Summer 2011 Preview

So we’re halfway toward the summer season, and compared to last summer, the showing is somewhat weak. No High School of the Dead, no Seitokai Yakuindomo, and no Strike Witches this year, but we do get Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! and movie premieres for Sora no Otoshimono and Hayate no Gotoku. Fortunately, I come to the party with a custom chart of my own:

(Descriptions from MAL)

Mayo Chiki!
Konoe Subaru, 17, has been serving as the butler of Suzutsuki Kanade in school, a classmate of Sakamachi Kinjirou. Due to an accident, Sakamachi discovers Subaru’s secret… that he’s actually a girl!? Apparently she will be removed from her position if anyone at school finds out. What will unfold from this chain of events?

The first thing I thought of was LadiesXButlers, but more specifically Daichi, and the fact he was a she, and a butler. So this feels like an expansion down that road if they had done that. I’m expecting comedy and fanservice likely, with some kinda plot I’d imagine, and it’s being billed as a school romance/comedy. For you VA inclined people, Konoe’s VA Yuka Iguchi was Index in all of the Toaru Majutsu no Index series as well as Kaede Mizuno from Nyan Koi!, along with Satoshi Hino (Ikkitousen, Shakugan no Shana, Zero no Tsukaima), and Eri Kitamura (Toradora!, Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica, Working!!) So hey, it’s got some weight behind it.

Producers: Feel, TBS
Confidence Level: 75%
TL;DR: At best, it’ll be funny, and it’ll try to be provocative within TOKYO DECENCY LAWS, and maybe the BDs will go beyond. At worst, it’ll have no plot.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni!
The second season of Winter 2010’s hit about Fumizuki Academy and Akihisa Yoshii, the “baka” of the title. His academy rigidly divides up the student body into classes based on the results of tests. The prodigies are in the A class with reclining seats complete with air conditioning, but Akihisa is in F class, the lowest rung of the school ladder which is furnished only with low, decrepit tables and worn-out straw tatami mats. A girl named Mizuki Himeji is actually one of the smartest girls in Akihisa’s sophomore year, but she had a fever on test day and was pigeonholed into the F class. Besides Mizuki (who Akihisa secretly adores), the F class also has Yuuji Sakamoto, the class president who has been Akihisa’s friend and partner-in-crime since the freshman year.

Baka Test accomplished a few personal feats in anime that put it on the top of my lists and was an automatic pick for this season, and that is it’s funny AND stupid, like watching every episode of Rocko’s Modern Life straight through and laughing at every time Heffer shows up on screen. The cast plays their parts well, and fuck man, I’d go gay for Hideyoshi, although if he looks like a girl, is that gay? Anyway, I don’t expect much from the plot even though there was somewhat of one, but every episode could be about how bad Himeji’s cooking is and what scheme Shouko is cooking up to marry Yuuji, and I’d be okay with this.

Producers: FUNimation EntertainmentL, Silver Link
Confidence Level: 100%
TL;DR: Ninja Pervert. That is all.

Usagi Drop
Going home for his grandfather’s funeral, thirty-year-old bachelor Daikichi is floored to discover that the old man had an illegitimate child with a younger lover! The rest of his family is equally shocked and embarrassed by this surprise development, and not one of them wants anything to do with the silent little girl, Rin. In a fit of angry spontaneity, Daikichi decides to take her in himself! But will living with this overgrown teenager of man help Rin come out of her shell? And hang on, won’t this turn of events spell doom for Daikichi’s love life?!

Premiering on this season’s noitaminA block, I like to think this might be somewhat like Hourou Musuko or Fractale, more towards the former. I’m also thinking something like a more serious version of Welcome to the NHK. Either way, it looks like it might be interesting, and really, even with what all I watch, a semi-srsbins anime with a story is never a bad decision. Rin’s VA is Ayu Matsuura, who is actually 10, and her debut show, and Daikichi’s VA is Hiroshi Tsuchida (Steins;Gate, Naruto, One Piece)

Producers: Production I.G
Confidence Level: 60%
TL;DR: NEET living with a kid. Hey, I’ve seen stranger things. In real life even.

Ikoku Meiro no Croisee
The story takes place in the second half of the 19th century, as Japanese culture gains popularity in the West. A young Japanese girl, Yune, accompanies a French traveller, Oscar, on his journey back to France, and offers to help at the family’s ironwork shop in Paris. Oscar’s nephew and shop-owner Claude reluctantly accepts to take care of Yune, and we learn how those two, who have so little in common, get to understand each other and live together in the Paris of the 1800s.

From the creator of GOSICK comes another tale set in the late 1800’s in France. GOSICK had a rocky middle, but overall is an excellent series (and hopefully ending well) so I want to assume this will be a pleasant tale. The main character Yune will be voiced by Nao Toyama, her third credit and first main, and Claude will be done by Takashi Kondo, whose previous roles include Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou, Seitokai no Ichizon, and supporting roles in Bleach and Naruto.

Producers: Satelight
Confidence Level: 50%
TL;DR: Historical story with hopefully cheerful characters, hoping for some GOSICK-style workings here, at worst, it will be boring as fuck and I drop it at Ep. 2.

Nekogami Yaoyorozu
Koyama Yuzu is running an antique shop. Mayu, a cat god (nekogami), is living off Yuzu and leads an idle life playing games. Lots of other gods visit Mayu and enjoy merrymaking.

