Random Curiosity

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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)
Kingdom
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)
DOG DAYS’
23:30 MX (7/7)
TARI TARI
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)
Campione!
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)
Joshiraku
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
http://www9.nhk.or.jp/anime/kingdom/
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
http://lag-rin.com/
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 ▼

TARI TARITop
http://taritari.jp/
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
http://www.arcanafamiglia.com/
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
http://www.maql.co.jp/special/jintai/
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
http://www.takeshobo.co.jp/sp/tv_chitose/
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
http://muv-luv-te-anime.com/
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
http://www.anime-utakoi.jp/
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
http://yuruyuri.com/
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
http://www.binbogamiga.net/
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
http://kamosuzo2.tv/
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
http://natsuyuki.tv/
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
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Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate | 恋と選挙とチョコレートTop
http://www.koichoco.com/
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
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Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru! | この中に1人、妹がいる!Top
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/nakaimo/
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:
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Joshiraku | じょしらくTop
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/joshiraku/
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:
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Hagure Yuusha no Estetica | はぐれ勇者の鬼畜美学Top
http://kichiku.tv/
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
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Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai. | だから僕は、Hができない。Top
http://boku-h.com/
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:
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Campione! | カンピオーネ!Top
http://www.campi-anime.com/
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
http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/Driland/
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:
DOG DAYS’Top
http://www.dogdays.tv/
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
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Sword Art Online | ソードアート・オンラインTop
http://www.swordart-online.net/
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
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Kokoro Connect | ココロコネクトTop
http://kokoro-connect.com/
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
http://genesis-horizon.net/
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
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Oda Nobuna no Yabou | 織田信奈の野望Top
http://odanobuna.com/
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
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Hakuouki Reimeiroku | 薄桜鬼 黎明録Top
http://www.geneonuniversal.jp/rondorobe/anime/hakuoki/
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
http://ebiten.jp/
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
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/sankarea/
Bundled with manga vol. 6.
06/15 Kimi no Iru Machi | 君のいる町 OAD
http://kc.kodansha.co.jp/kimino/
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
http://websunday.net/kenichi/ova/
Bundled with manga vol. 47.
06/23 Asa Made Jugyou Chu! OAD | 朝まで授業Chu! OAD
http://www.mediafactory.co.jp/comic-alive/asachu/
Bundled with manga vol. 3.
06/27 Asa Made Jugyou Chu! OVA | 朝まで授業Chu! OVA
http://www.mediafactory.co.jp/comic-alive/asachu/
06/27 Tight Rope Ep.2 | タイトロープ 第二話
http://www.primetime.gs/
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
http://www.geneonuniversal.jp/rondorobe/anime/hakuoki/
Episode 6 of 6.
07/06 kiss x sis OAD 7
http://kc.kodansha.co.jp/kiss_sis/
07/11 Papa ni Iu Koto wo Kikinasai! OVA | パパのいうことを聞きなさい! OVA
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/papakiki/
Unaired 13th episode bundled with BD vol. 5.
07/17 Seitokai Yakuindomo | 生徒会役員共OAD
http://kc.kodansha.co.jp/seitokai/
Bundled with manga vol. 7.
07/18 K-ON! Movie | けいおん!
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/k-on/index-j.html
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
http://aquaplus.jp/th2dtv/
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
http://ova-tos.com/
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
http://www.geass.jp/nunnally/
07/27 Stranger Mukouhadan | ストレンヂア 無皇刃譚
http://www.stranja.jp/
BD movie release.
08/02 Nazo Toki Hime wa Meitantei♥ | ナゾトキ姫は名探偵♥
http://www.ciao.shogakukan.co.jp/
08/08 Shinryaku! Ika Musume OAD | 侵略!イカ娘 OAD
http://www.ika-musume.com/
Bundled with manga vol. 12.
08/17 To LOVE-Ru: Darkness OAD | ToLOVEる-とらぶる-ダークネス OAD
http://www.j-toloveru.com/
08/22 Persona 4 OVA | ペルソナ4 OVA
http://www.p4a.jp/
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
http://b.bngi-channel.jp/lag-rin/
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
http://www.fwinc.co.jp/ova_otoboku2/
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
http://www.nogizaka-haruka.com/
09/26: Vol. 2.
09/26 High School DxD OVA | ハイスクールD×D OVA
http://www.kadokawa.co.jp/shop/sp/shop_sp_193.html
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
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/haganai/
TV series compilation.
Summer 2012 Katayoku no Chronos Gear | 片翼のクロノスギア
http://mingame.jp/katayoku/


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
293 comments »
  • June 20, 2012 at 6:13 pmApertureScientist

    Thanks for this! I always await the previews from RC!

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:23 pmGodKnows

    I’m only looking forward to Moyashimon on that list.

    • June 21, 2012 at 8:19 amderpy derp

      more sexy Kei trap ^^

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:23 pmxRichard

    Divine, it’s good to see that you again. Now I’m expecting that Horizon Overview.

    • June 20, 2012 at 7:11 pmStilts

      I’m working on it! I just may have…overachieved a little bit =X

      • June 20, 2012 at 7:46 pmLoL

        No one could review better than you those erotic dances from kimi. It’s your sacred duty bro.

      • June 20, 2012 at 11:11 pmStilts

        <3! I’ll do my best!

      • June 21, 2012 at 12:03 am†Croos†

        I will also do my best in getting out those bad ideas in Horizon so that the topic will be more fun than we can imagine. Of course I won’t ruin Horizon in Stilt’s post. I love Horizon( *wink at Stilts). Just going to put some blind points and where the anime should improve. A.k.a I will play the Devil’s advocate this season.

      • June 21, 2012 at 12:43 amCybersteel

        Stilts-oniitan don’t forget Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai blog that!!!

      • June 21, 2012 at 3:18 pmSeishun Otoko

        Someone, Anyone, please blog Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai!!! That’s going to be the sleeper this season ;)

      • June 22, 2012 at 5:09 amLoL

        Stilts also picked lagrange 2

        … I see what you did there :3

      • June 23, 2012 at 6:13 amStilts

        Nishishi ^^ All awesome part 2′s go to onii-chan!

      • June 23, 2012 at 1:17 pmLoL

        I love the smell of yuri in the morning.

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:27 pmJohn Hayabusa

    I am very excited for the summer season! Looking forward to watch Lagrange, Yuruyuri♪♪, Horizon, Binbougami ga!, and many more!

