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SPRINGPOCALYPSE: Your guide to the anime of Spring 2011

Spring 2011 brings an unprecedented influx of anime series. I haven’t seen numbers like this in my (limited) time as an anime watcher. As far as I can tell, over 30 anime series will air in Spring, and this is EXCLUDING OVAs. Which is why I have termed it SPRINGPOCALYPSE.

SHAFT are doing two shows, and so is Production I.G. With the return of Gintama, Sunrise will also be doing two shows. In fact, Manglobe, Toei Animation, A-1 Pictures and MADHOUSE are all doing two shows. KyoAni returns after a well deserved break after the end of K-ON! Truly, this is SPRINGPOCALYPSE.

Image sourced via moetron, created by cowboybibimbop.

To help you decide what to watch, I’ve separated the shows into the following categories: unique and notable, slice of life and comedy, romance, action and mecha, and one last special category. Not every show is listed here, as I’ve skipped some I don’t think my normal readers will watch. At the end I’ll also be listing what I will probably be watching.

Disclaimer: some of this information may prove to be mistaken or false.
Note: abbreviations for show names are listed in brackets after the title if available.

Unique and Notable

[C] The Money of Soul and Possibility Control – noitaminA

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98BzgNeg3MM

One of your noitaminA shows for this season, it sort of reminds me of Kane Chie Mitame, the manga one-shot Shujin and Mashiro first make in Bakuman.

Japan, on the brink of economic collapse, had to be bailed out by the Sovereign Wealth Fund. But even after this many Japanese citizens are in poverty, and unemployment, crime and suicides are rampant. Kimimaro Yoka is a scholarship student who hopes to escape from the poverty trap and live a good life. However, one day he is offered a large sum of money by a mysterious business man if he promises to pay it back. From there, Kimimaro is lured into the mysterious “Financial District”.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (AnoHana) – noitaminA

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4nrcphjU7k

The other noitaminA is a much happier affair, it seems. It looks like a healing type show, much like Tamayura.

A group of six childhood friends grow apart during high school. Jintan, one of those friends, is a shut-in recluse. He is asked to grant Menma, another of those friends and the only one to not have changed with time, a wish. In order to grant that wish he will have to find and reunite the group of friends.

Hanasaku Iroha

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49YKWxUmCcc

This is a slice-of-life, I believe. 16 year old Ohana Matsumae moves from Tokyo to work at a hilltop hot spring hotel. She and the other teenage girls working there will search for their dreams and decide on their futures over the course of this show.

This is P.A. Works’ 10th anniversary show, so expect something nice. The art, at least, is very nice. Kanae ‘Saten-san’ Itou, Chiaki ‘P-ko’ Omigawa and Aki ‘Yui Hirasawa’ Toyosaki will be voicing main characters.

Moshidora

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2P92VoRYZc

This is a sports anime, with a somewhat funny premise. Minami Kawashima accidentally reads Peter Drucker’s “The Practice of Management”, and using the lessons in that book leads her baseball team to victory.

I’m not interested in sports anime, but I appreciate the brilliance of this concept. Youko Hikasa voices Minami, if you’re interested.

Showa Monogatari

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWaR2De-zvA

A show aimed at seniors and families, this perhaps may not be your slice of pie. Set in 1964, when Japan is hosted the Summer Olympics, it focuses on the dramatic story of the Yamazaki family.

Steins;Gate

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ngiZjmnPgc

The sequel to Chaos;Head and set in Akihabara, expect science fiction and the supernatural, and perhaps a bit of murder.

A group of friends have modified a microwave to be able to send messages into the past. However, an organisation named SERN performing its own time travel experiments becomes interested and attempts to capture the group, who obviously seek to avoid capture.

Hyougemono

A fairly unique show, this would seem. Set during the Senjoku Jidai, the protagonist is Furata Sasuke, a vassal of Oda Nobunaga and one obsessed with tea and materialism. These two desires form the path he takes to have a fortuitous life, called Hyougemono.

Slice-of-Life and Comedy

Nichijou

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD6VdVDVDXI

KyoAni’s next adaptation, and it’s based of another 4koma manga. Unlike K-ON! or Lucky Star though, this one is much more wacky. Set in a school where the principal wrestles deer and robot arms… hide rollcakes (????), the focus is on four girls as they deal with normal (and not-so-normal) school problems in an abnormal school.

Will this be a hit like KyoAni’s previous history of adapted shows? Who knows, but the money is on probably.

A Channel

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8kwqbgBHcg

Actually, maybe downgrade my expectations of Nichijou’s success a bit. This is the other 4koma-based show this season, and while it comes from a relatively new studio (Studio Gokumi), the manga it’s based on looks strong.

Also focused around four girls, we have the reckless baseball bat-wielding Tooru, flighty Run, shy Yuuko and level-headed Nagi. It’s a cast that reminds one of Lucky Star.

