Spring 2014 SF Anime Preview

Once again, we must start with the news that Sailor Moon is not in the lineup, with the expected premiere date now set for July again. But this time, there are definite signs of production swinging into gear, like the appearance of this promo artwork:


Although I gotta admit, at this point, I’m expecting it to premiere the day after The Last Dangerous Visions is published.

Anyway, on to the banquet of options the anime world will be bringing for for sf fans!

Atelier-Escha Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky

The premise: Alchemists stationed in a small frontier town do research and help people.

Derivative factor: Game adaptation

The buzz: Looks cute and will probably suck, the way game adpatations generally do.

Premiere: April 10

Black-Bullet Black Bullet

The premise: In the near future, humanity has been devastated by an alien virus, and the only ones who can fight it are teenage girls who have grown up infected by it, plus the teenage boy hero.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: If you’re not a fan of the novels, it’s a light novel adaptation, and it looks ugly. But a lot of people are, and are only concerned about whether the adaptation will be faithful.

Premiere: April 8

Blade-Soul Blade & Soul

The premise: An assassin stalks the demon-woman who killed her teacher.

Derivative factor: MMORPG adaptation

The buzz: At least the art looks pretty.

Premiere: April 3

Brynhildr Brynhildr in the Darkness

The premise: A boy joins the school astronomy club in memory of his dead friend who believed in aliens, and soon meets a mysterious girl who resembles that friend and claims to be a magician on the run.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Should be good for those who like dark and atmospheric sf.

Premiere: April 6

Captain-Earth Captain Earth

The premise: A teenage boy stumbles across a mecha just as Earth is invaded and winds up fighting aliens.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: So far there’s nothing to distinguish it from a lot of other mecha series, but it’s being made by a studio that’s made some really good mecha series, so cautious optimism.

Premiere: April 5

Chaika Chaika – The Coffin Princess

The premise: A 20-year-old ex-soldier and a 14-year-old sorceress who carries a coffin wander around having adventures.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Looks like it could be a little more intelligent than the average light novel adapatation.

Premiere: April 9

Dai-Shogun Dai Shogun – The Great Revolution

The premise: In an alternate timeline, Commodore Perry never forced Japan to open its ports and triggered the Meiji Restoration, because Japan had mecha to defend itself.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Most of the hope for this to be good centers on the head writer being Dai Sato, who was also responsible for Eureka Seven and Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

Premiere: April 9

Dragonar Dragonar Academy

The premise: A boy is marked as a future dragon master, but when he finally does summon a dragon, she takes the form of a bossy human girl.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Looks like basically every light novel adaptation ever. Skip!

Premiere: April 5

Irregular-Magic The Irregular at Magic High School

The premise: The incoming freshmen at a school for magic users include a slacker boy and his high-achieving sister who has a crush on him. Wacky hijinks ensue.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Expect yet another generic light novel adaptation.

Premiere: April 4

JoJo-Stardust Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

The premise: Goodguys and badguys duke it out with psychic powers in exotic locales.

Derivative factor: Continues adaptation of manga

The buzz: Huge. This is adapting the best-known story arc of one of the most inflential manga of the 1980s.

Premiere: April 4

Kanojo-Flag Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara (When She Made the Flag Appear)

The premise: A boy who can sense significant moments in others’ lives somehow winds up being forced to live with four beautiful girls.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: At least it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a basic harem comedy, which is what it is.

Premiere: April 5

Sidonia Knights of Sidonia

The premise: Centuries after Earth was destroyed by aliens, generation ships still flee across the cosmos, packed with lots of sfnal goodies like people who can photosynthesize, more than two genders, and, of course, mecha.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Mild rage at Netflix for picking up probably one of the best shows of the season and then announcing that it will not be simulcast. (Only mild, because most of hardcore otakudom has no problem with watching unlicensed streams. Way to turn the clock back, Netflix.)

Premiere: April 10

M3 M3: That Black Steel

The premise: Near-future Tokyo has been partially consumed by a zone of darkness populated by mysterious beings that eat humans, and only a team of teenagers can save the world.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Looks intriguing.

Premiere: April 21

Marvel-Disk-Wars Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers

The premise: Five children have the ability to summon Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, and Wasp, who have been trapped in devices called “DISKs”.

Derivative factor: You may have heard of these superheroes before.

The buzz: Yep, it’s basically a toy ad.

Premiere: April 2

Mushishi-Next Mushishi: The Next Chapter

The premise: A travelling expert untangels difficulties caused by creatures that exist at the boundary of the everyday and spirit worlds.

Derivative factor: Continues manga adaptation

The buzz: Reuniting the team behind one of the most-loved series of the past decade, there is absolutely no way this can turn out to be bad.

Premiere: April 4

Nanana Nanana’s Buried Treasure

The premise: A high school student enlists the school adventure club to find a treasure hidden by the ghost that haunts his apartment.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Could be fun, but don’t expect too much of it.

Premiere: April 10

No-Game No Game, No Life

The premise: A brother and sister pair of shut-ins who spend their lives playing video games are whisked into an alternate world where game competitions have replaced warfare.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Nerd heroes are pretty much a guarantee that people will be interested.

Premiere: April 9

Wixoss selector infected WIXOSS

The premise: Girls play a dark card game which occurs in an alternate dimension.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: The dark spin on the card-game genre is making it mildly interesting.

Premiere: April 4

Soredemo Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii (But Still, the World Is Beautiful)

The premise: A princess with the power to conjure rain is forced into an arranged marriage with the ruler of a neighboring kingdom, who turns out to be a young boy.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Completely unlike anything else this season, should be good for fans of drama.

Premiere: April 6

Soul-Eater-Not Soul Eater Not!

The premise: A girl with the power to change into a weapon goes to school to learn to control that power and select a wielder.

Derivative factor: Adaptation of manga spinoff

The buzz: Fans of the original Soul Eater are not hyped up because the tone of the spinoff is different, and non-fans aren’t interested because it’s Soul Eater.

Premiere: April 8

As usual, there’s a lot to be hopeful about and a lot not to. Mushishi is my favorite comic ever, and it would be the highlight of any season for me. Knights of Sidonia would be far and away my most anticipated show otherwise, at least if there were any real chance of seeing it during the actual season by any legitimate means.

I’m really curious about how selector infected WIXOSS and Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii will be handling their material, and I confess to looking forward to No Game, No Life even if it is a light novel adaptation, because, well, gaming.

What are you looking forward to most?

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