A new season is upon us and that means a new set of shows to decide whether they're worth watching or not. It's a harrowing debate four times a year and I'm going to let you in on my thoughts of the new shows that are airing (I figure you won't watch the old shows unless you're already invested).
I'll be splitting this up into ridiculously vague and, being that I've not seen any of them, probably wildly inappropriate, categories which will be Fantasy, Post-Singularity, School, Sports, Superpowers, The Rest and Shorts. If I'm really on the ball I'll even update this page with links as and when they start appearing on streaming sites.
You want mediaeval kitsch and maybe a bit of monsters and magic? This is the place to be.
Log Horizon: 30,000 gamers are trapped in an RPG and other things that sound just like Sword Art Online. Ofcourse, Sword Art Online was the shiznat, so it might be worth giving it a shot
Outbreak Company: A die-hard otaku is whisked away to a fantasy realm where he is tasked with teaching moe. I don't even know where to begin with this one. Definitely worth a first episode.
Walkure Romanze: Shoujo Kishi Monogatari or Valkyrie Romance: Girl Knight Story: I'm having trouble working out if this jousting tournament anime is going to be fantasy or sports. Then again, it's from the minds that brought us Princess Lover so the more accurate description is probably "beautiful women attempting to penetrate each other with huge shafts". Expect magical censorship fog.
This may or may not be after an apocalypse but it's definitely the future and the world is definitely a different place.
Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova: Global warming + alien attack = water world with space ships. There's a lot to be said for that premise and it looks like it's going to be a serious one with politics and massive battles and all that fun stuff you enjoy.
BlazBlue: Alter Memory: If the Street Fighter movie has taught me anything it's that nothing but good things can come from fighting games being adapted into proper stories. At the very least we can expect some decent action.
Coppelion: 20 years after a nuclear disaster three high school girls are sent to search Tokyo for whatever may remain of the population. Why would you send teenage girls for that? I'm sure they have their reasons. Reasons I would like to know.
Kyousogiga: This one has already been a set of OVA but I'll accept it as being new because these things tend to reboot or at least change radically when they get a TV series (I may be wrong). If memory serves, the OVA were pretty messed up and a lot of fun with a whole load of virtual world that makes no sense so I'll be sticking around to see how well memory serves.
Unbreakable Machine-Doll: Revenge story about a guy with a living puppet going to high school in a world where magic is weaponised. Also, fan service.
I remember one season in which all but two of the shows out could be considered school shows. This list is not comprehensive.
Golden Time: I'm having trouble working this one out. It seems to be somebody with amnesia entering law school and finding somebody who doesn't have amnesia but doesn't much know what they're doing there either. Me, I'm happy to see law and romance together so I'll stick with it.
Nagi No Asu Kara: It's a school, it's underwater, for some reason everybody isn't fish. Screw it, the people in the poster look like they're having far too much fun for me to not watch this.
Non Non Biyori: Little girl moves to the countryside to a town so remote that there are only five kids in the entire school. I'm a sucker for fish out of water making friends type pap so I'm all over this. That and it's pretty much the same setting as Higurashi, so there's a hope that somehow this delightful comedy is going to go completely nut bar and kill everybody (it won't, but we can hope).
Tesugare! Bukatsu-mono: Seriously, this is just kids at school being at school. Nothing more to it. It's also computer animated using the same tools as Straight Title Robot Anime, which I loved at times and found boring at others. Hopefully this will be able to do more of the love (though so far the internet seems to be predicting bad things, not that it matters because I can't even find a trailer available in the UK, so not much hope for the show itself).
You know how sports are actually really boring if you're not a fan? Turns out they're just presented wrong. Welcome to the wonderful world of sports anime.
Ace of Diamond: It's been a while since we had a straight up sports anime that was just the right amount of ridiculous. I had high hopes for Knight in the Area but it failed to deliver. Hopefully this will do better and be all sorts of inspirational.
Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!: Professional wrestling? Are we seeing the return of Ultimate Muscle? Only if Ultimate Muscle was about beautiful women wearing very little clothing and grappling each other. This is going to go exactly how you imagine it will (so much like real life female professional wrestling).
Yowamushi Pedal: Onoda just wants to be a geek but then somebody from the road cycling club spots him riding a heavy old bike up a hill and decides he must be a natural cyclist. I do love it when shows start like that. This can go one of two ways, either he'll be forever useless, perhaps getting by through happy accidents, or he'll magically become the world's greatest cyclist. I'll be staying tuned to find out.
They might be psychics, wizards or just good ol' fashioned martial artists, but these shows are about characters who have something out of the ordinary about them.
Kyoukai no Kanata: Human/spirit hybrids discovering that the world's a crazy place. One has wolverine healing, the other has blood manipulation powers. Actually, let's just leave it at blood manipulation powers because we all know where that goes.
