Summer Season 2010 Anime Preview

It’s been a while since I did one of these. When I started this blog I did them rather seriously, and then I gradually made them sillier until I stopped altogether. This was mostly because I didn’t like most of the season previews I read, but the sensible thing to do would’ve been produce one that I did like so that people who feel the way I do have a preview post. I think that my wide knowledge of anime production and my very optimistic outlook on upcoming shows are something that the blogosphere is sparse on, so rather than whine about it, I should become the change that I want to see. Thus, here’s my summer 2010 season preview.

Beginning, of course, with the requisite link to Chartfag’s Summer 2010 chart so that you can see it all in one place. Also see it for show summaries as I will not provide them below (though I found trailers for almost everything). I also got all of my airdates from anime calendar except where noted.

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Highschool of the Dead

The Highschool of the Dead manga has a pretty strong cult following in the English-speaking fan community, with a reputation as a fanservice-heavy, gory, B-movie type series that’s high on fun if not on depth. Madhouse is the studio producing it, and their history with manga adaptions could be called ‘sordid’, with major successes like Gunslinger Girl and Hajime no Ippo as well as failures like Claymore and Rideback (both arguably). Suffice it to say that their successes outnumber their failures, though even in the really good series, Madhouse has a tendency to put in their own content, especially when it comes to endings, which will invariably piss off manga fans. Being as HSotD is not finished, it’s fairly likely that Madhouse will make up their own ending.

As for how the show will look, the trailer appears to flaunt an amazingly high budget, though Madhouse is not always consistent in this regard; however, I do know that it will be directed by Araki Tetsuro, who has directed Death Note, Kurozuka, and part of the Aoi Bungaku Series (2) for Madhouse in the past. Araki has a distinctly dramatic and visually intense style that I think will be perfect for a fun series like HSotD and really sell that B-movie flare that could make it a success. Going by what info I have, the series will be airing late at night and air first on AT-X, a channel known for airing uncensored anime, so there’s a chance that we could be in for some deliciously heavy fanservice. The vocal cast (view here) includes a lot of big names such as Marina Inoue and Eri Kitamura, but the two that I’m excited about are Miyuki Sawashiro (Canaan, Kanbaru Suruga, Celty) and Nobuyuki Hiyama (Guy Shishio, Link in Ocarina of Time and SSBM, Harunobu Madarame), both of whom are among my favorite voice actors. I’d watch this show just for those two, especially because I’ve been trying to follow Sawashiro’s roles. I’m pretty excited for this series all-around because I’ve mostly read good things about the manga and the trailer looks fucking badass.

Excitement Level: 4.5/5 – Begins July 5th (Japan)

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Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin (Occult Academy)

Occult Academy is the third series in A-1 Pitures‘ ‘Anime no Chikara’ slot (Prev. Sora no Woto and Senkou no Night Raid) which is all about anime-original series with great production values. Which means that we know nothing about what the show will be like, except that it will be very pretty. A-1′s anime originals tend to be good, so I’ll be pretty much watching this no matter what, but it’s worth checking into who’s working on it. The director is brand new, but at least the ‘series composer’, Seishi Minakami, seems to have worked on a lot of interesting and notably trippy shows.  The character designer‘s only other work was Kamichu, which explains why the main girl looks sort of thick (zing), and he’s also the animation director, a job that he seems to have performed solely for shows with ridiculously high budgets, so I think we can count on this show looking VERY nice.

The vocal cast (view here) has all types, with the leading lady played by Mio Akiyama‘s voice, and the big name on the list is Kana Hanazawa (Sengoku Nadeko, Tenshi, Suou Pavlichenko, Potemayo) whose popularity cannot possibly be understated. Yuki Nagato‘s voice is there as well, as well as Takehito Koyasu, most likely reprising the roll he’s had in every anime ever. Admittedly, the summary for Occult Academy doesn’t inspire excitement in me at all, nor does the trailer say a whole lot about the series, but at the very least I’ll be expecting a solid show that will give me an eyegasm.

Excitement Level: 3/5 – Begins July 6th (Japan)

Sengoku Basara Two

Not much to say here – I think we can expect the same high-octane action between samurai of questionable sexual orientation with powers equal to that of mechs laying waste to Japanese history. I loved the first season for being some of the most fun you can have with fluffy action anime, and sprinkled with unforgettable moments (even if the plot as a whole has totally escaped me). Production I.G. never fails to bring the heat with animation and SenBasa has one of the best vocal casts around, so it should be an all-around fulfilling experience, even if not ‘favorite anime’ material.

