It’s summertime! Sunshine and good vibes is the theme of the day outside and in the anime-verse, there’s plenty to get excited about right now!
This might be a smaller half-term report than usual, as we’ve not been keeping up with as many of the shows, but that shouldn’t take away form what is looking like a very solid anime cycle. With big-hitters, emerging favourites and the odd indie success, there’s something airing right now for everyone! Here are some of our favourite anime shows right now.
Carole & Tuesday
Set in a distant future in which humans have colonised Mars, Tuesday (pictured left) is the daughter of a wealthy and powerful mother who, one night, runs away from home to pursue her dream of being a musician. She boards a train to the metropolis of Alba City but is quickly overwhelmed by its size, robbed of her belongings and left on the verge of defeat. Then, she meets Carole (right), a busking, streetwise teen who shares the same dream. A chance encounter leads to a blossoming friendship as they become a rare organic duo in a music industry dominated by AI-produced music.
A continuation of the spring ’19 anime season, we’re pleased to say that C&T shows no sign of dropping the incredible level it’s already set! It’s felt like a while since we saw a great music series and this feels like it’s up there with the best, attacking common teen, slice-of-life topics with a modern, sci-fi twist. The music industry in this story feels organic and believable, as do all the exciting and varied characters involved. My only concern with this series was if it didn’t progress the story. However, the duo’s situation has come on leaps and bounds, while the growing importance of rival Angela should add another layer to a series for whom the sky’s the limit.
The incredibly bright Senkuu (pictured) and his friend Taiju are living a relatively normal high school life until one day, like a flash, every human in the world is turned into stone. Thousands of years later, Senkuu is suddenly freed from his petrified state. With the world reduced to little more than mountains, forests and stone statues, the bright boy is self-tasked with rebuilding civilisation from scratch.
As with Carole and Tuesday, this was another of those series that we highlighted during our 2018 Anime Awards as one to look out for. Another of Shonen Jump’s major manga titles, the comparisons to the manga stable’s other big players, My Hero Academia and Black Clover, are unavoidable. Not only that, they are also apparent throughout the series, the animation and characters cut from the same cloth. However, Dr. Stone doesn’t look like it’s flailing under the pressure but instead embracing the expectations and matching them. Senkuu is an incredible lead character while the story blends action fantasy with just enough realism and plot to keep you constantly engaged. Honestly, we’ve been surprised by how good this series has been so far. Could it be the next big shonen series? Absolutely!
Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? II
Following on from season one, DanMachi takes place in the fantasy world of Orario, a city where fighters earn a living killing monsters in dungeons underground, with the support of familias led by gods. The story follows Bell (front), sole fighter of the Hestia familia (left), when they suddenly become the target of the mighty Apollo. Coerced into a War Game they have no chance of winning, the duo must call on all the help they can to turn the tables on one of Orario’s most powerful familias.
A series that really should have been made years ago, the second season of DanMachi has been anticipated since the conclusion of DanMachi season one way back in June 2015. While it took a while to remember the characters and the slightly dark nature of the world, this feels like a solid continuation of the franchise so far. While the series hasn’t yet hit top gear, it certainly hasn’t dropped in quality. As the story expands (the Apollo story above seems to have concluded after only a few episodes) and brings more characters into it, we will surely see the full strength of the DanMachi world.
To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts
A long civil war pits North against South. The North is on the verge of defeat until they use a dark magic to create human/animal super soldiers known as Incarnates that turn the tide. However, a secret plan to kill the soldiers after their victory is thwarted, and they instead return to their homes where they soon run amok. Hank (centre), once the group’s leader, is now tasked with hunting his comrades. He is joined by Nancy Schaal Bancroft (front), bereaved daughter of one such incarnate, who is determined to understand why he is killing the wartime heroes. However, figures from the war lurk in the shadows, each with their own agenda for these uncontrollable fighters.
There are a few good fantasy series airing right now, but this one has grabbed us in a way few others have. An interesting plot has set the story up nicely, while some great character design has helped cultivate a fantasy world which has that much-needed edge. Whether this story can create enough twists and turns to get us through to its conclusion remains to be seen, but there’s certainly enough here for action-fantasy fans to get their teeth into.
So there we have it! Special mentions should also go out to Given and Demon Slayer, but these are the series that have us hooked! Here are our rankings so far:
4. To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts – A good, dark fantasy series with potential.
3. DanMachi II – Similar to above, but with that big-name pedigree and high expectations.
2. Dr. Stone – Hugely anticipated and quickly delivering!
1. Carole & Tuesday – Continuing from where it started, this could be an unbelievable story.
What’s your favourite series so far? Let us know on our social media channels and follow The Culture Cove for regular anime reviews and recommendations!