Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer 2014 New Anime -- full previews w/story, cast, staff, trailer, etc.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon - Crystal
Forty-three shows in a summer season? Wasn't the anime industry supposed to be in trouble? There's quantity this summer, anyway. And I think there may be some quality, too.

Here, in alphabetical order, are twenty shows I think may be particularly interesting, to me or to others. After that, I will give full details of all the new shows.

Aldnoah.Zero -- A new show from a story written by the Urobutcher, Urobuchi Gen. An ancient civilization's hypergate is found on the Moon by Apollo astronauts, and it allows Earth people to settle Mars. Within 15 years, however, there is war between the two planets. As the story opens, in 2014, they have been in a state of truce for ten years.

Ao Haru Ride -- Uchida Maaya, Kaji Yuuki, Kayano Ai, and Komatsu Mikako star in a shoujo romance from Production IG. Years before, our heroine loved a boy, but he moved away. Now in high school, he suddenly returns, with a new surname, and with no desire to speak with her.

Barakamon -- Ono Daisuke is a young calligrapher who has been banished to an island for punching one of his seniors. The director of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and the writer of Bottom-Biting Bug show us his misadventures, as he gets used to rural life.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun -- Our heroine has a crush on a handsome schoolmate, who can't even hear her confession and thinks of her as just a fan. It turns out that he is a shoujo manga artist, and she ends up assisting him in his work.

Glasslip -- A new original from PA Works, directed (and co-written) by Nishimura Junji, the director of True Tears. If he can recapture that magic -- or his even greater magic in Simoun -- I will be very happy. Hayami Saori, Taneda Risa, Ousaka Ryouta, Touyama Nao, Kayano Ai.... This is the show I am most looking forward to.

Hana Yamata -- Young female director Ishizuka Atsuko (age 32) takes another step. She directed Sakurasou for JC Staff, and then No Game No Life for Madhouse. Now Madhouse gives her top writer Yoshida Reiko (Marimite, K-On) to help her animate this shoujo ai manga, set in the world of traditional Japanese dance. Another of my most anticipated shows.

Love Stage!! -- Director Kasai Kenichi (Major, Honey and Clover, Bakuman) and writer Yokote Michiko (Princess Tutu, Genshiken) venture into the world of boy's love, bringing us a shounen ai story of love between a young movie star and a beautifully feminine boy he had thought was a girl. JC Staff.

Majimoji Rurumo -- Our sex-obsessed teen hero is shunned by all the girls. He finds a book of magic and plays at summoning a witch...and a cute, impassive young witch appears, offering him a wish...after which she will kill him. Really, even if this show turns out to be awful, the idea of Mimori Suzuko as the cute witch is irresistible.

Minarai Diva -- An amazing concept: an anime ad-libbed and produced in real time, using motion capture of the seiyuus and MikuMiku Dance software. The producer describes it as like an animated radio show. The young seiyuus being put on the spot are Murakawa Rie (Hotaru in Non Non Biyori) and Yamamoto Nozomi (Ogiue in GenshikenSS).

Nobunaga Concerto -- And here's a show that's rotoscoped -- although the trailer looks quite different from Aku no Hana. Our hero is a teen boy who suddenly finds himself four hundred years in the past, having to play the role of the rising warlord Oda Nobunaga, of whom he is the spitting image. The director directs TV dramas. The writer did Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and Brothers Conflict.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal -- This is the most anticipated show of the season: a remake of Sailor Moon, made on the 20th anniversary of the original show, and with the original seiyuu (Mitsuishi Kotono) playing the lead. Other roles are given to younger seiyuus: Hirohashi Ryou (!), Koshimizu Ami, Satou Rina, Kanemoto Hisako, Itou Shizuka, et al.

Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? -- Oonuma Shin tries his hand at harem comedy. I keep hoping he will someday produce something I like as much as his ef shows.

Sabagebu! -- The team of director Oota Masahiko and writer Aoshima Takashi has made a number of shows together, including Mitsudomoe, YuruYuri, Kotoura-san, and Love Lab. I liked the last three, and hope the team can do something with this manga featuring high-school girls playing survival games with air guns after school.

Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance -- The director of Kannazuki no Miko and the writer of Elfen Lied. I hope for something from them even in this ecchi harem comedy set in a school for spirit contractors, all but one of whom are girls. Kido Ibuki is one of the stars.

Shounen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 49 -- An idol anime featuring bishounen idols. Why has no-one thought of this before?

Space Dandy 2 -- More craziness from Watanabe Shinichirou.

Sword Art Online 2: Phantom Bullet -- Kirito has to investigate a new game world, in which deaths of characters are linked to deaths in the real world. More of the same will be fine. ED by Haruna Luna.

Tokyo ESP -- Kido Ibuki plays a girl who gains the mysterious ability to walk through walls (and fall through floors). From a manga by the author of Ga-rei. ED by Yousei Teikoku.

Tokyo Ghoul -- A truly horrific horror story presented by a young anime director whose work was nominated for an Oscar and a young writer who has won multiple awards for writing and directing stage plays.

Zankyou no Terror -- A second show from Watanabe Shinichirou, apparently much more serious than Space Dandy: Tokyo is rocked by huge terrorist bombings. People are scared and confused. Meanwhile, the two young culprits methodically go about their plan to awaken the world.

Click a title in the alphabetical list below to go to full details of a particular show. Or just keep reading, for full details of all 43 shows, in chronological order by first broadcast.

Ai Mai Mii: Mousou Catastrophe     ● Akame ga Kill!     ● Aldnoah.Zero     ● Ao Haru Ride     ● Bakumatsu Rock     ● Barakamon     ● Dramatical Murder     ● Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya Zwei!     ● Francesca: Girls Be Ambitious     ● Free! Eternal Summer     ● Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yattemita     ● Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun     ● Glasslip     ● Gundam-san     ● Hana Yamata     ● Hanamonogatari     ● Himegoto     ● Jinsei     ● Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus     ● Love Stage!!     ● Maido! Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku     ● Majimoji Rurumo     ● Minarai Diva     ● Momo Kyun Sword     ● Nobunaga Concerto     ● Persona 4 The Golden Animation     ● Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal     ● PriPara     ● Rail Wars!     ● Re: ␣Hamatora     ● Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?     ● Sabagebu!     ● Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance     ● Sengoku Basara: Judge End     ● Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen     ● Shounen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 49     ● Space Dandy 2     ● Strange+ 2     ● Sword Art Online 2: Phantom Bullet     ● Tokyo ESP     ● Tokyo Ghoul     ● Yama no Susume: Second Season     ● Zankyou no Terror

-- information from official sites, MoonPhaseAniDBAnime News NetworkJapanese Wikipediaet al.
-- English titles link to the Anime News Network encyclopedia; Japanese titles link to official sites. "forum" links to AnimeSuki forum threads.
-- times and dates may change. my weekly calendar will come out at the beginning of July with the most recent data.
-- click images to enlarge.
-- Japanese names in Japanese order, surname first.

Summer 2014 Anime (in chronological order by first broadcast)

Bakumatsu Rock
  (jp: 幕末Rock)   jpWiki

bishounen idols historical fiction
director: Kawasaki Itsurou (Arc the Lad, Canvas2, Legendary Heroes)
writer: Hirota Mitsutaka (Prince of Tennis 2).
seiyuus: Taniyama Kishou, Suzuki Tatsuhisa, Morikubo Shoutarou, Morikawa Toshiyuki, Ono Kenshou.
animation: Studio Deen. OP vistlip, ED Ultra-Souls.
trailer. forum.
starts wed 02 jul 23:30

Reinterprets 19th century Japanese history as a battle of the bands. The shogun uses idols' songs to brainwash and control the people, but Sakamoto Ryouma and others rise up to change the world with rock'n'roll.

Solid cast (Taniyama Kishou as an idol seems so right), veteran director…Studio Deen....


