Random Curiosity

Fall 2012 Preview! »« Spring 2012 Preview!

Summer 2012 Preview!

With the summer season just around the corner, I thought I’d poke my head in and give an overview of the 26 new shows lined up. At first glance, there are some noteworthy continuations such as Rinne no Lagrange Season 2 and Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II, but a closer look reveals some gems such as Yuruyuri ♪♪ and Moyashimon Returns. In terms of all-new series, we have the highly anticipated Sword Art Online, an adaptation of Accel World creator Kawahara Reki’s other virtual reality fantasy novel — TARI TARI, another original slice-of-life series by P.A. Works — Natsuyuki Rendezvous, a romance/drama airing in the noitaminA time slot — plus a good selection of romantic comedies to round everything out. So without further ado, let’s have a look shall we?

Note: I don’t plan to write any more season previews while I’m on my indefinite hiatus. This was a special case since I was personally asked to write this season’s.


As a quick reminder, each entry is divided into two paragraphs:

  • A brief introduction to the series and its premise, often with the starring cast of characters.
  • My impressions, expanding on the plot and highlighting specific aspects that interest me.

The overall impressions at the very end categorize the shows in a way that should help you decide what to watch.


Disclaimer: Regular readers of the site probably already know that my tastes are fairly diverse, but a quick look at MyAnimeList should give everyone else an idea of my seventeen year history of watching anime. With that in mind, please be aware that I’ll often watch mediocre and even controversial series for the sake of variety, or simply so that I can make an informed judgment at the end. However, I would only recommend such shows if you’ve seen something similar, enjoyed it to a certain degree, and know what you’re getting yourself into. I still have my usual genres, so it’s usually not too difficult for me to decide what to watch based on premise, art style, production, and cast (a big one for me) after going through some source and/or promotional material. For the purpose of this preview, I’ll try to identify what appeals to me about each series, in hopes that it will help you determine if it coincides with your own tastes.

By no means does this list reflect every single anime series that is going to be aired, though it’s meant to be as comprehensive as possible. Shows that stray far from the anime norm or are deemed oriented towards younger children are omitted, so check out MOON PHASE for an entire listing, syoboi’s calendar for specific air times, and Fansub Wiki’s page for who’s tentatively subbing what.


TV Series


Technical Note: The list is ordered by the date and time that the shows premiere. The links in the schedule will take you to a series’ corresponding entry and the “Top” links on the right will bring you back. You can also use the back/forward buttons in your browser to jump between links you’ve clicked. 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.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Rinne no Lagrange 2
22:00 MX (7/1)
19:00 NHK (6/4)
Binbougami ga!
25:50 TX (7/4)
Moyashimon Returns
24:45 CX (7/5)
Hagure Yuusha no Estetica
10:30 AT-X (7/6)
23:30 MX (7/7)
22:30 tvk (7/1)
Chouyaku Hyakusin Isshu: Uta Koi
25:30 TX (7/2)
Natsuyuki Rendezvous
25:15 CX (7/5)
Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai.
11:00 AT-X (7/6)
Tanken Driland
23:30 TX (7/7)
La storia della Arcana Famiglia
23:30 tvk (7/1)
Yuruyuri ♪♪
26:00 TX (7/2)
Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate
25:25 TBS (7/5)
23:30 AT-X (7/6)
Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmonbu
23:30 Niconico (7/14)
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
24:00 tvk (7/1)
Hakuouki Reimeiroku
26:53 ytv (7/9)
Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!
25:55 TBS (7/5)
Sword Art Online
24:00 MX (7/7)
Chitose Get You!!
24:56 AT-X (7/1)
26:25 MBS (7/5)
Kokoro Connect
24:30 tvk (7/7)
Oda Nobuna no Yabou
25:05 TX (7/8)
Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II
26:28 MBS (7/7)
Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
25:35 TX (7/1)

* Jump to OVA/Movies.

Kingdom | キングダムTop
Animation: Studio Pierrot Premiere: June 4, 2012
Genre: Action, History Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 19:00
Episodes: 38 Station: NHK
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Kicking off the summer season a month ahead of the actual July start is a 38-episode historical action series set in 245 BC China in the State of Qin, during the Spring and Autumn Warring States Period. The story is adapted from an ongoing 25-volume manga and revolves around a war orphan named Shin (Morita Masakazu, Kurosaki Ichigo in Bleach), whom together with his friend Hyou, train in combat every day and dream of becoming generals on the battlefield. However, their fates forever change when Hyou is summoned to the royal palace because of his skill, gets caught up in a power struggle, and barely escapes with his life back to his hometown. Hyou ends up entrusting a map to Shin, who sets out on a journey and encounters a young boy who resembles his late friend — Sei (Fukuyama Jun), the current King of Qin.

Studio Pierrot, the production company behind Naruto, Bleach, and other long-running shounen series, is using copious amounts of CGI in the animation for this adaptation. It’s almost a venture project of sorts, and while the end result doesn’t look bad, it definitely shows that most of the scenes are computer rendered. The series itself I’m rather indifferent about, as the feudal Chinese setting is something I’m interested in, but not something I’m overly compelled to watch an anime about. At first glance, the biggest draw of this NHK prime time offering is Morita Masakazu and Fukuyama Jun’s casting in the lead roles. There’s likely a lot more substance to the manga, given its five-years-and-counting serialization in the seinen magazine Weekly Young Jump, so it’s worth a peek if the premise piques your interest.

Plans to Watch: Guardian Enzo Potential Bloggers:
Show Kingdom Promotional Videos ▼

Rinne no Lagrange Season 2 | 輪廻のラグランジェ season 2Top
Animation: XEBEC Premiere: July 1, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:00
Episodes: __ Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Jersey club girls, legendary robots, and galactic battles, oh my! Production I.G and car manufacturer Nissan’s original series makes its much-awaited return after a scheduled season break. Things last left off with emotional highs and lows that saw our three heroines — Kyouno Madoka (Ishihara Kaori), Lan (Seto Asami), and Muginami (Kayano Ai) — going separate ways, and the mystery behind the “Blossoming of Rinne” still not unraveled. A lot was revealed about the alien invaders who constantly attacked Madoka’s beloved ocean-side city of Kamogawa in the first season. This continuation is expected to build on those revelations and work towards a satisfying conclusion that not only sees the three girls reunited, but answers all the questions surrounding the three legendary “Vox” robots: Aura (wind), Lympha (water), and Ignis (fire).

It’s no secret that the original season of Lagrange and Ano Natsu de Matteru were my favorite series in winter and candidates for my favorites of 2012, so saying that I’m eagerly anticipating the continuation (not sequel) of the former would be a huge understatement. This original series was budgeted for two cours from the very beginning, and the halfway point that it left off on was (for lack of a better phrase), “Damn good.” While we learned the true identities of the intergalactic races from Le Garite and De Metrio who were vying over control of the lengendary Vox robots left on Earth, we were utterly teased about what’s to come following that revelation. This series features amiable characters and the perfect blend of action, comedy, and drama, so if you haven’t watched the original, you should check it out before season 2 airs. Highly recommended.

Plans to Watch: Moomba, Stereoman, Stilts Potential Bloggers: Stilts
Show Rinne no Lagrange Season 2 Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: P.A. Works Premiere: July 1, 2012
Genre: Drama, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:30
Episodes: 13 Station: TV Kanagawa (tvk)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

P.A. Works, the studio behind true tears, Angel Beats, and Another, is churning out a new slice-of-life series in the same vein as Hanasaku Iroha from spring 2011. The producer, character designer, and composer from Hanairo return for TARI TARI, which portrays the daily lives of three high school girls who are too young to be considered adults, but don’t perceive themselves as children anymore. In this everyday depiction of laughs, fights, worries, and love, we have Sakai Wakana (Takagaki Ayahi), who suddenly gives up on music one day, Miyamoto Konatsu (Seto Asami), who won’t give up on singing, and Okita Sawa (Hayami Saori), who will help any friend in need. They’re soon joined by two male students: Badminton club member Tanaka Taichi (Shimazaki Nobunaga) and transfer student Wein (Hanae Natsuki), who’s spent the past twelve years in Austria.

As much as I love P.A. Works, I’ll be the first to admit that the setup for TARI TARI sounds incredibly generic. It’s almost as if the Hanasaku Iroha staff members sat down over coffee and haphazardly decided on some character personalities so that they can make another slice-of-life series. Be that as it may, the promo material suggests that the production quality is what we’d expect from the studio, and there’s a very good possibility that the unassuming premise centering around music will turn out much better than I or anyone else thinks. While still a good series, Hanairo was a bit of a letdown for me, particularly in the middle stretch where the focus drifted away from the main cast, so I’m cautiously optimistic about what’s in store for TARI TARI. The good thing is that with P.A. Works, it’s a fairly safe bet this will be a “good” series if not a “great” one.

Plans to Watch: BakaMochi, Guardian Enzo, Stereoman, Zephyr Potential Bloggers: BakaMochi, Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Zephyr
Show TARI TARI Promotional Videos ▼

La storia della Arcana Famiglia | アルカナ・ファミリアTop
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 1, 2012
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 23:30
Episodes: __ Station: TV Kanagawa (tvk)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

J.C. Staff is adapting one of HuneX’s otome games this season, which features a vigilante organization known as “Arcana Famiglia” whose members possess special arcana abilities after forming a contract with “Tarocco”. The setting is the prosperous island of Regalo located in the Mediterranean Sea, and the heroine is Felicità (Noto Mamiko), the daughter of the organization’s leader, Mondo (Tachiki Fumihiko). After Felicità turns sixteen and becomes a full-fledged member, Mondo suddenly announces his retirement on his next birthday and decides to have all the members compete in the “Arcana Deulo”, a tournament to decide his successor and Felicità’s future husband. Among those fighting for the right of succession are: Libertà (Fukuyama Jun), Nova (Yonaga Tsubasa), Debito (Yoshino Hiroyuki), Pace (Sugita Tomokazu), Luca (Nakamura Yuuichi), Dante (Kosugi Jurota), and Jolly (Yusa Kouji). However, Felicità decides to take part as well to decide her own future.

I can’t vouch for the game since I haven’t played it, but the setup with a vigilante organization, special powers, and a heroine who fights back and doesn’t simply go along with what she’s been told does pique my interest a fair degree. What’s more, Kon Chiaki (Higurashi, Nodame Cantabile) is directing this adaptation, while Akahoshi Masanao (To Aru Majutsu no Index, Tegami Bachi, FREEZING) handles the screenplay — a tandem that instills some confidence. My only minor concern is J.C. Staff’s involvement, since their adaptations tend to be spot on from an animation standpoint, yet hit-or-miss when it comes to execution. Hopefully this won’t be a miss though, as I like what I see from the cast list, character designs, and promotional material.

Plans to Watch: BakaMochi, Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Stereoman, unlisted, Zanibas, Zephyr Potential Bloggers: Zanibas, Zephyr
Show La storia della Arcana Famiglia Promotional Videos ▼

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita | 人類は衰退しましたTop
Animation: AIC ASTA Premiere: July 1, 2012
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:00
Episodes: __ Station: TV Kanagawa (tvk)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Artist and scenario writer Tanaka Romeo, whose previous works include various adult games, is getting his first fantasy light novel adapted into an anime. “Mankind Has Declined” as the title suggests, depicts a distant future several centuries later where humanity is nearing extinction and a new Koro-pok-guru-like fairy species has emerged. Acting as a government mediator to these fairies is a nameless girl only referred to as “I” (Nakahara Mai) – a graduate of humanity’s last remaining school “Gakusha” who figured she’d have an easy life with this job, but gets caught up in all the fairies’ mysterious behaviour and inventions. Her grandfather serves as the chief of the mediator office in their hometown of Kusunoki, and a young boy he took in works as his assistant.

