Looks like it’s time to beat the summer heat by sippin’ some Chu-Hi and watchin’ some anime. Last season was pretty decent, but which shows are worth watching this season? Well, Rich and I have some ideas for you. We watched most of the new shows that came out this summer and are happy to share with you our top picks. Hopefully all of our hard work pays off and helps you find your new favorite show. Onward!
Before starting the season, DBS was pretty much the only one I had some sort of expectation for. And that expectation was that it’d be better than DBGT. And it was. Hooray. But the season did offer up some additional interests. I dunno if I’ll see any of them all the way through, but I’m pretty happy with what I’ve seen so far. Let’s get into my picks.
Dragon Ball Super
I’m sure many of you are at least somewhat familiar with Dragon Ball. Super is the latest iteration of it, taking place about 6 months after the defeat of Majin Buu. The world is at peace, and the Dragon Balls were used to make everyone forget about all the nonsense that happened. Vegeta is a family man, Goku is a farmer, and Gohan is a boring student. Life is simple and quaint. But there is a looming darkness in the universe that looks to be coming closer and closer to our heroes.
Dragon Ball Z was one of the first anime I ever really got into so this show holds a lot of nostalgia value for me, especially after the relative disappointment of GT. I even included it in my Personal Top 10 Anime list. The first couple episodes here are pretty slow and lacking action. But it’s kind of nice to just get a glimpse into the everyday humdrum life of the characters we know and love. It looks like the action is going to start to ramp up soon though, so I’m looking forward to that.
If you were never into Dragon Ball that much, this series probably won’t change your mind. But it’s a nice treat for people who are already fans of the series.
Rokka no Yuusha
The Demon God has arisen and it’s up to six chosen heroes to defeat him. Legend tells of how the six are market by the Saint of the Single Flower and then it is up to these heroes to defeat the god until the process starts all over again. Only problem is that the chosen heroes have no way of finding the others, so they gotta run around and group up before finally traveling west to go kick the Demon God in his behind.
I really like the look of this anime. The style and the colors and the music is all really well done and pleasant. It very much reminds me of a Tales game. It might have something to do with the main character looking like Luke from Tales of the Abyss. But no matter what it’s a good thing. The show is exciting, funny, and interesting and probably the one I’m looking forward to the most this season. The story might be a little shallow, but the characters and the setting make it compelling.
In the world of Charlotte, some people are blessed with special abilities. Our main dude can take over another’s body for five seconds, but loses all control of his own during that time. So far he’s used it to cheat in school, pick up babes, and get revenge on some jerks. Nothing special. Then one day he is taken away to a special school for kids with abilities so it can be made sure they don’t cause any harm to themselves or others.
This show was a surprise to me. I wasn’t expecting it to be so entertaining and funny. All of the powers displayed by the characters so far have some amusing drawback and it was really funny to see how the main character made creative use of his. I’m not sure what to expect from the story. This is another one of those shows where the characters really make the show. The main character is fun to watch, and I just hope that the show can keep up the momentum. Oh, and also – the music is really good. As you might be able to tell from that PV up there.
Japan jam-packs its summer with movies, anime and drama. And the anime summer 2015 season is no different. This season, Dragon Ball fans, both old and young, can join together and bask in the glory of the new series, Dragon Ball Super. I would have made it one of my picks, but the series looks to continue where Z left off; both Dragon Ball fans and haters know what to expect. This season also ushers in the return of series like Wangaria, Durarara, Non Non Biyori, Gatchaman Crowds and Junjou Romantica. Meanwhile Yowamushi Pedal, Haikyu, and Ghost in the Shell are sure to fill air conditioned movie theaters. With so much to choose from, here are my three picks for this stacked anime season!
Non Non Biyori Repeat
“Starting this spring I’ll be my village’s one and only bright, shiny ichinensei.” And so starts Non Non Biyori Repeat; the sequel to Non Non Biyori, a cute, slice of life comedy akin to Azumanga Daioh.
In Non Non Biyori Repeat, a handful of students from a small town Japanese elementary school have innocent and silly life experiences. Don’t expect a heavy plot or deep character development. Biyori Repeat offers a light relaxing experience, perfect for those hot and humid summer days.
I’m enjoying this series because the characters remind me of my kindergarten and elementary school students. Their logic and innocent reactions have an authentic flavor. That being said, Non Non Biyori Repeat will be too light, too cute, and too uneventful for many viewers. But fans of light-hearted affair like Azumanga Daioh and K-On! should enjoy this easygoing comedy.
Ushio and Tora
After an original manga run from 1990 to 1996, Ushio and Tora’s anime has been a long time coming. Although an OVA came out in the early 1990s, the ten episode run barely scratched the series’s surface. Perhaps fans owe Japan’s current yo-kai boom for Ushio and Tora’s revival.
When junior high school student Ushio mistakenly releases Tora, a legendary demon put to rest by his ancestors, all sorts of spirits and monsters start showing up. To protect his family, friends and put an end to the yokai infused madness, Ushio is forced to team with the finicky, uncooperative demon. Will the unlikely pair cooperate and save the world or kill each other in the process?
Ushio and Tora stays close to the source material, both in visual style and themes. The fun, yokai filled adventures have enough battles and laughs to please both longtime fans and newcomers alike. If you like Yu Yu Hakusho and Kikkaishi, you should give this action-packed mishmash of yokai and school life a look.
Gangsta takes me back to a time when anime first debuted on adult swim. The series would fit in right alongside Cowboy Bebop, Trigun and Outlaw Star. Gangsta’s adult-themed world has all the gritty, stylized stuff that goes over well in the West.
Overwhelmed by the growing power of gangs and drug cartels, local police hire street smart tough guys, “The Handymen” Nic and Worick, to help take care of the dirty work. The two jump headfirst into the dangerous world without hesitation and continue to find excuses to take on the baddies throughout the series.
With edgy characters, a European-flavored setting and its share of mystery, sex, and action, I found Gangsta the most intriguing series of the summer season. Whether Gangsta will embrace a focused narrative and develop deep characters or continue a simple onslaught of cool violent confrontations, I’ll be watching.
Anime Summer 2015 Parting Thoughts
Rich: Alongside these picks, I look forward to continuing my holdovers from last season, My Love Story and Shogeki no Soma. For those looking for a satisfying single-serve anime experience, look no further than Little Witch Academia: Mahou Shikake no Parade. The gorgeous animation, charming characters, and fantastic world compliment this sweet, innocent, yet thrilling roller-coaster ride of an adventure. In under an hour, Little Which Academia offers a more well rounded, rich narrative than some series twelve times the length. Hope you find something cool to keep you cool during this summer’s heat… unless you live below the equator and it’s winter – then, by all means stay warm!
John: Just an aside, Gangsta was nearly edged out of my top 3 by Charlotte. I think Gangsta looks pretty promising as well. That aside – I’m guessing that eventually the nostalgia value will wear off with DBS, and surprisingly I think I’m going to have to say Charlotte is my top pick this season. It looks good, sounds good, and keeps me chuckling. Hopefully the rest of the season doesn’t let me down!
So what were your top picks for the anime summer 2015 season? Any favorites from last season? Let us know in the comments!