Excitement Level: 4.5/5 – Begins July 11th (Japan)

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Shiki

First things first, a main character is apparently played by fucking Gackt. I can only possibly imagine a guy singing all of his lines in a ridiculous voice. It’s being directed by Amino Tetsuro (Chars Counterattack(!), Macross 7 (?!)) who has a ton of experience, but doesn’t appear to have directed anything since the 90s (seems like he works for the studio regularly, though). I’d never heard of/remembered studio Daume before, but they seem to have almost solely produced harem and cutesy shows, with Ichigo Mashimaro and Minami-ke standing out as very well-made series in the latter genre. Music is confirmed to be composed by Takanashi Yasuharu, who has done a number of OSTs known for containing some rocking tracks, though he also did the music for Mononoke and the Bakeneko arc of Ayakashi (which is the first thing that makes sense in this setup). I’m telling you all of this because in spite of a studio known for cute shows and a director known for 90s sci-fi, Shiki is apparently a horror story about vampires attacking a remote village, from the creator of Ghost Hunt.

Because of the strange production and the fact that fucking Gackt is one of the main characters, I really have no idea what this show will be like at all. I’ve never heard of the seven-volume light novel and manga series, though the first 18 chapters of the manga have been scanslated as of May 25th. The trailer hardly looks promising, and people have already been noting how much it looks like Higurashi. The character designs would be nice, except that the hair looks fucking ridiculous on everyone, which could honestly be enough to make the show fail with me. One thing I did find interesting was that the cast is mostly young talent, such as up-and-comer Aoi Yuuki (Kuhouin Murasaki, Ichigo Amano, Mina Tepes, Noel Kannagi), Haruka Tomatsu (Chika Midarezaki, Hiteihime, Yunyun, Aoba Tsukishima), Kouki Uchiyama (Soul Eater, Banagher Links), and other actors in either one of their first major roles or their first role altogether. If nothing else, it could be an interesting series for seiyuu followers.

Excitement Level: 2/5 – Unknown airdate

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Kuroshitsuji 2

Nothing to say about this. I stopped watching the first series after one episode and I heard that it wasn’t particularly good even from girls who are into the shotacon/bl stuff that the show is aimed at. If you liked the first season, I’m sure you’ll like this, or if you just can’t get enough of Maaya Sakamoto as a shota (admittedly a very compelling reason to watch.)

Excitement Level: 0/5 – Begins July 2nd (Japan)

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Nurarurihyon no Mago

Based on a manga I’ve never heard of but has over 100 chapters scanslated (and looks to have some fairly nice art) this series has the potential to either be surprisingly good or terribly awful. Studio DEEN is infamous for being one of the poorest animation studios, with even their better shows usually looking ugly as sin; and the lack of almost any movement in the trailer speaks volumes. That and an average-sounding plot would ordinarily mean a flop, but this series also happens to be directed by the amazing Junji Nishimura (Simoun, True Tears, Ranma S1) who directed probably DEEN’s best show to date (Simoun). Admittedly, though, Nishimura is at his best producing original works, so I don’t consider his involvement to automatically pass it.

As for other production factors, Kouhei Tanaka (who did the legendary G Gundam OSTs) is handling the music, which is cool. It’s also packing a powerhouse cast, with the male and female leads being played by Aya Hirano (Haruhi Suzumiya, Shinobu Oshino, Izumi Konata, Etoh Mei) and Jun Fukuyama (Lelouche Lamperouge, Shinra Kishitani, Lawrence Kraft, Souta Takanashi) alongside some of my favorite actors, including Jouji Nakata (Alucard, Edmond Dantes, Araya Souren), Yui Horie (Tsubasa Hanekawa, Minori Kushieda, Manabi, Hanyuu), and Tomokazu Sugita (Sakata Gintoki, Kyon, Graham Spectre, Yuuichi Aizawa). All in all it looks like a show that will be worth checking out an episode of and waiting to see what others say before continuing at the very least.

Excitement Level: 2.5/5 – Begins July 6th (Japan)

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Tono to Issho

There’s seriously no info about this show. Not even what studio is doing it. Apparently is had a 30-minute OVA months ago, but all that ANN knows about it is the cast, and I otherwise got from Chartfag that it’s a comedy about the Sengoku generals (in other words, this show will be competing against Basara lol). The cast is pretty boss, though I don’t feel like listing them, except to point out that fucking Gackt is in this show as well!! Is this going to become a regular thing?! Also Tomokazu Sugita and other good stuff. I can’t really set an excitement rating for this because I have no idea what to expect (and don’t feel like watching the OVA) but I did find that weird-ass video above.

