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Before the actual article, let’s just talk about the only thing on this list worth giving more than half a damn about, Dragon Ball Chou. That is, a new season of Dragon Ball, taking place just after the Buu saga. Why is it worth it? Well, regardless of how you feel about the show, DBZ and its related series have been a big deal in anime for a LONG time, especially to my generation in the west. Even though I don’t feel much for it these days, if it wasn’t for DBZ when I was a kid, I might not have discovered anime. Dragon Ball was the first manga, hell, the first anything I ever really read. And it reached a lot of people like me.

But why does it matter now? Well, for me, it doesn’t. It’s just another season of a show that maybe has been around a little longer than it should, but hasn’t worn out its welcome. Maybe it will introduce another generation of kids to anime when it airs here, but who knows; it might not have that power anymore, and all of the shounen that wish they had its popularity already are doing that.

I honestly am happy to see this, though we all know Dragon Ball’s rocky decent from greatness with Saiyaman and GT. But I can’t say I’m excited about it. I probably won’t even watch it until it’s dubbed. It’s just another season of that show that was pretty good. Anyway, on to the rest of the list.

It’s that time again. New anime season time, and with it the much anticipated anichart page. I haven’t done this in a while, and after glancing at the selection I was thinking this summer would be another season where I just don’t care. But then I thought, why am I so turned off by this season? Well, I think there’s at least some content, and hopefully some entertainment, in simply answering that question. So, let’s trudge through this list. I recommend you click that link to follow along, because I’m not copying each individual description and promo art piece.

Let’s start with one little thing throughout the list that irks me. “The story takes place” “The story centers around” “The story revolves around” “In the story” “The story is set in a world where” “The story takes place in” These are just a few examples of dreadfully trite descriptions. I know these come from Anime News Network and other sites, and not studios or production staff themselves, but I wish we did get something from the actual team. It’s not fair to hold ANN’s repetitive descriptions against the shows, but I can’t help but get bored and agitated reading these, and it turns me off the whole idea of following a new season.

Now, let’s handle this in chunks. First off we have:
Aoharu x Kikanjuu
Himouto! Umaru-chan
Jitsu wa Watashi wa,
Joukamachi no Dandelion
Shimoneta to lu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai
Sore ga Seiyuu!
Okusama ga Seitokaicho!

When I look through the descriptions of these shows, I can’t tell one from the other. Some I can’t tell from shows I already saw years ago. I’m not going to complain about all anime being set in highschool; while I would like to see more diversity in this medium whose greatest strength is breaking the mold, there’s a lot that can be done with high school. Remember, fucking Kill la Kill is a “high school” anime.

But looking through this list, everything is just too samey. I’m not saying it’s all bad; chances are there’s at least one or two decent shows-to-be in there. But I can’t pick those shows out from the rest of them. Danchigai in particular stands out as almost pure, tainted generic. What can I say about it? Even ANN could hardly put together a description, “The original manga follows the everyday lives of five siblings, four sisters and one brother, who share a multi-unit apartment.”

On the other side, there’s Classroom*Crisis, which, beyond making me wanting to destroy all stars for fear that more will be used as ridiculous punctuation, looks like it could be new a different. I like the potential sci-fi elements, which based on the description, seem like they could address realistic, near-future possibilities. But again, it’s just listed as comedy, romance, and school, indicating that the writers have no interest in the science fiction side, the only side I had any interest in.

And the Comedy/School/Slice of Life genre isn’t the only one with this problem. Look at these, Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Action shows:

Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Sen’eki
Gakkou Gurashi!
Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri
God Eater
Kuusen Madoushi Kouhosei no Kyoukan
Rokka no Yuusha
Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX
Venus Project – Climax –
Bakemono no Ko

The sad thing about this group is that I expect at least a third of these will be pretty good. But I have no clue which ones those are, and don’t plan on testing them all to find out. That’s one of the big problems with the new anime season; you don’t know anything about most of the shows, beyond the small bit of promo art and brief description. When you’ve got so many shows trying to appeal to the same part of you, you can’t tell which ones are worth it and which ones aren’t.

That’s not to say none stand out; look at God Eater, I don’t think anyone will accuse this one of not trying to stand out, with that active promo art, and a colour palette that they must have known would clash with the typical bright moe of this list. But looking at its description makes me feel like I’ve seen this before. Same with the ten minute trailer (which is apparently from 2009, so who knows how representative it is now). It looks like it’s probably good, like, 66% chance. But I don’t have the time right now to be the Guinee Pig.

