Summer has returned, bringing with it a fresh batch of anime to give you excuses to escape from the heat. It’s an interesting batch we have this time. If I had to call this season anything, it would be the Summer of Sequels, with continuations of the KyoAni boys love swimming anime Free!, the alien-hunting stylings of SPACE☆DANDY, the second season of everybody’s favorite magical girl spin-off Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Zwei!, another arc of Nisio Isin’s Monogatari series in Hanamonogatari, and the colossally popular (and equally polarizing) second season of Sword Art Online. But there are originals as well, including the P.A. Works’ summer romance Glasslip, XEBEC’s mecha series Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen, and another mecha series in the Urobutcher/Aoki Ei collaboration ALDNOAH.ZERO. There’s even a bit of a resurgence in the horror/thriller category, buoyed by the highly anticipated adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul and the original series Zankyou no Terror. Last year’s summer season was surprisingly strong. Can this year keep the trend going? There’s only one way to find out. This is Random Curiosity’s Summer 2014 season preview.


As a quick reminder, most entries are divided into two paragraphs:

  • A brief introduction to the series and its premise, often with the starring cast of characters.
  • The writer’s impressions, expanding on the plot and highlighting specific points of interest.

This season we’ll continue using our Expectation Levels. As always, remember that these reflect our own subjective excitement level for each show, and do not necessarily reflect how shows will pan out. For more information check out the Overall Impressions section at the bottom, which includes an expanded explanation of each category and a list of all shows by expectation level.


Disclaimer: Back in the ancient era of 2012, previews were done by a single writer, Divine. Unfortunately, none of the current writers are as crazy awesome crazy awesome as him, so we’ve divvied up the writing among six of our writers (Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr, and Stilts) in order to maintain the quality of this preview. As always, we will try to point out what appeals to us in each series, in the hope that it will help you determine if it coincides with your tastes.

Disclaimer #2: Please note that this list does not reflect all the series airing this coming season. It is meant to be as comprehensive as possible, but omissions have been made for shows that stray from the anime norm or seem to be oriented towards young children. Please check out MOON PHASE for complete listings, syoboi for specific air times, and Fansub DB for a list of potential subbers for each series.


Once again, thank you to all of our writers (as well as our tech guy Xumbra and the big man himself, Divine) for helping out on this preview. If you want a second opinion on any of these shows, you might also want to check out the all-Enzo-all-the-time summer preview over at LiA. Finally, a special thanks to all of you for continuing to support Random Curiosity. You’re the best. Those fans of other anime blogs? Second best at least. Science fact!

TV Series

Technical Note: The chart below 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
22:00 MX (7/6)
Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance
20:30 AT-X (7/14)
Momo Kyun Sword
24:30 MX (7/8)
Majimoji Rurumo
21:00 AT-X (7/9)
22:30 MX (7/3)
Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?
25:05 MX (7/11)
10:00 TX (7/5)
22:30 MX (7/6)
23:54 BS11 (7/7)
Yama no Susume: Second Season
22:00 MX (7/9)
Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen
23:00 MX (7/3)
Tokyo ESP
25:35 MX (7/11)
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal
19:00 Niconico (7/5)
23:00 MX (7/6)
Ao Haru Ride
24:00 MX (7/7)
Bakumatsu Rock
23:30 MX (7/2)
Tokyo Ghoul
24:00 MX (7/3)
Nobunaga Concerto
25:50 CX (7/11)
Monogatari Series: Second Season -Hanamonogatari-
19:00 MX (8/16)
Akame ga Kill!
24:00 MX (7/6)
25:35 TX (7/7)
Free! -Eternal Summer-
24:00 MX (7/2)
Zankyou no Terror
24:50 CX (7/10)
Shounen Hollywood -HOLLY STAGE FOR 49-
20:30 AT-X (7/5)
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
25:05 TX (7/6)
26:05 TX (7/7)
25:05 MX (7/9)
25:20 CX (7/10)
Sword Art Online II
23:30 MX (7/5)
DRAMAtical Murder
25:35 TX (7/6)
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!
25:35 MX (7/9)
25:46 TBS (7/3)
24:00 MX (7/5)
Persona 4 the Golden ANIMATION
25:49 MBS (7/10)
Sengoku BASARA: Judge End
25:50 ntv (7/5)
Ai Mai Mi ~Mousou Catastrophe~
26:05 TVS (7/10)
26:20 ntv (7/5)
Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yatte Mita.
26:16 TBS (7/3)
Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus
26:19 MBS (7/10)

* Jump to OVA/Movies.

Bakumatsu Rock | 幕末RockTop
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: July 2, 2014
Genre: Music Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 23:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @bakumatsu069 or #幕末Rock

Preview by Zanibas

Imagine yourself at the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Replace propaganda with hypnotic ‘Heaven Songs’, substitute the swordsmen of the Shingengumi with pop and rock idols, and instead of the pro-emperor Ishin-shishi, have a rock band that seeks to “change the world with rock ‘n’ roll for freedom and justice.” That’s Bakumatsu Rock. In this band are members Sakamoto Ryouma (Taniyama Kishou), Hijikata Toshizou (Morikawa Toshiyuki), Katsura Kogorou (Morikubo Showtaro), Takasugi Shinsaku (Suzuki Tatsuhisa), and Okita Souji (Ono Kensho). Together they compose and perform songs that are forbidden by the Tokugawa Shogunate in order to spread a new message to the Japanese people: down with the military and freedom for all!

Despite being as anachronistic as a game can get, literally rocking the Shogunate is interesting as a concept. Putting aside how cool the game looks as a rhythm story, it looks like there’s only one ending to the game itself, so there should be no worries about different arcs being adapted. People who are into the bishounen music category (such as Uta no Prince-sama) will find this show right up their alley, but with Studio DEEN at the helm, and considering their average track record with pre-Meiji anime, we should only expect an “okay” animation experience. But the main draw will definitely be the rock songs and stripping characters, as hinted by the promotional videos. Overall, with an experienced seiyuu cast and a good selection of rock songs, Bakumatsu Rock should serve its intended audience well.

Watching This: Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Bakumatsu Rock Promotional Videos ▼

Free! -Eternal Summer-Top
Animation: Kyoto Animation Premiere: July 2, 2014
Genre: Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @iwatobi_sc or #TV_Free

Preview by Takaii

The wildly successful swimming anime makes it triumphant return for a second season this summer. Aptly named Free! Eternal Summer, the story will continue with Iwatobi Swim Club members Nanase Haruka (Shimazaki Nobunaga), Tachibana Makoto (Tatsuhisa Suzuki), Hazuki Nagisa (Yonaga Tsubasa), Ryuugazaki Rei (Hirakawa Daisuke), and club manager Matsuoka Gou (Watanabe Akeno) as they continue doing what they love doing – swimming! Along the way I’m sure their friend Matsuoka Rin (Miyano Mamoru) will make his presence known, and maybe, just maybe we’ll get to see Amakata Miho-sensei (Yukino Satsuki) rock some of that modeling talent she has deep down inside of her!

Seeing as how the first season focused more on the slice-of-life side of swimming versus the typical setup of a traditional sports anime, I expect Kyoani to continue doing more of the same. While I have no idea what that could end up being, I’m hoping they’ll continue to build off what we saw during the first season – important things such as Haru’s relationship with swimming and how it effects the rest of his life or Rin learning not be a complete assface and stop taking his friends for granted. That said, because of how popular this show ended up being, there’s always a chance we could end up with something that’s completely different from the original, for better or worse. Whichever direction things go, I know as long as I get to see Gou have one of her moments whenever she’s within two feet of a hot guy, I’ll be able to watch the show with no regrets. Seriously though, I’m sure Kyoani won’t disappoint us with whatever they decide to do, because you know, it’s Kyoani!

Watching This: Cherrie, Takaii, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Free! -Eternal Summer- Promotional Videos ▼

Glasslip | グラスリップTop
Animation: P.A. Works Premiere: July 3, 2014
Genre: Slice-of-Life, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 22:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @glasslip_anime or #glasslip

Preview by Stilts

P.A. Works is releasing a new original series this season. Glasslip is the story of six high school students and the dazzling summer they’ll never forget. Touko Fukami (Fukagawa Seria) is a 17-year-old who dreams of becoming a glass artisan. Takayama Yanagi (Hayami Saori) is a girl currently taking lessons to become a model. Nagamiya Sachi (Taneda Risa) is a quiet bookworm. Imi Yukinari (Shimazaki Nobunaga) is a member of the track team who is currently in rehabilitation. Shirosaki Hiro (Yamashita Daiki) is a helper at the cafe Kazemichi they all frequent. During the summer break of their senior year, they meet a transfer student named Okikura Kakeru (Ohsaka Ryota), who claims that a voice from the future talks to him, and it led him to Touko. His arrival sets off a series of events that will turn their final summer into a romantic and fantastic tale full of hope and heartache.

As one of the few studios that still consistently produce original anime, I’m always on the lookout for the next P.A. Works series. And this one has all the hallmarks of their best work – equal parts slice-of-life, romance, drama, and a dash of fantasy. The animation is gorgeous as usual, with the promos really showing off the care P.A. Works puts into their characters and stories. As an original series, there’s always a risk – this story is untested, so it could backfire gloriously. But with P.A. Works we don’t usually have to worry much about a total bomb; about the worst you should expect is TARI TARI, with the best going past Nagi no Asukara up to the level of Angel Beats! and Uchouten Kazoku. Staff-wise we have a decent showing, with prodigious director Nishimura Junji leading the team. He’s done a lot of work, much of which is on the older side…though it does include directing P.A. Works’ very own True Tears, which I feel is a good sign for this series. If you’re a reasonably prodigious anime viewer and like any of the elements I described above, I suggest you check out Glasslip. It may turn out to be only okay, but the floor for a P.A. Works anime isn’t that low, and the ceiling is very high. That’s worth giving it a chance.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Glasslip Promotional Videos ▼

Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen | 白銀の意思 アルジェヴォルンTop
Animation: XEBEC Premiere: July 3, 2014
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 23:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @aregevollen or #argevollen

Preview by Zephyr

Made by the producers behind Break Blade, Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen comes in as XEBEC’s newest original series. An action-mecha series, Silver Will Argevollen follows the long standing war between the countries of Arandas and Ingelmia. In a conflict with no end in sight, the introduction of a new weapon begins to change the tide of the war. Piloted by Susumu Tokimune (Ohsaka Ryota) of Arandas, the Argevollen comes in as the “will that guides us forward.” This series will be directed by Ootsuki Atsushi (To LOVE-Ru Darkness) and the series’ scripts will be written by Satou Tatsuo (Basquash!, Mouretsu Pirates, Rinne no Lagrange), who is joined by mechanical designers Kikuchi Hirame (Toaru no Hikuushi e no Koiuta) and Teraoka Kenji (Code Geass). The main cast rounds out with Oonishi Saori, Tsuchida Hiroshi, and Oohara Sayaka.

With the coming of every season, there’s always a few shows without much information to go on, and Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen seems to be one of them. This show comes in looking like your typical mecha action series, and it’s something that fans of such series will likely enjoy watching. Boding well for Argevollen is the fact that XEBEC’s previous mecha series in Break Blade was well animated, but that may not make up for Sato Tatsuo’s hit/miss scripts, and the director’s resume isn’t particularly impressive either. That said, one can only extrapolate so much with the limited information that’s available. At the moment Argevollen isn’t looking particularly impressive, but there’s definitely room for it to develop depending on how they do things, and it should at least be something mecha fans will enjoy.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen Promotional Videos ▼

Tokyo Ghoul | 東京喰種 -トーキョーグール-Top
Animation: Studio Pierrot Premiere: July 3, 2014
Genre: Horror, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tkg_anime or #tkg_anime

Preview by Guardian Enzo

This year represents something of a renaissance for horror as an anime genre, and Tokyo Ghoul stands near the head of the pack. I haven’t read Ishida Sui’s manga, but those who have are almost uniformly positive, and the previews have done nothing to dampen my enthusiasm. Director Morita Shuhei is an interesting choice – he’s not well-known among Western anime fans, but has done some very interesting OVAs and shorts such as KakuRenBo and last year’s Tsukumo, which was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Animated Short Feature. The character designs are eye-catching as well.

The story is centered around “ghouls”, beings who look human but must feast on human flesh to survive, and the young man whose fate is forever changed by his encounter with them. There’s a lot of interest in this series – Funimation has already licensed it in North America, and it may just be that rare show that succeeds both commercially and artistically. There are a few yellow flags – as great as the previews look, Pierrot’s recent track record on production values is spotty at best. And manga fans seem very concerned with the fact that the series length has not yet been announced, predicting disaster if this is a one-cour show (I suspect it will be two, with the possibility of more if it sells). With those caveats, Tokyo Ghoul is definitely in the top tier of summer anime in terms of expectations.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Tokyo Ghoul Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: Passione Premiere: July 3, 2014
Genre: Action Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:46
Episodes: Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @rw_anime or #rw_anime

Preview by Stilts

RAIL WARS! is set in a parallel world where Japan didn’t privatize its national railway system. Takayama Naoto (Fukuyama Jun) is an ordinary high school boy who dreams of a comfortable future working for the Japanese National Railways. He ends up being assigned to its security force, where he trains with strange colleagues such as Sakurai Aoi (Numakura Manami), a troublemaking woman who hates men. Naoto also has to contend with the extremist group called “RJ”, which plots to privatize the Japanese National Railways.

Based on the light novel series Rail Wars! Nihon Kokuyuu Tetsudou Kōantai, RAIL WARS! is a bit of a puzzle to me. I’ve never understood the allure of trains, despite my uncle’s best efforts to enlighten me. I know train otaku are a thing, so I assume this is a series for them, but the alternate history where the trains weren’t privatized is…well, I know how industry works. If they want to privatize something, extremist groups aren’t how they go about it. They use lobbyists. Which are kind of similar, but that’s another issue entirely. The whole setup smacks of a throwback to a time that train otaku find nostalgic, and that’s cool, I guess? Nostalgia is another thing I’ve never been prone to. The relatively new studio Passione is animating, with a team that’s similarly light on experience, though the animation I saw in the promos was very nice. If you like trains, I can safely say that you should watch this show. For everyone else, I have no idea. Weirder shows have turned out to be excellent, but we’ll just have to wait and see if this is one of them.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show RAIL WARS! Promotional Videos ▼

Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yattemita.Top
Animation: feel. Premiere: July 3, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Music Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:16
Episodes: 12 + 1 SP Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @locodol_anime or #ろこどる

Preview by Stilts

Every girl wants to be an idol, but what about a local idol? Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yatte Mita. stars Usami Nanako (Itou Miku) and Kohinata Yukari (Misawa Sachika), two ordinary high school girls who end up becoming their town’s local idols (locodol) upon the request of Nanako’s uncle. As the idol unit “Nagarekawa Girls” they are interviewed (by the town’s shopping center), go on television (low-budget cable), and hold concerts (on the roof of the department store). Their fictional Nagarekawa city based on the real Nagarekawa area in Hiroshima Prefecture, and it’s from the city’s coffers (and taxes) that the girls draw their meager salaries.

Based on the 4-koma of the same name, I can’t tell if Locodol is a shameless promotional vehicle for the Nagarekawa area, or whether the mangaka just really likes the place. I’m not a big fan of idol shows myself, and the idea of scrappy young kids playing at being idols (rather than the striving-for-amateur-greatness of, say, Love Live!) just doesn’t do it for me. It is based on a 4-koma though, so the point is likely comedy more than anything else, and on that I have no idea how it performs. Sorry, but I couldn’t get my hands on the source material in time. Director Nawa Munenori has a decent amount of experience, and most of it on decent-to-good shows, while studio feel is largely the same. Based on the premise alone I’m not personally too excited about this show, but that doesn’t mean it will be bad. If idols are your thing and you wouldn’t mind a little comedy too, you should absolutely give this a shot. Idols are a versatile lot, so adding more comedy into the mix might be a winning formula.

Watching This: Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yatte Mita. Promotional Videos ▼

Pripara | プリパラTop
Animation: Tatsunoko Production Premiere: July 5, 2014
Genre: Music Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 10:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo TV (TXN)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @pripara_PR or #pripara

Preview by Stilts

It’s time for an evolution in the Pretty Rhythm universe – its successor is here! Based on the brand new Takara Tomy arcade game of the same name, Pripara is set in a world filled with girls’ dreams of fashion, dance, and music. It seems like every day there are auditions that send top idols to worldwide fame on television and online. Laala (Akaneya Himika) and her friends all yearn to join this world, but their school prohibits Pripara for elementary schoolers. Fortunately, an unexpected chance leads to Laala entering the world of Pripara, where she just might be able to make her debut.

I did not expect to be previewing another Pretty Rhythm series so soon. Though truth be told, that’s not exactly what this is. Rather than another sequel, Pripara is a successor to Pretty Rhythm’s throne. It turns out that last season’s All Star Selection was a one-cour compilation series, a sort of victory lap for the Pretty Rhythm characters while they introduced Lalaa, who it turns out wasn’t the heroine of All Star Selection after all, but the main heroine of Pripara! I’ll give them points for crafty marketing there. So what’s new? It looks like the skating Prism Shows are gone, and in exchange we have the idol unit i☆Ris, which will sing and star in this new series. Other than that, this is the successor to Pretty Rhythm from the same company – if not the same staff…they probably got burned out after 3+ years on the same show – so expect the same things we got from its predecessor. If you’re not familiar with the Pretty Rhythm series, I’ll direct you to the last four times we’ve previewed it, because everything Divine and I said should still apply. If you’re not a preteen girl, this series probably isn’t for you. But if you are, rest assured that the Pretty Rhythm spirit will continue on into the future. Pretty Rhythm is dead; long live Pretty Rhythm!

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Niche
Show Puripara Promotional Videos ▼

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal | 美少女戦士セーラームーン CrystalTop
Animation: Toei Animation Premiere: July 5, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 19:00
Episodes: 26 Station: Niconico
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sailormoon_20th

Preview by Cherrie

Returning for its 20th anniversary is none other than everyone’s favorite (and probably first) shoujo anime, Sailor Moon Crystal. Originally debuting in 1992, the phenomenon is getting a new remake which is going to more closely adapt the original manga. Just in case you missed the bandwagon and the excitement, it’s about a naïve, klutzy girl named Tsukino Usagi (voiced by the original seiyuu, Mitsuishi Kotono) who stumbles on to a talking cat one day. This talking cat, named Luna (Hirohashi Ryou) enlists the help of Usagi by transforming her into a magical sailor solider. She defends the Earth from evil and Luna gives her an additional mission – to find the Moon Princess named Princess Serenity. The evil on the planet is known as the Dark Kingdom, headed by Queen Beryl, and they’ve come to Earth to sap the energy away from its inhabitants, but they’re being constantly foiled by Sailor Moon.

