Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer 2012 Anime: full previews w/story, trailer, staff, cast, etc.

Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi
After an amazing spring season, even the summer "off-season" looks pretty good. Some highlights:
  • Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi -- Romantic stories loosely based on the lives and poetry of the great Japanese poets and poetesses of a thousand years ago. This is right up my alley. As are the stars: Suwabe Junichi, Endou Aya, Hayami Saori, and others. Directed by Kasai Kenichi (Honey and Clover) and written by Konparu Tomoko (NANA, Nodame Cantabile).
  • Kokoro Connect -- The adventures of a group of five sensible and individualistic male and female high school students who keep finding their consciousnesses switching back and forth among each other's bodies. The character design is by the original illustrator of K-On. The writer did Kanon and Clannad. But this show is from Silver Link.
  • Natsuyuki Rendezvous -- A romantic triangle among a guy working part-time in a flower shop, the woman who owns the flower shop, and the ghost of the owner's dead husband. Directed by Matsuo Kou, and starring Nakamura Yuuichi, Ohara Sayaka, and Fukuyama Jun.
  • Tari Tari -- A new PA Works (true tears, Hanasaku Iroha) original drama about five girlfriends during the summer of their senior year in high school. Starring Seto Asami, Hayami Saori, and Takagaki Ayahi.
  • Binbougami ga! -- A new shounen comedy from the director of Gintama and the writer of Bleach.
  • Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse -- The first appearance in anime of the large and popular Muv-Luv franchise of ero-games, which features buxom girls in skin-tight suits piloting mecha.
There are, of course, a number of other shows with ecchi appeal: Ebiten, which features a trap; Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru! which adds a harem to a younger-sister fetish; Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai, in which a guy does a good turn for a girl and becomes her slave; Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate, from a harem ero-game set in a school; and Campione, from a harem ero-game that involves fighting and the supernatural.

Arcana Famiglia is shounen adventure crossed with an otome game (game for girls). Sword Art Online's premise reminds me a bit of Accel World: an online game that you can't escape from. Hagure Yuusha no Estetica involves the supernatural and shounen fighting.

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is seinen fantasy set in a far future Earth in which humans have declined and a race resembling fairies dominates.

And there are new seasons for several popular shows:  Dog Days`, Yuru Yuri 2, Moyashimon Returns, Horizon 2, Rinne no Lagrange 2, and Hakuouki: Reimei-roku.

Click on names in the alphabetical list below to go to full previews of each show, with info about story, staff, cast, etc., and links to trailers, mangas, and discussions, where available.

Arcana Famiglia      ● Binbougami ga!      ● Campione!      ● Chitose Get You!!      ● Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi      ● Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai      ● Dog Days`      ● Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebi Sugawa Koukou Tenmonbu      ● Hagure Yuusha no Estetica      ● Hakuouki: Reimei-roku      ● Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita      ● Joshiraku      ● Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate      ● Kokoro Connect      ● Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!      ● Kyoukaisen-jou no Horizon II      ● Moyashimon Returns      ● Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse      ● Natsuyuki Rendezvous      ● Oda Nobuna no Yabou      ● Rinne no Lagrange: Flower Declaration of Your Heart (2012)      ● Sword Art Online      ● Tanken Driland      ● Tari Tari      ● Yuru Yuri 2     

Info comes mainly from Moonphase, AniDB, Anime News Network, show official sites, and Japanese Wikipedia. Broadcast times may change before the season begins next Sunday. I will update times in my broadcast schedule, which should come out next weekend. English titles link to ANN or AniDB. Japanese titles to official sites. "jpWiki" to Japanese Wikipedia.

shows in order of first broadcast:

Rinne no Lagrange: Flower Declaration of Your Heart (2012)
  (jp: 輪廻のラグランジェ Flower declaration of your heart (2012))   jpWiki

girls' friendship, girls piloting mecha
This show's first season had the misfortune to come out at the same time as the rather similar Symphogear, which had a much more prominent cast, starrier animation, and more promotion. But I preferred Rinne.

Ishihara Kaori, Seto Asami, and Kayano Ai are three of my favorite young seiyuus. The slight raw edge on Ishihara's voice is great; there is a feeling of honesty in her performance here. Seto is an actress, period; she was Chihaya in Chihayafuru. And Kayano not only has a "healing" and relaxing voice, but seems to be able to create characters.

