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Winter 2012 Anime Spotlight: The List

by Bamboo Dong & Justin Sevakis,

Featured Series (Click for more)



Daily Lives of High School Boys

The Familiar of Zero F

High School DxD

Inuboku Secret Service

Listen To Me Girls, I'm Your Father!

Natsume Yujin-cho 4

Prince of Tennis II

Also Premiering

Title: Amagami SS+
Starts:Friday, January 6 at 1:55AM JST on AT-X
Genre: Drama, Romance
Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/amagami/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • New Director: Tomoki Kobayashi (Tears to Tiara, Amagami SS episode director)
  • Returning cast: Hiromi Konno as Sae Nakata, Kaori Nazuka as Tsukasa Ayatsuji, Rina Satou as Kaoru Tanamachi, Ryoko Shintani as Rihoko Sakurai, Shizuka Itou as Haruka Morishima, Yukana as Ai Nanasakii, and Tomoaki Maeno as Junichi Tachibana
  • Opening and Ending Theme: azusa
Following on the heels of the first season, Amagami SS+ will continue to feature each of the heroines in two-episode mini arcs, similar to the first season. The series follows a previously love-lorn high school student named Junichi Tachibana who develops relationships with six different girls. Through their interactions, Junichi's broken heart is slowly healed.
Title: Ano Natsu de Matteru
Starts: Tuesday, January 10 at 1:30AM JST on TV Aichi
Studio: J.C. Staff
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Website: http://www.ichika-ichika.com/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai (Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, Toradora!, Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai)
  • Original character design: Taraku Uon (Onegai Teacher, Onegai Twins)
  • Character design: Masayoshi Tanaka (Toradora!, Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai)
  • Screenplay: Yousuke Kuroda (founder of Studio Orphee: Onegai Teacher, R.O.D. the TV)
  • Cast: Haruka Tomatsu as Ichika Takatsuki (AnoHana's Anaru)
Created by Onegai Teacher and Onegai Twins story creator Yousuke Kuroda, with original character designs by Onegai franchise designer Taraku Uon, Ano Natsu de Matteru will be an adolescent romantic comedy about two girls named Ichika Takatsuki and Remon Yamano, and a boy named Kaito Kirishima. This project will also reunite director Tatsuyuki Nagai and character designer Masayoshi Tanaka, who worked together on the popular AnoHano series.
Title: Aquarion EVOL
Starts: Monday, January 9 at 1:35AM JST on TV Tokyo
Studio: 8-Bit
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction, Mecha
Website: http://aqevol.com/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Chief Director: Shoji Kawamori (original creator for Macross Plus, The Vision of Escaflowne; mechanical design for Macross, Outlaw Star, Ghost in the Shell)
  • Returning Music: Yoko Kanno (Wolf's Rain, Cowboy Bebop)
Joining the Aquarion franchise is Aquarion Evol, a sequel to the Aquarion TV series that takes place 12,000 years later in a futuristic Hong Kong. New characters and a new Aquarion mecha will have to take on enemies from another dimension.

Title: Area no Kishi
Starts: Saturday, January 7 at 6:00AM JST on TV Asahi
Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
Genre: Action, Sports
Website: http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/knight/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Original manga creator: Tadashi Agi (GetBackers)
  • Jun Fukuyama as Suguru Aisawa (Code Geass's Lelouche Lamperouge)
Aizawa Kakeru has always loved soccer, but he doesn't think he has any talent for the game. Instead, he serves as the manager of his school's soccer team, where his older brother Suguru is the star player. However, a terrible tragedy forever changes Kakeru's life and his involvement in the sport.
Title: Black Rock Shooter TV
Starts: Friday, February 3 at 12:45AM JST on Fuji TV
Studio: Ordet/Sanzigen
Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy
Website: http://www.noitamina-brs.jp/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Returning director: Shinobu Yoshioka (Black Rock Shooter OAV)
  • Series composition and script: Mari Okada (Black Butler, Kodomo no Jikan)
  • Original character design: huke (Steins;Gate)
  • Cast: Kana Asumi as Yu Kotari (Amagami SS+'s Miya Tachibana, Ano Natsu de Matteru's Mio Kitahara)
The next project in a franchise that already includes an OAV, games, figures, a serial manga, and a four-panel manga, "Black Rock Shooter" was originally a single released by the Japanese dojin music act Supercell, which is led by the composer Ryo. This new eight-episode anime series will be produced Ordet, which also made the 50-minute Black Rock Shooter OAV, and will have CG battles directed by Gainax's Hiroyuki Imaishi.
Title: Kill Me Baby (Baby, Please Kill Me)
Starts: Friday, January 6 at 1:25AM JST on TBS
Studio: J.C. Staff
Genre: Comedy
Website: http://killmebaby.tv/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Director: Yoshiki Yamakawa (character design for Di Gi Charat Nyo)
Sonya is an assassin, but in between all her missions, she still has to go to school like every other kid. She's joined by her fearless, but air-headed friend Yasuna, and a girl name Agiri, a ninja from her organization. The manga is based on the four-panel manga series of the same name, which ran in Manga Time Kirara Carat.

