Summer 2016 Anime
June 9, 2016 6:49 PM - Subscribe

Recently the anime charts have been posted and let's discuss which series we're following here.

There's quite a few anticipated new shows soon. I'm looking forward to the DGM reboot and Mob Psycho 100.

Anichart 2016 Summer
posted by chrono_rabbit (76 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh, hey, Barakamon is getting a prequel, "Handa-kun". Don't know if it's by the same people, but I thought Barakamon was very good.

I usually wait for the Reddit threads with detailed info about the past work of the new shows' directors and creative teams. Then, armed with that information, I indiscriminately watch whatever shows up on Crunchyroll...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 6:17 AM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Why can't I get Free! Iwatobi Swim Club Season 3. Doesn't KyoAni want an excuse to print money?
posted by needled at 3:36 PM on June 11, 2016

Decent crop, mostly reboots/sequels though.
posted by pwnguin at 9:26 PM on June 12, 2016

Really looking forward to Orange. Loved the manga.

Not really sure what I'm going to watch else.

I loved Tanaka-kun and Flying Witch so something else like that would be great. Any recommendations ?
posted by Pendragon at 3:27 PM on June 17, 2016

I see where Kuromukuro has a Netflix page now, and is supposed to be viewable--the first 13 episodes, anyway--on July 3rd.

This arguably makes it a summer anime... for me, anyway... and therefore eligible for discussion here. I haven't heard a great deal about it, but everything I've heard's been good, so I'm gonna have a look.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 1:36 PM on June 20, 2016

I loved Tanaka-kun and Flying Witch so something else like that would be great.

Amanchu!: from the same mangaka who wrote Aria, which was turned into the ultimate series of healing anime and done by the same studio (J. C. Staff) which was responsible for Flying Witch. Shy high school girl has just moved to the other side of the country, gets involved with a very lively class mate, who introduces her to the wonders of scuba diving, which the original author is a huge fan of as well. If it does justice to the manga, it will be very good.

Amaama To Inazuma: another manga adaption. The wife of a high school teacher died, leaving him caring for their young daughter alone. Through circumstances they get involved with one of his students, whose mother runs a family restaurant/diner and is also a tv chef and the three of them start cooking together: a cross between USagi Drop (highly recommned) and Food Wars but without the ickier aspects of either. The daughter is adorable, the student has a bit of a crush on her teacher, but there's nothing icky about it and the food will make you hungry.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:45 AM on June 28, 2016

Kuromukuro is great as well: the main heroine's mum is the director of the research institute dedicated to investigating the alien remnants uncovered sixty years ago. One day she's visiting her in her lab just as the aliens come back and attack -- isn't that always the way? A few of the alien mecha manage to get into the lab where she's add, but she manages to accidently stumble onto one of the alien artifacts there and release a buck naked samurai who'd been frozen inside for some 400 years who quickly saves her.

And that's the first two episodes. They end up piloting a giant robot together, as you do, while the aliens try and kill them. Not the most original of stories, but it has a great cast with some actual competent adults (who actually manage to destroy at least some of the attacking mecha themselves) and is well executed and animated.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:50 AM on June 28, 2016

Thanks for the recommendations, MartinWisse. Added to the watchlist.
posted by Pendragon at 2:50 PM on June 28, 2016

I tried watching Kuromukuro and I am really hating the female MC. Does she develop some backbone as the series goes on, or am I supposed to find cute her crying and panicking?
posted by needled at 8:04 AM on July 1, 2016

Does she develop some backbone as the series goes on, or am I supposed to find cute her crying and panicking?

Yukina improves, but by episode 12, she's still struggling. But watch closely: even in her first time in the cockpit, she's helping considerably, noticing dangers the pilot doesn't, and helping save the day in spite of herself. She may be an Usagi Tsukino type character, someone who would rather be anything but a heroine, but is able to rise to the occasion and do what her fate demands.

All of the characters are flawed in one way or another. After all, Yukina is just an average high school kid, dumped into a giant bot and told to save the world. Evangelion showed us what happens when you do that: kids with serious psychological problems. Teenage giant bot pilots are the equivalent of child soldiers in Africa.

Kuromukuro is not as dark a show as Evangelion, at least not so far, but it still acknowledges this.

It's not as deep as Evangelion, either, but I'm still enjoying it, just as a fun show.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 12:09 PM on July 1, 2016

In case you missed it, Crunchyroll released the entire series of ReLIFE on Friday for subscribers, with the shows becoming available for non-subscribers on a week by week basis. Which meant I spent Friday night binge watching it.

