Five Must-Watch Anime For Summer 2015

Five Must-Watch Anime for Summer 2015

Having reached the halfway point of the Summer anime season, most series currently airing have settled into their groove. For those out there for whom forty-seven new shows are a bit too much to stomach, we at Kotaku East are here to offer our recommendations for what we feel are the cream of the crop.

In making this list, we have spent the past several weeks watching all the fan favourites as well as several other series.

Bear in mind that just because your favourite series this season isn't here, that doesn't disqualify it as a solid show. These are simply the five at the top of our list.


Five Must-Watch Anime for Summer 2015

Overlord

Current Episode: 6 (of 13)

Genre: Fantasy

Non-Spoiler Plot Summary: When a popular fantasy MMORPG shuts down its servers, one guild leader, the skeleton mage, Momonga, finds himself transported to a real fantasy world trapped inside the body of his avatar. His guild's fortress has been transported to an unfamiliar world and the inhabiting NPC characters gain sentience and look to Momonga as their supreme ruler — an overlord as it were.

With his extensive knowledge of magic and powerful, fanatic minions following his every whim, Momonga continues to roleplay the part of the evil overlord to the extent that domination of this new world is not an entirely unappealing option.

Why You Should Watch It: Put plainly, Overlord is fun. It's damn fun. It's a fantastic power fantasy, comedy, and adventure all wrapped in one with likable characters and a thoroughly enjoyable world that anyone who has played a fantasy MMORPG will instantly be able to latch onto.

The story itself is also well-paced and engrossing, taking its time to set things up and let them play out in a convincingly organic manner.

Most enjoyable of all is the protagonist, Momonga, who plays both the straight man and the plot's logistical center. Throughout, Momonga is constantly experimenting and testing the rules of the new world he inhabits in an intelligent and analytical manner — like a real human being in his situation would. That and the fact that, as a level 100 character, he is so ridiculously overpowered that it makes for an entertaining and enthralling ride.

Watch It If You Like: Ixion Saga DT, No Game No Life, Log Horizon, .hack//Sign, Sword Art Online, Accel World

Where You Can Watch It: Funimation, Hulu, AnimeLab (AU)


Five Must-Watch Anime for Summer 2015

Gangsta.

Current Episode: 6 (of 12)

Genre: Crime, Action

Non-Spoiler Plot Summary: In a crime-ridden city filled with mafia, prostitution, and corruption, two "Handymen" live their daily lives, taking care of jobs even the worst lowlives won't go near.

Things take a turn however when, after cleaning up a new gang that was attempting to move in, the duo decide to take in a witness to their handiwork.

Why You Should Watch It: From the start, the series is high-octane grit with some great, bloody action. Gangsta. portrays a dark world with heartless monsters dressed as people, and quasi-supermen bound by Asimov's laws of robotics.

Aside from the gritty action, the anime also tells an interesting and compelling story about its two protagonists, Worick Arcangelo, the cheerful, intellectual pragmatist, and Nicolas Brown, the deaf mass murderer. The friendship the two share is as complex and interesting as the world itself, all which mix together to make an almost hypnotically entertaining action-adventure.

Watch It If You Like: Cowboy Bebop, Black Lagoon, Jormungand

Where You Can Watch It: Funimation, Hulu, Crunchyroll (EU), Animelab (AU)


Five Must-Watch Anime for Summer 2015

Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn't Exist

Current Episode: 6 (of 12)

Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Romance

Non-Spoiler Plot Summary: After 16 years of strict censorship laws banning all lewd and sexual material along with coarse language, Japan has become the most moral and inoffensive country in the world.

However, the ban against anything erotic, while cleansing the minds of the populace, has done its job too well. The resulting is a society where children have no understanding of biological reproduction and the feelings and emotions that accompany puberty — something that the terrorist organisation "SOX" seeks to rectify.

Why You Should Watch It: Underneath a hot, sticky spray of crude and childish humour, Shimoneta is one of the smartest anime this season. The entire series is a hard, penetrating commentary on censorship and the dangers of sterilizing a society in the name of healthy upbringing — i.e., protecting children from everything prepares them for nothing.

When it isn't making bleeped jokes and mosaicked/covered visual gags or double entendres, the anime is full of entertaining moments showing a society full of people who are completely clueless as to their own biological chemistry. Throughout, Shimoneta tests the limits of what is acceptable, while simultaneously questioning the existence of such limits, making for a poignant series that is cleverly both mature and immature at the same time.

