The Spring 2015 anime season launches at the end of March which means over thirty new shows are in line for broadcast and Anime UK News is here to provide some of the highlights and some of the more obscure titles for you to get a better idea of what you may want to watch and what is going to be broadcast.
As is usual there are many reboots of classic tales, sequels to recent anime titles and plenty of adaptations. It’s a mixed bag of fantasy action shows and otome game adaptations full of pretty boys vying for attention with stalwart sports anime shows that have taken off in recent seasons. What is garnering a lot of hype is the return to familiar franchises favourites like the new Digimon, Ghost in the Shell, Lupin III and Arslan Senki animes but there is great potential in newer titles like Blood Blockade Battlefront.
Before we bid farewell to Winter 2014/15, let me name-check some of the great titles that made it a season that defied the critics and showed that anime was far from dead. The last season proved to be better than expected thanks to the well-handled anime adaptation of Parasyte and the totally original and brilliant Death Parade, both showing anime studio Madhouse firing on all cylinders and producing gripping stories. Tokyo Ghoul Root A was hugely divisive as expected but featured moments of pure genius in terms of artistry and direction, so that individual episodes stood out as some of the best in anime even if the rest of the series wasn’t as smooth. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc continues to showcase a stylish and hilarious series of battles as it winds down as the heroes led by Jotaro and Joseph Joestar head to an explosive confrontation with Dio Brando and last but not least was Shiro Bako, something anime fans should watch so they can appreciate just how hard it is to create a television anime!
What’s on offer with the new season?
There is too much to digest all in one go so this guide will be split into two. Thanks to Anime News Network and My Anime List, I have been able to compile a lot of the major titles that will launch on TV and in cinemas in Japan from March:
Uta no Prince-sama – Maji Love Revolutions
This is based on a dating simulation video game aimed at female players who take on the role of a girl who 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. The protagonist is paired up with bishounen for lessons!
In this new series Haruka Nanami now works for the talent agency Shining, the guys who manage ST☆RISH and veteran idol group QUARTET NIGHT. With an upcoming international sports event looking for performers for its opening ceremony, fierce competitions between idols ensues.
Reverse harems are here to stay because otome game fans are powerful! This is the latest series of Uta no Prince and a lot of the cast and staff remain the same but there are two major changes. This new run of bishounen idols sees regular director Yuu Kou replaced by Makoto Hoshino who is a franchise stalwart having worked as episode director on the first two series. Tomoko Konparu is now the person in charge of series composition. How her experiences writing for ace shows like Master Keaton and Urusei Yatsura will affect this is anyone’s guess. An archaeologist/insurance investigator idol?
Staff: Makoto Hoshino (Director), Tomoko Konparu (Series Composition), Kanon Kunozuki (Original Creator), Mitsue Mori (Character Designer/Chief Animation Director), Elements Garden (Music)
Voice Actors: Miyuki Sawashiro (Haruka Nanami), Hiro Shimono (Sho Kurusu), Junichi Suwabe (Ren Jinguji), Kenichi Suzumura (Masato Hijirikawa), Mamoru Miyano (Tokiya Ichinose), Takuma Terashima (Otoya Ittoki)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Airing Date: April 04th, 2015.
Show By Rock!!
Metropolis of music, MIDICITY. A kitty girl wearing gothic lolita clothing named Cyan is scouted by Maple Arisugawa, the president of a music agency. From there, she meets Chuchu (a pun off of the sound that rabbits make) the honor student rabbit girl, a net geek dog girl named Retoree (from “Retriever”), and an alien sheep (?) girl named Moa. Together, they form the band named “Plasmagica,” and aim for the top of the world.
However, the path there is long and tough, and keeping in high spirits is important. By battling against other strange bands, Plasmagica slowly grows toward a top-grade band. In the end, they’ll be a band that becomes the driving force of MIDICITY’s music industry… Maybe?
Gonna be a music millionaire! And he is enrolled in a school that teaches combat skills. And as per the school’s Duo partner system, he is working with a beautiful silver-haired girl named Yurie Sigtuna, a student from the Nordic countries.
