Depending on ANN for Summer Anime Picks Is Probably A Bad Idea

Everyone’s saying that the Summer season looks barren and for good reason: it does look barren. There isn’t anything that doesn’t look “solid at best” on those charts and I’m seriously considering minimizing my anime-watching time in order to finish up some video games I’ve been meaning to get to (cough Dark Souls cough). Also, the new True Detective and (I think) Rick and Morty come out this season, so there’s that. Nevertheless, I like to keep up with the big releases at least, so let’s look at ANN’s post regarding what Japan is looking forward to the most, shall we?

For the record, the only sequel I’ve seen the previous iteration of is Durarara and five episodes of Idolm@ster (which is pretty much nothing) so aside from Durarara, I’m not going to give attention to any of them. Although seriously, Working and Non Non Biyori’s fanbase is bafflingly large for their genres, aren’t they?

Notes and Observations:

– I’m not the least bit surprised to see Durarara!!x2 Ten so high. Despite the last iteration being as fun to watch as gorillas humping each other after taking medication and being regarded as one of the more disappointing Winter 2015 anime by a fair amount of people, it still has plenty of fans eager to see if the show can follow-up on its admittedly decent cliffhanger. I’ll never understand the appeal of baiting the audience with that last-minute shit, especially considering most anime don’t follow up on it, but whatever. I’m this far in, so I might as well see it to the end until I decide there’s nothing more to gain for me watching it. It’s not like its summer peers are putting up a better fight.

– Onto the non-sequel stuff, Charlotte is pretty high up there, isn’t it? PA Works has built up some goodwill from a good amount of people (not necessarily me) with Shirobako and despite the flak he gets from the blogosphere, I don’t think Jun Maeda is that bad (though that may be due to the fact that everyone else not named Urobuchi and arguably Uchikoshi who has jumped onto the scene since has been godawful). However, the director is new, those big-ass PA Works eyes will never leave me alone, and aside from Psycho-Pass, I’ve never really loved an anime where a VN writer was directly involved. Still, anything is possible, so I’ll give it a shot. I mean I certainly didn’t expect Plastic Memories to be as bad as it was even with the writer’s resume, but he sure showed me.

Prison School and that Snow White thing are based on well-liked manga so it’s clear why they’re so high on the list, but I can’t really summon up any enthusiasm for them myself. The former is being produced by JC Staff with Tsutomu Mizushima involved, and by god does that PV look bad. Also, my friends who like it also like Jojo, which Prison School seems to have a similar hyper-stylized presentation to. If it’s in the same vein as that, it won’t even be worth reviewing. As for the Snow White thing, the director’s resume is fine, but the writer’s is hit and miss and I’m not even that big a fan of Bones’ last attempt at shoujo comedy. It’ll get a watch bar it become horribly repetitive like Ore Monogatari ended up being, but I gotta say that the studio in general has not done a good job of winning my favor in recent time.

– Less said about Dragon Ball (and Toei in general) on my end, the better.

– I tend to like Mappa shows, so I’ll be giving the Ushio and Tora remake a go. Can’t say I’m too excited given my mixed reaction to the OVA series, along with the fact that I don’t even know how long this series is going to be. Nevertheless, I’m glad that it got a relatively decent rank on the anticipation charts to begin with and hope that if the show does become as long as Hunter x Hunter, Mappa doesn’t make LN adaptations in-between to fund the project. I know they’re collaborating with Studio VOLN on this the same way they collaborated with Madhouse on Hajime no Ippo: The Rising, but unlike Madhouse, VOLN is a no-name, and I doubt they have much money.

– A little surprised that God Eater is as low as it is given how beautiful the PV looks, even with the obvious CG. Then again, so did Fate/Stay Night’s PVs and it turned out the show was shit, so meh. I don’t know anything about the game it’s based on anyways, so I shouldn’t really speculate too much. It definitely looks big and it’s not a Type-Moon show, so I’ll most likely watch it all the way.

