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