It’s summertime! You know what that means, right? Sun, surf, fizzy drinks on the beach, and a brand new season of anime! (Note: RandomC does not promise readers sun, surf, or fizzy drinks. You’re on your own there.) There are a ton of new adaptations this season, including the high-stakes school gambling drama Kakegurui, an adventure in the mysterious depths of Made in Abyss, a historical grand epic set in fantasy-Ottoman Empire with Shoukoku no Altair, and I’d better stop because I could go on for a while. Of course there’s also Fate/Apocrypha, the next entry in the Fate series and something between a sequel, a spin-off, and an adaptation. We all know we’ll be watching it anyway. Speaking of sequels, they’re uncharacteristically light this season, though we are getting more moe work drama in NEW GAME!!, another season of the over-the-top music/battle series Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ, and the return of old stalwarts like Saiyuuki RELOAD BLAST and Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi no Togi. Originals are in much the same boat, though I’ve got my eye on a few of them, such as the running-and-gunning espionage thriller Princess Principal and the Stan Lee-produced superhero action of The Reflection. In every season there are gems to be found, and it’s our job to suss them out for you. This is Random Curiosity’s Summer 2017 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 with our Expectation Levels. Remember, these reflect our own subjective excitement level for each show, and do not necessarily reflect how shows will pan out. How could they? We’re not mind readers. (To your knowledge…) 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 ye olde year of 2012—which is a joke that’s starting to wear thin, since that was half a decade ago—previews were done by a single writer, Divine. Since none of the current writers have his Terminator-like focus and/or masochism, we’ve divided everything up among our staff (Cherrie, Choya, Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts, Takaii, Zaiden, 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.

As is custom, thank you to the entire Random Curiosity family—and those two dirty street urchins we let inside the house this season, love you kouhais!—for helping with this preview. Special thanks go to Divine and Xumbra, who encoded all the PV’s; Zephyr, who compiled the OVA/Movie list; Stilts (that’s me!), who managed and edited and yelled at people; Passerby, who proofread and wrote the shorts section; and Cherrie, who did formatting, links, pictures, and basically everything else. (Also, the scrubs who wrote previews, I guess.) We couldn’t have done it without you. For a more Enzo-centric point of view, check out the LiA summer preview where you can find a second opinion on many of these shows.

Last but certainly not least, thank you to each and every one of you, the citizens of RandomC nation. (That means you, dear readers. I’m trying a thing out.) Thank you for your patience, your support, your love, your tedzukuri choco? As we always say, we wouldn’t still be doing this if it weren’t for you. Which is true! That’s why we always say it. You make shouting out into the void so much more fun, and talking with y’all in the comments is one of the best parts about writing here. Thank you, and continue being the amazing people you are.

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
Knight’s & Magic
21:00 AT-X (7/2)
Tenshi no 3P!
20:00 AT-X (7/10)
Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni.
20:30 AT-X (7/11)
22:30 AT-X (7/5)
21:00 AT-X (7/13)
Made in Abyss
21:30 AT-X (7/7)
Enmusubi no Youko-chan
21:00 MX (7/1)
Centaur no Nayami
22:00 MX (7/9)
Youkai Apato no Yuuga na Nichijou
23:00 MX (7/3)
21:30 AT-X (7/11)
Hajimete no Gal
23:00 AT-X (7/12)
24:55 CX (7/6)
22:00 MX (7/7)
22:00 MX (7/1)
Princess Principal
23:00 MX (7/9)
Koi to Uso
24:00 MX (7/3)
Aho Girl
23:00 MX (7/4)
Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e
23:30 AT-X (7/12)
Konbini Kareshi
25:58 TBS (7/6)
Vatican Kiseki Chousakan
22:30 WOWOW (7/7)
Hina Loji ~from Luck & Logic~
23:00 MX (7/1)
Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun
24:00 MX (7/2)
Isekai Shokudou
25:35 TX (7/3)
Tsurezure Children
23:15 MX (7/4)
Action Heroine Cheer Fruits
26:28 TBS (7/6)
Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi no Togi
24:00 MX (7/14)
23:00 NHK (7/22)
Battle Girl High School
24:30 MX (7/2)
Mahoujin Guru Guru
25:35 TX (7/11)
Jikan no Shihaisha
24:30 MX (7/7)
Hitorijime My Hero
23:30 AT-X (7/8)
Nanamaru Sanbatsu
25:59 ntv (7/4)
Shoukoku no Altair
26:25 TBS (7/7)
24:00 MX (7/1)
Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu
24:30 MX (7/1)
Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ
25:00 MX (7/1)
Ballroom e Youkoso
26:08 MBS (7/8)

* Jump to OVA/Movies or Short Series List.

Enmusubi no Youko-chan | 縁結びの妖狐ちゃんTop
Animation: Haoliners Animation Premiere: July 1, 2017
Genre: Romance, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 21:00
Episodes: 24 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @enmusuyouko or #enmusuyouko

Preview by Pancakes

If spirits could live among men, it probably wouldn’t take long for some to fall in love with each other. Only natural, right? Such romance is commonplace in Enmusubi no Youko-chan’s world, although spirits—being longer lived than humans—often suffer seeing their loved ones die of old age. At least until the Fox Spirit Matchmakers get involved. In exchange for payment, the Matchmakers seek out the reincarnations of former lovers and help then regain the memories of their past romantic lives, all in the hope that spirit and human both can continue their relationship anew. As a novice Matchmaker, little Tushan Susu (Asumi Kana) tries living up to this duty, but hilariously fails more often than not. Escaping from an angry clan head Yaya (Yonezawa Madoka), Susu runs head first into the young demon hunter Yuechu Bai (Hatano Watari), who in exchange for her candy stash keeps her safe. It’s a strange pairing, but hunter and fox soon find out they have more in common than meets the eye.

Well we certainly have an interesting one here. Based off the Chinese manhua Huyao Xiao Hongniang, Enmusubi is the latest Chinese series seeing Japanese adaptation. Normally that would immediately induce concern—remember Bloodivores or Hitori no Shita?—but Enmusubi has one key thing going for it: prior adaptation. This show is condensing four ONA seasons into a two-cour run, meaning beyond the new Japanese dub, everything else largely stays the same. This is actually a good thing believe it or not, because Enmusubi is probably the best Haoliners-made anime of late. Barring a chaotic first season of comedic character introductions, Enmusubi settles into an entertaining romance tale once the main plot gets going. Besides the intriguing reincarnation theme, food junkie Bai and his money grubbing really make this show, particularly his depraved interactions with airhead Susu and her cute, naïve assumptions. If the Japanese dub can keep the same feeling and retain the comedy—which shouldn’t be too hard with Asumi pulling airhead duty—Enmusubi could be one of summer’s hidden gems. With all the fun I had binging the ONAs, I got my hopes up here.

Watching This: Pancakes, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Kakegurui | 賭ケグルイTop
Animation: MAPPA Premiere: July 1, 2017
Genre: Psychological, Thriller Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kakegurui_anime or #賭ケグルイ

Preview by Passerby

The scions of the rich and powerful do not attend normal schools in Japan. They are sent to Hyakkaou Private Academy, where the core curriculum is neither reading, writing, nor arithmetic. It’s gambling. Yes, there millions of yen are wagered over playing cards and roulette wheels, and one’s status is determined solely by one’s proficiency in games of chance. The heirs of business empires and political dynasties have no need to demonstrate ability in the academic or the athletic, so they engage in powerplay instead, honing their skills at reading opponents, building alliances, rigging rules, and manipulating vast fortunes to crush their peers. But along comes mysterious transfer student Jabami Yumeko (Hayami Saori), and she has different ideas about gambling. Gambling is all about risk. Bets that are hedged are investments. Games that are rigged are scams. The thrill of gambling is in the highest stakes and the possibility of losing everything. True gambling is irrational. True gambling is madness. And Yumeko is a true gambler, for she is utterly, deeply mad.

So, high school Kaiji? Something like that. There’s plenty of stories about gambling, much in the sports drama vein—after all, how much more direct can a thriller be than with literal wagers and risky bets? In this adaptation of Kawamoto Homura‘s manga Kakegurui (Compulsive Gambler), though, there are no plucky underdogs to root for, nor sparks of human compassion that triumph. Instead we have a full cast of sociopaths, split between the evil and the wretched with no sympathetic middle ground, and it’s about finding the least unlikeable one to stand behind. It’s the same reason why one might root for Hannibal Lecter or Dexter; sure, they’re homicidal maniacs, but they’re our homicidal maniacs, and we count on them to murder all the other ones. The end result for Kakegurui is a twisted psychological thriller where our protagonist basically has to out-crazy all comers, for the less crazy is the one who breaks. I have no doubt Garo’s Hayashi Yuichirou directing and skilled veteran Kobayashi Yasuko writing can work together again to deliver a gripping watch, and studio MAPPA is always a good sign. There’s not much competition in the dark, psychological thriller department this season, and those are never for everyone, but I take nothing away from Kakegurui by saying it’s the one to look out for.

Watching This: Cherrie, Choya, Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts, Zaiden, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Kakegurui Promotional Videos ▼

Hina Loji ~from Luck & Logic~ | ひなろじ~from Luck & Logic~Top
Animation: Doga Kobo Premiere: July 1, 2017
Genre: School-Life, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @hinalogic or #ひなろじ

Preview by Takaii

I won’t mince words here: I didn’t get far through the original Luck & Logic series, and I’m pretty open to most things. That said, I think the decision to follow a slightly different path when it comes to the whole Luck & Logic world may be the thing that’ll be able to rope me back into the series. Dropping any attempts at a serious tone, it looks like we’re going to get a slice-of-life story that revolves around Liones Yelistratova (Asahina Madoka), a princess from a small nation who is attending the ALCA in hopes of becoming a successful Logicalist. (For the uninitiated, a Logicalist is someone who’s made a contract with a Goddess from the “other” world and can go into a “trance” where their contracted Goddess temporarily bestows upon them great powers they use to protect the world from “foreigners” that are coming over from that “other” world.) Along the way, we’ll meet a ton of different Logicalists, all of whom have their own unique personalities as well as their own reasons for attending the ALCA.

To put it simply, it feels like Hina Logi: From Luck & Logic is going to be something along the lines of a school-life/slice-of-life show that integrates magic and magical-looking girls to spice things up. Toss in a more relaxed character design that seems to (based on promotional material) jump from clean and heavy lines to chibi and deformed and I think you have a winning combination for a really fun show that’ll liven up anyone’s summer anime fare. For some light housekeeping, Hina Logi: From Luck & Logic will be animated by Doga Kobo where Akagi Hiroaki (episode director for Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, GJ-bu) will be directing and Sugawara Yukie (Sword Art Online) will be handling the series composition. Sure, some of those shows may tip the scale in either direction for some people, but with the over-the-top nature of SAO and the head behind some amazingly fun slice-of-life series, I think we’re in for something good with this show. That said, if you’re looking for a serious show that tries to tackle the idea of unknown entities invading our world and the people in charge of protecting us, Hina Logi probably isn’t that.

Watching This: Takaii Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Hina Loji ~from Luck & Logic~ Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: July 1, 2017
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: 24 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @fateapocryphatv or #アポクリファ

Preview by Zephyr

The next chapter of the Fate franchise arrives in the form of Fate/Apocrypha. Set in a parallel world to Fate/stay night, the series takes place shortly after the events of the Third Holy Grail War. Rather than leading to the Fourth and Fifth Wars as we saw in Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night respectively, the series diverges from the original timeline with the sudden disappearance of the Greater Grail. Following an extended period without Grail Wars, a family of magi called the Yggdmillennia secedes from the Mage’s Association and reveals that they are in possession of the Grail. With a mysterious servant at hand, they slaughter all but one of the fifty magi sent by the Mage’s Association to reclaim it. But the remaining mage manages to activate an underlying system within the Greater Grail, triggering the summoning of fourteen servants and the start of the Great Holy Grail War. Summoned by the grail to be the war’s mediator, Ruler (Sakamoto Maaya) oversees the conflict between the Black Faction (with members from Yggdmillennia) and the Red Faction (representatives of the Mage’s Association). The series will be directed by Asai Yoshiyuki (episode director of Star Driver, UN-GO, Zetsuen no Tempest), with series composition by Higashide Yuichiro (Fate/Apocrypha’s original creator).

With the success of Fate/Grand Order in Japan, its imminent arrival in the U.S., and the tremendous reception recent Fate anime have received, the Fate franchise is arguably at the apex of its popularity. As such, a new adaptation wasn’t surprising, and Fate/Apocrypha is a fitting choice given the presence of Ruler, a servant we’ve seen cameos of but have yet to see in any official capacity aside from Grand Order. Interestingly enough, the series is a product of A-1 Pictures rather than ufotable—likely due to the latter’s work on the Heaven’s Feel movie trilogy—and a new studio brings both questions and a chance to see something stylistically different. It’ll be hard to trump the excellence ufotable brought, and it can be worrying seeing a first-time director in the hot seat, but the inclusion of Fate/Apocrypha’s original creator will go a long way toward helping this adaptation. The fact that we’re getting to see a large cast of characters we haven’t seen before makes things even more exciting, and it’s always great having GARNiDELiA and EGOIST performing themes for a series. Still, it’s a Fate series through and through, and whether that’s a good or bad thing for you will determine if this’ll be worth a watch or not.

Watching This: Cherrie, Choya, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts, Takaii, Zaiden, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Fate/Apocrypha Promotional Videos ▼

Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu | 活撃/刀剣乱舞Top
Animation: ufotable Premiere: July 1, 2017
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @katsugekitouken or #活撃

Preview by Takaii

For those of you who didn’t catch Touken Ranbu Hanamaru, which focused on the more slice-of-life side of swords who have been turned into Ikemen-personifications, Katsugeki looks like it’s going to focus on the grittier side of swords that must defend the present from demons and monsters trying to change the past.

