Six Anime to Check Out This Summer (Until More Anime Series Are Released)
Ah sh*t here we go again.
Ah, anime, the medium that kickstarts their summer season and makes me wonder, “When did the spring season come to an end?!” A lot of the series I called myself keeping up with during spring have ended and new series have begun. I’m so sorry, spring series I’m halfway through, but there’s a man in the middle of having an existential crisis while he’s singing the alphabet song to a group of starry-eyed children on a television program—among other new, and still ongoing, series.
This isn’t even all the summer has to offer as there are more series on the horizon later this season, but these are six that I think you should keep your eye on.
Synopsis: Just after winning a national water polo title in his third year of junior high, a car accident left Minato Kiyomizu in a coma. Nearly a year passes before he awakes, but with no memory of junior high. Now in high school with a fresh start, he leaves the sport behind, but a promise has him returning to it. However, his new team is weak, and that’s just a sign for more problems to come.
Where to watch: Funimation
Watch this series if you are in the mood for: a sports anime with a tragic twist where the main character can’t remember his time playing the sport he loved. If you’re like me you’re used to seeing a sports anime with a champion protagonist, or even a protagonist who isn’t interested in the sport but warms up to it eventually. RE-MAIN is kind of a combination of both. Minato is good at water polo on a “winning nationals and making it into magazines” level … he just doesn’t remember any of it, nor does he remember any of the friendships he nurtured from it. He’s starting over from scratch and honestly thinks that it’s way too difficult, but he can’t deny the disappointed looks on his family’s face. It’s not just him going back to water polo to get back the time he lost, but to try to restore the relationship he had with his family to bring back some semblance of normalcy after his coma.
This adds an unbelievable amount of pressure to Minato since he isn’t playing just for the fun of it, he’s playing to try to make things right again (after he stops running away from it, of course). I expect some hard-hitting lessons of not being able to go back to the old days, of adjusting to life as it is now, and doing things for yourself and not for the expectations others have of you.
Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan
Synopsis: Being an adult is hard. For 31-year-old Uramichi Omota, that depressing truth weighs on him. While on TV, he’s an upbeat exercise instructor for a children’s show, but sometimes he can’t keep his sardonic comments to himself. Even his coworkers, a pair of mascots and a singing duo, keep revealing the plight of adulthood on air. Regardless, they’re working through it one a day at a time.
Where to watch: Funimation
Watch this series if you are in the mood for: a series that unapologetically revels in the fact that being an adult sucks. Uramichi doesn’t sugarcoat things, he’s having a miserable existence but has to try and keep up appearances because he works on a TV program where he’s supposed to embody sunshine and/or rainbows. Think Sesame Street meets this guy:
Part 3 of all of them pic.twitter.com/bM9kdOphPb
— Scott Seiss (@ScottSeiss) June 30, 2021
To add more salt to the salt, Uramichi and his coworkers are skilled in their respective fields. For example, Uramichi is a gymnast, so he really does know how to do the exercises he’s set to do; he just didn’t plan on doing it repetitively just to get children to laugh on network television. We don’t always get what we want in life, and Uramichi is here to make sure that these kids know the dismal truth about the future.
Sometimes, the place you work is a piece of shit, and you smile through it because you have no other prospects. Now let’s sing the alphabet song!
The Case Study of Vanitas
Synopsis: It’s 19th-century Paris, and young vampire Noé hunts for the Book of Vanitas. Attacked by a vampire driven insane, a human intercedes, rescues Noé, and heals the sick creature. Commanding the book and calling himself Vanitas, this doctor tempts Noé with a mad crusade to “cure” the entire vampire race. Allying with one who wields arcane power so easily may be dangerous, but does he have a choice?
Where to watch: Funimation
Watch this series if you are in the mood for: attractive shippable men, gorgeous art, and vampires. The chemistry between Noé and Vanitas is pure a03 bait, like, the ending theme does the “falling toward you in slow motion” trope with lyrics like “you make me whole.”
I see you, anime.
The lore in Vanitas is interesting, too. The stories say that he was seen as an ill omen to the rest of the vampires and driven away because of it. This led to him vowing to seek vengeance against all the other vampires, however, the Vanitas we meet is human and declares that he will save vampires. It turns out the Vanitas we meet had the “Vampire of the Blue Moon” pass his name and book down to him and he’s determined to “cure” all vampires, as they are currently being infected and turning into ravenous, dangerous creatures.
