Let's Talk About the Anime of Summer 2017


#1

Don’t watch anime seasonally, kids! That said, in case you’re a glutton for punishment like me, here’s some things to check out this summer. As always the pickings are thin, but summer’s played host to some risky and cool anime hits (Mob Psycho 100 and Mawaru Penguindrum among them.)

Welcome to the Ballroom!

Really enjoy the original comic–a shounen series about ballroom dancing, and REALLY INTENSE as you’d expect. I most appreciate its attention to detail re: how each character presents on and off the floor, plus the negotiations between the protagonist and his different partners. The director served as a pinch hitter on Dennou Coil (one of my favorites!!) and Satoshi Kon’s work, so hopefully he’ll be a good fit?

Watch on: Anime Strike

The Reflection

You might not know this, but the guy who directed Mushishi is the biggest fan of superheroes on the face of the planet. In fact, he’s such a big fan of superheroes that he’s working directly (more so than usual??) with Stan Lee on this, an animated series about superheroes. I don’t actually know whether this’ll be any good, but Hiroshi Nagahama’s more than earned the benefit of the doubt. Plus (if news from Sakuracon this year is to be believed) he has OPINIONS about Matt Murdock’s mask design in Netflix’s Daredevil.

Watch on: Crunchyroll

My Hero Academia CONTINUES

My Hero Academia is probably the best new Shounen Jump comic currently running, and the anime version’s an adequate substitute with an excellent soundtrack and moments of greatness. If you’re sick and tired of Secret Empire, watch this show about Child Steve Rogers putting his life on the line to save his friends in Superhero High School. It’s good!

Watch on: Crunchyroll

Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ: By shedding many tears, the reality you face is…

Symphogear is a show about superpowered idols doing things like punching mountain peaks, turning their boots into a sword and dive-kicking the incarnation of evil, and singing elaborate musical numbers about the beauty of beef stroganoff. You probably already know if you are watching this or not!

Watch on: Crunchyroll??? (all the other seasons are on there.)

Legend of the Galactic Heroes

Hey, this show aired years ago! Why yes, it did, but it just became available on the online streaming service HIDIVE. This is one of my favorite SF tv shows ever, pitting an arrogant would-be dictator with a hatred for the corrupt ruling class against an exhausted historian-tactician trying to make the best of a failing democracy, on opposite sides of the galaxy. It’s a reminder that anime made back in the 80s can be just as inspiring as stuff aired today.

Watch on: HIDIVE

Anything I’m missing? Let me know in the comments below.


#2

I’m definitely interested in Welcome To The Ballroom and the continuation of My Hero Academia despite having been caught up on the manga it’s still one of the most enjoyable to watch shows in a while, thanks to Studio Bones.

Keeping an eye out for this potentially adorable show with an interesting Digimon-esque art style: Made in Abyss


#3

Even though its finished airing Little Witch Academia should be up on Netflix in a couple of hours from this post. If you have Netflix you can watch the first two OVAs already.

I have no real idea what this is, but I’ll give 18ifs first episode a shot.

The only things I’m looking forward to are. Ballroom and more My Hero Academia. I’m also looking forward to Reflection if its good.


#4

say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat

mushishi’s one of my favs, it’s way up there aaaaaaaaaaaahhhh

I’d definitely written this one off, to be honest. Guess I’ll have to at least give it a shot. It has a pretty nice style to it. O:

Ballroom is on my watch list, too, because I’m a sucker for shounen sports, and fuck yeah gimme this.

Besides those, I guess, MHA and Owarimonogatari are all I’m interested in. It’s a pretty lean season for me. As usual, I’ll probably pick up one or two more if they receive a lot of buzz, but nothing’s looking good to me. D:

EDIT: Dear lord some of the art in that Ballroom PV is… really bad? Their neck lengths change drastically from scene to scene. And the position of said necks relative to the torso… What is happening?!


#5

That Ballroom dancing anime looks fantastic. I think it’s hilarious that the owner of the studio is named Mr Sengoku.


#6

I’m kind of ride or die for Saiyuki and I have no justification for that.


