The fall season is just a few weeks from closing off, and this is probably the closest I’ve cut things as far as doing season previews are concerned. Thanks in no small part to a busy schedule and the influx of anime to watch and discuss, I’ve put off doing a preview for quite some time now, but today, I’m mostly done everything for this term, so there’s been a little bit of time to step back and see what’s happening in the Winter 2015 anime season. Owing to a shift in my logistics for this year’s winter holidays, I’ll be doing final talks for Sora no Method, Sword Art Online II and Amagi Brilliant Park after the new year kicks off. Similar to last winter, there are a handful of shows I’ll be following, and below is a mostly-complete listing of the Winter 2015 offerings.
- Even with a retina display, reading the text from this level is going to be a pipe dream. Fortunately, I’ve the presence of mind to link to the original resolution chart, which is some seven megabytes in size and optimised for 1080p displays. As per usual, my watching habits could change without notice, and I may wind up picking up extra/dropping shows before the three-episode mark has passed. With that being said, let’s do this!
A cursory glance at the chart shows that Kantai Collection, Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata, Absolute Duo, and Aldnoah.Zero‘s second season have my eye. I’ve been hearing about Kantai Collection since last September, and have been looking forwards to a naval version of Strike Witches and Girls und Panzer. The game itself is wildly popular, but I’ve never really understood the appeal beyond “anthropomorphic battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy” (I’m a fan of the US Navy). The anime, on the other hand, looks to be something that’s meant to be enjoyed, and while discussions elsewhere turn to the technical, I’ll try to focus on enjoying the show for its character dynamics and combat choreography. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (How to Train the Ordinary Girl to be a Heroine) looks to be an anime about building a visual novel, and Absolute Duo is supposed to be a comedic harem type anime. I understand that Aldnoah.Zero‘s first season ended on a disappointing note, but out of my own curiosity to finish it, I’ll take this one up as the Winter season’s “serious anime”. Because the premise is already known, there’s no real need to give it its own section, and I’m personally hoping that how they reintroduce things will at least make some sense without depending on something outrageous. Beyond the shows, there’s also the Bokura Wa Minna Kawaisou and Tari Tari OVAs; the former will release later this month and be reviewed somewhere in the new year (hopefully, before mid-January has passed), latter should have released yesterday, and I’m hoping that the BD will feature a HD version of it, because Tari Tari is something that was meant to be watched in 1080p, rather than 480p.
The story is set in a world where humanity has lost control of the seas to the threat known only as the “deep sea fleet”. The only ones who can counter the “deep sea fleet” are the Kan-musume (warship girls), who possess the spirit of naval vessels harking back to an older era. Stationed at the naval base Chinjufu, many various Kan-musume have gathered to live together, working hard everyday in training and improving other aspects of their daily life. One day, a Kan-musume arrives at Chinjufu. Named Fubuki, she is a special class of destroyer, and her arrival sets in motion the story that will be told in Kantai Collection.
- As previously noted, I am not a fan of Kantai Collection the game because of the exceptionally steep learning curve, and the fact that it takes the sort of effort that would earn people the Nobel Prize to master. Games shouldn’t require its players to have a notebook and calculator out to enjoy properly, nor should they require players spend a good 25 hours a day (that’s not a typo: from what I’ve heard, playing the game properly requires a heck of a lot of grinding and planning). On the other hand, the anime’s not going to require too much effort to watch, and from the premise, looks to be similar to Strike Witches minus the pantsu and with ships taking the place of aircraft. My über-micro also tells me that Kaga will be my favourite character. for bearing a great deal of similarity to Tari Tari‘s Sawa Okita.
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
Tomoya Aki is an otaku who works part-time to earn money to buy anime. One day during spring vacation, he meets a beautiful girl, and not more than a month later, he finds out that the girl is his classmate, Megumi. Tomoya is told that she is hardly noticed by the other classmates. Tomoya, who also has no special skills or abilities, decides to write a visual novel. Enlisting Eriri Spencer Sawamura, a well-known member of the Art Club to provide the art for the game and Utaha Kasumigoaka to write the game scenario, Tomoya kicks off Blessing Software, whose goal is to sell their game at the next Comiket.
- Shirobako‘s still going to be rolling come the new year, but here’s an anime about making games. This concept was explored in brief back during OreImo, but it’s going to be fun to see some quasi-game development, and before I get lampooned for using the quantifier “quasi”, I feel that visual novels are more story-driven, depending mostly on good writing above graphics and performance to be successful. As such, I consider them to be interactive books rather than full-on games. With that said, I nonetheless look forwards to seeing how it goes for them: from the premise, their goal of publishing software is not dissimilar to the experience I had over the summer. I look most forwards to seeing what software they use for their project.
The story begins with Blaze — a weapon that is the manifestation of a human’s soul. Tōru Kokonoe happens to be qualified for this, but for some reason his Blaze is not a weapon, but a shield. Moreover, he enrolled in a school that teaches combat skills, and thanks to the school’s Duo partner system, he ends up living with a beautiful silver-haired girl.
- Absolute Duo looks like it’s set in a European setting, and after GochiUsa, I’ve taken a liking to this particular setting. The premise seems to be setting up for a comedy of sorts, as well as fanservice elements, and lastly, has magic involved. While these elements are all familiar, I’m curious to see how all of these fit together, so I’ll be checking it out. Something tells me that I may pick up additional shows that aren’t being covered by other blogs, but only time will tell. For the present, though, the three new shows, plus the massive backlog I’ve got (including Psycho-Pass and Nagi no Asukara) ought to keep me busy until the Spring 2015 season arrives, and though I’ll say it again later, the Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan is something I’ve looked forwards to for a very, very long time. This might be the one anime I do weekly reflections on during the course of its run.