Tom Mison Lookalike Convention and Summer Anime Preview

June 26th, 2014

It rained on my wings and in my beer last night.

Yada yada yada. These are just the ramblings of a mad man based on little more than a paragraph (or less!) of a premise and some staff which are generally beaten down by the producers anyway so may or may not have any real relevance towards a show’s quality. Execution’s the thing anyway, and you might get a hint of that if a show has bothered to release any kind of promotional material, but still probably not. Many a show I’ve really liked (or at least tolerated) didn’t hit their stride until a couple episodes in as well. And of course, my opinions are obviously not the opinions of the swarming internet nor are they above all reproach.

I plan on checking everything listed below out, although the sequels to things I didn’t watch likely won’t get more than a glance to confirm that everything remains the same as I remember and may or may not get any real coverage here, largely depending on day of airing and my general mood at the time. As always, not included are OVAs, half-length shows, or the sole new show aimed at 10 year old little girls (yet another Pretty Rhythm offshoot). 

I did change things up a little bit this time and sorted them by day of the week this time instead of air date because that’s really how I tend to think of things anyway. Sorry, no promo collection this time either, although honestly, you’re not missing much.

Wednesday

Bakumatsu Rock
http://bakumatsu.maql.co.jp/anime/
Studio: Studio DEEN
Genre: Idols 
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 2nd

Premise: 
In the Bakumatsu era, the government maintains control over the population through brainwashing done via idols. No songs are allowed but government propoganda. Our heroes fight against the tyranny with rock and roll. 

Thoughts: 
So… the exact same premise of AKB0048, but quasi-historical Japan, males, and Studio Deen? Sounds like a winner! Neither the director nor head writer are anything to write home about. The former has done some decent comedies, but mainly in the DVD extras and not at all in the shows themselves and has far more experience and luck with action (Regios/LoLH) than anything else (a parade of dismal boringness). The writer… well, Deen makes a lot of shows filled with sparkly half-naked boys on the cheap and someone has to be in charge of making sure they all have scripts, storyboards, etc. I’m not chomping at the bit.

Preseason Swing Rating:
 
Because the serfs love boy bands.

Free!
http://iwatobi-sc.com/
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Genre: Wet Boys
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 2nd

Premise:
Sequel series. The continuing adventures of the swim club and their clothing-repelling abs.

Thoughts:
Same staff and studio, so I guess good news if you were a fan of the first season. What I remember from it is numerous shots of them dripping wet, continuously emerging from various bodies of water, and the pop idol ending theme. It did nothing to hide that it wanted a chunk of the tasty manservice pie that Deen has been lord of for years. Dour, half naked boys glaring at each other in barely restrained lust. I might be able to find it ridiculous if it wasn’t so dull.

Preseason Swing Rating:

♫Macho, macho man♫

Magi Moji Rurumo
http://anime-rurumo.com/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 9th

Premise:
Kouta finds a magical book that says it grants wishes. The witch he summons refuses to grant his wish because it’d mean taking his life. She’s punished and forced to live in the human world, using no magic but to grant his wishes, each one shortening his life.

Thoughts:
The key staff are a bunch of unknowns, but the direction in the promos does seem to be taking from the Bloom and Autumn Colors Glowing Like Radioactive Meltdowns school of design that seems popular lately. Still, , that sure is just like a dozen other JC Staff shows, but most identically Maburaho, only without the semen milking.” Of course, Maburaho took the route of killing the protagonist, making him a ghost, and then ending with a dozen clones of him for each of the harem to have their own personal semen dispensary, any one of those events being more ‘daring’ than shows lately seem capable of. JC Staff’s heyday is long gone anyway. I guess I’m reaching here. She has a big hat? And no pants?

Preseason Swing Rating:

75% hat.

Love Stage!!
http://lovestage-tv.jp/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Romance
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 9th

Premise:
Everyone in Izumi’s family is famous except for him. He wants to be a manga author, but doesn’t have the talent for it. He meets an actor who fell in love with him when they were children, thinking he was a girl. Together, they fight crime.

Thoughts:
I had to make up that last part because the premise was just a tad lacking. This is JC Staff’s drama department with both the director and head writer having a truly terrifying amount of shows that boil down to “But I’m not into dick! …Okay, maybe a little, or maybe dick’s into me” and a few where you can replace “dick” with “vagina.” I really do not see an original bone in this one’s body or the barest trace of any kind of ambition or thought whatsoever, and kudos to you if you didn’t titter at the first part statement. If you remove “and used to think he was a girl,” there are just so, so very many shows that are exactly identical to this already out there. It doesn’t even have a shoddy one-liner like “He draws love, but can love draw itself to him?” to mask its banal paint by the numbers setup.

