Limited Time Half Price Premium Edition Spring Season Preview

March 30th, 2018

It's way too late in the year for my car to still be frozen over in the morning.

I meant to have this up earlier in the week, but was busy with Aroduc stuff over the weekend. It also didn't help that this season is looking pretty weak, mainly kneecapped by the fact that there are a fetric muckton of sequels/spinoffs/remakes. You know what? Let's go ahead and list out every single goddamned franchise that's already getting a second+ series this season, just to drive that point home.

1.) Amanchu
2.) Beyblade
3.) Captain Tsubasa
4.) Cute High Earth Defense Club
5.) Cutie Honey
6.) Fist of the North Star
7.) Food Wars
8.) Full Metal Panic
9.) Future Card Buddyfight
10.) Galactic Heroes
11.) Gundam Build Fighters
12.) High School DxD
13. ) Hozuki's Coolheadedness
14.) Idol Activity
15.) Inazuma Eleven
16.) Kitarou 
17.) Lupin III
18.) Major
19.) My Hero Academia
20.) Persona
21.) Pretty Rhythm
22.) Steins;Gate
23.) Sword Art Online
24.) Tokyo Ghoul
25.) Tomorrow's Joe
26.) Wixoss

Twenty goddamned six. And these are only the full length ones. There are even more if you start including dross like Chi's Sweet Home. I could include Professor Layton in there too since it has a movie, but instead I'll just ignore it for being a Sunday morning kid's show, and replacing the titular character with a teenage girl and a talking dog. And if I included it, I'd have to include the Piano Forest thing too, and then we'd be almost up to 30, which would make me cry.

I have only (barely) enough magnanimity to comment on five of the above. And let me tell you, it was easy to narrow down the field. The only tossup was for the fifth slot. It was a struggle to decide between a sports franchise ostensibly going sci fi with no little direct connection to the original, an ostensibly sci fi franchise that's to date actually been just melodramatic talking heads, and a show about how all the cool 12 year old girls are camwhores. Feel free to guess which was which. Anyway, let's get to it.

Sunday

Horse Girls – Pretty Derby
https://umamusume.jp/anime/
Studio: PA Works
Genre: Merchandising
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 1st (two episode broadcast)

Show Premise: 
Special Week is a horse girl. She wants to be the horsiest horse girl.

Random Thoughts:
And what a start to the non-sequels we have. A PA Works show about girls being girls, but they're also horses, except not at all, and they do… something. You'd think that this is from plumbing the depths of school club activities. settling on track, and adding a post-hoc gimmick to it, but this is actually an adaptation of a cellphone idol raising game, if you can believe it. This is the animation part of the advertisement for this bizarre new franchise, featuring over sixty goddamned horse girls, literally every single goddamned one of them getting their own song on a collection of half a dozen CDs and growing by the week. They run in their dresses. I would say that it comes from someone having the genius idea that animating running is WAAAAAY easier than a complicated dance routine, but they have concerts in between races, so it really is literally just an idol thing, except with horse ears, occasionally running some laps, and the characters having slightly stranger names. God's light truly does not shine here.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I guess Japan already ruined centaurs anyway.

Cutie Honey Universe
http://cutiehoney-u.com/
Studio: Production Reed
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 8th

Show Premise: 
Cutie Honey, android master of disguise, fights against the terrorist organization, Panther Claw.

Random Thoughts:
Let's start with the bad/weird. Production Reed is crap. Granted, they haven't done an action show to date. Hell, they rarely even do anything lasting longer than 12 minutes. Maybe this is their breakout show. I doubt it. Second, instead of promoting things like the stylish action the last iteration had going for it, marketing for it is instead focusing on how they're going to be having guest VAs doing the disguised Honey's voices, and a goddamned idol group is handling the music. I liked Re: Cutie Honey. Well, the first episode at least. It was energetic, full of badasses kicking ass, and everyone having a blast. A bit loud, but I suspect I had more patience back then, or at least tolerance. Then the budget ran out and they decided to fill the next two with insecurity and angst. Still, that's starting with more of a positive feeling towards the franchise than at least 25 other things this season, so it's got to count for something.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
   
Something something honey flash.

