You know Spring is here when Sakura trees bloom. Of course, that also means that Spring 2013 anime season is coming up, and SGCafe picks the top 5 series which you are likely to watch. 

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Date A Live

Many light novels have been adapted into anime series these days, and it doesn’t take long for Date A Live to be adapted into one. The rom-com (short for romantic comedy) takes place thirty years after the story’s setting, whereby a strange phenomena called a “spacequake”, that devastated the center of Eurasia, taking the lives of about 150 million people. These spacequakes continue to happen throughout the world on a irregular basis, but on a much smaller scale. The male protaganist Shidou Itsuka, comes across a mysterious girl at the ground zero of a spacequake and learns from his sister Kotori that this mysterious girl is actually one of the “Spirits” who manifest themselves in this world, causing the spacequakes. He also learns that Kotori is the captain of the airship Ratatoskr and recruits him to make use of his mysterious ability to seal the Spirits’ powers and stop them from being a threat to mankind. To do so, he has to seal a Spirit; by making her fall in love with him.

Animation by: AIC+
Directed by: Keitaro Motonaga (School Days, Jormangand)
Voice Cast
Tohka Yatogami – Marina Inoue (Mikazuki Yozora from Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Laura Bodewig from Infinite Stratos)
Shidou Itsuka – Nobunaga Shimazaki (Kirishima Kaito from Ano Natsu de Matteru, Tanaka Taichi from Tari Tari)

AIC is a company known to create exceptional animation productions, and with Director Keitaro Motonaga helming this series, Date A Live is set to be a series enjoyed by teenagers and young adults. Given that the source material and setting exudes the typical harem rom-com vibes, it would definitely be exciting to see how AIC+ and Keitaro Motonaga tackle this issue.

The voice cast have veteran voice actress Marina Inoue, who recently reprised her role in Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai. She is also known for her role as gutsy sniper Yoko Rittner from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. As for Nobunaga Shimazaki, his role as Shidou Itsuka will probably be his first harem lead role, but voiced a couple of memorable male characters such as Ryou Sakurai from Kuroko’s  Basketball and Kirishima Kaito from Ano Natsu de Matteru.

If you yearn for an enjoyable romantic comedy anime series with a touch of sci-fi this season, Date A Live might just be the series for you.

 

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Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

The Human Galactic Alliance has been constantly fighting for its survival against a grotesque race of beings called “Hidiaasu.” During an intense battle, the young lieutenant Red and his humanoid mobile weapon Chamber are swallowed up into a distortion of time and space. After waking up from a long artificially induced hibernation, he finds himself trapped on a planet, with human residents talking in an unknown form of language and using inferior technologies. Red realizes that he has arrived on Earth, the planet on the lost frontier. On this planet that was completely flooded by the seas, people live in fleets of giant ships, salvaging relics from the seas’ depths in order to survive.

Red arrives on one of the fleets called Gargantia with no knowledge of the planet’s history or culture. Under unforeseen circumstances, he is forced to live alongside Amy, a 15-year-old girl who serves as a messenger aboard the Gargantia fleet. In the midst of an unknown environment and a language he doesn’t understand, he starts communicating with the people of Gargantia in order to survive, and slowly he begins to have a change of heart.

Animation by: Production I.G
Directed by: Kazuya Murata (Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos)
Script by: Urobochi Gen (Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero, PSYCHO PASS)
Voice Cast
Red – Ishikawa Kaito
Amy – Kanemoto Kisako (Ika Musume from Ika Musume, Asteria Lizamarie De Roschefall from Rinne no Lagrange)

The fact that Urobuchi Gen is doing the script for this series is a very huge draw considering his previous works such as Fate/Zero and PSYCHO PASS were well received. Considering his involvement, this series would probably take a very nice twist in terms of plot somewhere in the middle of the story. The show could easily lure us in with something that looks peaceful and then throws us into a wild roller coaster ride.

 

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Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai (Season 2)

The second season of Oreimo will take continue off the end of Season 1. Kosaka Kyousuke lives a very normal life and is like any normal person. One day he finds out that his sister, Kosaka Kirino, apart from being smart, pretty, and popular, is also actually an obsessive consumer of anime and eroge, which predominately feature little sister characters in them. Kirino pleads for him to not to reveal her hobby. Along the way, many other trials comes along as Kyousuke tries to look after his sister and assures her that this secret will be keep discreet while Kirino faces several problems herself  as she tries to keep the appearances and balance her exemplar school life with her hobbies. Unaware, Kyousuke didn’t expect that the whole situation would eventually suck him into Kirino’s world.

