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|Title:||2012 Summer Anime Season Preview Picks|
|Published:||Sat, 16 Jun 2012|
Welcome, dear reader, to the Anime UK News 2012 Summer Anime Season Preview Guide. In this article, the staff of AUKN will analyse the titles in the Summer Season Previews that have already been posted give their opinions of the shows that have caught their attention. Some of these shows are brand new which will allow for comments on trends while some are sequels, so this will give the writer a chance to critique what they want to see happen in a franchise they may like.
Will this season's titles leave our critics and reporters impressed or heading to old-school anime? The only way to find out is by reading on!
What I like about this season is that there is a real diversity in content. Okay, there's a lot of moé and ecchi in there (Hagure Yuusha no Estetica, Yuruyuri, and Tari Tari) but there are also some really interesting titles that tread different ground to what we normally see. Familiar studios that I usually follow (Xebec/Production I.G./Madhouse) aren't as dominant this summer which has cleared the way for the likes of AIC, Barnum, Silver Link and Doga Kobo to push out some titles. Anyway, here are the titles that have caught my eye.
When I was going through the summer titles this title really stood out. The sci-fi premise is really interesting and despite the fact I have not read the light novels this is based on, one look at this cover (CYBER HOUNDS!!!) and I was sold! This is animated by Zexcs who did some good work on Speed Grapher.
I have no idea what the contents of the Hyakunin Isshu anthology are but they features 100 romantic poems from 100 different poets such as The Tale of Genji's Murasaki Shikibu. I assume there's going to be a degree of class considering the source of the anime and the artwork and the fact that direction comes from Kenichi Kasai who worked on Nodame Cantabile.
The set up and art work shout moé but the talent behind it is considerable so I'm hoping this will turn out good... or at least as entertaining as Kill Me Baby. This is based on a manga by Kouji Kumeta of Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei fame. I liked the dry humour of that series but some of it could be obtuse at points. Tsutomu Mizushima is directing this and his work on titles like Shin-chan, Hare Nochi Guu and Genshiken allows me to assume that Joshiraku will be funny. Scripts come from Michiko Yokote who also worked on Genshiken and Hare Nochi Guu. The studio behind this is J.C. Staff and their work on Excel Saga is another sign that things will be good.
I like the concept behind this show - the bureaucratic meets the fantastical in a world where humanity is declining in power and nature is retaking the planet. The anime looks gorgeous and the music I've heard so far has been relaxing. Since I haven't read the light novels this based on I can only surmise that this will be a relaxing experience.
Last year I read the historical fantasy manga Qwan which was set in ancient China. I thoroughly enjoyed its setting and characters and so the prospect of seeing an epic TV anime series set in ancient China is too good to pass up. The story looks to be suitably epic. Maybe this could be Berserk at its more sober and realistic when it was all about assaulting castles. Studio Pierrot are the team animating this and they have a strong track record.
One of the shows airing in Fuji TV's Noitamina slot is an adaptation of Haruka Kawachi's josei manga which I haven't even heard of, so what has drawn me to this title? When I read the synopsis it struck me that the mature storyline had potential for great character studies in the way Space Brothers and Kids On The Slope have developed. Also appealing is the fact that it is directed by Kou Matsuo who handled Red Garden, which I enjoyed. I'm unfamiliar with the works of the studio, Doga Kobo, but looking at their back catalogue it seems they specialise in moé. Well they've reined that in here because the art work looks to adhere to distinctly josei standards.
The reason I am going to watch this one? I've grown attached to it since first reporting the green-lighting of the anime. I had the chance to glance at the light novels and I liked the illustrations by BUNBUN and the diverse set of characters. The anime is directed by Tomohiko Itou who did a decent job on Occult Academy, Death Note, and Monster. Monster? Yeah! Art direction is being orchestrated by Yusuke Takeda who has worked on some stellar anime series in the past (Gankutsuou and GitS: S.A.C.) and whose work will be seen later on this year in the major motion pictures 009 Re:Cyborg movie and Berserk II. This anime will allow me to get my fill of cool fantasy violence.
While the story sounds clichéd and dull, the series composition is handled by Jukki Hanada (Steins;Gate, Nichijō) so anything is possible.
Oh boy, a series set in a school and its slice of life but it comes from the masters of that genre, P.A. Works. So it's heavy on the Hanasaku Iroha vibes and it features some notable staff from that show - Kanami Sekiguchi. Interestingly Masakazu Hashimoto is handling direction and series composition so he will have a massive influence on this show, and he's worked on shows as diverse as Angel Beats!, FMA, Hanasaku, Jin-Roh and Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva. So yeah... I'll give this an episode or two to prove itself.