Director Suzuki Toshimasa did Heroic Age and Polyphonica Crimson S. He is working under chief director Satou Tatsuo, who did Stellvia, Shigofumi, and Mouretsu Pirates.

director: Suzuki Toshimasa, Satou Tatsuo (chief dir)   writer: Suga Shoutarou.
seiyuus: Ishihara Kaori, Seto Asami, Kayano Ai, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, Kanemoto Hisako, Nomizu Iori, Asakura Azumi, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Kawada Shinji, Nojima Kenji.
animation: Xebec. chara-des: Kobayashi Chizuru (Pandora Hearts), Norita Takushige.
trailer. forum. sun 01 jul 22:00

Tari Tari
  (jp: TARI TARI)   jpWiki

drama, music, slice of life, girls' friendship
Five high school seniors spend their last summer together. Another original story from PA Works (true tears, Hanasaku Iroha), but without either a name director, or Okada Mari as writer.

Both directing and writing are done by Hashimoto Masakazu, an experienced storyboarder and episode director who has been involved in shows such as Scrapped Princess, Reideen, and Hanasaku Iroha, but whose only full directoral credit is for a kids' movie called Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva.

Good cast features the soon-to-be-famous Seto Asami, along with Hayami Saori and Takagaki Ayahi -- three of my favorite seiyuus. The cast and studio give me hope that the premise can be worked into something good, although the director/writer is an unknown quantity.

director: Hashimoto Masakazu   writer: Hashimoto Masakazu.
seiyuus: Seto Asami, Hayami Saori, Takagaki Ayahi, Shimazaki Nobunaga, Hanae Natsuki, Houki Katsuhisa, Tanaka Atsuko, Noto Mamiko, Kinoshita Hiroyuki, Hamada Kenji.
animation: PA Works. chara-des: Sekiguchi Kanami, orig: tanu. music: Hamaguchi Shirou.
trailer. 13eps. forum. sun 01 jul 22:30

Arcana Famiglia
  (jp: アルカナ・ファミリア)   jpWiki

otome game x shounen manga
Arcana Famiglia is an organization with mysterious powers that has long protected a small Mediterranean island from pirates, foreign countries, and other threats. Felicitá, the only daughter of the family's current head, will be married to the next head of the family in two months. Meanwhile, the next head will be chosen in a competition that the rather bad-ass Felicitá herself will take part in. From a game for girls.

Kon Chiaki is a controversial director -- some people think she's just bad. But she has directed a number of successful shows: all the Higurashi shows, Nodame Cantabile Paris and Finale, the first half of Hanasakeru Seishounen, Otome Youkai Zakuro, and Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi, one of the best mainstream yaoi series.

Writer Akahoshi Masanao is a capable pro. He did both Index shows and both Letter Bee shows. He did also do Freezing, which I liked better than many people, but which had its faults.

They have a starry cast to work with, featuring Yoshino Hiroyuki, Noto Mamiko, Fukuyama Jun, Nakamura Yuuichi, and Sugita Tomokazu. I hope Director Kon is used to seiyuus ad libbing.

director: Kon Chiaki   writer: Akahoshi Masanao. HuneX (game).
seiyuus: Kosugi Juurouta, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Noto Mamiko, Yusa Kouji, Fukuyama Jun, Nakamura Yuuichi, Yonaga Tsubasa, Sugita Tomokazu.
animation: JC Staff. chara-des: Matsuura Mai. OP Harada Hitomi; ED Fukuyama Jun, Yonaga Tsubasa.
trailer. manga. forum. sun 01 jul 23:30

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
  (jp: 人類は衰退しました)   jpWiki

seinen fantasy novel
Several centuries into the future, humanity has shrunk to a powerless few. Earth has become the realm of a new humankind, six-inch creatures resembling fairies or elves. Nakahara Mai's character is a girl who becomes a go-between for humans and fairies.

Director Kishi Seiji is best known for Seto no Hanayome, Sunred, and Angel Beats. He also did Kamisama Dolls and the recent Persona 4. Writer Uezu Makoto worked with him on all of those except Angel Beats. Uezu's most famous work is School Days, along with Seikon no Qwaser and Katanagatari.

I like the premise of this show, but have never really enjoyed any show done by either the writer or the director. Many other people have, though, so I may just be missing something.

The only cast members named so far are Nakahara Mai and Ishizuka Unshou, the 61-year-old seiyuu who plays her grandfather.

director: Kishi Seiji   writer: Uezu Makoto. Tanaka Romeo (novel).
seiyuus: Nakahara Mai, Ishizuka Unshou.
animation: AIC ASTA. chara-des: Sakai Kyuuta, orig: Tobe Sunaho, Yamasaki Touru. music: Ootani Kou.
trailer. forum. sun 01 jul 24:00

Chitose Get You!!
  (jp: ちとせげっちゅ!!)   jpWiki

non-ecchi age-gap romantic comedy
At least, people who have read the manga say it isn't ecchi. Elementary school girl Chitose wildly pursues the love of Hiroshi, a young man in his 20s who works at the town hall next to her school. The manga has been serialized since 2002, so it has some popularity.

