• remind me tomorrow
  • remind me next week
  • never remind me
Subscribe to the ANN Newsletter • Wake up every Sunday to a curated list of ANN's most interesting posts of the week. read more

This Week in Anime
Which Recent Anime Announcements Are Most Hype-Worthy?

by Monique Thomas & Nicholas Dupree,

What's the most exciting new anime announcement? And what's the guarantee that your favorite series will get a good adaptation—or any adaptation at all?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network.
Spoiler Warning for discussion of the series ahead.

@Lossthief @BeeDubsProwl @NickyEnchilada @vestenet

Nicky, it's time to celebrate because we're creeping up on Phoenix Wright's favorite holiday: Almost Christmas!

By that, I, of course, mean Anime Christmas, aka Anime Japan, where fans across the world come to suckle at the industry's teat like starving calves, hoping for anime announcements, trailers, and proof that their most anticipated adaptations aren't going to look like EX-ARM.
We're also creeping up on the spring season, where we're sure to see tons of already announced, highly anticipated new and returning series!

However, even with an infinite amount of anime being made in this day and age, there are still a bunch more manga that hasn't been made into anime that people want to see.

Yep, Anime Japan is built on mining that fact for as much attention as possible. Every year my Twitter feed is flooded at 1 a.m. my time with announcements and PVs. I still remember the year Uma Musume Pretty Derby was announced and made Anitwitter explode.
They even have a huge poll where people can vote for their favorite manga they want to see themselves! Judging by last year's Top 10 results, winners aren't always guaranteed an anime. It's an interesting way to see where some of the demand is while knowing that many people in the industry will also be looking at it, compared to most other polls.
Hooooo boy, does seeing Magu-chan at number four there make me sad. But we'll get to that. For now, we've got the list of nominees for this year's poll, and it's a mix between highly anticipated series, stuff that got announced before the results could be released, and series that were straight up canceled. Wild.
Look, Nick, only YOU could've predicted that, of all things, The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You would be getting an anime THIS year, which speaks how fast the turnaround can be.
You say "predict," I say, "called in the blackmail I had on Shueisha editorial." Tomayto tomahto. Either way, the world will soon learn the power of true love.
On the other hand, given their wide appeal and potential for merchandise, I'm also hoping for some titles such as Magu-chan, one of my favorite gag series. I would pay anything to own a plush version of those adorable, somewhat aquatic-inspired gods of unknowable terror.
Yeah, Magu being on both lists, despite being canceled last year, is some unintentional insult to injury. Like, y'all have to know it's not happening. Why tease us by offering it as an option?

What's next? Gonna put Psyren on there to double down on false hope?

Just look how marketable these guys are!! Let me build a shrine to my wife, Uneras, you cowards!
They actually had a limited run of Magu plushes at one point before the axing, and I would sell my soul to an adorable elder god for the chance to get one.
On the other hand, some adaptions come later than others. I never expected Tomo-chan to get an anime about five years after it wrapped up its web-based serialization, albeit a modest one. It shows that even a few low-key titles can have their day.
I mean, I guess there's always hope? But Tomo-chan also seemingly got co-produced by Crunchyroll precisely because of its dedicated fanbase overseas. Sadly I don't see Magu-chan or PPPPPP getting that benefit.

Though on the topic of romcoms, there's plenty of hope for You and I Are Polar Opposites, which I will convert people to the way I have with 100 Girlfriends.

Of this year's nominations, I'm not sure if I call it a romance-comedy, but if there's a hilarious manga based around two dorks who should smooch that'd make a great anime, it's the wild Dandadan.

Smooch, dorks, smooch!
That one feels like it's just a matter of time. The series has been a big success from the moment it started, but the engines of the industry run slower than the tastes of online nerds. I would put money on it getting announced before next year, though, because Dandadan fuckin' rules. It's like Chainsaw Man, but you don't have to wait 40 chapters for it to get good.
That's a pretty apt comparison, given that author Yukinobu Tatsu was Fujimoto's assistant. The series moves as fast as the high-speed dick-stealing terrifying turbo granny ghost that kicks off its story.
It's easily one of my favorite ongoing manga right now, and damn near every chapter has some weird, bold moment that leaves me flat on my ass. And yes, dear reader, there is a series-long-running plot about the main guy having to get his dick and balls back from an evil grandma ghost. It's brilliant.
Shōnen Jump+ has undoubtedly been an interesting test bed. As sad as I am about PPPPPP, some of the most innovative and popular titles have come from the mobile end of things, some even migrating to Jump proper and others having even more widespread success as anime. I went to the mall the other day and saw oodles of SpyxFamily merch sandwiched between Demon Slayer and Naruto, as I predicted would happen back in 2019.
There are several Jump+ exclusive series on the platform; some feel more likely to get adaptations than others (see the aforementioned Polar Opposites). You've got the clever spin on magical girl staples with Magilumiere Co. Ltd.; the simple fantasy comedy of Tis Time for "Torture," Princess; and whatever the hell Choujin X is supposed to be.
Choujin X is where Sui Ishida continues to do whatever he pleases, including drawing some incredible shirt-based puns. I'd prefer if the corporate anime-deciding overlords let this one simmer a bit, as the first 30 chapters are only the "prologue."

