[Featurama] Spring 2012 Anime Preview
Last Winter was a pretty good season for anime but Spring looks absolutely fantastic. With lots of exciting adaptations, the return of one of the best received shows in the past year, and a handful of interesting originals makes this season a pretty strong one. Hit the jump to see what our writers will be watching.
Kore wa Zombie desu ka? OF THE DEAD
Kore wa Zombie desu ka had a great first season. For a show with an insane premise that should have been a hundred times worse than it was, it was fun and funny. A guy gets resurrected by an emotionless silent girl and she moves in with him. Then as if drawn to weirdos, a magical girl and a ninja join them in creating a happy household of loons.
Obviously, the question remains if the second season is indeed necessary. I wasn’t left unfulfilled with the last season, so this has the potential to tarnish the series. The people that made the first season great are still here, so I’m reassured their won’t be a drastic change in content.
This is one of the shows I’m most looking forward to out of the season because it set the bar pretty high on magical monster harem comedies.
I have never read the Cthulhu Mythos series of stories from H.P. Lovecraft. I’m not even entirely sure I’ve spelled the unpronounceable name of Cthulhu correctly. However, I will be more than happy to watch a romantic comedy about the god of chaos Nyarlathotep assuming the form of a girl.
I don’t think I need to go in to any more explanation of this. That is an attention getter in itself.
It’s from the same studio that made Kanokon and Occult Academy, so I have no idea how they are going to adapt all of this. It could be straight, it could be supernatural, it could be all about sadness. It’s about Nyarlathotep, the god of chaos. It could be anything and that’s what’s most intriguing about it.
Accel World is a mech anime from the great studio Sunrise based on the Dengeki Grand Prize Light Novel. You have two big shots coming together to make something that at the very least will be pretty. Sunrise has always seemed to do better in presentation with their adaptations over their unique creations so I’m hoping for the best.
The premise itself seems interesting as the overweight outcast meets with the pretty girl in school and is offered a gift to slow down time. In response, he must join her in battle to defend her as the knight Burst Linker in the life like virtual realm of Accel World.
This premise is really reminiscent of many of Sunrise’s past works and should work well in their favor. I’m not sure if I’m a fan of the chibi drawn Haruyuki as his art style seems comedically over proportioned. We’ll see how it works across the season, but it’s a bit odd looking to see in the previews.
Mysterious Girlfriend X
Mysterious Girlfriend X is probably going to be one of the oddest titles of the season. The premise of an extremely plain guy being addicted to a bizarre antisocial girl’s saliva is weird. There won’t be any beating around the bush with this show. It will be direct about the couples sex life and that proves to be what’s most interesting about it.
It’s not a usual relationship so many interesting developments can arise out of it. Personally, I wasn’t a big fan of what I read in the manga, but the show definitely still has promise. The odd fetish itself is enough to see what this relationship has in store.
Tsuritama is one of the shows airing on the classy art station NoitaminA. I don’t know much about the show off the previews I’ve seen, but it seems to be about a group of outcasts living in an ocean town. There is strong imagery of ocean and marine life surrounding this, but ultimately I’m seeing this for the team behind it.
Uki Atsuya of Cencoroll fame is the character designer and Nakamura Kenji of Mononoke is directing, so the talent is here in the project. The slice of life style will be a lot easier to get in to for me than many of the more serious shows that air on NoitaminA and it’ll certainly be a visual treat to watch.
The hints of supernatural events all over this are what really intrigues me with Uki Atsuya’s visual stylings. It’s unique and does well with bizarre imagery.
Those of you who watched the somewhat disappointing Fate/Stay Night anime adaptation Fate/Zero was the answer to all of our prayers. While the first season mostly devoted itself to introduce and develop the characters, the second season will be where they all subsequently die. For those of you who read the novels it is simply how excited you are to finally see all of those amazing action sequences animated (Fighter Jet) and for others it will be the emotional journey in which the story will take its characters and slowly and cruelly tear them apart (you monster). I already know the story so the only thing left is to see how well the plot is interpreted and completed on screen. If the first season of Fate/Zero not only held my interest but exceeded all my expectations with its sparse battles and character stories then Fate/Zero 2 will no doubt prove itself contender for best show of Spring 2012.
