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This anime season looks awesome. I can’t remember the last time I was this impressed with an anime season’s lineup. It’s been a year since I started writing these quarterly anime roundups, and I can definitely say that this season has been the most promising so far (especially more than last season). A lot of the shows in this season are futuristic, and I’m really excited about quite a few of them. So which ones are worth checking out and which ones aren’t worth an ounce of your time? Let’s find out.

Shin Sekai Yori: From the New World

This show takes place a thousand years into the future. Humanity has declined, and is now living in a post-apocalyptic world. So even though the show takes place in the future, to the eye it looks like the past. The main hook of the show is a bunch of schoolkids learning special powers and saving the world or something or other.

But holy crap. The opening sequence to this show was absolutely wicked. I didn’t really know what was going on at the time, but the show really grabbed my attention from the start. The show is really interesting but also pretty creepy and freaky. The show doesn’t really divulge where it plans on taking the story and the characters, so it really makes me curious about what’s going to unfold in the rest of the show.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J-Vw9WfQs4′]

Who should watch this show: People who like shows about little kid mages with a creepy kind of atmosphere.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Pretty good. This show definitely intrigued me.


Code:Breaker

Code:Breaker is adapted from a story by the guy who made Samurai Deeper KYO. The story isn’t really revealed, but the main guy has some sort of otherworldly powers that he’s been using to set people on fire. The main girl gets mixed up in things somehow, and the episode ends with a bunch of other guys (who I assume have otherworldly powers as well) saying stuff about how things are starting up (so it’s begun, etc).

The opening song for the show is pretty cool, but other that that the show didn’t really grab me. The animation style is pretty bland in my opinion. The overall feel was kind of mysterious, but there was little humor or action to speak of, at least not until the very end. It gets kind of intriguing around the halfway point, but the first half was nothing special at all. The second half piqued my interest a bit, but I don’t think it was enough to save the show for me.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcqBr0ogREQ’]

Who should watch this show: People who like a bit of supernatural mystery and strange powers.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Pretty bad. Probably won’t continue with this one unless people tell me it turns out super awesome.


BTOOOM!

BTOOOM! is the name of a videogame which the main character is really good at. The hook here is that he and a number of other players get trapped in some real-life survival challenge on an island and forced to play out a live version of the game. Seems kind of like a mix between Battle Royale and that Hollywood movie Gamer that I never saw.

This show was pretty cool. It had a pretty strong start and a nice opening as well. The animation is really pretty which is definitely a plus. There’s a lot of confusion right from the get go, like why they’re on this island and who put them there to kill each other, so it’s very intriguing. This anime seems pretty cool, I’m not exactly sure where it’s going, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGEd0_bBnM4′]

Who should watch this show: People who like real life video game type things and Battle Royale type motifs.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Good. This show really stuck with me even after watching a bunch of other shows so I’m excited for the next episode.


Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

The show sells itself as a romantic comedy with “a fresh new angle.” The two main characters are a high school girl and a high school boy who is one of the most ridiculous characters in any anime I’ve ever seen. Weird romance and lots of laughs ensue.

This show is so funny. I was laughing out loud a ton during it. The animation is really nice and I like the characters’ wacky personalities so far. This show is really awesome and I can’t wait to see more of it. It’s definitely a contender for funniest show of the season, mostly due to the main guy’s character.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c54vbtaPrnY’]

Who should watch this show: People who like super off the wall characters stuck in a romantic comedy.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Oh yes. Definitely going to watch more of this one. No idea where the story is going, but it’s too funny not to watch.


Zetsuen no Tempest

This show has a dystopian setting full of fantasy and world-saving. It seems to be about modern day mages and one of the main characters is on a journey of revenge with his powers. The show is packed with action and emotion.

The animation in this one is really nice (is it just me, or does this season have some really good looking shows?). The action is pretty cool and the show seems like it could have a lot of potential. It’s hard to tell though, because I’m not really sure where the story is going, but it sure is intriguing.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooJ21b7UnnY’]

Who should watch this show: People who like magic and revenge and stuff.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Pretty good. I’m really interested in seeing what happens next so I plan on checking out a few more episodes at the very least.


Psycho Pass

This show is kind of like a cop show with a bunch of ex-criminals bent on stopping crime in a futuristic world. People have different colored passes that correspond to how much of a threat to the world they are and the police force is out to capture and rehabilitate.

