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Summer 2009 Preview!

The Spring season seemed to go by really fast, and now Summer is finally here! The selection is a little bit more limited than the Spring season, but there’s still around 20 new shows premiering, not including OVAs or kiddie stuff. As usual, I’ll try to watch the first episode of as many shows as I can within certain parameters (in other words, not those 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 unless it actually is good.

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 airtimes, and Fansub Wiki’s Summer 2009 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.

umi monogatari Umi Monogatari ~Anata ga Itekureta Koto~
http://www.sea-story.tv/
Premiere on June 24th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:29
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Wednesdays at 12:29
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Based on a popular line of pachinko machines (I never thought I’d start a blurb like that), Umi Monogatari (lit. Sea Story) is about a pure girl who lives in the ocean and finds a ring. This ring takes her on a journey above water, but it also leads to the release of a great evil. ARIA fans will be happy to know that this is being worked on by several people from the ARIA team, including director Satou Junichi, and I think the promos reflect some of that same atmosphere. There’s actually been a lot of promos, as you can see below, and this looks promising.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Umi Monogatari Promo Videos ▼

juuden chan Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan!!
http://mv.avex.jp/juden-chan
Premiere on June 25th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 08:00
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Wednesdays at 19:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Let me start by saying that I’m not convinced that this series is anything other than a vehicle for fanservice and nudity. Originally by the author of Mahoromatic and KissXsis, Juuden-chan is a story about a clumsy girl whose job it is to inject energy into people who are depressed. If that doesn’t tip you off on what kind of series this’ll be, then maybe a visit to the official site where you can remove some of the main character’s clothing will. And then there’s the promo video (see below) that’s got the main character orgasming during a transformation sequence. It should thus come as no surprise that Juuden-chan is taking over Queen’s Blade‘s AT-X timeslot. It might be interesting to watch just for shock value, though I suspect they’re going to be hard pressed to push the envelope more than Queen’s Blade did.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan!! Promo Video – WARNING! NUDITY! ▼

umineko no naku koro ni Umineko no Naku Koro ni
http://umineko.tv/
Premiere on July 1st, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:30
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Wednesdays at 12:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
From the people who produced Higurashi comes the animated version of the next of 07th Expansion‘s visual novels. This time, the story involves a secluded island, a wealthy family, a string of mysterious murders, and a witch. I’ll be honest here: I never really got into the Higurashi series because I’m not a fan of psychological mystery/horror stuff, whether it be live-action or animated. Certainly Umineko looks great on paper, with a top-notch cast and some nice looking promos, but unlike a lot of the people I talk to, I’m not really excited about it. Maybe the first episode will change my opinion.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Umineko no Naku Koro ni Promo Videos ▼

aoi hana Aoi Hana – Sweet Blue Flowers
http://www.aoihana.tv/
Premiere on July 1st, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Wednesdays at 26:08
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Wednesdays at 13:08
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Replacing Ristorante Paradiso in the still relatively new NOISE timeslot on Fuji TV is a series by the J.C.Staff team behind Honey and Clover and Nodame Cantabile, which includes popular director Kasai Kenichi. Aoi Hana tells the story of two girls who were friends when they were young and become reunited as they start their high school years. It’s a nice slice-of-life romance that develops a lot of shoujo-ai relationships, and I’ve liked what I’ve read of the original manga, so there’s a pretty good chance I’ll end up watching this.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Aoi Hana Promo Video ▼

needless NEEDLESS
http://needless.jp/
Premiere on July 2nd, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:30
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Thursdays at 12:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
If I were to describe what makes up a generic action series, NEEDLESS would come pretty close to fitting that description. It involves a small band of powerful people fighting against an evil organization that’s trying to develop an immortality elixir in post-apocalyptic Japan, and there’s plenty of fighting, gore, hugely muscular men, and big-breasted scantily-clad women. Madhouse may yet prove me wrong by making this awesome, but from what I’ve read of the manga and without some more anime promo material, it’s hard for me to get really excited about this.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
taishou yakyuu musume Taishou Yakyuu Musume.
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/taisho/
Premiere on July 2nd, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:59
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Thursdays at 12:59
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Whereas K-ON! had cute girls playing in a band, the show replacing K-ON! this summer will have cute girls playing baseball. Taishou Yakyuu Musume takes place in 1925 at an all-girls school and involves the formation of an all-girls baseball team and their struggles against male teams. The promos don’t convince me this will be all that interesting, but it’s being done by J.C.Staff and has a pretty talented cast led by Nakahara Mai. If the pacing isn’t too bad, I might end up watching this.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Taishou Yakyuu Musume Promo Video ▼

bakemonogatari Bakemonogatari
http://www.bakemonogatari.com/
Premiere on July 3rd, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Fridays at 23:00
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Fridays at 10:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
The first of SHAFT and director Shinbou Akiyuki‘s two summer series is about a high school guy who meets different girls in each of the story arcs, all of whom are have something supernatural going on with them. I know I haven’t been the biggest fan of SHAFT’s style over the past several seasons since it tends to favor comedy and inside jokes (with the exception of maybe ef), but I’ve heard good things about the novels that this is based on, and the promos for this series show some very high production quality, so I’m willing to give this a try.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Bakemonogatari Promo Videos ▼

