24 Hour Porchetta Buffet and Winter Season Rundown

December 26th, 2017

Does everything being covered in a layer of ice count as a White Christmas?

I meant to get this out this afternoon, but family was… time-consuming and migraine inducing. A nap was needed. And now I'll probably be up until 3am.

Ah, winter. When everyone's waiting until Comiket for the promos. As usual, if something's sufficiently sequeled up, the exact definition of which varies depending on my mood at the time, I'm just going to assume that you're either already following it or not and don't need me to make any pithy remark about it. This season also features multiple Chinese shows that aired months ago in China, but are just now getting around to Japan, giving me a perfect excuse to snub their existence. I'm also not sure what to make of Beat Pop Epic, but since its production company has only made CGI things, and its promos so far have been just people dressed in costumes harassing passers by, I think I'm in the clear.

Let's get this party started.

Monday

IDOLiSH 7
http://idolish7.com/aninana/
Studio: TROYCA
Genre: Marketing
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 1stish

Show Premise: 
Teenagers are mass produced pop stars.

Random Thoughts:
The first two episodes actually 'aired' online back in November, and I think I'll be excused for ignoring them. Which means that its broadcast of new episodes starts on episode 3, actually on the 7th, but with the first two episodes on Japanese TV for the first time on the 1st. And yes, I consider reviewing its weird broadcast routine to be a far better use of space than talking about Yet Another Damnable Collect All The Idols Cell Phone Game Turned Into Anime To Catch More Whales. Bad CGI dance routine concert, vapid idiots hanging around expressing thoughts like "Boy, I love cake," and "Boy, being a pop star is hard but also the best." Stay tuned, because we may be revisiting this sentiment.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Pikachu…ish.

Teasing Master Takagi
http://takagi3.me/
Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 8th

Show Premise: 
Girl teases boy. Boy vows to get back at her. But could they actually like each other!?

Random Thoughts:
The promos for this are a little unusual in that it just chucks in about two minutes, seemingly from an episode or two, and lets them stand on their own. A bold move, but the danger of that is letting part of the show stand on its own. From both that and a quick check at the source, it seems to be locked into the formula of the male obnoxiously narrating some petty, stupid plan to humiliate her, but she turns the tables on him, generally by taking whatever he says or does in stride, or by lightly flirting with him, thereby making him uncomfortable. I think it's supposed to be cute, but after 90 seconds in the promo alone, I already kind of despised the male, and I kind of feel like I may have already seen all the jokes that it has to offer. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Less sexual tension than most Street Fighters.

The Dragon King's Work!
http://www.ryuoh-anime.com/
Studio: Project No.9
Genre: Comedy?
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 8th

Show Premise: 
The best shogi player in the world, a teenager, of course, is told by a little girl that he promised to teach her how to play.

Random Thoughts:
Coming to you from the director and studio that brought you loli basketball, another harem of 10 year olds ostensibly connected to some kind of school club activity, but not really. Which the promo is eager to play up, loudly proclaiming it to the world. Well, play to your strength, I guess, if you can call this a strength. Play to what you know, then. And since the promo is basically nothing but yelling about how the female lead is a grade schooler, and then assurance that it is, indeed a harem, this will surely be a compelling, witty, subversive comedy with true heart. Ha.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

'Dragon' 'king'.

Basilisk
http://basilisk-ouka.jp/
Studio: Seven Arcs
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 8th

Show Premise: 
Quasi-sequel. Ten years after the tragic end of the last major fight between the Kouga and Iga ninja clans, another war is breaking out, with two star crossed lovers again caught in the crossfire.

Random Thoughts:
I saw one of my favorite descriptions of anything ever when looking up impressions on the source novel. The comment was basically "The first was kind of a romance thing, but the sequel is more of a sex/gore/battle nonsense thing." That seems to be the general consensus as well; that the author either lazily crapped out something to cash in, or was trying to experiment and failed miserably. So even if you were a fan of the Gonzo-made first one, I would be wary, doubly so given Seven Arcs's recent track record. The promo is also full of red flags, the biggest of which are how it promises ninja battles and high drama, but only thinks it's worth showing a branch getting cut, and people staring forlornly at the screen. Especially the latter.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Eyeball wizard tooth thing.

Tuesday

A Story That Leads to The Antarctica
http://yorimoi.com/
Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 2nd

Show Premise: 
High school girls go to the Antarctica.

