With the Summer 2014 anime season imminent, we will be taking a look through the best and worst upcoming series set to premiere this season. We will be detailing which series you should watch, which series you should consider and which series you should avoid all means necessary. So without further adieu, here is SnapThirty’s handy Summer 2014 anime season watch guide.
These are the series that look to be the cream of the crop, these are the series that you must watch:
Terror in Resonance (Studio MAPPA, July 11th)
Shinichiro Watanabe is back with a psychological thriller and it is called Terror in Resonance. The series focuses on a mysterious terrorist attack on Japan. When the only clue to the culprit is a vague online video, the population is left with few answers regarding the attack and the entire nation is left feeling one thing: terror in resonance.
The series itself looks great and marks the second Watanabe work to come through Studio MAPPA following 2012’s Kids on the Slope. With a concept such as this and the man behind it, you can tell this is going to be a thought-provoking series to say the very least. It is a setting and genre that we haven’t yet seen the legendary director tackle and it makes it all the more interesting for it.
Terror in Resonance looks to be an intellectual anime in all regards and of all the anime hitting the airwaves in Summer 2014, it carries the greatest sense of purpose. This is a series that has something to say and if Watanabe’s past works are anything to go by we should listen up.
Space Dandy Season 2 (BONES, July 6th)
Following the critically acclaimed first season of Space Dandy, it isn’t any wonder why Space Dandy Season 2 is a must watch series for Summer 2014. The first season broke ground in anime, reinventing the comedy genre and taking it to places that are quite literally out of this world.
With Shinichiro Watanabe at the helm of the project you can always trust that the series will be something special and following the first season, things can only get better from there.
Look for Space Dandy to answer questions raised in its first season all the while leaving you in stitches gasping for air with its wicked sense of humour.
Akame ga Kill! (White Fox, July 7th)
From the same studio that brought us Steins;Gate, Akame ga Kill doesn’t exactly show that history in its aesthetics.That being said, the series has its own unique look that is truly distinct and intriguing. The series takes place in a dark fantasy world where swordplay rules and life and death are constantly entangled by a trail of blood.
This dark fantasy series looks to be one of the more thrilling action anime in quite some time and it may very well be this season’s big hit. It’s got an interesting concept, an engrossing setting and fits the bill of an anime blockbuster if I’ve ever saw one.
The series is based upon a popular manga and has quite an impressive following, this has the makings of a mainstream hit and I for one am very interested to see what the world of Akame ga Kill has in store for viewers.
Glasslip (P.A. Works, July 3rd)
In a quiet seaside town there lives a young girl with a dream, to be a great glass artisan. Along with her friends Toko Fukami begins to explore the wonderful world of glass artistry in this quirky slice-of-life series from P.A. Works.
While on paper this show looks like a throwaway, it looks like it has the potential to be a sleeper hit for Summer 2014. It has a great cast and with the guys behind Nagi no Asakura and the brilliant Eccentric Family working on it, Glasslip is bound to be something special.
Glasslip is offbeat in every way, it has an air of a summer’s breeze about it that feels right at home this season. Could an anime about glass art be the surprise hit of the Summer? I think that it might just be!
These are the series that look like they could be worth considering watching, they may not be obvious standouts but there is a chance they could be something special:
Tokyo Ghoul (Studio Pierrot, July 4th)
Studio Pierrot don’t exactly have the greatest track record in recent history and while Tokyo Ghoul does look interesting, there is the potential for it to be a mess if Pierrot don’t land the execution The series looks to be as dark as it get but there seems to be something missing from it. What exactly that is isn’t immediately apparent but it may become so once it begins airing.
The series revolves around strange creatures called ‘Ghouls’ appearing in Japan and eating people. A university student named Kaneki Ken has finally got his life falling into place and even fallen in love with a beautiful girl, unfortunately for him she turns out the be a ‘Ghoul’ and things turn sour from there.
There are some interesting concepts at play here in Tokyo Ghoul but those very concepts can make or break a series like this if not executed correctly. For that reason Tokyo Ghoul is worth your consideration but it just falls short of being a must-watch series.
Free! Eternal Summer (Kyoto Animation, July 3rd)
After making quite a splash in Summer last year, the buff boys of Free! are back for a second lap in Free! Eternal Summer. If you watched any of the first season you’d no doubt know that this is a series heavily aimed towards the ladies. As such it is difficult to recommend to the boys.
