Spring was a darn good season. One of the better ones in recent memory. Unfortunately, summer tends to get a lot more dregs. This is all a conspiracy by the NHK to force hikikomori to get outside and meet with their friends and fight over ghost girls! Damn those bureaucrats!
On to the shows…
In the wake of the destruction of a worldwide non-nuclear war, the city Olympus has become the control center of the world. Run by Bioroids (cloned humans made from only the best DNA), it is defended from terrorists by special military forces. Among these are former LAPD SWAT member Deunan Knotts and her multipurpose cyborg partner Brialeos. They face a challenge from the Human Liberation Front and its terrorist underbelly the Argonauts. The leader of this group, Al Ceides, supposedly died 20 years ago in an attack on Poseidon, but now his shadow emerges once again.
Studio: Production IG
Essick: Hasn’t there been enough appleseed? Seriously.
Lemmi: I didn’t care much for the original movie, and this is about as sci-fi as it gets without downright copying Star Trek, so it most likely will not be my cup of tea. Regardless, I shall follow unless it takes a turn for the worse.
Vee: I can’t really tell much from the screencap, but it has an interesting premise. Thing is, there seems to be a lot going on in the plotline so far, so I’m curious as to how they’ll pull it off.
Sabishii: Looks very sci-fi & futuristic for an anime. I love how they can implicate the idea that we’ll have a "non-nuclear" World War III. I especially love how it’s about a "special SWAT team". Definitely something different from your usual mystery/detective show. I’ll be looking forward to watching this show.
Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu 2
Second season of Baka Test
Studio: Silver Link
Vee: Sounds like a parody of things and, in general, just fun. The whole test-scores-equate-to-supremacy thing is a concept that’s been tossed around before, but I like the idea of an idiot rebelling. Sadly, haven’t seen the first series, so don’t know too much.
Sabishii: I keep hearing good reviews about the first season, and I’m pretty convinced by the evidence that since there’s going to be a second season, it’s a very good series. I personally like that test/supremacy idea for how students move up in hierarchy, but since I haven’t fully grasped the concept, I’ll have to watch the first season before picking up this series. If I cram it in time, maybe I’ll cover it.
Lemmi: After watching the first season, I can comfortably say that most of the jokes got stale very quickly. Unless they pull some original ones out of their collective hat, I don’t see this being anything more than derivative of the first season.
RP: Is the humor repetitive? Sure, but it’s really funny stuff. High energy, silly humor, without getting too base. It also helps that the show has really attractive character designs, chibis, and Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi is a genre of its own.
Madhouse doing more Marvel stuff.
Essick: Okay. I guess this is turning into a bit trend, lets take some really iconic western characters (Cough. Cough. Wolverine.) and stick them into an Anime. Sorry Japan, not interested.
Sabishii: Nothing can replace Wesley Snipes.
Vee:Didn’t I see this movie? Originality Points = -10. AND YOU GO SABISHII.
RP: So when does the whole Marvel-Madhouse "partnership" end? At this point, it’s like dead man walking. Two big names that had many babies no one cared for… Hey! This sounds like the premise for Usagi Drop.
BLOOD-C is a creative collaboration between Production I.G and popular all-female artist group CLAMP, supervised by Junichi Fujisaku, one of the key members of the team that developed the original concept for Blood: The Last Vampire and who later directed the TV series Blood+
Studio: Production IG
Essick: I’m putting this on my watch list. I’m honestly not a huge CLAMP fan, but I love the BLOOD+ series, it would be interesting to see what they do with it.
Sabishii: Very enticing artwork. That’s pretty much the message the synopsis picture gave me. However, there wasn’t a lot of detail on what this show will be, so I’ll have to judge if I want to watch this show after the first episode
Vee: CLAMP’s works are almost always beautiful with some meaning behind it. Therefore, while I basically know nothing about what Blood-C is about, I can surmise that there is blood – or vampires – in it, and the character designs thus far are gorgeous.