#7

I’ll probably mostly just continue watching Precure and Pokémon this season, but it might be nice to watch something that’s actually specifically this season as well.


#8

I’m probably going to check out the Avengers anime because i’m a dipshit, and also Tsurezure Children which is an adaptation of a cute and fun 4koma series about dumb kids falling in love.


#9

Man Symphogear is just pure over the top fun. I do worry that the show is starting to drag if they continue to add in subplots but I just here to hear how loud Aoi Yuuki can scream.

Annoying how Netflix was holding back Little Witch Academia till they can dub it but from what I seen it pure school life and wonderful character development in a magical school.


#10

The next Ultraman show debuts on the 1st but will be rebroadcast on the 8th and is expected to be picked up by Crunchyroll.

I will protect my son


#11

Some more you should check out:

Kakegurui


Did you like Kaiji but wish he was a schoolgirl who was gay for gambling? Then this is your show! Animated by the talented folks at MAPPA, with a bit of a jazzy soundtrack, The plot is dumb as hell but I’m kinda looking forward to this one.

Shōkoku no Altair (“Altair: A Record of Battles”)


Another MAPPA joint, based off an award-winning manga involving a war with the not!Ottoman Empire. Legit expecting good things from this one.

Princess Principal


Something about schoolgirl spies in 19th Century London, and there’s a ninja for some reason. The soundtrack from the PVs got me interested. I’m expecting a trainwreck, but maybe this will surprise me.


#12

So we’re about a quarter of the way through the Summer season. Let’s circle back around to some of these animes:

  • Aho Girl: Slapstick humor about world’s biggest idiot who loves bananas. The childhood friend is voiced by Tomokazu Sugita. It’s fun if you want to feel your brain melting out of your head for about 12 minutes.

  • 18if: Loosely based on a mobage I never heard of, produced by what’s left of Gonzo, so I went into this fresh. Kinda trippy as it involves a boy jumping into different dreamworlds to wake up a Sleeping Beauty, but only after they murder someone else. Also there’s a doctor who shows up as Puss In Boots for some reason. I guess it’s worth watching if you like an inverted Alice in Wonderland.

  • Gamers!: Apparently ArcSys is sponsoring the anime so the characters play actual Guilty Gear Xrd and Persona 4 Ultimax matches at some point. I got bored 5 minutes in and didn’t feel like seeing the rest.

  • Kakegurui: Main girl is challenged to a rigged game, finds out how it’s rigged, wins anyway. Pretty much as advertised, but the reaction faces alone are worth it. Also the OP theme is great.

  • Princess Principal: A steampunk-ish spy story with a Cold War between the east and west of England, featuring a scheming Princess, portable gravity-shifting tech, a 20-something cosplaying as a schoolgirl and a ninja for some reason. It’s not bad, but I dunno if I’m gonna stick with it.

  • Restaurant to Another World: Story about a chef who lives/works in a Western-style Japanese restaurant that seems to warp to another dimension at night, and he just serves the various characters who walk through his door without complaint. More Jamie Oliver than Gordon Ramsay. It’s a wonderful non-serious anime to just relax with in the background.

  • Ballroom e Youkoso: Your standard shounen sports anime, but with 10 Dance! Points for making competitive ballroom dancing look even more interesting, but not my type of show.

Still want to watch: Shōkoku no Altair, Made In Abyss


#13

Here’s my current watch list, all on Crunchyroll (US region).

  • Katsugeki TOUKEN RANBU: Touken Ranbu is a cross-media series about the personification of famous swords (and spears) from Japanese history fighting the Time Retograde Army to prevent history from being changed. As of episode 4, there’s been very little mention of the “hey we’re actually swords brought to life” part, but plenty of fights against the Time Retrograde Army and preserving history part. Very high production values with beautiful animation and fight scenes from Ufotable, some nice character interaction too. While Katsugeki is part of a larger series, the show is designed so newcomers can jump into it.

