8 anime titles to warm up to this winter

The times are a-changing … and it’s time for a winter anime update. No seasonal weather puns, just awesome anime titles! Let’s skip the punishing preamble and get straight to it.     

The Feature Film releases

These two titles are not new but worth a mention as new additions to our collection. The first is a Studio Ghibli classic, the second by master director, Katsuhiro Otomo, of Akira fame.

The Cat Returns DVD cover

The Cat Returns
“Bored schoolgirl Haru saves the life of an unusual cat, and suddenly her world is transformed beyond anything she’s ever imagined. Her good deed is rewarded with a flurry of presents, including gift-wrapped mice, and one very shocking proposal of marriage – to the Cat’s King’s son! To change her fate she’ll need to learn to believe in herself, and in the process she will learn to appreciate her everyday life. THE CAT RETURNS is a magical animated adventure that will delight and inspire everyone.”

Steamboy DVD cover

Steamboy
“From the leader in anime Katsuhiro Otomo (Metropolis, Memories), comes his first feature- length directorial project since his breakthrough film, Akira. Ten years in the making, Steamboy is a retro science-fiction epic set in Victorian England. A prodigious inventor named Ray Steam, receives a mysterious metal ball containing a new form of energy capable of powering an entire nation, the Steam Ball. Young Ray Steam must use the Steam Ball to fight evil, redeem his family, and save London from destruction.”

Some series …

One is completely new but an unfinished “Part 1 of …” kind of deal. The other is a second season we snatched up to continue an ongoing story.

Black Clover, Season 1 - Part 1 DVD cover

Black Clover, Season 1 – Part 1
“Asta and Yuno are two orphans who want the same thing: to become the Wizard King. Locked in a friendly rivalry, they work hard towards their goal. While Yuno excels at magic, Asta has a problem uncommon in this world: he has no powers! But, on the day they receive their grimoires, they surprise everyone. To reach their goal, they’ll each find their own path to greatness – with or without magic.”

Haikyu!! Season 2 DVD cover

Haikyu!! Season 2
“The drama heats up, both on and off the volleyball court, as the rivalry between teammates Shoyo Hinata and Tobio Kageyama continues to develop in new and unexpected ways. After the team’s dramatic setback in Inter-High Preliminaries, Karasuno gets the unexpected opportunity to go to a training camp in Tokyo alongside other top schools in the nation… including their rival team, Nekoma!”

Some more series …

These are ‘complete’ but not all are one off titles. Some are part of a larger franchise, like the Initial D “Legends”, or are confirmed to be getting a second series after a long break, like Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Initial D – Legend 1 – Awakening     :      Initial D – Legend 2 – Racer      :      Initial D – Legend 3 -Dream

Initial D Legend 1 Awakening
Initial D - Legend 2 - Racer
Initial D - Legend 3 - Dream

The Irregular at Magic High School

“The year is 2095 and magic has been scientifically broken down to highly advanced technology. Users are known as “magic technicians” and are prized assets in every country for their power and potential. For the Shiba siblings, Tatsuya and Miyuki, they have just been accepted into the prestigious First Affiliated High School and are quickly on their way to becoming well-respected magic technicians.”

The Irregular at Magic High School - Part 1
The Irregular at Magic High School - Part 2
The Irregular at Magic High School - Part 3
Handa-kun DVD cover

Handa-kun
“Handsome teenage calligrapher Sei Handa is worshipped by all his classmates as an aloof superstar. Too bad Sei’s inherent negativity makes him believe that everyone actually hates him! A youthful comedy of misunderstanding and melancholy unfolds in this hilarious prequel to Barakamon!

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
“It’s a tale of adventure in the depths of darkness! Bell Cranel is an adventurer and the lone member to the Goddess Hestia’s ‘Familia’ in the bustling city of Orario. Trying to make ends meet and hoping to strike fortune he delves under the city’s labyrinth known as the Dungeon to battle the legions of monsters lurking beneath.”

What I’m watching …

Enen no Shouboutai (aka Fire Force)

Enen no Shouboutai (literally “Blazing Firefighting Corps”) is a Japanese shonen* manga series written and illustrated by Atsushi Ōkubo (of ‘Soul Eater’ fame). This brand new anime adaptation is currently airing on Japanese TV and can be viewed with English subtitles through various online streaming services. I usually wait for new shows to finish airing before I take a look as I’ll usually end up binge watching a good series. But as this title kept popping up everywhere online, I succumbed to the hype and took a look.

*FYI shonen refers to titles aimed primarily at a young male audience, typically characterized by action-filled plots.

Apart from the fantastically animated fight sequences (and they do look spectacular) I am most intrigued by the world this show inhabits and where it will take it’s characters.

Enen no Shouboutai

Synopsis

“Year 198 of the Solar Era in Tokyo, special fire brigades are fighting against a phenomenon called spontaneous human combustion where human beings are turned into living infernos called “Infernals”. While the Infernals are first generation cases of spontaneous human combustion, later generations possess the ability to manipulate flames while retaining human form.

Shinra Kusakabe, a youth who gained the nickname Devil’s Footprints for his ability to ignite his feet at will, joins the Special Fire Force Company 8 which is composes of other flames users as they work to extinguish any Infernals they encounter. As the incidents begin to increase, and nefarious forces appear from the shadows, Shinra begins to uncover the truth behind a mysterious fire that caused the death of his family twelve years ago.”