Summer. Time to go out and enjoy the sun and drool over the beautiful university girls who float by my place of work in summer clothes. Actually, I think I’ll watch anime instead because I’m not lecherous even though I make plenty of jokes and comments that suggest I am.
I finished putting together the Anime UK News Summer 2013 Anime Preview yesterday after what felt like an eternity of writing (it was most of a rainy weekend). It’ll probably go live later today or tomorrow or whenever the editor of the week validates it. Again I used one of those guides that came out a few months ago charting the different shows and then I raided Anime News Network and My Anime List for info. I also had lots of music playing – a great Touhou track is a life-saver when you spend hours writing.
To be quite frank I’m going to feel a little sad to see the end of the Spring Season titles Hataraku Maou-Sama, My Youth Rom-Com, Aku no Hana and Red Data Girl. Each of these titles provided me with a lot to write about and, most importantly, great entertainment. If they were to get UK DVD releases I would definitely purchase them! Attack on Titan is the one show continuing and I am tempted to start Gargantia on the Verduous Planet because it looks gorgeous and has some sort of epic twist at episode 9.
What of the summer season? We see a lot of sequels to past shows, reboots of treasured franchises and a huge influx of shounen ai titles with a lot of bishounen running around and acting all kawaii as hell and causing fujoshi to create slash fiction on tumblr. The genre where anime have huge unwieldly titles about being unpopular and have sad hyper-self protagonists continues and there are more titles about high school clubs which don’t do anything in particular and the cute girls who are members. In my opinion there is nothing too spectacular but here’s what I fished out of all the writing I did.
If you want an entire season overview then head on over to Anime UK News! This post is all about me and my strange tastes…
Director: Seiji Kishi, Series Composition: Makoto Uezu, Character Designer: Kazuaki Morita
Voice Actors: Chiwa Saito (Aoi), Yoko Hikasa (Kyoko), Megumi Ogata (Makoto), Takahiro Sakurai (Reon), Akira Ishida (Byakuya)
A group of intelligent high school students, each with a different talent, are locked inside a school by a mysterious bear and told that the only way out is to kill another student without getting caught. After a murder, the remaining students must hold a trial and figure out the guilty party. If the students fail they die and the murderer walks to freedom!
As a fan of visual novels like Phoenix Wright and Virtue’s Last Reward I love the concept:
A bunch of kids held hostage by a psycho bear and anybody could die!
Yep. The concept is a win. A cross between Corpse Party and Battle Royale. This is based on the murder mystery visual novel developed by Spike who made the underrated Life Signs: Surgical Affairs (which I played to completion last December). The promo art is cool what with the over-stylised anime stereotypes and the music is decent. There is one problem with this show and that is the director, Seiji Kishi.
The quality of his shows can vary. Humanity Has Declined was amusing and I liked Persona 4: The Animation but I really disliked Devil Survivor 2: The Animation which was a turgid adaptation. I’m beginning to think that the shows are only as good as the material he’s working with. The highlights for Humanity Has Declined was definitely the writing while the visual elements were delightful enough and I can see how adapting something as huge as the apocalyptic Devil Survivor can force someone to focus purely on the plot at the expense of characterisation. Perhaps with such a simple concept he can prove to be a better than I think he is.
Director: Yukio Takahashi. Series Composition: Toshizo Nemoto, Character Designer: Yōko Satō
Voice Actors: Takahiro Sakurai (Kazuhito), Marina Inoue (Kirihime), Ai Kakuma (Hami), Chiwa Saito (Sara), Maaya Uchida (Sakura)
This mystery comedy begins with Harumi Kazuhito, a high school boy who is obsessed with reading books. When he dies during a robbery he is resurrected as a dachshund dog and finds reading impossible. Things are made worse by the fact that he belongs to Kirihime Natsuno, a sadistic novelist who uses scissors to abuse Harumi.
I’m not a fan of animal abuse by any means but I love the concept. Sexy girl tortures guy stuck in an ironic fate. Actually, I’m reminded of Menchi from Excel Saga and I found her predicaments quite funny. Anyway this is based on Shunsuke Sarai’s series of novels and it’s brought to the screen by Gonzo who are trying to rebuild themselves after recently downsizing. Yukio Takahashi gets his first major break as a series director. Prior to this he directed episodes of Red Garden, Shangri-La and Moribito. I’m getting a good feeling from the trailer. Nice calm set-up before sexy domineering lady shows up and hilarious physical comedy ensues and anime stereotypes show up. Again, I’m not advocating animal abuse!