The promo artwork will have you believing otherwise, but this surreal and refreshing story actually contains a fair bit of the author’s peculiar black humor — something that the promo video with a headless talking chicken gives a sense of. In addition, there are parodies and homages everywhere, as the setup generally showcases our nameless heroine’s interactions with fairies and their mysterious inventions. Not exactly what I would’ve expected given the character designs and color palette of this series, so I’m admittedly not sure what to make of it. In some ways, it does remind me of the Kozue Amano’s “healing manga” ARIA though. On the production side, director Kishi Seiji (Angel Beats, Kami-sama Dolls) is in charge of this adaptation, warranting a closer look.

Plans to Watch: BakaMochi, Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Zanibas Potential Bloggers: Guardian Enzo, Zanibas
Show Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita Promotional Videos ▼

Chitose Get You!! | ちとせげっちゅ!!Top
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: July 1, 2012
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:56
Episodes: __ Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

In an all-too-familiar setup, we have another comedy about an elemtary school girl who’s infatuated with an older guy. Adapted from a four-panel gag manga, Chitose Get You!! centers around the everyday life of 11-year-old Sakuraba Chitose (Nakaya Sayaka), who takes her crush on Kashiwabara Hiroshi (Hatano Wataru) — a government worker working at the town hall next to her school — to an over-the-top obsessive level. Hilarity ensues as a result, and Chitose’s friends, Misaki (Tokui Sora) and Hiiragi Hinako (MAKO), get caught up in her antics before long. Things even heat up a bit in the love rival department, when Chitose’s homeroom teacher Fuji Asako (Mitsuishi Kotono), who is constantly teased about being single and unmarried, is introduced to Hiroshi and takes a liking to him.

I can’t be the only one reminded of Kodomo no Jikan in this “underage girl loves older guy” setup, but unlike that risqué drama-filled manga, Chitose Get You focuses heavily on the comedy. Hiroshi’s portrayed by Hatano Wataru, who’s voiced some of the most straightlaced male characters I can think of (see Nogizaka Haruka), and just goes along with Chitose’s childhood romance so that he doesn’t hurt her feelings. Judging from the chapters of the manga that I flipped through, the humor itself is expectedly a bit random, but struck a chord with me when Asako — voiced by veteran Mitsuishi Kotono (Sailor Moon) — gets pulled into the mix and attracts dangerously jealous stares from Chitose. I also like the simply yet subtlely different character designs, so I’m tempted to check out a few episodes for some cheap laughs. Production-wise, I’m always curious to see how producers turn a four-panel manga into a more seamlessly flowing anime.

Plans to Watch: Potential Bloggers:
Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse | トータル・イクリプスTop
Animation: Satelight, Ixtl Premiere: July 1, 2012
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 25:35
Episodes: __ Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Adult PC game developer âge — makers of the drama-filled Kimi ga Nozomu Eien — is getting another one of their titles adapted into an anime. This time, it’s a spin-off light novel based on the alternate world sequels to their 2003 Muv-Luv game, namely Muv-Luv Unlimited and Muv-Luv Alternative, which take place in a futuristic setting where humanity is struggling to fend off alien invaders known as BETA (a horrendous acronym that stands for Beings of the Extra Terristrial orion which is Adversary of human race”). Since their arrival in 1973, the entire Eurasian continent’s been lost and the Earth’s population decimated by billions. Mankind’s only hope in a losing battle for the past 30 years are mobile mechanical weapons known as Tactical Surface Fighters (TSF). Total Eclipse takes place in 2001, when Takamura Yui (Nakahara Mai), a TSF pilot for the Imperial Royal Guards of Japan, is sent to Alaska to take part in a joint project with Russian and the US to develop next-generation TSFs. There, she meets Russian test pilot Cryska Barchenowa (Nabatame Hitomi) and US Army pilot Yuuya Bridges (Ono Daisuke), the latter of whom isn’t fond of his half-Japanese roots.

I’m not overly familiar with the Muv-Luv franchise, but the alternate world bit is strikingly similar to IDOLM@STER’s own mecha spin-off, Xenoglossia. Generally, it’s a way of bolstering the popularity of a “new series” with already established characters, but Total Eclipse steps away from Unlimited and Alternative by featuring an all-new cast. As a fan of sci-fi robot anime, I’m naturally interested in the premise — even if there weren’t busty pilots in skintight suits — but the first few chapters of the manga variation were a bit slow and nothing really drew me in. However, I have heard good things about it and would never simply disregard an anime by Satelight that involves mechs, which gives me more than enough reason to give this series a go. I like what I see in terms of production quality, which is on par with Satelight’s stellar work on Aquarion EVOL these past two seasons.

Plans to Watch: Asobi, Moomba, unlisted, Zephyr Potential Bloggers: Zephyr
Show Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse Promotional Videos ▼

Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi. | 超訳百人一首 うた恋い。Top
Animation: TYO Animations Premiere: July 2, 2012
Genre: History, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:30
Episodes: __ Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

The Hyakunin Isshu — a collection of a hundred traditional poems by a hundred famous poets — is the focus in an anime again, except it’s not over the card game karuta. In “Super Liberal Hyakkunin Isshu: Love Song”, we’re provided with author Sugita Kei’s loose interpretation of the poems, set in the Heian Period (794-1185). The emphasis is how love still blossomed during this feudal period of Japan, before there were mail or telephones to convey one’s feelings. As of July of last year, the first two volumes of the manga have sold an impressive 210,000 copies, prompting the green-light on this adaptation. Prior to becoming a professional mangaka, the author produced popular MAD videos on Niconico under the alias “cdm” — some of which generated over 5.5 million views — and was praised for having a unique artistic style and comedic sense. Some of that can be seen in Uta Koi, which is said to have a modernized comedic touch.

With Bakuman and Honey & Clover director Kasai Kenichi on board, as well as various popular seiyuu that include Kaji Yuuki, Suwabe Junichi, Hayami Saori, Endou Aya, Shimono Hiro, and Oohara Sayaka, the only real intangiable is TYO Animations’ involvement — a studio that’s collaborated on many productions but haven’t led too many of their own. The liberal stories themselves seem to be popular and even educational to a certain degree, as the manga can be found in study reference sections of many bookstores. Sugita Kei’s art style is a real treat too, distinguishing itself from the stuff we typically see these days, so I’m rather curious to see how this adaptation turns out. I don’t care too much for the Hyakunin Isshu, much like I didn’t in Chihayafuru, but I’m always up for a good romance story in any setting.

Plans to Watch: BakaMochi Potential Bloggers: BakaMochi
Show Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi Promotional Videos ▼

Yuruyuri ♪♪ | ゆるゆり♪♪Top
Animation: Dogakobo Premiere: July 2, 2012
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 26:00
Episodes: __ Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

The laugh-until-your-eyes-bleed yuri goodness is back for a second season, as the members of the unofficial “Fun Club”, Akaza Akari (Mikami Shiori), Toshinou Kyouko (Ootsubo Yuka), Funami Yui (Tsuda Minami), and Yoshikawa Chinatsu (Ookubo Rumi) continue to spend their easygoing middle school days with the members of the student council, Matsumoto Rise (Gotou Saori), Sugiura Ayano (Fujita Saki), Ikeda Chitose (Toyosaki Aki), Oomura Sakurako (Katou Emiri), and Furutani Himawari (Mimori Suzuko). In what appears to be just another slice-of-life comedy starring four girls, Yuruyuri sets itself apart by featuring nine girls with distinct nuances and fully taking their antics to ridiculously idiotic levels. The director and screen writer from season one are back, both of whom also worked on Miname-ke s1 and Mitsudomoe s1/s2, retaining the formula that worked so well in season one.

I really didn’t foresee Yuruyuri getting a sequel, let alone a sequel so soon, making this continuation one of the most pleasant surprises of the summer season. Its light lesbian spin, accompanied by a lot of idiocy from the presenceless Akari, extremely whimsical Kyouko, and Yui-obsessed Chinatsu, really redefine the usual slice-of-life formula. The original season was one of my favorite comedies of 2011, having made me laugh uncontrollably on many occasions, so I anticipate I’ll be in store for the same hilarious enjoyment again. Yuriness notwithstanding, the slapstick humor is similar to Ichigo Mashimaro’s — a slice-of-life favorite of mine — so if you’ve seen that and enjoyed it, do yourself a favor and check out Yuruyuri. It’s good laughs all around.

Plans to Watch: Moomba, Stilts Potential Bloggers:
Show Yuruyuri ♪♪ Promotional Videos ▼

Binbougami ga! | 貧乏神が!Top
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: July 4, 2012
Genre: Comedy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:50
Episodes: __ Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Sunrise is bringing us a new adaptation this season, which not only reunites the seiyuu trio from KannagiHanazawa Kana, Tomatsu Haruka, and Shimono Hiro — but also features music by former Square Enix leading composer, Hamauzu Masashi (Final Fantasy XIII, XIII-2), marking his first foray into the anime industry. The series itself depicts a comedic battle between fortune and misfortune, where 16-year-old Sakura Ichiko (Kana), who’s been blessed with good looks, smarts, wealth, and athleticism, is pitted against the Japanese “God of Poverty” Binboda Momiji (Uchiyama Yumi), who’s been sent to correct the fortuitous anomaly that Ichiko is. The voluptuous “lucky girl” has been unknowingly sapping all the good luck energy from everyone around her and she’s unwilling to relinquish that ability even after Momiji confronts her about it, setting the stage for a lot of comedic back-and-forth bickering.

Even for a surreal gag comedy, I’m amused by how unadultered and petty the humor in Binbougami ga’s manga can be, like how Momiji keeps remarking about Ichiko’s breast size and wanting to take them for herself. Also, rather than allowing a deity to fix the imbalance in the world, Ichiko pretty much tells Momiji to screw off, compounding problems and adding to the hilarity. The most surprising aspect is how multifaceted this series is, switching over to a more sentimental note when Ichiko inadvertently brings misfortune to those she holds dear. It’s a welcomed change-up that was seamlessly slipped in and should work well with the comedy that Gintama director Fujita Youichi is in charge of. I’m not sure where things are headed, but with Momiji’s masochistic summoned dog Inugami Momo (Hiro) and hot-blooded karate-crazed transfer student Rindou Ran (Haruka) among the regular cast, I do want to find out.

Plans to Watch: Asobi, Moomba, Stilts Potential Bloggers:
Moyashimon Returns | もやしもん リターンズTop
Animation: Shirogumi, Telecom Animation Premiere: July 5, 2012
Genre: Comedy, School-Life, Science Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:45
Episodes: __ Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Five years later, Sawaki Tadayasu (Sakaguchi Daisuke) and his “Tales of Agriculture” at university make a return to the noitaminA time slot. Based on Ishikawa Masayuki’s seinen manga, Moyashimon involves the not-so-ordinary life of Tadayasu, who can see microbes with the naked eye and communicate with them — an ability that his professor Keizou Itsuki (Nishimura Tomomichi) and research assistant Hasegawa Haruka (Oohara Sayaka) deem priceless. He attends “Noudai” with his gothic-lolita cross-dressing childhood friend Yuuki Kei (Saiga Mitsuki), first-year germaphobe Oikawa Haruka (Kanda Akemi), the school’s “Miss Agriculture” Mutou Aoi (Noto Mamiko), and his two opportunistic seniors, Misato Kaoru (Konishi Katsuyuki) and Kawahama Takuma (Sugiyama Noriaki), where he gets caught up in crazy exploits involving fermentation and illegally brewed alcohol. The original season left off with Tadayasu regaining his ability to see microbes after suddenly losing it, which further deepened his bond with them.