The plot is basically that an unemployed 27 year old loser is offered a pill that turns him back into 17, so he can re-enter high school for a year and if he does so successfully, he'll get a job at the end of it. Once in high school he meets and befriends various pretty girls and helps solve their problems through his more adult insights.

Which all sounds like a pure wish fulfillment fantasy and on the surface it is, but the show goes some very dark places as the reasons for why the main character quit his first job after only three months become clear.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:03 AM on July 3, 2016

For me they'd Arslan, ava JoJo's guess I've just gotten really picky in my old age.
posted by happyroach at 10:27 AM on July 3, 2016

ReLife: welp, that explains why I missed out during the initial runtime of the series. I like the comic and I think it works OK as a anime but at the same time I hope they cut out some of the draggy moments. Also MC is much closer to my current age range so that helps me relate better to his situation.

Orange: So far a strong 1st episode about a time-travelling letter from 10 yrs in the future and I hope it doesn't suddenly get into a weird loop where MC tries to change the future but fails over and over. Although I read the intro chapter a long time ago but I'll wait to watch the anime for a better exp.
posted by chrono_rabbit at 8:16 PM on July 3, 2016

Just saw the first episode of Fukigen na Mononokean, and it was kinda good. Kid discovers he can see yokai when a fuzzy one attaches itself to him, with ambiguous intentions. Then learns that one of his schoolmates deals with these sorts of problems in a semi-professional capacity, and is recruited to assist. Aside from these three, the only other cast member so far is the kid's mother, who communicates exclusively by presenting people with elaborate flower arrangements, and then saying, "In the language of flowers, this means..."

Nothing earthshaking about it, but it was mildly funny and good-humored, and not immediately obviously terribly cliched. Gonna watch some more of it.

I also watched the forty-eight-minutes long first episode of Rewrite, which spent two minutes introducing each of about twenty characters, all of them those weird saucer-eyed Key girls, indistinguishable from the cast of Kanon or whatever else you may have seen by them. MC keeps having flashbacks to... another life? AN ALTERNATE REALITY???!?!?--but he doesn't really seem to care; he's having psychotic-break-like episodes, then blandly shrugging them off and forgetting about them so he can hustle off to the next situation where he sees somebody's panties or is late for school or whatever. I don't see why I should be any more interested than he is... but then the episode ended on a strong note, with the appearance of an inexplicable Colonel Sanders mannequin, so I guess I'll look in on the next one.

And I had a look at Berserk, which will be award-winning if they give awards for pissing off your fanbase, or for Worst CGI, though Mayoiga is also nominated for that one and it could go either way. I don't know the source material, so I'm not personally insulted by the show, as a lot of folks seem to be. It's just pure trying-too-hard edginess, with crows pecking corpses and lotsa stabbin' and heavy metal guitar music with umlauts on everything, even the consonants.

Anyway I'm gonna watch at least an episode of everything Crunchyroll puts in front of me, with the exception of anything about "idols" 'cause you've got to draw the line somewhere. Apparently there's something called "bananya" that is about a cat living in a banana, and I am looking forward to it because apparently I have no personal standards.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 9:08 AM on July 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

Rewrite was very very Visual Novely indeed, but incoherent as the episode was and nowhere near as good as the KyoAni Key adaptations, I still enjoyed it on a scene by scene base.

Fukigen na Mononokean was decent, a sort of cross between Natsume's Book of Friends for the being able to see youkai and Rin-ne for the being in depth to a shady exorcist part.

Orange was excellent in establishing the friendship between the six main characters and setting up the plot hook.

Tales of Zestiria X: decent, action orientated but don't remember much of it.

Puzzle & Dragons Cross: sci-fantasy shounen with the obligatory messy haired protagonist. Nothing you haven't seen before but decently done, very much a kids show.

Days: could be the a great football/soccer show based on the first episode, which features the meeting of the newbie with a head for hard work and hidden talents and the established superstar whose interest in football is rekindled by our noob's enthusiasm. Both are decent guys and there's some hints at backstory that look intriguing.

Love Live! Sunshine!! You liked Love Live!? Then this does it all over again, only in the countryside and with much better animation.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:41 AM on July 4, 2016

Just watched the first episode of Amaama to Inazuma and it's cuuuute !!! I think this will fill my Flying Witch hole nicely.
posted by Pendragon at 12:10 PM on July 4, 2016

The original manga is great and I'm glad the anime does justice to it. I had the same thought as well that this would be a great Flying Witch replacement.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:15 PM on July 4, 2016

The only new summer anime I've seen so far is Fukigen na Mononokean - so far seems it will be easy to watch, and I was amused that the exorcist dude was 'Abeno' (as in Abe no Seimei) and the dude who gets possessed was 'Ashiya' (as in Ashiya Douman).

