Anime Reel – Anime & Manga TV News

Spring Anime First Looks, Part 1

Posted on: April 4, 2011

It’s April, and the new anime season has begun. (Although, due to the continuing effects of the earthquake, several shows from the last season have not yet aired their conclusions.) Since there are so many new shows starting up this month, I decided to break up the “first looks” post into pieces. So here we go.

Boy meets girl... er, princess... er, dog?

Dog Days kicked off the season with a bang. Tsuzuki Masaki (writer), Kusakawa Keizou (director), and Seven Arcs (animation production) from the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series and movie teamed up with a first-rate voice cast for this highly-anticipated show. The opening song is done by one of Dom’s favorite singers, the character designs and art are strong, and all the pieces look to be in place. It remains to be seen if Tsuzuki and Kusakawa can tell a compelling story or if this just becomes an eye candy fluff piece.

Nichijou (streaming on Crunchyroll as “My Ordinary Life“) is another highly-anticipated show, and also because of its staff. Ishihara Tatsuya was the director of some of Kyoto Animation’s biggest hits, including The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Clannad. This show is based on Arawi Keiichi’s surrealist 4-panel comic, though, and the humor may not be for all tastes. Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Nako, Ohana, and Minko from "Hanasaku Iroha," as drawn by Kishida Mel.

Hanasaku Iroha is an anime original work, with planning and animation done by Angel Beats! studio P.A. Works. If it looks familiar, it’s because character concepts were done by Kishida Mel, who you might know from So Ra No Wo To or the three most recent Atelier series of games. It’s hard to tell from just the first episode, but it has a “morning drama” feel to it. Morning dramas are known for their plucky heroines who find themselves in difficult situations but work through them with diligence and determination. But you never know!

Steins;Gate is based on a Nitroplus game. That should give you a clue, because other Nitroplus properties that have anime adaptations are The Phantom of Inferno and Chaos;Head. Nitroplus writer Urobuchi Gen also collaborated on Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Much in this vein, Steins;Gate mixes some mildly appealing characters with a thoroughly confusing storyline. I’m not sure if I’m willing to put in the effort to figure it all out, but there you go.

Hiyoko, Kinako, and Eriko from Oretachi ni Tsubasa ha Nai, as drawn by Nishimata Aoi.

Oretachi ni Tsubasa ha Nai (English title: Without Wings – under the innocent sky) is based on a game by Navel, the makers of Shuffle!. The character concepts were also done by Navel’s main illustrator, Nishimata Aoi. However, the similarities end there. The first episode is a jumble of character introductions, odd relationships, and an almost total lack of humor. It’s my understanding that the game has at least five separate storylines; director Ushiro Shinji (Omamori Himari, Shukufuku no Campanella) has his work cut out for him if he’s going to pull this back from the brink.

I didn’t get around to watching X-Men, Toriko, or Tiger & Bunny, but I’m sure you’ll tell me about these in the comments. So what did you think of the first few days of the new season?

(edit: added Crunchyroll links where applicable)

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