This fantasy battle musical anime is based on a mobile rhythm game by Sanrio. Fantasy battle musical anime sounds like a weird genre but it has some stone-cold classics already like the wonderful and wonderfully absurdly titled Senki Zesshou Symphogear G: In the Distance, That Day, When the Star Became Music.
The staff is a mixed bag. It is directed by Takahiro Ikezoe (for horror fans, his most notable work is as director of two episodes of Red Garden) and scripts are provided by Touko Machida, a prolific presence in shows which blend fantasy and everyday life with Is This a Zombie, and The Devil is a Part-Timer!.
Staff: Takahiro Ikezoe (Director), Sanrio (Original Creator), Naomi Ogura (Art Design), Hatsumi Kumano (Art Director), Yasuharu Takanashi (Music)
Voice Actors: Ayane Sakura (Moa), Manami Numakura (Retoree), Sumire Uesaka (Chuchu), Eri Inagawa (Cyan), Ai Kayano (Tsukino), Megumi Han (Daru Dayu)
Airing Date: April 05th, 2015
Mochizuki General Hospital boasts some of the most well-trained (and well-endowed) nurses in town. But though these ladies spend much of their day battling disease, their after-hours are spent fighting a very different sort of sickness… Under the leadership of the hospital chairman, a handful of staff members and local teenagers form a group of mercenary assassins, targeting the “cancers” of society and excising those individuals before their wickedness spreads.
If the character designs and the huge breasts in the art work remind you of High School of the Dead you’d be on the right track because this comes from Shoji Sato, the very same manga-ka who graced us with his post-apocalyptic zombie and breast horror manga back in 2010 so we know what to expect here.
There are two directors: Akio Takami has worked extensively in the industry on many anime in different positions like Star Blazers 2199 as character animation director and the more recent Tokyo ESP as animation director. Takao Kato, the second director has worked on Upotte!! as director and storyboard, and Buso Renkin as director.
Staff: Akio Takami, Takao Kato (Director), Shoji Sato (Original Creator), Katsuhiko Takayama (Series Composition), Akio Takami (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Kenji Akabane (Arashi Mikami), Amina Sato (Oriha Nashida), Yui Kondou (Mikoto Kiba), Aya Hisakawa (Fiona Ran Winchester), Izumi Kitta (Yuu Momokino)
Airing Date: April 08th, 2015
Amami Hibiki is a bit of an air-headed girl who can see ghosts and other supernatural phenomena in her surroundings. She worries a lot more about those things than herself so it’s a good thing she has some tough girls surrounding her. We get to see Amami in her daily life with both her friends and the otherworldly.
Red Data Girl and Inari Konkon Koi Iroha Hinako are all about girls with supernatural powers and these two shows are often overlooked by western fans. Watch them and you will find quite pleasant, relaxing shows full of great characters and some comedy. Re-Kan! plies similar territory.
Re-Kan! is based on Hinako Seta’s four-panel supernatural gag manga and is directed by Masashi Kudo (Hayate the Combat Butler) and Takashi Aoshima is in charge of series composition which bodes well for the comedy considering his filmography includes the amusing Survival Game Club!. Aoi Yamamoto, character designer on Fairy Tale, is doing the same work here. It won’t set the world on fire but could be funny and develop real heart so long as the air-headed character doesn’t prove to be a total dunce and the comedy is pitched about right.
Staff: Masashi Kudo (Director), Takashi Aoshima (Series Composition), Hinako Seto (Original Creator), Aoi Yamamoto (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Ibuki Kido (Hibiki Amami), Aya Uchida (Kogal Spirit), Erii Yamazaki (Makoto Ogawa), Riho Iida (Kana Uehara), Miku Ito (Narumi Inoue)
Studio: Pierrot Plus
Airing Date: April 02nd, 2015
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru Darou ka)
In Orario, fearless adventurers band together in search of fame and fortune within the monstrous underground labyrinth known as Dungeon.
But while riches and renown are incentive enough for most, Bell Cranell, would-be hero extraordinaire, has bigger plans.
