End of the World Orgy and Brief Winter Season Rundown

January 2nd, 2017

Technically, it did snow here this year for about two days.

Another season, yet more fatigue builds up from having to write "yet another goddamned idol show without even the hint of input from anybody but marketing, and even they phoned it in" a half dozen times. Like last season, my "I'll try to give everything but sequels a fair shake" no longer holds in this new "sick to death of abject garbage" mindset, but I'll try. That may mean just five minutes of glancing through to make sure that it really is as abhorrent as it looks. Things below 15 minutes long, and a couple exceedingly long running things that I have never had any interest in are excluded as usual. PreCure and Gintama, I'm looking at you.

Let's get this show on the road.

Wednesday

Akiba's Trip
http://akibastrip-anime.com/
Studio: Gonzo 
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 4th 

Show Premise:
Synthisters are a vampiric race that feed on people's social energy and can only be defeated by stripping them and exposing them to sunlight.

Random Thoughts:
Just to make this as confusing as possible, this is just part of the Akiba's Trip franchise, but isn't actually based on Akiba's Trip, nor Akiba's Trip 2 (localized in the west as Akiba's Trip). Of course, Gonzo in charge of any original material is almost always a doomed venture. That said, the key staff here worked together on Robot Girls Z, which did have a few moments, and the promos do show at least a little action, so there's hope, despite Gonzo's involvement. Not a ton, given that the promos have about three times as much nothing and closeups of underwear and/or breasts, but spoiler alert: this season looks miserable.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
      
Immune to your stripping shenanigans

Chaos;Child
http://chaoschildanime.com/
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 11th (one hour)

Show Premise:
Six years to the day after the events of Chaos;Head, involving a bunch of people suffering from and/or projecting their delusions into reality and a series of related serial killings, a serial killer begins to strike again. 

Random Thoughts:
While Silver Link can do action and be stylish about it, the key staff here comes not from their talented department, but from the people who worked on Prisma Illya's later seasons and the unforgettable epic, Shomin Sample. The promo sure has… some closeups of eyes, I guess? And is just kind of a parade of "Hey, look at some girls." It'd be hard to be worse than its predecessor, which Imagin was in charge of, and featured a character in that fantastic Japanese cliche of "Let's create the most unlikeable protagonist ever with no redeeming qualities, but has a harem full of bimbos throwing themselves at him anyway." But it's okay if he eventually sacrifices himself or shows 30 seconds of being a normal human being. Anyway, no Imagin and a protagonist in a high school club are sure to… *sigh* 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Duck;child

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid
http://maidragon.jp/
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Genre: 'Comedy'
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 11th

Show Premise:
Kobayashi helps an injured dragon, who decides to repay her by living with her as her maid.

Random Thoughts:
Any hopes for comedy died inside me when the first promo featured the joke "a dragon… a maid… AND D-cups!?" The other promo was a little more weird, but like most KyoAni shows, the actual surreal situations aren't the humor, but the characters making faces and panning for the camera seem to be. That and closeups of the watermelon sized breasts. A quick perusal of the source features other jokes never before seen in Japanese media like "She's a maid… but she doesn't understand basic housework!" and "She yells instead of regular human interaction!" Couldn't rightly tell you how that's different from when the maid's an alien, or a rich girl, or a cat god, or a demon, or an angel, or a ham sandwich with all its ham sandwich themed friends who don't trust humans because of prejudices against ham sandiwches and ham sandwich powers, but here we are. Once upon a time, this director did understand comedy (Komugi, Fumoffu), but I'm pretty sure being demoted to Lucky Star and Haruhi web spinoffs removed that part of his soul.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
A catgirl maid… with two tails!?

God's Blessings on this Wonderful World!
http://konosuba.com/
Studio: Deen
Genre: 'Comedy'
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 11th

Show Premise:
Sequel series. The continuing adventures of Kazuma, who was sent to a fantasy world when he died, and forcibly conscripted a goddess to come with him.