Random Thoughts:
As opposed to just any old Antarctica, I guess. This is a completely original thing, being done somewhat weirdly by the same staff as No Game, No Life's adaptation, which I doubt has much bearing on anything, but there's not much else to go on. The promos are just shots of girls staring listlessly into the distance, smiling at each other, or pictures of industrial ships. None of the promo is in Antarctica, unless global warming has turned it into a lush grassland. And put a city there. So I guess the title is more of a mission statement than the actual content. That appears to just be teenage girls doing their bestest. Again. For the fifty seven thousand seven hundred and thirty fourth time.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I hope they're all eaten by yetis. Yeti? What's the plural anyway?

Overlord
http://overlord-anime.com/
Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 9th

Show Premise: 
Sequel. The continuing adventures of a kid who turned into his overpowered avatar in an MMO.

Random Thoughts:
The first episode of the first season was 20 minutes of closeups of the protagonist's face while sitting on a throne as people talked at him. I decided that was about as much as I could take. Supposedly, the big 'awesome' thing he does later in the season is stand there, invincible due to his special MMO awesomeness, while being attacked, and then hugs someone to death. How is god mode even an interesting power fantasy at all? I blame Dragonball. It's all the same staff and same studio, so I have no doubt it'll be more of the exact same, but probably with fewer death hugs and more cleavage, because that's how sequels always go.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

This season, he adopts a skeleton cat.

Wednesday

Violet Evergarden
http://violet-evergarden.jp/
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 10th

Show Premise: 
Violet Evergarden is an Auto Memory Doll, a robot girl, who was used as a soldier, but has been reassigned to the post office.

Random Thoughts:
Ah, the ol' Victorian era highly advanced AIs. We can build sentient robots with souls, but warfare has only made it to bayonets and cannons. That definitely makes sense. Anyway, the promos are all about bloom, bloom, and bloom. Well, that and girls with excessively detailed eyes standing in the wind, staring forlornly at the camera. But with Kyoto Animation's budget behind it, so there's 50% more detail in the hair, and 150% more wind. The light novel it's based on seems to have been received mostly favorably, but there are definitely recurring things I saw that give me pause. It's apparently just a collection of meandering short stories without any kind of purpose or direction, ostensibly about an 'emotionless' robot girl exploring the little things that make people people. Yeah, haven't seen that chestnut a billion other times before, with and without closeups of CGI mechanical hands. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Wind is only good for capes and scarves.

Hopeless Princes
http://damepri-anime.jp/
Studio: AX Creative/Studio Flad
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 10th

Show Premise: 
Princess Ani is surrounded by pretty boys, including two hopeless princes.

Random Thoughts:
Oh good. Another boy harem phone game, but the kind without gambling and/or bilking people out of absurd amounts of money. I actually chuckled looking up the original game. There's only two possible ways for a relationship to go: making out, or a suplex. That, I suspect, would be all the entertainment I can wring from this franchise. Certainly more than the promos promised, slideshows of the pretty boys giving smoldering or idiot gazes at the screen interspersed with the doe-eyed ninny of a harem master also staring in general drooling stupidity.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Onward, my sheep.

Thursday

Laid-Back Camp
http://yurucamp.jp/
Studio: C-Station
Genre: Comedy?
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 4th

Show Premise: 
Girls are members of a camping club.

Random Thoughts:
This would supposedly be one of those 'soothing' things, and lord knows that the promo has nothing but calming music and some shots of scenery, so I can believe that. I've never understood them though, let alone the appeal. Is the difference between girls sitting around doing absolutely nothing, but at a campsite, really so different simply because it's a campsite instead of a clubroom? A cafe? A classroom? An apartment? A kitchen? Antarctica? I'm apparently not enough of a connoisseur to be able to tell.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

All the fun of another Big the Cat fishing sequence.

Ramen Lover Koizumi
http://ramen-koizumi.com/
Studio: Studio Gokumi
Genre: Comedy?
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 4th

Show Premise: 
Koizumi loves ramen.

Random Thoughts:
A show that sexualizes food? With a girl constantly blushing and orgasming over the pure flavor? Brave new ground here, Japan. Apparently this even had a live action version already, somehow. If you're hoping for an in depth look at ramen, or some crazy ramen stuff, then you're hoping for the adaptation to diverge wildly from the source, which seems to be entirely fetishized consumption. The ramen is just a convenient prop to lure in that huge ramen fandom. I'm not even sure what the jokes are supposed to be. That she likes ramen? And other characters don't really get it? Okay. Sure. Whatever.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

They're no Burger King Kid's Club.

