It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten back into exploring some good new TV, and with the announcements of all sorts of new projects on the horizon, I’m getting excited about what’s coming down the pipe. Here are six shows, three live action and three anime, that I’m looking forward to most this year.
Pictured above: the recent poster released for “Digimon Adventure Tri.” Looks great! (see below)
The Man in the High Castle
Amazon’s new streaming show is set in an alternate reality, post-WWII in which the Allied Forces actually lost the war. As a result, the USA has been split between three areas: the Japanese-controlled West Coast and the German-controlled East Coast, with a small neutral zone in the middle by the Rocky Mountains.
I saw the pilot when Amazon first released it, and I thought it was a brilliant concept. Based on the novel by Philip K. Dick (a famed author who loves to play with alternate timelines), we follow a woman from San Francisco and a man from New York as they struggle through the totalitarian regime and stumble across a mysterious film reel with the label The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. We don’t usually get to see a play on alternate realities a lot in television. Sure, some series’ will play with timelines with their characters, but there’s hardly an entire show based around it. Throw in WWII-style intrigue and it’s a recipe for interest.
My heart just about burst when I saw the first concept teaser for this show. As a fan of “The Office” and “Modern Family,” I love the mockumentary style of filming. Throwing the Muppet pals into the mix just makes me giggle inside.
The show will center around the Muppet gang trying to revive their careers in Hollywood with a revolutionary new TV show, so it’s very meta. I greatly appreciate the subtle adult humor that we’ve seen so far and that they’re staying in that direction. It brings together the Muppet audience all grown up, and a raging sense of nostalgia for the viewers. I can’t wait!
The cast list for this show is enormous, and topped off with my fave scream queen, Jamie Lee Curtis, herself. Just the cast alone was enough to pique my interest: Emma Roberts, Nick Jonas, Lea Michele, Ariana Grande, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer and more. From the looks of it, it’s a self-aware show that plays on the horror trope of sorority girls trapped in a house with a killer. The show begs not to be taken too seriously, and that’s precisely why it’s on my watch list. I need a mindless dark comedy to indulge in, and this is my pick for this year.
Okay, okay…”Gangsta” actually started already, I’ll admit it. But it’s a small show that’s gaining a lot of traction in the community, thanks to the rising popularity of the manga and appealing characters. It tells the story of two ‘handymen’, Worick and Nicolas, living in the fictional city of Ergastulum, which is populated by normal people and those born with enhanced strength and abilities called Twilights. However, the Twilights rely on a certain drug to keep them sane and functional people, and the four clans that keep the city running are fighting off enemies on all sides, with Worick and Nick stuck in the middle a lot.
What first sparked my interest here was Nick. He’s a Twilight, a kick-ass swordsman, and deaf. Therefore, he communicates a lot through sign language and broken speech. I hadn’t seen a main character in an anime with a disability before, and was fascinated by the animated sign language. It seems like such a small thing, but it lends a lot to his personality and his close relationship with Worick. Worick is also a gem, as a sarcastic, do-gooder with a heart of gold. You know…when he’s not shooting enemies of the city.
Haikyuu Season 2
I don’t like sports anime. But I liked “Haikyuu”. The first season of Haikyuu told the story of Shoyo Hinata and his dream to become a top volleyball player at Karasuno High School. He immediately butts heads with another star player looking to join the team, Tobio Kageyama. What makes this show stand out are the colorful cast of characters and the impressive teamwork of Hinata and Kageyama. They are opposites in every way: in appearance, personality, and position on the team, but they work together like magic and the team uses them to their advantage.
I’m looking forward to season 2, simply because I enjoyed season 1 so much. It was very funny and I enjoyed all of the character interactions. The animation is top-notch quality as well. Plus, the ending is very “Friday Night Lights” (the movie), and that got me right in the feels. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about.
Digimon Adventure Tri
I saved the best for last. When I was little, “Digimon” was my first foray into anime (though I didn’t know what to call it at the time). I only appreciated it more as I got older: the franchise is surprisingly dark for a kid’s show, delving into topics that I didn’t see much on other cartoons. There was darkness, doubt, divorce, adoption, parent death, sibling death, moving away, leaving people behind, making sacrifices and more.
The first two season of “Digimon” had the same cast of characters, before splitting off into other seasons with differing sets of people. “Digimon Adventure Tri” takes place a few years after the second season, so it’s bringing back that OG cast, and I can’t fucking wait. There’s something even better then seeing familiar characters again, and that’s seeing them as they’re growing up. The show will actually be following a “Sherlock”-esque style, wherein instead of standard episodes we are getting six movie-length episodes. This has met with some backlash from fans, but I don’t give a damn as long as I can see it here in states.
Based on the trailer above, they spared no expense in the animation department. The fight scene at the airport looks stunning and intriguing, and I’m really looking forward to it.
So there you have it, my biggest anticipated series so far this year! Soon, I’ll also have a list of books I’m looking forward to for the Fall/Winter, because oh my there are a few that are coming and I cannot even wait.
What about you: what shows are you looking forward to most? Sound off in the comments below.