With the excellent Summer 2016 anime season wrapped up on my end (more on that later) and the Fall 2016 season starting soon, here’s a look at the anime I am most looking forward to. For those that don’t know me, keep in mind that my tastes are a fair bit different from the norm and skew towards certain types of shows, which is why you’ll see certain shows here and not others. There are a bunch of other shows I will be trying, (and I’ll get to Natsume’s Book of Friends Season 5 once I finish seasons 3 and 4, so don’t expect that here). These are just the shows that I will most likely be following without needing to test the waters out first.
12. Long Riders – While I still need to finish Yowamushi Pedal(I’m halfway through the second season), that show has definitely gotten me more interested in bicycling. So naturally, a show that combines that with my perennial favorite show type, the cute-girls-doing-cute-things show, is guaranteed to catch my attention. Granted, we already had cute girls messing around on two wheels with Bakuon earlier this year, but that show ended up being more of a gag comedy, and I’m hoping this show leans more towards either sports cycling or slice-of-life.
11. SHOW BY ROCK!!# – The first season of this show was quite a wild ride: a musical-themed romp with fun characters and a story that had some light character-drama balanced by a whole lot of crazy power-of-rock battles against musical demons. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m hoping to see more of Plasmagica, Shingancrimsonz, and the various other musical groups from the original mobile game.
10. Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume – See Long Riders, but replace cycling with table tennis, which my Chinese origins definitely has ties to. On a side note, apparently the Wake Up Girls are still alive, singing the OP for this show, and while WUG are pretty low on my list of preferred fictional idols (I ended up dropping the anime and never did get back into it), I am always glad for their seiyuu groups to get more work.
9. Haikyuu! S3 – I still need to finish up season 2, but this show has overall been really fun to watch, balancing character development with exciting volleyball action.
8. ClassicaLoid – Seems like this is a gag comedy with modern reincarnations of classical composers. I have a soft spot for classical music so this show already has my attention. Also, one of the scriptwriters is Ichirou Sasaki, who is the author of the light novels of Scrapped Princess, Outbreak Company, and Chaika the Coffin Princess, all of which have been adapted to fantastic anime. How she will be able to put her writing skills to work on this show remains to be seen, but I’m definitely looking forward to it.
7. Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari – So here’s a show with an adult who finds himself in a rut, moves back to the countryside, and takes care of a strange kid who might be a tanuki. The similarities to Barakamon are definitely there, which is good because Barakamon is one of my favorite shows. Oh, and there seems to be food involved, which is always a plus. All in all, this totally looks like my type of show, so expect me to stay on top of it.
6. WWW.WORKING!! (a.k.a. WWW.WAGNARIA!!) – The original WORKING is one of my favorite romantic comedies of all time, especially with its amazing third season, so a spinoff with a different cast but the same style of comedy is definitely welcome. Here’s hoping this show keeps up with the fun cast and high laugh count.
5. Kiss Him, Not Me (a.k.a. Watashi ga Motete Dousunda) – I’ve read through a fair amount of the manga and while the premise is definitely stupid—fujoshi girl gets distressed over the death of her guy, and slims down out of lack of food until she becomes ridiculously attractive to four guys—four guys that she actively ships with each other. The story knows how ridiculous the premise is and just runs with it, though, making for some great comedy. It even manages to sneak in some more meaningful moments here and there, but mostly, I’m looking at this show for its silliness.
4. Girlish Number – Cute girls doing seiyuu things was already going to be a must-watch for me; aside from my penchance for anything involving cute girls doing everyday things, last year’s Sore ga Seiyuu/Seiyu’s Life ended up being really good, so I’m all for more. That said, what really brings this show some special attention is the scriptwriter, who’s also the author of the original light novels: Wataru Watari, who is better known for being the author of the Oregairu/My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU light novels. This is another curious connection, one that could infuse an otherwise fun little cute-girls-doing-seiyuu-things with just the right amount of snark and cynicism to frame the more difficult parts of the industry. One way or another, though, this looks like it will be a fun time.
3. Magic of Stella (a.k.a. Stella no Mahou) – This season’s NEW GAME showed that cute girls making video games is a winning combination, so why not do it again, except this time with high schoolers making an indie game? Well, obviously, with the girls back to being the usual high schoolers, we’re back to more familiar territory (as opposed to NEW GAME’s more adult focus), but nevertheless, this show is very much my type of show.
2. Sound! Euphonium 2 (a.k.a. Hibike! Euphonium 2) – The first season of Euphonium was my favorite anime of 2015. The combination of great characters, an excellent storyline, and top-notch Kyoto Animation production values, all tied in to the symphonic band experience (something I have personally done and still have some attachment to) made it pretty much the perfect show for me. I can only imagine what incredible things the second season will have in store for me. And yet, it is not quite my most anticipated show of next season…
1. March comes in like a lion (a.k.a. 3-gatsu no Lion) – So right off the bat, we have a show very much within my tastes: a slice-of-life about a high school boy who’s a professional shogi player but has fallen into a rut, and his relationship with a nearby family. The original manga (by the mangaka of Honey and Clover) is highly regarded and all things suggest this was going to be the critical darling of anime… but that’s not why I’m looking forward to this so much. Nah, what we need here is to spice things up by handing the anime over to Studio SHAFT, an anime studio known for ridiculous artistic flair that has a large number of both fans and detractors. Cries of SHAFT “ruining” the show can be heard all over, and yet that only makes me more interested to see how things will actually pan out. Never mind that Studio SHAFT also made my one of my favorite slice-of-life series, a little series called Hidamari Sketch, as well as last year’s excellent Gourmet Girl Graffiti (which was actually quite restrained for a SHAFT production, so they do know how to dial things down, I guess). Clearly, SHAFT knows how to do slice-of-life, and while the cute girl quantity here is a bit lower, I personally am excited to see how they adapt this manga… and all of the reactions from both the pro- and anti-SHAFT fanbases to the results.
Overall, this Fall seems to be full of music, sports, and cute girls, which I have no problem with. There are certainly several other shows that have my interest, but with 12 shows I plan to follow already and my time for anime viewing fairly limited, I might not get to them until after the season is over. Nevertheless, it looks to be a great season of anime.
So what shows in Fall 2016 are you looking forward to? Share your most anticipated shows in the comments, and let’s hope none of them disappoint us!