2008 fall anime season write-up

It’s that time of year again. Trees will shed their leaves, birds will flee to warmer climes – and otaku will barricade themselves in their rooms with ample supplies of Cup Ramen and bottled water.

The fall season is nigh!

Let’s start with the stuff I actually plan to watch, and save the rest for later.

Clannad ~After Story~ picks up where the first season left off, tracking the lives of Nagisa and Tomoya as their relationship continues to develop. (Like many an impatient soul, I’ve already spoiled myself about the ending, but what happens between now and the big finish is still very sketchy to me so I’m just as eager to find out as everyone else.) Sure, I’d rather see KyoAni speed up work on Haruhi 2 than on this sequel to an anime series that ranks among their weaker projects, but with an element of tragedy to spice up the gang’s otherwise mundane exploits in Dangoland I’m game for a second helping.

Just keep Fuuko and her d@#$ed starfish out of the picture.

Clannad ~After Story~ links: official site / Wikipedia / Anime News Network

I’m of two minds about Yozakura Quartet – the manga, that is. On the one hand, the story (up to Volume 2 at least) is one heck of a confusing mess. On the other, it’s got likeable characters and absolutely gorgeous art, along with loads of potential that may yet be realised as more volumes are released. I look forward to watching the anime adaptation in the hope that everything will make more sense on the screen than on the printed page.

And here’s an added bonus: Sawashiro Miyuki plays one of the lead characters. (Not a bonus if you’re not a Sawashiro fan, obviously.)

Yozakura Quartet links: official site / Anime News Network

I missed the first season completely, but while I was subjecting ef – a tale of melodies. to my usual pre-season vetting I settled on the idea of adding both halves of the series to my viewing queue. No special reasons for picking this one up, beyond the fact that the story piqued my interest.

ef – a tale of melodies. links: official site / Wikipedia / Anime News Network

Hyakko could use better character designs, but apart from that I’m looking forward to a great fall comedy. Bonus points to the production team for bringing Hirano Aya on board.

Hyakko links: official site / Wikipedia / Anime News Network

Eve no Jikan caused nary a ripple in my pond when it first came out in July, but thanks to Kitsune’s fall season post my attention was drawn to the brilliantly animated first part of this six-episode ONA. The second installment of the sci-fi tale – which unfolds in a future Japan where humans and androids live side by side – is due for release in October, and you can bet your microprocessors I’ll be waiting eagerly for that one.

Eve no Jikan links: official site / Anime News Network

Now let’s have a look in the dustbin for the series that I don’t plan to watch. But before anyone cries “Foul!”, I should point out that my rubbish sorting procedures were based only on sketchy first impressions and that I dumped the following series in a very nice, hermetically sealed dustbin. If I see anything that changes my mind about any of the items listed below, I won’t hesitate to reach in and pull them back out.

I’ve set out my rationale for rejection next to each title. “No comment” means precisely that – I’ve got nothing to say about that item (at least for now).

Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka – No comment.

Battle Spirits Shounen Toppa Bashin – No comment.

Casshern SINS – No comment.

Chaos;Head – No comment.

Ga-rei-zero – No comment.

Hakushaku to Yousei – On the plus side, I’ve always found Victorian England a strangely fascinating time period (like a tightly laced corset just waiting to burst at the seams). And this series has the brilliant Kyonichigin on the staff list; who can say no to that? But fairies? A cat in a top hat? A quest for a missing sword? Sorry, not interested. (This one’s a borderline case, though; if it gets good word-of-mouth after the first couple of eps I may yet pick it up.)

Hokuto no Ken Raou Gaiden: Ten no Haou – No comment.

Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae – No comment.

Junjou Romantica 2 – Let me make this absolutely clear: no way am I letting any yaoi rubbish pollute my hard drive.

Kannagi – Another borderline case. The character designs look okay and the story is mildly interesting, so there’s a fair chance of this series eventually hopping out of my dustbin.

Kemeko Deluxe! – No comment.

Kurogane no Linebarrel – No comment.

Kuroshitsuji – Sebastian the butler. Never heard that one before.

Kurozuka – No comment.

Kyou no Go no Ni – No comment.

Michiko to Hatchin – No comment.

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Second Season – My taste in anime has evolved and expanded over the years, but one thing hasn’t changed: my all-consuming, admittedly inexplicable hatred of mecha. Pass.

Nodame Cantabile Paris-hen – Ninomiya Tomoko is a great storyteller but I really, really HATE her character designs. Since the anime adaptation is faithful to the manga in that aspect, I’ll have to give this one the thumbs-down. (My advice: go with the live-action adaptation.)

