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Fantasy Anime League: Wideface Edition (Intro) April 2, 2015

Posted by navycherub in Anime, Fantasy Anime League.
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Here at Wideface, we have a tradition of participating in MyAnimeList’s Fantasy Anime League (FAL). If you aren’t interested in the details, it essentially boils down to a fantasy sports game like fantasy football, except instead of choosing from athletes, we choose from anime that will be airing in the upcoming season. The goal, of course, is to choose the shows we think will be the most popular, gaining points from the number of watchers, the amount of discussion around each episode, and various other factors. If you are interested in the gritty details, I have some cool links for you:

When we play together, though, we like to throw in some rules of our own, as well as consequences for losing (and awards for winning)! Every Sunday from here on out, I will be posting an update about our teams and their relative placings, as well as other details and even comments from our participants themselves.

In this post, I will be detailing our internal rules, as well as our teams as they are at the start and comments from all of the participants on their teams.

Let's get this started.

Let’s get this started.

Now, this game is already complex and fun as it is, but being the competitive jerks we are, we couldn’t let it stop there. No, there have to be stakes – otherwise, where is the thrill, right? So, we have a special rule to award those who do well, and punish those who don’t:

  1. Each player is allowed to force each person who placed below them one anime they have to watch
  2. “Anime” is defined as an entry in MyAnimeList’s database
  3. The anime can be max of two-cour unless the recipient permits otherwise

As you might imagine, this adds up fairly quickly, so doing well is of top priority for everyone except gluttons for punishment (or addicts, whichever term you prefer). And the rewards for winning are great – you get to make everyone watch your favorite show they never would otherwise! There is every incentive to play your best. That isn’t all, though; we can’t make it too easy, after all.

Can nothing be simple?

Can nothing be simple?

To make things even more interesting, we have established a draft system, as well as a limit on the number of times a show can be picked. For our dear readers, the details of the system shouldn’t matter too much beyond the idea that we drafted the anime, but for those inclined to those kinds of things:

  1. Based on the results of the last FAL, we take turns choosing one anime each, last place to first place
  2. We cannot pick a show that has already been chosen that round by another player
    • Player A picked Baby Steps, Player B goes next and wants Baby Steps but cannot pick it this round
  3. When the round of drafting ends, the next round begins, but in reverse order (first to last)
  4. No anime can be picked by more than two people total for the entire duration
    • Players A and C have picked Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Revolutions. Player B wants it, but cannot pick it at all any more.
  5. Drafting continues in this way until everyone has chosen seven anime

We used to have a more convoluted way of doing all of this but it was, well, convoluted. This system is a bit biased toward the first and last place players but it didn’t seem to cause too much harm. We also have a new wildcard rule we have never used before:

  • Each player is allowed the use of one (1) “wildcard” ability during drafting. Those are:
    • This round, you may choose an anime that someone else has already chosen this round; or
    • You may choose an anime that has already been chosen twice
    • An anime can only be chosen this way once (in other words, the “true” limit of the number of players who can have a show is three)

Oh, and FAL itself has a cool new rule that makes things even more complicated this time around…

  • The following are considered exceptions and you may have a maximum of one (1) of these in your team:
    • High School DxD BorN
    • Nisekoi:
    • Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku

…which means, despite my attempts at making this more simple, we decided to include one more rule (just one, I promise!) in the interest of fairness:

  • There is no limit on the number of people who can pick any of the Power Three anime, nor are they restricted to the “one pick per round” rule

Yeah. So much for avoiding the complexity, huh?


Confused yet? It’s all right, we’re done.

Now, on to the interesting part: our teams! Next to each show is a small comment from the participant on their choice.


  • Kekkai Sensen – “Bones, TriGun, Gungrave are popular generally”
  • Arslan Senki (TV) – “LotGH tier story + FMA art = win(?)”
  • Punchline – “world ending pantsu”
  • Houkago no Pleiades (TV) (Bench) – “Gainax”
  • Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu  – “Yuki is <3”
  • Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku  – “people like it”
  • Triage X  (Bench) – “idk boobs I guess, didn’t have a choice, XXX in the name though”

Seems to me like he chose his anime based on if they have a perceived established fanbase, which is always a safe strategy. Personally I’m not so sure the Gainax name means a lot any more, but the rest of the picks seem solid.


  • Ace of the Diamond 2nd Season – “Current season. sports!”
  • Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2 Sure-me – “Very popular season one and they’re having a baby!”
  • Shoukugeki no Souma – “Popular manga I’ve been recommended a few times.”
  • Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka – “Bones. Cool premise.”
  • Punchline (Bench) – “MAPPA and great action PV”
  • Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki (Bench) – “Nervous about Netflix but S1 was very amazing. Also Blame! will be put into this somehow”
  • Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – “Season 1 was a smash hit and even though DxD has more “plan to watch” I’m worried it’s on a decline.”

Sidonia didn’t do so hot last season, probably in large part thanks to its lack of any simulcast whatsoever, and I doubt the Netflix crowd even knows what a torrent is, so that seems like a risky choice; to be fair, it was one of his last, so options were limited. Ace of the Diamond is a personal favorite of mine, but sports hasn’t been historically popular on MyAnimeList or in FAL, so that stands out to me, especially since he picked it first. Aside from that, good choices all around.

blackpack kid

  • Shoukugeki no Souma – “People fucking love the gifs of the food already and manga lovers won’t shut up about it.”
  • Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka – “JC Staff making a dungeon crawler anime with cute girls.  okay”
  • Owari no Seraph – “so dark.  so edgy.”
  • Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu – “I sat through Endless Eight for her.  What did you think I would pick”
  • Grisaia no Rakuen (Bench) – “forever sentenced to my bench unless these VN people start picking it up”
  • Hibike! Euphonium (Bench) – “HibiK-ON.  It’s Kyo Ani.  COME ON”
  • Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – “because watching kids be awkward around each other is surprisingly interesting sometimes”

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not exactly qualified to judge blackpack kid’s choices – he has won or at least placed highly just about every time we have played this game. However, I do have to wonder about that Grisaia choice – it did well last time around, but I suspect that was because fans of the visual novel were deceived into thinking it was going to be a two-cour adaptation. With their trust gone, will the sequel hold up?


