Summer is in the air, and it’s a time of change. Or at least it is for some people. You know what’s not changing? Anime, and the previewing thereof. We’ve got some big-name shows returning with sequels, including the cooking battle mega-hit Shokugeki no Souma, the sword-and-horses warfare of Arslan Senki, and the by-now-traditional new season of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya. Not to be left out, several popular properties are getting their first shot at adaptation, including the breathlessly awaited drama orange, a science trip back to high school with ReLife, the next big Key visual novel adaptation in Rewrite, and not one but two DANGANRONPA series. A few popular authors are getting anime for their newer works, including a healing/diving anime from the ARIA author, Amanchu!, and the next offering from One-Punch Man’s author in Mob Psycho 100. Sports anime fans will be especially pleased with Battery and DAYS on the docket, and though original series are thin on the ground this summer, at least the Prohibition-era thriller 91Days and the new era of school idols in Love Live! Sunshine!! are looking promising. No, that’s not sweat you’re dripping with, it’s anticipation for these new anime. This is Random Curiosity’s Summer 2016 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. Remember, these reflect our own subjective excitement level for each show; they 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 dark ages of 2012, previews were done by a single writer, Divine. Since none of the current writers are as crazy awesome crazy awesome efficient as he, we’ve divided them up among our staff (Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas, and Zephyr) in order to maintain the quality of this preview. 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 toward young children. Please check out MOON PHASE for complete listings, syoboi for specific air times, and Fansub DB for a list of potential sources for each series.

Thank you again to the entire Random Curiosity staff for helping make this preview a reality. Special thanks go to Xumbra and Divine, for encoding all the PV’s, and everyone else I already listed above for the stuff they did. What? We’ve kept the same basic jobs for years, and nobody reads this paragraph anyway. The point is: they all rock. If anyone is actually reading this, consider tossing a thanks to a staff member. Maybe by name? “Zephy, that’s a kickass OVA/Movie list.” “Cherrie, thanks for doing basically everything.” “Stilts, you didn’t suck too much this time.” It makes our day. Or, if you’d prefer a second opinion on any of these shows, check out Guardian Enzo’s LiA summer preview, which I’m told has 70% less fire ants than last season. That’s the direction you want your fire ant population going.

Finally, I’d like to thank you, our readers. They say brevity is the soul of wit, so I’m not going to yammer on. Without you, RandomC wouldn’t be what it is today. Thank you.

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
Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu
17:00 MBS (7/3)
Saiki Kusuo no Ψ Nan
7:05 TX (7/4)
Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu
22:55 AT-X (7/5)
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 3rei!! 
23:00 AT-X (7/6)
Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars
22:00 AT-X (7/7)
22:30 WOWOW (7/1)
Time Travel Shoujo ~Mari Waka to 8-nin to Kagakusha-tachi~
7:00 TX (7/9)
Nanatsu no Taizai: Seisen no Shirushi
17:00 MBS (8/28)
Puzzle and Dragons X
18:25 TX (7/4)
23:00 AT-X (7/5)
23:00 MX (7/6)
DANGANRONPA 3 -The End of Kibougamine Gakuen- Zetsubou Hen
23:30 MX (7/14)
23:00 AT-X (7/8)
Hitori no Shita: THE OUTCAST
21:00 MX (7/9)
Tales of Zestiria The X
23:00 MX (7/3)
22:30 AT-X (7/4)
Cheer Danshi!!
23:00 MX (7/5)
24:00 MX (7/6)
24:55 CX (7/14)
24:00 MX (7/1)
Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara
22:00 MX (7/2)
24:00 MX (7/3)
DANGANRONPA 3 -The End of Kibougamine Gakuen- Mirai Hen
23:00 MX (7/11)
Fukigen na Mononokean
23:30 AT-X (6/28)
Mahou Shoujo? Naria☆Girls
24:05 MX (7/6)
25:58 TBS (7/7)
Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin
25:05 MX (7/8)
Love Live! Sunshine!!
22:30 MX (7/2)
Active Raid -Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai Hachi Gakari- 2nd
24:30 BS4 (7/10)
Mob Psycho 100
24:00 MX (7/11)
Masou Gakuen HxH
24:30 AT-X (7/5)
Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru!
26:28 TBS (7/7)
25:55 TBS (7/8)
Hatsukoi Monster
23:00 MX (7/2)
SHOW BY ROCK!! Short!!
25:00 MX (7/4)
Scared Rider Xechs
25:35 TX (7/5)
Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei Bu LOVE! LOVE!
26:35 TX (7/7)
23:30 MX (7/2)
Amaama to Inazuma
25:05 MX (7/4)
Qualidea Code
24:00 MX (7/9)
D.Gray-man HALLOW
25:35 TX (7/4)
B-PROJECT ~Kodou*Ambitious~
24:30 MX (7/2)
Taboo Tattoo
26:05 TX (7/4)
Ange Vierge
25:30 MX (7/9)
26:58 MBS (7/2)

* Jump to OVA/Movies.

Fukigen na Mononokean | 不機嫌なモノノケ庵Top
Animation: Pierrot Plus Premiere: June 28, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 23:30
Episodes: 13 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @mononokean_tv or #不機嫌なモノノケ庵

Preview by Samu

Gangan Online has proven itself an anime goldmine in the past few years, publishing material that dances between demographics and almost never fails to provide amusement. The same magazine that brought us Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Watamote, Barakamon, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou, and most recently, Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kegaruge now gives us Fukigen na Mononokean. This youkai comedy follows the life of high schooler Ashiya Hanae (Kaji Yuki) who has been cursed by an evil spirit that’s causing him pain and suffering. In a desperate attempt to quell his agony he contacts a local exorcist, Abeno Haruitsuki (Maeno Tomoaki), on the slim chance that he can help. As it turns out, Abeno is Ashiya’s fellow classmate and the owner of a small tea room called the Mononokwan who guides wandering youkai from this world into the next. Thus begins the comedic tales of this unlikely pair and their adventures with the spirits that roam their school.

On the surface Fukigen na Mononokean has potential to be a solid comedy, but once you consider its Gangan Online roots it suddenly has a lot to live up to. Will it be the next Barakamon or Nozaki-kun? That’s a high bar, but from reading the manga the gags are funny, the inclusion and explanation of the youkai is amusing, and the two leads bounce off each other enough that I doubt their interactions will ever get tiring. I think the best thing about Gangan Online comedies is despite them being shounen they feel like series that anyone can enjoy – all the titles I’ve listed here have fans of both sexes, and I think that’s sure to be the case with Fukigen no Mononokean. Staff wise, we’ve got Iwanaga Akira (Isuca, Kingdom 2nd Season, Tegami Bachi) directing, who doesn’t have much experience with these sorts of comedies, but with the material he’s working with I’m sure his efforts with Pierrot Plus will prove be fruitful.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Jig, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Fukigen na Mononokean Promotional Videos ▼

Berserk | ベルセルクTop
Animation: Gemba x Millepensee Premiere: July 1, 2016
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:30
Episodes: 2-cours Station: WOWOW
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @berserk_anime or #berserk

Preview by Samu

Berserk’s Golden Age arc has had both TV and film adaptations over the past few decades, but this is the first time the material beyond those tragic events will be adapted. For those unfamiliar, Berserk tells the story of Guts (Iwanaga Hiroaki) AKA the “Black Swordsman,” a former mercenary who is out for revenge after the betrayal of his once friend and companion, Griffith (Sakurai Takahiro). Set in a bleak yet imaginative fantasy world, Guts has to face off against countless demonic and supernatural forces after being branded with a curse from his childhood friend. This is a tale that is dark, gloomy, and unforgiving; there will be blood and violence and mayhem at every turn, and it all hinges on Guts’s quest for vengeance.

It would be fair to say that most anime and manga fans will have heard of Berserk. Not only is a best seller in Japan, but it’s held the #1 spot as the best manga on MyAnimeList for as long as I can recall. It’s seriously popular and has a hardcore fanbase despite the manga going on several painful hiatuses over its twenty-seven year run. Everything about this adaptation should be exciting – after all, it’s covering material that’s never been adapted before – but the sour fact is that this isn’t the adaptation fans would like or think such a highly regarded manga deserves. CG anime has improved in recent years, but it’s clear that this one isn’t getting the shoe shine and polish that you’d expect – I’ve seen better 3D character models in PS2 cutscenes! Not only that, but the studio and director couldn’t be stranger, as this is Millepensee’s first full-length anime after producing four of seven seasons of Teekyuu and it’s two spin-off titles. Similarly, Teekyuu director Itagaki Shin is at the helm of this project, which makes for plenty of head scratching. I’m sure even if this doesn’t live up to expectations it will still attract a plentiful audience, as hardcore fans are likely desperate to see the Black Swordsman arc finally get its own anime. Despite all the warning signs, I’m still excited to see what awaits, even if it is just badly animated CG.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Berserk 2016 Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: July 1, 2016
Genre: Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @relife_anime or #relife

Preview by Jig

Do the doldrums of adult life ever get you down? Does your life seem to be going nowhere but downhill? Do you ever wish you could just go back to high school again? These are the kinds of questions that afflict the mind of Kaizaki Arata (Ono Kensho). Kaizaki thought he had it all planned out. Graduate from college, get a stable job, get a wife, have a few kids—all by the age of twenty-five. Now at twenty-seven, Kaizaki is unemployed, without a girlfriend, and completely out of luck with job interviews. He can barely get by with his part-time job, and frequently seeks financial assistance from his parents. However, one day while walking home Kaizaki encounters the mysterious Yoake Ryou (Kimura Ryouhei), who offers Kaizaki the chance to acquire the steady corporate job he’s always wanted. First, though, he must partake in a social experiment and ingest a pill to age himself back to seventeen and repeat a year of high school.

The premise at first seems a little off and nonsensical, but the life of Kaizaki Arata is a grounded, human one. In the first few chapters of the source manga, Kaizai proves to be very deserving of sympathy. Many of aspects of his life—from the ambivalent frustrations of your friends’ successes to the shame of possibly moving back in with your parents—are greatly relatable. At the same time, he’s humorously self-aware, and generally just entertaining to watch. His character is an engaging focal point from which the story can unfold. The details of the experiment could also prove for some great storytelling, for after his year back in grade school, all memories of his time there will be erased (besides his own). This could prove for some heart-wrenching drama as cherished relationships are made amongst the characters. ReLife holds the potential for a narratively intricate and emotionally profound show.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show ReLIFE Promotional Videos ▼

Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara | 食戟のソーマ 弍ノ皿Top
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 2, 2016
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 22:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @shokugeki_anime or #shokugeki_anime

Preview by Zephyr

Just one short year later, the food wars continue as Shokugeki returns with its second season. Once again produced by J.C. Staff, Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara will continue the story of Yukihira Souma (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) and the other members of Totsuki Culinary Academy. Having spent his childhood helping his father as a sous chef, Souma dreams of one day becoming the restaurant’s head chef and continuing the family business. But after his father’s sudden decision to close the restaurant, Souma finds himself enrolled in the Totsuki Culinary Academy, an elite cooking school where the best cooks gather from around the world. Totsuki Culinary is famous for its food wars (Shokugeki) and low graduation rates, and Souma aims to become the academy’s best as he fights to attain his dream. The second season will continue directly from the first, which saw Souma surviving Totsuki’s infamous training camp and passing the preliminary rounds of the Autumn Elections.

Having arrived with high expectations, Shokugeki no Souma was a series that ultimately earned its way to the top on the basis of its dramatic showdowns, over-the-top foodgasms (there was clothing damage), and diverse culinary offerings. Having earned top five accolades from readers and writers alike, Shokugeki was well liked among the RC crowd in particular, and there’s no reason to expect anything less than greatness from the series’ second season. With an established cast/story and the arrival of the Autumn Election’s main tournament, one could make the argument that the best has yet to come, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the second season exceeds the excitement and drama of its first. This is a must-watch in every sense of the word for fans of the original, and if you haven’t watched it yet, let’s just say there’s a reason it’s receiving a sequel so quickly after its first season. The question now is, will we ever get someone screaming “the secret ingredient is…” at some point?

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Shokugeki no Souma Ni no Sara Promotional Videos ▼

Love Live! Sunshine!! | ラブライブ!サンシャイン!!Top
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: July 2, 2016
Genre: Slice-Of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 22:30
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @lovelive_staff or #lovelive

Preview by Takaii

For someone who was obsessed with the original, you can bet I’m excited for the release of Love Live Sunshine! A spin-off of the wildly popular Love Live School Idol Festival, the story of Sunshine takes place after the events of the original series. With Uranohoshi Girls’ High School facing shutdown due to a lack of new students, nine girls—Takami Chika (Inami Anju), Sakurauchi Riko (Aida Rikako), Matsuura Kanan (Suwa Nanaka), Kurosawa Dia (Komiya Arisa), Watanabe You (Saitou Shuka), Tsushima Yoshiko (Kobayashi Aika), Kunikida Hanamaru (Takatsuki Kanako), Ohara Mari (Suzuki Aina), and Kurosawa Ruby (Furihata Ai)—take it upon themselves to follow in µ’s footsteps and form their own idol group called Aqours in order to bring attention to their school and hopefully save it from being shut down.

Full disclosure: I’m a pretty big School Idol Festival player and I’m a giant Rin fan (haters gonna hate). Anyways, at first, I was afraid Love Live Sunshine was going to be a complete letdown. With a new group of girls, none of which really resonated with me, I was curious how the show would break past the huge shadow cast by its predecessor. Luckily, with a slew of new material being released and a big advertising campaign pushing it forward, it looks like I had nothing to be worried about. For the newer viewers out there, it looks like there’s also no harm in starting with Sunshine if you haven’t already watched the original Love Live anime. Plus, with µ’s technically finished, the mobile game will tie in even more heavily with the focus changing to Aqours as well. This is going to be your typical part idol part slice-of-life part school-life show. From seeing cute girls do what cute girls do best to some awesome CG sequences accompanied with catchy tunes, both newcomers and veterans have things to be excited for. And if this is your first foray into the idol hell, you’ve made the correct choice.

Watching This: Jig, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Love Live! Sunshine!! Promotional Videos ▼

Hatsukoi Monster | 初恋モンスターTop
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: July 2, 2016
Genre: Romance, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @hatsukoi_m or #初恋モンスター

Preview by Jig

Named after the manga of the same name, Hatsukoi Monster follows new high school student Nikaidou Kaho (Horie Yui). For as long as Nikaidou can remember, she’s been wealthy, and her parents have held all the financial power in her town. As such, she’s been spoiled silly—never has she not gotten anything she’s requested. Because all of the local teachers and students fear her family, she’s always received preferential treatment. Right as she approaches the age of fifteen, however, Nikaudou decides to move to the big city in hopes of starting anew. Almost immediately after arriving at her new tenement, she’s nearly hit by a large passing truck. Luckily she is saved by her landlord’s son, the dreamy yet frustratingly cryptic Kanade Takahashi (Sakurai Takahiro). She falls head over heels for him and later asks him out—and he accepts. However, on their outing, he reveals that he is actually a fifth grader!

From what I’ve read of the manga, the narrative focus on Nikaidou is the story’s greatest strength. Nikaidou’s struggle to live an independent life free of her family’s reputation comes across as genuine. You get a brief but honest look at her internal struggles, and her guiding motivation for such a drastic change in scenery. She’s a sympathetic character who you can’t help but root for. The supporting cast is chock full of oddball characters who can provide a lot of comic relief, but also a good amount of wisdom and advice for our naïve, clueless protagonist. However, the central gimmick seems a perplexing one indeed, at least in terms of how the series will incorporate it. Kanade himself does not seem the most engaging and developed character—more than anything, he’s just there to add something different to the series. Now this can certainly change through the course of its run, and it’d definitely be better for it. But no matter what, I think the show will succeed most if many aspects of the central romance (if you can call it that) mainly tie back into Nikaidou’s growing character, which is the manga’s greatest strength.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Hatsukoi Monster Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: 8bit Premiere: July 2, 2016
Genre: Drama, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:30
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @rewrite_tv or #rewrite_tv

Preview by Passerby

Ever since Little Busters!, the question has been: When is the next Key visual novel getting an anime? At last, here it is. Rewrite is set in the fictional Japanese city of Kazamatsuri, quite the interesting place to live. It’s a city of contradictions. On one hand, it’s progressive, green, and surrounded by flora and nature in an effort to raise awareness of environmental issues. One the other hand, it’s a city steeped in tradition. But Tennouji Kotarou (Moirta Masakazu) doesn’t care about all that. He’s just a high school student who wants to have fun. Which may be why he gets roped into joining his school’s occult club, which is supposed to uncover the mysteries of the universe but mostly just does whatever. It turns out Kotarou is a bit mysterious himself; he secretly has the ability to alter his physical capabilities at will—to ‘rewrite’ himself, making himself faster, stronger. There’s more going on in Kazamatsuri than meets the eye, especially when Kotarou encounters a strange girl (Hanazawa Kana) with a strange fate—a fate that only he may be able to rewrite.

