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Spring 2010 Preview

March 20, 2010

Below are the 32 shows this season that fall under the usual criteria, which may seem like a fair bit, but is actually less than previous years. After doing my research for this post, I found that there are more shows worth checking out than I originally thought. However, if you’re tight on time, Angel Beats, HEROMAN, Senkou no Night Raid, and K-ON!! would be my recommendations since they seem to appeal to the widest audience. However, if you’re looking for more niche shows, GIANT KILLING, Arakawa Under the Bridge, RAINBOW, and Saraiya Goyou should be good bets. For those into romantic comedies and series with a good amount of fan-service, then look no further than B Gata H Kei, Kaichou wa Maid-sama, kiss x sis, and Mayoi Neko Overrun. Finally for those looking for bishounens with dark mysterious twists, Hakuouki and Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru should fit the bill.

Bakugan Battle Brawlers New Vestroia | 爆丸バトルブローラーズ ニューヴェストロイア Top
http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/bakugan2/
Premiere: March 2nd, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 19:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Tuesdays at 03:00
Number of Episodes: 26
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
This is the sequel to the 2007 series Bakugan Battle Brawlers, where the story revolves around a band of friends who use metallic cards that fell from the sky to summon beasts and have them fight one another. The game is known as Bakugan, which more or less plays out like a Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh battle, except the protagonists find out there’s more to their game in a parallel universe called Vestroia. The original 52-episode series made its way overseas to Canada on Teletoon and the U.S. on Cartoon Network (amongst other countries), but the surprising thing is that this sequel already started airing in North America last September. It’s not often you see an anime premiere elsewhere before Japan, but given the popularity of Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh amongst children in North America, I can understand why it happened. Personally, I never got into the original series and I find these shows are more targeted towards children, so I won’t be watching New Vestroia.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor

Yutori-chan | ゆとりちゃん Top
http://yutori-chan.jp/
Limited Free Preview of Eps 1-4: December 12th to 31st, 2009
Normal Broadcast: March 16th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 15:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Mondays at 23:00
Number of Episodes: 25
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Yutori-chan is about a high school girl of the same name, who has a part-time job in the marketing division of a toymaker company called Popuu. There, she gets into various “interesting” scenarios with her coworkers in slice-of-life comedic fashion. The unique thing about this series is that it’s a sub-5 minute ONA distributed via e-mail by BIGLOBE. The e-mail is sent by Yutori-chan (in all her virtual glory), which includes a link to where you can watch the actual episode. The first four episodes were available for free at the end of last year and showcased the series’ fairly simple art style and quirky humor, but episode 5 onwards you have to pay for. (A marketing gimmick for an anime about marketing, who would’ve thunk it!) For such short episodes, I found the series cute and like how it stars Yuuki Aoi, Hanazawa Kana, and Watanabe Akeno, but other than potentially being something cool to watch on your cellphone while riding the train in Japan, it’s not something I’d make an effort of keeping up with. Below are the first four episodes for you to check out.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent

Show Yutori-chan Episodes 1-4 ▼

Episode 1: Yutori-chan’s Arrival (3:20) Episode 2: Telephone (1:26)
Episode 3: Scolding (2:01) Episode 4: Surprise (2:10)
Ikkitousen XTREME XECUTOR | 一騎当千 XTREME XECUTOR Top
http://www.ikkitousen.com/
Premiere: March 26th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Fridays at 10:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Thursdays at 18:00
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
I gather Ikkitousen doesn’t need too much introduction, seeing as XTREME XECUTOR marks the fourth season of the series, but the story here is loosely based on the classic Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. That’s what they advertise it as anyway, but anyone who’s actually watched the show will probably tell you it’s an overflowing fan-service affair with busty girls from rival schools fighting one another and getting their clothes torn off like there’s no tomorrow. Understandably, the mere thought of that will immediately detract a lot of fans, but for those of you still with me, I covered a similar series back in 2008. I never got into Ikkitousen (even though I’ve been meaning to), but for those who do follow it or are into the occasional fan-service, I’d imagine this to be a shoo-in for the season, albeit not one you’d care to admit. Production is handled by TNK this time around and assisted by ARMS, the latter of which headed seasons two-three, Queen’s Blade, and Elfen Lied. The promotional material looks good, but remember that this is still predominantly fan-service with a martial arts/Chinese novel twist.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Good, whenever I catch up with the series.

Show Ikkitousen XTREME XECUTOR Promotional Videos ▼

Web Promotional Video (1:48)
DVD Promotional Video (3:29)
Hetalia Axis Powers 3rd season | ヘタリア Axis Powers 第3期 Top
http://hetalia.com/
Premiere: March 26th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Fridays at 13:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Thursdays at 21:00
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Premiering back in January 2009, the popular web comic turned anime short continues to get sequels. Quite honestly, I never got into this comedic take on bishounen personifications of countries, but the fact that these 5 minute episodes continue to get produced has caught my attention on more than one occasion. I still don’t see myself getting into it, but Hetalia fans should be happy about getting a third season.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor

Marie & Gali ver.2.0 | マリー&ガリー ver.2.0 Top
http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/marie_gali/
Premiere: March 30th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 19:25
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Tuesdays at 03:25
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Having just completed their year-long 40-episode run on March 23rd, the NHK Educational anime short about a gothic lolita middle schooler named Marika, her stuffed animal “Pet” who’s able to move, and famous astronomer Galileo in the strange town of Galihabara continues under the title “ver.2.0″. In this sequel/direct continuation, a new character named Norika will be added to the mix, as the 5-minute shorts continue to try and educate under the guise of gags and whatnot. The series is more or less a medium in which kids can potentially learn some real scientific concepts, without it feeling like they’re studying. In the first episode of the original run, Gali explained that all objects fall at the same rate regardless of weight for example, while getting abused by Marika at the same time. I watched a couple of episodes, thought it was cute, and wished I had something similar to watch growing up, but it’s not something I can see myself getting into now.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor

Shin Koihime Musou ~Otome Tairan~ | 真・恋姫†無双~乙女大乱~ Top
http://www.mmv.co.jp/special/shinkoihime/
Premiere: April 1st, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 09:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Wednesdays at 17:00
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Aside from Yutori-chan thus far, it’s been all about sequels this season, and Shin Koihime Musou ~Otome Tairan~ is no different. Based on a Japanese adult visual novel/strategy game that borrows ideas from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Koihime Musou will probably have you believing it’s based on the classic Chinese novel more than Ikkitousen. However, much like Ikkitousen, all the main characters in the story are cute young girls rather than scrubby old men. I tried getting into the series when it first started airing back in July 2008, but never got past the first episode. You’d think that a bunch of armor-clad bishoujos in a medieval Chinese setting with a dash of ecchi-ness would be more than enough to pique my interest, but I never caught on due to the other series airing at the time. Unless I catch up with the original and first sequel, there’s really no reason for me to follow this second one.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor

HEROMAN | ヒーローマン Top
http://wdshe.jp/heroman/
Premiere: April 1st, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 18:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Thursdays at 02:00
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Now here’s something you don’t see everyday. In an East meets West collaboration, Spider-Man and X-Men co-creator Stan Lee is working with the always amazing studio BONES to bring us an animated version of the Heroman manga released last year. The story here follows a young orphan named Joey, who considers himself quite useless despite working part-time to support himself and his grandmother. He gets bullied by the rich kids at school because a girl named Lina is nice to him, making him wish he had something to give him some confidence. One day, he picks up a new toy robot from the trash after one of the rich kids throws it away, fixes it since he’s been wanting one, and finds out later that the toy he names Heroman can transform into a gigantic robot with enormous power. It’s not quite becoming a superhero, but pretty much the next best thing. According to the manga, the style is completely Japanese, but the character names, setting (U.S.), and story (aliens) are all very westernized. I’m not entirely convinced this is a series I’d follow just yet, but the trailer looks amazing and they have some new seiyuus playing the lead characters, so I’m definitely going to check it out.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed, at least for the first few episodes.

Show HEROMAN Promotional Video ▼

Promotional Video (1:30)
B Gata H Kei | B型H系 Top
http://www.bgata-hkei.com/
Premiere: April 1st, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Thursdays at 09:00
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Adapted from a 4-koma manga serialized in Weekly Young Jump, B Gata H Kei (B-type H-style) targets an older audience with a story about a beautiful high school girl named Yamada, whose sex-ridden mind wants to sleep with 100 different guys. Despite her beauty, she’s actually a virgin because she’s too worried about being ridiculed by good-looking and experienced sex partners to lose it. One day, she mistakenly believes that a plain and homely guy named Kosuda Takashi intentionally saved her from falling over in a bookstore. Sensing that he’s a good yet sexually-inexperienced man like she’s been looking for, she decides to use him as her first and craziness ensues. Created by a woman (Sanri Youko), the manga is primarily adult-themed humor with no real nudity, but AT-X is one of the broadcasters for the adaptation, so there may be an uncensored variety. I can see the comedic potential from what I’ve read in the manga, and with Nishizono Satoru (NEEDLESS) doing the screenplay, I’ll probably enjoy it. Tamura Yukari wouldn’t have been my first pick to play the lead role, but the cast as a whole is quite notable with Abe Atsushi (Touma in Index/Railgun), Horie Yui, Hanazawa Kana, Noto Mamiko, Kobayashi Yuu, and Shimoda Asami. Production is by Hal Film Maker. This is evidently not for everyone (Yamada tends to masturbate), but it looks like it’ll be an interesting adult comedy.
Odds I’ll Watch This: Good
Show B Gata H Kei Promotional Video ▼

Promotional Video (0:15)
Ookiku Furikabutte ~Natsu no Taikai-hen~ | おおきく振りかぶって~夏の大会編~ Top
http://www.oofuri.com/
Premiere: April 1st, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:25
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Thursdays at 09:25
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
This is the sequel to the 2007 baseball anime Ookiku Furikabutte (Big Windup) about a high school boy and his growth as a baseball player. He was the ace pitcher in middle school, but finds out later it was only because his grandfather ran the team. His confidence hits rock bottom as a result, but in high school he ends up on the baseball team and improves his play. The anime is based on the award-winning manga by Higuchi Asa, which she created after extensive research, and it’s produced by A-1 Pictures. Sports anime have never been my thing though, much less baseball ones, so it’s pretty clear I won’t be getting into this one. Things might be different if they’d make another volleyball anime to fill the void left by Attack No.1.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor

