Summer 2013 Anime Season Preview
Summer isn't always the best of seasons - last year it was the worst season - and somehow the Summer 2013 anime season is stacked with a lot of interesting series. So interesting, that this season could end up as the best of the year. There are a number of things to get excited about, which include: the return of the noitaminA slot, 9 sequels/continuations, 2 new anime for series whose last anime aired over 6 years ago and a new anime for a series that's over 4 decades old.
All in all, quite the busy season, with many genres and studios being represented. The only downside is that Sailor Moon's reboot won't be airing this season as it was initially planned. At this point, we'll be lucky too see it sometime in 2014. Nevertheless, there are a lot of nice-looking series to anticipate so let's not dwell on an absence.
Note: Please vote on the poll on the side for the series you want blogged (episodically) most.
Summer 2013 Anime - TV Series
Sevant x Service
Source: 4-koma Manga Studio: A-1 Pictures
Plot: 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.
Thoughts: I must admit when I read that A-1 Pictures were adapting another manga by the author of Working!!, I was already sold. The aforementioned series has remained a cherished slice-of-life comedy, which makes me just as hopeful for this series. In terms of staff, this series doesn't have much gravitas with Yasutaka Yamamoto (Mondaiji) leading the project. His credits don't leave me at ease, but I do think a lot of the burden will be on the writer since 4-koma manga aren't the easiest of source material to adapt.
Seeing as how this is an A-1 Pictures work, it could turn out to be very good or middle of the road. I'm hoping this turns out well because we could be looking at another great comedy for the year.
Will I Watch?: Likely - Mostly to do with the manga author's previous work
Danganronpa The Animation
Source: Game Studio: Lerche
Plot: 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?
[Source: MU via MAL]
Thoughts: If you're wondering why this looks awfully familiar, it's because it is. Seiji Kishi and Makoto Uezu are adapting yet another game, but this time at Lerche. The duo are fresh off their work on Devil Survivor 2 and are now animating the Danganropna game over at a studio whose resume almost solely consists of Carnival Phantasm.
I'm not the biggest fan of Devil Survivor 2. In fact, I decided to stop writing about it after four episodes. This project doesn't look too different. The plot does sound like straightforward mystery death game a la Doubt and that has me a little interested. Nevertheless, since its a game adaptation its quite likely there will be a set pattern/formula the series follows which will most likely kill any surprises etc.
Not a great looking project. Presumably one of Kishi-sensei's attempts at commercial success.
Will I Watch?: Maybe - If it's better than the duo's latest work, then I'll probably watch it.
Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi
Source: Light Novel Studio: MADHOUSE
Plot: 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?
[Source: MU via MAL]
Thoughts: MADHOUSE' sole offering for the Summer 2013 anime season comes in the form of a fantasy series with quite an interesting, bordering on confusing, plot. The premise makes this sound like a story of despair, and the only one of the season at that - ignoring Shingeki no Kyojin's secound cour - which could be a blessing for the studio. A quick look at the manga adaptation suggest something that's a little depressing.
Yuuji Kumazawa is heading up the project. His resume is not much to look at, with most of his prior experience coming from Gonzo projects - I'm guessing he made the transition to MADHOUSE after Oda Nobuna. He's joined by Tomoko Konparu who'll handle series composition even though her resume is almost entirely made up of shojo/josei series - am I missing something with the LN? Nevertheless, her track record speak for itself (Nodame Cantabile, Kimi ni Todoke) so it's not something to worry about.
Cards on the table; there could be something here. There's definitely no other series that looks as heavy as this one for the season, so I'll remain optimistic about it without giving it too much hope.
Will I Watch?: Likely - Sounds good and the staff seem capable but light novels can be quite hit and miss.
Source: Novel Studio: P.A. Works
Plot: 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.
Thoughts: Much like Servant x Service, the big selling point of this series is the author's previous work. Uchouten Kazoku is written by the same author as the critically acclaimed Tatami Galaxy. That alone makes it worth considering, before we even get to the staff in charge.
Again, like Servant x Service, the staff don't have me all that excited. The director Masayuki Yoshihara has nothing of note on his resume - he's directed two OVA and has one or two other credits - and then there's the issue that me and P.A. Works never see eye-to-eye. Shoutarou Suga has considerably more experience as someone in charge of scripts, having worked on a number of BONES series and most recently writing scripts for Rinne no Lagrange. His involvement brings stability to the project but not much else.
Regardless of my negativity, I do want this series to turn out well. The premise sounds interesting to say the least and I'm due a P.A. Works anime that I'd enjoy a lot.
Will I Watch?: Likely - Even though its P.A. Works, I want this one to work out.
