Summer 2013 Preview

Summer

Summer, the season of hot weather, frigid houses and playing catch-up. I typically spend Summer cooped up in my house reading books, watching anime, and sleeping, blissfully lazing my summer away. This is the season where I usually manage to watch shows week to week instead of saying I will and then forgetting about them. Miraculously, I managed to finish 2 last year, so here’s to hoping I’ll be able to top that this year. Though I went in thinking this season wasn’t too spectacular, after looking at the chart and crossing off all the stuff I won’t watch, there’s actually a decent number of shows left that look like they could be entertaining.

As usual, I hope you all read/skim through and enjoy. Please don’t be afraid to comment and tell me what you all think of the season and what you’re planning to watch or not watch.

*Note: Not included-sequels to shows I haven’t watched, movies, OVAs

brothers

Brothers Conflict (Brains Base)

Hinata Ema is the only daughter of a famous adventurer, Hinata Rintarou. One day, Ema learns that Rintarou is going to remarry with a successful apparel maker named Asahina Miwa. Since she doesn’t want to disturb them, Ema decides to move out and live with her 11 new brothers in a mansion called Sunrise Residence. As they live under the same roof, romance is starting to grow between Ema and the Asahina brothers.

Argh, Brains Base, why?! Why are you doing this to yourself? Why are you doing Sister Princess in reverse?

Admittedly, the staff behind this isn’t complete crap. Jun Matsumoto has previously directed Senkou no Night Raid and Persona: Trinity Soul, both of which are pretty okay from what I’ve seen, and the guy behind the series composition isn’t too terrible either with him having done work on the first FMAGankutsuou, and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. I don’t really see how they can save this though. The premise is pretty much beyond salvation in itself. Brains Base should have taken the hint after Amnesia that maybe the otome game route wasn’t for them.

kitakubuChronicles of the Going Home Club (Nomad)

When a friend asks Natsuki what high school club she’s going to join, she cheerfully responds “the go-home club” (meaning, she’s not going to join any of them). However, she soon realizes that this club actually exists at her high school, and she’s just expressed interest in joining it! Before she knows it, she ends up as one of the two new members of “the go-home club,” which is a small group of eccentric school girls. One of the girls likes fighting bears, while another is ridiculously rich. But what exactly constitutes the activities of “the go-home club?”

I think I’ll get my dose of dumb cutesy girls elsewhere. This feels like one of those slice of life comedies that never manage to really be funny. What really kind of solidifies that for me are the other jewels Gou Zappa, the guy behind the series composition and script, has done which including Koihime†Musou and the smash hit Who is Imouto?. Don’t think I’ll be wasting too much time on this.

neptunaHyperdimension Neptunia Victory (David Production)

This is Gamindustri. Beings called the Goddesses rule the countries of this unreal world. The four Goddesses govern four states: Planeptune, Lastation, Lowee, and Leanbox. For many long years, these countries fought each other over the Shares, the source of the Goddess power.

However, fearful that the conflict would pointlessly erode their countries’ strength, the Goddesses signed a Friendship Treaty forbidding them from taking Shares by force.

Under the treaty, the Goddesses and their younger sisters took a step forward to a new stage in their relations. It was the dawn of a new, dymanic era marked occasionally by shared laughter, disputes, and cooperation.

What does the future hold in store for Gamindustri?

Why a friendship story? I’d rather watch the war bits before the dumb treaty. The only reason I’d check out the first episode is to figure out what the monster-bug things were in the PV that I suppose everyone will be fighting instead of each other. Other that that, I’m guessing that not much more of interest will be going on. Will probably skip.

dog & scissors

Dog & Scissors (Gonzo)

A nonsense comical mystery. Harumi Kazuhito is a high school boy who loves books and is a fan of novelist Natsuno Kirihime. One day, he finds Kirihime writing at a cafe, about to be shot by a robber. He protects her from the attack but is killed instead. Through the supernatural power of a book-worm, he is reincarnated as a dachshund dog. Kazuhito (as a dog) writhes in a painful bookless life, when a sadistic woman carrying a pair of scissors offers him help. She is Kirihime herself.

