So far a number of the spring season titles have been rather excellent, what with bizarre relationship comedies like Mysterious Girlfriend X and excellent character drama in The Kids on the Slope and Space Brothers, and while those shows have yet to finish the summer season is almost upon us, so what is due to air on TV in Japan?
Well, there are a lot with 25 series on offer from studios including AIC, Silver Link, J.C. Staff and Dogakobo. While there are new seasons for familiar titles like Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, there are also a lot of titles based on video games and light novels. Immediately noticeable is the increase in josei stories and decrease in outrageous ecchi with reverse harem shows and love triangles providing some of the more intriguing titles. Amongst the mix of comedy, sci-fi, mystery and medieval fantasy titles there are some long-running properties which were announced for an anime adaptation all the way back in 2011, finally getting their time in the spotlight, and we also have some recent light novels that only started at the end of last year entering the fray. You will see what I mean when you take a gander at the first part of Anime UK News’s Summer Anime Preview for 2012.
Aruvu Rezuru -Kikai Jikake no Yōsei-tachi-
The year is 2022 and technology has advanced enough that human beings can link to external electrical networks thanks to nano-machines while leaving their bodies behind in stasis. However, a crisis known as “Early Rupture” occurs when the system becomes overloaded, which results in thousands of minds being lost in the network. When Remu’s sister-in-law Shiki disappears in cyberspace he sets off on a journey to find her. Sensibly the first place he looks is her apartment and she is there. Or her body is; because a new being has taken it over.
This anime is based on Yū Yamaguchi’s award winning science fiction light novel which was released through the electronic magazine BOX-AiR and is animated by Zexcs (Speed Grapher, My HiME). The anime is directed by Tatsuya Yoshihara who has worked as an episode director on Sket Dance.
Staff: Tatsuya Yoshihara (Director), Yū Yamaguchi (Original Creator),
Voice Actors: Jun Fukuyama (Remu Mikage), Eri Kitamura (Shiki Mikage)
Ichiko Sakura lives a blissful life thanks to her good health, gorgeous looks, super intelligence and general good fortune. It all stems from her “happiness energy” which she gains by sapping that energy from other people. She is the source of an energy imbalance and must be stopped. Enter a Poverty God named Momiji who intends to remove that energy.
This anime is based on Yoshiaki Sukeno’s manga. Yoichi Fujira (Gintama, Kekkaishi) is directing while Kento Shimoyama (Bleach, Rock Lee and his Ninja Friends) is in charge of series composition. Yumi Uchiyama (Nagisa in A-Channel) voices Momiji while Kana Hanazawa (Mato Kuroi in Black Rock Shooter) voices Ichiko.
Staff: Yoichi Fujita (Director), Kento Shimoyama (Series Composition), Yoshiaki Sukeno (Original Creator),
Voice Actors: Yumi Uchiyama (Momiji Binbada), Kana Hanazawa (Ichiko Sakura)
Staz is a vampire boss in a part of the demon world but he’s not much of a vampire since human blood doesn’t interest him all that much. What does interest him is Japanese culture and when Japanese school girl Fuyumi Yanagi wanders into the demon city Staz scents a friend. Unfortunately she’s killed and turned into a wandering ghost which leaves Staz with only one option: find a way to bring her back to life!
This one was announced a year ago but details are still thin on the ground.
Staff: Yuuki Kodama (Original Creator)
Voice Actors: N/A
Godo Kusanagi is a high school boy who has killed the god “Verethragna” and acquired the title of “Campione”. He did so with the aid of Erica Brandelli, an Italian girl who is known as a “Great Knight” of the magic society called “Bronze Black Cross”. The two find themselves plunged into a series of battles with other Campiones and rampaging gods.
Based on Jo Takezuki’s light novel the anime is being directed by Keizou Kusakawa who has handled titles like Asura Cryin’. Series composition is being handled by Jukki Hanada who has worked on major titles like Steins;Gate, Red Garden, and Princess Jellyfish). Voicing Erica is Youko Hikasa (Mio in K-ON!) while Godo is voiced by Yoshitsugu Matuoka (Kazuto in Sword Art Online, another summer season show).
Staff: Keizou Kusakawa (Director) Jukki Hanada (Series Composition), Masakazu Ishikawa (Character Design/Chief Animation Director), Jo Takezuki (Original Creator), Megu Sakuragawa (Opening Theme Song Performance), Yui Ogura (End Theme Song Performance)
Voice Actors: Youko Hikasa (Erica Blandelli), Eri Kitamura (Liliana Kranjcar), Yoshitsugu Matuoka (Godou Kusanagi), Kana Hanazawa (Yuri Mariya)
Studio: Barnum Studio
Chouyaku Hyakuninisshu: Uta Koi
Described as a “super-liberal interpretation” of the Hyakunin Isshu anthology of poems that were written between the 7th and 13th centuries in Japan. This anthology features 100 romantic poems from 100 different poets such as The Tale of Genji’s Murasaki Shikibu.