Random Thoughts:
I finished the first season, but it was a chore. There were a few chuckles here and there, and some promise at the very start that the characters would show some growth and/or not be insufferable dickbags to each other, but those things never manifested. Each character has only one or two jokes that are absolutely run into the ground, and while it never got overly angsty or dramatic, the protagonist also only existed to make a disgusted face at his harem when they made their obligatory jokes. No matter what situation they found themselves in, the jokes were always the same. Ten episodes was already stretching the little content it had too thin. I can't imagine a second season is going to suddenly be new and novel.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Two squid

Thursday

Masamune's Revenge
http://masamune-tv.com/
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: 'Comedy'
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 5th

Show Premise:
Masamune was fat and ugly. A girl teased him. He lost weight and became the perfect guy so he could make her fall in love with him and reject her, because he's as petty as she is.

Random Thoughts:
It didn't take much checking up on this to find, well… let's just say "These characters are awful," and "It's obvious where this is going and it's idiotic," and "The leads are the denses mofos on the planet" were common themes. The promos promise nothing in the way of humor for this supposed comedy series, but do have the two characters staring wistfully at each other while passing on a bridge tinged in a nuclear orange glow by the sunset, so I think I'm already buying into those sentiments. We're not exactly talking the Japanese Emma here. That's the Jane Austin Emma, not the weird-ass Japanese one about how maids were awesome even in Victorian times.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Revenge is a dish best served mechanized

Urara Labyrinth Album
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/urara/
Studio: JC Staff 
Genre: 'Comedy'
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 5th

Show Premise:
Girls live in a clubroom town where they're all trying to be the top idol diviner, but actually do nothing but hang out and have 'wacky' non-adventures.

Random Thoughts:
This comes from a four panel deal, which is frequently hard pressed to call comedy so much as "thing where a character restates the situation in the fourth panel while someone makes a stupid face." And a few stupid faces is about all the 'content' I got from its promotional material. The sole promo seemed more concerned with announcing the parade of characters than having any kind of content, and gee, I wonder if each and every one of them will have their own insert song and single. Key staff have worked on plenty of supposed comedies that severely lacked in jokes as well, so I'm pretty sure they've only gotten as far as "Group of idol-like girls? Make it happen!"

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Does this idol quarantine end with a purge?

Honesty
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/seiren/
Studio: Gokumi
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 5th

Show Premise:
Kamita knows some girls.

Random Thoughts:
I'm not joking. That's the premise. They're advertising it basically as "Okay, so, there's a protagonist, and there's also a bunch of girls, and each one will have her own arc." That's it. That's the whole elevator pitch. It's completely original material, and that's all they can think of for a hook. Hell, they even got Amagami SS+'s director on board. They may have even started at that. Not even going to toss up some vapid club excuse, or some half-assed dramatic event to supposedly drive things. Just "some guy knows some girls." Kill me now. Or better yet, kill this.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Like having a diamond in your roughage

Marginal#4 Kiss is Made of a Big Bang
http://marginal4-anime.com/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Idiocy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 12th

Show Premise:
Marginal#4 is a boy band group. They exist.

Random Thoughts:
You know Japan just doesn't give a rat's ass when all they can come up with is "has pop idols." I think maybe they have some kind of constellation theme too. And that's it. This comes from one of those churned-out Vita visual novels where, you guessed it, the protagonist is a high school girl who's their manager, and the 'story' follows them trying to be national pop stars… but also go to high school!? I feel like I've wasted enough brain cells on this already. Moving right along.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Is Ariana Grande a better Final Fantasy character than Gackt?

Super Lovers
http://superlovers-anime.com/
Studio: Deen
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 13th

Show Premise:
Sequel series. Haru's adopted brother moves in with him after Haru forgot he existed. They're creepily touchy with each other.

