Fall Anime 2013 Picks

After the abysmal Spring and Summer seasons that were so garbage I only watched two airing series consistently for the past, we return with a fall that's actually...pretty overwhelming. I guess that's cool.  I've been using this new editable site called Anichart to keep up with what series are coming out during what season, and so far it's been pretty useful.  Here's the Fall Chart.  Now, let's take a look, hm?

Tokyo Ravens
  
Tokyo Ravens is a series about a guy from an onmyouji family (think priests/magic users) who's completely powerless and promised his sister as a child that he would become her familiar.  Now off that synopsis, I don't really know what direction they're coming from.  I do know that trailer has a lot of slice-of-life-y elements, and in the worst sort of way, at that.  I'm giving this series a shot because this year has been sorely lacking in action series, but if the aforementioned sister character (or any girl, for that matter), gets too tsundere, I'm out.

Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road

The only thing I know about this is that its part fantasy, and it involves giant robots.  Admittedly, for now, that's all I need to know.

Coppelion

Coppelion is about a group of girls who, after a nuclear explosion ruins Tokyo, enter to search for survivors.  It's not especially my type of series, but I'm giving it a chance.  Strangely enough, a dystopian-type setting isn't my biggest problem.  No, what I'm most annoyed by with Coppelion is that it's being animated by GoHands.  See, GoHands' last anime looked like this.  Those beautiful colors and gorgeous animation just shouldn't go to waste on a universe that's going to be about showing a ruined Earth and a lot of Earth tones.  It just isn't right.


Gaist Crusher


This is that new Capcom DS game (obviously) that's being made into an anime.  It's sad to say, but as I've grown up, I've kinda lost the feel for some of these anime that are designed entirely for kids.  I know I'm supposed to be a fan of Kamen Rider and Super Sentai and all (still am), but there's just something that tends to be lacking from shows like this.  Still, this looks kinda like a new age Ronin Warriors with (hopefully) better animation and (sadly) some CGI type stuff, so I'm going to give it at least five episodes to see what happens with it.  That is, if I can find a person willing to subtitle the thing.   Kiddy shows always have trouble finding subbers to work on them.

Strike the Blood

Here we go with another vampire series.  I'm checking this one out since it seems to eschew romance (which anime tends to do poorly IMO) for more action-y elements (which anime always does well).  At the moment, all I know is that Strike is about that universe's most powerful vampire, and a shaman girl with an anti-vampire spear.  It seems like something that could easily become another "also-ran" action series, but I'm hoping it will surprise me.


Log Horizon

Log Horizon is like Sword Art Online, with the basic premise being thousands of video game players finding themselves trapped in an online world.   As to how it will prove to be "different" from SAO, I don't know yet--it certainly seems to be playing up the comedy much more than the dramatic side of things.  For me it just comes down to me not being willing to give up SAO-type stories just yet.

Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta


Yozakura Quartet is an anime that has made two previous appearances on my chart before, both as TV and OVA series.  I don't know what kind of hold YQ has on Japan, but apparently its a good one, as the series returns this fall for a third time.  Supposedly this is a remake of the original, with even more anime original (filler) added.   Admittedly, the last few times I saw this series it ranged between mind-numbingly boring and "just ok", so I'm still just giving the series a shot off the strength of its premise, that of a group of humans and demons that have become friends and work together to keep their hometown safe.   But if I don't see an immediate difference between this series and the last two, it'll probably end up dropped in the first month.


Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai! (I want to become the Strongest in the World!)

On the one hand, this looks REALLY exploitative.   On the other hand, having seen real wrestling I realize this just isn't all that much different from the real thing.   Basically the story (which the main character actually explains in the PV, but...in Japanese) is about a girl who's a member of an idol group, and after her friend and fellow idol group member gets injured by a pro wrestler, retaliates with a dropkick...and then for some reason then decides to become a professional wrestler.  For this one, I'm just hoping for a lot of humor, mostly.  If they can do that, and not descend into harem shit (no sign of a guy so far), then I'll stick it out.

Unbreakable Machine Doll


Set in a world where magic was discovered by the public and weaponized, Unbreakable Machine Doll is walking that fine line between being good and pissing me off. I feel like the main female is going to be one of those childlike innocent characters shoved into a world that's all "dark and complex".  The only problem is, usually if the main characters lack complexity, your world tends to as well, at least in my opinion.  They drag the story into a bunch of school life crap when you really want to see the cool shit going on outside of it. So this is another series that I'm mostly just testing the waters on to see where it goes.

Gundam Build Fighters


I wanted Gundam: The Origin.  You, if you're a Gundam fan, probably wanted Gundam: The Origin.  But we're not getting Gundam: The Origin this year.  We're getting this.  And after seeing this first trailer?  I'm okay with that.  It looks like they're at least making an attempt to go for a story with action and character development, and to be honest Gundam could use a break from all the colony vs. Earth-type stuff.  I'm definitely down for watching this series for the next 13-26 weeks, and hopefully by March or at least July we'll be able to watch Gundam: The Origin in glorious 1080p.  Don't fuck this up, Sunrise.

BlazBlue: Alter Memory



Fighting games have such colorful universes and characters--its a shame that, with a few exceptions, most of them never get the screen time that lets you learn about them properly.  Fortunately, someone's seen fit to make BlazBlue one of the exceptions to the rule, so it looks like I have at least one over-the-top plot-what-plot action series for the season.  I'm hoping it lasts two-cour just in case Winter leaves me hanging.

Samurai Flamenco

Part of the NoitaminA block (which makes it an anime original, as the trailer says), nobody really knows what Samurai Flamenco is about yet.  It's just a tagline "Heroes will never give up, never hide, never be defeated, and never accept evil."   And right now, that's about all I need to know to give the first episode a try.

Galilei Donna

Set in the year 2061, Galilei Donna is about a group of girls (descendants of Galileo) who come under attack by a secret organization and end up on international wanted lists.  The story synopsis describes this as a "battle action adventure", three of my favorite words when it comes to a description.  (Other favorites include "comedy" and "bunnies" but you can't win 'em all.)   The reason I posted a still shot rather than a promotional video is because the PV was so boring I almost fell asleep watching it, and it was only thirty seconds.  Another NoitaminA series, Galilei Donna has a lot of potential--whether it lives up to it or not remains to be seen, however.

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic 2

Alibaba, Morgiana, and Aladdin return to the airwaves in October with the second season of the popular shonen anime, Magi.  For me, this was one of the better series to air in Fall 2013, one of my favorites right behind JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.  As I understand it they skipped, altered and outright ignored bits from the manga, but since I haven't read the manga I can't get too mad at that.  This is probably hands down the series I'm most excited for, since we didn't get the Stardust Crusaders sequel to JoJo that I was hoping for. 


Pokemon: The Origin


Pokemon: The Origin doesn't quite look to be the Pokemon Adventures anime that everyone, even lapsed Pokemon fans want, but it still looks pretty awesome.  Following Red as he journeys to become a Pokemon master, the special looks like something that will probably end up with a two-cour anime series after they see the enormous popularity of the special.  For now, just enjoy the fact that Pokemon is so huge Production I.G. is doing a special for it.

Aaaand that's all.  There's a Ghost in the Shell: Arise OVA coming out later this year, but I don't like to keep mentioning OVAs unless I have something interesting to say.  14 series isn't a bad pull from a 44 series list, but you've got a long way to go to make up for two seasons of garbage, Japan.  Let's step it up.  Less moe nonsense and more giant robots, superpowers and fantasy epics.


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