Summer 2013 Season Preview

Gin no Saji Gatchaman Crowds Uchouten Servant
Danga Rozen Maiden Kaze Ano Hana

Summer is already here in Tokyo, even if anime still thinks it’s Spring.


It’s pretty much a given that Summer is going to be a step-down from Spring for anime.  In fact, in any given year it’s most likely to be the weakest season, with a relatively smaller number of premieres and a higher than usual concentration of formula LN adaptations and brainless harem sex comedies. So how does 2013 look by that standard?

Truth be told, I’ve seen worse.  It’s not great by any means, but there are at least a sizeable number of series that have the potential to be watchable – a decent number by Summer standards.  I don’t see a lot here that seems to hold promise for being exceptional, but shows can always surprise you.  There also isn’t a lot of “cream of the crop” caliber talent on display in the staff lists: the most impressive series on that score is probably the reunion of Nakamura Kenji and Ono Toshiya (Tsuritama) for Gatchaman Crowds.  When the director and (especially) writer of the best show of the prior year get together that’s a show I’ll watch closely, though if it were no-names instead I wouldn’t see much in the premise that interests me.  It’ll be an interesting one to watch.

That’s really the only A-list director/writer team on the schedule, though.  I do consider Kishi Seiji pretty close to A-list when he’s doing something edgy, but he’s become such a regular with game adaptations that don’t do much for me that in that mode, he’s just another name (though Danganronpa does look slightly more interesting than most).  There’s some star power on display on the source material list though, especially Morimi Tomihiko with Uchouten Kazoku and Arakawa Hiromu with Gin no Saji (marking the return of an abbreviated NoitaminA block).

On the sequel front, it’s a pretty unexciting batch, with the good but not great Symphogear and Rozen Maiden probably leading the list (Kingdom is a sort of “Spring and a half” series).  On the plus side the ratio of LN adaptations is low enough that I can put together a preview with only two on there, the first time that’s happened for a while.  That’s a positive trend for me, as the LN boom hasn’t served anime well in broad terms, though as always I’ll watch first eps of pretty much everything and hope something surprises me like Hataraku Maou-sama did.  And what of the “sleeper vibe” that tipped me off to shows like Chihayafuru, Jinrui and Crime Edge?  Well, read on – but the spoiler is, nothing really jumps off the page the way those shows did.

As always, please vote for your most anticipated series in the sidebar poll!

With that, to the previews:

Tamayura
Tamayura ~More Agressive~ – TYO
Director: Satou Junichi
Writer: Satou Junichi
Schedule: Wednesday 21:30, AT-X – Premières 7/03/13
Episodes: 12

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: Let’s be honest – it could hardly be less aggressive.  This one just barely hung on the edge of the blogging threshold in the first season, and I doubt I’ll blog the second (though I’ll watch, at least to start).  Tamayura is likeable, but just too sweet and positive to have any real substance – it’s one flavor and one tone, start to finish.  I like Satou-sensei much better when he’s directing someone else’s material, or someone else is directing his.

Kimi Iru Machi
Kimi no Iru Machi – Gonzo
Director:
Yamauchi Shigeyasu
Writer: Yoshida Reiko
Schedule: Saturday, 23:30, TV Tokyo – Premières 7/13/13
Episodes: TBA

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: Part of me thinks I might just be a bit nuts to be following this one.  The romance manga is knows as “The Town Where You Rage” by its “fans” – who on-balance are some of the most negative you’ll ever see.  Yet they keep reading, mostly, and it inspires a sort of curiosity in me that makes me want to see what all the hate is about.  Plus there’s a sort of grim curiosity to see if Gonzo has any gas left in the tank, and I didn’t dislike the OVA.  Extremely experienced writer and director here, for what it’s worth. 

Servant
Servant X Service – A-1 Pictures                    
Director: Yammamoto Yasutaka
Writer: Shimoyama Kento
Schedule:  Thursday, 27:08, TV Asahi – Premières 7/4/13
Episodes: TBA

MAL:                        
Preview:

First Look: The mangaka and studio that brought us Working! delivers another manga adaptation about life in the workplace, though the early buzz is that the style is more Parks & Recreation.  It’s always nice to see more anime about adults, and there’s no arguing with the track record of Takatsu Karino when it comes to workplace comedies.  There’s not a lot to have confidence about in terms of the top staff, but the previews look good and the notion of a comedy about a local government office is so refreshingly different for anime than I can’t help but be optimistic.  This is one of my most anticipated series of the Summer.

Symphogear
Senki Zesshou Symphogear G – Satelight
Director: Ono Katsumi
Writer: Kaneko Akifumi
Schedule: Thursday, 26:35, MBS – Premières 7/4/13
Episodes: TBA
MAL:
Preview:                                      

First Look: I liked the first season of Symphogear for its straightforward emotional transparency and its obvious love of anime.  Newcomer Akifumi Kaneko (he’s back, though we have a new director) gave us what felt like an affectionate tribute to sci-fi and mahou shoujo anime made by very talented students.  It was subtle as a kick in the teeth, plagued by occasionally spectacular animation collapses and sometimes almost incoherent – but there was a feckless charm to it that never failed to keep me invested.  Satelight has officially taken over as sole production studio this time, so perhaps the back-end will be a little less erratic this time around – story-wise, I’m expecting more of the same.