Kaichou wa Maid-sama! | 会長はメイド様! Top
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/maidsama/
Premiere: April 1st, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:55
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Thursdays at 09:55
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
After only reading a glimpse of the premise and taking a look at the art style, I was already convinced that “The Student Council President is a Maid!” was my kind of show. Reading a bit of the shoujo manga only reaffirmed that thought, as it has everything I’d want in a romantic comedy. The story focuses on a girl who’s enrolled in an all-boys school that has recently turned co-ed, and worked her ass off to become the student council president so that she can change the bad habits in the still predominantly male school. She develops a tough exterior as a result and doesn’t particularly like men because of how her father walked out on her and her family, but works a part-time job at a maid cafe to make ends meet. The most popular guy in school stumbles onto her secret one day and she thinks she’s set up for a huge embarrassment, but he chooses to keep it a secret because he’s unknowingly infatuated with her. I find it all very Skip Beat-like because of the tsundere female lead, who’s played by Fujimura Ayumi no less. Okamoto Nobuhiko plays the lead male role with a plethora of well-known names rounding out the supporting cast. Production is handled by J.C.Staff too (Hayate s2, Shana), so this is a must watch for me.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed

Show Kaichou wa Maid-sama! Promotional Video ▼

Interview with Fujimura Ayumi & Okamoto Nobuhiko (2:39)
(They talk about the show, first recording impressions, and what it’s like having so many people in the studio.)
Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou | いちばんうしろの大魔王 Top
http://www.mmv.co.jp/special/daimao/
Premiere: April 2nd, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Fridays at 25:30
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Fridays at 09:30
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
In a world where magic is commonplace, an abandoned child raised by a church is given the name Sai Akuto (Worst Evil) yet grows up to preach about benevolence and equality. His goal is to become a great priest, but when he transfers to Constantin Magic Academy, a 100% accurate career aptitude test reveals his future occupation is that of a Demon King. At its core, we have a high school comedy with relatively high levels of fan-service (e.g. nipples). This adaptation may turn out to be a slapstick ecchi affair, but from what I’ve read about the backstory in the light novel, there’s just enough depth revolving Akuto’s past that it can turn out to be something more. The promo video isn’t indicative of that however, and I should point out that they’ve completely swapped out the drama CD cast for a new one. Out are names such as Ono Daisuke, Nakahara Mai, Shiraishi Ryoko, Chihara Minori, and Takagaki Ayahi. In are Kondou Takashi, Toyosaki Aki, Hikasa Youko, Yuuki Aoi, and Itou Shizuka. K-ON’s Mio (Youko) has been playing some pretty slutty roles lately (Qwaser, Chu-Bra), which makes me wonder if her inclusion here is a sign of things to come. I like what I’ve seen in the manga though, and the magic x school premise gives off Kampfer-vibes to a degree, but those put off by heavy fan-service should probably stay away. Seiyuu group sphere is performing the opening theme, and they’ve already released a short version PV of it. See below.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Good, since I don’t mind the occasional ecchi series.

Show Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou Videos ▼

Promotional Video (2:25)
OP: “REALOVE:REALIFE” by sphere (1:31)
Angel Beats! | エンジェルビーツ! Top
http://www.angelbeats.jp/
Premiere: April 2nd, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Fridays at 26:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Fridays at 10:00
Number of Episodes: 13
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
One of the series I’m really looking forward to and can safely recommend to all audiences is Angel Beats. For some, it might be enough if I just say, “Key and P.A. Works.” For everyone else, this means the visual novel company that brought us AIR, CLANNAD, and Kanon, and the studio that produced true tears and CANAAN. Maeda Jun from Key is writing the script and screenplay, depicting an afterworld where one girl forms a war front, the Shinda Sekai Sensen (SSS), in defiance to god for giving her an unreasonable and short life. In this supernatural afterlife setting, we follow male protagonist Otonashi, who has no memories of when he was alive and gets dragged into the SSS’s struggles. Guns and superpowers are involved, but so is a seemingly normal school life at the same time. Original character designs are by Na-Ga, Hirata Katsuzo (Strike Witches) is overseeing the animation, and Lia is doing the opening song like in all Key series. Kamiya Hiroshi (Araragi in Bakemonogatari) takes on the lead role, which is another big plus. There are lots of good promo videos showcasing how great this series looks, including one detailing how they did a concert scene (PV #7), so be sure to check them out. Everything looks great on paper and the premise is a bit unusual, so I can’t wait to see how this one plays out.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed, period.

Show Angel Beats! Promotional Videos ▼

PV #8: Latest with voice-overs. A must watch. (2:36)
(Sakurai Harumi sounds amazingly like Nazuka Kaori.)
PV #7: In the studio with Maeda Jun, Lia, & director Kishi Seiji. (2:57) PV #6: Voiceless trailer highlighting the people involved. (2:22)
PV #5 (0:15) PV #4 (1:18)
PV #3 (1:12) PV #2 (0:15)
PV #1 (0:15)
Ring ni Kakero 1: Shadow-hen | リングにかけろ1 影道編 Top
http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/sp/rin-kake1_shadow/
Premiere: April 2nd, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Fridays at TBD
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Fridays at TBD
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Saint Seiya creator Kurumada Masami’s boxing manga, “Put It All in the Ring”, gets a second anime sequel this season. The story is about a young boxer named Takane Ryuuji and his sister Kiku, who serves as his coach because of her aptitude for strategizing. Following the events of Ring ni Kakero 1: Nichibei Kessen-hen, Ryuuji and his Jr. Japan team return home in preparation for the World Tournament, where they come across a mysterious group that uses boxing assassination techniques. Known as the Shadow Clan, the group kidnaps Kiku in order to provoke Ryuuji and his team into fighting them and determining who really are the best junior boxers in Japan. The series is about boxing at its core, but is surrounded by things such as gangs, the underground, the assassins mentioned above, and superhuman techniques to drive the excitement. Like baseball anime however, I never quite got into boxing ones either. Hajime no Ippo is still on my list to get this genre started, but until that happens, the Ring ni Kakero series will remain sidelined.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor

