Anime UK News Spring 2014 Preview Part One

The spring anime launches new titles from March to May and there are a lot of series getting rebooted, more adaptations and even fewer original ideas than previous seasons. Technically the season is already underway since the season kicked off with the anime Mirai 2014 releases at the beginning of March and two titles like Nandaka Velonica have finished airing but nearly all of the titles are released in April so this guide arrives just in time and that’s thanks to a season guide, Anime News Network and MyAnimeList.

I have split this Spring Anime Guide into two since there are so many shows getting released and I have tried to cover as many as possible. Enough babble, here are the details:

Sengoku Musou SP: Sanada no Shou

Tecmo KOEI’s  Samurai Warriors game gets an anime adaptation that is about the Siege of Ueda Castle with a special focus on the Sanada brothers. It is directed by Kojin Ochi (Case Closed) and written by Yuka Yamada (Mushishi).

Staff: Kojin Ochi (Director), Yuka Yamada (Series Composition), Aki Tsunsaki (Character Designer)

Voice Actors: Takeshi Kusao (Yukimura Sanada), Daisuke Ono (Noboyuki Sanada), Masaya Takatsuka (Kanetsugu Naoe), Eiji Takemoto (Mitsunari Ishida), Yuko Nagashima (Kunoichi), Akio Ohtsuka (Tadakatsu Honda), Jouji Nakata (Ieyasu Tokugawa)

Studio: TYO Animations

Website

Blade and Soul

Synopsis

The Wind Empire wishes to gain supremacy over the old Stratus Empire and unite the lands in a new era of equality which will be enforced by military might. As this conflict grows the ancient Darksiders emerge, with the nefarious Jin Seoyeon as the harbinger of their return… now that humanity is locked in conflict there may be no one to oppose their evil plans and save the world…

Blade & Soul is the latest anime from Gonzo who are adapting a Korean MMORPG created by NCSOFT in 2012. The directors of the anime are Hiroshi Mamasaki (Steins;Gate) and Hiroshi Takeuchi and they will be working from scripts overseen by Atsuhiro Tomioka (Samurai 7).

Staff: Kojin Ochi (Director), Yuka Yamada (Series Composition), Aki Tsunsaki (Character Designer)

Voice Actors: Takeshi Kusao (Yukimura Sanada), Daisuke Ono (Noboyuki Sanada), Masaya Takatsuka (Kanetsugu Naoe), Eiji Takemoto (Mitsunari Ishida), Yuko Nagashima (Kunoichi), Akio Ohtsuka (Tadakatsu Honda), Jouji Nakata (Ieyasu Tokugawa)

Studio: TYO Animations

Website

Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo Returns

Synopsis

Synopsis

Hajime Kindaichi isn’t the brightest of guys, but when there is a mystery to be solved, he’s your man! How come? He has inherited his grandfather’s famous detective skills. So, with his childhood friend Miyuki Nanase and police inspector Isamu Kenmochi, Hajime will solve crimes!

Staff: Kaoru Wada (Music), Fumiya Sato, Seimaru Amagi (Original Creators),

Voice Actors: Taiki Matsuno (Hajime Kindaichi), Akiko Nakagawa (Miyuki Nanase), Juurouta Kosugi (Isamu Kenmochi), Toshiyuki Morikawa (Kengo Akechi),

Studio: Toei Animation

Website

Wasimo

Synopsis

When Hiyori’s grandmother passes away she can do nothing but cry every day. To help her overcome her grief, Hiyori’s father decides to build a grandma-model robot named Wasimo.

This children’s anime is based on a picture book by screenwriter Kankuro Kudo (awesome films like Ping Pong, Go) and is split into ten episodes which have a duration of ten-minutes each. Yasuhiro Imagawa (Giant Robo) is in charge of writing and directing.

