Part 1: [link]
There's still a few more series' to debut, but they'll be a few weeks, and I've already filled my playlist with anime to watch so probably won't get around to those. There were also a few harems, a ping pong, a sumo, and a couple of mecha animes I didn't bother with.
Ryuugajoou Nanana no Mazoukin
Yama Juugo moves to Nanae Island, a manmade island in the middle of the ocean, to live freely by himself. He soon discovers a ghost in his apt, the Head of the Great 7 who founded Nanae Island, Ryuugajou Nanana, who had been murdered. In her lifetime, Nanana had traveled the world as an adventurer, amassing enough treasure to fund the project for Nanae Island. Some of the pieces of her treasure had magical properties and are still about the island today. Ryuugajou Nanana's treasures.
Nanana super annoys me for some reason. For a ghost who got murdered within the last decade, she's way too perky. This is just personal taste, but it ruined the rest of the good parts for me. :/ The pacing also feels a little off. For an adventure story, it drags a little. Then again, it IS the first episode, so who knows how it will go. There's definitely another aspect to the story still not explored, and quite a few characters in the intro that haven't been introduced yet. The animation is solid and the art definitely has a new-life-in-a-tropical-island-feel colour palette that matches the setting.
Soul Eater Not!
Tsugumi Harudori gains the ability to turn into a weapon and goes to Death Academy for Weapons and Meisters. There she gets caught in a triangle of meister-weapon-meister! Which friend should she choose to be her partner? Spacy, large chested Meme or tsundere, regal-looking Anya? And what is life going to be like at the Death Academy?
I REALLY wanted to write this off as an awful Soul Eater slice-of-life. Unfortunately, I don't think I can. Yes, it's ridiculously slice-of-life compared to the original Soul Eater and the girls are super ditzy, but ... well, here's the premise. Soul Eater Not! is set shortly BEFORE Soul Eater. Sid-sensei isn't a zombie yet, Medusa is still the infirmary nurse, Death the Kid isn't using Liz and Patty yet. The original cast is older than the new cast, but they haven't gotten to their "finals" yet. (Maka and Soul only had one more witch's soul to go until they finished at the beginning of Soul Eater) Yes, the old cast interacts and cameos in the new series, Maka becoming Tsugumi's upperclassman-she-looks-up-to. Well, it's still super slice-of-lifey, but given the almost immediate battle and the oddities of the characters, it has a good chance of developing a story almost in spite of itself. I think some of the original chars' past-selves might pop up here and there too. Also, no spoilers, but the weapon Tsugumi becomes ... if she had been a easily predictable weapon, I would have passed on the series. But nope. I almost guarantee you wouldn't be able to guess what she becomes
No Game No Life
The super genius, logistics-based little sister. The older brother who operates on instinct and the ability to read and psych out people. Together they form [ ] (aka "blank"), a handlename that's sparked dozens urban legends of the super gamer who can beat anyone at any game with top scores that are impossible to beat. These two siblings, however, are simply shut-in gamers, isolating themselves from the "crappy game" called life. Do you siblings ever feel like you were born in the wrong world? Sora and Shiro are thrown into another world, Disboard, where everything from disputes to politics are solved through games. Humanity, the most disadvantaged of the sixteen races, have lost much of their land and resources due to their inability to use or sense magic. Will these two siblings from another world show them that humans aren't to be underestimated? Let the games begin!
This is my number 1 to-watch anime for this season. There are some hints that there will be some ecchi, though, beware. Spoiler: the siblings are not blood related. Seriously, now, there's a lot of little sister characters this season. I really like the theme of underdogs having to climb their way up through ingenuity, and the characters are really fun. Sora (the brother) challenges the psyche and bluffs his way through a lot, while Shiro plays like a machine. The colors are beautifully pastel and candy-coloured in the Disboard world, and there's an almost ephemeral feel to it. The reason being (it's fun to note), is that in "our" world, the lineart and shadows are the customary dark gray/blue you're used to seeing in anime. When the siblings switch over to Disboard, the lineart turns to a dark red and the shadows are more red hued than usual. Overall, they use gradient overlays more too, giving it a very painted feel.
Akuma no Riddle
12 assassins and 1 victim make up Class Black of Myojo Private School. A "game", experiment?, that rewards the successful assassin whatever she wants if she kills the victim. A "game" that wants to see if the victim will survive and graduate, or be killed. Azuma Tokaku, an elite assassin who wants nothing, is enrolled as student "1" in Class Black, and happens to be the victim, Ichinose Haru's roommate. Before "game start," the power balance shifts a little as Azuma makes a decision and Class Black is made up of 11 assassins, 1 victim, and 1 guardian. And all the while, Azuma's former teacher texts her ridiculous, unanswerable riddles.
This is written down as a yuri, but it doesn't seem to push the point as much as most yuri. And most of the girls have reasonably sized chests. I was a little shocked. Now, I usually don't like these types of stories: the bimbo victim is being protected by someone she will fall in love with and doesn't realize it and goes on her airheaded way as the would-be killers have a free for all. Well, thankfully, that ISN'T the story. Haru full well knows what's going on, and chooses to try to remain happy and airheaded despite that. THAT is what makes Azuma defect to her side. She is determined to survive even though she knows she's making friends with people trying to kill her. The killing game also has rules that prohibit multiple murder attempts. If you fail, you're out. It's not an exhausting ritual of "try to survive forever". The art and animation isn't anything to write home about, but as per usual a yuri (geared toward men) is better in quality than anime geared toward women (yaoi or reverse harem). Anyway, I think I'll watch it as it comes out, but I doubt it'll be something with rewatch value.