Death March to a Parallel World Rhapsody
http://deathma-anime.com/
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Comedy?
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 11th

Show Premise: 
Ichiro wakes up in one of his fantasy video games as an overpowered character. He immediately turns himself into an awkward teenager with an ever-expanding harem.

Random Thoughts:
Nothing inspires hope quite like a cut rate power fantasy harem light novel adaptation with a vast array of poor reviews. The "death march" in the title refers to project management, and is abandoned within sentences apparently since it has nothing to do with having a harem of 12 year olds or being the most powerful being in all existence. I suppose it's Silver Link, and specifically their director who once upon a time used to take an interesting visual and comedic tack to shows, but with his soul apparently consumed by half a decade of being stuck working on Prisma Ilya, and a promo mostly consisting of especially horrendous-looking CGI, I personally suspect his soul died years ago.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Hey, kid. Wanna visit my parallel world?

Love is Like the Time After Rain
http://www.koiame-anime.com/
Studio: Studio Wit
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 11th

Show Premise: 
Teenage girl has a crush on her 45 year old boss.

Random Thoughts:
Let's set aside the skeeviness of the premise. Wait, no. Let's not. Because this is Japanese writing, so the entire thing is premised on him doing some random thing for her that wasn't 150% sociopathic, bought her some coffee I believe, and now she is devoted to him, heart and soul. And he's just going to blush and mumble his way around and oh isn't that such a cute teenage romance and not creepy in any way at all. And this is before other employees start using blackmail to force dates. Not blackmail about the skeevy romance, mind you. Of course not. That's totes wholesome and innocent and etc etc. Essentially, all this does is pick a particularly awful gimmick for the male side of the typical creepy girly romance story. Great work. What a niche to fill.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Roy Moore approved. BAM! Social commentary.

Märchen Mädchen
http://maerchen-anime.com/
Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Genre: I have no idea
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 11th

Show Premise: 
Hazuki is transported to a fantasy world where she goes to school to learn to be fairy tale themed magic girls.

Random Thoughts:
I actually had kind of a hard time figuring out practically anything about this. The promo is just a bunch of generic shots of girls scampering around classrooms (more like standing around), the website is basically a Wikipedia page defining the dumb terms they use for "magic," "magic girl," and "magic school," and the Wikipedia/Amazon pages are virtually empty of any useful information. I think the most telling comment was a review stating basically "Magic girls. It's what you'd expect." Another lauds it for being a light novel with a female protagonist. The website lists some kind of intramural battle tournament for granting wishes, but I see not even a hint of that in literally anything else, and definitely nowhere in the promos. I guess this has some infamy because it was supposed to be some kind of big mixed media franchise back in 2014… except that the author suddenly died, so they pitched his drafts to a ghostwriter to finish… and then continue, still using his name. I suspect that these things could very well be related.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Will contain -50% of the weird murder normally in fairy tales.

How to Keep a Mummy
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/miira/
Studio: 8-bit
Genre: Comedy?
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 11th

Show Premise: 
Sora's father sends him a tiny mummy pet.

Random Thoughts:
If you're wondering why the Japanese word for "mummy" is "miira", here's your fun Portuguese lesson for the day, because when choosing languages for loanwords, why not Portuguese? Why not Portuguese. You see, crazy-ass Portuguese pirates were selling Egyptian mummies as homeopathic medicine, and they contained myrrh, which is apparently confusing. So the Japanese yuppies ended up calling the ground-up mummies they were using to season their kale and quinoa 'myrrh.' I don't know what the word for 'myrrh' is. Probably 'sriracha.' This awesome linguistic backstory has about 1850% more hilarity than the source material, to say nothing of the promo. You see, the mummy is small, but came in a large box. It is also clumsy. This upsets the guy's friends, all of whom have their own tiny version of awkward mythical creatures. Laughs a minute. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Pachimari says "Kill all other merchandise."

Friday

Itou Junji Collection
http://itojunji-anime.com/
Studio: Studio Deen
Genre: Thriller
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 5th

Show Premise: 
An anthology of horror stories from author Itou Junji.