No words can fully demonstrate how much influence and goodwill the Sailor Moon name carries with it, and I think you have to be a part of that generation growing up to fully appreciate it. Sailor Moon was one of the first anime I ever watched (both in Japanese and English), and I’m not even ashamed to say that I’ve seen all 200 episodes + the movies. Indeed, it’s episodic and drags on for miles before it gets to the point, but there’s also tons of potential development, romance, and all that good stuff that keeps everyone coming back. People that have seen the original dubbed version may have a preconception that the show is juvenile, but I beg to differ because the story is actually darker and more rich in context. I don’t think this season will dive into all that good stuff, but the anime still serves as a great nostalgic piece for fans. Whether or not you’ve seen the original, I would still highly recommend you join the hype; it’s never to late to become a fan.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Zanibas Expectation Level: High
Show Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal Promotional Videos ▼

Shounen Hollywood -HOLLY STAGE FOR 49- | 少年ハリウッド -HOLLY STAGE FOR 49-Top
Animation: Zexcs Premiere: July 5, 2014
Genre: Music, Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 20:30
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @shohari_anime or #shohari

Preview by Zanibas

Male music/idol shows are on the rise this season, with Ohsaka Ryota), Sakeki Kira (Yamashita Daiki), Tomii Daiki (Aoi Shouta), Amaki Ikuma (Kakihara Tetsuya), and Maiyama Shun (Ono Kensho) all work hard to become better idols and a better group overall.

Although I don’t know much about the original material, the anime takes place 15 years after the novel, so there shouldn’t be any worries about source adaption quality. However, judging from the promotional video, it doesn’t look like there’ll be a lot of animation going on. The drawing consistency should be good, but my guess is that the majority of the budget will go towards animating the show’s various songs and concerts. What seems to differentiate this male idol show from others is the focus on the idols in normal clothing, having normal lives outside of their careers. If that means this will reflect a more realistic view of a male idol group in the same way that Wake Up, Girls! did, then more power to this show!

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Shounen Hollywood -HOLLY STAGE FOR 49- Promotional Videos ▼

Sword Art Online II | ソードアート・オンラインⅡTop
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: July 5, 2014
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sao_anime or #sao_anime

Preview by Takaii

The wildly popular Sword Art Online is finally returning for its second season. Following our main protagonist Kirigaya Kazuto (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu), who’s more commonly known as his in game name Kirito, we dive straight back into the virtual MMORPG world with a new crisis on our hands. In the competitive game Gun Gale Online, where professional players make their living by being the best, a mysterious figure wielding a black gun appears. For some reason, players shot by this gun are rumored to be dying both in-game and in the real world. With a potential crisis in the works, Kirito is tasked with trying to figure out just who is behind the slayings. But in a world where guns are the norm and melee fighting takes the backseat, how will he fare?

Okay, so I don’t know about you, but I am so hyped that this show is getting a second season. Being a huge fan of the original and one of the few writers on the staff who really likes it, I will take anything and everything SAO. If only you could have seen me salivating while watching that OVA… Anyways, something about all the shounen-style action combined with the lure of romance and friendship kept me happy week after week, and I expect no less from the sequel. With a top notch studio on production and a huge fan following worldwide, I can’t wait to see what all that fame and money will bring. That said, I have heard from friends who read ahead that Gun Gale was their least favorite arc. Their reasoning was that guns are boring versus swords – but that’s in book form, right? So I hope you’ll join me in fangirling / fanboying when Kirito graces our screens again during the Anime-Expo premiere!

Watching This: Cherrie, Takaii, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Sword Art Online II Promotional Videos ▼

ALDNOAH.ZERO | アルドノア・ゼロTop
Animation: Troyca x A-1 Pictures Premiere: July 5, 2014
Genre: Action, Sci-FI Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @aldnoahzero or #aldnoahzero

Preview by Zephyr

Produced by A-1 Pictures, Aldnoah.Zero brings together the Fate/Zero’s original creator in Urobuchi Gen and the director that led its adaptation in Aoki Ei. The latest in the line of Sci-Fi series created by “the urobutcher,” Aldnoah.Zero revolves around the discovery of a hypergate in 1972. Found on the moon’s surface, the hypergate led to the migration and settlement of Mars, and an inevitable conflict that led to the destruction of the moon after the hypergate went out of control. The year is now 2014, fifteen years after the war began, and the stage is set for a story whose tagline reads: “Let justice be done. Through the heavens fall.” Sawano Hiroyuki comes in as the series’ soundtrack composer, combining with the OP theme duo of Kajiura Yuki and Kalafina.

Arguably one of the more exciting original series of the summer season, there’s much to be said about the golden combination of an idea thought up by the urobutcher himself and the man who did a pretty good job adapting one of his more acclaimed works, Fate/Zero. That said, UroGen isn’t actually involved past his ideas being utilized, but there’s no doubting Takayama Katsuhiko’s past script writer/series composition experience (Full Metal Alchemist, KoiChoco, Mirai Nikki, many others), so there shouldn’t be much of an issue with the story’s overall development. A-1 Pictures should supply a decent budget for animation, and the awesome assortment of musicians behind the soundtrack and OP/ED themes adds another layer of hype to what could be an epic Sci-Fi tale. This is definitely a series to watch for if you’re a fan of UroGen’s previous works or of the genre in general.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
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Sengoku BASARA: Judge End | 戦国BASARA Judge EndTop
Animation: Telecom Animation Film Premiere: July 5, 2014
Genre: Action Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:50
Episodes: 12 Station: Nippon TV (NTV)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @basara_je or #basara_je

Preview by Zephyr

HERE WE GO! Sengoku Basara is back with a third season. Based on CAPCOM’s 2010 game Sengoku Basara 3, it’s party time as the series’ newest iteration brings us back to the Battle of Sekigahara and provides us with an alternative version of the events that occurred. Unlike previous seasons, Sengoku Basara: Judge End has Telecom Animation Film (Lupin III, Z/X Ignition) at the helm rather than Production I.G., and it’s a full staff change highlighted by Sano Takeshi making his directorial debut after over a decade in various other roles. The seiyuu remain the same, with Nakai Kazuya, Hoshi Soichiro, Ookawa Tooru, and Seki Tomokazu reprising their respective roles. It’s all guns blazing as the battle to determine the country’s ultimate ruler commences.

As one of the more spectacular series based (loosely) on the Sengoku period, the return of Sengoku Basara comes as a welcome present for fans of the series (such as myself). There really isn’t much to say here considering its wide-spread popularity and the established nature of the series. There is the change in terms of the studio and staff, but the underpinnings of the show in its source and the memorable cast are still there, and the fact that its previous iterations had a successful formula makes it unlikely that Judge End will differ too much from that path. Generally, it’s a sit back and enjoy the ride kind of thing, even if part of the series seems to revisit a stage already introduced in The Last Party.

Watching This: Zephyr Expectation Level: Established
Barakamon | ばらかもんTop
Animation: Kinema Citrus Premiere: July 5, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:20
Episodes: Station: Nippon TV (NTV)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @brkmn_anime or #brkmn_anime

Preview by Guardian Enzo

There’s an awful lot to like in this adaptation of Yoshino Satsuki’s manga, one of my top picks for the upcoming season. The manga, for starters – it’s superbly written and lovingly drawn, very warm and very acerbic at the same time. We’ve also got a very fine studio (usually – I prefer to pretend Black Bullet never happened) studio in Kinema Citrus, a director in Tachibana Masaki whose resume in various roles reads like a laundry list of the finest anime in the last 20 years – Evangelion, Seirei no Moribito, Eureka Seven, Ghost in the Shell, and Fullmetal Alchemist among others. Top that off with music by the sublime Kawai Kenji, another Moribito veteran, and you’re really cooking with gas here.

Barakamon is the tale of a calligrapher from Tokyo who’s “exiled” to a small island as punishment for punching a famous colleague. The island is predictably full of odd-key locals – including a plethora of kids who will be played by actual kids – and Barakamon is really the story of this man’s culture shock as he sees a world he never knew existed. Simply put, the only way this show isn’t a gem is if they screw up the adaptation, and there’s enough pedigree behind it that I don’t expect them to do that.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
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Jinsei | 人生相談テレビアニメーションTop
Animation: feel. Premiere: July 6, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Drama, School Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @jinsei_anime or #jinsei_anime

Preview by Zanibas

Remember those “Dear XXX” columns in newspapers, where readers would ask the columnist for advice? Take that idea, put it into a high school setting, and split the work from one wise person to three very conflicting individuals. That’s the premise of Jinsei in a nutshell. Featuring the literary Kujou Fumi (Toyota Moe), the scientific Endou Rino (Nitta Hiyori), and the sports-oriented Suzuki Ikumi (Suwa Ayaka), all under counselor Akamatsu Yuuki (Takumi Yasuaki), these girls attempt to give advice to students who write in to the Kyuumon Gakuen Second News Club. Arguments of a cute and funny nature ensue.

Despite the air date looming next month, almost little to no information has been released regarding the show. The character designs that have been released aren’t anything special. However, without something beyond mere line sketches, it’s impossible to judge the rest of the art. Staff-wise, my only comment is the inclusion of director Kawaguchi Keiichirou, whose work on shows such as Mayo Chiki!, Nyan Koi!, and Minami-ke Tadaima proves his ability to direct a series. Since the adaption itself is coming from a light novel, I can’t speak much about the plot, but the basic premise looks like a bundle of fun, in the same vein that Seitokai no Ichizon was. Overall, keep a small eye on the developments of this show, but with studio feel in charge of animation, it should become a nice casual comedy to check out, especially for those who love the one-room comedy style of show.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderately Low
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Sabagebu! | さばげぶっ!Top
Animation: Pierrot Plus Premiere: July 6, 2014
Genre: Action, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sabagebu_anime or #sabagebu

Preview by Stilts

Sabagebu! is the story of first year high school girl Sonokawa Momoka (Ohashi Ayaka), who is coerced into joining one of the strangest clubs at her school, the Survival Game Club. The club’s members participate in various forms of paramilitary training under the watchful eye of the charming (and alarming) club president, Ootori Miou (Uchiyama Yumi). How on earth will the inexperienced Momoka survive her training in this club full of not-at-all-normal high school girls?

After C3-bu surprised me by being better than expected, I am primed for more survival game anime. But the first thing that struck me about Sabagebu! is that’s it’s shoujo. Action-shoujo. And it kind of works! The manga was funny and lighthearted while definitely having more of a shoujo than cute-girls-doing-cute-things air. The main character Momoka is relatable while not being too “normal”, while club president Miou is totally bonkers (but still cool and beautiful). The staff is also encouraging – director Oota Masahiko (Yuruyuri, Kotoura-san, Love Lab) and series composition Aoshima Takashi (Yuruyuri, Gaworare, Love Lab) have both worked together before, and on successful adaptation across the board. All in all, I’m optimistic about this series. Action and shoujo don’t usually go together, but there’s no reason they can’t, and after six volumes of manga, apparently it’s working. I for one would like to see why.

Watching This: Stilts Expectation Level: Moderately Low
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SPACE☆DANDY 2 | スペース☆ダンディ シーズン2 Top
Animation: BONES Premiere: July 6, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 23:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @space_dandy or #s_dandy

Preview by Guardian Enzo

The second season of Space Dandy approaches with much less fanfare and consternation than the first. I think the first season accomplished exactly what it set out to do – it was extremely popular on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block (where it premiered, in English), even as it was relatively under-appreciated in Japan. Both were highly predictable occurrences.

Artistically, I think the first season was also mostly successful. As with any series so resolutely episodic there were significant peaks and valleys, but the overall level rose significantly as the series progressed, with several outstanding episodes late in the run. Some of the seeds planted early on also began to pay off, bringing together the series mythology in such a way as to give seemingly random earlier events significance (the ED was always the biggest clue as to what was really going on). Visually one of the most impressive series of the year, full of interesting ideas and highly experimental, Space Dandy was occasionally a fascinating mess, but more often just fascinating. I very much look forward to seeing what it has on offer this summer.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
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Akame ga Kill! | アカメが斬る!Top
Animation: WHITE FOX Premiere: July 6, 2014
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:00
Episodes: 2-cour Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @akame_tv or #akame_anime

Preview by Stilts

An adaptation of the dark fantasy action manga Akame ga Kill! is airing this summer. A young fighter named Tatsumi (Saito Soma) has finally arrived in the Capitol. His goal is to earn enough money to save his starving village, but his dreams are quickly dashed by the harsh reality he finds. The Capitol is awash in unimaginable corruption, all of which is spreading from the depraved Prime Minister who controls the child Emperor’s ear. After being robbed by a “kind onee-san”, Tatsumi is taken in by a pretty girl who promises to help him. His luck seems to be changing…until the pretty girl’s family is visited by a family of assassins, including the girl who robbed Tatsumi. But things are even worse than Tatsumi realized, and compared to the corruption of the city, these merciless assassins might actually be the good guys…

The world of Akame ga Kill is not a pleasant one. If something can be broken, it breaks. If something can be corrupted, it will be. This is a world where the good guys are merciless murderers, cutting down the guilty without a shred of remorse. It’s dark, but it’s also well done. The action in the manga is great, with a visceral and brutal feeling that fits the story well. It’s hard to say much about the characters without spoiling anything, but I can say that Tatsumi at least isn’t the simple country bumpkin that he first appears; there’s steel in his spine to spare. WHITE FOX is animating, and there’s some pretty good staff attached to the project, so hopefully the production quality will be up to snuff. If you like action and can stand the darkness – or love the darkness as much as Akame ga Kill does – this may be the summer anime for you.

Watching This: Cherrie, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Akame ga Kill! Promotional Videos ▼

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun | 月刊少女野崎くんTop
Animation: Doga Kobo Premiere: July 6, 2014
Genre: Romance, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 25:05
Episodes: Station: Tokyo TV (TXN)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @nozaki_anime or #nozakikun

Preview by Zanibas

Anime is full of meta series about the process of making manga/anime, and Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun joins their ranks this season. Sakura Chiyo (Ozawa Ari) has feelings for her fellow handsome classmate Nozaki Umetarou (Nakamura Yuuichi). However, no matter how Sakura tries to convey her feelings to Nozaki, some sort of misunderstanding comes up – this usually results not in acceptance or rejection, but an autograph or an invitation to his house. During one of these invitations, Sakura is surprised to discover that Nozaki is actually a famous shoujo mangaka! In order to grow closer to the man she loves, Sakura becomes Nozaki’s assistant so she can spend more time with him. Joining this cast is Nozaki’s current assistant, Mikoshiba Mikoto (Okamoto Nobuhiko) as well as Yuu Kashima (Nakahara Mai), the female prince of Sakura’s high school.

Judging from the PVs, the art style gets a big thumbs up from me. I appreciate Doga Kobo’s commitment to clean character designs (see: Natsuyuki Rendezvous and Mikakunin de Shinkoukei), and this show is no exception. Clean lines, bolder colors, smaller and narrower eyes (save for the main heroine), and practical body types all get my approval – it’s nice to not see all females bursting at the bust or males with ripped abs. Add to that a main hero who is an author of a shoujo manga (in a shounen manga no less) and we’ve got an interesting series that could be the surprise of the season. With Nakamura Yuuichi, Kimura Ryouhei, and Nakahara Mai onboard (among many others), newcomer Ozawa Ari will have a lot to prove in her debut main role. Although the premise is another ‘making manga’ type of show, it’s atypical for the manga in the anime to be shoujo-oriented. Seeing how this changes up the romantic comedy genre should be interesting to check out for at least a few episodes.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun Promotional Videos ▼

DRAMAtical MurderTop
Animation: Naz Premiere: July 6, 2014
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: Tokyo TV (TXN)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @dmmd_TV_PR or #アニメドラマダ

Preview by Zanibas

Coming from the minds behind Nitro+chiral, we present DRAMAtical Murder (DMMd), a yaoi adventure full of hot guys, philosophy, competitions, and companion animals that turn into (hot) humans. The story centers around Seragaki Aoba (Kisaichi Atsushi), resident of the island of Midorijima, an island that holds mega-resort Platinum Jail. The resort is so large that it takes up most of the space, forcing the former inhabitants into a small corner of the island. Though Aoba wants nothing to do with the conflict between the resort and the natives, he is eventually forced to join a virtual game, competing with other fighters and their animal-human companions known as All Mates. With characters like Aoba’s own All Mate, Ren (Takeuchi Ryouta); a mysterious masked man from the sky, Clear (Nakazawa Masatomo); and various other attractive guys, Aoba’s peaceful life comes to a close as he is dragged into the conflict to win back Midorijima.

As a favorite visual novel for its target audience, DMMd was an adaptation long awaited. The franchise is so popular that Good Smile has already setup pre-orders for Aoba’s nendroid. The visual novel has good character designs, a decent plot that contains some emotional and philosophical issues, and all the ships you could ever need, all wrapped in a yaoi-centered game. Depending on the arc and ending they choose, DMMd could either end on a heartwarming note all the way to one that makes you hate humanity. Production-wise, there’s some uncertainty. Studio NAZ did a decent job producing Hamatora earlier this year, but was limited by time and budget issues. However, with the financial backing of Nitroplus on their side, we’ll likely see improvement from the fairly new studio. Hopefully the PVs were being conservative in what they were showing off, because I’d love to see this work get executed well, proving that visual novels can be adapted properly in this day and age.

Watching This: Cherrie Expectation Level: Moderate
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Himegoto | ひめゴトTop
Animation: Asahi Production Premiere: July 7, 2014
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:54
Episodes: Station: BS11
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @himegoto_anime or #himegoto

Preview by Stilts

Himegoto follows the life of Arikawa Hime (Kuwahara Yuuki), a second-year student at Shimoshina High School. After his parents abandoned him with a huge debt, Hime is saved by three girls from his school’s student council when he’s being chased down by yakuza debt collectors. In exchange for paying off his debt, Hime agrees to their conditions – he’s to become the student council’s “dog” and spend his high school life dressed as a girl. Now he’ll spend his days at the mercy of 18-Kin-san (“Rated 18+-san”) (Saotome Yuka), Unko-kaichou (Ono Saki), and Bell-sempai (Toujou Hisako). Each episode will be 6 minutes long.

