What do drama CDs and anime have in common? Our favourite seiyuus of course! So instead of our usual first impressions for each anime season, we thought we’d get back to basics and zero in on just the seiyuus who draw us to the shows offered this Autumn 2015 season. That’s our starting point in picking up shows to watch anyway ^_^ Here’s part 1 of 2 because there are just way too many shows to get through ha~
Bear in mind though that although seiyuus serve to draw us in, a show’s still gotta have an interesting plot, a good set-up, be visually enticing and well animated. My mistake with Summer 2015 was to be taken along for the ride with one too many shows purely because of the seiyuus and to have missed out on a couple of good shows just because there weren’t any of my usual line-ups featured. So for this season, I’ve decided to give most of the 44 shows a chance (except sequels to shows I’ve not previously followed and kids’ shows). The review of each show’s premiere below is to hopefully help you decide if a particular seiyuu is worth watching his/her anime for although needless to say, these are but my sole opinion. I do appreciate that this post is late in that all shows have gone onto their 2nd and even 3rd episodes but nonetheless, any comments/feedback is very much appreciated! Share your joy and fangirl/boy with us!
Main cast: I really wasn’t expecting much from Kobayashi Yuusuke here. Granted I think he did great with the lead role in Arslan, the beginning of Comet Lucifer just felt bland and his acting a tad on the meh not exciting side. As the show progressed though, his MC sounded more dramatic and with it, turning this MC and show into an unexpected pleasant surprise.
Supporting cast: I might continue watching this because I simply adore Hayami Sho and Hamada Kenji and it seems they’re both the antagonists so that’s delicious to listen out for, There’s also the humour combo presented by Terashima Takuma and Suwa Ayaka (who’s also voicing a lead role in this season’s Gundam: Iron-blood Orphans). They sound a bit flat actually but I’ll give them benefit of the doubt here and see if they’re simply limited by their characters.
Watch it if: Futuristic technology, mecha and umm, crystals is your thing. I’m getting vibes of Galileo Donna perhaps due to the similar Italian setting and futuristic technology such as the MC’s hover board. So it’s not great, not one of my top 3 in this list but probably in the top 5. A girl was just born out of the red crystal, not that we viewers understand any better what that means and what’s really going on. But my interest is piqued enough to want to find out more till episode 3 at least if not then for the baddies’ seiyuus.
Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou
Main cast: Ishikawa Kaito fans should be happy to hear him as the MC in what can only be described as Kyousougiga meets Kekkai Sensen set in the era of gods and super alien powers. Heroes protect humans but who protects heroes? That’s the organisation the MC belongs to and it’s all so quirky and colourful so far. That’s describing the characters themselves over and above the overall graphics in this riot of a show. It’s not so much fun like Kyousougiga but that might come eventually as the premiere’s time jump method of storytelling unfolds.
Supporting cast: Ookawa Tohru as a tiny cute alien who resides in the boobs of a teenage witch, is so not Ookawa which is why it’s all the more fun to hear.
Watch it if: You enjoyed Kyousougiga because it’s not for the usual crowd who wants a normal, plain, good anime – this ain’t gonna be everyone’s cup of tea. This is bombastic but more grounded than its colours make it out to be, perhaps too grounded so far but I’ll give it a go for a couple more episodes if I were you. There’s a proper plot and story, interestingly told from what looks to be the MC and the witch’s respective perspectives.
Gakusen Toshi Asterisk
Main cast: Tamaru Atsushi heads up one of two high school harems this season, along with Touyama Nao, who’s actually in quite a number of shows this season but alas, I’m more keen on the guys~
Supporting cast: Newbie’s not alone thankfully and even though it’s a harem show through and through, there’s support from senpais Sakurai Takahiro and Sugita Tomokazu as with the female senpai seiyuus too. It is harem after all…
Watch it if: Harem + magic powers/skills/sorcery (you take your pick) is your thing. Although that being said, I’d recommend you watch the other high school harem Rakudai Kishi no Eiyuutan instead. They both start the same way with the MC unwittingly and unwillingly witnessing the female very tsundere MC changing and therefore in just her underwear (plenty of fan service in both shows), ending up with the classic MC-falls-onto-tsundere-and-breaks-fall-with-her-boob (Taimadou had this too in its opening episode so it’s really very very overdone). A battle of skills ensues and of course, tsundere girl falls for MC but would rather blush to death than admit it. Gakusen (and Rakudai) reminds me all too much of Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei and not in a good way – the pacing’s a bit of a mess and nothing in the plot or characters really stands out. The MC’s here to investigate his sister’s disappearance among other things but compared to Rakudai, Gakusen‘s trying to explain too much in just this first episode rather than ease viewers in gently. So there’s not a lot of time to get to know the setting or feel interested enough in the characters to continue. I’ve not followed Tamaru’s works previously but he’s been gaining some fans from the Touken game series so harem aside, he might just be able to pull in some female viewers. Not for me though, I’ll get my Sakurai fix in other shows he’s in.