One Outs – “Nobody wins, but I!” That kind of talk makes you a loser in my book, pal.

Rosario to Vampire CAPU2 – No comment.

Shikabane Hime: Aka – No comment.

Skip Beat! – I actually considered picking this one up because it had Inoue Marina-sama on the staff list, and also because I found the story vaguely interesting. But the character designs were a real turn-off (which is pretty much par for the course in the world of shoujo manga adaptations). I’m not writing this off completely, though; good word-of-mouth after an episode or two can lead to a reconsideration.

Tales of the Abyss – No comment.

Tentai Senshi Sunred – No comment.

To Aru Majutsu no Index – No comment.

Toradora! – No comment.

Tytania – No comment.

Vampire Knight Guilty – No comment.

As you might have noticed, there’s a huge imbalance between the number of shows I plan to watch and the number of shows I’m not interested in. Apart from a lack of interest in the dustbinned series, there’s the all-important time factor: the fourth quarter is usually a very busy time for me (work-wise) so I can’t commit to more than four series at the moment. As I learn more about the fall offerings and my schedule settles down I’m all for adding more titles to the viewing queue.

Tip of the hat to THAT Animeblog for assembling the most comprehensive fall catalogue I’ve seen so far, and to Breath of Life for this post’s header image.

UPDATE (25 September 2008): Entry for ‘Eve no Jikan’ added.

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9 Responses

  1. You seem to be taking a reasonable load… though for me, around 10 of them seem interesting since I’ve already touched them with their manga version ><.

  2. This is incomplete list of the series I’ll check out:

    Tytania, Yozakura Shijuusou, To Aru Majutsu no Index, Toradora!, Kurozuka

    I’ll list the reasons later in September when I post about it 🙂

  3. @ffviiknight: If things don’t get too crazy by the middle of the season, I might take on two or so additional series. Any recommendations (based on your manga reads)?

    @Kitsune: I look forward to reading your write-up. Who knows, I might pick up another title or two based on your recs.

  4. I’m keeping my fingers crossed about the Skip Beat anime, though in the end, if it turns out to be mediocre or downright bad, there’s always the manga XD

    Kuroshitsuji piques my interest, though not for the right (and sustainable) reasons.

    And Hakushaku to Yousei, is just… really aesthetically pleasing to my eyes atm. Now once I stop procrastinating and at least read a bit of the novel and find out what it’s really about, we’ll just have to see.

  5. Kannagi seems nothing more than recycled plots and fanservice. Nothing special unless you really like spirit priestesses. Kuroshitsuji is another butler with superhuman abilities, has some shounen-ai hints for his shouta master. Better to watch Kamen no Maid Guy whenever it gets subbed. I need more Fubuki. Rosario+Vampire Da Capo is more fanservice… even more than the first season. Moka’s sister is introduced and she’s interesting… but no so much as Gin’ei who’s the ultimate pervert.

    Kyou no Go no Ni is like watching little children getting corrupted… but in a cute innocent way. I approve.

    To Aru Majutsu no Index is pretty interesting when I’ve read it. However, there’s not enough of the manga around for me to give a solid approval. The main antagonist hasn’t been cleared up yet so it could go either way… but so far, I approve.

    ToraDora! is a win for me. Nothing better than a short tsundere falling in love… and misconceptions thrown all about. I approve.

    Kemeko! Deluxe is random… something about a super suit and protecting some boy… Can’t really describe it. Go forth at your own risk.

    Ga-Rei Zero is going to be another top show on my list. Some might say it’s typical shounen like the next D.Gray-man/Bleach/Naruto but I see it as more. Well, as for now, I approve.

    Kurogane no Linebarrel has mecha. Good or bad… depends on your perspective. Worth checking it out though 🙂

    Good haul… unless they differ from the manga.

  6. @usagijen: Go, read the novel! Then let everyone know what you think. (^_^)

    @ffviiknight: Great write-ups! I’ll keep them in mind when the fall season starts.

  7. “I look forward to reading your write-up. Who knows, I might pick up another title or two based on your recs.”

    October Week 1 completed 🙂

  8. […] month ago, I wrote the following: I’d rather see KyoAni speed up work on Haruhi 2 than on this sequel to an anime series that […]

  9. […] month ago, I wrote the following: I’d rather see KyoAni speed up work on Haruhi 2 than on this sequel to an anime series that […]

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