Blegh. Nothing appeals to me here. I don’t like the animation style; the synopsis sounds dumb; the PV isn’t funny or interesting. The staff is a bit of a mixed bag. Yukio Takahashi, the director, has only directed a few episodes here and there, and Toshizou Nemoto, theseries composition and script guy, has worked on some good stuff like Durarara!!Inu x Boku, and Terra e… and some crappy stuff  like the Shugo Chara sequels, House of 100 Tongues, and Ah! My Buddha. I’m betting that this is going to bad and unfunny.

stellaStella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³ (Gainax)

Yura Yamato has just arrived at the high school division of Stella Women’s Academy, when Sonora Kashima invites her to join a club called “C³”. Sonora is the third-year student who became the new head of this club for military survival games. The other members include two second-year students (part-Japanese Karila Hatsuse and G36K-wielding Honoka Mutsu) and two other new students (Rento Kirishima whose family runs a Japanese sweets shop and the really short Yachiyo Hinata).

Okay so, admittedly, the PV does actually perk my interest a bit with the play off on Cowboy Bebop, but… Gainax is pretty much scrapping the bottom of the barrel here from what I’ve heard. The director’s brand spanking new and has only worked on some background art for The Mystic Archives of Dantalian. I want to label this a probable flop, but the more I look at it, the more I’m kind of hoping that it manages to be a sleeper hit. Unfortunately, though, the chances are a bit slim. Who knows, maybe it’ll be the next Girls und Panzer? (Haha…)

fantasiaFantasista Doll (Hoods Entertainment)

This original story revolves around cute dolls who fight and power up with special cards.

I originally wrote this off as crap, but it actually has some interesting people involved. Okay, one interesting person, Goro Taniguchi. The guy is the original creator and producer, but he also the original creator and director of both Code Geass seasons, the director of Planetes, and the director of Infinite Ryvius, which is neat. The problems start with the the director,  Hisashi Saitou, who’s directed Haganai and Heaven’s Lost Property. Not to mention Hoods is in charge and they’ve probably done more porn than anything else. Also, there’s the whole power-up-via-cards thing which strikes me as a bit lame. I’m kind of interested to see if this is completely crap or not, but I’m thinking it’s chances aren’t too swift.

love liveLove Lab (Dogakobo)

The Fujisaki Girls Academy is known for their school body being composed of very proper students. The most prominent one of them is Maki, the student president who is admired by her classmates for her calm and polite demeanor. On the other hand, Kurahashi Riko is also admired but for having a very forward and boyish personality. Riko accidentally walks into Maki while she’s practicing kissing with a pillow and learns that she isn’t what everyone thinks she is. Riko is forced into keeping Maki’s secret and join her in practicing all aspects of romance like holding hands and more.

Playful shoujo ai…? I feel like the last bit is setting this up to be a bit like Yuri Yuri, but maybe that’s just me. This is probably more cute girls doing cute stuff, and, again, I’m not really jumping for joy. Dogakobo isn’t really known for spectacular comedies either, so I’m kind of doubting this will be outstanding. Although, the director is the same guy behind Yuri Yuri (which I think a good amount of people liked…) and the first season of Minami-Ke which is supposed to be the best season. Then again, he’s also behind the recent one episode wonder Kotoura-san and Mitsudomoe whose jokes got old real fast. I guess I can see how this could be funny, but, again…I’m not too sure it’s going to work out. Comedies and I really aren’t clicking this season are we?

placeA Town Where You Live (Gonzo)

Eba Yuzuki, a girl from Tokyo moves to a countryside to attend high school. She lives together with a guy named Kirishima Haruto whose father is an apprentice of Eba’s father. Haruto never agrees to let Yuzuki stay at his house and always rejects her. Another girl, Kanzaki Nanami, comes whom Haruto might be in love with. So… what will happen in this story?

