Summer 2015 Anime

July 1, 2015

Here is my list of Summer 2015 anime series that look interesting


– Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace

Mysterious murders solved by middle school kids. Either an homage to, or based on the works of the author Edogawa Ranpo, a respected mystery novelist who died 50 years ago.

– Overlord

Fantasy setting and an interesting idea, in that the main character looks like a giant skeleton and he wants to take over the world.

– Gate

People from our world take tanks and guns through an inter-dimensional gate to explore a magical world. Not sure what to make of this, but I always check out shows with a fantasy setting.

– The Red-headed Snow White (Akagami no Shirayuki-hime)

Another fantasy setting (!) and there are some interesting ideas here, too. Snow white is a doctor.

Aoi Miyamori of the Musashino Animation company.

Aoi Miyamori of the Musashino Animation company.

Although Shirobako looked, at first glance, like another “cute girls doing cute stuff” show, it turned out to be a great series about the trials and triumphs of working in the animation industry. The characters are entertaining, and the situations might prove familiar to people regardless of the industry in which they work.

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A quick post about how I think the season is going. In my first post on the Summer 2014 anime season, I listed several shows that had caught my eye based essentially on the first episode. We are now up to the third episode of most shows, and that gives a better sense of how what a show is like, so I am revisiting that list to see how it has changed. Most shows are holding up well, one is not performing as well as I had hoped, and a couple of other shows have managed to impress me.

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Summer 2014 includes some shows about artisans at work, including Barakamon.

Summer 2014 includes some shows about artisans at work, including Barakamon.

All of the Summer 2014 season anime series have premiered, so it is time for a quick post on what looks good so far. This is essentially based upon first episodes (some shows have had a second episode already), so things can still change quite a bit, but as of now, here are the shows that still look promising to me.

The shows:

  • Aldnoah Zero
  • Barakamon
  • Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
  • Glasslip
  • Rail Wars!
  • Zankyou no Terror

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Largo taking out a tank in Valkyria Chronicles.

Largo taking out a tank in Valkyria Chronicles.

Although I don’t blog here a lot, I continue to enjoy Anime, and check in on the many great aniblogging sites that are out there. One of the sites I check often is LuRa’s Anime Blog. Lucretia and Raven (with the occasional help of some friends) blog about several shows, but they also have an ongoing Song of the Week series.  I love many things about anime, including the music, so I love checking out the song of the week, either to hear an old fave again, or to learn about something new.

I listen to a lot of anime and J-Pop as well, so I occasionally link to music videos in my Twitter stream, but the tenacity with which Lu and Ra keep posting on their blog, despite being busy with exams (and all things life) inspired me to put up a song here for y’all.

I selected the second ED to Valkyria Chronicles. This was a show based upon a game that I really enjoyed. It had some substance to the themes, lots of characters to whom I grew attached, and most of all some killer game-play. The series moved off the PS3, unfortunately, so I only ever got to play the first installment. The anime adaption was interesting, and the second ED provided that emotional space to digest some of the more intense things that occur.

The song is sung by Hikari Inoue, and is named “Hitotsu no Negai” (My only wish).

These very sad eyes reflect the sky,
without understanding those words,
I simply counted the stars.

I hope you enjoy it!

While I’m still working on the Alpha Project, I have been watching several shows from the new season, as well as a couple of carry overs. As it turns out I am watching 5 sports anime that are airing at the same time. This is very unusual. A couple of years back it was not uncommon to go for multiple seasons without a single sports anime. Now we have shows airing that are based on Baseball, Tennis, Cycling, Volleyball, and Ping Pong.

My Fave: Ping Pong, the Animation

Ping Pong

Ping Pong features inspired art direction as expected from Masaaki Yuasa.

Folks who don’t like an anime because it “doesn’t look anime enough” are really choosing to deprive themselves of a gem this season. The characters are all flawed in very human ways. they are trying to achieve something or avoid something not because they are better than us. None of these characters are traditional shounen leads, with the possible exception of Akuma, who rose through the ranks by working really hard. Even the adult characters seem twisted; instead of cheering on the main character because he is happy to see him develop his potential, the coach takes on Smile because he thinks he can use him to win. The coach clearly wasn’t giving the rest of the team his full attention, and even seems to tolerate bullying by the upperclassmen.
To learn about the others, read on …

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The first episodes of the new anime viewing season are being aired over the next couple of weeks, so it is time for a site update. As I mentioned in my preview, I have just a couple of shows I’m interested in this season, with Ping Pong: the animation foremost amongst them. I also revealed that I am building an anime-blogging robot, named Alpha, to assist me with the reviews here at the Abandoned Factory, which means I will be able to pick up a couple more shows.

The final list for Spring 2014:

Title Premiering Blogger
Kindaichi R April 5 Alpha
No Game No Life April 9 Alpha
Escha to Logy April 10 Alpha
Insufficient Direction April 10 Joojoobees
Ping Pong April 10 Joojoobees
Mekaku City Actors April 12 Alpha

I added Mekaku City Actors, and No Game No Life, because I thought they would be good shows for Alpha to watch. Mekaku City Actors is a Shaft production, and No Game No Life is Madhouse, so despite the fact that I don’t think I could stand to sit through the subject matter, they might be interesting shows visually. Insufficient Direction is a late add; I just think the premise (living with Hideako Anno) is a funny one.

Shows listed as being covered by me (Joojoobees) will actually be covered by both of us.

I probably will post sporadically, and Alpha’s reviews will begin later in the season, since she is still under development, but is intended to provide context, not episodic impressions. That being said, I’ll probably post something as soon as I have it, as part of my process of bringing her perception and analytic faculties online.

