Libertarian Primary Debate and Quick Winter Season Rundown

January 2nd, 2020

Can't be worse than last season.

…Aside from so many of the action shows being sequels to things I got sick of years ago. Good god, how are they still making Index/Railgun stuff? It was at practically a standstill ages ago. I do have a new favorite thing with these previews above and beyond sarcastically sorting thing into 4-5 categories of collective awfulness. A couple seasons back, one of the porn makers figured out a new way to market their porn. They would make supercuts of it by just taking out or censoring the explicit parts, leaving about 5 minutes of 'show' left over, which they would then advertise as a broadcast series to lure unsuspecting people in. I chuckle as I make the rounds to make sure I haven't overlooked anything and see people obliviously talking about hardcore incest pornography.

But anyway, let's get to it, and while there aren't too many sequels or direct spinoffs this season, they are, as usual, not mentioned here. I'm also not entirely sure what to make of that Re:Zero DIRECTOR'S CUT rebroadcast-but-not-really-a-real-rebroadcast or even what's going on with that, so I'm just going to ignore it. Zenonzard is also a horrible TCG thing with a slave robot wife that had an OVA episode 0 a while back which announced its broadcast for January 2020, but hasn't updated its site since then, so I think we're off the hook.

What If [Animal] But Actually [Person]

All Together! To Seton Academy!
https://anime-seton.jp/
Studio: Studio Gokumi
Genre: Comedy
Premieres January 6th

Show Premise: 
Jin hates animal people, but is forced to join the pack of a wolf girl.

Random Thoughts:
Remember that speedline-filled unanimated action show about a honey badger girl that would constantly stop to have the narrator shout out random facts about animals? Well, here it is, back in slapstick harem form. It looks like Gokumi's default level is about the same as Liden's top effort, so I'm not sure what the difference in the end between the two will be. Younger characters and fewer underwear shots, it seems. Also, not sure that Killing Bites ever worked in how some animals eat their own poop, which is apparently a major joke of this one. Spectacular.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I'm a breeding bull.

Sorcerous Stabber Orphen
http://ssorphen-anime.com/
Studio: Studio DEEN
Genre: Adventure
Premieres January 7th

Show Premise: 
Orphen and pals travel the world, looking for a way to save his sister who had been transformed into a dragon.

Random Thoughts:
Orphen. Wow. That's a blast from the past. The Slayers-era fantasy adventure past to be specific. Back now to take a second bite at the apple with a REAL adaptation because the first no longer counts. This is the kind of show I tend to gravitate to, but the lady in charge of the scripts is prolific and utterly horrible at it, with the biggest portfolio of non-drama dramas that you can imagine. The director is maybe slightly more promising, having done the two recent Nanoha movies, but it's also Deen, who is a crapshoot at best. The promos are… fine. Considering the competition this season and what we're coming off of from last season, I should probably be more optimistic, but all it really does is make me wonder when they're going to be doing a "No for reals" Slayers remake and that depresses me.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

We feel overdue for a 'real' version of Trigun too for that matter.

Cat Paradise
https://nekopara-anime.com/
Studio: Felix Film
Genre: T&A
Premieres January 9th

Show Premise: 
Horny cat girl slaves want to have sex with you.

Random Thoughts:
And on the topic of supercuts of porn, we have this, one of the first porn-but-totally-not-because-we-put-it-behind-a-patch games on Steam, which has opened the floodgates and now you can't go five feet without being mobbed by a pack of godawful drek with pixelated genitalia. Too bad for it that someone else already has that niche filled. Thanks, Steam. And yes, I do hold a grudge against this for… all the reasons. Luckily, I feel pretty confident in expecting this to be crap even without any of my personal stuff.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Bouncing things.

Do You Know My Tama!?
https://uchitama.com/
Studio: MAPPA / Lapin Track
Genre: Comedy
Premieres January 9th

Show Premise: 
Boys are cats.

