Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Summer Anime 2021 Preview

2 months ago 58

It’s Summer time! And I’m making sure I avoid the Summer Curse™ by covering more jovial and upbeat shows. I’m not going to lie: some of this season’s shows look really really good. A weird mixture of intriguing drama and dumb-yet-entertaining sitcoms. Of course there’s the isekai shows that we expect every season now, but I definitely had a rough time narrowing my choices down to three. A few of them I will probably watch in my own time; while The Case Study of Vanitas and The Detective is Already Dead! look like maybes, The Honor Student at Magic High School (the spinoff of Mahouka starring the incestuous younger sister) is a definite, but Justin won’t let me cover that. But I was finally able to narrow my choices down to three, and here they are:

Remake Our Life!

Studio: feel.
Begins: Saturday. July. 03
(Available on Crunchyroll)

Hashiba is a video game developer who faces the possibility of his dream career ending when the company he works for goes bankrupt. Returning to his hometown, he finds himself regretting his life decisions and ends up in a state of depression. But one day he wakes up and realizes he’s a high school kid once again; the time where he made the choice to become a game developer. So he has the chance to make new life decisions and follow his real dreams, so he can won’t have to live to regret his life in the future.

Remake Our Life!
Remake Our Life!

We’ve had a handful of ‘time travel’ anime in the past, but I was drawn to this one because it looked far more casual and jovial than the others. Erased was a far more somber affair, and dealt with some very serious and uncomfortable issues, while Steins;Gate was far more dramatic and science-fiction based. Here in Remake Our Life!, our main protagonist is an average joe who faces a once-in-a-lifetime chance to better himself. We get our standard school humor, plus from what I can tell from the PV, we get a harem as well. This is a science-fiction show, yes, but the comedy and slice-of-life appear to both take more of the center stage. Something like this is refreshing to see, so I’m hoping that this show will turn out alright.

Episode 1 plans to be an hour long as well, which is interesting to hear. I know nothing else about the story, so this has definitely got me curious.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S

Studio: Kyoto Animation
Begins: Wednesday. July. 07
(Available on Crunchyroll)

So season 2 of the beloved Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid comes at last, and while it’s been a wait, we should all remember what Kyoto Animation has had to go through in the last 24 or so months. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S will be Kyoto Animation’s first anime TV show after the terrible arson attack in 2019. And while Tatsuya Ishihara will be directing this season, the director of season 1, Yasuhiro Takemoto, who sadly lost his life in the attack, will be credited posthumously in memory.

This second season carries on where it left off; Tohru is still desperate to take Kobayashi’s heart, Kanna is still being Kanna, Lucoa is still doting over poor Shouta, while all Kobayashi wants is some peace and quiet in her new family unit. The end of the first season meant Tohru and Kanna got to meet Kobayashi’s family. Of course no one has really questioned that dragons and immortal beings are roaming free and living regular lives with them.

Season 2 brings us a new character, in the form of Ilulu, another dragon belonging to the Chaos faction, just like Tohru and Kanna. She comes to the mortal realm with the plan to eliminate Tohru, after finding out that a lowly mortal like Kobayashi was willing to risk her life in order to protect Tohru from being taken away by her father (see season 1 for that). Considering how Elma’s attempt to eliminate Tohru failed spectacularly, I can easily predict that Ilulu will end up living with them all, and be a part of the big family. I don’t know that much about the manga, but Ilulu is a character that makes a big appearance later on, so I’m hoping that she’ll make just as much a one here in season 2.

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid

It’ll be just like the show had never left and I’m hoping that Kyoto Animation will be able to move on and continue the quality work they constantly put out. Their Free! franchise will be ending soon, they have plans for a show set in the Meiji era that was put on hold (20th Century Electrical Catalog), and a third season of Sound! Euphonium has also been greenlit.

