Spring 2015 Season Preview

Spring is in the air (well technically it’s been in the air here in Southern California for months but who’s counting?) and that means it’s time for yet another season preview. I’m joined once again by Boundless, ParticularlyPeeved, PumpkinMochi and SerendipitouslySane to give you our impressions of the upcoming anime season. So lets get at it. As usual these will be in approximate ascending order of anticipation and almost all synopsis quotes are from MyAnimeList and most information is from MAL and AniChart.

Triage X

By PumpkinMochi

triage xSource: Manga

Studio: Xebec 

Notable Staff: Takao Kato (Director: Rio: Rainbow Gate, Upotte )

Genres: Action, Ecchi, Shounen


I usually try to somewhat  rewrite the synopses I find for shows when I preview them, but the one for Triage X is so amazing I’m just gonna paste it wholesale here:

Mochizuki General Hospital boasts some of the most well-trained (and well-endowed) nurses in town. But though these ladies spend much of their day battling sickness, their after-hours are spent fighting a very different sort of disease… Under the leadership of the hospital chairman, a handful of staff members and local teenagers form a group of mercenary assassins, targeting the “cancers” of society and excising those individuals before their wickedness spreads.

The artist for this manga is the same one who worked on Highschool of the Dead. Not surprisingly, Triage X has an abundance of comically large breasts and guns, so if you were a fan of HotD, you would definitely enjoy this one. Xebec is also the perfect studio to be handling this material, given how many trashy fanservice shows they’ve done. I’ll give this a watch and feel that it is the front-runner for the show that we’ll group-watch next season, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that wants to see a quality show.

Anticipation Level: 2/10

Grisaia no Meikyuu/Rakuen

By Kelloggs

GrisaiaSourceVisual Novel


Notable Staff: None listed (same as first season?)

Genres: Romance, Drama, Psychological


Grisaia no Meikyuu, the second entry in the Grisaia trilogy takes place a year after Yuuji entered Mihama Academy. According to the synopsis on VNDB Yuuji is pursuing a promotion from his employer CIRS. In order to complete CIRS will be looking into Yuuji’s past. The girls are (of course) following around because what’s a visual novel adaptation without its heroines. This is followed by Grisaia no Rakuen, the conclusion of the trilogy which contains the “main route” from the visual novel. I haven’t read too much about Rakuen to avoid spoiling myself on Meikyuu but it sounds like some kind of “true end” along the lines of Little Busters Refrain.

As far as Meikyuu is concerned, the main character’s past is something that often doesn’t get explored in visual novels. The protagonist tends to be written as a blank slate for the player to project his own personality onto and a detailed backstory would undermine a lot of that. This fairly novel premise would be enough to get me interested in Grisaia no Meikyuu… if I hadn’t seen the first season that is. It’s true that Yuuji does have some kind of personality but that personality is “impossibly perfect super soldier” and he basically went around effortlessly solving all the girls problems while exhibiting virtually no weaknesses or really any human traits. I’m sure Meikyuu and Rakuen will try to flesh his character out but I don’t think the authors ever had any intention of taking this in a direction I’m interested in. If you’re looking for a train wreck you can do worse than the first season of Grisaia and I suspect these sequels will offer more of the same.

Anticipation Level: 2/10

Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka

By PumpkinMochi

dungeonSource: Light novel

Studio: J.C. Staff

Notable Staff: Yoshiki Yamakawa (Director: Kill Me Baby, Little Busters, Hells)

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance


In the huge labyrinth city called Orario lies the “Dungeon”, a giant underground maze that, despite its monsters and traps, attracts adventurers seeking fame and fortune. Bell Cranel, a 14-year old novice adventurer of the smallest group, has more ambitious plans than just finding treasure in the “Dungeon.” His biggest aspiration is to meet his dream girl. One fateful day, he encounters Aiz Wallenstein, one of the strongest fighters around, and makes it his goal to get her to notice him.

The most memorable thing about this by far is the title itself, which carries on the proud light novel tradition of absurdly long titles. Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka (DanMachi for short) translates to “Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?” and it has the level of quality that you’d expect based on that name (not much). I read some of the manga adaptation and the characters were pretty stereotypical, such as the slightly perverted but still kindhearted male lead and the cool and aloof female warrior (Aiz Wallenstein). There was also a busty goddess character and a maid, but I didn’t read enough to get a handle on what character type they fill.

There was also a lot of emphasis on RPG elements, such as levels and stats, in the manga which made me think it was another light novel about being stuck in a video game, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. How they treat their fantasy world as having RPG elements is a bit interesting, but I don’t feel like they’ll explore much of that, which is a shame.

As for staff, the director Yoshiki Yamakawa directed a movie called Hells several years ago, which was an interesting but flawed piece of work. After that, he seems to have just become a studio director for JC Staff, helming projects such as Kill Me Baby and Little Busters, both of which were mediocre at best, which is how this show will end up as well. Unless you like generic RPGish anime, I would just skip watching this one.

Anticipation Level: 3/10


By Kelloggs


StudioPierrot Plus

Notable Staff: None

Genres: Comedy, Supernatural


Re-Kan! Is adapted from a 4koma manga about Amami Hibiki, a girl who is capable of seeing supernatural phenomena in her surroundings. Rather than being horrifying beings that haunt her, the manga instead focuses on the light-hearted comedic aspects of her life as somebody who can see these things.

After reading the one translated chapter of the manga I found that Re-Kan vaguely resembles Gugure Kokkuri-san, another 4koma manga about a girl involved with the supernatural. There seemed to be some comedic potential here with gags based on Hibiki reacting to things that nobody else can see. I have a hard time judging the potential of 4komas in general because the pacing of the comedy never really feels like it’s there for me. I ended up completely whiffing on Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun a few seasons back based on my tepid reaction to the manga. I don’t think that’s the case here as Nozaki-kun was done by Dogakobo which excels at this type of show whereas Re-Kan is being animated by Pierrot Plus with no notable staff members listed. Still, Pierrot Plus did Sabagebu which some people liked and some people seemed to like Gugure Kokkuri-san as well so maybe Re-Kan will find an audience out there. I just don’t think I’ll be part of it.