The Libra of Nil Admirari
http://nilad-anime.com/
Studio: Zero-G
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 8th

Show Premise:
When Kuze's brother tries to kill himself due to a cursed magic book, she gains the ability to see auras, and is recruited into the magic book police.

Random Thoughts:
This would be an adaptation of one of those boy-harem things, where the girl has some ill-defined magic power that presents mostly as staring in doe-eyed shock as a gaggle of pretty boys in increasingly bizarre outfits parade themselves in front of her. Basically the same as girl-harems, I guess, but with fewer "BOIOIOING" noises and boob windows. The promos look as generic and dull as it comes, although the costumes do seem to trend upward on on the flamboyant scale. No monocles though, so that tired, long-running joke of this site gets to live on.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

It's called fashion, honey.

The Caligula Effect
http://caligula-anime.com/
Studio: Satelight
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 8th

Show Premise: 
An idol AI has trapped a bunch of unhappy people in a virtual world. Some want out. Some want to stay. They fight.

Random Thoughts:
Adaptation of a game that is almost universally described as "some neat ideas, terrible execution, and even worse gameplay." It's essentially a wannabe Persona, but with the gameplay complexity ratched up to untenable levels, the difficulty ratched way down, and every chapter's story is "I was picked on." The protagonists want to face their problems. The antagonists don't. That's about the depth the game goes into. Satelight's a bit of a weird studio for this, but it's their Nagato Yuki team, so more like the C or D squad. I will admit that the promo doesn't look awful. There's action, style, and animation. Perhaps if they can jettison enough of the baggage of the original game, I wouldn't be shocked if a passable show can be pulled from the skeleton of the premise, but deviating from the source in any way, let alone a positive one, isn't exactly a hallmark of Japanese adaptations.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Runs on a pair of Tandy 1000s.

The Piano Forest
http://piano-anime.jp/index.html
Studio: Fukushima Gainax
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 8th

Show Premise: 
Kai is poor. Shuuhei is rich. They both play piano. There's a piano. It's in a forest.

Random Thoughts:
Lest the Gainax association excite you, the Fukushima branch is the one that focuses more on the artsy fartsy projects like marketing, advertising, and marketing. My favorite is "Flying Babies," an upcoming idol show, but in Hawaii. To advertise Hawaii. Because… come to Hawaii, there are half naked teenage girls. Anyway, this had a movie in 2007 and here we have a remake, seemingly with the characters aged up from adolescents to teenagers for the added drama. The promo is just one of the dudes playing a piano. Sure, we can all get behind a Rhapsody Rabbit performance, but the entire minute of the promo had about as much animation as Bugs did shooting a member of the audience. Add that to the first episode, and maybe we'll talk.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Or maybe add a billion spiders that live inside the piano.

Monday

Magical Girl Boy
http://magicalgirl-ore.com/
Studio: Pierrot Plus
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 2nd (March 25 pre-air)

Show Premise: 
Saki wants to be a magical girl. Instead, she transforms into a burly man in a frilly dress.

Random Thoughts:
The first two episodes were broadcast early as a special last Sunday. Normally, I'd post something on that, but I was pretty much done with the show by the ten minute mark. By that point, it had had a four minute dream sequence, featuring the hilarious joke "Hey, remember the 'Nice Boat' thing?" and then had not one, but goddamned two idol sequences. It wouldn't get to its 'hilarious' subversion of its premise, a gender backwards version of a different show entering its third season this week, until the closing minutes of the episode. I did flip through the second. Most of it was yelling "THIS IS LIKE A MAGICAL GIRL CLICHE, BUT IT IS MORE NOT!" Like if you thought you could enjoy any of Komugi, Dokuro, Poemy, Punie, Panty and Stocking, or god knows how many others without the magical girl's name in the title, but feel like what they really needed was replacing the jokes with loudly explaining what the jokes were, and CD advertisements baked in.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Unfashionably late to the party.

