So without further ado, let's get to the first eight shows that I plan to be following.
As a new feature, if you want to skip to a particular show's introduction, click on one of the links below. (Edit: They're working now.)
Amagi Brilliant Park
Celestial Method (Sora no Method)
Chaika -The Coffin Princess- Avenging Battle (Hitsugi no Chaika Avenging Battle)
Denki-gai no Honya-san
A good librarian like a good shepherd (Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai)
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works
Le Fruit de la Grisaia (Grisaia no Kajitsu)
Girl Friend BETA (Girlfriend (Kari))
Amagi Brilliant Park
|Roller Coaster Tycoon: The Animation.|
Kyoto Animation's latest work is a light novel adaptation from a work penned by the author of Full Metal Panic!, Gatoh Shouji (And yes, that one guy up there does look awfully similar to Fumoffu...) There's definitely some interesting potential in this show, not just from the author, studio, or director (Takemoto Yasuhiro, who worked on Hyouka), but also from the premise, as there are criminally few stories out there that really look at what makes amusement parks successful. And as someone for whom amusement parks have definitely been a significant part of my life growing up, that alone is something that interests me. Of course, there's also the colorful cast and that ever-wonderful KyoAni animation, too. All in all, if amusement parks hold a place in your heart, you want to see what the FMP author is up to, or you are just a fan of Kyoto Animation in general, you should definitely pay a visit to Amaburi.
Amagi Brilliant Park is currently not available for legal streaming anywhere. If it does become available, this will be edited.
(Japanese name: Sora no Method)
|Close encounters of the moe kind.|
Nonoka returns to her hometown after seven years, and finds to her surprise a giant, mysterious saucer in the sky above the town. She also meets a mysterious, blue-harked girl named Noel, who says she had been waiting for her. As she spends time with Noel and with some other girls and one guy, she might come to remember a wish they made seven years ago together, and learn more about Noel and the saucer.
Celestial Method is an original anime by a completely new anime company, 3Hz. It has the feel of a P.A.Works show, though, with its atmospheric, slice-of-life-esque drama, cute character designs, and very high-level animation. So far, the drama is working well, providing emotional connection while still providing a relaxing atmosphere to the show. One other factor to this show is the creator, Hisaya Naoki, who previously worked on the scripts for Kanon and sola, both of which were solid character-driven dramas with a hint of the supernatural. Both of those also had tragic elements, and it's unlikely this show will be all smiles and rainbows, either. But with the strong execution of the show so far, whatever lies in wait for this group of childhood friends (and I'm always interested in shows about groups of childhood friends), it should be worthwhile.
Celestial Method is streaming on Crunchyroll.
Chaika -The Coffin Princess- Avenging Battle
(Japanese name: Hitsugi no Chaika AVENGING BATTLE)
|New season! More action! Shocking truths! Grateful.|
I definitely enjoyed the first season of Chaika a lot. This sort of fantasy series is really quite a treat, with its combination of great characters, fascinating worldbuilding (that refrains from extensive info-dumping and allows the viewer to learn things as they go along), and exploration of some interesting themes. Of course, there's no one better for this kind of stuff than Ichiro Sakaki, who's already proven his worth with Scrapped Princess and Outbreak Company. It's definitely a show worth checking out from the beginning, especially if you like exploring the theme of "what do war-focused soldiers do when a war is over?"
Both seasons of Chaika -The Coffin Princess- are streaming on Crunchyroll.
Denki-gai no Honya-san
|Working for the Comiket.|
Working!! meets Genshiken in this work-com about an anime bookstore in Akihabara (modeled off the actual Toranoana bookstore). With a mixture of work-related antics, otaku antics, and straight-up comedic elements, it's definitely a fun show, even if the humor can get a bit raunchy at times. Helping make the comedy work better is a great cast of characters; moreover, while romance definitely seems to be blossoming in this show, it eschews a harem-type setup for a format involving multiple males and females paired one-to-one, reducing the love triangles in favor of surprisingly naturally-developing relationships. It still might not be your type of show, but if it is, it's definitely quite an enjoyable one.
Denki-gai no Honya-san is streaming on Crunchyroll.