Again, the animation here is pretty impressive. I was really expecting it to be kind of cool, but the episode just wasn’t all that exciting. There’s lots of neon signs and cool lighting and colors to look at, but I just couldn’t get excited about the show or the characters in it. I feel like it’s wasted potential and watching it was actually a bit frustrating.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0UAjpJuKcs’]

Who should watch this show: People who like futuristic cop shows with pretty colors.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Bad. I just didn’t really care for this one.


Kamisama Hajimemashita

This show is about a girl who was just abandoned by her debt-dodging dad and finds herself homeless. That is until she takes up a strange man’s offer to live in his house. It turns out that his house is a shrine, and living in it involves taking over his job as the local earth deity.

Kamisama Hajimemashita was done by the same people who worked on Fruits Basket and the animation style similarities are very apparent. The character faces and varied expressions are great. The show seems pretty interesting with deities and spirits and demons and all that, but I don’t really feel as though it’s the kind of show I’d want to follow. It’s not necessarily a bad show, I just don’t feel like it’s something I’d really be interested in seeing to the end.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiHkqyObm0M’]

Who should watch this show: People who like female leads and bad-boy fox demon love interests.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Not good. This show just isn’t my style.


K

This show is kind of vague about its premise, but it has something to do with characters who have some sort of otherworldly powers and there seems to be a side trying to keep order and one side tearing things up and making some trouble. There’s something about the reincarnation of colored kings and some other stuff I can’t really remember, but that’s not really important.

The important part is that this show looks absolutely amazing. I really cannot remember the last time I saw a show this pretty. It also has a really nice selection of music which really adds a lot to the atmosphere of the show. The special effects for the characters’ powers are pretty cool and the action is really nice. It’s a very pretty show and an absolute joy to behold.

You can really tell that this show has some high production values. It’s easily the best looking show this season. This show has tons of style and looks very very promising. I’m not really sure exactly what’s going on yet or where the show is going to go, but the first episode definitely hooked me enough to see what happens next.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYpSgzFjsjQ’]

Who should watch this show: People who like pretty colors great music and awesome shows.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Definitely going to. This show is just oozing potential.


Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!

The story in this one involves chuunibyou (middle-school syndrome), which is basically when kids are still immature and play out fantasies rather than act like young adults. The show centers around a guy (trying to conquer his chuunibyou) and a girl (still very much in her chuunibyou) and their lives at school. I’m not really sure what else there is to the story yet, but that’s the basic premise.

I really like the feel of the show. It’s very happy and lighthearted. If Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is the funniest show of the season, Chuunibyou is a close second. The animation uses brown lines to outline everything instead of black which gives all the characters a really interesting look. The show’s pretty great so far and I really enjoyed this first episode. I’m not exactly sure where the story will be going, but it’s definitely good enough so far for me to watch some more episodes.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDCvY6ZqQIg’]

Who should watch this show: People who like great humor and goofy comedy.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Great. I really like this show and plan on following it for a while.


Shows That Could Have Been Much Better

Busou Shinki: Seems kind of dumb right from the get go. Show is about miniature customizable female robots that people fight against one another. Seems like a really strange one here. I don’t like it. I lasted just over 5 minutes before I couldn’t take anymore. I’ll pass on this one.

Girls und Panzer: This show seems to center around school girls and military tanks. The first couple of minutes were not very impressive at all and I found myself not really interested in watching any more of it. I watched it for about 7 minutes before I had to stop. It just doesn’t really seem like my thing. Not very funny or interesting or anything.

Little Busters!: Starts off pretty generic and not really exciting. Has something to do with school kids fighting stuff. I got pretty bored after about 7 minutes so I shut it off.

Robotics;Notes: The show starts out pretty average. It doesn’t really ramp up in excitement from there. The animation is solid and the robots are kind of cool, but overall it’s not too impressive. I highly doubt I’ll be watching any more of this one.

And as usual, there were also a handful of shows that I just didn’t check out and a handful of sequels that I never watched the original for (sorry!).

Bottom Line: This season of anime is like, super fantastic. I can’t even say what my favorite show was. So many great new shows. But if I had to pick a top 3, they would be Chuunibyou, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, and K.


So tell me, which show is your favorite from the season? Any shows I missed that you think deserve some recognition? Let me know down in the comments!

  • http://twitter.com/ben_reilly Ben Reilly

    How/where do you watch your anime? I don’t download TV, so I’m wondering if there are (possibly subscription) sites where I can watch these. And are English subs usually available after some time?

  • Jeff

    What? I loved the first few minutes of Girls und Panzer (and the whole first episode) but then I love cute girls and retro tanks.