Spirit World Cooking
http://kakuriyo-anime.com/
Studio: GONZO
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 2nd

Show Premise: 
Aoi is carted away to marry some spirit creature to pay off her family's debt. Instead, she makes a deal to be their indentured servant cook.

Random Thoughts:
The first promo is scenery and cherry blossoms in the wind. The second is a montage of faces saying things dramatically, while the voice over delivers a completely different lines from a different scene. Directing is super hard. Then the OP kicks in and the rest is mostly spent watching people eat from behind or looking at scenery. Boy, they sure know how to sell a show, don't they? This is adapted from yet another of the billion light novels about participating in a restaurant with vaguely supernatural-but-not-really entities, and hell if I can divine what's supposed to set it apart from its compatriots. At this point, I'm starting to think that the default answer is "nothing," and worse, that the answer being that is a selling point, not a cause for alarm.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Jetpack Jesus would be a good supernatural entity to add.

Frankenstein Family – Creatures Family Days
http://jp.frankenstein-family.com/
Studio: KJJ Animation
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 9th

Show Premise: 
Mad scientists got married, had kids, experimented on 4/5 of them, and then got tossed in jail. The kids now have to fit into society.

Random Thoughts:
This comes from a Japan/Taiwan collaborative. Can't be worse than all the Haoliners stuff. You know, you could salvage the premise by instead ending with "They fight crime," or "They're out for revenge," or even "They're competing to see who can outbreed the other five with nothing but a turkey baster and a 50 lb vat of indiscriminate genetic seed material." But no. Vaguely monster girls (but mostly not, since one is a telepath, and another is, uh… a plant telepath) and one monster boy, to keep things seeming honest, doing their bestest to be normal, while learning the glory of friendship and family. Held together by the normie, who is the normalest, but also the most specialest of them all.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Close to the plot of Adolescent Altered Samurai Zebras, but not close enough.

Golden Kamuy
http://kamuy-anime.com/
Studio: Geno
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 9th

Show Premise: 
While imprisoned during the war, Sugimoto heard rumors of a fortune of Ainu gold. Once he's released, he goes in search of it, teaming up with an Ainu girl who wants revenge on other treasure hunters who killed her family for it.

Random Thoughts:
I'm half tempted to dedicate this space to an explanation of Ainu culture and kamuy, but that's what Wikipedia is for. I might be at least somewhat optimistic about this one if the promos weren't so bad. It appears to be an 'action' show in a similar way that Basilisk last season was an 'action' show. Sure, people have knives, bows, and guns, and occasionally there's blood, but we can't let that interrupt dramatic yelling and close ups of eyes. Geno didn't impress much with their initial outing last season (Moment By Moment), and while this has different main staff, the man in charge of the scripts of Kuroko's Basketball and DRRRRRRRRR is not filling me with hope.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I hope they burn a seal.

Tuesday

Lupin III
https://lupin-pt5.com/
Studio: Telecom
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 3rd

Show Premise:
Lupin steals things.

Random Thoughts:
I didn't make it very far into the last outing for this franchise; the Italian one where they introduced a clone of Fujiko, but Italian, blonde, and better than everybody at everything. That was probably for the best, because the seasonal story ended up being that an evil clone of Leonardo da Vinci made magic paintings that sucked everybody into virtual reality where he turned them into other Leonardo da Vincis, apparently bent on creating some kind of perfect world of only men named Leonardo. The mixers would've been weird. Anyway, I ramble because there's basically no promo material out for this. Supposedly, it's going to be in modern times, but hell if I could tell you what that's supposed to mean. They are bringing back the same director as the last series, but they've put the Geass/Kabaneri wackjob in charge of the scripts, so this might actually end up interesting. Trainwreck interesting, but carnage is something.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Coo.

3D Girl – Real Girl
http://www.3dkanojo-anime.com/
Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 3rd

Show Premise: 
Hikari watches anime and plays VNs. Iroha dresses fashionably. She asks him out.

