As usual, this is not a review of the shows out there, but just my take on what I might watch. Those interested in original research should take a look at Aroduc’s preview. Not sure what’s up with Sea-Slugs; they haven’t put one out that I’ve seen.
As usual, slice-of-life, kid’s shows, otome-service, and pure porn-service shows are way out. Harems are in only insofar as they can be entertaining due to the girls, the guy in the center, plot, or action. Unfortunately, this season seems to be full of shows that fit the exclusions, not the inclusions. So without further ado, let’s do!
Looking forward to:
Sword Art Online: This is one I’ve been wanting to see made into an anime since I started reading the LNs. The original novel had only enough to fill a six-episode OVA, but with the addition of several more stories filling out the backstory, there’s enough for a full two-cour series. I’m not wild about the animation and character design, but the background art appears pretty good as they are trying to give a feel for an MMORPG. Some folks dis the story as a .hack clone, not realizing its original incarnation as a web-novel predates .hack. It’s also from the mind of a single author, telling a single story, so that’s an advantage. The trap is a bit ridiculous, but once you get past that, it’s a story of people unexpectedly tossed into a life-or-death situation. If anything, I’d say its closest storytelling genre would be the disaster flick. Who will be a hero, who will be a goat, and who will deny reality? Those are the questions that make this a cut above other stories.
Campoine!: The first episode has already aired, but I haven’t found a sub yet. This one looked to be pretty interesting, given that it starts with the protagonist killing an evil god — then he gets recruited into a school of similar god-killers. However, viewers of the broadcast say that to get there, they telescoped three light novels into one and made up for it by tons of exposition. That’s a pretty questionable decision, which makes me think that the studio didn’t think they could do justice to the first two novels, or didn’t think they were good enough to bother with. Since I’ve never read the LNs, I’ll withhold judgement for the time being. (Edit: I’ve now read the first story, and the deal is that the first novel is the third story. So apparently they’re telling it in chronological, not book order, which I agree with–at least, pending the episode, which is currently downloading now. And Erica Blandell is entirely too much for Goudou to handle. Hell, his sister is too much for him to handle. Switching the protagonists between this and Antihero would be fun.)
Dog Days’: I’m looking forward to seeing the cousin, but let’s face it: the show will be made or broken by how much Becky is an angst-fest waiting to happen. If she turns out to have some kind of talent that makes herself useful, that would help, but if she’s just a fifth wheel whose only purpose is being jealous of Princess Millafiore, she’s going to be a huge dampener on what’s supposed to be essentially a fun story.
The Aesthetics of an Antihero: I foolishly had some hopes for this one — like Campione! it starts with what would normally be the ending — traveler from our world saves another and returns with the demon king’s daughter in tow. Only then he gets recruited into a school of god-kill — uh, world-savers. Except he’s not a hero. Then there was the latest preview, which YouTube wouldn’t carry. (Second link in the first paragraph after the jump). OMFG. Even without the mention at 1:52, I realized what I was looking at: Queens Blade with the addition of an Alpha Male. At least it stars a protagonist that knows what the hell to do when surrounded by that many buxom babes — defeat them all by unleashing the Most Common Special Attack! Except for the one that counterattacked with the Glowing Uterine Cannon of Death, and she just got punched in the ‘nads. Ok, this one goes on the “table-raping watch list” until I can’t take the stupid any more. Probably the second episode….
Whenever I’m bored:
That’s Why I Can’t Have Sex: I think this is the same as a manga I’ve been reading, but only a few chapters have been translated. It’s not really that good, but I’ll watch it for a bit, for lack of anything better.
One of Them is My Sister: Don’t care for the art/character design/animation. Don’t care for the secret incest angle. Only thing going for it is that there’s actually a reason for all the girls to go after him — he needs to marry one of them to inherit a fortune. Nothing like “How to Marry a Millionaire” done as an anime. Only without the lying schlep in the center.
Ambition of Oda Nobuna: Oda Nobuna(ga) as a blonde female with a gun. What’s not to like? I’d like to know how the guy wants to restore history in this weird world.
Well, there’s a couple more I might give one episode if I’m really bored (likely; I’m off for a couple of weeks recovering), but those won’t include the following:
La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia
Humanity Has Declined
Chitose Get You
Summer Snow Rendezvous
Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere
Well, until the season starts….