Transformers Animated | トランスフォーマー アニメイテッド Top
http://www.tv-aichi.co.jp/TF-animated/
Premiere: April 3rd, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 08:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Fridays at 16:00
Number of Episodes: 42
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, MyAnimeList, syoboi
As with Bakugan Battle Brawlers New Vestroia, Transformers Animated is another example of the Japanese market getting a series later. Except here, the 3 season, 42-episode series was made specifically for the North American market first by Cartoon Network Studios, following the release of Michael Bay’s live-action Hollywood film in 2007. The animation itself was outsourced to Japanese studios however. For those unfamiliar with the Transformers franchise (are there such people?), it involves transforming alien robots in a battle of good versus evil. Like the Hollywood movies, Transformers Animated depicts a power struggle over the fabled All Spark as humanity gets swept into a war. Having grown up watching the original Transformers and playing with their toys, the franchise holds a special place in my childhood; however, I never got into the other cartoon variations and am not a fan of the simplistic character designs here. Since this is one of the rare exceptions where the English dub sounds “right”, it may be interesting to check it out in Japanese, but I don’t plan to follow this by any means. In preparation for the nearly 2.5 year delayed Japanese broadcast, Takara Tomy’s website posted some character videos comparing it to the 2009 live-action sequel Revenge of the Fallen, which I’ve uploaded below.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor

Show Transformers Animated Character Videos ▼

(They all start the same, so skip to ~1 minute mark for the animated portions.)

Optimus Prime (2:30) Megatron (2:30)
Bumblebee (2:30) Starscream (2:30)
Ratchet (2:30) Ironhide (2:30)
Prowl, Lockdown, Black Arachnia (2:08)
Jewelpet Tinkle☆ | ジュエルペット てぃんくる☆ Top
http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/jewelpet2/
Premiere: April 3rd, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 09:30
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Fridays at 17:30
Number of Episodes: 52
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
This is the sequel to last year’s 52-episode anime Jewelpet, created by Hello Kitty’s Sanrio and video game publisher Sega. The story involves very cute magical animals known as Jewel Pets, who live alongside witches in an alternate world called Jewel Land. In the original series, things focused on the mischievous white hare Ruby and a girl named Rinko in their search for Ruby’s friends, after they were inadvertently scattered across the Earth in their jewel forms. In Tinkle, we have a new story arc involving Ruby again, but with a new character named Akari as the two of them partner up to compete in the Jewel Star Grand Prix in hopes of getting their wishes granted. I watched the first episode of the original, found it absolutely adorable because of the pets, and enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. The series is probably targeted more towards female audiences, but it’s definitely not only for children. It has quirky humor and various character stereotypes, supported by notable seiyuus such as Saito Ayako and Hirano Aya. I’m inclined to watch more of the original, but won’t be prioritizing watching the sequel just yet.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent

SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors | SDガンダム三国伝 BBW Top
http://www.sdgundam3gd.net/tv/
Premiere: April 3rd, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 10:15
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Fridays at 18:15
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Yes, Sunrise is bringing us a new Gundam series this season, but of the Super Deformed variety. For those unfamiliar with it, these series are different from your typical Gundam shows in that the Gundams themselves are the characters, meaning they speak and don’t have to be piloted. In the Musha Gundam series that this anime is a part of, the theme is feudal warriors. The Gundams are modeled after samurais, ninjas, and such, forsaking their beam weaponry for katanas and traditional armor. Sangokuden in particular is based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which makes it the third (but not the last) series this season to do so. The official site’s character page shows Liu Bei (Ryuu Bi) Gundam, Guan Yu (Kan U) Gundam, and Zhang Fei (Chou Hi) Gundam for those interested. I came across several SD Gundam games while growing up and thought they were pretty cool, but never got into the anime themselves. When it comes to Gundam, I still prefer the regular varieties, so it’s doubtful I’ll be following this.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor

MAJOR 6th Series | メジャー 第6シリーズ Top
http://www9.nhk.or.jp/anime/major/6th/
Premiere: April 3rd, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 18:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Saturdays at 04:00
Number of Episodes: 25
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
The anime adaptation of Mitsuda Takuya’s long running baseball manga is back with a sixth season. The story follows Honda Goro and his aspirations of becoming a professional baseball player like his father, beginning from his childhood. The various arcs/seasons detail his progression as a pitcher in all the different leagues he competes while growing up. Unlike Ookiku Furikabutte, Major is a baseball anime I’ve come across countless times. I’ve heard really good things about it and thought about getting into it several times in the past, but could never do so years after it started airing. I don’t doubt I’m missing out on a good series though, as I’m sure fans can attest to. Some would say it’s baseball shounen manga/anime at its finest.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor, only because I never got into the series.

Hakuouki | 薄桜鬼 Top
http://www.geneonuniversal.jp/rondorobe/anime/hakuoki/
Premiere: April 3rd, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Saturdays at 06:30
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Based on Idea Factory’s Otomate-branded romance adventure games (i.e. dating sim), Hakuouki takes place during the late shogunate period of the Edo era. Yukimura Chizuru, whose father works in Kyoto as a doctor practicing western medicine, travels to the imperial capital to search for him after losing contact. There, she’s attacked by a blood-thirsty monster and saved by the local Shinsengumi. She stumbles upon their dark secret in the process and is taken into custody by them as a result, but they help her search for her father as the mysteries continue to unfold. Seeing as this is based on a female dating sim and it’ll primarily be Kuwashima Houko surrounded by a bunch of pretty-looking guys, I’m a bit apprehensive approaching this adaptation, even though the dark and mysterious story has piqued my interest. I’ll probably check out the first couple of episodes to see if that and Houko (whom I’m quite fond of) will be enough to keep me going. Below, you’ll find the opening sequence for the first PlayStation 2 game, subtitled “Shinsengumi Kitan”.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Good, for the first couple of episodes.

