Holy shit I’m alive. Having dragged myself through one more gauntlet of endless, senseless, pitiless animation, I can finally say I’ve survived another one. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say this was the least psychologically damaging crop of debuts I’ve had to weather since joining the preview guide. Sure, there were bad shows – there are always plenty of bad shows – but the number of true spirit-breakers was mercifully low, and a surprising number of shows were competently executed even if they didn’t appeal to me. Anime’s current production model may be an unsustainable trainwreck of manic overproduction, but the bastards didn’t get me this time!
And so, having sat through all those many, many hours of animation, it’s time to send my battle report back to the folks back home. As usual, I’ll be running down every single show I watched in general order of how impressed I was, grouping things into categories based on how much they hurt me. Also as usual, you can check out the whole list of reviews over at ANN, or click on any of the titles below to go to that show’s specific reviews (I’m Nick Creamer over there). There’s a ton of very reasonable anime this season, so let’s get right to it!
With just over three weeks left to go in the summer season, it’s time to once again look forward to next season’s potential bounty. In spite of my initial pessimism, the summer season turned out to be very solid all around – not only did expected favorites like Love Live Sunshine and Sweetness & Lightning perform, but Mob Psycho 100 turned out to be far, far more compelling than I’d anticipated, and Thunderbolt Fantasy essentially doubled the season’s JoJo-style theatrics. We’ve had two strong seasons in a row now, full of compelling shows in a variety of genres. The only thing the year’s really been missing so far is a full complement of truly Great anime – anime I feel no hesitation about putting on my end of the year list, and at least some temptation to add to my all-timers. We’ve had Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju and Concrete Revolutio, and Mob Psycho will certainly make the top shows of 2016 cut, but I could use a couple more clear standouts. Fortunately, fall looks pretty stacked as well, so I’m eager to get to it.
As usual, my list won’t be covering every single new show. If you want the full list with synopses, you can easily check out anichart or a similar site – I’m just going to be covering what I think is interesting (in rough order of interest), along with the specific reasons I’m looking forward to it. Good staff, good source material, good studios – those are the things I can rely on, beyond the unreliable allure of any kind of cool premise. So let’s start right at the top and run this upcoming season down!