Winter 2008 / 2009 TV Anime Digest

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The coming end-of-year means the end of several TV anime, but will also usher in a new crop of new shows to take their places (and timeslots.)

Presented here is a digest of new anime shows scheduled to begin in January 2009, including premiere date, normal weekly airtime, and a brief synopsis of the show.

This digest covers all the late-night (or at least non-children’s) television anime scheduled for January, but does not include OVA/OAD releases nor theatrical movies.

The list is ordered roughly by premiere date. Airtimes are given in Japan Standard Time (GMT +9), check here to convert to your local time zone (select Japan – Tokyo).

All the names of the given shows are links to the official websites, if you are interested in a particular show I would recommend a visit to the website, as most of them have short trailers or at least promotional artwork by now.

Notes:

  • Japanese schedules normally refer to airtimes later than 24:00 (midnight) as a continuation of the previous day – a 25:00 Thursday show is what would normally be called a Friday 1:00 AM show in other countries. A 27:30 show would be a 3:30 AM show, etc.
  • The premiere date may be a special early airing of the show and not be on the day of the week where the show is scheduled for its normal weekly airing.
  • If you are interested in seeing some clarification of the difference between cours and seasons, often a source of confusion, you can check the wiki article on the matter for clarification: Regarding “Seasons” and “Cours”.

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屍姫 玄 /Shikabane Hime: Kuro

Premieres Jan. 01

Airtime: Sundays 10:30

The continuation to the first “season” of Shikabane Hime: Aka, the show will continue the story of the young undead girl Makina who has the task of slaying 108 of the undead in order to go to heaven.

A fairly dark and bloody show, although with occasional (and possibly mood-breaking) outbreaks of comedy. Often referred to as a Gainax anime, although actually a co-production between Feel and Gainax.

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マリア様がみてる 4thシーズン / Maria-sama ga Miteru 4th Season

Premieres Jan. 03

Airtime: Sundays 10:30

The widely anticipated continuation of Maria-sama ga Miteru, the light novel series turned anime famed for its yuri undertones.

The show tells the story of the (mostly) prim and proper students at Lillian Girls’ Academy, a prestigious Catholic high-school with the interesting tradition wherein an older student chooses a younger first-year student to be their petit sœur (little sister.)

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アキカン! / Akikan!

Premieres Jan. 03

Airtime: Saturdays 24:00

Based on a light-novel series that was notably illustrated by Hiro Suzuhira (co-illustrator of Shuffle! ) Akikan! (“Empty Cans”) is a love comedy about beverage cans magically transforming into human girls who require infusions of carbon dioxide (via kissing) to survive.

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WHITE ALBUM

Premieres Jan. 03

Airtime: Saturdays 26:00

Originally a 1998 visual novel from Leaf, White Album appears to be a subdued love story more akin to Key games rather than more eclectic visual novels such as Chaos;Head. Aya Hirano (Haruhi, Konata) will voice the main character’s girlfriend, or at least the girl that is his girlfriend at the beginning of the story.

Starring alongside Hirano will be another well-known singer-seiyuu, Nana Mizuki, (Nanoha’s Fate Testarossa, Minami-ke’s Touma) who will sing the new OP for the show.

Indeed, there is some indication that this title will stress song ala Macross F.

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まりあ†ほりっく / Maria Holic

Premieres Sat. 04

Airtime: Sundays 24:30

A “high tension love comedy” in which a high school girl enters an all-girls high school hoping to meet the girl of her dreams, but falls for a girl who is actually a cross-dressing boy.

You can see a chapter of the manga in the previous article; the visual style is quite well developed.

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みなみけ おかえり / Minami-ke Okaeri

Premieres Jan. 04

Airtime: Sundays 25:30

The 3rd season of Minami-ke, based on the manga by Koharu Sakuraba who is also responsible for Kyou no Go no Ni. A slice of life comedy revolving around three sisters: Haruka, Kana, and Chiaki.

This season will be produced by Asread, makers of the oft criticized 2nd season, which might be troubling news to many fans of the series.

