In a scripture handed to the one that drives carts, the Lord promised that once the FAL admins awoke from their slumber, he would be triumphant and rule over all that is just.
If the Lord say it so, then it must be so.
So, for those of you who haven’t heard of FAL, it is basically a contest held on MyAnimeList. The idea is that you select a bunch of upcoming anime and hope that your choices are popular amongst MAL users.
It is a simple enough fair, but one that does not always go according to plan. People spend a lot of time collecting data for this contest and while their efforts often bear fruit, sometimes the MAL user base is simply too unpredictable.
With that said and done, I have submitted my own list and I hope that it will at least get me somewhere. I do not think I will score first place (ignore the empty boasts, they are just part of the fun), but it would be really nice to get in the top 10 and super nice if I can get in the top 5.
Going into this contest, I’d like to think my strategy is ROCKET BOOST at the beginning and then bench switching into STABILITY when the embers die down a little. Unfortunately, you can only bench switch so many times, so I have included a few hopefully consistent performers in my main lineup.
Important Note: I am not necessarily recommending the following anime. They might be good, great or they might suck a lot. I just think most people on MAL (and anime fans in general) will be happy with the following. I could be wrong about that to.
(All pictures courtesy of MAL.)
Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack of the Titans)
The Shingeki no Kyojin manga is very popular and in my opinion very good to. The popularity and love for the manga combined with a supposedly good production staff has made this the most hyped show of next season.
Knowing this, most of the folk participating in FAL have chosen to include this in their line up. It is probably reasonable to call this the safest choice this season.
Having said that, I do not think the popularity of this anime will last very long.
The manga is brutal, grotesque and horrifying. It also has a very intricate plot that is slowly, ever so slowly, unwound.
Unfortunately, none of that bares well for the anime adaptation.
Given the fact that they air on TV, anime tend to be more censored and less violent than their manga counterparts. This will result in a slightly softer anime that will probably not be as powerful or gritty as the manga.
That is probably not this anime’s biggest problem though. The biggest problem is trying to fit in the expansive manga.
If the TV version of Attack of The Titans is one cour and they plan for an anime original end, then it will fail…miserably. I can not see any good way of ending a plot as involved as this in ~11 episodes. If however, the anime plans to run for much longer (like Ao no Exorcist), then it might work out well over the long run, but I think people will get tired of it.
As far as I can tell, most people do not like watching really long series. Once it becomes apparent that the anime plans to crawl along at a slow pace, its popularity will drop and it will become a liability in the decks of FAL participants.
So, the biggest question is, will this drop in popularity happen before FAL ends or shortly after? If it happens while FAL is ongoing, then which episode will see the starkest difference in the number of viewers? Predicting this is key to figuring out when to bench swap this show. I honestly do think that this anime will NEED to be swapped or it could hurt quite a bit down the line.
I think this will be worth keeping for the first 3 or so episodes. Keeping this show past episode 7 is risky as a single, slightly bad episode will probably be enough to flip the numbers.
This is another anime that is based on a manga. Unfortunately, I have not read this manga, but it has an average rating of 8.6 on MangaUpdates. For the sake of reference, I consider any manga above 8 on MangaUpdates to be a manga that is likely worth reading. (Unlike MAL, I find that ratings on MU aren’t quite all over the place and generally do a good job of representing the manga.)
So, while I can’t quite comment on the probable quality of this show, at the very least, the large amount of bishies probably means that this will be quite popular with the Fujoshi crowd. It should be quite magical to.
I am pretty sure that this will be a good pick for the first couple of weeks. Unfortunately, I don’t know what will happen in the later half of the series.
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S
Sequels are an interesting thing. On the one hand, you can count on fans of the anime series in question to be loyal and watch the sequel (at least for a few episodes). On the other hand, you lose viewer-ship because many people haven’t seen the previous season.
So, when comparing a sequel to a new anime, the question is: Will the dedicated fans outnumber the large number of people that try out something for the first time?
I would say no. The amount of people watching Railgun S ep.1 will likely be less than the number watching Attack of the Titans or various other upcoming anime next season. BUT! I would argue that the people watching Railgun will continue to watch it and make this a stable performer throughout the season.
In that regard, this would probably make a good bench warmer to switch with one of the initially popular but soon to be dead series. But, if you set this to a bench warmer, you lose out on all the hype that Railgun has going for it.
Out of all the sequels next season, this one likely has the most hype simply because the original Railgun is a beloved anime to many, many people (especially for the poor saps that liked some Index characters, but hated everything else).
Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko.
I picked this because it has Hentai in the title. The plot description is also something that appeals to average, shallow otaku like myself.
In all seriousness, this one is a bit of a gamble. I am pretty sure the previous three will all have some success, but I have no way of knowing if this will kick off or not. I think it will, though it probably won’t make as much of a splash as I am hoping.
Then again, these Slice of Life comedies can be quite popular given the right circumstances. This show does seem like the kind of thing that will be able to keep some interest for a single cour.
This one is also a bit of a gamble. I am hoping that this 4koma adaptation will generate enough cuteness through girls doing cute things to win over the MAL user base. I also selected it because it apparently involves data processing which sounds fancy and smart. I bet most of this anime will just be the girls saying random jibberish to one another.
Hopefully, this will lean closer to successful adaptations like Lucky Star (or perhaps even Kotoura-san) and not sucky ones like almost everything else.
Life is about timing. -Carl Lewis
I don’t really have any block busters in my bench, but hopefully, my two choices will prove to be stable enough to let me cruise through the later parts of the tournament.
This is based on a visual novel. I am hopeful that the seemingly attractive character designs will be enough to attract most anime fans.
I don’t know much about the anime staff, but at the very least the Voice Actresses seem solid. Collectively, they have held some pretty iconic roles like Senjoughara (-Monogatari series), Kurapika (Hunter x Hunter) and Nagisa (Clannad).
I am hoping that the stellar VA lineup (I think…I know nothing of VA’s) combined with nice, pretty pictures and a supposedly deep reason to fap (it involves photography, it has to be deep) will be enough to attract people and more importantly, enough to keep them watching.
I don’t think this will have an explosive start, but it will hopefully stay afloat well for most of the season. That is obviously why I have placed it in my Bench Warmers. Worse case scenario is that it tanks and I end up not using it. There is no real harm done in that case.
Unfortunately, if my other bench tanks as well, then I will be in serious trouble as I am pretty sure at least one of my main choices will tank or just not start up at all.
Devil Survivor 2 The Animation
I had a hard time choosing between this and Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge. I ended up choosing Devil Survivor 2 because it felt like the safer choice. I am not sure why I get this feeling, but I think the MAL user base is more fond of an adaptation of a beloved game, then they are of a manga that they rated a 7.45. (The MangaUpdates rating for Crime Edge is 8.1, so it is still all right-ish.)
This anime is based on a pretty popular series of games. I am hopeful that as a spiritual successor of sorts to Persona 4, it will be reasonably popular with the Atlus loving crowd. I don’t think this will be explosive at all, but I am hopeful that it will be good enough to attract the attention of Atlus fans and keep them watching throughout the season.
It will hopefully serve as a satisfactory replacement for anything that tanks later on.