  • PineappleBunny

    You could try http://www.crunchyroll.com/ , they do a subscription thing. I didn’t think they were very good but loads of people use it.

  • Jon

    You forgot To-Love-Ru Darkness. It did start a couple of weeks ago, though.

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=14209

  • Jon

    You could try some sites like animefreak.tv and gogoanime.com

  • John

    Is it any good?

  • Reptic

    I second crunchyroll.com if you want to watch anime through a legitimate method. If you pay for the subscription you get ad-free anime with as high as 1080p quality. However, as someone who uses crunchyroll, I have to admit there is a limit to which it is useful. They get a decent amount of shows each season, but never all of them, so if you want to watch all the good shows recommended here (I know I do) you’re probably going to have to use a less “legal” streaming site, like the ones mentioned already.

    Personally, I use both types of sites. For shows that are on crunchyroll I watch them there in HD (sometimes on my TV) but for the rest I just watch them elsewhere in SD.

  • justin

    give little busters some time…I promise it will bet good. really good. I just want to point out that its one of the highest rated visual novels there is http://vndb.org/v/all?q=;fil=tagspoil-0;o=d;s=rating
    I played it myself. super good.

  • Adam Piskel

    No mention of Magi or Jojo? For shame!

  • Jon

    I’ve enjoyed it. It is ecchi, though (and thus not very kid-friendly). Some parts can be quite humorous. I think the little plant baby thingamajig gets drunk off of Coca-Cola, for example.

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    I will give it a chance because Key. Just like I’ll give Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! a chance because KyoAni.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joel.alexander.980 Joel Alexander

    Also, turning it off within seven minutes means you missed the point where it abruptly turned into a baseball anime. =)

  • John

    Haha, sounds interesting.

  • John

    I didn’t get the chance to check those out. How do they stack up to the others?

  • William Sumners

    As an added comedy factor, how about Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo? The first episode was quite funny.

    But aye. I’m watching a few things this season, with a few more left to watch whenever.

    新世界より is impressing me so far.

  • Josh Yagley

    Jojo is a blast. But you have to love the b-film quality to it.
    If you love the over the top nature of anime, you need to check out Jojo.

  • Eadwacer

    What made the show for me was the ‘commercial’ they showed in assembly right after the break, and the pan-out at the very end after the girls see their first tank. I won’t say more because of spoilerization, but it definitely makes up for the slow minutes in the middle of each half.

  • Something

    Give Little Busters! and Robotics;Notes some time. Really. Unless the studios completely screw up the adaptation, they’ll be awesome. Source material for both is nice stuff.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deejaytaufiq Mohamad Taufiq Morshidi

    No mention of Ixion Saga DT?

    Come on, it’s the funniest show of this season 2012. How can you not mention the show by the director of Gintama and School Rumble?

  • John

    I didn’t get to watching it because it didn’t look so cool, but I guess I’ll have to check it out!

  • DAVIDPD

    Poor John, always getting hassled for not watching 100s of hours of Japanese cartoons.

  • http://twitter.com/shollum Shollum

    I’m still going to give Robotics;Notes a chance since the VN is done by the same group that made Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate. Actually, it’s set in one of the futures of Steins;Gate. Even the animation is done by the same company that animated the others (I think). Seeing as those shows were freaking amazing, I’ll probably watch it for more than one episode before giving it a verdict.

    Maybe I’ll finally get around to watching some of the new anime. Maybe I’ll finally get around to the whole previous season I missed too… Of course, I don’t think there were too many things I cared to watch in the Summer season.

    Oh yeah, if the manga is any indication (which is far from often), Zetsuen no Tempest will be amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/shollum Shollum

    Add a few lines and some sex and it becomes hentai. At least, that’s what the manga is like. It’s basically what the mangaka wanted the original to be and now that he is divorced, he’s free to do whatever he wants with it until the publisher says no… kinda makes it like he’s married again.

  • DAVIDPD

    Thank you again John for putting together these lists. I have found a lot of great anime from them. If Robotics;Notes is anything like its predecessors it will be worth watching. CHAOS; HEAD and STEINS;GATE are mind blowingly good and widely considered some of the best anime.

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    The punishment for not including reviews of the commercial breaks shall be most severe.

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    It was the same company? I was wondering about that. It would explain all the GRATUITOUS;SEMICOLONS.

  • foozlesprite

    For the most part, I agree with the assessments you made here. I’m also watching Sukitte Ii Na Yo, which is a love comedy. It’s a nice change of pace from your average love-com, since the girl feels like a real person (social anxiety, confrontational but not in a tsun-tsun way) and it’s moving pretty fast–it’s not spending several seasons establishing a relationship (I’m looking at you, Kimi ni Todoke).