Garo: Guren no Tsuki
Main cast: Romi Park anyone? It’s been awhile since we heard one of the best female seiyuus in a female character role. There’s also Seki Tomokazu portraying the antagonist so that’s gonna be fun for fans of his wry and sadistic tone. Nakayama Masei makes his debut as the MC – I’ve yet to come across any other actor who’s made his debut in a lead role! The director may be fond enough to cast him but for me, I’m not enchanted and doubt I’d be, at least not with just this first episode anyway. However, there is Namikawa Daisuke and he’s just lovely no matter what type of role he does.
Supporting cast: Drama CD fans would know Horiuchi Kenyuu~
Watch it if: You’re either a fan of the first series and want to follow with this continuation or even if you’re coming into this fresh, it’s ok because like me, no context was necessary to watch this instalment, at least not so far anyway. Also, fans with a keen interest in sorcery involving key historical figures Seimei, Douman and Fujiwara no Yasusuke would probably pick this up. The effects animated aren’t great but not too shabby though I’m not liking the mixing of 3D animation and traditional CGI so much. So far the story’s not drawing me in though and so I’m likely to forego Garo and get my Namikawa fix in K: Return of Kings instead.
Haikyuu Season Two
Main cast: Too many to list but off the top of my head there’s Ishikawa Kaito, Murase Ayumu, Hino Satoshi, Irino Miyu, Hosoya Yoshimasa, Okamoto Nobuhiko etc. etc. everyone’s so important to the team spirit behind our favourite volleyball team so it’s almost as if everyone’s a main cast member!
Supporting cast: But the reality is there are waaaay more school teams and hence loads more of our favourite seiyuus such as Kamiya Hiroshi, Uchiyama Kouki, Saito Souma, Namikawa Daisuke, Kaji Yuuki, Nakamura Yuuichi, Tachibana Shinnosuke and some more new teams this season which means the joining of seiyuus Kimura Ryohei and Oosaka Ryouta among more to come surely!
Watch it if: Sports/Shounen camaraderie team spirit is your thing. There’s comedy, drama, some slick animation with the volleyball moves and overall a well-paced solid storyline, if season one was an indication. This first episode had plenty of HiroC so that’s something for fans to take note of! Otherwise, there’s surely a seiyuu for everyone out there in Haikyuu!!
Main cast: Hanae Natsuki and Ishikawa Kaito and a couple of female protagonist seiyuus whom I shan’t bother with because I’m most probably not going to get past episode 3 on this show. That and also because I don’t recognise the female seiyuus off hand and am too lazy to find out on MAL…
Supporting cast: Same as above.
Watch it if: You like mecha cos the title’s literally the mother of all weapons in its onion armour glory. War breaks out, teenagers are the only ones left to fight and plenty of boobs and near-upskirt shots fan service serves a certain demographic all too well. This first episode was so cliche its premise is essentially the same as this season’s Gundam Iron-Blood Orphans, sans the girls. I can’t treat a show with such fan service seriously enough to come back week after week, even if Hanae Natsuki‘s the MC. He’s in Gundam Iron-Blood Orphans anyway so I’ll get my fix there instead. That said, he did remind me of HiroC in certain scenes of exasperation in Heavy Object’s premiere so… watch it if you’re THAT huge a fan of Hanae and/or Ishikawa.
K: Return of Kings
Main cast: Need I list them out? Because surely everyone knows the glorious number of male seiyuus in K. Even Tsuda Kenjirou and Kaji Yuuki are back! Namikawa Daisuke‘s Shiro will return fret not. It is titled the return of kings after all. In season one there were mainly the red, blue and silver clans. This time around, green joins in and that means more seiyuus galore! In this first episode already Kugimiya Rie‘s giving her male colleagues a run for their money – this is so gonna be a good show!
Supporting cast: Most of your A-listers are here sans Kamiya Hiroshi, who’s perhaps chosen to stay out of this show given how few lines each of the stellar cast members really get. With Anna being the new red king, Horie Yui is likely elevated to more lines as a main character this season.
