Spring 2015 – Season Preview

mushishi_zoku_shou-06-spring-cherry_blossoms-sakura-flowers-pinkThe beginning of Spring is known for one thing in Japan and one thing only: a new season of anime. Also cherry blossoms and probably several other things, but those aren’t nearly as iconic to springtime in Japan as the debut of roughly 50 new TV anime in addition to an ever growing number of shorts, OVAs, and movies. As always, the focus of these previews will be on the newly airing TV anime which I will provide my assessment and plans for the next three months. What, exactly, should we be looking forward to for the Spring 2015 anime season?

As with virtually every other anime season, Spring 2015 features a substantial number of returning franchises, including quite a few big names and other well-known series. Returning this Spring are: Baby Steps S2, Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2 Sure-me, Digimon Advneture Tri, Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works (TV) 2nd Season, Ghost in the Shell: Arise Alternative Architecture, Gintama, Grisaia no Rakuen, Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic, High School DxD BorN, Houkago no Pleiades (TV), Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki, Lupin III, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu, Nisekoi S2, Pri Para 2, Robot Girlz Z+, Saint Seiya: Soul of Gold, Teekyuu S4 and its spinoff Takamiya Nasuno Desu!, Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love Revolutions, and Yahari, Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku. Yeah, wow… that’s quite an impressive list, encompassing 22 returning anime without even mentioning the shows carrying over from the winter, like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – Egypt Arc (S2) and Soukyuu no Fafner – Dead Aggressor: Exodus. Now before I get too far, it’s worth mentioning that I am only experienced with a few of these anime, and the anime that I am not experienced with will be disregarded in this Preview. I always figure that if you’re interested or curious in a continuation, it’s probably best to start with the originator anime instead of one of my season previews. That’s what I’d do anyway.

 

As always, the order of anime listed below is neither chronological nor alphabetic but ranked in order of my personal anticipation and how likely I believe I will watch that anime this season. Every anime is evaluated and placed into one of five tiers ordered: Will watch, Likely watch, Maybe watch, Doubtful but it gets a shot, and No dice. Within each tier, the anime are listed alphabetically. Dates are not included because who knows when and where these shows will be subbed and available to watch.

 

And so, with that, onto my assessment of the returning franchises and my plans for the Spring 2015 anime season:

 

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works (TV) 2nd Season

Opinion: Already one of my favorite anime of 2014, Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works (TV) returns for its conclusion with this second season. What the series needs to do to surpass the first season will be to continue to develop the progress from where season one ended and to elevate the story and characters above what the first season was able to achieve. The art and animation, probably the most memorable aspect of this series for me, looks to be even better from the PV, but even if it’s the same or even less, I don’t think I’d be able to say a bad thing about the visuals of FSN UBW.

Plans for this show: Will watch

 

Teekyuu S4 and Takamiya Nasuno Desu!

teekyuu_4-preview takamiya_nasuno_desu-preview

Opinion: Teekyuu is my favorite anime short, so I am thrilled to see a fourth season of this ridiculous comedy anime return. And there’s a special treat for fans of the franchise with the spin-off manga, Takamiya Nasuno Desu!, also receiving an anime short this season. I’ll admit I’m a bit cautious whenever I hear about a spin-off like this, especially when the main character is my least favorite of the main quartet, but as long as it has the same content and delivery as Teekyuu, it should be pure entertainment.

Plans for this show: Will watch

 

Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2 Sure-me (I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying Second Season)

danna_ga_nani_wo_itteiru_ka_wakaranai_ken_2_sure_me-previewOpinion: Although I was initially disinterested in this anime when it first aired in 2014, Danna ga Nani grew on me with each additional episode. What stands out to me from this series is not the comedy or otaku content but that the romance between Kaoru and Hajime is actually pretty sweet and innocent. The romance doesn’t feel gimmicky or forced or unnatural, so it’s one of the rare times when the romance is the highlight of a comedy anime for me. So long as the romance between the two is like this, I’ll continue to watch it.

Plans for this show: Likely watch

 

Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic

Opinion: One of the many anime I was forced to drop due to time constraints, Kiniro Mosaic returns for a second season this spring. I always enjoyed the lighthearted humor and simple slice-of-life stories in the original, but it was never anything that captivated me or impressed me, which is probably why it was a candidate to be dropped back in 2013. Still, I enjoy the series overall and am willing to watch it again… so long as I have the time.