Although Rewrite is a Key visual novel, it’s not the same animal as Little Busters! or CLANNAD. For one, Maeda Jun was not the head writer; he stepped back after his magnum opus Little Busters! and the task instead fell to Tanaka Romeo (Cross†Channel). While Tanaka does try to emulate Maeda to an extent, and you’ll find many of the elements you’d expect in a big Key work, i.e. it’s long, it’s got great music (some of which is Maeda’s, even) and it’ll probably make you sad, the scope and tone of Rewrite’s story is markedly different. I also consider it almost impossible to adapt. Each route of the visual novel is mutually exclusive, so mashing them together into one continuity isn’t really going to work, but it’s also hard to cut anything. There’s been some indications that Rewrite is going the omnibus format, and that it will cover an original ‘sixth route’ (where the original had five), and then a linear true end akin to ~AFTER STORY~ and Refrain!). Presumably this route will be about Hanazawa Kana’s character, who didn’t get her own in the VN despite being an important character. If the anime adaptation aims to fix what I consider to be a major weakness of Rewrite, then that’s a sign of ambition and cause for optimism. That said, I found director Tanaka Motoki and 8bit’s effort with Grisaia no Kajitsu to be mediocre at best, so I would temper those expectations. Tanaka Romeo is being directly consulted regarding the script, though, so maybe it will work out? Regardless, Rewrite is the most significant visual novel adaptation for some time. Be sure to at least check it out.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Rewrite Promotional Videos ▼

B-PROJECT ~Kodou*Ambitious~ | B-PROJECT~鼓動*アンビシャス~Top
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: July 2, 2016
Genre: Music Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @bpro_anime or #Bプロ

Preview by Zanibas

Sumisora Tsubasa (Kanemoto Hisako) has just joined the Artists and Repertoire (A&R) division of Ganderra Music. As a new recruit, she is assigned to monitor three idol groups—Kitakore with Korekuni Ryuuji (Kishio Daisuke) and Kitakado Tomohisa (Ono Daisuke); THRIVE with Kaneshiro Goushi (Toyonaga Toshiyuki), Ashuu Yuuta (Hanae Natsuki), and Aizome Kento (Kato Kazuki); and MooNs with Masunaga Kazuna (Uemura Yuto), Osari Hikaru (Morikubo Shoutaro), Nome Tatsuhiro (Okawa Genki), Sekimura Mikado (Matsuda Toshiki), and Onzai Momotaro (Kakihara Tetsuya). These groups fall under the unit dubbed B-PROJECT. Though the members may come into conflict with each other and themselves, it’s Sumisora’s responsibility to keep the project afloat despite any troubles, small or large.

With B-Project, another group joins the already vast field of anime male idol groups vying for a slice of the pie. Fans of these bishounen groups should expect the standard fare with a flavor similar to Uta no☆Prince-sama♪: one girl, several guys, conflict, musical performances! With an experienced cast supplemented by a few relative newcomers, the show’s main challenge rests in the execution of its songs and personalities. With a relatively large cast, the show risks running with hits and misses, but enough so to cater to each segment of its target audience. If you’re getting a familiar feeling from the character designs, Yukihiro Utako—the lead character designer—is also responsible for designing the characters from Devils and Realist. I can’t see much reason why fans of the genre should avoid this title—though the animation isn’t anything special, the draw quality looks good enough to prompt a peek at the first episode, if only to get a taste of the tone of this idol group.

Watching This: Jig Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show B-Project Kodou Ambitious Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: MAPPA Premiere: July 2, 2016
Genre: Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:58
Episodes: 24 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @days_anime or #days_anime

Preview by Samu

2014 was the best year for sports anime in recent history, but it appears 2016 is looking to challenge that title. DAYS is the story of two boys who met one stormy night. The first is Tsukamoto Tsukushi (Yoshinaga Takuto), a boy with no special traits or talents. He’s clumsy, shy, and an easy target for bullies, and he decides to join Seiseki High School so he can be with his neighbour and childhood friend, Tachibana Sayuri (Sakura Ayane). It’s after one of his many run-ins with his bullies that Tsukushi encounters Kazama Jin (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu), the long blond-haired soccer genius who scares away his attackers. Jin asks Tsukushi if he wants to join his futsal match as they are one man down, to which Tsukushi accepts. He quickly shows himself to be a poor player, but despite all odds he proves his worth and finds out that Jin is also heading to the same school where the soccer club is nationally famous. Thus starts the journey of the weak, short, and clumsy Tsukushi as he fights against the unlikely odds to prove he does possess his own special talents.

DAYS looks like a surefire hit for anyone in the sports anime crowd. Weekly Shounen Magazine has supplied plenty of brilliant sports titles in the past decade or so (Baby Steps, Diamond no Ace, Hajime no Ippo, Over Drive), and DAYS is the latest to receive an anime adaptation. Not only is the premise exciting and lead easy to root for, but the staff behind this production is sure to have everyone breathing sighs of relief. Despite being a fairly recent studio, MAPPA has proven itself with titles such as Sakamichi no Apollon and Zankyou no Terror, and director Uda Kounosuke (Ginga e Kickoff!!, Lovely Complex, One Piece) has direct experience with soccer anime that has shounen spirit. It’s taken a while for DAYS to receive its anime, but good things come to those who wait.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Samu, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show DAYS Promotional Videos ▼

Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu | アルスラーン戦記 風塵乱舞Top
Animation: LIDENFILMS Premiere: July 3, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, History Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 17:00
Episodes: 8 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @arslan_anime or #arslan

Preview by Stilts

Based on the semi-historical manga drawn by Arakawa Hiromu (Fullmetal Alchemist, Gin no Saji), which itself is based on the original light novels by Tanaka Yoshiki (Legend of the Galactic Heroes), the sword-and-horses fantasy epic Arslan Senki is back for a quick second season. Having long outpaced Arakawa’s manga adaptation, the anime will again be pulling from Tanaka-sensei’s original material. The story follows Arslan (Kobayashi Yuusuke), the young prince of Pars who is forced to grow up quickly after Lusitania conquers his country, with Arslan as the only member of the royal family to escape. Along with his core group of skilled companions, including the unconquerable knight Daryun (Hosoya Yoshimasa) and the masterful strategist Narsus (Namikawa Daisuke), it’s up to Arslan to wrestle his kingdom back from Lusitania. He grew by leaps and bounds in the first season, and showed the value of compassion, optimism, and moral character in a leader, but there are still many obstacles between him and a free Pars—including the treacherous Silver Mask (Kaji Yuki), a Lusitanian guest general with a competing claim to the Parsian throne.

Rather than the usual sword-and-sorcery, Arslan Senki is more of sword-and-horses fantasy, where the magic is minimal and the emphasis is on martial tactics, political maneuvering, and poking the other guy with the pointy end before he stabs you. I enjoyed the first season, and anyone who’s looking for a different kind of fantasy ought to check it out. It wasn’t without its faults, of course, including spotty (and too dark) animation, uneven pacing, and any time magic did enter into the equation the story usually suffered for it. But the characters, ah. The characters are great, and Arslan Senki makes as good a case as I’ve seen for compassion and kindness as desirable traits in a leader, even in a more brutal time period. (Hey, it worked for the real Achaemenid Persians, though they could still be damn brutal.) This is only slotted for eight episodes, which honestly might be for the best; the first series suffered when it tried to stretch things out, and with fewer episodes that won’t be an option. Fantasy fans, get on this. Everyone else, check out a few episodes of the first season if you haven’t already. It wobbles at times, but the wheels never come off, and there are many moments that are worth the time. I’m happy Arslan and his crew are coming back.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Tales of Zestiria the X | テイルズ オブ ゼスティリア ザ クロスTop
Animation: ufotable Premiere: July 3, 2016
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @toxthex or #tozx

Preview by Zephyr

Following in the footsteps of Abyss, Symphonia, and Vesperia, Zestiria arrives as the latest of the Tales series to receive an anime adaptation. Also known as Tales of Zestiria the Cross, the series will focus on Sorey (Kimura Ryohei), a human who grew up among spiritual beings known as the seraphim. An ardent reader of an historical text known as the Celestial Record, Sorey dreams of creating a world where all of humanity regains the ability to see and live peacefully with seraphim. After a visit to the human capital of Ladylake, a series of incidents causes Sorey to inherit powers of the “Shepherd,” a legendary figure known to rise during times of calamity. With his seraphim companions, Sorey embarks on a journey to uncover the mysteries of the past and defeat the Lord of Calamity. As the animators behind the game itself, ufotable will continue its role by serving as the producer for this adaptation. As the director and key animator of the other Tales adaptations, Sotozaki Haruo will also lead this project as its director. The game’s original cast will reprise their respective roles, with the exception of Matsuki Miyu, who tragically passed away last October. Shitaya Noriko takes over the role of Lailah in her place.

While I haven’t watched any of the previous Tales adaptations, it’s generally safe to say that games rarely make the full transition across mediums, and that’s unlikely to change here. Omissions of key moments due to time constraints and an inability to capture the atmosphere of its source are just some of the issues that tend to crop up, and given the length of the Zestiria game (easily 30-40 hours long) and the importance of the battle system to Tales series in general, these issues may prove to be especially significant obstacles here. The fact that ufotable is continuing its involvement with Zestiria certainly helps however (they made the CG for the original game), and their familiarity with the series could make this a solid adaptation, especially when you consider how faithful to the game their Tales of Zestiria: Doshi no Yoake special was. It won’t replace the actual experience of playing the game (which I’m coincidentally doing right now), but there are reasons to believe it’ll be a decent alternative for those unwilling or unable to invest the time needed to complete it, which is more than can be said for many prior adaptations of such a nature.

Watching This: Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
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Animation: Telecom Animation Film Premiere: July 3, 2016
Genre: Romance, School-Life, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @animatonorange or #orange_a

Preview by Samu

Takamiya Naho (Hanazawa Kana) is a shy and kind-hearted girl who, in the spring of her sixteenth year, receives a letter that changes everything. That letter is written by herself from ten years in the future, and correctly predicts the exact events of the day ahead, with one of those predictions being the arrival of a new transfer student, Naruse Kakeru (Yamashita Seiichurou). Her friends invite Kakeru to join them in walking home together, though the letter urges they should “absolutely not” invite him to do so. That is Naho’s first mistake. The letters that follow repeatedly state that Naho from ten years in the future has many regrets and wants Naho from the past to make sure she doesn’t make the same mistakes. All these regrets seems to be connected to Kakeru, and once it’s revealed that he is no longer with her and her friends in the future, it becomes up to Naho to make sure she makes the correct choices the second time around and alter the tragic fate that lies ahead.

As someone who has read the manga when it was first published, I should clarify that I think Orange is sheer brilliance, likely the best shoujo manga I’ve ever read. Unfortunately, the original publication was halted halfway through before it moved magazines years later, so I did not finish the story. But with this adaptation announced I’m glad we’ll be able to see the full story in anime form, and with only 5 volumes of material that makes it a perfect fit for a one-cour adaptation. Time loop anime have become the next big trend this past year – with Boku Dake ga Inai Machi and Re:Zero being recent examples – but this is a trend I can get behind. Not only that, but director Hamasaki Hiroshi (Steins;Gate, Texhnolyze) has previous experience with time loop anime, as well as plenty of highly regarded sci-fi shows. Orange may seem like your typical shoujo romance, but expect tears, drama, and the repercussions that come from changing the future. If adapted well – and I’m confident it shall be – this has the chance to not only be a standout this season, but of the whole year as well. I hope everyone will be paying attention, especially if you’re unspoiled and have no idea what to expect. I promise you: it’s going to be something special.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
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Saiki Kusuo no Ψ Nan | 斉木楠雄のΨ難Top
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 4, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 7:05
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @saikikusuo_pr or #

Preview by Samu

You would think being born with an abundance on innate supernatural powers would mean your life would be a breeze, surely? Well, that’s not the case for Saiki Kusuo (Kamiya Hiroshi) who possess the powers of psychokinesis, telepathy, the ability to see through walls, walk on the air, slow down time, and super strength, among others. But all these supernatural gifts make his daily life a misery. Being able to bend spoons just makes eating curry difficult. Being able to read cards face down takes the fun out of playing card games. And hearing the inner thoughts of cute girls wanting to poop just ruins the mood. Now in high school, Saiki wants to live a normal life, but everything seems to be working against him. Pair that with his ridiculous parents and classmates – including chuunibyous and overly dedicated yazuka – and the chance of anything going smoothly in Saiki’s high school life is nearly impossible.

After four years, Saiku Kusuo no Nan is finally getting a TV anime! Most Weekly Shounen Jump titles receive anime adaptation after two years, but we’ve had to wait double that time for this comedy gem. I’ve read a fair portion of the source material and I can honestly say I’ve never laughed so much from any gag manga. Fans of Gintama are likely to find plenty to enjoy here, but I’d urge everyone to give this a shot. Comedy may be subjective, but I can’t imagine anyone being stone-faced after an episode or two of Saiki Kusuo no Nan. J.C. Staff always manage to capture the essence of the manga they adapt, even if the result isn’t especially gorgeous or polished, but with this strong seiyuu cast and Sakurai Hiroaki (Kaichou wa Maid-sama!, Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou) directing, I think that all but confirms we’re in for plenty of laughs with this one.

Watching This: Jig, Samu Expectation Level: Moderately High
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Puzzle and Dragons X | パズドラクロスTop
Animation: Studio Pierrot Premiere: July 4, 2016
Genre: Action, Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 18:25
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ or #

Preview by Zanibas

Puzzle & Dragons has been stretching its influence beyond its core mobile game to arcade games, Nintendo 3DS games, trading card games, and now an anime. With Studio Pierrot at the helm, Puzzle and Dragons X comes as the latest marketing partnership for the billion-dollar franchise. Airing on primetime airwaves on TV Tokyo, not much is known about the series itself, except that it will feature match-3+ action in its battle segments.

Not much has been released about the show as of this writing. Much like Youkai Watch and Pokémon, these types of anime adaptations primarily advertise the game towards a younger audience above all else. If you really enjoy the franchise, I would check an episode or two to see how creative the show’s producers were in creating a story around the game mechanics, but I wouldn’t expect much beyond that.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Animation: Doga Kobo Premiere: July 4, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 22:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @nganime or #ニューゲーム

Preview by Jig

New Game! follows recent high school graduate Aoba Suzukaze (Takeda Yuuki), who looks no older than a middle school student. Since she was young, Aoba has thoroughly enjoyed playing video games. One game in particular sparked her passion for 3D model design and graphic work, and inspired her to work for its production company. Now fresh out of school and booted straight into the real world, she has finally done just that, landing a job at that exact video game development company. There, she meets the creators of her favorite titles before being thrust into the nitty gritty of the industry. She’s guided by her newfound mentors as she tries to succeed in this professional world.

From what I’ve read of the source material, Aoba Suzukaze is an adorably endearing character. Everything from when she reassures herself on her first day of work to her childlike awe upon meeting her idols makes her more than perfect for the kind of pleasant, charming show this one will no doubt turn out to be. The story generally follows a more short format kind of storytelling (since it’s based off a four panel manga), which lends itself perfectly to entertainment as bite-sized as its protagonist. Yes, this means more ambitious narrative and character development will likely be neglected, but intentionally so. The manga’s congenial central character dynamics prove for a cheerful, homey kind of charm. All this show will try to do is entertain you—to make you feel snug and delighted, which it will likely do thanks to delightful visuals and lovable characters.

Watching This: Cherrie, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderate
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SHOW BY ROCK!! Short!! | SHOW BY ROCK!! しょ~と!!Top
Animation: Bones Premiere: July 4, 2016
Genre: Music Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sb69a or #sb69a

Preview by Zanibas

As Sanrio’s unique Show By Rock!! prepares for a sequel, the company continues to test the market with a series of shorts. As part of Sanrio’s first attempt at reaching an older male audience and continued advertisement for its mobile game of the same name, the shorts will continue to expand on the universe of Show By Rock!! by focusing on the various bands that exist within the show. All of the seiyuu will be reprising their roles, with Uesaka Sumire, Inagawa Eri, Sakura Ayane, and Numakura Manami returning to represent the main cast.

As a short that’s extended advertising for the sequel and the games (or perhaps as a stall tactic to give Bones more time for production), there isn’t much to expect from this title. Although the title will feature most of the bands within the show universe, these encounters will most likely be sketch based and have no revelations concerning the main title. However, it does seem that the shorts will preserve the original style of the anime instead of defaulting to flash-based or chibi-style shorts. It’s unknown whether or not the shorts will continue to feature 3D style battles. Fans of the series that need a holdover can find some short entertainment, but can rest easy knowing that the second season will air shortly after.

