Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri


Source Material Light novel by Takumi Yanai
Cast Junichi Suwabe as Yuji Itami
Hisako Kanemoto as Tuka Luna Marceau
Nao Toyama as Lelei la Lelena
Risa Taneda as Rory Mercury
Director Takahiko Kyogoku (Love Live, Love Live Movie)
Scenario Tatsuhiko Urahata
Character Design Jun Nakai
Opening theme GATE II: Sekai wo Koete by Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets
Ending theme Itsudatte Communication by Tuka (Hisako Kanemoto), Lelei (Nao Touyama), Rory (Risa Taneda)
Studio A-1 Pictures
Official website
Broadcast Date 8 January, 1605 GMT / 2305 WIT / 9 January, 0105 JST

Continuing the first part of Gate.

The tale of Fantasy vs Science continues! while it is regrettable that A-1 Pictures are ALWAYS making their show as split cour series, it’s actually worth the wait. With the second cour will be giving the biggest dick in the series, Zorzal, and the Fire Dragon battle, this show is going to rock  viewers with more conspiracies and more action, but still with some breathing room for the interaction between fantasy world and “the real world”. (Naufal / KAORI Newsline)

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar


Alternative Title Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
Source Material Light Novel by Ao Jumonji
Casts Yoshimasa Hosoya as Haruhiro
Daisuke Namikawa as Kikkawa
Fukushi Ochiai as Moguzo
Haruka Terui as Shihoru
Hiroki Yasumoto as Britney
Hiroyuki Yoshino as Ranta
Mamiko Noto as Barbara
Mikako Komatsu as Yume
Nobunaga Shimazaki as Manato
Tomokazu Seki as Renji
Director Ryosuke Nakamura (Aiura, Aoi Bungaku, Mouryou no Hako, Nerawareta Gakuen)
Original Character Design Eiri Shirai
Character Design / Chief Animation Director Mieko Hosoi (Aiura, Aoi Bungaku, Nerawareta Gakuen)
Opening Theme Knew day by [K]NoW_NAME
Ending Theme Harvest by [K]NoW_NAME
Studio A-1 Pictures
Official website
Broadcast date 10 January 2016, 1330GMT / 2030 WIT / 2230 JST

One Day, Haruhiro woke up from his sleep to find himself inside a pitch black darkness in an unknown place alongside a bunch of strangers. With no memories and knowledge of their whereabouts, they decided to ask the townspeople only to find out that they had stranded on a place called Grimgar, where they have to work as volunteer soldiers to hunt monsters for the sake of living.

When Ryosuke Nakamura & Mieko Hosoi are put together in a project, they always produce a show with captivating visuals, which also applies to Grimgar. The backgrounds looks gorgeous. With vibrant green/reddish watercolor composition, and thin, wobbly outlines, it stands out like a sore thumb yet blends beautifully with the characters. Asides, from the positively appreciated visuals, Grimgar offers a pretty fresh perspective on “fantasy world castaway” trend. It chooses to show the realism where the characters starting to be able to use things like magic for self-defense, yet they don’t become good with it in just a flash. It is an interesting idea on itself, but sadly, it is stained with a rather bleak writing. The chemistry between the characters isn’t really engaging or something out of the ordinary, and while some of their dialogues are quite natural, it still suffers from things like unnecessary exposition or cliche jokes about boob sizes. Overall, Grimgar’s first episode still feels like it’s dragging out too much, while trying to hit the right notes. Although, it still does have the potential. So, if you’re a fan of the “fantasy world castaway” trend, you might want to consider watching it. (Yoza / KAORI Newsline)

