Capybara Beach Brawl Cage Match and Summer Season Preview

June 28th, 2018

Never trust the seagulls.

I'm just happy to leave last season behind, although this season isn't looking much better. I suppose at least there's a smattering of various things instead of a dozen idol shows or two dozen sequels. There's even a weirdly high number of pure fanservice gropefests, something I thought we had left behind half a decade ago as they transitioned into being a more light novel thing. There are a few of those as well for that matter. Also, you may notice there's no Wednesday. I guess everyone's simply taking the day off. Anyway, enough introduction. Let's get to it.

Sunday

Island
http://never-island.com/
Studio: feel
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 1st

Show Premise: 
A mysterious disease as afflicted an island, causing it to be isolated from the rest of the world. A man washing up on it, claiming to be from the future and there to save the island.

Random Thoughts:
This is an adaptation of a visual novel, and it's one of the many whose WHAT-A-TWISTS I've passively absorbed from my time wandering in the VN circles, and even among the terrible writing rife through those things, this one stands out on a level almost all on its own. Let's just leave it at the phrase "ultra-apocalpyse chronological galactic-reincarnation mega-loop." Of course, an adaptation could always eschew where the writing goes off the deep end, or hell, take the Galaxy Angel or Milky Holmes approach and just go straight up nuts. I mean, this obviously won't, the promos make it abundantly clear that it's all drama, crying, and shots of the ocean, but it's nice to fantasize sometimes.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Aliens did it.

HaneBad!
http://hanebad.com/
Studio: LIDENFILMS
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 1st

Show Premise: 
Kentarou tries to recruit Ayano Hanesaki to his girls badminton team, but she hates badminton.

Random Thoughts:
The animation quality in the promos is disturbingly good, especially for Liden who has been atrocious in production in every way. Well, the usual giant heaving breasts aside, I mean, but we can safely assume those are a given for anything made in Japan. And the CGI shuttlecocks, of course. Because apparently it's too hard to draw objects anymore and if it's an object in a sports show? Hell yes, that has to be CGI. It's a law or something. It'd be disturbingly better if the promos weren't 50% girls crying and another 25% girls looking traumatized. By badminton. Badminton. You'd think from all the smiles in the promo image and the exclamation point in the title that it might be a comedy, but apparently not. It's a sports show. Seemingly a particularly melodramatic one about a particularly silly sport, but doesn't seem to be aware of that. At least that soft tennis show knew both that it was ridiculous.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Competitive tamagotchi raising.

Play and Let's Play
http://asobiasobase.com/
Studio: Lerche
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 8th

Show Premise: 
Three girls hang out and play games.

Random Thoughts:
Oh, Seiji Kishi, even you're getting stuck with "girls in a club" shows these days? I guess you were spurned for Persona 5, so them's the breaks. Judging by the promo the big joke here is drawing the faces super bizarre. One of them does get slapped in the tits too, causing them to wobble to a drum roll, and one also gets fingers shoved up the nose, so I suppose it's already advertising a wider variety of visual humor than many comedy shows manage in an entire season. The writer's resume is as extensive as Kishis, and they've worked on a lot of things together before, both good and bad. I don't see its gimmick of particularly stupid faces carrying it though. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

BARROOOOOOO

Planet With
http://planet-with.com/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 8th

Show Premise: 
When strange giant robots appear, seven heroes transform and defeat them. Souya, a boy with amnesia who dreams of dragons, has to defeat those heroes with the help of his maid and transforming giant cat robot.

Random Thoughts:
There's a lot going on in the premise. This is one of those franchise deals that's mostly original, but the manga did start a couple months back and appears to be your fairly typical Jump drek where it's acting like it's a comedy, but the jokes are all just the protagonist screaming a description of the current situation while a few things here and there are drawn weirdly for the sake of weirdness. The promos are unfortunately pretty devoid of just about anything though, whether you're looking for action, comedy, weirdness, or even just maids. JC Staff hasn't been great since losing most of their talent to Silver Link a few years back and this is looking like their C team. It is at least one of the more unique things, and judging from the source, going for a very episodic/ensemble approach to the entire set of heroes, so it may turn out one of the more interesting ones to talk about, even if I have little faith in the execution.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
  
Gratuitous acts of senseless violence are my forte.