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夏目友人帳 / Natsume Yuujin-chou

Premieres Jan. 05

Airtime: Mondays 25:00

The 2nd season continuation of this supernatural fantasy anime. The main character, Natsume, possesses the ability to see spirits, and spends his time helping spirits become released from the contracts that bind them.

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宇宙をかける少女 / Sora o Kakeru Shoujo

Premieres Jan. 05

Airtime: Mondays 25:00

A new story by Sunrise, this show is a sci-fi series in which humanity has migrated to outer-space colonies. A young girl named Akiha encounters a malevolent AI that has been installed on one of the colonies. She is joined by a trio consisting of a police offer, a young girl and a cute-looking robot.

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VIPER’S CREED

Premieres Jan. 06

Airtime: Tuesdays 22:00

A hard sci-fi show from Shinji Aramaki, director of the Appleseed movies, and produced by AIC. The story involves members of a private military corporation in the late 21st century following a devastating war.

The trailer available at the official website shows some very impressive animation reminiscent of the Ghost in the Shell TV series.

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はじめの一歩 New Challenger / Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger

Premieres Jan. 06

Airtime: Tuesdays 25:29

A continuation of the 2000-2003 boxing TV anime, based on a manga that has been running since 1989 and currently has 84 tankoubon. The new series, by Madhouse, will continue the story of Ippo, a kind young boy who was taken under the wing of a pro-boxer and was inspired to become one of Japan’s premier feather-weight boxers.

This series might be better known to English-speaking fans as “Fighting Spirit.”

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明日のよいち! / Asu no Yoichi

Premieres Jan. 08

Airtime: Thursdays 25:29

Adapted from the manga and produced by AIC, this martial arts/romance show is about a boy swordsman who completes his training in the mountains and comes to the city to live in an urban dojo alongside the 4 beautiful sisters that will be his new housemates.

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ドルアーガの塔 ~the Sword of URUK~ / Tower of Druaga ~ The Sword of URUK~ English Official Website

Premieres Jan. 08

Airtime: Thursdays 25:30

The continuation of Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk, the fantasy adventure series (originally based on a 80′s arcade game) should pick up right after the somewhat unfufilling ending of the first series.

That this is a Gonzo show might cause some concern given the studio’s recent troubles. Similarly to Strike Witches this show will also be receiving a subtitled Internet release – check the English Website for details.

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黒神 The Animation / Kurokami The Animation

Premieres Jan. 08

Airtime: Thursdays 26:40

An adaptation of supernatural action manga Kurokami (also known as Kurokami: Black God), to be produced by Sunrise. The story begins with a young man, Keita, who is saved from death after a sudden battle by a Mototsumitama (a sort of superhuman) named Kuro who replaces his severed left arm with her own – as she is a Mototsumitama she can recover, but a bond is formed between them forcing them to remain together.

In a major departure from the manga, the former college-aged computer programmer Keita is now a high-school student. Interestingly, the manga is actually made by a two-man Korean manhwa team but is a Japanese-language manga published in the Young Gangan magazine.

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鉄腕バーディー DECODE:02 / Tetsuwan Birdy DECODE:02

Premieres Jan. 09

Airtime: Fridays 26:10

The second season of the new Tetsuwan Birdy remake, produced by Aniplex. This light sci-fi action show tells the story of a space police agent who comes to Earth but accidentally kills a high school boy. In order to keep him alive, he and Birdy must share the same body until his original body is repaired.

The first season didn’t attract a tremendous amount of attention, but did generate some amount of positive buzz on the Internet.

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MAJOR 5th season / Major 5th Season

Premieres Jan. 10

Airtime: Saturdays 18:00

Another sports show, this time about a Major League baseball player. The manga has been running since 1994 with over 60 tankoubon collected so far, and the TV series has been ongoing since 2004

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獣の奏者エリン / Kemono no Sousha Erin

Premieres Jan. 10

Airtime: Saturdays 18:25

A fantasy adventure about a young girl with the ability to command beasts, including dragons as if she was playing a musical instrument – the title translates as “Beast Instrumentalist Erin.” Produced by Production IG and scheduled for 50 TV episodes.