Blood Lad
Blood Lad – Brains Base
Director: Miya Shigeyuki
Writer: Konuta Takeshi
Schedule: Sunday, 24:30, TVX – Premieres 7/7/13
Episodes: 10

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: After several seasons in development limbo, Blood Lad finally hits the airwaves, albeit with an abbreviated 10-episode run.  Kodama Yuuki’s manga tells the story of a vampire who’s infatuated with human (specifically Japanese) culture, and the human girl who wanders into the demon realm.  I don’t find the premise especially gripping but Brains Base still deserves a look, and the cast is terrific – Ohsaka Ryouta, Saito Chiwa and Yusa Kouji among others. 

Uchouten
Uchouten Kazoku – P.A. Works
Director: Yoshihara Masayuki
Writer: Suga Shoutarou
Schedule: Sunday 22:00, Tokyo MX – Premières 7/07/13
Episodes: TBA

Preview:
MAL:

First Look: This would be another candidate for my most anticipated series of the season.  While I didn’t love novelist Morimi Tomihiki’s Tatami Galaxy – merely liked it – it was undeniably a thoughtful and highly unusual anime.  This time around one of my favorite studios is in charge, with longtime veteran Suga handling the series composition.  We also have a cast full of big names – including the intriguing debut of Nakahara Mai playing a boy – and another Kyoto setting.  It’s a wacky but intriguing premise, the story of a family of tanuki, living in a Kyoto split between tanuki, humans and tengu.  As with Tatami Galaxy I expect a mix of humor and psychological trauma with a good dose of surrealism (though perhaps not so much without Yuasa Masaki directing).  The margin for error for really thoughtful series aimed at adults is paper-thin this (and almost every) summer, so the success of a show like this one is crucial – I hope it lives up to the potential.

Gin no Saji
Gin no Saji: Silver Spoon – A-1 Pictures
Director: Ito Tomohiko
Writer: Kishimoto Taku
Schedule: Thursday, 24:45, NHK – Premieres 7/11/13
Episodes:11

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: And here’s the third of the most anticipated list for the Summer.  Probably the least surprising manga adaptation in the last few years, Arakawa Hirumu’s (FMA) semi-autobiographical tale of a city kid forced to adapt to rural life at an agricultural college has been a critical darling and monster hit since it debuted in 2011.  It seems early for an anime, but there’s been talk of one virtually since the manga began.  I liked Ito’s work on Occult Gakuin and don’t really blame him for SAO, and Kishimoto did a terrific job in bringing Usagi Drop to the screen.  In all I think the consternation among some manga readers about A-1 is misplaced, and indeed this seems like the safest bet on the schedule in terms of sheer quality.  Half a NoitaminA block is better than none, I suppose, and as we wait for the mysteriously absent adaptation of March-Lion this one will have to sate our appetites for character-driven award-winning manga.

Danga
Danganronpa: The Animation – Lerche
Director: Kishi Seiji
Writer: Uezu Makoto
Schedule: TBA, MBS
Episodes: 13
Preview:
MAL:

First Look: As much as I love Kishi and Uezu when they’re at their best, their many game adaptations have never found them at their best.  Danganronpa (the full title is long enough to be that of an annoying LN) does look somewhat more interesting than most of its kind, though, with a fair amount of wit and a seemingly anime-friendly storyline about a high school where the only way to graduate – and survive – is to get away with murder or catch someone else trying.  Lerche’s track record with TV anime is paper-thin – only Majikoi before this one.  I don’t have huge expectations, frankly, but on a soft schedule this one at least deserves a long look.

Brothers
Brothers Conflict – Brains Base
Director: Matsumoto Jun
Writer: Tatsuhaki Natsuko
Schedule: TBA
Episodes: TBA
Preview:
MAL:

First Look: I don’t think I’d be covering this in the preview if it wasn’t Brains Base, but even if they’ve stumbled a bit of late they remain one of my favorite studios.  However, their track record with otome game adaptations isn’t so hot, and while this was a novel before it was adapted into a game, the plot could hardly sound more like an otome game cliche.  A girl moves into a mansion with 11 brothers, romance ensues, well…  It’s Brains Base, and it gets two episodes minimum.  After that it’s pay-to-play.

Rozen Maiden
Rozen Maiden II – DEEN
Director: Hatakeyama Mamoru
Writer: Mochizuki Tomomi
Schedule: Thursday, 25:58, TBS – Premières 7/4/13
Episodes: TBA
MAL:
Preview:

First Look: A very big name (and the series that got former PM Aso Tarou his nickname, “Rozen Aso”) from Peach-Pit is back after a long absence from our screens.  I’m not a huge fan of the older anime in the series – I put them in the pretty good but overrated category – but I’m rather pumped for this.  It’s Hatakeyama-sensei’s first series since Sankarea, with which he displayed great skill, and Ohsaka Ryouta has been cast as the older version of hikikomori MC Jun (with no major cast changes for the living dolls he hangs out with).  But the big factor for me is the involvement of Mochizuki (Zettai Shounen, Sarai-ya Goyou) as head writer.  He doesn’t work all that much lately but Mochizuki is one of the very best minds in the business, and I like the fact that so much of the talent behind the screen with this series has no connection to earlier versions.