Gin no Saji ~Silver Spoon~
Source: Manga Studio: A-1 Pictures
Plot: A fish out of water story that follows Yugo Hachiken, a transfer student from Sapporo who adjusts to his new life at Yezo Agricultural High School. Initially indifferent to his new surroundings, Hachiken starts appreciate the challenges faced by farmers and in the process acclimates into his new life with some new friends whilst continuing his search for a dream/goal.
Thoughts: Yet another series which could have had the author's previous work be the sole selling point. For those of you who don't know, Silver Spoon is a weekly manga written by Fullmetal Alchemist author Hiromu Arakawa. Though wildly different from her peerless contribution to shonen action genre, Silver Spoon has gotten its own recognition and most notably won the Manga Taisho Award in 2012.
Being one of few people who actually reads the manga, I'm ecstatic to see it get animated but I find it difficult to recommend. This is definitely a niche project - popularity aside, it's commercial success has been capped - that does belong in the noitaminA slot. Especially since it falls somewhere in between Moyashimon and Honey & Clover in terms of content and style.
A-1 Pictures are back in the noitaminA slot, this time bringing director Tomohiko Itou on board. Unfortunately, Itou-sensei's works as a head director (Sword Art Online, Ocult Academy) are outweighed by his contributions as assistant director. Not to mention the studio's reputation for falling short with adaptations, makes me a little worried for Silver Spoon. The only thing that keeps me at ease for the moment is their solid noitaminA works which, whilst original series, did very well. Hopefully they'll be able to repeat past successes.
Will I Watch?: Absolutely - Cautious optimism for the first few episodes in case the adaptation messes up.
Source: Original (Revival) Studio: Tatsunoko Productions
Plot: 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."
[Source: ANN via MAL]
Thoughts: Prior to its delay, Sailor Moon remained as one of the most high profile revival projects in recent years, however the Gatchaman franchise is two decades older. This revival project is bringing back an anime original series that started airing way back in the 1970's and ended in 1980; a true revival project if there every was one.
I for one appreciate bringing back the old school to anime today, but I'd be lying if I said that was the reason I'm interested in this project. Sure I've heard of Gatchaman in passing, but I haven't seen a single episode. What interests me more is the involvement of Kenji Nakamura, a man whose artistic direction and style puts him way up there on the list of directors I have high respect for. Nakamura-sensei's directing resume is one of the more unique ones, seeing as how it only includes series which aired in the noitaminA time slot. He'll be joined by Toshiya Oono, who worked on Nakamura's most recent project Tsuritama.
This time the team are heading over to Tatsunoko Productions, presumably because they created the Gatchaman franchise. The team-up happened once before with C: The Money of Soul (Nakamura only), which doesn't bother me because I was one of the few who enjoyed it, and there was no problems with the direction at least. Now all that's left to see is what comes of the new addition to an old franchise.
Will I Watch?: Very Likely/Absolutely - Nakamura doing an old-school revival = Too easy a sell
Stella Jogakuin Kotoua-ka C3-bu
Source: Manga Studio: Gainax
Plot: 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).
[Source: ANN via MAL]
Thoughts: Gainax as of late is far from what it used to be. Nowadays their new projects invoke nothing more than a, "Oh, a Gainax project," from me and that's pretty much my reaction to this upcoming series. The premise does resemble Girls und Panzer - most surprising and under-appreciated anime of the year - which means I'll at least check it out, and I'll remain hopeful. Luckily the PV looks great, so my hope might not be a waste of time.
Will I Watch?: Maybe - It could be good, but Gainax has to step up their game.
Rozen Maiden (2013)
Source: Manga Studio: Studio DEEN
Plot: In the original Rozen Maiden series, we're introduced to Jun Sakurada. A young man whose become a hikikimori and refuses to go to school, in favour of collecting all the toys he wants. One day he gets a box delivered to him with Shinku in it. Shinku is revealed to be a walking, talking, fantastical power-wielding doll and not the only one. Each doll aims to win the Alice Game, which guarantees them to meet their "father"; the creator of the Rozen Maiden.
Thoughts: I may be wrong in putting this down as a non-sequel since there seem to be conflicting opinions as to what the newest Rozen Maiden will be. The PV suggest a reboot of the original series, whilst some sites suggest a continuation from either the end of the second season of the anime or the start of the second season of the manga.
Personally, I'm hoping for a reboot. Having watched the first season, I can't say I was all that impressed. Whilst the anime has garnered quite a following, I didn't appreciate the drastic difference between the manga's darker approach and the anime's "guy playing with moe dolls" interpretation. Regardless of whether we're in for a reboot or a continuation, Studio DEEN's involvement does drum up some excitement.
Director Shinichi Omata- AKA Mamoru Hatakeyama - will be heading up this project. His work on Sankarea was something wonderful, and he'll be joined by Tomomi Mochizuki (Zettai Shonen, Saraiya Goyou) on scripts. One could argue Mochizuki-sensei is far more accomplished as a director, meaning Omata-sensei has something to prove. Hopefully, he'll be up to the challenge. There's definitely potential here, and I'd like to think a new studio and staff can produce something great.