Random Thoughts:
This is a spinoff of Tama and Friends, a franchise in the Hello Kitty short-form-made-to-sell-Beanie-Babies thing that has been around forever, but since the little girls who bought the plush toys have grown up, this is the same characters all reimagined as glistening, sparkling pretty boys to coo soothingly in their ears and smile sparklies at them. And… uh… I'm genuinely not sure if there's anything more to this, or any shows of its ilk, than that.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Lick it, stick it, and send.

Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga
https://shinamon-nobunaga.com/
Studio: Pierrot
Genre: Comedy
Premieres January 10th

Show Premise: 
Sengoku era warlords are reincarnated as pet dogs.

Random Thoughts:
Haven't we had enough overdramatized Sengoku era warlords making faces already? I suppose I can't think of too many comedies involving them. I don't think Sengoku Basara counts, but it's certainly in a similar vein. Will having them be dogs mix up the formula enough to be funny? Especially with Pierrot apparently animating this on the most shoestring of budgets? Doubtful. At least the promos show that they're not sending any talent or effort this way.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Spinoff coming where the Shinsengumi are barn animals.

Interspecies Reviewers
https://isyuzoku.com/
Studio: Passione
Genre: Comedy
Premieres January 11th

Show Premise: 
Stunk and pals travel the world to determine what species of demihuman has the hottest girls by sleeping with all of them.

Random Thoughts:
This is where the nudity and lingerie shots from that other animal show ended up. It's also something that is going to be plagued by fun animal facts tossed in, like "Hey, did you know female hyenas have pseudo-penises?" Although from the promos at least, it seems a little less yelly and a less likely to have the narrator butt in to scream factoids at you. There's apparently no story to speak of, and I'm skeptical that a series of fun sex facts is enough of a twist to carry the whole thing, but it's probably better than fun exercise facts, fun volleyball facts, fun dancing facts, etc etc.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
The burning sensation in your box is probably a mimic.

Dorohedoro
https://dorohedoro.net/sp/
Studio: MAPPA
Genre: Adventure
Premieres January 12th

Show Premise: 
Caiman has a lizard head. He puts magicians in his mouth to talk to the crazy dude who lives inside him to find out who turned him into a lizard.

Random Thoughts:
Mappa with a fantasy adventure about a monster dude trying to recover his humanity. It seems like their bread and butter. So why do the promos look so awful? Probably the rampant use of some particularly janky CGI. It never looked great with Garo, but at least it was relegated to the action bits. Forcing it to be up front and center is like shining a spotlight on the blemish rather than using speedlines and a drunken camera to hide it.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
  
What's inside the lizard?

We Will Never Escape The High School Club Show

Romantic Asteroid
http://koiastv.com/
Studio: Dogakobo
Genre: Comedy
Premieres January 3rd

Show Premise: 
Mira joins the astronomy club to reunite with her her long lost crush, not realizing that her crush was a girl.

Random Thoughts:
But girls can't love girls. Girls can't love girls! Anyway, this is a four panel affair, and appears to be a pretty banal one. I opened to a random page, and it was one going "I can't think of what to write an article about!" and then three panels of laying on desk, bed, and couch. Now they just need to find a way to transfer that kind of amazing humor to an animated medium. Seems right up Dogakobo's alley.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

That's no moon.

Don't Dabble In Video Study!
http://eizouken-anime.com/
Studio: Science SARU
Genre: Comedy
Premieres January 5th

Show Premise: 
Midori and friends want to make an anime.

Random Thoughts:
Also known officially as "Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken," because why not half translate a title badly? My favorite part of the promos for this is how it advertises that it's Masaaki Yuasa's first anime in five years. I guess Devilman Crybaby, something like three or four movies, and a Shin-chan spinoff don't count. I've never been a big fan though. His style is certainly striking, but it tends more towards doing crazy stuff to draw attention to itself in spite of the content rather than to highlight or accentuate important parts of it. Why did the camera swing wildly into a fish-eye lens for a dude walking into a room? Why not? And shows about the anime industry already tend to disappear up their own ass more than take the Komugi OVA approach of mockery and poking fun at itself.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

The shambling mound shambles onward.