Random Thoughts:
The first episode of the first season had the predatory older 'brother' forcing his new family member to sleep with him and then kissing said child on the mouth against his will. This wasn't in any way to show some kind of Deliverance situation, but to show off how much A was trying to care for B. What a wacky and caring relationship between a young adult and preteen they have which is not disturbing in any way whatsoever. Cultural differences don't even begin to cover how dicked up that is, although thinking about it, you'd think an older woman sticking her tongue down a little boy's throat would be a lot more common in Japanese media than I can recall it being. No less predatory or disturbing though. Anyway… No, I will not be picking this up.  

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Somewhat more predatory than crocodiles

Scum's Wish
http://www.kuzunohonkai.com/
Studio: Lerche
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 12th

Show Premise:
Hanabi and Mugi are going out, but they actually have crushes on their teachers.

Random Thoughts:
That's it. That's their horrible hidden secrets that 'drives' things. Mrs. Robinson eat your heart out. Everything I see about the source manga is basically "train wreck in motion." Jackass characters being melodramatic, narcissistic, and self-destructive jackasses. Which I'm honestly not really sure how that's difference from the self-absorbed jackasses being melodramatic jackasses with the emotional depth of goldfish… but happy about it thing that infests anime 'romances' to start with. I get the impression that because characters don't stare at each other longingly at the end of each bit, that makes it fresh somehow. Or maybe it's just that they make out, which is close enough to pornography without actually being X rated for some.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

The all-seeing eye is bored with your banality

Friday

The Saga of Tanya the Evil
http://youjo-senki.jp/
Studio: NuT
Genre: Bureaucracy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 6th

Show Premise:
An efficient bureaucrat was reborn in the body of a little girl and now has a prominent position in an army at war.

Random Thoughts:
Based on a light novel where people seem particularly impressed, if that's even the right word, at the amount and detail of the exposition it contains. So the source is less what anybody sane would call a war saga, and more an excuse for people to jerk off over knowing various war factoids. Like did you know that there are logistics in war? And there's economic impacts? And it has a little girl on the cover because how the hell else are you supposed to sell anything? I guess at least it does have a gimmick, unlike some other things this season, but every single thing I see or read further on it only increases my dread of it, and it's not even like "a little girl that doesn't act like a little girl" is something rare in Japanese media to begin with.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

A little girl who was cursed to be Blanka

Fuuka
http://fuuka.tv/
Studio: diomedea
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 6th

Show Premise:
Yuu and Fuuka start a band. Yuu likes Fuuka, but childhood friend and national pop idol superstar Koyuki likes him.

Random Thoughts:
Oh good, instead of a single intellectually devoid premise, we can combine three; people in a club, idols, and girls exist. And yeah, that's all they're advertising about it too. "There's a love triangle! And they're in a band!" And don't think there's just the two, because the promo features a bunch of random other girls lounging around in their underwear. Christ, Japan. The really heartbreaking thing here is that I kind of like this director. When he's put in charge of actual action shows, the worst thing he's done is Dog Days's first season. So many directors would kill for that to be their low point. When put in charge of anything else, the list is little girls playing basketball and little girls pretending to be battleships while hanging out in their underwear.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

And I dance dance dance and I dance dance dance

Minami Kamakura High School Girl's Cycling Club
http://minakama-anime.jp/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 6th

Show Premise:
Hiromi is bad at riding a bicycle. She joins a cycling club.

Random Thoughts:
You're killing me here, Japan, and at this point, I really think that it's starting to get personal. It's even got the head writer in charge of adapting as someone specialized in bike-club-based anime adaptations. How is this a niche? How!? The strangest thing here is the director, coming from things like Mardock Scramble and straight-up porn. Either of those things would be a massive improvement over Yet Another Goddamned Show About A Club Of Girls Riding Bicycles™. And yes, girls riding bicycles are all that the promos show as well. Show will contain girls. Show will contain bicycles. Marketing over. Money please.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

The automobile industry's revenge is coming

Schoolgirl Strikers
http://sgs-anime.com/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: 'Action'
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 6th

Show Premise:
Girls go to high school… but also have super powers and fight monsters!?