Random Thoughts:
Boy, talk about an enthralling premise. And bringing us ever close to the day where I just list out five things with identical ones instead of writing any premise at all, except that would be more effort. From what I can see, the big selling point of the source manga is that the first couple volumes are free on Kindle. Supposedly, this is a comedy, but you wouldn't be able to tell it from the promos which are all soulful pianos, pink pastels, and girls staring at the camera with tears in their eyes. I guess there's one shot where the animation goes from bad to worse as the protagonist yells something in surprise. That is what comedy is, after all.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Shovel Knight had multiple more romantic love stories.

Rokuhoudou Four Color Days
http://rokuhoudou-anime.jp/
Studio: ZEXCS
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 10th

Show Premise: 
Four dudes work at the Rokuhoudou tea house.

Random Thoughts:
You know, the last time Softhouse Chara made a game about running a restaurant, it began with indiscriminant slaughter, segued into kinky fireside sex with a demon, then went back to the slaughter, and then, and only then, did they open up a restaurant for something to do in between impregnating most of the town with your shotgun wedding wife's encouragement. So I'm not going to say that there's no way I can get into a story about running a restaurant, but this sure as hell ain't it. What even happened to you Zexcs? Where'd all your action series go? Probably a staff exodus that took all the talent with them. I don't keep up to date on these things.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Hey, kid. Want some… tea bags?

Wednesday

The God Machine Pandora
http://www.project-pandora.jp/
Studio: Satelight
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 4th (March 29 pre-air)

Show Premise: 
A quantum reactor exploded and devestated the world overnight. Humanity now fights against the monsters it created.

Random Thoughts:
The first episode already aired. It was painful and tedious. This would be Satelight's A Team, although the CGI monsters and mechs still look as ugly as ever. It's Kawamori (Aquarion, Macross, etc) directing though, along with Macross Delta's writer back, which is probably not the best of things, because the scripts there were an abject mess, and from the first episode, that tradition continues. It was almost twenty minutes straight of infodumping. When it wasn't, it was the shrill one screamining "Leon!" Occasionally, there'd be a closeup of baloon-tits tits bouncing and jiggling. Then the protagonist unlocked the power of quantums, turned naked because it's a Kawamori thing, and began screaming too. And that's how the episode ended. Screaming upon screaming after lecture upon lecture. I'm not exactly looking forward to the next episode.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Why can't the mutations ever be fun? Or puns?

Last Period – The Story of the Endless Spiral
http://lastperiod.jp/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 11th

Show Premise: 
Haru can cleanse the souls of Spirals. He amasses a harem.

Random Thoughts:
There's a special brand of irony in the developer of the cell phone game this comes from being called Happy Elements when the promo is the most irritating thing I've heard in weeks. It's difficult to even tell what it's supposed to be selling itself as. Besides an advertisement for the game and its bazillion gatcha characters, I mean obviously. It's sure as hell not action. I couldn't tell you what a montage of people talking at each other or just staring at the camera set to hyper spastic bubblegum pop is supposed to be either though. One of them hits another at one point though, causing him to spit, so I guess we'll go with comedy. And it's already given me a migraine after merely a minute or two. I can only imagine the pain a full twenty will cause.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Onward, noble steed!

Butlers – A Thousand Year Story
http://www.butlers-anime.com/
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 11th

Show Premise: 
Kouma and Tsubasa are butlers. They buttle.

Random Thoughts:
Technically, there's a manga of this, but the anime was supposed to start at the same time (three months ago), and even perusing the three whole chapters that exist, I couldn't tell you a damn thing about what things are supposed to be. Well, I mean, literally within the first couple pages, one of them is naked in a shower, and most of the rest is pretty boys sparkling or leaning in reeeaaaal close to each other to talk dramatically, but after three chapters, a stage they were on collapsed. That's about it for the supposed big intrigue, mystery, time traveling, buttling, and magic going on. The promos aren't much better, although one of them does go super saiyan at one point, so I already feel like they've lost complete control of this attempted franchise, and not in the good way.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Stop it stop it stop it stop it.