Random Thoughts:
This would be one of Japan's foremost horror authors, although many of his stories seem a bit phoned in. For example, his most famous 'monster' is Tomie, a succubus that drives people to madness, but also comes back to life when killed. Dracula, eat your heart out. It's basically Japan's Jason, having approaching a dozen movies, including Tomie: The Final Chapter. It would, of course, be followed by four sequels, including Tomie vs Tomie, and Tomie Unlimited. Another story is about "hole mountain" which has evil holes that people are compelled to stuff themselves into. You've probably also seen screenshots of various incarnations of "Tokyo Fish Attack," likely of a shark bursting into a room, using Doc Ock legs powered by human souls, which smell like egg farts. That would also be Itou Junji's work. They can't all be winners, I suppose, although his style is definitely much more towards grotesque shock and kind of corny B-movie stuff, and the production seems to be going all in on both overdramatized shock and a total lack of a budget. Truly a match made in heaven. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

But what of the true terror, wheelie sharks?

Katana Maidens
http://tojinomiko.jp/
Studio: Studio Gokumi
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 5th

Show Premise: 
Girls go to high school and fight monsters and/or each other.

Random Thoughts:
This is part of a franchise spanning phone RPG, manga, and anime, but the latter two starting virtually simultaneously, and the game not coming until some unknown time. To its credit, despite the painfully generic everything about the premise, there's only one shot in all the promo stuff where someone doesn't have a sword in their hands, often being swung at giant flaming skull golems. The PVs are short though, and said shot is a framing/displayal of huge breasts. Gokumi's pretty average at best on production, director's a newbie, and the writer (same as who's in charge of adapting Ramen Koizumi) has mostly worked on drek like Cinderella Girls. I guess at least the marketing department seems to get that the action part is what to advertise, and there is enough available for a couple short commercials. More than can be said for most, especially this season.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Or I could watch an Automata playthrough while drunk.

Record of the Grancest War
http://grancrest-anime.jp/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 5th

Show Premise: 
Warriors are able to fight evil thanks to the holy powers they have, but almost all of them decide to abuse their powers, conquer the land, and fight each other to amass even more power.

Random Thoughts:
The truly ancient among you may remember shows/franchises like Lodoss War, Rune Soldier, and Starship Operators created by a crazy author né tabletop RPG rulebook writer. This guy's been writing LNs since the 80s, pretty much nonstop too. Eventually, the Lodoss/Rune Soldier wells dried up, or maybe he just wanted to make a light fantasy version of Warhammer. I mean, who doesn't want to play as a Time Quester? The promos are unfortunately kind of lackluster, and fantasy epic is very far away from the director's previous works (Sankarea, that boring Rakugo thing, the worstest season of Rozen Maiden). More unfortunately, consensus on the LN being adapted here is that it exists basically just to deliver exposition about the setting in order to sell the associated game, and the characters are at many points nonexistent. So much for Deedlit's legacy.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Roll 2d6 to save vs land piranha.

BEATLESS
http://beatless-anime.jp/
Studio: Diomedea
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 12th

Show Premise: 
In the distant future, a boy meets a protoype super powerful robot girl weapon thingy on the run from other super powerful robot girl weapon thingies, and takes her in.

Random Thoughts:
Speaking of that writer, they're (helping) adapt this as well. Let's continue with the director then, who's been around forever and worked on everything from Slayers to Fullmetal Alchemist to Gundam, so he's got chops, especially in action. The promos for this aren't great though, being about two thirds dead space, and one third severed arms and barely-dressed girls holding giant weapons smiling coquettishly and/or sadistically for the camera. Good use of silence though. Less would've been much more, especially had the less been cutting out about the seventy billion shots of people wandering around the city. The source seems to have mostly positive reviews, although kind of comes off as Battle Chobits with somehow an even more nonsensical romance thrown in. Or perhaps Robo-Sekirei for those of you not quite anci… Oh god, Sekirei was almost a decade ago. What has my life become?

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Unfortunately, a heart pun, not a violence pun.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
http://hakatatonkotsu-anime.com/
Studio: Satelight
Genre: Action?
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 12th

Show Premise: 
The Hakata ward of Fukuoka is filled with criminals. I guess they serve tonkotsu ramen there.

Random Thoughts:
I kind of loved reading through reviews of the source novel. It won some critics reward, and easily half the reviews are basically "How the hell did this win anything?" It was extremely heavily marketed as being totally the next DRRRRRRRRRRRR (how is that a plus?), even getting a crossover (by this author), and seems to share many of the same traits; a setting hastily thrown together by what a fourteen year old thinks is cool that makes absolutely no sense, a bunch of vignettes hopping between a billion teenagers rather than any kind of overarching story, so on and so forth. Its promo is certainly one of the most animated and stylish of the season though, which is kind of weird since this staff has a history of true blandness. Must be Satelight exerting their production strength. I'm not sure I'd expect much more than the animators getting to have some fun here and there for this one.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Brooklyn distressed broccoli.

