Here's another preview of the upcoming anime season. I hope it's useful!
Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge:
More 4-koma-based slice-of-life hijinks about a neurotic rich guy who winds up living with a cute but nutty homeless girl and her passel of eccentric homeless friends. I wasn't wowed by what I saw of the first season, but this is great news for people who enjoyed it. (Kamiya Hiroshi always plays the same character for SHAFT, doesn't he?)
Update: A trailer (of sorts) is streaming here.
Aria the Scarlet Ammo:
"The story takes place in Tokyo Butei High School, a special school where armed detectives — "Butei" — are trained to use weapons. Kinji Tōyama is a second-year-student who has a special ability, but he keeps it a secret to maintain an ordinary, peaceful life. However, when he gets caught in a bombing on the way to school, he encounters H. Aria Kanzaki, the most powerful S-Rank Butei student in Assault Studies."
A promo (that doesn't show any actual animation) is available here. I'm assuming that the appeal of this series lies in the everyboy protagonist being surrounded by weapon-totting cute girls, but I can't think of any guy (or girl) I know who would find these character designs appealing.
Two 9th graders strive to become manga artists whose work is adapted into an anime. One of them promises the girl he's in love with that he will marry her if his dreams come true. I wouldn't be interested in this at all if it weren't being directed by Kasai Kenichi (Aoi Hana, Honey & Clover, Nodame Cantabile), along with newcomer Akitaya Noriaki.
Kawasumi Ayako is voicing one of the characters.
Battle Spirits: Brave:
The third season of an anime based on Bandai's Battle Spirits card game.
A PV is streaming here. Kawasumi Ayako, Ono Daisuke, Endo Aya, and Itou Kanae have roles.
Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku:
"The story revolves around a transfer student named Kōhei Hasekura who discovers that his new remote island school, Shūchikan Academy, has a female vampire named Erika Sendō within its student body."
Too...easy to mock. The title sounds like a pachinko game, but this is an ero-game adaptation.
Nabatame Hitomi and Ono Daisuke have roles.
Hakuouki Hekketsu Roku:
The second season follow-up to this past spring's adaptation of the Hakuouki otome game, about a teenage girl who travels to Kyoto to search for her missing father and winds up living among the Shinsengumi. I sampled the first season. It had beautiful art and some slick action, but I didn't stick with it. It was fine, though. (Certainly better than Harukanaru Toki no Naka de, Angelique, and La Corda d'Oro.)
Hetalia season 4:
Danish and Norwegian Hetalia fans, this is the season you've been waiting for! The fourth, 24 episode season of this perennially popular net series will introduce Denmark and Norway. (And hence, a flood of Scandinavian-on-Scandinavian BL doujinshi.)
Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls:
Based on a light novel series by Suzuki Akira, "The story is set in the early 21st century — except in this alternate world, the Tokugawa shogunate never lost power and Japan maintained its enforced seclusion from the rest of the world. The 25th shogun assumed the mantle of Japan's leadership 20 years ago, and the student council enforces the suppression of rebellious elements at a giant academy for children of military families at the foot of Mt. Fuji. (Many of the students carry the names of famous historical figures.) The girls Yukimura Sanada and Matabei Gotō battle the mostly female members of the ruling student council faction such as Sen Tokugawa ("Sen-hime"), Hanzō Hattori, and others. A 16-year-old male student named Muneakira Yagyū and a female Jūbei Yagyū are caught in the middle."
Or going by the trailers, "Exploding clothes-fighting-BOOBZ."
The Hyakka Ryouran franchise has already released a line of figurines, and the anime adaptation will draw otaku in like flies with its famous seiyuu cast (Toyosaki Aki, Koshimizu Ami, Kotobuki Minako, Kugimiya Rie, Kobayashi Yuu- plus, Sakurai Takahiro as a member of the Tokugawa clan), if they aren't already sold on the service.
Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai:
Based on Wakaki Tamaki's romantic comedy manga about "Keima Katsuragi, a high school boy who is known as the "Capturing God" for his success at romance simulation games. [That isn't something...that I would really be proud of.] However, thanks to a contract with a devil, he now has to capture the hearts of real girls to catch the runaway spirits hidden in those hearts."