Watching This: Jig Expectation Level: Moderately Low
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Amaama to Inazuma | 甘々と稲妻Top
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: July 4, 2016
Genre: Slice-Of-Life, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:05
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @amaama_anime or #甘々と稲妻

Preview by Takaii

For those of us who are suckers for a good slice-of-life that revolves around the dynamics of a broken family and the bonds between parent and child, look no further than Amaama to Inazuma. Revolving around father-of-the-year Inuzuka Kouhei (Nakamura Yuuichi) and his adorable daughter Tsumugi (Endou Rina), the story of Amaama to Inazuma is a simple one. After recently losing his wife, Kouhei has been trying his best to take care of his young daughter. As a school teacher though, his skills lie outside the household, and he has been relying on prepackaged meals from the convenience store to feed both himself and Tsumugi. That is, until one fateful night when he walks in with some bentos and sees Tsumugi watching a commercial for delicious clay pot rice. As their eyes meet, she asks if they can write a letter to mommy so she can make some for them. Dropping the bentos before the last word leaves Tsumugi’s mouth, he dashes out with her on his shoulders and runs for the nearest place where he can get Tsumugi something delicious. Ending up at restaurant owned by the mother of one of his students, he’s greeted not by the mother but by her daughter, Iida Kotori (Hayami Saori). Quickly learning that Kotori is often alone because her parents are divorced and her mother is rarely home, the three decide to cook some tasty food together.

While that intro paragraph might have been a little long-winded, I really hope it helped get the point across. With an overarching message of broken families coming together to find happiness (all while making some tasty food in the process), Amaama to Inazuma is definitely the show that’ll fill the void in all of our broken hearts. The main trio of Kouhei, Tsumugi, and Kotori have such contrasting personalities that you’ll never find a moment of rest when they’re together. When you’re not too busy trying to catch your breath, the show will be taking stabs at your heart when you least expect it. Throwing in the sadness of losing a loved one to the feelings of living in an empty and broken home, there’s plenty of different ways the show can keep your chest welled up. If this kind of premise piques your interest and getting hit in the feels is something you enjoy, I would definitely recommend checking out Amaama to Inazuma.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
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D.Gray-man HALLOWTop
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: July 4, 2016
Genre: Action, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:35
Episodes: 13 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @dgrayman_anime or #dgrayman

Preview by Zephyr

Nearly ten years after its anime debut, D. Gray-man returns with its newest iteration in HALLOW. Produced by TMS Entertainment, HALLOW arrives with a brand new staff led by Ashino Yoshiharu (Cross Ange), and continues the story of an exorcist organization known as the Black Order. Wielding weapons formed from a substance called Innocence, they combat the Millennium Earl and his Akuma—mechanical beings created from the souls of the dead. With a cursed eye capable of detecting Akuma, a boy named Allen Walker (Murase Ayumu) joins the Order and finds himself tasked with finding the remaining pieces of Innocence. Now on the forefront in the fight against the Earl and the Noah Family (descendants of Noah capable of destroying Innocence), Allen and his fellow Exorcists find themselves as the world’s last line of defense and the only ones capable of finding the Heart, rumored to be the strongest of the Innocence pieces. It is currently unconfirmed whether or not HALLOW will continue where the original left off, but poster and character designs seem to hint at a continuation. HALLOW will be one-cour.

With this, the wait is finally over. It took nearly ten years for a new series to happen, but fans of D. Gray-man can rest finally easy. Given that the series’ creator has endured various sicknesses and injuries in the past few years, this was far from a certainty, and the fact that the original anime almost caught up to the source material ensured a long wait even without multiple hiatuses. With that now behind us, we can look forward to the resumption of the series that was notable for its apocalyptic backdrop, distinct artistic style, and a story that had its fair share of plot twists and interesting developments. This was a series that made you remember and fear for the survival of its cast despite its size, and as a fan of the original myself I’m looking forward to HALLOW more than almost any returning series this season. The new staff and cast will take a little getting used to, recent developments in the source material have been confusing at times, and the one-cour length may temper expectations, but having waited nearly a decade for this, you can bet that I’ll be watching it every step of the way.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Samu, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show D. Gray-man HALLOW Promotional Videos ▼

Taboo Tattoo | タブー・タトゥーTop
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 4, 2016
Genre: Action, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 26:05
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tabootattoo_ani or #タブータトゥー

Preview by Takaii

Set in an alternate universe where not only did the Soviet Union fall apart after the Cold War, but a South Asian country known as the Kingdom of Selinistan rose to power, Taboo Tattoo’s story begins with the world’s two major powers at odds. With the United States reprising its role as the strongest military nation and struggling to deal with Selinistan, people fear that war between the nations is inevitable. With the threat of an all out war looming, the story follows Akatsuka Masayoshi (Furukawa Makoto) who is affectionately called Seigi by his friends because his name translates to Justice in English. With an upstanding personality and a penchant for protecting those around him with his outstanding martial arts skills, he ends up being dragged into this whole mess after protecting an old man from some thugs. As a reward for his selfless act, the old man puts a tattoo on Seigi’s hand. Unbeknownst to Seigi, the tattoo is actually a secret weapon developed in the arms race between America and Selinistan, all of which comes back to bite him when a girl (who’s actually an American Lieutenant loli) decides to punch him straight in the face.

I’ve personally grown quite found of the Seinen genre recently, and Taboo Tattoo is no exception. If I were to describe the vibes I felt, this show definitely feels like all the good things from Big Order (props to you if you watched it) with a story that actually has some weight to it. The main protagonist, Seigi, is another upstanding justice junkie, but I suppose it fits pretty well seeing how his name is also Justice. The story does a good job of explaining his motivations (his father was a policeman who died in the line of duty), and because Seigi is pretty self-aware by realizing he isn’t all that powerful (at first at least), his actions never come off as cringe-worthy—something that I think is a giant plus for a show that’s going to use their protagonist in such a way. In terms of story, I liked what I got after diving through a handful of chapters. You have the overarching plot of the threat of war looming over the characters, and there are all kinds of different sub-stories branching off of that. However, the best part of the show has to be its characters. You have a good amount of variety between the main cast, some of who don’t even have proper spell crests (the “tattoo”)! That and there’s Seigi’s childhood friend, who ends up getting involved and actually seems to stick around instead of getting pushed into the background! Overall, if you’re looking for a fun action show that goes with the super power angle and has a decent story, Taboo Tattoo is the show for you.

Watching This: Stilts, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderately High
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Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu | 腐男子高校生活Top
Animation: EMT Squared Premiere: July 5, 2016
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays 22:55
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_fudanshi or #腐男子高校生活

Preview by Samu

You may have heard of the term fujoshi before, but what about fudanshi? While fujoshi literally means a ‘rotten girl’ or a BL fangirl, fudanshi is the male equivalent – a rotten boy who likes fictional boys paired together. Sakaguchi Ryou (Hatano Watarou) is exactly that: a ‘straight’ high school boy who loves everything about boys-love stories. This short-form high school comedy follows Sakagushi and his group of friends: Nishihara Rumi (Suzaki Aya), the only girl in the group and a proud fujoshi, Shiratori Yuujirou (Suzuki Tatsuhisa), his gay friend, Ueda Akira (Masuda Toshiki), his “normal” friend, and Daigo, his fellow fudanshi. Together, this group of unconventional high schoolers set about their daily lives, which seems to always come back to boys love in some way, shape, or form.

Having read over the Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu manga, I couldn’t help but think of one comparison: this is essentially a gay Nozaki-kun. In a season with as many gag anime coming out as this one, it’s easy for a 5-minute short like this to be swept under the rug, but I sincerely hope people give it a shot. In case you’re wondering, it is not an explicit yaoi series, but a comedy that embraces and also pokes fun at those tropes. It would be very easy for something like this to be offensive with its stereotypes, but I never got that impression from the source material. Instead, it was happy, silly, and the unconventional hobbies of these characters proved to be very amusing. If for some reason you can’t stand the idea of a cast of primarily gay (or gay-acting) dudes, then this won’t be for you. But for those more open-minded, this is something different from your typical anime comedy and I expect it to garner its own niche following.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Samu, Stilts Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: Brains Base Premiere: July 5, 2016
Genre: Action, Comedy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_servamp or #サーヴァンプ

Preview by Jig

Fifteen year-old Mahiru Shirota (Terashima Takuma) is just an ordinary high school student who enjoys simple pleasures such as sewing and cooking, and detests difficult endeavors. One day he takes in a stray black cat along the road, which he names Kuro, only to later find out that it is actually a servamp—a member of a group of elite vampires—named Sleepy Ash (Kaji Yuki). He anoints Mahiru as his master, and tasks him with the duty of providing him sustenance—blood. From there, the two get tangled in an ongoing conflict between the servamps and their antagonistic eighth sibling.

You may or may not have had your fill of vampire-themed anime—there are certainly plenty out there to choose from. However, Servamp seems bent on providing a more fun, light-hearted, and distinctly shounen flavor to the well-treaded territory. Think what Naruto is to ninjas, or what One Piece is to pirates. From what I’ve read of the manga, the plot is strongly driven not only by the grand scale and intricacies of the larger conflict, but also by the depth of the central relationship. The bond between Mahiru and Kuro serves as the primary character focus, as the two aid each other both in combat and in dealing with their emotional voids. Just from the beginning, Kuro’s unbiased subservience seems to help Mahiru cope with his lack of family. This kind of strong thematic development is what could push up the quality of the show and make it emotionally engaging. Besides all that, the action is exciting and gorgeously animated, and the tone seems all the right amounts of edgy and dramatic. If executed just right, Servamp has all the makings for a breakout action franchise.

Watching This: Cherrie, Jig Expectation Level: Moderate
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Cheer Danshi!! | チア男子!!Top
Animation: Brains Base Premiere: July 5, 2016
Genre: Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @cheer_boys or #チア男子

Preview by Jig

Do you think all sports anime are alike? Are basketball, volleyball, baseball, and boxing just too boring or normal? Are the boys not…pretty enough? Well, welcome to the world of Cheer Danshi!!. Yes that’s two exclamation points, for extra pep. Based on a light novel of the same name, Cheer Danshi!! follows Haruki Bandou (Yonai Yuki), a university student and prominent Judo athlete. However, Haruki is suffering from consistent physical setbacks, which hinder him from partaking in his sport. That’s when his childhood friend Kazuma Hashimoto (Okamoto Nobuhiko) invites him to become a part of his completely unheard of all-male cheerleading team.

Let’s face it, cheering is actually a pretty intense sport. Most of us are just exposed to the pretty flair and peppy applause that endorses larger, more spectacular sports; however, these routines barely play a role in cheer. Competitions are the name of the game—they’re often showcases for breathtaking acrobatics and impressive dance routines. That being said, it’s hard to really get a read on Cheer Danshi!!, for I could not get access to the source material in any way, shape, or form. This series could go a lot of possible directions. If the show dives into the nitty gritty of the sport, we could be treated to some dazzling visuals and thrilling animation sequences, which we briefly saw in the PV. However, the show could also go the route of manservice in the same vein as Free!, and the cutesy character designs and spirited aesthetic would lend themselves well to that as well.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Jig, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
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Masou Gakuen HxH | 魔装学園H×HTop
Animation: Production IMS Premiere: July 5, 2016
Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kuji_masamune or #

Preview by Stilts

Hida Kizuna (Akabane Kenji) possesses the Heart Hybrid Gear ability, but it’s not especially strong. Not enough to make him particularly important, certainly. Yet his older sister calls on him to transfer to the strategic defense academy Ataraxia, where many of the students (many of which are large-breasted girls) use their HHG abilities to fight invaders from another world while wearing extremely skimpy pilot outfits. Because of course they do. Kizuna’s fighting ability doesn’t measure up, but it turns out there is something he’s useful for: he has the power to level up a girl through indecent acts. With a battle against another world, the future depends on this power. It looks like Kizuna is in for an embarrassing school life.

So, this gonna be an ecchi series. I probably didn’t need to say that outright, Masou Gakuen HxH is being even more obvious than most of its kin, but there it is. Which I can appreciate, no reason to beat around the bush, if it’s gonna be an ecchi harem I’d rather it be clear about it up front. I can also appreciate that the male lead is supposed to be crap at fighting, and is only really useful because of his power up ability, so at least he won’t be getting in the way when it comes time to watch bouncy girls fight aliens or whatever. This has all the usual trappings of a magical-fantasy-action-harem-ecchi anime, including the inexplicably floating school and the big sister in an authority position. The animation looks all right from the promo vids, nothing to write home about there so far. Honestly, whether you watch this comes down to whether you’re in the market for an ecchi series. If you are, this seems pleasantly honest about its intentions, even if I wouldn’t hold out much hope for the plot (only the PLOT). If you aren’t in the market, however, you probably stopped reading partway through the first paragraph, so I’ll just stop.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
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Scared Rider Xechs | スカーレッドライダーゼクスTop
Animation: Satelight Premiere: July 5, 2016
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:35
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @srx_lag_pr or #srx

Preview by Zanibas

Based on the 2010 otome game of the same name, Scared Rider Xechs rises to the fray via Satelite. In order to fight off alien invaders, humanity formed a fighting group called the Scared Rider to defend against the threat. After five iterations of the Scared Rider unit have been wiped out, the sixth, Scared Rider Xechs, forms as the current iteration. While peace may be the status quo, the danger of another attack is imminent. It’s up to Asagi Akira (Shimizu Ayaka) to keep the six men of the the Scared Rider Xechs unit trained: Kirisawa Takuto (Miyano Mamoru), Komae Yousuke (Suzuki Tatsuhisa), Kurama Hiro (Shimono Hiro), Mutsuki Hijiri (KENN), Suzuki Kazuki (Takahashi Hiroki), and Tsuga Yuuji (Kondou Takashi).

Though an otome game at its source, the series seems to be striking a balance between action, drama, and romance. The characters seem to have some substance to them, and there is a tangible plot that drives the characters to develop. Though there is a risk that the show will focus too much on peacetime conflicts and not enough on the struggle of war, the promotional videos alleviate this by featuring action sequences and internal character struggles. In terms of staffing, the seiyuu lineup is great with veterans like Miyano and Suzuki on board, but the production staff looks second-rate at best, with director Komori Hideto lacking in experience save for one season of Hayate. Though Satelite has done some good work in the past, judging from the positioning of this anime, I’m not expecting much from it. Although potential exists for the show to pull an Ars Nova and create completely new material, it’s more likely that the show will stay the course with the original game’s plot. Most likely watchers will be fans of the original PS2 and PSP game.

Watching This: Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Scared Rider Xechs Promotional Videos ▼

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 3rei!! | Fate/kaleid liner プリズマ☆イリヤ 3rei!!Top
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: July 6, 2016
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 23:00
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @prisma_illya or #prisma_illya

Preview by Stilts

It’s summer again, which means it’s time for a fourth season of Fate/stay night’s action-soaked magical girl spin-off, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya. After everything went to hell in a handbasket at the end of last season thanks to the appearance of kid Gilgamesh (Endou Aya), the titular Illyasviel von Einzbern (Kadowaki Mai), her best friend Miyu (Nazuka Kaori), and her cousin/clone/other half Chloe “Kuro” von Einzbern (Saito Chiwa) are set on getting back to their regular lives . . . but like that’s going to happen. The clash that almost claimed Miyu has left the door open for powerful beings to enter their world, and the mysteries that surround Miyu’s true identity have not been resolved. It’s time for more action, more comedy, more struggle, and for everything to be dialed up to eleven as the long-awaited adaptation of the third manga gets underway. In seiyuu news, Kakazu Yumi will be taking over as Magical Sapphire for Matsuki Miyu, who passed away last year.

Nothing I’ve said the last three times I’ve previewed this series has stopped being true, so if you’re new to Prisma Illya and want to get a fuller idea of what this is about, check those out. The animation is still luscious, the action is still kinetic, and I’d put money on the comedy still being spot on, at least when they decide to go that route. The three previous series were all remarkably well done, and while manga readers had complaints about the ending of Zwei Herz!, it didn’t bother me. I have faith that directors Oonuma Shin, Jinbo Masato, Takahashi Ken, and everyone at Silver Link will do the story proud, though as I list off three directors that does give a too many cooks feeling. Or maybe I just wanted to link to that video. (Probably that.) As for the plot of 3rei, everything I’ve heard is that this is where the story really heats up. I would expect higher stakes, more dire crises, and a more serious tone overall, in keeping with the arc of the series thus far. Aside from the anime’s puzzling tendency to do 10-episode seasons, which can lead to off pacing (see: the first half of Zwei Herz being fluff before they got down to business), the Prisma Illya anime are generally well-run ships. With the most anticipated manga material on the table, I’m excited to see where they’ll take us next.

Watching This: Jig, Passerby, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Fate kaleid liner Prisma Illya 3rei Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: Studio Pierrot Premiere: July 6, 2016
Genre: Slice-Of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 23:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tsukiani_info or #ツキアニ

Preview by Takaii

Fans of the male idol genre, rejoice! Another show has been given the green light to grace our screens, and it’s Tsukiuta’s turn! Based off of a series of drama CDs and songs composed by popular Vocaloid composers which are then performed by popular seiyuu (sounds like utaite but more professional?), the animated version will focus on the twelve members of Six Gravity and Procellarum. With each character representing a specific month and getting their own episode, it fits nicely into your typical twelve-week cour. For a little housekeeping we have Studio Pierrot handling the production and Kawasaki Itsuro handling the directing.

