With the Winter Simulcast Season coming up, we thought it would be interesting to place the power in the hands of our Newsletter writers to send requests to the publishers in Japan for the titles they want to have on Crunchyroll. If you would like to write for us, have your works featured and be a part of this movement to let Japan know exactly what should be on Crunchyroll, shoot us an email at [email protected] Happy Holidays!
I've been a very good reviewer this year and would love to see some more of my favourite shows appear on the festive hors d'oeuvres that is Crunchyroll. So I made you a list of my bestest, most favouritest shows that are coming up!
5) Wolverine: The second in the Marvel/Madhouse series of teamups, the focus moves onto Wolverine and his mutant powers that we all know and gawp at in cartoons and live-action movies. Not much is known about the details of the plot of the anime but the sheer fact that it's another superhero and that the Iron Man anime has done well gives this collaboration some legs to be another success.
4) Gosick: Set in 1920s France, Gosick recalls the adventures of Kazuya and Victorique as they unravel mysteries that even the best of the country's detectives can't even begin to solve. It has been a trend recently for period anime to be treated to the most gorgeous of adaptations and this is no exception. From the looks of it, it looks set to be a shining beacon in this season's selection. The character of Victorique may be a little stock, but the partnership as a whole is potentially a winner.
3) Fractale: The story of Crane and his adventures across boundaries to find a mysterious girl and the answers behind the pendant left by said girl. It takes place on an island amidst the imminent collapse of what is known as a “Fractale System”. From the sounds of this brief snippet of information we have to go on, Fractale seems like a genuinely intriguing voyage of discovery that will see characters grow into something greater.
2) Kore wa Zombie desu ka?: Did the word “Zombie” perk your interest? Rightly so! Aikawa is a boy who is brutally murdered and resurrected as the walking undead. He is taken into servitude by his now master Eucliwood, but the caveat of this union is that he is sapping Eucliwood of her energy and must now fight in her stead against the evil forces of Megalo. Zombie slaves, magic powers and high school. Need I say more?
1) IS-Infinite Stratos: With a plot reminiscent to my favourite anime, Nadesico, IS is the tale of Orimura and his unique talent. In this world, the Infinite Stratos battle droids can only be operated by women since they are the dominant presence in society. Despite this massive gender imbalance though, Orimura is able to pilot the Stratos and has no choice but to enlist in the academy and earn his wings. I find this plot very nostalgic, like the sci-fi/mecha series of the 80s and 90s – only in HD! Could this be this season's Star Driver? I sure hope so!
So Santa, you can see that this season does have some stellar anime to look forward to that I would love to see on one of my fav websites and I'm sure that bajillions of others like myself feel the same way. Please, please, please, please, please get these anime for us this Christmas!!
Hope Rudolph is well!
Best wishes and happy holidays,
1. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?
I believe this means "Is this a zombie?" This title sounds interesting because I have never seen a manga with zombies (Yes, I'm serious)... It says it's about a boy being brought back from the dead and given the duties of a maso shojo. I don't exactly understand this, but it does sound pretty interesting.
2. Ao no Exorcist
It means blue exorcist. It's about a boy living in the human world that is literally Satan's son. He needed a container to hold him in the human world. Anyway, he turns on Satan and decides to become an exorcist. It's definitely a shonen, like Bleach or Naruto, REALLY POPULAR TITLES! So I think not just me, but others will also love this title.
3. IS (Infinite Stratos)
I kind of like the idea for this one. An armed powerful exoskeleton (Mech) that is a strong weapon possessed by Japan. Eventually the world follows suit and makes more. A boy accidentally touches one and is found to be the only man able to operate an IS (Only woman should be able to operate them). So he will be forced to transfer schools and since only girls operate IS, an all girls school... Fanservice is popular, and I myself enjoy it. It'd be great to see this show on CR!!