Show Hakuouki ~Shinsengumi Kitan~ PS2 Opening Video ▼

Featuring 「はらり」 (Harari) by Yoshioka Aika (1:31)
Metal Fight Beyblade ~Baku~ | メタルファイト ベイブレード~爆~ Top
http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/mf-beyblade/
Premiere: April 4th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 08:30
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Saturdays at 16:30
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
This is a direct continuation of the Beyblade spin-off that will finish its year-long run just the week before. It will start from episode 52 and go on from there. Known as “Beyblade: Metal Fusion” in the U.S., the series involves kids who compete in Beybattles, a game that uses elaborately designed tops known as Beyblades that clash against one another to determine a winner. The protagonist is Hagane Ginga (“Metal Galaxy”), a boy who roams around the world seeking strong “Bladers” to test his abilities against. The series has a toy lineup you can play with to compete in your own Beybattles, making it geared more towards a younger audience. Its popularity seems to have branched out beyond that, but this still isn’t the type of show I’d get into. However, I did check out a couple of episodes of season one to get a feel for it and liked Tatsunoko Production’s work here, so if you’re into these battle-type shows, it might be worth checking out. “3, 2, 1, Go Shoot!”

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor

Show Metal Fight Beyblade Episode 51 Preview Video *Spoiler* ▼

Preview for the final episode of season one. (0:29)
Hime Chen! Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri | ひめチェン!おとぎちっくアイドル リルぷりっ Top
http://lilpri.com/animation/
Premiere: April 4th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 09:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Saturdays at 17:00
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Now here’s a bit of an unusual one. Sega’s arcade trading card game “Lilpri Yubi Puru Hime Chen!” is getting an anime adaptation, which will feature the three main girls, Ringo, Reira, and Natsuki. They’re elementary school girls who can turn into idol princesses and the anime appears to be about just that. The official website makes specific mention of how the episodes will entail the three of them running into other characters in the game as well, such as Chris, the rabbit who can use magic. The game itself (if you can call it one) lets you customize the character you have stored on the card by swiping it at the arcade machine. See below for a short commercial of the game to give you a better idea. Needless to say, this isn’t my cup of tea but it’s unique nonetheless.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor

Show Lilpri Yubi Puru Hime Chen! Commercial ▼

Arcade Game Commercial (0:16)
Romance of the Three Kingdoms | 最強武将伝・三国演義 Top
http://www.tv-osaka.co.jp/sangokuengi/
Premiere: April 4th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 09:30
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Saturdays at 17:30
Number of Episodes: 52
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
And here it is, the fourth series this season with some basis on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, except this one’s meant to be the real deal, or at least Chinese studio Beijing Glorious Animation’s interpretation of it. It’s actually a joint production with Japan’s Takara Tomy and Future Planet (the first of its kind) in regards to both planning and animation production. So if you don’t care for the pretty girls seen in Ikkitousen and Koihime Musou nor Gundams and wanted a faithful version with old men, then here’s the perfect alternative. This 52-episode series was aired in China by CCTV and completed its run back in 2008, meaning this is a rebroadcasting for the Japanese market. It took four years to complete and cost 650 million yen (~7m USD). I haven’t read if the series was as successful as they hoped, but I skimmed a bit of the Chinese version and thought it was all right (see OP below). I’m also somewhat interested in seeing on how Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei are portrayed here, but can’t bring myself to sit through all 52 episodes of it. I would’ve done so already with the Chinese version if that were the case.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor

Show Romance of the Three Kingdoms OP Sequence ▼

Chinese OP Sequence (2:29)
GIANT KILLING | ジャイアントキリング Top
http://www9.nhk.or.jp/anime/giantkilling/
Premiere: April 4th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 09:25
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Saturdays at 17:25
Number of Episodes: 26
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
It’s another sports anime, but this time it’s one about football (soccer). Tatsumi Takeshi was once a star player in his Japanese club, East Tokyo United (ETU), but left the team to become a manager for a club in England. In only a few short years, he takes a division 5 amateur club to the top 32 in the FA Cup due to his seemingly unorthodox yet effective tactics and his obsession with “giant killing”, a football term for when an underdog amateur club upsets a professional one. He’s sought after by ETU to become their new manager and revive the club that deteriorated after his departure, but the die-hard fans still feel betrayed and are outraged by his return. Quite honestly, I was going to pass on this series since it’s a sports anime, but after learning that Seki Tomokazu (Chiaki in Nodame) is starring in it, I read the manga and couldn’t put it down until I finished the whole first volume. I don’t consider myself a football fan by any means (I watch hockey), but Tatsumi’s character has a certain appeal to it and I could totally picture Tomokazu playing him. The story picked up quickly as well, with Tatsumi at odds with the current captain of ETU, a mere rookie on the team when he was still on it. To top it off, they have their female public relations rep to drive a lot of the comedy. I unexpectedly loved the manga and it’s different from my usual stuff, so my plans with this one should be obvious.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed, with Seki Tomokazu as the icing on the cake.