Plans for this show: Maybe watch

 

Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki (Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine)

Opinion: Another anime I dropped due to a lack of time, Sidonia no Kishi returns this Spring, giving me the opportunity to catch up and watch with everyone else. Although I liked aspects of the series, the whole thing never clicked for me. I quickly fell behind on the series, and never managed to catch up… until this week. I should be able to watch the second season of Sidonia this spring, but there’s always that lingering feeling that if I dropped something once, I’m probably prone to dropping it again.

Plans for this show: Maybe watch

 

Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu (The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan)

Opinion: Now this is an interesting anime, one that spins itself off from the Haruhi movie, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. If you’re familiar with the movie, then you’re familiar with the setting of this anime… and the setting of this anime is specifically why I’m so interested in this spin-off. Although it seems to be a comedy, romance, school-life anime, I’m curious to see what this anime does with the characters and their world in contrast to the original Haruhi series. I’m not expecting much from this anime, and I’ll be watching it, so long as it’s better than Endless Eight…

Plans for this show: Maybe watch

 

Houkago no Pleiades (TV)

Opinion: The Subaru-Gainax collaboration anime that aired in 2011 is now becoming a TV series. There wasn’t much content or celebration around the original OVA, which was forgettable at best, but that’s likely because Subaru just wanted to use cute anime girls to sell their cars without thinking of character development, a sense of conflict or even a story. I don’t know what this TV series can do to improve off the original concept of the OVA, but I’m willing to watch if it’s something completely different… something that has merit, something that has a purpose… something that has meaning for me to watch.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

The following two sections of the preview contains a list of all the new, original anime that will debut during the Spring 2015 anime season, with the first section on the anime I am planning on screening and the latter section the anime I have already rejected. Spring 2015 doesn’t appear to be very impressive, with the top original anime being a ‘maybe’ at this point. Of course, once the season starts up and I have a better impression of these anime, I’ll have a better idea how this season will fare overall. But at this point, it doesn’t look good. Maybe it’s a part of me realizing that hyping an anime is never a good thing but none of these anime are truly remarkable on their own. Hopefully that changes once the season starts, but the only anime I’ll willing to give this opportunity to are:

 

Hibike! Euphonium (Sound! Euphonium)

Opinion: Given that this anime is adapted from a novel (not a light novel) and is animated by Kyoto Animation, I’m willing to bet that this will be my favorite new anime of the season before it even begins. That being said, the content and the characters of this anime give me reservations about the anime overall and could be the primary reason why this anime isn’t for me. It’s an anime about music in a school setting, which is definitely down on my lists in terms of favorites for content and setting, but that doesn’t mean the anime can’t be good. It’s just I can’t find myself excited for a music anime or a school anime at this point. Still, since the material is adapted from a novel and animated by KyoAni, I’m willing to give this anime a chance more than anything else this season.

Plans for this show: Maybe watch

 

Arslan Senki (TV) (The Heroic Legend of Arslan)

Opinion: The PV for Arslan Senki is encouraging, promising strong animation, a clean art style, and plenty of action… but it’s really the content of the series and the characterization that worries me about this anime. The art, animation and action are all hooking me on the series, but it’s the stories and characters that will determine whether I stay interested in this series or not. I really need an episode to get a better idea of what to expect, so it’s in this latter category to start.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront)

Opinion: I’ll admit, among the anime in this category, this is the one of the few that really feels like an anime that fits my style. There’s personality to this anime, which is a big plus, not to mention superhuman fighters, a setting that isn’t modern Japan, and exciting characters. The one major issue I have with this series is that it reminds me of Hamatora, though it seems to be more serious and melancholy than it. If it is, then this anime is probably worth picking up… and of course, it’ll take an episode or two to determine its atmosphere and tone.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Kyoukai no Rinne (TV)

Opinion: The PV and synopsis, the heroine can see ghosts and the boy is a half-shinigami, don’t really provide me with all the information I need to properly judge this anime, so it defaults to this category where it gets an episode to prove its worth. That being said, from what I’ve seen and know of this series, I doubt it’ll have enough to impress me. Still, I’ll try it out to see if it’s worth watching, but a school rom-com with shinigami and ghosts… really isn’t the type of anime for me.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Ninja Slayer From Animation

Opinion: Certainly an anime screaming with individuality and a wholly unique art style, Ninja Slayer From Animation is one of the highlights of the season. The issue I have with the anime is how much of it will be like the PV and how much of it will be standard or ordinary? If the anime is entirely like the PV, then yes, I’ll be watching Ninja Slayer. The issue I have with the anime at this point is that I know the anime won’t be as awesome and exciting as the PV, so there’s a question of how prevalence this art and action is versus everything else. Really, the question is how good the non-awesome scenes are and how well the anime holds up as a single product.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!)