Tsukumogami For Rent
http://tsukumogami.jp/
Studio: Telecom
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 22nd

Show Premise: 
Tsukumogami are random items that have taken on lives of their own. Sometimes, they're rented out to customers.

Random Thoughts:
Haven't we reached critical mass with these kinds of mundane vaguely-supernatual non-drama dramas yet? Since there's like four more of these things this season, I guess not. Promo just advertises that it has supernatural critters and girls staring into sunset bloom. The writer adapting it has actually not done an awful job with LN adaptations in the past, but has mostly been more of the high school harem action brand. The director's done almost all very low end action. Both seem a weird fit, but I guess they're just throwing the team that did the gag Rock Lee spinoff at this and giving up. Not sure I can blame them. Everything I try to read on the source here is basically "Not as good as the author's main series" which is also a non-drama thing about supernatural entities that she got tired of after a mere 13 volumes over 15 years. This one's at a mere two, so it may be even slower than most LN adaptations.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

The jell-o's gone bad, not come alive.

Monday

Evil Puppets – Genius Dolls
http://aguu-anime.com/
Studio: Studio DEEN
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 9th

Show Premise: 
Cursed dolls grant amazing talents to the ones who possess them.

Random Thoughts:
…And? Shouldn't there be some kind of price or something? Turned into a murderer? Doll steals life force? Anything? This is based on a Chinese web thing, so it's harder for me to actually read up on and I don't have a lot to go on. It's like they got halfway through the premise before just wandering off. One girl has a doll, one doesn't. One dresses in a white tutu, the other wears a black one. And… that's it? Ergo there's conflic? I guess there's also some kind of vampire? The best part of this so far is that there's an odd number of characters, but the little character browser on the official page has them listed in pairs of two, so instead of just leaving a blank space at the end, they put the main protagonist there again. Just literally copy/pasted her entire bio so she appears twice. That was far more awesome than its promo, which also didn't really shed any light on any part of what this was supposed to be or trying to do.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

More bitchy than evil.

Dropkick on my Devil!!
http://jashinchan.com/
Studio: Nomad
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 9th

Show Premise: 
Yurine summons a petulant naga, but doesn't know how to send it back, so allows it to live with her despite its constant attempts to kill her.

Random Thoughts:
The main promo for this is a two minute long super serious summoning bit ending with the anti-climax of shifting into a chibi style and screaming. That's an assload of time for a very played out gag, especially when you're expecting people to then sit through it again. On the other hand, the source is entirely in the chibi goofy style, so that's initiative, creativity, and deviation from the source. And from a brief glance, it's needed. All the jokes are basically "I tried to distract her so I could dropkick her, but it didn't work!" Then one stabs the other. Each one of these takes about half a dozen pages to get through. Shows could certainly use more stabbing, and this writer has shown some talent for slapstick comedy in the past when given free reign (eg the first season of Milky Holmes), so hopefully it'll be a little snappier than the promo would indicate.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Bureaucracy in my beavers.

Phantom in the Twilight
http://phantowa.com/
Studio: LIDENFILMS
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 9th

Show Premise: 
A girl stumbles into a cafe filled with pretty boys who fight Shadows, monsters born from human fear.

Random Thoughts:
Despite its looks, this is an entirely original show. That's original as in not based on any existing media, because lord knows "girl and a harem of pretty boy vampires/werewolves that fight evil vampire/werewolves" ain't surprising anybody, least of all when they're all working at a cafe in their spare time. And yes, that they're waiters is important to note because it's what at least half the promo is concerned with. There's as much time spent showing them serving food as there is fighting monsters. But at least it does show some monster fighting. Even the girl has some kind of wacky chain whip weapon thing. Too bad that it's still Liden and all their money went to that badminton thing because the animation is already kind of terrible. Extra weird is that the writing credits include Fumiaki Maruto (Saekano and an assload of excessively dramatic VNs that are well regarded by people who are not me), but he's also the only person of note on the staff. Because anime so badly lacks wordy melodrama.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Anubis spurned once again.

Holmes at Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou
http://kyototeramachi-holmes.com/
Studio: Seven
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 9th

Show Premise: 
Kiyotaka is called the Holmes of Teramachi Sanjou because he solves minor mysteries in the Teramachi Sanjou area.