While this series is filled with microbiology jargon about cultivation and fermentation, it has an inexplicable charm to it that not only kept me watching the original season, but got me watching (and enjoying) the drama version too. I really like the university setting, as it’s a welcome change of scenery from the high school alternative that we see in just about every other anime. The characters are older and more educated, but their stupidity remains in spite of being well-learned in their field — a combination that’s pretty hilarious from a viewer standpoint. I don’t care much for the educational microbiology aspect, but it’s still easy to relate to what the characters are going through and getting a lot of enjoyment from that. There are also some overarching drama-filled plotlines, making this a truly unique seinen comedy that deserves some attention. It even has veteran seiyuu Touma Yumi voicing the microbe mascot Oryzae in a goofy voice.

Plans to Watch: Guardian Enzo, Zanibas Potential Bloggers: Zanibas
Show Moyashimon Returns Promotional Videos ▼

Natsuyuki Rendezvous | 夏雪ランデブーTop
Animation: Dogakobo Premiere: July 5, 2012
Genre: Drama, Romance, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:15
Episodes: __ Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Taking over the second noitaminA time slot is an adaptation of a supernatural romance manga that completed its two-and-a-half-year, four-volume run earlier this year. Titled “Summer Snow Rendezvous”, the series revolves around Hazuki Ryuusuke (Nakamura Yuuichi), who hopped on the opportunity to work part-time at a flower shop after secretly falling in love with its eight-year-older owner, Shimao Rokka (Oohara Sayaka). One day, he happens to go up to the second floor of the building and runs into the ghost of her late husband, Shimao Atsushi (Fukuyama Jun), whom only he can see. Atsushi’s spirit lingered after Rokka begged him on his deathbed not to leave her, and now he’s intent on getting in Ryuusuke’s way to prevent him from taking Rokka from him. However, Ryuusuke is neither swayed nor afraid of Atsushi’s presence and makes strides toward telling Rokka how he feels and helping her move on.

A quick flip-through of the manga has the romantic in me really looking forward to this adaptation, as the gimmicky setup of “young guy going after an older woman while her dead husband gets in the way” proved to be a lot better than it sounds. The depiction of the characters’ emotions feels very real, so much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if a live-action variation is produced at some point like so many other noitaminA shows (e.g. Honey & Clover, Nodame Cantabile, Usagi Drop). It was easy to get a sense of where the characters were coming from, making the drama that much more prominent when Ryuusuke decides to become Rokka’s replacement for Atsushi if need be. Then there’s the supernatural part where Atsushi wants Rokka to himself but can only communicate to her through Ryuusuke, which really throws this love triangle in for a whirl. Will they work together to make Rokka happy? I don’t know but I intend to find out.

Plans to Watch: BakaMochi, Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Stereoman, Stilts, Zanibas Potential Bloggers: BakaMochi, Guardian Enzo, Zanibas
Show Natsuyuki Rendezvous Promotional Videos ▼

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate | 恋と選挙とチョコレートTop
Animation: AIC Build Premiere: July 5, 2012
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:25
Episodes: __ Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

In the all too familiar scenario of an eroge turned anime, AIC Build is bringing us game maker Sprite’s first and only release thus far, “Love, Election & Chocolate” (or “Koichoco” for short). The setting is Takafuji Academy, a private institution with over 6,000 students where second-year Oojima Yuuki (Nakamura Yuuichi) spends his days leisurely in the Food Research Club, a.k.a. “Shokken”, that his childhood friend Sumiyoshi Chisato (Nakamura Eriko) is president of. In reality, the club doesn’t do anything but eat snacks. They’re accompanied by many other students, many of whom are members of Shokken, including Yuuki’s classmate Kiba Mifuyu (Mizuhashi Kaori), first-year Morishita Michiru (Imai Asami), and Michiru’s friend Aomi Isara (Kadowaki Mai). Their easygoing days are in jeopardy however, when the forerunner in the next student council president election, Shinonome Satsuki (Asakawa Yuu), proposes that all clubs with no merit be abolished. After consulting with the current president, Yuuki decides to run in the election against Satsuki to try and save their club.

Naturally, the situation sounds a lot more grave than it really is, as I quickly found out in the manga version. Yuuki gets along really well with Satsuki and is stricken by her amazing looks, so the conflict surrounding the election is mostly there to drive out his romantic interactions with her and the rest of the heroines. The club’s easygoing activities of sampling food and goofy outbursts, coupled with the large support cast of eccentric characters, remind me a lot of Haganai, which is befitting since director Kitahata Tooru served as an episode director in its adaptation. Likewise, the story touches upon some more serious subplots, such as the bullying Isara has to endure at school since her family’s poor. While Koichoco doesn’t step too far away from the eroge adaptation norm, my opinion of it has definitely improved for the better. For those familiar with the game, the female cast is all here, except under their real names.

Plans to Watch: Asobi, BakaMochi, Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Stilts Potential Bloggers: Asobi
Show Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate Promotional Videos ▼

Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru! | この中に1人、妹がいる!Top
Animation: Studio Gokumi Premiere: July 5, 2012
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:55
Episodes: __ Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Studio Gokumi, the one-year-old company comprised of former GONZO Studio 5 staff, is spearheading two productions this summer. Premiering first is their adaptation of a romantic comedy, “Among These Girls is My Younger Sister!”, where Mikadono Shougo (Sakurai Takahiro) inherits the wealthy Mikadono Group and begins training to become its next president. As per his father’s will, he transfers to a prestiguous high school where he’s asked to find a future wife before graduation. He soon finds himself surrounded by beautiful girls — Tsuruma Konoe (Ishihara Kaori), Kannagi Miyabi (Sakura Ayane), Kunitachi Rinka (Taketatsu Ayana), Tendou Mana (Oogame Asuka), and Sagara Mei (Hidaka Rina) — and is intent on getting close to them. However, he receives an anonymous phone call from someone claiming to be his younger sister and among the girls he’s gotten close to. She won’t reveal her true identity until he falls in love with her, leaving Shougo deathly afraid of ending up with a sister he didn’t know existed.

Sakurai Takahiro starring in a harem anime is the first thing that stood out to me with this series, followed by a female cast that includes Ano Natsu/Rinne no Lagrange’s Ishihara Kaori and Denpa Onna’s Oogame Asuka. After that, it’s how rather convenient the setup is, forcing Shougo in a catch-22 scenario where he has to risk falling for his half-sister (and likely will). I don’t care for the whole incest bit, but I did enjoy the early chapters that I read where Konoe’s kindhearted nature and Miyabi’s forwardness noticeably change up the harem formula. Then there’s the twist with the stalkerish phone call that puts Shougo on edge and makes me suspicious of all the girls, which worked well in keeping me reading. I don’t anticipate this will be a standout series, but the premise does have a “little something” that makes the series compelling to read (…and watch).

Plans to Watch: BakaMochi, Cherrie, Stilts, unlisted Potential Bloggers:
Show Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru! Promotional Videos ▼

Joshiraku | じょしらくTop
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 5, 2012
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:25
Episodes: __ Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

From Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei author Kumeta Kouji comes another gag manga, except this title is about the everyday lives of five girls who talk about a lot of meaningless drivel and get really into their conversations. Even their names are puns themselves, as we have “Bloody Mary” Buratei Marii (Sakura Ayane), “Hello Kitty Stuffed Animal” Haroukitei Kigurumi (Koiwai Kotori), “Breakwater Tetrapod” Bouhatei Tetora (Yamamoto Nozomi), “Cool Beauty Glasses” Kuurubiyuutei Gankyou (Yoshino Nanjo), and “Dark and Gloomy” Anrakutei Kukuru (Gotou Saori). Everything takes place in the backstage of a theatre, and the comedy almost always starts with one of the girls saying asking a random question or making a head-scratching statement. All the other girls then join in, adding their equally random input and taking the discussion off on wild tangents.

Judging from the manga, this form of delivery provides a completely unscripted type of humor, similar to the kind I have with my friends when we talk about random stuff. In many ways, it reminds me of Yuruyuri’s depiction of a group of girls talking about extremely unimportant things, except without the slapstick lesbian undertones. What I found most amusing is how the girls are quick to turn on one another to make a point. In comparison, the endless stream of witty yet non-sensical remarks was only mildy amusing, but should benefit in an animated and vocalized form. The best summation of this series is probably “cute girls saying stupid things”, so if you enjoy a lot of satire, it’s worth a peek. Ika Musume s1 and Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san’s Mizushima Tsutomu is directing and Genshiken’s Yokote Michiko is handling the screenplay — two big pluses in my book.

Plans to Watch: Potential Bloggers:
Show Joshiraku Promotional Videos ▼

Hagure Yuusha no Estetica | はぐれ勇者の鬼畜美学Top
Animation: ARMS Premiere: July 6, 2012
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 10:30
Episodes: __ Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Hobby Japan and ARMS, the publisher and studio that brought us Queen’s Blade and Samurai Girls, are back with another “sexy battle anime” this season. In what’s intended to resemble a New Game+, “The Stray Hero’s Brute Aesthetics” follows the everyday school life of Ousawa Akatsuki (Okamoto Nobuhiko), after he returns to modern day Japan from the alternate universe of Alazard where he defeated the demon king. With him is the demon king’s daughter Miu (Hikasa Youko), whom the demon king actually entrusted to Akatsuki upon his defeat because of his brute nature. Shocked to learn that he defeated the first demon king ever, the international training facility “BABEL” takes both him and Miu into custody. There, they attend school with other beautiful girls — Izumi Chikage (Ueda Kana) and Doumoto Kuzuha (Hanazawa Kana) — and get wrapped up in battles with the student council — president Hikama Kyouya (Sakurai Takahiro) and vice president Nanase Haruka (Inoue Marina).

The all-star cast and OP/ED theme songs by Faylan and Misato Aki are commonplace in fan-service-filled anime these days, making the New Game+ part of the premise the most intriguing part. I see it as light novel author Uesu Tetsuto’s way of explaining the characters’ fighting ability while dropping them in a modern day school setting where it’s exclusive to the students. From a writing standpoint, he has the freedom to take the story in almost any direction by drawing from an established yet unwritten backstory. I don’t know where this series is headed, but I do see the potential fo the story to be as surprisingly layered as Hobby Japan’s other demon king-related series, Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou. Still, while I did watch both Queen’s Blade and Samurai Girls and gave them a chance to surprise me (which they did), I’m not planning to stick with this latest Hobby Japan series unless the first episode really grabs my interest.