While information about this show may be a little thin, what I have seen has been pretty impressive. And even though I’m pretty new to this field (Idolish7 and Uta Pri being my big foray into male idols), you know the show has to be doing something good to get a normie like me excited. The biggest selling point for me has to be the gigantic cast this show has behind it. With names like Kaji Yuki, Kimura Ryouhei, and Ono Kensho, to just name a few, I think it’s safe to say that the show is going to be a complete eargasm. While the story and the actual characters may be hit or miss, I want to believe a studio like Pierrot should be able to make something at least palatable. I think Tsukiuta has a chance to become pretty big if it plays its cards right, especially since big established names like Uta Pri won’t be back until at least this fall to reclaim their fans. So long as the story isn’t completely horrible, you can bet I’ll be back to listen to all my favorite seiyuus and the songs they’ll be no doubt be singing.

Watching This: Takaii Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Tsukiuta THE ANIMATION Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: Creators in Pack Premiere: July 6, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ozmafiaanime or #ozmafia

Preview by Jig

Ozmafia!! features a completely original story based in the show’s source material—an otome game of the same name. As the title may suggest, the game itself takes place in a world that fuses the wonderful world of Oz (yes, that Oz) and elements of a mystery crime drama. The visual novel plays from the perspective of the main character as she makes her way through this mysterious, dangerous new world—deciding which factions to align herself with, as well as whom to fall in love with. This will be a series of five-minute shorts.

No finer details have been revealed of the plot other than that it will be an original story based on the game. The show will most likely tap into many aspects of the game’s own plot though, in order to channel the same kind of success and garner similar fans and supporters. The main cast is composed of but one female, and loads of dreamy anime fantasy men—all the more reason to suspect the same kind of reverse-harem entertainment. If anything, though, the show’s setting is really quite intriguing. Oz’s world has always had a dark quality about it, but has mostly been portrayed in popular media as bright, cheery, and light-hearted. It’ll be interesting to see how a genre as explicitly drab and sinister as mafia fiction will work in that world. Ozmafia!! will likely please fans of the game, but also of the reverse-harem genre in general, while also providing a setting unique and compelling enough to pique anyone’s interest.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderate
Show OZMAFIA!! Promotional Videos ▼

Mahou Shoujo? Naria☆Girls | 魔法少女?なりあ☆がーるずTop
Animation: Bouncy Premiere: July 6, 2016
Genre: Slice-Of-Lice Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:05
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ or #

Preview by Samu

“Another magical girl anime?”, you ask? Well, the question mark in the title should be an indication that there’s more than meets the eye here. The mahou shoujo genre is one that never seems to fail with its Japanese audiences, but Mahou Shoujo? Naria☆Girls has an extra detail that could distinguish it from the crowd. It follows the journeys of the three principal characters: Urara (Fukagawa Seria), Hanabi (Koga Aoi), and Inaho (Kuwahara Yuuki), who all aim to become nationwide successes by recreating themselves in animated form. Due to the undeniable popularity of the magical girl genre, the girls have decided to use that theme to capture the largest possible audience – from children to parents and everyone in between. Thus begins their journey to deliver a popular one-cour anime about themselves that will hopefully become the next big hit and turn them into superstars.

Mahou Shoujo? Naria☆Girls isn’t the sort of show that would appeal to me on first glance, but there is some hope for it. Unfortunately, there are a few red flags: the sudden announcement suggests production will probably be rushed; there’s still no preview at the moment, making it tricky to gauge how this premise will unfold; the studio is completely new – that’s right, studio Bouncy is not renowned for ecchi anime featuring jiggly boobs (yet) – and the staff isn’t much to go off of either. Directer Ishidate Koutarou has worked on Minarai Diva and Tesagure! Bukatsumono in the past, but neither give the sense that this will be an extraordinary project. The main seiyuu cast are all relative newcomers as well, which could be refreshing or daring depending on the results. But despite all that there’s a meta quality here that could make it more interesting than it would otherwise appear. SHIROBAKO seems to have started the trend of anime about the anime industry, and while I doubt this will be anywhere near as brilliant as my top pick for 2015, it’s definitely a trend we fans should pay attention to, should it give us more insight into our hobby and understand what goes into making these one-cour anime that come and go every season.

Watching This: Takaii Expectation Level: Low
Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars | レガリア The Three Sacred StarsTop
Animation: Actas Premiere: July 7, 2016
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 22:00
Episodes: 13 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @regalia_anime or #レガリア_アニメ

Preview by Passerby

Yui (Hondo Kaede) and Rena (Sakura Ayane) are sisters with no surnames and who look nothing alike living in the mostly modern but entirely fictional kingdom of Enastria. They live peaceful lives there, until one day Enastria is attacked by giant, humanoid robots. Could this be connected to a mysterious incident twelve years ago that destroyed the neighbouring land of Rimguard? Can anything fight these giant robots except for other giant robots? And how are Yui and Rena connected to these happenings? Regardless, the two find themselves dragged into the centre of these events—events that may change their lives and their country forever.

Another season, another original mecha series. This is not really a bad thing, since giant robots are a proud anime tradition, and original anime are a welcome diversion from the multitude of adaptations we otherwise get. Some do look rather shifty though, especially when they seem to go out of their way to hide what they’re actually about. The above summary for Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars may sound rather generic, but that’s mostly for lack of information. Usually in these previews I try to make every show sound as interesting as possible, but for Regalia, I’ve really got nothing. Make sure to take a look at the PV, because Regalia seems intent on selling itself primarily on aesthetics. The production staff, lead by director Tosaka Shin, are not particularly experienced, except a number of names dedicated to design. Regalia marries giant robots with anime’s other great love, cute girls, and both are easy enough on the eyes. The mecha, in particular, have something of a relatively organic design, enhanced by hand-drawn robots instead of CGI, which is interesting in its own way. Feel like watching them fight? Then Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars is easy entertainment for you. Otherwise, you might still want to check it out, if you want to find out why they fight.

Watching This: Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Regalia The Three Sacred Stars Promotional Videos ▼

Handa-kun | はんだくんTop
Animation: Diomedea Premiere: July 7, 2016
Genre: Slice-Of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:58
Episodes: 12 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @handaanime or #handaanime

Preview by Takaii

From the mind of Yoshino Satsuki, who gave us the masterpiece known as Barakamon, comes a spin-off prequel to that amazing show. Focusing on the life of Sei (Shimazaki Nobunaga) before he became a big shot in the calligraphy world (and subsequently punched a big shot curator), Handa-kun narrows the scope to give us a really good understanding of just how Sei became the Sei we all know and love from Barakamon. From his awkward outward personality to the slightly warped view he has of himself and how others perceive him, everything is fair game in this spin-off.

Seeing how I covered Barakamon when it aired, it was really nice to actually get the opportunity to preview Handa-kun. Ever since the original show ended, I’ve wanted more, and while a spin-off prequel isn’t exactly what I was asking for, I’m glad it exists. Even with a huge lack of Naru (who honestly makes up roughly 50% of why I loved Barakamon), it’s really interesting getting to see just what makes Sei tick. With each chapter following a simple pattern of highlighting some point about Sei, typically involving how he thinks the world is out to get him, and then spinning it into a situation where he does something extremely kind or heartwarming without even realizing it, you’d think that it would grow old pretty quickly. Except, it doesn’t! Just like the original, there’s this charm in the way Sei ends up doing something amazing without ever intending to. And because of how others interpret it, there’s even room for these “revelations” to hit pretty high on the feels scale. Overall, even though this is a spin-off, all the things that made me love Barakamon, sans Naru, seem to be here. With the focus slightly leaning on the comedic side of things, though, most of the heartwarming moments are replaced with genuine giggling. If you’re looking for a great slice-of-life to fill up your summer, look no further than Handa-kun.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Handa-kun Promotional Videos ▼

Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! | この美術部には問題がある!Top
Animation: feel. Premiere: July 7, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:28
Episodes: 12 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @konobi_anime or #この美

Preview by Zanibas

Middle School. Art Club. Quirky characters! Mix these all together and you get the framework for a school romantic comedy. Usami Mizuki (Ozawa Ari) is the normal member of an eccentric art club. The members include Uchimaki Subaru (Kobayashi Yuusuke), whose drawing skills are eclipsed by his love for the 2D world; Collette (Uesaka Sumire), a rich foreigner who has a mischievous streak, and President (Tone Kentarou), a leader who sleeps all the time. Though the club may be full of art antics and crazy characters, a romance looms in the air as certain characters navigate their feelings for each other.

Though the description is vague and unoriginal, I am a firm believer that execution is what matters for shows like this. Unlike some other shows I’ve previewed this season, I have higher hopes for Bijutsubu, primarily because their promotional videos were not afraid to show a well-animated comedy full of cute and adorable romantic moments. Although feel isn’t a powerhouse studio and is prone to producing embarrassingly bad shows, when they pick up a legitimate project, they put their full effort into it. Thankfully, this show looks like it falls into the latter category, with smooth animation, good comedic timing, and characters who look positively adorable when embarrassed. Oikawa Kei is at the helm, who has impressed me with his work on Outbreak Company and the second season of Oregairu. The comedic timing in Outbreak combined with the pacing of Oregairu should, optimistically speaking, manifest itself here. Although it’s still too early to call, I believe that fans of the romcom genre may find a winner here—a simple plot with good execution is already a good bar for a show like this to achieve.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Samu, Stilts, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! Promotional Videos ▼

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei Bu LOVE! LOVE!Top
Animation: Studio Comet Premiere: July 7, 2016
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:35
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @boueibu or #boueibu

Preview by Guardian Enzo

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! was one of the most refreshing comedies of 2015. As per usual with Takamatsu Shinji series of recent vintage, it employed the use of male leads to ruthlessly satirize the ridiculous cliches and tropes endemic to a modern cute girls genre series. This time around the subject was mahou shoujo, and while we’ve had a few mahou shounen series before, either the shounen or the satire has always been tangential to the premise. Here, they’re front and center.

Unlike most of these Takamatsu shows Binan Koukou was an original and not an adaptation, written by the very capable Yokote Michiko. It was clear from the first season that she and Takamatsu always hoped to do a second (and from his tweets that it was genuinely dependent on sales and not pre-determined). Make no mistake, Binan Koukou is a very silly show, with its talking pink wombat and constant bath scenes with the boys in the cast (they’re all named after onsen) but it’s actually quite cleverly plotted. It’s also affectionate enough towards its cast so that the satire doesn’t feel mean-spirited or curmudgeonly. Who knows where Yokote and Takamatsu will take things in the second season, but I have no doubt they’ll be trying very hard to top themselves.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE LOVE Promotional Videos ▼

Amanchu! | あまんちゅ!Top
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 8, 2016
Genre: Slice-Of-Life, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 23:00
Episodes: 13 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @amanchu_anime or #あまんちゅ

Preview by Passerby

From the desk of ARIA author Amano Kozue comes an adaptation that should be perfect for the summer season—an anime about the sea. Ooki Futaba (Kayano Ai) is a shy and listless young girl who has recently moved from the big city of Tokyo to Ito, a rural town by the sea. She is about to start her first year of high school, and is not particularly looking forward to life in this unfamiliar and inconvenient place, until she meets fellow first-year Kohinata Hikari (Suzuki Eri). Hikari is a veritable ball of enthusiastic energy, and drags Futaba out of her shell. In particular, Hikari’s greatest passion is underwater diving, and she wishes Futaba to take it up as well. Perhaps participating in her school’s diving club will teach Futaba to love the sea, to love the town, and to love life in general.

For those of you who have never watched ARIA, the thing to know is that it was the slice-of-life anime. Sure, it didn’t exactly invent the ‘soul healing’ subgenre, but it sure did popularise it. Although Amanchu! is also by Amano Kozue, Amanchu! is also distinctively not ARIA. Just the change of setting, from the futuristic Neo Venezia back to present-day Japan on Earth makes for as dramatic a change in atmosphere as one might expect. Perhaps to compensate, Amanchu! has a sports angle going for it—scuba diving—into which Amanchu! delves with surprising technical detail. The yuri-teasing is also strong in this one, relatively speaking. Still, one can spot some shared themes. Amano-sensei’s fondness for the sea is once again evident, as is her fondness for blob-shaped cats. And Amanchu! arguably inherits some of the positive spirit of ARIA, tinged with occasional hints of sentimentality. ARIA director Satou Junichi even returns, assisted by J.C. Staff regular Kaisai Kenichi. Screenwriter Mieno Hitomi in charge of series composition has, amongst other things, a fair few solid slice-of-life anime under her belt (including last season’s Flying Witch), while Gontiti, providing the music, also notably did the same for Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou—soulful guitars incoming. Altogether, a good team has been assembled for this show, and I don’t see it going wrong. If you need an anime to just make you feel better about the world, Amanchu! should fulfill the task admirably.

Watching This: Cherrie, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Amanchu Promotional Videos ▼

Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no AlderaminTop
ねじ巻き精霊戦記 天鏡のアルデラミン
Animation: Madhouse Premiere: July 8, 2016
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:05
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @alderamin_anime or #alderamin

Preview by Zanibas

Two nations are at war. Within the Katjvarna Empire lives Sorouku Ikuta (Okamoto Nobuhiko), a tactical and strategic genius. However, Ikuta has no interest in taking the proper examinations to become an officer—he’d rather just lay in the sun, watching beautiful women go by. A few years pass though, and Ikuta has become one of the greatest commanders of his country. What happened? Other characters include Ikuta’s fellow countrymen, such as Igsem Yatrisino (Taneda Risa), Tetojirichi Matthew (Majima Junji), Remion Torway (Kanemoto Ryousuke), Becker Haroma (Chisuga Haruka), and Katjvanmaninik Chamille (Minase Inori). Together, they must face the perils of an extended war between the Empire and the Kioka Republic.

Researching into Alderamin, the first quality that stood out was the new art style adapted for the anime. With more defined lips and a subtler color palette, some readers of the source material may feel uncomfortable with the artistic liberties taken. Though the war premise is interesting and I am comfortable with Madhouse in general taking up this title, the inexperienced staff is a troubling point. Director Ichimura Tetsuo’s only experience is with a lackluster OVA, character designer Katuki Kunio lacks similar experience in his field, though that’s counterbalanced with some animation director experience. I do respect that experienced seiyuu like Taneda, Minase, and Chisuga are on board, and I hope they shine in their roles, but I feel their acting may be underutilized under animation cuts. War anime have usually been interesting, but without more information, I can only suggest that fans of the genre watch an episode or two to get a feel for the plot.

Watching This: Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: Shuka Premiere: July 8, 2016
Genre: Drama, History Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:55
Episodes: 13 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tv91days or #91デイズ

Preview by Passerby

It is the 1920s, in the United States of America, and a nationwide law banning the sale and production of alcohol has been passed. It’s a time of snazzy hats, speakeasies, and Al Capone commonly known as Prohibition. With the legitimate alcohol industry suppressed, but the demand for getting drunk no less, organised crime rapidly filled the void. Prohibition saw the rise of the mafia in the USA, who found great profit in the smuggling and distribution of contraband, and thrived in the general state of lawlessness as society at large thumbed their nose at Prohibition. Such is the scene in the original anime 91Days where, in the fictional US city of Lorel, a young man named Avilo (Kondou Takashi) loses his parents and brother to a mafia attack. He goes into hiding for seven years, but eventually returns and joins the mafia himself, intent on avenging the murder of his family. Killing begets more killing, as the cycle of revenge begins to drag Avilo into darkness.

Point of interest: 91Days is being animated by Studio Shuka, who also did Durarara!, which is distinctly related to Baccano!, which is set in a similar time period to 91Days. What does that actually mean? Not sure. But period pieces have often made for very interesting anime experiences, moving out of the Japanese high school comfort zone, and an original one like 91Days is doubly worth taking a look at. Accomplished screenwriter Kishimoto Taku, in charge of series composition, also scripted Joker Game in the previous season, so he should be primed for more historical fiction. The director he’s working with is Kimi ni Todoke’s Kaburaki Hiro, which is certainly an interesting choice considering that CV, but I can see it working out. The Prohibition setting is the big sell of 91Days, but I’m expecting a gritty and emotive thriller to keep me watching.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Samu, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show 91Days Promotional Videos ▼

Time Travel Shoujo ~Mari Waka to 8-nin to Kagakusha-tachi~Top
Animation: Premiere: July 9, 2016
Genre: History, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 7:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @mariwaka_anime or #マリワカ

Preview by Passerby

We all know that television rots the brain, and cartoons in particular (which explains anime fans), but what happens when we cross the streams and make… educational cartoons? Time Travel Shoujo is roughly based on a series of books aimed at increasing youth interest in the sciences, written by Japanese physicist and educator Itakura Kiyonobu. The title approximately means Time Travel Girl ~ Mari, Waka and the Eight Scientists, and sure enough Hayase Mari (Toyosaki Aki) and Mizuki Waka (Kotobuki Minako) are two young girls with the technology to time travel, and rather than use it to go back in time and kill Hitler, they use it to go back in time to meet famous scientists and inventors throughout history (eight of them, even), and learn about their contributions to humanity. In particular, they will focus on two related phenomena: electricity and magnetism, and how they came to shape civilisation as we know it.

