Jormungand
04.10.2012
Action, Adventure
Trailer: [spoiler][/spoiler]
white fox
Synopsis:
The series follows Koko Hekmatyar, a young arms dealer who sells weapons under HCLI, a weapons corporation. As one of the company’s unofficial weapon sellers, she secretly sells weapons in many countries while avoiding the local authorities and law enforcements as most of her work is actually illegal under international law. Traveling with her is her team of bodyguards who are mostly composed of ex-military veterans. Her latest addition to her crew is Jonah, a seemingly emotionless child soldier who is skilled in combat yet ironically hates arms dealers. Jonah joins Koko as he wishes to find the arms dealer responsible for his family’s death.
steev’s Thoughts:

I chose this anime on a whim, but the more I look into it the more I am excited about it. It has a more serious feel to it and I get a Black Lagoon vibe from it. Jormungand was actually in the same publication as Black Lagoon and a few of the staffers worked on the Black Lagoon series as well. I don’t think this will have the same charisma that BL had, but I do think this is a series that we all should check out. The manga has been completed too, so there is more freedom for the studio to do what they want. It is from the same studio that brought us Stiens;Gate and Katangatari, which means it has quite a bit of potential in it. It is also interesting that a second season has already been planed even before season 1 has aired. A good serious action anime is not something that comes very often, so I am pretty excited about this anime. I just hope I don’t put too many expectations on Jormungand because hype is the number 1 killer of good anime.

Tsuritama
04.12.2012
Drama, Sci-Fi, Fishing
Trailer: [spoiler][/spoiler]
a-1 pictures
Synopsis:
Yuki Sanada is a high school boy who cannot communicate with people well and doesn’t have a single friend. He lives on Enoshima island with his French grandmother. One day, he meets a boy named Haru. Haru calls himself an alien who visited the Earth for fishing. Another high school boy, Natsuki, and a mysterious Indian, Akira, join the two and the island becomes the center of the event which determines the fate of the world.
steev’s Thoughts:

I know what you are thinking, “A fishing anime about saving the world? AWESOME!” DAMN STRAIGHT! All joking aside, this actually looks like a really fun anime. The slice of life coming of age feel to it looks like it will be a blast to watch. It also has a sci-fi twist to it, which will make the anime stand out from the rest. It is being produced by A-1 Pictures, which has been producing some of the best anime as of late, like Ano Hana, Working, Ao no Exorcist, and Occult Academy. Tomokazu Sugita will also be voicing one of the main characters too and he is easily my favorite voice actor. I look forward to seeing how the chemistry of the main characters work. This series will live or die by whether they click or not. I have a good feeling about this anime and will certainly be eagerly awaiting its release.

Sakamichi no Apollon
04.13.2012
Drama, Slice of Life, Music
Trailer: [spoiler][/spoiler]
tezuka productions
Synopsis:
This coming-of-age story of “love, friendship, and music” follows a naive boy and a scruffy boy in a provincial town in Nagasaki Prefecture in 1966. In the early summer, Kaoru transfers to the local high school from Yokosuka. Thanks to his family’s nearly constant cycle of moving from town to town, Kaoru has only known school as a difficult place for readjusting everytime. However, on his first day at this new school, he meets a boy and begins a new direction in life.
Jrow’s Thoughts:

You’ll see the following phrase on a lot of preview blogs coupled with apologies for the lame pun, but I will not be apologizing: I am jazzed for Apollon! In the past couple of years, Josei manga-turned-anime have been a joy to watch (Usagi Drop and Chihayafuru, for example), and this premise that turns the clock back to a different era and playing music is really great. I love the concept of being in the 60’s since the approach to music will be different than modern series and apparently very jazz-centric. To this day, I still think Bebop’s music is the best in anime ever, and with director Watanabe and music by Kanno, Apollon stands as my most anticipated anime of the Spring. I’m not really familiar with the studios (this’ll be MAPPA’s main debut project), but the art and quality animation in the trailer is really solid. One slight concern is that like many Josei series, this is based on an ongoing manga, but that didn’t stop Usagi Drop or Chihaya from being really enjoyable to watch. It’s also an award-winning manga which also adds to the hype.

Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan
04.13.2012
Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Trailer (PSP Game): [spoiler][/spoiler]
production i.g
Synopsis:
One day, a mysterious girl named Kaguya was washed ashore the island of Wyndaria after a great storm. She encounters Rick, a swordsman who wound up working at the island’s bakery. Apparently, Kaguya is suffering from having lost her memories and emotions. In addition, the usually peaceful Wyndaria is now swarming with pirates who came seeking for the special spirit stone that is worn around Kaguya’s neck. Knowing the situation, Rick and his co-workers, Nellis, Amyl, and Aerie decided to bring back peace to island and help Kaguya regain her lost memories and emotions.
steev’s Thoughts:

When I saw the name, looked at the image, and read the description I wrote this off as a stupid harem anime, but then I dug a little deeper and now I am actually pretty intrigued by this anime. At first impression you get a series about the daily lives of people who bake bread in a fantasy world, but there looks to be quite a bit of action in it as well. It is the baking theme that threw me off, although I did watch Yakitate Japan and ended up baking bread because of it. This anime is actually based off of a PSP game that was released back in 2010 and the trailer for that game looks pretty cool. This is also a Production I.G anime and while they’ve done crap before, typically I tend to like their anime and their animation quality is some of the best you’ll find. Hiroshi Kamiya will be voicing the main character and while he probably is only doing it because he voiced the game as well, I tend to like his work.

Eureka seveN AO
04.13.2012
Action, Sci-Fi, Mecha
Trailer: [spoiler][/spoiler]
bones
Synopsis:
The story is set on Okinawa’s isolated island of Iwado, which has seen a growing movement advocating a return to an autonomous government. Fukai Ao, a 13-year-old boy with a missing father, lives on the island with an old doctor named Toshio and is about to enter middle school. Ao’s mother was taken away a decade ago by unknown individuals. Arata Naru, Ao’s 13-year-old childhood friend and the story’s heroine, lives with her father, older sister, and grandmother. She has a Yuta power awakened within her due to an incident when she was young.
steev’s Thoughts:

I am sure since its announcement that most of us have been keeping an eye on this series. Eureka seveN is easily one of the best and most stylish of the BONES’ anime. If you haven’t seen it yet, you are missing out. Lately I haven’t been able to put as much weight behind the studio because their projects just haven’t been on par with their earlier works. That is why I am glad that they are coming back to the Eureka seveN universe. Although the series concluded nicely, there really is a lot they can do with it. I just hope that it doesn’t become a more Moe version or that they mimic too much of the original story. I want to see a new fresh work from them. The director is the same from the original, which could mean good things. This is easily one of the best looking new shows to air in the spring season.

Hyouka
04.14.2012
Mystery, Drama, Slice of Life
Trailer: [spoiler][/spoiler]
kyoto animation
Synopsis:
Oreki Hotaro is a high school boy, who always acts passively. One day, he enters “Koten Bu (Classic Literature Club)” as recommended by his elder sister. There he meets Chitanda Eru, Fukube Satoshi, and Ibara Mayaka. Chitanda is a calm beautiful girl but she turns into an embodiment of curiosity once she says, “I’m interested in it (Watashi, Kininarimasu)”. Fukube is a smiling boy with a fantastic memory, he never deduces anything on his own. Ibara is a short girl and is strict with others and herself. She loves Fukube, but he always dodges her approaches. They begin to investigate a case that occurred 33 years ago. Hints of the mystery are buried in an old collection of works of the former members of Koten Club. The collection is titled “Hyouka”.
Jrow’s Thoughts:

Fukube sounds kind of like me with that awesome memory bank! Anyways… Yasuhiro Takemoto and Shoji Gotoh who’ve previously done Full Metal Panic (the latter being the original creator) work together with the much respected Kyoto Animation to adapt this Honobu Yonezawa mystery novel. You can easily see the high-quality animation that Kyoto will provide, and 21 episodes is a unique count, which makes me wonder if they’ve meticulously planned out how they plan to adapt the original source content. I could see this becoming one of the most talked about shows for Spring and into Summer, and I’d be willing to be patient with it through early episodes that might not have as strong an impact as later episodes.