I’ve heard that the source material is really frustrating in terms of the romance. I really hate frustrating romances. If the series’ fans are pulling their hair out, there’s something wrong. I also tried to watch the OVA and was so bored I couldn’t get past the first 5 minutes. On the plus side, I kind of like the character designs. The staff also isn’t too horrible. The director is a bit iffy for me. The one romance drama he did was the  OVA for Today We Start Our Love which I didn’t care for at all mainly because the story was a bit convoluted and I was bored to tears. Though Reiko Yoshida (series composition) has worked on stuff like Kimi to BokuK-ON, and the ever-popular Girls und Panzer, she seems to do more slice of life than romance which I’m assuming won’t be overly helpful here.

I like romance dramas. I eat that stuff up, but I’m not overly confident in this. The reactions to the source material alone are a bit off putting, not to mention the wishy-washy love triangle that will probably pop up seems annoying. I’ll check it out, but I have a feeling I’m going to be joining those cursing the romance.

soleIl Sole Penetra le Illusioni (AIC)

A story of girls who solve mysterious matters that occur in this world, using the mystical tarot cards that hold the power to read destinies.

More card powers, eh?

I really don’t want this to be crap. I think the PV is cool, the art that’s out looks interesting, and the synopsis is vague enough that it could turn out to be okay. On the other hand, Keizou Kusakawa is the director and he hasn’t exactly worked on the greatest series. A good amount have healthy doses of fanservice in them and meh storylines. Michiko Itou, who’s behind the script and series composition, hasn’t exactly done anything that outstanding either. Though I’m expecting a good amount of fan service, I’m hoping that as the original story won’t be too terrible and that the girls will have something to them.

senyuu2Senyuu Season 2 (Ordet/LIDEN FILMS)

Second season of Senyuu.

Okay, so this is cheating a bit since I never finished the first season, but it won’t take that long to finish… Senyuu clicked with me quite well and, though I didn’t laugh at every joke, I think the show overall was a really fun watch since it didn’t give itself the time to wear out its welcome too much. Hopefully Season 2 manages to provide a similar brand of mindless fun to watch.

mosaicYellow Mosaic (Studio Gokumi)

The story begins with Oomiya Shinobu, a 15-year-old, seemingly pure Japanese girl who actually did a homestay in Great Britain. Even after coming back to Japan, she still misses her time overseas. One day, an airmail letter arrives from Alice, the girl in Shinobu’s host family in Great Britain. The letter reads: Shinobu, I’m coming to Japan! The Japanese/British girls’ mixed comedy follows the lives of Shinobu, Alice, and other girls from both Japan and Great Britain.

When I initially read through the synopsis, my first thought was that this was like a reversed, modern-day Ikoku Meiro no Croisée. After watching the PV, though, I found myself thinking more of A-Channel than anything else, and that’s why this is up so high. I, personally, liked A-Channel a lot. Even though the entire cast was composed of moe blobs who kind of look like the ones here, the atmosphere of the show was cutesy and sweet. The staff for Yellow Mosaic isn’t the same, but they look alright, the person behind series composition more so than the the director. However, with Studio Gokumi producing the show the feeling I got from the PV, I’m  hopeful that I’ll get something similar to A-Channel –nothing too complex, but with likable characters and a warm atmosphere.

sundayThe Sunday without God (Madhouse)

God abandoned the world on Sunday. As a result, nobody in the world can die or reproduce. A little girl, Ai, is the gravekeeper for a village. She has prepared 47 graves for the eventual deaths of every member of the village. Later, a boy who identifies himself as “Hampnie Hambart, the ‘Man-eating Toy’,” which is coincidentally the name that Ai’s mother left behind as the name of her father, arrives in the village and slaughters everybody. Just what is going on?