I am unfamiliar with the manga series and there’s relatively little information about this show online, so I have little idea of what to expect…

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鋼殻のレギオス / Chrome Shelled Regios

Premieres Jan. 10

Airtime: Saturdays 25:00

A fantasy anime based off a light-novel and manga series, Chrome Shelled Regios is set in a sword-and-guns alternate world wherein a young resident of a university town becomes involved with a troubled squad of the military that protects the town.

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RIDE BACK -ライドバック- / RIDE BACK

Premieres: Jan. 11

Airtime: Sundays 24:00

A near-future sci-fi series from Madhouse set in a world with motorcycles that transform into mini-mecha. A normal nineteen-year old girl finds her own “Ride-Back”, which she “falls in love” with.

Animation quality looks quite good – see the small trailer at the official website to get a better look.

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スレイヤーズEVOLUTION-R / Slayers Evolution-R

Premieres Jan. 12

Airtime: Mondays 09:30

The continuation of Slayers Revolution, which revived the classic 90′s TV series with the old characters and cast intact (including famed seiyuu Megumi Hayashibara) and set in a new original storyline.

Follows the often comedic Dungeons and Dragons-esque tale of young sorceress Lina Inverse and her companions.

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空を見上げる少女の瞳に映る世界 / Sora o Miageru Shojou no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai “The World Reflected in the Eyes of a Girl Looking Up at the Sky”

Premieres Jan. 13

Airtime: Tuesdays 25:45

The long-awaited sequel to the “Munto” OVAs, once again produced by Kyoto Animation. Since the last OVA is from 2005, the animation quality in the new series seems worlds-apart from the original.

A rather difficult series to explain, the original stories dealt with Munto, the king of one of the Magical Kingdoms in Heaven, who comes down to the Lower World (Earth) to seek a girl of destiny in order to save the Heavens amid the chaos of a looming war.

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さくらんBOY DT / Sakuran BOY DT

Premieres Jan. 14

Airtime: Wednesdays 25:05

A very unusual series, billed as the first Flash-animated TV anime series. This will be a 11 episode series. It looks to be rather insane.

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源氏物語千年紀 Genji / Genji Monogatari Sennenki

Premieres Jan. 15

Airtime: Thursdays 24:45

An anime version of the Heian Period Japanese novel The Tale of Genji, sometimes regarded as the world’s first novel. Originally this was to be an adaptation of a manga series that ran from 1980-1993 that stayed mostly true to the original novel save for some modernizations, but it was decided to make the anime a straight adaptation of the original.

Aside from OP/ED announcements (the OP will be by PUFFY), there’s no other information or images from this show that I’ve been able to find…

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ヘタリア Axis Powers / Hetalia Axis Powers

Premieres Jan. 24

Airtime: Saturdays 25:52

An adaptation of web comic Hetalia, this comedy series revolves around a cast of bishonen anthropomorphizations of WWII-era countries, focusing on the Axis powers. Expect lots of yaoi doujinshi from this series, and perhaps fanart of the boys wearing Strike Witches‘ Striker Units too.

Broadcast Schedule Sources:

Moon Phase

Saiani.net


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    43 Comments
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    Avatar of Aoshi_88
    Comment by Aoshi
    16:39 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Marimite already in my watchlist. So's Viper's Creed, Maria Holic and Birdy Decode.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:01 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    There's already three seasons of marimite? Wow. I didn't see that coming.

    (Also, in b4 VIPPER'S CREED.)

    Comment by Rook
    21:51 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Frankly, Akikan looks like a baseless excercise in gratuity.

    I shall be there from day 1 :D

    Comment by kenjiharima
    10:15 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hajime no Ippo! 100% is a sure watch for me. 90++ episodes! OH WOW!!!

    Comment by Kokuyoku
    07:34 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Meh might look in on a few of them but the only one I'm looking forward to watch is まりあ†ほりっく / Maria Holic since it's manga counterpart has been entertaining so far. It'll wait until I finish up with the Autumn 2008 though.

    Comment by Tori
    03:09 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope Hosaka appears more in the next season and more tales of Haruka Banchou!

