- Newfoundland, Canada
- I've been a big anime fan for about 10 years or so now. My five all-time favorite animes at this point are, in no particular order... Puella Magi Madoka Magica, El Hazard: The Magnificent World, Love Live!: School Idol Project, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. However, there are hundreds of anime shows that I like. The main purpose of this blog is to provide meta-commentary on anime, and the anime industry - to try to cast a critical, though appreciating, eye upon this entertainment genre that I believe has tremendous potential, but can also be easily wasted. I have always been a fan of animation in general - in the 80s, I grew up on western cartoons like He-Man, She-Ra, Transformers, and G.I. Joe. Through out the 90s, I was a hardcore comic book fan, for the most part. I'm also a big fan of Star Trek. Right now in my life, though, anime is my principal entertainment passion.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Fall 2010 Predictions
I know that the main request I get from regular readers of this blog is to finally get around to doing the "Nanoha Takamachi is No. 1!" write-up. And, well, I will get to that eventually, hopefully this weekend. ^_^;;
But for now, I want to devote my time to something that will be more of a quick write-up for me.
And that is making some predictions pertaining to the upcoming Fall 2010 anime lineup.
Now, I won't be going into detail here on each and every one of those 30-plus anime shows, which in and of itself is a rather impressive and perhaps surprising number of new anime shows for a Fall season, even if many of them are sequels. For an entertainment industry often said to be in decline, they certainly seem to have no problem chucking out vast quantities of new content each and every season. While the quality of that content may very well prove to be debatable, nobody can question its sheer vastness.
Aside from that brief comment on the vastness of new anime coming this Fall, I will look at a few shows in particular, and make predictions pertaining to them and the coming anime season as a whole.
So, hold on to your Hetalia hats, and kiss your Imouto goodbye for now, because we're about to start a thrilling Star Driving ride! ;)
Most Likely to be a Solid Success: To Aru Majutsu No Index 2nd
This is the latest installment in an anime franchise with a proven track record, and which the most recent offering thereof (Toaru Kagaku no Railgun) has shown to be one of the best selling animes of 2010 thus far. While I personally have not encountered a great deal of hype surrounding this anime franchise, it seems to have earned a very nice second tier niche for itself within the anime industry.
It'll perhaps never compete with the Bakemonogtaris or the K-On!'s of the world, but it will likely end up pulling down respectable numbers, both in size of fanbase and in sales figures. It will probably be talked about more than most of the other animes of the Fall 2010 season, as well.
My own familiarity with this anime franchise is nil, as I've seen only a bit of it, but I've read many positive comments about it, and I have seen some impressive action scenes in what little I have seen of it. As such, To Aru Majutsu No Index 2nd is probably the safest bet of the 2010 animes to at least do solidly well.
Sleeper Hits: Iron Man and Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai (My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute)
Anime's seemingly endless fascination with incestuous brother & sister relationships is something that is really starting to raise eyebrows for me, as amusing as it can sometimes be when played for laughs at the expense of the brother. I can't help but wonder how reflective this is of Japanese culture as a whole, or if its at least reflective of the values and viewpoints of the otaku subculture. To be frank, I find the whole thing a bit disturbing, at least when its played straight.
That being said, there clearly must be a market for animes that focus on such romances rooted in genetic bonds, or they wouldn't continue to be made so frequently. That isn't the main reason I think that Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai has the potential to be a hit, though.
The main reason is how much its character designs remind me of Toradora!, an anime that enjoys a very passionate and fairly broad fanbase. Indeed, the female lead for Ore no Imouto gives me a distinctive Kugimiya Rie vibe, even if Rie isn't the seiyu for her. In any event, the female lead strikes me as likely being the most prominent tsundere of the Fall 2010 anime season, which will likely cause the anime starring her to attract the many lovers of that anime character type.
As for Iron Man, I think that the broader anime fanbase has been largely wanting for more mecha anime for awhile now, and hence an Iron Man anime may draw upon many mecha fans there. It certainly can't hurt that it has outstanding visuals, and could perhaps come across as refreshingly different to Japanese anime fans that are not overly familiar with the fabled heroes of Marvel Comics.
