An Oasis of Thoughts

A Look at Summer 2012

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I was planning on significantly lowering the number of series I’m watching, but I guess old habits never die do they? Here’s my sorta-preview for Summer and my impressions. I also was planning on making this post short, but enjoy your 2,500+ word post..

Tari Tari

Premieres on July 1st on TV Kanagawa

Story: The story centers around five Japanese high school students who are too young to be called adults, but who no longer think of themselves as children. Wakana Sakai once took music lessons, but she withdrew from music after losing her mother. Konatsu Miyamoto is a positive-thinking girl who loves singing and spends time after school at the vocal music club. Sawa Okita is a spirited archery club member who dreams of becoming a horse rider. Daichi Tanaka is a chronically late badminton team member who lives with his college student sister. “Wiin” just transfered into Wakana’s class after 12 years abroad in Australia. Music brings Wakana, Konatsu, Sawa and the others together into an ensemble during their last summer in high school.

Director: Masakazu Hashimoto (Professor Layton movie)
Animation Production: P.A. Works (Angel Beats, Hanasaku Iroha, CANAAN)
Interesting to note: Another original anime by P.A. Works (hahah, “Another” anime..get it?)

Main Cast:
Konatsu Miyamoto – Asami Seto (Chihaya – Chihayafuru, Lan – Rinne no Lagrange)
Sawa Okita – Sayori Hayami (Ayase – Ore no Imouto, Tsuruko – Ano Hana)
Wakana Sakai – Ayahi Takagaki (Chris – Symphogear)
Taichi Tanaka – Nobunaga Shimazaki (Kaito – Ano Natsu de Matteru)
“Wien” – Natsuki Hanae (first role)

So, is it safe to say it’s another Hanasaku Iroha? With the news that HanaIro’s “new anime” is only a movie, this will be a godsend to those looking to watch more cute girls doing cute things. But since there’s an added musical aspect, will this show be like Natsuiro Kiseki? Either way, count me out. P.A. Works delivers on background art, but their storytelling is really sub-par as shown with their last series, Another. I really don’t want to watch another HanaIro (as much as I loved that show, another 26 episodes is insta-death) and Natsuiro Kiseki is just ridiculously awful. Tari Tari looks like HanaIro but lacks any emotion and feels contrived.

Rinne no Lagrange 2

Premieres on July 1st on Tokyo MX

Director: Tatsuo Sato (Mouretsu Pirates, Martian Successor Nadesico)
Animation Production: Xebec (Pandora Hearts, To-Love Ru)
Interesting to note: No changes from season 2 staff-wise (Megumi Nakajima still sings the OP, while our Jersey Club members will sing the ED theme “Jersey Club Spirit!”)

Main Cast:
Madoka Kyouno – Kaori Ishihara (Kanna – Ano Natsu de Matteru)
Lan – Asami Seto (Chihaya – Chihayafuru)
Muginami – Ai Kayano (Inori – Guilty Crown, Menma – Ano Hana)

Ahh, I’m glad to see that Lagrange is coming back for another twelve episodes. It could have ended like it did, like many other anime series: throw as a bone and never come back to give us more. But Lagrange is different, thankfully. Xebec is doing a great job with this series (but for every 10-20 To Love-Ru’s on the flipside..). Unlike the director’s work on Mouretsu Pirates, Lagrange is a show that balances its funny and serious sides and actually spends its time doing things important and keeping my interest high.

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Premieres on July 1st on TVK

Director: Seiji Kishi (Persona 4 the Animation, Angel Beats, Carnival Phantasm)
Animation Production: AIC A.S.T.A. (Persona 4 the Animation, Sora no Otoshimono)

Here’s a show that looks gorgeous, if judging by the picture above. Something about this gives me a really warm feeling that this show could be extremely heartwarming and then I find out who the director is..and his resume is all comedy. Angel Beats, Persona 4, Carnival Phantasm, Seto no Hanayome and Kamisama Dolls – their comedy ranged from mild and somewhat out of place to magnificently humorous. I’ll check this one out if I have time, because this definitely has hidden potential if things go well.

La storia della Arcana Famiglia

Director: Chiaki Kon (Junjou Romantica, Higurashi series)
Animation Production: J.C. Staff (Toradora!, Little Busters)

Uhm, so the director of Junjou Romantica + J.C. Staff brings us another reverse harem series? Wonderful..

Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi

Director: Kenichi Kasai (Bakuman, Honey and Clover)
Animation Production: TYO Animations (Tamayura, Ginga e Kickoff)

Looks decent, but only piqued my interest because “Hyakunin Isshu” is the hundred poems used in the karuta card game, aka “I’ll probably watch this before season 2 of Chihayafuru”

Natsuyuki Rende-vous

Premieres on July 4 on Fuji TV (noitaminA)

Story: A young man with poor eyesight named Hazuki works part-time in a flower shop and falls hard for the shop-owner Rokka. But what happens when he discovers that residing in her apartment is the spirit of the man she can never forget?

Director: Kou Matsuo (Kure-nai, Red Garden, Rozen Maiden)
Animation Production: Dogakobo (Yuru Yuri, 11eyes, Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi)
Interesting to note: Kou Matsuo is just..awesome (read below).

Main Cast:
Rokka Shimao – Sayaka Ohara (Irisviel – Fate/Zero, Valmet – Jormungand)
Ryuusuke Hazuki – Yuuichi Nakamura (Houtarou – Hyouka,
Atsushi Shimao – Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch – Code Geass, Toori – Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon)

I’m seriously excited for this one. The director knows exactly how to stay true to the original source AND make very good creative decisions: most shows have the seiyuu voice their characters AFTER the scene(s) have been animated – meaning they have to time their voice to the movement of the lips and usually they don’t do a very good job. But Kou Matsuo has the seiyuu voice their characters BEFORE the scene gets animated, which means the sound director takes the voice clips and THEN uses those clips to perfectly match the character’s mouth movements. It may seem unimportant, but I really appreciate someone who not only wants to be a bit of a perfectionist, but someone who really cares about the seiyuu. And this being Josei on noitaminA is icing on the cake for me.

..And the ED song is sung by Aimer: This song (the No.6 Ending) is absolutely beautiful, even her work for Bleach’s 28th ED was stunning. I’m officially excited for this show.

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate

Premieres on July 4 on TBS

Director: Tooru Kitahata (Assistant director of Ore no Imouto and Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai)
Animation Production: AIC Build (Ore no Imouto, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai)
Interesting to note: Annabel singing the OP. I really love her voice, very tranquil and pleasant.

Main Cast:
Yuuki Oojima – Yuuichi Nakamura (Houtarou – Hyouka, Mykage – Aquarion EVOL)
Michiru Morishita – Asami Imai (Kurisu – Steins;Gate, Chihaya – The iDOLM@STER)
Isara Aomi – Mai Kadowaki (Illyasviel – Fate/stay night)
Miyufu Kiba – Kaori Mizuhashi (Minami – BakaTest, Mami – Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)
Satsuki Shinonome – Yuu Asakura (Rider – Fate/stay night)
Chisato Sumiyoshi – Eriko Nakamura (Haruka – The iDOLM@STER)

I really, really like the character designs. They’re very easy on the eyes and yet they have something about them that’s appealing – I guess visual novels are blessed with great looking character designs. I’m not sure why I’m wanting to watch this, but part of it may be that I’m trying to watch shows I haven’t and getting more diversity in my anime list. I do have a newfound admiration for Asami Imai, especially after her performance as Kurisu in Steins;Gate and DAT SAD EPISODE 20 of the iDOLM@STER as Chihaya (she also voiced Ayumi in Corpse Party! and sung the OP). In fact, I might be surprised if this is the sleeper hit of the season.

Campione!

Director: Keizo Kusakawa (Dog Days, Asura Cryin’, Sekirei)
Animation Production: Diomedea (Shinryaku! Ika-Musume, Asarotte no Omocha)

Main Cast:
Godou Kusanagi – Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Kirito – Sword Art Online)
Erica Blandelli – Youko Hikasa
Lilliana Kranjcar – Eri Kitamura
Yuri Mariya – Kana Hanazawa
Ena Seishuuin – Yuka Saitou

So the director of Dog Days ends up here. Doesn’t look interesting at all and the character designs are just…they’re not great but they aren’t awful either.

Dakara, Boku wa H ga Dekinai.

Premieres July 5th on AT-X

Story: Ryousuke Kaga is a normal high school boy but a bit perverted. One day he sees a girl with red hair in the rain and he offers his place so she can dry. Ryosuke accidentally makes a contract with the girl, and he gives up his ecchi spirit so she can survive in the human world. In order to regain his ecchi desires, he has no choice but to aid in Lisara’s search.