Star Nakaya Sayaka is a member of AKB48 team A, and plays Orine in AKB0048. She is 20, and had a role in Moshidora last year. This is the first directoral job for long-time key animator Sano Takao.

director: Sano Takao   writer: Mashima Etsuya (manga).
seiyuus: Hatano Wataru, Nakaya Sayaka, Mitsuishi Kotono, Mako, Yamaguchi Rikako, Tokui Sora, Tsuji Shinpachi.
animation: Silver Link. OP seiyuus.
manga. forum. 4min eps. sun 01 jul 24:56

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
  (jp: トータル・イクリプス)   jpWiki

erogame romantic fantasy, war, mecha, aliens
Mecha battles with female pilots in skin-tight suits, set in a dark alternative near-present. Total Eclipse is a fairly minor part of the entire universe of Muv-Luv games, and some fans fear it may not give the best impression of the franchise. The huge Muv-Luv universe even connects with the world of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien.

Director Inagaki Takayuki did Rosario+Vampire and Jewelpet Sunshine, which are not much of a recommendation, but in an interview he reveals that he himself is a fan of the Muv-Luv ganes, so at least there's that. No lead writer credited.

Strong cast features Ono Daisuke and Nakahara Mai, Nabatame Hitomi and Noto Mamiko. Looks like exactly the kind of show I won't like, but time will tell. Highly anticipated, with plenty of trepidation, by fans of the Muv-Luv games.

director: Inagaki Takayuki   writer: Yoshimune Kouki.
seiyuus: Ono Daisuke, Nakahara Mai, Nabatame Hitomi, Noto Mamiko, Nogawa Sakura, Hamada Kenji, Ohara Sayaka, Koyama Rikiya, Tsuda Eizo, Ono Atsushi.
animation: ixtl x Satelight. chara-des: Hara Yumiko.
trailer. manga. forum. sun 01 jul 25:35

Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi
  (jp: 超訳百人一首 うた恋い)   jpWiki

josei historical romances
One of my top choices for the new season. Not just because it is set in the Japan of a thousand years ago, and works from the lives and poetry of great poets, but because the staff and cast are top hands.

Director Kasai Kenichi did Major, Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile, KimiKiss, and Bakuman. Writer Konparu Tomoko did Nana, Nodame Cantabile, Genji Monogatari Sennenki, and Kimi ni Todoke. The cast stars the underappreciated Suwabe Junichi as Narihira and the underappreciated Endou Aya as Ono no Komachi, along with Hayami Saori, Kaji Yuuki, Chiba Susumu, Uchida Yuya and others.

The manga is a collection of somewhat comically-told romances based on the poems and poets of the same classic anthology used in the poetry game played in Chihayafuru. The poems come from an age a thousand years ago when high-born women were kept completely out of sight, and could only communicate with men by poem-letters. And yet, affairs were fairly common, according to diaries and stories from that time.

director: Kasai Kenichi.   writer: Konparu Tomoko. Sugita Kei (orig.)
seiyuus: Suwabe Junichi, Kaji Yuuki, Hayami Saori, Chiba Susumu, Endou Aya, Uchida Yuuya, Endou Daichi, Kobayashi Sanae, Oohara Sayaka, Shimono Hiro.
animation: TYO Animations. chara-des: Tsunaki Aki. OP ecosystem, ED Soul'd Out.
trailer. forum. mon 02 jul 25:30

Yuru Yuri 2
  (jp: ゆるゆり♪♪)   jpWiki

slice-of-life yuri school comedy
Second season for this low-tension comedy featuring some good young idol seiyuu. Now that I've become a fan of Ookubo Rumi (Tsumiki in Acchi Kocchi), I'll be paying it more attention.

The first season was on opposite KyoAni's slice-of-life comedy Nichijou and I found it more enjoyable than that somewhat similar show. But I didn't watch that many episodes of either.

