A Look Ahead to the Fall and Why it Doesn’t Really Matter

There's the big image you come to expect from me at the end. I, of course lead with this under-appreciated character.
There’s the big image you come to expect from me at the end. I, of course lead with this under-appreciated character.

I will get this statement of fact out of the way quickly. There are 47 series airing in the fall. Only 2 of them are continuations of series that began in the summer. One of them is Kingdom which doesn’t really count. When you have that many shows I think it’s kind of pointless to write a lot on each and every series. I think I wrote about 3000 words on 20 organizations engaging in a competitive business against each other over the course of 9 months. That’s the most distant description I could write of describing sport I could think of by the way.

Not even having a popular voice actor can make minor characters popular.
Not even having a popular voice actor can make minor characters popular.

I’m still going to look ahead to the coming season for the reason that it presents an interesting case. There is a hell of a lot of noise when it comes to looking at what’s being released. Light novel adaptations, sequels, sports anime, game adaptations and combinations of those 4 are the dominant shows. I think one can’t go wrong with a known quantity with this much going on. I don’t blame anyone for that because inevitably there’s going to be a ton of crap. Hidden gems are extremely unlikely because everything is known beforehand in this blogosphere. When a series is announced, it seems like a perception takes effect based on just a few facts about it and its either terrible, great or forgotten entirely. I’m still going to watch most of these to get an impression of where they are coming from and I present these to you knowing that I’m just as biased as everyone else. I’ll try to keep it short since I don’t think you want to 5000 word walls of text.

Don't even think that older sister characters can truly be popular with the fans.
Don’t even think that older sister characters can truly be popular with the fans.

The Light Novel Adaptations (Non-Sequels)

These shows get a bum rap much of which is completely deserved. I think at this point, most people just assume they are all forms of otaku trope pandering like 1. Outbreak Company, 2. Golden Time, 3. Unbreakable Machine-Doll or 4. Noucome. There are also some out there which sound completely familiar. I mean 5. Tokyo (Should be Baltimore) Ravens (Blue Exorcist),Β 6. Strike the Blood (Dantalion), 7. Yuusha ni Narenakatta (Hataraku Maou-sama), 8. Log Horizon (Sword Art Online) should seem very familiar to fans of the shows they are unfortunate to have aired after. That leaves 9. Beyond the Boundary as the only one that doesn’t fit into those 2 categories. Kyoto Animation have promoted another staff member up to make their directorial debut with this, though it looks too generic for my taste.

It's Not My Fault Chinese Childhood Friends Aren't Popular.
It’s Not My Fault Chinese Childhood Friends Aren’t Popular.

Game/Visual Novel Adaptations

Game adaptations used to have the reputation that light novel adaptations now enjoy. I think the fact that it’s just taken for granted that most of these come straight from eroge has somehow made them more pure than the light novels that borrow from the same tropes. Funnily enough that makes the adaptations hardly edgy at all. In 10. Walkure Romanze and 11. White Album 2 you have pretty much the expected format for that type of adaptation. Generic lead who happens to be the greatest thing since sliced bread to the women around him, but really a self-insert character. Throwing 12. Blazblue in this category might be a tad harsh on it, but fighting game anime adaptations are often more terribad than simply bad.

Being the first main contender to the harem lead can't make up for reputation.
Being the first main contender to the harem lead can’t make up for reputation.

Sequels/Remakes

Sequels are the promised land when it comes to looking forward to the new season. Unless you have an Endless Eight situation when an entire franchise decides to douse itself in gasoline and set itself on fire in Myself;Yourself fashion. The ones that didn’t make the cut for me previously are 13. Kuroko no Basket (Unrealistic Basketball Sequences), 14. (Abbreviated) Battle Spirits (Gasp! A Children’s Card Game), 15. Aikatsu! (Reign-esque CG dance sequences), 16. Freezing (Literally a show about clothes being ripped off of attractive women), 17. Yozakura Quartet (Seriously, how many times are they going to reboot this), 18. Pokemon (Ash/Satoshi would be a 25-year-old unemployed drifter surviving on the cockfighting circuit by now), 19. Magi (Really boring 1st episode for me), 20. Hajime no IppoΒ (Simply never watched any of the earlier series) and 21. Valvrave (A Literally Evil Show). That leaves me with the rest of the sequels that I’m very familiar with. So 22. Infinite Stratos, the mecha-harem-otaku-pandering series that I had fun with, 23. Little Busters! which looks set to be a literal bus crash of a season and 24. Phi Brain has that ironic comedy formula going for it that makes it a hit in the UK though I only watch select episodes. All in all, the sequels are probably going to pass me by entirely. More episodes of the currently airing 25. Monogatari Series will also fill yet more time.