Anticipation Level: 3/10

Houkago no Pleiades

By PumpkinMochi

Houkago no PleiadesSource: OVA series

Studio: Gainax (C3-bu, Medaka Box)

Notable Staff: Shouji Saeki (FLCL, Medaka Box)

Genres: Magical girl


Subaru is a normal girl who discovers that her friend Aoi is part of a team of magical girls tasked with gathering engine fragments so that a mysterious being can return to his home planet of Pleiades. This being, who is also the president of the afterschool club, wants Subaru to become a magical girl also and help gather those fragments.

This was originally a short OVA series from several years ago that was a collaboration between Gainax and the car company Subaru.The fact that it is getting a TV version now is pretty surprising since I don’t think it was a big financial hit or anything. I had watched the OVA series when it came out and it was pretty forgettable, and the PV didn’t do much to impress me aside from how their magical staffs made car sound effects. Unfortunately, this blog isn’t popular or big enough for Subaru to pay for shilling, so I would not recommend watching this show unless you really like magical girl shows or witch hats.

Anticipation Level: 3/10

Owari no Seraph

By Boundless

owari no seraphSourceManga

StudioWit Studio

Notable Staff: None

Genres: Drama, Vampire, Supernatural


Less than 4 years ago, an unknown virus swept across the world and infected every human over the age of 13. At the same time, legions of vampires rose from the dark places of the world subjugated the remaining human children into slavery. These children live to produce blood to feed their vampire overlords. One young man, Yuuichirou Hyakuya, is determined to become strong enough to free his friends and kill his vampire captors.

I was mainly excited for this series because I usually like dark vampire stories. I certainly approve of the grim atmosphere and the gothic cathedral architecture of the manga’s opening chapters. Unfortunately I am less enthusiastic of the age of the protagonist. Both protags are a mere 16 years old  and certainly act rash and headstrong. Yuuichirou spends most of the first chapter talking about how he will do one thousand pushups every day to become as strong as a vampire and it comes off as very stock shounen. Also they somehow shoehorned in a high school setting into the above premise. I have to wonder if the manga was aimed at a younger audience and if so, will it actually deliver on the dark atmosphere it is presenting?

One the other hand, Owari no Seraph is being animated by Wit Studio, the studio who did Attack on Titan. While Titan received a mixed critical reception, it was certainly an ambitious project and Seraph feels like a logical next step for them. Here is the PV that shows off some pretty spiffy fight animation. There is certainly potential for an exciting shounen action show here, but we will have to wait and see.

Anticipation Level: 4/10


By ParticularlyPeeved



Notable Staff: None

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy


The anime’s story revolves around Nya-tan, the cat of Chinese astrology who wants to become a member of the Chinese zodiac. Nya-tan is simple and suffers from memory loss, and she tries various foolish ways to become a member. She meets Takeru Tendo, a high school student who lives alone in Akihabara, and becomes a freeloader at his house. Little by little, she gets closer to her goal.

The production studio for this show hasn’t done much. Most of it seems to have been Moyashimon, which I have no idea about. But I did watch the PV for this show. Yeah, hmm, this show is about a lot of animal-girls, and a lot of nyaa~. If you like sentences ending with nyaa~ then you should watch this nyaa~. From what I gathered the main character Takeru Tendo will be encountering a lot of these girls nyaa~. This is another show made for people with a fetish nyaa~. I’m not sure if he’s going to build a harem nyaa~. Animation didn’t look too special nyaa~.

Anticipation Level: 4/10

Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku

By SerendipitouslySane

mikagura gakuenSource: Light Novel

StudioDoga Kobo (Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Yuru Yuri)

Notable Staff: Iwasaki Tarou (Director; Ishuukan Friends), Yokotani Masahiro (Series Composition; Maria†Holic. Free!)

Genres: School, Shoujo


Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku is a series adapted from a novel, which in turn was inspired by a popular Vocaloid song made by the same author on Nico Nico Douga. The story is set in a boarding school where the cultural club representatives beat the crap out of each other with superpowers inspired by their subject of interest, in pursuit of better treatment.

Pretty much like real boarding schools then.

Everything about this series seems to run the gamut from “eh” to “meh”. Relatively unimaginative premise, a studio that has done some good stuff and some bad stuff (and none of this particular genre), and a fairly green director whose only work of note is good but radically different from this show. I can’t imagine Mikagura catapulting to the top of the season, but I can’t really see it being total garbage either. If you only watch a few series a season, then there are probably more inspiring shows to look forward to, but if you have an empty spot for an inoffensive show that might border on good, this would probably be it.

Anticipation Level: 4/10

Arslan Senki

By Boundless

Arslan SenkiSourceManga


Notable Staff: Noriyuki Abe (Director: Bleach), Makoto Uezu (Series Composition: Akame ga Kill!)

Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Historical, Supernatural


In the kingdom of Pars, a young prince Arslan trains to become a great warrior and ruler like his father, King Andragoras. At the age of 14 Arslan takes part in his first battle to repel an invasion by a pagan nation. Arslan is nearly killed in the battle, only to be saved by his bodyguard and warrior Daryun. Together they return from the battle to find the capital in ruins and Pars conquered by the invaders. Now Arslan and Daryun must embark on a journey to restore their kingdom.

An immediate concern for this show is that its source manga is quite new with only 22 chapters out. This means that this will likely only be a one cour show, or they will end up adding some anime original material. The director will be Noriyuki Abe who also directed Bleach, and the series composer will be Makoto Uezu who also did series comp for Akame ga Kill! This is either a good or bad sign depending on who you ask, but I think they are a good fit for a project like this. Arslan is being animated by LINDEN FILMS who most recently worked on TERRA FORMARS which received limited positive reception. The lack of animation in the PV has me somewhat concerned but we will have to wait and see how it turns out.

Anticipation Level: 4/10


By Kelloggs



Notable Staff: Uchikoshi Koutaru (Scenario Writer Ever17, Remember11, Never7, 999)

Genres: Comedy, Ecchi


Punchline is an anime original series about Iridatsu Yuuta. According to the synopsis on MAL Yuuta’s “spirit has been separated from his body”. This brief synopsis doesn’t give us a lot to go on, but the first and second PVs tell us pretty much everything we need to know. Based on the excessive amount of underwear in those videos along with the fact that the title appears to be a pun on “panchira”, the Japanese term for panty shot (バンチライン = PA-N-CHI-RA-i-n = Punchline) means this one’s destined to be an ecchi comedy.

