Is it that time of the year already? The summer season of anime is historically stacked so let's get down to brass tacks and see how it measures up!
Battle Girl High School (game)
Based on a phone game of the same name, Battle Girls High School is about the Star Guardians who stand up to defend the world from the Irousu invaders. They happen to be in high school.
Patrick’s Take: I was a little dry in my summary up there because this story has been told veeery often lately. I played the game when it came out but it didn’t leave much of an impact on me. However this show could be a very fun romp if well executed - its cast is full of some of the more fun current seiyuu, while the staff and studio have shown themselves to be more than competent. Hopefully this turns out fun!
Action Heroine Cheer Fruits (original)
Girls across Japan compete to become “local heroine fighters”, performing in live action shows that are a kind of combination of idol and stunt shows. These “local heroines” represent their respective municipality and compete in a national ranking system to be the most popular and promote their region. High school girl Misaki Shirogane and her friends become action heroines to pursue this new dream.
Marc’s take: This show’s studio, Diomedea, specializes heavily in making shows about cute girls doing things that sound ridiculous on paper. The fact that this is an anime-original property has me intrigued, though whether this somewhat vacuous premise will be interesting in the long run is yet to be seen. It’s clear they’re aiming for a new flagship franchise with this, so I’ll be watching pretty closely to see how much it catches on. At least with a voice cast that includes M.A.O. and Moe Toyota (still an amazing name), we can be confident that this will be cute and funny. In addition, the action will hopefully be stylish and fun to watch with Nanoha director Keizou Kusakawa at the helm.
Centaur no Nayami A Centaur's Life(manga)
Himeno is the classic sweet and shy Japanese school girl. She’s also a friggin centaur. Centaur no Nayami focuses on her and her class as they deal with issues unique to their fantastical natures.
Patrick’s Take: I’m a pretty big fan of the manga. It’s absolutely adorable but raises some interesting image questions and is not afraid to take them very far. (Spoiler: one early chapter has Himeno worried about the appearance of her genitalia when she’s confessed to by a boy… since, you know, she’s a horse down there). While that’s an exceedingly crude example even that one is handled with a lot of care.
Ballroom e YoukosoWelcome to the Ballroom(manga)
Tatara Fujita drifts through middle school aimlessly until one day, he is attacked by gang members and saved by a mysterious man. To Fujita’s surprise, this man turns out to be a ballroom dance instructor and causes Fujita to start taking beginner’s classes at his school. Fujita soon finds his inspiration in the exciting and entrancing world of ballroom dancing!
Marc’s take: Without getting too much into the specifics of this show’s staff, I can safely say that all things constant it will be one of the best shows of Summer 2017. I’ve been following it more closely than pretty much anything else coming up this season, and I was happy to see that almost the entire production team from the electrifying volleyball show Haikyuu!! is attached for this adaptation while Haikyuu!! takes a break to let the manga catch up. The animation will without a doubt be top-notch as Production I.G. never fails to deliver with this team, and I’m incredibly excited to see Yuuki Hayashi composing the music as well since this subject matter is a little bit outside his wheelhouse. Finally, with an all-star voice cast including Ayane Sakura, Nobuhiko Okamoto and Toshiyuki Morikawa, Welcome to the Ballroom is going to be one of this season’s standouts.
Fate/Aprocrypha (Light novel)
The newest anime in the storied Fate universe. Fate/Apocrypha follows a different type of Holy Grail war with twice as many servants pitted against each other as the servants of Red and the servants of Black.
Patrick’s Take: I’m a huge Fate fan so naturally I’m excited as hell to see more crazy Heroic Spirits animated. Curiously enough this is the first Fate TV anime project to be handled by a studio other than ufotable in some time, with A-1 handling. A-1 can be hit or miss thanks to their unique studios set up but somehow I don’t think they’ll be dropping the ball on a project with as much potential revenue as this!
Clione no Akari (web novel)
The story centers around an illness-stricken, constantly bullied orphan girl named Minori. After one rainy day, she doesn't turn up at school, having been admitted into a hospital in a distant town. Two months pass, and the girl's two school friends, Takashi and Kyouko, receive a mysterious email with no sender listed. The email reveals a summer festival taking place at a nearby town…
Marc’s take: Look, I’m not one to judge a show so harshly right off the bat, but this kind of looks miserably bad. The PV contains some pretty laughably bad animation and even worse character designs. The fact that it’s being produced by a “one-man animation studio” at drop. and is based on a “web novel”, which usually in western circles is called “fan fiction”, does not give me much confidence either.
