Summer 2017 Anime Season

You may have noticed that I didn’t post anything about the current summer anime season, like I’ve been doing for the past few seasons, listing what I was interested in watching. Well, just like for the spring season, I just haven’t been able to find much I want to watch.

Interestingly, the only two new things I am watching are Gundam-related. I’m still watching the second season of Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt, which is slowly getting released as OVAs, and so actually started in the spring. The other series is called Mobile Suit Gundam Twilight Axis, and the pace is even slower — it’s getting released as web shorts of a few minutes in length, once a month. I’m digging the visuals, but I find it hard to follow the story — it might be better to wait until they’ve all been released, and watch them in one go.

I’m not really complaining about the lack of series to watch though, as it gives me more time to catch up on the pile of stuff I’ve been wanting to watch. I’ve already spotted a few things I’m in interested in for the fall season though, and I’ll write those up just before the season starts.

Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt

I loved the first season of this series — slickly animated mech action set in my favorite Gundam era, with a jazz soundtrack. They’re doing a second OVA season, with the first episode out, and I loved it. It’s basically more of what we got from the first season, but on a larger scale (the first season felt a bit more intimate in terms of setting). Looking forward to the rest of the season.

Preview of 2017 Winter Anime

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Although I’m still pretty busy watching the series that I mentioned being interested in my 2016 fall anime post, I’m already curious and excited to see what’s coming up next. Thankfully, AniChart already has a pretty good look at what we can expect to see during the 2017 winter season, and here’s what I’m already thinking I’ll be checking out (based on what little info I have).

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ku
I’m pretty much just interested in this based on the overall art direction. It does sound like a neat political drama set in an alternate reality. Could be uninteresting, but I’ll check out the first episode.

Granblue Fantasy: The Animation
I’ve never played the uber popular mobile game this is based on, but I like the character art, and I’m curious to see what this is like. I don’t expect I’ll be watching a lot of it, but I’ll definitely be checking out the pilot.

Onihei
There’s very little info on this series — and especially no trailer or screenshots yet — but the description sounds interesting to me, of a historical drama set during the Edo period, following a main character who goes after robbers/arsonists.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
I’m still in the process of catching up on this series, watching the first season, and still really enjoying it. The second season that started in the fall continues over winter.

There are also three anime movies I’m interested to see: Gyakusatsu Kikan (Genocidal Organ), Hiruna Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari (a film Christophe Ferreira is involved in), and Lupin the Third: Chikemuri no Ichikawa Goemon.

Update: Here are my thoughts after watching the first 2 episodes of ACCA, Onihi Hankacho, and Granblue Fantasy The Animation.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

As I mentioned in my fall 2016 post, the second season of this Gundam series started this month, and that got me wanting to check out the series from the start. I’ve gotten into Gundam this year in a big way, but have been sticking so far with shows that take place in the Universal Century timeline — I’m currently more than halfway watching Zeta Gundam, that aired in the mid-80s — but I’ve been in the mood to watch something Gundam that is more modern (sometimes there’s just so much 80s-style animation that you can take in) and despite this being one of the non-UC series, I’d heard good things about it and so figured I’d give it a shot. The first season runs 25 episodes, and I watched the first 4 over the weekend, and really enjoyed what I saw. So far, it’s the darkest Gundam series I’ve watched, as it deals with child soldiers and the horrors of war (although the horrors of war is a running theme in Gundam), with a main character (the pilot of the main Gundam suit) who is a child who show an absolute and scary level of desensitivity to violence. I’m very much looking forward to watching the rest of this series.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

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As I mentioned in my fall 2016 post, the second season of this Gundam series started this month, and that got me wanting to check out the series from the start. I’ve gotten into Gundam this year in a big way, but have been sticking so far with shows that take place in the Universal Century timeline — I’m currently more than halfway watching Zeta Gundam, that aired in the mid-80s — but I’ve been in the mood to watch something Gundam that is more modern (sometimes there’s just so much 80s-style animation that you can take in) and despite this being one of the non-UC series, I’d heard good things about it and so figured I’d give it a shot. The first season runs 25 episodes, and I watched the first 4 over the weekend, and really enjoyed what I saw. So far, it’s the darkest Gundam series I’ve watched, as it deals with child soldiers and the horrors of war (although the horrors of war is a running theme in Gundam), with a main character (the pilot of the main Gundam suit) who is a child who show an absolute and scary level of desensitivity to violence. I’m very much looking forward to watching the rest of this series.

