Summer 2014 Anime (PREVIEW)

Summer 2014 Anime Preview
IT'S TIME.

SAILOR MOON.
GARY STU.
MORE ORIGINALS.
Summer 2014 Anime (PREVIEW)

Alright, I’ll be honest. Spring was a bit disappointing. Sure, the MAHOUKA NO TATSUYA STU MIYUKI SUE WINCEST GOODNESS is good and all, but I was hoping for a few more shows to surprise me. Aside from Ping Pong which I thought was going to be good before it started airing because of Yuasa Masaaki, and the very overrated No Game No Life which is still good, but just not anywhere near as good as what some people say it is, there are few other good shows that are non-continuations last season. However, this season, with SAILOR FUCKING MOON, THE KIRITO GGO STU, Zankyou no Watanabe Terror, Esdese ga Kill, Aldnoah.Urobutcher.Zero, HanaSHAFTILTgatari, and a fair amount of not as anticipated ones that have very promising source material, this season looks to be fantastic. I am convinced that it’ll be far better than last summer which didn’t have much to offer at all. This will be an awesome preparation season for what will be an incredible fall season that may end up being one of the best seasons in recent years. Let’s get started!

Note: I am only previewing TV Series that I will at least watch the first episode of. I will not preview series that I haven’t watched previous seasons of either. I skipped a lot of series for this preview. For a list of all airing anime in spring 2014, please refer to this list.

Tiered System

Within the tier, it starts from what I least anticipate to what I most anticipate. The last (most anticipated) few ones of the tier can sometimes be fairly close to the next tier. Consequently, the first few of each tier can sometimes be close to the previous tier. The tiers are not relative to the anime in each season. This means that there are no fixed number of any tier for any season. It’s possible for there to be no tier ones. The number of tier one and tier two anime are probably good indicators of how good the season looks at a glance. I have removed the status because I’ve changed the way I am reviewing episodically. Refer to this post for more information.

Note: These are tentative. Also, if any anime, regardless of tier, has great episodes, I will try to do reviews.

Tier 4: Least anticipated – Will try it out, but very prone to being dropped.

Tier 3: Moderately anticipated – Looks at least somewhat interesting. Will probably hold out for a few episodes.

Tier 2: Heavily anticipated – At first glance, appears to be above average. Three episode rule at least.

Tier 1: Extremely anticipated – Very promising looking anime that I will most likely watch every episode of.

Tier 4 (Least Anticipated)

Majimoji Rurumo

Majimoji Rurumo

Before I looked up anything about this series, I just instinctively thought that this may be one of those shows that would surprise me. After reading the first few chapters of the manga, I can’t really say that I have the same feelings toward it anymore. It’s a comedy surrounding this boy that gets these 666 tickets that allow him to order Rurumo to use magic. The tickets are his life force, and only using it all up with allow Rurumo to be a witch again. It reminds me of NouKome in that the male protagonist will have to go through ordeals that make him look like a fool. I just can’t say that the comedy in the first few chapters is my kind of thing though. There are other comedies this season with source material that actually made me laugh a lot more. We’ll have to see how this’ll turn out as an anime though as it could very well turn out to be better.

Rail Wars!

Rail Wars

Can’t wait to see those boobs in action.

Rail Wars? More like boob wars. Okay, to be fair, it doesn’t actually show that much fanservice, but all that plot on those two female protagonists are pretty delicio- Anyways, it’s about trains and railways. Well, it certainly is unique. I’m actually not sure what I want from an anime like this to be honest. I’m not exactly interested in trains or anything like that, but if you are then this should be quite a treat for you because it’s very rare to get shows like this. If this anime will somehow show me a side to trains that I’ve never seen or thought of before that allows me to appreciate it more, then that’s more than I can ask for from this series. I suppose for those of you like me who aren’t into trains, you’ll probably just be hoping that there’s enough plot and plot to be entertaining throughout. I don’t know exactly what to expect from this, so I’m ready to get pleasantly surprised. Also, the redhead is pretty damn ho-

Hanayamata

Hanayamata

Is that a clone?!

Well, reading through the first three chapters of the manga didn’t prove to be worthwhile because it just consisted of a girl running away for three chapters from this foreign girl who wants her to do yosakoi dances. As expected of Madhouse, the preview looks great. We also have Ishizuka Atsuko who just directed No Game No Life, directing this anime with Yoshida Reiko, who has done a very large amount of scripts for many shows like Non Non BiyoriGirls Und Panzer, and more. But even if the staff is decent, if the source material is not good to work with, it won’t mean anything. It’s hard to say what will truly be the selling point of this anime with what’s available so far, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?

Rokujouma no Shinryakusha

Best big boobs onee-san.

Wow, the author sure writes a lot. Three volumes per year makes the light novel count go all the way to fifteen volumes. And who was in charge of making this “preview?” This is more of a first impressions or something. Anyways, it’s directed by Oonuma Shin who did shows like Baka Test, and even Kokoro Connect. I have faith that he can properly handle another adaptation like this that seems to be fairly similar to other shows he’s done well in the past. Though, I have my doubts as to how good it’ll be because the six minute “preview” was not particularly humorous or interesting. Hopefully it’ll bring out the more supernatural side as a way to differentiate itself from the crowd of other romcom out there. I’m not hoping for much though.

Bakumatsu Rock

Bakumatsu Rock

BAKUMATSU ROOCCCKKK.

So, it’s set in the Bakumatsu era, is about subjugating the people in Japan through music, and has bishounen Studio DEEN animations. Well, this is a peculiar show that I’ll at least check out the first episode of. Two things that stood out in the preview are the animations and the song which is actually surprisingly decent. This is an anime adaptation of a “game for female players,” so you should expect all the fabulousness of the male characters, which constitute of the entire cast even if this person may not look like it, to be rampant throughout. So if you think it’s going to be too much for you watching these bishounen flashing their manliness everywhere, you’ll probably want to skip this one unless it somehow is only moderate in its attempt to make the characters as gorgeous as possible. Nothing stands out too much director, and series composer-wise, but hopefully their experience with a large variety of shows will pull this anime through in terms of story and characters. We can only hope that the rest of the story is as interesting as its premise.

Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen

Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen

If it’s anything I dislike about writing about these previews it’s that there are shows that just don’t have much information for me to talk about. Even at this point, we don’t know what the premise is, but by the looks of the preview, it’s going to be a generic mecha anime helmed by a director and series composer that aren’t particularly impressive. At least, Nakagawa Kotaro, the man responsible for Code Geass’ soundtracks, is also in charge of the music in this anime. Compared to Aldnoah.Zero, the difference in potential is clear. However, that doesn’t guarantee anything especially with such little information surrounding this anime. Maybe it’ll surprise us. Though, I highly doubt that at this point. Nevertheless, I enjoy the mecha genre and will check this one out regardless. For others not so interested in the genre, it’s probably safe to skip this one unless there is praise surrounding it later on.

Tier 3 (Moderately anticipated)

Jinsei

Jinsei anime

CUTE GIRLS DOING CUTE THINGS.

From the looks of the staff, preview, and what little bit of information I can gather from the story, nothing seems to stand out too much for this one. It’ll be one of those comedy, ecchi, romance, slice of life mixes with a high school setting that weekly anime viewers know so well nowadays. If you’re not into this type of anime, there’s absolutely no need to check this out because most likely, you won’t be missing much. Even if it turns out to be good, you can always pick it up later on and nothing will be lost. If you really don’t want to miss the week to week discussions, then checking out the first episode will be a fair indicator as to what the rest of the show will offer because these types of anime will show what it’s got in the very first episode. It’s rare for things to change dramatically later on. Will I be checking it out? Of course, it’s my duty to do so, but since I’ve been pretty busy, it better interest me on the first episode.

Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance

Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance

CUTE GIRLS DOING DANGEROUS THINGS.

Loli tits on the first few pages of the manga. Looks about right for this harem ecchi romcom that looks like the typical fantasy harem romcom we’ve seen many times before. In these types of shows, one of the major concerns is the male protagonist as most of them turn out to be dense while a certain someone is even denser than a neutron star. Thankfully, the male protagonist for this one by the looks of the manga will be at the very least bearable to watch. The tone overall is one that is actually darker than what I thought it’d be. The fantasy setting is generic, but it’s at least used well with all the spirit weapons and whatnot. This is one of the five manga announced during Bunko J Natsu no Gakuensai 2013 along with the recently aired No Game No Life. I was actually most interested in seeing Madan no Ou to Vanadis, but it looks like it’ll be one of the last ones to be adapted. Too bad, all dem girls, dat mangu art, and everything else isn’t so bad either. Anyways, this will be one of those more mediocre shows to pad out the season with. It’s generic, but it does what it needs to do decently enough to warrant watching it if you’re looking for some moderate weekly entertainment. Probably.

Glasslip

Glasslip

LOVEQUADPENTILIONGON.

Are you getting a Nagi no Asukara vibe from this? I wouldn’t blame you. Like Nagi, it’s another original anime from P.A. Works. It also looks like P.A. Works is putting their usual formula to work by having a slice of life anime with romance, comedy, and probably some other elements, whether it be fantasy or supernatural, mixed in going by the preview. And going by the second preview, ChouCho will be doing the opening and nano.RIPE will be doing the ending which is nice. My hope with anime of this type, that is, mixing a variety of genres together, is that it focuses on one core genre with the other ones supporting it. Similar to the vibe I got from Nagi no Asukara, it looks like Glasslip will have quite a bit of romance. If this is the case, then I hope that it seriously tries to address romance properly instead of mixing in so many things that the romance becomes unfulfilling by the end. Am I implying that Nagi no Asukara had this problem? Yes I am. By the last episode of Nagi no Asukara, I couldn’t help but feel that the romance barely went anywhere and developed poorly when you take how much time and potential it had at the halfway point. What it did do well is mix its setting in with everything else. Glasslip looks to maybe use the idea of looking into the future to construct its romance differently from other anime using similar settings of which there are many. Or, what the characters said in the preview could purely be for thematic purposes in which case it really needs to work hard on executing its romance properly. This is a show I know I’ll watch from beginning to end because it is an original, and I really want to see a show that does do what it tries to do well with this formula. Hopefully, it this one can.

Sabagebu!

Sabagebu!

After checking out the first few chapters of the manga, I’m pleasantly surprised. The premise is much like that of C3-Bu, which I didn’t actually finish (yes, cute girls are wielding some guns again), but it has a bit more emphasis on humor, and it’s actually decently done. Hopefully this will transfer well into the anime as the comedy is what stands out in the manga. What’s also nice is the director, Oota Masahiko who also directed shows like Love LabKotoura-sanMinami-ke, and a bunch of slice of life anime. I can rest assured knowing that he’s in charge as he has a fairly solid track record. Actually, because this director is involved, I’d recommend people to at least check out the first episode as this show may turn out to be quite decent especially when you consider that the source material isn’t bad. Well, at least the first few chapters aren’t. When it comes to cute girls doing cute things, Oota Masahiko knows what he’s doing, and that gives me enough reason to give it a shot.

Ao Haru Ride

Ao Haru Ride

HERE COMES THE DOKI DOKI.

Ah, it’s a sweet shoujo romance. After reading the first seventeen chapters (yes I ended up reading that much), I can say that it’s the typical shoujo manga that may make your heart go “doki doki” if you’re into that type of manga. Yes, that also means that I’ve read some other shoujo manga out there. I stumble upon them, and I tend to read them for a while and never pick them up ever again. Anyways, while it is typical and predictable, the shoujo romance formula is done well. One of the most annoying things about these types of manga is that it takes absolutely forever for the love interests to actually confess. Some do this by having the relationship progress for a bit, only to have something happen that pushes it back. Ao Haru Ride doesn’t exactly do this. It pushes on the romance fairly slowly and gradually. It doesn’t feel like I’m being cheated with developments that hinder progress unnecessarily just to lengthen the story. Though, I’ve only read so much, and it’s still ongoing so it’s very possible that things do become dragged out later on. But if you’re interested in shoujo romance stories, then this one is one you should watch. It’s even directed by Yoshimura Ai who did a wonderful job directing OreGairu. Not to mention that Production I.G. is responsible for the animations. Just don’t expect anything extraordinary. It uses the typical formula, but it’s sweet nevertheless.