Random Thoughts:
Not getting any less intellectually devoid here. I'm not sure what part of the promotional material is worse; that it's a cellphone game that advertises itself as a 'light novel-style RPG', or that it could only manage about 10 seconds of animation, and none of it contained any actual action. But don't worry, they have announced that there'll be CDs for all the characters, because we've all given up pretending this is anything but an obligatory marketing exercise to get through. Key staff has certainly been around a long time, with a few decent things to their collective names, but the crappy promos give little reason to hope that it'll have any focus on the strikers instead of Yet More Schoolgirls Hanging Out and Overcoming Their Mundane Self-Esteem Issues By Being Friends and Believing In Themselves.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

They aren't even dressed like penguins

Blue Exorcist
http://www.ao-ex.com/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 6th

Show Premise:
Sequel series. Rin is the son of Satan, but Rin doesn't like Satan! So Rin goes to a high school for people with super powers to fight monsters.

Random Thoughts:
Didn't watch the first 26 episodes back in 2011, and while it has brand new (and unremarkable) key staff, the promos contain even less action than the one for Schoolgirl Strikers. It's a Jump show with all the godawful cliches and nonsense that comes with it; protagonist with dark overwhelming power who fights for his friends, 60% exposition, 25% sophomoric non-humor, and 14.9% exposition about the non-action. Maybe some speedlines or screaming to fill up the rest of the time.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Beige popsicle

Lover's Suicide Comedy in the Showa Period
http://rakugo-shinju-anime.jp/
Studio: Deen
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 6th

Show Premise:
Sequel series. Guy learns rakugo.

Random Thoughts:
I barely survived the double length first episode of the first season of this, and apparently after that, it got sucked into the flashback dimension to spend about three months explaining the title of the show. The main thing that I remember is that it spent ten goddamned minutes watching a full rakugo routine, only to go "Eh, not bad. No highs. No lows. Could've been better, but not bad." Ten. Goddamned. Minutes. I would say "imagine if an idol show concert or a magical girl transformation scene was ten goddamned minutes long," but I fear that such things may already exist and have been similarly praised.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Were you expecting a joke?

Saturday

Spirit Pact
http://spiritpact.com/
Studio: Emon
Genre: 'Action'
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 7th

Show Premise:
You dies, but an exorcist offers a pact with him to live on and help fight monsters.

Random Thoughts:
This is another Chinese produced thing like Outcast (same studio) and Bloodivores (different studio) were. They haven't exactly set expectations high so far. The promotional stuff certainly doesn't impress, and even if you didn't know it's descended from a Chinese web BL comic, all the pictures of the two leads nestled together don't leave much doubt. One can only hope it lives up to the high standards set by its Japanese predecessors like Servamp, Monochrome Factor, and Loveless.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Vulnerable to root beer

Sacred Sword Mountain
http://reikenzan.net/
Studio: Deen
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 9th

Show Premise:
Sequel series. An evil comet is bringing calamity, in addition to being a comet, and the only one who can stop it is a boy with a magical soul, but first he needs to take a test to prove his magicalness.

Random Thoughts:
The first episode of this was a mess, and a casual glance around shows that even the people who liked it enough to finish watching the whole season came off of it with a resounding meh. Unlikeable characters, plodding/nonexistent plot, poor production that apparently only got worse as the show went on. They announced the sequel season as soon as the first ended, so I can only imagine that the money was already spent. This is also part of that China-Japan anime thing, same as Spirit Pact above, which has so far produced only sub-mediocre blehness, but even within that sphere, this was the bottom of the pack.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

China, please

Interviews with Monster Girls
http://demichan.com/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 7th

Show Premise:
A school counselor helps monster girls with their monster girl issues.

