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List of Summer Season 2011 TV Anime in Japan

by Gia Manry,

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 Shokanju Ni!
Starts: TV Tokyo, Friday June 8 at 2:15 a.m. Japan Standard Time (JST)
Genre: Comedy
Website: http://www.bakatest.com
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Director: Shin Oonuma (Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts, ef: a tale of memories)
  • Series Composition: Katsuhiko Takayama (Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts, Mirai Nikki)
  • Ending Theme: Natsuko Aso (Yoku Wakaru Gendai Maho opening, Demon King Daimao ending)
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:
  • Director: Mitsuyuki Matsuhara (Chi's Sweet Home, Kobato.)
  • Series Composition/Screenplay: Kenta Fukasaku (Battle Royale, Yo-Yo Girl Cop)
  • Blade (voice): Akio Ohtsuka (Ghost in the Shell's Batou, Porco Rosso's Curtis)
  • Makoto (voice): Maaya Sakamoto (Arakawa Under the Bridge's Nino, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny's Lunamaria Hawke)
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:
  • Scenario Writer, Character Designer: CLAMP (mangaka, xxxHOLiC, X)
  • Director: Tsutomu Mizushima (xxxHOLiC, Squid girl)
  • Saya Kisaragi (voice): Nana Mizuki (Rosario + Vampire's Moka Akashiya, Shugo Chara!'s Utau Hoshina)
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:
  • Director: Yutaka Uemura (directorial debut; Assistant Unit Director, Gurren Lagann the Movie 2 - The Lights in the Sky are Stars)
  • Huey (voice): Daisuke Ono (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya's Itsuki Koizumi, Black Butler's Sebastian Michaelis)
  • Dalian (voice): Miyuki Sawashiro (Di Gi Charat's Puchiko, Strike Witches' Perrine-H. Clostermann
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:
  • Director: Kenji Yasuda (Shugo Chara!; storyboard, Fullmetal Alchemist)
  • Series Composition: Junichi Sato (creator, Princess Tutu; director, Aria the Animation)
  • Yune (voice): Nao Toyama (Star Driver's Tiger Sugatamae, The World God Only Know's Kanon Nakagawa)
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:
  • Director: Takashi Yamamoto (Nanatsuiro Drops; animation director, Pokémon)
  • Series Composition: Shigeru Morita (scenario, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed; script, Blood+)
  • Taito Kurogane (voice): Shinnosuke Tachibana (Romeo x Juliet's Benvolio, Black Butler's Soma
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: Kaito Tenshi Twin Angel - Kyun Kyun?Tokimeki Paradise!!
Starts: TV Kanagawa, Tuesday July 5 at 1:45 a.m. JST
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Magical Girl
Website: twin-angel.tv
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Director: Yoshiaki Iwasaki (Best Student Council, Love Hina)
  • Series Composition / Screenplay: Michiko Itou (Letter Bee, S.A)
  • Kurumi Hamazaki (voice): Rie Kugimiya (Fullmetal Alchemist's Al Elric, Hayate the Combat Butler's Nagi Sanzenin)
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:
  • Director: Seiji Kishi (My Bride is a Mermaid, Angel Beats!)
  • Music: Chiaki Ishikawa (.hack//SIGN vocals) & Masara Nishida (Kodomo no Jikan)
  • Kyohei Kuga (voice): Nobuhiko Okamoto (Maid-sama!'s Takumi Usui, Toaru Majutsu no Index's Accelerator)
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-Cho
Starts: AT-X, Saturday July 2 at 11:00 p.m. JST
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Mystery
Website: www.kamimemo.com
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Director: Katsushi Sakurabi (Lunar Legend Tsukihime, Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru)
  • Narumi Fujishima (voice): Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Hourou Musuko's Riku Seya, Battle Spirits: Brave's Rugain)
  • Alice (voice): Yui Ogura (Yumeiro Patissiere's Mint, .hack//Quantum's Hermit)
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: Manyu Hiken-cho
Starts: TBA
Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Genre: Action/Comedy
Website: oppaidaisuki.jp
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Director: Hiraku Kaneko (Seikon no Qwaser; key animation, Honey and Clover)
  • Series Composition: Seishi Minakami (Occult Academy; screenplay, Paprika)
  • Chifusa Manyu (voice): Minako Kotobuki (Toaru Kagaku no Railgun's Mitsuko Kongo, Tiger & Bunny's Karina Lyle/Blue Rose)
If you were actually sad when last season's Sengoku Otome ended...or Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls from a couple of seasons before...or any of the Koihime Musou series...well, you get the idea. Manyu Hiken-cho 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:
  • Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi (Hayate the Combat Butler, Sket Dance)
  • Konoe Subaru (voice): Yuka Iguchi (Fractale's Enri, Toaru Majutsu no Index's Index
