Short Preview of Spring Season 2012

It’s this time of the year again where slowly every anime-blogger will think about writing previews for the Spring-Season. And like with every season some people will look at the new animes and ask: “Isn’t this season worse than the past ones?” And I’ll say: “No, it could be worse.” Because looking at Eureka Seven Ao I had a terrible nightmare. Or you could say it was more like an idea for all the money-hungry animation-studios out there: How about making anime-original sequels to popular finished manga-series? Let’s drag out all these classics and make generic sequels! Instead of releasing remastered versions of series like Nadia, why not make a generic sequel called Nadia 2 with a bland plot and flimsy connections to the original? Or Fullmetal Alchemist, manga’s finished as well as the anime-adaptation of it… but that shouldn’t stop BONES from making a generic anime-original sequel, should it? Or Naruto and Bleach, at some point the authors might actually stop writing this stupid shounen-mainstream-crap… BUT that shouldn’t stop any studio from making anime-original sequels regardless, right? I know, there are some issues with licensing and stuff but that’s nothing a top-notch lawyer can’t trick his way around, isn’t it? So, you heard it here first: Anime-original sequels to popular finished franchises – that’s the future!

Anyway, what this post is really about: I wrote some short previews for all the series that are either sequels of series I have seen or are manga-adaptations where I read the beginning at least (except in the case of Tsuritama and Hyou-ka, well, exceptions prove the rule basically…). That means I can speak at least with some confidence as to how these shows will turn out.

Spring-Series Chart:
I will replace that chart with Animucharts’ one when it comes out (actually it comes out this upcoming weekend so it will be replaced rather soon, I guess).

Spring-Series Preview:

Queen’s Blade: Rebellion
This series isn’t about fanservice, it simply is fanservice. Queen’s Blade doesn’t even bother to hide the fact that it wants to be “Raunchiness – The Series: We tried to be decent but we failed” and now there’s a sequel I should probably call “Raunchiness 2: We tried again… and also failed again”. If you like the first series… something’s wrong with you. But the thing about raunchiness is that it sells so I guess that’s the start of a franchise that potentially can get a lot of sequels.

Nazo no Kanojo X
Let’s talk about the manga first: At first it was this typical high-school-romance-story with a weird twist. It got made into a series after a decent one-shot. Some volumes later the series has turned into a fanservice-of-the-week-series. That’s what it currently is: A blatant way to deliver fanservice. Now since the manga is still ongoing the anime is bound to have anime-original content and considering the guys who are behind the anime I’m not really optimistic whether anyone will by pleased by the series.

Kore wa Zombie desu ka? Jigoku-Hen
The first series had a nice way of parodying certain elements of anime-series. The problem was only that it ended up taking itself far too seriously when it wanted to be dramatic and the humour seldom went beyond repeating the obvious parodies. It was a flawed series, not bad but definitely overpowered by what kept it from being a good series. So I’m not really looking forward to this sequel.

Zetman
So Zetman is a manga-series which started for real in 2002 and is still ongoing. That doesn’t strike me as the kind of thing I would want to adapt into a 2-cour-series. I can just picture the Zetman-fanboys starting their comments with “But in the manga…” because the adaptation rushes through the plot to get through it all in two seasons. I’ve read the first chapter where the main-chara is still a child and I think this can be a good series. It isn’t very subtle with the characterizations but the style is good and the story has enough own ideas to not be “another one of those” although it’s nothing what I would call “original” or anything.

Hyou-ka: You can’t escape
This is supposed to be a mystery-series about adults being bad people again who did shit in their past while the virtuous teenager of the present are heroes in every way. This can be interesting but there are some things which aren’t that inspiring: The protagonist is in a club, is the ordinary straight-guy-type and the club/plot is led by a wacky girl which is far too energetic and inquisitive for her own good. That doesn’t sound very original and it also sounds like the set-up for slice-of-life-jokes in 4-koma-style that get thrown into the mix. Especially since Yasuhiro Takemoto (Lucky Star, Fumoffu) is the director of this thing. So the humour may not be the strong point but what really concerns me how interesting it can make itself because there’s much about this series that seems rather dull while the promise of quality is linked to a lot of maybes and ifs.

Fate/Zero Second Season
Well, the first season was really good but if I would’ve to choose between re-reading the LNs and re-watching the first series, I would choose the LNs. The adaptation isn’t very creative by being so faithful to the source-material that there’s bound to be problems you get when you can’t do the exact same thing as the novel. Fate/Zero’s story-flow relies heavily on long-winded explanations – which you don’t want to hear in the anime but without it much of the cleverness of the plot gets lost.

