Random Curiosity

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Summer 2019 Preview!

Summer has arrived! It’s that time of year when the skirts are shorter (disclaimer: the skirts are always short in anime), the temperature is hotter (disclaimer: not if you’re in the southern hemisphere), and the bloggers are outside enjoying the weather and don’t realize THE PREVIEW’S DUE AHH!! Luckily some fan-favorite franchises are exploding, phoenix-like, back into life this season, including the teasing comedy Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2, the dungeon crawling adventure Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Darou ka II, and fresh spin-offs of best-selling series in Toaru Kagaku no Accelerator and Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note. There are several new adaptations to be hyped about as well, especially the lost-in-space throwback Kanata no Astra, the larger-than-life shounen action Dr.STONE, and the viking epic Vinland Saga. There’s even an original here and there, like the 2D mecha Granbelm. Let’s all usher in the summer months by staying inside and watching anime! Or maybe watching on the porch? As long as anime is happening. This is Random Curiosity’s Summer 2019 Preview.

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

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

This season we’ll continue using the Excitement Levels we introduced a while back. You know how this works by now, right? Every new anime is a tangle of hype, and rather than pretend to objectively prognosticate, we’re going to embrace the spin and give you our visceral gut reactions instead. 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 excitement level.

 

Disclaimer: Back in ye olde year of 2012, which is about to be last decade holy crap, previews were done by a single writer, Divine. But the RandomC preview is a substantial task, so we’ve divided it up among our staff staff (Choya, Guardian Enzo, MissSimplice, Pancakes, Passerby, Stars, Stilts (that’s me!), 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 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.

Let me once again take this opportunity to thank the entire Random Curiosity crew for their work on this preview. I say this every time, but it hasn’t gotten any less true up till now, and I don’t expect it ever to: you all are rockstars, and I couldn’t do it without you. Special thanks go to Zephyr for doing early prep work; Stilts (that’s me!) for editing, people wrangling, and “managing personnel” (i.e. making fun of takkun); Takaii for gathering the images; Passerby for proofreading and shorts; Zaiden for doing all the formatting, links, etc, plus a bunch of random stuff; Pancakes for filling in on some of that random stuff last second; and Pictor for helping with the encodes. Also, thanks to everyone who wrote previews, including our kouhais MissSimplice and Stars, who continue to kill it! For a more Enzo-centric point of view, check out the LiA summer preview for a second opinion on many of these shows.

Finally, and as always, thank you to the readers and commenters of Random Curiosity. Whether you read every posts and stalk the Discord channel, or a lurker who just stops by for the season previews (been there!), thank you so much for giving us your time. We appreciate your trust in us, and we’ll do our best not to blow it. Only the finest bad opinions on anime from us, yes siree!


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
Re:Stage! Dream Days♪
22:00 MX (07/07)
Kawaikereba Hentai demo Suki ni Natte Kuremasu ka?
20:00 AT-X (07/08)
Tejina Senpai
23:00 MX (07/02)
Kengan Ashura
00:00 Netflix (07/31)
Uchi no Musume no Tame naraba, Ore wa Moshikashitara Maou mo Taoseru kamo Shirenai.
23:30 MX (07/04)
Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya
00:00 AT-X (07/19)
Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note
24:00 AT-X (07/06)
Naka no Hito Genome [Jikkyouchuu]
22:00 AT-X (07/07)
Kochouki: Wakaki Nobunaga
21:30 AT-X (07/08)
Sounan Desu Ka?
23:15 MX (07/02)
Kanata no Astra
21:00 AT-X (07/03)
Given
24:55 Fuji (07/11)
Joushikousei no Mudazukai
21:30 AT-X (07/05)
Senki Zesshou Symphogear XV
25:00 MX (07/06)
Ensemble Stars
22:30 MX (07/07)
Starmyu 3rd Season
22:00 MX (07/01)
Isekai Cheat Magician
22:00 AT-X (07/10)
Machikado Mazoku
25:28 TBS (07/11)
Dr.STONE
22:00 MX (07/05)
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2
22:30 MX (07/07)
Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e
23:00 MX (07/01)
Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru?
22:30 AT-X (07/03)
Toaru Kagaku no Accelerator
22:00 AT-X (07/12)
Vinland Saga
24:10 NHK (07/07)
Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou
23:30 AT-X (07/08)
Maou-sama, Retry!
24:00 MX (07/03)
Tsujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de 2-kai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki desu ka?
24:00 MX (07/12)
BEM
25:35 Fuji (07/14)
Cop Craft
25:35 Fuji (07/08)
Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Darou ka II
24:30 MX (07/12)
Enen no Shouboutai
25:25 MBS (07/05)
Granbelm
25:55 MBS/TBS (07/05)
Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo.
26:25 MBS/TBS (07/05)

* Jump to OVA/Movies or Short Series List.

Starmyu (2019) | スタミュ (2019)Top
http://hstar-mu.com/
Animation: C-Station Premiere: July 1st, 2019
Genre: Music, School Life, Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 22:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @hstar_mu or #スタミュ

Preview by Takaii

Picking up right where the second season left off, Starmyu returns to continue the story that’s spanned over twenty-four episodes and two OVAs. For those out of the loop, Starmyu revolves around five somewhat talented students and their struggles as they make their way through the prestigious music department of Ayanagi Academy. Like most good academies, the curriculum isn’t easy and the staff are always looking for ways to highlight their best performers. In this third season of Starmyu, the boys have made their way into performing at the all-important end of semester performance. Except, as with every season of Starmyu, the problem this time is that the ever-powerful Kao Council has made it known that they’re looking to fill their ranks and in order to do so, applicants would be unable to perform during this important show.

As I said in my preview for Starmyu’s second season, this show just didn’t do it for me on a personal level. However, that doesn’t mean this can’t be the show for you! If you’re looking for something that tiptoes the line between performers and idols, and that also dives into the struggles of school life, this could be just what you’ve been looking for—though, with this being the third season, if you’re not watching yet you’ll have a lot of material to catch up on.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Average
Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e | かつて神だった獣たちへTop
https://katsu-kami.com
Animation: MAPPA Premiere: July 1st, 2019
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @katsukami_anime or #katsukami

Preview by Pancakes

In a nameless land on a faraway world, a bloody civil war raged. Northerners fought against the men of the South, and in a desperate attempt to stave off defeat, the North turned to magic to create the ultimate weapon: Incarnates. Weaponized humans of a distinctively beastly nature, Incarnates helped the keep the North free, but with the war now over they find themselves shunned and ostracized by a society fearful of the power they possess. In this uncertain world Nancy Schaal Bancroft (Kakuma Ai) seeks out the one who murdered her Incarnate father. Believing him to have been killed for no reason other than his Incarnate status, Nancy is determined to see justice done, but when she catches up with her quarry she gets more than she bargained for. As the girl soon learns, there’s more to her father and his fellow Incarnates than meets the eye, and to find closure for her pain she’ll have to delve into this new dark world of cold hard truths.

Let’s see: magical politics? Check. Humans turned into magical weapons? Check. Female lead wielding a bloody big gun? Definitely check. Yupp, if you think this is like Fairy Gone, you aren’t the only one. The good news is that Kemono-tachi is not related to P.A. Works’ latest divisive anime original. Based on the manga of the same name, Kemono-tachi is a more character-driven story in the same vein as Kami-Nai, trading convoluted politics for a tighter, more suspenseful story with fewer moving pieces to worry about. Did you think Fairy Gone would be better with a slimmed down cast and better paced action? You’re in the right place here. While it’s always a good idea to keep expectations in check, considering blessed MAPPA is producing and Hajime no Ippo’s Shishido Jun is directing, we are likely looking at one fun dark fantasy here. We won’t know for sure until the first episode drops of course, but if you’re in need of some magical action this season, look no further than this.

Watching This: Pancakes, Stilts Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e Promotional Videos ▼

Tejina Senpai | 手品先輩Top
http://www.tejina-senpai.jp/
Animation: LIDENFILMS Premiere: July 2nd, 2019
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 23:00
Episodes: Unknown Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tejina_senpai or #tejinasenpai

Preview by Choya

This madcap magical comedy centers around an unnamed male student known as Assistant (Kayano Ai), who is required to join a club. In his reluctant search for a club to be a part of, he stumbles across the Magic Club, which is lead by its sole member, a whimsical girl who goes by Senpai (Hondo Kaede) or Tejina-senpai. She is a connoisseur of all things magic, but because she suffers from stage fright, her attempts at showing off her spells and sorcery often end with failure. Despite all the times she falls on her face, Assistant can’t take his eyes off her as an adorable ball of energy. In the end, faced with the prospect of expulsion, he finds himself forced into being the second person to join the Magic Club, which itself risked being cancelled if he didn’t join. Through their partnership, Tejina-senpai and Assistant aim to get the ball rolling on gathering more students to join their club while refining the magic that Tejina-senpai holds so dear.

The main appeal of Tejina Senpai is Senpai herself, as she is cute in her appearance, her devotion to magic, and her failed attempts at trying to perform magic tricks in front of others. The manga’s artwork certainly makes her and the other girls look absolutely adorable, so if the anime is able to breathe life into the comic’s art style, it is certain to capture anyone’s heart if they’re looking for an expressive and charming comedy. The narrative also isn’t shy about the bits of ecchi that are sprinkled about, making it a generous series for those seeking out a little bit of spice with their saccharine sweetness. It’s reminiscent of Dagashi Kashi where an eccentric girl arrives to change a boy’s life for the better by enlightening him on the magic behind their artistry. In the case of Tejina Senpai, her imperfections are what make her magic so potent. By formulating an adorably goofy comedy with a sprinkle of tasteful ecchi, Tejina Senpai is set to make for a spellbinding experience this summer.

Watching This: Choya, Zaiden Excitement Level: Average
Show Tejina Senpai Promotional Videos ▼

Sounan Desuka? | ソウナンですか?Top
http://www.sounandesuka.jp/
Animation: Ezóla Premiere: July 2nd, 2019
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 23:15
Episodes: Unknown Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sounan_desuka or #ソウナンですか

Preview by Choya

After surviving a plane crash, four girls are trapped on a deserted island. Among these four are Onishima Homare (M.A.O.), Suzumori Azuka (Kouno Hiyori), Amatani Mutsu (Yasuno Kiyono) and Kujou Shion (Waki Azumi). Homare is a stoic girl who makes use of the survival skills her father taught her and keeps any other concerns or interests out of sight and out of mind. Asuka is active and athletic to a fault as she is quick to jump into situations that scare her without thinking her actions through. Mutsu is careful and book-smart, yet also has an audacious imagination and looks up to the survival skills that Homare has cultivated over the years. And Shion is a selfish rich kid who has a brave, hard-working side to her that comes out when she’s given enough praise. Using the combined efforts of their strongest traits, the four girls must use their strengths to subsist and survive as they wait for help to arrive.

The initial premise might seem like it came right out of Lord of the Flies. With young teenagers stuck on a deserted island, it might seem eerily similar to the doom and gloom that came from that book’s idea of how the youth would survive on an island. However, the tone of Sounan desu ka? is far more lighthearted as it focuses on the survival techniques the girls employ to live off the land successfully in a civilized manner. The way it plays out is vaguely like Yuru Camp as it also gives viewers instructions in laymen’s terms on how to craft makeshift methods of immersing oneself in nature. But seeing as the anime is about surviving on an island, many of these instructional lessons will hone in on creating tents using foliage, feeding off of the flora and fauna you would find on an island, and taking care of bodily functions and hygiene in a place where plumbing isn’t a thing. The most unique and fun aspect of Sounan desu ka? is that knowledge is just as important to the story as courage is, making it so the anime can both entertain viewers with the girls learning to live with each other and teach them valuable information on survival skills for when the occasion arrives when even you may have to run through the rain or feed on a tree frog.

Watching This: Choya, Takaii, Zaiden Excitement Level: Average
Show Sounan Desuka? Promotional Videos ▼

Kanata no Astra | 彼方のアストラ Top
http://astra-anime.com
Animation: Lerche Premiere: July 3rd, 2019
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 21:00
Episodes: Unknown Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @astra_anime or #astra_anime

Preview by Guardian Enzo

It’s not meant as a dig at Kanata no Astra , but any season that has this series at #2 on my expectations list (after Vinland Saga) looks thin indeed. I actually like Shinohara Kenta’s manga quite a lot (more than I expected to, given that I’m no fan of his more famous work SKET Dance), but it’s hardly a masterpiece – just a good, solid not too serious classic sci-fi dramedy. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. To be honest I wound up liking the manga a whole lot more than I expected to, given who the author is. What I like about Kanata no Astra is how it’s authentically retro without seeming clever-clever about it – this really does play like an anime of 25 years ago. It also strikes a perfect balance between goofy comedy, teen angst and genuine danger. The result is a modest but rock-solid package that seems like it would be pretty hard to mess up. And the experienced crew Lerche has in charge of this adaptation should be more than up to the job.