Tier 2 (Heavily anticipated)

Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul

If the anime will fairly adapt the first dozen chapters, it’s safe to say that you should check this anime out if you’re into horror, or the psychological genre as the manga does a nice job on both fronts in the opening chapters. The psychological side in particular is something that the manga does well as we look into the mind of the male lead and what he thinks about these “ghouls” that devour humans. Themes like being human, the difference of these ghouls and human beings, and other themes that I can’t mention because I’d be spoiling things all nicely wrap around the two genres. Any further discussion is difficult because there’s a fairly important thing that happens early on that I can’t talk about at all right now which affects the rest of the story. Regardless, it’s definitely one to keep an eye out for if you want something a bit darker.

Free! Eternal Summer

Free Eternal Summer

FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

It’s fucking back. THE MUSCULAR BICEPS, TRICEPS, DELTOIDS, AND THE WATER ANIMATIONS ARE BACK. Okay, before I start coming off as a fujoshi hyped for those things (mostly the muscles), I will just say that the first season was actually much more than those things. In fact, the previous season contained relatively little fanservice in comparison to what most people thought it would have. It actually tried to tackle character development, and the overall story in a meaningful way beyond the manly fabulousness and the KyoAni visuals. While it was by no means excellent, the relationship progression between the characters, and the themes that it touched upon were surprisingly decently done. But even if that previous season was fine, I cannot help but be very worried for what this season will bring to this series. Why? Because in the past year, we had shows like Kyoukai no Kanata, which I found to be quite atrocious, and the second season of Chuunibyou, which I have only heard bad things about which is why I didn’t watch past the first few episodes. KyoAni’s track record has not been good at all recently, so I’m very apprehensive that this will turn into a second season that accomplishes far less than the first season. The same core staff are responsible for this, so it’s not all hopeless. I just… I seriously don’t trust KyoAni at all right now. Not with all the disappointment in the last year. I highly suggest anyone excited for this second season to turn his or her expectation down greatly to minimize potential disappointment. I do recommend this for any hyped show, but it is especially important to do it for this anime for reasons already mentioned. Can the muscular fabulousness of Nagisa, Rin, Haruka, Rei, and Makoto carry KyoAni out of this slump? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Barakamon

Barakamon

Soothe your soul.

Wow, the manga for this anime adaptation is actually really nice. It’s lighthearted, fun, the characters are very charming, the comedy is surprisingly good, and it even has some deeper themes within all of that surrounding the growth of this calligrapher. The main character is exiled to an island after punching a famous calligrapher because the main character didn’t like the criticism he got from him. He tries to refine his style while maintaining strange relationships with the quirky people on the island which will probably spark his creativity later on. While I have no idea if the anime will do the manga justice, if it does, this will turn to be quite an enjoyable series. I just have this strange feeling that it’ll be pretty damn good. If you’re into some lighthearted fun, you should definitely check this one out. If you’re unsure, just go read a few chapters of the manga and find out if the tone of it is something you like. As I watched more anime, I leaned toward these types of shows like Non Non Biyori, and the soon to be finished Gochuumon because they’ve been, strangely enough, very reliable sources of entertainment. I’m not exactly sure why, but it’s probably partially due to the lack of expectations. Even though this show won’t be as similar to those two shows as they are to each other, it’s still fairly comparable to the two. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this one.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

I’m ready to laugh my ass off.

The manga is hilarious. It’s not actually a shoujo manga despite how it’s named. It actually got me laughing quite a few times even though I’ve only checked out a few chapters. I’m actually not too sure how difficult it is to adapt comedy from manga to anime as I’ve never taken note of how well previous shows have done so in the past. Even so, the preview show some moments that look to be just as funny as it is in the manga. In this case, the director is actually very important, and while Yamazaki Mitsue has been involved in some series, she hasn’t been the main director for many anime. Because the source material is surprisingly hilarious, I’ll most definitely be checking this one out. If the first few episodes don’t end up doing the source material justice, I’d highly recommend people to read the manga. The straightforwardness of the main character, and the character interactions are just great.

Tokyo ESP

Tokyo ESP

I moved this up the preview list several times because every time I read more of it, I like it more.

Hell yes, strong female characters. I love seeing that. The more chapters of the manga I read, the more I like it. The characters get ESP, some try to be heroes, and some try to exploit it as much as possible by fulfilling their inner desires. Everyone has their own reasons for using such powers while carrying the burden of the consequences of no matter what they use it for. Sometimes, such powers will help push a person much closer to his or her final goal while at other times they may change that goal completely. I don’t want to make it sound like this will be a profound show touching upon themes in meaningful ways like Ping Pong did last season. It doesn’t look like, and it doesn’t seem like it will be nearly as big of a focus. Its genres include, romance, comedy, supernatural, action, and some others. It’ll be a mix of a lot of different things, but in the end the first dozen chapters of the manga really does a good job of creating a story that I want to keep reading even if the premise isn’t the most original. The characters are one of the strongest points of the manga, and so are the mysteries that constantly keep me on my toes wondering just where the story will end up. Not to mention that the story gets surprisingly more serious as it progresses. Hopefully the staff, which doesn’t have too impressive of a track record, will be able to adapt what’s important in the manga properly. I wasn’t anticipating it that much before reading the manga, but I certainly am now.

Tier 1 (Extremely anticipated)

Hanamonogatari

Monogatari Series Second Season Hanamonogatari

MONKEY TIME.

