Summer season preview: the good, the wet and the moe

Bokura ga Ita – Artland – Love-Romance, School Life

Artland were behind Mushishi. Mushishi is a masterpiece. If Artland can maintain these standards within the “slice of life” genre, we may just have a show to equal the melancholy, inspiring brilliance of Honey & Clover and the heart wrenching drama of Fruits Basket.

Kemono Zume – Madhouse Production – Fantasy, Love-Romance

The production art is so vivid, grotesque and weird. Madhouse specializes in creating sophisticated and compelling anime for adults (Black Lagoon, Monster and Paranoia Agent). Kemono Zume should be great.

Project Blue Earth SOS – Studio A.C.G.T.- Adventure, Science Fiction

The artwork is colourful, but the real reason Project Blue Earth SOS made the elite category is because it’s directed by the great Tensai Okamura. Mr. Okamura was the main creative driving force (director, screenplay, and storyboard) behind the tragic apocalyptic drama Wolf’s Rain and was also heavily involved in Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion and RahXephon. The guy is basically a genius and if on form, Project Blue Earth SOS should be another classic anime series to add to his CV.

FLAG – Sunrise – Mecha

The artwork looks mature and sophisticated, the story sounds compelling but it’s Sunrise so I’m hesitant to really get behind FLAG, lest it turns out to be another merchandise driven mecha show that has everything but that most vital of ingredients, a soul of a story teller.

Honey & Clover II – J.C.STAFF – Drama, Love-Romance

I loved Honey & Clover; it really was one of the shining lights of last year and all this despite being yet another cutesy high-school drama. Now we have another 12 episodes to enjoy, but I was bothered by J.C.STAFF switching the director and now paranoid of a total shift in tone, I’m probably worried about nothing though; Honey & Clover II is surely the most anticipated new series this year and I hope it pulls through.

Le Chevalier D`Eon – Production I.G – Fantasy, Historical Settings

Looks dark and dramatic, but Production I.G. let me down with Blood+ and now I’m not sure what to think. Apparently about a cross dressing French revolutionary, so possibly one for the yuri fans too.

Coyote Ragtime Show – ufotable \ Kusanagi – Sci-Fi, Action

Oh, dear. Ripping a page from GunXSword’s book of generic Western appeal, this looks plastic and commercial. The animation is strikingly fluid and obviously expensive, but ultimately the trailer is clearly trying to pander to Western anime fans. Maids with guns though, for those of you who are “into” that.

Taiyo no Mokushiroku / A Spirit of the Sun – Drama

Japan has been cut to shreds by a series of devastating earthquakes and volcanoes and amidst the tragedy a young boy’s boundless optimism inspires those around him. Sounds cool, sounds though-provoking and the promo art looks wonderfully gritty and influential. “Above the clouds and ash, the sun still shines and the sky is still blue.”

NHK ni Youkoso! – Gonzo – Comedy, Novel

Like Genshiken, this is an anime series about anime fans. However, unlike Genshiken, it has a “moe” poster girl and appears to lack the ugly yet compelling insight into fandom that Genshiken so excelled in. It’s bound to inspire moe fans, but I’m not one, so I’m sceptical. Expect a religion to be formed around this series almost over-night, while many others scratch their heads wondering why.

Mardock Scramble – Gonzo

Since Last Exile, Range Murata has become quite possibly the hottest character designer in Japan. Mardock Scramble again sees him teamed up with Gonzo and provided the Gonzo behind Gankutsuou and the aforementioned van-ship epic turn up, this could well be another amazing series. Mardock Scramble looks like the finest realization of Murata’s stylish art yet.

Author: bateszi

A huge bloody nerd. I apologise in advance. I live in Cambridge, England. That's not an excuse, by the way.

19 thoughts on “Summer season preview: the good, the wet and the moe”

  1. Chevalier d’Eon: "Apparently about a cross dressing French revolutionary…."

    Not quite… d’Eon was sent *by* pre-Revolutionary France to the court of Czarina Elizabeth in Russia thirty years before the Revolution. So no France, and no Revolution, although the Russian court at the time was very French-inspired.

  2. hah yeah, NHK really has me curious just to see how/if they pull this off without being "eeek, that’s me? I’m sick!"
    could be pretty hilarious though.

    All I can say is that it’s good that a lot of other shows are just about finished for me.

  3. Have you even read NHK? Its barely about otakudom, its more about Hikkimori’s, you should really read it before passing it off as something thats just about "moe", shes far from just a cookie cutter character as you would know if you read the manga ;)

  4. P.S. the anime wont be popular seeing as its going to be subject of Gonzo’s much loved rapery of great manga series.

  5. P.P.S. NHK is easily one of the best manga’s I’ve ever read, I would hesitate to say its better than Genshiken, and at the current point in the manga its extremely darker.

