Posted on 16 May 2012 with categories: Seasonal Previews

The upcoming season, there will be 25 series in total. A healthy number for a Summer Season. There will be interesting stuff to watch, however, it really looks like it will not live up to the currently excellent Spring season. The reason is the amount of series that have the potential to stand out. On a first look, I could only spot two series that had that, both Josei. The rest of the series all have their perks, but not enough to really set themselves apart in the way that the current season has done by looking different, unique or in any other kind of attempt to break a mold. I’m a bit pessimistic about this season, but that may also be because while I was compiling this list and gathering the right links on Anime News Network, I kept getting bombarded by ads for the Armed Librarians. I tried, but it’s hard to not subconsciously compare things to that after a couple of hours…

In any case though: this is a big season for Josei. I don’t think we ever got three josei series in just one single season. Beyond that, the science fiction and fantasy genres also have some interesting stuff coming out. The bad shows meanwhile are exactly the bloody same bad shows that we get every single season, unfortunately. AIC is the studio with the most series coming out, unfortunately. Sunrise, Studio Gokumi, Dogakobo and JC Staff also have multiple series coming out.

Again, this list is mostly about a quick look at premises, staff members and production companies. I have no idea how the original source material for these series are, because I haven’t read them.

Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai

Summary: “The main character of the story, who lost his “erotic spirit” by making a contract with a beautiful Goddess of Death, struggles to regain that spirit back. Ryousuke cannot enjoy himself while living with the Godess of Death Risara under a contract, because he gave up his erotic spirit under the deal. He cannot get excitement from watching girls and wonders if his adolescent days are over. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Takeo Takahashi
Series Composition: Naruhisa Arakawa
Other Notable Staff: Cher Watanabe (Music)

The Positives: Japan, why do you keep making these shows?
The Negatives: From the creators of the anime Yosuga no Sora… yeah you know the rest.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!

Summary: “The story centers around Shougo Mikadono, the son of an industrial magnate named Kumagorou Mikadono who passed away. As a final wish, Kumagorou gave Shougo a condition before Shougo can inherit the family legacy — find a female mate at school. Shougo transfers into a school to fulfill that condition. However, he learns that he has a younger sister who was separated at birth. He does not know what his long-lost sister looks like, but she happens to be one of the students at his new school. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Munenori Nawa
Series Composition: Go Zappa

The Positives: There are other series out there…
The Negatives: These incest shows just keep getting more desperate.. Plus, the director of KissXSis pretty much tells where this one’s going.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Oda Nobuna no Yabou

Summary: “The historical romantic comedy follows a modern-day high school boy named Yoshiharu Sagara who is transported to Japan’s Sengoku Jidai (Era of the Warring States) — except the well-known warriors of the era are female. Oda Nobuna, a cute girl who happens to be a warlord, nicknames Yoshiharu “Monkey” and takes him under her wing. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Yuuji Kumazawa
Series Composition: Masashi Suzuki
Other Notable Staff: Yasuharu Takanashi (Music)

The Positives: No.
The Negatives: No.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Hagure Yuusha no Estetica

Summary: “The story follows an international training organization named Babel which protects the young people returning from another world. A wayward hero named Akatsuki has come back to the real world from a world of sword and magic called Areizaado, along with beautiful girl who is a demon king’s daughter.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Rion Kuji
Series Composition: Ryunosuke Kingetsu
Other Notable Staff: Kayo Konishi (Music), Yukio Kondo (Music)

The Positives: Interesting music choice with the soundtrack composers of Elfen Lied. Ryunosuke Kingetsu also is good… when he works for Ufo-Table. He adapted Manabi Straight, Tales of Symphonia and Futakoi Alternative.
The Negatives: It’s really a shame that this is one of the worst companies out there, Arms, which really won’t allow him to take the liberties necessary to make this premise work. That result lead to the horribly bad Samurai Girls. No, we want fanservice and stupidity here. That’s what sells. The director of the incredibly stupid Asu no Yoichi only reaffirms this.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmon-Bu

Summary: “The story centers around Itsuki Noya, a boy who wishes to join his school’s astronomy club (tenmon-bu). However, he actually entered the similarly named Tenmon-bu — a club for fujoshi (female otaku) interests.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Hideki Okamoto
Series Composition: Yuuko Kakihara
Other Notable Staff: SCA-ji (Original Creator, Script)

The Positives: The original creator is working on the script so you can’t whine that it won’t be faithful.
The Negatives: Otaku jokes by AIC and the director of Sengoku Otome and the adapter of Sora no Otoshimono. Blegh, absolutely nothing of interest here. Moving on.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

La storia della Arcana Famiglia

Summary: “The story follows Arcana Famiglia, a self-appointed organization with mysterious powers that has protected a small Mediterranean island from pirates, foreign countries, and other threats. The only daughter of the family’s “Papa,” Felicitá, will be married to the next head of the family in two months — and the successor will be decided in a competition that Felicitá herself will take part in.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Chiaki Kon
Series Composition: Masanao Akahoshi