Watamote
WataMote – Silver Link
Director: Oonuma Shin
Writer: Yoshioka Takao
Schedule: Monday, 26:05, TV Tokyo – Premières 7/8/13
Episodes: TBA
Preview:
MAL:

First Look: Here’s another one with a title long enough to be a LN, but it’s actually a manga – and a pretty well-regarded one at that. It’s the story of a middle-schooler who’s insanely popular in the world of otome games, but not so in real-life – and the start of high school forces her first introspection in a long time.  It’s an appealingly odd concept and the tone seems agreeably ruthless and dark.  My biggest hesitation is that I really haven’t thought much of Shin’s work in the last couple of years – at worst he comes off as a Shinbou-wannabe (and Shinbou is hit and miss to begin with).  His best series of late was probably Kokoro Connect, which while inconsistent had its moments – but he was “Series Director” and that one and it bore few of his usual hyper-stylized trademarks, which leads me to wonder how much he was really involved.  There’s certainly a boom-or-bust feeling attached to this one.

Gatchaman Crowds
Gatchaman Crowds – Tatsunoko
Director: Nakamura Kenji
Writer: Oono Toshiya
Schedule: TBA
Episodes: 12

MAL:

First Look: At first glance this seems like an odd choice for the writer/director team behind Tsuritama.  At pretty much every glance, in fact – a revival of a franchise not many people really seemed to miss, and wasn’t much of a commercial powerhouse to begin with.  This hero saga wouldn’t really be on my radar screen with a different staff, but with Oono writing I certainly have to pay serious attention, especially as he’s re-teamed with Nakamura-sensei.  This one, I suppose, will be the ultimate test of my supposition that staff is the most underrated part of any anime’s success or failure.  I like to see Tatsunoko’s involvement as well – they’re very old-school and doing fine work with Namiuchugiwa no Muromi-san this season, and perhaps Gatchman will have something of the same post-Gainax feel to it.

Free
Free! – Kyoto Animation/Animation Do
Director: Utsumi Hiroko
Writer: Yokoyani Masahiro
Schedule: Wednesday, 24:30, Tokyo MX – Premières 7/03/13
Episodes: TBA
Preview:
MAL:

First Look: Kyoto Animation always seems to make as much news “off the field” as on it, and even though Free! is technically produced by KyoAni offshoot Animation Do, everyone else considers this a KyoAni show.  The controversy surrounding the genesis of this series – the massive reaction (positive and negative) to the KyoAni “commercial”, the outrage among KyoAni yuri/moe partisans that their studio would make a show so explicitly showcasing manservice – is frankly more interesting to me than the series itself. That doesn’t mean I won’t be watching, because anyone who isn’t curious to see what all the fuss is about and what the reaction to Free! will be isn’t much of an anime fan IMHO.  The plot, such as it is, surrounds a boys’ high school swim team and their rival from another school who joins them.  It’s easy to see why KyoAni changed the original manga’s setting from elementary school to high school, given the built-in publicity this show has gotten.  I don’t know if the show will be interesting, but the after-effects are certain to be.

Makai Ouji
Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist – Dogakobo
Director: Kon Chiaki
Writer: Yokote Michiko                 
Schedule: Sunday, 25:05, TV Tokyo – Premières 7/07/13
Episodes: TBA
Preview:
MAL:

First Look: This one is a bit of a flyer for me, but there’s an interesting staff and combination of plot elements.  There’s usually a gothic show or two on any schedule and this seems to fit the bill – I see traces of Dantalian no Shoka (there’s even a Dantalion in the cast) and Pandora Hearts embedded in the story of the scion of a wealthy family who returns home to restore the tarnished family name, only to uncover a demonic seal in the basement and summon a devil who tells him to has the right to choose the next king of the demon world.  Director Kon is best known for the mixed bag that is the Higurashi franchise, but she has a proven ability to generate atmosphere at least. Writer Yokote has a long, long resume that’s likewise somewhat mixed, but with some excellent work to her credit.

Hakkenden 2
Hakkenden Season 2 – DEEN              
Writer/Director: Yamasaki Omasu/Yamazaki Mitsue          
Schedule: TBA
Episodes: 13

MAL:

First Look: I didn’t go into the first season of Hakkenden expecting much and never did blog it.  But while it certainly wasn’t a masterpiece, this show exceeded my expectations by a comfortable margin.  It was a very well-animated series with lovely art (not a given for DEEN) and spun a surprisingly sharp and engaging story around the humans, youkai and hybrids that made up its cast.  I certainly won’t commit to blogging it this time around either, but if the season turns out to be lean enough for good series I might just consider it.

Kamisama Nichiyoubi
Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi – Madhouse
Director: Kumazawa Yuuji
Writer: Konparu Tomoko                              
Schedule: Saturday, 25:30, Tokyo MX – Premieres 7/6/13
Episodes: TBA

MAL:
Preview:

First Look: If you’re looking for a sleeper candidate this LN adaptation might just be it – though it’s almost by default.  Konparu is a solid writer and it’s Madhouse, and the plot sounds agreeably strange.  We have world abandoned by God where no one is born and no one dies, for starters.  The heroine is a girl whose job it is to prepare graves for people who cannot die, and the male lead is a guy who shows up and randomly starts killing them.  As premises go that’s one of the more interesting of the season.  Cast looks strong as well.  I can’t vouch for the LN, the first from author Irie Kimihito, but there’s enough here that isn’t straight out of the cookie cutter to make this latest “Kamisama” anime one to watch.

