Hey there, fans! Sorry for the delay in this post; going on a vacation triathlon of shopping in the biggest mall in Asia, being tag-teamed by relatives, and running between both activities through the clogged streets of the Philippines is nothing short of exhausting! But here I am again, ready to take on the newest anime that Japan has been cranking out over the summer!
As mentioned in my last post, this is all about the anime I would be picking up for the rest of the summer, until and after the fall seasons begin. They are shows that have begun sometime during the summer months that I have deemed, well, interesting in initial concept. In this line up, there’s a lot of dead people and a haunted house, a haunted school, time travelers and various other creatures of the night, and a girl with a glowing blue eye. Mind you, I’ve yet to go beyond the first few episodes of these, so this post is more like a late “preview” and will have neither a rating nor a recommendation attached to any of them, just to be fair.
ON TO THE ANIME (again).
Written with the kanji for “corpse demon,” Shiki centers around a small country village that seems to be plagued by death, as residents begin to drop like flies one summer, with next to nothing identifying exactly what is causing this pandemic. Oh, and the village just happens to be surrounded by the type of trees used for grave markers, there’s a huge, possibly haunted castle on the highest peak in the area, and a strange family seems to have moved in the area. Creepy premise, no?
Based on Fuyumi Ono’s manga of the same name, this slow-paced and very creepy anime seems to be very similar to the feel of an earlier horror series called When They Cry (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni), that, while it had a few sudden scares, relied on the power of psychological horror. I’ve seen the first episode, and have concluded that it instills the sense of uneasiness that is likely to grow into sphincter-tightening terror as the story progresses; quite the opposite of the graphic horror of High School of the Dead. That, as well as the killer opening sequence, is the main reason for choosing this show. Shiki is produced by Daume and is currently streaming on Hulu.
Occult Academy (Seikimatsu Okaruto Gakuin)
A wholly original anime produced by A-1 Pictures, it takes places in a strange school named the Waldstein Academy or, as the locals called it, the Occult Academy. The story centers around the daughter of the recently deceased principal of the high school who, unlike her father, absolutely hates the very idea of the occult, regardless of her vast knowledge about the subject and of the fact that ghosts, demons and other things that go bump in the night are reported to have been spotted in that very school! In fact, just minutes after she arrives to the school, she and the rest of the school are attacked by the possessed body of her father. She resolves to destroy this school after what it did to her father and her home life. Then, a time traveler from 2012 comes along, and things get a little complicated.
From what I saw in the first episode, the show is a mix of comedy and horror, which actually works. The two genres are relatively difficult to stew together, but this particular anime does it rather well: there’s one scene in particular where one of the daughter’s friends becomes possessed by the ghost, gets knocked down and suddenly stops because she loses her glasses! The concept is original, the comedy is funny, and the supernatural aspect of the show is just enough to warrant a few scares here and there, just the way I like it. Occult Academy is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Black Rock Shooter (Burakku Rokku Shūtā)
The entire idea for this OVA, or original video animation, stemmed from an illustration by a Japanese artist known as Huke and a music video shared on Nico Nico Douga, a Japanese video sharing site, the latter of which became so popular that Ordet, an anime production company, started to make it into a 55-minute long anime. On a viewing of the trailer, it seems to be half slice-of-life high school anime and half stylized action sequence, both of which look well made and well choreographed. I admit, I only wanted to watch this OVA because everyone else was doing it too: even before the trailer for the anime debuted, there was much buzz about it and several cosplayers were seen in recent conventions donning costumes of the main characters! Regardless, it looks cool and fun to watch, so I jumped on the bandwagon just for that reason.
Black Rock Shooter is not yet available in the United States, but I’m willing to bet it’s out there on the Internet somewhere, if one looks hard enough (but don’t tell them I sent you)!
And that’s what I intend to watch during the rest of the summer, one way or the other. I hope the rest of you have an awesome summer, and remember to put on sunblock while watching anime outside!
Did I miss an anime that you thought would be a good idea to watch? Tell us in the comments!