Some people will likely be inclined to give the show a little bit more consideration based on the involvement of MAPPA as well as various ex-Gainax people along with the scenario writer for the Infinity series of visual novels as well as 999 and Zero Escape for DS. I’m not personally enthused though. MAPPA has never really made anything I liked that much and Gainax even less so. Still, where there’s an anime original with a competent staff there’s always at least some potential. I just don’t particularly believe in this one.

Anticipation Level: 4/10

Gunslinger Stratos: the Animation

By SerendipitouslySane

Gunslinger StratosSource: Arcade game

StudioA-1 Pictures (Aldnoah Zero)

Notable Staff: Urobuchi Gen (Aldnoah Zero, Madoka, Fate/Zero)

Genres: Action, Sci-Fi


I was hoping for a strange, twisted crossover between suicidal assassin lolis and international harem politics and instead all I got was a reminder of how disappointing Aldnoah Zero was.

Gunslinger Stratos is an action-adventure arcade game by Square Enix, adapted by Urobochi Gen into a parallel universe story where all of its uniquely designed characters are way too fond of futuristic-looking submachine guns. Now, three seasons ago I would’ve been unbridled in my enthusiasm for a show full of gunfire and Gen, but every single piece of information about Gunslinger Stratos seems like yet another Aldnoah Zero: the “original story” is by Gen, the studio is A-1 Pictures, and the main character is a high school student who constantly looks bored. While Gen is perfectly capable of crafting a brilliant sci-fi series with his propensity for world-building and plot-twists, if he’s planning on making the premise, handing it over to lesser writers and then abandoning it, then I should follow suit and abandon it as well.

Fool me once, Gen…

Anticipation Level: 5/10

Denpa Kyoushi

By ParticularlyPeeved

denpa kyoushiSourceManga

StudioA-1 Pictures

Notable Staff: None

Genres: Comedy, Harem, Romance, School


Kagami Junichirou was known as a physics genius when he was a teenager, and he was even published in “Nature.” However, after college, he suddenly lost all interest in science. As a NEET, he’s devoted himself to his anime blog and nerdy collecting habits. He claims he has a serious illness called “I can’t do anything I don’t want to do.” Desperate to get him to do something with his life, his little sister manages to get him a job teaching physics at his old high school. He’s certainly an unconventional teacher, but he becomes fairly popular with the students. After helping a girl who’s being ruthlessly bullied, Kagami finds that he actually likes teaching. Will he continue his career as a weird teacher? Will he go back into physics? Or will he end up back where he started?

The synopsis pretty much says it all for this show. I read the first chapter of the manga, and the premise is exactly as stupid as you think it is. I don’t know if it’s actually true, but it sure feels like there’s been an increase of anime revolving around NEETs as main characters. Perhaps it’s because they’re aiming for that very audience. These are generally fun to watch in a group, but make for pretty poor recommendations. The plot is guaranteed to be irrelevant for the most part, but I’ll tentatively posit that it’s not as bad as light novel haremshit. Or maybe I just feel that way because this happens to not be set in a fantasy world. A-1 Pictures should provide good animation quality, but just like the otaku show Saekano in Winter 2015 (last season), the probability that this show is not good is much higher than the chances of it being something different.

Anticipation Level: 5/10

Ninja Slayer From Animation

By Boundless

ninja slayerSourceComic Book


Notable Staff: None

Genres: Action, Fantasy, Cyber-punk


Ninja Slayer is set in a dystopian, future cyber-punk version of Japan where the ninjas, who in the past secretly ruled the land with their karate, have been concealed and removed from history. However, recently powerful ninja souls have been reawakening to claim dominion of the land once more. Jenji Fujikido is a salary man whose family was killed by violent Ninjas. On a quest for vengeance, he is possessed by a powerful Ninja soul and becomes Ninja Slayer, a brutal specter destined to hunt evil ninja. Yes, this is just as nuts as it sounds… check out the informative PV if you don’t believe me.

Ninja Slayer is based on a comic book by the same name. I say “comic book” because that is really the feeling I get from it. The art and general narrative construction of an over the top vigilante vendetta sounds like something from an American publishing company and as it turns out the book was in fact drawn and written by two Americans. What I find fascinating about all of this is that it feels like these guys captured what much of the American public thinks that anime is. Complete with lines like “ruled the land with their karate” indicating both a misunderstanding of Japanese history and placing an undue focus on martial arts which is a very popularly “Japanese-y” thing.

As a unique fusion of American and Japanese influences, I feel like this is a perfect match for Trigger. Trigger has always been an anime studio with a propensity to appeal to a western audience more so than the Japanese and this seems right up their alley. Akira Amemiya, long time member of Gainax, will be both the director and the series composer for Ninja Slayer. While he doesn’t have many directorial credits to his name, his work on Inferno Cop proved he has a flare for the ridiculous which sounds like a perfect match for this project. The animation PV plays like a rock music video and has an art style similar to Kill la Kill or a 90s action anime. I am definitely planning to check this show out, out of stunned curiosity nothing else. It seems likely that Ninja Slayer will actually be an ONA instead of a full TV series. It is unclear right now how many episodes it will be.

Anticipation Level: 5/10

Kekkai Sensen

By SerendipitouslySane

kekkai sensenSource: Manga

StudioBones (Cowboy Bebop, Darker than Black)

Notable Staff: Matsumoto Rie (Director: Kyousogiga), Yasuhiro Nightow (Original Creator: Gungrave, Trigun)

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy


Kekkai Sensen looks like something that will be aired on Cartoon Network within the year, while fading to utter obscurity in the Far East. The story is set in New York, which had since become a midway point between the Netherworld and the rest of the world, not unlike the New York that we know. An unknown enemy is now threatening this otherworld connection and a group of stylish individuals must beat the crap out of a variety of demonic bad guys to the sound of smooth jazz.