Staff:  Yasuhiro Imagawa (Director/Screenplay), Hajime Anzai/Kankuro Kudo (Original Illustration/Story)

Voice Actors: Aimi Tanaka (Hiyori), Rica Matsumoto (Wasimo)

Studio: Studio DEEN

Website

Abarenbou Rikishi!! Matsutarou

Synopsis

Matsutarou Sakaguchi is a very strong man. So strong, he could be the best at sumo wrestling. His only problem is his carefree attitude to life.

This is an adaptation of a long-running manga that has accrued over thirty volumes.

Staff: N/A (Director), N/A (Original Creator), N/A (Character Design),

Voice Actors: N/A (Notari Matsutaro), Yuko Mizutani (Reiko Minami),

Studio: Toei Animation

Website

Nandaka Velonica

Synopsis

Velonica is a selfish and arrogant alien girl who likes to cause havoc on Earth until she meets an Earthling boy and begins to wonder whether she might be experiencing romance…

This children’s anime is based on an original idea and has already finished airing. It was directed by Michiya Katou (Odenkun), and had music from Kouji Ueno (Fantastic Children).

Staff: Michiya Katou (Director), Shinji Takeuchi (Character Designer), Michiya Katou (Original Character Design), Kouji Ueno (Music)

Voice Actors: Kintalo. (Velonica), Kimiko Saito (Kenmin), Masaru Ikeda (Morgan), Sachie Hiraga (Keiko), Enapou (Keiko’s Mother)

Studio: Cyclone Graphics inc

Website

KutsuDaru

This one is about 44 youkai who make humans socks loose. It’s actually inspired by Masafumi Goto’s illustrated monster guide.

Staff: Masafumi Goto (Original Creator)

Voice Actors: N/A

Studio: N/A

Keroro

Synopsis

Sgt. Frog is an alien was sent to take over Pokopen (Earth) but he ran into a sneaky group of humans named the Hinata family who made him deviate from his original mission with the delights of their everyday Japanese lifestyle – snacks, television, manga and whatnot. The Hinata family is made up of a mother named Aki who works as a manga editor, Natsumi, a perfect school pupil and her younger brother Fuyuki, a member of an occult club. More of Sgt. Frog’s comrades appear, all with different personalities, but they also fall prey to the Hinata’s lives.

Keroro is a series of five-minute flash animation shorts that premiered last week Saturday. It is directed by Haruki Kasugamori (Ketsu-Inu).

Staff:  Haruki Kasugamori (Director), Mine Yoshizaki (Original Creator)

Voice Actors: Kumiko Watanabe (Sgt. Keroro), Chiwa Saito (Natsumi Hinata), Houko Kuwashima (Fuyuki Hinata), Jouji Nakata (Corporal Giroro), Takehito Koyasu (Sergeant Major Kululu)

Studio: Sunrise

Website

Lady Jewelpet

Synopsis

Monona is attending her big brother’s wedding but a rabbit-shaped Jewelpet named Ruby whisks her away to Jeweland where she and other girls have the chance to become a Lady. Apparently Momona was selected by Ruby as the best female Ladyjewel candidate for the Queen of Jewelland…

This is based on toy range launched by Sanrio and Sega Toys back in 2008 and anime adaptations have been coming thick and fast since that year.

Staff:  Itsuro Kawasaki (Director), Natsuko Takahashi (Series Composition), Chikara Nishikura (Art Director), Jun Ichikawa (Music),

Voice Actors: Aya Hirano (Garnet), Ayaka Saito (Ruby), Eri Sendai (Lady Mizuki), Keiko Kobayashi (Lady Momona), Miki Shimomura (Lady Karon)

Studio: Studio Comet

Website

Seikoku no Dragonar

Synopsis

Ash Blake is a student at Dragonar Academy, a place where people learn to tame and ride dragons. He’s just not very good. Despite having a unique star-shaped brand that marks him out as a future dragon master, he has become the laughing stock at school. Then, on one fateful day, Ash’s dragon changes into a form never seen before… that of a beautiful girl. Not only is she a hot lady, she knows it, and declares that she is the master and he is the servant.

