Shih Tzu Training Graduation Party and Quickie Fall Season Rundown

September 25th, 2018

Why is it still 80 degrees? Oh right, the hellstorm sweeping the planet.

Shockingly, there's virtually no idol shows this season, which I'm calling a win. As usual, virtually all long running sequels, or shows that just took a season off before concluding, are eschewed. There's also a few outliers that are adopting either more of an OVA format with dumping four episodes out in chunks once a month alongside a normal broadcast (like Chain Chronicle did), or the Netflix "dump an entire season at once in an afternoon" approach, but we'll just call those an OVA instead of a regular show and move on with our lives. Anyway, let's get on with it.

Sunday

Double Decker!
http://dabudeka.com/
Studio: Sunrise
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres September 30th

Show Premise: 
A new drug called Anthem gives people super powers, so the police respond by creating a buddy cop system.

Random Thoughts:
…Wait, are you telling me that prior to this, the police didn't work with partners? They were all just solo vigilante-ing it up? And wait, you're pairing a rookie with a veteran? Whoa! Really stretching the creative muscles of the Tiger and Bunny staff here. The first episode technically aired way back at the start of the month on Crunchyroll, which I successfully ignored. I have since flipped through it in a half-assed fashion, since I wasn't grabbed by all its 'cool' posing or gun loading scenes. Very nice of the slavering berserk madman to stand there for about a minute and a half while you milk the hell out of the scene. And then the twink runs around naked, so, yeah, definitely taking cues from Tiger and Bunny as to who its target audience is.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Greatest teamup since frog + scorpion.

Ulysses
http://ulysses-anime.jp/
Studio: AXsiZ
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 7th

Show Premise: 
The alchemist, Montmorency, infuses the village girl Jeanne with a demonic magical power. They go on adventures.

Random Thoughts:
Already our first fantasy harem light novel adaptation of the season, with emphasis on harem, since something that all the promos emphasis the hell out of is the sloppy, spitty kiss of Jeanne getting her powers from whose-its, with drool pouring down their bodies. The second emphasis after that would be boobs, both close-ups of the other characters' enormous balloon-like breasts, and Jeanne throwing tantrums about how she doesn't have any boobs. We'd have to go down about two to three more slots before we get to the action or adventure. They don't seem to be a high priority, and I'm already pretty annoyed by the whiny, mewling "war is bad!" leads. That said, this does have some interesting staff behind it; UFOTable's old bonkers writer adapting (Futakoi Alternative, Manabi Straight), and the guy who's been chained to Teekyu for the last billion years directing. It's a weird combination. AXsiZ is, for all intents and purposes, Gokumi though, so I expect that we've already seen the primary focus and as much action or adventure as it plans on bringing.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Hiding from the spit deluge.

Anima Yell!
http://animayell.com/
Studio: Dogakobo
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 7th

Show Premise: 
Hatoya joins a cheerleader club.

Random Thoughts:
Moving right on from the obligatory fanservice light novel adaptation to the obligatory club show, aka the "…And? Is that it? Oh, I guess it is" category. Girls, club, try their best, etc. I was in the marching band all through high school and college. I've known cheerleaders. None were this excited or excitable about anything. Now, there's probably fertile ground for various antics with t-shirt cannons, dropping people on their heads, the excessively bitter and sarcastic version of the fight song sung as the team was blown out by 40 points, or my personal favorite, the nonsensical taunt like chanting "Safety school" at Harvard. It really bugged them for some reason. Anyway, the promos are just some shots of girls doing generic jumping around and declaring that they'll do their best. You can't swing a dead cat in Japan without hitting a dozen of either of those, and I dare any of you to try.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
  
I'm serious. Swing this thing. Do it.

Twang
http://tsurune.com/
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 14th

Show Premise: 
Minato rejoins the archery club.

Random Thoughts:
…And? Is that it? Oh, I guess it is. And yes, I'm going with "twang" as the title. The Japanese is the name of the sound that the bow string makes. So, yeah, twang. Fight me. Anyway, I was disappointed by the promos because I was praying that they'd show someone dry firing a bow for the dramatic twang. Nah, of course not. That'd be too much archery for a show that's clearly about a bunch of boys standing in wind, petals, and being all teenagey and youthful. Which is all that there is. Unless you go by the reviews of the light novel this comes from, which indicate that there's going to be an assload of exposition about the technical details of archery. Can't wait!

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Archery is a metaphor.