Show GIANT KILLING Promotional Video ▼

Promotional Video (0:26)
WORKING!! | ワーキング!! Top
http://www.wagnaria.com/
Episode 1 Early Premiere: March 6th, 2010
Normal Broadcast: April 4th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 23:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Sundays at 07:00
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
If you’re looking for a cute slice-of-life comedy with an all-star cast, then look no further than WORKING. It’s an easy-going series that centers on high school student Takanashi Souta, who gets recruited by his short and absolutely adorable senior, Taneshima Popura, to work at a Hokkaido family restaurant named Wagnaria (hence the official site URL). As a normal and diligent 16 year old, Souta soon learns that all his coworkers are a bit unusual. This includes a manager who doesn’t care to work properly, a floor chief who carries a katana with her, and a server with androphobia. However, as a self-proclaimed lover of all things small and helpless (i.e. “minicon”), Souta sticks with it and there doesn’t ever seem to be a boring day at his job. The first episode of this had a special early broadcast last month, and I found it a perfect fit to fill that quirky yet clean humor slot for the season. The series is based on a 4-koma manga, produced by A-1 Pictures, and stars Fukuyama Jun as the lead with Asumi Kana bringing all the cuteness. Support cast is nothing to scoff at, featuring Ono Daisuke, Kamiya Hiroshi, Kitamura Eri, Fujita Saki, and veteran Watanabe Kumiko. The character designs remind me of asread’s Minami-ke (Adachi Shingo worked on the Okaeri OP) and I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode, so if you’re into slice-of-life too, I recommend you get off your butt and try WORKING!!

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed

Show WORKING!! Promotional Videos ▼

Comiket #77 Promotional Video (1:47)
Commercials
CM #1: For the early broadcast (0:14) CM #2 (0:14)
CM #3: 15 second version (0:14) CM #3: 30 second version (0:29)
CM #4: 15 second version (0:14) CM #4: 30 second version (0:29)

Show WORKING!! Character Videos ▼

CV #1: Takanashi Souta (Fukuyama Jun) (0:32) CV #2: Taneshima Popura (Asumi Kana) (0:32)
CV #3: Shirafuji Kyouko (Watanabe Kumiko) (0:32) CV #4: Inami Mahiru (Fujita Saki) (0:32)
CV #5: Satou Jun (Ono Daisuke) (0:31) CV #6: Todoroki Yachiyo (Kitamura Eri) (0:32)
CV #7: Souma Hiroomi (Kamiya Hiroshi) (0:31)
Arakawa Under the Bridge | 荒川アンダー ザ ブリッジ Top
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/arakawa_ub/
Premiere: April 4th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 25:25
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Sundays at 09:25
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
This is an adaptation of Nakamura Hikaru’s gag/romantic comedy manga about a young man named Ichinomiya Kou who sits on top of the business world, and whose family motto is to never be in debt to anyone for anything. He has that so ingrained in his mind since birth that the mere thought of having debts gives him an asthmatic panic attack. One day by Arakawa Bridge, he’s saved by a homeless girl named Nino living below, leaving him with the biggest debt ever. He’s completely unable to cope with the thought of that and tries to repay Nino by buying her a house, but she’s a bit odd and asks him to love her instead. Thus begins Kou’s life under the bridge with her, where he meets a bunch of very strange individuals, including the resident Kappa village chief. From the manga, I found the character interactions reminiscent of Bakemonogatari, mainly because Kou doesn’t know how to deal with the calm, composed, and most of all weird Nino. It stars Kamiya Hiroshi as well (alongside Sakamoto Maaya), so it may be nice hearing that Shinbou Akiyuki and SHAFT are on board for this, but I’m not a fan of either party’s work as of late. They’re actually the only things that have me worried about this series, as the cast consists of seiyuu who have all starred in their own series before. That’s huge for me and the manga has me looking forward to this, but I’m concerned about getting “shafted” by shoddy animation and walls of text. See the promo video for what Shinbou’s known for.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed, but worried about the “Shinbou SHAFT”.

Show Arakawa Under the Bridge Promotional Videos ▼

Promotional Video (0:30)
Commercial (0:15)
kiss x sis | キスシス Top
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/kiss_sis/
Episode 1 Early Web Premiere: March 25th, 2010
Normal Broadcast: April 5th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 23:30
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Mondays at 07:30
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Ecchi fans rejoice, as the seinen manga turned OVA is getting its own TV series. Studio Feel is producing this retelling as well, and it will be broadcast on AT-X (and only AT-X). I don’t think I’ll ever quite understand the Japanese fantasy/fetish over incest, but kiss x sis revolves around that idea with stepsiblings unrelated by blood. This is probably the most risqué/borderline hentai series in this season’s lineup, involving a middle school boy named Suminoe Keita, whose high school twin stepsisters, Ako and Riko, are passionately in love with him and will seduce and violate him every chance they get. Keita however doesn’t want any involvement with them in that way and tries to focus on getting into the same high school, even though their parents encourage a potential relationship. The girls completely drive the explicit fan-service here, with Ako being a closet pervert and Riko calm and assertive, but there is some plot involving their childhoods to tie things together in a meaningful way. This still doesn’t change the fact that sexual scenarios are foremost, so unsuspecting viewers beware. I watched the OVA for kicks though and got a laugh out of it, so I plan to follow this one as well. For some, it may be interesting to note that Taketatsu Ayana (Azusa in K-ON!) plays Ako here.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed, just for kicks.