Trying to catch up with Arslan's first season so I can start watching the second season.
posted by needled at 4:07 PM on July 4, 2016

Just saw the first episode of Amaama to Inazuma, which features a charming father-daughter relationship and a cute kid who manages to be actually cute and not grating. It's about a single dad who's a teacher and a terrible cook, who starts getting help at mealtimes from... uh... one of his high-school-aged female students. It seems to be likable and well-done, but there is a certain creepiness inherent in the premise and I have no idea how they're going to get around it.

Also checked out Kuromukuro last night and thought the art and the world and the setup were all very interesting--although I thought the same things about Kabaneri last season, and now I can't be assed to watch the last few episodes of that. Oh, and Bananya was everything I hoped it'd be--three minutes of a cat in a banana and a narrator saying, "Isn't that cute? Look, it's a cat in a banana." I guess there are more episodes? I don't know, it seems like they may have gone as far as there is to go with the concept already. We'll see.

Bunch of new offerings on Crunchyroll this morning, including 'New Game', which looks like a Shirobako knockoff on the face of it but might be good in its own right.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:05 AM on July 5, 2016

a certain creepiness inherent in the premise and I have no idea how they're going to get around it.

If it follows the manga that creepiness is quickly dispelled. There is no age inappropriate romance between the teacher and his pupil, though she does have a bit of a crush on him later on. Importantly, other people get involved as well: his best friend and her best friend drop by regularly, while her mother knows of it quickly and occasionally joins as well. That makes for a much different dynamic than if it had stayed with the three of them.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:25 PM on July 5, 2016

>If it follows the manga that creepiness is quickly dispelled.

Just to clarify, there's nothing to dispel so far--the show's first episode was entirely free of creepiness. It just seems like it's going to require deft handling to avoid becoming creepy as it progresses. And not that I doubt it'll receive deft handling, or anything, but... I mean, it IS an anime, for God's sake... :)
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:47 PM on July 5, 2016

"Shirobako knockoff about video games" sounds a lot like something I want, but I'm 4 minutes in and the main character is shrieking about panties and this is not a promising start.
posted by RobotHero at 4:31 PM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Well, I give all the shows I watch 3 episodes to impress me, so we will see if New Game stays. I loved Shirobako and need my workspace SoL anime :-)
posted by Pendragon at 2:07 AM on July 6, 2016

Wait, not all shows, I dropped Berserk after the first episode, because, damn, that CGI. And skipping a lot of content from the manga.
posted by Pendragon at 2:10 AM on July 6, 2016

I liked New Game a lot, because all other considerations aside, it nailed that awkwardness of the first day of starting your new job, of not quite knowing what to do and not wanting to be a burden, of still needing to figure your new cow-orkers out.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:27 AM on July 6, 2016

I liked New Game, but a pantyshot in the first episode ? That has to be some kind of record.
posted by Pendragon at 2:52 AM on July 6, 2016

>I'm 4 minutes in and the main character is shrieking about panties and this is not a promising start.

Oh dear. I likened it to Shirobako based on having seen the thumbnail and read the blurb on Crunchyroll. I probably should have made it clearer that I had no idea what I was talking about...

>a pantyshot in the first episode ? That has to be some kind of record.

Well, you're obviously not keeping up with the trends in the terrible battle/harem shows... :)
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:31 AM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

I liked New Game a lot, because all other considerations aside, it nailed that awkwardness of the first day of starting your new job, of not quite knowing what to do and not wanting to be a burden, of still needing to figure your new co-workers out.

Yes, that's a great description. With the added pressure in Japan about that whole honorifics, senpai/kohai business...
posted by Pendragon at 5:47 AM on July 6, 2016

What I've seen so far, all Crunchy.

Berserk. Animation style is an unusual combo of CG and pseudo-hand drawn; perhaps off-putting. First episode: lots of yelling and fighting. Fairy butts.

Orange. A high school girl receives letters from herself, ten years in the future. Her older self wants to help her younger one avoid errors that she still regrets. First episode was intriguing, touching, with a good bit of tension and suspense. So far, not very dark. Gorgeous detailed backgrounds, but oddly flat and insubstantial, even ugly character design. Good animation, though. Orange could turn out to be mere wish fulfillment fluff, or it could be something better.

Tattoo. School kids with super powers. Fighting. Giant Gainaxing breasts. Comedy-drama. Good direction, moves along quickly, but smells like yet another harem comedy.