Monday

Sword of the Yellow Emperor
http://xuanyuansword.net/index.html
Studio: Deen
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 1st

Show Premise: 
Chinese people fight the evil empire.

Random Thoughts:
This is technically tied to the very long running Chinese RPG series, one of which has been localized, but it's entirely original, not based on any of the twenty or so different iterations of it, so I'm not entirely sure why, aside from the easy cash, obviously. China loves the Michael Bay kind of spectacle, so you'd think these collab projects would be a lot flashier, but so far, they've all been fairly abysmal. It's Deen doing this one instead of Haoliners, but while they have occasionally shown flair in their production, they're far from the strongest out there. The promos are also mostly full of CGI soldiers and robots tromping around. Staff's a bit weird though; director did all the Slayers movies and a crapload of Deen's BL, while the writer is the old Shaft/Silver Link adapter (eg ef, BakaTest) whose last original project was Aldnoah, a show that was… authorially challenged… shall we say. Maybe it'll be enough of a trainwreck to end up interesting, I guess?

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Metal scorpions draw near.

The Girl in Twilight
http://akanesasushojo.com/
Studio: Dandelion
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 1st

Show Premise: 
A group of girls discover a portal to another world filled with monsters and magical powers.

Random Thoughts:
This is a tie in to a phone game that's not out until October, so there's not much info about the thing, period. The promos are mostly concerned with the girls hopping around excitedly, but there is at least a little bit of genuine fox-snake killing… although it is janky CGI 'enhanced.' Not all that much interesting on the staff side either, although they do seem to be playing up the musical side of things. Maybe that's supposed to be a thematic element like Symphogear? Again, very little info on this and all I can tell from the promos is that girls exist, they transform into Phantasy Star knockoff CGI costumes, and snuggle with/kill rabites, among other monsters.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I question the stability of this ecosystem.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
http://www.ten-sura.com/
Studio: 8 Bit
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 1st

Show Premise: 
After being murdered, Satoru woke up in another world as a slime.

Random Thoughts:
Lest you think that this isn't yet another godawful wish fulfilment harem piece of nonsense, he also has the powers of invulnerability, omniscience, and the power to take whatever other power he wants, one of the first being "screw this premise, I'm turning back into a human and let's get this harem going." I remember back when I gave crap to all the shows about characters who struggled with dark powers which were never shown to be out of their control, had no price to pay, and never used for anything but good. Nowadays, they just blatantly God Mode everything without bothering to pretend otherwise. Anyway, if the image at left isn't indication enough, the promos are about half slime bouncing around, half cheesecake shots, and we already know that the slime part of the premise is ditched as quickly as it can, leaving just a godling curbstomping all-comers while a stable of airheaded barely-dressed imbeciles gush over his greatness. Iteration #47 of that for the year.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Have a hand to help jack yourself off with.

Tuesday

Run With the Wind
http://kazetsuyo-anime.com/
Studio: Production IG
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 2nd

Show Premise: 
Dudes train to run in a multi-day long distance relay.

Random Thoughts:
Man, I got dragged into the Hood to Coast once as an emergency filler and it was one of the most miserable experiences of my teenage life. I feel like I already did my time with sports shows for the year, and I can't imagine getting into a damn running show of all things. Chariots of Fire wasn't about the track and field, people, and that used sprints, not a multi-day, 5-man, 100 mile relay. If the promos are anything to go by, this'll be entirely close-ups of faces anyway. How dramatic. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Run like you stole stomething.

CONCEPTION
http://conception-anime.com/
Studio: Gonzo
Genre: Gender Issues
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 9th

Show Premise: 
Itsuki and his cousin are transported to another world where he has to 'classmate' with 12 girls to produce Star Children to fight monsters.

Random Thoughts:
People are probably at least passingly familiar with the sequel, which has been localized. In that one, the girls were allowed to fight alongside the chibi mutant babies you produced from the power of 'friendship.' This would be an adaptation of the unlocalized first game where the only thing that the girls are allowed to do is sit at home, look pretty, and spawn an endless avalanche of semi-sentient mutant babies. Fantastic get, Gonzo. And they found an all-star staff of trashy light novel fanservice drek to put on it too, so really looks like a match made in heaven. It's probably wise that the only promo is a slow zoom of a CGI door opening. Build up that mystique. Hide away as much about this as you can, or people might… I don't even know what the endgame here is supposed to be.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Where the wimmin at?