The Monogatari Series: Second Season was something I greatly enjoyed last year. So much so that it ended up on my number three spot on my Top 10 Best Anime of 2013 list. Hanamonogatari will be a continuation of where the second season left off, and will revolve around Kanbaru Suruga whom we haven’t seen for quite some time. All I can hope from these five episodes is for this season to contain the same profundity in terms of character exploration as some of the previous arcs. (Both Hanekawa and Kaiki’s arcs were fantastic.) There’s really not much else to say about this anime because those who have watched this far into the Monogatari series will already know more or less what to expect from it. But you know what’s missing from all of this? KIZUNEVERGATARI. THAT’S WHAT. SHAFTPLS. WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO ADAPT THIS… No, I’m not going to read the novels. I already endured it for so long, I may as well endure until the end.

Aldnoah.Zero

Aldnoah Zero

Let justice be done.
Though the heavens fall.

Alright, just look at this before anything else. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. We got the Urobutcher for the butchering, Hiroyuki for the great soundtracks, and Ei Aoki to put it all together. The talent behind this title is quite something even though from the preview isn’t indicative of the potential within this series. Heck, even Kalafina is doing the opening. There is a lot to look forward to for this anime, and this may just be the more serious mecha series that I have been waiting for. That said, with all these big names involved, it’s easy for the anticipation to culminate at a point too high for this anime to immediately deliver. If past great anime have shown us anything it’s that it often takes time for them to build up to be great. Shows like Steins;Gate, and the more recent Shin Sekai Yori are great examples of this. While explosive starts are by no means impossible to achieve, it’s more likely for things to start off slow. Even if this ends up being the case, it should still be an interesting start. I am very much looking forward to this as I’ve been waiting for a more serious mecha anime like Gundam 00 for quite some time. My thirst for such a show has simply not been quenched by more recent mecha anime like Suisei no Gargantia and Majestic Prince. While the latter ended up being a fantastic visual display, both, especially the former as it ended up being incredibly disappointing, didn’t offer what I was looking for. I want to see something darker, something more serious, and something that can “wow” me with its storytelling, and thematic delivery along with the giant mechs that many of us love to see. Hopefully, this will be that show. “Let justice be done. Though the heavens fall.”

Akame ga Kill!

Akame ga Kill Anime

WHITE FOX GOT DIS.

When this was originally announced to be adapted, there was a pretty big response. People were getting hyped, but I was pretty wary of it all after hearing more about it. Killing characters off for the sake of killing is not something I enjoy seeing. Some friends of mine read it, and said that it wasn’t bad, but I was still apprehensive that the show will end up being a meaningless massacre especially with the hype surrounding it. I actually thought it would have been a good idea to just jump into the anime without reading the manga, but that wouldn’t be giving it a fair preview for you all to read so I tried the manga out. It ended up being difficult to stop reading. In general, I prefer anime over manga as a medium (of course there are manga that are far better than their anime counterpart and vice versa) which is why I like to just wait for the adaptation instead of reading the source material. Therefore, it’s a pretty clear sign to me that a series interests me if I want to continue reading as much as I do for Akame ga Kill.

Through the seven chapters I read, which is roughly 280 pages, the problem of killing characters off for the sake of shock value instead of meaningful contribution to the themes, character development, atmosphere, and so on is not a concern. What shocking things do happen in the beginning, though I didn’t find them all that shocking since I knew what it would be like going into it from how everyone was discussing it, contribute to the growth of the male protagonist. The manga has a grim feeling to it because it takes place in a world with extreme corruption and wickedness. The wrong people hold power, and everyone else suffers. As a result, some people try to make this world “right.” It’s good that it hasn’t been overbearing with its attempts at displaying such wickedness because if it tries too hard to make readers feel bad about everything, it would end up feeling forced which would make reading it feel less immersive. While these beginning chapters have lessened my worries somewhat, these worries are nonetheless ones that I will continue to have. This could easily turn into characters being meaninglessly killed off just because the writer wants something shocking to happen. I really, really hope deaths surrounding important characters will be addressed with care and consideration. Even if it may be “realistic,” if the death of a character does not add as much value (thematically, storytelling-wise, and so on) as if that character stays alive, then creating a situation where that character dies is often unnecessary. Just like how it’s irritating to see characters get ass-pull power ups to stay alive, I don’t want to see the opposite side of this extreme either. The preview looks good which makes me think that White Fox will do a fine job animating this as long as there’s not too much censorship. The staff behind this adaptation is also pretty decent. Am I excited now? I am. Am I still wary of the prospects of this show. I very much am. Hype aside, you should be keeping a close eye on this one even if it will probably end up being overpraised. (I have a feeling this will be the No Game No Life of this season in terms of ratings and hype.) Let the atrocities begin!

Zankyou no Terror

Zankyou no Terror

So much potential.
So not ready for disappointment.

Damn, what a preview! Out of all of the previews I’ve seen this season, this one is the one that excites me the most. I can’t help but feel a bit of a chill when watching the preview. It’s strangely unsettling which in turn greatly excites me. Directed by no other than Watanabe Shinichiro, this is a story of two children who shouldn’t exist that terrorize Tokyo, and probably later on, the world. My first reaction after reading the premise is asking the question, “Why?” For what reason are they committing such abominable deeds? Who are they really? If they are children who shouldn’t even exist in their world, how and why do they? What does it mean by “wake the people from their slumber?” Is it to make people realize how fragile they are and how dangerous the world is? Is it trying to send a message to everyone? Or is it for more of the pleasure of feeling powerful that they do what they want do? This is the kind of show that I feel I can discuss a lot about. This is the kind of show that I feel that I want to discuss a lot about. These kinds of psychological thrillers are what get my blood pumping, and you bet I’m going to be watching this week to week. As for reviews… Well, I’ll most certainly do at least a few for this anime no matter how it turns out. Good stuff. This is what a captivating preview should be like.

Sword Art Online II

Sword Art Online 2 GGO Season 2 Anime

COUPLED WITH TATSUYA GOD STU THIS SEASON IS KIRITO GIRL STU WHO CUTS BULLETS IN MID AIR BECAUSE HE CAN. YOU’RE PROBABLY WONDERING WHERE ASUNA IS. GUESS WHAT? TOO BAD. YOUR “ROMANCE,” IF YOU CAN EVEN CALL IT THAT, IS DONE. TIME FOR THE HAREM TO CONTINUE.
LET THE GARY STU GOODNESS COMMENCE!