Strategic Defense Academy Ataraxia. Ridiculous soft core porn.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:45 AM on July 6, 2016

>a pantyshot in the first episode ? That has to be some kind of record.

In Lime-iro Senkitan, aired 2003, the first episode opened with a full-screen pantyshot.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:58 AM on July 6, 2016

I stand corrected then :-)
posted by Pendragon at 7:17 AM on July 6, 2016

Last season's Kumamiko had a joke about having oral sex with a bear in the first episode. (It wasn't even a particularly bad nor fanservice-y show, at least not for the few episodes that I watched, but it did have the one eyebrow-raising moment, there...)
posted by Sing Or Swim at 9:41 AM on July 6, 2016

Oh, Kuma Miko got a lot worse in later episodes. Some people think it was the anime creators highlighting troubling aspects of the original manga as a way to satirise them, but I'm not convinced.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:07 PM on July 6, 2016

Yeah, a shame about Kuma Miko, it had good stuff in between the bad. And I loved the opening and ending songs. You can tell the opening song was produced by Bonjour Suzuki of Yuri Kuma Arashi fame (she also did the ending of Space Patrol Luluco).
posted by Pendragon at 1:45 PM on July 6, 2016

I got through the second episode of Kumamiko, and maybe the third, and then got irritated with the bear for not supporting her. Seriously, she can't go live in the city because she doesn't know how to work a microwave? You know how long it takes to figure out how to work a microwave? It just made the bear look like he was scared she'd turn out to be perfectly capable and she'd never look back, and then he'd just be a stupid fuckin' bear in the stupid fuckin' woods. Anyway, if it only got worse from there, I'm glad I dropped it.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:52 PM on July 6, 2016

Okay, I buckled down and watched the rest of New Game, episode 1, and they did not come up with further reasons for characters to be pantsless. Yeah, like MartinWisse says, it works as a first-day-of-work. But then 90% of what happened could have happened at lots of companies, it doesn't feel very specific to a game company.

Comparing it to Shirobako is probably not fair, because Shirobako is a masterpiece. But I'm going to do it anyway. It always felt like Shirobako was based off real experiences in animation. In New Game, I didn't get the same feeling that the writer had really worked at a game company. Maybe this will improve next episode when the main character is given some actual work to do.
posted by RobotHero at 6:59 PM on July 6, 2016

>I didn't get the same feeling that the writer had really worked at a game company.

Well, she's supposed to be an artist, and when her boss identifies herself as an AD, her first thought isn't "art director". Then her boss, who presumably recently interviewed and hired her, doesn't know whether she knows how to use 3d modeling software. And she doesn't, but got hired anyway to do characters. So they give her a box with Maya in it (because it wouldn't already be installed on her machine, they're just handing out boxes with discs in them) and tell her to go learn it.

No, the writers have never seen the inside of a game company.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:15 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

So they give her a box with Maya in it

Didn't they give her a training book ?
posted by Pendragon at 4:22 AM on July 7, 2016

Oh--yeah, you're right. It was a book. I stand corrected.

That makes slightly more sense than a boxed version of the software, but not enough to save the overall effect IMO. Her employers don't know her skillset, her skillset doesn't match her job, and she doesn't know what they're working on until they're all leaving at the end of her first day? Not buying it.

I mean, I still liked the show passably well; I don't mean to kvetch about stuff that doesn't really matter. But if this is supposed to be an insider POV, it lacks credibility.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:10 AM on July 7, 2016

It's not really meant as the new Shirabako, rather more as another Otaku Culture Production series with cute girls in the fantasy version of game production.

Don't forget the heroine is straight out of high school so it may make sense she's never worked with Maya before; isn't that a fairly high end 3d programme? In general, she may be more ignorant than you'd expect in real life --but you'd suprised-- but that makes narrative sense: 1) helps gets readers up to speed with the industry by having things explained to her and 2) much of the appeal of the original manga is seeing the innocent abroad. For me that feeling of starting a new job was captured rather well and that matters more for me than getting the details quite right. YMMV of course.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:23 AM on July 7, 2016

Yeah, I liked the show, and the strict accuracy of those kinds of details don't really matter. I'm also finding Kuromukuro a lot easier to watch than most things I've seen lately...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:09 AM on July 7, 2016

I liked the first episode of Servamp, even though it's probably not a realistic representation of real vampires. It's like the Odd Couple but one of them's a vampire.
posted by RobotHero at 11:18 AM on July 7, 2016

Yeah, I saw Servamp, too--I sort of liked that the main character was Steps-Up-To-The-Plate Guy. That's an endearing trait. On the other hand the main villain has a big top hat. There's a whole school of thought in anime which says that big top hats are the answer to all your character design problems, but this is not a theory which I subscribe to. So... concerned about the hat, but maybe I'll watch another one.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 12:03 PM on July 7, 2016

Servamp was meh to me. Decent enough done for a kids adventure show, but if I'll follow one of those this season it'll probably be Puzzle and Dragons Cross which was much more solid.

