Anime Summer 2017 Starting Up K through Y
Aka Compulsive Gambler
The setting is a prestigious school where the after-school activity is gambling. Most of the kids are quite rich, so the stakes tend to be high. It’s also a way of earning status, and establishing the hierarchy of the school. Our GAPD is Suzui, a guy who lost so badly he became the House Pet, forced to do whatever the others (which is mostly a blonde named Saotome) in the class want him to. He thinks there’s no way out of this way except to drop out of the school.
Then they get a transfer student: Jabami. Voiced by none other than Hayami Saori! It’s a little weird to hear her voice come out of a character who looks like this, considering what I’m normally used to her doing.
She is the titular compulsive gambler. Who gambles not for the money, or the status, but for the thrill of it. And she’s really good at it. Saotome, as the current queen of the class, doesn’t like this new transfer, and wants to put her in her place. So they play against each other. Which shows Jabami’s true colours soon enough.
The showdown between Jabami and Saotome is really good. The rest of it… eh… I don’t mind the style of it, and it has an interesting premise. But the presentation does leave a little to be desired. And it’s perhaps a bit too horny. However my main problem is the GAPD. If he wasn’t part of it, I probably would have been able to put up with anything else that bothered me for the sake of the good bits. But since he is the main character, I’m not even going to give this a maybe.
Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun [Maybe]
Aka Cleanliness Boy! Aoyama-kun
How do I even explain this one? Sort of like if Sakamoto desu ga was about football and cleaning.
The titular Aoyama-kun is a germaphobe, yet still part of the football club. He just does his best to avoid getting dirty in any sort of way, or at least for very long. And he really goes about cleaning just about everything in the school that he can. Which… somehow makes him really popular with everyone? Except that one guy. You know the one. The one who can’t stand the protagonist, and needs to be won over.
And it’s all so utterly bizarre. It does feel very similar to Sakamoto in many ways in how it presents itself, and how the main character is really popular for being a bit strange.
It’s not going to be one of my top picks, since it doesn’t quite reach the height of Sakamoto, but I’ll keep it in the maybe pile for now.
Knight’s & Magic [Maybe]
Right then. Our protagonist is a huge mecha nerd who is run over by a car and dies, then is reborn in a different world, where mecha exist. So he can freak out about them. He’s also great at everything, because he used to be an ace programmer. Apparently that lets him understand magic, and he’s also an engineering genius. The motto of the show seems to be: “You can’t do that.” “Yes, I can.” This guy/kid is about as much of a Marty Stu as you can get.
So this is like Saga of Tanya the Evil, but without Tanya.
Though to the show’s credit, I actually find the kid likeable. He’s cheerful, and helpful. He likes to do things. He really likes giant robots. The setting actually seems kinda interesting. This definitely could have been a lot worse. So I’m going to give it a maybe for now.
Koi to Uso [Dropped]
Aka Love and Lies
This is in a world where 40 years ago Japan instituted a law against falling birth rates, where when you hit 16, you get automatically assigned a partner for marriage. Romance outside of your assigned partner is forbidden. So of course now we have these kids who aren’t happy about who they were assigned, and want to either not marry, or pick for themselves. And the show was framing it like these were the first kids to ever have these thoughts. Seems unlikely.
And apparently there’s something about the main kid having a crush on a girl, and when he hits 16 gets a text that he’s going to marry her, but then that’s quickly deleted, and he’s told to marry someone else? I didn’t get that far, but I read it in the synopsis.
This is very much a Not For Rita show. Full of drama, and misery, and hopeless love. And who knows what else. And apparently the moral of the story is that “the government was right all along”? Someone who read the manga told me that.
And listen. I’m a hard-left socialist, border-line communist. Yet even I don’t feel like the government has any business interfering with people’s love lives. Certain things shouldn’t be regulated, and love is definitely one of them. I would sooner let humanity die out.
Still, if this sounds like your kind of thing, have at it.