Indeed, Kaori Fukuhara, voice of Tsukasa Hiiragi, will be voicing Run. Minako Kotobuki, voice of Mugi from K-ON!, will be voicing Yuuko. Aoi Yuuki, voice of Madoka Kaname, will be voicing Tooru. Finally, newcomer Yumi Uchiyama will voice Nagi.

Maria Holic: Alive

Mariya is just as evil as ever.

Maria Holic returns, no doubt bringing more yuri, fan service, blood loss and gag humour. Really, you’ll know whether to watch this depending on how you liked the first one, and don’t judge that simply on its brilliant OP.

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOBunR-fhIY

SHAFT is not only doing Maria Holic. Denpa Onna focuses on a highschool boy named Niwa Makoto and his weird cousin Touwa Erio. She calls herself an alien, wears a futon mattress around her body, and was found floating on the sea after being missing for half a year.

I think you can safely say this is in SHAFT’s ballpark. Expect the unexpected.

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai (The World God Only Knows) Season 2

TWGOK returns for another season, and it seems we may meet one of Elsea’s comrades. Again, if you’ve watched the first season you’ll likely know whether you’ll want to watch the reclusive geek and ‘Capturing God’ Keima somehow win over girls of all sorts of personalities.

Hidan no Aria

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d03KiqVpBYI

Set in a high school where detectives (Butei) are trained in the use of weapons, protagonist Kinji Tooyama has a special ability that he keeps secret to live a normal life. Unfortunately when he’s caught in a bombing he meets the top ranking Butei in assault studies, H. Aria Kanzaki.

Action wise, this looks to be an intense show, at least that’s what I’ve heard of the manga.

The tsundere goddess Rie Kugimiya will be voicing Aria, meaning you can probably expect Aria to be a tsundere.

Lotte no Omocha!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR0fGoQwS14

In the fantasy world of Alfheimr, succubus princess Astarotte Ygvar is required to form a male harem, because succubi require a special substance to maintain their body, and that substance is only found on males. Yes, it is that substance. However, Ygvar doesn’t like men, and only agrees if a human male is part of the harem (I have no idea how that is logical, but anyway…)

The tsundere goddess Rie Kugimiya will be voicing Ygvar, meaning you can probably expect Ygvar to be a tsundere.

You can also expect lots of ecchi and adult jokes, considering the premise of this show.

Sket Dance

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq64Tw7mZmE

Here we have the adventures of the “Sket-Dan”, aka the “Campus Support Group”, a club devoted to helping fellow students with their problems and improving campus life in general. Since the group hasn’t proved themselves, they are general treated with contempt, and the club only has three members.

Hen Zemi

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lumrfcFCZWg

It’s a show about perverts. Seriously. Matsutaka Nanako is enrolled in her university’s Abnormal Physiology seminar, where she finds all the other students are perverts in their own ways. This is apparently an experiment on the part of the professor, hence the name of the seminar.

An OVA is already out, so watch that to see if this interests you.

Romance

Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai (OreTsuba)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jARC6Yw5Ku4

Based on a visual novel by Navel (Shuffle!), there isn’t much description about the show other than a group of people whose paths cross in the winter. From MAL:

A big city filled with people and buildings. It is now winter. When you look up, there is the cold white sky. Young people with anxiety. Love. This is just a story you can find anywhere.

Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc6X4OZ-FpE

Hoshino Kazuma moves to a small town in the countryside, and on his first day at school he accidentally kisses Ui Nakatsugawa, which is witnessed by Ui’s friend Ibuki Hyuuga.

I think you get the picture from that.

Sekaiichi Hatsukoi

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zr5vTcsfQfY

This is a boys love show, but I’ll describe it anyway. Ritsu Onodera is transferred to the shoujo manga division of a company, where he meets the editor-in-chief Masamune Takano, who promptly kisses him. Takano turns out to be Ritsu’s high school love, who dumped him after he confessed.

Action and Mecha

Ao no Exorcist

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K50O2bLE66k

Your go-to Shounen show of the season, Ao no Exorcist focuses on Rin Okumura, a boy raised by a famous exorcist. After a fight between the two, Rin finds out he is actually the son of Satan, who created him in order to obtain the only object that can contain Satan. Considering that Rin was raised by an exorcist, this is probably not going to turn out the way Satan planned.

Dog Days

A Republic (of Biscotti) is facing invasion by Knights of some foreign order. In order to protect the Republic, Princess Milchore summons a hero from the ‘outer world’. This hero is, as is typical in these cases, a high school boy from Earth named Shinku Izumi.

Judging from the preview art, there is high probability that Izumi will gather a harem of girls to fight by his side.

Deadman Wonderland

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg7pG40FoI8

Couldn’t find a PV, so here’s Tokyopop’s trailer for the manga.

Ganta Igarashi is falsely convicted of a crime and is sent to a new privately-owned prison where gladiatorial battles take place between inmates. Supernatural powers will make an appearance, but how and in what form I do not know. There is also a mysterious girl.

