Summertime is often the best time to be an anime fan. For whatever reason, the medium’s best shows seem to gravitate toward summer and winter. This year looks even more impressive than usual. In addition to a number of highly-anticipated adaptations of beloved manga properties, there are a few left-field things, and some interesting originals. All that in mind, here are six anime in particular that’ve caught my eye for the upcoming season.
Each entry here consists of three parts. The name of the anime, the production studio, and the main writeup. Where I run down who might be into each show and why, plus link to the PV (preview) trailers, all of which are worth a watch. Enjoy!
Astra Lost In Space – Studio Lerche
Kicking things off is an interesting one. Astra Lost In Space is a mystery anime, and if nothing else, would be notable on that basis alone. The anime’s preview blurb describes a future where space travel is common. The main cast? A colony of high school students arriving at a “planet camp”, only to be suddenly and abruptly whisked away by a “sentient sphere of light” and flung into the far unknown. We don’t have much else to go on description-wise at this point, but the moody, cinematic, dialogue-free trailer promises that this is going to be a real tense one. If you like moody mysteries set against the dark backdrop of space, you should keep an eye on Astra.
Fire Force – David Production
From the mind behind Soul Eater comes the conceptually bonkers Fire Force. The show takes place in a world where spontaneous human combustion turns people into raging fire elementals called Infernos. To combat them, the still-human “later generation” Infernos literally fight fire with fire. The mangaka behind Soul Eater and the production studio behind the modern Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure anime would be a mean team-up to begin with, but the trailer for this one is really something else. If any part of the raging Infernos, backflipping firefighter witches, lightsabers(?!), or familiar-to-Soul Eater fans skull iconography made you take notice, you’ll want to keep a look out for this one.
Granbelm – Studio Nexus
Granbelm, if I’m being honest, is the show that inspired me to write this particular column in the first place. It’s also one of the harder ones to discuss because, as it’s an original rather than an adaptation, we have very little idea of what we’re in for. So what do we know? Well, it’s a magical girl series where the magical girls pilot giant robots called Almanox dolls. That on its own is honestly a pretty compelling reason to tune in – at least it is if you’re me. If that’s not enough, Granbelm has an exciting amount of talent under its roof. Including the director of Re:Zero. Nexus is a pretty young studio, and this is their first major original project. More than maybe any other show on this list, I’m really rooting for Granbelm. The trailer for this one is compelling and a bit mysterious, and then breaks into explosive action in its second half. Do be warned, there’s a blood-curdling battle scream in there near the end!
O’ Maidens In Your Savage Season! – Studio Lay-duce
Call it the hardest sell of the summer season. A sex comedy about a bunch of high school girls sounds mediocre at best, downright slimy at worst. It’s not the sort of thing I’d normally cover in my writing for GGA, were it not for the fact that it is from the mind of Mari Okada. Okada is one of the most dynamic scriptwriters in the medium, and her work emphasizes big themes about human connections and lots and lots of melodrama. O’ Maidens In Your Savage Season! has a downright bouncy trailer, but given Okada’s involvement it’d be naive to not expect some tears to fall at some point. Indeed, there’s a brief hint of that in the trailer’s last few seconds. Take it from someone who’s been a fan of Okada for a few years, if you want to take a chance on an underdog show of the season, check out Maidens.
Symphogear XV – Satelight Inc.
The only sequel to make this list, Symphogear XV is the fifth installment in the storied franchise. At this point, Symphogear has dominated most of the 2010s as the premiere female-lead action anime franchise. So it’s not surprising that we’re being handed another season as the decade rockets to its close. If you’re not familiar, the Symphogear series synthesizes elements of magical girl anime, idol anime, and mecha to create something that’s really quite unique. It’s also a very loud series. A given Symphogear season’s climax generally puts big-name shonen and hype-machine heavy hitters like Gurren Lagann to shame in equal measure. If you like girls in power armor solving problems with their fists, you should consider catching up. Longtime fans of course, have likely already committed to watching the new show. If you need further convincing, take a gander at the short-but-sweet trailer to get your blood pumping.
Wasteful Days of High School Girl – Passione
A few times a season, you get a school life comedy. It’s something as sure as the tide of the ocean at this point. Yet, even in this admittedly narrow genre, there is variance. Many school life comedies aim for a sort of warm and fuzzy atmosphere. Content to not put their characters through too much of a ringer in the name of preserving the good vibes.
And then there’s Wasteful Days of Highschool Girl. While not the wildest school life comedy ever, Wasteful Days doesn’t really play nice either. The premise is that our protagonist, Tanaka, assigns her friends (“friends”) mildly insulting nicknames based on their personalities, dubbing them “Otaku” and “Robot” respectively. In return, she is branded “Baka” (“idiot”). Honestly though, this is one where even if you knew nothing else about it, the music in the trailer gives it away. A spunky guitar track that sounds like it could soundtrack a Looney Tunes reboot points you in the right direction. If you like antics and want a school life comedy that plays a bit rougher than the norm, Wasteful Days might be up your alley.