Random Thoughts:
You see, instead of getting the mopies because of not having enough friends, or not baking the perfect donut, they have the mopies because of magic things, like not having enough human friends, or not baking the perfect magic donut. And how wacky is it that one of them has fangs? And another has a detachable head? These are crazy things that have never before been seen in Japanese media. Wow! Gag me with a knife, Japan. It's billed as a comedy, but I'm not sure I saw a single joke in any of the promotional material or a quick flip through the start of the source, unless you count an entire chapter comprised of "I wanted to meet some monster girls, but there are no monster girls here. Wait, there's a bunch of monster girls here!" as a joke. Maybe on the reader.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Never any beholder girls

Chain Chronicle
http://chronicle-anime.sega-net.com/
Studio: Telecom
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 7th

Show Premise:
A black army suddenly appears, lays waste to everything, and captures part of the Chain Chronicle, a magic book which holds all knowledge. Yuuri leads the forces attempting to fight back.

Random Thoughts:
You might remember a series of shorts on this cellphone-based franchise a couple years back. Or not, because there's no reason to. This particular iteration is being shown monthly as a series of three movies, each of which is then being split up and broadcast as four episodes a month later. It's not unusual for a theatrical screening of a few initial episodes pre-season, but not the entire run like that. The first movie/set of episdes hit theaters at the start of December. Perhaps there's some hope from that format that it'll not screw around and each four episodes will comprise a complete arc, but I wouldn't count on it. Key staff is more atrocious than not, but the promos do have more action and animation than pretty much everything else this season, combined, so I'm at least slightly hopeful.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Don't read omniscient books

Rewrite
http://www.rewrite-anime.tv/
Studio: 8Bit
Genre: Idiocy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 14th

Show Premise:
Continuation. A club of super powered teenagers investigate supernatural incidents when they can be assed to. 

Random Thoughts:
This is supposedly the good half of the story, which in itself raises all kinds of concerns. I only survived a few episodes of the first season, which were exemplified by the now standard Key parade of vaginas throwing themselves at the bland protagonist, all making cutesy sounds and being aggressively quirky in ways that are not actually quirky at all, just have themselves or someone else announce the cliche and/or cloying phrase, or when they can't manage that, some random noise. Three episodes to establish a club, for god's sake, and it's not like anything even happened that was keeping the club from forming. A couple weird dreams, and constant interruptions from girls throwing themselves at him or being accidentally groped by him. But this season will get all metaphysical with the power of evolution and the importance of recycling, so it's sure to be a blast. In the forehead. With a shotgun.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Wimmy wam wam wozzle!

BanG Dream!
http://bang-dream.com/index.php
Studio: Xebec
Genre: Idiocy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 21st

Show Premise:
High schoolers are pop stars.

Random Thoughts:
The only difference between this and Idol Incidents above is that the cellphone game it's associated with wasn't blissfully delayed two years before being inflicted upon the world. Well, and I guess they're just being transparently shameless about how it's nothing but an advertising project centered around promoting some new mass-produced group, so in addition to the usual sins of this kind of garbage, you can expect exceptionally bad voice acting too instead of a promise of any kind of gimmick within the show itself. Joy!

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I've forgotten what this is supposed to be

Sunday

ēlDLIVE
http://eldlive.tv/staff.html
Studio: Pierrot
Genre: 'Action'
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 8th

Show Premise:
Chuuta is a friendless sack of crap who hears voices, but it's because there's an alien living inside him who gives him magic space powers. Just the magic powers bit. Being a sack of crap is all him. He somehow gets recuited to space police solely because of having magic powers.

Random Thoughts:
Oh boy, a Jump series. By Pierrot. Our protagonist is very serious about household chores, has no friends, but the power of friendship, believing in himself, and trying his bestest will solve everything. Well, stick with what you know. It really says something that within 30 seconds of casually Googling it, I found multiple people complaining that the power of friendship in this was a bit much even knowing it would be super duper friendshippy. Exactly how friendshippy does something have to be to turn the stomachs of Jump readers? The mind truly boggles.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Three plums, maybe

Tales of Zestiria
http://toz-thex-anime.tales-ch.jp/
Studio: ufotable
Genre: Adventure 
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 8th

Show Premise:
Continuation. Sorey and his harem's continuing quest to defeat the concept of evil.

