Winter 2020 Anime: Official Info, Airdates & Trailers
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!
Every year we get a ton of anime titles; some good, some bad, and some that just slip through the cracks. The latter are just overshadowed by the more mainstream offerings. You know which anime I mean; those over-hyped titles that everyone seems to be talking about. But, what about those hidden gems that get eclipsed by the bigger names year after year? Don’t they deserve a little love too? Heck yeah they do!
MANGA.TOKYO is here to stand up for the little guys; those lesser known anime titles that you should be watching. It’s finally time for the underdogs to shine!! Now, we’re going to have a bit of fun with this and limit the titles to a specific year. We’ll be hopping through time to highlight the hidden gems throughout the ages. The sky’s the limit!
For this article, we’re just going back a few years to 2013, the year that brought us fan favorites like Kill La Kill, Free Iwatobi Swim Club, and Attack on Titan. But, instead of talking about the stars, we’re going to spotlight five underrated series that never managed to generate much of a buzz during their initial run.
Air Date: Apr 7, 2013
Synopsis: After a devastating event makes the Earth uninhabitable, humanity takes to the stars in hopes of preserving the human race. But, what they find is far more dangerous than what they left behind. An alien race known as the Hideauze is hellbent on eliminating the remaining humans, now known as the Galactic Alliance, resulting in years of interstellar warfare. During one of the skirmishes, a young lieutenant, Ledo, loses control of his fighting mecha and finds himself stranded on a strange waterlogged planet. Lost and without any means of communicating with his fleet, Ledo must rely on the inhabitants of Gargantia, a giant fleet of ships, in order to survive in his new home.
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet has an interesting premise, but it doesn’t always follow through with the execution. Does that make it a bad show? Not necessarily. Ledo is a great protagonist. He’s a skilled tactician, known throughout the Galactic Alliance for his battle prowess, but, on the relatively peaceful Gargantia, there aren’t any battles to fight or aliens to fend off, rendering the poor kid utterly useless. In the first five minutes, the show sets up this grand intergalactic conflict for the fate of humanity only to scrap the idea and instead focus on Ledo’s attempts to acclimate to life on Earth. Ultimately, people were expecting an action packed sci-fi adventure with mecha battles and angst, but what we got was a rather laid-back coming of age story that just happened to take place in a futuristic fantasy world.
Air Date: July 5, 2013
Synopsis: Servant x Service follows the day-to-day hijinks of a group of newbie civil servants in the Welfare Administrative Section in the city of Mitsuba.
At first glance, the synopsis leaves much to the imagination. Following a group of civil servants doesn’t seem like it’d be all that exciting. But, Servant x Service manages to put a lighthearted, albeit comedic, spin on an otherwise mundane premise. Think Working!! (Wagnaria!!) but with civil servants instead of servers. We follow Lucy, Yutaka Hasebe, Saya Miyoshi, and a whole host of wacky characters as they navigate the tumultuous world of government employment. There’s a lot of what you’d expect from an office setting: irate visitors, paperwork, office gossip, and of course a bit of romance, but with a healthy amount of humor to make it all more palatable. Yeah, it’s silly to the point of being cliche, but that’s all a part of the fun, it’s supposed to be ridiculous!
Air Date: April 5, 2013
Synopsis: After reading Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal, a young bibliophile, Kasuga Takao, steals the gym clothes of his crush, the beautiful Saeki Nanako. But his actions are not without consequence. The class outcast, a strange loner named Sawa Nakamura, witnesses his transgression. In exchange for her silence, Takao promises to follow Nakamura’s every command, no matter how depraved they may be. With one impulsive act, Takao must watch as his once mundane life takes a downward spiral into the depths of darkness.