  
Will Definitely Blog: Servant x Service, Uchouten Kazoku, Gin no Saji, Rozen Maiden II, Gatchaman Crowds.  I expect at least one more to come of the group of Symphogear, WataMote, Free! and DanganRonpa, with the usual couple of surprise choices sneaking in.  H x H, GKMP, Shingeki no Kyojin and Uchuu Kyoudai carry over, with Kingdom 2 (already premiered) subject to the release schedule as much as anything.

Minami Tonari Yawamushi

OVA/Movie: The OVA calendar looks much better than Spring:

Chuunibyou (OVA) – 6/19/2013: The mini-episodes bundled together along with a full-length ep.  The franchise also has a movie and a second season coming up.  What a shame Hyouka doesn’t have more source material…

Seitokai no Ichizon (OVA) – 7/05/2013: Yes, the second season failed to measure up the first – but I still enjoyed it for the most part and I’ll check this out if anyone releases it.

Mirai Nikki Redial (OAD) – 7/26/13: Everyone’s favorite yandere queen is back in this alternate retelling of the series (bundled with a volume of the new Redial manga).  This one is about the third world’s Yuno, who’s apparently normal apart from an overpowering crush on (second world) Yukiteru.

Minami-ke (OVA) – 8/6/13: Let’s vegetable!  Studio Feel brings us another OVA to add to the Minami-ke catalog, and given what a great job they did with the fourth season I have high expectations.  More Minami-ke is always welcome, especially when it’s as good as it was in Tadaima. As always, needs more Mako-chan.

Yowamushi Pedal (OVA) – 8/8/13: This well-regarded  – and with good-reason – cycling manga has a TV anime due in the Fall.  It would have been perfect summer material, but at we get this teaser OVA from Toho/TMS to whet our appetites for the series.  This is an excellent manga and I’m looking forward to seeing it on-screen.

Shingeki no Kyojin (OAD) – 8/9/13: “Ilse’s Journal” prologue side story for the most bombastic (and commercially successful) anime of the year so far.

Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san (OAD) – 8/16/13: What a shame this very funny mermaid comedy is only 13 episodes, especially as it’s also a half-length show.  It’s the most Gainax-like comedy since Gainax jumped the shark.

To-LOVE-Ru Darkness (OAD) – 8/19/13: Three short stories from the manga, as usual.  We all know why you’re watching.

Kamisama Hajimemashita (OVA) – 8/20/13: Special ep bundled with the manga.  This was a sleeper series from 2012, one of those “tortoise” shows that sneaks up on you rather than bowls you over.  Very charming and funny work from shoujo legend Akitarou Daichi, and well-deserving of a second season.

Little Busters! (OVA) – 8/26/13: “Mask the Saito” chapter from the VN.  Another show that was a slow build but finished very strong, and was generally deserving of far better than the abuse it got from pissy KyoAni loyalists and generally cynical curmudgeons.  Refrain is already announced, but not the date, so this will have to tide us over till then.

Suisei no Gargantia (OVA) – 8/28/13: Bonus BD episode.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (OVA) – TBA: Bonus episode “Tonari no Gokudou-kun” side story (already adapted into a drama CD) bundled with manga Vol. 12.

Theatrical:

Ghost in the Shell: Arise – 06/22/2013: One of Production I.G.’s biggest names, rebooted yet again. I’m not as big a fan of the franchise as some, apart from Stand-alone Complex.
Trailer:

Short Peace – 7/20/2013: Otomo Katsuhiro (Akira) brings together Morita Shouhei, Ando Hiroaki, and Morimoto Kouiji (OP) in this collection of four short films.  The title is taken from Otomo’s collection of short manga dating back to the 1970’s.  Otomo’s own “Combustible” has already premiered and won several awards.  An interesting project, to say the least.
Trailer:

Kaze Tachinu – 07/20/2013: Whenever Miyazaki Hayao debuts a film, it’s the biggest story on the anime calendar.  This looks to be his (and Ghibli’s) most adult-themed story since Princess Mononoke and allows him to indulge his otaku passion for aviation yet again.  Adapted from Miyazaki-sensei’s own manga, it’s the story of Horikoshi Jiro, the designer of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter used in WW II.  Given Miyazaki’s politics it’s an interesting choice.  As if all that weren’t enough reason to tune in, Horikoshi is being played by Anno Hideki, creator of Evangelion, whose most famous voice work to date is playing Miyu-Miyu in FLCL.
Trailer:

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai – 8/31/13: One of the best series of 2011 – and probably the most commercially successful NoitaminA show ever – returns with a theatrical release, told from the perspective of Menma.  I’m not sure whether this film is truly necessary, but I don’t begrudge the Production Committee extending the life of such a worthwhile and profitable franchise as long as it’s tastefully done.  Nagai and Okada return to write and direct.
Trailer:

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64 comments

  1. i

    Your list pretty much covers my own, save I don't have your sequels. My favourites are Servant x Service and Gin no Saiji and Monogatari season 2 (which obviously you don't like).