The Positives: At least until you start looking more carefully, it doesn’t look that bad.
The Negatives: Chiaki Kon, get back from directing bad bishie fiction to actually direct proper series again. You are a good director when you actually try. Or were.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Yuruyuri ♪♪

Summary: “Right after starting middle school, Akari Akaza joins the Amusement Club which is composed solely of her two childhood friends, Kyouko Toshinou and Yui Funami. Chinatsu Yoshikawa, Akaza’s classmate, becomes a member after finding out about the dissolution of the Tea Club. The Amusement Club, situated at the tea room facility since the Tea Club disbanded, has no clear purpose, being free for the girls to do whatever they want.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Masahiko Oota
Series Composition: Takashi Aoshima
Other Notable Staff: Yasuhiro Misawa (Music)

The Positives: Well, this still is handled by right people: the director and scriptwriter of Minami-ke and Mitsudomoe. These guy know what it is to be funny. What’s more, Mitsudomoe’s second season was also pretty much better in every way compared to the first season. Hmm…
The Negatives: But really: the first season of Yuruyuri lost my interest within two episodes. I gave up on it when it turned out to be nothing… but bad lesbian jokes. Over and over. And they want to make a second season of that. Is there really enough material for that?

First-Glance Potential: 10%

Hakuouki Reimeiroku

Summary: “Based on Idea Factory’s romance adventure game: Yukimura Chizuru has come to Kyoto looking for her father, a doctor who has gone missing. While there, she witnesses a fight between an Oni and the Shinsengumi. Taking her into custody, the Shinsengumi debates on what to do with Chizuru when they discover that she is the daughter of the doctor they are also looking for. The Shinsengumi then takes Chizuru along on their search after the missing doctor, from adventures to adventures.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?

The Positives: Well, so with this, Hakuouki has three seasons, two OVAs and two movies coming up. Fans of the series: is it really worth so much airtime?
The Negatives: I’m getting tired to keep having to talk about Hakuouki in these previews. All that is to say about it has been said by now.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate

Summary: “Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate follows the protagonist Yūki Ōjima, who attends Takafuji Private Academy a large school with over 6,000 students. Yūki is a member of the Food Research Club along with seven others, including his childhood friend Chisato Sumiyoshi. The members leisurely spend their time in the club not doing much activities. When the election of the next student council president comes up, the front runner Satsuki Shinonome proposes that clubs that have no merit should be sorted out and abolished. The Food Research Club seeks advice from the current student council president Yakumo Mōri, who suggests Yūki run in the election as an opposing candidate. Yūki learns about the issues facing the school and decides to run in the election.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Toru Kitahata
Series Composition: Katsuhiko Takayama
Other Notable Staff: Elements Garden (Music), Hiroaki Gouda

The Positives: Katsuhiko Takayama isn’t the best scriptwriter, but he can churn out good adaptations if he wants. The director is new. He did work as a unit or assistant director before (notably on the Big O and Argento Soma), so this will be his first chance to show what he can do on his own.
The Negatives: Unfortunately, this is AIC again. And unfortunately, some of the other works that the director worked on more recently… were Haganai and Ookami Kakushi. Combine that with that dull harem premise and we’ve got another show that very suspiciously looks like all those other uninspired school romance comedies that don’t try to stand out.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse

Summary: “In the year 1973, alien species known as BETA (Beings of Extra Terrestrial origin which is Adversary of human race) came to invade earth. During the next 30 years, they have conquered most of the Eurasian continent, effectively decreasing the world population by billions. In response to their unique behavior, a new type of mobile mechanical humanoid weapon was developed, known as Tactical Surface Fighter (TSF). In the year 2001, elite pilots from around the world start to gather at a UN base in Alaska named Yukon to participate in the Prominence Project. This project is a joint effort between Russia and America on research and development of next generation of TSF. The job of the pilots is to test the prototypes, which occasionally involves pitting them one against another… “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Takayuki Inagaki
Other Notable Staff: Yumiko Hara (Character Designs), Kouki Yoshimune (Original Creator)

The Positives: Satelight is behind this series (seriously, these guys are really packing out for 2012), so it’s bound to be action-packed and very pretty to look at. The premise with the right execution has the potential to become a nice mecha epic.
The Negatives: Terrible director… agh. We’re talking about the guy behind some of the most blatantly bad and stupid fanservice series as Rosario to Vampire, Baby Princess, Koharu Biyori and Marginal Prince. The bad character designs also really hint that this will be very focused on pandering to its audience. Let there at least be a good scriptwriter behind this, because I don’t see how letting this guy take the reins will lead to anything successful here.

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Kokoro Connect

Summary: “The teen 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. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Chief Director: Shin Oonuma
Director: Shinya Kawamo
Series Composition: Fumihiko Shimo

The Positives: That’s interesting here… after collecting one of Shaft’s sub directors, Silver Link has now also recruited one of Bee-Train’s sub directors. Let’s hope that he can show himself off here more than what Oonuma Shin did. Fumihiko Shimo adapted Air and Clannad for Kyoani. This definitely is a stronger team that what we usually see from Silver Link.
The Negatives: Speaking of which, Oonuma Shin: you are not Shinbo. You never will be, and you are far from knowledgeable enough to act as a chief director at this point. Come back when you learn a thing or two about good acting.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Campione!

