List of Summer Season 2011 TV Anime in Japan

by Gia Manry, Jun 20th 2011

With 25 new anime series set to start in less than two weeks, ANN has put together all the most important information about each show, including directors, actors, studios, and— most importantly —plots, so that you can decide which shows you're interested in watching once the simulcast announcements start coming out. You can also check out our analysis of the season, including some pointers on new directors and particularly prolific themes and voice actors you'll be seeing throughout the summer. As always, watch for ANN's season preview guide, which will launch as new episodes come available in July.


Title: Baka to Test to Shōkanjū Ni!
Starts: TV Tokyo, Friday June 8 at 2:15 a.m. Japan Standard Time (JST)
Studio: SILVER LINK.
Genre: Comedy
Website: http://www.bakatest.com
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
In the first season of this goofy high school comedy, we met the members of class F— the lowest-rated class in their high school —who were trying to fight their way to the top rank, which would afford their class a better room and other resources. Literally; the twist that sets Baka and Test apart from other high school comedies (kinda) is that the school in which it's set features, for undisclosed reasons, a videogame-esque challenging system to allow an underdog class to compete with the spoiiled intelligencia.


Title: Blade
Starts: Animax, Friday July 1 at 10:00 a.m. JST
Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Action
Website: animax.co.jp/marvelanime/blade
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
The final— as far as we know —anime in a series of four collaborations between the U.S. comics studio Marvel and Japanese anime Studio MADHOUSE follows Blade, a half-vampire born from a woman who was pregnant when she was attacked by an undead. This particular iteration puts Blade, also known as the Daywalker, in Japan (of course), where he's tracking down the vampire who killed his mother: Deacon Frost. But Frost hasn't been sitting idle in a hot spring, either; he's been setting up his own vampire organization: Existence.


Title: Blood-C
Starts: MBS, Friday July 8 at 1:40 a.m. JST
Studio: Production I.G
Genre: Fantasy
Website: www.blood-c.jp/
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
The latest in Production I.G's variations-on-a-theme franchise features— as usual —a sword-wielding vampiric heroine named Saya. Beyond that it's hard to say what it will have in common with its predecessors, which include the 2000 horror/action film Blood: The Last Vampire and its more romantic, adventure-y television anime reworking, 2005's Blood+ What is known is that series regular Junichi Fujisaku is teaming up with famed manga creation team CLAMP to create the story and character designs of Blood-C, which means, at risk of sounding cliché, that anything could happen. Especially since I.G also has a Blood-C movie coming out in 2012.


Title: Dantalian no Shoka
Starts: TV Tokyo, Saturday July 16 at 2:25 a.m. JST
Studio: Gainax
Genre: Fantasy
Website: dantalian.tv
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
Based on a light novel series by Asura Cryin' author Gakuto Mikumo, Dantalian's hero Huey inherits his grandfather's estate. While exploring the old man's decrepit mansion, he finds a young woman named Dalian who turns out to be the key— or perhaps the gateway —to a world of supernatural trouble.


Title: Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
Starts: Chiba TV, Monday July 4 at 12:30 a.m. JST
Studio: Satellite
Genre: Slice-of-Life
Website: ikokumeiro.com
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
In the late 19th century, France— now home to the enormous Japan Exp —began a love affair with Japanese culture. Croisee (also titled La croisée dans un labyrinthe étranger, or "the cross in a foreign maze") tells the story of Yune, a young Japanese woman who winds up working in a family's shop in Paris during this time frame. Hinata Takeda, the illustrator of Gosick, created the manga that this anime series adapts.


Title: Itsuka Tenma no Kuro-Usagi
Starts: Teletama, Saturday July 9 at 1:05 a.m. JST
Studio: ZEXCS
Genre: Fantasy
Website: www.itsu-ten.jp
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
Positing itself as a "reverse school fantasy," Itsu-Ten revolves around Taito Kurogane, a young man who exchanged a promise with a vampire nine years prior to the start of the series...and then forgot about it. It may not sound so "reverse" after female vampire series like Rosario + Vampire, but the series comes from Takaya Kagami, the author of the Legend of the Legendary Heroes light novel series.