This time around we have a whole new studio heading the ship, and completely different swords leading the story for this iteration of Touken Ranbu’s adaptation from online game to anime. With ufotable behind the animation—the studio who handled, among other things, the recent adaptations of the Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero series—it’s not too hard to guess that there’d also be amazing people working behind the scene. With Shirai Toshiyuki (Fate/Zero) directing, Fukasawa Hideyuki (Unlimited Blade Works) handling music, a handful of people dedicated to weapon animation, a historical researcher, and even a swordsmanship expert, I think you’d probably be underselling the show if you said it had a packed staff. What gets me excited about this adaptation,though, is the plot’s central focus. Instead of giving us lots of different moments (and in turn, swords) to pick and choose from, it looks like we’ll be focusing around Kunihiro Horikawa (Enoki Junya) and Kanesada Izuminokami (Kimura Ryohei) as they lead the charge to save the past from being changed by beings from the future. Overall, I don’t think you have to look any further if you wanted a show based on the Touken Ranbu IP that focuses on all the serious aspects. With a studio and people who have experience bringing a story to life through the use of pretty good storytelling and amazeballs animation, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about, especially if you’re feeling a little nervous after what Hanamaru became.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu Promotional Videos ▼

Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ | 戦姫絶唱シンフォギアAXZTop
Animation: Satelight Premiere: July 1, 2017
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @symphogear_xd or #symphogearxd

Preview by Zephyr

In the years prior to the original series, humanity found itself suddenly under attack from aliens known as the Noise. Capable of turning humans into dust on contact and impervious to weapons, the Noise drove humanity to the brink of destruction, and were stopped only by those wielding armor known as Symphogears. Having acquired a Symphogear after the death of its previous wielder, Tachibana Hibiki (Yuuki Aoi) found herself fighting to protect humanity from the Noise, coming together with other Symphogear users in Kazanari Tsubasa (Mizuki Nana) and Yukine Chris (Takagaki Ayahi) to stop their advance and prevent the moon from colliding with the earth in what became known as the Frontier Incident. Joined by former enemies of previous seasons, the group awakens to new powers just in time to prevent alchemists from breaking the planet into pieces, ultimately setting up for this year’s new series in Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ. Pronounced “Axis” and led by Ono Katsumi (the director of Symphogear G and GX), the newest iteration will see our Symphogear users thrust into another life or death fight to save the planet.

And so, the Symphogear train keeps on going. You’d think they’d slow down after releasing three seasons in just over three years, but it seems like Mizuki Nana’s desire to continue the series is all that’s needed, and we’re getting not only a fourth season in AXZ, but also a fifth one in the near future. As I mentioned in my last Symphogear preview, having more Mizuki Nana is always welcome, and this is the rare series that makes use of both her acting and singing talents. Unfortunately, masterful writing and great character development aren’t exactly part of the package, and Symphogear is a series that ultimately caters to those looking for entertainment and great music more than anything. There have been notable improvements across the board since Ono Katsumi took over as the franchise’s director following the first season, and with the destruction of entire mountains just to prevent a shuttle crash in the first episode, the third season brought the franchise to another level in terms of over-the-top action scenes. Last I checked, the BD sales across seasons have also increased correspondingly, and this is certainly one of those series that is worth watching provided you go in with the right expectations. One would do well to catch up to the previous three seasons before watching AXZ however.

Watching This: Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ Promotional Videos ▼

Knight’s & Magic | ナイツ&マジックTop
Animation: 8bit Premiere: July 2, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Action Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 21:00
Episodes: 13 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @naitsuma_anime or #ナイツマ

Preview by Zaiden

Poor sod gets hit by a car and dies. But wait, there’s more! Who else is ready for transported-to-another-world anime meets mecha? Dying was possibly the best thing that could have happened to our mecha-otaku protagonist. Reincarnated as Ernesti Echevarria (Takahashi Rie), he finds himself thrown into a fantasy world where giant humanoid machines called Silhouette Knights rule the skies. Providing magic as their energy source, only pilots qualified from the academy are allowed to operate these behemoths. Accompanied by Archid (Sugawara Shinsuke) and Adeltrud (Ohashi Ayaka), the ever faithful Walter twins, Eru signs up for the academy and sets his sights on becoming the youngest Knight Runner – those deemed worthy enough to pilot the Silhouette Knights.

Yamamoto Yuusuke will be bringing his experience from Aquarion Evol to this adaptation. Though Knight’s & Magic enjoys a highly fascinating premise built upon a promising fantasy world, it has a few shortcomings. Firstly, Eru is pretty much your standard light novel protagonist, other than his enthusiastic obsession for mecha. Aside from that, he is a charismatic and eccentric genius who values friendship above all else. You could really say that mecha are his one and only true love, given how he shows no care for the various girls fawning over him. Although crises and war primarily drive the story, don’t expect to find any deeper meaning. These themes mostly lack substance and are merely used to flex Eru’s capabilities at every opportunity. But there are still many things about Knight’s & Magic that are enjoyable, and well worth your while. If you like isekai (transported-to-an-alternate-world) stories, mecha, and highschool battles, then Knight’s & Magic is exactly the show you are looking for.

Watching This: Pancakes, Zaiden, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Spoiler ▼

Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun | 潔癖男子!青山くんTop
Animation: Studio Hibari Premiere: July 2, 2017
Genre: Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @megane_sinsi_z or #aoyamakun

Preview by Takaii

Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun (or Cleanliness Boy! Aoyama-kun) is the story of a young first year high school student named Aoyama (Okiayu Ryotaro) who is amazing at soccer. So amazing in fact that he is the international representative for Japan’s youth league. However, such amazing skills don’t come for free, and in Aoyama’s case his balancing feature is that he could be used to define the word cleanliness. Refusing to head the ball or slide in for a tackle, he’ll go as far as refusing to throw the ball back in unless he’s wearing a pair of gloves. Alongside him are Zaizen Kaoru (Seki Tomokazu), a second year who was the previous shot caller on the high school’s soccer team, and Gotou Moka (Haruno Anzu), a female first year who carries around a spiked baseball bat who just happened to meet Aoyama-kun back in elementary school.

I have conflicting feelings about this show. It has a fairly unique premise that tries to tie together two totally different genres, but I’m not sure how well the idea of a clean freak being a fantastic soccer player goes together. I do have a soft spot in my heart for characters who are a little crazy, and when the subject matter is a soccer player who refuses to do things in order to stay “clean”, I can only imagine what kind of hilarity could ensue. Toss in the fact that there is the possibility that the show could also run with the whole playing soccer element and I can honestly say there’s a small fire slowly growing in me the more I think about this show. In terms of the people behind the scenes, not much stands out, though we do have a veteran studio (Studio Hibari) handling the animation. All-in-all, I have pretty decent expectations for Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun and I’m hoping it can deliver.

Watching This: Choya, Guardian Enzo, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun Promotional Videos ▼

Battle Girl High School | バトルガール ハイスクールTop
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: July 2, 2017
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Pancakes

It just wouldn’t be a proper season without a battle academy show, and here to fill that illustrious void is Battle Girl High School. Based off of COLOPL’s popular mobile RPG, BGHS centres on an invasion by the mysterious Irousu, an alien presence responsible for contaminating most of the known world. With humanity increasingly contained to small segments of land, it falls to the Star Guardians of Shinjugammine Girls Academy to help save the day. As Star Guardians are the only individuals capable of fighting against the Irousu, the Academy’s sole duty is to train ordinary girls into these dangerous, yet essential, weapons of war. It’s not an easy life protecting the world, but the Star Guardians will do what it takes to see their job through.

It’s hard denying the deck appears stacked against BGHS. It’s a game adaptation—and mobile at that—running the same battle academy alien invasion shtick seen countless times before. Sure, BGHS is not exactly Schoolgirl Strikers or Ange Vierge, but having those as family is not conducive toward optimistic thinking. Not helping matters is the likely adaptation route. BGHS plays a lot like Kancolle, where the player is a (male) teacher responsible for training—and head patting—a class of girls. With an in-game story structured around this relationship, BGHS’ adaptation will likely also go the way of Kancolle’s and create something anime original for the sake of simplicity. No guarantee of failure of course, but we saw how well ship girls worked for those unfamiliar with the game. BGHS’ success will boil down to target audience. If only aiming for game fans we may not get much, but if the show goes for broad appeal we could see something amazing. Considering the stacked voice acting cast (Sakura Ayane, Yuuki Aoi, Amamiya Sora, oh my) and Silver Link’s recent track record, it’s definitely possible, particularly if BGHS yields an enjoyable story. The concept may sound generic and the show here only for advertisement, but there’s nothing stopping BGHS from being entertaining all the same.

Watching This: Pancakes Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Battle Girl High School Promotional Videos ▼

Youkai Apato no Yuuga na Nichijou | 妖怪アパートの幽雅な日常Top
Animation: Shin-ei Animation Premiere: July 3, 2017
Genre: Supernatural, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @youapaanime or #妖アパ

Preview by Zaiden

Inaba Yuushi (Abe Atsushi) lives an unhappy and lonely life, Hase Mizuki (Nakamura Yuuichi) being his dearest and only friend. Yuushi’s parents died when he was young, and although his extended relatives looked after him without complaining, he could tell he was an unwanted burden. Eager to move out after graduating middle school, the scheduled student accommodation burns down before Yuushi can take up residence. Problem is, Yuushi is desperate to move out of an oppressive home environment but is faced with reluctance from his relatives to pay for more expensive accommodation. He finds a deal which seems too good to be true – the catch being that his new accommodation is located within a haunted house. Here, regular humans and supernatural creatures live in harmony, something that disturbs an initially unaccustomed Yuushi. Fellow human resident Kuga Akine (Sawashiro Miyuki) helps Yuushi gradually ease in. In fact, she can even exorcise evil spirits! An eventful high school life awaits Yuushi, predominantly consisting of character development gained through interactions with his newfound youkai friends.

I’ve read plenty of the monthly manga releases and know I would definitely enjoy an anime adaptation of Youkai Apato no Yuuga na Nichijou. My slight concern would be over the choice of director, Hashimoto Mitsuo, who has mostly worked on action-packed stuff under Toei Animation. The key visuals have me worried that Hashimoto may adhere to his usual directorial style, which may be to the detriment of any focus on character development – something I value the most in this series. Seeing the protagonist come of age while being shaped by his supernatural encounters really puts his struggles with life into perspective. Having lived a long time, his supernatural friends are often wise and approachable in providing moral guidance or emotional support. So it’s no wonder that Yuushi comes to prefer their company over that of most ordinary people. You also slowly learn about how the youkai lived their humans lives, the circumstances of their deaths and what keeps them anchored to the world of the living. There are some pretty chilling stories, but they are often accompanied by heartwarming ones too. This might be one to watch if you really liked Natsume Yuujinchou, that is to say coming-of-age stories set in a high school context involving the supernatural.

Watching This: Zaiden Expectation Level: Moderate
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Koi to Uso | 恋と嘘Top
Animation: LIDENFILMS Premiere: July 3, 2017
Genre: Romance, Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_koiuso or #アニメ恋と嘘

Preview by Zaiden

Imagine a world where you are not free to fall in love, and where your marriage is arranged by the government once you reach sixteen or older based upon genetic compatibility. This is the world of Koi to Uso, where star-crossed lovers Nejima Yukari (Osaka Ryota) and Takasaki Misaki (Hanazawa Kana) cruelly find out they are not meant to be. Despite having loved each other since elementary school, a government notice arrives just as Yukari confesses, assigning him a marriage partner. You may be thinking, why not just ignore the notice? The problem is that ignoring the notice carries a heavy penalty, equivalent to having a stigmatic mark of shame within society that ruins all your future prospects. Left with no other choice, Yukari acquaints himself with his equally reluctant marriage partner, Sanada Lilina (Makino Yui). So begins the tale of a love triangle, set in the backdrop of a fictional world where lies are forbidden and love doubly so.

The characters are what you would typically expect of love triangle stories, with Yukari being quite a generic protagonist as the nice guy with a flat personality who has everyone falling for him. But he functions completely fine as a tool utilised for exploring conflicts and injustice inherent to the fictional work’s speculative society. His interactions between his original love interest Takasaki and his arranged marriage partner Lilina are what drive this series. Being the creative force behind Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo and Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari, I’m fairly confident director Takuno Seiki will do a good job conveying the more lighthearted moments in the series. The question will be whether he can capture the heavier exploration of societal issues resulting from such an intriguing premise, namely state-sanctioned erosion of free will and self-determination. A deep level of engagement is required to flesh out these ideas, and it would be a shame if they ended up becoming oversimplified for whatever reason. It could be very hit or miss, but if the idea of a love triangle with an unconventional premise is something that piques your interest, be sure to check out Koi to Uso.

Watching This: Cherrie, Choya, Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Stilts, Takaii, Zaiden, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
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Isekai Shokudou | 異世界食堂Top
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: July 3, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:35
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @nekoya_pr or #異世界食堂

Preview by Passerby

If you wander off main street, slip away from the crowd of the shopping district, and walk down to the basement of a nondescript building on the corner, you’ll find a door with a picture of a cat on it. Inside, you’ll find a quaint little eatery called the ‘Youkosho no Nekoya’. With a respectable fifty-year history, Nekoya prides itself on its Western-style cuisine, which has groomed a steady clientèle of office workers looking for food both appetising and affordable. There, at the glazed oak tables amid the dim mood lighting, you can indulge in dinner with class, open a bottle from the chef’s personal cellar, and have a pleasant chat with the friendly staff. If you visit on a Saturday, though, Nekoya’s door will not open. It’s closed for business. But rumour has it that Nekoya still serves on those days, just to a different set of customers. For the restaurant sits not only on the corner of the shopping district, but on the corner between worlds. And on Saturdays Nekoya prepares a special menu—for diners from lands beyond imagination, from all walks of life, each with their own story to tell.

I don’t know if ‘food anime’ can be considered a genre unto itself, but we certainly have anime that make it their main appeal to show off delicious food like, say, Koufuku Graffiti. In that sense, Isekai Shokudou (Other-World Restaurant) is definitely a food anime. Every chapter of the source web-novel-turned-light-novel by Inuzuka Junpei features a different dish described in detail down to the sensation of every bite, and I’m sure the anime adaptation will seek to rouse our appetites as well. What separates Isekai Shokudou from other shows is not the food served—which is fairly familiar (though delicious) Japanese cooking—but the people eating it. The ‘Other World’ part of the title involves folks from a fairly standard sword-and-sorcery, Tolkien-based fantasy world crossing over into our mundane one to sample our cuisine. If there’s one thing humanity can boast about in the modern age it’s food, and watching people from a pre-industrial, feudal society taste the fruits of 21st century culinary science and be floored by it makes one appreciate all the good things we may have taken for granted. It’s the happiness that only a warm meal can bring. And honestly? I got hungry just researching this show. Watching it will be simply delectable.

Watching This: Cherrie, Choya, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts, Zaiden Expectation Level: Moderately High
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Aho Girl | アホガールTop
Animation: Diomedea Premiere: July 4, 2017
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ahogirl_anime or #アホガール

Preview by Stilts

From Hiroyuki, the mangaka behind Doujin Work and Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to, comes an anime about a very stupid girl. Aho Girl stars Hanabatake Yoshiko (Yuuki Aoi), a high school girl who is an idiot in everything. Academically, socially—you name it. She’s as dull as a sack of hammers. This leaves her studious, serious, and constantly pissed off neighbor Akutsu Akuru (Sugita Tomokazu) to look after her, often with violent results (for Yoshiko). Add in level-headed best friend Sumino Sayaka (Harada Sayaka), the Public Morals Chairwoman (Uesaka Sumire) who’s a closet pervert, and more zany characters down the line, and life is never boring when Yoshiko is stupiding around.