Next in line for the Hayate no Gotoku Memorial Award for Worst Parents Ever are the parents of Arikawa Hime! In all seriousness, Himegoto is equal parts funny, confusing, and horrifying. Based on the 4-koma manga by Tsukudani Norio, it does everything it can to make the main (male) character Hime as cute as possible. He’s a convincing trap, but not hiding it at all, as multiple panty flashes *shudders* quickly prove. Whether you will enjoy this show depends on how much sadism you can tolerate in your comedy. Hayate no Gotoku worked for me because, though Hayate is extremely unlucky, he’s also lucky in other ways (with girls, mainly…to a point). Hime starts enjoying being called cute pretty quickly, and his classmates all accept him as a cross-dressing trap, but between his asshole parents and the sadistic student council, his overriding attribute is “misfortune” (and “cute”). The seiyuu and staff are all relatively inexperienced as well, so I’m not sure how they’ll perform. If you like sadistic comedies, give this show a whirl – to certain comedic tastes, this could be a home run. If nothing else, we’ll have another contender for this year’s Best Trap awards. So that’s good?

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
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Ao Haru Ride | アオハライドTop
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: July 7, 2014
Genre: Romance, Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @aoha_anime or #aoha_anime

Preview by Cherrie

It’s been a long time, and I mean a long time since I’ve read or cared to watch an anime that gives you butterflies in your stomach. You know the feeling that makes your heart beat fast and all the blood rushes to your head because for the love of God, your favorite couple finally has a moment. That’s the feeling that I get when I read Ao Haru Ride. It’s extremely cheesy at times, and cliché all at once, but sometimes that’s all I want. This show delivers everything that you’d expect out of a romance series between teenagers and their coming of age story. The animation and promo material give me vibes similar to Bokura ga Ita and Orange, and truly focus on the depths of the characters’ relationships rather than using external forces to advance the plot. There’s not a lot of comedic moments either that strip away the essence of the show, which I appreciate. It’s not a terribly realistic view of relationships, but it has the whole tough-guy-turned-soft-for-a-girl charm that makes me excited for the genre again.

So I won’t lie, I have a soft spot for bad boys and Mabuchi Kou right here, is a bad boy. (Too bad his seiyuu, Kaji Yuuki is not. I wish they cast a more manly, deep-voiced male…) Fortunately for Toshioka Futaba (Uchida Maaya), Kou was not always this way, and she developed a crush on him three years ago in middle school. They had a moment which didn’t last and Kou transferred to another school after the summer break. Now, Kou has reentered Futaba’s life, and he’s not the same person that she fell for back then. Circumstances bring the two closer together, but nothing is the same because people change over time. The story revolves around how they both learn to accept each other as they are and help each other out in unexpected ways. They might not be the same people anymore, but they start to fall in love all over again.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderately High
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Hanayamata | ハナヤマタTop
Animation: Madhouse Premiere: July 7, 2014
Genre: Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: Tokyo TV (TXN)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @hanayamata_PR or #ハナヤマタ

Preview by Zanibas

Sekiya Naru (Ueda Reina) loves to read. Although every other part of her is textbook average, Sekiya is extraordinary in her ability to read fairy tales and familiarize herself with the many mythical beings within them. One day, while mistaking a girl dancing to be a fairy, she ends up being entranced by the girl’s elegant dance. The moment Sekiya asks to join Hannah N. Fontanstand (Tanaka Minami) is the moment she finds herself in the world of yosakoi, a dance that combines both old cultural dance with contemporary music. Sekiya is eventually joined by her best friend Sekiya Naru (Ueda Reina) and the student council president and vice-president Tokiwa Sari (Toyoguchi Megumi) and Tokiwa Machi (Numakura Manami) in learning to dance as elegantly as Hannah.

Although no animation PVs or images have been released, there are some good signs for Hanayamta. Fresh from No Game No Life, Madhouse and rising director Ishizuka Atsuko (Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, Tsuki no Waltz, No Game No Life) will be producing and directing this show. Although some may disagree with Ishizuka’s take on Sakurasou and Madhouse can definitely produce really bad work (Photokano), it all hinges on what production companies end up funding the project. However, independent of production, the premise of yosakoi dancing provides an interesting looking glass into contemporary Japanese festivals. As a more modern offshoot of Awa Dancing (see: Golden Time), it blends modern music with traditional Japanese dance for a unique blend of old meeting the new. Just as it’s a treat to see K-ON! songs animated, I’m looking forward to Madhouse animating some nice dancing segments that are representative of the dance itself. With a cute cast and seiyuu mainly hailing from The iDOLM@STER and Wake Up, Girls!, I’m sure this will be a fun show to watch while also being a cultural window into Japanese dance.

Watching This: Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
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Re:_Hamatora | Re:␣ハマトラTop
Animation: Lerche Premiere: July 7, 2014
Genre: Action, Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 26:05
Episodes: 1-cour Station: Tokyo TV (TXN)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @hamatora_PR or #ハマトラ

Preview by Zephyr

Continuing the trend of split-cour adaptations is Re:_Hamatora (a.k.a. Reply Hamatora), the sequel to this winter’s Hamatora the Animation. Returning as director is Kishi Seiji, who comes back with the rest of the series’ original staff and main cast. Studio Lerche (Carnival Phantasm, Fate/Prototype) takes over as the lead producer for the series, with studio NAZ moving to a more collaborative role. Once again, Re:_Hamatora will focus on a world where select humans known as “Minimum Holders” are born with special powers known as “Minimums.” With a tag line of “We don’t need the Minimum,” Re:_Hamatora is a direct continuation of the first season, which found our main cast in Nice (Ohsaka Ryota) and Murasaki (Hatano Wataru) and the rest of the Hamatora Detective Agency caught up in a serial murder case involving minimum holders.

As with the first iteration, Re:_Hamatora comes in without much in terms of actual information. What we do know is that we’ll get to see the results of one of the more seizure-inducing cliffhangers in recent memory, which is something I’ll gladly take. The first half was an interesting mixture of action, mystery, and the supernatural, and there’s much that could be said about its thematic exploration of prejudice, discrimination, and the responsibility of those with power. Sadly, the inclusion of what seemed like a fair amount of filler took away from the execution, but there’s clearly a good core story here, and the second season should be able to expand on that. It’s not a must watch since the lack of source material means there will likely be more filler, but there’s definitely a solid enough story here to make it worth seeing how it develops. Just make sure you’re not going into this without watching the first season.

Watching This: Cherrie, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
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Momo Kyun Sword | モモキュンソードTop
Animation: Tri-Slash x Project No. 9 Premiere: July 8, 2014
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 24:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @momokyun01 or #モモキュン

Preview by Stilts

Momo Kyun Sword is a modern reimagining of Momotarou, starring a bishoujo swordswoman known at Momoko (Taketatsu Ayana). Momoko, who was born inside a peach (“momo” in Japanese), lives a peaceful life with her constant companions, Inugami (lit. “Dog God”, Hatano Wataru), Sarugami (lit. “Monkey God”, Morikubo Showtaro), and Kijigami (lit. “Pheasant God”, Imai Asami)…until one day, when their peaceful lives were shattered. A demon army led by the demon king Jakiou (Ginga Banjou), which includes his willful daughter Onihime (lit. “Ogre Princess”, Tsuda Minami), invades their paradise and steals the precious treasure that protects Momoko’s land. Now Momoko must embark on a great adventure with her three companions to retrieve the treasure and save her people!

I was skeptical when I first started researching this, but a lot of what I found was encouraging. The premise seems a little cliché – another reimagining of an old story with a gender-swapped female lead – but they left her three companions as animals, and it doesn’t seem like the whole thing is being mined for fanservice. It seems to have a pleasant fantasy/fairy tale air to it, like it’s a deliberate throwback to the days before ultra-“realistic” grimdark murder-fests got in the way of lighthearted tales about heroes with shiny swords. It does lean on the Momotarou tale a lot, so I don’t expect anything exciting or fresh in the way of plot, and both the staff with director Yanagi Shinsuke (Ro-Kyu-Bu! SS) and the studios in Project No.9 (Ro-Kyu-Bu!, ImoCho) and Tri-Slash (who?) are relatively inexperienced, so this could go south fast. But I think the worst case scenario is probably “mediocre” rather than “trainwreck”, which is more than I can say for all of Project No.9’s work. My guess is that this will be a good lighthearted adventure that you can watch to relax without going all of the way to slice-of-life town. With so much unknown though, we could end up surprised, for better or worse.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low
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Majimoji Rurumo | まじもじるるもTop
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 9, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 21:00
Episodes: 1-cour Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @animerurumo or #るるも

Preview by Stilts

Shibaki Kouta (Takahashi Makoto) is a high school boy whose only interest is girls. Unfortunately, he’s been branded the most perverted boy at school, so the girls avoid him like the plague. One day Shibaki finds a book in the library about summoning witches; he tries it out on a whim, but it turns out to be the real thing! That’s when an apprentice witch named Rurumo (Mimori Suzuko) appears, and turns Shibaki’s life upside down. Now he has a contract with the young witch, who must convince him to use up 666 magic wish-granting tickets before she can return to her old life. The only problem: each ticket Shibaki uses shortens his lifespan, and when the final one is used, he will die…and Rurumo has no idea. Now he has a choice to make, between helping Rurumo regain her status as a witch or saving his own life.

Part slapstick comedy, part…other types of comedy, I enjoyed the first few chapters of the Majimoji Rurumo manga, though I’m having trouble describing exactly why. Shibaki is your standard pervert protagonist, but the way he’s quickly trapped between a rock and a hard place (wanting to help Rurumo and wanting to not die) made him sympathetic. As for Rurumo, she’s an odd little witch – she’s quirky and not terribly talkative, and bound by arduous regulations that give her an undeniable air of misfortune. She’s the type of girl you want to protect, which gets Shibaki into trouble fast. This is one of those comedies where the world feel enormously unfair to the main protagonist, which means the question is whether it will be funny enough to cover for that. Noucome famously abused its main protagonist, but it was so funny it worked. The first few chapters of Majimoji Rurumo were a borderline case for me, so it really depends on whether the J.C.Staff team can amp up the laughs, and with newbie director Sakurai Chikara at the helm, I have no idea what to expect. If you like fantasy or comedy, this one is probably worth a peek. I’ll be giving it a try, to see if J.C.Staff can draw out that comedy magic once again.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Yama no Susume Second Season | ヤマノススメ セカンドシーズンTop
Animation: 8bit Premiere: July 9, 2014
Genre: Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays 22:00
Episodes: 24 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @yamanosusume or #ヤマノススメ

Preview by Stilts

The winner of our coveted (and brand new) Best Short category is returning for a second season. Encouragement of Climb stars Yukimura Aoi (Iguchi Yuka), a high school girl who’s afraid of heights thanks to a nasty fall she took when she was younger. Now Aoi prefers indoor activities, but when her childhood friend Kuraue Hinata (Asumi Kana) bursts back into her life and reminds her of their promise to climb mountains together, Aoi is drawn towards the allure of climbing once again. Along with their newfound friends Saitou Kaede (Hikasa Yoko) and Aoba Kokona (Ogura Yui), the four form a circle of friends around their mutual interest. Each episode will be 15 minutes long.

The first season of Yama no Susume surprised me by being more than the typical cute girls doing cute things short. It was that as well – this is pure slice-of-life, and the girls are certainly cute as they pursue their mutual passion. But there’s an admiral fidelity to the hobby of mountain climbing that, though I don’t share the interest myself, was enjoyable to watch. But more than that, it’s the fact that in the first series, where each episode was less than five minutes long, actually gave us a real character arc for Aoi, one that was uplifting and satisfying by the time the season ended. This season season is coming with double the episodes and three times the length per episode, so we’ll have a lot more Yama no Susume to enjoy. I’m excited, because this always seemed like a story that could support more than the short episodes the first season was allotted. It looks like they’ll be picking up where the first season left off, but with the first season being so short it shouldn’t be hard for newcomers to catch up. Of any of the shorts from 2013, this is the one that’s most worth watching, so if you haven’t already I suggest you do so before the second season starts!

Watching This: Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Yama no Susume: Second Season Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 9, 2014
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays 25:05
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @lovestage_tv or #ラブステ

Preview by Takaii

Born into a wildly successful family that’s all the rage in the Japanese entertainment world, Sena Izumi (Yonaga Tsubasa) wants nothing to do with all of that. Blessed (or maybe cursed?) with girlish proportions, he was scarred at a young age after being forced into a dress for a wedding commercial where he spectacularly failed, and in turn he turned his back on all the opportunities and open doors his family status laid in front of him. Fast forward to his high school days, where he hasn’t grown out of that girlish figure and has become a die-hard otaku, and you can understand why his family would be nervous about what he’s going to do with his life. But all of that changes when his otaku pride forces him into appearing in another wedding commercial, where he’s reunited with Ichijou Ryouma (Eguchi Takuya), his co-star from the very commercial that scarred him years earlier.

Whenever there’s a story about someone who’s deep into the otaku world and they’re not pictured as a stereotypical one, you’ll bet I’ll at least give it the three-episode/chapter treatment. While I stopped at the second chapter during my research because I didn’t want to spoil myself too much, I’ve got to say that I really enjoyed the setup and the buildup to the first big surprise. I mean, how can you not sympathize with Izumi and his dreams of breaking free from his family’s chains and becoming something crazy like a mangaka? And sure, I get that this type of show (shounen ai) might turn some people away, but there’s no other way for me to put it – it looks and feels like this will end up being a pretty darn good show.

Watching This: Takaii, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show LOVE STAGE!! Promotional Videos ▼

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Zwei! | Fate/kaleid liner プリズマ☆イリヤ 2wei!Top
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: July 9, 2014
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @prisma_illya or #prismaillya

Preview by Stilts

The fantasy-action magical girl spin-off of the Fate universe returns for its second season. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya stars Illyasviel von Einzbern (Kadowaki Mai), who was a normal girl until the talking wand Magical Ruby (Takano Naoko) flew into her life and turned her into a mahou shoujo! Illya teamed up with Ruby’s former master Tohsaka Rin (Ueda Kana) – as well as fellow magical girl Miyu (Nazuka Kaori), her wand (and Ruby’s imouto) Magical Sapphire (Matsuki Miyu), and Sapphire’s former master (and Rin’s eternal rival) Luciagelita “Luvia” Edelfelt (Itou Shizuka) – to gather the seven Class Cards that could have destroyed Fuyuki City. And they did it! But the adventure isn’t over. About a month after the events of the first season, Illya and Miyu are once again called upon. This time they need to help stabilize the Earth’s pulse, which went haywire when they started capturing the Class Cards. However, something goes wrong with the ceremony. Illya tries to protect everyone from the explosion, but when the smoke clears, Illya finds a clone of herself sitting beside her!

A successful spin-off should take what made the original successful and take it in a new direction, and that’s what Prisma Illya does. After an impressive first season – one which was faithful to the source while making smart tweaks, and which included one of the best fight sequences of the year, nabbing it honorable mentions in our yearly awards – the second season was green-lit immediately. I’m glad, because the source material for 2wei is better than the original. 2wei feels more “Fate-like” to me, while maintaining the essential qualities that make Prisma Illya different. Add to that our little Illya clone (Saito Chiwa), who is an excellent (and frequently hilarious!) addition. SILVER LINK is back, along with nearly all of the same staff, including composer Kato Tatsuya, who is sure to put out another superb soundtrack. I’ll say the same thing I said about the first season – if you like fantasy, intense magical action, quirky humor, or would like to see old friends in a different setting, this show is for you. For everyone else, don’t underestimate Prisma Illya just because it’s a spin-off, because it has a great story in its own right. The first season proved that, and it only gets better from here.

Watching This: Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei! Promotional Videos ▼

Zankyou no Terror | 残響のテロルTop
Animation: Mappa Premiere: July 10, 2014
Genre: Thriller Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:50
Episodes: 1-cour Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @zankyouno_terror or #zantero

Preview by Takaii

Set in an alternate version of the present day, the Tokyo Area has been completely destroyed by a large-scale terrorist attack. With no clues other than a group known as “Sphinx” taking credit of the attack through a strange video uploaded on the internet, Japan is in distraught as they try to find the group that was responsible for such a terrible deed. However, unknown to Japan and the rest of the world is that Sphinx is made up of just two teenage boys known as Nine and Twelve. Two boys who say they shouldn’t technically exist in this world and are trying to wake it from its slumber. Waiting and ready to “pull the trigger on this world”, the two are ready to wake the world up.

After diving deep into various sources to get a handle about what Zankyou no Terror was about, I ended up feeling that slight shiver in your back you get when you realize you’re dealing with something really creepy. With director Watanabe Shinichiro of Cowboy Bebop fame leading the charge with Aniplex handling all the logistics, I can picture this show becoming one of the few anime that try and mess with your mind while simultaneously scaring the crap out of you. With a really interesting premise that draws you in but doesn’t reveal much at all, it looks like Zankyou has all the ingredients to become something amazing. That and because it’s going to be an original anime, just about anything could happen!

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Zankyou no Terror Promotional Videos ▼

PSYCHO-PASS (New Edit) | サイコパス 新編集版Top
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: July 10, 2014
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:20
Episodes: 11 Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @psychopass_tv or #pp_anime

Preview by Zephyr

In preparation for the series’ second season this fall, PSYCHO-PASS returns to the noitaminA block as a series of one-hour long episodes with added footage. As with the original release, Urobochi Gen (Fate/Zero, Madoka Magica) returns along with the rest of the previous cast, who set the foundation of a dystopian Sci-Fi set in the near future. In this world, one’s state of mind and personality can be measured and quantified instantly, resulting in a PSYCHO-PASS hue that displays a person’s criminal tendencies. To dispense justice upon those who would seek to harm society, enforcers at the Ministry of Welfare’s Public Safety Bureau wield special weapons known as Dominators. Among them is the veteran Shinya Kougami (Seki Tomokazu) and their newest member, Tsunemori Akane (Hanazawa Kana).

