The winter season is over and the spring season is almost upon us, and there are a lot of new titles involving mecha and a lot of series getting sequels. Compared to the winter season there are few that look like dud titles at the outset and there is some originality in some of the concepts (some, only some) which seem to have a nice split between sci-fi action and high school antics.
As well as these television series there are major films like Hanasaku Iroha – Home Sweet Home, Anime Mirai and Steins;Gate showcasing anime on the big screen. What are some of the major titles getting screened on the small screen over in Japan this spring season then? Read on to find out.
More slice of life with high school girls… At this point little is known about who is behind the adaptation. All we do know is that the story focuses on Amaya, Iwasawa, and Uehara – three “annoying, spirited high school girls with zero motivation” – and their classmates, as well as their daily life which is “what happens when there is nothing happening”.
Staff: Chama (Original Creator)
In a mythical world where humans and gods coexist, Arata has the honour of being the successor to the matriarchal Hime Clan. There’s just one catch and that is the fact he is a guy! It’s all over for him if his true gender is discovered, so he has to pretend to be a girl. On the day of his inauguration, an assassination plot forces him to flee and he just happens to find himself in modern-day Japan. Things get really strange when Japanese boy Arata Hinohara finds himself in the mythical world with his life under threat!
Ah, more dimension/gender-swapping from Yuu Watase, one of the major figures in manga/anime thanks to her fantasy title Fushigi Yuugi. Kenji Yasuda, director of Noein, is on hand to help with the confusion that jumping between dimensions can bring and for the series composition we have Mayori Sekijima (Shadow Skill, Orguss 2, Tenchi in Tokyo) putting things in order.
Staff:Kenji Yasuda, Woo Hyun Park (Director), Yuu Watase (Original Creator), Mayori Sekijima (Series Composition), Masahiro Aizawa, Lee Seong Shin (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Nobuhiko Okamoto, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Akira Ishida, Yuuki Ono, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Souchirou Hoshi, Ayahi Takagaki, Junko Minagawa
Studio: Satelight, JM Animation
Attack on Titan
The story begins with the human race on the brink of extinction brought on by a sudden attack from wave upon wave of man-eating giants. These giants appear to be mindless and don’t devour humans as a food source but because they enjoy it. Mankind only survived because it sealed itself in a city with 50 metre-high walls which were taller than the biggest of giants. 100 years later and people live in peace in this city. A teenage boy named Eren and his foster sister Mikasa then witness a new, even larger giant who appears out of nowhere and destroys the wall allowing smaller giants into the city. After witnessing his mother being eaten alive Eren vows to take revenge on these giants for all of mankind and murder them all.
This is an adaptation of Hajime Isayama’s award-winning manga Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) which was originally serialised in Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shounen Magazine and it has won many, many fans. It is one of the more anticipated series of the season and judging from the thrilling trailers, the anticipation is going to be well rewarded. The staff behind it gives one cause for hope as it is directed by Tetsuro Araki, the chap who brought Death Note to the screen and its series composition is handled by Yasuko Kobayashi who wrote the scripts for Claymore and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. It is animated by a new animation house called Wit Studio but they are being assisted by Production I.G. This combination looks strong enough to bring the horrific story to the screen!
Staff: Tetsuro Araki (Director), Hajime Isayama (Original Creator), Yasuko Kobayashi (Series Composition), Kyoji Asano (Character Design)
Voice Actors: Yuuki Kaji, Yui Ishikawa, Marina Inoue, Hiro Shimono, Yu Kobayashi
Studio: Wit Studio, Production I.G.
A Certain Scientific Railgun
Academy City is a technologically advanced place said to be decades ahead of the rest of the world. Eighty per cent of its residents are students and the focus of studies is directed towards esper powers. Mikoto Misaka is a high level esper and is friends with Kuroko Shirai, another top esper and a member of Judgement, a law enforcement agency composed of students. Both attend Tokiwadai private school which is reserved for the elite. Meanwhile Kazari Uiharu, Kuroko’s partner at Judgement, is a low level esper who studies at Sakugawa middle school who is best friends with Riko Saten, a level zero esper (no powers). Together the four encounter adventures.
