Anime UK News Summer 2013 Anime Preview
The summer season is almost here! The spring season had a lot of quality titles from a diverse range of genres. Gargantia on the Verduous Planet provided all the cool sci-fi mecha-action and awesome twists, Hataraku Maou-Sama delivered well-written fantasy comedy, but the stand out titles had to be Attack on Titan and Aku no Hana which provided the best psychological anime dramas and great animation (rotoscoping works, get over it). Human actions and beliefs have not meant so much since… well, Mawaru Penguindrum back in 2011. Better not get too hysterical here but those two titles definitely had anime fans talking.
These shows are now winding down and the summer season is mere weeks away. What’s noticeable with this season is the larger then usual number of shows dedicated to a female audience which explains the banner. There are also a lot more adaptations and reboots than previous seasons and fewer titles that look like immediate stand-outs in the way that Attack on Titan was. Here are a selection of titles that will be airing in the next month compiled with the help of Anime News Network and My Anime List.
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 by a demon and turns into a wandering ghost which leaves Staz with only one option: find a way to bring her back to life!
The supernatural tale has been adapted for the screen by Shigeyuki Miya who directed half of the episodes for Supernatural: The Anime Series. Takeshi Konuta, writer for the Library Wars movie and series, is on the scripts here and Yuuki Hayashi, composer for Robotics;Notes is providing the music. May’n, famous for her music on Macross Frontier, is providing the theme song which goes under the title “ViViD”. Staz is voiced by Ryota Ohsaka (Yuki in tsuritama and Marco in Attack on Titan) and Fuyumi by Iori Nomizu (Haruna in Is this a Zombie?).
Staff: Shigeyuki Miya (Director), Yuuki Kodama (Original Creator), Takeshi Konuta (Series Composition), Kenji Fujisaki (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Ryota Ohsaka (Blood Charlies Staz), Iori Nomizu (Fuyumi Yanagi), Chiwa Saito (Mamejiro), Emi Sarah Bridcut (Hydra Belle), Ryohei Kimura (Blood D. Bloods)
Studio: Brains Base
When Ema’s father remarries she joins her new family at the Sunrise Residence complex. What’s remarkable is that she now has 11 brothers from 32 years old down to 11.
What’s a girl to do with 11 cute step-brothers? Actually, why would anyone want 11 kids??? After years of boys being surrounded by lovely girls we are now seeing lots of shows where girls are surrounded by lovely guys as we see more reverse harem/slice of life shows filled with long-limbed bishounen. Yay for equality!
Like La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia, Brothers Conflict is based on a novel which was turned into a dating sim. It is directed by Jun Matsumoto who directed the opening episode for Blood+ and Night Raid 1931 so this will be his biggest credit to date. Natsuko Takahashi is in charge of series composition and this is the most interesting name in the staff since Takahashi has worked on all sorts of series like Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, School Rumble, Miracle Train and Moyashimon. All 11 brothers will be singing the ED theme so expect fangirls to faint from an overdose of pleasure.
Staff: Jun Matsumoto (Director), Atsuko Kanase (Original Creator), Natsuko Takahashi (Series Composition), Kumi Ishii (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Daisuke Hirakawa (Ukyo), Daisuke Namikawa (Iori), Daisuke Ono (Subaru), Junichi Suwabe (Kaname), Rina Staou (Ema), Kenichi Suzumura (Tsubaki), Kazuyuki Okitsu (Masaomi)
Studio: Brains Base
Danganronpa The Animation (Danganronpa Kibo no Gakuen to Zetsubo no Kokosei The Animation)
Fans of visual novels like Phoenix Wright and Virtue’s Last Reward, pay attention! Here is an anime that adapts a game with a high concept life or death scenario!
A group of intelligent high school students, each with a different talent, are locked inside a school by a mysterious bear and told that the only way out is to kill another student without getting caught. After a murder, the remaining students must hold a trial and figure out the guilty party. If the students fail they die and the murderer walks to freedom!
The concept has great potential for thrills: A bunch of kids held hostage by a psycho bear and anybody could die! Great thrillers have been made from less. The director will need to be on point to make the most of it and who is the director? Seiji Kishi. Oh. The chap is hit and miss. Out of his previous works that come to mind Humanity Has Declined was a hit, Devil Survivor 2 The Animation was (for me) a miss and Persona 4: The Animation was somewhere in between. Hopefully the writing can keep Seiji from making a mess and there is an experienced person in charge of series composition in the form of Makoto Uezu who was in charge of the great Humanity Has Declined and… oh, the dull Devil Survivor 2. The character designs do look cool and they come from Kazuaki Morita (Nyan Koi!, Persona 4).
There are many great seiyuu like Chiwa Saito who was sexy and imperious as Hitagi in Bakemonogatari and Yoko Hikasa who was funny and aggressive as Emi in Hataraku Maou-sama.
Staff: Seiji Kishi (Director), Chunsoft, Rui Komatsuzaki (Original Creator/Original Character Designer), Makoto Uezu (Series Composition), Kazuaki Morita (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Chiwa Saito (Aoi), Yoko Hikasa (Kyoko), Megumi Ogata (Makoto), Takahiro Sakurai (Reon), Akira Ishida (Byakuya)
Dog and Scissors (Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou)
Welcome back, Gonzo. Next to Danganronpa this has one of the better concepts this season and it is based on Shunsuke Sarai’s series of novels.