Free! Eternal Summer
  (jp: Free! Eternal Summer)   jpWiki

bishounen sports comedy/drama
director: Utsumi Hiroko (K-On2 eps, Nichijou eps, Free)
writer: Yokotani Masahiro (Keroro Gunsou, Reideen, Hataraku Maou-sama).
seiyuus: Shimazaki Nobunaga, Suzuki Tatsuhisa, Yonaga Tsubasa, Hirakawa Dasuke, Miyano Mamoru, Hosoya Yoshimasa, Miyata Kouki, Tsuda Kenjiro, Watanabe Akeno, Yukino Satsuki, Yanaka Hiroshi.
animation: Kyoto Animation. OP Oldcodex, ED Style Five (seiyuus).
trailer. forum.
starts wed 02 jul 24:00

A second season of the KyoAni bishounen hit. The tournament is over, and our protagonists turn their attention to improving the team, deepening their bonds, and summer.

Director Utsumi Hiroko really gave her career a boost with the first series. KyoAni management simply has good judgment of who can do the job and what will sell.

  (jp: グラスリップ)   jpWiki

fantasy slice of life romance
director: Nishimura Junji (Ranma 1/2, Simoun, True Tears)
writer: Nishimura Junji, Satou Rika (eps of TariTari).
seiyuus: Fukagawa Seria, Hayami Saori, Taneda Risa, Oosaka Ryouta, Shimazaki Nobunaga, Yamashita Daiki, Touyama Nao, Kayano Ai.
animation: PA Works. OP ChouCho, ED nano.RIPE.
trailer. forum.
starts thu 03 jul 22:30

The director of True Tears returns with another original for PA Works. This time, he co-wrote it with a newish writer named Satou Rika.

Touko is a 17-year-old girl living in a small city. She plans to become a glass artisan in her family's glass workshop. During summer break, a new student transfers in who says a voice from the future speaks to him and has led him to Touko.

First named role for 18-year-old Fukagawa Seria, who is supported handsomely by Hayami Saori, Taneda Risa, Ousaka Ryouta, Touyama Nao, Kayano Ai, and others. I look forward to all PA Works animes, but this one gives me an especially good feeling. Nishimura Junji at his best (Simoun, True Tears) is an excellent director.

Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen
  (jp: 白銀の意思 アルジェヴォルン)   jpWiki

director: Ootsuki Atsushi (Kanokon, Ladies vs. Butlers, To Love-ru Trouble Darkness)
writer: Satou Tatsuo (dir. Martian Succ. Nadesico; dir/wri Bodacious Space Pirates).
seiyuus: Oosaka Ryouta, Oonishi Saori, Tsuchida Hiroshi, Oohara Sayaka, Sakurai Harumi, Hamada Kenji, Tezuka Hideaki, Akasaki Chinatsu, Hashimoto Chinami, Aimi, Hayama Ikumi, Hayami Shou, Hamada Kenji, Matsumoto Shinobu, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Kobayashi Yuusuke, Yamamoto Itaru, Okitsu Kazuyuki, Kondo Takayuki, Chiba Susumu, Sakurai Takahiro.
animation: Xebec. OP Kotoko, ED Misawa Sachika.
trailer. forum.
starts thu 03 jul 23:00

The story takes place in a world where two countries, Arandas and Ingelmia, have been warring against each other for a very long time. Tokimune, a young man belonging to the eighth autonomous unit of Arandas, saves a girl named Jamie when she is attacked by enemy forces. In order to survive, he mounts the new weapon Argevollen.

Nice cast, with top sound director Aketagawa Jin to guide them. His only show of this season. But the director and writer make me wonder: the director of Kanokon? The writer of Bodacious Space Pirates? What kind of show will this be? The trailer emphasizes mecha fighting. We shall see.

Tokyo Ghoul
  (jp: 東京喰種[トウキョウグール])   jpWiki

seinen horror
director: Morita Shuuhei (Freedom, Oscar-nominated for Tsukumo, formerly with Studio 4°C)
writer: Mikasano Chuuji (award-winning playwright/director of live plays). Ishida Sui.
seiyuus: Hanae Natsuki (Kiri/Crime Edge, Hikari/Nagi no Asukara, Kal-el/Love Song for a Certain Pilot), Amamiya Sora (Liliana/Log Horizon, Fujimiya/One Week Friends), Hanazawa Kana, Miyano Mamoru, Sugou Takayuki, Morohoshi Sumire, Konishi Katsuyuki, Toyonaga Toshiyuki, Asanuma Shintarou, Nakamura Yuuichi, Sakurai Takahiro.
animation: Studio Pierrot. OP tk (of Ling Tosite Sigure), ED People in the Box.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts thu 03 jul 24:00

Kaneki is a book-loving college student in Tokyo. At his favorite café, he meets a nice girl his age who is also reading all the time and enjoys his favorite author. But it turns out that she is not what she seems.

A young (early 30s) director and writer, both of whom have received various awards for their work, bring us this true horror story. Morita Shuuhei directed Freedom in 2006, and was nominated for an Oscar this year for his Tsukumo. Writer Mikasano Chuuji has won multiple awards for his plays and directing. He works with theatre Spacenoid.

Interesting cast stars Hanae Natsuki, Amamiya Sora, Hanazawa Kana, Miyano Mamoru, and others. Morohoshi Sumire (Ichigo/Aikatsu, Arisa/OniAi), who is now 15, takes another step on her direct ladder to the top. OP by tk of Ling Tosite Sigure, who did the amazing OP "Abnormalize" for Psycho-Pass.

Strange+ 2
  (jp: 真 ストレンジプラス)   jpWiki

from a josei gag manga
director: Furukawa Hiroyuki (debut as series dir), Nishikawa Takashi (first series was his debut as director)
writer: Nishikawa Takashi. Mikawa Verno (manga).
seiyuus: Seki Tomokazu, Fukuyama Jun, Okiayu Ruoutarou, Yukino Satsuki, Morikawa Toshiyuki, Kawada Myouko, Konishi Katsuyuki, Hatano Wataru, Saiga Mitsuki, Yukana, Orikasa Ai, Ishikawa Kaito, Ono Kenshou, Terasaki Ayano, Nagahiro Shouko.
animation: Seven. OP Poaro.
trailer. forum.
starts thu 03 jul 25:00

Second series of five-minute comic shorts. Any show featuring Yukino Satsuki has my attention, but my attention didn’t last long for season one.

In any case, a terrific cast, guided by an inexperienced staff.

Rail Wars!
  (jp: Rail Wars!)   jpWiki

school and life comedy
director: Sueda Yoshifumi (debut)
writer: Suzuki Masashi (Shuffle, Kanokon, Sacred Blacksmith).
seiyuus: Fukuyama Jun, Numakura Aimi, Uchida Maaya, Hino Satoshi, Igarashi Hiromi, Nakahara Mai, Horie Yui, Chihara Minori, Konno Hiromi.
animation: Passione. OP Chihara Minori, ED Zaq.
trailer. forum.
starts thu 03 jul 25:46

In an alternate Japan where the national railway system was never privatized, our hero is an ordinary high school student who aspires to a comfortable life working at Japanese National Railways.

He ends up working as a security trainee, where he has to deal with his strange colleagues -- as well as with RJ, a group of extremists fighting to privatize the railway.

I hope the excellent cast will make up for the less than inspiring staff. Fukuyama Jun, Uchida Maaya, Nakahara Mai, Horie Yui.... And Chihara Minori and Zaq singing the themes.

Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yattemita
  (jp: 普通の女子校生が【ろこどる】やってみた.)   jpWiki

idol comedy
director: Nawa Munenori (Nogizaka Haruka, KissxSis, Nakaimo)
writer: Ayana Yuniko (Denpa Onna, Kin-iro Mosaic).
seiyuus: Itou Miku (Yuuho/Wanna be the Strongest), Misawa Sachika (Kuroyukihime/Accel World), Yoshioka Maya (Taeko/Girls und Panzer), Minase Inori (Suzu/Love Lab, Chino/Gochuumon Usagi?), Shimoda Asami, Izawa Shiori, Izawa Mikako, Tsuda Minami, Matsui Eriko, Murosono Takehiro, Iida Toshinobu, M.A.O..
animation: Feel. OPED Nagarekawa Girls (seiyuus).
trailer. forum.
starts thu 03 jul 26:16

High school girl Nanako is asked by her uncle to become the town's local idol ("locodol"). Together with her senior Yukari, who seems perfect but is actually an airhead, she is interviewed (by the town's shopping centre), goes on television (low-budget cable), and does concerts (on the roof of the department store). The girls' salaries come from the town's taxes. (ANN)

Rising young seiyuus Itou Miku and Misawa Sachika (Accel World) star. Minase Inori, whose work I enjoyed in Love Lab and Gochuumon Usagi, also has an important role. Solid staff features capable comedy director Nawa Munenori, and the writer of Denpa Onna and Kin-Iro Mosaic, Ayana Yuniko.

This show could work, as long as Feel's animation holds up and you can ignore Itou Miku's second-rate singing.

  (jp: プリパラ)   jpWiki

young shoujo idol
director: Moriwaki Makoto (Onegai My Meody, Milky Holmes)
writer: Tsuchiya Michihiro (Kaikan Phrase, Major, Cross Game, Chibi Devi). Takara Tomy ARTS.
seiyuus: Akaneya Himika (PR AllStar Lala), Serizawa Yuu, Kubota Kiyu, Suzuki Chihiro, Terashima Takuma, Takano Urara, Itou Kanae, Suwabe Junichi.
animation: Tatsunoko Pro, Dongwoo A&E. OP1 i☆Ris (seiyuus), ED1 Prizmmy.
starts sat 05 jul 10:00

A Pretty Rhythm spin-off. Lala is a 5th-grader who, like most girls, admires the world of PriPara, a competition that tests idol girls on song, dance, and fashion. There seems no hope, but Lala miraculously passes the audition to become a PriPara idol.

Despite comng from a game for elementary-school girls, Pretty Rhythm has stood up fairly well over its three years on the air. Perhaps this new spin-off -- without skates -- can do the same, especially with the help of the director of Milky Holmes.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal
  (jp: 美少女戦士セーラームーン Crystal)   jpWiki

shoujo mahou shoujo
director: Sakai Munehisa (One Piece)
writer: Kobayashi Yuuji (Aoi Bungaku 11-12). Takeuchi Naoko (manga).
seiyuus: Mitsuishi Kotono, Hirohashi Ryou, Koshimizu Ami, Satou Rina, Kanemoto Hisako, Itou Shizuka, Nojima Kenji.
animation: Toei Animation. OPED Momoiro Clover Z.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sat 05 jul 19:00

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original Sailor Moon anime, we have a new series retelling the Dark Kingdom story. Clumsy but spirited Tsukino Usagi meets Luna, a black cat with a white crescent on her forehead. And Tsukino suddenly transforms into the pretty sailor-suited guardian of love and justice, Sailor Moon, who has a mission to protect a princess, and to find her fellow Guardians and the powerful Silver Crystal. Meanwhile, Queen Beryl of the Dark Kingdom sends her agents to Usagi's town, looking for the Silver Crystal.

The original seiyuu for Sailor Moon, Mitsuishi Kotono, returns in the same role. But the other roles get new seiyuus. The director is a veteran of One Piece.

The first episode will get an advance premiere screening on Usagi's birthday, June 30th, at a birthday party sponsored by women's fashion magazine ViVi. Male attendees are not admitted unless accompanied by a female.

Shounen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 49
  (jp: 少年ハリウッド - HOLLY STAGE FOR 49 -)   jpWiki

bishounen idols
director: Kuroyanagi Toshimasa (Sukitte ii na yo series dir.)
writer: Hashiguchi Ikuyo. Hashiguchi Ikuyo (novel, mixed media project).
seiyuus: Oosaka Ryouta, Kakihara Tetsuya, Yamashita Daiki, Aoi Shouta, Ono Kenshou, Nitta Masashi, Namikawa Daisuke, Asanuma Shintarou, Hoshi Souichirou, Suzuki Yuuto, Toriumi Kousuke, Sakaguchi Daisuke, Kishio Daisuke.
animation: Zexcs. OP Shounen Hollywood (seiyuus).
starts sat 05 jul 20:30

At the Hollywood Tokyo theater in Harajuku, the members of the idol group Shounen Hollywood develop their talents with diligent work and studying. The anime is set 15 years after the story in the original novel.

Hard to say how this will work out. The early trailer shows a detailed but somewhat static drawing style for the bishounen. It will either work for you or it won't. And the director is doing his first show, after a career spent in key animation, with only a little bit of episode direction and storyboarding in the past two years.

It's a good concept: an idol show featuring guys. Let's see how they execute it.

Sword Art Online 2: Phantom Bullet
  (jp: ソードアート・オンラインII)   jpWiki

game world fantasy adventure
director: Itou Tomohiko (Occult Academy, SAO, Silver Spoon; storyboards for Monster, Death Note)
writer: Kawahara Reki (novel).
seiyuus: Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, Sawashiro Miyuki.
animation: A-1 Pictures. OP Aoi Eir, ED Haruna Luna.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sat 05 jul 23:30

A year has passed since Sword Art Online (SAO) was cleared. Kirito is asked to investigate a new online game, Gun Gale Online. Deaths in the game's world seem to be linked to deaths in the real world.

This anime is based on the third arc of the SAO light novel series. Only two cast members have been announced so far: Matsuoka Yoshitsugu (Kirito) and Sawashiro Miyuki. But because their characters return, we can expect to hear Tomatsu Haruka (Asuna), Hidaka Rina (Silica), Taketatsu Ayana (Suguha), and Takagaki Ayahi (Lisbeth).

This is really the only game-world show I have enjoyed and watched all of. Perhaps it was just simple enough for my taste. And for many other people's. ED by the unique and enjoyable Haruna Luna.

  (jp: アルドノア・ゼロ)   jpWiki

sci-fi with violence and romance
director: Aoki Ei (Hourou Musuko, Fate/Zero)
writer: Takayama Katsuhiko (ef memories, Mirai Nikki). Urobuchi Gen (orig story).
seiyuus: Hanae Natsuki, Ono Kenshou, Amamiya Sora, Misawa Sachika, Komatsu Mikako, Murata Taishi, Kakuma Ai, Yamaya Yoshitaka, Oohara Sayaka, Nakai Kazuya, Toriumi Kousuke, Kayano Ai, Shimamura Yu, Minase Inori, Hayami Shou, Ookawa Tooru.
animation: Troyca, A-1 Pictures. OP Kalafina, ED Sawano Hiroyuki.
trailer. forum.
starts sat 05 jul 24:00

A new story from the Urobutcher: in 1972, the Apollo 17 mission discovers a hypergate to Mars on the surface of the moon. Earth people go to settle Mars, but by the mid-1980s, strife begins and there is a war between the planets that ends up with the hypergate running wild and destroying the Moon. By 2014, the two sides have been in a state of truce for ten years. We keep expecting horrors from the Urobutcher, but this show may (or may not) end up closer to Gargantia than to MadoMagi.

I thought Amamiya Sora was terrific as Fujimiya in One Week Friends, but fairly awful as Jin Hazuki in Blade and Soul. Producers obviously love her: she has three major roles this season, here and in Akame ga Kill and Tokyo Ghoul. The director and writer are not so famous, but have good credits: Hourou Musuko and Fate/Zero (the director) and ef memories and Mirai Nikki (the writer).