Director: Takeo Takahashi (Yosuga no Sora, Spice and Wolf, lots of hentai)
Animation Production: feel. (Yosuga no Sora, PapaKiki, Mayo Chiki!)
Interesting to note: Most of the staff from “Yosuga no Sora” is here including Haruka’s seiyuu

Main Cast:
Ryousuke Kaga – Hiro Shimono (Akihisa – Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, Haruka – Yosuga no Sora)
Lisara Ristell – Aya Endo (Sheryl – Macross Frontier, Arisa – Guilty Crown)
Iria Fukumune – Misato Fukuen (Yin – Darker than Black, Momoe – Tasogare Otome x Amnesia)
Mina Okiura – Kaori Ishihara (Madoka – Rinne no Lagrange, Kanna – Ano Natsu de Matteru)

Alright, if I’m going to venture out of my comfort zone and temporarily remove my “no ecchi” barrier shielding myself from the evils of pantsu, I’ll wager my bets on this show. It’s got a great cast led by Hiro Shimono one of my favorite seiyuus and Aya Endo’s voice is genuinely classy. More of Kaori Ishihara is also a very good thing as well, and Misato Fukuen is alright when she’s not voicing obnoxious characters. The premise is stupid, as expected, but from what I’ve heard the main character Ryousuke is actually a decent guy and not an unlikeable turd like most harem male protagonists (To Love-Ru, Infinite Stratos and Kanokon’s protagonists come to mind..). I’ll wager my bets on this one.

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II

Premieres on July 6th on MBS

Director: Manabu Ono (Saki: Achiga-hen Episode of Side-A, Dragonaut)
Animation Production: Sunrise (Gundam franchise, Cowboy Bebop, Tiger & Bunny)

Interesting to note: Horizon’s seiyuu Minori Chihara sings the OP “ZONE//ALONE” once more.

Main Cast:
Toori Aoi – Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch – Code Geass, Panda – Shirokuma Cafe)
Horizon Ariadust – Minori Chihara (Nagato – Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)

The show everyone likes to hate – aka Code Geass 2.0 – is back after a mid-season break. I initially was against watching this because of the HUGE infodumping at the beginning of the show and the character designs are abysmal. Sure enough, it isn’t that bad once you’re past the infodumping. As a history nerd, this show’s premise definitely grabbed my attention (students versus adults to stop history from changing) and I expect there will be more surprises ahead. Toori remains a fun character to watch.

Dog Days’ (Dog Days Dash)

Premieres on July 6 on Tokyo MX

Director: Junji Nishimura (True Tears, Tari Tari, Simoun)
Animation Production: Seven Arcs (Nanoha series, Sekirei)
Interesting to note: Junji Nishimura replaces Seven Arc’s Keizo Kusakawa as Director. Again, Nana Mizuki sings the OP and Yui Horie sings the ED.

Main Cast:
Cinque Izumi – Mamoru Miyano (Okabe – Steins;Gate, Light – Death Note, Tamaki – Ouran)
Eclair Martinozzi – Ayana Taketatsu (Kirino – Ore no Imouto, Tsugumi – Guilty Crown)
Princess Millhiore – Yui Horie (Minori – Toradora!, Chie – Persona 4)
Ricotta Elmar – Nana Mizuki (Tsubasa – Senki Zesshou Symphogear)

Dog Days was interesting to say the least. It sounds like a cliche RPG game, and it kind of works out like that. But it’s the huge cast of characters that really stand out, they’re fun to watch and as long as this season doesn’t try to be serious and want to be preachy then I’d consider it a successful sequel. But please, do not end up like Baka to Test Ni: where everyone got really annoying, reused jokes and one-sided abuse. That was an awful sequel, so I have my doubts on Dog Days 2 but hopefully with a new director we’ll see much less seriousness and more carefree stories. But yeah, I really got to hand it to Mamoru Miyano: he has a legion of fangirls but he truly deserves to be called talented. Go from voicing mad scientist Okarin from Steins;Gate to a thirteen year old shota boy, that’s talent.

Sword Art Online

Premieres on July 6th on Tokyo MX for two-cours (aka, more than 13 eps but around 24-26)

Story: A story about a boy named Kirito, who get’s to participate in the beta testing of game called Sword Art Online.  Unfortunately death in the game, is equal to death in real life, so Kirito must keep on fighting until he defeats the final boss to leave the game safely with his new crush Asuna.

Director: Tomohiko Itou (Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin)
Animation Production: A-1 Pictures (Ano Hana, Tsuritama, Ookiku Furikabutte)
Interesting to note: Yuki Kajiura will compose the series’ music. LiSA (Fate/Zero OP, Angel Beats’ Yui) to sing the opening theme song.

Main Cast:
Kirito – Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Narumi – Kamisama no Memo-chou)
Asuna – Haruka Tomatsu (Ichika – Ano Natsu de Matteru, Anaru – Ano Hana)

I hope this show will turn out much better than Accel World (which is also from the same creator as Sword Art Online), because while the concept was very interesting the characters were really annoying. What I’m really curious about is the fact that the main male protagonist gets more praise by the male fans rather than the female…when it’s almost always the other way around. I have confidence that this show is in the hands of much more competent and talented people. It definitely looks nice from the preview videos and Yuki Kajiura composing will help me recover from the end of Fate/Zero. All in all, this is the show that most will probably watch for summer and that includes myself.

