Fall 2013 anime preview

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The fall season is coming up already! The number of new series doesn’t vary much from season to season, but an unusually large number are sf this time around. Here’s what you can look for coming up (or already here, in one case)…

Arpeggio

Arpeggio of Blue Steel

The premise: 17 years after humanity was driven from the seas by a mysterious superpowered fleet, a rogue ship offers to help a group of teenaged friends fight back.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Naval battles: awesome! Ship AIs who manifest as a bunch of goth lolitas and schoolgirls: not so awesome!

Premiere: October 7

BlazBlue

BlazBlue Alter Memory

The premise: At the end of the year 2199, an internationally renowned criminal appears in Japan on a mission to destroy the world government. Bounty hunters come from all over to try to capture him

Derivative factor: Based on a video game series, but not clear if it’s any specific game

The buzz: The games are well-liked, but the odds of getting a decent TV series out of a fighting game are not good.

Premiere: October 4

Coppelion

Coppelion

The premise: In 2036, Tokyo is a nuclear wasteland. Three girls who have been engineered to be radiation-resistant explore it for the military.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Interesting setting, not so many people thrilled about the art so far.

Premiere: October 2

Diabolik

Diabolik Lovers

The premise: A psychic teenage girl winds up living with six sadistic vampire brothers.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: Descriptions form people who’ve played the game make it sound like 50 Shades of Gray meets Twilight, only with bishōnen of course.

Premiere: September 16

GalileiDonna

Galilei Donna – Storia di tre sorelle a caccia di un mistero (Galilei Woman – Story of three sisters hunting a mystery)

The premise: In the year 2061, Earth is experiencing a new ice age, and three sisters who are descendants of Galileo Galilei are being hunted by a mysterious organization looking for something called the “Galileo Tesoro”

.Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Wait, what?

Premiere: October 10

Gingitsune
Gingitsune (Silver Fox Spirit)

The premise: Slice-of-life drama about a girl, her father, and a fox spirit who keep a small shrine to Inari (the god/goddess of rice).

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: This looks really sweet. Don’t screw it up, TV Tokyo.

Premiere: October 6

Gundam Build Fighters

Gundam Build Fighters

The premise: Competitive Gundam model-building has taken the world by storm. Kids build models and then pit them against each other in a virtual-reality arena.

Derivative factor: Gundam franchise, plus the actual models will be available for purchase

The buzz: Lots of excitement from model builders about the toys, at least.

Premiere: October 7

Infinite Stratos

Infinite Stratos 2

The premise: A boy is able to operate mecha which can usually only be controlled by women

Derivative factor: Continuation of a light novel series adaptation

The buzz: The first series provoked extremely positive and extremely negative reactions. Whichever way, everyone expects more of the same.

Premiere: October 3

KilllaKill

Kill la Kill

The premise: With the aid of a scissor-shaped sword and a possessed uniform, a transfer student attempts to free a high school from the grip of its tyrannical overlords.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Coming from the makers of the extremely popular Gurren Lagann, this is one of the most highly anticipated shows of the season.

Premiere: October 3

Kyoukai no Kanata

Kyōkai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary)

The premise: A boy with supernatural healing powers joins forces with a girl who can manipulate blood.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Being made by a studio known for being bland, but this material might goad them into doing better.

Premiere: October 2

Kyousougiga

Kyōsōgiga (The Zany Capital)

The premise: Three kids try to find a rabbit that will help them get back home from an alternate Kyoto where humans coexist with everything from magical monsters to robots.

Derivative factor: Continuation of an original online miniseries

The buzz: The online series had few viewers but a generally positive reaction. A must-see for anyone interested in aggressively weird shows.

Premiere: October 2

Log Horizon

Log Horizon

The premise: 30,000 online gamers are sucked into the game’s fantasy world.

Derivative factor: Light novel series adaptation

The buzz: Last year there was a series with this same premise called Sword Art Online, and ever since that became hugely popular, anime studios have been snapping up any gamers-trapped-in-game-world properties they can find, and now otakudom is sick of the imitators and wishes they would stop.

Premiere: October 5

Magi

Magi: The Kingdom of Magic

The premise: Two teenage boys explore dungeon-mazes in a fantasy world.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation, continuing from Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

The buzz: Fans of the manga were outraged about the first season for making major changes to the plot (which is very unusual in the anime world). Viewers unfamiliar with the manga didn’t much care for it anyway.

