With summer winding down, the time has come to scout out the upcoming series heading our way this fall. Unfortunately, I'm concerned that the future is looking pretty bleak. A time of year that once stood out as one of the biggest viewing seasons, jam-packed with the most anticipated anime, has become little more than a season of random sequels, ecchi harems, and when other generic TV series are given the spotlight.
So this autumn, there are really only a few standout series that remind you why you get excited for anime.
Fall 2015 Was The Beginning Of The End
Many of my issues stem from the fact that the fall seasons of 2012–2014 spoiled us. In 2014 alone, we had anime like Parasyte, Shirobako and Your Lie in April among many others. It felt like the end of the year spectacle it should be. 2015 was quite different in comparison. In exchange for anime like One-Punch Man, we were given four generic high-school battle harems. That being said, the season still managed to have a handful of series that stood out from the smut, which was very different to how I feel about 2016, judging by the trailers alone. Granted, the season is yet to kick off, so this is all conjecture, but without further ado, let's look at some titles to consider this season.
1. 'Haikyuu!! ' — Season 3
Haikyuu!! is my saving grace. If there was any series that could stand atop a pile of questionable-looking anime and act as a beacon of hope, it would be this high-budget volleyball drama. After caving in and watching the first season last year, my resolve that sports anime was a silly concept was immediately broken, and I got hooked on the series. This autumn, Haikyuu!! will return with 10 episodes.
The story follows Hinata Shouyou and Kageyama Tobio, first-year members of the Karasuno High volleyball team. Despite his below-average height, Hinata uses his raw speed, reflexes, and insane jumping ability to push forward as a volleyball player, aiming to be as great as his hero the Little Giant.
Sports anime isn't so much about the playing of the sport. Rather, the action is the catalyst for something greater. What drives Haikyuu!! to be one of my favorite series is how we follow the group of characters through their journey. They struggle to be more, they grow beyond the person they were, and they overcome their struggles by trusting in those around them, all while hyping us on dramatic, high-action sports sequences. And when we really think about it, the sports movie genre does the same thing. You don't watch Remember the Titans for the football strategy; you watch it to see individuals overcome adversity. Haikyuu!! is an anime about people, not volleyball.
2. 'March Comes In Like A Lion'
If I had to say which new anime has the most potential this season, it would be March Comes in Like a Lion. It's the story of a teenaged boy whose life is stagnating. Professional shogi player Rei Kiriyama is unsociable, living alone with no family to speak of. His only acquaintances are three sisters who, despite his reluctance, treat him as one of their own.
March Comes in Like a Lion is Rei's somber tale of finding his place in the world, the three sisters his shining light during his slump. I have high hopes for this series, expecting it to tug at my heartstrings, maybe even in ways I don't expect. Whether it's melancholy or heartwarming, it's a journey I'm more than willing to take.
Drifters catches my eye due to its dark-looking art and Attack on Titan-style characters. Created by Hellsing's Kouta Hirano — which is a series that many hold in high regard — Drifters focuses on the story of Shimazu Toyohisa, a talented samurai who, after being wounded in battle, finds himself in front of a curious man at a desk. This man sends Shimazu, along with other great warriors, to another world, where they form a group called Drifters. The series looks to be an over-the-top action ride, with more than enough bloodshed to keep us entertained.
4. 'Sound! Euphonium' — Season 2
Having watched the first season of Sound! Euphonium, it's only right that I mention the second season on my list. This drama focuses on euphonium player Kumiko Oumae, a high school student who reluctantly returns to the world of marching bands.
Romance blends with something like a sports genre, topped off with the art direction of Kyoto Animation, making Sound! Euphonium original at the very least. The overall pacing leaves a bit to be desired, but by story's end, I must admit I enjoyed myself, so I'm willing to give the second season a shot. Also, there's a lot of yuri bait if you're into that sort of thing.
5. 'Gi(a)rlish Number'
Both the manga and anime of Gi(a)rlish Number are releasing within the same year, making it a somewhat of an original, so there's very little source material to go off. Essentially, I'm curious about this series because its cute girls doing cute things, brought to you by Wataru Watari. Watari is the author of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, a series I adore and highly recommend (almost to the point that adding this anime to my list could be considered a shameless plug to recommend SNAFU).
What we do know is the series follows Chitose Karasuma through her journey to becoming a voice actress. It's labeled primarily as a "slice of life," so I don't expect to get Shirobako levels of detail and education about that industry. Instead, we can expect just enough to give us a reason to see cute girls doing cute things. I have zero expectations going into Gi(a)rlish Number because I fear Watari has his fingers in too many pies, but I'm willing to give this an episode or two before deciding to stick with it or ditch out.
- Natsume Yuujinchou, Season 5: A highly regarded series, heavy on the slice of life and supernatural.
- Poco's Udon World: Another good-feeling slice of life/comedy series.
- Kiss Him, Not Me: This series looks extremely ridiculous, but pretty funny. It centers on a girl who wants the guys that are falling in love with her to fall in love with each other instead. I'll probably give Episode 1 a try.
- Occultic;Nine: Could be very interesting, but there's currently little information to go off of.
There's plenty to watch this fall, but coming out off the stellar summer season we just enjoyed, very little thus far jumps out as superb. I'm still excited for the few we do have, and I look forward to hearing about any series that may have flown under my radar. Either way, this concludes my look at the fall 2016 anime season.
If there's any series you'd like to mention, leave it in the comments below.
If you enjoyed this article, you can find more like it on my personal gaming and anime blog, where this content originated. For more random weeb nonsense and otaku news,, keep checking back with Devin73. Thanks for reading.