Aho Girl is a manga best enjoyed in small doses. It’s novel for the female lead to be the victim of the male lead’s vicious punches, but Yoshiko is so damn stupid that she’s not compelling. That means it’s up to Akkun and the secondary characters to carry the day, with Yoshiko as the chaos around which their lives revolve, and only some of them are up to the task. I’m quite fond of Sayaka, but it’s only later when characters like Akkun’s sister, their homeroom teacher, the playground kids, and the dog appear that Hiroyuki’s gags really start hitting. (The dog is the best.) Hiroyuki is still a great comedy writer, so he’s making good use of a sub-par setup, but I worry the anime will be too much at one time of what I only enjoyed in small doses, even though each episode is only 15-minutes long. The cast and staff is sick though: director Kusakawa Keizou has a huge resume, series composer Aoshima Takashi has a ton of experience writing comedy series in particular (Gabriel DropOut, Himouto, Minami-ke, Mitsudomoe), and the seiyuu slate is stacked with comedic powerhouses. Heck, I’d watch a show just to hear Yuuki Aoi, Sugita Tomokazu, and Uesaka Sumire be silly. If you’re looking for a comedy, go into this with appropriate expectations and you just might enjoy it, idiots and all.

Watching This: Choya, Stilts, Zaiden Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Aho Girl Promotional Videos ▼

Tsurezure Children | 徒然チルドレンTop
Animation: Studio Gokumi Premiere: July 4, 2017
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 23:15
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tsuredure_anime or #徒然チルドレン

Preview by Zaiden

Tsurezure Children is an adaptation coming from Wakabayashi Toshiya’s 4-koma collection, depicting various scenarios of high school love. The result is a fun, lighthearted romance series, showcasing little snippets of how different couples respond to developments in their respective relationships. These delightful stories range from a shy guy with self confidence issues to a socially awkward otaku being infatuated with a girl who takes the same bus as him. Off the crazy end of the scale, there is also that girl who mingles her own blood into some homemade chocolate, hoping to win over a guy’s affection. The spring time of love blossoms as we are treated to many loveable characters, partially defined through their unique relationship dynamics.

The diversity of perspectives is what makes Tsurezure Children feel so refreshing. I feel it really adds to the humor, when certain couples resort to asking for advice from other couples, who may even have similar problems themselves. You can be sure to expect different problems or unexpected developments, that aren’t just the same old run-of-the-mill formula. There’s so much I can go into detail about, but I wouldn’t want to spoil anything for anyone. Just expect a cute and fluffy romance, told in a sequence of short story-style arrangements! While I have my doubts about Kaneko Hiraku, who has an illustrious directorial record consisting of nothing but extreme ecchi or straight-up hentai, Urahata Tatsuhiko is in charge of both the script and series composition. As the man behind the scripts in the latter seasons of ARIA, Haganai and Hanasaku Iroha, I feel there’s actually a pretty high ceiling here, depending on whether Kaneko-san can take full advantage of the resources he has been provided. If a balance is found, a work that is exceedingly interesting may result! I really look forward to seeing how their creative talents mix. Sure to be a harmonious mélange of blossoming love, Tsurezure Children will be a definite treat for those who find themselves easily engaged with love stories of any kind.

Watching This: Choya, Guardian Enzo, Stilts, Zaiden Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Tsurezure Children Promotional Videos ▼

Nanamaru Sanbatsu | ナナマル サンバツTop
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: July 4, 2017
Genre: School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:59
Episodes: 12 Station: Nippon TV (ntv)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @7o3x_anime or #ナナマルサンバツ

Preview by Pancakes

Quiz shows, they’re the sort of oddball thing you might catch grandparents—or embarrassed girlfriends—watching on occasion. But competitive quizzes do actually exist outside of evening television, and at Bunzou High the Quiz Research Club is wholly devoted to playing these games. After entering into the school, Koshiyama Shiki (Horie Shun) is quickly pressured to join the club by its suspicious and overeager president Sasajima Gakuto (Satou Takuya), but manages to escape with only a promotional flyer. Unfortunately for Shiki though, his quiz club problems are far from over after accidentally catching a glimpse of fellow classmate Fukami Mari’s (Kawashima Umika) precious undergarments. Blackmailed by Mari into joining the club with her in exchange for her silence, Shiki is about to discover what the hidden world of competitive quizzes is all about.

Oh Japan, may your quirky premises never cease. With competitive sport club-life shows all the rage right now, it was just a matter of time before we got something like this, but really, competitive quizzes? Nanamaru Sanbatsu certainly gets points for thinking outside the box. The manga is your typical paint by numbers club setting—timid, loner protagonist, a group of eccentric club members who slowly become good friends, club retention challenges—but using quizzes as the thematic glue offers some unique and interesting possibilities. Much like wildly popular Jeopardy!, Nanamaru’s emphasis on knowledge over physical prowess allows for a degree of audience “participation” just not possible from more traditional sports stories. Hate exercising but like answering questions and wracking the mind? This is the show for you. Helping Nanamaru in particular is its fun starting arcs and confirmed one-cour run, meaning the show—for better or worse—should not noticeably slow down or stumble over time. If you have a thing for facts or simply enjoy a good, adventurous club-life series, consider giving Nanamaru a try. With such a wild premise, it could easily be one of summer’s biggest surprises.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Nanamaru Sanbatsu Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: Platinumvision Premiere: July 5, 2017
Genre: Action, Adventure, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 22:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @saiyuki_rb

Preview by Passerby

Remember that famous piece of ancient Chinese literature, Journey to the West? Don’t you think it needs a dieselpunk spin-off sequel? Well, mangaka Minekura Kazuya sure did when she wrote the original Saiyuuki, and now the sequel of the sequel of that manga is getting an anime adaptation in summer 2017. The story goes something like this: the setting of Journey to the West has moved to something resembling the modern age, and in the land of Toungenkyou, humans and youkai (the Southeast Asian supernatural bogey variant) live in peace. But one day, the youkai suddenly turn on the humans, slaughtering them as if gripped by insanity. Turns out, someone is trying to unseal an evil demon lord via forbidden techniques, and the reverberations are driving the youkai to madness. And it’s happening in the west. Maverick monk Genjou Sanzou (Seki Toshihiko) must get the band back together again, and he and his entourage of misfits are charged with journeying westward once more, to the source of this incident, battling assassins and strange phenomena as they go. Now, they’ve finally arrived in India, where the chaos is only more intense, and the four are forced to face the pasts they left behind 500 years ago.

The first thing to note about Saiyuuki: there sure is a lot of it. Just as the original Journey to the West has inspired countless variations, so too has Saiyuuki. The first manga was a creature of 1997 (so, 20th anniversary, I guess), and despite the mangaka’s health issues she’s just kept on drawing since then, and now we have dozens of volumes as well as movies, OVAs, musicals, and, of course, TV anime series. For those of you thinking about jumping into Saiyuuki for the first time this season, attracted to Journey of the West reimagined with badass pretty-boys going on Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (and who can blame you? I strongly recommend that you catch up on some of the previous material first. Although Saiyuuki is largely episodic action adventure, at least flip through the manga to get a sense of the overarching plot. For returning veterans of the series, I’m not sure what to tell you to expect. The Reload Blast edition of the manga hasn’t actually gotten very deep yet, so it’s unclear how much will be adapted in what way. The staff is also mostly new, although some voice roles do return. Hopefully, this fresh series will be able to capture the central appeal of Saiyuuki: an old-school action romp, with a dark Chinese folklore twist.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Saiyuuki RELOAD BLAST Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: Zero-G Premiere: July 6, 2017
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 @dive_anime or #dive_anime

Preview by Choya

The Mizuki Diving Club (or MDC) has fallen on hard times and is on the verge of collapse from the combination of financial troubles and the threat of losing sponsorship. However, a new coach, Kayoko Asaki (Nazuka Kaori), persuades the club’s parent company to give them another year of support on one condition: One of their divers must have a position on Japan’s Olympic diving team in a year’s time. The story is told from the point of view of Tomoki Sakai (Kaji Yuuki), a diver whose potential had been wasted during his time on the diving team. However, when he starts receiving Kayoko’s supervision, a new world is opened before his eyes alongside his teammates.

I was skeptical about whether this was coming out to capitalize on the popularity of Free! when I first saw the poster. After all, there’s a cast of buff swimmers and exclamation points!! However, what sets this series apart from KyoAni’s smash hit is its long history. DIVE!! began as a set of novels released from 2000 to 2004 by Mori Eto, the original author of the award-winning Colorful. The series also had a live-action film adaptation in 2008, and a manga around the same time. I admit that what piques my interest the most about the new adaptation is knowing that it’s an older story from a talented writer, and the noitaminA label, but the story sounds like the makings of an engaging sports drama. A high-stakes gamble with the careers and passions of a diving team on the line, tension between divers fighting to remain relevant on a team that’s only starting to improve, a coming-of-age story of a teenager tasked to handle the pressure of thinking beyond the future to continue diving, a determined coach fighting tooth and nail to make sure her team on the verge of collapse can rise from the ashes as Olympians—sounds like a thrilling uphill battle for survival! For those who are in it for the manservice, you should be in for a treat, but there is also a lot of promise to DIVE!! that should be on your radar if you’re looking to scratch that sports anime itch.

Watching This: Cherrie, Choya, Stilts, Zaiden, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show DIVE!! Promotional Videos ▼

Konbini Kareshi | コンビニカレシTop
Animation: Studio Pierrot Premiere: July 6, 2017
Genre: Slice-of-Life, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:58
Episodes: 12 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @cvk_kd or #コンビニカレシ

Preview by Choya

For the average person, a trip to the convenience store is a quick, easy way to grab food and sundries. For the students in Konbini Kareshi, the convenience store becomes a special meeting ground they can meet, relax, and make small memories. While first-year students Mishima Haruki (Terashima Takuma) and Honda Towa (Suzumura Kenichi) anticipate their upcoming school life, Sanagi Nasa (Kaji Yuuki) continues his club activities as the sole member of the cooking research club, and Asumi Natsu (Kamiya Hiroshi) opts to remain alone during his second year as his older friends Nakajima Mikado (Tachibana Shinnosuke) and Sakurakouji Masamune (Sakurai Takahiro) watch over him. Whether it’s to grab snacks or magazines, the six boys pay the convenience store a visit during significant moments in their lives. The anime follows them as they fall in love with girls at school, tracking their emotional state and personal lives up through the moment of their confessions.

As strange as it sounds, this romantic slice-of-life show might just be one of the more fascinating shows this season. The anime comes on the heels of the end of Date Hayato’s tenure as the director of the entire Naruto anime, making it the first project he’s directed since the anime ended this year. That alone makes this anime highly anticipated to see what he can do after spending fifteen years with Naruto, but the fact that he gravitated toward an original romantic high school story is very intriguing. It also helps that there’s an all-star cast with Koshimizu Ami, Tamura Yukari, Sawashiro Miyuki, Kugimiya Rie, and Horie Yui joining the guys. Although there’s a lot of anticipation on the staff, the premise itself is gearing up to be a refreshing series of love stories. I like how the convenience store becomes the center of the story as a hub for the students’ lives, and am curious about the role it will play in getting the couples together. Will they come together by their own fruition outside of the store, or is there something in the store’s onigiri? Regardless, I’m already thinking about how Konbini Kareshi will turn out.

Watching This: Cherrie, Choya, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Action Heroine Cheer Fruits | アクションヒロイン チアフルーツTop
Animation: Diomedea Premiere: July 6, 2017
Genre: Slice-of-Life, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:28
Episodes: 12 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @cfru_tokisai or #チアフルーツ

Preview by Stilts

This original anime stars nine girls on a quest to revive their fruit-growing home town. Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is set in a time when local heroines have debuted all across the country, and whose action live events have become a hit trend. In Hinano City, high school girl Shirogane Misaki (Ichimichi Mao) and eight other girls decide to become local heroines (at the urging of Misaki’s aunt, the prefectural governor) in order to revitalize their flagging town through their exciting action shows.

Love Live and Sakura Quest meets Samurai Flamenco, maybe. I’m sure there are more parallels I could draw, but I don’t want to be reductive. Pulling inspiration from other stories is fine! What matters is if the results is good. This is an original series, though, so there’s only so much we can know before it airs. The staff at Diomedea doesn’t look too shabby, and the seiyuu cast are all up-and-comers who should be up to the task. The nine girls are varied in their interests and personalities, as is expected from a cute-girls-doing-cute-things show. The promo videos don’t reveal much, save that the animation looks fine and the humor will probably be soft and fluffy. I make a habit of previewing shady originals, but this one doesn’t look shady. It could be nice! Though it could also be a boring disaster if the execution isn’t there. I give it the benefit of the doubt though, so if cute-girls-doing-hero-show-things sounds like fun to you, give this one a try.

Watching This: Choya Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Action Heroine Cheer Fruits Promotional Videos ▼

Made in Abyss | メイドインアビスTop
Animation: Kinema Citrus Premiere: July 7, 2017
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 21:30
Episodes: 13 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @miabyss_anime or #miabyss

Preview by Stilts

Nearly two thousand years ago, in the south sea of Beloskur, a gigantic hole was discovered. The titanic pit became known as the Abyss, and nobody knows how deep the enormous cave system goes, nor why it’s inhabited by strange and wondrous creatures and full of mysterious ancient relics whose uses remain a mystery. The Abyss has drawn in generations of adventurers, all looking to make their fortunes in the cryptic depths. They became known as Cave Raiders. In Oosu, the town on the edge of the Abyss, there lives a group of orphans, among them a troublemaker named Rico (Tomita Miyu). She dreams of becoming a great cave raider like her mother. One day, while exploring the murky depths, she’s nearly killed by a monstrous snake known as the Bloody Maw, but is saved by a little boy who turns out to be a robot…

It’s always a good sign when I don’t want to stop reading the source material. This is a story that thrives on wondrous mystery, striving optimism, and outrageous world-building beauty. Seriously, look at the key visuals, the manga, or any of the promo videos. See those backgrounds? Look at those! Stunning is too meager a word. The very idea of the Abyss calls to the explorer in all of us, for we humans have a hard time leaving stones unturned. Add on the fantastic creatures and an enigmatic robot boy who doesn’t know who he is, and I’m already salivating for the series to start. This series presses so many buttons, and they’re not even my buttons. I’m not an explorer type, and world-mysteries aren’t my go-to. Even then, this is a show I have a hard time not recommending to everyone. So I won’t resist. I recommend this to everyone! I don’t promise it will be fantastic—I could only read so far in the manga, and stories like this always have trouble living up to the hype their first few episodes create—but for the beauty of the backgrounds alone, and the wonder of the setting, it’s worth a shot. This could be something special.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts, Zaiden Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Made in Abyss Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: Gonzo Premiere: July 7, 2017
Genre: Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @18if_anime or #18if

Preview by Stilts

18if is part of “The Art of 18” multimedia project that currently includes a mobile game and a VR game. The anime stars Tsukishiro Haruto (Shimazaki Nobunaga), a young man who wakes up in a dream world and meets a mysterious girl called Lily (Nazuka Kaori). Professor Kanzaki Katsumi (Koyasu Takehito) takes an interest in Haruto and his ability to see Lily, and recruits him for his research on the dream world. When in his diver form (in the dream world), Kanzaki appears as a gentlemanly cat. What else, if anything, is going on in the dream world, or in this anime, remains a mystery for now.