4. Deadman Wonderland
Ok, a kid getting framed for a crime and going to a deadly prison theme park? AWESOME!!! It says he will be injected with a lethal poison that will kill him if he doesn't eat a certain candy... And eventually he learns to use his blood as a weapon? So he's forced to fight other prisoners? Call me sick, but that sounds really cool. I want to see this because this is an idea I have never heard of nor even thought of. I like stuff that's really off-the-wall like this
5. Koe de Oshigoto!
This one just sounds interesting because it involves a girl asked to be a voice actor for an eroge company. She was asked by her sister to do this. And she agrees to it. Which is weird. I can't tell much more about this but the plot still sounds new, so I kinda wanna see this one do.
I was a latecomer to this story, not sure if I wanted to hop on the wagon of a possible Bleach replica, but have been surprised and delighted with its unique elements. The main character is grotesquely strong, but depicts more of an anti-hero: Oga is a thug and a brute, who seems to thrive on the misery and fear of others. He is given the task of caring for the son of the devil, a baby named Beel, since he is thought to be the strongest delinquent and thus the only human worthy of the job. While Oga is arrogant and careless, the story itself is hilarious and filled with a strong supporting cast who isn’t just in the story to emphasis the power of the main character, but also has their own backgrounds and enduring personalities. Watching Oga slowly (and painfully) learn to care about lives other than his own is fulfilling. Seeing the engrossing action scenes, humorous situations and growing relationships of the manga brought to life through anime is at the top of my Christmas wish-list.
Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below
This is a story about saying farewell. The main character, a girl named Asuna, sets out on a journey to hear the voice of a certain boy once again. Along the way, she comes to understand the cruelty and beauty of the world, and learns how to say goodbye. The teaser trailer showed a whimsical world saturated with color and a myriad of characters who seem to help Asuna along the way. The story is reminiscent of Studio Ghibli work, with elements of fantasy, adventure and poignancy. The film was created and directed by Makoto Shinkai, a rising star in the anime world, known for his previous works, 5 Centimeters Per Second and Voices of a Distant Star. I am a personal fan of Shinkai’s, whose films are always able to evoke a sense of lost innocence and nostalgia. However, Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below has been described as more “lively” than his previous works, sticking with the theme of loss, but expanding this by showing how to overcome and grow stronger from the experience. The additional fantasy and action elements make me very excited for Shinkai’s new film, set for release in Japan in May 2011.
Alice would not be enjoying a tea party in this particular “wonderland”; this is a twisted fantasy set in an alternate Japan. The main character, Ganta, is framed for a heinous crime he didn’t commit and sent to a privately-owned prison called “Deadman Wonderland”. Ganta has to struggle with the daily life of an inmate on death row and learn to survive the gladiator-like arena the prisoners are thrown into each night. As if this wasn’t hard enough, he is also injected with poison daily through a special collar he wears, and has to fight to earn the antidote. In a bizarre twist, he discovers that he can control and form his own blood into weapons, which he uses in his fights. Ganta is a spitfire character, actually willing to fight for survival, which is a welcome change from many of the “I-don’t-know-how-this-could-have-happened-to-me¬” protagonists filling tragedy anime. He is also becomes increasingly obsessed with finding out who framed him, which leads to many more heart-wrenching twists and turns within the confines of this warped Wonderland. An anime adaptation would bring to life the dark art style and sometimes frightening fight scenes; and I’m dying to find out the identity of the real murderer alongside Ganta.
While I love my shounen action and dark thrillers, I need a break sometimes with a good—mindless—comedy series. Nichijou is a gag manga following the (anything but) “everyday” lives of a group of high-schoolers, who usually end up in insane or hilarious scenarios. Sometimes the jokes are cold when read on paper, but I think the comedic timing of an anime adaptation could bring out the potential of this story. If it made me laugh while reading it, I believe that the addition of voice actors, music and sound effects would make it worthy of my Christmas wish-list.