The director is that of Kyousogiga, the original creator also made Trigun and Gungrave, the art design is heavily stylised towards 1920s sensibilities, and whoever is trying to make money off of this venture probably has a bank account that won’t accept Japanese Yen. If you find the orient-oriented tone of this blog obnoxious and the whole weeaboo culture a little too foreign, then this is probably the show to watch this season.

Anticipation Level: 5/10

Shokugeki no Souma

By ParticularlyPeeved

shokugeki no soumaSourceManga

StudioJ. C. Staff

Notable Staff: None

Genres: Ecchi, School, Shounen, Comedy


Yukihira Souma’s dream is to become a full-time chef in his father’s restaurant and surpass his father’s culinary skill. But just as Yukihira graduates from middle schools his father, Yukihira Jouichirou, closes down the restaurant to cook in Europe. Although downtrodden, Souma’s fighting spirit is rekindled by a challenge from Jouichirou which is to survive in an elite culinary school where only 10% of the students graduate. Can Souma survive?”

Last season I noticed that most shows were based off light novels, and this season I seem to be previewing only manga adaptations. I don’t know if that’s actually better. The manga for Shokugeki no Souma, however, seems to have pretty good reviews. One of the reviews that stood out was one that described it as “It’s a Slight Ecchi Cooking Battle Manga (^ ^). Lots of tension, suspense, cliffhangers, satisfying wins, well MC does lose, but rarely because of MC protection.” Foodgasms appear to play a role, maybe if that appealed to you in Koufuku Graffiti, this might be something to consider. However, this is not slice of life, this is shounen. With a bit of a twist in that these are battles between chefs over food. It might make for a fun watch, but I can also see it getting stale rather fast.

Anticipation Level: 5.5/10

Show by Rock!!

By Kelloggs

show by rockSourceOriginal


Notable Staff: Machida Touko (Series Composition: Hitsugi no Chaika, The iDOLM@STER, Lucky☆Star)

Genres: Music


Show by Rock!! follows Cyan, a gothic Lolita cat girl who teams up with a rabbit girl, a dog girl and a sheep girl to form a band called “Plasmagica”. Together they do battle against other bands in order to become the top band in MIDICITY.

The character designs of Show by Rock would seem to indicate a show just about cute girls playing music but the premise and preview videos promise something more aggressive and battle-oriented. The girls may be cute but they’ll probably spend most of their time doing battle against other bands with various themes of their own. The second preview video shows a second, all male, band called “ShingancrimsonZ” that might be rivals (or allies? It’s hard to tell) to Plasmagica. Director Ikezoe Takahiro has limited directorial experience but he’s a veteran of plenty of other Bones productions and Bones as a whole seems like a studio whose occasionally psychedelic style (think Space Dandy) might be suited to what Show by Rock is trying to do. This one might not amount to much, but it’s probably worth checking out for the potentially epic rock battles if nothing else.

Anticipation Level: 6/10

Yamadakun to Nananin no Majo

By Boundless

yamada-kun to nananinSourceManga


Notable Staff: Michiko Yokote (script for Genshiken series and Witch Craft Works)

Genres: Comedy, Harem, Mystery, Supernatural


I’m very excited about this silly harem show for a really dumb personal reason (make that seven reasons): Witches. Count them… seven beautiful witches in one high school harem. What more could I ask for?

However, the rest of you are probably not as fanatical and easily impressed as I am and want actual discussion. Yamada Ryuu is a second year high school student who is starting to get burnt out. His grades are suffering and he doesn’t feel motivated to put in the effort at school anymore. However, all of this changes when he meets Shiraishi Urara, a beautiful third year girl he fancies. When passing her in the hall one day, he accidentally slips and knocks the both down a flight of stairs. They aren’t injured, but somehow they swapped bodies! It turns out she is the first of several witches: female students with magical powers or curses, he will meet. He has to help them to find a way to deal with their powers and find out where these powers are coming from.

If all that sounded really silly, that’s because it is. However, the manga does some interesting stuff with the body swap situation. It forces each of them to learn about the other gender’s perspective and experience in high school. This brings up some interesting issues about societal expectations about gender roles. However, the manga isn’t all that interested in social critique and soon drops these pretenses in favor of supernatural harem hijinx. They do use the body swap mechanic for some interesting purposes, such as taking tests for each other in their weaker subjects. And the slew of ridiculous theories they go through trying to find a way to swap back was both entertaining and endearing at times. However, based on the scattering of later chapters I read, the body swap spell is largely forgotten. Later on it moves to focusing on the other girl’s powers and some very silly school politics.

Nananin no Majo will be animated by LIDEN FILMS which is less than promising. The most recent show they did was TERRA FORMARS which wasn’t received well and didn’t have particularly impressive animation. The one potential saving grace is the script writer, Michiko Yokote, who also did the adaptation for Genshiken and Witch Craft Works). Witch Craft Work’s greatest strength was its energetic comedy writing and use of sight gags and I hope she can bring that experience to the table. If she can work her magic here the show might have a chance.

Anticipation Level: 6/10

Digimon Adventure tri.

By SerendipitouslySane

digimonSourceAnime original

StudioToei Animation (Digimon Adventure)

Notable Staff: Motonaga Keitarou (Director: School Days, Date a Live)

Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Kids, Shounen, Nostalgia


Remember the days of youth and innocence, when one watched horribly mutilated dubs of Japanese cartoons in the wee hours of the day, just before being pointlessly carted off to school? Remember the excitement of watching the adventures of the Digital World with anticipation and wonder, and the invoked daydreams of dropping into the fantastic and fantastical world yourself? Well good, because Toei Animation, for the fifteenth anniversary of the original Digimon Adventure, is planning to sell you 100% weapon grade, concentrated nostalgia in the form of a sequel, Digimon Adventure Tri.

The new series boasts the original Chosen Children (DigiDestined, for those of you who suffered through the despotic tyranny of 4Kids) as well as their digital companions. This time, fifteen years later, they are in high school, which means that Digimon follows a diluted version of Pokemon’s formula for determining the age of their characters. The new designs are considerably more subdued and modern compared to the spikey-haired, vomit-palette originals, which some have complained about, as they inevitably will.

