There is a new season of Fireball! And it’s only 3 episodes long. My disappointment consumes me the way shittiness consumed the ending of Rage of Bahamut Virgin Souls. To drown my sorrows from both of these facts, let’s make fun of all the anime coming out next season.
Yes it’s The Cart Driver Dot Com’s Legendary Anime Season Preview, Fall 2017 Edition, which makes this 9 solid years of writing season previews. I like to think I’ve gotten better at this stuff but in my sorrow over how little content there will be in the new season of Fireball, I can no longer trust my judgement in what will be good next season. So Ancient Magus’ Bride will be crap and My Girlfriend is a Perfect Shoujo Bitch will be anime of the year. Let’s get into it!
It’s been a while since I’ve actually looked forward to a Noitamina show (I had to look up what was running there this season. Dive? Did anyone watch that?). But here we are with Inuyashiki, the story of a dad in his 50s who is basically on the verge of killing himself due to depression and anxiety because his family alternates between embarrassed by his existence or ignoring him entirely. Fun stuff. Oh and then he gets superpowers. It’s written by the author of Gantz, a fascinating property I’ve never had the courage to start digging into because the 2004 anime is supposed to be quite bad and the manga is super long. From reading reviews of the Inuyashiki manga, it sounds like it’s full of great ideas and characters but the pacing is pretty bad. Which is cool because the director is the same bloke who did Rage of Bahamut Genesis and Tiger and Bunny, both of which had great directing and pacing but terrible stories. Combine the powers of the two and we should have something really great. Maybe? Well I’m excited at least.
Ancient Magus’ Bride
Cross another one of the list of manga adaptations people have been asking for years and would have appeared on fake seasonal charts if people made them anymore. I watched the OVA series Wit Studio made earlier this year and it was…OK? The story is about this girl who becomes the bride of this ancient skull-headed wizard but in like a non-sexual, magic way. The OVA had this feel of an old children’s novel, with the horror but also the wonder of magic and discovery, almost like a Ghibli film. The problem I had was it was sooooo sloooooow and I desperately hope the anime moves at a swifter pace because there’s definitely something here I like.
Land of the Lustrous
Before each new season I like to read the first chapter or so of each manga being turned into anime. From that I found two that really grabbed my attention. The first was Inuyashiki with its depressed old dude protagonist. The other was Land of the Lustrous with its…crystal androgynous fantasy fighting force thing? That supposedly has a similar plot to Steven Universe of all things, although the manga predates it by a year. It’s weird and unique and I’m kinda into it. The anime will be a full CG affair, but after watching the trailer and reading the manga I can get that more. It’s such a weird thing visually anyway that having all this liquid CG crystal sorta fits the aesthetic.
UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi 2
I’m not sure how many people reading this preview would know this, but my first anime was Love Hina way back in 2007. My horny teenage brain wanted more of the same and I read Negima was by the same guy so I watched that. Unfortunately I watched the awful 2003 version and never watched anime again and dedicated my life to medical research and found a way to map the brain and grant humans immortal life leading to a crash in the economy, outbreak of nuclear war and ironically hastening the demise of humanity. Thankfully in the real world I wasn’t turned off all of anime by how bad Negima was so here I am 10 years later writing about the sorta sequel.
So yeah, UQ Holder. It’s the shounen battle manga series Ken Akamatsu claimed he always wanted to write but had to slowly morph his shota harem series Negima into over several years, like if Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure suddenly turned into a romcom in season 6. It’s technically a sequel to Negima but you can watch it without trudging through the massive manga series. People said Negima got so much better but I can’t help think that was a combination of impressive by comparison to the awful early material, Stockholm Syndrome, and sunk cost fallacy. Not that UQ Holder is bad. It’s just rather generic, maybe interesting if you’re 13 years old and have never read a shounen manga before. Which I suppose is Ken Akamatsu’s target demographic and young teenage me loved his manga too so I suppose I shouldn’t be too harsh.
