Anime Review: Summer 2010 Season Preview

(Originally published on Livejournal on 7/7/10)

The summer 2010 anime series is already upon us, with about two dozen new shows and a dozen specials/OVAs planned for the upcoming months. The season has already started with the first episodes of several shows debuting during the past week, so I’m running a bit behind (eh, what else is new?) To be honest, there’s no need for me to rehash the plots of the various shows that are up to bat this time around, because others have already done so in other blots and websites. Instead, I’ll just point to a few good places to get a quick rundown on the shows, a few pictures, a few of my opinions, and a few video previews. On with the show!

First off, for some of the best blogged previews of the season, check out:
Random Curiosity’s Summer Preview – Written up early June, with lots and lots of video previews.
Star-Crossed Anime Summer Preview – The first online preview, written in mid-May.
Star-Crossed Anime’s Summer OVA Preview – The *only* comprehensive preview of the various OVA and Specials (routinely ignored by most other reviewers).
THAT Anime Preview

Click on the picture for a full-sized version

For an overview of the summer’s shows, check out the handy-dandy one-sheet that gives an overview of the season. Start here to get the rundown on the TV series (alas, this chart always short-shrifts the specials and OVAs). Looking of the list, it appears to be chock full of lots of fan-service type shows. No big surprise there, after all fan-service is steadfast pillar in anime. Also this time around, seems there are several horror shows (totally absent in the spring season). Conversely, this time around there are zero sports-related shows (a staple of the spring season). After reading the previews and watching the trailers, here’s what I’m keeping an eye on the most:

Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi – Hereafter shortened to “Ookami-san”. One of the most anticipated shows of the season, with characters very loosely based assorted fairy tales. The title translates to “Wolf and Her Seven Friends”, a romantic high-school comedy where members of the Otogi Bank, a private society, help other students with their problems. Everyone is jumping up and down and screaming “Toradora!” and “Spice and Wolf!” based on the main character design. Could be interesting.
Highschool of the DeadThe most talked-about show of the season, it seems. Tons of jiggly-boobs and panty-shots (as in, Tenjou Tenge levels of flesh) to get all the sex-starved fanboys drooling. Also tons and tons of gore as a handful of students stave off a fast-zombie epidemic. As a general rule, I’m not a fan of the horror genre, but I do make an exception for zombie flicks.
Occult Academy – The third in the line of Anime no Chikara shows, which promises to bring new, fresh, original material to anime. Alas, the previous two shows in that slot, “So Ra Wo No To” and “Senkou no Night Raid” have hardly set the world on fire. Still, this looks interesting, with paranormal activity set on a private school campus and someone who slipped back in time a dozen years.
Legend of Legendary Heroes – Oh boy, this looks like it just may be…Legendary! This show has been widely derided due to its superfluous name, but the previews look good. I’m always a sucker for good, straightforward fantasy shows, although most of the time it’s turned out to be a disappointment (the last watchable fantasy I’ve seen is several years back, Scrapped Princess). Willing to give this a try.
Karigurashi Arrietty – Based on the children’s novel “The Borrowers”, which I must admit I know nothing about myself. Anything that has Hayao Miyazaki’s involvement absolutely requires a look, however I’m not one to blindly follow someone around as “legend of anime/manga” and immediately proclaim everything he does as a masterpiece. Contrary to popular belief, not everything that Miyazaki has touched is the best thing in the world.
Welcome to the Space Show – E.T. Phone Home! Five kids away on a summer vacation find a stranded alien, help him, and the alien takes them on a grand galactic adventure. The buzz on this movie is palpable, and it looks really good.
Seitokai Yakuindomo – A lightweight high-school comedy, where a recently integrated school has a 10-1 female to male ratio. Student council hi-jinks, doesn’t look like anything special, but could be a bit of fun.
Mitsudomoe – Triplets torment their sixth-grade teacher, wacky comedy ensues. That’s about it. We’ll see if the gags hold up, and I’ll try to suppress my desire to use the character’s heads as basketballs.
Black Butler 2 – aka Kuroshitsuji II, involving a young master and his supernatural contract with his butler. A sequel of sorts, although apparently you don’t need to watch the first series to get into this one. If it does pique my interest, I’ll go back and check the earlier episodes.
Shiki – Another horror show, set in a small extremely-isolated village where people begin to mysteriously pass away. Is it a disease, or perhaps something…darker? Ooooh, looks moody.

