One benefit I got from going to the Tokyo Anime Fair this year was the opportunity to get some insight on the struggling anime industry. For the past few years, I had been drawn closer to manga than anime, but with the approach that anime has slowly been making towards online viewership, the gap between Japanese release and overseas release, either as a fansubbed version or a commercial venture, has been shrinking.
This bridging of the gap appears to be not only temporal, but physical--I was pleasantly surprised to see the number of foreigners that had visited the Tokyo Anime Fair both as tourists and as employees in Japan. It's probably no surprise that I've also been hearing more and more about the anime titles announced for the upcoming Spring season and beyond. Some titles seem good, some seem bad, and some...are questionably in the mix, but all were announced in the free "Maker-Oudan Anime Guide" catalog made available March 24th.
The Maker-Oudan Anime Guide covers works from 11 different companies in the anime industry (Aniplex, Avex Entertainment, King Records, Geneon Universal Entertainment, T.O. Entertainment, Bandai Visual, Flying Dog, Frontier Works, Pony Canyon, Marvelous Entertainment, Media Factory). Hence, it is a "cross-section" (oudan, 横断) of the industry that provides insight as to what they are hanging their collective hats on for the next year. Flipping through the pages and observing the cover, I noticed there is certainly a lot to choose from for the upcoming season.
- あきそら〜夢の中〜 Akisora ~Yume no naka~ ("Akisora ~ Within a Dream ~")
- あそびにいくヨ！ Asobi ni iku yo! ("Let's go play!")
- 荒川アンダーザブリッジ Arakawa Under The Bridge
- いちばんうしろの大魔王 Ichiban Ushiro no Dai-maô
- 一騎当千XTREME XECUTOR x 真・恋姫無双〜乙女大乱〜 Ikki Tousen XTREME XECUTOR x Shin Koihime Musô: Otome Tairan
- いばらの王 Ibara no Ou - King of Thorn -
- うたわれるもの Utawarerumono ("Songs of Legend") [OVA]
- Angel Beats!
- オオカミさんと七人の仲間たち Ôkami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi ("Mr. Wolf and His Seven Friends")
- おおきく振りかぶって〜夏の大会編〜 Ôkiku Furikabutte ~Natsu no Taikai-hen~ ("Big Windup ~Summer Tournament Chapter~")
- 会長はメイド様！ Kaichô wa Maid-sama! ("The School President's a Maid!")
- 刀語 Katanagatari ("Sword Story")
- さらい屋五葉 Saraiya Goyô
- 屍鬼 Shiki
- GIANT KILLING
- 祝福のカンパネラ Shukufuku no Campanella
- 世紀末オカルト学院 Seikimatsu Okaruto Gakuin ("Seikimatsu Occult Academy")
- 聖痕のクェイサー Seikon no Qwaser ("The Qwaser of Stigmata")
- セキレイ Sekirei ~Pure Engagement~
- 閃光のナイトレイド Senkou no Night Raid
- 戦国BASARA弐（ツー） Sengoku BASARA Two
- ソ・ラ・ノ・ヲ・ト So Ra No Wo To
- Tales of Symphonia - The Animation: Tethe'alla Episode [OVA]
- デュラララ！！ Durarara!!
- TRIGUN - Badlands Rumble [Movie]
- ぬらりひょんの孫 Nurarihyon no Mago ("Grandchild of Nurarihyon")
- 薄桜鬼 Hakuôki
- ひだまりスケッチ x ☆☆☆ Hidamari Sketch x Mittsuhoshi (Hidamari Sketch x Three Stars)
- ブレイク・ブレイド Break Blade (Broken Blade)
- 文学少女 Bungaku Shôjo ("Literature Girl") [Movie]
- 銀幕ヘタリアAxis Powers：白くぬれ！ Ginmaku Hetalia - Axis Powers: Paint it, White (Shiroku nure!)
- 迷い猫オーバーラン！ Mayoi Neko Overrun! ("Lost Cat Overrun!")
- マルドック・スクランブル Mardock Scramble
- みつどもえ Mitsudomoe
- メジャー Major: 6th Season
- ルー＝グルー Loups=Garous
I'm also stunned by just how much of the next season is composed of light novels that were adapted into manga before they were adapted into the anime. I don't believe I recall just how much of manga used to be its own entity before anime adaption in the past, and I can't recall the one light novel that created such an explosion in the entertainment business in Japan.
Either way, this is the first time my curiosity has been sparked this much by a single anime season. Granted, that doesn't mean I will be impressed by what gets released out there, but it's a start.
The goal: to try to review at least the opening sequence of all of these titles in the next month or so. Yes, it's probably smart to "not judge a book by its cover"...
Luckily, these don't exactly have a cover.