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:28 pmThe_Magus_Killer

    1. Rinne no Langrange II (I can here the first season’s OP in my head already: “Lag-rin…lag-rin…~”)
    2. Oda Nobuna no Yabou (I never get tired of genderbended Sengoku Jidai characters XD)
    3. Sword Art Online
    4. Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
    5. CODE GEASS Hangyaku no Lelouch: Nunnally in Wonderland

    Guess that’s my tentative watch list for the upcoming season.

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:31 pmYanDaMan

    Not much shows Im looking forward this season. I like Kingdom, Sword Art, Hagure Yuusha no Estetica, and Oda Nobuna so far. I guess Sword Art can be considered the big high expectation anime of this season like Fate Zero was?

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:31 pmCherrie

    Thanks for writing the preview Div! =) I’m sure a lot of people will appreciate it!

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:38 pmNhelraios

    Thanks for this so much. I’ll be relying on you guys for your first impressions since I have no expectations of most of the shows in that list. Will be watching for sure the highly anticipated sequels: YuruYuri( yay! Yuruyuri Mondays ftw!), Rinne no Lagrange, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. I’ve been hearing many good things from Sword Art Online so I think I’m going to check it out too.

    Hope you’ll be back soon Divine. Thanks again to you and to all the writers.

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:40 pmSteven Den Beste

    About Chitose Get You, it really depends on how raunchy it is. It could be like Kodomo no Jikan, but it might end up more like Hanamaru Kindergarten, which wasn’t raunchy at all.

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:43 pmPlayer

    As a fan of visual novels, I’m looking forward to Total Eclipse, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, and Ebiten which is written by SCA自. The latter two are “must watches” for me, basically (well, it’s possible I may drop Ebiten if I somehow don’t like the characters).

    There are a lot of fun-looking anime this season that I may try out, though.

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:44 pmMasterDragonKnight

    Hopefully Dog Days’ will be covered, since the first season was not.

    Not much in terms of story, but the series as a whole is just adorable. Not to mention the songs by Nana Mizuki and Yui Horie are insanely catchy.

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:49 pmAsobi

    0_0 Not only do they share artist, but Ebiten’s PV is using the Setokai no Ichizon OP as well. Is this some kind of elaborate in-joke?

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:50 pmClick

    Looks like a decent season, but nowhere near as good as this Springs or, well, any season in 2011. I have moderately high expectations for Natsuyuki, while I’ll be looking out Sword Art Online, Langrange, TARI TARI, Jinrui, Koi to Senkyo, and Oda Nobuna. Everything seems to be up in the air at the moment though, so I don’t think I’ll be too disappointed if everything stays in the below-to-above average range.

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:55 pmUnknownSoldier

    Just finished marathoning the first season of KSnH and the second season is my most anticipated show this summer. It’s a shame that so many people drop it because you’re required to do a little research (there’s an episode-by-episode glossary/FAQ available, and I believe Stilts was making a post that’s the same thing), because what you get is something that I probably would have ranked higher than Fate/Zero if I had been watching it while it (the first season) aired.

    • June 20, 2012 at 7:16 pmStilts

      I like the jib of this man’s cut!

  • June 20, 2012 at 7:01 pmBass.EXE

    Wow, I think I’m going to actually be able to do it this season. For the first time in years I think I’ll actually be able to limit myself to ten series. Man, I’m going to have so much more time on my hands…I think I’ll read a book

  • June 20, 2012 at 7:15 pmAkuamari

    Yayy!! I’ve been looking forward to this season preview forever~ Thanks Divine! I’m usually very picky with my anime but the following have piqued my interest: La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia, Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Kokoro Connect, Hakuouki Reimeiroku. I usually watch only 2-3 different anime series each season but I’m really interested in these 5. It’s also nice to see you (Divine) back writing on this site even though it’s only for the season preview and I couldn’t help but notice that Verdant isn’t a potential blogger for any of this season’s series… I was looking forward to seeing what he was going to blog but…

  • June 20, 2012 at 7:19 pmricz

    Will surely watch

    1. Sword Art Online
    2. Kyoukai Senjou
    3. Rinne no lagrange
    4. Campione
    5. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

    I’ll try

    1. Arcana Famiglia
    2. Muv Luv
    3. Dog Days
    4. Kokoro Connect
    5. Koi?

    etc etc XD

    • June 20, 2012 at 7:20 pmricz

      Derp How could I forget Yuru Yuri

  • June 20, 2012 at 7:19 pmion62

    I think it’s only Binbougami that I’ll be seeing.

  • June 20, 2012 at 7:19 pmW.Wolf

    Ah good the preview I look forward to it every season. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for the shows. I don’t see a single one I know I will like, just a few I will check out but meh. Guess it will be a slow summer for me :(

  • June 20, 2012 at 7:23 pmBelize

    Muv-Luv is where it all is for me. I am looking forward to other shows but damn, I want this show to be both good and successful so that maybe…just maybe it can usher in the the original greatest visual novel trilogy.

  • June 20, 2012 at 7:26 pmKinni

    Campione’s Light Novel is AWESOME, so I really, REALLY hope the anime is good.

    • June 20, 2012 at 7:40 pmtylon

      I have high expectation on the kissing scene. Saliva dropping… :)

  • June 20, 2012 at 7:31 pmCybersteel

    ohohoho

    • June 20, 2012 at 9:01 pmCybersteel

      I don’t know about anyone else but my plan is to watch all the anime in RC’s Season Preview and drop them according to preference. Atleast 3 episodes per anime.

      • June 20, 2012 at 11:09 pmKJacket

        I support watching 3 eps but 26 is not a small number, Good luck.

        I used to try out about 15 shows too when I used to have more free time, it ends up being following 4-6 shows and marathoning some others after.

      • June 21, 2012 at 12:40 amCybersteel

        I always follow the 3 episode rule. If a show does not interest me much after that after watching I’ll drop it. e.g. Medeka Box.

        However if a show turned out to be actually good but not enough time and will watch it again later I’ll probably marathon it when the season ends. e.g. Rinne No Langrange and Aquarion Evol

        Then there’s the show I am so watching because it s so interesting in a :ifyouknowhatimean: kinda way e.g. Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai

        And carryovers from last season Accel World; Hyouka

  • June 20, 2012 at 7:39 pmJean

    I’m looking forward to Sword Art Online based on the books; the author wrote his first book like he was directing an anime (it was very cyberpunk with a bonus of anime fantasy tropes).

    • June 20, 2012 at 8:32 pmGreenMage

      From the pv it seems like its going to be adapted in chronological order rather than novel order
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • June 20, 2012 at 11:42 pmJean

        Y’know… I’m okay with that. The books jump around a lot and it’s distracting if you read fast (and thus skim over/miss important clues like timeline chapter headings)

  • June 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm…..

