Weekly Anime Round-Up: July 22nd – July 28th

Collectors of anime figures and toys should know that this week was the Wonderfest, which is basically the E3 of wallet-destroying plastic.  This week also marks the first victim of the fall anime season, as I decided to drop one of the shows.  Try to guess which one!  … Or you can just read on and find out, I guess.

Choujigen Game Neptune: The Animation:  Episode 3
(Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation)
The first gaming peripheral to bear the official NSA seal of approval.

This time the goddesses continue their world tour in the lovely nation of Leanbox.  As the girls pitch in to fix up the party Vert botched by sitting around playing an online RPG, evil is brewing.  It looks like the CPU candidates will have to step up very soon.

Danganronpa:  The Animation:  Episode 4
Best girl detected.

As everyone tries to deal with the insane results of the trial, benevolent Monobear opens up access to another floor of the academy.  Monobear soon grows bored with everyone simply exploring the new facilities, so he decides to give out everyone’s personal secrets in hopes of inspiring some more murderous fun.  As expected, there will be murder.  Be sure to tune in and find out who dies!

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Ilya:  Episode 3
The magical wands aren’t as malicious as Kyubey, but they make up for it by being annoying.

Ilya now has competition for the class cards, and like any other magical girl show, she is also the mysterious new transfer student.  The show is uses these cliché’s as part of its self-aware humor, for better or worse.  This episode is mostly devoted to explaining how the class cards work and setting up some future events, so it wasn’t exactly thrilling.  Fortunately there was just enough humor around to keep this episode enjoyable.

Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou: Il Sole Penetra le Illusioni:  Episode 4
(Day Break Illusion)
Done.

This episode pretty much dashed any hopes I had from last week about this not being a Madoka clone.  Fans of the show around the internets love to complain about everyone comparing this show to Madoka, while at the same time praising it for being like Madoka.  These fans will not be pleased with where this conversation is going.  Once the “monster of the week” appears, there is no denying the style and design are nothing more than a lame look-alike of a witch from Madoka.  The clichéd, sloppy storytelling and the boring, repetitive action sequences aren’t helping this show out, either.  Dropped.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince:  Episode 16
Surely the government of the future has great ideas.  Right?

Izuri has recovered, but his friends and superiors have growing concerns about the side-effects of the Julia System.  As the members team Rabbits rest up, the Nations of Earth gather together to squabble over weapons deals and mining rights with mankind’s true enemy literally at their doorstep.  Of course this isn’t going to go well…

Highschool DxD NEW:  Episode 4
Must… resist… incredibly hot Christians…

Issei and his friends finally track down Freed, only to lose him once again and get caught making deals with the church behind Rias’s back.  There will be sexy cooking time, and yes, it was vital that I mention this.  Things get pretty serious this week, and so the battle between good and evil (more like somewhat good and really fucking malicious) is about to begin!

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen:  Episode 3
(The World God Only Knows:  Season 3)
The only man who has figured out women.

Kaima begins his plan to romance 5 girls at once to awaken the goddesses and save Kanon.  As expected, nothing goes quite as planned, and time is running out.  Can Kaima pull off what countless selfish teenagers, wealthy playboys, and politicians have tried to do for centuries?

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi:  Episode 4
(The Sunday without God)
I’m sure it’s lovely this time of year.

Ai’s journey to save the world begins, strangely enough in a VW minibus.  Whey they discover a stowaway passed out in the backseat of the van, their travels turn to a place known as “the city of the dead.”  There is no false advertising here, as this city is a gathering place for the dead that is over a million strong, a place where gravekeepers are killed on sight and the living aren’t welcome.  And of course, Ai wants to check it out anyway…

Monogatari Series: Second Season:  Episode 4
I don’t think anyone in this show is ever ordinary

Well, here we are four episodes in, Tsubasa is still aimlessly pondering what to do, and the main character still hasn’t shown up yet.  This series was never known for quick pacing, but this has to be the worst story arc of them all.  It looks like it is drawing to a close, and I honestly can’t wait (maybe I’m just biased, because I don’t really care much for Tsubasa in comparison to the other characters).  I’m only holding on to this show because of how much I loved the rest of it, but the molasses-slow pacing of this story arc has been a bit too much.