Lemmi: It’s the Blood franchise, with noodle people courtesy of CLAMP. Both are good on average, so I can imagine, with this being the unholy spawn of good and good, it’ll be quite bearable to watch.
Dantalian no Shoka
Ikoku Meiro no Croisee
The story takes place in the second half of the 19th century, as Japanese culture gains popularity in the West. A young Japanese girl, Yune, accompanies a French traveller, Oscar, on his journey back to France, and offers to help at the family’s ironwork shop in Paris. Oscar’s nephew and shopowner Claude reluctantly accepts to take care of Yune, and we learn how those two, who have so little in common, get to understand each other and live together in the Paris of the 1800s.
Essick: I’m a sucker for anything 19th century. So there’s no doubt why I want to cover this series. It may not be a Victorian Romance Emma, but we will have to wait and see.
Sabishii: Beautiful show, but no, just no. I’m really against lolis and most things to do with France. Except for Charlotte Dunoa. Nothing beats my Charuru.
Vee: GORGEOUS design and is set in a time period I really like. Seems to have actual weight to the storyline and I doubt there can be much love-angsting there. Seems dramatic esque, but?
Lemmi: The girl looks like the dorm matron from Maria Holic. Somebody had to say it. After reading the first couple chapters of the manga, I can comfortably say that the premise is workable, if somewhat uninspired.
RP: The master writer of slice of life manga adaptations returns. Ikoku sort of sets itself up as this season’s Hanasaku Iroha, no? Period-based slice of life popularity seems to be on the rise.
Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel: Kyun Kyun Tokimeki Paradise!!
Haruka Minazuki and Aoi Kannazuki are freshman high school students and best friends. During the day they help with school activities but at night they thwart enemies like Black Auction and other villains as Red Angel and Blue Angel, the Twin Angel team.
Studio: JC Staff
Essick: Maybe if loose a bet I might watch this. But only then.
Vee: POWER TO THE WIDE EYED STARE OF LITTLE GIRLS, I ARE MAGICAL, HEAR ME ROAR, I WILL LOVE ANGST OVER LITTLE BOYS … been there, done that, not feeling it.
Lemmi: Hahaha… what a story, Mark.
Kyouhei, after moving away to Tokyo from his old town to get away from the events that happened, is on a goukon with his friends, including his old neighbor, Shiba. After drinking for a whole night, he and Shiba discover a dead, bloody, body in the elevator. He is told by his younger sister, Utao with her Kamisama Doll, that Aki, an old friend, and his Doll, are the culprits responsible.
Studio: Brains Base
Sabishii: Nice, simple artwork that doesn’t focus too much on extreme sexual dimorphism. I like the idea of how it has what Vee says: "cute-girl meet detective/action story". However, I’m not quite sure about how it’ll turn out. Judging by the synopsis picture, it looks like there’ll be a little comedy mixed in. Hopefully, it’ll have a balance between seriousness and comedy
Vee: Admittedly intriguing. It’s like cute-girl meet detective/action story. More serious than the other synopsis’ I’ve read so far. Clean artwork too. Seems whirl-worthy.
Lemmi: Enjoyed the first couple chapters of the manga, and seems a bit like Narutaru with actual character development, sans the soul crushing hopelessness of the last episode. A winning formula, to be sure.
RP: Sacred Seven aside, this might be the most mecha series of the season. My guess is that it’s much more darker than it seems in the first trailer, and much more like the atmosphere in the second trailer.
Kamisama no Memo-chou
Narumi Fujishima is a plain high school boy, who has been isolated in the class. His classmate, Ayaka Shinozaki, invites Narumi to the gardening club and introduces a hikikomori detective named Alice to him. Alice hires Narumi as an assistant to solve mysterious cases involving an illegal drug "Angel Fix". But the drug entraps Ayaka into danger.
