--> Click here for Part One <---
We asked our contributor team here at Sakuga City to tell us the anime that they are most looking forward to in the upcoming Summer 2017 season and why. Some of these anime start airing tomorrow, July 1st. If you were wondering what you should start with, these lists might help you make your mind up.
In Part Two, Kerberos and J4sm1nA take us through their picks for the upcoming season.
(Click on the spoiler tags to view previews of each show)
10. Shoukouku no Altair
Genre: fantasy, adventure
Fantasy is and will always be one of my favorite genres. In anime or otherwise. So, any new fantasy anime is cause for celebration as far as I’m concerned. Adding to my excitement in this case though is that this particular anime is produced by Studio Mappa. Currently my favourite animation studio who also produced one of my favorite fantasy anime of all time: Rage of Bahamut – Genesis. However, this for me is also cause for trepidation. Between this show, another one they’re doing this season and the second half of season 2 of Rage of Bahamut, Mappa is taking on three 12-episode series in one season. And between those three this one seems to have the least impressive staff-list. So, I’m a little concerned as to whether or not this show will get the same amount of attention and dedication that Mappa shows are known for. The premise and trailer as well failed to convince me. The idea of basing a fantasy epic on the magnificent Ottoman Empire is brilliant but judging by the premise and trailer this show seems eerily similar to The Heroic Legend of Arslan. Though, I could be completely wrong in my estimation here and it’s entirely possible the series will turn out to be phenomenal. In any case if you’re a fantasy enthusiast like me, this is a show you might want to check out.
Shoukoku no Altair premiers on July 8th.
Genre: action, adventure, fantasy
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Source: light novel
I am not the biggest fan of the Fate franchise. I quite liked the original Fate/Stay Night visual novel but due to its immense length never got very far into it and Fate/Zero left me about as cold as a pair of deep frozen popsicles on the north pole. However, the premise for this show intrigues me. Taking the basic elements of the franchise but transplanting the overused setting of Fuyuki City with an alternate universe medieval-esque Germany. Also interesting enough this is one of the first Type-moon adaptations in a long time not done by Ufotable but rather A-1 Pictures. Not that it really matters because the trailer already displayed quite a nice visual aesthetic. I’m not so sure about the story for this one but at the very least it should be pretty entertaining to watch.
Fate/Apocrypha premiers on July 2
8. Cronos Ruler
Genre: supernatural, comedy, action
Studio: Project no.9
This one I’m not expecting to be particularly great but I am expecting it to be pretty damn entertaining. The trailer showed us lots of spectacular fight scenes accompanied by a wonderfully groovy jazz track that I’ve already got stuck in my head. Storywise I’m not too impressed: super powered human beings fighting time-eating demons. Doesn’t exactly sound like the most original premise to me. But if they can make good on the stylish action and lightheartedness they showed us in the trailer than this could be quite a fun ride.
Chronos Ruler premiers on July 8th.
Genre: drama, comedy, sports, shounen
This show not only seems like a very blatant bl. show but a shameless rip off of Free at that. Revolving around a diving club whose new coach prepares to send one of them to the olympics. Adding to that is a poster that proudly displays bare chested cute boys and literally nothing else. So why am I interested in this show? One word: Noitamina. For those who don’t know, Noitamina is a programming block on Fuji-tv aimed at people who aren’t your typical anime-enthusiasts. The shows aired on there tend to be remarkable and more often than not really damn good. From cult-hits like Mononoke, The Tatami Galaxy and The Great Passage to smash mainstream hits like Psycho Pass, Terror in Resonance and Erased. Noitamina has been responsible for some of the most prolific anime since it started back in the mid-2000s. So, their airing Dive leads me to believe there might be a lot more to this show than can be glanced at first sight. Then again Noitamina also aired Guilty Crown so there is a chance this show will join the very short list of Noitamina series that just weren’t very good. Either way if you’re interested in sports anime this one should be of interest to you.
Dive premiers on July 6th.
Genre: comedy, slice of life
Studio: Pine Jam
Source: light novel
On the surface, this seems like just more Otaku pandering and maybe that is all it is. After all most otaku are also gamers and so making a show about gamers is an easy sell for any studio wanting to make sure their show is a big hit. Especially if it also involves cute girls which this show does. However, the premise fills me with a bit more confidence about this series as the characters all sound like they could be fairly complex and definitely flawed individuals. I’m not expecting Welcome to the NHK levels of complexity here but I do think this could be an engaging series that takes an honest look at the gaming community. God knows it needs it.
Gamers! premiers on July 13th.
