Posted by SuperWooper on 10 June 2019 with categories: Seasonal Previews

Wooper: The sun is shining, the temperature is rising, and the anime just keeps on coming. It’s time for our quarterly season preview, which we’ve trimmed down so it can look its best for the summer. Unlike previous editions, we won’t be examining every new show in this post. Instead, we’ve picked the 16 most promising and/or popular shows to preview (though there’s a bit of fodder near the start), and kept the rest confined to the poll down below. We’re still planning to give our thoughts on every summer series during First Impressions week, but when it comes to the season preview, we want to highlight the good stuff – or at least the stuff that won’t make you wonder why you’re an anime fan.

Most seasons have just a few great titles concentrated at the top, and this one is unlikely to be an exception. What’s interesting about this particular summer, though, is that the three most anticipated non-sequels are all action or adventure series. Two of them are big shounen properties, which our authors tend to have mixed opinions on, but these appear to have some serious promise. Will this be the miracle season where we all agree on what’s top tier, or will a handful of underdogs steal the spotlight once July gets underway? We’ll find out in a few weeks, but for now, let’s run down what might be worth your watch this summer.

Which series are you interested in for the 2019 Summer Season?
60 votes · 240 answers
Vote

 

Kengan Ashura

Studio: Larx Entertainment
Director: Seiji Kishi
Series composer: Makoto Uezu
Source: Web Manga

Mario: Another Netflix original offering and this show looks and tastes like Baki from last year, with the trailer focusing solely on their fights. Moreover, it’s an entirely CG show that sadly doesn’t look that polished. While all these are enough for me to discard this show, there’s one saving grace from the show that holds me back. The key here is the director Seiji Kishi, who directed popular hits like Angel Beats, Assassination Classroom, and MY TYPE OF SHOWS such as Humanity Has Declined, Tsuki ga Kirei and Asobi Asobase. That being said, apart from Assassination Classroom, this is the first anime where he ventures over to shounen action-centric material, and the fact that this is his first full CG project doesn’t spark much confidence. I don’t know. I grow mixed on the Netflix model when it comes to how they handle their original anime. It’s true that they have larger budgets and allow more creative freedom, but for me they aim for more mainstream tastes. Stuff like Baki, this one or Ultraman last season aim for specific fanbases, and their more flashy titles: Carole & Tuesday, Little Witch Academia, Violet Evergarden are products of famed directors/studios producing something weaker than their true talents. Maybe just like last season’s work by Kenji Kamiyama (Ultraman), this one will come and go with a weak splash before vanishing altogether.

 

Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou

Studio: Asread, White Fox
Director: Kinji Yoshimoto
Series composer: Shoichi Sato
Source: Light Novel

Wooper: I managed to sprint through a few chapters of the Arifureta manga before I had to bail out. It’s based on a light novel, but assuming the manga’s story and characters are the same, the author must have been playing isekai bingo when he conceptualized the series. The MC is an Average Gamer who somehow attracts the attention of the school idol, and is therefore hated by all the handsome, athletic bros in his class. One day, when their bullying gets particularly vicious, he wishes they’d all get transported to a parallel world – and that’s exactly what happens. Video game logic sets in pretty quickly, everybody starts dungeon crawling, and eventually the nice guy protagonist is betrayed by one of his classmates and loses an arm. Last year’s Shield Hero was insulting enough; I don’t need to read any further to recognize this as one of its clones. Really, the only reason I previewed this was to look back and say “I told you so” when its defenders get to the penultimate episode and realize it was a waste of time. Not even White Fox, who usually do good work with fantasy series, can save this premise. In summary, if you’re thinking about watching this, don’t.

Kawaikereba Hentai demo Suki ni Natte Kuremasu ka?

Studio: Geek Toys
Director: Itsuki Imazaki
Series composer: Kenichi Yamashita
Source: Manga

Mario: This is gonna be a tricky one to preview. While the synopsis (a horny boy receives an anonymous love letter and underwear (!), so he tracks that person down) and the trailer scream “fan-service” in your face at every turn, word on the street says there is more beneath the surface. Not that the material has any “deeper” meaning (not our definition of “deep” anyway), but it tweaks its tropes in an unexpected way. The director has done some unremarkable shows so on that front I’m not confident at all. I know I’m not the minority here but I have been yearning for a good ecchi show for quite some time. Gotoubun earlier this year scratched some of that itch but damn it I demand more, so I’m more than happy for a show that knows how to use its fanservice right. The line between “successful” and “mediocre” can be pretty thin, though.

