Fall 2017 SF Anime Preview

It is nearly that time yet again when the anime industry unleashes a new volley of shows ranging from the solidly categorizable to the weird and obscure. As always, click through on the titles to see the official sites, with more art and the TV promos.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride

The premise: A 15-year-old girl is abandoned by most of her family and watches her mother commit suicide; then she is purchased by an inhuman sorcerer to be his slave, apprentice, and future bride.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: The most-anticipated show of the season, thanks to some gorgeous art and the promise of well-integrated European mythology. Well, and the fact that the season is nearly empty of heavyweight franchises.

Premiere: October 7

Anime-Gataris (Anime Stories)

The premise: Members of a high school anime club recruit new members and geek out to ignore the impending end of the world.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: This sounds like a totally standard high school club show except for that “end of the world” thing, which makes it impossible to gauge.

Premiere: October 8

Black Clover

The premise: Two boys want to vie to become the king of all wizards. At the age of 15, one is granted nearly the most powerful magic there is, while the other gets anti-magic.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: The source material is a decent enough effort but riddled with hoary clichés like the “worst but actually the best” guy in the premise above.

Premiere: October 3

ClassicaLoid 2

The premise: More surreal comedy about characters patterned on famous composers using musical powers to bend reality. And Antonín Dvořák will be a pygmy hippopotamus.

Derivative factor: Sequel

The buzz: The first ClassicaLoid was a surprise hit in Japan, but there’s less enthusiasm about it in English-speaking fandom.

Premiere: October 7

Code: Realize

The premise: A girl who poisons everything she touches joins forces with the master thief Arsène Lupin to track down her father and get some answers about her condition.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: This is basically a Japanese take on Victorian romance for a female audience, so be prepared for hot dudes and throbbing hearts.

Premiere: October 7

Garo -Vanishing Line-

The premise: A knight operating in a modern urban environment and a woman looking for her vanished brother uncover a world-spanning conspiracy.

Derivative factor: Latest spinoff of major media franchise

The buzz: The infinite flexibility of Garo means that the franchise basics can be dropped into pretty much any setting, though results may vary. Two previous anime versions have brought mixed reviews.

Premiere: October 6

Girls’ Last Tour

The premise: Two girls and their half-track motorcycle travel through a post-apocalyptic world.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Cute girls plus the apocalypse does not sound like something that adds up to a great show, but School-Live! showed us a couple years ago that it can really work if the characters are good enough.

Premiere: October 6

Infini-T Force

The premise: A woman granted a magic pencil uses it to summon the heroes of four Tatsunoko franchises to protect her.

Derivative factor: Multi-franchise crossover

The buzz: Rooted in the look of tokusatsu live-action shows rather than anime, it may take some getting used to.

Premiere: October 3


The premise: A middle-aged man with cancer is accidentally killed by aliens and rebuilt into a cyborg, and uses his new powers to become a superhero.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Let’s hear it for the olds! Simply not having a teenage protagonist for a change is enough to a lot of anime fandom rooting for this to be good.

Premiere: October 12

Jūni Taisen (War of the Twelve)

The premise: Every twelve years, twelve zodiac-themed warriors fight each other for the chance to have a wish granted.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: This is by the author of the wildly popular Monogatari franchise, so anticipation levels tend to match opinions of his other work. He’s known for long talky scenes, which might not work so well in an action show, but also psychological twists that would.

Premiere: October 3

Kino no Tabi -the Beautiful World- (Kino’s Journey -the Beautiful World-)

The premise: A girl and her talking motorcycle travel an alternate world, never staying in the same place for more than three nights.

Derivative factor: Light novel re-adaptation

The buzz: The original Kino’s Journey adaptation was a cult classic, and with thirteen additional books in the series since then, there’s a ton of episodic material to pick and choose from. There’s every reason to believe this will be one of the best shows of the season.

Premiere: October 6

Konohana Kitan (Tales of Konohana)

The premise: Foxes take the form of girls to run a hot springs inn.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Not many people have read the manga, but this looks sweet and adorable.

Premiere: October 4

Land of the Lustrous

The premise: In the distant future, genderless, immortal “gems” fight attackers from the moon, except for the main character, who is assigned to edit an encyclopedia.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Intriguingly different. One of those shows where it’s hard to tell, but there’s room to hope it’ll be good.

Premiere: October 7

Ore-tacha Yōkai Ningen (We the Humanoid Monsters)

The premise: Humanoid monsters fight evil and hope to become human someday.

Derivative factor: Spinoff of classic show

The buzz: Not much, because the original show, Yōkai Ningen Bem, dates from 1968 and has been completely unknown to English-speaking fandom until now.

Premiere: October 4

Saredo Tsumibito wa Ryū to Odoru (Though a Criminal, He Dances With Dragons)

The premise: Spellcasters for hire wielding math-based magic get caught up in a fight with dragons.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: The trailer says fantasy action, but experience says yet another interchangeable light novel series with an overly complicated magic system.

Premiere: October 5

Sengoku Night Blood

The premise: Vampires and werewolves join the battles in Japan’s pre-unification era.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: This is based on a game aimed at women, so expect pretty boys and romance rather than action and gore.

Premiere: October 2

Time Bokan: Gyakushū no San-Okunin (Time Bokan: The Three Villains Strike Back)

The premise: More wacky time-traveling adventures as the revisionist villains of the first season try to take over the show.

Derivative factor: Sequel

The buzz: Very little, as the first season didn’t have a very large audience.

Premiere: October 7

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2

The premise: The grandson of a famous wizard must fight his vampire teacher if he wants to go to space and make a name for himself.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: This show’s predecessor, Negima!, had high expectations but was soon forgotten. This is said to be an altogether different story and much of the manga material will be skipped over, so who knows.

Premiere: October 2


The premise: Three girls running a pop-up store defend Harajuku from aliens bent on cultural appropriation.

Derivative factor: “Inspired by” Western webcomic

The buzz: It’s getting a lot of attention for an unprecedented collaboration across three countries and an unusually high number of female staff members. Unfortunately, the question of whether it’ll actually be any good is trickier.

Premiere: October 4

As usual, there are also a few continuing adaptations that have been sampled here before. If you liked the previous ones, you’ll probably like these too.

Like last season, there aren’t a lot of obvious heavy hitters, but not a lot of obvious turkeys either. I’m curious how The Ancient Magus’ Bride compares to Uprooted, but I think the top of my list among the new shows is Kino no Tabi. Land of the Lustrous, Inuyashiki, and Anime-Gataris have particularly piqued my interest too. What are you looking forward to?

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