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Summer is here in full swing and along with the scorching heat comes a new season of anime for us to enjoy. Spring 2013′s anime season had two great shows come out of it (Suisei no Gargantia and Shingeki no Kyojin) and many shows were filled with action and robots. This summer’s season is a bit more bland and has a lot less action, but there might be one or two worth checking out. Let’s see what we’ve got here.

Love Lab

Love.LabThis is a slice of life show about girls practicing romance with, on, and for each other. The show takes place at an all-girls school with most of them showing some amount of infatuation towards one another. The main character attempts to show a classmate how to act around boys. She shows her things like how to meet boys and how to hold hands by playing the part of a potential mate in practice.

This show is definitely a weird one. It’s entertaining enough, but it really doesn’t seem like my kind of show. I can see how other people would enjoy it though. Slice of life shows usually don’t do it for me, and Love Lab is no exception.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHtyjyJnRro']

Who should watch this show: People who like awkward high school girl-girl romance interactions.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Not good. I can’t see any reason I would want to continue this one.

Danganronpa

danganronpaThis show is based on a game of the same name. The game is sort of a Persona/Ace Attorney hybrid as I understand it. Like a murder mystery type thing with day/night cycles. Anyway, the main characters are all trapped in a high school and the only way they are allowed to leave is if they kill one of the others gathered there. There is no time limit, so they can all live together in the high school for the rest of their lives if they wish.

This show has some pretty interesting character designs. I like that. The premise is pretty interesting too. It reminds me of Battle Royale in a way, only it’s confined to a high school and there is no time limit. I have the feeling it’s going to be kind of like the drama Liar Game. Good, but a bit too drawn out for my liking. It’s hard to tell at this point. This first episode was basically just setting the scene for everything, so I feel like it deserves having another episode watched before I pass full judgment.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al9e3NuNgi0']

Who should watch this show: People who like murder/survival/mystery shows and interesting, diverse characters.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Pretty good. The first episode definitely intrigued me.

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

Kamisama no Inai NichiyoubiGod has forsaken humanity and the world he left behind is one without birth or death. There are beings called Gravekeepers who are tasked with laying people to rest once they have finished living their lives and the only way to attain eternal rest is through a Gravekeeper.

The premise of this show is pretty interesting. I like religious alternate-reality type things so this speaks to my interests. However, I’m not really a fan of the characters so far, at least not the main girl. The main guy might end up being kind of cool though. I feel like the show might eventually blossom into something worthwhile, but the first episode here isn’t very strong.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsl6wUiRXm8']

Who should watch this show: People who like religious alternate-reality type things.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Average. I feel like a lot was left unsaid in the first episode so this show probably deserves another episode or two.

Silver Spoon

silver-spoonThe reason most people are excited about this one despite its premise is the fact that it’s based on a manga by the same person that did Fullmetal Alchemist. This is your standard high school anime setup, only the high school is a farm school. As far as I know, there aren’t many (if any) anime shows centering around livestock like this one.

The characters themselves are all okay enough, the premise of the show just doesn’t really interest me. If you have any interest in farming or livestock type stuff though, you’ll probably find this show more interesting than I did. I could never get into Fullmetal Alchemist, but this show has pretty much nothing in common with it from what I can tell.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eMOcbGRFPs']

Who should watch this show: People who like livestock. And farms and stuff.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Not good. If it starts getting a lot of attention later I might come back around to it but right now I have no desire to watch any more.

Free!

Free!This show is probably the most anticipated one this season. At least it’s the one I’ve heard the most buzz about, anyway. It seems to be mostly geared towards girls as all the main characters are high school swim club pretty boys, and they can also at times be a bit too affectionate towards one another.

The animation and the sound effects and music are pretty great in this one. I usually don’t take much notice of the music in shows, but the soundtrack playing through most of this show was actually quite pleasant to listen to. The characters are all funny and likable, but I’m not entirely sure where to expect the story to go or develop. The show is definitely well done and I’ll probably watch another but I’m not too sure if I’ll want to see it all the way through. It’s really a very well done and polished anime.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuLQDwtBDgc']

Who should watch this show: People who like pretty boys, cool music, or swimming.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Pretty good. I know this show is geared towards girls, but the production values are just so good in this one that I might end up following it anyway.

Uchouten Kazoku

kazokuThe main characters in this show are all shape shifting creatures (tengu and tanuki). They coexist with humans and occasionally eat one another. Compared to the other shows this season, this one seems to have a decent amount of uniqueness to it.

That being said, this show is a little odd. The animation is a little goofy and I don’t like how some of the character’s ears and noses look, but overall the show isn’t too terribly exciting. I highly doubt I’ll be watching any more of this one. I don’t know where the story is going but I also really don’t care. Some parts of this first episode were pretty amusing, but the in-between parts were pretty dull.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zi12pqs7ok']

Who should watch this show: People who like tengus, tanukis, and transformation!
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Not so good. I might come back to it if people start gushing over it, but right now it’s not doing anything for me.