Summary: “The “battle fantasy” story follows an ordinary high school student named Godou Kusanagi who kills a god and claims its powers. As a result, Godou becomes a Campione who slays other gods.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Keizo Kusakawa
Series Composition: Jukki Hanada
Other Notable Staff: Masakazu Ishikawa (Character Designs), Susumu Mitsunaka

The Positives: Jukki Hanada: very solid, especially improved over the past year with his work on the script of Steins;Gate and Level E. Keizo Kusakawa meanwhile is an average director, but if the source material is good he can give it a pretty good portrayal.
The Negatives: Which leads me to the premise of that source material. It sounds really really corny, in a bad way.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Binbou-gami ga!

Summary: “The story revolves around Ichiko Sakura, a girl whose blissful life comes from her bountiful “happiness energy” — gained by sapping that energy from other people. To restore the balance, the Binbō-gami (Poverty God) Momiji Binbada attempts to eliminate her.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Yoichi Fujita
Series Composition: Kento Shimoyama

The Positives: Okay, so you have the director of Gintama, the guy who took over after episode 100 doing a new TV-series. Personally that was for me the point where Gintama started to decline, but with this concept it’ll be interesting to see whether he can bring another comedy to life.
The Negatives: Kento Shimoyama is currently doing a horrible job with Rock Lee’s script. And before he adapted Bleach. I’m not sure whether that will work well.

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Dog Days’

Summary: “In the land of Fronaldo, the Republic of Biscotti has been aggressively attacked by the Lion Kingdom of Galette. Facing potential defeat, Princess Millhiore summons a hero who can save the country. What she gets is Izumi Shinku, a middle-school boy from Japan. Awaiting him in Fronaldo is the task of becoming hero enough to defeat his enemies while learning the peculiar rules of battle in this strange new world.” – (Taken from Dog Days)
Director: Junji Nishimura
Series Composition: Masaki Tsuzuki
Other Notable Staff: Masaki Tsuzuki (Original Creator)

The Positives: If there is any series this season where I have the most conflicted feelings for, then it’s this one. The first episode of the first season was terrible. The premise of this show is an insult to warfare. And yet, this is Seven Arcs: they have shown plenty of times that their second seasons are much better than their first seasons. On top of that, they changed directors here… into one of my favorites: Junji Nishimura. He doesn’t always hit the right mark, but when he hits, he hits HARD.
The Negatives: So yeah, I’m stumped here. This can either be great, or just plain mediocre and a waste of time. Agh! Fans of the first season: give me reasons to pick up this show!

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Joshiraku

Summary: “The story follows the behind-the-scenes dressing-room conversations of a group of female (joshi) Japanese verbal show (rakugo) performers.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote

Other Notable Staff: Kouji Kumeta (Original Creator)

The Positives: Kouji Kumeta is the original creator of Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei. It’s going to be interesting to see this without having Shinbo all over it. Tsutomu Mizushima is a great director for this type of show, teamed up with Michiko Yokote like they did with Squid Girl. . Backed up by Squid Girl, this seems like it’ll be a solid comedy.
The Negatives: The genre of “gather a bunch of cute girls and have them talk’ is very over-saturated. The creators will really have to try to set themselves apart.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon 2

Summary: “In a distant future, Japan is divided into feudal territories, which have been conquered and are ruled by outside countries. The flying city-ship Musashi, which holds the remnants of the Japanese, is being targeted and has no choice but to keep its people safe by going to war. With the fate of the world resting on its hands, the students of Musashi may hold the key to victory.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Manabu Ono
Series Composition: Tatsuhiko Urahata
Other Notable Staff: Tatsuya Katou (Music))

The Positives: Well, here we get Horizon’s second season. It’s a series with a huge amount of creativity. This was up to the point where it got lost in its own convolution at times, and the battles just make no sense whatsoever, but it’s still going to be interesting where this show plans to go. Everything about this series is huge, and even though the character designs still are pretty terrible, there also will be a lot of stuff to look out for.
The Negatives: The source material for this series is HUGE. Will 26 episodes even be enough to do justice to everything?

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Moyashimon Returns

Summary: “College student Tadayasu Sawaki has a unique ability. He can see and communicate with bacteria and other microorganisms. Hijinks ensue. Sawaki Souemon Tadayasu is a freshmen in Tokyo agriculture university. He has a unique ability that worth the value of a 1 million yen electron microscope: to see microorganism with naked eyes. Together with his childhood friend, Kei, he begins a new and carefree life as a student.” – (Taken from )
Director: Yuichiro Yano
Series Composition: Natsuko Takahashi
Other Notable Staff: Takefumi Haketa (Music)

The Positives: Only four series in Noitamina have ever gotten sequels: Nodame Cantabile, Honey and Clover, Mononoke and Moyashimon. These really are the big ones who made the timeslot what it is today. Moyashimon out of those for is the least impressive, but it’s still a very solid and quirky comedy. Plus the characters are of college age, which is always a plus.
The Negatives: Now, a sequel in Noitamina is a very special privilege. What does this series hope to add to Moyashimon that hasn’t been said already?Just having “More of the same” will not be quite enough for Noitamina’s standards, you know?

