Winter 2020 Preview I.

You know how people say the winter anime season is always mediocre with just a couple of interesting series? It turns out that this year I’m interested in enough anime series (specifically nine) to fill two season preview posts.

Koisuru Asteroid

The main heroine Mira wants to join an astronomy club in high school because of a childhood promise—as a little girl, she met a boy named Ao at a campsite and while there is a star sharing Mira’s name, there was no star called Ao. So she promised to one day find Ao’s star.

She joins the Geosciences Club (that’s the Astronomy Club merged with Geology Club) to meet Ao Manaka. Her Ao is a girl! From there on I expect it to be a stereotypical cute-girls-doing-cute-things anime.

The premise is kind of dumb, but maybe, just maybe, we’ll learn something about stars. Also the animation looks pretty good. Although this series is an adaptation of a manga, I haven’t read it, so that’s all I have to say for now.

Airs: Friday January 3rd

Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki 2nd Season

We have seen and liked the first season, so this one was an obvious choice.

It’s a series of 3-minute shorts about Yatogame-chan, a cute Aichi schoolgirl who talks in Nagoya dialect. It’s simple, but interesting and entertaining.

Airs: Sunday January 5th

Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica Gaiden (TV)

Do you remember Madoka? The anime series aired in 2011 and it was amazing. In 2012-3 a series of three movies came out, riding the wave. Really, Madoka was huge.

This season we’re getting a side story, so if you haven’t seen the original series and movies, you should still be able to enjoy it. If, on the other hand, you’ve been playing Magia Record, then this is a must-see. (And you probably know more about it than I do.)

The blurb: Young girls can get one wish granted by a cute white creature with telling blood-colored eyes in exchange for becoming magical girls and protecting our world from witches. The series will once again follow a group of magical girls, unraveling a tale of friendship et cetera.

Regarding the animation and art style, the team is similar and so the series will look about the same as the original Madoka. Which means it’s a normal SHAFT anime. If you know their experimental style, you won’t be surprised, but otherwise get ready for a treat.

Airs: Sunday January 5th

Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na!

Another manga adaptation and I’ve actually read a little of this one. The main heroine wants to make an anime, her rich classmate wants to escape her parents’ idea of their daughter’s future and live for herself and the third girl is, as far as I can tell, the manager, who will plot and prod and make it happen.

The style of the manga is something else—sketchy with angular character designs. What’s amazing is that the anime seems to be retaining it. Though it is a bit more polished. (And in color of course.)

I’m really looking forward to this one, because it’s about creation, fiction and reality. Right up my alley. (I’ve also been told the team behind the anime is a stellar one, so my expectations are definitely high.)

Airs: Monday January 6th

Heya Camp△

We’ve watched and loved Yuru Camp, so this one was a given. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information out yet. No episode count, no duration,… just “short anime” airing in 5 days.

Most people expect it to be a series of shorts, but really no one knows.

Airs: Monday January 6th

That’s it for now! Part II. is coming. (Probably on Sunday.)

ゆるキャン△ | Yuru Camp

Yuru Camp (or Laid-Back Camp in English) aired this last winter. We finished it soon after it aired, but I had been just so busy that I didn’t start writing a review until the summer. So here it is, half a year later.

Rin Shima likes camping, but minds the people, so she goes camping mainly in the colder months. During one of her trips she meets Nadeshiko Kagamihara, a dummy who just moved to the area and wanted to see Fujisan as it’s portrayed on the back of 1000¥ bills. This encounter spurs Nadeshiko to try camping. Together with the (two) members of the Outdoor Activities Club at school she ventures into the great outdoors.

That’s pretty much it. It’s a slice-of-life anime, my favorite genre. After three episodes I was thinking “It’s a nice slice-of-life, though a little stupid. Definitely not a must-watch.” But after the fourth it suddenly clicked with me and the regular length episodes were too short. And less stupid. (Even when they wrapped one of the girls in aluminium, bubbles and cardboard. See episode 4.) From the fifth episode onward it was amazing.

Before hitting the fourth episode I complained to a friend that the anime doesn’t have much to add to my life and he said:

It made you read the manga, mission accomplished.

He was alluding to the fact that a lot of adaptations are made to make the viewers buy the original manga. So as long as it made them read the manga (from a legal source, preferably), it has accomplished what was expected of it.

Yes, I have read a little of the manga in preparation for the review. Compared to the manga, the anime is more, well… animated. Most of the jokes go over much easier in motion, even though the content is pretty much the same.

Word of warning: As always there are spoilers and a lot of screenshots. Continue reading