Konbini Kareshi [Maybe]
Aka Convenience Store Boyfriends
A show about young boys and girls in love, and the local convenience store they all go to. I actually thought the first episode was sweet and adorable, and did a pretty good job at making the two romances that showed up feel earned. Would be strange to have another worthwhile het romance show so soon after Tsuki ga Kirei. These typically don’t come each season. It’s not as good as Tsuki ga Kirei though, I will say that.
What’s holding me back from giving it an automatic slot on the watch list is that 1) Tsuki ga Kirei has kinda filled my need for het romance at the moment, and 2) I think there’s like six straight couples here? I worry I’ll suffer het overload with that many.
If that’s not an issue for you, and you just want a romance show that seems nice, this could be it.
Made in Abyss [Watching]
On an island in a secluded part of the world a large circular chasm was discovered. This came to be known as the Abyss, a curious maze descending down further than anyone knows. Home to creatures and sights seen nowhere else in the world.
People ended up settling on this island, gradually building up a large city all around the chasm. Explorers went down to search for relics, and other things of interest, to bring back up. Presumably to sell to the outside world to sustain their economy and resource needs. There really doesn’t seem to be a lot in this city in terms of production.
One of these explorers is an orphan girl named Riko. During a close encounter with one of the predators of the Abyss, she is rescued by a strange robot boy who seems to have deactivated. She brings him back up, and re-activates him. There’s not much more of consequence that happens before the first episode ends.
This is certainly the most interesting-looking anime this season, in my opinion. I like the character designs, the environments of the Abyss-wall are gorgeous, and there’s clearly a lot of mysteries to be sought and discovered here. So I’m definitely curious to see where it’s going. Feels like it’s far too early to call whether or not it’s actually good, though.
Mahoujin Guruguru (2017) [Maybe]
Aka Magical Circle
I think this is a reboot, or follow-up, or something, to a show from 1994. Hence why it is labelled as the 2017 version.
And this kinda plays out similarly to a SNES-era JRPG. Like, everyone has levels, there’s a world map, random encounters, pop-up text, etc.
The story centres around Nike, a boy whose parents really want him to go become a hero against his own wishes, and Kukuri, a girl who’s said to be the last witch in the land, and has been waiting for a hero to take her on an adventure.
Now the Demon King Giri is free, and the two of them go to take care of it. And hopefully level up along the way. They’re both only level 1.
It actually seems pretty cute and nice, even if some of the humour perhaps aims above what I expected the target audience to be here. Kukuri’s adorable, and Nike’s not bad himself. But it felt like something was missing to make me automatically put it on the list. I’ll keep it in mind, though.
Musekinin Galaxy☆Tylor [Dropped]
Aka The Irresponsible Galaxy☆Tylor
Another thing based on a show from the 90s, I think. While Guruguru didn’t especially make me feel like I needed to have watched the original, this one definitely did. It felt like there was important stuff I was missing.
Just seems like some decent fluff. Not particularly exciting. At least not to me.
Nana Maru san Batsu [Dropped]
Aka Fastest Finger First
A show where the premise is that there are nerds who think quizzes are cool, and they want to become Quiz King. So they join the Quiz Study Group, because apparently they couldn’t form a Quiz Club?
I stopped watching when the female lead tripped and fell over, and the male lead got to see her panties. I have no patience for that kind of shit.
New Game!! [Watching]
Aka New Game S2
I thought this wasn’t coming until Autumn, and I am so happy to have it here already. In case you missed S1, go watch S1. Though I will warn you there is quite a lot of fanservice.
New Game is about a game development studio entirely staffed by female employees. It’s a moe show that’s also about game dev, and has loads of adorable girls that you can ship with each other. The show does its own fair amount of shipping, so I think it’s only fair game.
And the first episode was so good, omg! I watched the excellent OVA shortly before, and talked about that in my final thoughts for last season, and S2 starts really strong. It’s now about a year after the start of the first series, and they’re just waiting on the decision about what their next game is going to be.
More importantly: Aoba and Hifumi are so good, Rin and Kou are so good, and Nene and Umiko are just beautiful. I am very excited for what this new series will bring!
Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart [Watching]
Aka Nora, Princess, and Stray Cat
So I just now read the synopsis, which doesn’t describe what the first episode showed us at all. Sounded more like the prequel to it.
The episode says that the cat used to be a boy called Handa Nora, but a queen of the nether world called Patricia turned him into a cat. Because boys are better when they’re cats. Now all his very booby female friends wonder what to do with him, and how to turn him back into a human. Patricia reveals it needs to be a kiss from a girl that does it. I hope he remains a cat.
Look, this is a weird harem-like show revolving around a guy who’s a cat, and I want to watch it. There’s a lot of boob here too, and I like boob. Boobs and cats are two of the great things in life.
But if you’ve seen the first episode, please go read the synopsis, because it sounds like it’s from an alternate version of this show.
Princess Principal [Watching]
This is about a group of female spies in an alternate history London at the turn of the 20th century. Where a special substance called Cavorite has changed things. They are also high schoolers. That’s their cover.
These are some very good girls, and I find the setting and premise interesting. It’s a bit more unflinching than I expected though. It’s not like it revels in gore, but people die. Which I suppose creates a certain dissonance with the cute girls? I didn’t see it that way, but I heard other people mention it.
While there are several ways this could go wrong in future episodes, I thought it was a very interesting opening, and it made me want to see more.
Shoukuko no Altair [Dropped]
Aka Altair: A Record of Battles
This is another of those pseudo-historical shows that seem quite clearly based on real-life events. A friend of mine who’s a history buff suggested it’s probably based on the life of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and possibly about the founding of the Republic of Turkey. Or Turkiye, as it’s known in the show.
Young Mahmut Tuğrul has been made the youngest ever Pasha (a title that doesn’t really have a modern equivalent, but it’s sort of like being knighted, and sort of like being made a general) in Turkiye, but he finds getting into politics to be rather daunting and upsetting. Turkiye is in a cold war with the Balt-Rhein Empire (likely based on Austria-Hungary), and someone seems to be trying to heat things up.
Which all sounds interesting enough on paper, but I found the first episode to be so boring I quit halfway through. Someone familiar with the source material said the first episode was rushing through things, so episode 2 will probably be better (and better paced), but considering it’s the job of the first episode to hook the viewer, I can’t make myself care enough. I’m not enough into these kinds of shows to be willing to give it three episodes, even if it maybe needs it.
Tenshi no 3P! [DROPPED]
Aka Angel’s 3Piece!
This got so close to getting a “not my thing, but seems decent for those who like this stuff” recommendation, but then it blew up.
Okay, let me back up a little. The show’s MC is another GAPD, though this one knows how to play a guitar. He’s a music nerd, and he makes music that he uploads online. That’s the only thing he does though. He doesn’t go to school, or have hobbies, or friends. Yet somehow there’s still people who care about him, even though he ignores all the ways they try to help if it’s not directly related to making music.
Then he gets a mail from a fan who wants to meet him, and it turns out this fan is a trio of elementary students, who want his help to set up a concert, because the three of them have formed a band.
And aside from a minor “if you try to run away, we’ll scream and say you tried to do bad things to us” “joke”, I was ready to say this show was actually pretty decent. And then… one of the little girls says “If you help us out with this, I will let you touch me a little”.
I don’t even care how the dude reacts to it, the fact that the creators thought it was okay/funny to do that in the first place tells me everything I need to know, and that it’s best to stay the hell away from this.
Tsurezure Children [Maybe]
Aka Tsuredure Children
This is a comedy romance show about young love. I think they’re high schoolers. I think. I don’t remember.
The first episode is 10 mins long, and divided into four parts, featuring four different couples. And overall it seems funny and sweet enough. Except for part 3, where a guy blackmails a girl into kissing him in a scene I can only describe as really uncomfortable. The stuff they let straight couples do, and still depict as romantic, is sometimes quite disturbing.
