Random Curiosity

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Summer 2008 Preview!

It’s that time of the year again: the start of the summer season! Summer isn’t as big as spring or fall – there’s about two-thirds as many shows premiering compared to this past spring – but there are still several exciting titles to talk about. As usual, I’ll watch the first episode of most shows within certain parameters (in other words, not the kiddie shows), and what I list here are the chances of me actually blogging something based on my initial impressions from promotional material. However, even if I list the chances for a show as good or guaranteed, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll stick with it for more than a few episodes.

By no means does this list reflect every single anime series that is going to be aired, though I did try to be as comprehensive as I could. Check out MOON PHASE for an entire listing, syoboi’s calendar for specific air-times, and Fansub Wiki’s Summer 2008 page for who’s tentatively subbing what.

Technical Note: All times are given in a 24-hour, relative-day format where times are extended to show which day they belong to. For instance, Friday morning at 1:30AM would become Thursday at 25:30 to show that the episode aired late Thursday night.

ultraviolet Ultraviolet Code044
http://uvcode044.jp/
Premieres July 1st, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 22:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Tuesdays at 09:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Remember the movie Ultraviolet from a couple years back? This is the anime version of that. If you don’t remember or haven’t seen the movie, then Wikipedia has a good summary of it. The anime’s story sounds somewhat similar to that of the movie, with the killer female lead protecting a younger male in a vampire-filled world, though in the anime, the guy being protected is older than his movie counterpart. I suspect this’ll be heavy on the action and light on the story, though with director Dezaki Osamu and voice actress Paku Romi on board, it can’t be too bad.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Ultraviolet Code044 Promo Video ▼

sekirei Sekirei
http://www.sekirei-tv.com/
Premieres July 2nd, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Wednesdays at 23:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Wednesdays at 10:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Sekirei is one of the series generating the most pre-season excitement, partially because it comes from a fairly well established manga, and partially because there’s been a lot of promotional material for it. The story involves a worthless guy who failed his college entrance exams but one day has a beautiful and buxom girl suddenly fall out of the sky on top of him. The girl chooses him as her master, and they subsequently get involved in a battle royale with other fighters. The manga has a lot of fanservice and nudity to go with all the action, and if the PVs are any indicator, it looks like the anime version will follow suit. I’ve generally heard pretty good things about this though (I’ve personally only read a couple of chapters), and it’s also being worked on the same Seven Arcs team that did Inukami! and all three Nanoha series, so this might be something that might be worth tuning in for.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Sekirei Promo Videos ▼

slayers Slayers REVOLUTION
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/slayers_revolution/
Premieres July 2nd, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:20
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Wednesdays at 12:20
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
After over 10 years off the small screen, Lina Inverse and company are back, with the same cast (including old favorites Hayashibara Megumi and Ishida Akira) and J.C.Staff crew. This time, the story starts off with them getting involved with a case of stolen treasure and a new character/animal named Pocota. Unfortunately, I think I may not be qualified to blog this show because, although I’m familiar with the general story and characters, I’ve only actually seen bits and pieces of past Slayers series over the years. I’ll be considering this or Sekirei, and the decision will depend at least partially on if this is possible to follow without deep knowledge of past series (and I suspect it will be but you never know).
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Slayers REVOLUTION Promo Video ▼

somedays dreamers Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto: Natsu no Sora (Someday’s Dreamers)
http://www.sora-mahou.com/
Premieres July 2nd, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Wednesdays at 26:40
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Wednesdays at 13:40
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto is a title some of you probably know better as Someday’s Dreamers. Natsu no Sora (Summer Skies) is the next story set in this world where mages are employed to handle special requests from people. It focuses on a country girl who has quirky magic abilities (everything magical she does results in sunflowers in some way) and how she ends up in Tokyo for training to become a mage. I should note that this a Kobayashi Osamu directed series, and if you watch the animated bits from the Anime-TV program, it’s pretty clear that his style is a heavy influence on the show’s design. Basically, if you didn’t like BECK or Paradise Kiss, then this might not be for you either. As for me, I’ve read a little of the manga and found tthe story somewhat interesting, but I don’t think it’ll be more so than Sekirei or Slayers, so those will get priority come July 2nd (meaning I might still watch this, but odds aren’t great that I’ll blog it).
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto Promo Video ▼