That’s about it for the shows that kinda scratch my brain a bit. There’s several other shows, of course, such as:

  • Strike Witches 2 (Propellers for feet? Seriously?)
  • Sekirei: Pure Engagement and Amagami SS (adaptations of popular love-love video games for fanboys interested in punching out a few knuckle-children)
  • Digimon and Pokemon and Beyblade and .Hack and Monster Hunter and Break Blade and Gunpla Builders (for all you six year olds out there)
  • To Aru Kagaku no Railgun OVA (okay, I *am* looking forward to this, less so for the upcoming Index series)
  • Osaka Hamlet (WTF-inducing version of a popular J-drama)
  • Zettai Karen Children OVA (strangely, I might like this; watched first episode of the show and thought it had potential)
  • Tono no Issho (historical-Japan-based humor? bleh?)
  • Sengoku Basara 2 (Just…no.)
  • Shin Koihime Musou OVA (A follow-up on the WORST show of the spring season? NO, NO, NO.)
  • Black Rock Shooter (Anticipated for months, but preview looks awful)
  • Hetalia Axis Powers (When will this piece of crap DIE already?)
  • Abnormal Psychology Seminar (Maybe? Description is promising)
  • Honeybee Hutch (Kids movie remake. Art looks good, but I’m not exactly a kindergartner)
  • Shukufuku no Campanella (Sorry, but my doctor told me to cut down on saccharine)
  • Nurarihyon no Mago (Lots of people looking forward to this one, involving a quarter-demon fighter. Preview left me cold, though)
  • Asobi ni Iku Yo (This year’s moe-moe vehicle?)
  • Kurenai and Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail (OVA sequels, neither tickles my brain)
  • Loups Garous (Virtual reality murder-mystery? Looks interesting.)
  • Colorful (Movie that seems so packed with sticky-sweet sentiment I might go into shock)
  • Ai no Kusabi (Sci-fi show with male lovers/slaves based on hair color. The description just leaves my skin crawling)
  • Stitch: Zutto Saikou no Tomodachi (A Japanese retelling of Stitch? What’s the point?)
  • Sock Monkey Loves You (WUT.)

And now, for a few video previews of some of the shows worth a closer look. First up is Ookami-san:

Highschool of the Dead. Brutal:

Occult Academy:

Legend of the Legendary Heroes:

Welcome to the Space Show:

Anime Review in a Minute

For the Summer 2010, I will continue to do my Anime Review in a Minute, where I review each and every new show that comes out by a professional or amateur subtitling group. (Exceptions: I will leave out anything that is porno or yaoi.) I don’t plan on doing lengthy reviews – that’s why it’s called “review in a minute”. Instead, I’ll limit the description to a paragraph (about 3 to 6 sentences), then provide an equally brief run-down on my opinions on the show. This will be followed by a quick thumbs-up or thumbs-down verdict, which is not necessarily gauging whether the show is “good” or not, but whether I or not I am interested enough to continue on to watching the next episode. This time around, I plan on being more lenient in my appraisal, and aim to giving the thumbs-up to about half the shows (for the spring season, it was closer to one in four). Then, I’ll start weeding the number down further after the second and third episodes.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts. There doesn’t appear to be any “OH MY GOD THIS IS THE BEST THING EVARRR!!!” type shows this time around, so probably no break-away hits. But, you never know, I’ve been wrong before. Thoughts, opinions, anyone?

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