Haruchika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru


Alternative title Haruta & Chika
Source Material Novel by Sei Hatsuno
Casts Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Chika Homura
Soma Saito as  Haruta Kamijou
Yuki Yamada as Akari Gotou
Nobuhiko Okamato as Kaiyuu Hiyama
Seicichirou Yamashita as Keisuke Katagiri
Natsuki Hanae as Shinjirou Kusakabe
Haruka Chigusa as Miyoko Narushima
Nobunaga Shimazaki as Maren Sei
Asami Seto as Naoko Serizawa
Director Masakazu Hashimoto (Tari-Tari, Proffessor Layton and Eternal Diva)
Scenario Reiko Yoshida (Shirobako, Bakuman)
Character Design Asako Nishida (Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko), Namaniku ATK (Hitsugi no Chaika)
Musik Shiro Hamaguchi (One Piece)
Opening Theme Niji wo Ametara by fhána
Ending Theme Kuusou Triangle by ChouCho
Studio P.A Works
Official website
Broadcast date 6 January 2016, 1625 GMT / 2325 WIT / 7 January 0125 JST

Haruchika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru tells the story of Haruta Kamijou and Chika Homura, Two childhood friends who joins a wind ensemble club. Since their club is still lacking  members, they try to recruit new members while at the same time, trying to solve mysteries that happen around them. This anime is adapted from Haruchika mystery novel series written by Sei Hatsuno. Haruchika has been nominated 2 times in Mystery Writers of Japan Award (Nihon Suiri Sakka Kyoukai Shou), each for Best Short Story to Taishutsu Gēmu (literally translated “Exit Game”, third short story in Haruchika series) in 2008 and for Best Novel or Linked Short Stories to Sennen Jurietto (literally translated “One Thousand Years Juliet”, fourth book in Haruchika series).

Combining the premise of Hibike! Euphonium and Hyouka, Haruchika presents a light mystery story that happens around the two main characters, Haruta and Chika, in their effort to revive their school’s wind ensemble. Presented with bright artwork from studio P.A Works, dashed with friendship and comedy, along with relaxed and calm music, this anime is suitable for you who are looking for an interesting light mystery story. Though some viewers might be surprised by the lead male character’s homosexuality (Dany Muhammad / The Indonesian Anime Times)

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!

Konosuba scr

Alternative title Konosuba
Source Material Light Novel created by Natsume Akatsuki
Casts Jun Fukushima as Kazuma Satō
Sora Amamiya as Aqua
Rie Takahashi as Megumin
Ai Kayano as Darkness
Sayuri Hara as Luna
Yui Horie  as Wiz
Kana Hanzawa as Yunyun
Takuya Eguchi as Kyōya Mitsurugi
Tetsu Inada  as Ruffian
Ayaka Suwa as Chris
Hiroki Yasumoto as Dullahan
Director Takaomi Kanasaki (Tokyo Ravens, Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?)
Scenario Makoto Uezu
Character Design Kouichi Kikuta (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Kannagi)
Music Masato Kouda
Opening Theme fantastic dreamer by Machico
Ending Theme Chiisana Boukensha by Aqua (Sora Amamiya), Megumin (Rie Takahashi), Darkness (Ai Kayano)
Studio Studio Deen
Official website
Broadcast date 12 January 2016, 1605 GMT / 2305 WIT / 13 January, 0105 JST

Kazuma Satō is a hikikomori who always spend his days for anime, manga, and games, until one day, he experienced an event that will change his life forever. A goddess offered Kazuma to go to another world. This offer comes with one condition, that is to bring only one thing from his current world. He chooses the goddeses herself, and then another world awaits him with journey against demon king. But he also needs to live his life and handle the problems coming from the goddess everyday. Kazuma needs to face those two things in order to live in this new world of his.