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT’S BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCKKK!!! THE GARY STU KIRITO STU DUAL WIELDING (WELL IN THIS ARC HE WON’T BE DUAL WIELDING TWO SWORDS, BUT HE’LL BE DUAL WIELDING NEVERTHELESS) BADASSERY OF STUNESS IS BACK. The first season was one of the first anime I ever posted. Yes, not “reviewed,” but “posted” because no one should ever consider those to be “reviews.” And yes, I’m not linking you to them because those reviews are even more atrocious than my current ones. Seriously, they are beyond absolutely horrible. I had no critical sense back then and… Good lord, even looking back a few months, or even right now, and I find my writing embarrassing. When I look back that long ago… I just cringe hard and pretend those posts don’t exist. But to summarize my past experiences with Sword Art Online, I actually didn’t find it too appalling in terms of storytelling, character development, and so on at first. Shocking I know. But after I actually got a bit better at critiquing, I realized that from a critical perspective, Sword Art Online is lacking in many, many areas. That’s even putting it mildly. However, that doesn’t mean that no one can enjoy it. In fact, I very much do enjoy watching the show whether it be because of Kirito’s Gary Stuness or the show’s absurd nature. It’s quite fun to watch the writer butcher things up and make a mess of things.

This time, Sword Art Online II will cover Gun Gale Online in which our Gary Stu protagonist, Kirito, jumps into yet another game to save people’s lives because that’s what a Stu does. Stus save people’s lives because no one else but the Stus can. While I read the first light novel and briefly skimmed ALO because that arc is just horrendous, I never actually read GGO aside from a few pages. In those few pages, I saw what I needed to see. I saw the Stu, and that makes me pretty excited going in because seeing a Stu wreck some noobs up is pretty damn entertaining. And guess what? This is airing on the same day as MAHOUKA NO GARY STU MARY SUE WINCEST. We get the Tatsuya Stu and the Kirito Stu. Even though Tatsuya Stu is on another level, Kirito’s Stuness is no joke. Honestly, I don’t know if I can handle all the Stu this season. If we got a crossover, the universe would probably implode. Exciting times ahead, ladies and gentlemen. You all better strap on for the KIRITO GGO STU SLICING BULLETS IN MIDAIR BECAUSE KIRITO CAN AND THE GOD TATSUYA STU MARY SUE MIYUKI WINCEST OF ULTIMATE GOODNESS RIDE BECAUSE IT’S NOT STOPPING.

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal

IT’S…
IT’S…
IT’S TIME…
IT HAS RETURNED…
IT’S SAILOR
FUCKING
MOON!!!

ARE. YOU. GUYS. READY. FOR. THE. RETURN. OF. SAILOR. FUCKING. MOON?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! JUST WATCH THIS AND TELL ME YOU’RE NOT HYPED (dem proportions). I don’t know about you guys, but Sailor Moon is one of the first anime I ever watched, and holy shit it was glorious. I mean, DEM TRANSFORMATION SCENES. You really, really had to have experienced it when it aired all those years ago during your childhood to appreciate it now fully. I have to admit that I don’t even know which episodes I watched, and even what really happened in those episodes. All I remember is that it exposed me to the shoujo side of anime and anime in general which is a bit saddening because I would probably be way more excited if I remembered more. This time, it’s going to adapt the manga by following it even more closely. Yes, for its 20th anniversary, this anime will be a remake. It will be very interesting to see if I will enjoy this anime as much as I enjoyed it in the past because we all know how our perspectives change as we grow up and the only real attachment we have to anime of old that we watched long ago is really just the nostalgia factor. Will it have enough depth to keep me captivated or is it not suitable for me anymore? Either way, I’ll be watching it until the very end even if it’s just for the nostalgia. If you watched this when you were younger, this is going to be one you’re probably very hyped about, and one you’re going to closely watch for the next half-year. It’s just fantastic seeing one of the first anime I ever watched being remade. It’s great to be alive.

Summer 2014 Anime Weekly Schedule

Monday:
Ao Haru Ride
Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance
Hanayamata

Tuesday:
Nothing

Wednesday:
Free! Eternal Summer
Bakumatsu Rock
Majimoji Rurumo

Thursday:
Zankyou no Terror

Tokyo Ghoul
Glasslip
Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen
Rail Wars!

Friday:
Tokyo ESP
Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?

Saturday:
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal
Sword Art Online II
Aldnoah.Zero
Hanamonogatari
Barakamon

Sunday:
Akame ga Kill!

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
Sabagebu!
Jinsei

Summer 2014 Anime Predictions

WIN:
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal

Sword Art Online II (FOR THE GARY STU.)
Akame ga Kill! (It’ll be pretty overrated though.)
Aldnoah.Zero (Urobutcher’s going to do work this time.)
Tokyo ESP
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
Barakamon

Sabagebu!
Jinsei

NOT-SO-WIN:
Zankyou no Terror (Going out on a limb here.)
Free! Eternal Summer (BECAUSE KYOANI.)
Glasslip (LOVEPENTAGON.)
Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen
Bakumatsu Rock
Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?
Majimoji Rurumo

Like last time, this is just a bunch of random predictions for fun from what information I have and my instincts. Anime in the “WIN” category are ones that I think will either go above my expectations or will end up at least decent. Anime in the “NOT-SO-WIN” category are ones that I think will either be disappointing relative to my anticipation for them or end up being below average at best. If I don’t mention the show then I’m either uncertain as to where it lies or that I think it lies somewhere in between. I’m only categorizing the more extremes rather than what I think will be in between because it’s more interesting to do so. Going by my previous season’s predictions, I got a decent amount of “NOT-SO-WIN” “right,” but that’s to be expected since on average, an anime is more likely to end up in that category than in the “WIN” category. Looking at this season, I’m setting myself up for disappointment by putting so many in the “WIN” category. Oh well, that’s what these predictions are for. They’re just for fun.

