A Guide to the Guides: Spring 2011 Anime Series

Every three months, the anime blogosphere becomes filled with anime viewing guides for the upcoming season.  It’s an exciting time for anime fans, as anticipation is at its highest and not yet sullied by disappointing series.  It’s also the time where instead of creating my own guide, I do something which I think would much more handier – create a guide to the guides!  Below are some of my favorite winter 2010/2011 anime preview guides.

Preview Guides

  • T.H.A.T. Anime Blog
    Without fail, the writers at T.H.A.T. Anime Blog deliever excellent previews each season, including information like trailers, summaries, genres, and nifty additional details.  The shining spot, though, is the quick series of one-liners given underneath each listed series, which are often funny and written by some of the best and most knowledgable bloggers in the anime blogosphere.
    Grade A for great info and great fun
  • Random Curiosity
    This site provides a unique experience among preview guides.  In addition to giving necessary information about every series, it’s all the extras that make this guide stand out.  Divine includes additional season information (ex. how the disaster in Japan is effecting the schedule) and categorization and commentary about the shows in the concluding section.  Most importantly, the page features a table that shows when each show will air, and one for release dates of OVAs and movies.
    Grade A for being tabletastic and full of insightful and interesting reading
  • Emory Anime Club
    While the information about each show in this preview is no different from other sites, what stands out here is the commentary about each.  Tsuki and Steve write plenty about each show, providing the potential (given in percentages) for each, as well as other information, including comparisons to other series.
    Grade A for one-stop shopping and expert analysis
  • Sekijitsu
    The writers for this blog are energetic.  It’s fun to read their commentary about each show.  But maybe even better than that is how pleasing the preview is to the eye – the page is really attractive and each series is accompanied by a nicely-designed picture/information cube.  The bloggers are also smart in hiding the long commentary and trailers, which only show up when clicked.
    Grade A for design and blogger moeness

The above-linked guides were each mostly created by multiple bloggers.  I also appreciate the in-depth guides made, heart and soul, by singular bloggers.  Blogs that fit in this category (check them out!) include Otaku Life, Hashihime, Yuri no Boke, and Banana Muffin.

Charts and Other Preview-related Sites

  • The Cart Driver
    I’m not sure if Scamp was the first to create an “anime season preview chart,” but his may be the most prolific.  Frequently linked to and resposted, Scamp’s charts provide the basics of each show for the upcoming season in a clean and attractive format.
  • Moetron
    Moetron’s visual guide is very stylish and contains information about each series, as well as this spring’s OVAs and movies.  The site also gives a great TV listing schedule.
  • Countdown Anime
    This fun site provides countdowns for each of the new anime this winter.  It’s a neat way to get even more excited about the upcoming season.


I’m also looking forward to previews by Rabbit Poets and Major Arcana.  Each has excelled with their past previews, but I’m unsure if either or both will create such posts this year.

What I’m Looking Forward To

It’s always fun to look back and see what we planned to watch and how it turned out.  Last season, I mentioned that I was looking forward to Hourou Musuko and Fractale.  I’m still enjoying the first greatly, while I dropped the latter after just two episodes.  Instead, I picked up Infinite Stratos (for better or worse).

Typically, I only want to watch about two series each season, but this spring, I’m looking foward to four.  I’ve been waiting for Moshidora ever since I first heard about the concept last year – if nothing else, it should be fun and interesting.  Nichijou is the type of series that is usually hit-or-miss with me, but it’s director’s association with Key productions means I’ve got to give it a shot.  Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai has a storyline that captivates me and again, the director, who did work on Honey and Clover and Toradora!, two of my favorites, has me intrigued.  Finally, I want to check out Sket Dance, since I’ve nearly started on the manga a half-dozen times.

Enough of me, though.  What are you looking forward to this spring?


24 thoughts on “A Guide to the Guides: Spring 2011 Anime Series

  1. Did you see my preview, which has more staff/cast info than others?

    I think staff info — particularly director and lead writer — is the best guide to a series’ potential quality, and Emory Anime Club is the only other one I see that spends much time talking about staff.

    Mine may not be as well written or entertaining as some others, however, I admit, lol. I particularly liked the one at Random Curiosity.

    1. Of course I saw yours! I mentioned it briefly above. Gosh, you spent a lot of time on that and it was chock-full of information. I’m sure I’ll be looking over yours once or twice more before the season begins. 🙂

  2. I feel left out 🙁

    *goes to a corner and sulks*

    But in all honesty, the blogs listed above are ones I enjoy as well. UK Anime Network’s preview and Star Crossed’s were my favorite picks.

    Sekijitsu has some brilliant pictures and Scamp’s got the rhymes.

    1. You know why I left you out? Because I just barely ran across your blog for the first time (I don’t know how I could’ve missed it). I’ll be looking for yours next season. Btw, I agree – Star Crossed has a terrific site – it’s one of the few that I visit for the reviews.