– Forgot to mention Gatchaman Crowds on here the first time I wrote this. I had to rush this post out before I went to exploring Seattle’s Asian district and it’s not in the top 20 because Japan probably didn’t like how troubled its production ended up being and all that other shit, so these things happen. Long story short, I wasn’t a fan of the first season, but I didn’t think it was as bad as the detractors made it out to be. I’m definitely watching this new one to keep up with all the cool kids, but I’ve been burned on second seasons and Tatsunoko before, so I’m not expecting it to win me over.

– Disappointed that Gangsta couldn’t rank. What I read about it doesn’t look great, but it seems like a solid show and Manglobe isn’t exactly the most wretched thing out there, even by the usual standards of anime studios.

– Half-surprised, half-not surprised that Gate ranked at all. I wasn’t interested to begin with because I hate soldier fiction, but the reaction it’s gotten from certain fanbases has me curious. I didn’t stick with Mahouka, so maybe I’ll make up for that with this.

– Forgot to mention Symphogear as well even though I finished the first season and saw 1-2 episodes of the second. Pretty much shows how forgettable I find that shockingly boring franchise.

– It looks like most of the anticipated shows according to the ANN crowd Japan are going to be a wash, huh? Can’t believe I’m devoting this many words to them in the first place given I’m on vacation right now, and regardless of my pre-feelings, I’m going to see them when they come out anyways. Ah well.

20 responses to “Depending on ANN for Summer Anime Picks Is Probably A Bad Idea

  1. Hi, just a heads up. That isn’t a list of what ANN is looking forward to the most. This is pretty bad writing on ANN’s part. I didn’t realize that this wasn’t an ANN list either until I got to the very bottom of the post, where it says “Let us know which show you’re most looking forward to in our own poll! We’ll post the ANN readers’ choices in a separate article in the future!”

    I believe it’s actually a list compiled by Charapedia of Japanese fans’ anticipated series.

  2. I’m not convinced that A-1 Pictures can make a decent adaptation, but Gate as a manga(though it originates as a novel) is pretty good. Sure, there’s some military stuff, some nationalistic leanings, but it tends to work really well when they’re exploring the fantasy world and its reactions to the advanced technology that Japan brings into it(at least compared to the world’s tech). It’s just kind of grating at times to have to get through some of the dumb stuff to get to the good elements, though the low points aren’t common.

    • No offense, but that just makes the series sound like a juvenile version of Mass Effect. And I didn’t even like the original Mass Effect one bit (not that I hated it up until that final game. Just never cared for the franchise).

      • Hmmm, not sure how to respond exactly. A lot of the series sticks with the fantasy world, how the Japanese military is dealing with it in a politically correct manner(though this is shown through Itami and co’s action more than politically), as well as Itami and co’s adventures in general. Itami isn’t out to unite the world or anything like that. There are character arcs that get explored, and some overarching plots. It’s just that it tends to focus on the characters a bit more than any overarching story.

        It’s just that the story takes a nose dive in quality when it deals with the modern world. The author has some nationalistic views that are pretty obvious in that regard, and his understanding of politics comes off as biased. I like the overall story and setting a lot, but those lows can easily drive off anyone who’s not as invested as I am.

  3. Eh, I think depending on strangers on the internet for your anime pick is always a bad idea. From my observation, once you have watched enough anime, you would develop your unique taste. This is true for all medium and the reason why critics often have different opinion from the mainstream crowds. So it’s best to do your own research and watch whatever you want.

    On the other hand, I never understand you and E Minor’s ideas of watching and blogging so many shows you don’t like. Doesn’t seem to be sustainable in the long run.

    • I can relate with that, but the thing is, since anime is hardly a monolithic genre and more of a brand of cartoon with some specific stylistic and cultural quirks, I don’t really understand loving anime as a whole any more than hating it. I certainly have some tropes/genres that I like, namely, that are well received by me enough that I am willing to overlook their individual flaws, but do I love the boring harem shows? Do I love the n-th bland LN adaptation? Do I love the convoluted, shock-value fueled ecchi crap?

