There’s something I’ve been thinking about ever since Gintama mentioned it in one episode. Japan has a serious problem with an ageing population and a dangerously low birth rate, right? Therefore you would think television audiences average age would be closer to 45 than 15. Yet here I am, writing yet another season preview where the vast majority of anime on display feature teenagers. Something’s got to give!
So yeah, welcome to The Cart Driver’s Summer Season Preview. Or Summer Anime List. Or List of Anime airing this Summer. Or whatever other keywords I need to put in to make sure this post shows up on search engines~
All information is taken from a variety of places. Anime News Network, MyAnimeList, Chartfags Amazing Chart, Animesuki forums and the respective websites for each anime. For some other worthwhile season previews, there’s Star Crossed, Sea Slugs, THAT, Caraniel and others that I’ll link to once they release theirs.
Additional Info: Based off romance simulation game
Synopsis: A second-year high school boy finds himself uneasy during Christmas time due to an experience in the past. However, this year at Christmas, he gets his last chance to ask out a graduating female senior named Haruka Morishima — or one of several other classmates. The story of the anime will be arranged in an omnibus format, with each heroine getting her own version of the story animated. Each heroine will sing her own version of the ending theme song.
Thoughts: Forgive me for being a grumpy guts, but AIC producing yet another romance anime doesn’t quite fill me with enthusiasm. They have a history of soft and fluffy anime that never really go anywhere and get forgotten about as soon as they started. The director has worked on similar such anime as well. Now many might say the story format is kinda interesting. The prospect of each arc being animated will lead to people pointing to other short romance stories like Hatsukoi Limited. Thing is, it takes me a long time to actually care about a romance, although at least this means we won’t get a nothing ending to this series like many previous AIC productions, so I’m willing to give it a shot. Otaku seem to be quite excited about this anime because one of the girls has ‘sex hair’. This is referring to the state a girls hair gets in after sex, something I thought otaku would lack the required experience to possess that knowledge.
Additional Info: Based off Light Novels
Synopsis: The story revolves around Kakazu Kio, an ordinary high school freshman living in Okinawa. A girl with cat ears appears before him during a memorial service for one of his family ancestors. The girl calls herself Eris and claims she is an alien. Before long, fanatical alien worshipers and a mysterious government agency are in hot pursuit of Eris, but Kio’s childhood friend Manami — who wants to follow in her father’s footsteps in the CIA — captures Eris. Kio finds himself having to protect Eris from everyone.
Thoughts: A few things to clear up. First, this is not a copy of Spice and Wolf because these novels were written before Spice and Wolf was. However the reason this rather old novel series has only now been made into an anime is because cat-eared girls are hot stuff thanks to that previously mentioned title. Second point is AIC+ are basically AIC except with far more fanservice. Considering the lack of anything to get excited about in your typical AIC anime, this can probably be regarded as a good thing. Combine those two together and what do you get? Yup, a title that’s been green lit using nekomini fanservice as its only appeal. Whatev’, at least the girl is hot
Additional Info: Based off light novel series. The title is intentionally stupid (it’s called humour. Contrary to popular opinion, the Japanese can do it too)
Synopsis: Raina Lute is a lazy student of Roland Empire Royal Magician’s school. One day, Roland Empire goes to war against a neighboring country Estaboole, and he lost his classmates in the battle. After the war, Lute sets out for a journey to search the relics of a “Legendary Hero” at Emperor Zion Astar’s command. And he finds out a deadly curse spreading the continent.
Thoughts: Epic fantasy anime? A guy with magical eyes voiced by Jun Fukuyama? Land of Hope and Glory playing in the trailer? I’d be pretty damn excited abouit this anime if it wasn’t for ZEXCS. They have a horrible history of annoyingly poor anime. Want to take a look at this directors previous two anime? Chrome Shelled Regios and Rental Magica, two anime that break the world record for averageness. Never get your hopes up for a ZEXCS anime. Who knows, maybe they might suddenly surprise us all? Probably not though.
Additional Info: Based off manga
Synopsis: Comedy slice of life anime about 11 year old triplets Marui Mitsuba, Futaba and Hitoha.
Thoughts: Studio Bridge are a totally newbie company but looking at the staff should tell you all you need to know. The crew for Minami-ke first season have gathered together to create their own company, screwing Asread and making Mitsudamoe (I don’t actually know why Minami-ke changed hands after season 1 but this makes me think there’s a bit of dorama behind the scenes). This actually doesn’t look too bad judging by the trailer and it’s in fairly safe hands with the Minami-ke crew. Seems strange for me to be recommending a show like this but the trailer made me grin so I say go for it. Also first person to call this pedo-bait gets a punch in the face.
Additional Info: Based off Shounen Jump manga
Synopsis: Rikuo Nura, is 3 parts human and a quarter Demon, lives in a house of spirits with his grandfather, The current clan head of the Nura youkai. Rikou is set to be the next clan head, despit the fact he dilikes his demon side. He soon come to terms with his demon blood and decides to take his position as young master of the Nura house. However there are those who will certainly not allow it to be easy.