Preseason Swing Rating:

And he hasn’t considered sumo? That’s got a bunch of naked men too.

Fate/Kaleid Liner – Prisma Ilya
http://anime.prisma-illya.jp/
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 9th

Premise:
Sequel series. The continuing adventures of magical girl Ilya out to collect cards or magic beans or something.

Thoughts:
The first season bored me with being exceptionally cheap and absolutely uneventful, although apparently the initial NicoNico broadcast was an unfinished version missing in some cases, large chunks of entire action scenes that took place off screen. Silver Link was channeling the worst parts of its Shaft heritage. I did catch a few of the fights after the fact, and it sure would have been nice to see anything even at half that effort in the initial episodes. Not enough to make me want to go back and actually watch it, but if they’ve actually gotten their act together and are going to pick up the pace… a lot, I might be willing to give it a second shot. Assuming they don’t pull the cut broadcast crap again at least. Or maybe it’s just that Wednesdays look depressingly full of shimmering men.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Last boss still MIA.

Thursday

Glasslip
http://glasslip.jp/
Studio: PA Works
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 3rd

Premise: 
Touko’s family runs a glass-working business. One day, a boy joins her school and tells her that he hears voices from the future which have brought him to her.

Thoughts: 
Say it with me everyone, Yet Another PA Worrks Teenage Melodrama Set Against a Season Backdrop. This would be Type D, with a supernatural element and not Mari Okada, queen of maudlin melodrama, handling the writing. Instead, it’s a relative newbie, although they did have their hands in Tari Tari. The director’s more interesting, although that’s mostly for his older comedies like Ranma. Not that I think it really matters since PA Works’s production has this teen melodrama thing down to a science and I don’t think shuffling around any key staff will do much of anything. They all completely blend together in my memory at this point and I cannot imagine this will be any different. This director was responsible for True Tears, he’s probably to blame for the entire last few years of their weird little niche.  

Preseason Swing Rating:

Someone overcame time and uses it to talk to little boys?

Silver Will Argevollen
http://www.argevollen.com/
Studio: Xebec
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 3rd

Premise: 
Two countries have been at war for decades, but a new weapon will change everything. Shockingly, it’s a giant robot.

Thoughts:
I think Xebec’s going senile. The guy directing this is the one they turn to when someone shoves a pile of tits in their faces and goes “Make something of this trainwreck.” He certainly knows how to direct animation though, and Xebec can swing around a budget every now and then. Then again, the head writer is the one that was given domain over the absolutely misnamed Bodacious Space Pirates and the harebrained Lagrange, two shows that prided themselves in having characters I wanted to strangle and plots that couldn’t be assed to go anywhere, and even when it did, were just teenage girls learning to be super ultra besties.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Come with me if you want to live.

Tokyo Ghoul
http://www.maql.co.jp/special/tokyoghoul/
Studio: Pierrot
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 3rd

Premise: 
Kaneki is lured out by a girl who reveals that she’s a ghoul who preys on humans. She attacks him, but when the building collapses on him, emergency workers use her organs to save his life, turning him into a ghoul. 

Thoughts: 
There, there, little Jump show. I’m sure you’re very dark, suspenseful, and gory, just like your sister in publication Brynhildr and brother Zetman. And you’ve dressed your characters like clowns too? Well that’s just ever so precious. Newbie director/writer and the ever woeful Pierrot. The promos are all random characters posing for the camera, so I’m pretty sure they just decided to toss up part of the OP. Still, more effort and wherewithal than most other shows this season, but it also seems to think that pans over a city skyline are exciting for some reason.

Preseason Swing Rating:


Undead problems.

Rail Wars!
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/railwars/
Studio: Passione
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 3rd

Premise:
In a Japan where trains are privately owned and run, Naoto gets hired on as a security guard to protect his company’s trains and the people who ride them.

Thoughts:
Key staff’s pretty weak, but the promos weren’t too bad. A little weirdly full of train drifting stills, but they did beat up some crazed mugger or something in one of them. Then again, some random guy with a knife attacking an entire crowd of security guards, one of them leaping down from the rafters apparently, is already straining the suspension of disbelief in a promo for a show about super trains. It could work if they just run with it and make it like the A-Team… on trains, but in my experience, expecting Japanese media, especially light novel adaptations, to just run with something instead of dwelling on it, trying futilely to explain it, and dragging everything to hell and back is a losing proposition. It did show some effort put into it though, so at least a few points for that.