Gamers! (Light novel)
An ecchi comedy focusing on the antics of a gaming-obsessed boy in high school and his fellow game club members (who are mostly girls)
Patrick’s Take: I really can’t put my finger on it but for some reason I feel like this one is going to be a quick drop. There’s nothing particularly bad about the staff and I’d say the cast is one of the one’s I’m looking forward to the most but there’s just something about it that’s telling me “stay away”. Hope I’m proved wrong!
Dive!! (light novel)
The Mizuki Diving Club is on the verge of closing down due to financial woes when a new coach offers the club’s parent company one condition to stay open: that the club send one of its members to next year’s Olympics as part of the Japanese national team.
Marc’s take: Studio Zero-G does not have a great record with sports anime, the only one under their belt being the relatively boring and mostly forgotten Battery baseball anime from a couple seasons ago. I also have my doubt about the director and how consistent Zero-G can keep up with solid animation through the series, but despite these shortcomings going into next season I’m cautiously optimistic about this show for a number of reasons. Firstly, the show’s use of color and character designs look very good, with a theme consistent of some of my favorite summer shows of the past few years. Also, with Yuuki Hayashi contributing music and an all-star voice cast featuring Yuuki Kaji, Takahiro Sakurai and much more Dive!! might just be the unexpected summer anime I want and we deserve.
Hina Logi (original)
A spinoff from last year’s Luck & Logic, HinaLogi follows Liones Yelistratove, a young princess. It serves as a side story and prequel to Luck & Logic.
Patrick’s Take: It’s no secret that L&L was one of DogaKobo’s weakest projects to date. That having been said, I did enjoy it and its characters and watched through the whole thing! I’m excited to see the same universe in a setting that lines up closer to what we’ve come to expect from 2010’s DogaKobo: cute girls doing cute things in an interesting universe.
Hajimete no Gal (manga)
Uncool high school student Junichi “Jun” Hashiba, egged on by his friends, confesses his love for a classmate, Yukana Yame. Unexpectedly, the confession works and the two start to go out, however Jun is in uncharted waters with Yukana, a member of the peculiar and fashionable “gal” subculture. Romantic comedy ensues.
Marc’s take: I know this show looks like absolute trash, and I just know it will be. However, I also have a really weird/unhealthy obsession with gyaru and ganguro culture in Japan so I will probably be watching this show and enjoying the hell out of how outdated and idiotic it is. I don’t want to outright say I’m excited for it, but…well, I’m excited for it. Hell, with proven yanki voice talent like Eri Kitamura (Juri Han) on board, I’m sure it’ll at least be fun.
Isekai Shokudou Restaurant to Another World (manga)
A refreshing take on the popular ‘other world’ isekai genre, Isekai Shokudou is about a restaurant that caters to otherworldly patrons every Saturday.
Patrick’s Take: Isekai is a pretty tired trope at this point but I don’t have an issue returning to it with good ideas, and an episodic show based on showing off gourmet food to all manners of fantasy characters seems like a pretty fun time! Production values look pretty great on top! I’ve managed to keep myself spoiler free this time around.
Jikan no ShihaishaChronos Ruler(manga)
The story centers on "Chronos Rulers," those who fight the time-eating demons that appear when people wish they could turn back time. The Chronos Rulers fight a time-manipulation battle against these demons.
Marc’s take: This is another one of those shows that I don’t want to judge too harshly before I see it, but I’m not seeing too much that makes me confident. Project no. 9 is not a studio known for particularly good adaptations, the director’s last and only credit as a full-on director was Chaos Dragon (which was NOT good) and while the voice cast is somewhat solid, the PV inspired absolutely no confidence from me as it featured some pretty laughably bad CGI battle sequences.
Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo niIn a Different World with a Smartphone.(light novel)
As an apology for accidentally killing a dude, God allows said dude one wish as he’s reincarnated in a the next world. The dude chooses to keep his smartphone.
Patrick’s Take: Honestly if I got to choose something to keep in the next world it’d be that idiot Goddess Aqua way before my phone. Like I said earlier isekai is a pretty tired genre and this one doesn’t seem to be doing anything special to make me interested.
Katsugeki Touken Ranbu (browser game)
Two sword warriors (famous swords brought to life and given souls by a sage) are sent back to Meiji Restoration-era Japan to defeat an army of historical revisionists hell-bent on destroying Japan’s past and altering the future.
Marc’s take: This is now the second Touken Ranbu adaptation in the past few seasons, but ufotable’s attempt here looks to be much more entertaining and interesting to look at than Dogakobo’s from a few seasons ago. Ufotable has only recently started to get into video game adaptations, but if their Tales anime is anything to go by then Katsugeki Touken Ranbu will be fun as hell to watch and beautiful to boot. The show has a first-time director Toshiyuki Shirai, but with the music of Unlimited Blade Works composer Hideyuki Fukasawa and the uftoable digital and animation teams behind him, this will undoubtedly be well-made. Also encouraging for me is the indications that this version of Touekn Ranbu will do more with 1800s Japan than use it as a backdrop for action. The more references to Japanese history, the better.
