American TV has slowly started experimenting beyond the standard “debut every series in September and see what sticks” model, but it’s still the case that fall is the season where the big ticket items are debuted. Similiarly, the big anime seasons tend to be spring and fall, with the winter and particularly the summer season left to left to flounder with continuing shows and one or two decent new offerings.
That was certainly the case last summer, as noted by our very tepid awards post for summer 2010. It was not the case in winter 2011, with some remarkably solid offerings including Madoka, which is still the most likely candidate for show of the year. It’s also not the case here, with some strong continuing series being equaled or bested by shows that debuted this season. Neither of us were prepared for how remarkably strong, on balance, this season’s offerings were.
It’s unfortunate that the strength of the best series of this season eclipsed some other gems. When the most competitive category is “Best Show We Didn’t Cover,” that’s a good sign that summer 2011 was a great three months for anime. And that remains true even though the second most competitive category was “Most Offensive Series.”
As bear didn’t have a chance to watch most of the summer shows, this post is written entirely by 3HM.
Once upon a time, there was a show called Chaos;Head, about a borderline hikikomori (and flat-out insane) high school otaku who was embroiled in a series of murders linked to some epic conspiracy involving mind control. Only the appearance of several beautiful girls over the course of the show would tip viewers off that the show was based on a harem visual novel.
Now Nitroplus and 5pb, the creative teams that gave us Chaos;Head, are getting another one of their visual novels put on the tv screen. Unlike the previous show, this one involves a cast of mostly college students, much better art direction and character design, and a plot about time travel rather than mind control. Like the previous show, it kicks off with a remarkably disorienting presentation style made worse by an unreliable (and mentally unstable) narrator.