Curiously enough, we don’t actually get a lot of historical time travel anime. Sure, the time loop, like in last/this season’s Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu is a fairly popular device, but actually going back far in time, interacting with real figures, and playing around with alternate history is pretty rare. That said, I doubt Time Travel Shoujo is going to be gritty science fiction (‘Oh no, we accidentally killed Tesla! Now direct current will rule the world!’). The education angle probably means that Time Travel Shoujo will be relatively lighter and softer, more real science than mad science, aimed to inspire curiosity rather than to thrill. Not that I know how educational it intends to be, but I can see it working out. Director Yamasaki Osamu has done all sorts of things, so he should be good with time traveling students too. And, at the risk of sounding like a first day physics teacher, science is just a fascinating subject matter in general. As far as I’m concerned, magnets are basically magic (anything that sticks to fridges, really) and there are plenty of interesting stories to tell about the advent of electricity without needing to deviate from history. Even if you consider yourself above remedial physics lessons, Time Travel Shoujo may be worth checking out, if only to see what they’re teaching kids these days.

Watching This: Passerby, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Time Travel Shoujo ~Mari Waka to 8-nin to Kagakusha-tachi~ Promotional Videos ▼

Hitori no Shita: the outcast | 一人之下 the outcastTop
Animation: Emon Premiere: July 9, 2016
Genre: Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 21:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @hitorinoshita or #hitorinoshita

Preview by Jig

Based on a Chinese web comic of the same name—which has amassed over three hundred million views—Hitori no Shita is an upcoming Chinese-Japanese co-production. The story follows Zhang Chulan (Tamaru Atsushi), who lives his life as a typical college student until he finds himself caught up in a tragic occurrence amidst the backdrop of a small, country village. As he takes a night stroll through a graveyard, he is suddenly attacked by a hoard of the undead. Thankfully, he’s saved by a mysterious girl, who warns him of impending hardships. Little does Zhang realize the weight of these words, as his life becomes forever changed.

Hitori no Shita is an interesting production indeed—Chinese studio Shanghai Emon will be planning the show, while the animation production will take place in Japan. While I wasn’t able to get my hands on the source material, the series seems uncannily similar to Tokyo Ghoul in both premise and tone. The PV conveys a dark, mental angst that promises both a sense of thrill and a light dash of horror. Zombies are a ubiquitous presence in western pop culture, but play a comparatively (and surprisingly) minimal role in Japanese fiction, so it’ll be interesting to see if the show will bring anything new to the subject. That being said, the PV’s production quality left a little to be desired. The animation came off as janky and ragged, and sound effects felt cheap and unpersuasive. Hopefully the series itself will prove otherwise, for Hitori no Shita could potentially pave the way for more cross-nation collaborations.

Watching This: Cherrie, Passerby, Samu, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Hitori no Shita: the outcast Promotional Videos ▼

Qualidea Code | クオリディア・コードTop
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: July 9, 2016
Genre: Action, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @qualideacode

Preview by Zephyr

A multimedia creation, Qualidea Code arrives as a collaborative project between major publishers Shueisha, Kadokawa, and Shogakukan. Produced by A-1 Pictures, the series’ concept and script will be written by “Speakeasy,” a group composed of the authors behind HenNeko (Sagara Sou), Date A Live (Tachibana Koushi), and Oregairu (Watari Wataru). Qualidea Code focuses on a world where humanity continues to fight enemies called the UNKNOWN. At the start of their invasion several decades prior, various children were put into a cold sleep as a safeguard against the invaders, only to awaken in the present day with supernatural powers. The children travel to the cities of Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Chiba to protect the country from the UNKNOWN threat. Kawamura Kenichi, assistant director of Black Lagoon, Gunslinger Girl, and Hajime no Ippo, takes the lead as the series’ director, Iwasaki Taku will be in charge of music composition, and the series’ themes will be sung by LiSA, ClariS, and GARNiDELiA.

If you wanted a series filled with well-known names, look no further. Qualidea Code brings together the creators from three popular and well-received franchises to pen the script, a director with significant experience in the action and drama genres, and tops things off with similarly notable composers and singers for its music composition. While pedigree doesn’t always guarantee success (especially in a multimedia project such as this), it’s hard to deny the series’ obvious appeal from this standpoint, and having a different author pen the script for each major city could bring things to another level in terms of differentiating characters and setting the scale of the conflict. Ultimately, it’s hard to expect anything but good things here, and here’s thinking we receive a solid series with the potential to be one of this season’s great action series.

Watching This: Passerby, Samu, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Qualidea Code Promotional Videos ▼

Ange Vierge | アンジュ・ヴィエルジュTop
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: July 9, 2016
Genre: Action Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ange_anime or #Ange_アニメ

Preview by Takaii

Even though I’m not the biggest fan of shows that are adapted from card games, I think Ange Vierge might be able to overcome my somewhat biased views. Based on the trading card game produced by the Kadokawa Corporation and its sub-brands, it has a pretty decent setup. Set in a universe where young girls have gained magical powers due to dimensional portals opening up everywhere, these girls end up battling to prove themselves to one another all while trying to coexist.

Okay, that might have been a bit short for an intro, and you wouldn’t be wrong! But that’s because there just isn’t a a lot of cold hard facts out there. Instead, let me dive into a few reasons why I think you should keep this show on your radar. As I said earlier, I’m getting pretty good vibes from Ange Vierge. This definitely feels like one of those shows you watch to have a good time and then get suddenly surprised when it ends up being pretty okay. When it comes to the characters and their powers, those dimensional portals are the key that allow for such a wide range of girls and powers. From someone who can manipulate light to a straight up vampire who can manipulate blood, there’s theoretically no limit to whom or what could show up. Another thing that caught my eye (quite literally) was the character and costume designs. From a simple school uniform to an Evangelion-inspired android, I was really surprised by just how much I liked them all. Also, did I mention that this is a Silver Link production? A studio that I used to jokingly say we needed more of, but now genuinely believe we really do need more of? In any case, I think Ange Vierge will be a pretty fun watch. With a wide cast of characters, a vague storyline that’s open to interpretation, and Silver Link handling said interpretation, there’s a lot that could go right (and hypothetically a lot that could go wrong).

Watching This: Jig, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Ange Vierge Promotional Videos ▼

Active Raid -Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai Hachi Gakari- 2ndTop
アクティヴレイド -機動強襲室第八係- 2nd
Animation: Production IMS Premiere: July 10, 2016
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: BS4
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @activeraid or #activeraid

Preview by Stilts

After a great disaster sunk large swaths of Tokyo into the water, rapid reconstruction required the use of powerful exoskeletons. That’s how Wilwear came into being, and though most Wilwear suits are used for good, it’s inevitable that some would wind up in the hands of criminals. From there it falls to police units such as the Special Public Security Fifth Division Third Mobile Assault Eighth Unit—normally just called the Eighth—to use their own Wilwears to protect the public. The first half of Active Raid saw the men and women of the Eighth—including devil-may-care ace Kuroki Takeru (Shimazaki Nobunaga), uptight ace Sena Souichirou (Sakurai Takahiro), and newbie Kazari Asami (Ozawa Ari)—go up against the criminal organization Logos, which brought Japan to its knees through clever machinations and improbable hacking skills. Much of Logos has been vanquished, but not all of it, and there will always been more criminals abusing Wilwear. That means there will always be a need for the Eighth—if they can navigate the fraught political waters and avoid being shut down for good.

Active Raid is an odd duck. Part sentai-style mecha action, part police procedural, and part political thriller, it seeks to do a lot of things, and though the whole contraption wobbles it more or less works. The action is good and I really enjoy the characters, even if they’re not always particularly deep. If I had a complaint about the first season, it’s that the criminal-of-the-week format of the middle episodes held it back from being something grander, and the political elements focus on the most frustrating parts of modern political organizations—paralyzed, infighting bureaucracies. It happens in real life, so I can’t ding Active Raid for being unrealistic, but I’m not sure I want to watch frustrating political paralysis in my anime. Yet the whole thing was fun in that sentai way of taking itself seriously, but never feeling serious enough to get you worked up over its flaws. Probably the idealistic, aesop-laden middle episodes had something to do with that. All in all, I’m still conflicted on Active Raid, but I did finish the first half and generally enjoyed it, so I’ll probably be watching the rest. I’m interested to see if it can elevate the story.

Watching This: Passerby, Stilts Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Active Raid -Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai Hachi Gakari- 2nd Promotional Videos ▼

DANGANRONPA 3 -The End of Kibougamine Gakuen- Mirai HenTop
ダンガンロンパ3 -The End of 希望ヶ峰学園- 未来編
Animation: Lerche Premiere: July 11, 2016
Genre: Mystery, Horror Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @dangan_official

Preview by Cherrie

There are not one but two DANGANRONPA sequels this season! I would suggest you read this entry in conjunction with Zetsubou-hen. If you’re an anime-only viewer, you can think of Mirai-hen as the direct sequel to the original series (in other words, ignore the “3” in the title). However, the events of DANGANRONPA 2 (the visual novel) still happened…and now you might be wondering, “Well what the f*ck happened?!”. The short answer is: a lot. I can only hope the beginning of Mirai-hen will explain it all, even if it’s in a messy, abridged version. I won’t lie, anime-only viewers will probably be confused as to the setup for DANGANRONPA 3, BUT the saving grace here is that it’s still its own separate story and the characters carry over. Assuming that it keeps the same murder and trial format, you’ll still get the mystery aspects and outrageous motives and revelations. Plus, we’ll see what happened after our survivors left Hope’s Peak Academy! Ultimately, this sequel sounds like it’s intended for visual novel readers, but I’m confident that the story isn’t so complicated that an anime-only viewer can enjoy it as well.

In short, here is what Mirai-hen will focus on. After our surviving cast left Hope’s Peak Academy, they formed a new organization called the Future Foundation, which is meant to repair the damage done during “The Tragedy” (a.k.a. “The Biggest, Most Awful, Most Tragic Event in Human History”). Naegi Makoto (Ogata Megumi) returns as the main character, but this time in handcuffs because of his involvement in helping Hinata Hajime (Takayama Minami) and crew (they were “Despairs” doing Enoshima Junko’s (Toyoguchi Megumi) bidding after her demise in the first series). Where, where, why, and how this happens is all explained in DANGANRONPA 2’s visual novel! As the Future Foundation gathers to decide Makoto’s fate, they’re all captured by Monokuma (Tarako) and forced to play another deadly game in order to escape. Oh! And of course, there’s a traitor amongst them. In addition to Makoto, we’ll see the return of Kirigi Kyouko (Hikasa Yoko) and Asahina Aoi (Saito Chiwa) from the first season (and maybe more?).

Watching This: Cherrie, Samu, Stilts Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Danganronpa 3: The End of Kibougamine Gakuen Promotional Videos ▼

Mob Psycho 100 | モブサイコ100Top
Animation: Bones Premiere: July 11, 2016
Genre: Action, Comedy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @mobpsycho_anime or #モブサイコ100

Preview by Passerby

Mankind has long trusted the sciences to shine the light of understanding on the darkness of ignorance. But there are things in this world that science simply cannot explain. Magical curses, UMAs and evil poltergeists—what is the common man supposed to do against these? Thus the need for psychics, men and women with supernatural powers who can solve all your paranormal problems. Or so they claim anyway—frauds are a dime a dozen. But Kageyama ‘Mob’ Shigeo (Ito Setsuo) is possessed of honest-to-goodness psychic powers, able to freely manipulate objects with his mind and exorcise malevolent spirits with a touch. Otherwise, though, Mob is an extremely boring middle-schooler, completely lacking in academic skill, athletic prowess, nor the ambition to lend his prodigious powers to any noteworthy cause, instead only using them to help a professional con artist (Sakurai Takahiro) with some odd jobs. Recently, though, Mob has begun to change. He has developed a crush on a girl at school, and seeks to improve himself as a man. Somehow this leads him into conflict with violent delinquents, shady cults and secret organisations, and Mob has opportunity to break out of his emotionally-stunted shell and use his incredible psychic powers more than ever before—for better or for worse.

Since the Mob Psycho 100 manga is authored by ONE, comparisons with One-Punch Man are likely inevitable. There are certainly some similarities between the two—an overpowered protagonist, spectacle-based action and cynical humour are all a part of Mob Psycho 100. There’s a definite difference in subject matter, though, starting with more inner struggle in the titular protagonist, whereas One-Punch Man was characterised by a lack thereof. For the anime, the team is different too, but it looks to be a good one. Death Parade creator and director Tachikawa Yuzuru heads the staff, which includes among other notables Kawai Kenji, whose name has long been associated with epic music. From the promotional trailer, BONES seems to have translated ONE’s rough art style to the animated medium, which makes for an interesting aesthetic, especially alongside the shiny effects in action scenes. If there’s one thing we don’t have to worry about, it’s visual quality. Perhaps Mob Psycho 100 does not have the same hype as One-Punch Man, and we really shouldn’t be staking one against the other anyway, but as far as action-comedies this season goes, Mob Psycho 100 already looks to be a keeper.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Stilts Expectation Level: High
Show Mob Psycho 100 Promotional Videos ▼

DANGANRONPA 3 -The End of Kibougamine Gakuen- Zetsubou HenTop
ダンガンロンパ3 -The End of 希望ヶ峰学園- 絶望編
Animation: Lerche Premiere: July 14, 2016
Genre: Mystery, Horror Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 23:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @dangan_official

Preview by Cherrie

There are not one but two DANGANRONPA sequels this season! I would suggest you read this entry in conjunction with Mirai-hen. Zetsubou-hen is going to focus on a different set of characters than Mirai-hen and unlike the latter, I highly, absolutely recommend that you read the DANGANRONPA 2 visual novel in order to get the full experience of this prequel. This is because Zetsubou-hen is going to focus on DANGANRONPA 2‘s cast before “The Tragedy” (a.k.a. “The Biggest, Most Awful, Most Tragic Event in Human History”). Spoiler Alert: what’s most interesting about the main cast in DANGANRONPA 2 is that they’re all the “Despairs” that remain to do Junko’s bidding by wreaking havoc upon the Earth. In DANGARONPA 2, they were captured and forced to play the same type of trial/murder game as in the original seriesm but had no recollection of who they were.

The general consensus seems to be that all the fans of the DANGANRONPA visual novels are more excited for Zetsubou-hen than Mirai-hen because it’s going to animate just how each of the “Despairs” became who they are. How did they fall into despair (mainly focusing on Hinata Najime (Takayama Minami), I’m guessing) and what their motives were. If you haven’t read the second visual novel, you might feel less inclined to watch this prequel since it’s hard to feel an attachment toward the cast without any context. Similar to the original anime though, everyone has a past, everyone is a “Super High School Level ____,” and it’ll be worthwhile to see how and why they headed down this downward spiral. The audience would be in for a bigger treat if Junko’s past was also animated (as seen in DANGANRONPA/ZERO), along with the objectives of Hope’s Peak Academy’s research. Not all is as it seems in the school, and it might surprise you just how much history there is.

Watching This: Cherrie, Samu, Stilts Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Danganronpa 3: The End of Kibougamine Gakuen Promotional Videos ▼

Battery | バッテリーTop
Animation: Zero-G Premiere: July 14, 2016
Genre: Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:55
Episodes: 11 Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @battery_anime or #バッテリーA

Preview by Samu

Harada Takumi (Uchiyama Kouki) is a gifted baseball player, but things don’t come easy for him. Before entering junior high he was the best pitcher in his region, but things change when he has to move to an isolated mountain town in Okayama prefecture due to his father’s new job. In a new town he can’t yet call home, he starts to lose hope in finding a catcher who can keep up with his pitches, and so became depressed, frustrated, and ready to quit baseball altogether. But then he meets his new classmate, Nagakura Gou (Hatanaka Tasuku), who is determined to form a “battery” – a combination of a pitcher and catcher – with Takumi despite his overwhelming talent. Their meeting begins a story of baseball, friendship, and the dramatic events that unfold from there.

There are so many positives with Battery that I don’t know where to begin. First off, this is an adaptation of Asano Atsuko’s novel by the same name. It has been previously adapted into a live-action TV series, and if the author’s name rings a bell that’s because she is also the same woman behind the dystopian No.6, which received an anime adaptation in 2011, shocking many anime fans with a gay lead couple. Battery is another story that focuses on the relationship of two young boys, but whether there is romance or merely friendship remains to be seen. Not only that, but Shimura Takako (Hourou Musuko, Aoi Hana) is in charge of the original character designs, so if you see a resemblance to Aldnoah.Zero, that’s why. Another interesting note is that this is a Noitamina anime that feels like it belongs on the block after expectations for the time slot have shifted over the past few years. There’s also an experienced director, Mochizuki Tomomi (Ranma 1/2, Saraiya Goyou) to consider as well. With so many positive signs it seems this is sure to be one of the big-hitters this season, especially once you factor in the masses of sports anime fans that this will appeal to.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Samu, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Battery Promotional Videos ▼

Onara Gorou | おなら吾郎Top
Animation: Ilca Premiere: July 2016
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: Station:
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @onara_goro

Preview by Passerby

The biological phenomenon flatulence, the expulsion of intestinal gases, derives from the Latin flatus, meaning a blowing or breaking of the wind. Flatulence, colloquially termed ‘farting’, forms the customary fundament for drollery of the scatological nature, known in the common parlance as ‘toilet humour’. In the anime titled Ongara Gorou we shall study the conventions of Far Eastern burlesque, and its cultural advancements in the use of flatulence for the purposes of comedy. Its methodology involves cutting edge techniques of Japanese farce, employing anthropomorphism as a tool to generate absurdity. The application of sentience to an odious cloud of vapours creates the titular Gorou, ‘the most admirable of farts’, incarnated as a soft-spoken middle-aged man, who provides those who come to him for counsel with sage advice from the perspective of one ejected from the anus, solving problems in ways that only intestinal gas can.

