Each month, our writers (along with a guest) give our top five list for some anime-related topic. This month, we approach this column a little differently, combining it with our summer season preview as a number of our writers give the five anime series they’re most looking forward to in summer 2015.
Joining us is Pepe, whom we’re thrilled to have as our guest. Pepe is one of the writers at the international Key fan website Kazamatsuri.org, which you might remember from our Key special podcast episode. We felt it most fitting to have a representative from such a great fan base to help us out with providing some information our readers may not be aware of regarding Key’s newest upcoming anime. But he has gone further than any of our own writers and provided some great insight about a few other summer anime to keep an eye on!
3. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime
4. Ranpo Kitan – Game of Laplace
5. God Eater
At first, I honestly didn’t think there was much to look forward to this season. Most of the more exciting options, are sequels of anime I haven’t even watched previously. However, after doing some research, I realized that there actually is a bit more to this upcoming season than meets the eye. If I were to describe my feelings about this upcoming season, it’d be that the creators of a work could make all the difference to a story. Now then, without further ado, on to my top 5!
One word for God Eater: ufotable. I’m not the kind of person who cares much about animation studios, but ufotable for this series is actually pretty damn exciting. The action scenes are going to be absolutely stunning. God Eater started out as a very fast-paced action game, so I can only imagine how fun it’d be to watch ufotable make these scenes into an animated series. Ranpo Kitan is an anime adaptation of murder mysteries written by Edogawa Ranpo, who was a pioneer of sorts in the Japanese mystery genre. The fact that this is an adaptation of what is considered a classic in terms of literature is enough to get me interested. It would hopefully give a different perspective to anime considering the original source, although I wouldn’t be surprised either if they modernized it.
Me being the romance nut I am, Akagami seems to be the only romance-centric one I am looking forward to. While the fantasy-romance genre has been explored many times before, it is a tried and tested formula, and has brought consistent quality romance to the table. As such, I am expecting the same from Akagami, and I hope that it will be enough to satisfy my romance nut for this season (along with Ore Monogatari which is continuing its 2nd cour, of course). Classroom☆Crisis seems like a pretty standard, slice-of-life anime, with a pretty unique setting. What got me interested in this show more than anything is the main writer of the series: Maruto Fumiaki. Fumiaki is known for being the main writer of White Album 2 and Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata. Saenai Heroine was pretty so-so…. However, White Album 2 was absolutely amazing, and the anime only adapts the Introductory Chapter of the Visual Novel. As such, I still have hopes for Fumiaki to write something more insightful with this good setting that he has prepared. I don’t know exactly how this series will go, but I sure am excited for it!
Finally, CHARLOTTE! Hypest anime of the season; nay, hypest anime of the year. Now, sure, I might be biased because it’s a Key work, and I’m a Key fan, and I love pretty much all of Jun Maeda’s works. However, there’s just something about Charlotte that has piqued my interest ever since it had been announced way back in December.
The more we learned about Charlotte, the more my hype was increased. We were introduced to a world where adolescents have special abilities, and each of our main cast have their own abilities detailed in particular. Considering this is a Key work, I could already see how these abilities would play into each of the characters’ inner emotional state. One of the powers, for example, was the ability to hide oneself from the vision of another person, and I could see how that might instill a feeling of loneliness and lack of attention for said character. That sort of connection between the powers and the potential for drama got me pretty excited. Also, recent info seems to be implying something a lot darker upcoming for the series. Those things have just skyrocketed my hype level through the roof, and it raises so many questions regarding our initial assumptions, questions which I am excited to find out while watching Charlotte.
- Durarara!!x2 Ten
- Ore Monogatari!!
- Gatchman Crowds insight
- Non Non Biyori Repeat
I love Durarara and it’s ridiculous insanity of story telling!!! Also, I love the fact it take place in Ikebukuro, which is my area of Tokyo. Ore Monogatari is a series I decided to try during the spring and I instantly loved it. I am very excited about where it will go. I watched the first Gatchman Crowds when it came out and was quite fond of it. It is very strange and unexpectedly exciting; I am excited for the sequel. Working!!! is also a sequel to a series I enjoy. Definitely a comedy and is very episodic. Non Non Biyori Repeat is also a sequel to a series I enjoyed. The first one was slow, but a wonderful culture study of rural Japan. (Basically, these are all sequels or continuations of series.)
1. Non Non Biyori Repeat
2. The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls 2nd Season
4. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime
5. Himouto! Umaru-chan
For me, “most looking forward to” means “shows I can trust the most to be enjoyable weekly watching”. That means I look forward more to shows that I know will be at least somewhat good than shows that could be really great but can also tank (though I’m always open to being surprised by a breakout hit). And given my own tastes, that means I’m looking forward to a cute slice-of-life comedy like Himouto! Umaru-chan more than something like Charlotte, which definitely has promise but could just as easily fall apart for me. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime is probably the “riskiest” show I’m highly anticipating, but the premise is very interesting and I hear good things about the manga, and I’m always up for a good shoujo fantasy. Of course, there are some great sequels coming up this season; Non Non Biyori, in particular, is a favorite of mine from 2013 with its rural setting that gives it a very idyllic feel to distinguish it from its slice-of-life brethren.
- Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace
- Akagami no Shirayuki-hime
Besides the second cour of Ore Monogatari, there really isn’t much that I’m looking forward to this summer season, with a few notable exceptions. Atop the list is Working!!!, the first two seasons of which have made for one of my all-time favorite comedies – wonderful cast and lots of great humor. I’m really eager to see Charlotte, though the letdown of Angel Beats! and Little Busters has me wary. The others are even more shots in the dark for me. Gangsta looks very cool, though I wonder if I’ll be able to stomach the content. Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace looks like an interesting combination of mystery, horror, and “teens saving the day” kind of stuff. And Akagami no Shirayuki-hime might be a good place for me to jump into the fantasy anime fray, which I’ve stayed away from the last few years, even as the genre’s grown in popularity.
3. Gakkou Gurashi
4. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime
5. Joukamachi no Dandelion
I’m going to echo Charles (TTWK) here and say that it looks like a relatively light season… but that might be a good thing for me right now! And it will also let me focus much more on a show I’ve been highly anticipating for quite a while now: Charlotte. While my numbers 2-4 of course have potential, I am an unabashed Visualart’s Key lover! That said, I know very little about Charlotte… and I plan to keep it that way until it airs! I’m looking forward to being surprised by what the studio will bring us this time!
- Non Non Biyori Repeat
- Classroom Crisis
- Akagami no Shirayuki-hime
Non Non Biyori is one of the greatest slice of life anime we’ve had in the last few years, and I’m highly anticipating the another season of nyanpasu. Although I liked Servant x Service over Working, I’ll still gladly watch another season of the latter. Charlotte is at #3 only because of that chance of failure whereas with the sequels I know for sure what I’m getting. Otherwise, I’m highly anticipating Maeda’s newest work. Classroom Crisis is a bit of a personal bias. I haven’t really liked any recent romcoms (nope, I didn’t like any you are thinking of all that much), so I’m hoping this anime randomly tagged with romcom delivers along with having two of my favorite up and coming seiyuu Amamiya Sora and Ozawa Ari (and I’m even more hopeful after Pepe explained who the writer is). Finally, it seems everyone has cautious hopes for Shirayuki-hime, and I am the same. It looks quite promising, but I won’t hype it too much.
2. Durarara!!x2 Ten
4. Hetalia: The World Twinkle
5. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime
Working!! (season 1) was one of the first
anime moving-picture-related productions to show that comedy could, indeed, be hilarious, and that they don’t all resort to mortifyingly embarrassing moments and crude jokes. That’s one reason it’s on the top of my list this season. Plus, I need at least one purely-fun anime on my watching list every season. Working!!! will be one of my favorite ways to de-stress this summer. Then there’s Durarara!!—another sequel, or rather second installment of a sequel, which means I’ll definitely watch it. I anticipate more of the fun characters and intriguing developments. But my enthusiasm isn’t high, and I probably won’t follow it weekly. This series is easier to marathon, as I mentioned in the Winter season review. Gangsta looks interesting. I really like action, and my all-time-favorite anime, Gungrave, is mob-related (for that matter, so is Durarara!! and its cousin, Baccano!). But if the seriousness level’s too high, I won’t be able to follow it weekly. Hetalia is another sequel: I really enjoyed the earlier seasons, and I look forward to this one. Also, it includes the only Japanese voice actor I’ve gone out of my way to remember, Namikawa Daisuke (voices Italy). Akagami no Shirayuki-hime could have potential, but I say that with great caution, after reading that others are looking forward to it. I love fantasy and fairy tales, but I’m rarely satisfied with anime fantasy anymore, so I usually stick to reading books from the genre instead. I probably won’t try it until I read reactions to the first few episodes.
- Gate: Jietai Kanochi Nite, Kaku Tatekaeri
- Aoharu X Kikanjuu
- Rokka no Yuusha
- Ushio to Tora
Gate pleasantly reminds me of Those who Hunt Elves with its inclusion of tanks in a fantasy world. Also, I like the fact that it’s not another fantasy set in an RPG, a kind of fantasy which I could never get into. Anime has surprised me by creating two excellent gangster shows (Gungrave and Black Lagoon), so I’m willing to give Gangsta a shot. Besides, the fights look very well put together. As for the other three, they appear to offer some fun action and adventure, but I’m not as enthusiastic about them.
For those who would like to follow discussion on Charlotte, feel free to head on to Kazmatsuri.org and check it out. They are planning to have a weekly podcast, talking about each new episode of Charlotte as it comes out, and we hope some of our readers will give it a listen, or even participate in discussion on their forum.