2009 summer anime viewing list

Taishou Yakyuu Musume

Now that the spring season is winding down, let’s have a look at some of this year’s summer offerings.

I won’t do a comprehensive write-up describing all, or even most, of the shows scheduled for release in the next month or so – just the stuff I plan to watch. That makes for a pretty short list, partly because I’ll soon be rejoining the labour pool and work will cut deeply into my free time but also because I don’t see a lot of attention-grabbing titles in the summer timetable.

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CANAAN
Official Site / Anime News Network / Wikipedia

Canaan

I know far too little about this title to say anything definitive about it – or to even state that I’m watching it for certain – but it’s based on a mystery-themed visual novel and I usually have room in my schedule for a good mind-scratcher. The PV doesn’t offer much in the way of hard information, though the animation quality and character designs are good enough for me to at least grant this a fair hearing.

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SORA NO MANIMANI
Official Site / Anime News Network / Wikipedia

Sora no Manimani

From Anime News Network:

Saku Ōyagi is a quiet bookworm who moves back to his former hometown as a high school freshman. He meets his childhood friend, Mihoshi Akeno, although a traumatic incident long ago had left their friendship in an awkward state. Despite this, Mihoshi brings Saku into the astronomy club she founded, and this sets the stage for the slapstick romantic comedy that ensues.

The timing of this release is probably no coincidence: 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy and there’s a link related to that event on the official website. I haven’t read the original manga so I don’t know how much astronomical content it actually has – plot-critical or a merely incidental device? – but the association is enough for this onetime space buff to dip his toes into the series.

ANN describes it as a “slapstick romantic comedy”, which I have no objections to (provided they don’t go overboard with the fanservice). I just hope that there will also be a relaxing, gently paced current to this series since the astronomy theme makes a good foundation for a slice-of-life story. Gathering in an open meadow, looking up at the ink-black pall of night and staring awestruck at the innumerable stars – ahh, Aria-typical bliss. I don’t know if we’ll see anything of that kind, though.

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TAISHOU YAKYUU MUSUME
Official Site / Anime News Network / Wikipedia

Taishou Yakyuu Musume

From Anime News Network:

The anime will adapt Atsushi Kagurazaka’s two historical slice-of-life novels about two 14-year-old Japanese high school girls named Koume and Akiko who decide to start a baseball team in Japan in 1925. At the time, few baseball teams — male or female — exist in the country. First though, the two girls have no clue where to find nine players, how to use the equipment, and what even the rules are.

This may surprise some, but my inclination to try out this series is largely born out of a long-standing interest in Japanese history. I’ve read up on the Meiji Era, I’m familiar with the Shouwa Era and I’m now a spectator on the sidelines of the Heisei Era, but the Taishou Era has always been a big white gap in my timeline and I’m eager to see it portrayed in animated form. Never mind the possible fact holes and inaccuracies; I can fill them in myself. (After all, that’s what Wikipedia is books are for.)

Historical interest aside, I’m also satisfied with the character designs and animation quality (check the PV for a sample of both). Not the best, but tolerable.

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TOKYO MAGNITUDE 8.0
Official Site / Anime News Network / Wikipedia

Tokyo Magnitude 8

From Anime News Network:

The story will center on Mirai, a middle school freshman girl who goes to Tokyo’s artificial Odaiba Island for a robot exhibition with her brother Yutaka at the start of summer vacation. A powerful tremor emanates from an ocean trench, the famed Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge crumble and fall, and the landscape of Tokyo changes in an instant. With the help of a motorcycle delivery woman named Mari who they meet on Odaiba, Mirai and Yutaka strive to head back to their Setagaya home in western Tokyo.

Fire, destruction, chaos and catastrophe – heck, I’m sold! I’m already looking forward to seeing the Tokyo Tower toppled for the umpteenth time.

What interests me most is how the production team will depict the disaster and its aftermath, especially after reading that BONES (the animation studio behind this project) have done some serious homework by digging up seismic data and interviewing earthquake survivors. Let’s see just how realistic things can get when all those facts and figures are woven into an animated story.

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UMINEKO NO NAKU KORO NI
Official Site / Anime News Network / Wikipedia

うみねこドットTV─TVアニメーション「うみねこのなく頃に公式サイト」

From Anime News Network:

[The story] takes place in the year 1986, during the time frame of October 4 and October 5 on a secluded island named Rokkenjima. The head of a wealthy family named Kinzo Ushiromiya, who lives on and owns Rokkenjima, is near death, and eight of his family members arrive on the island to discuss how Kinzo’s assets will be divided once he is dead. Also on the island are three family members who live there, five of Kinzo’s servants, and his personal physician. After the eight family members arrive, a typhoon traps them on the island and shortly after people start to get mysteriously murdered.

I may have dropped Higurashi no Naku Koro ni partway through, but I have a soft spot for murder mysteries in general so I’m prepared to try this new series out. Besides, the story (or what I know of it so far, at least) vaguely reminds me of one of my favourite novels, Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.

I’m a bit iffy on the character designs. Not so with the solid voice cast: Horie Yui, Ono Daisuke, my dearly beloved Inoue Marina – heck, even Kugimiya Rie has a part (presumably a minor one, but never mind).

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ZAN SAYONARA ZETSUBOU SENSEI
Official Site / Anime News Network / Wikipedia

Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Not much to say about this one really, except that I’m in despair for not having it sooner. Anyone got a noose and a large cherry tree in full bloom?

10 Responses

  1. “I may have dropped Higurashi no Naku Koro ni partway through”

    Blasphemy

    On another note, I can not WAIT for more Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.

  2. The fuck did you just do!? You dropped Higurashi? You best be kidding.

  3. Gotta agree with the others. Higurashi definitely deserves to be finished. How you could live without knowing the solutions (unless you looked it up) is beyond me😉

  4. “Higurashi” and “dropped” shouldn’t exist in the same sentence.

  5. Re: Higurashi – I did feel the itch to pick up the first season again when Kai was airing, but the series was soon licenced which meant that fansubs became off-limits, and I didn’t feel like shelling out a small fortune for the DVDs. In any event, Funimation is releasing a complete box set in August, so I’ll think about getting that.

    @glothelegend: There’s nothing like a bit of despair to perk up one’s spirits.

    @Kairu Ishimaru: Not kidding, I’m afraid.

    @vnmoonlily: I occasionally kept up with episode blog posts even after dropping the series, so yeah, I have some idea of how things turned out.

    @fangzhao: They do in some dimensions – including the one I’m in.

  6. Ah, let me know what kind of historical aspects you’ll see in Taisho because I am also interested in Japanese history🙂

    Thank you for mentioning that BONES did some homework for T8🙂

    It sounds like we have the same association regarding Umineko: Agatha Christie🙂

    I already commuted myself to long walks in a park with Kafuka this Summer😉

  7. […] For reference purposes, I’ve included the initial write-ups from my summer preview post. […]

  8. […] For reference purposes, I’ve included the initial write-ups from my summer preview post. […]

  9. sora no manimani is the best cartoon that have i see

  10. cool anime, maybe ill watch it

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