    NOT even 1 seinen show, eh?

    Save for 1-2 shows (that are somewhat watchable to me), the rest of them the same old shonen or ecchi or slice-of-life feathering eyes-big-as-fist-with-no-nose teenage school girls, for cryin’ out loud. Is it so HARD to have 1 measly seinen show? I’ll even take good Josei (but screw “Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu…”, I’ll stay from it as far as possible) at this point.

    Really mediocre stuff throughout. Good thing that at least 1 seinen show (Uchuu Kyoudai) will carry over from spring.

    • June 20, 2012 at 7:50 pmDivine

      Um… Moyashimon Returns is seinen.

      • June 20, 2012 at 7:59 pm…..

        oops, I forgot about the bateria show. Yes, it’s one of 1-2 shows that I might watch, but forgot that it’s indeed seinen… Well even though I couldn’t finish watching the 1st season of it all the way through as it was getting a bit repetitive, I guess a beggar can’t be a chooser!!

    • June 20, 2012 at 8:33 pmAnon

      Your best bet is to stick to Moyashimon Returns and Natsuyuki Rendezvous(josei).

      Unfortunately, it’s a poor season for Type A Otaku.

      • June 20, 2012 at 9:32 pmAcid

        Not just this season, it’s been a pretty dry few years.

  • June 20, 2012 at 7:43 pmLuxor

    Looking at my MAL (Yes, I know it’s RAS syndrome), I’ve got these:

    1) Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
    2) Kokoro Connect
    3) Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai
    4) Arve Rezzle (mfw I found out this is an OVA)
    5) Campione!
    6) Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!
    7) Muv-Luv Alternative
    8) Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate
    9) La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia
    10) Sword Art Online
    11) Tari Tari
    12) Hagure Yuusha no Estetica

  • June 20, 2012 at 7:54 pmfragb85

    Lagrange and Muv-luv are a must for me. SAO seems like an interesting concept so that’s in my watch list. The rest are on the maybe list.

    P.S. The Rinne no Lagrange OAV is dated 8/23

    • June 20, 2012 at 8:08 pmDivine

      Updated, thanks.

  • June 20, 2012 at 7:58 pmRen

    K-ON’s movie BD release is on July 18th

    • June 20, 2012 at 8:08 pmDivine

      Added, thanks.

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:02 pmLegion

    I’m mainly interested in Rinne S2. The first season was a nice surprise.

    For some reason I’m mildly interested in Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate. They’re probably going with the childhood friend route though; meh.

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:03 pmShuA

    There are only 8 shows that I will definitely watch

    • June 20, 2012 at 8:52 pmGIFT

      “ONLY” 8 shows? Out of this bunch??? Ahahaha! You give me a good bellylaugh~!
      You’re either quite generous man who just can’t say no to things or have lots of free time on your hand, don’t you? Even dedicated anim blogger will watch more than 6 shows out of this bunch! I mock ya!! ohhaha

      • June 20, 2012 at 9:14 pmGIFT

        Correction: Even dedicated anim”e” blogger will “NOT” watch…

        Look what you’ve done, ShuA. You made me so eager to mock you that I temporarily forgot how to write, LOL!

      • June 21, 2012 at 3:43 amShuA

        You’re overreacting
        I’m just saying summer season 2012 is a bit weak for me and some shows really stand out from others (although summer season is usually always weak compared to other seasons)
        Note: I usually manage to find more than 14 new animes in a season
        Will watch: Sword Art Online, La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia, Tari Tari, Jinrui wa suitai shimashita, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Dog days, Campione, Kokoro Connect
        Rest of them: May watch

      • June 21, 2012 at 2:33 pmBakaMochi

        Let’s try to keep things civil! :)

        It’s a bit of a dry season, but there’s still a fair bit that would keep people interested. Then there’s some carry-overs from spring that should keep things alive in the summer until fall. When school starts. -________-

      • June 21, 2012 at 11:08 pmqwerty

        What is this I don’t even.

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:10 pmSceptile

    Interested in MuvLuv, Sword Arts Online, and Joshiraku. I have the sneaking suspicion that I’ll enjoy the last the most; I have some concerns about TE’s adaption and SAO feels dangerously close to a cliche. Oh well, at least it has Kajiura. As for Joshiraku, if it’s anywhere near as good as SZS, I’ll probably love it.

    You do MuvLuv a huge disservice in your writeup, though. The mecha universe is the main one; it’s not like they made the romcom VN and then spun it off into a mecha. Half of Extra and all of Alternative was devoted to the parallel world, and the other half of Extra was just preparation for it. I think you probably got that impression because you heard that Unlimited and Extra are separate VNs, but they’re halves of the same one.

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:11 pmWhee

    Yesssss Kyoukai Senjou and Sword Art Online!
    and obv lagrange.

    time to pick up new stuff~

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:14 pmPrimusLune

    Is it autumn already? Because i seriously cant wait till all these are done cuz none look that much of a boom. Seriously, my Summer’s gonna be a real bore with all these.

    • June 21, 2012 at 3:50 amDivine

      I would say you should consider finding another hobby or going out with friends then, but that would be stating the obvious…

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:15 pmleokiko

    Sword Art Online and Natsuyuki Rendezvous at first glance.

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:18 pmMasterDragonKnight

    By the way, Divine, you missed Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 2nd A’s in the list.

    It is supposed to be released on July 14, 2012.

    • June 20, 2012 at 8:30 pmMasterDragonKnight

      Ah, nevermind. I realized you are not including theatrical releases.

    • June 20, 2012 at 11:00 pmKJacket

      Nice heads up though, thanks.

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:25 pmstarss

    I never heard of 90% of these animation studios before. I fear for the mortality of them.

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:28 pmskylion

    Like many, I pretty much give anything a shot. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita was off my radar just because I didn’t see it amonst the Rinne and SOA fanfare. But a fave group and TL is probably going to do it, so that got my interest right there….funny how that can get your attention.

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:31 pmKyzel

    SAO, Lagrange. And probably Muv-Luv, would be my definite ones to see. Thanks Divine for the write-up.

