This is the first part of the AUKN Summer 2014 anime preview. The summer season starts next month and so it is time to decide what you will be watching. There are some major changes that are striking with this season compared to the last. Of the titles getting aired in July there are:
9 original ideas,
5 based on games,
9 based on light novels,
21 based on manga,
No incest shows,
Not as many moe girls,
More titles targeting fujoshi,
More women in the writing and directing departments of each show.
The summer season looks so different, more feminine, or at least more open to the idea that not every show has to pander to socially awkward males… and yet there are certain things that remain the same like the sequels (but at least some are based on good ideas) and the Nobunaga obsession. There are also those 5 minute flash anime like Yami Shibai and “Medamayaki no Kimi Itsu Tsubusu?” or, in English, “When Do You Break the Yolk of an Egg Fried Sunny-Side Up?”
Here are the titles airing on Japanese television:
Momo Kyun Sword
Momoko is a beautiful sword fighter who was born inside a peach (the Japanese for peach is momo). She lives in paradise with her friends, the dog god Inugami, the monkey god Sarugami, and the pheasant god Kijigami. This paradise is disrupted when a demon army invades and steals a mystical treasure. Momoko and her friends launch an attack on the demons!
Okay, so this show panders to socially awkward males… This is the update of the classic story of Momotaro for modern sensibilities. So we get girls with big boobs. It is based on a digital light novel going under the title Momo Kyun Sword. The director is Shinsuke Yanagi (Ro-Kyu-Bu! SS) and character designs come from Hiroshi Tomioka (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou).
Staff: Shinsuke Yanagi (Director), Tsuyoshi Tamai (Series Composition), Hiroshi Tomioka (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Ayana Taketatsu (Momoko), Minami Tsuda (Onihime), Asami Imai (Kijigami), Rumi Ookubo (Maron), Masumi Asano (Sumeragi)
Studio: Project No. 9, Tri-Slash
The world of Puri-Para is supposedly a girls’ paradise where people are totally fashionable, great at dancing, and music is awesome. There is a competition where idol units can rise to worldwide fame. One of these units comes from an elementary school which prohibits Puri-Para. Can the wannabe idols make it big?
Puri-Para is based on the Pretty Rhythm world and real-life idol unit i☆Ris are involved with the music! The director is Makoto Moriwaki (Milky Holmes).
Staff: Makoto Moriwaki (Director), Michihiro Tsuchiya (Series Composition), Shoji Hara (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Himika Akaneya (Lala Manaka), Miyu Kubota (Sophie Hojo), Yu Serizawa (Mirei Minami)
Studio: Dongwoo Animation, Tatsunoko Production
Hime Arikawa is a second-year student at Shimoshina High School. Despite being a teen, he is forced to assume a large amount of debt from his now-absent parents. When he is threatened by debt collectors, Hime is saved by the three girls of his school’s student council. In return for paying off his debt, Hime agrees to their conditions of becoming the student council’s “dog” and spending his high school life dressed as a girl.
IT’S A TRAP! Hime will never be as cool as Guilty Gear’s Bridget but it’s nice that he tries and it seems to get him some pinch and tickle action from a harem. Back in 2011, Japan got a fresh slice-of-cross-dressing-life anime from Tsukudani Norio who launched this four-panel manga. The anime is directed by Takeyuki Yanase, a journeyman director who has worked on titles like Noein and Fairy Tail. Kazuho Hyodo (Robot Girls Z) is in charge of scripts and we expect lots of upskirt shots and embarrassing moments like being stuck in a girl’s locker room.
Staff: Takeyuki Yanase (Director), Kazuho Hyodo (Series Composition), Masaaki Sakurai (Character Designer), Tsukudani Norio (Original Creator)
Voice Actors: Yuki Kuwahara (Hime Arikawa), Ayane Sakura (Mitsunaga Oda), Azusa Tadokoro (Hiro), Chinatsu Akasaki (Kaguya Arikawa)
Studio: Asahi Production
Yuki Akamatsu writes for the school newspaper as an advice columnist for the life (Jinsei) section. Together with three girls – science representative Rino Endo, physical education representative Ikumi Suzuki, and liberal arts representative Fumi Kujo – Yuki answers requests from students.