Will I Watch?: Likely - In love with the new staff and PV, but would still prefer a reboot to a continuation.
Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou
Source: Light Novel Studio: Gonzo
Plot: 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.
Thoughts: Gonzo's return to the anime world this season is less than stellar on many counts. I'll get to their second project in a bit, but as far as InuHasa goes there's not much here I could talk about. First time director is paired up with Toshizou Nemoto (Towa no Quon, Inu x Boku SS) on series composition, so anything could come from this project. Nemoto-sensei has a decent track record, though nothing he's worked on as lead pops off the resume.
The premise itself is on the bizarre side, akin to Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge - incidentally being animated by ex-Gonzo staffers - and that's a potential selling point. As with all comedies, whether it turns out well or not depends on personal taste and right now I can't make heads or tails on this project. For now, it'll be on the bottom of the priority list. Gonzo have been at the bottom of the studio totem pole for quite some time now and the staff is far from the best.
Will I Watch?: Unlikely - Not enough info. Solely based on Gonzo's recent performance.
Source: Manga Studio: Dogakobo
Plot: 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.
[Source: MU via MAL]
Thoughts: Dogakobo doing an anime about cute girls doing cute things with yuri undertones....where have I seen that before? No surprises that Love Lab's staff is exactly the same one for studio's hit comedy Yuru Yuri - down to the character designer for the anime - and let's face it, it doesn't feel like a year in anime without their contribution to the moe girl genre.
As I mentioned, exact same staff as Yuru Yuri. Director Masahiko Ohta and script writer Takashi Aoshima team up once again to bring us this comedy. The duo team up a lot, and most recently worked on the ultimately disappointing Kotoura-san. Whatever problems that series had, the comedy was well done at least and if there is no drama in this series, it could be a fun watch.
That said, I'm not enthused about seeing another one of these series. A dime a dozen doesn't even come close to cutting it, and it's not the only one of the season. In fact, the season is packed with them and even if it is the best one on paper, it's still the best of a genre we've seen countless times.
Will I Watch?: Unlikely - Decent staff but the premise has been done to death.
Source: Original Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Plot: In this science-fiction story, Uzume is an ordinary second-year middle school student who comes into possession of five "dolls" who fight and power up with special cards.
Thoughts: I wonder if it's luck, coincidence or well-researched timing that's allowed Goro Taniguchi's (Code Geass) latest project to air in the same season as Rozen Maiden's return to the small screen. Regardless of how that came to be, competition is sure to ensue from Hoods Entertainment's own version of the aforementioned series.
Based on the premise, it's hard to get excited about the series. The premise is old-school with a new, cuter packaging and something we'll get to see plenty of in the season. Taniguchi-sensei may be leading this project, but he won't be the one running the show. Haganai (first season) director Hisashi Saitou will take care of that with Taniguchi sitting as the producer and original creator of the series.
Hoods Entertainment fall of the radar most years and whilst they remain mostly insignificant, they do have a lot more work this year. This could be their attempt to move up in the anime world, hence bringing in someone with as much commercial appeal as the creator. Maybe it'll be a good year for them, although this doesn't look like the series to put them on the map.
Will I Watch?: Unlikely - How much thought actually went into this one?
Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou
Source: Original Studio: AIC
Plot: "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."
Thoughts: I did say this season had a lot of the same types of series to offer. This one is courtesy of AIC and director Keizou Kusakawa (Nanoha A's, Asura Cryin') who more often than not ends up with the light novel harem adaptations but this time is using his experience on Nanoha. Series composition goes to Michiko Itou (Suzuka, Mouretsu Pirates) whose work is not all that impressive either. In terms of staff; not good.
Moving on, let's look at the story itself. Not much is known about the plot as of this moment aside from the vague one-line description above. The PV suggests some type of mix between dark magical girl and mystery, which doesn't sound as exciting as it could have a couple years back. Tarot cards being a part of story doesn't have me excited or intrigued but rather indifferent and a little sceptical at this moment.
Suffice to say, this series isn't coming of as the huge project AIC wants you to believe. As with all original series, it could beat expectations and prove me wrong. I'd love for it to prove me wrong - better than disappointment - but it doesn't have the calibre in story or staff to get me on board right now. At the very least, the art style looks nice.
Will I Watch?: Unlikely - It looks like a very middle of the road production
Source: Novel Studio: Brain's Base
Plot: 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.
Thoughts: Here's something you don't see every day: an adaptation of a shojo novel series. What that means is a little unclear to me, but after reading the synopsis I'm assuming we're in for something a little more classic. The premise alone screams shojo manga from the 90's, and we could be getting just that. Could be interesting to see something time-tested as opposed to the number of shojo series nowadays that rely on just one male lead.