Excitement Level: ??? – Begins July 5th (Japan) according to ANN

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THE LEGEND OF THE LEGENDARY HEROES

Sorry, I had to. Everything about this show screams ‘generic fantasy anime,’ which the director has done a pretty impressive number of. Generic doesn’t necessarily mean terrible, though, and if nothing else, the trailer flaunts some extraordinary background art (and not a lot else). ZEXCS productions in the past have pretty much ranged from ‘decent’ to ‘shit’, so I’m not going to let the pretty trailer fool me too much. Jun Fukuyama is the lead in this one as well, now alongside Daisuke Ono (Itsuki Koizumi, Hosaka, Shizuo Heiwajima) and one of those newbies from Occult Academy. Also both Miyuki Sawashiro and Tomokazu Sugita are in this one too, and being as they’re two of my top 5 favorite seiyuu, that’s no small thing. Other than that, though, I’m not expecting much from this.

Excitement Level: 1.5/5 – Begins July 2nd (Japan)

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Amagami SS

“Based on a Playstation 2 romance simulation game” probably says it all with this one; It looks basically the same as Kimikiss ~Pure Rouge~ (same character designer). Director Yoshimasa Hiraike worked on the good Sketchbook ~full color’s~ and the bad Working!!, so I don’t really know what that means. I’m not into this kind of show and somehow the largely female cast managed to avoid any of my favorite seiyuu, so I won’t bother checking this out unless I hear seriously good shit about it.

Excitement Level: 0.5/5 – Begins July 2nd (Japan)

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Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi

I don’t even give a fuck what this show is about. As soon as I heard Satomi Arai in Kuroko voice, saw the character designs, and got a whiff of the animation style, I was sold. Those exact factors are going to make a lot of other people roll their eyes, but fuck those people. It seems to be a rom-com starring a hotheaded, likely tsundere (yeah, I said it) lead and a guy who’s a complete pussy, but less in the ‘twat’ sense and more in the ‘sheer cowardice’ sense. There’s also an adorable loli. And it’s by J.C. Staff – I’m not gunna lie, you know exactly what to expect.

The adorable loli happens to be played by one of my favorite up-and-coming seiyuu, Kanae Itou (Hinamori Amu, Saten Ruiko, Koume Suzukawa), with the guy being played by LMAO Saji Crossroad‘s voice (I can see people dropping it for this, too), and the lead girl by Shizuka Itou (Hisa Takei, Hinagiku Katsura, Kaori Kanzaki, Darry). Also in starring roles are Yui Horie once again, along with The Almighty Rie Kugimiya (Aisaka Taiga, Kagura, Alphonse Elric, Sanzenin Nagi) and another of my favorite up-and-comers, Aki Toyosaki (Yui Hirasawa, Uiharu Kazari, Tomo Yamanobe). There’s other greats (Komoe-sensei~!) there, too (view here) but none I care about as much. In spite of all that excitement I just showed, though, I’m still very wary of this series, because it’s being directed by Yoshiaki Iwasaki, who previously did Zero no Tsukaima and Hayate S2 with J.C.Staff (which both arguably sucked), but the rest of his catalog isn’t so bad, so we’ll see. In any case, I plan to watch it through to the end.

Excitement Level: 4/5 – Begins July 1st (Japan)

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Mitsudomoe

Totally offensive loli sex humor with very strange but adorable character designs? Sold. Actually, this might have been the most interesting trailer yet (besides HSotD) because I’m very interested in the three lolis’ diverse personalities. It’s like if you took Kodomo no Jikan and cranked up the octane and comedy, which is something I can definitely go for. This manga adaption is apparently the first ever production by studio Bridge, so it’d be worth watching for that alone as far as I’m concerned. Director Masahiko Ohta also did Minami-ke and the scriptwriter is onboard as well, which gives me high hopes for the comedy element.

That new talent I kept referring to, Ayahi Takagaki (Noe Isurugi, Ayana Minase, Hiiragi from Hanamaru Kindergarten) is in this as well, which leads me to think that this must be her big breakthrough season (and she’s mostly in main roles, too.) Haruko Tomatsu is here again as another sister, with the third being played by newcomer Satomi Akesaka. Aki Toyosaki is there once again, as well as Chiwa Saito (Hitagi Senjougahara, Hazuki from Moonphase, Becky Miyamoto, Aika S. Granzchesta) and Kikuko Inoue (!!) (Belldandy, Grace O’Connor, Kasumi Tendo, Miria from Claymore). (Full cast here). I think this looks very fun and interesting, especially because it’s a brand new studio, so I think that only good things can come of this. Also lolz AT-X.