Title: Nisemonogatari
Starts: Sunday, January 8 at 12:00AM JST on Tokyo MX
Studio: SHAFT
Genre: Action, Comedy, Supernatural
Website: http://www.nisemonogatari-anime.com/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Returning director: Akiyuki Shinbo (Bakemonogatari, Negima!?, Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko)
  • Original creator: NisiOisin (light novelist: Kizumonomatari, Bakemonogatari)
  • Returning cast: Eri Kitamura as Karen Araragi, Yuka Iguchi as Tsuhiki Araragi
Set in the early 21st century, Nisemonogatari is a sequel to Bakemonogatari, and will center around the "Fire Sisters" Tsukihi and Karen Araragi. It will be based on NisiOisin's light novel of the same name.
Title: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki
Starts: Sunday, January 8 at 7:24AM JST on TV Tokyo
Studio: DAX Production
Genre: Comedy, Slice of life
Website: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/poyo/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Director: Akitaro Daichi (Animation Runner Kuromi)
  • Cast: Akira Kamiya as Shigeru Sato (Detective Conan's Kogoro Mouri, City Hunter's Ryo Saeba)
Based on a four-panel manga by Ru Tatuki, Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki follows the adventures of a mysterious, round cat named Poyo. We also get to meet Poyo's family and the people that encounter this spherical creature.
Title: Recorder to Randoseru
Starts: Friday, January 6 at 1:00AM on Teletama
Studio: TBA
Genre: Comedy
Website: http://www.takeshobo.co.jp/sp/tv_rikoran/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Script: Ryou Karasuma (Morita-san wa Mukuchi)
  • Cast: Rie Kugimya as Atsumi Miyagawa (Fullmetal Alchemist's Alphonse Elric, Shakugan no Shana's Shana)
  • Cast: Ryotaro Okiayu as Atsushi Miyagawa (El Hazard's Katsuhiko Jinnai)
Recorder to Randoseru follows two unique siblings— Atsushi Miyagawa, an 11 year-old boy with the height and looks of an adult, and his elder sister Atsumi, a 17 year-old with the short frame of a child. Even though Atsumi looks like a grade schooler, she needs to look after her brother, who despite his tall physique, still acts his age. The anime is based on Meme Higashiya's four-panel manga.
Title: Rinne no Lagrange: Flower declaration of your heart
Starts: Sunday, January 8 at 10:00PM JST on Tokyo MX
Studio: XEBEC
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Mecha
Website: http://lag-rin.com/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Chief director: Tatsuo Sato (Martian Successor Nadesico)
  • Original character design: Haruyuki Morisawa (Dream Club, To Aru Hikushi e no Tsuioku)
Madoka's life forever changes when she's recruited by a girl named Lan to pilot a robot and protect her hometown Kamogawa City from space invaders. Their efforts are bolstered by a girl named Muginami, but they're still unsure of why their enemies are attacking.
Title: Senki Zesshō Symphogear
Starts: Friday, January 6 at 11:00PM JST on TV Yokohama
Studio: Encourage Films
Genre: Action, Science Fiction
Website: http://www.symphogear.com/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Music: Elements Garden (Kimi to Boku)
  • Original creator: Noriyasu Agematsu (from Elements Garden) and Akifumi Kaneko (Wild Arms)
  • Cast: Nana Mizuki as Tsubasa Kazanari (Naruto's Hinata Hyuuga)
  • Cast: Minami Takayama as Kanade Amou (Kiki's Delivery Service's Kiki, Detective Conan's Conan Edogawa)
Created by video game producer Akifumi Kaneko and Elements Garden composer Noriyasu Agematsu, this new series follows two girls in a musical group named Zweiwing. Together, they must protect Earth against a threat known as "Noise" by donning weapons called Symphogear.
Title: Smile Precure!
Starts: Sunday, February 5 at 8:30AM JST on TV Asahi
Studio: Toei Animation
Genre: Magical Girl
Website: http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/smile_precure
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Original creator: Izumi Todo (Futari wa Pretty Cure, Ojamajo Doremi)
Focused around five magical girls and their fairy mascot Candy, Smile Precure! will be the ninth in the Precure franchise. An evil emperor named Pierrot has invaded the peaceful fairy land of Marchenland, sealing away the Queen. In order to revive her, Candy and the other girls must find the Cure Decor to restore happiness.
Title: Tantei Opera Milky Holmes 2
Starts: Thursday, January 5 at 11PM JST on Tokyo MX
Studio: J.C. Staff
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
Website: http://milky-holmes.com/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Returning producer: Nobuyuki Nakamura (Tears to Tiara)
  • Theme song performance: Natsuko Aso (Baka and Test, MM!)
Not too much information has been released yet about this sequel to Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, but in the first series, people in the future use "Toys" that grant them superhuman powers. This results in an increase of crime, but the Milky Holmes detective agency is there to make sure all the perpetrators are brought to justice.
Title: Thermae Romae
Starts: Friday, January 13 at 12:45AM JST on Fuji TV
Studio: DLE Inc.
Genre: Comedy
Website: http://thermae-anime.jp/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Director: Hideki Takeuchi (Densha Otoko live-action TV, Nodame Cantabile live-action TV)
Roman architect Lucius gets sucked down the drain of a public bath, only to emerge in a bathhouse in 20th century Japan. Through his time-travel adventures, he gets a chance to compare two cultures that love their baths. Three Flash-animated episodes will be aired, but if that's not enough, there will also be a live-action film opening in April, 2012.

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