This year’s winter anime lineup is chock full of new and returning series, making it pretty easy to kick off the new year by adding a couple more shows to our list. After all, there’s no better New Year’s resolution than vowing to watch more anime. The new series premiering this month are sure to set you on the path to success. Here are the five anime series you need to watch this January.
- Premiere date: January 6
- Studio: Frontier Works and GoHands
- Genre(s): Action, Music
In recent years, anime about music has become increasingly popular, and Frontier Works and GoHands add to the mix with their original anime collaboration W’z. The series follows Yukiya, a 14-year-old who DJs days and night. Like literally any other artist, Yukiya wants to be famous — and important. But Yukiya’s afraid of getting hurt, so he plays music for a crowd of one and uploads his videos online. Things take a turn when he comes across a mysterious live broadcast from “that world.” Yukiya always believed that he couldn’t achieve his dreams by himself, that he needed to work toward his goal with someone else.
Tokyo-based record label GOON TRAX will be in charge of the music, and various other musical artists will lend their talent to the series. Frontier Works and GoHands’ original anime project premieres this January.
The Cost of Smiles
- Premiere date: January 4
- Studio: Tatsunoko Production
- Genre(s): Military, Mecha, Slice of Life, Drama, Fantasy
Anime studio Tatsunoko Productions (Psycho-Pass 2, Casshern Sins) is celebrating its 55th anniversary with an original anime, The Cost of Smiles. The studio describes their latest project as a story of two girls from a distant planet. There’s Yuuki, a cheerful 12-year-old princess who spends her days at the palace with her friends — and who can save the world with her smile. Then there’s Stella, a 17-year-old soldier who can only use her smile to protect herself.
Toshimasa Suzuki (Heroic Age, Fafner: Heaven and Earth) will direct the anime at Tatsunoko Productions, and Shinichi Inotsume (Gangsta., Persona 5 the Animation) will pen the script. NOB-C and Naoto Nakamura will bring the characters to life. How these two young girls’ paths become intertwined remains to be seen. But by the trailer alone we can see that The Cost of Smiles is overflowing with robot battles that mecha anime fans will undoubtedly enjoy.
The Kotobuki Squadron in the Wilderness
- Premiere date: January 13
- Studio: WAO World and GEMBA
- Genre(s): Action, Military, Adventure
Girls und Panzer director Tsutomu Mizushima‘s new original anime, The Kotobuki Squadron in the Wilderness, will premiere this January. His latest project centers around a group of bodyguards for hire known as the Kotobuki Squadron. The group is led by a beautiful yet strict squadron leader who must keep her rambunctious squad under control. But when it comes time to fight, they take to the air to battle against the pirates that plague the skies, pushing their Hayabusa fighters to the limit.
According to Mizushima, the anime will be a combination of 3DCG and hand drawings. And unlike Girls und Panzer — which featured various types of tanks from around the world — the airplanes in The Kotobuki Squadron in the Wilderness are all Japanese-made. So, no foreign fighters will appear in the series. Make sure you tune in this January to follow this eccentric all-female group of fighter pilots working to protect the aerial shipping lanes of a vast wasteland.
Super Dimensional Revolution Anime: Dimension High School
- Premiere date: January 10
- Studio: Polygon Pictures
- Genre(s): Comedy, Live-action, School
While anime has dabbled in 3DCG animation there hasn’t been a series — if memory serves us right — that mixes anime with live-action parts. Luckily, Polygon Pictures is set to dive into this new venture. Their latest project, Super Dimensional Revolution Anime: Dimension High School, follows five high school boys in remedial school who get transported into an anime world. Their mission: to stop the god of destruction from taking over the 3D world. To do this, the boys must regularly cross between the anime world and real life, transforming from real people to animated characters and back again, as needed.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War
- Premiere date: January 12
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
- Genre(s): Comedy, Psychological, Romance, School, Seinen
Based on the manga by Aka Akasaka, Kaguya-sama: Love is War takes teenage rollercoaster emotions to a whole new level. The anime adaptation follows Miyuki Shirogane, the smartest teenager in the country and the student council president of the prestigious Shuchiin Academy. Working beside him is the beautiful and wealthy vice president Kaguya Shinomiya.
Students often call them the perfect couple, despite the duo not being romantically involved. But after spending so much time together, the two develop feelings for one another. However, their pride makes it impossible for either of them to confess their love. So instead, they go to extreme lengths to get a confession out of the other. And so begins their daily schemes and antics to force the other to confess first. The first one to admit their love loses!