Instead of a special curriculum for those gifted in smarts or sports, Hyakkaou Private Academy is about reading your opponent… in gambling.
Patrick’s Take: This is the type of bat-shit insane stuff that anime is good for! I’ve been hearing amazing things about the manga for some time and I can’t wait to see how MAPPA realizes it. There’s also Saori Hayami’s performance to look forward to!
Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun Cleanliness Boy! Aoyama-kun(manga)
Aoyama is a fastidious high-school soccer player who’s play style is “cleanliness” He doesn’t tackle or head the ball, and if he does throw-ins he’ll only do them if wearing gloves. This is a comedy show, in case you haven’t guessed already.
Marc’s take: This is a full-on comedy show so it won’t have any staff that is interesting to speak of or really matter all that much, and animation won’t be much of a concern unless it’s obscenely bad. The premise and execution seem to be similar enough to Sakamoto desu ga?, and if it’s anything like that show, it’ll be great.
Knight’s & Magic (light novel)
A mecha otaku dies in our world and gets reincarnated (memories intact) where a real life mech named the Silhouette Knight exists.
Patrick’s Take: Cool, more isekai. Just like the smartphone one I’m not seeing much to set this one apart - it’ll be up to execution.
Koi to Uso Love and Lies(manga)
In the future, lies are forbidden and love doubly so. When you turn sixteen, you are assigned a mandatory marriage partner by the government. Yukari Nejima is a 15-year-old from rural Japan who hides a heart burning with passion, who must then decide what a person in this world must do with what is forbidden most.
Marc’s take: I wasn’t wowed too much by the staff in this but the PV turned me around. What little music I heard is pretty great, and any romance show led by Kana Hanazawa is going to carry some inevitable weight behind it as she is the undisputed queen of romance anime right now. In addition, I really like the character designs and the general smooth and subtle look of the show visually, though I suspect the designs might throw some people off initially. I usually give at least one romance show a shot per season, and this might be it for me.
Made In Abyss (manga)
The last unexplored place in the world, the Abyss, is constantly being explored by the Cave Raiders. The orphan girl Rico dreams of becoming a Cave Raider like her mother - when she starts exploring the Abyss she happens upon a robot that resembles a human boy.
Patrick’s Take: This is the show I’m low-key hype af for. The Sakuga Cartel has been whispering about it since its original announcement and with the unique designs it’s not hard to see why. Throw on the mystery surrounding the abyss and the talented Kinema Citrus staff and we could have a real sleeper hit.
Konbini Kareshi Convenience Store Boyfriends(original)
Six high school students' life around the convenient store on their way from the school, talking about their life and meeting each of the girls they end up liking.
Marc’s take: This could either end up being a nice, relaxing slice of life/romance/otome tale to watch during the summer, or a boring slog with no real substance. Only time will tell!
Nana Maru San Batsu (manga)
A new high school student gets dragged into the Quiz Study Group by his senior. What exactly awaits in his new competitive quiz life?
Patrick’s Take: While reading the manga I always got the feeling it’d work better as a 4koma… which means I’ll probably feel like it’d work better as a short form anime. We’ll see if I get proved wrong!
Marvel Future Avengers (American comic books)
Makoto, a young boy who gains superpowers due to a gene experiment, joins the Avengers along with other superpowered youths to become apprentices named “Future Avengers”. Featuring appearances from Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor and Wasp!
Marc’s take: Anyone that knows me or follows the podcast/YouTube channel knows I was and still am a pretty big comic book nerd, so the prospect of a Marvel Avenger’s kid’s show animated by goddamn MADHOUSE makes me pretty excited. Unfortunately everything I could put down on paper right now is speculation because at the time of writing this take, there’s almost no information out there about this show. One thing I can say for certain though is: this will almost certainly be better than those other Marvel anime that happened a while back (you know the ones).
New Game!! (manga)
Doga Kobo’s popular game-creation anime comes back for a second season.
Patrick’s Take: I missed the characters at Eagle Jump so much ;_; I’ve been caught up with the manga so it’s hard to talk much about it without spoilers but suffice to say the way Aoba grows along with the rest of the company is sure to be just as heart warming and fun as the first season!
