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Summer Anime 2014: Roundtable — 5 Questions About The Summer Season

Posted on the 26 June 2014 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Summer Anime 2014: Roundtable — 5 Questions About The Summer SeasonSummer Anime 2014: Roundtable — 5 Questions About The Summer Season

Summer Season’s almost here! And that means it’s time for opinions! Will Akame ga KILL! actually live up to the hype of the manga readers? What anime series will be the cause of controversy this season? Will anyone talk about Knights of Sidonia’s impact on the Western world now that it’s on Netflix? All these questions and more on anime…

…Will NOT be answered here, because the guy who came up with the questions (Justin: *whistles*) is not very good at that. Instead, here’s 5 general questions about the Summer Season, answered by Muse (Subdued Figures Columnist, Subdued Fangirling blogger), Ink (Editor at Ani-Gamers, Otaku USA Contributor), Mrs. Blunder (Founder of Project Otaku), Chris Seto (Through The Looking Glass Blogger, Contributor to Tomopop), Angela Moseley (Damage Control Blog Founder), and Charles/TWWK (Beneath The Tangles’s Founder).

1) What are your initial impressions or musings about the Summer anime season?

Muse (Subdued Fangirling): Lots of really anticipated sequels, adaptations, and even remakes! It’s a good thing it’s summer so that I can enjoy all of this.

Ink (Ani-Gamers): As with most seasons, my initial impression is that there are a few strong titles and a lot of shows in which I have either zero or only a vague curiosity towards. Inevitably, this will change during the first week when I sample shows instead of prejudging them. Until then, I remain pessimistic.

Mrs. Blunder (Project Otaku): While this year’s Summer season certainly boasts some rather large titles, I feel it to be a little bland for my tastes. I’m more of a serious viewer, so I don’t find much of an interest in slice of life or comedy anime. That said, most of Summer 2014 falls into those two categories. I’m really curious to see how Sailor Moon Crystal will turn out, as well.

Chris (Through The Looking Glass): Man, it looks kinda bare! But then again, it is the summer season! Summer seasons tend to be the weakest of the year due to people likely taking holidays and whatnot and school holidays taking effect. There are a few standout shows for me but they have been announced and known about for some time. Still, having a bare season can be a good thing as it means I can catch up on my backlog.

Angela Moseley (Damage Control Blog): This summer is already set to be more interesting than Winter and Spring. I’m both thrilled and terrified at the premier and continuation of so many anime series. I’m happy because I don’t have to struggle to find new anime I want to stream. I’m terrified because there are six series I’m following and I’m not sure how I’m going to keep up. There are still shows I’m watching from the last two seasons and there’s also my DVD backlog.

Turning my focus to the new stuff, there are a quite a few series with high profiles set to hit the airwaves and simulcast streams. We have Shinichiro Watanabe directing Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror) and he’s helping to direct season two of Space Dandy. We have Sailor Moon Crystal which carries an indescribable amount of anticipation. And Persona fans have a remake of Persona 4 to look forward to.

It’s been more than a year since I’ve felt this excited about new anime. All the new shows will probably keep me away from all the video games I have sitting on my shelf.

Charles (Beneath The Tangles): I’m super eager for the summer series.  While I go into each season with excitement, that anticipation is getting less and less as almost every season in the past couple of years has disappointed me.  But I see a number of shows on the radar this year that I think could change all that – there are some sequels that interest me and a good mix of interesting concepts and some of my favorite names in the industry working on certain series.

Summer Anime 2014: Roundtable — 5 Questions About The Summer Season
Summer Anime 2014: Roundtable — 5 Questions About The Summer Season

2) What are the 3 new anime you’re keeping an eye on this season? And what sequels will you be keeping up with?

Muse: The majority of what I’ll be following will be sequels, haha. For new shows, I’m looking at Ao Haru Ride, Tokyo Ghoul, and DRAMAtical Murder. For sequels, I’m watching Space Dandy, Black Butler, Prisma Illya, and Free! And Sailor Moon Crystal, of course.

Ink: The only new shows I’m really looking forward to are Watanabe’s new title, Terror in Resonance (because Watanabe, Kanno, and MAPPA) and Tokyo Ghoul (since I’m forever jonesing for horror titles). Also, Barakamon seems like it might be a light and fun watch. Regarding sequels, I’m half-heartedly looking forward to Free! Eternal Summer and happy about the return of Space Dandy but absolutely ecstatic about the return of Yami Shibai.