scarecrowman Scarecrowman
http://www.vap.co.jp/scarecrowman/
Premieres July 3rd, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 23:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Thursdays at 10:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, syoboi
Scarecrowman is a series about a scarecrow who gets put away in a barn, and because of a lightning storm, he gains the ability to move. He thus starts a new life making and repairing toys and stuffed animals. I wasn’t sure if this belonged on this list since it’s completely CG, but it’s still technically an animated series. Likewise, the description makes it sound like it’d be a kids show, but it has a somewhat late night timeslot, so I’m not sure what to make of this. It’s also airing on Thursdays, so I likely won’t watch it in light of Macross Frontier and all the other new titles coming Thursdays.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
antique bakery Seiyou Kottou Yougashiten (Antique Bakery)
http://www.antique-anime.com/
Premieres July 3rd, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:45
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Thursdays at 11:45
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Known in English under the title Antique Bakery, the newest noitaminA series is about a group of men who work at a small bakery and the various people they meet. It’s a very character driven story, and it’s worth noting that this has some shounen-ai elements because the main pastry chef is gay. That being said, it’s nowhere near Junjou Romantica levels or anything. In any case, I have no doubt that this will be a quality show since it’s airing in the noitaminA block, but it’s not a series I’m particularly excited about. I may watch the first episode just to hear popular duo CHEMISTRY sing the OP and ED.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
hidamari 365 Hidamari Sketch X 365
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/hidamari/
Premieres July 3rd, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:25
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Thursdays at 12:25
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Summer is also bringing the return of Hidamari Sketch, the slice-of-life series about four girls who are attending an art school together. SHAFT and Shinbou Akiyuki are once again in charge of this, so the quality could turn out really good, or if they’re rushed, it could be almost nonexistent (I doubt that’ll be a problem this time around). I honestly still haven’t watched the original series though, and it’s unlikely that I’ll get a chance to do so before this one airs, so I probably won’t be watching this either.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Hidamari Sketch X 365 Promo Video ▼

strike witches Strike Witches
http://s-witch.cute.or.jp/
Premieres July 3rd, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:20
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Thursdays at 12:20
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Strike Witches is a title announced a long time ago, but it ended up only getting a short OVA release early last year. With the similar series Sky Girls having aired last year, Strike Witches is finally becoming a TV anime too. The story takes place in a world with magic and a threatening mysterious force, and a set of special girls have been given Striker Units – which are mechanical leg attachments that happen to grant the girls animal ears and tails – in order to fly and fight. While I’m not big on the mecha musume genre and an not expecting much from this, it should be noted that Gonzo is again lowering the barrier for the English-speaking audience by announcing that this will be streamed on crunchyroll and YouTube, just like they did with the recent Druaga and Blassreiter series. The other thing this series has going for it is a strong cast featuring the likes of Koshimizu Ami, Saitou Chiwa, and Tanaka Rie.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Strike Witches Promo Videos ▼

birdy Tetsuwan Birdy DECODE (Birdy the Mighty DECODE)
http://www.birdy-tv.com/
Premieres July 4th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Fridays at 25:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Fridays at 12:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Tetsuwan Birdy, aka. Birdy the Mighty, is a sci-fi manga title from the 80s that got remade a few years ago and is still running in Weekly Young Sunday magazine. Both versions involve a female space investigator who accidentally kills a human teen while trying to capture a criminal, and she’s forced to join his mind with her body in order to keep him alive. She can thus change between his body and hers, and she has to live in his normal life while capturing intergalactic criminals on the side. It’s a pretty action packed series and the anime version will be directed by Akane Kazuki of noein fame. I liked what I read from the manga (both of them), so this might get a watch if I find that I have time on Fridays.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Tetsuwan Birdy DECODE Promo Videos ▼