Plans to Watch: BakaMochi, Moomba, Stilts, unlisted, Zephyr Potential Bloggers: Moomba, Zephyr
Show Hagure Yuusha no Estetica Promotional Videos ▼

Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai. | だから僕は、Hができない。Top
Animation: feel. Premiere: July 6, 2012
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 11:00
Episodes: __ Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

When it comes to risqué series like kiss x sis and Yosuga no Sora, feel is the studio to deliver. This season however, they’re going a safer route with the adaptation of “That’s Why I Can’t Have Sex”, where ultra-perverted yet unbelievably kind Kaga Ryousuke (Shimono Hiro) ends up losing his highly-prized sex drive to an elite death god, Lisara Restall (Endou Aya). She’s in the human world to look for someone with an enormous amount of spiritual energy, but requires some to remain here and continue her search, so she ends up forming a pact with Ryousuke to use his energy — effectively draining him of his main “drive” in life. He ends up helping her with her search to get his sex drive back, during which his childhood friend Ookura Mina (Ishihara Kaori), Lisara’s cousin Quele Sellier (Nishiguchi Arisa), and Lisara’s rival Fukumine Iria (Fukuen Misato) join the mix.

The premise sounds a bit run-of-the-mill, but the execution in manga version is pretty hilarious since Ryousuke is quite outspoken about how he can’t even look at an attractive girl with lustrous eyes anymore, and not arrogant or self-loathing about his pervertedness. The humor that comes from his personality is very refreshing as a result and quite unlike the typical jokes in romantic comedies. Lisara on the other hand is a tsundere who isn’t overly violent and flips to her dere side quite frequently, leading to a lot of cute scenarios where she turns flush red. She’s also the least “endowed” out of all the female characters — something she has a bit of a complex about. The two of them are a fun tandem to watch — especially with Mina around, who clearly likes Ryousuke — so I’m looking forward to hearing Shimono Hiro opposite of Endou Aya in the lead roles. While there may be fan-service, their dynamic and the adult humor are the main draws for me.

Plans to Watch: Moomba, Stilts, unlisted Potential Bloggers:
Show Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai Promotional Videos ▼

Campione! | カンピオーネ!Top
Animation: Diomedea Premiere: July 6, 2012
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 23:30
Episodes: __ Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

A high school “battle fantasy” light novel about god slayers is getting an adaptation, produced by Diomedea (Ika Musume), directed by Kusakawa Keizou (Lyrical Nanoha), and screenwritten by Hanada Jukki (Steins;Gate, sola). The protagonist is 16-year-old Kusanagi Godou (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu), a baseball catcher and clean-up hitter who was selected to be Japan’s team representative but forced to retire from a shoulder injury and only wishes to spend his days peacefully. However, three months ago during his summer vacation in Sardinia, Italy, he gets caught up in a battle between two gods. Together with Erica Blandelli (Hikasa Youko), a member of the “Copper Black Cross” magicians’ society, Godou winds up defeating the “War God” Verenthragna, earning him the title as the seventh Campione — a select group of people who have defeated malevolent gods and obtained both their powers and status in the world — and pulling him into a world where he has to battle against other Campione and malevolent gods.

Naturally, other mages are brought into the picture, including a Japanese shrine maiden, Mariya Yuri (Hanazawa Kana), a rival from the “Bronze Black Cross” society, Liliana Kranjcar (Kitamura Eri), and the daughter from a prestigous family, Seishuuin Ena (Saitou Yuka). Yuri has feelings for Godou, but Erica does as well, being his self-proclaimed lover and one of the few people who actually know what happened when he defeated Verethragna. Where things go from there I’m not entirely sure, but I do like what I see in the staff and cast, promo videos, and production in general. Also, the premise with god slayers and mages, albeit different, reminds me a bit of To Aru Majutsu no Index, whose direction I was never sure of either but still enjoyed a fair bit (when I’m not blogging it). This definitely has the potential to be one of the more plot-heavy shows of the season.

Plans to Watch: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Moomba, Stilts, unlisted, Zephyr Potential Bloggers: Zephyr
Show Campione Promotional Videos ▼

Tanken Driland | 探検ドリランドTop
Animation: Toei Animation Premiere: July 7, 2012
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:30
Episodes: __ Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

GREE’s popular 2008 mobile social networking game where players adventure together and battle monsters in the world of Driland is getting an anime. Produced by Toei Animation, it follows the adventures of Elua’s princess, Mikoto (Miyamoto Kanako), who visited a small town when she was younger and met someone who inspired her to become a hunter — someone who travels across the land in search of treasure. Now grown up, she sets out an expedition with her caretaker Wallence (Nojima Kenji) and encounters and teams up with other adventurers: Pollon (Kumai Motoko), a hunter who dreams of becoming a hero, and Parn (Uchiyama Kouki), a wandering knight. As they continue their adventures together, meeting various other hunters along the way, a sudden crisis befalls on Driland in the form of a gigantic monster, prompting Mikoto and her party to rally against it.

I always approach adaptations of role playing games with a fair bit of caution, as I like the fantasy setting, but am generally disappointed in the story itself (which is ironic since RPGs should have good stories). I don’t mind the more super-deformed character designs as they’re reminiscent to the 8-bit RPGs I grew up playing, so I’m going to wait and see what’s in store for the anime of the mobile game that was a No. 1 bestseller on the iTunes Store in Japan. I’m hoping that this will turn out better than it seems, but I’m still not expecting much at this point.

Plans to Watch: Potential Bloggers:
Animation: Seven Arcs Premiere: July 7, 2012
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:30
Episodes: __ Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

DOG DAYS, an original series by Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha creator Tsuzuki Masaki, is surprisingly getting a sequel, which takes the cheerful and acrobatic 13-year-old Izumi Cinque (Miyano Mamoru) back into the parallel world of Fronaldo where dog and cat-like races from the Republic of Biscotti led by Princess Millhiore (Horie Yui) and Lion Domain of Galette led by Princess Leonmichelis (Koshimizu Ami) engage in non-lethal war games for the pride of their countries. Accompanying Cinque for his return are his childhood friend Rebecca Anderson (Takahashi Mikako) and older cousin Takatsuki Nanami (Mizuki Nana), the latter of whom ends up opposing him as Gallete’s summoned hero. Joining the fray is the Principality of Pastillage, whose first dutchess Kübel Eschenbach Pastillage (Yuuki Aoi) is learning to be its next leader from from Mille and Leo.

While I don’t anticipate much will change, it’s worth noting that Nanoha director Kusakawa Keizou is not returning for this sequel, having been replaced by true tear’s Nishimura Junji. I watched the original season and found the ending open-ended enough for a sequel, but am still surprised that it actually got one. Reason being, it was an all-ages-friendly series with nice animation and a vibrant color palette, and featured a semi-suspenseful storyline that worked well for lighthearted fantasy, but was still pretty forgettable as a whole. For this continuation, the all-star cast from the stars to the support characters remains one of the biggest draws, so with Yuuki Aoi joining them, I’m inclined to at least check out a few episodes. I would only recommend doing the same if you watched the first season and enjoyed the more innocent spin on the fantasy genre.

Plans to Watch: Asobi, Moomba Potential Bloggers: Asobi
Show DOG DAYS Promotional Videos ▼

Sword Art Online | ソードアート・オンラインTop
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: July 7, 2012
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: 2-cour Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

It’s not too often that an author has two of their works adapted in parallel, but Kawahara Reki’s other virtual reality MMORPG series, Sword Art Online, will be airing alongside Accel World this summer. In SAO, a new technology called “NERDLES”, NERve Direct Linkage Environment System, revolutionizes the gaming world by interfacing directly with a player’s brain. However, upon the release of the first game, aptly titled “Sword Art Online”, Kirigaya Kazuto, a.k.a. Kirito (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) and the rest of the players find themselves unable to log out from it. The game and NERDLES creator Kayaba Akihiko then informs everyone that they need to clear a 100-floor dungeon if they want to leave. The catch is, dying in the game or tampering with the “Nerve Gear” device externally results in death in real life. It’s been two years since then and only 6,000 of the original 10,000 players remain. Kirito, alongside his friend Yuuki Asuna (Tomatsu Haruka), continue fighting to clear the remaining 26 floors and free themselves from the game.

The setup is fairly outlandish, as the real world is notified of what’s happening and told to keep the players on life support so that they can play for as long as needed. Beyond that, I find it rather twisted how people are forced to play a game and put their lives on the line. To me, it’s analogous to holding someone at gunpoint and forcing them to play World of Warcraft with Diablo’s hardcore mode. That, and entering The Matrix with no telephones to dial out. While the thought of that is enough to appeal to the “gamer geek” in me, a fantasy series produced by A-1 Pictures and featuring music by Kajiura Yuki makes this a must-watch. As a two-cour adaptation, it remains to be seen whether this will only cover the “SAO arc” or extend to the others that feature different virtual reality games, but given the first arc’s resemblence to Druaga no Tou, and Asuna and Kirito’s relationship with Tomatsu Haruka and Kamimemo’s Matsuoka Yoshitsugu voicing them, this adaptation should be a real treat either way.

Plans to Watch: Asobi, BakaMochi, Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Moomba, Stereoman, Stilts, unlisted, Zephyr Potential Bloggers: Asobi, BakaMochi, Guardian Enzo, Moomba
Show Sword Art Online Promotional Videos ▼

Kokoro Connect | ココロコネクトTop
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: July 7, 2012
Genre: School-Life, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Episodes: __ Station: TV Kanagawa (tvk)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

In what could (and probably should) be perceived as the basis for a hentai series, the premise of Anda Sananatsu’s “Connect Hearts” light novel and manga entails students at Yamaboshi High School mysteriously swapping bodies with one another — including the opposite sex. The members of the Literature Research Club — Yaegashi Taichi (Mizushima Takahiro), Nagase Iori (Toyosaki Aki), Inaba Himeko (Sawashiro Miyuki), Kiriyama Yui (Kanemoto Hisako), and Yushifumi Aoki (Terashima Takuma) — first experience this bizarre phenomenon when Yui and Aoki swap bodies for half an hour and find themselves in each other’s home. The next day, Taichi and Iori switch bodies at school, proving that it wasn’t all just a bad dream. After that, they find themselves swapping bodies with one another more frequently while trying to find a pattern and explanation for it. Not only that, they soon find out that they’re not the only ones at the school who are experiencing this phenomenon.

The premise sounds eerie but the actual depiction is more comedic than anything else, which I quickly found out in the manga chapters that I skimmed though. There’s some awkwardness when two members of the opposite sex swap bodies and use their hands to “confirm” it for themselves (hence the hentai remark above), but there isn’t actually much in the way of spookiness. Based on what I read, I’m still not entirely sure what to make of this series as it’s primarily slice-of-life with a supernatural twist. I found it somewhat enjoyable because of the characters and their sexual teasing ways, but fairly slow to start. Still, with the female cast in the anime and original character designs by K-ON’s Shiromizakana, I’m curious enough to see where the bodyswapping leads.

Plans to Watch: Asobi, BakaMochi, Guardian Enzo, Silts, Takaii, unlisted Potential Bloggers: BakaMochi, Guardian Enzo, Takaii
Show Kokoro Connect Promotional Videos ▼

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II | 境界線上のホライゾンIITop
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: July 7, 2012
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:28
Episodes: __ Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

The “impossible to adapt”, highly convoluted, and extremely difficult to appreciate anime based on Kawakami Minori’s unbelievably long “short novels” returns with its scheduled second season. The various factions continue to fight over Kyokutou, the last remaining inhabitable space on Earth, and attempt to relive mankind’s history as transcribed in the “Testament” in hopes of returning to the “Heavens” one day. The story last left off with Aoi Toori (Fukuyama Jun), student council president and leader of the independent sky nation of Musashi, enlisting the help of Ariadust Academy’s Class-3 Plum to save his beloved Horizon (Chihara Minori) — an automaton whose emotions are spread out across the world’s Nine Deadly Sin Armaments, weapons of mass destruction — from being executed. To prevent the supposed apocolpyse that will occur on the last recorded day in the Testament, Aoi and his classmates declare to the world that they’ll retrieve all the Deadly Sin Armaments and return them to Horizon, restoring her emotions in the process.

