Fall 2014 Anime – What I’m Watching

I was surprised the first time I ended up with a list of ten anime to watch in one season. It was such a high number that I felt like it’d be impossible to handle anymore. Well let me just say that I was either very naive, or that I have indeed strutted into the world of impossibility because the number of anime I’m watching this season is a new record for me. This season looks to be incredible, to say the least, and I am here to simply point out the anime that seem to make me think this way. Of course, I imagine I’ll be dropping half of the anime I watch after one or two episodes because not every promising anime ends up delivering. However, there is probably an equal number of anime that I will end up starting later once word of mouth reaches me about anime I didn’t even consider winding up being something worth watching. So without further ado, here is the biggest preview list I’ve ever written for anime. And of course, they are in order of my hard to contain anticipation.

 

The Fruit of Grisaia

Synopsis: Mihama Academy is an oppressive school where five of the main characters are enrolled, each for their own reasons. One day, Kazama Yuuji enrolls as well, becoming the first male student and starts screwing up the way things are typically run at the academy.

First on the list is an anime where I need to see just the first episode to decide if this anime is going in the direction I hope it does. The premise seems to boast a great amount of character interactions that all lead to dark and emotional moments. It seems…deep. The synopsis goes on to say that the main character struggles to get past the emotional walls that the girls have, while teasing that perhaps the main character has the heaviest heart of them all.  When I watched the trailer, it started off morose, and edgy, with a girl pulling out a razor blade. But then, panty shots and a bunch of wacky character moments almost destroyed that moody tone and it transformed into a harem comedy, which I don’t want at all with this scenario. I plan on watching just one episode out of faith that the comedy bits are scarce, and that this anime is aiming to tell a serious character driven story.

The staff and animation studio don’t really hurt, nor help the credibility in any way. I haven’t seen a single anime that the animation studio, 8-Bit, has drawn. And the director and composer are in the same situation. That means I could expect an anime the likes of which I haven’t seen before, and I’m always up for surprises! In the end, this anime is the one I’ll most likely drop if I don’t like the first episode.

 

Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de

Synopsis: Five members of the literature club are miraculously bestowed with superpowers, but they are disappointed that upon receiving them, there isn’t really anything to do. They aren’t thrust into an epic adventure like the stories they love. But they remain ever-hopeful that those days will finally appear .

A boisterous comedy about epic superpowers animated by the Kill la Kill studio means that I can’t really avoid this one now can I? I’m watching this because I have a feeling it will become a big comedy that everyone follows this season, but as pure comedies aren’t really my thing, my excitement isn’t exactly throttled. However, I am always up for seeing well animated super powers, so I feel like I’ll at least get to enjoy some serious eye-candy. The powers are hard to explain based off of the brief snippets in the trailer so I’ll just have to wait for the first episode to get a true look at them.

Of course, I do hope this anime can amount to something a bit more than just a disconnected jumble of superpowers and comedy. I’ve always wanted a comedy that I could rightfully describe as epic and this could finally be it. Studio Trigger are beasts at animations, though I didn’t get the same feeling of Kill la Kill as I did here. Perhaps they are being more reserved and that Kill la Kill’s art style was something they crafted for that anime alone.

 

Denki-gai no Honya-san

Synopsis: Umio works at a manga shop in a nerdy area of town and this anime follows the day to day happenings of the irregular guests who stop by.

This one is the anime I hope to replace my overall amusement with Tonari no Seki-kun from a couple seasons ago. They both have an extremely simple premise that puts all the entertainment liability in the writing and shenanigans that happen every episode. The general feel of a book store is rather quaint, and the trailer did seem to have some great comedy bits. It shouldn’t be a difficult one to get into, but I could also drop it just as easily. When “substance” is gone, it doesn’t take much to turn me off. On the other hand, it only takes one scenario that just works to make me a fan.