So there’s that, and there’s also that the OP made it seem like there are so many couples. I talked about worrying about het overload with Konbini Kareshi, but this could be even worse. Also the odds that with so many couples, there are going to be more disturbing ones than just the creepy student council president.
With all that, I can really only give this a tentative maybe, but I’m not going to say it’s very likely.
Vatican Kiseki Chousakan [Dropped]
Aka Vatican Miracle Examiner
I feel like the title really speaks for itself. You know what the premise is. What I want to talk about is how astoundingly bad this is.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve seen something this badly written. It’s sort of amazing. The dialogue is atrocious, a lot of stuff that happens doesn’t make sense narratively, the info-dumping is extensive, and I swear there was a scene where one of them asked a question, and the other guy’s answer seemed like it was to a different question. It went: “What kinds of miracles await us?” “Yes, I believe in miracles as well.” That is not an answer to the question asked!
Maybe that’s down to bad translation, but considering the rest of the episode, I doubt it. People say things that don’t make sense, and then often contradict themselves a sentence or two later. This is amateurish. Apparently it’s based off a manga, so it’s possible that’s better written, and the anime studio are just fucking it up? I don’t know, it’s sort of mind-boggling.
The art is kinda ugly, the colours are really washed out, and worst of all: It’s really, really boring. Like, if it was at least entertainingly bad, I’d recommend checking it out just to take in its awfulness, but it’s so dreadfully dull. You’re better off not bothering.
Youkai Apartment no Yuuga na Nichijou [Maybe]
Aka Elegant Yokai Apartment Life
Yuushi’s a boy who lost his parents during his first year of middle school, and has lived with his aunt and uncle ever since. And his cousin who carries a grudge towards him for no apparent reason. Might be explained later.
The family isn’t particularly well off, so Yuushi feels like a burden. This is why he decides to get into a high school with a dormitory. He succeeds, but the dormitory burns down. On the hunt for somewhere else to live, he runs into trouble due to his low budget. But he finds one place he can afford. The catch is it’s a youkai apartment, where most of the residents are some manner of youkai (monster/spirit).
Yuushi is on the verge of running away, but at the end of the episode he decides to stay there anyway. Since one of his favourite authors, and a cute exorcist girl, also live there. I think he feels that’s enough of a guarantee that the residents are a good lot.
I was very close to just slotting this one in, but in the end it went on the maybe pile. We’ll see.
Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e (TV) [Watching]
Aka Classroom of the Elite
From what I gathered, this is set in a government-run school on an artificial island, where they aim to take the best and the brightest, and make them employable. The school boasts a near 100% rate of graduated students finding jobs.
It even comes with a rewards system. Instead of money, the school and its facilities’ economy runs on points, where one point is worth one yen. They get 100 000 points just for getting into the school, and then more points are awarded at the first of every month.
This is where the class we’re focusing on, 1-D, seems a bit odd. A lot of the students in this class don’t quite seem like the type that would get into such a prestigious academy. Which shows, as since the teacher doesn’t say anything when they goof off, they end up goofing off a lot. Not all of them. But most of them.
Turns out the teacher was of course keeping track of all it, so after one month she reveals to them what they had failed to understand themselves. They are getting no more points this month, because the points have to be earned, and they’ve been acting irresponsibly the whole month. So she reported all this, and they were awarded exactly zero points for that month’s conduct. I’m not even going to claim it wasn’t earned, because it totally was. The only unfair bit is that those students who were taking things seriously were also given zero.
Though apparently this was expected of class D. Making me wonder if this school runs on the same principle as the one in Assassination Classroom, where they purposefully have a garbage class for the rest of the school to look down upon, and be motivated by.
As for our main character, yes he’s basically another GAPD, but… I found myself kinda liking him. He is really bad with people, and strikes up a weird not-really-friends relationship with a girl who is also really bad with people. She doesn’t want friends, he doesn’t know how to get friends, and since they’re seated next to each other, they sort of kind of bond, I guess? Hard to explain. It’s easier to get it when you see it, I think.
So I’m actually intrigued enough to watch a little more of this, just to see where it’s going.