Summer 2012 – Season Preview

With the Spring anime season finally complete and those final farewells just leaving our mouths, it’s time again to shift our sights onward to the next anime season, Summer 2012.  While ridiculed, belittled, and chastised already due to its seemingly subpar lineup, the complexion and selection for this season shows its due to yield some certain surprises and a number of delights.  However, which of these debuting anime am I looking forward to the most and which ones have I already decided to forgo?  Venture in to see a rather comprehensive preview of the 2012 Summer anime season.

As with any season preview, I tend to start off with the sequels since they are among the most straightforward and predictable shows to preview.  Not only do we already know what these shows are about based on their originals, but we also know who will be watching them based on who has finished each predecessor.  Among the shows this Summer are some continues to the first seasons, in combination with some of the more traditional sequels as well as a series prequel.  This list of anime includes Dog Days’, Hakuouki Reimeiroku, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon 2 (Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere 2), Moyashimon Returns, Rinne no Lagrange 2, and Yuru Yuri♪♪.  The only two I am nowhere near ready to start are Hakuouki Reimeiroku and Horizon, so those anime are unfortunately going to be omitted from this review.  I assume if you’ve already planning on watching those anime, you’re already caught up to where these anime will start and have a general idea of what to expect from each show.  As for the rest, here are my thoughts presented in alphabetical order:

Dog Days’

Opinion: Dog Days was a rather cute, lighthearted, and delightful adventure/fantasy anime that embodied the very ideals of fun and friendship.  While the plot of the first series lacked any sense of originality or innovation, the anime did deliver well in terms of entertainment with its optimistic and hospitable cast of animal-earred characters and the playful world they live in.  While far from my favorite, I couldn’t help but enjoy the first series due to how positive and amusing it was, and it will sure to be an anime worth catching again now that it returns.  Don’t expect anything groundbreaking or even surprising from this anime, but do expect to relax and enjoy some nice and happy fun.

Plans for this show: Will watch

Moyashimon Returns

Opinion: Less than a week ago, and thanks to the advice of some friends and various websites, I marathoned the original in preparation for this sequel.  At first, I was expecting a solid series that touched on a few aspects of life that I enjoy, namely college, microbiology, and girls in lab coats, which Moyashimon certainly delivered.  What I did not expect was how much I enjoyed the first anime and how excited I am for the sequel to begin in this first week of the Summer season.  I’m thrilled to be able to receive a second season of this anime so soon after finishing the first, and I can’t wait to see how everyone else responds to it since plenty of other fans are excited for this, too.  This has a very real chance of ending up being my favorite of the season if it remains similar to the first, if not better.

Plans for this show: Will watch

Rinne no Lagrange 2

Opinion: Easily the biggest surprise of the 2012 Winter season for me, Rinne no Lagrange returns for the second half of its original series this Summer.  The anime plans to resume where the first half left off, meaning we should expect more of the same from the charming cast of characters and the rather enigmatic plot.  That also means the dazzling artwork and pristine soundtrack will return, too, both crucial factors to my enjoyment of this anime.  It seems the plot will carry more weight this season, perhaps meaning a more serious tone throughout, but that shouldn’t deter the wonderful comedy that put a lighthearted face on the anime.  Also expected are more battles between the extraordinary mecha, a thought certain to stimulate fans of such warfare or use of giant robots.  Whatever it in store for us for this remaining half of the series, I’ll be certain to watch all of it.

Plans for this show: Will watch

Yuru Yuri♪♪

Opinion: Another anime I planned to marathon before the start of the season, Yuru Yuri appeared to be an anime I misjudged back in Spring 2011.  Assuming it to be more slice-of-life than comedy, I found myself enjoying various comedic clips and fan banter of the anime when looking into the show online.  The anime eventually moved itself way into my backlog as a comedy to watch, but I never found the time or a valid enough reason to watch it until now.  While I still haven’t watched the series yet, I’m feeling quite certain that I will be following this anime this summer though I might not talk about it much being a comedy.  Either way, I need a comedy every season to keep me entertained and not enraged, so hopefully this anime will fulfill that essential role.