Preseason Swing Rating:

High tech trains coming through!

Regular Girls Trying to be Local Idols
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/locodol/
Studio: Feel
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 3rd

Premise:
Nanako and Yukari are the town’s local celebrities, doing idol stuff, but on a tiny scale.

Thoughts:
This is a four panel adaptation, feel handling the production, and the genius director of Kiss x Sis and NakaImo in charge. And oh yeah, another goddamned idol show, except this time, it’s not big deal idols, but just some thing that the girls do for funsies in their spare time. Just like, I don’t know, let’s say a club. I’m not even sure which is more tired at this point though, girls hang out, or girls playing at being starlets but they’re too siiiilly for that. Actually, the awful director may be just what this needs to stand out in any way at all. It also grates on me, that when contracting the words in English “local” and “idol”, they somehow ended up with “locodol.” You don’t get extra points for using only one vowel, guys. That also sounds like a train. A horrible, horrible train.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Idols are easily startled, but they’ll soon be back, and in even greater numbers.

Terror in Resonance
http://terror-in-tokyo.com/
Studio: MAPPA
Genre: Thriller
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 10th

Premise:
Tokyo is decimated by a terrorist attack. The culprits are two boys who call themselves Sphinx.

Thoughts:
It’s a noitaminA show (the other this season is a rebroadcast of Psycho Pass prior to new episodes in the fall), although it is bringing easily some of the most impressive promotional stuff for the season. It’s Watanabe directing too, but his recent return to directing (Kids on the Slope, Space Dandy) haven’t been among my favorites. Maybe he just wants to buy a new boat. Still, besides the production values, I’m struggling to understand where they could possibly be going with terrorist kids hopping around in Power Rangers Super Sentai masks, thumbing their nose at The Man by bombing them, presumably for not being teenage enough. It’s not like they’ve said or shown any indication that it takes place in a dystopian society even. I don’t think anybody would even get to the end of the elevator pitch for “kid terrorists bombing the hell out Tokyo New York” in the US. Or maybe they’re just lying in the released stuff. It’s an original show, so hell if I or anybody else knows!

Preseason Swing Rating:

Sounds like the work of the La Li Lu Le Lo.

Persona 4 – The Golden
http://www.p4ga.jp/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Rehashing
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 10th

Premise:
The Scooby Doo gang is on the case of Inaba’s serial killer with their magical television powers.

Thoughts: 
I guess it’s A-1 instead of ACGT, but I still don’t understand the point of this at all. Don’t misunderstand, as a fan of Spiderman, I’ve seen Uncle Ben die enough times to be considered a serial killer myself, but again, most Japanese ‘adaptations’ are a prosaic copy and paste job from source to screen. And even Spiderman had the good graces to use an almost completely different set of the rogue’s gallery when it rebooted itself way too soon. And this has even less time between reboot. I can’t even fathom why someone would want to watch a shot for shot remake of a shot for shot adaptation, and that’s assuming it isn’t 90+% reused footage. But wait, there’s one new character. Well hold the phone, throw a damn parade, and let’s go through months of the exact same thing all over again.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Ditto, ditto, and more ditto.

Black Butler
http://www.kuroshitsuji.tv/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 10th

Premise:
Sequel series. Children are disappearing. Ciel and his demon butler Sebastian think that a certain circus is involved and investigate.

Thoughts:
This apparently takes place in the source before stuff covered by the second season, but since I haven’t read nor watched any part of this past the first episodes, hell if I really know how they’re doing things in relation to other things. It does have different key staff (sorry Mari Okada!), notably the typically fascinatingly horrifying guy behind Guilty Crown, Geass, and HiME, but he’s also got his fair share of boringness too, especially when actually adapting things. The promos don’t show any great change from what I remember either. Maybe they’re dressed a little more like clowns than before, or maybe not. I really can’t tell.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Why not catch an ape fight instead?

Friday

Apartment Invaders!?
http://corona106.tv/
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 11th

Premise:
Koutarou’s poor and has to live in a tiny apartment, and he can only even afford that because it’s haunted by a girl who tries to drive him out. Soon, aliens, magical girls, and more all end up there too.

