Anime Picks and Recommendations for Summer 2009

20 06 2009

Sorry, I haven’t written any blog posts recently.  I do seem to take rather large breaks in between posts, but I’m grateful that people keep coming!  Well, the summer season of anime is almost upon us.  Much like gaming it usually is a slow season, as the major releases happen in the fall season.  However, I am getting super super fed up about the haters on blogs, who I shall not mention, who decry every season as garbage and then end up quietly watching everything anyway.  So!  I have decided to make my own list.

Writing about the garbage seems to be a little unconstructive, so I’m only going to go for the goodies.   In any case, hit the jump to proceed!

Umi Monogatari One of my picks

Umi Monogatari One of my picks

First off, if you know any Japanese at all.  I strongly suggest you check out this video.  It was put together by some Japanese otakus who live on 2ch and breathe Nico Nico.  It’s very comprehensive and mentions all the titles that we know about so far.

And this picture also summarizes the season.  I have no clue who makes it, it just floats around near the beginning of every season and does a good job of making everything sound dull.

Summaries that make everything sound dull.

Summaries that make everything sound dull.

So for summer we have a grand total of 19 tv series.  I recommend the following seven.

1.  Spice and Wolf II

Do I really need to introduce this?  For the uninitiated, the series is adapted from a number of highly popular light novels, and the anime series consists of one 13 episode season and one second season preview OVA.  The show itself is a deliberately slow moving series which covers the antics between Lawrence and his wolf deity/wife, Horo, while they try and making a living by dealing with a world of treacherous trading guilds and European-esque microeconomics.

Horo is such a well written character and her personal so interesting that she alone could prop up this show, which probably explains her huge popularity both in Japan and overseas.  The atmosphere of this show is quite unlike anything else, though you will likely need to have watched the first season to get up to speed with this show.

2. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

The premise of the story is the 70% or higher possibility that a magnitude 7.0 earthquake will occur in Tokyo in the next 30 years. The anime will depict what would happen if an 8.0 earthquake took place. BONES will attempt to realistically portray the consequences of such a tremor after collecting data on actual earthquakes and interviewing people.

Why people can dismiss the summer season when there is a show like this one, completely blows my mind.  This is an entirely original piece of intellectual property from the outstanding studio known as Bones, which will take up Eden of the East’s spot on TV.  Bones rarely if ever produces a bad series and some of their past hits have included Darker than Black, Ouran High School Host Club, and Full Metal Alchemist.

3. Umineko no Naku Koro Ni

From the writers of mystery epic, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and it’s semi sequel Higurashi Naku no Koro ni Kai, comes Umineko no Naku Koro Ni!  It’s being produced by Studio Deen who also did Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.  Even though my respect for this studio hit 0 with the steaming pile of BS that was 07-Ghost, I still have faith in Deen’s previous work.  As such, I am not that worried about them deviating from the Umineko novels, and they will probably produce an ok adptation.

Higurashi was great, but the ending moved me in a direction I didn’t like.  However, I won’t deny that it was a great and immersive piece of work.  The first couple of arcs freaked me out quite a bit too :).  Now the same group is at it again and they’ve written a new series.  There have been OVAs prior to this that weren’t spectacular, but I am still looking foward to it.

4. Umi Monogatari

The “transforming magical girl action” story centers on Marin and Urin, two “pure” sisters who live alongside the fish in the sea, but yearn to be in the world beyond the water and above ground. One day, a beautiful ring falls in the middle of the sea, and Marin and Urin retrieve it. The two decide to leave their waterbound world for the first time to deliver the ring. After an arduous journey, they come across an isolated island where a high school girl named Kanon lives. The encounter between Marin and Kanon — the maiden of the sea and the maiden of the skies — awakens a hidden power as the world is threatened by an enveloping darkness.

Yes I know it’s a shoujo show.  It also follows a very generic story path of having 3 pretty girls born to priestess lineages having to join together and save the world.  To top it all off, the franchise is from a line of PACHINKO MACHINES!!!!!  So why am I recommending this?  Three reasons really.