The original director for the Digimon franchise (Hiroyuki Kakudou) has mostly fallen to obscurity, and has been replaced by Motonaga Keitarou of School Days and Date a Live fame; while not a top tier director, certainly one of some repute. And if this means that there is a chance that Taichi’s spikey head might end up as a boating accessory then I’m all for it. The original creator, Kongou Akiyoshi, is on board, and it will be interesting how he will attempt to update the many plots, especially the romantic ones, which were not designed for a sequel.

On balance I shall consider this a case of cautious optimism. Nostalgia has a tendency to highlight the good and forget the bad, and even if the series lives up to the dramatic amount of hype it has experienced, we still may be disappointed in seeing Digimon for the mediocre franchise designed to be sold to easily impressionable children that it is. Add on top of that the difficulty of dramatically changing the tone and direction of a setting to suit a more modern and mature audience, and I can see many ways for tri to fail, despite my own hopes to the contrary.

Anticipation Level: 6/10

Kyoukai no Rinne

By ParticularlyPeeved

kyoukai no rinneSourceManga

StudioBrains Base

Notable Staff: Takahashi Rumiko (author Ranma 1/2, Inu Yasha)

Genres: Comedy, Romance, School, Supernatural


As a child Sakura Mamiya mysteriously disappeared in the woods behind her grandma’s home. She returned whole and healthy, but since then she has had the power to see ghosts. Now a teenager, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! At school, the desk next to Sakura’s has been empty since the start of the school year, then one day her always-absent classmate shows up, and he’s far more than what he seems!

Oh my god, when choosing this anime to preview I did not realize it was based off a manga written by Takahashi Rumiko. Her style doesn’t appeal to everyone, her comedy tends towards slapstick, and she can go through tons of material without really progressing the plot in any direction. But if any of the characters click for you, you just keep on coming back for more. Through highly biased, nostalgia tinted lenses, I’ve enjoyed Ranma 1/2 much more than I would had it started airing today. This new show appears to be a blend of both Inu Yasha (that I liked, but not as much) and Ranma (that I’m pretty sure I irrationally like because I’ve watched all of it – MULTIPLE TIMES – when I didn’t have access to a wider variety of anime). That alone is going to ensure I at least start watching this show. Unfortunately, the manga is ongoing, with no end in sight, which means it’s very unlikely that the anime will wrap up any loose ends – probably the most annoying complaint with Ranma 1/2. I’m expecting mostly episodic escapades, with any larger plot moving at a glacial pace. This is not going to be for everyone. It’s going to actually be an interesting experiment for me, because I watched both Inu Yasha and Ranma 1/2 after they had aired, which meant I could watch multiple episodes in a single session. This, no doubt, helped pacing issues a lot. I might just end up getting really annoyed if I have to wait a week between episodes which in the end don’t even move the plot in any direction.

Anticipation Level: 6/10

Highschool DxD BorN

By Boundless

high school dxdSourceLight Novel


Notable StaffSame as the other seasons

Genres: Action, Comedy, Ecchi, Harem, Romance


Highschool DxD is an interesting case, but it is one of the few action-harem shows to actually achieve widespread notoriety in the anime community. If you haven’t seen either the first or second season already, most likely you’ve at least heard about it. DxD is infamous for how thoroughly it embraces its fanservice heavy action harem roots. There are plenty of busty ladies to go around but also a flat loli character to round out the harem’s offerings. Part of the appeal though, is the show’s propensity for outrageous lechery, best exemplified by this ridiculous promotion song about a fantastical Oppai Dragon (seriously you can’t make this stuff up, also nsfw).

At the same time, though, Highschool DxD is also trying to tell its own story. The show is ostensibly about Issei’s quest to move heaven and hell to become the Harem King. As ridiculous as this sounds, there are legions of fans who completely un-ironically claim to love the show for the story. I think DxD’s ability to mix the fan-service elements with the world building and keep the plot engaging is an underrated strength compared to many of its peers.

Highschool DxD BorN will again be animated by TNK, and is retaining most of its key staff. Notably the director, Tetsuya Yanagisawa, and the series composer, Takao Yoshioka, who worked on both of the previous seasons will be returning again. I have every reason to expect this season will be of a similar quality of production to that of the previous seasons. So if you wanted more DxD, BorN will not disappoint.

Here is the PV.

Anticipation Level: 6/10

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku

By SerendipitouslySane

yahariSourceLight Novel

Studiofeel (Outbreak Company, Papakiki!)

Notable Staff: Oikawa Kei (director; Outbreak Company)

Genres: Comedy, Romance, School, Despair lite


Yahari Ore no Suki na Shirisu no Namae wa Nagasugiru (which is what it ought to be called) appeals to me perhaps a little too much for comfort. It had the precisely right ratio of narcissistic cynicism, a need for pretentiousness and black humour for me. It had the same propensity for off-colour jokes, self-deprecation and unnecessary use of flowery language that you might find in titbits I’ve written for this very blog. It even copied to the sequel-subtitle of another one of my favourite black humour franchises, Sayonara, Zetusbou-Sensei. My excitement for this sequel, as you can imagine, is therefore palpable.

The bad news is that Zoku is to be handed from Brain’s Base to the third rate studio Feel, who are largely responsible for forgettable panty-shot fanservice dross, and whose business plan seem to solely depend on people’s inability to keep their wallets in their pants pockets when they have a mild erection. The original director, Yoshimura Ai, has also been replaced by Oikawa Kei of Outbreak Company, which means he at least has experience with the kind of self-referential humour that the two series share. Given that Yoshimura’s CV is thinner than even Oikawa’s, I’m not sure this change can be said to be for the worse, although it certainly isn’t for the better, given how well she did in the first season.

I have seen light novel series switch studios for season two and get butchered in the process, and I pray with great pessimism (as this show calls for), that Oregairu isn’t one of them.

Anticipation Level: 7/10

Hibike! Euphonium

By PumpkinMochi

EuphoniumSource: Novel

Studio: Kyoto Animation (Free, Kyoukai no Kanata)

Notable Staff: Tatsuya Ishihara (Air, Haruhi, Chuunibyou, Clannad, Kanon)

Genres: Drama, Music, School


This story centers around the brass instrument club at Kitauji High School. In the past, they had participated in national tournaments and even won it. After a change in club adviser, they fell on hard times and weren’t even about to participate in the qualifying tournament. After another teacher, Taki, takes the reins of the club, he tries to restore their former prestige as first-year student Kumiko Oumae and her friends, and her rival, join the club.