The other big shounen action property coming out this season, and this one has the whiff of something that will blow up. Maybe it’s because it’s a Jump property being animated by Pierrot, the Naruto and Bleach ultimate combo. Which is odd because I feel like I don’t see very many people who actually really like the manga that much. Lots of people who read it certainly, and from what I read of the manga I thought it was fine. Main character shouts too much, which is the problem with so many shounen manga. It also didn’t have the instant sign of a strong theme and good writing some other shounens like My Hero Academia had. On the other hand I have read worse shounens from the 2010s like Toriko or World Trigger, but that’s like saying there’s better ways to handle a referendum on independence than how the current Spanish government is ooh look at me being topical.
Girls’ Last Tour
It was hard to get a proper read of the manga from what I read of this because…well, it’s one of those “moe girls in post-apocalyptic wasteland” manga where we get a lot of atmosphere and little plot development, which is a larger genre than you would think. Although most post-apocalyptic wastelands aren’t as in rough a shape as it is in Girls’ Last tour. Is it calm and relaxing, does it have much direction, is there fear or loss over the show? Hard to get any grasp of that from what little I read because its ability there will ultimately make or break the show. It’s weird how the one time I’m able to stomach moe blobs is when they’re in post-apocalyptic worlds. Either I enjoy the contrast or I feel satisfied knowing all the moe blobs are doomed to wander this dying earth forever.
Kino’s Journey- the Beautiful World- the Animated Series
It seems weird to even have a new Kino’s Journey anime. I know there’s a whole load of material for more anime but still, it’s been 14 years since we last saw the kid and his talking motorbike re-enact Anime Aesop’s Fables. It’s listed as a remake but considering the style of Kino’s Journey, you could put everything in completely different order and it would still work just the same. I really hope they don’t just cover the same stories as last time though. The staff aren’t particularly exciting, but for the original Kino the staff and studio weren’t exactly stellar either. It’s one of those shows that’s hard to get wrong since the stories are so inherently simplistic in a way. It’s timeless too, in a way that seems like even in 100 years the stories will still hold up. I think I’m excited but it’s so unexpected I’m finding it hard to know what to expect.
Garo -Vanishing Line-
The first Garo anime was a highly stylised fantasy action anime that was all right, although if you asked me to tell you what happened in the story I would just stare at you blankly for a while before yelling “CG lion armour”. Then they made a second Garo anime, another fantasy but completely unconnected to the first one, that was terrible because it didn’t have the great art style or animation to make up for the forgettable story. I suppose they’re determined to make Garo anime a thing, as they have already made about a million sentai live action series in what’s been a generally successful franchise. Not that any of this really matters since, apart from the fact this too is being made by Mappa, the new Garo isn’t a fantasy anime at all. It’s set in the future with dark mega cities and ladies doing kung-fu in their underwear and a bloke riding a motorbike I’m pretty sure used to belong to Inferno Cop. So obviously it’s going to be amazing.
Visual Novel fans have been getting very excited about this anime adaptation, but they are visual novel fans who told the world Grisaia was actually good so they are as trustworthy as the memory of a goldfish with dementia. There’s a whole lot of intro rubbish about world war two and the Nazis and Soviets but then it goes to Japanese high school because bad visual novels endlessly revered by NV fans are required to do that by law. Reminder VN fans think Nasu is a good writer. Oh maybe I’m just being unfair. It was made as part of a highly successful crowdfunding campaign so clearly there were a lot of people who were very excited by this and that it’s getting an anime is excellent news for those people. I’ve just been burned too many times.
Two Car is an anime original project by Silver Link studio to celebrate 10 years in which they animated a whole lot of rubbish (and Watamote, but Watamote came out of an alternate dimension so we don’t talk about it for season preview considerations). It’s about two old ladies hahaha lol nope of course it’s about high school girls and their motorbike plus side car as they drive around in it. I’m not necessarily against watching two girls drive around in a motorbike plus side car, but it has to be in a post-apocalyptic hellscape as we established earlier.
Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth-
The token otome game adaptations this season. This one features Victorian London, a popular destination for Japanese productions with pretty men because they get to wear ruffles. Also features Arsène Lupin because nobody watches Lupin III anymore it seems. Also there’s a character called Herlock Sholmès.
Sengoku Night Blood
Not technically an otome game as it’s on phones, but that is something that will happen increasingly often nowadays anyway. That’s where teens play games in Japan so we’ll see plenty more of these in the future. This time it has a boring average Pototo-chan female lead who gets sucked into her phone where she gets to continue sucking pretty Sengoku-era boys except with vampires and werewolves too so we can cover every available preteen girl fetish base. All it’s missing is some Alice in Wonderland imagery and we can call bingo.
This is the boy version of Idolm@ster because the idol game makers finally realised there was a huge audience for this stuff amongst ladies so it would be mad to not capitalise on it. I’ve actually seen the first episode already and it’s pretty awful. The producer is great because I think the producer might be the best character in every idol anime while the worst characters are always the idols themselves and their awful cookie cutter personalities.
Children of the Whales
Something that has bothered me immensely since the rise of the video-game style worlds in anime is they always go to the same generic fantasy MMO game world with quests and guilds and slimes and goblins and magic and so on. That’s why I’m happy about Children of the Wales, which is about a bunch of kids from Cardiff on an adventure wait not I mean Children of the Whales, which is about a floating city on a mud whale through a sea of land. No matter what else happens, that alone is cool and makes me want to watch it. Which is good, because I actively dislike the staff and studio. Really never been a fan of JC Staff and the director has done a whole bunch of anime I think are very specifically badly directed. Occultic;Nine, Lance n’ Masques and (controversial opinion ahead) Your Lie in April were all poorly directed so my expectations are low. But hey, mud whales are cool.
King’s Game is the ultimate trashy phone novel turned into anime. Not trashy in the boobular sense, but in the teen horror movie way. Here’s a classroom oh snap now there’s a Bad Mysterious Figure who makes them do things or else they die…like kiss! Now I am the kind of person who unironically likes Future Diary and stuff like that, but King’s Game brings un-redeemable trashy to a whole new level. I can’t wait to watch it every week and get mad.
Juuni Taisen: Zodiac War
Nisioisin, the author of the Monogatari Series, plus the artist who did the art for Arakawa Under the Bridge and Saint Young Men, write a gloriously trashy novel together in which the zodiac animals turn into quite possibly the most ridiculous character designs in the history of anime and fight each other. Like look at this guy.
Where do you even start with that? The size of the tail? The part where he’s wearing high heels? I believe it’s supposed to be like the Fate series except far more ridiculous and with a better writer at the helm. I can’t wait to pretend to watch this ironically and secretly love it.
This is the anime with an all-female staff which is why a lot of people are looking forward to it, or at least keeping an eye on it. Considering the lack of opportunities women get in the anime industry it therefore seems wrong to go through the staff listing and yawn through the lack of experience. So instead I’ll say it looks like a Precure series and outside of the all-female staff thing I don’t have really any interest whatsoever.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie
I am a loser human but then I play video games where I am a cool person of the opposite gender except the only games I ever seem to play are generic ass fantasy RPG MMOs because apparently those are the only games allowed to exist in east Asia. At least that’s what anime has thought me. The one wrinkle this has is it’s a lady main character pretending to be a dude in a game who falls for a pretty lady character in game who is actually a guy and wait no actually that’s not interesting in the slightest never mind.
My Girlfriend is a Perfect Shoujo Bitch
With a name like that I was kind of expecting some kind of anime about a guy bullying his girlfriend so she’d be the perfect woman or something, but it’s not quite that bad. Instead it’s about anime girls re-enacting hardcore porn imagery for humourous effect…look bear with me. The story is a gormless teenage boy asks out a girl he likes and the girl says yes, but she doesn’t really know what to do as a girlfriend so she asks the bloke whether she should do these things from hardcore porn and he gets all embarrassed. It’s a gag manga that I like to think is actually about the impact readily available hardcore pornography has on teen relationships today…except it’s not, nor do I think it ever really address that its imagery is taken from porn with bananas and milk substitutes. Which is a shame because that’s a far more interesting anime and I really like it when anime goes that direction. Hen Zemi and Shimoneta were both pretty cool because they embraced the base where this imagery came from originally. They had their issues certainly, but were far more interesting as a result. Instead this is mostly lazy gags featuring bukkake.