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Arve Rezzle

Summary: “In this cyber science-fiction story, a boy named Remu goes to take back the soul of his little sister, who disappeared in net space. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?

The Positives: Very little is known about this anime, and I do suspect that it’ll eventually end up getting delayed at this point, but still: I am intrigued by this premise. It’s simple, but if the creators develop it right it can become an interesting science fiction series.
The Negatives: At this point I can only say: Zexcs. They unfortuantely aren’t the most stable production company out there.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Kingdom

Summary: “In the Warring States Period of ancient China (475-221 BCE), Shin and Hyou are war-orphans in the kingdom of Qin. They dream of one day proving themselves on the battlefield. One day, however, Hyou is taken to the palace by a minister. Winding up on the losing side of a power-struggle, Hyou manages to return to the village, barely alive. Shin then meets a boy who closely resembles Hyou, Ei Sei. For now he is the king of Qin; later he will become the emperor Shi Huangdi.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Jun Kamiya
Series Composition: Naruhisa Arakawa

The Positives: I am keeping my eye on this for one reason: Jun Kamiya’s direction of the Third made a huge impression on me, and that series still is among my favorite anime ever. Of course, afterwards he went on to direct Penguin no Mondai, but on the other hand his direction on Hikaru no Go was also amazing. I’m looking out for what he can do though because he definitely knows how to handle a good story. Naruhisa Arakawa is the kind of scriptwriter who is mostly working on random moe shows (and very bad ones at that), but he does strike me as someone who can also deliver a good story when he sees one, as evidenced from his work on Spice and Wolf, Legend of Black Heaven,Seraphim Call and Sentimental Journey.
The Negatives: Now, I am a fan of historical series. Strangely enough, the series based on Chinese history are a large exception to that. It probably has to do with anime’s tendency to make a complete mockery of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but I’ve yet to see an anime about Chinese history that really caught my interest.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Summary: “The story is set several centuries into the slow decline of mankind. Earth has now become the realm of “fairies” — 10-centimeter-tall (about 4-inch-tall) creatures with remarkable intelligence and an appetite for sweets. The human protagonist of the story serves an important duty as the international arbitrator between the fairies and humans, and she returns to her former hometown of Kusunoki. She chose this job because she thought it was an easy job she can do, even when she is as old as her grandfather. However, she learns that her job is anything but simple when she meets the fairies. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Seiji Kishi
Series Composition: Makoto Uezu
Other Notable Staff: Kou Outani (Music), Kyuuta Sakai (Character Designs, Animation Director)

The Positives: Oh my god, an AIC promo that actually looks pretty? Seriously, I hate these guys with passion, but I have to admit here: this series actually looks very interesting and genuine. It’s got a potentially great pair of director and writer, and the ever awesome Kou Outani is perfect for this kind of series.
The Negatives: Seiji Kishi and Makoto Uezu. Both two people who can be incredibly good (Angel Beats, Seto no Hanayome, Sunred, Uchuu Kyoudai) or incredibly bad (Persona, School Days, Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka, Tayutama…), regardless of source material. This is either going to be great, or a complete disaster. And seriously.. why of all people, THESE two for a very cute and innocent looking series? Their styles are about the complete opposite.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Tari Tari

Summary: “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. Taichi 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. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Masakazu Hashimoto
Series Composition: Masakazu Hashimoto
Other Notable Staff: Shirou Yamaguchi (Music), Kanami Sekiguchi (Character Designs), Kazuki Higashiji

The Positives: So here we have PA Works’ new production, and the visuals immediately strike resemblance to Hana Saku Iroha. The character designer and animation director indeed is the same woman, and she really has been the visual ticket of many of PA Works’ series. This will also be completely original, and about what to expect of the plot: we’ve got the director of the Professor Layton movie behind this one, both behind the direction and the series composition. I have no idea what to expect of that, but if he has one vision then this could tun into a very interesting high school drama.
The Negatives: I have one issue with how the premise of this show is written: you’re describing the characters as stereotypes. Do not do that. Just create their characters, give them traits, but don’t immediately put them into one cube.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Rinne no Lagrange Second Season

Summary: “Madoka is the lone member of her school’s Jersey Club. She is one day recruited by a mysterious girl named Lan to pilot the robot “Vox” and protect her city from space invaders. They are joined by a third girl, Muginami, who has a different goal than Ran. Meanwhile, they still don’t know their enemies’ true goal, or what “Rinne” might be.” – (Taken from ANN)
Chief Director: Tatsuo Sato
Director: Toshimasa Suzuki
Series Composition: Shuuratou Suga

The Positives: Well, with this we get to see the second half, and seeing as how Tatsuo Sato is on a roll with Mouretsu Pirates currently, it would be great to see how his work with Lagrange will turn out. The first season was definitely building up to something, and it’s up to the second one to really deliver.
The Negatives: Overall I do consider Rinne no Lagrange to be a bit below Mouretsu Pirates, mostly because of how the setting is really quite simple. This is something that the new season will need to improve on. Otherwise though, it was a very neat version of a mecha series with some good acting.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Sword Art Online

