Tapioca Appreciation Gala and Autumn Anime Seasonal Rundown

October 2nd, 2019

Still waiting on a new Burn Up, Japan.

Look who finally got off their butt and put this together. Just under the wire too. If it seems light for a fall season, that's because there are 15 direct sequels/continuations that I don't want to spend the effort on a long detail. New(ish) things only here. Specifically, there's:

Radiant
Zoids
Granblue Fantasy
We Never Learn
Fate/Grand Order
Stop That Sound
Fairy Gone
Seven Deadly Sins
Food Wars
My Hero Academia
Sword Art Online
Chihayaful
Hi Score Girl
Gundam Build
Psycho Pass

And that's not counting three or four new iterations of existing franchises that are covered below. There's an argument to be made for calling Granblue Fantasy a new thing since it's a completely new staff and studio (A-1 to Mappa, so huge step up), but it's being billed as a continuation, so… nah, although I may at least take a glance to see if it's stopped sucking. I'm also spurning both pet and Blade of Immortal from detailed mention here because the former has no air date aside from a vague "October 2019" and no promos whatsoever, so might be shadow puppets for all I know, and Blade of the Immortal is advertising two episodes on Amazon Prime on October 10th, but no actual broadcast schedule above or beyond that. It's LIDENFILMS anyway, and the promos are… not as animated as the previous film was, to put it mildly.

Like last time, in an attempt to amuse myself, I've grouped them by theme rather than air date. It's an attempt to enjoy the soul-crushing repetition rather than succumb to it.

Edit: I've moved this to the front of the blog because I'm out of town Thursday through Sunday and don't plan on making any posts in that span. Catchup with the shows I missed will happen starting Monday.

High School Clubs, The Pinnacle of Life

Sora the Duck
http://ahirunosora.jp/
Studio: diomedea
Genre: Drama
Premieres October 2nd

Show Premise: 
Sora wants to join his new school's basketball club, but it's been taken over by ne'er-do-wells.

Random Thoughts:
I know it's super duper hard to come up with premises for high school sports shows that haven't already been done to death, but good lord, this one's not even trying. Hell, there was a sumo thing a couple seasons back with the exact same EVERYTHING, right down to the protagonist being too short and scrawny to be good, but he secretly is. The super depressing part here is that the director is Seven Arcs old (ancient at this point) action dude, now trapped apparently in a personal hell of nothing but trashy basketball shows.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Will be nothing like NBA Jam.

Are You Really the Only One Who Likes Me?
https://oresuki-anime.com/
Studio: CONNECT
Genre: Drama
Premieres October 2nd

Show Premise: 
Kisaragi is surrounded by hot girls, but the only one who has a crush on him is the plain-seeming one who is always making fun of him.

Random Thoughts:
The promos have the harem all blushing and/or rubbing themselves on him before saying "I have a crush on your friend," with the joke then being that he screams "EEEEEEEEHHHHHHH!?" This happens multiple times in a single promo, so they're putting a lot of eggs in that one basket. It's a terrible basket, and the eggs are rotten. And obviously… OBVIOUSLY… none of them actually get with the other guy, and eventually learn that the doormat protagonist was always the truest bestest guy. Which is why the damn thing is at like 12 volumes without the threat of anything actually happening or any relationships beginning or ending at any point.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Also, they all have plant nicknames.

Afterschool Dice Club
http://saikoro-club.com/
Studio: LIDENFILMS
Genre: Comedy
Premieres October 2nd

Show Premise: 
Girls hang out. Sometimes they play board games.

Random Thoughts:
I should stress the sometimes part, because while involving a board game does become more frequent as it goes on, the first few chapters of the manga source are just a melancholic teenage girl suffering from ennui entranced by meeting a standard manic pixie girlfriend and all of a sudden, life has meaning again. And then they find another one whose family runs a board game shop, so they find a game-of-the-week to explain the rules instead of writing story, development, or jokes. Chapter after chapter of "Yay! You rolled the dice! Woohoo!" as the crowning moment of teenage exuberance and joy that moves the tired hearts of… well, not me, certainly.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Afterschool DIE club.