Wednesday

The Space Between Sky and Sea
http://soraumi-anime.com/
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Genre: Confusion
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 3rd

Show Premise: 
When fish began mysteriously disappearing from oceans, humanity created giant aquariums in space and in the process, accidentally also created giant fish monsters, which it now has to deal with while harvesting fish.

Random Thoughts:
This comes from a particularly trippy and bizarre phone game, like a robot fish shmup version of arkanoid that steals Metal Slug's victory music. I can only imagine that this is being funded by StarKist or something in a desperate attempt to recruit people into the fishing industry. The promos don't help elucidate what the hell this is either. Girls doing their bestest and being clumsy doofuses in charge of billion dollar machinery while in space is obvious, but then it has them in little mini subs, holding electro-swords facing down a giant crab, and I have trouble processing. When it comes to predicting whether a Japanese show about a club of girls learning about friendship is going to be leaning into the weird fish monster fights or "yay friends!" though, the betting man knows that we aren't going to be seeing much in the way of feral tuna.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Beware of rabid sharks.

Young Pigs Don't Dream of Bunny Girls
http://ao-buta.com/
Studio: CloverWorks
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 3rd

Show Premise: 
Sakuta hallucinates girls in need as manifestations of their angst.

Random Thoughts:
You like Haruhi!? You like Bakemonogatari!? Well, here's your pretentious knockoff fusion of the two! Hooray! But wait, there's more! You have to hold out all the way to the third LN before you get the wink wink 'siscon idol' one. That's literally its title. Young Pigs Don't Dream of Siscon Idols. Also, something about someone creating split timelines by wishing really hard, that then got fused, so multiple people share the same heart, yada yada such depth, such puberty. Perhaps the sarcasm is unwarranted, but the promos consist solely of sad girls sighing and staring into the distance. There have been times I've enjoyed melodramatic shows, but those were built on the strength of the characters, not in how much they can sit around and angst, or how the protagonist solves all their problems by the fact that he exists. And has a penis, obviously. This is by the masters of drama that brought us the very deep and multifaceted Pet Girl of Sakurasou too, so use that as the baseline for your expectations.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Won't somebody think of the chauvinists!?

I Love My Little Sister But She's Not My Little Sister
http://imo-imo.jp/
Studio: NAZ
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 10th

Show Premise: 
Suzuka is secretly a famous light novel author of books about a little sister who loves her brother. She makes Yuu pretend to be the author in her place.

Random Thoughts:
You see, the joke is that she says she doesn't actually love her brother… except that she actually wants his dick more than a fish wants water. And get this, turns out their school is full of other light novel authors, voice actors, artists, etc… all girls, all of whom want to bone him! But he's just a completely ordinary guy who's not good or bad at anything. Aside from how his mere existence is an aphrodisiac to every female within a five block radius and can solve whatever problem ails them. What a bold new setup this is. I haven't seen anything like this since *checks notes* every single season going back a decade. But don't worry, we have the staff of that harem show about dating a gal on it, and they don't make schlock! See? The promo's entirely his sister blushing, squirming, and stammering. Perfection achieved. …I guarantee that someone, somewhere, has written this exact blurb not as dripping sarcasm, but as an enthusiastic endorsement.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Nothing that a chainsaw to the face can't fix.

As Miss Beelzebub Likes
https://beelmama.com/
Studio: Lidenfilms
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 10th

Show Premise: 
The overlord of hell is actually a dedicated, naive girl who loves cute things.

Random Thoughts:
So nothing at all to do with hell, Beelzebub, or any of that at all, huh? Name recognition for demons just better than for angels, or whatever other parthenon you could've gone with? The very first thing in the promo is a cheesecake shot of her sleeping naked with the hapless protagonist walking in on her to yell "OH MY GOD, YOU ARE SLEEPING NAKED!" There's not a lot of upward mobility in the expectations department from there. The source of this is a four panel comic deal, so the emphasis is equally split between making silly faces and fanservice. Liden Films is very low end, and most of the staff is coming right over from that fanservice LN thing about a lazy supermage at a magical highschool and his harem of wannabe rape victims. Don't know which one of those I'm talking about? Congratulations. You've either blocked it from your memory, or you can think of too many of those (and these) to keep straight.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Keep it coming.

Thursday

BAKUMATSU
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/BAKUMATSU/
Studio: Deen
Genre: Pretty Boys Holding Swords
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 4th

Show Premise: 
During the Bakumatsu period in Japanese history (end of the Shogunates), pretty boys hold swords.