Production-wise, it's unclear how well this will turn out. It is Brain's Base and that means, based on recent track records, it'll either do well or won't leave a lasting impression. Natsuko Takashi (Aishiteruze Baby, FMA) will handle adapting the script and Jun Matsumoto (Blood+, Senkou no Night Raid) will direct. This isn't Matsumoto's usual stuff and his first shojo and romance series, so it could go either way. Luckily Takashi-sensei has plenty of experience on the genre and will hopefully give the director something to work with.
Again, I find myself rooting for this series but with reservations. I want to believe Brain's Base has something good in store for us and that the team they've got on this series is going to meet expectations, just so there's a viable shojo series to watch - we don't get too many of those, viable or not, throughout a year.
Will I Watch?: Likely - Without knowing the novels, I'm hopeful for a nice shojo romance.
Source: 4-koma Manga Studio: Studio Gokumi
Plot: 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.
Thoughts: Just as Dogakobo are putting out their moe anime for the year, Studio Gokumi are following suit. The big difference between the two; Dogakobo's looks better on paper. Kiniro Mosaic is stuck with a first-time director and a writer who's hit or miss. I say that, but I don't think there's much to be done about the premise which, again, looks as generic as you can get when you pander to the moe fans of today.
I could list any number of reasons why there's nothing to get excited about here, but instead I'll point out that the season is filled with series like this one
Will I Watch?: Unlikely - Gokumi moe.....enough said?
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya
Source: Manga Studio: Silver Link
Plot: A spin-off of Fate/stay night in which Illya lives a normal life, before becoming a magical girl and Rin is also involved in the story.
Thoughts: It's not hard to see for whom this series will hold appeal:
- Fans of the magical girl genre
- Fans of Type-Moon
- Fans of both
Those in the third category must be over the moon (no pun intended) to see more from the Fate franchise and now in a more care-free manner. What's more it's directed by Silver Links finest, Shin Oonuma. So if you're a fan of the idea, I'm sure you'll be enjoying yourself with this one.
For me, there isn't much reason to look forward to the series. Having checked out the manga, I came to the conclusion that this is like every other magical girl series with the biggest selling point being the Type-Moon characters. A novelty which should hook quite a few viewers.
Will I Watch?: Unlikely - Not a big fan of Type-Moon or magical girls.
Source: Manga Studio: Production I.G
Plot: Genshiken Nidaime takes place after the graduation of the main cast, that is subsequently replaced by a new set of members. The only difference: the new members are all fujoshi (female otaku) with one or two exceptions.
New cast but not a new premise. Genshiken continues to be a story of identity, development and all things otaku.
Thoughts: Admittedly I was only introduced to Genshiken this year, but I instantly fell in love with it. For those who don't know, it's a great comedy school life series that examines otaku culture. As well as being a treat for anime fans - lots of references in the manga - it examines identity and embracing yourself for the person you are.
Production I.G are looking to extend their fantastic run in 2013 as they snatched this series from ARMS. With them comes the director Mizushima Tsutomu (Squid Girl, Girls und Panzer) as he moves on from doing the second season of Azazel-san (also with Production I.G). His resume is stacked with plenty a good series - he's probably considered a sage after hitting it big (commercially and critically) with Girls und Panzer - and especially when it comes to comedy. Add in the fact he worked on the first two seasons and he'll be aided by Michiko Yokote - worked on series composition for the first two seasons - we've got another potentially great season of Genshiken.
Word to the wise. Technically speaking this isn't a sequel because the cast was almost fully replaced bar two or three characters, which means you could watch this season without having seen the other two. Nonetheless, you may want to watch the previous anime - avoid the spin-offs - before (or after) to get a better understanding of the carry-over characters.
Will I Watch?: Absolutely - More Genshiken and this time with Production I.G animation.
Source: Light Novel Studio: Kyoto Animation
Plot: 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.
[Source: ANN via MAL]
Thoughts: What started off as one of many commercials KyoAni puts out, turned into a niconico live announcement for an anime about bishonen swimming. This is another adaptation of a novel (High Speed!) that received a Kyoto Animation Award - Chuunibyou also got that honour - though I suspect the overwhelming response from the fujoshi community pushed this series up the priority list.
As someone who often watches sports series and doesn't mind if the characters are bishonens, I'm intrigued about this series. Swimming isn't a sport you see animated often, if not ever, so it'll be interesting to see how the series will be handled and I'd be lying if I didn't mention the novelty of seeing KyoAni do something for a completely different fan base.
