What, you guys want MORE anime? There’s plenty of good anime still sitting there on your table! There’s Euphonium and Oregairu and BBB, and I hear people over on twitter are even watching Legend of the Galactic Heroes! There’s good shows from the last few years and good shows from before Ghibli was even a thing, and you’re here complaining that you need something new? Typical. Just friggin’ typical. You know, this is the problem with anime fans these days – the second you have something good, it’s already old news. There’s no pleasing you!
Well, I for one have had enough, and in light of my disgust with your attitude, I’ve been talking with the heads of anime, and they’ve all agreed. You guys don’t deserve more anime, and so this summer, you’re going to have to survive on like 2.5 new shows worth watching. We’ll see how much you clamor for new toys when the season lineup is Gatchaman Crowds and then Six Days Without Gatchaman Crowds. Have fun.
Alright, let’s run down what shows seem at least moderately tolerable. And remember, this is on you.
(also, as always, you can check out the full list at anichart, where you can also get synopses if you want them. I’m just going to be running down why I’m compelled to highlight any of these shows)
This one’s the big and possibly only clear bet of the summer. Gatchaman Crowds was a dense, passionate, and endlessly fun bounty of a show, and with the director, series composer, and music composer all returning for the sequel, this promises to be a fine return to questions of culture and heroism in the digital age. If you haven’t seen the original, I highly recommend catching up, and if you have seen it, I hope you’re as excited as I am to have Hajime once again brightening these dark times. GATCHAMAAAAAAN.
No PV yet, so just watch the S1 OP again goddamnit.
I don’t have any direct experience with this one, but the buzz seems to be flowing in the right direction – the premise seems compelling enough, I’ve heard positive things about the source material, and Bones handling a shoujo drama seems like a nice combo. I’m always up for a good fantasy-romance, and shoujos on the whole just tend to be better-written than their boy-adventure counterparts, so while I don’t have expectations, I’d be happy to see this one impress.
Here’s a PV, with animation and everything!
And with that, we reach the end of the shows I’m actually looking forward to. Coming up: entirely speculative picks! Hurray!
Eh. Honestly not that enthusiastic about this one, but it at least seems to have an aesthetic that sets it apart from most shows. The PV didn’t really impress me (it’s mostly just shots from one specific street fight in the first episode, apparently), but in a season where I’m already scraping the bottom of the barrel, “vaguely Black Lagoon-esque mobster thing” seems like it’s worth a shot?
This one’s a bit of a long shot, but they’re all long shots here. The director isn’t really noteworthy, but the series composer is the dude behind White Album 2 and, well, Saekano. I found Saekano to be hot trash, but both of those works at least demonstrated a writer who has some idea of how to write. Additionally, the way the premise is framed makes me think this will be a fairly grounded story within a larger speculative fiction world, which seems like a nice idea. It seems worth an episode, at least.
Here’s that image above sliding in and framed in a star. Whoa!
I don’t really expect this to be good (it’s based on a videogame, for chrissake), but this one’s coming courtesy of ufotable, so it should hopefully at least be pretty. After the endless, meaningless talk-fests of Unlimited Blade Works, I’m hoping a silly action show will let the studio finally stretch their production muscles. There were some real highlights in UBW, they were just scattered between long, punishing monologues. Hopefully God Eater significantly adjusts the monologues-to-face-punching ratio.
Here’s a PV, showing off the kinda interestingly textured aesthetic.
So, we’ve got a noitaminA show based on an apparently renowned story… buuut it’s being directing by Seiji Kishi, he of lukewarm adaptations and low expectations. It’s a coin toss, and it’s not like the noitaminA “brand” really means all that much at the moment, but hope springs eternal, and good source material is close to the number one indicator of reasonable anime. We’ll see!
Here’s the semi-useless PV.
Here’s another one I don’t really have any expectations for – the director’s the dude who handled Spice and Wolf and Maoyuu, but the plot is way more standard, and the series composers’ main highlights in a long career are… Monster and The Severing Crime Edge? So, there’s that. So far, the biggest thing setting this apart might be the faux-Mayan aesthetic of the PV. I doubt I’ll follow this, but it seems like it could not be bad, so.
Like many shows on this list, I only have the barest of reasons to have any hope for this show. In this case, it’s because I still consider MAPPA a studio worth watching – I’ve either enjoyed or at least respected almost everything they’ve been involved with, and though this one’s actually based on a manga from 1990-1996 (likely implying another Parasyte-style tie-in situation), I’ll still give it a shot. It’s a thin hope (and I’m well aware pinning hopes on studios instead of creators is a bad idea), but hope must survive!
This one’s at Madhouse, but in this case, that’s looking more like a trap than anything. The premise is bog-standard “trapped in an MMO” fare (and even though I am now apparently the authority on MMO anime, I can’t say that really excites me), the director is responsible for a grab-bag of episodes that are mainly situated over at Toei (thanks to @yuyucow and @ultimatemegax for offering lovely samples of his work), and the writer has basically just worked on SAO and Mahouka.
I don’t even know why I’m talking about this. Why am I talking about this? Let’s go to the next show.
Yeaaah, it’s the silly D&D adventure thing! Urobuchi as a big-boobed assassin, Nasu as a blond-haired knight, and a bunch of other names I’m far less familiar with as the actual main characters! I’m pretty much expecting this to be terrible, but any show that offers a chance for me to shout, “great work, Urobuchi and Nasu. NOW KISS” is going to get at least one episode from me. Fun times.
Here’s a PV, if you want that for some reason.
Prison School is the very trashiest of trash, and I actually originally had this next to Charlotte down in my “if you have completely different sensibilities from me, maybe you’ll enjoy this” section, but then they announced friggin’ Mizushima as the director, who you may recognize from both directing Shirobako to legendary status and somehow turning premises like Girls und Panzer and Witch Craft Works into really solid shows. The dude has the magic touch, which means I’ll check this out, but I can’t imagine even him turning Prison School into something I want to watch week to week. I guess we’ll see.
Here’s the extremely telling PV.
And that’s it! That’s pretty much all that looks even potentially enjoyable to me. For other tastes, you might possibly check out Charlotte, which is P.A. Works having their talents squandered on some Jun Maeda nonsense. As for me, I’m just desperately hoping some unexpected highlights emerge. I’d be happy just watching backlog, but the preview guide is a harsh mistress.