Okay, before we get started, let’s get something out of the way.
I just want to make that clear, because I don’t care about Tumblr and Crunchyroll thinking they convinced Kyoani studios to make an anime; an anime that will only be remembered for drama from western fans. With that mess out of the way, let us get down to what is yet another awesome season of anime goodness. It seems like almost every decent anime from the past few years got a new season this summer, so there are some guaranteed hits this season. There are also some really interesting original shows, as well as shows that are running over into the summer, so this is going to be a busy season. While there are still a few shows that won’t air until next week that I’m planning on picking up, there is still a ton of stuff to watch, and I’ve even thrown in a bonus this week as well. Stay cool out there, and enjoy!
I haven’t covered the first two films of this new trilogy, but since I got to see this before the official US version came over, I figured I would add it to the round-up. The Golden Age films are a cinematic re-telling of the first story arc of the Berserk manga, and they are basically a souped-up version of the TV series. While some fans gripe about the film versions heavy usage of CG, I still really enjoyed these movies and I think they do a great job telling the story of the Band of the Hawk. This is the third and final film of the series; so many fans probably already know what horrors await them. I will say this: the second half of the film is perhaps one of the most graphic, gory, and brutal collection of scenes I have EVER seen, and that includes live action films. This is a must see for Berserk fans, and the trilogy is a great gateway for bringing new fans to the manga. Be warned though, if you have a weak stomach (and even if you don’t), there are scenes that are guaranteed to make you wince.
Hope’s Peak Academy is a prestigious high school that only a select few are allowed to attend. The school’s name is false advertising, because despair is all there is to offer. During the entrance ceremony, the schools twisted mascot/principal, a deranged talking teddy bear named “Monobear” explains the school rules. The students are trapped within the school, and they are given everything they need to live. The problem is, the only way to leave is to kill another student. This show is based on a popular video game series from Japan that is getting a following in the west thanks to fan translations of the games. I originally wasn’t going to pick this up, but there is a lot of buzz about this show that has been brewing for the past few weeks, and the unique premise and character designs are a plus. This show has some really great potential, so I’m interested to see how it turns out.
This is a long awaited magical girl show produced by Aniplex, and it is yet another “dark” take on magical girl anime. This show begins with the story of a girl named Akari, who has a love for tarot cards and fortune telling. While most of this episode feels like an ultra-cute slice of life show, things take a VERY dark turn towards the end. It seems the overall theme of this show is a mixture of cute magical girls and horror themes. This show has the potential to either be incredibly awesome, or a failed attempt to ride of the coattails of Madoka Magica. I guess we shall just have to watch and see.
A new AHSMB has arrived, utilizing the latest technology, along with its pilot. Just as the rest of team MJP’s members are about it welcome their new member; a mock battle reveals their new ally may have a few screws loose. When a new mission arrives, everyone’s jaws drop to the floor when their seemingly meek new ally goes completely berserk in battle. Yes, this episode is very awesome.
This is the sequel to one of the best ecchi/action anime of all time. DxD’s claim to fame is its blend of an interesting storyline, fun action, and extremely heavy-handed ecchi content. Another great thing about this show is the creators are more than happy to deliver an ecchi-packed TV version while still making the BD version worth looking into thanks to tons of extra scenes and episodes. Within seconds of starting this episode viewers are gifted with the wonders a being a demon slave. Enjoy responsibly, my friends!
There is a legend of a Sunday when god had forsaken mankind, making a world where no one can die. This caused the modern world to fall to a zombie apocalypse. The survivors of mankind now survive by having special individuals known as “grave keepers” to put the dead to rest safely. This story is about a young girl named Ai whom is charged with the task of becoming a new grave keeper for a small village when her mother, the previous grave keeper, passes away. After a hard day of digging graves, poor Ai returns to the village to discover a gunman dressed in black has murdered everyone in the village, and asks Ai to bury them. The first episode is full of sadness and mystery, and what seems like a really interesting storyline.
This is the highly anticipated sequel to one of the most popular anime in recent years, Bakemonogatari. This is technically the fourth show in the series if you include Nisemonogatari and the Nekomonogatari Black mini-series. As expected, this show returns to the formula that has made it a hit: incredible artwork and backgrounds, great dialogue, mysterious atmosphere, and of course, some well-placed bits of sexy fanservice. It seems this story arc is going to cover the adventures of Hitagi and Tsubasa as they attempt to take on an angry tiger spirit without help from Koyomi.
It what seems to be a summer of sequels, this is another show fans around the world have been dying for more of, despite the bits of controversy and misunderstandings surrounding it. Nicknamed “Loliball” by its fans, this is indeed a show about a basketball team of lolis; but it is pretty much a slice of life show with some comedy, drama, and lolis that make boys cry on the basketball court. This season picks up where the last one left off, and this week Tomoka’s father tries to pull her away from the team because he isn’t happy with his daughter being a “baller.” There is also the obligatory summer festival, because all slice of life shows have to have a summer festival episode.
This is a reboot of the cult-following favorite anime, Rozen Maiden. Rozen Maiden is the story of 7 “living” dolls crafted by a legendary doll maker named Rozen, and these dolls must fight in the “Alice Game”, a game where the dolls must destroy each other so the sole survivor can turn into Alice, the “Perfect Maiden.” The original series was cute, fun, and charming, and it seems the reboot is looking to top that achievement. Fans of the original will notice dramatic changes in the events and pacing almost instantly, and the new art style is a pleasant surprise. I had mixed thoughts about a reboot since I really enjoyed the original series, but after watching the first episode I’m really excited to see more.
For those that pay attention to my annual AOTY rankings, the first season of Symphogear took home the award for “So Bad it’s Good.” Don’t let that fool you, though. Symphogear is amazingly fun, and this second season has fans around the world excited. This season picks up a bit after the over-the-top battle from the end of the first season took a chunk out of the moon. The first episode instantly delivers what made the first season so awesome: cute girls kicking alien ass in song-powered mecha suits, along with a great soundtrack. And of course, what better way to end the first episode than by having an evil Idol summon the Noise in the middle of a crowded concert and declare war on every nation of Earth!
Ah, the recap episode… anime’s time honored tradition of allowing the animators to rest/get drunk. It is inevitable for this show to get one, especially considering the ongoing production issues. There isn’t really any new footage added except for a preview of next week’s episode, so don’t feel bad about skipping this one.
Now that Misaka knows the Diagram Tree was already destroyed (gee, I wonder how that happened?) she becomes frustrated with the fact that the Level 6 experiment seems unstoppable. What better way to take out that frustration than by trashing another lab involved in the experiment? As Misaka rampages through yet another lab, Touma bears witness to the messy results of the experiment. Prepare for more heart-wrenching scenes of MISAKA murder.