      1. You be sure to ^^

        BTW try writing a review. I’m interested. I like reading and writing reviews a lot (which is primarily the reason for running an anime review blog, but meh…)

        Or fan fiction! Try your hand at that. Let’s say…your own spiritual anime?

        1. Well, I write the occasional review, but…writing a good review takes discipline that I really don’t have as a writer, hehe. Still, I’ll write a review here or there – in fact, I’ll have a couple of reviews up during the first week of April.

          Ahhh, fan fiction! Actually, I’ve written a number of pieces that primarily relate to the I Corinthians 13 definition of love without being explicitly Christian. I’ve only read ONE fan fic EVER that was both explicitly Christian and good – it was a beautiful Rurouni Kenshin story that I reposted here on my blog. I can’t recall reading one that is generally spiritual, though I bet that there are a number of good ones in that category.

  3. I will definitely be checking out some or all of these season previews, having seen only the one at the CAA forum. But mostly I’m getting caught up these days on years-old series that I had dropped. I’m embarrassed to admit that the three main shows I’m watching now are “Death Note,” “Naruto/Shippuuden,” and “Bleach.” I am so far back on “Bleach” that Ichigotachi are only beginning to breathe hints of a place called Hueco Mundo. If I can actually make it through all 9000 episodes before they are yanked from the usual sources, it will be a miracle.

    Of the shows previously mentioned, I already have “Tiger and Bunny” on my “Plan to Watch” list, along with something called “C.” I will not be joining you on “Nichijou,” since I made it through approximately six seconds of the first episode (or is it a preview?), that style really not being my thing. However, I can’t be said to have had good instincts lately: I am in it for the duration not only with “Fractale,” but also with “Level E.” Both of which look pretty good in comparison to certain other crappy shows I’ve unfortunately watched lately.

    1. I would’ve mentioned the CAA forum one if Tim had actually put it up on his blog. He knows as much about anime and is as smart as anyone I know in the anime blogosphere. Plus, I think his previews are just hilarious.

      Bah, Hueco Mundo…guh…it takes SO long to get from there to the end of the storyline. The manga goes by a lot quicker, if you’re interested.

      I haven’t watched the preview for Nichijou, yet – I may end up feeling the same way.

      I heard that Level E was pretty good, though?

      1. If by “pretty good” you mean “better than the other show I told you about the other day that I’m ashamed to admit I watched all the way through,” then definitely. The main problem is that the story is jumping around from one set of characters to another, none of which seem as compelling as the characters we started out with at the very beginning, so it’s hard to get continuity and/or care much about the characters I’m currently watching.

        That’s just me, though. And it seems that the original male and female characters from episode 1 (who I was hoping would be the leads all through) are coming back in the next episode, at least if I understood the episode preview correctly.

          1. As a result of reading through the preview guides linked here, I’ve added “Toriko” and “Sket Dance” to my MAL “Plan To Watch” list. I’m thinking that “Sket Dance” might be similar to “GetBackers,” which I liked; and “Toriko” might be similar to “Yakitate! Japan” (only with 187.3% more muscles), which I endured.

            My prediction is that I will wind up dropping both “Toriko” and “Tiger and Bunny,” whereas I have high hopes for both “C” and “Sket Dance.” But only time will tell.

  4. Thank you very much for the mention! Our boss Bass is a master at creating amazing visuals. As for being energetic, I have to say that Metanorn is one of the most energetic blog teams out there.

    Fractale is pretty disappointing, I hate myself for still watching it. I agree with R86 that Level E is only good because it’s better than the other Winter anime, except for Hourou Musuko and Madoka. Winter was a real bummer…

    1. He’s a genius, it seems. I was blown away. I can’t believe I just recently (like two days ago) stumbled upon your blog!

      Hourou Musuko was awesome, and if I can find a “10” in a season, I declare that season a winner! Then again, like I mentioned, I usually only watch 2 series per season.

  5. Cool, you included a few I hadn’t read yet, so I got to stumble off for more reading 🙂

    And thanks for the linkage. It still throws me off when someone links to me even though I’ve been around a few months now.

    1. Haha, maybe…but then again, more people are probably watching the Arrancar stuff on Bleach than are watching new shows. Casual anime fans > otaku.

  6. … And Moshidora, for me, turned out to be the best anime ever. It is so, so rare, for many reasons, and so good. Absolutely watchable by anybody (as long as the sub is good), and the characters of Minami and Yuuki are captivating.

    Sidenote: I feel as if this anime would appeal to men more than women. I don’t know why I feel like this for the moment.

    1. I wish I had kept up with Moshidora. I was very excited about the premise, but dropped it early on in the season. R86, one of our writers, enjoyed the show, however.

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