Random Thoughts:
Tone down the bloom. Good god. If you're going to invoke Sherlock Holmes, perhaps we should focus on the mysteries, not in covering the screen with bloom while the two protagonists stare at it, which is the entirety of what the promos show. Reading up on the source LNs would seem to confirm that, ie that it's very much a non-romance 'romance' drama about hanging around a pretty boy, fawning over him as he mundanely solves mundane riddles while prodding at random antiques. Ambition is not a bad thing, Japan. Sure, you can fall flat on your face, but even that kind of failure is more notable and fun than not trying at all.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Solve the mystery of what this is supposed to be.

Tuesday

The Thousand Noble Musketeers
https://noble.marv.jp/anime/
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Genre: Boy Bands
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 3rd

Show Premise: 
After nuclear armageddon, the World Empire forbids the population from having modern weaponry. The resistance fights back using ancient muskets possessed by magic boy bands.

Random Thoughts:
Boy, that took a left turn at the end of the description, didn't it? This is based off one of the billion gacha games about amassing a harem loosely based around some random noun. Swords that are pretty boys. Countries that are pretty boys. Boys that are pretty boys. Etc. In this case, it's old guns who all turn into pretty boys. One of the primary ones is named Brown Bess, and that just seems unfortunate for all involved. The promo bears out that there will be minimal, if any, actual fighting or resisting, but plenty of pretty boys smiling for the camera while things sparkle around them, cherry blossoms blow, and bloom fills the screen. This director is particularly prolific when it comes to awful dramas that go nowhere, so here's another for the pile.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

The Empire is terrified.

Back Street Girls
http://backstreetgirls-anime.toeiad.co.jp/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 3rd

Show Premise: 
After screwing up, three Yakuza goons are forced to undergo transgender surgery and become a pop idol group.

Random Thoughts:
Welcome back from directing corny predatory boy on boy romance things, Chiaki Kon, and now you're saddled with this. The two-faced starlet thing is already pretty tired out to start, and there's at least two or three shows every year about men getting turned into girls, and we've seen every iteration of this from slapstick martial arts comedy to maudlin pseudo-lesbian melodramatic romance. I don't know how having three instead of just one, or not being magically induced, is supposed to mix up the formula or add enough to be funny. Yet more aghast faces? That they're a little more vulgar than usual? 

Preseason Swing Rating: 
     
The bar for good ideas must've been pretty low.

The Chronicles of Middle Manager Tonegawa
http://www.tonegawa-anime.com/
Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 3rd

Show Premise: 
Tonegawa struggles every day to keep his sadistic ultra-rich boss happy and amused.

Random Thoughts:
This is a spinoff of Kaiji, taking what was already ridiculously goofy but now intending it to be goofy, perhaps to assure the audience that the author really was always in on the joke. In practice, I'm not sure much changes except that they use a BOI-OI-OING sound effect when a character is surprised by something instead of a GASP-WHISPER-WHISPER or lightning bolt sound effect… except for how the promo shows it's doing both. New staff, but doesn't really seem like much has changed with this franchise. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Dude, just introduce him to cockfighting or something.

Angolmois
http://angolmois-anime.jp/
Studio: NAZ
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 10th

Show Premise: 
During the 13th century Mongol invasion of Japan, Mongols invade Japan.

Random Thoughts:
Again, it seems like I'm being pithy, but the official premise is two paragraphs, one giving a brief history lesson that the Mongol invasion happened, the other saying that a character lives in Japan and would rather not be invaded. If you want to be a goofy over the top historical thing, then go all out. Put some handlebars on a horse. Make someone a robot. Toss around some fireballs. Don't just give one dude shark teeth and call it a day. Are we trying to be serious or not? Your theoretical gritty historical realism is being ruined by having Jaws there grinning like a shark. Well, and that the main character looks like a terrified chihuahua. There is some actually animated fighting in the promos, but far more yelling and dramatic posing. I suppose at least it's not Sengoku or Three Kingdoms, and that's worthy of some faint praise. Then again, this was a war where Japan was outmatched because their predominant military tactic at the start was to play Red Rover. Now that would be a hilarious war show.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Fire Emblem is more historically accurate than you thought.

Thursday

Miss Caretaker of Sunohara
http://sunoharasou-anime.com/
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 5th

Show Premise: 
Aki is a boy. He lives in a dorm with a bunch of girls who constantly rub their genitalia on him.

