Summer is here, and the anime season in Japan is decidedly lively and moe.
MY, how time flies! Japan has just begun its sizzling anime season, and it’s marked with sequels from last year’s top two surprise anime hits and a healthy helping of moe anime. (Moe anime contain characters with certain traits that are highly appealing to fans.)
WHEN creatures called mushi begin robbing humans of their free will and thought by feeding on their dreams, an organisation named Garden is created to counter them. The anime’s main character is Kusuriya Daisuke, who meets Anmoto Shiika and falls in love with her. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know that she’s an escapee from Garden.
Despite its rather bleak setting, Mushiuta, which is adapted from a light novel series, is reportedly a fascinating show with up-and-coming seiyuu Kana Hanazawa (Kaminagi Ryoko, Zegapain) playing Anmoto.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
ONE fine spring day while trying to commit suicide, Itoshiki Nozomu, the world’s most negative person, meets Kafuka Fuura, the world’s most positive person.
Itoshiki later finds out that he is Kafuka’s class teacher. Both end up, quite accidentally, being partners in solving the problems of the students, a situation that often leads to hilarious results!
Since this anime is directed by the offbeat Akiyuki Shinbo (he is known for his weird comedic style which parodies a lot of anime), Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei promises heaps of black comedy.
It features the voice talents of Nonaka Ai (Katase Shima, Stellvia), Sanada Asami (Dejiko, Digi Charat), Shintani Ryoko (Sakuraba Milfeulle, Galaxy Angels), Sawashiro Miyuki (Shinku, Rozen Maiden) and Gotou Yuka (Asahina Mikuru, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi).
HIGH school student Tsuwabuki Masaharu isn’t a very sociable guy. Therefore, it is no surprise that he has to be forced to join a club: the gardening club, which has two members – the shy Akihime Sumomo and her best friend, Nadeshiko Yaeno.
To regain normality, he has to partner with Akihime to capture seven stardrops.
Adapted from a romance simulation game with illustrations done by famous artist Itou Noizi – the prolific illustrator behind the art of the Shakugan no Shana and The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi series) – Nanatsuiro Drops is your average magical girl anime. The show’s main selling point is Itou’s detailed and beautiful artwork, perfectly brought to life by Studio Barcelona.
MOETAN began life as a series of novelty English study aid books for otaku. It is unexpectedly popular, so much so that it is now adapted into an anime series.
The basic plot of Moetan involves Nijihara Ink (voiced by Tamura Yukari – Morino Ichigo in Onegai Sensei), who has a crush on her neighbour Nao-kun (Ueda Yuji – Morita Shinobu, Honey and Clover). She wants to attend his university, but Nao-kun’s grades are pretty bad, especially in English.
When a duck magician appears before her one day, turning her into a magical girl, she takes the opportunity to tutor Nao-kun so that he can pass his exams.
Yes, it’s a magical girl teaching English filled with quirky otaku references.
EBIHARA Chinami has a secret...her body can generate electromagnetic fields when she is emotionally distressed! To hide this fact, she transfers from school to school.
Now 18 and in yet another school, Ebihara attracts the attention of a fellow student, Kannagi Kotaro, when he finds out about her secret. He persuades her to let him study it; apparently, her ability has a name: “TYPE-E”.
Code E is this season’s offering by Studio DEEN (the animation outfit behind Fate/Stay Night and Jigoku Shoujo), and is based on an original story by famous novelist Sakaki Ichiro who wrote Scrapped Princess.
The show has an R.O.D. vibe to it – the main character resembles R.O.D.’s and even the music is quite similar.
Ebihara is voiced by Hashimoto Mai, a debuting seiyuu in her first lead role, with Halko Momoi (Seto San, Seto no Hanayome) and Nazuka Kaori (Nunnally Lamperouge, Code Geass) in the cast too.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai
SEQUEL to last year’s surprise hit, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. The series is one of the best in the rare mystery-horror genre. With surprising twists and gruesome action sequences, Higurashi has definitely made its mark on audiences. The story is about Maebara Keiichi, who just recently transferred to the village of Hinamizawa, where he and his new group of friends stumble upon a serial murder mystery which soon involves them.
The sequel promises to fully solve the mystery. With major voice talents including Souichiro Hoshi, Yukari Tamura, Nakahara Mai and Yukino Satsuki, and the ever-popular Horie Yui joining the cast this season, “HiguKai” is definitely the anime to watch this season.
THE painfully short Zero no Tsukaima finally gets a second season. It continues after the climax of the anime’s first season (which was a surprise hit).
This anime is about Hiraga Saito, who ends up in an alternate world where magic is commonplace. He becomes a familiar (a magician’s pet/helper) to Louise, an apparently talent-less mage who actually possesses a long-lost magical power.
This sequel promises more comedy, action and intrigue. Expect another sterling performance from Kugimiya Rie (well-known for her role as Shana from Shakugan no Shana and Sanzenin Nagi from Hayate the Combat Butler) as the main heroine Louise. She captured many viewers’ hearts last season.
Hino Satoshi is Hiraga. The other voice talents are Horie Yui (Narusegawa Naru, Love Hina; Sawachika Eri, School Rumble), Kawasumi Ayako (Saber, Fate/Stay Night), Neya Michiko (Riza Hawkeye, Full Metal Alchemist) and Kikuko Inoue (Belldandy, Oh My Goddess!).
After watching ‘You’re under Arrest’ and ‘Oh My Goddess!’, Kurogane has turned into an avid fan of ‘moe’. He counts Ken Akamatsu and Itou Noizi as his favourite artists.