Gochuumon wa Usagi desuka?
Cocoa, an energetic and friendly girl, arrives in a ... I believe German-based ... town and her room and board is at the Rabbit Cafe. There she meets Chino and Lize, two girls who work at the Rabbit Cafe, as well as Tippy, a ... rabbit? And thus our story begins.
An overly cutesy slice of life, but it's adorable. A lot of puns on cafe drinks. Cocoa off of cocoa, Chino from cappucino, Lize from "The des Alizes" (Tea from the trade winds), etc. So, all around, a cutesy cafe anime. I like the school's policy: Students are given home-stay like arrangements for board. In exchange for room and board, the students help out with the family's business. A nice way to raise responsible young adults. Though I'm sure this could never work in real life.
Humanity has been ravaged by Gastrea, large bugs that transfer like a virus. Humans attacked by the Gastrea will turn into the Gastrea. Satomi Rentaro is a civil officer partnered with an Initiator named Enju. More like, he is the keeper of the Cursed Child Enju, one of humanity's last hopes for survival.
A decent show with good animation and art. Heh, though the first time I watched it I was wondering if it were possible to snap Rentaro's terribly skinny legs like toothpicks. It doesn't hit me in the right spots, but that's definitely personal taste. For example, I am in no way a fan of loli. If the kid teases, even if she's not serious, let her be over puberty please. There's definitely some dark undertones to it, like a bit of horror-gore and mild questions about the Cursed Children and how they are treated, so if you like that kind of thing check it out.
Kanojo ga flag o Oraretara
Hatate Souta is a boy who can see "flags". Friendship flags, romance flags, death flags. By using girl-game tactics he can nullify or solidify those flags.
Interesting idea, meh execution. I think the main chars should be at least one interval closer to geek-otaku for it to work. Regular people talking about flags and how to hook them as if from dating sims is kind of disorienting. Not to mention, in the first half I was already questioning decisions the writer made and the fact that I think he/she was violating his own rules. Also, the boys are very baby-faced anime males and the girls look like they're five. Not particularly my taste.
Hitsugi no Chaika
After the war, Toru, a mercenary Saboteur with no purpose, has work aversion, leaving his sister Akari to provide for them. This changes when they meet Chaika, a beautiful young wizard girl with long white hair and ... a coffin? They are enlisted by Chaika to help her steal something very valuable to her. What is she stealing? Well, what does one usually put in a coffin?
Seriously, little sisters. Of course, with Akari, she's a yandere little sister with the obvious attraction to her older brother who wants nothing to do with THAT. Also, spoiler: not blood related. Chaika interestingly speaks in fragmented sentences, and there's lots of great things that fully fleshes out the universe. Chaika CAN'T move when she's readying her spells, they have to actually DEAL with that damn coffin and carrying it around, Chaika's magic gun is very similar to a real old timey sniper rifle. The colour palette's more subdued than other anime this season, which is a nice contrast. Btw, unicorns try to eat people in this universe. Some gore at times, but gore is not an ever-reoccurring theme.
Atelier Escha and Logy
After humanity's dusk, people turned to alchemy to keep living. The series follows two Alchemists, Escha and Logy, who have just been assigned to Colseit town's R&D Division. Here at Colseit they endeavor to better human lives and get closer to exploring the floating, unexplored ruins.
I really thought it was a lame harem from the promo pic and was going to skip it. But ... alchemy. So I watched it, and surprise! It's a very Japanese RPG-esque story; in fact it is based on a Japanese RPG. From the opening it made it very clear that it was going to be more about adventures than love and not a harem. (hint, if the opening has at least 1/4th the male appearances than females, it won't be a lovecomedy) The art is gorgeous in a storybook way, and the backgrounds MAKE the show.
Mekaku City Actors
In this world, there are people with "Eye Abilites". Shintaro Kisaragi, a shut-in, accidentally downloaded an AI named Ene, and the first day in two years that he leaves the house, he's tangled up in a hostage situation. There, he meets others with Eye Abilites: the Mekakushi Brigade. How these people met, interact, and how they are all connected will be revealed.
If there was ever an anime I would call "hipster", it's this one.
WELL ANYWAY, the wait is over!
Kagerou Days has been made into an anime! The Kagerou project is a series of songs by composer Shizen no Teki-P made using - you guessed it, VOCALOIDS. That being said, it's not an anime about vocaloids. It's an anime about Shizen no Teki-P's characters that he created. (Though Ene the AI is probably a very small nod at Miku's character design.) If you liked how Bakemonogatari was told, you get a similar vibe in Mekaku City Actors. Time is not always linear here. Though you have to pay attention, the studio does try to make it obvious they're jumping about in time. Colour palettes or bgs will be obviously different, so take note! I was bracing myself for awfulness, but I actually liked it for itself and will definitely continue to watch. i could even begin to enjoy Ene's annoying-ness. (I mean, she's annoying on purpose. Always easier to deal with than unintentionally annoying.) All that said, what a HIPSTER anime. I can just see it leaning back with a cigar and a fedora and, while exhaling a plume of smoke, saying, "I am so meta."
And yes, the opening is by Shizen no Teki-P. I haven't bothered to confirm it, but seriously, his style's pretty distinct.