If I were to try and describe this series… Maybe Infinite Ryvius with a sense of humor? The premise is as boilerplate 80′s-90′s anime sci-fi as it gets – a bunch of kids lost in space, in dire peril when their ship is mysteriously transported far across the galaxy. But somehow Shinohara manages to maintain an irreverent tone without undermining the sense of genuine danger which makes this series a thriller. That’s quite a feat, and it’s the reason why Kanata no Astra should work just as well as an anime as it did as a manga.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Kanata no Astra Promotional Videos ▼

Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? | ダンベル何キロ持てる?Top
http://dumbbell-anime.jp/
Animation: http://www.dogakobo.com/en/ Premiere: July 3rd, 2019
Genre: Sports, School-Life, Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 22:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @dumbbell_anime or #ダンベル

Preview by Zaiden

Sakura Hibiki (Fairouz Ai) is a gluttonous high school gyaru who’s slightly chubby due to her eating habits. When her childhood friend points out that she gained weight again, a mortified Sakura decides to pursue action which doesn’t involve too much running, push-ups and sit-ups – understandable, since a girl wouldn’t want to lose all her hair (editor’s note: wut.). After deciding against these options, as well as absolutely ruling out anything that would require her to eat less food, Sakura decides to check out her local gym. There she meets Soryuuin Akemi (Amamiya Sora), an honours student with a crazy muscle fetish and a desire to get a macho body. And although Sakura doesn’t like the idea of working out too much to begin with, she sticks around for Machio Naruzou – a fitness instructor whom she finds extremely attractive. Will Sakura be able to lose weight?

Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru is a series about cute girls staying fit and lifting weights in a gym. If you like these two things, you’re in for a treat. What’s more, Doga Kobo will be in charge of the animation! Though a small disclaimer: for those who’ve become accustomed to expecting yuri from Doga Kobo shows, you won’t be getting anything out of this in spite of the majority female cast. Though if you squint hard enough and stretch your beliefs, then maybe you might perceive a squiggle on the cusp of your imagination. While the story will be pretty thin, the visual assets will be particularly strong, and Doga Kobo can generally be trusted to elevate any adaptation, not to mention Yamazaki Mitsue is in charge. Considering she’s directed Gekkan Shoujo and Tada-kun, you could say she’s rather trustworthy and we can be assured that the end result will most likely be satisfactory. I wouldn’t expect it to make a big splash this season, but it will certainly hit the spot where its target demographic is concerned.

Watching This: Choya, Stilts, Takaii, Zaiden Excitement Level: Average
Show Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? Promotional Videos ▼

Maou-sama, Retry! | 魔王様, リトライ!Top
http://maousama-anime.com/
Animation: Ekachi Epilka Premiere: July 3rd, 2019
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @maousama_anime or #魔王様リトライ

Preview by Takaii

Well would you look at that, another isekai revolving around the life of someone who’s been mysteriously whisked away into a whimsical fantasy and given such insanely overpowered stats that they could probably crush an entire continent with a single snap. Luckily, Maou-sama, Retry shakes off some of the typical isekai fixings by changing up the world and the needs and wants of the main protagonist. Before that though, let’s dive into the basic setup. On the day the online game he’s been running is about to shut down, Oono Akira (Tsuda Kenjirou) is about to log onto his main (and fully geared out) character Demon King Kunai Hakuto. But instead of being able to log in and enjoy things one last time, he’s suddenly transported to a new world where he’s inside the body of Hakuto. Confused, he tries to figure out just what in the world is going on when he’s suddenly attacked by a rampaging demon. Luckily his character’s stats were also brought over and he dispatches the demon with ease. With the immediate threat dealt with, he meets a young girl named Aku (Takao Kanon) who ends up becoming his traveling partner as he ventures out to figure out just where he’s been taken to and why he’s in someone else’s body.

If you were looking for an isekai that leans on RPGs to help with world building, look no further than Maou-sama, Retry. With a (at times accidental) charismatic lead that is taking the whole isekai thing in stride, plus a wacky group of supporting characters to play off that charisma, there’s rarely a boring moment. Add on the whimsical parts of game/RPG elements that have been tossed in (like Hakuto pulling out a bar of soap from the void or teleporting around to save time) to help account for things or ideas that come from our world and you have a solid foundation for a show that can appease almost anyone. If I had to pick one thing that really resonated with me though, it’d have to be just how creative our protagonist is at utilizing the powers he’s been given. With a mind as creative as Einstein is smart, it’s great to see someone finally going above and beyond when it comes to really living their best life within an isekai. While only time will tell whether or not Maou-sama, Retry’s adaptation to the small screen will hold up, I think there’s a lot of good things, from the story to the characters all the way to the world they all exist in, to help keep this adaptation afloat.

Watching This: Pancakes, Takaii Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Maou-sama, Retry! Promotional Videos ▼

Uchi no Musume no Tame naraba, Ore wa Moshikashitara Maou mo Taoseru kamo Shirenai. | うちの娘の為ならば, 俺はもしかしたら魔王も倒せるかもしれない.Top
http://uchinoko-anime.com
Animation: Maho Film Premiere: July 4th, 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 23:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @uchinoko_anime or #うちの娘

Preview by Zaiden

Dale (Okamoto Nobuhiko) just finished killing some slimes, as stipulated by the extermination quest. As he was minding his own business, sitting by a campfire in the woods cooking up some fish, a horned little girl suddenly wanders into the clearing. This little girl is covered in blood, emaciated and is unable to comprehend anything Dale says. After investigating the nearby vicinity, Dale discovers the corpse of a horned man nearby – presuming the dead demon to be the girl’s father. Unable to leave her on her lonesome, Dale names the little girl Latina (Takao Kanon), taking her back to his place to raise her like his own daughter. This is the wholesome story of how a young adventurer takes in a cute demon girl and embraces the delights of fatherhood – with delicious sprinklings of fluff along the way.

This was one of those light-novel-to-manga adaptations that I really got into when the chapters first started dropping. Uchi Musume provides a solid premise with excellent art and likeable characters. However, some online parsing has indicated that there’s an Usagi Drop situation later in the story. (For those who don’t know what that means, think Woody Allen.) I don’t expect that segment to be covered within this adaptation, but if the very idea squicks you out, then I’d probably avoid this show. It should also be pointed out that the director’s most prolific series is Isekai Smartphone – with some hentai OVA side gigs. Yeah… doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. But at least Yoshioka Takao (Elfen Lied, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, Zero no Tsukaima) is an esteemed veteran of script and series composition within the industry. Perhaps Yoshioka can bring out the spirit of the source material, which is all we’d need really. The premise is relatively simple, and I think there’s little room to mess up the execution. So if you just want some fluffy soul healing up to a certain point, then you should be fine for the most part, assuming that the romance segment does not get adapted.

Watching This: Takaii, Zaiden Excitement Level: Average
Show Uchi no Musume no Tame naraba, Ore wa Moshikashitara Maou mo Taoseru kamo Shirenai Promotional Videos ▼

Joshikousei no Mudazukai | 女子高生の無駄づかいTop
http://jyoshimuda.com
Animation: Passione Premiere: July 5th, 2019
Genre: Comedy, School-Life, Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 21:30
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @jyoshimuda or #jyoshimuda

Preview by Stars

Tanaka Nozomu (Akasaki Chinatsu) is a rascally high school girl who decided to give her friends nicknames based off of their stereotypes quirks. Her friend, Kikuchi Akane (Tomatsu Haruka) becomes “Nerd” for her nerdy interests, and Saginomiya Shiori (Toyosaki Aki) becomes “Robo” because she emotes about as much as Yuki from Suzumiya Haruhi. In return, they decide to affectionately call her “Dummy.” Anyway, this series shows these girls either making the best of or completely wasting their youth. Sound familiar?

Way back when, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou came out. It was a series about a group of three boys who spent their free time re-enacting videos games in real life—which people do all the time in real life and it’s gold—trying on girl’s clothes, and generally being a bunch of goofballs. With the strength of voice actors like Sugita Tomokazu behind it, some legitimately inspired writing, and shortened episode times, it managed to be a genuinely amusing watch that left an impression. Now, take those three boys, and make them girls. Which, to be fair, Danshi Koukousei itself actually did that, devoting a portion of its screentime to a group of girls who were essentially a genderswap of the main cast, except the shy, cute one used to be a raging dictator of a schoolyard bully which the kids had to work together to subdue in the past, and it was interesting. If you take those girls, though, and give them the same basic design with different hairstyles, and the thinnest of characterization (the idiot, the nerd, the robot), then you get this show. I don’t believe that making girls into gender-swapped boys is the answer to a more balanced distribution of slice-of-life comedies, but I do think the girls should at least be interesting, and right now, the most interesting thing about this series isn’t the girls at all, but the male teacher who apparently hates girls, yet still applied for a job at an all girl’s school. There’s a story there and I want to know what it is.

Watching This: Choya, Stars Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Joshikousei no Mudazukai Promotional Videos ▼

Dr.STONETop
https://dr-stone.jp
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: July 5th, 2019
Genre: Action, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @STONE_anime_off or #ドクターストーン

Preview by Stars

Ooki Taiju (Furukawa Makoto) has it made. His best friend, Ishigami Senkuu (Kobayashi Yuusuke) is a genius, and Taiju is finally about to confess his feelings to the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, a blinding white light puts an indefinite hold on that plan when everyone in the world is turned into stone statues. This includes Taiju and Senkuu, though they manage to keep their consciousness alive by obsessing about their crush and counting respectively. It doesn’t sound that impressive, unless you keep in mind that they’ve been doing those things consistently for thousands of years. Luckily, they’re able to wake up, making them the only humans left until Senkuu can finish producing an antidote. It’s a dangerous world, though. Maybe waking up some extra muscle is exactly what they need to survive long enough to save it.

Inagaki Riichiro’s Dr. Stone is something that knows exactly what it is and isn’t afraid to admit it—it’s an absurd action series with tons of gratuitous fanservice. Some might think that series reminiscent of Fairy Tail and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure would be a dying breed, but Dr. Stone would like to passionately disagree. It’s a throwback to the days of manly shirt-bursting, big hair, larger-than-life personalities, and the same brand of science that made a radio out of a coconut. Katou Tatsuya will be handling the music, which is a great indicator that there’s some serious skill and experience behind this production, in addition to the fact that Inagaki Riichiro was the original creator of Eyeshield 21, a manga that in Japan has sold over 20 million volumes and increased the popularity of American football among teens. Inagaki has a gift for over-the-top characters (with spiky white hair), so I fully expect this one to be an entertaining watch.

Watching This: Choya, Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts, Takaii Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Dr.STONE Promotional Videos ▼

Enen no Shouboutai | 炎炎ノ消防隊Top
http://www.fireforce-anime.jp
Animation: David Production Premiere: July 5th, 2019
Genre: Supernatural, Sci-Fi, Action Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:25
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @FireForce_PR or #炎炎ノ消防隊

Preview by MissSimplice

It’s the year 198 in the Solar Era, we’re in a world where Spontaneous Human Combustion isn’t uncommon, and Tokyo has become the playing field for a dangerous game of fire between the Special Fire Force and Infernal beings. Wrapped in flames and having lost their humanity, these first generation beings lay a trail of destruction wherever they go. It’s up to the members of the Special Fire Force to fight fire with fire and discover the source of the phenomenon. Made up of later generation humans, some members can manipulate fire without losing their human form. The story follows Kusakabe Shinra (Kajiwara Gakuto), a boy with the ability to ignite his feet, and the Special Fire Force’s 8th Company of which he’s a part.

A two-cour series about spontaneous combustion, speedy flaming feet, and who knows what else by David Production? Sounds about right. If Soul Eater caught your attention when it first came out with it’s vivid action scenes and detailed artwork, then you’ll probably fancy this shounen anime too. Ookubo Atsushi, author of both mangas, is having his work adapted by David Production (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure), a studio reputed for playing with artistic boundaries. Aside from the animation, the mysterious premise is good enough to hook anyone looking for an action-packed show similar to Shingeki no Kyojin. The PVs alone had me on the edge of my seat, securing Enen no Shouboutai a spot on my must-watch list.

Watching This: Choya, MissSimplice, Pancakes, Passerby, Stars, Stilts Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Enen no Shouboutai Promotional Videos ▼

Granbelm | グランベルムTop
http://granbelm.com
Animation: Nexus Premiere: July 5th, 2019
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:55
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS/TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @granbelm or #granbelm

Preview by Passerby

A mysterious power used to course through the world. Magic. On magic, mankind ascended. Civilisation flourished. Empires were wrought. But, one day, magic seemingly disappeared. Overnight, the magical empires crumbled, and over the millennia their memories were lost to time. Now, no trace of magic can be found and average high school girl Kohinata Mangetsu (Shimabukuro Miyuri) lives a perfectly mundane and happy life. That is, until one day, on the night of the full moon, Mangetsu accidentally stumbles into a forgotten past and there runs into mysterious transfer student Shingetsu Ernesta Fukami (Tanezaki Atsumi), freshly returned from Germany. And with that Mangetsu finds herself embroiled in a battle with powers that should no longer exist in this world — and that perhaps was best left that way.

