Winter 2011 Anime Lineup

Winter 2011 Anime Chart

chart by cowboybibimbop

I finally got round to do this quarterly line-up of upcoming winter series. As usual, it’s divided into three categories, but this time around I’ll mention even a few other series. What’s new is that I’ll try to write down what I consider strong and weak points of each anime.

Anime I’m definitely going to watch

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (魔法少女まどか★マギカ)

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

Basically, a series revolving around a magical girl. But this isn’t supposed to be your typical mediocre mahou shoujo anime, as it is produced by masters of their respective professions.
Animation: SHAFT
Director: Shinbou Akiyuki (Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Maria Holic, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha)
Writer: Urobuchi Gen (Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom, Blassreiter)
Seiyuu: Yuuki Aoi, Kitamura Eri, Satou Chiwa, Katou Emiri, Mizuhashi Kaori
Music: Kajiura Yuki, Kalafina, ClariS

+ : animation, music, staff
– : –

Trailers:

Hourou Musuko (放浪息子)

Hourou Musuko

An introvert boy meets a tomboyish girl and they decide to become whom they want to be. Thus, they both start crossdressing as opposite sexes.
Animation: AIC
Director: Aoki Ei (Ga-Rei Zero)
Writer: Okada Mari (Toradora, Kodomo no Jikan, true tears, Otome Youkai Zakuro, Kuroshitsuji)
Seiyuu: Hatekayama Kyousuke, Seto Asami, Iguchi Yuuichi, Nanri Yuuka, Mizuki Nana, Toyosaki Aki, Chiba Saeko, Nanjou Yoshino, Horie Yui
Music: Kousaku Satoru

+ : great screenwriter, interesting concept, strong supporting cast
– : lead protagonists’ seiyuu without any previous experience

Trailer:

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? (これはゾンビですか?)

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka

Based on a light novel written by Kimura Shinichi. The story revolves around a lazy high school boy named Aikawa Ayumu who gets killed during a spate of mysterious serial killings. However, he is resurrected as a zombie by a necromantic girl named Yuu, whom Ayumu had met before dying.

Zombies, necromancers, vampires, This series promises a lot of scenes on verge of being banned from airing. Check out the trailer to see it with your own eyes, unless you’d rather avoid seeing someone getting cut in two with a chainsaw or getting stabbed in his torso with a sword.
Animation: Studio DEEN
Director: Kanasaki Takaomi (School Rumble Ni Gakki)
Writer: Uezu Makoto (Utawarerumono, School Days, Tayutama, Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka, Qwaser)
Seiyuu: Majima Junji, Nomizu Iori, Hikasa Youko, Kanemoto Hisako, Tamura Yukari, Yamaguchi Rie

+ : very popular light novel, three seiyuu (namely Tamura Yukari, Hikasa Youko, Kanemoto Hisako)
– : scriptwriter’s latest works are nothing but crap (except Katanagatari)

Trailer:

IS: Infinite Stratos ( IS<インフィニット・ストラトス>)

Infinite Stratos

The story revolves around the IS Academy and its students who are training to become pilots for the IS (Infinite Stratos) weapon system. It so happens that this system can only be operated by females. However there was one young man named Orimura Ichika who was able to use the IS. He then finds himself attending the busy academy dominated by girls. (from anidb.net)

Harem setting in a mecha anime is quite an interesting concept. The director has worked on Macross F so he’s well versed in mecha anime, while the scriptwriter’s record is marked with Clannad, Kanon, and AIR, so he’s on the other hand the scriptwriter who is partly responsible for tears of many anime fans. I expect some mecha with broken hearts and terminal illnesses XD
Animation: 8-bit
Director: Kikuchi Yasuhito (Macross F)
Writer: Shimo Fumihiko (AIR, Kanon, Clannad, Full Metal Panic)
Seiyuu: Uchiyama Kouki, Shimoda Asami, Hikasa Youko, Hanazawa Kana, Inoue Marina, Yukana, Tamura Yukari, Toyoguchi Megumi
Music: Nanase Hikaru (Phantom), OP: Kuribayashi Minami (Chrno Crusade, Kampfre, School Days)

+ : strong female seiyuu cast, scriptwriter, mecha and harem
– : absence of an epic male seiyuu (though Uchiyama Kouki did a great job as Natsuno in Shiki)

Trailer:

Anime I will check out

Gosick (GOSICK -ゴシック-)

Based on a light novel. Set in 1924 in a small fictional European country of Sauville. The story centers on Kazuya Kujo, the third son of a Japanese Imperial soldier, who transfer into St.Marguerite Academy, a school full of mysteries. There, he meets Victorique, a graceful, clever girl, savvy in supernatural occurrences. She spends her days in the library reading countless books and she solves the baffling mysteries that imbue the school.