Plans for this show: Likely watch

With that finished, all that remains are the new and original anime this season which are categorized according by varying levels of excitement and anticipation and further organized in alphabetic order within each tier.  Beyond this are the remaining anime which at this point, unfortunately, are unlikely to be watched.  These anime are still included and given an opinion, but at this point, they all seem unfavorable until they can prove me otherwise.  It’s also worth noting that every season one of these anime do find their way onto my watching list and some of them even end up as favorites.  Don’t be discouraged if an anime below is ranked opposite or somehow conflicting with a favorite of yours since these will all likely change quite readily after the first few weeks of the season.  Here are my thoughts on the new anime for Summer 2012:

Humanity Has Declined (Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita)

Opinion: If the art, music, and generally spectacular production values of the PV weren’t enough of a reason why, perhaps the synopsis will seal the deal.  Taking place several centuries in the future after humanity saw its decline due to a shrinking population, the story revolves around a new ambassador for the humans with the Fairies, tiny creatures that populate the world.  Not only does it seem to have a wonderful mix of fantasy, science fiction, comedy, and learning, the anime is unmatched in terms of how adorable it is.  Seriously, those fairies are the cutest thing I’ve seen all year, and I can’t wait to see them in action.  It’ll be interesting to see how serious this anime is in terms of its themes and message since this anime is primed for quite an important story if it so desires.  And if it doesn’t, it sure appears to be well on its way to be one of the most entertaining of the season, too.  Either way, I’ll be watching this anime this season.

Plans for this show: Will watch

Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Opinion: The other noitaminA anime this season besides the sequel to Moyashimon, Natsuyuki Rendezvous is an adaptation of a popular jousei manga about a romantic triangle between a young man who finds a job at a flower shop with the widowed owner and the ghost of her husband which still lingers in this realm.  Certain to be a heartbreaking story of lovers with conflicting emotions and painful memories, I can see myself enjoying this romance more than most of the same genre since this tends to be the type of romance I enjoy.  I can’t say for certain that I will enjoy this anime since romance is often one of the most difficult genres for me to please me, but this seems like something that should tickle my fancy.  The art and music seem to be positives, too, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a healthy dose of comedy early on to help us get acclimated and familiar with the cast before it turns on the waterworks.

Plans for this show: Likely watch

TARI TARI

Opinion: While slice-of-life is far from my favorite genre of anime, it has the potential to produce cherished favorites and numerous memorable series.  Tari Tari has all the potential to do just that based off the absolutely fantastic production values from P.A Works (Hanasaku Iroha, Another), one of my favorite studios in recent memory.  Couple that with the rather favorable storyline of high school students getting together to enjoy their final year of school together, and the diverse cast that has more characters with genuine human personalities than tired anime stereotypes.  Tari Tari might be boring at times, have substandard comedy, and bounce around in mediocrity for a while, but it appears to be the type of slice-of-life that I will enjoy and it certainly is a strong consideration for the summer.  Don’t be surprised if it ranks among the top by the end of the season.

Plans for this show: Maybe watch

Binbou-gami ga!

Opinion: There’ve been a number of positive reviews of the manga that I’ve stumbled across already and it is a comedy, my favorite genre, so this anime could end up being one of the few that I’ll watch this season.  However, I’m timid around this anime for whatever reason and I can’t help but feel this might not charm me like it has so many others.  While I figure to appreciate the humor and the wacky characters, the plot gives me an uneasy feeling and the production values seem rather ordinary.  And while those are hardly faults in a comedy like this, it doesn’t really generate the same excitement as I have with the anime before this one.  If I’m laughing throughout the first episode, something I pray happens with this anime, then I’ll be keeping it for the season.  If it doesn’t satisfy me in terms of comedy, then I wouldn’t mind passing it by for something else.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

Joshiraku

Opinion: Another comedy that just doesn’t leave me as excited as I believe it should.  While logic suggests it will be sure to be hilarious, the idea of five girls sitting around and talking about stuff gives me that uneasy feeling it will be similar to those ‘club anime’ where it has the same set-up on how to deliver humor.  And while there are a few exceptions to the rule, most shows that use this as a means to tell their jokes often fail to entertain me for whatever reason.  The content of the humor is also in question but as long as it isn’t restricted to otaku or sex-based humor, I’m sure I’ll be fine.  The art gives the girls a rather charming look but being situated in that one room leaves me believing the budget behind this anime is sparse and unable to do much.  But like I said in the previous review, as long as I’m laughing, I’ll be watching.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate

Opinion: Though the anime seems to be mild in just about every major category, from story, to characters, to setting, I can’t help but find this anime to be somewhat charismatic in its presentation and I feel almost captivated by it.  Perhaps it’s the artwork and animation and the fact that anime is littered with girls, but there’s some strong sense of attraction working on me from this PV and I’m willing to give this anime a shot based off that.  The anime belongs to that dreaded category of ‘club/school anime’ which has been noted for being more disastrous than anything else with me, but that isn’t an automatic disqualification and I’m willing to give this anime an episode to start the season.  Oh, just found a second PV for it, which really dampens my enthusiasm for the series.  Oh well, I’ll still give it an episode or two.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

Kokoro Connect

Opinion: Yeah, the pre-aired episode is already out and no, I have not watched it yet, hoping to remain untainted until the first full episode airs in watchable quality.  That being said, I have cheated a bit and looked at a few reviews of the brief episode that leaked earlier, but I have allowed it to have no effect on my opinions since I will be the judge of whether this anime is right for me or not.  While the production values are ultimately what got me into this show, I do have qualms with the characters and story which seem a bit generic or uninteresting at this point.  It might be a series that takes time to grow on the viewers but it will need to give me evidence it can do that early on before I want to drop it.  Seems like it could be a decent anime.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

Oda Nobuna no Yabou

Opinion: Another anime in the ever expanding ‘all-girls Sengoku’ genre, Oda Nobuna no Yabou does have some merits to it that might prove this anime to be worthwhile in the end.  The whole samurai/feudal Japan setting is something I’ve always enjoyed, even with super-powered fighters or some elements of fantasy incorporated here.  However, I’m not sure if this anime will satisfy my desires in what I’m looking for in an anime this season, as it looks to have some type of shitty romance in it between the lead male and whatever type of harem forms.  Hopefully the positives outweigh the negatives on this one but I’m uncertain until I see what the anime is like.  Guess we’ll find out whether it’s worth keeping or dropping when this anime begins.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

Sword Art Online

Opinion: Quite a number of fantasy anime this season, though this one resides in an MMORPG rather than one with humans.  But the gimmick here is people being stuck in a game where death has a rather undesired outcome.  Sounds exactly like .hack, right?  Well, I’m sure there’ll be enough differences to make this differentiate itself, but so far, it sounds like a derivative work.  The artwork, sound, and setting are all qualities to this anime, but the story and characters are going to be what make or break this anime for me.  Going to need an episode or two before I decide if I want another fantasy anime this season or if I’m find with only what I think is the best.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

What remain are the unfortunate anime that have failed to generate enough interest in me before the season starts or that already appear to be awful and barely watchable as is.  This doesn’t mean I won’t give them a try, but these are all anime I expect to be done with before I even finish the first episode (and some won’t even get a chance).  Here are the unlucky ones for this summer:

Campione!

Opinion: How many incarnations of this anime do we need of the same fantasy/harem adventure with a tsundere female and guy with awesome and exclusive powers?  The fact that I’ve never watched any of them should be a strong enough hint.

Plans for this show: No dice

Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi

Opinion: Looks to be high quality but equally as boring.  It’s probably going to be beautiful and touching but not something I’m looking for in an anime this season.  I’ll pass.

Plans for this show: No dice

Dakara Boku wa H ga Dekinai

Opinion: Though I do like action/comedy/fanservice anime, the action/comedy/fanservice in this anime all look to be somewhere between unappealing and terrible.

Plans for this show: No dice

Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmon-Bu

Opinion: Probably wouldn’t be bad if it weren’t already shit.

Plans for this show: No dice

Hagure Yuusha no Estetica

Opinion: Appears this one will be the most ecchi anime this season, solely based off this PV.  And while that isn’t necessarily a bad thing for me, it appears to be censored, so what’s the point?

Plans for this show: No dice

Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru!

Opinion: To be honest, I don’t know much about this anime.  I stopped reading up on it at the first sign of imouto incest.  That’s really all I know about this anime.  Yeah, you can see why it’s here with the others.