Watch It If You Like: Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Seitokai Yakuindomo

Where You Can Watch It: Funimation, Hulu, AnimeLab (AU)


Five Must-Watch Anime for Summer 2015

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers

Current Episode: 7 (of 12)

Genre: Fantasy, Mystery

Non-Spoiler Plot Summary: A millennium ago, The Saint of the Single Flower saved the world and banished a mighty evil power. The Saint prophesized the evil's return as well as the emergence of six heroes who would be chosen to banish it again. Since then, twice the evil has returned and twice six heroes have defeated it.

Now, as evil has arisen again, a third generation of heroes gather to defeat it once more — this time, however, there are seven instead of six...

Why You Should Watch It: From the start, Rokka focuses on world building through lore, rather than relying solely on its premise. What results is an intriguing mystery set in a robust world with an atmosphere and history that draws the viewer in.

By the time the series brings about the major plot hook — that there are seven heroes instead of six — the groundwork has been firmly set, making the mystery genuinely alluring with several well-established characters, any of whom could be the faker.

Watch It If You Like: Record of Lodoss War

Where You Can Watch It: Crunchyroll


Five Must-Watch Anime for Summer 2015

Gatchaman Crowds Insight

Current Episode: 7 (of 13)

Genre: Superhero, Sci-Fi

Non-Spoiler Plot Summary: After the events of the first series, a terrorist group arises attempting to turn the public opinion against the existence of the Crowds — a program which turns normal people into invincible superpowered beings — by using Crowds for destructive purposes.

While society's views waver, a new Gatchaman is chosen and an alien visitor arrives — one hoping to unite society for a better, pure democratic world.

Why You Should Watch It: Much like the previous series, Gatchaman Crowds Insight is a sharp, multi-faceted sociological commentary on collective behaviour/mob mentality and what it means to be a good person — under the guise of a superhero show. Additionally, Insight looks at how mass opinion can be swayed and controlled with a focus on the 20-60-20 rule — the theory that in any large group of people, 20% are "positives", 20% are "negatives", and the remaining 60% are normal people who can be swayed by either the positives or the negatives.

Often in anime, the idea will be brought up of how to solve all conflict by unifying people, either figuratively, or quite literally. Generally this idea is portrayed as a logical ideal, defeated not through rational argument, but simply because the opposition says "I don't wanna" like a spoiled child. Gatchaman Crowds Insight instead takes away the black and white of the issue and smartly shows the grays of the issue giving the viewer much food for thought.

Watch It If You Like: Gatchaman Crowds, Battle of the Planets, 70's anime, Yatterman Night

Where You Can Watch It: Crunchyroll


Now that you've read my recommendations for what anime you should be watching this summer season, you may wonder why your favourite series is absent. There are four potential reasons: (1) I think it is terrible (or at least not quite as good as the five above); (2) it is the second/third/fourth season of an anime — and I haven't seen the previous seasons; (3) it is an anime continuing from last season; or (4) it simply didn't cross my radar.

But if you feel I have left out an anime that's something special, feel free to give me a heads up in the comments and tell me why you feel that way. Or pop over to Talk Amongst Yourselves and post your thoughts on your favourites.

Oh, and if you feel the need for even more anime to watch, be sure to check out the five anime of the Spring season you should have watched as well as our picks for the top five anime of 2014.


Comments

    Loving overlord at the moment. A good twist on the normal trapped in a game genre. So Good.

    cool, Gangsta and Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist are on Animelab, guess I'll check them out.

    Oh no, not more anime recommendations! I've been binge-watching the ones on Netflix - whoever picks the line-up is too good at their job. If I get one more theme song stuck in my head... I may have to cut somebody.

    "The entire series is a hard, penetrating commentary on censorship"... lol

    Looks like crunchyroll is losing all the upcoming series. May have to drop subscription in favor of funimation.

    Sure Shimoneta could be construed as some sort of commentary on the dangers of overprotecting/sheltering children or the type of lives people lead in a "Big Brother" society but tbh that just isn't what it is. It is simply having fun being itself; the raunchiest, censorship boundary pushing, innuendo filled comedy of the season. Also you should probably watch this somewhere where you won't be uninterrupted, as that may spell the end of your friendships with some people+result in disappointing stares from parents forever more. I'd swap this out in the 5 for Charlotte, which is starting to get really interesting (and because of Jun Maeda) and is just generally better, I still like Shimoneta though!