Director Oota Masahiko did Minamike 1, Mitsudomoe 1 and 2, and Yuruyuri 1. Writer Aoshima Takashi was with him on those shows.

director: Oota Masahiko   writer: Aoshima Takashi. Namori (manga).
seiyuus: Mikami Shiori, Tsuda Minami, Ootsubo Yuka, Ookubo Rumi, Mimori Suzuko, Toyosaki Aki, Katou Emiri, Fujita Saki.
animation: Douga Koubou. chara-des: Nakajima Chiaki. OPED seiyuus.
trailer. manga. forum. mon 02 jul 26:00

Binbougami ga!
  (jp: 貧乏神が!)   jpWiki

shounen comedy
Working with Sunrise, the director of Gintama and the writer of Bleach animate a manga that has run in Jump Square magazine since 2008. Sakura Ichiko (Hanazawa Kana) is a beautiful, big-breasted, and utterly selfish girl whose blissful life comes from her bountiful "happiness energy" -- gained by sapping energy from other people.

To restore the balance, the Binbougami (Poverty God) Binbada Momiji (Uchiyama Yumi, who played Nagi in A-channel) tries to force her to use her energy to do good and restore the balance. Fans of the manga are more than ready for this one.

director: Fujita Youichi (Gintama)   writer: Shimoyama Kento (Bleach). Sukeno Yoshiaki.
seiyuus: Uchiyama Yumi, Hanazawa Kana, Shimono Hiro, Tomatsu Haruka, Uchiyama Kouki, Kawahara Yoshihisa.
animation: Sunrise. chara-des: Tanabe Kenji. OP pico, ED Happy Birthday.
trailer. manga. forum. wed 04 jul 25:50

Moyashimon Returns
  (jp: もやしもん リターンズ)   jpWiki

seinen comic fantasy
The 2007 noitaminA series returns, with its intelligent fantasy and daring comedy, all growing from the soil of biochemistry. The main character is a student at an agricultural school. He has an unique ability to see and communicate with microorganisms.

The same main staff returns (except for a new character designer who will likely make no real changes), with largely the same strong and experienced cast, including Saiga Mitsuki, Ohara Sayaka, Noto Mamiko, Konishi Katsuyuki, Sugiyama Kishou, Sawashiro Miyuki and others. No low-cost young voices in this group.

The original series never captivated me, but I recognized its quality, and I'm going to give myself more of a chance this time.

director: Yano Yuuichirou   writer: Takahashi Natsuko. Ishikawa Masayuki.
seiyuus: Sakaguchi Daisuke, Saiga Mitsuki, Ohara Sayaka, Kanda Akemi, Noto Mamiko, Konishi Katsuyuki, Sugiyama Kishou, Touma Yumi, Sawashiro Miyuki, Nishimura Tomomichi (roles in Patlabor, Street Fighter, Glass in Macross F).
animation: Telecom Animation Film, Shirogumi. chara-des: Higuchi Satomi. music: Haketa Takefumi.
trailer. manga. forum. thu 05 jul 24:45

Natsuyuki Rendezvous
  (jp: 夏雪ランデブー)   jpWiki

josei supernatural romantic comedy-drama
The manga tells the story of a love triangle among Hazuki, a young man who works part time at a flower store; Rokka, the widow who owns the store; and the ghost of Rokka's husband. noitaminA

Director Matsuo Kou (Red Garden, Kurenai, Yozakura Quartet) returns after some absence. Nakamura Yuuichi, Fukuyama Jun and Ohara Sayaka are an excellent main cast.

This looks promising.

director: Matsuo Kou   writer: Kawachi Haruka.
seiyuus: Nakamura Yuuichi, Fukuyama Jun, Oohara Sayaka.
animation: Douga Koubou. chara-des: Taniguchi Junichirou. OP Matsushita Yuuya, ED Aimer.
trailer. manga. forum. thu 05 jul 25:15

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate
  (jp: 恋と選挙とチョコレート)   jpWiki

school comedy/drama from an erogame
The members of the Food Research Club at Takafuji Private Academy don't do much except hang out and eat snacks. The leading candidate for student council president wants to abolish clubs like that. In order to prevent this, the Food Research Club puts up its own candidate. From a popular ero-game most famous for its art.

Nakamura Yuuichi stars, surrounded by seiyuu from the game, including Nakamura Eriko, Mizuhashi Kaori, and Gibu Yuuko; and with one of Kadowaki Mai's infrequent appearances in anime. All these female seiyuu acted under pseudonyms in the game.

