Summer 2015 Anime Preview – The Heat is On

3 Jul , 2015,
Panther
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Natsu da! Ikou! - Mauve

“It’s summer! Let’s go!” by Mauve. You can find the original piece here.

Summer is upon us, and the heat could not be any less of an indicator for many, I should presume. At the very least, the heat where I am is torturing many. Perhaps because of the heat associated with summer, and the fact that summer vacation is one of the longer school holidays in Japan, the summer anime season is usually the least anticipated season. Nevertheless, gems have appeared in previous summer anime seasons, and perhaps, this one might have one too for some, most, or even all of you.

In an effort to make it cleaner and more organized so that it does not appear as messy as I have done in the past, I will now split the season preview into three sections. The first section will talk about any sequels that I am looking forward to. As these shows almost always requires you to have watched the first season (or sometimes, previous seasons), readers looking for fresh anime series can simply skip this section. The second contains the new shows that I believe will have an impact on the season, or am simply watching for one reason or another. The third section will list, without pictures, series that I believe are worth mentioning in some form or other. All shows are listed in chronological order within their section, meaning if a series is mentioned first, it will be airing first in that section.

As always, this post is based on my own opinions and what I believe to be anime series that I would like to watch or keep track of in a season. As I pass with the seasons, anime series seem to repeat or regurgitate certain genres in the same ways, and I am definitely more willing to drop a series that I believe to be simply not worth my time now. Thus, you must keep this in mind as we go through the series that I bring to your attention, so that you understand this is simply another opinion for you to read on the Internet about an upcoming anime season, and that it is ultimately up to you to make your own decisions based on what I say, as well as what others say, and most importantly, what you believe you would like to watch.

I thank Random Curiosity and Hashihime for their more complete preview posts once again. You may head on over to both blogs to find out more about other series I have missed, or for a more complete look at the season. As of this post’s writing, some of the series have already aired.

 

*****Sequels*****

Durarara!! x2 Ten

Durarara!! x2 Ten

The continuation of the Durarara!! series. This is the second cour of a three-part follow-up to the original series, with Durarara!! x2 Shou having aired earlier in the year. There is little to say about this series as I believe its fame and/or popularity speaks for itself already. The only really important thing you have to know is that Blood Blockade Battlefront‘s final episode was originally scheduled to air on the same day as Ten’s premiere, leading to the former’s final episode now being canceled and planned for a later date.

Non Non Biyori Repeat

 

Non Non Biyori Repeat

The young girls of Non Non Biyori are back for more poor rural slice-of-life shenanigans. I kind of look forward to this series because I found myself actually enjoying the first one more than I thought I would. The other draw would be totally not Ichijou Hotaru that the show actually brought back some nostalgic vibes when they brought out some old toys in the show that were around when I was a kid. If you enjoy slower slice-of-life anime series, and did like Non Non Biyori’s first season, I am sure you will fit it in well with the real summer just fine.

 

*****New Shows*****

Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Sen'eku

Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Sen’eku (Red Dragon War)

The guardian deity of a small island caught between two giant powers, a red dragon, is upset that the island got caught in the conflict and risen up against all. It does sound like the start of either a really well written fantasy series, or one doomed to always rolling one on a d20. Nevertheless, there are some really big names here, with Urobuchi Gen and other names having designed the characters that will be in the series. With its fantasy setting, and Urobutcher’s name in there, this will at least be worth a look for about three episodes to see if it will be a keeper.

In terms of names, I only remember Inoue Marina as the main female protagonist, but ANN has also listed Sawashiro Miyuki (Celty of Durarara!!, among many other famous roles), and Yuuki Aoi. What is really staggering though is the male cast – Nakata Jouji, Fujiwara Keiji, Ookawa Toru, Seki Tomokazu and Ishizuka Unshou are all in this as supporting characters. That certainly is good reason to look forward to the characters, but whether or not the series itself has good plot development and potential is something that remains to be seen.

Ushio to Tora

Ushio to Tora

What Ushio & Tora have going for it, more than anything, is the fact that it is based off a 90’s manga of the same name. The art style is obviously of a very different type than what most people would be used to nowadays, but, while I definitely did not start watching anime in the time of Ushitora’s era, I can still relate somewhat to the art style. The premise itself is not too bad either – Ushio accidentally releases Tora, but Tora’s power draws a lot of demons and the latter is forced to help the former. Both hate each other, but have to rely on each other in order to survive.

This season’s Ushitora is the first part of a 2-cour series. Strangely enough, the first cour is 26 episodes, but the second is only 13. Being from the 90’s, I already expect that the material will probably be pretty good already, without even looking at the cast. And ANN’s list of the cast has too many names for me to list here. I will say though, having Koyama Rikiya voice Tora is in itself quite the spectacular grab already. I highly recommend at least giving this show a try, even if you might find the art style somewhat outdated, if you are into shounen and action-based supernatural series.