Flowers of Evil utilizes a unique visual style that has polarized most viewers and critics. Rather than adhering to the traditional ‘anime’ style, bold defined lines and coloring, the show relies heavily on the rotoscoping technique, a style used primarily for capturing the realism of movements in an otherwise animated medium. However, its use in the show was universally panned, many citing the clunkiness of the character designs as a horrendous departure from the clean, crisp artistic style of the manga source material. I, however, found it to be a fitting representation of the spirit of Shūzō Oshimi’s original work. Flowers of Evil is about the depths of human nature: the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. At times, it’s distinct and easily defined, yet other times the lines are blurred and out of focus, much like the characters themselves. It’s not so much about who is inciting the actions of the story, but about the actions themselves and how they create this ripple effect on the world around them, flowers of ‘evil’ that constrict and bind, yet ultimately free us. This is a rather thought-provoking anime that is sure to leave a lasting mark on viewers long after they watch the final episode.
Air Date: October 11, 2013
Synopsis: What happens when a normal guy aspires to be something extraordinary? Samurai Flamenco tells the story of Masayoshi Hazama, a famous model who aspires to be more than just a smiling face. He wants to be a superhero, like the TV heroes he idolized as a child. So, he dons a mask and sets out to bring vigilante justice to the citizens of the world as the hero, Samurai Flamenco, but, unlike the heroes he used to worship, Hazama doesn’t possess any remarkable abilities or powers, just an indomitable will and thirst for justice. When his heroic antics attract the attention of the young detective Hidenori Gotou, the two strike up a tenuous partnership that will lead them on an extraordinary journey to uncover the true meaning of being a hero.
Samurai Flamenco has a solid premise that ultimately falls flat due to subpar execution. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad anime. Based on the premise, the show was meant to be equal parts tongue-and-cheek satire while still paying a loving tribute to superhero television shows of yesteryear. I’ve even heard it likened to the film Kick-Ass, but honestly, it’s more like what would happen if Haruhi from the Haruhi Suzumiya franchize ever decided to become a superhero… But, that aside, Samurai Flamenco is an interesting cluster fuck with twists and reveals that literally come out of left field. One could almost say it’s like watching one of the old Super Sentai or Kamen Rider shows. One minute everything is grounded in reality and the next all hell breaks loose! It’s weird and clunky at times, but you can’t help but watch everything unfold, even if half the time it doesn’t make much sense. Also, bonus for the BL fans out there, Samurai Flamenco has some NOT SUBTLE AT ALL BL moments between Hazama and Goto…
Air Date: January 5, 2013
Synopsis: War has been waging between the human race and demon race for years, with heavy losses on both sides. Fed up with the lack of headway on either side, The Hero abandons his companions and sets off to the castle of the Demon King in an effort to sway the course of the war. But, when he finally meets the dreaded Demon King, he finds that they are not what he expected. Can the Hero and the Demon King work together to end the war for good or are they doomed to be enemies forever?
Maoyu is an interesting anime. On one hand, it is wrought with unnecessary fanservice, icky love triangles, and just about every anime cliche you can think of. But, at its core, Maoyu provides a rather thought-provoking narrative that delves into the economical ramifications of war. It’s an odd combination, but somehow it actually works, and on top of that, this anime manages to be a pretty faithful deconstruction of traditional fantasy media. You expect this show to go in a certain direction but it constantly subverts itself. I found myself genuinely enjoying this anime.
Not every anime is going to be an instant hit. Some are like fine wine getting better with age. It’s up to us as viewers to look beyond the flashy mainstream powerhouses to those lesser known gems hiding just out of reach. You never know what kinds of amazing anime are out there for you to discover. This list only covers five underrated anime series but there are so many more out there waiting for their chance in the sun. I encourage you guys to not only to check these anime titles, but to also look for some I may have missed! Share your finds and get a discussion going! #MANGATOKYO #HiddenGems
If you haven’t already, check out some of our other recommendation articles. That’s always a good place to check for anime recommendations! Also, we need your help! Which year should I cover in the next Underrated Anime article? Sound off in the comments section! Until next time, see you around!!
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!
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