It’s that time of year again, and another season of new anime is upon us. While looking over the lineup for this summer, I thought they all looked pretty generic (even more generic than Spring 2012′s lineup). But there were actually a few standout shows this season that really surprised me, and now I have a few programs to be excited about this summer. Which ones are they, you ask? Well, let’s find out.
This show has been described as, “boys and girls getting together to magically swap genders and experience life on the other side,” and likened to a mixture of Haruhi and K-ON!. I dunno if I’d compare it to those two shows, but it definitely does involve gender swapping. One day, the members of this high school club just start swapping souls with each other, at random, for no apparent reason. It only lasts about a half hour or so, but it’s really freaking them out.
The animation is pretty standard and it has an interesting enough premise with boys and girls switching bodies for no real reason. I am definitely curious as to why it’s happening to them, and if as the show moves on, they’ll be stuck in each other’s bodies for longer than thirty minutes at a time. It’s pretty funny but I’m not sure where I expect the series to go with the story line. I wonder how long it can keep on being interesting.
Who should watch this show: People who like high school comedies with a gender bending twist.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Not that great. I might watch one or two more to see where things go, but probably not.
Sword Art Online
I feel like this show is kind of like a combination of Accel World from last season and the .hack series. The story is about people who end up getting trapped in a virtual reality online game. If they die in the game, they die in real life as well. The only means of escape is to complete the game by advancing up levels in the world. Of course, there are one hundred of these levels for the players to slog through. The game creator has trapped them there himself, and he seems like a fairly demented fellow.
The show seems pretty interesting so far but I dunno how they plan to make watching someone play through a VR MMORPG interesting all the way through the series. We’ll see. I imagine I’ll be all about this show in the beginning, but I fear my interests may begin to taper off if the show starts to get a bit repetitive (as MMORPGs themselves tend to do).
Who should watch this show: People who like shows like Accel World, .hack, action, or just MMORPGs in general.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: I’m pretty sure I’ll be watching another one or two just to see how things develop. There might be some potential here.
This show has been described as, “the daily lives of three high school girls who are too young to be adults, but don’t regard themselves as children anymore.” It kind of makes sense, I suppose. The main girl is frustrated with her choir club at school because the faculty won’t allow her to sing, and is determined to get others together to create a new club with her where she can sing to her heart’s content.
One of the first things I noticed about this show is the nice music they have playing almost all the time. It gives the show a light and happy feeling which I like. Although it seems pretty generic, it feels kind of refreshing – like a nice summer anime. It’s pretty funny too. I also really like the character designs. I don’t expect that this is the sort of series where I’ll be getting excited for each subsequent episode, but I think it’ll be nice every once in a while. It has a sort of charm to it.
Who should watch this show: People who like high school comedy anime centering around music and singing and all that stuff.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: I’ll probably watch it lazily if I still want to watch more anime after watching my other picks from the season.
Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru
The premise of this show is kind of weird. A young man is forced to transfer to a prestigious all-girls’ school as a condition of his late father’s will, so that he can find a wife. However, he also receives a creepy phone call revealing that one of the young women trying to seduce him is his younger half-sister. The show seems to be just one big messed up harem.
As wacky as this premise sounds, the show is actually pretty boring. It seems pretty silly and a bit stupid. There were a lot of times during the show where I was just like, “Oh, come on! Really?” out of disbelief and frustration. This show is definitely out there. And the whole little sister stalker thing is pretty creepy. Especially with her voice sounding like a possessed children’s toy. It makes me uneasy.
Who should watch this show: People who like goofy hard-to-believe harem type anime.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: This kind of anime is not my cup of tea, so I definitely won’t be watching any more of it.
This show is about a girl blessed with good looks, fortune, talent, and gigantic boobs. Apparently she was born with too much good fortune, and now leaches fortune from all those around her. Therefore, she excels at everything while those around her are held back for lack of fortune. And this is where a goddess of poverty and misfortune comes in. It’s her job to bring some misfortune into this lucky girl’s life and redistribute that fortune to those around her.
I was honestly expecting this show to be super dumb. I was very surprised when the opening scene had me cracking up and the opening song and animation was awesome. This show is weird in the greatest of ways. I love it. I really like the animation from this show as well. It’s also absolutely hilarious. This show is definitely the funniest of the season, hands down.