 

BEM

Studio: LandQ
Director: Yoshinori Odaka
Series composer: Atsuhiro Tomioka
Source: Original

Wooper: This is one of those shows which is likely to be way cooler in concept than execution. Still, its relative individuality makes it worth a first look. It’s based on an original TV project from the late sixties, a period when most anime series were simple moving manga adaptations, so its survival could be an indicator of a worthwhile story. BEM follows three youkai who protect humanity from their own kind in exchange for becoming human themselves one day. Looking at the visuals from its 1968 incarnation (and the 2006 reboot) is a little depressing, as they’ve received a severe makeover for modern sensibilities, losing much of their ghoulish flair in the process. The Beast Boy-looking character is now a moody teen who wears headphones at all times to, like, shut out the world, man. What gives me some hope is the series’ prospective atmosphere. While its PV is marred by an ugly scratched-glass filter, its jazzy OP and spooky urban setting are my kind of thing. This property was likely revived due to the success of Gegege no Kitarou in Japan, so if BEM turns out halfway decent, we’ll have that show to thank. I’m not holding my breath for this one, but I will be keeping an eye out.

 

Given

Studio: Lerche
Director: Hikaru Yamaguchi
Series composer: Yuniko Ayana
Source: Manga

Mario: Given that it’s part of the prestigious noitaminA block, it’s a given that this show will be goo–. Okay, enough with my stupid puns and let’s see what this yaoi show has to offer. Honestly I’m not too sure myself. Usually this kind of material (no offense given. Damn I can’t stop myself) tend to attract conflicting opinions on it and Given is no exception. The general reception surrounding the manga ranges from “fujoshi bait” to “legit romance,” and I’m also mixed when I consider other factors. The visuals look decent but the concept is stupid (Love at first sound? Give me a break). The music plays a huge part in this story so the anime version could use it to its full potential. Theoretically speaking only. Because I’m not too sure if the staff can successfully transfer it across, given that the director is a total newbie (before this he only directed an OVA called Escha Chron. Ever heard of it? I didn’t think so), and with the other Lerche show also airing this season, I just hope it earns its noitaminA slot.

 

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2

Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
Director: Hiroaki Akagi
Script: Hiroko Fukuda/Aki Itami
Source: Manga

Mario: In a surprise development, Takagi-san got a second season. Well, maybe not that surprising since the manga and the first season are popular, but it’s not the kind of material where you would think there’s more to say. With the same staff on board, people who watched the first season know what to expect from this sequel. Hell, even those who only watched the premiere have a pretty good idea too. The main duo’s chemistry is rock solid, and at times the show makes a pretty keen observation about the insecurity of kids growing up, while acting exactly like one. Despite its repetitive structure, I enjoyed the first season enough to look forward to this sequel. It might fit better as a short series, but I’m happy with what we have.

 

Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e

Studio: MAPPA
Director: Jun Shishido
Series composer: Shigeru Murakoshi
Source: Manga

Wooper: My instincts tell me that this shounen fantasy will be another MAPPA casualty – promising at first, then handicapped by the studio’s slumping production towards the back half. Its towering monster designs and unique setting (which blends medieval and frontier elements) will be tough to pin down for an entire cour, and I don’t know if director Jun Shishido can make it happen. His biggest works thus far have been the Hajime no Ippo sequels and both seasons of Saiunkoko Monogatari, which are beloved by their respective fanbases, but neither one has the elaborate scope of a project like this. If Shishido and the rest of the staff are up to the task, though, there’s some decent material here (if a bit familiar). The story is set in the wake of a civil war, and raises all the thematic questions you’d expect from such a series. The twist is that an ex-Captain has been tasked with killing his former subordinates, all of whom were transformed into hulking beasts during the war. There is, of course, a pretty girl to accompany him – the daughter of one of his victims, who hates his guts at first, but will come to understand him, and probably even love him. Take note of how many times I said “his” or “him” in that last sentence – the male lead will remain the center of the show, no matter how many girls and ghouls should appear on screen. The strength of his story will be the determining factor in Katsu Kami’s success, for better or worse.