Mrs. Blunder: This season, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Tokyo Ghoul, DRAMAtical Murder, and Terror in Resonance. I don’t really consider Sailor Moon Crystal to be a new anime or a sequel, but that one’s definitely a given. I will be watching both Free! and Sword Art Online’s second season though, the latter simply because it has a rather large following and I am a blogger, after all.

Chris: The 3 biggest shows I’m watching without fail are Aldnoah.Zero, Glasslip, and Akame Ga Kill.

Just everything about Aldnoah.Zero has me excited! It’s a mecha show (HUGE win!), Hiroyuki Sawano (Gundam UC & Gigantic Formula) is doing the music and it’s from the pair that gave us the adaptation of Fate/Zero so you know it’s in good hands! Glasslip is the next show from P.A. Works and, to me, they’re basically the anime studio equivalent to Platinum Games: They have yet to make a truly bad anime. Some of their works have not been exactly good but none are bad! As for Akame Ga KILL!, this one is for pure curiosity! I’ve been reading the manga for some time now and all I can say is that it’s violent, REALLY violent! We’re talking Deadman Wonderland levels of violence here and that’s where the curiosity/concern lies. Just how much will they need to tone down/censor in order to get this show on TV? Deadman Wonderland was pretty much butchered due to its level of censorship…

I’m also going to mention Rail Wars as it gives me a real Library Wars vibe and I really loved Library Wars! As for sequels…I have a policy of giving a second season anime a chance if I sat through the first (otherwise, I’d never return to steaming piles of crap like Date-A-Live) so by that reasoning, I’ll be watching SAO II (sure to be crap. Reading through Gun Gale Online was tough enough…), the next Monogatari season (which has long overstayed its welcome but I’ve gotten this far now…) and Space Dandy 2 (which I REALLY want to skip, seeing as the first season was so boring and crappy!)

Angela: Terror in Resonance, Sailor Moon Crystal and Persona 4 the Golden Animation are all on my radar. Persona 4 feels a little odd because we just had the 2011 anime. The logical side of me is screaming out because it is WAY too soon for a remake. Hell, it has only been a little over three years since we got an animated adaption of the JRPG. Even so, I’m curious to see what will be changed and how the animation will improve under A-1 Pictures, not that AIC A.S.T.A did a terrible job.

I have two sequels I’ll be keeping up with. I just have to watch Space Dandy on Toonami and I’m always up for more Free!. I’m not a big fan of sports anime but it’s hard to say “no” to that much gorgeously animated fanservice. Furthermore, I have nothing against the overabundance of jiggly boobs but it’s nice to see something different– like finely sculpted pecs and abs.

Charles: Shinichiro Watanabe always has my attention.  I’ve been looking forward to Zankyou no Terror for months now, and I’m all the more eager to see what’ he’s concocted as we get closer to the start of summer.

Aldnoah.Zero also definitely has my attention, bringing together Urobuchi and the people who brought us the manga and the anime for Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son), one of my very favorites.  Hourou Musuko really moved me, both in it’s art and it’s storylines, and Gen has such a literary quality to his work.  I can’t wait!

And lastly, I’m very eager to watch Ao Haru Ride, because I NEED A GOOD SHOUJO SERIES, and it looks like this could fit the bill.

As for sequels, I’ll be watching Sword Art Online II and hoping for something more like the first cour and nothing like the second.  Unfortunately, without having looked up any information about the light novels, I’m getting the impression that I’m hoping for too much.  I also plan on watching the new Free! series, if I ever get around to completing the original (that’s what this week is for!).

3) Any director, series composer, VA, etc (any anime related thing) we should be keeping an eye on this Summer?

Muse: I’m interested in hearing how Kotono Mitsuishi (a.k.a. the one and only Sailor Moon) will sound alongside the new cast. Which is just another level of curiosity about how they’re going to meld the old with the new, I suppose.