    I thought you liked TWGOLK and Genshiken (really looking forward to the latter). Also the trailer for Dog and Scissors made me laugh so I'll stick with it for as long as I can (the initial good part of a quirky LN). Also because of how funny I found Carnival Phantasm I'm going to check Fate-Illya or whatever.

    I am one of those people who kept on reading Kimi no Iru Machi despite hating on it. Seo Kouji's art is IMHO the best in the manga industry, especially when it comes to his female characters and art is far more important for me than animation.

    The last big watch and talk of the summer is Free! and I'll stick with it for however long it goes just so I can make fun of all the moe-panderers that once loved Kyoani. I'll take any bets that the freaks start burning and cutting up their K-ON Blu-rays and rage about it on the internet. They'll take this as a betrayal on the same level of an idol seiyuu having a boyfriend. Suck that bitches.

    My lookouts for the ova/movies that aren't continuation of likeable franchises are Pedal Wimp! and Hal (sleeper hit for me).

    I only stuck with 6 spring shows so for the first time ever I think summer will be better.

  2. No, not really a fan of TWGOLK, and Genshiken was just OK as far as I was concerned. I'll check this season out but as the first didn't click with me all that much, I don't see a lot of reason to expect different results this time.

  3. Z

    Genshiken

    Just so long as it doesn't descend into Moyashimon Returns levels of bad. Always a risk with these sorts of shows after a long hiatus.

  4. S

    What, no mention of Genshiken Nidaime? Darling of the director of Girls Un Panzer?

    Enzo, I am disappoint.

    I sure wish there was more drama and romance shows though.

  5. R

    In agreement with you about the anticipated ones – Gatchaman, Gin no Saji, Uchouten Kazoku and Servant x Service.

    I'm rooting for KamiNai and hope it ends up as one of the few LN adaptations worth watching.

  6. S

    Kimi no Iru Machi (been reading it since volume 3), Gatchaman, Gin no Saji (students love this), Servant x Service, and the OVA's of Manami-ke and Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun.

    I really can't wait for Kimi no Iru Machi. As much as I too raged around volume 10-15, I still REALLY enjoyed the series. Although, the same writer also did Suzuka and there are many similarities. I really don't think it will be popular… UNLESS they manage to really pull off the crucial scenes in the story. I don't want to give spoilers,but the saving grace for the manga was just 'those moments' when everything came together full circle.

  7. R

    Thanks for introducing me to March-Lion! Now that I know that exists, I can not wait for that anime adaptation.

    Perhaps this says a lot about the summer season when that was what I latched onto in this post…

  8. R

    Just waiting for that day for March Lion to get animated

  9. Indeed – I'm baffled as to why it hasn't happened. Big manga sales, name mangaka, and Chihayafuru's success would seem to have sweetened the deal.

  10. M

    But Gaku: Minna no Yama sounds far more unique and interesting.

  11. M

    Maybe Umino Chika is restraining herself to be spoiled by the commercialism and populism which are by nature more dominant in anime industry than in publishers. She at least liked the adaptation that her previous work got, which made me happy. I get the impression that she is quite a thinker for some reason, like her character Rei. Anyway, good that people know about it.

  12. M

    Guess I'll be sticking to my plan of previewing Uchouten Kazoku, Servant X Service, Gatchaman Crowds and possibly Kamisama. Rozen Maiden seems like a tragic waste of Mochizuki to me. We'll see.

    Also, in regards to what I won't be watching:

    "That doesn't mean I won't be watching, because anyone who isn't curious to see what all the fuss is about and what the reaction to Free! will be isn't much of an anime fan IMHO."

    What a sad time to be an anime fan then. No?

    It's incredibly self evident what the fuss is about, and secondly the reactions will be pouring out of 2chan and other such sites. Need people waste their time proving their legitimacy as "anime fans" by caving to such hype?

    Some followers of this medium are more discerning than you would give them credit for, Enzo. Thanks for the grand underestimation by your esteem.

  13. S

    I agree with you. Just because there is hype, doesn't mean you aren't an anime fan by ignoring the hype. I tend to follow my own series that I know I enjoy and IF I have the time I'll see what the hype is about. Just because I am curious doesn't mean other people can't be. People read all sorts of books but tend to stick to the genre they really enjoy.

    Many people I know that do watch anime (mostly Japanese) watched the shows that they knew they enjoy because they read the manga. They don't read blogs or news about anime.

  14. M

    I also notice a couple of shows from this season like Gifuu Doudou!(with Imagawa Yasuhiro writing) aren't even listed on here.

  15. E

    I wholeheartedly concur. I have no business with Free!, neither with its fans, nor its haters; and I couldn't care less about its impact… I think I'll be very happy ignoring everything about it.

    As for the shows I'll be watching, I still totally agree with Enzo: Silver Spoon and CROWDS are on my list and I can't wait. People tell me to check out Daanganronpa and the new Rozen Maiden, but I hate DR's premise (cookie cutter with added edginess and appeal to controversy) and I dropped Rozen Maiden since the first season (not to mention releasing a sequel after all this time is, in my eyes, a very stupid decision).