Breakers
https://www6.nhk.or.jp/anime/program/detail.html?i=breakers
Studio: Albacrow
Genre: Drama
Premieres January 7th

Show Premise: 
Handicapped athletes hook up with a mad scientist to unlock their full potential.

Random Thoughts:
Oh lord, Japan. There aren't a lot of ways to translate 異端 to make this not come off as super weird. It's completely original too, so it's hard to even say if it actually handles things with tact, or if it treats handicapped people with the same grace and tact that it handles homosexuality, adoption, familial relationships, pet ownership, slavery… You know what? This probably won't even be the worst thing. Hell, I don't think the show about horny dudes and their pet intersex angel visiting whorehouses will be the worst thing this season. There's just way too much competition. No doubt it's just trying to cash in on the Olympics coming to Tokyo anyway.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Let's get that head off you and replace it with a toaster.

number24
https://number24-anime.com/
Studio: PRA
Genre: Drama
Premieres January 8th

Show Premise: 
Boys play rugby.

Random Thoughts:
To this one's credit, the promos do contain rugby, and it is animated, which somehow puts them in the upper echelon of this season's marketing materials. My favorite parts of them, however, is how all the protagonists have a veritable rainbow of hair colors and styles, while their opponents are quite literally one dude copy pasted over and over again. I'm serious about the rainbow too. There's a shot at the end of the whole named cast and no two characters have the same color OR style of hair. This is also a completely original show, so I have nothing to go on but that it's some teenagers playing rugby. I expect it to be like every other goddamned sports show. Maybe not with the permanent wedgies of Harukana Recieve though. Maybe.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Right in the kidneys.

The Case Files of Jeweler Richard
https://jeweler-richard.com/
Studio: Studio Shuka
Genre: Drama
Premieres January 9th

Show Premise: 
Richard is a jeweler who solves mysteries.

Random Thoughts:
Why do people keep giving shows to Shuka? They are godawful. That's the real mystery here. You'd still think they'd want to play up the premise, but they know the audience, and the audience is here for two pointy-chinned pretty boys bumbling around until one accidentally stares soulfully in the other one's eyes. That happens I think three times in the promo. Mystery? Jewels? Whatever. Pretty boys!

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Like two snakes fighting.

A Destructive God Sits Next to Me
http://bokuhaka-anime.com/
Studio: EMT Squared
Genre: Comedy
Premieres January 11th

Show Premise: 
Koyuki sits next to a hyperactive boy with a wild imagination.

Random Thoughts:
Didn't we just have this last season except it was a girl? Or was that two seasons ago? Good god, it was probably both. And nearly every season going back like five years. It's a dicey enough affair when every character is in on it. I have no idea what centering it on a character constantly complaining about having to suffer through the premise is supposed to add.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

A destructive frog is preaching to me.

Not Quite Fantasy, But Flirts With It On Occasion

Darwin's Game
https://darwins-game.com/
Studio: Nexus
Genre: Action
Premieres January 3rd( (one hour premiere)

Show Premise: 
Kaname accidentally joins a tournament where people get magical powers and have to battle.

Random Thoughts:
We're not really stretching our creative muscles here, are we? Especially considering that the last manga these people had adapted was that thing about a CGI cat fighting zodiac critters in a tournament that was way better choreographed than it had any right to be. This seems bereft of CGI, but is actually animated, so that's a step up, and nobody has a slave girlfriend that turns into a weapon, which is also… I want to say promising, but the word feels wrong. Amusingly, if you thought this had a single creative bone in its body, the main character's special ability is to create any object he's touched. Can't think of any popular tournament thing where the main character had that power.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Fate Stay/What?

Plunderer
http://plunderer-info.com/
Studio: Geek Toys
Genre: Adventure
Premieres January 8th

Show Premise: 
Everyone has a specific count assigned to them, which is some random factoid about their life. The higher your count, the higher your power level and status. Also, there are dragon balls that grant wishes.