Changing gears, let’s take a quick look at Overlord. I like its description because it actually tells me something that differentiates it from other shows. It looks like the next step in whatever Sword Art Online started, and Log Horizon continued. Now, I’ve never seen SAO, and I’ve only recently read volume one of the Log Horizon manga, so I probably don’t have the best understanding of this genre. But I know enough to say Overlord is a very different take; no other players. Only NCPs. The way it’s being pitched, I feel like the game element won’t be very significant beyond UIs and things, and it will be more like Bardock meets the ancient Sayins. One big, overpowered protag, in someone else’s world.

Overlord and Rokka no Yuusha I might end up trying if I have the time. Overlord mostly out of curiosity. Rokka because… I just can’t help it; I may hate the overabundance of ecchi in new anime, but dammit, I can’t resist cuet character designs!

Speaking of the abundance of ecchi…

Kangoku Gakuen Prison School
Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou
Bikini Warriors
Mujaki no Rakuen

~sigh~ Well, at least I recognize two of these from their original manga, so… nope, doesn’t make it better. On the bright side, Monster Musume, aka Everyday Life with Monster Girls, was a genuinely charming manga. I read it start to finish, while it’s weird and weirdly fetishistic, even by anime standards, the manga had this charm to it. This was some guy’s, Okayado’s, weird dream, and he made it come to life thanks to simplistic but charming characters. The problem is, the charm of one-man’s-dream doesn’t translate well into a massive project made by thousands of people. I expect the weirdness will outweigh the charm. Even I, someone who you’d think would watch it because I liked the manga, have no interest in it… because I already read the full manga. Still, I wouldn’t mind recommending it for some people to check out.

The other one I read the manga on is Prison School, which I never finished. I just got bored after a while. It’s another one I’d give a timid recommendation, and I might actually check this one out myself just to see how the art style works in motion. But if I ever finish the series, it will be at my own pace; that is, by the manga.

Oh, and quick note on Mujaki if you read the description. Why does liking anime have to make me feel like I’m in some weird pedo group? How has this become normal and something we don’t even flinch at? ~sigh~

And next up, the longest list:

Aquarion Logos
Durarara!!x2 Ten
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma*Illya 2wei Herz!
Junjou Romantica 3
Non Non Biyori Repeat
THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls 2nd Season
To LOVE-Ru Darkness 2nd
Miss Monochrome – The Animation 2
Q Transformers: Kaettekita Convoy no Nazo 2
Teekyuu 5
Wooser no Sono Higurashi
(OMG! Higurashi! I love it I love it; wait, no, not the same thing): Mugen-hen
Aikatsu! Music Award
Boruto: Naruto the Movie
Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito 4 – Nikushimi no Kioku Kara
Date A Live Movie: Mayuri Judgement
Haikyuu!! Movie: “Owari to Hajimari”
Kaikyuu!! Movie: Shousha to Haisha
Kaiketsu Zorori: Uchuu no Yuushatachi
Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Part 2: Hibiki
Wake Up, Girls! Zoku-hen Movie
Yowamushi Pedal Movie
Akatsuki no Yona OVA
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal 2
City Hunder Ryo no Propose
Hetalia: The World Twinkle
Hoozuki no Reitetsu OVA
Kamisama Hajimemashita OVA
One Piece: Episode of Sabo – 3-Kyoudai no Kizuna Kiseki no Saikai to
Robot Girls Z Plus
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Yotarou-hen
Yankee-kun na Yamada-kun to Megane-chan to Maio
Yuru Yuri Nachuyachumi!+

Okay, finally! Now, what do all of these shows have in common? Well, there’s a lot of second or even sixth seasons, movies, OVAs, and they all have prerequisite watching. I haven’t watch the original series or first season of a single one of these. I get why this happens; the anime market isn’t exactly an easy money business. From what I understand, only about seventy percent of shows will break even within a couple years of release. A new series is a lot of risk, so when producers find something that works, they want to stick with it. Sure, a second season will be less popular than the first- no new views, and some fans of the first aren’t gonna watch the second- but the company still has a decent idea of how it will do. If it will earn profit, typically they’ll go with it rather than a new series. But for me, that’s half of the summer season now that I’m immediately crossing off my list.