Who should watch this show: People who like totally awesome off the wall goofy anime humor.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Absolutely. I’m definitely going to watch more, especially if subsequent episodes are as great as the first one.
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
This show takes place in a world where humanity seems to slowly be going extinct, and the world’s last public school graduate has been appointed as UN liaison with a bunch of weird little fairy creatures who seem to be taking over humans as the dominant race in the world. It’s weird. Where is the story going? I don’t know.
I don’t really like the animation in this show and the colors are really bright and unnatural, even for an anime. The show definitely has a lot of lolwtf moments. And those fairies I mentioned earlier? They are both hilarious and creepy as hell all at the same time. This show is weird. Like really, REALLY weird.
Who should watch this show: People who like moderately mind blowing out there anime that is strange and jaw dropping.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: I wouldn’t say I want to watch any more of this show, but the weirdness factor does intrigue me. So, maybe.
This one started off pretty generic then really surprised me. Probably because I didn’t read any of the summaries for it, so I’ll do my best to give you the courtesy of not spoiling them for you as well. **SPOILERS** The main character can see his love interest’s dead husband’s ghost. I definitely wasn’t expecting it, but it seems like a pretty cool twist on the traditional love triangle set up **END SPOILERS**
The show largely takes place in the flower and plant shop where everyone works. Since they’re around plant life all the time, there are a lot of pretty colors going on in the show so it’s nice to look at. It’s not bad, but not great either. Seems decent.
Who should watch this show: People who like romantic anime with a twist.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Not too great. While it is a bit more interesting than the run of the mill romance shows, its lack of comedy makes it not stand out to me because the romance itself just isn’t quite interesting enough.
Oda Nobuna no Yabou
This show is an alternate history anime taking place in the time of Oda Nobunaga, except most all of the main players from that history are now women (i.e. Oda Nobuna). It’s actually pretty cool and a lot more interesting than I was expecting it to be. What’s more is that the main character is a student from the future who absolutely loves Japan’s civil war history and happened to get teleported into the past. He helps along with the progression of the story by occasionally making predictions and intervening making for an interesting mix of genres.
I was actually very surprised by how much I liked this one. It definitely has one of the best styles and animation out of the season in my opinion. I really like how it looks. It’s a good mash-up of history, action, comedy, and time travel. It’s pretty cool.
Who should watch this show: People who like time traveling, comedic, action anime with historical influences.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: I’ll definitely watch a few more episodes. It seems pretty cool so far and with Japan’s civil war as a backdrop for story, the show has potential to stay very interesting until the end.
La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia
This one is about a group of people making up a mafia type family who take care of a small coastal town as vigilantes. They all have unique arcana powers that they use to fight villains. The premise for the season is set when it’s announced that they will all be competing in a competition to determine who will become the new head of the family once the current leader retires.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this show, but it turned out to be pretty average. It was interesting enough to watch all the way through, but I’m not really excited about seeing another episode or anything. You don’t really get to see many of the powers in action in the first episode, so who knows how cool this competition will be. Guess we’ll find out.
Who should watch this show: People who like mafia family anime with arcana powers and a tournament mixed in.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: I doubt I’ll be watching another episode of this one, it just didn’t really grab me.
Shows That Just Weren’t That Great
Muv-Luv: Average animation. Doesn’t really grab you. Nothing special. Slow moving. Watch if you like generic mecha anime with female pilots in skin tight suits. I’m not interested enough to watch any more.
Joshiraku: I don’t really like these kinds of rakugo shows. It’s just five girls talking about random stuff. I just found it to be pretty boring and not all that interesting. It’s not funny enough to hold my interest. I actually didn’t find it funny at all, so I turned it off halfway through the show.
Campione!: This one seemed kinda silly right from the get go and didn’t really grab my attention. Even though there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in the first five minutes, it just seems pretty generic and not very interesting. Maybe my initial impression is wrong, but I just didn’t feel like watching this one.
As usual, there were also a handful of shows that I just didn’t check out and a handful of sequels that I never watched the original for (sorry!).
Bottom Line: Binbou-gami ga!, Oda Nobuna no Yabou, and (maybe) Sword Art Online all had great starts and are definitely worth watching this season. I heartily encourage you to check all three out.
So tell me, what are your favorite anime shows this season? Think I should check out a show I didn’t review above? Have you seen Binbou-gami ga! or Oda Nobuna no Yabou? How do you like them so far? Let me know in the comments!