 

Cop Craft

Studio: Millepensee
Director: Shin Itagaki
Series composer: Shoji Gatoh
Source: Light Novel

Mario: Old buddy cop has been on the rise lately (the most recent one: Double Decker), and this one seems to be a run-of-the-mill entry to the sub-genre. Its concept, about a detective team of two solving crimes while they’re from different races in a supernatural/human hybrid setting, sounds an awful lot like Kekkai Sensen, and not for its benefit. The other factor I need to mention is that this is a full CG show (nah, it’s not). Based on the trailer it doesn’t look disastrous, in fact the character designs are attractive, but visually it looks messy. It comes as no surprise then that the director is the one behind the massive shipwreck that was Titanic Berserk (2016-2017) – a show that is infamously known for terrible CG and bad direction. One saving (?) point is that this series is written by Shoji Gatou who wrote Full Metal Panic which for better or worse gained a dedicated fan-base. There’s still something to look forward to here, but I don’t expect it to be a standout of the season.

 

Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru?

Studio: Doga Kobo
Director: Mitsue Yamazaki
Series composer: Fumihiko Shimo
Source: Manga

Wooper: I started reading the manga for this series thinking that it would wear thin pretty quickly. It’s about Cute Girls Lifting Cute Weights, landing it in both the slice of life and ecchi genres, neither of which are my cup of protein. But I kept reading, and reading, and before long I’d gone through two full volumes. The series leverages its gym setting for maximum comedy, placing its high school characters in a room full of muscle-bound meatheads and letting them get swept up in the allure of making them GAINS. Each chapter has exercise and nutrition tips for aspiring fitness gurus, but it never stops developing the friendships between its primary characters, or checking in with the main girl’s quest to lose weight and “horde all the good men for herself.” Doga Kobo isn’t a studio I trust to make great anime, but they’ve got their best director on the job here (he of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun fame), so fans of the source material can rest easy. As long as the humor translates and the production has a general sense of positivity to it, this ought to be a fun distraction every week.

 

Granbelm

Studio: Nexus
Director: Masaharu Watanabe
Series composer: Jukki Hanada
Source: Original

Mario: In case you want to check it out, the first 10 minutes are already available online. I skimmed through parts of it to have a general idea about its production values, and they are not bad. Not too fond of the mecha battles but it’s just me who isn’t a fan of mecha in general. Granbelm is an original anime from the director of Re:Zero and the series composer is even more prominent as he’s involved in lots of KyoAni materials (basically from period between Nichijou to Sound Eupho) and last year he was a series composer for two well-paced A Place Further than the Universe and Bloom into You, so staff-wise – despite this being a relatively new studio – I have a certain hope for it. As an original show it’s bound to be more ambitious than your typical isekai (the synopsis makes you think this is an isekai) so I’m definitely paying close attention to this one.

 

Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note

Studio: Troyca
Director: Makoto Katou
Series composer: Ukyou Kodachi
Source: Light Novel

Mario: Lord El-Melloi is a spin-off from the Fate franchise (the most promising out of 3 spin-offs this season: a more-of-the-same Toaru Accelerator and why-does-it-even-exist SD Gundam World), although you just need the knowledge of Fate/Zero in order to follow this. Even without knowing Fate/Zero, you can still understand what’s going on, but the central emotional core of Waver Velvet and some relationships can go over your head. Being said that, I watched the prologue 00 and found it pretty decent. Think of Monogatari in a Fate universe without Shaft’s distracting visuals. While on the topic, what’s the deal with Fate spin-offs that are good when they have nothing to do with the Grail Wars? Fate/Cooking and this one (Fate/Detective) have so much charm to them. Moreover, Velvet and Rider’s relationship has always been my favorite part of Fate/Zero (I think a lot of people agree with me there), so I’m thrilled to see the focus on adult-Velvet here. Troyca is a consistent studio and I already quite like the cast. Even if this has little to do with the main Fate routes, it should be an enjoyable watch for Fate and non-Fate fans alike.

 

Dr. Stone

Studio: TMS Entertainment
Director: Shinya Iino
Series composer: Yuichiro Kido
Source: Manga

Lenlo: Dr. Stone is an odd one. In the art department, I have always loved the manga. Boichi does good work, as seen here and his other series Sun-Ken Rock. Its striking, thick lines and character designs made it a joy to look at. However, little of that will be there as the series moves to a more easy to animate style. Forsaking Boichi’s heavy line-work for a more traditional anime look. Meanwhile, the narrative really isn’t there. Oh there are fun characters of course, and they bounce off each other well. The science lends itself to some fun humor. But the issue is that the science is the centerpiece of the show, followed closely by the hijinks of the characters, not any real greater plot. When it has a strong character, like the first antagonist, it’s a good read. I expect this first season to adapt him in full. But after that? Suffice to say, Dr. Stone will be decent this season if they can adapt Boichi’s style well enough. If it gets a second season, though? As a manga reader, that would be a hard pass from me. Here’s hoping TMS Entertainment can pull it off though. Boichi deserves it.