He wants to pick up girls.
Is it wrong to face the perils of Dungeon alone, in a single-member guild blessed by a failed goddess? Maybe. Is it wrong to dream of playing hero to hapless maidens in Dungeon? Maybe not. After one misguided adventure, Bell quickly discovers that anything can happen in the labyrinth – even chance encounters with beautiful women. The only problem? He’s the one who winds up the damsel in distress!!
With a title that long it must be based on a light novel. It is! Fujino Omori’s award-winning novel of the same name has over 1.5 million copies in print and it been adapted into a manga three times. The light novel is available in English and it is pretty silly but it’s the sort of story that can provide some solid anime comedy. The director is Yoshiki Yamakawa famous for the Kill Me Baby anime.
Staff: Yoshiki Yamakawa (Director), Hideki Shirane (Series Composition), Fujino Omori (Original Creator), Shigeki Kimoto (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Bell Cranell), Inori Minase (Hestia), Yoko Hikasa (Freya), Haruka Tomatsu (Eina Tulle), Maaya Uchida (Ririruka Ahde), Saori Hayami (Ryu Lion)
Studio: J.C. Staff
Airing Date: April 03rd, 2015
Food Wars: Shokugeki no Souma
Yukihira Souma’s dream is to become a full-time chef in his father’s restaurant and surpass his father’s culinary skill but just as Yukihira graduates from middle schools his father, Yukihira Jouichirou, closes down the restaurant to cook in Europe. Although downtrodden, Souma’s fighting spirit is rekindled by a challenge from Jouichirou which is to survive in an elite culinary school where only 10% of the students graduate. Can Souma survive school life?
The Food Wars manga has been running in Shonen Jump since 2012 and it looks a little like Yakitate! Japan crossed with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure so it might be accurate to call it a shounen battle anime that takes place in a cookery school. There is a heavy focus on food as a universal language and battles between chefs with supernatural looking “Food Stands.” There is also ecchi and black comedy in the manga so it will be interesting to see how this translates to the small screen.
The show is being animated at J.C. Staff (A Certain Magical Index). Shogo Yasukawa, writer on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and, Invaders of the Rokujyōma!?, is on writing duties here. It has the potential to be an enjoyable and action-packed viewing experience.
Staff: Yoshitomo Yonetani (Director), Shogo Yasukawa (Series Composition), Tomoyuki Shitaya (Character Designer), Tatsuya Katou (Music), Shun Saeki, Yuto Tsukuda (Original Creator)
Voice Actors: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Souma Yukihara), Minami Takahashi (Megumi Tadokoro), Risa Taneda (Erina Nakiri), Saori Onishi (Hisako Arato), Maaya Uchida (Yuki Yohino)
Studio: J.C. Staff
Airing Date: April 03rd, 2015
Teekyu (Series 4)
Four girls are on a school tennis team. Do they play tennis? Not really.
This is the fourth sequel to a series which consists of short 3 minute episodes full of comedy based around tennis. The franchise anime first aired in 2012 and not much has changed in terms of staff and cast since then. It is still directed by Shin Itagaki (Devil May Cry, Ben-To), the director for the previous seasons but there is a new animation studio, Millepensee, rather than Mappa.
Staff: Shin Itagaki (Director, Episode Director, Script, Character Design), Piyo, Roots (Original Character Design/Creator)
Voice Actors: Kana Hanazawa (Marimo Bandou), Kyoko Narumi (Nasuno Takamiya), Suzuko Mimori (Kanae Shinjou ), Yui Watanabe (Yuri Oshimoto)
Studio: DAX Production, Millepensee
Airing Date: April 06th, 2015
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works Second Season
Shirou Emiya is a normal student who finds his life changed when he is plunged into a battle for the Holy Grail, an item that can fulfill a person’s wish. Contestants in this battle are given servants to help them battle.
This is the second season of the new Fate/stay night TV anime. It follows the ‘Unlimited Blade Works’ route from the original game which the anime is based upon. The first half premiered in the fall of last year while the second part launches next month.