Thursday

Tada Never Falls in Love
http://tadakoi.tv/index.html
Studio: Dogakobo
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 5th

Show Premise: 
Tada falls in love.

Random Thoughts:
It seems like I'm being pithy or snide, but that's literally the entire premise, just with two extra sentences explaining how he's a bland everyboy, and that he meets a girl. I'm making the assumption that he falls in love. Granted, given the Japanese version of 'romance,' that's arguably a dangerous assumption to make, but I'm sticking to it. It's not based on any existing media either, so that's almost it for what we have to go on. I suppose there's also a promo video consisting of 75% shots of scenery and 25% people smiling at the camera, but that's not getting me any closer to whatever the hell kind of answer I'm looking for here. Boy meets girl. That's it. Great. Call it a day. We don't want to stress out the esteemed staff behind Nozaki and about half a dozen throwaway BL things between them.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Unidentified object.

Comic Girls
http://www.comic-girls.com/
Studio: Nexus
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 5th

Show Premise: 
Kaoruko is an unpopular manga artist. She moves into a dorm of nothing but other manga artists.

Random Thoughts:
My favorite part of the dumb premise is that they're all in high school. They're making major lifestyle adjustments for the sake of their careers, as fifteen year olds. But it's supposed to be a comedy, so let's focus on that instead. Aaaand after scouring the three minutes worth of promos for anything approaching a joke, let's not. You'd think there'd be more stupid faces since it's a four panel comic source, but nope. There are girls. They have tears in their eyes. Sometimes they're in bikinis. They grab each other's hands excitedly, and while the voice over was blathering some generic platitudes about doing their best, I'm pretty sure the actual dialogue there was how they're going to do their best, but also be best friends. Occasionally, some of the filler images were half drawn manga pages, so there's your premise right there. Fan goddamned tastic.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Do the same thing, but Russian Robot Masters, and maybe we'll talk.

Megalo Box
https://megaloboxnews.tumblr.com/
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Genre: Sports
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 5th

Show Premise: 
In the future, boxers get to use mechanical enhancements.

Random Thoughts:
Boy, future medicine must have really solved that brain damage problem, huh? I picked this as the (technically) last of the five sequels I'd comment on mostly because the connection to its father series is the loosest. It's part of the 50th anniversary of Tomorrow's Joe stuff, but aside from being about boxing and probably a reference here and there that I would miss anyway, that seems to be about as far as it goes. I wouldn't expect anything too different, except an even more flagrant disregard for the biological consequences of boxing. The promos certainly don't seem any different; all grunting and speedlines. Now with exo-skeletons.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Float like a gyrocopter, sting like a staplegun.

And Yet, Sinners Dance with Dragons
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/sareryu/
Studio: Seven Arcs
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 5th

Show Premise: 
Gayus and Gigina use magic to fight things, including dragons occasionally.

Random Thoughts:
The premise goes into some hilariously overwrought depth about how the magic in the setting is actually manipulating the laws of physics, but magically. I think that's code for "will contain four or five times as much exposition about the specific way a fireball explodes." The promos do contain dragons, explosions, and magic, but unfortunately, more in the vein of "dude striking a pose" rather than martial artists going at it. Better than shots of ruined cities or talking heads, certainly. Actually divining much more than that from the source is hard though. It's a light novel that got a couple volumes, the author had some tiff with the publisher, and then the author totally rebooted/rewrote it from scratch with a different publisher. So there's already multiple versions floating around out there along with the drama behind whatever happened coloring things. It seems… light novelish enough. Can't escape high school, even in post apocalyptic times, although only one of them is a teacher, and I suppose he does have a steady girlfriend, so perhaps it avoids the worst of the LN standards, but I wouldn't hold my breath. It is Seven Arcs handling production, and an old JC Staff action guy (well, mostly just Index), so at least the staff and studio has demonstrated some flashes of competence in the past. Not so much recently, but compared to how everything else is looking?