Coincidentally, both Tonari no Seki-kun and this anime are animated by the same company, although I believe the team is entirely different. I’m not a fan of the animation in general, but sometimes the aesthetics just fit the show. Case in point, Ping Pong: the Animation. Here’s to hoping this is an anime that delivers clever laughs on a weekly basis!

 

Garo: Honoo no Kokuin

Synopsis: In a fantasy world where humans fight against demons and witches, one foe-slaying knight is resolute in betraying his comrades to save a girl tainted by demon blood from her fate.

Demons and witch hunts help create the intense setting for this fantasy action anime. That and the trailer which showed nothing but bad-ass characters who look like they’ve had enough of the world combined with a lot of fire. Lots and lots of fire. This seems like it’ll be an anime all about the broken man fighting against an extremely grueling opposition. While there are plenty of things that appeal to me, the first thing that turned me off is a big focus on this battle armor fashioned after a demon, and they are choosing to animate it in full CG. It looks ok, but in some of the clips, it looks like there’s just too much going on. Detail only goes so far if the composition goes to crap. Besides that, I really like the character designs as well as how serious the creators are in portraying this world. It feels like a work of typical witchcraft fiction with a lot of grittiness behind it.

Now when I’m saying I’m worried about the animation, I only mean the CG battle armor scenes, because otherwise the anime looks fantastic. It’s being animated by Mappa, who have an incredible pedigree on their hands, with their most recent work, Zankyou no Terror, clearly demonstrating the skill this studio has. The other staff, however, doesn’t have quite the brilliant history. This could mean this becomes an anime that looks terrific, but collapses on itself by having no substance, but I have faith that this is just a little pet project that should have a great storyline to give meaning to the fantastic visuals we’re about to see.

 

Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter

Synopsis: Ronja lives with her father and their tribe in a castle hidden in the middle of a forest. The anime follows Ronja as she explores the forest outside her castle and meets new people and discovers interesting creatures.

Studio Ghibli is animating a tv series?! That’s probably the question that will cause most people to check out this adventurous little gem. However, you should be aware that this is a CG anime series, which is off-putting to animation purists. If you’re curious as to what the animation looks like, just think of Ni No Kuni the video game. That’s a perfect example of Studio Ghibli doing CG animation. So basically this anime will look like a bunch of japanese RPG cutscenes. The story is a simple adaptation of a Swedish children’s book.

There’s a lot to be wary of, despite the Ghibli pedigree, but there’s also not much they can do wrong outside of the possibly wrong choice of opting for a CG art system. The director is Goro Miyazaki who isn’t quite the esteemed director that his father Hayao Miyazaki is. Despite that, it’s still a competent director in charge of bringing yet another child-like tale to life for many of us to cherish. This should be cute, to say the least.

 

Amagi Brilliant Park

Synopsis: Seiya Kanie is a young man invited by a mysterious transfer student on a date at some amusement park. There, he meets the other few who work there, and is also asked to be a manager, leading him to slowly get involved in the lives of these people who run the “disappointing” amusement park.

This is one of those “I’m only watching this because there’s one tiny thing I really want to see” anime, so my excitement for it is only at a small level. However, this is one of those cases where I wouldn’t be surprised if the anime turned out to be something truly special. The trailer came off with a bit more of a comedic focus than I hoped for, but the obvious reason I’m watching this is the peculiar choice of having an amusement park as the setting. I always found theme parks extremely appealing since it’s the closest thing to fantasy realities we have in real life. While this isn’t quite a Disney World, it still has the inner-child in me simply full of desire to see some simple fun and games in an amusement park.

I feel like this anime shouldn’t disappoint, however, because the director is just good at this sort of thing. He’s none other than the director of Haruhi Suzumiya as well as Full Metal Panic. I just hope that this falls more into the drama side, which he’s proven capable of handling quite well thanks to his directing work on the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya movie. This should also be a shoe-in for having terrific animation as it’s done by the evocative artwork masterminds over at Kyoto animation responsible for Clannad, Air, Free, Beyond the Boundary and other terrific looking gems. I’m worried it’ll be too comedic, but even then, I think I will still enjoy my weekly trips to the mayhem at this amusement park.