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:44 pmruirui

    omg is the tales of symphonia OVA finally ending? xD

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:46 pmzeroyuki92

    Wow, Divine! Happy to see you return for seasonal preview!(even it’s only for a while) This is much faster than I expect initially :p

    About summer…Well, a pretty slow season as usual, huh? Well, I guess I will try :
    - Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita : I’m in for Romeo Tanaka and the setting.
    - Muv Luv TE : Divine, Zephyr and Moomba already make an initial research for Muv-Luv, take a look here : http://randomc.net/2012/06/13/muv-luv-extra-unlimited-alternative-overview/
    Well, I don’t expect TE to be as good as Alternative at all, even if it’s nearly as good I guess I will have a winner for the season.
    - Koi to Senkyo : My friend give me a recommendation for this, so I’ll take a glimpse.
    - Sword Art Online : Heard many good things about this, plus it also has Kajiura inside. I’ll give it a watch.

    Maybe also :
    - Tari-tari : Got a meh feeling about this, but I may give it a chance.
    - Kokoro Connect : I’ll see the review first before deciding.

    The rest? I’ll just wait for the review until one popped up as surprisingly good.

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:46 pmJJGG

    Where’s Blood Lad?

    • June 20, 2012 at 8:51 pmAnonymous

      It isn’t airing this season.

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:46 pmSnooSnoo

    “Likewise, the story touches upon some more serious subplots, such as the bullying Michiru has to endure at school since her family’s poor.”

    Isara, not Michiru.

    • June 21, 2012 at 3:53 amDivine

      Nice catch. Fixed.

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:49 pmWyatt Derp

    Wow…an entire season of garbage and sequels to shows I haven’t watched. I hate to be this negative but it’s seasons like this that remind me of why I took that anime break. And coming off a season where I picked up almost half a dozen shows makes this all the more disappointing. I’ll try and find something to give a chance but I guess the bandwidth I’ll save can be spent on watching more SC2 in the coming months…

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:51 pmKiseki

    The information everywhere is WRONG. It’s “Vienna” from AUSTRIA not…whatever you wrote here from Australia. orz

    I have yet to finish reading this preview, but I just really have to point this out since I keep seeing “Wiin” from “Australia” and it just really really bugs mejsksjdnkvc;l

    Really though go check out Vienna’s profile. The “Australia” is missing a ラ.

    Y’know…music…Vienna…y’know.

    • June 20, 2012 at 8:53 pmKiseki

      Oh yeah this is about Tari Tari by the way. orz Sorry.

    • June 21, 2012 at 3:57 amDivine

      One honest mistake doesn’t mean “all wrong”. Imagine if you failed a test because you got even a single question incorrect. You might want to choose your words more wisely next time…

      I’m always a target of scrutiny since I run this site, but let’s not fall into a situation where we have ridiculous double standards.

      • June 22, 2012 at 2:01 pmKiseki

        My apologies. I wasn’t referring to all of your information as wrong, rather that pretty much every single description of Tari Tari (ANN, MAL, charts and whatnot) in English I have seen so far happens to get the info about Vienna/Austria wrong.

        You would think more people would catch this. It bugs me to no end.

      • June 22, 2012 at 9:05 pmDivine

        No worries. If anything, this just goes to show how most of anime information out there in English — particularly with season previews — is purely second-hand information that’s potentially full of mistakes. What’s more, it all comes from one or two sources and if they’re wrong, everyone’s wrong. I’ve seen this happen with other series in the past, where anime bloggers get synopses completely wrong because one person posted an incorrect synopsis on ANN. What’s worse, they blindly wrote impressions based on it too.

        What I try to do with my season preview is pull info from a lot more reliable sources, like the official Japanese website and Japanese Wikipedia to offset the incorrect or lack of information in English, and correct mistakes such as these.

        In this case, I’ll admit I failed in that regard with the “Austria -> Australia” oversight because I read the incorrect English translation and only skimmed over the word when I saw the Japanese (…because they start and end the same way).

  • June 20, 2012 at 8:56 pmMormegil

    As always, thank you for your incredibly hard work, Divine!

    Somewhat of a lacking season, it seems.

    That being said, I’ll be watching Moyashimon Returns, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Sword Art Online, and the second season of Rinne no Lagrange.

  • June 20, 2012 at 9:16 pmSerapita

    Thanks for the preview!

    I’ll add Tari Tari to my already long watch list, didn’t know it’s Kishida Mel and PA Works.

    Anyway, there’s no potential blogger for YuruYuri? Madness! This is madness!

  • June 20, 2012 at 9:43 pmRoguespirit

    Looks like we’ll be having a fun filled season. Code Geass ftw. I know it won’t have much to do with the originals and are spinoffs most likely.

    I always anticipated a Dog Days sequal but I’m not sure I’ll watch it even though I did watch the first season. Maybe once Acchi Kocchi’s over I may need something silly to fill the void but oh what a void it will be.

    Since I enjoyed Accel World I’m pumped for Sword Art online since it takes place in the same universe twenty years before hand. Also the body swapping of Kokoro connect sounds so wierd it has to be interesting. Many of the other shows are fairly typical though Muv-Luv brings some much needed mecha action along with Rinne.

    I’m going to be buys this season.

  • June 20, 2012 at 9:49 pmgandalf8

    Glad your back for this season preview, Divine, even if its just a one-off thing in your indefinite hiatus. RandomC season previews has always played a huge part in determining what shows I’d watch, and thus I’m delighted to get an insight from you concerning the shows that are airing this Summer season.

    My top must watch as-soon-as-it-airs list consists of Sword Art Online, Kyoukai Sen II, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita and Rinne no Lagrange 2. I still have a huge backlog of this seasons shows that I’ve saved to watch in one go from start to finish, so I’ll probably be adding other shows to my watch list after the premiere episode reviews come out.

    • June 21, 2012 at 7:15 amCherrie

      Awwww… I knew people would appreciate Div’s efforts on the preview =) Seems like a lot of people take his opinion into consideration so… we’ll see if we can convince him to blog more in the future as one-off posts ;)

      • June 21, 2012 at 9:32 amSeishun Otoko

        We do, we do!
        We’re counting on you, Cherrie. Divine listens to you, it seems ;)

  • June 20, 2012 at 10:07 pmJustinnnnnn

    Dammit Divine, you’re the best blogger I’ve seen in the internet. I could care less for these new shows, I just read the whole thing because it was yours.

    Thanks for the post, Mr :) Good luck with your (Android?) projects!

