3 Jul 2011

Summer 2011 Preview

Anohana has ended, Hanasaku Iroha had its mid-season climax, and Denpa Onna just had a double-episode finale this weekend, which means the Summer anime season is here! A lot of new show this season, since many studios have cautiously scaled back to 1-season runs recently. But I'm not complaining! Shorter series just means more variety for the jaded anime fan. This season we have some really interesting stuff, as well as some potentially surprising disappointments. Some big names are back in the limelight (Production I.G., Gainax, Madhouse, JC Staff, A-1 Pictures) and... well... not a lot of wildcards actually. This is my first season preview, and honestly, I don't have the time or expertise to source out all the information first-hand, so I'm relying on Random Curiosity's season preview to write my own thoughts about it. No pictures in this post, since I make it a point to only upload my own screencaps now.

Double J
? episodes

A bunch of girls join the "Traditional Arts and Crafts Preservation Club". The premise seems promising, and so is the list of seiyuu (Omigawa Chiaki, Taketatsu Ayana), but this is going to be yet another flash anime. If the humour is as sharp as Fireball Charming, I'll stay on.

Madhouse x Marvel
12 episodes

Yeah, Wesley Snipes' Blade. Iron Man and Wolverine flopped, but X-men was kinda interesting (though I only watched the first episode). If Blade follows this trend, it's gonna be the best Madhouse x Marvel collaboration yet. Which isn't a very high hurdle to cross anyway. With voice talents like Ootsuka Akio (Snake from Metal Gear Solid) and Sakamoto Maaya, Madhouse seems to be going all out with this production. I still wish we would get the old Madhouse back though... More Clamp adaptations! And more stuff like Mouryou no Hako!

project No.9 x Studio Blanc
12 episodes

A bunch of high school students, that look like elementary school students, play basketball. I know a particular friend that will be watching this just because of the sentence above. I'll be watching it too, but for a different reason. Hanazawa Kana and Hikasa Yoko! A deadly combination. Especially with HiYo-chan in megane.

Kami-sama no Memo-chou
J.C. Staff
12 episodes

A doll-like NEET detective? Sounds like another GoSick to me. But this is J.C. Staff! Though I'm quite wary of their works the past few years, I'm hoping this will be a return of form for them. Their A-Team working on something not Index-related? Great! But be careful not to end up like Denpa Onna in the later episodes...

Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 1000%
A-1 Pictures
? episodes

PSP Idol Romance game. I can already hear Miyano Mamoru's cool idol voice serenading the female hordes... and like a lullaby, puts me to sleep.

Sacred Seven
12 episodes

Another Sunrise original. While Tiger & Bunny was lauded for it's originality, the action, CG and voice acting failed to excite me. I'll definitely take a look since it is Sunrise and has the potential for really cool-looking action sequences.

Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou
Studio DEEN
26 episodes

The 2nd season of a rather popular Shounen Jump series. The producers dropped the ball for season 1. It had so much potential yet wasted it with slow, boring moments. Will take a look just for the (most probably) high budget 1st episode.

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation
12 episodes

A young Japanese girl goes to France. As a slice of life series, the premise seems quite interesting and full of potential. But then I'm reminded of GoSick. The onus is on the characters (and voice actors) to make this show worth watching. Also, Satelight isn't exactly my favourite studio, but they do decent work. At the very least, the backgrounds shown in the trailer are detailed and look really good.

Natsume Yuujin-chou San
Brain's Base
13 episodes

Natsume and his "Book of Friends" are back for another season. I've heard good things about this series but haven't had time to check it out. It sounds like my kind of show, kind of like Nurarihyon, but less shounen.

Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel ~Kyun Kyun Tokimeki Paradise!!~
J.C. Staff
12 episodes

Magical girl series based on a pachinko machine. According to RandomC, Iwasaki Yoshiaki (Love Hina, Hayate s2, Ookami-san, Zero no Tsukaima s1) is directing, which is quite an interesting choice, but I doubt he can do much with the source material... Regardless, I'll be catching this just to see Danny Choo's Mirai animated and voiced.

? episodes

A yuri comedy about 3 middle school girls. The director and screen writer of Minami-ke season 1 is working on this, and that's enough reason for me to check it out. As long as it avoids gross-out humour (Mitsudomoe -_-"), the combined forces of Toyosaki Aki, Taketatsu Ayana, and Katou Emiri can win me over.

Kami-sama Dolls
Brain's Base
13 episodes

"Girl Meets God". Kishi Seiji (Angel Beats, Seto no Hanayome) is directing this, and it seems to have a really involved plot, so I'm hoping to pick this up.

