Summer Anime Season 2016: Prospects and Anticipations

With the 2016 Spring season coming to an end I wanted to look forward to this upcoming Summer season and detail the process by which I decide what looks good and what I end up watching. This prospective will not feature every one of the soon-to-air Summer shows and will emphasize the areas I am most familiar with so that I can better detail what I am discussing. If a show is missing from this list it’s either because it is a sequel season that I don’t have experience with or has an overly typical or forgettable premise or design. Let’s begin!

91 Days

Studio Shuka’s first project outside of its several cours of Durarara. I think this faction of Brain’s Base did well in finishing out the series and it’s certainly an exciting prospect to see what a new show might look like from them. 91 Days presents itself as a revenge drama which takes place in the United States at the beginning of the Prohibition Era in the 1920’s. Given Shuka’s involvement with Durarara I think they are more than prepared to conjure up a proper atmosphere for the various crime organizations and mafia present in the story. The voice cast is generally pretty strong – Eguchi Takuya is someone I always have my eye on and the supporting cast has a number of well-known talents from Sakurai Takahiro to Nakamura Yuuichi. I think 91 Days is certainly worth looking into if you enjoy a similar subject matter to Durarara or Baccano though it won’t have Narita Ryohgo‘s distinct narrative style as they do.

Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness and Lightning)

A slice of life comedy from TMS Entertainment directed by Iwasaki Tarou whose recent projects include Isshuukan Friends and Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku. Kouhei Inuzuka is left alone to care for his daughter after his wife’s passing. Together they live off of convenient store meals as he has no ability to cook. Though the show might initally seem more akin to Usagi Drop than anything else I think a closer comparison might be Barakamon with an emphasis on food and cooking based on what I’ve seen. Amaama to Inazuma looks like a safe bet for those who enjoyed those other shows and has a promising voice cast to boot featuring both Nakamura Yuuichi and Hayami Saori.

Arslan Senki (TV): Fuujin Ranbu

The second season of Arslan Senki at last arrives after its initial airing in the Spring of 2015. The first season was quite volatile in the art and animation department and certainly exhibited some of the lowest points of the season in this way. Given Arslan’s popularity hopefully this second season can execute a higher quality show and improve upon some of the poor writing in the first season. To the best of my knowledge this season will only consist of 8 episodes unlike its first 25-episode installment.

Battery

One of a few sports shows airing this Summer season, Battery focuses on ace-pitcher Harada Takumi who is prepared to give up pitching entirely because no catcher can properly support him until Nagakura Ko arrives. The show primarily features Hatanaka Tasuku coming off of his performance as Ikoma in Koutetsujou no Kabaneri and Uchiyama Kouki in the role of the pitcher. Though Battery concerns baseball most obviously it may also be more heavily invested in its slice-of-life and dramatic elements than shows like Diamond no Ace and Haikyuu!! and thus might not be as game-focused as some sports genre fans might desire.

Berserk (2016)

For me this is one of the most anticipated upcoming shows of the season for a myriad of reasons. Highly convtraversial in appearence since its first PV, this new season of Berserk will move past the Golden Age arc as adapated by the recent movies and the 1997 show and begin forging its way into the ocean of content that is Miura Kentaro’s Berserk. The project coming out of studio Millepensee, the heavy usage of rather poor computer animation in its trailers, and its selected source material has brought the success of this upcoming installment into question and fairly so. That being said, Berserk remains an absolutely incredible story, the 2016 show features a rather unique art and shading style, and at this point Berserk fans are so starved we’ll watch just about anything. I highly recommend picking up Miura’s manga and watching the 1997 classic as well. Watching the original show or the recent movies is procedurally necessary to enjoy this latest adaptation.

Days (TV)

From studio MAPPA comes the other notable sports show of the season. Days sports focus is on Soccer and its two main characters are Tsukamoto Tsukushi who is clumsy and possesses very little in the way of natural talent for the game and Kazama Jin who is conversely incredibly talented. Compared to Battery, Days promises to be more typically focused on the sport itself and the skills of the players in more of a shounen fashion. As is often the case with these kinds of shows, the supporting cast is full to the brim with well-known, mostly male, seiyuu.