Hakumei and Mikochi
http://hakumiko.com/
Studio: Lerche
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 12th

Show Premise:
Hakumei and Mikochi are tiny girls who live in the forest.

Random Thoughts:
Hot on the heels of the various shows about two to four mundane girls bumbling around canals, the apocalypse, zombies, comes this, two girls doing the David the Gnome thing. Except that David the Gnome balanced a life of fighting trolls, wizards, and naked fairies, with a healthy marriage and family life. These would be your traditional Japanese teenagers, barely capable of dressing themselves. And they use the gimmick of in ways like… they go to a festival and are voted idol. Never saw David the Gnome do that, did ya!? For good goddamned reasons. Hell, these gnomes even have cities. They have industry. The barely animated promos make it even clearer that this exists in the first place because someone wanted to draw backgrounds for fairy stuff, and was inconvenienced by having to also put in things like a character and story. Well, pretending like there are characters and a story. There are people shaped things and words, at any rate, in the hopes that'll fool someone.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Likely to be eaten by an angry toad.

Killing Bites
http://killingbites-anime.com/
Studio: LIDENFILMS
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 12th

Show Premise: 
Beast-girls fight each other in tournaments. Dog and badger girls move in with useless loser.

Random Thoughts:
Speaking of Sekirei… Well, the promos seem to prioritize the action, and appear to be pretending like the sad sack harem master doesn't exist at all, which shows their heart is in the right place. It's Liden though, and they struggle with production in the best of times, so I can't help but feel like even the speedline filled stuff in the promos is probably the best action this is going to have. Well, also that they seem to always be fighting in their underwear, or with the camera shoved up their crotches, or dressed like maids in 2 inch skirts with their asses propped up as high as they go. The source manga is apparently formulaic as all hell. New animal antagonist appears, recitation of Wikipedia entry on it, animal defeated. Fill the rest of the time with upskirt shots as needed.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Yeah, I've seen how this works out already.

Soul Hunter
http://www.tvhoushin-engi.com/
Studio: C-Station
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 12th

Show Premise: 
Reboot. Super wizards send super wizard neophyte to fight the evil empire in a world of Chinese clowns.

Random Thoughts:
The promo blew its load too fast with two characters pointing at each other, neither moving, while about five frames of rope whips around them on a loop. But what does one expect from a Jump adventure thing? NOT having speedlines? NOT having every character look like some kind of haphazard cross of designs from Ringling Brothers, Disney, and Taoism? Apparently the original adapation diverged too much, so they're taking a mulligan. I'm sure it'll be even Jumpier than ever before. Seriously though. Where the hell do they come up with these costumes?

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Custer, jump on it. Jump on it. Jump on it.

The Seven Heavenly Virtues
http://7-virtues.net/anime/
Studio: Bridge
Genre: Boobs
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 26th

Show Premise: 
Sequel. Having conquered hell and the Seven Deadly Sins, Lucifer sets her sights on heaven. The Seven Heavenly Virtues set out to the human world to find their savior.

Random Thoughts:
Weirdly, this is a completely different studio and staff from its predecessor, but seems to share the salient points; a lack of pants, all of them fondling themselves, a lack of underwear, sexual characteristics resembling inflatable toys in size and weight, and having the budget of a two episode OVA being used for a three month series. I tried to give the original the benefit of the doubt, and I still only made it to the episode where they had a pole dance competition using nothing but stills. I suppose it's all original anyway, so who knows what they're going to do with any of it, but I can't imagine anybody's holding their breath for anything but gawking at some T&A. All the anime is likely to do is provide moans and slightly different poses than what are already on the site and/or in the promos. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Heavenly bodies made of pudding.

Saturday

Shinkalion
http://www.shinkalion.com/
Studio: Oriental Lights and Magic
Genre: Merchandising
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 6th

Show Premise: 
Hayato and pals transform trains into giant robots to fight a giant evil train robot.

Random Thoughts:
Or to use its proper full title, Transforming Train Robots: Shinkalion – The Animation. It's a kid's show, transparently being made to sell toys, but it's a new franchise, so I guess I have to mention it. It's not like it's any less shameless than any of these idol or phone game things, and has to have bright colors, loud noises, and flashing lights in order to attract attention instead of just filling every episode up with twenty minutes of soothing pastel colors and pointy-chinned nitwits smiling at the screen. Or maybe I just consider cheap plastic transforming toys a more wholesome industry than pop star and gambling BS.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Train subsidy.