Show kiss x sis Promotional Video ▼

Promotional Video (0:29)
Senkou no Night Raid | 閃光のナイトレイド Top
http://www.1931.tv/
Premiere: April 5th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 25:30
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Mondays at 09:30
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Following the completion of their first original production So-Ra-No-Wo-To, Anime no Chikara brings us a new one of a different variety. The year is 1931. The setting Shanghai, China. In this chaotic yet energetic cosmopolitan, a Japanese conglomerate member is kidnapped and the Japanese army stationed there suspects the local weapons-dealing organization is responsible. In order to rescue the hostage, a secret intelligence group known as the “Sakurai Kikan” sends in four young individuals with special abilities to infiltrate the organization. Senkou no Night Raid is intended to be an espionage action series and has Persona -trinity soul- director Matsumoto Jun and writer Onishi Shinsuke on board fulfilling the same responsibilities. As this is another original piece of work, I’m not too sure what to expect, but the ambiance of the short 15 second PVs is already a lot darker than girls playing trumpets. What’s more noteworthy though is the attention to detail that A-1 Pictures has shown in these Anime no Chikara projects. See below for some short documentary videos showcasing those aspects. Quite frankly, So-Ra-No-Wo-To didn’t really turn out anything like I was expecting, but really came together in the end, so I’m keen on seeing what they have in store here. The series stars Yoshino Hiroyuki, Namikawa Daisuke, Hoshino Takanori, and new female seiyuu Ikuta Yoshiko. Should be interesting.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed

Show Senkou no Night Raid Promotional Videos ▼

Web Spot (0:15)
TV Spot #1 (0:15) TV Spot #2 (0:15)

Show Senkou no Night Raid Documentary Videos ▼

CM #1: Location Hunting in Shanghai (0:15) CM #2: Drawings (0:15)
CM #3: Background Artwork (0:15) CM #4: Hakase Tarou (composer) (0:15)
CM #5: Cutting & Editing (0:15) CM #6: Practicing Chinese Lines (0:15)
CM #7: Episode 1 Dubbing (0:15)
CM #8: Looking Back ~ Delivering the Goods (0:15)
Mayoi Neko Overrun! | 迷い猫オーバーラン! Top
http://www.patisserie-straycats.com/
Premiere: April 6th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 23:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Tuesdays at 07:00
Number of Episodes: 12
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
This series is based on a light novel by Matsu Tomohiro, which was adapted into a manga by Black Cat/To LOVE-Ru creator Yabuki Kentarou earlier this year. It’s his “new” manga since the conclusion of To LOVE-Ru last year and of a similar romantic comedy/harem genre. Here, we have an adopted boy named Tsuzuki Takumi, who attends high school and works at a run-down pâtisserie called Stray Cats (Mayoi Neko), alongside his carefree older sister and tsundere childhood friend. Takumi’s sister has a knack for helping anyone in need (even thugs) and taking in stray cats, but everyone is shocked when she brings in a beautiful girl off the streets. Named Nozomi, the cat-like girl is indifferent about a lot of things, such as being naked in front of Takumi, and ends up living at the store and helping out. From what I’ve read in the manga, the mystery behind Nozomi puts a slightly different spin on things, but this is still essentially a high school comedy with hints of romance throughout. It features some usual character stereotypes, such as the otaku friend and rich loli ojou-sama, making it a bit run-of-the-mill. It’s hard to tell if it’ll ever amount to something more, but I rather like the characters and the cast that’s going to voice them (Okamoto Nobuhiko, Itou Kanae, Taketatsu Ayana, Iguchi Yuka, Satou Satomi as leads, Horie Yui, Tamura Yukari as support), so I’m leaning towards watching this as something fun but not particularly special. To its credit though, it’s the only AIC production this spring and the manga has occasional To LOVE-Ru cameos, which make it a bit more appealing in my eyes.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Good, but difficult to recommend.

Show Mayoi Neko Overrun! Promotional Videos ▼

Promotional Video (1:44)
Commercial (0:29)
TV special with Matsu Tomohiro and Itou Kanae. (10:44)
Cast Talk (14:25)
Back: Satou Satomi, Okamoto Nobuhiko
Front: Iguchi Yuka, Itou Kanae, Taketatsu Ayana
RAINBOW Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin | RAINBOW 二舎六房の七人 Top
http://www.ntv.co.jp/rainbow/
Premiere: April 6th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 24:59
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Tuesdays at 08:59
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
If you’re looking for a show that’s very different from the usual stuff, then consider this adaptation of Abe George (Jouji) and Kakizaki Masumi’s award-winning manga. Taking place in 1955 after the end of World War II, it depicts the hardships that six juvenile delinquents go through after getting thrown into a corrections facility/prison, often graphically so. From everything to getting sexually abused by the male doctor and having to deal with the tyranny of the wardens, it’s meant to be a realistic view on poverty-stricken Japan following the war. Upon arrival to the prison, the six boys are thrown into Block 2 Cell 6 where they meet “Anchan”, their senior inmate who shows them some tough love on how to survive. The story follows the lives of these seven, both in prison and afterward. Abe George described this as a “story about friendship and courage”, which I could get a sense of from the first few chapters of the manga. Each of the boys was sentenced for acts of assault and theft, but the circumstances they committed their crimes under don’t necessarily make them bad kids, and you can get a feel for that from the bonds they make. Given how dark and serious everything is, this probably would’ve made for a great drama adaptation too. What caught my immediate attention about this series though is the inclusion of various live-action actors/actresses to voice some of the characters, most notably Oguri Shun (Hana Yori Dango co-star). With such powerful drama that you don’t find in your typical anime, and production by MADHOUSE, I plan to check out at least a few episodes of this one.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Good, due to the drama not found in typical anime.

