Genkina Hito

Cinephile, Japanophile and huge anime fan. I review films and anime at Genkinahito over at Wordpress and I contribute to other websites like Anime UK News as a features writer and journalist. Spread love of Japanese films!

Autumn is here! New anime!

Genkina hito's Autumn 2014 Anime Picks

We are almost at the end of the year and 2014 has had a summer season to die for what with awesome with titles like Space Dandy, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, and Barakamon providing an excellent stream of entertainment, humour and great animation. Tokyo Ghoul was another standout as it compressed the manga to create an excellent action title. I bought merchandise associated with most of the titles I watched. Expect series reviews for those titles!

With the help of Anime News Network and My Anime List, I got my autumn anime season previews published by Anime UK News at the beginning of the month (part one and two are up) and I found the experience to be an interesting mixture of comfort derived from doing something familiar and relief that the season doesn’t look too bad.

At first glance, the autumn season doesn’t look too stellar but I prefer to try avoid being negative because there are a few shows that have the right combination of staff and source material to make things work. There’s a strong fantasy element in this season and I’m willing to take a chance on quite a few titles.

Here are the shows I am most excited by (this is a provisional list which will probably change as I drop and add shows):

Psycho-Pass Season 2        Psycho-Pass 2 Key Image 2

Staff

Chief Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro, Director: Naoyoshi Shiotani, Series Composition: Tow Ubukata Character Designer/ Chief Animation Director: Kyoji Asano, Original Character Design:  Akira Amano Story Concept: Gen Urobuchi,

Voice Actors and Characters

Kana Hanazawa as Akane Tsunemori, Kenji Nojima as Nobuchika Ginoza, Shizuka Itou as Yayoi Kunizuka, Keiji Fujiwara as Sakuya Tougane, Ayane Sakura as Mika Shimotsuki, Masumi Asano as Risa Aoyanagi,

Studio: Tatsunoko Production

Website

Synopsis

At the end of the last season, detective Akane Tsunemori discovered the true nature of the Sybilla System and due to her belief in legal order chooses to obey the system. She now takes the head of her department and take command of a new set of enforcers. As she transitions into her new role, a new criminal looks set to challenge the system.

I really enjoyed the first Psycho-Pass and even went as far as to rewatch it quite recently. It had big ideas and themes and a dystopian setting that was thought-provoking thanks to the series’ antagonist, Makishima Shogo (I cannot remember the last time I was so charmed by a serial killer!) and the ending was so cynical and open that it invited another season. Well we’re getting it (plus a movie).

Psycho-Pass Season 2 lacks the presence of original creator Gen Urobuchi which may be a good thing. I have watched most of the new shows which he has created and/or written and I have been underwhelmed by them. Aldnoah.Zero had a strong start and is spluttering to an end. The man replacing him is Tow Ubukata, an experienced writer who was behind Le Chevalier d’Eon and Mardock Scramble. He is also in charge of the writing for Ghost in the Shell: Arise. The rest of the staff are familiar names who have worked on a lot of Production I.G titles I like. Speaking of I.G, they have been replaced as the animation studio for this title. Perhaps Production I.G is focussing on the Psycho-Pass film that is currently being made. It’s probably best to watch the second season plus I want to see if Akane Tsunemori can take down Sibyl.

Donten ni WarauDonten ni Warau Key Image (Laughing Under the Clouds)

Staff

Director: Hiroshi Haraguchi, Series Composition: Yuuya Takahashi, Character Designer: Takao Maki, Original Creator: Kemuri Karakara, Music: Shuichiro Fukuhiro,

Voice Actors and Characters

Tsubasa Yonaga as Chutaro Kumo, Yuichi Nakamura as Tenka Kumo, Yuuki Kaji as Soramaru Kumo, Mamiko Noto as Nishiki,

Studio: Dogakobo

Website

Synopsis

The story takes place during the Meiji era and as Japan modernises those known as samurai are slowly fading away into the pages of history. However, there are those who won’t go without a fight and because of them the crime rates increased. The government decides to create an inescapable lake prison which is only accessible by water. Three boys of the Kumo family are assigned to transport the criminals to their new “home”.

Donten di Warau is based on a popular shoujo manga and features a lot of ikemen and what seems to be a heavy fantasy element. I’m willing to give this a go despite the premise being hardly unique but at least it isn’t set in a school! The animation studio is Dogakobo, a group responsible for some awful harem anime and the lovely Natsuyuki Rendezvous. It definitely looks good.

Gugure! Kokkuri-san   Gugure! Kokkuri-san Key Image

Staff

Director: Yoshimasa Hiraike, Original Creator: Midori Endo, Character Designer: Miwa Oshima,

Voice Actors and Characters

Ryou Hirohashi as Kohina Ichimatsu, Daisuke Ono as Kokkuri-san, Jouji Nakata as Shigaraki, Takahiro Sakurai as Inugami,

Studio: TMS Entertainment

Website

Synopsis

A little girl named Kohina accidentally summons a Kokkuri-san, a low-ranking ghost in Japanese folklore. The Kokkuri-san just happens to be a handsome, young man with white hair. When he sees her terrible eating habit of consuming cup ramen for every meal he decides he wants to protect her.