Premiere: October 6

Nagi no Asukara

Nagi no Asukara (From a Calm Tomorrow)

The premise: Takes place in a world where humans originated in the sea, but some eventually colonized the land. A boy from the land befriends four girls who live in the sea.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Coming from P. A. Works (the studio responsible for The Eccentric Family), it should at least look gorgeous.

Premiere: October 3

Neppuu Kairiku Bushi Road

Neppū Kairiku Bushi Road (Bushi Road, A Hot Wind Over Land and Sea)

The premise: Something to do with mecha, and there will be a tie-in trading card game with both physical and online components.

Derivative factor: Restart of a project originally announced in 2003

The buzz: Well… mecha. Mecha fans are interested.

Premiere: TBA

OreGaku

Ore no Nōnai Sentakushi ga Gakuen Love Come o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru (The Multiple-Choice Quizzes in My Head Are Totally Ruining My School Romantic Comedy)

The premise: A boy is tormented by multiple-choice quizzes that alter the reality around him. One day, given the choice between falling from the roof or having a girl fall in front of him, he chooses the latter.

Derivative factor: Light novel series adaptation

The buzz: Shows every possible warning sign of being really, really stupid.

Premiere: October 9

Outbreak Company

Outbreak Company

The premise: A boy is sent to an alternate fantasy world to spread otaku culture.

Derivative factor: Light novel series adaptation

The buzz: The premise sounds terrible, but it comes from the same author whose work was adapted into the highly acclaimed series Scrapped Princess.

Premiere: October 3

Phi Brain 3

Phi Brain – Kami no Puzzle 3

The premise: The continuing adventures of a teenager with amazing puzzle-solving abilities.

Derivative factor: Sequel to the two previous Phi-Brain series

The buzz: People are still watching this? Really?

Premiere: October 6

Pupa

Pupa

The premise: A boy searches for a way to restore his little sister after she metamorphoses into a monster that eats humans.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: A lot of interest, if for no other reason than a horror series really stands out amid the flood of light novel adaptations.

Premiere: TBA

Samurai Flamenco

Samurai Flamenco

The premise: A male model decides to become a costumed superhero despite not having any superpowers, and causes no end of trouble for the policeman who accidentally discovers his secret identity.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Muted, but this could be a sleeper hit.

Premiere: October 10

Strike the Blood

Strike the Blood

The premise: A spear-wielding teenage newbie is dispatched to kill the world’s most powerful vampire, who is a teenage boy.

Derivative factor: Light novel series adaptation

The buzz: Not much.

Premiere: October 4

Tokyo Ravens

Tokyo Ravens

The premise: A teenaged scion of a magical family who has inherited no magical powers makes friends with a girl who does have them, and then somehow develops his own powers.

Derivative factor: Light novel series adaptation

The buzz: Meh.

Premiere: October 8

Unbreakable Machine Doll

Unbreakable Machine Doll

The premise: A teenage boy comes to steampunk England to enter his automaton in a tournament.

Derivative factor: Light novel series adaptation

The buzz: Looks interesting, but might turn into an endless round of shōnen fighting tournament cliches.

Premiere: October 7

Valvrave 2

Valvrave the Liberator

The premise: Second half of the series, which is being released in the increasingly popular split-series approach: air half the story, then stop to check the ratings before approving production of the second half. As it is the same planned series resuming after a pause, it will not be re-reviewed here.

Premiere: October 10

Yozakura Quartet

Yozakura Quartet ~Hana no Uta~ (Yozakura Quartet ~The Flower’s Song~)

The premise: Four teenagers with supernatural powers protect their hometown.

Derivative factor: Alternate retelling of a manga adaptation

The buzz: This has already been adapted into a full-season series and a miniseries, but both fell rather flat, and hope is being held out that this time will be better.

Premiere: October 6

YuuShiba

Yūsha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shūshoku o Ketsuishimashita (Having Failed to Become a Hero, I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job)

The premise: A former hero-in-training who never got his chance before the Dark Lord was defeated now works in a magic shop. One day, the Dark Lord’s daughter applies to be a shop assistant.

Derivative factor: Light novel series adaptation

The buzz: We just had one show about a demon and a hero trying to make their way in a capitalist world, so how about another! No, how about we don’t.

Premiere: October 4


Phew! After all that, the ones I’m looking forward to watching the most are Gingitsune, Pupa, and Kyōsōgiga. The gaming geek in me is also really curious how the physical, online, and TV parts of Bushi Road are going to interact, but I have to admit I have every expectation that the series itself will be terrible. What are you excited about?

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