A review of the literature shows us that director Taniguchi Takashi specialises in short form comedies executed with a minimalistic animation style. Anthropomorphism is also not uncommon in his works, nor is it in anime in general, but there has certainly been a noticeable gap in the area of anthropomorphising aeriform digestive byproducts, which Onara Gorou will now seek to correct. It is conceded that the lay audience may still lack familiarity with the unconventional subject matter, limiting the accessibility of Ononara Gorou. Therefore we will propose the assistance of available online resources, in particular an ‘episode 0’ that can serve as a sample for what to expect from this anime. Even with a language barrier, the sample is a functional demonstration of the aesthetics and comedic styling of Onora Gorou. Alternatively, it stands as proof to the existence of an anime about a humanoid fart if available evidence is too difficult to believe otherwise. Trends in the data indicate that Onora Gorou will be a niche anime foremost, for those who seek surrealism in comedy (though note the crowdfunding behind it that indicates a level of demand). It may also appeal simply as an object of curiosity that could be worth a watch, but not in public, where questions may be asked that science cannot adequately answer.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Niche
Nanatsu no Taizai: Seisen no Shirushi | 七つの大罪 聖戦の予兆Top
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: August 28, 2016
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 17:00
Episodes: 4 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @7_taizai or #七つの大罪T

Preview by Stilts

The medieval fantasy adventure by way of shounen action series Nanatsu no Taizai is getting an original four-episode TV special penned by original creator Suzuki Nakaba-sensei. Or so that’s the rumor. Nanatsu no Taizai follows the story of the titular Seven Deadly Sins, a group of seven powerful knights who were suspected of plotting to overthrow the king. The official story was that the King’s Holy Knights disposed of them, but rumors persisted of their survival, rumors which beleaguered Princess Elizabeth (Amamiya Sora) puts to the test after those same Holy Knights overthrow and kill the king years later. The story tells of Elizabeth’s quest to gather Meliodas (Kaji Yuki) and the other Sins in order to remove the Holy Knights from power and recapture the throne. Plenty of that was done in the first season, but the job isn’t finished.

Nanatsu no Taizai is one of the series I regret not blogging. It’s excellent shounen action, with overpowered protagonists done right—matched up against overpowered antagonists, so we can watch the sparks fly. The first two cours were so much fun, they were packed full of excitement, and I challenge anyone to meet vibrant characters like the irreverent Meliodas, jealous maiden (and giant) Diane (Yuuki Aoi), and fan-favorite Undead (but surprisingly deep) Ban (Suzuki Tatsuhisa), and not at least want to see what they’ll do next. A second season announcement was greeted with great approval, even if the news that it’s a four-episode original TV special was met with trepidation. I think we’ll still get a true Nanatsu no Taizai second season eventually, this seems designed to keep our attention until more source material is released, but when it comes to original specials the quality is up in the air, even if rumors say that the original creator is behind this story. I’m going to watch it, and fans of the original series should too; it’s four episodes, so if it sucks it won’t take up much time. To viewers new to the series, I’d definitely take this as another opportunity to go back and catch the original. This series is awesome y’all, you’ve got to see it!

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Takaii, Samu, Stilts Expectation Level: Moderately High

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 Zephyr directly.

Release Date Title Notes
03/30 The Anthem of the Heart | 心が叫びたがってるんだ。
BD/DVD Release.
04/20 Gekijouban Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam – Over the Wishes
劇場版 LASTEXILE 銀翼のファム Over the Wishes
BD/DVD Release.
04/22 Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito 4 – Nikushimi no Kioku Kara
コードギアス 亡国のアキト 第4章: 憎しみの記憶から
BD/DVD Release. Episode 4 of 5.
04/27 Gekijōban Meiji Tokyo Renka: Yumihari no Serenade
BD/DVD Release.
05/06 Ajin OVA | 亜人 OVA
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 9. Episode 1 of 2.
05/25 Doukyusei | 同級生
BD/DVD Release.
05/27 Gekijouban Girls und Panzer | ガールズ&パンツァー 劇場版
BD/DVD Release.
05/28 Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin III – Akatsuki no Houki
機動戦士ガンダムTHE ORIGIN III 暁の蜂起
BD/DVD Release. Episode 3 of 4.
06/03 Kekkai Sensen: Ousama no Restaurant no Ousama OVA
血界戦線 王様のレストランの王様 OVA
Bundled w/ Binge Bible Guide Book.
06/06 Drifters OVA | ドリフターズ OVA
Bundled w/ manga Vol. 5.
06/17 KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm
BD/DVD Release.
06/17 Shin Gekijouban Initial D: Legend 3 – Mugen
新劇場版 頭文字[イニシャル]D Legend3 -夢現-
BD/DVD Release.
06/24 Aria the Avvenire: Sono Harukanaru Mirai e…
ARIA The AVVENIRE「capitolo 3 その 遙かなる未来へ…」
BD/DVD Release.
June 2016 Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! OVA
Bundled w/ LN Vol. 9.
June 2016 RS Keikaku: Rebirth Storage | RS計画 -Rebirth Storage-
07/04 Shokugeki no Souma OVA | 食戟のソーマ OVA
Bundled w/ manga Vol. 19. Episode 2 of 2.
07/04 To LOVE-Ru Darkness 2nd OVA | To LOVEる -とらぶる- ダークネス2nd
Bundled w/ manga Vol. 19. Episode 2 of 3.
BD/DVD Release.
07/07 Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume | planetarian ~ちいさなほしのゆめ
5 Episode OVA.
07/15 Fairy Tail: Natsu vs. Mavis OVA | フェアリーテイル OVA第2期
Episode 2 of 3.
07/20 High☆Speed!: Free! Starting Days | ハイ☆スビード!Free! Starting Days
BD/DVD Release.
07/27 Durarara!!x2 Ketsu: Dufufufu!! | デュラララ!!×2 結 第19.5話「デュフフフ!!」
Bundled w/ BD/DVD Vol. 6. Episode 19.5.
07/27 Joker Game: Kuroneko Yoru no Bouken | ジョーカー・ゲーム 「黒猫ヨルの冒険」
Bundled w/ BD box set.
07/27 Kizumonogatari I: Tekketsu-hen | 傷物語〈Ⅰ鉄血篇〉
BD/DVD Release.
07/27 Koukou Hoshi Kageki (Starmyu) OVA | 高校星歌劇[スタミュ] OVA
Episode 1 of 2.
Kickstarter Digital Release.
08/03 PERSONA3 THE MOVIE —#4 Winter of Rebirth—
劇場版ペルソナ3 #4 Winter of Rebirth
BD/DVD Release.
08/04 Gintama°: Aizome Kaori-hen | 銀魂 愛染香篇
Episode 1 of 2.
08/11 Gekijōban Meiji Tokyo Renka: Yumihari no Serenade
DVD Release.
08/19 Akatsuki no Yona: Zeno-hen | 暁のヨナ ゼノ編
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 21. Episode 2 of 3.
08/19 Kamisama Hajimemashita: Kako-hen | 神様はじめました~過去編~
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 25. Episode 4 of 4.
08/24 Gekijōban selector destructed WIXOSS | 劇場版 selector destructed WIXOSS
BD/DVD Release.
08/26 Dimension W OVA | ディメンション ダブリュー
Bundled w/ BD Vol. 6. Unaired episode.
09/07 Hibike! Euphonium Movie: Kitauji Koukou Suisougaku-bu e Youkoso
劇場版 響け!ユーフォニアム~北宇治高校吹奏楽部へようこそ~
BD/DVD Release.
09/23 Uchuu Kyoudai: Nanba Zero | 宇宙兄弟#0 [ナンバー・ゼロ]
BD/DVD Release.

Overall Impressions


It’s hard to peg how good a season will be ahead of time, so I’m not even going to try. What I can say is that this season is heavy on new adaptations of promising properties, which means there are plenty of good-looking shows whose actual quality we can only guess at. That’s what makes it fun, though, ne? As I scroll through the preview, there doesn’t seem to be any major imbalance in the kinds of anime we’re getting; they seem to be fairly well distributed across genres, other than perhaps a dearth in mecha and magical-fantasy-action-harem anime. Can’t win ’em all, I suppose. This may be another season that rewards the viewer who goes wide before going deep, or who follows RandomC to find out which shows are doing well. Or maybe I’m just biased? Hypnotoad wants you to read RandomC *Hypnotoad noise*

If you’d rather get to the nitty gritty, onto the levels. Our rubric remains the same, with the five main expectation levels ranging from High to Low, plus Niche and Established for special cases. Hopefully this guide will help those of you with limited time understand which shows to try first, based on our preliminary examination of each show’s staff, seiyuu, and source material. Failing that, it’ll give you a cudgel to wield against us when we invariably peg one or two wrong.

We arrived at these levels by convening our regular (and reliably shady) “anticipation council,” which still consists of Passerby, Zephyr, and yours truly, Stilts. While we’ve gone to great lengths to be as objective as possible, perfect objectivity isn’t possible for us squishy humans, and even the most well-considered predictions can prove themselves wrong in a hurry. Take these with a grain of salt.

Note: 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.

  • Established: N/A


    1. Will it now? I hadn’t seen a confirmed episode count, though now that you mention it it is being said that there will be six specials, which seems to suggest twelve episodes (or at least, not 10). Nice!

    2. I’m not a fan of this series, but I did notice the official website lists six volumes for Drei, which could work out as 12 episodes if you do 6 x 2 episodes. Amazon Japan lists the runtime of the first volume of Drei at 50 minutes which indicates two episodes too.

  1. More Berserk is always great I guess? But besides that there’s really nothing that I’m sure will draw my interest as of yet. Will just have to give them all a few episodes and see I guess…

  2. @Stilts: Illya 3rei’s level of dark is basically about the same as the darkest parts of the series so far, but it’s pretty much consistently dark throughout instead of just being dark every now and then.

    @Passerby: Amano-sensei is female. I know this because Amanchu’s release schedule was heavily affected by her pregnancy and childbirth.

    1. This x 100. They are going to either end at an awkward place, try to stretch out to end where it should, or try to compress a lot. Can only hope this is a split cour and we will get what we should have gotten eventually 🙂

      1. I’m pretty sure this season was only made to cover the Totsuki Autumn Election Arc only. It won’t be split cour. Though that’s not to say they won’t do more Shokugeki no Soma again in the future.

  3. Thanks RC! I’ve been waiting for this as well. Even if a lot of anime guides come out elsewhere I still wait for RC’s since for me it’s easy to follow and you really put everything from the promotional videos to your personal impression of the series. That and the calendar is a great help sorting on what days each show airs. There’s a lot of potential new series here but I’m definitely waiting for the more famiiar series like Love Live, Shokugeki no Soma, D-Gray Man, and Berserk. Let’s see if there’s going to be any surprise hits this season like how Tanaka-kun was in the Winter season.

      1. Well, you should hear it more often. Your summaries and tables are incredibly useful, with all the relevant data, your impressions, good images and a calendar. Since I discovered your site, I always come to the Season Preview section when I need to check what anime has in store for each season. Keep up the good work!

  4. Excited for the Berserk anime. The manga is back and running as well, and the Berserk Musou video game was recently announced. This is clearly the summer of Berserk!

    Sucks that Arslan is only 8 episodes. Even worse is Nanatsu only being 4 episodes. What were they thinking?

    1. Well, this Nanatsu no Taizai season is actually an original TV special, so four episodes is probably smart. That’s enough to maybe tell a good story, but not so much that it’ll get away from them and they’ll have to tie this huge anime original arc back into the main series. Or it’ll suck, but at least then the damage is more contained.

      1. I guess my disappointment stems from how they announced a new Nanatasu anime. When they first announced “new Nanatsu anime” everyone thought it was going to be the next season, but instead we’re getting a 4-episode special. Who knows if we’ll ever get an actual new season to the series.

  5. Cue some comments about how this upcoming season will suck as compared to Summer xx.

    I’ll pick 15 shows and that’s it. Though Orange piques my interest the most. Not gonna expect anything since Gangsta. betrayed with my feelings last year.

  6. Here’s my list
    91 days: Revenge+mafia drama? Sign me up
    Active Raid: As an unapologetic Toku fan, I loved the shit out of the first cour
    Ange Vierge
    Danganronpa 3: AOTS candidate right here. Both arcs airing on the same season just fuels my hype and Despair arc is the kind of story I wanted ever since I finished DR2
    Prisma 3rei: Fucking hype. Also trust that there’ll be no filler given the footage released
    Gakuen HxH
    Mob Psycho 100
    Qualidea Code
    Regalia: 2d mechs animated by ACTAS? I’m gettng aroused just thinking about it
    Saiki Kusuo
    Shokugeki S2: Loved S1. Of course I’ll watch S2
    Taboo Tattoo
    Tales of Zestiria X
    Majestic Prince episode 25

  7. Wooo, I’ve been looking forward to this post since the beginning of this month! The RandomC seasonal preview posts are one of the most beautiful and satisfying things to see on the internet 😀 Thanks as always!

    Now then, what to watch..

  8. For Danganronpa, if I’m one of those “anime-only viewers”, I should be watching Mirai only and ditch Zetsubou correct?

    And no, I’m too lazy to read the LN so watching both would be out of the question.

    1. I’m an “anime-only viewer” as well, but from what I understand it’s safe to watch Mirai-hen without reading the LN. If they don’t recap Danganronpa 2 at the start, then there probably will be a lot of question marks, but I’m sure we’ll be able to power through and still connect most dots.

      As for Zetsubou. For LN-readers, it’ll be the backstory of some characters that were introduced in Danganronpa 2. For us anime-only viewers, it’ll be the backstory of completely new characters we’ve never seen before. In other words, this is probably safe to skip until you experience Danganronpa 2 in any form.

      Basically they go in this order:

      A. Danganronpa 3: Zetsubou-hen – Hajime & friends backstory, we didn’t see them in the first season.
      B. The “Tragedy” takes place.
      C. Danganronpa – Season 1, Naegi & friends, that we are familiar with.
      D. Danganronpa 2 – Naegi & friends and Hajime & friends, stuff happens? Read the LN!
      E. Danganronpa 3: Mirai-hen – Story continues with Naegi & friends.

      Did I get it right? Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

      1. 1st)It’s a VN (the only LN is Danganronpa Zero)
        2nd)Both shows are made to be watched after playing both VNs (The adaptation of DR1 was a rushjob, but it’s good enough for this. Now you only need to get and complete DR2. Available for Vita and PC (via Steam, or illegal methods))
        3)Ignoring Zetsubou Hen seems like a terrible idea. There’s a reason both arcs are coming out in the same season, and the writer himself said he wrote the story to be enjoyed by watching both arcs simultanously

      2. thanks JayDrink, that answered my questions too!

        I just find it really puzzling/unusual they wouldn’t make an anime of the LN that connects the two series. Has that happened before when it comes to anime?

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      3. @Bamboo Blade Cat
        They aren’t animating DR2 (which is a VN. Not an LN. VNs and LNs aren’t the same) because the writer for the series (Kodaka) thinks an adaptation would be bad and pointless besides pandering to anime only people
        And he’s right. After the mess that was the first VN’s adaptation, there’s no way DR2 would work well as an anime

      4. Just to clarify though. You can watch the two Danganronpa shows just fine without playing the games. You’ll just spoil the second game, and probably wouldn’t appreciate it as much. But if you have no intention of ever playing the games, it’s a moot point imho.

      5. Thanks for clarifying y’all. I was going to skip Zetsubou-hen, but I guess I’ll just give the DR2 VN a quick read so I can enjoy Mirai & Zetsubou together. I’m not interested in playing any of the Danganronpa games though, so I’ll skip that.

      6. Not to sound pedantic. But I was talking about the same thing. I consider them games, although they’re Visual novels. As they’re on gaming systems. But whatever lol.

    2. Danganronpa 1&2 are both VN, not LN (as everyone else has already stated).
      In order to get the full experience, I heavily recommend you read the Danganronpa2 VN (or what a lot of people have done are watch the walkthroughs on Youtube which is fine too).
      That said, if you decide to go in blind and not read Danganronpa2, Mirai is probably the easier one to transition into. Zetsubou might be harder to grasp just because the audience has no connection or context for the prequel. I’m really hoping that either way, they give a very badly abridged version of what happened in Danganronpa 2 for completeness-sake.

