Summer 2016 – Season Preview

jojos_bizarre_adventure_diamond_is_unbreakable-12-summer-sunny-rays-yellow-golden-clouds-sky-hotTis the season for new anime, fa la la la la la la la la la.

Hopefully all the shows are okay, fa la la la la la la la la.

But we know that’s not realistic, fa la la la la la la la la.

Then again, I am pessimistic, fa la la la la la la la la.

 

Look below for my Summer preview, fa la la la la la la la la.

Berserk, Zestiria, and Amanchu!, fa la la la la la la la la.

Looking pretty good with those, fa la la la la la la la la.

Wait, what’s with all these fujoshi shows?, fa la la la la la la la la.

Sorry for the painful intro.  Before we begin, I have some insignificant announcement.  My experiment with the Spotlight series was an absolute catastrophe, and I will probably be going back toward the Weekly Anime posts that were substantially more successful.  Also, I figure I’ll have more time to write this season since I will actually be home for most of the season.  Oh, that and I figure I’ll be watching less anime.  Yeah, about that… let’s move onto the Summer 2016 season preview, shall we?

As always, the order of anime listed below is neither chronological nor alphabetic but are categorized into sequels and new shows, and then ranked in order of my personal anticipation and how likely I believe I will watch that anime this season.  Every anime is evaluated and placed into one of five tiers ordered: Will watch, Likely watch, Maybe watch, Doubtful but it gets a shot, and No dice.  Within each tier, the anime are listed alphabetically.  Dates are not included because who knows when and where these shows will be subbed and available to watch… and really, that’s the most important date to know.

 

Like most seasons, Summer 2016 has an suitable balance between the number of returning series and the number of new anime franchises.  Unfortunately for me, the season is considerably light in terms of sequels that I have previous experience with, meaning that my typical anchor for a new anime season – a returning favorite – is not present.  Still, this might be an advantage given that I have made considerable progress on my backlog this year and this will give me an opportunity to continue watching shows that I’ve been meaning to watch since… well, since the 1990s.  Yeah, I’m not good at catching up on my backlog.

The franchises returning as sequels, continuations, spinoffs, and other tangents in Summer 2016 are: Active Raid Second Season, Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu, Berserk, D.Gray-man Hallow, Danganronpa 3 – The End of Kibougamine Gakuen, Dinan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! LOVE!, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 3rei!!, GraP & RodeO Second Season, Handa-kun, Love Live! Sunshine!!, Majestic Hour (a rebroadcast of Majestic Prince), Nanatsu no Taizai: Seisen no Shirushi, Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara, and Show By Rock!! Short!!.  Below are my thoughts and opinions on the franchises that I have experience with and am anticipating continuing.  As for all the others, the source material and previous anime are probably your best bet for what to expect with those anime.

 

Berserk (2016)

Opinion: The original Berserk aired in 1997 and had 3 movies aired from 2012 to 2013.  This new version is strikingly different from the previous versions in its use of 3D animation, but the art style is certainly eye-catching and distinctive.  Not only that, but the fact that it is 3D leads me to believe the motion and action during the battle sequences should be enthusiastic and pronounced.  Not only that, but there should be some nice cinematography to enhance the battles, too, given the renowned fight sequences in previous Berserk anime.  Fortunately for me, it seems as though this is welcoming and accommodating for new fans to start the series with, seeing as I have not made it through my backlog to the older Berserk anime.  I’ll be sure to see how more seasoned fans of the Berserk franchise respond to this and maybe adjust my backlog in accordance based on my opinion of this anime and their opinion comparing this to the originals.

Plans for this show: Will watch

 

Danganronpa 3 – The End of Kibougamine Gakuen (Danganronpa 3 – The End of Hope’s Peak Academy)

danganronpa_3_mirai_hen-preview-future danganronpa_3_zetsubou_hen-preview-despair

Opinion: So it seems as though there will be two Danganronpa 3 anime this season.  The first one to air will be the Mirai-hen (Future Side) story which appears to be a sequel to Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (PSP game) and center itself on Makoto Naegi, the protagonist from both Dangaronpa and Danganronpa 2, and the Future Foundation.  The second one to air will be the Zetsubou-hen (Despair Side) story, which is apparently a prequel to Danganronpa 2 and on the Remnants of Despair (pretty much the polar opposite of the Future Foundation).  So… we pretty much have two anime on the good guys (Mirai) and the bad guys (Zetsubou) this season which are also a sequel and prequel to Danganronpa 2 (which has no anime).  If you’re anxious or timid about spoilers, it’d probably be best to finish the game first.  For me, I enjoyed the first anime and am intrigued by this sequel… and, I guess super sequel.

