Porky’s II Cast Reunion and Spring Season Brief Rundown

March 28th, 2016

Am I so out of touch? No, it's the children who are wrong.

Screw the intro. Nobody who complains reads it and those who do already know that I'm going to give everything but maybe the sequels a try, no matter how horrid they look. I live to be disappointed. Shorts, rebroadcasts (looking at you, Gundam), and long-running kid's crap just getting its annual refresh is not included. Whine, cajole, wheedle, whatever as you will.

FRIDAY

Ushio & Tora
http://ushitora.tv/
Studio: MAPPA
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 1st

Show Premise: 
Sequel series. The continuing adventures of a boy and the monster he released fighting other monsters and screaming at the camera. Also speedlines.

Random Thoughts:
I only made it through the first episode of the first go-round with this show, which was a painfully drawn out affair of exposition, shouting, speedlines, and then a big boss fight against a CGI centipede that just sat there and pulsed. It wasn't exactly the exciting, high octane, monster battling affair that it bills itself as. Yada yada, shouting about friendship power, shouting about the power of darkness within him, shouting about protecting the things you care about, shouting out what is happening and calling that a joke, shouting out what is happening for ten minutes and calling that a plot, blah blah blahditty blah. Staff and studio hasn't changed, so expect more of the especially samey same. I doubt it's something to pick up 27 episodes in anyway.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

The Wanderers
http://mayoiga.tv/
Studio: Diomedea
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 1st

Show Premise: 
A tour bus takes a bunch of people to a utopian village, but when they get there, it's completely abandoned and falling apart. Angst ensues.

Random Thoughts:
This is an original show featuring the writing of one Mari Okada, who you might recognize as the writer who produces about 95% of Japan's original anime centered around teenagers being angsty, most of the time with magic that makes them angstier as they struggle with the personifications of their existential angst when all they want in life is a friend, but the entire world is designed to crush their fragile spirits and they can't be assed to try to do anything about their situation because of all that angst so it's just wallow wallow wallow. And here she is teamed up with the director of Another and Blood-C, shows that you might recognize as having utterly butterly nonsensical tones and being a mess in general… not to mention being similarly infused with the spirit of teenage angst. The promos are just a list of characters, sooooo… angst ahoy? Not that Diomedea's ever amazed on the production front anyway.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

The ice cream… of eternal suffering.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventures
http://jojo-animation.com/
Studio: David Production
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 1st

Show Premise: 
Sequel series. The continuing adventures of people with super powers who pan for the camera a lot and lots of things named after rock bands. This time, with extra high school.

Random Thoughts:
This would be the fourth iteration of the new series, and I imagine now that David's found something profitable, cheap, and easy to crap out, they're not eager to go back to things like Level E or Neptunia. No major changes on the staff front, and the promos are still full of the same speedlines, overreactions, cheap animation, and staring with auras as has always been its schtick. Now that it's past the most famous arc in the previous season and has reverted to high school, perhaps it's finally setting up the ramp to jump the shark and put an end to this four year long affair.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Arglbarglwarglphbt.

Terra Formars Revenge
http://terraformars.tv/
Studio: Lidenfilms
Genre: Not-Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 1st

Show Premise: 
Sequel series. Astonishingly, sending radioactive mutant cockroaches to Mars ends up creating an evil super race of insects. Genetically enhanced astronauts get killed by them.

Random Thoughts:
Yet another of the cheapo non-action action shows. This one mainly distinguished itself from the others above by the censorship being hilariously awful and the animation somehow being even more nonexistent. It managed to take a man wrestling a bear and make it boring, although most of the episode was spent on explaining the two sentences that comprise the premise. Granted, new staff, but they might be even worse than the previous ones. I don't know that for certain, I'm just basing that on how they're awful. This doesn't deserve any further analysis beyond that. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Meatboy approved.

Big Order
http://www.asread.net/bo.html
Studio: Asread
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 15th

Show Premise: 
Random magic girlfriends grant random people wishes. One kid wished to conquer the world, but he nearly destroyed it instead, except not really at all. Years later, he's hunted down and forced to use his powers again.

Random Thoughts:
This originally comes from the same author as Future Diary and shares a number of similarities, in particular the extra-angsty protagonist and obsessed love-hate magic girlfriend. There was also an OVA episode back in October that was the epitome of tedium. For a show about people with super powers shooting, stabbing, tazing, etc, it did its damnedest to avoid all of that so Angst Boy could stare in angsty shock. It was a mess of disjointed scenes, so I assume that an actual series probably trying to tell an actual story must be an improvement, but then again, it's the same staff as that. The writer's the only somewhat interesting part of that equation, being fairly prolific, mostly attached to older Shaft shows and Silver Link (and also adapted Future Diary), but for every Ga-Rei Zero he's been responsible for, there are at least two or three Aldnoahs. If the OVA's any indication, outlook seems grim. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
I wish for cake.

