Winter 2014 SF Anime Preview

As is now the routine, here are the notable sf anime coming our way in the next season!

One of the most notable things about the next season, however, is something we won’t be seeing: the Sailor Moon re-adaptation. Originally announced for this past summer, it was pushed back to winter, when it was going to be streaming globally with subtitles in 10, count ’em, 10 languages through the Niconico service.

That announcement was in October, and since then, there hasn’t been a peep from the project. There’s been no trailer, no promo art, nothing. Sorry folks, but it looks like it’s not happening.

Buddy-Complex Buddy Complex

The premise: A high school student makes friends with a girl only he can see, pilots a giant fighting robot in a game-like arena, and starts to question reality.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Looks pretty bland, but mecha fans are happy to line up for it.

Premiere: January 5

Hamatora Hamatora: The Animation

The premise: Two detectives who are among the tiny number of humans who have developed special powers investigate a serial killer who is targeting their kind.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Knowing that it’s being co-developed with a game, expectations are low.

Premiere: January 7

Hozuki-Reitetsu Hōzuki no Reitetsu (Hōzuki’s Sanity)

The premise: The right-hand demon to the king of the underworld tries to keep all 272 Buddhist hells running smoothly.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Little-noticed, but generating a lot of excitement when it is noticed.

Premiere: January 9

Inari-Konkon Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha (Inari, the Fox’s Cry, the Fundamentals of Love)

The premise: A shy girl with a crush on her most popular classmate saves a fox pup, and in return the deity Uka-no-Mitama grants her the ability to shapeshift.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: A must-watch for anyone who likes romance.

Premiere: January 15

Magical-Warfare Magical Warfare

The premise: A high-school boy is accidentally given magical powers by a girl who has them and learns about the secret world of magicians.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Aieee no not yet another light novel adaptation about a high school boy’s life being disrupted by a magical girl please stop this now Japan!

Premiere: January 9

Nobunaga-Fool Nobunaga the Fool

The premise: Two planets were once linked by the “Dragon Bridge”, but are now separate. A girl named Jeanne Kaguya d’Arc, inspired by divine visions, travels with Leonardo da Vinci from the Western Planet to the Eastern Planet and finds Nobunaga Oda there.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: The otaku world is getting really tired of reimagined Nobunagas… but wait, this looks really cool.

Premiere: January 5

Nobunagun Nobunagun

The premise: A high-school girl is able to summon the spirit of Nobunaga Oda as a gigantic machine gun.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: See above about overuse of Nobunaga Oda (two shows premiering on the same day, for crying out loud). Still, might be some good dumb fun.

Premiere: January 5

Noragami Noragami

The premise: A very minor deity tries to gain followers and influence by advertising his problem-solving services on a restroom wall.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Has potential.

Premiere: January 5

Pupa Pupa

The premise: A boy tries to save his sister from whatever is causing her to metamorphose into a monster.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Much subdued from when it was originally announced in the fall, because people have had time to track down the manga and report that it’s full of graphic cannibalism and incest.

Premiere: January 9

Pupipo Pupipō!

The premise: Comedy about a lonely fifth-grader who can see evil spirits adopting a strange little pink creature.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Depends on whether you’re more put off by the horror elements or attracted by the cuteness.

Premiere: December 20

Space-Dandy Space Dandy

The premise: Our hero makes a living by finding and capturing new species of aliens.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Reuniting the writing and directing team from Cowboy Bebop makes any further details irrelevant.

Premiere: January 4 for the English dub on Cartoon Network; January 5 for Japan and streaming services

Toaru-Hikuushi Toaru Hikūshi e no Koiuta (Love Song to a Certain Pilot)

The premise: A prince ousted by a revolution sets out for adventure.

Derivative factor: Adaptation of prequel of previously adapted novel

The buzz: The previous adaptation had a lot of fans who are dying to see more of the same universe.

Premiere: January 6

Witch-Craft-Works Witch Craft Works

The premise: A high-school boy discovers that the most popular girl in school is actually a witch whose job is to protect him.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Did we not just establish that everyone is officially tired of this premise?

Premiere: January 5

Wizard-Barristers Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil (Wizard Barristers: Cecil the Sorceress)

The premise: The youngest lawyer ever to participate in a special court dealing with magical matters is about to discover that she herself has special powers.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Interesting premise, but unfortunately the studio involved is known for turning everything into a boobfest.

Premiere: January 12

Zvezda World Conquest Zvezda Plot

The premise: A little girl in an outrageous outfit controls a secret society bent on world domination.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Too little information to figure out what to think of it.

Premiere: January 11

Yokai-Watch Yōkai Watch

The premise: A boy gets a watch from an abandoned vending machine that allows him to see yōkai (monsters).

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: None whatsoever.

Premiere: January 8

Even losing Sailor Moon, this looks like a season with a lot of potential. On top of that, Kill la Kill and Samurai Flamenco will be continuing through March.

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I think Hōzuki no Reitetsu is the one I’m looking forward to the most. I also have especially high hopes for Space Dandy, Noragami, and Nobunaga the Fool. How about you?

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