As usually happens when it comes time to do one of our season previews, we’re trying something a little different. Rather than just list the series we’re thinking of watching, we’ll also offer a little blurb about why, aside from enticing promo art. We’ve identified eleven upcoming Summer series that we’re either definitely, probably, or maybe going to watch, plus two Spring carryovers.
We’re bringing this out a couple weeks earlier than usual, but that shouldn’t effect our choices, as we’ve learned pretty much all we want to learn before simply watching them for the first time. In case you’re new here, we here at RABUJOI prefer to know as little as possible about what we’re going to watch, and depend solely on the promo art, studio, and people involved to determine what to watch. Click on a title for more details, courtesy of MAL.
So, here’s what’s on tap come July or thereabouts:
Why? Because we’re watching the first half, and until it starts to totally suck, we’re watching the second half too. Also, despite not being quite as good-looking as Valvrave, unlike Valvrave we can name off the top of our heads three characters we actually like (Asagi, Kei, and Lt. Amane).
Why? After a middling start, the drama and peril has been bumped up, as Mikoto decides to take on the military scientific complex that is letting Accelerator murder thousands of her clones. We’re fans of the franchise and in it for the long haul.
Shaft (Comedy, Ecchi, Romance, Supernatural) – Jul
Why? The various “-Monogatari” anime aren’t for everyone, but count us among those who they are for. We love the weird direction, ultra-stylish, stylized locales, and straight-laced ecchi elements. We even like the long-winded conversations, because they make the bursts of action that do occur in the meatier episodes that much more impactful.
Aniplex, A-1, Half H.P (Comedy, Slice of Life) – Jul
Why? Several reasons. We were great fans of both seasons of Working!!, and this is from the same original creator, Takatsu Karino. It’s also about adults doing their jobs, something we can relate to more than high school at this point, since we’re in the workplace. Also, it’s a solid-looking voice cast, including Aki-chan, Ai-chan, and Mai-chan.
(InuHasa/Dog & Scissors)
Gonzo (Comedy, Supernatural) – Jul
Why? We’re huge Gonzo fans, and it’s good to see them still in the game having survived some serious financial troubles. That being said, Last Exile cashed in on a known quantity, and while Shangri-la was gorgeous, the story was a bit lacking. We’d prefer if Range Murata was handling the character design here, but this is a freshman effort for both designer and director, so we’ll see how they do. Also, the premise sounds nuts…in a good way!
(Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³)
Gainax (School, Military) – Jul
Why? This looks like another girls-with-weapons series, something Gainax knows a little bit about. After the bright-eyed forthright idealism of Girls und Panzer (not that there was anything wrong with that), we’re hoping the veteran studio brings its trademark zaniness to a very well-worn genre. We’ll be looking for something new; risks, like they took with P&S. Where the heck is the rest of that show, by the way?
7. Blood Lad
Brains Base (Comedy, Demons, Vampire, Supernatural, Seinen) – Jul
Why? “Demon With A Heart of Gold” has become a rapidly propagating trend in the last couple seasons, and we’re not opposed to continuing to watch that trend unfold, as long as it’s quality. Brains Base does quality work and is good with both ensemble casts and creating vivid, lived-in settings. Fujisaki Kenji is handling character design, which doesn’t look quite as retro as his work on Ozma.
Lerche (Action, Mystery, Horror, Psychological) – Jul
Why? Kishi Seiji directs, and we enjoyed his work in Angel Beats! and Kamisama Dolls thoroughly. Scriptwriter Uezu Makoto also worked on Dolls as well as six of the Katanagatari episodes. One thing we liked about Persona 4 was Morita Kazuaki’s crisp, clean character design; he’s also on the team. While we’re not fans of that two-faced teddy bear, everything else about this series sounds good; it will all come down to execution.
Tatsunoko (Adventure, Sci-Fi) – Jul
Why? The promotional art for this series has been very minimalist and vague, which we kinda like. We don’t want to dig too deep into what this is, but it looks to be one of the few sci-fi series of the summer that piques our interest. Nakamura Kenji directs (he also did [C]) while Takahashi Yuuichi (Macross Frontier) handles character design. That’s about all we know.
(The Sunday Without God)
Madhouse (Mystery, Fantasy) – Jul
Why? It sounds pretty dark, but dark can be good. Amnesia was ultimately underwhelming, so we’re looking for a good new mystery. This is Irie Kimihito’s first work, and it won a Grand Prize so we’re hoping fresh blood breeds fresh ideas.
11. Love Lab
Aniplex, Dogakobo (Comedy, Romance, School) – Jul
This one actually looks like it might be a slog, what with the “club full of anime cliches” premise. But it has one thing going in its favor from where we’re standing: both the director and scriptwriter for Kotoura-san are involved. We really enjoyed that series, so we know these guys are capable of good works.
TYO (Comedy, Slice of Life) – Jul
Why? Tamayura ~hitotose~ was an above-average slice-of-life/drama about growing up and finding a passion in life. Unless there’s a significant drop in quality, the only thing holding us back from watching this second, “more aggressive” season is that there may be too much new stuff on our plate. We hope that’s not the case and it’s as good or even better than its predecessor.
13. Uchoten Kazoku
P.A. Works (Comedy, Fantasy) – 16 Jun
Why? After the more serious RDG, Tari Tari, and Another, P.A. Works looks to be letting its hair down a bit with what looks like more of a comedic series involving tanukis. The original creator also did Tatami Galaxy, one of our favorite series in recent years, though how much of its excellence was due to his participation, we don’t know. Still, the strength of the studio is enough to warrant giving this a look. Also, tanukis are awesome.