 

Donten ni Warau

Synopsis: When the government implemented a ban on swords, devastating the honor and lives of samurai, crime rate increased in the country. An inescapable prison in a lake was created and the three main characters are prisoner transports who ferry people to the prison. However, they may have other motives as well…

I’m a sucker for any anime in the samurai era of time. While there’s another anime with the same setting higher on the list, this one captures my interest as well. What sets this one apart from it’s “competitor” is that this one seems to be much more about the action, and may have more shounen tropes. The trailer showed off a lot of characters and they seem to be going for the “as long as they look cool” effect over being true to the time. I don’t mind that at all. It creates desire for more cosplays, because those cosplayers hunger indefinitely for new characters. The other focus that reminded of a standard action trope was the fact that the lead was shown training multiple times. Train, defeat, train defeat. I hope it’s not quite as redundant as that, but I would still be willing to follow Donten ni Waran if it becomes the samurai counterpart to the mega action anime out there.

The staff seems to be headed by first-timers, but I always prefer a new vision on anime over a repetitive one from a standard-fare director. Animation is being done by Dogakobo who I don’t have much experience with. Their latest ones I’ve seen were Majestic Prince and Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-Kun. I think both of them have great artwork, though it doesn’t have anything too distinctive. My main worry is that this anime won’t be that intelligent, as is with all Shounen looking anime. To me, a fight should never be action-first. It should resonate on other levels, express character motives, weave drama into the fight, and create an intricate mental duel to compliment it. My favorite chinese martial arts movies do it, so I hope this anime can too.

 

Nanatsu no Taizai

Synopsis: The Seven Deadly sins are seven legendary warriors who were banished for trying to overthrow the kingdom. The princess of this kingdom discovers that the Seven Sins were framed, and never commited the crime, and she runs away to find them and ask for their help to return her kingdom from corruption. The first Sin she meets, however, doesn’t even have a sword and leads a simple life as an innkeeper, throwing the legitimacy of the rumors of their skill out the window.

Though I can’t quite agree with it’s art style yet, I can’t really avoid this one since it has an interesting premise and is based on a popular shounen manga. As I’m constantly looking for something to replace the void that Hunter X Hunter has left behind, I’ll gobble up any shounen in hopes that one will eventually be just as good. This is an anime that’s already battling a tough opinion from myself, because the trailer showed fan-service, and lacks a serious tone that I was hoping for, but I imagine the manga has to be popular for a reason, so like most shounen, maybe it just has to break into it’s stride.

It’s animated by A-1 which is surprising to me because I don’t like the art as much as many other A-1 anime such as Ano Hana and Sword Art Online. Perhaps it’s just the character design. The director is also an experienced one, claiming directing roles over Darker than Black and Blue Exorcist so I’m hoping that it’s at least as enjoyable as either of those. In the end, this is an anime that I normally wouldn’t see myself enjoying, but have extremely high hopes that I’m proven wrong.

 

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

Synopsis: Arima Kosei lives in a state of blandness and depression. He used to be a child prodigy pianist until his mother, who taught him piano, passed away and at his next recital he had a mental breakdown and lost sense of music. He meets a girl, Miyazono Kaori, who plays violin in an unstructured free-form and because of her, his life slowly starts shifting back to the musically colorful life it once was.

This looks to be the inspirational anime of the season. The theme of finding power in oneself to move on past a depression or weakness is a very touching thing. This appeals to me even more because it has a focus on music as well. While the premise sounds sorrowful, the tone of the anime felt surprisingly upbeat, at least based on the trailer. The key seller for an inspirational anime is for me to find respect, admiration, and sympathy for the main character. Therefore, he is the key factor to me enjoying this anime.