  • Kinjiro Sakamachi (voice): Satoshi Hino (Naruto Shippuden's Sai, Shakugan no Shana's Yuuji)
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 Airu-mura G
Starts: Kids Station, Friday July 1 at 10:54 p.m. JST
Studio: Geneon Universal
Genre: Adventure
Website: capcom.co.jp/monsterhunter/
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Director; character designer; Puni (voice): Benpineko (director, voice actor: Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan)
  • Co-director, character designer: Koutarou Yamawaki (key animator, Peach Girl, Lamune)
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:
  • Director: Naotaka Hayashi (directorial debut; key animation, KissxSis; scenario supervisor, Steins;Gate)
  • Script: Ryou Karasuma (anime debut)
  • Mayu Morita (voice): Kana Hanazawa (Angel Beats!'s Tenshi, Durarara!!'s Anri Sonohara)
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 Yujincho 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:
  • Director: Takahiro Omori (Natsume Yujincho, Princess Jellyfish)
  • Series Composition: Sadayuki Murai (Moryo no Hako; screenplay, Millennium Actress)
  • Takashi Natsume (voice): Hiroshi Kamiya (Angel Beats!'s Yuzuru Otonashi, Macross Frontier's Michel Blanc)
The third season in a charming franchise, Natsume Yujincho 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:
  • Director: Hiroaki Sakurai (Cromartie High School, Kodocha, Maid-sama!)
  • Mayu-sama (voice): Haruka Tomatsu (Kannagi's Nagi, To Love-Ru's Lala Satalin Deviluke)
  • Yuzu Komiya (voice): Yui Horie (Higurashi no Naku Koroni's Hanyuu, Love Hina's Naru Narusegawa)
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:
  • Director: Kenji Nagasaki (directorial debut; assistant director, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Oh! Edo Rocket)
  • Music: Keiichi Suzuki (Tokyo Godfathers, Red Colored Elegy)
  • Shion (voice): Yuuki Kaji (Black Butler's Finny, Deadman Wonderland's Yo Takami)
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 Makyo
Starts: Tokyo MX, Sunday July 3 at 5:30 p.m. JST
Studio: Studio DEEN
Genre: Fantasy
Website: www.nuramago.jp
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Director: Michio Fukuda (Hyakko; storyboard, Ouran High School Host Club)
  • Rikuo Nura (voice): Jun Fukuyama (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion's Lelouch Lamperouge, Black Butler's Grell Sutcliffe)
  • Kana Ienaga (voice): Aya Hirano (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya's Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star's Konata Izumi
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)
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:
  • Director: Munenori Nawa (Kiss×sis, Otoboku - maidens are falling for me!)
  • Art Director: Naoko Kosakabe (Mahoromatic, Nyan Koi!)
  • Taketo Akutagawa (voice): Aya Goda (Is This A Zombie?'s Salas, Kiddy Girl-and's Q-feuille)
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:
  • Director: Keizou Kusakawa (Asura Cryin', Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's)
  • Ending Theme: Halko Momoi (OP, Genshiken, DearS)
  • Subaru Hasegawa (voice): Yuuki Kaji (Black Butler's Finny, Deadman Wonderland's Yo Takami)
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:
  • Director: Yoshimitsu Ohashi (Witchblade, Galaxy Angel)
  • Series Composition: Shin Yoshida (original concept, Argento Soma; script, Naruto)
  • Character Design: Yuriko Chiba (Planetes) & Eiji Nakada (Eureka Seven)
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:
  • Director, Series Composition, Character Designer: Atsushi Nishigori (directorial debut; animation director, Gurren Lagann, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt)
  • Co-Series Composition: Touko Machida (Lucky Star, Tears to Tiara)
  • Music: Kouji Nakagawa (Katamari Damacy, Tales of Legendia)
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:
  • Director: Kanta Kamei (Tales of Vesperia ~The First Strike~; key animation, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time)
  • Character Designer: Yuu Yamashita (key animator, Bleach, The Sky Crawlers)
  • Daikichi Kawachi (voice): Hiroshi Tsuchida (The Skull Man's Skull Man, Honey and Clover II's Kazushi Yamazaki)
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
Notable Cast/Staff:
  • Director: Yuu Kou (Chrono Crusade, Loveless)
  • Series Composition: Tomoko Kanparu (Kimi ni Todoke, NANA, Nodame Cantabile)
  • Haruka (voice): Miyuki Sawashiro (Di Gi Charat's Puchiko, Strike Witches' Perrine-H. Clostermann
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:
  • Director: Masahiko Ohta (Minami-ke, Mitsudomoe)
  • Series Composition / Script: Takashi Aoshima (He Is My Master, Minami-ke)
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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