Summer 2014 Anime Roundup

All in all, the fact that we have originals like Zankyou no Terror, Aldnoah.Zero, adaptations of manga with strong source material, even the return of a classic, and the Gary Stu from two years ago, makes this season a very strong one. It’s certainly the best one we had so far in 2014 (including winter of course) when we judge it just from the preview. Though, that kind of depends on what kind of a viewer you are. For me, a great season contains a few superb shows, and a healthy number of decent ones. Others may find it enough to just have a large amount of shows that are at least decently entertaining. If you’re in the latter group, this season will almost certainly be a blast. Out of all the seasons I’ve previewed so far, which isn’t many to be honest, this one has the most potential to amaze me, but it also has the most potential to disappoint me. Other than Sailor Moon, if I want any other two shows to do very well, it’s Aldnoah.Zero and Zankyou no Terror. I love seeing originals, and I want to see them succeed. I am still very wary going into this season because the seasons I’ve been most excited for were the ones that ended up disappointing me the most. Just try to ignore the hype, and enjoy the next thirteen weeks.

NO SPOILERS ALLOWED FOR ANY OF THE ANIME ABOVE!!!

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  • MACHA

    More FABULOUS SWIMMING!! No expectations besides FRIENDSHIP FABULOUS SWIMMERS. And hopefully more focus on swimming. That would be perfect, since last season just kinda glossed over that.

    Sailor Moon is on my [Watch It or Die] list for sure. There can be nothing but ULTIMATE WIN from that.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      FABULOUS SWIMMING BICEPS TRICEPS SEA CREATURE GOODNESS.

  • The Atomic Dwarf

    “Alright, I’ll be honest. Spring was a bit disappointing. ” Still don’t plan to watch Bokura Miina wa Kawaisokou eh? It’s not your style I guess, but it was one of the pleasant surprises. And highschool covers only 5% of the air time! Also Mushishi s2. The last 2 episodes were a masterpiece of storytelling and pacing.

    That being said my summer list is as follows:

    1. Hanamonogatari, hopefully this will tie up the series, since there are a number of important plot holes yet to be explained.

    2. Tokyo ESP, loved the manga. It’ll be awesome!

    3. Aldnoah.Zero is written by Urobutcher you say? OP song is by Kalafina? Count me in! If Madoka is any proof, previews for anime written by Urobutcher tend to be deceitful.

    4. Zankyou no Terror, what an awesome preview.

    5. Sailor Moon, didn’t watch the original so this will be a fresh experience for me. Please mind this in your future reviews for new watchers of the series.

    As for SAO2? Nope…. I’ll just wait for my Database Season 2.

    • Ian Porterfield

      Hanamonogatari won’t tie everything up. Don’t fret though. The final season’s coming next year…

      I’d also look at Tokyo Ghoul.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Nope, slice of life is very much my sort of thing as I mentioned in the Barakamon part of this preview. I’m just preoccupied with other shows right now. Besides, even if it turns out to be good, it still won’t change my overall view of last season.

      Hanamonogatari isn’t the last of the series. We’re getting there, but we’re not really even that close yet. It is the last of the “second season” though I think.

      Mmmm. I wonder if Urobutcher will surprise us again? That would be pretty awesome.

      • The Atomic Dwarf

        Sorry, I skipped reading the part about Barakamon. Anyways, there will be more Monogatari you say? That’s great! As for Aldnoah.Zero, apparently Urobutcher is the creator, but most of the series will be written by Katsuhiko Takayama (Mirai Nikki, Tokyo ESP). It’s in good hands and the casualty rates will be high I hope.

        • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

          It’s 24 episodes long too. I hope they do well.

  • Allen

    What the fuck is STU?

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Google “Gary Stu.”

  • zztop

    I’m surprised you’re not mentioning the Sengoku Basara 3 anime, given that singer TM Revolution himself will be starring in it. He’s voicing an anime-original character, Tokugawa-aligned general Sakai Tadatsugu. He’s not doing the OP though, heavy metal band Fear is.(This band did Brynhildr’s 2nd OP).

    People said they didn’t like Chuunibyou Season 2 becuase it was 95% fluff, 5% story, and Isshiki from Season 1 became a supporting role buttmonkey. Hopefully the creative minds on Free! can avoid the mistakes of Chuunibyou’s animating team.

    Rurumo is based on an earlier manga by Yowamushi Pedal’s mangaka, Watanabe Wataru. Some people say Rurumo only got an anime due to Yowamushi’s popularity and success.
    (Yowamushi’s a shounen cycling manga, for those who aren’t familiar).

    • MACHA

      HOLY $%#! SENGOKU BASARA 3?!?! YESSSSSSS!! TM REVOLUTION?! FLUFFING YESS!!

      You, sir, just made my day.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      I never watched Sengoku Basara before, and as I said in the beginning of the post, “I will not preview series that I haven’t watched the previous seasons of.”

  • Yunii

    Is Sword Art Online going to be 13 Episode or 25 Episodes? Because all I know that GGO is not going to last 25 episodes. There are also stories that happen after GGO that I would like to see because after I watched SAO I went and read all the currently translated Light Novels (gone now) and those stories were a great read, for me at least.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      It’s confirmed to be 24 episodes.

  • EvilNemesis

    The new sailor moon is going to follow the manga more, but was it necessary to copy the artstyle THEN make it even worse? I mean Naoko Takeuchi’s art isn’t the best and his pretty CLAMP-esque as well. I don’t know why one would do that. LONG NECK IS LONG, LONG LIMPS ARE LONG, LONG FINGERS ARE LONG.

    Okay… now after my SM rant.

    No Love Stage!! and You put SAO:2 on first tier? Okay here’s a question, do you love the dick or not? Because you’re pretty inconsistent you trap lover. ( Hint : This is not serious )

    No Nobunaga Concerto?Unacceptable! You have time for boobs but not the boss of all bosses MC?

