Spring 2010 Anime Season Preview

(Originally published on Livejournal 4/3/10)

Time to take a quick look at the Spring 2010 Anime Season! Here’s the handy-dandy quick reference chart put together by Chartfag:

Click on the chart for a full-sized version

On my first quick scan through the chart, my first reaction was, “Ehhhh….What a load of crap. More of the same, more of the same, more of the same.” I counted one “maybe” and a couple “need more info”. The folks over at Random Curiosity put together an *exhaustive* preview worth checking out. Some others were less enthusiastic.

The Winter 2009/2010 Season was pretty thin gruel, so I was hoping that the new season would at least have a few hopefuls. The standout for the Winter Season appears to be Durarara, although I admit I haven’t check it out yet (I’ve downloaded the first couple of episodes, but they’re still in my queue for later) — I plan to watch it in full. SoRaNoWoTo was highly anticipated, although it was quickly dubbed as “K-On Joins the Army”. The first couple of episodes hinted at some interesting story possibilities, and for a time it seems like it might veer a bit away from the meaningless cuteness of K-On and more towards the angst of Haibane Reinmei. But noooo…it soon turned back to “look how cute they are, making friends with each other”, and the series ended with (I shit you not) the cute fumble-fingered girl playing Amazing Grace on the trumpet, stopping two opposing armies and prevent another world war. The only other show from the season I’ve checked out so is Katanagatari, which is visually pretty awesome but damn it sure is talky – and it only comes out monthly so I’ve only seen a couple of episodes. There’s been buzz about Nodame Cantabile Finale (I’ve checked out the manga, not my cuppa) and Dance of the Vampire Bund (very pretty, but bloody lolita vampire?, no thanks), but that’s pretty much it for me. Otherwise, I was finishing up a couple of earlier 2009 shows (To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, moderate thumbs-up, and Darker Than Black II, mild thumbs-down, and Bakemonogatari, not great but interesting in the same way FLCL was interesting but not great).

But that’s the past; now time to look forward to the next few months.

The one show that everyone otaku is pretty much rolling over and peeing on themselves about is…K-On Season Two. Yeah…promising to bring as much moe-blob inoffensiveness and story-free kawaii-ness as you might expect. I mean, there’s nothing really *wrong* with the show, but it’s like eating a mouthful of cotton candy. And this is considered by many the best show of the season. God help us all.

Next notable show is Heroman. Stan Lee meets Studio Bones? Giant robots? Alien invaders? Y’know, if I was eight years old, I’d be really excited! Last time I checked, I was not eight years old. But from the trailer, it looks quite well-done, may be worth checking out the first episode.

The Otaku Blog Brigade is also going crazy over Angel Beats. Produced by the same folks who made shows like Kanon, Air, Clannad — all of which have good buzz, none of which I’ve ever seen. This one looks like it’s worth checking out.

Now, here’s the show that first piqued my interest – Working!!, set in a family cafe in Hokkaido, an unlikely group of co-workers are thrown together, hilarity ensues. (A Japanese situational comedy NOT set in a high school? Un-possible!) Whether it works totally depends on the writing, of course, so we’ll see if it holds up. And a ska opening theme song?

Perhaps the dark horse of the season is Arakawa Under the Bridge. this just looks plain weird.

Other possibilities: Senko no Night Raid – a historical espionage thriller that takes the spot of SoRaNoWoTo, and actually looks very good. The House of Five Leaves looks visually interesting, but from the preview looks like it could be the most boring show ever. Likewise, Yojo-Han Shinwai Taikei is a visual feast from the guys who made Kemonozume and Kaiba, but the preview is a big turn-off. Perhaps Black Rock Shooter, which is just an OVA instead of a long series.

Everything else? Crap! Ketsuinu – dogs-shaped-like-butts-crap! Major, Ookiku Furikabatte, Giant Killing, Ring ni Kakero – sports-crap! Kiss x Sis – incest-crap! Bakugan, Beyblade, Gundam, Jewelpet – kiddy-crap! Hetalia Axis Powers – unfunny-comedy-crap! Crap, crap, crap!

So, what am I missing?

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