 

Enen no Shouboutai

Studio: David Production
Director: Yuki Yase
Series composer: Yamato Haishima
Source: Manga

Wooper: I could never get into Soul Eater, despite its punk-inspired characters, striking animation by Studio Bones, and killer OP. It was too irreverent – not in the moral or spiritual sense, but towards the fundamentals of entertainment. Its story took far too long to get off the ground, and a thousand groan-worthy stabs at comedy couldn’t tide me over until then. After reading the first volume of the Fire Force manga (which is from the same author), I suspect it may suffer from a similar problem, but hot damn, have you all seen the PV for this thing? David Production may be synonymous with JoJo right now, but that static, pose-heavy series is about to get blown back on its ass if DP can make this show look that good for its full two cour order. There’s tons of great 2D effects work – nearly all of it flames and smoke, which are so difficult to animate that many modern directors hand them over to CG studios. Then there are the characters, who zip and zoom all over the screen in full motion, with plenty of attention paid to their designs in the move to the small screen. The one thing I’m worried about on a visual level is the task of replicating Atsushi Ookubo’s jam-packed cityscapes, but as the series’ backgrounds will be obscured by fire for a decent portion of each episode, that’s an acceptable tradeoff. If a repetitive opening arc or perverted antics are personal deal-breakers, you might have to give this one a pass, but I’m signing up for the sheer spectacle promised by the show’s numerous trailers.

 

Kanata no Astra

Studio: Lerche
Director: Masaomi Ando
Series composer: Norimitsu Kaihou
Source: Manga

Mario: Here’s a concept that holds a lot of potential: a group of 9 students (I know, read on) in the near future find themselves stranded 5012 light years away from their home planet. The trailer (or more like, teaser) doesn’t disappoint with a rather cinematic sequence (I see shades of Gravity there). This is from the author of Sket Dance and features a director who is quite versatile. He’s done a horror/cute girls blend School-Live, a drama Scum’s Wish, a slice-of-life Hakone to Mikochi, and a romance White Album 2, so this sci fi/thriller will be more new territory for him to explore. The source material is only 5 volumes, so this will certainly be a case where Lerche will adapt it in its entirety. The only factor that has me worried here is that Lerche has another project (noitaminA’s Given) also airing this season, which could negatively affect the production of this one. This is gonna be a dark horse of the summer season.

 

Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo.

Studio: Lay-duce
Director: Masahiro Andou
Series composer: Mari Okada
Source: Manga

Wooper: Mari Okada has been diversifying her portfolio as of late. After her directorial debut with last year’s Maquia (which she also scripted), she’s returning to TV anime this summer with an adaptation of her own manga series, localized in English as “O Maidens in Your Savage Season.” That title has an awesome ring to it, promising both grace and brutality within its pages, and now its episodes. That’s metaphorical brutality, of course, as Araburu deals with sexual awakening rather than literal warfare, but one’s teenage years can be a punishing experience, too. The very first line of the manga is about female pubic hair, which sets the tone for the sex-themed musings of its five main characters. There’s both an innocence and an authentic yearning to their conversations, to the point that I was hooked after a single (rather lengthy) chapter. Director Masahiro Andou was able to imbue Akagami no Shirayuki-hime with a small measure of sensuality, so I’m hoping he can take whatever tangled mess these girls create and translate it meaningfully. The fact that manga artist Nao Emoto is on staff is a plus, although the anime designs don’t have the same round, youthful exuberance as her original work. Still, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic here. Even if the production goes Full Okada, it will have been a worthwhile endeavor.

 

Vinland Saga

Studio: Wit
Director: Shuhei Yabuta
Series composer: Yutaka Yamada
Source: Manga

Lenlo: Hyyyype! Vinland Saga, from the same author as Planetes, is easily one of my favorite manga series currently being made. Similar to Planetes, Vinland is a terrific take on a possible interpretation of reality/history. Presenting a romanticized take on the life of Thorfinn Karlsefni during the rise of the Viking King, Cnut the Great. The 2 cours allocated gives it the room to reach the perfect stopping point in the manga, covering what is essentially the prologue in its entirety. Wit is also on a roll at the moment with Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2, finishing their time with the series strong. If they can take that passion and bring it over to Vinland, there is little doubt it will be my favorite of the season. Makoto Yukimura, the author, puts so much work into making this 10th century Viking world come alive that I just can’t wait to see it in motion. Based on the Vinland Saga anime twitter, it also looks like they are in a great place production wise. All in all, this is the most excited I have been for an anime in a long time.