Summary: “The story revolves around a boy named Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya who enters a virtual-reality, massively multi-player online (MMO) world called “Sword Art Online.” There is no escape from this world unless the player clears the game, but “game over” means the death of the player.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Tomohiko Ito
Other Notable Staff: Yuki Kajiura (Music), Takayuki Nagashima (Art Director), Yusuke Takeda (Art Director), Tetsuya Kawakami (Animation Director), Reki Kawahara (Original Creator)

The Positives: I’m looking forward to Tomohiko Ito’s next work. Occult Academy was a flawed, but very fun and interesting series to watch, and this series seems to be in the same vein. A lot of interesting people seemed to be gathered around him, including several talented Bones animators, and of course Yuki Kajiura behind the soundtrack is also a very big plus here.
The Negatives: Now, this was created from light novels, the same from the creator of Accel World, which I didn’t really like. It was too forced, there were many uninteresting characters. My big fear is that she is only very good at creating an interesting setting, while ignoring everything else. Let’s hope that Sword Art Online will be different.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi

Summary: “The story is a “super-liberal interpretation” of the Hyakunin Isshu anthology of poems that were written between the 7th and 13th centuries in Japan. The anthology features 100 romantic poems from 100 different poets such as The Tale of Genji’s Murasaki Shikibu. The poems are also used as the basis for the karuta card game. “ – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Kenichi Kasai
Series Composition: Tomoko Konparu
Other Notable Staff: Aki Tsunaki (Character Designs), Yasunori Mitsuda (Music)

The Positives: Now this is a really interesting one to look forward to. With Chihayafuru we already got to see the 100 poems that were compiled together for the Karuta card game. Now here we have a story that is actually based on the subject of these poems. I am not sure whether the two series collaborated in any sort of way, but this show is perfect as a different look at these poems here. And then the people who are in charge of this: Kenichi Kasai is a wonderful director when he has the right source material (just look at Nodame Cantabile, Honey and Clover, Aoi Hana, and Tomoko Konparu is an excellent scriptwriter with series as Les Miserables, Nana, Nodame Cantabile, Kodocha and the Hi no Tori movies on her name. These are the perfect people to adapt this manga!
The Negatives: Yasunori Mitsuda has yet to compose anything noteworthy, and mostly did soundtracks for Inazuma Eleven. Does he have the talent to give this series a great soundtrack? It’d be great if he did.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Summary: “the story of a love triangle between Hazuki, a young man who works part time at a flower store, Rokka, the widow who owns the store, and the ghost of Shimao, Rokka’s deceased husband.” – (Taken from ANN)
Director: Kou Matsuo
Other Notable Staff: Haruka Kawachi (Original Creator), Junichiro Taniguchi

The Positives: The big reason I’m looking forward to this one: Kou Matsuo. For those who don’t know: in producing his series he tends to record the voice acting before the animation process. The result of this leads to some absolutely fantastic voice acting. The best examples of this are Red Garden and Kurenai. I really hope that he will do this again for Natsuyuki Rendezvous, because it is a wonderful effect that he makes a brilliant use of. The creators also got a wonderful animation director here with the animation director of Madoka Magica and Ookiku Furikabutte’s visuals.
The Negatives: Dogakobo? Don’t they only do bland moe shows?

First-Glance Potential: 90%

46 Responses

  1. HK-47 says:

    This is a bit random, but I simply cannot agree with “Yasunori Mitsuda has yet to compose anything noteworthy.”

    Now, I don’t know about his anime works, but he composed the soundtracks for Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, which were outstanding IMO.

    • psgels says:

      Ah, okay. I only looked at his list of compositions for anime works. My apologies.

      • someone says:

        Please, listen to some of the Yasunori Mitsuda’s songs. I’m sure you will enjoy them. His works are some of the best pieces of music to ever be composed for a video game.

        Time’s Scar
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J46RY4PU8a8

        Dream of the shore near another world
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROKcr2OTgws

        Undersea Palace
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSP-_hNQyYs

      • mds says:

        In the RPG world, I guess Yasunori Mitsuda is the most sublime game composer you’ve ever imagine. Other than that, check his works on Shadow Hearts and Xenogears/Xenosaga (which was sadly ruined by Yuki Kajiura later in Xenosaga II, argh -.-)

      • Nepheliad says:

        Yasunori Mitsuda is probably one of the most well known video game composers for his work on Chrono Trigger and Cross; he’s probably tied second or third most recognizable Japanese video game composer to American audiences (behind Nobuo Uematsu, with Yoko Shimomura and Akira Yamaoka). He got high billing on Xenoblade for this reason, even though he only composed maybe three songs or so for the game. And his work outside gaming is marvelous, also – give his Kirite album a try, along with Chrono Trigger and Cross.

        He’s probably my favorite VGM composer, so him composing means I’ll check out at least the OST for the show.