Studio: JC Staff
Sabishii: NEETs, Mystery, Detective, J.C. Staff…what a winning combination! I’ll certainly be tuning into this show for this season if the first impression goes well. BTW…doesn’t the main character kind of remind you of Touwa Erio from Denpa Onna? Maybe just my Erio infatuation, but still, the art is too cute!
Vee: Main protag seems sort of L from Death Note ish; I sense a potential tsundere? Slash hikkomori. Honestly, it sounds like a unique take on the whole the internet gives you everything and child genius story and plus, I don’t think there’ll be too much time for love-angsting and what not in here. Visuals are clean and character design is, quite frankly, adorable.
Lemmi: If my anime watching schedule magically unclutters itself, I’ll throw this on. Though I think mystery solving NEET has been done before.
RP: It’s been a while since JC Staff has produced a really good show. A lot of times they seem to pick shows with interesting premises, that sort of fall apart in the execution. I hope Kamisama breaks the trend.
It is currently the Taiheimeji Era. It is a reign ruled by the Tokugawa shogunate. Inside this shogunate, there is a group of warriors that support the government. They are the Manyuu Clan. In this current era, breasts mean everything. If you have breasts, you are guaranteed wealth and popularity. If you lack them, you are rarely considered "human". Members of the Manyuu Clan help raise the future big breasts. Written on a secret scroll possessed by the clan, there is said to be various techniques on how to grow big and beautiful breasts.Chifusa is to be successor of the clan. However, she takes the secret scroll and runs away with it, hoping to fight against the cruel world that the Manyuu Clan has created…
Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Essick: What? Are they seri–oh wait, they are.
Sabishii: Uhm…is the premise a joke? Was the person writing the story drunk on some really, really concentrated vodka? What is this crap? Actually, just the type of crap that I would like to see what’s going on and do a first impressions post of. Cheers to 2D oppai and a perverted-nonsensical premise. In fact, Seikon no Qwaser actually might seen pale in comparison to this…
Vee: I will admit; I laughed for a solid minute out loud at this. See, the thing is, the obsession actually amuses, and you know, this series looks to be packed full of what-the-hell laughs. Big bouncing busts. I see how that’s going to draw a girl in.
RP: I lol’d. This is almost as bad as Scott Stapp’s song about the Marlins.
Mawaru Penguin Drum
The story will center around the lives of three siblings: Kanba, Shouma, and Himari Takakura.
Studio: Brains Base
Sabishii: Yet another cutesy show this season. Well that is, judging by the synopsis picture. Not sure how 3 siblings can relate to Penguins, but it’ll be interesting to watch how the story unfolds and tie those 2 unrelated things together
Vee: Hell if I know what this is about, hell if I’ve seen Revolutionary Girl Utena.
Lemmi: I have no idea what to expect, but… Revolutionary Girl Utena. Definitely following out of morbid curiosity.
In the school romantic comedy, Konoe Subaru is a beautiful boy who serves as a butler to a classmate named Suzutsuki Kanade. However, another boy named Sakamachi Kinjirou accidentally discovers Subaru’s secret — Subaru is really a girl.
Essick: Ditto on Sabishii’s comment. This is whole concept is screaming MariaXHolic for me…and not in good way.
Sabishii: Now this is the type of show for me! A little bit of seriousness and a lot of comedy. However, since it’s based on a light novel, the art will be carried over from that. Not that I don’t like the art, but I think it’ll be an acquired taste. As for the premise, it seems pretty original, a mixture of master-maido plot and perhaps a little bit of yuri? Hopefully not too much yuri. I don’t like yuri
Vee: Sounds intriguing but the formula feels like it’s been repeated; cross-dresser serving an elite force, potential strange relationship between the two, cross-dresser facing consequences should she be discovered. Been there, done that.
Lemmi: This sounds like that episode of Futurama where Leela joins the Earth military, except without ham gum. It’s just not worth it without ham gum.