Welcome to Hell, Iruma!
http://www6.nhk.or.jp/anime/program/detail.html?i=iruma
Studio: Bandai Namco Pictures
Genre: Comedy
Premieres October 5th

Show Premise: 
Iruma's parents sell him to a demon, who's the principal of a demon high school where he forces Iruma to attend.

Random Thoughts:
We're talking more of the Disgaea or Enma-kun kind of hell, although the promos are almost entirely burly demon men standing around without their shirts on while the titular character is dressed up like Donald Duck. The promos are also almost completely unanimated, which is something of a feat considering that it's about a minute of footage. Guess Bandai Namco is putting as much effort into the production of this as they do into translating their crap. This show was inches away from being put in a certain pointy later category.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Like a bunny in Lennie's massive hands.

ACTORS: Songs Connection
http://actorsmusic.jp/
Studio: Drive
Genre: Drama
Premieres October 6th

Show Premise: 
Boys go to idol school.

Random Thoughts:
Oh, hey, it's another show based on a song collection. Add that to the Deen thing from before. Promos are sparkling teenage boys either moping at each other or sparkling with youthful teenage vibrance. Yeeeeah, no. Haven't we reached critical mass on the number of high schools built entirely around producing pop stars anyway? Also a candidate for pointy-chinned land that I decided to throw here instead, because some shows are just cross-fandom like that.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

One chilli dog would feed the whole school for weeks.

Kanda River Jet Girls
http://kjganime.com/
Studio: TNK
Genre: Boobs
Premieres October 8th

Show Premise: 
Jet race is a new sport where pairs of girls race on jet skis, one a driver, the other a shooter.

Random Thoughts:
This is the latest Marvelous franchise, spiritual and thematic successor to Senran Kagura and Valkyrie Drive, which is to say that it's all fanservice, all the time. Not that the promo tries to hide it, what with the shot of a boob being flicked and then it bounces for five straight seconds. For some reason, I don't think that jet skis and fanservice Mario Kart are going to have the same kind of pull as booby Dynasty Warriors or booby lesbian Dynasty Warriors, but will no doubt be just as trashy with a quarter of the substance, and those shows were already insubstantial dross.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Soaking wet cellulose.

Stars Align
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/hoshiai/
Studio: 8-bit
Genre: Drama
Premieres October 10th

Show Premise: 
Boys are in a tennis club.

Random Thoughts:
Why does this exist? It's a completely original show, yet what they decided to do with it was make something as banal as possible. I'd expect that from a studio like PA Works, but 8bits? And the brainchild of the same guy who did Noein/Birdy Decode? Was it his greatest regret that he never did a melodramatic school sports show? Did someone kidnap his schnauzer? Is tennis a metaphor for their souls being crushed by society? Explain this to me.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

The grim reaper of creativity.

Rifle is Beautiful
https://chidori-high-school.com/
Studio: Studio 3Hz
Genre: Comedy
Premieres October 13th

Show Premise: 
Hikari starts a shooting club.

Random Thoughts:
Here's our token four panel “girls in a club” show, with really nothing whatsoever to do with guns. Even Upotte had more to do with them. Heck, they use strobe light guns like an NES Zapper, but only very token rewrites would be necessary if it was instead switched to being about, say, a tax evasion club because it's primarily just girls making faces at each other and jokes like “Let's meet up again!” “We just finished the last meeting.” There are no promos that I could find, but I wager you can imagine you can pick any four panel girls club things and it'll be indistinguishable.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Another wise investment by the NRA.

I Went to Another World And Only Found Irony

Rise Up! Animal Road
http://hataage-kemonomichi.com/
Studio: ENGI
Genre: Comedy
Premieres October 2nd

Show Premise: 
Genzo is summoned to a fantasy world and told to fight monsters, but he loves animals so he beats up the princess and starts a pet shop.

