Winter 2019 SF Anime Preview

2019? Already? I guess that means it’s time for another look at the weekly shows that will be heading our way shortly. As always, click through on the titles to check out the official sites’ art and promotional videos.

Bermuda Triangle ~Colorful Pastrale~

The premise: Mermaids have everyday problems.

Derivative factor: Spinoff vaguely related to videogame

The buzz: Mermaids are cool, but everyone hates the art for one reason or another.

Premiere: January 12

Boogiepop and Others

The premise: Supernatural events are involved in the disappearance of multiple high school students.

Derivative factor: Light novel re-adaptation

The buzz: The first adaptation, known in the West as Boogiepop Phantom, is an enduring classic of psychological horror, though also infamous as a show where you had to pay very close attention to grasp what was going on. (It was actually three books from this series remixed into a nonlinear story.) Hopes are high for a more straightforward adaptation.

Premiere: January 4

Dimension High School

The premise: Five live-action high school students are sucked into an anime world.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Looks spectacularly, outrageous, hilariously, terrible.

Premiere: January 10


The premise: In medieval Japan, a father bargains 48 of his newborn son’s body parts away to demons. But the boy survives, grows up, and goes demon-hunting the the aid of deadly prosthetics.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Source material by Osamu Tezuka, the God of Manga, makes this automatically a big deal. The main question is how well it will work for modern audiences.

Premiere: January 7

Egao no Daika (The Price of Happiness)

The premise: A happy, pampered princess becomes friends with a mech-piloting soldier.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Everything about this says “giant robot fighting show”, so why is so much of the advance publicity about things other than the giant robots?

Premiere: January 4


The premise: Girls attend a school for fantasy adventurers hoping to defeat the Demon King.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Looks okay if you like cute, but otherwise this setting has long since been done to death.

Premiere: January 12

Girly Air Force

The premise: To fight aliens, humanity relies on super-advanced fighter aircraft and control systems that look like young women. A young man who desperately wants to be a pilot gets paired up with the awesomest of the controllers.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: As a light novel adaptation, and with a premise that’s a remix of a bunch of other shows we’ve seen in the last few years, there isn’t much to be excited about here.

Premiere: January 10

Grimms Notes the Animation

The premise: In a fantasy world, people’s lives are written in books in advance, and heroes fight to keep griefers from altering the books.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: The premise sounds kind of cool. If only the promo looked better and it weren’t based on a mobile game…

Premiere: January 10

Kemono Friends II

The premise: Anthropomorphic animal girls in a post-apocalyptic world find a human child.

Derivative factor: Sequel

The buzz: The runaway success of the original Kemono Friends was so inexplicable that it’s hard to say if this will manage to replicate it. Maybe not, though, given that most of the news about this series has been about the decision to not bring back the director of the first one.

Premiere: January 7


The premise: Girls fight something or other with entities called “bugs”.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Mostly has to do with the director being the aforementioned one not brought back for Kemono Friends II, because there is so little other information available.

Premiere: January 9

Kōya no Kotobuki Hikōtai (The Kotobuki Wasteland Air Force)

The premise: A squad using vintage Japanese aircraft works as bodyguards for hire.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: If you need to watch a show about girls and airplanes this season, this is a better bet than Girly Air Force.

Premiere: January 13

Magical Girl Special Ops Asuka

The premise: Magical girls who defeated an undead invasion are called back into service when the dead rise again.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Mixing a military frame into a dark magical girl story might give us something fresh. The source material is reported to contain extreme violence and lazy grimdark, though.

Premiere: January 11

Manaria Friends

The premise: Two princesses, one of whom is part dragon, attend a magical academy.

Derivative factor: Spinoff of video game adaptation

The buzz: The English version of the game this is based on (Rise of Bahamut) is no longer available, but thanks to one great anime adaptation (followed by a disappointing one), there’s still a fanbase for it.

Premiere: January 20

Meiji Tōkyō Renka (A Love Song of Meiji Tokyo)

The premise: A modern high school girl falls back in time to the Meiji era (1868-1912) and romances various historical figures.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: Aren’t we out of ideas for groups of romanceable generic-looking bishōnen to aim personality-less heroines at yet? No? At least this one might be educational too?

Premiere: January 9

Pastel Memories

The premise: Geek girls living in the near future fight to maintain the continuity of geek culture and retrieve lost memories.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: Once again, neat premise, but the fact of being a video game adaptation means you shouldn’t get your hopes up.

Premiere: January 7

The Promised Neverland

The premise: Children living in an orphanage learn that they are being raised to be food for demons.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Here is the big new show of the season. The manga has been making fans for years and all signs point to an faithful and high-quality adaptation.

Premiere: January 10


The premise: A group of high school students pops 300 years into the future where they have to fight monsters with giant robots.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Although we don’t know much about it, it has the potential for a good story and looks to have great production values (unless you hate CGI).

Premiere: January 9

The Rising of the Shield Hero

The premise: An uncharismatic geek from our world is reincarnated as a legendary hero in an RPG-like fantasy world, but a slightly less legendary hero than his comrades. Soon he is betrayed and sets out to seek revenge.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: At least it’s not about a completely overpowered protagonist, but it’s still a light novel power fantasy and will have to work hard to get any respect.

Premiere: January 9

There are also two new helpings of ongoing adaptatoins:

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