ryouko Yakushiji Ryouko no Kaiki Jikenbo
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/yakushijiryouko/
Premieres July 5th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Saturdays at 11:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
As the title the Bizarre Case Files of Yakushiji Ryouko might imply, this romance action series is about a female investigator who has both brains and beauty, and along with her male partner, she takes on supernatural cases. Having not gotten a chance to read the novels or manga that this anime will be based on, it’s hard for me to get excited about this show because the premise seems very run-of-the-mill. Nothing about it sticks out except for maybe the fairly attractive character designs and the fact that Kuwashima Houko voices a character (not the title one). Still, this is one of the only two Saturday shows premiering (the other Telepathy Shoujo Ran), and since I have an open slot with Da Capo II SS now done, there’s always a possibility I’ll end up considering blogging this.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Yakushiji Ryouko no Kaiki Jikenbo Promo Video ▼

zero no tsukaima Zero no Tsukaima ~Princesses no Rondo~
http://www.zero-tsukaima.com/
Premieres July 6th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 24:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Sundays at 11:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
If you’ve been coming to Random Curiosity for a while, Zero no Tsukaima is a series that probably needs no introduction since I’ve blogged both the first two series. You may also remember that, particularly towards the end, I wasn’t too happy with the second series and had questioned whether I would want to watch a third one. Well that time has finally come, and the decision is still up in the air. The third series will feature Louise and Saito going back to Albion to search for the fairy with mysterious powers (aka. Tiffania), and apparently Saito’s rune disappears as well. My issue with the series currently is that I know that the anime adaptation has completely ruined any semblance of the novels’ overarching story, and while that doesn’t necessarily prevent the anime adaptation from being good in its own right, the second series proved to be rather lackluster. Add to that the fact that this is airing on the same day of the week as CODE GEASS, and I’m less inclined to devote the time to blog this. In short, if the second series had been better, I’d mark this as guaranteed, but as it stands, I’m taking a wait-and-see approach with the first few episodes.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Zero no Tsukaima Promo Videos ▼

natsume Natsume Yuujin-Chou
http://www.natsume-anime.jp/
Premieres July 7th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 25:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Mondays at 12:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Taking Vampire Knight’s timeslot on Mondays on TV Tokyo is a series about a boy who is burdened with the ability to see spirits. He inherits a book from his grandmother containing the names of many different spirits, and though he’s able to control them using their names, he wants to return those names so that the spirits go away. In theory it’s an interesting tale mixing creatures from traditional Japanese folklore with a boy and his loneliness, but in practice (at least based on the manga), it failed to hold my attention. Your mileage may vary depending on how much you like stories about youkai. The anime version also has some of the same staff – including director Oomori Takahiro – as Baccano!, so it’s in good hands and might turn out better than expected.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Natsume Yuujin-Chou Promo Video ▼

mission e MISSION-E
http://avexmovie.jp/lineup/mission-e/
Premieres July 7th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 25:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Mondays at 12:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
The sequel to CODE-E is here, and it takes place five years after the end of the first series. That means everyone has grown up, and in the case of the main character Chinami, have become rather badass. Or at least, that’s what I thought when I watched the action-packed promo video. I admittedly haven’t seen CODE-E past the first couple of episodes (and have no immediate plans to do so), but the action looked to be a wide departure from the deliberate pacing of the original series. MISSION-E will involve Chinami using her powers on behalf of a group whose goal is to adapt people with TYPE-E abilities into society, all while going up against an organization with a different philosophy. The PV has me curious enough to watch the first episode, but I still doubt it’s a series I’d want to follow, if for no other reason than because I don’t have the background on it and don’t feel compelled to be (i.e. none of my friends thought CODE-E was an amazing show that I was missing out on).
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show MISSION-E Promo Video ▼

world destruction World Destruction ~Sekai Bokumetsu no Rokunin~
http://wd.sega.jp/anime/
Premieres July 7th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 25:30
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Mondays at 12:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
To go along with Sega’s upcoming release of the Nintendo DS game, Production I.G is animating an adaptation of World Destruction. The story is takes place in a world where humans are ruled by beastmen, and the main character – the kind of teenager who wonders if what’s going on the in world has anythiing to do with him – encounters a girl who’s being hunted and is part of a group called the World Destruction Committee. This girl possesses something called the Destruct Code which gives her the power to destroy the world, and so she and the main character embark on a journey. It sounds like standard RPG fare, and I know I’ve poo-pooed animes connected to games like this in the past, but actually I think World Destruction could turn out to be pretty interesting. The trailer certainly made it look at least halfway decent, and what really draws me in is the musical score which, at least for that trailer, appears to be the same as the game’s. There’s also some pretty good voice talent going into this, including Sakamoto Maaya and Miyano Mamoru as the two main characters, so I’ll probably prioritize this over the other new Monday offerings.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show World Destruction Promo Video ▼