Ink: I’m cautiously optimistic about Bakumatsu Rock and Tokyo ESP, which both look like they could be good social commentary if done right—the former regarding pop idol worship culture and the latter more towards the effects of socioeconomic impoverishment. Out of sheer morbid (if you’ll pardon the pun) curiosity, Francesca: Girls Be Ambitious might be worth some laughs. As to music, I’m looking forward to the OP to Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen for music by KOTOKO as well as the OP and ED to the Sailor Moon OP and ED for Momoiro Clover Z. Sadly no nano.RIPE’s is attached to any particular anime this season.

Mrs. Blunder: I am interested in how Ami Koshimizu will do performing as Sailor Jupiter given that I enjoyed her portrayal of Ryuko Matoi.

Chris: Anything with Hiroyuki Sawano scoring will have a fantastic soundtrack so yeah, Aldnoah.Zero again! Clearly, we’re all interested in Kotono Mitsuishi and if she can pull off *that* role still, although she’ll always be Misato and Excel to me! Other than that, I don’t think anything else which stands out other than this little Tumblr post (then again, the same thing could be said for a fair few voice actresses who then disappeared for long stretches later on…)

Angela: Shinichiro Watanabe immediately comes to mind. His work is always interesting and well produced from start to finish. After all the hype (and mild disappointment) surrounding Kids on the Slope and Space Dandy fans should temper their expectations. By that I mean Space Dandy S2 and Terror in Resonance will be worth keeping an eye on but they won’t be the next Cowboy Bebop in terms of popularity.

Summer Anime 2014: Roundtable — 5 Questions About The Summer Season

4) Sailor Moon’s now back, and it’s going to be big. Or is it? Do you have any concerns about the adaptation, questions, etc?

Muse: Anything Sailor Moon related is going to be huge regardless of how it turns out. Right now I think it’s main pitfall will be the people who inevitably dislike it because it’s not the original. We’ve already seen this a little bit with the backlash against the new character designs (too doe-eyed, legs too long, etc). In a way that speaks to how well Ikuko Ito’s character designs have aged with time, but I’m reserving judgment until I see the actual show.

And if people dislike the changes enough, there’s always the Viz release!

Mrs. Blunder: I honestly don’t know how big it will be. That’s actually a rather slippery slope. When the anime was dubbed and aired here in the west, manga wasn’t as largely read as it is now. Because of that, I believe that many of the fans who will be returning for Sailor Moon Crystal may find themselves disappointed. The story that unfolds in the 90s adaptation of Sailor Moon does have some elements in common with the manga, but there’s also some huge differences – for instance, Usagi’s reluctance to lead is greatly exaggerated. What we watched on television was an anime that followed the bare skeleton of a manga – it neglected, changed, and even re-ordered events. Many of the viewers will be fans like myself, who were raised on what we saw on Cartoon Network, only they may have absolutely no interest in the manga. If Sailor Moon Crystal is as true to the manga as it claims to be, there will be a lot of mixed reactions, and I don’t think they’ll all be that great.

Chris: My expectations for Sailor Moon is pretty much non-existent. I was never a fan of the original and Mahou Shoujo shows are ones which I can never really watch unless they really subvert the genre (Nanoha and Madoka come straight to mind!). But this is Sailor Moon so yes, it will be big but not on the same level as the original. Like UC Gundam shows and Evangelion, it’s simply too big to fail! It could be a deliberate turd of a show but it’ll still be popular ‘cos it’s freaking Sailor Moon, not some flash in the pan crap like K-On!!! It’s going to be massively popular but won’t set the world ablaze. Personally, I’m going to try to sit through it but that’s a tall order for me!

Angela: Sailor Moon is going to be big no matter how you slice and dice it. The hype train started when the anime was announced last year. There are legions of Sailor Moon fans who can barely contain themselves and for them July can’t come soon enough. My only concern about the new adaptation is the overall quality. Our Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal can’t afford to have a single blemish. If even the slightest bit of story pacing or animation is off the fans will revolt. Manga creator Naoko Takeuchi and Toei Animation know it and I hope this is why the series was delayed for a year.

Personally, I don’t have any particular concerns or expectations regarding Sailor Moon Crystal. I just want it to be an enjoyable experience as an anime fan. I saw the DIC Sailor Moon dub back on TV when I was a young teenager. I haven’t seen the anime in about 15 years and my memory of it is fuzzy at best. It could be nostalgia talking but I do remember liking the series a lot when it was on TV. It was definitely part of my early formative years along with Voltron and Dragon Ball Z.