The To Aru franchise is a hugely popular one (100 episodes and a movie!) and it is back with a 2nd season of A Certain Scientific Railgun. It is directed by the man who helmed the first series, Tatsuyuki Nagai. He also directed episodes of Mushi-shi and the Anohana movie. Series composition comes from Seishi Minakami who was also in charge of the scripts for A Certain Magical Index, Occult Academy, Paprika and Paranoia Agent.
Mikoto Misaka is voiced by Rina Satou (Nagi in Time of Eve), Kazari is voiced by Aki Toyosaki (Charlotte in the recent Berserk movies and Yui in K-ON!). Riko is voiced by Kanae Itou (Sena in Haganai) and Kuroko is voiced by Satomi Arai (Shanta-kun in Nyarko-san).
Staff:Tatsuyuki Nagai (Director), Kazuma Kamachi (Original Creator), Seishi Minakami (Series Composition), Yuichi Tanaka (Character Design)
Voice Actors:Rina Satou, Kanae Itou, Satomi Arai, Aki Toyosaki, Atsushi Abe, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Nozomi Sasaki
Studio: J.C. Staff
Tomoo Kinoshita is a fourth-grade boy who lives with his mother and big sister in an apartment complex. While his father is away on a long-term work assignment, Tomoo gets into misadventures with friends, classmates and his fellow apartment complex residents!
Staff: Ayumu Watanabe (Director), Tobira Oda(Original Creator)
Voice Actors: N/A
Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge
Kiri Haimura looks like a normal boy but he is obsessed with cutting people’s hair. When he meets Iwai Mushiyanokouji, the “Hair Queen” who cannot cut her hair because of an inherited curse, he suddenly finds that his scissors “Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge” are the only thing that can do the job! Little does he know that their meeting is the start of an old murder game to kill the “Hair Queen” using cursed tools named “Killing Goods”. Can Kiri protect Iwai from people with Killing Goods?
The award for strangest premise for a show of the season could go to this and what a premise! The director is Yuji Yamaguchi who has directed episodes of Outlaw Star and Angel Links. He is working from scripts from Tatsuhiko Urahata who was the scribe behind great TV anime like Master Keaton, Monster, A-Channel and Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere… Okay, maybe not the last one.
Voice actors taking the main roles are Kotori Koiwai (Kigurumi in Joshiraku) as Iwai and Natsuki Hanae (Atsuhiro in Tari Tari) as Kiri.
Staff:Yuji Yamaguchi (Director), Tatsuhiko Hikagi (Original Creator), Tatsuhiko Urahata (Series Composition), Katsuzo Hirata (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Kotori Koiwai, Natsuki Hanae, Yumi Uchiyama, Koji Yusa, Arisa Noto, Kaori Fukuhara
Studio: Studio Gokumi
Date A Live
Shido Itsuka meets a girl spirit who has been rejected by a devastated world and names her Tohka. She is responsible for wiping out humanity 30 years ago and she is back to do it again! The only way to stop her is to date her!
The premise for this harem/mecha anime is absolutely silly and there are lots of panty-shots in the trailer. The director is Keitaro Motonaga who can be good (Jormungand) and awful (Malice@Doll). Series composition doesn’t look too strong since Hideki Shirane is in charge and he was responsible for Queen’s Blade Rebellion and while Baby, Please Kill Me! was fun it was repetitive.
Staff: Keitaro Motonaga (Director), Koushi Tachibana (Original Creator), Hideki Shirane (Series Composition), Go Sakabe (Music), Satoshi Ishino (Character Design)
Voice Actors:Nobunaga Shimazaki, Marina Inoue, Anri Katsu, Asami Sanada, Iroi Nomizu, Kaori Sadohara, Misuzu Togashi, Takehito Koyasu, Aya Endo
Studio: AIC Plus+
Devil Survivor 2
Japan is gripped by the invasion of mysterious creatures and it falls to a band of Japanese high school students who can summon demons themselves to fight back.
