Travis’ Winter 2013 Anime Picks

Japanese Pop Culture News Anime News

The Winter 2013 anime season has already begun partially and as such, Luke Halliday and myself have chosen to share what we will be picking up, at least to start with, for this Winter season. While some may say that this season is very weak, I’ve found plenty of good looking shows to pick up and of course, plenty of romcom and harem shows! Here are the series that I will be picking up this season:

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Puchimas! Petit Idolmaster

If you enjoyed the original iDOLM@STER anime series then you may want to keep an eye out on this simplistic show focused around the daily lives of the 765 Pro idols with the added additions of creatures called “Puchidoru.”  These little things are chibi creatures that resemble their idol counterparts not only in appearance but also in personality.

The show is unfortunately a mini-series that lasts only a few minutes each, but it will be aired daily on NicoNico. I adored the original iDOLM@STER series and the fact that so far this mini-show has had me laughing often and while the show may not interest most, it is a cute show about girls doing random things with their chibi-selves and a great way to spend a couple minutes each day.

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Mangirl!

This is certainly a strange title at first glance, considering it’s name but thankfully it is not a series about a hermaphrodite. Instead it actually promises to tell the story of female manga editors and how they have entered the field with almost no experience.

While this series may not have been something I would originally check out, the fact that this is again only a few minute long episode per airing makes it worth giving a shot. Plus with the promise of plenty of comedy in each episode, it’s worth at least checking out, even if it will be a cute girls doing cute things type of series.

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Ai Mai Mi

There really is something about five minute shows this Winter season, as not only are there quite a few airing this time, but a number of them have caught my eye. Ai Mai Mi will tell the story of a manga club with girls named Ai, Mai Mi and Ponoka as they deal with strange situations that apparently involve aliens when they aren’t working on manga.

This series was something I was about to pass over thanks to the first promotional video that was released. Not only does it contain some sub-par looking animation but the story itself sounds rather strange. However the strange off-the-wall humor, plus the fact that it’s advertisement shows what appears to be an octopus in a pot, makes me want to give it at least a few episodes before dropping.

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Cuticle Tantei Inaba

After looking at the summary of this anime, let alone the promo videos, have made me nominate Cuticle for perhaps the strangest sounding show of this season. The anime follows the story of a werewolf detective called Inaba Hiroshi who has a hair fetish. He is a private detective that has two assistants, a sadistic traip called Sasaki Yuuta and a partially-normal Part-timer Nozaki Kei. Not only does the group have to investigate a number of strange occurences, but they also have to hunt down a goat named Don Valentino that likes to eat money.

This show is absolutely nuts sounding and thanks ot the fact that there are some crazy looking characters and situations, I’m picking up this show for a number of reasons. Mainly thanks to the fact that it looks like a rather simplistic and fun show with off-the-wall situations and over-the-top character interactions.

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Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

A hero hunting down and killing the demon lord is something common amongst both anime and video games but would that really put an end to the fighting forever? The series Maoyuu Maou Yuusha seems to tackle that issue as the human’s strongest warrior enters the Demon Queen’s castle to slay her. However the Queen asks the hero to work together with her in an effort to bring peace to both sides without causing more conflict, because the sudden stop of war would ultimately lead to fighting amongst the victor.

I’m often one to pass over some of the more dramatic series when possible, however Spice and Wolf was one of my favorite series of all time, and now that promotional videos and more information for this series have been released, the anime feels similar to Spice and Wolf in quite a few ways. There is a lot of potential here and new situations that can be explored, so I cannot wait to see where this series may end up even though it is only twelve episodes long.

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Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru

Perhaps contender for the longest name of the season, I’ve actually been following the OreShura a little bit over the past few months and the story follows a group of highschoolers unlucky in love, though mostly through their own means. Eita hates everything to do with love and spends all of his time studying, however when the most beautiful girl in school Natsukawa confesses her love to him, he must accept. Though when Eita receives this confession, his childhood friend Chiwa is so annoyed that she will not give Eita up without a fight. Then when two new girls appear, this man who hates love suddenly finds himself in the middle of a love pentagon.

This type of series is bread and butter for me with it being your classic harem romcom and thanks to the fact that all of the girls in OreShura seem to have great characteristics and personalities, the series should shine. With Masuzu’s mysterious and theatrical side paired along Chiwa’s energetic loyalty and the fact that one of the girls suffers from some chuunibyou issues (looking at you Chu2Koi), there is plenty of great situations waiting to happen.

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Senran Kagura

Bouncing breasts. Well… I suppose I need to go into more detail than that. The Senran Kagura series is actually based off of a video game series of the same name. The story follows a group of ninja girls who attend Hanzou Academy, with the five girls being Ikaruaga, Katsuragi, Asuka, Yagyuu and Hibari, each of which fits your standard moe personality such as tomboy, stoic, clumsy and others.