Random Thoughts:
Still no claymation, so it's still not good ufotable. First the claymation went, then the CGI took over, and then ufotable ate all their decent writers or something. I don't know. I survived the first season of this, but the characters were all flat, boring sacks of butts, and especially despised Sorey, whose character flaw… which other characters loved to call out repeatedly… is that he's too Jesus-like. It also didn't really help that every time he jumped into battle, he won effortlessly with his only struggle being having the endurance to kill 10,000 enemies, but the enemy forces numbered 10,015. Meanwhile, the side characters were off doing their own things, mostly some flavor of "finding themselves" or the story was just back a few centuries ago to advertise a sister game with no actual direct relationship to ongoing events. Maybe if they go hard with the action early and keep it up, but the story and characters are damp socks, and I don't really have any desire to see how much more Jesusy they can get.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Will not contain bear cavalry

Idol Incidents
http://idoljihen.jp/
Studio: MAPPA
Genre: Idiocy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 8th

Show Premise:
Idols run the government.

Random Thoughts:
This trainwreck in motion comes from an idol cellphone game multimedia marketing blitz for a game that was supposed to be released two years ago, yet only made it out a couple months ago. I could make a number of comments given America's own… 'experiment' with an incompetent halfwit in charge of its own government, but I think I'd welcome a bunch of top-heavy teenage pinheads. Anyway, among the sloppy blowjobs dedicated to the idol industry, this seems to be one of the absolute sloppiest. I'm pretty sure that the only gimmick here, if it even bothers to embrace the government thing, are random Civics 101 lessons to fill in the time between CGI concerts and CD advertisements.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Still a better government than ability to shout "ho!"

Little Witch Academia
http://tv.littlewitchacademia.jp/
Studio: Trigger
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 8th

Show Premise:
Magic girls go to magic school.

Random Thoughts:
Descended from the successful OVA and kickstarted OVA, now a full-fledged… unnecessary origin story setting the stage for the things you've already seen. Sigh. Well, as far as sins in Japanese writing, that ranks pretty low. At least it probably won't involve watching Uncle Ben or the Waynes getting murdered for the 75,000th time. I really like Trigger's flair for colorful and expressive animation, but I wasn't such a great fan of the original stuff's general insipidness, and insipid nonsense is also unfortunately kind of a Trigger trademark. I can't even derogatorily call it too sappily Disneyish anymore since their writers are fantasizing about writing (and scrapping) stories wherein animals torture their children until they stop feeling happiness due to peer pressure from jackass sheep. Still, fancy animation is more than what the rest of the season is offering, and insipidness in all Japanese media basically goes without saying.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
God damn it, Tillet

Monday

Gabriel Dropout
http://gabdro.com/
Studio: Dogakobo
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 9th

Show Premise:
Gabriel is an angel meant to guide humans to the path of light, but instead of addicted to video games. She goes to school with other angels and demons.

Random Thoughts:
See, she's an angel, so she's supposed to be good, but she's actually lazy! And her friend is a demon… who's responsible! Hilarious! I guess as far as the non-comedic 'comedies' go, this has the least awful promos, but still appears to not exactly be in the Dokuro level of non-angel angels as much as it is just attaching some angelic or devil themed accessories to a standard all-girl highschool 'comedy' and calling it a day. And if this reminds you of another show about a supposedly perfect character who's actual a lazy sack of crap addicted to video games with only lipservice to the former side of things, then good news! It has Umaru's key staff handling it. Look forward to your favorite joke repeated here, now with angel and demon hair accessories.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Keep the crap coming

Wimpily Pedalers Yet Again
http://yowapeda.com/
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 9th

Show Premise:
Sequel series. Onoda is a wimpy nerd, but is surprisingly talented at biking and is forcibly conscripted into the cycling club.

Random Thoughts:
Yet more of this franchise for god only knows what reason. Huffy has bikes to sell? It's had around 70 episodes, multiple movies, and a live action drama, and I'm exactly the wrong person to explain what sets this apart from any of the bazillion other identical sport things where every character has some gimmicky thing they do that needs to be explained at exhaustive length. I imagine that like Kuroko's Balls, it's mostly a sweaty men grunting and straining thing. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I don't understand the popularity of minions either

Heizou the Demon
http://onihei-anime.com/
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 9th

Show Premise:
Heizou leads a samurai police force.