Jinsei is based on a light novel and the staff members who are attached have a wide range of titles linked to their filmographies. Director Keiichiro Kawaguchi has worked on Hunter X Hunter, writer Naruhisa Arakawa was responsible for scripts on Outbreak Company and Tomoyuki Shitaya (Bakuman) is adapting the original illustrations for the small screen. A case of bland male protag and a harem of girls, or something more?
Staff: Keiichirou Kawaguchi (Director), Naruhisa Arakawa (Series Composition), Tomoyuki Shitaya (Character Designer), Ougyo Kawagishi (Original Story), Meruchi Nanase (Original Illustration)
Voice Actors: N/A
Yama no Susume Season 2
Aoi and Hinata promised to see the sunrise they had seen at the top of a mountain as children but as time passes Aoi becomes acrophobic. The two now have completely different personalities. Hinata loves mountaineering and shows off her passion while Aoi prefers more mundane hobbies and is afraid of heights. In order to get to the top of the mountain again they take up training like climbing hills in the neighbourhood, getting to know other mountaineers and having cooking battles with mountaineering gear. The race is on to get to the top of the mountain!
The second season of Yama no Susume (Encouragement of Climb) is a 26 episode slice of life with an interesting concept involving cute girls mountaineering. Okay, not that interesting since nobody is going to be in peril. The director for this season (and the last) is Yuusuke Yamamoto who has covered a range of genres in different anime like Sgt. Frog, Sakura Wars, Night Wizard and Welcome to the NHK. He has some support from veterans of cute slice-of-life anime like Tatsuhiko Urahata who has worked on notable titles like A-Channel, Haganai and Natsuiro Kiseki. He has also worked on adapting Master Keaton and Monster into TV anime.
Staff: Yuusuke Yamamoto (Director), Tatsuhiko Urahata (Series Composition), Shiro (Original Creator), Yuusuke Matsuou (Character Designer) Masatomo Ota (Music)
Voice Actors: Kana Asumi (Hinata), Yuka Iguchi (Aoi Yukimura), Youko Hikasa (Kaede Saitou), Yui Ogura (Kokona)
Survival Game Club!
Momoka is a middle school girl who joins the Survival Game Club which allows members to take part in paramilitary training under the watchful eye of the charming and alarming president, Miou.
This sounds like so many other anime where cute girls join a club and practice military-style things. Handling the direction is Masahiko Ohta (Minami-ke, My-HiME).
Staff: Masahiko Ohta (Director), Takashi Aoshima (Series Composition), Masashi Kudo (Character Designer), Hidekichi Matsumoto (Original Manga Creator)
Voice Actors: Ayaka Ohashi (Momoka Sonokawa), Yumi Uchiyama (Hime Arikawa), Lynn (Maya Kyodo), Rumi Ookubo (Urara Kasugano),
Studio: Pierrot Plus
Persona 4 Golden the Animation
This new Persona 4 anime will retell the events of the first TV series which adapted the popular game, so nothing new here… apart from a character named Marie…
Staff: Seiji Kishi (Chief Director), Tomohisa Taguchi (Director), Jun Kumagai (Series Composition), Yuu Shindou (Character Designer), Shigenori Soejima (Original Character/Persona Creator)
Voice Actors: Daisuke Namikawa (Yu Narukami), Ami Koshimizu (Yukiko Amagi), Kana Hanazawa (Marie), Yui Horie (Chie Satonaka), Rie Kugimiya (Rise Kujikawa)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Saburou is a high school boy who time-travels to the Sengoku Era and finds out he has to become Oda Nobunaga and unite Japan!