Magi – The Adventures of Sinbad
http://www.project-magi.com/sinbad/
Studio: Lay-duce
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 15th

Show Premise: 
Spinoff/Prequel series. The quasi-Arabian adventures of Sinbad when he was a teenager, exploring dungeons, finding treasures, etc.

Random Thoughts:
Another show that already had an OVA. An entire OVA series, actually. While they haven't said this, I wouldn't be terribly shocked if this turned out to mostly be a re-edit of that since Lay-duce's only previous show, Classroom Crisis, was a dull affair of zero animation. Of course, I probably wouldn't know one way or the other since I couldn't stand the obnoxious original series to begin with. I guess it shares none of the staff with the original series, but I can't imagine that they're going to be picking up the pace or toning down the irritation this far into the rabbit hole after they've already passed it off the B team. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Is it really Sinbad if he doesn't sail anywhere at all?

SATURDAY

Phoenix Wright – Ace Attorney
http://www.ytv.co.jp/animegyakuten/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 2nd (Very early morning)

Show Premise: 
Lawyers solve mysteries by loudly interrupting each other.

Random Thoughts:
I don't think the source material here needs much introduction. Given Japan's pathological urge to treat the source material like it's the word of God, I think any kind of mystery series is fairly doomed. That said, both the director and writer here are well-versed with going way the hell off-script. The unfortunate part there is that's because they both primarily work in children's stuff, namely Doraemon movies and Pokemon respectively. They both have worked on other things, some things that are even somewhat acclaimed for reasons I'll never understand. Mostly, I think it's just to promote the sixth game in the series that's set to come out in June. It might be interesting if they actually go with original cases and mysteries, but again, Japan's creativity when it comes to these adaptations is generally nil, and I can think of nothing worse than a dry adaptation of a series of low end puzzle mysteries.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Yes, we all know the quotes from it. Don't even start.

The Asterisk War
http://asterisk-war.com/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 2nd

Show Premise: 
Continuation from fall. Magic teenage motile loaf of bread goes to magic school for magic reasons in his past. He appears to be super weak, but immediately defeats a busty top-ranked red-themed girl who becomes the first of an ever-ballooning harem he doesn't want, while participating in a magic tournament. Also, he has the power of darkness.

Random Thoughts:
Despite some promising promos before the first season, the first couple episodes were pretty awful schlock, practically made of every bad LN cliche possible and with close to none of the promised action while the story dragged along at a snail's pace and the direction was kind of godawful, with things like 'surprise' attacks revealed to be coming from right in front of a character's face in an open field… from someone using a grenade launcher the size of a canoe. I did sort of glance through a few more episodes after that out of boredom, and it did marginally improve, but then it only took one more dreadful episode before I cut all ties and it went right to the mental vault and forgotten. No changes in staff. I'd expect more of the samey same as is already same as hell.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

One massive untreated yeast infection.

Endride
http://anime.endride.jp/
Studio: Brains Base
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 2nd

Show Premise: 
Kid touches magic rock and gets transported to a magical world and into a prison cell with another kid who's the prince and a failed assassin. Together, they have adventures.

Random Thoughts:
One of those things for promoting cell phone game things. I actually do kind of like the director here (Kiddy Grade/Girl, Uta Kata), although he doesn't really do much, and everything he does is filled with panty shots and he already did a horrible job with his last cell phone thing, Sengoku Collection. The head writer's fairly prolific, and seems to do best with comedies or fantasy adventure (GA Art Class, Chaika), but has churned out three times that many truly dreadfully boring dramas, especially based around idols. It'd help if the promotional videos showed really any of those ridiculous magic weapons they're putting front and center, but this seems like it'll be another one of those 'adventures' that are almost entirely talking. Brain's Base is pretty low end on production strength as far as anime studios go anyway, so I have my doubts that they'll be giving even a half-decent director anything to work with.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Two paranoid toasters.

Rin-ne
http://anime-rinne.com/
Studio: Brains Base
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 9th

Show Premise: 
Sequel series. The continuing adventures of a girl who can see spiritual creatures and a boy who fights them to find a budget.

Random Thoughts:
Yet another sequel to something I barely made it through the first episode of. The female lead's schtick is that she's hopped up on enough ritalin to knock out a bull elephant, and she's paired with boy who outshined her in the personality department by being sullen, bringing the total personality traits between the two of them up to one. It not only didn't bring anything new to the table, it didn't bring anything at all, so couldn't have even had any manner of interesting character dynamics if it wanted to. Combine that with Brains Base's usual poor production and I don't even know what the draw was supposed to be. A vague sense of nostalgia for a premise that is still ubiquitous? No changes in the staff or studio either, so choo choo. All ahead for half-assed retreaded ground.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

The excitement of visiting the barber.