There will be another anime adaptation of an Atlus RPG property. This time it is recent Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor series seen on the Nintendo 3DS. The director is Seiji Kishi, the chap who directed Persona 4 The Animation. Yoshimichi Mirai, director of episodes of Black Cat, acts as assistant director. The two are working from series scripts written by Makoto Uezu who has written for TV anime like Space Brothers and Humanity Has Declined. Kotaro Nakagawa (Gosick) is scoring the music.
Seiyuu involved include Hiroshi Kamiya (Riku in Arakawa Under the Bridge), Aya Uchida (Tichie Fenille in Freezing) and Kana Asumi (Miya Tachibana in Amagami SS).
Staff: Seiji Kishi (Director), Yoshimichi Hirai (Assistant Director), Makoto Uezu (Series Composition), Kazuto Shimoyama (Art Director), Suzuhito Yasuda (Original Character Design). Kotaro Nakagawa (Music)
Voice Actors: Aya Uchida, Hiroshi Kamiya, Junichi Suwabe, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Takahiro Sakurai, Ami Koshimizu, Kana Asumi, Kikuko Inoue, Yuka Iguchi
Flowers of Evil
Takao Kasuga is a middle school student who chokes on his math test. Not that he cares because he is reading Beaudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil. His math result is not the worst thing that can happen to him as in a moment of weakness, he steals the gym clothes of the girl he has a crush on, Nanako Saeki. She looks sweet and pretty but it turns out that she has a major sadistic streak and a huge chip on her shoulder. It also turns out that she witnessed him stealing the clothes.
You would be forgiven for being cynical about this being any good after reading the synopsis as Flowers of Evil (Aku no Hana) sounds like your typical school ecchi story a la Ibitsu or Mitsudomoe but actually the team behind it hint at better things. Hiroshi Nagahama, the director, directed Mushi-shi and Detroit Metal City. Aki Itami, the person behind the scripts of Fruits Basket and Mushi-shi, is on writing duties here. Kentaro Akiyama, the art director for Mawaru Penguindrum, is in charge of art direction here. See? Still cynical?
Youko Hikasa (Mio in K-ON!) and Mariya Ise (Misaki in Hyouka) are two of the voice actors involved.
Staff: Hiroshi Nagahama (Director), Tetsuo Hirakawa (Assistant Director), Shuuzou Oshimi (Original Creator), Aki Itami (Series Composition), Hidekazu Shimamura (Character Design), Kentaro Akiyama (Art Director)
Voice Actors: Youko Hikasa, Shinichiroh Ueda, Mariya Ise
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
While fighting an intense inter-galactic war, a mecha pilot is accidentally warped into a space-time that neither he nor his mecha’s computer recognise. After waking from hibernation he finds himself trapped on a planet populated by humans talking a strange language, using inferior technology and breathing air…
Gen Urobuchi, the man behind Madoka Magica, Psycho-Pass and Fate/Zero is back with a new concept and with Production I.G producing the animation! He handles series composition while direction is overseen by Kazuya Murata who has worked on a variety of anime in a variety of roles – Dennou Coil (Storyboards), Eureka Seven (Director). The most notable credit, apart from Urobuchi, is Taro Iwashiro who composed the score for the brilliant Korean police story Memories of Murder.
Staff:Kazuya Murata (Director), Gen Urobuchi, Kazuya Murata (Original Concept), Gen Urobuchi (Series Composition), Hirotsugu Kakoi (Art Director), Taro Iwashiro (Music)
Voice Actors:Hisako Kanemoto, Kaito Ishikawa, Sayaka Ohara, Yuuki Ono, Shizuka Itou, Ai Kayano, Kana Asumi
Studio: Production I.G.
Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince
The 21st century is drawing to a close and humanity wishes to ascend to the stars to live in peace. In order to better cope with the environments set to be encountered and a hostile race of aliens from Jupiter, genetically engineered children called “Princes” are created, raised and trained in order to pilot AHSMB (Advanced High Standard Multipurpose Battle Device) mecha. We follow the story of one of these Princes, Izuru Hitachi, who studies in the academic city of Grandzehle.
Rando Ayamine, creator of GetBackers, sees his mecha story Majestic Prince get a TV anime. The Director is Keitarou Motonaga who has previously worked on GetBackers, Jormungand and Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Reiko Yoshida, writer of the screenplay for Aria the Natural and the Blue Exorcist movie as well as chief writer for Bakuman, is handling the adaptation from manga to screen.
Hiroki Aiba, a relatively new seiyuu, takes the lead as Izuru Hitachi but he is backed up by familiar names like Yoko Hikasa (Mio in K-On!), Yuka Iguchi (Mako in Bokurano) and Shintaro Asanuma (Takumu in Accel World).
Staff: Keitaro Motonaga (Director), Hisashi Hirai (Original Creator), Reiko Yoshida (Series Composition), Reiko Yoshida, Fumihiko Shimo (Script), Hisashi Hirai (Character Design), Minoru Maeda (Art Director)
Voice Actors: Hiroki Aiba, Yuka Iguchi, Youko Hikasa, Shintarou Asanuma, Junya Ikeda
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W
Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos got a moe spin thanks to Manta Aisora, the creator of Nyarko-san! Another Crawling Chaos which is back with a second series. Nyarlathotep, one of the elder gods who resides at the centre of the universe surrounded by idiot flautists and drummers, takes the form of a cute school girl protecting a human boy named Mahiro from aliens who want him for various reasons in between chasing him. The other elder gods get a similar treatment whereby they are all turned into cute characters. The anime is directed by Tsuyoshi Nagasawa, the chap who brought the first season to the screen. Noboru Kimura, who has written for Amagami SS+ and Mobile Suit Gundam Age, is back overseeing series scripts again.
Staff:Tsuyoshi Nagasawa (Director), Manta Aisora (Original Creator), Noboru Kimura (Series Composition), monaca (Music) Shintetsu Takiyama (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Eri Kitamura, Kana Asumi, Rie Kugimiya, Ryoka Yuzuki, Aya Hisakawa, Mariko Kouda
In another dimension the Devil King Sadao is close to conquering the world when he is beaten by Hero Emilia and forced into another world… which just happens to be modern-day Tokyo. His Devil King skill-set pretty much revolves around “Conquering the World” which is mostly useless in his new situation, so he is forced to work as a freeter to pay the rent!
Another dimension-swapping fantasy adventure but this one sounds funnier than the rest in this season. The director is Naoto Hosoda who worked on Shuffle! Memories and Mirai Nikki. Masahiro Yokotani will have the task of sustaining the humour beyond the premise. Yokotani has written for a variety of titles like K-ON!, Steins;Gate, Deltora Quest, Nodame Cantabile and Robotics;Notes.
The seiyuu who are attached should be familiar to UK anime fans. The villainous Devil King is voiced by Ryota Ohsaka (Yuki in tsuritama). Heroine Emilia is voiced by Youko Hikasa (Mio in K-ON!).
Staff:Naoto Hosoda (Director), Satoshi Wagahara (Original Creator), Masahiro Yokotani (Series Composition), Atsushi Ikariya (Character Design)
Voice Actors: Ryota Ohsaka, Kanae Itou, Youko Hikasa, Hiro Shimono, Yuuki Ono, Nao Touyama
Studio: White Fox
The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat
Youta Yokodera is a second-year high school student who is always thinking about his “carnal desires”, but nobody acknowledges him as a pervert. He finds out about a cat statue that is supposed to grant wishes and decides to pray for the ability to express his lustful thoughts whenever he wants. While praying he becomes aware of Tsukiko Tsutsukakushi, a fellow pupil at his school who has a wish of her own – that she can prevent herself from displaying her “real intentions so readily”.