RP:… I can’t top ham gum. I just can’t.
Natsume Yuujinchou 3
Third season of Natsume Yuujinchou
Studio: Brains Base
Sabishii: Gives off a feel of xxxHolic, but since I’ve only got a small idea of that show, I can’t say too much about it, other than I like the idea. However, I haven’t watched the 1st or 2nd season, so I guess I’ll be skipping out on this show till I catch up with the previous seasons at least.
Vee: So I haven’t seen the previous series but I’ll catch up. On a whole, interesting plot so far; puts a different spin on previous spirit stories. Looking forward to knowing more about this.
Lemmi: Will follow after I actually get around to watching and finishing the first two series. The cat’s face will haunt my nightmares forevermore.
RP: Oh… oh guys. If you could see me facepalm now… I don’t think I’m going to let any of you write until you watch Natsume! It’s a great, great series. It’s similar to xxxHolic in that there’s a guy who can see demons, but the vibe of the story is completely different. Whereas xxxHolic is a bit quirky, slightly dramatic, and somewhat slapstick, Natsume has a much more introspective, lighter-hearted, slice of life feel. The drama never gets too heavy, and is usually quickly resolved, although often quite climactically. It’s sort of like a Mushishi targeted at older teenaged girls… True story, I was in Nakano Broadway this past summer, and found a store that carried a handful of Nyanko-sensei swag… I cleaned them out like a can of Pringles. I love that furry cat.
Koyama Yuzu is running an antique shop. Mayu, a cat god, is living off Yuzu and leads an idle life playing games. Lots of other gods visit Mayu and enjoy merrymaking.
Studio: AIC Plus+
Sabishii: Cat gods? Lolis? No. Not a winning combo. Anything with lolis other than To Aru Majutsu/Kagaku is unacceptable.
Vee: Cute little midget cat girls and other cute little midget things doing things. Cool story. No, ta.
Lemmi: I was going to strike this from my schedule and throw it in a vat of boiling oil, but… dammit, the director of Cromartie High School’s onboard. I just can’t pass up the chance to see how this turns out.
RP: I’m sure it won’t be anything amazing, but I’m a lot more optimistic about this show than I am about a bunch of the other silly comedies that are airing this season.
The story takes place in the ideal city "NO.6" in 2013. Shion was judged as having "highest-ranked intelligence" when he was two years old and was allowed to live in the luxurious area "Cronos". On his twelfth birthday, he met a beautiful boy called "Nezumi," who had escaped from a reformatory. Shion protected him, but the Public Security Bureau deprived Shion of all his privileges and expelled him from Cronos to "Lost Town". Four years after the banishment, a mysterious accident leads Shion to the secret of the city NO.6.
Essick: Hmm, Sci-fi, Eh? Strangly,I find this refreshing considering all the titles for this summer all seem to be based on light novels this year. True, I agree with the others on saying that it’s been done before, but hey, everything’s covered in loli and sillyness and I want some hard core Sci-fi to drive me away from all of this fluff. :p
Sabishii: I don’t think it’s very original. Felt like I’ve heard of this premise before…but still, seems kinda interesting. Will probably have to decide whether to watch the show depending on the first episode.
Vee: Sci-fi, somewhat dystopian society, curious additional member to one-lone-hero quest? Rats to Essick to getting there first. (See what I did there?)
Lemmi: Conspicuous BL undertones have always been my kryptonite, yet compelling premises which I can get behind are like honey to me. I’m not sure what to make of honeyed kryptonite.
RP: Minakami is busy doing this, the JC Staff NEET show, and writing about the world of breasts. Talk about diverse.
Nurarihyon no Mago: Sennen Makyou
The second season of Nurarihyon no Mago.
Sabishii: Some hot 2D mythical foxes and a guy with an enlarged cranium. Tried to pick up this series, but never got to it. Perhaps I can squeeze in all off Nurarihyon before this airs?