        • Anca says:

          I’d argue that he’s slightly behind Shouji Meguro, who composed the soundtracks for most of the Shin Megami Tensei series, including the Persona series, and Takeharu Ishimoro who composed the Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep along with Shimomura because she couldn’t finish it in time (that’s ironically her most critically acclaimed work) – he also did the soundtrack for FFVII: Crisis Core.

        • wendeego says:

          By the way, for people wondering what Mitsuda sounds like orchestrated:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcZHDAueaJ4&feature=relmfu

          GODLY.

          (Admittedly Shouji Meguro is pretty cool too! His soundtrack for Nocturne is something else)

      • Bur says:

        God, I love Mitsuda. Xenogears is still one of my favorite soundtracks! Brrr, there’s some good stuff on there.

        Melkaba: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqpZHhUdHrE
        Lost… Broken Shards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji6AxiFmqsk
        Shevat, the Wind is Calling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_uF_1MAJaY

  2. Litho says:

    Kinda early for a preview of next season, isn’t it?

    Can’t really see anything with the same appeal as Aplooon or Mine Fujiko on this list. I’ll definitely be giving Moyashimon II a go, and maybe Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu as the premise seems intriguing.

    Might give Natsuyuki Rendezvous a chance, though I’m generally averse to love triangles (that aren’t directed by Watanabe), but like you I do like the way that director handles voice acting. Some scenes from Red Garden and Kurenai (particularly the arguments) are still very vivid in my memory.

    Box Air talks about net-space, which is the same as cyberspace and the whole “net” thing, I assume. These can turn out pretty good (Dennou Coil, GiTS) on rare occasions, though most of what I’ve seen has been mediocre.

    Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita seems okay, but its by AIC, who’ve only made garbage for lonely teenage boys and lonelier pedophiles up to this point, I think.

  3. Firechick says:

    Psgels, if you really want a reason to watch Dog Days, check out my review of it (though it is CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS!!!): http://joyousmenma93.livejournal.com/13243.html

  4. BooBlob says:

    @Hakuouki Reimeiroku: well, considering that all other reverse harem anime that are aired/were aired alongside with it sucked in comparison, yes it does worth it. For an otome game adaption it’s probably the only one i can think of that didn’t sunk at the rock bottom at episode 1, so they do need to milk this cow.

    Personally I’m going to give it and Arcana a try. What I’m really looking forward to, though, are: Box Air, Uta Koi, Natsuyuki Rendezvous and Kingdom as long as the latter doesn’t end up as theatrical as “Souten Kouro”.

  5. Gottis says:

    What I’ll check out (don’t know if I’ll watch, but…)

    La storia della Arcana Famiglia
    Hakuouki (this I will definitely watch. I love the series. ^^)
    Moyashimon Returns
    Box Air
    Kingdom (I suspect I WILL watch this one.)
    Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

  6. BooBlob says:

    Ah and Dogakobo, as far as animation goes, has worked on Yakushiji Ryouko no Kaiki Jikenbo and has provided assistance for shows like EVA – You are not Alone and Another. So not all hope is lost.

  7. wendeego says:

    Strangely enough, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is apparently based on a series of light novels by Romeo Tanaka–author of Cross Channel and Kana: Little Sister, both game-changing visual novels. Then again, considering the premise, I have no idea how it’s going to turn out! All I know is that it will probably be very odd.

    As for Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, I’m rooting for it if only so that Satelight might be inclined to adapt the main Muv Luv series into anime form. If Total Eclipse follows suit with Alternative, we could be in for a brutal and intense experience. Or a disappointing failure, depending on how it’s handled.

  8. ujer says:

    recognize 3 anime which adapted from light novel
    - Hagure Yuusha no Estetica
    - Sword Art Online
    - Campione

    the thing with anime adaption would be that usually the good original story from novel got slaughtered…they just keep on focusing on harem, fanservice and ecchi part of the novel that just a small part of the story… the true gem of the novel which is the story plot itself really got ignored or got modified into somethhing horrible….

    campione itself should have great action based plot which heavily depend on multiple god origin history that would been explained throughout the novel. This would promised a fresh setting for fantasy/magical themed anime like this.
    Now its depend on the director…

    Sword Art online should be the hard one.well, at least main character actually way better than the one in accel world….
    From the trailer/teaser(can’t read japanese),
    the drawing or the animation actually mediocre…
    lets hope the actual would be better.

  9. kurini says:

    yay! Josei is the genre that I appreciate the most. I’m glad they are producing more and more Josei anime!
    Thank you for this earlier summer preview! I have yet seen most the trailers of these series but I think I have enough series that will entertain my summer. :)

  10. Firechick says:

    I might check out…

    Tari Tari
    Sword Art Online
    Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

  11. Anca says:

    Chiaki Kon only has one bishonen anime under her belt (Hanasakeru Seiwhatsit)- her most recent work was on Zakuro, which wasn’t about bishonen. Still, the manga Arcana is based on caught my attention a couple of weeks ago, but was really dull, so I doubt she can salvage it.