Besides the slightly depressing notion that the world is doomed to disappear completely, I’m at a bit of a loss when it comes to people dying who can’t die…Maybe I’m simply missing something, but that doesn’t make a  lot of sense to me. That aside, the premise is really interesting. I like the idea of one of the protagonists being a gravedigger and I also think that the situation of the world itself is really intriguing; I want to learn more about what happened. I suppose the worrisome aspect of the show is  the director, Yuui Kumazawa, whose debut directing work was The Ambition of Oda Nobuna, which I hear wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t exactly the best thing ever. I suppose as long as the story doesn’t get overly complicated it’ll turn out alright, and that’s a-okay with me.

bakemono2Monogatari Series Season 2 (Shaft)

Adaptation of the second season of the Monogatari Series.

Haha, cheating with this one too. I watched Bakemonogatari, but haven’t watched Nise or Neko.  I do plan on getting on Nise soon, though, so hopefully I’ll be done by the time this airs. Though I think the initial wonder has pretty much died away for most, I haven’t gotten there yet, so I’ve still got a certain fondness for the series.

servantServant x Service (A-1 Pictures)

Anime about the staff of the health and welfare section of the ward office of a certain city. Newcomers Hasebe Yutaka, Yamagami, Miyoshi Saya, and their supervisor Ichimiya Taishi go through the everyday quirks of working at their office.

This was originally going to be lower on the list, but, again, I was interested by the PV. Nothing much happens, but I found myself strangely fascinated with the random babbling. I’m guessing the show would be akin to stuff like Joshiraku since the premise itself is nearly sleep inducing and will most likely be relying on the eccentricity of the cast to carry the show which I’m fine with. Hopefully, Yasutaka Yamamoto, the director, will do okay since I wasn’t really a fan of Mondaiji last season. Even if the show does strike my fancy, I’ll probably wait until it’s done airing and I can marathon it.

watamoteIt’s Not My Fault That I’m Not Popular! (Silver Link)

Kuroki Tomoko is a super popular, high school girl who has had 50 years of dating experience and 100 boys… in the Otome game world. In the real world, she is a 15-year-old shut in who has all of the qualities of a “mojo” (a gloomy or unpopular woman).

However, when school isn’t going as she expected, and she isn’t as popular as she had thought she was, she takes a look at herself in the mirror for the first time in a few years, and has some shocking revelations…

I generally like Silver Link. I liked the first season of Baka to Test, and the ef series, for all their weepy drama, are among my personal favorites. The director is the guy who has been behind a majority of Silver Link’s productions, Shin Oonuma, so the show will probably be okay in that department. I really like the premise of  Watamote and am interested to see more of Kuroki beyond the PV which had some funny bits to it. Even if the show does fall on its face a bit, I’m sure the first episode, at least, will have a good amount of laughs.

realistMakai Ouji: Devils and Realist (Dogakobo)

The story revolves around William, an aristocratic family’s progeny with rare intellect. One day, his uncle lost his possessions after his business failed. Fearing that his family’s name has been tarnished, William returns home and searches with his family’s butler for anything that can be converted into cash. A search of the premises yields an underground room left by an ancestor. In the room is a magical seal, and William unintentionally summons a devil. The summoned devil tells William his name Dantalion, and reveals that William is the designator who can choose the acting ruler of the demon world.

Hopefully Dogakobo pours more of its money into this show rather than Love Lab because this one actually has something that resembles a plot. Whether that will turn into a good story or not is still a bit iffy. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s gotten slight shounen-ai vibes from this show, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if there was a slightly yaoi/shounen-ai undercurrent to the show.  Heck, the director is the lady behind both seasons of Junjou Romantica and Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. On the other hand, she’s also worked on other, relatively well-known shows like Higurashi, the second and third seasons of Nodame Cantabile, and Otomoe Youkai Zakuro. Though it might, I’m hoping this show won’t turn into a train wreck and that it will be good. 

bloodladBlood Lad (Brains Base)

Staz is the vampire boss of a section of the demon world, but he has little interest in human blood. He’s more infatuated with Japanese culture. When he learns that Yanagi Fuyumi, a Japanese teenage girl, accidentally wanders into the demon city, he jumps to the occasion. However, while Staz deals with an intruder on his turf, the oblivious Fuyumi is killed by a monster and becomes a wandering ghost. The disappointed Staz vows to her that he will find a way to bring Fuyumi back to life.