Random Thoughts:
I guess this is what Silver Link has put their Prisma Ilya team on while that's being given a repreive. The promos contain nothing but shots of boobs; them being rubbed on the kid, women straddling the kid to rub their boobs on him, bathing with him while rubbing boobs on him, jiggling when someone moves, so on and so forth. Someone does make a stupid face at one point, so there's your comedy. It doesn't even pretend like there's the characters are especially wacky, or there's some kind of gimmick to things. It's just like… "Hey, straight shota. Go nuts."

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Bulbous objects on an empty head.

How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord
http://isekaimaou-anime.com/
Studio: Ajia-Do
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 5th

Show Premise: 
Sakamoto is hailed as a demon lord in the MMO he plays. He's magically summoned into the game and accidentally enslaves a harem.

Random Thoughts:
Also known in Japanese by the simply fantastic title "A Demon Lord From Another World and Summoning Girl Slave Magic." The promos are somehow even more boob-centric than the last show's. Hell, one of the characters has two shots of her boob window heaving and bouncing like punching bags before showing her face, and that's before the parts where she's straddling and/or being groped. An entire segment of the promo is dedicated just to the characters being groped while screaming, moaning, or humping things to screaming orgasm. Fanservice is a spice. Mistaking it for the main course just makes me cringe, especially when it's trying to sell shrieking teenagers and socially inept douchenozzles as the epitome of sexy.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Goo spewing slime creatures.

100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams
http://yume-100-anime.com/
Studio: Project No.9
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 5th

Show Premise: 
Dream princes from the hundred dream kingdoms of dream land must join dream forces to stop the mysterious dream eaters from eating dreams. Also, there's Some Girl.

Random Thoughts:
As dismissive of the female 'lead' as it seems like I'm being, I promise you, it's not dismissive enough. This is one of those harem phone games, so they invented a character to be the self-insert stand in as usual, but in this case, they didn't see fit to give her any name at all. She's literally on the character list as "Protagonist." The promo is nothing but her and one or more of the pretty boys and their pet staring at the screen while things sparkle. Then again, one of the pretty boys is named Gary. Gary the bishie. What kind of name is that? It was at least amusing reading up on the game. The princes not only have both a light and dark form for your preferred flavor, but the elements in the game are: Gentle, Cool, Sexy, Cute, and Passion. I have no idea what the elemental wheel is between those. Imagination fails me.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Nemo is my only dream prince.

Banana Fish
http://bananafish.tv/
Studio: MAPPA
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 5th

Show Premise: 
Ash, former child sex slave, gets drawn into a conspiracy involving a mysterious drug called banana fish as he attempts to escape his mafioso captor/former abuser.

Random Thoughts:
The manga this is based on goes all the way back to the mid 80s and had a fair bit of acclaim for showing restraint on the boy on boy romance and focusing on action and intrigue instead. I've heard that plenty of times before, and sticking Free's director in charge of this isn't doing a good job of convincing me. The promos do show some of Mappa's usual relatively high quality work, but there's far more emphasis on characters simply gruffly staring in frustration than there is fighting, gunplay, car chases, or anything actually fun. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Banana sword.

Seven Senses of the Re'union
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/subaru/
Studio: Lerche
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 5th

Show Premise: 
A group of friends played an MMO, but one of them died. Years later, one of them starts playing the remake of the MMO and finds their dead friend in game.

Random Thoughts:
It takes some real work to make one of these MMO nonsense things particularly repugnant from the get go, but goddamn, did they give this a real go. Every protagonist has some godly power right from the start: ability to do whatever they want, ability to change the rules of the game, ability to rewrite the rules of the game, ability to add or delete the rules of the game, so on and so forth. Half the reviews I saw indicated that it was pretty transparently a copy paste of That Flower We Saw That Day, but in Sword Art Online instead of just "some summer." Also, there's literally Illuminati. It hasn't seen fit to put out any trailers, so that's all I have to go on. I suppose that the head writer sure has adapted a buttload of LN fanservice drek like Highschool DxD. Thrilling.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Just buy more potions.

Sirius the Jaeger
http://sirius-the-jaeger.com/
Studio: PA Works
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 12th

Show Premise: 
Werewolves fight vampires in 1930s Tokyo in search of a holy grail.

