With July rapidly approaching, it’s time to escape the heat and dive into the search for the best summer anime. I went on a PV spree for what’s to come, and here are the ones that have caught my attention.
Ballroom e Youkoso (Welcome to the Ballroom)
Ballroom e Youkoso takes sports anime to a new level. Tatara Fujita, a third-year middle school student, doesn’t start out with dreams of being a dancer. He discovers a passion for it only after being rescued from bullies by Kaname Sengoku, the owner of a nearby dance studio. What follows is Tatara’s journey towards becoming a famous ballroom dancer. Created by the studio Production I.G., the art style draws heavily from its predecessor Haikyuu!! (crazy eyes and all), but the energy featured in most of its shows is sure to shine just as brightly in this anime.
Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni (In a Different World With a Smartphone)
I only just realized that Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni was a harem anime upon doing research for this review, but the story seems too good to pass up: after being accidentally killed, God apologizes to Touya Mochizuki by letting him live in an alternate fantasy world and granting him one wish. Touya’s wish is to keep his smartphone. The show’s fantastical elements and clueless otherworldly protagonist remind me of the early stages of Re:Zero, when the focus was more on exploring a new world (and less murder-centric). With any luck Isekai wa Smartphone’s light-hearted atmosphere carries through until the end, and it becomes its own kind of masterpiece.
Jikan no Shihaisha (Chronos Ruler)
As a huge fan of time travel anime, Jikan no Shihaisha is right up my alley. No one actually time travels, but the story revolves around Chronos Rulers, whose job is to defeat the demons that appear when lost souls start regretting their past actions. The personification of negative emotions is a recurring theme in anime (D. Gray-man comes to mind), but what piques my interest is Jikan no Shihaisha’s soundtrack. The opening theme is a forgettable rock song, but the PV features a wild and jazzy tune that rivals the stylings of Baccano! If the latter genre of music shines through, this anime is guaranteed to have some entertainment value.
Fate/Apocrypha is a much-awaited installment to the Fate series. It features another Holy Grail War, but the setting is a parallel world in which the Grail mysteriously disappeared after the Third War, only to be discovered many years later in the possession of the Mage’s Association. Fourteen Servants are summoned, and two factions emerge: the Black Faction, who strives to protect the Grail, and the Red Faction, who wishes to take it back. The PV features beautiful character designs and is packed with action, depicting an epic battle between the two groups. Based on producer Aniplex’s track record, I have high hopes that this show will deliver.
Isekai Shokudou (Restaurant to Another World)
The idea behind Isekai Shokudou is unique from anything else I have seen. At the heart of the anime is a restaurant called Nekoya, which is popular in the area for a wide range of dishes. However, every Saturday Nekoya closes to the public and is reserved for special guests from different walks of life. The plot sounds simple but intriguing, and the PV’s creative focus on the legend and not on introducing characters reinforces this mysterious vibe. Hopefully highlighting the show’s captivating concept is not a clever way of hiding its weak points.