It’s headed by A-1 Pictures, and unlike the Seven Deadly Sins anime, it looks like the A-1 I know and love. However, when it comes to music anime, the other key factor is the music itself. I’m a huge believer in that scenes can become exponentially better, or disastrously worse purely based on the music paired with it. If this anime turns out to have a phenomenal score, then I don’t think I’ll be able to stop myself from loving it.

 

Selector Spread Wixoss

Synopsis: The card game Wixoss has a secret sect of players who play the game with magical properties that grant certain winners their true wish. Several of this magical system’s darkest secrets have now been revealed and it’s up to Ruko to fight against the game’s cruel system and save all the other players from the potentially life-ruining consequences of playing this game.

This is a direct continuation to last spring’s Selector Infected Wixoss. I didn’t quite understand the low ratings of the previous anime, but I guess I can see how hard the “card game battles” would be off-putting to most people. It’s highly unnecessary to the plot and feels like product placement. But, forgiving that, I felt like the anime was really enjoyable. The plot twists were strong and handled well, and the story never really lost pace. I felt like the characters were very defined, though nothing incredible. What I really liked was that it had this dark and malevolent vibe put in a harsh contrast to the uppity school girls and the innocence of a card game. It’s the same formula that worked for Madoka Magica and I’m enjoying it for the same reasons. Of course, I see much more substance in Madoka, but I think this anime has a lot going for it beyond it’s immediate impression of a card game anime.

I think a big part of why I like Wixoss in general was it’s directing style. It’s the director of Stein’s Gate, and that’s another anime that is handled well in the directing department, though comparing the two won’t do Wixoss any favors. The animation studio, J.C. Staff is another long time favorite of mine, handling favorites such as Toradora and A Certain Scientific Railgun. My only worry is that the card game will simply get in the way again. They either need to make it better, or do away with it completely and let the true star of the anime, the story, unfold.

Terra Formars

Synopsis: In an attempt to create a second home. Human scientists sent astronauts to Mars in order to change it with a plan that used mold and cockroaches. 500 years later and the after-effects of this mission’s failure left Mars inhabited by Terra Formars, which are gigantic cockroaches. The men they send to combat this have their own form of new genetic mutation to use as a weapon against the Terra Formars.

This anime is Attack on Titan with cockroaches in space. Apparently this anime premiered ahead of all the others and the first episode is already available to watch. After seeing the trailer, I don’t know if I’ll like it too much, but the scenario of giant cockroaches is just so ludicrous that I have to at least see an episode or two. It seems like a manime which kind of turns me off, but I like how gritty they are making this sci-fi world.

I’m worried that this anime is going to be a bit too hyper-masculine for me. The men are muscly, and they become more angry and wild in order to combat the cockroaches. That’s not how I typically like my action to progress, but I’m curious just what else we’ll see in addition to these mutated roaches. Curious enough for me to keep going for at least a couple episodes.

 

Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle

Synopsis: After the adventures of the first season, the secret to the Chaikas is becoming clearer. Toru, his sister, and Chaika must continue their journey to discover the lost collection of Chaika’s father, the king and finish the perilous adventure they started.

This is the second half of the anime that premiered in Spring 2014, and it was one that I became a big fan of. I thoroughly enjoyed it’s sense of adventure, and it’s balance between world-building and character interplay. It was an anime that I described as doing everything right, but nothing spectacularly. It reminds me of the same pacing and tone as Avatar: the Last Airbender, but simply on a not quite as enjoyable level. Either way, I can easily recommend this anime if you’re looking for adventure, action, fantasy, or a good story. You’ll just have to catch up with the first season because it is one continuous plot.

It’s staff and animators have stayed the same, so it shouldn’t deviate from what has already become established of it’s artwork and character design. Though I do hope they put a bit more effort this time and elevate this anime to the recognition it deserves. I considered the first part the most underrated anime of it’s season, but I don’t think it’ll have that problem this time. A lot of people on Anime Planet are marking this as “want to watch” compared to all the other anime this season. I don’t really have any worries about this season. I’m mainly just curious if the story is going to wrap up by the end of this season or not.