      No, not really. Some of my favourite anime shows are way more related to some western shows/works than they are to those OTHER anime shows, so yeah. I wouldn’t feel obligated to give them the same fair starting amount of attention any more that I would feel to give it to the latest piece of shit pooped out by the “Something (Scary, Epic, Date) Movie” franchise just because I like Kubrick or Tarantino.

      • but do I love the boring harem shows? Do I love the n-th bland LN adaptation? Do I love the convoluted, shock-value fueled ecchi crap?

        Ironically, my top two anime of the season (Punchline and Sidonia S2) fall into those categories. Of course, it’s when they indulge in said ecchi crap that they lose me, but still…

      • I’m liking Punchline quite a lot too but I wouldn’t classify it in either category – it’s a bit of an outlier. It has an harem setup but isn’t one as there only is one girl who has some sort of romantic attraction to the protagonist (and their relationship is actually better explored than the average random harem crap). It isn’t an LN adaptation. And while it does have this weird obsession for panty shots it turned it into a ‘practical’ thing – there’s almost never a “Yuuta is a pervert” joke, it’s just that, matter of factly, seeing panties triggers his Uberification.

        Someone also pointed out that considering that Yuuta is actually a boy’s mind in a girl’s body, he should have to deal with breasts and female genitals every day, which he probably hardly considers “his own” too, and therefore he may be used to that sight, and be instead more sexually aroused by something more specifically “feminine” as the panties are.

        Or maybe the title says it all, and this panty thing is an overly long setup to a punchline that will be delivered at the end of the last episode. I wouldn’t put it above this show. Anyway it doesn’t really qualify as ecchi for me, it’s way too tame/too little sexualized for that, and I guess that’s the reason why everyone jumped out of that bandwagon – it looked like an ecchi show but didn’t deliver there, so most people who expected it were disappointed and dropped it.

      • Actually, according to what I read, people hated how smug it was regarding its premise and that all these cool things were in service of plot-relevant panty shots. Airing in the noitamina block no less.

        Personally, it’s not those differences that keep me in the show (although it helps when you compare it to Sidonia). It’s the fact that it has a story.

      • I suppose it just went for a weird middle way. Too brainy for the ecchi lovers, too ecchi/stupid for those looking for an artsy show. It hit the uncanny valley of anime tastes right in the middle. I don’t think it’s great either, just pretty okay (if they pull off a good ending that may change though), but right now it seems to be firmly on the train to oblivion. It may jump to the eye in the context of this season, but I seriously doubt it has anything to be remembered for.

        And I’ve been pretty surprised by many of the Sidonia screenshots I’ve seen recently. I thought it was a serious show back in Season 1. Now most of the stuff makes me want to unsee it (mostly due to the weird-as-fuck combination of ecchi and CGI).

  4. Depending on whether Dragon Ball Super is animated like World Trigger (aka DBZ-style) or the movies, its ratings are going to be a lot different- though I feel it’ll probably be the former, just Saiyan.
    Actually, Super has a lot in common with Star Wars 7 now that I think about it. Funny, eh?

    I swear, I keep getting Gate, God Eater, and Chaos Dragon mixed up. I’ll watch the former two, but I’m not going anywhere near Chaos Dragon.

    And that means I’m watching Gatchaman, DB Super (maybe), DRRR Ten, God Eater, Gate, Overlord, and maybe Gangsta and GenderbenderXSurvival next season.

    • I really REALLY hope they put some effort in DB Super. DBGT still bears a special brand of infamy (another thing it has in common with the Star Wars franchise). Pulling it out of canon just to replace it with another badly produced turd would be pretty pointless.

  5. How do you feel about Rokka no Yuusha? I’m not sure if you’d like it, but it sure does look better than the rest of the summer shows- at least at first glance. It has one of the scriptwriters for Monster and NANA onboard, so it should be at least competent in that department, and the art direction, animation, and music are really strong as well. The overall quality will probably hinge on how good the source material is, but I’d still say it’s worth a look.