The superficial comparison to make with this show is to K-ON, as both are about music clubs made up of cute girls. But whereas K-ON was based on a 4koma manga, this is based on a novel whose synopsis makes me think that it’ll be slightly more heavy on the drama than K-ON was. The director is a long-time KyoAni veteran, having directed all the Key adaptations, Haruhi Suzumiya, and Chuunibyou. Interestingly enough, he didn’t work on the K-ON anime, which is another reason I think the K-ON comparison doesn’t work.

I generally like music-themed anime, and because this is KyoAni, the animation quality will be great, so I would recommend watching this.

Anticipation Level: 7/10

Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic

By Kelloggs

kiniro mosaicSourceManga

StudioStudio Gokumi

Notable Staff: Same staff as season one

Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life


Hello Kiniro Mosaic marks the return of Shino, Alice, Yoko, Aya(ya) and Karen as they continue their international-themed school life. The show promises to have plenty of Shino trying to be British, Alice trying to be Japanese, Ayaya being adorably tsundere for Yoko and Karen saying DESS.

This is a sequel and the appeal of the first season was pretty straightforward so you probably already know if you’re interested in this one. I highly recommend the first season to any slice of life fans out there who haven’t already watched it. The show demonstrated great command of its atmosphere and the flow of each episode was generally very good. The jokes were mostly funny and the characters were very endearing. It hits on pretty much everything I look for in a good slice of life anime. Adding to my anticipation is the fact that I feel slice of life anime tend to hold their quality better in a second season than most other genres. Story-driven action or drama anime tend to run out of story to tell and start dragging as the episode count climbs while harem or pure comedy anime struggle to top their predecessors. Slice of life anime, by contrast, tend to be slow burns that get better the more familiar you are with the cast so second seasons can often match if not improve on the first. As such, this is one of my most anticipated shows of the spring season.

Anticipation Level: 7/10

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid

By SerendipitouslySane

mahou shoujo lyrical nanoha vividSourceManga

StudioA-1 Pictures (Saekano, Shinsekai Yori, Vividred Operation)

Notable Staff: only notably inexperienced ones

Genres: Action, Adventure, Magic, Science Lesbian Babies


Spring seems to be the season of necromancy, because along with bringing back Digimon from its well-deserved rest, the mother of all “adult’s kid’s shows”, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, is getting a sequel, a whole eight years after its third season, StrikerS. The new series ViVid follows the eponymous character’s (who previous starred as the McGuffin in StrikerS) mildly severely lesbianic journey as she follows in her mothers’ footsteps to befriend the world by beating the crap out of anybody and everybody.

ViVid is adapted from one of a plethora of manga spinoffs of the Nanoha franchise, in which Takamachi Nanoha slowly fades into side-character obscurity as she ages beyond her forever-seventeen voice actress, Tamura Yukari. In terms of meta-data, this is by far the least worrying indicator for this show. The director, Itou Yuuki, has only ever been credited as assistant director of Vividred Operation, of all things, which I vividly remember to be a show of significantly different tone than Nanoha. The script writer, Kobayashi Naruaki has not been credited for anything at all. Seven Arcs, the original Nanoha studio, is presumably too busy wallowing in the failure of Trinity Seven, has given way to the more reputable A-1 Pictures. The only other source of comfort is that Mizuki Nana and Tamura Yukari are once again back for the opening and ending songs, which means there’s that to look forward to, at least.

I remember all three previous seasons of Nanoha fondly in my spiral into the debaucherous world of anime, and so I want nothing but for ViVid to be as good as its predecessors, even though all leading indicators points to this being a desperate attempt to cash in a fading franchise. Hence, as I am with Digimon tri, I shall remain cautiously optimistic for ViVid.

Anticipation Level: 7/10

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works 2

By ParticularlyPeeved

fate stay nightSourceVisual Novel


Notable Staff: Same as season one

Genres: Action, Fantasy, Magic, Shounen, Supernatural


Fuyuki City—a city surrounded by the ocean and the mountains becomes the setting for an age-old ritual. To realize the mythical Holy Grail, which is said to grant any wish from its possessor, seven masters are given seven heroic spirits chosen by the Grail. These heroic spirits or servants are: Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Caster, Assassin, Berserker.

Each master will enter into a contract with their assigned servants and battle the other masters and servants to the death until only one pair remains…

If you watch anime, you should probably watch this show just to appreciate how high animation standards can go as compared to the average anime. If Baby Steps is a show that punches above it’s weight due to its story and characters and is let down due to its animation quality, this is it’s exact opposite. I have played the visual novel route that provides the source material for this arc, and unless the writers of the show take some well-chosen liberties, this show is going to be beautiful, but flawed due to copious amounts of illogical nonsense. I’m still going to watch it, and would consider this as a strong “must watch” recommendation. New high standards may be set for animation sequences, but not much else. In case you are reading this preview and have no idea what Fate/Stay Night is about, you probably want to check out my preview of the first season that aired last year, but the synopsis above pretty much nails the overall plot.

Anticipation Level: 7.5/10

Danna ga Nani o Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2-sure-me

By Boundless

danna ga naniSourceManga


Notable Staff: Shinpei Nagai (director of first season and Inu-Neko-san)

Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life


Danna ga Nani is the second season of a series of shorts that aired late last year following a newlywed couple. Kaoru is a working salary woman who has little to no knowledge of anime or otaku culture. Her husband on the other hand is a huge otaku who doesn’t have a job and spends most of his time watching anime, collecting figurines, and writing on his anime blog (a fate that hits close to home for some of us writers here on PP). Most of the comedy comes from playing off each of them misunderstanding things about otaku fandom and “normal” life respectively. This usually comes in the form of otaku humor, sex jokes, and plenty of anime references (especially Evangelion) so at least a moderate knowledge of anime history is required. I think the short episode format really improved the comedy as it promoted very snappy and energetic comedic timing since it literally didn’t have time to let jokes hang too long.