The mystery comedy begins with Harumi Kazuhito, a high school boy who is obsessed with reading books. When he dies during a robbery he is resurrected as a dachshund dog and finds reading impossible. Things are made worse by the fact that he belongs to Kirihime Natsuno, a sadistic novelist who uses scissors to abuse Harumi.
Okay, I am not advocating any form of animal abuse but anyone who has watched Excel Saga will remember just how much fun it was to watch Menchi try and avoid being used as the emergency food supply the characters saw her as. Yukio Takahashi takes the reins as director. He has directed episodes of Red Garden, Shangri-La and Moribito. Toshizo Nemoto, writer of episodes for Steins;Gate, Space Brothers and Gosick will be crafting the scripts here. The luckless Harumi is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai (Griffith in the Berserk films) and Marina Inoue, who can be heard as Armin in Attack on Titan and Yozora in Haganai is lending her vocal chords for the sadistic Kirihime.
Staff: Yukio Takahashi (Director), Shunsuke Sarai (Original Creator), Tetsuhiro Nabeshima (Original Character Designer), Toshizo Nemoto (Series Composition), Youko Satou (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Takahiro Sakurai (Kazuhito), Marina Inoue (Kirihime), A Kakuma (Hami), Chiwa Saito (Sara), Maaya Uchida (Sakura)
Ecstatic Family (Uchouten Kazoku)
The setting is Kyoto where tanuki (shape-shifting raccoon-dogs), tengu (long-nosed goblins) and humans intermingle. The cast are the Shimogamo family, tanuki who live in the Tadasu no Mori forest of Shimogamo Shrine.
P.A. Works are strong with their slice-of-life shows like Tari Tari and now their latest title for this season mixes in magical realism. The story comes from Tomihiko Morimi’s novel and it features character designs from Koji Kumeta who is famous from his work Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei.
Masayuki Yoshihara, episode director for GitS: SAC and AD for Eden of the East, is in the director’s chair and he will be working from scripts handled by Shotaro Suga (Lagrange – The Flower of Rin-ne). The tanuki family have VAs like Takahiro Sakurai, Junichi Suwabe and Mai Nakahara.
Staff: Masayuki Yoshihara (Director), Tomihiko Morimi (Original Creator), Shotaro Suga (Series Composition), Kousuke Kawazura (Character Designer), Koji Kumeta (Original Character Designer), Yoshiaki Fujisawa (Music)
Voice Actors: Kikuko Inoue (Mother) Takahiro Sakurai (Yasaburo Shimogamo), Ayane Sakura (Kaisei), Hiroyuki Yoshino (Yajiro Shimogamo), Bon Ishihara (Soichiro Shimogamo), Junichi Suwabe (Yachiro Shimogamo), Mai Nakahara (Yashiro Shimogamo)
Studio: P.A. Works
Uzume is an ordinary second-year middle school student who comes into possession of five “dolls” who fight and power up with special cards.
The latest anime from Goro (Code Geass) Taniguchi is one involving trading cards and dolls! The director is Hisashi Saito (Haganai, Heaven’s Lost Property) and the animation production is handled by Hoods Entertainment (Mysterious Girlfriend X).
Staff: Hisashi Saito (Director), Goro Taniguchi (Original Creator), Shigemi Ikeda (Art Director)
Voice Actors: Ayaka Ohashi (Uzume), Chinatsu Akasaki (Shimeji), Sora Tokui (Katia), Sayaka Ohara (Madeleine)
Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya
This is a spinoff of the Fate/Stay series and it reimagines Illyasviel von Einzbern in an alternate universe as a magical girl.
The girls of The Fate universe put aside their huge swords and squeeze into school uniforms and magical girl outfits. It looks perfect for an audience who love moe situations. Shin Oonuma, director of ef: a tale of memories, is working with Takashi Sakamoto, episode director for Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, to bring this “re-imagining” to the screen. The cast include Kaori Nazuka (Hinagiku in Hayate the Combat Butler), Mai Kadowaki (Illyasviel in Fate/stay night, Satomi in Negima) and Kana Ueda (Rin in Fate/stay night, Koyomi in Zombie-Loan).
Staff: Takashi Sakamoto (Chief Director), Shin Oonuma (Director), Type-Moon, Hiroshi Hiroyama (Original Creator), Kenji Inoue (Series Composition), Nozomi Ushijima (Character Designer), Chouchou (Opening Theme)
Voice Actors: Kana Ueda (Rin), Mai Kadowaki (Ilyasviel), Haruhi Terada (Sera), Kaori Nazuka (Miyu)
Studio: Silver Link
Haruka has always loved swimming and so when a long-lost childhood friend Rin beats him in a swimming race Haruka gathers together his schoolmates to form the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club. Haruka, Rin, Makoto, Nagisa, and Rei will discover the power of swimming and friendship!
Awkward title aside (imagine looking this anime up – you’ll get lots of unsavoury sites instead!), Kyoto Animation have set tongues wagging (and lolling) with this one since they are known for their titles containing cute girls (K-ON!, Tamako Market). Not with this anime, oh no. This title contains a cast of good-looking guys who could model swim wear and is yet another title aimed squarely at women. Equality strikes again! The anime is based on Koji Oji’s manga High Speed! and it is directed by Hiroko Utsumi (Hyouka, Nichijou). Series composition is orchestrated by Masahiro Yokotani who is the man who helped craft the scripts for anime such as Hataraku Maou-Sama, Steins;Gate and Toradora.