I’m looking for a simple comedy to enjoy. I do not expect this to be as memorable as Barakamon but I do expect to get a few laughs from it much in the way that I did with Kill Me Baby.

 

Amagi Brilliant Park    Amagi Brilliant Park Key Image 2

Staff

Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto, Series Composition: Fumihiko Shimo, Character Designer: Miku Kadowaki, Original Creator: Shoji Gatoh, Music: Shinkichi Mitsumune,

Voice Actors and Characters

Kouki Uchiyama as Seiya Kanie, Ai Kakuma as Isuzu Sento, Kana Hanazawa as Satomi Murano, Tomoyo Kurosawa as Sylphy,

Studio: Kyoto Animation

Website

Synopsis

Seiya Kanie is a high school student blessed with good looks, athletic abilities and a massive intellect. This is probably why he’s kidnapped by a mysterious transfer student who carries a musket gun and taken to a deserted amusement park, Amagi Brilliant Park which will close unless it can 100,000 visitors in two weeks. Seiya is in a battle to bring his brains to the business world and make Amagi Brilliant Park a success!

The PV won me over. Kyoto Animation are bringing back the team who adapted Full Metal Panic to create a new comedy anime. Alas, that was a show which was popular back when I was in high school and totally passed me by.  The premise sounds silly enough to visit for a few laughs and since this is Kyoto Animation, it’ll look great.

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis    Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis Key Image

Staff

Director: Keiichi Satou, Series Composition: Keiichi Hasegawa, Character Designer: Naoyuki Onda, Original Creator: Cygames, Music: Yoshhiro Ike,

Voice Actors and Characters

Shuuichi Ikeda as Walfrid, Ayako Kawasumi as Reesha, Yoko Hikasa as Anne Murano, Mamoru Miyano as Roux,

Studio: MAPPA

Website

One look at that promotional video and I was sold. In a series with strong fantasy titles, this looks absolutely top notch int terms of visuals. MAPPA are currently dazzling people with their animation on Zankyou  no Terror and it looks like they are continuing to put the money on the screen with some sparkly and fluid looking visuals, distinctive characters and settings that mark this as THE fantasy show of the season. It is based on a card game which may be something to make one cautious but the director is Keiichi Satou, and he did sterling work on Tiger & Bunny.

Save the best until last!

Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu     Kiseijuu Sei no Kakuritsu Key Image

Staff

Director: Kenichi Shimizu, Series Composition: Shoji Yonemura, Character Designer: Tadashi Hiramatsu, Original Creator: Hitoshi Iwaaki, Music: Ken Arai,

Voice Actors and Characters

Nobunaga Shimazak as Shinichi Izumi, Aya Hirano as Migi, Kana Hanazawa as Satomi Murano, Miyuki Sawashiro as Kana Kimishima,

Studio: Madhouse

Website

Synopsis

High school student Izumi Shinichi lives a normal life with his mother and father in Tokyo but that all stops when worm-like aliens called Parasytes invade Earth. They plunge from the sky and take over the brains of humans by entering through their ears or noses. Shinichi was targeted while he slept but since he was wearing headphones, the Parasyte was forced to burrow into his arm and occupy his right hand and settled there.

Shinichi wakes up horrified and finds that the alien has its own intellect and personality and it is named Migi. The two join forces as they become targeted by other Parasytes who want to destroy Shinichi because he can still think for himself. The two battle other Parasytes and try to save humans from being snacks for aliens!

Every season has at least one show which is a heavy hitter for committed anime fans from the old school who remember a time before moe and slice-of-life dominated everything and this is it for me. It’s based on a manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki which is held in high regard (I haven’t read it but I keep hearing great things).

One note of caution is that the director is new to the game although he has worked on titles like Monster and Roujin Z so I’m willing to believe he can do the job. The character designs come from Tadashi Hiramatsu who will forever be remembered by me for his work on Dennou Coil and Moldiver. The writing looks to be in good hands because Shoji Yonemura has written on great series like Berserk, an adaptation of a long-running scary manga.

The promotional art and videos released so far look fantastic and it’s animated by Madhouse, the guys behind great titles like Paranoia Agent and Black Lagoon. Their recent batch of shows haven’t really grabbed me (the premise of Photo Kano made it a non-starter and Sunday Without God was too uneven) but I’m reassured by what I am seeing here. With 24 episodes already guaranteed, we could see something of real quality with this one.

Aaaaand that’s about it for the anime I’ll be watching. Below is a gallery full of the key images from most of the shows airing this season:

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Genkina hito’s Autumn 2014 Anime Picks Autumn is here! New anime! We are almost at the end of the year and 2014 has had a summer season to die for what with awesome with titles like…

Bon Lin, Gajimaru Shokudo no Koi, Goose Bumps The Movie 2, Zakurozaka no Adauchi, Inagawa Ghost Story, Mister Home, Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow Vol. 1, Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Bon Lin, Gajimaru Shokudo no Koi, Goose Bumps The Movie 2, Zakurozaka no Adauchi, Inagawa Ghost Story, Mister Home, Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow Vol. 1, Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Psycho-Pass 2 Key Image 2Greetings from the still United Kingdom! I hope everyone is having a good weekend!

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