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Amazing Stories

Absolute-Duo Absolute Duo

The premise: A boy who should have the power to summon a weapon can only manifest a shield instead. Also, thanks to his school’s buddy system, he has to live with a girl while he trains.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: That’ll be your generic light novel harem comedy, then. Next!

Premiere: January 4

Assassination-Classroom Assassination Classroom

The premise: An alien destroys the moon, then takes up a career as a teacher. Its students have a year to kill it, or it will destroy the world. Unfortunately, it’s a really good teacher…

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: This is the most hotly anticipated premiere in a season with several hotly anticipated premieres. The manga is really something special by all accounts, and many breaths are being held to see if it gets horribly screwed up.

Premiere: January 9

Bouei-bu Binan Kōkō Chikyū Bōei-bu Love! (Handsome Earth Self-Defense Club Love!)

The premise: Five high-school students are granted magical powers by a pink wombat so that they can save the world.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: So it’s basically gender-swapped magical girl show. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Bring it on!

Premiere: January 6

Death-Parade Death Parade

The premise: Pairs of dead souls stop in a bar to play a game where the referee is judging them as their true natures are revealed.

Derivative factor: Expanded from a short film

The buzz: The short film Death Billiards impressed a lot of people with its originality in both story and visuals. Hard to say if it’ll work as a series, but definitely worth checking out.

Premiere: January 9

Doamaiger Doamaiger D

The premise: The 15th-generation owner of a shop in Kyoto selling sweets discovers a giant robot suit in the basement just as robot monsters start attacking the city.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: It’s hard to say what to make of this. It’s a throwback to good old-fashioned fighting robot shows, but it’s so deliberately silly that it might just wind up being stupid.

Premiere: January 5

Dog-Days Dog Days”

The premise: The continuing adventures of a boy from the modern world who is summoned into a fantasy world to protect it.

Derivative factor: Continuing manga adaptation

The buzz: Probably not much of interest to anyone who isn’t already a fan of the franchise.

Premiere: January 10

Durararax2 Durarara!!x2

The premise: The continuing adventures of a group of kids and their headless Celtic friend in an urban-fantasy version of the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo.

Derivative factor: Continuing light novel adaptation

The buzz: Despite the reputation of light novels these days, the first Durarara!! was much-loved and there are many people looking forward to the continuation.

Premiere: January 10

Fafner Fafner: Exodus

The premise: Depending on which source you go with, either the continuing story of mankind at war against aliens or a tale of the time of peace afterward when the child soldiers have to figure out what to do next.

Derivative factor: Sequel to original series

The buzz: The original Fafner was fairly popular, and this series could do worse than to be more of the same.

Premiere: January 8

Isuca Isuca

The premise: A teenage boy working as a housekeeper turns out to have supernatural powers which are useful to the teenage head of the family in her battle against monsters.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Looks pretty generic. You can probably give this one a pass.

Premiere: January 23

Kamisama-Kiss-2 Kamisama Kiss 2

The premise: A girl who was tricked into taking over a shrine continues her training to be a minor deity.

Derivative factor: Continuing manga adaptation

The buzz: The first season wasn’t particularly popular or well-done, so it’s a mystery why this was greenlighted.

Premiere: January 5

Kan-Colle Kantai Collection -Kan Colle-

The premise: Earth’s seas have been taken over by a mysterious fleet which can only be fought by girls who can channel the spirits of famous battleships.

Derivative factor: Game adaptation

The buzz: Not much excitement among English-speaking anime fans, but the game this is based on is insanely popular in Japan, so we’d better resign ourselves to this running and running.

Premiere: January 7

Q-Transformers Q Transformers: Kaettekita Convoy no Nazo (Q Transformers: Mystery of the Returned Convoy)

The premise: An Autobot lieutenant tries to track down their missing leader.

Derivative factor: Game adaptation

The buzz: Why adapt a terrible game from 1986? Why?

Premiere: January 6

Rolling-Girls Rolling Girls

The premise: As Japan experiences a new Warring States Era, four girls are sent out from Saitama to act as traveling mediators. Three are seemingly ordinary, but the fourth has fangs and claims to be collecting magical stones.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Coming from the studio behind Attack on Titan, this has everyone’s attention, even though there’s not much sense of what’s going to happen in it.

Premiere: January 10

World-Break Seiken Tsukai no Kinju Eishō <World Break> (The Holy Swordsman’s Incantation <World Break>)

The premise: At a school which trains two different kinds of combat mages, the new kid has both kinds of power.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Yeah, so, yet another fantasy harem comedy light novel with a Marty Stu protagonist. Skip it.

Premiere: January 11

Yatterman Yoru no Yatterman (Evening Yatterman)

The premise: A supervillain gang takes on the role of anti-heroes fighting against a kingdom ruled by past heroes. Also there may be an origin story.

Derivative factor: Continuing reimagining of 1970s series

The buzz: A great big “Huh?” followed by murmurs of interest.

Premiere: January 11

Yuri-Kuma Yurikuma Arashi (Yuri-bear Storm)

The premise: After a bear uprising triggered by the fall of a mysterious asteroid, humans live behind protective walls. Two schoolgirls fall in love, but one of them is secretly a bear.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: It’s from the director best known for Revolutionary Girl Utena, who has since moved on to shows that are even stranger and heavier on symbolism. This probably won’t make a whole lot of sense at first, but it should be good.

Premiere: January 5

But wait, there’s more! Some series previously previewed here will be returning to pick up their stories again:

  • Aldnoah Zero – Second half begins January 10.
  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – Second half begins January 9.
  • Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes TD – Another sequel in the Milky Holmes franchise. January 3.
  • Tokyo Ghoul √A – Continuation of Tokyo Ghoul. January 8.
  • Tsukimonogatari – The final season of the Monogatari series. December 31.

Well, this looks like a really interesting season. If I was absolutely forced to narrow it down, I guess I’d put Assassination Classroom and Yurikuma Arashi at the top of my list of shows I’m looking forward to, but I think there’ll be a lot to like here. What are you excited about?

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