Thoughts:
Promos are really underwhelming, but I guess this is Silver Link’s comfort zone. They can flex their muscles in both style and production at times, but it’s been pretty rare in the last couple years and they’ve been working on Kaleid Liner in paralell with this, which I imagine would get the primary attention. It’s their usual director, but he’s a far cry lately (Kaleid Liner, No-Rin) than when he was doing Pani Poni Dash, BakaTest, or even C3. Hopefully it has a little more structure and direction than it appears because that seems to be what he needs in order to do well. Newbie head writer, so no help there.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Beware crafty aliens in disguise.

Tokyo ESP
http://www.tokyo-esp.org/
Studio: Xebec
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 11th

Premise:
After running into some magical fish and penguins, Rinka discovers she has the ability to phase through objects. She meets a boy who can teleport. They decide to use their special abilities to help people, especially from other people with powers.

Thoughts:
Yeesh. There’s even a grizzled not-Wolverine brandishing not-claws. Still, I can’t deny that “people with magical powers beat each other up” isn’t one of my preferred starting positions for a show. That’s assuming they actually stick to that, because there’s also no shortage of shows about people with super powers who stand around adamantly refusing to ever use them. Weirdly, the key staff is from TWGoK of all things. Neither director nor writer is great with a lot of messes above and beyond that to their names, but like Xebec themselves, they’ve shown the occasion flashes of competence. I’d be more confident if they’re put up some promotional stuff showing they’re bringing at least their B- game though.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Not even Kitty Pryde likes Kitty Pryde.

Nobunaga Concerto
http://www.fujitv.co.jp/nobunaga-concerto-anime/
Studio: Nobody Knows!
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 11th

Premise:
Saburou thinks history’s useless and has never learned it, but ends up transported to the past where he finds that he’s an exact lookalike for Nobunaga and is forced to act as his body double.

Thoughts:
There’s been pretty much no information released about this at all. As of last Sunday, the website didn’t even have anything more than the cast list and air date. I guess it’s based on a manga, but you know me, I don’t like to dig that deep. Even the staff that’s listed has never been a part of bloody anything else. Japan also needs to get over Nobunaga. Don’t you have anybody else in your history you could sexualize? Kusunoki Masashige? Oishi Yoshio? How about Yagyuu Jubei? It’s been a decade since the last Jubei-chan. You owe me. Especially for that Samurai Bride nonsense.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Hahaha! I’ve banished Nobunaga to the shadow realm!

Saturday

Sailor Moon Crystal
http://sailormoon-official.com/animation/
Studio: Toei Animation
Genre: Merchandising
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 5th (early morning, biweekly)

Premise: 
Some bimbo finds a locket, starts taking orders from her cat, and halluciantes that she’s a transforming moon princess and throws her hat at people.

Thoughts:
With only six episodes in the season (essentially a half-length show), I normally wouldn’t have included it here, but I’m sure that’d just lead to a lot of annoying comments about missing it. Anyway, I have to admit that I’ve never really gotten Sailor Moon or its popularity. I mentally file it under the same category as Jem, an animated show mixing drama with barely dressed teenage girls and having long-running plotlines, but Sailor Moon isn’t truly, truly truly outrageous, although throwing their hats as weapons is pretty damn barmy. With the way ‘adaptations’ generally go for Japan, eg using the source material as storyboard, script, and bible, I don’t understand why anybody would want to see a remake which would just be the exact same thing in a slightly different art style either. Least of all when they choose a particularly terrifying one. Not even “A dark version of the fairytale you love!” that Hollywood seems nauseatingly in love with these days. I guess Toei is putting newbies in charge anyway, so I think the strategy is just “release anything, rake in cash.”

Preseason Swing Rating:
 
We’re really doing this, huh?

Boys Hollywood
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/shonen-hollywood-anime/
Studio: Zexcs
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 5th

Premise:
At the Hollywood Tokyo theater, members of a certain boys idol group train and do idol stuff.

Thoughts:
This is one part of a franchise push involving a light novel, an idol group, and this, although the three don’t really seem to be related to each other in much more than name. The only thing this director’s been in charge of is Say “I Love You” which I think almost everybody forgot existed even before it stopped airing. Zexcs apparently lost all its talent to being eaten by Godzilla recently too, exemplified in the just awful promos. Maybe it would have been a smarter move to release nothing at all since it’s barely animated and their glassy-eyed blank stares are a little unsettling.

Preseason Swing Rating:

How can Japan like the King of Pop so much yet be so bad at imitating him?