There are some exceptions. For example, last season I Can’t Understand what my Husband is Saying got a second season when I hadn’t seen the first. But since they were three minute episodes and I liked the description, I went and checked out the first season. I loved it. I haven’t finished it yet or gotten to the second season, but I’m slowly making my way through it. But that’s an exception.

Other exceptions are things like the Code Geass movie or Aquarion. These series have stood the test of time, and while I haven’t been able to get my hands on them yet, I want to. Once I get a copy of the first season of Code Geass, chances are I’ll like it. Then eventually I’ll get to this movie. But the vast majority of anime are not these classics that will stay relevant for years and years (though I guess it’s only fair to put the Sailor Moon movie in this category, even though I’m not interested in the series).

You know what I do want to see new seasons of? Spice and Wolf, and uhh… Spice and Wolf, and Haruhi, and Spice and Wolf, and a damn English dub of Higurashi Kai! And Spice and Wolf.

Not too much left now. The last of these shows will each get a little bit of individual attention, starting with:

Ushio to Tora – Here’s the description: “A new anime adaptation of the manga ‘Ushio to Tora.’” It’s like they’re trying to give me absolutely nothing to say. Well, uhh… the art looks kinda like Shaman King, which is… good, I guess.

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime: It’s a fantasy world shoujo romance. I can’t really tell anything from this preview. Initially I thought, it looks 50/50 if you’re into that, but I’m not into that. But then I checked out the PV on youtube, and the animation and character designs kinda sold me. I just like how it looks. The characters appear more grounded than in a lot of anime, and, at least going by what they wanted to show us, the animation looks very clean. I was about to qualify that with, “It’s not like it’s Studio Bones quality or anything,” but, well, it actually is Studio Bones. So this one may even be on my list now, and it probably should be for anyone who actually likes the genre too.

Gangsta.: Nope! And stop putting punctuation it titles!

Gatchaman Crowds insight: This one could fall in one of two categories. Genuinely insightful. Or painfully stupid and pretentious. It’s not like Plastic Memories, which took a middle of the road approach and made it work well. Based on the description, this one’s way out there, and I’m not bothering with it unless I start hearing good things after the first couple episodes are out.

Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace: “An anime inspired by late author Edogawa Ranpo’s works.” Neat. It doesn’t even list any genres; I’m not bothering with something that I don’t even know what it is.

Kaijuu Sakaba Kanpai! and Kurayami Santa: I guess I have to admit these two look interesting. But I’m gonna have to hear good things before I give them a second look.

Million Doll: Nope. And please list your genre’s so I can at least feel like I’m making an informed rejection. I’m not into the whole Idolmaster thing, and this just seems like more of that to me.

Makura no Danshi: I feel the need to give the description on this one. “The anime promises a ‘new and novel ‘sleeping side-by-side’ experience entirely in the first-person perspective’ to ‘heal tired hearts.’ It revolved around 12 ‘makura no danshi’ (pillow boys), all full of distinctly individual personalities and each catering to viewers who like a certain ‘type.’ The boys all live in the same town underneath a starry sky. Each of the ‘makura no danshi’ will star his own weekly episode as they ‘sleep beside you and whisper.’” I also feel the need to point out that this is Studio Feel, the same people who made KissXSis.

Well, I’ve said before I like experimental anime, and this is definitely experimental. Sure…? It can exist I guess, and if people like it… I don’t understand it, but sure. I’m just dumbfounded, and obviously this isn’t for me, despite my love of all things bishi, but… I guess if that’s what you want.

Suzakinishi: The Animation: Another Feel anime! Seeing that promo art. Moving on.

Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterun da.: The promo art looks nice, the description doesn’t. At first I thought this was a more series show, along the lines of Wolf Children. Then I saw “egg fairy”. I guess it’s still obvious what tone it’s going for, and I think it will be good.

Meiji Tokyo Renka: Yumihari no Serenade: This one I’m just worried will be culturally impenetrable. Historic figures in Meiji era Tokyo? I don’t know; there’s always some fence sitting for the movies.

Sinbad: Sora Tobu Hime to Himitsu no Shima: The girl in the picture looks like she’s from the Zelda anime… or CDI.

And that’s it. But what do you guys think of this season, or any particular shows? Comment. Discuss. Let’s talk.

Don’t Lose Your Way