Random Thoughts:
Or to use its full, and far more accurate title, title, Bakumatsu Romance Boyfriends Sidestory. This comes from a phone game where a modern day girl ends up in the past and accumulates a harem of pretty boy samurai. Kudos to them for not doing the Sengoku period, the Shinsengumi, or vampires. This is something completely new and different. The anime seems to have eschewed the heroine as unnecessary, but it's far from the first to do so. The promos are nothing but dudes standing around holding swords. Occasionally, one will move towards the camera. There's no fighting or swinging swords, or anything like that though, but don't worry, between the director and head writer, there is practically an encyclopedia of shows about pretty boys lounging around, being in the springtime of youth, or whatever the hell it is kids call ogling shiny teenage boys these days.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

This sprite has more swordplay than any of its promos.

Zombieland Saga
https://zombielandsaga.com/
Studio: Mappa
Genre: Closeups of Screaming
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 4th

Show Premise: 
Zombies?

Random Thoughts:
This is another completely original show that is having some trouble with its marketing. The promotional stuff likes the tagline about how the world will be saved by the dead, and they make the bold declaration that this will be a refreshing new twist on zombie apocalypses. Meanwhile, the promos are about 50% closeups of people comically screaming, mostly dressed like circus ringmasters, and dismemberment. There's not a lot that can be gleaned from that. We've already done Spanish midget zombie Napoleon in zombie stuff, so the weird costumes can't be the twist. Whatever this bold new take on the zombie formula is, all I can say for sure is that it apparently involves a talking zombie dog. I can note that this is not Mappa's A-Team, and the last thing that this writer was in charge of was the terrible Heian season of Garo that I couldn't stomach. Call it a wildcard for now, given Mappa's flair for making either shows that start great and torpedo in the finale, or just torpedo from the start.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Its most charming point is its drooping eyeball.

BASARA Academy
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/gakuen_basara/
Studio: Brains Base
Genre: God, Why
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 4th

Show Premise: 
The characters from the Sengoku Basara franchise go to high school.

Random Thoughts:
Each godawful iteration of this drifts further and further from the very first episode of the first season that was just a bunch of crazy dudes riding horses up walls and beating the hell out of each other. First it had to go through its angsty phase, then it got more angsty, and now, all possible stories and tales of an entire era of Japanese history exhausted after a few seasons, the only thing left is to reboot it as a high school comedy where they can all do the same things as before, but in slightly different clothes (or not). Truly, every Japanese franchise must revent to being set in high school. If only Ghost in the Shell had just one more season, it could be rebooted into a highschool comedy too. It's a wonder Dragonball never ended up there, and I feel dirty for even for a moment thinking more shows could stand to follow its example. God help us all.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Time to torch the whole thing and start over.

Merc Storia
http://mercstoria.happyelements.co.jp/
Studio: Encourage Films
Genre: Closeups of Faces
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 11th

Show Premise: 
Yuu travels the world to help his friend, Merc, a fairy girl trapped in a bottle, recover her memories.

Random Thoughts:
Yet another gacha phone game adaptation, and a particularly low quality one at that. I'm talking about both the game and the adaptation. The promo is about half closeups of faces and half shots of generic fantasy scenery. Whatever it's trying to advertise, be it adventure, comedy, fanservice, it's hiding its cards quite well. But if you want to listen to someone nasally ramble over shots of scenery, I can recommend this highly. Staff's nobody interesting, and Encourage has traditionally stuck to being the sidekick studio or things no longer than five minutes. Their first foray into a full show sure doesn't look like they're swinging for the fences. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Fairies in bottles are for eating later, not helping.

La Cirque de Karakuri
https://karakuri-anime.com/
Studio: VOLN
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 11th

Show Premise: 
Masaru dreams of being a pupeteer. He inherits a fortune, but all his extended family want to murder him for it using lifesize puppets. Also, some buff dude has a magic disease that kills him unless he does pratfalls.

Random Thoughts:
Yeah, uh, okay? This is from the same dude as Ushio and Tora, including the same staff and studio, not to mention also comes from Jump-But-Not-Jump, so yelling, speedlines, believing in yourself, these are all things that are expected, and from the promos, are already at the forefront. Another setting where Gun-Haver would rule the roost. I suppose it was inevitable since ventriloquist dummies already got their own Jump-But-Not-Jump series, and what's more puppet than midget puppets? Big puppets! And weird clown costumes! Unlike those other Jump/Not-Jump shows with their… oh, right. Hmm.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Manually articulated.