Ro-Kyu-Bu!  SS:  Episode 4
Subaru’s arch nemesis:  Gilgamesh, king of all kings.

Subaru gets a chance to meet Airi’s older brother, which somehow results in a swift punch to the face.  Things go from bad to worse when Subaru’s old rival shows up with a pair of middle school girls to destroy him on the court.  It’s gonna take a montage…

Rozen Maiden (2013):  Episode 4
Now I remember why porcelain dolls scare the shit out of me.

Future Jun has figured out how to finish the temporary vessel for Shinku, but he has also become involved in much more than he could possibly expect.  He quickly learns that Shinku is an adorable, yet harsh mistress, whom has a zero-tolerance policy towards shit tea.  Just when it seems getting yelled at by a doll to make tea seems bad enough, there is a creepy-ass doll stalking him through mirrors.  She probably isn’t looking for tea.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear G:  Episode 4
Fine’ ain’t nuthin’ to fuck with.

Another week, another awesome episode of Symphogear.  The battle from last week’s episode continues, in another action-packed frenzy of over-the-top fighting to the tune of Idol music.  We are also treated to the cuteness of Chris-chan being put on the spot to sing for the school’s talent competition.

Shingeki no Kyojin:  Episode 16
(Attack on Titan)
It’s really a wonderful kingdom, except for the man-eating titans everywhere.

An investigation begins to find out who killed the captured titans, and it seems the new recruits are under the most scrutiny.  Meanwhile, the rest of the recruits are faced with the decision of which branch of the military to join.  I think by now we all know where a few of them are bound to go…

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S:  Episode 16
(A Certain Scientific Railgun)
Now the MISAKA’s are free to do what they do best: Embarrass Biribiri.

Touma has finally taught Accelerator how to live his life correctly, and he can finally return to his unlucky life of being bitten by Index and punching assholes in the face wherever they stand.  Meanwhile, Misaka finally gets the chance to spend time with her “sisters” and be incredibly cute and tsundere whenever Touma is around.  It looks like things will go back to some more lighthearted fun around Academy City with the girls for a bit, and to be perfectly honest, I’m totally okay with that.

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!:  Episode 3
(It’s Not My Fault I’m Not Popular!)
AKA: Watamote
Because every high school girl dreams of becoming a professional sniper.

As usual, Tomoko’s terrible social skills and constant fear of her fellow students get the best of her.  Tomoko copes with this in the only way that she can, through self-indulgent fantasies of becoming a professional assassin out of an anime and her incredibly angry inner dialogue.  Tomoko is a terrible person in dire need of psychotropic medication, and that is what makes her so wonderful.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: July 15th – July 21st

The third week of this anime season is here, and most of the shows featured here have set the stage for things to come.  There are lots of surprises in many shows this week, so be sure to catch your favorites!  Fans of the long running manga and anime racing series, Initial D, will be happy to hear that a final anime season and animated film have been announced now that the manga is wrapping up.  The BD’s for the first two Madoka Magica movies have come out this week, so when I get my hands on them I will be sure to mention them in the round up.  Keep your eyes open for it!

Choujigen Game Neptune: The Animation:  Episode 2
(Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation)
BEST. MARIO. REFERENCE. EVER.

The goddesses have decided to gather in Lowee for some fun at a new theme park.  Then CFW Trick shows up for a visit.  Fans of the game should know what this means… Hide yo lolis, hide yo waifu, ‘cuz he be lickin’ errybody out here!  Once again, this anime does a great job of capturing the strange brand of humor from the games, and of course, there will be lots of fanservice.

Danganronpa:  The Animation:  Episode 3
Jury duty isn’t nearly as fun.

Now that everyone has finished their investigation, Monobear summons the students to the trial room.  The trial sequence reminds me of a twisted version of the Pheonix Wright trials, which I assume was the intent of the game’s creators.  By the end of this episode, we all learn that Monobear has way too much time on his hands…er… paws?

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Ilya:  Episode 2
 Sometimes life can be THAT absurd.