Based on light novels by Shiki Mizuchi an Kohada Shimesaba, this harem comedy anime is directed by Shunsuke Tada (Arc the Lad, Hare+Guu, Medabots) and the story is adapted for the screen by Noboru Kimura (Amagami SS+, Kill Me Baby, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W).

Staff: Shunsuke Tada (Director), Noboru Kimura (Series Composition/Script), Shiki Mizuchi (Original Creator), Kohada Shimesaba (Original Character Designer), Mutsumi Sasaki (Character Designer/Chief Animation Direction)

Voice Actors: Mariya Ise (Eco), Kouji Takahashi (Ash Blake), Asami Shimoda (Anya), Ayane Sakura (Silvia Lautreamont) Yui Sakakibara (Navi), Marina Inoue (Rebecca Randall), Kana Hanazawa (Jessica Valentine)

Studio: C-Station

Website

Soul Eater Not!

Synopsis

Tsugumi Harudori is an “ordinary” 14-year-old girl in love with love and attending Death Meister & Weapon Academy where she has amazing senpai and slightly strange roommates: Anya Hepburn, an antagonistic tsundere “princess” and Meme Tatane, the ditzy, forgetful girl. Both want Tsugumi as their partner.

Soul Eater Not! Is based on a manga that was published in Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan magazine. It’s directed by Masakazu Hashimoto (Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva, Fullmetal Alchemist, Tari Tari). The original Soul Eater is a popular series that saw release in the UK so fans of the series should get something out of this.

Staff: Masakazu Hashimoto (Director/Series Composition), Atsushi Ohkubo (Original Creator), Satoshi Koike (Animation Director)

Voice Actors: Aoi Yuki (Meme Tatane), Haruka Chisuga (Tsugumi Harudori), Saori Hayami (Anya Hepburn), Akeno Watanabe (Elizabeth Thompson), Yuya Ichida (Franken Stein), Chiwa Saito (Kim Diehl), Mamoru Miyano (Death the Kid)

Studio: Bones

Website

Ping Pong

Synopsis

Peco and Smile are both friends talented ping pong players and members of the school club. However, Smile’s quiet personality keeps him from beating Peco. The club’s coach notices Smile’s talent and works to change his attitude…

The first big anime of the season comes from Masaaki Yuasa who will be well known to committed anime fans for his work like Mind Game (2004) and The Tatami Galaxy (2010). He was most recently in anime news headlines for his short Kick-Heart (2012), the first crowd source funded anime which went on to play at different film festivals around the world. Since that project he has remained quiet but now he is back with the anime adaptation of Taiyo Matsumoto’s manga Ping Pong which ran in Big Comic Spirits magazine from 1996-1997. It has already been adapted into a wonderful live-action film directed by Fumihiko Sori (Vexille, Ichi) and adapted for the screen by Kankuro Kudo (Go, Maruyama, The Middle Schooler).

Staff: Masaaki Yuasa (Director), Taiyo Matsumoto (Original Creator), Nobutake Ito (Character Design),

Voice Actors: Fukujuro Katayama (Yutaka “Peco” Hoshino), Kouki Uchiyama (Makoto “Smile” Tsukimoto), Masako Nozawa (Obaba), Shunsuke Sakuya (Ryuuichi “Dragon” Kazama), Subaru Kimura (Manabu “Demon” Sakuma), Yosei Bun (Kon “China” Wenga), Yuusaku Yara (Jo Koizumi)

Studio: Tatsunoko Production

Website

Puchimas!: Petit [email protected]

Synopsis

This anime continues bringing the comedy of the hyper daily lives from the offices of 765 Production where idols of The [email protected] and the Puchidols who resemble the idols dwell. These Puchidols have all sorts of powers like the ability to warp around locations and shoot beams and so that, coupled with their hyperactive nature, means that chaos ensues.

