Fall 2014 SF Anime Preview

Already? Yes, it’s almost time for another new anime season! The flavor of the quarter appears to be medieval fantasy. I’d like to offer some special insight about why that’s happened, but frankly I have no idea.


Akatsuki no Yona (Yona at Dawn)

The premise: A princess on the run and her faithful bodyguard gather allies to fight the usurper who she used to be in love with.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Non-comic, non-Westernish-but-don’t-really-care-medieval fantasy settings are a rarity these days, especially ones based on Korea, a place not traditionally well-regarded by the Japanese public. The manga is said to be solid, so if you like some serious, straight sword-and-sorcery, this is a show you’ll want to check.

Premiere: October 6


Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryū no Rondo (Cross Ange: Angel and Dragon Rondo)

The premise: A disinherited princess, having lost her chance at the throne because she cannot use the magic technology that all of humanity relies on in the far future, starts a new life as a soldier fighting extradimensional invaders.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: An non-adapted anime is good, the original setting is good, the cast is good, the music will be good. But ye gods, those outfits.

Premiere: October 4


Garo: Honō no Kokuin (Garo: The Flame Seal)

The premise: A prince on the run and the heir to a legendary knight join forces to fight a witch-hunting usurper.

Derivative factor: Spinoff of live-action series

The buzz: Coming from a popular franchise, this will have a decent budget behind it, but it sounds pretty generic so far.

Premiere: October 3


Gugure! Kokkuri-san

The premise: A little girl summons a spirit who decides to haunt her in order to save her from her unhealthy habits.

Derivative factor: Comic strip adaptation

The buzz: Looks like it will be cute and funny.

Premiere: October 5


Inou Battle Within Everyday Life

The premise: Five members of a high school literature club wake up one day with mighty supernatural powers, but no enemies to fight with them.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: The premise is generating a ton of interest, but it is a light novel adaptation…

Premiere: October 6


Kiseijū: Sei no Kakuritsu (Parasite: The Strength of Maxims)

The premise: When Earth is invaded by aliens which take over people’s bodies, a teenager finds himself infected by one which only manages to take over his right hand.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Hugely anticipated. The source manga (Parasyte in English) is considered a classic. Fans are only unhappy that it took this long to get an adaptation.

Premiere: October 8


Laughing Under the Clouds

The premise: Eleven years into the Emperor Meiji’s modernization campaign, three brothers are employed in transporting uncooperative samurai to an island prison.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: It’s not really clear how the supernatural elements are going to enter the story, but the setting is interesting and the art looks good

Premiere: TBA


Orenchi no Furo Jijō (The State of My Bathtub)

The premise: A solitary high school student has to deal with a merman taking up residence in his bathtub.

Derivative factor: Comic strip adaptation

The buzz: The source material is seriously weird, so there are some concerns about how well it’ll translate to TV.

Premiere: October 6


Psycho-Pass 2

The premise: Further happenings in a near-future dystopia where a walled-off Japan is ruled by a system which evaluates everyone for possible criminality.

Derivative factor: Sequel

The buzz: The most-anticipated show of this season except maybe for Kiseijū. The first series was a huge hit, and clearly had more story to tell.

Premiere: October 9


Ronja the Robber’s Daughter

The premise: The daughter of a bandit leader has adventures with the magical creatures in the surrounding forest.

Derivative factor: Adaptation of Swedish novel

The buzz: Studio Ghibli + beloved children’s book = guaranteed success! Or does it? Ghibli hasn’t done TV since forever, and this show is being directed by Goro Miyazaki, of Tales From Earthsea fame. Plus it’s using CGI for character animation, and CGI still turns many people off.

Premiere: October 11


The Seven Deadly Sins

The premise: Yet another princess on the run seeks out seven powerful knights who allegedly betrayed their kingdom, but were in fact framed by the usurpers who killed the king.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Pretty generic when set against all the other medieval fantasy this season, and it’s awfully early in the manga’s run for an adaptation, which means either an incomplete story without a real ending, or a big departure from the manga.

Premiere: October 5


Sora no Method (Heaven’s Method)

The premise: A mysterious disc appears in the sky in response to a wish made by a group of girls.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Here’s this season’s dark horse. Not only is there very little information about the story, it’s from a brand-new studio. Hard to say what to expect.

Premiere: October 5


Terra Formars

The premise: Terraforming gone horribly wrong has left Mars covered with giant mutant cockroaches, which humanity is now trying to wipe out.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: While the manga is very popular among action fans, descriptions of it also tend to talk about bad writing and racism. Probably not one to get your hopes up for.

Premiere: September 26


Trinity Seven

The premise: In the wake of a world-wrecking event, a teenaged boy goes to school with seven beautiful magic-using girls.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Looks set to be a gigantic buffet of everything fans love to hate about light novel adaptations, even though it’s a manga this time.

Premiere: October 7


World Trigger

The premise: Kids fight extradimensional invaders using the aliens’ own technology.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: It’s a pretty straightforward shōnen action story, the kind of thing that will sell a reliable amount of merchandise to finance the studio doing something more interesting.

Premiere: October 5

It’s another season stuffed full of promising shows! I’ll pick Cross Ange for my favorite royal on the run, although I expect to be complaining as loudly as anyone about those fanservicey uniforms. The pedigree of Psycho-Pass and Kiseijū

What are you looking forward to most?

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