A good librarian like a good shepherd
(Japanese name: Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai)
|They shall lead you beside quiet reading areas.|
I've already talked much about this show, as I've blogged about the first two episodes and will continue to blog this show as it airs. It's one of this season's many visual novel adaptations, and in many ways the simplest and most traditional of them, relying more on cute girls and standard harem antics over dramatic and potentially tragic storylines. There is, of course, the whole mystery behind the Shepherds, as well as a "magic bookmark" from Kyotaro's past, and the girls do look to have some meaningful storylines. In the meantime, though, I'm enjoying this show's fun cast of characters, their interactions with each other, and the show's unique setting. It's not a show for everyone, but don't worry; even if it's not for you, you're welcome to keep reading my posts on the show.
A good librarian like a good shepherd is streaming on Funimation.
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works
|So as I pray... please be better than the first anime.|
Sequel Alert?: Compared to the first Fate/stay night anime that aired in 2006, this version is a complete reboot that adapts a different arc from the original visual novel than that earlier version did. As such, no knowledge of the first anime is necessary. It's also worth noting that Fate/Zero is a prequel to this story.
The Tohsaka family of mages has always sought to win the Holy Grail War, in which seven Masters each summon a Servant, from one of seven different classes and based around different historical heroes, and battle each other until their Servant is the last one standing. The prize is the Holy Grail, which can grant any wish. Rin Tohsaka seeks to summon the strongest Servant, Saber, but instead ends up with Archer, and decides to make the best of her new Servant. Meanwhile, Shirou Emiya finds himself in trouble when he accidentally sees a battle between Servants, and when his life is in danger, he ends up summoning Saber and finds himself thrust into the Holy Grail War.
My impressions of the first Fate/stay night were... not very favorable. It wasn't bad, per se, but it failed to really make much of an impact, and Shirou was pretty intolerable as a male lead, as he took his whole "cannot let the girl fight" attitude too far. That said, this reboot of the story does show some promise that things will turn out better. Having a focus on Rin's story, including all the awesomeness that is Archer, should make things interesting, and ufotable is bringing a much higher quality of animation this time around, so at least it looks better to watch. And the base story of the Holy Grail War is interesting enough that perhaps this fresh take will work for me. At any rate, it is technically a visual novel adaptation, and I'm watching all of those this season, so this is included in that, and so far, it's given me reason to keep watching.
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works is streaming on Crunchyroll. You can also find Fate/Zero there, as well as the spinoff Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya. If you're curious about the first Fate/stay night anime, it is available on Hulu.
Le Fruit de la Grisaia
(Japanese name: Grisaia no Kajitsu)
|Pretty much the exact opposite school class size from Good Shepherd.|
Three visual novel adaptations in a row! Le Fruit de la Grisaia is actually the first in a trilogy of visual novels, and it definitely has its own style to it. It also has a rather unique setting and a fun cast of characters... that are a little off their rockers. And, as the first episode hints at, not necessarily in a good way. But thankfully, Yuuji is no ordinary male lead; he clearly has his way of dealing with dangerous girls, and in all of this plays off the girls quite well. It's a show that so far is blending its comedy with its hints of darker things to come quite well. Be warned that there are some fanservice shots (mainly panty shots, plus some fog-obscured nudity), but it's still relatively light and the story is compelling enough that it's not really a big deal for me.
Le Fruit de la Grisaia is streaming on Crunchyroll.
Girl Friend BETA
(Japanese name: Girlfriend (Kari))
|Girls do their best now and are preparing.|
In other words, this looks to be this season's cute-girls-doing-cute-things show. It's not quite at the high level of such shows attained by, say, Is the order a rabbit?, but if the show can focus more on the girls' friendships with each other, it should at least be a nice, relaxing watch like these shows usually are. And if nothing else, the girls are cute, and I am pretty much contractually obliged to watch at least one CGDCT show every season, so why not one with an overly-affectionate French girl?
Girl Friend BETA is streaming on Crunchyroll.
Next time: foxes, music, bikes, and mysterious girls, powers, and bug-like creatures! Plus, anime anime and perhaps some heroes.