Million Arthur
http://hangyakusei-anime.com/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: More Gacha
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 25th

Show Premise: 
A million different people were selected by Excalibur to be the next King Arthur. They fight to be the Arthurest.

Random Thoughts:
This franchise began life as a TCG, and has proceeded to respawn as a VR game, a fighter, a gacha phone game, and now this, an adaptation of the gacha version. Also, there's some other different gacha phone version of it in the works. Why not? I think the main thing that makes this notable is that Iori from King of Fighters got shoved into the fighter version as a guest character. I would say that's the greatest disgrace for him, but that's be ignoring the existence of KoF's neverending attempt to make Psycho Soldier a thing. Literally nobody in the world likes Kensou, and Athena exists purely for doujin artists to make porn. Stop pretending otherwise. Anyway. I'm allowed to ramble a bit because there's jack squat for any kind of promotional material, and it's already promising that it'll be back for a second season in April. Don't you threaten me, JC Staff. The staff they've tapped are specialized in fanservice schlock, so that's where the smart money lies.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Have you tried unplugging Excalibur and then plugging it back in?

Friday

Bloom Into You
http://yagakimi.com/
Studio: Troyca
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 5th

Show Premise: 
Two girls who have never been in love before fall in love at first sight.

Random Thoughts:
Yeah, the way that they're all blushing and ovulating at each other the first time they meet, and making out by day two really sells that premise. You're just lesbians, dudes. Horny teenage lesbians. Ain't no thing. Not even particularly interesting ones at that. The taller one is the standard predatory model that gets handsy the first time they meet, while the shorter gormless blonde one is the designated twink who will fidget with his/her feelings and whether or not he/she really swings that way while the screen slowly fills with more and more bloom and/or pastels. Hell, just the image at left has more flowers scattered over it than a florist bombing. Symbolism!

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
I forget why I saved this.

Hinomaru Sumo
https://hinomaru-zumou.com/
Studio: Gonzo
Genre: Naked Men
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 5th

Show Premise: 
Hinomaru is short and small, but wants to be a sumo champion.

Random Thoughts:
And with enough whiplash to break a thousand necks, we go from lesbians to Shounen Jump's take on sumo. I suppose it's no less silly than their overdramatized tennis, baseball, ping pong, lacrosse, or volleyball, and sumo narrowly got a Jump series before competitive dance did. Narrowly. Still came in way behind the dozen or so competitive cooking series. It's a neverending Jump thing where there's always another more regionally regional, everyone has magical powers that it takes great pains to explain at length are actually how the sport is, every little thing is explained at exhausting length, and every single match goes to whoever trained the hardest and/or believed in themselves or the heart of sumo the most. Also, great big naked dudes slapping each other raw.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I learned everything I need to know about sumo from Edmond Honda.

A Certain Magical Index
http://toaru-project.com/index_3/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Nostalgia
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 5th

Show Premise: 
The ongoing adventures of Touma, an obnoxious dude who can cancel magic with his hand, and a harem of

Random Thoughts:
I suppose I'll include this, despite being a long running franchise with the same studio and staff as before. Its last iteration was seven years ago, not counting that Railgun spinoff nonsense. I survived the second season, but even in my more cheery and optimistic days of 2011, I considered it a huge step down from the first season and eminently ignorable. The Railgun spinoffs doubled down on both those notions. Kind of like they had exhausted all their good ideas and were running on fumes as long as they could without actually having to change the status quo until it was time to wrap things up. I gather this is designed to do that, so there's hope for some kind of finality in a world of light novel adaptations that treat such as anathema. Or they'll punt on it and push that to a movie or something. Or just go off in its own direction. A creative, new approach using established characters to tell a different story from the original novels in a new way. Aaah, wouldn't that be the dream? Maybe your promos should be something other than close ups of faces if you want me to display anything other than sarcasm.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

This sprite has been sitting around in my "things to use eventually" set since 2013.

I'm Being Threatened by the Most Huggable Man
https://dakaretai-1st.com/
Studio: CloverWorks
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 5th

Show Premise: 
Takuto, boy pop idol, is dethroned from being voted most huggable and goes on a bender. The new most huggable finds out and uses that to blackmail him into a relationship.