The first ten minutes of the first episode of Granbelm are actually on Youtube. It doesn’t really tell anyone anything but you should go have a look if you want to get an idea of the general feel of the show. I don’t know about you, but the thing that grabbed me was… 2D mecha! Modern anime seems to have decided that computer graphics are the economically superior model for all things mecha, so hand-drawn robots, even those of a quirky, super-deformed variety, are a rare treat. I think our last 2D mecha anime was Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars, and while that show certainly looked good it stumbled somewhat in writing. How will Granbelm go? Since it’s an original anime property we can only guess, by which I mean look at the staff. Director Watanabe Masaharu you’ll know from Re:Zero (and actually little else), while scripts supervisor Hanada Jukki is capable of very good work (though can be frustratingly inconsistent at times). On the balance this is promising, but I still have my worries. Nexus is a relatively young studio, and often these fledglings attempt to take to the skies with an original production and discover too late that they were not yet ready to fly. I’m hoping that Granbelm is not an overreach. Still, from what we’ve seen it’s got some interesting designs and plenty of explosions, and there’s not much more an anime really needs to be watchable.

Watching This: Pancakes, Passerby, Takaii Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Granbelm Promotional Videos ▼

Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo. | 荒ぶる季節の乙女どもよ.Top
http://araoto-anime.com
Animation: Lay-duce Premiere: July 5th, 2019
Genre: Drama, School-Life, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 26:25
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS/TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @araotoproject or #荒乙

Preview by Choya

Class is about to begin and Kazusa (Kono Hiyori) wants to make the most of her new life in high school. She thought she would join the Literature Club to discuss the Harry Potter books with some new friends, but she never expected to receive the icebreaker question, “Say one thing you want to do before you die”. When a unique blonde girl named Niina (Anzai Chika) blurts out “sex” as her answer, a snowball effect is created and each girl is compelled to reflect on what sexuality means to them. While Kazusa begins to have strange thoughts about her childhood friend, her best friend Momoko (Asakura Momo) tries to piece together how she should react when newfound feelings start to emerge from her heart. Meanwhile, the prudish club president Rika (Uesaka Sumire) finds herself coming out of her shell when one boy gets the courage to ask her out despite being intensely guarded about sexuality or relationships. The question also calls attention to Hitoha (Kurosawa Tomoyo), whose curiosity about sex draws attention to her side-hobby of writing stories about adult relationships. With each of the girls pondering how exactly the icebreaker answer applies to them, this anime focuses on the coming-of-age stories of the Literature Club as they stumble into their own clumsy, funny, painful, and emotional pathways through puberty and sexuality.

At first glance, Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo. may seem like it would fit well alongside the more exploitative stories of high school sex lives that have come out in recent years. However, what sets this apart is how natural the conversations and situations come about, and how the overall goal is not to lose their V-cards, but rather figure out in their own minds how love, romance, and sex all tie together. There are some wacky and comical situations in the mix, but it’s all part of showing how awkward it is to figure yourself out when you’re in the early stages of learning about what sex is, how it happens, when it should happen, and why people do it. Think a less crass, female version of The In-Betweeners where the main cast find themselves stumbling into embarrassing and troublesome scenarios as they try to get to the bottom of why the topic of sex is as mind-boggling and confusing as it can be. Instead of seeing the girls in compromising situations or being sexually active, Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo. wants to punctuate how affection, infatuation, and romance ties into human sexuality. Even if there is plenty of shock and cringe comedy to be had with teens finding out what sex is supposed to be, sexuality is handled with maturity as the girls try to pinpoint what it is about sex that has them feeling discombobulated about the boys they’re interested in.

Watching This: Choya Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo Promotional Videos ▼

Lord El-Melloi II-sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note
ロード・エルメロイⅡ世の事件簿 -魔眼蒐集列車 Grace note-Top
https://anime.elmelloi.com
Animation: TROYCA Premiere: July 6th, 2019
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @elmelloi_anime or #事件簿アニメ

Preview by Zephyr

Based on Sanda Makoto’s novel of the same name, Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo officially arrives this July after its brief introductory preview last December. Set after the events of Fate/Zero, the story follows Waver Velvet (Namikawa Daisuke), who returns to the Clock Tower with renewed dedication following his participation in the Fourth Holy Grail War. There he begins to make a name for himself as a respected professor of the Mage’s Association, while simultaneously attempting to recover the research left in disarray following the passing of his former professor, Kayneth El-Melloi. His achievements sets the stage for the restoration of the declining House of El-Melloi and Waver is subsequently given the title Lord Melloi II until the family’s genuine heir becomes of age. With new apprentice Gray (Ueda Reina) in tow, the two begin to investigate various mysteries of the magical world. The Rail Zeppelin arc will be adapted and combined with original content under the directorship of Katou Makoto (Re: Creators, Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru, Yagate Kimi ni Naru). Studio TROYCA will be producing the series, with former Fate/Zero director Aoki Ei supervising the series’ production as one of the studio’s founders.

And so, the Fate train continues… in the form of a spin-off mystery series. As strange as it sounds, it’s a formula that works (if Episode 0 was any indication), and this was one of the series I was really looking forward to watching this year. Given the franchise’s historic adherence to Holy Grail Wars and its participants’ master/servant relationships, the fact that we’re getting a rare glimpse of life outside those wars makes the series appealing precisely because it’s different, and it doesn’t hurt that we have a fan favorite in Waver leading the fray. It remains to be seen whether the series can come together in a way that makes it more than just a mystery series with Fate flair, but I wager that fans of the franchise like myself would be just fine with that. Pairing together Katou Makoto and Aoki Ei (whose resumes speak for themselves) only elevates expectations and at the very least, one can look forward to solid production values given TROYCA’s work the past few years. I can’t say it’s a must-watch for those who aren’t familiar with the franchise, but given the dearth of mysteries these days, it may be at least worth a shot. It might just serve as the entrance to the Fate franchise you’ve been looking for.

Watching This: Choya, MissSimplice, Pancakes, Passerby, Stars, Stilts, Takaii, Zaiden, Zephyr Excitement Level: High
Show Lord El-Melloi II-sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note Promotional Videos ▼

Senki Zesshou Symphogear XV | 戦姫絶唱シンフォギアXVTop
http://www.symphogear-xv.com
Animation: Satelight Premiere: July 6th, 2019
Genre: Action, Music, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @SYMPHOGEAR or #symphogear

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 a fight with the Bavarian Illuminati—the organization revealed to have been behind many of the aforementioned incidents. Once again led by Ono Katsumi (the director of Symphogear G, GX, and AXZ), the newest iteration will see our Symphogear users thrust into yet another life or death fight to save the planet.

At this point there really isn’t much to say. The Symphogear ride has been something of an outlier in the anime fandom in terms of its longevity, and even I—despite watching and enjoying all the previous seasons—quite honestly don’t know how they’ve managed to keep things rolling to this extent. The series just gets more and more over-the-top every single season, and I suppose at least part of its appeal comes from that fact that they’ve managed to overtake each year’s ridiculousness with something even more so. In just a few seasons, we’ve gone from beating up on random aliens to destroying entire mountains just for the heck of it, and while I’d like to say you should just strap in and enjoy the ride, that isn’t even an apt metaphor given how our protagonists have long since moved on from just riding regular vehicles. Ultimately though, BD sales are king, and last I checked, AXZ continued the recent trend of Ono Katsumi-led Symphogear series ending near the top of sales charts. Combine that with Mizuki Nana’s stated desire to continue the series and let’s just say I won’t be surprised if XV doesn’t end up being the franchise’s swan song.

Watching This: Zephyr Excitement Level: Established
Show Senki Zesshou Symphogear XV Promotional Videos ▼

Re:Stage! Dream Days♪ | Re:ステージ! ドリームデイズ♪Top
https://rst-anime.com
Animation: Graphinica and Yumeta Company Premiere: July 7th, 2019
Genre: Music Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @rst_project or #リステ

Preview by Passerby

Shikimiya Mana (Makino Amane) may only be in middle school, but she already has a dream: she wants to be an idol! Luckily for her, there’s already a competition ready-made for middle school idol hopefuls, the Prism Stage. Mana knows there’s only one thing to do in a situation like this: assemble a group of friends to compete on the Prism Stage and become the top (middle school) idol!

Yeah, okay, that synopsis was not much. But there’s not really all that much. That’s only as far as anime goes, though; Re:Stage! Dream Days♪ is but one wing of a mixed-media project with significant franchise weight behind it. Even Dream Days itself already has a mobile game, a light novel, and live performances lined up, the whole shebang. All these accessories, though, don’t necessarily make for good television. The mixed-media cross-over idol anime is already rather pedestrian at this point, and not exactly with a reputation for quality shows. Some do make an attempt to be interesting in their own right — I’m thinking Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight — but most, unfortunately, are paint-by-numbers genre clones. Dream Days, on its surface, doesn’t seem to do much to distinguish itself from the standard cute-girls-doing-pop-song-things other than its slightly younger cast, and the staff isn’t exactly fireworks either. Director Katagai Shin seems to specialise in comfortable mediocrity, while for series composition they’re bringing in the writing group behind the light novel, yoree. I don’t know anything about them but ‘writing group’ sounds too much like writing by committee, so I’m reflexively sceptical. All that said, whether you watch a show like this is usually purely visceral. Do you like the character designs? Like some of the songs they sing in the PV? That’s the hook right there.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Limited
Show Re:Stage! Dream Days♪ Promotional Videos ▼

Naka no Hito Genome [Jikkyouchuu] | ナカノヒトゲノム [実況中]Top
http://www.nhg-anime.com/
Animation: Silver Link Premiere: July 7th, 2019
Genre: Thriller Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @nhg_anime or #ナカゲノ

Preview by Pancakes

In the near future in a world very much the same, online gaming is all the rage, and no game is more popular than Naka no Hito Genome. Free to play and at the end of its beta development, NnHG’s claim to fame is its uncanny ability to have players close to beating it suddenly disappear, leaving nothing physical behind—and Iride Akatsuki (Yamashita Daiki) is one such player. A wildly popular game streamer, Akatsuki one day unlocks hidden content in NnHG, content physically transporting him body and soul to a remote real world island. There he encounters fellow gamers of similar stripes, all who quickly learn that the only way home is by hosting a collective livestream of NnHG. Reach 100 million views and freedom is theirs, but if they fail to do so (or break the livestream rules), going back home will be the least of their concerns.

Well do we have an interesting one here. At its core NnHG is an oddball even by anime standards, straddling the line between MMORPG isekai a la SAO and the more over-the-top survival game stuff in the vein of Danganronpa. Every character is a pro in a specific game category (with hilariously ridiculous personalities to boot), their attendant is llama head meme-worthy crazy, and the overall premise is ludicrous enough to actually work pretty well in practice. While the series lacks a proper conclusion considering the source manga is still ongoing (and this type of story never meshes well with finale cliffhangers), given Fate/kaleid’s Oonuma Shin is directing and Shinoyama Kento of NGNL fame is composing the script, a train wreck is very likely not in the cards. NnHG may not wind up being the next great animated Battle Royale, but if you’ve been missing out of late on some upper crust pulp psychological game shenanigans, definitely consider giving this one a try.

Watching This: Choya, Pancakes, Stars, Stilts, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Naka no Hito Genome [Jikkyouchuu] Promotional Videos ▼

Ensemble Stars! | あんさんぶるスターズ!Top
http://ensemblestars-anime.com
Animation: David Production Premiere: July 7th, 2019
Genre: Music, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @stars_animation or #あんスタ

Preview by Takaii

Based off of the wildly successful mobile otome-idol game sharing the same name, Ensemble Stars! is the anime adaptation that we all thought would have been made ages ago. Revolving around a wide number of good boys who are all striving to be the top idol, it can be a little tough to talk about all the individuals, units, and temporary units that exist in the Ensemble Stars! universe. Instead, let’s dive into the somewhat unique system that students of Yumenosaki Private Academy live by.

In a somewhat dog-eat-dog system, students of the almost exclusively male Yumenosaki Private Academy learn and demonstrate their skills as idols. From courses ranging from Vocals to Theater, each student must demonstrate aptitude in a wide range of skills in order to find success at this academy — success which comes in the form of winning Dream Idol Festivals, or DreamFes for short. These are broken down into different levels: SS, S1, S2, A1, and B1, with SS being the most competitive (and difficult) but also carrying the best rewards. At the end of the day, it’s a constant cycle of fledgling idols trying their best to achieve victory by claiming the top spots during DreamFes. When it comes to making an anime though, it remains to be seen just how well this pattern translates onto the small screen. That said, the strengths of Ensemble Stars! comes from its unique characters and the interactions among all the various units. Luckily the original voice actors from the game will be reprising their roles and the original scenario writer will be coming on-board to handle series composition. Overall, I’d say this would be a no-brainer for any Ensemble Stars! fan and a good pick up for anyone who’s into the idol genre.

Watching This: Takaii Excitement Level: Limited
Show Ensemble Stars! Promotional Videos ▼

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 | からかい上手の高木さん2Top
http://takagi3.me
Animation: Shin Ei Animation Premiere: July 7th, 2019
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 23:30
Episodes: Unknown Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @takagi3_anime or #高木さんめ

Preview by Choya

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san has returned for a second season to give audiences a lesson in trickery. As with the previous season, the story centers around Takagi (Takahashi Rie), a master trickster whose friendship with a boy named Nishikata (Kaji Yuuki) is defined by their attempts to embarrass each other. However, while Nishikata has his daily goal to try to embarrass Takagi as revenge for all of the times she’s humiliated him, Takagi is skillful at not only turning the tides against him, but also creating situations for the explicit purpose of making a fool out of Nishikata. Although Nishikata’s desperate struggles to get the upper hand and Takagi’s one-sided victories are what define the comedy, the series also places emphasis on their growing relationship. With how long they’ve gotten to know each other, there are signs of feelings emerging between the two. In the meantime, the anime gives us a nice diversion from our two main characters by dedicating segments to other side characters, such as a trio of friends who are constantly befuddled by the little things in their lives. This season introduces two new students: an adult-like classmate of Takagi’s named Houjou (Yuuki Aoi) and Nishikata’s classmate Hamaguchi (Uchiyama Kouki), who is lovestruck upon seeing Houjou. What will happen between them? And will anything special emerge from Takagi and Nishikata’s bonding? Find out in this second season of Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san.