I don’t honestly know if 18if will be a mystery, or if that’s just the tone mobcast’s and Gonzo’s marketing blitz is opting for. The best thing you can do to see whether you’re interested in this anime is to watch the promos, because if you read the first paragraph, you know almost everything else. To me it feels like they’re going for a dream world mystery that’s more cryptic than sinister, though the red hue suffusing the promos begs to differ. It could go either way. I really wish there was more information, because what we have isn’t enough to grab a hold of; it’s not enough to even potentially rouse my interest. That doesn’t mean it won’t be good, though. It just means we don’t know until the production team coughs up more info, or the anime begins.

Watching This: Pancakes, Zaiden Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show 18if Promotional Videos ▼

Vatican Kiseki Chousakan | バチカン奇跡調査官Top
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 7, 2017
Genre: Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:30
Episodes: 12 Station: WOWOW
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kisekichosakan or #奇跡調査官

Preview by Pancakes

Miracles and divine acts may seem out of vogue in the modern world, but for many people the supernatural retains importance as proof of faith. Investigating the validity of miracles, however, is no small task, and for this purpose the Catholic Church employs the Assembly of Saints. Based out of the Vatican, the Assembly consists of an array of priestly “miracle investigators” wholly responsible for determining whether a miracle is in fact a miracle. As part of the Assembly’s investigations, the brilliant cryptanalyst and paleographer Robert Nicholas (Suwabe Junichi) is partnered with good friend and genius scientist “Joseph” Hiraga Kou (Okamoto Nobuhiko) to research a claim of stigmata and tears falling on a statue of Maria. While the job is already difficult as is, things only become more challenging when an eerie incident upends the entire investigation.

If one did not know better, one would think we are looking at the anime Dan Brown. Acts of God, threats to the Church, copious use of archaic Christian history, hell we even have Robert Langdon in the form of Robert (heh) Nicholas—stubborn penchant for knowledge and all. It’s an unusual premise for anime, particularly when thematically similar series (ex: Trinity Blood) enjoy veering the way of the vampire. Given Vatican Kiseki Chousakan—like The Da Vinci Code—prefers passing over strict historical accuracy in favour of story, the strength of this show will primarily rest on the adaptation of its intriguing mystery plot. If it can spin us a good, religiously-infused yarn and maximize the suspense, it could quickly become one of summer’s top shows. Director Yonetani Yoshimoto is certainly up to the task given his fantastic work with Shokugeki no Souma, and J.C. Staff is easily capable of keeping the visuals up to par. Considering the Vatican does actually investigate miracles in real life, Vatican Kiseki Chousakan could prove quite interesting for more than one reason.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Passerby Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Vatican Kiseki Chousakan Promotional Videos ▼

Jikan no Shihaisha | 時間の支配者Top
Animation: Project No.9 Premiere: July 7, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:30
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @chronos_pr

Preview by Pancakes

If you could turn back time for any reason, would you? It’s certainly an option in Jikan no Shihaisha’s world, where time-eating demons offer those seeking reversal of time the means to do so: simply sign a contract to see past mistakes corrected and senescence reversed. Well, until the demon is done consuming their “time” and erasing them from existence. Combating this issue is the sole purpose of the Chronos Rulers, time manipulators whose mission is stopping demons before they can contract with desperate people. At least that’s their intended objective. For Victor Putin (Fukuyama Jun), being a Chronos Ruler means tracking down the demon whom he contracted with and defeating it before he himself runs out of time. With his memories slowly disappearing and his age constantly reversing, Victor fights alongside his partner Kiri (Kugimiya Rie) to ensure that no demon and human can ever make his same mistake again.

I must admit, Jikan no Shihaisha really captured my interest. Besides its origins as a Taiwanese manhua, Jikan’s premise feels a lot like D. Gray Man took Curious Case of Benjamin Button’s premise and fused it with Bungou Stray Dogs. Weird abilities and comedic characters interspersed with moments of seriousness and crazy boss fights, yielding a story as much entertaining as it is intriguing. Victor in particular exemplifies the style, comically failing at gambling and popping up in unexpected places before busting out an eccentric repertoire of time-sensitive card tricks. And that’s before touching on his infamous last name. The components are definitely here for a decently fun shounen adaptation, but there are some noticeable concerns. Matsune Masato’s sole directorial experience comes from Chaos Dragon, and Project No.9—barring its work on NetoYome—is not a studio one particularly looks on with glee. It’s an honest crap shoot what we end up with, but I’m cautiously optimistic so long as the manga is faithfully adapted. With time already being such an ubiquitous theme, any series willing to venture outside that box deserves a little support.

Watching This: Pancakes, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Jikan no Shihaisha Promotional Videos ▼

Shoukoku no Altair | 将国のアルタイルTop
Animation: MAPPA Premiere: July 7, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, History Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 26:25
Episodes: 2 cour Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @pj_altair or #将国のアルタイル

Preview by Passerby

Imperial calendar, 451. The Turkiye Devleti, a stratocracy in what we might know as Anatolia. Rumours of war are brewing. The neighbouring Balt-Rhein Empire has grown increasingly belligerent of late, and there are those in its ruling circle who will jump at any casus belli to leverage its superior military against Turkiye. And within Turkiye itself, civil unrest stirs. Long has it been ruled by the Diwan, a council of generals or ‘Pasha’, but long has its politics been calcified and now two factions have entrenched themselves in deadlock. There are the doves, who are paralysed with fear of provoking powerful rivals. But the hawks are all too eager to lash out at any perceived aggression with swords drawn and a taste for blood. Tensions are high, and into this fray steps Tughril Mahmut (Murase Ayumu), a newly appointed Pasha and the youngest to ever earn the title. He has seen the ravages of war first hand, and is willing to fight to maintain the peace. And fight he will—not just enemies on the battlefield, but also conspiracy, intrigue, betrayal, and historical grievances that threaten to engulf the entire world in violence.

It sounds oxymoronic that there can be such a thing as ‘historical fantasy’, but Shoukoku no Altair, while not exactly ‘history’, is definitely ‘historical’, and so that’s what we’ll call it. The setting of the original manga by Katou Kotono is based on one of the less explored territories of history, especially in anime: Turkey. How the Ottoman Empire, conquerors of Byzantium, heirs of Rome, sprang up then got to where it is today is fascinating stuff, and while Shoukoku no Altair isn’t actually about that (again, not actual history), it does a remarkable job portraying the broad-stroke context of an older time: culture, governance, geopolitics and all the strife that occurs when they clash. There’s no question of the material being engaging, so it’s only an issue of how the adaptation goes. I don’t think we need to worry much about that, though, as director Furuhashi Kazuhiro is an old hand, and screenwriter Takagi Noboru is no slouch either. Everything looks good so far, and we’re set for at least two seasons of this thing so we’re going to be in for a ride. If you at all enjoy history, politics, or, I dunno, baklava, then you should definitely check this one out.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts Expectation Level: High
Show Shoukoku no Altair Promotional Videos ▼

Hitorijime My Hero | ひとりじめマイヒーローTop
Animation: Encourage FIlms Premiere: July 8, 2017
Genre: Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @myhero_pr or #マイヒ

Preview by Takaii

A spin-off of the author’s previous work Hitorijime Boyfriend, Hitorijime My Hero follows the lives of high school teacher Ooshiba Kousuke (Maeno Tomoaki) and delinquent Setagawa Masahiro (Masuda Toshiki), both of whom also appeared in Hitorijime Boyfriend. When it comes to the story itself, it typically ends up with Setagawa in a losing battle trying to understand the actions of his beloved teacher Kousuke while struggling to understand and accept the emotions he feels within himself. Through it all we get to see the evolution of two people as they both grow and learn from one another.

After diving pretty deep into the source material, I think I can safely say that if the subject matter resonates with you, Hitorijime My Hero won’t disappoint, especially if you’re a fan of romances and romantic comedies. However, for those who don’t know, the yaoi undertones are strong in this one and may detract from the actual story if that type of character interaction isn’t for you. However, as someone who isn’t into that genre (but has friends who are super fujoshis and involve me sometimes), I must admit that the story was compelling enough to keep me reading. With the perspective revolving around the delinquent Setagawa and his struggles of self-acceptance, it almost feels like an underdog story where you’re never 100% sure what may happen. In terms of its transition into an anime though, I’m not sure how things will go. With animation, story, and characters the driving factor for a show like this, the thought of a newbie studio (Encourage Films) with a newbie script writer doesn’t assuage my worries. Still, even with those reservations, I feel like this show could be a scrappy fighter that manages to do something special with the limited resources it has.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Hitorijime My Hero Promotional Videos ▼

Ballroom e Youkoso | ボールルームへようこそTop
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: July 8, 2017
Genre: Drama, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:08
Episodes: 24 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ballroom_anime or #ballroom_anime

Preview by Zaiden

Sweat glistens and flies through the air. Bodies energetically twist and turn, coordinated by tapping feet keeping time to the music programme. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to get your dancing shoes on, because mangaka Takeuchi Tomo’s Ballroom e Youkoso is receiving an anime adaptation! The story follows Fujita Tatara (Tsuchiya Shinba), a listless high school student struggling to find purpose. His life is turned upside down after a fateful encounter with professional dancer Sengoku Kaname (Morikawa Toshiyuki), who rescues him from bullies. After a taster lesson and having watched videos from a dancing competition, Tatara resolves to recreate his personal image. Thus, lacking any prior experience or knowledge, he wholeheartedly embarks on a foray to pursue competitive ballroom dancing. Although competitive dancing is an important aspect of the plot, the main character’s relationships form the primary focus – intimate connections and heated rivalries alike.

There are parallels between Tatara’s journey and the ones we see in series like Hajime no Ippo or Baby Steps. All three protagonists work incredibly hard to make up for their late start and lesser experience, as they aspire to become the best in their respective sports. In addition to these similarities to Ippo and Maruo, there is something deep and disturbing about Tatara I can’t quite put my finger on. While certainly a nice kid, Tatara is quite possibly a latent psycho, though I’m not too certain if this will get covered in a single cour adaptation. If you like seeing a protagonist slowly but surely working their way up, Ballroom e Youkoso will definitely tickle your fancy! Although Production I.G.’s inexperienced director Itazu Yoshimi is an unknown variable, the quality of the source material means this adaptation is brimming with so much potential. If the dancing animation sequences can be done to at the very least a level similar to the choreography Mappa used in Yuri!! on ICE, Ballroom e Youkoso can potentially contend for anime of the season.

Watching This: Cherrie, Choya, Guardian Enzo, Zaiden Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Ballroom e Youkoso Promotional Videos ▼

Centaur no Nayami | セントールの悩みTop
Animation: Haoliners Animation Premiere: July 9, 2017
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @centaur_anime or #セントール

Preview by Choya

Kimihara Himeno (Fukagawa Seria) is a shy but friendly girl who lives an ordinary life as a high school student in Japan. She’s also a centaur, a mythological being with the top half of a human and the lower half of a horse. Luckily for her the rest of the world is inhabited by various mythological creatures, allowing her to fit in well with fellow humanoid classmates who have wings, tails, horns, halos, and animal ears. Himeno enjoys hanging out with her friends Naraku Kyouko (Shiraishi Haruka), a cool and composed half-Satyr, and Gokuraku Nozomi (Kuwahara Yuuki), a hot-tempered demon. Together, they aim to live a fun, relatively normal school life as they interact with other classmates, worry about falling in love or overeating, and learn more about those around them.

One aspect of the series that could make or break the adaptation is what tone the anime will go with. Early chapters of the manga center around Himeno’s daily routine and friendships, but the slice-of-life tone isn’t always prevalent. The series doesn’t take long to invest time into fleshing out the different races of humanoids, the history behind supernatural race relations, and how laws adapted to a predominantly supernatural society. After reading through many of the chapters, it was an interesting read that got me excited me about the potential of monster girl stories that explore the deeper nuances of their lore. The only thing that makes me uncertain about the show is the staff behind it. Director Konno Naoyuki’s best known directorial efforts were 009-1 and Togainu no Chi. Additionally, the adaptation will be helmed by Haoliners Animation League, the Chinese animation company who created Bloodivores. It’s that skepticism that makes me worried the adaptation will drop the ball on much of what made the manga special. Still, I’m mostly optimistic from the initial previews that the anime will be able to capture the essence of the manga. It’s a cute monster girl slice-of-life, so that triples the chances of it working out smoothly, right?

Watching This: Choya, Guardian Enzo, Zaiden, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Centaur no Nayami Promotional Videos ▼

Princess Principal | プリンセス・プリンシパルTop
Animation: Actas x 3Hz Premiere: July 9, 2017
Genre: Action, Thriller Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @pripri_anime or #pripri

Preview by Passerby

London, 1872. But it’s not that London, and it’s not that 1872. Rather, the 19th century London of Princess Principal is more akin to Berlin 1963; it is a city in the fictional Kingdom of Albion, currently under occupation, and is divided between east and west by a great wall. On one side of this wall is the Queen’s Mayfair School, a perfectly ordinary educational institution for upstanding young ladies across the country. For five of the students there, though, this is all just a cover, and they are in fact professional spies, planted in the city as part of a larger ring. Meet: Dorothy (Taichi You), the driver; Beatrice (Kageyama Akari), the muscle; Angie (Imamura Ayaka), the protagonist material; Princess (Sekine Akira), the… princess; and Chise (Furuki Nozomi), the obligatory Japanese character. Together, they engage their unique abilities in the dangerous business of national espionage, a business that just happens to be filled with plenty of guns, fast cars, and explosions.

I was first drawn to Princess Principal in the hopes that it would be a gender-flipped Joker Game, because there is no time when I don’t need my espionage anime fix. Looking further into it, I’ll say: probably not. Princess Principal is definitely not historical fiction of any sort, and their spies are more Hollywood spies, running and gunning and crashing cars in pyrotechnical ways. Or at least that’s how I think it’ll go, because one can never be entirely sure with original anime. This one is a collaboration between studios 3hz and Acta as well, and they both seem to delight in hiding what their original shows are actually about. One thing I can say with some conviction though: Princess Principal has the potential to actually be pretty good, just judging by the staff. Just to start: Tachibana Masaki (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0) on direction, Okouchi Ichiro (CODE GEASS) on series composition, and Kajiura Yuki (that Kajiura Yuki) on music. That’s a lot of talent lined up for Princess Principal to be just girls with guns. While one can never be entirely sure about original anime, I’ve got high hopes for this one.