GATE: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakeri (GATE: The Self-Defense Force Fights Like This in Another Land)

Long titles have become quite the norm when it comes to light novel adaptations. GATE follows the adventures of a self-professed otaku called Itami Youji that enters into a fantasy world…wait, have we not heard this somewhere before? It may seem rather different at first though, because GATE starts out with a portal out of which pour creatures from fantasy series. They are beaten back by the Self-Defense Force (SDF), who then have to send Youji through in order to placate or establish diplomatic ties with the countries on the other side through learning about them. Of course, things are never that easy and colonial powers start to eye the new territory outside of Earth’s borders.

Despite the similarity to Outbreak Company, this LN actually came out before OBC did. I am of course looking forward to the harem encounters Youji will be facing in the other world, and how modern weaponry will be brought into the equation. I thoroughly enjoyed OBC, which was not on the mainstream radar much, so I am definitely looking forward to this one. The main cast is formed of veteran Suwabe Junichi, and the three female characters pictured above by young rising female stars – Touyama Nao, Taneda Risa, and Kanemoto Hisako.

Rokka no Yuusha

Rokka no Yuusha (Heroes/Braves of the Six Flowers)

Six heroes are prophesized to save the world from a catastrophe, but when it does seem to be the end of the world and they meet up, there are seven of them! One of them is obviously an imposter, but which is it? With an interesting premise that will likely include detective work as well as combat action in the fantasy form, the setting has already more than caught my eye. It is another LN adaptation however, so we will have to see.

There is some good voice talent with respect to the cast, especially in the seven – Satou Rina, Yuuki Aoi, Hikasa Youko, Suzumura Kenichi, and Uchiyama Kouki. I feel Uchiyama in particular has been given roles that are not deserving of his voice (think Soul Eater of Soul Eater as a prime example of how his voice can be), but I digress. At any rate, I am rather optimistic about this series, but also understand that it might fail if its adaptation process falls behind.

Overlord

Overlord

Continuing in the recent tradition of MMORPG settings turned into anime, Overlord has a small twist compared to the recent ones we have been used to. A game quietly shuts down in the distant future, but one guy decides not to log out and gets turned into a skeletal wizard, becoming the most powerful evil magic user in the land. As NPCs also gradually begin to gain emotions and individuality, this human-turned-overlord decides to strike out and become a true overlord by conquering the game!

As a MMORPG player and an avid gamer in general, this has obviously piqued my interest. It seems like it might suffer from some generic stereotypes at first glance, but I do not really know more about it to know, until I actually watch the show. It sounds like a keeper for now, as the main character is entirely a villain, though we also know how that can be turned on its head at times. Hino Satoshi acts as the evil overlord, and he is followed by a respectable cast: very talented female voice actresses Katou Emiri, Uesaka Sumire, Uchiyama Yumi and Hara Yumi make up the bulk of the female cast, while veterans Koyasu Takehito and Miyake Kenta chip in their powerful abilities. Of exceptional personal note is that Numakura Manami will be in this, so that is a personal one-up for this anime already. All in all, it is set up to be a series that will likely be finished for me, and perhaps, for a lot of you gamers out there too.

Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou (Daily Life with Monster Girls)

Monmusu is what you would imagine it would be – a world invaded by monster girls of various types trying to find out how to live in the human world now that we have crossed borders. I can only expect fanservice, hilarity, and a harem made up of, well, monster girls. Despite the obvious stereotypes associated with such shows, I cannot help but be drawn to the curious premise of “what if”, but in the form of monster girls. This will be a niche anime for sure, so if you are looking for something that has little to no fanservice, or at least a well-developed plot, this will likely not be for you.

The cast are mostly new and the only names I recognize are Amamiya Sora (who has been rising really fast, landing so many lead roles in the past four seasons of anime if I remember right), powerfully talented Kobayashi Yuu, the lesser known Oonishi Saori, and Kubo Yurika (Love Live!’s Koizumi Hanayo). Seeing as it might be a series to let newer seiyuu get into the business and have a chance at actually making it big, I am not surprised at the newer cast for such a series. One can only hope it does not completely degenerate into a generic harem type, however.

*****Other Shows*****

Sequels

Aquarion Logos
The third in the franchise in terms of animation series, I never did follow it, so I cannot say much. According to RandomC’s write-up, this might be going for a different look than its predecessors, which I believe were well received, so fans would definitely want to pick this up.

Hetalia: The World Twinkle
Yet more Hetalia, anthropomorphic representations of countries, has arrived for your guilty viewing pleasure.

Miss Monochrome the Animation Season 2
Horie Yui’s (affectionately called Hocchan) original character, voiced by herself, returns for a second season. I did try watching the first, but it just did not catch on for me.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX
Mecha with singing girls. There seems to have been a recent one along those lines also starring Mizuki Nana

WORKING!!!
As if work was not already dreary enough for lots of folks, this series had to punctuate it with not one, not two, but three exclamation points this time round. Cold jokes aside, I never watched the first series but the humor is supposedly fantastic in this one. Take that with a pinch of salt from me though.

Gatchaman Crowds Insight
I never picked up the first season, but I did see, by chance, part of an episode during the airing of its first season. I would not go so far as to say I did not like what I saw, but it certainly did not grab me either. For fans though, or people who actually liked the first season, I suppose this return must be huge.