Random Thoughts:
It's so helpful when a show builds the power levels straight into its premise. One of the very few shows that has something that under the right light could be mistaken for action, but it also has a promo that's basically nothing but a girl squirming and fidgeting with her skirt. For a minute straight. Sometimes, it would cut to a dude reading porn. I don't feel optimistic, especially with Geek Toys handling the production. They're not… great.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
The fuzziest and mish-mashed of popsicles.

Somali and the Forest Spirit
http://somali-anime.com/
Studio: Satelight
Genre: Drama
Premieres January 9th

Show Premise: 
Somali is one of the few humans left in a world dominated by demihumans. She travels with her adoptive father, a golem, searching for more of her own kind.

Random Thoughts:
This is not Satelight's action team. This is Satelight's half-assed budget Croisee team. Remember that show? No, of course not. But don't worry, there's lots of stills of the little girl crying and overly faux-artistic shots of an iridescent forest. On the upside though, this is probably the least likely of the slave-daughter shows this season to end up with the slave girl married to its father figure. Using him as a large sex toy, maybe, but married? Probably not.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

LOVE ME, FATHER.

Hatena Illusion
http://hatenaillusion-anime.com/
Studio: Children's Playground Entertainment
Genre: Comedy
Premieres January 9th

Show Premise: 
Makoto becomes a butler to a family of magicians where the daughter leads a secret life as a phantom thief.

Random Thoughts:
This is a light novel harem affair that apparently seeks to check off as many bad cliches in its promos as possible. Main heroine is mad because she thought the girly protagonist was a girl, but he has a penis and that makes her mad. Also, here she is beating him up for walking in on her in the bath, a top heavy maid flouncing around, Tuxedo Mask standing in wind over a nightscape, and one quarter of a magical girl transformation sequence.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
  
What's in the box?

Toilet-Bound Hanako
https://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/hanakokun/
Studio: Lerche
Genre: Comedy
Premieres January 9th

Show Premise: 
Hanako is a ghost who is bound to a toilet and solves supernatural incidents.

Random Thoughts:
Lest we think this is too weird, a ghost girl named Hanako who died in a toilet stall is a commonish urban legend in Japan, so the real 'twist' here is that it's a boy… and he fights crime. Frankly, I would've gone with the twist of being animated. Slapping speedlines on a pulsating blob that's situated roughly at the mouth area and shaking the screen is weak, Lerche. Very weak.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Beware chamber pot bears.

In/Spectre
http://kyokousuiri.jp/
Studio: Brain's Base
Genre: Action
Premieres January 11th

Show Premise: 
Kotoko fights supernatural entities while pursuing her immortal crush.

Random Thoughts:
The promos certainly contain a lot of maimed people and maimed people kicking monsters in the face, which is promising. This director's not bad either, being mainly known for the gimik stuff of the early 00s (eg Kiddy Grade, Uta Kata, etc). This is a manga adaptation rather than an original though, and the source is supposedly… exposition-heavy. One has to wonder in a medium where excessive exposition is the standard how bad it must get to stand out in that regard. Let's hope for a succinct adaptation that cuts out the chaff. …Yeah, right.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
    
Spunky teenage girls vs puberty.

IDOLS IDOLS IDOLS IDOLS IDOLS IDOLS IDOLS IDOLS IDOLS

I'd Just Die If My Favorite Idol Made It To The Top
https://oshibudo.com/
Studio: 8-bit
Genre: Idols
Premieres January 9th

Show Premise: 
A horny fan is obsessed with a teenage pop star.

Random Thoughts:
Well, that's not disturbing at all. Wait, the older one stalking a teenager is also female? Well, then that's positively romantic. And you can tell that it is by how the promos for it are practically choking on shots of cherry petals. Or maybe the entire thing simply has a pink color filter overlaid on top of it. It can be hard to tell sometimes, but certainly makes it easy to pre-judge the show!