Title: Kaitō Tenshi Twin Angel - Kyun Kyun?Tokimeki Paradise!!
Starts: TV Kanagawa, Tuesday July 5 at 1:45 a.m. JST
Studio: J.C. Staff
Genre: Magical Girl
Website: twin-angel.tv
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
Voice actresses Mamiko Noto and Yukari Tamura return to the lead roles of Aoi Kannazuki and Haruka Minazuki in this pachinko-game-based anime, which also spawned a 2008 OAV series. (And, yes, there's also a classic hentai titled Twin Angels, so just get that out of your system.) In the original game, the two magical girls serve as "angels," now joined by a third, tsundere queen Rie Kugimiya's Kurumi Hazuki, as well as by two "twin phantoms" (voiced by Ryoka Yuzuki and Yui Horie). The twins are named Nine and Tesla Violet. Yes, Tesla. Take that, nerds!


Title: Kamisama Dolls
Starts: TV Tokyo, Wednesday July 5 at 1:30 a.m. JST
Studio: Brains Base
Genre: Fantasy
Website: www.kamisama-anime.jp
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
College kid Kyohei grew up a rural village that worships spirits known as kukuri, spirits who inhabit (in this series) strange, alien-looking vessels. Kyohei tried to escape by running away to Tokyo to go to school, but unfortunately, all the supernatural problems— plus his little sister Utau, the fugitive criminal Aki, and two kukuri —have followed him to the big city.


Title: Kami-sama no Memo-chō
Starts: AT-X, Saturday July 2 at 11:00 p.m. JST
Studio: J.C. Staff
Genre: Mystery
Website: www.kamimemo.com
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
The older-boy-meets-young-female-detective is becoming a rather familiar trope (see also: Gosick, and possibly this season's Dantalian no Shoka as well). Nonetheless, Narumi Fujishima serves as assistant to a rather unique moe-detective: Alice is a NEET (Not Engaged in Education or Training) who is also a shut-in (hikikomori). These social problems are well-documented in Japan and fascinating to Japan enthusiasts, it seems, but it remains to be seen exactly how the show will handle the&mdeash; the trailer released earlier this month doesn't give much away. Also of note: the series will premiere with an hour-long episode, rather than the usual 30 minutes.


Title: Manyū Hiken-chō
Starts: TBA
Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Genre: Action/Comedy
Website: oppaidaisuki.jp
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
If you were actually sad when last season's Sengoku Otome ended...or Hyakka Ryōran Samurai Girls from a couple of seasons before...or any of the Koihime Musō series...well, you get the idea. Manyū Hiken-chō follows the adventures of buxom swordswoman Chifusa Manyu during Japan's Edo era (17th to 19th century, roughly). Also, the show's website URL is infamous for meaning nothing more than "I love boobs."


Title: Mayo Chiki!
Starts: TBS, Friday July 8 at 1:55 a.m. JST
Studio: feel.
Genre: Comedy
Website: www.starchild.co.jp/special/mayochiki/
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
It's bad enough when you have a wealthy classmate (Kanade Suzutsuki, voiced by Eri Kitamura). And it's bad enough when that classmate has a butler (Konoe Subaru) who attends school with her. But then Kinjiro Sakamachi discovers that his classmate's butler is, in fact, a girl posing as a boy for reasons of her own. The anime is based on a light novel series by author Hajime Asano.


Title: MonHun Nikki Girigiri Airū-mura G
Starts: KIDS STATION, Friday July 1 at 10:54 p.m. JST
Studio: Geneon Universal
Genre: Adventure
Website: capcom.co.jp/monsterhunter/
pokapoka_airuG/anime.html
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
A series of anime shorts made for television, the series is set in the ever-popular (in Japan) Monster Hunter franchise and follows Airu, a feline monster. It's more or less a cute kids' comedy, as was its predecessor, 2010's MonHun Nikki Girigiri Airu Kiki Ippatsu. Naturally, the original series was developed to promote a then-new game, onHun Nikki Pokapoka Airu-mura.