The Seven Deadly Sins
http://www.7-taizai.net/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 6th

Show Premise: 
Sequel. The continuing adventures of a group of seven former knights fighting against various other themed fantasy groups.

Random Thoughts:
No, the other Seven Deadly Sins. The Jump one about an obnoxious shouting teenager and his band of merry men with some kind of themed power as they shout out the name of it so that the text can appear on screen, and it all comes down to believing in the power of friendship. Also, there's a goofy sidekick. Soul Hunter has some kind of hippo. This has a pig. Some of the staff is different from the first season, but I doubt it'll be getting any less Jump for it, oscillating madly between overblown melodrama, slapstick, and loud noises trying to pass as fight scenes.  

Preseason Swing Rating: 

D̶̢̕rin̵ķ̸̸ ҉̸y͢o͜u̴r͡͡ ̸̴o̡͞v̵̨͞a͞l̨̕͟t̀̕in̡̛͟e

Citrus
http://citrus-anime.com/
Studio: Passione
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 6th

Show Premise: 
Yuzu is trendy. Mei is uptight. They're stepsisters and have crushes on each other.

Random Thoughts:
This seems to be distinguishing itself from others of its ilk by taking its cues from the more boy on boy cliches, specifically that one of the two is a serial sexual predator, which causes the victim to develop a crush on them. The promo hits all the things you'd think it would; pastel colors, girls froofing up their hair, sparkly backgrounds, one of them pushing down the other to straddle them, etc, etc. Still, I can't help but smile when I see that the Cosprayer guy is still getting work. Shine on, you crazy awful diamond.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Something something beaver abuse.

Sanrio Boys
http://sdan-anime.com/
Studio: Studio Pierrot
Genre: Merchandising
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 6th

Show Premise: 
Boys love Sanrio, the company behind Hello Kitty and associated merchandise.

Random Thoughts:
I don't get it. I really, really don't. I understand making a show to sell some toy, or CD, or a video game. But this? This is selling the fandom. Of a company. And this is franchise. Sanrio created multiple manga, a phone game, a line of merchandise, and now this. We mock Pokemon, GI Joe, etc for its crass "BUY THEM ALL!" consumerism. It's an easy sell to say "Hey, lightning rats/gun-haver is cool!" But this… this is mind boggling. And the game's a dating sim at that. Your choice is the gamut of pretty boys who are obsessed with Sanrio merchandise. There is a merchandise line to create fans of being fans of the merchandise. Trying to even wrap my head around this thing's existence is making me feel like I've gazed into the maw of the dark.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

All you love will burn

Slow Start
http://slow-start.com/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Comedy?
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 6th

Show Premise: 
Slow Start causes the Attack stat and Speed stat to be halved during the first five turns in battle.

Random Thoughts:
The actual premise is that a girl is insecure because she's a year older than her classmates. Due to mumps. Way to vaccinate. That's the biggest gimmick they could apparently think up for Yet Another Damnable 4-Panel Fluff Bit About Girls In School. One of them is a little insecure about something. Apparently the author used up all his creativity on Bottle Fairy, a fluff bit about girls who live in bottles, and now we're fleeing towards utter banality. And the promo assures us that of course, they are going to make stupid faces as they faff about. Joy. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Quick escape

Darling in the Franxx
http://darli-fra.jp/
Studio: Trigger/A-1 Pictures
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 13th

Show Premise: 
In the distant, apocalyptic future, male-female teenage pairs know nothing but piloting giant robot women for battle. As boy-girl pairs, obviously.

Random Thoughts:
This is completely original with next to no promotional material to go off of, although it's getting a light franchise treatment with a simultaneous manga version being done by… the To Love-ru dude. Which doesn't seem to fit the tone of the scant bit of the promo; angsty teenage melodrama. You'll notice that I didn't mention robots. That's because they appear nowhere in any of the promo videos, only on the website. You'd think the selling point of the giant robot show would be the giant robots, but what do I know? My favorite is the one with striped stockings. It really sells 'stupid' in a way that all the ones with mere skirts and breasts don't.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Restock missiles, refuel jet boosters, repaint stockings…

Fate/EXTRA Last Encore
http://fate-extra-lastencore.com/
Studio: Shaft
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 27th

Show Premise: 
Hakuno wakes up in a virtual world with a servant in the midst of a battle royale for the Holy Grail.