This season’s Nobunaga anime is represented by Nobunaga Concerto. What makes it special is that it is part of a massive multi-media franchise which has a live-action television series and film in the works and a big name attached to take the lead in the form of Shun Oguri. The director of the anime is Yusuke Fujikawa and the person adapting the manga is Natsuko Takahashi (Moyashimon). Apparently the original manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award.
Staff: Yusuke Fujikawa (Director), Natsuko Takahashi (Series Composition), Ayumi Ishii (Original Creator)
Voice Actors: Yuuki Kaji (Oda Nobunaga), Mamoru Miyano (Saburo), Nana Mizuki (Nohime), Aoi Yuki (Oichi)
Francesca: Girls Be Ambitious
Hokkaido is under attack from the recently resurrected Toshizou Hijikata and the Shinsengumi. A girl named Exorcist has been lined up to stop him and she calls upon Francesca, an undead idol!
Three trends collide to make one: zombies, idols and mascots for cities/areas. The moe mascot for the island of Hokkaido, zombie girl Francesca, is part of another multimedia franchise which includes sweets! Francesca has her own Twitter and Google+ accounts as well. The main character is voiced by Yui Makio (Sakura in Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE). Now, if only we can get that live-action TV series about a bunch of idols fighting zombies… or better yet… an anime adaptation of the manga I Am a Hero.
Voice Actors: Yui Makino (Francesca), Asami Tano (Exorcist), Ami Naito (Tetsunosuke Ichimura), Katsuya Miyamoto (Kai Shimada)
Akame ga Kill
Akame is a girl who was bought, brainwashed, and raised to be an emotionless assassin by an evil empire. Akame’s group, Night Raid, is made up of people with super weapons named Teigu who strike terror into the hearts of the empire’s enemies! Tatsumi is a boy who wants to become a military officer to save his village. After meeting Akame, Tatsumi vows to stand up to the evil of the empire…
This is based on a manga first published by Square Enix in 2010. The synopsis is generic stuff but the action and carnage is OTT. The staff is made up of a mixture of familiar and solid names. Tomoki Kobayashi (Amagami SS+) is directing the anime with series composition overseen by Makoto Uezu (Danganronpa The Animation, Devil Survivor 2 The Animation). Kazuhisa Nakamura (Jormungand) is designing the characters, and the music comes from Taku Iwasaki who will forever be loved by anime fans for his work on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Gatchaman Crowds.
Staff: Tomoki Kobayashi (Director), Makoto Uezu (Series Composition), Takahiro, Tetsuya Tashiro (Original Creator), Yoshito Takamine (Art Director)
Voice Actors: Soma Saito (Tatsumi), Sora Amamiya (Akame), Kanami Satou (Aria), Yuu Asakawa (Leone)
Studio: White Fox
Free! –Eternal Summer-
Haruka and Makoto have entered Iwatobi Middle School. Haruka is hesitant to join the school’s swim club, but Makoto and the rest of the group urge Haruka to join with them. There, together with their upperclassmen and fellow classmates, the group stands on the starting line to a new tournament.
Kyoto Animation won the loyalty of fangirls the world over when they created an anime fall of buff dudes with huge shoulders who were good at being good-looking guys who could model swimwear and be all kawaii with each other. Much fanfic was made out of that stuff. The anime was based on Koji Oji’s light novel series and so there’s plenty of material left to adapt. The new series sees the return of staff and cast. 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
Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya 2wei!
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: Shin Oonuma (Chief Director), Masato Jinbo (Director), Type-Moon, Hiroshi Hiroyama (Original Creator), Kenji Inoue (Series Composition), Nozomi Ushijima (Character Designer), Ken Tateishi (Art Director)
Voice Actors: Kana Ueda (Rin), Mai Kadowaki (Ilyasviel), Haruhi Terada (Sera), Kaori Nazuka (Miyu)
Studio: Silver Link
Space Dandy Season 2
Dandy is an alien-hunter tasked with finding new species of aliens that have never been seen before. With the aid of a robot named QT and an alien named Meow, he journeys to different planets when not going to “Boobies,” a restaurant full of voluptuous waitresses.