 

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis

Synopsis: In the world of Mistarcia, there is a current era of peace established thanks to the world’s demons, humans, and gods uniting against Bahamut, the world-threatening dragon. They locked Bahamut away and split the key into two halves, one each for the gods and the demons. The story begins when a human woman steals the gods’ half of the key.

Please do not let this anime disappoint! This easily seems to be the most epic anime in the line up, and it’s based on a mere card game. Many are dubbing this the new Attack on Titan, and with fair reason. They have a similar title, epic fights, amazing and crisp animation, and a setting in a similar time and place. Just replace Titans with Dragons and that’s what this anime will be. The characters look incredible, and the action quality seems superb. In fact, visually, this anime has everything I’m looking for. I just can not make heads or tails of how well the story will be delivered.

That’s what everything rests on for this anime. I’m placing it so highly because it’s visual energy is simply astounding, but I can see all of that being for naught if the story amounts to nothing. The animation studio is Mappa, who is also doing the aforementioned Garo anime. For reminders, they are the animators of Zankyou no Terror, hailed as one of the best works of animation for it’s season. The director has a long history of decent anime, though I want this anime to be on an even higher level. I would love to see this become Attack on Titan’s direct competition. In the end, it’s epic, with dragons, and it’s animated extremely well. I’ll never say no to a first impression like that.

 

World Trigger

Synopsis: When a portal mysteriously opens upon planet earth, it releases a bunch of powerful creatures that nearly wipe out humanity. The best defense Earth has is a group of heroes who can somehow use the creatures powers as their own, and use them to fight against the creatures.

The adaptation of a popular Shounen series is always something that catches my attention because if it turns into a long-runnning shounen, I can say I was there when it started, and enjoy the excitement of every week’s episode with everyone else. Shounen as a genre is full of revitalization and energy that I do crave in some respect. What I really like, however, is when a Shounen series has a truly creative premise. World Trigger may not be quite on that level, but the idea of adapting the enemies powers to use against the enemies themselves is a pretty cool concept. The range of powers this could employ feels limitless right now, based on the myriad of puzzling things I saw in the trailer, so I would definitely like to see this explored more.

What I think this anime will bring the most is an air of nostalgia. The animation studio is Toei who brought the classic Dragon Ball to life, and the director is responsible for Outlaw Star which is a classic I hear great things about.  I’m sure this will be more than just a regurgitation of the same old tried and true anime formula, but I also expect to see some sort of a throwback in this anime.

 

Akame ga Kill

Synopsis: Tatsumi has joined a guild of assassins that work in secret to save the people of the world by assassinating corrupted officials. In this season, we’ll follow Tatsumi as he encounters Esdeath, one of the generals of the imperial city, and her bizarre fascination in keeping Tatsumi imprisoned as a lover.

Continuing straight out of this current season is the popular assassin’s guild anime that gave us whimsical offbeat assassins and stylish, bloody action. I’m glad this anime is continuing because the story hasn’t really hit anything momentous yet. Looking back on the last season, I wouldn’t have been entirely satisfied if it ended at episode 13. So I don’t expect much change from the second half, though there are some things I want resolved by the time this ends. I’d like Tatsumi to have a bit of a character struggle again. The anime feels like it’s kind of flip-flopping about without a real aim in direction right now, despite every episode being thoroughly entertaining.

 

Akatsuki no Yona

Synopsis: Yona is a princess raised with loving care by her father and grew up with her personal guard Hak. When her cousin murders her father to claim the throne from her, she runs away with Hak to his hometown and tries to start over.