Director Hiroko Utsumi is finally getting his big break with studio after doing odd jobs on a number of their other projects. This may be because he directed the commercial. He'll be joined by Masahiro Yokotani (Beelzebub, Maria Holic) whose track record on series composition may not be stellar, but includes the recent gem Hataraku Maou-sama! Now we just have to wait and see how KyoAni's ambitious new venture will turn out.
Will I Watch?: Maybe/Likely - You can never know with sports series.
Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist
Source: Manga Studio: Dogakobo
Plot: After his uncle's business fails, William Twining, an intelligent young noble, finds himself in a dire financial situation. With no funds for his school tuition, he searches his house until he comes upon the basement. There, he accidentally summons Dantalion, who recognizes William as a descendant of Solomon, and the Elector—the individual that will choose a substitute ruler for when the Emperor of Hell, Lucifer, rests. From that moment on, William's life is irrevocably interwoven with the supernatural world as other demonic candidates for substitute king vie for his nomination and Heaven attempts to retrieve his soul.
Thoughts: Interesting that in one season Dogakobo ends up catering to two extremes of the anime fandom; Love Lab for the men, and Makai Ouji for the women. The first chapter of the manga gives a very Black Butler kind of feel to the series with all the fantasy elements, and more obvious use of shonen ai.
The preview alone hints at less-than-subtle ways the series may choose to get fans and that's fine since I'm all about equal opportunity. Add in experienced josei/boy's love director Chiaki Kon and you can pretty much guarantee a shipping feast for all the fujoshi out there.
Since this is far from my type of series, I'll be stepping away from it. I would have been inclined to give it more of a chance had the PV not outlined the scope of the series' BL undertones so vividly. At least it saved me the trouble of sitting through another first episode.
Will I Watch?: Not a chance - Definitely not my type of anime
Source: Manga Studio: Brain's Base
Plot: Blood Lad follows Staz, a vampire that is obsessed with the human world, and Fuyumi, a human girl that was killed and turned into a ghost after wandering into the demon world. Staz promises to help Fuyumi regain her humanity by bringing her back to life, as it means that he would be able to visit the human world.
Thoughts: With their second series, Brain's Base have something very different. An action-adventure series in the underworld with a romantic subplot that's both strange and endearing at the same time. A little generic, though quite a fun series at the end of the day.
I remember when this was rumoured to be coming out in the Summer 2012 season and was ultimately declared a rumour. Back then I checked out the manga, only to find it pleasant and not much else. It's fun and mixes action, fantasy and adventure quite well yet it doesn't do anything extraordinary, just does what it does well.
Not much weight behind this project when it comes to staff. The director has little on his resume full stop and that goes for the person in charge of series composition also. Of the two projects from the studio, I'd say Blood Lad is the one being neglected more, although it'll most likely remain an enjoyable watch.
Will I Watch?: Likely - Nothing special but a good bit of fun at least.
Choujigen Game Neptune THE ANIMATION
Source: Game Studio: David Production
Plot: Set during 1989, it takes place in an alternate continuity where Planeptune is a small country, Lowee as a Japanese styled area and Leanbox as an invading overseas country. Lastation is an area connected with Planeptune. Neptune is thrown into this continuity and embarks her adventure to get back. Because this is not the world/dimension or time she's supposed to live in, she is not in charge of Planeptune; a new character called Pururut also known as Iris Heart is.
[Source: Hyperdimension Neptunia Wiki]
Thoughts: David Production have won their place in my heart for doing a fantastic job with JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, along with a number of other older series they've produced. Imagine my surprise when their next project looked as commercial as this one.
Being a non-gamer, I can't comment on the source material. It could be good or bad and I wouldn't know, but one thing is for sure: this isn't a typical David Production anime. It doesn't look like it has any type of edge to it like all of the studio's series have nor does it have an intriguing premise to get me curious. With only the poster to go on, this looks like a big step back for the studio.
As usual, I'm waiting to be proven wrong. For all I know the game is great and I should have more faith in this series, but I'm not.
Will I Watch?: Unlikely/Maybe - Feels too average and commercial for the studio but I'll keep an eye on it.
Kimi no Iru Machi
Source: Manga Studio: Gonzo
Plot: Yuzuki Eba has mysteriously decided to go to high school in the countryside. But despite Haruto Kirishima's objections, she is living in his home. Now he has to put up with a freeloading city girl and even worse, make sure Nanami Kanzaki, the girl he likes, doesn't get the wrong idea!
Thoughts: If you don't know manga, then I feel it's my duty to tell you just how many people Gonzo pissed off with this decision. Nicknamed "A Town Where You Rage" - the actual translation of the title is "A Town Where You Live" - Seou Kouji's (Suzuka) romance manga that just doesn't end got itself the anime green-light.
The story is very melodramatic and doesn't offer anything you can't get from a number of other series. A very simple love triange turned complicated that spiralled out of control after the first 100 chapters of the manga. Perhaps the series won't do too badly by ending - since the manga refuses to do so.