Random Thoughts:
The promos are just the premise being screamed yelled on loop, so it's not a great first impression. A glance at the source shows that about 90% of the jokes are "I am a professional wrestler and I must pet fluffy tails!" The other 10% are "I'm just a regular professional wrestler doing the things that a professional wrestler does, like suplex passers-by. Why do people think that is strange?" A high point of the humor is when it steals Excel Saga's joke of one of the slave-wife harem wanting to eat the pet dog, and that should really say it all.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

¡La arena está de bote en bote! ¡y arrancamos!

This Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious
http://shincho-yusha.jp/
Studio: White Fox
Genre: Comedy
Premieres October 2nd

Show Premise: 
A goddess summons a hero who is perfect in every way, except that he's too cautious about even the easiest tasks.

Random Thoughts:
And then here we have a light novel adaptation that thinks the joke is explaining how big a cliche things are, and then just doing them anyway, like explaining the genre and all the RPG stuff is such a big cliche that it doesn't need explaining… in the process of explaining all of it. But its primary joke is someone saying "You're overpowered and this is something easy to do," and then the male says "No, I need to prepare more." Toss in a half dozen buxom women with only enough clothing to cover three of them to check off the harem box, and whammo, there's your show. But like is the trend now, it's not cliche, it's ironic! By stating the cliches. Hit someone with a goddamned pie, you comedy hacks.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Grinding jokes about grinding.

The Ascendance of a Bookworm – I'll Become a Librarian At Any Cost
http://booklove-anime.jp/
Studio: Ajia-Do
Genre: Drama
Premieres October 2nd

Show Premise: 
Urano is reincarnated in a fantasy world where books are rare, so she works to make her own.

Random Thoughts:
Yes, that is its full actual title. I feel like the day is fast approaching where I just trawl Amazon to find the craziest light novel titles. I've seen some whoppers, but my favorite might be "Let's Make Porn In a Fantasy World!" Which was apparently a G rated comedy. *ahem* Anyway, so we move on to our third kind of ironic parallel world nonsense, the kind of that has no clue whatsoever why it needed to have a character teleported to another world and/or reincarnated in it, but went with that anyway because we've moved past "sex sells" and are into "whatever-the-hell-this-is sells." There's no shortage of fantasy (non) drama drek, void of style or substance ostensibly centered on whatever mundane thing the author was looking at at the time, but easily substituted by any other noun. Typically, it's plants or food, but I guess this time it was books. Promos bored and promised nothing whatsoever. If we're lucky, we'll learn how pulp is made. I doubt we'll reach even those lofty heights.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Lick a stamp, nerd.

High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World!
http://choyoyu.com/
Studio: project No.9
Genre: Boobs
Premieres October 3rd

Show Premise: 
A bunch of super genius high school students are teleported to another world where they use their knowledge to immediately revolutionize it and take over.

Random Thoughts:
As I prowled around for snippets on the light novel source, I found a review that said nothing but that If you put the first two novels together, they're half the length of the first Harry Potter. Ergo, 5/5. That I feel sums up the standards for your typical light novel. Oh, what? I should talk about the promos? The ones that are just close-ups of cleavage or demi-human girls stripping? Yeah, sure. Lots there. Not that I'd expect much from project No.9 since low end trashy fanservice light novel adaptions is about all they do and this appears to be no exception.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Rapidly expanding spherical objects.

Didn't I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life!?
https://noukin-anime.com/
Studio: project No.9
Genre: Comedy
Premieres October 7th

Show Premise: 
Tortured genius Misato asks to be made perfectly average when reincarnated in a different world, but didn't realize how far below average even the strongest or smartest humans were compared to everything else so ended up with the strength, intelligence, and magical abilities of a demigod.

Random Thoughts:
The first five minutes of the first episode were put up as a promo, and I question the wisdom of that. It's her bumping into one of her girl-harem friends after the next, and I mean that quite literally, including multiple face-plants into jiggling boobs. I think the repetition is supposed to make it humorously ironic. Advertising that the show is going to start with at least five minutes of nothing seems unwise, but this is the staff of things like Yuruyuri and Momokyun with the production downgraded to Project No.9 levels, so when it's showing off speedlines in the 'action' promos, that very well may the best that they've got.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

This subgenre needs to be pithed.