I also liked Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars, which has ageless lolis piloting mechas and in which the two main characters are sisters and nothing else.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:32 PM on July 7, 2016

I wondered if I should have a look at the Puzzle thing. Wow, Crunchyroll just put up 91 Days, and another new one, This Art Club Has A Problem. There's no way I can pass on an anime about an art club. So far I'm watching WAY too much stuff. The only things that have eliminated themselves through sheer terribleness are:

-Hybrid×Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia, which is about boobs ("Kizuna has the power to level up a girl through indecent acts. With a battle against another world, the future depends on this power.")

-Scar-red Rider Xechs, which had battlin' magic teenagers against monsters from another world, and was distinguished only by the fact that the monsters were called "Nightfly O'Notes". Even if the rest of it was good, I don't think I could watch people fighting "Nightfly O'Notes".
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:42 PM on July 7, 2016

Also, I did end up watching Kuma Miko all the way through, (there was something so fascinatingly off about it) so my take on the ending:

Near the end of the series, the bear straight up admits, while praying to the mountain gods, that he secretly hopes she'll fail so she stays in the village. And then he gets a phone call that she's run away from the contest, so he feels guilty that he prayed for this and rushes down to save her. Yadda yadda yadda, after going back to the village, she says the city is too scary, so she's changed her mind, she doesn't want to go to high school in the city anymore.

Which is the perfect set-up for the bear to also change his mind, and give some sort of "You can't give up on your dream!" speech, but he doesn't, he just goes, "Thank goodness you don't want to go to the city anymore!" The set-up is too perfect for it to be a coincidence, they're using the ending you were expecting to contrast against the ending you actually got.
posted by RobotHero at 5:14 PM on July 7, 2016

So, Bananya.

Uh...this has been an utterly shit week in an truly shitty year. And the foster kitten has diarrhea, and spread crap all over the bathroom. So we're literally dealing with shit.

A short anime about a cat in a banana bouncing around the place is all we have brains for. That's what it is, that's what we needed.
posted by happyroach at 8:52 PM on July 7, 2016

First episode of Amanchu! looks very promising ! Excellent animation and likeable characters.
posted by Pendragon at 11:24 AM on July 8, 2016

91 Days looks great as well: a Prohibition era gangster story, very well animated, while Alderamin on the Sky surprised me with its quality: what looked like it would be a typical light novel fantasy had some depth to it.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:33 PM on July 8, 2016

Haven't seen 91 Days or Alderamin yet, but I just watched Amanchu and liked it quite well. The music and weird cats in the ED were pretty persuasive. I have yet to see Orange, too--I might end up watching a lot of stuff this season.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 7:36 PM on July 8, 2016

In the category of being technically impressive but not quite anime perhaps: Thunderbolt Fantasy, a puppet show about kung fu and sword fighting.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:15 AM on July 9, 2016

Heh. Yeah, kudos to Thunderbolt Fantasy for taking the Road Less Traveled. I probably won't watch it because the puppets give me a Mr. Roger's Neighborhood vibe, which contrasts unpleasantly with the severed limbs. Nothing about it suggested that it was anything other than a first-rate kung fu puppet show, though.

I just saw Planetarian, which is set thirty years after a war, in a city rendered uninhabitable by bioweapons. A guy who calls himself a Junker is going around scavenging for crackers and dry cigarettes. He meets a still-functioning greeter robot who has no idea that the world has ended, and is still trying to attract customers to a mall planetarium show. A neat premise, well-executed, with no obvious cliches or panties or anything to take you out of it. (The robot did ask a couple of times if the guy felt well, and offered to take him to the infirmary, and he didn't say 'yes, by all means take me to where you keep the medical supplies', which is either a conspicuous oversight on the part of the writers, or an indication that the guy sucks at scavenging... but that's my only complaint.) Anyway, I'm cautiously optimistic about this one.

And yeah, the Alderamin thing was quite good! "The Invincible Lazy General"--what a great introduction.

