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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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