    Servant x Service's apparent appeal for the Parks & Rec kinda writing it has only tells me to watch Parks & Rec instead. As for Uchouten Kazoku, it's probably one of those translator-nightmare shows like Zetsubou-Sensei or the Monogatari series, so I'm not even gonna bother…

  16. M

    Since I really got on board with Tatami Galaxy I can't not give Uchouten Kazoku one a go. The director/writer look to have a decent resume, but I'm mostly weary about PA Works involvement.

    I'll probably check out Silver Spoon to gauge why it's considered award winning.

    Never watched P&C, so I don't know what to expect from SxS. But the setting is enough to peak curiosity. I suspect I'll drop it if it's just meandering.

  17. N

    "H x H, Valvrave, GKMP, Shingeki no Kyojin and Uchuu Kyoudai carry over"

    Isn't Valvrave supposed to end in June and continue in Autumn?

  18. Is it? I missed that announcement.

  19. H

    Yep, it was announced as split-cour from the very beginning.

  20. s

    Pretty excited to check out Gatchaman Crowds this summer. Like you mentioned in the RC podcast – got to get your Gainax fix where you can find it 🙂 Uchouten Kazoku also looks like a winner. Nice preview as always!

  21. S

    Aside from Gin no Saji (the manga is great) nothing really catches my eye in this season. But I am always open for pleasant surprises that seem to pop out of nowhere (at least for me), Hataraku Maou-sama being the best example.

  22. H

    I tried out the Kamisama manga and it was just awkward through and through. I'm crossing my fingers that the anime staff manages to make it work better but I'm not much less optimistic about it than I was to start. And I think you hit the nail on the head by comparing Pandora Hearts to Devils and Realist in one key aspect, they're both taking (took) a really long time to get to the central plot and, having read the manga, I'm expecting a frustratingly inconclusive ending (and while I can at least say that PH did payoff in the manga I doubt that'll be the case here.

  23. M

    My biggest anticipation, season after season, continues to be HxH… Not much to watch this time yet again, except for Gin no Saji and maybe Uchouten.

  24. Well, truth be told, H x H is the best show airing and probably had been for this entire year – so it'd be a major surprise if anything on this page changed that. But it's been with us for 7 seasons already.

  25. R

    Seriously, I was just thinking about how lackluster the current Spring season is on my ride home — which was just a couple of hours ago. It isn’t bad after experiencing Winter 2013, but comparing to last year, I do feel a bit bored. Last year, for three seasons straight starting from Spring, there was chock-full of creativity, quality and varieties. I have been feeling that the current Spring is not even comparable to last Summer and certainly didn’t expect much from the next season. However, this list does surprise me.

    Silver Spoon — I am totally head over heels for anything that is character-driven, but not only that, it’s based on an award-winning manga…enough said…this is a must-watch.

    Servant X Service — anything that isn’t about middle or high schoolers piques my interest. I like Hataruki Man and enjoy Working! — both seasons. Definitely look forward to this one — to have some laughs or simply to enjoy watching the character dynamics in a workplace.

    Gatchaman Crowds — I am betting for the combination of Oono Toshiya and Nakamura Kenji — look forward to another creative and engaging show like Tsuritama.

    There are other shows that I am curious about and will certainly check out, but the OVA/Movie lineup is pretty awesome — if not more attractive than the TV series. To list a few, Tonari, Kamisama, Minami-ke, Short Peace, Kaze Tachinu…they all make this Summer season much more colourful.

    Okay, time to vote…

  26. I agree, so far 2013 is several notches below 2012. But yes, while the TV list looks just OK (though decent by Summer standards) the OVA list is one of the best I've seen. It's not the same as having a great TV schedule but better than nothing.

  27. S

    The only anime that I'll definitely be watching this summer are Blood Lad, WataMote, and Senyuu 2.

    Blood Lad has been confirmed to be only 10 episodes? That's a disappointment. I'm pretty sure it has enough manga material for at least 24 episodes. Ah well, glad it's finally coming out this summer. Looking forward to Ryota Ohsaka's voicing Staz, and hearing the rest of the cast.

    I've been watching less anime these past couple seasons, only watching Shingeki no Kyojin and Hataraku Maou-sama this season.

  28. I'm a bit surprised at the large support for Blood Lad in the poll. Didn't realize it was so popular.

  29. A

    Blood Lad is what I'm looking forward too, looking forward to read your reviews of it Enzo 😉

  30. l

    Servant x Service and Uchouten Kazoku are my current two 'must watch' titles.

    I actually have fond memories of the first Gatchaman, simply because it was the first ever anime I ever watched (though it was a Mandarin dub with English subs in my country at the time), so I'll probably give Crowds a chance.

    I'm on the fence with regards to Gin no Saji. It's one of those manga I've been meaning to pick up for a long time, but I just let it sit and now there's about 70+ chapters out. Need your help on this, Enzo. Should I just start the manga or watch the anime (how many eps, btw?) instead. Can't afford to do both. Oh, and Sangatsu no Lion is getting an anime adaptation?! Love that series.