Charles: Oh, yes, Sailor Moon is going to be huge.  I’ll tell you why – even some of the young ladies in my church small group, who haven’t touched anime since they were kids, are totally up for Sailor Moon.  Another close friend, who refuses to watch any anime at all, will be watching Sailor Moon.  I think it’s gonna blow up.  I never watched the series growing up, so I can’t comment on the adaptation, but I am looking forward to getting my first real taste of the series by jumping into this reboot.

Summer Anime 2014: Roundtable — 5 Questions About The Summer Season

5) Finally, what are your bold predictions about the summer season?

Muse: The characters of Free! will join Nudist Beach and anime will be saved.

Ink: There will be more anime. There will be one or two (if that) stupendous titles, 90% of the remainder will be dreck, and the rest will be good to watch just to laugh at while drunk.

Mrs. Blunder: Between Sailor Moon Crystal and Sword Art Online: Phantom Bullet, I don’t think we’ll hear much about anything else from the general fan-base. I say that because both series have a following that largely outnumbers the rest of this season’s chart, whether we like it or not. Despite the fact that I’m following DRAMAtical Murder, I am a bit concerned about where it will go, if only because it has joined in with the handful of new series that are riding on Sword Art Online’s coattails. I’m hoping that it’ll cater to its full potential, rather than fall flat for the sake of appeasing fans of its predecessors. Speaking of Sword Art Online, I don’t exactly have high hopes for it either – perhaps because the first season’s adaptation seemed rushed and was far too happy-go-lucky for the severity of its setting, which irked me beyond all belief.

Chris: Bold predictions? Nothing of the sort, just educated speculation! Aldnoah.Zero will be amazing, Akame Ga KILL! will suck due to extreme censorship, people will cry foul over Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance due to it being derivative of so many previous shows (Zero no Tsukaima being a prime example) but will watch it willingly. People will still watch P4 Golden despite it basically being the same as the first season and maybe…just MAYBE people will wake up to the realization that SAO is not very good (Accel World is a little better. At least it’s more coherent) and nothing actually happens in the Monogatari shows for insanely long periods of time, not even character movements! I bet the reason Shaft keeps agreeing to do more is because the profit margins are so massive ‘cos it costs so little to “animate” that they only need to sell a tiny number of DVDs to break even!

Angela: Bold predictions, eh? First and foremost, the hardcore male otaku who felt threatened by last summer’s Free! Iwatobi Swim Club will be back in full force. Not only will they decry season two of Free! But they’ll take cheap shots at Sailor Moon. Two series aimed primarily at female audiences in one season are two shows too many! The angered Otaku will be quickly put in their place by those fervent Sailor Scouts (both female and male) and will slink off, tails between their legs. And Sailor Moon will be outstanding. Any critic who says otherwise will face the wrath of Naoko Takeuchi. She’ll literally crush them under a mountain of gold dropped from space.

I also predict Space Dandy S2 coupled with Attack on Titan will be smash hits on Toonami. It won’t take anime back to the good old days of the 2000s but the medium will be seen as a little cooler in the eyes of causal animation fans. There will also be talk of Sailor Moon airing on TV but the attempt will fall apart because of Takeuchi’s complete and utter control of her franchise.  And alas, poor Terror in Resonance will go forgotten among the general anime community, save for a handful of Watanabe fans.

Charles: Here’s my prediction: This summer is the summer of the fandom.  The anime fan community has been lying in wait, just stalking and waiting for the next thing to jump on.  Attack on Titan and Free! fed their addictions last year, but nothing’s come along since then that’s even come close to saturating fandom appetites for anime.  But this season – coincidentally one when kids are out of school and more likely to feed their obsessions – come with no less than SIX series that could each reach or near that immense level of popularity that SnK and Free achieved: Sailor Moon, the new Kuroshitsuji, Tokyo Ghoul, DRAMAtical Murder, Sword Art Online II, and of course, Free! Eternal Summer.

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Summer Anime 2014: Roundtable — 5 Questions About The Summer Season


Justin is the founder of Organization Anti-Social Geniuses. Anime & manga fan that likes to blog about anime and manga, is addicted to sports, and weak to crossovers. You can follow Justin on Twitter @Kami_nomi.
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