I’m not going to lie; this show is ridiculously hard to understand. Most people will probably give up on it because they can’t figure out what’s going on and I don’t blame them. In my case, I had to throw out my understanding of what I thought was going on and replace it with a lot of reference material on what was actually going on before I had a good grasp of the story. Once I did that, I was baffled by how someone could come up with such a complex story, set in a sci-fi world unlike anything I’ve seen or read before. While the series is still too convoluted for my liking, I really enjoy wrapping my head around the story that Kawakami’s trying to tell and making sense of the lengthy dialogue he’s written. This series definitely isn’t for the faint of heart, but those who have gotten into it like me can vouch for how good it is. Just be prepared to think …a lot.

Plans to Watch: Moomba, Stilts, Zephyr Potential Bloggers: Stilts
Show Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II Promotional Videos ▼

Oda Nobuna no Yabou | 織田信奈の野望Top
Animation: Studio Gokumi x Madhouse Premiere: July 8, 2012
Genre: Comedy, History, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 25:05
Episodes: __ Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

In yet another genderbender spin of the Sengoku period, where scruffy samurai warlords are replaced by beautiful female counterparts, we find high school student Sagara Yoshihara (Eguchi Takuya) timeslipping 400 years into the past. Not too long after, Kinoshita Toukichirou — better known as Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the feudal lord who would later unify Japan — gets killed saving him, making Yoshihara feel obligated to serve as his replacement retainer to Oda Nobuna (Itou Kanae) — the female counterpart of Oda Nobunaga. Still looking for a way home, Yoshihara now finds himself helping Nobuna try and unite Japan with “her” other famous samurai retainers — Akechi Mitsuhide (Yahagi Sayuri), Niwa Nagahide (Matsuzaki Rei), Shibata Katsuie (Nabatame Hitomi), and Maeda Inochiyo (Fukuen Misato) — who are all female in this world.

Having watched Sengoku Otome ~Momoiro Paradox~ last spring, I’m all too familiar with this genderbender setup and actually don’t mind it, as it combines samurai action with a cute cast. At the same time, it combines samurai action with a cute cast, which could arguably be better served in an over-the-top male depiction of the Sengoku period like Sengoku Basara. For that reason, I find it hard to get excited about these kind of shows, even though I don’t mind watching them. In the case of “The Ambition of Oda Nobuna”, it is worth noting that the entire cast isn’t female — such as Hattori Hanzou who’s voiced by Sakurai Takahiro — so the female gender change seems to be more of an anomaly than a commonality that’s prompted by Yoshihara’s timeslip. The thought of that does raise some questions on what will happen once he finds a way back to his time, so I might take a peek at the first couple of episodes.

Plans to Watch: Cherrie, Stilts, Zanibas Potential Bloggers: Zanibas
Show Oda Nobuna no Yabou Promotional Videos ▼

Hakuouki Reimeiroku | 薄桜鬼 黎明録Top
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: July 9, 2012
Genre: Action, Drama, History Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 26:53
Episodes: __ Station: Yomiuri TV (ytv)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Even with a conclusive second season and a six-episode OVA to fill in all the holes with character-centric side stories, Otomate’s Shinsengumi-based romance adventure game is back for a third — this time in the form of a prequel. It’s intended to show the beginnings of Hijikata Toshizou (Miki Shinichirou) and Kondou Isami’s (Ookawa Tooru) special samurai corps, and will likely provide the same blend of blood-thirsty demon fiction and actual Japanese history. Not a whole lot of specifics outside of that has been made available, but the popularity of this series — especially among female audiences — is undeniable as two movies with an all-new story are already slated for next year.

I tried to give as much limelight to this series as I could when the second season aired in fall 2010, making it pretty obvious about my intentions with this prequel. I particularly like how it builds up a fictional story on top of non-fiction, sticking to a lot of the historic facts of what happened to the Shinsengumi in their couragous yet losing battles against pro-Imperial forces. The depiction of their struggle is powerful and moving, and appeals a lot to the sense of chivalry that I have. While the games may be targeted toward female audiences, the anime appeals to a much wider one with its serious outlook on the war, demonic powers, and plentiful bloodshed. If you’re looking for something that’s noticeably different from most shows these days, I recommend giving Hakuouki a try. Since this is a prequel, it’s the perfect opportunity to get into it too.

Plans to Watch: BakaMochi, Stereoman Potential Bloggers:
Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmonbu | えびてん 公立海老栖川高校天悶部Top
Animation: AIC Premiere: July 14, 2012
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:30
Episodes: __ Station: Nico Nico Douga
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Ever wonder what happens when a high school boy looking to join the school’s astronomy club mistakenly ends up joining a club full of otaku girls? No? Well you’re going to find out anyway in “Ebisugawa Public High School Astronomical (?) Club”, where Noya Itsuki (Ise Mariya) winds up doing just that because of a misleading spelling in the club’s name, which is also pronounced “Tenmonbu”. Its members include the trouble maker Todayama Kyouko (Asumi Kana), the fujoshi Kanamori Hakata (Nishi Asuka), the sole rational member Hiromatsu Rikei (Murai Risako), the vice president Ooba Hasumi (Satou Satomi), and the president/student council president Iseda Yuka (Tsukimiya Midori). Even Itsuki’s maid (Nomizu Iori) — who’s actually Kyouko’s younger sister Todayama Izumiko — ends up joining after she comes looking for her master, guaranteeing there will never be a dull day in the “astronomy” club.

The character designs immediately reminded me of Seitokai no Ichizon, which turns out is no coincidence since Inugami Kira does the illustrations for the manga. Coincidentally enough, the premise isn’t all that different either, except Itsuki is the heir of the wealthy Noya conglomerate and doesn’t know that the club he joined isn’t the astronomy club. Adding to the confusion is Kyouko, who’s a self-proclaimed “telescope maniac” and has a Dobsonia telescope in the clubroom. Unfortunately, I can’t comment on the humor itself as I wasn’t able to get a hold of the manga to find out first-hand, but the promo video does suggest that it will be similar to the funnier than expected Seitokai no Ichizon. It already sounds like it’ll be chalk full of verbal jokes, so I intend to check out the premiere to get a better sense of the type of humor this series entails. With rambunctious romantic comedies like this, it’s usually hard to tell how enjoyable they are at first glance.

Plans to Watch: Guardian Enzo, Stilts Potential Bloggers:
Show Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmonbu Promotional Videos ▼

OVA / Movie


Technical Note: OVAs are sorted by the date they are released. For series that have multiple episodes coming out over the course of the season, please refer to the Notes column for additional dates. More information on each OVA can be found on their respective websites, including promotional videos in some cases. Movie premiere dates are not included since they don’t mean a whole lot to viewers outside of Japan. DVD/BD movie releases are however. This list is likely incomplete and will be updated as more titles surface. If you notice anything missing, please feel free to point it out in the comments or e-mail me directly.

Release Date Title Notes
06/08 Sankarea OAD | さんかれあ OAD
Bundled with manga vol. 6.
06/15 Kimi no Iru Machi | 君のいる町 OAD
Bundled with manga vol. 18.
06/18 Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi OVA | 史上最強の弟子ケンイチ OVA
Bundled with manga vol. 47.
06/23 Asa Made Jugyou Chu! OAD | 朝まで授業Chu! OAD
Bundled with manga vol. 3.
06/27 Asa Made Jugyou Chu! OVA | 朝まで授業Chu! OVA
06/27 Tight Rope Ep.2 | タイトロープ 第二話
06/27 Hakuouki Sekkaroku OVA Series: Kazama Chikage Chapter
薄桜鬼 碧血録 OVAシリーズ 風間千景編
Episode 6 of 6.
07/06 kiss x sis OAD 7
07/11 Papa ni Iu Koto wo Kikinasai! OVA | パパのいうことを聞きなさい! OVA
Unaired 13th episode bundled with BD vol. 5.
07/17 Seitokai Yakuindomo | 生徒会役員共OAD
Bundled with manga vol. 7.
07/18 K-ON! Movie | けいおん!
BD movie release.
07/25 To Heart 2: Dungeon Travelers Vol.2 | ToHeart2ダンジョントラベラーズ Vol.2
07/25 Tales of Symphonia THE ANIMATION: Sekai Toudou-hen Vol.3
テイルズ オブ シンフォニア THE ANIMATION 世界統合編 Vol.3
Final volume.
07/27 CODE GEASS Hangyaku no Lelouch: Nunnally in Wonderland
コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ ナナリーinワンダーランド
07/27 Stranger Mukouhadan | ストレンヂア 無皇刃譚
BD movie release.
08/02 Nazo Toki Hime wa Meitantei♥ | ナゾトキ姫は名探偵♥
08/08 Shinryaku! Ika Musume OAD | 侵略!イカ娘 OAD
Bundled with manga vol. 12.
08/17 To LOVE-Ru: Darkness OAD | ToLOVEる-とらぶる-ダークネス OAD
08/22 Persona 4 OVA | ペルソナ4 OVA
Bundled with BD vol. 10.
08/23 Rinne no Lagrange: Kamogawa Days | 輪廻のラグランジェ 鴨川デイズ
08/29 Otome wa Boku-sama ni Koi Shiteru: Futari no Elder THE ANIMATION Vol.1
乙女はお姉さまに恋してる 2人のエルダー THE ANIMATION VOL.1
09/26: Vol. 2.
08/29 Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu Finale ♪ Vol.1 | 乃木坂春香の秘密ふぃな~れ♪ 第1巻
09/26: Vol. 2.
09/26 High School DxD OVA | ハイスクールD×D OVA
09/26 Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Add-on Disk | 僕は友達が少ない あどおんでぃすく
TV series compilation.
Summer 2012 Katayoku no Chronos Gear | 片翼のクロノスギア

Overall Impressions


(I’ll keep this brief by simply listing my watch list since I’m not returning to regular blogging anytime soon and the other writers’ impressions are the ones you’ll be reading.)

I still have a huge backlog from the winter/spring seasons to get through, but there a handful of new shows that I’ll probably get into right away after taking a first-hand look into what they’re all about. This includes (in no particular order): Sword Art Online, La storia della Arcana Famiglia, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Campione, Kokoro Connect, and Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai. That’s on top of my must-watch sequels/continuations: Rinne no Lagrange Season 2, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II, and Yuruyuri ♪♪. Everything else I’m not anticipating quite as much, but there are some other series I plan to make time for (e.g. P.A. Works’ TARI TARI).

For the usual “as-objective-as-possible” breakdown of the 26 new offerings this season, see below. Note: The lists are sorted in alphabetical order.


High expectation shows give me reason to believe they have the makings of a very good series that should appeal to the widest audience in their given genres. If you consider yourself a “casual” fan who only gets your toes wet every season by watching the “best” shows (i.e. popular ones that generate the most buzz), then these are the ones I feel you should keep an eye out for. I’m also expecting good things from these shows, so if they fall short, disappointment is understandable.