Preseason Swing Rating: 
   
Spyro, the fattest dragon.

Hisone and Masotan
http://hisomaso.com/
Studio: Bones
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 12th

Show Premise: 
Hisone is a girl. Masotan is a dragon.

Random Thoughts:
Again, it seems like I'm being snide, but that's as far as the premise for another original show goes. Oh, sure, there's some faff about how they could be the key to saving the world, but it makes no intimation at all as to what they're saving the world from. Non-dairy creamer, I'd guess. You'd think there'd be a reason for equipping a dragon with heavy weaponry. Or a reason for dragons to exist. Or a reason why noseless 15 year olds are being conscripted as child soldiers. Those answers don't exist in the promos. One of them doesn't even have the dragon at all, just the weird noseless kids moping around at school. They've got Okada doing the writing here, so you can bet the melodrama's going to come hard and fast. The dragon probably subsists off teenage insecurity and sups on the oppression of adult society. Or is killed by them. Maybe both.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I forget why I saved this, but it seems representative of Okada's writing.

Love is Hard for Otakus
http://wotakoi-anime.com/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 12th

Show Premise: 
Narumi likes comics. Hirotaka likes games. They date.

Random Thoughts:
Ah, yes. Being a fan of a medium of a thing. Not of the same medium. Just a medium. The bond of empathy that engenders that makes two people perfect for each other. Liking different things that are each individually non-normative. And of course, it soon comes out that literally every goddamned named character that any of them know is also secretly a fan of something, thus leaving that it's taking place in an office instead of a high school the only real distinguishing characteristic from a hundred thousand other things. I think what kills any expectation for me is how every description of it is about how awkward, naive, and innocent their romance is, and how that's the only thing anybody seems to mention when talking about this. If it wants to actually get into a real relationship, and some of the very unplumbed depths in Japanese media that come with that, great. Or even better, have content outside vaguely, awkwardly pining at each other while working their way to a chaste kiss or blushing while holding hands once every three episodes. And from the promo, even that seems like it might be iffy. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

What if a relationship involved sex? And living together? And starting a family? Crazy, I know!

Slave Ward – Me and the 23 Slaves
http://doreiku-anime.com/
Studio: TNK/Zero-G
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 12th

Show Premise: 
If you're wearing an SCM, you can force anybody else with an SCM to become your slave by besting them in some way. Or end up their slave.

Random Thoughts:
Can we just stop for a moment and appreciate that they have a slave dog. I'm not kidding. Reading up on this was fun. It's rare to see anything so almost universally reviled. Apparently nobody acts with any sense, entire chapters are dedicated to explaining the rules, the 'competitions' most of the time are just one person sucker punching another, and rules lawyering the rest while the loser stares in shock and horror at being finessed by the fine print, and copious amounts of handwavey magic as they make up new powers for the SCM teeth-implant thingy on the spot, including but not limited to telepathy and neurochemical addiction. The promo was obsessed with the SCM device, and showing it off while people stared at the camera dramatically, so if this is the trainwreck is sure seems to be, it's going to be a very slow, very dull one.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

One removed wisdom tooth.

Friday

Hinamatsuri
http://hina-matsuri.net/
Studio: Feel
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 6th

Show Premise: 
Hina has super powers. Nitta is a thug. She moves in with him against his will. Other super powered girls follow.

Random Thoughts:
I don't feel up to explaining the title pun. Go nuts. Promos seem neutral enough, concentrating on random people and furniture being defenestrated more than simply yelling the current situation. There's that too, but at least it's not what the promos concentrated on. Staff's kind of terrible, and feel isn't exactly the most impressive studio around when it comes to production, but slapstick comedy is certainly the closest thing they have to a wheelhouse. All that said, and I realize what high praise it's been, it doesn't really seem to do much of anything with its premise, either on the thug side or the super powers side, and seems to just kind of devolve into the usual "girls being friends and also there's some put-upon penis-haver." 