Ah! Another anime with a pervert in the lead role. The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat (Hentai Oji to Warawanai Neko) is an adaptation of Sou Sagara’s light novel of the same name. The staff are led by debut series director Youhei Suzuki who directed episodes of Karin and Nodame Cantabile: Finale. Series composition goes to someone with a lot of experience with this type of genre as Machiko Itou has worked on things like Doki Doki School Hours, Kimikiss Pure Rouge and Okami-san & Her Seven Companions.
The lead role of Youta falls to Yuuki Kaji and he has been heard as the voice of Yo Takami in Deadman Wonderland and Takeo in Star Driver. He will lend his vocals to Eren in Attack on Titan. The infinitely cute Yui Ogura voices Tsukiko and she may be familiar to anime fans as the VA behind Sakura in tsuritama and Kayo in Hyouka.
Staff: Youhei Suzuki (Director), Sou Sagara (Original Creator), Michiko Itou (Series Composition)
Voice Actors:Yui Ogura, Yuuki Kaji, Kaori Ishihara, Yukari Tamura
Studio: J.C. Staff
Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Bride
ARMS are back with breasts and battles in this sequel to Samurai Girls from 2010. The director of the aforementioned anime, KOBUN, is back and is helped in bringing this to the screen through the skilled series composition of Satoru Nishizono who has worked on Digimon Adventures, Welcome to the NHK and Haunted Junction.
Staff:Kobun (Director), Akira Suzuki (Original Creator), Satoru Nishizono (Series Composition), Tsutomu Miyazawa (Character Designer/Chief Animation Director), Tatsuya Katou (Music)
Voice Actors:Aoi Yuuki, Daisuke Hirakawa, Aki Toyosaki, Chinatsu Akasaki, Haruka Tomatsu, Kaoru Mizuhara, Minako Kotobuki, Rie Kugimiya
Nai is searching for someone important to him and only has a discarded bracelet as a clue. Through a series of events he ends up setting up shop in a mansion with a thief and pick-pocket named Gareki and the two become targets of the military They also find out that the bracelet that the bracelet is an ID from the country’s most powerful defence force “Circus”.
Karneval is adapted by Manglobe and directed by Eiji Suganuma, director of Kodomo ni Jikan, and series composition is orchestrated by Touko Machida who worked in a similar role for Lucky Star and Amnesia.
Staff: Eiji Suganuma (Director), Touya Mikanagi (Creator), Touko Machida (Series Composition), Toshie Kawamura (Character Designer/Chief Animation Director)
Voice Actors:Hiroshi Kamiya, Hiro Shimono, Mamoru Miyano, Aya Endo, Daisuke Ono, Daisuke Hirakawa, Eri Kitamura, Hiromi Igarashi
The story is set in Japan sometime in the 1700s during the Edo period. When the eighth shogun Yoshimune Tokugawa orders boxes to be installed so commoners can submit their thoughts he creates a new magistrate unit called Mushibugyou to protect the citizens of the city. Each member of this team has unique fighting abilities.
The anime is based on Hiroshi Fukuda’s action manga and is directed by Takayuki Hamana, director of episode of the TV anime Appleseed XIII. Series composition is undertaken by Yoichi Kato (Aikatsu!, Space Brothers, Shangri-La) and music is compose by Tetsuro Oda (Dragon Ball GT).
Voice actors involved include Kenn who voices Hibito Nanba in Space Brothers, Rumi Ookubo Chinatsu in Yuruyuri and Megumi Han who voices Gons Freecss in Hunter x Hunter.
