Summer 2008 Anime Preview

With spring giving way to summer, a new season of anime is upon us. This time around there’s not as many new animes starting as last time. And once again THAT Animeblog has the best preview out there and I used it to figure out what I’m looking forward to.

My criteria for picking shows is similar to last time. I’m looking for which animation house is doing it, if the summary sounds very inticing, if the source material is a gold mine and if one of my favorite seiyuus will be involved. So without further ado here’s what I’m looking forward too.

Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~Natsu no Sora~

There are two reasons why I’m going to be watching this. The first is the same people that did Sketchbook and Aria, Hal Film Maker, is doing this and if there is one animation house that can nail a slice-of-life series it’s these people. A problem presented itself, this is a sequel; and while from the summary it sounds like the first season is not required watching (different main character), I wanted to see the first season if possible. I found the first season dates from 2003 and was done by J.C. Staff (the other people that can nail a slice-of-life show when they’re on top of their game, see Azumanga Daioh, Honey and Clover, and Potemayo) so I went looking for it. Found it and that brings me to second reason I’m going to be watching the second season – I loved the setting, characters, and the stories of the first season.

The story is set in the modern world (Tokyo for the first season) and mirrors our world except that magic exists. Magic use is regulated by the government through the Bureau of Magic and a mage is not supposed to use magic outside of when the Bureau allows it. The first season revolved around an apprentice mage having to take jobs people had to practice her magic before she become a licensed mage. These jobs where anything from cleaning graffiti and repairing cracked glass of local shop owners to restoring a house’s appearance to what it looked like 50 years for a day at the requestof the elderly woman who owns it. I suspect the second season will be similar but with a new main character.

The first season has been licensed in R1 under the title Someday’s Dreamers and fans of slice-of-life shows should check it out.

Zero no Tsukaima ~Miyoshi Hime no Rondo~

It’s so hard to find a non-fanservicey pic from this show that I gave up.

Third season of Zero’s Familiar is here (in short, think of this show as a lighter, more comedic/fan-service version of Shana). The initial premise drew me in – an aspiring mage, Louise, in a fantasy world casts the spell that will make her familiar show up and while everyone else got normal animals. dragons, mice, cats, etc. for Louise the spell draws Saito, a high school boy, who lives in our modern day Japan. Very unconventional but she doesn’t get any do-overs and thus is stuck with Saito. What’s she to do? On one hand it’s handy having a human for a familiar – he can do all your laundry for you – forexample but there are problems like he seems to be interested in one of the maids, Siesta, of the university that Louise goes to. Her solutions normally involve liberal use of a riding whip she keeps around (something only an animated show can get away with and still appear funny) but what happens when she starts having romantic feeling for her pet Saito?

The first season succeeded at being a silly, light-hearted, love comedy and the fact that Saito was voiced by Yuuji from Shana and Louise was voiced by Shana from Shana helped it. The second season wasn’t as hot but watching the antics of Saito and Louise were always at least bearable.

So that brings me to the soon to air third season. Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing this if only to hear Rie Kugimiya voice Louise but let’s hope the third season will be funny, with solid character development and that it won’t take itself too seriously.

Natsume Yuujin-chou

The third and final show that I’m looking forward is this one. The story kinda piqued my interest: our hero sees ghosts and the reason why is he’s the owner of a book that contains the names of these ghosts and they’re bound to the book. He wants to get rid of them but to do so he needs to return the names to the ghosts. I’m always up for a quality supernatural anime but what really got my attention is that this show is being done by Brain’s Base. They’re one episode away from finishing Kure-nai and as long as they don’t royally screw it up, I’ll end up really liking this series and an earlier series they did – Kamichu. These two are enough for me to want to catch more of their stuff.

There you go, I’ve widdled the small group of summer animes down to three that I will be catching. There were a few shows that didn’t make my list for various reasons: the fourth season of Slayers, Slayers Revolution, and Hidamari Sketch x365 since they are sequels to shows I haven’t watched and World Destruction because anime spin-offs from video games normally aren’t good. Also not making the list is Kyoto Animations Lucky Star OVA since it’s not a series and Gainax’s Gurren Lagann Clip Project since it’s essentially a bunch of AMVs though both should be well worth checking out. Expect a longer preview for fall and let’s hope Kyoto Animation will be doing a series this fall.


One thought on “Summer 2008 Anime Preview”

  1. I read Zero no Tsukaima for a few chapters. The plot in fighting villains, I’d give it 4.5 stars. The BDSM issues going on with the tsundere stuff, .5 stars. I just really really hated it.

    Maybe I wouldn’t have hated it as much if the guy on the ground deserved it or was evil or was a wimp and needed to be “trained” to exert his inner heart, but that’s not so.

    I don’t have a chou hard M streak so I don’t get much out of seeing Zero beat up on boys. I’m sure for people that do, those parts in the novel would be great. But I have to say, as the Japanese say, “no thank you”.

    I did think at the time, however, that if an anime came out, it would probably be less annoying simply because it would take up less time and maybe the visuals would be funnier than reading about it.


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