Preseason Swing Rating: 
   
Yay friendship!

There's Money To Be Made on The Field
https://www.bs-sptv.com/gurazeni/
Studio: Deen
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 6th

Show Premise: 
Bonda is an unassuming relief pitcher, mainly playing professional baseball for the money.

Random Thoughts:
Technically, the title is the Japanese version of an acronym of that quote, but I like showing off my ability to read Wikipedia articles and feel self-righteous about it. This is apparently meant for people who like baseball, but are more into liking liking baseball than actually watching it being played, which given how boring the sport is, I can actually sort of understand, at least relatively speaking. But it's not like shifting the focus from twenty minutes on an inning to twenty minutes on contract negotiations or being traded to the American league and then fired and immediately returning are a huge step up either. It's a sports drama. It looks like a particularly dull one that's trying to pitch itself as more normal and grounded than the already overdramatized pretty normal ones. My interest is already at rock bottom. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

There's also money in pancakes. Delicious syrupy pancakes.

Magic Girl Site
http://mahoushoujyo-anime.com/
Studio: Production doA
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 6th

Show Premise: 
A website gives tormented girls a magical device that lets them take revenge, but at the price of taking away parts of their own lives.

Random Thoughts:
The real twist here is that Okada has nothing to do with it, although, and this is kind of weird to write, Okada tends to be a little more subtle. That's right. This isn't a battle royale type deal, but a drama royale one, where we're supposed to take the comically anguished and twisted up faces with tongues rolling out of the mouths and eyes rolled back in the heads as a sign of how serious the suffering and craziness is. And if that's not enough, they'll start bleeding from random orifaces and their pupils will turn into skulls with daggers in them. The promos are about as restrained as a brick to the face, so I guess good news for those of you into things that generate a copious amount of ridiculous screencaps to be used as image macros. I guess there's also girl on girl tragic romance, because fourteen year olds making out will never not be creepy.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Maybe they just need to collect more strawberries.

Another World's Pub – The Pub, Nobu, in the City Aitheria
https://r.gnavi.co.jp/nobu/
Studio: Sunrise
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 13th

Show Premise: 
A Japanese pub ended up with a doorway to a different world. It's just a pub.

Random Thoughts:
Another one of those food things, this time with extra food in the form of multiple companion broadcasts to further advertise the food, one for restaurants that serve the food they're advertising, one for cooking it yourself. Maybe there's even more beyond that. I stopped caring at two. The promos are basically nothing but shots of food and talking about how food the food is. I'm just going to assume that Sunrise lost a bet and it was down to either this, or running through the streets naked, and they chose the more embarassing of the two options.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

FOOD FOR THE FOOD GOD.

Full Metal Panic! – Invisible Victory
http://fullmeta-iv.com/
Studio: Xebec
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 13th

Show Premise: 
The continuing adventures of mecha pilot Sousuke, babysitting his girlfriend and abuser, Chidori.

Random Thoughts:
I have some vaguely fond memories of the first two FMP series, but remember being profoundly disappointed by The Second Raid's descent into melodramatic wallowing. The robot stopped working because Sousuke had the mopies, thus giving him the mopies because the robot wasn't working, then there was an entire episode of Sousuke moping around because his arch-nemesis told him he killed his girlfriend and Sousuke didn't think this was something worth verifying before throwing a tantrum. Or perhaps it was all the pontificating people did on the stupid haircut scene. Never have so many words been written overascribing depth and meaning to a teenager having a panic attack from cleavage shoved in his face. Anyway, it's not KyoAni this time, but Xebec's been solid enough recently. The writer (same as the source) promises that it'll be pure action right from the start, which is funny because the first promo had about two minutes of footage and no action whatsoever. The second one at least had a couple explosions and bad CGI cars running into each other. Be still my beating heart.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
  
Compelling dialogue from complex mascot characters.

Saturday

Devils' Line
http://devilsline.jp/
Studio: Platinum Vision
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 7th

Show Premise: 
Tsukasa is saved from a vampire by a half-vampire member of the vampire police.