Watching This: Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Princess Principal Promotional Videos ▼

Tenshi no 3P! | 天使の3P!Top
Animation: Project No.9 Premiere: July 10, 2017
Genre: Music, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 20:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tenshi3p_anime or #tenshino3p

Preview by Zaiden

Due to a traumatic past, first year high school student Nukui Kyou (Inoue Yuuki) has become a hikikomori. His sole source of solace in life comes from secretly producing Vocaloid songs and uploading them onto the internet for fans to enjoy. One day he receives a fan message, asking to meet up at a certain location. Touched by the gesture, Kyou decides to meet his fans in spite of his hikikomori misgivings. At the meeting place, three elementary school girls await him: the crybaby Gotou Jun (Oono Yuuko ), the headstrong Momijidani Nozomi (Endou Yurika), and the somewhat sleepy Kaneshiro Sora (Koga Aoi). These three girls want Kyou to help them break into the music industry. Kicking off a symphonic ballade of little girls making great songs together, watch how Kyou guides them to fame, recognition and stardom.

Fans of Ro-Kyu-Bu, roll up, roll up. It’s time for you to get back to jail! The appointment of Yanagi Shinsuke, director of Ro-Kyu-Bu SS, all but guarantees your daily dose of sweet underaged justice. Seiyuu stars like Iguchi Yuka, Kana Hanazawa and Itou Kanae all provide assistance from supporting roles, but Hidaka Rina leads an otherwise rookie lineup, being the only veteran seiyuu among the main cast. I’m not too concerned about the lack of experience because, if the PVs offer any indication, the voice acting and music seem pretty promising. Note that enjoying Tenshi no 3P does not default you to lolicon status. After all, why shouldn’t you be able to like awesome music in conjunction with cute girl antics? As someone invested in Vocaloid songs, it would also be interesting to see how the Vocaloid industry functions behind the scenes.

Watching This: Stilts, Zaiden, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Tenshi no 3P! Promotional Videos ▼

Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni. | 異世界はスマートフォンとともに。Top
Animation: Production Reed Premiere: July 11, 2017
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 20:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @isesumaofficial or #イセスマ

Preview by Pancakes

Mochizuki Touya (Fukuhara Katsumi) is just your average high school lad. Unassuming and well-mannered, for him life is but an adventure to experience. At least until God throws a wrench into things by accidentally electrocuting the poor boy with lightning. God, making mistakes? Even the divine creator is shocked, and thus chooses to give Touya a second chance out of atonement for His error. Resurrecting Touya in a fantasy world, God also grants our lucky winner one wish for anything to help him in his new life. Deliberating fast, Touya chooses only one simple item: his smartphone. Sure it might lack internet and phone calls will prove troublesome, but Touya is a forward thinker and knows the information stored on the device will help tremendously. It’s a big new world, and Touya aims to learn about it all.

Let’s get the obvious out the way: Isekai wa Smartphone is not KonoSuba. Yes, the premise sounds the same, and sure, Touya looks like Subaru reincarnated, but these are completely different shows. Unlike KonoSuba’s parody/satire mix, Isekai veers into slice-of-life territory and fully commits to the harem route. Touya travels around, meets girls, and builds the harem before repeating the whole process. It’s a bread and butter concept, although Isekai gets brownie points for at least running a literal harem—no joke, Isekai’s world allows polygamy. The more contentious issue, however, will likely be Touya himself. The kid is Kirito-level (i.e. SAO) overpowered, he solves all the problems, gets all the girls, and hardly runs into a threat he cannot easily beat. And that’s before involving the magical smartphone and God’s continuous support. No beating around the bush here, Isekai is your typical wish fulfillment show, albeit with a quirky new look. While these series are a dime a dozen now, they can still prove entertaining with proper execution, particularly if the harem girls become memorable in their own right. Should Isekai rein in the worst excesses of it premise and keep things lighthearted, there’s no reason it cannot become one of summer’s better fantasy-esque shows.

Watching This: Cherrie, Pancakes, Zaiden, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni. Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: Doga Kobo Premiere: July 11, 2017
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 21:30
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 Stilts

New Game! tells the story of one Suzukaze Aoba (Takada Yuuki), a recent high school graduate (though you wouldn’t know it by looking at her) who landed her dream job at a game development company! At Eagle Jump, not only does she get to work for the company that made Fairies Story, the series that got her interested in 3D model design and graphic work, but she gets to work with the character designer she so admired, Yagami Kou (Hikasa Youko)—and on a sequel to Fairies Story to boot! That was the first season. Now Aoba and co are back, including shy character designer Takimoto Hifumi (Yamaguchi Megumi), who communicates through instant messenger; relatively sensible monster designer Iijima Yun (Takeo Ayumi); boisterous animator and figurine collector Shinoda Hajime (Toda Megumi); orderly (if easily flustered) art director Tooyama Rin (Kayano Ai); irresponsible company director who brings her cat to work Hazuki Shizuku (Kitamura Eri); short-tempered gun nut of a programmer Ahagon Umiko (Morinaga Chitose); and Aoba’s even more childish best friend Sakura Nene (Asahina Madoka). Join back in for a moe look into the game development industry as the girls of Eagle Jump keep striving (and working overtime) together.

This is a cute-girls-doing-cute-things anime of the highest order. New Game! delves into some true elements of working life, and occasionally one of them will hit a working stiff (like yours truly) on the nose—overtime is bull$*&#—but mostly everything it does is mined for cute. It does that infantilizing thing moe moe shows often do, where adult women act like blushing middle school maidens, so if that annoys you, steer clear. If you’re looking for something light, fluffy, and pretty darned funny—and as tooth-achingly sweet as a chocolate eclair buried in a mound of sugar—this will do the job. It’s a breath of fresh, moe air after a long day, and as far as CGDCT anime, it’s just aboutat the top. With all the staff and cast returning, and a few new characters being added, I expect all the same and more from season two.

Watching This: Passerby, Stilts, Zaiden, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Mahoujin Guru Guru | 魔法陣グルグル 新シリーズTop
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: July 11, 2017
Genre: Adventure, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:35
Episodes: 24 Station: TV Toktyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @magical_grgr or #グルグル

Preview by Cherrie

The story of Mahoujin Guru Guru follows Nike (Ishigami Shizuka), a strong and overly confident 13-year-old boy and Kukuri (Kohara Konomi), a witch, as they try and save the world from the evil demon named Giri. In this universe, there exists a type of magic known as “Guru Guru” which is the same type of magic which Kukuri wields – but to Nike’s dismay, not very well. They start their story by marching towards Kodai Castle (along with many other heroes) as the Kodai King has promised 50K gold coins to anyone who can defeat Giri. As they reach the Castle and meet the King, Nike manages to pull this peculiar sword from this special chest box which marks him as the Master Hero. And thus, this is the start of their adventures as the King sends them on their way to fulfill their mission of protecting the kingdom.

Mahoujin Guru Guru will be a reboot of the original series which started in 1994 and aired for 45 episodes. Remember the good ol’ days when anime used to be longer than 12 episodes? Man, I miss those days. Anyway! What appears to be a kiddie show, is actually a comedic, fantasy series featuring a young boy and girl as they travel around the world killing monsters. The artistic style reminds me a lot of 90’s anime aimed at children, but the story and content itself is probably better suited for older audiences. Back when the manga first released (in 1992), the jokes and plot parodied the stereotypical shounen/adventure manga that you saw out there… but nowadays, I daresay that this type of comedy and series is not uncommon. However, it is rare to see a 90’s anime getting a remake – unless it’s expected to do very well. As a 10+ year running manga, I certainly anticipate a strong following for this anime and since it’s coupled with Production I.G, I expect nothing short of a well done adaptation for this series. After following a lot shounen anime, it’s always refreshing to see how some shows try and break some tropes.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderate
Hajimete no Gal | はじめてのギャルTop
Animation: Naz Premiere: July 12, 2017
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @haji_gal or #はじギャル

Preview by Zaiden

Hashiba Junichi (Asanuma Shintaro) is just your average male otaku, and a high school student who dreams of losing his virginity to a hot girl. Pressured and forced by his friends, Junichi asks out Yame Yukana (Nagaku Yuki), a gyaru who seems completely creeped out by him. So you would think M. Night Shyamalan wrote the script when Yame actually agrees! Romantic comedy ensues, as Junichi tries to figure out whether Yame is serious about him or whether he’s just her plaything. Maybe even both…?

Packed with fanservice of a kind that posterior connoisseurs might find lacking, Hajimete no Gal is definitely a load of silly fun, containing sprinkles of cuteness here and there, especially where the interactions of the characters are concerned. Despite being a desperate guy, Junichi frequently bails out on steamy situations, the reason constantly shifting between cowardice and virtue. Seeing his internal conflict play out is part of what makes the story interesting. On the other hand, Yame herself undeniably steals the show – she’s a charming character with a really amazing personality to boot(y). Since the manga showcases things from Junichi’s perspective, we are mostly left guessing about Yame’s thoughts and motives. I can’t wait to see Yame teasing Junichi to pieces, and I reckon she will put up a fight for the title of Best Girl Summer 2017. Make sure to keep your eyes out for this show!

Watching This: Choya, Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Stilts, Zaiden, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Hajimete no Gal Promotional Videos ▼

Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e | ようこそ実力至上主義の教室へTop
Animation: Lerche Premiere: July 12, 2017
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 23:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @youkosozitsu or #you_zitsu

Preview by Zaiden

Adapted from the light novel written by Kinugasa Syougo, Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e follows the perspective of protagonist Ayanokouji Kiyotaka (Chiba Shouya after he enrolls into Kodo Ikusei, a prestigious high school divided into social hierarchies completely defining your worth. Superior students receive better treatment, while the inferior students are openly discriminated against by the staff and faculty. What’s worse, the entire academy system is run off a merit system where points are allocated based upon variety of factors including academics and good behaviour. These points are precious, especially since they are extremely limited for the students of Class D, so they suffer an unprecedented points crisis after being penalised for disrupting classes. Accommodation and canteen food are provided free of charge, but Class D would be unable to enjoy any sorts of luxuries. Although Ayanokouji is cynical in his reservation and apathy, he begins to slowly change after getting to know his classmates, particularly Horikitai Suzune (Kito Akari) and Kushida Kikyou (Kubou Yurika). Noticing that Class D actually has a lot of potential, if not for the personal issues holding some back, it will be up to our trio as they work to help solve everyone’s problems. If they can overcome the first hurdle, what’s stopping them from rising to compete against the other classes?

Having recently read a bit of the original light novel, I was quite surprised at the quality of writing. Think Oregairu, especially when it comes to the interactions between our main trio, but with a far more generous serving of story in addition to the ample character development. There was enough to make me wonder how this didn’t receive an anime adaptation earlier. Classes based upon social hierarchy is a concept reminiscent of Ansatsu Kyoushitsu and Baka to Test, and like them our main cast are mostly from the bottom class that is struggling hard in seeking promotion. Since Kishi Seiji also directed Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, he should be able to replicate this premise, though I’m expecting some distinguishing influence from co-director Hashimoto Hiroyuki. I suspect this will be a dark horse of summer 2017, so make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to jump onto the bandwagon before it becomes mainstream!

Watching This: Cherrie, Pancakes, Stilts, Zaiden, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e Promotional Videos ▼

Gamers! | ゲーマーズ!Top
Animation: Pine Jam Premiere: July 13, 2017
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 21:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @gamers_tvanime or #ゲーマーズ

Preview by Choya

“Do you think love can bloom, even on a battlefield?” This question is one of many that are explored in this comical story about the bonds created from the hobby that has destroyed controllers and ruined relationships. Amano Keita (Han Megumi) is a high school student who is terrible at video games, but he enjoys playing them regardless. He has no friends other than Uehara Tasuku (Toyonaga Toshiyuki), an outgoing student who keeps the facade of being satisfied with his life, but secretly loves video games. Then one day, Keita meets Tendou Karen (Kanemoto Hisako), the most beautiful girl in school who happens to be the president of the school’s games club. After she invites him to join the games club alongside the shy, unkempt Hoshinomori Chiaki (Iwami Manaka), Keita is thrown into a romantic comedy full of misunderstandings and wacky hijinks. Will Keita be able to trigger a flag for the romance options, or will he go home and be a family man? Only time will tell!

The show bills itself as a chaotic romantic comedy about gamers, which sounds like a neat combination. I assumed that it was going to be similar to Genshiken since that too was a show about a club that played a lot of video games. However, this show looks like it wants to explore the comedic potential that the character dynamics have, especially when some characters are more outgoing or open about playing games than others. I’m curious about the romantic aspects too, and if they’ll play a bigger role in the series as time goes forward. There’s room for Keita to have a love interest as he bonds with the almost too perfect Karen, and fights with Chiaki enough for them to be seen as the odd couple. When it comes to love comedies, especially light novels, it’s hard to gauge whether the show descriptions are embellishing their comedic chops, or if they strike a good balance. Those who are yearning for a lighthearted comedy about gaming with a twist of love will find Gamers! to be a charming, humorous take on gaming with friends.

Watching This: Cherrie, Choya, Pancakes, Stilts, Zaiden, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi no Togi | 地獄少女 宵伽Top
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: July 14, 2017
Genre: Horror Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @jigokuanime or #地獄少女

Preview by Takaii

Jigoku Shoujo:Yoi no Togi is the fourth season of the Jigoku Shoujo or Hell Girl series that first aired back in 2005. The premise is simple: do you have someone who has wronged you so badly that you’d do anything to make sure that they’d get the favor returned tenfold? What if you could literally send them to the depths of hell where that person would be forever tormented and tortured? Would you do it? Even if it meant you would be dooming yourself to the same fate once you’ve died? For this fourth season, a few things to keep in mind. There will only be six new episodes, with the other six being pulled from older seasons as throwback episodes. Also, director Omori Takahiro who handled seasons one and two will return to handle this season. In addition to Omori, all the original seiyuu will be reprising their roles as well. All in all, sounds like an exciting time to be alive for old and new fans alike!