Animation by: A1 Pictures
Directed by: Hiroyuki Kanbe (Strike Wtiches Movie)
Voice Cast
Kousaka Kyousuke – Nakamura Yuuichi (Okazaki Tomoya from CLANNAD, Oreki Houtaro from Hyouka)
Kousaka Kirino –  Ayana Taketatsu (Leafa from Sword Art Online, Nakano Azusa from K-ON!)
Gokou Ruri (Kuroneko) – Kana Hanazawa (Akane Tsunemori from PSYCHO PASS,  Hasegawa Kobato from Haganai)

Season 2 is brought to you by another production company A1 Pictures instead of AIC Build and continuing the story off from Season 1 of Oreimo. Long awaited by many, it has finally returned after two and a half years to complete the story. Season 2 will continue off the “True End” route left off and is expected to bring an end to the series, following the story up to the last volume of the light novel at Volume 12

This upcoming season will have more development outside of Kirino and Kyousuke. To many Kuroneko fans out there, Kuroneko willl also start to have more character development with Kyousuke. With about 12 episodes to wrap up the series, hopefully they are able to pace it out nicely from start to end. At the very least, this is what most Oreimo fans have been looking for to.

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Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko

Youto Yokodera is just like every teenage boy, with perversion is in his nature. However, in his case, every time he does something perverted, it somehow gets turned around and misunderstood as something positive for the community. Sick of being so perverted, he tries to shake free of it by going to a special part of town. On top of a hill, away from the town and at the foot of a large tree, there is a wooden sculpture of a beckoning cat that is said to have special powers. Instead of bringing a wish to the user like a typical beckoning cat, it takes something from the user, and, in Youto’s case, his perversion. Still doubtful, he uses the beckoning cat thinking that it wouldn’t hurt to try, but, little does he know, his life is about to make a turn to the unexpected.

As the rumours suggest, by wishing upon the statue and giving an offering, one can wish to remove a personality trait from yourself that you do not wish to have anymore. What they do not realize at the time is that it will remove the unwanted trait and give it upon to someone who does need it. As he’s making his offering to the statue, a girl, Tsukiko Tsutsukakushi, arrives at the same place. Tsukiko also hearing of the rumours of the beckoning cat, was there to make her wish. She wishes to be able to be more like an adult and not show her emotions so easily. To their surprise the next day at school, Youto is unable to tell a single lie, and Tsukiko is unable to show any sign of emotion. After realizing that they do not like the change that happened, they work together to try and find out who has received their trait that was taken away in order to get it back.

Animation by: J.C Staff
Directed by: Youhei Suzuki (Toradora)
Voice Cast
Youta Yokodera – Yuuki Kaji (Haruyuki Arita/Silver Crow from Accel World, Alibaba Saluja from Magi – The Labyrith of Magic, Subaru Hasegawa from Ro-Kyu-Bu!,)
Tsukiko Tsutsukakushi – Yui Ogura (Takenaka Hanbee from Oda Nobuna no Yabou, Alice from Kamisama no Memochou, Hinata hakamada from Ro-Kyu-Bu! )

This is Suzuki Youhei’s first time as a full director and so I suppose fans of the light novel will be wondering how well the show will adapted. The theme of personality swapping makes it rather interesting with some romantic comedy elements. Considering how J.C. Staff did Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, this show should be able to show very strong personality of the individuals. Apart from that Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo just happened to have ended just before Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko begins, so fans who likes their romantic comedy will have something to look forward to.

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Valvrave The Liberator

In an era where the development of space cities, also known as “Dyson Sphere”, have seen over 70% of the human race migrate to space. The world was split into two major powers, the Dorushia Military Alliance, a power which grew out of a military alliance, and the Atlantic Ring United States (ARUS), which grew in power as it expanded its trade agreements. In between the two powers lies Jiouru, a neutral and prosperous country home to high school student Tokishima Haruto. With the sudden invasion of the Dorushia military however, Tokishima finds his life thrown into chaos. Ultimately, a sequence of events leads him to the discovery of a humanoid weapon known as “Valvrave,” which may hold the key to the nation’s liberation.

Animation by: Sunrise
Directed by: Kou Matsuo (Rozen Maiden)
Voice Cast
Haruto Tokishima – Ryota Osaka (Akito Himenokouji from Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankei Nai yo ne, Eita Kidou from Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru)
L-elf – Ryohei Kimura (Kodaka Hasegawa from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Kaito Yashio from Robotics;Notes)
Shouko Sashinami – Asami Seto (Lan from Rinne no Lagrange, Konatsu Miyamoto from Tari Tari)
Saki Rukino – Haruka Tomatsu (Asuna from Sword Art Online, Morgiana from Magi – The Labyrinth of Magic)

So from the studio that brings you Gundam and Code Geass, now brings you another sci-fi and mecha series for the fans. Having produced countless mecha related series since their founding, Sunrise has proved to have a forte in doing mecha series and also leads to making Valvrave worth watching due to its reputation. Not too sure if it is going to be another “stumble upon a mecha” type of anime somewhat like Gundam or a more deeper type like Code Geass type of show. Regardless, mecha fans should keep a lookout and check this out.

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Of course, there are other noteworthy series like Ketsuigata-kun, which is a popular 4-panel manga about blood type character stereotypes and their reactions towards certain situations; and of course there are some series catered to the young ladies like Uta no Prince-Sama. We reckon there will be a few dark horse titles as time goes by, when each series fleshes out with each passing episode.