First-time series director Kitahata Tooru directed multiple episodes of both Haganai and OreImo. Lead Writer Takayama Katsuhiko wrote the ef shows, Hantsuki, Baka to Test, and Dusk Maiden of Amnesia. I suspect this could end up being an effective show.

director: Kitahata Tooru   writer: Takayama Katsuhiko. sprite/fairys.
seiyuus: Kadowaki Mai, Mizuhashi Kaori, Imai Asami, Nakamura Yuuichi, Asakawa Yuu, Nakamura Eriko, Gibu Yuuko, Fujimura Ayumi.
animation: AIC Build. chara-des: Gouda Hiroaki. music: Elements Garden. OP Annabel, ED ceui.
trailer. manga. forum. thu 05 jul 25:25

Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!
  (jp: この中に1人, 妹がいる!)   jpWiki

ecchi harem comedy
In his father's will, Shougo is offered the chairmanship of his father's great company, and he is determined to accept. But there is a condition: he has to transfer to a certain private high school and find a bride among the girls there before he graduates.

 One further complication: his younger sister, separated from him at birth, goes to that school and wants him for herself. She talks to him on the phone, but refuses to tell him which of his schoolmates she is. All the other girls like him, too, so there is plenty of competition for his time and affection.

A classic ecchi harem show ensues, but with a protagonist who is a cut above. The great Sakurai Takahiro stars, with Ishihara Kaori and a bevy of popular young seiyuus: Sakura Ayane, Taketatsu Ayana, Oogame Asuka, and Hidaka Rina.

Director Nawa Munenori did Otoboku, KissxSis TV, and Nogizaka Haruka. Writer Go Zappa wrote Chokotto Sister, Koihime Musou, and Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi. Well-known illustrator Cuteg did the novel illustrations and drew the manga. These people are experts in this kind of work, and could produce something popular.

The manga is good, and although I have some doubts about the staff, I love the cast and think this could be a good show.

director: Nawa Munenori   writer: Zappa Gou. Taguchi Hajime (manga).
seiyuus: Sakurai Takahiro, Ishihara Kaori, Sakura Ayane, Taketatsu Ayana, Oogame Asuka, Hidaka Rina.
animation: Studio Gokumi. chara-des: Katsura Kenichirou, Cuteg (manga). OP Stylips.
trailer. manga. forum. thu 05 jul 25:55

  (jp: じょしらく)   jpWiki

slice-of-life absurd comedy
Cute girls and what they do for fun. Delightfully weird humour, with some thought behind it and lots of absurdity. The manga is by Kumeta Kouji, author of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.

Director Mizushima Tsutomu did xxxHolic, Squid Girl, and Another. Writer Yokote Michiko did Princess Tutu, Genshiken, xxxHolic, and Squid Girl. I look forward to hearing Gotou Saori in a leading role again. She's one of the nuttiest and most dangerous of all seiyuus, and one of the most beautiful. And I find Nanjou Yoshino more interesting now that I have heard her singing with fripSide, and have seen how beautiful she is. Sakura Ayane is an up-and-coming eighteen-year-old; she played Merry in Dreameater Merry, and Hotaru in the Hotarubi no Mori e film.

director: Mizushima Tsutomu   writer: Yokote Michiko. Kumeta Kouji (novel), Yasu (illus.)
seiyuus: Gotou Saori, Yamamoto Nozomi, Sakura Ayane, Koiwai Kotori, Nanjou Yoshino.
animation: JC Staff. chara-des: Tanaka Masayoshi (Toradora, AnoHana).
trailer. manga. forum. thu 05 jul 26:25

Hagure Yuusha no Estetica
  (jp: はぐれ勇者の鬼畜美学 [エステティカ])   jpWiki

ecchi harem action fantasy
Wayward hero Akatsuki has come back to the real world from a world of sword and magic where he defeated the demon king. He has brought the demon king's daughter back with him.

An organization called Babel looks after people who have gone to other worlds and returned. Now it has to decide what to do with Akatsuki and other returners, who have gained special powers in those other worlds.

From a series of novels There appears to be a fair amount of nudity involved….

Okamoto Nobuhiko and Hikasa Youko give this show two good leads. Ueda Kana, Hanazawa Kana, and Inoue Marina round out an excellent main cast. Sakurai Takahiro, Satou Rina, and Taketatsu Ayana are also there.

Director Kujou Rion did Asu no Youichi. Writer Kingetsu Ryuunosuke did Manabi Straight and Hyakka Ryouran.

director: Kujou Rion   writer: Kingetsu Ryuunosuke. Uesu Tetsuto (novel).
seiyuus: Okamoto Nobuhiko, Hikasa Youko, Ueda Kana, Hanazawa Kana, Inoue Marina.
animation: Arms. chara-des: Tsukada Hiroshi. music: Kondou Yukio, Konishi Kayou. OP Faylan, ED Misato Aki.
trailer. forum. fri 06 jul 10:30

Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai
  (jp: だから僕は, Hができない.)   jpWiki

shounen ecchi supernatural comedy adventure
Our teen hero sees a beautiful girl with red eyes standing drenched in the rain. He has a romantic notion that all women should be treasured and invites her to his place to dry off. However, after a while there, and some conversation, she suddenly stabs him in the chest….