Noucome/Ore no Nōnai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Come o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru/My Mental Multiple-Choice Power Is Completely Ruining My School Romantic Comedy: Don't you love ridiculously long titles? From what I can work out, this looks like it's going to be a show about a person whose life is literally a dating sim. Like Date A Live but without the massive battles and with more hilarity. Sign me up.
Samurai Flamenco: Do I need to tell you what this is about? Surely a name like that deserves watching regardless. That it's a Noitamina show should seal the deal. If you're still wondering, it appears to be Kick-Ass in that it's a guy with no powers deciding to become a superhero.
Strike The Blood: For some reason the government are sending a wizard to take out a vampire and there's a "sword shaman" involved. Sounds like shit's about to get real. I'll grab the popcorn.
Seiyuu Sentai Voicetorm 7: This will almost certainly be impossible to find anywhere but it's a visual comic, that is to say that it's not actually animated at all. Like Rhubarb and Custard if it were better drawn and about a voice actor team of power rangers. No, really.
Tokyo Ravens: The son of a magical family has no magic so is enjoying life as a regular person. Then things start going on and he has to abandon all that and get stuck in. Could be pretty awesome.
Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku o Ketsui Shimashita/I, Who Didn't Become a Hero, Reluctantly Decided to Find a Job: Every generation has a hero who will defeat the demon lord. When the demon lord is defeated before the Hero is born then the hero has to get a regular job. And then the demon lord's daughter turns up to get a job at the same place. Sounds like an inverted Hataraku Maou-sama and that was awesome so I'm all over this.
A more organised me could probably have made definite categories for all these shows but the me that exists gave up and just left the rest of them here.
Diabolik Lovers: The daughter of a priest moves into some sort of student housing where the inhabitants are all beautiful, male vampires. You know how there looked like there were a lot of scantily clad women this season? Turns out this season's going to be equal opportunities.
Gaist Crusher: Humanity starts mining gaimetal, creatures start attacking that are covered in gaimetal and I get to watch a show which I will intentionally mispronounce until the end of the time. Seems to be effectively a giant robot show but not technically robots but the effect is much the same.
Galileo Donna - storia di tre sorelle a caccia di in mistero: Somebody's after the three descendants of Galileo for some reason and they have to work out why. Once again, it's Noitamina so we can have faith that it will be suitably awesome.
Gingitsune: The daughter of a shrine priest is the only person who can see the shrine's spirit. When I watch a film I'm willing to give anything with time travel a pass, when I watch anime I'm willing to give anything with yokai a pass. Yokai + slice of life, however, means that this could very easily become my favourite show of the season. It's yours to lose, Gingitsune.
Meganebu!: I saw you all getting riled up when i suggested that Diabolik Lovers was enough beautiful man service to make up for all the T&A flying about this season. But you forgot that there's a show entirely dedicated to letting women with a glasses fetish get their rocks off. And by get their rocks off I mean enjoy the day to day life of pretty boys in glasses.
Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road: This was meant to be a giant robot show made by Gainax back in 2005. It is no longer 2005 and it is no longer made by Gainax, but it had a promising start so we owe it the benefit of the doubt (even though it's likely to have been ruined by years in development hell).
Pupa: A lovely story about a boy and his little sister. His little sister who occasionally transforms into a horrible beast and eats people. What's that? You'd been running out of creepy horror shows to watch and Yamishibai's not long enough? Have at it.
Short shows are awesome because they take up no time and they're almost certainly not going to get boring.
Super Seisyun Brothers: There are brothers… being brothers. I dunno what to tell you.
Miss Monochrome: Horie Yui has a cartoon alter ego called Miss Monochrome which she uses for concerts and games and stuff. Now that character has its own show about wanting to make everything black and white. Behold the power of fandom.
These are the things I'll be watching which are either continuations of old shows or they're standalones.
Magi: Second season of one of the most unapologetically shounen shows you'll ever know. The first season had its slow moments but when it was on it was amazing. I just hope they bring back the original OP
Kuroko No Basuke: Everybody's favourite basketball anime and by everybody's I mean mine. Will Kuroko ever actually learn to play basketball instead of just being a creepy ninja? Only one way to find out.
Chihayafuru OVUM: OVA are dangerous because they sometimes just pick up from the manga and make no sense at all. That said, this is Chihayafuru and Chihayafuru is one of my favourite shows of all time because battle poetry card game.
Free! Specials: The series is over so it must be time for the DVDs with their special episodes. We wouldn't want you to miss out on all that manly torso, after all.
Senyuu 2 Special: Senyuu's hilarious and it's short so you could entirely pack in whatever you're doing right now and just watch both seasons of it. Once you've done that you could watch the special (it probably won't make sense either way).
Genshiken Nidaime OVUM: Genshiken was fantastic and its sequel, despite the new cast and pretty different subject matter was also great so this will definitely be on my list.
Wakamote OVUM: Watamote is a mirror into your dark nerd soul and you love it.
There we have it. Until they're out, I'm off to see what else is on.