Staff: Hiroko Utsumi (Director), Koji Oji (Original Creator), Masahiro Yokotani (Series Composition), Futoshi Nishiya (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Daisuke Hirakawa (Rei), Mamoru Miyano (Rin), Nobunaga Shimazaki (Haruka), Tatsuhisa Suzuki (Makoto), Tsubasa Yonaga (Nagisa), Akeno Watanabe (Go)
Studio: Kyoto Animation, Animation DO
Futari wa Milky Holmes
In a future world where people use ‘Toys’ to gain superhuman abilities like ESP, Toy-related crimes are on the rise and so a group of cheerful magical girls solve crimes with the aid of their male guardian as part of the Milky Holmes detective agency.
A new series of brightly-coloured cute post-modern crazy magical detective antics brings with it a new cast and staff. The director is Hiroshi Nishikori and he has worked on funny franchises like Azumanga Daioh. Hideki Shirane is in charge of series composition and he has worked on a variety of ‘cute girls in crazy situations’ titles like Kill Me Baby and Bottle Fairy. He also worked on Queen’s Blade Rebellion but we’ll try and forget that… The seiyuu donning the deer-stalkers are Suzuko Mimori (Moe Sato in Poyopoyo) who voices Sherlock Shellinford, Izumi Kitta (Cleo Brand in Freezing) as Cordelia Glauca, Mikoi Sasaki (Himeno Katsuragi in Da Capo III) as Hercule Barton and Sora Tokui (Junna in Robotics;Notes) as Nero Yuzurizaki.
Staff: Hiroshi Nishikiori (Director), Hideki Shirane (Series Composition), Mariko Fujita (Character Designer/Chief Animation Director)
Voice Actors: Suzuko Mimori (Sherlock), Aimi Terakawa (Kazumi), Mikoi Sasaki (Hercule), Izumi Kitta (Cordelia), Ayasa Ito (Alice)
Studio: J.C. Staff
It is the year 2015 and the place is Tachikawa City, the “second metropolis” of the Tokyo area which has a population of 180,000 people. Living amongst the populace are “Gatchaman” – warriors with special suits powered by “NOTE”, the manifestation of special powers in living beings. They are commanded by a council to protect Earth from alien criminals. The Gatchaman will face a mysterious entity known as “MESS”.
Older UK anime fans will remember Gatchaman… or Battle of the Planets as it was called. It is now getting a reboot with a new series! Even if you don’t like super sentai shows there is one reason to check this out and it is the fact that a lot of the names in the staff list have worked on great anime, specifically the weird and delightful tsuritama. Furthermore the director is Kenji Nakamura who helmed tsuritama and Mononoke, another great strange and inventive anime. With the staff on board, one doubts that this will merely be all action and adventure. The voice actors involved are Maaya Uchida (Rea Sanka in Sankaea), Daisuke Namikawa (Shougen in Mononoke, Prince in Level E) and Aya Hirano (Misa in Death Note).
Staff: Kenji Nakamura (Director), Toshiya Ono (Series Composition/Scripts), Yuichi Takahashi (Animation Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Daisuke Namikawa (Jo Hibiki), Maaya Uchida (Hajime Ichinose), Ryota Ohsaka (Sugune Tachibana) Aya Hirano (Paiman), Ayumu Murase (Rui Ninomiya)
Studio: Tatsunoko Productions
Genshiken Second Season (Genshiken Nidaime)
On a particular college campus there is a club for otaku and it is called Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture. Over the past few years they have indulged in cosplay, figure collection, video gaming and attending conventions but with some of the previous embers having graduated from college there are a new set of members joining the ranks.
It has been a few years since this slice of life comedy was last on screens and now it is reborn under the auspices of Production I.G. and Tsutomu Mizushima. Mizushima, fresh from Girls und Panzer, is directing the latest series. He has great comedy credentials with shows like Squid Girl, Joshiraku and Hare+Guu to his name. He is aided in his efforts by Michiko Yokote who has worked on the Patlabor TV anime, Naruto and, more importantly, the previous Genshiken TV anime. The cast sees a new influx of characters with the girls outnumbering the boys so expect fujoshi antics.
Staff: Tsutomu Mizushima (Director), Shimoku Kio (Original Creator), Michiko Yokote (Series Composition), Junichiro Taniguchi (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Nozomi Yamamoto (Chika Ogiue), Jun Fukuyama (Manabu Kuchiki), Ai Kakuma (Kenjiro Hato), Ikumi Hayama (Keiko Sasahara)
Studio: Production I.G.
Go Home Club (Kitakubu Katsudou)
“Kitakubu” (literally, “go-home club”), is Japanese slang for kids who go home instead of joining clubs, sports, or other afterschool activities. In this tale we follow a real “Kitakubu” of girls who do whatever they like. Natsuki joins the club at the invitation of a friend named Karin and she meets the other members including Botan, the heir to a school of ancient martial arts, Claire, the daughter of a powerful businessman and the club president, a free spirited girl named Sakura.