The last season of Takagi-san left us in strange, interesting territory as Nishikata and Takagi start to slowly fall in love with each other. While Nishikata had previously only been flustered by Takagi’s teasing, there were several moments last season that signaled toward something more, while Takagi almost caught herself slipping when she was taken aback by Nishikata wanting to walk home with her. With the tone that future spin-offs, it will be neat to see how they develop throughout the second season and if their pranks will take on a more Kaguya-sama tone by trying to coax a confession out from one another. The introduction of Houjou and Hamaguchi may also lend itself to a second season themed around the romantic tension between the main couples in the cast.

Watching This: Choya, Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Stilts, Zaiden, Zephyr Excitement Level: High
Show Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 Promotional Videos ▼

Vinland Saga | ヴィンランド・サガTop
https://vinlandsaga.jp
Animation: Wit Studio Premiere: July 7th, 2019
Genre: Adventure, History, Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:10
Episodes: Unknown Station: NHK
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @V_SAGA_ANIME or #VINLAND_SAGA

Preview by Zaiden

Thorfinn Karlsefni (Ishigami Shizuka) would sit in a wooden cabin with the other village children, while the local crazy old man would recount his adventures and tell of the discovery of the legendary Vinland – a paradise of pastures. Despite being born and raised in a farming settlement by extremely pacifist parents, a desire for combat and fresh blood has always coursed through Thorfinn’s veins, and he yearns to venture beyond Iceland, while partaking in battle. And that opportunity might come sooner than he thought. Floki of the Jomsviking (Ono Atsushi) comes to seek out Thorfinn’s father, Thors (Matsuda Kenichirou), on the premise that the Jomsviking chieftain has demanded Thors’ participation in the war against England. After Floki threatens the village’s safety, the peace-loving Thors is forced to reluctantly acquiesce, leaving him no choice but to take up arms and return to his past life of bloodshed and carnage. However, a young Thorfinn secretly stows away on the departing boat, never suspecting the tragic events that are about to change his life forever. Soon, an extremely destructive desire for burning vengeance will end up defining Thorfinn’s existence to the point of utterly enslaving him, and he will find himself on a journey of a lifetime without peace of mind – one that will take him to places he never could have imagined in his wildest dreams.

Loosely inspired by the Norse sagas, the award-winning Vinland Saga is set in England at the start of the 11th century, a nation beset by invasions from Vikings. The story combines a dramatisation of King Canute the Great’s historical rise to power, alongside a revenge plot centred on the historical explorer Thorfinn Karlsefni. Every so often, the stars will line up. Here, we have one of the best possible source materials to work with and a studio that has proven itself capable of magnificently adapting big titles. Then you’ve got the big guns like Hata Shouji (sound director in Fairy Tail, Mahoutsukai no Yome, Darling in the FranXX) and Seko Hiroshi (script and series composition in Mob Psycho 100, Shingeki no Kyojin, Ajin) who have been brought in to work their magic – and Aimer will be performing the OP theme! The only lingering question for me is Yabuta Shuuhei, who has only worked on one show as a director (Inuyashiki) – though he remains relatively experienced in storyboarding and 3D production, which should have interesting implications on the resulting product. If these pieces can assemble like Exodia and if the director works out, then I have no doubt that Vinland Saga will become the greatest entry of the season, if not the calendar year.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, MissSimplice, Pancakes, Passerby, Stilts, Zaiden, Zephyr Excitement Level: High
Show Vinland Saga Promotional Videos ▼

Kawaikereba Hentai demo Suki ni Natte Kuremasu ka?
可愛ければ変態でも好きになってくれますか?Top
https://hensuki.com
Animation: Geek Toys Premiere: July 8th, 2019
Genre: Comedy, Romance, 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 @hensuki_anime or #hensuki

Preview by Pancakes

Kiryuu Keiki (Shimono Hiro) is just your typically high school boy. He likes girls, thinks a lot about girls, and—oh yes—fails miserably when it comes to actually talking to girls. Well, unless it involves the daily weather forecast of course. It certainly makes for agonizingly ordinary days of academic learning, but all of that changes when Keiki finally attracts the romantic attention of one particular girl. Receiving a love letter in his locker one day, Keiki is incredibly elated, but also a tad bit concerned when said letter has no sender name nor meeting location listed—and is accompanied by a pair of clean white panties. With Keiki only personally knowing four girls it’s the question of the ages just who wound up sending him that unique confession, but with curiosity firmly on the mind Keiki is determined to solve this mystery, one way or another.

Ahh ecchi shows, love them or hate them you know exactly what you’re going to get, and Kawaikereba will be no exception to the rule. Well, mostly. Make no mistake, there will be nothing surprising here (the gaggle of harem girls is firmly cookie cutter, while Keiki is about as pathetic a male lead as they come), but Kawaikereba does have a few noticeable curveballs to throw among all the lewd love carnage. Depending on adaptation faithfulness, expect some audaciously ecchi scenes to make their appearance—and some seriously aggressive female attention to spice things further. Did I mention this adaptation has a designated panty designer? Oh yeah, this one is going places. Kawaikereba will be the finest form of guilty romance pleasure this season, and considering both Masou Gakuen HxH and Jitsu wa Watashi wa staff are helping steward it along means you can bet the uncensored version will be a thing of glory. It may only be another conventional wish fulfillment harem story, but if Kawaikereba lives up to its source manga, this romance series definitely won’t be lacking in terms of entertainment.

Watching This: Choya, Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Show Kawaikereba Hentai demo Suki ni Natte Kuremasu ka? Promotional Videos ▼

Kochouki: Wakaki Nobunaga | 胡蝶綺 ~若き信長~Top
http://wakanobu.com
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: July 8th, 2019
Genre: Adventure, History, Action Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 21:30
Episodes: 13 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @wakanobu_anime or #wakanobu_anime

Preview by Choya

Oda Nobunaga (Kobayashi Yuusuke) was a famed warlord in Japanese history known for his decisive strategic prowess, relentless strength, and his all-encompassing goal of unifying Japan at any cost. But has he ever been fabulous? This is a question that Kochoki: Wakaki Nobunaga seeks to answer. This bold interpretation of Oda Nobunaga’s life will focus on his youth, exploring the defining traits of his teenage years that would eventually come to the fore when he grows up to become a legendary warlord. The series will also explore the rivalry he has with his brother Oda Nobuyuki (Ishikawa Kaito) as Nobuyuki tries to regain prominence in the Oda family in spite of Nobunaga being the legitimate heir to his father’s title. How will the energy and bombast of this adaptation fare in depicting Nobunaga’s rowdier side? Will it shed further light on how we see Nobunaga as a feudal lord knowing that it shows him when he was younger? Find out in this aesthetically daring historical drama.

You may have seen many interpretations of feudal warlords in Japanese history. But have they ever had panache and style? As a reunion of the staff behind the Hakuoki anime franchise, Kochoki: Wakaki Nobunaga has enough pedigree to ensure the narrative will be able to deliver a fun, unique interpretation of Nobunaga’s youth. The artwork does a lot to make the show seem like a fun send-up of Sengoku history that twists the trendy flair of bishounen action anime with epic legends of a past era when disputes were settled through conquests on the battlefield. It will also be fascinating how they work Nobuyuki into the picture since he’s usually considered to play a much smaller role in your standard biography for Nobunaga as a younger brother who failed in a rebellion against him. It should be cool to see how much they dig into his history considering he’s only been known for his failed attempts to overthrow Nobunaga. This season, Kochoki: Wakaki Nobunaga is looking to give us further insight on how Nobunaga used to be and how Nobuyuki fell from grace.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo Excitement Level: Average
Show Kochouki: Wakaki Nobunaga Promotional Videos ▼

Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou | ありふれた職業で世界最強Top
https://arifureta.com
Animation: White Fox and Asread Premiere: July 8th, 2019
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ARIFURETA_info or #ARIFURETA

Preview by Zaiden

Nagumo Hajime (Fukamachi Toshinari) would have been a regular otaku who no one would have cared about. But it just so happens that the most beautiful girl in the school, Shirasaki Kaori (Oonishi Saori), showers him with attention every day. Cue jealous classmates who bully him, making his life difficult. One day, the whole class gets transported to another world. The class ikemen becomes the designated hero, and while most people get cool abilities, Hajime gets stuck with being a mere ‘synergist’ – one of the weaker jobs. On an expedition to a subterranean dungeon, the class come across a black crystal and are suddenly teleported to a Behemoth – a creature far beyond their capabilities. Despite being weak on paper, Hajime’s ingenious and courageous usage of his skills helps them find even footing in the fight for their lives. But just as the path to victory appears, one of his classmate intentionally shoots a fireball into his back, sending him tumbling into the maw of an endless abyss. But he survives the fall. Hajime wakes up at the brink of death within the darkest depths, surrounded by dangerous creatures that could kill him at a moment’s notice. It will be a new beginning as he strives to survive this hell following a vicious betrayal. And he will be reborn anew, as timely opportunities and fateful encounters allow him to exceed the limits of this new reality.

For those that have come for their dose of seasonal isekai, you’ve come to the right place. Arifureta has a powerful (but otherwise ‘average’) anti-hero protagonist who collects devoted waifus wherever he goes – including another one of those 1000 year old vampires who looks like she’s 10. But saying it’s an entirely generic premise wouldn’t be fair. From the get go, the realm is depicted as something akin to the Wild West, where it’s dog eat dog – though eventually, Hajime’s entourage have the ability to easily deal with anything that comes their way. So while the story begins by being grounded in survival and revenge, it eventually resolves these aspects fairly early once Hajime becomes ridiculously powerful, and moves onto exploring other things. I’m one of those individuals who felt the story began quite well, then fell off pretty hard as it continued on. But where it lacks in substance, it should provide good entertainment without needing viewers to exert effort in watching. As for the staff, I do not consider Yoshimoto Kinji’s directorial resume to be impressive. However, he seems to be pretty darned good at handling explicit fanservice in a way that could be described as borderline hentai – namely Queen’s Blade and Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai. And with the backing of White Fox, I’d expect the visual assets to be aesthetically pleasing and the ecchi components to be enticingly animated. Arifureta is worth checking out, but I would encourage viewers not to get their hopes too high based off the premiere, since it isn’t particularly representative of what to actually expect.

Watching This: Pancakes, Stilts Excitement Level: Average
Show Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou Promotional Videos ▼

COP CRAFTTop
http://copcraft.tv
Animation: Millepensee Premiere: July 8th, 2019
Genre: Crime, Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_copcraft or #copcraft

Preview by MissSimplice

Opposites attract in this summer’s new detective duo series. It’s fifteen years after a hyperspace gate opens up over the Pacific connecting Earth to a magical world known as Leto Semani. With the gate now open, millions of immigrants from both worlds settle in the seemingly peaceful and multicultural city of San Teresa. But not all is as it seems. While the surface basks in light, a hidden underworld of drugs, prostitution, and other crime lurks below. It’s here where Matoba Kei (Tsuda Kenjiro), a level-headed ace detective from Earth, and Tlarna Exedilika (Yoshioka Mayu), a young apprentice Knight from the alternate world, team up against San Teresa City criminals.

How fantasy will fit into the detective genre, I’m not quite certain. However, I’m convinced the combination will create space for interesting dynamics whether this is showcased in world or character building. Last time I enjoyed a detective show was a while ago, but I’m hoping this will guide me right back into the genre. On top of it, the noir and grunge styles animated by Millepensee (Berserk) are additional attractive factors if it’s pulled off correctly. Similar buddy cop shows like Gangsta often use the style to add a dash of darkness, but I’ve rarely (if ever) encountered the combination with the fantasy genre. That said, this unconventional detective duo will definitely add a touch of comedy to the mix, which has inspired me to give Cop Craft a shot.

Watching This: MissSimplice, Pancakes, Passerby, Stars Excitement Level: Average
Show COP CRAFT Promotional Videos ▼

Isekai Cheat MagicianTop
http://isekai-cheat-magician.com
Animation: Encourage Films Premiere: July 10th, 2019
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @isekai_cheat_tv or #isekai_cheat

Preview by Takaii

Boy, would you look at that, another isekai. However, after giving this title the attention it deserves (and subsequently getting stuck reading all of it that I could find), I have to say that I’m really loving everything about Isekai Cheat Magician. Like most typical isekai shows, our two protagonists Nishimura Taichi (Amasaki Kouhei) and Azuma Rin (Takahashi Rie) are suddenly spirited away to a world similar to ours in most aspects, except that magic exists. Comprised of four different elements (fire, earth, wind, and water), humans can harness the power of these elements and become powerful magicians. Luckily for our protagonists, they enter this world with an insane amount of latent ability where the latter can utilize all four elements and the former draws from the non-element. Together they start their journey in this new world as Cheat Magicians, garnering the attention of both friends and foes.

