Spring 2015 SF Anime Preview

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Yup, it’s that time again already! A new cavalcade of shows is heading our way shortly. As always, click through to the official sites for lots more artwork and cryptic promos.


Blood-Blockade

Blood Blockade Battlefront

The premise: New York City has been enveloped in an alien fog which traps the citizens there along with creatures from other dimensions. When a way to the outside world opens up, some of the residents decide they actually like the way things are.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: It’s got the director from Kyousougiga, source material popular enough to already be available in English, and a studio known for consistent quality. Throw in aliens, superpowers, and a cute monkey, and this looks like a winner for action-oriented fans.

Premiere: April 4

Gintama

Gintama°

The premise: Earth was invaded by aliens during the Edo Period (1603-1868), reducing most of humanity to laborers in alien sweatshops. In this topsy-turvy era, an ex-samurai and his eclectic assortment of friends try to support themselves with odd jobs.

Derivative factor: Latest installment of long-running manga adaptation

The buzz: There’s not much in the way of details about what this season will cover, but Gintama is one of those series so popular that all people need to know is another season is coming. Consensus is that the best story arc is yet to be animated.

Premiere: April 8

Gunslinger-Stratos

Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation

The premise: A group of friends must battle their alternate selves.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: Have we not already established that video game adaptations suck? Oh, but Gen Urobuchi (best known for writing Madoka Magica, and the overall stories of Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet and Aldnoah Zero) wrote the story for the game! There’s a chance this might not suck.

Premiere: April 4

Arslan

The Heroic Legend of Arslan

The premise: A young prince in a fantasy version of ancient Persia must fight to reclaim his kingdom after the first battle he attends goes disastrously wrong.

Derivative factor: Novel adaptation

The buzz: Shows every sign of setting up to be a serious epic. This could be very good.

Premiere: April 5

Girls-Dungeon

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

The premise: An adventurer dreaming of money and girls travels to a standard RPG setup and joins forces with a “loli goddess”.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: The answer to the question is yes, unless you are a light novel harem comedy etc. fan, in which case, have fun.

Premiere: April 3

Sidonia-Planet-Nine

Knights of Sidonia: Battle For Planet Nine

The premise: The continuing adventures of the crew of a generation ship, a thousand years after humanity had to flee Earth.

Derivative factor: Continuing manga adaptation

The buzz: The first season was extremely well-received. Perhaps we could get an actual simulcast this time?

Premiere: April 10

Rinne

Kyōkai no Rinne (Rinne of the Boundary)

The premise: He’s a part-time shinigami. She can see ghosts. Together, they fight crime help lost spirits return to the cycle of reincarnation!

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: This is yet another work from Rumiko Takahashi, the mangaka responsible for the mega-hits Ranma ½Inu-Yasha, and Urusei Yatsura. (And Maison Ikkoku, though that was just a romantic comedy, rather than a supernatural romantic comedy.) There is no way that this can possibly fail to make gigantic piles of money for everyone involved. Whether it’s actually good or not is largely irrelevant.

Premiere: April 4

Nanoha

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid

The premise: An elementary-school magical girl is menaced by a mysterious figure.

Derivative factor: Umpteenth entry in multi-tentacled franchise

The buzz: The Nanoha franchise tends to be more fighty than your typical magical girl stories, and may appeal to people who don’t normally like them. It’s also been around long enough that everyone has parts they like and parts they hate, so it’s hard to predict where this will fall.

Premiere: April 3

Mikagura

Mikagura Gakuen Kumiyoku (Mikagura Academy Suite)

The premise: A shut-in is persuaded to come out of her room and enroll at a high school where the club presidents fight each other with superpowers.

Derivative factor: Adaptation derived in some manner from light novels and/or Vocaloid compositions

The buzz: The crowd is not convinced that this is going to make any sense.

Premiere: April 6

Ninja-Slayer

Ninja Slayer From Animation

The premise: In the future city of Neo-Saitama, a salaryman loses his entire family in a ninja turf war. Now possessed by a ninja spirit, he hunts down other ninjas.

Derivative factor: Novel adaptation

The buzz: All the reaction is about the flat, neon-saturated, love-it-or-hate-it art style.

Premiere: April 16

Plastic-Memories

Plastic Memories

The premise: Hyper-realistic androids have been created, but they only last about nine years and deteriorate badly after that. The story follows a new employeee at a service that picks up androids nearing their expiration date.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: The feels are strong in this one. It’ll depend on whether you like that or not.

Premiere: April 4

Re-Kan

Re-Kan!

The premise: A humorous slice-of-life story about a girl who can see otherworldly spirits.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Looks kind of cute and generic and maybe it’ll be okay but meh.

Premiere: April 2

Seraph

Seraph of the End

The premise: After a virus wiped out every human over the age of 13, the vampires took over. Some orphans have escaped and now fight the vampires.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Vampire-hunting action always has some potential, but the manga is relatively new and might not have enough content to really fill a whole season yet.

Premiere: April 4

Show-By-Rock

Show By Rock!!

The premise: A group of semi-anthropomorphic girls form a band and compete against others.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: Did we mention that game adaptations suck? Also, prepare to die of cute.

Premiere: April 5

Vampire-Holmes

Vampire Holmes

The premise: An anti-detective named Holmes sort of investigates a series of murders that may involve vampires.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: Looks pretty bad even if it weren’t a video game adaptation.

Premiere: April 3

Yuki-Nagato

The Vanishing of Nagato Yuki-chan

The premise: The president of a high school club is super-shy.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: This is a side story loosely associated with the once-blockbuster Haruhi Suzumiya series of light novels. Their moment seems to have passed; there’s not much excitement about this one.

Premiere: April 3

Yamada

Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo (Yamada and the 7 Witches)

The premise: A high school boy discovers via a contrived pratfall that his female classmates have magic powers that can be activated by kissing them.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: How has Japan not exhausted its supply of terrible harem comedy series yet? How???

Premiere: April 12


There’s a lot here to be mildly optimistic about here. The new seasons of Gintama and Knights of Sidonia are following solid winners, and a lot of the completely new series look interesting. But if I have to pick one show to get really excited about, I think it’d be The Heroic Legend of Arslan. How about you?

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