Do you know what this season lacks? A story about a bunch of girls in a club which doesn’t do anything. Thankfully Go Home Club is on hand to deal out a portion of gentle slice-of-life comedic happenings involving cute girls. It is adapted from Kuroha’s manga of the same name by the animation studio Nomad, the guys behind the original Rozen Maiden anime. Hikaru Sato, episode director for shows like Bakuman and Nodame Cantabile: Finale is the director but Go Zappa is probably the biggest name in the staff with titles like Chocotto Sister, Myself; Yourself. There are also a lot of new seiyuu involved.
Staff: Hikaru Sato (Director), Kuroha (Original Creator), Go Zappa (Series Composition/Scripts), Takahiro Sasaki (Character Designer), Go Sakabe (Music)
Voice Actors: Ayaka Senbongi (Claire Kokonoe), Ibuki Kido (Natsuki Ando), Sae Aiuchi (Botan Ohagi), Mitsuki Yuna (Karin Tono), Miharu Kobayashi (Sakura Domyoji)
Golden Mosaic (Kin-Iro Mosaic)
Shinobu Oumiya is a 15-year-old girl who once did a homestay in Great Britain and misses her time there very much. One day she receives a letter from Alice, the girl from Shinobu’s host family, and it reads “Shinobu, I’m coming to Japan!”. Watch the comedy unfold as Japanese and British girls have fun!!!
We here at Anime UK News love it when British characters crop up in anime. Even when we’re the bad guys. Everybody say hi to Alice from this slice-of-life! Direction comes from Tensho and this is his biggest role since Who is Imoto? Yuniko Ayana is in charge of series composition which could prove to be the key assignment since Ayana has worked on a variety of titles like Bakuman, Humanity Has Declined, Shangri-La and Natsuiro Kiseki. The cute girls are voiced by seiyuu familiar with shouting “kyaa” and what not. Asuka Nishi (Shiori in Chibi Devil) voices Shinobu while English girl Alice is voiced by Manami Tanaka (Manami in sacred Seven).
Staff: Tensho (Director), Yui Hara (Original Creator), Yuniko Ayana (Series Composition), Kazuyuki Ueda (Character Designer), Ruka Kawada (Music)
Voice Actors: Asuka Nishi (Shinobu), Manami Tanaka (Alice), Yukari Tamura (Izumi), Satomi Satou (Sakura), Nao Toyama (Karen)
Studio: Studio Gokumi
Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East Second Season
Five years ago, a plague wiped out nearly every inhabitant of Ootsuka village. Only a girl and two boys survived. Now they live in isolation in a church, hidden from people who seek them out. Shino is one of the survivors and he has control over the power of Murasame, the blade of life. The imperial church wants this blade and will stop at nothing to get it.
Miyuki Abe’s manga Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun (Hakkenden: The Strange Tale of Eight Dogs of the East) manga is another interesting title in the forthcoming season. It reimagines the classic Hakkenden samurai novel as a modern day supernatural story driven by female characters.
It is directed by Mitsue Yamazaki (Bleach) with Osamu Yamasaki (Toward the Terra) acting as chief director and Hiromi Kato (Gad Guard) is the character designer. It is animated by Studio DEEN (Get Backers, Fruits Basket).
Voice actors in the cast are Tetsuya Kakihara (Simon in Gurren Lagann) who voices Shino Inuzuka, Satoshi Hino (Akito in Bakuman) who voices Sousuke Inukawa, Ayahi Takagaki (Kuro in Ble Exorcist) who voices Hamaji, and Nobuhiko Okamoto (Accelerator in A Certain Magical Index) who voices Murasame.
Staff: Osamu Yamasaki (Chief Director), Mitsue Yamazaki (Director/Series Composition), Miyuke Abe (Original Creator), Hiromi Kato (Character Designer), Hitomi Kuroishi (Music)
Voice Actors: Ayahi Takagaki (Hamaji), Satoshi Hino (Sousuke Inukawa), Tetsuya Kakihara (Shino Inuzuka), Daisuke Namikawa (Kaname Osaki), Hiroshi Kamiya (Riou Satomi), Junichi Miyake (Keno Inusaka), Nobuhiko Okamotoa (Murasame)
Studio: Studio Deen
Hell Prince: Devils and Realist (Makai Oji: devils and Realist)
After his uncle’s business fails, William Twining, an intelligent young noble, finds himself in dire financial straits and unable to pay his school tuition. In his search for money he accidentally summons Dantalion, who recognises William as a descendant of Solomon, and the Elector – the individual who will choose a substitute ruler for Hell when Lucifer rests. From that moment forward, William finds himself caught in the power-politics of Hell and Heaven’s desire to retrieve his soul as angels and demons join him at his school.
More pretty boys and a trailer suggesting shounen ai where two guys almost kiss (it ends before the fireworks but imaginations are already racing and slash fiction/art is probably piling up as you read) reveal this is another title aimed at the female market. What other signs are there? Well it’s directed by Chiaki Kon (Junjo Romantica), it has series composition by Michiko Yokote (XXXHOLiC) and its original creators are knee deep in stories with painfully cute guys – Madoka Takadono (Hakushakuke Goyotashi) wrote the original work while Utako Yukihiro (writer and artist for Uta no Pince-sama) did the art.