Essentially a refresher for those anticipating PSYCHO-PASS 2 next season, this is a series you likely already know whether you’ll be watching, either nostalgia’s sake or as a memory jog for the fall. For those who didn’t get the chance to catch PSYCHO-PASS’ original run, this could be a great chance for you to watch one of the more popular series of last year, and arguably one of the more notable sci-fi series in recent memory. Fans of sci-gi series such as Ghost in the Shell and western movies such as Blade Runner and Minority Report should find much to like here, with the many references and inspirations it takes from the aforementioned, and it goes without saying that Urobochi Gen’s previous work speaks for themselves. If you haven’t watched PSYCHO-PASS yet, this is your chance.

Watching This: Cherrie, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show PSYCHO-PASS: New Edit Promotional Videos ▼

Persona 4 The Golden ANIMATION | ペルソナ4 ザ・ゴールデンTop
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: July 10, 2014
Genre: Adventure, Mystery, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:49
Episodes: Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @P4_A or #P4G_A

Preview by Zephyr

Two years after the original adaptation, Persona 4 is back with a new studio at the helm and a new social link in Marie. Based on the critically acclaimed RPG of the same name, Persona 4 Golden The Animation’s (a.k.a. P4GA) story is generally the same as its previous iteration, which revolved around a protagonist named Narukami Yuu (Namikawa Daisuke). Shortly after his arrival in the rural town of Inaba, a series of murders take place, and a rumor begins to spread about “Mayonaka TV,” a midnight program that supposedly allows you to see your other self if you watch it on a rainy day. Looking into the rumor, Yuu and his new friends, Hanamura Yousuke (Morikubo Shoutarou), Satonaka Chie (Horie Yui), Amagi Yukiko (Koshimizu Ami) are pulled into an alternate TV world where monsters known as Shadows roam about. They’re forced to confront their Shadow Selves and awaken their “Personas,” summoned beings that they use to investigate the murders and their connection to this other world.

To state the obvious, Persona 4 Golden The Animation shares much with the original P4A. All of the original cast’s seiyuu are returning, as is the director in Kishi Seiji (Angel Beats, Jinrui). There is a new studio, a new co-director, and a new character in the cast, but the style and general content should be quite similar to P4A regardless. As someone who’s played the games, loved them, and knows how much Japan loves Persona 4, I’ll probably watch this anyway, but depending on your opinion of P4A and how you feel about watching what’s essentially a retelling, this may not necessarily be down your alley. Those of you that haven’t seen P4A yet, or played the game it’s based on, should find a lot to enjoy here. It’s definitely worth a watch considering the critical acclaim its source material has received, even if the animation may take some liberties on the game’s mechanics.

Watching This: Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Persona 4 the Golden ANIMATION Promotional Videos ▼

Ai Mai Mi ~Mousou Catastrophie~ | あいまいみー ~妄想カタストロフ~Top
Animation: Dream Creation Premiere: July 10, 2014
Genre: Comdy, School Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:05
Episodes: 12 Station: Teletama (TVS)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_aimaimi or #aimaimi

Preview by Stilts

Following an apparently successful first season, the 4-koma manga Ai Mai Mi is getting a second season of anime shorts. It follows four girls in a manga club – the titular Ai (Ootsubo Yuka), Mai (Uchida Aya), and Mi (Uchida Maaya), along with Ponoka-sempai (Kayano Ai) – as they fight evil alien invaders, face off against their rivals at tournaments, and deal with other strange situations. Oh, and occasionally draw manga. (They’re not big on work ethic.) It’s a bonanza of absurd comedy as the story follows the antics of these four girls. Each episode will be 3 minutes long.

When I previewed the first season, I said it looked like a low-budget affair. Then I watched some of it, and I was right. It has the production qualities of a mid-90’s cartoon, which would be nostalgic if these three-minute shorts were funny. To me, that is–comedy is subjective, so if you enjoyed the first season, don’t let me stop you. With the staff, studio, and seiyuu all set to return for the second season, this is an easy show to recommend (or not). Did you watch and enjoy the first season? If so, watch this. But if you haven’t seen the first season and are curious, go give the first episode a try. At three minutes per episode, you won’t lose much time, and you’ll be able to make an informed decision. I for one won’t be bothering with this one though.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low
Show Ai Mai Mi ~Mousou Catastrophe~ Promotional Videos ▼

Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus | 黒執事 Book of Circus Top
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: July 10, 2014
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:19
Episodes: 10 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kuroshitsuji2 or #kuroshitsuji

Preview by Zanibas

In order to adapt the manga properly, Book of Circus will pick up where episode 15 of the first season left off – in essence ignoring the second season in order to take a different path. Favorite characters Sebastian (Ono Daisuke) and Ciel (Sakamoto Maaya) return to the party in an arc that will be very different from what viewers have been exposed to so far. As the name implies, the story will take a more circus/carnival turn, thrusting Ciel and Sebastian into the Noah’s Ark Circus Arc, full of new characters such as Joker (Miyano Mamoru) and Beast (Kaida Yuko). Many of the original side-characters will also make a reappearance as the series returns to the manga material that needed time to catch up.

As a highly visible series that generates ships and a lot of fanfiction, Kuroshitsuji needs no introduction. With enticing character designs, sexual undertones, and Victorian-era intrigue, the series has captured the hearts of many fans. The main concern this time is whether fans can take a backtrack from the events of the second season in order to restart where the first left off. Many significant and permanent events occurred during the second season, and the third season is asking viewers to forget about all of that. For some, this may be a struggle, but considering the love the series gets from its fans, this shouldn’t be a big roadblock. As for production, although A-1 Pictures is once again producing the series and the seiyuu have stayed constant, the staff has once again changed. With Abe Noriyuki (Bleach) as director, production should go smoothly, but as with all staff shifts between seasons, we may yet see a change in the ‘feel’ of Kuroshitsuji, for better or worse.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus Promotional Videos ▼

Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? | 六畳間の侵略者!?Top
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: July 11, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Supernatural, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:05
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_6joma or #6jomadaho

Preview by Stilts

An anime adaptation of the popular Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? light novel series is debuting this summer. Due to young Satomi Koutarou’s (Nakamura Yuuichi) financial constraints, he is forced to live in a small rokujouma (6-tatami apartment) on a budget of 5000 yen (~$50) a month. He gets to live in room 106 of Corona Apartment rent-free, but that’s only because it’s haunted. The ghost is a cute young girl named Higashihongan Sanae (Suzuki Eri), and hijinks ensue when she tries to drive Koutarou out. Between the ghost, a self-professed mahou shoujo, a space alien, and more, Koutarou’s impoverished life just got a lot more interesting.

Crazy comedy hijinks are the name of the game, with zany girls making our protagonist’s life hilariously troublesome. Or at least that’s the jist I get, because I was unable to get my hands on the source material in time. Thus, let the speculation begin! This is one of two SILVER LINK shows airing this summer, the other being the sequel to Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya, and veteran SILVER LINK director Oonuma Shin is helming both of them. While I always get a little worried when smaller studios work on multiple shows, as they could end up stretching their resources too thin, the promo videos for this have good animation and character designs. But with a comedy, it always comes down to “Does this make me laugh?”, and for that, I have no idea. I’m personally predisposed to like this kind of zany, hinjinks-filled comedy, and both director Oonuma Shin and SILVER LINK have a long track record of making shows I liked (BakaTest, C3, Nourin, WataMote), so I’ll be tuning in. Without being able to tell you more about the source, I suggest you watch (or not) based on the strength of the staff and the studio, and hope they can deliver an enjoyable ride.

Watching This: Cherrie, Takaii, Stilts, Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? Promotional Videos ▼

Tokyo ESP | 東京ESPTop
Animation: XEBEC Premiere: July 11, 2014
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tokyoesp_anime or #東京ESP

Preview by Cherrie

Urushiba Rinka (Kido Ibuki) is a young high school girl who discovers one day that she has the abilities to transport through solid objects. In other words, Rinka can phase in and out of basically anything, even carrying other people or things. On this same day, she coincidentally meets a man named Azuma Kyoutarou (Koumoto Keisuke) who also has teleportation powers. Together, the two of them encounter other individuals with ESP powers, which includes Rinka’s father, an infamous thief, and even a special little penguin named Peggi (Mizuhara Kaoru). Unsure of where these powers came from, Rinka and Kyoutarou learn to live and deal with what’s been given to them. But the two are driven by a sense of justice and righteousness, so they end up becoming vigilantes in Tokyo, stopping crimes and gangs from hurting innocent people.

I won’t lie, doing previews can be a chore after digging up the source material and properly writing out a summary. However, Tokyo ESP is truly the exception, which I couldn’t stop reading chapter after chapter. I instantly fell in love with Rinka; she’s the exact opposite of a damsel-in-distress, and makes a huge impact on her own (quite literally). From what I’ve read, the story is less episodic than it first appears because there’s actually a lot of continuity between the enemies, as well as a sweet background story between our protagonists. Rinka is actually meant to be a mixed child (hence, the albino look), and although gimmicky, it adds value to the story. On the downside, I’m leery about the character design and animation. The promo art looks amazing, but the cast are not as experienced as I’d like and the staff have an uneven track record. Nothing to be excited about on that end, but I hope I’m proven wrong because the source material is interesting enough to follow on its own.

Watching This: Cherrie, Stilts, Zanibas, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Nobunaga Concerto | 信長協奏曲Top
Animation: Premiere: July 11, 2014
Genre: History, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:50
Episodes: Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Zanibas

Nobunaga Concerto is another series focusing on anime’s favorite Sengoku figure, Oda Nobunaga. Saburou (Miyano Mamoru) is a high school student who excels in athletics, but wavers in academics, especially in history – in the first chapter, he calls history a relic of the past that doesn’t affect his present or future. However, after Saburou falls through time to the Sengoku Era, he probably wishes he would’ve studied more. After being discovered by Oda Nobunaga (Kaji Yuuki) and realizing he looks exactly like him, he is forced to become the young Oda’s substitute. This causes a whole range of problems, sometimes leading to a blade to Saburou’s face. With the pressure of all of Japan on his shoulders, Saburou must quickly learn what it means to be the legendary figure and how to unite Japan. Unfortunately, having not paid attention in class, events such as the Honnou-ji Incident may take him by surprise.

The first series that I relate this to is Oda Nobuna no Yabou, which followed a similar line of plot, minus the substitution and gender bending. Both follow the events of Oda Nobunaga fairly closely and both have main characters that hail from the future. However, Saburou lacks any sort of historical basis to make his moves, instead relying on physical skill and personal ambition to protect the present he wishes to return to. Although not much information has been released, there is a decorated cast of seiyuu lined up, such as Mizuki Nana, Fukuyama Jun, Yuuki Aoi, and Sugita Tomokazu, all voicing major roles. The animation production team is still unannounced so far, which worries me that it’ll be adapted by a novice studio. Though the project is still shrouded in mystery, considering how the original material won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shounen manga, we could be in for a real treat.

Watching This: Zanibas Expectation Level: Moderate
Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance | 精霊使いの剣舞Top
Animation: tnk Premiere: July 14, 2014
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 20:30
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @blade_anime or #blade_anime

Preview by Stilts

Based on the light novel series of the same name with 11 published volumes, the fantasy-harem story Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance is getting an anime adaptation this season. In a world of magic, only pure maidens are able to form contracts with powerful spirits. Areishia Spirit Academy exists to train the maidens of noble families in how to contract and control spirits, with the strongest maidens competing in the Spiritual Blade Dance Festival to bestow divine protection upon their country. Into this world comes a boy, Kazehaya Kamito (Furukawa Makoto), who, after peeping by accident on the bathing Spiritualist Claire Rouge (Kido Ibuki), ended up making a contract with the spirit she was after. Yes, Kamito is one of the vanishingly rare male spirit contractors – the only one, other than the legendary Demon Lord. Aghast that her spirit was stolen by a boy, Claire makes her demand – “You’re going to become my contracted spirit!”

You know the story – a boy is found to be the only male [insert powerful magical/sci-fi special person here], enrolls in an all-girls high school, gets himself a harem, becomes beloved by all, etc. It’s the Infinite Stratos treatment, with some caveats. Kamito acts fairly competent and driven, more Raishin (Unbreakable Machine Doll) than Ichika, so hopefully he won’t spend the entire series going “Huh?”. The magical combat also has a lot of potential, though bad combat was never IS’s problem, at least not until it started mailing it in. I don’t know how much fanservice to expect, because while TNK (High School DxD) is animating and veteran TNK director Yanagisawa Tetsuya (High School DxD) is at the helm, the manga I perused wasn’t nearly at Issei-levels of ecchi, nor does Kamito come across as a pervert, no matter what some of the girls insist. There’s definitely some fanservice though, and the art is downright luscious, so I wouldn’t mind seeing more of these girls, regardless of how much clothing they’re wearing. In the end, this is a magical fantasy harem anime based on a light novel, so if that’s your sort of thing, you should already know enough to decide whether to watch it or not. All I can add is that I’m cautiously optimistic that this might turn out to be one of the better examples of the form, but I’ve been wrong before. Enough is still unknown that we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.

Watching This: Stilts Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance Promotional Videos ▼

Monogatari Series: Second Season -Hanamonogatari- Top
<物語>シリーズ セカンドシーズン -花物語-
Animation: SHAFT Premiere: August 16, 2014
Genre: Supernatural, Romance, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturday at 19:00
Episodes: 5 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @nisioisin_anime

Preview by Takaii

Hanamonogatari is the continuation of the Monogatari series that we’ve been covering here at Random Curiosity for quite some time. For a quick recap, the story follows a young man named Araragi Koyomi (Kamiya Hiroshi), who, after a precarious turn of events, has turned into something along the lines of a half vampire. With his body and soul eternally linked with the infamous vampire Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade – who’s easier to say nickname is Oshino Shinobu (Sakamoto Maaya) – he spends most of his time running about and messing with lolis. When his attention isn’t stolen by them, he’s usually helping solve other people’s problems that tend to err on the supernatural side. Continuing off where last season left off, Hanamongatari focuses on Kanbaru Suruga (Sawashiro Miyuki) and takes place after Araragi has graduated high school. For those of you who remember, this should be right after we saw Kaiki Deishuu (Miki Shinichiro) solve Senjougahara Hitagi’s (Saito Chiwa) “issue”.

If I were to make any guesses about what’s going to happen this season, I would say that anything and everything involving Kanbaru will probably play a role. Hopefully this means we’ll get to know a little more about the mysterious Gaen Izuko (Yukino Satsuki) as well as see more of Araragi since he was painfully absent for most of Monogatari Series: Second Season. Whatever the case may be, with SHAFT still behind the wheel I’m sure we’ll get everything we’ve become accustomed to, with hopefully some surprises sprinkled here and there.

Watching This: Takaii, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Monogatari Series: Second Season -Hanamonogatari- Promotional Videos ▼

Francesca | フランチェスカTop
Animation: Premiere: July, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: Station:
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @francesca_hb

Preview by Stilts

The local undead idol of Hokkaido is getting an animated series of shorts this season. Francesca (Makino Yui) is an “undead idol” who’s a little spacey but has a lot of energy, and all of her favorite foods are from Hokkaido. Big trouble arises when Hijikata Toshizou (Takahashi Hiroki) and the rest of the Shinsengumi awake from their eternal slumber and attack Hokkaido! The little girl Exorcist (Tano Asami) stands up to defend the area, but in the midst of the chaos, Francesca awakens to protect Hokkaido as well.

Local moe characters for cities, provinces, and consumer products are…well, they are a thing. I can sort of understand why these appeal to locals, but I have no idea why they would bother making an anime about one. I checked out the promo videos, and they’re pretty bad. The animation is unimpressive, the plot holds no interest, and it’s all clearly a shallow promotional vehicle for Francesca and, through her, Hokkaido. I don’t know who this anime is for, unless it’s being bankrolled by the Hokkaido Department of Commerce in some misguided attempt to kick up commerce and/or tourism. Each episode is only 15 minutes long, so at least there’s less of it? I don’t know. If something about this show interests you, check it out, but I for one will be steering clear. I prefer my shameless advertisements to stay as advertisements rather than invading my fiction, thank you very much.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low
Show Francesca Promotional Videos ▼

Strange+ Season 2 | ストレンジ・プラス 第2期 Top
Animation: Premiere: July, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Mystery Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: Station:
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_stpl

Preview by Zephyr

Joining a sequel-filled summer is Strange+ 2nd Season, which brings back Mikawa Verno’s slapstick gag manga for another go around. There’s not much information available on this one, but it looks like the seiyuu cast will be reprising their roles at least. As with its previous iteration, this second season will be a series of five minute shorts, with the focus once again on the daily activities of the Mikuni Detective Agency. The story revolves around the main character named Kou (Seki Tomokazu), who found his lost long-lost older brother Takumi (Fukuyama Jun) in the first season, and was roped into working for the agency shortly thereafter. There, Kou finds himself investigating various mysteries with the agency, though it’s a story that’s more about the laughs than the mysteries themselves.

True to its strange nature, Strange+ is a show whose sequel was announced right before its first season premiered. But like the information available for the second season, there’s little known as to why this ended up happening. The fact remains that we have one of our obligatory comedic shorts of the season, and it comes as a show whose formula has worked in the past (Cuticle Detective Inaba was another recent comedic mystery). I didn’t end up watching the first season in its entirety, but from what I saw it was a run-of-the-mill series for the most part. It doesn’t exactly scream special in any sense of the word, and didn’t get me laughing as much as I’d liked, but it’s something whose mileage varies from person to person. Given its short runtime, it’s worth a peek if you’re interested, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t end up being your kind of jam.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Minarai Diva | みならいディーバTop
Animation: Premiere: July, 2014
Genre: Music Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: Station: NOTTV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @minarai_diva

Preview by Stilts

The world’s first ever live anime program is coming to screens this Summer. What do I mean by “live anime”? Animated with MikuMikuDance software, Minarai Diva is slated as the first ever anime to be voiced and acted live, with the characters’ movements captured via motion-capture technology. It will star Aoi Ruri (lit. “blue lapis lazuli”, Murakawa Rie) and Harune Ui (Yamamoto Nozomi), along with NTV emcee Yoshida Hisanori who will play a fictionalized version of himself. During the program, the two seiyuu will try to think up lyrics for a new song, and will even accept suggestions from social media and email. It will be similar in style to a radio program, and each episode will be 60 minutes long.