Moderate expectation shows don’t provide any immediate indication that they’ll be amazing in retrospect. This is often the case with shows that fall into one of anime’s overused plot devices, which most people, particularly self-proclaimed critics, will perceive as mediocre at best. However, from my experience, these shows still provide a great deal of entertainment and may turn out a lot better than they appear. They’re good for “regular” fans who are aware of all these tropes and don’t mind seeing them used in different settings. I like sifting through these since romantic comedies are among them. Personal tastes come heavily into play, so your mileage will vary.

Low expectation shows don’t seem to be striving for much and choose to focus on more frivolous aspects such as senseless humor and fan-service. That doesn’t mean they’re the bottom of the barrel and shouldn’t get any consideration, but simply that you need to keep in mind what kind of show it is. Generally only “avid” fans will be interested in seeing what these have to offer, because they’re already watching all the better shows.

Niche shows break away from the norm by being slower-paced, extremely dark/grotesque, or even controversial. In most cases, these shows are oriented towards older audiences or those who feel that anime has become far too repetitive and want something different. Shows of this category tend to be highly underappreciated but can turn out to be hidden gems for that very reason. Includes works oriented toward female audiences.

Established shows are generally long-running manga/anime series, geared towards younger viewers who are already fans of them. A commonality is that they all air early morning on weekends or well before midnight on weekdays so that “normal” people can actually watch them. They aren’t very dependent on expectations but a love for never-ending shows and a willingness to get into all the material that’s out if they’re completely new to you. Shounen series fall into this category, hence why I treat them differently.

Last but definitely not least are the series that I’m not sure what to make heads or tails of yet. Expectation-wise, they fall somewhere between moderate to high due to that unknown factor and are potential surprise hits of the season. If their premises sound interesting to you, I’d say they’re worth checking out.

June 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm
  • June 21, 2012 at 11:42 amLinkark

    Hmm, from this season the ones I know I will watch till the end are Kokoro Connect and Swords Online. I have others on my list but dunno if I will continue watch them or drop them.

  • June 21, 2012 at 12:19 pmFT5Havok


  • June 21, 2012 at 1:10 pmOutcast

    +1 for divine

  • June 21, 2012 at 1:13 pmnichibotsu-kaeru

    this season doesn’t look to good, nothing catches my interest straight away, so far korokoro connect is the only one i am even thinking of watching

  • June 21, 2012 at 1:18 pmjingoi

    Checking out= La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia, Kingdom, Chitose Get You!!.
    Checking out only for ecchi scenes= everything else.

  • June 21, 2012 at 1:31 pmTarage

    My disappointment in this season only heightens my eagerness for the next season, which will likely have Little Busters! in it.

  • June 21, 2012 at 2:19 pmZreon

    This season has way too much stuff that interests me. I won’t have the time for all of this! What will I do? What will I do?

  • June 21, 2012 at 2:31 pmBenz

    There are alot that interest me this season but still one title will beat them all


    Been my most anticipated show ever since I heard about being make into anime, I already finish reading all 9 novel and most of the side story. Can’t wait.

  • June 21, 2012 at 3:04 pmyumichan808

    Hmm… to me, nothing looks interesting AT ALL…

  • June 21, 2012 at 3:40 pmEl Huesudo II

    So this is the entire summer lineup? Wow.

    Well that means no new anime for me until fall. (Unless fall has a similar lineup to this.)

  • June 21, 2012 at 3:43 pmSilivious

    A few of them I’m looking forward to…
    SAO, Horizon, Muv-Luv, and Dog Days. :D

    • June 21, 2012 at 4:08 pmShiden

      My “priority 1″ list is pretty much this, but MLA:TE is my #1 must-watch.
      *Still wishing for an anime of the main series*

      • June 23, 2012 at 7:38 amEamonX

        Apparently Total Eclipse is set many months before Takeru appears in Alternative. So a prequel.

        Which is a little disappointing.

  • June 21, 2012 at 4:54 pmbluth

    wow, there is not much here at all, might check out the Sword Art Online but other than that it looks like not many series with any substance at all, not to say that the Sword Art Online has a lot either, but I might get some nice battles at least.

    • June 22, 2012 at 9:21 amSuppa Tenko

      There aren’t that many fights in SAO. Only 2 boss battles, 2 duels, and a few monster skirmishes.

      • June 25, 2012 at 6:34 amThe Moondoggie

        Well, there’s a lot of gory deaths at the beginning. And traveling, level grinding, etc.

        I guess you could say this like pretty much like WATCHING(not PLAYING) an MMORPG with RL elements+drama.

    • June 24, 2012 at 5:34 pmSpencer

      SAO actually does have a lot of depth if you read the light novels, in volume 4 it looks at what a soul is.

  • June 21, 2012 at 6:24 pmcshin9

    I’ve been reading Binbougami ga!, and it’s quite entertaining. The poster art, however, doesn’t seem to indicate good visual quality.

  • June 21, 2012 at 6:39 pmInnerchihiro

    Interesting season. I’m excited for Moyasimon as the original was good fun. Also digging Kokoro Connect, which I first heard of over a year ago.
    Natsuyuki Rendevous and Tari Tari could be interesting too.

  • June 21, 2012 at 8:13 pmShirt

    MMORPGs, Kajiura Yuki, Hamauzu Masashi, Toshino Kyouko!?, Gallet de Rois, a Rias look-a-like, incest, feels, and HORIZON!?


    ..and here I was.. thinking about getting a new job to pay for my PVC Pre-orders.. XD #fml

  • June 21, 2012 at 8:43 pmsally

    I’ll watch try to watch most of these shows even if they are mediocore at best Why? i gave up on “exspectations” in anime a loong time ago, i learned it’s best to enjoy a show for what it is instead of what it could be.

  • June 21, 2012 at 9:10 pmTatsuki

    So many shows, so few time…

  • June 21, 2012 at 11:18 pmzem

    Oh, Random Curiosity… your previews are always so divine.

  • June 22, 2012 at 12:29 amAgron

    Well i’ll probably check out Sword Art and Hagure Yuusha no Estetica looks interesting too me but seriously this season looks like moe crap. But despite that i’ll probably look into a few more of them and see if i like anything else. Also WHY IS THERE NO UBEL BLATT ANIME ADAPTION THIS NEEDS TO BE DONE!!

    • June 22, 2012 at 8:54 amJunglepenguin

      So you’d take rape and violence crap over moe crap? Both seem like crap to me.

      • June 23, 2012 at 7:10 pmAgron

        You should ask the same question to a berserk fan and see what kind of answer you get.

      • June 25, 2012 at 6:36 amThe Moondoggie

        LOL Cool down summer fags. There’s a lot to be done and a lot of time to spend by you kids.

        Anyway UB is on hiatus. So an anime isn’t really something to hope for… yet.

  • June 22, 2012 at 12:42 ambaubo

    It’s kind of sad that I just don’t enjoy animes like I used to. Last season I only watched Fate/Zero and Kore wa Zombie Desu ka. This season I’ll probably only watch SAO. It is the one of the few light novels I’m still keeping up with as it comes out. And the first novel was definitely one of my favorite reads as a fantasy junkie.

    • June 25, 2012 at 6:47 amThe Moondoggie

      If your into fantasy, like me, give Tanken Driland and Dog Days the three episode rule. :)

  • June 22, 2012 at 1:15 amAnanas

    Quite lacking so far.

  • June 22, 2012 at 1:39 amender650

    Well, overall it looks like a decent season but probably not great. I’m really looking forward to Moyashimon and quite hopeful for Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Tari Tari, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, Hyakunin Isshu, Code Geass Gaiden OVA, .

  • June 22, 2012 at 4:10 amecho

    SAO is a must watch to me. The only complaint i have is the character design dont look as cool as the LN. But this anime will still get so much WIN! including Yuki Kajiura’s involvement

  • June 22, 2012 at 6:13 amTofus

    SAO was my most anticipated anime for the season, but somehow it looks… too (awfully) bright. The LN gave off a much darker feel, which matches the context and setting of the show. If the trailers were to be an indicator of anything, it would be that the anime might turn out to be something pretty different from what I imagined while reading the LN.

    • June 22, 2012 at 7:55 amMike

      the situation in-game might’ve been grim, but it is still a game world, one that wasn’t designed to be a grim-dark place.

      • June 22, 2012 at 9:28 amTofus

        Yep, so I believe that it would be a light-hearted anime revolving around comedic and adventure action elements, which could turn out to be a better variation than the image I had in mind while reading. Just felt that the stories in SAO might fit better with a less cheery backing.

      • June 22, 2012 at 11:08 pmMike

        eh, there is not much in the way of cheerful light-hearted comedy in SAO tbh. I can think of a few comedic scenes, but by and large it’s mostly srs biznz mode.

    • June 22, 2012 at 9:24 amSuppa Tenko

      I think it’s because Aria in the Starless Night is included which starts the story off on a cheerful point.

      I hope the first episode will open up with a media-res with Kirito fighting the lizardman, then some point before he gets back to town, flash back to the beginning. But then again, it might screw up the ragout rabbit scene and his relationship with Asuna.

  • June 22, 2012 at 8:55 amJunglepenguin

    Japan, I am disappoint. Nevertheless, a couple of series on my list.

  • June 22, 2012 at 10:23 amanom

    really? no one mention Campione?, that series quite good.

  • June 22, 2012 at 10:54 amMire

    Yuri Yura ra ra ra Yuru Yuri~ ♪♪♪♪

    • June 22, 2012 at 11:55 amShirt

      Now this is going to be stuck in my head all day. I know the melody so well. ;_;

    • June 22, 2012 at 1:48 pmfoshizzel


  • June 22, 2012 at 10:58 amunderMebius

    Not many catches my attention but SAO is definitely one in my watch list!

  • June 22, 2012 at 12:25 pmShip

    hurgh…well at least there’s a few OVAs to look forward to…

  • June 22, 2012 at 1:20 pmrasone0104

    Oh god is taht muv-luv….. must watch….since its one of my fave vns….
    also grabing sword art online…. not taht good of a season compared to the last one…

  • June 22, 2012 at 1:48 pmfoshizzel

    Looking forward to Rinne no Lagrange s2, Yuru Yuri s2 and Sword Art Online! YESSSSSS

  • June 22, 2012 at 3:18 pmviss

    So this year SUPERNATURAL spring is about to over and next month FANTASY summer awaits. I like fantasy genre so I have no problem with most of the new shows, but I can’t say I’m not wishing for a more diverse genre season.

  • June 22, 2012 at 4:05 pmHansel

    Wow…i think its the worst season ever…o_o

    • June 22, 2012 at 8:55 pmDivine

      I’ve written a lot of season previews, and there are people like yourself who say that about every season.

      Then they come back midway and see a bunch of series generated a lot of buzz and hop back onto the bandwagon…

      • June 22, 2012 at 9:44 pmGuardian Enzo

        And then there are people like me who never say it, who’re saying it about this season!

        Anything can happen, shows can surprise, and summer is usually weak anyway. But on paper, this season is one of the weakest in years.

      • June 22, 2012 at 10:07 pmZephyr

        Fall looks bloody amazing though. :P

      • June 22, 2012 at 11:07 pmGuardian Enzo

        Better for sure, though I don’t see enough yet to make me think it’s going to be as good as Spring. Are you assuming stuff like Little Busters for Fall, or going by just what’s confirmed?

      • June 22, 2012 at 11:51 pm†Croos†

        I wonder enzo. I wonder. >|3.