Title: Morita-san wa Mukuchi
Starts: KBS Kyoto, Wednesday July 6 at 1:30 a.m. JST
Studio: Seven
Genre: Slice-of-Life
Website: www.takeshobo.co.jp/sp/moritasan/
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
If you check out Morita-san no Mukuchi's official site, you may notice that the actress playing protagonist Mayu Morita doesn't seem to get top billing: it's likely because the character isnearly silent, communicating largely by animated facial expressions. Don't worry, she's surrounded by chatty young high school ladies to fill the audio void, as it were.


Title: Natsume Yūjin-Chō San
Starts: TV Tokyo, Tuesday July 5 at 1:30 a.m. JST
Studio: Brains Base
Genre: Fantasy
Website: www.nasinc.co.jp/jp/natsume-anime
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
The third season in a charming franchise, Natsume Yūjin-Chō follows the adventures of teenager Takashi Natsume, who suffers from his ability to see spirits (it tends to weird out his would-be friends). In the first season, he moved into a family home, where he discovered that his grandmother had the same problem...except that she instead decided to abuse the local spirits and demons by collecting their names (usually by trickery), thus granting her the ability to call them at will. After finding her book of names— and being pestered by spirits who want them back —Natsume decides to make it his goal to return all of the names. It is of note that Kenichi Kanemaki, who served as series composer on the first two seasons, has departed; writer Sadayuki Murai, who wrote the scrreenplays for both Steamboy and Millennium Actress, is taking his place.


Title: Nekogami Yaoyorozu
Starts: AT-X, Saturday July 9 at 8:30 a.m. JST
Studio: AIC PLUS
Genre: Comedy
Website: www.mmv.co.jp/special/nekogami
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
Yuzu Komiya runs an antique shop in which local deities have a strange tendency to run amok. One such creature is Mayu, a cat god who leeches off of Yuzu and spends all day playing around. This comedy serves as a slice-of-weird-life, with a colorful variety of local gods visiting Yuzu and Mayu throughout the series. Think of it as a more colorful Kamichu!, if Kamichu! were a more standard comedy.


Title: No. 6
Starts: Fuji TV, Friday July 8 at 1:15 a.m. JST
Studio: BONES
Genre: Sci-Fi
Website: www.no-6.jp/#/main
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
Set in the near future (2013), the titular No. 6 refers to a model city. Protagonist Shion, who has been raised explicitly to become an "elite" member of society, winds up saving the life of a young boy who calls himself Nezumi ("rat") on his 12th birthday. Unsurprisingly, this strange moment changes his life forever. No. 6 joins Usagi Drop in Fuji TV's prominent Noitamina hour.


Title: Nurarihyon no Mago: Sennen Makyō
Starts: Tokyo MX, Sunday July 3 at 5:30 p.m. JST
Studio: Studio DEEN
Genre: Fantasy
Website: www.nuramago.jp
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
The second season of Viz Media's Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan features the continued adventures of Rikuo Nura, a 3/4ths demon destined to become his demon clan's leader, despite his own distaste for his demon side. The first season's director, Junji Nishimura, has departed from the project, leaving it in the hands of second-time director Michio Fukuda.


Title: Nyanpire The Animation
Starts: KIDS STATION, Wednesday July 6 at 11:00 p.m. JST
Studio: Gonzo
Genre: Fantasy
Website: www.nyanpire.jp
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Director: Takahiro Yoshimatsu (directorial debut; character design/animation director, Trigun; key animation, Dragon Ball Z)
  • Nyanpire (voice): Ami Koshimizu (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion's Kallen Stadtfeld, School Rumble's Tenma Tsukamoto)
  • Nyantenshi (voice): Jun Fukuyama (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion's Lelouch Lamperouge, Black Butler's Grell Sutcliffe)
Summary:
It may look like a Hello Kitty ripoff for the goth persuasion— and yeah, it pretty much is —but it's got some serious seiyuu starpower, cute designs, and is the first outing for famed animator Takahiro Yoshimatsu (also known as "Something Yoshimatsu") as a director. It also features the comic adventures of an adorable vampire kitten and his companions: angel cat Nyantenshi, normal kitty Chachamaru, and Masamunya, a cat whose look is loosely based on the historical figure of Japanese warlord Date Masamune.


