I’ve made good on my promise to deliver a bigger, better anime round-up this summer, with 15 shows featured in the article. Go ahead a try to find a larger, more comprehensive article about currently airing anime (Protip: You can’t.) My rule about dropping shows I lose interest in stays intact, meaning if I think a show sucks after giving it a fair chance, I won’t watch it or cover it any longer. Anyway, this is another fun season of anime with lots to watch, and besides, it’s too damn hot outside. Crank up the air conditioner and grab some ice pops, it’s time for anime!
Listeners of the Spoony Bard podcast already know I’ve been a longtime fan of these games, even though I have mixed feelings about some of them. I picked this up for that sole reason, and I went in with very low expectations, since game adaptations can go either way. What I got, however, was a very pleasant surprise. This is a standalone story, so anyone can jump right in, but it still remains very faithful to the video game. The entire cast of characters and their voice cast are all present and accounted for, as are the locations, monsters, and themes from the game. This is a must see for fans of the game, especially since it was carefully crafted with them in mind. Even those not familiar with the game may want to check this out, since the cast of charmingly cute characters, an all-star voice cast, and some action and fanservice will delight a lot of anime fans in general.
It’s only been a few days, and now one student has been murdered, and another one leans a painful lesson about Monobear not being anyone to fuck with. I think it’s kind of strange how this show does its own censorship of the brutal violence by coloring all the blood hot pink, but I guess that is just a personal gripe. Anyway, with the first kill still fresh, Monobear announces another rule: Each time a student is murdered, a “trial” begins where everyone must guess the culprit. If the students guess correctly, the murderer is executed. If they make the wrong guess, the murderer is free to go and everyone else is executed. What fun!
This is a spin-off of Type Moon’s world famous Fate franchise, and this time they are taking a break from brutal Holy Grail wars for some cute magical fun. The first episode has a big handful of characters from the Fate franchise, and the star this time is Ilya, a soon-to be magical girl. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this show is pretty much a goofy magical-girl parody, and so far it is very fun to watch. The ultra-cute character designs are an added bonus.
This episode left a slightly better impression than the first thanks to some explanation, but that also became the flaw of a show that is screaming out to be the next Madoka. The genius of Madoka was its ability to lure the characters (and the audience) into a false sense of security, and then slowly unravel it by revealing layers of ugly truths one bit at a time. Genei brings out the big guns right off that bat by spewing out everything bad about what it is going all at once and expecting the audience to give a crap after everything is just carelessly laid out. On a positive note, I really like the art style and the whole “Soul Eater with magical girls” look they are trying to accomplish. Other than that though, between my own mixed feelings about this show and bad reception from fans, things aren’t looking good for this show.
The team is still trying to adjust to their new, skilled, yet mentally unstable new member. Ange tries showing everyone he is better than them at everything, until a certain someone shows up during a mission to settle a score with Izuru. I don’t want to give anything away, but fight in this episode is really, really fucking awesome.
A battle between the Church and fallen angels over the six blades of Excalibur has broken out, bringing concern to the demon factions. Naturally, this is discussed in a meeting where all of the girls are nude in a bath house. Once again, I can’t reiterate enough how generous the TV version of this show is with its ecchi content. Between the frequent bouts of nudity and seemingly endless lewd “camera” angles, this show is almost too awesome. Yes, this show is for depraved perverts, and yes, that is why it is great. Deal with it.
Here is another sequel to another fan favorite. For those who have not experienced the awesomeness of TWGOK, this is the story of Keima; a high school student known as the “God of Conquest” because of his passion for dating sims, and his claim that there is no 2D girl he cannot conquer. One day a cute demon girl shows up and forces Kaima to capture loose souls, in a process that somehow involves dating real girls, much to Kaima’s disgust. This season actually skips some of the “conquest” arc from the manga, but they are nice enough to catch us up on some of the more important events that happened during that time. Now Kaima is caught up in a battle between demons and fallen goddesses, and of course this means even more romantic encounters with real girls. Will the balance between Heaven, Hell, and Earth be restored? Will Kaima ever be able to return to his peaceful life of dating superior 2D girls? We must watch and see my friends…
Just as Hambart thinks he’s proven Ai isn’t a legitimate gravekeeper, she quickly proves him wrong. Still reluctant to involve Ai in the mysterious world beyond her fallen village, the sudden appearance of someone looking for revenge forces him to take Ai along. There are lots of mysteries about this world that has kept me really interested in seeing more of this.
The misadventures of Tsubasa and Hitagi continue. I’d say I’m surprised by the “steamy” shower scene at the beginning of this episode, but I’m keeping in mind this is Monogatari, after all. After the soapy fun and a sleepover, Tsubasa’s “other” self comes out to challenge the tiger spirit.
A mysterious challenger appears before Tomoka during practice, and she quickly learns she picked the wrong match. Shortly after, a disgruntled old friend of Saki’s shows up with a photo to frame her and Subaru, which could potentially be taken out of context and land Subaru in deep shit. After this plan fails, it seems all of the team’s enemies, both old and new, form up into some sort of basketball-playing loli legion of doom… And then present the team with a “dojo challenge”, a match to take over the gym during practice and become the school’s new basketball team. This show is ridiculous, and yet I can’t stop watching it.
The dramatic change of events from the original series continues, as this week’s episode explores an alternate timeline of events for Jun. This time Jun rejects his original offer to wind up Shinku, resulting in a future where he slaves his days away for a douchebag of a boss at a bookstore. Jun’s fate to be involved in the Alice game seems inevitable, however, when he suddenly begins to receive shipments of magazines and doll making kits related to the Rozen Maidens. Things get even stranger when he begins to receive emails from someone claiming to be the past version of himself…
It isn’t very often that the second season of an anime surpasses the original, and so Symphogear has been nothing short of awesome thus far. Now that the Fine’ organization has literally taken the stage to declare war on the world, the action heats up for more (and much better animated) fighting. As an added bonus, two more girls show up in Symphogear armor to aid the forces of evil. Even this early in the season, I can say with certainty this show is going to be lots of fun to watch.
Alright Titan fans, it looks like we are finally back in business for the second half of the show, complete with yet another awesome OP sequence to kick things off. This week we finally get to see what will become of Eren, now that his fate lies in the hands of the government during a military trial. Much like a real government, most of its members can’t simply just sign on for the awesome idea of letting Eren go into titan berserker mode and wreck titans in the name of mankind. Thanks Obama.
If you have watched A Certain Magical Index, you should be familiar with the events of this episode. This is a more detailed re-telling of the events leading up to the fight with Accelerator, and how Touma became involved in this whole mess. Next week should be the big throw down.
Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!: Episode 1
(It’s Not My Fault I’m Not Popular!)
This show is based on a Manga with a cult following here in the west, and somehow it has been given an anime adaptation. The story is about a socially awkward girl named Tomoko entering her freshman year of high school. Years of video gaming and keeping to herself has rendered Tomoko practically invisible to her fellow students, much to her frustration. This show is obviously much more fun if you can relate to Tomoko’s troubles, and unlike TV’s popular The Big Bang Theory, this is a much more realistic look at what it is like to be a “geek”. I got a lot of laughs out of this simply because of how Tomoko’s attitude towards the students that rejected her brought back a lot of memories of my days in high school.