Random Thoughts:
The original source for this is a serially published novel from the 60s, but it's gotten a recent surge of popularity lately due to Japan's version of Masterpiece Theater adapting a bunch of them. Amusingly, the author's will stipulates that they're only allowed to faithfully adapt it. Nothing more. Nothing less. And by amusingly, I mean, good god, Japan. Given the total lack of any promotional material whatsoever, I'm forced to watch about 5 minutes of the live action drama. It consisted of angry Japanese people yelling and some truly PBS-caliber sword fighting. I kind of doubt that's going to be overly relevant, but given how these things are usually animated, it may very well be.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

98% chance to contain fewer animation frames than a Vanillaware game

Tuesday

ACCA
http://acca-anime.com/
Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 10th

Show Premise:
ACCA is a bureaucratic organization that monitors the world. Jean is a bureaucrat in it. …That's it.

Random Thoughts:
And promos promise all the excitement of bureaucracy, and a brief check on the source says that it spends entire chapters reviewing the trivialities of its setting. Screw characters. Screw story. Screw everything. Let's have piles and piles of exposition, paperwork, and red tape. The source comes from the same person who brought us such exciting stories as Ristorante Paradisio and House of Five Leaves, so not so much a thing with content, as a thing for people to tout as being outside the norm and a study in dramatic dramaness, but not actual drama, just the semblance of maybe some form of drama if you squint, which is what makes it so one of a kind. Aside from all the others just like it.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Excalibur requires form 39-A7 and 12-B2 for withdrawal

Hand Shakers
http://www.project-hs.net/
Studio: GoHands
Genre: Idiocy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres January 10th

Show Premise:
By holding hands, partners get magic power. If they beat up other 'hand shakers', they get to fight God.

Random Thoughts:
I 'love' that the premise is all about summoning weapons and fighting God, and yet, the promo is about a minute of washing an underaged girl and idols dancing. If the promo or style reminds you of K, then you're perceptive. It's the same key staff and studio, and from the looks of things, they've just changed the focus from a bunch of angsty boys angsting around with the occasional upskirt shot of an anthropomorphic magic cat to entirely on the cat panties. Well, and absolutely none of the action promised or expected to be seen. K certainly could be stylish and at least an animation wet dream at times, but it was mostly talking heads, existential angst, and the occasional balloon boobs. One can but pray it continues that godawful tradition. Then again, it's not touting that it's being written by committee, so maybe it'll make slightly more sense, even if being just as insipid.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
   
Wonder twin powers activate!

Parting Shots:

Ugh. We're well past the point where I'd trade idol shows for light novel adaptations wherein someone wants to bang their sibling at a 1:2 rate. And what the goddamned hell is with the bikes thing lately? I simply don't get it. Hell, I even understand the Ariana Grande thing. She's a Final Fantasy fan, dresses like a fashion disaster so fits in perfectly already, and has a billion fans to bilk money from with likely very little crossover between the two fanbases. Both sides win. But Japanese media's recent obsession with goddamned bicycles? Anywho, new season starts on Wednesday with a show about stripping people under suspicion of being funpires, and I suspect it'll be largely downhill from there. Happy bloody 2017.

Posted in Season Preview | 16 Comments »

16 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • anise_punter says:

    Yes: Konosuba 2, Exorcist 2, Zestiria 2, Rewrite 2, Series with a Semicolon in it… 5? Manga Time Kirara 4-koma blobs 37

    Everything else: waiting on screencaps. I don’t know what I’d do without first episode screencaps, probably waste a lot less of my time.

    Happy new year Aroduc

  • Dave Baranyi says:

    i like rakugo as a story telling form, so if the second season spends time on rakugo stories I’ll be happy. If not, well, I never have high hopes for sequels anyway.