element hunters ELEMENT HUNTERS
http://elementhunters.com/
Premiere on July 4th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 18:00
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Saturdays at 5:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Taking place in a future where chemical elements have started disappearing, this series is about a group of young teens hunting elements in another dimension. Normally I’d label this as a kiddie show and move on since the goal apparently is to teach kids about chemistry (the official site even features a periodic table), but this caught my eye partly because it’s being produced as a joint venture between NHK and a Korean animation company but more so because it has an OP that’s going to be sung by Ishikawa Chiaki. I may watch it just to hear that song.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show ELEMENT HUNTERS Promo Video ▼

canaan CANAAN
http://www.canaan.jp/
Premiere on July 4th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 22:30
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Saturdays at 9:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
The show I’m probably most excited about this upcoming season is CANAAN. It’s based on a scenario created by Type-Moon founders Nasu Kinoko and Takeuchi Takashi for the Wii game 428: Fuusasareta Shibuya de about an assassin-like girl in Shanghai going up against a crime organization whose leader was responsible for terrorism in Shibuya. It’s being produced by the P.A. Works team that did true tears, and the promo videos look great, but if that’s not enough, it’s got an A-list cast as well including Sakamoto Maaya, Sawashiro Miyuki, and Tanaka Rie. Basically, this show should have everything going for it in terms of production, story, and cast, and I’m definitely planning on watching it.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Guaranteed
Show CANAAN Promo Videos ▼

zetsubou Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/zetsubou3/
Premiere on July 4th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Saturdays at 11:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
SHAFT and director Shinbou Akiyuki‘s other series for the summer is the third Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei TV anime. For those of you who might not be familiar with it, SZS is a comedy series about a very pessimistic high school teacher and his class of quirky students. I personally never made it very far in the first series because what I did see wasn’t all that funny, but a lot of people love this series and its style of humor. Luckily, Trillian is one of those people and is considering returning just to blog the show.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
princess lover Princess Lover!
http://www.prilover.tv/
Premiere on July 5th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 24:30
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Sundays at 11:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
This season’s based-on-an-adult-game harem series is Princess Lover, and um, it would appear to involve exactly what the title suggests (seriously, the title makes me laugh). It involves a normal boy who, after losing his parents in an accident, is given a chance to succeed his powerful grandfather (voiced of course by Wakamoto Norio) and is sent to a prestigious school. It almost goes without saying that there are plenty of beautiful girls at this school, including the aforementioned princess who happens to be quite well-endowed. I don’t really see this as being anything other than your average romance harem series, but maybe the relatively new studio GoHands will surprise me. The music in the promos is pretty catchy too.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Princess Lover! Promo Videos ▼

kanamemo Kanamemo
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/kanamemo/
Premiere on July 5th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Sundays at 25:30
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Sundays at 12:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Based on a 4-koma manga, Kanamemo follows a girl who’s all alone after losing her only relative, her grandmother. To survive, she lives and works in a newspaper shop, and the story follows her everyday life and the unique people around her. Since the premise here doesn’t really interest me – it sounds like it’ll turn out to be a nice little slice-of-life show, but not much more than that – I think the most noteworthy thing about this show is that it features some good voice actresses, including all three of the female leads from Toradora. That’s probably not enough to get me to watch more than one episode though.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Kanamemo Commercial ▼

ga GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class
http://mv.avex.jp/ga/
Premiere on July 6th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Mondays at 26:14
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Mondays at 13:14
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Also based on a 4-koma manga is this comedy series about five girls who are part of an art and design class. The manga has a lot of jokes and cute characters, and it’s like a cross between Hidamari Sketch, Sketchbook, and maybe Azumanga Daioh. Arguably the biggest draw though is the voice actresses they have lined up for the five main girls, including Tomatsu Haruka, Sawashiro Miyuki, and Horie Yui, but like with Kanamemo, that’s not enough to keep me watching unless the show itself turns out to be really good.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
sora no manimani Sora no Manimani
http://www.mmv.co.jp/special/soramani/
Premiere on July 7th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Tuesdays at 10:30
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Mondays at 21:30
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Aside from CANAAN, the other series I’m probably most excited about this upcoming season is Sora no Manimani. It’s a romance comedy that follows the plight of a guy who loves books but is coerced into the high school astronomy club by his hyperactive and hilarious-to-watch childhood friend. The manga was a joy to read, and the promo (see below) for the animated version drew me in immediately with its great music that reminded me of CLANNAD. I’m pretty much sold on this series, at least for the first few eps.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Sora no Manimani Promo Video ▼