What I wouldn't kill for a Jack Jeanne anime, though. It's Ishida's rhythm-based otome game that I'll finally get to play this year, hopefully.
Choujin X moves with the pacing of a narcoleptic cocaine addict, so it's a good idea to let that one kick around for a while longer. But being new and not having a ton of source material never stopped Shonen Jump fans from demanding an anime by volume 4.

For example, see the reaction to The Elusive Samurai's adaptation announcement this weekend, half of it being people appalled it happened before Sakamoto Days.

In terms of storytelling, I'd rather something be adapted too "late" rather than too early. It's much easier to adapt a more fully-realized property or outright finished narrative than to hedge all your bets on guessing where something will end up. Though striking while the iron's hot can be a good boost, too. I thought we'd get a Delicious in Dungeon anime sooner. Still, I'm happy to see that monthly series get its end-point before seeing Studio Trigger animate the hell out of some DnD monsters (before they're consumed as delectable meals).
With just how much anime is being produced right now, I've largely given up expecting or trying to predict when/if a series will get an adaptation. Big titles can be expected, but a lot more minor stuff is up in the air, and I'd rather just enjoy the manga or novels for themselves rather than view them as a springboard for a television show.

That said, if they wanted to make a lavishly rendered adaptation of A Bride's Story, you wouldn't hear me complaining.

I think everyone has their one "dream adaption," just like how some people might want their favorite YA to move to Hollywood. I love hearing some of my lesser-known favs getting announced. I'm constantly worried those "dream adaptations" could become real nightmares without the right amount of care. Yes, hello. I see you there, The Promised Neverland Season 2.
It's wise to have tempered expectations, especially with the current spot the industry is in. I would have liked Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer's anniversary adaptation not to have looked like reheated dog vomit! It certainly made my dream of a Spirit Circle adaptation that much more of a forlorn prayer.
There are also some series that are good, if not great, that don't need to be given a whole team of animators to spruce it up. Sometimes, manga are just beautiful as their own medium. I'm greatly looking forward to the Witch Hat Atelier anime. Still, I also recognize that animation can't capture the complexities of some of the most lovingly drawn works. All the money and time in the world couldn't compare to the feeling put into those cross-hatches.

As I said, measured expectations are essential. It's rare for any production to get the time and resources to create an equivalent to luscious illustrations by Kamome Shirahama. At the same time, there are things anime can do that manga can't, like sound. An adaptation with mediocre visuals can still capture the emotion and spirit of its source through music and voice acting.
There are pros and cons to each medium for sure; I'm willing to forgive some budgetary measures if a series can still portray the same heart to a broader audience. That said, I think the real reason people clamor for things to be adapted into movies or series isn't just because of the fuller sensory experience but because it's tough to convince people to take a little time to read things without an entire advertising campaign and hype movement at their disposal.
I've put off series before because I didn't have the bandwidth, so I decided to wait to watch the anime instead. Just for this upcoming season, I finally tried out Skip and Loafer and Heavenly Delusion because people were so excited about their adaptations. So maybe I'm part of the problem.

(Side note: Holy shit, Heavenly Delusion is gonna be wild.)

I'm just as guilty. There are things I'll put off if I'm not constantly reminded about them. I read volumes faster than I watch anime episodes, but it's more work for my brain to try to fill in all the voices and images myself. It's also certainly cheaper and faster for me to watch a whole season on my Crunchyroll account than to shell out for every individual volume of what might be an ongoing series. There are many valid reasons that people might have an easier time watching over reading, and overall they make anime more accessible despite there being so many good manga. I can't even openly gush about the unanimated in-depth because there's too much risk of spoiling the yet-to-be-initiated.

Shout out to every person on my servers who must follow their recs for Oshi no Ko with a "just trust me, bro."