Tanaka is Always Listless
http://tanakakun.tv/
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 9th

Show Premise: 
Tanaka is always dozing or tired. Ohta is quiet. They're friends.

Random Thoughts:
Come on, Japan. Are you even trying anymore? Or are you just now trying to market boredom and tedium? Director of Kokoro Connect and Non Non Biyori, so at least they found somebody well versed in blandness, and with the writer mainly adapting 'comedies' where two men longingly stare into each other's eyes and/or crossdress to longingly stare into each other's eyes, it sure seems like they've got this one really wrapped up. At least from the promos, Silver Link's not putting much effort into it. Close to two minutes, and the only joke was "he fell asleep and fell out of his chair." Yeah, I'm sure this'll be a comedy for the ages.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Zzzzzzzzzzzz…

Kiznaiver
http://kiznaiver.jp/
Studio: Trigger
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 9th

Show Premise: 
A Kiznaiver can share wounds and pain that's been inflicted on one to other Kiznaivers. This angst daisy chain is used for missions aiming for world peace.

Random Thoughts:
Another Mari Okada-written original show, this time with even more angst. I wouldn't expect a lot from the visuals either, despite Trigger's normal flair. The promos so far are about 75% teenagers yelling at the camera and close-ups of eyes. Half the rest is teenagers staring out at a stock footage cruel supernatural world that just wants to hurt them. You know, like almost every goddamned thing Okada is involved with. It's also a relative newbie director who has only done one particularly boring OVA (The Town Where You Live). She has occasionally written things that weren't maudlin angstfests filled with characters who do nothing but wallow in it, but the premise is already an angst sundae with angst sauce and an angst cherry on top, and it's more than a little concerning how vague they're being with the actual story direction compared to how much importance they're placing on how it's going to be a story about angsty teenagers using their angst.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Even Venom has a cheerier outlook on life than Okada.

Hai Furi
http://www.hai-furi.com/
Studio: Production IMS
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 9th

Show Premise: 
Girls go to a special sea school because they love the sea and go to sea club and do their sea best. Also, it's the sea future.

Random Thoughts:
Oh boy, another one of these. The promo is literally just a list of the characters set to obnoxious bubblegum pop. Why should you watch this? Well, look at these girls. It has girls. There are girls. They go to school. And… uh… there's a vague dolphin theme? The head writer here is goddamned dreadful (Aokana, all the Bakumans, K-On, etc) and to this day don't know how they could have produced such a mountain of schlock and have also handled the adaptation for Mushi Uta. A broken clock is right once every fifty shows, I guess. First thing the director's been in charge of, but I can't imagine this will be anything other than #471 in the endless parade of "girls doing nothing at school" that Japan keeps crapping out, only with slightly more of a focus on an ocean. I guess that may put it marginally above the glut of identical shows that are about "girls doing nothing at school in a club for doing nothing" or an idol club, but that just speaks to how creatively bankrupt Japanese media has become.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Get on my sea-fandom level.

Flying Witch
http://www.flyingwitch.jp/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 9th

Show Premise: 
Some guy stumbles across girl accidentally using magic in front of him. They get into shenanigans.

Random Thoughts:
And speaking of creatively bankrupt, here we have our white bread nothing of a protagonist and his personalityless magical girlfriend. Featuring award winning jokes as "Are witches supposed to just tell people that they're witches?" "Oh no! We're not!" and "Don't do that." "I'll make sure I hide it when I do that." "That's not what I meant." Of course, the promo is next to nothing but shots of scenery, so it seems like everyone's already accepted that this is going to be naught but elevator music in the grand scheme of things. Oh how far you've fallen since half your staff left to become Silver Link, JC Staff.  Even the staff list is a parade of failure, featuring the director of the Tsukihime anime (insert joke about how it doesn't exist) and the writer who brought us all such greats as Etotama, Pretty Rhythm, and Noragami.  

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Vivit would not be proud.

SUNDAY

My Hero Academia
http://www.heroaca.com/
Studio: Bones
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 3rd (Very early morning)

Show Premise: 
Most people are born with super powers, but one kid's not. He wants to be a superhero anyway, so he enrolls at superhero school for superhero teenagers where he has superhero fights. He immediately gets super powers.

Random Thoughts:
I'm pretty sure that superheroes like Batman and Iron Man are globally known, so the premise here seems somewhere between defeatist and just outright bizarre, but Japan's never had a great grasp of the whole superhero thing, more often than not compartmentalizing each individual to some silly gimmick and making a huge deal when it uses that gimmick in a slightly different way, or simply grunts enough and uses their feelings to get stronger. Quintuply so since this is a Shounen Jump franchise. Instead of being a hero who solves things with gadgets, talent, or basic knowledge of physics, if you don't have super powers, all you can do is cry about your helpless inadequacy, which happens to be what the main promo is full of. You're better than this, Bones. Well, sometimes. This is the staff from Gundam Build Fighters going right into another cartoonish mass of 13 year olds doing their best, protecting their friends, and learning that true strength is believing in yourself, because, again, it's Jump. God forbid we have any depth when we can just shout the same vacuous platitudes over and over again.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I guess Iron Man and Batman just aren't super heroes.