Random Thoughts:
Japan, you really need to figure out this whole sexual assault thing. I don't even know where to start with this. It's not framed as a dramatic thriller about being blackmailed, but a silly romance between male models, like someone decided "Man, that Kevin Spacey stuff would make a killer light hearted romance." Promos featuring them both naked in bed while the blackmailer pants and groans in desire are not helping matters. If you were looking for something as rapey as possible, but stopping just short with the excuse of boys will be boys, then here ya go! Enjoy.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Raccoon miming sexual acts.

Boarding School Juliet
http://juliet-anime.com/
Studio: Lidenfilms
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 5th

Show Premise: 
Romeo Romio and Juliet are in love, despite being from feuding kingdoms.

Random Thoughts:
Not feuding so much that they won't send their the entire set of VIP children to the same highschool though. Again, like that Beelzebub thing, if you're taking the Romeo and Juliet brand, stripping out everything having to do with Romeo and Juliet, then why are you invoking it in the first place? I know the answer, obviously. To cover up that it's just another low end harem thing spewed out in search of a gimmick that it can abandon within five seconds. I suppose having the main couple in a mutually committed relationship with nobody blackmailing anybody (until a side character starts doing just that about two chapters in) in a comedy rather than a drama is slightly rarish, but the relationship doesn't exist in any form beyond saying that it does. Even hand holding is way more than the manga source wants to commit to. Entire arcs are dedicated to getting up the courage to hand over a dimestore keychain. Promos are unremarkable. Staff has a vast amount of experience in adapting schlocky fanservice romcoms. I give it a vague meh-like noise.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 

Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

Our Maid is Too Annoying!
http://uzamaid.com/
Studio: Dogakobo
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 5th

Show Premise: 
Misha hates maids. Tsubame is ex-special forces and an aggressive pedophile. They live together.

Random Thoughts:
Another in the constantly growing field of "Are you sure you want to do this, Japan?" Brought to us by the same staff and studio of the likes of Umaru and Gabriel Dropout, so I guess yeah, we are doing this because we have no idea how not to. I could maybe see it if they just played up how overbearing she is in general; a kind of Maid Guy reboot minus the Guy aspect, and the fanservice aged down to exceptionally uncomfortable age levels, but they really do have her up and declare that she's all about molesting only girls who haven't had their periods. So less Tom and Jerry, more Polanski and Galley. At least we have both girl-girl and guy-guy things hitting up awful points on the spectrum. Way to be egalitarian, Japanese media industry.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Amaterasu is displeased and wants kibble.

So Many Colors In The Future What a Wonderful World
http://iroduku.jp/
Studio: PA Works
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 5th

Show Premise: 
Hitomi is colorblind and depressed, so her grandmother sends her back in time to hang out with her in highschool.

Random Thoughts:
Aaah, PA Works, churning out these adolescent friendship things about the existential angst of being a teenager like clockwork. Same director as that bizarre Lull in the Sea/Tomorrow show that had time traveling people with fish-skin disease, and from what I understand, somehow got even more inexplicable from there. Not Mari Okada writing though, they found someone who splits their time between children's shows and fanservice light novel adaptations to pen this one. Rest assured though, the promos are almost entirely teenagers staring wistfully out across bloomy landscapes while dramatic music plays and they sigh moodily. I guess there's also a giant magical fish, but that was there in the sea thing too, so doesn't count as new.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

*sigh* Puberty *sigh*

Senran Kagura
http://senran2.tv/
Studio: TNK
Genre: Boobs
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 12th

Show Premise: 
The continuing adventures of rival high school ninja teenager jail bail having punch ups.

Random Thoughts:
Having pretty much entirely forgotten the first season, I revisited my old posts on it and found my prediction that I would completely forget it. Go me. I do remember that it was surprisingly inoffensive for your trashy fanservice 'action' show, if a bit overly chained to its formula of everyone having some kind of melodramatic flashback followed by a half-assed fight. Could've worked had the characters not been so banal or there had been actual effort put into directing and animating the fights, but it exists for the T&A, and the speedlines are right there. How can we not just use those instead? Despite the darker palette of the promo art, the actual promos are boldly and ambitiously advertising it as more of the same. Maybe with all the melodramatic backstory gone, they can move forward, or use some of the games' success to put together actual fights. Pfft. Dream on.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 

Speaking of things that exist solely for the porn…

Saturday

Radiant
http://www.nhk.or.jp/anime/radiant/
Studio: Lerche
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 6th

Show Premise: 
Monsters fall from Radiant, a mythical land in the sky. The only people who can fight them are the ones that get infected with monsterness.