  (jp: ばらかもん)   jpWiki

slice of life comedy
director: Tachibana Masaki (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0)
writer: Pierre Sugiura (Bottom-Biting Bug). Yoshino Satsuki (manga).
seiyuus: Ono Daisuke, Hara Suzuko, Furuki Nozomi, Ookubo Rumi, Uchiyama Kouki, Endou Rina, Kimura Seiya, Han Megumi, Sugino Tanuki, Tachiki Fumihiko, Suwabe Junichi, Kaji Yuuki.
animation: Kinema Citrus. OP Super Beaver.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sat 05 jul 26:20

After punching a famous calligrapher, a handsome young calligrapher is exiled to a small island. As a city boy, he has to adapt to his strange new neighbors: people traveling on a tractor, unwanted visitors who come in through the back door, annoying kids who use his home as a playground, etc. Innocence and laughter.

The director did the excellent Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, and the writer did the popular Bottom-Biting Bug. Mixed cast of unknowns and stars (Ono Daisuke, Suwabe Junichi). The first two episodes will be shown June 29 in Tokyo and on the Goto Islands, where the story is set.

  (jp: ガンダムさん)   jpWiki

comic-strip comedy
director: Mankyuu (Utsurun desu, Tono to Issho, Puchim@s)
writer: Mankyuu. Oowada Hideki (comic).
seiyuus: Konishi Katsuyuki, Han Megumi (Gon in HunterxHunter, Cure Princess in PreCure, Kayo in Black Bullet), Yonaga Tsubasa, Nazuka Kaori, Okiayu Ryoutarou, Shimoyama Yoshimitsu, Matsuyama Takashi, Hirohasi Ryou, Yamaguchi Rikako, Okizu Kazuyuki, Han Keiko, Furuya Tooru.
animation: Sunrise.
manga. forum.
starts sun 06 jul 19:28

Just announced: animation of the Gundam-san four-panel comic. Directed by Mankyuu, who did Utsurun desu, Tono to Issho, and Puchim@s. Probably short episodes. Great cast, starting with Konishi Katsuyuki and including both Han Megumi and her mother, Han Keiko (Lalah Sune in Gundam, Athena in Saint Seiya, Luna and Queen Beryl in Sailor Moon).

  (jp: 人生)   jpWiki

school comedy
director: Kawaguchi Keiichirou (Hayate, Nyan Koi)
writer: Arakawa Naruhisa (Shirayuki Hime, Steel Angel Kurumi, Yosuga no Sora, Kingdom, Outbreak Company). Kawagishi Ougyo (novel).
seiyuus: Takumi Yasuaki, Nitta Hiyori, Toyota Moe, Suwa Ayaka, Oonishi Saori, Maeda Rena.
animation: Feel.
trailer. 13eps. forum.
starts sun 06 jul 22:00

Top comedy director Kawaguchi Keiichirou (Hayate) works with capable veteran writer Arakawa Naruhisa (Yosuga no Sora, Kingdom) to give Feel its second show of the season, along with Locodol.

Our hero joins the staff of his school's second newspaper. He is assigned to the "Life" column: he and three girls on staff answer people's questions about their life problems. Cast includes Toyota Moe (Kurumi in Saki Zenkoku), Suwa Ayaka (Ruri in Flag o Oretara) and Maeda Rena (Nike in The World is Still Beautiful).

Maido! Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku
  (jp: 毎度! 浦安鉄筋家族)   jpWiki

madcap family comedy
director: Daichi Akitarou (Fruits Basket, Bokura ga Ita)
writer: Hamaoka Kenji (manga).
seiyuus: Mimori Suzuko, Ichijou Kazuya, Toujou Kanako, Kitta Izumi.
animation: Studio Deen.
trailer. manga.
starts sun 06 jul 22:27

The misadventures of a second-grade boy and his family and friends. Sequel to the 1998 anime translated as Super Radical Gag Family.

Another starring role for Mimori Suzuko. I also like Kitta Izumi. I thought she was uncomfortably good in Watamote.

The trailer link is to an episode from the first season. The current series appears to be in three-minute episodes.

  (jp: さばげぶっ!)   jpWiki

girls with guns, school comedy
director: Oota Masahiko (Mitsudomoe, Yuruyuri, Kotoura-san, Love Lab)
writer: Aoshima Takashi (Mitsudomoe, Yuruyuri, Kotoura-san, Love Lab). Matsumoto Hidekichi (manga).
seiyuus: Oohashi Ayaka, Uchiyama Yumi, Ookubo Rumi, Lynn, Touyama Nao.
animation: Pierrot Plus. OPED seiyuus.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sun 06 jul 22:30

Yet another girls-with-guns show, but there is some nice weirdness in the manga, and the trailer looks good. And I like the work of at least three of the main seiyuus: Touyama Nao, Ookubo Rumi, and Uchiyama Yumi.

On Momoka's first day of high school, a man gropes her on the train. Suddenly a girl nearby pulls a gun on the man who touched her! This is Momoka's first encounter with her new high school's survival game club. Before long, she finds herself dragged into the club, which is full of cute girls wielding (air) guns.

The team of director Oota Masahiko and writer Aoshima Takashi has made a number of shows together, including Mitsudomoe, YuruYuri, Kotoura-san, and Love Lab. There is some quality there, so I'm hoping this may be a good adaptation of the pleasantly off-centre manga.

Space Dandy 2
  (jp: スペース☆ダンディ 2)   jpWiki

wild and crazy comedy in space
director: Watanabe Shinichirou (chiefdir; Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Kids on the Slope), Natsume Shingo
writer: Satou Dai (Eureka Seven), Nobumoto Keiko, Ueno Kimiko.
seiyuus: Suwabe Junichi, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Satake Uki.
animation: Bones.
trailer. forum.
starts sun 06 jul 23:00

The same main cast and staff return for a second season of the wild and crazy space comedy from Bones. The frenetic humour only worked for me for a couple of episodes, but it definitely held its appeal for many people. This is a quality operation, with high-level animation, and has been popular both in Japan and overseas.

One of the things that attracts me to this show is the presence of Satake Uki, of the excellent idol group 9Nine, as the robot crew-member QT. Of course, Suwabe Junichi and Yoshino Hiroyuki as the other two crew members have some appeal themselves.

Watanabe Shinichirou (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Kids on the Slope) is an excellent director. And Satou Dai (Eureka Seven) is one of the writers. The second season features a huge list of over 30 guest cast-members. You can see the full list here.

Akame ga Kill!
  (jp: アカメが斬る!)   jpWiki

shounen fighting adventure
director: Kobayashi Tomoki (Tears to Tiara, AmagamiSS+)
writer: Uezu Makoto (School Days, Humanity Has Declined, Blue Steel Arpeggio). Tashiro Tetsuya, Takahiro (manga).
seiyuus: Amamiya Sora, Saitou Souma, Tamura Yukari, Asakawa Yuu, Noto Mamiko, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, Konishi Katsuyuki, Mizuno Risa, Akesaka Satomi.
animation: White Fox. OP Amamiya Sora, ED Sawai Miku.
trailer. manga. 24?eps. forum.
starts sun 06 jul 24:00

Fighting adventure written by the flashy Uezu Makoto, and directed by lesser-known director Kobayashi Tomoki. Lesser-known cast, as well, seeded with big names like Tamura Yukari and Noto Mamiko.

Tatsumi is a fighter who goes to the Capital in search of a way to make money to assist his poverty-stricken village. After falling victim to a robbery and losing all his money, Tatsumi is taken in by an aristocratic girl called Aria. When Aria's home is attacked by a group of assassins, Tatsumi at first tries to defend her. But then the assassins show him that Aria has been kidnapping and torturing villagers, including his friends. He kills her and joins the assassins.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
  (jp: 月刊少女野崎くん)   jpWiki

romantic comedy
director: Yamazaki Mitsue (Penguin Drum eps., Hakkenden)
writer: Nakamura Yoshiko (Hiiro no Kakera). Tsubaki Izumi (manga).
seiyuus: Nakamura Yuuichi, Ozawa Ari, Okamoto Nobuhiko, Ono Yuuki, Kimura Ryouhei, Sawashiro Miyuki, Nakahara Mai.
animation: Douga Koubou. OP Ooishi Masayoshi, ED Ozawa Ari.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sun 06 jul 25:05

Our heroine has a crush on a handsome schoolmate, but when she confesses her love, he thinks she is just a fan and gives her an autograph. When she says that she always wants to be with him, he invites her to his house to help on some drawings. It turns out that he is a shoujo manga artist. They work together on his manga, and their relationship evolves.