1. The art, it looks gorgeous, and yes I will sit through utter garbage if it looks pretty enough.  Case in point, Last Exile from Gonzo :).  O and Marin is hot :).

2. I went and saw their booth at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2009.  They had an entire booth dedicated to one anime, so it’s obvious Zexcs is pulling out all the stops on this one.  It’s gotta be good.

3. Most importantly, the director for this series is Sato Junichi, who was responsible for Kaleido Star and the Aria series.  I loved both of them and I hope he won’t fail me now.

5. Bakemonogatari

The story itself is adapted from a light novel series that is two novels long from NisiOisin.  The premise itself seems interesting enough, and the series is going to be episodic encounters between the protagonist and his supernatural classmates.  Unlike other shows, this one doesn’t have a long list of credentials following it, but the media released so far does seem good.

O and of course, the OP for this series is composed by Supercell.  The composers responsible for Hatsune Miku hits such as Melt, World is Mine, Black Rock Shooter, Love is War, and a number of others.  Though the op is not going to be Miku, I can’t wait to hear it.

6. CANAAN

I’ll be frank, this is an anime based on a visual novel and those are usually really bad.  However, this is a science fiction visual novel that looks strongly influenced by Ghost in the Shell.  In fact it’s even being produced by a PA Works who worked on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society.  I’m all for more anime science fiction, and imo sci-fi is where anime is at its best.  Apparently the original work is of such quality that even the famed Type-Moon is now writing a scenario for it.  This certainly looks good, don’t miss out!

7: Aoi Hana

My last recommendation for this season is Aoi Hana.  Gotta have a yuri pick to fill up the now emptied Candy Boy spot.  But in all seriousness, it looks to be a somewhat heart warming tale of long seperated friends getting back together and moving forward together.  It sounds cornballed, I know but what makes or breaks these shows is the interaction between the main characters, and this one is being worked on by JC Staff who have produced some of my favorite shows.  Past JC Staff works include Shakugan no Shana, Azumanga Daioh, Shigofumi (one of my all time favorites), and Nodame Cantabile.  I have never heard of the mangaka responsible for the original work though.

Conclusion, these 7 picks out of the 19 do look quite promising and rise above the normal moeblobs that seem to be populating anime these days.  I make no guarantees as to the actual quality of  these shows because… well it’s hard to tell the quality of anything from just trailers.  The Fall season is where it really really starts to pick up, so please check my blog again for that!

Some shows that I have been following since last season that are continuing into this season:

Valkyria Chronicles, Natsu no Arashi, Shangri’la, Basquash, Tears to Tiara, Hayate no Gotoku, and Saki

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10 responses

21 06 2009
Nyarth

-still mourning over the fact that there’s no ZnT Season 4 this season- T^T

21 06 2009
aaroninjapan09

Hehe, I’m not. I never could sit through the boredom that was the second season and I didn’t make it past the awful screechiness of the season 3 OP. I tried as hard as I could to like ZnT, but they were incapable of making a good anime out of it.

21 06 2009
Exyen

Only thing that looks good this season is Umineko, <_<. Though I haven't even watched Higurashi yet…

21 06 2009
aaroninjapan09

How can you completely ignore Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. You don’t make any sense!

21 06 2009
FlawlessExa

There seems to be a couple of good ones. Can’t remember all of the names though. But Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 definitely looks interesting. Now I need to find a good fansubber.

21 06 2009
bluemage

Nice recommendations! Hopefully Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 can fill the gap that is Eden of the East for this summer.

I still can’t believe that you’re watching Umi Monogatari because Marin is hot. XDXD

21 06 2009
aaroninjapan09

Hey I have real reasons lol! Marin being hot is just 1 of them.

21 06 2009
Karry

Really, WHO makes those summary pictures ?!? And HOW do people find them so easily ?

23 06 2009
Yuki Phnx

oooh, more zetsubou?

bakemonogatari looks interesting. and i’ll for sure be checking out magnitude.

7 07 2009
Thousy

Perfect!

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