Maybe I can’t resist “journey” anime—the kind that takes a character on an adventure of a pilgrimage to find out about the world around them and discover what kind of person they are. I love watching that process of realization or change; and Fractale shows promise of being precisely that type of anime. And what’s a journey without mystery? The main character sets out to search for a girl who disappeared after he finds her under a cliff, but not before leaving him with a strange pendant. The boy also travels to discover the secrets of the “Fractale System”, which sustains the world. I was intrigued that this was a world where humans are rarely seen, instead substituted by robots that do their jobs for them, including parenting. The teaser trailers make me want to jump into the colorful and expansive environments, and I too want to understand the mysteries of the Fractale System that seems to create and support the world; the system which is beginning to collapse.
1. Deadman’s Wonderland
Dark, dangerous, and deadly, the post-apocalyptic Deadman’s Wonderland seems like it will be the gem of the 2011 anime winter season. The story of the only survivor of his class’s bloody massacre by the Red Man, Ganta Igarashi becomes the sole suspect of the mass murder and is thrown into a theme-park-like jail. With an intense plot and well-fitting artwork done by the Eureka Seven artist, Ganta’s participation in lethal games to survive the poison constantly being injected into him, as well as his search for the Red Man, are sure to scream an atmosphere of fear, suspense, and horror. If done in just the right way, Deadman’s Wonderland may be one of the most terrifying nightmares you’ll ever experience.
2. Kimi ni Todoke (Season 2)
The extremely popular Kimi ni Todoke, also known as Reach You, continues its second season with the pure relationship between awkward, shy Sawako Kuronuma and popular, cheerful Shota Kazehaya. Both Sawako and Shota are so unbelievably likable with their insecurities and lovable traits that it’s hard not to root for them to end up romantically linked. The author of the original manga has the uncanny ability to draw the most beautiful smiles, and in combination with such a human, lovely story, it’s easy to be drawn into Kimi ni Todoke and the upcoming second season.
Beelzebub probably has one of the strangest, yet most fascinating plots out there; a delinquent boy named Oga Tatsumi finds a corpse in the river that splits open to reveal a baby boy, the son of the demon king that Oga has been chosen to raise. The clean, polished artwork is just as distinct as the story and conveys the unique quality of the plot, which is not something you’ll find everyday. With these two elements in hand, Beelzebub seems like it will be quite the exciting, unpredictable joyride.
4. Wandering Son
The story of an effeminate fifth grader and his tomboyish best friend, Wandering Son tackles issues of transsexuality and gender identity at the fragile stage of puberty. Its unusual, yet captivating story is a rarity among manga and anime plots today, and its unique use of gender reversal makes it all the more interesting. Apart from the story, the artwork has a classic, yet sweet feeling to it that portrays the innocence of children just entering puberty and the beginning of their identity crisis.
5. IS (Infinite Stratos)
IS (Infinite Stratos) takes place in a society where a Japanese exoskeleton weapon called IS exists that only women can pilot, but it just so happens that the first male to be able to use it is discovered. As a result, he must go to an IS academy to master the IS weapon, where obviously only girls attend. What makes this series seem unique is because of their ability to pilot the IS, women dominate society. Although some cultures today allow women to take control, no known society is strictly matriarchal, so the way the world runs in IS is definitely something worth taking a look at.
I’m an older anime fan who has seen it all and heard it all, though I still haven’t become jaded enough to turn my nose at all the moe and harem shows yet. This is mostly thanks to three kinds of shows: 1) those with powerful, character-driven stories that focus more on the growth of the protagonists as they struggle and triumph over adversity; 2) slice-of-life stories that highlight character relationships, and 3) intelligent shows that challenge the mind as much as they do the imagination. As long as these kinds of shows are around to temper the rest of the fluff, I will continue to happily spend my days watching.
All I want for Christmas this year is for Crunchyroll to pick up a couple of shows slated to come out in 2011 that look like they will fit into one or more of these categories, with a couple of guilty pleasures tossed in for good measure.
Moshi Koko Yakyu no Joshi Manager ga Drucker no Management o Yondera (“Moshidora”):
The title may be a mouthful, but the premise is especially charming to me: the female manager of a high school baseball team gets hold of a copy of Peter Drucker’s Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices and uses it to help lead her team to victory. The novel it is based off of is a top-seller in Japan, so I am confident that the story is sound, and I also have a particular fondness for most anime that are based off of novels as they tend to have a solid narrative. The idea of a high school sports anime crossed with business management also piques my interest, and with Production IG’s high quality standards and a staff of renowned veterans on the production team, I expect great things from this show!