The staff and cast for this is the same as the first season. The director is Takahiro Miura and this is his biggest project in a career working in various anime and films ranging from the CG Resident Evil movies to Crayon Shin-chan. Music is composed by Hideyuki Fukasawa, the man who created stunning score for the epic Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto.
Staff: Takahiro Miura (Director), Hideyuki Fukasawa (Music), Tomonori Sudou, Atsushi Ikariya, Hisayuki Tabata (Character Design), Koji Eto (Art Director), Kinoko Nasu (Original Creator), Takashi Takeuchi (Original Character Design)
Voice Actors: Ayako Kawasumi (Saber), Kana Ueda (Rin Tohsaka), Junichi Suwabe (Archer), Jouji Nakata (Kirei Kotomine), Noriaki Sugiyama (Shirou Emiya), Mai Kadowaki (Illyasviel von Einzbern), Noriko Shitaya (Sakura Mato)
Airing Date: April 04th, 2015
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru. Zoku
Hachiman Hikigaya is a pretty antisocial high school student with no friends or girlfriend and a very cynical view on life and a way of living that makes social interaction as painless for him as possible. 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, smartest, and richest girl, Yukino Yukinoshita, spends her time. The first season saw them joined by other students and Hachiman sees his views put into practice and challenged.
This is the second season of Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteriru. The first was a bit of a sleeper hit. Those who watched the anti-social antics of lead protagonist Hachiman and his more upbeat friends found a uniquely funny, relatable yet misanthropic voice and a set of delightful characters who counter-balanced his grumpiness.
Thankfully it looks like we will get more of the same since the cast for the first season of the anime are back with Takuya Eguchi (Satoshi in Eden of the East) voicing Hachiman, and Saori Hayami (Miho in Bakuman) voicing Yukino. A note of concern comes with the staff list which has seen some changes. The original director Ai Yoshimura is replaced by Kei Oikawa (Outbreak Company). The direction of the anime was key in lightening up some of the darkness of the original story and it is tempting to see a female touch as being vital in this regard. Another replacement sees character designer Yuu Shindou (Mawaru Penguindrum) has been replaced by Yuichi Tanaka (Natsu-iro Kiseki). The series script supervisor Shotaro Suga (GitS: SAC) worked on the first season. Here’s hoping for another smart dissection of high school life.
Staff: Kei Oikawa (Director), Wataru Watari (Original Creator), Ponkan8 (Original Character Designer), Shotaro Suga (Series Composition), Yuichi Tanaka (Character Design)
Voice Actors: Takuya Eguchi (Hachiman Hikigaya), Saori Hayami (Yukino Yukinoshita), Nao Toyama (Yui Yuigahama), Aoi Yuuki (Komachi Hikgaya), Mai Nakahara (Haruno Yukinoshita), Takashi Kondo (Hayato Hayamo)
Airing Date: April 02nd, 2015
Kaitou Joker (Mysterious Joker) Season 2
The phantom thief Joker is considered the best burglar bounding around town. There is seemingly nothing he cannot steal and he has a range of tricks that help him in his schemes. He travels the world searching for treasure with his partner and cook Hachi and the two have the police hot on their heels! Joker’s ultimate goal is getting the Timeslip Treasure.
The first season of the TV anime Kaitou Joker aired last year and proved to be popular with those who stuck with it. The second season is directed by Yukiyo Teramoto, (episode director on Monster and Hunter x Hunter) and the series scripts are put together by Dai Sato, a veteran who has worked on some of the best episodes of Space Dandy as well as working on scripts for fan-favourite shows Eureka Seven, Ergo Proxy and Cowboy Bebop.
Staff: Yukiyo Teramoto (Director), Dai Sato (Series Composition), Yusaku Tsuchiya (Music), Miho Shimogasa (Main Character Design), Hideyasu Takahashi (Original Creator)
Voice Actors: Ayumu Murase (Joker), Miyuki Sawashiro (Queen), Hiro Shimono (Spade), Yumiko Kobayashi (Hachi)
Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
Airing Date: April 06th, 2015
High School DxD BorN
Issei Hyōdō is not perfect boyfriend material since he is a dim-witted, lecherous high school student but he manages to actually score a first date. Then the girl kills him. Issei then finds himself reincarnated as a devil in the role of an underling for an even higher-level devil in the shape of Riasu Gremory, the prettiest girl in school.
