Winter TV Anime Preview, Part 2

by Sage Ashford

We’re back with another ten anime series! This time we’ve got the return of Kakegurui, plus the long-awaited premiere of the Rising of the Shield Hero!

An Angel Swooped Down On Me: Miyako Hoshino is a college girl who struggles with anxiety.  She’s a partial shut-in, but she develops an obsession with her little sister’s adorable friends.
Thoughts: Go home anime, you’re drunk. I like to think I’m pretty lenient with anime and its eccentricities, but I’d very much like this yuricon weirdness banished to darkest halls of Comiket we can find, never to find its way to Japanese television (or Crunchyroll) again.
Premiering: January 8th.

Circlet Princess: A series based on a Japanese RPG mobile game, Circlet Princess is set in a world where VR finally advances beyond being an expensive gimmick with repetitive, awful commercials. (Gotta keep runnin’…) The combination of VR and AR results in something known as Circlet Bout, an e-sport which is held between two schools and decides a school’s overall budget and wealth, because anime loves its darwinian dystopias. Winning a Circlet Bout depends on each student’s academic abilities as well as their talent in sports and other areas.
Thoughts: Despite my trolling a little in the description of the series, yeah I’m totally down for this show for at least an episode.
Premiering: January 8th.

3D Girlfriend: Real Girl: Hikari Tsutsui (a.k.a “Tsuttsun”) is a high school student who is content with his virtual life of anime and video games. One day, he gets stuck cleaning the pool with Iroha, a real live girl who is stylish, sassy and known to be easy with boys … and she aggressively approaches him! Tsuttsun, who has few friends and lives in his own world, finds himself smitten by the confident and wild Iroha … and his whole world is turned upside down!! It’s the awkward and pure love story of a boy who experiences relationship for the first time. (Kodansha)

Thoughts: We got two nerd romance animes in the same season in 2018 and somehow the inferior one is the one which made the return. The first season for this was just a series of cringefest episodes strung together. Though the preview for this looks pretty neat, I’ve got this funny feeling I’d start it and wind up disappointed.
Premiering: January 9th.

Kakeguruixx: Hyakkaou Private Academy. An institution for the privileged with a very peculiar curriculum. You see, when you’re the sons and daughters of the wealthiest of the wealthy, it’s not athletic prowess or book smarts that keep you ahead. It’s reading your opponent-the art of the deal. What better way to hone those skills than with a rigorous curriculum of gambling? At Hyakkaou Private Academy, the winners live like kings, and the losers are put through the wringer. But when Yumeko Jabami enrolls, she’s gonna teach these kids what a high roller really looks like! (Yen Press)
Thoughts: Combine absurd gambling scenarios with beautiful animation, some of the slickest school uniforms ever, and over the top facial expressions and you get the popularity of this anime. The first series was confined to Netflix so there’s a good chance this season will be too. Just something to think about if you’re intent on following the series.
Premiering: January 9th.

The Rising of the Shield Hero: Naofumi Iwatani, an uncharismatic otaku who spends his days on games and manga, suddenly finds himself summoned to a parallel universe! He discovers he is one of four heroes equipped with legendary weapons and tasked with saving the world from its prophesied destruction. As the Shield Hero, the weakest of the heroes, all is not as it seems. Naofumi is soon alone, penniless, and betrayed. With no one to turn to, and nowhere to run, he is left with only his shield. Now, Naofumi must rise to become the legendary Shield Hero and save the world! (One Peace Books)
Thoughts: Is anyone else tired of adaptations like these?  I can get used to the repetitive nature of isekai storylines, but it’s becoming frustrating because they never go anywhere.  Generally right as you’re shown something interesting about the series premise the show is coming to a close. I’m really digging the character designs of Shield Hero so I’ll be checking the show out, but I’m not looking forward to getting into the show only to be given an inconclusive ending and knowing the series isn’t coming back.
Premiering: January 9th.

Kemurikusa: Young girls battle monsters in a strange world of red fog.
Thoughts: From what I’ve found I can’t even get a trailer for this thing. It’s based on a winning entry in an anime contest from…2012 by the same director as Kemono Friends. Near as I can tell this is his second full length anime. Presumably there’s more of a lore and universe built up given the gap between creating a twelve minute production and one lasting a full cour.
Premiering: January 9th.

My Housemate Is on My Lap, But Sometimes on My Head: Subaru Mikazuki is a novelist specializing in mysteries, who finds a stray cat and uses him as inspiration for his books. The story is told from the perspective of both Subaru as well as Haru, his adopted kitty.
Thoughts: This series will live or die based on how well it captures the life of a pet owner. For what its worth, looking at the promotional videos and OPs, they seem to have the inscrutable nature of felines down pretty well. Now if they develop Subaru into a likable enough owner, they might be on to something. This has potential sleeper written all over it.
Premiering: January 9th.

Meiji Tokyo Renka: Mei Ayazuka is transported back to the Meiji era, where she meets numerous historical figures who can’t seem to help falling in love with her! Also, she can see ghosts, a skill highly valued in this ancient era of Tokyo.
Thoughts: This series is actually both a video game and a series of films already. Guess it was popular enough for them to make a third version of it as well. As long as harem anime exist I’ll have no problem with reverse harems. I do wish the genre would expand beyond more than simple misunderstandings and get a little bolder within the confines of the series, though.
Premiering: January 9th.

Virtual-san Looking: An anime series based on the growing popularity of so-called Virtual YouTubers.  The primary focus will be on six of the Virtual Tubers forming an idol group known as “Virtual Real”.
Thoughts: Virtual YouTubers are one of those small things that should make you wonder what the future will be like ten years from now. Already something like Kizuna Ai is possible on a cheap, presumably easy enough basis.  What happens when even more complex techniques are available on a more widespread level?  How long before we struggle to tell reality from digital fantasy?
As for the show, if I can’t get Kizuna Ai swearing at something in English, this probably isn’t going to do it for me. She is doing the opening theme though, so there’s hope.
Premiering: January 10th.

Revisions: When Shibuya time-warps to 2388, high schooler Daisuke and his friends are conscripted by AHRV agent Milo to fight the hostile cyborg race, revisions. (Netflix)
Thoughts: This is a Goro Taniguchi (Code Geass) production, so I’m sure this series will have an amazing start then in the second half introduce an unlikely and idiotic plot twist to turn the entire series on its head and continue the story far longer than it should until a guaranteed classic just becomes a total clusterf*** of a series.  No, why would you think I was mad about Code Geass?  What would give you that impression.  Also expect some stupid spinkicks.
All joking aside, Goro Taniguchi’s resume actually has a lot of great series to his name, and having a hand in Active Raid as chief director grants far more chances than Code Geass could ever erase.  The only real problem is since this is a Netflix series there’s every chance we don’t see it until it wraps its initial run, so we could be looking at an April premiere.
Premiering: January 10th.
That’s another ten series down!  We’re half of the way through, so there’s still lots more to check out!  Part three coming soon!

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