Opinion: I have a thing for shoujo comical romances, so I should really give this anime a chance. Nonetheless, I can’t say I’m too impressed with the series at this point given that it’s a stereotypical love triangle with the rival being a friendly, pleasant bishounen. Ore Monogatari!! might be decent, which is why I’m giving it a shot, but I can’t say I’m too engrossed with the PV or synopsis or the characters or anything with it, at this point.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Plastic Memories

Opinion: The art, animation, characters, blah blah blah all seem pretty average for anime these days, but it’s the story that caught my attention with this show. The setting of the anime is essentially a robot junk yard for the androids that are at the end of their service lives. From what I can tell, it’s about employees retrieving robots at the end of their lives, complete with memories (oh, so that’s what the title means), and that they must trash them. It might be emotional and tragic and whatnot, so I’m somewhat more interested in this anime than just about every other this season. However, if I’m wrong and the anime is nothing like I had hoped, then nah, probably not worth keeping.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Punchline

Opinion: So the anime is about a guy who destroys the world if he gets too aroused? While the premise worked somewhat for Amaenaideyo!!, where the monk would ‘awaken’ after seeing breasts or panties once, I’m cautious to see this set up again for another anime. Punchline seems to be brimming with fanservice based on all the pantyshots in the PV, so it seems like most of the humor will be derived from the male lead trying to not be aroused from all the sexy, naked girls around him. …eh. What’ll save this anime is if there’s creativity and innovation with its fanservice or humor, since the spectacular art and animation alone aren’t enough for me. We’ll see if Punchline is worth it after an episode or two.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Re-Kan!

Opinion: Another anime about a girl who can see ghosts, Re-Kan! seems to be a comedy slife anime about Hibiki and her inhuman friends. The visuals to this anime are cute, but not striking and are actually rather dull. Still, if the anime can make me smile or laugh with its characters and their ghostly stuff, then why not. I’m not expecting big things from this anime, but it’s worth a shot at this point.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars)

Opinion: I always find myself watching anime on an empty stomach, and I figure if pick up this anime, I’ll be gaining 10-20 pounds by the end of the season based on how delicious the food looks. And really, that art is one of the only reasons why I want to watch this anime. The shounen story and characters don’t really do anything for me, so I’m really concerned about the content and progression in this series. And from what I’ve seen of the manga, it’s also somewhat ecchi given the tasting scenes. I’m willing to give this anime a chance based on how well the food looks, but shounen really isn’t in my palate.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Urawa no Usagi-chan

urawa_no_usagi_chan-previewOpinion: Uh… it’s an original anime to advertise Urawa City, located in Saitama, Japan. That’s all I know. Oh, the girls are cute. Yeah, I’ll probably end up watching this.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo (Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches)

Opinion: It’s an ecchi shounen rom-com harem mystery at school with supernatural powers. It involves witches with different powers that are activated by kisses. Given these labels and genres, I’m already pretty sure the anime isn’t for me, but I am curious so see what the anime is able to do with this setting, these characters, and how well it performs. I’ve heard a lot about this manga over the years, so I’m curious to see what it’s like, but I’m pretty sure already that this isn’t an anime for me.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

The first two sections confirm the lists of anime that I am planning on watching based on my knowledge and understanding of the franchises. All that remains in this season preview are the anime that I have already decided against. The reason why these anime are slotted here is because they either appear to already be flawed, boring, or simply outside my demographic. While these anime may in fact be watchable to some, they do not appear watchable for me. I doubt I’ll examine these anime any more than the PV linked in their sections. However, there’s always a chance for me to pick one or two up every season, so not all hope is lost for these shows if you see one of your favorites down here. However, for most of them, there’s already zero chance I’ll even think about them after writing my opinions for each.

 

Denpa Kyoushi

Opinion: Otaku NEET harem rom-com? Pass.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Etotama

Opinion: Might be alright, but looks to be shallow and looks to be a style of humor I don’t really care for. The 3D action sequences looked nice, but really, no interest in it at this point.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Gunslinger Stratos

Opinion: I’ll wait and see what people say about this, but it just looks so mediocre and plain.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka (Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?)