    Other than that, I can’t see any reason to try anything other than Heizou, and I have a feeling that it will be dry as dust.

    In any event, good luck with trying all the crap out. Let us know if anything surprises you and isn’t quite as bad as you and I expect. You definitely deserve the “Taking It for the Team” award this season again!

  • elior says:

    like anise i will watch all those 5 squals i loved konosuba very much

  • Longing says:

    Don’t really know why you’d expect the sequel to Chaos Head to have any sort of action in it. I remember the first show being a very dull affair with the occasional funny yandere moment.

    But, man, I don’t think I’ve seen a season so devoid of anything new I would watch. Guess I’ll deal with God’s Blessing and Zetiria. I didn’t hate either of their initial seasons.

    elior says:

    anoudher show i will give 3 episodes rule even if it looks like clone of amagami ss is seiren

  • Neclord X says:

    Its my imagination or every premise its either incredibly mundane or incredibly weird, it’s as if they were on home wonder what they could write about then their wife said “going to buy some groceries” and the writers said “That is! Brillant!” Momoka is a girl who doesn’t like to buy groceries but she joins the Groceries club and discover the fun of buying groceries.

    Or alternatively they think “what about a series about a salaryman?” “Isn’t it a bit too boring?” “Well, let’s make the salaryman a mahou shoujo” “BRILLANT!”

    JESUS CHRIST, what is wrong with some characters departing on a epic quest? or some police thriller? Some people would say that’s overdone, but…it really is?

    I mean, right now we have been seeing deconstructions, parodies and your typical story with a twist, we even had series with twists on the twists but we have barely seen the typical story played straight in first place.

  • Gamen says:

    Your season previews really are the best for inoculating oneself against hope for the future of anime. I might try to watch Konosuba… starting with the half of the first season I didn’t watch. Besides that… I really don’t think it’s nostalgia behind my belief that anime was better when I was young. Maybe it is because the crap never got licensed, maybe it’s because the crap wasn’t being made, or maybe ’cause the crap was new and fresh and I was young… Though I suppose there was Hand Maid May and Angel Tales, so maybe it selective memory remembering the highlights of several decades. Is this what it feels like to get old? Nope, they’re definitely making more crap now.

    Gamen says:

    Bugger, I meant “(scrolls through the list again) Nope, they’re definitely making more crap now”

    Aroduc says:

    I blame the idol industry.

    Gamen says:

    I want to blame the cellphone/browser game industry too, but I have a hard time justifying it since it’s not much different from making anime from TCG like Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh… or Aquarian Age, which I did not know was a TCG until much later. They’re mostly blank slates plot-wise. I’d feel similarly ambivalent about idol anime if… Actually, no, that train of though led to realizing there might be AKB48 PVC figures, so I’m shutting it down and just saying that idol anime are creepy by association.

    LUNI_TUNZ says:

    You do know Pokémon was a video game first, right?

    And the original Yu-Gi-Oh series (by Toei) predated the real-life trading card game, and had very little to do with it – the second (more known) series, is the one that becomes all about the card game, the Toei series was mostly about Yami killing a bunch of assholes, or something.

    anise_punter says:

    They’re making more overall now, so it would stand to reason that they’re making more crap now, and lo and behold, they are. As for the decline in quality, I blame Oreimo in particular.

  • The Phantom says:

    Looking forward: Chaos Child, Konosuba, Ao No Exorcist, Zestiria, Rewrite.

    Maybe: Masamune, Honesty, Spirit pact, Chain Crhonicle, Eldlive.

  • jgoi says:

    watch konosuba s2, try out youjo senki and lwa

    everything else with moe girls and/or ecchi: hentai time

    everything else: ignored

  • Zatman says:

    Honestly the knee-jerk reaction everyone is having to Ariana Grande being the FFBVE is a little bit much. Lets see how they handle it before we get all crazy about it.

  • someone says:

    Nothing interesting. Guess I’ll work on getting caught up on Monogatari Series & Gundam-related releases.