This series could have the greatest script writer on earth adapting it, and I still wouldn't want to watch it. Itou Kanae and Taketatsu Ayana have roles. A trailer is streaming here.
Karl to Fushigi na Tō season 2:
"The story centers around a mysterious tall tower built from an (unsteady) stack of building blocks. Every morning, noon, and evening, an old timekeeping man rings the bell in the tower to confirm the time for the local townspeople. However, one day at noon, the tower bell fails to ring — leaving the townspeople confused about when to eat lunch. The fantasy adventure begins when Karl, an inquisitive boy living in the town, decides to go to the tower's plaza to see what is the matter.
A children's show with character designs by "acclaimed children's book illustrator Junzo Terada." The first season aired as "shorts", so the second season probably will also.
Based on a josei manga by Higashimura Akiko, "The story centers around Tsukimi Kurashita, a huge fan of jellyfish (kurage, a wordplay on the "kura/mi" and "tsuki/ge" in her name) and a girl who moves to Tokyo to become an illustrator. She moves into "Amamizukan," an apartment complex that is full of fujoshi (diehard female otaku) with a no-men-allowed rule. However, one day, Tsukimi invites a stylishly fashionable woman to stay at her room at Amamizukan — only to discover that the guest is not who "she" seems to be."
Whoever came up with that description fails at being coy. Whether the guest is a transgender woman or a cross-dressing man, hopefully this series won't just make them a joke character. A comedy about an apartment full of fujoshi could be quite funny, and it's airing in the Noitamina timeslot. The director, Omori Takahiro, has also done some strong directorial work. (Ooh, Baccano and Durarara.)
Itou Kanae, Noto Mamiko (squee), Okamura Akemi, and Koyasu Takehito have roles.
"The story centers the life of Taro Sado going through high school. He came to realize his masochist personality and attempts to conceal this from his crush. To fix it, he enrolled in his school's "2nd Volunteer Club"."
Doesn't sound like my cup of tea. Taketatsu Ayana, Fukuyama Jun, Tanaka Rie, Satou Rina, Ohara Sayaka, and Gibu Yuuko (yay, Ah-chan's voice! but why does she have to be in this series? ^^;;) have roles.
Motto To-Love-Ru: Another sequel, this fall's obligatory nerdy-high-school-boy-cohabits-with-magical-girlfriend series.
PVs are streaming here. Tomatsu Haruka, Toyosaki Aki, Kawasumi Ayako, Noto Mamiko, Hanazawa Kana, and Itou Kanae have roles.
Otome Youkai Zakuro:
"It's the Meiji Era in a slightly alternate Japan, and the Gregorian calendar has just come into effect. The fox-eared girls living in the youkai part of town are about to be put to work together with a delegation of young human soldiers, to promote interracial understanding. So what will happen when Zakuro's strong personality collides with human sensibilities...."
The art looks pretty (girls with animal ears and bishonen- you don't see the two in the same series often), but the story doesn't sound interesting.
Nakahara Mai, Sakurai Takahiro, Toyosaki Aki, Hanazawa Kana, and Horie Yui have roles. PVs are streaming here.
Update: A longer trailer is available.
Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai:
Based on a light novel series by Fushimi Tsukasa, "The story follows the daily life of an ordinary high school boy named Kyōsuke Kōsaka. Kyōsuke's younger sister Kirino is a pretty fashion model — but also a secret otaku of adult games. Kyōsuke is the only person to whom Kirino reveals her hidden obsession and other issues."
Again with a series featuring a nerd who revels in the seedier side of the otaku fandom- but I guess it's supposed to be cute or something when it's the main character's little sister. *eyeroll* I'm just getting creepy vibes from it.
The seiyuu include Taketatsu Ayana (she's really getting a lot of roles this season), Nabatame Hitomi, Hanazawa Kana, Satou Satomi, and Tamura Yukari. A PV is streaming here.
I skipped Iron Man, because I'm sick of doing a full write-up about it. It should finally air in Japan this fall.
Part 2 will be up soon. ^^