Staff: Chiaki Kon (Director), Madoka Takadono (Original Creator), Michiko Yokote (Series Composition), Kikuko Sadakata (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Takuma Terashima (Dantalion), Takuya Eguchi (William Twining), Hiroki Yasumoto (Baphomet), Jun Fukuyama (Kevin), Yuuki Ono (Mycroft Swallow), Tetsuya Kakihara (Camio)
High School DXD New
Issei Hyōdō is not perfect boyfriend material since he is a dim-witted, lecherous high school student but he manages to actually score a first date. Then the girl kills him. Issei then finds himself reincarnated as a devil in the role of an underling for an even higher-level devil in the shape of Riasu Gremory, the prettiest girl in school.
High School DxD is based on Ochiei Ishibumi’s light novel of the same name with Tetsuya Yanagisawa (Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora) directing, Takao Yoshioka (Elfen Lied, Ikkitousen, Zero no Tsukaima) writing the scripts and Junji Goto handling character design. Larval Stage Planning (Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni) are providing the theme song. Yuki Kaji (No.6) is voicing Hyōdō Issei while Riasu Gremory is voiced by Hikasa Youko (Mio in K-ON!).
Staff: Tetsuya Yanagisawa (Director), Ichiei Ishibumi (Original Creator), Takao Yoshioka (Series Composition), Junji Goto (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Yoko Hikasa (Rias Gremory), Yuuki Kaji (Issei Hyodo), Ayana Taketatsu (Koneko Tojo), Haruka Yamazaki (Aika Kiriyu), Kenji Nojima (Yuto Kiba)
Hyperdimension Neptunia The Animation (Cho Jigen Game Neptune The Animation)
The anime anthropomorphises game consoles as female RPG characters. It adapts Compile Heart’s popular RPG and is animated by David Production (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure).
Staff: Masahiro Mukai (Director), Tsunako (Original Creator), Shogo Yasukawa (Series Composition), Hitomi Takeuchi (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Rie Tanaka (Neptune), Asami Imai (Noire), Chiaki Takahashi (Magiquone), Kana Asumi (Blanc), Yui Ogura (Rom), Kaori Ishihara (Ram)
Studio: David Production
It’s Not My Fault I’m Not Popular (Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!)
Tomoko Kuroki is a lonely girl who is considered deranged and so she spends most of her time playing otome (romance) games and watching television. She dreams of becoming popular and aims to achieve her goal by any means necessary. As can be imagined, it never quite goes the way she plans it.
This is based on a slice-of-life gag comedy manga by Nico Tanigawa and it has one of those huge titles and subject matter surrounding a hyper self-aware outsider who is ostracised at school that have become very popular lately. Silver Link (Chitose Get You!!, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia) are the animators while Shin Oonuma (Kokoro Connect) is the director and Takao Yoshioka (Sky Girls) is in charge of series composition. Tomoko is voiced by Izumi Kitta.
Staff: Shin Oonuma (Director), Nico Tanigawa (Original Creator), Takao Yoshioka (Series Composition), Hideki Furukawa (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Izumi Kitta (Tomoko Kuroki), Kana Hanazawa (Yu Naruse), Yuichi Nakamura (Tomoki Kuroki)
Studio: Silver Link
Shin and Hyou are war-orphans in the Chinese kingdom of Qin during the Warring States Period. The two dream of rising to power through combat but Hyou finds himself diverted into palace intrigue which sees him almost dead while Shin begins his ascent to the title of emperor.
The second season of Kingdom has already started broadcasting. This is the second season of the anime adaptation of Yasuhisa Hara’s Chinese historical epic manga. A lot of the cast and seiyuu are returning but there is a new director, Akira Iwanaga, and his filmography includes episodes of Saiyuki Reload, Elfen Lied and Corpse Party. The series composition is being handled by Naruhisa Arakawa, the chap who oversaw the series scripts for the last season. Jun Fukuyama (Grell in Black Butler) and Masakazu Morita (Claire in Baccano!).
Staff: Akira Iwanaga (Director), Naruhisa Arakawa (Series Composition), Yasuhisa Hara (Original Creator), Atsuo Tobe, Itsuko Takeda, Kumiko Tokunaga, Makoto Shimojima (Character Design), Hyun Soo Kim (Art Director)
Voice Actors: Jun Fukuyama (Ei Sei), Masakazu Morita (Ri Shin), Koji Yusa (Heki), Hirofumi Nojima (Moten), Yōko Hikasa (Kyō Kai), Rie Kugimiya (Karyō Ten)
Studio: Studio Pierrot
The story takes place at Fujisaki Girls’ Middle School which houses a collection of archetypal manga characters like the meganekko (girls with glasses) and tsundere (initially harsh but warms up after a while).
Love Lab is not the animated adventures of an otaku scientist splicing together the genetic details of his favourite moe/mahou shoujo to create the ultimate otaku bait but the anime adaptation of Ruri Miyahara’s four-panel manga. The premise is so bare bones that the show will be ephemeral light-weight undemanding viewing. Animation studio Dogakobo (Yuruyuri) are churning this out with Masahiko Ohta (Kotoura-san, Yuruyuri) sitting on the director’s chair and Takashi Aoshima (Mitsudomoe) in charge of series composition.
Staff: Masahiko Ohta, Shunsuke Suzuki (Director), Ruri Miyahara (Original Creator), Takashi Aoshima (Series Composition), Chiaki Nakajima (Character Designer), Yasuhiro Misawa (Music)
Voice Actors: Ayane Sakura (Yuiko “Eno” Enomoto), Chinatsu Akasaki (Natsuo Maki), Inori Minase (Suzune “Suzu” Tanahashi), Manami Numakura (Rico Kurahashi), Yo Taichi (Sayori “Sayo” Mizushima)
Monogatari Second Season
High school student Koyomi Araragi was a vampire until Meme Oshino helped him become human again. Whenever Koyomi encounters others with supernatural problems he can empathise with them and gets involved with their lives.