Strong cast includes Nakamura Yuuichi, Okamoto Nobuhiko, Sawashiro Miyuki, and newcomer Ozawa Ari. The director did Hakkenden and several episodes of Penguin Drum. The writer did Hiiro no Kakera. This seems fairly promising, to me.

Dramatical Murder
  (jp: ドラマティカルマーダー)   jpWiki

game-based future fantasy with fighting and bishounen
director: Miura Kazuya (directoral debut; key animator, recently turned storyboarder)
writer: Machida Touko (Lucky Star, Inari Konkon, Wake Up Girls), Fuchii Kabura (debut). Nitro+Chiral.
seiyuus: Kisaichi Atsushi, Takahashi Hiroki, Hino Satoshi, Matsuda Kenichirou, Nakazawa Masatomo, Takeuchi Ryouta, Takahashi Kenji, Majima Junji, Higuchi Tomoyuki.
animation: Naz (Hamatora). OPED Goatbed.
trailer. forum.
starts sun 06 jul 25:35

The time is many years in the future. Our hero lives quietly with his grandmother on a rural island. People's main preoccupations are local gang fights and an online game called Rhyme. Our hero is involved in neither, until he becomes enmeshed in a game of Rhyme, gets his own AI, and begins unravelling the mystery of why people seem to be disappearing.

Second anime (after Hamatora) from new studio Naz. Debut director. Voices of new seiyuus and second-rank stars.

  (jp: ひめゴト)   jpWiki

seinen trap comedy
director: Yanase Hiroyuki (debut)
writer: Hyodo Kazuho (Gundam Age, Wanna be the Strongest). Tsukudani Norio (manga).
seiyuus: Kuwahara Yuuki (Eleking/Haitai Nanafa, Rattle/Freezing Vibr.), Matenrou Yuka, Ono Saki, Toujou Hisako, Sakura Ayane, Akasaki Chinatsu, Eguchi Takuya, Tsuda Minami, Tadokoro Azusa.
animation: Asahi Production. OPED I My Me Mine (seiyuus).
trailer. manga. forum.
starts mon 07 jul 23:54

Arikawa's parents flee and leave him to deal with their large debt. Chased by debt collectors, he is saved by the three girls of his school's student council. In return for their paying off his debt, he agrees to become the student council's "dog" and spend his high school life dressed as a girl.

Directed by experienced animation director Yanase Hiroyuki, making his debut as a show director. A young and/or inexperienced cast is bolstered by two young favorites: Sakura Ayane and Akasaki Chinatsu. I'm also eager to again hear Tadokoro Azusa, who won the audition Kido Ibuki just placed in.

Ao Haru Ride
  (jp: アオハライド)   jpWiki

shoujo romance
director: Yoshimura Ai (Teen RomCom Snafu)
writer: Konparu Tomoko (Ashita no Nadja, Kimi ni Todoke, Sunday Without God). Sakisaki Io (manga).
seiyuus: Uchida Maaya, Kaji Yuuki, Kayano Ai, Komatsu Mikako, Kenn, Hirakawa Daisuke.
animation: Production IG. OP Chico/Honeyworks, ED Fujifabric.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts mon 07 jul 24:00

From an enjoyable shoujo manga, in which our heroine suddenly finds herself at school again with the boy she used to love but who transferred away one summer. And now he returns with a new surname.

Surprising star Uchida Maaya takes lead billing, which she deserves, even over Kaji Yuuki. Kayano Ai and Komatsu Mikako are two voices I really like, too. Writer Konparu Tomoko is an old hand who did a nice job with Kimi ni Todoke. The drawing and animation in the trailer are good, as you would expect from Production IG.

Hana Yamata
  (jp: ハナヤマタ)   jpWiki

seinen, shoujo ai
director: Ishizuka Atsuko (Sakurasou, No Game No Life, 10 eps of NANA)
writer: Yoshida Reiko (Marimite, K-On, Non Non Biyori). Hamayumiba Sou (manga).
seiyuus: Ueda Reina, Tanaka Minami, Okuno Kaya, Ootsubo Yuka, Numakura Manami, Yamamoto Ayano, Takai Maika, Koyama Tsuyoshi, Toyoguchi Megumi, Wakai Yuuki.
animation: Madhouse. OPED seiyuus.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts mon 07 jul 25:35

Our entirely average and normal 14-year-old protagonist admires "heroines," but lives a life that is entirely normal -- until one moonlit night she meets a blonde "fairy." This foreign girl then draws her into the extraordinary world of traditional Japanese dance.

Talented young director Ishizuka Atsuko (Sakurasou, No Game No Life) teams up with top writer Yoshida Reiko (Marimite) to adapt the shoujo ai manga for Madhouse. They will be working largely with young and lesser-known voices. But the staff and the yuri aspect attract me to this show.

Re: ␣Hamatora
  (jp: Re: ハマトラ)   jpWiki

supernatural mystery
director: Kishi Seiji (Angel Beats, etc.)
writer: Kumagai Jun (Hamatora). Kodama Yuuki (orig plan).
seiyuus: Oosaka Ryouta, Hatano Wataru, Kamiya Hiroshi, Katou Emiri, Akimoto Yousuke, Fukuyama Jun, Nakamura Yuuichi, Kitamura Eri, Murase Katsuki, Ono Atsushi, Akimoto Yousuke, Eguchi Takuya.
animation: Lerche.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts mon 07 jul 26:05

"Reply: Hamatora." A new season of Hamatora. Minimum Holders (i.e., possessors of superpowers) Hajime and Murasaki form a new detective duo, Hamatora Mark Two, after the death of former leader Nice.

Kishi Seiji and Kumagai Jun return to direct and write the show, but Lerche is the animation studio, rather than NAZ. The same main cast returns.

Momo Kyun Sword
  (jp: モモキュンソード)   jpWiki

supernatural comedy adventure
director: Yanagi Shinsuke (Roh-Kyu-Bu SS)
writer: Tamai Tsuyoshi (Nogizaka Haruka, Ladies vs. Butlers). Kibidango Project (novels).
seiyuus: Taketatsu Ayana, Tsuda Minami, Morikubo Shoutarou, Imai Asami, Hatano Wataru, Mikami Shiori, Mimori Suzuko, Ookubo Rumi, Ootsubo Yuka, Asano Masumi, Shimoda Asami, Hino Satoshi, Katou Emiri, Komatsu Mikako, Egawa Hisako, Chou, Takahashi Chiaki, Suganuma Hisayoshi, Ginga Banjou.
animation: Project No.9, Tri-Slash. OP Chisuga Haruka, ED Taketatsu Ayana.
trailer. forum.
starts tue 08 jul 24:30

Story based on the Japanese folk hero Momotaro, with Taketatsu Ayana as a female version of Momo, working with animal gods to subdue demons.

We can perhaps tell what kind of show this will be by looking at the director, who did Roh-Kyu-Bu SS, and the writer, who did Ladies vs. Butlers. The trailer and art feature glistening breasts and skimpy clothing. Excellent large cast.