Title: R-15
Starts: TV Kanagawa, Saturday July 9 (time to be determined)
Studio: AIC
Genre: Comedy
Website: kadokawa-anime.jp/R-15
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
R-15: it's not a new movie ratings system, it's the latest romantic comedy revolving around a guy with a weird hobby/career. In this case, high school student Taketo Akutagawa is, in fact, a pornographic novelist. In the story, based on a light novel series (if the characters look a bit familiar, spinoff specialist Takuya Fujima— of Weiß Survive and Negima!? neo fame —illustrated the original novel), Akutagawa enrolls at a school for geniuses where he runs into "risque trouble."


Title: Ro-Kyu-Bu!
Starts: AT-X, Friday July 1 at 11:30 p.m. JST
Studio: Project No.9×Studio Blanc
Genre: Comedy
Website: www.ro-kyu-bu.com
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
High schooler Subaru Hasegawa just wanted to join his school's basketball club— but it turns out that the team is inactive after the coach turned out to be an (alleged) lolicon. Exactly how this winds up getting Subaru a gig coaching five elementary school girls in the sport isn't exactly clear yet.


Title: Sacred Seven
Starts: MBS, Sunday July 3 at 2:30 a.m. JST
Studio: Sunrise
Genre: Fantasy
Website: www.sacred7.jp
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
17-year-old Alma Nidoshi has had to live with strangers for most of his life due to an incident in his past. One day Alma's carefree classmate Wakana Itou invites him to join their school's club devoted to ores, minerals, and crystals. He is also approached by Ruri, the very young CEO of a wealthy foundation, who tells him that he holds the power of the "Sacred Seven"...and calls a monster out to fight him.


Title: The IDOLM@STER
Starts: TBS, Friday July 8 at 1:30 a.m. JST
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Comedy
Website: www.idolmaster-anime.jp
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
Unlike 2007's iDOLM@STER: XENOGLOSSIA, who had the admittedly innovative idea of turning the popular Idolm@ster idol simulation game into a mech drama, The IDOLM@STER steps back the approach a notch: the new anime will simply follow the adventures of ten idol characters, largely voiced by well-known/popular Japanese singers and voice actresses— too many to list here.


Title: Usagi Drop
Starts: Fuji TV, Friday July 8 at 12:45 a.m. JST
Studio: Production I.G
Genre: Slice-of-Life
Website: www.usagi-drop.tv
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
Bachelor Daikichi attends his grandfather's funeral and winds up leaving with Rin, his grandpa's very young illegitimate daughter, upon realizing that no one else in the family is willing to take her on out of embarrassment. Usagi Drop (Yen Press is releasing the manga in English under the title Bunny Drop) is one of the two titles airing in the well-regarded Noitamina time slot on Fuji TV.

Title: Uta no Prince Sama— Maji Love 1000%
Starts: Tokyo MX, Sunday July 3 at 12:00 a.m. JST
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Website:
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
Serving perhaps as a counter to The IDOLM@STER, Uta no Prince Sama is based on a dating sim for female players. The story— a "slapstick" romantic comedy —follows heroine Haruka Nanami, who starts attending a performing arts high school and finds herself surrounded by hot guys who want to become idols.

Title: Yuruyuri
Starts: TV Tokyo, Tuesday July 5 at 2:00 a.m. JST
Studio: Dogakobo
Genre: Yuri
Website: yuruyuri.com
Notable Cast/Staff:
Summary:
Yes, Yuruyuri can be classified as a yuri title; the original manga (by Namori) runs in Ichijinsha's Comic Yuri Hime S in Japan. The story revolves around for high school girls who take over a club room— the tea ceremony club's —in order to launch a "Gokuraku-Bu" (literally "Paradise Club") aimed simply at having fun.

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