A good mystery anime is hard to come by, so I am hopeful for Gosick to fill that void. The two main characters, Kazuya and Victorique, sound fascinating and quirky, and are such polar opposites that their interaction and how they play off of each other should prove to be interesting. My mental image of the young Victorique, who is described as beautiful and doll-like, but smokes pipes and sounds like an old lady, amuses me to no end.
Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season
Kimi ni Todoke is definitely one of my guilty pleasures, and it pleases me that a second season of the anime is forthcoming. The main heroine, Sawako’s awkwardly innocent development in love and friendship is a compellingly sweet take on the high school romance genre, and the relatively low levels of teenage angst made it especially easy for me to empathize with the characters in the manga and first anime series. With Production IG returning to the series, I anticipate quality animation and direction, and the story has already won me over, so this show is already a must-see in my book.
I am quite the fan of Kyoto Animation’s works, so Nichijou is an obvious choice for me. Given the manga’s penchant for offbeat humor and KyoAni’s excellent track record for impeccable comedic timing, I look forward to seeing how the gags work out when animated. Seeing as how KyoAni has also come out with a number of huge hits in the past couple of years, it will also be interesting to see if their streak continues. It also leaves me to wonder what viral song and/or dance combination they will come up with next.
Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
Any show that takes place during the Victorian Era appeals to me on the basis of its historical setting alone. The premise of the show sounds innocent enough and strikes me as exactly the kind of slice-of-life story that I would enjoy most. Yune and Claude’s struggles to overcome both the language and the cultural barrier between each other sound reminiscent of some of my own trials when I was younger, so I’m sure I can easily relate to them. The artwork from the manga looks gorgeous too, so I’m really hoping that the designs carry over into its animated format.
It can be hard to tell which animes are going to deliver when often all you have to gauge their worth are brief synopses, a small preview image and, if you're lucky, a short preview trailer! Regardless, after basking in the radiant glow of the next season's delicious anime offerings, I've come up with a wishlist of the 5 animes that, in my opinion, simply cannot fail to make this winter season truly shine. We simply must have them here at Crunchyroll!
Rie Kugimiya, the Tsundere Queen herself, is voicing Rose, the dragon girl heroine. What, you need more incentive? The trailer showcases some colorful characters and looks like the show will provide us with a very solid hybrid of action, comedy and romance. A winning combination if I've ever seen one.
I usually stay far away from anything set in the early 1900s, but there's a lot going for Gosick that definitely urges me to throw my prejudice away and give it a shot. The premise of a detective anime with mature themes and a cute gothic lolita lead is rather appealing. In addition, Bones, the studio behind some of the most exquisitely animated marvels of recent years (Eureka Seven, Full Metal Alchemist, Darker Than Black and Xam'd: Lost Memories, to name a few ) is undertaking the project. My excitement thus reaches the level of a high school girl in front of a fancy jewelry store.
Kore Wa Zombie Desuka?:
With the current worldwide infatuation with zombies in full spin, it's great to see an anime take a refreshing spin on the concept by making a zombie the main character! Throw in some action, comedy, romance, ecchi and pink chainsaws and we've definitely got something that can “breathe life” into this winter season!
Zombie pun: Check.
Mitsudomoe 2nd season:
I came for the lolies, I stayed for the lulz. The first season of Mitsudomoe, which we already have right here on Crunchyroll, blew me away with its mastery of “misunderstanding” gags turning innocent subjects into intensely perverted situations that never ceased to bring hilarious results. I can't wait to be reunited with the Marui triplets and their Nipples (please don't misunderstand!) for another season of pure entertainment!
Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
Alright, of all the animes on my wishlist, this is probably my most controversial pick. It doesn't even have a proper preview trailer to speak of as of this writing, and information on it is scarce! Why this anime, you may ask? Reasons, there are three:
1: Not an adaptation. It's a completely original magical girl series.