I guess we can’t say the anime industry isn’t trying to do new things? Though I would have preferred new original series or innovative storytelling techniques to what amounts to a radio show with a visual gimmick. But progress can come from funny directions. It’s hard to know whether to suggest this one, because it’s billing itself as a radio program (or podcast) you can also watch. But that’s part of the draw of radio/podcasts! I doubt this will have much in the way of plot, and it won’t have the polished feel of a scripted show. This feels like a special feature for the sake of having a special feature, which is the very definition of a gimmick. It could be good – I’ve listened to some seiyuu radio shows, and in the right hands they can be excellent – but then why isn’t it just a radio show? Though if it were a radio show not as many people would be talking about it. I mean, we’re previewing it here, so mission accomplished, I suppose.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low

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 or incorrect, please feel free to point it out in the comments or e-mail one of us directly (Stilts, Zephyr).

Release Date Title Notes
06/18 Hayate no Gotoku! OVA | ハヤテのごとく! OVA
Bundled with manga Vol. 41 (Limited Edition). Episode 1 of 3.
06/22 Kuroko no Basuke: Mou Ikkai Yarimasen Ka OVA
黒子のバスケ 「もう一回やりませんか」 OVA
Bundled with BD/DVD Vol. 6.
06/25 Little Busters! EX | リトルバスターズ!EX
Bundled with BD/DVD Vol. 6. Episode 6 of 8.
06/26 Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha OVA | いなり、こんこん、恋いろは。 OVA
Episode 11.
06/28 Majokko Shimai no Yoyo Movie | 魔女っこ姉妹のヨヨとネネ
BD/DVD Release.
06/30 Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okashiinda ga. OVA
最近、妹のようすがちょっとおかしいんだが。 OVA
Bundled with manga Vol. 7 (Limited Edition).
07/02 Kyoukai no Kanata: Episode 0 OVA | 境界の彼方 新作エピソードは#0「東雲」
Bundled with BD/DVD Vol. 7.
07/04 TIGER & BUNNY Movie 2: The Rising | 劇場版 TIGER & BUNNY -The Rising-
BD/DVD Release.
07/17 Noragami OVA | ノラガミ OVA
Episode 2 of 2.
07/18 Mushibugyou OVA | ムシブギョー 虫奉行 OVA
Bundled with manga Vol. 15 (Limited Edition).
07/18 Pretty Rhythm All Stars Selection Prism Show☆Best Ten Movie
劇場版 プリティーリズム・オールスターセレクション プリズムショー☆ベストテン
BD/DVD Release.
07/23 Hunter x Hunter: The Last Mission
BD/DVD Release.
07/23 Non Non Biyori OVA | のんのんびより OVA
Bundled with manga Vol. 7 (Limited Edition).
07/25 Girls und Panzer: Kore ga Hontou no Anzio-sen Desu! OVA
ガールズ&パンツァー これが本当のアンツィオ戦です! OVA
BD/DVD Release.
07/30 Little Busters! EX | リトルバスターズ!EX
Bundled with BD/DVD Vol. 7. Episode 7 of 8.
Late July Hayate no Gotoku! OVA | ハヤテのごとく! OVA
Bundled with manga Vol. 42 (Limited Edition). Episode 2 of 3.
08/06 Giovanni’s Island | ジョバンニの島
BD/DVD Release.
08/06 Hakuoki Shinsengumi Kitan Movie 2: Shikon Soukyuu
劇場版 薄桜鬼 第二章 士魂蒼穹
BD/DVD Release.
08/06 Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro | ルパン三世 カリオストロの城
DVD Remaster.
08/29 Mujaki no Rakuen | 無邪気の楽園
Bundled with manga Vol. 6 (Limited Edition).
08/29 Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Movie: Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai
劇場版 世界一初恋 横澤隆史の場合
BD/DVD Release.
08/29 Sora no Otoshimono Final: Ein no Watashi no Torikago
BD/DVD Release.

Overall Impressions


It’s always said that the summer and winter seasons are traditionally weaker than spring and fall, but last year bucked that trend by giving us a stellar summer lineup. This year? I am eternally hopeful, but with the information we have the outlook is still uncertain. Not even the writers appear to be in agreement – only two shows, Glasslip and Zankyou no Terror, are on all of our watch lists, with Barakamon, Ao Haru Ride, and the second season of Free! coming close. I don’t know what that says about us, but probably nothing good. There are more Moderately High series than normal though, which means we’re still optimistic, qualified though it may be. Plus there are always good shows airing every season, and as always we will do our best to point them out to you as they air. Hopefully a few dark horses will buoy this season and defy the conventional wisdom once again.

Onto the rundown. Our rubric remains the same, with the five main expectation levels ranging from High to Low, plus Niche and Established hanging around for special cases. Hopefully this guide will help viewers with limited time know which shows to try first, based on our preliminary examination of the show’s staff, seiyuu, and source material.

We arrived at these levels by convening our regular (and reliably shady) “anticipation council,” which as always consists of Zanibas, Zephyr, and myself (Stilts). While we’ve gone to great lengths to be as objective as possible, we’re all fallible human beings around here, and even the most well-considered predictions can prove themselves wrong in a hurry. Take these designations with a grain of salt.

Note: The lists are sorted in alphabetical order.


The Rundown:

High expectation shows give us 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 we feel you should keep an eye out for. We’re also expecting good things from these shows, so if they fall short, disappointment is understandable.

Moderately High expectation shows are ones that came close to joining the High expectation crowd, but missed out due to one or two elements that gave us concern. The series underpinnings are generally strong, but there is just something that keeps us from putting all our hopes and dreams on these shows. They still have most of the makings of very strong series, so if you watch only the “best” shows but want more than what the High category provides, keep an eye out for these as well.

Moderate expectation shows, also known as “True Moderate”, 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, in many of our experiences 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. Personal tastes come heavily into play, so your mileage will vary.

Moderately Low expectation shows don’t seem to be aspiring to much, but it’s hard to call them bad exactly. They might focus on senseless humor or fanservice, but there’s often at least one element that elevates them above other members of their genre. Once again, personal taste comes heavily into play with these shows, because if they’re part of one of your favored genres then chances are you’ll enjoy them no matter what. Just don’t expect them to break the bank with originality.

Low expectation shows don’t seem to be striving for much and choose to focus on more frivolous aspects such as senseless humor and fanservice. 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 under-appreciated, but can turn out to be hidden gems for that very reason. Includes some works oriented toward younger 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 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 we treat them differently.


    1. Bangs head against table. WHY is my list this Huge!!!!

      Watching list:
      Tokyo Ghoul
      Tokyo ESP
      Zankyou no Terror
      Akame ga Kill!
      LOVE STAGE!! (I read all the chapters in a fit of binge reading on this one. If you like Gravitation anime this ones up your ally. It’s a slow burn series. )
      DRAMAtical Murder (just to many cosplayers running around from this VN for me not to watch it. lol I expect it to be sanitized for TV. 😉 )

      Second seasons/reboots to watch

      Free! -Eternal Summer-
      Monogatari Series: Second Season -Hanamonogatari- Top
      Sword Art Online II
      Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma☆Illya Zwei!
      PSYCHO-PASS (skiping to new scenes)
      Persona 4 The Golden ANIMATION (same as above)
      Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal
      Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus

      Try out:
      Ao Haru Ride
      Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen
      RAIL WARS!

  1. Ah lots of awesome stuff to follow this season. Your seasonal previews are always the best place to look for new material guys, thanks a lot! I’m still waiting for Rozen Maiden season 2 though.

  2. More Free!
    Destiny GGO
    Aldnoah looks good.
    P4G yay for Marie.
    Sailor Monn remake is for shoujo was what Hunter X Hunter remake was for shonen?
    I wonder if Shirou does something in 2wei or was that 3rei?
    Prob need to rewatch the first season of Black Butler kinda forgot what happpened at the end.
    Finally get to see what happened to Nice after that cliffhanger. I assumed he survived :/

    1. yes i wish your dream not become a nightmare,,,

      Heres the anime and manga Comparison:
      – weird tatsumi character design:
      and the worst of all
      it’s more like that lame-ass Freezing Protagonist than Tatsumi

      -other character:

      -in the end:

      what do you think guys?

  3. holy cow… TRAPS are the best… should be highly excellent expectation lol :D…

    honestly, i never prepare my watchlist… since after i was slammed so hard by durarara!!! (watched the series only after sort like 2 years (?) because i thought the anime sucked)i told myself not to judge the anime without watching it first so i will go watch them all, and judge them on third episode.

    The Last Idiot
  4. @ Sailor Moon, I’ve been wondering for a while, exactly how much of a 200 episode series are they going to try to fit into 26 episodes?

    Yama no Susume and Fate Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya 2wei are locks. I’ll probably check out some of the other slice-of-lifey things while I’m at it, as well as anything that the bloggers here make look interesting when they review it.

      1. It’s also rumoured to be based on the Manga charpters rather then an Anime reboot completely so I expect some condensed and story arcs. (not so much the monster of the week formate as much. 😉 )

  5. Yama no Susume is going to have 24 episodes this time around, AND each episode is going to be 15 minutes long?! Best news I’ve heard all day!

    Looks like it’s going to be an interesting summer season. I can’t believe we’re getting two Watanabe shows. What a treat.

  6. Stilts I can assure you that train otaku are a thing, I have a brother obsessed with them (he has more scale models of them than he knows what do with and even designs the damned things for simulators). Although of course he hates anything not 19-20th Century British steam engines so Train Wars makes even him gag 😛 Everything has a niche these days it seems.

    As for the shows it’s looking like a better season compared to the last, lots of heavy hitters and even more mecha shows that will hopefully be more Break Blade/Sidonia than Captain Earth. Also loving that Sailor Moon and Fate Kaleid are finally back up and running; once again it looks like my free time just became that much smaller.

    1. Aye, everything is a niche, which is great fun for people who figure out how to service those niches ^^ And great fun for those with different tastes. I much prefer a bunch of crazy niches to a homogeneous mess, even if I don’t understand a lot of the crazy niches a bit, lol

      1. Show Spoiler ▼


      1. It is for shock value, only shock value there is no real reason for it. AS for Attack on Titans, I seen it and I wasn’t even as distrubed as I was by that one scene. To you it’s pretty mild but for me it just paint a real picture of what type of manga that’s gonna be ,to see THAT in a way remind me of texas chainsaw massacare. Everything else inside that manga I can handle but that one the casualness of it all.

        It just stayed with me even when I reached all of the raws my mind kept going back to that one scene at the Escorts. It just …on so many level.

      2. Akame ga Kill draw upon the human element. It’s humans doing cruel things to one another, sick, deprave things. There is no filter in the manga. Not sure if they will censored it for the anime but imagine the DEPTHS of human depravity and you pretty much Akame ga Kill.

        It’s all shock value and factor, think of all the horrendous criminal case both on a local level , serial killer and war crimes. The worse of it all and it’s all showcased in Akame ga kill.

        For me Akame Ga Kill is something I can only read through one sitting, I have not felt the need to go back to it. Especially after that Show Spoiler ▼

        As for AoT, you can pretty much laugh it off as its still science fiction, giant people eating huamans. yeah it’s graphic but it’s still fake. The brutality shown in Akame Ga Kill is real world shit. A darker animal then AoT that’s for sure.

      3. If its not for shock value then why does the age of the victims keep decreasing as the series goes on? The audience gets numb after a hundred or so murder/rape scenes so younger and younger victims are added.

  7. Just based on my manga reads, I’m looking forward to Fate/Illya 2, Akame Ga Kill and Tokyo ESP. I can’t miss anything Monogatari series. I’ll definitely watch SAO 2 also, just cuz I’m too invested from reading the LN.

  8. I ended up with my watch-list that is a tad smaller than I have expected just by going through the written impression:
    (btw – I’m actually watch the anime below, everything else I either follow on RC or just not interested / scared to watch…)

    Must watch til the end
    Sword Art Online II
    PSYCHO-PASS (New Edit)

    The 3 episodes treatment
    Ao Haru Ride
    Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen

    The fence rider

  9. By the look of the series next season, the Anime committee loves to use Yuuki Kaji into any characters when he doesn’t have the range. Sure, Noragami and From the New World may have proved that he’s not one note actor, his voice is bit too high-pitched that he’s not that convincing as badass character. I can’t really imagine him playing one of characters from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.

    I find Terror in Tokyo and Tokyo Ghoul promising never mind the staff going to be responsible for. All I want is great characters in unusual circumstance and great interaction. The casts help too.

  10. Here’s my list,
    Tokyo Ghoul
    Sword Art Online II
    Akame ga Kill!
    Zankyou no Terror
    Persona 4 The Golden ANIMATION

    Of these, I have high expectations of ALDNOAH.ZERO, Zankyou no Terror, Persona 4 The Golden ANIMATION.

  11. I just want to give a shout out to all the staff here at Randomc for providing us with season previews time and time again. You guys are doing a fantastic job and I really appreciate it. I’ve been following this site ever since Omni started this blogging it and I’m glad he was able to pass the baton to the next generation. Thank you guys for all the work you all put into not only this type of previews but also your very insightful blogs.

    1. yep seconded.

      I only really come to RC for the season previews, but they are certainly worth it. best anime season previews on the Internet at present by a mile IMO, in terms of information and insight.

      kudos and keep it up.

  12. Tokyo Ghoul
    Monogatari Series: Second Season -Hanamonogatari

    Everything else is for “special” kinds of people to watch them. But still better than this season since I only had Mushishi to watch.

  13. preliminary schedule:
    07 akame ga kill
    01 ao haru ride
    02 –
    03 fate kaleid 2
    04 zankyou no terror, psycho pass 2
    05 tokyo esp
    06 SAO 2, aldnoah

    summer of sequels and urobuchi (fate franchise, psycho pass, aldnoah)

  14. I am right with you cherrie on your feelings of trepidation towards the Tokyo ESP anime adaptations. I had a great experience reading the manga as it was one hell of a ride (chps 1-26 anyway). I have expressed before that reading tokyo esp was like watching a marvel superhero movie or reading one of the comics and that’s a testament to how well it executes its story. Rinka was the best thing about the manga and how it meshes comedy and drama and im a bit afraid that Xebec and its staff might not be able to deliver. Still, im gonna stay positive that the material is in good hands. i dont even care if they dont follow the manga point for point (even tho it would be nice if they did) as long as they capture the spirit of it. I just hope its as good as the manga

    1. I wish there was some PV for it (probably soon because the preview came out earlier this time around) but until then, I’ll keep my reservations. The manga is just so playful and fun – not exactly funny (then again, I don’t find manga that funny ever =X) and like you, I hope they capture that essence in the show. That all depends on the direction and production though. Sometimes anime can be off pitch and that ruins a lot of the urgency or delivery.

      1. The fact that a PV has not been released yet is kinda what makes me a little nervous; not always but usually a series that doesnt have a PV released when the air date is coming really close is a sign of late or rushed production (which would be weird because a tokyo ESP anime was announced to be getting an anime since early 2013 like around January if memory serves me right). Sometimes a late PV or no PV at all is sometimes done for marketing reasons but usually its never a good sign so hopefully this is just a case of them holding out on the audience till last minute rather than something production-wise

    2. The first arc of Tokyo ESP was an amazing manga. It was so exciting and high-paced, and the characters were likable. I hope the anime can convey that as the manga did.

  15. This spring (fall, here in the Southern Hemisphere) has been particularly bad anime-wise, with only one really good show (Mushishi Zoku Shou) and three moderately good ones (Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou, Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin, No Game No Life, with some reservations about the last one).

    Fortunately, it seems things will be significantly better this summer. My pick:

    Dark course:

    Zankyou no Terror
    PSYCHO-PASS (New Edit)

    Light course:

    Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?

  16. C’mon Stilts, Seirei tsukai no Kenbu maybe is a generic light novel, but along with Madan no Ou to Vanadis, is the best generic light novel by far. Moderately Low? You know the story? You know nothing!

    Putting aside the generic cliches, and the awful Clair, the argument is solid, the MC is decent, the action is cool, and most important, it has coherence.

    This site has covered many, extremely bad animes, with extreme joy. And knowing nothing about many others, you simply discard them, based purely on prejudice, judging them based on their cover.

    1. Now now, let’s not generalize.

      For one, it’s all relative. What you might believe to be “extremely bad” may not bode true for someone else. There are definitely shows that come out from time to time that we like a lot more than others, but I mean, it goes down to personal preference and I ask that you respect it like we would for you should there be any big differences.

      At the same time, that’s not to say that there haven’t been shows that have been slightly under par in terms of expectations. In those cases (especially recently) we haven’t hesitated to drop them if we felt there was nothing much to say on a weekly basis. Generally though, we tend to stay with a series if there’s something we like about it, even if there are things we dislike.

      And the reason is that if you drop a show here, it’s permanent. Unless another writer picks it up immediately, that’s it, and it’d be a pity to drop something that still has potential (especially if it ends up fulfilling it). At the same time, writers here are discouraged from picking up shows past the 3-4 week mark of each season in order to keep consistency (it discourages constant drops/pick-ups) and to ensure that writers give each series a proper watch before deciding what to do with it, so writers can’t simply pick another show to switch to either.

      Yes, this does occasionally mean that shows we might’ve underestimated don’t get coverage despite them potentially deserving them, but again, we’re human and it’s not as though we can hit the expectations right on every show on every season. This though, is why we watch dozens and dozens of shows on top of what is blogged, in order to ensure that any underrated shows are pointed out either in a special END post at the end of the season, or receive an award in the best of anime post at year’s end.

      Ultimately, the basic point is that there’s a lot that goes into our blogging decisions. I understand that at times, some shows you feel are undeserving are covered, but there’s usually multiple reasons for why we do what we do, and we ask that you understand that.

    2. What Zephy said. Also, remember that the whole point of a preview is to judge a book by its cover + the first chapter or two. None of us have the time to get the full story when the full story includes 11+ light novels. If blogging here was a full-time job we still wouldn’t have enough time for that, so we have to judge series on limited expectations. Sometimes we’ll get things wrong because of that, and that’s fine. We explicitly note in the disclaimers that these shouldn’t be taken as gospel truth. We’re just doing the best we can with the time we have.

      Also, bear in mind that the expectation levels are an amalgam of mine, Zephy’s, Zani’s, and occasionally other writers’ opinions. I’m not going to say what I would have put Blade Dance at if it were solely my choice, because overall I’m 90-95% in agreement with the expectation levels we arrived at, but it’s a team effort around here. Sometimes that introduces some wonk into the expectation levels, but that’s just part of the system.

