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The Long Hot New Anime Summer: 2009 Summer Anime Preview

Everything you need to know about what's airing in Japan this summer!

Season Previews:

- Winter 2009 Anime
- Spring 2009 Anime
- Summer 2009 Anime
- Fall 2009 Anime
- Winter 2010 Anime
- Spring 2010 Anime   

Summer 2009 Anime Season Preview

Whew! At long last, the summer season preview is here!

As usual, summer is big on comedies and other light-hearted fare, like GA Geijitsuka Art Design Class, Kanamemo, and Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou-- but that doesn't mean we have no darker shows. Keep an eye out for CANAAN, from Type-Moon (Fate/Stay Night), and Umineko no Naku Koro ni, from 07th Expansion (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni), as well as BONES' Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 if you want some drama.

We're also seeing relatively few sequels compared to past summers, I think; Hetalia 2nd season, Spice and Wolf II, and Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei are the only ones, really. All in all it's shaping up to be a pretty strong summer.

So let's get going!

Title:   Aoi Hana
Japanese Title:  青い花
Studio:   J.C. Staff
Genre:   Shoujo
Airs:  Fuji TV, Thursdays at 2am, starting July 2nd.
Fumi and Akira, who were best friends ten years prior to the anime's beginning, reconnect in high school as very different students. The girls help each other get through the social vagaries of starting out in high school. I'm told there are at least touches of yuri in the show.


Title:   Bakemonogatari
Japanese Title:  化物語
Studio:   Shaft
Genre:  Supernatural
Airs:  Tokyo MX TV, Fridays at 11pm, starting July 3rd
After surviving a vampire attack, Koyomi Araragi begins stumbling upon a wide variety of supernatural mysteries, starting with his nearly-weightless classmate Hitagi Senjougahara.


Title:   CANAAN
Studio:  P.A. Works
Genre:  Mystery
Airs:  Tokyo MX TV, Saturdays at 10:30pm, starting July 4th
A group of Tokyoites are drawn togther by a series of strange events. These include, among other things, a detective, a writer, a virus researcher, and a catgirl.


Title:   Element Hunter
Japanese Title:  エレメントハンター
Studio:  NHK Enterprises x Hiuon Entertainment
Genre:  Sci-Fi
Airs:  NHK, Saturdays at 6pm starting July 4th
Set in the year 2089, sixty years after the human population has declined to a tenth of its peak after a huge natural disaster, scientists discover that the planets resources are flowing to a “Nega Earth.” A team of young children (under 13) is formed to save the world and learn the Periodic table. Yeah, I know.

  • Edutainment it may be, but the staff's not bad: director Yoshiaki Okumura directed Antique Bakery , Bakkyuu Hit!, and episode-directed Eyeshield 21 .
  • I'm more excited about the music, though: Chiaki Ishikawa, who I know best for the Bokurano OP “Uninstall” (but who you may recognize from a considerable amount of .Hack work) is performing the OP.
  • I've got to say, the designs also look pretty neat; the character designs are from newcomer Daigo Okumura.

Title:   Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan
Japanese Title:  ファイト一発!充電ちゃん!!
Studio:   Studio Hibari
Genre:  Comedy
Airs:  AT-X, Thursdays at 8am, starting June 25th
Rather than bringing back another season of Code-E, Japan has selected a new electric-charged heroine to represent this summer. This time it's Juuden-chan, a visitor from another world sent to perk up downtrodden humans...presumably by zapping them with electricity? And nudity. Can't forget the nudity.


Title:   GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class
Japanese Title:  GA 芸術科アートデザインクラス
Studio:   AICPLUS+
Genre:  Slice-of-Life
Airs:  YTV, Tuesdays at 2:15am, starting July 7th
Five freshman girls start out in their high school art club. Hmm...sounds kinda familiar. Ahem, Sketchbook . The manga it's originally based on also featured a lot of art tips, so it'll be interesting to see if the anime follows suit.


Title:   Hetalia Axis Powers Second Season
Japanese Title:  ヘタリア Axis Powers 第2期
Studio:   Studio Deen
Genre:  Comedy
Airs:  Mobile Animate, Fridays at 4pm, starting July 24th
Oh, Hetalia: a strange little series of animated short based on a manga which pits personified countries against one another in a school setting-- and every single nation is a cute boy.