Will I Watch?: Not a chance - I have no intention of reliving that much pain a second time.
Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!
Source: Manga Studio:
Plot: As a middle schooler, Tomoko Kuroki dreamed of making her high school debut as the most popular girl in school. But all of her experience playing video game dating simulations may have backfired. Instead of preparing her for the real world, her gaming has kept her from it for so long that even the most mundane human interactions have become a stumbling block! How can she impress her classmates when she can't even speak to them?!
Thoughts: Contrary to the law of incredibly long names, this is not a light novel getting adapted into an anime. Watamote! is a manga done in a style close to 4-koma and very episodic in nature. It's not laugh-out-loud funny and most of the time it's hard to say why it works as a comedy but it does. I'm not the biggest fan of what I read, but I do think this series could provide a nice distraction for when you're bored.
Will I Watch?: Maybe - It could be a funny, random series to not take seriously.
Gifuu Doudou!!: Kanetsugu to Keiji
Source: Manga Studio: Studio DEEN
Plot: The Sengoku era gave birth to many historical legends. One of them is Naoe Kanetsuku, the brilliant military general of the Uesugi family. Together with Maeda Keiji, a legendary warrior on the battlefield, who become lifelong friends with each other, they carve out a piece of history in the most dangerous and volatile time in Japan’s history. The two men recall their beginnings and the journey they took to get to the accomplished position they now sit at.
Thoughts: Studio DEEN's third and final series coming out this summer is quite an odd beast. If you haven't realised it from the poster, this is an adaptation of a manga by Tetsuo Hara (Fist of the North Star) who's also overseeing the project directed by Bob Shiohata (Fist of the Blue Sky, Hetalia). Presumably Shirohata-sensei was brought in because of his experience with Hara's work, but he's hardly an accomplished director. His resume is a little thin and the series it does include fail to make any impression on me. Luckily for the project Yasuhiro Imagawa (Berserk, Giant Robo, Shin Mazinger) will be writing the scripts. He too worked on Fist of the Blue Sky and has plenty of experience with more "classic" setting such as this one.
For all my intentions, I haven't seen or read anything by Hara-sensei. I'm told Fist of the North Star is something akin to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure which I'm convinced is true at least for the art style. This project looks like it could be a nice samurai story with epic battles and plenty of GAR as seen in the first chapter of the manga I checked out. That said, I'm not sold on it. It'll most likely get the three episode test.
Will I Watch?: Maybe - I have wanted to check out a Hara anime/manga for a while now.
Now that we've looked at all the new series coming out, let's turn our attention to the sequels and continuations.
Monogatari: Second Season
Prequel: Nisemonogatari Studio: SHAFT
Plot: Monogatari Second season will adapt the entirety of the second season of the light novels ( Neko White, Kabuki, Hana, Otori, Oni, Koi). Each volume focuses on a different girl out of the ones we've already met in the previous seasons.
The chronological order of the girls in the light novels and possibly the anime appears to be like this:
- Neko White - Hanekawa Tsubasa
- Kabuki - Mayoi Hachikuji
- Hana - Suruga Kanbaru
- Otori - Nadeko Sengoku
- Oni - Shinobu Oshino
- Koi - Hitagi Senjougahara
Thoughts: if you've been an anime fan for quite some time, then I'm willing to bet you've at least heard of the Monogatari series. In fact, you may be a new fan of anime and have heard of this series. Anyhow. After three separate instalments, spanning 30 episodes altogether, we're now getting a 2-cour adaptation of the second season of the light novels.
No change in staff for this season. Shinbo leads his very competent staff as they rise up to the challenge of adapting 6 volumes of the light novel. Given that this will be a 2-cour production, it's safe to assume each light volume will have at least 4 episodes to cover their respective stories.
I myself am happy to see more from the series, but I remain apprehensive. Whilst I like the series as a whole, it remains to be seen whether I'll be able to get through more episodes focused on some of the other girls. It doesn't help that Senjougahara's arc is the last one, making me a little sadder than I should. Ignoring my nitpicking, it's a guarantee that I'll watch it and very likely to completion.
Will I Watch?: Absolutely - Just worried about the separate arcs for the other girls.
Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun 2
Prequel: Hakkenden Studio: Studio DEEN
Plot: Five years ago, almost every villager of Ootsuka died due to a tragic plague. But mysteriously enough, three survivors: a girl and two boys, emerged. Now living in a church, the three live in isolation, hidden from those who may seek to find them. Shino, one of the survivors, has control over the power of Murasame, the blade of life. But when the imperial church seeks to take the Murasame for themselves, their peaceful life becomes a thing of the past...