While Tsundere childhood friends have fallen out of fashion recently.
While Tsundere childhood friends have fallen out of fashion recently.

Manga Adaptations

Manga adaptations are the bread and butter of source material for anime. Sell a lot of the manga and leverage that into an anime to try to sell more of the manga and merchandise that now comes from it. There’s 26. Super Seisyun Brothers and 27. Non Non Biyori to fill the awkward school comedy gap. 28. Diabolik Lovers will take the fujoshi space almost by default. 29. Coppelion and 30. Arpeggio of Blue Steel (disappointingly unrelated to Zoolander) fills the post-apocalyptic action void. 31. Kyousougiga,Β  32. GingitsuneΒ and 33. Pupa showcase as much supernatural as one could possible ever want. Sports needs are filled by 34. Ace of Diamond, 35. Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai! and 36. Yowamushi Pedal. If I’m perfectly honest, I struggle to see a winner from any of this lot. Meanwhile, 37. Seiyuu Sentai Voicetorm may win the price for most absurd concept for a series made in the last 5 years.

Having a man for a waifu can make up for deficiencies.
Having a man for a waifu can make up for deficiencies.

Originals

I think a lot of people mistake original for excellent with early perceptions when really it can be just as bad as any light novel adaptation. 38. Gaist Crusher and 39. Gundam Build Fighters may technically be original, but it’s clearly meant to move product. P.A. Works’s 40. Nagi no Asukara appears to be like most of their recent works with loads of melodrama. 41. Tesagure! Bukatsu-mono will likely have the look of CG animation done by people on work experience. The Noitamina block brings 2 originals in 42. Galilei Donna which looks like some sort of mix of alternate history with Eden of the East vibes and 43. Samurai Flamenco; a potentially subversive social commentary filled take on superheroes. 44. Kill La Kill is getting the most hype from this group despite the dubious name and weapon wielded by the main character.

Ultimately, The King Stay the King
Ultimately, The King Stay the King

Everything Else

Just 2 shows left that I couldn’t fit into a category, so call them unconventional. 45. Bushi Road has apparently been floating around as a concept for over a decade in various forms and has largely gotten this far on one man’s effort with the help of a few production companies. Will that faith pay off? Finally, 46. Meganebu!. If you have seen Watamote and scenes where Tomoko is listening to male voices saying erotic things, I’d imagine the source was something like that. “My Glasses Are Focusing on Their Own”

What on Earth have I done?
What on Earth have I done?

10 thoughts on “A Look Ahead to the Fall and Why it Doesn’t Really Matter”

  1. I’m sorry, emperorj. I really want to praise your excellent use of paint. I really do. But Valvrave is “FAIL”? No. I’m sorry. This post is fail. Try again next season.

  2. Doesn’t look too promising. I’m curious about Kill la Kill despite the crap title and IS was good fun so I’ll give IS2 a go. Perhaps it’s also a good time to rewatch some classics and wait for greener pastures in 2014?

    1. I kind of struggle with going back to older shows unless I’m making a point (i.e. Classic Gatchaman). I don’t really get recommendations either on what to watch, so I’m completely guessing when I go back.

  3. I am disturbed by all the Infinite Stratos art in this post.

    *shakes fist*

    FORTY SEVEN SHOWS?! GEEZUS! Even test driving half this list is going to be impossible for me. I’ll stick with what I know, and wait for the gems to rise to the top. I’m super excited for Hajime no Ippo, since it’s one of my favorite manga, and I find the anime adaptations to be amazing. I must unfortunately finish Valvrave. And Gundam Build Fighters will be the first Gundam series that I openly skip (that was almost AGE). I have no interest in gunpla. Bring on the final Gundam Unicorn movie!

    1. I didn’t think people hated Infinite Stratos that much. Gundam Build Fighters seems like an abridged series that someone felt needed to actually be made.

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