The Aquatope on White Sand

Studio: P.A Works
Begins: Thursday. July. 08
(Available on Crunchyroll)

Before starting A Lull In The Sea back in the Winter season, I had looked down on the P.A Works trademarked melodrama a little, as I thought it was a bit overwhelming and dominated their shows. But as episodes went by, I could see how central that melodrama was; each character had their own happy and tragic stories to tell, and we got to see all of them. So after that out-of-season pick, I thought this new outing by P.A Works looked interesting. Just as I was finishing this post, I found out that this new show is directed by Toshiya Shinohara, the very same guy who directed A Lull In The Sea.

The Aquatope on White Sand
The Aquatope on White Sand

I’m drawn to shows set by the seaside, and being someone who has always lived by the sea may or may not have something to do with that. Here in The Aquatope on White Sand, we’re going to Okinawa. The show focuses on two girls, local girl Kukuru and city girl Fuuka. Kukuru claims that the aquarium her family owns lets visitors see mysterious things. Fuuka has come to Okinawa from Tokyo as she has given up on her idol dream and wants to escape from the hustle and bustle. So as the two of them work together at the aquarium to try and keep the place from closure.

As we see by the official trailer, the story really wants to emphasize on losing dreams and chasing them. It reminds me a lot of Hanasaku Iroha and Sakura Quest, both set in the countryside with main protagonists’ lives changing for the better. On the other hand though, I look at the plot of this show and am also reminded of the truly dire Glasslip – another summer P.A Works piece that revolved around main characters chasing dreams and mysteries.

Will The Aquatope on White Sand fall into the Glasslip trap though? Will it end up being hot garbage? Or will it actually be a decent P.A Works show? Well whatever it ends up being, it’ll be full of that trademark P.A Works melodrama – that much I can predict already. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

I made the decision not to do my regular Twitter poll for you guys to suggest an out-of-season show for me to watch for this Summer season. Instead I have picked it myself:

Girlish Number

Studio: Diomedea
(Available on HIDIVE and home video)

I covered this show for a Japanese culture site I used to write for when this got a UK home video release. I enjoyed it immensely, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen it, so I thought I’d revisit it.

Chitose Karasuma is an up-and-coming voice actress who despite having been in the business for a year or so, can see how rotten to the core the anime industry really is. She tries to keep a positive attitude, but is ultimately very cynical, selfish and ungrateful. After getting bit roles for little-known shows and OVAs, Chitose lands a main character role for the show Millennium Princess x Kowloon Overlord…this show should exist, by the way. Girlish Number‘s story revolves around the making of this Millennium Princess x Kowloon Overlord anime. Thanks to the incompetence of the producers and staff, the show is beset with delays, meaning all the cast can do is photo shoots and radio spots. All the staff seem to care about is how much money the show will make, instead of how good it turns out to be. This is definitely something we see a lot in real-life anime production.

Girlish Number
Girlish Number

I loved how Chitose remains the center of this show, and how we get to see how much of a character she really is. She’s a spoiled brat who constantly demands praise, believes she has a massive amount of talent as a voice actress despite being so inexperienced, and often blames others for the fact that she can’t make it big.

Sayaka Senbongi voices Chitose, and this is one of her first big roles as well, so I like how this indirectly mirrors the show. Also in Japan, the light novel/manga/show was stylized as ‘gi(a)rlish number‘, as the words ‘girlish’ and ‘garish’ sound almost the same in Japanese. This is a very subtle play on what we see in the character design and the show these guys are producing – feminine, yet very flashy and showy. This is a laugh-out-loud show with black humor, but I think it’s not a show everyone will flock to. I’m really looking forward to revisiting this though, if only to watch Chitose being a real brat again.

Girlish Number

The Tokyo Olympics will take place during this season as well, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we get some delays here. After what happened in real-life in the Spring, I’m hoping to get back into trash talking anime shows that, in truth, I really enjoy. What are your Summer picks though? Big franchises are still going strong, plus we’re getting the usual amount of isekai shows, so will you be catching them? Feel free to hit that like button and air your opinions in the comments below!

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