Thoughts: The first cour aired in this year's Winter season and ended up being one of the more enjoyable series to come out of that season. What it lacks in originality, it makes up for with the atmosphere it creates and through the very loveable characters. Last time we stopped right before we got into the mystery, so this time I'm guessing the focus of the story will become fixed and the progression streamlined.
After watching the first season, I'm not sure I want to watch any more of Hakkenden. It's decent but that's about it. In 13 episodes I never felt convinced the series needed a longer run. That could change, so I'll just have to see how the second season starts off.
Will I Watch?: Maybe - If it can surpass the first season.
Prequel: Kingdom Studio: Studio Pierrot
Plot: In the Warring States Period of ancient China (475-221 BCE), Shin and Hyou are war-orphans in the kingdom of Qin. They dream of one day proving themselves on the battlefield. One day, however, Hyou is taken to the palace by a minister. Winding up on the losing side of a power-struggle, Hyou manages to return to the village, barely alive. Shin then meets a boy who closely resembles Hyou, Ei Sei. For now he is the king of Qin; later he will become the emperor Shi Huangdi. (Season 1)
Kingdom is back after its 38-episode run with a sequel that will run for 39 episodes.
Thoughts: I'm told that if you can look past the ugly CGI animation, this series is something special. It's an epic war story set in China, something we don't see all that often, and I'm assuming it adapts the many chapters of the ongoing manga faithfully.
I dropped the series after one episode because I just couldn't get into the animation, but I've thought of revisiting it once more. However unlikely, I could end up changing my mind.
Will I Watch?: Very Unlikely - If my second attempt at season one bears any fruit, although that's unlikely.
The World God Only Knows: Godesses Arc (Season 3)
Prequel: KamiNomi II Studio:
Plot: Season three of the series will focus on the Goddesses Arc of the manga. Keima is put into an odd position as he must unravel and confront a mystery surrounding New Hell. Before that he'll have to conquer two more girls and then revisit all of his past conquests.
Thoughts: New KamiNomi is always good news but since we're getting an anime adaptation of the goddesses arc, I'm even more ecstatic. It's because of that arc that I put the series in the #1 spot of my top 10 manga of 2012. Breaking away from the first two seasons, we'll get a more continuous story and not just an episodic style progression.
What does worry me is the length of the series. Previous seasons have only been 1-cour and whilst they had a filler episode or two in them, I'm not 100% sure that'll cut it for this season. The arc in question was relatively long, so condensing it could end up as a disaster. Still. I remain hopeful for this season and cannot wait!
Will I Watch?: Absolutely - Great franchise and great arc being animated.
Highschool DxD New
Prequel: Highschool DxD Studio: TNK
Plot: Issei Hyodo is your average perverted high school student whose one wish in life is to have his own harem, but he's got to be one of the unluckiest guys around. He goes on his first date with a girl only to get brutally attacked and killed when it turns out the girl is really a vicious fallen angel. To top it all off, he's later reincarnated as a devil by his gorgeous senpai who tells him that she is also a devil and now his master! One thing's for sure, his peaceful days are over. In a battle between devils and angels, who will win? (Season 1)
[Source: Funimation via MAL]
Thoughts: This is a series I dropped after half an episode. My watching it was merely my habit of watching almost every first episode for every anime that starts airing, nothing more. If you are a fan of this ecchi fantasy romcom, then I'm sure you'll be pleased to see it return after just a one year absence.
Will I Watch?: Not a chance - Not my thing.
Tamayura: More Aggressive
Prequel: Tamayure: Hitatose Studio: TYO Animations
Plot: The first season of Tamayura follows the lives of four friends. Each day they meet up, have fun and go on adventures in the town they live whilst "Potte" (main character) takes pictures.
Thoughts: Tamayura is an oddball series. It's still an extension of the "cute girls doing cute things" branch of anime, with exception of blatant pandering to the otaku. Very understated and at times a little boring. I've only seen four episodes, so I can't speak for the first season or the OVA's as a whole but it doesn't do anything noteworthy in the episodes and ends up being a nice but very forgettable series.
Were I to find the time to finish season one, I'd consider sitting through season two on a weekly basis. As uneventful as it is, there is a soothing element to the series that you just don't get very often.
Will I Watch?: Maybe - If I finish season one, I'd watch this series weekly.
Senki Zesshou Symphogear G
Prequel: Senki Zesshou Symphogear Studio: Satelight
Plot: Two years ago, a pair of idols, Tsubasa Kazanari and Kanade Amou, collectively known as ZweiWing, fought against an alien race known as Noise using armor known as Symphogear. To protect a girl named Hibiki Tachibana, who got severely wounded by the Noise, Kanade sacrificed herself. Two years later, as Tsubasa has fought the Noise alone, Hibiki ends up gaining the same power as Kanade. (Season 1)
Thoughts: The first season of Symphogear was a little frustrating to figure out. I watched four episodes and got some enjoyment from the series but that had a lot to do with the unintended comedy which arose from the premise and execution. It's quirky, whacky and downright crazy for the most part and I just couldn't get past the episodes I watched.