  • June 20, 2012 at 10:12 pmDrKi

    “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 season season”

    typo there? isn’t it supposed to be “second season” ? :)

    • June 21, 2012 at 4:01 amDivine

      This preview may have been rushed out the door editing-wise so that it’s posted close to two weeks before the start of the new season…

      (I still spent most of the last two weeks working on it though…)

  • June 20, 2012 at 10:15 pmBakanekokun

    WHAT!!! Previews by Divine…O_o !!! WTF, I had to give myself a couple slaps to ensure I was not dreaming…I wasn’t and it hurts. That aside, perusing the choices…I guess after a stellar spring season, I felt the incoming one is disappointing. The only one that sparked a bit of interest was Sword Art Online, but I may be wrong on some dark horses.

  • June 20, 2012 at 10:26 pmZen

    First off, I’d like to thank Divine for taking time out of his hectic schedule to put together this wonderful season preview (You spoil us, Divine, don’t you XP)! Nice seeing you around every one in a awhile and hope all is going well.

    Horizon II is unequivocally my most anticipated show of the coming season (For reasons that I’ve stated ad nauseum sporadically over the last 6 months and will abstain from repeating here.), but several others on the list stood out to me as well.

    Kingdom and Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi in particular caught my eye. Kingdom’s feudal Chinese setting and general plot description are precursors that may be indicative of a story like that of Horizon’s that is both intricate and politically driven- but one that is more grounded in reality. And the atypical 38-episode count could indicate that somebody went out of his/her way to get a run that would be most conducive to the pacing of the original story. Of course, all these allegations are based merely on circumstantial evidence and are in no way conclusive; whether any of these things actually hold true remains to be seen…

    As for Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi, I was surprised that the manga was originally created by some guy who made it big off of NicoNico MAD vids; that someone whose background is in making viral videos would try a hand at something as refined as semi-educational feudal drama (And be so successful at it) is quite intriguing- makes me think that this show’s probably some kind of chimera; a feudal drama with historically blasphemous modern twists that nonetheless works in harmonious synergy with all its other elements to create a coherent contradiction that is refreshing, unique- and most importantly, relatable to a modern audience…of course, again, everything’s speculative at this stage, I haven’t done any serious research on the matter…

    As for the rest of the shows, they all seem like the kind of stuff you’d expect from any typical anime season- some great, some awful and everything in between- but none possessing the (arguably) avant-garde element of the aforementioned 3 shows. In other words, nothing terribly innovative, but they’re anime staples- as it happens, I’ll probably end up watching most of them nonetheless like every other season…of course, if anyone feels like venturing out of their comfort zone and trying out something new, the three shows that I mentioned are the ones to look out for…

  • June 20, 2012 at 10:49 pmbelatkuro

    Wow Summer Preview. Thanks Div.
    For me, I’ll be watching the sequels Horizon 2, RnL 2 and Dog Days’.
    For the new ones, SAO is definitely on my top list. Been pumped for it ever since I picked up the LN(PV2 where though D:). Though that’s the first time I encountered that title for the Nerve Gear, NERDLES. Can’t remember where it was mentioned in the LN. Oh well.
    To add, I’ll also be watching Muv-Luv, Jinrui was Suitai Shimashita, Tari Tari, Natsuyuki Rendevous, Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate, Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!, Hagure Yuusha no Estetica, Campione, Kokoro Connect. I might pick up Binbougami Ga, Ebiten and Dakara Boku wa H ga Dekinai, though the latter is unlikely as I already have Hagure Yuusha as my seasonal fanservice show and I didn’t quite like what I saw in the PV.

    *counts* Damn, 13 shows plus 3 in pending. And here I was saying I will cut back this season as the season looks a bit weak but let’s see. It’s too early to dismiss it I guess until it already aired. So yeah.

    PS. The HSDxD OVA will be bundled in the vol 13 of the LN. Just saying :)

    • June 20, 2012 at 11:00 pmbelatkuro

      Gravatar email fail D:

      Well reading back, I might consider watching La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia too. The cast is pretty top notch and I’m a sucker for that. The premise looks a bit interesting too. So yeah.
      Let’s hope this will be a good season, though considering the Spring was a pretty amazing season, I can see why me and some would dismiss this season, what with the lineup and all being somewhat “generic”. But I’m not picky in my shows and I enjoy watching as long as it entertains me. I’m a fairly shallow person after all orz

  • June 20, 2012 at 10:51 pmwebkid94

    Only RandomC makes these previews sound way more positive than they should be. I’m trying to cut down on my watch list…but it looks like I’m going with

    –Horizon 2, Lagrange 2, Dog Days 2 (the sequels)
    –Natsuyuki Rendevous (Josei + the director = Win)
    –Sword Art Online (dropped Accel World for this..hopefully the MC here isn’t obnoxiously preachy and yay no Yuki Kaji – I’m sure Enzo loves this)
    –Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate (Character designs are beautiful! Plus more Yuuichi Nakamura as a teenager doesn’t hurt :P)
    –Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (Looks heartwarming, but it’s mostly a parody series? No wonder Seiji Kishi is directing…animation looks much better than Persona 4 what the hell lol)
    —Kokoro Connect (Silver Link’s doing a great job with Dusk Maiden..and Miyuki Sawashiro <3)
    I'll bite the bullet and give Dakara, Boku wa H ga Dekinai a chance. I've always avoided ecchi series but DAT seiyuu list (Aya Endo and her natural ojou-sama voice mainly)and..yeah I'll give it a chance, it's my first real ecchi series!

    AND..Eureka Seven A0, Shirokuma Cafe, Hyouka and Gundam AGE..that's 13 series so exactly the same as Spring. Yay…fun.Oh boy, If I only didn't have to go to college now..

    • June 21, 2012 at 1:27 amSuppa Tenko

      Don’t worry, the MC for SAO is the perfect fantasy character. He’s all that embodies the Mary Sue character done right. Basically take Kira Yamato, remove all of his emo and make him even more badass. There isn’t need for too much character development because he embodies the ideal person.

      • June 21, 2012 at 7:38 amMike

        Well, to be fair one can argue that Kirito did become a bit emo during Red-nosed Reindeer, but it was very understandable, and is quite the /mantear jerker :P

      • June 22, 2012 at 9:26 amSuppa Tenko

        Well I kinda meant in the main story where Kirito’s already completely developed as a character.

        I wonder if his sex scene with Asuna will be alluded to.

      • June 22, 2012 at 11:10 pmMike

        there’s no way they’ll animate 16.5 :P

        hinting at it… maybe, but I doubt it.

      • June 22, 2012 at 11:17 pmbelatkuro

        It will at least be implied.
        And note that 16.5 wasn’t in the printed version of the novels.
        They’ll be animating the printed ones I think.
        And before you ask, yes, Aria was published in Dengeki in the May issue.