Sankarea
This is your typical high-school-romance-story with shounen-elements. I’ve read the manga and it’s heavy with stereotypes and fanservice. There are some redeeming qualities about it like the way it treats the state of being a zombie and how the story paces itself but aside from that there isn’t really anything good to be said about this.

Tsuritama
Noitamina doesn’t really mean we get to see top-notch out-of-the-ordinary-stories. So reading this premise this can be a weird interesting story but this largely depends on its style. With this kind of story it doesn’t matter so much what it says but more how it says it. So it can be interesting… or not. Anyway, it seems definitely more promising than Black Rock Shooter and looking at Guilty Crown it’s probably better than that, too.

Kimi to Boku 2
You’d think that boys doing cute stuff would be much different than K-ON! but no, it can be just as boring and dull as that series. It had its moments of cleverness when it comes to plot-structure but beyond that it just ended up being boring and not really memorable. I don’t really know whether I will bother watching a second season of this, especially since it will definitely be more of the same.

Kuroko no Basket
So there’s this basketball-team of five players, teenagers, who are all basketball-players of superman-level (that’s why they’re called “the generation of miracles”). But then they get older and each one of them goes to a different high-school. The story is about none of them. It’s about the shadowy sixth player. So first of all it’s that kind of shounen-series where talent breaks the laws of physics which means it’s okay when things get rather strange… The main-character for example is that shadowy sixth player who surprisingly turns out to be a midget with an invisibility-spell and he’s accompanied by an energetic loud-mouthed obvious basketball-genius (but who isn’t part of “the generation of miracles”). The big dude is okay, I guess, but the way everyone gasps in surprise at how miraculously invisible the midget is was getting on my nerves when I read the first chapter of the manga. There are twelve people playing basketball in two teams playing against each other and this series wants to make you believe that you can somehow forget this midget is there. Thankfully the series offers us a scientific explanation for this phenomenon more suited for a X-Files-episode than a sports-series:
“You’re weird. Even though you should reek of weakness… You don’t smell like anything at all. Your strength is odorlessness.”
Exactly! This midget doesn’t reek of sweat or other nasty stuff! That makes him completely invisible in a basketball-game! Well, anyway, the premise of the series is that the big dude and the invisible midget want to take down each of the five members of the generation of miracles. Why? Because that’s what real men do. “Five people who call themselves ‘the generation of miracles’? Screw them! We’re better than them!” is what the logic of the story tells us. Definitely more a shounen-series than a pure sports-series, I would say. It leans more towards Prince of Tennis than Ookiku Furikabutte.

Eureka Seven Ao
In my review of Eureka Seven: A Pocket Full Of Rainbows I said at the beginning: “Eureka Seven is a popular Shounen Series and when I say ‘popular’ I mean ‘Someone somewhere will probably think about how to make more money out of this’. This movie is someone somewhere trying to make more money out of Eureka Seven.” Eureka Seven Ao? Same principle. Eureka Seven doesn’t need a sequel so I have no idea what to expect from this series. Reading the beginning of the manga you get to see the usual routine of boy with ditzy girlfriend coming into contact with his destined role as the pilot of the all-so-important best mecha since sliced bread. There are some allusions to the original but the start had really nothing to make it stand out. So back to Eureka Seven and to describe how that series was: It was better-than-average shounen-action with melodrama that got a bit too angsty at times. I definitely got better with having more than 20 episodes but I wouldn’t say it’s a masterpiece of long-term-storytelling, it had its weak moments. All in all it was a good series so one can hope that the sequel either tries to cover new ground or tries to recapture some of what made the original great. It can go both ways… it can also turn out to be a miserable failure of course since the start of the sequel is rather bland.

Sakamichi no Apollon
That’s probably the most hyped series of the season. Jazz-music, style and a good staff behind the anime are reasonable points as to why someone should be excited about this anime. I’ve read the manga and it’s good. It’s this slice-of-life-drama where teenagers deal with their shitload of issues in a melodramatic way while strengthening their bonds of friendship. It really seemed like a series that wanted to be tragic and sappy but the manga already has a good style of handling characterization and pacing so I’m hopeful that this will be an interesting series to watch.

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About M0rg0th

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Posted on February 14, 2012, in News, Spring 2012 Previews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. i was really looking foward to itsuwaribito and sakura hime being turned into anime, and a new season of kaichou wa maid-sama, highschool of the dead, the world god only knows and possibly angel beats or anohana if they continue with the manga!

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  2. I’m definitely waiting for Kore wa Zombie desu ka? Jigoku-Hen and Fate/Zero 2nd Season. For the rest, I’ll check them out.

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  3. I’ll keep an open mind with the rest of the shows, but the only one I’m looking forward to is Fate/Zero.

    If the offerings of Spring sucks, at least we have two ongoing series from Winter to alleviate the boredom: Mouretsu Pirates & Lagrange.