I have considered going back to the first season - something I've done with a few of the first seasons for upcoming sequels - and I'm not sure I want to. For the time being, I'll be skipping Symphogear altogether.
Will I Watch?: Not a chance - At least not this season or possibly next (for both season 1 and this one).
That's it for the TV series. Before I give an overview of my most anticipated series, let's take a quick look at the OVA's and movies set to be released. As usual, Summer is a good season for OVA's and cinematic releases.
For OVA releases, I'll only cover the series I'm familiar with/new ones.
Summer 2013 Anime - OVA's
Ark IX - A post-apocalyptic setting with a detective story and conspiracy theory. Hood Entertainment adapting a light novel into a single episode OVA. At least worth a glimpse.
Ghost in the Shell: ARISE - One of the most well-known anime in the world is getting four fifty-minute OVA's this summer. Undoubtedly the most high-profile name on the list.
Magical Star Kanon 100% - A KamiNomi spin-off featuring Kanon as a magical girl. Still Manglobe and just one episode.
Corpse Party: Tortured Souls - Asread are sticking to horror for this season's OVA's - Mirai Nikki Redial is the other one. Four episodes to follow the single 11-minute introductory episode released last summer.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Kamisama Hajimemashita and Sukiite Ii na yo. - All fine shojo romances that aired in the Fall 2012 season are getting an OVA a piece from their respective studios.
Shingeki no Kyojin - An OVA for the prologue side chapter, completely separate from the main story. Just an extra episode for the wildly popular series. Rescheduled for December with aim of improving quality.
Fairy Tail x Rave - A crossover of Hiro Mashima's two works, which as originally a special manga chapter.
Little Busters! - Apparently this OVA is only sent to those who bought all nine BD Volumes.
Chuunibyou Slapstick Noel - Episode 13 for the KyoAni delusion romantic comedy.
And then there was one. One category left that is. Just a reminder to readers, these are the theatrical releases and NOT the Blu-ray releases which we'll be getting 6 months later with subs. Here's what will be airing in Japan's cinemas this summer (that I have my eye on).
Summer 2013 Anime - Movies
Kotonoha no Niwa - It's Makoto Shinkai, it's a dramatic love story and it's HanaKana. All three combined make this quite the anticipated movie and makes me curse the Australian anime fans for getting this a month ago for the global premier.
Kick-Heart - Kickstarter funded 12 min "movie" will finally makes its way into the hands of the investors who raised a whopping 200,000 dollars for it. Curiosity and intrigue compel me to watch this 12 minute short.
Code Geass: Akito the Exiled 2 - After a delay, the second instalment of the Akito the Exiled series is coming. The new addition to the franchise started off on a strong note and the second movie looks like it'll bring some familiar faces with it.
Kaze Tachinu - One of two Ghibli films set to air this year - the other comes out in the Fall - this one is the courtesy of the man himself; Hayao Miyazaki. I'm pretty sure I don't need to sell anyone on this one, given that the Ghibli label would do that on its own.
Hal - The newly formed Wit Studio (Shingeki no Kyojin) are putting out a dramatic love story which involves androids. A concept that's been knocking around for quite some time - a movie I saw in my childhood - but a genre that's taken a break in recent years in Western media. Could be an interesting watch.
AnoHana - No new material, just a switch to Menma perspective. AnoHana made huge waves when it aired, and it was a fine series. Good enough to rewatch a story from a different standpoint? Maybe, maybe not.
Summer 2013 Anime - Overview and Breakdown
I reiterate: it's a stacked season. Plenty of studios putting out TV series, plenty of established series getting OVA's as well as one or two new ones and plenty of interesting movies to look out for, Certain trends do exist as with all series and this season has a fair share of moe girls anime and magical girl series to make a specific group of fans very happy. That said, there are plenty of series I'm looking forward to which certainly wasn't the case last year.
High Expectations: Gatchaman Crowds, Gin no Saji, Genshiken Nidaime, The World God Only Knows III, Monogatari: Second Season
Medium-High Expectations: Servant x Service, Brother's Conflict, Uchouten Kazoku, Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi, Rozen Maiden, Free!
Medium-Low Expectations: Blood Lad, Danganronpa, Watamote!, Hakkenden 2, Tamayura, Choujigen Neptune, Stella Chogakuin C3-bu
Low Expectations: Love Lab, Kiniro Mosaic, Makai Ouji, Kimi no Iru Machi, Inu to Hasami, Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou, Prisma Illya, Fantasista Doll
What are all of you excited for? Do you think this is a good season? Feel free to leave a comment.