K-ON!! | けいおん!! Top
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/k-on/
Premiere: April 6th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:25
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Tuesdays at 09:25
Number of Episodes: –
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
It was only at the end of last year that K-ON season two was announced, but three months later we already have more of our favorite light music club. Now with one more exclamation mark in the title! The extra DVD/BD live house episode helped tide things over a bit, but it’s not quite the same as a full season where we’re bound to hear a bunch of new songs. For those unfamiliar with this series, it’s Kyoto Animation’s adaptation of a lighthearted 4-koma manga that follows a group of girls who revive their high school’s music club by forming a band called “After School Tea Time”. It’s published in a seinen manga magazine and features quirky humor and a very cute cast of female characters. In short, it’s moe overload. When the original season aired last spring, the cast of seiyuus were all relatively low-profile, but that all changed with this series. The opening and ending theme songs they sang debuted at #4 and #2 on the Oricon music charts respectively, and they’ve all been in numerous series now, especially lead actress Toyosaki Aki. There are 28 broadcast stations lined up to air this highly anticipated sequel, which absolutely dwarfs every other series by a long shot. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be watching this and it’s a safe series to recommend to almost anyone. Go watch the first season now if you haven’t!

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed, without a doubt.

Show K-ON!! Promotional Video ▼

Commercial (0:30)
Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru | 裏切りは僕の名前を知っている Top
http://www.uraboku.jp/
Premiere: April 11th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 24:00
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Sundays at 08:00
Number of Episodes: — (2 cour)
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
The title “Betrayal Knows My Name” doesn’t really suggest what this series entails, and some promotional images will probably make you think it’s BL, but it’s actually an adaptation of a shoujo manga about a particular family lineage, the Giou Clan, that possesses special powers and has been using them to battle demons known as Duras. The story centers around a high school student named Sakurai Yuki, who was abandoned as a child and grew up with the ability to sense the emotions and memories of people he comes into contact with, though uncontrollably so. One day, he’s saved by a young man named Zess from a demon attack he’s not even aware of and immediately feels like he knows and can rely on him. Not long after, another man comes by claiming to be his step-brother, invites him back into the Giou Clan, and offers to help hone his abilities in their battle against the Duras. As this is a shoujo manga, the series features a lot of pretty-looking guys and numerous well-known male seiyuu to go with them. I didn’t know what to expect at first, but the impression I got from the manga was that it was very Vampire Knight-like in both look and feel. I didn’t find the Vampire Knight anime overly special, but I did see it through to the end, so I’m curious about how this one will turn out. It stars Hoshi Souichirou and Sakurai Takahiro, but the manga has me looking forward to Inoue Marina’s role the most. With J.C.Staff doing the production, I’m hoping this will turn out pretty well, so I’ll be following it for at least a bit to find out.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Good, hoping it’ll turn out better than Vampire Knight.

Show Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru Promotional Video ▼

Promotional Video (1:32)
Saraiya Goyou | さらい屋 五葉 Top
http://www.goyou-anime.jp/
Premiere: April 15th, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:15
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Thursdays at 09:15
Number of Episodes: 12
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
The noitaminA time slot has expanded from half an hour to a full hour this season, and taking the bottom slot is an adaptation of Ristorante Paradiso creator Ono Natsume’s “House of Five Leaves”. It takes place during the Edo period and revolves around a timid rounin named Akitsu Masanosuke. By chance, he runs into a charismatic individual that wants to hire him as his bodyguard but later finds out that he’s the leader of a gang known as the Five Leaves. Realizing what he’s up against, Masanosuke gets wrapped up in the gang and its very unique individuals and learns there’s more to them than it initially seems. Don’t be swayed by the character designs here if they seem a bit odd to you, as this is just Natsume’s unique style. Personally, I find they’re a refreshing change from the more generic ones you often see. What has me really looking forward to this though is the fact that Manglobe is tasked with it and the whole samurai setting is right up their alley, having done the really cool Samurai Champloo. To top it off, they have Mochizuki Tomomi (Twin Spica) as the director and writer, whom Patrik considers one of the best in the business. This one didn’t catch my eye at first, but it’s a bit different in a good kind of way and the promo videos look pretty good as well, so I’ll definitely be taking a peek.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed, because it’s Manglobe and samurai.

Show Saraiya Goyou Promotional Videos ▼

PV #1: Featuring the OP “Sign of Love” by immi (1:49)
PV #2: With voice-overs (2:23)
Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei | 四畳半神話大系 Top
http://yojouhan.noitamina.tv/
Premiere: April 22nd, 2010
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:45
Airtime in Canada/U.S. (PST, GMT-7): Tuesdays at 08:45
Number of Episodes: 11
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Taking the top slot in noitaminA’s newly expanded time slot is a novel adaptation about a nameless third-year Kyoto University student (only referred to as “I”) and his life with the “Tennis Circle Cupid” club that he joined in his first year. The story is broken up into four chapters and will be aired as an 11 episode series here. Not having read the novel, I’m not too sure what to expect, but the promo videos already showcase how strangely different everything is. The title on the other hand seems to translate to “Compendium of 4½ Tatami Mythology”. MADHOUSE is taking on this unusual series, and it stars Asanuma Shintarou and Sakamoto Maaya, so it may turn out to be the sleeper of the season, but I’m still not convinced it’s for me. I’ll probably check out the first episode to get a better idea though.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent

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