For someone who enjoys the whole isekai genre, I was happily surprised just how much I enjoyed this one. At this point, I think it’s clear that an important part of any good isekai is the ability for the story to ground their main character(s), since they usually enter their new world with terrifying base stats or insane special powers. In Isekai Cheat Magician’s case, I love how the story manages this balancing act by playing off of Taichi and Rin’s personality flaws while also throwing intelligent enemies at them. Not only does it keep them on their toes, but the threat of possibly dying at any moment keeps things fresh. That said, a good story doesn’t really mean anything if the production staff aren’t up to the job—and luckily this show has a good group of heads. Between Ikami Takayo of Mawaru Penguindrum fame handling the writing, and director Tsukushi Daisuke who’s been around since 2003 holding the reigns with his experienced hands, I’m cautiously excited to see what they can do with a fun isekai story. At the end of the day I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of isekai, but I think if you give this one a shot it might revive the love for the genre if you’ve been feeling a little burnt out.

Watching This: Pancakes, Stilts, Takaii Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Isekai Cheat Magician Promotional Videos ▼

Given | ギヴンTop
http://given-anime.com
Animation: Lerche Premiere: July 11th, 2019
Genre: Music, Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:55
Episodes: 11 Station: Fuji TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @given_anime or #ギヴン

Preview by MissSimplice

This summer has been blessed with a musical anime. Given follows the story of a four-member band including newcomer Sato Mafuyu (Yano Shougo). Mafuyu is found napping, holding onto a broken guitar by Uenoyama Ritsuka (Uchida Yuuma), a guitarist. During a practice session, Mafuyu’s voice sparks Ritsuka’s long lost passion for music. The two develop a new musical friendship. However, this bond is not the only relationship they navigate together.

One screening of the PV and expectations have been set. I have a soft spot for boy bands. Even if airing a boys love (BL) anime is a notable step for NoitaminA and might be the initial draw for fans, I’m ready to bet the music and characters are what will keep the audience coming back. Alongside our two mains are Makayama Haruki (Nakazawa Masatomo) and Kaji Akihito (Eguchi Takuya), making it so all band members are named after the four seasons. I remember gambling on Sanzaranmai during the spring 2019 season and the return was tenfold. NoitaminA is diving head first into their first boys love series and I’m sure Lerche’s adaptation of the popular manga won’t disappoint. I’ll be keeping an eye out for this one.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, MissSimplice, Stars Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Given Promotional Videos ▼

Machikado Mazoku | まちカドまぞくTop
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/machikado/
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 11th, 2019
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:28
Episodes: 12 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @machikado_staff or #まちカドまぞ

Preview by Pancakes

As a newly minted devil with awakened powers, the high school girl Yoshida Yuuko (Kohara Konomi) has her work cut out for her. Entrusted by her ancestor Lilith (Takahashi Minami) to defeat the Light Clan’s shrine maiden Chiyoda Momo (Kito Akari), Yuuko must not only find her nemesis and bring about her end, but do so quickly before the curse Lilith placed on her family to ensure compliance is activated. And to make matters worse? Momo is a magical girl and close friends with her classmate (and fellow friend) Sada Anri. When challenging Momo to a duel winds up with Yuuko’s defeat, it takes everything the girl has to persevere in her objective, but thanks to a strange ability of Yuuko’s to drain Momo’s power whenever the two are close together, Yuuko sees a light at end of the tunnel. There’s a way yet to see her fated mission through, and this little devil won’t let the chance pass her by.

Magical girls and anime, like peanut butter and jam it’s a timeless combination and Machikado Mazoku intends on making the most of it. Similar to the likes of Gabriel Dropout and Rokujouma no Shinryakusha, this one will be following the comedy and slice-of-life route: there will be ridiculous gags, lighthearted humour (looking at you and your weightlifting fetish, Momo), and plenty of adorably cute awkwardness, alongside a hefty dose of slice-of-life shenanigans to help keep things fun. While J.C Staff’s involvement does give reason to doubt (this type of show honestly screams for Dogakobo), given Kaichou wa Maid-sama’s Sakurai Hirokai is directing and Ohchi Keiichirou of Hinamatsuri fame is handling series composition, expecting a fun and wholesome slice-of-life adventure is a pretty safe idea. We may not know exactly what Machikado Mazoku has in store, but you can bet this will be one magical showdown worth paying attention to.

Watching This: Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Show Machikado Mazoku Promotional Videos ▼

To Aru Kagaku no Accelerator | とある科学の一方通行[アクセラレータ]Top
https://toaru-project.com/accelerator/
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 12th, 2019
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @toaru_project or #アクセラレータ

Preview by Pancakes

Based on the wildly popular Index franchise spin-off, To Aru Kagaku no Accelerator stars none other than Accelerator (Okamoto Nobuhiko) himself and begins shortly after the events of the penultimate Sisters arc. Having come within inches of death thanks to a bullet to the brain, Accelerator is determined to recover and atone (in his own way) for the crimes he committed in the name of power. The plan for redemption, though, is rudely interrupted when the white haired crazy boy winds up saving the life of one Estelle Rosenthal (Kubo Yurika), an otherwise ordinary girl possessing a very unusual picture of his new charge, Last Order (Hidaka Rina). Digging down into the curiosity, Accelerator quickly finds himself at the centre of a broad conspiracy headed by the zealous Disciplinary Action, an underground organization determined to remake Academy City in their own image. With Disciplinary Action planning on using Last Order for their own nefarious ends, it’s up to Accelerator to help save his new companion, because if the group gets their way, it’ll be more than Last Order’s life which winds up on the line.

Well boys and girls, it’s finally here. As the first kickoff to the next big wave of Index franchise adaptations (Railgun III says hi), Accelerator is pretty much the made for prime time summer success: it’s the Index franchise’s most popular spin-off next to Railgun, it stars its most popular antihero, and returns to the better loved half of the Index universe magic-science divide. There’s no question Accelerator will be blockbuster material from the get-go, but there are some concerns holding the hype train back. For starters J.C. Staff has quite a bit of goodwill to rebuild after the hatchet job it did with Index III, while the choice of director in Big Order’s Kamanaka Nobuharu definitely doesn’t lead to happy thoughts. Couple this with Accelerator only having one complete arc to work with (the second is still ongoing), and we’re either looking at a single cour sprinkled with filler, or one hell of a two cour anime original run. Frankly, anything is possible here, although given the source material and personalities at play, I have my hopes up. With a franchise this popular and a starring character this good, it’ll take something pretty serious to screw it all up.

Watching This: MissSimplice, Pancakes, Takaii, Zaiden, Zephyr Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show To Aru Kagaku no Accelerator Promotional Videos ▼

Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Nikai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki Desuka?
通常攻撃が全体攻撃で二回攻撃のお母さんは好きですか?Top
https://okaasan-online.com
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 12th, 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @okaasan_online or #お母好き

Preview by Choya

Oosuki Masato (Ishiya Haruki) is your ordinary high school student who is an avid gamer. His doting mother Oosuki Mamako (Kayano Ai) is quick to get on his nerves as she is overprotective and constantly worries about him. With their relationship strained, Masato finds himself having a tough time with his mother and Mamako becomes desperate to find a way to get him to cheer up and be a little more appreciative. After filling out a random survey, Masato unwittingly agrees to a secret government scheme that transports him into an RPG world. Masato is initially excited about the prospect of showing off his gaming prowess in this brave new world. What he didn’t expect was to find his mother Mamako trapped in the same world! On top of that, she’s overpowered! As a dual-wielding warrior who can decimate foes with two-hit, multi-target attacks, Mamako is a beast who gives everyone, including her son, a run for their money. Together, Mamako and Masato make for a power duo that can clear through waves of enemies no matter the size. But will Mamako achieve her goal of being able to bond with her son during their journey across this RPG world? Find out once this hilarious mother/son adventure story in another world premieres this season!

We all know why we’re watching this. There are no pretenses that can hide that the main draw of the story is to see Mamako mow down countless hordes of enemies while bonding with her son. The latter point could also tap into some territory that has been recently carved out by doujinshi featuring particularly thick women. With a title like Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit, Multi-Target Attacks!, why wouldn’t that subtext be present? Not to mention the promo event Animate held where customers who brought their mothers to the store were rewarded with a 16-page short story booklet dedicated to the story. But as fetishy as the anime may seem, it’s a down-to-earth examination on familial relationships that tackles the complicated bonds that parents have with their children and vice versa. Throughout their journey across this RPG world, Masato starts to understand why his mother would be so protective of her son while Mamako learns why her son would be guarded about being perceived as vulnerable as he’s trying to make something of himself in his formative years. At the same time, it confronts the turbulence in their relationship with how they handle Masato’s harsh embarrassment around his mother and how they confront Mamako on what drives her to be overly possessive of her son. There’s an air of wholesomeness to the narrative that may not present itself right away, but as soon as you get invested in the story, it quickly emphasizes that their journey to another world is an opportunity for a mother and son to learn to be on better terms with one another as they bond in the RPG world they’re stuck in. Will it live up to the potential of being a thorough examination on parenthood, or will the anime focus on the gimmicky nature of the story’s main hook? Will you fall in love with the mother and her two hits, multi-target attacks? The answers you’re searching for will finally be unveiled this summer.

Watching This: Choya, Pancakes Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Nikai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki Desuka? Promotional Videos ▼

Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darouka: Familia Myth II
ダンジョンに出会いを求めるのは間違っているだろうか FAMILIA MYTH IITop
http://danmachi.com/danmachi2/
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 12th, 2019
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @danmachi_anime or #danmachi

Preview by Stilts

The worryingly named Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? is back for a second season! But it’s a worrying title in the same way as The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, because as far as magical-fantasy-action-harem anime go, this is a great one. The story takes place in the city of Orario, commonly known as “Dungeon” for its huge underground labyrinths. Adventurers, supported by gods, flock to Orario to seek honor, adventure, and maybe even love. Bell Cranel (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) began his adventure last season, as the only member of the Hestia Family, so named for the failed “lolita god” Hestia (Minase Inori), who is hopelessly in love with Bell. Along with his friends Welf Crozzo (Hosoya Yoshimasa), Liliruca Arde (Uchida Maaya), and more, Bell will continue his adventure as he chases after his own love-at-first-sight in legendary adventurer Aiz Wallenstein (Oonishi Saori), and becomes a legend in his own right.

DanMachi is one of the better magical-fantasy-action-harem anime on the block. My appreciation for it has only heightened since its premiere in in 2015, as I’ve learned the value of a solid setting through painful effort. It takes place in a classic fantasy setting with some “gamey” elements tacked on—monsters sparkle and disappear into loot, etc—but even when these elements don’t make sense, they’re fun. They also work in context, which is what matters most. The characters are also great in this series, likeable and unique, to the point that even the gods (with names cribbed from Greek, Norse, Hindu, & Japanese mythologies) feel like new characters rather than tired old rehashes. Following the anime-original (though written by the original author) Arrow of the Orion movie, season two picks up where the first left off. In staff news, Tachibana Hideki is taking over as director, but all the other major staff members (and the studio in J.C.Staff) are back from season one. If you liked the first season, of course see this one. If you haven’t seen the first and have a fondness for fantasy adventures though, I suggest you catch up on the previous season in time to see this one when it airs.

Watching This: Choya, Pancakes, Stilts, Takaii, Zaiden, Zephyr Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darouka: Familia Myth II Promotional Videos ▼

BEMTop
https://newbem.jp
Animation: LandQ studios Premiere: July 14th, 2019
Genre: Adventure, Horror, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 25:35
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @newbem2019 or #妖怪人間ベム

Preview by Stilts

The Youkai Ningen Bem (Humanoid Monster Bem) franchise is getting a new remake to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The series follows three humanoid youkai, who each protect humanity from dangerous threats despite being ostracized by both humans and youkai. There’s Bem (Konishi Katsuyuki), who looks like a gangster and fights to protect the humans he hopes to become; Bela (Ichimichi Mao), a witch who looks up to humans and attends school in order to understand them better; and Belo (Ono Kensho), who dove headfirst into the world of gaming and has a rather philosophical view of humanity. Together these ugly monsters fight to protect the humans who will never accept them.

This is not a franchise I was familiar with. It’s quite a storied one, though, having persisted since its first season in 1968, with multiple iterations since. This 2019 remake is definitely dialing up the production budget, at least if the teaser videos are to be believed; they looks stylish as all hell, even if they’re also dark as all hell. Gritty noir is the feel here, get used to it. I do worry about the staff; director Odaka Yoshinori has mainly been an episode director, and script writer Tomioka Atsuhiro is prolific, though he hasn’t worked on anything I’m familiar with since Zombie-Loan—there’s a series that doesn’t come up often. Other than that, it’s got a pedigree, and resources are being put into it. I see no reason not to check it out if a dark, gritty tale of monsters fighting for the humans that despise them—and opposing a mysterious lady (Sakamoto Maaya) who is trying to get her hands on these three human-passing monsters—sounds like a good time to you.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Passerby Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show BEM Promotional Videos ▼

KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC: SAINT SEIYATop
https://www.saintseiya-kotz.com/pc/
Animation: Toei Animation Premiere: July 19th, 2019
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Friday at 00:00
Episodes: Unknown Station: Netflix
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ToeiAnimation or #saintseiya

Preview by MissSimplice

Saint Seiya returns to the screen over three decades after it originally aired. Based on the manga of the same name, the story follows Seiya (Morita Masakazu), an orphan boy who becomes one of the Knights vowed to protect the goddess Athena (Orikasa Fumiko). With his new powers and the help of his fellow Knights, Seiya is tasked to protect humanity from the evils lurking in the darkness.