    I checked out Kimi no Iru Machi Machi on MangaUpdates just now. It's written by the same guy that wrote Suzuka, which nearly gave me a tumor 30 chapters, so I'll pass. I think that author has never interacted with a real human being in his whole life.

    Read about 12 chapters of Blood Lad some months ago. Not really my thing. Doubt I'll bother with the anime. No idea why it's so popular.

    Danganronpa – what the hell's that? Is it related to Parappa? Do we get a dog (or animal) rapping?

    Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi – Don't know why, but reading the summary gave me a Haibane Renmei (in my top 10 of all time list) feeling about it, for some unexplainable reason. Might be one to watch. I'll wait for your review first.

    As for the OVAs, Minami-ke will definitely get a watch. Here's hoping Sensei and Ninomiya-kun return. Also, as an avid cyclist, I'll be looking out for Yowamushi Pedal. Just realized there's a manga out as well. Not really a fan of shounen sports manga, but it's cycling, and I'm in the mood. It'll help with Tour de France withdrawal, if nothing else.

    GiTS: Arise will definitely be purchased on Blu-Ray. I don't even care if it sucks. I'm blinded by my love for Motoko Kusanagi.

    Lastly, any series with Wakamoto-sama lending his godlike voice? I don't care how small the role. Heck, he could even play a bread toaster and I'd watch it on repeat.

  31. E

    I honestly think that the author of Suzuka and The Town Where You Rage, namely Seo Kouji, is a hikkikomori who rarely goes out his house or interacts with people, it's pretty clear from his writing. Also he is falling behind on current technology, so I suspect he's not so young anymore.

  32. Sangatsu no Lion isn't getting an adaptation yet – that's the point…

    In terms of Silver Spoon, it's really hard to say. It's one cour and NoitaminA, so figure 11 eps. If it's massively popular they'll make more, but don't go in expecting a full adaptation. I haven't read the manga so I'm not the best to ask on that decision.

  33. E

    If I were to make analogy, Kimi no Iru Machi is a junk food. You know it's bad, yet you still come back for more. Just like controversial anime Free!, I think The Town Where You Rage is another must watch if you claimed to be anime fan/ anime critic/ anime blogger. I heard that the story is going to jump straight to the moment where our protagonist moves to Tokyo. That's good. The animator should better be able to make the viewers rage, or I would call this anime a failure. Because every readers raged.

  34. Z

    Makes me sort of glad I'm not enough of a fan to know his Rage Town manga even existed.

  35. R

    I'm most looking forward to Kingdom 2. I just hope they won't be using the horrible CGI from the first season. Hopefully the subs for the first episode will soon be out.

  36. l

    You're in for a pleasant surprise. The first episode of Kingdom 2 looks beautiful, and they've all but dropped the CG (just for background shots, it's barely noticeable).

  37. A

    Is it just me or does Uchouten Kazoku look like a mix of Fruits Basket and Ghibli…That being said, just like the rest of the anime community, I cannot freaking wait for the new Ghibli film. Since both the FMA manga and animes have been my favourites for years, I am also incredibly excited for Silver Spoon. Servant X Service seems to be the comedy frontrunner of this season…and I'm watching Gatchaman Crowds because of the Tsuritama combo. I hope that the AnoHana movie and Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi don't let me down! Kamisama's premise sounds fresh and interesting…

  38. B

    Most of what I'm really looking forward to this summer are sequels. Monogatari S2 (3, there were already two seasons of this FFS), Genshiken, TWGOK, Tamayura (I like it). None of the new stuff is really jumping out at me but of course I'll give it all a chance. Maybe, if I'm really lucky, most of it won't be good and I can finally catch up on Hunter x Hunter this summer, which I haven't watched ever since SG subs stopped subbing it. At first it was just laziness not wanting to find another fansub group but now it's more of an "I'm so far behind holy shit how can I possibly find time to catch up?" situation.

    Anyway, summer, right? What can you do, it's always a weak season, although the gap between it and spring this year might be much closer than normal considering how mediocre this season has been.

  39. A

    Looks like Summer season is utter crap. Only Mirai Nikki Redial and Ghost in the Shell holds promise, and they're frigging OVAs. Ah well, time to catch up on my summer reading! 🙂

  40. Z

    Only Gatchaman Crowds and Ghost in the Shell: Arise are definite.
    Genshiken and Rozen Maiden maybe for old times sake.
    Couldn't care less about Rage Town or anything that Kyoto Animation produces these days.

  41. M

    Not holding my breath for Gits Arise. Superficially it looks like a muddle of the first two incarnations – they should have called in team Takeshi Koike/Sayo Yamamoto to revitalize the series.

  42. l

    From the previews I've seen, I don't rally mind the changes. In fact, I think I'd be somewhat pleased if it just turned out to be an action-heavy show, or at least something similar to what we got in Stand Alone Complex. I'm just too old for the existential stuff in the first two movies, I suppose.

    What really pisses me off is all that Microsoft Surface marketing in the commercials. I hope we don't see any of that in the actual film. Would be ironic if such a high tech society featured products from the most incompetent software maker on the planet.

  43. M

    They might have to call in xbone dog for a tactical edge.

  44. T

    Having read Dangan Ronpa LP, I can say that if the anime follows the game and is not rushed, you can definitely expect an amazing anime with enjoyable characters, satisfying mystery and thrilling plot twists.

