First Impressions: Kagewani

Episode 1: Doba

Takeru, Shougo and Satoshi are a trio of young men who go into a restricted forest in order to film what they call a UMA (Unidentified Mysterious Animal) and put it up on the internet. In order to up their viewers, Takeru decided to fake a video of a dinosaur in a lake, a la "Loch Ness Monster." Their floating dinosaur, however, fails, leading Takeru to order Satoshi to retrieve the device from the lake. They discover that the device's propeler was destroyed so Takeru tells Satoshi to get an extra propeller from their gear. Walking through the forest, Satoshi happens upon a gigantic footstep of a four-toed animal although he doesn't realize it. Meanwhile, Takeru and Shougo decide to go after Satoshi who is taking too long in retrieving the propeller and might have gotten lost in the forest. There, they discover the device abandoned on the forest floor and they chance upon a gigantic monster. Takeru attempts to film it but is interrupted when the creature attacks Shougo. Frightened, Takeru runs through the forest but slips and falls, discovering Satoshi's corpse in the process. He manages to get to the lake and believes he is safe. However, a look in the clear water reveals that the creature followed him and is standing right behind him.

The art style is the first thing you'll notice. It's definitely not standard anime fare -- it's almost like the characters are cut-out figures being moved around a still background. But the character and monster designs are good. The monster honestly scared me and there were moments where I covered my eyes from the suspense. 
The series features short episodes. The first episode clocks in at barely eight minutes, so it doesn't demand a lot of your time. It makes the series a nice short break from other lengthier, more intense series you're following this season. 
For the first story -- that is, the first monster -- it borrows heavily from the Loch Ness Monster myth. It neither expands nor scrimps on it. But the detail about these boys resorting to antics and getting themselves in dangerous situations just to up their online viewers is pretty realistic and in line with the times. 
The ending is intriguing and will provide the hook for many. Banba Sousuke is definitely an interesting character.

2015/2016 Winter Anime Line-Up

New anime! And they look good. I picked 5 titles right off the bat. Hopefully, I can find time to watch them.

Polygon Pictures
Adventure. Seinen. Mystery. Supernatural. Horror.
January 2016

For high schooler Kei—and for at least forty-six others—immortality comes as the nastiest surprise ever.

Sadly for Kei, such a feat doesn't make him a superhero. In the eyes of both the general public and governments, he's a rare specimen who needs to be hunted down and handed over to scientists to be experimented on for life—a demi-human who must die a thousand deaths for the benefit of humanity. (MAL)

I love the poster. It looks rad. Not sure about the story. The staff is not exciting me but I like this anime genre, so it definitely has potential. I'm putting it on the list.

3Hz x Orange
Action. Drama. Seinen. Sci Fi.
January 2016.

In the year 2072, the world's energy problems seem solved by a network of cross-dimensional electric-field inductors—"coils"—that extract energy from a seemingly infinite source. That source is the W dimension, a fourth plane that exists beyond the X, Y, and Z dimensions.

In this world, unofficial "illegal" coils harness powers that the police can't hope to counter. Dealing with these coils is the job of coil-hating repo man Kyoma, whose run-in with the unique coil android Mira leads the two to form a reluctant partnership. (MAL)

Kamei Kanta directs this. He was involved in key animation of Blood: The Last Vampire and Ergo Proxy, both animes I'm quite fond of. Although, now that I think about it, Ergo Proxy had some animation problems. Good thing he's directing this time around. *crosses fingers*

Action. Demons. Fantasy. Military. Supernatural.

Set in a post-apocalyptic Japan in the year 2071. The world has been mostly destroyed by mysterious monsters known as the Aragami. An organization known as Fenrir was made to exterminate Aragami using 'God Arcs', weapons made from Aragami cells. Those who specialize in exterminating Aragami are known as God Eaters. Their God Arcs originally could only keep a single form, however a new type has been discovered that can switch between gun and blade form. Since then, they have been classified new-types and the previous as old-types. (MAL)

I feel like this has been announced before. Why is this showing up again? Anyway, I don't normally pick up overly heroic stories like this but the voice work is giving me hope. Sakamoto Maaya is playing the female protagonist and Hirata Hiroaki and Sakaguchi Daisuke don't have a bad line-up of prior works. So it's all good. Plus, ufotable made Kara no Kyoukai, which is the shit in production quality. So yis, on the list now!