Morita-san wa Mukuchi.
13 episodes

A 5-minute series about a quiet girl, based on a 4 koma manga. I'll always be comparing these light-hearted school comedies to Seitokai Yakuindomo and Minami-ke. Unfortunately, it seems like the joke might wear out its welcome for this show. But then again, it's just 5 minutes long, so who knows?

Nyanpire The Animation
? episodes

Cute vampire cats, samurai cats, fallen angel cats, and foul-mouthed cats. Ahahaha. Sorry, no. GONZO, as a studio, is already in some financial troubles, so they will probably be betting EVERYTHING they have on the next Last Exile (which should also be premiering this season?).

Usagi Drop
Production I.G.
11 episodes

30-year-old man adopts his recently-deceased grandfather's 6-year-old illegitimate daughter. I haven't been this excited for a Production I.G. anime in quite a while! Plus it's on the Noitamina timeslot! It looks to me like the serious parts of Kodomo no Jikan, which can get quite disturbing and traumatic.

11 episodes

A boy is exiled for helping a prisoner. BONES never disappoints when it comes to animation, but the stories and pacing sometimes isn't very good. But this is a light novel adaptation, and they have Minakami Seishi (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Paranoia Agent, Paprika) for Series Composition, so this might turn out good if they manage to pace it well (11 episodes can be quite hard to work with). Between this and Usagi Drop, Noitamina might be getting back on form this season.

A-1 Pictures
25 episodes

Based on the IDOLM@STER series of games. A-1 Pictures doing 2 Idol Game adaptations in one season? Hope the money's good, because I don't see how they can go from doing Fractale, Ao no Exorcist and AnoHana to doing stuff like this.

Production I.G.
12 episodes

Another alternate re-telling of Blood: The Last Vampire. With Clamp on character design and writing duties, I don't see how this can fail too badly. Plus, initial hype over the streamed episode 1 seems very positive. Nice to see Production I.G. getting some big works out again!

Mayo Chiki!
12 episodes

A boy who has a fear of girls. Director Kawaguchi Keiichirou (Hayate the Combat Butler, Nyan Koi) and screen writer Yoshida Reiko (K-ON)? Sounds PERFECT for a comedy/slice-of-life series! Nyan Koi took a much softer approach to the ecchi scenes, so I'm hoping they'll do that for this as well. The preview video suggests otherwise... but I can still hope!

Mawaru Penguindrum
Brain's Base
24 episodes

Story centres around 3 siblings, the youngest of which is a girl who does not have long to live. Director/writer Ikuhara Kunihiko (Revolutionary Girl Utena, Sailor Moon), along with the mysterious-looking trailers, give this series a certain magical quality. The art style looks great and the story could potentially be very depressing. This season's Madoka Magica? I'm excited to find out more!

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni!
13 episodes

Season 2 of BakaTest! The first season was really enjoyable and fun. Love the art style and humour in this show, so I'll definitely check it out.

Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
12 episodes

The main character is nearly immortal. “Up to 7 deaths in 15 minutes”, to be more exact. I don't know what's with this series' obsession with numbers, but colour me intrigued! Interesting story :), generic-looking characters :(, Fukuyama Jun :), and blatant fan service :(. I seriously don't know whether this show will be good.

Nekogami Yaoyorozu
12 episodes

Local deities in a modern world. Tomatsu Haruka, Horie Yui, Taketatsu Ayana (nya~!), Toyosaki Aki. With a cast like that, I'll be expecting great stuff from this series! AIC did Nyan Koi, while the script writer also wrote for Lucky Star, so this should end up on my watch list.

12 episodes

Well, the director and writer of this series also did kiss X sis, so I think most of you would know what to expect. Hopefully this would have more plot.

Manyuu Hikenchou
Hoods Entertainment
12 episodes

The anime's official website is oppaidaisuki.jp. No, I'm not kidding.

Dantalian no Shoka
13 episodes

Girl protects 900,666 forbidden magical books. This seems a little uncharacteristic of GAINAX. The art and design shown so far seems pretty standard, almost boring. They usually stand out for their unique art and animation, but I guess this might be them trying something a bit more mainstream and, perhaps, more marketable. Still looking forward to it though!

Looks like a rather interesting season. Noitamina is on fire, while Mawaru Penguindrum and Dantalian no Shoka might be surprisingly good. And there's also Blood-C to look out for. I'll probably preview at least 20 of these shows, so do look for to that in the next 2 weeks!

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