There are very few anime that have been able to go on for four seasons and even less that have also inspired live action television adaptations, multiple manga adaptations, and a live action stage play. But if you were looking for a series that has managed to resonate well with its audience, look no further than Jigoku Shoujo. With its plot following a rather simple formula (at least simple at first), most arcs follow a pattern of someone sending a request to the Hell Correspondence website asking for their tormenter to be eliminated. From here our titular character Enma Ai (Noto Mamiko) (AKA the Jigoku Shoujo or Hell Girl) appears and offers a straw doll to the requester stating that the tormenter’s soul will be taken to hell if they pull the string off as well as warning them that the requestor’s soul will also be marked to go straight to hell once they die. Creepy right? But what really makes Jigoku Shoujo more than your typical thriller is the way the story dives deep into Enma’s back story. Between exploring how she became the Jigoku Shoujo to what she’s learned and experienced after hundreds of years of actually running the Hell Correspondence service, you sometimes unexpectedly find yourself drawn more to the story than the thrill of the horror.

Watching This: Takaii Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi no Togi Promotional Videos ▼

Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: July 22, 2017
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: NHK
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @rflc_anime or #rflc_anime

Preview by Stilts

From the minds of Nagahama Hiroshi (Mushishi) and American comic book legend Stan Lee (yes, that one) comes a brand new anime. One day, and all of a sudden, people all over the world discovered they had superpowers. In a moment that became known as the Reflection, some people become heroes (a handful), and others became villains (rather more than a handful). How did the Reflection happen? What caused it? With these mysteries yet unsolved, the world is plunged into turmoil as these superpowered humans clash.

While Stan Lee getting involved with another anime is certainly worthy of note, the name that interests me most is Nagahama Hiroshi. The driving force behind all the Mushishi anime, doing a superhero show? I don’t know if it’ll mean anything, but it’s an intriguing thought. While the premise seems well trodden, with HeroAca most recently exploring the superhero world, that comparison might not be fair. The focus here seems to be more on the chaos at the time when superpowers suddenly appear, and what that means for the world—more like the flashback scenes in Strong Female Protagonist, highly suggested by the way. That could be fertile soil to till, even if I have a suspicion it’ll turn into an orgy of action scenes real fast. Not that action scenes aren’t fun! This is an original series, so we won’t know much until it airs, but I’m at least more interested after researching it than I was after reading the minimal promo text. Why so coy, The Reflection? You nearly lost me. Silly The Reflection. Now let’s see what you’ve got.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts, Zaiden, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High

Short Series List

Technical Note: As of the Fall 2016 Preview onward, short one-cour series that are being broadcast with irregular duration times (under the 24 minute per episode norm) have been separated from the main preview into their own section. This is to account for the increasing number of short series and to allow for ease of viewing for those who have a preference for one type of series over another. While the list should be complete, there are short series that have been announced very close to the start of a season, in which case they may not have made it onto the list. If you notice an anything missing, incomplete, or incorrect, please feel free to point it out in the comments or e-mail Zephyr directly. (Write ups by Passerby.)

Air Date Title Series Synopsis
07/03 Skirt no Naka wa Kedamono Deshita.
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
A female student
Hit on by another ‘girl’.
Beware, it’s a trap!
07/05 Netsuzou Trap -NTR- | 捏造トラップ
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
A sordid affair
Between girls, while their boyfriends
Remain ignorant.
07/11 Musekinin Galaxy☆Tylor | 無責任ギャラクシー☆タイラー
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
More from a certain,
Irresponsible Captain
Though just a spinoff.
07/12 Kaito x Ansa | カイトアンサ
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Remember that show,
Made to promote puzzle games?
Well, neither do I.
07/12 Clione no Akari | クリオネの灯り
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Summer tragedy
Like Air with half the budget
But as many tears.
07/12 Ikemen Sengoku◆Toki o Kakeru ga Koi wa Hajimaranai
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Sengoku romance
With a girl who leapt through time.
More chibis than hunks.
07/12 Teekyuu 9 | てーきゅう 9期
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Teekyu sequels and,
The march to oblivion,
Are both without end.
July 2017 Karada Sagashi | カラダ探し
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Find the eight pieces
Of a girl’s dismembered corpse
Or you’ll share its fate
July 2017 Musashino! | むさしの!
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Promoting cities,
Is an anime business
And hence this sequel.
July 2017 Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart | ノラと皇女と野良猫ハート
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
To sell a VN,
And to sell one’s dignity,
Needs only a price.
July 2017 Pikotarou no Lullaby Luullaby | ピコ太郎のララバイラーラバイ
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
‘Improv anime’:
A comedian spins tales
Based on storyboards.
July 2017 Yami Shibai 5 | 闇芝居 5期
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Japanese horror
Spun out of urban legends
Told with still pictures.

OVA / Movie


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

Release Date Title Notes
05/22 91Days Day 13
Episode 13.
05/24 Lupin the IIIrd: Chikemuri no Ishikawa Goemon | LUPIN THE IIIRD 血煙の石川五ェ門
BD/DVD Release.
06/03 Boku no Hero Academia OVA | 僕のヒーローアカデミア OVA
Episode 2 of 2.
06/29 Demi-chan wa Kataritai: Demi-chan no Natsuyasumi | 亜人ちゃんは語りたい 亜人ちゃんの夏休み
Bundled w/ BD/DVD Vol. 7. Episode 13.
07/04 Shokugeki no Souma OVA | 食戟のソーマ OVA
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 25. Episode 4 of 4.
07/14 Kidou Senshi Gundam Thunderbolt 2nd Season
機動戦士ガンダム サンダーボルト 2
Episode 4 of 4.
07/24 Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! OVA
この素晴らしい世界に祝福を! 2 OVA
Bundled with LN Vol. 12.
07/26 Hand Shakers: Go ago Go | ハンドシェイカー TV未放送エピソード
Bundled with Hand Shakers EX BD/DVD. Episode 13.
07/26 Kimi no Na wa. | 君の名は。
BD/DVD Release.
08/04 Bungou Stray Dogs: Hitori Ayumu | 文豪ストレイドッグス 第25話 『独り歩む』
Bundled with LE manga Vol. 13. Episode 25.
08/09 Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu: Kita yo, Taiwan!
南鎌倉高校女子自転車部 「来たよ、台湾! ! 」
Bundled with LE BD set.
08/19 BanG Dream! OVA
Bundled w/ BD Vol. 7.
08/19 Mahoutsukai no Yome: Hoshi Matsu Hito | 魔法使いの嫁 星待つひと
Episode 2 of 3.
08/23 Kuroshitsuji Movie: Book of the Atlantic | 劇場版 黒執事 Book of the Atlantic
BD/DVD Release.
08/25 Brave Witches: Petersburg Daisenryaku
ブレイブウィッチーズ ペテルブルグ大戦略
Bundled with BD/DVD Vol. 7. Episode 13.
08/30 KanColle Movie | 劇場版 艦これ
BD/DVD Release.
08/30 Kubikiri Cycle: Aoiro Savant to Zaregoto Tsukai
クビキリサイクル 青色サヴァンと戯言遣い
Episode 7 of 8.
08/30 Tenchi Muyou! Ryououki 4th Season | 天地無用!魎皇鬼 第四期
Episode 4 of 4.
09/01 Super Lovers OVA
Bundled w/ manga Vol. 11.
09/02 Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin | 機動戦士ガンダムTHE ORIGIN
Episode 5 of 6.
09/08 UQ Holder OVA
Bundled w/ manga Vol. 14. Episode 0 Prequel.
09/13 Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen – Prologue Sakura to Futatsu no Kuma
カードキャプターさくら クリアカード編 プロローグ さくらとふたつのくま
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 3.
09/13 Overlord Movie: Fushisha no Ou | 劇場版 オーバーロード 不死者の王
BD/DVD Release.
09/13 Overlord Movie: Shikkoku no Tenshi | オーバーロード 漆黒の英雄
BD/DVD Release.
09/13 Tenchi Muyou! Ryououki 4th Season OVA | 天地無用!魎皇鬼 第四期
Episode 4 of 4.
09/15 Seitokai Yakuindomo* OVA | 生徒会役員共* OVA
Episode 7 of 7.
09/20 Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon OVA | 小林さんちのメイドラゴン OVA
Bundled w/ BD/DVD Vol. 7.
09/27 A-Channel: Nabe o Tabeyou | Aチャンネル 鍋を食べよう
Bundled w/ BD Box Collection.
09/27 Kabuki-bu!: Oogiri – Chiyocolate-gassen
カブキブ! 大喜利「ちよこれいと合戦」
Bundled w/ LE BD/DVD Vol. 2.
09/27 Kuroko no Basket: Last Game | 劇場版 黒子のバスケ LAST GAME
BD/DVD Release.
09/27 Natsume Yuujinchou Roku OVA | 夏目友人帳 陸 OVA
Episode 1 of 2.
09/27 Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale
劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -オーディナル・スケール-
BD/DVD Release.

Overall Impressions


Along with winter, summer is traditionally thought of as one of the weaker anime seasons. Recent summers have been bucking this trend, but this doesn’t appear to be one of ’em. While there are still a bunch of shows I’m excited for, there just seems to be fewer truly top-tier offerings, which is reflected in our expectation levels. Though I wonder how much of that is due to the lack of sequels and originals in favor of a slew of new adaptations? That means fewer sure-hits or potential break-out stars, in favor of a bunch of shows that could be good-to-great but have known weaknesses. So maybe this will be a better season than it first appears, even if the peaks don’t reach quite so high. I suppose we shall see, which is part of the fun!

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 another reason to call us the hacks that we are 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 a real thing, 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.

  • Low Expectations: N/A

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.

  • Niche: N/A

Established shows are generally long-running manga/anime series, geared toward 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. Same here, what’s the world coming to 😛

      Ps. No love from RC for the fantasy-gag manga Mahoujin Guru Guru reboot by Production I.G.? Not even a mention? </3
      Slight spoilers, but a clip from the old anime that showcases the type of humor in Mahoujin Guru guru 🙂
      Hero's "Cool Pose"
      Nike, according to wiki: "Nike (pronounced Nee-kay) is the "Hero" of the show. Nike's father Bado had always wished to be a Hero but, due to the lack of any great evil to fight against, he had to give his dream up. Still, he made his son undergo hard training as a child in hopes that one day a great evil would arise and Nike could fight it."

  1. Hoping to watch: Kakegurul, Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun, Youkai Apato no Yuuga na Nichijou, Koi to Uso, Tsurezure Children, Aho Girl, Dive!!, Konbini Kareshi, and 18if.

    Thank you for the preview!

  2. Watching Symphogear and New Game are a given.

    I want to see how the subject matter in Made in Abyss and Centaur no Nayami is handled.

    Fate/Apocrypha is something I would rather be one of Nasu’s neglected works instead of the umpteenth FSN spinoff.

    Isekai Shokudou has me interested because it is something different.

      1. I have a feeling that they want to leave the main timeline (Zero, SN and HA) in Ufo’s hands. That, and you need HF to fully understand HA. So, I’d say wait until the HF movie trilogy is done before asking for an Ataraxia anime.

    1. Need I watch the first 3 seasons of the series to appreciate the fourth? RC mentioned that the story also dives into Ema’s past, so would I be lost since that’s like an anchor to the story?

      1. Yes you would need to watch the first three seasons. You wouldn’t appreciate it otherwise. Basically although each season has plenty of “Send this person to hell” episodes, each season does contain one continuous story that carries over to the next.


    How’s everyone eh? It’s been SOOOOOOOOOOO long!!!!!

    Too long separated from my brethren here, and from anime. It’s been a good 7 weeks since the last episode of any anime, sigh…

    I’m thoroughly bored. No matter, nothing creating your own narratives can’t solve. At least, that’s what I aim for.

    Anyways, now where are Passerby and Zaiden, been missin ya gais long time!!!!!

    Nishizawa Mihashi
  4. I’m waiting eagerly for Fate/Apocrypha for multiple reasons. Getting to see more of Jeanne and Mordred fully animated and voiced, finally seeing Semiramis making her appearance, and hopefully having the remaining Servants added to Fate/Grand Order.

  5. Already gonna watch Kakegurui, Fate/Apocrypha, Isekai Shokudou, Nanamaru Sanbatsu, Made in Abyss, Vatican Kiseki Chousakan, Shoukoku no Altair, Ballroom e Youkoso, and Princess Principal. Might try some of the others, like Gamers!

  6. Will be watching Knights and Magic.I’m interested to see how they’ll adapt the novels.
    The novel’s themes are mainly geared rowards mecha fans, so its fanservice won’t be the ecchi/sexy kind.

    Will also check out Dive, Youkai Apato and Shokudou.

  7. It’s not a deep series, yeah, but I enjoy Knights & Magic as it loves the mecha genre as a story as much as the readers/viewers do as an audience. If you like mechas at all, I wholly suggest at least giving the series a try.

    Also I’ll share the most sagely description of Tsurezure Children I’ve ever heard: it’s the one series where you never have to worry about your ship sinking.

  8. Wow there are surprisingly a lot of anime that I’m interested in this season.
    I will definitely watch :
    – New Game season 2. The first season is so cute so season 2 will be cuter!
    – Kakegurui : This might sound weird but it is about (psycho) girls in prestigious gambling high school. Well I’ve read the manga so I’d like to see it in animated form.
    – Isekai Shoukudou : Isekai cooking anime?! As someone who like culinary arts I think this is a must watch.

    I will give a chance to :
    – Ballroom e Youkoso : This is something fresh in sport genre. I like Yuri on Ice so I think I will probably like this one too.
    – Fate/Apocrypha : Tag-team battle royale that is a Fate spinoff. This may be great but also may be not that good. Who knows…
    – Shoukoku no Altair : It’s like Magi but with Turkish empire. Interesting.

    And Sakura Quest is still ongoing. So I have 7 anime for next season.

    One Pinch Man
  9. I think you need to re-calibrate because if all but three shows end up in some form of ‘moderate’ you are no longer recommending things, you’re just saying you have no opinions.

    1. Honestly, we’re thinking of doing that. It’s not that we don’t have opinions (see: the written previews themselves), it’s just that boiling them down to a single “grade” has always been hard. Plus this scale incentivizes using the middle three levels, since there are usually legitimate reasons why something doesn’t seem like a sure-hit or sure-shit. We’re gonna reconvene before the next preview and see if we wanna change things up.

      1. I’d rather you be wrong about a series then have everything be middling. If your criteria is boiled down to “high mid, mid, low mid”, then what you should do is re-label those as “high, mid, low”, because that’s what you’re actually doing. Stop being afraid to say things and say them.

      2. Ain’t a matter of being afraid, it’s about being honest. But when being honest ends up with levels that aren’t useful, the rubric might need changing. We’re thinking of something besides simply collapsing them back to 3x levels, because that caused clustering too.

      3. Just to add my two cents, I’m okay with the current grading of recommended anime.
        To me: High= hyped; moderately high= better than average; moderate= average; low moderate= meh; low= don’t expect much.
        Therefore I definitely check out highly recommeded anime and if I have time, moderately high anime. Moderate and low moderate categories sometimes have surprise hits and low expectation anime are usually not special.

