis..

I’d kind of forgotten about Log Horizon for a while. But rewatching it reminded me how solid a show it is. One of the better isekai settings in my view. Sending a huge group of people to a world like this brings a lot of interesting elements you don’t get when it is just one or two people. Seeing them have to establish their own society, rules, and interacting with other societies is interesting. There’s a great deal of mystery surrounding where they are and why they are there. There are elements I don’t care for such as the overall arc for the ‘kid members’ of Log Horizon. But overall the franchise is good. Last season left off on a strong note and the potential directions are pretty varied for the story. Hopefully Shiroe, Akatsuki, and the rest of the cast are ready for it.

Dr. Stone: Stone Wars

  • Air Date: 14 Jan 2021
  • Studio: TMS Entertainment
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

After five years of harboring unspoken feelings, high-schooler Taiju Ooki is finally ready to confess his love to Yuzuriha Ogawa. Just when Taiju begins his confession however, a blinding green light strikes the Earth and petrifies mankind around the world—turning every single human into stone. Several millennia later, Taiju awakens to find the modern world completely nonexistent, as nature has flourished in the years humanity stood still.

Dr. Stone didn’t quite play out as I expected it to from the summary and opening episodes. I sort of expected a more shared focus with Senku, Taiju, and Yuzuriha hanging together and tackling the world they found themselves in. But the latter two basically disappeared for story reasons early on and it was mostly the Senku show the rest of the way. Thankfully Senku is pretty entertaining and some ‘science power’ moments can work pretty well. The big thing is that the first season did end setting up the major conflict against Tsukasa. That should be plenty of fun and is the big thing I’m looking forward to seeing.

Azur Lane: Bisoku Zenshin!

  • Air Date: 1 Jan 2021
  • Studio: Yostar Pictures
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

Animation of the Azur Lane 4-koma manga.

There’s no doubt the original Azur Lane anime was hit and miss at times. Although for me it was mostly a hit. I do think this straight up silly show might suit it a bit better. Trying to piece together a solid and serious story isn’t easy when the game’s story is a bit…open to interpretation. The cast is massive, fun, and perfect for a silly show. Things such as super powered pillow fights is where they can really shine here. Plus it will let them have the ‘starting ships’ hang out together even more than they could in the more serious storyline. I’m definitely up for this. Thankfully it doesn’t appear to be a short so they can actually tell some stories at the same time as having some silly fun.

Hortensia Saga

  • Air Date: 6 Jan 2021
  • Studio: LIDEN FILMS
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

Hortensia Saga is a medieval fantasy tale of war and chaos. Three years ago, the king was betrayed and murdered by one of his dukes who then rebuilt the kingdom into his own. But now, the original heir to the throne has secretly come of age. Hiding in the guise of a man, she and her loyal band begin the quest to save her homeland.

We got some good fantasy anime coming our way it seems. At the very least the previews and summary gave that impression. Nothing wrong with getting away from just the usual isekai settings for fantasy anime. It just has a nice feel to it. A kingdom hit by betrayal and things being thrown into chaos. You get the heir to the throne having to survive, gather forces, and try to take back their home. The female lead having to disguise herself as a guy for the sake of safety makes sense. Kind of hoping this turns out to be really good. If the main cast can carry it then that can come to pass. Don’t know much of anything about the source game, but hopefully it is adapted in a solid manner.

Jaku-Chara Tomozaki-kun

  • Air Date: 8 Jan 2021
  • Studio: Project No.9
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

Fumiya Tomozaki is a high school student who is one of Japan's best gamers, but in reality, he is alone. He has always insisted, "Life is a horrible game." One day, he meets Aoi Hinami, a perfect heroine of the school. She says to him, "Take this game called 'life' seriously!" Is life a horrible game or a great game? Under Ninami's guidance, a life strategy by a high school student who is a bottom-tier character is about to begin!

This seems like it could be a pretty solid romantic-drama type of show. Kind of like the idea of someone who is that isolated getting a push and changing up his world. Rather than just viewing his day to day life as a terrible game, he could find a way to take it on and enjoy it more. At least that’s the feeling I get from the summary. I don’t know a thing about the source material, but I’m curious to check this one out. Project No.9 is a pretty solid studio and I think they’ll handle the visual side of it just fine. Will be curious to see where the real focus is here. It’s not a show I’m extremely hyped for, but I’m curious to check it out.

Hataraku Saibou Black

  • Air Date: 9 Jan 2021
  • Studio: LIDEN FILMS
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

A rookie Red Blood Cell has been bustling about, frantically making oxygen deliveries all around the body! But it turns out that his workplace is on the brink of going Code Black!! Drinking, smoking, stress, sleep deprivation… Struggling to survive a life not unlike the brutal corporate world, what must these overworked cells be thinking at the end of the day?

And so we reach the second Hataraku Saibou show. This one does have an interesting premise to it. While the first show focuses more on a person with average health, this one…not so much. It is a person living a grueling life and there are vices that come with that. Now of course the question is whether it will be as entertaining as the usual show and we’ll have to wait for that. They tried to switch it up with the red blood cell and white blood cell duo swapping genders. We’ll see if that works out. But regardless the setting itself has a lot of potential. It will be interesting if it feels like we are getting two episodes of the same show every week.