Sword Art Online
http://www.swordart-online.net/
Studio: A-1
Genre: Exposition
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 5th

Premise:
Sequel series. The continuing adventures of Kirito, undefeatable god of all virtual reality MMOs ever made in a world where MMOs that kill people are released practically every week.

Thoughts:
Ugh. I didn’t even get far enough into SAO’s first series to have a problem with Kirito, the apparently asspulltastic super Mary Sue. It was just so damn boring. I remember an exchange early on that went something like “You attack by attacking with your virtual sword just like you’re attacking with a real sword,” and then they spent the entire rest of the episode explaining how virtual reality was like reality, but virtual and gushing over how awesome the graphics were while staring at skyboxes. Okay, so that is admittedly how a lot of triple A gaming goes, but no points to them regardless. This was supposedly the good part of the show and it went downhill from there.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Where’s the MMO where he becomes a dog idol?

Aldnoah.Zero
http://www.aldnoahzero.com/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 5th

Premise: 
In 1972, humans discover a gate on the moon to Mars. Soon, war breaks out and the Martians invade the Earth in giant mechs to wipe out humanity.

Thoughts: 
Urobuchi is kind of getting to be the Stephen King of anime. At least he seems to have moved on from “the twist is… the machine is evil!” to “the twist is… the monsters are humans!” which is good because towards the end there, his supposedly benevlolent machine was massively error-prone totalitarian thought-police. Oh wait, that’s getting a sequel next season. And yes, I did just spoil Rider Gaim for you, but honestly, one episode is titled more or less “Shock! The rival’s banana transformation!?” What were you expecting? Then again, apparently it also introduces some manner of world altering wish-fruit because he’s never done or cribbed anybody else’s evil wishes premise before either. Anyway, clinging to his coattails is the CGI-happy and exposition-loving director from Fate/Zero but now with a considerably more inept studio than UFO Table, alongside Silver Link’s old primary/Shaft’s second-string comedy writer, making a show about mopey teenagers going to space mecha school, half of them looking like they came straight from a Victorian-era costume ball because fashion is cyclical like that. Yeah, another one

Preseason Swing Rating:

Buried under a pile of fruit.

Sengoku Basara
http://www.ntv.co.jp/basara_je/
Studio: Telecom Animation Film
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 5th

Premise:
Sequel series. The continuing adventures of burly men slapping their phalluses together until they explode in a shower of bodies and then retire to have a dance off.

Thoughts:
I enjoyed the first season for the most part, but things plummeted like a rock in the second. Maybe it was due to moving to prime time, but the budget collapsed and instead of Sasuke hitting on Kasuga, the whole thing was swallowed by Yukimura and Koguro feeling sorry for themselves. Week after week of those two moping about, same as the sad sack supposed antagonist. What concerns me here though, is that this will supposedly cover the battle of Sekigahara, which they already did with the movie. Not that Basara has a strong focus on the plot, but again, Japan has a problem with actually adapting material and putting any of themselves (or effort) into it. Different studio and staff from the movie, but the best thing that can be said about that bunch is that the writer’s very experienced when it comes to shows about men longingly staring at each other.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Likely to again be devoured by the twin bugbears of insecurity and angst.

Barakamon
http://www.barakamon.jp/
Studio: Kinema Citrus
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 5th

Premise: 
Handa is forced to move from the city, where he’s always lived, into the rural countryside.

Thoughts: 
And? That’s it? Not even “Used to be a teen idol?” We’re not even going to rise to the low level set by No-rin? I’m not even sure I can think of a single one of these endless “them simple folks sure are great” things that Japan continues to spew out that was even half as convincing as… say, City Slickers. I’m starting to think that the artists just really like drawing landscapes and they have to find some excuse to put them all up so they can pan over them and comment on how the rustic people are hard working and full of life. Maybe it’ll be a better fit for Kinema Citrus and their now-traditional collapsing productions efforts as seasons go on.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Fluff, fluff, fluff, and more fluff.

Space Dandy
http://space-dandy.com/
Studio: Bones
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 5th (Toonami, July 6th Japanese broadcast)

Premise:
Sequel series. The continuing adventures of Space Dandy, in space.