Akiyuki Shinbo, director of Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari, is back with the latest part of the franchise alongside other familiar names like Tomoyuki Itamura and Fuyashi Tou.
Staff: Akiyuki Shinbo (Chief Director), Tomoyuki Itamura (Director), NisiOisin (Original Creator), Akiyuki Shinbo, Fuyashi Tou (Series Composition), Akio Watanabe (Character Designer), Hisaharu Iijima (Art Director)
Voice Actors: Chiwa Saito (Hitagi Senjougahara), Hiroshi Kamiya (Koyomi Araragi), Eri Kitamura (Karen Araragi), Yuka Iguchi (Tsukihi Araragi), Kana Hanazawa (Nadeko Sengoku)
Recorder to Randoseru Mi
Atsushi Miyagawa looks like an adult but he’s actually in elementary school and his older sister Atsumi looks like a little girl but she’s actually in high school. They encounter misunderstandings and misadventures based on their looks.
Another season of short anime skits surrounding the Miyagawa siblings.
Staff: Itsuki Imazaki (Director/Script), Meme Higashiya (Original Creator), Toshiomi Izumi (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Rie Kugimiya (Atsumi Miyagawa), Ryotaro Okiayu (Atsushi Miyagawa), Aya Hirano (Sayo)
Ro Kyu Bu SS
Subaru Hasegawa is a highschool freshman who joins the basketball team only to find that the team is inactive because the captain is suspected of being a lolicon. Somehow Subaru takes over as coach of an elementary school basketball team and must help these girls and their love of basketball.
Where to start with this one? Apart from how watching a series where elementary school girls are involved in fan-servicey situations is wrong… It’s directed by Shinsuke Yanagi who takes the role of director for his first entire series with Keizou Kusakawa (Dog Days) watching over him. The girls are voiced by notable seiyuu like Yuka Iguchi (Maria in Haganai) and Yoko Hikasa (Hinata in Haganai Next).
Staff: Keizou Kusakawa (Chief Director), Shinsuke Yanagi (Director), Sagu Aoyama (Original Creator), Michiko Yokote (Series Composition), Takayuk Noguchi (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Rina Hidaka (Airi), Yoko Hikasa (Saki), Yuka Iguchi (Maho), Asami Seto (Kagetsu)
Studio: Project No.9
Rozen Maiden New Series
Due to a deep trauma suffered at school Jun Sakurada has refused to return. Instead he spends his days in his room, surfing the web and ordering all sorts of things and returning these items before payment is due. One day he receives a mysterious package containing an exquisite doll that, when wound, comes to life and treats him like a servant. The two join forces and she helps him get over his fears while he helps her in deadly fights with other dolls.
This looks like another reboot of a fan-favourite title since it retreads a lot of the same ground. It is directed by Shinichi Omata (Sanarea, Arakawa Under the Bridge) and Tomomi Mochizuki (House of Five Leaves) is in charge of series composition. Character designs are coming from Kyuta Sakai (Humanity Has Declined, Steins;Gate).
Staff: Shinichi Omata/Mamoru Hatakeyama (Director), Peach Pit (Original Creator), Tomoi Mochizuki (Series Composition), Kyuta Sakai (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Ryota Ohsaka (Jun Sakurada), Asami Sanada (Middle school Jun Sakurada), Rie Tanaka (First Doll Suigintou), Yumi Shimura (Second Doll Kanaria), Natsuko Kuwatani (Third Doll Suiseiseki), Rika Morinaga (Fourth Doll Souseiseki)
Studio: Studio Deen
Senki Zesshou Symphogear G
Tsubasa Kazanari and Kanade Amo were a pair of idols collectively known as ZweiWing who fought against an alien race known as Noise using armour known as Symphogear. Kanade sacrificed herself to save a girl named Hibiki Tachibana and that has left Tsubasa battling the Noise by herself for two years but things are about to change since Hibiki is gaining the same power as Kanade.
The sequel to the magical singing alien battling disaster that was Symphogear has a new director in Katsumi Ono (Hataraki Man). Satoru Fujimoto, chief animation from the first season is now in charge of character designs. Akifumi Kaneko is back on scripting duties.
Staff: Katsumi Ono (Director), Akifumi Kaneko, Noriyasu Agematsu (Original Creator), Akifumi Kaneko (Series Composition), Satoru Fujimoto (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Aoi Yuki (Hibiki Tachibana), Ayahi Takagaki (Chris Yukine), Nana Mizuki (Tsubasa Kazanari), Yuka Iguchi (Miku Kohinata), Asami Seto (Aoi Tomosato)
Senyuu, Season 2 (Senyu. Dai 2 Ki)
When a gigantic hole opens up in the world and demons pour out, a king thinks that it signals the return of the demon king Rukimedesu, who was sealed away a millennium ago by a hero named Kureashion. The king summons the descendants of Kureashion and seventy-five people show up including Aruba who teams up with a sadistic palace warrior named Rosu to embark on an adventure.