Staff: Takayuki Hamana (Director), Hiroshi Fukuda (Original Creator), Yoichi Kato (Series Composition), Tetsuro Oda (Music), Toshiko Umezu (Art Director), Yoshimitsu Yamashita (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Megumi Hann, Kenn, Rumi Ookubo, Mamoru Miyano, Jun Fukuyama, Rikiya Koyama, Takuma Terashima, Takuya Eguchi, Yuu Serizawa
Studio: Seven Seas Entertainment.
My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute Season 2
Oreimo, the show where a brother helps cover up his popular and prodigious sister’s eroge and hentai obsession, gets a new season and it continues to cover the plot of the light novels all the way through the end of the 12th novel. Hiroyuki Kanbe (Le Chevalier D’Eon, Full Metal Panic), director of the first season is back alongside Hideyuki Kurata who has worked on Read or Die and Welcome to the Space Show. A-1 Pictures (Blue Exorcist, Space Brothers) is animating after taking over from AIC Build.
Staff:Hiroyuki Kanbe (Director), Hideyuki Kurata (Series Composition), Tsukasa Fushimi (Original Creator), Hiroyuki Oda (Character Designer)
Voice Actors:Ayana Taketatsu, Yuuichi Nakamura, Akeno Watanabe, Fumihiko Tachiki. Kana Hanazawa, Saori Hayami, Yukari Tamura
Studio: A-1 Pictures
My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected
Hachiman Hikigaya is a pretty antisocial high school student with no friends or girlfriend and a very cynical view on life. When he is asked about his future dreams, he responds, “Not working.” A teacher then gets Hachiman to join the volunteer “service club” which is where the school’s prettiest girl, Yukino Yukinoshita, spends her time.
Haganai but with the male character being the mean one? My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected (Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteriru) is the adaptation of Wataru Watari’s light novel series. The original light novel series began in 2011 with Ponkan8 providing illustrations and has had a drama CD adaptation. The cast for said drama CD are back with Takuya Eguchi (Satoshi in Eden of the East) voicing Hachiman, and Saori Hayami (Miho in Bakuman) voicing Yukino. The staff for the anime includes director Ai Yoshimura (episode director on Oreimo), series script supervisor Shotaro Suga (GitS: SAC), and character designer Yuu Shindou (Mawaru Penguindrum). The animation production is overseen by Brains Base.
Staff: Ai Yoshimura (Director), Wataru Watari (Original Creator), Shotaro Suga (Series Composition), Yuu Shindou (Character Design), Shigemi Ikeda (Art irector/Art Design)
Voice Actors:Takuya Eguchi, Saori Hayami, Ami Koshimizu, Aoi Yuuki, Mai Nakahara, Marina Inoue, Takashi Kondo
Studio: Brain Base
Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san
Muromi-san is a mermaid who speaks with a Hakata accent and she is caught by Takurou Mukoujima, a boy in his high school’s fishing club.
Mermaids are popular in anime, no? Anyway this is directed by Tatsuya Yoshihara who worked on the recent Anime Mirai project Aruvu Rezuru – Mechanised Fairies and this looks to be his biggest job yet as he has a long history of working in key animation. Kazuyuki Fudeyasu (Ben-To, Kaiji, Monster, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes) is bringing his considerable experience in scripting and series composition to this series.
Muromi-san is voiced by Yukari Tamura (Mayuyu in AKB0048) and Takahiro Mizushima (Romeo in Romeo x Juliet) voices Takurou Mukoujima.
Staff: Tatsuya Yoshihara (Director), Keiji Nashima (Original Creator), Kazuyuki Fudeyasu (Series Composition), Kikuko Sadakata (Character Design/Chief Animation Director)
Voice Actors:Yukari Tamura, Takahiro Mizushima, Chiwa Saito, Hitomi Harada, Mai Nakahara, Sumire Uesaka, Ai Nonaka
Studio: Tatsunoko Production
Kazuya Maeda is a high school student who gets a single-lens reflex camera at the end of summer vacation and starts taking pictures of the girls at his school, and the photos may lead to romance… That’s it.