  • The first season of Hetalia was originally scheduled to air on TV, but South Korea was reportedly unhappy with its character and protested. The series was pulled from broadcast and aired online instead...and now the second season is online, too. I wonder if their characterization of Japan is a wuss?
  • Looks like no cast or staff changes. Did you know that the director's name is Bob? Bob Shirohata. He's best known for directing Diamond Daydreams and series-directing the popular yaoi series Gravitation . Heh.

Title:   Kanamemo
Japanese Title:  かなめも
Studio:   feel.
Genre:  Comedy
Airs:  TV Tokyo, Mondays at 1:30am, starting July 6th
An orphan winds up working at a newspaper delivery office, where she also lives, surrounded by strong and beautiful women. Sounds like heaven to me...the PV here is actually an ad for the manga. (There isn't one for the anime yet, as far as I can tell.)


Title:   Kuruneko
Japanese Title:  くるねこ
Studio:  Studio Dachs
Genre:  Comedy
Airs:  Kansai TV, Sundays at 8:55am, starting July 5th
It's the crazy cat lady, anime-style! Actually, Kuruneko focuses on a main character with TWO obsessions: cats, and sake. Because nothing is more entertaining than alcoholics with obsessive-compulsive pet collecting disorders.

  • This anime is based not just on a manga, but on a web-manga, by creator Yamato. It's reportedly the most popular blog manga in Japan.
  • The series has one voice actor, and one alone: Satomi Kobayashi, who will provide all voices. I couldn't find any other credits for her, although it seems she has done some concept design work in the past.
  • Director Akitaro Daichi is pretty used to the unusual, having helmed Animation Runner Kuromi, Gag Manga Biyori, and Kodocha (which had three directors).

Studio:   Madhouse
Genre:  Sci-Fi
Airs:  Tokyo MX TV, Fridays at 1:30am, starting July 3rd
Set in Japan in the year 2130, NEEDLESS is the tale of the unnecessary: the world is split into the city, and the outside of the city. Those who live outside the city have developed unique abilities and powers, and are known as the “Needless.”


Title:   Princess Lover!
Japanese Title:  プリンセスラバー!
Studio:  GoHand
Genre:  Romantic Comedy
Airs:  Chiba TV, Mondays at 12:30am, starting July 6th.
After his parents die, Teppei is due to inherit a shit-ton of money from his grandfather. In order to inherit, though , he has to graduate from a super-elite prep school full of super-elite hot chicks.

  • Based, of course, on the Ricotta-made eroge, Princess Lover will doubtless be full of fanservice. The designs are nice though.
  • Director Hiromitsu Kanazawa directed Macross Frontier , if that piques your interest-- we know a few things about how he handles multiple women after the same guy.
  • Relative newcomer to the seiyuu world Takuma Terashima, best known for playing Wataru in Princess Princess , Kaname in Shigofumi , and Jin in Sisters of Wellber , will play the lead here.

Title:   Sora no ManiMani
Japanese Title:  宙のまにまに
Studio:  Studio Comet
Genre:  Drama
Airs:  AT-X, Tuesdays at 10:30am, starting July 7th
Are you ready for some star-gazing? And probably some navel-gazing, too. Sora no Mani Mani tells the tale of a high school boy named Saku Ooyagi who, after seven years, returns to his hometown. He tries to be friends with his childhood pal Mihoshi, but their last encounter was disastrous and it's awkward. But Mihoshi also wants to restore their friendship, so she drags Saku into her astronomy club.

  • I'm actually really excited for this series, and for one primary reason: Kanae Itou, who voices Amu-chan in Shugo Chara! (and wonderfully), is voicing Mihoshi. I like her style a lot, with her naturally pleasant voice that doesn't sound saccharine like so many other seiyuu who play young females.
  • Joining Itou is Tomoaki Maeno as Saku. Some of you may remember him as Atsushi Doujou in the anime of Toshokan Sensou (Library Wars), or as Tooru in Ga-Rei -Zero- .
  • I think a lot of you are familiar with director Shinji Takamatsu 's work, such as School Rumble and Gintama .