From the [email protected] franchise comes a spinoff based on Akane’s original manga. It is directed by Mankyuu who has directed some low-impact anime like the historical comedy Tono to Issho and it features music by Yasuhiro Misawa who has worked on some bigger projects like Kokoro Connect, and Yuru Yuri.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this title is the chance to hear seiyuu voice multiple roles. VAs involved include Azumi Asakura (Asia Argento in Highschool DxD), Akiko Hasegawa (Rosetta in Robotics;Notes) and Naoimi Wakabayashi (Sugiyama in Gintama).

Staff: Mankyuu (Director), Sao Tamado (Series Composition/Character Designer), Akane (Original Manga)

Voice Actors: Eriko Nakamura (Harukasan), Asami Imai (Chihya), Rie Kugimiya (Io), Chiaki Takahashi (Miurasan), Asami Shimoda (Koami),

Studio: Gathering

Website

Knights of Sidonia

Synopsis

Earth has been destroyed by Gauna forcing humanity to flee into space and look for a new home using gigantic spaceships. One of these ships is called Sidonia but it has lost contact with the other spaceships in the fleet and the inhabitants of Sidonia believe they are the last survivors of humanity. Things seem desperate as Gauna still chase them. To help fend off the threat of the Gauna’s, humanity has developed mecha named Morito (Guardian) Nagate Tanikaze is training to be a pilot. We follow his journey.

We have finally come to the second of the big titles of the season. The anime is adapted from a manga created by Tsutomu Nihei, creator of the even more awesome manga Biomega. The anime is directed by Kobun Shizuno, director of Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee and the latest Detective Conan film, Detective Conan: Private Eye in the Distant Sea. Series composition is handled by Sadayuki Murai, writer of screenplays for Kino’s Journey and the great live-action Mushishi movie.

Staff: Kobun Shizuno (Director), Sadayuki Murai (Series Composition/Screenplay), Yuki Moriyama (Character Designer), Tsutomu Nihei (Original Manga)

Voice Actors: Ryota Ohsaka (Nagate Tanikaze), Aki Toyosaki (Izana Shinatose), Atsuko Tanaka (Samari Ittan), Eri Kitamura (Honoka Series), Nanako Mori (Eiko Yamano),

Studio: POLYGON PICTURES

Website

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders

Synopsis

Jotaro Kujo is considered a troublesome student at his school and regularly gets into fights at school. When he beats up three armed men and a trained boxer he is put in the slammer. As if things couldn’t be worse, he thinks that he is possessed by an evil spirit and refuses to leave. Enter his grandfather, Joseph Joestar! Joseph informs Jotaro that his “evil spirit” is a manifestation of his psychic power, something known as a “Stand”. 

The second great anime of the season falls to the Jojo sequel Stardust Crusaders, a continuation of one of the most fun, surreal and glamorous anime made by anybody in the history of ever. If you want to understand what it means to be a man, one need only watch Jojo. A lot of the staff and seiyuu return to ensure the chaos continues.

Staff: Toshiyuki Kato (Chief Director), Kenichi Suzuki (Series Director), Yasuko Kobayashi (Series Composition), Yuugo Kanno (Music) Hirohiko Araki (Original Creator), Masahiko Komino (Character Design),

Voice Actors: Daisuke Ono (Jotaro Kujo), Unshou Ishizuka (Joseph Joestar), Takehito Koyasu (Dio), Kenta Miyake (Mohammed Abdul), Fuminori Komatsu (Jean-Pierre Polnareff), Daisuke Hirakawa (Noriaki Kakyoin)

Studio: David Production

Website

Dragon Ball Kai: Majin Buu-hen

This is a remastering of the Majin Buu saga and it features an updated soundtrack, and some re-animated footage as part of the effort to make the anime series mirror Akira Toriyama’s manga much more closely.