This is the second part of the 26-episode anime series that launched in the winter season.
When it was announced it caused a storm of celebration since it is based on an original idea from Shinichiro Watanabe and reunites him with some more of the Cowboy Bebop writing staff in the form of Dai Sato and Keiko Nobumoto. Between the three they have also been responsible for Kids on the Slope and episodes of Eureka Seven, Macross Plus, and Wolf’s Rain. When the first half of the season aired it drew a mixed response from the audience thanks to a weak opening episode. The viewers quick to drop the show lambasted various aspects of it from the lack of continuous characterisation and an overarching plot to the supposed sexual objectification of women. The ones who stuck with the show found out that Space Dandy gradually turned into one of the funniest and smartest comedies and was the best show of the season. There are still questions left to be answered from the first part of the season but if Dandy can answer them, it could be the anime of the year.
Staff: Shinichiro Watanabe (Chief Director), Shingo Natsume, Eunyoung Choi, Hiroshi Shimizu, (Directors), Dai Sato, Keiko Nobumoto, Kimiko Ueno (Scripts), Yoshiyuki Ito (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Junichi Suwabe (Dandy), Uki Satake (QT), Hiroyuki Yoshino (Meow), Maasaki Yajima (Narrator),
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal
Usagi Tsukino is a clumsy middle school student with a good heart. When she stumbles upon a talking cat called Luna she is told that she is destined to be Sailor Moon, “champion of love and justice”, and she must search for the fabled Moon Princess. Usagi finds friends who also turn out to be warriors destined to be guardians of justice and together they fight to save the world from the Dark Kingdom led by Queen Beryl, a monstrous monarch searching for the Illusionary Silver Crystal, which has immense power.
This is the much delayed reimagining of Sailor Moon which has been confirmed for a global release many times and then delayed. It’s all go now! Staff and cast confirmed! Over the course of 26 episodes we see the work of creator Naoko Takeuchi adapted by Munehisa Sakai (Dragonball Z, One Piece), who sits in the director’s chair, and writer Yuji Kobayashi (Smile Precure!, Saint Seiya Omega). Momoiro Clover Z are performing the themes. A lot of fan nostalgia is on the line so Toei have their work cut out…
Staff: Munehisa Sakai (Director), Yuji Kobayashi (Series Composition), Naoko Takeuchi (Original Creator), Yukie Sako (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Kotono Mitsuishi (Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon), Hisako Kanemoto (Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury), Rina Satou (Rei Hino/Sailor Mars), Shizuka Itou (Minako Aino/Sailor Venus), Ami Koshimizu (Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter)
Studio: Toei Animation
In the future, the police have guns named Dominators that can detect a suspect’s “crime factor” by measuring their state of mind and personality. This technique is termed “Psycho-Pass” and if the suspect’s crime factor is above a certain limit, the gun will fire. One of the enforcement officers is Shinya Kougami and this is his story.
This is an edited version of the original 2012 series. The show has been re-cut into 11 one-hour episodes with some new footage created and it comes ahead of the new anime (due in the autumn), manga, novel and movie. The original anime’s chief director was Katsuyuki Motohiro, a man who has handled live-action adaptations of Night Head and Antique Bakery. The director is Naoyoshi Shiotani and he has directed the anime films Blood-C: The Last Dark and Tokyo Marble Chocolate. He has also directed episodes of period action titles Sengoku Basara and Le Chevalier D’Eon. Other named attached included the series script editor Gen Urobuchi who is a key figure in the Madoka franchise as well as being the creator of Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom. Koji Asano (Le Chevalier D’Eon, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence) was in charge of character designs.
Staff: Katsuyuki Motohiro (Chief Director), Naoyoshi Shiotani (Director), Gen Urobuchi (Series Composition)
Voice Actors: Tomokazu Seki (Shinya Kougami), Kana Hanzawa (Akane Tsunemori), Kenji Nojima (Nobuchika Ginoza), Akira Ishida (Shuusei Kagari), Shizuka Itou (Yayoi Kuizuka), Noriko Hidaka (Dominator), Akira Ishida (Shuusei Kagari)
Studio: Production I.G.