Random Thoughts:
I think perhaps we've all had about as much of the Fate franchise as we can stand for a while, but there's a gacha game to milk, so the milking must continue. This would be an adaptation of the PSP spinoff where they said "What if instead of magic, it was in an MMO? With magic?" And then slapped on an incredibly awful gameplay engine just to piss everybody off. And then, on top of this, they decided to go with goddamned Saber as the protagonist's partner instead of Tamamo. Shaft, I remember when you used to buck the expected. And make no mistake, while the promotional stuff is scarce beyond specifying which characters they'll be using, they make sure to fit in some close-ups of eyes, so it's definitely Shaft.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
I'm serious about Tamamo. Saber can eat a butt.

Sunday

Cardcaptor Sakura – The Clear Cards
http://ccsakura-official.com/
Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Nostalgia
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 7th 

Show Premise: 
Sequel. The continuing adventures of a magical girl collecting magical cards, but now slightly older, and the cards more transparent.

Random Thoughts:
I remember having a fondness for Clamp waaaay back when I started blogging, but I'm not sure I could enumerate why anymore. I'm not sure it matters even if I could since their strength was kind of sappy sentimentality, which has become the flavoring of choice of damn near everything these days. I also can't help but think back to the excessively masturbatory OVA from a few months back that serves as the 'prologue' to reviving a franchise that's been resting in blissful peace for the last two decades… the weird Clamp multiverse nonsense notwithstanding. At least the promos do have gouges being cut out of the street. Maybe it will do more of that, or take some cues from more recent Clamp things and involve lots of eye gouging and dismemberment… after a billion years. I wouldn't hold my breath though. Rocking the boat is too scary. Can't risk upsetting any fans after all. Especially not in a Sunday morning timeslot.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Rare view of CLAMP's offices right now.

Moment by Moment
http://kokkoku-anime.com/
Studio: Geno Studio
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 7th

Show Premise: 
When Juri's brother is kidnapped by a cult, her grandfather reveals that her family is the keepers of a magic stone that lets them enter a world where time is frozen.

Random Thoughts:
You see, there are magic time jellyfish that you can absorb to get time powers, except that Juri has special anti-time anti-jellyfish anti-powers. And also, the time jellyfish can turn people into tree monsters if they hang around the time world too much. Oh shoot. I think I accidentally summarized the first three hundred pages of the source. Don't expect X-Men, Time Cops edition here. Exposition, exposition, exposition, the occasional gory shot, and more exposition is the name of the game. The 'gimmick' seems to be that the core protagonists are all mundanes. Blands. The boring neighbors next door. Well, let me tell you something, Japan. You do not need to bland up your characters any more than they already are.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Are they really a crazy cult if they can prove the jellyfish exist?

Tri-Star Colors
http://mitsuboshi-anime.com/
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Comedy?
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 7th

Show Premise: 
Three girls are members of a secret club policing their local park.

Random Thoughts:
And here we have Silver Link's B team, blazing brave new territory with girls in a club, hanging out, but instead of school, it's in a park. And the promos do certainly have girls. And they exist. Consensus appears to be that it's a pretty shameless knockoff of Strawberry Marshmallow, for better or worse. That's yet another thing I never got, and yet appears to be what entirely too many shows seem to be morphing into, and yet, keep coming out of the woodwork. I think it's time we move on to creating a billion hospital dramas, Japan. At least you might accidentally teach someone medicine instead.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Eat the rich.

Sword Dance
http://www.touken-hanamaru.jp/
Studio: Dogakobo
Genre: Idiocy
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 7th

Show Premise: 
Sequel. The continuing adventures of a bunch of sword-boys lounging around an estate.

Random Thoughts:
This is a sequel not to the previous Sword Dance, which was a melodramatic affair, but to the previous iteration belonging to the same overarching franchise. If you've forgotten, they're still all pretty boys, but instead of fighting zombies and clutching their fists in angst, they lounge around an estate, primping and preening while getting their hair did. God willing, this will be the last time I ever mention this idiotic franchise ever again.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

♪♫♬♪♫♬♪♫♬♪♫♬♪♫♬.

School Babysitters
http://gakubaby-anime.com/
Studio: Brains Base
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
premieres January 7th

Show Premise: 
Ryuichi and his infant brother are adopted under the stipulation that he runs the school's daycare.