The concept is quite promising and the female lead seems to be a lovable dark loli, such as Evangeline from Negima. BONES are in charge of the animation, so that shouldn’t go wrong either.
Animation: BONES
Director: Nanba Hitoshi (Heroman, Grappler Baki)
Writer: Okada Mari (Toradora, Kodomo no Jikan, true tears, Otome Youkai Zakuro, Kuroshitsuji)
Seiyuu: Eguchi Takuya, Ookawa Tooru, Kano Yui, Sawashiro Miyuki, Kiuchi Hidenobu, the female lead is yet to be announced
Music: Nakagawa Koutarou (Code Geass, Hayate no Gotoku)

+ : dark loli, BGM, animation
– : maybe male lead

Trailer:

Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!! (お兄ちゃんのことなんかぜんぜん好きじゃないんだからねっ!!)

Based on Kusano Kouichi’s online manga serialised in the web comic magazine Web Comic High!. Takanashi Shuusuke has a predilection for collecting pornographic books, DVDs and pictures. Nao is Shuusuke’s younger sister. Rather than a cool older brother, she prefers the lewd older brother who desperately attempts to get a glimpse of her panties. One day, Shuusuke’s childhood friend Tsuchiura Iroha, whom he had not seen for 10 years, appears before the two and immediately throws herself at Shuusuke. Thus, Shuusuke finds himself in a love triangle with Nao and Iroha. (from anidb.net)

Unfortunately, the story of the manga is said to be boring, so this anime will probably fail as a kind of a successor of OreImo.
Animation: ZEXCSDirector: Motonaga Keitarou (School Days, Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka, Tayutama)
Writer: Ooba Sayuri (Sweet Valerian)
Seiyuu: Kitamura Eri, Toyonaga Toshiyuki, Inoue Marina, Aranami Kazusa, Shiraishi Ryouko, Oohara Sayaka
Music: Kikuya Tomoki (Potemayo, Asobi ni Iku yo, Asu no Yoichi, Ika Musume)

+ : brother x sister relationship
– : animation, director

Fractale (フラクタル)

The story takes place on an island, where a Fractale System is beginning to collapse. One day, Clain finds an injured girl called Phryne under a cliff. She disappears leaving a pendant. Clain sets out for a journey with the girl-shaped avatar Nessa to look for Phryne and discovers the secret of the Fractale System. (from MAL)

It’s an original anime project, written by a cultural critic and expert, professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Azuma Hiroki Ph.D.. It’s directed by Yamamoto Yutaka aka Yamakan who is putting his profession on stake, declaring to retire should Fractale not be successful.

Although, I’ve put in this second category, I’m pretty sure I’ll watch this one.
Animation: A-1 Pictures, Ordet
Director: Yamamoto Yutaka (Lucky Star ep 1-4, Kannagi, BRS)
Writer: Azuma Hiroki, Composition: Okada Mari (Toradora, Kodomo no Jikan, true tears, Otome Youkai Zakuro, Kuroshitsuji)
Seiyuu: Kobayashi Yuu, Iguchi Yuka, Hanazawa Kana, Tsuda Minami, Asanuma Shintarou

+ : written by a culture expert, directed by Yamakan, atypical animation, good cast
– : I wonder what

Trailer:

Dragon Crisis (ドラゴンクライシス!)

Based on Kizaki Kaya’s fantasy comedy light novel series Dragon Crisis! The series is the story of Ryuuji, a teen boy who rescues a girl from black-market dealers. The girl turns out to be a dragon who becomes devoted to Ryuuji, living with him and following him everywhere. (from anidb.net)

Kugimiya Rie as the female lead and Shimono Hiro as the male lead is a promising combination.
Animation: Studio DEEN
Director: Tachibana Hideki (H2O: Footprints in the Sand)
Writer: Kurata Hideyuki (Kannagi, Bamboo Blade, Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai, OreImo)
Seiyuu: Kugimiya Rie, Shimono Hiro, Horie Yui, Inokochi Yuka, Yukana, Nigo Mayako

+ : good cast, promising characters, good scriptwriter
– : the story might be weak and the whole thing might turn out as a mediocre fantasy comedy

Trailer:

Moshidora (もしドラ)

Based on a novel by Iwasaki Natsumi titled Moshi Koukou Yakyuu no Joshi Manager ga Drucker no Management o Yondara, shortened Moshidora. Peter Drucker was an important management expert of the second half of the twentieth century.