    Also still watching Space Bros, Sword Art Online, and Folktales From Japan. All pretty decent stuff if you’re looking for something to marathon.

  • John

    D:

  • John

    Yeah, I’m still following SAO – really enjoying it.

  • Hinoema

    I’d love to see just one new anime that doesn’t look like the entire cast is either teens or kids and doesn’t have the mandatory fanservice oriented, short skirted chicks. If it isn’t SuperMagicPower Saviors (most of them), it’s School Funtimes!, Teen Romance or CyberFuture cops. Whatever happened to being able to make a show based on visually diverse, complex adult characters with some degree of believability?

    Ah, well. I’ll be over here watching Bebop again. ;)

  • gorghurt

    I think you should watch an anime more then 5 minutes to judge it. it often happened to me, that the first episode was boring , but the end surprised me. i try to watch every show i’m interested in for at least 3 episodes. ok right now i dont have the time to do this for every show, so i just try the ones that look interessting and read reviews, since i can start shows i forgot and that get good reputation later. but i think if you write a review, you shouldn’t stop after 7 minutes. (its ok since you wrote that you havn’t watch the whole episode.)
    for example “Girls und Panzer”: whats in the first 7 minutes? some tank driving and how the main heroine wakes up in her room.(or have i forgotten something important in there) ok the anime seems lower than average, but the beginning of the episode doesn’t even show whats going on. I don’t think the anime will get any better, but imho the episode as a whole gives a different image than the beginning.

    but other than that, nice post.

    ps: sorry for the bad english

  • gorghurt

    I don’t know how deep the story is, but “BTOOOM!” has not directly a teen cast. The main Charakter is 22, ok the female main character is a high school girl(at least in the flashbacks), but other than that, all other characters (up to episode 2) were adults(but all of the are secondary caharters).
    And what i saw about their personality was realistic. I think you should give it a try.

    sorry for the bad english

  • http://www.facebook.com/deejaytaufiq Mohamad Taufiq Morshidi

    You have to check it out! It’s hilarious as a parody of MMORPGs and JRPGs.

  • tetsu

    and Gin Tama’s baaaack~

  • ジョサイア

    So true! ;D

  • ジョサイア

    :DD

  • ジョサイア

    It is quite funny :D

  • ジョサイア

    already have them both bookmarked!

  • ジョサイア
  • yoshi_in_black

    I was also disappointed by Psycho Pass. I will stick with it though, because I just hope i will get better. I love kamisama Hajimashita though. I think I will also have a look at K, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun and some more, because they sound quite interesting. ^^

  • Adam Piskel

    Jojo is pretty amazing. The animation knocked me off my socks and the ED is worth the price of admission alone.

    Magi is fairly standard shonen fare in terms of its setup, but the world building is the most interesting thing here. If nothing else, it is getting me interested in checking out the manga.

  • http://twitter.com/ben_reilly Ben Reilly

    Indeed, I’ve checked out crunchyroll before—I didn’t realize that they had new stuff, too. I’ll probably be using them, then.

    I also remembered that Hulu has a bunch of stuff too. I see that they even have K—one of the new shows mentioned above—and Sword Art Online, which is from last season.

  • John

    Yeah, these posts are more like “first impressions” since I only watch the first episode. Also I only write full write ups of the shows that I actually finish the episode for and I try to keep that at 10 or less so there’s not just a whole bunch of junk in the post. Some anime I can just tell that I’m not going to enjoy because of the feel I get from the first couple of minutes, Girls und Panzer being one such show. But hey, that’s just my opinion and everyone has different tastes and preferences so to each their own! Glad you enjoyed the post overall though.

  • http://twitter.com/shollum Shollum

    Not all new anime are like that, though I agree that too many follow these tropes. What you have to remember is that the primary audience is generally children or teens with only a few shows having an intended primary audience of regular adults.
    Also, it’s not often that the anime is actually the original format; it’s generally an adaption of a VN, manga, LN, video game, etc. Only the most popular ones tend to get picked up by animation studios since they want something that will get plenty of views (there are exceptions to this though). Since they are the most popular, they tend to be very similar along with being for the demographic that probably reads the most manga (a.k.a. children and teens).
    Then you have the editing that gets done to make an anime more appealing and to fit in the allotted twelve episodes (since getting more than one season is rare). Depending on the animation studio, this process can destroy the entire story, making even decent stories boring by removing running gags, removing important plot elements that knock the story progression off the rails leading up to a hastily thrown together ending that makes you wish you’d never watched it.