From a light novel series. Director Takahashi Takeo did Spice and Wolf, Aki Sora, and Yosuga no Sora. Writer Arakawa Naruhisa did Cosmopolitan Prayers, Yosuga no Sora (good job), Papa no Iu Koto, and the current Kingdom. There is promise here, and skill dealing with ecchi material.

The cast is highly intriguing: the lovely voice of Endou Aya, the reliable Shimono Hiro, newcomer Nishiguchi Arisa, Fukuen Misato (who did a good job in Dusk Maiden x Amnesia), and Ishihara Kaori, who is my favorite voice of the moment.

director: Takahashi Takeo   writer: Arakawa Naruhisa. Tachibana Pan (novel).
seiyuus: Shimono Hiro, Endou Aya, Nishiguchi Arisa, Fukuen Misato, Ishihara Kaori.
animation: Feel. chara-des: Kamimoto Kanetoshi. music: Watanabe Cheru.
trailer. manga. forum. fri 06 jul 11:00

  (jp: カンピオーネ!)   jpWiki

shounen fighting fantasy with cute girls
Our hero is a high-school boy who ends up killing one of the heretic gods and becomes a godslayer, or "campione." From then on, he and his team of cute girls continue to fight against troublemaking gods. The show has been compared to Horizon.

Based on a light novel series. Written by Hanada Jukki (Rozen Maiden, Steins;Gate), directed by Kusakawa Keizou (Nanoha A's, Inukami, Sekirei, Dog Days1). Character designer Ishikawa Masakazu did Kodomo no Jikan and Squid Girl. This time, he is working from originals by ero-illustrator Sikorsky. Now, that's a staff who should know how to make a show like this.

They have a good female cast to work with: Hikasa Yuko, Hidaka Rina, Ogura Yui, Hanazawa Kana, KitaEri. And male lead Matsuoka Yoshitsugu did a good job as Narumi in Kamisama no Memo-chou.

director: Kusakawa Keizou   writer: Hanada Jukki. Takezuki Jou (novel).
seiyuus: Hikasa Youko, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, Matsumoto Shinobu, Ogura Yui, Hidaka Rina, Kitamura Eri, Hanazawa Kana, Saitou Yuka.
animation: Diomedea. chara-des: Ishikawa Masakazu; Sikorsky (orig). music: Katou Takuya. OP Sakuragawa Megu, ED Ogura Yui.
trailer. forum. fri 06 jul 23:30

Dog Days`
  (jp: DOG DAYS`)   jpWiki

ecchi shounen fighting fantasy comedy
Seven Arcs gets a very capable director, Nishimura Junji (Simoun, true tears) to take over for this second Dog Days series. Original director Kusakawa Keizou is directing Campione for Diomedea this season.

But the same amazing cast returns (Miyano Mamoru, Horie Yui, Mizuki Nana, Hikasa Youko, Hanazawa Kana, etc.), with the notable addition of Yuuki Aoi (as the squirrel girl in the middle of the picture). In the first series, Princess Millefiore of the Biscotti kingdom summoned a warrior from another world to save her country. He turned out to be a Japanese high school student. Of course. The show involves battles and pretty animal-girls and has spawned a lot of waifu battles on line and cute illustrations in magazines.

director: Nishimura Junji   writer: Tsuzuki Masaki.
seiyuus: Miyano Mamoru, Koshimizu Ami, Horie Yui, Seto Asami, Kotobuki Minako, Ono Daisuke, Hikasa Youko, Taketatsu Ayana, Sakurai Takahiro, Kakihara Tetsuya.
animation: Seven Arcs. chara-des: Sakata Osamu. music: I've Sound. OP Mizuki Nana, ED Horie Yui.
trailer. forum. sat 07 jul 23:30

Tanken Driland
  (jp: 探検ドリランド)

fantasy adventure game
A princess and her companions go out seeking the treasures that lie hidden here and there in the world of Driland. They discover a great threat to their world and set about facing it. From a popular game available for iOS and Android.