Here’s my First Impression.
Director: Kenji Nakamura , Series Composition/Scripts: Toshiya Ono, Animation Character Designer: Yuichi Takahashi
Voice Actors: Daisuke Namikawa (Jo Hibiki), Maaya Uchida (Hajime Ichinose), Ryota Ohsaka (Sugune Tachibana) Aya Hirano (Paiman), Ayumu Murase (Rui Ninomiya)
Studio: Tatsunoko Productions
It is the year 2015 and the place is Tachikawa City, the “second metropolis” of the Tokyo area which has a population of 180,000 people. Living amongst the populace are “Gatchaman” – warriors with special suits powered by “NOTE”, the manifestation of special powers in living beings. They are commanded by a councin to protect Earth from alien criminals. The Gatchaman will face a mysterious entity known as “MESS”
This is definitely my action title but with the staff and legacy behind it I’m hoping it will be something different.
Legacy: As a kid I watched Gatchaman… or Battle of the Planets as it was called. I remember it so well I wrote about one of its characters a few year ago. This is its reboot and while I don’t like super sentai shows I am pretty excited about the staff.
Staff: The big name is director Kenji Nakamura. He’s worked on great weird anime titles like tsuritama and Mononoke. They surge with strange stories and are adorned with gloriously inventive visuals. Even with the super sentai concept I can’t see this being a straight adaptation. And even if it is, it’ll still be insane… it just has to be. Character designs come from Yuichi Takahashi and he has worked on stiff I love like Paranoia Agent, Noein and Hataraku Maou-Sama… admittedly in Key Animation but still… look at the awesome character designs!!!
Why this is getting a reboot, I don’t know. All I do know is I hope this is good.
Here’s my First Impression.
Director: Shin Oonuma, Series Composition: Takao Yoshioka, Character Designer: Hideki Furukawa
Voice Actors: Izumi Kitta (Tomoko Kuroki), Kana Hanazawa (Yu Naruse), Yuichi Nakamura (Tomoki Kuroki)
Studio: Silver Link
Tomoko Kuroki is a lonely girl who is considered deranged and so she spends most of her time playing otome (romance) games and watching television. She dreams of becoming popular and aims to achieve her goal by any means necessary. As can be imagined, it never quite goes the way she plans it.
This is an anime that follows the current trend of having a huge title and making the protags selfconscious losers/loners. Having an outcast protag in a school setting is a surefire way of getting the anime audience because, lets face it, people who watched anime as kids probably weren’t popular, never dated the prom queen and captained the sports team to victory.
We survived high school! Let’s poke fun at bad memories!
What makes this one noteworthy is that the central character, Tomoko Kuroki, seems to be a fujoshi. This is a character type I have only noticed recently with Haganai. Her love of Otomege games is going to be a pretty interesting set up and I have to admit that I like the fujoshi characters in recent anime. I’m hoping this is the summer season’s My Youth Rom-Com.
Director: Yuuji Kumazawa, Series Composition: Tomoko Konparu, Character Designer: Shinichi Miyamae
Voice Actors: Aki Toyosaki (Ai), Daisuke Namikawa (Hampnie Hambart), Akeno Watanabe (Anna), Eiji Maruyama (Yuto) Eri Kitamura (Dee Enjy Stratmis) Rina Satou (Hana)
When God abandons the world (on a Sunday as it happens), humans can no longer be born, die or have kids. In this world a young girl named Ai is a “Gravekeeper” in a village and it is her task to deal out death to those that should but cannot die. When she meets a young man known as Hampnie Habart a.k.a the Man-eating Toy, he kills everyone in the village and burns it down and tells Ai a disturbing secret…
I reported about Kimihito Irie’s fantasy series getting adapted on Anime UK News some time last year… I really liked the trailer for the book. I think Sunday without a God, probably has one of the more interesting concepts this season and it is being brought to the screen by Yuuji Kumazawa (Welcome to the NHK) with Madhouse (Black Lagoon) animating. The trailer looks good but the really interesting name in the staff list is Tomoko Koparu who has worked on adapting Uta Koi and Master Keaton for the screen.