Title:   Spice and Wolf II
Japanese Title:  狼と香辛料II
Studio:  Brains Base
Genre:  Fantasy/Drama
Airs:  TV Kanagawa, Thursdays at 1:15am, starting July 9th
Probably the show I'm most excited about this season, Spice and Wolf is set in a medieval Europe-style fantasy world full of trade and barter-- and also full of gods, like Holo, the Wise Wolf goddess. Holo will continue her adventures with the wandering merchant Craft Lawrence.

  • Joining the stellar leads, Ami Koshimizu ( Geass 's Kallen ) as Holo and Jun Fukuyama (Geass's Lelouch) as Lawrence, is another seiyuu superstar: Romi Paku ( Fullmetal Alchemist 's Ed ), as a new character, Abe, who appears in the novel series.
  • ROCKY CHACK, the artist who blew many of us away with the awesomeness of the first season Spice and Wolf ED “Ringo Biyori ~The Wolf Whistling Song~,” is back again with a new ED for the sequel: “Perfect World.”
  • If you were curious, director Takeo Takahashi from the first season is helming the second, as are screenwriter Naruhisa Arakawa and music composer Yuuji Yoshino. So expect similar quality to the first season.


Title:   Taishou Yakyuu Musume.
Japanese Title:  大正野球娘。
Studio:  J.C. Staff
Genre:  Comedy
Airs:  TBS, Fridays at 2am, starting July 3rd
Is this Japan's answer to the film A League Of Their Own? Perhaps! Set in 1925, before women even got the right to vote in Japan, a pair of girls decide to form a girls' baseball team. But they don't know anything about the game...


Title:   Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
Japanese Title:  東京マグニチュード8.0
Studio:   BONES / Kinemashitorasu
Genre:  Action/Drama
Airs:  Fuji TV, Thursdays at 12:45am, starting July 9th
A huge earthquake rattles Tokyo, and a pair of siblings on a trip to see a robot exhibit in Odaiba must try to get home. They're assisted on their journey by a motorcyclist, a woman named Mari.


Title:   Umi Monogatari ~Anata ga Itekureta Koto~
Japanese Title:  うみものがたり〜あなたがいてくれたコト〜
Studio:  ZEXCS
Genre:  Fantasy
Airs:  CBC, Thursdays at 1:30am, starting June 25th
Marin and Urin are magical girls who live in the ocean, but they, like Disney's Ariel, yearn to live above the water. One day they retrieve a ring and decide to leave the water to deliver it to its owner. When the girls of the sea meet a girl of the skies, a high school student named Kanon, trouble occurs...

  • This fantasy anime is based on, of all things, a popular series of Pachinko machines. I wonder if the story was thought up by someone who was sitting there playing, making up stories for the characters he saw on the machine...
  • The two ocean girls, Marin and Urin, are voiced by Kana Asumi ( Hidamari Sketch 's Yuno) and Yui Horie (Love Hina's Naru) respectively, and Kanon will be voiced by Minako Kotobuki ( K-On! 's Tsumugi ).
  • Director Yuu Kou is best known for directing the Chrono Crusade anime, as well as the second and third seasons of Zero no Tsukaima .

Title:   Umineko no Naku Koro ni
Japanese Title:  うみねこのなく頃に
Studio:  Studio Deen
Genre:  Mystery/Drama
Airs:  Chiba TV, Thursdays at 1:30am, starting July 2nd
Set in 1986 on a secluded island called Rokkenjima, the head of the wealthy family that owns the island is nearing his own death. His family congregates on the island for an annual conference and to decide inheritances. Naturally, this develops into a murder mystery-- after a typhoon hits the island.


Title:   Weiß Survive
Japanese Title:  ヴァイス・サヴァイヴ
Studio:  Studio Hibari
Genre:  Adventure
Airs:  TBS, Saturdays at 1:25am, starting June 6th.
Young Takeshi and his female friend Michi play a card game called Weiß Schwarz. Astonishingly (don't these kids watch anime?!), they get sucked into an alternate world where they play the game not for fun, but to survive.