I’ve been looking forward to this show since the adaptation was leaked way back in 2011. Hopefully this show will redeem Brains Base for the abomination they’re also producing this season. I like the premise for Blood Lad and am hoping that it will be able to mix its comedy and action well. Putting aside the sizable bosoms that have already popped up, Staz seems like an interesting character and I can’t wait to see more of him. Though the director hasn’t really worked on anything too notable, he did direct one of the segments in Ao Bungaku (ep. 7 and 8). All in all, I’m pretty excited for the show.

ronpaDangan Ronpa: The Animation (Lerche)

A group of 15 elite high school students are gathered at a very special, high class high school. To graduate from this high school essentially means you’ll succeed in life, but graduating is very difficult. The school is presided over by a bear called Monokuma, and he explains to them that their graduation hinges around committing a murder. The only way to graduate is to kill one of your classmates and get away with it. If the other classmates discover the identity of the killer, the killer is the only one executed. However, if they fail to catch the killer, only the killer graduates and the others are annihilated. Which of the 15 will survive the bloodbath to come?

Lots of hype over this so far. Though this one ranks pretty high on my list, I can’t say I’ve jumped on the super-hype train like I did for Attack on Titan. These types of shows tend to either be well done or crash and burn. Admittedly, the premise, if done well, could turn out to be something really good. Seiji Kishi is the director and he’s worked on some good stuff, though, Devil Survivor, something that has a similar sort of dreary premise, hasn’t been doing that well. I’m not too worried about him though. I’m more concerned about Makoto Uezu who’s behind series composition and script. Though he’s worked on some pretty crappy series, he’s also did the series composition and most of the script for Katanagatari which I really liked. On the other hand, he’s also had some major stinkers like School Days and Seikon no Qwaser. Though I’m hoping for otherwise, there’s a sizable chance that involvement in crap series will shine through a bit. I’m still have hope, though, that everything will turn out alright because I really want to see this succeed.

gatchamanGatchaman Crowds (Tatsunoko)

The story is set in Japan in the early summer of 2015. 180,000 people live in Tachikawa City, the “second metropolis” of the Tokyo area. Among them are “Gatchaman”—warriors who fight in special reinforced suits powered by “NOTE,” the manifestation of special spiritual powers in living beings. A council has scouted a group of individuals with latent powers to protect Earth from alien criminals. In recent years, the council has assigned Gatchaman warriors to deal with the mysterious entity known as “MESS.”

I suppose the funny thing about this series is that I didn’t even know that this was a spin-off of another series. “The more you know,” eh?

Since I’ve had no experience with the parent story, I’m hoping that I won’t have to have a whole lot of prior knowledge to understand what’s going on. I’m guessing I probably won’t, but you never know. Anywho, the premise sounds really interesting, and I’ve always had a soft spot for these types of stories. I also really like the art style in the promo art so that’s a plus. The staff also looks pretty good.  Kenji Nakamura is the director, and he’s worked on some really neat series, including last year’s Tsuritama which, if you couldn’t tell, I grew quite fond of during its air time. Toshiya Oono, the guy in charge of series composition and script, hasn’t done an outstanding amount of work so far, but he also worked on Tsuritama which is good enough for me. I have some high hopes for Gachaman, and I hope it won’t disappoint.

uchotenUchoten Kazoku (P.A. Works)

In Kyoto, there are three kinds of residents: humans, raccoon dogs, and tengu. Shimogamo Yasaburou is the third son of the Shimogamo raccoon dog family. His father, Souichirou, had been the head of Kyoto raccoon dog community until he was eaten by the human members of “Friday Club”. While taking care of old tengu, fighting with other raccoon dogs, and playing with a psychic human girl, Yasaburou approaches the truth of his father’s death.

