So you want to keep up with the talk, you want to be carried along by the roller-coaster that is seasonal anime? Well, you’ve came to the right place. Well, sort of. I actually struggled to find the 5 series’ I was most excited for, a lot of it is either sequels or just shows that I have absolutely nothing to go on but, that’s exactly the reason we gotta pinpoint some anime to look out for. This list is based entirely on my own opinions and what I’m personally looking forward to, in-fact I’m going to be trying to insert my own opinions more so in to future posts from now on. So, my tastes obviously aren’t going to align with everyone else in the world, but hopefully you’ll be able to look forward to something on this list. Without further a-do, let’s continue with number 5. Oh, also, I’ll be using AniChart and MyAnimeList in order to grab information about shows and will only be covering new or sequels of full length shows (OVA’s, Movies and more will be covered at another time).
Number 5! – Cute girls make video games, the second coming
New Game!! – Doga Kobo
Every season we get barraged with a multitude of different shows about cute girls doing cute things, mundane things and general jobs. Well, that doesn’t really sell the genre so well, but it’s obvious how some of these shows can go down rather poorly and others surprisingly fun and entertaining. These shows stand their ground with great character designs, comedic dialogue and lovable characters but when written or directed poorly can be down right un-inspiring. Luckily, “New Game!” was a series that got these areas pretty good. Whilst it was a stretch from perfect, with a slight lack of a strong hook, it was still one of the most enjoyable series of its season. Not a single character in the story lacks a strong design and their interactions are enjoyable for both entertainment and to watch them grow over time (With the exception of one anyway, damn that Nene girl can be irritating). Some of these slice of life shows benefit from the main plot point of the show, such as the sport in a sports anime or the anime production in shows such as Shirobako, but I feel New Game is actually less focused on getting across life in the game industry and just wants to present a fun story of characters struggling together. I imagine the second season will be no different, but if you enjoyed the first it’s definitely something to keep watching. You never know, perhaps they will delve a little deeper in to the gritty world of game design.
Number 4! – How about some of those eye watering ufotable digital effects?
Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu – ufotable
It’s difficult not to get excited about new ufotable shows. Whilst it’s true that they may not all exactly be story telling masterpieces boy are they almost always something you can’t take your eyes off. Katsugeki stands as a story about about the end of the samurai era, and does that sending people from different times in to the past thing. What does that mean? Well, it means we’re going to get to see ufotable animation and digital effects on samurai swords, guns and more. Which, let’s admit it, is an exciting prospect. This particular show, however, doesn’t really have a great track record, it’s got an alternate story named Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru (A show from Spring 2016 that received rather mixed reviews). But at the same time, the original Fate/Stay Night anime also recieved mixed reviews and ufotable picked the franchise up and made it a delightful watch. On top of that, these two shows don’t have too much connection at all – in-fact, the alternate story is getting a sequel of it’s own so I wouldn’t even consider it necessary to judge this show by almost anything that the other has done. But hey, did I mention that we might get to see ufotable animate some samurai?
Number 3! – Forced marriage
Koi to Uso – LIDENFILMS
Well. That’s not a particularly uplifting thing for a show to be about now is it? Koi to Uso is, what looks to be, a full on drama romance. A genre that holds some of the most emotional stories, and I believe this could be that particular story of the season. Although, don’t hold me on that because we all know how hard anime can flop. Forced marriage is a topic that’s often dabbled on in the anime industry, but never can I remember it being the driving force to an entire world in which a show is set in. In this future world, love is not allowed, replaced merely by teenagers being assigned marriage by the government. What’s worse? Everybody simply accepts this. Damn, not greatly motivational. But that is indeed a brilliant set up for some teenage drama like no other, and something I can’t help but look forward to. The art style is also interesting to mention, the characters in this show look like they go for slightly different proportions to most anime and whilst at first that might be jarring, I’m certainly interested to find out whether this can help make the world visually unique. After-all, it may not seem like the sort of genre to do it, but drama is often a place for visually outstanding shows, even if there’s not much movement compared to other genres (Just look at Garden of Words, or literally any show made by KyoAni recently).
Number 2! – Don’t gamble, just watch anime characters do it instead
Kakegurui – Studio MAPPA
Oh I love shows that focus on adult hobbies and the general psychology behind them. I’m pretty sure I could go on about Death Parade for hours on end, but I’ll spare you of that. Imagine taking the world and emotions of the casino and dropping them slap bang in to an academy, and you’ve pretty much got this show. Out of all of the anime I’ve listed here, this show is probably the most likely to go either way – great, or absolutely atrocious. But I’m certainly looking forward to seeing rivalries between the gamblers and really getting inside the head of the characters present. I’m a big ol’ fan of psychological shows, and, if anything, it’s going to be an interesting ride to the genre clash with all the other genres present in this show. If this show can nail everything from the attitude of the characters, to the interactions between them, to the psychological warfare that goes in to gambling, then it’ll be a treat.
Number 1! – Will Monogatari ever end?
Owarimonogatari 2nd Season – Studio Shaft
Yes, actually, it will. But not yet! We’ve still got more monogatari to come, and that comes in the form of Owarimonogatari, a show that has a slightly different tone from the rest of the series. This is probably due to the character Ougi and her rather strange demeanour. The first first season of this arch in the Monogatari franchise had an extremely heavy focus on presenting a detective story, and was almost certainly interesting to follow along as you tried to uncover what exactly was going on with the characters in the story. Not only this, but it’s more Monogatari and who in the world doesn’t enjoy Monogatari? I probably shouldn’t have said that now that I think about it… Nonetheless, Shaft’s work on the franchise so far has been incredible and I’m expecting nothing less from this new series. To be honest, it was a tough decision putting a sequel in the number 1 spot, but the following of this franchise and its previous standout performance makes the Monogatari series as a whole something I think no-one should skip. It’s a show that takes the classic cinematography rule of “as little dialogue as possible” and throws it completely out the window, but is still both visually gorgeous and entertaining to watch. And let’s not understate it, that’s not just a feat of anime, but one of story telling in its entirety.