Thoughts:
I caught a few more episodes on US TV than what I covered here, mostly out of leaving it on late at night while I was working on stuff, but I still never really got what they were trying to do with the show. The humor mostly consisted of incredibly simplistic sight gags (it’s shaped like a boob!), or just shouting out slang. Same went for all the characters, so every conversation and interaction went the exact same way, so even when they tried to experiment with a few different kinds of episodes, the ‘punchlines’ remained ever the same, and it’s really difficult to call any of what they did parody instead of blithe imitation. Even then, episodes just dragged slowly and with an absurd amount of exposition for what was dressing itself as absurdist and episodic comedy. Galaxy Angel certainly had its dog episodes too, but they were half the length and actually understood parody.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Three spatulas.

Sunday

La Bonne Vie
http://www.vap.co.jp/jinsei/
Studio: feel
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 6th

Premise:
Yuuki joins the school newspaper, answering questions students write in about life with the help of three classmates.

Thoughts:
Or if you want to use its Japanese title instead of the French subtitle, Life Advice Column Televison Animation. Yes, they felt that the title needed to include not only that it was to be animated, but also that it would be on TV in order to avoid confusion. And speaking of clubs, here’s the obligatory “regular guy joins club for doing nothing with wacky compartmentalized girls” light novel adaptation. At least there’s a relative dearth of them this season and even this one doesn’t have the “forced into the club” or “has a scary face” bits of nonsense. No, supposedly, his defining trait is ‘unassuming nice guy,’ so you know he’s going to be great. Director and writer are certainly experienced, but not a lot great between them, ZKC being the standout for the director, which I doubt will help much here, and, uh, Outbreak Company I guess being the most relevant from the writer. I can’t imagine it’ll be anything more or less than Yet Another School Club Harem Comedy.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Here’s some advice; stop adapting LNs about boys joining girl clubs.

Survival Game Club!
http://sabagebu.com/
Studio: Pierrot Plus
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 6th

Premise: 
Momoka is forced to join the Survival Games Club.

Thoughts: 
Speaking of yet more things in the cliche and ground firmly trodden department… The core staff here is the same as Yuruyuri, Mitsudomoe, Minami-ke, so they can do comedy, but typically only make it about 2-3 episodes before they run out of ideas and just keep repeating the jokes they’ve already done. Animation’s really lackluster in the promos, but I guess Pierrot and all their filthy off-shoots are also not what one would call a particularly strong studio so that’s not very surprising. They’re probably just obligated by Japanese law to do a “girls club with guns” show and lack the courage to do something like Upotte. 

Preseason Swing Rating:
 
Siege the imitators!

Akame Slashes
http://akame.tv/
Studio: White Fox
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 6th

Premise: 
Tatsumi arrives at the capital but learns that it’s corrupt, lawless, and full of vice. Only a group of assassins fighting from the shadows seem to have any morals, and after an encounter with them, he joins their ranks.  

Thoughts: 
The title’s wordplay on multiple levels, the official romanization of which involves misromanizing 斬る as “kill” and I’m not playing your word games, Japan. I am unconvinced that White Fox has the chops to pull off an action show. Nor is it a great sign when you’re releasing promos that are just white noise colored red and images from the website. The last time they tried (Jormungand) was about 90% talking heads, 8% CGI cars and guns, and 2% rapping about being loco. This is a weird reunion of key staff from Utawarerumono, so there is some talent, but the writer’s portfoilio is almost all comedies and bad fanservice (and bad fanservice comedies), while the best compliment that can be paid to the director is unadventurous. I really don’t think that White Fox has the talent to support them even if they tried though.

Preseason Swing Rating:
 
Felonious fur flying for foul forged philosophies.

Monthly Girl Nozaki
http://nozakikun.tv/
Studio: Dogakobo 
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 6th

Premise: 
Chiyo tells Nozaki that she likes him, not knowing that he’s a manga artist for a girl’s romance series. He misunderstands, thinking her just a fan, and now she has to try to get him to understand how she really feels.

Thoughts: 
That’s girl as in the demographic, and how it’s published monthly, and… Bah! Whatever. Translation’s an art, not a science. Each of the key staff here has worked on exactly one bottom-budget Studio Deen show about pretty boys gazing into the sun. Not even the same one. I guess Dogakobo’s at least experienced with comedy, but they also have a severe problem with putting all the effort into the first month. The promo was also almost entirely screenshots of their website and panning over an empty classroom, so they’re not quite putting their best foot forward. 

Preseason Swing Rating:
 
Another premise that could be resolved in 3 seconds with “No, you misunderstand.”

DRAMAtical Murder
http://dmmd-anime.com/
Studio: NAZ
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 6th

Premise: 
In the future, when people have pets that can take human form called All-Mates and people are going crazy over a VR game called Rhyme where injuries can carry over into real life, Aoba, a boy whose voice is supernaturally charming, is dragged into Rhyme.