Majimoji Rurumo
  (jp: まじもじるるも)   jpWiki

supernatural ecchi comedy
director: Sakurai Chikara
writer: Kunisawa Mariko. Watanabe Wataru (manga).
seiyuus: Mimori Suzuko, Takahashi Makoto, Fukuen Misato, Endou Yurika, Shiraishi Mari, Ishigami Shizuka, Shimono Hiro, Kobayashi Yuusuke, Nagatsuma Juri, Majima Junji.
animation: JC Staff. OP Mimori Suzuko, ED Endou Yurika.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts wed 09 jul 21:00

Shibaki is his high school's famous pervert, shunned by all girls. He happens on a book of magic and plays at summoning a witch -- and a cute, impassive witch appears, to grant any wish and then take his life.

Mimori Suzuko should make a very cute witch. Takahashi Makoto has only his second role, and first named role, as Shibaki.

Long-time key animator Sakurai Chikara debuts as a director. Writer Kunisawa Mariko did Hatsukoi Limited and wrote many episodes of Squid Girl. From the trailer, it seems to me that the rough but very effective drawing style of the manga still works when it is transformed into smooth JC Staff style.

Yama no Susume: Second Season
  (jp: ヤマノススメ セカンドシーズン)   jpWiki

cute girls climbing cute mountains
director: Yamamoto Yuusuke (Keroro Gunsou, Welcome to NHK, Yama no Susume 1)
writer: Yamamoto Yuusuke. Shiro (manga).
seiyuus: Iguchi Yuka, Asumi Kana, Hikasa Youko, Ogura Yui, Hisakawa Aya, Ogino Seirou.
animation: 8bit. ED Ogura Yui.
trailer. 24x15mineps. forum.
starts wed 09 jul 22:00

Aoi is an indoor girl and is afraid of heights. Hinata likes the outdoors, and climbs mountains. They and some friends start going on ever longer hikes into the mountains, even staying overnight to watch sunrise from the top.

The success of the first season has expanded this new season from five- to fifteen-minute episodes, and to a complete six-month run. Strong cast includes Iguchi Yuka, Asumi Kana, and Hikasa Youko, as well as moe-monster Ogura Yui, who sings the ED. And Hisakawa Aya gives the cast a some heft.

Professional and experienced director Yamamoto Yuusuke (Keroro Gunsou, Welcome to the NHK) directs and writes.

Love Stage!!
  (jp: Love Stage!!)   jpWiki

bishounen, boy-moe, shounen ai
director: Kasai Kenichi (Major, Honey and Clover, Bakuman)
writer: Yokote Michiko (Princess Tutu, Genshiken). Tsuda Mikiyo, Eiki Eiki (manga).
seiyuus: Yonaga Tsubasa, Eguchi Takuya, Daigo, Hirakawa Daisuke, Okiayu Ryoutarou, Kimura Ryouhei, Sakai Kyouko, Oohara Sayaka, Majima Junji, Oohara Sayaka, Yamamoto Kazutomi, Morikubo Shoutarou.
animation: JC Staff. OP Screen Mode.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts wed 09 jul 25:05

The fujoshi market continues to advance. Top comedy director Kasai Kenichi and top writer Yokote Michiko adapt a yaoi manga for JC Staff.

Feminine-looking otaku college student Izumi aspires to be a mangaka, despite his complete lack of drawing talent. His mother is a film star, his father a singer, his elder brother -- who adores him -- is the lead singer of a popular band. Ten years before, Izumi was in a TV commercial with Ryouma, who fell in love with him, thinking he was a girl. Now they meet again, when Ryouma has become a star actor. Although Ryouma discovers Izumi is a guy, he still can't help feeling attracted to him. Yonaga Tsubasa seems well cast as Izumi, and Eguchi Takuya plays Ryouma. The manga is good. The anime could be just as good. Worth a look.

Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya Zwei!
  (jp: Fate/kaleid liner プリズマ☆イリヤ 2wei!)   jpWiki

magical girl adventure/comedy
director: Jinbou Masato (debut), Oonuma Shin (chiefdir; ef, Baka to test, Kokoro Connect chiefdir)
writer: Inoue Kenji (orig series). Hiroyama Hiroshi (maga), Type-Moon.
seiyuus: Kadowaki Mai, Nazuka Kaori, Saitou Chiwa, Ueda Kana, Itou Shizuka, Takano Naoko, Matsuki Miyu, Sugiyama Noriaki, Terada Haruhi, Itou Miki, Ise Mariya, Katou Emiri, Itou Kanae, Satou Satomi, Koshimizu Ami, Miyagawa Miho, Nabatame Hitomi, Koyama Rikiya, Oohara Sayaka.
animation: Silver Link. OP Kuribayashi Minami, ED Kouda Yumeha.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts wed 09 jul 25:35

A second season for the moe magical girl anime. The same staff returns, and the excellent cast is augmented with Nabatame Hitomi and Koshimizu Ami.

After all the Class cards have been captured, Illya and My are once again ordered by Rin and Luvia to help them stabilize the Earth's pulse, which went off-kilter when they started capturing the Class Cards. However, something goes wrong after the ceremony. Illiya protects everyone from the destructive explosion, but when the explosion is averted, and seemingly everyone is safe…Illya finds a clone of herself sitting beside her. (Mangafox)

Zankyou no Terror
  (jp: 残響のテロル)   jpWiki

dystopic mystery adventure
director: Watanabe Shinichirou (Cowboy Bebop, Kids on the Slope)
writer: Watanabe Shinichirou (orig plan).
seiyuus: Ishikawa Kaito (Harutora/Tokyo Ravens, Ignacio/Pilot Love Song), Saitou Souma (Karashi/Hoozuki no Reitetsu), Tanezaki Atsumi, Sakuya Shunsuke, Han Megumi.
animation: Mappa. OP Ozaki Yuki, ED Aimer.
trailer. forum.
starts thu 10 jul 24:50

Watanabe Shinichirou brings us his second show of the season, something a bit more serious than Space Dandy.

In an alternate version of the present, Tokyo has been decimated by a shocking terrorist attack. No-one knows who did it, and people are in a panic. Meanwhile, two mysterious children masterfully carry out their terrible plan, determined to wake the world from its slumber.

Music by Kanno Youko. Noitamina.

Persona 4 The Golden Animation
  (jp: ペルソナ4 ザ・ゴールデン)   jpWiki

supernatural mystery adventure
director: Taguchi Tomohisa (eps of first series, dir of movie), Kishi Seiji (chiefdir)
writer: Kumagai Jun (eps of first series; Hamatora).
seiyuus: Namikawa Daisuke, Morikubo Shoutarou, Horie Yui, Koshimizu Ami, Seki Tomokazu, Kugimiya Rie, Yamaguchi Kappei, Paku Romi, Ishizuka Unshou, Kanda Akemi, Madono Mitsuaki, Tanonaka Isamu, Oohara Sayaka, Hanazawa Kana.
animation: A-1 Pictures.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts thu 10 jul 25:49

For this new Persona 4 series, a new director takes over from Kishi Seiji, who remains as "chief director" to supervise him. And Hanazawa Kana joins the cast as Marie, a mysterious girl who inhabits the Velvet Room.

This is a retelling of the original story, with the addition of Marie, a girl with no past. Our hero moves to a new town and a new school. Mysterious murders keep happening, and they are predicted on an equally mysterious TV channel that comes on only at midnight. Our hero and his friends become connected with the strange world of the TV and the murders, and awaken to the power of their hearts, from which appears a Persona for each of them.

Great cast, including Namikawa Daisuke, Koshimizu Ami...and Paku Romi.

Ai Mai Mii: Mousou Catastrophe
  (jp: あいまいみー ~妄想カタストロフ~)   jpWiki

young shoujo comedy adventure
director: Imazaki Itsuki (Ai Mai Mii, Recorder and Randsel Mi)
writer: Imazaki Itsuki (Ai Mai Mii, Recorder and Randsel Mi). Choboraunyopomi (orig creator).
seiyuus: Ootsubo Yuka, Uchida Aya, Uchida Maaya, Kayano Ai, Tenshin Mukai.
animation: Seven. OP seiyuus.
trailer. forum.
starts thu 10 jul 26:05

A sequel to the original Ai Mai Mii. Strong cast returns. Once again directed and written by Imazaki Itsuki.

Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus
  (jp: 黒執事 Book of Circus)   jpWiki

supernatural dark fantasy
director: Abe Noriyuki (Great Teacher Onizuka, Bleach)
writer: Yoshino Hiroyuki (My-HiME, Macross F, Magi). Toboso Yana (manga).
seiyuus: Ono Daisuke, Sakamoto Maaya, Miyano Mamoru, Takagaki Ayahi, Kaida Yuuko, Okamoto Nobuhiko, Terashima Takuma, Tai Yuuki, Shintani Mayumi, Koyanagi Ryoukan, Touchi Hiroki, Kaji Yuuki, Katou Emiri, Fujimura Shunji, Sugiyama Noriaki, Kenn, Fukuyama Jun, Tachibana Shinnosuke, Yasumoto Hiroki, Tamura Yukari, Yusa Kouji, Yahagi Sayuri, Suwabe Junichi, Suganuma Hisayoshi, Kimura Ryouhei, Maeno Tomoaki.
animation: A-1 Pictures. OP Sid, ED Akira.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts thu 10 jul 26:19

The Noah's Ark Circus enlivens nineteenth-century London with its grandeur and spectacular stunts. But children are disappearing from areas the circus visits. The Queen sends her Watchdog, Ciel Phantomhive, to investigate and to retrieve the missing children. Ciel and his demon butler, Sebastian Michaelis, infiltrate the circus disguised as troupe members. (Kuroshitsuji Wikia)

This third Black Butler series is directed by Abe Noriyuki, the director of Bleach, and written by the workmanlike Yoshino Hiroyuki (Magi). Will a change of main staff be good or bad? The cast is overwhelming, filled with top pros.

Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?
  (jp: 六畳間の侵略者!?)   jpWiki

boarding house harem comedy, with ghost
director: Oonuma Shin (ef, Prisma Illya, Watamote, Nou-Rin)
writer: Yasukawa Shougo (Neptunia). Takehaya (novel).
seiyuus: Nakamura Yuuichi, Suzuki Eri, Oomori Nichika, Tazawa Masumi, Naganawa Maria, Suzuki Tatsuhisa, Taketatsu Ayana, Yuuki Aoi, Hayami Saori, Takamoto Megumi, Suzaki Aya.
animation: Silver Link. OP seiyuus, ED petit milady.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts fri 11 jul 25:05

"Invaders of My Six-Mat Room." Oonuma Shin tries his hand at harem comedy. His first anime were the two ef shows, for Shaft. Then Baka to Test, for his own new company, Silver Link. His most recent shows are Prisma Illya, Watamote, and Nou-Rin. For me, ef memories was his high-water mark, unfortunately. But the trailer for this show actully does look good, maybe enriching its genre.

Because his family is poor, in order to attend high school away from home, young Koutarou is forced to live alone in a small apartment (rokujouma="six-mat room", just under 9x12ft) on a budget of 5000 yen a month (~$50). He does live rent free, but on the other hand his room is haunted. The ghost of a cute young girl keeps trying to drive him out. And other invaders assail him, including nosy neighbours and interfering magical girls.

Nakamura Yuuichi could give the guy-cliché a good feeling. And I look forward to hearing a newcomer opposite him, Suzuki Eri. Yuuki Aoi and Taketatsu Ayana have minor roles and sing the ED, as "petit milady".

Tokyo ESP
  (jp: 東京ESP)   jpWiki

mystery comedy drama
director: Takayanagi Shigehito (Galaxy Angel X, Kanamemo, World God Only Knows)
writer: Kurata Hideyuki (Now Then Here There, World God Only Knows, OreImo). Segawa Hajime (manga; Ga-Rei manga).
seiyuus: Kido Ibuki, Koumoto Keisuke, Misawa Sachika, Hiramatsu Hirokazu, Nakata Jouji, Tadokoro Azusa, Genda tesshou, Ebara Masashi, Aizawa Mai, Konno Hiromi.
animation: Xebec. OP Faylan, ED Yousei Teikoku.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts fri 11 jul 25:35

Rinka, an extremely poor high school girl, lives with her father in Tokyo. One day, she and a boy from her school chase a flying penguin, and then glistening fish swimming in the air appear and swim through her. This somehow gives her the unwelcome ability to slip through solid objects. And the story begins.

Kido Ibuki gets her second major role of the season, and one that should be right up her alley. She's only 16, but producers are continuing to cast her multiple times a season. She's got the big pipes and is developing her acting.

A capable director and writer, and a manga written by the author of Ga-rei, make me even more optimistic about this show. The fact that the dark metal of Yousei Teikoku ("Fairy Empire") will provide the ED is just icing on the cake. The lead singer of Yousei Teikoku is former seiyuu Itsuki Yui.

Nobunaga Concerto
  (jp: 信長協奏曲)   jpWiki

medieval fantasy time-travel adventure
director: Fujikawa Yuusuke (TV drama director)
writer: Takahashi Natsuko (Gakuen Heaven, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Brothers Conflict, Lady Jewelpet). Ishii Ayumi (manga).
seiyuus: Miyano Mamoru, Kaji Yuuki, Sugita Tomokazu, Mizuki Nana, Nakamura Yuuichi, Yuuki Aoi, Okitsu Kazuyuki, Koyama Rikiya, Asanuma Shintarou, Miyake Kenta, Takahashi Nobuya, Ogata Keiichi, Fukuyama Jun, Sakurai Takahiro, Kimira Ryouhei, Kuroda Takaya, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Sugisaki Akira, Murase Ayumu, Murase Ayumu, Uchiyama Kouki, Kiyokawa Motomu, Akimoto Yousuke.
animation: Fuji TV.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts fri 11 jul 25:50

Fascinating team at the top: a director of TV dramas and the writer of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. The action will be performed live and rotoscoped into animation. I look forward to seeing what they can do. The trailer looks quite different from the rotoscoping in Flowers of Evil.

Saburo is an obstreperous high-school student who after a fall suddenly finds himself back in Japan's Warring States period, over 400 years ago. Not just that, but he is the spitting image of the warlord's son Oda Nobunaga, who history says went on to unify almost all of Japan. The real Nobunaga is physically weak and seizes the chance to evade his destined role and pass it on to Saburo. From then on, Saburo has to try to remember what Nobunaga actually did and not change it.

Huge and talented cast. I think Mamo-chan is a natural for this role.

Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance
  (jp: 精霊使いの剣舞)   jpWiki

ecchi harem adventure
director: Yanagisawa Tetsuya (Kannazuki no Miko, Kyoushirou to Towa no Sora, High School DxD)
writer: Yoshioka Takao (DearS, Elfen Lied, High School DxD, Watamote). Shimizu Yuu (novel).
seiyuus: Furukawa Makoto, Kido Ibuki, Yuuki Kana, Ishigami Shizuka, Oonishi Saori, Kakuma Ai, Tanaka Manami, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, Nakahara Mai, Hikasa Youko.
animation: TNK. OP Harada Hitomi, ED seiyuus.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sun 14 jul 20:30

Kazehaya Kamito has been summoned to the girl's school Areishia Spirit Academy, which teaches noble young ladies how to make contracts with powerful spirits. On his way, he has the misfortune to catch sight of one of these lady spirit contractors bathing. She is Claire Rouge, and she is contracted to a spirit named Scarlet, though she has her sights set on a more powerful spirit. Kamito convinces her to lead him to the school, but she stops on the way to make a contract with this powerful spirit. When Kamito ends up 'stealing' the powerful spirit, it is revealed that he is actually that unheard-of thing, a male spirit contractor!

Two things interest me about this show. The first is Kido Ibuki, trying a new character as an arrogant but vulnerable princess, Claire Rouge. The second is to see if the director (Kannazuki no Miko) and the lead writer (DearS, Elfen Lied, Watamote) can revive the virtues of some of their previous work.