Macross Delta
http://macross.jp/
Studio: Satelight
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 3rd

Show Premise: 
Mech pilots and pop idols combine forces to fight a space flu that turns people evil.

Random Thoughts:
Not being a fan of either mecha nor idols, the Macross series that combines them has never been in my wheelhouse. They did already air most of the first episode as an OVA a few months back. I did glance at it, but you know, ditzy, chirpy idols doing their best, insert songs set to awkward CGI mechs stumbling around and interspersed with poppy power of idols schlock… it's not winning me over. It's the same director that always does the Macross stuff, and non-Logos Aquarions, although ther writer's only notable thing in the last half decade is Log Horizon, and that bored me to tears. I've never really gotten what the appeal even is supposed to be with taking fighting giant robots and awkwardly shoving in a teenage bubblegum pop concert into the middle of it in the first place. It reminds me of all those bad 80s cartoons like Jem or Kidd Video. Even Symphogear doesn't fetishize the idol aspect to this extreme and would function perfectly fine without them instead of being a random pop concert going on elsewhere to constantly cut away to. I guess it probably is quintessentially Japanese if nothing else.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
  
The caterwauling of half a half a dozen cats.

Girl Meets Bear
http://kmmk.tv/
Studio: Kinema Citrus
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 3rd

Show Premise: 
Machi is a priestess in a remote village. She wants to go to school in the city, but is beholden to a magic bear.

Random Thoughts:
Glancing through the manga source was somewhat painful. There were a few puns, some overreactions, and… that was it. But even terrible source can be salvaged with excellent presentation, so it's too bad that the promos for this are barely animated and just have the same generic panning for the camera overreactions trying to be passed off as a joke. But this time, the random supernatural gag character is a bear… which they're using to tell the exact same jokes as always. Except that even using bears was already done before by things like Polar Bear Cafe. The staff's all new/nobodies, so there's not a whole lot more to say.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Two corgi sploots.

Re: Zero
http://re-zero-anime.jp/
Studio: White Fox
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 3rd (1 hour special)

Show Premise: 
Some kid gets transported to a magic world, trips over a magic girlfriend, and discovers that whenever he dies, he instead goes back in time and gets to redo things.

Random Thoughts:
Based on an LN, so of course the protagonist is immortal and has a magic girlfriend. Supposedly it's totally toooottally dark and gory, but I'll believe that when I see it, assuming it's not obscured by giant black boxes like always, and the 'seriousness' just being angsty wallowing like it always is. The promos aren't exactly substantial, but compared to what most of this season has vomited up, they at least show something a little more substantial than a character list. Then again, the only actual animation they show is a character running. I'd be more charitable if it wasn't White Fox coming off of another fantasy adventure, the atrocious Utawarerumono 2, the director's only thing being second chairing random Naruto crap, and the head writer doing the adapting having not done a single thing that didn't meander at a snail's pace (Free, Shimoneta, Devil is a Part-timer, etc).

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Viewtiful!

Concrete Revolutio
http://concreterevolutio.com/
Studio: Bones
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 10th 

Show Premise: 
Continuation from fall. A hodgepodge of people with random magic powers fight other people with random magic powers.

Random Thoughts:
Good lord does this season have a lot of sequels, continuations, or additions to long-running franchises. Only one more to go after this. I made it about a third into the first season of this, and barely understood anything. Its gimmick is jumping around chronologically constantly and being impenetrable as all hell. I think maybe the strategy is to just force a massive amount of time and effort just to have a moderate understanding of what's going on, and get people on the sunk cost of their time. If the episodic stories were strong, it might've survived on that, but they were filled with info dumps and shouting. The animation also unfortunately kind of came and went, so while it was certainly colorful, animated, and expressive, which was nice, it also went for very long stretches, including entire episodes, where there was nothing visually going on but heads chattering away, half the time cryptically referencing random events to be revealed… someday? Maybe?  

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I'm not sure what this is.

Three Girls, Three 葉
http://sansyasanyou.com/
Studio: Dogakobo
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 10th

Show Premise: 
Three girls who all have the same kanji in their names are friends. They go to school.

Random Thoughts:
Kanji is hilarious, huh? And speaking of creatively bankrupt, here's another show adapted from a four panel comic about girls. And they're friends. And they go to school. That's the sum total. What more could anybody ask for? It does show marginally more life in its promos than the others this season of its ilk, and the writer handled GJ Club which had a couple episodes that weren't incredibly dull, but the director's a nobody. Dogakobo's old hat at these kinds of things, but rarely impressive and usually with a huge drop after the first episode. Glancing through the source shows the usual non-jokes for this kind of thing where the punchline is generally "what you have just said is unusual", although that's about what I'd expect since the original was written by the same person as the eminently humorless Mikakunin. Don't hold your breath.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
I've got a plant for you to sit on.