Here is the revitalizing feudal era adventure I needed! From watching the trailers, it seems like this will be a well-rounded anime that looks to bring both the charm, and the maturity of feudal Japan to our screens. The main character appears enjoyable and driven enough. I was afraid she’d be the typical girl who gets lost in the world of samurai and gets swept away in “greater” men doing “greater” things. But she seems as strong-willed as any other. If the music from the trailer is any indicator, then we should be in for an authentic classical oriental score with a bit of orchestral flair. I think I’m going to love the atmosphere of this series a lot. The reason I put this one higher than the other feudal era anime is that this one feels like it’ll be more than a simple Shounen archetype. The entire fiction appealed to me from the trailer rather than just the setting and characters like Donten ni Warau did.

The animation is being handled by Studio Pierrot who is best known for Bleach and Naruto. It seems their knack for drawing hand-to-hand and weapon based combat will pay off in spades here. The director is surprisingly an unknown (or maybe no one has done enough research on him) but his animography seems like a clean slate. I’m always up for new talent breaking into the industry and this one looks incredibly promising. My biggest reservation is if the over-arching story is going to be enough to captivate me. Is this a typical adventure with a back-seat riding story, or is this going to be a truly grand spectacle with these characters being put through their paces in a truly poignant and powerful story. I can literally see either way happening with this terrific starting impression they have.

 

Sword Art Online II

Synopsis: Kirito is tasked with tracking and discovering the method of Death Gun, a player in Gun Gale Online who is capable of really killing players when he shoots them from in the game. At the start of the second half, the chase has finally reached the real world.

Along with Akame ga Kill, Sword Art Online II completes the pair of anime that continue straight from this current anime season. Sword Art Online II shut my skeptical mindset down completely after I became a big fan of it’s much more humane subject matter. This season had a large focus on killers not wanting to feel like killers and I thought it was a terrific subject to not only separate itself from the first season, but give Gun Gale Online it’s own identity rather than just being Sword Art with guns. Being that it’s different however, doesn’t mean it’s better. I still prefer the Kirito in season 1 who was fighting with much more gusto and explosive rage than this season. Sinon kind of stole the limelight and Kirito wasn’t really as appealing. However, I know nothing on where this series is going now that we’re back in the real world with thirteen episodes left. Are we going back to Gun Gale Online? Is the villain still going to be the immediate threat or are we moving on to something else entirely, similar to how the first season moved from Aincrad to Alfheim?  Either way, the animation did not disappoint with Kirito’s lightsaber scenes being among the highlights of the season.

 

Log Horizon Second Series

Synopsis: After spending months calming the chaos of players getting stuck in the game world of Elder Tale, a pseudo-government has been established and the city that Shiro and his comrades reside has become something of a functioning city. Now as they decide where to travel to next, the opinions begin differing amongst his compatriots as they seek to make the world of Elder Tale their own.

The virtual gaming anime that suffered and identity crisis underneath the shadow of Sword Art Online has now paved it’s own distinctive place in the anime industry, and now it’s sitting amongst the greats as one of the most anticipated anime this season. Log Horizon is a clever, thoughtful, and detailed anime that builds it’s virtual gaming world like none other before it. Even though Sword Art is prettier, Log Horizon is meatier. I like them both for different reasons, and I’ll be getting my Sword Art fix during this fall season as well. Unlike Sword Art, the return of Log Horizon means it’s time for some intellectual stimulation rather than emotional and watch my favorite guild attempt to reform more of this amazing game world.

The biggest difference this time is a change in animation studios. The differences are hard to tell in the trailer alone, but the characters do indeed look slightly different. I always considered Log Horizon to be visually sub-par, but part of that was the rather unappealing character design which remains largely the same. I don’t think they really needed a new studio, but any bump in animation quality will be ok by me. This anime deserves to look fantastic.

 

Kiseijuu

Synopsis: The world has secretly fallen victim to small aliens, simply called parasites. They infect a human body, and after doing so, are able to morph it into whatever deadly creation they choose. They can remain hidden behind the untransformed human body. Shinji is nearly infected by the parasite when he manages to stop it from entering his brain. Shinji and the alien make an agreement in which the parasite will grant Shinji power and protection, if Shinji promises to keep the parasite alive within him.