Oh--and I take back everything bad I said about Berserk. It's terribly edgy, but I think it's all in the spirit of fun. I gather it's offensively bad if you know and love the source material, but I don't, so I'm getting a kick out of it.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 6:29 AM on July 9, 2016

Fukigen na Mononokean: Surprise show of the season. I didn't expect much from the OP but the fuzzy demon won me over when it ended. I wonder if they'll help a new demon each episode or there'll be a greater story arc later on.
posted by chrono_rabbit at 2:58 PM on July 9, 2016

I really love the art style of Mob Psycho 100. It helps that is funny too.
posted by Pendragon at 2:13 PM on July 11, 2016

Yeah, I enjoyed the heck out of Mob Psycho--it's a funny idea, and the animation style is wonderful, just crackling with energy.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:11 AM on July 12, 2016

I watched the second episode of New Game out of stubbornness or whatever interest I have in the premise of the show.

This week it covers pets, eating snacks in place of lunch, drinking with co-workers, and telling a woman that she should smile more, and she reacts like she's never heard such advice before. Again, all stuff that you could do somewhere that wasn't a game-dev company.

And the rare game-dev-related stuff retains its questionable accuracy. Apparently after reading half of a book on 3D modeling she's qualified to model some characters now. I kept expecting her boss to suddenly go, "Haha, just kidding. Actually you're going to make some crates and barrels."

Oh, and we get a close-up butt shot of her pantsless boss when she's putting her pants back on.
posted by RobotHero at 9:40 PM on July 13, 2016

Mob Psycho I'm sold on. The art style reminded me of One Punch Man, and according to internet, it's based on a manga by the same artist.
posted by RobotHero at 9:44 PM on July 13, 2016

Impression of a few more shows.

Fukigen na Mononokean / The Morose Mononokean. Boy can see spirits that others can't, gets into trouble, rescued by gruff and dismissive Shinto priest who happens to be his new school classmate. "What have we learned today, Kyle?" Average animation and production values. Reminds me of xxxHolic and Natsume Yuujinchou. First episode lacks the manic humor of the former, and doesn't doesn't reach the heartbreaking bittersweetness of the latter, but it was watchable, and I'll give it a few more episodes. Based on a webcomic. MyAnimeList describes the show as shounen, but the bishie character design and the relationship between the two male principals (bickering masking sexual tension) feel shoujo to me.

Thunderbolt Fantasy. Not anime, but Taiwanese puppetry. Sword-wielding and magical adventure in a fantasy version of ancient China. Gen Urobuchi is creator/writer/showrunner. The bad guys so far are bland, but the smart-ass wandering swordsman, Shāng Bù Huàn, and the gamine trickster figure Lǐn Xuě Yā are very entertaining. I liked this.

OZMAFIA!! 4 minute episodes. All-male cast of SD bishies. After two episodes nothing is happening, and there is nothing in the show that induces me to follow it further.

91 Days. Mafia stuff in early 20th century Italy. High production values, amazingly atmospheric backgrounds, lighting, animation, direction. How well the story will play out is unclear. My tastes in anime seem to run to whimsy and surrealism, and mimetic historical dramas usually leave me cold. An artistically gorgeous show, though.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 3:45 AM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

>My tastes in anime seem to run to whimsy and surrealism,

Boy, this in spades for me. I couldn't warm up to 91 Days, not because anything about it is poorly done, but just because it hits the wrong notes for me. Rather than anticipating this guy's gruesome revenge, I'd really just rather they didn't kill his whole family in the first place.

I wondered about Ozmafia, too--I try to at least look at all the new Crunchyroll offerings, but that one seemed like an awfully long shot. Thank you for trying it so I don't have to.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:01 AM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Another batch:

Ange Vierge. A nightmare brew of ecchi and twee. Five flying girls fight a giant black penis... no, wait, that was just the first five minutes. Actually, they spend almost the entire episode lounging in the bath or wandering around the set stark naked, looking for a plot but failing to find it.

Bananya. This show is about cats who live in banana skins. That's about it. 3 minute episodes.

Sweetness and Lightning / Amaama to Inazuma. Single dad raises grade school-age daughter after death of mom. Humor, pathos, gentle everyday drama. Production emphasizes the texture of daily life in Japan.

Mob Psycho 100.
Title character high school kid (yes, that's a name) with psychic powers fights demons. The ongoing joke is that his teacher and master psychic is a fraud, but Mob doesn't realize it. Can this joke carry the entire series? Visual style similar to One Punch Man because the web manga behind both shows are by the pseudonymous One mangaka. Show did not bowl me over, but I'll watch another episode or two.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 9:17 AM on July 20, 2016

Bananya is what you get when Japanese cartoonists toke up.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:59 AM on July 22, 2016

I'm looking forward to next season's Nyan Genesis Banangelion, in which the Earth is defended by angsty teenaged robot cats in ten-story-high bananas.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 12:29 PM on July 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Four more.