    I also think ZnT is going to suck, all this terrorist teenager edginess and that image with the twin towers. It’s going to be full cheese and full edgy.

    Don’t get too much hyped about Haru Ride. You haven’t read far enough to witness glorious shoujo slut NTR. Normally I don’t do spoilers because I know you edit posts for that, but I feel like this is appropriate since everyone these day is on “NTR alert” these days and want to know. The author can’t into no drama.

    Now that I finished my little banter here…

    What I’m planning to watch this summer.

    -Nobunaga Concerto ( MC don’t give any fucks )
    -Aldnoah ( I’m waiting for Uro clever “NO X were actually HUMANS” plot twist )
    -Barakamon ( Le comfy SoL )
    – Free! S2 ( MUH DELTOIDS )
    – Terror ( Terrorists Vs. useless governmental forces #JAPAN EDITION NO ARABS WANTED )

    Won’t watch the battle shounens ( Tokyo Ghoul, ESP, KILLL! ) because I’m already reading them.

    • Laciie

      I don’t want to get too much into this nor do I want to be spoilery but I want to say that what is happening in AHR right now is not NTR. Sure I don’t enjoy drama like this and it is very frustrating but there’s a reason Futaba did what she did, her decision was based on what would make her the most happy. At least what she thought would make her the most happy. That was very strong of her to do so and is a hard decision to make for a lot of people so calling that NTR over the line especially because doing so ignores any emotional aspect to Futaba’s decision and just makes her some object that two male characters fight for. I don’t think the drama is anything spectacular but it’s not that horrid either.

      • EvilNemesis

        I’m using the NTR term really broadly, since the term has really evolved and now means a lot more situations that it originally was used as a term ( NTR only ever happens exclusively in seinen and H-works except a few exceptions ).

        I don’t agree at the last part, it might not be the very top of cringe tier, but it’s still a title that pushes people away from shoujo. I’d consider it to be “shoujoshit”.
        Dumb MC, bishie assholes, le drama romance.

        I’d never recommend people read the manga, even less spend 24 minutes each week on this.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      I get that some people don’t like the art style, but I don’t really see how they’re making it “worse.” I’m pretty sure fans of the series would be far more enraged if they saw the character designs change dramatically more than if they just kept everything the way it is. SO SHUT UP AND ENDURE THE LONGNESS.

      No Love Stage because I’m not interested in yaoi. K. Thanks. SAO 2 BECAUSE GARY KIRITO DUAL WIELDING STU GOODNESS.

      Honestly, I skipped Nobunaga Concerto at the time of making this preview because I didn’t notice that there was source material. Now that I realize there are a few chapters of the manga translated… uhhh… my bad? I was getting lazy too. >.> IF IT’S GOOD. I’LL DO A REVIEW TO COMPENSATE.

      It feels like ZnT if handled even a bit poorly could end up being pretty bad. I can only hope that it turns out okay.

      I actually ended up reading the rest of Ao Haru Ride. I’m one of those people that view NTR as, well, what it was originally defined as so I don’t classify this as NTR. I read your reply to Laciie so I know that you don’t mean it in that way. Still, people should avoid being vague with such a term as it gives rise to some needless arguments. Anyways, I just find the drama in it to be the generic type of shoujo drama. I know there are better ones, but on average this is more or less what it ends up being. I guess I’m kind of used to it and I didn’t really expect much going into it because I knew something like this was a possibility. At least it’s not The Town Where You Rage.

      • EvilNemesis

        Well, the reason why me and quite a few think it’s worse is because. Manga is static, and stick figures moving is even worse. Not only that, but a few Manga vs Anime comparison images show that they kind of botched MCs expressions of emotions. Also her eyes… they seem empty and soulless.

        This might feel like nitpicking, but if we can already find fault in the Trailer and few images we have, some feel apprehensive for the future.

        • sonicsenryaku

          I guess it comes down to a matter of opinion when questioning the asthetic choices of the art design but in terms of technical quality, the art is A-okay. i wouldnt say they made it worse

    • niknasr

      Now, I’m really confused.. I’ve heard someone said about NTR happened in Toaru Hikuushii e no Koiuta and Isshuukan Friends in this blog before but I didn’t notice anything of that sort in both anime.. My expectations really have a huge drop and greatly plummeted if I know there will be an NTR happening in one of the anime so, I want to ask this directly, is there NTR (it actual mean) IN AO HARU RIDE OR NOT? and just want to say I really dislike the usage of the word NTR so nonchalantly nowadays..

      • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

        Since it’s 1-cour, I don’t think it’ll even get to the point where it starts being what people call “NTR” anyways. We’ll have to see though.

        • niknasr

          Well, Surely I will try it, so far shoujo anime that I have watched never fail to impressed me, the likes of Kaichou maid-sama and newly spring anime Still, World is still Beautiful have a high rating in my book..

  • matgopack

    Thank you for doing this, it’s going to be useful to orient myself with what anime to watch this season :D

    I’ve really enjoyed your reviews that I’ve read so far, so keep up the good work :)

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      That’s what these previews are for! :)

      And thanks for reading my reviews!

  • Yatogami

    I was pretty much only excited for GGO , Hanamonogatari, and Akame Ga Kill this season but after seeing its credentials Aldnoah Zero shot to #1 on my list of animes I’m DEFINITELY watching this season.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Got to witness the UROBUTCHERING.

  • niknasr

    SAO II, Blade Dance and Esdeath (official translation of Esdese name if you read further into the manga) are the one in my greatly anticipated anime this season, also hoping something from Glasslip, Aldnoah Zero, Nobunaga Concerto and maybe Gekkan Shoujo..

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      I’m ready for the KIRIO STU.

      • niknasr

        TRAP INCOMING!!