Excitement Level: 5/5 – Begins July 5th (Japan)

Strike Witches 2

I could pretty much copy-paste what I said about Sengoku Basara (since they’re the same show and all) as Strike Witches is another wholly fun, fluffy action-fanservice romp with another absurdly fucking great vocal cast. However, what greatly worries me is that with GONZO going under, they’ve handed the second season over to AIC, and to put it kindly, none of the shows they’ve produced have me convinced that they can do a good job. One of the biggest strengths of the first season was it’s high-quality animation, so I really don’t want to see us loose out in that department. Otherwise, though, it’s all cool.

Excitement Level: 4/5 – Begins July 7th (Japan) according to ANN

Asobi ni Iku Yo!

It looks to be the epitome of the suddenly-magic-girlfriend show. I don’t tend to like these shows, and the character designs I’ve seen don’t appeal to me at all, so I won’t even be trying this unless people tell me it’s good. Production is by AIC PLUS+ which is I guess some weird new AIC subsidiary. It’s got a lot of the big names I’ve been listing for a while now, such as Kana Hanazawa, Aki Toyosaki, Haruka Tomatsu, Kanae Itou, Kikuko Inoue, and Yi Horie (even that Ayahi Takagaki again! See the whole list here) – I will admit that while most fanserivice shows pull in some good talent anyway, this one’s got a damn truckload, but that doesn’t make me convinced.

Excitement Level: 1/5 – Begins July 11th (Japan)

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Seitokai Yakuindomo

Not sure what to think of this after the trailer. By all means it looks like your run-of-the-mill school council comedy, but that can go either way. This is simply not one that can be decided without seeing an episode or two. I don’t know shit about studio GoHands, who seem to be very new, and the director is equally fresh – it’s even the first show for the music composer! At the very least, what’s shown in the trailer looks quite nice.

Even the vocal cast is almost completely composed of newbies, some of which were those I mentioned from other shows this season. The only one of the main four with a role I recognize is Satomi Sato who broke through with her superb performance as Tainaka Ritsu. Even Chiaka Omigawa, whose first role as Maka Albarn in Soul Eater was wildly divisive (I liked it) is in this series, as well as the equally divisive Satomi Arai (whom, as I mentioned above, I adore.) The only one on the cast with major experience is the awesome Yu Kobayashi (Nice Holystone, Kaere Kimura, Rio Kazumiya, Sarutobi Ayame), and while she isn’t as experienced, Emiri Katou has been popular as Kagami Hiiragi, Hachikuji Mayoi, and the legendary Kinoshita Hideyoshi. I’ll definitely be giving this show a shot, especially out of a heavy interest in all this new blood, and I’ll be hoping for the best.

Excitement Level: 3.5/5 – Begins July 4th (Japan)

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Shukufuku no Campanella

As I watched the trailer, I got a bit of hope that this might be a down-tempo, slice-of-lifey kind of show in a fantasy setting, and with some pretty nice character designs. The latter part of that sentence holds true, but finding out that the show is by AIC and from the director of Omamori Himari dashes my hopes considerably, as this could just as easily be a terribly boring harem comedy. Nothing particularly catches my eye about it – Keiji Fujiwara (Ladd Russo, Holland, Maes Hughes, Hattori Zenzou) is the only voice actor I particularly care about from the show, but he’s not in a major role. (Kaori Mizuhashi and Yuko Goto are both excellent, but don’t really get me excited to hear them.) It’s another show that has a chance of being good or completely sucking, and I’m not sticking around to find out – I’ll wait till one of my friends tells me what they think.

Excitement Level: 1.5/5 – Begins July 3rd (Japan)

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Sekirei ~Pure Engagement~

I only ever watched the first two episodes of the original Sekirei. It wasn’t all that bad, but it wasn’t really good either. There’s tits and fighting, none of which looks particularly great, and I guess a story that doesn’t really grab me at all. If you liked the first Sekirei, by all means go for it, but I’m not counting on myself to complete the first series anytime soon.