MONDAY

12 Years Old
http://www.shogakukan.co.jp/pr/12sai/
Studio: Oriental Lights/Magic
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 4th (Very early morning)

Show Premise: 
A 12 year old girl goes through puberty and is interested in boys.

Random Thoughts:
This comes across as a pretty strong throwback to things like Kodocha. This is another thing that already had an OVA a couple years back which was mostly inoffensive, but also barely animated and filled with the typical pastel background overreactions trying to pass for jokes. Not much experience on the staff either, although it is the same director as the OVA. I'm inclined to be a little charitable to it since it's aimed at a younger audience with a timeslot to match, and wasn't created simply to shill small plastic toys. It also seems like it at least tries to show that interest in the other sex is natural and not a cause for screaming in bloody terror with, ironically, a maturity slightly above sexual assault/harrassment overtones. Still, I can't imagine watching it it myself.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Now is not the time to use that.

Sailor Moon Crystal
http://sailormoon-official.com/animation/
Studio: Toei Animation
Genre: Nostalgia
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 4th

Show Premise: 
Sequel series. The continuing adventures of magical planetoid girls and a stalker in a top hat. Now with marginally more lesbians.

Random Thoughts:
Finally, the last of the sequels and continuations this season. And what a piece of awfulness to end on. The first episode of the reboot series has terrifyingly awful and barely animated at all. I remember even seeing later that they went back and redid basically all of the character art for the DVD release. It does have a new director from the last go round, but I doubt Toei's putting any more money towards it after the first go round was not so charitably received and didn't surf on the expected tidal wave of nostalgia to fill their Scrooge McDuck money vault. It's not like Chiaki Kon, of Umineko and a staggering about of BL shows is a catch for a director anyway.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Dad-bot does not approve of dressing like that, young woman.

Bakuon!!
http://bakuon-anime.com/
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 4th

Show Premise: 
A girl joins an all-girl motorcycle club. They do motorcycle things, but probably not really.

Random Thoughts:
Well, on one hand, this was one of the very few comedy shows that had a promo containing some genuine visual humor. On the other, it also started with about 5 seconds straight of screaming, and one character seemingly only exists to fill a sinktight jumpsuit to overflowing with disturbingly spherical tits and ass, and the camera sure loves to focus on that. This technically had an OVA a week and a half ago with the same staff, but I've either ignored it or haven't had a chance to check it out. Pick one. Director's been around, but the most recent things he did were the second and third seasons of Dog Days and Glasslip, so pretty far from what one would call the A team. I suppose it's my early guess for which of the "Girls have a club with the first noun that the write saw when trying to think up a concept but actually do nothing" shows that will turn out most palatable based on the promo alone, but don't take that as high praise as much as how little effort all the others put into their stuff. At least this is advertising that it has bikes and tits. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 
   
At least it's not another goddamned band.

Holy War Cerberus
http://www.cerberus-anime.jp/
Studio: Bridge
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 4th

Show Premise: 
Kid's parents were killed by a super dragon. He sets out on a quest to slay it and is immediately besieged by tits.

Random Thoughts:
Cell phone game adaptations are the new slot machine game adaptation. Promos weren't totally awful, but for every piece of actual animation, there was also one of some kind of awful speedlined bit of air posing. Even at its best, it doesn't look great, and Bridge is definitely on the lower end of animation studios with a marked tendency for the budget to crash and burn after the first episode. Both the director and head writer have been around, but haven't been in charge of anything really in the last five years, just Nobunagun on the director's side. Maybe it'll be okay if they can keep up the adventuring, or maybe our protagonist dressed all in black who keeps clutching his chest and thrashing from nightmares will be an insufferable asscake and the adventure will go absolutely nowhere.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
  
But will it live up to the high standards set by Final Fantasy Unlimited?

Hundred
http://hundred-anime.jp/
Studio: Production IMS
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 4th

Show Premise: 
Magic teenage motile loaf of bread goes to magic school for magic reasons in his past. He appears to be super weak, but immediately defeats a busty top-ranked red-themed girl who becomes the first of an ever-ballooning harem he doesn't want, while participating in a magic tournament.

