Summer 2014 SF Anime Preview


Akame ga KILL! (Akame Kills!)

The premise: A girl raised as an assassin and a boy trying to help his village team up to fight corruption and evil.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Hard to see anything very special in it; the manga is said to be good for action fans, but the character designs and plot look pretty generic.

Premiere: July 6



The premise: In 1972, a portal to Mars was discovered on the moon. Now the Martian settlers are at war with Earth.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: It looks highly ambitious, but with an all-star team lined up, this should be a solid show.

Premiere: July 12


Bakumatsu Rock

The premise: In the waning days of the Tokugawa shogunate (the mid-19th century), rebels fight it with the power of rock music.

Derivative factor: Game adaptation

The buzz: Well, rock music in the 19th century. Either you can manage to accept it, or you can’t. If you can, this will probably still be insanely bad, but a really fun kind of insanely bad.

Premiere: July 2


Black Butler: Book of Circus

The premise: A boy whose parents were murdered has made a deal with a demon who serves as his butler.

Derivative factor: Continuing manga adaptation

The buzz: After adapting the first part of the manga, the series produced a second season with completely different characters who were original to TV. Here, it picks up the manga again. Fans of the manga are very happy.

Premiere: July 10


Francesca: Girls Be Ambitious

The premise: Hokkaido’s undead moe pop idol mascot helps protect it from the risen zombies of the Bakumatsu-era secret police.

Derivative factor: Based on a pre-existing mascot

The buzz: The Hokkaido tourism bureau thinks it has a terrific new way to promote tourism. Anime fandom does not expect great things to result.

Premiere: TBA


Invaders of the Rokujyōma!?

The premise: A high-school student renting a cheap room (rokujōma = “six-mat room”, describing its size) finds himself beset with magical girls, ghosts, aliens, etc.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Standard harem comedy. Next!

Premiere: July 11


Momo Kyun Sword

The premise: A gender-swapped reimagining of the legend of Momotarō.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: The artwork certainly leaves no doubt about what the animators are planning to make its biggest, um, feature.

Premiere: July 8


Nobunaga Concerto

The premise: A high-school jock falls back in time to the Warring States Era, where he turns out to be a perfect double of Nobunaga Oda.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Nobunaga AGAIN? Come ON, Japan.

Premiere: July 11


Rail Wars!

The premise: In an alternate timeline where Japan’s railways were never privatized, a teenage boy enters training for a prestigious job on the rail security force. Meanwhile, extremists plot to… privatize the railways!

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Many aspects of the show look undistinguished, but everyone is intrigued by how it will take that setup and get all the fighting implied by the promos.

Premiere: July 3


Sailor Moon Crystal

The premise: A teenage girl transforms into a magical soldier who must save a princess and defend Earth from evil.

Derivative factor: Manga re-adaptation

The buzz: A brand-sparkling-new, high-definition, more faithful adaptation of the iconic anime of the 1990s? Shut up and take our money!

Premiere: July 5


Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen (All-Silver Argevollen)

The premise: A teenage boy pilots a special mecha.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: With hardly any information to go on, probably mecha fans will like this and everyone else will skip it. Unless it reveals some crazy twist in the first episode.

Premiere: July 3


Space Dandy 2

The premise: A space adventurer and his robot and alien companions are back for more of whatever they were up to in the first season.

Derivative factor: Sequel

The buzz: If you liked season 1, watch. If you didn’t, don’t expect it to be any different.

Premiere: July 6


Sword Art Online II

The premise: A teenage gamer probes goings-on in a gun-based MMO where in-game deaths may cause real ones.

Derivative factor: Continuing light novel adaptation

The buzz: The first part of Sword Art Online was extremely popular and there’s no reason this won’t be too.

Premiere: July 5


Tokyo ESP

The premise: A teenage girl suddenly develops the power to move through solid objects, and uses it to fight crime.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: The manga is enjoyable and the show doesn’t look bad. Moderate expectations.

Premiere: July 11


Tokyo Ghoul

The premise: Ghouls which subsist on human flesh hide among us in human form. One day, a teenage boy somehow gets an implant which turns him into a ghoul/human hybrid.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Lots of excitement, with the only big worry being that it’ll be a single season and have to come up with some contrived way of wrapping up that isn’t based on the manga.

Premiere: July 3


Zankyō no Terror (Resonant Terror)

The premise: Two mysterious boys execute a terrorist attack that destroys much of Tokyo.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: You may not be able to make it out in this image, but the skyline is highlighted by two tall towers on fire. This one wants to grab people’s attention, and it’s got it.

Premiere: July 10

Out of that lineup, I’d say my highest hopes are reserved for Sailor Moon Crystal, Aldnoah.Zero, and Zankyō no Terror, while Bakumatsu Rock and Rail Wars! are filed under Probably Terrible But Must See Anyway. What are you looking forward to?

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