Winter 2022 SF Anime Preview

Ready or not, here comes another season!

Yes, believe it or not, we’ve all made it around the Sun again and here we are in 2022. Which means: more anime!


The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt

The premise: The fantasy world’s laziest prince, forced to reign as regent, attempts to sell off his kingdom and retire, but keeps accidentally coming up with successful money-making schemes.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Aside from the unusual hook, this is bog-standard light novel fare. Don’t expect much.

Premiere: January 11

 

Girls’ Frontline

The premise: In a world ravaged by pollution, military operations are performed by androids. One squad is assigned the task of hunting down rogue androids, and starts to realize that there’s more going on than they’ve been told.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: Fans of the video game swear there’s a serious story behind the extremely anime art.

Premiere: January 7

 

In the Land of Leadale

The premise: A girl on life support is able to play a VR game until she passes away and finds herself in the game world as her character, two hundred years later.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Another member of a crowded subgenre with a small twist but piles of the standard cliches.

Premiere: January 5

 

Life With an Ordinary Guy Who Reincarnated Into a Total Fantasy Knockout

The premise: Two thirtysomething office workers are summoned to a fantasy world. After upsetting the goddess of love, one is transformed into a beautiful young woman and both are set the task of defeating the Dark Lord while trying not to fall in love.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: This could be a fun buddy comedy or a story about people forced to eamine their true feelings after something upends their world, or it could be another excuse for anime to give into its worst impulses. Probably the latter.

Premiere: January 11

 

Miss Kuroitsu From the Monster Development Department

The premise: A researcher deals with the typical demands of office work while trying to develop monsters for an evil organization trying to rule the world.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: The premise sounds solid but there are questions about how well it will execute.

Premiere: January 8

 

Orient

The premise: In Japan, samurai are vilified after 150 years of demon rule. But two 15-year-old boys decide they’re going to become samurai anyway and drive the demons away.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Mild, mostly based around this being by the author of another popular fantasy manga.

Premiere: January 5

 

The Strongest Sage With the Weakest Crest

The premise: In a world where a birthmark determines one’s abilities, a powerful sage arranges to be reborn with what he thinks is the most powerful one. Only when he wakes up, magic is being forgotten and his new birthmark is out of fashion.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Yes, it’s yet another light novel reincarnation power fantasy, just a tad different this time in that the protagonist isn’t reobrn from our world.

Premiere: January 8

 

Sabikui Bisco

The premise: In a post-apocalyptic Japan being devoured by aggressive rust, a wanted criminal, a small-town doctor, and their giant crab search for a fungus that can stop the rust.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: This looks like an absolutely nutball fighting show of the sort that emerges from manga adaptations from time to time, except of course it’s not a manga adaptation. Should be fun if you can handle a setting that gets a little bit gross from time to time.

Premiere: January 10

 

She Professed Herself Pupil of the Wise Man

The premise: A VRMMO gamer switches his avatar from an old bearded guy to a teenage girl, then gets accidentally stuck in the gamer world, and pretends this is a brand-new character to save himself from embarassment.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: How did we manage to get two man-forcibly-transformed-to-girl fantasy shows in the same season, anyway?

Premiere: January 11

 

Tokyo Twenty-Fourth Ward

The premise: Three friends living on an artificial island in Tokyo Bay all get phone calls from a dead friend warning them about the future.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Any speculation about how good the show might be is being drowned out by the animation director’s live tweeting of the production falling apart.

Premiere: January 5

Teikō Penguin (Resistance Penguin)

The premise: A penguin stuck working at a terrible company tries his best to push back.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: None.

Premiere: January 5

 

Tribe Nine

The premise: In future Tokyo, regular law and order have decayed so far that disputes between warring gangs are formally resolved through extreme baseball.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: EXTREME BASEBALL, that’s all you need to know to decide whether this show is for you or not.

Premiere: January 10


And then there are some continuing adaptations:


That is way less new material than we typically see in a season. That doesn’t mean the anime industry as a whole is pulling back, though, just that this season has a whole lot more non-sfnal sports and idol shows than usual.

I’ll admit that the end to Attack on Titan is the thing I’m anticipating most eagerly. Of the new ones, I have to say Tribe Nine has caught my interest for some reason and I’m not sure why— I’m not a baseball fan at all. Tokyo Twenty-Fourth Ward would be up there too, if the animation director weren’t out there adjusting everyone’s expectations.

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