Your Chin Must Be THIS Pointy to Sparkle

Young Disease Outburst Boys
http://chubyou.net/
Studio: Studio DEEN
Genre: Comedy
Premieres October 3rd

Show Premise: 
Hijiri meets a bunch of boys with grandiose delusions about themselves.

Random Thoughts:
This was born from one of those themed vocaloid collections like Mekaku City Actors or… I know there have been at least 3-4 other things, but they're also so unnotable that's the only one I can recall, and even that took Googling. The promos are all pretty boys posing against pastel backgrounds. The staff is awful. Deen is usually pretty low end. At best, it'll be probably just be very tiresome.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

And at worst, it'll give you chlamydia.

Special Crime Investigation Unit – Special 7
http://www.tokunana.jp/
Studio: ANIMA&CO
Genre: Action
Premieres October 6th

Show Premise: 
Police track a terrorist group attempting to revive the lost power of dragons.

Random Thoughts:
The studio is essentially NAZ under a different name, and NAZ has traditionally been godawful, but the promos were merely sub-mediocere, so they're already above the NAZ baseline expectations. They weren't really elucidating either though, and this is a wholly original show so there's not much to go on. I can't help but notice that one of the pretty boys has a pet dragon, so I question the stated premise that the power of dragons is in any way lost if we're keeping them around as housepets.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

And they probably widdle all over the desk.

Babylon
https://babylon-anime.com/
Studio: Revoroot
Genre: Drama
Premieres October 6th

Show Premise: 
Seizaki, a prosecutor, discovers a government conspiracy.

Random Thoughts:
At the risk of spoiling, the conspiracy is promotion of mass-suicide, which is also where they're getting their coy marketing "Oooh, this'll totally push the boundaries of society, oooooh" schtick, but since they're advertising it as covering three arcs with the middle one titled “Choosing Death,” that probably shouldn't come as a big surprise. The first three episodes are being released on the 6th on Amazon Prime, while the weekly broadcast starts on the 7th with just the first episode. Yes, its broadcast schedule is more interesting than its promos, which are dudes standing around looking shocked as the letter F covers the screen. Granted, I'm not sure there's any way to make a supposed procedural drama seem interesting. That's why I prefer my lawyers to come with magical giant robots and chests the size of toaster ovens. The magical girls AND the robots.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Praise the death god.

Kabukicho Sherlock
http://pipecat-kabukicho.jp/
Studio: Production IG
Genre: Comedy
Premieres October 11th

Show Premise: 
Sherlock and pals solve mysteries in the Kabukicho district of Tokyo.

Random Thoughts:
Given all the overreactions in the promos and that they're delivered in a motormouth barrage, this definitely fancies itself a comedy. Much of the humor seems to come from people making zany faces, like turning bright red from seeing cleavage, or that Mrs. Hudson is reimagined as a bearded man in a variety of cocktail gowns. Seriously. If you watch the promos, almost every fourth shot is her in a different dress. I'm pretty sure she's shown off more than Sherlock and Watson combined. And since this is a complete original, I'm really not sure what to think about that. The head writer is kind of crap who does a bunch of incredibly boring boy-filled dramas though, so that's probably where it'll fall.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Less a trap, more just hungry.

True Cooking Master Boy
http://cookingmaster-anime.jp/
Studio: NAS
Genre: Adventure
Premieres October 11th

Show Premise: 
Mao travels across China to become the greatest chef.

Random Thoughts:
This had an adaptation back in 97, which I believe covered the titular “True” part of the manga's run, but this is supposedly a total reboot from scratch, different from the sequel reboot that began about two years ago. It's a cooking show from a Jump-like manga. The theme is Chinese food. You can probably chart the whole thing out from there, silly overreactions and food factoid lessons etc. The best I think I can hope for with these shows is to be educated a little bit, and they're always just some random factoid that ends up screamed to fireworks.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Add jiangshi to taste.

