Coming Attractions: dark and gothic. And dark. AND A BRAND NEW (MODIFIED) THEME COURTESY OF SHUT! THANKS SHUT, YOU’RE A CAPITAL FELLOW.

PRE-POST NOTICE: thanks to shut for hacking together this new blog theme for me. It’s a good feeling to be away from the quite serviceable but awkwardly generic default. Viva la democracy. Banzai.

POST BODY FOLLOWS

The winter season is almost over and a whole crapload of new shows are lurking a flip of the calendar away. As this season ends I find I’m not watching anything; Mai Hime sold out to William Golding and lost a viewer here; there are a few other series that provoked mild interest at first but lost me half a dozen episodes in (Starship Operators, Ah! My Goddess TV, Xenosaga TV, and etc). I might go back and pick them up but I doubt I’ll be in the mood. I don’t know if this just a dip in interest or a longer spell of fanboy ennui but I don’t feel up to patting purile shows on the head and swallowing them with a wink and a covert nod to the knowledge that anime is by its nature substandard art. No, I want some shows with meat on them, some decent plot and compelling characterizations like we haven’t had in a year or so. Without foreknowledge of what will go down in the coming months I can only hope that a few of the following will pay out:

  • April 4th: Comic Party Revolution. I’m not exactly sure what more can be done with this concept, but it might be good. I’ll watch a few episodes for old times’ sake. On to more interesting fare:
  • April 6th: Futakoi Alternative. What happens when a shitty harem show is taken over by Ufotable and turned into a well animated romantic drama? I don’t know either, but it might be this. All I know about the show so far can be found in the trailer here (give it some time to load if you play it in Quicktime). Check it out, I think this series might be going places.
  • April 7th: Speed Grapher. Ten years after the Bubble War the rich and poor in society have become polarized. The rich seek only pleasure and delights of the flesh, and Tokyo has become a mecca of such pleasures. Into this arena comes Saiga, a photographer in search of a celebrity scoop in the exclusive Roppongi Club, known to provide the “ultimate pleasure.” He gains illicit admittance and meets Kagura, a mysterious girl who is the proprietor of the club but wants an exit. He gains some sort of power from her and they flee together, pursued by other denizens of the club. EVIL denizens. This is a Gonzo show, for better or for worse. It’s certainly looking pretty and while I won’t say my hopes are high, they may be on to something here.
  • April 12th: Basilisk. From the brief summary of the first manga volume found here, I’m pretty excited about this one. It sounds a bit like an Edo period ninja Romeo and Juliet – Tokugawa Ieyasu has decreed that the two schools of ninjutsu should fight to determine which will succeed the Shogunate. They are bitter rivals, but a man and a woman from each have fallen in love… Gonzo also has a hand in this, but it seems they’re on pretty solid narrative ground. This is one show in which I can rest easy that questions of “moe” will not apply, which is something I think I need right about now. This isn’t to say that the female lead isn’t looking hot, though. Which she is. Oh, and I forgot to mention: it seems that the OP will be performed by Onmyouza, the “Shinto metal” band reviewed by J2xC here. Something in this for everyone, it seems. Except perhaps the moe fans.
  • April 17th: Eureka Seven. While certainly kid’s stuff, this show has some promise with the King Gainer designs and production by Bones. Robots on hoverboards don’t hold a candle to the Tomino-directed wizardry of Gainer’s wacky mechs, but with a rumored year long run E7 should have a long time to mature. Here’s to the Second Summer of Love!
  • April 28th: Trinity Blood. In the distant, postapocalyptic future the world lies in ruins. Mankind’s last shelter against the encroaching vampire horde lies in the Vatican, which sends sorties out in all directions to fight against the blood-sucking menace. An officer at the helm of one of these expeditionary forces is Abel Nightroad, a withdrawn fellow who seldom relies on others and is actually a vampire who drinks the blood of other vampires. Surprise! Together with the girl Estelle whom he meets in his travels, the fate the humans and vampires will be changed. In an epic struggle. There will probably be pipe organs involved. Well, I’m in the mood for something gothic and it looks like this season will provide in spades. This is a shoujo piece as the designs should make evident, but may not be bad for all that. I look forward to finding out.
  • April 29th: KARAS. More dark, beautifully rendered anime, this time from Tatsunoko Pro and the creative forces behind The Big O and Witch Hunter Robin. From a brief reading of the story summary here it seems to be the tale of two ninja who guard the darkness of Shinjuku in a delicate balance. One of them goes bad and decides to seek revenge against the people of the town. Chaos, violence and beautiful animation ensue. I’m looking forward to this one regardless of the quality of the story.

And that’s a wrap. There are many more shows airing over the next several weeks, of course, and one or two of them may well be sleeper terrorist cells that will murder us in our beds with good times and laughter when they come out but for now I’m playing it safe. If the spirit moves you to leave a comment, why not share what you’re looking forward to this coming season?