    3. If you don’t mind me butting myself in here. Seirei Tsukaki no Blade dance is among the worst LN’s I’ve read up to date. A cliche Fest. With one of the most annoying female leads (Miyuki defeats her, though)in any LN. If it were me, I’d have put it under Niche. 😉

    4. The MC is decent

      This has got to be the best thing about Blade Dance: the MC is actually working his harem. Unlike most harem MC where either they refuse or is clueless about the harem, Kamito actually entertains his with dates, kisses and actual romance than other harem MCs. Even more than Issei, who seems to just like doing ecchi stuff near Go Nagai levels of ecchi.

      Add the fact that the actual plot is promising(and has been delivering), execution is satisfying and character development is present, Blade Dance is a solid series. Though it does follow most of the cliche found in harem works, which I think is more like playing it safe than being lazily written.

      If the studio doesn’t ruin it for everyone else(because they did already a bit, for me) by skipping details in the story to make plot holes or inserting unnecessary filler episodes, Blade Dance will be part of the talk this season.

  17. So far…

    Sengoku BASARA: Judge End
    Hmm… odd move TBH, because The Last Party was supposed to be the last episode… unless Capcom wanted to add elements from Sengoku Basara 4 into the mix. Still, I watched everything last time, so I’ll give it a shot, and if it means more “OYAKATA-SAMA”, I’m all up for it XD

    PSYCHO-PASS (New Edit)
    Recently bought the Collector’s Edition and could finally watched it in English. Really good series, really have high hopes for Season 2, so I’m eager to see how they’ll recap the 1st season, as long as they don’t change the outcome too much.

    Persona 4 The Golden ANIMATION
    Really liked the first series, especially how accurately close it was to the game. I’m eager to see it again… and if it leads to have an anime about Persona 4 Arena/Ultimax, the better ^_^

    1. From what I’ve read, P-P’s new edit will be essentially the same material with maybe a few altered scenes. The result’ll definitely stay the same no matter what, as P-P 2 is a direct sequel to the original P-P, it’s just there might be a little more detail here and there to expand on some events.

    1. Translations can be a funny thing sometimes. Puripara should be the correct way to translate their title – but for some reason, it’s pronounced differently =S Same with Ao Haru Ride – there is no “ru” in its title, but for some reason, people continue to call it that.
      I corrected it this time around, but understand that I translate these titles individually first before going back to correct it based on “English translations”. This is a miss on our part but we put a lot of time and effort into our previews so before pointing out our mistakes, it’d be nice to here that you appreciate the work that we do from scratch.

      1. I answered impulsively earlier and I forgot I should have pointed that out actually
        It’s because Puri Para/ Pri Para is a diminutive of Prism Paradise. プリズムパラダイス so if you take the beginning of the two words you get プリパラ Puri Para. If you take the beginning of Prism Paradise you get Pri Para. The latter is what they decided to officially use.

      2. You’re right! Ao Haru Ride isn’t truly the way to be translated…
        Sometimes in anime subs, meanings start to change in just one line.
        Well, let’s all just learn Japanese and become fluent so that we don’t even need translations.LOL j/k :p its wayyyyy too hard.

      3. The reason why people call it Ao Haru Ride is because it happens to be the English subtitle on every single manga cover.

        It doesn’t make sense to me either since there is no “ル” in the Japanese title, but I’d say that’s a pretty official seal of approval.

      4. Ah, my bad. It won’t happen again. Anyway, I enjoyed the previews that came up on this site, albeit that the exclusion of shows aimed for kids makes hard to choose which of them to watch. Keep up the good work!

  18. Didn’t think the preview would be out so soon, thanks a lot for the great job like always girls and guys of RC.

    Yup, Pretty Rhythm is officially over and Puri Para’s is succeeding it. There’s a few points I’d like to bring up though:

    Pretty Rhythm is a Shoujo show with sports elements and idol elements, all combined with actually really mature and deep scenarios, making it actually appealing not only to little girls, but young male adults like me too. I honestly think it’s the only recent show representing this now dead hybrid genre of heroines striving for success in sports and love. This used to be very popular at a time, with shows such as Attacker You!, Hikari no Densetsu etc.

    Pretty Rhythm is an idol show unlike any other. While they do sing, the girls in Pretty Rhythm aren’t idols, they’re what the show call “Prism Stars”. To quickly bring up a difference between the two, you can get married, have children, and keep being a Prism Star. This actually happens to two characters in the series.

    I’m bringing all of this up because unlike in Pretty Rhythm, the girls of Puri Para are idols, and they actually use the word idol to describe Puri Para. This is the first apprehension I have about the show because it may mean that the romance, one of the best aspects of Pretty Rhythm, will be absent. They still haven’t revealed a single male character in Puri Para either (except for a mascot kind of guy) so this makes me more and more worried. The main character Laala, is also much younger than the previous three heroines, so maybe she’ll fall in love with someone, but I doubt they’ll make her live any kind of actual love story. If it happens, it’ll probably involve the oldest main character, Sophie.

    Another thing different is that they won’t be skating during their performances anymore. Ice skating is another defining aspect of Pretty Rhythm so that’s again a big letdown. The performances are punctuated by the Prism Jumps, another of the best strength of the show. Pretty Rhythm has huge over the top climaxes, and they’re all thanks to the skating. There is a mechanic similar to Prism Jumps in the Puri Para arcade game(which will be launched along with the anime), so it’ll certainly be in the anime too, but I fear things won’t be as planetary awesome anymore.

    The last thing I’m worried about Puri Para is that a lot of elements revealed so far are things copied from Aikatsu!, another cross platform anime+arcade game anime. For example the logos in particular look awfully similar. Aikatsu! was Pretty Rhythm biggest rival, “was” because Aikatsu! won the fight by far and got much more popular, which is one of the reasons Puri Para exists. Puri Para is obviously Takara Tommy’s commercial counter attack to Sunrise’s Aikatsu!

    The funny and sad thing is that, while in the end both shows are completely different, Aikatsu! itself copied tons of things from Pretty Rhythm in the first place.

    To end on a positive note: All of the core staff for Puri Para is new, like you pointed out, everyone who worked on Pretty Rhythm are burned out and needs rest (this is one of the reason they made the All Star Selection compilation season, they can’t just stop the broadcast because of money/sponsoring by McDonalds etc). However, the CG staff is staying. While the CG in the first two Pretty Rhythm seasons is jarring, like most of the CG you can see in any show, the CG in the third season is honestly the best I’ve seen in my life so far. The same people who did this CG along with the same CG director are doing the CG for Puri Para. Pretty Rhythm’s director(who won’t be working on Puri Para) said that “the CG in Puri Para is even more evolved than the one in the third season” so I’m really looking forward to it.
    Another thing is that Puri Para’s director, Moriwaki Makoto, is also accustomed to doing pretty good kids shows that may also appeal to adults so Puri Para may keep this aspect of Pretty Rhythm, though I think there will definitely be less drama.

    To sum things up Puri Para is definitely the show I’m looking forward to the most, but because I’m interested in how it’ll turn out rather than being interested in the show itself. I actually don’t like most idol shows, I don’t watch Love Live for example. If Puri Para ends up being just another idol show I’ll probably won’t watch it until the end (there’s a contest for little girls to participate in the PV for the third ED so the show is already confirmed to at least have 4 cours/51 eps). If it turns out more like Aikatsu! or Pretty Rhythm it could be interesting. It would also be very funny if it ends up being a massive commercial success, with better earnings than Aikatsu!, as a copy of a copy will surpass the copy.
    Sorry for taking up your time and writing so much about Pretty Rhythm, and now Puri Para at each preview.

    1. The past year of previews have been cutting it really close to the premiere dates and we’re trying to correct that =) We want to give people enough time to read what’s coming up, give us time for the blogging schedule and also not bombard people with season finales all at the same time. Thanks for your comments all the time! Appreciate the thoughtfulness of them and your continued support ^^

  19. Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance – Decent enough ln, sadly early volumes were little boring.

    Sword Art Online 2 – Everyone will watch it so will I, just to participate in discussion in one way or another

    Remastered Psycho-pass, because why not

    Everything else will most likely check few episodes and decide afterwards if it is worth it

  20. After a (far) less than ideal Spring Season, I’m going into the Summer Season with more caution. General speaking expectations of “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” rather than any “high or moderately high” expectations. Much less downside that way. Two shows of primary interest:

    Girls und Panzer: Kore ga Hontou no Anzio-sen Desu! OVA: FINALLY! Now hurry up with the movie. 😀 FYI – the OVA is supposed to be 60 minutes long, and I thought the PV looked very good.

    Hanamonogatari: Better late than never though the Kizumonogatari movie is pushing things much, much too far in that regard.

    Other shows on my initial watch list (so far):

    Zankyou no Terror: Like the fact it’s an original story, and agree with Takaii that the pedigree looks promising. Hoping for a taut thriller type story with lots of twists and turns.

    Akame ga Kill!: PVs don’t show much, but looks intriguing. Same as above in hoping for a taut, thrilling story with lots of twists and turns.

    Rokujyouma no Shinryakusha!?: I like comedy shows in general, and there seems to be some potential here. Hope it turns out well to balance out some of the grim/dark stuff on my list.

    Tokyo ESP: Not sure what to make of this other than the story seems interesting enough to give it a shot.

    Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance: LOL at Stilts’ comment: “… so hopefully he won’t spend the entire series going “Huh?”. Very true. Read most of LN vol 01, and my impression pretty much mirrors what Stilts wrote – including the ML, Kamito, not being an Ichika clone. +1 points for that. FYI for those who like ecchi shows – Highschool DxD Season 3 was just announced.

    Sabagebu!: Definitely a flyer here. I didn’t like C3-bu much. In fact, dropped it around EP 05/06. Read 3 chapters of Sabagebu manga, and while (IMO) what little I read was better than C3-bu, it wasn’t that much better.

    MIA – Kantai Collection: Guessing this is going to be delayed. No PV, no specific air time – no news at all really for quite a while. With about two weeks until summer season, that does not bode well. :/


    Seitokai Yakuindomo OVA
    Inari Konkon OVA (aka “EP 11”)
    Sora no Otoshimono Final: Ein no Watashi no Torikago Movie (BD/DVD)

      1. @Kuntzy: When the Kancolle anime was announced last September, the ANN news article stated: “According to the company, it is aiming for broadcast next summer or later…” So nothing definitive, but many did expect it to air this summer season. Some early anime Summer 2014 Season preview blog posts included Kancolle in their previews. It was also listed by the anime season charts/sites I checked for Summer 2014 rather than in the “TBA” section. However, recently it has been removed from those same anime season charts/sites Summer 2014 lists for the very reasons I listed in my post – dearth of news/updates, no PV, etc.

        At any rate, it definitely looks unlikely (almost certain really) that Kancolle anime will not air this summer season. So the question now is what does “later” mean? Fall 2014? Winter 2015?

      2. @daikama

        Ah yes, the initial announcement.

        This is just me (and I don’t mean to sound rude to people who were thinking it would) but believing it would air this season without official confirmation based off of something as ambiguous as “summer or later” seems kind of silly.

        I always kind of figured it would be Fall myself anyways. (I have a history of being wrong though, lol.)

      3. @Kuntzy:

        True. That one statement is far from definitive in terms of a summer airing. However, you’re mistaken if you think that one statement was the sole basis for my (and I suspect quite a number of others) conclusion. A big reason I thought it would air this summer is that (as previously noted) up until about a week or so ago, ALL of the anime season broadcast websites or Summer 2014 charts I reviewed listed Kancolle anime for the summer season. Occasionally such sites and charts are wrong (e.g. Hanamongatari not airing this (Spring) season), but in general I trust those sites/charts – especially since I’m typically not up to date on anime news.

        Furthermore, earlier this year, there were a few indications that anime would air during the summer season. The director and main script writer were announced on Jan. 7th. On March 22nd, seiyuu and anime character designs for Fubuki, Akagi and Kaga were published. After that, news about the anime just stopped. My guess is that summer broadcast was the initial (key) plan, and at some point over the past three months, producers (or whoever) decided that the show would not be ready in time. As for the airing during the Fall season, I hope you’re right about that.

      4. @daikama

        I wasn’t actually singling you out for that. The chart maker guys were included as well since I believe they’re just fans too and not really insider dudes. Seems like I should’ve worded that out better. (A regular occurrence for me really. ^_^;)

        You do have a point about the staff announcements. I’m just a bit too much of a pessimist I suppose.

        For what it’s worth, back when I initially saw the announcement I google translated it (My understanding of Japanese isn’t really up to snuff) and it made it sound like their goal was summer or fall. (I at least recognized natsu and aki so my effort hasn’t been a total waste of time lol.)

        But yeah, to be taken with a grain of salt. I can hardly be considered a reliable source.

  21. New SAO is okay, new Fate Illya is okay. AgK, Himegoto, Free 2 and Blade Dance are all okay too.

    I’ll probably avoid the shorts(since they don’t entertain me) and Sailor Moon(since I don’t want my childhood to be ruined.)

  22. Waiting for Tokyo Ghoul and Akame Ga Kill. Having read both of these mangas, I am going to say that they will be one of most pleasant animes of Summer 2014.

    As much as I love Ao Haru Ride…I really can’t bring myself to watch the anime version of it. I got so pissed in the later half of the story and I’ll probably feel a lot of anger if I were to watch the same events reiterated, but with more emotions this time. People should definitely prepare themselves if they are ever going to watch this, it’s a roller coaster ride to hell. It starts off fun and then…well things happen and you might end up flying out of the roller coaster xD

  23. Wow, there’s a lot of idol and female-oriented shows this season. Nothing really jumps out at me, but there’s a good number of shows I’ll be giving a shot. Think I’ll do something different and try to avoid reviews until after I’ve formed my own opinion on them; I’ve noticed myself slipping into a sort of groupthink instead of making up my own mind.

    Could be good:
    Aldnoah Zero – Urobutcher’s shows are a tossup for me. I liked Fate/Zero and Gargantia, but couldn’t get past the first episode of Psycho Pass as it was too overtly dystopian. This one looks as if it’ll be more grounded and realistic which is to my liking, but given my tendency to overthink political and historical plausibility could interfere with my enjoyment.
    Shirogane no Ishi: Argevolle – Please scratch my space-opera mecha itch! Not enough info to conclude anything else about it though.
    Tokyo Ghoul, Akame ga Kill!, Zankyou no Terror – Lots of gore and horror this season. While I’m not that big a fan of edgy grimdark shows, I don’t dislike them either.
    Tokyo ESP – Premise sounds good, whether it’s good or bad will depend on the execution
    Hamatora – Rather enjoyed the first season, second should be at least OK.

    Jinsei, Momo Kyun Sword, Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance, Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? – This season’s crop of fanservice is far less loli themed (thank God!); I’ll probably enjoy at least one of these.
    SAO2 – I’m not expecting this to be good, but it may be so bad it’s fun to watch. While completely plastered.

    All in all there’s nothing I’m really excited for, but I’ll probably like at least a quarter of these which should give me a good number of shows to watch. Plus Season 2 of Jojo is finally starting to get really darn good!

  24. I’ve been waiting for this preview! 😀 I was surprised that some of the expectations I was expecting were different (was expecting FREES2 to be panned and Love Stage to be sidelined as niche), but anyways this is definitely one season to be excited about~with shows like Barakamon, P4G, Kuroshitsuji, Hanamonogatari~ and so many potential sleepers~

    1. Just because a show is geared towards a female audience doesn’t automatically classify it as niche. It’s something that was a problem in previous previews that we took note of.

    2. What Zani said. There was a time when we were assigning expectation levels to yuri shows but calling all yaoi shows niche, and that doesn’t seem right. Niche is for the true outliers, and shows aimed at roughly 50% of the population shouldn’t count.

  25. Unfortunately, it looks like Kancolle is not going to get it’s anime this summer. Kancolle is the nickname for the online game Kantai Collection. A “card” game where WWII ships are girls similar to Aoki Hagane Arpeggio or guns in Uppote! Numerous preview sites showed it as begining in July but no information or PV’s have appeared, so it looks like it’s either been pushed back or abandoned. Since a few of us have an interest in anime and other Japanese media that are related to WWII and other military subjects, we were hoping that Kancolle would provide a lot of material we could blog on.

    At least it looks like the Girls und Panzer Anzio OVA is going to finally happen. I’ve posted some links to news related to that and some PV’s that are on line here

  26. Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen – Need to watch Episode 1 first before decide
    Tokyo Ghoul – Watch
    Sword Art Online II – Watch
    ALDNOAH.ZERO – Need to watch Episode 1 first before decide
    Yama no Susume Second Season – Watch
    PSYCHO-PASS (New Edit) – Definitely Watch
    Persona 4 The Golden ANIMATION – Watch
    Monogatari Series: Second Season -Hanamonogatari- Watch
    Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? – Watch

    Setsuna Henry
  27. not an amazing season IMO.

    1. sequels to largely mediocre previous animes (except a few ‘blockbusters’, eg. SAO 2)
    2. all-boy/all-girl/music focused shows
    3. a few interesting original series

  28. Thank you for the summer list.

    Will be watching:
    1) FREE – Eternal Summer-
    2) Tokyo Ghoul (Pending)
    3) SailorMoon Crystal
    4) Dramatical Murder
    5) Love Stage
    6) Kuroshitsuji Book of Circus

    1. Eh, it’s still a full one-cour that for all intents and purposes looks/act/broadcasts like a normal TV series.

      I get what you mean though, but for here the OVAs/Movies we put on the list are BD/DVD releases or special bundles with manga limited editions or something of the sort.

      Could go either way eh, but I figured at least this way people would know what exactly this “new edit” entails, as some may not have heard of it/expected it.

  29. Akame Ga Kill is great, but will piss a lot of people off, similar to Attack on Titans.

    Tokyo ESP was a surprise for me, manga was great, will definitely watch it.

    And of course Space Dandy 2, Persona 4, and as haters will keep hating, pretty hype for SAO season 2.

  30. WoW.. “So I hope you’ll join me in fangirling / fanboying when Kirito graces our screens again during the Anime-Expo premiere!” Takaii- you gonna be at the AX premiere too! I am planning on joining (among list of things to do at AX).