Random Thoughts:
It would seem that Asterisk must always air the same season as a light novel adaptation that's completely identical to it, and good lord has this head writer worked on a lot of fanservicey magical harem fighting drek. Date a Live's probably the most relevant, also being a drekky harem light novel adaptation, but also Dream Eater Mary and the original Aria TSA, both of which you might recall the writing going… shall we say "invisible trombone bonkers" at multiple points. The director inspires marginally more confidence (Akame ga Kill, original Utawarerumono), so in theory, he knows how to choreograph an action scene, which is about the most I hope for from this kind of thing. IMS is another not-very-good studio, but the promos for this action show do show some action. Just as much fanservice and the obligatory walking in on girls naked and black-dressed protagonist gritting his teeth as he struggles with the darkness within him, so expectations should be kept low and eyes prepared to roll.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Darkwing Duck is my edgy hero.

TUESDAY

Joker Game
http://jokergame.jp/
Studio: Production IG
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 5th

Show Premise: 
Just before World War II, people are trained to become spies and do spy things.

Random Thoughts:
Based on a novel series that also had a live action film adaptation last year, which appears to be more like Mission Impossible than anything, meaning "spy" in this case is more like "stage magician." Also, a sex scene with some random maid. Aaanyway, I wouldn't mind it if it was anime Mission Impossible, but the promos are largely closeups of faces and/or closeups of random CGI objects. Director's the same one that when given Sengoku Basara, a corny high octane action show, made the angst-filled dismal second season, as well as Robotics;Notes, so that's not a good sign, and while I guess some might count the head writer from Erased and Haikyuu as a plus, I'm not among them. Honestly, from just the promos alone, the live action version looks a hell of a lot more palatable. Not the best place to start.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Your time has long past, City Hunter.

WEDNESDAY

Twin Star Exorcists
http://sousei-anime.jp/
Studio: Studio Pierrot
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 6th (Very early morning)

Show Premise: 
Kid is a super awesome exorcist with a tragic past and an arm made of evil so doesn't want to be one. Magical girlfriend falls out of the sky that he's destined to marry. They fight monsters.

Random Thoughts:
Man, is this thing's promo grim. Not for everybody dressed in black, clenching their fists as blood drips down from their eyes, but for how many sad pathetic stills there were trying to pass off as action. Pierrot did relatively recently show some talent with Tokyo Ghoul, but they also half-assed that a lot too, without even getting into its other issues. This one looks to have plenty of those on the staffing front too. Director of 50% of the Persona 3 movies and P4:Golden, and the ever-awful adapter of such plodding sacks like PapaKiki and Maoyuu. How do these people keep getting work?

Preseason Swing Rating: 

The wily bushpig.

Stray Dogs
http://bungo-stray-dogs.jp/
Studio: Bones
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 6th

Show Premise: 
Homeless kid joins magic detective agency to fight magic crimes. He's a magic weretiger.

Random Thoughts:
Another thing that I might be enthusiastic for if the promos weren't so focused on shots of scenery, shots of characters crying, and closeups of faces. Also, perhaps if the promise of light-hearted humor wasn't cartoonish overreactions and screaming. The promo eventually does show some action action of Bones's usual caliber, but only about 15 seconds compare to the minute plus of all the awful above. This is Bones's Captain Earth/Star Driver team, so take that as you will. Maybe it'll be okay. Maybe it'll be another wallowing angstfest like Noragami was.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Two stacks of pancakes.

Super Lovers
http://superlovers-anime.com/
Studio: Deen
Genre: Romance
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 6th

Show Premise: 
Haru's mother adopts a neglected kid and immediately neglects him, making Haru rehabilitate him. After a melodramatic accident and a few years of selective amnesia where he forgets the kid, their relationship gets extra weird when the kid moves in with him.

Random Thoughts:
Deen's obligatory man on manicotti served up every six months or so, not with extra uncomfortable incest and predatory overtones, and yet, it's only the first of these this season. And no, I don't think "it's cultural" cuts it. Come on, besides the title, the promo already has them longingly staring into each other's arms while pink hearts and haze float around them, sleeping together, smelling each other's hair, so on and so forth. What it doesn't have is animation. Or anything visually interesting at all. It's looks like just another in the assembly line of these things that Deen is constantly churning out.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

You're gonna have a bad time.

THURSDAY

Black Corpse
http://kuromukuro.com/
Studio: PA Works
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 7th

Show Premise: 
Some huge artifact is discovered that people gather to research. Also, a samurai from the past wakes up in the present era. There's a giant mech on the promo art.

Random Thoughts:
This is an original show and they're being pretty tight-lipped about it. The only information they've put out is a schizophrenic mess, and the promo is just like "Here's the protagonist, here's his harem, here are 15 other characters." Up until Sunday, the promos were only cast lists. Now they added "giant black samurai robot with laser katans defeats all those crappy robots who only have guns." Well, at least one promo showed some action. Director's most recent shows are Seven Deadly Sins and World Conquest, writer is the genius behind the literary masterpiece that was Another. As much as I want to laud PA Works for continuing to make original shows, they have this unfortunate tendency, no matter who the staff may be, to devolve into vapid nonsense… or just start there and never leave.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Two mecha-pikachus.

