Fall 2015 SF Anime Preview

AntiMagicAntiMagic Academy “The 35th Test Platoon”

The premise: In a future world where the balance of military power has shifted from technology to magic and back again, an incompetent witch-hunting cadet is relegated to the worst squadron. Other members of the squadron include a rule-breaking girl, a very shy sniper girl, and a mechanic girl who has sidelines in hacking and sexual harassment.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: A strong contender for Most Generic Light Novel Harem Comedy This Season Why Is Anime Still In This Rut Why Why Whyyyyyyyyyy.

Premiere: October 7

Titan-Jr-High Attack on Titan: Junior High

The premise: The characters from Attack on Titan are reimagined as students and teachers at a wacky middle school.

Derivative factor: Adaptation of manga spinoff

The buzz: Instead of a much-anticipated second season to one of the most popular series of the last couple years, we get this cynical attempt at merchandising the property every possible way. Production I.G., have you, at long last, no shame?

Premiere: October 3

Brave-Beats Brave Beats

The premise: A girl helps a robot collect magic stones so that he challenge the ruler of his home dimension to a dance-off.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Clearly meant as mind candy for kids, but hey, this could be fun.

Premiere: October 11

Comet-Lucifer Comet Lucifer

The premise: A teenaged boy living on a mining planet has adventures with his friends and a mysterious girl he found in the mines. Also there will be mecha.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: The information available so far is terribly vague, but nothing about it sounds too awful yet.

Premiere: October 3

Revolutio Concrete Revolutio: Chōjin Gensō (Concrete Revolutio: Superhuman Fantasy)

The premise: 1960s Tokyo is flooded with mutants, aliens, robots, fantasy creatures, and all sorts of other superheroes. The protagonist works for the government bureau trying to keep a handle on all of them. And yes, it’s really spelled “Revolutio”.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: While this is a variation on an idea that’s been done many times (most recently in Blood Blockade Battlefront, just this past spring), there’s some strong production talent lined up and the promotional video looks pretty awesome. Shame about the title.

Premiere: October 4

Devils Dance with Devils

The premise: A high school student discovers that several hot guys in her class are demons.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Looks like an adaptation of a terribly generic otome game (romance game marketed to women), which makes it all the sadder that it’s supposed to be an original.

Premiere: October 7

Ichigo DD Hokuto no Ken: Ichigo Aji (Fist of the North Star: Strawberry Flavor)

The premise: A comedy reimagining where a major villain from the original 1980s series is a fun guy who wants to make friends with the hero. May be related to or combined with a pre-existing Fist of the North Star parody which has the main characters working at a convenience store.

Derivative factor: Adaptation of manga spinoff

The buzz: This might be actually sort of funny, and at least it’s not pushing the actual series it’s parodying out of the way like Attack on Titan: Junior High.

Premiere: October 6

Somera Fushigi na Somera-chan (Somera the Miraculous)

The premise: A look at the everyday life of a magical girl.

Derivative factor: Comic strip adaptation

The buzz: Looks kinda cute and harmless.

Premiere: October 9

Garo Garo: Guren no Tsuki (Garo: Crimson Moon)

The premise: Swords and sorcery with a female protagonist in the early Heian-era Japan, about a thousand years ago. Largely unrelated to last year’s Garo the Animation (premiere reviewed here).

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Garo the Animation was moderately well-received, so there’s probably no harm in checking this one out.

Premiere: October 9

Heavy Heavy Object

The premise: A pilot of futuristic war machines, a student mechanic, and a soldier-in-training meet during a battle in Alaska.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: There are aspects that sound interesting, but on the other hand, it’s a light novel adaptation.

Premiere: October 2

Kagewani Kagewani (Shadow Crocodile)

The premise: Mysterious monsters suddenly start appearing and attacking people, and a scientist tries to find the cause with one clue: the word kagewani.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: This is going to have 5-minute episodes, which might pose a challenge for doing the story well. But otherwise, it sounds promising.

Premiere: October 2

Cocotama Kami-sama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama (Apprentice Deities: The Secretive Cocotama)

The premise: Cute little spirits born from everyday objects try to work their way up to full-fledged deities by helping humans out.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Not only is this a glorified toy commercial, viewers are liable to die of sugar poisoning.

Premiere: October 1

Lance Lance N’ Masques

The premise: A member of one of the last remaining knightly orders decides to watch over a girl who lives alone.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Many people seem to be distracted from the light novel aspect by the hyper-cutefication of the characters.

Premiere: October 1

OGundam-Orphans Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

The premise: 300 years after a disastrous war between Earth and Mars, mecha pilots are thrown into an conflict between various Martian groups.

Derivative factor: Latest installment of ginormous franchise

The buzz: It’s Gundam, so everyone feels obligated to watch it, and the last Gundam series was terrible, so this will probably be better.

Premiere: October 4

One-Punch One-Punch Man

The premise: A superhero who can defeat any enemy with a single punch has become bored with life.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Of all the shows coming this season, this is generating far and away the most excitement. The manga is much loved, and the production values look excellent.

Premiere: October 4

Peeping Peeping Life Season 1??

The premise: A long-running slice-of-life improv comedy is bringing in characters from Tatsunoko Production and Tezuka Productions, including Astro Boy and Casshern.

Derivative factor: Sequel

The buzz: Huh. Well, that’s a thing.

Premiere: October 3

Utawarerumono Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen (Utawarerumono: The False Mask)

The premise: In a fantasy world where people have animal ears and tails, an amnesiac is found in the wilderness and becomes a military leader.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: Despite the generally crappy reputation of video game adaptations, the first Utawarerumono adaptation was widely considered to be good, so this might be too.

Premiere: October 3

In addition, a number of series previously checked out by this column will be picking up again from hiatuses:

If there’s one trend that really has me smiling this season, it’s the unusually high number of anime-original shows. Adaptations are safe money for studios, and I’m absolutely looking forward to seeing what One-Punch Man can do, but most of the truly spectacular shows out there have been original to TV.

…Of course, so have many of the truly spectacular flops out there. So we’ll see. Of the originals, I’m most excited about Concrete Revolutio. How about you?

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