Winter Anime 2013 Picks

Woo!  New year, new anime season.  Unfortunately, its not as ridiculously awesome as Fall’s, but I’ve still managed to find a few decent ones amongst the pile.  So, without further ado, here’s your chart:

And, here are the picks:

AKB0048 Next Stage

What It’s About: In the beginning of the 21st century, a world war breaks out over interplanetary travel tech. The environment is pretty much destroyed so mankind leaves Earth, settling on other planets, and starts Star Calendar 00.

Entertainment and songs become heavily regulated and eventually banned on several planets due to their power to move people, but a brave idol group puts on guerrilla performances in these systems in the name of a famous act from earlier times that sang to Earth's bitter end, AKB48. Famous throughout the galaxy, the group's name is AKB0048.

This story centers around a group of girls from various planets, some where entertainment is banned and some, where it is not, striving to become great idols and join AKB0048.
Therefore, they participate in the entrance exam and eventually become undergraduates, aiming to someday succeed the current members of the group. (Crunchyroll)

Why It’s Interesting: See, this could’ve easily been an iDOLM@STERclone.  But enter Kawamori Shouji, who refused to give us just another moeblob anime with a few songs thrown in to sell some CDs.  Instead we got AKB0048, a series set in the far future where mankind has colonized space and the girls are apart of a guerilla fighting/singing group to bring hope to the galaxy.   WTF ISN’T cool about this?!  I watched the first episode of the previous season last year, and I was blown away by the art style and overall quality of the show--as expected, Kawamori didn’t half-ass it.  It had the proper gravitas for the setting it chose, but didn’t feel completely hopeless.  Its a world that’s definitely not perfect but its one worth fighting for and one in which you truly want to see the girls succeed in.   I’ve got to finish the first season of this but I’m definitely looking forward to this one as well.

Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun

What It’s About: Five years ago, almost every villager of Ootsuka died due to a tragic plague. But mysteriously enough, three survivors: a girl and two boys, emerged. Now living in a church, the three live in isolation, hidden from those who may seek to find them. Shino, one of the survivors, has control over the power of Murasame, the blade of life. But when the imperial church seeks to take the Murasame for themselves, their peaceful life becomes a thing of the past...

Why It’s Interesting: Every season I pick a 12-13 episode anime that seems somewhat action-oriented and all dark/mysterious and full of “meaning”.  Sometimes they turn out decent (Amatsuki), sometimes they turn out crap (Brave 10).   The bottom line is I like to give any action series that sounds like it will let the main character live to finish it out a shot, so I’ll give it a watch.

Love Live! School Idol Project

What It’s About: Otonokizaka High School stands on the border of three cities: Akihabara – a pop culture mecca that's evolving by the minute; Kanda – a conservative, cultured city where history and tradition reign supreme; and Jinbo – a quiet area reserved for a more mature, sophisticated population. Amidst this culture clash, the school now faces closure due to the enrollment of fewer and fewer students.

With the school planning to close within three years, nine female students come together with one thing in mind—form a pop idol group to revive the school's popularity and keep it from shutting down. "In order to protect our beloved school, there's only one thing we can do...become pop stars!"

Their goal is simple: Become an overnight sensation and use their nationwide media exposure to promote their school and bring in a wave of new students to the ailing area. A simple but solid plan, they figure. Naturally, they're nervous and wonder if this plan can really succeed, but for better or worse their new journey has begun...

"All we can ask for is just a tiny bit of support from you. We truly believe that with your help, we can change the world around us. We will make our dreams come true!" (Source: NIS America)

Why It’s Interesting:
This is my "WTH why not" pick.  This anime has been in the works since like, sometime in 2010 when they first did the music video I linked above.   It’s a joint project between animation studio Sunrise and recording company Lantis, which is the same company Queen Masami Okui is signed to.  On some level that’s probably the only reason I’m giving it a shot, but who knows?  It might be good.

Zettai Karen Children Unlimited: Hyobu Kyousuke

What It’s About: A spin-off series based on the popular anime/manga Zettai Karen Children.

Why It’s Interesting: This is basically an attempt on my part to branch out beyond what I normally watch.  This series is a prequel based on the primary villain on ZKC, and if you’ve been following JiH for any amount of time, you know I HATE the villain.  And I have no attachment to the Zettai Karen Children universe to want to watch this.  But it looks interesting, and I can give it at least 24 minutes, if not its full season.

Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman

What It’s About: The story takes place in Kyoto in the late 19th century. Manjiro has two faces. During the day, he works as a helper for people in Kyoto, but he also acts in secret to get back people's properties from the men in power. As the get-backer "Roman," Manjiro is getting involved in a nationwide conspiracy.

Why It’s Interesting: So, if you saw the PV, I’ll just go ahead and say what you’re thinking: “This is just Lupin in the past!”   And if you had any doubts about that, at the beginning it tells you the lead designer is Monkey Punch, the creator of Lupin.  The only difference between “Roman” and “Lupin” (their names even sound similar) is that Roman gets things back that were stolen and Lupin steals.   Oh, and Roman’s got a beard.  Still, the music is pretty cool and it looks like it could be a fairly good comedy.  I liked the Fujiko series they did last year, and its not like the Lupin series isn’t apart of my “childhood” so I kind of enjoy seeing it get updated for a modern audience like this.  I’ll give it a shot.


What It’s About: Satan Rechimedes returns to the earth after being sealed for one thousand years by a hero. The King tries to seal Satan once again by dispatching descendants of the hero. However, it's troublesome to find the genuine descendants, the king chooses 75 hero-like people. This is an adventure of Alba, the hero No.45, and an his monitoring fighter Ross.  (Source: MAL)

Why It’s Interesting: Everyone, can you say “Parody Anime”?  I knew you could.  If Ixion Saga was a parody of MMO fantasy worlds, then Senyuu. looks to be a parody of fantasy anime, straight up.  So, let’s see if it’s funny.

Vivid Red Operation

What It’s About: An original sci-fi action anime featuring a 14-year-old girl. The story takes place in a peaceful island filled with nature and technology. (MAL)

Why It’s Interesting: First off, allow me to apologize for that terrible synopsis.  It came from my usual source, MyAnimeList.  I’m sure it’ll be overhauled after the first or second episode airs and this series has tons of fans. 

I’d like to say the whole thing will make more sense if you watch the PV, but it doesn’t.  What I know is this is a new series animated by Aniplex and A-1 Pictures.  The director is Kazuhiro Takamura (from Strike Witches, which I already have no love for) and the script is by Hiroyuki Yoshino who’s got far too many credits to name but I’ll just point out that he’s done Guilty Crown AND Macross Frontier.  Make of that what you will.  Right now I’m just thinking Rinne no Lagrange, except with more butt shots.  Except these characters are all 14 so that makes me uncomfortable.    This is one of those “prove yourself in 3 episodes or I drop you” choices.

Beast Saga

What It’s About: Beast Saga takes place on a distant planet in our galaxy called Beast where three beast tribes, the Sea Tribe, the Land Tribe, and the Sky Tribe, fight for their honor. Each of the tribes protect an infinite elemental power source called Godlot. (Source: ANN)

Why It’s Interesting: Most likely this will be some kid’s show type deal.  Think the equivalent of Digimon or Bayblades.  But I don’t know, something about the art and the idea really appeals to me.  I want to give it a chance.  Who knows? It might be good.   It’s got the director from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s (Katsumi Ono) though, so that gives me hope.

Alright, that’s it.  Whew!  That’s a lot of series considering a month or two ago I was basically thinking there wouldn’t BE a Picks list.   Now, coming up shortly is your New 52, Corrected update.  Happy New Year everyone!


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