A mere two months after the Fall 2013 anime preview was listed, the winter 2014 preview is now out. We casually note that the fall season hasn’t even begun yet, and at present, my mind is on anything other than the Winter 2014 offerings, including what is to air in a few days, as well as coursework and applications that will act as stepping stones into employment and of course, Battlefield 4: having confirmed my GPU will run the game at 1080p on high settings, I look forward to its release and may opt to buy a physical copy as the opportunity presents itself. However, for the present, I apologise to people looking up Winter 2014 anime and getting stuck with my 2013 previews here: here is the poster of the shows that will be expected to kick off 2014.
I previously noted that of the available offerings, there were no shows that caught my interest. On closer inspection, there are presently three series I plan on watching Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta, Saki Zenkoku-hen and SoniAni –Super Sonico The Animation-. I believe these three shows offer a good spread of content: I’m especially interested in seeing what Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta has to offer, and for the present, I have some serious catch-up to do in Saki before I can begin the second season, but this has happened before: upon hearing about second seasons and so on, I do catch up quickly enough (think OreImo and Infinite Stratos), although here, I hope that catching up with an interesting series doesn’t result in the series burning out as previously experienced. As for Super Sonico: The Animation, all I am at liberty to say is that it could and probably will add some zeal to the blog. Earlier readers may have noticed that I was planning to watch Wake Up, Girls!, but my interest in the series waned, and I probably won’t be following it from the start (although as the season wears on, that may change).
Wake up, Girls!
Green Leaves Entertainment is a tiny production company on the verge of going out of business in Sendai, the biggest city in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region. The agency once managed the careers of magicians, photo idols, fortune-tellers, and other entertainers, but its last remaining client finally quit. With their talent pool depleted, the president Tange decides to produce an idol group. On the brash president’s orders, the dissatisfied manager Matsuda heads out to scout raw talent, encountering one Mayu Shimada.
- The events in wake up, Girls! are said to be set in the Tokohu region; director Yutaka Yamamoto (of Lucky Star and Kannagi) noted the anime is directly intended to raise tourism and expedite recovery efforts after the 2011 Tokohu Earthquake and Tsunami devastated the area. The selection process for the voice actors playing the seven idols in the anime were chosen from amateur ranks through an open audition with more than 2,000 applicants, similar to the anime. At the present, the anime is looking to be one of the most interesting of the 2014 line, and I’ll likely watch it once Winter 2014 actually rolls around.
Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta
After a revolution stripped Prince Kalel Albus of both his parents and his humanity, blinded by hatred and revenge, he sets off on a journey to avenge his parents and himself. However, upon taking to the skies and the floating islands that grace it, he finds not revenge, but compassion, friendship, and love, upon encountering a girl called Claire who happens to be the symbol of the very revolution he hates. In a story of aerial combat, the good and bad of romance, and transformation of the heart, Prince Kalel will find that what he was looking for was not revenge, but rather, forgiveness.
- If things go well, I foresee an incredible world of air combat, adventure and discovery set in a fantastical world. I absolutely love anime set in fantastical worlds, and though I was late to the party with Valkyria Chronicles, I did enjoy the way things were set-up: solid world-building contributes substantially to an anime’s capacity to immerse and captivate the viewers, and from those tenants, this show looks to be very promising.
Miyanaga Saki was a high school freshman who didn’t like mahjong, until her childhood friend dragged her to Kiyosumi High School’s mahjong club and her love for the game was reborn. Now she and the rest of the Kiyosumi team – including prodigy Haramura Nodoka (Koshimizu Ami), reckless club president Takei Hisa, Hisa’s meganekko best friend Someya Mako, and the rambunctious and taco-loving Kataoka Yuuki – have fought their way through regionals to earn their place in the National Inter High School Mahjong Championships. They need to make it all the way to the championships so Saki can try to reconcile with her estranged older sister (and the reigning champion) Miyanaga Teru, but there will be plenty of tough competition along the way.
- I don’t know how to play Mahjong, nor have I seen this series previously at the time of writing. This means I will turn my machine’s substantial video conversion powers towards turning this anime into something I can watch on a mobile device and help me catch up. For parties wondering, the image above is official art, and if I were to be entirely honest, I am partially compelled to watch Saki for interesting character dynamics between Saki and Nodoka as much as for the supernatural mahjong and Girls und Panzer-like atmosphere.
SoniAni -Super Sonico The Animation-
Super Sonico is the pink haired mascot of the visual novel company Nitroplus and now appears in her own animation, which is centred around Sonico’s exciting daily life, centering around her blooming musical endeavors, modeling career, and friendships. She is accompanied by her two friends Fujimi Suzu and Watanuki Fuuri, both of whom also have a knack for music with the bass and drums respectively, in her adventures and together, they will form friendships while also promoting the Nitroplus (stylised “Nitro+”) brand.
- I predict an anime that’s going to have very little in the way of a centralised story but may be quite pleasing to watch nonetheless (if only for the fanservice). Between modelling (not the design of computer models), concerts and everyday life, this anime may have a K-On!-esque feel to it, which would make it quite entertaining to watch, preferably far from other observers. From a blogging perspective, I’ll try and keep up to date with SoniAni and Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta, while Saki will be blogged as time permits. Ordinarily, I think that just blogging about Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta would be sufficient, but there are certain elements in SoniAni (namely, how hot Sonico is) that should make blogging it worthwhile.