I mean, do trust me, bro. Oshi no Ko is fuckin' wild. There's a very good reason that the first episode will be movie-length. It's exactly as bonkers as you'd expect from combining the creators of Scum's Wish and Kaguya-sama: Love is War, and I cannot wait to see my timeline meltdown over that premiere.
It's a great upcoming example because anime has the power to create a simultaneous mass reaction that we struggle to do individually. Being broadcasted can turn singular story beats into an event. So I'll never blame people for wanting to see their feelings recreated on a massive scale. It's okay to dream! Sometimes they even come true, but it's not always essential for a work to be adapted to reach that same scale when we only want to publicly discuss how things make us feel.
The point is that they make these adaptations as promotion for a reason: they work! Work enough to be worth the risk, at least.
I can hold onto every single one of my adaptation dreams and try to forget my one-too-many adaptation nightmares, but I do so in the face of a few crushing realities. First, numbers-wise, only some things can be adapted. There will always be more manga, light novels, or original sources. Second, dreams come at a cost. Animation is a lot of labor, and the more anime get greenlit, the tighter the schedules are for many of the few major anime studios.
Yeah, that's the other side of this. More stuff is great if you're a consumer, but not so much if you're an overworked industry of artists struggling against poor management, ludicrous deadlines, and an ongoing pandemic routinely causing crunch and delays. Anime is in a very tenuous production bubble, and eventually, something's going to give.
You'd assume more projects would be a sign of a flourishing and healthy industry, but because of the particular technical details surrounding anime, that genuinely isn't the case. When studios take on more projects, animators work more but aren't paid better than if they worked less. This video from the animator supporters program, a non-profit dedicated to housing underpaid animators, explains it in much greater detail.
It's a big goddamn mess, and while I'd hope things could improve in the here and now, I think the best we can do is to try and be understanding when a long-awaited adaptation has problems or falls apart. Obviously, you don't have to like it, but it's worth considering that nobody involved wanted things to turn into poop, and even the most cut-rate productions aren't made by "lazy" artists.
Oh yeah, while I wish I could easily blame one person for why something turned out the way it did, most of the time I can't even get mad when a production falls apart. It's more sad than anything knowing that people with passion aren't given the right resources to do the job. I'll hold the Farewell, My Dear Cramer anime as my shining example. That poor show had people who cared. Even some anime I'd consider "serviceable" now still can't help but get a little melty. I have to keep crossing my fingers that my favs don't just explode mid-production, including next season's Yuri Is My Job!

I was a little worried about a more drama-based series, but this new trailer looks better than some previous ones.
I'm on the opposite end with Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku. The trailer looks really slick:

But MAPPA's never-ending assembly line of resource-intensive projects constantly worries me about people ruining their health to achieve that slickness.
These two shows definitely "deserve" to be made too! Their manga have good art, appeal, characters, and other qualities that plenty of people will enjoy. However, studios could also be more selective with their titles. Having so many poorly managed adaptations can be equally overwhelming and disheartening.

I'm not saying every anime needs to be immaculate, but most people would rather have one great-looking show with a good hook than ten moderately animated ones they won't have time to watch. Hell, its appearance is probably one of the biggest reasons Demon Slayer stands out. I'm excited to see the ufotable animate the shit out of an arc I like.

I have to disagree there. While having a big, lavish production is nice, there's a lot to be said for modest, charming series that are just given the care and attention they need to deliver. Sasaki and Miyano, for instance, is a very modest production, but it has a perfect aesthetic and directorial perspective for its slow-burn love story.

It's more about knowing what's best for the material and having the creative freedom (and time) to make the right decisions for the resources you have.
Oh yeah, while I say "moderate," I should clarify that we're still getting good shows that aren't getting as much care as their premises might demand. I love how Sasaki and Miyano looks for its atmosphere of what's otherwise a slow and breezy story. It's precisely what the story needs.

"Budget" isn't just about money for showing off but having time and being well-managed. As said in the previous video, most anime have identical amounts of money given to them, but this doesn't account for a production schedule's flexibility. Having every production being a rushed-out mess means there's less room for the kind of oomph needed to make a work stand out. Having the time to make those small and meaningful decisions can help bring out better resonance in an audience.

It's a tricky situation. The increase in production isn't healthy, but at the same time, it provides room for more risky or abnormal shows to be made, even in the realm of adaptation. To take it back to the beginning, Tomo-chan's anime probably wouldn't exist without that bubble, specifically because it's been finished for years.
In my heart, there'd be a world where the increase in demand didn't mean an increase in pain. An industry that's doing well could also afford a few more small projects to space out the big ones, and there'd be more animators and small studios to take them on if they weren't all crashing and burning out. It's also not that these series aren't making money; the studios don't see most of the profits.
That's the rub when you're in a world where art must be capital and product to exist. Sometimes, things work out for the best. Other times, multiple billion-dollar corporations pay to make a show so badly conceived it can't animate a truck.

In the end, what really needs proper adaptation...is our expectations.
Exactly, we need to learn to be okay with loving something that will never get an adaption. Some manga are great and unique on their own; we don't need corporations to remind us what to love, how to love them, and when. It's depressing when you have no one to talk about a series with, but I've found much reward from being that annoying friend who hanks others to check out a series and watch them react.
That said, all of y'all better watch 100 Girlfriends. Gonna be the anime of the year, I tell ya. You won't regret it.

discuss this in the forum (21 posts) |
bookmark/share with: short url

this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history

This Week in Anime homepage / archives