    Avatar of Actar
    Comment by Actar
    03:31 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Right now, can't say that I'm overly excited to see some of them like I have been previously.

    As usual, would give most a try... But keeping up on 10 different series at once tends to be tough...

    Comment by J
    05:24 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    So.... the OP of The Tale of Genji animation is going to be by...Puffy.

    M'hmm.

    Comment by Washi
    07:01 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Shikabane Hime: Aka WAS a GAINAX anime. Studio Feel is doing the second season this winter. It's a collaboration akin to Minamike and Okawari.

    Avatar of Toiski
    Comment by Toiski
    22:42 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Okay... Hetalia is a must see. What? Antropomorphized axis countries! Clumsy shounen Italy and reliable onii-sama Germany! I can imagine... Italy goes off to North Africa to play and gets in troble, and Germany-nii-sama has to come bail him out... Cute!
    Other than that, Maria-sama ga miteru... Can't break the tradition can I? For some reason, I've had trouble getting my friends to watch the previous seasons. They think it's a girly show.
    Genji is a must-see based on the fact that I haven't read the book yet. Minami ke too because I haven't given up hope (catually the 2nd season wasn't too bad).
    Maybe some Viper's Creed for manly motor vehicles and futuristic streamlined weapons, so I don't turn into a wuss.
    And Akikan, because if I laugh at the premise of the whole series, I just might laugh at the series itself.

    Avatar of quigonkenny
    Comment by quigonkenny
    16:40 16/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Major? Isn't that the baseball series where all the players bat backwards, and the ump is psychic (and faces away from the play to prove it)? Why is it "5th season" if the game it's based off of just came out?

    Comment by Quen
    23:07 16/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I believe the game is based on that series...

    The anime and maga have been ongoing for a number of years.

    Comment by Lexis
    03:23 11/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Asu no Yoichi
    Tetsuwan Birdy DECODE:02
    Kemono no Sousha Erin
    Chrome Shelled Regios
    Genji Monogatari Sennenki
    Shikabane Hime: Kuro

    Yay only ones here lookin good =P

    Comment by jack
    13:00 14/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hajime No Ippo - New Challenger is really the only good one listed. I hope this sequel is as good as part 1 and as long.

    Comment by Rin
    21:04 14/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    What's with the WWII era stuff? First Strike Witches, and now Hetalia? Maybe they can make an anime where Bishounen Japanese soldiers come save the Bishoujo of Nanking from the evil Chinese terrorists?

    Avatar of tB
    Comment by t//B
    12:31 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Shikabane Hime: Kuro, Munto, Kurokami, Okaeri, and maybe Decode 02 (if I can find a torrent that's NOT set to report "illegal" downloads to my ISP of Decode 01...) are going on my list.

    Looking forward to next season. Though not so much. Nothing really mindblowingly awesome or just terrible..

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:27 20/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    ....another season of major =/..

    Comment by BuggyBY
    17:16 17/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dammit, I could have used a Genji anime when I was writing my essay about it last year.

    Avatar of Matteas
    Comment by Matteas
    03:37 19/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hirano Aya and Mizuki Nana together as main characters. Wow, another must-watch for me.

    Avatar of RaikenTB
    Comment by raikentb
    02:21 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes. Finally new Marimite. I'll probably watch Minami-ke and Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo too.

    Avatar of TransistorGlamor
    Comment by ToastCrust
    02:09 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I need a new hard drive.

    Avatar of lerrymaru
    Comment by maru
    21:47 14/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    The ones I like are listed here ^^
    Now I know 2009 will have a bery good kickstart!

    Avatar of reggie
    Comment by reggie
    22:02 14/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    looking forward to White Album, how come you didn't mention anything about mizuki nana in white album?

    Comment by Quen
    22:20 14/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Good point...I remember mentioning her but it seems I removed it. Thanks for the reminder.

    Comment by Trezaquets
    22:09 14/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm interested in Genji . . .
    looking forward to it. . .

    Avatar of angeldaze
    Comment by angeldaze
    22:11 14/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Cant wait for marimite s4. I love the series.