This is director Fukuzawa Toshinori's first full show. No lead writer credited. Seiyuu Miyamoto Kanako is Naru in Eureka 7 Ao. Her co-star is Uchiyama Kouki. Kumai Motoko, Nojima Kenji, and Hikasa Youko are also in the cast. The "trailer" below is a promo for the game.

director: Fukuzawa Toshinori   
seiyuus: Miyamoto Kanako, Uchiyama Kouki, Kumai Motoko, Nojima Kenji, Hikasa Youko.
animation: Toei Animation. chara-des: Hayashi Yuuki.
trailer. forum. sat 07 jul 23:30

Sword Art Online
  (jp: ソードアート・オンライン)   jpWiki

action adventure sci-fi fantasy
An MMORPG that is real. Once in, you have to win or die. Kirito heads for the castle, striving alone toward the top. Along the way the woman warrior Asuna forces him to join up with her and they advance together. Based on a popular light novel series.

The cast is good, featuring Tomatsu Haruka, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu (Sena in Hourou Musuko), Takagaki Ayahi, Taketatsu Ayana, Hidaka Rina, Sawashiro Miyuki, Itou Kanae, and Nojima Kenji. The music is by Kajiura Yuki.

But this is director Itou Tomohiko's first show. He has done episode direction and storyboards for shows such as Death Note, Occult Academy, and AnoHana. And no lead writer at all has been credited: this to me is a bad sign. But the show remains one of the most anticipated of the season.

director: Itou Tomohiko   writer: Kawahara Reki (novel), Dengeki Bunko.
seiyuus: Tomatsu Haruka, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, Nojima Kenji, Takagaki Ayahi, Taketatsu Ayana, Hidaka Rina, Sawashiro Miyuki, Itou Kanae.
animation: A-1 Pictures. chara-des: Adachi Shingo. music: Kajiura Yuki. OP LiSA, ED Tomatsu Haruka.
trailer. manga. forum. sat 07 jul 24:00

Kokoro Connect
  (jp: ココロコネクト)   jpWiki

gender-bent supernatural ecchi comedy/drama
Gender-bent teen drama follows five male and female club members who repeatedly find themselves in each other's bodies. The story develops an edge, and the characters have some presence.

The character design is reminiscent of K-On, being by the illustrator of the K-On novels. Strong cast. Experienced episode director Kawamo Shinya works under Oonuma Shin for Silver Link. Writer Shimo Fumihiko did KyoAni's Clannad shows and Kanon, as well as Infinite Stratos. I have hopes for this show.

director: Kawamo Shinya, chiefdir: Oonuma Shin   writer: Shimo Fumihiko.
seiyuus: Sawashiro Miyuki, Kanemoto Hisako, Toyosaki Aki, Mizushima Takahiro, Terashima Takuma, Itou Shizuka, Fujiwara Keiji.
animation: Silver Link. chara-des: Akai Toshifumi.
trailer. manga. forum. sat 07 jul 24:30 (preview event 24 June)

Kyoukaisen-jou no Horizon II
  (jp: 境界線上のホライゾン II)   jpWiki

seinen action fantasy
After the end of the first series, Toori has completed the paperwork to get Horizon into school, and they are travelling there on a transport vessel when a new attack looms….

For anyone like me who never really understood what was going on in the first series, here is an outline based on Wikipedia: in the far future, humans abandon a devastated Earth and travel to outer space. However, due to unknown phenomena that prevent them from continuing into space, humanity returns to Earth -- to find that only Japan is habitable. To accommodate the entire human population, pocket dimensions are created around Japan.

In order to find a way to return to outer space, the humans began reenacting human history according to the holy book Testament. But in the year 1413 of the Testament Era, the nations of the pocket dimensions invade and conquer Japan, dividing the territory into feudal fiefdoms and forcing the original inhabitants of Japan to leave. It is now the year 1648 of the Testament Era; the refugees from Japan now live in the city ship Musashi, which constantly travels around Japan, watched by the Testament Union, the authority that runs the re-enactment of history.

However, rumors of an apocalyptic war begin to spread when the Testament stops revealing what happens next in history. Taking advantage of this situation, Aoi Toori, head of Musashi Ariadust Academy's Supreme Federation and President of the student council, leads his fellow classmates to use this opportunity to regain their homeland.