Random Thoughts:
Oh, here's what Seiji Kishi (Personas, Angel Beats, etc) has been up to lately, working on the adaptation of a French Jump knockoff. And they embrace that! We're not doing anything new, it's an homage to One Piece/Hunter x Hunter, etc. No, bad person. Don't homage. Do better. I adore one of the promos for it. It's a tour of the staff, each of them delivering either a backhanded compliment about how surprised they are that it's not Japanese, or a completely vapid statement like "people will be watching this, and I want them to enjoy it." Meanwhile, the actual animated parts are trying to play up how it's totally a threeway affair between the monsters, the genocidal racists, and the protagonists. Which side will you choose!? The sad part is that they probably have their audience pegged. You disappoint me, Kishi. I expect at least some style from you. I know you know how to direct action. I sure hope you have more than one dude swinging an oversized sword, 'cause that's all your promos are showing.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Monsters may not be as advertised.

Ms. Vampire Who Lives in My Neighborhood
http://kyuketsukisan-anime.com/
Studio: Gokumi
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 6th

Show Premise: 
Akari lives with a vampire.

Random Thoughts:
One of those four panel deals where the jokes are things like "You can drink my blood!" "No thank you." Feel free to read that marvel of humor over and over again, because if the adaptation follows the source, you'll be seeing that joke a mere dozen more times in the first episode. It only has three punchlines, the vampire acts like a normal person, a normal person acts a little weirdly, and repeating a vampire fact, and it only knows about five vampire facts. But it's girls. They're friiiiiends. And they make stupid faces at random spots to indicate that someone thinks a joke has been made. Stamp it. Pack it. Send it out. Staff's made of sub-mediocrity, so a good fit for Gokumi, who churns out this crap every season.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Simon Belmont didn't die for this blasphemy.

Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad Gridman
https://gridman.net/
Studio: Trigger
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 6th

Show Premise: 
Yuuta has amnesia, and the ability to transform into the giant robot Gridman, who has to fight against giant monsters.

Random Thoughts:
This is a spinoff/reboot of the original Ultraman Gridman spinoff thing about fighting in the computer world. Whoever's in chrage of Trigger's CGI needs another pass. It's goofy enough to start with, but these promos have CGI cars and building literally bouncing around like everything's made of flubber, impervious to damage but capable of kicking up giant clouds of dust and debris wherever they hit. Maybe they're computer world CGI cars and buildings, and therefore get a free pass. It doesn't have much of Trigger's flair in style though, just lots and lots of blocky CGI things bungling at each other. It's probably because the staff is made up not so much of Trigger's A-Team, but of their Inferno Cop team. Not real inspiring.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Iniciando el hackeo.

Goblin Slayer
http://www.goblinslayer.jp/
Studio: White Fox
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 6th

Show Premise: 
A dude going by the name Goblin Slayer is out to slay goblins.

Random Thoughts:
It's rarely a good sign when the decision is made to not name characters, but to refer to them all by their class. Featuring the heroine Priestess, and sidekick Elf Archer, so on and so forth. Another light novel adaptation that considers itself super clever by just copying straight out of a D&D rulebook, no doubt. Luckily, there's only one of any particular class in existence, so we're safe from confusion. The promos are nothing but closeups of grotesque goblin faces and the titular dude striking dramatic poses. White Fox continues to be anything but ambitious.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Look, ma! I'm an RPG!

RELEASE THE SPYCE
https://releasethespyce.jp/
Studio: Lay-duce
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres October 6th

Show Premise: 
Ninja girls secretly fight crime.

Random Thoughts:
Another completely original thing, so there's just the promos and staff to go off of. I won't say there's no promise of ninjas or ninja-ing in the promos, but in the approximately two minutes of them, if you cut things off at 90 seconds in and told me this was a show about teenage girls working at a cafe and trying their bestest, there would be precious little evidence otherwise. It also shows more animation than Lay-duce usually puts out, and the writer here is… I suppose the word is notable (Akame ga Kill, Yuuki Yuuna), so it's possible that there's something here before it crashes and burns into a colorful trainwreck. But who doesn't enjoy a trainwreck? An actual trainwreck. Not just something that falls over without leaving the station like that show about spies pretending to be princesses pretending to be spies pretending to be princesses did.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Yip yip yip yip!

