Watch if you like: Attack on Titan, Snowpiercer (that cool live-action movie with the ice train)
If you want pedigree when it comes to delivering big hits, its impossible to look beyond Iron Fortress this season. Wit Studio and director Tetsuo Araki have decided that instead of giving the world more Attack on Titan anime, they are going to make their own original anime take on the series, with a touch of the movie Snowpiercer for good measure. The story is about a world taken over by tita-sorry, zombies and civilisation has built a series of walled cities to keep out the hoards. The only way they are connected is by a train, only for it to be taken over by zombies on one fateful journey when our main characters are on board. It's not just the plot, animation studio and director that are reminiscent of Attack on Titan. Even the visual style matches that same hard-outlines and bombastic presentation. I imagine for some people this will treat a little too close to feel unoriginal, but I'm not that bothered. Partly because I really liked Attack on Titan, but also because the formula has hardly been done to death yet. Since that actual Titan sequel doesn't look to be coming in 2016 after all, I will happily gorge on something cut from the same cloth.
Watch if you liked: Kill la Kill, When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace
Trigger are back! The team that made Kill la Kill, as well as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann back when they still worked at Gainax, are producing a new anime original project. They are possibly the most exciting new anime studio in town so anything by them is a huge event, especially when it's not being adapted from any source material. So what is Kiznaiver about then? It's about a bunch of people with a special power which means they all share each other's pain. What this means in practice is that if one dude gets punched in the face, instead of that meaning he feels intense pain and starts crying and wondering if he should have gotten out of the crimefighting business and become a solicitor like hit father wanted him to, every person with this ability feels like a gnat gently brushed against their nose. I will say the trailer is a little bit disappointing from a visual perspective. Gone are the eye-catching visual stylings of something like Kill la Kill. It looks a touch generic. However I have a reasonable level of confidence that Trigger will be able to pull something out of the bag.
Watch if you liked: Another, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
A bunch of people from various walks of life all get on a bus together to visit a mysterious abandoned town in the middle of nowhere where they are supposed to find utopia. Yeah, I'm sure nothing terrible will happen to any of them and they will all won't be picked off one-by-one in horrific fashion. What's that? It has the director of Another on board? Oh well, I suppose this is going to be a horror anime then. A very well staffed horror anime too. Director Tsutomu Mizushima has a lot more than just Another under his belt. He directed the fantastic Shirobako, as well as Prison School (that anime is a MASTERPIECE and I won't let anyone say otherwise). He's teamed up with Mari Okada, the veteran writer behind series like Ano Hana. It's certainly an interesting premise with a lot of promise. Personally I feel Mizushima is a much better comedy director than horror director. I really didn't think Another was that good if I'm being honest. But many other people thought it was excellent and he's certainly earned the right to direct whatever the hell he wants after the success he's had recently.
Watch if you liked: Darker than Black, Full Metal Panic
It's the latest anime by PA Works and it isn't a quirky romcom about a group of teens with very shiny faces? Me oh my PA Works, what's gotten into you? This is the most exciting thing you've done since...well, since Shirobako which wasn't that long ago, but still. This time it's about a time-travelling samurai who randomly appears around this old giant robot artifact, leaving scientists baffled. Then he pilots the giant robot I assume. I mean, it's anime. If they don't have the samurai pilot the giant robot then I'm pretty sure they will have defied the anime gods and the PA Works headquarters will be struck by lightning. Speaking of lightning, the director here is the same guy who created Chinese Electric Batman, aka Darker than Black. He's also directed Wolf's Rain and Sekai Seifuku, so he's a very highly regarded director. Or at least he was, since it's been a while since Darker than Black and Wolf's Rain were the most eagerly talked about anime in fandom. But if he's made big hits not once, but twice, then he's capable of doing it again.
Watch if you liked: Aquarion EVOL, Senki Zesshou Symphogear G: In the Distance, That Day, When the Star Became Music...
The Macross franchise is back and they've brought something very silly with them: Macross Delta. Or as they call it: Macross Δ. Or as I like to call it: Macross Triangle. The first episode has aired already and as I mentioned earlier, it was very silly in a way not everybody appreciated. That is until you remember that the venerable Macross franchise was always about how the power of music idols could take down alien forces. At which point you remember that Macross has always been very silly and we might as well embrace it. Heck I saw people say Macross was trying to leap on board the idol popularity train with a Symphogear-like image, to which I say Macross has been doing this idol stuff before you were even a dirty thought in your father's mind. I thought the first episode was hugely entertaining. However I also loved Aquarion EVOL so it's been established that I love dumb cheesy mecha action. It shouldn't be surprising that it feels similar to EVOL as the two share the same lineage. It was all Macross staff members who made Aquarion originally. More than anything else on this list, you will probably have to readjust your expectations going into Macross Delta. But uf you can appreciate the cheese, then we might have something special here.