Plans for this show: Will watch

 

Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu (The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Dust Storm Dance)

Opinion: The Arslan Senki anime from 2015 was a satisfying show thanks to its meticulous setting, its sophisticated cast of characters, and engaging battle sequences.  Unfortunately for Arslan, the anime had issues with its focus and pacing, seemingly unwilling or unable to advance its story after the cast of characters assembled near the beginning.  Fortunately, the sequel set to return this Summer is a shorter version (going from 25 episode to 8 episodes), meaning my concerns over the storytelling and plot development should be mitigated, unless of course these 8 episodes are an entire arc of Arslan lost in the desert or mountains for a few years.

Plans for this show: Likely watch

 

Handa-kun

Opinion: As the prequel to the much respected calligraphy anime Barakamon, I would normally expect a lot from Handa-kun.  That said, the PV and synopsis for Handa-kun seem to deviate away from the slice-of-life and healing genre of Barakamon and move toward a pedestrian gag-comedy in a high school.  I can’t say I genuinely enjoyed the comedy in Barakamon enough to watch it without the other rewarding aspects, and I’m worries that Handa-kun will feel like an hollow version of Barakamon without the fantastic cast and story that made Barakamon so enjoyable.  And to make matters worse, the PV does little to nothing for me.  Hopefully I’ll be wrong about this, but I don’t expect to be watching very much of Handa-kun.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

The following two sections of the preview contains a list of all the new, original anime that will debut during the Summer 2016 anime season, with the first section on the anime I am planning on screening and the latter section the anime I have already rejected.

The new franchises of Summer 2016 show quite some hope of salvaging a decent anime season, but given the number of shows and my feelings toward them at this time, it feels like this will be a light season.  Then again, what’s important is that I enjoy the anime I watch, and there are a number of shows with promise and potential to be a successful anime season.  We’ll see how it goes, but the ones at the top provide some optimism and encouragement for an otherwise small anime season. My plans for Summer 2016 are as follows:

 

Amanchu!

Opinion: Have I ever mentioned that Aria is one of my favorite anime franchises?  Like, not just favorite, in the top 0.5% of anime franchises for me?  Well, after Kozue Amano finished the Aria manga in 2008, she started on Amanchu! and has been publishing it ever sense.  And while Amanchu! doesn’t identify with the same type of reverence and acclaim as Aria, Amanchu! seems to be cut from the same cloth and the reason why this is the most excited I’ve been for a new anime since Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works.  Amanchu! has all the charming, endearing qualities of Aria, but I do wonder how it will fare with its characters, their chemistry, and the fantasy of the world around them.  Given that the sci-fi and fantasy elements of the setting appear to be missing, or at the very least replaced by a gorgeous underwater world, I do wonder how it will differ from Aria given the number of similarities between the two.  Still, there seems to be enough differences between the two (one’s above the water, the other is below) and I am curious to see this ragtag bunch of misfits and their adventures in the Scuba Club.  Regardless, I know that this will be one anime I will keep for its entire duration.  The main thing I want to see from this is for Amanchu! to distinguish itself and to journey on its own path.

Plans for this show: Will watch

 

Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume (Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet)

Opinion: Planetarian will air both a movie and a 5-episode ONA in 2016.  This section focuses on the ONA rather than the movie, and the ONA is a sequel to the movie… though the movie airs in September well after the sequel finishes.  Fortunately, the ONA and movie appear to be side stories to the original Plantearian visual novel as these new anime are based off the Planetarian light novel and act as prequels and epilogues to the original visual novel from 2004.  I am hoping to complete the VN prior to starting the anime, in order to experience the story in the order it was released, and have few reservations about this series as a whole.  The story, characters, setting, and art are all positives to me at this point, so unless I have unforeseen issues with the franchise after finishing the VN, then I’m pretty sure I’ll keep this.

Plans for this show: Likely watch

 

Tales of Zestiria the X (Tales of Zestiria the Cross)

Opinion: Though I have a fond impression of the “Tales of” series of games, I’ve never played one.  However, I’ve always been interested in the franchise and am thankful that an anime adaptation of its most recent game, Tales of Zestiria, is out this season.  That said, I have a loose understanding of what to expect from this anime but am looking forward to it nonetheless.  And while the characters, story, and setting will be a surprise to me, I already know I will love the art and music, based off the sample from the PV alone.  This should be a solid choice for the season and, who knows, maybe it will be a gateway into playing the earlier games like I’ve always intended.

Plans for this show: Likely watch

 

91 Days

Opinion: What intrigues me the most about 91 Days is that it is an anime about revenge and retribution.  You really don’t see that all too often, especially with this type of setting, style, and feel. Most dramas in anime are often attributed to teenagers, but this one seems to be set around adults… and the mafia… and bootlegging.  You can probably count me in for this.