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Doobee doobee doot doot doo.

Smile Down the Runway
https://runway-anime.com/
Studio: Ezo'la
Genre: Drama
Premieres January 10th

Show Premise: 
Girls are models.

Random Thoughts:
I love the challenges the two main girls face because they're so banal. You can't be a model, you're short. You can't be a designer, you're poor. How ever will they possibly overcome these challenges. Maybe I just don't know enough about fashion modeling. I definitely don't care though, and since the promos are 50% oversaturated shots and 50% girls staring in aghast horror, I don't think this is going to change that.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

It's called fashion, bitch.

22/7
http://www.nanabunnonijyuuni.com/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Merchandising
Premieres January 11th

Show Premise: 
Girls are idols.

Random Thoughts:
22/7 is as manufactured idol nonsense as it comes, created a couple years back after auditions to be voice actors for a CGI idol group, eventually debuting on July 22nd, with new singles dropping every July 22nd after that, because as long as we're marketing, let's just go into hyperdrive. So here's the obligatory animated thing to advertise them. Fantastic. I'm not sure there even is a premise here. It's just… girls. And they're idols. And they want to do their best at being friends and idols.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Can they at least hit somebody with a guitar?

Act! Addict! Actors!
https://www.a3-animation.jp/
Studio: Studio 3Hz / PA Works
Genre: Merchandising
Premieres January 13th

Show Premise: 
Boys are actors.

Random Thoughts:
Yet another one of Japan's seemingly infinite supply of boy band TCGs with strange names. In this one, the boy bands are themed after seasons. The twist here is that it's announcing from the start that the first 12 episodes will focus on just two of the subgroups, followed by the other two at a future date. I don't think that announcing your broadcast schedule is going to be enough of a twist, guys. Like the previous show, it's hard to divine any premise here past "there are boys, and they want to do their best and be idols."

Preseason Swing Rating: 

CONSUME YOUR COMPACT DISKS, MEAT CREATURES.

Virtual Reality: The Premise Of Yesterday, Today!

Infinite Dendrogram
http://www.dendro-anime.jp/
Studio: NAZ
Genre: Adventure
Premieres January 9th

Show Premise: 
People play an MMO… but it's fully VR!

Random Thoughts:
I feel like the premise is missing the key tagline of "but when you die, you die in real life." I even looked into specifically that. You get a temp ban if you die. That's it. The NPCs in the game die if they die, which presumably includes the slave-wife summoned weapon(s), but I had a hard enough time parsing anything from the barely animated promos, and was having a worse time trying to even figure out if there was supposed to be any kind of overall story or plot at all, which leads me to believe that there's not.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

One mockobo.

I Didn't Want to Get Hurt, So I Put All My Points into Defense
https://bofuri.jp/
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Comedy
Premieres January 8th

Show Premise: 
Maple put all her points into defense because she hates getting hurt. This has made her completely invulnerable.

Random Thoughts:
Or to use its official English title: "All points are divided to VIT because a painful one isn't liked." Keep on Englishing, Japan. Like usual, I can't help but feel like the author doesn't know the first thing about MMOs when the premise is basically "What if there was a way to completely break a massively popular multiplayer game, but only the protagonist did it?" Dude, people grind magikarp to level 100 just to say that they did. But we're here for the jokes. The jokes about how the protagonist is a clueless invincible godling. Because that stone still has some blood left in it to squeeze out, apparently. So why the hell does this have some of the best animated promos of the season? Probably because the promos this season are collectively godawful, so the bar is very, very low. The promos are definitely leaning more into the action than the comedy, but are leaning even harder into "Look! Smiling girls!"

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Tank no peel gg no re.

ID: Invaded
https://id-invaded-anime.com/
Studio: NAZ
Genre: Drama
Premieres January 5th* (one hour premiere)

Show Premise: 
Detectives enter worlds visualized from a killer's id to track down someone who is turning people into serial killers.