One of three josei anime this season and possibly the most high class anime this season, Chouyaku Hyakuninisshu: Uta Koi has an impressive line-up of staff including Kenichi Kasai (Nodame Cantabile, Aoi Hana) who is directing and Tomoko Konparu (Nana, Hi no Tori) who is providing scripts. Aki Tsunaki (Miracle Train) is providing character design.
Staff: Kenichi Kasai (Director), Tomoko Konparu (Series Composition), Kei Sugita (Original Creator), Aki Tsunaki (Character Design), Yasunori Mitsuda (Music).
Voice Actors: Yuki Kaji (Fujiwara no Sadaie), Saori Hayami (Fujiwara no Takaiko), Sanae Kobayashi (Hiroko), Daichi Endō (Ariwara no Yukihira)
Studio: TYO Animations
Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai
Ryosuke Kaga is a high schooler with a romantic nature and a fixation on the female form. Okay, he’s a perv. One day, whilst walking in the rain and looking at soft-core porn on his phone, Ryosuke sees a beautiful girl with red eyes soaked to the skin in the middle of the street. The people around her are avoiding her but Ryosuke is a romantic and believes that girls should be treasured so he offers to help by lending his umbrella and letting her dry off at his home. Unfortunately she is Restall Lisara, the Goddess of Death, and she stabs him. Or did she? When Ryosuke wakes up he finds that he has lost his erotic spirit and she is using his ecchi spirit as a spiritual energy battery. Now he has to live with her. Cue much hilarity.
Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai is a supernatural romantic comedy that originated from a 2010 light novel series written by Pan Tachibana and Yoshiaki Katsurai. The anime adaptation is being directed by Takeo Takahashi (Spice and Wolf, Rozen Maiden) with Cher Watanabe (Area 88) providing the music and Sayaka Sasaki (Cardfight!! Vanguard) performing the theme song.
Staff: Takeo Takahashi (Director), Naruhisa Arakawa (Series Composition), Yoshiaki Katsurai (Original Character Design), Sayaka Sasaki (Theme Song Performance)
Voice Actors: Hiro Shimono (Ryosuke Kaga), Aya Endo (Lisara Restall)
Dog Days Dash
When the Republic of Biscotti is invaded by the Lion Kingdom of Galette, Princess Millhori summons a mighty hero to save her country from defeat and wouldn’t you know it, a normal boy from Japan shows up. His name is Izumi Shinko and he’ll have to adapt fast to this strange new world. In the new series, Izumi travels back to the magical world with his childhood friend Rebecca and his cousin Nanami.
Staff: Junji Nishimura (Director), Masaki Tsuzuki (Scripts/Original Creator), Osamu Sakata (Character Design)
Voice Actors: Nana Mizuki (Ricotta Elmar), Yui Horie (Millhiore Biscotti), Mamoru Miyano (Izumi Shinko), Ayana Taketatsu (Éclair Martinozzi), Kana Hanazawa (Yukikaze Panettone), Yoko Hikasa (Brioche d’Arquien)
Studio: Seven Arcs
Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebi Sugawa Koukou Tenmonbu
Itsuki Noya has started his school year at Ebisugawa High School. Since he was always been fascinated by space, he decides to join the astronomy club: “Tenmon-bu”. Unfortunately he walks into the all girls otaku club which is also known as “Tenmon-bu” but written with different kanji. Noya has yet to realise that the club is more interested in anime than astronomy and finds himself surrounded by “fujoshi” who will make his life complicated.
VAs involved in the project have been named: Noya is voiced by Mariya Ise (Ringo Noyamano in Air Gear), Kana Inugamu (Miya in Amagami SS+) voices club troublemaker Kyōko while Asuka Nishi (Ursula in Bodacious Space Pirates) voices Hakata Kanamori. Ebiten was originally illustrated by Kira Inugami and written by Sukaji. The anime is being handled by AIC with Hideki Okamoto (Da Capo II) directing and Yuuko Kakihara (Stitch!) handling series composition.
Staff: Sukaji/SCA-ji (Creator, Scripts), Kira Inugami (Art), Hideki Okamoto (Director), Yuuko Kakihara (Series Composition), Atsuko Watanabe (Character Design).
Voice Actors: Mariya Ise (Itsuki Noya), Kana Asumi (Kyōko Todayama), Asuka Nishi (Hakata Kanamori), Risako Murai (Rikei Hiromatsu), Midori Tsukimiya (Yuka Iseda), Satomi Satou (Hasumi Ōba)