Staff: Yasuhiro Nowartari (Director), Akira Toriyama (Original Creator), Aya Matsui, Hiroshi Toda, Katsuyuki Sumisawa, Keiji Terui, Sumio Uetake, Takao Koyama, Toshiki Inoue (Scripts),

Voice Actors: Masako Nozawa (Son Gohan, Son Goku, Son Goten), Hiromi Tsuru (Baby Trunks, Bulma), Kozo Shioya (Majin Buu), Ryo Horikawa (Vegeta), Naoko Watanabe (Chi-Chi),

Studio: Toei Animation

La Corda D’Oro: Blue♪Sky

Synopsis

Kanade is a member of her school orchestra which seems to be comprised of hot guys. Indeed, most of her school’s male population are dreamy and we see with whom and how she develops relationships. 

Otome game adaptation alert. Actually there have already been a number of adaptations of this game series. This particular one, the Blue♪Sky edition,  is directed by Takahiro Natori (Aria – The Natural, Oh! Edo Rocket) and written by Keiichiro Ochi (Dog and Scissors, Outbreak Company).

Staff: Kojin Ochi (Chief Director), Takahiro Natori (Director), Yuki Kure (Original Character Design), Maki Fujioka (Character Design), Keiichiro Ochi (Series Composition)

Voice Actors: Reiko Takagi (Kanade Kohinata), Jun Fukuyama (Kyoya Kisaragi), Kisho Taniyama (Chiaki Togane), Katsuyuki Konishi (Ritsu Kisaragi),

Studio: TYO

Website

Majin Bone

Synopsis

Majin, the creator of the Universe, has been resurrected in the present day and Shōgo Ryūjin, an ordinary high school student who transforms into the Bone Fighter Dragonbone with the Bone Card is tasked with saving the Earth from Dark Bone, a foe that appeared from darkness to devastate Earth.

This is an anime adaptation of a digital card game produced by Bandai but the trailer makes it look better than one might expect and that’s because it comes from Toei Animation.

Staff: Yuusuke Murata (Character Design),

Voice Actors: Kenn (Shogo Ryujin), Hiroki Yasumoto (Tyrone), Hiroyuki Yoshino (Antonio), Shinosuke Tachibana (Luke),

Studio: Toei Animation

Website

Selector Infected WIXOSS

Synopsis

WIXOSS is a card game that’s taking schools by storm. Legend has it that there exist “Rulig Cards,” female character cards with wills of their own. Special girls can hear the voices of the Ruligs, and those who possess them are called Selectors and these Selectors have card battles in a dimension that other humans cannot access. Winners of these battles get to have their wish granted. Ruko Kominato is one of these girl who finds a Rulig card…

This is an original idea and it’s coming from the guys and girls at J.C. Staff. It’s directed by Takuya Sato, a man with many interesting titles to his name like Steins;Gate and Armitage III. Mari Okada (Hana-Saku Iroha) is in charge of series scripts Maiko Iuchi (A Certain Magical Index) is composing the music.

Staff: Takuya Sato (Director), Mari Okada (Script), Kyuta Sakai (Character Design), Maiko Iuchi (Music),

Voice Actors: Ai Kakuma (Ruko Kominato), Rie Kugimiya (Urisu), Ai Kayano (Hitoe Uemura), Chinatsu Akasaki (Aki Aoi), Asami Seto (Iona Urasoe), Misaki Kuno (Tama), Ayako Kawasumi (Hanayo)

Studio: J.C. Staff

Website

Date A Live II

Synopsis

Shido Itsuka meets a female spirit who has been rejected by a devastated world and names her Tohka. She was 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!

Date a Live continues to provide harem hi-jinks and a lot of the cast and staff are back for more.

Staff: Keitaro Motonaga (Director), Koushi Tachibana (Original Creator), Hideki Shirane (Series Composition), Go Sakabe (Music), Satoshi Ishino (Character Design)

Voice Actors: Maaya Uchida (Kaguya Yamai), Sarah Em Bridcutt (Yuzuru Yamai)

Studio: AIC Plus+

Website

That’s it for part one of the Spring 2014 guide. Keep checking AUKN for the second part.

genkinahito

I'm a long-time anime and Japanese film and culture fan who has lived in the country and is studying Japanese in an effort to become fluent. I write about films, anime, and work on various things.

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