5. Love and Lies
Genre: drama, romance, shonen
In the near future lies are forbidden and love even moreso… Well…with an opening sentence like that you’ve got me. This series takes place in a Japan in the near future in which the government arranges a marriage partner for you and follows a rather passionate young man on the verge of having a marriage partner assigned to him. I feel this show can go two ways: it can either become an absolutely dreadful romcom with lots of toilet humor. Or it can become a gripping drama that provides thoughtful commentary on the nature of emotions and a critique of the tradition of arranged marriages. Which is something that in Japan still happens on a daily basis. At this point it is unclear which way the show will go but seeing as comedy is not listed as a genre I’m inclined to go with the latter. Also, the original manga for it is set to receive a live-action movie adaptation later this year which I’ve noticed is something reserved for manga that aren’t very trope-filled thus making them more accessible for a wider audience. So, all signs point to this show being potentially really really good. If it is though, we’ll just have to wait and see, like with everything else on this list.
Love and Lies premiers on July 3rd.
4. Restaurant to Another World
Genre: slice of life, comedy, fantasy, seinen
Studio: Silver Link
Source: light novel
Not a lot is known about this series besides that it revolves around a restaurant in a Tokyo business district that’s a gateway to another world and revolves around the stories of that restaurant and the otherworldly individuals they serve. This premise strongly reminds of a very good manga I read a while back called Bartender, a series that followed a young bartender as he listened to the stories his patrons told him and in turn learned from them to become a better bartender and a better person. To have that kind of premise but crossed with characters from a magical fantasy land…this could be storytelling gold. I’m expecting this show to be an episodic slice of life series where the staff of the restaurant serves a new fantastical customer each episode and we learn their backstory and through those stories certain themes are tackled and longer arcs for the staff of the restaurant are developed. If It can live up to those expectations than I predict this show to be fucking amazing! If not, than at least it’ll be a nice slice of life show to watch. Something that’s in short supply as of late.
Restaurant to Another World premiers on July 4th.
3. Vatican Miracle Examiners
Genre: mystery, drama, supernatural
Studio: J.C. Staff
This is the first series I’m truly excited to watch! In fact, the premise alone already has me completely sold on it. Following a genius scientist and a cryptologist who are both working for the Vatican, as they travel around the globe to examine the authenticity of claims of miracles. This is honestly the most original and exciting premise I’ve come across in some time. There is so much they could do. From noir-ish supernatural mysteries to an in-depth examination of the concept of faith. It is of course not certain that they will even do anything with all this potential but looking at the staff-list I am hopeful they will. After all series composition and script writing is done by Seishii Minakami, the person who wrote the screenplay for the brain-melting techno-thriller Paprika. The only thing that gives me a little pause is that it is animated by JC Staff. A studio that in recent years has gotten really good at making beautiful slice of life shows, but doesn’t have a whole lot of experience with this kind of show. Then again last year's best show: Showa Rakugo, a phenomenal drama that went to become an instant cult-hit came from Studio Deen of all places. So, it’s not unlikely my concerns are completely unfounded. In any case this show should be of interest to those looking for somewhat more intellectual entertainment and I personally cannot wait to see it.
Vatican Miracle Examiners premiers on July 7th.
2. Netsuzou Trap (NTR)
Genre: drama, romance, shoujo
Studio: Creators in Pack - Tokyo
Great yuri anime is something that you don’t come across very often. In fact, the closest thing I’ve come across was the yuri-subplot in last season's Scum’s Wish. Thus, the announcement for this series immediately peaked my interest. First of all, let me state very clearly: this is not a series with yuri undertones, it’s straight up yuri romance. The story follows two high school girls who’ve been friends for years and both have boyfriends. One day they decide to do a “practice run” for when they want to have sex with their boyfriends and quickly find they like each other a lot more than their respective boyfriends. Based on what little information I could find this seems like it’s going to be a very serious and controversial drama series exploring teenage love and same sex relationships. I am somewhat hesitant of the NTR in the title as from what I’ve read netorare doesn’t seem like a genre I’d be into. Then again Scum’s Wish had all sorts of abusive and perverted relationships in it and that turned out to be a pretty damn good show. And like that I think Netsuzou Trap will also be pretty damn good. At the very least, I’m glad we’re getting a more original and different romance anime. So, this is a show I would definitely recommend people to keep an eye on. Unless you really have a problem with same-sex relationships. In which case…grow up man, this is the 21st century.
Netsuzou Trap premiers on July 5th.
1. Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler
Genre: mystery, drama, psychological, shounen
Holy shit I can’t even begin to explain the many reasons why I’m excited as all hell for this series. Let’s start with the source material. Kakegurui is a manga about a prestigious high school where betting decides everything. Thus, a hierarchy is established where the more sharp minded and ruthless people can live like kings while the more naïve and trusting students get put through the wringer. That is until a transfer student comes in who turns out to be a genius gambler determined to beat all of these kids at their own game and make them realize what losing truly feels like. This premise alone would be enough to get me to watch the series as this kind of psychological battle royale is right up my alley. But it also strongly reminds me of one of my favorite manga of all time: Liar Game. And if this series is anything like that I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it!
Next up: the studio animating the series. Which in this case is Studio Mappa. As mentioned, Mappa is currently my favorite animation studio. However as I also mentioned, they are doing two other shows this season. That being said, this is clearly the show Mappa is betting big on becoming a hit as they’ve assembled some of the most gifted people in the industry to work on it.
For starters the director, Yuichiro Hayashi, is most well-known for directing Garo, a series I have not seen but was apparently really good. And when he did not return for the sequel the result was sub-par making it very obvious just how big an influence he had on the quality of the series.
However, moreso than the director the person they hired for series composition and script writing has a truly fascinating resume. With other anime she did series composition and script writing for including Attack on Titan, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Shakugan no Shana and freaking Casshern Sins! An absolute gem of a show really more people should watch.
And last but definitely not least the music for Kakegurui will be done by Technoboys Pullcraft Green Fund. A techno/electronica group whose only other credit is the much overlooked 2015 anime Beautiful Bones, which has honestly one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. So, the thought of them doing more music for anime in general already has me plenty excited and for this show in particular…I can’t wait to hear it…I seriously can’t.
Now as far as negatives go, from what I’ve heard this series can be pretty mean spirited and I’m generally not a fan of mean-spiritedness. But as long as they keep it to a tolerable level I imagine I’ll still enjoy this show quite a bit for the very well written psychological battles and kickass music. No show is ever too big to fail but this one…well let’s just say I would be very surprised if it ended up sucking. Hopefully with all this I have convinced you to check out this show because honestly…far as I can see…this has “anime of the season” written all over it!
Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler premiers on July 1st.
I admit the only reason why I‘m really interested in this anime is because of the fan service! No self-loving girl can stop herself from drooling on some cute anime boys. Fan service aside, the art style from the teaser seemed really beautiful. It reminded me of Battery and Hai to Gensou no Grimgar, but that has yet to be confirmed, we won‘t know until the first episode airs. As far as the story will go, fan service anime usually gives us some clichéd plot, but because Dive!! Is produced by Fuji Tv and it‘s studios is Zero-G I’m having hard time not expecting something actually good.
As far as the Fate series go the only ones i don‘t like are the ones with Shirou as the main character, so I‘m keeping an open mind about this one. At least I know the art style will be good since it‘s made by A-1 Pictures. Plus I have yet to actually watch something made by A-1 Pictures that I would hate, I mean their stuff is flawed, but good.
3. Knight's & Magic
I enjoy most of mechas shows so there is no way I‘m missing this one. Also I‘m a sucker for cute things... I don‘t expect it to be 10/10, but I‘m pretty sure it will be enjoyable. I‘m expecting something like Shounen maid meets Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei meets mecha.... So I‘m actually really excited for this one! Also the main character is a trap which is a pro in my opinion.
4. Netsuzou Trap
Well since I‘m a fan of Yuri and want to experience more of NTR genre, I will be watching it no questions asked. But I must admit apart from yuri action it doesn’t sound that promising. I have a nagging feeling that it will turn out Meh and I might end up hating some of the characters. I just hope they are not the main ones... But I might be wrong and I hope I‘m wrong. I hope it‘s not just erotica, but actually deep psychological plot about growing love between girls and consequences of it.
I have never really watched anything like Kakegurui so I‘m excited it to be my first. I enjoy psychological drama so I have high expectations for this one. It somehow reminds me of Dead tube and I loved that! The visuals remind me of art from Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis. So art + story this should be amazing ride. Probably one of the best anime this upcoming season.
6. Koi to Uso
I‘m kind of skeptical about this one. From one side it reminds me kind of Scums wish and from another, they are totally different. Not really sure what to make of this anime. The story about arranged marriages sounds good an all, but romance anime are a sore spot for me since my otp most of the time doesn’t end up together... Plus I don‘t really enjoy anime where the couple is already decided. I like where they guy has to actually choose or there is a twist at the end and he chooses the less likely heroine.... Which is unlikely to happen in Koi to Uso. I think this is going to turn into one of those frustrating anime where MC is already in love with someone and the second girl is just for drama and to suffer at the hands of MC.