The show will have 10 episodes. Starting on March 14, it will air on NHK general channel every business day, so it will end on March 25.
Animation: Production IG
Director: Hamana Takayuki (The Prince of Tennis, Library War)
Writer: Fujisaki Junichi (Blood+, Kemono no Souja Erin)
Seiyuu: Hikasa Youko, Hanazawa Kana, Kakihara Tetsuya, Hosoya Yoshimasa, Suyama Akio

+ : interesting concept, strong female lead seiyuu (Hikasa and Hanazawa), Production IG
– : it’ll be over in 2 weeks ^^

Trailer:

Anime I might check out

Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu! (みつどもえ 増量中!)

Sequel of a popular gag anime about precocious sisters with a bit eccentric personalities. Full of sexual and toilet humor, so it’s not suited for everyone.

I may watch it, but I have to watch the first season first ^^’
Animation: Bridge
Director: Oota Masahiko (Minami-ke, Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro na, Mitsudomoe)
Writer: Aoshima Takashi (Minami-ke, Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro na, Koharu Biyori, Mitsudomoe)
Seiyuu: Takagaki Ayahi, Tomatsu Haruka, Akesaka Satomi, Shimono Hiro, Iguchi Yuka, Yamamoto Kazutomi, Uchida Aya, Saitou Momoko, Chihara Minori, Sanpei Yuuko, Saitou Chiwa, Toyosaki Aki, Inoue Kikuko

+ : strong cast, director, scriptwriter
– : humor not suited for everyone, character design not suited for everyone, animation

Freezing (フリージング)

Set in a slightly futuristic world where Earth has been invaded and is at war with aliens from another dimension called the Nova, the story follows the adventures of a Japanese boy named Kazuya Aoi who enrolls for training at a special school for genetically modified girls called Pandoras who battle the aliens, and their male partners, called Limiters, who use a special power called “freezing” to limit their opponent’s mobility. The protagonist makes the acquaintance of an unusual older girl named Bridgette L. Satellizer who appears to be the most powerful Pandora in her class, but has not yet chosen a male partner to be her Limiter, and in spite of the warnings of all his friends, he decides to be her Limiter. (from anidb.net)
Animation: ACGT
Director: Watanabe Takashi (Shakugan no Shana, Daimaou, Slayers)
Writer: Akahoshi Masanao (Index)
Seiyuu: Noto Mamiko, Asakawa Yuu, Ueda Kana, Okamoto Nobuhiko, Kitta Izumi, Kitamura Eri, Koshimizu Ami, Hanazawa Kana, Inoue Marina
Music: Yokoyama Masaru (Arakawa Under the Bridge, Queen’s Blade)

+ : good cast, lots of fanservice provided you are fond of it
– : probably cliched, story isn’t likely to be the driving factor

Trailer:

Mai no Mahou to Katei no Hi (マイの魔法と家庭の日)

The main character Tatsumi Mai is a girl who uses magic to understand the feelings of people. (from MAL)
Animation: P.A.Works
Seiyuu: Shimamoto Sumi, Koyama Mami

+ :
– :

Kimi ni Todoke 2 (君に届け 2ND SEASON)

I’m sure I want to watch the second season of Kimi ni Todoke, but I haven’t watched the first yet and I’m not sure I’ll have watched it by the start of the second. That’s why I put it here. I may start watching it in January; it all depends on when I’ll have finished the first season.
Animation: Production IG
Director: Kaburaki Hiro (Kimi ni Todoke, Zenryoku Usagi)
Writer: Konparu Tomoko (Nodame Cantabile, Chi’s Sweet Home, Kimi ni Todoke)
Seiyuu: Noto Mamiko, Namikawa Daisuke, Ono Yuuki, Nakamura Yuuichi, Sanpei Yuuko, Sawashiro Miyuki
Music: SENS Project (xxxHOLiC, Kimi ni Todoke)