By the studio that brought you Steins;Gate comes an adaption I actually didn’t think was going to happen. I have no qualms with saying that it’s sort of like Black Lagoon only because this was the series I took up to fill that hole after the latter’s hiatus. Still those two stories are quite different replacing the stylized action with a gritty realism. I’m expecting heavy and tense action, story driven plot, and lots of “Hell yes!” moments. The studio seems to have a lot of faith in the series as a second season has already been confirmed. I have high expectations and I don’t expect to be let down.
Basing all my judgments on the several promos streamed online I can expect only one thing. That it will be very, very pretty. The studio behind it (Silver Link) is known for being very experimental in their animation work and I wholly believe that the series will be all the stronger because of it. I do read the manga and I enjoy the series quite a bit but have qualms with the story as it sometimes struggle transitioning between its serious overreaching arc of the main heroine’s death, and the more light hearted school events. I’m hoping the anime does a better job at explaining the story.
Gainax is in charge of animating Nisio Isin’s entertaining, infuriating series Medaka Box. I’m not sure about you but I really disliked the series when it first debuted all the way through its first arc. I kept with it out of some sort of misplaced sense of duty and was rewarded towards the end with lots and lots of mixed feelings. The series is an incredibly long meta-commentary on manga itself so I’m thinking fourth wall breaking and ecchi. Serious Gainaxing I tell you. Their recent track record hasn’t been completely memorable with Panty & Stocking being the last series I really enjoyed from the studio. Still I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised with the show so fingers crossed.
As per the rule of taking up a series I have no knowledge about I decided to offset the amount of dramatic action anime with the relatively fluffy looking Acchi Kocchi. About a Tsundere and the object of her affection I’m thinking relatively slow paced gag comedy with lots of moments that’ll bring about cute related chest pains. Bring it on I say.
Do I need to explain who Leiji Matsumoto is? Hopefully I don’t, but here’s the introduction anyway. Leiji Matsumoto is Kind Of a Big Deal, a legend known for epic space operas and iconic characters. He’s been writing and drawing manga and directing anime since the early 70s. His works include Space Battleship Yamato, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, and their respective sequels, prequels, and spinoffs. His character designs – especially his sleek, eyelashy femme fatales – are unmistakable, and often deliberately resemble past characters. Oh, and he worked with Daft Punk to make Insterstella 5555. Watch it. This year, we lowly humans are fortunate enough to get two new Matsumoto productions – Ozuma and a remake of Yamato, titled Yamato 2199.
Ozuma (or, if you prefer, Ozma), is a six-episode series based on a plot written by Leiji Matsumoto 30 years ago, recently unearthed and given a green light. Naturally, when it began this past weekend, I checked it out. The setting is a future Earth that has been covered in sand due to some solar catastrophe. As you might expect on a desert planet, we’ve got hovering speeders, laser guns, a damsel in distress, sailors, submarines that travel under the sand, and giant sand whales (the ozuma from which the show gets its title). Oh, you weren’t expecting the last two? Neither was I.
The military antagonist strongly resembles Captain Harlock wearing a metal mask over the top half of his face, so I have given him the obvious nickname of Charlock. There’s a lady captain who’s an absolute badass in a scarf, and she brings to mind the pirate Emeraldas. The ship also has a booze-loving doctor with a pet cat – another Leiji reference. The show’s staff is doing an excellent job of capturing Matsumoto’s signature character designs, both original and the obvious nostalgic nods. We’re in for a post-apocalyptic story filled with all kinds of fun tech and creatures. I am definitely looking forward to more. It’s a little sad knowing there will only be six episodes, but sometimes that’s all you need.
-Ben Sawyer is a programmer/anime fan/men among men. I called him specifically for this series. Find him here.
[Zack is currently having a great time bringing you coverage from Anime Boston. When I contacted him to send me his submission for this piece he was too busy doing anime convention things to bother responding. Then he went on to insult my mother (probably) and said something about "anime donk". So here's a pic of him as some guy from Final Fantasy (I've never played an FF game) just because.]
What do you plan on watching this season? I’d love to hear it~