Plans for this show: No dice

La storia della Arcana Famiglia

Opinion: You know, I’d probably end up watching this anime if it were a normal harem anime with a boring male lead and a cast of stereotypical anime girls.  But since it’s a reverse harem, no way, no how.

Plans for this show: No dice

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse

Opinion: People seem to be excited about this but there are a bunch of mixed opinions on this anime right now, so I feel it’s best to wait it out and see what others think before starting it.  Not sure if I’m in the mood for a mecha or not, too.

Plans for this show: No dice

Tanken Driland

Opinion: Not really interested in family/kids anime, so let’s just say no for now.

Plans for this show: No dice

And there you have it, a rather quick and simple personal review of the 2012 Summer anime season.  This season doesn’t appear to be very top-heavy in terms of quality anime but there should be a decent number of shows that provide enough entertainment and have strong enough stories or characters to carry us through the season without much hassle.  Though there are plenty of anime that don’t appear to be watchable or enjoyable right now, there appear to be enough to keep everyone happy or content for the next 13 or so weeks.  And if not, I’m sure there are plenty of backlogs and other projects that people will be happy to complete this season instead.  Either way, we won’t know until we give this season a chance.  So now it’s time to get comfortable and prepare ourselves for another wonderful season!

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  1. #1 by azeriraz on July 1, 2012 - 5:28 AM

    I wish I wrote my Summer Preview after I had watched Moyashimon, because I would have put it at the top of my list.

    I think your one of the few bloggers (like me) who isn’t expecting Sword Art Online to be amazing.

    • #2 by avvesione on July 3, 2012 - 12:42 AM

      Yeah, I feel lucky having just finished Moyashimon since I absolutely loved that as an anime. Looking forward to starting it up again soon since it looks to be one of the best anime of the season.

      As for SAO, I can see why people are excited about it, but it doesn’t seem like something I’d enjoy. .hack was pretty good but I never liked Accel World, and I figure SAO to be somewhere between the two in terms of story, characters, and quality, so… not really anything to be excited about in my perspective. Will give it a shot but not something I expect to follow this season unless I’m really desperate.

  2. #3 by Tzaphqiel on July 1, 2012 - 10:52 AM

    I’m glad you’ll be watching Dog Days’ for this season. I really liked the first season for how fun it was, and the previews have me optimistic for this next season (though, if Crunchyroll or some other legal streaming site doesn’t have it, I’ll probably have to wait for it). I’m also glad to hear that you’ll be watching Humanity Has Declined and that you have considered watching Binbou-gami ga!!. I’ll be looking forward to your reviews!

    • #4 by avvesione on July 3, 2012 - 12:45 AM

      I’ll be blogging both Dog Days’ and Humanity Has Declined this season, so hopefully I’ll be seeing you around here a lot. I followed the first season of Dog Days on here and it proved to be a rather fun and lighthearted adventure/fantasy anime, which I enjoy thinking and writing about. I figure the second season will be more of the same, so why not continue it, especially since it turned out to be one of my most popular series on my blog. And Humanity Has Declined is caught my attention with it’s preview, and so far, it has turned out well. Looking forward to covering both this season. As for Binbou-gami ga, if the comedy is good, then I’ll be following it, too, though probably not on here.

  3. #5 by Yukie on July 15, 2012 - 7:44 AM

    I think they should make the second season of Pandora Hearts. There are many loyal fans of the anime. In addition, well earned by producing gadgets with Pandora. Almost immediately sold out and still come off like hot cakes. Every moment on You tube, appear in the second season of the announcement made ​​by fans. I believe that the production of the second season would satisfy us and them. In my country, we have a one vol manga. Ech…

    • #6 by avvesione on July 15, 2012 - 1:23 PM

      Well, producing an anime takes more than just the financial perspective into play. There are entire processes that need to take place before a manga or anything can be considered for an anime to be produced and one of those is the fiscal incentive. While it might be profitable, there could be other factors preventing a second season from occurring. Then again, they could just be waiting until the manga ends before starting a second season to extend the life of the franchise. I’m not familiar with Pandora Hearts, so I’m not sure, but if the anime was profitable, then you should keep your hopes up for a second season sometime in the future… just don’t keep your hopes up for a specific date or anything.

  1. Summer 2012 Picks and Prediction « Abandoned Factory Anime Review

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