Monday, November 15, 2010
Your Guide to the Winter 2011 Anime Season!
Once again, before we can even settle down with the delicacies of the current anime season, the Winter shows are presented to us like a scrumptious dessert tray. At some point, we're going to be too stuffed to eat another bite, but it couldn't hurt to just nibble a little. (Don't forget your diet! - Ed.)
Information for the following shows have been compiled from translations at the Moonphase website. Each entry is provided with a link to its Japanese website, its romanized titles, and a description of the show. (The date of its first episode is provided in parentheses with its classification.)
(More information can be found at The Cart Driver's website.)
TV shows slated for Winter 2010:
Haiyoru! Nyaru-ani: Remember My Love (Craft-Sensei)（這いよる！ニャルアニ リメンバー・マイ・ラブ「クラフト先生」）
(Comedy - December 10) A normal high-school boy is being chased by aliens until a Cthulhu by the name of Nyarlathotep ("Nyaruko") comes to the rescue and takes form as a silver-haired girl.
(Romance - December 23) Based on an otome game. Tsukiko is the first girl to enroll in Seigatsu Academy, known for its specialties in astronomy. She befriends twelve of the male students, each a representative of a sign of the Zodiac.
Kimi ni Todoke - 2nd Season（君に届け ２ＮＤＳＥＡＳＯＮ）
(Comedy, Romance - January 4) A continuation of the original series, the dreary, quiet Sawako continues her efforts to become a brighter part of her class and better friends with the cool Kazehaya.
(Mystery, Horror - January 7) Set in fictional 1920s Europe, a Japanese exchange student meets a quiet blonde girl in a library and discovers her uncanny ability to solve her brother's cases in the police force.
(Action - January 7) The second show from the combined minds of Marvel and Madhouse features the gruff Adamantium-clawed mutant from the X-Men in his own story.
(Action, Fantasy - January 8) Card-fighting anime to run in conjunction with the new card game developed by Akira Itô of Yugioh R fame and Duel Masters developer Satoshi Nakamura.
(Science fiction - January 13) One of the two shows to run on the popular noitaminA block. The adventures of a boy as he tries to locate his best friend and learn the secrets of the "Fractale System" that keeps his island continent alive.
Wandering Son（Hôrô Musuko 放浪息子）
(Slice-of-life - January 13) The other half of the noitaminA block. A realistic story covering the gender-identity concerns of a boy and a girl in elementary school and their later anxieties regarding puberty.
(Comedy - January 2011) Oga's the meanest delinquent at school, only to find himself the new caretaker for the infant son of the Devil King and his demon maid. Shônen Jump's entry for the season.
(Action, Comedy - January 2011) Ryûji is enjoying his quiet high-school life, despite his nosy cousin Eriko, only to save a blonde-haired girl who is a human vessel for a legendary red dragon.
Dream Eater Merry（Yumekui Merry 夢食いメリー）
(Comedy, Fantasy - January 2011) Yumeji Fujiwara has the power to see dreams and an inevitable war versus a feline enemy, only to meet a girl who came from that world of dreams.
(Action, Comedy - January 2011) An alien attack puts all of mankind's hopes on a partnership between genetically-altered females called Pandoras and male "Limiters" who can control their abilities.
I Don't Like You At All, Big Brother!（O-niichan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Ja Nai'n Dakara Ne! お兄ちゃんのことなんかぜんぜん好きじゃないんだからねっ！)
(Comedy - January 2011) Nao loves her brother Shûsuke to the point of taboo, only to learn she's only his adopted sister. The only thing in the way now is Shûsuke's old girlfriend Iroha...
(Science fiction, Comedy - January 2011) Ichika is the only male who can pilot the "Infinite Stratos" mechanical operation system and must attend an academy dominated by girls to control it.
Is This a Zombie?（Kore wa Zonbi desu ka? これはゾンビですか？）
(Fantasy, Comedy - January 2011) High-schooler Ayumu ends up dying from a serial killing, only to be resurrected from the dead and become a zombie servant in a world of magical girls.
(Comedy, Science Fiction - January 2011) Earth has been populated by thousands of aliens without us humans knowing. One particular alien prince moves into a high-school student's home.
Mitsudomoe - 2nd Season（みつどもえ・第二期）
(Comedy - January 2011) The Marui triplets are back with eight more episodes of elementary-school hijinks and torment for their teacher, Mr. Yabe.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica（Mahô Shôjo Madoka Magika 魔法少女まどか★マギカ)
(Magical girl - January 2011) An original "magical-girl team" story from Studio SHAFT and director Akiyuki Shinbo. That's...all we know so far.
Rio ~Rainbow Gate!~
(Comedy, Action - January 2011) The card-dealing female from Tecmo's pachinko-slots game gets her own animated television show.
(We shall provide descriptions of the OVA and OAD titles to be released at a later date.)
While most of these shows have yet to be finalized for the dates of their release, it does appear that the Winter 2011 season will be one of relative dormancy and hibernation. Aside from the second seasons of Kimi ni Todoke and Mitsudomoe, nothing familiar seems to really jump out and grab the viewer. Some shows continue to dare censors to stop them—another "incest" show shows up after so many this year—while more females fall into the laps of ordinary male students. On the bright side, Wolverine does look to have more energy than the plastic Iron Man anime that came out this season. If you want a surprise pick, it may be good to put stock in the two noitaminA shows (Hôrô Musuko, Fractale) and Gosick, as well as Studio SHAFT's apparent amalgam between Card Captor Sakura and Hidamari Sketch.
Everything said, however, it might also be smart to set your alarm clock for March.