 


 

Anime Movie Previews

Mario: Compared to last Spring season we have a considerably smaller amount of movies coming out in theatres, which is due to timing more than anything (the movies Helghast and I previewed last season normally play around this month – which is more Summer than Spring). Still, there are some titles worth recommending in this coming season, from Shinkai’s long-anticipated new project to Ghibli’s game adaptation (no kidding), to a range of TV movies based on popular shows, so let’s scroll down to see what the next three months have to offer, in release date order:
P.S. Remember this preview only offers selected picks (basically movies I care about) and no poll this time around.

Tenki no Ko

Studio: CoMix Wave Films
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Script: Makoto Shinkai
Source: Original
Release Date: July 19, 2019

Mario: Also known as “Weathering with You” in English, all eyes are on Shinkai now after the crossover hit that was Your Name. I reviewed Your Name before and for those of you who don’t know how I feel about Shinkai’s style, let’s just say that I’m middling on it. He has a keen eye for gorgeous backgrounds but I also find his melodrama/romance to be overblown. Well, Tenki no Ko’s trailer – about a boy meets a girl who can sort of “manipulate” the weather – already offers both, with the story being narrated by our two protagonists. It’s pretty much Shinkai making Shinkai’s movies all over again so if you’re a fan of his works, you won’t be disappointed. Just remember to not compare his new film to Your Name, because it would do this new work a huge disadvantage.

 

Ni no Kuni

Studio: OLM
Director: Yoshiyuki Momose
Script: Akihiro Hino
Source: Game
Release Date: Aug 23, 2019

Mario: At first, this film feels like a filler but it’s actually a title you can be optimistic about. First, Ni no Kuni’s source is an RPG game backed by none other than Studio Ghibli, who provided the score, animated sequences and the overall look of the games. The games themselves received acclaim and recognition from fans and won many awards. They took a right step then, in making Yoshiyuki Momose the director – he’s a Ghibli veteran who was a key animator up until Spirited Away and did one of the Modest Heroes shorts for Ponoc. The story, about three kids going back and forth between their world and a fantasy one, aims to make children empathize with the characters and adults to relive their youth. The trailer already looks solid and if they keep that up, this could be a sleeper hit of this year in anime.

 

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! Kurenai Densetsu

Studio: J.C. Staff
Director: Takaomi Kanasaki
Script: Makoto Uezu
Source: Light Novel
Release Date: Aug 30, 2019

Mario: While I’m not always a fan of KonoSuba’s silly brand of humor, there’s no denying that it’s always hilarious to watch this band of misfits get stuck in their missions. The first note regarding this movie adaptation is that J.C. Staff is the studio behind it, not Studio DEEN. I don’t think it will affect the quality of this film much, given that the same director and core staff are behind this project. Kurenai Densetsu (Legend of Crimson) adapts the fifth volume of the Light Novel, about Megumin’s home village being attacked by the Demon King General. Megumin is my favorite character out of this cast so hell yeah, she deserves more screen time (as if her TV appearance isn’t enough). This looks to be another fun (mis)adventure from Kazuma and the girls.

 

Violet Evergarden Gaiden: Eien to Jidou Shuki Ningyou

Studio: Kyoto Animation
Director: TBA
Script: TBA
Source: Light Novel
Release Date: Sep 6, 2019

Mario: As a note, this Violet Evergarden movie is not the big one that the studio announced last year (that would be for 2020 release), nor is it a recap. Rather, Violet Evergarden Gaiden serves as a side-story that took its name from the second chapter of the Gaiden novel (third volume of its source LN) with 6 chapters in length. This side story will focus on the CH Postal Company members, with each story following one of them, from Charlotte and Benedict to Cattleya and even Gilbert and Hoggins. There’s no Violet as a central character, which for me is a good thing since Violet’s stoic appearance and conventional arc is one of my biggest concerns. I’m not sure how this adaptation will do with the anime-original characters, though. For fans of the series, more Violet Evergarden is always a good thing. I’m mild on the series as a whole but with a production as outright striking as this one, I don’t mind hopping on board for a ride.