Now that Ilya has been completely scammed by the talking magical wand into becoming a magical girl, the concept has begun to grow on her.  With much of the introductory stuff out of the way, we are finally getting to the meat and bones of this show, which is a fun mix of comedy and really cool action.  The main storyline is basically a parody of Cardcaptor Sakura, but the collectable cards feature the servants from the Fate series.  If this episode was a taste of things to come, this should be a really awesome show.

Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou: Il Sole Penetra le Illusioni:  Episode 3
(Day Break Illusion)
Surely that won’t have any consequences.

Now that the third episode of this has come to pass, the show has grown on me a bit more as it begins to stand on its own.  Akari gets mixed feelings about fighting Daemonia when she discovers that killing them also means killing the person they have possessed.  She decided to take this confusion a step further by defending one after hearing it speak, which ultimately lands her behind bars.  Things get strange when her superiors claim it is impossible for anyone to hear the voice of a Daemonia.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince:  Episode 15
Being cool is a clear indication Izuru is severely ill.

Izuru has fallen into a coma after pulling off a mecha berserker mode that would make Id from Xenogears jealous; but the real concern comes when Izuru wakes up as a badass.  You read that correctly:  The otherwise dorky Izuru is now calm, cool, collected, attractive to women, and even his manga is worth reading, a clear cause for concern.  There is no rest for the weary, however, since the Wulgaru have returned for another attack on the mining colony.

Highschool DxD NEW:  Episode 3
In his defense, Issei is a demon.

Issei and Yuuto have decided to dual with the Excalibur-wielding church members, and naturally this means it is time for sexy fighting.  The highlight of the battle comes when Issei explains his passion behind his signature move, “Dress Breaker.”  Oh and there is some stuff about trying to band together and destroy the rouge Excalibur users, too…

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen:  Episode 2
(The World God Only Knows:  Season 3)
Pimpin’:  It’s not easy.

The rebellious demons from hell have made their first strike, and now Kanon’s life is in danger.  Now Kaima has only a week to find the four remaining goddesses and their hosts.  This means that Kaima not only has to figure out which of his potentially angry “conquests” still remember him, but now he has to get them to fall in love with him… again.  To make matters worse, he has to romance all of these girls simultaneously to revive the goddesses within.  Just think, some guys do this just to get laid.

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi:  Episode 3
(The Sunday without God)
Being dead is no excuse to not trim your nails.

Ai and Hambart continue their travels, but soon they are separated by a sudden ambush.  There would actually be a lot of spoilers if I explained too much about the events of this episode, so I won’t go into detail.  It should be mentioned however, that this was a great episode, with a surprisingly awesome action scene towards the end.

Monogatari Series: Second Season:  Episode 3
Shinobu appears, and of course it is strange.

Tsubasa seems to be homeless again, until the Fire Sisters and their devotion to justice fix that for her.  As Tsubasa lets her feline side come out again, she wonders what to do about the tiger spirit.  It also seems she may be getting some help from everyone’s favorite little vampire…

Ro-Kyu-Bu!  SS:  Episode 3
Nah, this one is too easy.

It’s time for more moe NBA fun!  The big match up for the “dojo challenge” is well underway, and just as it seems the girls have this one in the bag, a guest coach arrives!  Now Subaru and his father must face off in a battle of coaching tactics.  Tune in to find out if the girls keep the gym for practice, and stick around for Tomoko’s birthday party during the second half; because there is always room for more comically awkward misunderstandings and near-lethal doses of cuteness.

Rozen Maiden (2013):  Episode 3
… And now we know why Jun stopped going to school.

This week on Stein’s Ga… um Rozen Maiden, Jun continues to send emails to himself in the past in order to finish making the Shinku Doll.  We also get the treat of learning a bit more about Jun’s past, and why he quit going to school as child, something the original series never really touched on in detail.  By now the difference between this and the original is so large I have no idea what to expect, but it is still very interesting up to this point.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear G:  Episode 3
Best girl finally gets a high-budget transformation scene.

I don’t think I can stress enough how much this show has improved in the second season; it is simply amazing how much difference has been made with a bigger budget and more TLC from the animation crew.  In this episode, the girls hunt down the hideout of the world’s new enemy, Fine’, only to find they have been led into a trap.  This was another great episode this week, and lots of foreshadowing of events to come.