      Still don’t know WHY the creators would do this if not just to satisfy the audience that has read the VN. I know it’s not very friendly for anime-only viewers =(

      1. It’s precisely that
        Kodaka despises anime only viewers (The reason he won’t allow a DR2 adaptation is that in his eyes, it would be pointless and soulless pandering to anime only viewers without the feelings of the original VN)
        Both DR3 shows are very explicitly aimed at us VN readers

      1. So, about D.Gray-man.. I’ve got two quick questions.

        1. Why does a 103-episode anime get a 13-episode sequel? Is it just a very short second season or more of a “we’re back” kind of deal where they’ll eventually release multiple 13-episode seasons?
        2. This one’s probably obvious, but do I have to watch the first 103 episodes to enjoy this anime? Would you recommend marathoning one hundred episodes of D.Gray-man over other shows that might also be worth marathoning?

      2. @jaydrink

        question 1: yes, it’s a sort of “we are back” kind of season. The manga is still ongoing and the author gets held back on continuing the story every now and then due to medical issues so it makes sense to probably adapt the manga 13 eps at a time. Besides, since d.gray-man has been gone for so long, it makes sense to test the viewership’s interest with one-cour and see how they respond before committing to more eps. Besides, one-cour is all they’ll need to adapt this arc while leaving off at a specific point that will make the viewers want more.

        question 2: There are quite a bunch of things that occur plot-wise during the 103 ep run of d. gray-man. The first 1/3 of the series is a bunch of filler with canon material interspersed but then things get moderately back on track. If you want to feel attached to the characters and the world of the series then yea you should marathon it otherwise you may not feel invested in the motivations of the cast, especially with this upcoming arc. I wouldnt watch a series without watching the previous seasons just because there’s hype surrounding it, so catch up first. Unless you dont care and you’d rather watch the new season and then catch up later with the older eps sort of like watching a series in anachronological order.

  9. Is there like an age limit to saving the world ???
    or is it that any person crossing the age of 20 turns into a mindless droid ??? Always knew I shouldn’t trust those incompetent good-for-nothing adults

    1. From a pure blood Japanese girl who grew up in US before going to Japan she says people stop being real and have to fall into the work/home social grind that keeps them bound to a set routine after high school or the few who go to collage. So as high school is the last time the average Japanese person gets to be a freely expressive person and explore new things works that cover that period when all remember being free to dream.
      This is not totally true of course older anime had focus on older characters, historical anime often have older characters. I believe the damage reality shows have had on regular Japanese TV drama’s and anime has shoved anime back into it’s original teen focus. In the west it actually not that much better most movies focus on 20 to 30 somethings as the key characters. Heck Game of Thrones has killed most of the non teen main characters. You can say both cultures have a youth focus in drama’s. In part again in both culture older adults tend to stagnate into a role so it harder to fit fantasy.
      Second it the youth who have the most free money and time to pay for media so of course they get most of the focus.

  10. in regards to berserk 2016’s director, i know that he hasnt done anything prolific, but i dont really understand the trepidation people have with him. Sure he has stuff like ben-to in his resume (which was a decent action series; Shaga was easily the best girl/thing about that series), but he also directed the berserk trilogy and regardless about how one feels about how truncated the adaptation was, it didnt change the fact that it was very well directed and screen written. Berserk is a story of implication and depth, something that itagaki protrayed quite well through his direction. He knew how to handle the characters and the turmoils they endured throughout the movie and i have no doubt that we will see the same care be shown to the series. The only thing that worries me (aside from the cg) is whether this series is going to be slapped with heavy censorship because let me tell you, shit gets real. Other than that, Im not the kind of guy who gets bent out of shape if things get left out of the source material as long as the thematic core of the series remains in tact (and that whatever gets cut out doesnt leave holes in the story) so ill be fine if things get changed around.

      1. no you’re absolutely right; i was reading staff info about berserk on a website once and it had shin itagaki down as a director but it didnt specify whether it was the movies or the tv series so i guess my mind lumped the movie and the new tv series with the same director since i knew the 1997 version was directed by naohito takahashi; silly me. Disregard the first half of that comment then. Still, makoto fukami is doing the series composition so im still confident this could turn out into a good adaptation. Guess we’ll find out this friday

    1. Ben-to was quite fun. Another show Itagaki did was Manglobe’s(RIP Manglobe) Basquash. At the start, Basquash was an incredibly stylish, unique and energized show. It reminded people of Gurren Lagann, and I remember there being a lot of hype around it. Unfortunately, for some reason, Itagaki was fired a few episodes in, and they replaced him with another director. After he was fired, the show went downhill and fast. Lost its spark. It was just never the same. I’ll never understand why he was fired.

      All that being said, I honestly think he’s a good director, despite everyone making fun of him for directing Teekyu. For now, all we can do is wait and see.

  11. Well. For me.

    Love Live Sunshine!
    Active Raid Season 2
    Tales of Zestiria
    Shokugeki no Soma Season 2

    Maybe some others. These are the ones I know of anyway.

  12. List of series I will watch:

    Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara
    Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 3rei!!
    Mob Psycho 100
    Active Raid -Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai Hachi Gakari- 2nd

  13. Def watching:

    Mob Psycho 100

    I’ll sample any others that look interesting, but I’ll give it a full look once they start airing, which is what I usually do.

    Bamboo Blade Cat
      1. Shouldn’t this release be “Episode 4 of 5” rather than “Episode 4 of 4” then?

        I guess the other thing that confused me was that, whilst the release date provided is for the English release, the link is for the Japanese site, and the final Japanese BD came out in April…

      2. The release date listed is April yes, because our list is based on BD/DVD release.

        Because it released in between our previous preview and this one and never made it on the list from last time, I added it in here as a retroactive addition so people can know that it came out and it doesn’t fall through the cracks.

  14. And I’ve been meaning to start the Fate series so I can watch these recent ones, but, oh there’s just too much anime. And I’m falling behind this current season’s anime cause I started watch Dragon Ball, so goodbye every other show for a while (on episode 30)!

    Bamboo Blade Cat
      1. Totes seriously. I started watching anime sort of late, so while there’s a lot of stuff I’ve caught up on (I only stumbled upon and watched Berserk two years ago!), there’s a lot I’ve missed or wasn’t interested in yet. I’m sort of glad since whatever they showed stateside probably seems like it’d be heavily edited for this audience. Though did they even show Dragon Ball or skip right to Dragon Ball Z? Most references seem to be about Z, or maybe they just grouped it all into Z over here.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
    1. Like most VNs of its length (i.e. very long), Rewrite is quite slow. It does build up into something worthwhile by the end, though. How good is it? I personally found it ultimately flawed, and would certainly not rate it as high as Clannad or Little Busters, but its ambition and production value requires recognition. Not the best by a fair distance, but still good, on the balance.

    2. In my opinion, Rewrite only begins to shine once you get through the common route and enter any of the heroines’ routes. Most of the common route is basically slice-of-life comedy with some light fantasy and horror mixed in (we can probably thank Ryukishi07’s involvement for the latter). Once you enter a route though, you will be treated to an entirely different beast, with the genre changing depending on the route you are on.

      How good it is seems to depend on what other VNs you like, with Fans of Key’s older works, generally liking Rewrite less due to the game being much darker and less of a “crying game”, while especially fans of other companies like Type-Moon and – for obvious reasons – 07th Expansion seem like it more than other Key games.

      My personal opinion of the game is that it’s much more entertaining than other Key games, but doesn’t manage to create the same level of feelings as Kanon or Clannad. Still, it has become my second favourite Key game after Clannad.

      1. Haven’t much experience on VNs but I have played some notable ones like Steins Gate, Clannad, Grisaia, Fate/Stay Night and a few more. Perhaps, I need to read further on Rewrite to reach the good parts which I am struggling to continue atm. Thanks by the way for reply 🙂

  15. This isn’t the season I’d expected it to be… But anyways:
    My Summer 2016 watch list – Shounen edition

    “Continuations” – covering actual ones along with ones that skipped a cour:
    Macross Delta – with the midway point being a small victory in mids of a retreat. It might just got a lot harder to continue.
    Kuromukuro – entertainment all the way with this OTP…
    Shokugeki no Souma – Ni so Sara – and the creative food reactions continues.
    Active Raid – 2nd season – cheesey actions and barely tolerable politics, weird combo but there’s hope that they catch what actually stuck.

    Sure-watched manga listings; Yes, really:
    Relife – trollish-fun / emotional manga getting adapted, I’m in.
    Orange – pure emo-train here. And that’s just from the manga

    Three-Episode Trial:
    Regalia: The Three Scared Stars – the most vague impression of the bunch that I’m trying this cour – and it’s a mecha anime too, the usual sure-in category for me.
    Amaama to Inazuma – @Takaii – you better be blogging this cause I got caught by your write-up…

    Blog-watch – ie. I might watch but I’m on the fence still for vague reasons:
    Rewrite – heavy, very heavy premise
    Scared Rider Xechs – have a feeling that we need to be caught up with the game first…
    Qualidea Code – a lot of big names being dropped here, kinda hard to ignore it all now.

    Sidenote: @Stilts, I actually read through your write up on M**** G***** HxH… VERY upfront.

      1. I actually read it too and thought it was so half-assed that it was almost aggravating to fans of the genre like me.

        What you basically did was mention and adopt the usual jaundiced and biased perspective many anime viewers hold against ecchi/harem series, including the usual rant about lack of originality as if no other genre overly relied on the use of cliches and common places.

        It reads as if you simply watched the PV and some images and started writing your banter of the genre, without any semblance of a minimal research about the work you are supposed to provide information about and that I find plainly disrespectful.

        Well, now that my venting is over let´s write some interesting facts about the series to make this post useful to people who are pondering whether to watch this or not. To put it simply, HxH is here to claim the crown of LEWD from top-tier competitors like Shinmai and TLR Darkness and with the director of Seitokaichou wa Okusama in charge it looks like we won´t be disappointed. The MC is your average wuss only at the beginning and obviously the selling point is the PLOT, but the plot itself is not half-bad, although by no means original. Expect few to none school shenanigans, no classmates other than the three haremettes that are shown in the picture are even given a name. The focus is on the war and several entertaining twists will ensue, all highly predictable nonetheless. All in all, it is clear that the author cares about the story and its characters and endeavoured to write something more than simply filler between the increasingly perverted scenes, the end result being quite decent.

      2. Sorry if my preview seemed overly harsh or anything. That wasn’t my intent. You summarized my point relatively well: “HxH is here to claim the crown of LEWD”. I also mentioned that it didn’t seem terribly original, but I didn’t say that was BAD. Probably should have, to be honest, I don’t have the same fetish for new/unique that others do, but sometimes I forget to clarify.

        And yes, other genres use tropes, even cliches, but the magical-fantasy-action-harem[-ecchi] genre, along with a few others (shoujo romances, shounen action, cute-girls-doing-cute-things slice of life, etc) have less compunction about sticking to the formula, so it bears noting when they are (or are not) deviating.

    1. Statistically though you should learn to expect this much already with each summer season. It’s a thing Japan does, put a lot of their “Hot-dude” shows in the summer.

    2. It’s gay both ways. Lots of all-girl yuri tease too.

      We’ve got the spring leftovers though. Plus not everything’s like that. This usually happens in the summer anyway.

  16. As requested… Ahem. “Zephy, that’s a kickass OVA/Movie list.” “Cherrie, thanks for doing basically everything.” “Stilts, you didn’t suck too much this time.” 😛

    I read what you say, Stilts.

    My biggest series for this season is unquestionaly Amanchu. While Amanchu is Kozue Amano’s previous series, ARIA, it also is the one series that comes closest of anything I’ve encountered of capturing the feeling that ARIA evoked. I’ve been hoping for it to receive an anime adaptation for years.

    New Game: Cute girls doing cute things while be cute. Plus video games. What’s not to like? 😀

    Amaama to Inazuma: OMG Tsumugi’s so adorable!

    Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru!: Previews looked ok.

    Time Travel Shoujo ~Mari Waka to 8-nin to Kagakusha-tachi~: The music in the one preview I’ve seen was AMAZING. The premise behind this is odd, but I’m a little curious. I’ll take a look.

    Qualidea Code and Ange Vierge are both “maybes” for me right now.

    1. Slight typing error there that changed the meaning of what I was trying to say: “While Amanchu is different from Kozue Amano’s previous series, ARIA, it also is the one series that comes closest of anything I’ve encountered of capturing the feeling that ARIA evoked.”

      Was thinking faster than I was typing and accidentally skipped some words. :/

  17. I guess I missed when this got posted yesterday. I’m currently at work so no going into what I plan on watching, but I will say this: “Curse you Random Curiosity writers! I was going to have only a handful of shows I was going to watch and actually work on my backlog for once! Between this preview and me wanting to pick up Re: Zero because I have heard good things i will have even more to watch now!”

    Gouka Ryuu
    1. Okay, I’m on my lunch break. Here is what I plan to watch this coming season (not that this is very accurate because I only stuck with 2-3 shows last season when I had way more):

      Definite Watch:
      91 Days
      Amaama to Inuzuma
      Love Live (Only after I finish my class on July 22 and marathon the second season and movie)
      Mob Psycho 100
      orange (Yes, Samu, you were right that the premise is really good.)
      Saiki Kusuo no Nan
      Shoukugeki no Souma 2

      Maybe Will pick-up:
      Fukigen na Mononokean
      Hatsukoi Monster
      Hitori no Shita
      Kono Bijutsu-bu niwa Mondai ga Aru!
      New Game!
      Qualidea Code
      Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars (Got to support Actas the GuP studio)
      Taboo Tattoo
      Time Travel Girls

      And @Stilts, oh I know you moan about it every season just as I curse you all every season. Expect my Twitter usual thanks when I get home from work!

      Gouka Ryuu
    1. I can see why they did it though. That way they can dedicate the 13 episodes to concluding the Autumn Elections before deciding what to do next. By the time a potential season 3 happens, they’ll have plenty of material to do another 24 episodes.

  18. The ones I’m going to watch for sure:

    – Amaama to Inazuma
    – Danganronpa 3: The End of Kibougamine Gakuen – Mirai-hen
    – Danganronpa 3: The End of Kibougamine Gakuen – Zetsubou-hen
    – Handa-kun

    I’ll also give an eye to these following series – but those aren’t certain yet:

    – Battery
    – Days
    – Fukigen na Mononokean


  19. I cant believe this day would come where DGM has a spot in an RC season preview! I could cry tears of joy.

    Seriously hyped for DGM:Hallow since DGM is my favorite manga by far. I agree with your sentiments completely, Zephyr. “having waited nearly a decade for this, you can bet that I’ll be watching it every step of the way.”!!

    Objectively speaking, I know Hallow will be somewhat low-budget compared to the other offerings this season. Still, I hope Hallow will pick up new viewers and instill fresh blood into the fandom. At one point, DGM was one of the fairly popular shounen titles, so I expect at the very least some old timers will recognize it and be like “oh hey its dgm again”.

    For ppl completely new to DGM, I hope this adaptation will be appealing enough. Although Hallow starts where the last anime stopped off, new viewers wont be to confused.

    If its successful, it would be beyond great for it to get a 2nd cour and if manga volume sales increased.


    Thank you always to the RC staff for your hard work! Ive been looking forward every day for the last two weeks for the summer preview and continue appreciate your efforts. You’re the best!

    Also, Zephyr, I didnt know you were also a DGM fan. Its been a long journey, my friend. ;_;
    Thank you for your preview!

    1. I would still recommend new viewers to go back and watch the first season because there will be terminology that’s being brought up in Hallow that was explained previously so they wouldn’t really get what’s going on. I mean sure, watch the first ep of the second season to see if you as a viewer are drawn into the world. Though warning, the first season is really “Shounen” (then again it was a Shounen manga so….). It progressively turns Seinen as the show goes on (especially the long awaited second season).
      I would say that 20% of the show was filler. But still, D-Gray Man doesn’t have a large cast of main characters so these fillers served to help build them as characters and were enjoyable for the most part, along with fleshing out one of the main villains, Lu Lu.
      If anyone wants to know specifically which episodes were filler if they wanted to marathon it, then check this link out.

    2. If ur referring to hallow’s animation quality in regards to it being low budget, i would actually argue that looks better than the old series n looks better than half of what’s on the schedule

    3. Yeah, I watched the original when it aired and in hindsight it probably wasn’t as great as I felt it was back then, but I did quite like it and I was sad when it ended rather abruptly. Shortly afterwards the manga went on hiatus and at that point it’s just been a waiting game.

      Time flies though, hard to believe it’s been a whole decade, but yet here we are.

      I’ll agree for sure that it’s probably a bit on the low end budget wise, so here’s hoping that despite that they’ll get enough here to consider doing the rest at some point in the near future, as I’d really like to see a conclusion to this given that many of the things I started around then have actually ended at this point (Claymore etc.).

      We’ll see how it goes. I’ll probably do the intro for the first episode at least, so you can look forward to that too!

    1. It depends on genre. For an idol show, Love Live is generally pretty tops, but comedies are always harder to peg. I will tell you that Fukigen was a hair from getting Mod High, and it mighta gotten bumped if we had the time to give the levels a second discussion.

