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Japanator presents its 2010 Spring Anime Preview

Are you in that between-series slump? Looking for something new to watch? Curious as to what the Japanese anime industry has in store for us this spring? Are you bored to tears and want to look at some shiny pictures? Good news, Japanator has got you covered, with their Spring 2010 Anime Preview of Doom (part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4). They give a pretty good 30,000 foot view of the Spring 2010 anime scene. Each series includes a capsule description as well as information such as air dates, studio/director involved, and some sample artwork (that’s the shiny pictures part). Definitely give it a look. Some of these series may make it to such streaming sites as Crunchyroll or others. And, if all else fails, well, there’s always teh torrents. (insert standard disclaimer about how downloading anime is illegal, you should respect the copyrights of the artists, and do the honorable thing and buy the DVDs if/when they are released in your country, blah blah blah).

After reviewing things, here’s what I’ll be keeping my eye on in particular:

Angel Beats: written by Jun Maeda of Key – the same folks who put out one of my all-time favorites, Kanon. ‘Nuff said. I’m willing to give anything associated with Key a shot. Besides, the premise of “[a] group of students […] leading a war against God for what he’s done to them […]with guns” sounds interesting. And violent. Yeah! EDIT 2010-03-28: found this promo video on YouTube. I’m definitely interested now. Interestingly enough, it appears that some of the main characters(?) are part of a band… Gee, I wonder where they got that idea from… 😉 Still, I’ll give it a spin.

Arakawa Under the Bridge: Sounds rather nutty and interesting.

Black Rock Shooter OVA: There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding this show, most of which surrounding the fact that it’s based on a character designed by Huke, the same guy who designed the Vocaloid Hatsune Miku who is one of the illustrators associated with the Vocaloid music group “supercell“ (thanks polymetrica for the correction). If nothing else, the artwork definitely looks interesting. Dark and moody and stuff.

Heroman: An anime… created by veteran comic book Stan Lee. Innnnnnnteresting… Yes, I know there have been other cases of “East-meets-West” style collaboration between Japanese and Western comic styles, but c’mon, STAN FREAKIN’ LEE. Whether it’ll be good or not… well, we’ll see. The old “boy finds a robot and uses it to save the world” plot has been around the block more than a few times.

House of Five Leaves: The art style on this one is definitely intriguing. And it’s being animated by Manglobe, the studio who did Ergo Proxy, which definitely had its own unique art style. And I’m always up for a samurai period piece.

Kaichou wa Maid-sama: Sounds a lot vaguely like Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu. Straight-laced student president type has a secret double life working at a maid cafe, and someone finds out about it. But still, I’m always a sucker for the old closet-otaku’s-secret-gets-exposed storyline. Not expecting anything terribly original tho. (again, Nogizaka…)

Kiss x Sis: Maybe I’m crazy, but after hearing the Anime TV panelists talking about it on their most recent show (it’s in the first “hima time” segment) I’m morbidly curious. (Their reaction wasn’t terribly favorable, btw). The Anime TV panelists were pretty spot on when they called it a “sexier version of ‘Please Twins'” (that’s me paraphrasing, I forget their exact words). That’s exactly what it sounds like to me. Still, there’ll be at least some nosebleed-worthy scenes to look at, I’m sure. So it ain’t all bad.

Senko no Night Raid: Set in the 1930s, in the Japanese-occupied city of Shanghai, China, it details the exploits of a supposed secret organization of Japanese spies, the “Sakurai Kikan,” that possess special abilities and were involved in various covert missions, so secret that they were buried in history. Anime history lessons FTW! (How much of this is actually history, exaggerated history, or outright made-up stuff, I have no idea. Neither Google nor Wikipedia comes up with anything useful other than links to stories about this anime.) But still, anime and spies… I’m game. This show is the second show to be introduced through The Power of Anime programming block – the first title to come out of it was So-Ra-No-Wo-To. This may send up warning bells to some of you. Let us hope that the people involved with Night Raid don’t fall into the same moe trap (no, not that kind of trap) that So-Ra-No-Wo-To fell into. (Not that the moe-ness killed it for me; unlike many of the angry reviewers out there, I still enjoyed So-Ra; I will however concede that, without the distractions of moe, it probably could have been an even better show.)

Working!!: At first blush, this seems like yet another moe fluff piece. But after checking out the preview episode, I’m not so sure I’d be willing to give it that summary judgment. There’s quite a bit of moe, for sure — Japanator called it “[like] K-ON!, but with food” — but unlike other series that people complain about, it doesn’t seem to me like they are using moe as a crutch. In other words, behind the moe, there appears to be a fairly decent, sometimes humorous slice-of-life piece, that I’m willing to devote at least several episodes’ worth of attention to. Besides, how can you go wrong when you’ve got a waitress that wields a katana? (Although in all honesty I would’ve picked a better name for their restaurant than “Wagnaria.” I wouldn’t want to eat somewhere with a name that sounds like an infectious disease, one that causes you to hallucinate that you are a German composer or something.)

Yojo-han Shinwa Taikei: Based on a novel about the “nonsense campus life of a self-conscious but dull university student,” this doesn’t sound terribly exciting. But when you consider that it’s being helmed by Masaaki Yuasa, who also brought us Mind Game (which, by the way, is oh so deserving of its title – it’s a real head trip), the excitement-o-meter is starting to swing toward the positive. It also comes to us through Fuji TV’s noitamina (that’s “animation” spelled backwards, get it?) programming block, which is known for its unique and distinctive titles, so it has a good pedigree. Check out the trailer and see for yourself.

And finally…

K-ON! Season 2: This one should go without saying. MIO!!!!!!!!111

(EDIT 2010-03-28: added Part 4 (the final part) of Japanator’s Spring 2010 Preview, along with my reactions to it.)

3 comments to Japanator presents its 2010 Spring Anime Preview

  • Hatsune Miku was actually designed by another artist named KEI. huke only designed Black Rock Shooter. Also, if I remember correctly from the manga, Kaichou wa Maid-sama isn’t about a closet otaku, just a girl who works at a maid cafe and is exposed by her male classmate. It’s also a shoujo series, so it probably won’t be too similar to Nogizaka.

    House of Five Leaves does look interesting indeed, and so does Arakawa Under the Bridge.

  • Quinn

    insert standard disclaimer about how downloading anime is illegal

    Japan is the only country in which non-commercial copyright infringement is a criminal offense, and even that was ramrodded into legislation.

    you should respect the copyrights of the artists

    I’ll respect the artists by not claiming the results of their work as my own, not claiming I or any derivative works or unlicensed distribution of the results of their work is affiliated with or endorsed by them, and being honest when I review the results of their work. That’s what the artists deserve- no more and no less. If I want to give them more, including financial support, that’s my prerogative.

    and do the honorable thing and buy the DVDs if/when they are released in your country

    Everyone has to eat, including artists and including me. That’s why I currently spend my money on food instead of entertainment. I will support the artists who produce results and exhibit behavior that I wish to support, in the manner in which I am capable of and feel inclined to do so.

    You’re posting something on the internet. You’re not required to be politically correct or have an extreme stance on one side or the other. Do the responsible thing and think before you create, express, or impose opinions about copyright law and artist rights.


    Can’t wait for the upcoming film and short film.

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