Happy anime viewing everybody!

** Update April 6: moved Insufficient Direction to April 10, which seems to be the Tokyo premiere; I think the earlier date was a premiere station that has early access to certain shows.

TL;DR :  “Go see what Cara said.”

For the most part the Spring 2014 Anime season seems to be samey-sameness, with one important exception.

Ping Pong: the animation

Ping Pong: the animation

Ping Pong: the animation

This one looks really interesting! Masaki Yuasa is back in the Noitamina slot. All the visuals so far really stand out. Should be a good watch.

Honorable Mentions

Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~

Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~

Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~

I have written before about the Atelier franchise. I liked the emphasis on Alchemy, there were some interesting mechanics in the title I played, and it had some good art and music. Given that, I will be checking this anime adaptation out, but with some trepidation. They seemed to have played up the bishoujo elements, instead of some of the more interesting aspects. One of the most interesting aspects of this title is the very weird pun: the Japanese pronounce & (“and”) as toe (long O), so the characters names with an ampersand in it is pronounced as the word Eschatology, which is a sub discipline of Theology concerned with the End Days (with questions like What is Heaven? What is Hell? What happens after death? How will the world end?)

Kindaichi Case Files Returns

I have previously written about an earlier anime adaption of Young Kindaichi’s Case Files. The should be an actual mystery genre title. The mysteries in the previous series that I watched (I also saw a series of anime movies about Kindaichi) were fairly detailed and developed as actual mysteries (as opposed to masquerading as mysteries, but really being an action show, or something else). The author of the manga also did another mystery genre series that I enjoyed: Detective Academy Q. The problem with the author, as I see it, is that the characterization is very weak. I wrote about this before, too. Basically my view is that this could be a well-plotted Mystery series, but the characters are likely to be little more than one-dimensional.


I may seem dismissive in blowing off 9/10ths of the anime coming out this upcoming season, but three new shows to watch is actually not that bad. I still have some catching up to do from previous seasons, and #ESO Elder Scrolls Online will be launching April 4, 2014, so I’ll need to reserve time for that.

Enjoy the Spring, everybody!

Woman's hand with pipe

Just one example of the fine illustration of hands in Kyoto Animations newest: Kyoukai no Kanata

Hello everybody. I have been taking a break from blogging, but not from anime! In the past I used to try to write a post for every interesting series upon having seen the first three episodes as a “taste test”. The last of the “first three” have just aired, or are about to do so.

Having seen the first three episodes of many shows this season, I conclude that the one I enjoy seeing the most one quarter of the way into Fall 2013 is Kyoukai no Kanata, a series about a meganeko blood mage, and the boy who loves her.

Kyoto Animation has done their usual spectacular job of animating the series — everything looks great, and this time there are actual fantasy action scenes (sword fights, yeah!) that get the KyoAni treatment, but they also throw in some amazing animations of small things, such as Ayaka’s hands while she was tracing out the occult circle. Remarks from around the blogosphere are mostly positive, including surprise that we already are pulling out a serious battle this early.

Other shows that I have enjoyed so far include:

  • Kyousougiga — This show is great fun, and I really like the way the mythology is mixed with almost a Sci-Fi feel.
  • Log Horizon — This show is holding up better than I thought it would. The story is starting to develop, and I think they are managing to build up tension without using the same — you die if you lose trope that has been used plenty already.
  • Yowamushi Pedal — so far this one looks better than Ace of Diamond, the other sports-themed anime this season, but I often lose interest in these shounen sports shows, which have a tendency to go on far too long.
  • Yozakura Quartet Hana no Uta — I went into this without having seen previous entries and find it pretty entertaining so far.
  • Golden Time — I wouldn’t say this is one of the better shows I am watching, but the third episode certainly went in an unexpected direction.

I hope the rest of you are enjoying the Autumn as much as I am!

A cursed pair of scissors.

A cursed pair of scissors.


Having nothing better to do, I thought I would check out episode 1 of Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge. Boggled, I had to watch it again, just to make sure I actually saw what I thought I saw.

Kiri Haimura, a boy obsessed with cutting. Iwai Mushanokouji, a girl obsessed with being cut.

Kiri Haimura, a boy obsessed with cutting. Iwai Mushanokouji, a girl obsessed with being cut.

I have no idea where this show is going from here, but the first episode was well worth watching for the WTF factor. The male lead takes no responsibilities for his own actions; in the opening moments he claims to have “accidentally” gotten off at the wrong bus stop, and then approaches the house of a girl with long hair, scissors in hand, physically acting out his fantasy of cutting her hair off. Later we learn that the scissors he carries with him were used by an ancestor of his to murder young women.

The whole issue of “killing goods” that were passed down in a family seems to be important to the plot, because we have already met others who have inherited “killing goods” from ancestral psychotic killers.

Warning: this show goes above and beyond the typical lolicon show by some sort of murder fantasy. Not only does the male lead stalk the loli, tell her he wants to kill her, and cut off her hair, she actually tells him that she wants to be killed (although they are talking metaphorically about hair?) I think I would normally find it all very disturbing, but somehow the earnestness of the presentation pushes the whole thing into terribad territory.

Perhaps my favorite line: Iwai, the female lead, laments that she should just die, so as not to bring further trouble to other people, and Kiri responds, “What can I do? I can’t even cut her hair.”

I don’t think I can, in good faith recommend this series, but the first episode was hilarious. I guess the show is moving towards a battle genre in which Kiri and Iwai have to fight against a secret organization of people who have inherited “killing goods”. Or it could be a romantic comedy? Either way it still looks like it probably will be terrible, but perhaps impossible to stop watching.