  • MgMaster

    You know,many people call summer a weak season but lately,I’ve seen little difference between it and spring and it’s usually always better than winter. Heck,sometimes it’s even better than spring. I had a very small number of shows that I kept watching this spring -a total of 6,with 2 ongoing ones- mostly because I choose to skip out on a lot of the average or below stuff. Among those,I had some I really ended up liking such as Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii,with it’s possible best couple of the year and that superb ending(as someone who almost never watches shoujo,I was surprised at how much I liked this,but I guess it’s because it avoid’s a lot of annoying shoujo tropes that I had no trouble watching it) and Isshukan Friends(even it feel’s a bit too innocent for my tastes,such lighthearted shows are welcome every once in a while as a refreshment until the next “heavier” stuff). The others such as Brynhildr,Chaika,Mahouka,M3 I’d consider decent to good,depending how you look at them.

    Among the 14-18 shows that I usually end up trying out(which I usually end up dropping about half),I’m hoping to see something really good in:

    – Akame ga Kill!,where my primary worry would be the same as yours,in that they’d kill off characters in meaningless ways just for shock value. But this Through the seven chapters I read, which is roughly 280 pages, the problem of killing characters off for the sake of shock value instead of meaningful contribution to the themes, character development, atmosphere, and so on is not a concern. took away a good portion of those worries.

    – Zankyou no Terror

    – Hanamonogatari,but damn…just 5 eps :(

    – Ald.noah Zero,although somehow,I might’ve liked a bit more serious character designs and no highschoolers to make it easier to take the show seriously. It’s not that I have a problem with those two factors in general but,I DO have a problem(recently developed actually)with them when it comes to mecha anime. To be blunt,I’m just freaking tired of the highschool boy stumbles about mech and so on,stories. But that’s just me being negative because I figure things like that might mess up an otherwise great show.

    -Tokyo Ghoul

    and finally,

    – SAO II Oh yea,I hated the 1st season,and somehow loved hating it. I HAVE to watch this,especially since I think I’m getting better at not taking shows like these seriously at all,like you do it. I’ve actually started liking Mahouka more thanks to that,which means I’ve stopped listening to all the technobabble because that would mean I’d have to pay attention & take it seriously,and if I stop and do that for even a moment I’ll probably hate it. I’m far from being a master at this technique like you,but I’m progressing! Naturally,I’ll have to try the same with SAO II. Hmm,maybe watching it with a friend or two might help.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Winter is almost always the weakest season, but usually it’s summer after that. Look at last year’s summer. Yeah… It wasn’t good. But this year, summer is probably going to be better than spring by a fair margin since spring isn’t that strong this year. It depends on the year, but I suppose those two seasons are closer than some say they are.

      For Akame ga Kill, I read beyond what the anime will cover if it is 1-cour, and it’s nice to see that there’s not really an issue with killing characters off meaninglessly much like what I said in the preview for those first 280 pages. If it’s 2-cour, I’m not sure if it will in the latter half. I should catch up to the latest chapters of the manga when I do some episode reviews of it later on though so I’ll discuss it then.

      You can bet I’m going to make fun of SAO 2 as much as I possibly can. But man, looking at Saturday and Sunday, I’m not sure how much I can handle. There are way too many shows to potentially do episodic reviews of.

      • niknasr

        From what I heard, Akame will have 2 cour and I think if we get lucky it will cover right before the war between empire and revolutionaries and I really hope we got no anime original, this manga was one of the manga that completely got me hook on reading it every month, so it gonna hurt me a lot if they pull the AO.. btw, #teamEsdeathbestgirl

        • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

          Yep. It is confirmed to be 2-cours. I just checked.

          Well, now I have to decide whether to read the manga or wait…

  • sweN

    I’m waiting for Aldnoah Zero, it looks absolutely stunning. I hope it will be as good as Gundam 00.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      That would be awesome if it were.

  • Yatogami

    Ok so Tokyo Ghoul. Oh yess if the first ep is anything to go by, it is going to be a GOOD season

  • sonicsenryaku

    Tokyo ESP is POWER!!!..its originality lies in its execution and this is one of the few mangas that i have read that just made me want to continue reading chapter after chapter just because of how damn fun and entertaining it was. And i dont mean entertaining as in “oh the series is really flawed but at least i was entertained”, i mean entertaining as in just a really polished action supernatural series with endearing characters and a badass female protagonist..easily the best thing about the manga. It’s also a plus to see her relationship with the male protagonist feel so natural and down to earth. Ive commented about this before when it comes to this manga, but the polish and thrill of reading this series is like enjoying a very well crafted marvel superhero movie.

    If the Tokyo ESP anime ends up being disappointing, it’ll be entirely the staffs fault and not the source material. oh man im hoping that is not the case and that the anime captures what makes the manga so great (chps 1-26 anyway), even if they decide to make some “creative changes” to the source material. Im not really that happy that Xebec is the one helming this (plus the screenwriter has had some hits and misses albeit one really good hit that makes me believe he has what it takes to do Tokyo ESP justice), but ill stay positive and see what happens. The only thing i dont understand is why previews for this series has been so sparse. It was announced that Tokyo ESP would be getting an anime in Jan 2013 if memory serves me right; you’d think production was going along swimmingly unless the advertising for this series is just being reserved.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      The female protagonist is seriously pretty damn awesome. It’s the major reason why I like the manga as much as I do. I even read some of the raws because I wanted to see what happens though it takes me a while to properly go through them.

      Some shows just don’t get commercials. (Argevollen being an example.)

      • sonicsenryaku

        and most of the time that usually a sign of production problems or weak production values (like what argevollen sorta proved; the animation was too bad but man was it a galore of animation shortcuts and cgi…still kinda liked the show tho). Maybe this means the budget was used on tokyo ESP…positive thoughts positive thoughts

  • Lim Cheng Yi

    So i guess this is the season where we all have boners and we have no idea why? dam you kirito!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ALSO, FK YA, SAILOR MOON!!

  • Anim Monmon

    seems like saturday and sunday will be really exciting :3

  • ryugioh

    Hahaha funny reviews.. Your’re really great in using those “F” grammars XD

  • Rob

    Are you going to do a review for Hanamonogatari? What about Tsukimonogatari? SO MANY MONOGATARI’SS!