  6. P.P.P.S. (Im aware this has become somewhat of a fanboyish rant so I apologise) "appears to lack the ugly yet compelling insight into fandom that Genshiken so excelled in" As I said before its not particularly about Otakudom but saying it doesnt show an ugly insight is just wrong, all you need to do is read it to see the multiple drug induced halucigenic scenes and the more recent "Hype Self Pleasure" masturbation scene, if thats not an ugly insight I dont know what is. I promise this is my last rantish post, it just annoys me when such an amazing manga like this gets pushed aside for no other reason that an image seach on google came up with a picture that had a cute girl on it.

  7. On an non-NHK-related note, calling Tensai Okamura a "genius" is a tiny bit of a stretch, he’s done some story boards here and there a adapted the Wolfs Rain manga into anime form, but hes also directed the Kikaider anime, Medabots and the first Naruto movie… there hardly works of art. And i’d hardly say doing storyboards alongside 10 other people (Rahxephon) makes him that heavily involved with a project.

  8. I’d like to end my various rants with a quote from Heisei Democracy about NHK. "I’d say it’s the rawest glimpse into modern social pathology since Evangelion. In a way – not the SF giant robot way, but in the drama way – NHK really does feel like a spiritual successor to Eva, and like Eva I can’t see it ending in any way other than tears (or a lot of enraged fans)."
    P.S. Sorry about all the posts, work is INCREDIBLY boring :D

  9. @Ramen89

    I’ve based my previews on the production art and staff credits alone and I’ll be more than willing to praise NHK if it is indeed the next Evangelion, but wasn’t Haruhi supposed to be the next Evangelion anyway?

    Also, I think you’re slightly underrating Okamura. The guy has pretty much worked the majority of greatly acclaimed anime produced since 1990. The fact he was picked out by Katsuhiro Otomo (of Akira) to work on his Memories anthology (Okamura’s segment was “Stink Bomb”) along with Satoshi Kon etc says it all.

  10. The first 2 or 3 episodes of Haruhi I thought deserved its praise, but now It really doesn’t, but the 20+ chapters of NHK are surely enough to prove that its much more than just a show for moe enthusiasts, mind you I woudlnt be suprised if Gonzo did turn it into a mindless show for moe enthusiasts.

  11. "It’s bound to inspire moe fans, but I’m not one, so I’m sceptical. Expect a religion to be formed around this series almost over-night, while many others scratch their heads wondering why."

    Did I ever say I loved you? Because I do… In a non-gay way…

  12. "Like Genshiken, this is an anime series about anime fans. However, unlike Genshiken, it has a "moe" poster girl and appears to lack the ugly yet compelling insight into fandom that Genshiken so excelled in."

    "I’ve based my previews on the production art and staff credits alone"

    You surely show why 99.9% of today’s anime fans simply fail. Next time try and inform yourself before posting idiotic remarks. The sad thing is that the sheep population with even less knowledge and their herd instinct will hump to such comments and spread the "word".

    Also interesting to see how it became a trend to compare everything with a show which was virtually unknown two months ago. Showing off the own coolness with rants about Haruhi, wow.

    Makes one wish that companies would give us only more Dragonball alikes and would keep their hands off something more different and/or innovative.

  13. @KT Kore

    It’s nice to know you care! ;)

    @Hayate

    "You surely show why 99.9% of today’s anime fans simply fail. Next time try and inform yourself before posting idiotic remarks."

    If this was a magazine, I’d agree with you but it isn’t. It’s my blog and I have no duty whatsoever to research what I write about here, it’s just my preview opinions, good or bad and I’m sorry if you don’t agree with them. Emphasis on the word PREview.

    And I assume you are one of the few remaining 00.1% of non-failing anime fans?

    "Showing off the own coolness with rants about Haruhi, wow."

    No, I’m poking fun at Haruhi fandom. I haven’t seen Haruhi yet, so how can I critisize it? NHK is already being compared to Evangelion and it hasn’t even aired yet :)

  14. NHK THE MANGA is being compared to Evangelion by 1 blog, I think the problem I had with your post was that it didn’t seem like a preview, it seemed more like a "I allready know what this is about and I dont like it", I really do think you should give the manga a go at least, you’ll be pleasently suprised :D

  15. I dont think I made it very clear that the blog was talking about the manga and not the anime, so for that I apologise :D

    P.S. I never cared for Katsuhiro Otomo, Steamboy bored me to death!

  16. ‘Ripping a page from GunXSword’s book of generic Western appeal’

    Once you get past the first 4 episodes, GXS becomes really good.

    NHK looks interesting, although I haven’t read the manga.

  17. Isn’t Chevalier and Spirit of the sun short ova’s before the actual series, which air in fall (or at least Spirit of the sun does)
    I’m looking forward to the latter quite a bit. :)

  18. Although I didn’t know at the time, I have since read that Spirit of the Sun will indeed be a 2 episode OVA series (airing in July)- though apparently these may be a "prelude to…" an autmn TV series. Whatever it turns out to be, I can’t wait to see how it all turns out, the more I read about Spirit of the Sun, the more I want to watch the anime.

    Project Blue Earth SOS will also be an OVA series.

    As far as Chevalier goes, I’m not sure. According to ANN, it is a 24 episode series airing in mid-August.

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