    Comment by Hangmen
    21:30 14/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I can hear them fangirls shlicking hard, now that Hetalia has been adapted into an animu.

    Comment by butok
    21:02 14/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    hope they come out faz...

    Avatar of Rinfinite
    Comment by Rinfinite
    21:09 14/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Awesome. Looking forward to Kurokami. Actually, I look forward to every thing with a female lead or majority.

    Comment by Sibnova
    21:18 14/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Strange quiet a few shows were not mentioned, but the important ones were.

    Comment by Quen
    21:23 14/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sorry - only new TV shows with definite release dates during January 2009 are covered.

    Comment by Garland
    22:59 14/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Here's to hoping Su-san and Finland to make an appearance in Hetalia!

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:11 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Only series of any worth is looking to be Slayers. Damn that fucking muppet for shitting up a good show, though.

    Comment by Zelgadis4tw
    13:09 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wish I agreed, as how the muppet was the LEAST of my complaints of that show.

    Aside from the fact I did not like the art (I much preferred Slayers TRY's color for starters) which is a minor thing, I feel that they did not put their hearts into making a good story line that also included the previous goings on. It feels like a cheap service to fans of the show, and not much more. Basically the story is crap the momment they reveal who the big monster is going to be at the end.

    When they did that, they also effectively and conveniently forgot that season 1 happened. In it's entirety, including Seiruun's military force. That and the replica sword of light is slightly annoying.

    Having said that, I truly wish and hope for a good story line that DOESN'T forget it's past, though I find it unlikely considering the seeming lack of imagination to the title of the new series. :/

    Comment by bstreakx
    01:32 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm curious about the time-slots, these shows are not exactly in prime-time.

    - Is it normal for Japanese to watch TV at 2:00am? If it's just fans setting video recorders, why not just sell the DVDs?

    - What are the animation channels like AT-X showing at normal hours, if they aren't showing their newest shows?

    Comment by Quen
    01:47 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Prime-time anime pretty much died out years ago...

    Virtually all the anime you see discussed on sites like this are shown between 11PM and 4AM in the morning (Mainstream children's anime obviously not included.) Gundam 00 and Soul Eater are the only current shows I can think of that air earlier - 5PM and 6PM, respectively.

    Late-night anime are, for the most part, seen only by otaku, the average Japanese would never watch these sort of shows, which is part of the reason why they are shown at these times. Otaku are willing to either stay up to see them, or find recordings of the previous night's shows.

    Broadcastings of these anime on TV are not a source of income for the anime studios involved. Rather, these TV showings are more akin to advertisements for the eventual DVD releases, whichcome with the benefits of better quality, less censorship, and a more permanent form of archival compared to VHS or downloaded files.

    Comment by CMWilly
    11:18 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Right on the dot. I remember it being phrased as the equivalent to paid programming or infommercials.

    Looks like winter season is rather bland.

    Avatar of persocom
    Comment by Persocom-san
    02:04 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    lots of good looking shows, and just as much that looks boring (to me). well, I didn't think a lot of the anime I'm watching now would be as good as it is, so I can't really judge any of these until I watch a few eps.

    Avatar of misterchef
    Comment by Riot Gear
    01:05 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where's Haruhi?!

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:56 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where is season 2 of Strike Witches? ;_;

    Comment by Rav
    00:09 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yay Natsumee..

    Comment by Avisch
    00:24 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm annoyed that Hetalia isn't being given a formal anime (they're doing the 5 minute thing apparently). But yeah I still hope it's good. Here's to POLAND! (I'm half-Polish)

    Otherwise:
    Maria+Holic
    Akikan
    Chrome Shelled Regios
    Minami-ke
    White Album

    Spring we get Tears to Tiara (which is what I'm really waiting for)

    Comment by moepeng
    00:42 15/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    although i'm more of a manga reader, so many new stuff... so many stuff i have yet to even see yet, even old stuff.
    i know there r other sites for it, but it'd be cool if staff and readers try to build a "recomended" list for ppl like me who've sorta fell back "in the know" of what's good and what's garbage.




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