      • June 23, 2012 at 9:32 pmBROOKLYN otaku

        I think its a plot by the dwindling anime manufactures to give a Crappy summer season to get people out into the LIGHT to reap real life benefits,hence keep “slightly” healthy so they can come back and give their $$$ for the fall seasons….but then again I do alot of drugs, so what do i know

      • June 23, 2012 at 11:33 pmTerence T

        Yeah, sadly every season it’s always:

        “I don’t like it so it sucks”

        If I talked that way with my friends, I would be arguing with them about everything. Let’s just agree to disagree. :P

      • June 25, 2012 at 6:52 amThe Moondoggie

        True story by Divine.

        It had been said EVERY FREAKING SEASON, that I would like to volunteer to be the one saying it in Fall, even though I know I’ll probably be watching tons of stuff again by then.

  • June 22, 2012 at 5:17 pmKentaiyoshimi

    Definitely looking forward to Rinne no Lagrange.
    I will most likely check out Kokoro Connect, SAO, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, and Kyoukai no Senjou.
    I probably would not have given Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai a chance at all, based on the title and premise alone. But Divine’s summary had me at “a tsundere who isn’t overly violent”, so I’m definitely checking that out.

    This season does seem to be jam packed with, as someone mentioned earlier, MOE MOE KYUN.

    • June 22, 2012 at 8:54 pmDivine

      Don’t get me wrong; she still lashes out at him quite a bit in the beginning. :)

      “Boku H” is definitely an interesting romantic comedy though. I found the early parts of the manga surprisingly enjoyable. It got me looking forward to the anime.

      • June 23, 2012 at 9:16 amKentaiyoshimi

        I checked out the manga, and the characters are interesting. For one, the MCs don’t annoy me, so that’s a big draw for me. And a tsundere that gets less violent? Count me in.
        Although judging by the promotional video, it feels like there may be some anime original material.

  • June 23, 2012 at 12:16 amchamelean75

    The new animes that aren’t continuations that I am looking forward to are Sword Art Online, Tari Tari and La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia.

  • June 23, 2012 at 1:15 amPleiades

    Bleh this season is terrible

  • June 23, 2012 at 2:08 amDop

    Moyashimon Returns is a definite must watch for me, I’d long given up hopes on a sequel to the marvellous first anime series, so this is welcome. I’m also hoping it might spark Kodansha into releasing more of the manga….

    Natsuyuki Rendezvous also looks to be the kind of show Noitamina always did best.

    Joshiraku – it’s more Kumeta, which is good, but I do wonder if J.C.Staff will ‘get’ Kumeta’s comedy the way that SHAFT/Shinbo always did.

    Rinne no Lagrange 2 – because i liked the first series.
    Yuru Yuri 2 – likewise.

    Outside of those, then there are quite a few things I’ll give a few episodes to, and a few things I’m going to avoid like the plague.

  • June 23, 2012 at 2:50 amAnishuma

    Only 6 anime for me this season, everything else is nothing but the same repetitive crap and I’m so sick of all this romcom/drama garbage.

    I’m also sick of the overly sexed moe moe garbage too, it’s annoying, but hey it’s anime and it’s japan amirite?

    This season of anime sucks.

  • June 23, 2012 at 7:08 amVivace

    Anyone waiting for this? I cant wait.

    Mardock Scramble: The Second Combustion BD & DVD release 7/25

  • June 23, 2012 at 10:39 amTerence T

    Where is Arve Rezzle in your anime poll? I can’t vote for it in my top 5.

    • June 24, 2012 at 7:28 pmTerence T

      Ah, too bad. It’s now listed as an OVA. :(

  • June 23, 2012 at 11:15 amDrag

    You know I have to say I love how popular “Shot of generic looking male surrounded by females with different hair colors” is.

  • June 23, 2012 at 3:51 pmAnimesetsuna

    I’ve decided 8 animes for the next season. I only watch 5 animes this season.

  • June 23, 2012 at 9:26 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    dog days. and horizon…thank goodness cuz this list is SNOOZE FEST! but isnt that the point ITS SUMMER PEOPLE, work on those tan line’s yo!!!

  • June 23, 2012 at 9:27 pmWorthless

    What a worthless season. Japan gets shittier and shittier as the years go by. Now it’s shows featuring an assemble of Japanese schoolgirls and their cliche whogivesafucks. Can we just go back 10 years?

    • June 24, 2012 at 4:42 amMike

      Even if we go back 10 years, you’d still be just as worthless then as you are now.

    • June 24, 2012 at 2:13 pmLoL

      Ten years ago there were loads of “Japanese schoolgirls and their cliche whogivesafucks” series too. It’s just you have bad memory or that “old times were better” load of crap on your head.

      • June 24, 2012 at 2:18 pmLoL

        About the latter there’s a cure for you: just don’t overthink things and watch the series, then decide if you like them or not, or else you will miss series you would like. Don’t sell the bear’s hide before hunting it.

    • June 25, 2012 at 6:21 amThe Moondoggie

      >Ten years ago: Fan rage(for good or bad) inducing plot, shitty graphics.
      >Now: same fan rage inducing plot, graphics that would stun everyone ten years ago.

      Pick one.

  • June 23, 2012 at 11:29 pmChloesong

    Please please, I hope SAO is adapted epically. I was so happy to hear that an anime would come out this summer! Hopefully exposure from the anime will generate more interest in the light novels leading to more translaters and editors on BT. :)

    The previews look almost too cutesy and colorful, but I know the music will be epic. Hopefully the dark feel of the LN is captured too.

    Thank you for the preview Divine and thank you RC staff for your hard work!

  • June 24, 2012 at 12:39 amRyuuzaki21

    Rinne no Lagrange Season 2 – looking forward to it since season 1 ended.
    TARI TARI – cute girls, nice art.
    Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse – first 3 episodes, i will stare at boobs first then decide whether to go or not.
    Binbougami ga! – cool art
    Moyashimon Returns – smexy legs :)
    Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate – pretty girls. must watch :3
    Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru! – black-haired heroine. :3
    Joshiraku – for the seasonal doze of lulz
    Hagure Yuusha no Estetica – not another guilty crown. o please!
    Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai. – shiny elbows and skin art :3
    Sword Art Online – the heroine!
    Kokoro Connect – i wish this will be something good. high expectations
    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II – watching coz i watched season 1, thats all.
    Oda Nobuna no Yabou – bra under kimono/yukata?

    • June 25, 2012 at 6:31 amThe Moondoggie

      >Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II – watching coz i watched season 1, thats all.

      I smell a tsundere… Admit it: what they said was impossible actually happened. Horizon was animated. Too bad it wasn’t turned into a JRPG, which would be 100x better.

      • June 25, 2012 at 11:04 amTOP2NE1

        It wasn’t impossible in the sense that it couldn’t be made into a show, it was impossible in the sense that it couldn’t be made into a good show.

        As a novel it may be fine just to shoehorn tons of info and exposition in because the reader can take it in at it’s own pace. There’s also the fact that it’s way less limited in terms of material. The show has to squeeze as much as it can into twenty minutes for what, twelve episodes?

        I remember staunch advocates of the series actually belittling other watchers for not understanding the show. And you know what? That’s bullshit. It’s one thing to expect the watcher’s attention. It’s another to expect them to take a class on it. Even if some people caught on to the general plot, there’s also the loads of other characters, places, and historical events. I ask any casual audience member to name even 1/4 of all that needless exposition they threw at you in the first three episodes. If somebody has to look for supplementary information outside the show in order to remember half the character names or understand what’s going on, then as a show it has failed to deliver. Who knows? The novel may be great, but we’re not discussing the novel.

      • June 27, 2012 at 4:32 amThe Moondoggie

        >If somebody has to look for supplementary information outside the show in order to remember half the character names or understand what’s going on, then as a show it has failed to deliver.

        That’s bullshit. Don’t tell me you don’t understand why manga and LN authors agreed to have their works turned into anime? Why an anime would entice you to look for info outside the anime?

        You know, top, you could say that instead of taking class on about a certain anime, it’s actually trying to gather fans for the novel. If you looked for info outside the anime, it won and did it’s work.

      • June 27, 2012 at 12:47 pmTOP2NE1

        Lol no it’s not, it’s a different medium entirely from the novel. Take Berserk, Stephen King’s IT, Watchmen, Avatar, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Lord of the Rings, etc. A straight adaptation for the work would never work on film. There’s simply too much material to cover. So directors and writers condense and take new liberties with the work in order to make them appropriate for viewing. The successful films are capable as standalone works. They are films first and novels second. You flat out don’t treat them the same way. Moviegoers aren’t expected to go home after each viewing supplementing their knowledge in order to understand the what they just watched. A good movie makes people want to read the books, it doesn’t expect them to.

        Horizon failed miserably in that regard. One of the cardinal rules of fiction is to show, not tell. And they spouted their exposition incessantly. And this doesn’t literally mean never talk about things, but the viewer isn’t suppose to realize that the only reason characters are talking is so that the audience understands what’s going on. (And for all their awful exposition, they couldn’t even do that right.)

        They could worked wonders by anchoring events around Tooru and gradually introducing events and characters, giving the series some sort of direction. Or any number of other ways to better give the series some sort of ground. But no, they threw useless information at you at hundred miles per hour, jumping around from scene to scene with no rhyme or reason. And if you don’t believe me, watch the first few episodes with some casual viewer. Some random friend etc. Then ask them to name some of the important historical events or even the names of the classmates. Or better yet, ask them to describe the plot.

        The author’s agreed to green light the show for more attention? So what? Being a good show is still a different matter entirely.

  • June 24, 2012 at 7:04 amSalbazier

    Oh my God! The next season is overflowing with amazing series. Man, and I still have a lot backlogs from previous seasons too.

  • June 24, 2012 at 2:16 pmyukiyukari

    Wtf is with that extended time format? “Saturday 26:28″? :D Why not “Monday 2:28″ ?

    • June 24, 2012 at 4:31 pmDivine

      That’s just how Japanese broadcasters list it, because viewers are expected to stay up on Saturday to watch a show, not get up on Monday morning at 2:28am (using your example).

      This is just how they deal with the fact TV time slots after midnight are legitimate times for shows to air. It’s pretty messed up if you ask me, but that’s just how it is.

    • June 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm†Croos†

      Its for the time schedule of the people living in Japan since our time culture is different from ours and Japanese are very strict with time. Since people in Japan have tight schedules, broadcast station has to fit the time where people can watch it at work and home as well. 5AM as indicator as start of broadcast and start of the day and 28 indicates the end of broadcast. Its really confusing to put the end of the day broadcast using 1AM which already means another day for Japanese.
      Example for time slice: Since old people come how late, broadcast people has to set it to 8PM to 9PM(20:00-21) and that anime that aims for teens 16 up with those fanservice airs at 11PM to 3PM(23:00-27:00) since children are already sleeping at that time. This of course, just an example.
      Remember that Japanese are call people of the rising sun. People rise when the sun rise. People start where the sun rise.

    • June 30, 2012 at 11:10 pmStranger

      I would just like to point out that Sunday exists between Saturday and Monday.

  • June 24, 2012 at 3:26 pmYoukai

    I only hope in “La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia”, if there will be italian words (probably), the fansubber take a little time more to translate them well… other manga / anime like Katekyo Hitman Reborn (which btw looks really similiar to this anime) had terrible translations…

  • June 24, 2012 at 5:52 pmnoname

    I heard Code Geass : Akito the Exiled would OVA would come this July. Was I misinformed?