Random Thoughts:
This is wholly original, and the head writer's a virtual nobody, so there's not much to go on but the promo and the director, who's been in charge of a lot of shows with some amazingly godawful writing・and directing. We're talking Aldnoah, Fate/Zero, Re:Creators, etc. Those certainly have had moments of impressive direction, but have also had… dudes walking in a circle for nearly five minutes. The promo looks uncharacteristically good for something made by NAZ, which is firmly on the low end of studios, and they're doing two shows this season. I'm deeply suspicious of that, although it may also be explained by the way characters' eyes frequently start wrapping around their head to the tips of their ears.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Behold! Oversized eyes!

pet
https://pet-anime.com/
Studio: Geno Studio
Genre: Drama
Premieres January 6th

Show Premise: 
People derisively called pets can use psychic powers to manipulate memories, but it damages their own minds in the process.

Random Thoughts:
Certainly the most artistic promo of the season, if artistic means incomprehensible. Lots of quick cuts around people in trauma, goldfish, smiling boys turning to the camera, water splashing, dudes covered in blood, more giant goldfish, some manner of merman, a car crash, haunted masks, so on and so forth. I feel like the most helpful thing I can comment here is that when I tried to Google it, Google asked me if what I really was searching for was a light novel called "I'm a Behemoth, an S-Ranked Monster, But I've Been Mistaken For a Cat, and I'm Living as the Pet of an Elf Girl." …Perhaps you're right, Google, but I was looking for information on the show about pointy-chinned teenage boys clinging to each other while the world exploits and abuses them. I think I prefer the Behemoth thing.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I would expect a lot more penis monsters.

Wrapup:

Sorry this was a bit delayed, and right up to the wire considering things start airing in like eight hours. Holidays brought, among the usual stresses, a pretty nice case of the stomach flu. Mostly though, the previous season has just made me doughy and lazy. I'm hoping to get back into things much more regularly for this season, since I enjoy the writing more than the watching to be honest. Japan's gotta pick up its side too though. Last season was horrible. I am, however, out of town starting early Friday morning until Sunday afternoon. I may fit in a post or two in the mornings, but we'll see. If it's mentioned above, I will try to post about at least the first episode.

Posted in Season Preview | 8 Comments »

8 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Noname says:

    at least in this season there’s no isekai

  • NeclordX says:

    Not very excited for this season to be honest. No, let’s say it, this season looks awful. There is like one show I’m interested in and is done with horrible CGI

  • Dave Baranyi says:

    Regarding “In/Spectre” (aka Kyokou Suiri) and exposition… This is from the author of “Blast of Tempest” so exposition is a “feature”, and “featured” it is in the manga…

    So caveat emptor if the anime is like the manga. (I don’t mind the manga but I don’t like it anywhere near to the way I liked “Tempest”)

  • jgoi says:

    The nekopara anime series will be boring dreck if its anything like the OVAs. Should’ve given it to pink pineapple, then we’d get slave cat girls!

    hatena illusion already sucks, the only reason to watch it is the same reason I/anyone watches to love ru darkness.

    Plunderer sucks, they keep focusing on the girl’s inner thigh but no panties? Enough with the damn tease!

    Overflow is another “not really blood related” thing but it’s still porn so good for me.

    Probably just going to watch Interspecies Reviewers if its aired uncensored. Overflow. Maybe Orphen if the animation is good (never did finish the second season or go beyond the 1st level in the ps2 game).

  • Anonymous says:

    ID invaded sounds interesting, maybe this time they will get it all right

  • V1cious says:

    Yuasa has a new series. That’s never a bad thing.

  • CatsB says:

    I see the theme of season is animals and rpg. Will this make me miss isekai?

  • LUNI_TUNZ says:

    Somewhere out there in the multiverse, there’s an America, where (multiple) cartoons constantly recreate the forefathers as teenage High School girls (and eventually dogs), and I sort of want to see it, but am glad it’ll never come to pass.

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