It feels like this Summer’s gone too fast, but when is that not the case? Some of you are heading back to school; some have the odd feeling that they should be, because it’s that time of the year and it’s been ingrained in us. Regardless, In a month’s time we have a whole new brace of shows to get into. Here are our initial picks. Note that just because a show’s listed here means we’ll watch more than one episode, and just because a show’s not listed here doesn’t mean we won’t pick it up if it’s good.
1. Sword Art Online II – Second cour. Summer carryover.
2. Donten ni Warau (Cloudy Laugh) – Doga Kobo (Action, Historical, Shoujo) Cool promo art. A bit confused by the “shoujo” genre, as the three main characters are brothers. Abit reticent about the “historical” part after Nobunaga the Fool, but I like the sound of “inescapable lake prison.”
3. Gundam: G no Reconguista (Reconguista in G)– Sunrise (Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi, Space) Produced in part to celebrate Gundam’s 35th Anniversary, it’s got suitably retro promo art, the same director as the very first Gundam, and the Eureka Seven character designer. All good. Not so good? The name of the protagonist: “Bellri Zenam.” Gesundheit.
4. Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis (Rage of Bahamut) – MAPPA (Action, Fantasy) Very little known; based on a card game. Director of Tiger & Bunny; Gantz character designer. Dude with an afro who could be Dandy’s cousin.
5. Terra Formars – Warner Bros./LIDENFILMS (Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Space) Director of Steins;Gate and Texhnolyze. “Formars” may be spelled wrong, but straight-up “sci-fi horror” is something we haven’t seen in anime since…well, can’t even remember (not counting Sidonia).
I have no carryovers, but I plan on limiting my final picks to four, so I have some work to do. New shows will get one episode, two tops, to convince me to watch them.
1. Ai Tenchi Muyo! (No Need for Tenchi Love!) – AIC (Comedy, Sci-Fi, Shounen) 20th Anniversary of a show we’ve never watched, but this is a reboot and thus a good entry point (like Sailor Moon). That said, this looks like an Earth Boy with Alien Harem setup, so I probably won’t go too far with this.
2. Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai (A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd) – Hoods Entertainment (Romance, School) Same series composition guy as Last Exile GNF and Akuma no Riddle. Near-upskirt and chibi in the promo art? Not encouraging. Dumb title suggests girls are sheep to be shepherded. They are not. Also a long shot.
3. Denki-gai no Honya-san (Electric Town Bookstore) – Pony Canyon/Shin-Ei Animation (Comedy, Seinen) Little known; promo art and store setting reminds me of both Kill me Baby! and Working!!. Keeps things simple with single-name characters.
4. Girlfriend (Kari) (Girl Friend BETA) – Silver Link (Romance, School) – Looks like a non-harem sequential romance in the vein of Amagami SS. Probably nothing special.
5. Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji (Wolf Girl & Black Prince) – TYO Animations (Comedy, School, Shoujo) – Director of Aoi Hana, Bakuman, and Love Stage!!. Now here’s an anime to show your Feminist Studies professor: vain girl lies about having a boyfriend, then the guy treats her like his dog! Inspiring stuff. I couldn’t stomach Dog & Scissors, where the guy was the dog (albeit a literal one). Watching this to see if it’s as horrific as it sounds.
6. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (April is Your Lie) – A-1 (Drama, Music, Romance, School, Shounen) Accel World’s character designer. Shades of Shinkai’s The Place Promised in Our Early Days or even Whisper of the Heart. Guy is a former piano prodigy with a psychosomatic tone-deafness, who meets a beautiful violinist who I assumed changes his world. Certainly has more promise than some of the crap above!
7. SHIROBAKO (Whitebox) – P.A. Works (-) Director of Another, Blood-C, and Girls und Panzer. Little known, but judging from the studio, should be good-looking show combining drama and slice-of-life. Centers on five girls “chasing their dreams” in the anime industry.
8. Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete (A la Recherche du Futur Perdu/In Search of Lost Future) – Feel./Starchild Records (Romance, School) Director of Hataraku Maou-sama! and Mirai Nikki; writer of Cowboy Bebop, Kino no Tabi, Natsuiro Kiseki, and Sidonia. This one looks promising due to its staff, despite its “school building closing”/ “last festival” premise.
1. Akame ga Kill! – Second cour. Summer carryover.
2. Sailor Moon Crystal – Next handful of episodes. Summer carryover.
3. Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle – Bones/Flying DOG (Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Shounen) Second Season. Lots of Gaz parts left to collect. Vivi now apparently a Chaika.
4. Garo: Honoo no Kokuin (Mark of the Flame) – MAPPA, Tohokushinsha Film Corporation (Action, Demons) Little known, but looks like a rather serious quasi-historical epic, complete with knights, priests, deposed monarchs and their progeny seeking redemption. We’ll take a look but would rather avoid a long (>13 episode) commitment.
5. Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu (Parasitic Beasts) – Madhouse (Action, Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi, Psychological, Seinen) FLCL storyboarder (!). Stars two seiyu titans in Hanazawa and Hirano. A dark, creepy Madhouse joint with FLCL roots? We’ll bite.
6. Sanzoku no Musume Ronja (Ronia the Robber’s Daughter) – Studio Ghibli, NHK, NHK Enterprises, Dwango, Polygon Pictures (Adventure, Fantasy) First TV anime from Studio Ghibli, directed by Miyazaki Gorou, based upon a story by Astrid Lindgren. Not missing this one.
1. Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo (Rondo of Angels and Dragons) – Sunrise (Action, Sci-Fi)
2. Madan no Ou to Vanadis (The King of the Magic Bullet and Vanadis) – Satelight/Media Factory (Adventure, Ecchi, Fantasy, Romance, Harem) Director of Mouretsu Pirates and Rinne no Lagrange.
3. Nanatsu no Taizai (The Seven Deadly Sins) – A-1 (Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Shounen, Supernatural) Director of Ao no Exorcist, Darker than Black, and Zvezda.
4. Sora no Method – Bandai Visual/Lantis/Studio 3Hz (-)
5. World Trigger – Toei Animation (Action, School, Sci-Fi, Shounen, Space, Supernatural) Screenwriter of Gundam Seed/Destiny, So Ra No Wo To, and Vividred Operation