Now this is an anime that stands out amongst all the others this season. An intense and rather gut-clenching trailer is promising some fantastic things for Kiseijuu. The thing I am dying to give praise for are the transformation scenes when the people disfigure themselves into a more alien form. They look incredible and will probably be one of my favorite “things” in animation this season. The tone is going for a heavy suspense atmosphere and despite the wackiness of some of the design, it’s taking that bizarre factor and rolling with it in style. I also love that they are taking this creative scenario and turning it into a save humanity type of ordeal. I love anime that shoot for the stars, and this one seems to be doing everything it can to make a unique heroics driven anime with a brilliant side of horror and suspense.

It’s a curious choice to give the reigns of this horror/action anime to a director who’s previous experience amount to Disney and Marvel anime crossovers, but this could be the anime he makes it big time with. Madhouse is one of the biggest powerhouse animation studios in the anime industry, so as those transformations already showed, this anime will easily look amazing. I’m dying to know if the thriller ochestral score from the trailer is actually representative of the music in the anime.

 

Psycho-Pass Season 2

Synopsis: Upon a world-changing revelation, the second season starts off a year and a half later following Akane as she re-adjusts to the world with her newfound knowledge. An even more formidable foe than before is about to introduce itself.

What are we in for with a whole new season of the cyberpunk cult hit Psycho-Pass before us? The first season ended on a wonderful cliffhanger that still resolved the main story, but left a huge amount of potential for a sequel, and now we’re here to embark on that journey. Psycho-pass was smart, philosophical even, and full to the brim of dark, psychological content. I considered it a stylistically superior version to Ghost in the Shell. However, the writer, Gen Urobuchi who is considered the prime reason Psycho-Pass was so good, is not present for this sequel. That’s alarming to some, but at least they replaced him with a competent writer who has experience with this type of setting.

The other big concern is the shift away from Production IG doing the animation. I consider Production IG one of the best animation studios out there thanks to their work on Atack on Titan, Kuroko’s Basketball, Haikyuu, and more. The new studio doesn’t seem to have near as much experience so I’m worried that it’s astoundingly terrific art style is going to be missing. I feel like Psycho-Pass has a lot of room to expand, but just as much room to under deliver. Unlike Fate/Stay which has a premise that you almost can’t ruin if you just put some thought into it, Psycho-Pass has to impress all over again with a new villain, and all new plot twists. If either of those aren’t as surprising or enjoyable as first season’s, then it will be a tough time for this anime. However, if the anime indeed does surpass it’s previous season, then we may be in for an unforgettable anime, and possibly a new king of sci-fi anime.

 

 

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works

Synopsis: The holy grail war is a recurring ritual war centered around the Holy Grail that phases in and out of existence every few decades. Several powerful magical families spend their entire lives preparing them and their children for future generations of war. This time taking place ten years after the events of Fate/Zero another war begins.

The juggernaut returns! What’s pretty much recognized as one of the most gorgeous action anime out there is coming back for another full on course of the fantastic Grail War universe. The concept is a simple battle royale with clear rules, but what transpires therein is what truly separates one Fate anime from the other. The trailer already has me sold on the quality of the animation, and I personally think this could me my favorite animation work in a long time. I am an incredibly huge fan of Fate/Zero which was a very dark, mature and well-written escalation of action, tactics, and character interplay. No fan-service, no high school setting, and no dumb characters. This should be one of the most interesting action anime out there where you have seven different sides, all with there own justifiable reasons for fighting, that you could end up cheering for.

