Spring 2009 Picks, or TV CARTOONS I WILL WATCH IN JAPAN

I can’t believe it’s almost April! In addition to me being flown off to Japan in just seven days, a bunch of Japanese TV CARTOONS are set to air as well. As is typical with the spring season, there’s a lot of stuff to choose from, but surprisingly I managed to make my way out with only eleven titles–a number that will then be whittled down to about six or seven.

Since I’ll be in Japan when these air, I’ll try my best to catch some of them live. However, most of them are late night entires, so watching them on TV may not be worth it. Also, whether or not I’ll even have a TV is a matter shrouded in some degree of mystery.

But anyway, on to the cartoons.

Absolute Must See!!!

  • Hayate no Gotoku!!: J.C. Staff’s OVA didn’t inspire much hope of them improving this already spectacular franchise, but hopefully they’ll bring their Excel Saga and Puni Puni Poemy experience to the table, while also turning the fanservice up a notch, resulting in a series even more dangerous than the last. I still wish Synergy SP was on production duty, though.
  • K-ON!: I’m going to assume that this show will be Haruhi’s Live A Live for 12 episodes. KyoAni has proved they can pull off incredibly realistic and impressive band sequences, so I’m looking forward to at least one or two of those across the show. Cute girls help, too.
  • Natsu no Arashi!: While this doesn’t look quite as promising as Bakemonogatari, Natsu no Arashi! does seem like a little bit of a break from the types of things SHAFTXSHINBO have been tackling lately. Rather than taking place during the school year, it takes place during summer break. Furthermore, the plot doesn’t seem entirely centered around comedy. I doubt much directorial weirdness will come of it, but SHAFT stuff tends to be top-tier otaku entertainment.
  • Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-hen on televison: I can’t actually get much HYPE for this, since the original Mazinger Z series is allegedly quite lame, and Mazinkaiser wasn’t really all that wonderful. However, this is another robot show directed by Yasuhiro Imagawa, and this holy fusion has produced true works of greatness.

Must See!!

  • Higashi no Eden: Production IG hasn’t done much to impress me since Ghost in the Shell SAC: 2nd GIG, but this show has a touch of promise. The available English-language story summary doesn’t provide one with much to go on, but Production IG production values combined with Chika Umino designs should be a sight to behond at the very least. I should note that while Chika Umino’s style is incredibly shoujo-flavoured, I don’t mind it because her girls are pretty, and her guys aren’t total yaoi fodder. That said, the trailer does feature a naked dude, but it’s played for laughs more than anything else.
  • Hige Piyo: I’m always in the mood for a good comedy, and this wacky entry from the Ebichu author has potential to be quite great. That said, I haven’t actually seen or read Ebichu, but it seems right up my alley.
  • Shangri-la: I can’t see anything exciting happening with this show’s premise, but the setting looks good, and Range Murata designs are enough to sell me on anything. The only real volatile part of this equation is Gonzo on animation duty.

Must See… One Episode Or So

  • Asura Cryin’: I don’t know much about this beyond a vague story summary and some promotional art, but it could potentially be something I’m interested in.
  • Saki: Cute lolitas playing Mahjong is a formula for success in my eyes, but I’m guessing production of this show will be delegated to Gonzo’s D-team. I’m probably better off reading the manga, but I’ll give it a shot.
  • Hatsukoi Gentei: I can get behind a romance show by J.C. Staff, but I can’t get behind it enough to put it in a category any higher than this.
  • Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan!!: This has potential to be a very crazy a fanservice laden romp, and the designs are very much to my liking. However, I’m not familiar with Studio Hibari’s work save for Nerima Daikon Brothers and some episodes of Happy Seven. Beyond that, their résumé doesn’t seem terribly stellar.

Despite what I’ve said about Haragen in the past, I may watch some of the remake, and I’ll also try to catch some of Dragon Ball Kai on TV before I stop and realize that it’s all terribly homoerotic. There’s some OVAs I’m interested in, but most of them are based off of existing shows. The only original one I have some interest in is Denpa Teki Na Kanojo, which seems like my kind of show.

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