Random Thoughts:
Oh boy. The same thing as that mummy show, but more 'grounded' in reality by using indentured servitude, and with a bottom of the barrel Brains Base budget. Hell if I can even tell what this is supposed to be. You'd think some kind of situational comedy, but the source is more concerned with excessive melodrama. To the point of "I need to call my parents! …OH NO, I FORGOT! MY PARENTS ARE DEAD!" And then follows a half dozen pages of mugging for the camera and proselytizing about how dramatic and wonderful it is to be weepy. A Brains Base show all the way then.  

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Beats having the babies in charge. On Twitter.

Closing Thoughts:

Blissfully light on the idol shows, I suppose. And it's been a while since Okada inflicted anything on us. Small miracles. Still, I feel like we're overdue for another crazy-ass Sunrise action trainwreck, to say nothing of something decent in the vein of Burn Up or Gunsmith Cats. Hell, I'd even take another go at Burn Up or Gunsmith Cats, if only for the fond memories it would dredge up and proceed to violate by inevitably turning into a high school friendship club show. As all things must now be. So it is written. So it must be.

I may have some side news related to the blog in a month or two, or may not. I may also be up and moving at some point in the same time frame, hitting the pause button on all blog related things for a little bit. Interesting times ahead. At least moreso than 2017. Hopefully far less so than the fiascofest that was 2016. No plans for the rest of the week for posts in the New Years 'holiday' between seasons time (besides Fate/Apoc's last episode). I'm sure I'll throw up something on Thursday or Friday though, even if it's just random T&A. Enjoy the break.

Posted in Season Preview | 10 Comments »

10 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • jgoi says:

    7 virtues, killing bites, overlord s2, maybe fate extra if it isn’t crap like apocrypha, that’s it.

    Karakai Jouzu’s gimmick bored me 5 chapters in, no way I could stand that for 12+ eps without takagi fanservice which I know there’s very little of and all G-rated.

    If Franxx’s male MC didn’t exist I would give it a chance.

    japan, animate more Danshi Koukousei. That was fun.

    [Reply]

  • abc says:

    Nothing that lit my fire here. even sequels do not warm my heart.. looks grim

    [Reply]

  • anise_punter says:

    already set for three girls faffing about shows (I watch all of these things and even I couldn’t tell you how Slow Start isn’t a terrible idea even by these standards, maybe A-1’s generally higher floor can salvage something?), the Fate/nonsense (speaking of catastrophically low floors, here’s SHAFT!), the Saiki sequel and the candy store thing sequel for… reasons.

    I’m sure I’ll find ten more things to decide to watch between now and January 15th, five of which I will hate, four of which I will be meh on and one of them will be like an 8/10. No idea what.

    [Reply]

    anise_punter says:

    I guess there’s Violet Evergarden too, I don’t know why I keep watching these Kyoani shows when they’ve had two good ones in five years. Seven years?

    Maybe “Katana Maidens” is counting on comparisons to the dreadful battle girls high, and so when it’s only like a 5/10 show it seems amazing.

    [Reply]

  • Fluffums says:

    … Houshin Engi? If the anime follows the manga it will be insane.

    Beatless is kind of interesting. It might be worth watching.

    … Death March, huh. If they gloss over the parts where the main character is acting like a servant to his slaves, and focus on the fight scenes, it could be pretty interesting to see it animated. But why do I feel like they’ll do the opposite? Gotta sell that loli merchandise!

    [Reply]

  • The Phantom says:

    Well if you need to pause take the pause, but come back as we will sorely miss your blog, I know for sure I will. Gotta say Happy new year to you.

    Seems a lot better than last season: Sakura and Soul Hunter are must watch for the nostalgia alone, Fate extra not sure what to say maybe it will not be THAT bad, Gran Crest (you misspelled the title), darli fra, Beatless, Death March are all worth checking out, maybe kokkoku, in all it looks better than the last season ever hoped to achieve.

    [Reply]

  • Neclord X says:

    Jesús christ, this is a really TERRIBLe season to start the year. Also, still can’t believe Killing Bits got an anime and Arachnid didnt, they are pretty much the exact same thing by the same author, but at least arachnid was “so dumb that is funny”, while bits is just dumb.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous says:

    holy shit houshin engi is actually gettting another adaptation, SEASON SAVED

    [Reply]

  • v1cious says:

    You didn’t mention Masaaki Yuasa’s Devilman series, which actually looks quite good.

    [Reply]

  • catsb says:

    seams weaker than last season, at a glance I can only find 3 shows I would be interested in

    [Reply]

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