  20. I thought I might have a easy-going summer season, but this line-up ..

    1. Relife
    2. Rewrite
    3. Fate/Kaleid ss4
    4. Active Raid ss2
    5. Tales of Zestiria
    6. Love Live Sunshine!
    7. Fukigen na Mononokean
    8. Soma ss2
    9. Berserk!
    10. Arslan Senki ss2
    11. The Outcast

    Lucky I didn’t start on Danganronpa yet. lol

  21. Wow, that’s a whole lotta stuff I don’t care about. Even some of the sequels that look interesting, I never finished D.Grayman or Nanatsu, so…

    Probably for the best, the last few seasons I’ve been watching like 6+ shows a week and it really ate into my schedule. I’ll just take my Shokugeki no Soma cour and call it good. Maybe I’ll finally finish FMA Brotherhood or something.

  22. ReLIFE was pretty damn excellent. I think it’s even better than the original.

    As for other shows that I haven’t gotten the chance to see yet…

    * Mob Psycho 100
    * Saiki Kusuo no Psynan
    * New Game
    * Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga aru
    * Handa-kun

    and probably some more.

  23. Thanks for the preview! I added much more to my To Check Out list than I wanted to, but I might not get around to watching them since time is an issue… Definitely watching orange, DGM hallow (though idk if I can get used to the voices…), Arslan, Battery and Handa-kun. I enjoyed Danganronpa s1 and would like more so I’m not sure if I should watch it this time… maybe if I find some summary/walkthrough of danganronpa 2 online.
    I hope Barakamon fans don’t expect Handa-kun to be much like Barakamon, because to me it seems more focused on comedy than anything. I love both of them-Barakamon for the heartwarming moments and Handa-kun for the comedy/randomness- but I tried the prequel as a random story that happens to have Barakamon characters in it. Still there are similarities and Handa-kun manga was really enjoyable, so check it out!

  24. About Tales of Zestiria, it actually won’t be a straight-up adaptation, but rather a re-telling of the story. Considering the plot had to be changed 8 months before the release of the game, it’s safe to say that this adaption will show us what kind of story they really wanted to tell from the very beginning, so it’s pretty safe to hope for a great narration and development.

    1. Oh? That’s interesting to hear. I was planning to take a peek at some point, but I guess I’ll be paying a tad bit more attention to it.

      The debate for me is whether or not to finish the game first or not though… about mid-way through.


    2. When they said they will change the plot 8 months ago? it the first I heard of it O_O

      We can assume ofc they won’t make straight adaptation (Come on, is there any anime based on game out there that we can say they adapt the game 100%? not that I’m not got what you meant though, just wanted to point out my frustration 😛 )

      In TOZ it actually may be good if they won’t make straight-up adaptation since they can take the opportunity to add more things to fill up the travlers and battles, And ALSO take the opportunity to fill the many plot holes the original had, not to mention that if you take all the exploration, battles on fields, side question, and a few other elements, TOZ’s plot is not that long and may even be short and can be compressed into 24 eps (or 12 if they Really want to ruin it), I think 24 eps of adaptation that goes more or less in the same diraction as the game yet have orginal content to cover what I note above (And fill the dam plot holes) will be better way to go with it rather than mess up like many other games based anime done so far (most not all)

      But back to the main question… where they said again they changed the plot and why? ^^

  25. Seriously I don’t really care about Fate kaleid liner Prisma Illya 3rei, never watched previous seasons but I was told that Show Spoiler ▼

    so…might as well see how it’ll do.

    Stilts edit: Mark your spoilers, even in (especially in) the season preview.

  26. I can’t contain my hype for Love Live Sunshine anymore…! Even though I’ll be watching 10 shows this season, Sunshine is still on the top of my list 😀

    Lol I also didn’t know Takaii was an Idol Hell player xD Could I add you in-game plz?

    Red HeartGold ZX
    1. I am in idol hell.
      At #fanime2016 I cosplayed Yamato from Idolish 7 ;_;

      for Love Live though, my ID is 871815465

      Let me know your name (reply or message me on twitter @rctakaii) so I know who to add

  27. The only think I totally miss from the mostly summaries is the bloggers opinion on how good each series is going so I can decide if I need to check out something I choose to skip at first.

    The first indication is what things each blogger is liking is what they blog but some things get missed even if bloggers are watching. I’d like a quick group update on who’s watching what after 3 weeks and maybe 6 weeks to figure out what to check out depending on which bloggers view most closely matches mine.

    1. Sorry, but that’s not likely to happen. Our stated watch lists are always a bit bullshit anyway. Or at least mine are. I always mark shows that I end up never even watching the first episode of. I’m a huge optimist at the beginning of the season, but reality sets in before long.

  28. And here I thought my picks for this season would be fewer than usual. At least there’s plenty of “new seasons” for established series.

    Will definitely watch:
    Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 3rei!! – I know the show won’t be the same with Miyu Matsuki having passed on, but I’m willing to give Yumi Kakazu the benefit of the doubt on whether she can voice Sapphire as well as her predecessor. And who knows, maybe there’s hope for Shimoneta‘s Anna Nishikinomiya (or any other unfinished role left behind by Ms. Matsuki) finally having a voice again…

    Decided to pick up thanks to this preview:
    Love Live! Sunshine!! – With μ’s having held their “Final Live,” it’s time to pass the torch. Now, I haven’t seen the new material and advertising for this show as of this post, but I’ll admit that Dia Kurosawa (long black hair, white ribbons) piqued my interest. Show Spoiler ▼

    New Game! – A lighter and softer look inside the video game game industry with an adorable girl as the viewpoint protagonist? Sure, why not? (Also should fill the gap left by last season’s Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta.)
    Masou Gakuen HxH – Requisite ecchi/harem(?) fix of the season. Whether it’ll be as good as the first two seasons of High School DxD or as ecchi as To LOVE-Ru: Darkness remains to be seen.

    Carryovers (Note: Correct me if any of these shows will take a mid-season break):
    JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is UnbreakableOH MY GOD! Joseph Joestar is back, and is still hilarious and badass despite his much older age! And if next episode is any indication, it’s time to say “hello” to Rohan Kishibe.
    Macross Delta – Well, s**t just got real…
    Gundam UC RE: 0096 – More of an “obligation watch” at this point.

    I’m probably gonna skip on watching Rewrite, as I feel a bit burned out lately from anime adaptations of visual novels.

  29. For me, definitely:

    ReLife (Relatable is for me)
    Shokugeki (More food porn yes!)
    Arslan (Loved the first season)
    Tales (The story and the characters are fairly interesting, and Ufotable)
    Orange (Looks to be a good heartfelt drama)
    D.Gray-Man Hallow (One of the few shounens I care about)
    Prisma Illya (But of course for me 😉 )
    91 days (Because 2016 is shaping up to be the year of period pieces in anime)
    And Mob Psycho 100 (ONE + Bones = Should be great)

    As for maybe:

    Taboo Tattoo
    And Battery

  30. Add my thanks to the RC crew for their hard work. Personally, pickings are kind of slim this season. Is it me or is there an abundance of idol and boy band shows this summer. O.o. Not interested in either. Also a lot of sequels to shows I never got into (nice for fans of those shows though).

    So… Beserk is the only thing which stands out as “will watch”. Read like 300+ chapters of the manga loooong ago (oddly, never watched the anime adaptation). That series pushed my “grim-dark” tolerance to the limit a couple times :<, but definitely some good seinen stuff. Samu's comments about bad CGI are less than ideal, but lets see how it goes. Hopefully this will turn out well.

    The other show that stood out for me is 91 Days. I'm up for a good old fashioned mobster story. Short PV, but hints at maybe some cool BGM? Agree with preview that this has potential to be a good show. Just hope that any "English" lines are not too bad. Rather they just go with all Japanese than loads of bad "Engrish" if given a choice.

    After that trial and error on few other shows. No real expectations for any of them, but hopefully at least a couple will pan out.

  31. About Mahou Shoujo Naria Girls – I understand that improvised anime is destined to either hit or miss, but lately I’m binging through Tesagure Bukatsumono and this one is definitely a “hit” in my book. Some great self-aware, deconstruction based humor in the vein of, say, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei that went under most people’s radar. Dunno if quality of one improv show from a director can be any indication of quality of another one (I guess it mostly boils down to the chemistry between seiyuus anyway), but still my hopes for Naria Girls are quite high and I’m certainly willing to at least give it a try.

  32. Stilts, you didn’t suck too much this time.
    But now i am curious about the story regarding the fire-ants Stilts, so spill the beans!

    I honestly thought ( and still do actually ) that the description of HxH is translated weird/incorrect since only queens blade and seikon no qwaser went that route, and we all know how that ended. The seasons after the first gradually left the ecchi route and even DxD, who has a character that gets stronger with boobs is not as upfront about it as this HxH is…

    The new Illya prisma will be awesome and sad if it keeps following the source as good as it has done so far though, it can be a real tearjerker at some points. I do wonder how they will do it justice with just 10 episodes though…

    Other then Ange Vierge, only the danganronpa ones look interesting from the get go.
    Then again, shows have suprised me before in the past with how good they can be when given the chance.

    1. I didn’t even remember I lied about—I mean, talked about the fire ants until you mentioned it. Whoopsie.

      And good news! Apparently the new season of Prisma Illya is looking like it’ll probably be 12 episodes for once. Yay!

    1. Not so much me criticizing your tastes but honestly, you need to open up your mind more to different genres if you can only find 2 similar shows of the same genre to be interested in.

  33. Thanks guys, you make me interested in many of the shows this season 🙂 Though, I have to praise Samu and Takaii for convincing me to pick up Orange and Ange Vierge(I can’t believe I’d pick up a game adaptation with vague story). Amanchu is the only anime that I plan to watch before reading this preview. ReLife is good, but the animation is just so far from the manga, but since I can watch it through Comico I’ll watch it when I feel like it. Probably will pick up:
    Qualidea Code (Because of the singers and Oregairu’s writer in it)
    Fukigen na Mononokean
    Bijutsubu (already read the manga, don’t like the story, but the PV and screenshot from official site shows quality)
    Amaama to Inazuma

  34. Looks like I’m left to bite the tumbleweed then. Man am I late. So anyways back on track…

    I dunno, guess I’ll be watching no more than 8 shows this time around. Heck, I haven’t even concluded series from spring yet and the summer season’s already round the corner, hot damn.

    And thus if I had tuh pick anything, I guess I’ll watch these instead:

    1): ReLife

    2): Zestiria

    3): Amaama to Inazuma (Or as I’d call it AmaIna)

    4): Amanchu

    5): Time Travel Shoujo

    6 & 7): The Danganronpas

    Hmm, seems like a plan I guess. Still got like a Jupiter’s worth of backlogs to get through in all forms of modern media on top of my studies and my writing but oh well ( ^ o ^ )

    And oh yeah, you guys better preview em well cuz some shows definitely pique my jaded senses. I’ll leave my curiosity in your hands for those shows guys, so yeah, let’s just hope they don’t disappoint m’kay? ( ^ _ ^ )

    Nishizawa Mihashi
  35. It’s a shame Fate/Kaleid will not reach up to chapter 42 but it’s still worth the watch……
    It’s also a shame that I’m busy in the summer season and can’t watch most of them f*ck

    1. Mecha anime’s strength and potential kind of rests in the Super Robot Wars franchise and some of Bandai Visuals OVA projects as well as the occasional TV series like Iron Blooded Orphans and Macross Delta. I blame virtually every other entities (not so much Polygon Pictures and I.G) complete half assing of the genre and just making it look like the absolute worst of late with particular blame rested at the feet of the people that ran Aldnoah.Zero. That show was many peoples first and only exposure to the genre and it takes everything I would think I historically like about franchises like Gundam and does nearly all of it completely and utterly wrong and possibly even outright backwards. If the staff had said the goal of that franchise was to destroy the genre’s potential in the West forever rather than supersede Gundam and become the new defining mecha anime of the decade I’d have sooner believed it readily.

      At least Gundam is kind of going through what must be it’s 4th renaissance by now with OVA projects like Unicorn, Origin and Thunderbolt and I get this sense they’re gearing up to do something either Hathaway’s Flash or Crossbone related based on some recent inclusions in the new Super Robot Wars. Supposedly yet another new Gundam Model Kit line is getting announced in a couple of weeks. It could just be stuff for the upcoming Build Fighters Try OVA or second half of IBO but it could also be something else entirely.

      1. Oh, I’m not saying they didn’t slip in sometimes. We’re not perfect, and there are a lot of moving parts to mega-posts like this. It’s just that it’s against our policy, and unless one slips past a few lines of proofreading/error checks, you won’t find ’em. Though we didn’t proofread as well before I press-ganged requested Pa-kun’s help with that, so that’s probably what happened then.

  36. For the first time in nearly a year I actually feel in the mood enough to give some stuff a try but I’m not sure how much I keep on on things considering anime’s tendency to go south really fast of late and shows tendency to reveal themselves to be nothing but just empty hype and popular names with no sense of direction, purpose or care towards their projects other than to just claim they’re amazing on social media. Gotten really tired of it hence the year off and significant diminishing of my watch lists even before that but anyway at some point or another but not necessarily right away I plan on giving Battery, 91 Days and Arslan Senki’s followup a whirl. Those are some things that actually at least stand out to me of late as sounding fresh enough to be worth a glance but I don’t go into any of them with particular expectations besides Arslan which is the known quantity in the mix where I enjoyed the first season quite a bit.

    1. Best option is to simply give a final impressions review IMO, it would be hard to carry out weekly coverage when pretty much everyone (at least here) will have binged it. Hell I’m halfway through it already 😛

    2. I honestly hope this doesn’t become a trend. It’s hard enough keeping up with so many shows during each season, but when one show airs all its episodes at once…

      Also makes the episode-by-episode discussion pointless, which sucks.

  37. Please cover “Handa-kun”!

    Definitely will be watching that, as well as orange, 91Days, Mob Psycho 100, and Battery.

    Looking forward to the new season, and thank you for the preview.

  38. Mob Psycho 100 is a guaranteed AotS candidate if they adapt it half as well as OPM was. Arslan is a given as well, though I’m not exactly enthused about it only being 8 episodes. Prilya 3rei will be on my list as well, since it’s by far the best arc of the manga (and not so focused on loli softcore porn as the previous arcs). Might check out Berserk, since I’m less averse to CG animation than most, and Taboo Tattoo looks pretty interesting. Don’t let the comparison to Big Order scare you away, as it’s nowhere near as rote and formulaic, at least so far as I’ve gotten in the manga. 91days could be interesting, so I’ll check that out as well. This article has actually turned me off of each of the Danganronpa series. Not having any experience with the franchise, it looks like it’d be like coming into Lost mid-season. No thanks.

  39. so seeing the new season are about to kick in, i really need this time the help of RandomC. Because until now, i do not have any ones that i like them from the start, only the 2nd seasons of older ones.

    I hope with help from here, i can choose them out for me

    1. Thanks with the Help of RandomC i found some animes:

      Tales of Zestiria the X (curious if they redo the Storyline and fix Alisha’s way)
      Amaama to inazuma (remind me of Usagi Drop)
      Taboo Tattoo (Art style and story made me curious)
      Fate Kaleid Liner PRISMA (just watching no posting, spoiled with the Manga)

      lets see if some others will add to my list

      Thank you

  40. Out of all the anime slated for Summer 2016, I am most excited with D Gray Man Hallow! It’s been 8 years since I am wishing for a third season, and now it’s finally here! But I am still kinda disappointed though that it’s being reduced to 13 episodes. I just hope that all the episodes will be satisfying and worth the wait!

    1. Yes, i was about to write about the same. If you loved “Plastic memories” and are an fan of the “Fallout” world setting, then you should give this anime a chance

      Also “she” is cute

      1. deeper explanation of mine:

        Episode 1: Shows a bit of the World building at the start, then we meet the main plot.

        I must say, in episode 1 the “carrier” is her long speaking, she speaks a lot and the Guy is of course suspicious to her. But it went surprising calm. Looks like this Guy need someone to speak, and this someone can be right out of “Plastic memories”. Yes, she is an Robot with an very Human appearance.

        well, this anime is something a like an “Side quest” in an “Fallout” universe setting, just without the atom bombs. If you look for an calm anime and love “Fallout” worlds, then perhaps this is something for you

        1/3 passed. But to not expect an “action party” one

        + for fans of silent animes with an Fallout setting

    2. It’s listed on the OVA/Movie list since it’s an ONA. We’re also working on a post now. Remember, just because we don’t preview a show (’cause it’s an OVA/movie) doesn’t mean we won’t blog it.

  41. @Thunderbolt Fantasy:

    “ThunderBirds are GO!”

    Yes, this is an Doll motion “anime”, action and Seiyuu are topnotch. But perhaps i got spoiled with the time, at last let her mouth move a bit. hearing a voice full with soul, but the puppet mouth not moving is the immersion killer here. Even if you use simple nutcracker mouth animation

    Soundtrack, Action effects and camera are really top. But this little detail is the stepping stone to enjoy it to the fullest

  42. Can we get this linked in the Navigation? It got bumped out of the sticky position by the anime expo write up.
    I think more people find this write up more useful even if they care about the fandom. I personally hate the fandom generally not that anyone asked :-p

  43. @The Boy and the Beast (German release) “Der Junge und das Biest”

    I give it an 9/10

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Sorry, for Hijacking. But i had this urgent to write it down


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