Random Thoughts:
Oh boy. PA Works is trying to make an action show again. Yeah, I remember Canaan and Angel Beats and how those went, and since this is all original, PA Works's rep is all we have to go by. I suppose this doesn't have Mari Okada or Key VN writers dragging it down though. Less can certainly be more. I'm a little worried how coy the promos are with the action. It has lots of little quick cuts; a slash here, a gunshot there, a vampire biting a thing, but almost all in that that budget friendly shakey-cam generic closeup. PA Works shows usually do look pretty good, so I wouldn't be shocked if it was just bad choice of clips. It does appear to be probably the most action-focused action show for the season though.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
But is it Castlevania goofy?

Stage Girls – Revue Starlight
http://revuestarlight.com/
Studio: Kinema Citrus
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 12th

Show Premise: 
Karen and Hikari dream of joining the pop idol group Starlight.

Random Thoughts:
Don't let all the characters holding swords confuse you. Nor the bit in the promos where one of them sword-dances her way through a hail of arrows. That's just edited down from a different promo where it's a play that they're putting on. Why they decided to go all in on that for the promotional material, who the hell knows? Probably because they want to be coy and pretend like there's some manner of Symphogear thing rather than Just Another Pop Idol Group In Highschool Thing that it actually is. I guess at least they've got a plan, although I don't see why they don't just make the show it's purporting to be.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

They're not even particularly fancy constumes.

Friday

Angels of Death
http://satsuriku.com/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 6th

Show Premise: 
Rachel wakes up trapped in a building with a bunch of killers. She makes one promise to kill her if she helps him escape.

Random Thoughts:
This is based on one of those RPGMaker 'horror' games like Corpse Party, and it looks goofy as hell, although to be fair, most animated Japanese 'horror' comes off as pretty goofy to me. I wonder what it is about involving artists that makes Japanese horror people throw everything you'd think they learned from The Ring or The Grudge and throw them out the window. The promos definitely aren't presenting it as any kind of psychological thriller, what with the glowing eyes, Batman villains, and rock music. Despite the existence of a dude running around with a scythe, it's hard to think they're going for any kind of action deal either. I'm not sure they really have a solid grasp what kind of show they want to make either, which is never a good starting point.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

A scythe? Indoors? Really?

HaruKana Receive
http://www.harukana-receive.jp/
Studio: C2C
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 6th

Show Premise: 
Haruka is tall. Kanata is short. They play beach volleyball.

Random Thoughts:
I really can't help but note how bizarre it is for this fringe sports show featuring girls in bikinis to have less emphasis on flopping boobs than in the one about badminton. Which isn't to say there isn't plenty of clevage, or shots up the ass. The girls just have better chest support here, I guess. And to its credit, it's all in on the volleyball. Almost every single shot in the promos is girls playing volleyball. The few that aren't are adjusting the swimsuits wedgied up in their asses. That said, this apparently exists at all to advertise Mikasa products , which I can't help but features prominently even in the promo picture at left, and there doesn't seem to be any substance past "girls in bikinis." 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Bouncing prohibited.

Chio's Road to School
http://chiochan.jp/
Studio: Diomedea
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 6th

Show Premise: 
Chio encounters a new wacky adventure every day on her way to school.

Random Thoughts:
The promos for this were pretty promising. Hopefully the lack of constant self-narration carries over into the actual show because a brief glance at the source is page upon page upon page filled with the titular character narrating every single little detail about the situation. They contained perhaps the rarest of all things in Japanese comedy, understatement. Also, a seeming understanding of parody and references. They are, however, inconsistently bizarre. One promo is about a minute straight of bland nothing. Another is a series of parody cuts in style and situation. I can certainly tell you which I'd rather see. This director's been around a long time (also adapting the scripts), mostly doing fanservicey light novel adaptations, but a few zany gag things in there too. There's some reason to be hopeful here.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
  
Hut hut hut hut hut hut hut…

Music Girls
http://ongaku-shoujo.jp/
Studio: Studio DEEN
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 6th

Show Premise: 
An unpopular idol group gets a new member.

Random Thoughts:
Back in 2015, in the final iteration of Anime Mirai, the government's "Hey, let's give some studios some random cash to make something creative" initiative that spawned things like Death Billiards and Littlewitch Academia, Deen decided to use that money to create… an episode about girls trying to be idols. I like to think that this is why Anime Mirai died (and got taken over by someone else so continues under a different name). And now it's back as a full fledged series, because we don't have enough of these goddamned idol things, each more indistinguishable than the last.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Die die die die die die die

High Score Girl
http://hi-score-girl.com/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: References
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 13th

Show Premise: 
Haruo is terrible at everything but gaming. Akira is great at everything, including gaming. They game together.

