It’s easy to play favorites when you have a seasonal list of anime and that one series that really stands out. You prioritize it, you wait for it in great anticipation and you get heavily involved in collecting images and taking part in discussions and whatnot. But what if we offer here the biggest surprise instead?
Yes, I know, there is a bit of a loophole in this attempt to try something new, but who said it couldn’t overlap? While it may not be our favorites, we do (and have listed previous biggest surprises) have some shows that have caught us off guard and fascinated us. In fact, these might as well be favorites, but it’s hard to make that final judgment call just yet halfway into the season.
So here it is, our most surprising anime of this summer season.
Biggest Surprise: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
This really is a surprise. And I should be thankful to the curious souls who so casually selected Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita to be one of the three mandatory coverage this season because it’s somehow been a blast seeing societal satire on the anime screen. Really, I am grateful.
I didn’t know what to expect. All I got out of the synopsis was that Nakahara Mai would be in it and that the translation of the title would be, “humanity has declined.” It’s certainly something to raise an eyebrow at, but after the chicken and factory arc, I was pretty sold that I’d stay committed to watching it whole-heartedly. I’m still somewhat vexed at what is really going on at times, but anything that can poke fun at society and its people is welcome. Mediator/Watashi’s remarks are a joy to hear, even if it’s too much of something remotely close to stream of consciousness.
Also Watching This Season: Binbougami ga!, Campione!, Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Tari Tari
Carrying Over: Eureka Seven AO, Hyouka
Biggest Surprise: Kokoro Connect
At this point, I feel like I’ve become a withered, jaded veteran of anime - nothing has really grabbed my attention lately. There hasn’t been a breakout hit in a while and nothing seems to stand out as a real contender for greatest mass appeal. But I’m hoping for that trend to change with Kokoro Connect.
I’m not hoping that it’ll become the next big thing (i.e. AnoHana or Panty and Stocking), but it comes pretty close. Before the season began, this slice-of-life “dramedy” seemed to me like another moe series. I hoped for mildly interesting characters and decently funny shenanigans. Add the fact that the source material is a light novel series, I was more than a little skeptical. What I got was a show that demanded my attention and refused to back down. Kokoro Connect is surprisingly smart and has incredibly real characters you can’t help but like. Nothing about it seems contrived or overly dramatic. It surprised me in every way with its story, its pace, and its characters. It’s just a lot of fun to watch.
Again, I don’t think it’s everyone’s cup of tea, but if you wrote it off because of the art or admittedly shaky premise, you may want to give it a chance.
Also Watching This Season: Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!, Sword Art Online, Tari Tari, Yuru Yuri S2
Carrying Over: Accel World, Hyouka
Biggest Surprise: Yuru Yuri S2
I followed the first season of Yuru Yuri very loosely; it was cute and had great character designs, but I didn’t really care much for most of the plot. It was a bit too heavy-handed and not terribly funny. It was due to the lack of eye-catching anime that I decided to get on board with reviewing the second season, and now I’m so glad I did. The focus on more vignette-style episodes and the occasional serious focus has transformed an immature anime into something that I genuinely look forward to watching every week. We’re getting to see more of all the characters, not just the main ones, and we’re seeing focus not just on the “lesbian” relationships, but on the strong friendships as well. It’s refreshing, light-hearted, and sometimes very poignent. If you aren’t checking out Yuru Yuri S2, you definitely should be!
Also Watching This Season: Kokoro Connect, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Rinne no Lagrange S2, Sword Art Online, Tari Tari
Carrying Over: Hyouka
Agree? Disagree? Be sure to add to our discussions below.