Stand My Heroes: Piece of Truth
https://www.standmyheroes.tv/
Studio: M.S.C.
Genre: Drama
Premieres October 7th

Show Premise: 
Izumi works as a recruiter for the narcotics division of the government.

Random Thoughts:
The weirdest part of this is that the boy-harem's owner's special trait is that she has some kind of magical immunity to narcotics. I feel like that would have a lot of very bad metabolic effects. But anyway, she leads a team of ponty-chinned heartthrobs from all walks of life, from pointy-chinned male models to pointy-chinned male detectives to pointy-chinned male personal trainers. You're supposed to pay the gacha to collect them all. No, seriously. I don't even know where to start here, so it's probably best if I don't at all.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

A tingling, burning sensation.

No Guns Life
http://nogunslife.com/
Studio: MADHOUSE
Genre: Drama
Premieres October 10th

Show Premise: 
Inui is a cyborg with amnesia and a gun for a head who works as a detective specializing in cyborg cases.

Random Thoughts:
The official English tagline for this show is, direct quote, “SF hard-boiiled the gun smoke drifts muzzle talks.” I don't know what it means, but the promo is about 90% Gun-Face doing cliché detective shots like smoking or putting on a jacket, and 10% punching an oncoming train. Unfortunately, this is Madhouse's Overlord team, and Overlord was not a show with an emphasis on the production, to put it mildly, or a show that placed any emphasis on action or plot when it could have dudes sitting in a circle talking for twenty minutes straight. In that light, all those shots of people (and gun-people) standing around, staring blankly like cave-fish drawn into the light are probably way more indicative of the show's meat than punching a train is. I suspect having a gun for the face mostly means that they don't even need to bother with face/mouth animations.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Someone misunderstood the concept of living weapon.

Have Magical Girlfriend, Will Travel

Azur Lane
https://azurlane-anime.jp/
Studio: Bibury
Genre: Action
Premieres October 3rd

Show Premise: 
Girls-as-battleships fight other girls-as-battleships.

Random Thoughts:
Azur Lane is the Chinese knockoff of KanColle which was a knockoff of Girls un Panzer which was a knockoff of Strike Witches which was a knockoff of Sky Girls which wasナ oh god, how far does this go? And that's not even touching all the other offshoots. Yeah, the gameplay is somewhat different, but that's about it. And since the former got a CGIed up crapfest of an adaptation, it's time for the knockoff to get one too. The promos are all about the terrible CGI. Well, that's not entirely true. The first minute of the main promo is just girls wandering around town, smiling at each other, shopping, and being the friendliest friends who ever friendshipped. Then there's about 15 seconds of CGI clashes or posing. Truly an action packed show, no doubt about it.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Will Star Trek or Star Wars suffer the first ship-girl-ification of their stuff?

Val x Love
https://val-love.com/
Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Genre: Boobs
Premieres October 5th

Show Premise: 
Anti-social Takuma is forced to live with 9 valkyries who get their power from sexual activities.

Random Thoughts:
Ten years ago, Hoods made its first show. It was softcore incest porn. They followed it up with a show about getting your power from drinking breast milk, then a show about stealing boobs to en-booben yourself, then a show about drinking drool. Then came five years of just being terrible at regular shows. It's nice to see them getting back to their origins. Is nice the right word? Well, whatever. The promos just have transformation sequences and some of the usual naked silhouette orgasm shots. I'm sure it'll be high class and high quality all around.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Bury your snake within the cream.

Phantasy Star Online 2 – Episode Oracle
https://pso2.jp/anime_eporacle/
Studio: Gonzo
Genre: Action
Premieres October 7th

Show Premise: 
During a training mission, Ash saves a girl with amnesia who's somehow connected to the growing monster attacks.

