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Summer 2017 Preview

Summer is fast approaching, but in sunny Singapore, that means little, seeing how the weather has been mimicking the season since last December, with little respite in sight. The change in seasons also translates to an update in what anime titles are airing. The tentative schedule seems promising and I'll even have the privilege of catching some of these episodes as they air thanks to my upcoming trip to Japan. Some old favourites are returning with a second season while there's the usual host of manga and light novel adaptations. These are just a few of the titles that I'll be catching in the coming months but as usual, I'm prepared to be surprised by the seasonal sleeper hits and cult favourites.

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

An adaptation of the wildly popular browser game and by Ufotable of Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works fame, nonetheless. I'm looking forward to action-packed fight scenes, stellar CGI and attractive character designs. I haven't played the browser game but I do know that the swordsmen themselves are based off actual katanas, knives and other famous Japanese blades, much like Kantai Collection's anthromorphised ship girls. The previous Touken Ranbu adaptation by Doga Koba was a lighthearted, slice-of-life anime instead so for fans who prefer more violence and bloodshed, the upcoming Katsugeki Touken Ranbu will be right up your alley.

New Game!!

Speaking of Doga Kobo, I enjoyed their adaptation of the 4-koma manga centered around a group of cute girls creating video games. The second season will be much more of the same, with the promotional poster already screaming 'moe'. It also seems to imply that protagonist and newbie character designer Suzukaze Aoba will provide the inspiration for a new video game this time round. The rest of the staff from Eagle Jump will be appearing again so you can expect the same running jokes and hilarious interactions between the characters.


Admittedly, this is my least favourite spinoff of Fate/Stay Night due to my unfamiliarity with the light novel series. On the flip side, I do know and like most of the characters through the mobile game Fate/Grand Order so I won't be blindsided when the fights break out. And fights there will be, due to the format of Fate/Aprocrypha's Holy Grail War featuring a total of 14 Servants duking it out compared to the 7 seen in the original Fate/Stay Night. Fate/Apocrypha features a brand new cast of Masters and Servants. Good news for those who're tired of seeing Lancer in his blue tights and Saber yelling 'Excalibur' at the top of her lungs.

Ballroom e Youkoso

I've recently reviewed the manga, having blazed through all 40-odd chapters already. I'm stoked that Production I.G is the studio handling the anime adaptation thanks to their experience in adapting sports manga. Kuroko no Basuke and Haikyuu!! have convinced me that they are more than up to the task of translating Ballroom e Youkoso's panels into fluid animation. I also hope that Production I.G manages to retain Takeuchi Tomo's creative use of watercolours, shading and blurred lines when the characters dance. Competitive ballroom dancing has not been tackled in anime and manga, at least in recent years so Ballroom e Youkoso is a breath of fresh air for the sports genre.


One of my fellow writers reviewed the manga and I'm more than impressed by the stunning artwork. I'm reminded of Kaiji and Liar Game when I read the review and synopsis, thanks to the protagonist's compulsive gambling tendencies and tactical genius. I just hope that the games are as creative as the ones in Liar Game and that the stakes involved will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

Saiyuki Reload Blast

I've been a sucker for Journey to the West ever since I was a kid, lapping up various adaptations of the classic Chinese tale. Saiyuki provided a gritty take on the myth, showcasing a Tang Sanzang who smokes, drinks and gambles and a Zhu Bajie who is hardly fat and ugly. The manga is still running, having spawned a number of anime adaptations already. I've enjoyed each of these adaptations through the years and I hope the upcoming one will be just as entertaining. It's one of those things I just can't get bored of.

These anime are just a few that stood out while I was browsing through the Summer airing schedule. There are a few promising ones that I might have missed out on and heck, even some of the titles that I'm looking forward to might turn out to be duds. Discovering what's good and bad is half the fun every season after all.

Written by ET

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