What really elevates this show above many of its peers for me is how everything is eventually grounded in the lives of two people who truly love each other. It’s hard to describe, but I felt that these situations naturally arose from each of them trying to understand the other. The results of these misunderstands are played for comedic effect but I always felt like the underlying message was about trying to “make it work.” This feeling was reinforced by the ending animation in which they are taking a bath together which isn’t sexualized or fetishized in anyway. Instead it implied a level of shared familiarity and even intimacy between then that you don’t often see in anime. Kaoru’s back story in episode eleven illustrated her fear of being alone, only to end with her lovingly smiling at her husband sleeping next to her felt more powerful in three minutes than many shows do in a season.

Danna will again be animated by Seven with all of its key staff returning. If you haven’t seen the first season I recommend checking it out. Since each episode is only three and a half minutes you can watch the whole first season in under an hour. Incidentally, this is the way I would recommend viewing it. With episodes this short, it is very difficult to keep track of the running jokes, the briefly introduced side characters, and the general themes with a week between viewings. I’m actually planning to watch this second season in one or two sittings at the end of the season instead of watching it weekly.

Anticipation Level: 8/10

Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu

By PumpkinMochi

nagato yuki-chanSource: Manga spinoff

Studio: Satelight (Log Horizon, Nobunaga the Fool, Madan no Ou to Vanadis)

Notable Staff: None

Genres: Comedy, Romance, School


Nagato Yuki is the president of a high school literature club that consists of only three members, and is noted for her shy personality and has never been very sure of herself around others. That is especially true around Kyon, the only male member of the literature club. Yuki strives to improve her confidence for the benefit of Kyon and her club.

A spinoff of the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise, this is set in the timeline of the alternate world shown in the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya movie where Haruhi Suzumiya and the sci-fi and fantasy elements don’t exist. I liked that movie quite a bit, mostly because I am a big fan of the character of Yuki Nagato, but there are several reasons why I am not that sold on this series even though it makes Nagato the main character.

The sci-fi elements helped to make the original series more interesting, and their absence here might result in a more boring show. In addition, and more importantly, the animation studio working on this isn’t Kyoto Animation but Satelight, which has a much more mixed track record. The character designs as shown in promo images and the PV looked pretty bad compared to the KyoAni designs. In spite of that, I still plan to watch this in its entirety and I would recommend giving it at least a few episodes, though it probably won’t live up to the original, which you should watch if you haven’t already.

Anticipation Level: 8/10

Plastic Memories

By Kelloggs

plastic memoriesSourceOriginal


Notable Staff: Hayashi Naotaka (Scenario writer for Chaos;Head/Steins;Gate/Robotics;Notes)

Genres: Sci-fi, Romance


Plastic Memories is a near future sci-fi anime about a society where androids indistinguishable from humans have become commonplace. A new model of androids has been developed with emotions very closely resembling that of humans. The story follows Mizugaki Tsuakasa, an employee for a company tasked with cleaning up androids that have reached the limits of their useful lives and are breaking down.

This is my “flag planting” show for Spring 2015 as it’s a show that’s not getting a ton of buzz that I think will be very good. My flag planting shows in the past have met mixed success ranging from the phenomenal success of White Album 2 to the complete disaster of Glasslip. So take this all with a grain of salt. It’s also worth keeping in mind that as an anime original project, there’s a lot of unknowns with Plastic Memories. That said, the show has a lot going for it. First is the involvement of Hayashi Naotaka. His anime resume is pretty sparse but he was the scenario writer for the semicolon games (Chaos;Head, Steins;Gate and Robotics;Notes). The director Fujiwara Yoshiyuki’s previous work (Gj-bu and Mikakunin de Shinkoukei) aren’t my favorites but they were competently directed. The biggest draw for me is the premise. The specific mention of human emotions in the synopsis along with the PV video indicate that this will have exactly the kind of melancholy, emotional tone that I like. Combine that with the fact that the true nature of emotions and the validity of artificial personalities are two of my favorite topics for anime (see my Eve no Jikan write-up for more on this). There’s still the potential for this to flame out though. Combining multiple genres isn’t always easy. Steins;Gate did this very effectively but Robotics;Notes kind of struggled in this regard and we don’t know which version of Hayashi we’re getting. The show also seems to be slightly outside of Dogakobo’s comfort zone as they tend to favor goofy comedies like Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun or Yuru Yuri. Still, there’s plenty of talent involved here so I’ll definitely be checking this one out.

Anticipation Level: 8/10

Baby Steps 2

By ParticularlyPeeved

baby stepsSourceManga

StudioStudio Pierrot

Notable Staff: Same as season one

Genres: Sports, Romance, School


Second season of Baby Steps series.

This is the continuation of Baby Steps, a tennis anime that aired in 2014. The story will continue where we left off, with Ei-chan about to leave for America for better training. This is one of the better sports anime out there, and, for the most part, is extremely grounded in reality. No super powers or techniques, with both winning and losing being equally likely for the main characters. There might be the one-off match where an inordinate amount of luck seems to play a part, but the progression and improvement of all involved is believable. The hints of romance between Nat-chan and Ei-chan is another thing to look forward to, but it’s more of a side story, that’s not what you should go looking for. Animation quality was below par in the last season, and the production studio has not changed, so this is still a concern. Baby Steps is completely defined by its story, which is enough for me to overlook the shoddy animation, but it might not be the same for everyone. Yet, I hope there will be an improvement this time, though I’m not holding my breath about it. However, I would love another Abe Mao opening song!

Anticipation Level: 8/10

Ore Monogatari

By PumpkinMochi

ore monogatariSource: Manga

Studio: Madhouse (Death Parade, Chihayafuru)

Notable Staff: Morio Asaka (director: Cardcaptor Sakura, Chihayafuru, Chobits)

Genres: Comedy, Romance, Shoujo


The protagonist of this series, Takeo Gouda, is a first-year high school student. Though he is very tall and muscular and has a scary-looking face, his personality is that of an extremely kind and friendly individual. In contrast, his friend Sunakawa is very popular with girls but is insensitive. One day, Takeo saves a girl, Yamato, from a pervert on a train and he takes a fancy to her. Could this be the beginning of spring for Takeo?