Each season has to have something that has catgirls in it, this one is it I guess. The description is vague, so at best I am assuming we’ll get some kinda comedy and random hijinks, or something of the sort. No listing on characters or VAs, so I’m going to speculate neutral, including my confidential level in it.

Producers: AIC Plus+
Confidence Level: 40%
TL;DR: Catgirls. Gods. Crazy shit. I dunno?

Dantalian no Shoka
Hugh Anthony Disward inherits an old mansion and a personal library from his grandfather. In the basement of the mansion, he meets a mysterious girl Dalian. She is a Dantalian and a gateway to “Dantalian’s bookshelf”, which stores the prohibited books of the demons.

Demons, girl, and books, well, I was partially sold on the girl part, but the demons and books got me thinking of a reverse-Index without J.C STAFF doing it, and the bonus is, it’s GAINAX this time. Maybe want? Main character Dalian is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro (Galaxy Angel, Bakemonogatari, Black★Rock Shooter) and Hugh Anthony by Daisuke Ono (Working!!, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, 11eyes) so some pretty good talent here, perhaps it will be worth something?

Producers: Gainax
Confidence Level: 70%
TL;DR: Book demons and shit? GAINAX ENDING? PSG Season 2 announcement? I’m gonna go for the former.

Sacred Seven
A “new school battle action” project by Sunrise. The tagline is “People’s memories change the world!”

I’m going out on a limb and assuming that this is Sunrise’s way of telling us they didn’t make enough money with Code Geass and want to bring back that wacky school hi-jinks-turned-srsbins-mechas for another run, this time with less noodle people and more SUPER ROBOTS, so I want to hope the fuck out of this being totally fucking awesome, since I don’t have any Gundam to furiously fap to. No details as of yet on characters or VAs.

Producers: Sunrise
Confidence Level: 70%
TL;DR: School kids. Giant robots. Super robots? I hope so. Reals are cool, but Super is where it’s at.

Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou
Fujishima Narumi is a plain high school boy, who has been isolated in the class. His classmate Shinozaki Ayaka invites Narumi to the gardening club and introduces a hikikomori detective Alice to him.

Now this has GOSICK-like plot written on it, another boy sucked into a NEET girl’s world and made to help solve mysteries, only this one the wolf is actually confined to where she is, by choice. I realize the NEET thing is a sore spot in Japan, and part of this is probably not helping, but fuck man, as a NOT-NEET person (oddly enough) I find it somewhat humorous, especially when they portray the girl. Only character listed is Alice, who is played by Yui Ogura (.hack//Quantum, Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai, Yumeiro Pâtissière SP Professional). Nothing else listed yet.

Producers: J.C. Staff
Confidence Level: 60%
TL;DR: J.C. Staff… this doesn’t seem their type given previous successes, so this one may be the “trainwreck of the season” to look out for.

Ro-Kyu-Bu!
Hasegawa Subaru is a high school girl who loves basketball. She joins the male basketball team but due to problems with the team captain (a suspected lolicon) she has to resign. With no place to go she ends up coaching the female team of the elementary school. How will she and the other girls cope with the various troubles and trials that will come their way? Based on the light novel by Aoyama Sagu.

This past season we had Moshidora, an excellent tale on baseball, friendship, and fucking owning face at adapting business management to sports. Ro-Kyu-Bu! won’t be this, but it will be about coaching kindergarten basketball, and it will likely combine that along with a four-some comedy ala A Channel or K-ON!!. So really I am going to apply the same expectations and hope for more. Fair assumption I think. Only VA listed so far is for Tomoka, who will be voiced by Kana Hanazawa (Angel Beats!, IS: Infinite Stratos, Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai) who among having fairly top-tier main roles in recent series as seen there, also was the voice of Yuki in Moshidora, so bonus for you folks who cried manly tears at the end of that series, she’s back, and for basketball! With pink hair.

Producers: Project No.9, Studio Blanc
Confidence Level: 80%
TL;DR: Some top-tier VA work (so far, hoping for more) and an interesting sports-themed story, I think this may be one of the higher confidence choices for this season based on current info.

Specials for this season also include a OAD for Kore wa Zombie, and a BD Bonus for Nichijou. As mentioned sbove, theatrical debuts for Sora no Otoshimono and Hayate no Gotoku although we’ll likely not see good quality subs for those until their DVD/BDs come out later in the year or early 2012. Also continuing from Spring 2011 will be Steins;Gate and Hanasaku Iroha which both have planned 24 episode runs. So even if most of this season blows, I have at least three safe shows, and hell, when Saimoe starts up towards the end of the summer, I’ll be busy with that too. So win-win, or mostly win.

It’s been suggested to me that I also take a look at iDOLM@STER this season as well. I might, but chances are if all nine of these pan out, I’ll probably tab it for the end of the season and batch-download and watch, which is what I need to do for Star Driver from last season, and probably Anohana from this season, as I heard good things from both but didn’t fold into my list because of how many I am already tracking. (Although if I decide to drop SKET Dance I will pick up and catch up on that)

Anyway, this is the plan for next season, I’ll update the chart with dates as soon as I have them. Good fight, good night, gonna get my laundry and pass the fuck out. Another glorious week of TECH SUPPORT FOR IDIOTS awaits me. =/

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