…look man, I genuinely do my due diligence researching these season previews, even for Perfect Shoujo Bitch anime.
Another one of those high school girl anime clubs, kind of like Gamers from last season. Except Gamers had somewhat competent staff while this director has done basically nothing and the studio have previously animated Mars of Destruction.
I think this just might not be for me. It’s one of those “high school kids blush at each other” shows with bags upon bags of horrible melodrama. Anime original project is cool, but when it’s being written by the bloke who wrote that anime about keeping a sexy mentally disabled girl as a pet, I kind of lose interest right there.
Cute girls with animal ears…I’m coming to the section of the season preview before all the sequels where I stick all the less interesting anime. Woop woop woop I love animal ears on humans because the only thing keeping me from fucking a fox was that it didn’t have underdeveloped breasts.
A Sister’s All You Need
When the story opened with the main character eating the underpants of his little sister which she had brought in from an alternate dimension, I thought maybe we were onto something here. But then it turned out to actually be about a light novel author who dreams of fucking little sisters and for some reason his love of wanting to fuck a little sister means lots of ladies really like him.
TsukiPro the Animation
First up for sequels I’m going to watch, Blood Blockade Battlefront isn’t necessarily top of my list but it is the most fascinating because the director has changed. And it’s not just any old director that left but the incredibly talented Rie Matsumoto, director of Kyosogiga. Which had many people worried as her colourful style seems so central to what made the first BBB so great. But on the flip side, her flowery dialogue spoken by characters into a void rather than at each other as the plot moves incredibly fast towards nowhere are what dragged the series down in the end. I am one of those freaks who thought Kyosogiga lost itself about halfway through and was a complete mess by the end. The trailer for the new season of BBB shows it still has the same stylistic approach, which is super promising because the heights it did reach in the first season were legitimately incredible. I would love for the new season fulfill its potential, but I desperately want to see what Rie makes next. She reminds me of Shinbo before Madoka, Sayo Yamamoto before Yuri on Ice, or that bloke who directed Rakugo before…well, Rakugo. These were all directors I knew had an anime in them I would love if they cut out the parts of their anime I disliked. There’s a Rie Matsumoto anime I love. She just hasn’t made it yet.
The big controversy out the way, there’s still sequels I’m very excited about. I shouldn’t be surprised Osomatsu-san has returned given the earth-shattering success of the first season, and honestly it’s the kind of thing I can’t see running out of jokes anytime soon. I was one of those people who really liked the anime of March Comes in Like a Lion, although I wish they had maybe shortened the last arc because it was pretty dull. Hoozuki no Reitetsu is one I knew was more popular in Japan but I’m still a little surprised to see the bloke with a garden of screaming plant fish back.
Other returning anime I’m not watching include Food Wars, which I guess has become one of the most popular shounen anime of this decade behind My Hero Academia. It’s not my thing, but good for the author who has made the successful transition from porn author to mangaka supreme and it’s a path I hope many others follow, rather than the reverse path followed by the author of Ghost in the Shell where you make one of the most successful and acclaimed manga in history then follow your true dream of drawing horses fucking oily ladies. Himouto is one I think I got the wrong impression of first time around, as in retrospect it seems closer to something like Squid Girl than your other horrible imouto anime, so maybe I should give it another shot. Classicaloid returns being rather well-animated rubbish nobody watches. Yuki Yuna is a Hero has some kind of prequel as it continues being the only Madoka ripoff to have any kind of success. Wake Up Girls has a new season as it desperately tries to grab onto the coat-tails of the world-conquering success of Love Live, which in turn means we get Love Live Sunshine S2 to show the world the king has returned.