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    • It’s good that you mention Fate/Zero because this is basically the proof for why you read the source-material and know what you will get. Shaft may not be delivering a masterpiece each time it adapts something but at least you can be sure that the adaptation will have some charm of its own. Most of the time you get series like Fate/Zero that are so fanatical about being faithful to the source-material that it gets dragged down by the source-material. But at least Fate/Zero has the time to tell the full story as intended in the source-material. The only time manga-adaptations usually get original is at the end of the show and then it’s all about rushing into the drama to deliver a finale. Sometimes adaptations should be more daring in doing their own thing right from the start. An anime isn’t just a manga with moving pictures or a Light-Novel without a narrator-voice.

      Rinne no Lagrange’s second season is coming out in the summer-season for some weird reason (http://myanimelist.net/anime/12281/Rinne_no_Lagrange_2). To me this series has the kind of pacing you’d expect to see continue right away in the next season. It saves a lot of explanations for later so I hope they don’t rush into the semi-finale to make it somehow more dramatic and meaningful since they can’t keep all the surprises to themselves until the second season.
      But yeah, Mouretsu Pirates, definitely a good series. I’m really interested to see what kind of story it will have in the second half.

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  4. Shaft? No. Fate Zero is made by ufotable, the same as the first half.

    Queen Blade : a failure of an anime, yet still gets ongoing production.
    Even as a fanservice (pron), Highschool DxD has done a much better job. :-)

    You didn’t mention AKB048. Yet another Idolmaster. :-D

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    • Queen’s Blade: Actually I think series like Kanokon or Kodomo no Jikan are even worse fanservice-shows than Queen’s Blade but it’s definitely down there with the lowest of the low when it comes to animes.

      Oh, AKB048 is a very special case :D … On the surface it’s yet another “Idolmaster”-show but it’s directed by Shoji Kawamori (Macross Frontier, Aquarion Evol to name two of his newer works) and the script/series composition is done by Mari Okada (you can blame her for Black Rock Shooter’s script and also parts of Fractale but she also worked on Red Garden and Book of Bantorra which were both good series). I don’t really expect much of it but as long as it’s not aspiring to be anything but a dull piece of fandom it should be acceptable to watch.

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  5. hi do u know any anime series like high school dxd or high school of dead(semi erotic)???

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    • Well, if you want to see Fanservice-heavy animes that are actually worthy of anyone’s time then I would recommend Bakemonogatari and the currently airing sequel Nisemonogatari. If fanservice like in “high school of the dead” is the kind of shtick you’re looking for, though… well, Queen’s Blade and Seikon no Qwaser are definitely series you should’ve seen ;) . That has abysmal fanservice in an exuberant manner.

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  6. Any thoughts on Tasogare Otome x Amnesia? A lot of hype around it as well. Though currently my bets are on Sakamichi no Apollon, Zetman (the voice actor line up is very impressive) and Uchuu Kyoudai

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  7. ” It’s this time of the year again where slowly every anime-blogger will think about writing previews for the Spring-Season. ”

    ^^ Oh boy. Is it that time of year already? >_<

    After reading your preview, I'm suddenly not that excited about the spring season anymore.

    I will say that I randomly saw an article about Sakamichi a few weeks ago, and it interested me. Here's the link:

    http://twitchfilm.com/news/2012/01/cowboy-bebop-director-returns-with-kids-on-the-slope-sakamichi-no-apollon.php

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  8. Well, it´s quite obvious that I will go for the noitamina ones, still hoping for the very best after BRS. I´m wondering how I will get along with the Jazz issue, since I really do like this genre, it better be good ^^. Hype or not, sometimes even a “HYPE” is worth to be one so for sure I will have a look at “Tasogare Otome x Amnesia”. I quite like mystery a lot and since “Another” is still not that sparkling at all, I´m going for that and so is “Hyou-ka” a must watch as well.
    Fate and Kimi to Boku is basic after having the first season… “Kore wa”, hell, no! The first one was entertaining, but not that much that one could look out for a second one.
    But if you start with manga adaption I wonder where is Medaka Box since the story is from his “Gatariness” himself : Nisio Isin! Well, the main is for sure somewhat ecchi and her two arguments to watch this show not are quite obvious as well, but I wonder how his storys will do without Shaft ;). …and, anyway I will check out “Ozuma”. Yeah, it is quite Oldschool but it´s 6 Episodes and http://myanimelist.net/people/2597/Matsumoto_Leiji . If I can watch BRS, I say this is maybe a better choice ;p.

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  9. Fate/Zero, Zetman, Uchuu Kyodai and Sakamichi no Apollon in one season?

    That’s already tims and times better than everything of this winter combined.

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