        I don’t think a “simpler” high/mod/low grading would reflect the nuance of the currrent system. Basically, RC is predicting that this summer cour will have many many average and slightly above-average shows, nearly no extremely-low quality shows, and no solid-hyped-high expectation shows. I think that is more beneficial and helpful to the readers than just lumping the moderate-high into the high category as well as dumping the low-moderate into the low category.

        Ty for the preview and all your hard work as always! Also I’m going to feel really old if the disclaimer #1 ever disappears and Divine falls into legend…

  10. is it me becoming jaded or i find less and less anime worthy of watching?
    2 shows only this season and probably gonna watch only Fate/Apocrypha and “Not-Turkey taking on the world in Europa Universalis”

    1. Don’t worry, in several years we’ll make anime great again. Trust me comrade, trust me. It may seem like pathetic steps at the moment but I have begun my move. Just you wait my comrade, have faith in your comrade in arms. One day friend, one day…

      Nishizawa Mihashi
    1. I think One Punch Man Season 2 will be scheduled for the Winter season. Given that we’re almost at the end of June, I highly doubt the show will get a release date within the next few months.

  11. Thanks as always for the preview! I have a question, is there a reason the Mahoujin Guruguru reboot by Production I.G. is not included in the Summer preview? It’s technically a full 30 minute anime broadcast late night like the other series…..

      1. Hmmm, I know kids can enjoy it but I feel like it is also made for older watchers to enjoy. (I’ve watched the past series before) The production committee also seems to think so considering all their broadcast times are late night time slots which are deliberate times not easily accessible for kids and apply to the good majority of the shows in this preview. (Admittedly, the visuals make look somewhat childish).

        If we need to go into logistics of whether this is a kids only show or not, wouldn’t the timeslots and the original manga’s serialization magazine (Gekkan Shounen Gangan) prevent one from concluding the series is a kids only show? Gekkan Shounen Gangan is the same magazine that serialized works like Fullmetal Alchemist and Zetsuen no Tempest, I don’t think it’s fair to just sort Mahoujin Guruguru off as kids only.

      2. >Lyfe
        I am aware of cases like that, look at One Piece which is a morning broadcast. There certainly are non-kids shows broadcasting at times besides the late night time slots. However, kids shows rarely or never broadcast at times as late as Mahoujin Guruguru does unless it’s a repeat broadcast of much older kids shows and even that is also rare. I am merely pointing out that almost all the reported broadcasting times are all times normally reserved for shows geared towards adults (or at least late teens) in Japan.

      3. Sorry I’m not really familiar with the show, I was mostly just pointing out that some shows can get preferential earlier timeslots and others not so much. Every season there’s plenty of shows that air late night that could realistically air during the morning or afternoon. But alas, no room!

      4. @Anon

        Airing late night doesn’t automatically mean a show is unsuitable for children. Would you consider Granblue or Log Horizon which aired in the early evening in Japan childrens shows? Plenty of examples out there. It could be that the show is niche enough to be buried in a late night slot.

      5. The timeslot is really irrelevant in most cases. Anime just isn’t popular enough for networks to give them prime-time slots. You have your usual morning shows, and a scattering of evening ones. But the bulk is aired late night. That isn’t because they’re super adult and not suitable for kids. A large majority of anime you could probably give a teen rating too.

        And forgive the lack of clarity, I was speaking about the very first special of Granblue that aired during the winter. But that’s a bad example. What about Gundam Orphans?

      1. Thanks for the information.

        Now, if you don’t mind, I am going to cry alone in the córner… :'(

        Joking. I waited fifteen years, I can wait a few more months. 😛

  12. I expected slim pickings this season, but it looks like there are series that I might give a try after all…

    Will definitely watch:
    Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi no Togi“Ippen, shindemiru?”
    Borrowed catchphrase aside, I’m happy to see a continuation to this series, even though having only six new episodes (and the rest being episodes from previous seasons) is a bit of a downer. Besides the show’s basic premise, I also liked how Hell Girl‘s episodes were a commentary on the negative aspects of society and humanity in general. I’d be happy if some episodes tackled issues such as cyberbullying (and all the negative effects of being on the receiving end), and it’d be interesting to see if Enma Ai and her crew are supernaturally powerful enough to track down people who hide behind the veil of anonymity on the Internet.
    NEW GAME!! – Or should that be “New Game Plus”? Anyway, glad to see the lovely ladies of Eagle Jump back for a second season, and I’m looking forward to the new game (Get it? Uhh…) they’re developing.

    Picked up thanks to the preview (“three-episode rule” applies):
    Hajimete no Gal – I’m always down for an ecchi romantic comedy and I’m also curious to see how this compares to Oshiete! Galko-chan (which I do want to watch).
    Isekai Shokudou – A “restuarant between worlds” or “portal crossroad restaurant“. Either way, I’ve rarely seen those tropes applied in anime (like the Type-Moon multiverse), so this caught my interest. Oh, and the potential for food porn.
    (Note: Not to be watched on an empty stomach.)
    Centaur no Nayami – I loved watching Daily Life With Monster Girl (even if only for the ecchi at first) and enjoyed the WAFF-filled Interviews With Monster Girls/Demi-chan wa Kataritai from Winter 2017, so it’ll be interesting to see Centaur no Nayami‘s own take on the “cute monster girl slice-of-life” genre.
    Gamers! – Based on the premise, this reminded me of And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online?/Netoge no Yome wa Onannoko ja Nai to Omotta, with the exception that the MC sucks at video games. Bonus points if there’s a shout-out to the Dark Souls series in there. (Also, that Metal Gear Solid reference… XD)
    Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni. – The one question I always ask when seeing a new harem anime is: “Are the girls pretty?” Based on the preview image, yes. (Jury’s out on whether they’ll be animated beautifully, however.) But, it’ll be nice if the comedic moments of the show (especially involving the main character) turn out to be genuinely funny to balance out how “Kirito-esque” the MC is. And there’s the Fridge Logic question of how he will charge his smartphone’s battery in a fantasy world…
    Aho Girl – If the laughs for this season turn up lacking, perhaps this slapstick comedy show should fill the gap.

    OVAs, movies and other shorts:
    KanColle Movie – I’m proud to say that I managed to catch Aniplus Asia’s screening of KanColle: The Movie at SM Megamall back in May (and even got a decent haul out of it). Also, if you heard someone shout “Tsundere Heavy Cruiser!” as a response to who is the “best shipgirl” after the 2 PM screening…that was me. (Even brought a Nendoroid of Arpeggio!Takao to watch along for the lulz.) Pretty sure the Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean and Thai fans would love to share their experiences watching KanColle: The Movie as well.
    Kidou Senshi Gundam Thunderbolt 2nd Season – Hope GundamInfo’s YouTube channel has it.
    Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 OVA – Of course!

    Hooboy, this will cut into my time playing Crossout, though.

  13. Always worth the wait, and looks like this season I’ll be watching mostly romance Anime if I were to give more any chance. For now at most three:
    Aho Girl (because it’s stupid)
    Tsurezure Children (for being 4-koma and unique love situations)
    Gamers (I mean, I already watch streamers and gameplay videos on YouTube) if they will show a PV someday

    My other opinions:
    Is the style of Koi to Uso similar to Kuzu no Honkai? If the show likes sex I’m not watching.
    Also, that convenience store Anime with a romance story starting point sounds great, but as of now it doesn’t look as great as I thought it would be. I mean, narration for PV? Can we hear the cast soon?

  14. Looks like Knights and Magic is the only mecha show this season… me sad.
    Definitely watching: Ballroom he Youkoso!, New Game 2, Shoukoku no Altair, Vatican Kiseki, Princess Principal.
    Will give it a try: Katsugeki, Koi to Uso, Knights and Magic, Made in Abyss, 18if, Tsurezure Children.

    Jon Oscar
    1. Knight’s & Magic is still definitely really entertaining! I’ve read the light novel volumes up till Volume 7 so far, and it’s been a total blast where the focus has been on mecha and action, as opposed to some hammy politics –

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Then again, nothing’s quite been the same since legend of the Galactic Heroes, in terms of how socio-political issues were tackled.

      Stilts edit: Fixed it for you, baaaaka.

      1. Definitely looking forward to the upcoming anime adaptation of LoGH (by Production IG no less). It was annouced in 2015 so hopefully isn’t too far away from release now.

        But the hype is most certainly real.

  15. Fate/Apocrypha, Symphogear AXZ, NEW GAME!!, and Hell Girl are the ones I’ll definitely be seeing.

    Ones I’ll at least check out probably…

    Battle Girl High School
    Isekai Shokudou
    Aho Girl
    Action Heroine Cheer Fruits
    Centaur no Nayami
    Princess Principal
    Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni.
    Hajimete no Gal
    Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e

  16. I always seem to miss when this is actually posted. As always, thank you for all the hard work everyone! (Those of you I follow on Twitter will be getting the usual message too.) I’ll probably make an additional post to actually discuss what I plan on watching, as well as point out the token show this preview convinced me to watch.

  17. Damn, those haiku synopses are excellent.

    Not much in terms of pure hype this cour, but there’s a smattering of interesting premises. Ugh, I’m going to end up with 30-ish shows again this season…

  18. Hey just wanted to thank you all for the previews. I have been using your previews for years since I first discovered the website in like 2014-2015 and I really appreciate all the hard work you all do to set this up for us. Never really commented much before but you all do great work and I look forward to watching this Seasons anime with you!

    Mochi Tiger
  19. On initial impressions, seems a rather a lacklustre season overall.

    Only 3 series really interest me at present:

    – Shoukoku no Altair
    – Ballroom e Youkoso
    – Made in Abyss

    Hopefully some of the series that look less interest now will end up being good, and/or hoping we end up with some surprises / hidden gems this season.

    1. And where are my manners – huge thanks to the whole RC team for your hard work putting this preview and all the season previews together.

      And props for the haiku summaries for the shorts – very apt as well as amusing.

  20. Sequels
    Symphogear AXZ
    New Game S2
    Teekyuu 9

    Very interested
    Tenshi no 3P
    Made in Abyss
    Netsuzou Trap (Dammit, I didn’t think this would be a short)

    Tsurezure Children
    Battle Girl High School

    I’ll give it an episode
    Isekai Shokudou
    Princess Principal

  21. Okay, having read through the list I have my picks, some of which I already had from doing my own research but still.

    Definite Watches:
    Vatican Kiseki Chousakan
    Shoukoku no Altair
    Ballroom e Youkoso
    Princess Principal (Made by Actas, the people who brought us Girls und Panzer)

    Will Check Out:
    Enmusubi no Youko-chan (The Token anime this preview got me curious about)
    Tsurezure Children
    Nanamaru Sanbatsu (Made by TMS, the people who brought us ReLife)
    Made in Abyss
    Hajimete no Gal

    Wait and See:
    Knight’s & Magic
    Isekai Shokudou
    Aho Girl
    Konbini Kareshi
    Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e

    Some of the shorts also looked interesting. Love the fact the descriptions for them are all haiku.

  22. “and we’re getting not only a fourth season in AXZ, but also a fifth one in the near future”

    During the Live event in 2016 they announced up to at least a sixth season.

  23. Yusss!!! I’ve been waiting for this preview since last season, and to be honest, a lot of shows managed to shock me and made me excited for what’s to come.

    Definitely watching:
    Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu
    Konbini Kareshi
    Made in Abyss
    Nanamaru Sanbatsu
    Welcome to the Ballroom

    Keeping an eye on:
    Jigoku Shoujo spinoff (or sequel?)
    Soccer Boy! Aoyama-Kun
    NEW GAME sequel
    Teekyuu 9 (Short)

    Skeptical about:
    Netsurou Trap (Short)
    Koi to Uso
    The Reflection
    Hitorijime My Hero

    With a lot of anime I’m hooked at, this will put a smile in my summer! Thank you so much RC writers for making the preview and hope for more hopeful ones to come in the future!

    (P.S. I’ll skip from the most hyped, since I wanted to look for the hidden gems in this season, as well as those shows that exceeded my expectations, so I’ll keep an eye for that.)

    1. Jigoku Shojo: Yoi no Togi is a continuation of the story. Only 6 of the 12 episodes are new. They’re doing it in such a weird way, I guess they’re worried about the show flopping as its been so long between seasons.

  24. Aho Girl. So much this. I so can’t wait to relive the hilariously stupidness that is Yoshiko again in anime form! I guess the humor didn’t quite hit Stilts the way it did me, because I absolutely loved her as a character (not at first, but it didn’t take long). Yes, she’s possibly the dumbest anime character ever, but somehow, someway I find myself fruitlessly rooting for her and Akuru and the rest of his hilariously bonkers harem. It’s all just so ridiculously dumb but I love it ^^.

    1. Comedy is always YMMV, so no surprise. Hiroyuki is still a great comedic write, I just happen to think it’s the weakest setup of his three manga-turned-anime series, is all.

      If we don’t get to the dog, I’ma be sad. Dog is the BEST.

  25. Man, just finished reading the entire preview due to festivities and well…

    Look bros, to be completely honest, and this is like from the fiber of my being, I just feel like if I am an anime producer/writer I could make awesome stuff for you guys to watch and for RandomC to review each week. Not being conceited but I do genuinely have some very interesting ideas and stories that I’ve planned out. The thing is that, I just truly believe that we can do better is all I’m saying. For all you know, it might just be one of you with grand ambitions and intensive planning and skill that might shake the core and allowing the Tree Of Life to rise again~

    But anyways, I have destroyed my gramophone enough reiterating that sentiment here on RandomC and while I’ve watched much less contemporary anime due to coming into my own as a storyteller, that doesn’t mean I completely disregard the medium, a belief which I find ridiculous. Sure, I may have skipped an entire 7-8 weeks of Spring anime but I did watch 1 or 2 episodes of some older shows here and there from my anime Blu-Ray collection.

    So, what will I be interested in watching… I think I’ve decided to give a few shows a chance by previewing them. And well, here are my picks:

    1) Isekai Shokudou (Always on the lookout for scrumptious bites, Nishizawa’s black hole spirals on…)

    2) Aho Girl (Choya, if you’re reading this, do you LMMFAO at shows like this? Cuz if this show’s enjoyable I might just disturb the neighborhood with my laughter LMMFAO)

    3) Konbini Kareshi (Seems a bit more realistic and down-to-earth, which may or may not results in a well-designed narrative, but we’ll see)

    4) ShijouShitsu (The character relations and visual aesthetic seems intriguing but one that I may not be able to tolerate for long periods due to premise. We’ll observe regardless)

    5) Jigoku Shoujo 4 (WELL,THIS IS A SURPRISE. Who da’ thunk eh?)