This is the third season of High School DxD which is based on the light novel series by Ichiei Ishibumi. Looks like more of the same supernatural harem ecchi comedy. Tetsuya Yanagisawa (Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora) is directing, Takao Yoshioka (Ikkitousen, Zero no Tsukaima) is writing the scripts and Junji Goto handling character design. Fans should be pleased.
Staff: Tetsuya Yanagisawa (Director), Takao Yoshioka (Series Composition), Ichiei Ishibumi (Original Creator), Junji Goto (Character Designer), Kenichi Kurata (Art Director), Ryosuke Nakanishi (Music)
Voice Actors: Yuuki Kaji (Issei Hyodo), Yoko Hikasa (Rias Gremory), Maaya Uchida (Irina Shidou), Azumi Asakura (Asia Argento)
Airing Date: April 04th, 2015
Urawa no Usagi-chan
The happy-go-lucky daily campus lives of eight high school girls: Usagi, Tokiwa, Minami, Sakura, Midori, Kojika, Saiko, and Misono, in the Urawa-ku, Saitama Prefecture.
This is an original anime designed to advertise Urawa City in Saitama and each episode lasts five minutes. It has worked on me before I have seen the first episode because I have just looked the city up on Google.
Staff: Mitsuyuki Ishibashi (Director), Yuichiro Hanamura (Series Composition), Shintaro Matsushima (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Asami Seto (Usagi Takasago), Keiko Watanabe (Minami Oyaba), Hisako Tojo (Midori Saido), Nao Tamura (Misono Mimuro), Yo Taichi (Sakura Tajima)
Airing Date: April 09th, 2015
Hello!! Kin-iro Mosaic
Shinobu Oumiya is a 15-year-old girl who once did a homestay in Great Britain and misses her time there very much. One day she receives a letter from Alice, the girl from Shinobu’s host family, and it reads “Shinobu, I’m coming to Japan!”. Watch the comedy unfold as Japanese and British girls have fun.
This is the sequel to last-year’s slice-of-life comedy about a British girl in Japan and the staff, studio, and seiyuu mostly remain the same. Direction comes from Tensho who worked on the first season as well as Who is Imouto? So consider him an expert in this field. Series composition is handled by Yuniko Ayana who has written on a range of interesting shows like Bakuman, the under-appreciated comedy gem that is Humanity Has Declined, adventure show Shangri-La and slice-of-life show Natsuiro Kiseki.
Staff: Tensho (Director), Yui Hara (Original Creator), Yuniko Ayana (Series Composition), Kazuyuki Ueda (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Asuka Nishi (Shinobu Omiya), Manami Tanaka (Alice Cartelet), Yukari Tamura (Isami Omiya), Satomi Satou (Sakura Karasuma), Nao Toyama (Karen Kujo)
Studio: Studio Gokumi
Airing Date: April 09th, 2015
Baby Steps Season 2
At the start of the first season Maruo Eiichirou (Ei-chan) is a hard working 15-year-old schoolboy with great grades but poor fitness. He checks out a tennis club in order to get fit. He’s hooked by the sport. Even better, while there he meets a girl named Natsu who is totally dedicated to tennis and totally hot. He soon finds a passion for tennis awakening within him… the second season expands the story with Eiichiro at the Florida Academy!
The first season of Baby Steps proved to be something of a sleeper hit with plenty of drama and great characterisation hidden in this innocuous looking sporting tale. Which is usually the case in my experience. People are too quick to dismiss sports anime unless it’s something like Free! and explicitly aimed at a female audience with boys-love elements teased in the marketing.
Most of the staff from the first season are returning. Taishi Murata, director on shows like Corpse Princess and Saiyuki, and Katsuhiko Chiba, writer on shows like Rune Soldier and Outlaw Star is overseeing scripts.