    I would also swap Overlord for GATE. I agree with you saying that Overlord is just pure fun (any scene with Albedo in it) but imo GATE is just the better fantasy anime as there is just so much more that can be done with the story which we have already seen glimpses of i.e. political intrigue between worlds, culture clash and bleed through, an inferior technological society seeing and reacting to an overwhelmingly more advanced society and so on and so forth. In both shows the characters are the key and both succeed very well in establishing meaningful characters with a clearly defined place in the world. Overlord is still really good but GATE is more boundary pushing with more potential, plus its OP is excellent (Overlords OP and ED are pretty good too). Just my two cents for everyone

    oh yeah and i agree with the other three, especially Gangsta. It's a really good character driven dramaish story. Maybe special mentions for this season would be GOD Eater (cause ufotable), Gakkou Gurashi! (surprisingly good), Durarara!! X2 Ten (its Durarara guys, it's awesome) and finally Akagami no Shirayukihime (really just a nice story thats played out well so far)

      I find Overlord a lot more enjoyable.. but mostly because I think I'm over "anime = existential/political/etc. vehicle". I tend to watch anime just for fun these days. I leave the analysis and "serious" stuff for others. At the same time I do like some modicum of interesting/intelligent writing as opposed to saturated moe/fan service.

      Overlord for me hits that nice sweet spot of amusing with some intelligent role reversals w/o being overtly serious and just a dash of fan service that doesn't over write the whole series.

    Overlord sounds interesting, but the header pic for it appears to be Momonga creeping on a draenei. I've got no time for rape shows, so tell me straight up: is this series girl-friendly?

      there is no rape at all, whether explicit or implied, mc is relatively sex-shy in any case, Albedo (mc's right hand woman, in pic displayed) is really the only overtly sexual character, which is used for mostly comedic purpose. Girl-friendly? I guess, just chalk it up toyour personal tastes, the show is about the fantasy setting and how an rpg game becomes real life, and the mc's journey through the world.

      Last edited 17/08/15 3:30 pm

      There's a brief moment in the transition between worlds where he ends up getting his bony hands on a boob, but then part of his racial properties kicks in (He's undead so no strong emotions) and his libido becomes pretty much non-existant, which he does take note of later.
      I'd say this show is pretty girl friendly, especially considering several of the most overpowered characters are female and generally more aggressive than the main character himself.

      Uh... that's a really weird interpretation. If anything, he looks bored and she appears to be the one making the moves.

        Mild Spoiler:

        I'm fairly sure that particular screenshot is of the demon chick with a overlord pillow. She gets a bit obsessive later.

        Last edited 05/09/15 12:17 am

    I'm so out of touch, "Watch if you liked: Never heard of it, never heard of it, never heard of it" :(

      Oh? Hm. *looks at the list* I seee.

      Record of Lodoss War, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Cowboy Bebop, Black Lagoon, Jormungand, No Game No Life, Log Horizon, .hack//sign, Sword Art Online... all of those are pretty good. The rest I can't comment on.

      And about half that list came out 10-20 years ago, so it might not be so much that you're out of touch as much as very young. :)

      Last edited 04/09/15 12:09 am

    God Eater is a fairly decent watch. Based off a game (as many are) but has a decent story line so far and good animation.

    School Live, watch it. You won't be dissapointed

    Well thank you very much Kotaku! I've been skipping out on most anime these days because they just don't appeal to me as much... and then you had to go mention Overlord..

    Which leads me to going to Animelabs and finding out Snow White w/ the Red Hair is also being animated..

    GODDAMNIT THATS TWO ANIME SERIES I NEED TO KEEP TABS OF NOW! I'VE BEEN CLEAN FROM ANIME FOR ALMOST A YEAR! xD

    I think you might be forgetting the best anime of this season... Monster Musume

    Last edited 19/08/15 5:53 am

    Gangsta is proving to be a HUGE disappointment. It devolves from being a seemingly clever, gritty, almost realistic show into the usual tired old boss-battle crap complete with slim sexy lollypop sucking characters who can easily destroy the toughest characters in the show, all the while complaining they don't have a strong enough opponent.
    Not to mention the trope with characters watching from the sidelines sardonically musing about how everything is "going to plan". Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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