Mahou Shoujo? Naria☆Girls. 8 minute episodes. Minimal animation, characters look like machinima from a decade ago. Magical girl trappings, but no plot. Also no apparent script, the characters just stand around doing improv chatter. This is the cheesiest anime I've seen since Trigger's Inferno Cop.

The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi / Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu. 3 1/2 minute episodes. Sakaguchi is a self-described straight guy who likes shounen ai manga. Also there is a bishie friend of undetermined sexuality, girls who also like shounen ai, two actual gay guys, gags, embarrassment, misunderstandings, etc. I get the picture, but this show is not really doing it for me.

Alderamin on the Sky / Tenkyou no Alderamin. Secondary world fantasy with steampunky feel. Teens are shipwrecked behind enemy lines and must find their way home, when enemy soldiers show up. Production values and animation average. Only interesting character is slacker protagonist. First episode is sluggish and infodumpy.

Amanchu! Slice of life teen drama. Futaba Ooki, shy, depressed and lonely, moves to a seaside town and meets Kohinata Hikari, 100-mile-an-hour goofball who grew up in a dive shop. Hints of shoujo ai in the first episode, or is it just a crush? The tension of these two opposite personalities tangling and trying to figure out each other is well done, and drives the episode.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:42 PM on July 22, 2016

We at chez needled are regularly watching the following, and there is no rhyme or reason as to how we arrived at this selection:

Bananya. The only problem with watching this is that I find myself randomly going "Nya" after watching an episode.

The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi / Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu. Having been a fujoshi in a past life, this pushed the right buttons for me. I can't wait for a Comiket episode.

Fukigen na Mononokean / The Morose Mononokean. I've been finding it a low-key, mellow watch. Are there any BL doujinshi out yet?

Thunderbolt Fantasy. I was laughing and clapping while watching the first episode. The visuals and the puppets are great! And I have seen far more wooden acting on live action wuxia tv series!

We've also been watching Gurren Lagann, as I started watching some years ago but for reasons never finished it. We're up to ep. 22, and I was laughing and almost in tears watching the episode. I've grown up watching mecha anime, it's a genre I still love, and ep. 22 was snarky and self-referential towards the genre and still thrilling and exhilarating. The whole series has felt like a love song to the mecha anime genre, but done in a knowing, smart alecky way.
posted by needled at 9:05 PM on July 22, 2016

For those wanting an introduction to all new series this season, have a five and a half hour youtube podcast featuring various bloggers discussing their impressions of the first couple of episodes.

Myself, so far I've dropped Ange Vierge (1 ep: 5 minutes of girls fighting giant black penises^w aliens followed by 16 minutes or so of exposition set in the nude), B-Project (1 ep: dull male idol show with no personality whatsoever), Handa-Kun (1/2 ep, idiotic meta introduction, followed by cringe comedy even worse than in the original manga had me nope halfway through: watch Barakamon instead), Hitori no Shita - The Outcast (1 ep, a literal Chinese cartoon that was dull and bad), Mahou Shoujo? Naria Girls (2 eps, anime improv with magic girls), Masou Gakuen HxHOzmafia (1 ep, another cute boys anime), Qualidea Code (1 ep, bog standard light novel fare), Scar-red Rider XechS (1 ep, more bog standard fantasy that couldn't even be comprehensible), Servamp (3 eps, in the end just boring) and Tsukiuta (10 minutes, more pretty boy idols stuff that just annoyed me).

Everything else I'm still watching.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:47 AM on July 23, 2016

>I've grown up watching mecha anime, it's a genre I still love,

Sounds like you're watching a bunch of Crunchyroll shows this season. If you're a mecha fan, you may already have seen this stuff, but I thought Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans and Bokurano were both well above average--and they're both on Crunchyroll. Bokurano is grim, but not in the usual trying-too-hard-to-be-dark-and-edgy way. It does for mecha shows what Madoka does for magical girl shows... And the Gundam thing is just better-written than you'd expect, and--unusually for anime, in my experience--has a detectable political point of view.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:23 AM on July 23, 2016

Some more:

Days. Summer 2016. Sports anime. Tsukushi, a boy with no talent for sports but a lot of heart, meets Jin, glamorous high school soccer star, and discovers he desperately wants to play soccer. Tsukushi makes a mess of things, but impresses Jin with his enthusiasm and persistence. The Tsukushi/Jin dynamic reminds me of Noriko and Kasumi's relationship in Gunbuster. Of course, that was satire/homage to Ace wo Nerae and other sports manga. This trope goes way back. It feels very trope-y to me, and the scent of 'formula' may prevent me from enjoying this show enough to follow it.