    And about Kingdom and Romance of the Three Kingdoms – you never watched Souten Kourou. You just dismissed it when it aired because it was a Three Kingdoms adaptation (it wasn’t even based on the novel, just on historical accounts). It was a wonderful seinen anime that emphasized large scale warfare and politics, if I remember right, pretty much exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to the subject.

    That aside, I’m also looking forward to Natsuyuki and Utakoi – I’m glad it’s a small season with the amount of series that will carry over.

    • psgels says:

      Actually, Chiaki Kon also did Junjo Romantica and Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi. Basically the same show four times over. Hence why I’m so afraid that she’s going to do the same show for a fifth time.

      • Anca says:

        That’s not really her fault: shonen-ai fluff romances are pretty much all identical, and these two eve more so than is normal; and after the success of Junjou Romantica they probably told her “Good work! Now for it again!”.

        And I wouldn’t call those bishonen series, just regular sappy romances.

        [and again, I don't think Arcana will be good either, just that it wouldn't make Chiaki Kon a bad director focused solely on bishies... ]

  12. Sei says:

    Chiaki Kon definitely has her bad reputation. While I don’t agree with people calling her a witch, she’s a mediocre director without much creativity. Higurashi works, but mostly because the source material is already very good. So I don’t think she could contribute anything to a not-so-exciting story.

  13. Sei says:

    I am really looking forward to the 100 poems adaption. The poems are very beautiful.

  14. AidanAK47 says:

    Well there one good thing about this season. It means I won’t be watching most of it and have more time for my visual novels, light novels and other stuff have on by backlog. But maybe it only looks bad. There might be some surprise hits here.

    First off I recommend putting Campione down to 10% in potential. I tried the light novel ages ago and it was just awful. Boring and same old same old as hell.

    Sword Art Online has very good source material. However I didn’t like the visuals on that trailer so it worries me. Plus I don’t think Yuki is the best composer for this series. She’s a bit too fond of her dramatic choirs and I don’t think that would suit sword art online.

    Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse is something I really want to see succeed. But I just don’t have faith in Satelight. I skimmed the first three chapters of the manga and came across two shower scenes. So yay…fanservice…sigh. Other than that it was alright.

    This season doesn’t look too hopeful.

  15. IronZeta says:

    I’m going to remain cautiously “wait and see” with regards to Total Eclipse. Since from what I hear in interviews, the director is a really big military and mecha fanatic, as well as being a fan of MLA, so I’m waiting to see what he’ll do with it, especially since Yoshimune Kouki is apparently being heavily involved in the story construction.

    The shower scenes in the early manga chapters notwithstanding, judging by the Chinese scans they sort of mostly vanish almost immediately after that.

  16. Scruffy says:

    I thought that the 4th season of Hidamari Sketch was being broadcast summer or is that the following cour?

  17. Kaiser Eoghan says:

    Chouyaku, Natsuyuki rendevous, yuru yuri, tari tari, jinrui and lagrannge are what are jumping out at me at the moment. Especially looking forward to Natsuyuki, yuru yuri and lagrannge. I will as always try a JCstaff and a shojo series so Arcana gets a chance from me.
    And Japan why..why won’t you just hurry up and adapt ravages of time? Is it because a chinese guy wrote it?

  18. mousoukyoku says:

    Box Air is a light novel magazine by Koudansha, not the novel’s/series’ title, which is アルヴ・レズル 機械仕掛けの妖精たち. I won’t attempt to transcribe the Katakana, but the rest is among the lines of mechanical/mechanized fairies or spirits. Just thought I’d point that out.

  19. Killer says:

    How many epis going to have Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi?
    I bet around of 50. I mean, need adapte 100 poems!

  20. kero says:

    Hmmm i see maybe three or four that I want to check out

    100 poems
    Fairies
    Moyashimon
    Box Air

    but nothing that got me excited like for this current season.

  21. Cytl says:

    I saw all S1 of Dog Days and I don’t have the motivation to see a S2.

    The Sword Art Online novels are really good (IMO), the setting is quite interesting, the characters and likable, and both the fun and the drama are well balanced I think.

    Campione novels start in an atypical and interesting manner but they seem to develop latter into typical harem jokes.

  22. Juno says:

    I can only say one thing about one series: Sword Art Online.
    It is highly anticipated for a good reason. I disliked many parts of Accel World, but I’ve been reading the Japanese version of the first volume of Sword Art Online and I am highly impressed. Indeed, the world setting is glorious. I can’t wait to see it animated. But even the characters seem to have lots of potential for development. If the story wants to take its stakes seriously, the characters will have to grow and mature–to overcome dreadful hardship. I don’t see the same thing that happened to Accel World’s characters being possible here.

    On that note, anything can happen, and it doesn’t mean the anime will live up to the hype. I certainly have high expectations for it now.

  23. Mr. Mestopheles says:

    I’ve only had a fleeting acquaintance with Kingdom, but it was more than enough to convince me to watch this. One reservation I have is the length of the source material… I got the impression it was gargantuan.