Thoughts: Ah, the next anime adaptation to come out of Shounen Jump. Reading reviews, it sounds like a pretty standard shounen fare, so take from that what you will. The staff behind it are solid without being exceptional. Studio Deen, while get a bit more flak than they probably deserve, are not exactly the greatest studio around (although better than bloody Pierrot). You should know by now whether you like shounen or not, although please don’t assume that all shounen are Narubleach. Remember that it’s a genre ranging from Black Cat to Air Gear to Fullmetal Alchemist. Personally I’m looking forward to it without highly anticipating it either. I’ve learned to be wary of anything with the name Deen attached.
Studio: JC Staff
Additional Info: Based off light novels
Synopsis: A love comedy parodying fairy tales such as “Little Red Riding Hood,” “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” etc. Ookami Ryoko (Ookami-san) is a spunky high school girl. She is a member of a “fixer” club so called Otogi High School Bank. She fixes the school’s problems with her partner Akai Ringo (Akazukin-chan.)
Thoughts: There’s one every season eh? An anime that has something about it that’s so similar to a previous popular anime that it can’t be merely a coincidence. Yup, there’s a Taiga look-a-like. I’m not sure why anime do it because all it attracts is negative attention but eh. That aside, this looks to be a genre-savvy, self-aware, parody laden JC Staff production (director of Hayate anyone?). In fact, this appears to be one giant wink to the fans. A shower scene in the trailer? There’s even a maid. All with JC Staff’s usual polished sheen and general high quality animation they put into their shows. Yup, I can see this being an absolute hit in otaku circles. When I say otaku circles, that almost certainly includes you reading this season preview, so good for you~
Additional Info: Based off manga
Synopsis: A mysterious, lethal disease is on the loose worldwide, resulting in a catastrophic death rate of humanity, and the increasing rise of attacks, caused by the living dead. In Japan, several high school students and a school nurse have banded together to escape Fujimi High School shortly after it was attacked by zombies. The group now attempts to figure who or what was responsible for this plague, and in the meantime, attempt to survive the present apocalypse. The story is initially narrated through the eyes of Takashi Komuro, one of the students who had survived in the initial outbreak.
Thoughts: Violence and women. Guns and boobs. Headshots and pantyshots. Welcome to the highest budgeted fanservice-fest to grace the anime world. Madhouse have really pulled out all the stops on this one, even going as far to get the director of Death Note on board. So turn your brain off and watch those brains fly and boobs bounce. No really, you do have to turn off your brain for this one. The guy who wrote the manga is a h-artist so he is quite lacking in the story-telling department. Not that I think the fans of this show will mind that much ;)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Additional Info: Original anime project in the Anime no Chikara timeslot
Synopsis: The horror and school comedy story revolves around mystery and supernatural cases at Occult Academy, a fortress-like academy city.
Thoughts: I was quite excited about the prospect of a timeslot devoted to anime original projects when it was first announced. However what Anime no Chikara has produced so far hasn’t exactly been awe-inspiring. Sora no Woto was an attempt to fuse moe with plot, which resulted in a moderately entertaining anime. Then there was Senko no Night Raid, which promised to be controversial but ended up being pretty disappointing, skirting around anything that would’ve made it even mildly interesting. Both have ratings below 7.5 on MAL, which is pretty darn low. In short, Anime no Chikara hasn’t been a success and I don’t believe there’s any other anime planned after Occult Academy. It’s a shame but it’s hard to feel sorry for them when they haven’t been producing good anime. Anywho, Occult Academy is the usual guff. A cluster of pretty talented staff who have all worked for a variety of different studios show signs of promise, but every other Anime no Chikara anime had that as well so eh. Maybe the girl will do some epic re-crossing of her legs, Basic Instinct style.
Additional Info: Based off Novel series written by Fuyumi Ono, the author of 12 Kingdoms and Ghost Hunt. Airing in the Noitamina Timeslot. 22 episodes long
Synopsis: During a fiercely hot summer in Sotoba, a peaceful and quiet village with a population of 1300 people, a series of bizarre deaths begin to occur. At the same time, a strange family moves into a long abandoned mansion in the region. Hospital dean Toshio Ozaki cannot figure out the cause of death in the deceased, initially suspecting an epidemic. As investigations continue between the hospital staff and the residents, it turns out that the village is being attacked by vampires.
Thoughts: A Noitamina anime running for 22 episodes? Hurrah, they haven’t done that since the first season of Nodame. As usual, the Noitamina timeslot brings in big reputations, this time with that award winning novelist I mentioned in the Additional Info bit. However getting Daume to do a mystery horror show seems a bit odd since their previous works consist of light-hearted, all-girl comedies like Minami-ke and Ichigo Marshmallow. From what I could garner from reviews of the source material, this is a story that takes its time developing and revealing to a point of slight frustration, although that might have just been manga fans complaining about its slow releases. It’s a promising anime indeed, especially judging by the atmosphere they’ve developed in the trailer, but I wouldn’t bet my house on it being a success. Although do remember that being a success is not the same as being a good anime.
