With July only a short time away, it’s about time to talk about the summer anime series this year. There’s fewer series this year than there were last, but there’s still no shortage of shows worth checking out! Let’s get into the first few!
Starmyu S3: “I don’t know how to give up on a dream…” In pursuit of a high school student he admired, Yuta Hoshitani enrolled in the musical department of the prestigious music school Ayanagi Academy. He successfully completed the year-long enrollment test and, in his second year, finally became a student of the musical department… but a new trial awaited him right from the start of the new year! (Crunchyroll)
Thoughts: If I hadn’t looked it up, I would’ve never believed this wasn’t some kind of cross-media thing that happened to catch on in anime form. But no, apparently C-Station wanted to bless the anime world with at least one series that wasn’t an isekai. The writer, Sayaka Harada, is pretty much only known for this, but that means Starmyu fans don’t have to worry about the franchise going anywhere. This series isn’t for me, but I’m glad there’s some variety in this season, because later on that’s going to be more of a concern.
Premiering: July 1st.
To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts: This series is set in the aftermath of the American Civil War, where the North only barely defeated the South after transforming their soldiers into the Incarnates using forbidden magic. Despite using this power for good, after the war Incarnates found themselves shunned and killed. This unfortunate fate befalls the father of Nancy Schaal Bancroft, who spends years tracking down the murderer of her father. Nancy fails in her attempt to kill the man, but learns not only that her father’s murderer was an Incarnate himself, but that he swore to take down any other Incarnate who lost their humanity. From there, she’s invited to learn the truth of the beings known as the Incarnates.
Thoughts: This is literally just Fairy Gone with a few twists. I’d call it a rip-off, but To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts actually first existed in manga form, and Fairy Gone beat it to the anime world. It’s kinda like how the AAF popped up before Vince McMahon’s XFL, even though the latter was announced way in advance. Unlike those spring football leagues no one asked for though, this actually has a chance of being decent. Sacred Beasts looks distinctly more anime than Fairy Gone does, but that’s not a bad thing–these are still great designs, and I still want my fix of alternate history post-war societies, so this will slot in great until Fairy Gone returns in the fall.
Premiering: July 1st.
Astra, Lost in Space: The series is set in the year 2063, after humanity has managed to make space travel more common. A group of students from Caird High School are meant to go on a field trip to a Planetary Camp, but instead wind up shot several thousand light years away from their home. Together, they must try to figure out a way to survive and make their way back home.
Thoughts: Originally from Kento Shinohara (SKET Dance), hopefully this series isn’t quite as dark as the promotional video makes it look. Having a bunch of teenaged kids separated from society seems like it could get real Lord of the Flies really quickly. Lerche does great animation and this manga series wasn’t terribly long, so I’m down for a quick and dirty adaptation of a short series. That said, the series is being directed by Masaomi Ando (Scum’s Wish, School-Live) and the scenario is being written by Norimitsu Kaihou (Spec Ops Asuka) so there’s still room for this to be the biggest botch of the season.
Premiering: July 3rd
How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift?: After a friend accuses her of getting fat, high school girl Hibiki Sakura decides to go on a diet to get thin in time for summer vacation. It’s difficult, but she finds a training gym where she meets the student council president Akemi Souryuuin, and winds up picking up weight-training.
Thoughts: If this series can avoid getting over the top with its fanservice (the trailer’s a good sign) then this is actually a pretty novel idea. Who can’t identify with wanting to get JACKED for the summer? Depending on how they handle it, this could even become a dark horse favorite for long-time anime watchers, who are usually looking for something new each season.
Premiering: July 3rd.
Maou-sama, Retry!: Maou-sama, Retry! centers on an ordinary working adult, Oono Akira. He was transported into a different world when he logged into the Demon King character in a game he had operated. Then, he meets a girl with a disabled leg and decides to start a journey together. However, his overwhelming power as the Demon King is too strong to be left by others. They cause various troubles while traveling, and is targeted by nations and saints that are trying to exterminate the Demon King. (Crunchyroll)
Thoughts: There’s legitimately half a dozen isekai (alternate world) series this season alone. I think I can skip one–especially one where an adult spends way too much time around a young girl that isn’t his kid. That said, there is some dark horse potential here, as Akira looks like a yakuza boss and perhaps that could mean his way of attacking and solving problems will be different enough to be worth a watch.
Premiering: July 3rd.