  24. ender650 says:

    Well, it looks like it could be a decent season. There is nothing that I’m really dying to watch, but many of the series look like they could be really good. I’ll probably be watching
    -Kingdom
    -Box Air
    -Moyashimon Returns
    -Tari Tari

  25. Zenstrive says:

    i think I need new external harddisk…

    • KaZuHiRo says:

      Lol me too, my external 2TB is almost full >.<

      Just had Slam Dunk and Grappler Baki downloaded.

      • Zenstrive says:

        Good for you. 2 TB is all sold out here in my place. Just got myself a new 1 TB one, complimenting my 500 GB and my 750GB…

  26. astrocurrent says:

    Ok. I can see why you think Inagaki Takayuki is a bad director. I don’t like his other works either. But I have to admit Jewelpet Sunshine is something cannot be seen in a decade (in a good way). Inagaki’s sense of tempo and his carelessness fitted very well with JPS’ setting. Not to mention the excellent work by all other staff that were involved with this anime. JPS may look like a kid-flatterring show on the first look but turns out to be very funny and enteraining. Even you have no idea about those 70s prodies such like “Easy Rider” or “Flash Dance”, its down-to-the-earth charm is very easy to jump in. Its story is not deep but interpret its setting very well. Best choice for the Saturday morning show. Doubles the fun if watch with your kids if you have any. I actually consider it better than 2nd season of Gintama. Because of JPS’ pleasant suprise, when JPK annouced its produciton, I was hopping Sakurai Hiroaki to be the director, since JPS’ enegy and exaggeration can be best inheriited by him. But Moriwaki Mokoto just finished with MH series, and because of her past with Stuidio Comet. I can see why she is chosen. But I did not guess that Sakurai is going to do the movie. That’s just another pleasant surprise.

    OK. That’s enough for preching JPS here again…

    I have to say I was surprised to see the Muv Luv’s animation is going to be directed by Inagaki. I am not going to say this is good choice sine Muv Luv could be very sensitive to handle. Unlike JPS, this series already has a solid fan basis built from the original games, and the setting and story is already there. How to handle the balance between the fan service, light-hearted and serious part would be the major task for animation staff. And to think Satelite is the production company behind this reproduction, I can expect to see the animation fall into a disaster in any minute. If only Sunrise could take this project… But Muv Luv has a lot of potential. If they can do things right, it could be a very interesting show to watch.

  27. paj says:

    Out of everything here. . .KINGDOM is what I am looking forward to the most. . . .The manga/manwha is the best!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. azeriraz says:

    Interesting list, I’m looking forward to Kingdom and Jinrui the most. Just to let you know the anime you labelled Box Air is actually called Arve Rezzle – Box Air is the publication Arve Rezzle is running in.

  29. Chu says:

    I might actually watch four or five series this season.

    Anime up to my standards has seriously been lacking.

  30. Tomtom says:

    Rofl at the Oda Nobuna no Yabou summary. “The historical romantic comedy follows a modern-day high school boy named Yoshiharu Sagara who is transported to Japan’s Sengoku Jidai (Era of the Warring States) — except the well-known warriors of the era are female. Oda Nobuna, a cute girl who happens to be a warlord, nicknames Yoshiharu “Monkey” and takes him under her wing. “

    All your favorite concepts combined in one anime, no?

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  • Wicked
    (Wednesday, Jul 30. 2014 05:14 AM)
    @Vincent well there is a leak test footage done in CG. Ryan Reynolds was actually the voice of the dialogue. It looks like they got what Deadpool is about.
  • Vincent
    (Wednesday, Jul 30. 2014 02:51 AM)
    I hear they’re going to have a Dead Pool film. Please. Don’t. F**k. It. Up.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Jul 30. 2014 02:47 AM)
    I just bought Hatsune Miku V3 English. Now I can call myself a true Miku fanboy.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Jul 30. 2014 02:45 AM)
    @Vincent: Try Cable and deadpool and much of Daniel Ways deadpool run.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Jul 30. 2014 02:33 AM)
    Can’t say I’m too keen on the character designs for the parasyte adaptation, I know the art in the manga isn’t great though but it rubs me the wrong way. They are having Aya Hirano voice the hand parasyte also. I think this might end up being pretty censored also…
  • Vincent
    (Wednesday, Jul 30. 2014 02:20 AM)
    I’m not talking about the Marvel Zombies series either. That series was too campy for me.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Jul 30. 2014 02:17 AM)
    @Mikey, Meh. Episode 80 wasn’t all that shocking. I seen it coming and while it was pretty brutal it’s just a notch below eating children alive.
  • Vincent
    (Wednesday, Jul 30. 2014 02:16 AM)
    I picked up Night Of the Living Deadpool, and man, what a fun read. Deapool in a Walking Dead-esque world is great. His dark humor is meant to mate with the zombie apocalypse.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Jul 30. 2014 01:42 AM)
    @Anonymous Platypus I would have checked out your blog if you used the chatbox for anything else besides promoting your blog.
  • Anonymous Platypus
    (Wednesday, Jul 30. 2014 01:31 AM)
    hey i was hopping that you can check out my blog and tell me if you like the 2 anime reviews i have done so far! i would love some feedback because i am young and just starting out here is the link http://videogamesandanimesao.blogspot.ca/

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