The game series is known for its high levels of fan service and ripping clothes, but never any nudity. However now that the series has an anime, that will all change. Senran Kagura will sell itself on the high levels of fan service, bouncing breasts and panty shots as well as plenty of action. Pretty much anyone who enjoyed Freezing or Sekirei will find themselves enjoying this series, then again anyone who loves fan service and ecchi situations will be pleased. That is, if it isn’t obscured with horrible To-Love-Ru Darkness censorship…

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Love Live! School Idol Project
Love Live! School Idol Project is a unique sounding anime experience thanks to one thing. Audience Participation. Love Live! will allow Japanese fans to actually vote on what will happen to their favorite idol characters as the anime progresses, though how drastic these votes may change the direction of the anime are currently unknown. Either way, the story of Love Live! follows the story of a group of nine high school girls who want to become idols in an effort to boost the popularity of their school so that it will not be shut down.

Considering I already mentioned how I enjoyed the IDOLM@STER series, this should come as no real surprise. The few promotional videos I’ve seen so far as well as a couple of musical performances released for the band that this is helping promote, Muse, show that the JPop performances should be rather enjoyable and considering the fact this is, at least of the time of writing, the only anime of this season licensed for release in the West, it is certainly worth paying attention to.

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AMNESIA
We’ve already seen our standard harem romcom and ecchi packed shows of the season, now we have our standard otome video game adaptation and after checking out Arcana Famiglia this Summer I feel like checking out yet another otome style game. This time around, AMNESIA follows the story of a woman who wakes up one morning with no memory of who she is or anything around her. As such she must try to remember who she is with the help of a spirit called “Orion” while also trying to meet up with her boyfriend who she has no recollection of.

Considering outside of Kimi ni todoke and Arcana Famiglia, I haven’t had much experience with the otome genre, so this may be something that will likely only be given a few episodes and dropped if it does not turn out to be interesting very quickly, though the basic premise is intriguing, especially with all of the supernatural elements.

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GJ-bu (Good Job Club)
The origin of GJ-bu is a bit strange, as it is actually based off a novel that consists of 4koma… which is something I’ve never heard of at this point. Thanks to this and from what the promo videos have shown, the story of this anime is literally no story. Instead of that the show will directly focus on the life of the various characters and that is pretty much it.

GJ-bu seems like one of your standard shut your brain off and enjoy anime and I’m perfectly fine with that. The character designs aren’t especially attractive, but still something I feel like enjoying mostly thanks to the fact it will be slice-of-life comedy with cute characters doing cute things for a half hour every week, which at times is good enough for me.

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Sasami-san@Ganbaranai
Tsukuyomi Sasami is a hikikomori who has zero motivation to actually do anything and instead spends her days watching the outside world through her computer. Through this survelliance she kjeeps an eye on her brother as he encounters a number of girls who all seem to draw him into your standard harem romantic comedy.

Thanks to the fact that this is a romcom I’m already intrigued, but considering the fact that Shaft is working on the anime this is a must watch for me. This seems like a standard romcom that actually will be anything but thanks to the fact that the harem candidates look to be about as far away from run-of-the-mill as you can get.

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Vividred Operation
This is an original series which usually would give me pause except for one thing. Vividred is being directed by the same man who handled the Strike Witches series, Takamura Kazuhiro. As such this is already ranked highly with me and if promo videos are anything to go by, the series seems to be quite similar to Strike Witches in a number of ways, though it has seen an upgrade from flying panties to short shorts.

Either way, in the world of Vividred there exists a machine known as the Manifestation Engine that makes energy consumption a thing of the past and the world is at peace, however when aliens invade Earth to steal the Engine, they must be fought off with powerful weapons known as Palette Suits. As such, Isshiki Akane, Futaba Aoi and other girls must work together to hold off these aliens that have been dubbed the “Alone.” Thanks to the pedigree of the series and the number of well-known staff behind the project, Vividred looks like it just may be the best show this season.

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Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT
The second season to the original which aired last year, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT is an easy pick up for me thanks to how much I enjoyed the first season as the antics of the Neighbors Club are just too much to avoid. It looks like the story will pick up with the same pace as before, with the now short-haired Yozora butting heads against Sena as Kodoka gets stuck in the middle of the two, while also having to deal with a boys-love loving mad scientist Rika and the maid-trap Yukimura.

This second season looks to continue the same exact type of antics, though obviously with more story development as the characters grow closer together while trying to make friends with others. As such, I’m looking forward to this unique romantic comedy once again.

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Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru sou Desu yo?
Actually, take back what I mentioned about OreShura, this series has the longest name this season. The story of this anime follows a group of three problem children who have been sent letters by a mysterious bunny eared girl. These letters have been sent to them because they happen to possess powerful supernatural abilities and when they open these letters, they are transported to a fantasy world where they will have to battle against a number of evil creatures and eventually even fight the Devil King himself.

This story is actually an adaptation of a light novel series and with it comes a great sounding plot that is a bit similar to a few shows in recent memory. The closest of which would be Dog Days, and it should really come as no surprise that the same director behind that series, Kusakawa Keizou, is helming this anime as well. The story looks like it may develop into a harem of some kind, though that may not be the case by the time is all said and done. Either way, this one is another highlight for me and a good one to finish this list with.

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As a big fan of anime and games I’ll be quick to cover anything that happens to be of interest.

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