Dragon Ball Super
Kamehameha.

To-LOVE-Ru – Trouble Darkness 2nd
I remember reading somewhere that someone was told during an actual purchase of To-LOVE-Ru material that To-LOVE-Ru was pronounced the same as “trouble”, hence the title. Despite its ecchi nature, I never got into the series. Little wonder that I do not even know what iteration or sequel number this is at.

Junjou Romantica 3
Scream, fangirls. I recall this being pretty much for a female audience, but I might be wrong. Well, it is back for another season at any rate.

THE IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls 2
Not a fan of the IDOLM@STER series, and not willing to be one either. Cinderella Girls was supposedly quite the hit with IDOLM@STER fans though, from the little I know, so this must be a nice return for them.

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya Zwei Herz!
Third summer season in a row? Really? The FSN series is on a row, if you get what I mean.

New

Okusama ga Seitou Kaichou! (My Wife is the Student Council President!)
Yes, another ecchi series filled with love, joy, and wonder, where the wife is also a Student Council President. At least their ages are not dissimilar.

GANGSTA.
While this show certainly shows the dark excesses of humanity, based on an older art style too, I have no idea why I just feel that it might not be something I want to watch. Still, it is a pretty novel idea, and anyone who is even remotely interested should at least take a look.

Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace
Mystery horror series. Not my style for sure. Fans of the genre may want to give it a try.

Danchigai
1 brother, 4 sisters. This can only end well. 5-minute shorts.

Joukamachi no Dandelion
A comedy series that might end up being so bad it becomes watchable. Cameras monitor the daily lives of 9 siblings that each hold superpowers, with one of them eventually becoming the next king.

Classroom Crisis
I guess this might actually be one of the most anticipated shows of the season. There has already been quite some hype surrounding this series, and its comparison to the ARIA series in terms of its concept is not lost on me, having watched the ARIA series and thoroughly liking it (yes I am looking forward to the upcoming ARIA the Avvenire). For some reason that I cannot put my finger on though, I just feel that I do not want to even start on Classroom Crisis. For those that enjoy a futuristic slice-of-life series though, you should be sure to at least give the first episode a try.

Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai
“what is this i don’t even”

Charlotte
A series from Key, done by P.A. Works. Just those two alone ensure I am not watching this; they are just not my kind of thing. If you liked previous works from Key like Angel Beats! though, give this one a shot.

God Eater
The game-to-anime adaptation of the pretty successful game series of the same name. I pretty much had it with game-to-anime adaptations – their track record is astoundingly bad most of the time. I did not even play God Eater as well, so I am staying off this one. Fans of the game might want to stay off too, but if you really liked it, you could give this one a chan-…nah.

Akagami no Shirayukihime (Red-haired Snow White)
Fairy-tale fantasy romance…by BONES. I have no idea where to even start. However, because of the premise and the fact that it is animated by BONES, if you like the genre this might actually end up being quite good.

Jitsu wa Watashi wa (Actually, I am…)
A crazy yet hilarious premise that promises to deliver a romantic comedy that is sure to be a hit with many this season. It seems to me though it might be a little too shallow for me, so I am not going to watch this, but people with extra time or the need for some romantic laughter on their hands could give this a shot.

Sore ga Seiyuu! (That’s a Voice Actress!)
A series that follows three actual rookie voice actresses voicing the characters themselves, and written by an actual veteran seiyuu, Asano Masumi. By right, I should be interested in this series that will air in 3-minute shorts…but I am not. I might pick it up later, but for now, it is off my watchlist. Frankly, anyone who is not even remotely interested in the seiyuu industry will probably not want to watch this as well.

Bikini Warriors
Boobs and ecchi. I doubt there is more to say beyond that for this series. In fact this might be the first series that has openly admitted there is damn near nothing beyond the size of the chest area.

Kuusen Madoushi Kouhosei no Kyoukan
Harem, check. Magic, check. Fantasy, check. School life, check. Harem, check. Wait…

Gakkou Gurashi!
Four girls lucked out by being on the roof during a zombie outbreak, and must now survive the apocalyptic setting they find themselves in, using the school as their base of operations. It seems the manga is really popular and/or good, but zombies? I am not too fond of the over-used zombie background, so even with the likelihood that it might actually be good, I am not going to watch this. If you are even remotely interested though, the comments would suggest that you pick this up for at least three episodes.

Prison School
5 guys at an all-girls school sounds like heaven for the guys. But no, that is not how it is in Prison School. This sounds like a series for dominatrixes! It is definitely not the kind of setting I am into, but it could be refreshing for some of you.

Makura no Danshi (Pillow Boy)
Japan. Japan. Why? This series is in the first person, showcasing a different boy each week whom you would settle down with. This is definitely going to be a hit with the girls; I just cannot understand why Japan had to come up with such an idea for an animation, is all.

*****

And that brings us to the end of this season preview! It got a lot longer than I expeced, but I also added in shows I would not normally talk about in the last section. I hope you will find something good for you this season. A happy summer time to you!