Additional Info: Based off adult game
Synopsis: The story takes place in a trading city Ert’Aria. Leicester Maycraft is an item engineer belonging to an adventurer guild “Oasis”. One night, he is at a party with his friends to see a meteor stream on the rooftop of a chapel. One meteor grazes them and hits the steeple of the chapel. There he finds a secret room and a sleeping girl. The girl wakes up and says “You must be my father!”. The encounter with the mysterious girl brings an unexpected adventure to Leicester.
Thoughts: Look at all that pink and sparkles and pom poms and fluffy little super deformed animals and little girls wearing pretty clothes. Why clearly this is an anime aimed at 20-40 year old men! *le sigh* This was made into an anime probably because of the Touhou fandom explosion. How long until someone makes an actual Touhou anime?
Additional Info: Based off manga
Synopsis: The manga follows the humorous exploits of generals during Japan’s tumultuous Sengoku period
Thoughts: There is absolutely no info on this anime whatsoever. ANN doesn’t even list the animation studio or the director or anything. Going onto moonphase did me no good either because I don’t understand moonrunes. The only thing I do know is it’s a historical gag manga. I bet it won’t even be subbed, these things often aren’t.
Studio: Go Hands
Additonal Info: Based off 4-koma
Synopsis: The story centers around Ōsai Academy, a former all-girls private high school which has recently been integrated for both genders. The student body is split between 524 girls and 28 boys. Takatoshi Tsuda is pushed into becoming the vice-president of the student council, where he is the lone male member surrounded by girls.
Thoughts: Student council + 4-koma + Go Hands = bleargh
Thoughts: Hey guiz, I heard this actually has plot and it’s not all just close up shots of 14-year old girls crotches, amirite?
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Thoughts: Really not sure what to make of this. A-1 decided for this new season of Kuroshitsuji to change to two entirely new main characters. On one hand, it’s great that they’re not messing with the excellent ending from the first season. However the trailer doens’t fill me with excitement at the prospect of watching these two characters. The only real draw of the first season was Sebastian and Ciel anyway, the story was pretty lame. All they’ve done is basically takes out the two strongest elements. This season will be all anime original material. However with A-1 in charge (see my notes on the Anime no Chikara timeslot) that’s not exactly something to be leaping in joy about. We’ll have to wait and see I suppose.
Thoughts: Ah, I can’t really hate on Sekirei. It was the subject of my very first post in my anime blogging career. Can’t say I was too impressed by it back then. I showed my dissatisfaction by using a really small font!
Thoughts: GET YOUR GUNS ON!!!
It’s difficult to write season previews for movies because it’s hard to know what’s coming out on dvd and when and if it will ever be subbed. My rule of thumb is that I’ll mention it in here if it’s already had a theatrical release in Japan. I was convinced that the Macross Frontier Movie should’ve come out by now but it hasn’t. Then there’s anime that seem to only get theatrical releases at festivals and never see the inside of a dvd case, like Redline and King of Thorn. There are some I can guarantee you though. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and Fate/Stay Night movies are coming soon, and we’ll probably see a proper release of The Disappearence of Haruhi Suzumiya that’s not a crappy camrip, something I’m personally quite excited about seeing. Eden of the East: King of Eden is the only date I know for sure, coming 4th August, which should hopefully be a lot better than the first movie. Trigun: Badlands Rumble will be amusing to see that horrid 1998 animation in brand spanking lovely 2010 detail. Bungaku Shojo is a light novel series that people seem to be rather excited about and I’m surprised it was made into a movie instead of a tv series. Finally, there’s the epic 6 episode movie series mecha extravanganza of Break Blade.
Well the glorified music video Black Rock Shooter has been delayed until god only knows when so vocaloid fags will have to wait even longer than that (although I’m quite interested in seeing it myself because the animation style looks so weird). Far more importantly, and to finish off this season preview on a glorious high note, the third season OVA series of Black Lagoon has finally come! Coming out on the 17th of July, this summer season has a gem waiting right at the end.
I suppose I can’t complain about a good mix of anime. Intricate plotting and mystery of Shiki. Otaku comedy of Ookami-san. Fanservice-action fest of Highschool of the Dead. Shounen hit with Nurarihyon no Mago. Fangirl squees of Kuroshitsuji. Pedo-bait with Strike Witches. Seinen romance with Amagami. Occult academy could be bloody anything. Probably what’s bugging me with this season is the higher percentage of fanservice shows. Highschool of the Dead fills any fanservice cravings and Amagami should fill any romance sector. Seeing Sekirei, Strike Witches and Asobi ni Ikuyo in there as well just bugs me, especially since the number of these types of shows had really looked to be on the downturn. I guess the reason I’m feeling a little bit down about this season is that Highschool of the Dead is being touted as the next big thing, when it’s essentially just gun pr0n and softcore pr0n. With both Durarara and FMA:B ending this season, there just doesn’t look like anything even remotely close to that level. I dunno, maybe the Anime no Chikara timeslot could suddenly deliver on it’s promise. Maybe ZEXCS could suddenly stop sucking. Maybe I’ll totally underestimating the heart-wrenching storyline of Shufuku no Campella. Or maybe, just maybe, I have different tastes to you.