 

Closing Thoughts:

Well, there are quite a few wild cards in the form of completely original series, which is always nice to see, and, again, a blessed lack of idol nonsense, so I feel like that already would have raised the bar a little bit… if not for all the shows about sexual predation, of which boobparades like Senran Kagura don't even qualify, and ain't that a thought? A lot of things, especially the originals, simply haven't put out much promotional material at all though. Perhaps a wise move all along.

Also, not so much specific to this season, but this is probably the last time I'm going to do one of these, at least in this format. They take quite a while, even now that I've trimmed out all the sequels, and frankly, I don't know how useful they are these days. They're an artifact from the beforetimes when there weren't simulcasts of every single show, fansubs would sometimes like behind by months, and some shows would just literally not be on anybody's radar at all, let alone have competing simulcasts two weeks before the season even aired. We'll see though.

Posted in Season Preview | 15 Comments »

15 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Bertz says:

    The guy who becomes slime really can not be said to have a harem as such, only two girls come to feel some remote feeling of love in all story and one of them will not appear in this season. he is not all powerful like a god either, there are many characters that surpass him in power even after gain much habilities, still are not equated

    [Reply]

  • DP says:

    Enjoyed your preview! From what I gathered about Goblin Slayer from looking at the manga, the “hook” of the story was Berserk-type levels of violence and monster rape, only without much plot, and that Goblin Slayer was supposed to be a sort of Clint Eastwood-esque “man with no name” type… (Of course, that’s kind of redundant if no one else has a name.)

    Isn’t Zombieland Saga supposed to be “Idols vs. Zombies?”

    [Reply]

  • Rama says:

    Follow your previews for years, always interesting, thank you for your time.
    The season, well, 3 series to watch, some maybe, but not really, the usual lately.
    This made me lol hard:
    Preseason Swing Rating:
     Have you tried unplugging Excalibur and then plugging it back in?

    [Reply]

  • LUNI_TUNZ says:

    “It’s a wonder Dragonball never ended up there”

    Despite our best wishes, Dragonball Evolution still exists.

    Anyway, I’m up for more Index, I watched the entire series earlier this year, before Season 3 was revealed.

    [Reply]

  • jgoi says:

    Only fully watching Jojo pt5, everything else with cute girls in it will be skimmed for ecchi scenes.

    [Reply]

  • Neclord X says:

    Well, I for once I’m moderately optimistic about the upcoming season. It is not that I expect any of them being masterpieces but at least there is plenty of fantasy stuff and robots and magic Powers. Better that than a bunch of shows about clubs.

    [Reply]

  • Tiresias says:

    I like the Goblin Slayer manga, but if there’s anything history has taught me, it’s that anime adaptations always become 1% proper animation and 99% talking heads.

    Fool me once, shame on you, anime industry. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    [Reply]

  • sp33 says:

    Aw man, I was actually excited for that slime thing

    You’ve saved my free time again

    [Reply]

  • terry bogard says:

    I have also followed your previews for many years as well and always find them entertaining. I understand the need to change it up though. I get the impression that it’s a bit of a time investment with not much of a reward since some of these series are predictable and not very captivating.

    [Reply]

  • seragnel says:

    Thanks for all the season rundowns over the years. It really helped me keep updated on what was running as I don’t usually watch much.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous says:

    *I was in the marching band all through high school and college. I’ve known cheerleaders. None were this excited or excitable about anything’

    Pleased Go on, elaborate cos this this passage leaves more questions than answers and is already more interesting than this season……………

    P.S keep the review in some format it’s one of the highlights of this site

    [Reply]

    ark noir says:

    this be me!

    [Reply]

  • yuuji says:

    I’ve been following your previews for about a decade, so would be really sad if you stopped them – the combination of snark and summary is really one of a kind, and it’s been a great resource every season. In any case, thank you for your time!

    [Reply]

  • Longing says:

    I happen to love your season previews. I’ll be sad to see them go, but I understand if you don’t have to time to do them.

    Still love that mech design on Gridman, though.

    [Reply]

  • Nick3137 says:

    Aroduc, please keep up with these previews! For many years it was my first stop where to get info on all the new shows each season and what worth looking into.

    While 9 times out of 10 I don’t agree with your ratings (I’m sucker for all those “cute girls doing cute thing in a club” shows) but I like your humor and writing style.

    [Reply]

  • Leave a Comment

    Basic guidelines:
    Be civil. Don't ask for games, raws, music, etc. Feel free to correct any mistakes I make, I'm far from perfect. Excessively rude or stupid comments will be mocked, edited, deleted, or all three.