Servant x Service

Servant-x-ServiceThis show is about civil service office workers and the show seems to take place almost exclusively there. The main character’s reason for working there is to seek revenge on the civil servant who allowed her parents to bestow such a ridiculously long name upon her.

Everything about the show seems pretty average and not all that interesting. The show wasn’t bad enough for me to want to shut it off, but I definitely do not plan on watching any more of it. Even though I work in an office, I felt like I couldn’t relate to this show at all. It’s not good.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WQzmAk6Zi4']

Who should watch this show: People who like sub-par office comedy involving civil servants.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Bad. This show interests me not.

Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou

inuThis show stars a domineering lady author and one of her obsessive fans who happened to be reincarnated as a dog. She abuses him with a pair of scissors. It’s unclear from the first episode where they plan on going with the story, but the show seems pretty shallow overall from my first impressions.

This show is about a dog that used to be a human. It’s also about books. The show is pretty goofy, but it has its amusing moments. The best parts probably are the ones involving the dog and his wacky expressions. His counterpart is a strange girl who is capable of reading his thoughts for whatever reason. The dog is kind of funny but I don’t really care about the show as a whole.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKqWbteqErA']

Who should watch this show: People who like abusive scissor wielding women and human souls trapped in wiener dogs.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Bad. One episode was enough for me, thanks.

Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou

genei_wo_kakeru_tayouThe show centers around some tarot card fortune tellers. The main character is really into it but her cousin is not at all so they have kind of a strained relationship. It’s all about magical girls and the sort of stuff that magical girls find themselves getting into.

There’s a lot of supernatural stuff going on in this show. I feel like the show could be cool, but the way everything is executed is not that cool at all. Everything just seems kinda cheesy. I dunno, it’s just not for me. I don’t really care about any of the characters either.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxEhiSGKtkI']

Who should watch this show: People who like magical girls and tarot cards.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Bad. This show left no impression on me. Very forgettable.

Kiniro Mosaic

kiniroThe first episode takes place mainly in London, so the main character speaks Japanese and the girl in the homestay family she is staying with hardly speaks any. This makes for some pretty entertaining situations. It looks like the rest of this show will be taking place exclusively in Japan, so the hilarious English situations will probably be much less from here on.

I like the music in this one. It’s very soothing and pleasant. The show is hilariously over dramatic at times and takes cutesy to the max. Also, the English dialogue in the show is not authentic sounding at all. It’s highly entertaining in the “so bad it’s good” kind of way. This is the kind of show I would watch with a friend to laugh at, but it’s not a show I would want to continue on my own. I also have no idea what to expect from the story. Probably not much.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHMqhcYnmQc']

Who should watch this show: People who like lolis and Brits in Japan.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Average. I would be willing to watch and laugh at this show with someone else, but I won’t be watching it solo.


Below Average Shows and a Recap

recap

Almost every season there are a few shows that just don’t sit right with me and I abandon them before they’re done. Some are unhappy to see that I treat some shows this way, but these are just my first impressions. If a show doesn’t grab me and get me engaged within the first 5-10 minutes or so, I’m moving on.

Hyperdimension Neptunia: Jiggly boob overload right here. This show seems a bit too juvenile for my tastes. I couldn’t find the strength to watch more than 5 minutes or so.

Gifuu Doudou!!: I’m not a fan of the art style at all in this one. It reminds me of older style animations. I gave up after about 5 minutes or so because nothing in the show appealed to me. Sorry.

And 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!).

Last Season’s Recap: As predicted, Suisei no Gargantia and Shingeki no Kyojin were the ones to watch for me. I’m not current on either one at the moment (mostly due to them not being quite as awesome as I was hoping for), but I do still plan on seeing them all the way through eventually.

This Season’s Bottom Line: Free! and Danganronpa stand out the most to me, I think. And then maybe Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi and Kiniro Mosaic. Free! is definitely the most polished and best looking anime out of the bunch in my opinion, but overall I feel like this season is pretty weak. Too bad.


So tell me, how do you think this season compares to the last one? Any new shows look good to you? What’s your favorite one so far? If you’re a guy, how do you feel about Free? Share your thoughts down in the comments!

  • MrTyberian

    I’m with John on this one. It’s a pretty weak season, I’m going to be using this time to catch up with old shows that I haven’t seen. Free! definitely caught my attention at first, but the writing is a bit predictable. I do suggest Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu for people who liked Girls and Panzer. It has the same dramatic action and wonky strategies that made the latter fun. Also look into Genshiken Nidaime. From a cultural perspective it’s interesting how the club’s identity changes now that the membership has gone from all males in the first season to primarily females in nidaime.

  • Harpy12

    I see that Symphopgear G is missing from the list (as well as others) – but judging from the responses to the shows on the list I’m guessing it would get a “bad” rating. If you liked season 1 you’ll probably like season 2 since it’s more of the same with a few new bits attached to it, higher production values and new/improved character art.

    I was really let down by Genei wo Kakeru Taiyo. Absolutely hated the cop out of dead people being erased from existence. Let’s have the murderous magical girls actually deal with real world consequences, instead of sweeping it under the rug because the writer doesn’t’ feel like tackling it. Blech.