The first series was popular. The cast is large and excellent. Director Ono Manabu did Dragonaut, A-channel, and Saki. Writer Urahata Tatsuhiko did Monster, A-channel, and Saki.

director: Ono Manabu   writer: Urahata Tatsuhiko. Kawakami Minoru (novels).
seiyuus: Fukuyama Jun, Chihara Minori, Sawashiro Miyuki, Tamura Mutsumi, Koyasu Takehito, Nazuka Kaori, Kobayashi Yuu, Oono Daisuke, Kuroda Takaya, Touyama Nao, Niita Emi, Inoue Marina, Shindou Kei, Saitou Chiwa, Koshimizu Ami, Yuuki Aoi, Oohashi Ayuru, Morinaga Rika, Matabe Ai.
animation: OP Chihara Minori, ED Okui Masami.
trailer. forum. manga. sat 07 jul 26:28

Oda Nobuna no Yabou
  (jp: 織田信奈の野望)   jpWiki

romantic comedy in historical setting, with fighting
A high school boy is suddenly transported in time to a version of the Japanese Warring States period in which all the great lords are pretty young girls. Our hero begins to serve "Oda Nobuna" as the substitute for a vassal of hers who has died. Large and excellent cast stars Itou Kanae and Eguchi Takuya.

This is director Kumazawa Yuuji's first full show. He has worked on Welcome to the NHK and High School of the Dead. Writer Suzuki Masashi did Shuffle, Kanokon, Minami-ke Okawari, and Koe de Oshigoto.

director: Kumazawa Yuuji   writer: Suzuki Masashi. Kasuga Mikage (novel).
seiyuus: Itou Kanae, Eguchi Takuya, Fukuen Misato, Nabatame Hitomi, Matsuzaki Rei, Kaneda Tomoko, Yahagi Sayuri, Ogura Yui, Noto Mamiko, Mimori Suzuko, Mugihito, Sakurai Takahiro, Katou Emiri.
animation: Madhouse, Studio Gokumi. chara-des: Takashina Yuka, orig: Miyama Zero. music: Takanashi Yasuharu. OP Aimi, ED Makino Mizuta.
trailer. forum. sun 08 jul 25:05

Hakuouki: Reimei-roku
  (jp: 薄桜鬼 黎明録)   jpWiki

historical drama based on a bishounen game for girls
After two TV series and an OVA series, this month we get a new OVA, next month this new series, and next year two feature-length movies. The new series describes the early days of the Shinsengumi.

Director Yamasaki Osamu did Toward the Terra and Itazura na Kiss, as well as the previous Hakuouki shows. The same main cast returns, with the addition of Seki Tomokazu and Nakata Jouji, and the subtraction of Kuwashima Houko -- with no female lead at all, it appears.

director: Yamasaki Osamu   writer: Idea Factory.
seiyuus: Seki Tomokazu, Miki Shinichirou, Morikubo Showtaro, Toriumi Kousuke, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Yusa Kouji, Nakata Jouji.
animation: Studio Deen. chara-des: Nakajima Atsuko. OP Kurosaki Maon, ED Mao.
trailer. forum.
mon 09 jul 26:53

Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebi Sugawa Koukou Tenmonbu
  (jp: えびてん 公立海老栖川高校天悶部)   jpWiki

ecchi school comedy with trap
A cute little high school boy mistakenly joins a club for fujoshi and ends up being forced to dress as a girl. Chara-des looks good: by the illustrator of Seitokai no Ichizon.

Writer Kakihara Yuuko did Stitch, all the Sora no Otoshimono shows, and Persona 4. She is working from an original manga written by game developer SCA-ji, who unfortunately also did H²O -- Footprints in the Sand. Director Okamoto Hideki did Nagasarete Airantou, DCII Da Capo II, and Battle Girls Time Paradox. Ise Mariya plays the main guy.

director: Okamoto Hideki   writer: Kakihara Yuuko. SCA-ji (manga).
seiyuus: Ise Mariya, Nomizu Iori, Asumi Kana, Murai Ritsuko, Tsukimiya Midori, Nishi Asuka, Satou Satomi.
animation: AIC Classic. chara-des: Watanabe Atsuko; Inugami Kira (manga; Seitokai no Ichizon).
trailer. forum. sat 14 jul 23:30


animekritik said...

Re: Kokoro Connect, I would be more interested if the picture didn't betray the premise somewhat. I mean, if it's supposed to be 5 gals and 5 guys, how come the pic is 3 girls...

hashi said...

@animekritik -- They don't switch so simply as that. As far as I've been able to see the manga, there have been switches between different pairs, male-female or female-female, and one three-way circular switch. I believe there are a total of five people in the club, three female and two male.

Furuba-tan said...

thanks, hashi... now I want to watch more series than I previously thought I would this season. XD

Anonymous said...

Jinrui/Jinsui is the exception to the 3-episode rule, as it is really working as a zany satire and biting social commentary.

eventagency11 said...

So true, and what’s perhaps even more devastating is that there’s been so little support to help the community rebuild.

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