Vee: Child genius being the leader of spirits. Okay, maybe I have a taste for the supernatural. I’m largely in this for the whole house full of spirits and the hijinks they could get up to, but I’m not overwhelmingly hot on the visuals. Lukewarm reaction, really?
Nyanpire the Animation
A heartwarming story about a stray black cat, who was given blood from a vampire.
Essick: Finally, a cute cat for those of us that hate Hello Kitty.
Sabishii: Anybody up for some poptart Nyancats?
Vee: Um. Cat. Wide eyed, Technicolour cat in similar Technicolour surroundings. Cool story.
Lemmi: This sounds way more amazing than it should, considering it’s about a cat vampire. There are plenty of warning signs here, but I’m too distracted by the thought of a cat vampire. I’ll just bear the shame of being suckered in so easily though.
RP: Gonzo’s back! With cats! Although I think I would’ve preferred Francesca Lucchi the Animation, I can live with Nyanpire.
Akutagawa Takuto is a teenage porn novel writer. He enters Hirameki Gakuen, which accepts only geniuses with outstanding talents. He leads his classmates with his porn skills to win the interclass competition.
Essick: WHAT THE HELL JAPAN? TERRORIZING US WITH LOTTE’S TOY NOT FUNNY ENOUGH FOR YOU?
Sabishii: Very, very mature subject matter I guess? Perhaps it’ll turn into a satire like 30-sai…but somehow the synopsis picture is very deceiving. Doesn’t seem to have anything to do with lolis…unless the main character in R-15 writes lolicon porn novels. If this show’s art seems agreeable, then I’m for sure going to be watching this show.
Vee: Okay, okay. Pushing the threshold of what’s generally normal for me. Yeaaahno.
Lemmi: I can already hear the FBI pounding away at my front door for even having the synopsis image flash through my head for a brief second. Unless it proves itself a subversion like Kodomo no Jikan, I’ll be avoiding this for many, many reasons.
Subaru Hasegawa is a high school freshman, he joins the basketball team but soon finds out the team is inactive because the captain is being suspected as a lolicon. He miraculously is entangled with the job of being the coach of an elementary schools basketball team. With these girls and their love for basketball Subaru will have a hard time getting acknowledged by each of them.
Essick: I’m seriously guessing that series creators this season are just pulling story elements out of a hat.
Sabishii: Just because a show has school sports, doesn’t mean adding ANY other genres will still make the show good. That means lolicon too.
Vee: Seems a little unwieldy and I don’t really know where they’re planning on developing the storyline or what’s meant to happen, or whether it’ll just be filled with LIGHT and FLUFF and all that. The character designs too are also unnervingly familiar, just they’ve been aged down a bit.
Lemmi: See my response for R-15
RP: Aww, how cute. I like basketball. I like slice of lifes. I like cute- wait a second, I see what you did there.
"People’s memories change the world!" (with mechas)
Sabishii: Dang, looks like a killer show! Well since there’s mecha, no one does it better than Sunrise. Except for Bones. They did that shoujo version of Gundam called Star Driver really well.
Vee: Never really known much about mecha, and while the tagline is enticing enough, I’m not really feeling it. Plus some visuals are kind of blocky.
Lemmi: Mecha is a fickle genre. Sacred Seven doesn’t look any different, but I need to follow at least one new mecha show a year, or else I’m automatically no longer a credible reviewer. It’s a scientific fact. Following for much the same reason as Penguin Drum, except this doesn’t have a legendary precedent.
RP: I don’t know if Sacred Seven will be any good, I’m sure it can’t be worse than that shit show Star Driver. But honestly, I’m just happy that Sunrise, Gainax and Gonzo are producing things again. There was a pretty long dry stretch last year. Having them back in the fold, even if their shows seem much less… grandiose, is a good thing.