Thoughts:
NAZ did the first season of Hamatora, but apparently got kicked off. Director’s a nobody, and while the head writer’s been around (Chaika, Wake Up Girls, Amnesia, many more), the sole shining start they’ve been involved with is GA Art Club and I wouldn’t pin that one’s charms on her. While it gets some points for its promos being more than just stills, what is on display is pretty woeful, the most animated thing being a bunch of rabbits trying to glomp him. And I suppose that I should mention that the source material is all about men fondling each other’s insides, but what’s a little reach around between metahumans and virtual pets?

Preseason Swing Rating:

It’s the sodomy that makes it dramatical, isn’t it?

Monday

Blue Spring Ride
http://aoha-anime.com/
Studio: Production IG
Genre: Romance
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 7th

Premise: 
Futaba wants a new life in high school. She doesn’t want to be seen as cute anymore and the only boy she liked in middle school suddenly left without saying a word to her. She’s determined to change herself, and runs into that same boy, who has become a completely different person too.

Thoughts: 
I really don’t know how they’re getting Ao Haru from アオハラ, but okay. A girl with few friends who has a crush on a teenage boy with troubles? The writers must have been up all night coming up with that one, but I guess they had the grace to try to spin it as something else, something I can’t say for some other shows this season. Director’s a newbie, writer was in charge of From Me to You with IG as well and was well-committed to making sure absolutely nothing ever went anywhere. They’ve done other things too with similar ambitions. And of course the promos are bloom-saturated pastel colored stills of teenagers looking insecure. What fun.

Preseason Swing Rating:
 
Ganesh approved.

Hanayamata
http://hanayamata.com/
Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 7th

Premise:
Naru sees a a girl dancing in the yosakoi style (look it up yourself) and is entranced. She ends up joining her little brigade and learning how to dance.

Thoughts:
Another of the “cute brainless girls join a club” thing, fringing on idol nonsense again with the club being about dancing. Nothing I’ve prodded at regarding this seems like it has any more than the barest inkling of comedy, so I guess it’s trying to just get by on “has girls” and “kinda like idols.” How fitting that it’d have K-On and the bad season of Seizon’s writer handling it then, duchess of “nothing happens.” The director is similarly unpromising (NGNL and Sakurasou), but her along with the Madhouse connection does indicate that there’ll almost certainly be a truly ridiculous amount of bloom, and if that’s not the pinnacle of animation, I don’t know what is.

Preseason Swing Rating:

T minus 5 seasons before a show about hardcore pattycake.

Hamatora
http://hamatorapj.com/
Studio: Lerche
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 7th

Premise:
Sequel series. The continuing adventures of a gang of super powered detectives fighting crime.

Thoughts:
New studio, same staff, assume more of the same. I didn’t make it far into the first season because it was just too stupid, and I am fully aware of how stupid some of the things I do watch are. It was like… Adam West Batman Riddler logic, or the kind of stupid crap kids think is clever with the “He ate seagull soup, then killed himself. Explain.” ‘riddles,’ relying on contrivances so bizarre and outlandish which they then tried to put together as a logical chain of events. Since it styled itself a detective show, most of it was spent just wandering from place to place before they explained the mystery, and the action wasn’t anywhere near present nor good enough to make all the attempt to be intelligent just background noise either.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Kill it. Kill it with fire.

Blade Dance of the Elementalists
http://www.bladedance.tv/
Studio: TNK
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 14th

Premise:
Only pure girls can contract with elementals, except for Kamito, the only male in the world who can. He attends a school for elites in training their elemental abilities.

Thoughts:
Technically, they call it “Elementalers,” but that’s a little too close to emmentaler for me and that… that would just be a fantastic show. Someone should get on that. This is our fantasy harem light novel adaptation of the season, right down to the protagonist with the darkness within and an entire herd of cattle-brained girls rubbing their emmentaler all over him. To give you a hint as to the heights of the humor here, it’s supposedly a running gag that he gets blasted out of windows. And lest you get any thoughts otherwise, this is the same studio and cast of Daimidaler and DxD. I guess Daimidaler showed some animation at the cost of art at times, but it’s still not a team I’d be wagering much on.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Lots and lots and lots and lots of jiggling chicks.

Tuesday

Momokyun Sword
http://momokyun.com/
Studio: Project #9, Tri-Slash
Genre: Adventure
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 8th

Premise: 
Based on the story of Momotaro. Momoko’s village is attacked by demons and the treasure that protects their land is stolen. She sets out with her animal buddies to retrieve it.