Studio Deen begin 2016 by presenting a couple of series with  different genre. If the other one –Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū– tells about Shōwa-era daily lives, then KonoSuba offers a story sets in a fantasy world, with the addition of comedy. The first episode of this anime actually offers a typical story setting often found in fantasy anime: a person who is not reallly successful in his social life, and later dragged into another world where he has to find a way to survive in that world. But, because this is a comedy, the story is not that serious. The death of Kazuma -that is really undramatic- starts the silliness of this story. Also the Goddess’s weird explanation about heaven, and the condition of the other world, that is not as tense as Kazuma’s dream of game world, fill up the story. And in this first episode, they almost do nothing except running their usual life as a laborer. If we see the visuals, the quality is quite good, although we still can’t see if the action scenes will also be good, because none can be seen yet in the first episode. At least if we look back to Studio Deen’s work last year,  Log Horizon 2, then there is a big possibility that this anime can deliver entertaining fantasy-action anime. So, for those who prefer a story that is  filled with live-or-die scenario, I think this anime won’t fulfill your hope. Though there is a possibility that there will be dramas in the next episodes, generally it seems that this anime will shows mostly the comedy parts. (M Razif Dwi Kurniawan / The Indonesian Anime Times)

Koukaku no Pandora


Alternative Title Pandora in The Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn
Source Material Manga by Koushi Rikudo with the concept from Masamune Shirow
Casts Atsuko Tanaka as Delilah Uzal
Junichi Suwabe as Ian Kurtz
Junpei Morita as Buer
Manami Numakura as Clarion
Maria Naganawa as Amy Gilliami
Marie Miyake as Takumi Korobase
Rie Murakawa as Bunny
Sanae Fuku as Nene Nanakorobi
Satsumi Matsuda as Bur
Tetsu Inada as Robert Altman
Director Munenori Nawa (Da Capo Second Season, Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku, Kiss x Sis)
Series Composition Tatsuya Takahashi
Original Character Design Koushi Rikudo
Character Design Takuya Tani
Music Technoboys Pulcraft Green-Fund (Witch Craft Works, Trinity Seven)
Opening Theme Hopeness by ZAQ
Ending Theme LoSe±CoNtRoL by Sanae Fuku & Manami Numakura
Studio Studio Gakumi & AXsiZ
Official Website
Broadcast Date 8 January 2016, 1400 GMT / 2100 WIT / 2300 JST

This is the story of Nene Nanakorobi, a full-cyborg who went to visit her aunt in Cenacle Island, with an intention to live there. On her way to that Island, Nene met a researcher named Uzah Delilah. Uzah took interest in Nene because of her status as a full-cyborg. Besides her encounter with Uzah, Nene also met Clarion, Uzah’s cyborg which looked cute with her cat-ear that Nene wanted to befriend (although her true intention is only to cuddle Clarion). Arriving at the Cenacle Island, Nene parted ways with Uzah and Clarion to meet her aunt. But on her way, suddenly the city was attacked, and everything was in disorder. As a robot with a great hope to brought the world an everlasting peace, Nene ran to look for Uzah and Clarion, worrying about the safety of her new friends. But unbeknownst to her, Clarion was getting ready to confront those threat with her Pandora System.

Koukaku no Pandora, or called as Pandora in The Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn is a TV Anime which adapted from a manga written by Koushi Rikudo that took a concept from Masamune Shirow’s sci-fi series Ghost in The Shell. If in Ghost in the Shell we were introduced to a serious cybernetic girl, in Koukaku no Pandora, we’ll be introduced to an energetic and full of smile cybernetic girl. Not only filled with colorful character, this anime also presents a very colorful and mild-tone visual. Despite having  cheerful and cute main characters, this anime still presents a futuristic science fiction story. Although the overall tone of this first episode of Koukaku no Pandora feels mild, but there are  many interesting things to look in this first episode. From the nekomimi maniac female cybernetic-protagonist, a serious-looking old female scientist who is actually also a maniac, to her subordinate who always wore cuteness-inducing costumes. Aside from some jokes and appealing characters, the first episode already poses a question about whether world peace is something that “you can buy”. There are also some science fiction elements that were interesting to follow, such as the origin of a “full-cyborg”, and the connection between human emotion and mechanical system. Although there is still a bit of uncertainty about where this anime will be go to, it looks like it will be an anime with a blend of complicated science fiction story and mild storytelling that will be quite interesting to be followed in this season. (Rafly N/KAORI Newsline)

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