Francesca: Girls Be Ambitious
  (jp: フランチェスカ Girls Be Ambitious)

zombie comedy
director: (unknown)
writer: HeART-BIT (original music video).
seiyuus: Makino Yui, Tano Asami, Urayama Jin, Takahashi Hiroki, Naitou Ami, Sugiyama Noriaki, Kudou Saki, Nagumo Daisuke, Miyamoto Katsuya, Shingaki Tarusuke.
animation: (unknown)  OP Makino Yui.
trailer. forum.
starts: sun jul 06 25:20

This is a comedy personifying Hokkaido as "undead idol" Francesca. She and others fight an invasion of Hokkaido by a zombie Shinsengumi army.

Makino Yui stars and sings the OP. The hopefully interesting cast is largely made up of unknowns. There's no indication yet of who the staff is. This may be made by HeART-BIT in Hokkaido.

Minarai Diva
  (jp: みならいディーバ)   jpWiki

live anime
director: Ishidate Koutarou (Straight Title Robot Anime, Tesagure)
writer: Ishidate Koutarou (gdgd fairies, Tesagure). Yoshida Hisanori (orig idea, supervision).
seiyuus: Murakawa Rie (Non Non Biyori/Hotaru, Escha), Yamamoto Nozomi (Joshiraku/Tetora, GenshikenSS/Ogiue), Yoshida Hisanori.
animation: (unknown)

starts mon 21 jul 19:30

Live and ad lib. The lines and songs will be performed live, and the seiyuus' movements digitized using motion-capture technology and MikuMikuDance software.

During each program, the two voice actresses will think up lyrics for a new song. And since the program is live, they will even accept suggestions for lyrics submitted by Twitter and email. The producer says it will be like a live radio show, but transformed into animation by technology.

Definitely worth a look. The idea germinated on announcer/producer Yoshida's cell-phone video show. I expect short episodes, but have no direct info.

Sengoku Basara: Judge End
  (jp: 戦国BASARA Judge End)   jpWiki

samurai historical adventure
director: Sano Takashi (debut)
writer: Takahashi Natsuko (Gakuen Heaven, Blue Drop, Brothers Conflict). Capcom.
seiyuus: Nakai Kazuya, Hoshi Souichirou, Seki Tomokazu, Ookawa Tooru, Morikawa Toshiyuki, Genda Tesshou, Koyasu Takehito, Okiayu Ryoutarou, Ishida Akira, Tachiki Fumihiko, Morita Masakazu, Oohara Sayaka, Koyama Rikiya, Koshimizu Ami, Paku Romi, Kuwatani Natsuko, Miyazawa Tadashi, Nishikawa Takanori.
animation: Telecom Animation Film. OP Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, ED Material World.
trailer. manga. forum.
starts sat jul 05 25:50

This is the third Sengoku Basara TV series. It centres on the Battle of Sekigahara, in which Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated his last major opposition and opened the path to rulership of all Japan, beginning the long peace of the Edo Period.

Storyboarder/key animator Sano Takashi handles his first show as director. And experienced writer Takahashi Natsuko (Brothers Conflict) ventures into historical drama. The cast starts with Nakai Kazuya and just stays at that high level: Paku Romi, Koyasu Takehito, Koyama Rikiya, Seki Tomokazu, Ookawa Tooru.... The trailer looks good.

  (jp: 花物語)   jpWiki

Shinbou comedy drama
director: Shinbou Akiyuki
writer: Shinbou Akiyuki, Tou Fuyashi. Nihio Ishin (novel).
seiyuus: Sawashiro Miyuki, Neya Michiko, Asumi Kana.
animation: Shaft.
trailer. 5eps. forum.
starts sat 16 aug

Monogatari SS, the five lost chapters. Perhaps due to production delays, the Suruga story will not be broadcast until August. At that time, we will get more Nishio Ishin and more Shinbou, conveyed via the great voice-talent of Sawashiro Miyuki.

You either love Shinbou's work or you hate it. I myself love it.


Anonymous said...

Best preview as usual :)

No main role for Sphere girls in the new shows aside from the SAO sequel. I guess Music Ray'n is concentrating its resource in launching the career of Amamiya Sora.

Anonymous said...

ONO D and Nakamura Yuuichi with starring roles this season!

Khrno said...

Been waiting for this preview (and any new post at all since May), thanks Hashi!

Mazryonh said...

You seem to be pretty up-to-date on seiyuu news and the like. Would you happen to know why Aya Hisakawa and Emi Shinohara were not brought back to reprise their roles in this remake of the original Sailor Moon anime? Both of them are still active in the anime industry.

I'm particularly confused as to why Tohru Furuya (the original voice for Tuxedo Kamen) wasn't brought back either. They invited him to the 20th Anniversary of Sailor Moon, where he did a few of his old lines (and he still can do them very well, so it's clearly not because his voice has changed beyond recognition).

Kotono Mitsuishi might have said "Please cheer us on and enjoy a miracle romance together with us," during the NicoNico vid where the new voice actresses for the Sailor Senshi were announced, but I don't think it'll be quite as good a romance without Tohru Furuya as Tuxedo Kamen/Mamoru Chiba or even Keiko Han as Luna the cat.

Is it because they mentioned that one of the "main objectives" this time was to replace everyone but Mitsuishi-san for this remake? If so, that's a damn pity because some of those older seiyuus just get better with age and experience (as well exemplified by Mitsuishi-san herself). Then again, it makes me wonder whether someone like Nana Mizuki (who has worked with Toei before on a Precure series, like many of the new seiyuus for the Sailor Senshi) could have replaced Mitsuishi-san for this remake.

Mai said...

Much appreciated as usual. <3

This season's looking pretty promising. Especially waiting for Barakamon with bated breath~

hashi said...

@Anonymous1 -- I think you're right about Music Ray'n's current approach. But there are four seasons in a year, so we'll see what autumn brings.

@Khrno -- Travel and other busy-ness superseded everything else.

@Mazyronh -- I wish I could bring some enlightenment, but I can't. You'd think they'd go for all new seiyuus or all original. I do like the main new seiyuus (Koshimizu, Shizuka-sama, Satou Rina, Kanemoto, Hirohashi Ryou) so I don't feel too badly, myself. But I was certainly surprised.

Mazryonh said...

@hashi -- Oh don't mistake me, I like the new seiyuus for the Sailor Senshi as well. Still, it's very disappointing to me that despite the fact that they brought back Kotono Mitsuishi, now an older and wiser veteran, they left out the main target of Usagi's "miracle romance."

For a better illustration of what I mean, just go and take a look at the Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary NicoNico broadcast video at the following URL:

Sure, it was years ago, but it's very disappointing to see Tohru Furuya appear in this celebration and not appear in the actual remake, especially when he says in the video "A long time has passed since I played Mamoru" at 10:52--now we know he won't get another chance to do so again, despite being the other half of the "miracle romance" that Kotono Mitsuishi mentioned and still being very able and willing to reprise his old role. A part of me feels betrayed.

Speaking of getting replaced, can you imagine Hitomi Nabatame (with her deep voice easily-adapted to playing villains) playing the role of Queen Beryl in the 2014 Sailor Moon remake? Most of the Sailor Senshis' new seiyuus are alumni from Toei's various Precure series, and Nabatame-san recently starred as Aida Mana in DokiDoki! Precure after all.

Wong Max said...

Let’s see. What have I enjoyed? Black Bullet’s tragic cuteness, Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou’s slapstick humor, Date A Live II’s growing harem, Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?’s moe, Gokukoku no Brynhildr’s gory fiesta, Mekaku City Actors’s confusing arcs, No Game No life’s absolute victories, Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin’s pudding madness and Sidonia no Kishi’s wonderful animation. There are still the ongoing Captain Earth mecha adventures and also Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei, where there is finally some action underneath all that wincest