It’s officially summertime! Memorial Day, back in May, seems to be the starting point of summer for many people in the U.S., but the solstice on June 20th has also passed, so I think we can finally say that it is truly summer. Did you do anything fun to ring in the new season?
When I was a kid, summer was always the best time of year. It meant sleeping in and relaxing at home. It meant popsicles by the poolside and bicycle rides in the park. It meant no school or homework, but it also meant that I had time to read books that I wanted to read.
In anime, summer means vacations and dates, baseball games and the oh-so common beach episode that seems to appear in all anime shows, as well as festival episodes that take place at Shinto or Buddhist shrines and onsen trips.
Summer also means a new season of anime. This season’s looking like it’s going to be a good one. I can feel the anticipation in the air! So, without further ado, here’s what we recommend for Summer 2016.
Naho Takamiya is a timid 16-year-old girl. One day, she receives a letter from her future self detailing actions she must take to prevent Kakeru Naruse, the new transfer student, from sinking into depression and taking his own life (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
I am looking forward to this one, mostly because I enjoyed reading the manga, which I reviewed for Girls in Capes back in February.
Orange is a sort of slice of life anime with a magical time travel twist, and I am in the mood for a good slice of life, romantic show right now. Not only that, but if the background scenery depicting the city of Matsumoto and the character designs that were recently released on the official Orange website were all that I knew about and saw of this anime, I’d definitely be interested. And, I’ll bet you anything, there are going to be summertime episodes in this show.
Arslan Senki (TV): Fūjin Ranbu (The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Dust Storm Dance, Season 2)
Arslan is the heir apparent of Pars, a strong nation that sits at the hear of the trade route connecting the East and the West. When the nation of Lusitania begins an invasion of Pars, the timid Arslan is confronted with battle for the first time. His worst anxieties are realized the Parsian army falls for a Lusitanian stratagem and are routed. He barely escapes with his life, thanks to the loyal and indomitable warrior Daryun. Together they will stand against the invasion and the cruelties of fate that are about to blow down on Pars (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
I’ve actually written about The Heroic Legend of Arslan before for Girls in Capes, and I recommended the second part of the first season in my Winter 2016 recommendations. So it’s no surprise that the second season is on my recommendation list.
The show is actually a reboot of a six-part OVA released between 1991 and 1995, and it was one of my favorite adventure-fantasy series from 2015, with Yona of the Dawn being my favorite.
Unfortunately, I must admit, I have not kept up with the new series as much as I would have liked to, and I will probably have to binge-watch this one sometime in the future. From what I’ve watched, however, Arslan has a lot to offer compared to the original series, with more complex characters, easier to understand scenes, and beautiful animation; however, I am still not satisfied with it’s lack of female characters and slightly sexualized portrayal of Farangis, one of the only women in the story.
The Heroic Legend of Arslan will be available to watch on Funimation.
Takumi Harada moves to a mountain town in Okayama prefecture during the spring break before he enters middle school due to his father’s job transfer. Takumi is a pitcher, and after the moves he loses faith in his own talent, when suddenly his classmate Kō Nagakura appears in front of him. Kō has a strong desire to form a “battery” (a combination of a pitcher and catcher) with Takumi (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
I’m not a huge fan of baseball. When I go to a baseball game, I’m usually there for the food, the hot dogs and nachos, and perhaps for the fireworks and general atmosphere. But Battery looks like an interesting anime.
I’ve enjoyed other sports anime before, like Free!, Chihayafuru, and Yowamushi Pedal, so perhaps giving another sports anime a try would be a lot of fun. There’s something very inspiring about these shows; they actually push me to go out there and pursue my own dreams as passionately as the characters do. They also make me feel like I should definitely get up off the couch and do something active.
Battery looks to be a bit more serious than some sports anime, but it might still be a good sports anime to get lost in this summer.
It will be airing this summer in Japan in the noitaminA time slot, but it has not yet been announced where it will be available to watch in the US.
During the Prohibition era, in the Lawless district the law has no power, the mafia rule the streets, and the illegally made liquor flows freely. At one time Avilio lived in this district, but after a mafia dispute ended in the murder of his family, he went into hiding. Later, Avilio receives a letter from a mysterious person that ignites his passion for revenge and leads him to return to Lawless. There, he infiltrates the Vanetti family and gets close to Nero (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
Similar to my previous recommendations for Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu in the winter and Joker Game in the spring, I feel as though this historical crime drama has some potential, although it feels a bit darker than Rakugo or Joker Game.
It is about the mafia and revenge, but I’m strangely a big fan of The Godfather films, so a mafia anime sounds interesting to me. The studio producing 91 Days is called Shuka, and they also produced Durarara!!x2, which I highly recommend, so perhaps 91 Days will be just as exciting.
91 Days will be available on Crunchyroll.
Arata Kaizaki is an unemployed, single 27-year-old who has just been cut off from his parents’ financial support. Unable to find a job due to him leaving his previous employer within three months, he is stuck. One night after drinking with a high school friend, Arata meets Ryō Yoake, a man who offers Arata pills to turn him back into a 17-year old so he can redo his life. After agreeing to the experiment, Arata joins a high school class, and meets Chizuru Hishiro, a socially-awkward silent beauty who yearns to have friends. Through connecting with her and other classmates, Arata must find what he lacks to live a happy life in the real world within a one-year time limit (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
Will you take the red pill or the blue pill? Actually, it looks like there’s only the blue pill in ReLIFE.
This one reminds me a little of ERASED, mostly because of the whole reverting back to a younger age aspect of the story. It’s too bad actually that this has to be a part of the show, since there are so few anime that actually have adults as their main characters. But I suppose that Arata is still an adult, just one that has reverted back to his 17-year-old self. Perhaps he can more successfully navigate high school as an adult? Perhaps he can learn how to live life to the fullest again?
ReLIFE will be available to watch on Crunchyroll.
Sweetness and Lightning
Kohei is a single father and high school teacher who lives with his only daughter. A chance encounter brings him together with Kotori, one of his students. The three of them start to meet together to make meals. None of them know how to cook, but they all love delicious food! Sweetness and Lightning is a heartwarming and fun experience that you’re sure to love (Plot Summary from Crunchyroll)!
Sweetness and Lightning is sort of an honorable mention to me. I only just discovered it as I was completing this list. But, from what I’ve seen of it, it looks adorable. A slice of life with food as it’s focus is definitely my cup of tea. It reminds me a lot of Usagi Drop or Barakamon, both of which were adorable too. It’s based on a seinen manga by Gido Amagakure.
What simulcasts will you be watching this summer?
Rine Karr is an Anime Writer at Girls in Capes. She’s a writer and aspiring novelist by moonlight and a copyeditor by daylight. Rine loves good food, travel, and lots of fiction, especially novels, anime, manga, video games, and films. She’s also the Chief Copyeditor and an occasional contributor at Women Write About Comics.