If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord: While on a job, Dale–a young but accomplished adventurer–comes across a little demon girl all alone in the forest. Dale can’t bear to leave her there to die, so instead, he takes her home! Demon or not, Latina is beyond adorable, and it is not long before he finds himself head over heels with being her guardian. Can Dale handle the trials and tribulations of childcare and being an adventurer? (Seven Seas Entertainment)
Thoughts: ….Even though in execution it’s clearly not the same kind of series, this literally sounds the same as Maou-sama Retry, a show that didn’t air last season or next season, but the day before this series. Who plans these? I’d say to hold out hope for this series, because it could just be a series about a kid so adorable everyone wants to take care of her…like the OP appears to suggest…but the writer of this is best known for High School DxD and the director has done In Another World with my Smartphone. So we can safely stop hoping and just sink into despair now.
Premiering: July 4th.
Wasteful Days of High School Girls: The story of Wasteful Days of High School Girls follows the everyday lives of three high school girls: Nozumu Tanaka, aka “Baka”, who is bad at standardized tests; Akane Kikuchi, aka “Ota”, who is a boys’ love manga addicted fujoshi; and Shiori Saginomiya, aka “Robo”, who is talented but expressionless. (Crunchyroll)
Thoughts: If nothing else, Passione seems to like taking risks. The director on this project has never done a full show on his own, and the manga this is based on is from a mangaka who has no other writing credits to their name. However, there’s some general excitement for the anime, and it certainly seems like it’ll be one of the series that grows popular if only because of all the memes people can pull from it.
Premiering: July 5th.
Dr. Stone: Several thousand years after a mysterious phenomenon that turns all of humanity to stone, the extraordinarily intelligent, science-driven boy, Senku Ishigami, awakens. Facing a world of stone and the total collapse of civilization, Senku makes up his mind to use science to rebuild the world. Starting with his super strong childhood friend Taiju Oki, who awakened at the same time, they will begin to rebuild civilization from nothing…
Depicting two million years of scientific history from the Stone Age to present day, the unprecedented crafting adventure story is about to begin! (Funimation)
Thoughts: This is one of the more popular manga coming out of Weekly Shonen Jump these days…and also one of the newest, with barely over one hundred chapters to Riichiro Inagaki’s latest series. Supposedly this is more science fiction than action, so I’m not required to watch this, but the quirky premise is enough to buy it the first two episodes. It’s scheduled to run 24 episodes, so hopefully they don’t go overboard and leave us stuck in the middle of an arc without a clear ending.
Premiering: July 5th.
Fire Force: Tokyo is burning, and citizens are mysteriously suffering from spontaneous human combustion throughout the city! Responsible for snuffing out this inferno is the Fire Force, and Shinra is ready to join their fight. Now, as part of Company 8, he’ll use his devil’s footprints to help keep the city from turning to ash! But his past and a burning secret behind the scenes could set everything ablaze. (Funimation)
Thoughts: From the creator of Soul Eater comes Fire Force, a series that hopefully won’t be stuck with quite as garbage an ending. It’s being adapted by David Production, with Yuki Yase (Mekakucity Actors, Madoka: Beginnings) directing, so things are trending well…however. We’re also aware it’s going for four cours, which isn’t a great sign. As shonen has started to aim for increasing quality, most series like My Hero Academia have started to do 13-26 episode counts. It keeps animation quality high and allows the manga to stay far enough ahead to avoid any filler. Running an entire year suggests they may aim to finish it in a single go, since that’s far too long to keep up consistently high production values in most cases anyway. Regardless, as Patron and Guardian of Action Shonen Series I’m in for now.
Premiering: July 5th.
Granbelm: A long time ago, magical powers disappeared from all over the world, and the magic that enriched people’s life has been lost from the history. Then time flows, the story is set in modern day. A normal high school student Mangetsu Kohinata, and Shingetsu Ernesta Fukami who has been tossed by the history. The two encounter in the night when the full moon looks so big. The lost magical powers and the magical doll Almanax. When finding out the secret of the world, the girl makes up her mind. (Crunchyroll)
Thoughts: Somewhere along the way (*coughs* Nanoha *coughs*), magical girl series created a niche for themselves that was basically a form of battle shonen. Everything’s about maintaining (or building) friendships and over the top action sequences, usually animated much better thanks to working on more reasonable time tables and fewer cours. So periodically we get series like Symphogear or (the admittedly tangential) Revue Starlight. Granbelm looks to be a series in that vein, only it’s combining mecha into things. Yeah, I think I’m contractually obligated to watch at least the first three episodes. For those who require something more solid than that though, this is being directed by Masaharu Watanabe, best known for his work on Re:Zero.
Premiering: July 5th.
Well, that’s part one done. Next time, we’ll get into some noteworthy new shows and remakes, as well as a few crucial return visitors.