  • June 24, 2012 at 6:57 pmHimari

    _sigh_ Takahiro Sakurai in an incest harem anime? so wrong.

    • June 24, 2012 at 7:20 pmBakaMochi

      I know right?! And yet I’m strangely compelled to watch this, if only because I’ve never ever seen him in a lead harem role. Or maybe he has and I just haven’t watched it lol.

      But I’ve really been wanting to hear him in lead roles again, so I’ll probably watch this regardless of its quality.

      • June 24, 2012 at 11:02 pmhOmeRunDaiSuki

        Does Cloud Strife count? It’s not an anime though XDD

  • June 24, 2012 at 11:00 pmhOmeRunDaiSuki

    Mah List:

    -Yuruyuri: The first season was Ok minus the stupidity that was Kyoko/Ayano ship. I HATE that pairing. But it’s not like it’s ever going to happen LOL. Hoping to get more Yui/Kyoko, my OTP XP

    -Natsuyuki Rendezvous: I got so tired reading the usual romance shit and all. But the premise of this one is so interesting. I love that the woman is 8 years older than the guy LOL. I also feel like this show is going to to make me laugh and cry DX

    -Rinne no Lagrange Season 2: S1 was fine.

    Kokoro Connect: I’ve been waiting for a tv adaptation of this to come.

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II: Just watching this for Malgot/Marga XDD

  • June 24, 2012 at 11:49 pmfragb85

    BETA confirmed to be in Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse. Its a definite watch now.

  • June 25, 2012 at 4:19 amwhat?

    what about Blood Lad? anyone has news for it? i thought there would be an anime for that. I saw it in moetron’s anime chart and squidoo list.

    • June 25, 2012 at 7:34 amCherrie

      I believe this was stated in previous comments… Blood Lad will be airing in Fall.

  • June 25, 2012 at 6:04 amThe Moondoggie

    SUMMER-FAGS! IT’S HERE! DA BEST SUMMER OF OUR LIVES!(…at least for as long as you have lived. I dunno if there will be another one after this.XD)

    So onto my list:
    1. SAO
    2. RNL
    3. KSnH
    4. Campione
    5. Tanken Driland
    6. Muvluv Alternative
    7. La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia

    • June 25, 2012 at 6:24 amThe Moondoggie

      Crap! I forgot to add “8.Dog Days” XD.

  • June 25, 2012 at 10:38 amLaughingMan

    Wow, this season looks like shit.

  • June 25, 2012 at 12:03 pmnoname

    Kingdom seems interesting, I would also want to watch sword online

  • June 25, 2012 at 11:22 pmJin

    Thanks divine! I cant survive without these previews.

  • June 26, 2012 at 4:35 pmaaa

    Shitload of harem and nothing I really want to watch…at all!! And I thought this season was bad….*facepalm* They really need to cut down the harems and bring in more quality work like Sakamichi no Apollon and Zetman

  • June 26, 2012 at 5:51 pmZhinvu

    The king appeared! But really thanks for the season preview Divine. I’ll be looking out for the already familiar ones like Yuruyuri, Dog Days, Horizon, and Lagrange. Among the new ones I’m interested in are Binbougami ga after reading the manga and Sword Art Online since it’s from the same guy who wrote Accel World, to name a few.

  • June 26, 2012 at 8:37 pmkira_0020

    huhuhu there’s no Hayate the combat butler :((

  • June 27, 2012 at 7:51 amkurochan

    Man… there nothing much this season… Most of them are harem + comedy, and I’m not that much fan of harem genre. For harem fan it’s heaven sure, I guess SAO looks nice but later on it will become another harem (You know this if you read the light novel). Hagure Yuusha no Estetica look nice too but looks like another harem though. Muv-Luv looks nice and I hope it’s not Yuri since I hate Yuri anime. And Tari Tari… well I guess another slice-of-life that focus on GIRLS FRIENDSHIP? We got tons of that already… so I hope not (But maybe it is, since “all-must-be-girls anime” seem to be popular in Japan right now…)

    Was hoping an anime that have TRUE romance that doesn’t have harem… oh well whatever. (Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi doesn’t count since I’m not a fan of historical anime and it’s art too)

  • June 27, 2012 at 4:21 pmGray Fullbuster

    I want to see they animate chapter 16.5, of SAO novels.
    If no on the TV series, they could at least make an OVA

  • June 27, 2012 at 9:53 pmsubject71

    Summer her it comes…

  • June 28, 2012 at 6:42 am†Croos†

    My summer list:

    1.) Binbogamiga
    2.) Jinrui
    3.) Tari Tari
    4.) Ebiten

    I somehow like shows that might have hidden potential. Like rare gems that can be found on the street. They can be either genuine or fake.

    The rest of the show, I will surely watch.

  • June 28, 2012 at 7:22 amAki-Chan

    might try Hagure Yuusha no Estetica , other than that , nothing is particularily interesting.An anime that isn’t listed here , and isn’t on the other link either called “Aruvu rezuru:Kikai jikakae no Yousei Tachi” seemed interesting…but since it appears to be nonexistent in any other summer 2012 preview , I don’t know enough about it to decide to watch it.

  • June 28, 2012 at 9:08 amCloudwolf

    A bit too many continuations, but i’m real excited for Sword art and Connect.
    As for the rest, do like I do! At least watch the first few episodes of everything. See what peaks my interest, and if shows improve of the course of airing, we’ll find out in time.


  • June 28, 2012 at 6:54 pmAdditional PVs

    A few of the shows, such as SAO and Horizon have another PV. I’m not allowed to link them, so you’ll have to look for them yourself.

  • June 28, 2012 at 8:30 pmv3000

    Checking the pre-order and DVD/BR sales news, I was shocked that Horizon II made a near-complete shutout of Amazon’s top 10, which leaves me wondering what’s so special about this title: is it because it’s convoluted that it deserves much praise, or does the discs include some sort of a rare freebie?

    Having seen the pre-air, I have marked Lagrange 2 on my calendar. Same thing for Sword Art and Total Eclipse.

    Also, I want to see Chitose Gets You! on the strength of Sayaka Nakaya’s potential as a beginning lead voice actress (instead of just being known as a member of the largest pop group on the planet).

  • June 29, 2012 at 10:42 pmWilliam

    As a fan of the Campione light novels – I’m worried but also excited about the anime!

  • June 30, 2012 at 5:02 amamado

    thank you, Divine, for making the season preview again. made me have more shows in my list this season.

  • June 30, 2012 at 7:51 amRockmanshii

    Thanks for the preview!

  • June 30, 2012 at 10:51 pmGhostalker

    First of all, thank you RC for giving these wonderful season previews…

    The Summer 2012 season is another unforgiving season with a ridiculous amount of shows that interest me,

    Carrying over from previous seasons will be the ff:

    - Accel World, AKB0048, Eureka Seven AO, Hyouka, MS Gundam AGE, and Saki Achiga-hen

    My Summer 2012 anime line-up:

    - Rinne no Lagrange S2 (Guaranteed) – I’m not exactly a big fan of the whole thing but I completed the first part so its only natural for me to finish it and see the whole thing ends.

    - Tari Tari (Decent) – I only manage a few episode of Hanasaku Iroha so I’m not sure of this, but I will try a couple of episodes first before deciding if I will continue this.

    - Jin Rei wa Suitai Shimashita (Good) – interesting premise and animation is enough reason to try this out.

    - Chitose Get You! (Poor) – I only seen a glimpse of Kodomo no Jikan and I don’t really mind the setup.

    - Muv-Luv Alternative (Decent) – mecha action is all good but with Eureka Seven, Gundam AGE, and the returning Rinne no Lagrange I’m not sure if I have enough thirst to watch another mecha series this season.

    - Yuri Yuri (Good) – I haven’t watch the first season but lots of cute girls and comedy just mix together for me.

    - Binbougami Ga (Good) – interesting premise of fortune and misfortunes.

    - Moyashimon Returns (Decent) – another series that I haven’t watch the first season but the premise is really interesting I might actually check this out.

    - Natsuyuki Rendezvous (Decent) – I’m not really into the premise but this series has a little bit of mature feel on it.

    - Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate (Guaranteed) – animation by AIC and a lot of similarity to Haganai is the icing of the cake.

    - Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouta ga Iru! (Guaranteed) – just reading the preview and looking at the character designs is enough to put this to my “Guarantee” list.

    - Joshiraku (Decent) – Let see how the comedy will work…

    - Hagure Yuusha no Estetica (Good) – I like the other series from Hobby Japan like the Queen’s Blade and Samurai Girls, as long that this series is not heavily censored (if it has ecchi materials) then I will watch this series but if is filled with heavy black or white lines then might as well wait for the uncensored version to come out.

    - Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai (Good) – premise is interesting enough specially with the comedy and romance tag.

    - Campione! (Good) – interesting premise filled with action and gods but the male protagonist worries me, will check this out.

    - Dog Days (Guaranteed) – I like the first season with it’s lighthearted feel, non-lethal large scale battles, and hint of romance, I’m actually pretty excited with this series.

    - Sword Art Online (Guaranteed) – might be the series to watch out this season with all the people behind this.

    Kokoro Connect (Good) – Body swapping? Let see how this will work…

    - Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmonbu (Decent) – the premise is interesting and a potential good harem also, might check this out.

    Each new season I will always tell myself that 15 shows is my limit (including the carry-overs from previous seasons) but with the large amount of interesting series to watch out, I’m not really sure “again” anymore.

  • July 1, 2012 at 12:33 pmblahblah0625

    I think the only anime that I’m most excited for is Sword Art Online. I fell in love with Accel World, so this is guaranteed for me.

  • July 3, 2012 at 12:40 amMetaDrow

    About 95% of watch what Stilts is watching, I’m watching too LOL XD

  • July 6, 2012 at 10:13 pmichigo_daisuki

    I might check out TARI TARI.

  • July 18, 2012 at 12:56 pmAntics

    What the fuck? Wasn’t there supposed to be a guy in Ebiten Kouritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmon-Buor or is that a trap?

  • July 20, 2012 at 11:21 amZen

    Harem season! \(^__^)/

  • July 26, 2012 at 9:19 pmkondeelai

    Kind of underwelmed with the summer anime but will give some series equal chance. My favorite so far for summer is Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita. Never fails to give me a smile with its satire, observant cynical main character, and general quirkyness.

    SAO seems alright so far but feels rushed but has vast potential lies in future episodes…If it can portray what made the light novels so popular at a more steadier pace.

    Muv-luv…eh…i’ll go for few more episodes. I like the Binbougami-ga manga though and the anime follows it faithfully.

    Fate/Zero is definitely the most hypest show for 2012. Hard to beat 2011 though which gave some of the most unique shows (Steins;Gate(personal favorite), Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Mawaru Penguindrum).

    • July 26, 2012 at 9:27 pmkondeelai

      Oops, forgot to mention Anohana…

  • September 1, 2012 at 9:28 pmcshin9

    Can you write a season review in addition to a preview? I’m the kind of person who likes to watch a series all at once or many episodes at once. What I’m asking for is like the Retrospective Look that you’ve done in the past albeit less frequently. Four times a year, I’d like to hear which series in the past season was done well and which was disappointing. And maybe we could hear about series you’ve been watching but not blogging.

    Just a suggestion. I don’t want to create more work if you don’t have the time.

  • « Older Comments