As far as sports anime series go Free! is decent to a large extent. It falls into the trap of indulging far too much in fan-service and ends up with a fairly weak plot to hang its swim cap on, but for fans of the first season Free! Eternal Summer is definitely worth considering for a look in.
Free! Eternal Summer looks to hit the pools harder than the first season and for fans of Free! that is probably more than enough to quench their thirst. For anyone else though, proceed with caution on this one.
Sword Art Online II (A-1 Pictures, July 5th)
Following on from the lackluster Elfeim arc that concluded the first season of the immensely popular Sword Art Online anime series, Sword Art Online II has a lot of course correction to attend to.
Now set within yet another MMO game, this time called Gun Gale Online, Kirito at the behest of the Japanese government must investigate the connection between in-game deaths and a series of mysterious real-life deaths. Why Kirito of all people? Well because he is like so good at games and stuff. Oh also Kirito is a girl now just for kicks I suppose.
Considering the ridiculous concept behind this second season, this is one series that I must advise some caution with. It may be worth giving the three episode trial, but if it drops the ball then its time to drop the series.
Ao Haru Ride (Production I.G, July 8th)
As far as shoujo series go, Ao Haru Ride is one of the top shoujo manga going right now. The series has hit home for many young girls who just want to be themselves in a society that imposes expectations upon them. However the series is a little odd in the fact that it focuses on a super cute girl who is bullied for being ‘too cute’.
She ultimately decides the change her image and reset herself upon entering high school. It is a bit of a conflicting tale considering the series ‘be yourself’ message. Which is what makes it somewhat of a hard series to determine whether it will be good or not. It seems to fall into all of the standard shoujo tropes but at the same time there is something about the series that seems fresh.
This one looks to be a mixed bag but could be one of the better series for the ladies this season. Definitely worth consideration.
Rail Wars (Passione, July 4th)
I’ll be honest here, this one is bordering on the ‘avoid’ territory. It looks genuinely silly and brimming with fan-service, but Rail Wars seems so self-aware of how ridiculous it is and just revels in it gloriously.
I know it is a weird comparison to make but Rail Wars has the same sort of self-awareness that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has. It knows that it is stupid but it commits to it so hard that it skips past being bad and leaps to being good.
Of course a series like this is not for everyone and the laughable plot of warring rail systems is likely enough to turn most away. I’d say Rail Wars is still worth a look in just to see how silly it can get. This one looks like it could wind up being a lot of fun and for that alone I’ll be giving it a test run for a few episodes. Definitely a series on the borderline but it just screams fun and I can’t deny it a look in.
These are the series that look just plain bad and you’d be best served by avoiding them at all costs:
Shonen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 49 (ZEXCS, July 6th)
Pretty boy idols doing pretty boy things in an alternate world that seems to revolve entirely around pretty boys.
This is bottom of the barrel stuff here and with ZEXCS inconsistent history, this looks like it may fall more into the best left forgotten parts of the ZEXCS archives right besides Aku no Hana.
Shonen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 49 sounds awful and looks it too. I wouldn’t even recommend this to the ladies. This is a poor man’s Uta no Prince-sama and it reeks of it. Avoid Shonen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 49 like ZEXCS avoided using any level of effort in putting together this show.
Love Stage!! (J.C. Staff, July 10th)
Asinine yaoi anime at its worst. For starters if you don’t like yaoi, don’t even look at Love Stage!! twice because that is what it is. To make matters worse it tells the tale of rich pretty boys who become attracted to one another while on set filming a commercial.
If anyone can relate to that scenario in any then maybe just maybe Love Stage!! is for them. But honestly this is just a cheap yaoi fandom cash-in at best and is not even worth yaoi fans time. It has all the makings of a bad yaoi fan-fic except worse.
To think that something as half-hearted and as blatant a cash-in as Love Stage!! comes from the same studio that produced the unforgettable romance comedy Toradora is a damn tragedy. Talk about a step down. Avoid this one like the plague.
Did we miss an anime you are looking forward to for Summer 2014? If so let us know what you are looking forward to watching in the comments section below. Do you agree with our watch guide? Let us know!