The biggest question is whether this will be a “good” fate anime or not. The Fate series started off on the wrong foot with the original Fate/Stay Night. This anime is not necessarily a remake, because the source material has different scenarios, or “routes” and Unlimited Blade Works is simply one of the “routes” of Fate/Stay. (Thank you commenter Rocco B for pointing all of this out.) Fate/Zero is the prequel that was made by a completely different team, and it’s that prequel that brought the series to the realm of the critically acclaimed. That same team is also doing this new version of Fate/Stay so my worry is at a minimum, but one key factor is definitely not present this time, and that is the grim writing of Gen Urobuchi. Just like the aforementioned Psycho-Pass, Fate/Zero is based off of original material by Gen Urobuchi which is why Fate/Zero was such a morbid and intense story. I feel like Fate/Stay will not be a dark anime by comparison. Because of that, I’m wondering if I’ll like it as much as Fate/Zero. Will it lose it’s dramatic flair? Considering it’s still Ufotable who’s other big series, Kara no Kyoukai, is an even darker and more psychologically driven anime, I don’t think I’ll have to worry about it losing it’s mature tone at all.

 

Mushishi Zoku Shou 2

Synopsis: Mushi are abstract beings that hover on the edge of perception and existence that interact with the world in a near-infinite amount of ways. Ginko is a Mushi master, or Mushi-shi, that travels the world, helping people solve Mushi related problems and slowly bringing harmony between Mushi and mankind to the forefront.

For any long-time follower of mine, this top choice shouldn’t surprise you. Mushishi is something of a wonder to me. A fantastic journey through emotionally woven tales of some of the most creative, and thoughtful fantasy fictions I’ve had the pleasure to see. This could potentially be the end of Mushishi since it’s finally going to reach the end of the original manga series.  Finally, the unbearable feeling of incompleteness will decidedly be put to rest. For those who have not seen Mushishi, you can essentially jump on at anytime. Every episode stands alone as it’s own story, and you can watch them in any order. Obviously I suggest you just watch every episode anyways, but if you want to start where the new stuff is, you wouldn’t feel disoriented at all.

I know this anime is exactly what I want. It’s never disappointed me in any way. That’s why I’m so confident that this will just be more of the same. But…a small part of me always wants a bit more. What if the episodes in this final run of the series amps up the mythology of the world? The ending of Zoku Shou 1 was a two part episode that definitely added a much more epic story set-piece than I ever would have expected. Obviously, if you know what manga chapters are left to be adapted, then you know exactly what’s coming, so it’s safe to say that I’m expecting it to be a bit more epic this time because I too have read the some of the final manga chapters. This season is going to be especially tough because it means the end of my favorite anime series. This is already hot on the heels of Hunter X Hunter ending last season. What a bittersweet year this will be.

 

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Yeah, that is a staggering 22 anime that I’m watching starting next week. This doesn’t alarm me at all. I am more excited for anime than I’ve ever been. The ending of Mushishi, the return of Fate, finally some good looking feudal era anime, and the distinctive likes of Kiseijuu make this season look like one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. I’ve derived all I could based on trailers and information and now it’s time to just wait for the anime to come out and I’ll see you back here with my premiere impressions! Until then, I thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you’re excited for any of the anime this upcoming season. It’s October 1st! Let Fall 2014 begin!

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4 thoughts on “Fall 2014 Anime – What I’m Watching

  1. I am looking forward to the new Fate series. Season two of Psycho Pass is a worry due to the change of studio/writer. Isn’t the new writer from GITS Arise, which has gotten a lukewarm reception? Wicross sounds cool. I’ll check out the two seasons once the story is finalized.

  2. Unlimited blade work isn’t a remake, but rather the second route to the series. There was a movie done by Deen back in 2010. This route focuses on Shiro and Archer – with Rin being the lead. Heavens Feel is the third and last route. And I believe Ufotable are making that in to a movie.

    • Thank you! Being someone who has only seen the anime, I don’t know about all the different routes within each “fate!” And yes, I do know UFOtable is doing a Fate movie about Heaven’s Feel, though I know very little of what that means. 😄
      I will be editing the post, thank you again!

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