I'm no fan of ecchi, the plot looks awful, the characters sound awful.
The studio behind this, Arms, are pretty good at animating totally unrealistic humongous breasts which are great at giving fan-service but it isn't enough to sway me.
I'm no fan of incest, the plot looks awful, the characters sound awful.
While school settings aren't really my thing I don't mind it if the quality of a show is good and I'm partial to a good fujoshi joke. Unfortunately I watched Haganai last year and I don't feel like making a return visit.
I'm no fan of gender-swapping, the plot looks.... Yeah you get the rest. Madhouse may be animating but it is clear they are slumming it. Wait... isn't this Sengoku Collection in reverse???
This one has a lot of promise; it looks to be one of those historical romance series with a beautiful art style behind it and with Kenichi Kasai directing the series (Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile), this is definitely one to look out for.
For a while, K-ON killed my interest in the all girl, 'slice of life' theme but thanks to Hidamari Sketch recently, I have started to get back into it. Joshiraku is certainly impressive in the staff department - Tsutomu Mizushima (Director of Squid Girl), Kouji Kumeta (Creator of Sayanora Zetsubou Sensei) and Masayoshi Tanaka (Character Designer for Toradora). Hopefully this turns out to be one of the season's best.
A series that will hopefully be added to my mecha watch list alongside Eureka Seven Ao. I don't know if I need to know anything about the series before I watch it but I will be watching this.
It's very rare that I ignore a noitaminA title so this is another case. I think my main concern is that Natsuyuki Rendezvous could become a tad dull when looking at the synopsis but I like this kind of romance show.
Director Seiji Kishi has produced some of the most well made anime in recent years, with Persona 4: The Animation and Angel Beats. Hopefully this new project will again impress me, with the colourful art style and ambitious synopsis; it's another anime title to look out for.
This seems to be one of those high energy action series that look both ridiculous and fun at the same time and with it being made by Sunrise, you can't go wrong. If you're into over-the-top shonen anime, then this is for you; as for me, I might check this out.
Seeing "a harem love comedy plus magic battles" in your synopsis, which is probably the last thing to call your anime, I can only see this being average to be honest. But with the major voice talent and the director who made one of my guilty pleasures last year, Sekirei, then it may entertain me.
In terms of character designs, and the studio 'Arms', it looks to be something I'm not interested in but the synopsis is enough to get me interested in this action/fantasy anime. It could be the guilty pleasure of the season.
Taking place in the Warring States Period of ancient China is enough to at least give this historical action series a show. The only worry is that a 38 episode run could be too much for me but I am interested nonetheless.
Again, I could easily dismiss this as another generic rom-com but with the Aniplex name on it and it also being made the same studio that brought us My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute (AIC Build), there's enough reason for me to check it out.
Looking at the staff for this, most of this consists of people who have worked at Studio SHAFT and Kyoto Animation. Probably the most hyped of the summer lineup, I'm not that sold on it. Hopefully I will proven wrong when it finally starts airing.
Probably the most interesting thing that about this is that that director Chiaki Kon also directed the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series, so I wonder if that is the direction of this series as well. We will wait and see, something to look into.
One thing I'm pretty tired of in 'slice of life' school anime recently is the inclusion of all-girl music bands (thankfully Kids On The Slope took a break from this trope) and again looking at the synopsis, I'm getting that same feeling with Tari Tari. I'm sure that studio P.A.Works will at least make the story a lot more interesting; not completely sold on it at the moment.
This one I'm not entirely sure of, it seems to be an anime that isn't going to be taking itself seriously to be honest, with the mention of vampires and comedy. Not that excited about it.
Seeing the genre 'ecchi' and studio 'Feel' together is nothing new to me and again this is nothing to get excited over. If you like this kind of Rom/Com, then this is for you.
Another series that isn't that exciting; its synopsis has 'generic' written all over it and having the director of Battle Girls: Time Paradox isn't helping at all. I'll most likely pass on this.
Munenori Nawa directed R-15 last year, which was one of the worst anime of 2010 in my list, so my expectations for this are incredibly slim.
Another season, another Sengoku period anime; this one again doesn't interest me but seeing that Madhouse is animating it gives me some hope that this won't turn bland.
Type the characters you see in the picture above.