B-Project: Kodou*Ambitious. Summer 2016. Shoujo harem. Tsubasa, inexperienced and anxious, is hired to do A & R for three boy bands. The drama is gentle, and Tsubasa's love of the music and eagerness to make good are touching. I enjoyed the first episode more than I expected to.

New Game! Summer 2016. Aoba, new high school graduate, goes to work for a game company filled with moe and fan service panties. Multiple short comic episodes. Based on four-panel manga. Like everyone else, I wish this show were better than it is... but it isn't better than it is.

Qualidea Code. Summer 2016. Teens with super powers fight alien invaders, snark at each other, and make cute faces. Reminds me of Hundred and Twin Star Exorcist from last season. Neither the teens, the aliens, nor the animation are of any interest. I liked the techno theme song a little.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 5:49 PM on July 24, 2016

Four more:

Rewrite. Shounen harem. Boy with superpowers is tormented by magical apparitions. Average production values and animation. First episode went nowhere in particular. Like most harem shows, Rewrite is chiefly interested in getting cute girls on stage making cute faces and saying cute things. The show has barely enough intelligence to make me suspect that if I dug through a season's haystack of harem nonsense, I'd find a needle of honest emotional insight or an interesting idea. But it's too big a haystack with too little reward. Sorry, Rewrite.

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! / Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! Magical boy show. Imagine Sailor Moon but with boys, and a fat pink space alien wombat instead of Luna and Artemis. First episode's monster-of-the-week is a giant bowl of chikuwabu with an attitude. Show is mostly played for humor and bishies and intricate discussions of the ontology of food. I can deal with this.

Hitori no Shita: The Outcast. Zombies and magic users. Somewhat slow moving, and neither the characters nor the story interested me enough to watch more.

This Art Club Has a Problem! / Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! Jokes about panties and waifus. Characters and humor feel stale. Didn't do much for me.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 4:12 AM on July 30, 2016

Correction: Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! is from 2015. I thought it was new, but it's being updated on Crunchy because a second season had started.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:25 AM on July 30, 2016

Bananya: There are days when this is the only anime I can handle. I'm confused, though... this looks like a Sanrio/San-X mascot promotion but there's nearly no merch out there. Weird.
Highschool Life of a Fudanshi: Has the premise/setup/punchline pacing of a 4koma manga. I have next-to-no idea what's going on but for some reason it's watchable anyway, probably because the episodes are only a couple minutes apiece.
Thunderbolt Fantasy: Completely unhinged.
posted by ardgedee at 12:11 PM on July 31, 2016

Morose Mononokean: I enjoy the show, but the title bugs me because it's the Master of the Mononokean who's morose. I dunno whether this is the fault of the English translation or not.
posted by ardgedee at 3:12 PM on July 31, 2016

Bananya is a mascot of a Japanese stationary manufacturer.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:54 AM on August 1, 2016

So it's just merchnyandising?
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:31 PM on August 1, 2016 [4 favorites]

spoiler: Today's episode provides an opening for a banaflananya.
posted by ardgedee at 6:55 PM on August 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Anyway. I usually only watch a couple series each season, but this time I'm following four. Granted two of them are three-minute shows. But considering there wasn't anything that interested me when the season began, I'd say that it's shaping up to be pretty OK. There even seem to be a couple good candidates for restocking my hatewatch list.
posted by ardgedee at 7:04 PM on August 1, 2016

And a few more!

D.Gray-man Hallow. From a popular manga which had its first anime a decade ago. I liked it less than most people, and watched only a couple of episodes. First two episodes of Hallow: large cast, complicated and confusing backstory, lots of fights with supernatural critters. I think I'll pass on this one.

Battery. Sports anime. A noitaminA show. High school pitching star, technically brilliant but with an arrogant, harsh and narrow personality, moves to backwater village, meets wise old grandfather, makes a friend less brilliant at baseball than himself, but a better human being. Pretty show. Backgrounds are gorgeous watercolor renditions of rural Japan.

Tales of Zestiria the X.
From one of the 'Tales of' games. I watched the 'OO' episode, which seems to be backstory/infodump. Nice animation as usual by ufotable, but the story and characters feel like run-of-the-mill extruded European fantasy. Not going to follow this one.

Love Live! Sunshine!! A spin-off from Love! Live! School Idol Project. High school girl starts an idol club. Resembles one of those old Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney vehicles: "Let's turn this old barn into a theater and put on a show!" Predictable, might be watchable, but I still think I'll skip this one. Mild fan service shows up mainly in close-ups of thighs. Lots of thighs. Hope you like thighs.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:42 AM on August 13, 2016

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