There are people with special powers they have inherited from their ancestors. These powers are known as “Minimum” or “Minor Miracles” and the possessors of these powers are known as “Minimum Holders.” Partners Nice and Murasaki form a detective agency called Hamatora in Yokohama in 2014. Said office is a table in Café Nowhere. A friend of theirs named Art, who just happens to be a cop, asks for their help with a serial murder case where all the victims are “Minimum Holders”.
This anime is the sequel and part of a mixed media project involving a game and manga. The animation studio has changed from NAZ to Lerche but cast and staff are returning, the most prominent name being director Seiji Kishi (Persona 4 The Animation, Danganronpa). A Nintendo 3DS game will be released alongside the anime.
Staff: Seiji Kishi (Director), Jun Kumagai, Touko Machida (Scripts), Yuki Kodama (Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Ryota Ohsaka (Nice), Wataru Hatano (Murasaki), Hiroshi Kamiya (Art), Emri Kato (Hajime), Eri Kitamura (Honey), Jun Fukuyama (Birthday)
Ai Mai Mi ~Delusion Catastrophe~
Ai, Mai, Mi and Ponoka-sempai are high school girls who are in the school manga club. They have plenty of imagination which is why so many mundane things like rescuing cats turn into crazy fantasies and adventures and this is why they don’t get any manga drawn!
Choborauyopomi’s four-panel comedy manga has been successful enough to warrant another anime adaptation. Itsuki Imazaki is the director and she has worked on a diverse array of titles in various capacities including stints as episode director on Divergence Eve and Haibane Renmei.
Staff: Itsuki Imazaki (Director/Screenplay/Character Designer), Choborauyopomi (Original Creator)
Voice Actors: Ai Kayano (Ponoka-sempai), Aya Uchida (Mai), Maaya Uchida (Mii), Yuka Otsubo (Ai)
Black Butler: Book of Circus
On the night of Ciel Phantomhive’s tenth birthday a fire destroyed his manor and killed both of his parents. At the moment of his death Ciel struck a deal with a demon, his soul in exchange for revenge. The demon became Ciel’s butler and adopted the name Sebastian Michaelis. He acts as Ciel’s bodyguard while Ciel runs the Phantomhive Corporation, works as the Queen of England’s guard dog, and searches for the person who killed his parents.
The manga mega-hit Black Butler gets an anime update with a new series and OVA released over the summer and this follows off the back of a live-action movie released earlier this year! The big change is in the staff like the director who is Noriyuki Abe (previous works include Bleach) and head writer Hiroyuki Yoshino (Accel World, Macross Frontier). The key seiyuu remain largely the same.
Staff: Noriyuki Abe (Director), Hiroyuki Yoshino (Series Composition), Hiroyuki Yoshino, Ichiro Okouchi, Yuka Miyata (Scripts), Yana Toboso (Original Creator)
Voice Actors: Maaya Sakamoto (Ciel Phantomhive), Daisuke Ono (Sebastian Michaelis), Yukari Tamura (Elizabeth Midford), Mamoru Miyano (Joker), Ayahi Takagaki (Doll),
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Futsuu no Joshikousei ga Yattemita
Nanako is a high school girl and she, along with an airheaded girl named Yukari, become idols of their provincial area. They get find themselves becoming local hits working on the small scale (cable TV, concerts in department stores) which is good because they get paid from the town’s taxes.
Idol anime is a current trend and there are a couple of titles this season but they are from a more fantastical angle. Futsuu no Joshikousei ga Yattemita (Normal High School Girls Tried Being Local Idols) skews more towards realism like Wake Up Girls! It is based on a four-panel manga and directed by Munenori Nawa who has directed Kiss X Sis and R-15 which aren’t exactly the classiest of titles, but scripts do comes from Yuniko Ayano (Bakuman, Kiniro Mosaic, Natsuiro Kiseki).