Random Thoughts:
I think this is supposed to be a comedy, but aside from some over the top violence, there's not much here that would make it as a joke. That leaves the question open as to what it is supposed to be, and near as I can tell, it just references games, mostly Capcom ones like Street Fighter and Final Fight. Like how Guile spamming crap is frustrating to fight against. It tosses out factoids like that and then kicks someone in the balls or punches them in the face. The female lead also never talks, which means that the shrieking male lead has to do all the narration for both of them. Lovely.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

236C 236C 236C 236C 236C

Lord of Vermilion
http://lord-of-vermilion.com/
Studio: Asread/Tear
Genre: Action
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 13th

Show Premise: 
A red mist and strange sound knocks out everything in Tokyo. A week later, they awaken and many start to develop bloody supernatural powers.

Random Thoughts:
This comes from a fairly long-running arcade CCG franchise that has seen about half a dozen iterations, including a MOBA at one point. Looking for any kind of cohesive plot in there is a fool's errand. There's also no promos and nothing but a few random pictures of the characters to judge anything on. Because of its age, its cast list is kind of a who's who of popular VAs from ten years ago so I guess there's at least a healthy dose of nostalgia incoming. Key staff's nothing really noteworthy either, and Asread's been quiet recently, although they are collabing with Tear, whoever the hell that is. I have no information here. Leave me alone.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Zzzzzz…

Happy Sugar Life
http://happysugarlife.tv/
Studio: Ezo'la
Genre: Drama
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 13th

Show Premise: 
Satou falls in love with a little girl, brings her home, and forces her to stay in her apartment away from the unclean outside world.

Random Thoughts:
One of the growing bazillion of horror-not-really-horror things that pretend to be all saccharine cliches but then it turns out that literally everybody and their aunt has been sexually abused, beaten, exploited, and shambles around melodramatically suffering or screaming for random passerbys to abuse them because they have chronic masochism syndrome. These things are always too silly for me to take seriously, especially when characters start out by staring at everything in horrified shock. If you're going to start at 11, you've got nowhere to go from there, and when everyone is an absolute crazypants lunatic who acts and reacts totally divorced from any Earthly sense, it stops being a special treat. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Cat pants.

Grand Blue
http://grandblue-anime.com/
Studio: Zero-G
Genre: Comedy
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 13th

Show Premise: 
Iori joins a scuba club that mostly just gets drunk and naked.

Random Thoughts:
I can't say they don't have the club-as-an-excuse-to-drink part of college right, although my college life had nowhere near as many exposed penises. That's also about half the jokes, either someone suddenly being naked, or having someone walk in on someone who became naked. The other half is making a weird face, shouting, and speedlines. Aah, the pillars of Japanese comedy. The key staff is the same as that magic boy girl Cute Earth Defense Force thing, and the promos are mostly screaming and speedlines. I'm already kind of tired of it.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
  
Chug chug chug chug chug.

Muhyo and Roji's Supernatural Investigations
http://mahouritsu.com/
Studio: Studio DEEN
Genre: 'Action'
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres August 3rd

Show Premise: 
Muhyo and Roji fight ghosts.

Random Thoughts:
One of those neverending Jump things with all the things you'd expect from a neverending Jump thing. As in, no investigating, just obnoxious slapstick and yelling, until it's time for a dramatic still, speedlines, or a dramatic still with speedlines, all of which the promo videos deliver in spades. I think its claim to fame is supposed to be that its monsters are a little bit more monstery than other Jump things. Is that a bar to clear? Apparently it cleared it. Go team. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Whoop de frigging doo.

Saturday

Cells at Work!
http://www.aniplexusa.com/cellsatwork/
Studio: David Production
Genre: Body Facts
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 7th

Show Premise: 
Anthropomorphised cells in a human body go about their daily lives, under constant attack from invaders.