    • June 21, 2012 at 7:55 amSerapita

      The SAO’s MC won’t be obnoxious, and actually I find that all characters in SAO are really memorable and like-able, only problem with the series would be how they will adapt the light novel into anime… Show Spoiler ▼

      • June 21, 2012 at 8:30 amMike

        Actually, they’ll be cover the side stories that took place during the SAO arc as well in chronological order, so there’s at least 2 volumes + the Aria side story to animate. My guess is that Show Spoiler ▼

      • June 21, 2012 at 8:32 amKuroi

        its gonna be
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • June 21, 2012 at 9:47 amSerapita

        That’s great to hear. Show Spoiler ▼

      • June 24, 2012 at 12:01 pmSerapita

        Hmmm, nope Show Spoiler ▼

  • June 20, 2012 at 10:53 pmmistress_kisara

    Thanks for the summer preview! as for me I’m checking out La storia della Arcana Famiglia, Hakuouki Reimeiroku, Natsuyuki Rendezvous and maybe Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu

  • June 20, 2012 at 11:00 pmewok40k

    my preliminary picks:
    rinne no lagrange 2 – loved the first series,
    muv luv alternative – the setting picqued my interest
    yuruyuri 2 – liked the first series too, down to epic nosbleeds, expect more of same
    natsuyuki randezvous – a romance among (gasp!) adults? no highschooler in sight? older female love interst? sign me in!!!!!
    sword art online – as an mmorpg fan myself (currently levelling up 4th toon in SWTOR, thank you…) I can relate to the setting, and while “trapped inside a game” trope has been a bit overplayed since at least the hack./ series , I dont mind it that much.

  • June 20, 2012 at 11:01 pmMakoto

    more TOSHINO KYOUKO!!!

  • June 20, 2012 at 11:31 pmStilts

    I’m excited about how many people are excited about Kyoukaisen season 2. You guys have good taste! Just sayin’ ^^

    • June 21, 2012 at 9:29 amSeishun Otoko

      I’m tempted to get a Mixy gravatar =3
      Looking forward to your mega post on KSnH, Stilts. Horizon tan FTW!!!

    • June 21, 2012 at 9:25 pmsarcastic_weasel

      KSnHII is my most anticipated anime this year. Seriously. Yes, there have been other really good anime, but nothing has captured my attention like this show. Once you pierce the veil of incoherence, get the bucketful of characters straight, drink the Kool-Aid, and sit back and relax, it’s a smashing show. (But there is prep work involved.)

      Is it perfect? No– it’s obtuse, riddled with jargon, and difficult to get into, and it caters mostly to the novel readers who already know what’s going on. But it has the most awesome Pope in anime in a long time. (Tes! Tes! Tes!) There’s also an awesome confession/debate/declaration of war as well that’s one of my favorite scenes of 2011.

      Don’t bother if you didn’t watch the first season, understand it, and get what’s going on, because you will probably be lost, confused, and wind up posting Angry Things in poor Stilts’ blog posts. (And be prepared for a storm of new characters to keep track of, too.)

  • June 20, 2012 at 11:35 pmshageki

    i have a question…

    is Blood Lad not included on this summer season ??

    • June 20, 2012 at 11:38 pmZephyr

      I believe it is now a Fall anime.

  • June 20, 2012 at 11:35 pmNeo

    I’m still waiting for TLR Darkness tv series info and looking forward for the OVA.

    • June 21, 2012 at 12:25 amc2710

      Any sources stating that it’ll be turned into an anime? Would like to watch it for the service

  • June 20, 2012 at 11:38 pmSakuba

    I don’t see Blood Lad and Arve Rezzle: Kikaijikake no Yoseitachi in the preview.
    Mistake or those shows aren’t for summer ?

    As usual, thanks for the preview who is really helpful.

    • June 21, 2012 at 7:43 amZephyr

      Blood Lad –> Fall at the earliest.
      Arve Rezzle –> OVA or something. Not much info about it though. :X

  • June 20, 2012 at 11:39 pmJhacks

    All of the sudden, I feel like watching more shows this season. >‿‿<
    Amazing as always, a nice and a very informative season preview.

  • June 20, 2012 at 11:47 pm†Croos†

    Divine you should also put your name on the Plan to Watch as well. But I guess you’re still busy.

    My watch list:
    Everything that is in this review.

  • June 20, 2012 at 11:51 pmDorkus

    Hope your hiatus ends soon Divine. While everyone’s been doing great since you’ve been gone, it’s nice to have you around too!

    • June 20, 2012 at 11:59 pm†Croos†

      For me, I want him to be happy and have a stable life and let him be for now. LIFE IS HARDER this days.

  • June 21, 2012 at 12:02 amVamp

    Love your blog.

  • June 21, 2012 at 12:04 am†Croos†

    You guys should check the Yuru Yuri ♪♪. Its AWESOME.

  • June 21, 2012 at 12:23 amc2710

    Definite watch –

    Lagrange II (And yes… OP I is ringing in my ears)
    Tari Tari (Oh PA Works… You completely blow me away once again)
    Sword Art Online (Yuki Kajiura! XD)
    Kokoro Connect (Seems EXTREMELY tame for a SILVERLINK production)
    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon (Simply because I watched the first season)

    As for the rest, I’d just wait for RC entries first =D though BD and OVA releases aren’t included in this list though

    Despite picking up fewer shows as compared to past season(s), I’d say that summer is quite cool.

  • June 21, 2012 at 12:49 amtotoum

    About Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi. Divine had this to say “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.”

    I just wanted to point out that while “Tyo Animations” is a new brand name it’s in large part made up of people from “HAL Film maker” which might be a name people are more familiar with.

    • June 21, 2012 at 4:07 amDivine

      I actually wasn’t aware of that, so thanks for pointing it out. I liked some of HAL Film Maker’s stuff.

  • June 21, 2012 at 1:07 amBio D

    A lot of sequels for shows I didn’t watch in the first place and a lot of shows I’m not that interested in. I need the space to catch up on my backlog anyway.

  • June 21, 2012 at 1:28 amSuppa Tenko

    It sucks that I have to be in China when SAO comes out :(

    The only show I’m guaranteed to watch this season is SAO. For some reason ever since last season I’ve been watching anime less and less to the point that I skipped 3 episode of Fate/Zero and dropped KoreZombie.

    My only fear is that the anime can’t bring out the true goodness of SAO.