  • Ore Monogatari!! – “Madhouse”
  • Denpa Kyoushi (TV) – “GTO with a NEET”
  • Digimon Adventure Tri. (Bench) – “Nostalgia”
  • Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo (TV) – “Like the manga, so do lots of others”
  • Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2 Sure-me – “Its a funny short, why not”
  • Plastic Memories (Bench) – “I don’t even know”
  • High School DxD BorN – “Low drops and Broadcast dubs”

There are great, great choices here – Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2 Sure-me was a surprise hit last time, garnering a huge fanbase despite being a very short anime. Ore Monogatari!! is also set to be a big show, with a popular manga and an appealing, unique premise. On the other hand, Plastic Memories seems like a safe choice but I have to wonder if it will bring in the points needed to do well, and Digimon Adventure Tri. is a giant double-edged sword – Toei hasn’t had a great track record recently, and the show itself doesn’t even have a release date yet, but nostalgia can be a hell of a drug. We’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.


  • Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu – “Snake Oil Salesman”
  • Kekkai Sensen – “It has a cool premise and the style gives me Baccano! flasbacks”
  • Ore Monogatari!! – “I always pick a shojo plus it’s by Madhouse”
  • Arslan Senki (TV) (Bench) – “Legend of the Hopeful Watchers”
  • Hibike! Euphonium – “Kyo FUCKING Ani”
  • Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo (TV) (Bench) – “It was a last minute choice but can’t go wrong with fetish shit”
  • Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – “It has less watch decay compared to the other the other two big anime”

This team doesn’t seem to have any glaring oddities, but it also doesn’t seem very ambitious. Arslan Senki is probably the wildcard here – the people behind the original story and its successful adaptation are popular and well-known, but Liden Films is not exactly receiving glowing praise from the fans right now, especially coming off of last FAL’s one-hit-wonder Terra Formars.


  • Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2 Sure-me – “first season hype”
  • Owari no Seraph – “scythes are cool”
  • Kekkai Sensen – “vampires are cool”
  • Digimon Adventure Tri. (Bench) – “digital monsters are the champions”
  • Gintama° (Bench) – “people like swords right? gintama has swords”
  • Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation – “i needed a filler”
  • Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – “something on this list needs to be watched”

A couple big hitters on here in the form of Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2 Sure-me and, probably, Owari no Seraph and Kekkai Sensen. After that he starts taking some serious gambles, though – Digimon Adventure Tri. already has fans uneasy, and Gintama° is widely loved and always highly rated but how many people will carry over into the fourth season of such a long series? Either one could also be a huge success, though, so it just might pay off.

Finally, my own choices and reasoning:

navycherub (hey that’s me!)

  • Hibike! Euphonium
    • This was my first pick and I was pretty proud of it, but it seems no one else was interested so it turned out to be a bit of a waste. I was quite surprised at that, too – it’s Kyoto Animation for goodness’ sake! Amagi Brilliant Park did good numbers last FAL despite no simulcast, so I don’t see this being a disappointment.
  • Shoukugeki no Souma
    • I haven’t read this manga, but I know plenty of people who have, and every single one of them loves it. It seems like the people animating like it, too, based on the heart that seems to have gone into the PVs. I don’t know if I will be a fan, but I anticipate plenty of other people will.
  • Arslan Senki (TV)
    • The round this went around, I wasn’t left with a lot of choices, so I went with this. I actually wanted Kekkai Sensen. Sorry Yoshiki Tanaka. It is a bit of a gamble, but I imagine even if it doesn’t pick up steam or live up to expectations, it won’t do horrible numbers, so it seems safe enough for me.
  • Owari no Seraph (TV)
    • I used my wildcard on this one, because I felt like I was lacking a show that would really go mainstream; this looks like that show to me. It also has an established fanbase thanks to the manga, and based on forum talk it seems like they like what they have seen so far. Hopefully WIT doesn’t run out of steam again!
  • Denpa Kyoushi (TV) (Bench)
    • I don’t know, this show really doesn’t look like it is for me. The concept seems like it would appeal to a lot of other fans, though, so once again I went with a “safe” choice, but now I am kind of regretting it. I don’t remember what choices I had this round but they must have been abysmal.
  • Gintama° (Bench)
    • This was my “leave it on the bench and hope it explodes” choice. At the very least, I doubt very many people are going to drop it this far in, so that might come in handy. We’ll see how many people bother watching it as it airs, or even if it gets simulcasted (please Crunchyroll please).
  • Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku
    • And, just like everyone else except Rebel Alliance ecchi extraordinaire NeoRevan (how ironic), I felt like this was the best bet among the Big 3. Nisekoi is popular but the SHAFT aesthetic and repetitive nature puts off a lot of people, and DxD is three seasons in, which means to me that only big fans are left watching simulcasts of it. This Oregairu revival should be successful, and even if it isn’t, at least I’m in the same boat as most of my competitors.

And that’s it! From here on out we’ll be competing to see who the Biggest Weeaboo is, and it is sure to be an exciting time. Check back in this Sunday for the results of the always wonky and hilarious first round!


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