A new season of anime has officially begun, and fans are chomping at the bit to start watching these new shows – and with fifty-one of them coming down the pipe, there are plenty to choose from! Of course, not all of them are readily available outside of Japan, but here is your full viewing guide of every new anime that has a confirmed legal stream!
Please note that links to Funimation streams will take you to the page where Funimation lists all their simulcasts. Funimation’s announcements of Spring 2012 anime simulcasts happened just two days ago at Anime Boston, so their site has not yet been updated with listings for specific shows.
This anime mini-series (currently slated for a mere six episodes) by studio Gonzo is set far in Earth’s future. A cataclysmic solar event has destroyed the atmosphere and blanketed the entire planet in sand. Written by famous manga creator Leiji Matsumoto, who worked on such classics as Interstella 5555 in collaboration with Daft Punk and Space Battleship Yamato, the art style has a very distinctively retro feel.
This show is a spin-off of the ongoing Saint Seiya manga series. Produced by Toei Animation, it’s the debut directing project for up-and-comer Morio Hatano. The storyline takes place twenty-five years after the Holy Wars of the twentieth century. The goddess Athena and her Saints must band together to face a new menace to the peace of the world.
Based on the PS2 romance game of the same name, Hiiro no Kakera follows the story of Tamaki Kasuga who, at the age of seventeen, discovers she has been destined to a life she did not want. Directed by Bob Shirohata and produced by Studio Deen, this show is shaping up to be beautifully animated if nothing else.
Also known as Uchuu Kyoudai, this feel-good anime is the tale of two brothers who shared the dream of becoming astronauts. Now adults, the younger brother has achieved that goal while the elder brother is struggling with unemployment. Given a single chance to reach his dream with his brother, can one man make his dream a reality? Produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Ayumi Watanabe, this anime adaptation of the manga by the same name is currently slated for a twelve-episode run.
Known as Furusato Saisei Nippon no Mukashi Banashi in its native language, this adorable series presents three traditional Japanese folktales in a very endearing animation style. This series will be interesting to anyone looking to learn a bit more about Japanese culture. The series is directed by Takuo Sazuki.
You and Me 2
Kimi to Boku 2 or You and Me 2 as it’s known as English, is the second season of the comedic, slice-of-life anime series following a group of five high school friends who have known each other their entire lives. Unlike most anime series with a similar premise, You and Me focuses on male protagonists instead of females!
This anime is an adaptation of the four-panel manga of the same name. This format of manga has been adapted to anime quite successfully before (notably with Lucky Star and Azumanga Daioh), though Yurumate3Dei is adopting the new format of micro episodes. Each Yurumate3Dei episode is only three minutes long. If you’re looking for a little humor and plenty of adorable moe characters, this show will be right up your alley!
Produced by TMS Entertainment, Zetman is the tale of a homeless boy, Jin, and his grandfather whose lives are changed forever when Jin discovers he has the superhuman powers of “Zet”. Based on a currently ongoing manga of the same name, Zetman is slated for a twelve episode run.
Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals
This Naruto spin-off series is a gag comedy. For Naruto fans, this series is probably heaven. Unfortunately, there’s not much else to report on this series.
Is This a Zombie? OF THE DEAD!
Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? OF THE DEAD. This is the sequel to Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? which follows the story of a young man who is actually a zombie and the myriad of strange women he lives and deals with – including a magical girl whose weapon is a chainsaw and a deep occultist who never speaks a word.
Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna
Known in English as Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, this series is the most recent foray into the classic Lupin III franchise. Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna will depict Fujiko and the rest of the cast in their younger days. The series will attempt to capture the sensuality present in the original Monkey Punch manga’s daring interpretation of the franchise. Slated for a thirteen episode run, little else is currently available on the series.
Polar Bear Cafe
Shirokuma Cafe is a strange little show that depicts many kinds of animals as they interact with humans and each other at a cafe owned and run by a polar bear. Starring a polar bear, panda bear, grizzly bear, and penguin, this show has the potential to be either completely existentially strange or just plain endearing.
Adapted from a social-networking game, Sengoku Collection is set in the historic Sengoku Era of Japan. Important historical figures like Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Leyasu have been re-imagined as women! These characters have been transported from their historical time to the modern age, these girls bond together in modern day Tokyo.