Anne Happy ♪
http://anne-happy.com/
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 7th

Show Premise: 
An entire class of girls has extremely bad luck, but each individually compartmentalized in some wacky way.

Random Thoughts:
I might be able to get behind this if it was actually willing to take shots at the characters ala Zetsubou Sensei or the first season of Milky Holmes, but the 'bad luck' here is crap like "has no sense of direction," or "girls keep falling in love with her." So basically all we have here is your typical girls go to school with some weak lipservice to a gimmick, and the promos play that out. Granted, certain other shows don't even put that much effort in, but we've just gone from zero to pretending it's not zero. It's also a weird fit for Silver Link and particularly their main director since he tends to put a lot more visual flair into his shows (Cavalry and Nourin most recently) than the promos were showing, which is always appreciated. That's about the only promising thing I'm seeing here though.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
The mental capacity of goldfish too

You Thought Your Net Game Wife Wasn't a Girl?
http://www.netogenoyome.com/
Studio: Project No.9
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 7th

Show Premise: 
Idiot kid hits on someone in an online game with a girl avatar who's a guy. Years later, he gets hit on by a girl in an online game who turns out to actually be a girl, but she can't tell the difference between online and reality.

Random Thoughts:
Hello, fellow teenagers. We totally understand you and the things that happen in your mega many-player RPJ games. I guess this fills the hole that is the non-fantasy blatant fanservice wankfest for the season, and how fitting for Project No.9 since that and hilariously cheap describes most of what they crap out. The promos have some tits and panning over stills. Such hilarity they are displaying that makes me want to watch it. And of course, it turns out that every single female he knows also plays the games with him and are soon all over the contents of those ugly-ass pants It's their usual director (Loli Basketball, Momokyun Sword), and a somehow even worse writer (Pandora, Cinderella Girls), so good lord, would this be a surprise if it even turned out to be average.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Oh geez, Rick. I mean, are you really sure this is a good idea?

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
http://kabaneri.com/
Studio: Studio Wit
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 7th

Show Premise: 
Large iron giants have created an apocalyptic world of walled cities besieged by anatomical dummies.

Random Thoughts:
Studio Wit sending their Attack On Titan director to make a show about anatomical dummies assaulting walled fortresses. I can't possibly imagine what the thoughts behind this might be. Oh wait. The dummies are supposedly more like zombies, and instead of a desert, it's steam punk. That's extremely different then. That said, this is a teamup of the core Guilty Crown staff (and it's even on noitaminA!), and this writer's our old friend who always produces runaway trainwrecks like the Valvrave, Code Geass, and the aforemented GC, so there's a very good chance it'll be utterly nutterly bonkers instead of a dragging slog. It certainly has some of the more promising promos of the season, but I said that about Attack on Titan too before it spent its first three episodes containing approximately 2% of the promised action, plus or minus 5%. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Well, that's horrifying.

Boy Maid
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/meido/
Studio: 8bit
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 7th

Show Premise: 
Orphan is adopted by his rich bishie uncle but is forced to crossdress and be his personal maid.

Random Thoughts:
And here's our other predatory… thing. You see, boys aren't usually maids. That's tremendously silly. You know, like the same joke Maid Guy made 8 years ago. Or at least would have if it wasn't so distracted by its awful production and fanservice. Going by the promo here, this shares that same lack of a budget, although I doubt to the same warped-face pointy-chin extent. That said, this director's shown himself to be decent a few times (Evol, B-Gata, Night Wizard, NHK), but I don't think he's going to be given much to work with here. Certainly not from the source from what I've seen, and the writer's only thing handled to date was one of Deen's awful girl-harem things. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

A boy… dressed like a girl!? How deliciously absurd.

Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/sakamoto/
Studio: Deen
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 7th

Show Premise: 
Sakamoto is preternaturally good at everything and always looks cool.

Random Thoughts:
Thumbing a bit through the source, it seems to be fairly one-note done over and over again. Someone does something, typically to try to make Sakamoto look like an idiot, but he effortlessly flips the script, looks cool, and wins them over. For example, someone pulls a chair out from under him, but he remains 'sitting' in place, to the awe of everyone. Or he blocks a bee that's trying to sting him. That, over and over and over again. This director is fairly experienced at comedies (School Rumble, Ixion Saga, Gintama's 1st run), although I'm not hugely a fan and this gimmick is pretty much the entirety of School Rumble's Karasuma character, except that instead of being cool, it was looking weird. It looks pretty low budget from the promo too. I wouldn't mind seeing another absurdist thing ala Cromartie, but I have my doubts from what I've browsed of the source that it's going to be that ridiculous or do anything but ride that one joke to absolute death.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
One punchline man.