Back Arrow

  • Air Date: 1 Jan 2021
  • Studio: Studio VOLN
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? Maybe

Ringarindo is a land surrounded by a wall. The wall covers, protects, cultivates, and nutures this land. The wall is god ... it is the foundation of this land of Ringarindo. One day, a mysterious man named Back Arrow appears in Essha village on the outskirts of Ringarindo. Arrow lost his memories, but says that all he knows is, "I came from beyond the wall." To restore his memories, Arrow heads out beyond the wall, but is embroiled in a battle with himself as the stakes.

Bring on what looks to be an interesting original anime. We need to keep these rolling out. This randomly makes me think of different games in the Wild Arms series. I don’t think anyone related to that is involved here so probably just a random feeling for me. But I like the variety we see in even just the trailer. You have guns, swords, whips, and possibly a mech suit. That just sounds like a lot of fun. It might not work, but fun looks to be the main draw for this show.

The setup seems solid. A guy without memories shows up and his very existence shakes what was considered the rules of the world for those around him. I’m curious to find out what is going on in that world. Hopefully they don’t bite off more than they can chew with this show. A show like this needs to pace itself and tell the story it wants to tell, but within the episode count it has to work with.

Nanatsu no Taizai: Fundo no Shinpan

  • Air Date: 6 Jan 2021
  • Studio: Studio Deen
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

Fourth season of Nanatsu no Taizai. After saving the Kingdom of Liones from the 10 Commandments, Meliodas and the Seven Deadly Sins are enjoying their time off. However, things aren't as peaceful as they seem, as the Sins are put through various trials to become strong enough to defeat the 10 Commandments and to overcome their past trauma. With help from past figures, the Sins are tasked with defeating the 10 Commandments and putting an end to their evil plans that began ten thousand years ago.

I’m still looking forward to this one. The switch to Studio Deen wasn’t one that worked perfectly. There was some weird moments with weird blood choices and overall I think the previous studio was doing a better job. But, I’m still excited to see the climax of this story. Things are downright crazy right now with the state of the world and the massive forces about to clash. I know where this is going from the source material, so no surprises in store. Hopefully they can do the big moments justice here and let Nanatsu no Taizai finish strong.

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu 2 Part 2

  • Air Date: 1 Jan 2021
  • Studio: White Fox
  • Episodes: 12
  • Blogging? No

A reunion that was supposed to spell the arrival of peaceful times is quickly shattered when Subaru Natsuki and Emilia return to Irlam village. Witnessing the devastation left behind by the calamities known as Sin Archbishops, Subaru sinks into the depths of despair as his ability to redo proves futile. As the group makes their way to the Sanctuary in search of answers, Subaru has an unexpected encounter with the Witch of Greed—Echidna.

There’s no way to avoid talking about the big isekai of this season. Setsuken did a fantastic job covering the first part of this second season. There’s no escaping the power of Re:Zero and the impact it can have. I had some personal thoughts on decisions by the creator in terms of not being a total fan of them. But there’s no denying the quality level of this show. I have no doubt White Fox will knock this out of the park. I hope certain characters will get a chance to return to prominence, but who knows. It should look good, have some serious emotional gut punches, and likely will end with a pretty powerful conclusion. No idea where the story will go, but seeing it will be something.

Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Season 2

  • Air Date: 4 Jan 2021
  • Studio: Studio KAI
  • Episodes: TBD
  • Blogging? No

Season 2: In a world very much like our own, great race horses of the past have a chance to be reborn as "horse girls"—girls with the ears and tails of horses as well as their speed and endurance. The best of these horse girls go to train at Tokyo's Tracen Academy, hopefully moving on to fame and fortune as both racers and idols.

The first season for this show honestly surprised me. The concept didn’t grab me initially. But the show itself did once I actually watched it. The characters were pretty likable and the show itself was good at creating tension during the races. It wasn’t always clear what would be a win or a character developing defeat. Honestly this would be higher on my hype chart if it was focusing back on those same main characters. That it is turning to different characters to take the lead should still work out fine. But I can’t be as excited until I see how the new leads carry things.

Conclusion

At first glance this season looks pretty fantasy heavy. It isn’t even heavy in terms of just isekai fantasy, although we do have some of that coming. Re:Zero and Taizai are coming back. We’ve got: Ore dake Haireru Kakushi Dungeon, Back Arrow, Hortensia Saga, etc. And of course the isekai genre is still well represented here. But within that mix we’ve got some slice of life and purely peaceful rides like Yuru Camp. Some alternative settings like Hataraku Saibou are landing as well. There’s going to be a lot of action. We still aren’t getting much mecha anime and how much sci-fi we’re getting is kind of up to how to define that genre. So we could still use some more balance here.

Honestly for me this could be a stronger season than Fall. Mostly thanks to a lot of the shows I enjoyed the most from Fall carrying over. Not all of them sadly, but enough that it could make Winter pretty darn intense. My plate isn’t going to be cleared since Higurashi is continuing on so I’m really only grabbing one or two shows here. But just from a casual watching perspective this season looks good. I don’t expect to have many weeks of boredom. So I’m feeling pretty positive about this season. But, would love to hear some thoughts on any of these shows or ones I didn’t even mention here. Feel free to drop some thoughts.

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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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