Saiyuuki Reload Blast (manga)
The latest entry in the Saiyuki series from the late 90s/early 2000s. In this final installment, the Sanzou party has finally arrived in India after their long and treacherous journey. Awaiting them is a fate preordained for over 500 years. What will they find at the end of their journey?
Owarimonogatari 2nd Season (light novel)
Owarimonogatari’s second anime debut marks the continuation of the adaptation of the final book in the Monogatari series.
Patrick’s Take: I don’t want it to end! Unless I’m mistaken we’re getting two lengthy episodes towards the end of this season so I have plenty of time to hype myself up.
Tenshi no 3P Here Comes the 3 Angels (Light novel)
Kyou Nukui is a first-year high school student and a shut-in who likes make vocaloid music and uploading it online. One day, he receives a message from a fan requesting a meetup. To his surprise, he finds three elementary school girls who want to form and band and ask for Kyou’s help.
Marc’s take: Y’all are going to jail if you watch this one.
Patrick's take: Lock me up, officer.
Princess Principal (original)
Original anime by Studio 3Hz. Billed as a “spy action series”, Princess Principal follows Victorian-era high school girls as they work as undercover spies. They make use of their individual skills in a world of espionage, infiltration, and car chases.
Patrick’s Take: More crazy anime shit yes! We’ve got steampunk Victorian-style high school girls in a gory as hell dark spy story and the trailer looks great. So far I’ve loved all of 3Hz’s original shows (Flip Flappers, Celestial Method), and I’m hoping this will be the same despite the departure in atmosphere.
The Reflection (original)
After a worldwide event called THE REFLECTION, some people the world over have discovered that they have superpowers. Some become heroes, and others become villains. How THE REFLECTION happened is uncertain, but one thing is clear: the world is destined for turmoil and upheaval.
Marc’s take: This is a really weird one. THE REFLECTION is the brainchild of Marvel’s famous godfather Stan Lee and Detroit Metal City director Hiroshi Nagahama, which seems to be trying to combine the best of western comic books and anime into…something. What that something is exactly is as yet unclear: we’re a few weeks out from this show starting and so far I haven’t seen any actual animation or voice acting showed off, which is a troubling sign. What’s more, the series director on this project is still somewhat wet behind the ears and there’s not much else to rely on staff-wise that would allay most of my concerns. However, Studio DEEN is kind of on a hot streak right now after building a reputation for making stinkers so I’m not completely skeptical. Hopefully this will be at least as good or even better as Heroman, but who knows if that’s wishful thinking at this point.
Symphogear AXZ (original)
The fourth season of fighting singing anime Symphogear.
Patrick’s Take: If y’all ever listen to our show you know how unabashed I am in my love of Symphogear - I’m sure AXZ will do more to reinforce that! The trailer is pretty much 3 minutes of people getting punched in their face, which is pretty much what this anime is going to do to me.
Youkai Apato no Yuuga no NIchijou (light novel)
Inaba Yuushi’s parents died in his first year of middle school, and he moved in with his relatives who treated him as a burden. After graduating, he prepared to move to a high school with a dormitory, but the dormitory burned to the ground before he could move in. Not wishing to move back in with his relatives, Yuushi found a nice room in an old building and moved in. The catch is, this building is a “Monster House”- a place where humans and supernatural creatures live together.
Marc’s take: Shin-ei Animation has a pretty good track record of making shows like this, involving slice of life comedy with some supernatural or otherwise not-normal stuff mixed in. This looks to be another one of those, so if you like shows like Sweetness and Lightning then this is probably gonna be up your alley. Mind you, this is also the same studio behind Doraemon and Crayon Shin-Chan so if anything else, it’ll be cute and/or heartwarming.
Shoukoku no Altair (manga)
Two nations that have stood on the precipice of war are finally plunged into it full-force when an imperial minister is found assassinated. Young Mahmut comes to discover the truth behind the assassination and struggles to bring the war to a safe end.
Patrick’s Take: This almost seems like a fantasy version of the beginning of WWI! Unfortunately I’m not familiar with any of the source material but count me in for a show about political intrigue done by MAPPA. It’s worthing that the director has a number of good politically minded shows under his belt, not the least of which is Zipang.
Vatican Kiseki Chousakan
Two experts working as the Vatican’s “Miracle Examiners” travel the world to investigate claims of miracles.
Patrick’s Take: Well that’s an interesting idea to say the least. I’m wondering if this will take an action edge or a mystery edge, going to keep my thumb on it for sure.
Youkoso Kitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoshitsu e (light novel)
There’s some classist stuff going on at Koudo Ikusei Senior High! Let’s see who gets treated better!
Patrick’s Take: WOOOO A HAREM SHOW! It reads like a classic visual novel, I hope it’s some good smutty fun.