 

Hello World

Studio: Graphinica
Director: Tomohiko Itou
Script/Series composer: Mado Nozaki
Source: Original
Release Date: Sep 20, 2019

Mario: Tomohiko Itou is a veteran anime director, mostly known for his involvement with the Sword Art Online franchise. Don’t shrug when you hear that, because his other works are at least very solid including Silver Spoon and ERASED. After Ordinal Scale, he returns to film format again with an original concept about a time-traveling boy who is literally and conceptually in search for himself. With Graphinica involved I suspect this is a full CG movie, although the crisp designs when I watched the trailer does their job to hide that fact. Visual-wise, it looks polished, but I’m more worried about the story being over-ambitious. The writer only has one other title under his belt and that is Seikaisuru Kado for crying out loud. To be fair though, “over-ambitious” is still much better than “follow the tropes and don’t try at all” so I hope this one remains on your radar once it’s available in your region.

 

Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These- Stellar War 1

Studio: Production I.G
Director: TBA
Script/Series composer: TBA
Source: Novel
Release Date: Sep 27, 2019

Mario: Note: this is the only preview I’ll give for this remake, as this is the first of what would be a trilogy titled “Seiran” in 2019 – so basically this is an entire TV season in movie format. In case you haven’t noticed it’s a new trend the anime industry employs and I can see a fair shares of pluses and minuses. With a theatrical release these movies have better budgets and they can make some real money back, but I wonder who is going to see these 5-6 movies (and more) except for die-hard fans. It’s a pain for us to wait until it’s available online as well. As for this movie, details are sacred with the only sure thing being a continuation of last season, and that it focuses on the ”Stellar War” arc. I enjoyed the first season of this remake so count me in on following these films, but with the amount of waiting maybe it’s best to watch the original (completed and arguably better) version of it.

29 Responses

  1. Avatar Nimroth says:

    I’m not a fan of what Vinland Saga has become, but I’m glad to at least see the prologue being adapted, mostly for Askeladd.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      But Farm arc! I can understand the apprehension, its been off lately for me to. Meandering a bit one might say. But I do think this opening prologue is strong. With 2 cours we can wrap up the whole thing for what is, essentially, a complete story before Farms I think.

      • Avatar Nimroth says:

        I mostly feel that the story has become too preoccupied with preaching a message of non-violence at the expense of the plot, even if there are still good parts.

        But yeah the prologue on it’s own has enough closure to work as a self-contained story, regardless of if the rest gets animated or not.
        Most other adaptations of a still ongoing story doesn’t get this kind of luxury.

    • Avatar Ninja says:

      I feel pretty much the same way, but even from the beginning Vinland never quite worked for me. The gorgeous art and Askeladd’s relationship with Thorfinn were easily the best parts.

      I went in anticipating the next seinen action masterpiece to stand alongside Berserk, Vagabond and Blade of the Immortal but was disappointed. I loved the Planetes anime too so I really thought the author had it in the bag. The place it’s at now at the end of the Baltic Sea War has me completely apathetic towards the series. A real shame since it really did have potential.

      Also @Wooper/Lenlo/Mario regarding the preview, I think you guys should keep the % potential scores for each series. I missed them in this one. Otherwise great job as usual.

      • Avatar SuperWooper says:

        I checked a few of our past season previews, and we’ve never done percentages – just three tiers based on our general expectations (Not Looking Forward, Middling, Looking Forward). The first impressions posts are the ones with percentages, so you can look forward to some more 0% reviews next month. :^)

        Would you say we ought to keep the expectation tiers for next time? That’s something we debated before publishing, but opted to list them from least to most anticipated, instead.

        Also, I sent you a PM on here last week, but the notification system seems pretty shoddy. Let me know whether it got through.

        • Avatar Ninja says:

          Ah my bad you’re right, it was tiers in the previews and % potential in first impressions. I think it’s fine to leave the tiers out if you want but maybe number them to make it more obvious how they’re ranked since the descriptions don’t always make that clear. Actually the easiest would probably be to just throw “Least Anticipated” at the top and “Most Anticipated” on the last entry.

          I didn’t even know PM’s were a thing here, but I’ve seen it now. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll PM you back.

        • Avatar evafan says:

          Ninja++.
          Hell yeah, we need more of 0% reviews. Keep up the good work.

  2. Avatar il-Palazzo says:

    Damn, they’re gonna ruin Cop Craft aren’t they? That was my most anticipated anime of this season.