Kokoro Connect

Premieres on July 6th on Tokyo MX

Story: The “love and teen pentagonal comedy” follows the strange phenomena at the Yamahoshi Academy’s Culture Club, starting with the five male and female club members switching bodies with each other.

Director: Shin Oonuma (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, ef – a tale of memories)
Animation Production: Silver Link (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu)
Interesting to note: Yukiko Horiguchi (K-ON! Anime character designer) illustrated the Kokoro Connect novels, hence the K-ON look. Fumihiko Shimo is scripting – her works are KyoAni based: Kanon (2006) and both Clannad series.

Main Cast:
Iori Nagase – Aki Toyosaki (Yui – K-ON!, Medaka – Medaka Box)
Himeko Inaba – Miyuki Sawashiro (Shinku – Rozen Maiden, Celty- Durarara!!)
Yui Kiriyama – Hisako Kanemoto (Squid Girl – Shinryaku! Ika-Musume)
Taichi Yaegashi – Takahiro Mizushima (Rolo – Code Geass, Yahiro – Guilty Crown)
Yoshifumi Akai – Takuma Terashima (Apollo – Sousei no Aquarion, Alma – Sacred Seven)

I was going to write about how Silver Link/Oonuma duo has been utterly disappointing me and now Dusk Maiden of Amnesia has gotten 100x better even though it’s gone into anime-original territory. So, now I’m looking forward to this. Animation-wise Silver Link doesn’t come close to Kyoto Animation but it definitely rivals it in artistic flare. So to take a novel series from the character designer of K-ON!, adhere to her designs perfectly..is Silver Link trying to appeal to KyoAni fans? Other notable staff is Fumihiko Shimo – she’s pretty big in KyoAni scripting their Key adaptations (Kanon and Clannad notably) and the trailers show a more serious side than what I’ve seen from Oonuma.

Not Touching With a Thirty Foot Pole

Oda Nobuna no Yabou – How many god damn series of the Sengoku period are there? And how many are actually (relatively) accurate? No thanks.
Kono Naka ni, Imouto ga Iru! -Another imouto series from the director of Kiss x Sis…
Hagure Yuusha no Estetica – Anything by ARMS (Queen’s Blade) is going to be laughably awful.

As stated before: I’ll be blogging Gundam AGE and Dog Days’, while I’m unsure on whether to keep going with Hyouka. If it’s dropped I’ll blog another Sunday series (likely Lagrange or Kokoro Connect) but if not I’ll chose a show that’s not on Sunday cause it’s pretty crowded. I’m still unsure on the potential #4, I’m on the fence If I want to do another series but as always, I’ll keep you guys enforced.

So yeah, I promised to cut back and ended up going back to square one. Oh well, folks what are you interested in and why?

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5 thoughts on “A Look at Summer 2012

  1. Freaking can’t wait for sword art online. Though Kokoro Connect sounds interesting 🙂

  2. previews aren’t suppose to be short! lol. I like them long. XD I’m still writing my list but it seems that we have almost the same anime to watch for next season. Despite my long list, I still find it pretty difficult to decided which anime to blog o(>A<)o There aren't just enough slice of life this season! T.T

    I'm not really expecting much from Dog Days 2 since it is a sequel but I definitely don't want it end up being as bad as Baka Test Ni 😛 and it seems that you do know why Miyano Mamoru has so much fangirls (including me. lol.). And I didn't know that the creator of Accel World is the same for Swords Art Online. I haven't really watched Accel World but it seems that it's not looking good for you.

    And for some reasons, I'll be watching the 2 shows you decided not to. I'm not really that interested in Hagure Yuusha but I've definitely set my mind on watching Oda Nobuna no Yabou. I'm actually interested in history and I haven't really watched that much Sengoku period anime which I guess makes me want to watch this more.

    I'm really hoping that you'll continue blogging Hyouka although it's pretty difficult to talk about it. As for me, I haven't really decided on which anime to blog but I'll definitely inform you probably by the end of this week since I'm currently writing my summer anime list right now(:

  3. My son and I are impatiently waiting for Rinne no Lagrange 2. Other than that, nothing has jumped out at me yet, though like you there are a few things I’m not even considering.

  4. Pingback: This Genius’s Compendium For The 2012 Summer Anime Season « Organization Anti-Social Geniuses

  5. Although I agree with you that Sengoku period anime’s are bursting at the seams, I think you should give Oda Nobuna no Yabou a shot. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

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