Fall 2016 Anime Season

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Towards the end of 2004 I started writing two monthly columns for a culture site called Tokyo Q, and one of them was about anime. Each edition was usually made up of reviews of shows, as well as news items, but at the start of each Japanese TV season I’d usually do a round-up of what I thought looked promising in terms of new (and returning) series. In that spirit — and with the warning that I don’t watch a lot of anime series at this point in time, because I have zero interest in the vast majority of what gets produced these days (i.e. the moe type cutesy animated stuff that rules the airwaves) — here’s what I’m at least interested in checking out once the fall season kicks off in October (based on what I’ve seen announced on AniChart’s Fall 2016 page).

Ajin (Season 2)
I’m a huge fan of the manga series this is based on (I’m still currently reading it) and I loved the first season that aired earlier this year — it was a very close adaptation of the manga storyline, with a nicely done cell-shaded animation style (similar to what you see in Knights of Sidonia, which was done by the same studio). I can’t wait to watch season 2, which I expect to be just as good.

Fune wo Amu
I don’t know anything about this series other than the description, which says that it’s the story of a man who works at a publishing company, who is trying to find a successor as he approaches retirement age, and may have found one to work on a dictionary they are looking to publish. Sounds like an interesting setting, and I like the character designs in the preview art.

Occultic Nine
I was sort of interested in this, about a group of students brought together through a blog for some paranormal and occult happenings, but then seeing the ridiculously floppy breasts in this trailer really turned me off.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (Season 2)
I’ve only recently become a fan of Gundam, and am currently watching the 1985 series Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. The thing with Gundam is that you get stuff that follows the timeline of the original series (“Universal Century”), and then wild spinoffs that have absolutely nothing to do with the original setting, but share certain ideas and themes. So far I haven’t been interested in watching any of the spinoff shows, but I’ve heard very good things about Iron-Blooded Orphans, so I’m tempted to give the first season a try, just as the second season is about to start.

Update: I’ve started watching these series, including Occultic Nine and Iron-Blooded Orphans. Also part of the new season, I checked out Izetta: The Last Witch.

Update: Here are my posts for Ajin and Fune wo Amu.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin

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My first steps leading to me getting into Gundam started earlier this year when I watched the episodes released so far of the OVA series Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin. This prequel series to the original 70s Mobile Suit Gundam anime really kicked off my interest and love of Gundam, and since then I’ve watched a few more series (always sticking to the “Universal Century” timeline stories), and I’m currently in the process of watching the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam series.

Back to The Origin, it’s actually an adaptation of an original manga series, and I came across this Forbes piece that shares the news that you can currently read the first 30 issues/chapters in English for free online through publisher Kodakawa’s ComicWalker site. I’m quite looking forward to reading this, as it seems to include even more background story than what we’ve seen in the anime adaptation.

Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory

After watching the original series and then the Thunderbolt series, I decided to watch this OVA series that came out in the early 90s. As the number in the title suggests, it takes place 3 years after the 1-year-war of the original series, and sets up what we end up seeing more of in the Zeta Gundam series (with the rebirth of the conflict). It’s especially enjoyable for the quality of the animation, and the action sequences are quite well done. In terms of the story and the characters, it has its ups and downs, with the most interesting bits coming towards the end, when we find out what this Zeon resurgence is all about.

Mobile Suit Gundam

I wrote recently that I watched the new Gundam “Origin” series with my wife (the 2 episodes that are out), and that it was making me want to watch the original 70s series, something I’ve been wanting to do for ages. It’s one of my wife’s all-time favorite series, and she’s been suggesting I watch it for what feels like forever. I finally started doing that last night – with her – and 3 episodes in, it definitely shows signs of being something I can get into. Sure, the animation is horrible, but you can see that the story goes beyond the normal space anime tropes, and it’s interesting for me to see how the characters that I was introduced to in The Origin are doing now – and I’m now even more eager to see the 3rd episode of The Origin when it comes out, to see how Char and his sister get separated. It can be fun to watch these old series – I absolutely loved watching Future Boy Conan last year.