Overall Thoughts:

Ugh, this season… 35 shows, and yet nearly half fall into one of three categories: sequel/spinoff, "here's some girls, or a boy that looks like a girl, and they go to school," or an Okada-penned original that doesn't even make it to the second sentence before it's all about existential angst. The comedies continue to look extra awful. What ever happened to the visual humor? The slapstick? The zany? The days of things like "shipwrecked on an island full of crazy bitches" seem so, so far away. Let's have that be the bottom of the barrel again, not a half a goddamned dozen "girls go to school and, uh… one of them… likes the sea, I guess?" Even Azumanga had one foot in the surreal much of the time without screaming declarations of its own absurdism.

I might as well decry the loss of the cocksure, fun-loving adventurers while I'm at it. Here's to you, Lina, Spike, Vash, Rally, Rio, and dozens upon dozens more. I miss you. Come back. That one afro guy with the tail was nowhere near enough. Bah. Anyway, back to translating. When I am finished with this stupid project, I am throwing myself my own party with enough vodka to floor a rhinocerus and then never ever going to do anything of this scope ever again.

Posted in Season Preview | 24 Comments »

24 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Dave Baranyi says:

    Another season, another opportunity to fall from dismay to despair…

    But the bright side is that we get to read your anguish as your choices crash and burn… lol

  • Not_Renko says:

    Man. this season will suck.
    But you’re gonna have some masochistic fun, I guess.

  • algorithm says:

    “I live to be disappointed”

    It all makes sense now.

  • Sanjuro says:

    The Wanderers looks like it’ll be the worst of this season. Just that picture alone has so many warning signs. It might be worth watching for the unintentional comedy though.
    You should pick up 12 Year’s Old too and compare it to your life, like when you got your first bra or when you first noticed boys.

  • Neclord X says:

    This is some awfull season, I guess the only redeeming point is that there are several original shows that you can watch finish without having to rely on source materials or sequels

  • LUNI_TUNZ says:

    The Death Busters arc of Sailor Moon is my favorite… they can’t fuck that up, can they?

  • Themaster20000 says:

    “The comedies continue to look extra awful. What ever happened to the visual humor? The slapstick? The zany?”

    When the hell was this? Anime comedy in general has always been bad,especially in the 90’s where the ‘jokes’ were just characters yelling and making stupid faces.

    sonicsenryaku says:

    fumoffu man…fumoffu..that was slapstick in its prime man

  • v1cious says:

    0, Macross, My Hero Academia… I don’t see how anyone could think this season is bad.

    By the way, Noragami was actually really good. You would’ve known that if you had watched it for more than 2 episodes.

    Aroduc says:

    Are you sure you’re not confusing Noragami with some other plodding, badly written angstfest that I didn’t watch about 15 episodes of?

    v1cious says:

    Actually I meant to say Noragami Aragoto, but my point remains the same. You have this tendency to drop shows before they gain any traction. You did it with that show, and you did it with One Punch Man, which ended up being one of if not possibly the best shows of last year.

    Aroduc says:

    No, I’m pretty sure that your point is totally broken by the claim that 15/~28 episodes isn’t enough for a show to gain traction.

    algorithm says:

    A (much) more accurate version would be OPM being one of the least shitty shows of the year.

  • anise_punter says:

    As long as Unhappy! doesn’t focus on creepy underage girl fanservice it should be pretty enjoyable, I’d put that at 50-50 though, at best. My guess is no less than five shows that are better than the two best shows of this last season.

    Any chance you could make/find a cross-eyed Dagashi Saya sprite? I bet everyone would be amazed to find out it was better at trivial things than other sprites.

    LUNI_TUNZ says:

    Speaking of Saya, they’re not sprites, but…

    http://luni-tunz.tumblr.com/post/138317317625

  • jingoi says:

    jojo 4, kuma, attorney.

    everything else is for tmi time

    since kabaneri is amazon prime’s bitch I’ll have to wait for fansubs.

    I support super lovers because I want to hear the cries from the anti-loli/shota crowd.

  • Di Gi Kazune says:

    Macross Missile Massacre! The only thing going for it. And Lynn Minmei. And Robotechnology! :P

  • Anonymous says:

    once more into the fray

  • anise_punter says:

    Is stray dogs going to be that fake artsy and totally serious show that everyone loves but I hate? It certainly feels like it.

  • Dynellen says:

    Phoenix Wright, mayyybe Macross. Looks to be another season I’ll mostly skip.

  • arknoir says:

    Terrible season, but I’ll watch as long as I don’t have to watch another covert JSDF propaganda PR exercise(a.k.a Gate) or Japan disposing,containment or the taming of foreigners(luck and Logic)……no wait I see terraformers (cue racist memes).

    12 years old and super lovers look super dodgy as hell, but I’m glad for Jojo and hero academia

  • The Phantom says:

    Why every fucking bad show always get a second season, and why most of the season is a second season of show I hate? Hate me much Japan?