Iron Man should also generate plenty of discussion, amongst anime and comic book fans alike. As a big Marvel Comics fan in my youth, I'll probably be checking it out at some point. :)
Wild Cards: Hyakka Ryoran Samurai Girls, Psychic Detective, and Togainu No Chi
For me, Wild Cards are animes that could go all the way from "hit" to "bombing and bombing hard". In any event, though, Wild Cards tend to be relatively memorable, and often likely to create fan rage for one reason or another.
Hyakka Ryoran Samurai Girls strikes me as quite possibly being the most exotically elaborately ecchi anime of the Fall 2010 season. Its character designs are equally stunning and sensual, but there can be no denying that it relies on a level of fanservice not unlike what is seen in Kampfer, and Strike Witches.
Animes of this type sometimes do pretty well (Queen's Blade comes to mind). Other times, though, they don't do that well at all (Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou comes to mind).
They often become lightning rods for the broader anime community, and can be very polarizing, with most anime fans either loving them or hating them.
Psychic Detective comes across as a supernatural mystery anime, possibly with an intellectual edge to it. These sometimes generate very little discussion at all, but every now and then they hit it big (Death Note, Bakemonogatari). At the very least, this is an anime that I think will be worth it for me to keep an eye on.
Finally, there is Togainu No Chi. Anime fans less "in the know" about what genres new animes are covered under, or on the source material that new animes are based upon, may look at promotional images (and promotional series descriptions) for Togainu No Chi, and think that it's a bad ass action-esque anime, and perhaps even a bit of a throwback to Fist of the North Star. A real manly anime like that is something that a certain subsection of anime fans have long been wanting for, in my opinion.
So, I could see Togainu No Chi attracting a significant fanbase on this basis alone.
However, the truth is that Togainu No Chi is a yaoi. For fairly obvious reasons that I'd rather not get into here, that's not going to appeal much to your traditional Fist of the North Star fan. ^_^;;
The degree of fan rage that Togainu No Chi could unintentionally produce may be truly hilarious to behold. The verbal wars it may spawn between traditional shounen fans, and female yaoi fans, could be quite explosive. It'll be interesting to see how things play out pertaining to this anime.
But now, I come to the conclusion of this blog post. And that conclusion is "What Fall 2010 Anime is Most Likely to be a Hit Success?"
Star Driver looks and sounds very promising to me. The character designs are crisp, clean, conventional; but not boringly so. They offer a real comfort zone for your mainstream anime fan, I think. Star Driver's lead also looks, at least, like he has the makings of a great impressive male lead. The female cast members are certainly easy on the eyes too. ^_^
I don't think that there's ever been a better time for a new, fresh, epic mecha anime, than now. Code Geass and Gurren Lagann, as awesome as they were at their best, are nonetheless starting to become fading memories. In looking at Star Driver, I get just enough of a Gurren Lagann vibe, and just enough of a Code Geass feel as it pertains to the cast, to think that this anime could truly make a successful drive for the stars.
The mecha design is also a bit different and original, and this is one anime I'm looking forward to.
Of course, it's altogether possible that Star Driver could be a big disappointment to me, just as The Sacred Blacksmith was, and for similar reasons. But, I sincerely hope that Star Driver lives up to my admittedly lofty expectations for it.
So, what do I think of the Fall 2010 anime season as a whole?
Well, there's a fair bit of quantity, and genuine variety. I do detect an alarming absence of romantic dramas of the Clannad, Sola, and True Tears level. Having recently come to love such animes, their lack of presence amongst the latest animes is saddening to me.
Nonetheless, Star Driver alone could make the Fall 2010 anime season a good one. Anime could badly use another Code Geass or Gurren Lagann right now, and if Star Driver delivers that, I think it could really help both the anime industry and the anime fan community. Anime really needs a true TV series epic blockbuster right about now.
All in all, I will say that while I found the anime offerings of Summer 2009 to be much stronger than those of Summer 2010, I also find Fall 2010 to be much stronger than Fall 2009. At least as long as most/all of my expectations for this upcoming season is met.
What do my fellow anime fans think? Which series are you must interested in, or think are most likely to create a lot of hype and/or financial success?
I'd love to hear from you. :)