    6) Hajimete no Gal (Will this be as interestingly amusing as Oshiete! Galko-chan? Who knows, all I know is that the designs look similar to Okusama ga Seitokaichou! so that’s that, particularly in the eyes)

    7) Gamers! (I’m watching this just for the fact that the designs look like straight out of a Napata doujin. For all you know, this is the real Napata that came up with the Gamers! narrative IP)

    Nishizawa Mihashi
    1. @Lyfe

      This show looks interesting. Though unlike Jigoku Shoujo with its crazy success throughout the years, the only hope for a revival of sorts is by purchasing the rights to the Stellvia anime IP. And from there, one can make a remaster, remake or reboot depending on demand or business/creative focus.

      Nishizawa Mihashi
    2. I haven’t heard of Aho Girl before the list came out, but it was one of the first shows I gravitated towards putting on my watch list just because it looked funny. I enjoy 4koma slice-of-life comedies so I’m hoping Aho Girl will deliver the laughs

    3. Same here man, I hope that Aho Girl’s funny enough for my laugh to bust the whole neighborhood LMMFAO
      It’s been too long since I’ve last seen anything with the level of Danshi Koukousei/Sket Dance so I’m intrigued, then again there’s always Gintama LMMFAO

      Nishizawa Mihashi
  26. Looks like there will be some well written anime this season! Looking forward to the rest of summer!

    On the downer note: I can’t believe a horrible POS LN like Stuck in another world with a cell phone is getting an anime! I mean, we’re just reaching past better written WN/LN and just scrapping the bottom of the barrel here, aren’t we?!

    1. Isekai Smartphone is actually HJ’s best selling LN. So it’s not exactly bottom of the barrel. And quality is subjective. Production comittees (the ones deciding what gets adapted) prefer a more objective measurement, like sales. So animating the publisher (Hobby Japan’s) top selling LN makes sense.

    2. You can turn a premise like that into something amazingly charming and comical, question is does the author even know how to make such a premise amazingly charming. I’m confident I can 😀

      Nishizawa Mihashi
  27. And here’s my list (including leftovers)

    Bahamut Virgin Soul
    Hina Logi
    Symphogear AXZ
    Knights and Magic
    Battle Girl High School
    Isekai Shoukudou
    Vatican Kiseki
    Made in Abyss
    Jikan no Shihaisha
    Princess Principal
    Isekkai Smartphone
    Mahoujin Guru Guru
    The Reflection

    In term of movies

    Prisma Illya
    Nanoha Reflection
    NGNL Zero
    Washio Sumi 3

    I find that the more anime I watch, the less I care about stuff like “objective quality” and the more I value my personal subjective enjoyment over anything else.

    My interactions with the community might have something to do with it, as I find that the people who care about quality all seem to be extremely bitter and cynical, and I don’t want to become like that.

  28. Thanks for the preview(and the hilarious haikus)! As always this preview increase the number of anime I’m going to watch every season.
    Will watch: Kakegurui; Jigoku Shoujo Yoi no Togi; The Reflection; Made in Abbys; Enmusubi.
    Probably will watch: Konbini Kareshi(waiting for PV), Isekai Shokudou, Aho girl, JitsuShitsu, New game.
    Waiting for randomc’s opinion when it airs: Chronos ruler

    1. I am in the process of making a Discord server, but it feels like it’s in an alpha stage. By that, I mean I would like to see it fleshed out more before rolling it out. e.g. Adding entertaining bot functions. At the moment, it’s still got some ways to go, but it would be a start getting some people on board.

      Of course, IRC is still a thing. I like the community, and would never want to undermine it. So another function I would like to add would be a bot linking the IRC to the Discord. But I’m really bad/new to this kind of stuff, so would take a lot of tinkering to get there.

    2. Awesome going there Zaiden, that way I can become one with the RandomC amigos anytime anywhere wwwww It’s a blessing me tell ya!

      Stay on it lad, I’m all hearts for ya initiative! TO RANDOMC KANPAI!!!!!

      Nishizawa Mihashi
  29. Anime Dan Brown? Well, that’s only if it’s blatant anti-Catholic propaganda with ridiculous “facts” being spun as truth. But I doubt this anime will have any ulterior intentions to demonize and ridicule any Catholics. The Japanese are unlike we Westerns who despise very own historical and religious traditions.

  30. First, thanks again to RC staff. These season previews are very useful! Might add a couple more shows. Have to see how it goes. Have enough trouble keeping up with shows lately as it is anyway. :/

    – Fate/Apocrypha: It’s Fate. I like Fate so… Only downside is not ufotable.
    – NEW GAME!!: I guess punctuation is a thing these days for titles. Anyway, I liked the first season (and the manga) so I’m in. Yeah, it can be sweet, but the comedy works for me which is the important thing as a comedy show.
    – Shoukoku no Altair: Checks a few boxes of mine so see how it goes. For the record, I do like baklava.
    – Isekai Shokudou: Eh, IDK here. Not into food anime. Only draw is the “Tolkien-based fantasy world crossing over into our mundane one to sample our cuisine.” I’ll give it a try, but probably “not my cup of tea”. 😉
    – Made in Abyss: May check out the manga first. At any rate, if I don’t like it, I’m holding Stilts 100% responsible. 😛
    – Princess Principal: Won’t lie. The title turns me off, but that’s why you read the description. Espionage? I’ll give a try.
    – Aho Girl: IDK here. Seems like a lot of abusive “comedy”. YMMV on that. I like comedy so I’ll give it a shot, but have very low expectations and a short leash. Maybe I should test drive the manga first…
    – Hajimete no Gal: Like comedy so give it a shot. Do worry about the ML though given the description…
    – Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni: Wow, this really DOES sound like KonaSuba. I do kind of wonder how well a smartphone helps in fantasy land. I mean what “information stored” is going to be helpful in RPG fantasy world? “The kid is Kirito-level (i.e. SAO) overpowered, he solves all the problems, gets all the girls, and hardly runs into a threat he cannot easily beat. And that’s before involving the magical smartphone and God’s continuous support.” Uh oh. That’s not encouraging. A LOT is going to depend upon how well the ML comes across. This does hit some genres I like so I’ll give it a shot.


    @Pancakes. Re. Battle Girl High School: I’m actually going to watch this for “seeing things from the other side” perspective as I watched KC anime and played the game. I know nothing about BGHS beyond what you wrote, but would not surprise me if this works better than KC as an anime. A big reason is that the kanmusu (ship girls) concept IMO does not translate well to anime. That’s not to say that KC anime didn’t have other issues – it did, and it definitely was aimed at players (fine by me of course, though I have my issues with the anime as well).

    The ship girls/Abyssal just don’t translate well to anime IMO. The game graphics are very basic so it works there. Something like Arpeggio works a lot better for anime, but KC just can’t copy that. That being said, KC anime did NOT do itself any favors in this regard. Some bad decisions IMO with things like the “skating” (doesn’t even make sense in-universe), and “ship-fu”. Then there are things like the game fairies which BGHS may not have.

    BGHS looks very much like your normal girls + weapons go kill things anime, game inspired or not. Some have swords, spears… I think I saw a giant gun of sorts, but appears much more straightforward and visually “normal” if you get my meaning.. Certainly more standard than ship-girls & related equipment. The cast does seem large (I believe I counted 18 characters!?) which can present problems. As for the plot, KC has the somewhat nebulous Abysal concept vs. for BGHS my impression is that these are straight up invading alien/demon types.

    I’m NOT saying BGHS will be good. Very well may not be, but just that my (albeit not very well informed) impression is that this will translate better to anime based upon your comment and the PV.

    As for KC anime, well, it must have done something right. Got a movie for one thing which seemed to have pretty good reviews from what I’ve read. Again, probably aimed towards fans as even more characters are introduced. Still, non-game players may like this better. It’s darker – literally in color as it takes place after the anime (theme being night battles off Guadalcanal), but also in general tone (anyone who knows WWII Pacific Theatre history can see where this is going). It does go into the Abysal concept more which is interesting for game players at least. Also, more emphasis on battles and not much comedy in the movie apparently. Haven’t seen it yet so can’t say. There’s also an anime second season in the works. Not sure if that’s a new naval base or not.

      1. @Stilts: LOL I propose another option. You’re responsible for Made in Abyss (why did I just now think of it as “Maid in Abyss”? Totally different show.), and I’ll be responsible for… Fate/Apocrypha That’ll work. 😀

  31. Note: Please disregard my previous post. I shouldn’t have made it too long-winded and link-heavy. orz

    Will definitely watch:
    Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi no Togi“Ippen, shindemiru?”
    Borrowed catchphrase aside, I’m happy to see a continuation to this series, even though having only six new episodes (and the rest being episodes from previous seasons) is a bit of a downer. Besides the show’s basic premise already mentioned above, I also liked its relevant commentary on (Japanese) societal issues, and (of course) Mamiko Noto’s swoon-worthy voice work.
    NEW GAME!! – Or should that be “New Game Plus”? Anyway, glad to see the lovely ladies of Eagle Jump back for a second season, and I’m looking forward to the new game (Get it? Uhh…) they’re developing.

    Picked up thanks to the preview (“three-episode rule” applies):
    Hajimete no Gal – I’m always down for an ecchi romantic comedy (if it’s well-written, even better) and I’m also curious to see how this compares to Oshiete! Galko-chan–which I do want to watch.
    Isekai Shokudou – So, a restaurant that sits at the crossing between multiple dimensions/realities? Nice. And the potential for food porn (the trope, not…you know…) might be high, too–though probably not to Shokugeki no Souma levels.
    (P.S.: Not to be watched on an empty stomach.)
    Centaur no Nayami – I loved watching Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou (even if only for the ecchi at first) and enjoyed the WAFF-filled Demi-chan wa Kataritai from Winter 2017, so it’ll be interesting to see Centaur no Nayami‘s own take on the “cute monster girl slice-of-life” genre.
    Gamers! – Based on the premise, this reminded me of Netoge no Yome wa Onannoko ja Nai to Omotta, with the exception that the MC sucks at video games. Bonus points if there’s a shout-out to the Dark Souls series in there. (Also, that Metal Gear Solid reference… XD)
    Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni. – Might be a “hit-or-miss” thing on the heels of KonoSuba, but I’ll give it a chance for the cute girls. (Maybe?)
    Aho Girl – If the laughs for this season turn up lacking, perhaps this (slapstick?) comedy show should fill the gap.

    OVAs, movies and other shorts:
    KanColle Movie – I’m proud to say that I managed to catch Aniplus Asia’s screening of KanColle: The Movie at SM Megamall back in May (and even got a decent goodie haul out of it). I’d love to take a look at it again at home, if only to know which movie scene was on the film strip I got.
    Kidou Senshi Gundam Thunderbolt 2nd Season ep. 4 – Hope GundamInfo’s YouTube channel has it.
    Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 OVA – Of course! If it sets up season 3, even better!

    1. @Of course! If it sets up season 3, even better!

      KonoSuba Season 3 is like a sure thing, it sold so well it’s not even in question. Just wait until DEEN get some room in that schedule of theirs and they’ll announce.

      1. Pretty sure DEEN won’t give up on a franchise that netted them 11.5k sales(DVD/BD combined) first week for the first volume of Season 2. I’m generally optimistic from what I’ve seen. 🙂

    1. The problem is, again in the Shaft-style, it seems it might be delayed. One rumour says it won’t air until Fall, another mentions it won’t be a normal cour season, but instead some kind of special (1 or more eps). No official statement so far which is a shame, especially since I refreshed Owarimonogatari first season recently and was absolutely hyped for this one. We just need to wait for more news.

  32. The series I’ll watch for sure:

    – Knight’s & Magic
    – Made in Abyss
    – Shoukoku no Altair

    And the ones I’ll keep an eye on – not knowing if I’ll watch them for sure:

    – Ballroom e Youkoso
    – Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun
    – Marvel Future Avengers

  33. OMG…FINALLY!!!! A season worth investing!!! A lot of adaptations. Hopefully the series did them justice cause some of them have wonderful sources like Ballroom e Youkoso, Knight and Magic Shoukoku no Altair, and Isekai Shokudou!

    Then there some heavy hitters like Fate/Apocrypha …a huge Fate fan. And there is Jigoku Shoujo. DAMN!! I cant wait.

  34. It’s official – At the end of the rebroadcast of Owarimonogatari on Saturday, it was revealed that the second installment of the series will premiere as a two-day special on August 12 and August 13 on Tokyo MX at 7:00 pm, followed by BS11, Tochigi TV, and Gunma TV. Abema TV will also stream the special. The adaptation will span for seven episodes, covering the Mayoi Hell, Hitagi Rendezvous, and Ougi Dark arcs from the fifth volume of Monogatari Series: Final Season.
    (via MAL)

    It’s a bit of shame it won’t be a full cour, but on the other side
    – first two volumes of Owarimonogatari (Ougi Formula, Sodachi Riddle, Sodachi Lost and Shinobu Mail) covered 700+ pages and were adapted into 13 episodes (I count first episode of Ougi Formula as two ones because of airing time)
    – third volume that includes the three mentioned arcs is less than 400 pages, so 7 episodes sound like a really good deal

    Let the hype begin!

  35. Totally excited for the made in abyss show! Finally japan is starting to have opposite gender kid relationships again. Already shipping rikoxregu. Hopefully princess principal will have something truly original like at the end it’ll be revealed all the girl agents are heterosexuals and had boyfriends the whole time.

    1. @Isekai Shokudou

      Looks like the VA of the Chief Cook is an Pro, and the little girl is a fresh one. You can hear it between the lines, the male cook has an calm voice, where the girl are fresh

      Perhaps it is the “stage fright”, she just need self confidence

      1/3 Pass. because it got my curiosity in how this “little match lady” story will continue

  36. 2 Doga Kobo slice of life’s in one season? Yes please! 🙂

    Not really much else of interest to me. I think i’m getting too long in the teeth to fit into the demo for most of these action/shounen series anymore unless it’s got a charming adventure story.

  37. It’s been a year since anything has been categorized as “Niche”. Has niche become standard or are they really just playing it safe?

    Good to there’s still some rarely explored themes and topics this season.

  38. The descriptions in the shorts are rather poetic. I cannot syllable-count to save my life but they look like haikus to me. Intentional? Or not? Either way, I like it

  39. @Fall 2017

    I saw the new fall 2017 Anime Show List, and i there this “Dia Horizon” got my curiosity.. But from the Picture it is really a mix of Grandblue Fantasy meets Horizon

    And of course the Fall season has their continue season of my favorite shows.. But Dia Horizon was the only one so far from the New Animes

    Lets see


    1. and of course this Godzilla Movie (looks like Godzilla are just an trigger) and seems like they focus on the Humans..

      I do not get it.. is Godzilla in Japan an “friendly” or “foe” Monster? All my old B-Movies memories of him, was that Godzilla was some kind of Protector (friendly) one

      Anyway, my favorite 3D Studio is producing it.. Lets see, i have high expectations


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