Staff: Munenori Nawa (Director), Yuniko Ayana (Series Composition), Yumi Shimizu (Character Design),
Voice Actors: Sachika Misawa (Yukari Kohinata), Miku Itou (Nanako Usami), Asami Shimoda (Saori Nishifukai), Eriko Matsui (Sumire Mihara), Minami Tsuda (Misato Mizumoto)
In 1972, a hypergate was discovered on the surface of the moon but then, humankind came into contact with beings from Mars, and a war began…
This is an original idea from Gen Urobuchi (Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero, Psycho-Pass, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet) one of a new generation of writers who has taken multiple genres and made them his own through excellent storytelling. He knows his anime genres and is able to play with the rules and create something new as seen in his work. This is his second big mecha anime and it has an interesting alternate history angle with aliens attacking earth in 1972. Urobuchi takes a back seat with this project. The director is Ei Aoki (The Garden of Sinners), Katsuhiro Takayama (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, Ga-Rei-Zero) is in charge of scripts and character designs are coming from Takako Shimura (Wandering Son).
Staff: Ei Aoki (Director), Gen Urobuchi (Original Creator), Katsuhiko Takayama (Screenplay), Takako Shimura (Character Desiger)
Voice Actors: Kensho Ono (Slaine Troyard), Sora Amamiya (Asseylum Vers Allusia), Natsuki Hanae (Inaho Kaiduka), Yuka Otsubo (Ai)
Studio: A-1 Pictures/Troyca
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
Chiyo Sakura is a high school student who has a crush on her classmate Nozaki, an aspiring manga artist. When she confesses her feelings to him, Nozaki misinterprets them and assumes Sakura loves his shoujo manga. Can Sakura resolve this misunderstanding?
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is a rom-com based on a shoujo manga created by Izumi Tsubaki. Making the romance happen on the small screen is the director Mitsue Yamazaki (Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East) and writer Yoshiko Nakamura (Hakuoki).
Staff: Mitsue Yamazaki (Director), Izumi Tsubaki (Original Creator), Yoshiko Nakamura (Screenplay/Series Composition), Junichiro Taniguchi (Original Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Ari Ozawa (Chiyo Sakura), Yuichi Nakamura (Umetaro Nozaki), Marie Miyake (Mamiko), Kenta Miyake (Ken Miyamae)
Toko Fukami and her high school friends share a magical summer together in a small town tucked between an ocean and the mountains. They make a new friend and enjoy the weather and fine setting. Toko also reveals a secret… She wants to become a glass artisan…
P.A. Works, the team behind slice-of-life classics Hanasaku Iroha and Tari Tari and the quirky, strange Eccentric Family, are making another slice-of-life show and it’s an original idea about a girl who wants to become a glass blower. The director is Junji Nishimura (True Tears) who co-writes with Rika Satou (Tari Tari). Miki Takeshita (Red Data Girl) is the character designer.
Staff: Junji Nishimura (Director), Takefumi Anzai (Assistant Director), Junji Nishimura, Rika Sato (Series Composition), Miki Takeshita (Character Design)
Voice Actors: Seria Fukagawa (Toko Fukami), Daiki Yamashita (Hiro Shirosaki), Nobunaga Shimazaki (Yukinari Imi), Risa Taneda (Sachi Nagamiya), Nao Toyama (Hina Fukami)
Studio: P.A. Works
Little is known about this at the moment but it does have a website and is expected to air.
Staff: Takeshi Onaka (Director/Character Design),
Voice Actors: N/A
Studio: Studio Kachidoki
Bakumatsu era Japan is facing change as the Tokugawa Shogunate is losing power but they have one last card to play… Idols singing songs. The Shogunate exercises extreme censorship with regard to entertainment and uses the brainwashing Heaven’s Songs to control the populace by having the best idols in the Shinsengumi sing. Fortunately, there’s more than a few beautiful boys around Japan and an alternative group of rockers strike back for freedom!