    • Avatar SuperWooper says:

      It’s not entirely 3DCG – that was a mistake on our end. There’s clearly some traditional animation in the PV (which you can find pretty easily on Youtube). It *is* looking like a bit of a mess, though. How the stiffly “animated” shot at 0:03 seconds made it into the show’s promotional material is beyond me.

  3. Avatar Firechick says:

    I’m really excited for Astra: Lost In Space! The manga is really good, and I read the whole thing three times! I know it starts out kinda cliche and the characters seem like lazy archetypes at first, but trust me, it gets really, REALLY good halfway through the story. Also, do be prepared: One of the characters, Quitterie, starts out doing a LOT of screaming, whining, complaining, and being a bratty little bitch. You have been warned.

    • Avatar SuperWooper says:

      Thanks for the heads up! After watching Infinite Ryvius last year, I’m fully prepared for characters whose worst traits are exacerbated by isolation aboard a spaceship.

      • I had a read of Astra there due to Firechick’s recommendation and I feel that her take on it is accurate enough to my experience with it.
        I’ll add that the author salvages an average shounen manga with a couple of plot twists that elevate the series.
        Its relatively short so it only took me a day to read.
        Ryvius, I liked blue-hair guy and Fina and how it ended, what I didn’t like was recycled shots and drawn out pace.

        • Avatar Firechick says:

          Ooh, you read it? Cool! Did you like it? I admit, I’m normally not into stories about space, as they tend to have a lot of technobabble that just confuses the heck out of me. That’s kinda the reason why I don’t watch/read space operas or giant robot stuff. But Astra actually managed to keep things simple and explained things in a way I could understand. Hell, even it’s sexual humor, which I tend to absolutely hate, was surprisingly funny and well done in a tongue-and-cheek kind of way, especially in regards to the whole “guy walks in on a girl while she’s naked and in the shower” trope, which I normally absolutely hate with every fiber of my being.

          And yes, the twists. I absolutely LOVED the twists, and they all make complete sense in the story’s world.

          • I suppose going into more detail, I largely found it to be a manga of two halves, the first half being saved by some moments of fun, the comedy while not always hitting the mark did so enough to get me through that first half which I felt had generally initially largely un-likeable characters, additionally I felt the dialogue was initially quite weak and there was probably a bit too much talkiness in its exposition.
            Then the second half rolls around and I thought the characters and story really began growing on me, developing in un-expected and surprising ways, with the manga comfortably fitting into a 5 volume runtime with earlier parts in hindsight feeling more worthwhile and everything coming together.
            Those silly moments, again in hindsight after finishing the manga felt like I’d really spent time with this cast.
            The art is also quite good aswell.
            I can imagine putting a voice on some of the characters may make their initial appearances harder to take however, especially in the case of the male protaganist and the female characters.
            I suppose there is a benefit to making them all so annoying at beginning, it gives them, Quitterie especially somewhere to grow from.
            Also quite glad that there was no time travel/reset bullshit in this manga.

            I’d never have taken notice of it had you not mentioned it so thank you for that.

          • If we’re talking pet hate clichees, for me that’s shounen bully syndrome, I absolutely hate those one off punk/thug characters that often show up for a couple of minutes, usually at the start of an episode.
            Actually this ties in very well with my comment lower down about Shield hero, you have to put up with that kind of character for the whole thing, its awful.
            On the fanservice front, especially because I am into smaller chested characters I am especially annoyed by zoomed in bouncing breast fanservice shots, particularly when its utilized in battle harems.

  4. Avatar Zo says:

    Why did you throw shade at the most popular show of the season in both the US and Japan? The Rising of the Shield Hero had a bizarre attack happen early from the idiots at ANN because they didn’t know the author is a woman, and they launched an anti-LGBT attack accusing her of being a “misogynist male”. Otherwise it’s the best show of the season for a reason.

    • Avatar SuperWooper says:

      My disdain for Shield Hero isn’t based on political or social issues. I watched only two episodes, so feel free to disregard my take on the series, but I found it to be a pandering bore-fest. Its introduction strove way too hard for accessibility, with its “I’m just your average otaku, but NOT one of those creepy shut-ins” voice-over at the start. The video game mechanics made me roll my eyes, and the art and animation were a letdown, given Kinema Citrus’ involvement (though they’re not bad by any means). As for setting up a revenge story based on such a flimsy premise, I’d rather re-watch Gankutsuou, Hunter x Hunter’s Yorkshin arc, 91 Days, or any number of better shows.