    As for Sailor Moon, that was a childhood thing and I, no offense intended, would like to keep it that way. Though, I might drop on it here and there…It’s not a series that I am looking forward in revisiting. I am stoked on another Monogatari series, Seirie Tsukai no Blade Dance, SAO Season 2 (of course).. and maybe MAYBE Akame no Kill since I am hesitant on experiencing another Games of Throne type roller coasters.

    Seriously man, I just read the first three chapters of Nobunaga Concerto yesterday by way of chance!!! Kinda feel like deja vu…I sure know how to pick things to read.

  31. Definitely Watching:
    Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen
    Tokyo Ghoul
    Space Dandy 2
    Akame ga Kill
    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
    Yama no Susume 2
    Zankyou no Terror
    Tokyo ESP
    Nobunaga Concerto
    Rail Wars!
    Sailor Moon
    Ao Haru Ride
    Majimoji Rurumo
    Momo Kyun Sword
    Persona 4
    Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?
    That seems about it for me. Certainly more than this current season. Maybe’s are basically if I hear it is really good/I drop one of the ones that are definites.

  32. Wow, didn’t expect to see this up so early. It’s almost like a cruel reminder that even though I’m behind on 60% of my shows this season that there’s even more on the horizon.

    Thanks guys! 😛

    Now on to what I’ll be watching:

    Free! S2 – I surprisingly enjoyed the first season and KyoAni proved they aren’t just about moe girls. (just swap out girls with guys though.)

    Glasslip – Time for more PA Works scenery porn! I like Tari Tari and more Hayamin is always appreciated.

    Argevollen – It’s a mecha show, so I pretty much have no choice but to watch it. They can make these types of shows absolute train-wrecks and I’ll still enjoy them.

    Tokyo Ghoul – A… horror anime? Please be good. Horror is my absolute favorite genre in everything and with how hyped this is, I’m placing my hopes in it. I’m not expecting Outlast levels of win in the scare department, but I literally have not seen a good anime horror.

    Rail Wars! – No idea what I’m getting into, but I’m interested to say the least.

    Sword Art Online II – It’s adapting the best arc of a pretty average series of novels. I actually like Mother’s Rosario more than Phantom Bullet myself, so if that gets adapted as well I’ll be happy. Sidenote: Stilts is watching this? Geez, your masochism knows no bounds, lol.

    ALDNOAH.ZERO – Aoki Ei continuing his trend of directing shows with “zero” in the name (Ga-rei Zero, Fate/Zero, ALDNOAH.ZERO). With a team comprising of the Urobutcher, based Sawano and Aoki Ei, this looks to be THE show of the season. My only gripe is that if you’re going to say you’re making a series to challenge Gundam, don’t use cg for your mecha. (If this ends up being two-cour, we’ll actually be getting this and the new Gundam series, G no Reconguista (I think it was called), in the fall. That looks to be interesting.

    Sengoku Basara: Judge End – I was surprised when they announced this since I thought the movie was a fitting end to the franchise. This and JoJo running at the same time is getting to send my testosterone levels through the roof.

    Akame ga Kill! – Still no idea why in the blue hell this is called Akame ga Kill!. (Those who have read it probably know why.) I feel like Takahiro could have developed some things better, but overall I really enjoyed the series. One thing I find odd is that I like the bad guys (Jaegers) more than I do the good guys (Night Raid), so I’m not really sure if it’s a result of poorly designed good guys or well done bad guys. (Sidenote: I wonder if Aoki Ei will direct Akame ga Kill! Zero if it gets an anime. :P)

    Zankyou no Terror – I’m actually not too sure what this is about truth be told. All I know is Watanabe Shinichiro is a part of this and hoping it ends up being as good as people are saying.

    Persona 4: Golden – The king of swag is back!!!! I actually have to finish the freakin’ game first (bloody crazy time sink) but I’ll be watching this when I’m done (hopefully). If there’s one reason I’m watching this, it’s for more of the antics of characterized Narukami. Oh, and to see how Kanazawa does Marie’s superspeed talking moments.

    Tokyo ESP – I was really skeptical going into reading this since Ga-Rei (the manga) was mediocre as all get out. I watched Ga-Rei Zero first (I seriously recommend to watch this if you haven’t) but the manga disappointed the crap out of me. When I started this, I was seriously put off from the re-used character designs from Ga-Rei and it didn’t seem all that interesting at first. Thankfully, I kept reading and boy am I glad I did. It’s not amazing, but a very much worth a read/watch. (S/N: Please don’t troll me by only having the Yousei Teitoku song in the first episode like Ga-Rei Zero (Speaking of that troll, I laughed so hard to see the group from that first episode in the key visual for this) *crosses fingers*.)

    Hanamonogatari – I’m conflicted about this. I like Monogatari… but I don’t really like Kanbaru all that much (I know. Shame on me…). Not really much else to say about this though.

    I might pick up Prisma Ilya (when I finish the first series), Ao Haru Ride, Jinsei and Barakamon depending on the first episodes as well.

    Looks like a pretty decent season overall. I just hope the adaptation issues this season has been having with some shows I was looking forward to doesn’t carry over to this season. (Looking at you Mahouka *shakes fist*.)

    1. Is true – my masochism is unstoppable, unfortunately >_< I'm watching it mostly because...well, the animation will probably be good? I don't know, SAO is one of those that isn't good for interesting reasons, so as a storyteller I feel compelled to understand them. Until I do, I guess I've got to tune in. And you should definitely watch Illya-chan! It is da bes :3

      1. OK I understand if it’s just so bad it’s good, but not good for an interesting reason? That’s new. Can you tell me more about it? Perhaps you can help me better enjoy the show if I can approach it from another perspective.

      2. SAO is a bad MMORPG anime. That’s what tricks up a lot of people. It’s an okay generic fantasy story. The initially interesting part is that people like it even though it bills itself as the wrong type of anime, which says that some people are able to make the leap and others are not.

        (Disclaimer: I couldn’t make the leap until Divine said something to me that made this all crystallize for me. Even if you’re a “good” anime fan, it’s not guaranteed.)

        After that, the interesting part is diving in why people like it despite the fact that it’s a generic fantasy anime, as opposed to a good person. My initial instinct is to point to wish fulfillment there, but I’m not sure yet. That seems like the easy answer, though it may also be true. I’m going to watch the second season (probably) to find out whether that’s the case or not.

      3. I have to agree with you, I enjoyed SAO but I found the first arc to be quite disjointed and the writing often incoherent, I disliked the way they had random time jumps with little to no explanation, it was just one unconnected scene to the next at times.

        I thought the story was a lot better in Log Horizon.

      4. To be fair, the GGO arc, which this season of SAO will be adapting, is considered by most people to be one of the better stories in the series. Of course, Heaven only knows how well the adaptation will go… SAO suffers (to a much lesser degree) from the Mahouka issue of having a lot of information in narration or internal dialogue which, at least in the first anime, didn’t get put in. Part of the problem with adapting between different forms of media.

        Also, Kirito remains ludicrously OP, but you should expect that by now.

      5. @Wanderer

        Then they should have gave it the proper treatment, the first arc was a mess, the second wasn’t much better. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good show but the story left a lot to be desired. Take Kirito and Asunas relationship, it felt like there was a whole lot of stuff we didn’t see before they got serious. There wasn’t much development there.

    2. Have you seen Ghost Hunt? It’s not that frightening, but its characters are the reason to watch. The anime didn’t adapt the whole LN story, but the manga adaptation is complete.

      Also, I’d recommend Kaze no Stigma, but the anime wasn’t that good. The LN was way better, but the author died before he could finish it…
      I know you wanted anime, but the LN is so good I have to recommend it to you.

      Hope you find that special scare this season!

      1. Ah, I remember Kaze no Stigma. It really wasn’t bad at all. Ayano was actually one of the first tsundere’s I watched a big factor in my love for them. Kazuma trolling her was insanely enjoyable. That man pretty much wrote the book on how to handle a tsundere.

        It’s really a shame that the author passed away before its completion though. I can’t really bring myself to muster up the motivation to read it when I know I’ll never get to see how it ends.

        And thanks for the other recommendation as well. I’ll see to checking that out eventually. The backlog is just a tad daunting at the moment. ^_^;

  33. Too much.. anime…

    I can’t possibly add all these. Will watch them all as they air and just add with MAL updater. This season will be fun. Yay! Something to be happy about this summer!! 8D

  34. Stuff I’m looking forward to:
    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-Kun: The manga is really funny. I’m really looking forward to this.
    Barakamon: Another great manga. I can’t wait for this adaptation.
    Yama no Susume 2: OMG! YAY! This is almost what I wanted. (I want full-length eps!)
    Sailor Moon: Well, duh.
    Aldnoah.Zero: Even if the Urobutcher wasn’t involved, I’d still watch it.

    Stuff I’m kinda looking forward to:
    Glasslip: Is this going to be Tari Tari with glassblowing? As someone who has blown glass as a hobby, I’m *really* curious to see how they do this. If they don’t get the details right, it will be unwatchable for me. Yeah, I know it’s a relationship polygon show, but I can’t un-know what I know about glassblowing.
    Majimoji Rurumo: 7 volumes plus a 4-volume sequel. Should be pretty good.
    Blade Dance: Read some of the LNs. It’s predictable, but entertaining. Adaptations can be tricky.
    Hanayamata: Manga looks kinda interesting.
    Zankyou: Could be good!
    Jinsei: Didn’t read the LN, so no idea. But it could be good.
    Tokyo ESP: Looks interesting, didn’t get around to reading it yet.

    Stuff I’m going to 3-ep-rule:
    SAO2: I’ll bring the popcorn for the flamewars in the comments section.
    Ao Haru Ride: Gerf. Read most of the manga, now I’m really on the fence about watching the anime.

  35. I can’t wait for (in order):

    Zankyou no Terror
    Tokyo ESP

    I might watch (in order):

    Tokyo Ghoul
    Sword Art Online
    Akame ga Kill!
    Space Dandy
    Persona 4
    Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya
    Ao Haru Ride

  36. Awesome season, looks like the anime industry is rebounding and buzzing with anime. Last I remember, there were only a handful of shows for Summer, and Spring/Fall got all the blockbusters.

  37. Lots of good shows this summer, maybe not as good as last summer – I’ll know when summer ends. 😀

    I guess I should direct this question to Zephyr or Stilts – any word on the Kantai Collection [KanColle] anime? Last I read was summer, but nothing seems to be clear in English.

    Atalla Wanderer
    1. Yeah, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be completed in time for the summer. All original indications were that it would come next season and it was originally on our list of shows to preview, but there’s literally been no update since, so it’s extremely likely it’ll be Fall or later now.

      This applies to Grisaia no Kajitsu as well.

  38. There is quite an unbelievable number of series I will be watching this summer, from the look of it, I’ll have to do little more than sitting in front of my PC going from one to another to follow it all ^^;

    Free! -Eternal Summer-
    Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen
    Tokyo Ghoul
    Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal
    Shounen Hollywood -HOLLY STAGE FOR 49-
    Sword Art Online II
    Akame ga Kill!
    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
    DRAMAtical Murder
    Majimoji Rurumo
    Zankyou no Terror
    Persona 4 The Golden ANIMATION
    Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus

  39. I’m super excited about Sailor Moon Crystal, but I’m a little worried from the trailer about the animation. It seems extremely… choppy and maybe stylized in a bad way. Hopefully it will live up to all the excitement that’s built up around it. It was my first anime ever, and I’m thrilled to see it being introduced to a new audience.

  40. I loved the Re: Hamatora background intro. Pretty much sums it up.
    I also thought it was quite the move FUNimaton made to grab up the rights to Tokyo Ghoul. Seems like a cool Horror anime series and buzz has been going on for it and then they drop the news about acquiring rights to it. Pretty smart if it turns out to be a very good adaptation. Terror in Resonance another series in the horror genre though though seems pretty generic, so out of the two most excited about Tokyo Ghoul.

    Free! Eternal Summer and Black Butler: Book of Circus while basically bring in some of the most handsome anime boys of the two honestly worried about how Black Butler 3 will turn out. I just take Black Butler 3 as the manga faithful route opposed to Black Butler 2 which was the anime faithful route. With Bleach’s director directing this, well, it sure may turn out different. Not sure if that is good or bad.

  41. The only thing I don’t get here is even though SAO is poorly rated, it can still get a moderately high score for the expectations (though I like SAO and am happy about the high score)

    1. Please keep in mind that although a very vocal audience on RC may not like SAO, the show still has a wide audience and range of people who may or may not like the show outside of RC (and MAL too… damn those people hate this show as well =S). The anticipation level is really based off of 3 writers’ opinions on the site and they try to speak for the majority of anime watchers, not just themselves or cater it to the visitors of the site.

      That said, yes, we know that SAO gets a lot of hate blah blah… but it’s still a high budget production, lots of A-listers on that staffing list, and there’s still a vast number of people that will watch it and thus – it might not be good or great or “a legend”, but for the season, it is considered highly anticipated. I usually find that if people who are non-typical anime fans will still watch a show, that’s a pretty good indication of its anticipation level.

    2. What Cherr said, plus an addition: We always try to give our own opinions, but when we feel like our opinions might be somewhat removed from all of the RC writers’ opinions, we try to query them. This happens on a few shows every season, and there are always a few more where a writer goes “Hey, ______ is rated too high/low.” (Usually ones we’ve underestimated.) We tweak things accordingly.

      1. And you know what the funny thing is? A good portion of those people who scream bloody mary at SAO are most likely going to tune into the second season; why is that? Only God knows why people would go out their way to watch something they hate. The human condition is a wonderful thing isnt it?

      2. Yea I absolutely agree with you stilts; I would also say that the appeal of SAO lies in the fact that it creates this colorful virtual reality that could be possible in the future and focuses on the more “fun” and general aspects of being in a virtual world (think about why something like animal crossing or tomadachi life is successful; it’s essentially a virtual world with the usual things one would expect from a game such as that and simplified in such a way that it can reach a large audience and appeal to them. SAO is sort of like that in that aspect). Unlike .Hack which focused on the more technical aspects such as the programming of an mmorpg, SAO almost neglects that and makes the world more like a fantasy under the guise of a game. It revels more in the fantasy aspects while coaxing its audiences with mmorpg elements so they can feel like they can relate to what is going on. Grab both the fantasy lovers and the gamers without delving too much into either side so that neither audience group becomes lost and you have a recipe for financial success.

        @dvalinn the fact that some people like watching bad shows does not explain why the people still tuning into the series question why others watch it, because most likely, if they have made up their mind that they are watching the series because it’s so bad that it’s good, they can already assume that maybe others are into it for the exact same reason. It’s that type of situation im referring to. Heck, i think the remake of the wicker man is a hilariously bad film, and its a joy to watch because of that. But i wouldnt go into a discussion about the film and rip on others for liking it or question why they would watch the movie, because i myself understand what merit that film has in the form of entertainment. See where im coming from? that’s why im puzzled when people do that to others. I personally have no gripes either way but it was just a funny thought i had

      3. @Stilts:
        Not saying it’s always like that – hell, my reasons for watching it are more similar to yours than the so-bad-it’s-good crowd. I do think that crowd’s mentality vastly outweighs any other reason that people who hated the first will watch it again though.

        I’d say that the questions happen for a multitude of reasons. The most obvious one is that this is the internet – some undoubtedly do it just to rile up the fans. Rabid hatedoms tend to pop up around this show as a reaction to the rabid fanbases for it, and the groups clash because of it. Secondly, completely opposite opinions can cause confusion in general. Now, I get why people like SAO, despite hating it myself. But on the other hand, there’s also people who genuinely like Guilty Crown…and that’s just beyond me. Because that’s one of the absolute worst shows I’ve ever seen, and I’m just puzzled how people can look past its many, many, many, many flaws. I’m sure some people have it with SAO, so that questioning continues. Finally, people do generally get emotionally invested in shows in a certain way – they identify themselves with it and their opinions of it. So for someone who hates it, seeing half the internet praising it to high heaven just makes them feel like they’re the ones questioning them in a personal way. Hence they respond by questioning the others.

        This is just me rambling, mind you. But I think the truth it somewhere in the middle of those reasons.

    3. It’s because haters got to hate. They make up poorly reasoned excuses to hate it because their own favorite shows are shit in comparison with SAO. Its not they fail to understand the beauty of the show, it’s that they don’t ant to admit it’s good.

      Then bandwagon mentality kicks in and hipsters who think hating SAO is cool adds voice to the hate, parroting the poor excuses. Still they all fail in face of true fandom and get’s bitch-slapped gathered into places like MAL or 4chan.

      If I were you, just don’t listen to haters. They have shit opinions you don’t have to listen to.

    4. It’s mainly because of the lackluster second half and how it partially turned into a harem show. But as noted, the production value is good, the music is good, the character designs are good, the premise is intriguing…so there’s a lot to bring people back to it, assuming this season is an improvement over the end of the last one.

      Sometimes people complain about something BECAUSE they’re a fan of it.

  42. Must watch:

    Tokyo Ghoul
    Akame ga Kill

    Maybe watch:

    Blade Dance
    Tokyo ESP


    Psycho-Pass New Edition

    Everything else won’t be watched. A short list means a greater chance of being entertained. A long list means a greater chance of being disappointed as the past has proven.

  43. After a year of hiatus from watching anime, I finally found myself dragged back into the community because of one show and only one show. Akame Ga Kiru. I’ve been waiting for an adaptation of that manga for ages, and it looks like my wish was finally granted.

  44. Ok let’s see what we got here:

    Free! eternal summer
    Tokyo Ghoul
    Sailor Moon
    Agame ga Kill
    Dramatical Murder
    Ao Haru Ride
    Zankyou no Terror
    Tokyo ESP

    Good bye responsibilities, hello anime.

  45. I’m happy to say that there’s a lot that I’m looking forward to this season. There are the more obvious ones: Zankyou no Terror, Space Dandy 2, ALDNOAH.ZERO. And I have not one but THREE manga adaptations that I’ve been anticipating: Barakamon, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Tokyo Ghoul. Oh, there’s Aoharaido too, but the manga’s started to bore me lately so I’ll have to see. And I have a few probably/maybe series: Glasslip, Tokyo ESP, Akame ga Kill. If I have time, I’ll probably watch the P-P rerun and the Free! S2 (why? Because swimmer abs, that’s why). Looks like I’ll be very busy this summer <3

    1. So who will be covering the last episode of Gundam Unicorn then?

      That said, thanks for the preview. Though I’m disappointed that the KanColle anime won’t be airing this season. 🙁

      1. I prodded him a few times to get him to blog it. Lol. In the case he doesn’t and I find time, I would probably do it, but it’s definitely better if he does it because I haven’t watched all of the previous Gundam series yet so it wouldn’t be a “complete” post.