    /rant

    Honestly, if you want adult characters and adult concepts, you better start reading more manga. Since they have manga magazines aimed at pretty much all ages along with more doujinshi than anime, you get diverse and deep stories and characters more often. Most of it’s still the same old tropes though, there’s just a higher frequency of good stories along with a higher frequency of new stories in general.

  • ちめ

    You seem to like things I like. Wow.

  • Chuunibyou Otaku

    Kinda surprised that you don’t like Psycho-Pass. Perhaps maybe you dislike dark-themed anime in general? I think you forget to include JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure anime too, it’s one of the best hits of this Fall besides Robotics;Notes and Psycho-Pass for me.

  • belgand

    I don’t know, I’m pretty upset that it apparently has nothing to do with the pillows.

  • AshleyMarie

    I request you marry me again. ;)

  • mizakiwa

    My top 3 for this fall would have to be Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Kamisama Hajimemashita, and Sukitte Ii Na Yo ♥ I loved all three manga’s and they just all happened to get an anime adaptation for fall lol. I’ll check out Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! when I have free time though :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/taylor.moosman Taylor D Moosman

    You forgot to list Sword Art Online! Which is OBVIOUSLY the best out of ALL of these!!!
    But Little Buster! is so far coming in at a close 2nd for me!
    Then maybe… Civilization Blaster? Or Accel World in 3rd…

  • the monster beside me

    Your top three is all shoujo.

  • Dy~

    definitely one of the better seasons in awhile

  • mizakiwa

    Yep.

  • John

    Sword Art Online started last season, but yeah it’s great!

  • John

    I liked Ergo Proxy. Is that considered dark? I dunno, Psycho-Pass just didn’t grab me. Maybe it will after a few episodes – who knows?

  • JAKE

    Wait! You forgot Gyrozetter!!

    Another bomb by Square Enix! Gotta watch the hilarity. :D

    Then again coming from tofugu etc, we understand how you feel about shows like this.

  • http://twitter.com/sushimanster Clifford

    You missed Sakurasou no pet na kanojo

  • http://www.facebook.com/berylgstone Beryl G Stone

    btooom! ughhhhhh
    otherwise pretty much agree! except i like animu like kamisama and psycho pass~

  • http://www.facebook.com/berylgstone Beryl G Stone

    i’m also watching oniai, sukitte (although i may drop it), and jojo

  • John

    hahahahaha

  • http://twitter.com/pob808 Simon France

    Shame non of your favourites are on Crunchyroll. I can’t watch them.

  • Mahdhi Osman

    Sword Art Online?

  • Desu Noto-san

    Hey, Johnny, this article does not show up in the Tofugu Search Bar. Why is that? I read this articles time ago and tonight I wanted to enjoy it again but it just didn’t come up when I typed ‘anime’. The articles that came up where Anime 2011 Fall, Anime Spring 2012, Anime Summer 2012 and Anime Winter 2012. Please check it out.
    May the holy watery Allicrab guide your way!

  • Nikki

    I agree almost 100% with you, with one exception. Animes based on real life video game experiences are extremely lame, and this is coming from someone who plays a variety of video games every day.

  • http://twitter.com/imadous B.Imad

    I’m totally with your opinion in about all the shows, and yeah this season animes looks very promising and most of the show very well made especially “Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!” it really blow me off, cool live animations and the characters looks just awesome

  • おしゃれ雷蔵ちゃん

    Is it sad that none of those interested me and that the only Autumn / Fall anime that I picked up this year was Litchi DE Hikari Club?
    It’s an utter train-wreck compared to the manga, but I figure 3 minutes of my time a week for 12 weeks isn’t that much of a sacrifice.

  • Joseph Goforth

    Magi is really good imo. it’s combining a lot of mythos into a faux version of our own world cultures. and something about Alladin is infectious…i think the VA did a good job in making him sound like a kid who is just trying to figure things out for himself. I’m happy with the show so far @7 episodes in.

  • Hashi’s Son

    He is already married with Koichi.

  • EchizenRyomaLover

    I definitely watched K because of my friend AND OHMYGOD MY LIFE IS FOREVER CHANGED. XD

    Zetsuen no Tempest proved to be very interesting as well. I finished all 12 episodes so far in one sitting. :D

  • teaonna

    Shin sekai yori was easily the best that season and will forever haunt me in a good way.