Staff: Masahiko Murata (Director), Katsuhiko Chiba (Series Composition), Hikaru Katsuki (Original Creator), Masayuki Kouda (Character Design)
Voice Actors: Taishi Murata (Eiichiro Maruo), Minako Kotobuki (Natsu Takasaki), Daisuke Namikawa (Takuma Egawa), Hiro Shimono (Yukichi Fukasawa), Takuma Terashima (Kojiro Kageyama)
Studio: Studio Pierrot
Airing Date: April 05th, 2015
Blood Blockade Battlefront
When a breach between Earth and the netherworlds opens up over the city of New York, residents of the city find themselves trapped with creatures from other dimensions in an impenetrable bubble. For years they have lived together in a world of crazy crime sci-fi sensibilities but now someone is threatening to sever the bubble, and a group of stylish superhumans striking back to keep it from happening. These superhumans belong to a group known as Libra and Leo, a journalist new to the city, joins them!
This anime is the first big beast of the season! It is based on a manga created by Yasuhiro Nightow, creator of Trigun and Gungrave and is directed by Rie Matsumoto who made her name with the ace sci-fi action show Kyousogiga in 2013. These are two names that should be on everyone’s mind considering the quality of the work. What is interesting is that Kazunao Furuya, writer on live-action shows like Galileo and Liar Game, is scripting which signals that this could be going for an epic feel which the synopsis reveals the story has in spades.
The animation is coming to the screen courtesy of the studio BONES, a group of talented animators who have made stellar titles like Wolf’s Rain, Kurau Phantom Memory, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Un-Go, and Space Dandy. Other interesting names in the staff list include Toshihiro Kawamoto (Cowboy Bebop, Golden Boy) as character designer, Koji Sugiura (Gunsmith Cats) as creature designer, and Shinji Kimura (Project A-Ko, Tekkonkinkreet) as the art director.
Staff: Rie Matsumoto (Director), Kazunao Furuya (Script), Taisei Iwasaki (Music), Yasuhiro Nightow (Original Creator), Toshihiro Kawamoto, Koji Sugiura (Character Design), Shinji Kimura (Art Director)
Voice Actors: Daisuke Sakaguchi (Leonardo Watch), Miyuki Sawashiro (Vivian), Nana Mizuki (Michella Watch), Rie Kugimiya (White), Mamoru Miyano (Dog Hummer), Ai Orikasa (K.K.), Rikiya Koyama (Klaus Von Reinhertz), Kazuya Nakai (Zapp Renfro)
Airing Date: April 04th, 2015
Lupin III (2015)
This is the first full-fledged production of a Lupin III television show where Lupin is the main character since a run back in 1984. The story for the new series takes place in Italy and San Marino. The chief director is Kazuhide Tomonaga, a franchise veteran who worked on the classic Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. The director is Yuichiro Yano (Moyashimon) and the writer is Yuuya Takahashi (Tiger & Bunny).
Staff: Kazuhide Tomonaga (Chief Director), Yuichiro Yano (Director), Monkey Punch (Original Creator), Yuichiro Yano (Screenplay)
Voice Actors: N/A
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Airing Date: April, 2015
Ninja Slayer From Animation
Kenji Fujikido is a salaryman whose wife and child were killed in a ninja turf war. In a brush with his own death, Fujikido is possessed by the soul of a ninja known as Naraku Ninja. Fujikido cheats death and becomes “Ninja Slayer” – a Grim Reaper destined to kill evil ninja, committed to a personal war of vengeance. Set in the dystopian underworld of Neo-Saitama where crime and technology run rampant, Ninja Slayer takes on Soukai Syndicate ninja in mortal combat.
