Youkai Watch Jam
It's Winter. 2020! It's a whole new year of anime to obsess over, so I thought I'd go over some of the more promising or fanfare worthy series.
When there was an announcement for the Darwin's Game anime, I assumed it would be a quick attempt at pleasing the fans of the death game genre. Of course, I knew it would have decent enough animation, but it was something that I was assuming would be a footnote of 2020 for the average fan.
Then the promo stuff started.
First of all, this somehow became an Aniplex flagship alongside Magia Record. Of course, it's one approaching the investment of something like Grancrest Senki rather than THE danged Magia Record (also happening this cour) but that's still a bigger deal than I expected.
I guess as a death game story, Darwin's Game is more Deadman Wonderland than Ousama Game, so there's a lot of fun to be had with that in a mainstream sense rather than a specific one.
Which brings me to Magia Record! Yes, the Madoka franchise returns to TV! Let's see how well a mobage plot holds up under scrutiny, let alone one directed by... the animation studio behind the Witch's Labyrinths?
Then we come to Kadokawa's original anime entry for this cour; ID: Invaded. I was quite excited for this from the outset, because it has perpectual "guy with ideas" Aoki Ei behind it.
Well, he had one idea, really -Re:CREATORS-, and nobody wanted it. So much so that he appears to have been pushed out of TROYCA entirely and is directing his latest work at... NAZ? DRAMAtical Murder and second season of Hamatora NAZ? Uh, well then.
I assumed this would be snatched up by Netflix, but that was before I understood how "we're going to try for greatness on a budget" this was. Then again, it's not like Netflix hasn't gone there before *cough*two entire seasons Sword Gai*cough*
Meanwhile, Twin Engine-slash-Geno Studio continues to bring us the weird and wonderful with pet, which sounds like a less-sexed-up take on Dorei-ku The Animation. I have no doubts about it being a compelling story, but there's always the question if they'll ever have the cultural relevance of Golden Kamuy ever again.
In the world of LNs, the vaguely popular LN series <Infinite Dedrogram> finally gets it's own anime adaptation. Having read the LNs, I can't say I didn't find the world interesting, and I'm curious to see how they'll adapt the very first episode (if they do manage to do the "different perspectives including 3D and photorealistic-ness" scene any justice) but I have to say I'm not a fan of much after the first LN.
Lerche have really surprised me with the animation quality they're bringing to Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun. Having never read the source material, I have no idea what it's about, but it is indeed very pretty.
In a bit of genre confusion comes the shounen... fashion/modelling anime Runway de Waratte (Smile Down the Runway). Basically everything about this screams shoujo, which I would be on board with, but there's always the fear that this is just the fashion/modelling equivalent of that perpetual emotion-tugging machine Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso/Your Lie in April.
Now for the Otome roundup;
A3!, the most popular Otome charasong project on the planet until Hypnosis Mic came along, finally gets it's anime adaptation. Let's see if it can leverage some of that popularity or if it truly has been eclipsed by Hypnosis Mic.
In addition, ARP Backstage, which is based on a "Holographic Live Concert" project by avex makes it's way to anime. The synopsis so far seems very loosely sketched, but the CG seems promising enough. Plus, it's one of the few otome projects that isn't massively overcrowded from the start.