Here’s another example of an otome game getting an anime adaptation and in the game you fight by singing! Witness a band of bishies who have a member who appeals to every fetish try to save Bakumatsu-era Japan through rock, like the song heard in the trailer (courtesy of the visual kei band vistlip). It is adapted by guys familiar with bishies boldly battling each other since it is directed by Itsuro Kawasaki (Sengoku Basara), and the game’s story has been adapted by Mitsutaka Hirota (Kaiji, Hakuoki, Brave10). Akiharu Ishii (Blood+) is in charge of the scripts. No sign of Nobunaga in this.
Staff: Itsuro Kawasaki (Director), Mitsutaka Hirota (Series Composition), Akiharu Ishii (Character Design),
Voice Actors: Kensho Ono (Soji Okita), Kisho Taniyama (Ryoma Sakamoto), Showtaro Morikubo (Kogoro Katsura), Tatsuhisa Suzuki (Shinsaku Takasugi), Toshiyuki Morikawa (Toshizo Hijikata)
Studio: Studio DEEN
14-year-old Naru Sekiya is an ordinary girl with an ordinary life until a chance encounter with a fairylike girl gets her involved in the world of “Yosakoi” dancing.
Yosakoi dancing isn’t that well known in the west but it’s pretty big in Japan where there are festivals and competitions dedicated to it and I guess that’s what makes this anime unique. It could be a new take on the idol formula but the promo images paint it as a bland show full of cute girls. There is potential and a group of women (each of whom has lots of experience in the industry) leading this project. Atsuko Ishizuka (No Game, No Life, Monster, Mouryuo no Hako – seriously, read Summer of Ubume and watch this) is directing, Reiko Yoshida (Ghost Hunt, Girls Und Panzer, K-ON!) is in charge of series composition, and Atsuko Watanabe (Unbreakable Machine Doll) is bringing the character designs to the party.
Staff: Atsuko Ishizuka (Director), Reiko Yoshida (Series Composition/Script), Atsuko Watanabe (Character Design), Sou Hamayumiba (Original Creator)
Voice Actors: Reina Ueda (Naru Sekya), Kaya Okuno (Yaya Sasame), Manami Numakura (Machi Tokiwaza), Minami Tanaka (Hannah N. Fontastand), Yuka Otsubo (Tami Nishigomon), Megumi Toyoguchi (Sally-sensei), Tsuyoshi Koyama (Masaru Ofuna),
Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance
The story takes place at Areishia Spirit Academy where the daughters of nobility vie for the chance to enter into a fabled spirit contract. It is thought that only the purest girl may do this. Kamito is definitely not pure because this young lad likes spying on girls, particularly one named Claire. As he does this, he accidentally makes contact with a spirit and becomes the first male spirit elementalist…
Here’s one for the guys. Looking at the promo images one may think that Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance, or Spirit Elementalist’s Blade Dance is a harem fantasy action anime in which a bland lead gets busty girls. It’s based on a 2010 light novel series. It is directed by Tetsuya Yanagisawa, a chap heavily involved with Heaven’s Lost Property, and he will be working from scripts provided and guided by Takao Yoshioka, a chap heavily involved with the writing of Sky Girls, Senran Kagura Mezzo, Happy Lesson, The Familiar of Zero and Queen’s Blade. He also did Watamote but that doesn’t count here. What I’m saying is that this is probably what it looks like, a bland harem show.
Staff: Tetsuya Yanagisawa (Director), Takao Yoshioka (Series Composition), Maki Fujii (Character Design), Yu Shimizu (Original Creator), Hanpen Sakura (Original Character Designer)
Voice Actors: Kana Yuki (Rinslet Laurenfrost), Ai Kakuma (Terminus Est), Ibuki Kido (Claire Rouge), Shizuka Ishigami (Ellis Fahrengart), Saori Onishi (Fianna Ray Ordesia), Makoto Furukawa (Kazehaya Kamito)
Sword Art Online 2
The Sword Art Online sequel adapts the “Phantom Bullet” arc from volumes five and six of the light novel series.