  45. C

    cough Devil Survivor

  46. E

    Oh god don't even remind me of Devil Survivor. I used to anticipate the P3 movie series and wished hard for a Kuzunoha Raidou anime, but after Devil Survivor, I'm staying the hell away from any SMT-based anime.

  47. C

    Nothing seems interesting to me.

    Also the Free! controversy was HILARIOUS. That thing reached Mass Effect 3 ending levels of fan self-centeredness. A lot of people made complete asses of themselves and I found it to be very entertaining.

  48. If the series is half as amusing as that spectacle was, it may be the best of the season.

  49. C

    Word, brother. Word.

  50. t

    Thanks Enzo, haven't really been able to keep up with anime lately (how the the hell you were able to change country and still have the time to not only watch anime but blog I'll never know!) so normally I just use your previews to compare my thoughts on the upcoming season to yours but in this case I had no real idea what it looked like and thank to you I was able to get a good glimpse.

    One little nitpick though,Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi is originally a light novel and not a manga (though there is a manga version as well),so this is one of those rare Madhouse LN adaptations.

  51. Corrected.

    So what catches your interest?

  52. D

    Thanks for season preview, I liked the part that you mentioned who will work on it, like I didn't know that it isn't exactly Kyoani making an anime 'Free'. Oh and you put a wrong link to hakkenden 2nd season preview 😉 Comparing to spring season I got impression that it's much less anime to choose, but ofc it doesn't mean that they're worse or sth.

  53. e

    Slver Spoon is the only one I'm relatively sure I'd enjoy, then the movies (barring AnoHana. Unfortunately I ended up cordially hating that series and finding it unintentionally humorous where it was supposed to be dramatic and moving. I can enjoy some over the top drama but boy did this one not click with me. And as Menma was one of the worst offenders for me the perspective of a movie from her POV is a nightmare waiting to happen… unless reviews tell me otherwise ;p) and the Minami-ke OVA I guess.
    Everything else is up to how they fare in reviews. I liked the Rozen Maiden manga and the Traumend OVAs but the rest not so much. I've higher hopes for Gatchaman Crowds though. And who knows maybe Free! will be a pleasant surprise. But the promo image is a bit funny. The pecs specifically.
    I'll probably sample the -monogatari. The more I watch the franchise the less I'm liking it but then there are some bits that still intrigue me among the overindulgent I'm-so-clever BS unfortunately :,). Ditto on the visuals. This season might be the last straw or the saving grace.
    Skipping the Town Where You Live unless reviews are more stellar than stellar. While I found Suzuka (manga) a readable work once the rocky early volumes were over it wasn't that memorable either.
    In the meantime… time to catch up with a whole season of Kingdom plus two episodes! Ahah.

  54. e

    P.S.: talking of award-winning character-driven manga that really would need some screen time… The things I'd do to watch 7 Seeds animated http://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=548. Man that's some shoujo manga of the kind it's so rare now… sprawling, ambitious, moving, great world building, large cast, chara development in spades. But Tamura Yumi's works have been pretty unlucky so far.

  55. R

    I hope that you would enjoy Kingdom as much as I do. The CG may get to your skin at the start of the show, but before long you may find yourself hooked by the story — I know I did to the point that I didn't even care about the bad CG at all. Besides, the animation gets better as the story progresses. Wang Qi is my favourite character, and Riki-san did a supreme job creating the character.

  56. Z

    Is it because Anohana is emotionally manipulative?

  57. e

    @Ronbb: I'm currently at episode #15 of Kingdom and so far so great. In spite of the CG doing its best (or rather worst)to hurt my eyes.
    Wang Qi is quite the character so far (and dem luscious lips! ahah ). I trust he'll keep me on my toes…

    @Zeta Zero: that's a way to put it, yes.

  58. R

    @elianthos80: happy to hear that, and yes to the CG and the lips…lol. The story will get better, and season 2 seems pretty promising so far. Enjoy Kingdom :).

  59. e

    @Ronbb: well, I've managed to watch up to #26 (yay for all-night marathons. Summer and related unstable internet connection notwithstanding I'd like to catch up with season #2 and finally be able to comment episode by episode ). Still enjoying it. And there is a lot of Wang Qi in this s1 arc hence much goodness.
    My trapdar is having a field day with this series btw… right now dead general Liao seems a likely candidate (while also contributing to the fleshy lips quota ). Ohoh. Or should we say 'mmmmhmmmmh'?

  60. R

    @elianthos80: bwahahaha…you're too funny. Wang Qi is an intriguing character — love how Riki-san makes him so unique. You're making fast progress, and starting from episode 26, it gets into an arc that I liked a lot — it got my brain excited while thinking of my favourite character. Glad to hear that you like the show :).

  61. I'll try not to post anything too spoilery for my Kingdom front page caps…

  62. e

    @Ronbb: ehe. Glad to hear all of that.
    @Enzo: oh dear with a capital D. As if your hands are not full already. Sorry? I'm stopping here now least we end up carving a Wang Qi fan colony in the summer preview post…

    See you soon – hopefully – under the Kingdom posts.

  63. M

    You're out of your mind if you think Tsuritama was the best show of last year.

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