Male protagonist Chihiro Furuya has a deep interest in zombies (like the rest of today’s pop culture). When his pet cat dies, he attempts to bring the deceased animal back to life with an occult spell. Furuya is interrupted by a beautiful young girl who has run away from home. Crazy happenstances lead this girl to a life as a zombie! Based on the manga of the same name, Studio Deen brings up this zombified anime adaptation.
This series is an anime adaptation of the science fiction light novels by Reki Kawahara. Our protagonist, Haru, is a high school boy who is constantly bullied for being short and fat. He escapes from his bad life situation by accessing virtual worlds made possible by a futuristic technology called nuero-synchronization.
There are tons of anime out there revolving around school girls, but Upotte!! takes this tired premise and puts what can only be described as a unique twist on the genre. Each of the girls is actually a personified gun. Yes, you read the correctly. A gun. The bullet girls are working their way through school as comedy ensues with each episode.
Mysterious Girlfriend X
Nazo no Kanojo X in Japanese, this anime is the definition of strange romance. Tsubaki Akira is a completely normal high school boy until one day, a new transfer student arrives, a weird girl named Urabe Mikoto. Somehow, Akira manages to taste Mikoto’s saliva and becomes inexplicably ill. Mikoto informs him that he is lovesick, and their crazy romance tale begins.
After the last basketball anime turned out to be nothing more than a bunch of over-developed moe girls dribbling a basketball bigger than their head, something a bit more serious is a welcome relief. Taiga Kagami is a transfer student at a new school, and he joins up with the basketball team. His new team is determined to take the inter-high school championship title, and to do it, they’re going to have to beat Taiga’s old teammates!
Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle
This show is all about puzzles. Puzzles in this world are matters of life and death, and when high school freshman Kaito discovers an “unsolvable puzzle” near his school, he defies the odds by solving it. This earns him the status of Solver, and he joins other Solvers from across the world in an effort to battle the Puzzle.Of.God group. Directed by Junichi Sato and produced by Sunrise Studios. This is the second season of Phi Brain.
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
Perpetual additions have made the Seikyou Private Academy an unmanageable labyrinth. Teiichi Niiya gets lost in the school one day and discovers a girl who calls herself the ghost of the old school. She cannot remember her past, so the two form the Paranormal Investigation Club and set out to unravel the mysteries surrounding and permeating the entire school. Based on the manga originally published by Square Enix, the anime adaptation is being handled by Studio SIlver Link.
Saki Episode of Side A
Adorable girls and mahjong. They played together in elementary school, but when it came time for middle school, the girls went their separate ways and the mahjong club was torn apart. Years passed, and one of the girls, Shizuno, sees her friend Nodoka winning the national middle school mahjong championship on television. She decides she wants to play with her friends again.
Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos
She is the malign deity “Crawling Chaos” Nyarlathotep, or Nyaruko for short. Together with “Living Flame” Cthuga, or Kuko, and “The Unspeakable One” Hastur, or Hasuta, they bring you an abysmally terrifying Love(craft) comedy! This jerkily animated, micro-episode series continues in this new season.
Set in a small, Japanese town where nostalgia and “freshness” coexist, high school student Yuki struggles with his extreme ineptitude in communicating with others. He and three other angst-filled teenagers meet to go fishing, and on a tiny island, their epic tale begins!
Kids on the Slope
Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo fame, with music by Yoko Kanno of Macross Frontier and Escaflowne fame, there are a lot of big names lining up to work on this anime. Set in 1956, this is a series not to be missed by any serious anime fan.
Jonah, a former child soldier with a tortured past, joins up with a female arms dealer. Together with their comrades, they navigate the seedy underworld of black market dealings. Secretly, Jonah wishes to use his new connections to find the arms dealers responsible for the death of his family. Based on a manga by the same name, Studio White Fox will be doing the production work on this title.
Medaka Kurokami has just become the Sandbox Academy’s 98th student council president, and as promised in her election campaign, she has instituted a “Suggestion Box”. Now she has taken on each suggestion placed within the box as part of her personal responsibility to make the Academy a better place! This newest series from Gainax is based on the manga of the same title.
Queen’s Blade Rebellion
Set after the events of the original Queen’s Blade series, Queen’s Blade Rebellion focuses on Annolette, a brave young knight who is leading a Rebel Army in order to overthrow Claudette, the victor in the last Queen’s Blade tournament. (Please note that I’m sure this series will be as “not-safe-for-work” as the original Queen’s Blade series. Watch at your own risk.)
So! What shows are you looking forward to? Which will you watch? Do some look absolutely terrible? Let us know in the comments!