Handa-kun

Barakamon was mentioned earlier in this post when discussing Amaama to Inazuma however it is once again pertinent to mention here as Handa-kun is a direct prequel to it, taking place 6 years before the events of the popular slice of life comedy series. This show details the high school experiences of the calligraphy genius Handa Seishuu as the admiration of his peers causes him to mistake their constant attention as bullying. Handa-kun should behave in much the same way as its predecessor and those who enjoyed Barakamon would likely do well to pick up this upcoming show.

Mob Psycho 100

Another highly anticipated show airing this Summer season is Mob Psycho 100 and its easy to understand why. With studio Bones finishing out the Spring season with outstanding animation work in both Boku no Hero Academia and Bungou Stray Dogs their prowess will be a welcome addition to this new adaptation of ONE’s work. The success of his other work in the form of One Punch Man is hard to overlook and though this adaptation utilizes ONE’s original art style rather than Murata Yusuke’s the subject matter and narrative dynamic should feel quite familiar. With seiyuu such as Sakurai TakahiroIrino Miyu, and newcomer Ito Setsuo heading the voice cast as well as the legendary Kawai Kenji of Ghost in the Shell (and a million other things) renown composing the soundtrack its hard not to be excited about what Mob Psycho 100 represents. A for-sure watch this seasom

Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin (Alderamin on the Sky)

Though perhaps not exceptional in and of itself it’s usually worth noting which show studio Madhouse is working on each season. Tenkyou no Alderamin is an action, fantasy, adventure which takes place in a world gripped by war as the Koika Republic clashes against the Katjvarna Empire. Outside of few notable seiyuu such as Okamoto Nobuhiko and Taneda Risa the staff falls short of impressing with a seemingly novice director though Inai Keiji’s work on the soundtrack of Heavy Object was perhaps its one redeeming quality. Its hard to say whether or not Tenkyou no Alderamin will be worth anyone’s time or not as it parades itself somewhat stereotypically and in the worst case scenario it turns out to be yet another forgettable light novel adaptation.

New Game!

One of several ‘cute girl’ slice of life comedies airing this season, New Game! comes from studio Doga Kobo and at face value possesses much of their familiar style. Its director Fujiwara Yoshiyuki worked on some of the studio’s previous projects such as Mikakunin de Shinkoukei and Plastic Memories. The premise is that Suzukaze Aoba, a recent high school graduate, joins a game company which she idolized growing up. Whether or not New Game! is able to distinguish itself within a rather over-saturated sub genre is yet to be seen however Doga Kobo always brings a distinct animation flare and style to their shows and those who have enjoyed the studio’s other shows are likely to enjoy this one as well.

Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara (Shokugeki no Souma: The Second Plate)

The second season of the popular, over-the-top, cooking show Shokugeko no Souma returns this Summer and promises to deliver in much the same manner as it did in its first installment. The show is great fun and quite enjoyable and I think this second season will follow through on the first quite nicely.

Tales of Zestiria the X

And lastly, Tales of Zesteria receives a TV-adaptation from ufotable which has a longstanding history with the Tales games and their animated adaptations. Given the studio’s previous accomplishments such as Fate/Zero, Unlimited Bladeworks, and Kara no Kyoukai as well as their most recent game-adaptation in the form of God Eater, it is quite apparent why this most recent adaptation warrants excitement. I personally cannot speak to the narrative strength of the show however, at the very least, it should be visually interesting. Whether you are a fan of the many Tales JRPGs, of ufotable, or of the fantasy genre in general, Tales of Zestiria is likely to be worth checking out this Summer season.

And that’s it! I’ve left out a large number of shows and I encourage all those interested to go find what they think looks good on any number of websites such as MyAnimelist, Anichart, AnimeNewsNetwork, and all the rest. I likely haven’t detailed all of the shows that will end up being ‘good’ and a good few I’ve mentioned here might very well turn out ‘bad’ however hopefully this list and what I’ve written has given a little bit of insight and intrigue into these upcoming shows. Feel free to leave comments on my MAL profile or my blog @ Cauthan.Wordpress.com about what shows you are looking forward to or what show’s you feel I’ve missed or misrepresented.

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