Watch it if: You saw the first season and the movie already and want some conclusion to the whole storyline. I suspect that with the loss of the red king, this season’s going to be about dealing with the blue king given how his powers are starting to go the same way Mikoto’s did. Also, Shiro’s back (soon) and with the green clan as the new antagonist to bring red, blue and silver together, it’s bound to be dramatic. K’s graphics are just luscious and so gorgeous, the animation is sleek – you can see they’ve definitely got more budget this time around. The OST’s largely the same so that’s familiar territory to lull first season viewers back in emotionally to the relationships involved in K. This premier episode also serves to draw in more female viewers surely, as the blue boys are looking smart, sharp and so so ikemen-like there’s surely one for everyone~ Be wary though, there seems to be a plot by the staff/execs to pull in the male viewers cos Sawashiro Miyuki‘s Seri-chan seems to have gone up 2 cup sizes since the movie. Also, lolicons are probably going to love Anna’s OP (yup, it’s that Anna-centric) as she gets more screen time this season too. I’m excited for K: Return of Kings and look forward to the visual and audio treat to come in the next 12 weeks.
Lance N’ Masques
Main cast: Cycling boy wonder Yamashita Daiki heads up this modern day but very literal knight in shining armour anime about well, a knight who goes around rescuing damsels in distress in the most corny and cheesy manner possible. Don’t blame the guy, it’s his training! This being an obvious harem show though, does mean there are more female seiyuus instead and umm, I can’t be bothered to look out for who’s in this…
Supporting cast: The highlight of episode 1 for me was Ishida Akira supporting the MC, voicing the MC’s father who is himself a knight and as animes go, we all know he’s probably a very famous knight in the knight community. So glad Ishida Akira was there otherwise this show was quite cringeworthy…
Watch it if: I wouldn’t because this is harem + loli in a set up that’s cheesy, corny and just plain not funny. What’s the point in being silly if it’s not hilarious at the same time? It was a lot of face-palm moments from Yamashita Daiki having to deliver those lines because he just didn’t sound ridiculous enough, if that makes sense. I mean, watch Danshi Koukou-sei no Nichijou and you’ll hear just what true ridiculous sounds like in the most marvellously executed manner. This show? Nope, dropped. Unless you like Yamashita Daiki of course.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blood Orphans
Main cast: Kawanishi Kengo takes the lead as one of the MCs and though he’s thus far been mainly in supporting roles, I reckon he did a fantastic job as the cold, aloof but very skilled Mikazuki (yes, there’s another Mika this season apart from Owari). I could spot Hosoya Yoshimasa from just the first word he uttered as he provides the voice to yet another muscle man leader in Sunrise’s latest addition to the Gundam franchise. The same goes for Hanae Natsuki, though I had to do a double take because his character’s so not what we’re used to Hanae voicing thus far. That’s a good thing! Because…
Supporting cast: Sakurai Takahiro voices yet another ikemen blonde character haha. I think he’s a baddie in this one and I love his condescending, twisted voice acting.
Watch it if: You’re a gundam fan or you like mecha or you’re looking for a good mecha, proper war (and not those high school mecha competition rivalry full of angst) show this season. Forget Heavy Object. Okada Mari’s behind the script and series composition for this one and episode one started with a kid shooting someone dead. So it’s plenty of dark, drama in a war setting. Gundam 00’s going to be a high bar to go over but things have started on a very good footing for Iron-blood Orphans. Kimiuso‘s Yokoyama Masaru‘s the man behind some very dramatic music already so I’m very on board for this latest instalment of Gundam and am confident it’ll carry through all 25 episodes too.
Main cast: Kamiya Hiroshi, Kaji Yuuki, Uchida Maaya.
Supporting cast: Sawashiro Miyuki, Fukuyama Jun, Ono Daisuke and more or less everyone who survived season 1 returns, with the notable addition of Okiayu Ryuutarou to round off this stellar bunch of seiyuus in the much anticipated sequel.
Watch it if: Really, need I say more? The cast alone should be enough to pull in almost all seiyuu fans haha. Season 1 ended nicely in spite of the developments in the manga original. That original storyline does converge with this season 2 anime as the premiere episode shows. This means we’re in for a great character development story with Yato’s backstory with Nora, Bishamon and Kazuma, as well as lots of animated battle actions with new addition Ebisu. Exciting stuffs!
So from this list of 10, I’m definitely watching, and in seiyuu shiratori format no less:
- Noragami Aragoto (Kamiya Hiroshi, Kaji Yuuki)
- Haikyuu!! (Kamiya Hiroshi, Kaji Yuuki, Hosoya Yoshimasa)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blood Orphans (Hosoya Yoshimasa, Sakurai Takahiro)
- K: Return of Kings (Sakurai Takahiro and everyone)
Next list of 10 shows coming up soon! Thanks for reading and please do share your opinions!