  • Elegant Yokai Apartment Life: A teenager ends up moving into a large shared home inhabited by humans and yokai after the school dorm he’s about to move into burns down. Three episodes so far, it’s mostly slice-of-life with the main character learning to adjust to life around yokai and humans with extraordinary abilities, but there’s also some heart in the show too. If the show is all about “family is something you make”, I’m perfectly okay with that. Content warning, episode 3 deals with child abuse and neglect as well as animal death, all handled in a very serious and tragic way.

  • Fastest Finger First: A sports anime about the world of quiz bowl. It follows the standard sport anime theme of “student at new school stumbles in the world of [activity] and finds out he’s good at it” with the twist being the sport is quiz bowl, competitions people compete to answer trivia questions as quickly and accurately as they can. It’s charming and an interesting look at the techniques and details behind trivia competitions.

  • GAMERS!: GAMERS! is about a lonely, video game loving teenage boy that gets invited to the gaming club by the hottest girl in school. It also manages to subvert the typical genre of “person joins high school club and makes new friends”. The show is about video games and the people that play video games, but two episodes in and there’s a surprising amount of heart. Episode one is about loving something doesn’t mean you need to be hardcore about it. Episode two is about being honest about the things you enjoy doing and not letting peer pressure stopping you from enjoying things. Episode two is also about not blaming other people for “having a life” when you refuse to take actions to change your own life.

  • Restaurant to Another World: Several years ago, there was an anime called Bartender. The show was generally about the joy of having a good drink and having a quiet moment to reflect, with each episode focusing on a specific cocktail and the history of it. While Restaurant to another World doesn’t do the deed dive on each dish, it focuses on two dishes per episode and the sheer joy of experiencing a good meal. Very relaxing, very heartwarming.

  • A Centaur’s Life: This show is a slice of life about a world inhabited by monster people. The show is overall cute and high school slice of life action, but also fairly political. The first episode goes into how slavery and hate crimes used to exist in the past, so now in the present, equity (above all) is the key. As the black suits in sunglasses stand outside the doorway and nod their approval. And armed soldiers escort students on a school trip. And a centaur offering a friend a ride on her back would result in her friend committing a hate crime. It’s hard to say how the two aspects of the show will balance out, if it at all, or if there will be a meaningful discussion of what equity actually means and how to effectively implement it.


#14

Only caught up on a couple so far, and I knew I was going to watch them both anyways.

Want to circle around to Gamers, Made in Abyss, Princess Pricinpal, and Centaur eventually. I imagine I would be watching Symphogear as well if I were caught up on past seasons.

Also a weeks-late note for @Zeemod: be careful about going into Made in Abyss for its adorable art style.


#15

Welcome to the Ballroom continues to be great, that Princess Principal and Made in Abyss are still my top picks for the season, sucks that none are on Crunchyroll…

@syz I’m sensing some darker stuff ahead with Abyss. You don’t just have hundreds of skeletal remains in praying positions and expect sunshine and lollipops.

Also not on Crunchyroll but good if you’re interested in romance/drama anime, Love and Lies turned out to be an interesting take on government arranged relationships due to Japan’s decreasing population rate. I was surprised when the show didn’t forget about how the law potentially discriminates against gay couples, it took three episodes to get there but I’m curious to see how they develop that plot point.

Gamers seems good so far. It manages to make the characters not suck or be 2-dimensional. Yay! But right now I’m having more fun with Tsuredure Children which is just a 12-minute-short-comedic-skits-about-relationships show.


#16

I am completely undone by the music Yuki Hayashi does for My Hero Academy. So much of the show is the score for me. I feel like I am 12 and I’ve never had an emotion. I looked at his wiki and he used to do Men’s Rhythmic Gymnastics, sometimes reality is better than anything.

Also delighted to see there’s a place I can finally watch LOGH.


#17

kakegurui is incredibly good. it is THE dirtbag scum girl representation i have been needing for ages


#18

I sat down with Kakegurui and loved it. It’s just the kind of insanity I like to unwind with. I’m on the fence about New Game and Made in Abyss. Someone told me Abyss gets creepy but they said the same about Flip Flappers and I loved that.


#19

My Hero Academia and Made in Abyss is Summer superstar