  • June 21, 2012 at 1:29 amDarklord

    There seems to be a tendency to produce shows with all-or-mostly female casts lately. Just looking at the gender distribution of the current season it seems something like that:

    ####################################
    # All or mostly female cast
    ####################################
    Binbougami ga!
    Joshiraku
    Rinne no Lagrange Season 2
    TARI TARI
    Yuruyuri
    Campione!
    Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai
    DOG DAYS’
    Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmonbu
    Hagure Yuusha no Estetica
    Horizon II
    Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate
    Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!
    Moyashimon Returns
    Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
    Oda Nobuna no Yabou

    ####################################
    # About even
    ####################################
    Chouyaku Hyakuninisshu: Uta Koi.
    Kokoro Connect
    Natsuyuki Rendezvous
    Sword Art Online

    ####################################
    # All or mostly male cast
    ####################################
    Tanken Driland
    Hiiro no Kakera
    La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia
    Hakuouki
    Kingdom

    I’m not saying it should be the opposite but I guess I would like to see more balance. I find it harder and harder to find shows with cool male characters to watch and this season looks like it will be even harder then usual.

    I know shows are produced based on what currently sells and my tastes are not in the majority, but still – it shouldn’t be that hard to find shows that I like.

    • June 21, 2012 at 8:54 amNaYa

      Actually Moyashimon has 4 male, 3 female and 1 crossdresser. XD

    • June 22, 2012 at 8:31 amSurvival_DX

      I agree with you, Darklord.

      The problem is not the male/female ratio per se, but the lack of interesting male characters. Most anime shows these days either have a reactionary male character (protagonist without a personality, who is supposed to mirror the viewer’s reaction inside the show in order to give a deeper feeling of immersion, generally used to interact with the story’s romantic interests. They are very useful to sell toys and other products, but don’t add much to the plot, generally have generic character design and are not memorable in any way) or a flamboyant Gary Stu (fanservice for the female audience). Both kinds of character are very feminine (looks, personality, overall story) and don’t count as a male presence in a show.

      Current season had a decent number of good male characters (Fate/Zero 2nd Season, Hunter x Hunter 2011, Sakamichi no Apollon, Tsuritama, Uchuu Kyoudai, Zetman). It had a good balance between the sexes, which is part of the reason why many people enjoyed it.

      Next season, however, is completely unbalanced. Kingdom being the only show with strong male presence, whereas the other new animes are filled with reactionary characters and flamboyant Gary Stus.

      • June 22, 2012 at 3:21 pmDarklord

        I agree with everything you said.

        You are especially right that the current season has been very refreshing change of pace with a strong male presence. It’s been a while since there was a season where I could watch more than 5 shows and the current one is such a season – I am watching and enjoying all the shows you mentioned and a couple of others (Jormungand, Eureka Seven AO). Unfortunately almost all of them end pretty soon and the new season doesn’t seem to have many good offerings.

        Maybe SAO looks promising especially if the main character is as good as other people say.

  • June 21, 2012 at 3:06 amFT5Havok

    OMG ! THE SUPERGENIUS A.I. IS BACK!! NOTHING COMPARES TO HIM..

  • June 21, 2012 at 3:09 amgawrshness

    YuruYuri! I’ve been waiting for this!

  • June 21, 2012 at 3:20 amIronZeta

    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 the ‘alternate universe’ was planned as an integral part of the story from the start, it wasn’t a spinoff to squeeze some more cash out of existing characters.

    • June 21, 2012 at 4:14 amDivine

      I’ll admit that comment was a bit presumptuous, but it was by no means intended to reflect reality, hence why it’s in a sentence of my “impressions” paragraph and starts with “generally”. It’s just the initial impression I got before reading a bit of the manga. I did provide the flip side at the end though, saying that I heard good things about the series and that Satelight’s production quality looks top-notch.

  • June 21, 2012 at 3:50 amHagiri

    a Must Watch is Sword Art Online, I’ve finished volume 1 of the novel and it was excellent! hope they match the greatness found in the novel in this anime adaptation~

  • June 21, 2012 at 3:56 amkaineng

    With such a precise preview like Divine’s, the new season is just getting my attention more and more already. If Kokoro Connect is not hentai then it’s 4 shows for me liao. I’ll see about it anyway. Thanks RC as always!

  • June 21, 2012 at 4:06 amJiCi

    Glad to see you back Divine. Hope everything is going well on your end. You might be busy, but it’s good to see that you still want to work for the site.

    Summer will be interesting if not the least. However, I was hoping to see new seasons for Durarara!! and Sekirei, because these shows were left with plot holes and unfinished business. Nevertheless, I’m glad to see that Lagrange is still a new season this soon.

  • June 21, 2012 at 4:11 amjust as planned

    i’ll watch Campione! for the french kisses…

  • June 21, 2012 at 4:33 amKLAC_OF_PERSONALITY

    hmm temptingg just need eps numbers on all of it to make sure really don’t want to step long run land mine showing.

  • June 21, 2012 at 4:36 amDolfo

    Nice work again, more power to RC you guys rock, i thank you guys for doing this every season.

  • June 21, 2012 at 4:50 amKinny Riddle

    Ah, Divine’s swansong, eh? And a good one as well.

    As I get older and my schedule piling up, I will have to be very selective on what I watch. So on top of Accel World and Hyouka, which will be carried along into summer 2012, I’ve only picked the following 3:

    SAO – Kawahara Reki’s other work Accel World + A-1 Pictures compelled me to be interested, Kajiura Yuki’s score convinced me. Not to mention this would actually be full circle for Kajiura, after coming into fame for scoring another MMORPG-themed series in .hack//SIGN, also featuring a character unable to log-out.

    Tari Tari – PA Works – nuff said. HanaIro’s BGM was impressive, hopefully with a music-themed plot, music should also be enjoyable. So yes, like SAO, music was one of my primary criteria for picking up a series this season.

    Kokoro Connect – Silver Link impressed me throughly with C Cube and Tasogare Otome. Plus Kokoro Connect’s illutstrator is Horiguchi Yukiko, who of course did the character designs for K-ON and other Kyo-Ani series.

    I’ll probably also watch H-ga dekinai as a “guilty pleasure”. It’s been a long time since an ecchi series made me laugh loudly since kiss-sis, which is also done by Studio.feel.

  • June 21, 2012 at 5:29 amMadox

    Yay…its a Divine post…*reads*

  • June 21, 2012 at 5:29 amPhoenix

    Thank you DIVINE for the list.

    Watch List:
    1. La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia

    Try to watch:
    1. Moyashimon Returns

    OVA:
    1. Tight Rope OVA 2
    2. Hakuoki – Kazama Chikage Chapter

  • June 21, 2012 at 5:32 amboznia

    Much appreciation for the preview. It’s a big help for finding shows that I might like besides the ones I already know I’ll watch.