Senyū is based on Robinson Haruha’s fantasy comedy manga. Aruba is voiced by Hiro Shimono (Momoo Inugami in Binbogami ga!) and Rosu has Yūichi Nakamura (Nobutaka Oda in Btooom!). The anime is directed by Yutaka Yamamoto (Fractale), adapted for television by Michiko Yokote (XXXHOLiC, SquidGirl) and it features character designs by Ushio Tazawa (The Place Promised in Our Early Days). It will be animated by Ordet studio (Black Rock Shooter).
Staff: Yutaka Yamamoto (Director), Michiko Yokote (Series Composition), Robinson Haruhara (Original Creator), Ushio Tazawa (Character Designer/Chief Animation Director), Daisuke Sakabe, Makoto Watanabe (Music)
Voice Actors: Hiro Shimono (Alba), Yuuichi Nakamura (Los), Ai Kayano (Ruki)
Studio: Ordet, Liden Films
Servant x Service
We watch the daily lives of and friends who are the employees of a government ward office in a city in Hokkaido running the health and welfare division.
Servant x Service is not about a high school club where the cute girls dress as maids and butlers, no, it’s about civil servants in local government. This is a realistic slice-of-life that comes from a four-panel manga by Karino Takatsu (Working!!). The director is Yasutaka Yamamoto (Squid Girl Season 2), Taketo Shimoyama (Gintama) is in charge of the scripts and Terumi Nishii (Penguindrum) is creating the character designs.
Staff: Yasutaka Yamamoto (Director), Karino Taktsu (Original Creator), Kento Shimoyama (Series Composition), Terumi Nishii (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Ai Kayano (Lucy Yamagami), Mai Nakahara (Saya Miyoshi), Tatsuhisa Suzuki (Yutaka Hasebe), Aki Toyosaki (Megumi Chihaya), Mikako Takahashi (Tanaka-san), Rumi Ookubo (Toko Ichimiya), Takahiro Sakurai (Taishi Ichimaya)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Silver Spoon (Gin no Saji)
Yugo Hachiken is an ace at studying and believes that he can attend any school around the country and succeed. Then he heads to an agricultural school and finds that he’s completely lost while his classmates who are used to the farming world are totally fine. Yugo must study harder than he is used to so he can succeed in his new setting.
This tale is based on a manga by Hiromu Arakawa who is better known for Fullmetal Alchemist. The director is Tomohiko Ito (Occult Academy, Sword Art Online) and series composition is overseen by Taku Kishimoto (Usagi Drop). Jun Nakai (Mardock Scramble) is handling both character designs and animation. Seiyuu include Ryohei Kimura (Kaoru in Kids on the Slope) and Marie Miyake (Ringo in Penguindrum).
Staff: Tomohiko Ito (Director), Hiromu Arakawa (Original Creator), Taku Kishimoto (Scripts), Jun Nakai (Character Designer/Chief Animation Director)
Voice Actors: Marie Miyake (Aki Mikage), Ryohei Kimura (Yugo Hachiken), Ayahi Takagaki (Tamako Inada), Katsuyuki Konishi (Shingo Hachiken), Kengo Takanashi (Hajie Nishikawa)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 (Stella Jo-Gakuin C3-Bu)
Yura Yamato has arrived at the high school division of Stella Girl’s Academy and Sonora Kashima has invited her to join a club called “C3” which plays survival games. Sonora is the head of this club and she is joined by other students including Honoka Mutsu who loves to weild a G36K, Rento Kirishima, the son of a family who run a Japanese sweet shop, Yachiyo Hinata, and part-Japanese Karila Hatsuse.
This anime is about girls who look super good in mini-skirts and play survival games with airsoft and BB guns. It comes from Ikoma and Tomomoka Midori’s original work. This title comes from Gainax and it has a new face in the role of director with Masayoshi Kawajiri. Indeed, the most experienced names are the seiyuu. The voice of Ai Kayano can be heard in Chihayafuru in the form of Kanade Oe and in Girls und Panzer as Saori. Chiwa Saito has voiced Hitagi in Bakemonogatari and Lavie Head in Last Exile. Miyuki Sawashiro is Canaan in CANAAN.
Staff: Masayoshi Kawajiri (Director), Ikoma, Tomomoka Midori (Original Creator), Manami Umeshita (Character Designer), Hiroki Matsumoto (Art Director)
Voice Actors: Ai Kayano (Karila Hatsuse), Chiwa Saito (Honoka Mutsu), Madoka Yonezawa (Yahiyo Hinata), Miyuki Sawashiro (Sonora Kashima), Rima Nishizaki (Rento Kirishima), Yui Makino (Yura Yamato)
The Sun Penetrates the Illusions (Gen’ei Kakeru Taiyou)
A girl uses a deck of mystical tarot cards that can read destinies to solve mysteries that occur in this world.
In a season of adaptations this mahou shoujo title is one of the few original ideas and it seems derivative of other genre names. Thanks to a flashy trailer full of impressive visuals and its concept this series is being compared to Madoka. Whether this anime will be remembered will depend upon the mysteries that are supposed to occur. The director is Keizou Kusakawa, a man who has worked on other fantasy series like Campione! And Dog Days. He also worked on Ro-Kyu-Bu! and its forthcoming sequel so this could tip into fan service.