  46. Here I was hoping I could get by with watching maybe five shows this season. Nah.

    Free! -Eternal Summer-
    Tokyo Ghoul
    Rail Wars!
    Sailor Moon
    Akame ga Kill!
    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
    DRAMAtical Murder
    Ao Haru Ride
    Zankyou no Terror
    Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus
    Tokyo ESP

  47. As for me:

    Tokyo Ghoul
    Definitely looking forward to this. Seems like quite a thriller.

    Rail Wars
    Looks interesting. After Valkyria Chronicles 2 (game), as long as it
    1. Has uniforms
    2. Works for Government
    I’m willing to give it a try. Also, I’ve read some train manga and they were really good. Not the trains, but the characters.

    The manga is so good! It’s a slice of life comedy with memorable characters, the MC is extremely likable, and there’s plot progression. I personally don’t think there’s enough content yet, but I’m still looking forward to the anime. Definitely recommend this to everyone here.

    The characters and their goal (to provide advice), make this seem interesting. I’ll give it a try.

    I liked C3-bu, but I wanted something more military-like than Nerf wars + survival. I’ll give this one a try, as well.

    Akame ga Kill!
    As I have read the manga (and am unable to stop, readers might know why), I will stay well away from its anime adaptation.
    And yes, some Jaeger characters are actually portrayed as being more good than Night Raid. It’s not a result of bad characterisation. It adds to the dystopian feeling. Those guys might have have been friends if the world wasn’t so crap.

    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
    Having read the manga, I’m somewhat looking forward to the anime. It’s okay, but it’s not that great. The main selling point of it is that it’s characters are interesting.

    This looks like it’ll be just as colourful as Haitai Nanafa. I’ll also be giving this a try.

    Majimoji Rurumo
    I’ve been wanting to read the manga, but was deliberately waiting for more chapters to become available first. The main characters seem interesting, and I want to see how it ends.

    Tokyo ESP
    GaRei (not Zero) meets western heroes. The (physical) character designs ridiculously parody western movies, but their personalities and background are surprisingly deep, and drive the plot forward better than many other works, who achieve it with “new villain appears”.
    Given Cherrie’s comment about the adaptation staff, I’m a little worried… but I think they will love author’s work and do their best to make an awesome adaptation.

    Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?
    I might not be giving the anime a try, but I’m hoping the adaptation will cause a speed-up in LN translations, which I’ll definitely read.

    Hyped for: Tokyo Ghoul, Barakamon, Tokyo ESP
    Interested in: Rail Wars, Jinsei, Sabagebu!, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Hanayamata, Majimoji Rurumo, Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?
    Avoiding out of fear/trauma: Akame ga Kill!

  48. I am so HYPED for Tokyo Ghoul ever since I saw that PV. I’ve always had a soft-spot for gore and horror-thrillers.

    This summer is looking pretty good. Aldnoah.Zero gets some anticipation from me, just from that tagline alone. Zankyou no Terror’s gonna be full of suspense, I can feel it. And THEN there’s Akame ga Kill . . . bring on the blood fellas. Let it rain red.

      1. From your comment, there are a few options.

        1. You don’t know battle shounen tropes.
        2. You read the manga but don’t understand it.
        3. You really don’t read the manga.
        4. You are a troll that doesn’t like that people have high hopes for Tokyo Ghoul.

        I’m going for number 2 with a little of 1.

      2. Wrong on all counts. I mean exactly what I say. I’m an anime/manga enthusiast critic who has a very low threshold for enjoyment- i.e. I will watch/read and enjoy just about anything, even mediocre or outright awful series- but sets a very high standard when it comes to evaluating overall quality. Thus what may seem like a masterpiece to the typical reader is merely mediocre in my books. Read my comments in this sub-thread and you’ll understand why I almost never get excited or hyped for anything…

      3. @ rh75, not Stilts, sorry…

        At any rate it comes back to the same stuff I said about Shingeki and how it is the peak of its own genre, but far from the truly transcendent work which would really get me excited…

  49. Not to mention Sword Art Online which is the epitome of wish fulfillment fantasy- for male gamers of course. That same group which likes to criticize women for reading Twilight. As far as I’m concerned any gamer who is in love with SAO has no right to cast the first stone at Twilight fangirls. What is the “wish fulfilment” genre by the way? There are many definitions, but mine is this: A series/book/show that is of merely of low or average-ish quality in terms of actual literary merit (I.e. the competency of its literary technique; presentation, prose, character development, plot and thematic innovation, etc.) but manages to achieve a level of popularity and fiscal success that is usually reserved for works that are truly excellent in terms of literary technique and does so through appealing powerfully to basic human instincts. In the case of Twilight it is appeal to the female reproductive instinct. In the case of SAO it is appeal to the fulfillment of a myriad of social instincts of which your stereotypical male gamer tends to be deprived within the context of his favorite fantasy: video games.

    Not to say that there is wish fulfillment fantasy is a bad thing. There is, after all, a certain finesse to being able to craft something that appeals so fundamentally to the human psyche- and that should be celebrated. But people need to celebrate it for what it is: a genre of tales which are able to resonate with the deepest human desires and fantasies- and stop conflating it with actual literary merit. More to come after these shows premiere…

    1. How so? if anything SAO is written with action in mind and romance as sort of a side thought and sauce to attract viewers. Harem LNs sell well, so the author has to change the girl every arc to get higher sales. In the final arc, the MC is only helping a bro find his girl and that’s mainly because he has no other choice.

      1. What does the stereotypical unpopular otaku gamer desire? He is used to being the omega member of the pack- so he wants high social status, he wants people to look up to him- Kirito attains this through possessing absolute power. And he wants people to like him- Kirito is a man of great virtue, and so in spite of how terrifyingly powerful he is, he is well liked. Oh, and the stereotypical otaku gamer envies all the attention those handsome jocks get from all the hot cheerleaders, so he wants to be popular with lots of hot women too, like the Twilight fangirls his mating instinct kicks in- well, Kirito is handsome, virtuous and powerful so beautiful women flock to him.

        Many otaku gamers turn to gaming as a way to compensate for what they do not possess in the real world. For in a game you often take on the role of a hero who possesses some or all of the the things mentioned above that gamers desire but do not have in real life (respect, admiration, attractiveness), and while playing the game for a few hours you get to be that person who has those things and take on those qualities– it’s just pretend of course, but immersion makes it feel like you’re really in the role. But it’s just pretend- and in the end a grim realization dawns upon the wretched otaku gamer. He realizes that all he is doing through gaming is engaging in a futile fantasy, that no matter how many hours he spends grinding experience to power up his character, regardless of how high he gets his social links in Persona, and no matter how many hearts he captures in his gal games all of this effort is for naught- it will never translate into truly improving his reality. He realizes that the respect, admiration and women that he attains through gaming are but fleeting illusions of the real thing which he will never have. Yet being the self-loathing, low self-esteem loser that he is, he thinks that he does not have what it takes to step out of his studio apartment in Tokyo to truly change his life in a desirable way, what’s more, after so many years gaming has become his comfort zone and he’s afraid of putting down the controller to try something new- and so he is consumed by a vicious cycle, ensnared by the very same habit that itself began as a means of escape. And so the otaku gamer in his disillusionment thinks to himself, “If only all of that was real, if only that through my fantasy, I could truly change my reality”- and SAO delivers…

  50. I’m mostly afraid of watching Akame ga Kill because I’ve already read it before.

    In my opinion, Akame’s one of those manga that you read once because you’re curious, but you would never re-read or pick up again after you’re done with it because it emotionally abuses the reader.

  51. Looks like this season is gonna be awesome!

    As an avid fan of the Fate Series, Illya Zwei instantly shoots up my must watch list! Heroic Spirits lolified is just the right medicine for any fate fan.

    Next up is definitely Hanamonogatari. I’ve been a fan since Bakemonogatari so its only natural that I’m picking this one up

    And finally, Sword Art Online 2! I could still remember how pissed off I was when the last season ended with the ALO arc. It was so badly written that it nearly made me a SAO-hater (and I am not criticizing the way it was adapted, I’m just criticizing that ALO arc was bad as fuk!), but thank god I kept my love for SAO alive! Now my absolute favorite arc with my absolute favorite heroine takes center stage! SINON MY WAIFU!

    I do have some lingering concerns though… the Gun Gale Arc happened within a span of 1 week…. Will they be able to pull of a full season with so little source material? I’m mostly concerned about the pacing of the show

  52. Definitely Watching:

    Free! -Eternal Summer-
    Sword Art Online II
    Yama no Susume Second Season
    Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma☆Illya Zwei!
    PSYCHO-PASS (New Edit)

    Pretty Sure:

    Tokyo Ghoul
    Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal
    Akame ga Kill!
    Ao Haru Ride
    Majimoji Rurumo
    Zankyou no Terror
    Tokyo ESP
    Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance

    Checking Out:

    Bakumatsu Rock
    Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen
    Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yattemita.
    Shounen Hollywood -HOLLY STAGE FOR 49-
    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
    Momo Kyun Sword
    Persona 4 The Golden ANIMATION
    Nobunaga Concerto
    Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?

    Not Watching:

    Sengoku BASARA: Judge End
    DRAMAtical Murder
    Ai Mai Mi ~Mousou Catastrophie~
    Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus
    Monogatari Series: Second Season -Hanamonogatari-
    Strange+ Season 2
    Minarai Diva

    Atalla Wanderer
  53. for a person who tired with awkward action and weird plot
    i’ll only pick Hanamonogatari and Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma☆Illya Zwei!

    and maybe Akame ga Kill!??
    but after seen the PV i feels a lot of disappointment
    like when watch Bleach anime Hueco Mundo arc after read the manga,

    -first the character design feels not deep enough and animation feels stiff
    what makes Akame ga Kill interesting is the sweet detailed character design, if character design awkward, rest of the show awkward
    -second too much resemblance to SnK
    now after the succes of Shingeki no Kyojin, i think the staff going to make this more like SnK. for example hard soundtrack, deep massive dark world, annoying tense atmosphere. if feel so much similar to snk, and feel not like Akame ga Kill! manga i used to know.
    -third i don’t know the anime not aired yet, i just see the trailer…
    let see what’ll happen to the actual show

    what i love from Akame ga Kill! is the detail of sweet looking innocent character that suddenly turn into a piece of blood meat in a second, and the realistic feel of fast fighting scene with a sudden conclusion. that makes every fight so dangerous

    maybe ill love it if they show alot of gore and detail of it (cutting cute meat)
    but it feels impossible because it just a tv series

    i believe people who love SnK gonna love this show (it’s not me)

  54. Monogatari Series, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!, Space☆Dandy 2 are must for me since I watched the previous series. I think I’ll skip sword art, hamatora and free second seasons or atleast prolong it unless there is nothing else good in the season, didn’t really like those.

    Some thoughts on what I will watch

    ALDNOAH.ZERO sounds like it’s something I would enjoy, knights of sidonia was awesome surprise, hope this one can be too.

    Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen: sounds like similar premise as breakblade but more lighthearted fun, well I liked shows like rinne no lagrange and mouretsu pirates and seems to have that sort of fun and decent mecha designers so should be fun summer flair.

    Barakamon, sounds very interesting and suppose to have great writing so always up for that.

    Ao Haru Ride, just sounds interesting and considering the studio and people behind it I will trust it will be worth a watch. Plus it’s got eye on few RC people so would likely be picked up to blog and a show I would like following on RC with.

    The rest i will give a try first with Zankyou no Terror, Akame ga Kill!, rail wars, and Glasslip being shows on my radar to try.

    1. Also I’m on the ropes about watching Psycopass and persona 4, I loved them a lot but not sure the little changes will be worth it considering there are newer experiences this spring to watch. I hope maybe RC will give a what’s different at the end of season, maybe Zephyr since he is watching both.

      1. I’ll see how it goes. There’s a likelihood there won’t be subs for P-P re-edit for a little bit after each episode airs and depending on how my time goes I might have to end up skipping it entirely eh.

        P4GA should be interesting though. New social link means they’ll have to change things around to fit it, so I’ll be more likely to watch that.

      2. Since I like Marie’s story I am glad they remake Persona 4A, since I only play the game and haven’t seen the anime.

        But after ruining my gaming experience on Danganronpa videogame, I will never watch an anime before playing the game anymore if it related to mistery…

  55. Personally hype over ALDNOAH ZERO, SAO 2, Persona 4G, and Akame ga Kill.
    Comedy fill will mainly Himegoto for me as I like reading the yonkoma.
    For others will as always depends on episode one as I saw many show giving great expectations.

  56. Just read Tokyo Ghoul because I saw it here. It’s surprisingly deep considering the amount of gore it also throws in. Lots of thought provoking inner monologues that gets me thinking.

    Don’t know how the studio will handle the violence though, Pierrot is not known for adopting horror manga. But if they manage to get the right group of people together, maybe they can do a decent job.

    I hope this is a 2-core anime though. 1-core would be a disaster as you said.

  57. I have been waiting for SAO to return! and at last! >_< wuhuu!
    I will definitely watch SAO, together with Akame Ga KiLL! that looks stunning, (hoping it is), persona 4, psycho Pass, love stage looks cute as well as Jinsei!

    I will check Tokyo ESP, Aldnoah and Shirogane. This season looks promising! O_O

  58. I’m so scared about kuroshitsuji . I mean the arc in the manga was one of my favourites and I really hope they don’t screw up and stay completely faithfull to the source material. :/
    On the other hand can’t wait for zankyou no terror!!! The teaser looks awesome.
    Oh and more free! =P

  59. To watch:
    Zankyou no Terror
    TIGER & BUNNY Movie 2: The Rising
    Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal
    PSYCHO-PASS (New Edit)

    May be:
    Ao Haru Ride
    Shounen Hollywood
    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
    Nobunaga Concerto

  60. It looks as though this summer is practically begging you not to leave your house for any given reason. There’s definitely a lot to try and sink your teeth into here and I’m looking forward to what we’ll get this time around. For the most part, here’s what I’m looking forward to:

    Glasslip, Argevollen, Tokyo Ghoul, Rail Wars!, Locodol, Sailor Moon Crystal, SAO II, Aldnoah.Zero, Barakamon, Sabagebu!, Space Dandy 2, Akame ga Kill!, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Ao Haru Ride, Hanayamata, Majimoji Rurumo, Zankyou no Terror, Tokyo ESP, Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance.

    Farewell to the outside world for I hardly knew ye ~

  61. This season looks weak compared to the last, but all I need is Tokyo Ghoul and Akame ga Kill. I’m obligated to watch the mecha shows and everything else is either under my “I’ll give it a fair shake” category or “MEH”.

    I’m still not watching another gatari anime till Koyomi Vamp comes out, to hell with that shit.

  62. Next in line for the Hayate no Gotoku Memorial Award for Worst Parents Ever are the parents of Arikawa Hime! In all seriousness, Himegoto is equal parts funny, confusing, and horrifying. Based on the 4-koma manga by Tsukudani Norio, it does everything it can to make the main (male) character Hime as cute as possible. He’s a convincing trap, but not hiding it at all, as multiple panty flashes *shudders* quickly prove.

    Let me tell you, for trap fans those panty flashes are nothing more than well-loved fanservice. I’m glad for one that Himegoto actually has fanservice of the trap…where he isn’t treated as just a flat-chested girl.

  63. I’m a bit confused. Being probably the only hardcore anime fan who has not yet seen PSYCHO-PASS, should I watch New Edit, or get the original series? Basically what I’m asking is, will New Edit be the same as the original series, but enhanced, or an extended recap for people waiting on the second season?

  64. Unless you mean at the time it is announced, Blade Dance currently have 13 volume while the 14 volume will be out at 25th July. Anyway as someone who have read all the volume I’m really excited for this. Finally seeing Est animated in all it’s glory.

  65. Hamatora was a relatively OK show until THAT END in which I was siezed with the urge to take my laptop and throw it out the window screaming WHAT?!??!!!! at the top of my lungs. Not exactly a positive reaction but it was the first time in a loooong time any series had been audacious enough to pull something like that off so it really stuck with me.

    Every other show I was watching (sans HxH) had been so firmaly rooted in the “safe formula” zone that it stood out even more. Cheap tactic? Maybe but its one I haven’t seen in forever so it was almost nostalgic XD

    The rent aren’t lot of series I feel like watching this season but the ones I do look pretty promising, so on the whole I’m pretty excited about it

  66. When I was a kid I loved steam trains, something about them just had an influence on history that I appreciate (Wild West days). Rail Wars, I’m not going to lie looks sick and I’m stoked just as much as I am for SAO and P4GA (played the crap out of it on my Vita and it never looked so good).

    Lots of good series this year but man after spring, it’s going to be hard to beat the lineup they had especially with NGNL at the helm lol

    Jason Isenberg
  67. Well this are the shows I must see no matter what:

    1)Sword Art Online: I´ve read all SAO novels and I´m crazy for the story! Also Phantom Bullet deals with a lot questions left by the death game so this is going to be so exiting!.

    2)ALDNOAH.ZERO: original story and Urobuchi Gen, ok I´m in for this ride!.

    3)Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen: a good mecha anime is always exiting because you see all this elements you´re familiar with but from a diferent perspective.

    4)Akame ga Kill!: if there is a word to describe the manga that would adictive, another word woul be dark. This got really exited and worried at the same time because of the potential censorship.

    5)Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?: I love a good romantic comedy specially when is based on a popular light novel and this one looks very good.

    6)Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Zwei!: I would have never guessed that a spin off about Illya would give me so much fun and indeed it does.

    7)Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance: a friend told that the light novel is very so I will give this a chance and start reading the light novel as well.

    8)Tokyo ESP: there something about Rinka that draws me in to this story.

    9)Zankyou no Terror: there is so much potential in this one that I can´t hardly wait to watch it.

    10)Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun: This story should provide a good laugh to my sundays.

    11)Glasslip: Original and romance, my two favorite words.

    12)Re:_Hamatora: There is no way in hell I´m going to miss this after that cliffhanger!.

  68. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

  69. Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers
    and both show the same results.

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