    I had a rather full plate (well, full for me) during the spring season, so I’m trying to rein things in a bit.

    Definite:
    Moyashimon Returns & Natsuyuki Rendezvous – Noitamina shows are almost always a definite watch for me. The spring set of shows have set a high bar for the summer.
    Tari Tari – While I wouldn’t call myself a huge slice-of-life fan, I enjoyed Hanasaku Iroha well enough. PA Works’ art is the main draw for me.

    High interest:
    Binbougami ga! – The manga’s premise had always interested me. I never found time to read it, so I’ll use the anime to check it out. Sunrise involvement is a plus.
    Sword Art Online – I passed on Accel World, but I like the premise of this series better. The series being 2 cours requires a bit of a commitment, but I’m willing to take a shot. A-1′s involvement is a plus.

    Moderate interest:
    Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai. & Kokoro Connect – Honestly, these aren’t usually the type of shows that interest me, but I feel like broadening my horizons a bit and the premises sound interesting enough to try them out.

    Low interest:
    Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita – Not quite sure what to make of it from the description, but it sounds like a quirky little series I might enjoy.
    Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi. – An historical romance is something else outside the norm for me, but again, I feel like trying something different.
    Campione! – I’ll wait to see what kind of reviews it gets before deciding to check it out.

  • June 21, 2012 at 6:12 amjaggyjagga

    Thanks for the preview, Divine.
    I really appreciate all the effort and time you’ve put into it.

  • June 21, 2012 at 6:59 amMeshedi

    Thanks for the preview. Sadly, only couple shows interest me.

  • June 21, 2012 at 7:49 am†Croos†

    I keep hearing of “Hori-san to Miyamura-kun” OVA. Is it true that it will appear this summer?

  • June 21, 2012 at 8:22 am1Lau

    Thanks for the preview Divine!
    The previews didn’t gave much hope for the next season, but
    after watching the promo’s I have to say there are plenty shows to look forward to

    TARI TARI, for it’s stunning graphics and HanaIro setting
    Moyashimon Returns, very clever promo’s, especially #2
    Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate, gorgeous girls their school uniform look a bit like Saber’s
    Sword Art Online, have hopes for A-1 pictures and looks better than Accel World. This picture gives me chuckles every time though http://i.imgur.com/5gR31h.jpg
    Kokoro Connect, what would Kyoani think about the K-on copy. The style is exactly the same

    Sanka Rea, Hyouka and Sakamichi running alongside keeps the summer season interesting

  • June 21, 2012 at 8:39 amAsda

    1. Sword Art Online
    2. Muv Luv Alternative
    3. Campione

  • June 21, 2012 at 8:42 amSeishun Otoko

    Thanks for very comprehensive preview Divine. Nobody does the season preview like the master and you’ve been greatly missed. Hopefully you’ll be “asked” to write the season previews again. I’ll go as far as beg if it helps ;)
    It looks like I’m gonna be pretty swarmed with animes this summer. Top on my list are Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II, Rinne no Lagrange 2, Dakara Boku wa H ga Dekinai and Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse. I’ll probably check out La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia, Jinrui wa Suitai, Chouyaku Hyakusin Isshu Uta Koi, Yuruyuri ♪♪, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Campione, Sword Art Online, Hagure Yuusha no Estetica and Kokoro Connect.

  • June 21, 2012 at 8:44 am2606

    Guess I’ll only watch SAO from the list… The LNs are quite interesting, after all.

    So do you play Diablo and such in your free time, Divine?

    • June 21, 2012 at 9:05 pmDivine

      Just a little bit…

      • June 22, 2012 at 4:16 am2606

        Wow, I thought you’ve already finished hardcore mode like the way you Big Boss’d MGS4 (those two aren’t really related, are they). Guess working still take a toll on your stamina, eh.

  • June 21, 2012 at 8:57 amNaYa

    Yay! Moyashimon Returns! I really hope you guys blog it. :D

    Looks like kimono is making a comeback this summer.

  • June 21, 2012 at 9:05 amGuardian Enzo

    Great to have you back, Div. It’s just too bad you didn’t have a stronger season to work with – some of these shows can’t have been easy to write about.

    Jinrui is the one I see sleeper potential in. Everyone is going to watch SAO of course, and it’s easy to figure Natsuyuki will be excellent, but Jinrui has gotten too little attention so far.

    • June 21, 2012 at 9:53 am†Croos†

      Jinrui is the one I see sleeper potential

      I wonder. Ψ(´▽`)Ψ

  • June 21, 2012 at 9:31 amEburin

    Divine! Thanks for the preview! :D It’s great to have you poke in around once in a while. (:

  • June 21, 2012 at 10:00 amAndré

    I’m a sad person, but anime make me feel better… C’mon, Moyashimon and YurYuri; I’m already happy.

  • June 21, 2012 at 10:27 amYes!@

    Big Daddy is back !!!!!!! not

    Thank you for this Divine preview. Without substarcting any merit for current writes, I miss you so (bromance!!!). Too many years with your writing style really took its toll on me. Please remember to surprise us like this as much as posible. !!!!!

  • June 21, 2012 at 11:07 amFactor747

    Hi:

    I have a question:

    why the most anime shows start after midnight?

    • June 21, 2012 at 11:19 amSpinning

      Because anime is for adults not kids?

  • June 21, 2012 at 11:16 amTiberium Wolf

    This summer seems a be stronger than the last 2 seasons. But still :/

    • June 21, 2012 at 6:43 pmAnon

      No.

  • June 21, 2012 at 11:16 amLucent

    The two I’m most excited are Sword Art Online and Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, but there are other ones I’ll check out as well: Tari Tari, Uta Koi, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Koichoco, and Kokoro Connect. I may decide to check out Campione or La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia.

    It seems like a bit of a mediocre season, but I’m still a bit excited.

  • June 21, 2012 at 11:31 amKit-A-Ron-Ron-Kat

    Yuru Yuri 2
    Rinne no Lagrange 2

    Nothing more need to be said… Except maybe expressing my absolute respect to Divine: not only does he find time to do the seasonal preview (once again showing his, dare I say excellent taste in anime), he even reads people replies to it. How is that for awesome ?

  • June 21, 2012 at 11:38 amelmaton04

    Sword Art Online looks like it’s going to be awesome.
    Yuru Yuri 2 is a must.
    Tari Tari could be a sleeper
    I’m going to hold off on Rinne though.

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