When I heard Netflix was doing a reboot, I thought this could either go really well giving the notable series a fresh new look, or it could go horribly wrong. So far, it’s difficult to tell. The quality of the 3DCG animation is not the most appealing, but the style hints the show could be directed toward a younger audience. However, that doesn’t deter me from giving this a quick glance. The trailer showcases characters, now redesigned after 30 years with as much conviction as they had in the original series. Although the dialogue errs on the minimalist side, the few action shots added some entertainment value to the mix. But the biggest uncertainty is Netflix and Toei’s agreement to change one of the most adored characters of the series: Andromeda Shun (Sato Satomi). Andromeda is now a girl, and not many longtime fans like the idea. However, the goal is probably to reach a new generation of fans and the animation, alongside the drastic character change, might be just what Netflix needs to attract a larger audience. I could see myself sitting with my niece and nephew to watch the show, and I bet I’d be entertained through the whole thing.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Average
Show KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC: SAINT SEIYA Promotional Videos ▼

Kengan Ashura | ケンガンアシュラTop
http://kengan.net
Animation: Larx Entertainment Premiere: July 31st, 2019
Genre: Action, Sports Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: 11 Station: Netflix
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kengankai or #KGA

Preview by Stars

This season’s Netflix 3DCGI anime is trading in the fantasy and superhero aspects of previous projects for bloody knuckles and bulging muscles here. There are gladiator arenas in Japan where wealthy business owners and merchants can hire men to fight in unarmed combat. One of the best of these gladiators is Tokita Ohma (Suzuki Tatsuhisa), nicknamed “Ashura.” He destroys his opponents with the ferocity and ruthlessness of a demon, eventually catching the attention of the elites who profit from this blood sport, including the Nogi Group CEO, Nogi Hideki (Nakata Jouji).

Since the manga’s original run was completed in 2018, there’s a possibility that Netflix could adapt the entire series, though the platform tends to drop thirteen episodes at a time so anything more than that would be unusual. Ura Sunday decided to hold a contest for which manga series their readers wanted adapted into an anime, and the winner was Sandrovich Yabako’s Kengan Ashura. Now, 3DCGI actually looks great in action scenes, and I’m sure the models are convenient, but part of the appeal of a series like Kengan Ashura is the art. The intensity of the heavy black-and-white pages that convey Tokita’s demonic aura, the flexing of their musculature as they fight, the shadows and harsh highlights – all of these things add up to truly engaging action sequences where the drama and stakes leap off the page, and for as much as 3DCGI is progressing, it’s not quite there yet. The teaser didn’t give any indication of the characters, but it did suggest that battles, really the mainstay of a series like this, will be fast-paced, and Takahashi Yasuharu’s OST is guaranteed to be filled with tracks that draw on his years of experience making compositions for action-filled series like Naruto Shippuden and Fairy Tail. I wouldn’t be too optimistic, but don’t count it out either. You may have an underdog on your hands.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Kengan Ashura Promotional Videos ▼

Try Knights | トライナイツTop
https://www.ntv.co.jp/tryknights/
Animation: Gonzo Premiere: July, 2019
Genre: Sports Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: Unknown Station: Nippon TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @try_knights or #トライナイツ

Preview by Stars

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a young man with no direction finds his passion for a sport he used to love reignited by a meet-cute with another athlete. The type of athlete in question tends to vary. Sometimes it’s an old childhood rival, other times its a rookie in need of guidance, but in the case of Try Knights, rugby player Kariya Akira (KENN) is a physically strong and rambunctious counterpart to Haruma Riku (Sakamoto Shougo). Riku gave up on rugby due to his physique, but will Akira be just the spark he needs to set his love for the sport ablaze?

With lines like, “I’ll put a leash on you, Kariya Akira” and attractive character designs by Takarai Rihito, it looks like Try Knights will be aiming for that sweet, sweet Free! demographic. With that said, should rugby really look so pretty? There are plenty of series out there about just about every sport under the sun, Eyeshield 21 being one of my personal favorites, so while it’s fine that these designs are pleasant to the eye, I really hope this series isn’t afraid to mess them up. As a sport, rugby is one of the most brutal there is. It’s like you took football and soccer, blended them together, and then threw a piece of leather on an athlete’s head and called it a helmet, so for as nice as these boys look, if there’s going to be any sort of authenticity, they’ll have to get down and dirty, sweat-soaked and covered from head-to-toe in mud at some point. Honestly though, as tough as it is to make a great sports anime, it’s nowhere near as hard to make a good one. So long as Try Knights succeeds at energetic rugby sequences and nails the friendship between the mains, it will surely be a proper addition to the long line of sports anime that came before it.

Watching This: Stars Excitement Level: Average
Mo Dao Zu Shi 2 | 魔道祖师Top
https://www.tohomh123.com/modaozushi/
Animation: G.CMay Animation & Film Premiere: July, 2019
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: Station: Tencent Video
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Preview by Zaiden

In order to save his beloved friends and family from demise by the tyrannical Wen Clan, and left at the doors of death after being ruthlessly cast into an abyss of resentful spirits that had been driven to insanity, Wei Wuxian (Zhang Jie) sacrifices his soul to the utterly forbidden path and becomes a grandmaster of demonic cultivation, gaining the ability to control spirits and reanimate the dead. But he unleashes decay and sorrow upon the world, earning him the hatred of millions for causing so much suffering. Or so it was told. Eventually, the powerful clans unite to stop him. He is ultimately backstabbed and killed by his dearest shidi (disciple), before the clans work to eradicate any trace of his legacy – though the effects of undeath and stagnation continue to linger. But this is not the end of Wei Wuxian’s story. Thirteen years later, a young man is disgraced for being homosexual and commits suicide, enacting a sacrifice ritual that can help him exact revenge. Wei Wuxian reincarnates into the young man’s body with all his previous memories intact. But his archnemesis, Lang Wangji (Bian Jiang), soon takes him into custody as a senior of the Lan Clan, suspecting that he might indeed be the long-dead Yiling Patriarch. Together, they go on adventures that involve fighting fantastical monsters, solving mysteries – and even seek to clear Wei Wuxian’s name from the accusations levied against him prior to his untimely death.

While I definitely acknowledge how terrible every other Chinese donghua is when compared to anime, I make an exception for Mo Dao Zu Shi. Adapted from a famous web novel written by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu, the donghua adaptation of Mo Dao Zu Shi’s first season became a massive hit in China, generating 1.74 billion views on Tencent’s streaming platform at the end of 2018. It’s also amassed something of a cult following in the west, even quietly sneaking into the Top 50 on MyAnimeList at one point. And for good reason. Director Xiong Ke brings significant experience from his other critically acclaimed project, Quanzhi Gaoshou, and Mo Dao Zu Shi offers some of the most beautiful visuals you’ll see in animation, easily rivaling some of the best that Japanese anime has to offer. Meanwhile, the story is set in a martial fantasy world and deconstructs many classical Chinese fantasy tropes, by contrasting the high ideals of your typical martial cultivators with the reality of politics and war. Three scriptwriters might seem like too many cooks, but they did an excellent job conveying subtle nuances in narrative flow and characterisation over 16 episodes, so I’m confident they can do so again. Although fujoshis would be a key demographic for this show, considering the source material’s copious BL elements, this got toned down in the adaptation – because who wants to get into trouble with the Chinese government? Nevertheless, when readers of the source material have hinted that this season should surpass the first, at least where the story is concerned, it’s hard not to be extremely excited.

Watching This: Zaiden Excitement Level: High
Show Mo Dao Zu Shi 2 Promotional Videos ▼

Quanzhi Gaoshou | 全职高手Top
https://www.tohomh123.com/quanzhigaoshou//
Animation: G.CMay Animation & Film Premiere: July, 2019
Genre: Drama, Sports Airtime (GMT+9):
Episodes: Station: Tencent Video
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Preview by Zaiden

Before the beginning of the series, Ye Xiu (Zhang Jie) establishes an unprecedented dynasty by captaining his team, Excellent Era, to three championship titles in the popular online game Glory. However, after refusing to take part in shady sponsorship deals to profit the team, a contractual term forces him to give up his account and prevents him from competing for a few years. He is made to retire into a situation that makes him homeless and penniless. Ye Xiu eventually finds work and a place to stay in a nearby internet cafe. When Glory launches its tenth server, he decides to make a return under a new name – Lord Grim. Intent on honing his skills and exceeding his previous limits, Ye Xiu patiently bides his time and finds new allies and companions, who might have the potential to join him in creating a new team. Together, they will strive to surpass the major guilds that dominate the game and reach the summit of Glory.

Beginning from Starcraft and expanding to DOTA, Counterstrike, League of Legends, Overwatch and Fortnite, eSports is a digital phenomenon which has hit the world by storm. Quanzhi Gaoshou is an animated work that seeks to dramatise the narrative of a fictitious star player, offering a relatively unique take and interesting foray into this world. To me, Ye Xiu evokes the greatest League of Legends player, Faker, in an alternate timeline where SKT’s failure to qualify for the S4 Championship resulted in him being booted off the team. Like Faker, Ye Xiu is a quiet and confident person. He also believes in his own skills and ability to outplay the opposition – leading to magical moments that go down in eSports history. Some people may describe this characterisation as boring, but I think it’s a hallmark of the eSport greats that I’ve been familiar with – so intensely obsessed and dedicated to their games that they somewhat verge on being machine-like. And for fans of competitive League of Legends, it will be reassuring to see this parallel. But admittedly, while the art and animation and character designs are all really beautiful, it is true that the rest of the characters lack depth. There is also uncertainty about the staff on board, since no information has been released yet. And there have been rumours that production has been shifted to a cheaper but vastly inferior team. But given where the previous season left off on, I’m willing to at least give this new entry a chance and I’m excited to see what happens next, especially if it entails Ye Xiu being able to exact his revenge and surpassing his former heights.

Watching This: Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Show Quanzhi Gaoshou Promotional Videos ▼


Short Series List


Technical Note: As of the Fall 2016 Preview onward, short one-cour series that are being broadcast with irregular duration times (about five to ten minutes) 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, two notes: we have excluded shows intended for younger audiences, and there are short series that have been announced very close to the start of a season that 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 Passerby directly.

Air Date Title Series Synopsis
07/08 Yami Shibai 7
闇芝居7
https://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/yamishibai7/
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
If you want horror
You can always rely on
Yami Shibai.

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. BD/DVD movie releases are, however. This list is likely incomplete and will be updated as more titles surface (usually by the next season’s preview). 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
05/31 Trinity Seven Movie 2: Tenkuu Toshokan to Shinku no Maou
劇場版トリニティセブン -天空図書館と真紅の魔王-
https://movie.trinity-7.com/ea/
BD/DVD Release.
06/03 Ookami to Koushinryou VR | 狼と香辛料VR
http://spicy-tails.net/saw-vr/
PC, PS VR, Switch, Oculus Rift Release.
06/05 Dragon Ball Super Movie: Broly | ドラゴンボール超(スーパー) ブロリー
http://www.dbmovie-20th.com/
BD/DVD Release.
06/07 Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu: Memory Snow
Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 Memory Snow
http://re-zero-anime.jp/
BD/DVD Release.
06/19 Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: Detonation | 魔法少女リリカルなのは Detonation
http://www.nanoha.com/
BD/DVD Release.
06/20 Kyochuu Rettou | 巨蟲列島
http://kyochu-retto.net/
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 6.
06/25 Tennis no Ouji-sama: Best Games!! | テニスの王子様 BEST GAMES!!
http://tenipuri.jp/
BD/DVD Release.
Part 2.
06/28 Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine Movie | 劇場版「王室教師ハイネ」
https://heine-movie.com/
BD/DVD Release.
07/08 Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken OVA | 転生したらスライムだった件 OVA
http://www.ten-sura.com/
Bundled w/ manga Vol. 12. OVA 1 of 2.
07/09 Majimoji Rurumo: Kanketsu-hen | まじもじるるも 完結編
http://anime-rurumo.com/
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 9. OVA 1 of 2.
07/24 Strike the Blood III | ストライク・ザ・ブラッドⅢ
http://www.strike-the-blood.com/third/
Episodes 7-8 of 10.
07/26 Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow
ラブライブ!サンシャイン!!The School Idol Movie Over the Rainbow
http://www.lovelive-anime.jp/uranohoshi/
BD/DVD Release.
07/31 Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Movie: Orion no Ya
劇場版 ダンジョンに出会いを求めるのは間違っているだろうか ― オリオンの矢 ―
http://www.danmachi.com/movie/
BD/DVD Release.
08/21 Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel II.lost butterfly
http://www.fate-sn.com/hf/
BD/DVD Release.
08/23 Lupin the IIIrd: Mine Fujiko no Uso | LUPIN THE IIIRD 峰不二子の嘘
http://fujiko-mine.com/
BD/DVD Release.
08/23 Youjo Senki Movie | 劇場版 幼女戦記
http://youjo-senki.jp/
BD/DVD Release.
09/18 PSYCHO-PASS: Sinners of the System Case 1: Tsumi to Batsu
PSYCHO-PASS サイコパス|SS(Sinners of the System) Case.1「罪と罰」
http://psycho-pass.com/
BD/DVD Release.
09/18 PSYCHO-PASS: Sinners of the System Case 2: First Guardian
http://psycho-pass.com/
BD/DVD Release.
09/18 PSYCHO-PASS: Sinners of the System Case 3: Onshuu no Kanata ni
PSYCHO-PASS サイコパス Sinners of the System Case.3「恩讐の彼方に__」
http://psycho-pass.com/
BD/DVD Release.
09/25 Mob Psycho 100: Daiikkai Rei toka Soudansho Ian Ryokou – Kokoro Mitasu Iyashi no Tabi
モブサイコ100 第一回霊とか相談所慰安旅行~ココロ満たす癒やしの旅~
http://mobpsycho100.com/
BD/DVD Release.
09/26 Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka??: Sing for You | ご注文はうさぎですか?? ~Sing For You~
https://gochiusa.com/ova2/
Mid-Late 2019 Bean Bandit
https://twitter.com/Anime_ProjectBB
Kickstarter OVA Release.
Late 2019 Choujigen Game Neptune: Nep no Natsuyasumi
超次元ゲイム ネプテューヌ THE ANIMATION ~ねぷのなつやすみ~
http://nep-anime.tv/