Studio Deen
Drama. Historical. Josei.
January 2016.

When a certain man is released from prison, he knows exactly where he's heading first. After falling in love with a traditional comic storyteller's rendition of the story called "Shinigami," he is determined to become his apprentice. The performer, Yakumo, has never taken an apprentice before, but to everyone's surprise, he accepts the eager ex-prisoner, nicknaming him "Yotaro."

As Yotaro happily begins his new life, he meets others in Yakumo's life, including Yakumo's ward Konatsu. Konatsu was the daughter of a famous storyteller, and Yakumo took her in after her father's tragic death. Konatsu loved her father's storytelling, and would love to become a performer in her own right--but that path is not available for women. (LIVECHART.ME)

This is the bomb. Josei? Check. Historical? Check. Manga-like art style? Check. Drama? Check. Romance? Check. On the list, baby. Not to mention Hayashibara Megumi is on the voice staff. 

January 2016

The series is about an extreme form of sport known as "Stride." It involves 6 players on a team that runs relay races in towns. The story takes place at Honan Academy where first year high school students Takeru Fujiwara and Nana Sakurai try to recruit members for their "Stride" club. They request Riku Yagami to join with the help of Takeru and Nana. Their goal is to compete and win the "End of Summer," a top competition hosted in Japan alongside other schools.

I'm not really that into sports anime. But because I have a studio Madhouse bias, I'm just putting it on the list. Also, I think it's interesting that this anime is getting a first time director, a woman, Ishizuka Atsuko, whose prior works include Aoi Bungaku, Btooom!, Chihayafuru, Kurozuka, Monster, Mouryou no Hako, Nana and Piano no Mori. That's a pretty stellar portfolio right there.

2015 Fall Anime Line-Up

So summer was a disappointment. I watched the first 2 episodes of Gangsta and didn't really enjoy it. The show had the makings of the typical formula that would hook me into a new series but I'm not that interested in anime anymore. Maybe I've outgrown it. I don't know. I try to get back to it from time to time.... so here's my latest attempt.


Superhumans - aliens, goblins, cyborgs, etc. - populate the world. They either live in the open or fight in secret. Hunted by a shadowy organization, superhumans are being protected by the Superhuman Bureau, led by Jiro Hitoyoshi, himself a superhuman.

It sounds interesting. And it's by Bones so I'm sure there's going to be a lot of WTF-ery in the middle of it but the animation will surely be topnotch.


300 years after the Calamity War between Earth and Mars, Cordelia travels to Earth to speak for the independence of the Martian city, Chryse. On her way there, her convoy is attacked by a group called, Gallarjhorn. Her private security guards, Mikazuka Augus and Orga Itsuka are thrust into conflict.

Sounds like the premise of Phantom Menace...and typical Gundam story. It's been a while since I last saw a gundam show. This might be good.

A-1 Pictures

Souhei Saikawa of the Saikawa Research Lab goes on a vacation with his labmates. Moe Nishinosono, the daughter of the Lab's chief, joins them unexpectedly. While at their vacation, Souhei and Moe find a corpse and two work together to uncover the mystery of what turns out to be a serial murder case.

Mystery thriller. I like it already. 


The backstory of Black Jack, the doctor who practices medicine without a license.

Could be interesting. I never watched the original series though.


Scientist Sousuke Banba attempts to solve the puzzle of monsters appearing and attacking people.

Horror. Good.


Horror story animated through rotoscope.

I love the concept of rotoscope. I'm curious about how the overall picture would look.


After the world system collapsed, the leading democracies turned into total surveillance states. Intelligence agent Clavis Shepherd is called upon to track down the terrorist John Paul in order to put a stop to the waves of genocide plaguing the continent.

Looks good. Premise is a bit ambitious but as long as the animation delivers, I'm good.

Wit Studio

In 19th century Europe, the Industrial Revolution is at its peak - fueled largely by Frankensteins - reanimated corpses - used as laborers. In this time and age, John Watson is recruited by the government to become a secret agent.

A secret agent for what? I saw the trailer and everybody is so baby-faced. The story is weird enough to catch my eye.