Trigger is back with a new work and it’s an ONA (Original Net Anime). You may know them for Kill la Kill or Little Witch Academia but this project looks a whole lot more different. Trigger are adapting a story that was posted on Twitter by, according to some sources, two American translators who Tweeted the English story into Japanese. Said story was picked up for a light novel by Enterbrain (going under the title Ninja Slayer: Neo Saitama in Flames) back in 2012. Since then, manga and drama CDs have been made. The Twitter background doesn’t sound too promising but the trailer makes this look really special with inventive use of colour and motion to get the characters across. Plus it has an awesome opening theme tune courtesy of Boom Boom Satellites!
Director Akira Amemiya has worked on some awesome titles, not just the usual shounen stuff like Blue Exorcist, but there are more interesting titles in his filmography like Gurren Lagann, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, Dennou Coil, Kaiba and Inferno Cop. Maybe not that last one. What I’m trying to get across is that he’s a talented animator and could make this special.
Staff: Akira Amemiya (Series Director), Yu Sato (Scripts), Hiroyuki Imaishi, saitom, Serere Inato, Yusuke Yoshigaki (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Tohiyuki Morikawa (Kenji Fujikido/Ninja Slayer), Chiwa Saito (Nancy Lee), Goblin (Narrator), Risa Taneda (Dragon Yukano), Sho Hayami (Fujio Katakura/Dark Ninja)
Airing Date: April 16th, 2015
Sound! Euphonium (Hibike! Euphonium)
Hibike! Euphonium begins when Kumiko Oumae, a girl who was in the brass band club in junior high school, visits her high school’s brass band club as a first year. Kumiko’s classmates Hazuki and Sapphire decide to join the club, but Kumiko sees her old classmate Reina there and hesitates. She remembers an incident she had with Reina at a brass band club contest in junior high school.
Kyoto Animation are plundering another school club for their latest show. This one sees classical music and comedy combine to cultivate another tale about school-life.
It is based on a novel written by Ayano Takeda and published in 2013. Whatever the source, Kyoto Animation are comfortable cranking out school shows where most of the cast is filled out with cute girls and they have a solid director in Tatsuya Ishihara who has worked on many Kyoto Animation projects like Nichijou, Haruhi Suzumiya, K-ON! and Tamako Market. There are plenty of other names who are all in-house talent who have impressive filmographies. If one were to be cynical, one might say this is not going to surprise anyone but it could be a solid title to watch.
Staff: Tatsuya Ishihara (Director), Jukki Hanada (Series Composition), Mutsuo Shinohara (Art Director), Shoko Ikeda (Character Designer), Ayano Takeda (Original Creator)
Voice Actors: Ayaka Asai (Hazuki Kato), Takahiro Sakurai (Noboru Taki), Saori Hayami (Haruka Ogasawara), Chika Anzai (Reina Kosaka), Moe Toyota (Sapphire Kawashima), Minao Kotobuki (Asuka Tanaka)
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Airing Date: April 07th, 2015
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid
The story takes place four years after the JS incident in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, and the main protagonist is Vivio Takamachi, a student at St. Hilde Academy of Magic. She has learned to conjure her adult form and has received her own Device — named Sacred Heart — from Nanoha, and has promised Nanoha to never use either for mischief. Then a mysterious magical fighter appears and targets Vivio…
This magical girl franchise has been going for over a decade and now has multiple films and television series and many manga and drama CD adaptations. For this new sequel Yuuki Itoh takes the director’s chair. He has worked as an episode director on Vividred Operation, Galilei Donna, and Sound of the Sky. Naruo Kobayashi, writer on ToHeart2, is credited as the main writer.
Staff: Yuuki Itoh (Director), Takuya Fujima (Original Manga), Masaki Tsuzuki (Original Creator), Masaaki Yamano (Character Designer), Naruo Kobayashi (Main Writer)
Voice Actors: Kaori Mizuhashi (Vivio Takamachi), Nana Mizuki (Fate Testarossa Harlaown), Yukari Tamura (Nanoha Takamichi), Eri Kitamura (Rio), Misato Fukuen (Corona), Mamiko Noto (Einhart Stratos)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Airing Date: April 03rd, 2015
That’s it for the first part of this guide. There are a lot more shows that will air in Japan than this list contains so keep checking Anime UK News for the second part!