This is one of the big shows of the last few years and it has earned massive hype. The hype is so strong that it will be streamed internationally as it airs in Japan at the start of July. Cast and staff come back to see the new series through.
Staff: Tomohiko Ito (Director), Shingo Adachi (Character Design), Reki Kawahara (Original Creator), abec (Original Character Designer),
Voice Actors: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Kirito), Miyuki Sawashiro (Shinon),
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Terror of Resonance (Zankyou no Terror)
On a summer day a massive terrorist bombing suddenly struck Tokyo and two teenage boys were behind it. They become known as “Sphinx” and play a deadly game with a nation that was once complacent but now lives in terror…
The hype is certainly big with this one and not without justification because this is Shinichiro Watanabe making another original show. It has lots of ambition in its animation and story which looks to deal with contemporary issues. Between this and Space Dandy, the world might just blow up from the awesome. Joining him is the magnificent Yoko Kanno who will be composing the music. No need to go through their filmographies then. Another name attached to the show is Kazuto Nakazawa who is one of those guys who has worked on old school shows like El Hazard, New Dominion Tank Police, and Roujin Z.
Soma Sato (Tadashi Yamaguchi in Haikyu!!) voices Nine/Shin Kokone, one of the boys behind the terrorist incident. Nine’s friend, Twelve/Fuyuji Kumi is voiced by Kaito Ishikawa (Ledo in Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet) and Atsumi Tanezaki (Asako Natsume in My Little Monster) voices Risa Mishima.
The OP goes under the name Trigger and is the work of Yuuki Ozaki (from Galileo Galilei).
Staff: Shinichiro Watanabe (Director), Kazuto Nakazawa (Character Design), Yoko Kanno (Music), Yuuki Ozaki (Main Theme),
Voice Actors: Soma Saito as Twelve/Touji Hisami, Kaito Ishikawa as Nine/Arata Kokonoe,Atsumi Tanezaki as Lisa Mishima,
There is a theatre in Harajuku called Hollywood Tokyo and this is where the idol group “Shounen Hollywood” diligently work and study so they can become Japan’s best idols! Witness their epic story!
Cute is justice. Cute guys doing nothing is just as legitimate as cute girls doing nothing. This is the anime arm of a multimedia franchise which includes a live-action TV show, novels, CDs and other stuff for girls to enjoy. Apparently, the anime is a sequel to a novel. Toshimasa Kuroyanagi (Say “I love you”) is directing.
Staff: Toshimasa Kuroyanagi (Director), Ikuyo Hashiguchi (Series Composition/Original Creator), Kei Tsuchiya (Character Design), Tetsuji Hayashi (Music)
Voice Actors: Tetsuya Kakihara (Ikuma Amaki), Ryota Ohsaka (Kakeru Kazami), Shouta Aoi (Daiki Tomii), Daiki Yamashita (Kira Saeki), Kensho Ono (Shun Maiyama)
Izumi Sena comes from a family of famous entertainers but he’s not interested in the entertainment industry. Nope, he’d rather draw manga! And so he starts his life as an otaku college student. All seems normal but he soon ends up starring in a CM and crosses paths with a famous actor named Ryuma, and that chap has feelings for him…
Shounen-Ai fans rejoice as a long-running manga series gets adapted by Kenichi Kasai, a chap who made his name with Bakuman and Nodame Cantabile. Scripts come from Michiko Yokote (xxxHOLiC).
Staff: Kenichi Kasai (Director), Michiko Yokote (Series Composition), Eiki Eiki (Original Story), Taishi Zaou (Original Art), Yoko Ito (Character Design)
Voice Actors: Tsubasa Yonaga (Izumi Sena), Takuya Eguchi (Ryuma Ichijo), DAIGO (Shogo Sena), Kyoko Sakai (Kazumi Shino), Sayaka Ohara (Nagisa Sena)
Studio: J.C. Staff
This is the end of the first part of AUKN’s summer preview. Stay tuned for part 2