      You mention that Shield Hero is the most popular show of the season, but I find that hard to believe when Attack on Titan is airing. Still, it is a widely-viewed series. But popularity isn’t hard to come by. Next season’s Arifureta is practically guaranteed to be a hit because it features a lot of the same elements as Shield Hero, which is itself riding the wave that SAO kick-started at the beginning of this decade. Log Horizon, Re:Zero, Overlord, Grimgar, they all capitalized on the same trend – this method of grabbing an audience isn’t impressive. As for it being “the best show of the season,” let’s see how many nods it gets when people start putting out AOTY lists in January.

    • Avatar Nimroth says:

      What other reason than it being a generic game element harem series?
      The whole “controversy” thing was dumb, though the whole backlash to it has been nearly as dumb, I’ve seen people unironically laud it as a masterpiece for the sole reason of it being attacked by SJWs.

    • Avatar evafan says:

      I watched 17 or so eps of Shield Hero and while I agree it didnt deserve the backlash for the 1st ep, I think the series has been going downhill every single episode (and it hasnt started so amazing either).

      I support SuperWooper’s and Nimroth’s opinions.

    • Avatar evafan says:

      Funnily enough, just finished ep 21-23 and its like a new series. 22+23 were very good. Finally the abysmall church/Myne arc is over.

      • SuperMario SuperMario says:

        I stopped Shield Hero after its first cour and that show sure has its issues. I might just watch the episode where that princess gets slapped on her face and I’ll be done with the show.

        • I read about 4 volumes of shield heroes manga adaptation, I have a particular like of villain characters, which is why I ended up disliking this series so much, when they all ended up being shallow and no more than one-note bullies/idiots.

  5. Avatar John says:

    I just read a press release about Vinland saga that stated the first 3 episodes will premiere on NHK July 7. I’m hoping this means they are ahead of schedule and will be able to keep a consistent level of quality throughout. Do you have any incite about the staff? I was a little concerned because the director has done mostly CG animated stuff so I’m hoping there isn’t a lot of awkward CG Vikings. The trailers look great but they always show the best cuts of animation. I tried to find the official twitter account but I was unable to locate it.

    • Avatar SuperWooper says:

      Vinland Saga’s director and series composer both entered the industry within the last decade. The director (Shuhei Yabuta) is primarily a CG guy, as you noted, but the one series for which he was a full-fledged director is Inuyashiki, which our writers have mixed feelings about. It certainly wasn’t a flawless production, but Yabuta has had time to grow since then. I don’t know that he has, though – he keeps getting assigned to action thrillers, and while that’s how Vinland is being marketed, manga readers will tell you there’s far more to the series. Whether Yabuta is capable of bringing that complexity across is up in the air.

      My real concern is Hiroshi Seko on series composition, since he handled Kabaneri and Owari no Seraph, two shows which lost their way as they progressed. He also did script work for Terror in Resonance, which suffered a similar fate, and he’ll be joined by former collaborator Kenta Ihara, who wrote some of Terror’s worst episodes. Vinland is a manga adaptation rather than an original, so it looks like there’s hope for a strong story – it’ll come largely from the strength of the source, though, not from Seko’s guidance.

      There are a few older hands on board to advise the young punks at the top. Two names that jumped out at me were Satoshi Hashimoto, who handled color design for all of Satoshi Kon’s films, and Yusuke Takeda, the veteran art director who’s dabbled in every genre under the sun. Notably, Takeda was involved in the first Berserk film – I haven’t seen it, but at least he’s held this title on a CG-heavy work before. Between the influence of these dudes and Yabuta’s CG know-how, I’m predicting Vinland to be a visual success, but narratively rocky once we enter the second cour.

      If you ever want to find an anime’s official Twitter, check the end of its PV, where it’ll be displayed fairly prominently. This one is @V_SAGA_ANIME.

  6. Avatar KTravlos says:

    I disagree on your call on Legend of Galactic Heroes. I think the new one gives enough of different spin from the older OVA, to still be worth a look. It will never be the OVA. But I think it can stand on its own as a B, B+ anime.

    Beyond that I am excited about Vinland Saga(I like how the story is going, same with Attack on Titan)

  7. Avatar Jimtim says:

    This season looks better than I thought after reading the previews. It just depends how good the promising shows are. Isn’t DB Super also coming back soon? Or did you just not want to preview it haha.

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