spice and wolf ii Spice and Wolf II
http://www.spicy-wolf.com/
Premiere on July 8th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:15
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Wednesdays at 12:15
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
In terms of what I’m excited about, on the other end of the spectrum from CANAAN and Sora no Manimani is Spice and Wolf II. For those of you who haven’t seen the first series, it’s about a merchant who is joined on his journeys by a wolf harvest deity in the form of a girl. The lasting impression that it made on me was that it was somewhat boring at times and too often overly complicated with medieval economics themes that didn’t appeal to me. The recent episode 0 OVA didn’t do much to change my opinion of the overall show, though it did remind me that Horo can be very cute sometimes (Koshimizu Ami does a wonderful job with her). If you did like the first series though, you’ll happy to know that it looks like the entire staff and cast is back, and the promos might look promising. As a side note, what the heck did Fukuyama Jun do to his hair!? (see video below)
Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Spice and Wolf II Promo Videos ▼

tokyo magnitude 8.0 Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
http://www.tokyo-m8.com/
Premiere on July 9th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:45
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Thursdays at 11:45
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
The show succeeding Eden of the East in the Noitamina timeslot is a series that looks at the aftermath of an 8.0 earthquake hitting Tokyo. The story follows a middle school girl who’s bored with her life (up until this point at least) and her journey with her brother to get back home amidst everything going on around them. I really should be more excited about this series since it’s technically a BONES production (I say technically because Kinema Citrus is contributing as well) and has an interesting enough concept which, unlike most other series, isn’t based on a manga or novel. Unfortunately the promo video for this series just doesn’t sell me on it like, say, Eden’s promo did several months ago, so it’s not as high on my priority list.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Promo Video ▼

yoku wakaru gendai mahou Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou
http://www.gendaimahou.com/
Premiere on July 11th, 2009
Airtime in Japan (JST, GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Airtime in U.S. (EDT, GMT-4): Saturdays at 11:00
Information Links: ANN Encyclopedia, AnimeNfo, AniDB, MyAnimeList, syoboi
Based on a light novel, Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou is about a clumsy high school girl who has a child-like body and wants to change herself. After getting a flyer for a magic academy, she enters into the world of modern magic that involves computers and programs. The mix of magic and computers could be interesting, and the promo makes the show look decent, but I get the feeling that this’ll turn out to be just another magic series with a bunch of pretty girls and a main character who starts out weak but has a gift for magic. Still, if the Nomad team working on this does as good a job here as they did with sola, then this might be worth watching.
Odds I’ll Blog This: Decent
Show Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou Promo Video ▼

Note: The above list does not include the second Hetalia Axis Powers series because I don’t consider that show to have ended. The second series is essentially just a continuation of the first, without any break in between, under a slightly different name. It might as well just be one long series.

This is probably one of the shortest previews I’ve written up – there just aren’t quite as many series during the Summer and Winter seasons, and this Summer seems especially light. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though considering that most of the Spring shows I’m watching and blogging did not end, so I don’t have that much time to pick up a lot of new ones. As noted above, I’m most interested in CANAAN and Sora no Manimani right now, though Bakemonogatari is a close third. Sora no Manimani has the additional bonus of airing earlier in the week, which is good considering how heavy my current schedule is for the latter half of the week, to the point where I’m having to put off blogging shows like Basquash! and Tears to Tiara for several days so that I don’t overload myself on weekends. In any case, I’m looking forward to checking out all the new shows, and maybe something will turn out to be much better than expected.

Oh and as a side note, for those of you keeping count, Horie Yui is in six shows this season. That’s a third of all the new anime offerings this season which I think is kind of a crazy amount, but great if you like her voice. Tomatsu Haruka‘s not doing too bad either with four roles in new series, plus all the series she’s in that are still airing like Basquash! and Cross Game.

Also, does anyone actually want the videos above for download via a torrent? I’ve done that in the past, but not too many people used it, so it seemed like wasted effort. As always, comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome.

June 24, 2009 at 1:47 am
108 comments »
  • June 25, 2009 at 1:19 pmHachiko

    CANA~AN ! ^^*=

  • June 25, 2009 at 2:32 pmLQY

    YOU ARE WRONG!

    Taishou Yakyuu Musume IS NOT DECENT, IT IS EXCELLENT!

  • June 25, 2009 at 3:13 pmStory

    Aoi Hana and Umineko for me.

  • June 25, 2009 at 3:47 pm23886

    Preview looks a bit pessemistic to me… :/

  • June 25, 2009 at 5:43 pmlucehs

    This season simply sucks..other than spice and wolf II have nothing to look forward.
    Even if I get to focefully make myself to watch some few first eps of these I doubt any of them would actually cacth my eye.

    Worst anime season since these past 3 years

  • June 26, 2009 at 5:32 pmAwesome.

    List to watch:

    1.CANAAN: Because first of all, I’ve watched True Tears, and seeing they were the creators. It’s nice to see something new and fresh to watch.

    And for the others, maybe Sora no Manimani because of the romance comedy twist into it.

    So far, alright Summer line up, just wish there was some confirmation with Shana Season 3.

  • June 28, 2009 at 6:01 pmillusion

    >>Spice & Wolf II
    >>Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor

    Son, I am disappoint.

  • July 4, 2009 at 7:39 amFellshadow

    How can you not mention DARKER THAN BLACK -流星の双子 or とある科学の超電磁砲?
    Both were great series!

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