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Friday, August 30, 2013

Fall 2013 Preview:

Yesterday we delved into the anime of the past.  Today we can look forward to the anime of the future.  Thanks to Cart Driver, a detailed preview of the coming fall season (just a month away now, how time flies) is available.  Though I almost totally disagree with all of Scamp's opinions, the facts are still a good launching point:

I have high hopes for some of these series.  The obvious one is Little Busters Refrain.  There's also Golden Time, done by the same creator as Toradora.  And the second half of Valvrave will solve all the mysteries poised in the first half cliffhanger.

But the fall anime season isn't much about reliably good series or sequels, it's almost entirely new works of unknown worth, any of which could be amazing or terrible.  White Album 2, Nagi no Asakura, Walkure Romanze, Super Seisyun Brothers, Non Non Biyori, Tokyo Ravens, Unbreakable Machine Doll, Outbreak Company, My Mental Multiple-Choice Power is Completely Ruining my School Romantic Comedy, Beyond the Boundary, Log Horizon, Pupa, Blazblue, Kill la Kill, Galilei Donna, and Coppelion all look like they have potential.  They're either adapted from popular works in other mediums, done by people with skilled track records, or just look good according to the preview.  Until I actually watch the first episodes of these series (and even the ones I didn't mention, who knows maybe they'll be good too), or even the first few episodes of these series, the fall season is just a complete unknown right now.  This could be an epic way to finish off an already great year in anime, or a complete letdown that dies in a whimper.

What we do know is we're losing a lot of quality anime to make room for these new shows.  Shingeki no Kyojin, Kin-iro Mosaic, Kitakubo Katsudou Kiroku, Railgun, Tamayura, Fate/Kaleid Liner, The World God Only Knows, Watamote, and Ro-kyu-bu SS are all going away.  So we're taking a bunch of well established series and going into complete terra incognito.  That's a huge hole to fill back up and I don't know if the fall season has any realistic chance to do so.

What we do know is that anime is really, really creative.  The amount of new series released every year in Japan is nothing short of spectacular.  The fact that this fall season can be full of almost complete unknowns is drastically different from American TV schedules, which has long running series of mediocre popularity for decades at a time.  Giving this many new series a chance 4 times every year is really exciting, it means you simply never know what you're going to get.  For instance, who could have possibly predicted how funny Kitakubo was going to be?  I can't believe how great that series is, given its art is bland and the animation practically non-existent.  But because Japan gives every series a chance to shine, no matter how random or obscure, Kitakubo was allowed to totally steal the summer season away as the dark horse champion, just like Girls und Panzer did last year.

I hope all these new series and adaptions take advantage of their opportunity as well as Kitakubo did and blows me off my feet.  Depending on the strength of this new fall season, 2013 could be one of the best years in anime ever.  Just look at all the new ranking series it has already brought us:

Kitakubo, Kin-iro Mosaic, Shingeki no Kyojin, Valvrave, Hataraku Maou-sama, Zettai Bouei Leviathan, Vividred Operation, and Oreshura already.  8 new series and we haven't even seen the fall season yet.  That's spectacular.  The total number of good series that had at least some addition to their material in the year of 2013, before the fall season has even aired, is already at 50.  Adding even more series to this total would be record breaking.

If anime isn't good enough, the fall college football season kicks off tomorrow with Clemson vs. Georgia, a match that already has national championship connotations.  And if college football isn't good enough, WoW's 5.4 patch comes out September 10th.  If WoW isn't good enough, Magic the Gathering is releasing a new Theros block this fall, modeled around Greek mythology and enchantments as their main theme -- two things they've never done before, which should make room for a lot of exciting novelty in a game that's been going strong for decades now.  If Magic isn't good enough, the PS4 is releasing in November with all its attendant next-generation games.  If the PS4 isn't good enough, the Saimoe competition will be heating up and heading to its inevitable burning 'moeru' conclusion to crown the prettiest girl in anime over the course of the last year.  If Saimoe isn't good enough, the new Ender's Game movie is coming out in November, and the Hobbit movie this December.  If none of that is good enough, be patient and wait for the Winter Olympics.  Or if you wait just a little longer, the World Cup.  Surely those two events can stir even the dead with a little bit of excitement.  In other words, starting with this fall, it's going to be a breakneck pace of spectacular entertainment for the next 365 days.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy, this is going to be a year to remember.

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