Is this another show with a perv for a main character? Taking photos of the girls in your school can be innocent but that is the entire premise for the anime so is this going to be a fan-service title?
Anyway, staff details are thin on the ground at the moment but we do know that the person in charge of direction and series composition is Akitoshi Yokoyama, a man who has worked on video games (Final Fantasy VIII), films (Summer Wars) ad TV anime both critically acclaimed (Tatami Galaxy) and loved (Cowboy Bebop). Character design is handled by Mae Shimada who has worked as animation director for Bleach. The lead role of Kazuya is taken by Nobunaga Shimazaki who is the voice of Taichi in Tari Tari, while he is supported by a team of voice actress veterans like Asuka Oogame (Momo in Vivired Operation), Chiwa Saito (Hitagi in Bakemonogatari), Hisako Kanemoto (Ika Musume in Squid Girl), Mariya Ise (Misaki in Hyouka) and Kanae Itou (Sena in Haganai).
Staff:Akitoshi Yokoyama (Director/Series Composition), Mae Shimada (Character Design)
Voice Actors:Nobunaga Shimazaki, Asuka Oogame, Chiwa Saito, Kanae Itou, Hisako Kanemoto, Aya Endo, Mariya Ise, Miyuki Sawashiro
Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live
The third Pretty Rhythm series is back with more mahou shoujo idol goodness. Masakazu Hishida, director of the previous two series, is back orchestrating the glitz and glamour with Mai Matsuura who worked as character designer on La Storia della Arcana Famiglia. Shuji Iuchi has the tough task of making a story for this third season.
Staff:Masakazu Hishida (Director), Shuji Iuchi (Series Composition), Mai Matsuura (Character Design), Okama (Original Character Design)
Voice Actors: Ayane Sakura, Emiri Katou, Kanae Itou, Mikako Komatsu
Studio: Tatsunoko Productions
Red Data Girl
Izumiko Suzuhara is a 15-year-old girl who has been raised at the Tamakura shrine deep in the Kumano mountains. She desires to head to Tokyo to continue her education at a middle school but has a problem with electrical items because any that she touches are destroyed. Her guardian Yukimasa Sagara decides that his son Miyuki must serve Izumiko despite the fact they dislike each other. However after a terrible accident on a school trip and the appearance of a mysterious entity known as Himegami the two become close as a terrible secret is revealed and she has to serve an ancient deity.
Noriko Ogiwara’s story, which is based on Shinto mythology, has been adapted by Studio P.A. Works and directed by Toshiya Shinohara (The Book of Bantorra). Michiko Yokote, writer of scripts for Mononoke and XXXHOLiC is in charge of series composition.
Staff: Toshiya Shinohara (Director), Noriko Ogiwara (Original Creator), Michiko Yokote (Series Composition), Minako Shiba (Character Design)
Voice Actors: Saori Hayami, Kouki Uchiyama, Jun Fukuyama, Kaito Ishikawa, Rie Kugimiya, Akira Ishida, Kazuhiko Inoue
Studio: P.A. Works
Space Battleship Yamato 2199
In the year 2199, the human race has lost a war against alien invaders named Gamilos and have been driven underground due to the threat of radiation. Scientists give humanity a year before it is destroyed. When young officers Susumu Kodai and Daisuke Shima retrieve a capsule from a ship that crash-landed on Mars they set off to Iscandar on the other side of the Magellan Galaxy which has the technology to smash the Gamilos and save Earth. The battleship Yamato is sent on a mission to get that technology.
The role of director is taken up by two men: Yutaka Izubuchi, a veteran designer in the anime industry having worked on anime like RahXephon, Patlabor and early entries in the Yamato franchise, and Akihiro Enomoto (Fafner, Mobile Suit Gundam 00). Nobuteru Yuki (Escaflowne) is acting as character designer and animation director.