Plans for this show: Maybe watch

 

Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness and Lightning)

Opinion: Amaama to Inazuma looks sugary, charismatic, and all-round delightful given that this slife-comedy anime is about a teacher who cares for his daughter after her mother’s death.  Somewhat akin to Usagi Drop and Barakamon, Amaama to Inazuma looks like an easygoing, fun, and cute anime that hopefully is high on entertainment value and low on melodrama and forced melancholy.

Plans for this show: Maybe watch

 

Mob Psycho 100

Opinion: From the creator of One Punch Man, comes Mob Psycho 100, a comedy-action anime about a teenager with psychic abilities.  Given the success and enjoyment with One Punch Man, I figure Mob Psycho 100 would be a certainty, but I do wonder how it will fare given the similarities and parallels between the two.  I am already sold on the style and animation of Mob Psycho 100, but I do wonder if it will be stuck in the shadow of One Punch Man, similar to my concerns over Amanchu! and Aria.  I figure that this is a safe bet this season, though I wouldn’t hesitate to drop it if it has issues with its comedy or characters.

Plans for this show: Maybe watch

 

New Game!

Opinion: Oh, finally, an all-girl super cutesy, moe slife-comedy anime.  Shows like these are often my guilty pleasure, especially if the comedy is good and its focused on a topic that I like.  New Game! focuses on a recent high school graduate joining the video game industry, but it seems to be more Sore ga Seiyuu! than Shirobako.  Still, the PV is encouraging and I am interested to see where this anime goes with its characters, its story, and its comedy.

Plans for this show: Maybe watch

 

Rewrite

Opinion: Rewrite is the popular Key VN released in 2011 about a ragtag bunch of misfits and their adventures in the Occult Club.  And while Key is a promising name, having made a number of anime that I’ve watched and enjoyed, I don’t really feel the hype or excitement over this, especially since it seems to be less of my style than other Key franchises (like Planetarian).  Who knows, maybe this one will surprise me, but I am thinking this will be watchable and mediocre.

Plans for this show: Maybe watch

 

Ange Vierge

Opinion: An anime based on a card game is a risky bet, given the lack of direction with its content and pacing, but Ange Vierge might have redeeming qualities elsewhere based on the sampling from its PV.  I’m not quite sure exactly what to think of it given that it has some good mixed with bad, but I am willing to give it an episode or two to see how it unfolds and what the characters are exactly like.  However, that’s not the warmest endorsement of an anime and I have a feeling that one or two episodes is all this show will get.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Battery

Opinion: Despite loving sports and dramas, sports-dramas are probably among my least favorite genre in anime.  I typically find myself favoring more color, energetic, fantastical anime that bleed personality, comedy, and style… and Battery feels like a cold polar-opposite.  I’m not saying that this will be a bad anime, but it doesn’t look like the kind of anime I find myself enjoying.  Still, I figure an episode or two couldn’t hurt.  And who knows, maybe one of these days, I’ll finally catch on with these sports dramas.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Hitori no Shita: The Outcast

Opinion: Zombies, superpowers, and a lot of action are usually a pretty decent combination for a story. Yet, despite featuring those elements all throughout the PV, I’m not feeling Hitori no Shita: The Outcast.  Perhaps the reasons is that the PV feels somewhat bland, lacking in terms of style and personality beyond fighting hordes of zombies.  It’s as though the anime thought it would be about fighting zombies, but not much else beyond fighting zombies.  I’ll give it an episode for a chance to prove me wrong and prove it’s worth keeping, but it doesn’t excite me or intrigue me at this point.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! (There’s a Problem with this Art Club!)

Opinion: Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! is a school club-comedy anime about a dysfunctional ragtag bunch of misfits and their adventures in the Art Club.  The characters all embody serious character flaws and these are likely to drive the comedy, so there doesn’t seem to be much reason to expect much novelty from this school club-comedy compared to the others in this genre.  Still, if the comedy works out, I’ll consider keeping it.  Otherwise, if the characters, chemistry, or comedy fail to impress me, then I won’t be sad to see this school club anime go.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin (Alderamin on the Sky)

Opinion: The PV for Nejimaki Seirei Senki does not fill me with confidence about this anime, and the main reason why I’m giving this an episode or two is because of the military theme in this type of fantasy style.  I am not expecting much from Nejimaki Seirei Senki, but I want to give it an opportunity to prove itself since a few elements do appeal to me.  That said, I don’t have high hopes for this anime and doubt I’ll even last through the first episode…

