Just like it does every year, autumn brings red leaves, cooler temperatures, and a new season of TV shows to Japan. This is especially good news if you’re an anime fan, as tons of new series have debuted in the last few weeks.
As a matter of fact, this might be too much of a good thing, as there’s so much new anime available that it’s hard to find time to sample all of it. So if you don’t know where to start, you might want to consult a list of the hottest currently airing shows, made by the people who love the medium best: Japanese otaku.
Website Seichi Junrei Map, which maintains a database of real-world locations used as anime backdrops, recently conducted a survey of 2,202 men and woman between the ages of 15 and 49. 332 of those polled identified themselves as hardcore anime-loving otaku, who were then asked which anime from the fall season they’re most interested in watching. The top 10 are below, starting with:
10. Girlfriend (Kari) (16.3 percent)
You’ll never go broke putting a cute, earnest high school girl front-and-center in your anime, and if one is good, why not a whole bevy of them? That’s exactly what you’ll find in this adaptation of the popular dating simulation smartphone game, which is also known as Girl Friend BETA.
9. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (16.6 percent)
While there are still plenty of fans of the 1992 original, we’re guessing that the survey respondents were actually referring to the currently streaming reboot, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal.
8. Parasyte (17.2 percent)
Another revival, the willfully misspelled Parasyte is the first animated version of the manga which ran from 1988 to 1995. The story follows high school student Shinichi, whose life changes when a shape-shifting alien fuses with his right hand (which is also available as a disturbing stuffed animal).
7. Sword Art Online 2 (17.8 percent)
The first season of Sword Art Online, the anime based on novels about a fictional conscious-trapping video game, lost a lot of Western fans as it changed focus halfway through. Enough viewers in Japan were OK with the shift to keep its follow-up in the poll’s top 10, though.
6. Terra Formars (18.4 percent)
More fun with spelling comes in at the number six slot with Terra Formars, adapted from the manga about terraforming Mars using cockroaches. The roaches eventually mutate, many becoming violent, causing the dispatch of a team of genetically modified humans to the planet on a mission of punching.
5. Yowamushi Pedal Grandroad (Part 2) (18.7 percent)
The polar opposite of Terra Formars’ action-packed sci-fi, the newest installment of the Yowamushi Pedal franchise proves there’s still room in anime for a series about something as down-to-earth as high school bicycle racing.
4. Magic Kaito 1412 (19.3 percent)
You’d be forgiven for thinking the titular Kaito is actually famous anime detective Conan at first glance, since this series is an adaptation of the manga by Gosho Aoyama, who’s also the artist behind Great Detective Conan. Like Conan, Kaito has a mystery to solve, as he takes on the persona of the Phantom Thief Kid to learn the truth about his father’s death.
3. Fate / stay night (20.5 percent)
The long-running Fate franchise, which focuses on mythical warriors fighting for ownership of the wish-granting Holy Grail, has returned for another round of philosophical pontificating, super-powered battles, and lavish animation
2. Gundam Reconguista in G (22.6 percent)
Also known by the much more manageable moniker G-Reco, the newest mecha saga from Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino promises to feature not only giant robots, but also a heaped helping of Tomino’s hatred for anyone between the ages of 20 and 49.
1. The Seven Deadly Sins (23.8 percent)
Less religious cautionary tale and more fantasy adventure, The Seven Deadly Sins is an early contender to fill part of the void left behind as long-running hits Bleach and Naruto wind down.
If you’re looking to ease into the current season of anime, this otaku-approved list will give you five hours a week of viewing material, which should be plenty to start with.
Sources: PR Times, Seichi Junrei Map
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Insert images: Twimg, Anime Herald, FC2, My Navi News, Ameblo, Twimg (2), Livedoor, Mokuteki
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