Staff: Akihiro Enomoto, Yutaka Izubuchi (Director), Reiji Matsumoto (Original Creator), Yutaka Izubuchi (Series Composition), Nobteru Yuki (Character Designer), Hideaki Anno (Opening Storyboards)
Voice Actors:Daisuke Ono, Houko Kuwashima, Aya Hisakawa, Aya Uchida, Kenichi Suzumura, Takayuki Sugo, Akio Ohtsuka, Daisuke Hirakawa
Studio: Xebec, AIC
Uta no Prince-sama – Maji Love 2000%
Haruka Nanami wants to be a song writer and so attends an idol training academy where the school curriculum is full of lessons on song writing and idol performances and collaborations are a part of the course. Haruka finds herself paired up with six bishounen and she must refrain from dating them!
This is the second series of Uta no Prince where a girl named Haruka tries to follow her dreams. The director is Yuu Kou, the chap who helmed the first series.
Staff: Yuu Kou (Director/Series Composition), Kanon Kunozuki (Oiginal Creator), Mitsue Mori (Character Designer/Chief Animation Director), Elements Garden (Music)
Voice Actors: Miyuki Sawashiro, Hiro Shimono, Junichi Suwabe, Kenichi Suzumura, Mamoru Miyano, Takuma Terashima
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Valvrave the Liberator
At a time when 70% of the human race lives in space due to the development of space cities, Haruto is a high school student who lives in the small nation of Jiouru which is right in between two major powers – Atlantic Ring United States and the Dorushia Military Pact Federation. When Dorushia invade Jiouru, he encounters the mysterious humanoid weapon Valvrave!
This has potential to be great. The director of Red Garden and Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Matsuo Kou, and the writer for RahXephon, the Berserk movies and Code Geass, Ichiro Okouchi, are working together on a show that, while not original, looks exciting.
Staff: Kou Matsuo (Director), Ichiro Okouchi (Series Composition), Katsura Hoshino (Original Character Design), Tatsuya Suzuki (Character Design)
Voice Actors: Asami Seto, Haruka Tomatsu, Daisuke Namikawa, Ryota Ohsaka, Yuuki Oo, Yui Horie, Misato Fukuen
Akutabe is a detective who summons devils to solve his client’s problems. One day a low class devil named Azazel Atsushi is summoned and Akutabe and his assistant Rinko use him harshly…
Tsutomu Mizushima (Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan, Genshiken) returns for the second series of this occult black comedy where each episode is only 10 minutes long and filled with a lot of pain!
Staff: Tsutomu Mizushima, (Director), Yasuhisa Kubo (Original Creator)
Voice Actors: Daisuke Namikawa, Rina Satou, Hiroshi Kamiya, Masaya Onosaka, Chikako Akimoto, Yu Kobayashi
Studio: Production I.G.
The series follows the school life of Yuzuko, Yukari, and Yui who are all members of the data processing club.
Another slice of life comedy based on school girls. Weren’t there about ten… or maybe a hundred with a similar premise to this released last year? Cynicism aside, what about the main cast and staff?
Yui is voiced by Minami Tsuda (Yui in Yuruyuri), Yukari is voiced by Risa Taneda (Kaoru Asoi in Oreshura) and Yuzuko is voiced by Rumi Ookubo (Chinatsu Yoshikawa in Yuruyuri). They should all be comfortable with this genre!
Here’s where things get slightly interesting. The director is Akari Tomiyama who was formerly a VA in some hentai flicks before turning to direction and carving out a neat little filmography which includes episodes of Code:Breaker. Natsuko Takahashi tries to wring out as much comedy as possible as the person in charge of series composition and she has a great back catalogue of scripts with shows like FMA, Genshiken and Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. Could this secretly be the greatest anime of the season? Probably not but it’s too soon for anybody to write it off just yet.
Staff:Kaori (Director), Komata Mikami (Original Creator), Natsuko Takahashi (Series Composition). Yoshiyuki Tabata (Character Design)
Voice Actors: Minami Tsuda, Risa Taneda, Rumi Ookubo
Studio: Kinema Citrus