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7 Anime to Ring in the Summer

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Summer is quickly taking hold as temperatures climb and the school year winds to a close. Three months of freedom are knocking on your door. You can spend your time at cookouts, watching blockbusters in the oasis of your local cineplex's AC, or sitting beside a campfire. Bring your shades, a healthy appetite, and a sense of adventure because these seven series will get you prepped from the summer ahead.

7. Swimming (Free! Eternal Summer) Summer isn't the same without an obligatory beach trip. Now most anime have a fanservice-laden beach episode, but Free's coming-of-age, post-graduation drama goes beyond just revealing swimsuits (although they help). There's a trip to Australia for a change of scenery, tension as friendships are tested, and suspense as everyone's anime husband almost drowns. For those less interested in the muscular male form, there's the comedy Squid Girl, the slow-boiling Umi Monogatari, or Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho, an ecchi comedy about a girl's swim team.

6. Camping/Hiking (Yama no Susume) Aoi Yukimura and her friends take on the great outdoors in two short series about cute girls mountain climbing in Japan. Aoi is initially scared of heights after a fateful accident broke her leg. Her childhood friend Hinata is determined to get Aoi over the hump and up to the top of the mountains to watch a sunset. The series works well as an introduction to the hobby. Since Aoi is a beginner, the show introduces the ropes like cooking at higher altitudes and the types of gear needed to reach great heights.

5. BBQ (Silver Spoon) There are plenty of anime about cooking. In fact, there are so many that picking Silver Spoon might seem like an odd choice given that cooking is not the show's primary theme. Yūgo Hachiken ends up at an agriculture school that covers topics from husbandry to milk production. There is an especially heart-warming arc in the first season where Hachiken ends up caring for a pig named Pork-Bowl and begins to struggle with slaughtering him for pork. His emotions lead up to a touching sequence where he dedicates himself to honoring Pork-Bowl's sacrifice. If you want less tears in bacon, you can check out Cooking Master Boy or Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma.

4. Head to the County Fair (Oh! Edo Rocket) The local festival is the perfect place to don a kimono and walk around the stalls with your crush, or if you're in Hinamizawa, participate in symbolic sacrifices to an ancient god. Oh! Edo Rocket takes a look behind one of the staples of any festival: fireworks. Specifically, fireworks creation in the nation's capital in the in the mid-1800's. The main character is part of the "Tamaya" clan, a real-life family of firework makers whose name lives on today thanks to the traditional shouts of "Tamaya!" and "Kagiya!" (a rival) during displays. He meets Sora, an odd girl that wants him to build a rocket to the moon. The show regularly indulges in anachronistic references and parody while mixing in supernatural elements. It's definitely a unique trip.

3. Bittersweet Romance (Sola) Key and Makoto Shinkai have the sad teen romance market cornered, but both tend to favor setting their tragic tales against a snowy backdrop. Kanon writer Naoki Hisaya took another stab at the genre, but this time he put the supernatural focus on vampires. This anime follows Yorito, an amateur photographer who gets attached to a mysterious girl named Matsuri, who has never seen a blue sky. Every character is hiding their own secrets, and the truth threatens to turn Matsuri and Yorito's budding romance into tragedy.

2. Take a Vacation (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders) If your plan is to get out and see the world from the comfort of your home, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders takes a whirlwind trek through Asia and North Africa with stops in Singapore, Kolkata, and Pakistan before reaching Egypt. It wouldn't be an anime roadtrip without constant threats to Jotaro and Co.'s livelihood, so enemies both threatening and weird (including an orangutan) all stand in the way of Jotaro's quest to save his mother from certain death.

1. Get a Part-Time Job (The Devil is a Part-Timer!) All those expensive summer activities aren't going to pay for themselves. A cross-continental vacation and several months of swimming lessons will take a chunk out of your wallet, whether you're a regular human or the Devil himself. Devil King Sadao finds himself in the same situation when his quest for world domination is stymied by a hero. Instead, he has to make ends meet in modern Tokyo with no specialized skills to speak of. He has to adapt quickly to his surroundings, so he soon finds himself flipping burgers at a familiar fast food chain. Plagued by other weirdos, Sadao tries to make the best of the situation while still exercising his overwhelming desire to rule everyone and everything.

The new poll: Which of these clubs has the most attractive manager?

The old poll: Which of these transfer students do you wish would move into your class?
  1. Ryuko Matoi (Kill la Kill) 10.1%
  2. Ayumu "Osaka" Kasuga (Azumanga Daioh) 7.8%
  3. Yu Narukami (Persona 4) 7.3%
  4. Charlotte Dunois (Infinite Stratos) 5.5%
  5. Homura Akemi (Madoka Magica) 5.3%
  6. Sosuke Yamazaki (Free! Eternal Summer) 5.3%
  7. Li Syaoran (Cardcaptor Sakura) 5.2%
  8. Asuka Langely Soryu (Neon Genesis Evangelion) 4.9%
  9. Ritsu (Assassination Classroom) 4.8%
  10. Chitoge Kirisaki (Nisekoi) 3.8%
  11. Lala Deviluke (To Love-ru) 3.5%
  12. Hayato Gokudera (Reborn!) 3.3%
  13. Ami Kawashima (Toradora!) 3.2%
  14. Itsuki Koizumi (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) 3.2%
  15. Noriaki Kakyoin (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure) 2.9%
  16. Rukia Kuchiki (Bleach) 2.9%
  17. Makoto Kino (Sailor Moon) 2.8%
  18. Ai Haibara (Detective Conan) 2.7%
  19. Karen Kujo (Kinmoza! Kiniro + Mosaic) 1.9%
  20. Hotaru Ichijo (Non Non Biyori) 1.6%
  21. Chiaki Kurihara (Bodacious Space Pirates) 1.5%
  22. Suzaku Kururugi (Code Geass) 1.4%
  23. Ukyo Kuonji (Ranma 1/2) 1.2%
  24. Itona Horibe (Assassination Classroom) 1.1%
  25. Yuma Kuga (World Trigger) 1.1%

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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