With the new year comes a new anime season, and thanks to the great lineup I had the pleasure of viewing last fall, I can’t help but brace for disappointment this coming winter. There doesn’t look to be as many heavy hitters this season, and out of the six shows I’ve been eyeing so far, only two of them can be considered safe bets. Still, I’d like to share with you my plans for this season and leave myself open to suggestions, as I’m also looking for an anime to review episodically. Hopefully this winter works out well for me, because I’m basically taking four shots in the dark. But on the bright side, if things don’t work out, I still have a vast backlog to dip into.
While I wasn’t incredibly impressed with season one, I certainly wasn’t disappointed either. Konosuba was a bright, playful, parody of typical “trapped in another world” fantasies, one that utilized a fairly loose animation style with a comedic sort of “blobification” when it came to illustrating franticness in a character. The cast is a real motley crew and their relationship with each other is dysfunctional to say the least. There’s barely any character development because the show’s primary focus is comedy, and so when characters are introduced, what you see is what you get (for a while, anyway). And that was really my only issue with it, but part of that just goes to show how dedicated it is to the bit. It’s basically a rejection of the harem trope in fantasy anime, because the main protagonist in this series has three girls around at almost all times, but none of them actually like him. In fact, every character has at least one annoying quirk, and those quirks basically define them as characters. Anyway, it was a fun show with lots of slapstick and explosions, and I’m definitely down for some more.
Little Witch Academia
Another (sort of) sequel this season, coming from a pair of delightful short films. Many people refer to this series as Harry Potter: The Anime, and if I were to give you the briefest description I could, I’d call it that too. But really, from what’s been shown so far, the only thing this show really has in common with the Harry Potter franchise is “magic” and “school”. Other than that, I’d say Little Witch Academia is far more light hearted and comedy oriented, and has yet to offer any sign of a sinister, overarching narrative where the fate of the wizarding world rests in Atsuko’s hands. The closest to Harry Potter has gotten to this series would’ve been the first movie, and if you removed the really dark and foreboding parts out of it, then it would be a pretty apt comparison. All that aside, this should be a great time as studio Trigger has already proven itself capable of pulling out all the stops when it wants to.
Here’s a rom-com with a fairly unique premise. As a child, the protagonist was bullied heavily by a pretty girl because of his weight. Years later he it turns out he took that torment to heart and work hard at getting in shape for his high school debut. It’s there that runs into the same girl, and so he decides to build a relationship with her, only to break her heart after he makes her fall for him. Now, my intuition’s telling me this is going to be generic and terrible. I can see an end just by reading that, where the guy ends up actually falling for her but she finds out about his evil plan and is disgusted, and then he has to find a way to make it up to her, but there are also other girls that have fallen for him and he’s just going neglect them because they’re not the main girl, so they basically don’t matter. But fuck it, I’ll roll the dice on this one anyway. How awful could it be?
Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club
From now on, I’m just going to refer to this show as “Girls Gone Bike” because that title is a mouthful. Oddly enough, MAL lists this show as shounen, but from the PV I watched it seems more slice of life than anything else. In the trailer, the protagonist is shown learning how to ride a bike, which makes me assume this isn’t going to be the kind of impassioned competition series that are typical in shounens. Besides, there’s already Yowamushi Pedal, so why would this show want to go up against that? Basically, what attracted me to this anime was just an odd personal longing to go biking again. Sadly, winter prevents me from doing that right now, so this anime will hopefully be the next best thing. I also really liked the OP and ED.
A story about “hopeless crushes”. The PV revealed almost nothing about this anime, which is fine by me, I’d rather not be spoiled by anything. What’s really nice is that this show comes with the added benefit of have the manga available on Crunchyroll, so if I actually like it and the season is left un-ended, I’ll have something to fall back on. The thing with this, and every anime on this list that aren’t the first two is: I’m not familiar with the director. Last season I took a chance with Flip Flappers, and for the most part I was thoroughly impressed. So that got me into a little bit more of an adventurous spirit, and now, with such an empty looking winter (in terms of things I’m familiar with), I figured why not try some new things? Of course, they’re all still high school based, and mostly involving some sort of romance, so I guess I’m not really reaching too far.
Here’s another one that I don’t really know a damn thing about. But when I read this part of its synopsis, I couldn’t help but be intrigued: “Yuu Haruna just moved into town and loves to use Twitter”. I love Twitter too! This must be the anime for me. Apparently it’s a high school drama romance as well. The PV left me really nothing to go off of, so here’s hoping for another pleasant surprise.
I know this wasn’t the most insightful post, but I really wanted to log these and maybe put these out there as candidates for my next episodic review series. I’m not very good at choosing what new anime to focus on, so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them. By next midweek I should have a show chosen and episode 1 reviewed. Thanks for reading.