    Agree about Neptunia. I knew it was going to be bad, but I hoped it wouldn’t be just ’cause I liked the character designs.

    Uchoten Kazoku on the other hand, I think is fabulous. The voice acting, quirky art and interesting setting make it a must watch for me.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I have a feeling that there will be plenty of people upset with just about any system he ends up choosing, tbh. It’s hard to win in the game of reviewing anime.

  • NihongoCake

    I’m watching Suisei no Gargantia and Shingeki no Kyojin both and I LOVE THEM! :D Really, can’t get enough of them! There’s a lot of people complaining about them being to slow or anything … Well they can go watch Dragon Ball Z or Avatar then, because we’re finally slowing down a bit and I love how both animes rape my mind! :P

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    Just as long as he’s not using VLC to watch it.

  • Foot

    Gifuu Doudou!!

    This Anime is pretty deep it discusses what ”rightiousness and justice is” , but some people dont have the patience for a deep anime like that, they want flashy art and stimulation.

  • Creativename55

    Why?

  • 古戸ヱリカ
  • Raymond Chuang

    I can’t wait to see this series on Blu-ray. They really put a lot of work into the backgrounds and even character designs and I like the slower-paced style, because it better explains the “Earth” we see in the series.

  • Raymond Chuang

    One thing I’ve noticed is most of the really good anime are either in January-March (winter season) or April-June (summer season) periods.

  • Absolutionz

    Somehow, you also make me so… incredibly angry, that I need a self-imposed time-out. Well played, my archenemy. Well played.

  • James

    what about blood lad?

  • a friend

    Girls watch and love stuff made for boys all the time, but boys seem to have so much trouble watching stuff made for girls. Why? It seems kinda pathetic to say “even though it’s aimed at girls I still like it”. It doesn’t matter. And those boys who make such a big deal out of liking My Little Pony, ah. You’re not a special snowflake for liking things aimed at girls. Girls aren’t alien lizards who only enjoy pestilence and Lana Del Rey. Girls are human beings, boys are human beings. We’re capable of liking the same things (obviously). Ain’t no thang.

  • AdvancedWind

    I know Tofugu is not necessarily an anime site, but I think that at the very least, more than one person’s opnion should be taken into account for these articles; kinda like what Japanator does
    when they do these early impressions, each staff member comments on the
    kind of shows they usually watch. So, when their “moe slife of life” fan staff member says that a “moe slice of life” anime sucks, he’s probably right,

    I’m not sure if John is the only one on Tofugu that watches some anime, but if you have other guys that could help with these impressions, I believe it could make them slightly more interesting and less of a “I’m not watching everything but two shows” on every season.

  • Winter01

    Keep going this way, your articles doesn’t sound arrogant at all and you were even light with critics (Really , some anime are just complexed-only oriented) , this is YOUR review of anime and its NORMAL to express your tought (for i agree with your choice at all), and you clearly are in the 14+yo “normal guy” anime watcher stream that is a big slice of cake (im 22 anyway).
    The “Will i watch another episode” section is a good idea, dont give up on it–>it is just more likely to be harrassed by a frustrated otaku than to be praised by an entertained reader (then dont change your style only for a few critics), keep going this way ,that is really good.
    Ps:English is not my mother lenguage so dont kill me for my errors.

  • John

    I’m the only one that watches all the shows and the rest of the team just goes off my first impressions, haha. Not everyone is as dedicated to forging their way through new anime as I am.

  • Lunazy

    I do like free

  • Senjougahara

    Monogatari S2 where??? Easily my favorite of the season. If you liked Bakemonogatari, but the sexual context in Nise wasn’t your taste, I’d still recommend Nekomonogatari (White), the first arc of Monogatari S2. It goes back to the old style, and is quite an entertaining story.

  • Techies

    I tried watching your favorite series.. Almost fell a sleep…

  • Senjougahara

    I see, have you tried modafinil? *monogatari isn’t about power levels, battles, or collecting the Shinigami Line’s next hokage balls. Actually I lied, there are a fair amount of battles. /watch?v=-HOAuiY5XFQ [NSFW]. But primarily, Nisio’s magical surrealist story is about love, hate, monsters, philosophy, obnoxious kanji puns and that awkward moment when your sister walked in on you brushing your other sister’s teeth.

  • Demppl

    The review was correct. Free! is less about swimming more about pretty boys

  • Anon Raan

    Silver Spoon is really good actually. I didn’t expect to like it since it didn’t seem like my type of anime. That really got me, since it entertained me quite thoroughly and left me with happy warm feelings given the fact that it really isn’t my type of show.

  • anime killer

    where is blood lad
    or attack on titan

  • Edgar Moreno

    I think you missed Blood Lad… it’s one of the best animes of this (poor) summer season

    and maybe the Monogatari series second season (good animation), but it can be boring for some people (and you need to watch previous seasons of this anime if you want to understand what’s going on)

  • Gary

    No attack on titan? it’s probably the biggest show this summer so I’m surprised it wasn’t mentioned