Shingeki no Kyojin:  Episode 15
(Attack on Titan)
Be afraid Eren, be very, very afraid.

Eren has finally arrived at a castle the Scouting Legion uses as a forward base.  Levi puts Eren and everyone to work cleaning the base up until the operation begins.  Eren’s greatest fear, however, is when a certain scientist with a thing for titans signs him up for the next set of experiments…

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S:  Episode 15
(A Certain Scientific Railgun)
The TouMAN has arrived.

This episode is a remake of the fight between Touma and Accelerator, this time with some extra TLC (and budget) from JC Staff.  Even knowing what happens, the upgrade to overall animation quality and the musical score make this fight worth watching all over again.  Enjoy the greatness of the most scientific street brawl of all time!

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!:  Episode 2
(It’s Not My Fault I’m Not Popular!)
AKA: Watamote
You’ll never make friends with such casual, shit taste, Tomoko.

Tomoko’s high school misery continues when an old friend from middle school calls and asks to hang out in a week.  Now Tomoko is desperate to make something interesting happen in school that she can show off to her new friend.  Once again, Tomoko’s bitter thoughts and deranged fantasies will have viewers laughing throughout the episode if they dig this kind of humor.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: July 8th – July 14th

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!

Choujigen Game Neptune: The Animation:  Episode 1
(Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation)
Neptune is still the laziest goddess.

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.

Danganronpa:  The Animation:  Episode 2
Monobear loves his work.

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!

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Ilya:  Episode 1
You will never meet a pair of cute otaku sisters.

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.

Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou:
Il Sole Penetra le Illusioni:  Episode 2
(Day Break Illusion)
At least they are stylish.

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.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince:  Episode 14
It’s time to go Xenogears on this motherfucker.

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.

Highschool DxD NEW:  Episode 2
Excellent.

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.

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen:  Episode 1
(The World God Only Knows:  Season 3)
This guy gets 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…

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi:  Episode 2
(The Sunday without God)
The gunman in black is a pretty sketchy guy.

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.

Monogatari Series: Second Season:  Episode 2
Yay!  It’s sexy yet deadly catgirl time!

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.

Ro-Kyu-Bu!  SS:  Episode 2
If only she knew Tomoka is like time: she can’t be stopped.

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.

Rozen Maiden (2013):  Episode 2
Just about every young adult has said the same thing.

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…

Senki Zesshou Symphogear G:  Episode 2
The over-the-top fights are even better this season.

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.

Shingeki no Kyojin:  Episode 14
(Attack on Titan)
And they say America’s courts are fucked up…

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.

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S:  Episode 14
(A Certain Scientific Railgun)
Kuroko just can’t help herself anymore.

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!)
AKA: Watamote
Yup, been there.

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.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: July 1st – July 7th

Okay, before we get started, let’s get something out of the way.

DEAL WITH IT

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!

Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III:  The Advent
Oh what luck, Griffon found his pendant…

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.

Danganronpa:  The Animation:  Episode 1
High school of the (soon to be) dead.

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.

Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou: Il Sole Penetra le Illusioni:
Episode 1
(Day Break Illusion)
Are you ready for badass magical girls?

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.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince:  Episode 13
Black 6 just don’t give a fuck.

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.

Highschool DxD NEW:  Episode 1
It hasn’t even been two whole minutes…

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!

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi:  Episode 1
(The Sunday without God)
 Grave keeper seems like a harsh job for a little girl…

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.

Monogatari Series: Second Season:  Episode 1
You aren’t hallucinating due to a head injury, it’s just the new season of Monogatari.

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.

Ro-Kyu-Bu!  SS:  Episode 1
And at this moment Good Smile Company discovers Ro-Kyu-Bu Nendoroids will print money.

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.

Rozen Maiden (2013):  Episode 1
Suiseiseki finds your lack of DESU disturbing.

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.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear G:  Episode 1
Hibiki is eager to kick more Noise ass, as usual.

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!

Shingeki no Kyojin:  Episode 13.5
(Attack on Titan)
It’s… like I’ve… seen this… before…

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.

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S:  Episode 13
(A Certain Scientific Railgun)
Well, maybe I can squeeze in just a little more terrorism.

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.