Excitement Level: 0.5/5 – Begins July 4th (Japan) according to ANN

And that about covers it. I’m not concerned with Osaka Hamlet which will not have any chance of subs, nor the new Digimon show since Digimon fans surely know what to expect. I’m definitely interested in a number of shows this season, though it’s rather slim picking compared to the last (being the summer season and all). I don’t really see anything that looks like it will be showing up on my favorites list, but I’m often surprised. [F]

What shows are you excited about this season? NOTE: DO NOT TALK ABOUT WHAT SHOWS YOU THINK LOOK LIKE SHIT. I don’t care what shows you think look bad, the damn things aren’t even out yet. Any comments about how much the season sucks or how X show will be gay will be deleted or edited to say something stupid.

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36 thoughts on “Summer Season 2010 Anime Preview

  1. The Legend of the Legendary Heroes is going to end up being great. I’m just gonna come out and say it. In fact, anything with the word “legend” attached to it pretty much kicks ass.

    • Gunstray, I’ve been meaning to tell you this for a while, but you’re allowed to say Fuck on my blog.

  2. High School of the Dead looks nice, Sengoku Basara 2 for sure. I’m quite interested in Shiki cuz of Fuyumi Ono and it was done by Daume (Petite Cossette you didn’t list). Gackt is a major turnoff though…

    Amagami :3, Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi, Mitsudomoe will be awesome.

    Several OVAs I’m looking forward to as well. Black Rock Shooter, Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail, Kurenai, Hen Zemi. Mirai Nikki has an OVA in Sept. by ASREAD and is directed by Naoto Hosoda who did Minami-ke Okawari and SHUFFLE…

    • Ya, Chartfag didn’t have OVAs listed but I’m looking forward to those as well… except D: on the Mirai Nikki OVA

    • Not sure how I missed that it was her O-o then again I was tired as hell. so Mio and Ritsu both returning… should be interesting.

  3. I…kind of want you to edit my comment to say something stupid. XD
    Asobi ni Iku Yo! is finally an anime…maybe Neon Vision will start drawing again? I don’t know what happened to him, but I haven’t seen anything in ages.

    I’m excited for SW2. Everything else, I guess we’ll see.

  4. I’m sure I’ve said this in every summer preview to date, but it bears repeating:

    Yay, Amagami! :) Kaoru looks fab.

    Occult Academy has me more excited after the trailer. Authentic Nostradamus!

    • I’m not surprised you’re looking forward to Amagami. The designs seem like they’d turn you on. I also thought you’d like Occult Academy since you’re into that kinda stuff – the Nostradamus caught my eye, but I don’t always trust these things, ya’know? Still plenty of chances to butcher it lol.

  5. I really don’t know what to watch this season, besides Digimon and perhaps High School of the Dead. Maybe I’ll check out Amagami since 2DT seems to like it =) But for any others I’ll probably just wait until they’re out and see what’s said about them.

  6. “Being as HSotD is not finished, it’s fairly likely that Madhouse will make up their own ending.”

    Actually, they also did Saiunkoku Monogatari and Hajime no Ippo, which both just cut off without any conclusion at the end. Oh, and the same goes for Gunslinger Girl, Tenjou Tenge, Beck, Shigurui, Kaiji and One Outs. ;)

  7. After Toradora!, it’s incredibly jarring to hear someone other than Kugimiya Rie voicing Ryouko in Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi. She looks almost exactly like Taiga.

    Can’t say I’m especially excited about anything airing next season, but Shukufuku no Companella has piqued my interest. I have a thing for odd fantasy shows, and the character designs are pretty, so hopefully it doesn’t suck.

    Other stuff I’ll probably watch in addition to the two above:

    Mitsudomoe
    Seitokai Yakuindomo
    The Legend of the Legendary Heroes
    Strike Witches 2
    Amagami SS

    • Be sure and let me know how Campanella turns out. I’d like to think it might be good, so I’ll be hoping for that in spite of evidence to the contrary.

  8. Regarding Strike Witches: most of the staff from season 1 returns for the new one, so I don’t think we’ll see a dip in quality, rather the reverse because of SW’s success in Japan.

    So I’ll watch that, Sengoku Basara and High school of the dead. Because GUNS ARE ON AND OYAKATA-SAMA YUKIMURA OYAKATA-SAMA YUKIMURA, and I have no clue how Madhouse can fuck up zombies, since pretty much anything with zombies is awesome.

    Nice preview by the way.

    • Thanks~ I certainly hope you’re right about Strike Witches, if it turns out even better than the first season, then I’ll be particularly jizzed over it, since Strike Witches is just begging to find a way to become one of my favorite anime.

  9. High School of the Dead seems to be on everyone’s excitement list, including me. I’m also looking forward to Shiki and Strike Witches.

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