It’s summer 2016 and a new anime season is upon us. I have helpfully grouped this season’s shows into categories so you know what to watch and what to still watch but be ashamed.
Fuck you, watch these:
Berserk: This is a sequel to a show that aired 18 years ago. The author of the original manga retired, then unretired (thanks Idolmaster!). This dark gothic fantasy (think Kingdom Death) is either seminal to the genre or invented its modern form. I’m not even sure this anime adaptation is the “best” version of this story, because the original manga is such a masterwork. But Berserk is a towering achievement that is not limited to one medium (much like Attack On Titan, or Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood). If you aren’t already reading the manga, just start watching the anime. You can catch up on the story so far by watching all three of the Berserk films on Netflix, or you can hunt down the original animation.
Danganronpa 3: Play the games first. No, seriously, play them. They are on Vita and PC, just start playing them. Okay, are you back? Well, this is how the story continues. This is an innovative and interesting visual novel\puzzle\better-than-Phoenix Wright-detective game. While there was an earlier adaptation, that should be skipped, because it completely spoils the VN’s. This season, however, is a new story. If you don’t know yet that you want to see it, it’s because you’re a filthy casual who hasn’t played the game yet.
Mob Psycho 100: Better written than One Punch Man? Maybe. The same animation style, definitely. Just fucking watch it. The story (about a teenager with psychic powers who is trying not to get too excited) is both not the point, and very similar to Punchline. If you’re a fan of deadpan comedy, WTF! moments, and the art of animation start streaming it right NAO!!
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya: I’m writing a longer blog entry about this, but in short: do you like fanservice, the Nasuverse and sexy lolis which you can buy in body pillows and figures? If not, then you fucking should, you filthy casual. I don’t care if you don’t want it, you should watch it anyway. This is anime. Learning to love this will teach you how to appreciate the finest of trash.
Love Live! Sunshine!!: There’s more Love Live. THERE IS MORE LOVE LIVE! Idols are love, idols are life! There’re nine possible waifus whose traits have literally been voted on: the whole thing isn’t just about selling figures, but also about selling CDs and concert tickets. Watch this so your weebtrash addiction can expand to music and you can possibly displace Miku-chan from her place in your iPod.
I’m watching because I am:
Rewrite: It’s based on a famous visual novel, and enough people love the VN that I should give the anime a chance. Azuma talks about Rewrite as one of the finest visual novels for otakus because of its intentional formal exploration of the VN form. Also, its deck is still playable years after release in the Japanese meta of Waifu Card, so that’s a thing. (Can you tell I’ve been avoiding learning about the plot of the VN for years?)
Thunderbolt Fantasy: The Urobutcher (of Psycho-Pass, Madoka, and Gargantia fame) is doing a puppet show. Fuck it, I’m all in. He writes it, I watch it. (Wait, does this even count as anime? – Ed)
Haven’t I fucking seen this before?
Days: Yay, it’s Haikyu!! with soccer!
Battery: Yay, it’s Haikyu!! with baseball!
Cheer Danshi: Yay, it’s Haikyu!! with… men’s cheerleading?
Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! LOVE!: Season 2 of Sailor Man! There’s only one joke. Do you think the idea of an actual “sailor man” show is funny? Great, here’s a season 2 for you.
Ange Vierge: It’s a card game adaptation that’s copying the plot of Valkyrie Drive and Cross Ange!
Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars: The plot is word salad, about princesses, magic kingdoms and giant robots. But at least there are giant robots. Also, the first episode apparently didn’t have any of them. The only gifs from it are moeblobs eating.
Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin: Oh hey! It’s Captain Tylor but with World War I. That’s a thing, but I’m impressed that it’s copying from early 90s anime, instead of 2013. Also, there’s an underage tsundere princess. That makes it more original, right? Right?
Japan is the best. I’m not going to watch this, I’m going to inflict this on others:
Tsukiuta. The Animation: Oh YES. Each of the months are cute anime boys, and they live in a dorm together? Fucking gold!
Hatsukoi Monster: Girl meets boy. Boy saves girl. Girl starts dating boy, girl realizes boy is 11 years old. If Super Lovers taught me nothing, it’s that reversing gender inappropriate relationships is awesome, and by awesome, I mean that hearing my roommate’s screams as I watch this in our common space is my raison d’etre.
Hybrid x Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia: This show can’t air on Japanese television because of content. This is literally nothing but a show about a guy who gropes girls to orgasm to power their robot suits. I can’t defend this show as anything but pornography with a straight face, but its lack of shame is at least honest, I guess?
Fuck it, I’m not gonna watch these, I’m not even gonna gif these:
Relife: The whole show is on Crunchyroll, so you could marathon it. Or you could read the much better manga.
Shokugeki no Souma: This isn’t a new show. Also, read the manga. There’s nothing I can say about this besides, “If you liked the first season, it’s more of that.”
91 Days: A pretentious, but possibly good revenge epic? I’m waiting till the season is over and the reviews are in before I give it a shot.
Taboo Tattoo: Something something, high school student, something something, magic power weapons. I just can’t. At least Haikyu!! rip-offs have a structure that fundamentally is interesting and works.
Tales of Zestiria the X: I haven’t played the game, but I know I need to.
D.Gray-man Hallow: Oh, hey, it’s another adaptation of a much longer and better manga, which I haven’t read. Notice a pattern yet?
Amaama to Inazuma: Usagi Drop, but the dad doesn’t marry his daughter at the end? But that was the only interesting part of Usagi Drop.
Servamp: Blood Lad with implied boys love? I prefer my boys love explicit, thank you, or at least in a sports show.
Handa-kun: Haven’t watched Barakamon. I know, I need to.
Legend of Arslan: It’s a sequel to a show I thought was “meh.”
Qualidea Code: Magic high school powers, save the world? I’m not sure if this belongs in “haven’t I seen this before?” or “Oh God, please stop, I’ll just rewatch Mahouka.”
This is not even remotely all the anime airing this season, because Japan just pumps out way too much. For info on the other 150 shows, check this list.