Appleseed XIII

Another adaptation of Appleseed, which has already recieved an OVA and two CG animated feature films, one of which was produced by John Woo. This time Production I.G. have been given the reins, so this might be one to watch.

A plot synopsis for the uninitiated: this mecha show focuses on female human Deunan Knute and cybernetic warrior Briareos Hecantochires as they defend their home as part of ESWAT.

TIGER&BUNNY

Sunrise will be airing this on TV and popular video streaming site Ustream. But the main gimmick of this show is “Character Placement”, which allows Sunrise to place sponsor’s logos onto the characters.

Capitalism in action. And you thought Houkago no Pleiades was the definition of anime commercials.

Toriko

The second season of this show about a man who hunts for the rarest ingredients from dangerous monsters that are required by the finest dishes in the world, accompanied by one of the best chefs in the world (though he is weak and timid).

No… Just No

30-sai no Hoken Taiiku

An adaptation of a book that teaches 30 year old men about how to date women and the birds and the bees. Yes, this is an instructional anime that teaches you how to engage in congress, if I can put it that way.

My Tentative Watch List

I have locked in the following shows:

  • A Channel
  • Nichijou
  • OreTsuba
  • AnoHana
  • TWGOK season 2
  • Maria Holic season 2

Both 4koma-based shows are on there because I like these types of slice-of-life shows. I like the look of OreTsuba. And AnoHana looks like a good healing-type story.

I will also be watching TWGOK and Maria Holic, since I liked the first season of both of these.

[C], Hanasaku Iroha, Denpa Onna, Hoshizora and Appleseed XIII I’ll also be considering. If [C] is too dark, I may drop it, but right now it’s looking good. Production I.G. working on Appleseed also piques my interest.

General Recommendations

Really, it’s hard to tell what to recommend right now. I’m not very familiar with the works that were adapted this season apart from Appleseed and Steins;Gate.

Both noitaminA shows look strong (as usual). C has quite an interesting, if dark, premise, while AnoHana looks like it may offer a lighter and much more heartwarming/feel good story. Hanasaku Iroha also looks like a good bet if you like AnoHana.

If you like slice-of-life and 4koma, I think it’s hard to go wrong with either Nichijou or A Channel, though if you prefer less supernatural antics in your 4koma go with A Channel.

If you like mecha, Appleseed is your best bet. Sunrise’s TIGER&BUNNY doesn’t seem too attractive, considering the gimmick of plastering sponsor logos on their characters.

Those looking for harems, tsunderes and comedy will be most delighted this season. We have two characters voiced by Rie Kugimiya who are probably tsunderes. There are four shows that will most likely have harems. And there’s a lot of comedy in both the rom-coms and the slice-of-lifes.

OVA Madness

The fun doesn’t end there, because this is SPRINGPOCALYPSE, and OVAs are also coming out by the boatload. In terms of OVA’s with previous TV series, we have Air Gear, Asobi ni Iku yo!, Shukufuku no Campella, Kaichou wo Maid-sama, High School of the Dead, Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, Seitokai Yakuindomo and Amagami SS.

(Yes, more BakaTest before season 2 starts! More SYD! And finally, Miya’s arc in Amagami!)

Hen Zemi and Nichijou, both Spring animes, will also be getting OVAs in Spring.

We of course get the third installment of Gundam Unicorn in March.

xxxHOLIC will be getting an OVA, coming with what I believe is the last or second last volume of the manga, which CLAMP ended recently.

If you are looking for something new, Koe de Oshigoto! is an OVA only series that features girls who do the voices in eroges. Might be comedic.

Conclusions

If I die from this much anime, I will be sad not to have been able to watch Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu season 2. But seriously, this truly is a SPRINGPOCALYPSE of anime.

2 replies on “SPRINGPOCALYPSE: Your guide to the anime of Spring 2011”

AIR GEAR FUCK YEAH THEY NEED A SECOND SEASON FOR THAT SERIES.

AND FUCK YES APPLESEED MY CRIES FOR MECHA HAS BEEN ANSWERED.

and respect for noitaminA, 2 shows I’ll be watching there.

and i’ve lost my anime momentum – at this rate, my backlog’s only going to get bigger, and not smaller =(

Well, now that we’re well into the season, I must say that there are two shows which have thoroughly impressed me. For one, Hanasaku Iroha. It’s pretty standard slice of (DRAMATIC!) life, but the production values must be insane, since the background art in this show is some of the best I’ve seen in a TV series for a while. The other is Tiger & Bunny. Don’t write it off just because it’s capitalism at its best (I think Sunrise learnt a lot off Code Geass and PizzaButt) – this show has (im)mature characters (hell, the main guy has a daughter already), a lively setting (partially due to CAPITALISM, HO!), and best of all, power suits.

Also, your preview seems to be missing a random gag show called yondemasu yo, azazel-san. it’s a pretty funny gag show; good for a quick 12 minutes of laughs a week.

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