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Orange

Opinion: I was thinking about continuing the rhyming theme throughout, but when I came to the title “Orange” I knew I would be defeated.  So you can thank Orange for that.  As for the anime itself, I’m not sure this is my style.  Orange feels like sappy, melodramatic shoujo romance about a girl saving a guy and erasing her future regrets.  I can already imagine a lot of miscommunication, crying in isolation, and other sentimental things that are intended to make the reader feel a sense of empathy and connection to the character, but usually comes off as boring and tedious to me.  I might give this more than one episode, but this really doesn’t seem like the kind of anime I would enjoy.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Qualidea Code

Opinion: So Qualidea Code is about kids in the future with magical superpowers fighting to save humanity from some unknown enemy.  It… it might be good, but the chances of that are pretty low given its generic, dull synopsis.  The PV doesn’t do much to help, but maybe, just maybe if you look hard enough, you’ll find some personality or something unique about this show that makes it stand out from the rest.  I’ll try looking for one episode but if I don’t see anything worthwhile, I’ll drop this.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

ReLIFE

Opinion: So ReLIFE is an anime about a guy making the worst decision of his life and giving up his autonomy and freedom as an adult for mundane, boring, throw-away days back in high school.  Seriously, I don’t get the fascination with going back to high school in anime…. high school sucks.  So unless the anime is about this guy hating his decision and regretting it for 13 episodes, then no, I probably won’t give this more than an episode.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Taboo Tattoo

Opinion: Another magical powers fighting anime, Taboo Tattoo at least has some promise with its PV showing some interesting action and some talent in its animation and cinematography.  Still, I don’t watch anime for animation and cinematography alone, but Taboo Tattoo would get first pick over some of the other anime in this field.  However, I can’t be too certain about this given the one-guy-six-girls promo art that I’ve seen for this show, so hopefully it doesn’t turn into an action-harem or something awful.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

Time Travel Shoujo: Mari Waka to 8-nin no Kagakusha-tachi (Time Travel Girl)

Opinion: Finally, an anime adaptation to the SNES game Mario’s Time Machine.  Pretty much, Time Travel Shoujo is similar to Mario’s Time Machine in many ways, given its educational intentions, the famous people they interact with, and the fact that neither is all too appealing to me.  Perhaps Time Travel Shoujo can prove me wrong with its characters, comedy, and whatnot, but I won’t get my hopes up for this anime.

Plans for this show: Doubtful but it gets a shot

 

The first two sections confirm the lists of anime that I am planning on watching based on my knowledge and understanding of the shows.  All that remains in this season preview are the anime that I have already decided against.  The reason why these anime are slotted here is because they either appear to already be flawed, boring, or simply outside my demographic.  While these anime may in fact be watchable to some, they do not appear watchable for me.  I doubt I’ll examine these anime any more than the PV linked in their sections.  However, there’s always a chance for me to pick one or two up every season, so not all hope is lost for these shows if you see one of your favorites down here.  However, for most of them, there’s already zero chance I’ll even think about them after writing my opinions for each.

 

B-Project: Kodou*Ambitious

Opinion: What, was the name ‘A-Project’ taken?  So much for being ambitious like its title suggests.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Fukigen na Mononokean (The Morose Mononokean)

Opinion: If I can’t make it through the PV, then I probably won’t make it through a season of this anime.  Colors are nice though.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Hatsukoi Monster (First Love Monster)

Opinion: Something about a high school girl dating a 5th grade who looks like an adult.  Doesn’t sound the least bit interesting.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Masou Gakuen HxH (Hybrid x Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia)

Opinion: To be honest, I’d probably watch many of these fujoshi shows before even attempting something like this.  That’s how bad I think this is.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Momokuri

Opinion: Too tame, too tepid, too generic.  Sure, it’s cute, but the content and personality just aren’t there.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars

Opinion: Regalia feels shallow and uninspiring.  It might not be, but that’s my impression from the PV and synopsis.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Saiki Kusuo no Psi-nan (The Disasterous Life of Saiki K.)

saiki_kusuo_no_psi_nan-preview

Opinion: I’ll let someone else test out the comedy before I try this.  Weekly Shounen Jump manga adaptations really aren’t my thing.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Scared Rider Xechs

Opinion: For what it’s worth, one-guy-six-girls is just as bad as one-girl-six-guys.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

Servamp

Opinion: I didn’t even bother reading the synopsis for this one.

Plans for this show: No dice

 

As always, I’ll be providing my reviews and opinions for most of these anime in my First Impressions posts once each these shows debut and once I actually get around to watching them.  Until that time, I hope everyone enjoys the start of the Summer 2016 anime season!

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