2: It's a collaboration between Shaft and Aniplex, directed by Akiyuki Shinbo... A team up of legends, I tell you.
3: Character designs are incredibly cute, and from the same artist behind Hidamari Sketch. So moe it hurts.
Shakugan no Shana III
I say it’s about darn time that Shana gets to show her skills at Crunchyroll. Originally premiering in 2005, Shakugan no Shana chronicles the tale of Shana, the sword wielding, melon-bread eating, tsundere schoolgirl guardian of the almost dead Yuji Sakai, and her neverending battle against the Denizens of Guze. Lauded for its animation and its fantastic execution, Shana has since become one of the more popular characters in this decade of anime, and is certainly worthy of gaining widespread US appeal.
Supernatural the Animation
Oh yes, that’s correct. The adventures of Sam and Dean Winchester are not only known in Japan, but are popular enough there to warrant an anime series to boot. This anime series would be a great way for anime fans to catch up on the first two seasons of Supernatural as well as experience brand new stories for all of the veteran fans as well. Add to the fact that Madhouse will be responsible for animating this series, and you have a recipe for an awesome series.
Case Closed: Quarter of Silence
The 15th movie for the Detective Conan series also celebrates the 15th anniversary of one of Japan’s greatest (and youngest) detectives. For those who are unfamiliar, Cased Closed follows the story of Conan Edogawa, the young alter ego of detective prodigy Jimmy Kudo. After being hit with a mysterious poison that has de-aged his body by 10 years, Conan is determined to use his skills to find out exactly who was responsible for his attempted murder while hiding his true identity from his high school friends. Throughout his investigations Conan has become well known for solving the most impossible cases, thus becoming one of anime’s most memorable characters.
Call me old school, but not enough people these days seem to acknowledge the legacy of the first hot blooded Super Robot series, Mazinger Z. It should then be noted that Mazinkaizer SKL is the latest of the famed Mazinger series based on the original Go Nagai series. If one is craving that great old school giant robot action with a modern twist, then Mazinkaizer SKL certainly looks like a fantastic way to fulfill that craving.
Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou, the team who brought you Eureka 7, has now brought us Deadman Wonderland. The story follows Ganta, a somewhat unassuming middle school boy who has been framed by the Red Man and sentenced to death row. Because this is a post-apocalyptic Tokyo we’re talking about, the prison he is sent to is the twisted theme park known as Deadman Wonderland. It is here in which Ganta not only gains the power to control and weaponize his blood, but he must also participate in the gladiator-like Carnival Corpse is he is to survive. Deadman Wonderland is set to be a very promising new action series that any shonen fan would love to take a lick of.
Most Requested Shows
Green lit and ready to go live in 2011, Deadman's Wonderland is based off a manga series written by Jinsei Kataoka and illustrated by Kazuma Kondou - from Eureka 7!
Based off a Japanese light novel series by Kazuki Sakuraba, we follow leads Kazuya and Victorique as they solve difficult mystery cases and create unforgettable bonds.
Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?
Yet another light novel adaptation, this particular series with its slight moe themes intermixed with the supernatural is set to be released in Japan in early January.
While going after Aizen, who has left for Karakura Town, Ichigo and Isshin arrive in the Precipice World, a place where time flows two thousand times slower than the outside world. Isshin decides to use this opportunity to have Ichigo acquire the “Final Getsugatensho,” which could defeat Aizen. Meanwhile, at the Karakura Town relocated to the Soul Society, Keigo and Tatsuki wake up to realize something terrible is happening to their town.
Team Ichigo continues to steadily improve their sales, while Koshiro's Beautiful Night Castle continues a steady and relentless pace. Hard work and excellent sweets pay off eventually, and by the last week Team Ichigo is matching Koshiro's sales... But that's not going to make up the nearly 15 million yen difference in total sales they built up! In the end, everything hinges on the sale of Christmas cakes on Christmas Eve... Who will win the bet and get Ichigo's heart?