Random Thoughts:
Welcome back, Twilight. It's been a whole season since the last show about some helpless girl with sparkling vampires and over sexualized blood drinking, and a whopping two years and one show off since fledgling studio Platinum Vision did one (Servamp). The promos do have a little more animation than one would expect from the subgenre of sparkly vampires, but there's no shortage of doe-eyed girls staring to the camera. From everything I see on the source, it's all about the drama, and romanticizing the dysfunctional non-relationship between the two leads. Joy.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Plop.

Persona 5
http://p5a.jp/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres April 7th

Show Premise: 
Teenagers mindrape adults into being better people.

Random Thoughts:
The first quarter of the first episode was already put out as a promo, and it's not promising. Well, all of the Persona adaptation attempts have been pretty lackluster honestly, but that's basically a six minute shot for shot remake of every part of the game's flashforward intro that doesn't require animating anything; a couple minutes of posing, one backflip out a window, and then four minutes of dour men reviewing what they skipped over. The game itself was fine enough, although practically made of niggles, but the writing, or more specifically, the overwriting, and nonsensical plot, were the weakest parts by a long shot, so of course, like all Persona adaptations, I fully expect and already see that it's playing that up while sidelining the action and thievery. I suppose notably, this doesn't have Seiji Kishi doing the directing. At least he had style, something this franchise needs to cover up the endless clutching of pearls and declarations that they won't give up in between yelling "Teen Power!"

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
You look tired. You should go to sleep.

Closing Thoughts:

Can't be worse than last season. I'm probably not even going to finish a single series that started in January. I suppose we're still also in sort of a lull for idol things, which kind of worries me, because it can only mean there will be another season coming soon with a dozen of them. Then again, maybe literally over half the goddamned season being sequels/prequels/reboots is building up enough karma to avoid that. I wouldn't hold my breath though.

Posted in Season Preview | 9 Comments »

9 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • jgoi says:

    Watching Lupin pt5 (please god don’t bring back rebecca), checking cutie honey universe; hoping it’s as good as re: cutie honey, persona 5 hoping it’s not shit like both of persona 4’s anime and gegege no kitarou because I want to stare at neko musume.

    Waiting to see if funimation gets the adv cast back for FMP Invisible Victory, waiting for others to edit hs dxd season 4 down to just the fanservice parts.

    [Reply]

  • anise_punter says:

    perhaps we’re in a lull for idol things, or perhaps once japan has seen horse girl idols they will understand there truly is no point in attempting to top it

    or bottom(?) it

    regardless, if it’s a complete trainwreck i have to be there

    [Reply]

  • Neclord X says:

    This looks…really dissapointing, again. There are some things here and there I want to check but overall, meh.

    Also, f*uck YOU, Mona, I want to get out, those SL aren’t going to max alone.

    [Reply]

  • dp says:

    Enjoyed your preview!

    So, it looks like Caligula and Full Metal Panic are your “least awful” pics and will hopefully see reviews.

    Personally, found the season fairly promising with a dozen or so shows worth examining and some of the sequels potentially interesting.

    [Reply]

  • Fluffums says:

    It’s not really fair to call the Persona series “sequels” when it comes to the stories…

    … But everything else is probably spot-on.

    [Reply]

  • The Phantom says:

    I just want to see Makoto fully animated in her rider outfit, thats all I care about this season, Maybe Caligula.

    [Reply]

  • Tolrin says:

    “Shovel Knight had multiple more romantic love stories.”

    Well now I kind of want to play Shovel Knight.

    [Reply]

  • Milenkov says:

    Also, Magic Girl Site is written by the same guy as Mahou Shoujo of the End (Y’know, the post-apocalyptic one where the Magic Girls are evil super zombies), and at time of writing Magic Girl Site is in limbo with hardly no progress story-wise.

    [Reply]

  • o_o says:

    basically best show of the season is Hinamatsuri
    p.s. checked most of the 1st eps.

    [Reply]

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