Random Thoughts:
Osmosis Jones it ain't. I wonder if Japan knows that you can personify things in ways besides dressing people differently. Anyway, this is heavy on the education more than the edutainment, as in nearly every page of the manga source has a big box slapped on it explaining what a red blood cell does, or that oxygen is needed to live, or that the body is full of cells. That's right. It thinks even less of the audience's intelligence than Osmosis Jones. It's also tremendously repetitive. A monster appears, the red blood cell gasps, the white blood cell kills it. The only changes chapter to chapter are the specific design of the monster and what factoids get slapped up on the page. I can absolutely see it working as a more traditional superhero kind of setup, but that requires a far more organic approach than immediately slapping up a summary of the bad guy and defeating every one by cutting it in the face. Also, it's David on production, and they're made of sub-mediocrity.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

SEARCH AND DESTROY.

The Master of Ragnarok and Blesser of Einherjar
http://hyakuren-anime.com/
Studio: EMT Squared
Genre: Boobs
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 7th

Show Premise: 
Yuuto accidentally ends up in a magic Norse world where he uses his cellphone to amass a harem.

Random Thoughts:
By Norse, I of course don't mean that it's based on Norse mythology in any way shape or form, but that the girls are named vageuly Norseish things like Ingrid. Its claim to uniqueness appears to be that the dude's phone still works perfectly, allowing him to look things up, which has not just been the premise to other shows, but their goddamend titles. The promo does nothing but announce "Here's this dude! And he has a harem." Oh, and shows an example of the premise by having him look up what a phalanx is on Wikipedia… then cuts away to girls taking baths, girls rubbing their boobs on him, and girls imagining him having sex with him. Einherjar, my ass. Lenneth would be ashamed of all of you.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Your sins lay heavy upon you, defiler of souls.

Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs
http://yuragisou.com/
Studio: Xebec
Genre: Boobs
Staff/Cast Information
Premieres July 14th

Show Premise: 
Kogarashi moves into a former hot springs inn, now an all-girls dorm, with a ghost named Yuuna haunting his room.

Random Thoughts:
This is a series that got Jump in trouble for too excessive objectification of women and looking too much like porn, and considering that straight up 69ing is perfectly fine in Japan as long as they say someone tripped, that makes one wonder. It would perhaps explain why the promos are almost nothing but headshots of the cast with only the promise of cleavage and imagined molestation tucked away at the very end. Featuring jokes like "fell asleep and groped someone" and "tripped and groped someone" and "groped someone." All this without being distracted by any light novel tropes like having to fight anything so it can concentrate solely on the groping.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Check out this rack!

Closing Thoughts:

 It's… a season. About twenty fewer sequels than last season, so I guess that an improvement. It is pretty light on action though, which is always disappointing. Maybe one of the fantasy things that are advertising entirely boobs will bring some of it, or PA Works will figure out how to make an action show that doesn't get sucked down a drama blackhole. Then again, it's werewolves and vampires, and that's always a melodrama black hole. Festivities kick off on Sunday unless something airs early (which it probably will and I'll not notice).

Posted in Season Preview | 8 Comments »

8 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Dave Baranyi says:

    This is a season that, if missed, wouldn’t even be noticed.

    I’ll try a few of what you’ve listed, but I’m not expecting anything worthwhile from any of them.

    [Reply]

  • Tiresias says:

    I wonder if there will come a season where I’m actually excited about something again. The only title that got a reaction out of me was Angolmois, and that was “hmm, setting reminds me of the upcoming Ghosts of Tsushima” and “fuuu*ck, why’s Ghost of Tsushima a PS4 exclusive?!!”

    [Reply]

  • LUNI_TUNZ says:

    Any plans on checking out either of the new FLCL seasons? Progressive only has two episodes left, and I assume the third season starts after that.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous says:

    Jesús christ this one season is…TERRIBLE, even for late years standards.

    “Werewolves fight vampires in 1930s Tokyo in search of a holy grail”

    I’m pretty sure this one isn’t as badass as it sounds, but I’ll take the bait anyway because is the only thing that seems watchable this season. And may be the one about mongols.

    [Reply]

  • Haba says:

    Grand Blue is great, which automatically means that the adaptation will be terrible.

    [Reply]

  • V1cious says:

    Why did you skip over the one thing anyone’s actually gonna watch this season?

    [Reply]

    Aroduc says:

    I’m going to assume you mean Venture Brothers.

    [Reply]

    V1cious says:

    LOL Is there a new season of Venture Brothers? I actually didn’t know that.

    [Reply]

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