What’s really intriguing is how the first episode ends with Noé kinda spoiling the series? He reveals that his journey with Vanitas is starting and that, in the future, he’d go on to slay Vanitas himself. The rest of the series will, presumably, show how we get to that point.
I’m wondering what Vanitas’ definition of “cure” is when we know, right off the bat, that the Vanitas from the old stories straight up wants to get revenge against vampires. Is this cure a good thing? He’s saying that he’s going to save vampires, but how is that going to play out?
And when Noé says he “slays” Vanitas, does that mean he gets rid of him, or something else?
Synopsis: The curtain rises on the Kouka School of Musical and Theatrical Arts. Spotlight on Sarasa Watanabe, a starry-eyed 5’10” student who dreams of performing as Oscar, a male lead role. She forms an unlikely friendship with her new roommate, a former idol who now also hopes to join the all-female Kouka Acting Troupe. Together, they’re in for the role of a lifetime.
Where to watch: Funimation
Watch this series if you are in the mood for: an anime with a focus on theater, more specifically, the all-female acting troupes like the Takarazuka Revue. Also, I predict an incredible homage to The Rose of Versailles since that’s the play the girls are participating in, our tall queen Sarasa vying for the lead role of Oscar.
I also predict a lot of commentary about how women are expected to act as entertainers as Ai (Sarasa’s roommate) is a jaded former idol who decides to attend the school since it means not having to deal with men (besides the teachers). Ai is someone who lost her idol status after she dared to call a male fan “creepy” for, well, being a creep. But there’s an expectation with female idols to keep smiling, even if they’re uncomfortable, so much so that the other students already have a poor image of Ai because of what she did.
The spotlight isn’t the problem, it’s the expectations that come with it, but Sarasa already feels like someone who will stand firm in her convictions – expectations be damned. Sarasa’s optimistic attitude is immediately infectious and she has no problem with challenging the status quo. She stands out among the girls (literally) and she completely embraces it compared to Ai wanting to be left alone. She and Ai are polar opposites, but you already get the sense that Ai is going to learn to love the spotlight again because of Sarasa.
My Hero Academia – new incoming arcs!
Synopsis: During the joint training with Class 1B, Deku unlocked a new quirk from one of the past One For All users. Hoping to hone his newfound ability, Deku, along with Bakugo and Todoroki, head off to do an internship with the number one hero, Endeavor. While that’s going on, trouble is brewing on the horizon, the “seeds of disaster” being planted as the villains move forward.
Where to watch: Funimation and Crunchyroll
Watch this next arc(s) if you are in the mood for: VILLAINS!
As someone who reads this series weekly, these incoming arcs are HUGE for the story as a whole. If you’ve been wondering what the villains have been up to since season 4 (that’s the last time we saw the League), now is the time to get caught up with the anime. Season 5 started out on kind of a light, almost fun note, with it actually feeling like a hero academy where the biggest concern was learning how to be a hero. As you can see from that trailer, the villains are ready to come in and derail all of that, as villains tend to do.
Tokyo Revengers – new incoming arc!
Synopsis: Now that Draken has been saved, Takemichi returns to the future and is happy to see that Hina is alive… for only a few hours. Rescuing Draken didn’t save Hina, and Takemichi has been forced to witness her die right before his eyes in an arguably more brutal fashion. This has made him more determined to save her, leading to a bold declaration: Takemichi will return to the past to take over Toman!
Where to watch: Crunchyroll
Watch this next arc if you are in the mood for: more Takemichi trying to make sense of things and realizing that nothing about any of this is going to be easy. As someone who has read the manga, I can tell you that this next arc (and honestly, all the arcs to come) is big. If you watched the fight with Mobius and wanted to know more about the members of Toman that the camera zoomed in on, this upcoming arc is the start of it. We’re going to get more in-depth with Toman, find out what’s going on with the next rival gang (Valhalla), and, frankly, get attached to a lot more characters.
Those are my six picks at the moment! As more series are released (or as I get time to watch what’s been released) there will, most likely, be more anime to discuss. What series are you looking forward to this summer, or hell, what are you finishing up from the spring?
(Image: Gaku Kuze/Studio Blanc)
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