Overall Impressions


 

As I progress in my anime-watching career, it’s always hard to pick out whether the patterns I see are objectively true, or whether they’re colored by my previous experience. Is this anime series good? Is it bad? Am I bad? I think there’s one thing I can say for sure, though: the isekai train rolls on. Haha! In all seriousness, there are definitely some highly anticipated series at the top of the docket, but after that it feels like there’s not a ton of variety. Oh, there’s some, but there’s a lot of isekai and fantasy, which as a fantasy fan I do enjoy, though variety is still the spice of life. But I’ve long since stopped getting my hopes up, for good or for ill. What will happen, will happen, yes? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Which is a perfectly stupid segue into…

Excitement levels! Yes, we’ll be continuing with our now-customary Excitement Levels, which includes four main levels plus Established for special cases. Our goal with these is to make it easier to use the top and bottom of the scale, and to take away the incentive to hedge our bets—after all, we’re not saying these shows will be good or bad, we’re just saying how excited we are. Exciting things can be flawed, and unambitious things can be fun! 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 laugh when we get all worked up about a show that ends up falling apart.

As usual, these levels were arrived at by our regular (and reliably shady) “Excitement Council” of Passerby, Zephyr, and yours truly, Stilts. While we’ve gone to great lengths to consider multiple viewpoints and not get swept away by their own proclivities, these aren’t predictions, and shouldn’t be taken as such. Take these with the appropriate amount of salt.

Note: Lists are sorted in alphabetical order.

 

The Rundown:

High excitement shows are the ones we’re truly pumped about. These are the shows we want to watch the most, and which we think have a good chance of being exemplars of their kind — or at least come close. Shows in this category might be sequels to excellent anime, adaptations of highly regarded source material, projects with stellar pedigrees, or even originals that just light up our minds. They don’t have to be perfect, but they do have to feel like something special. If you consider yourself a casual fan who only gets your toes wet every season, then these are the shows we feel you should most keep an eye on.

Optimistic shows are ones that we’re hopeful will be really good, and which we have good reasons to think they might be. The underpinnings of these are generally strong, with a lot to suggest in each of them, but with one or two elements that give us pause and keep our enthusiasm from boiling over. They still have most of the makings of very strong series, though, and many stellar anime will arise from this category. If you’ve exhausted all the High shows, or want to delve deeper into your favored genres, check out these as well.

Average excitement shows look middle-of-the-road to us. They could be good or they could be bad, but they don’t provide much immediate indication that they’ll be amazing in retrospect. This is often the case with shows that are firmly ensconced in their genres’ tropes, or which overly rely on some of anime’s overused plot devices. It can also apply to shows that seem deeply flawed, with elements that could make them amazing, but with so many potential pitfalls that we’re not getting hyped up. 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. Personal taste comes heavily into play, so your mileage will vary.

Limited excitement shows are ones that we simply aren’t all that excited about. They often don’t seem to be striving for much, and choose to focus on more frivolous aspects such as senseless humor and fanservice. Other times they’re doing the same thing we’ve seen a thousand times, with few mitigating signs that they’ll rise above their tropes. That doesn’t mean they’re the bottom of the barrel and shouldn’t get any consideration, but simply that they’re not doing a lot to suggest themselves. Keep in mind what kind of show they are, though, and you might find something you enjoy amid this cohort.

Established shows are any series that has aired for more than 40 episodes or has been previewed three or more times. This can include anything from never-ending shounen and decade-spanning dramas to that quirky comedy that keeps getting renewed season after season. The only commonality is that they’ve aired a lot of episodes, and that they’re the kind of show that most viewers will want to catch up on all the previous content before watching the new. Spin-offs and remakes don’t automatically qualify, since they’re considered new series.

June 28, 2019 at 7:59 am
65 comments »
  • June 28, 2019 at 8:03 amstarss

    Aw fudge yes! That’s what Im talking about! And I was JUST thinking about this post not an hour ago!

  • June 28, 2019 at 8:11 amstarss

    Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Nikai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki Desuka? My lord. Is there some English version of this title!?

    • June 28, 2019 at 9:20 amMcFate

      “Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?”

  • June 28, 2019 at 9:03 amUrahara

    Seems like there are 17 Isekai shows for every non-isekai one

    • June 28, 2019 at 1:18 pmJon

      Is the trend this days, though there are still good Isekais out there that are not copying the formula, and are truly following a coherent and well written narrative. Surley we will see them adapted sooner or later.

      • June 29, 2019 at 12:56 amzztop

        Also we have yet to get anime of the shoujo/otome isekai titles, esp. the ones about people reincarnated as the game villianess and try to overturn their bad end.

        Bakarina may be coming up, but most anime isekai adaptations have been of titles aimed at male readers.

    • June 28, 2019 at 2:08 pmbassgs435

      There’s only 4 this season (5 if you want to add Cop Craft, despite the fact that it doesn’t take place in fantasy-land, and it’s the fantasy-land stuff mixing with modern times in a modern setting). The rest is all non-isekai. Certainly more isekai than previous seasons, but non-isekai shows still outnumber isekai

      • June 28, 2019 at 10:58 pmJohn

        look again
        Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou
        Isekai Cheat Magician
        Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de 2-kai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki desu ka?
        Maou-sama, Retry!
        Naka no Hito Genome [Jikkyouchuu]

      • June 29, 2019 at 1:59 ambassgs435

        @John Naka no Hito isn’t isekai. Or rather, if it’s isekai, Btoom is also isekai. In Genome, they’re in some island, but in our world, not some other world. They aren’t magically transported, just kidnapped.

        Thinking that’s isekai is nonsensical

      • June 29, 2019 at 6:13 amJohn

        problem here is that you’re reading mal synopsis not the actual synopsis of the show https://i.imgur.com/tisCCVr.jpg

      • June 29, 2019 at 12:51 pmbassgs435

        @John

        1)I’m not using MAL. I’m basing my statement on what was explained on this very season preview.

        2)The anichart synopsis sounds like a metaphor for a BTOOM scenario (as desribed here) of “Kidnapped and forced to recreate the game in real life”, as described here. Naka no Hito doesn’t sound like an actual “pulled into the actual virtual world” like SAO. More like “someone recreated the game IRL and kidnapped the cast to serve as players for their twisted reasons”, like BTOOM

    • June 28, 2019 at 10:44 pmaaaaaaaaaaaa

      You clearly don’t know how to count then, because there’s only 4.

      • June 29, 2019 at 5:07 amLyfe

        His statement was clearly hyperbole.

    • June 29, 2019 at 5:09 amLyfe

      I’d blame the success of previous Isekei work for causing terrible authors to produce their take on the genre. Some authors who clearly lack talent have seen the sort of sales a good Isekai can bring and the rest is history.

  • June 28, 2019 at 9:24 amFlareKnight

    I’m definitely hyped for Summer. This is probably the most exciting season for me in 2019 thus far. Winter and Spring weren’t terrible, but they didn’t quite have enough great shows. Summer may not have extreme variety, but what it does have looks good.

    Sign me up for another season of Symphogear. I don’t know what the future of the franchise is past this point. Will they end it, continue to another season, or keep going but follow a different team of Symphogear users to change things up? No idea. But I’m ready for Episode 1 to be absolutely insane as is standard for this franchise.

    There’s just a lot of stuff I want to see. Enen no Shouboutai’s previews made me want to sit down and rewatch some Soul Eater. I did enjoy what I read of the Arifureta novels. Tend to agree that it would have been better to hold onto what made that first arc work, but I still really enjoy the cast and story. And of course I’m up to see another Fate series, more Takagi-san, and fingers are crossed that Accelerator works out. After Index III’s debacle I need my hopes restored.

  • June 28, 2019 at 9:32 amPlayer

    Looking forward to 11 different shows. As an isekai fan, I have been quite hyped for July.

    The Arifureta description seems to downplay its popularity as always but oh well. I suppose it’s fine to lower people’s expectations because the anime might screw up the source material anyway. It’s just unfortunate that they left Yue looking so unattractive, with permanent sleepy eyes…

  • June 28, 2019 at 9:41 amNaru

    Wow, this season is going to be AMAZING!

  • June 28, 2019 at 11:33 amJayDrink

    As always, THANK YOU FOR THE PREVIEW!

    Honestly, spring has been such a great season and summer’s looking amazing as well. 2019 continuing strong!

  • June 28, 2019 at 12:03 pmGoukaRyuu

    As always thank you all for your hard work.

  • June 28, 2019 at 12:25 pmshirocat

    Protagonist in Maou-sama, retry! looks better in real life than in isekai, which is rare xD So Mo Dao Zu Shi 2 will be released in Japan as well, since it was included in the list? I hoped for dubbing for so long, because I can’t watch it with original one (yes, I tried). Thank you as always for your hard work, I always participate for list from RC and I always use it often through the each season.
    I plan to watch around 15 series, so this season looks really promising, however I was thinking the same about previous and was left disappointed… :P

  • June 28, 2019 at 1:09 pmJon

    This season looks pretty juicy, Even the “Average” things are above the average of other seasons. Since when we had a season like this? 2006-2007 maybe. Definetly the jewel of this season is Vinland Saga, the manga is almost 15 years old, and I thought it would never get an adaptation. Let’s see what other hidden gem we find this summer.

    • June 28, 2019 at 1:34 pmThe suffocated

      Agree. Vinland Saga is great. Highly recommended to everyone who likes historical drama. Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Historie is another manga in the same genre that I wish can be adapted, but that one is serialised too slowly.

  • June 28, 2019 at 1:40 pmiskendaris

    i am SO looking forward to MDZS (grandmaster demonic cultivation) and QZGS (kings avatar). Most Chinese donghuas are awful, but these two are actually good

    the other one is El-Melloi’s case files — I liked him in Fate/Zero with Iskendar, and the whole magic school that plots your death + sherlockian mystery is high stakes academia which I love

  • June 28, 2019 at 3:48 pmPokeNirvash

    Actually, BEM is airing on TV Tokyo, not Fuji TV. I suggest changing it, even though everyone here that’s watching it are gonna be streaming the show anyways.

    I’m definitely planning on watching Dumbbell, but if I have the free time and motivation, I may check out the first episodes of Dr. Stone, Vinland Saga, and/or the mommy isekai.

  • June 28, 2019 at 4:01 pmewok40k

    2 things are on my must watch list:
    Vinland
    Accelerator
    rest is up to decide
    but that Isekai flood gets tiring…
    gimme GATE or Log Horizon another season dammit! or Overlord!!!
    Now a confession: My mother is playing MMO – a simple one, but she does dragonslaying to destress… she was always a bookworm and she teached me the ropes of the SF and Fantasy by giving me Tolkien, Herbert and Asimov to read… truly amazing woman.
    She hates the anime, though, she can’t stand the high-pitched voices of the VA.
    For all you MILF amateurs though, she’s over 60 now so forget any fantasizing…

  • June 28, 2019 at 4:02 pmGlancoplox

    Reading this previews would be a bit easier if the images were aligned with the info box. Would you mind adding this to your css?

    #season_preview > tbody > tr > td:first-child { vertical-align: top; }

    • June 29, 2019 at 2:35 amPasserby

      Is that so? We align images to the centre of each preview as a style choice. If other readers have an opinion on whether realigning the images would be preferable for them we would love to hear it.

      • June 29, 2019 at 8:04 amGlancoplox

        When moving down a page, the human eye is always attracted by images first, then large headings. Since the show titles are quite small, images are the main attractors. If they are below the title, the gaze will focus on them, and then will need to go back up to find the title, instead of following the more natural (at least in the west) left-to-right movement.