Opinion: Yes, it is wrong to pick up girls in a dungeon. I answered your question. Is this anime solved now?

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Kuusen Madoushi Kouhosei no Kyoukan

Opinion: Some light novel school power fantasy at a magical school. There are way too many of these anime, I’m surprised the market hasn’t reached a saturation point yet.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku

Opinion: This might be okay, but I’m concerned that it’s based off a series of songs on Nico Nico Douga. I’ll let others test this out before I try it.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Owari no Seraph

Opinion: So a virus kills everyone in the world over the age of 13 and all the kids are enslaved for vampires to feed off of. This might be the most shounen setting ever for an anime.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Show by Rock!!

Opinion: It doesn’t really hook me or match my tastes. Pass.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Triage X

Opinion: I might watch this just to see how bad it is.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

With that said, there is nothing left to preview for the Spring 2015 anime season. All that remains is waiting for each anime to air to provide judgment on whether we should keep these shows or not. I’ll do my best to be providing my reviews and opinions for most of these anime in my First Impressions posts once these shows debut, but I will be traveling next week and be unable to watch or write about anime for the time being. Until then, I hope everyone enjoys the start of a new anime season!

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  1. #1 by Joojoobees on April 4, 2015 - 5:04 PM

    “Hibike! Euphonium” has some potential, but I’m a little burned out on shows like this. I’ll probably still give it a shot.

    I hope I like “Arslan”. I watched all of “Akatsuki no Yona”, even though it had some series flaws with pacing and comedic delivery (at least in my opinion, it did), just because it had a passable fantasy setting. I’ll certainly be giving Arslan a try, at the very least.

    Most of the rest of it looks like it would get on my nerves. I probably will try “Baby Steps 2”, because I really enjoyed the first season, but frankly I have a really hard time lasting more than 50 episodes into a show.

    • #2 by avvesione on April 9, 2015 - 8:01 PM

      Hibike and Arslan looks to be some of the better ones this season, so I look forward to checking them both out when I’m back home.

      I might recommend Plastic Memories for you. It’s not really you’re type, but it’s the one I enjoyed the most this season. If not, you can always go back and watch other anime you missed.

  2. #4 by Detetiv on April 12, 2015 - 8:19 PM

    Not sure if you know this but:
    Arslan → FMA
    Rin-Ne → InuYasha
    So may see some similarly between the 2. After inuyasha went on to Rin-ne it’s quite funny when I read the manga reminded me of Noragami but more set in the real world.

    • #5 by Detetiv on April 13, 2015 - 12:57 AM

      Oops, you did know about Rin-ne via the video. It’s ok, just very questionable for me since it’s more humor from what I can remember reading.

      • #6 by avvesione on April 20, 2015 - 4:59 PM

        Yeah, thanks for the heads up on both Arslan and Rinne. I thought Arslan looked familiar, but didn’t think much of it considering that it was a novel originating in 1986. I didn’t find out until later that the currently running manga is by the same mangaka as FMA and Silver Spoon. That always helps!

        As for Rinne, I can see why you say it reminds you of Noragami after watching the first 2 episodes.

  3. #7 by Guang Min Lye on April 15, 2015 - 10:53 PM

    I don’t really have much opinion about most of those anime & the ones I do have you already have a similar comments on it so that’s that.

    Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!) however, I could say that the source material is more slice of life then drama.

    Where the manga despite being a shoujo, have little to none teeth clinching scenes in it. The whole thing is actually mostly a feel good show, as all important cast members are good people with strong-willed opinions of things. What I am trying to say is that the show should be great.

    One concern I had tough is that they may stretch the show too much because 20 episodes? Really? This manga have like, 6 volumes of contents. (& still on-going) Hopefully they don’t mess this up. I love the manga & I don’t want the anime to crash & burn.

    • #8 by avvesione on April 20, 2015 - 5:02 PM

      If Ore Monogatari!! is more slife than drama, I’ll be happy. I am often skeptical about how anime adaptions handle drama, especially for a continuing manga, so it’s likely better that it’s slife than anything else.

      I’m happy to hear that about the characters in Ore Monogatari, although I can’t say I’m too happy with the “misunderstanding” going on in these first couple episodes. However, I’m glad to hear their personalities persevere.

      I’m not sure how much the anime will cover, but knowing that the manga is ongoing, I’m going to guess they’ll find a pleasant story to end on.

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