When I originally saw this, I thought of the only Kouji Kumeta show I’ve watched to the end, Katte ni Kaizou ( and, yes, I know now he isn’t the original creator of this show). Though I liked the show near the end, it was a tad too dirty for my taste and could be a bit tedious to get through at times. Based on the art alone, this almost ended up in the crap section of this preview, but then I watched the PV. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I really love this PV. There’s just something about it that made me smile and perked my interest about this quirky show.  The director isn’t that amazing, but the guy behind series composition has worked on Darker than Black (S1), Eureka SevenFMA:B, and several installments in the Ghost in the Shell franchise. The thing is, though, I don’t particularly care that the director isn’t that outstanding. I want this show to do well so badly that I’m banking on the fact that the series composition guy will pull the show through. I want this show to be great, and I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be disappointed if it turns out to not be the show I’m hoping it will be.

free!Free! (Kyoto Animation/Animation DO)

The story revolves around Haruka Nanase, a boy who has always loved to be immersed in water, and to swim in it. Before graduating from elementary school, he participated in a swimming tournament along with his fellow swimming club members, Makoto Tachibana, Nagisa Hazuki, and Rin Matsuoka. After achieving victory, each of the boys went their separate ways.

Time passed, and in the middle of their uneventful high school lives Rin appears and challenges Haruka to a match, showing Haruka his overwhelming power. Not wanting it to end like this, Haruka, gathers together Makoto and Nagisa once again and brings a new member named Rei Ryugazaki to create the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club in order to defeat Rin.

Character PVs

Who would’ve thought that the anime that would throw the anime community into such a tizzy would be the CM fondly referred to as “Swimming Anime?” I, for one, never thought that the CM I watched a few months ago would actually turn into a series. In fact, I’d never even really noticed that KyoAni has never really had a series centered around a male group of characters, until it was pointed out; I guess it’s because I’m usually content with the moe blob stories that have one or two bishies. Well, now that such a show exists, it’s shot right up to the top of my anticipation list. How could it not? I haven’t grown tired of KyoAni yet, and I kind of doubt I ever will. They’re animation is gorgeous and I don’t mind at all that they’re the moe kings. I suppose that’s beside the point, though.

There’s little doubt in my mind that I won’t like Free!. I’m betting that a large part of the show will probably deal with bonding/frienship which is plotline I’ve come to love. Staff looks alright, though the series composition guy hasn’t done a great deal of work. I also watched every single character PV and think that the characters, so far, despite being a bit stereotypical in personality, are likable. In short, it’s KyoAni; I’ll watch; I’ll like.

silver spoonSilver Spoon (A-1 Pictures)

Yugo Hachiken dreams of life separated from his family, so he takes the initiative by enrolling in an agriculture school. He thinks, with his talent in studying, no problems will arise no matter what kind of school he attends. He is proven wrong very quickly. Raised as a city boy, he is forced to uncover the inconvenient truth about agricultural life. Enjoy the story of Hachiken, as he tries to keep up with his new friends, farmers’ heirs, who are already accustomed to the harsh world of farming. With no clear goals or understanding of farming life, how will Hachiken survive this new, cruel reality? The story of a sweat, tear, and mud-stained youth begins!

And just when I was thinking that this adaptation might not happen, here it is. Though I’m not really hyping this up to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, I do have high hopes for the show. With Hiromu Arakawa behind the manga and the critical acclaim the manga’s received so far, there’s no questioning that this series is something to look out for. If handled correctly, I have no doubt that this series will be a really good watch. Despite my sky high hopes for the show, I am a bit nervous about the director, Tomohiko Itou, who was behind the infamous Sword Art Online adaptation. I’m hoping that the largely negative reaction to the quality of the show was mainly because the source material was kind of crappy, but it’s impossible to say he isn’t responsible for some of that train wreck. I’m really hoping that with this being Itou’s second time in the director’s seat and with the quality of the source material, Silver Spoon will turn out to be good and maybe even great.

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