The manga that this anime is adapted from is a pretty popular shoujo series, and it also has received quite an amount of critical acclaim. It won the Kondansha Manga Award for Best Shoujo in 2013, and was nominated for the Manga Taishou that same year. I read a bit of the manga and I found it enjoyable, especially how the main male character isn’t an asshole pretty boy like in many shoujo series.

As for staff, the series is helmed by Morio Asaka, who has also directed some classic shoujo shows like Cardcaptor Sakura and Chobits, as well as some recent underrated shoujo, such as both seasons of Chihayafuru, which were also animated by Madhouse, the studio working on Ore Monogatari. This could be one of the better shows of next season, and I would recommend checking it out.

Anticipation Level: 8/10


By SerendipitouslySane



Notable Staff: Same as season one

Genres: Comedy, Romance, Shounen, Harem, Head tilts


I remember speaking and writing fondly of Nisekoi, not a year ago, on this blog and on FAPcast. It is a traditional, bog-standard harem series through and through, checking every box you could possibly think of when it comes to that wonderful genre. The appeal of the series was how well the SHAFT team adapts the show; groundbreaking it was not, but it did everything well.

I happen to be one of perhaps many people who were inspired to follow the manga after finishing the first season, and I can predict with much confidence that season two will be more of the same. The tsundere conflicts, the slapstick humour, the lack of romantic development shall continue, adorned with a few notable new members of the harem to spice things up, if only by a little. In which case, if you are supposed to look forward to Nisekoi: as I am, you probably already are, and those who found the prequel unpalatable, on the other hand, would be foolish to try picking it up again.

Anticipation Level: 8/10

Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki

By Boundless



Notable Staff: Same as season one

Genres: Action, Fantasy, Mecha, Supernatural


This is the sequel to Sidonia no Kishi, a full CG sci-fi epic that aired in the spring season last year. In the far future, humanity as developed sophisticated space travel and can roam the stars. However, due to circumstances still unknown at this time, a hostile alien species call the Gauna arrived and attacked Earth, destroying much of the human population with it. Now humanity is reduced to several huge colony ships each housing hundreds of thousands of people scattered to the solar winds. This story takes place on one such ship, Sidonia. The main protagonist, a man named Nagate Tanikaze, is the son of a famous mecha pilot who died when he was a child. He wants to do what he can to save Sidonia from the Gauna threat, but at the same time begins to uncover the mystery of what really happened to Earth, his father, and the origin of the Gauna.

Sidonia no Kishi will again be animated by POLYGON PICTURES and will feature full CGI just like the last season. Understandably this is a significant turn off for some people. However, the CG actually worked well for the mecha battles and general environmental design of the ship. The fight direction and choreography was excellent and made for very engaging combat as well as capturing the epic scale of a space opera. Admittedly, full CG animation just isn’t there yet for character interaction and animating expressions. Often the character’s movements appear janky or they hold a vacant 1000-yard stare which definitely hurts the show in some of its crucial moments. However, if you can get past this Sidonia has plenty left to offer and is one of my most recommended shows from last year for the sci-fi fan.

The only change in the staff line up for Sidona is Hiroyuki Seshita will be moving up from co-director on the first season to full director this time around. Sadayuki Murai is returning as series composition again with collaboration from original creator of the manga, Tsutomu Nihei. While the main show will continue adapting the manga from the end of the first season, it will also feature a short adaptation of another side story also created by Tsutomu called Blame! Blame! is a sci-fi action story set in the same universe as Sidonia but focusing on a cold, gun-toting man named Killy. It seems that Blame! will be featured as episode eight of the main series, but the way these two will be integrated is unclear.

There is the PV for Sidonia no Kishi, as well as the PV for the Blame! side-story.

Anticipation Level: 10/10

Teekyuu 4 (and its spinoff)

By PumpkinMochi

teekyuuSource: Manga

Studio: Millepensee

Notable Staff: Shin Itagaki (Director, Teekyuu S1-S3)

Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama, Everything, Sports


This is the fourth season of the Oscar-winning Teekyuu series, which is nominally about four girls in a tennis club but is really about much, much more than that, covering topics ranging from PTSD to invading extraterrestrials.

The third season ended more than a year ago, in December 2013, but promised that a season 4 would be happening. However, as the weeks went on, no word on this fourth season was forthcoming. Although I was initially overcome with despair, I soon learned to accept that S4 was a dream that would not happen and was just glad that we even had three seasons to begin with. That is, until a few weeks ago…

Sometime at the beginning of this year, I was just going about my regular business when I heard an ethereal voice whisper something to me, though I couldn’t make out what was said. A second later, the voice repeated itself, and I clearly heard it this time. “Do you watch it, Teekyuu.” A strange feeling then came over me, kind of like a gentle wind or a delicious rice cake. I was compelled to check anime-related news, and found out that Teekyuu 4 would be airing during the spring. My faith in everything was then restored, and I dropped to my knees in joy.

Anyway, the same director from the previous Teekyuu seasons is working on this one in the same capacity. The studio has changed from MAPPA to a new one called Millepensee. The animation quality is not the selling point of Teekyuu anyway, so one doesn’t need to worry about a dropoff in production values like the one that Durarara suffered. This is my most anticipated show of the season, and I would recommend it to all, even if you haven’t seen the previous seasons. Additionally, there is also a spinoff focusing on the rich girl, so I can expect that to have all its jokes related to money. It gets a 10/10 too.

Anticipation Level: 10/10

This entry was posted in Season Previews, Spring 2015 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Spring 2015 Season Preview

  1. Dene323 says:

    While the manga source of Arslan Senki is quite limited in scope, the manga itself is an adaptation of Yoshiki Tanaka’s long running novel, so there should be no shortage of materials to cover (technically need more than 50 episodes to do its justice…). The writer is famous for his renowned sci-fi series Legend of the Galactic Heroes, and when I read the Arslan novel almost 10 years ago, I was quite impressed by it. Hopefully this new anime would do its justice. I have some reservations about the character designs, but that should be minor problem in the grand scheme of things.

  2. Boundless says:

    Oh man I burst out laughing when her scepter in the Pleiades PV made a car revving noise.

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