  • Like Umi Monogatari , this series isn't based on anything as typical as a manga or novel: it's based on a card game. The real card game, Weiß Schwarz, is an otaku card game full of characters and powers from other anime, like Zero no Tsukaima and Fate/Stay Night . I wonder if that'll carry over into the show?
  • Both Michi and Takeshi are being voiced by relative newbies to the voice acting world. SHE will be played by Izumi Kitta ( Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae 's Nozomi Bitou) and HE will be played by Nobuhisa Nakamoto (The Legend of Duo's Duo).
  • Director Iku Suzuki is no n00b, though; you may remember him as the director of the Oishinbo anime specials, Moonlight Mile , DearS , Dark Cat, Fake , and others.

Title:  Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou
Japanese Title:  よくわかる現代魔法
Studio:  Nomad
Genre:  Fantasy/Comedy
Airs:  BS11, Sundays at 12am, starting July 12th
You already know Koyomi Morishita, more or less: the clumsy high school first-year who people always think is a grade schooler because she's short and kind of ditzy. But in this case, Koyomi is a student at a magic school-- and she's the apprentice of one of the most powerful magicians in the world, Misa Anehara.

  • Gendai Mahou is based on writer Hiroshi sakurazaka and arist Miki Miyashita's manga o the same name.
  • Ai Nonaka, who played Konoka in Negima!? and Kafuka in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, is voicing Koyomi. Haruka Tomatsu , of To Love-Ru fame (she played Lala), will voice Misa.
  • The series will be helmed by Yasuhiro Kuroda, who directed Myself;Yourself and Kyouran Kazoku Nikki .

Title:   Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
Japanese Title:  懺・さよなら絶望先生
Studio:  Shaft
Genre:  Comedy
Airs:  TV Kanagawa, Sundays at 12:30am, starting July 5th.
I'M IN DESPAIR! It's been so long since Zetsubou has been in Japanese TV. (Over a year!) The story, if you haven't already heard, revolves around a teacher whose name can be re-written to spell out “Despair” in kanji, and he's the greatest pessimist who ever lived. His class consists of a colorful assortment of people, including a violent OCD girl, a girl who converses only by harsh txt messages, and the greatest optimist who ever lived. It's good fun.

  • This is the third season of the anime based on Kouji Kumeta's popular manga, which is currently being released in English by Del Rey and which you should definitely check out.
  • All of the important cast and crew are back, including director Akiyuki Shinbo and the voice cast, of course. (I don't think they'd even try to do more Zetsubou if they couldn't get the cast and Shinbo.) Oh, and animation production by Shaft, natch.

Whew-- and that's the end! Okay guys, I've done my incredibly lengthy job. Now here's yours: what shows interest you most?
Lanon June 29, 2009 at 10:46 a.m.
Intrigued and excited about

Bakemonogatari - vampires
Cannan - mystery
Kuruneko - yay for crazy cat ladies
Spice and Wolf II - medieval-esque fantasy hmmm...nothing like what I'm interested in... ;) Have to watch the first season though
Umineko no Naku Koro ni - mystery which sounds like it could turn into something like Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None which was really awesome
Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou - sounds like a fun, light fantasy series

Mystery and fantasy/supernatural shows seem to be my thing.
firepelt00on Aug. 3, 2009 at 10:19 p.m.

Well, let meh see...
Aoi Hana - Probably not... 
Bakemonogatari - I am kinda losing interest. 
CANAAN - I'll pass... 
Element Hunters - It is a show about elements and the 2 main characters personalities are like twins.... NO! 
Fight! Ippatsu Juuden-chan! - I'll pass. 
GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class - Ummm... No! 
Hetalia Axis Powers Second Season  - No
Kanamemo - No 
Kuruneko - I am good..... I get enough of the nekoness in my real life.....
NEEDLESS - I ABSOLUTELY  LOVE THIS SERIES..... For now atleast......
Princess Lover - I dropped it....... 
Sora no Manimani - I'll pass. 
Spice and Wolf 2 - I didn't watch the first series, but i showed interest in it before X3   
Taishou Yakyuu Musume - no
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 - It's kinda sad    :'(   I'll pass 
Umi Monogatari - No 
Umineko no naku Koro ni - No 
Weiss Survive - No 
Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou - No 
Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei - I never did finish the first season....... 
Summer animes just aren't meh thing anymore :'(


Dig Deeper into Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

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