A new anime based on Namco Bandai’s hit game series, The iDOLM@STER
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Sabishii: Finally an IdolM@ster show! I’ve been waiting for this for ages! Although I’m not a big fan of music shows, I think I’ll still HAVE to watch this show. Just too many kawaii 2D girls to ignore!
Vee: Lots and lots of pretty girls, I-cannot-even-tell-if-there-is-a-boy-in-there-somewhere. Honestly, all the animes on the whole idol industry are amusing, in a fluffy, orly way. This could go overboard in a bad way though.
Lemmi: Being the massive cash cow that it is in Japan, I can only imagine how much has gone into this. Will be following out of a sense of "Well, there has to be at least one mediocre show this season to make the others look good." As always, I welcome these kinds of shows to prove me wrong, though they never take up my offer.
RP: I haven’t really the slightest clue what the appeal of the whole Idolmaster game was (much like Hatsune Miku), but I might watch this for the copious amounts of cute.
Going home for his grandfather’s funeral, thirty-year-old bachelor Daikichi is floored to discover that the old man had an illegitimate child with a younger lover! The rest of his family is equally shocked and embarrassed by this surprise development, and not one of them wants anything to do with the silent little girl, Rin. In a fit of angry spontaneity, Daikichi decides to take her in himself! But will living with this overgrown teenager of man help Rin come out of her shell? And hang on, won’t this turn of events spell doom for Daikichi’s love life?!
Studio: Production IG
Essick: I’ve heard of the manga once, actually. But, anyway, this is seriously one of those hit or miss titles. It could be one of the most talked about Animes of the season or a complete flop.
Sabishii: Woah! A rare "illegitimate child" show! This will definitely be a groundbreaking show, if not for its quality, then at least for its premise. This will certainly be something I’ll be watching in the summer.
Vee: A departure from the norm, but it does touch on real life issues that should be examined in my honest opinion. Could progress in many different ways.
Lemmi: If the recent release of Duke Nukem Forever is any indication, it’s never too soon to set your expectations low. Regardless, I’m following, since this is a pretty difficult premise to screw up, especially when it’s based on a manga.
RP: This is where I clear my throat and say with a slight air of superiority, "Ahem, yeah, this should be good, because it’s NoitaminA." Then I look around with a glint of condescension, because I know only the oldhead elitists would disagree with me in public… But uh yeah, this should be good, you know… because it’s NoitaminA. But seriously, while the plotline isn’t all that different from… a bunch of American movies, I don’t think it’ll feel drastically different from your typical Hollywood fare.
Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 100%
Nanami Haruka wants to be a song writer, so she attends an idol training school filled with beautiful bishounen. The school pairs each aspiring songwriter with an aspiring idol, but Haruka finds herself paired with 3 idols! To make things more difficult, Nanami is also not allowed to date any of her beautiful partners!
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Sabishii: What the hell? Another "shoujo-only" show?! As if Sekaichi-Hatsukoi in Spring 2011 wasn’t enough, they actually continue this trend for the summer too?! Sorry, I’m just really against shoujo shows that has a reverse harem with bishounens
Vee: I’ll admit it; I’m a sucker for bishies and music. It will be cheesy. It will be fluffy. And it will be a guilty indulgence. Although I should really, really, really hate this. I’m borderline as of right now.
RP: Sabishii, women need harems too! Didn’t they teach you this in 30-sai?
Four fun-loving schoolgirls take over the former room of a tea ceremony club for their own "Gorakubu" (amusement club).
Essick: Double Pass.
Sabishii: Sorry, I’m not a lolicon
Vee: Cute, wide eyed blushing girls that are altogether too wholesome for a yuri series. Pass.
RP: I like the Masahiko and Takashi duo. I liked Mitsudomoe, which I know was a miss for a lot of people, and Minami-Ke, of course, was almost universally loved, so I’m happy to give this show a shot. I think it’ll be a pretty high energy show and better than the generic description and loli screenshot lets on.