AKB0048
04.29.2012
Sci-fi, Music, Shit
Trailer: [spoiler][/spoiler]
satelight
Synopsis:
In the beginning of the 21st century, a world war breaks out over interplanetary travel tech. The environment is pretty much destroyed so mankind leaves Earth and starts Star Calendar 00. Entertainment and songs become heavily regulated and eventually banned due to their power to move people, but a brave idol group puts on guerrilla performances in the name of a famous act from earlier times that sang to Earth’s bitter end, AKB48. The illegal revival group’s name is… AKB0048.
steev’s Thoughts:

If there ever was a shameless attempt at advertising and pandering this anime would be the king, or queen rather, of it. Not only does it sound like a complete rip off of Macross, it also plays on Gundam naming. It merely plays off the fame of a stupid idol group and it attempts to sell more of their shit to people. Avoid this show… nay, boycott it. I will not watch the first episode and I strongly urge that you don’t as well. If you watch it, you will bring shame to your family and to your decedents.

steev’s Thoughts:

Most Promising: Fate/Zero 2

I really want to go with something else, but I just can’t. No matter how good Eureka seveN, Kore wa Zombie, or Sakamichi no Apollon look, they all just pale in comparison. Fate/Zero is an awesome anime. It makes Fate/Stay look like a joke and it already has my vote for the best anime of the year. The second half of this anime has to tank for it to lose my vote and I don’t see that happening. I am really excited about season 2.

Coin Flip Anime: Zetman

Zetman is going to do one of two things:
1) It is going to suck because of awful production values, a lame script, and edited violence.
2) It is going to kickass so hard that you are going to get a hard-on from all the bone crushing action and violence.
Obviously I am hoping on the later. It has the right stuff to be really good, but it has the potential of being like Skullman, which just sucked.

Trash Anime: AKB0048

Every second you spend watching this anime, a child will die from starvation. Don’t kill little children. It is morally wrong and your conscience will suffer from it.

Jrow’s Thoughts:

Most Promising: Sakamichi no Apollon

The formula for this show seems to fit in with what people originally perceived of noitaminA. Yoko Kanno is a big sell for me, but the premise is what wins me over. Takes place in the 60’s, jazz music, coming-of-age; a josei recipe that I’m hopeful will be enjoyable to watch.

Expected Letdown: Eureka seveN AO

Not to say BONES has been total crap in the past 5 years, but most of their animes have gotten a lot of attention to start with and ended with a problem or two that soured what elsewise could’ve been a truly great anime. The animation fidelity still stands as some of the industry’s best, but I’m not so quick to be excited for a new E7 series as my trusting of BONES has waned in the past couple of years.

Trash Anime: Sankarea

We reviewed some of the manga during Anivision’s zombie week rather negatively, so I immediately have to put this DEEN-animated zombie show in the trash slot by default. I’ve said that it might be better in anime form, but to do that, this series will have to go to work for me, and early on.

Amuro’s Thoughts:

Most Promising: Hyouka

Kyoto Animation can do no wrong in my mind, and I am eager to see their next work. The series is based on novels, and there seems to be a mystery angle mixed in with everyday school life.

Stupidly Awesome: Saint Seiya Omega

Umakoshi is an animation powerhouse, and I loved the classic revival of Casshern Sins, so I’m expecting great things from this classic revival as well. In the end, even if you aren’t a fan of Saint Seiya from years past, this is certainly something to keep an eye on.

Trash Anime: Queen’s Blade Rebellion

There may be shows that air this season worse than this one, but that doesn’t mean Queen’s Blade isn’t the biggest anime trash of them all. It is anime that targets the lowest common denominator, and by that I mean my nether regions. That’s not necessarily a bad thing…