        But yes, would be interesting to know how other readers feel about it!

      • June 30, 2019 at 4:24 amMockman

        I don’t care about the image placement per se but I do dislike how each preview begins. For most of them, the last line of the previous preview, which is typically a URL and thus coloured, sticks out. The colour and placement attracts the eye but it’s misleading. At least push the PV url so it doesn’t stick out to the left of the column.

        Meanwhile, the actual show title is the same size, weight and placement as the infobox headings and can’t stand out. Even when there isn’t a link above, the ‘Watching this’ is there and it is the same as the title.

        I would like to see the PV url put inside the infobox and then something added to the top of each preview to catch the eye better. Maybe make the infobox jut into the margin or something. Moving the photo might also work. Maybe also reduce the infobox headings (especially the ‘(GMT+9)’ which actually belongs after the start time). Or put some white space above each preview. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a dramatic change but ideally something that makes it easier to scan/scroll through the page and pick up where each entry begins. Thanks, for both the previews and for considering improvements.

        NB, not complaining but since the subject came up….

      • July 1, 2019 at 11:36 amGlancoplox

        In case it helps, the small changes in my custom style: https://imgur.com/5pblhNN

    • June 30, 2019 at 3:30 amlebleu

      100% agree – alignment with infobox is much neater and nicer to look at. the way it is atm looks somewhat not right to me due to the lack of alignment.

  • June 28, 2019 at 8:03 pmArche

    Sequels
    Toaru Kagaku no Accelerator
    Symphogear XV
    Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san

    Definitely watching
    Sounan Desuka?
    Re:Stage Dream Days
    Joshikousai no Mudazukai
    Arabu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo

    Interested
    Tejina Senpai
    Uchi no Musume no it’s still faster to say I don’t want to type the whole thing
    Machikado Mazoku
    Lord El-Melloi II-sei no Jikenbo

    Give it an episode
    Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru
    Cop Craft

    So many new shows. Silly me for thinking I could read all this before work

  • June 28, 2019 at 8:50 pmOne Pinch Man

    With job slowly taking over my time, perhaps I won’t watch much. I’m gonna give a try to:

    - Vinland Saga: I heard this will be popular so I might check this out.
    - Enen no Shoubotai: Just your average shonen anime. I just happen to like the setting.
    - Isekai Mom: Honestly I’m getting tired of isekai but I’ve read the first volume of the novel and I thought it’s quite funny, like Konosuba. We need more MILF anime.
    - Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru: I love the manga and lately I enjoy more cute girls show than action anime.

  • June 28, 2019 at 9:57 pmKisaChan

    As much as I’m hyped for Dr.Stone, Vinland Saga, and Fire Force…. I have to say Given is the show I’m most excited for, finally a decent Shonen-ai show and I can’t wait, the visuals look amazing and the cast are good choices. While others would name these series above there anime
    of the season, personally for me is if they pull it off Given could actually be my anime of the season, so I’m hyped and ready ^^

  • June 28, 2019 at 11:37 pmChisel

    Oh man this season is lit. With quite a few shows I’ve been waiting for and new ones I’m now excited to check out. 12 shows I’ll be giving a go. Let’s see which ones I stick with till the ending.

    Booyah! Finally:
    - DanMachi S2
    - The King’s Avatar S2

    Super Hyped for:
    - Astra Lost in Space
    - Dr. Stone
    - Fire Force
    - Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note
    - Vinland Saga

    Will be checking out:
    - Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?
    - If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord
    - Maou-sama, Retry
    - O Maidens in Your Savage Season
    - To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts

  • June 29, 2019 at 1:23 amIncognito

    “Ah s**t, here we go again.”

    Also, how many of these isekai shows are under Kadokawa? Anyway…

    Will definitely watch:
    - Vinland Saga – If the isekai bubble finally bursts, I honestly wouldn’t mind more historical epics like this one taking over. (Looking at you, Ad Astra: Scipio to Hannibal.)

    Will try out (three-episode rule):
    - Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou – As if you need more proof that the isekai train is still far from losing steam… That being said, the synopsis feels like the beginning of Shield Hero where the MC seeks to redeem himself after being betrayed. The character designs look nice, though.
    - Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Nikai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki Desuka? – Will Ai Kayano’s Mamako fill the void left by Shield Hero‘s Queen Mirelia? Might as well take the plunge on this one.
    - Kawaikereba Hentai demo Suki ni Natte Kuremasu ka? – Obligatory ecchi rom-com fix.

    Obligatory sequel/spin-off watch:
    - Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2
    - To Aru Kagaku no Accelerator – Looking forward to seeing more of Academy City–never mind the confusing, rushed AF mess that was Index season 3… Oh, and hearing more of Nobuhiko Okamoto’s maniacal laughter.

    Movies, shorts, OVAs and carryovers:
    - JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo – Just counting down to the grand finale of this part.
    - Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO – The mystery unravels with each new time leap but the questions also pile up.
    - Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: Detonation, Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow, and Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel II.lost butterfly – Thank you ODEX for bringing these movies to my neck of the woods. (Aniplus Asia ought to step up their game next year.)
    - Youjo Senki Movie – Managed to finish the main TV series after the season 1 finale of Isekai Quartet–and despite the admittedly sociopathic protagonist, Youjo Senki was still pretty good. (Also, Visha best girl.) Might take a look at the movie now.

    Backlog pile additions from Spring 2019:
    - Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai – After skipping it the past season (and despite the superior Quintessential Quintuplets), I decided to take a look at this thanks to one “best teacher” from the show: Mafuyu Kirisu.
    - Midara na Ao-chan wa Benkyou ga Dekinai – Should have considered this as the “second coming” of B Gata H Kei.
    - Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu – It’s no Komi-san, but as far as slice-of-life series with a socially anxious protagonist goes, it will have to do for now.
    - Miru Tights – Four words: Guilty. Pleasure. Fetish. Anime.

    (Inb4 an unexpected mid-season pickup.)

  • June 29, 2019 at 1:56 amTeutates

    “Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou ”

    oh this is such a trap.
    The first act is really great but after they get out… it really is awful and bland.

    I’m going to check it out, but i will probably drop it after the first act if they keep it really close to the original material.

  • June 29, 2019 at 4:00 amWanderer

    SYMPHOGEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • June 29, 2019 at 5:11 amLyfe

    Not a fan personally but I find it odd how they keep producing Trinity Seven movies instead of a second season. It makes a lot more sense to produce 12-13 episodes to push the manga sales than a one off event movie each year.

  • June 29, 2019 at 8:04 amsealouse

    Hey on these season previews do you think you could add the internet streaming options to the shows?

    • June 29, 2019 at 11:44 amLyfe

      What would be the point in that? For those who watch the subtitled episodes only a few legal places carry the episodes. Such as Funimation & Crunchyroll. Just bookmark these places and visit when you know an episode is out.

      • June 29, 2019 at 11:45 amLyfe

        Oh and Netflix & Amazon of course.

  • June 29, 2019 at 9:22 amURGH

    How retarded do you have to be to like that dungeon garbage? Wet toilet paper has more character than the mainliner there, and he didn`t even pick up shit, lol.

    But it`s all good, if anything, even more isekai trash is required. Scorched land, motherfuckers. Animoo was a mistake indeed.

  • June 29, 2019 at 11:54 amLitho

    Practically nothing. Maou-sama, Retry’s art looks like shit compared to the manga adaptation. Was mildly interested in Granbelm, but Passerby seems to rate it which is a bad sign (he rates BlahBlahGatari which I consider garbage). Vinland Saga, I lost interest after the manga turned to Farmville Saga. The Kanata no Astra trailer seemed interesting until the cheesy J-Pop ruined the atmosphere. Overall, meh. Get back to me if a decent studio decides to animate Ride-On King.

  • June 29, 2019 at 3:06 pmTakaii

    Poll is live on the sidebar!

  • June 29, 2019 at 4:05 pmMcLXIX

    I personally think also announcing movie releases in your seasonal previews with will be a great addition.

    For instance, the Hibike! Euphonium Movie 3: Chikai no Finale will be releasing in select North American theaters this coming July 16 and 18 in dub and sub versions. If I recall correctly, a big portion of RC writers love this show so your thoughts and expectations to the up coming film will be great to share with your readers.

    Vinland Saga is being written by the same author of Planetes. I will be expecting greatness.

    • June 30, 2019 at 8:52 amZaiden

      Wait, what?!? I never even realised. And I’ve been a massive fan of both for many years XD

      Might ninja edit into the preview when I get to my laptop.

    • June 30, 2019 at 2:19 pmZephyr

      I’ll think about it for the next preview, but it’s tricky because you’d then have to consider that NA has their own release schedule and Japan’s also premiering movies as well, so there’d be a lot of additional information on the chart that may not pertain to what’s actually going to be available/watchable for most people, which is why we’ve traditionally omitted non BD/DVD releases. Also for now, the information we’d gather would likely be very inaccurate as many movies are being announced or brought over now with little fanfare or with very short notice to their actual air date.

      It’s kinda like the whole Netflix thing where we weren’t sure how to put them in and initially just had them in the OVA/Movies list as ONA’s, but now we try to do previews where we can, so we’ll see. Perhaps as they bring more movies overseas and not just premiere them at Anime Expo or a few major cities, we could possibly add another section just for those.

    • June 30, 2019 at 2:47 pmMcLXIX

      @Zephyr

      Actually, my bad.

      Now that I have deep thought about it. Adding movie releases in your previews will be a pain and I don’t really expect you guys to go through all that trouble when there is Reddit available for the latest updates.

      I live in Canada so the release of the Hibike movie has different release dates compared to the states all be it both have their show times in July. Have no idea if this movie is being release else where.

      Of course this won’t be an issue if RC writers live in Japan but that is not the case. RC writers I know for a fact are all over the place. Some live in the UK, Australia, Singapore and so forth.

  • June 29, 2019 at 4:41 pmLonghaul

    Uchi no Musume no Tame naraba, Ore wa Moshikashitara Maou mo Taoseru kamo Shirenai

    This series suffers from a lot of misinformation floating around, which is hinted at by its website being titled Uchi no Ko instead of Uchi no Musume. As an example Show Spoiler ▼

    • June 30, 2019 at 9:01 amZaiden

      I mean, you say that. But Dale shows up for parent’s day, and conducts most of the parental duties. The inn folks only really look after Latina when Dale heads off to do his job. Sounds exactly how a single parent with support from friends/family would raise a child. Also, I’m not convinced Dale is within a 10 year gap. If I had to guess, he’s in his twenties because of his special history with that particular institution and his position within that particular institution. And Latina’s seems like she’s elementary school age at the start of the series, so I’d wager a twenty year age gap.

      • June 30, 2019 at 4:33 pmLonghaul

        I’m gonna guess you are going on second hand information because their ages are actually stated in the series.

      • July 4, 2019 at 12:44 pmKarmafan

        1st episode is out and its quite good. Worth giving it a shot.

  • June 30, 2019 at 1:19 pmDamrod

    Some interesting shows to watch out for i guess this season, although i am suprised Stilts was not on the watch list for Tejina Senpai with that premise and image :P
    Also, did i spot a one-punch man reference in that dumbbell description?! Only thing missing was a banana to make it fit just perfectly >.>

  • June 30, 2019 at 4:50 pmsteve

    Websites prove their identity via certificates, which are valid for a set time period. The certificate for randomc.net appears to be expired.

    • June 30, 2019 at 4:56 pmTakaii

      We’re working on it right now.

  • July 1, 2019 at 4:17 amPatrick Poe Cadano

    So excited for Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 !!.
    So so ready to hear that “hmmm” from Takagi again :)

  • July 2, 2019 at 9:02 amYanDaMan

    Now this is a stacked season, so many good shows airing at once.

    Maou Sama Retry, Accelerator, Arifureta, Kawaikereba, and lol 3D Saint seiya that’ll be terrible but i’ll watch anyway.

  • July 2, 2019 at 10:45 amsygnl_

    Nothing much for me this season. Only watching Takagi-san. Will try out BEM. Will also use this time to watch some of my backlogs and other shows relevant to the Fall season

    I’m more excited for the Fall season, where so far, I will be watching 9 shows (8 of them are sequels)

  • July 2, 2019 at 2:27 pmMockman

    Is it really Kayano Ai in Tejina-senpai? I’m not seeing her name anywhere else.

  • July 5, 2019 at 2:42 amKuzame

    Mods update the “Spring 2019 Preview” and “Winter 2019 Preview” icon please! Almost missed this new summer section :x

  • July 5, 2019 at 6:35 amJust a comment

    I’m kinda disappointed on you for missing fact that original COP CRAFT novel was written by Shouji Gatou, Full Metal Panic author.

  • July 6, 2019 at 7:31 amRenaSayers

    Just watched the first episode to Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo. and I am pretty impressed with the story. This beginning event had easily captivated my heart. I am looking forward to future reviews on this show, hoping there will be one.

    https://randomc.net/image/Miscellaneous/Summer%202019%20Preview/araoto.jpg

  • July 7, 2019 at 8:35 amWorldwidedepp

    @Dr. Stone

    Episode 01

    Passed for me

    01/03 done

    Feeling good. The voice for both males are need to get used (of course, because the manga use your own imagination) but it seems on the right path. Lets see

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