Staff: Keizou Kusakawa (Director), Haruyasu Akagi, Hidenori Tanaka (Original Creator), Michiko Itou (Series Composition), Shinpei Tomooka (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Eri Kitamura (Seira Hoshikawa) Mai Kadowaki (Akari Taiyo), Sora Tokui (Luna Tsukuyomi), Yuiko Tatsumi (Ginka Shirokane)
The Sunday Without God (Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi)
When God abandons the world (on a Sunday as it happens), humans can no longer be born, die or have kids. In this world a young girl named Ai is a “Gravekeeper” in a village and it is her task to deal out death to those that should – but cannot – die. When she meets a young man known as Hampnie Habart a.k.a the Man-eating Toy, he kills everyone in the village and burns it down, telling Ai a disturbing secret…
Kimihito Irie’s fantasy light novel series, Sunday without a God, probably has one of the more interesting concepts this season. It is being brought to the screen by Yuuji Kumazawa (Welcome to the NHK, Ambition of Oda Nobuna) and the series composition is being lead by Tomoko Koparu (Uta Koi, Master Keaton).
Staff: Yuuji Kumazawa (Director), Yuuki Kimihito Irie (Original Creator), Tomoko Konparu (Series Composition), Shinichi Miyamae (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Aki Toyosaki (Ai), Daisuke Namikawa (Hampnie Hambart), Akeno Watanabe (Anna), Eiji Maruyama (Yuto) Eri Kitamura (Dee Enjy Stratmis) Rina Satou (Hana)
Tamayura – More Aggressive
Fu Sawatari, a girl who has moved to her father’s hometown, is entering the second year of high school. With her father’s Rollei 35S camera and her new friends, she will make memories and take on new challenges more aggressively.
This is the second season of the 2011 Tamayura: Hitotose anime which is going under the title Tamayura – More Aggressive. While More Aggressive may put one in mind of Fist of the North Star, it’s very unlikely that we’ll see blood spurting out of anybody in this slice-of-life. It is being directed and written by Junichi Sato, the series creator. He is pretty good when it comes to making slice of life titles.
Ayana Taketatsu (Majokko in Yuruyuri) returns as the voice of Fu Sawatari. She is joined by Kana Asumi (Saori in Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan), and Yuka Iguchi (Tsukihi in Bakemonogatari). The anime premieres in July.
Staff: Junichi Sato (Director/Original Creator/Series Composition), Masahiro Aizawa, Lee Seong Shin (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Ayana Taketatsu (Fu Sawatari), Kana Asumi (Kaoru Hanawa), Yuka Iguchi (Norie Okazaki), Yuko Gibu (Maon Sakurada), Ai Kayano (Kanae Mitani), Erino Hazuki (Riho Shihomi), Kanako Miyamoto (Ko Sawatari), Minako Kotobuki (Chihiro Miyoshi)
Studio: TYO Animations
The title Teekyu is a wordplay on a Japanese term for tennis, teikyū and this is the second series.
Four girls are on a school tennis team. Do they play tennis? Not really.
The sequel is directed by Shin Itagaki (Devil May Cry, Ben-To) and it is animated by Mappa (Kids on the Slope).
Staff: Shin Itagaki (Director), Piyo, Roots (Original Creators),
Voice Actors: Kana Hanazawa (Marimo), Kyoko Narumi (Nasuno), Suzuko Mimori (Kanae), Yui Watanabe (Yuri)
A Town Where You Live (Kimi no Iru Machi)
Haruto Kirishima is about to attend high school in a rural part of Hiroshima Prefecture. He has feelings for a girl named Nanami Kanzaki but his romantic intentions are about to become complicated when a girl from Tokyo shows up to live with his family. She’s Yuzuki Eba and she’s the daughter of his father’s friend so they are not related. Furthermore, she will be attending the same school. Can Haruto deal with this new situation?
Watch out fans of romance title Suzuka, the creator of that manga has shepherded his latest into the realm of anime. Actually, an OVA was released last year but this is the TV anime. Shigeyasu Yamauchi (Boys Over Flowers) is directing, Reiko Yoshida (Bakuman) is on script duties and Terumi Nishii (Penguindrum) has created designs for the character involved in this awkward situation.
Staff: Shigeyasu Yamauchi (Director), Kouji Seo (Original Creator), Reiko Yoshida (Series Composition), Terumi Nishii (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Yoshimasa Hosoya (Haruto), Megumi Nakajima (Yuzuki), Ayane Sakura (Asuka Mishima), Yuki Takao (Nanami), Daisuke Ono (Kyosuke)
The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc
Keima Katsuragi loves dating sims and chasing digital girlfriends but when the “Capturing God” answers a mysterious email from an unknown sender, he finds himself chasing real women in order to help the demon Elsie de Lute Irma capture “lost souls” who have escaped from hell. How does he capture these women? By getting them to fall in love with him in order to scare the souls lurking in their hearts. Why is he doing this? Well he has an explosive collar strapped around his neck. Great reason.
Staff: Satoshi Osedo (Director), Tamiki Wakaki (Original Creator), Hideyuk Kurata (Series Composition), Akio Watanabe (Character Designer), Hayato Matsuo (Music), Ayumi Sato (Art Director)
Voice Actors: Hiro Shimono (Keima Katsuragi), Kanae Ito (Elysia de Lute Ima), Ayahi Takagaki (Yui), Kana Asumi (Chihiro), Kana Hanazawa (Shirori), Saori Hayami (Haqua), Yuka Iguchi (Tsukiyo), Ayana Taketatsu (Yui)