Little Busters! Refrain
Comedy, Drama
J.C. Staff

I really can’t tell you how I made it through the first season of Little Busters. I sort of drifted along, never really invested in the characters or their problems. When the 26 episode run wrapped up with pretty much a non-ending and a short teaser for the next season, I really couldn’t care less. I didn’t play the visual novel this was adapted from, so had no prior expectations, so maybe it’s a case of the visual novel telling a better story? In any case, I went and spoiled the contents of Refrain after the first season ended. I’m not particularly excited for Refrain, but I’ll watch it for completion’s sake. From what I’ve gathered, more interesting stuff is set to happen here, so maybe it won’t be a total waste of time.

Magi 2
Action, Fantasy
A-1 Pictures

If you haven’t watched the first season of Magi, then you are missing out on one of the best Shounen anime to have aired in the last few years. It hits all the right notes when it comes to characters, story, and action. Needless to say, I am really excited about the upcoming season. I really like how they are producing the show as well. Splitting the show into 24 episode seasons every 6 months is really the way to go. That way we have no filler and it is just enough time for us to not forget everything that happened during the previous season. Last season ended with a huge event and I am excited to see what happens next.

Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta
Action, Supernatural
Tatsunoko Productions

This one is pretty interesting. You got a team of four young people with special powers fighting youkai in a city where they live side by side with humans. The interesting part is that doing research on this convinced me to go back and watch the first few adaptations. I never saw the original Yozakura Quartet, which was animated by Nomad, but from what I’ve gathered, Hana no Uta looks like a huge improvement in terms of animation and character design. The man in charge of those things is Ryo-timo and he’s got a pretty impressive list of credits as key animator on several anime. Tatsunoko has been on a roll recently, so this is one to watch out for.

Hajime no Ippo Rising
Action, Sports

It’s been 4 years since New Challenger last aired, and I’m not only stoked for this new season, but pleasantly surprised that it was announced and confirmed to air so soon. Season 2 had an “ending” that didn’t feel anything like a finale, and I think while Ippo anime fans like myself are glad more anime is being produced, we have to realize that this is an incredibly long-running manga series and we should prepare ourselves for a similar closing to Rising. Very little (if anything) has changed in production staff as Madhouse is still animating and most seiyuu and staff are involved. I’ve always found Ippo to be a funny series and that “The Sweet Science” makes for excellent anime sport.

Ace of Diamond
Sports, Shounen
Madhouse & I.G

Production I.G & Madhouse are quite quite a combo, and the quality really does show in the trailer for this baseball anime that focuses on the battery between pitcher Eijun Sawamura & catcher Kazuya Miyuki. I don’t exactly seek out baseball anime even though I enjoy the sport, but if the important trinity of quality animation, great display of the sport being played and engaging characters and developments can be seen within this anime, then I’m pretty sure I can enjoy the heck out of Ace of Diamond, though seemingly in a different way from Big Windup!

Kuroku no Basuke 2
Sports, Shounen
Production I.G

With all the real life threats in Japan when this series tried to have special events, I was concerned that any plans for a second season would get benched, but I am glad they didn’t. Season one was ridiculous good and I only had one real problem with it. The season just stopped like there was going to be another episode. So just the simple fact that there is another episode, I am pretty excited about it. Being produced by Production I.G means it is also a damn good looking anime. One of the best looking Sports anime you’ll fine. If you haven’t seen the first season, then I doubt you’ll just pick up and go here, but I do highly recommend it. Especially if you are a big college basketball fan like myself. Go Duke!

Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!
Ecchi, Sports

So, what’s not to like about this show? Did you see that PV? If you needed more convincing, it’s from the character designer of Queen’s Blade and IkkiTousen, with staff from HagureYuusha. It’s about girls wrestling. I mean, I can’t spell this out any clearer. If it can be said that Steev stole Kyoukai no Kanata from me, then the same is true for me with this show and Jrow.