koihime Koihime†Musou
http://www.mmv.co.jp/special/koihime/
Premieres July 8th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 26:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Tuesdays at 13:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Based on a game released last year, Koihime Musou takes place in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms world, but instead of smelly old men, all of the famous people are pretty young girls (save for Diao Chan who’s going to be voiced by Wakamoto Norio). The anime will supposedly have a story different from the game, but, other than the fact that it’ll focus on Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, everything I’ve read has been vague as to what that story will actually be about. The nearly all-girls aspect sounds gimmicky, but I’ll try to keep an open mind until I see what the Dogakobo team behind Myself; Yourself can produce.
On a side note, I wanted to use this image from Megami for the image at left, but I decided it wasn’t representative enough of the series…or is it?
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
nogizaka haruka Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu
http://www.nogizaka-haruka.com/
Premieres July 10th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Thursdays at 13:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
The Nogizaka Haruka character of the title is a popular, intelligent, and beautiful girl, but she has a secret: she loves anime and manga. This secret gets discovered one day by the male lead, and the story involves him keeping that secret and getting closer to her in the process. I’m cautiously optimistic about this series because, although I haven’t had the best of luck with blogging romance comedies, I’ve heard some good things about the novels that this is based on, the animation quality by Studio Barcelona looks fairly solid on paper, and Mamiko Noto is voicing Nogizaka Haruka. That still might not be enough for me to make room for this series alongside Macross Frontier on Thursdays, but like most shows on this list, it’ll depend on how good the first episode or two is.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
mugen Mugen no Juunin (Blade of the Immortal)
http://mugen.kc.kodansha.co.jp/
Premieres July 13th, 2008
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 24:00
Airtime in U.S. (EST, GMT-4): Sundays at 11:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, syoboi
Blade of the Immortal, or Mugen no Juunin in Japan, is a manga that’s been ongoing for fourteen years about a swordsman during the Edo period who – in order to atone for his sisters death – cannot die until he kills 1000 evil men. I think this is perfect for an anime adaptation since the story flows very well through all the action and bloodshed (though not to the gory degree of Shigurui), but the big red flag about this series is that it’s being produced by Bee Train. I’ve yet to have a good experience with them, and the fact that the particularly bad parts of Tsubasa Chronicle’s anime adaptation come to mind when I think of them makes me less inclined to want to follow this, especially in the long run. Still, the promo videos looked fairly good, so maybe there’s hope yet.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Blade of the Immortal Promo Videos ▼

Note: As you might have noticed above, I’ve taken a little different approach this season for the various promotional material by featuring streaming versions with their respective entries. Hopefully that will let you be able to understand better what I’m talking about whenever I refer to my impressions of promotional material, without having to go to the hassle of downloading an extra set of videos.

The list above has the 19 major series premiering in July, and like I said at the top, it doesn’t include the kiddie shows or the two that have already premiered (Telepathy Shoujo Ran and Ikkitousen Great Guardians). And before anyone asks, shows like the next Nodame Cantabile, Gundam 00, and Toradora aren’t premiering until Fall season, so please check the dates on ANN Encyclopedia or AniDB first.

As for this summer season, there’s nothing really I’m hugely excited about this time around, but I think some of the above titles – like Slayers, World Destruction, or Nogizaka Haruka – could turn out to be solid shows. I had three series end from the spring season, so I’m looking to pick up three, maybe four new ones, and those might be a good place to start. Divine has also expressed interest in shows like Strike Witches and Hidamari Sketch X 365, so even if I don’t choose to blog something, he might.

As always, comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome.

June 29, 2008 at 11:09 pm
104 comments »
  • August 3, 2008 at 12:53 amWoahM4Gawd

    You should watch Natsume Yuujin-Chou, I’m not sure why but it gives you that feeling you will get every time you see something beautiful.

  • September 16, 2008 at 2:39 amChimasternmay

    Yakushiji Ryouko no Kaiki Jikenbo… this stuff is additively good.

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