Random Thoughts:
The last time PSO2 had an adaptation, it was about people playing PSO2. This one is adapting ACTUAL PSO2, which, astonishingly enough, is still around. Judging by the quality of the promo though, it's not probably not doing too hot. I hope you like awkward CGI. You'd think Gonzo would've gotten better at what they've been doing since the days of Last Exile or Vandread, but apparently not.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

You would not believe how hard it is to find pixel art of Gonzo the muppet.

Z/X: Code Reunion
https://www.zxtcg.com/animation/
Studio: Passione
Genre: Merchandising
Premieres October 8th

Show Premise: 
Z/X are beings from alternate timelines who have come to the past to ensure their timeline exists by partnering with humans and defeating all the other Z/X. They all go to a highschool together.

Random Thoughts:
You might remember a show called Z/X Ignition from 2014. This is a second bite at making a passable show out of the Z/X TCG franchise by way of adapting a manga adaptation of it done in a Jump, but is ostensibly completely unrelated otherwise. If the promos indicate how the show will go, it'll be entirely girls running and girls smiling. Already sounds like a step up from Ignition. If it has better than that, I'd probably count it as a win.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Costumes could easily look 25% more stupid.

Assassin's Pride
https://assassinspride-anime.com/
Studio: EMT Squared
Genre: Action
Premieres October 10th

Show Premise: 
In a world of darkness overrun by lycanthropes, mana is seen as a holy light and the sign of nobility. Kufa is ordered to assassinate a noble girl with no mana, but after seeing her resolve, shares some of his with her and begins training her to fight.

Random Thoughts:
With all the ironic light novel fantasy things, there's something oddly comforting about just an overpowered black-haired dude and his underage not-quite-girlfriend-but-not-saying-she-isn't-either fighting goofy clown monsters in between school tournaments. It bleeds cliché, even setting aside that it's a copy pasted Black Bullet from sci-fi to fantasy. Or Unbreakable Machine Doll from fantasy to fantasy. Or… *ahem* This looks to already have budget issues. Or maybe the half-vampire protagonist really does nothing but cut CGI bullets in mid air in between posing dramatically with his eyes glowing. And I'm going to say that a light novel protagonist with the last name “Vampir” being half-vampire is not a spoiler. He also has a childhood friend with amnesia as a rival slash love interest to distract from his rapidly growing harem of 10 year olds. Did I mention there's also a constant rolling tournament for the little girls? Because of course there is. A reminder perhaps of why we left these behind, but I'll be damned if it still doesn't look more tolerable than any of the reincarnation into a reluctant demigod and-isn't-that-just-the-wackiest shows.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Fidelity issues already out of focus.

Wrapup:

I'm actually out of town from Thursday until Sunday, so expect mostly radio silence for the rest of the week with the early shows that air. I may post in that span, but after the opening blitzkrieg of 6 shows tomorrow (Wednesday), a break will be nice. It's looking like a pretty dull season to be honest. It feels like it's been forever since we had a proper crazy-pants Sunrise fantasy action show, and I could do without all these too-clever-by-half transported to a parallel world as a god where the 'twist' is just in the specific mechanics by which they became a god. 

Anyway, got it done, technically just under the wire. See you tomorrow for… three shows about being an ironic demigod in a paralell world and three about high school clubs. …Yeesh.

Posted in Season Preview | 6 Comments »

6 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Dave Baranyi says:

    Thanks for the effort. If only the anime studios put half that amount of effort into some of these shows…

  • anise_punter says:

    our hero

  • The Phantom says:

    Thank you, love your previews.

  • NeclordX says:

    This season doesn’t feel very exciting. Even the previous season that was filled with the same sort of shows, but this season seems even more into the “parody” side of things.
    Like I don’t mind Isekai but can’t they at least have some sort of story? Because I’m honestly not tired of the genre itself, I’m tired of just seeing prologues

  • Tiresias says:

    I foresee the NRA investing on Girls’ Frontline soon

  • ark noir says:

    cheers for the preview aroduc! Haven’t watched anything yet but teh wrestler one, the hell disgaea and the black bullet knock off have perked my interest.

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