Thoughts: 
Director from not Loli Basketball, but its sequel, and the writer is the genius who was in charge of such epics as the first season of Strike Witches and the entirety of Nogizaka Haruka, so it’s an all-star staff here. Most of the animation in the promos can be described as non-existent, which isn’t a surprise since the only thing under #9’s belt are the aforementioned Loli Basketball and that awful show about a ghost making some girl masturbate to her brother. Still, you have to admire their dedication to what I think I’ll start calling tit blisters. Someone really needs to introduce sunscreen to Japan.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Tit blisters would be a good name for a band.

Final Thoughts:

It’s a season. Doesn’t look like a particularly strong one and the drought of promos released doesn’t help, but one or two things inevitably surprise, mostly in a bad way, but occasionally good.

Go wild.

Posted in Season Preview | 22 Comments »

22 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • ShuffleAir says:

    If the new season of Hamatora has a new studio why does it say NAZ still? Though I don’t blame you Hamatora was a bore and incredibly stupid.

    If it makes you feel better than I’ve heard that the 2nd Fate/kaleid will be a lot better than the first, but that’s just what I’ve heard. I liked the first season enough so I know for sure I’ll be checking out the second. Also it’s on a day full of shimmering men so if it has any more appeal to watch/blog it. :)

    • Aroduc says:

      Naz, Lerche, whoever. Impressive how I mentioned that in the writeup and then put the wrong one though.

  • elior1 says:

    a dark version of the original sailor moon sound a little intresting as remake

  • jingoi says:

    watch
    Dandy S2, Ilya 2, BB Circus (if dubbed), Basara S3 (if dubbed)
    check
    Tokyo Ghoul, P4 Gold, Apartment Invaders, Crystal, Aldnoah
    edit
    Rurumo, Rail, Local Idols, SAO2, La Bonne Vie , Game Club, Apartment, ESP, Akame, Nozaki, Hanayamata, Blade Dance, Momokyun Sword

  • aseessee says:

    Any chance of you pooping out a pv/cm collection again?

    • Aroduc says:

      Not this season. Maybe next. I meant to and was mostly done with things last Sunday so had plenty of time, but real life stuff came up and there wasn’t honestly much anyway, so motivation wasn’t there. Winter is easy because there’s no work then, but every other season’s iffy.

  • Atmo says:

    Akame ga Kill is Japan trying another Game of Thrones. Really, almost everyone on protagonist’s side dies horribly; for bad or for good, as some deaths are anticlimatic as hell.

    Illya 2 is a nice one because Kuro, but the ending is shit, as is temp 3.

    Some other things have my faith, others only my displeasure.

  • Sanjuro says:

    I’d watch a show about a villain that did drive-by inside fondling. I’ve seen pictures from the game and don’t fancy watching a show about people with monkey limbs though.

    The season looks good to me. Not because of the shows, but because I have less to watch.

  • The Phantom says:

    SAO and P4 Golden, probably one of the Harem perhaps, looks like a pale new season.

    I am already missing last season: Sidonia, Black Bullet, Brynhildr, Chaika, Irregular, Dragonar, Datealive, Nanana, M3 Black Metal… literally every single day there was something good to watch, ranging from acceptable (datealive) to just plain awesome (sidonia), good bye awesome season I will miss you a lot.

  • Nozaki-kun says:

    Nozaki-kun is not a romance manga. Not even close.
    It’s just gags and most of them aren’t even about romance or the main “couple”.

  • Neclord X says:

    This is going to be a really boring summer

  • anise_punter says:

    Gonna try stuff, some will be good, most will be meh, at least one will be picked up solely because of this site’s screencaps, I will want to punt Ilya out of a window, and so it goes. All I ask is that Sengoku Basara goes full on ham again.

  • FlameStrike says:

    So…… TL;DR: NOTHING GOOD!

    Ouch! Well I’m personally looking forward to some of these, but my tolerance for anime is a lot higher. Hahaha

  • Kadi says:

    Thank you for, once again, proving that I can easily skip this season!

  • anon says:

    Where’s Shitcolle?

  • elior1 says:

    @aroduc i think since sailor moon is the grandmother of all magical girls animes pepoles want to see how the remake looks like

  • 7890 says:

    pls blog gaim

  • Fhoenix says:

    I think I rather like the new sorting order. But why is Tuesday last?